Revelation 15:1-8 Part 3

REVELATION 15:1-8 Part 3



1)    Then I saw another great and awesome sign in the heaven; for God’s wrath was carried out in full through seven messengers having the last seven plagues.

2)    I saw as a crystal sea mingled with fire and the ones overcoming the beast and its image and the number of its name standing on the crystal sea having God’s harps;

3)    and they sing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb saying, ‘great and awesome Your works, Kurie the Almighty God; just and true Your ways, King of the ages.

4)    Who shall not fear Kurie and glorify Your Name - alone holy?  All the nations shall come and bow before You, Your righteous acts be manifest!’

5)    After this I looked, and the holy place in the tabernacle of testimony in the heaven was opened,

6)    and the seven messengers having the seven plagues came out of the holy place clothed in pure white linen and girded about the breasts with golden girdles.

7)    And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven messengers seven golden bowls being full of the wrath of God – the One Living into the ages of the ages;

8)    and the holy place was filled of smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and not one was enabled to enter into the holy place until the seven plagues of the seven messengers were finished.


Heretofore, John has been shown the Gospel of God concerning His Son – Jesus the Christ.  He has been shown all of history from the creation.  He has been shown the fullness of all that’s written.  He has heard that written history; he has seen the “signs” and heard the prophecies.

John had been with Jesus throughout His three-year manifestation, and was with Him at His ascension to the Father.  And now he has seen Him in His glory and with all authority in the heavens and on the earth; and John has seen the “mystery” of God unfolded before his very eyes and heard it with his ears.

He had heard Jesus proclaimed as “Savior of the World”… His complete authority over all creatures and all events in history is the “fullness” of all that’s written.  And what is written has to do with the perfect sacrifice for sin and the redemption of the creation, in order that all of God’s creation reflects His glory.  That, of course, includes mankind – the very created image of God.

To that end (and here is the great “mystery” revealed), to that end, the kingdom of Israel would be cut off; and the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ established over all the nations and tribes and tongues of the earth… all flesh – Jew and Gentile – becoming one flesh in Christ Jesus the risen Son of Man.

And when His work is finished, He will return it all to the Father as a reflection of His glory.

The Word of God is His Strong Right Arm; and The Anointed One will accomplish all that has been decreed.  Without Him nothing was made that was made; and without Him nothing is redeemed that is redeemed.

God the Son is the Faithful One!  He is the Son of Man – the “express” image of The Father – the only “man” (God-man) Who could redeem mankind and the creation from sin and the curse.

All mankind, and the creation, would have suffered complete abandonment from God – justifiably – had there not been the Savior of the World.  He, instead, was cut off and abandoned in death and hades in the full wrath of God in order that mankind, and the cursed creation, might be redeemed.

But the great mystery of God in the history, and in the prophecies, and in the “signs”, is the “cutting off” of the promised land – God’s “heaven and earth” Israel - in order that all the nations and peoples – all the earth – would be the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  There would be a new heavens and a new earth, a new Israel, a new Jerusalem and a new temple… a new “paradise” – a new Mount Zion over all the “mountains” of the earth!

Having been given all authority over all the creation, it would all, once again, be reflective of the glory of God.  Instead of the creation being a fallen, cursed and decadent image, reflecting sin and rotting and death, it would all be the gloriously bright and shining city of God (as is shown to John later on here in The Revelation).   It would all be the mirror image of the glory of God and His tabernacle in the heaven.  The Perfect Sacrifice is sufficient for all of that to occur.  It is decreed; and it will be.  The Word of God/Son of Man will see to it.


Having explained John’s use of the word “awesome” last Lord’s Day; and having looked, in some depth, at God’s word “sign”, and His meaning of the word, we need to use a bit of our time this morning on the “structure” of this chapter (which continues into the following ones).

What John is shown here is, indeed, awesome; and we don’t want to diminish that by being confused about what he describes for us here.  So, let’s look at that structure for a minute.

First, John writes what this great and awesome sign is that he is now shown (verse one).  And then he sees the response in the heaven (verses two, three and four) – the response coming in conjunction with the “finality” of what is being shown!

And in verses five, six, seven and eight, he begins a graphic exposition, or narration, of the sign that he is shown there in verse one.

Let me put a little meat on it for you as we do that again.

In verse one this awesome sign to John and the Churches is stated as it was shown to him; and it has to do with the full wrath of God now to be poured out in seven final plagues.

