Revelation 15-16 - It is finished
Speaker 1:0:00How many of you have ever seen a Disney princess movie? Anybody? And when the princess is out in the forest and she holds her finger out, what lands on her finger at bird? Right. Does, does the, does this actually happen in real life or is that sort of, it does. Wow. Which life are you living in Roy? I'm not seeing a bird land on a finger like that in the wild because she's singing. Okay. Okay. He was sitting still hunting and he had one do that. I'm sorry. I guess I had my whole understanding of the universe wrong.
Speaker 1:0:45It won't be the last time I'm wrong about something. That's true. Royer you the princess sometimes. Okay. So, but, but in the Disney movies, a aside from Roy and, and Phil's experience Wa when you see the movie and the little bird lands on the finger, that's an expression of how sweet the princess is. Isn't that true? It doesn't mean that, that, that, that you should actually expect that to happen regularly. I'm casting, I'll glance over here. Um, there's other things the movies do to show you what's going on in them. In the Disney princess movies. Have you noticed this one little thing? The, the villain is almost always in green. Even Cruella Deville, the shadows on her face or green tinge because she's a villain. Now I want you to, I just want you to recognize that there are people in the room today wearing green, and they're not villains necessarily. No, no, I don't think so. I'm, I'm what? I'm, I'm just given due notice that, that in that, in the video or the audio visual presentation of a Disney princess movie, things are not always as they seem, but they show up. They show a picture of what reality might be like.
Speaker 1:2:18Okay. Can you get that there for me? So we've been working our way through the book of revelation, and I find myself this morning at one of the single most sobering texts to preach.
Speaker 1:2:32I find myself in a spot where I'm going. Wow. And, and part of that as is that I need you to remember as I read the text, we get out, we're going to add some new tools to our toolbox today. Remember I've been doing this right? We, we, we bring out our toolbox to be good readers. We had our notepads and we remember things and, and this, but today I'm going to, I'm going to bring out the strap. Okay. And you use these straps to hold things together or to hold them in the back of your, you know, I use some the other day to move something I didn't want to break in the back of my pickup, right? I held it fast and solid. One of the straps that we're going to do today is I just want you to recognize that, that as I read revelation, it's a symbolic slide show.
Speaker 1:3:22Kind of like a Disney movie. You wouldn't necessarily think that Babylon, the great city is a woman dressed in red scarlet, right? That's a symbol of, of of a certain thing. It's trying to show you a picture. That's a good thing. Um, here, here's another thing I want you to remember as we go through this, that, that, that the book of revelation in a lot of ways keeps, keeps doing this. The, the technical term is a recapitulation. Well, that's a $5 word. I spent a lot of money on my vocabulary. I want to use it every so often. Um, a recapitulation means it's going to show you the same thing from different angles or different ways over and over again. It's sorta like if you've ever read all four gospels, you'll recognize that they have different viewpoints and the, and the way they explained that sometimes is that that each of the gospel writers was standing on a corner and there was an accident or an event in the, in the intersection and they all sought from a different angle.
Speaker 1:4:27They had a different viewpoint. We're going to do that. So this recapitulation, this show over and over again has a couple of things in it in the text today is the third opening in the book of revelation and the openings are really a big deal in revelation for a door is open into heaven and what you see, you get to see that there actually is a throne in the universe and that it's occupied, right? It's not empty. That doesn't have an absentee landlord. That's a big deal. When, when, when you get this opening in, in Vr, in chapter 11, you get the temple and the temple is open up and you get to see that the purpose of the temple is to stand fast in the middle of a battle. And you see this battle between good and evil because the temple is opened up and you get to see a bolt work of good.
