Revelation 15:1-8 Part 5



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.


“Kurie” – LORD of the heavens and the earth, and Savior of the world.  That’s what the hundred and forty-four thousands call Him as they “harp” the Song of the Lamb.

Not only is the final judgment “great” and “awesome”; but so are the “mighty deeds” of the Lamb.  Righteous and True is He in His “salvation” of the elect remnant of Jacob and the peoples and tongues and tribes of Gentiles!

The sign is, indeed, awesome; for the Lamb of God is filling up the promise to Abraham that his “seed” would be myriads and myriads from all the nations!  He (The Seed) is “King of the Ages” and Ruler of the nations.  And He will fulfill His purpose.

Who is it that won’t fear Him; who is it that won’t glorify His holy Name?  Through the ages He will have His way; and the Gentiles will submit to Him and glorify Him and acknowledge that He is King of Kings.  His righteous acts are manifest; for the fall of Israel will bring about the salvation of the world.

Israel wouldn’t repent!  But the Gentiles will!!  There were four great rulers of all the earth before Him; but never again will there be a world-wide ruler other than Him, for His is the everlasting Kingdom.  He will move the various “forces” of the earth, through the ages, to fulfill His purpose.  He will smash them for their rebellion; and He will bring them to repentance by the Word of His Power.

God the Son (the Word of God) became the Son of Man with the stated purpose to “seek and to save those who were lost” of the Father’s elect of the tribes of Jacob – those of the promise; for the Father had promised to “save” Israel; Jacob IS Israel!

For His faithfulness to the will of His Father, He was given all authority over all created existence and crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Savior of the World!

The harlot – destroyed in the wrath of God, and all creatures under the absolute power of Kurios, the nations and peoples and tribes and tongues of the earth are beneficiaries of His shed blood and His resurrection out of death; for His further work of the salvation of the world is to the end of the glory of His Father.  It all MUST reflect the glory of God! 

And even those remaining of Israel will be received back into the covenant!

So the two essential elements of the mystery of God and the song of the Lamb (heard by John back in chapter five and here in chapter fifteen) are: 1) the judgment and destruction of the harlot nation after the salvation of the remnant of the twelve tribes, and 2) as Savior of the world, the establishment of His Kingdom over all the Gentile nations – to the end that all creation glorifies its Creator!


Now we’ve heard the witness to God against the harlot (the Song of Moses), and the praise for the mighty deeds of the Lamb of God and (Kurie) Lord of heaven and earth.

The hundred and forty four thousand witnesses having testified before the Judge of all creation, and the firmament fiery red from the heat of His anger, the sign in the heaven returns to verse one; for John is shown, in verses five through eight (and beyond), the very words of verse one: and it says, “for God’s wrath was carried out in full through seven messengers having the last seven plagues”.


Let’s see first that the “awesomeness” of this “great and awesome” sign shown to John isn’t over yet!  All the rest of it is awesome as well!

Secondly, all the rest of John’s written account to the Churches has to do with the two essential elements of this sign; the first of those elements being the devastating abrogation of the covenantal Jewish state, and the second being the covenantal inclusion of the Gentile nations… both to the end of the glory of God in the salvation of the world.

Thirdly, this is the great “mystery” of God from the creation, sealed to Daniel, and opened by the Lamb of God (the only One “worthy” to do so).

Fourthly, the tabernacle in the desert was not only a man-made, earthy replica of YAHVEH’s tabernacle in the heaven; but it was also an image of the coming tabernacle of Immanuel – God with us!  For IN HIM the whole earth would reflect the glory of YAHVEH of Hosts in the Person of Christ Jesus the Lord.  (That’s why we need reminding, often, by way of the bread and the wine.)

And fifth, the sign to John continues to recall the man-made tabernacle in the desert… and why wouldn’t it?  As an earthy reflection of the heavenly tabernacle of YAHVEH, it was what the Churches were familiar with (after all, they were the “offspring” of the tribes of Jacob in the desert of Sinai); and they could see the continuity from the beginning to the present… they could now see the true tabernacle that was foreshadowed by the one built in the desert!

So, with what is shown to John (and what he writes to the Churches), they can make the connection between the two and understand what is happening and what is about to happen from God’s perspective.  And the changes taking place are indeed mighty and awesome!

