What does Revelation 19:1-10 mean to us now?

2 10 2010

 

Our authentic vindication is that we have received our justification in Christ. It is sealed and is more valuable that we will ever know; evil has no vindication and will have no acquittal. When we are faithful, no matter what we have experienced or been through, He is with us, and He, Jesus Himself, will give us vindication. Then, the question we are to seek is how then do I live my Christian life? As a response to whom He is and what He has done, or rather, as I see fit? In context, this is also about bringing the Truth of Christ to our churches and using them to bring His Truth to the world. Thus, the church must remain in Him and see His Supremacy, not our feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call. This also means we are not to allow ourselves to bow to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy!  

This passage is a proclamation not just to know and trust God, but to praise Him with a praise that anticipates His goodness and realizes His faithfulness, because we are already victorious in Christ.  This marriage supper is about our faith in, relationship with, and commitment to Christ; it is our response to Him from our gratitude and to declare to one another, His Church, to be prepared in knowledge and faith in Him, and to live our lives worthy for Him. Thus, this passage is also about discipleship; we learn of Him so to be in Him, and live worthy with our redemption that we have received (Eph. 5:25-27). 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. What can motivate you more to serve Christ wholeheartedly and righteously? What about how you would lead and manage a church?
  1. How can the fact that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things help you move from leading by personal agendas to leading with His precepts, character, Fruit, and call?
  1. How do you feel that our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor? Do you think your salvation is an honor? How so? What are you going to do with that information in your daily walk?
  1. How can your church do a better job at seeing and applying His Supremacy rather than feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call?
  1. What can you as a church do to prevent yourselves from bowing to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy?

 

© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

 

The Preterist view: This camp is split as to whether it refers to Jerusalem or to Rome. Most see this as a declaration of praise for His faithful delivery, the omnipotent reign of God, and for the Church to get ready for Christ’s return, being prepared by faith in Him. This is demonstrated by the prostration of the twenty-four elders and the Hallelujahs, Praise the Lord, and roar. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as a declaration of the new covenant or epoch of grace in which we live as Christians. This is also a contrast or correlative to the divorce of the harlot and the fulfillment of His promise to be faithful. This also is seen as a declaration to the Church to prepare its people for its nuptials (discipleship), and to live worthy with the redemption that we have received. 

The Futurist view: Most in this camp see this passage as a call of God to rejoice in the fall of the beast and Babylon! The marriage of the Lamb is seen as Israel being reunited to Christ and God’s relationship with the Jews restored and brought into the Christian Church. Others see this as figurative, solely the Church and its union with Christ. Most see this happening right after the rapture and the end of the tribulation, while others see this as the Church being friends of the Bridegroom from John 3:29. Some see this as the unsaved people, after the rapture, being offered salvation or the saints of all the church age past, present, and future. Some see the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper as two distinct feasts, ignoring Jewish wedding traditions and word meanings, saying one group is for the Jews and the other for Christians. Some go so far as to say the bridegroom is not Christ and the guests are not the Church, ignoring the rest of the counsel of Scripture. Testimony of Jesus is seen as the whole council of God, His Word and Spirit to the Church, and/or the call for the Church to be a good witness. Others take this as finding the key to Revelation, not from the proper understanding of Scripture, but from subjective analysis, from personal whims, and from sensational insights, while others who read the Bible see this as the redemptive work of Christ for the Church.  

