15:5-8 THE CLOSE OF PROBATION
In Revelation 11:14 the pivotal announcement was made, “the second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” The first two woes are the anger and strife of nations, while the third is the wrath of God—“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come...that you should reward Your servants…and should destroy those who destroy the earth.” The wrath of God, announced in Revelation 11:18, is declared in Revelation 15:1 to be “The Seven Last Plagues, for in them is filled up the wrath of God.”
The first announcement of the wrath of God was accompanied by the statement, “The
Nearly 25% of the book of Exodus is concerned with the building of the wilderness tabernacle. “When Moses finished the work, then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, and Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting because… the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:33,34). The cloud filled the tabernacle when the work of building it was completed. Now the church is God's temple; God is building His people as “living stones” into a “spiritual house” through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 2:5). The temple is “finished” when God’s people reach the “unity of the faith” and “the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians4:9-13). Applying this to Revelation 15:8, when Christ has “finished the work” of perfecting the church, the cloud of glory will fill the heavenly tabernacle and no one will be “able to enter the temple till the seven plagues [are] fulfilled.”
The same theme is found in the inauguration of Solomon’s temple, with the emphasis specifically on the unity of God’s people. “When the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord…the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:13,14). The cessation of the temple ministry by the priests was associated with unity and perfect worship by the “trumpeters and singers” who were “as one…in praising and thanking the Lord.” If we apply this passage to Revelation 15:8, when God’s people reach the unity of worship and praise that characterized the early church, the temple of God in heaven will be “filled with…the glory of God.” Then the seven last plagues will be poured out, which will protect God’s people from their enemies and prepare the way for the Second Coming of Christ.
The same event is recorded in 1 Kings 8. There it says that the priests took the ark of the covenant into the Most Holy Place “and it came to pass, when the priests came out of the Holy Place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud” (1 Kings 8:10,11). In all three passages, when the cloud filled the temple, the ministry in the temple came to an end, and this passage emphasizes that this happened when the priests came out of the
Considering these three passages together and applying them to the end of time, when God’s church has reached the perfection of unity and worship, then Jesus, our high priest, will end His ministry of intercession and will leave the
Isaiah 26:21,22 shows that when “the Lord comes out of His place” (finishes His ministry of mediation) it initiates a brief final period when the work of God’s people for sinners will have ended. They will “hide themselves” in the safety of Jesus’ protection, and God Himself will punish Satan and bring iniquity to an end. “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent [Satan]” (Isaiah 26:20-27:1). The rest of the book of Revelation deals with the events after probation has closed, when the impenitent, spurred on by the devil, will try to annihilate God’s people, who will be protected by the wrath of God and the Second Coming of Christ.
 “You are the temple of the living God. As God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” 2 Corinthians 6:16, See also 1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:19-22.
 To each one of us grace was given…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians4:9-13.
 This is consistent with the ceremonies on the Day of Atonement: when the high priest came out of the Most Holy Place, he was finished making atonement for the people and from then he made atonement for the temple itself and assigned punishment to the scapegoat, who represented Satan, the instigator of sin (See Leviticus 16:17-22 and 4: The Day of Atonement).
 These are different aspects of the same end-time work of calling the great multitude out of spiritual
 The Hebrew word for place, maqown, is used to designate the place for the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:17, 1 Kings 8:6,7,21, 1 Chronicles 15:1, 3). 2 Chronicles 5:7 makes it clear that this is the