Morning Bible Study
Next Saturday is our One-Day Men’s Retreat.
In the evening we will be treated with the movie “Courageous”
But the best part of the day will be the time we get with one of my
favorite speakers, Gayle
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.
As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place
on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
We have now passed the
middle of the Tribulation period when the antichrist has been unmasked as pure
evil, and we are making the final turn to see the final judgments brought on
15:1-4 The Martyr’s
:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels
having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
Now a great sign
appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
And another sign
appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and
ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
:1 seven angels …
three groups of seven angels.
There were the seven angels over the seven churches
There were the seven angels that blew the seven
trumpets (chapters 8-11).
These seven angels will have seven bowls.
three groups of seven plagues.
:1 in them the
wrath of God is complete
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head,
He gave up His spirit.
With these seven last plagues, God’s
wrath will be complete on this unbelieving world.
This will finish it. There will be no more wrath.
In a sense, what we are seeing in heaven is the preparation for the last
It’s like the
fireworks show where there’s a brief pause for the pyro-technician to reload all his mortars and then light up the sky
with the grand finale.
:2 And I saw something
like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the
beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name,
standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
– mignumi – to mix, mingle; not the
complete blending of ingredients into a new compound, but just the
intermingling of ingredients.
It’s like going
to the paint store and the clerk adds the colors into your base color, but
doesn’t mix it completely.
This “sea” has fire mixed into it.
:2 like a sea of
glass mingled with fire
We’ve seen throughout the book of Revelation how the Tabernacle of Moses
and the Temple of Solomon were models of the real thing in heaven.
For both the Tabernacle and Temple, there was a source of water made out of
In the Tabernacle,
the laver was like a large coffee pot full of water.
In the Temple,
the bronze sea was the size of a swimming pool filled with water.
The purpose of both these objects was to supply water for the purifying of the priests – to
clean their hands and feet.
We saw this same “sea of glass” earlier in Revelation before the throne of
NKJV) Before the
throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal…
Instead of a large bronze swimming pool filled with water, this “sea” is
made of glass, but still filled with water.
Now this glassy
sea has fire mixed in to the water, like the Fantasmic show at Disneyland where
they light the water up with fire.
The picture here is the purifying of God’s people like the priests were,
but instead of washing them with water, they have been purified by fire.
They have been
purified by the fire of the Tribulation, the persecution of the antichrist.
I think it’s a little like what Peter wrote,
1:6–9 NKJV) —6 In this
you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been
grieved by various trials, 7 that the
genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that
perishes, though it is
tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the
revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen
you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with
joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Our faith is purified like gold is, through the fire, through difficult
These believers are in heaven, having been purified through the fire.
:2 over his image …
mark … number
We talked about these things back in chapter 13.
Whether it’s the statue or image of the beast that the false prophet will
make, or the mark that supposed to be put on the head or hand, or the infamous
“666”, These believers did not give in to worship the antichrist.
Here’s few more ideas about that number. Can you guess what each one is?
Approximate number of the Beast.
1-666 - Area
code of the Beast.
Retail price of the Beast.
666i - BMW of
- Oven temperature for roast-Beast.
– kithara (“guitar”)
:2 those who have
the victory over the beast
These are the ones who have come to Christ during the Tribulation period
and have been killed by the antichrist.
They have “victory” over the antichrist simply because they said no.
They may be dead, but they’re in heaven.
The Victory of “No”
during the Tribulation will be to give in to the pressure and take the mark of
Taking the mark
will allow you to buy food for your family.
means that you choose to worship the antichrist.
These people in heaven said
“no”. They had victory over the
antichrist simply because they said “no”.
We don’t face the temptation of the mark of the beast, but we do face other
temptations. Remember this from the
get discouraged in our fight against temptation. We feel that because we gave in one too many
times, that we can never win.
Baseball is a strange game. Things
can change at any time through a game.
the Red Sox were playing the Yankees at Fenway Park.
the fifth inning the Yankees might have been feeling pretty discouraged as
they were losing 9-0. In the sixth inning the
Yankees scored a run. In the 7th inning
the Yankees scored seven more runs. By the time the game was
over, the Yankees had won 15-9.
famous Yankee Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over”
You have to play to the end of the game.
You might feel like you’re too far behind to find a
victory, but keep trying until the end.
Listen to the message of a little girl named Ryan.
Don’t Stop video
There is a victory when we say “no”.
Don’t stop trying.
:3 They sing the
song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
:3 the song of
Most commentators suggest this is referring to a specific song.
The song of Exodus 15
was sung the day after the people made it through the Red Sea and were
delivered completely from Pharaoh who was out to get them.
NKJV) The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My
father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
:3 the song of the
Many have suggested that this is the song back in Revelation 5
NKJV) …“You are
worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have
redeemed us to God by Your blood…
:3 the song of
Moses … and … the Lamb
Instead of pointing to specific songs, I wonder if this might simply be saying that these
are Jewish believers.
They are Jews
because they sing the song of Moses.
They are believers
because they also sing the song of Jesus the Lamb of God.
“Great and marvelous
are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O
King of the saints!
:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You
alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For
Your judgments have been manifested.”