In verses two through four, the elect of God from the house of Jacob, many of whom had been persecuted and killed, and whose blood cried out for vengeance from beneath the mercy seat, are shown to John once again; and their joyful praise of the mighty acts of God fills the heaven with the music of God in His tabernacle; for the full vengeance of God is now about to be poured out in seven final plagues!  (Remember that Jesus had told His disciples that those who He had come to seek and to save would be pursued and persecuted and killed by judaists; and for that all the shed blood of the righteous in history would be held to their account – in this generation!)

It was the shed blood of the ones for whom Jesus Christ died that precipitated the final acts of vengeance upon Israel from Almighty God.  And for that, for the final vengeance of God, the hundred and forty-four thousand elect from the tribes of Jacob break out in song; and it is the song of Moses - the song of the Lamb of God!

Then, in verses five through eight, John begins the description of what he is shown (the seven final plagues); and that lasts well into the following chapters.

So, the “key” here to understanding what is now shown to John (and to understanding the structure of this “awesome” sign of Yahveh) is, that it is now time for the “full” wrath of God and of the Lamb.  The “exodus” of God’s elect of the house of Jacob is complete.  And judaists have filled up Israel’s sin in the persecution and killing of many of the elect for whom Christ had died.  And the hundred and forty-four thousand of the house of Jacob now fill the heaven with the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb; for it was time; it was time for the “vengeance” for which they had prayed!

It is the “mystery” of Yahveh that is unfolding before John’s eyes… the mystery in the scroll that was sealed with seven seals in Daniel’s time.  Listen to that (as it was shown to John back in chapter six):


9)    And when He did open the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the lives of those who had been slaughtered because of the Word of God and because of the testimony that they were holding.

10) And in a great sound they did cry out, saying “until when, holy and worthy Master, are You not judging and avenging our blood upon those dwelling on the earth?”

11) And a white priestly garment was given to each one, and it was spoken to them that they should rest themselves yet a little time until also their fellow-servants and brothers who are about to be killed, even as they, should be fulfilled.

12) And when He did open the sixth seal a great shaking did occur, and the sun became as black as sackcloth hair, and the entire moon became as blood,

13) and the stars of heaven did fall into the earth as a fig tree casts her winter figs upon being shaken by a great wind,

14) and the heaven was swept aside as a scroll being rolled up, and all the mountains and islands were moved out of their places.

15) And the kings of the earth and the great men and the princes and the chiliarchs and the wealthy and the powerful and every slave and free did conceal themselves into the caverns and into the clefts of the mountains

16) and saying to the mountains and the rocks, “fall upon us and conceal us from the Presence of the One sitting upon the throne and the wrath of the Lamb”,

17) because the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?


The time for the full wrath of God and the Lamb had come (here in this “awesome” sign); the “wait” for the time of His vengeance was over; the blood of the last ones for whom Christ died had been shed by judaists; Israel’s sin had now been filled up; and this generation of judaists would now be held to account for all the blood of the righteous in history.

And in the sign, John hears the jubilant music of the tabernacle of God; and he sees the hundred and forty-four thousands of God’s elect of the house of Jacob “harping” the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.  They’re made manifest here.  And their “wait” was over; for the full wrath and vengeance of Almighty God was about to be poured out upon the land.


Now.  I mentioned last Lord’s Day that we would be concentrating much of our time this morning on Moses; he was the first prophet of God to the twelve tribes of Jacob – through whom would come the covenant promise!

These twelve tribes were constituted a nation according to what Moses was shown when he was in the glory cloud of God on Mount Sinai.  Everything about this nation was to be an image of the glory of God above His tabernacle in the heaven.  And at the very center of it all was the altar of sacrifice which foreshadowed the coming Lamb of God, without Whom depraved man could have no access to a holy God above His holy place in His tabernacle!

Moses, having received all of this directly from God, and having taught it all to the twelve tribes, and having written it all and entrusted it to the new nation, was the first prophet of God to the twelve tribes of Jacob – now to be known as Israel (which means, by the way, striven of God).  And, once again, the nation was to reflect the glory of God and foreshadow the coming Lamb of God.


The last prophet of God before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection was John the baptizer.  Upon seeing Jesus for the first time, John said “lo, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world”… hearkening back to Moses and the prophesied and foreshadowed sacrifice to come (without Whom no man could enter into the Presence of God).