The Idealist view: They see this passage as the end of human time when Christ is about ready to return. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the day of doom for the beast and its followers while the faithful are rewarded. The marriage is consummated as Christ takes the Church as His bride. The cost of the dowry was paid by Christ on the cross. The wedding guests are not only the people invited, they are also His bride, and the individual guests are collectively His Church. Fine linen is seen as the wedding clothes worn by the bride and groom, representing Christ and His purity and the call of purity and faithfulness to His Church. Testimony of Jesus is seen as a call to Christian leaders (prophets) to take the Word of God and the Spirit and put it in their mouths to be proclaimed to their church. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as a celebration of the fall of the papal system and the rise of the Reformed Church out of the Reformation (true believers in Christ). Halleluiah is also the celebration of the faithful Jews for being included in the Kingdom (because of the use of the Hebrew word Halleluiah instead of one of the many Greek equivalents). The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ, or the reign of the true reformed Church of Christ. Others see this as those in Christ receiving their salvation and rewards. The rejoicing is the growth of the Church, its adherence to the Bible and the fading of the oppression and manipulations of the Catholic Church. Do not do it given to John is seen as a reminder not to fall back into apostasy or manipulation as a church or Church universal. As a Church, we are the bride of Christ called to proclaim Him, not to worship what is false, traditions, saints, Mary, popes, angels, relics, and/or indulgences.

 





Exegetical look into Revelation 19:6-10

2 10 2010

 

  • Sounded like a great multitude…roar…waters means worship music to honor God and/or the music in a wedding celebrating the joining of two families (Jer. 25:30-32).
  • Lord God Almighty/Omnipotent means that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things. Refers to the supremacy and power of Christ, as He is “Omnipotent,” ultimate, and our Deliverer, and nothing in the universe compares to Him; it is our duty to reverence and worship Him. There is no stronger language to show Christ’s Divinity and Supremacy (Ex. 15:18; Job 37:5-6; Psalm 97:1; Is. 24:23; 52:7; Ezek. 1:24; 43:2; Dan. 10:6; Micah 4:7; 2 Cor. 6:18; Col. 1:17; Rev. 16:7).
  • Wedding/marriage of the Lamb. This was an image of our Redeemer’s intimacy and the community between God and His children. This is beyond a metaphor as it is about the life, love, and joy that a first century marriage celebration represented that Christ shares with us and calls us to share with one another in our covenant of Grace. This is also a contrast to the divorce of the harlot (Ex. 22:16; Is. 54:5-7; Hos. 2:19-20; Matt. 9:15; 22:2; John 2:1-3; 3:29; 22:2-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-32; Heb. 2:5; 6:5; 1 John 1:3-10).
  • Let us rejoice and be glad. This too is an expression of honor, glory, and gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done. It expresses our praise and honor for His glory. In Christ, we are like a bride married to a groom, as Israel was a bride of God. This is a celebration of our salvation in Him (Matt. 5:12; Rev. 21:2).
  • Fine/pure linen means righteousness and purity. Referred to priests and their clothing as representing God’s holiness and purity. These angels represented God’s glory (Lev. 16:4; Prov. 15:33, 18:12; Dan. 12:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5).
  • Blessed are those who are invited. This is the fourth “beatitude” in Matthew, and it refers to those who are faithful in Christ. In Him, we will receive the good will of God as blessings from Christ; those who reject Him will be judged. Being blessed also refers to the emotional states of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment that result from being approved by God and by the fulfilling of our duty. It is enjoying God’s special favor and His Grace working in us. It is like being told by our parents that they are proud of us (Matt. 5:1-12; Rev. 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7-14). There are also seven beatitudes in Revelation (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).
  • Wedding/marriage supper means a Jewish wedding where the marriage is consummated and celebrated with family and friends. This is a promise of deliverance and reward for being faithful as Christ takes the Church as His bride, and the dowry, which He paid on the cross. This is also an expression of God’s intimacy and agency with us, but also a contrast between the horror of evil and the joys of goodness. Our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor in the ancient world. In Him we are cleansed, saved, and redeemed. We belong to Him; thus, our church, His Church, must be sanctified to Him. Some misguided people see these as two different gatherings—the marriage of the Lamb and the feast; one is for the Jews and the other for Christians. This is a false dichotomy (“exegetical fallacy”) and greatly misses the point that there is no race segregation in Christ—only those who know Him and those who do not (Is. 25:6-9; Matt. 22:2, 26-29; 2 Cor. 11:2-3; Eph. 5:26; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 5:15-24; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 John 3:3; Rev. 7:17).
  • Fell at his feet to worship him. Meaning that worship is an essential component of communion and community; we communicate our love, adoration, and gratitude to Christ, doing it together as a church locally, as a Church universally, and with all of creation “in concert.”
  • Do not do it. John is perhaps overwhelmed by the glory and all that is seen and said, stimulating him to instinctually worship the angel; thus the angel rebukes his error. Many pagans at that time worshiped angels and created beings. It is Christ alone whom we worship—the Godhead Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God, and the only One whom we are to worship (Col. 2:18).
  • Testimony of Jesus. Jesus is the Witness to the Church universal and the angel speaking to John is bearing the very words of Christ to him; then, John becomes the witness of Christ to not only to his churches but also to us today through the written Word. A proper witness to Christ will be identified by the distinction between good and false teaching and/or good verses bad love, Fruit and character and/or a good or a failing church (Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 John 4:1-6; Rev. 1: 2; 2:20; 6:9; 22:9).




