A Glimpse of Glory – The Seven
“Don’t be negative, preacher…don’t say sin, hell, damnation, judgment…keep it positive” [possibility thinking]
There’s no way to preach the whole counsel of God and not face some bad news.
Joke—little boy said, dad, I think I may have flunked my math test/dad said, do you have to be so negative?/ok, I’m positive I flunked my math test!
Some things are positively negative…like Rev. 15-16! Here is the climax of the great tribulation…and for the saved it’s nothing but good news for us and motivation to reach others and to know the signs of the times.
Does God overlook sin? Not hardly! It’s being stored up…His wrath will fall, partially as part of 7 massive plagues we find referred to in ch. 15.
Just as in the days of Noah, there will be a line crossed at which time God’s mercy will give way to His wrath…they laughed at Noah for many years as he preached of coming judgment!
v. 7 These bowls are symbolic…but it doesn’t change the fact that God’s anger is stored up somehow and will somehow be poured out!
16:1 People say this is a scary book…here’s where it gets scary…if you think it’s been bad so far!
Ch. 15 takes place in the temple of God in heaven…stay w/ me now for some teaching, and then I’ll apply it all to the lives of all those still awake!
The OT temple was a witness: to man/against man
It told us how we much approach unto God…not on our terms, but His! “I did it MY way!” (Sinatra)
Surrounded by a fence, the only way into the temple was thru the gate (Jesus is the way…truth, life)
It witnessed against man as a reminder of the fact that we are unworthy to come unto God based on our own merit…you came to the temple w/ a sacrifice or w/ nothing at all! [w/ a blood sacrifice, not money, fruits, good works, etc.]
The most significant part of the temple was the little room called the holy of holies/wooden chest overlaid w/ gold [imagine it sitting here right now!]/on top: gold statues of angels looking down into that box/brilliant light of the shekinah glory [presence of God] emanates from within/lid was solid gold [mercy seat]
The ark of the covenant!
[Raiders of the Lost Ark was not committed to Biblical accuracy, but it gives an idea of what it could have looked like]
Once a year on the day of atonement the high priest would enter w/ the blood of the spotless lamb he had just offered on the brazen altar…he would sprinkle it 7 times on the mercy seat, symbolically covering the sins of the people.
God’s glory saw man’s sin thru the blood and His judgment and justice was satisfied!
No wonder it’s called the mercy seat…for it was God’s mercy that allowed the payment for sin.
Rev. 15:5 now: testimony=the ark of the covenant
Why is it being opened?
v. 6 No longer a throne of mercy, but now of judgment…out of it proceed these judgments! The mercy seat becomes the judgment seat!!
In 16 we’ll look at the 7 judgments individually…but for now, 5 words from ch. 15 which describe these judgments…
v. 6 They will be complete/perfect…because there’s 7 of them! [God’s perfect number of completeness]
This judgment won’t be too little or too much, and no one will be left out.
A righteous judgment, too:
v. 6 pure/white linen—no one will be able to say God is being unfair…it will be deserved judgment…righteous
“breasts girded w/ golden girdles”=a symbol of sovereignty…the Lord Himself will carry out this judgment!
[not indirect judgments like the 4 horsemen/wars/famines /pestilences/earthquakes/satan/ demons…but these 7 judgments come directly from the throne of God
v. 7 “full”—to the brim! But let’s remember that what God does He does big and He does it right!
v. 8 no man could enter [to offer atonement, to pray, for blood, an intercessor, a sacrifice…too late for an offering!]
Once the dam is broken, no man will be able to stand against the floodtide of judgment which will pour out!
Not saved? Better get saved!
Saved? Thank God!!
The lamb on the altar is a picture of who? Jesus!
But who else? Maybe you! The lamb was burnt on the altar…fire consumed it!
When God’s fiery judgment of hell comes, will it consume the substitute or the sinner?
If saved, it has already consumed the sacrificial substitute!
Ill.—family being chased in their wagon by a prairie fire/dad set fire ahead of them/wind blew it ahead, they moved into the burnt area/fire cannot consume where fire has already consumed!
You can bow now at the mercy seat, or wait for the judgment seat [great white throne!]
v. 1 The 7 bowls are poured out upon the earth 1 by 1. Each angel has a specific target: oceans/freshwater/sun/atmosphere/mark of the beast upon the skin of man
These are literal plagues…and God’s signature is all over them…compare to Exodus’ plagues [historically documented]
Rev. 16:2—grievous sores upon man
Ex. 9:8-- 8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
v. 4—compare to Ex. 7:17
17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
v. 10—compare to Ex. 10:21
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
v. 21—compare to Ex. 9:22
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
The plagues of Exodus became historical facts, and so will the plagues of Revelation!
We’ll go thru each of the 7 individually in coming weeks…for now, consider the 3 cups of salvation:
God’s grace/mercy/justice—they’re all attributes of God!
Grace: receiving something good from God which you don’t deserve
Mercy: not receiving something bad from God which you do deserve
Justice: receiving exactly what you deserve
3 cups of salvation:
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
What was in that cup? Every sin ever committed by mankind!
II Cor. 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; (why?) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
The only way we can be saved is by His mercy.
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires F4 of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy…
If you don’t drink from the cup of grace or the cup of mercy offered to you…then you have to drink from the 3rd cup…
Cup of Justice
This cup is brim-full of God’s wrath!
Fill my cup, Lord…with grace and mercy!
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