John looked and saw mercy change to judgment
Hi good friends out there in internet land. I have reviewed the first eight chapters in the book of Revelation in a very detailed way giving the readers many cross references to each verse but due to time and the fact that I must move on to other writing projects in the Bible the remaining chapters (Revelation chapters 9 - 22) will be completely quoted with some comments at the end of the chapter. I really do desire to cross reference every verse in these chapters but this would take me way to long thus leaving out other vital biblical studies that are also needed and desired to people that are very hungry for the word of God. There will still be many interesting insights after the chapter is quoted so please enjoy the rest of the study in this fascinating last book of the Bible.
(1) "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them is filled up the wrath of God. (2) And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over the image, and over his mark and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. (3) And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (4) Who shall not fear thee, O Lord and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (5) And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: (6) And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girdled with golden girdles. (7) 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. (8) 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." Revelation:15 1 - 8.
Revelation chapter fifteen is the shortest chapter in this book. Chapter fifteen and sixteen go hand in hand because they both describe two aspects of the same serious of events. We can see how heaven anticipants the final seven judgments that will come upon the earth. There seems to be a solemn yet joyous anticipation because after the wrath of God Jesus Christ rules for 1000 years.
Verse one comes right out and says there will be seven more judgments. Each judgment gets successively more severe. The receptions are people that have rejected Jesus Christ. The term another sign is just simply another of the same kind as before. Seven different angels will administer these judgments. The world is satanic at this point and the beast is still ruling the world. The word finished is the same word Jesus used when He was on the cross and then died. This is important because people on the earth for the most part have rejected the finished work of Jesus Christ for their pardon and God is running out of patience. I guess I could say we can either accept the "Finished" work of Jesus Christ for our life or God will "Finish" us.
In verses 2 - 4 there is a crowd of redeemed saints standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire. There was a sea of glass in chapter four which probably symbolized a group of believers that got snatched up to heaven in the rapture of the church and at rest before the throne of God. This is a sea of glass mingled with fire. Fire is a symbol of judgment. The tone of these three verses is the believers in heaven are very upset with the way the tribulation saints were martyred. The believers that were just put to death seem to be right near the other set of believers and there seems to be great love. On the one hand there is praise and worship to God in victory but on the other hand indignation against the people that did this in boldness against God. The apostle Paul said to live is Christ and to die is gain. We have some misconceptions regarding this place called heaven because often times we associate indignation with sin but God does assure us that our future tense salvation win be sinless. We will not be able to transgress against God. Most people would ask how but this is a bit of a mystery. All I know is God could never allow sin in His kingdom so this is something for us to look forward to in our final destination.
They sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. The song of Moses is a Jewish song remembering how the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. As they sing this song they will remember their experiences of horror on earth and understand that they are forever delivered from suffering and death. In perfect harmony this song leads into the song of the Lamb. Jesus Christ brought about this deliverance and as a result they became joint - heirs in the heavenly kingdom of God.
The apostle John then had the privilege of seeing the holy of holies in heaven. Remember the earthy tabernacle was only made to portray truths that would have an ultimate fulfillment in heaven's temple. The earthly priests in the Old Testament paralleled our High priest Jesus Christ in the heavenly tabernacle.
The brazen alter of sacrifice showed there is only one way to God and there would have to be an innocent sacrifice and this would bear the guilt of the person making the sacrifice. There was only one light in the earthly temple and this was to show that God alone can give illumination for understanding divine truths. There was the alter of incense so the priests had to continually burn incense. This is a picture of our prayers continually going into the presence of God. On the day of atonement the high priest would have to select a spotless lamb and offer it on the alter for the sins of the people. This mirrored what Jesus Christ did in the New Testament when He died on the cross for our sins. There is so much I could say but there were symbols placed in the Ark as a continual witness that man is sinful and deserving of the judgment of God. The good news is that the mercy seat was intended to prefigure The Lamb of God whose blood would not just cover but take away the sins of people. There is mercy for all who come in faith to Jesus Christ.
I only gave a brief review of the earthly temple but we need to remember the apostle John was Jewish. He understood what the temple was comprised of and the meaning of the whole biblical scenario. When he looked at the temple in heaven he was used to seeing the mercy of God through His Son Jesus Christ. This time when John looked he saw a change in the very essence of the sanctuary in heaven. Now it was a place where he saw the final seven judgments to be sent to planet earth. He was used to seeing this as a place where people were reconciled to God. The throne of mercy had at this point become a throne of judgment against those who rejected the Lamb of God. The reminders of sin in the Ark were uncovered and witnessing against a sin filled Christ rejecting world. Not only will man be in a position at this point in the tribulation period where they rejected the mercy of God but to add insult to injury they martyred most believers in Christ.
The reminders of sin in the Ark are now at this point uncovered and witnesses against a Christ rejecting world. Man will refuse the pardon of God at this point in the day of the Lord. As a result the seven different angels will be handed seven different bowls of judgment. When these angels execute their mission the heavenly temple will be closed until the wrath of God is finished. If individuals have ample light and reject it only God will choose when judgment takes place in that person's life. Revelation chapter fourteen showed us the last harvest in the tribulation. That is why Revelation chapter fifteen had to be written. There is no longer any grace.
It is dangerous to harden our heart when the grace of God is so gracious. I often times find myself falling on my face before God because I see my sins. I know there is mercy because of what Jesus Christ did for me at the cross. It is a good thing to plead for mercy so God can pardon us through His Son Jesus Christ. I trust that people reading this article will do the same. If not the only other alternative is judgment as we see so clearly in Revelation chapter fifteen.
God bless you,