Exegetical look into Revelation 19:1-5

2 10 2010

 

  • Great multitude (Rev. 7:9). A common Jewish use of expression. Some have suggested these are the martyrs from chapter six or the expression, “all will praise Him” (Gen. 41:25-27; Rev. 5:9; 6:11; 7:1-8; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6. 17:15).
  • Hallelujah/Alleluia/Praise the LORD means more than just “honor;” it is a call to worship. As a church is the representation of Heaven on earth, this is a command to worship God in His court. It is the only place in Scripture this word is found, although its Hebrew equivalent rendered as “alleluia” (Greek rendering), “Praise the Lord,” or “Praise ye the LORD,” (Praise Yahweh) are found in the Psalms, chapters 104-106, 111-113, 117, 135, 146-150, and many more. This is a Liturgical expletive a priest uses called a “piel,” as in a command to call the people to praise and worship Yahweh (Jer 51:48; Psalm 104:34).
  • Avenged/vindication on her the blood refers that evil gets its just reward and punishment, and those who are faithful are vindicated (Deut. 32:43; Psalm 79:10; Jer. 51:48-49).
  • Smoke from her goes up means God makes war on evil. This is a reference to the fall of Edom in Isaiah, meaning that wickedness and worldliness will fall and be judged (Is. 34:10; 66:24).
  • Just are his judgments. God never acts with bad intentions or out of anger or spite, but He does pay back evil and justly judges with the whole council of real, effectual truth, as well as all of His characters of grace and mercy. Evil will be judged and it must pay God for what it took for God and those who are faithful! If there is genuine repentance, then Christ Himself paid that debt on the cross (Rev. 15:3-4; 16:5-7)!
  • The twenty-four elders. This is a reference that this celebration is before all for His all. Those with authority, in the context of a church, are God’s representatives called to declare and serve Him wholeheartedly and righteously just as we are called to lead and manage a church. God is above all and the only One worthy to receive praise, as all that is considered mighty and wondrous in the ancient world is depicted as praising God (Heb. 12:22-24; see Rev. 4:4-6).
  • Amen. This means “so be it for ever and ever.” It is also a call for us to learn to surrender to Him and be trusting and obedient to Him, because nothing can stand against Him (Gen. 18:18; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-5; Psalm 37:7, 20, 24; Rev. 7:9-17; 10:11; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6-8; 15:4; 17:15; 18:3; 19:15; 20:3; 21:24-27).
  • Fear him. “Fear” means awe and reverence of God, not being scared of Him (Prov. 1:7; 3:5).




Revelation 19:1-10: What are the Contexts?

