Through the eyes of that faithful and true disciple of love who alone remained, heir of the apostolic band-and with his pen, tried to capture that which when Paul saw it, said it was inexpressible.
ü Let us listen to the choirs of angels in numberless circles about the glassy sea and its Throne as they say His worthy praise.
ü Let us listen to those eternal creatures chant “Holy, holy…holy,” and by faith’s eye let us see with John that band which no man could number and listen to their songs of adoration and praise. Do you know Him, Christ the Lord, Who merits such praise?
ü Let us see Him now—worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to be praised this day by us who owe Him our all!
Discover the beauty of Jesus as we worship Him in the splendor of His Redeeming Love as He demonstrates His Perfect Patience, Perfect Holiness, His Perfect Redemption, His Perfect Justice (which has no mercy), and His Perfect Wrath (15)
There is always a majestic backdrop to remind us of God’s unfailing purpose! What do I mean? Hold on now! There are 11 songs that make up the background music to the story. They are songs of worship and triumph.
|4:8||Holy (3 Times)||
|4:11||Worthy Art Thou In Creation||
|5:8-10||Worthy Art Thou In Redemption||
|5:11-12||Worthy Is Lamb||
|5:13||Unto Him That Sitteth||
|7:9-10||Salvation To Our God||
|11:15||Kingdom Of This World||
|11:16-18||We Give Thee Thanks||
|15:2-4||Great And Marvelous||10. Victors Over Beast|
|19:1-8||4 Hallelujahs||11. Great Multitude, 24 Elders, Living Creatures, Great Voices|
Whew! But what is all that? First, look them all up this week.
But importantly, these majestic declarations of God’s glory and greatness in praise by the angels, creation, redeemed and all together show the constant backdrop for the shifting scenes: WORSHIP.
Behind the shifting scenes of man’s changing World of human history, portrayed by the symbols of this Book, is an unchanging and vivid reality. In God’s eternal world:
- God’s purposes don’t fail.
- God’s plan doesn’t change.
- God’s Christ is victorious!
Christ Jesus is patient
Application: Do we have this? PATIENCE is the absence of personal irritation at the actions of others. It is that bearing long with people that Paul spoke of in I Corinthians. Patience is also one of the Supreme attributes of God. It is His character that is revealed as being gracious and longsuffering.
ü Exodus 34:6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
ü Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’
ü Romans 15:5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
ü 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Ask yourself, am I more patient than I was three months ago, or less? If we are not increasing in patience it is only that we are not yielding and submitting to the Holy Spirit.
“The word never means the spirit which sits with folded hands and simply bears things. It is victorious endurance, masculine constancy under trial. It is Christian steadfastness, the brave and courageous acceptance of everything life can do to us, and the transmuting of even the worst into another step on the upward way. It is the courageous and triumphant ability to bear things, which enables a man to pass the breaking point and not to break, and always to greet the unseen with a cheer.”
The opposite of patience can be seen in the signs of anger: irritability, impatience, glaring eyes, raised voice, hurtful words, explosive actions, silent treatment, argumentative, clenched teeth, and heavy breathing.
How do we stop impatient anger? Note these steps to resolving anger:
ü Accept responsibility for anger and its symptoms,
ü See my anger through their eyes,
ü View anger as an alarm for unresolved guilt,
ü Act quickly to resolve past guilt, offenses, failures and bless;
ü Acknowledge the anger of forefathers;
ü Regain the ground of past anger;
ü Fully forgive the offender;
ü Learn to see the benefits in tragedy;
ü Exchange all personal rights to God;
ü Establish daily accountability.
Jude 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Enoch prophesied as 2 Pet. 3:7-9.
We could have wrapped this up with a few H-bombs!
BEAUTY OF HOLINESS v.2 God is eternally Holy, Holy, Holy. SONG OF HOLINESS
There is presently a Fountain. Jesus never changes. And “It seems Jesus died yesterday” – Luther.
The Sea reminds us of Moses: Psalm 90, Dt. 31:30-32:43 and at the Red Sea in Ex. 15. This scene also speaks of the Laver and the 10 lavers of Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 7.