Look at the content of their song …
:3 Great and
marvelous are Your works
The things that God does are awesome and amazing.
:3 Just and true are Your ways
God’s decisions are completely upright and sincere.
:4 Who shall not
fear …and glorify
Any person with half a mind ought to look at what God has been doing and
both tremble in fear before Him as well as ascribe honor to Him.
:4 For You
alone are holy
– hosios – undefiled by sin, free
from wickedness, pure, holy
All nations whom You
have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And shall glorify Your
that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow…
:3 Great and
marvelous are Your works
Responding to tragedy
These are men and women who have lost their lives.
They have been treated unfairly in every way.
When they arrive in heaven, they turn to God and worship Him.
They even have guitars to help with the praise.
How do you respond when life is unfair?
Job was a man
who had more than his fair share of tragedies.
Turn to …
(Job 1:13–21 NKJV) —13 Now there
was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in
their oldest brother’s house; 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and
the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they
have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped
to tell you!” 16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said,
“The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and
consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 17 While he was
still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands,
raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the
edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 18 While he was
still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were
eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and
suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four
corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I
alone have escaped to tell you!” 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his
head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s
womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord
gave, and the Lord has taken
away; Blessed be
the name of the Lord.”
If I had lost everything like Job, I’m not sure how I’d
Job responded by blessing God.
How can the saints in heaven respond to their tragic deaths this way? Because of what they know about God.
His works are
great and marvelous.
His ways are
just and true.
He is good.
We might think that sometimes God has a wicked sense of
humor when tragedy strikes, but there is nothing that is further from the
(1 Jn 1:5 NKJV) This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to
you, that God is light and in
Him is no darkness at all.
There is nothing evil, dark, or deceptive about God.
In heaven we’re going to realize that it really didn’t matter if we didn’t
get that raise or win that argument or beat that disease.
All that matters is that we made it to heaven.
In heaven we’re going to realize just how awesome God is and that it has
all been worthwhile.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t fight against injustice or try to fix the
problems we are facing on earth.
But there are going to be times when we are not going to be able to fix
what we’re facing.
And so we trust Him and demonstrate that trust by giving Him praise.
15:5-8 Angels and
:5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of
the testimony in heaven was opened.
:6 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.
:6 clothed in pure
– linon – linen clothing made from
Some of the ancient
Greek manuscripts have lithon here,
“clothed in stone”. That sounds a bit uncomfortable.
– katharos – clean, pure
– lampros – shining; brilliant; splendid,
magnificent; from the word for “torch”
The angels are
dressed like priests, coming out of the Temple to do priestly things.
The angels are going to be doing
something that we might tend to call “dirty work”.
But they’re not putting on their old
They’re wearing clean, bright linen
There is nothing improper or “dirty”
about the judgment that is going to be poured out.
:7 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.
:7 one of the four
These are the cherubim, special angelic beings who are very close to God.
– phiale (“vial”) – a broad shallow
bowl, deep saucer
Now when He had taken
the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down
before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which
are the prayers of the saints.
In the Greek Old
Testament (LXX), this word translates the Hebrew word “mizrak”, the containers
used in the Tabernacle and Temple worship. It might be used for grain, oil,
wine, or blood. They are used to collect stuff, like the blood from a
sacrificial animal. They are used for sprinkling stuff, like the blood from a
So the angel thrust
his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it
into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
bowls are poured out on the earth, terrible things will happen. We will see
these events in the next chapter.
:8 The temple
was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was
able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were
:8 filled with smoke
from the glory of God
This is what is
referred to as the “Shekinah” glory of God.
It appeared when
Moses first set up the tabernacle, the glory filled the tent, and it was so
thick, Moses couldn’t go in (Exo
34And Moses was not
able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and
the glory of the Lord filled the
dedicated the temple, the same thing happened.
(2 Ch 7:1–2 NKJV) —1 When
Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt
offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter
the house of the Lord, because
the glory of the Lord had filled
the Lord’s house.
In both instances, God was showing with His presence that He was honoring
the things that were taking place.
that are coming are the same – God is in it, God is behind it.
:8 no one was able
to enter the temple
If no one is able to enter the temple, then nothing else is going to be
done in heaven until this is finished. Everything stops.
No more prayers answered. No other directions given.
It’s kind of like
landing in a jet airliner – they tell you to turn off all your electronic
devices until the plane is finished landing.
Everything stops until the plane lands.
In other words,
it will be too late to pray. It will be too late to ask for mercy.
It’s not too late yet
The good news, is that this hasn’t happened yet! Prayers can still get into heaven.
The Bible says,
NKJV) Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon
Him while He is near.
The Bible tells
us that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2Pet. 2:5). I imagine that means that he warned the
people that one day there would be a flood.
and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one
of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood
on the world of the ungodly;
Perhaps the people didn’t pay attention because they didn’t even know what
But there came
a day when it was simply too late.
The boat was loaded. The door
closed. The rain came down.
It was too late.
But for us, it
is not too late.
God loved you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a
cross and pay for your sins. If you will
pray and ask God for help, the message will get through.
The Bible says,
(Ro 10:13 NKJV) For “whoever
calls on the name of the Lord
shall be saved.”
It’s not too late to ask God to save you.