2 10 2010

This passage is about the marriage of the Lamb to the Church, His dowry being the pain and suffering that He endured on the cross, something that no one else could pay. Jesus is giving the call to the Bride, His Church, to be pure and faithful and to rejoice in Him. This passage is also a contrast of good and evil, the triumph of Christ and the defeat of Satan; the glorification of the True Church and the defeat of a false church. This is also about how good character, faithfulness, and Fruit will win out over evil, even when all seems bleak and dark. This is a celebration of the Majesty, Presence, and Goodness of God.  As the themes of the past few chapters have focused on evil, sin, its judgments, and those who miss it and their mourning, now it is about celebration! Those who were faithful while living and were martyred rejoice in God’s faithfulness and their vindication. Sin has been judged and God is glorified; He rewards those who are true to Him. It is a testimony that godless systems, sin, and iniquity against God and the faithful will not work long or well. Evil is judged and condemned while true spirituality in Christ is eternally rewarded and beneficial. This is also about our own vindication, and all the benefits we have when we are in Christ. We are a part of His Kingdom that is being showcased in this passage, so we who are in Christ can sing a loud and clear Hallelujah

In Christ we have immeasurable intimacy and community with God as His child. How can that motivate you to live with your eyes more on Him and less on your circumstances? How can this affect your complacency and fears in serving Him?





Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

Introduction 

Praise from Heaven 

God has punished the great harlot, judged the corruptions of the earth, and avenged His faithful. Now, John hears a vast, resounding Amen and Hallelujah! Shouts of praise and thanksgiving, all coming from Heaven, were echoing from all those who surrounded him in his heavenly vision in the very Temple of God. The elders, who were all there, fell prostrate before God as they sang His praise. John hears that salvation is from God and His power, judgments, and purposes are just and pure. He is a God who is real and trustworthy, who carries out His promises and holy plan. Then, another voice comes out saying praise our God—a call for all to say, for all to know and fear Him. Then, a shout comes out like a roar from a large crowd, also saying Hallelujah, let us be glad and rejoice in Him! The time of sorrow is over; now is the wedding feast of the Lamb that we as the faithful can partake in as God rewards us for our good deeds and faithfulness. Then, the angel tells John to write this down: blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. These words come from God! Then, John is overwhelmed and starts to worship the angel, but is rebuked; the angel says do not worship me; worship Jesus, His Majesty and Presence, and testify your faith to Him so others can know Him too. Then, he falls down prostrate before God in fear and awe of his majesty and presence.

What are you grateful to God for? What happens when Christians forget to be grateful? How does ingratitude affect the church and call that Christ gives us?

 





What does Revelation 15:1-8 mean to us now?

19 06 2010

 

This passage is about the contrast and importance of God and His judgment and grace. They go together and both are essential. The wicked and those who are in apostasy are deserving of their judgments; they bring it on themselves freely as they ignore and refuse God’s offer of grace. This passage is about worship—pointing us to the One who is in control so those who are His can take hope and comfort in Him. These plagues of judgment are reminiscent of the ones with which God challenged Pharaoh to let His people go. God offered peace and grace, but Pharaoh kept hardening his heart over and over, just as the recipients of the bowls of wrath do. Just as God delivered Israel from oppression in Egypt, He will deliver His faithful. This becomes all about God’s faithfulness and glory, and how His plan will triumph. So, John’s readers, as well as we today, can take hope in the realization that there is no reason we should not trust in His sovereignty and plan (Ex. 7-12; 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Dan. 7:9-10; John 3:17; Eph. 2; Rev. 4-5). 

This passage also starts John’s fourth cycle of visions, this time focusing on the bowls of God’s wrath to those who are evil doers. If you are not evil and manipulative, but are loyal to Christ, you have no worries here (15:1-16:21). These bowls are nothing esoteric or cryptic; they symbolize God’s wrath. The point is, just as God delivered the Israelites from oppression using the plagues against Egypt, so He will deliver those who belong to Him! The other significance of this is that it sets up the world for the Second Coming of Christ (Is. 51:17-22; Jer. 25:15-29; Lam. 4:21; Ezek. 23:31-34; Hab. 2:16; Rev. 14:10; 16:19)! 

