The Victor's Song of the Slain

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Text:  Revelation 15:1-8


            If you recall, our last study ended with a vision of Christ throwing His sickle t the earth to begin reaping a harvest for the great wine press of the wrath of God.  That wine press of wrath will begin with the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath that follow in chapter 16.  These judgments involve a range and intensity unlike anything that has preceded it.  It matches the unparalleled corrupt character of mankind during the final days of the Great Tribulation.

            Our text opens with a vision of Heaven and a very special group of people standing before the throne.  This privileged group gets to sing a song exclusive to others.  It is rightly so that this group gets to sing this special song.  Read Text.

            The seven angels are poised for action.  The world is wicked and they have been unrepentant even after previous judgments were poured out upon them.  Rev. 9:20-21  Perhaps this will settle our troubled soul when we study the final judgments – for it is upon a bitter, unrepentant world that these final plagues are destined.  (Once again, please do not look at the insight section until we have discussed the answers to the questions.)

1.      Why would John call angels who have horrible bowls of judgment “a great and marvelous sign”?  (Because the injustice done to God’s people will finally be vindicated.)  Rev. 6:9-10; Deut. 32:1-6

2.      Verse 1 concludes with the words, “…seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.”  Compare with Rev. 14:10.  If you did not know what was to follow, what would your imagination lead you to believe would equal the fullness of God’s wrath poured out upon a rebellious earth? 

3.      Normally fire and water are enemies; water extinguishes fire.  But John’s vision of the glassy sea in 4:6 now has the added mixture of fire in this chapter.  This sea has a fire that no water can quench.  Highly unusual…but it’s there to tell us something.  What do you think it is? 
Insight: This is a glassy sea…there’s no oil slick on top of this sea burning.  Yet it is a sea of fire – a fire that burns by the power of God and nothing will quench it until its purpose is complete.  Isa. 4:4-5

4.      John’s vision then tells us standing on this sea of fire is a group of people.  It’s no coincidence that he mentions where they are standing – it’s pregnant with meaning.  Who are these people and why would it be appropriate for them to be pictured standing on the sea of fire?  (They are those who are victorious over the beast.  They have stood against the Antichrist, but lost their life – thus they have entered Heaven by trial of fire.)      How are they victorious even though they were killed?
Insight: The blood of the Lamb made them victorious by giving them life after death because they stood firm on the word of their testimony.  Rev. 12:10-11

5.      What is the title of the song they sing?  (The Song of Moses – it has some striking similarities to this scene in Heaven.)  Ex. 15:1-7       What details of this scene in Heaven also reminds you of Moses? 
Insight:  It’s just like God to duplicate His deliverance again and again.  Both are delivered from the enemy by the blood of the Lamb.  Both were standing at a sea when God delivered them.  And both sang a song of victory to celebrate God’s deliverance.  Hallelujah, what a Savior! 
Insight: Verse 3 also says this crowd sang the song of the Lamb, which is described in Rev. 5:9-13.

6.      Does this scene in Heaven give you assurance and endurance for suffering in this present world?      Does this also tell us it is possible to be victorious over the world, and even the corruption of the final days?  Rom. 8:35-39

7.      What is the first phrase of the song of Moses?      How is this indeed true at this point in time?      What does it mean when they sing, “…all the nations will come and worship before Thee”?  Phil. 2:8-11; Isa. 45:23-24; 66:18-19 
Insight: There’s something missing in this song of those who have gone through fiery trials on earth.  There’s no explanation as to WHY God allowed His people to suffer.  Perhaps it’s because when we get to Heaven and see the final purpose of it all there will be no bitterness about the way we were treated on earth.  We will have a new perspective and understanding through the eyes of God.  Ps. 145:17-146:3

8.      Do you have any idea what verse 5 is referring to?  Rev. 11:19; Ex. 25:21; Num. 1:50
Covenants are made between two parties.  It is a serious and binding agreement.  In the Old Testament often there were signs of the covenant that God created with man; such as the bow in the sky (covenant with Noah), and the circumcision of male children (covenant with Abraham).  Here in this vision of Heaven is the testimony of God’s covenant with all His people through the ages…it’s a testimony of God’s promise to you.  The Temple with God on the throne IS the tabernacle of His testimony…He is the other party of your covenant!!  And He is saying, “I will keep My word.  When I said I would bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you, I meant it!”

9.      As the Temple in Heaven was opened, God’s testimony of standing by His covenant is revealed.  Part of that testimony is that seven angels stand poised to carry out His orders – to bring a curse upon those who curse the Beloved.  They bring with them plagues.  But these angels are described differently than the rest of angels we have seen.  What do you think their clothing indicates?  Ex. 28:5-8; Ezek. 44:15-18
Insight: Clothed in pure, white linen, breasts girded with golden girdles…this is the raiment of a priest.  They are priests who come to make a great sacrifice because of the offended holiness and justice of God.

10.  As the seven angels depart from the presence of God in the tabernacle of His testimony, one of the four living creatures (introduced in 4:6-9) gives each of the angels a bowl containing God’s wrath.  When this happens, smoke from God’s glory and power instantly fills the Temple to where no one can remain inside – it stays that way until the last angel has poured out His wrath.  Why do you think that is?  Ex. 40:33-35; 1 Chr. 7:1-3; Ps. 18:8-14
Smoke filling the Temple when God descended upon it has been witnessed several times throughout history.  But never has man seen the wrath of God in its fullness.  It is a pure wrath.  It is a righteous wrath. And it is an unequalled wrath.  God will not even permit the host of Heaven to witness the fullness of His wrath – He wants no one to witness that – not until its completely finished and He can return to being the God of love.


            “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed - for our testimony to you was believed.”  (2 Thes. 1:6-10)

            Praise be to the Lord, for He is a covenant keeping God.  His covenant will be remembered as far back as Abraham.  Surely He will not forget His covenant with you.  God doesn’t break covenant…sadly, man does daily…but those who love Him, He will renew covenant with them as soon as He sees their repentant heart.

“Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in holy array.  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD is over many waters.  The voice of the LORD is powerful, the voice of the LORD is majestic.  The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.  And He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.  The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.  The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.  The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve, and strips the forests bare, and in His temple everything says, "Glory!"  The LORD sat as King at the flood; yes, the LORD sits as King forever.  The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”  (Ps. 29:1-11)

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