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March 13, 2017 11:42 am
This morning we resume our study in chapter 15, as were going consecutively through the book of Revelation.
So if your Bible is there when you turn with me the last book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 15 and it is the shortest chapter in the Revelation is a finding that, let me remind you of the context. The next event in God's prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church that is that at any moment our Lord Jesus Christ may return for his bride, the church Lord Jesus taught that himself as he said to his disciples if I go I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also. Paul says the rapture is were caught up to be with the Lord. He says so shall we always be with the Lord.
This is the blessed hope of true followers of Jesus our future is not on this earth. Our future is with the Lord forever and after the rapture of the church that have been various events will happen on this art. In particular we been learning there will be. On the are called the tribulation period of seven years an awful time when God's judgment descends on the art. During that time, there will be the rise of the Antichrist sometimes called the beast with the Mark 666. He will first pretend to be a friend of the nation of Israel, he will enter into a treaty with Israel by then halfway through the tribulation.
It will break that treaty and that he himself will go into the temple and to new believers as will happen. He will set himself up as God to be worshiped in the temple in Jerusalem, but all during this time the Lord is at work he will raise up hundred and 44,000 Jewish believers as we saw in Revelation 7. They will be specially sealed by God, and there will also be two witnesses of Jesus Christ during at least part of the tribulation.
After these trip these witnesses are killed and will be resurrected and to the amazement of all of the world they will ascend to heaven. Also during that time, the angel of God will preach what is called the everlasting gospel. So during the tribulation. Many people will come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. But it will be a very difficult time to be a follower of Jesus, and during that time. Those who refuse to take the mark of the beast on their forehead or on their hands will be killed. They will be beheaded towards the beginning of the tribulation.
We learned that the seven seals will be opened. That is the beginning of the judgments of God falling on this earth, the seven seals will be followed by seven trumpets and contained in the seventh trumpet.
There are these seven bowls which were beginning to look at in Revelation chapter 15 the seven bowls are the culmination of the wrath of God on the sinful world.
Seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls a world which refuses to acknowledge Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of lords will experience the judgment of God. So as we come to Revelation 15 we're approaching the end of the tribulation. That time when the final judgment of God is going to be productive in the world from the seven bowls which are going to be poured out by seven angels.
So chapter 15 that were going to look at this morning gives the context and the preparation for the pouring out of the seven bowls which contain seven plagues the particulars of the seven balls and seven plagues will are described in Revelation 16 which Lord willing to look at next Sunday. Now I realize this is difficult for us the subject of the judgment of God is a difficult one right on the slab rather preach on the love of God and the grace of God but is very very important. I want you to get. This is very important to understand that the judgment of God flows from the character of God are tendons. They are great. Tendency is to create a God that we can manage a God that we like a gardener on image rather than understanding knowing serving and worshiping the true and the living God as revealed in his words. This chapter will help us to understand that God's judgments are always just that everything God does is just everything God does is righteous. Everything God does is in keeping with his character. We sometimes talk of an individual who's done something bad and they say well after all it was out of his character, meaning he doesn't normally do that God always always acts consistent with his character. He is God. So don't dismiss the judgment of God and say well I don't really believe that if you believe the Bible you know the true God, not a God that you would like her that I would like, we must deal with this difficult subject of his judgment.
No chapter 15 is divided into two main sections versus one through four, where we will deal with the worship of the Lord and then verses five through eight, we have the wrath of the Lord. First, the worship of the Lord in the first four verses we have the song of the redeemed Revelation 15 verse one John said then that I saw all over and over again.
We have this then I saw John is getting visions that I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last four with them the wrath of God is finished and I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire and also those who had conquered the beast and his image in the number of his name standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands and they sing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb was just up there.
As the context for this worship in heaven for the song of the redeemed verse one John saw another sign in heaven, he had Julie back in chapter 12. It also seen a great sign appearing in heaven of this woman that we learned was a symbol of Israel chapter 12 verse three. He then saw another sign in heaven bolder great red dragon, the devil himself.
