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 Revelation Chapter 15 (Part 67) (Verses 3-8 )

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 15 (Part 67) (Verses 3-8 )   Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:14 pm

Revelation Chapter 15 (Part 67) (Verses 3-8 )

It might be tempting to say that the Song of Moses represents the period of the law, and the Song of the Lamb represents the period of grace, however, the Song of the Lamb really covers all dispensations. The bible says that Moses wrote about Jesus Christ. In John 5:46, Jesus says, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” That’s a different study, but the point here is that Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, including the Book of the Law (Torah). Of course, Jesus represents the Day of Grace. But He also represents the Day of Tribulation. The book of Revelation opens, telling us that John is revealing a revelation about Jesus Christ. The Millennium is about Jesus because the Millennium involves the wedding ceremony between Jesus and the Church. And Eternity is about Jesus because we will all be worshipping Him forever.

We left off in our study in Revelation 15:3. The end part of verse 2 begins the sentence: “They held harps given them by God and sang the Song of Moses the servant of God and the Song of the Lamb.” We covered the Song of Moses last time, and the Song of the Lamb is given to us in Revelation 15:3b-4, and reads as follows: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” I would like to make a few observations about this song. Neither song is confined to any particular dispensation of God’s dealings with mankind. The Song of Moses referenced the Tribulation period 3 times. This Song of the Lamb also references a future period of time (after the Tribulation) where all nations will come and worship Him; but, but the first part crosses all of history. It says great and marvelous are His deeds and that He is just and true and, catch this: the King of the ages (King of all dispensations). All nations have not yet submitted to Him, but the first part of this song has always been fulfilled.

Please note the names used to describe Jesus. For if this is the Song of the Lamb, then where is Jesus ever mentioned? I’m sure that a Jehovah’s Witness would tell us that Jesus is not listed in this song. It names the Lord God Almighty. It calls the protagonist of this song King. And it says that all nations will worship before “you”. It says, “For you alone are holy.” I would ask them why wouldn’t Jesus be mentioned if this song is called the Song of the Lamb? They might argue that just as the Song of Moses was about God that so too, the Song of the Lamb is also about God and not the one the song was named for. But I would counter that with: the Song of Moses received its name because Moses was the one who originally sang it; but Jesus is not the one singing the Song of the Lamb, rather, the saved Tribulation Christian martyrs are singing it about Jesus. Or, Jehovah’s Witnesses might argue that what we have here in Revelation is not the Song of the Lamb and that the verse says that they sang the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb, but that the text does not provide the words to the Song of the Lamb. But I would argue again that just after it says that they sang the Song of the Lamb, a song just so happens to immediately follow. It is in the same poetic form as The Song of Moses, which no one argues that what we have in the Old Testament is the Song of Moses. What we have in verses 3-4 is indeed the Song of the Lamb. Interestingly, it is calling Jesus the Lord God Almighty. This is not the only time in the book of Revelation that Jesus is called the Almighty, but we have to put verses together to see it.

Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Wow, it’s pretty clear who this verse is talking about. It is clearly talking about God the Father (by the way, my bible has the words in red ink, indicating that it is Jesus talking). Jehovah’s Witnesses would say that the red ink is incorrect. Is it? Let’s explore some more.

There can’t be two Alphas because alpha means first. It is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. When applied to God, it means that there is no one before Him. There can’t be two Omegas because Omega means last. It is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. When applied to God, it means that there is no one after Him. Isaiah 43:10 says, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.’” He is the All-Encompassing One. No one is before Him. He is to be our first love and demands our first-fruits. No one is after Him. There is no other god but Him. He has the final say in everything. He is eternal. There is no one else for us to turn to. And from A to Z, only He covers everything. He is Omni-Everything: Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient.

We see in Revelation 1:8 that the name “Almighty” is applied to the Alpha and the Omega, as well as the name “Lord God.” Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t mind calling Jesus “Lord”, but they do mind calling Him “Almighty” and “God.” We see this Alpha and Omega again in Revelation 21:6, which says, “He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” And verse 7: “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” So the Alpha and the Omega is again identified as “God.” Now let’s look at Revelation 22:12-13, which reads as follows: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” The speaker talks a little more in verses 14-15, but then says in verse 16, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches, I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright Morning Star.” So Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega according to this passage. So we see that the Alpha and Omega is not only God, but is also called the “Almighty.” Jesus is God and has the name Almighty attached to Him just as it is attached to the Father. So we shouldn’t be surprised then that the Song of the Lamb is talking about Jesus, but uses the names “Lord,” “God,” and “Almighty.”