Speaker 1:5:28Today we have the third battle or the third opening. And I'll, I'll deal with that when I would get there. But I just want you to see that within this, when something opens and in the book of revelation, when there's an opening, if it means something, it's going to show you something and something's a big deal. I'll talk about it when we get there. I just, just setting that in, you know, just set that in the little corner of your mind and wait for it to come. And the last one is, is you've noticed in the book of revelation that there's seven, there's seven things that keep happening on seven things happen. And so, um, early on there were seven seals. Well, those are like the gospels as well. The seven seals as it as an event that they do, where they have all six of them in the seventh one is a pause or a change, but, but the seven seals is the event from the viewpoint of the suffering church of the people of God in the midst of the struggle. And that pause at the end of it is so that we could, um, we could see that God is listening and gathering the prayers and sending them back into the world and power.
Speaker 1:6:41The seven trumpets different from the seven seals where we are sealed as the believers in Christ. The seven trumpets shows the event from the viewpoint of are you ready the world? So what's different between the church and the world? Well, when we see God at work, we go, whoo. And sometimes the world was, I don't like it.
Speaker 1:7:03And so the trumpets are that viewpoint and the seven things shows them that. And the seventh pause there takes the time to show them that they have a chance at repentance.
Speaker 1:7:21Okay. We're going to, we're going to do the seven bowls today and the seven bowls are from, it's still different viewpoint there from the viewpoint of the throne of heaven. And so you can imagine that those three viewpoints or are kind of different from each other, that the church sees things one way, but God sees it some of the ways that the church sees it, but then another way on his own cause you know his ways are not our ways, and then the world, the people that don't know God, see, see these events completely different from the way a church, a believer in Christ would do that. So are you ready? Grab your pew in front of you. Just don't grab it so hard that you get white knuckles. Okay, white knuckle airlines. Here we go. Revelation 15 and 16 today I heard of mighty voice from the temple say to the angels, go your, that was on the wrong passage. Let me start at the beginning of what I intended to read. Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the last seven plagues, which would bring God's wrath to completion.
Speaker 1:8:46How many of you get a little worried when you hear God's wrath? Okay, the text, we to understand that we are meant to feel the horror of what God's wrath would be like if we were going to go through it. We're meant to feel that today. That's part of today,
Speaker 1:9:10But it's in every book of the Bible that God's wrath is there. So this is not a book of revelation concept. This is the Bible. What's the difference between God's wrath and my wrath or your wrath? Whenever I get angry, sins involved. And so when I, when I go to punish people and I get wrath fall than often, my anger goes over the top and I over punish. You've never done that in your whole life, right? And we never got over angry about anything ever. Well, God, that's part of art. My Sin Nature. Um, God doesn't have that where it goes over or inappropriate.
Speaker 1:9:52I saw before me what seemed to be a glass see mixed with fire and on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and a statute and the number representing his name, and there were all holding harps that God had given them. They bore the mark of God. That's something to remember. The character of God had been built into their life. We're going to see two different sorts of characters today. They were all holding harps that have been given them by God, and they were all singing a song of Moses and the Servant of God and the song of the lamb, great and marvelous are your works, o Lord, the Almighty, just and true are your ways o King of the nations. And then the question, who will not fear you lord and glorify your name for you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you for your righteous deeds have been revealed. And I looked and I saw that the Temple of Heaven, God's Tabernacle was thrown wide open. The language literally says here that the Tabernacle of testimony is thrown open. Well, what does the Tabernacle in the ancient world, the Tabernacle for the Hebrews, what was that about? That was the spot where they got to meet with their God,
Speaker 1:11:13and when you meet with your God, some of your secrets are laid bare and the testimony comes out. If we were to have testimony night, I said, well, something happened to me, but I got to testify to what God has done. The truth is laid out at the temple of testimony and it's laid bare when it's open. We get to see how this really works. The seven angels who are holding the seven plagues came out of the temple and there were clothed and spotless white linen with gold sashes across their chests.
Speaker 1:11:46This is exactly the garment that Jesus is wearing in Ezekiel or at the mount of there that's there representing the character of Jesus in this.