So now John has a vision of another sign in heaven.
Notice what John says. This sign is great and amazing. He sees seven angels with seven plagues to find it surprising that John describes the judgment of God, which is about to be poured out on the world as great and amazing. The only other other currents in the New Testament of this phrase great and amazing is found in verse three to describe the deeds of the Lord God the Almighty.
Great and amazing are your deeds verse three saw as we come to Revelation 15.
This chapter is introducing the climax judgment of God about to be poured out on the towards the end of the tribulation with the seven bowls notice verse one the wrath of God is finished. The last judgment of God on the art is about to take place with the seven plagues, which are a demonstration of God's power and victory over evil, and SSA will look at the details next week.
In Revelation 16.
You can be reading ahead. And in verse two. John sees this magnificent sea of glass mingled with fire. Tough for us to imagine that is in the this crystal glass is a picture of purity. The fire is a picture of judgment and John also sees a vision people standing the seat beside the sea of glass, he says here in verse two with harps of God in their hands. Who are these people in heaven that John sees. He tells us verse two. Those are those who had conquered the beast and its image is wonderful that in the fiercest of persecution during the tribulation that are men and woman young man young woman. I'm sure boys and girls as well who refused to take the mark of the beast, and who are killed during the tribulation to the faith like that your faith so strong that you would rather be killed than deny the name of Christ. Two of these people.
These are the ones coming out of the tribulation.
The John is referred to in chapter 7 verse 14 what are they doing their singing people debate whether or not angels can sing but certainly the redeemed in heaven concerning and their singing verse three the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb for the choir today was pretty good into a muted clap from from one individual. I think they were very good.
What would you respect our choir. Can you imagine the choir in heaven.
Perfect visors perfect pitch perfect hearts, praising the Lamb for a tremendous sound that muscles that must've been another reference of the song of Moses is probably referring to the song of Exodus 15, but it might also refer to another song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32. Both of these songs inject the mind. Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32. They all emphasize the faithfulness of God, but I tend to think of the reference you is more to the song of Moses in Exodus 15 talk with me to Exodus chapter 15 what the context of Exodus 15. Why would the children of Israel be singing and praising God because they had just been redeemed from Egyptian bondage. They had been delivered to the Red Sea and don't forget the huts observed the judgment of God. Following falling on their enemies. Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Exodus 15 verse one and Moses and the people of God signing this song to the Lord saying, I will sing to the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously, can you think of the redeemed in heaven taking the song in their context, the loss of the Rhine that he is thrown into the sea. You see that actually praising God that people are killed as the judgment of God: on Egypt, the Lord is my strength and my song and is become my salvation. This is my garden. I will praise him, my father's God and I will exalt him notice verse three the Lord is a man of war. The warrior God, the Lord is his name.
Verse six your right hand, the Lord glorious in power. Your right hand. The Lord shatters the enemy and the greatness of your Majesty, you overthrow your adversaries you send out your fury. It consumes them like stubble who can stand against God. Certainly not Pharaoh seminar. The Egyptians and certainly not the antichrist and certainly not the devil himself. Here, the children of Israel are praising God for their superb deliverance from the slavery of Egypt and that Victoria's deliverance comes after the 10 plagues that have been going to that are going to be poured out on the Egyptians. Chapter 16 was going to be seven plagues poured out on the people of the song of Moses by the song of the Lamb. But we saw bit about that didn't wait in Revelation 5 Revelation 5 verse nine and they sang a new song. The Lamb is the only one who can open the Lucille remember and with the new song word they are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You've made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.
How magnificent and for all of eternity. The follower of Christ, we will be praising the Lamb who was slain, and who loved us and who gave himself for us. It is true engine. Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
On the day of Passover delivered from Egyptian bondage. But think about redemption from a greater bondage in Egypt, the bondage of Satan himself. The bondage of our sin and how it where where we redeemed from that bondage also by blood, the Lamb of God, that precious blood.