These bowls are very similar to the Seven Trumpets and first Four Bowls, but the first judgments affect one-third (1/3) of the areas; these new ones effect all. Thus they result in more stern judgments after a very clear warning and time for repentance! These judgments can be applied as they were written to the Roman Empire as well as for a time yet to come. Remember, Hebrew logic is not “either-or;” rather, it is “both-and!” Thus, these themes were for John’s readers, for us, and for a crisis-tribulation time that is yet to come. The bottom line is not what theories we read in to the passage that tantalize us; rather, it is what God is seeking from us, namely our faith, worship, and faithfulness versus what he is mad at—evil.  You can get a list of that from Romans chap 1. 

This passage testifies to the fact that a hardened heart refuses to learn, obey, or submit. God accepts us; it is we who have trouble accepting Him! Such a mindset will not recognize pride or sin’s folly, nor will it learn from past mistakes. This mindset refuses the things of goodness and God, rather preferring depravity or its own pride and agendas. It can even trick itself that these things are right and good and those who represent the Truth of God are in the wrong. Yes, God still cares and offers Himself to them until the time is up and judgment is poured out. The contrast for the faithful is this; while the wicked refuse to learn or grow, we can take comfort we can be anchored in Christ and be encouraged and then learn from them—learn of the evils and depravity of sin so we can guard ourselves, and do as much as we can to help others get out of it, as our Lord showed us. 

The other aspect we can glean from this passage is that God protects and cares for us. God is right and never acts with spite or in unfair anger. 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. What images could console you in times of stress? How would you describe peace and hope to someone in distress?
  1. How and why does a hardened heart refuse to learn or obey or submit? What can you do to prevent such a mindset from encroaching on you? How does not recognizing pride and sin’s folly or learning from our mistakes fuel sin and problems in our lives?
  1. Who is in control of your spiritual life? What needs to take place for you to take more hope and comfort in Christ?
  1. What can you and your church do to praise Christ—who is glorious and worthy—more passionately and faithfully? How would this help you and the people in your church be more victorious against the evils of the world and the stresses of life? 

 © 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 15:1-8

19 06 2010

 

The Preterist view: They see this passage as the beginnings of Judgment, the Jewish war of 70A.D, and the finality of Jerusalem. Thus, it is all about God’s wrath toward apostate Jewish leadership while He delivers His faithful. God abolishes the Old Covenant and sets up the Covenant of Grace under Christ. The celebration is seen as the rejoicing of the faithful for their vindication and/or escape from Jerusalem, and/or how Jesus delivers His people. Others see this as the joy of martyrdom. The corrupt, wicked city of Jerusalem has had its chance, but now it is beyond recovery. 

The Futurist view: They see this passage as anticipation of a new Temple being built to execute God’s new mission to humanity. His mission is climatic judgment. Most in this camp see this not as God’s Temple, but the one in Jerusalem that will be rebuilt. (There is a common misconception in “end times” theory that the temple must be rebuilt before Jesus can come back. This is just not true. The verses used to make this point are taken out of their historical context. The passages refer to the end of the Babylonian captivity and how the Temple was gong to be rebuilt, which had already been fulfilled in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah! Thus, there is confusion between already fulfilled prophecy and not understanding the Old Testament and its connection to unfilled and fulfilled prophecy from historical chronology. The teaching that the sacrificial system must also be reinstated is an assault to the Person and work of Christ. There are no conditions for Christ to come again; He comes when He is ready to come! ) Sea of glass is a picture of heaven and the fire is God’s judgment. There is a big problem for this view as the great victory, when most believe the church was raptured; so, who is victorious? There are many theories; either this refers to the people who come to Christ after the rapture or else it does not refer to the Church but rather to the disembodied spirits of the people killed, which is a contradiction of how God deals with death. Others see this as the song from the Red Sea still being heard or the song of redemption echoing from God’s faithful. This could also be interpreted as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and His ability to redeem, or a last warning before final judgment.           