Speaker 1:12:00Then one of the four living creatures handed each of the seven angels, a gold bowl filled with the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, and the temple was filled with smoke from God's glory and power. No one could enter the temple until the seven angels had completed the pouring out of the seven plagues. And then I heard a mighty voice from the temple say to the seven angels, go and pour out your wrath, the wrath of the seven bowls of on the earth. So the first angel left the temple and poured out his bowl on the earth and the horrible malignant sores broke out on everyone who bore the mark of the beast and worship the statue. Now that by the way, did you notice that there's a limit there? It's on the people to bear the mark or the character of the beast that this is happening to. This is not happening,
Speaker 1:12:51To the people that bear the mark of the savior. Just want you to notice that that's what's going on. There's this thing,
Speaker 1:13:01Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the scene. It became like blood of a corpse and everything and the sea died and the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and seas and springs and they became blood. And I heard the angel who had authority over all the water. Say you are just Oh holy one who is and always was because you have sent this judgment. I just want you to understand that we want a god that is just because we want justice done. Every time you drive a car and somebody missed cuts you off in traffic, you want justice. When you cut somebody off, you want mercy. But that's kind of how that is, isn't it? You want justice for them. We want a god that is justice. We did this in Bible study Wednesday night. This was the coolest thing about me not being in charge and God being in charge of justice is did you recognize this? That when he does justice, he has full disclosure. He knows everything about the whole topic. I wouldn't do very good job cause I don't have full disk. I don't have enough information to make a good choice,
Speaker 1:14:11Even about myself in a lot of ways. But God has full disclosure, great and justice use because you have sent these jets and the, here's the reason, since they shed the blood of your holy people and your profits, you have given them blood to drink kind of icky. But I mean recognize that he's not punishing shoplifters here, but people, it is their just reward. The language here is they are worthy of it as God is worthy. And I heard a voice from the altar saying, yes, oh Lord, the Almighty. Your judgments are true. And just, and then the angel poured out his bowl on the sun and causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by the blast of the heat and they curse the name of God. Did you notice that their response wasn't go? Uh Oh, I'm in trouble. I need God's help. They just cursed God's name.
Speaker 1:15:11If you ever wondered what the main difference between a believer and a nonbeliever, a follower and a non follower, a person that goes believes in religion, whatever, however you want to make the distinction. The distinction isn't the outward signs. It's the condition of the heart and the response of the heart that makes the difference. So when I get caught in something, I hope no. Now sometimes my first reaction would be if I react out of myself as I got cotton as is, you can't prove it. Nobody saw me. I wasn't even there, man. Nobody can prove it. Nobody saw me, right? That's the mark of the beast in us. The mark of Jesus in us is, I really blew it. I need help. Forgive me, Lord. That's the character of the two differences. So I know you know that when somebody gets caught doing something and you see their reaction like this,
Speaker 1:16:17something's going on inside their heart, right? When they're shaking their fist and they this and they curse the name of God, who, who had control over these plagues and it did not repent of their sins are turned to God or give him glory. Remember the song who won't give you glory? Oh God, well this is who won't. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom was plunged into darkness and a subject ground their teeth and anguish or right. You've seen this, right? The taught, taught jaw line of somebody super angry and they're grinding their teeth and they cursed the God in heaven for their pains and sores, but they still did not repent of their deeds or turned to God. By the way, remember that you're supposed to feel,
Speaker 1:17:09you're supposed to feel, look this, this is, this is not an awesome thing to go through. It gets worse. Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates river and it dried up so that the kings of the east could march to their armies to the west without hindrance, and I saw three evil spirits that look like frogs right by the, by the way, frogs are green, just like the villains in Disney movies, not all of them. Some are different. Some of them are not, and they, they lept from the mouth of the Dragon, the beast and the false prophet and the demonic spirits who worked miracles go out to gather all the rulers to the world to gather them for against the Lord and the great judgment and the day of the God Almighty. Just to ask you this question, when you stand in front of God and to do battle with him, what weapons do you have?
Speaker 1:18:01Okay. Jesus. Because, well, if you do that, then you're not standing to do battle with him. There's that moment, and here's a quote from Jesus. Look, I come as unexpectedly as a thief. Blessed are all who are watching for me who keep their clothing ready, so they will now have to walk around naked and ashamed, and then back to the text and the demonic spirits. Spirits gathered all the rulers in the armies to the place of the rulers at a Hebrew named harm. Again, our Armageddon. I just, I need to, this is one of those words that's taken on a life of its own Armageddon har or a hill of Maketto harm. Again, Armageddon. There is no, there is no hill of my ghetto. There's a valley there.