And, with regard to that, they can be brought to an even more enlightened understanding of the “God-With-Us”, “New-Heavens-and-New-Earth” tabernacle in the Person of the Son of God/Son of Man.  For the “new” tabernacle will more perfectly reflect the glory of the Lord of Hosts above His creation than any man-made tabernacle ever could!  For the earthy tabernacle was not only an “image” (a reflection) of the heavenly tabernacle, but it was also a foreshadowing of the “body” – the “Person” – of the Anointed One Himself, Jesus the Christ of God.  He IS the express image of the Father and the tabernacle of Holy Spirit.

And those of us who are IN HIM (rebirthed into Him) “tabernacle” IN HIM (that’s the verb form – “to tabernacle”).

Now, although the text here at verse five shows the holy place in the heavenly tabernacle “opening” for the judgment to come (which we will get to soon), I’m almost “forced” here (theologically) to address the tabernacle which is foreshadowed by the old one.  I hope you’ll see why I’m driven to this right now in a little while; but the tabernacle in the desert was not only the “image” of the heavenly tabernacle, but it was the “foreshadowing” of the tabernacle to come. And that’s what needs our attention right now.

And, of course, I’m speaking to our “tabernacling” in Christ Jesus the Lord.  Once again, the one built in the desert, as well as imaging the heavenly tabernacle, also prophesied and foreshadowed the one to come in the Son of Man. 

There are actual “changes” in the tabernacle in the heaven that must be observed with the ascension of the SON OF MAN into the holy place in the heavenly tabernacle and entering the Presence of the Ancient of Days through the crystal sea/firmament.  You see, a MAN has done that!  One of our own flesh has done that.

And just as there are, therefore, changes for us to see in the heavenly tabernacle, there are changes in the covenant.  As with the resurrection and ascension of the Son of Man there are changes in the tabernacle, the resurrection and ascension of the Son of Man has brought changes in the covenant.  And as with the changes in the tabernacle brought by the Christ make it “better”, so the changes in the covenant brought by the Christ make IT better!

The covenant is “better” now that the Son of Man has entered, ONCE, into the Presence of The Father and included peoples of all the nations of the world.  And the tabernacle of God is “better” now that mankind has access to the Presence of Almighty God in the body of the Son of Man; it’s better than the one reflected by the tabernacle in the desert.  And John is shown (and so are the Churches) the connections between the older covenant and the newer covenant; and also the connections between the tabernacle in the desert and the God-With-Us tabernacle of the Body of The Christ.


And in order for us to gain some perception of this (from God’s perspective, of course), we need to read some.  And having been written in advance of John’s Revelation, there’s no clearer revelation of these things than the inspired letter that was written to the remnant of Israel in the nations… Hebrews.

Hebrews was written for the very purpose of explaining these awesome events in the latter days, and for showing the elect of the tribes of Jacob the “filling up” of the written Word in the Person of the Son of God/Son of Man.

The Churches would have received the letter to the Hebrews some time before they received John’s letter (a couple of years, anyway).  So they would’ve delighted in then hearing what John saw in the heavenly tabernacle.  And they would have already learned (from the Hebrews letter) the connections between the older covenant and the newer (and “better”) covenant.  And they would have already learned the connections between the older (man-made) tabernacle and the fullness of that image in the Body of The Son of Man!

So, let’s read some from Hebrews; it will give us a better understanding of what we’re hearing… from verse five of our text all the way through to the end of the Revelation.

Hebrews is the tabernacle in the desert, and its priesthood, being filled up in the Person of Jesus Christ the Savior of the World.

Listen first at the end of chapter seven.  The writer is writing to the elect from the twelve tribes of Jacob – they are Hebrews now scattered and “churched” in the nations.  As I said, it was written just a couple of years before John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ.  It is a complex theological treatise, written to build up the confidence and assurance of our Lord’s Churches under persecution, and strengthen their faith and understanding regarding what is about to happen to Israel and Jerusalem and the temple, and regarding all that is “new” about the tabernacle and the covenant.

Here it is:


"The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'" (The writer quotes YAHVEH concerning His Son.  Then he writes):

22) This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23) The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office,

24) but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever.

25) Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God IN HIM, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26) For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

27) He has no need, like (the former) high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when he offered up Himself.

28) For the law (the law of the ceremonies) appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath (the oath of YAHVEH that he quoted before), which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

The writer says that the priests in the tabernacle in the desert continually made sacrifices for sin.  But the One they foreshadowed need make sacrifice only once!  The covenant is therefore “better”; for He is the permanent intercessor for sin.

Listen now to a portion of chapter eight:


1)    …we have such a high priest, One who is seated at the right of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,

2)    a Minister in the Holy of Holies, in the true tabernacle that the Lord set up, not man.

