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 golden 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 golden sashes around their chests, just like the Son of Man. Linen was a textile made from fibers of the flax plant. It's manufacture was very labor intensive but its cloth was greatly valued for its coolness in hot weather. The word "linen" gives us the word "line" which is 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 to the Red Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls were also discovered. The color of the white linen robes of the angels was symbolic of purity and innocence like a bride's white dress. The angel's dress is also a priestly dress like the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. The fine linen and the gold embroidered sash around the chest is 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 wear these robes also as representatives of the Lord God Almighty.✞

Royal Dress

Priestly RobesThe angel's robes were also the royal regalia. The white robes and the high girdle were the clothing of ancient princes and of kings. 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 according to Mark 16.5 in a "white robe." The angels, the inhabitants of heaven, came from God's presence to execute God's decrees upon the earth. It is no surprise that they glowed having been in the presence of Almighty God.✞

Seven Golden Bowls

Four Living CreaturesIt is one of the "four living creatures" who hands the angels "the seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God." When the four living creatures first emerged on the scene in Revelation 4.7 we saw that the first was like a lion, the second like an ox, the third like a man, and the fourth like an eagle. They symbolized all that is 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 AngelsIf that be so, it is fitting that one of the four living creatures should hand 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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