Peter says that we were redeemed not with corruptible things of silver and gold, but with the precious blood. The blood of Christ on this theme song of redemption will never end. That was the object of their worship verses three and four. We sing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying here is great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty just and true are your ways, O King of the nations who will not fear the Lord, and glorify your name for you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you for your righteous acts have been revealed. Can I say the obvious, but I think we have to say it.
The object of their worship is the Lord God Almighty is not of yourselves is not accomplishments, but as the Lord God.
When you come in an occasion like this, we call it a worship service but we can get caught up in ourselves, we instead of focusing on the Lord God Almighty, he and he alone is the object of our worship. His deeds verse three are great and amazing many other translations say instead of the word amazing say great and marvelous and I preferred that as the old King James, the new American, and I think also the NIV is out of this word amazing it. His deeds are great and marvelous, causing wonder this word amazing is used a lot and I were to sign this and that our culture demeans language and tends to speak in clichés a routine event today is called amazing incredible awesome. I even had people describe pizza is also having a vehicle pizza awesome what you say about succulent ribeye or as you say some trivial event was great coming out.
There was a man called Alexander the great conquered pretty much the known world that is pretty great. Getting an a on a pop quiz at school is hardly greatly be good maybe okay but we say things are amazing awesome couple of months ago someone was a little upset with me because when asked me to evaluate some answers. Let's find find that you guys a negative might actually find is good is positive, but we live in a world of tremendous hyperbole. Don't wait but whatever you think of the use or misuse of Lamb use of the English language God truly is great and amazing. He is great and marvelous.
We worship a huge God, and we acknowledge that human language is inadequate to express praise and worship of our great and amazing God.
The psalmist says great is the Lord. He is great and greatly to be praised. His greatness is on searchable. Paul says in Romans 11 verse 33. How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways. Everything that God is everything that God does is great and marvelous.
It is great and amazing. Nothing is impossible with God is the Almighty all-powerful God he created the heavens and the ark is in control of the weather.
That's great, that's amazing, and his powerful deeds in our salvation are also great and amazing. Think of the plan of salvation, the more I study the word of God more and more I understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more I'm amazed at the wisdom and power of this magnificent marvelous plan of salvation, of sending his son into our world and love was a perfect life dies on the cross is buried is raised from the data sends to his father sends the spirit to convict us and challenges us, gives us eternal life assures us that when we die. That will go to be with him and some of us through this we grind an open grave and our Magnolia Gardens and as we put the still remains in that grave we rejoice that this is not the ends that are great Savior.
Yes, our warrior king has conquered death itself has conquered the devil and is alive forevermore. It's great and it's amazing and we come and we worship God. Don't wait because he and he alone is great and marvelous great in his power. There is no power in the whole universe greater or more amazing than his part, but we also worship him for his great and amazing plans. Verse three just and true are your ways can I remind you that all of God's plans, all of God's purposes. All of his ways for you for me for your family for this church for this country. They are just and true psalmist says that's for God's way is perfect. I realize that is not always obvious. Some of you right now I'm not so sure if God's ways are just and true if the grades and amazing I receive them on late Friday night or an email from a friend of mine who's in full-time ministry is going through a terrible terrible time with his board and he and his wife are absolutely heartbroken. I was talking to good nearby yesterday afternoon and I'm just saying life is very very hard and difficult, isn't it his illness was loss of employment struggles that go on and and and we sometimes find ourselves in a whirlwind and my friends is crying out to the Lord and sing. What am I going to do, feeling he's been treated very unjustly, but we know this, but God is in control and even in the midst of what seems to be chaos and difficulty in your life.