Passages saying the temple has to be rebuilt that are often taken out of context: Numbers 19:2; Isaiah 14:1-2; Jeremiah 7:2-8; Ezekiel 34; Daniel 3:1-7; 8; 9:24-27; 12:11; Haggai 1:1-11; 2:14, 1 Cor. 6:19; Gal. 4:25 -26; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Thess. 2:4; 3:7; 1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 11:2-6. The original Temple in Solomon’s time was built in (dates approximate) 950 B.C. and destroyed in 587 B.C. (1 Kings 8:22-61; 2 Kings 24:11-15; 2 Kings 25:7-12). Said passages point to its rebuilding and thus were fulfilled with Ezra’s Temple 515 B.C. (Ezra 5:2). Also, Herod’s Temple, built in 20 B.C. and destroyed in 70 A.D fulfilled Daniel’s “abomination that causes desolation,” and Christ, the Messiah fulfilled “the anointed One” (Matthew, chapters 21-24; Acts 6:12 – 7:60). There is no scriptural evidence for a “tribulation temple” (see Revelation 11 study), although if one is built, (I am surprised it has not been already), it has no bearing on Christ’s timing or His return. 

The Idealist view: They see this passage as the last judgment on humanity and the end of time as we know it. God’s goals and purposes are fulfilled and complete, and humanity’s purpose is at its fruition. Others in this camp see this as individual judgments to one’s own personal life experiences and choices as compared to opportunities, call, and abilities. Fire is seen as God’s righteousness and glass as heaven. The song is that all nations shall worship Christ as Lord. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as symbolic, meant to give the Church hope and reassurance that God is in control and His purpose will be fulfilled. They also see this passage as God’s assault on the corrupt papacy (Medieval Catholic Popes who persecuted faithful Christian reformers). They see this happening in God’s throne room represented by the Sea of glass, and the fire as His judgment. The great victory indicates the “faithful,” those who remained steadfast during papal persecutions. The seven plagues are seen as the end of secular history and the start of the return of Christ as the events of earthly life come to an end. Others in this camp see this as the French revolution and/or the destruction of Rome.





Exegetical look into Revelation 15:1-8

19 06 2010

 