3)    For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices;


5)    they (the priests in the earthly replica) serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things.  For when Moses was about to erect the tent (tabernacle), he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain."

6)    But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

7)    For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion (no need) to look for a second.

8)    In finding fault with them He says (and this is a direct quote from Jeremiah chapter thirty one):  "Behold, the days are coming, declares YAHVEH, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

9)    not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

11) And they need not teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

12) For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."


You see, once the ONE sacrifice was made, the “house of Jacob” was rebirthed into Him (the second Adam – the second “beginning” of creation); and that’s a “better” covenant than the first one.  As YAHVEH prophesied through Jeremiah, He put His Law-word into their minds and wrote it on their hearts – that they would keep His commandments and hold His testimony!  And He entered into the Presence of The Majesty with them IN HIM.  And it’s all “better” than it was; because the tribes of Israel didn’t KEEP His covenant before!

Now.  In chapter nine the inspired writer follows that up with further explanation.  Listen to this!


1)    Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly holy place.

2)    For the first part of the tabernacle was prepared in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.  It is called the Holy Place.

3)    Behind the second curtain was a second part (of the tabernacle) called the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies),

4)    having the golden altar of incense (in front) and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.

5)    Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat….

6)    The preparations having thus been made, the priests went regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties;

7)    but into the second part, only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people.

8)    By this Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy of holies is not yet opened as long as the first section still stands

9)    (which is indicative for the present age).  According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,

10) but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body until the time of reformation is brought upon them.

11) But when Christ appeared as the High Priest of the good things that have come, 

12) then He entered once for all into the holy place through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

13) For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, set apart for the purification of the flesh,

14) how much more will the blood of the Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15) Therefore he is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.


So, you see, there’s a better covenant since the foreshadowed sacrifice has been made; and there’s a better tabernacle since the Son of Man has entered once into the Presence of The Majesty.

The altar of sacrifice and the first part of the tabernacle (the holy place where the rituals were practiced) are done away with since the risen and ascended Lamb of God has passed through directly to the throne of the Lord of Hosts above the Holy of Holies and its mercy seat and cherubim.

Therefore He is the High Priest and Mediator of a “new” covenant (newer, but of the same kind) – a “better” one in order that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

The writer continues….


1)    For since the law (that’s the law of the sacrifices) has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, (it can never) make perfect those who draw near.

2)    Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?

3)    But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

4)    For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5)    Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said (and he quotes Jesus), "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me.

6)    In burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

7)    Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'"


Then the writer continues………

8)    When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law of the sacrifices),

9)    then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will," He does away with the first in order to establish the second.

10) And by that will we have been set apart through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11) Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

12) But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right of God,

13) waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

14) For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being set apart.

15) And Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16) "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"

17) then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."

18) Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus,

20) by the new and living way that he, in His flesh, opened for us through the partition,

21) and since we now have a great priest over the house of God,

22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23) let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

24) And let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works,

25) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, all the more as you see that Day drawing near.


The writer “alerts” the Churches here to the coming “Day of the Lord” (the full and final wrath of God poured out from the tabernacle in the heaven… as we see beginning with verse five of our text).

That which the writer of Hebrews wrote to the Churches a couple of years before John’s letter is exactly what John is seeing in the tabernacle itself!

There is no “outer room” in God’s tabernacle in the heaven, for the High Priest has already entered the Holy of Holies and ascended to the Presence of Majesty on high; so the first room of the tabernacle in the desert is obsolete.  No more altar of sacrifice, no more bronze laver, no more rituals, no more blood!  The new covenant is a “better” covenant, because the law of the sacrifices is now old and obsolete!  The new covenant is a “better” covenant; for now it includes us Gentiles in all the nations.

The High Priest has taken His place at the Right of Glory; and He did so in our flesh!  And by engrafting into His body through rebirth, we “tabernacle” in the Presence of the Lord of Hosts IN HIM!   We have access through the partition in His Body!  He is our new tabernacle!  And He makes continual intercession for us as our High Priest.  The new tabernacle in Christ is a “better” tabernacle than the one in the desert!

And our “tabernacle” is “with us”!  He is Immanuel – God with us.  Wherever we are, there is our new tabernacle – the body of Christ, having direct access to The Father.  And there is the New Heavens and the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem, and the New Tabernacle.  And there is the Church of Jesus Christ congregating on the first day of the week – remembering all He has done, and will do, as we celebrate the table.

These are all things we’ll be seeing in coming weeks… beginning with the opening of the Holy of Holies in the heavenly tabernacle as the old Israel passes from existence in the full and final wrath of God.