God's plan for your life and for mine is just and true because God is always always a great and we worship him and we praise him also that in his person. He is great and amazing really. Verse four for you alone are holy. The wonderful that we worship a holy God is perfect, he separated from all evil is distinct from us. He is the transcendent God is holy, holy Creator, and the more we understand God's holiness, the more we realize our own sinfulness and how short we, and that should produce in us as we see in verse four that should produce enough fear and to understand that God alone is to be glorified. We want to put ourselves on the podium. We want the spotlight to shine on us.
But God alone is holy and we are to fear him, and we are to glorify him and this great God, who is amazing whose marvelous is to be feared than glorified not just by some people, not just by Israel not just by those saved during the tribulation. But as we read here the end of verse four. All nations will come and worship you for your righteous acts have been revealed. Yes, even in his judgment. Can we say particularly in his judgment, his righteousness is revealed. He is the end of verse three king of the nations that was our theme of our missions conference that we just concluded was in the lights for all the nations, and this is what drives us to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to every tribe, every people, every tongue and nation, and when our Lord Jesus Christ returns every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord and all of the nation's without exception are going to bow down and worship him and realize that he is the king of the nations and they will seining with all of the redeemed. The song of the lab worship overload this morning as we as we bring pride we can anticipate that my perfectly were not yet in heaven we are distracted were sometimes overwhelmed by the difficulties of life, but we understand this, we have this great garden. We would cut to this God and say we praise you for your power you plan for your very person that everything you are everything you do is great and amazing what about the wrath of the Lord. Verses five through eight verse five at the context. After this I looked in the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened. In light of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure light pure bright linen with golden sashes around their chests and 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. And the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished amazing. Here is the culmination of the wrath of God to follow the study of Revelation. You've seen the judgments of God over and over again with the seals with the trumpets, and no were coming to the end we saw in verse four that with verse one. Rather, with the pouring out of these bowls. Verse one. The wrath of God is finished. The seven plagues are the last, again verse one the seals [the trumpets have sounded. Another the final seven bowls of the wrath of God are to be poured out on this world, and John sees into the sanctuary in heaven.
Those coming out of the sanctuary verse five or seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen with golden sashes around their chest. The description is emphasizing the purity their Majesty, they have this important task entrusted to them by God himself to poor roads.
The bowls of the wrath of God. Although the wrath of God is about to be finished this great God verse seven lives forever is good that he is with us and he lives forever and ever. He's the true God is the eternal God in his with us and then verse eight.
The sanctuary is filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, no one can enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished when the Old Testament Tabernacle and temple were finally completed. What happens the glory of God filled the temple temple, the glory of God filled the tabernacle. This was a symbol of the presence and the holiness of the Lord God Almighty member when Isaiah goes into the temple in Isaiah chapter 6 the temple was filled with smoke. A sign of the outpouring of the glory of God. In verse eight. Why is the glory of God mentioned with the point.
The point is important point, but I've already made that the wrath of God. The judgment of God is consistent with the character of God and the glory of God. God's judgment is based on his holiness and his righteousness and he can't ignore evil God who is holy God who is righteous can't ignore sin.
I know we would like to have a God like that that we can live as we liken God just smiles benevolently like a an old grandfather who's got a bit of dementia and say that's okay. That's not holiness that's not righteous God is not like that.
Vengeance belongs to the Lord.
The Old Testament is full of examples. Will it work we read one from Exodus 15 that God's judgment came on ancient Egypt. Romans 12 verse 19 reminders. Vengeance belongs to the Lord unto you, for you to be the judge of someone else that belongs to God.
Vengeance belongs to God I will repay now with the vengeance of God. Just prior just moments is aware before the return of his wonderful son to this earth. The vengeance of God is poured out in the world which has consistently and repeatedly rejected the Savior, in spite of all of the previous judgments of the tribulation people on earth are still rebelling and God's judgment is poured out flooring from his holy character God is good God is loving but is also God's judgment and vengeance. We stand and read the Scriptures with me where Nahum the Old Testament prophet puts knees together were going to read verses one were going to read from Nehemiah sorry for Nahum verses two and three and also verses six through eight.