  • Great and marvelous/wonderful is a celebration song of hope fulfilled and victory (Is. 6:1-4).
  • Last plagues refers to “filled up” and completion.
  • God’s wrath refers to the judgment that is coming and that it will be a reality (Joel 2:11; Mal. 3:2). This is something Christians need not fear as Christ covers our sin for us (Zeph. 1:14-18; Nah. 1:6; Mal. 3:2; Rom. 1:18; 3:9-23; 6:23; Rev.19:15). There is hope and assurance when our trust is in Christ and His righteousness. He is our hope, even when the very foundations of the universe are collapsing around and under us. When our hope is in Christ, nothing can shake us (Luke 12:32-34; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; 2 Thess.1:7-9; Heb. 12:25-29; Rev. 6:16).
  • Sea of glass. This is a representation of worship, as the temple had the “Bronze Sea,” referring to the “basin” in the heavenly temple. In context, this also may refer to how Israel was delivered through the parting of the Red Sea, or the “Sea of Reeds” (Rev. 15:5-6, 8; 16:1, 17). Elsewhere, this image of water and worship is found when the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) was parted by God, as was the Jordan River (which was actually a greater miracle).These images indicate that all that exists is submissive to God’s supremacy, and He has victory over all that opposes Him. In conjunction, water also means that He supplies us with all we need so we can take comport in Him in times of doubt or stress (Ex. 24:10; Deut. 11:11; 1 Kings 7:23-25; 2 Kings 16:17; 2 Chron. 4:2-6,15, 39; Psalm 11:4; Is. 51:9-11; Jer 27:19; Ezek. 1:22; Rev. 4:6-8; 11:19; 14:15, 17; 15:2). 
  • Mixed with fire refers to God as a consuming fire who delivers the faithful (Deut. 4:24).
  • Been victorious who had conquered indicates that the faithful have a role in God’s judgments to those who persecuted them or have done evil. Perhaps, they will be witnesses and/or their prayers have motivated God. This also means we do not fear the devil when we are in Christ (Rev. 6:9-11; 12:11).
  • Number of his name. This was also a common way to express a warning to us about godlessness or those opposing Christ—a warning to make sure we are not opposing Christ in thought, word, or deed, taking oaths, or making promises that counter Christ’s principles (Rev. 13:11-18).
  • Song of Moses indicates a song that pictures redemption and hope. Moses sang to praise God for His deliverance and his people’s triumph as God led them safely and unharmed from oppression and through danger, and then God “took out” their enemies. This was/is used in Jewish worship on Sabbath evenings to celebrate deliverance. It is also a contrast between being oppressed by evil and the oppression we bring on ourselves by seeking idols and things not of God, and how He seeks to deliver us. God accepts us; it is we who have trouble accepting Him (Ex. 15:1-18; Deut. 31:28-32:43; Psalm 86:9-10; Rev. 5:6).
  • Song of the Lamb was an early church hymn pointing to how Christ obtained deliverance because He arose from the dead and triumphed over His enemies (Psalm 22; Phil. 2:9-11).
  • Great and marvelous are your deeds is another song of praise (Ex. 15:11; Psalm 92:5; 111:2 Rev. 1:8).
  • Just and true means how God is right and never acts with spite or in unfair anger. His judgments are pure and deserving; it would be a farce and immoral for Him not to judge. Evil would not be contained or accountable, and rightfulness and holiness would not mean anything without judgment (Is. 55:6-13; Rev. 16:5-7; 19:2-11).
  • King of the ages/world is a name for God, referring to His universal right to be recognized as first, foremost, and the only worshiped being (Psalm 86:9-10; Is. 45:22-23; Jer 10:10; Zech. 14:9; Mal. 1:11; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:17).
  • Tabernacle of the Testimony/Sanctuary is an image of the Old Testament Tabernacle tent that meant God’s heavenly dwelling. It refers to the inner sanctum of God’s moist holy of holies that contained the Ark with the two tablets of the Testimony Moses brought from Mount Sinai. This represented God’s home on earth as a “copy” of God’s Throne Room, made for His presence in the inner chamber of Jewish Temples and the Tabernacle that was a tent, used before the Temple was built by Solomon. Now, John sees the real heavenly version in a corporal state to condescend to his and our understanding (Ex. 24:9-11; 25; 25:40; 32:15; 38:21; Deut 10:5; 1 Kings 5-7; 22:19; 2 Chron. 2-4; Is. 6; Ezek. 1; 10:1; Dan. 7:9-10; Matt. 13:38; John 8:42-45; Heb. 8:1-6; 9:1-14; Rev. 3:12; 4:1; 7:15; 11:19; 14:15-17; 15:5-16:1, 16:17; 21:22).
  • Shining linen/pure bright linen…. golden sashes refer to the clothing of priests who represent God and His Holiness through their call and priestly occupation. It also refers to how our Lord creates, redeems, and empowers us (Ex. 28:42; Lev. 16:4; Ezek. 18:4).
  • Four living creatures is a figurative image from Ezekiel and Babylonian descriptions, possibly referring to angels who minister to God, who act as protectors, guardians, and servants, giving their adoration. The point is that “God is Great;” God is Holy, He is universally glorious, and He is greater than any earthly power or king. This may also be an assault on the powers and authority of Babylon and Rome. To read into these images more than what is there misses the point of the passage and muddies the waters of Revelation (Gen. 3:24; Ex. 25:17-22; 1 Kings 7:29; 1 Chron. 12:8; 28:18; Psalm 18:10; Is. 6; Ezek. Chaps 1, 10; Rev. 4:6).
  • Seven golden bowls/vials refer to the incense bowls or chalices used in the Jewish Temple. Here, instead of being used to please God, God uses this image to appease His just wrath (Psalm 75:8; Is. 34:10; 51:17; Jer. 25:15; Mark 15:35; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-5; 14:9-10; 16:6,19).
  • Smoke. In the Old Testament, smoke indicated both God’s presence His anger. This is also, in context, an image of God’s power and glory filling the Temple when it was dedicated (Ex. 19:9-18; 20:18; 40:34-35; Num. 12:5; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Ezek. 10:3-4; 44:4; Psalm 18:8-11; 74:1; Is. 6:4; Ezek. 1:4; )
  • From his power means that our Lord is our Help, and He will never forsake us. From the context of the Song of Moses, this is also a warning to “see if your false gods (apostate, corrupt, weak church) can help you.” (Ezek. 18:4; Psalm 37:7, 20, 34; Matt. 10:28-31)
  • No one could enter the temple. Those who are wicked had their chance; now, they are beyond reclamation.