Just as an aside, one time in the bible, Jesus is called the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit, because He Himself said (paraphrased), “I am going away, but I will send another Helper (or Counselor, or Advocate).” But 2 Corinthians 3:17 calls Jesus the Holy Spirit. It says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Jesus, on rare instances is called the Almighty; and Jesus on this rarest instance is called the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is made up of 3 distinct characters/personalities, each having 3 distinct functions that include a hierarchy, but the 3 make up the one true God. So united are they that their names swap on rare occasions. God is spirit: He is not material. Our minds think materially because we operate on what we see and feel, so we are not able to fully comprehend what a spirit being looks like (though on the inside, we too are spirit beings, but we don’t see that part of us). We must never compare 3 apples to the Trinity of the One God. That would be comparing material to spirit and it is an inherently fallible argument.

Now we are able to understand the Song of the Lamb in new light. It says, “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.” We know from Scripture that Jesus created the world (Colossians 1:16 for example). The Cross was a great and marvelous deed that we all need to be eternally grateful and thankful for. His Resurrection was a marvelous deed. And His imputing His righteousness to us and at the same time taking our sin nature (that was attached to our spirits) away—is indeed, an awesome deed. He is always interceding for us whenever we sin to hold back the wrath of God and to connect us back to the Father in fellowship. He watches over us and protects us every day. We could look to the heavens to see how great His deeds are, but we really don’t have to go that far if we are attuned to what He has done for us. We should notice the “smaller” things that we might not think about too often. It was a great deed that we woke up this morning. He puts breath into our lungs. He makes our hearts pump. He operates the body systems and keeps us healthy. Down to the microscopic level, He keeps us whole. These Tribulation Christian martyrs will recognize His greatness. We should do the same today.

It continues, saying, “Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.” Regarding Jesus, Revelation 19:16 says, “On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Jesus is Sovereign over all rulers of man and angels; and whatever other intelligent life forms there might be that we weren’t made privy to. Daniel saw in his vision concerning Jesus, “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). In Isaiah 9:7, he says of Jesus, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

Our same verse says, “Just and true are your ways...” Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life...” He is Truth; and we just saw that He will uphold justice and righteousness forever. He will do this in Truth. If Jesus judges us for something we did wrong, we ought never to argue. He judges from a much higher vantage point and in complete omniscience. He judges us in truth, justice and righteousness, so we need only to repent, not refute or protest. The bible says that one day all of mankind will repent to Jesus. Even those in Hades will repent because it says that every knee will bow. They’ll repent, even though they’ll remain eternally condemned because they rejected Jesus as their Savior when they had the opportunity.

Revelation 15:5 continues, “After this I looked and in Heaven the temple, that is, the Tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened.” We are told that the Tabernacle of the Testimony is located in Heaven. The “tabernacle,” or sometimes called “tent,” was a portable holy tent that contained the 10 Commandments that God gave to Moses. There are other synonymous names for this. It is also called the “Ark of Testimony,” “Tent of Witness,” or the “Tent of Meeting.” Actually, the Tent of Meeting was an early temporary version of the Ark of the Testimony, which was a tent used as a makeshift tabernacle as they were migrating about the land. The Tabernacle of Testimony was a more permanent location of the same thing. It was also mobile but required disassembly and special moving instructions for the Levites. It was not moved that often. Regarding the Tent of Meeting, Exodus 33:7 says, “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘Tent of Meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.” Notice that this verse at the time it was written (by Moses) says that this is what Moses used to do, which means that the Tent of Meeting came before the Tabernacle of Testimony. Only Moses would enter this mobile tent. Verse 9 says, “As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spike with Moses.” How was Moses able to write about Adam and Eve whom he never met? And about Noah when he was never there? The LORD always spoke personally with Moses and told him about Adam and Eve, Noah and the great flood, and many other things. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have personal direct, one-on-one conversations with the God of the universe? Moses did.

The Tabernacle is described in Exodus chapter 26, and again in chapter 36 starting at verse 8. The Ark is described at the beginning of Exodus 37. The Ark was a wooden box which housed the two 10 Commandment tablets and that box was stored in the Tabernacle, which was now at a more centralized location after the makeshift use of the Tent of Meeting. We won’t go more into detail about the Ark of Testimony at this time, but it is interesting that this entire thing is now located in Heaven. Either God relocated the entire thing to Heaven, or what Moses was commanded to build was a replica of what is in Heaven. It is very likely that God relocated what was on Earth to Heaven. God relocated the Garden of Eden to Heaven, and we see in Revelation the same Tree of Life that was in the Garden of Eden show up again when it comes down out of Heaven and onto the New Earth. It is also likely that it is not simply a replica of what is in Heaven, but rather the same thing relocated because there was only one 10 Commandments (written on 2 tablets). Moses broke and crumbled the first version, but God replaced it and gave that to Moses, which he store in the Tabernacle. There are stories out there today that the 10 Commandments are located here or there and guarded, so that no one can go in to check it out, but I don’t believe that it is on this Earth anymore. We see here in Revelation 15:5 that the Tabernacle of Testimony is in Heaven.