Speaker 1:19:00but it's uh, but there's a place, there was a battle there and I think that this is what they're really driving at. There was a battle in the ancient days of the king of Judah. Josiah was there and he was the next great hope of Judah and, and the Egyptians. Pharaoh necco was coming through on a marauding sort of thing. And, and uh, Josiah sorta went out to do battle with Pharaoh, you know, cause you know, when you've got a marauding horde in front of them, what you really want to do is take your country out in the middle of it because that'd be awesome. Anyway, but Josiah was killed and it changed the whole face of the country of Judah's future because he was their great hope and, and their rebirth right there. We're having a renaissance in the ancient world sort of time with Josiah and, and it's set them on a path that just continued down into the Babylonian captivity and that's the where they're now in that location. There's a battle and it's pretty much like Judah against Egypt, which was not much of a battle at that point in time. Only this time it's the kings of the east and all the rulers and all the people, the marks of the beast and they're all gathered there and God,
Speaker 1:20:16and it's not going to go well for one side, but there's really no battle listed here. We'll deal with that later. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and the mighty shout came from the throne in the temple saying it is finished. Is there any place in the Bible where you've heard those words at the cross? John 1930 it is finished. Jesus is and what is, what is Jesus doing at in as it, as he's praying before he gets arrested and he's in and he's in a garden and he's saying, God may this Cup of Wrath pass from me, but only if it's your will. I do. I just, I just want to do this because we have the same author using the same wording and all this stuff. And, and I don't think it's a mistake that we're supposed to pay attention to the cup of Wrath or the bowl of wrath and it is finished, apply at the same spot about the cross or something like this. Okay, this is not a mistake. And then the thunder crashed and rolled and lightening flash and a great earthquake struck, by the way, those are some of the descriptions of the crucifixion.
Speaker 1:21:34The worst sense. People were placed on earth and the great city of Babylon split into three sections. And the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. So God remembered all of Babylon Sin. And he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared in the mountains were leveled. That's a bad scene, man. You're supposed to feel the weight of this, right? If you are going through this and you didn't know God can, can you show a little mercy? Have you ever met somebody that's gone through a horrible time and they don't know God and you've gone through something like it and you had God? And can you imagine going through the worst time in your life that you went through with God without God's presence in your life so far? And I've said this before just a couple of times so far, you're a hundred for 100 and getting through your a hundred worst days,
Speaker 1:22:30Every one of you are, you've made it through the hundred worst days of your life because you're still here. It's, it's a self evident
Speaker 1:22:42And there was a terrible hail storm and the hailstones weighing as much as 75 pounds fell from the sky on the people below and they cursed God because of the terrible plague. That's where I'm gonna stop. I submit to you that there are five things that we as believers need to learn from this text. Okay? Are you ready? Number One, judgment is real and total and complete because God has full disclosure. He knows what he's talking about when he says, you're blown it. You actually did. He knows why you blew it. He knows. He knows all the little steps that led up to it and all the little, whenever I blow it, it usually comes from about 16 little decisions that says, I get to that. Just sort of build on each other and do this thing. But judgment is real and it's a common, that's the thing we need to do that. Now, if we're followers of Jesus adherence to his way, however you want to say it, we need to understand that it's horrible in its totality. It's complete. Number two, just on top of that, the people that it's happening to have earned it.
Speaker 1:24:11As one of my professors says that this way, um, they deserve it, says the angel. They are worthy of it. God's wrath is not compression or arbitrary. It is earned and it's chosen. Nobody stands under the wrath of God saved those who've chosen to do so. Once you just take a deep breath with that chosen to do so, they have chosen through the accumulated choices not to follow God's perfect self revelation in Jesus. Number three, judgment comes after a chance for repentance. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. I can't. I can't say this enough.