Revelation 15:1-8

19 06 2010

 

Introduction 

The Seven Plagues

John now gets a heavenly perspective of God’s wrath being prepared to be poured out on a wicked world. As seven angels with seven plagues get ready for God to say “go,” they are the last ones unleashed because this concludes God’s wrath. Now, in the midst of the underpinnings for extreme judgment, John is consoled with images depicting peace and hope, a sea of glass, and the people who have been victorious against both the evils of the world and the manipulations of the beast. These victors of faith praise God for His holiness; they have seen His plan revealed and that His plan has prevailed. God is truly beyond marvelous; His previsions and power—His best and true ways—were received. Then, they continue to praise Him who is glorious and worthy; they see their struggles as worth it beyond measure. 

            The saints celebrate their victory and vindication! As God’s heavenly Temple is opened and revealed, from it come the seven angels dressed in glory and splendor, along with the four living creatures who gave the angels the seven bowls filled with God’s wrath. The Temple is filled with God’s presence, power, and glory, and thus, no one could enter it until the bowls have been poured out and His judgment completed. 

This passage is about the contrast and importance of God and His judgment and grace. They go together and both are essential. The wicked and those who are in apostasy are deserving of their judgments; they bring it on themselves freely as they ignore and refuse God’s offer of grace. This passage is about worship—pointing us to the One who is in control so those who are His can take hope and comfort in Him. These plagues of judgment are reminiscent of the ones with which God challenged Pharaoh to let His people go. God offered peace and grace, but Pharaoh kept hardening his heart over and over, just as the recipients of the bowls of wrath do. Just as God delivered Israel from oppression in Egypt, He will deliver His faithful. This becomes all about God’s faithfulness and glory, and how His plan will triumph. So, John’s readers, as well as we today, can take hope in the realization that there is no reason we should not trust in His sovereignty and plan (Ex. 7-12; 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Dan. 7:9-10; John 3:17; Eph. 2; Rev. 4-5). 

This passage also starts John’s fourth cycle of visions, this time focusing on the bowls of God’s wrath to those who are evil doers. If you are not evil and manipulative, but are loyal to Christ, you have no worries here (15:1-16:21). These bowls are nothing esoteric or cryptic; they symbolize God’s wrath. The point is, just as God delivered the Israelites from oppression using the plagues against Egypt, so He will deliver those who belong to Him! The other significance of this is that it sets up the world for the Second Coming of Christ (Is. 51:17-22; Jer. 25:15-29; Lam. 4:21; Ezek. 23:31-34; Hab. 2:16; Rev. 14:10; 16:19)! 

  1. How would you symbolize God’s wrath? How do you like to celebrate victory? How do you like to get vindication?





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