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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Apr. 3, 2007

  • 2007 Apr 03
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This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/ 

Revelation 15

As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you meditate on the beauty of Jesus! 

TUESDAY: Jesus Christ’s Saints Are Triumphant

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.

—Revelation 15:2, emphasis added

Now I want to show you the triumph that the patience of Christ produces. “I saw something like a sea of glass” is not an actual sea of glass; it is like a sea of glass. I don’t know what it is, and we shouldn’t try to figure it out. But it is crystal clear, which is indicative of the holiness of God—nothing is hidden.

"Mingled with fire” (also seen in the river of fire flowing out from the throne) speaks of the fire of persecution and refinement through which these saints have gone. They “have the victory over the beast” and are now “standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.” From a human perspective, all the people standing on the sea were simply killed, and that is the end of them. But Jesus said in Mark 8:35: “… Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Satan will lose because these people will gain the triumph for Christ through martyrdom. Look at how many people Revelation 7:9-12 says are here: … I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number … standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels … and the elders and the four living creatures … fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

This is the same group that we see in chapter 15—the martyrs of the Tribulation. Someone once asked me, “If a person takes the mark of the beast, can they go to heaven?” No, they cannot. But there will be a vast amount who will not take that mark. Do you know what the triumph of God is? Through the darkest hour of the earth, there will be the greatest revival the planet has ever known! An innumerable number of people will be saved in a very short period of time. Why? Jesus is patient. And when Jesus is patient, the saints will be triumphant as He conquers through them.

These martyrs will sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the glorious song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3a). Don’t you think it fascinating that the first song mentioned in the Bible is in Exodus 15— and the final song of the Scriptures is in Revelation 15? Those two songs come together in this chapter because Exodus gives us “the song of Moses” and Revelation gives us “the song of the Lamb.” These two songs converge in Revelation 15:3-4.

The first song is a song of deliverance after the safe crossing of the Red Sea. Moses, through his sister Miriam, marvelously leads the nation of Israel in singing this song of triumph. Let’s look at some of its verses from Exodus 15:1-21 to see how greatly this song glorifies the Lord: Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him” (vv. 1-2).

Note that the Israelites gave the Lord alone the glory for the triumph over their enemies. The strength that leads to ultimate victory is in God, and not ourselves: Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (v. 11). In verse 21 we see Miriam then leading the women to echo what the men sang in verse 1: And Miriam answered them: "Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”

Songs of worship are to be about the Lord. The song of Moses and the song in Revelation 15 do not point at all to the singers. This is a good principle of what God expects in our worship. Today, many of our contemporary songs draw attention to the singers and to everything else but the Lord. I believe that points to one reason why the church is so weak globally—our worship is focused inwardly instead of outwardly on the Lord.

This song of Moses 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 (and still is) followed by two prayers, and one of these prayers refers to this song: “True it is that thou art Jehovah our God, and the God of our fathers, our King, and the King of our fathers, our Savior, and the Savior of our fathers, our Creator, the Rock of our Salvation, our Help and our Deliverer. Thy 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.”3 I find it noteworthy that the lives of Moses and Christ parallel in these areas:  

·        Both were delivered in infancy from great danger. 

·        Both were named by God.  

·        Both were able to meet with God on the mountain—Moses on Mount Sinai and Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration.  

·        Both of them gave out the Word of God.  

·        Both were prophets to the people of God.  

·        Both were rejected by God’s people.  

         ·        Moses brought redemption from a temporary oppression in Egypt; Jesus brings         
                 redemption from the eternal penalty of sin. 

It is no wonder then that the song in Revelation 15:3b-4, which is a lovely picture of Christ’s beautiful attributes, is very similar to the song of Moses. (We will go over this song in depth in tomorrow’s devotional.)

There is always a majestic backdrop to remind us of God’s unfailing purpose! What do I mean? There are eleven songs in Revelation that make up the background music to the story. They are songs of worship and triumph:  

 

Revelation

 

 

Worship Theme

 

 

Worshipers

 

 

4:8

 

 

Holy, Holy, Holy

 

 

Living creatures

 

 

4:11

 

 

Worthy is the Creator

 

 

24 elders

 

 

5:8-10

 

 

Worthy is the Redeemer

 

 

Living creatures, 24 elders

 

 

5:11-12

 

 

Worthy is the Lamb

 

 

Creatures, elders, angels

 

 

5:13

 

 

Blessing and honor to the One on the throne

 

 

Every created being

 

 

7:9-10

 

 

Salvation belongs to God

 

 

A great multitude

 

 

7:11-12

 

 

Amen! Blessing and glory to our God forever

 

 

Angels

 

 

11:15

 

 

World’s kingdoms are now the Lord’s kingdoms

 

 

Loud voices

 

 

11:16-18

 

 

Thanksgiving to God

 

 

Elders

 

 

15:2-4

 

 

Great and marvelous God

 

 

Victors over the beast

 

 

19:1-8

 

 

Alleluias (4) for the marriage of the Lamb!

 

 

Great multitude, 24 elders, living creatures, great voices

 

 

The majestic declarations of God’s glory and greatness in praise by the angels, Creation, the redeemed, and all of these together, show the constant backdrop for the shifting scenes in Revelation 15—worship.

Behind the shifting scenes of man’s changing world of human history, portrayed by the symbols of Revelation, 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 always victorious!  

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org. 

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