White Linen Robes
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White Linen Robes
(Revelation 15.6-8)
Page 220

"Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore gold sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed." (Revelation 15.6-8)✞

Four Living Creatures

White Robed AngelThe "seven angels" were all clothed in white linen robes described as "clean shining linen" and wore gold sashes around their chests, similar to the description of the Son of Man in Revelation. Linen was a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant and it's manufacture was very labor intensive but its cloth was greatly valued for its coolness in hot weather. The word "linen" gave us the word "line" which was derived from the use of a flax thread to determine a straight line or "plumb line." Interestingly, an ancient linen cloth was discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Red Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls were also discovered. The color of the holy white garments of the angels was a symbol of purity and innocence like a bride's white dress. The angel's dress was also a priestly dress like the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. The fine linen and the gold embroidered sash around the chest was the same as that of the High Priest and high ranking officials, princes and kings. Descended from the line of Aaron, the High Priest was the chief religious official of the Jewish Faith from the Exile in Babylon around BC 411 to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD. The High Priest in Judaism might well have been called "God's representative among human beings." These seven angels in heaven also wore these robes as representatives of the Lord God Almighty.✞

Royal Dress

Priestly RobesThe angel's robes were also royal regalia. These angels came forth with the royalty of the King of Kings upon them. Their dress was a heavenly dress. The young man (probably an angel) at the empty tomb of Christ was similarly clothed in a "white robe" according to Mark 16.5 "As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed." The angel inhabitants of heaven came from God's presence and executed God's decrees upon the earth. It was no surprise that they glowed having been in the presence of Almighty God.✞

Seven Golden Bowls

Four Living CreaturesIt was one of the "four living creatures" who handed the angels "the seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God." When the four living creatures first emerged on the scene in Revelation 4.6-8 we saw that the first was like a lion, the second an ox, the third like a man, and the fourth like an eagle. They symbolized all that was strongest, bravest, wisest and swiftest in all creation. They were the ultimate body guards for the throne room with eyes everywhere!✞

Bowls of Wrath

Image of AngelsIt was fitting that one of the four living creatures should have handed the bowls of wrath to "the seven avenging angels" in white robes. Dr William Barclay (1907-1978) the eminent Biblical scholar in "The Revelation of John" wrote, "The bowls of wrath are to bring disasters in nature to the world and the symbolism may well be that all nature is handing itself over to God to serve his purposes."

"White Linen Robes"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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