Christ’s Saints are triumphant
The victorious martyrs sing two songs. They sing the song of the Lamb, which as we have seen, is the song, which they alone could learn (14:3). They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God. This was the song, which Moses sang in triumph to God after the safe crossing of the Red Sea. It is in Ex. 15:1-19. “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he had become my salvation…. Who is like thee, O Lord, among the gods, who is like thee, majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders? The Lord will reign for ever and ever.” This song was stamped upon the memory of the Jews. It was sung at every Sabbath evening service in the synagogue. At every Jewish service the recital of the Shema, the creed of Israel, was followed by two prayers–it still is–and one of these prayers refers to this song: “True it is that thou are Jehovah our God, and the God of our fathers, our King, and the King of our fathers, our Savior, and the Saviour of our fathers, our Creator, the Rock of our Salvation, our Help and our Deliverer. They name is from everlasting, and there is no God beside thee. A new song did they that were delivered sing to thy name by the seashore; together did all praise and own thee King, and say, Jehovah shall reign, World without end! Blessed be the Lord who saveth Israel.” The song of Moses commemorated the greatest deliverance in the history of God’s people Israel, and the victorious martyrs, brought through the sea of persecution to the promised land of Heaven, sing that song. But the martyrs have their own song. Two things stand out about it.
First, their song is drawn from the Old Testament. Note the lines of the song and the Old Testament foundations:
Christ’s Saints are triumphant Revelation 15:2-4 2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Saints praise God’s works
and so we are to worship his power
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Saints praise God’s ways
and so we are to worship his plan
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
Saints praise God’s wonders
and so we are to worship his perfections
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
Saints praise God’s worship
and so we are to worship his purposes
BEAUTY OF DELIVERANCE/ REDEMPTION v. 3-4 Discover the beauty of Jesus as He demonstrates His Perfect Patience. Moses and the Lamb’s SONG OF DELIVERANCE. The Baptism of Israel in the Red Sea in Ex. 15 speaks of their deliverance by Moses 1 Cor. 10:1-2. It is “fiery” to show God’s Wrath at sin and holiness from sin.
The Bowls are urns dipped into the sea of God’s wrath and poured out on the world. As the Flood judged earth, 1 Pet. 3:20-21.
Jesus is faithful (temple)
After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
What does the Tabernacle signify? The Old Testament states seven elements of the Tabernacle:
- THE WAY TO THE PRESENCE OF GOD as seen in the Shekinah Glory (100x Rev.) is God’s sign of His Glorious Presence from Eden onward. Jesus is our emmanuel, God with us! Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
- THE WAY OF ACCESS TO GOD Exodus 33:7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting, which was outside the camp. Jesus is the image of the invisible God John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
- THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS WITH GOD Leviticus 5:5 ‘And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing; Jesus is our cleansing 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
- THE WAY OF GUIDANCE BY GOD Exodus 40:34-38 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys.37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up.38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. Jesus said follow Him. John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
- THE WAY OF PROTECTION FROM GOD 1 Samuel 5:1-4 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the temple of Dagon and set it by Dagon.3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again.4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. Jesus promised us His care John 10:28 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
- THE WAY OF CLEANSING WITH GOD Leviticus 19:21-22 ‘And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering.22 ‘The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he has committed. And the sin, which he has committed shall be forgiven him. Jesus has opened the way for usHebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
- THE WAY OF BLESSINGS FROM GOD Isaiah 58:14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Jesus alone offers the overflowing life John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus is holy (clothing)
Jesus is eternal (creatures)
Jesus is wrathful (smoke)
v.8 God’s Final Call The Glory of COMPLETION
No one will enter. Some day it will be too late: As in: Genesis 6:5-7 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The Smoke portrays God’s judgment. As Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’, (No smoke in the tabernacle/temple, but there is smoke with the Judgment, Ex. 19:18/Is. 6:4). Note Heb. 3:9 + 15, Mt. 25:1-13 and Lam. 3:43-44.
|Red Sea||Crystal Sea|
|Triumph Egypt||Triumph Babylon|
|How God brought out people||How God brings in|
|Sung by redeemed||Raptured|
“Long before that deliverance, there had occurred an even greater judgment and redemption by the waters of the sea, ‘when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah,. wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water’ (1 Pet. 3:20). The same waters, which had destroyed an ungodly World, had saved the believing remnant from destruction by that World. It is interesting also that the waters of baptism, symbolizing death to sinfulness and resurrection unto holiness, are compared both to the waters of the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:1, 2) and to the waters of the great Flood (1 Pet. 3:20, 21).