Speaker 1:25:05Even when we catch people in the act and they go to trial, they get a chance to say, I blew it. I'm sorry and get a little lighter sentence. Even we as sinful people do that God is doing his best to turn the course of the ship that they're on. And sometimes it comes in the form of a hailstorm and all sorts of signs and wonders and whatever it is. And those of you who are parents who have had to change the direction of one of your kids by punishing them knows exactly what I'm talking about.
Speaker 1:25:45Cause you just stop him up short if you can get their attention and say, but if they go, no, I'm not gonna it's, it gets harder. And that's what you've got here in this picture of this thing. Okay, so first it's horrible. The people have done it and chosen it in their heart attitudes and three, it comes after a time of repentance, a chance to repent. So judgment fits the crime. That's number four. Did you recognize this? That they killed the, they took the blood of the profits and the people of God and the holy ones and so they got blood or as Jesus would say to Peter as he draws a sword at the arrest scene and cuts off somebody there, put that away. If you live by the sword, you're going to dive to the sword. The swords. That's,
Speaker 1:26:37just full disclosure. Appropriate. It's kind of icky. Blood for blood, kind of Achy. It, it. It never gets out of the cycle. If we do it because we have sinned involved in, we go overboard. Here's the last one, okay.
Speaker 1:26:59God has provided a way out of the judgment. This is the reason why I brought up John 1930 where Jesus is, is given a cup of sour wine at the cross and he says, it's finished and he dies for us and and thunder and lightning and earthquakes and all these things. It's the same picture going on. The difference is who gets the cup of Wrath and you get a choice? Do you want to take it or are you going to accept the person that took it for you?
Speaker 1:27:34It's the age old question of every philosophy in the world. Here's the questions that they ask. Why are we here? Where are we going and if we don't like the where we're going, can we get out of it? That's philosophy in a nutshell. What's my purpose, right? Why am I here? Well, my purpose is to die and be dust. Is there a way out of becoming dying and becoming dust? God provides a way out of that, that that there is judgment. Any judged. It's so completely and we need a god of justice, but because of that, he's also a merciful and provides an escape in a way that the price can be paid for us. Oh, we have to do is accept it. Now, what do we do here as, as believers, adherence, people that love Jesus. What are we supposed to do with this kind of information? Have mercy. What were you going say? Brief. Tell it to others. What is telling it to others? Driven by if it's telling it to others, because I, I'm not, I completely agree with you, okay? But if you're telling others because you're trying to earn your salvation, they will know you're not real and merciful and loving.
Speaker 1:28:55That's true. But if you love them and you tell them, they'll hear more than you say because your actions speak louder than words, right?
Speaker 1:29:07But you recognize this is a sobering text. I hope you're sobered by the reading of that text. When I do this, I think, oh, somebody's going to have a bad day. Maybe some of them don't have to have that bad day. Can we be driven by the mercy that we've received at the cross to offer and care for those that haven't received it yet yet. Now that doesn't mean we get to go out and go right and do our finger. That's not what that is, right? I could go into my office, I still have my bony finger of indignation. Little little pointers stick in it. We don't need the bony finger of indignation. What we need is the example of a life changed and offered and freely given to us and how different we are, and that's the witness, the call of this or as Jesus says it's finished, the wrath is going to be poured out. You going to receive it in mercy or in the full experience and shake your fist at God. What about your, what about the people you know,
Speaker 3:30:28just love him. Just love him,
Speaker 1:30:32care for them, and and speak of this Jesus who's made such a difference in your life. How can they hear? How can they know if they haven't been told? How can they be told here if they haven't been, if it hasn't been spoken, how can it be spoken if you haven't been sent? That's the Paul thing. In other words, you've been sent, go talk so they can hear. Their response is up to them anyway.
Speaker 3:31:03Okay, let's pray. [inaudible]
Speaker 1:31:06Lord Jesus, I thank you for today. I thank you for your love. I ask that you would specifically motivate us and push us and keep us within your will in such a way that we can and do represent you in our daily lives and your precious name. Amen.