Bowls of Prayer and Bowls of Wrath

Hello Church Family!
 
Well, we have made it in Revelation to the Golden Bowls of God’s wrath. But, why golden bowls? The Seven Bowl Judgments in Revelation 15-16, is in response to the “golden bowls of prayers” that have been being offered to God by His followers since the day they were first persecuted and martyred for following Jesus Christ in the first century. Let’s follow the thread of the prayers of the saints through Revelation. In Revelation 5:8, we see that before the throne of God Himself, there are four living creatures and twenty-four elders that have fallen down before the Lamb with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of us, all the followers of Christ, the saints. God wants us to absolutely know in a colorful, vivid picture that the prayers of all God’s people fill heavenly bowls that are a sweet-smelling aroma to Him. He is very satisfied and pleased with our prayers. Church, be victorious in prayer!
Next, we are shown in another scene in Revelation 8:3-5, that the persecuted church’s prayers are like the rising smoke and incense from the golden altar before the throne. This altar is in the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place. Only the High Priest would enter once each year to offer the incense and the prayers of His people. Jesus Christ, our mediator and High Priest, has given us 24/7 access to the throne of God and the Golden Altar. Jesus is offering our everyday prayers as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God. The Lord wants us to vividly see and understand that God takes pleasure in the prayers of His saints. God hears our prayers! He keeps them all! He will answer our prayers. They do not go unnoticed! Not one of these prayers, prayed in faith, have been ignored. None are forgotten. None are pointless. They are gathered on the altar before the throne of God with the flame of incense growing brighter and brighter in the presence of God. Church, be persistent in prayer!
 
And then in response to the martyred saints under the altar crying out to God to avenge their blood in Seal Judgment Five (Rev. 6:10) and the persecuted church’s “golden bowls of prayers” throughout history, we have God answering with “golden bowls full of God’s wrath” (Revelation 15:7). This is God’s vindication for all believers. Revelation declares that the prayers of the saints are the instrument God uses to usher in the end of the world with great divine judgments. “Golden bowls of prayers” from the saints for vindication will be answered by a Holy God. All of the persecution, tribulation, hardships, insults that believers have endured will be vindicated by our Holy God when He pours out the “golden bowls of wrath” upon hardness of heart, and idolatry (Rev. 16:2), persistent non-repentance (Rev. 16:9,11), and on those who persecute the saints (Rev.16:6). The picture is vindication for all believers through the prayers of His saints and God’s response with the bowls of His wrath.
 
God’s wrath is a horrible picture. That is why we are shown clearly what God is up to in Revelation. He wants us to see over and over again how He is working in this world today against all things that are against Him so that we will repent. Since God is love, He sends a replacement, Jesus Christ, to take the wrath reserved for us so that we do not have to endure it. That is loving! Repent, believe, and worship Jesus Christ as the One who has removed God’s wrath that was upon you because of your sin.
 
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
Prayerfully, Steve

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