“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).
“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” (Rev. 15:5–8).
The final moments of Jerusalem are upon her. John looked, and the sanctuary was opened, and judgment came out of her. That sanctuary is described in quite an interesting way—the “temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven.” The word for temple may refer to the inner sanctum, the holy of holies, which the tabernacle in the wilderness had, just as Solomon’s temple did. Putting it all together, the angels came out of the holy of holies in the heavenly tabernacle. They came out of the holy of holies, where the testimony was kept—the ark of the covenant, capped with the mercy seat, was called the ark of the testimony (Ex. 25:22). When merciless judgment comes to you from the place of the mercy seat, you know that things are pretty bad.
The angels emerged, bringing the seven plagues with them. They were dressed in pure white linen, and had golden sashes wrapped around their chests. Although they came with the seven plagues, one of the four living creatures gave them seven bowls, filled up with the wrath of God. The wrath belongs to the God who lives forever and ever. The word translated vial in the AV is better rendered as bowl, and appears to match with the earlier bowls filled with incense, that is, the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:8). Combine this with the prayers that the saints under the altar offered up (Rev. 6:9), and you can see the convergence of answered prayer and the wrath of God. Earlier they had asked, how long? And now that the bowls are handed out to the angels, God’s answer to their question is now.
The glory of God, and the power of God, were manifested in the temple in the form of smoke. This is what had happened at the dedication of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. 40:34-35), and at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10-11). In this instance, with no one able to enter the heavenly temple because of the smoke, it appears to be a symbolic way of saying that intercession for Jerusalem is no longer a possibility. The judgment is going to fall, and fall heavily now.