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

"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 avenging angels" are all clothed in white linen robes or clean shining linen and wear golden sashes around their chests. 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 their 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. An ancient linen cloth was discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near to the Red Sea. The color of the white linen robes of the angels is symbolic of purity and innocence like a bride's white dress. The angel's dress is also a priestly dress. The fine linen and the gold embroidered sash around the chest is the same as that of the High Priest. Descended from the line of Aaron, he 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 be called "God's representative among human beings." These angels wear these robes also as representatives of God.✞

Royal Dress

Priestly RobesThe angel's robes were also royal dress. The white robes and the high girdle are 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 also 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 Heaven to execute God's decrees upon the earth.✞

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.

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 writes in "The Revelation of John", "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 to God to serve his purposes."

"White Linen Robes"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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