Shown here to John is the elect – the promised covenant seed – promised to Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  They filled the heaven with jubilation, for they were harping Moses and the Lamb.

Everything in Moses prophesied the covenant seed and the Lamb.  From these twelve tribes would come the Lamb of God – the Savior of the world.

Should they be faithful and anticipate the sacrifice of Yahveh, Moses said, they would be blessed; however, should they be unfaithful they would suffer the full wrath of Yahveh.  For He would preserve the promised “seed” and destroy the rest.

And that’s exactly what John is being shown here in this sign.  So we need to read Moses.  The heaven was filled with the song of Moses and the Lamb.

Obviously we can’t read Genesis through Deuteronomy!

But the faithful covenant seed are made manifest all through Moses.  God “preserved” them from the vengeance of the dragon!

And the wrath of God on the unfaithful is all through Moses.  The birth of the Lamb of God came to be by the promise!  And all those preserved by God from the tribes of Jacob through the sacrifice of the Lamb are shown here to John.

They’re harping Moses; for the vengeance of God and the Lamb is about to be poured out on the unfaithful – as promised in Moses!

But as we’ve seen so many times during the last three years (and beyond), reading Scripture is a “must”; for that’s the way we’re enabled to see the covenant continuity of God’s Word from front to back.

So let’s begin reading the written Word of God through Moses; for that’s what the hundred and forty-four thousand are harping.  And, “obviously” (once again), we’re not able to read much of it.  So let’s make it a “given” that the entire ceremonial and sacrificial system pointed to – foreshadowed – prophesied the coming Lamb of God, the Savior of the world.  Let’s also make it a given that except for those of the promise, the nation of Israel did not believe, did not obey, and did not anticipate the foreshadowed Lamb of God.

First, before we come to the “song of witness” in chapter thirty-two of Deuteronomy, listen to what God said to Israel through Moses in chapter twenty-eight.  This is verses forty-nine through fifty-seven:


49) The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand,

50) a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young.

51) It shall eat the offspring of your cattle and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed; it also shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your herds or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish.

52) "They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout all your land.  And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you.

53) And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, who the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.

54) The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children who he has left,

55) so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children who he is eating, because he has nothing else left in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns.

56) The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter,

57) her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children who she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns.

58) "If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, YAHVEH your God,

59) then YAHVEH will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting.

60) And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.

61) Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, YAHVEH will bring upon you, until you are destroyed.

62) Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of YAHVEH your God.

63) And as YAHVEH took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so YAHVEH will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.


That’s the warning that Yahveh gave to Moses that was to be told to all the people of the twelve tribes.

Now I take you to chapter thirty-one.  This is Moses’ account of God’s instructions to him to write a “song” to teach to all the tribes.  Listen… from verse sixteen:


16) And YAHVEH said to Moses, "Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers.  And this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them.

17) Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured.  Many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, 'Haven’t these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?'

18) I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

19) "Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness to me against the people of Israel.

20) For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.

21) And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring).  For I know what they are wont to do today, even before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give."

22) So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.


And it is the song, unforgotten in their mouths, that the hundred and forty-four thousand of the house of Jacob are harping in the heaven; and the song is a witness to God against the people of Israel, for they have “whored” after idols.  Israel itself is the great prostitute (as we’ll see in chapter seventeen).  Let me say it once again: the song is a witness to God against Israel!

And here it is – the song, the song of vengeance; listen to it closely, for it is Moses’ song (which he taught to Israel), and He quotes YAHVEH liberally.  So, not only do we have to read it carefully, but we have to listen carefully.

Chapter thirty-two of Deuteronomy:


1)    "Give ear O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

2)    May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.

3)    For I will proclaim the name of YAHVEH, ascribe greatness to our God!

4)    "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all His ways are justice.  A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.

5)    They have dealt corruptly with Him; they are no longer his children because they are blemished; they are a crooked and twisted generation.

6)    Do you thus repay YAHVEH, you foolish and senseless people?  Is not He your Father Who created you, Who made you and established you?

7)    Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

8)    When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

9)    But YAHVEH’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

10) "He found him in a desert land, and in the howling void of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

11) Like an eagle that wakes up its nest, fluttering over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them up, bearing them on its pinions,

12) YAHVEH alone guided him (Jacob), no foreign god was with him.