As we read the notice hard Nahum emphasizes the judgment and the vengeance of God but also his goodness and that he is a refuge read this with me. The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.
The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is, and where wind and storm and the clouds are the dust of his feet, who can stand before his indignation who can endure the heat of his anger is wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. The Lord is good as stronghold in the day of trouble. He knows those who take refuge in him eventually decided that wonderful scripture during the tribulation. People will continue to rebel and the four God's wonderful son, the King of Kings and Lord of lords returns to the art with power in mind to room with a rod of iron in the final display of his wrath of his fury was vengeance is going to be poured out on this world from the seven bowls containing his wrath point, God hates sin. Nahum is telling us that, but if you're an enemy of God, but ultimately is going to judge you.
It's true. God is good is a refuge, but only to those who trust in him. What does God deal with sinews is going to judge sin there for all of us should be judged. That is true, but God in his grace and his amazing love in his marvelous compassion sees our predicament knows we deserve his judgment and sends his son Jesus into this world who takes her place on the cross. This brings us to communion.
The this is God's plan for your salvation and mine is provided salvation.
He provided protection for all of eternity, but only for those who trust in his son. If you reject God's way of salvation. If you continue outside of Christ. You think you can live your own life and take your chances as it were, the judgment of God and the wrath of God will definitely fall on you, we come to the Lord's table with a focus on the Lord's table Knesset again on themselves but on Christ focus is on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes as alarm of God who takes away, who bears the sin of the world is our hope. John says he is the propitiation for our sins and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world is propitiation propitiation happens when he who knew no sin. God's perfect son grows in the place of judgment of condemnation of the wrath of God. God's justice demands that sin is punished. The soul that sins will die with a marvelous love my Savior, my Lord Jesus Christ comes in the place of John Monroe and satisfies the wrath of God which falls on God's holy perfect son so that I am sinful, so that I do deserve the judgment of God may be forgiven. Maybe clients may have this wonderful gift of eternal life. The whole of the gospel that ask you as we come to break bread. Do you know the Savior she trusted him.
When Jesus instituted this feast on the night in which he was betrayed as he gave the instructions to his disciples, and as we have it recorded in first Corinthians 11, the Lord Jesus says to him sing it to you today. This do in remembrance of me.
A focus is on Christ is just his holy is perfect is amazing is also his marvelous and we look to Christ Jesus on the cross pays the price for all the guilt of my sin feeling guilty this morning is what sin produces in the guilt, shame, when Jesus dies for our sins are gender send this. He removes all of the guilt and the shame of Satan present Hathaway reminded us as we celebrated the snow in Russia with advanced People in the change of the clock but he reminded us from Isaiah though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow to an upright heart to want to be cleansed from all of the pollution.
All of the filth. All of the guilt and shame of your sin that you've come you've committed in the past you know God can't pretend that didn't happen. You know I cliché isn't going to help you a righteous God places on his son or judgments and our condemnation, that he who knew no sin was made sin a sin offering for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him and that the cross we see the justice of God. We see the holiness of God.
The God who can look on sin and we also see the amazing love of God and the compassion of God, and they perfectly come together in this sacrifice, which ends all of the sacrifices which is the only place of safety, which is the only place of salvation, which is the only place that will shelter you from the inevitable judgment of God which is coming so we look to Christ and receive eternal life and across the wrath of God is satisfied in the sacrifice of his son and we say hallelujah what a Savior we can sing and prepare our hearts for communion.
A beautiful him by the love of God for that ask you you right with God. Some of you may never ever have. Place your trust in Christ, we do that we look to the Savior. We look to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the others of you are true followers of Christ for this week this past month plans for several months. Sin has come into your life and your defilement before you take the bread before you take the cup when you confess that to God who loves you. Who cares for you.
But once you to live a clean holy life.
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Father we come no humbly to you. Thank you for Christ.
Thank you for the provision you've made me do we all find a refuge our salvation in him in his name we pray