Revelation 15:1-8 / The Song of the Lamb

Posted on February 26, 2016

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This is the Forty-first in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on February 21, 2016. This message looks at the Song of praise to Jesus, in prelude to the seven bowls of judgment. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:

Revelation 15:1-8

SERMON NOTES:

V.1:

This chapter is basically an introduction to chapter 16. Both chapters deal with the final judgments, and with these judgments, God’s wrath is complete.

These judgments will prepare the way for the return of Christ. When Christ returns and establishes His throne, He will rule in righteousness, and there will be no more need for judgment.

  • Isaiah 32:1-4

What a day it will be when the wrath of God is complete and righteousness rules.


V.2:

What a remarkable scene this must be, the glow of a fire amid the brilliant glass-like sea. All the while adorned with the entire company of God’s martyrs, playing harps and singing praises to God. This is likely the same sea of glass we saw earlier.

  • Revelation 4:6

I can only speculate as to the significance of the fire. Perhaps it symbolizes the martyrs passing through the fire. I don’t know, but it’s a remarkable scene, nonetheless.


V.3:

Like the song of Moses which Israel sang immediately after their crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:1-21), this is a song of victorious deliverance. They are the redeemed who have overcome the antichrist, and they sing this song of the Lamb. Notice how often praise of God is wrapped in song.

Thank God for music. What a way to celebrate our Lord. It’s amazing how music can lift you up when you are feeling down. There may be times when you don’t feel like singing, when things are so bad that singing praises to God is the last thing on your mind. In such a case, you’d be making a mistake to not sing praises to God. Think about Paul and Silas in acts chapter 16

Thanks to Adrian Rogers for the following illustration:
If Paul and Silas had not been filled with the Holy Spirit, and refused to sing, it might have gone something like this:


Paul
: Silas, you awake?


Silas
: Of Course I’m awake, how could anybody sleep in this filth?


Paul
: Well you don’t have to get huffy about it.


Silas
: I have a headache.


Paul
: So do I!


Silas
: Well Paul, you got us into this mess.


Paul
: Wait a minute! I want you to know that I could have had a position teaching at the University of Tarsus. I sold the Damascus tent company for almost nothing to get into this preaching thing. What have you done?


Silas
: I have been following you, and I think you are one of the worst leaders I’ve ever known.


Jailer
: Just as I thought, these are a bunch of phonies. What they have is not real, it’s no different than what I have.  – Dr. Adrian Rogers

Praise the Lord they didn’t react that way. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they sang hymns!

The result was completely different.

  • Acts 16:22-30

There is never a bad time to sing praises to God. His works are great and marvelous. This is a tribute to God’s amazing work of creation.

  • Psalm 139:14
  • Psalm 19:1

He is just and true:

  • Exodus 34:6
  • Deuteronomy 32:4

Christ is King of the saints, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is no place where He will not be worshipped.


V.4:

He is to be feared. There is very little fear of God today, even among our churches.
However, if you are a believer, and you think you can live however you want without God sending trouble your way, you’d be wrong.BThe Holy Spirit makes sin very unpleasant for believers. God is to be feared. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

God’s Holy and perfect character demands that He judge. When that judgment is complete, He will set up His millennial kingdom, and all will worship Him.

  • Psalm 66:4
  • Isaiah 66:23

His holy name will be glorified.


VV.5-7:

This imagery brings us back to the time of the Exodus in the wilderness when the Ark of the Covenant resided in the Tabernacle.

Here, from the dwelling place of God, we see seven Angels. The angels’ garments are reminiscent of the high priest’s clothing. Their adornment of bright linen and gold represents holiness and purity. The smoke that fills the Temple is the manifestation of God’s glory and power.
With them they bring the most severe judgments from God, and there is no escape from this judgment.


V.8:

John saw the Temple filled with the glory and power of God. The key to God’s eternal glory and power is his holiness.

  • Revelation 4:8

God’s glory is not only his strength but also his perfect moral character. God will never do anything that is not morally perfect. While this reassures us that we can trust him, it also places a demand on us. Our desire to be holy (dedicated to God and morally pure) is our only suitable response. Only through the life changing power of Jesus Christ is this possible. We cannot make ourselves holy or pure. If we could, there’d have been no reason for the sacrifice of Christ in the first place. But it was necessary, because we cannot make ourselves righteous.

  • Romans 3:20
  • Galatians 3:21
  • Ephesians 2:8-10

It is only Christ who can transform us.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17

When judgment is complete, and God’s wrath is finished, It will be a glorious time for the saints. Holiness will no longer be an issue, because we will all be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But if people don’t hear God’s word, all they will know is Gods wrath.

Faith comes by hearing. . .

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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons