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/
Meditate on the Beauty of Jesus
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you meditate on the beauty of Jesus!
THURSDAY: Jesus Christ Is Victorious
… I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 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. 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.
—Revelation 15:5-7, emphasis added
This passage in Revelation 15 speaks of Jesus Christ’s coming triumph. What does “the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony” in verse 5 signify? The Old Testament states seven elements of the tabernacle.
Element One—The Way to the Presence of God: This is seen in the shekinah—God’s sign of His glorious presence from Eden onward. (It is mentioned 100 times in Revelation.) Every time God came, there was the glory cloud: in the burning bush when Moses saw Him; in the flaming cherubim as they kept Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden; over the completed tabernacle; over the completed temple; and leaving the temple in Ezekiel after the apostasy of Israel. That cloud is the sign of God’s presence. The way into God’s presence is through the tabernacle of the testimony.
Jesus is our Emmanuel, God with us: “… The virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name ‘Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’ ” (Matthew 1:23).
Element Two—The Way of Access to God: The purpose is to not just get into His presence, for God spoke in the tabernacle. Do you remember that in the Old Testament there would be a voice over the mercy seat speaking? God was accessible to the high priest and Moses: Moses took his tent and pitched it … far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. … Everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting, which was outside the camp (Exodus 33:7).
Jesus is the image of the invisible God: No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18). Jesus declares God. When the tabernacle of the testimony is open it is a testimony of God’s presence and His accessibility.
Element Three—The Way of Forgiveness with God: “And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing …” (Leviticus 5:5).
Jesus is our cleansing: 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 (1 John 1:7). The tabernacle is open. Do you understand what is going on? We are at the high point of the Tribulation in Revelation 15—ready for the sickle to cut the grapes down and squash them. What does God do just before He does that? He opens the tabernacle and says, “I am accessible; My presence is open; My forgiveness is available.” What a God of mercy we have!
Element Four—The Way of Guidance by God: Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 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. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 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 (Exodus 40:34-38).
Jesus wants to guide us: The tabernacle of the testimony opens in heaven and God is saying, “This is the way! Do you want out of this mess? Look up! Follow Me!” Of course, people won’t, even though He continues to offer: “… I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Element Five—The Way of Protection from God: Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. … They brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when the people … arose …, there was Dagon, fallen on its face … before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And … the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face … 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 (1 Samuel 5:1-4). The Philistines got the message that God’s ark was the sign of God’s protection of His people because He started smiting the Philistines wherever they took the ark.
Jesus promised us His care: “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). That is why we need to tell people how to get God’s mark—the seal of the Holy Spirit—so that they are not eternally separated from God’s presence.
Element Six—The Way of Cleansing with God: “And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord …. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin …. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him” (Leviticus 19:21-22).
Jesus has opened the way for us: 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 (Hebrews 10:22).
Element Seven—The Way of Blessings from God: “… 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 …” (Isaiah 58:14).
Jesus alone offers the overflowing life: “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). God says, “As long as you will come and worship Me at My tabernacle, I will rain My blessings on you—for I came to give you an abundant life. If you won’t come, however, I will withhold those blessings” (see Zechariah 14:17).
The next verse, Revelation 15:6, can be summarized in three words—Jesus is holy: 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. These angels are dressed like Old Testament priests, which is symbolic of the holiness of Jesus.
The final verse of this passage, Revelation 15:7, can also be summarized in just three words—Jesus is eternal: 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. Jesus is God the Son—and He is eternal.
Do you know this holy, eternal Jesus? Are you worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness?
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