Verse 6 says, “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.” Wow, so they were dressed like priests. We saw in Revelation 14:18 that the angel who had charge of the fire was performing a priestly duty, and those angels were coming out of the temple in which they were serving in. Angels, it seems, according to what we have, currently serve as priests in God’s current Heavenly temple. Exodus chapters 28 and 39 describe the priestly garments in detail. The priest’s sash as described in the Old Testament, were made of blue, purple, and scarlet linen, which were intertwined with golden threads. They would wear this sash around their waists. So the details of these angels’ clothing are not exactly that of a priest, but very similar. Aaron, the High Priest in Moses’ day, wore an ephod, which is a sleeveless garment. His ephod is described in Exodus 28:6, which says, “Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and of finely twisted linen—the work of a skilled craftsman.” Later in verse 31, it says, “Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth with an opening for the head in its center.” Of course, he wore a robe underneath the ephod. Those chapters in Exodus provide more details. Jesus, as we saw much earlier in our study, will also be dressed similarly. Revelation 1:13 says, “…and among the lampstands was someone ‘like a Son of Man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest.” These angels are dressed like priests, and more importantly, like Jesus.

More fascinating than how they are dressed is what these angels will be doing. They come out of the temple with seven plagues. It is interesting that they brought the plagues out from the temple. The plagues derived from within His temple. A common, yet erroneous argument that we often hear is the following: “How can a loving God bring disaster and harm to the people He created and love?” I’ve heard some people say that they can’t serve a God who brings disaster and harm. They just won’t be serving the true God because Amos 3:6b says, “When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” God is a loving God, as the bible declares: “God is love.” But God has the prerogative to use evil to serve His purpose of judgment, discipline, and, as we saw of Job, to mature us spiritually. God asked Moses in Exodus 4:11, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who give him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” God is not shy to say that He makes a person blind and mute. There are a lot of verses I could share on this point, but I don’t want to divert our discussion away from our passage in Revelation. Perhaps we’ll cover it in a different future study. What we are reading here in Revelation is no different than the plagues that God sent to Egypt because of their rebellion to Him. Mankind, during the Great Tribulation, will all be acting like Pharaoh.

Verse 7 says, “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.” We are about to witness the terrifying 7 Bowl judgments from God. Earlier, we studied the 7 Seal judgments. We saw that the 7th seal contained 7 Trumpet judgments, and the 7th Trumpet judgment contained 7 Bowl judgments. These 7 plagues are the 7 Bowl judgments (A.K.A. Vial judgments). We saw earlier in our study that the four living creatures are a certain species of angels that worships closely with the Church in Heaven. One of them, gives to the 7 angels 7 golden bowls filled with the wrath of God. We know that God is a God of patience. Psalm 145:8 says, “The LORD is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.” 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The reason that God has not already opened His Bowls of Judgment upon us is that He is not willing for anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance through Jesus. He pours out His Bowls when there is no one on Earth willing to do this. The NAS version of Romans 9:22 says, “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” Some translations translate “vessels of wrath” as “objects of wrath.” A “vessel” is a bowl. God is currently storing up His wrath in bowls until they become filled and He pours out His judgment upon mankind. Please note in this verse in Romans that it says that God wants to pour out His wrath. It is just that His patience restrains Him from doing it at the present time. He wants to not only pour out His wrath, but also to make known His power. He doesn’t want to stay “hidden” to mankind, but He is patient and staying put for now. He is enduring His wrath with patience. The next 2 verses in Romans say, “What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects [or vessels] of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory—even us, whom He also called, not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles?” God is enduring His wrath patiently today in order to make known to the Church and saved Jews the riches of His glory.

Finally, verse 8 says, “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.” God waited for the angels to come out of the temple, and when it became empty, His glory filled the temple so that no one could enter it at that time. We saw earlier, that whenever Moses entered the Tent of Meeting, that a pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance while God spoke to Moses (Exodus 33:9). Later in Exodus, in 40:34-35, we read, “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” God is about to pour out His bowls of wrath, but first He clears out the Temple so that He has the temple all to Himself. And please note that God clears His Temple so that no one is able to worship until God deals with His wrath. Between this point and time up to after God has poured out all 7 bowls, there is no real doxology from the Church or His people—except a statement of recognition of His justice and His equity as Judge of the Earth that the angel declares in Revelation 16:5-7. God attends to His wrath before receiving any more worship. That’s an important concept in the bible. Matthew 5:23-24 state, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” God is saying that reconciliation should take a higher priority to even worship. Why? Because otherwise, we would be worshiping hypocritically. We can’t worship a holy God with an evil heart. God ignores our worship efforts until we first make atonement for the wrongs we’ve done to others. Isaiah 1 advises us the same. It says in verse 11, “‘The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?’ says the LORD. I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me: New Moons, Sabbaths, and [your gatherings] (convocations was the word)—I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” He continues in verse 15, “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” This must come, He says, before worship. God stops all worship in Revelation 15:8 so that He can once and for all deal with the rebellion of man. Unfortunately, after all rebellion has been dealt with, it will show up again at the end of the Millennium.


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Revelation Chapter 15 (Part 67) (Verses 3-8 )
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