13) He made him ride on the high places of the land, and he ate the produce of the field, and he makes him suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint-rock,

14) curds from the herd, and milk from the flock, with fat of lambs, rams of Bashan and goats, with the very finest of the wheat— and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.

15) "But Jeshurun (Israel) grew fat, and kicked (against the goad); you grew fat, stout, and sleek; he (Israel) forsook God Who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.

16) They stirred Him (YAHVEH) to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger.

17) They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, who your fathers had never feared.

18) You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, you forgot the God who gave you birth.

19) YAHVEH saw it and spurned them.  Because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters

20) he said, 'I will hide my face from them; I will see their latter end; For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.

21) They have made me jealous with what is no-god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols.  So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

22) For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23) "'And I will heap disasters upon them; I will spend my arrows on them;

24) they shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured by plague and poisonous pestilence; I will send the teeth of beasts against them, with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.

25) Outdoors the sword shall bereave, and terror in the inner chambers of young man and woman alike, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.

26) I have said, "I will cut them to pieces; I will wipe them from human memory,"

27) had I not feared provocation by the enemy, lest, I fear, their adversaries should misunderstand, and say, "Our hand is triumphant, it was not YAHVEH who did all this."'

28) "They are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them.

29) If they were wise, they would understand this:  that they would discern their latter end!

30) How could one have chased a thousand, and two have put ten thousand to flight, unless their “rock” had sold them, and YAHVEH had given them up?

31) For it’s not as if their rock is as our Rock, and our enemies are judges!

32) For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;

33) their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.

34) "'Is not this laid up in store with Me (says YAHVEH), sealed up in My treasuries?

35) Vengeance is mine, and recompense at the appointed time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.'

36) For YAHVEH will vindicate His people and have compassion on His bondservants, when He sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.

37) Then he will say, 'Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge,

38) who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering?  Let them rise up and help you; let them be your protection!

39) "'See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand.

40) For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever,

41) if I sharpen my flashing sword and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on My adversaries and will repay those who hate Me.

42) I will make My arrows drunk with blood.  My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives, with the long-haired heads of the enemy.'

43) "Rejoice with Him, O heavens; bow down to Him, all rulers, for He avenges the blood of His seed and takes vengeance on his adversaries.  He repays those who hate Him and cleanses His people’s land."


YAHVEH will vindicate His people – the promised covenant seed, taking vengeance on the harlot nation.  It is the promised seed, the hundred and forty-four thousand of the tribes of Jacob that John now sees in this sign; and they are harping this song of Moses that YAHVEH told him to write and teach to all the tribes of Jacob as a witness to God against Israel.  It is the song of vengeance and vindication.

And it is the Lamb of God (seen all through Moses) Who has come and saved them (every last one) from the wrath of God.  And they harp HIS song, as heard previously by John and written in Revelation five.  Listen to it again:


7)    And in midst of the throne and of the four creatures and in midst of the elders I did see a lamb standing as slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the Spirits of God sending forth into all the earth.

8)    And He did come and He takes from the right of the One sitting upon the throne.

9)    And when He did take the scroll, the four creatures and the twenty four elders fell before the Lamb, each having a lyre (a harp) and golden bowls filling with incense which are the prayers of the holy ones,

10) and singing new songs, saying “worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, for You were slain, and You did buy for God in Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

11) And You did make them a kingdom, and priests for our God, and they will reign upon the earth.

12) And I did see and hear a sound of many angel/messengers and the creatures and the elders around the throne, and was the number of them myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands

13) saying in a great sound, “worthy is the Lamb, the One slain, to receive the power and abundance and wisdom and might and honor and glory and praise.

14) And every creature which is in the heaven, upon the earth and under the earth, and upon the sea, and all things in them I heard saying, “the praise and the honor and the glory and the might into the ages of the ages to the One sitting upon the throne and to the Lamb”.

15) And the four creatures kept on saying “Amen”!  And the elders fell down and paid homage.


The song of Moses… a song of vindication and vengeance; choosing, nurturing, protecting and vindicating those of the promise, and taking full, and final, vengeance upon all the rest, who have hated Him and prostituted themselves with idols.

And the song of the Lamb… a song of the One Who came to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Jacob; the One Who shed His Own blood that all those of the promise might be spared the wrath of God in the latter days.  And the One Who bought for God, with His Own blood, bondservants from every nation tongue and tribe… the Savior of the World.

This is what the apostle John sees and hears here in this great, and awesome, sign.