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The Beginning of the End

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The Beginning of the End

Revelation 15:1-8

Introduction:

We have said that the Tribulation period is divided up into three series of 7 judgments:  The seal judgments, the trumpet judgments, and the vial judgments

            *Before each seal a seal was broken

            *Before each trumpet a trumpet sounded

            *Before each vial a vial will be opened

In Rev. 15 we see the prelude to the last series of judgments

Vial judgments are rapid fire judgments and are the last things before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ

I.                   John saw a Sign in Heaven v. 1

Last week John was given a glimpse of Jesus (the Lamb) and His saints on Mount Zion.  Now his vision is again directed into heaven

1.      He sees a sign in Heaven

This sign is “great and marvelous” 15:1

In its presentation:  7 angels coming out of heaven

In its awfulness:  Having remaining seven judgments in hand

            In its finality:  these are the last judgments: end of history

                        *How would we describe seeing the end?!!

2.      This will complete the judgments of God

      Number 7 appears eight times in these 8 verses

      This is the number of completion

      God’s wrath will be completely carried out

God is a loving, merciful, gracious, and longsuffering God

Before it gets to this point He will have sent the Church, 144,000, 2 witnesses, angels, and others to preach the “everlasting gospel” and these will have rejected it

Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”

II.                 John saw a Sea of Glass v. 2

1.      In 4:6 the sea of glass is described as being before the throne of God

*If we think of it in that light then this sea of glass shows us something of God Himself--God is pure, holy, without sin or fault of any kind

*Here the glass is mingled with fire: The wrath of God is about to be revealed:  different in 4:6 when John was shown the wonder of heaven itself

2.      The people seen there are those who have been victorious

Over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name

Believers that went through the tribulation period

They are playing the harps of God

Today many times people look at the music as simply building up to the message or as filling in until then, yet music is a means of worship and here they are worshipping God through the music that they play.

III.              John hears the song of Moses and the Lamb vv. 3-4

1.      The Song of Moses

1)      Exodus 15:1-8 after the Red Sea deliverance

2)      Deuteronomy 32:39-43 A song of God deliverance:  Moses shared with Joshua just before Moses’ death

2.      The Song of the Lamb:  A lesson in worship

1)      Focused on His works

2)      Focused on His ways (just and true)

3)      Focused on His worth (who He is)

4)      Focused on worthiness

Note how many times in these verses “I,” “Me,” etc. is used:  0

Not how many times God is referred to:  8 in 2 verses

Did not focus on themselves or what was right to them, just upon Him:  That is true worship

·         His works

·         His Position:  Lord God Almighty, King of the saints

·         His ways

·         His deserved honor:  Who shall not fear You and glorify Your name?

·         His holiness

·         His judgments

WHEN YOU COME TO WORSHIPWHAT IS YOUR FOCUS?  WHEN YOU LEAVE WORSHIP WHAT ARE YOU IMPRESSED WITH? (Your good feelings or awe of God?)

IV.              John sees the Sanctuary (temple) in Heaven vv. 5-6

“I looked and behold” now John is focusing on something new or different

1.      The “holy of holies” is opened

      In OT we see that only the High Priest could enter

      Only after careful sacrifice and cleansing

      Now we see the angels coming out of each with a vial (judgment)

      Lesson is that these judgments are coming directly from God Himself

Many who would look at the horribleness of the judgments and say that they couldn’t come from a loving God, yet it is very clear here that this is exactly where they come from.

2.      The dress of these angels shows that these are pure and just judgments

V.                The Seven Vials vv. 7-8

1.      Vial (bowl) = shallow pan like a frying pan

      Filled with the wrath of God

2.      Smoke in the temple and no one could enter it

      *Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Law Ex. 19

      *Isaiah in the Temple Isaiah 6:1-4

      *Aaron and others:  cloud of incense

Smoke seemed to represent God’s presence but also the separation from the presence of God

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