“Thus will the sea at the Heavenly Throne perpetually call to remembrance the waters of the Flood, the waters of the Red Sea and the waters of baptism, all speaking both of God’s judgment on the wickedness of rebellious men and His great salvation for those who trust Him and obey His Word. This last company of persecuted believers had experienced these also, in high degree, and so could join heartily in singing the ancient song of Moses.
“But also they could gladly join all the other redeemed hosts (Revelation 5:8-14) in the great anthem of the Lamb. It was only because of His gracious work on their behalf that God was able to save them. They had been able to overcome the beast and the dragon not only because of their willingness to witness and to die for their faith, but first of all ‘by the blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 12:11).
“There is surely no conflict, as some have taught, between the dispensations of Moses and the Lamb. The written law was given by Moses, and grace and truth came through Jesus (Jn. 1:17); both are integral components of God’s will for man. The contrasting ‘but’ of Jn. 1”17 is not in the original. The redeemed saints could with equal faith and enthusiasm sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.
“Though neither of these songs, as recorded in Exodus 15 and Revelation 5, contains the precise ascription’s cited in this passage, the exalted words are perfectly consistent with both. His works (whether the mighty miracle at the Red Sea or the even greater miracle at Calvary and the empty tomb) are indeed ‘great and marvelous.’ His ways (whether the destruction of rebellious Pharaoh or the sacrifice of His sinless Son on a cross of substitution) are surely just and true. Whatsoever God doeth is right, and whatsoever He saith is true.
“He is the ‘Lord God Almighty’ (a term used five times in Revelation, and nowhere else). ‘Almighty’ (Greek pantokrator) is a synonym for ‘omnipotent.’ He is also long-suffering, desiring men to come to repentance, but one day soon He will assume His great power and reign (Revelation 11:17). He is Creator of all–therefore Sovereign of all!
“But also He is ‘King of Saints.’ This title is used in no other passage, and a few of the manuscripts render it ‘King of Nations,’ others ‘King of Ages.’ However, neither of these two titles appears anywhere else either, and the King James rendition, based on the Received Text, best fits the context.”
…The martyrs died the most savage deaths and yet they are said to have emerged victorious. It was the very fact that they had died that made them victors; if they had remained alive by being false to their faith, they would have been the defeated. Again and again the records of the early Church describe a day of martyrdom as a day of victory. In the record of the martyrdom of Saint Perpetua we read: “The day of their victory dawned, and they walked from prison to the amphitheater as if they were walking to Heaven, happy and serene in countenance.”
Jesus said: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt. 16:25). The real victory is not prudently to preserve life but to face the worst that evil can do and if need be to be faithful to death. “May God deny you peace,” said Unamuno the Spanish mystic, “and give you glory.”
THE SONG OF THE VICTORS OF CHRIST
Revelation 15:3, 4
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
Great and wonderful are your works,
O Lord, God the Almighty;
Just and true are your ways,
King of the Nations.
Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord?
Because You alone are holy;
Because all the Nations will come and worship
Because Your righteous judgments have been
Made plain for all to see.
Great and wonderful are Your works.
O Lord, how great are thy works! (Ps. 92:5); The works of the Lord are great (Ps. 111:2); He has done marvelous (wonderful) things (Ps. 98:1); Wonderful are thy works (Ps. 139:14).
Just and true are your ways. The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings (Ps. 1445:17).
Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? All the nations thou hast made shall come and bow down before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify they name (Ps. 86:9).
You alone are holy. There is none holy like the Lord (1 Sam. 2:2);
Let them praise they great and terrible name! Holy is he! (Ps. 99:3);
Holy and terrible is his name (Ps. 111:9).
All the nations will come and worship before you. All the nations thou hast made shall come and bow down before thee, O Lord (Ps. 86:9).
Your righteous judgments are made manifest. The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations (Ps. 98:2).
A passage like this lets us see how steeped in the Old Testament John was. There is another thing, which must strike anyone about the song of the triumphant martyrs. There is not one single word in it about their own achievement; from beginning to end the song is a lyric outburst on the greatness of God.
Heaven is a place where men forget themselves and remember only God. As R. H. Charles finely puts it: “In the perfect vision of God self is wholly forgotten.” H. B. Swete puts it this way: “In the presence of God the martyrs forget themselves; their thoughts are absorbed by the new wonders that surround them; the glory of God and the mighty scheme of things in which their own sufferings form an infinitesimal part are opening before them; they begin to see the great issue of the world-drama, and we hear the Doxology with which they greet their first unclouded vision of God and His works.”