Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim


A Revealing Drama in Heaven

Rev 15:1-8

NKJV 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. 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. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

"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." 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.

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.

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 completed. NKJV


NASB 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, {which are} the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. 2 And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. 3 And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. 4 "Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed." 5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, 6 and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean {and} bright, and girded around their breasts with golden girdles. 7 And 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. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. (NAS)


INTRODUCTION



 

1.         A Drama Revealing the. .Worship of God. v 2-4

 

2.         A Drama Revealing the . . Wrath of God. v 5-7

 

3.         A Drama Revealing the . . Ways of God. v 1 & 8



 

 

1.       A Drama Revealing the. .Worship of God. v 2-4

 

            A.        Worship In the . . Stand of Praise. v 2

            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.

 

                        1.         They have a . . Place to . . Stand. v 2

                                    2 Chr 4:6 He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. (KJV)


            Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, KJV

 

                        2.         They have a . . Privilege to . . Stand. v 2

 

            B.        Worship in the . . Singing of Praise. v 3 a

                        3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,

 

Exod.  15:1-4 1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake,

saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. (KJV)

 

            C.        Worship . . In the Sayings of Praise. v 3 b

                        “. . . saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!

 

            Rev 15:3         “. . . Thou King of the nations. (NAS)

            Rev 15:3         “. . . King of the ages. (NIV)

 

            D.        Worship . . In the Society of Praise. v 4

                        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."

 

Illustration 

A church receptionist answered the phone. It was an anonymous caller. "Is this the church that teaches people about Jesus, that believes the Bible, and that tries to get people to turn their lives over to Christ?"

   "Yes," the receptionist answered. "That describes our church very well." "Well," warned the caller, "I just want you to know that I'm a representative of the church of Satan. I am a demon worshiper, too. You need to know that there are just as many of us working against your church, as you have working for it. So we are going to win."

   With that the phone went dead. Aren't you glad that Jesus said "the gates of hell shall not prevail against" the church.

 

Application                Eph 6:14

            Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (KJV)




 

2.       A Drama Revealing the. .Wrath of God. v 1 &5-7

 

            A.        The . . Marvels of the Wrath of God. v 1

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.

 

            B.        The . . Morality of the Wrath of God. v 5

                        5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.

 

            1.         A very Holy Place.     Num 1:50-54

            50 but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle. 51 And when the tabernacle is to go forward, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall set it up. The outsider who comes near shall be put to death. 52 The children of Israel shall pitch their tents, everyone by his own camp, everyone by his own standard, according to their armies; 53 but the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the Testimony, that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the children of Israel; and the Levites shall keep charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony." 54 Thus the children of Israel did; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so they did. NKJV

 

            C.        The . . Messengers of the Wrath of God. v 6

                        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.

 

            D.        The . . Mediators of the Wrath of God. v 7

                        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.

 

Illustration    Topic: Wrath Index: 3132

I believe in a God of absolute and unbounded love, therefore I believe in a loving anger of his which will and must devour and destroy all that is decayed, monstrous, abortive in the universe.

   Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)


Application


Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (KJV)


1Thes 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


1Thes 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)



 

3.       A Drama Revealing the . . Ways of God. v 8

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 completed.

 

            A.        Ways concerning the . . Presence of God. v 8 a

                        8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God”

 

            B.        Ways concerning the . . Power of God. v 8 b

“and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple”

 

            C.        Ways concerning the . . Patience of God. v 8 c

“...till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.”


Lam 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. (NAS)

 

Illustration    Another Pastor’s Story

Aiming at God's glory also means that you suffer when He suffers, that you hurt when God's name is hurt. Remember Psalms 69:9, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me." David was saying, "I hurt when God hurts."


   I was sitting in my office thinking over this point just asking myself if I really aim at God's glory to the extent that I hurt inside when God's name is defamed. Then a letter came in from a seventeen year old girl whom my sister had the privilege of leading to Christ. The problems in her background were just unbelievable. After receiving Christ, she had to return to her home in a distant city with no Christian friends, no spiritual instruction, with nothing except her Bible and people praying for her. Several months later she wrote:


I hope everything is well with you. I have really begun to put things together in the Bible. By reading the Old Testament I have been able to see that God deserves much more recognition than He's getting. I can see how He gave people so many chances and how they continued to break His heart by worshiping idols and sinning. God wanted the Israelites to sacrifice lambs, goats, oxen and things like

that as an atonement to Him for sin. He is God, after all, and He had to have some payment for the trouble and the sins of men.

 

To think that God actually talked and was in the visible presence of these people and yet they kept on complaining and sinning! I can almost feel the unbearable sadness that God feels when someone rejects and doesn't glorify Him. He's God! He made us. He gave us everything. We continue to doubt and reject Him. It's awful! When I think of how I hurt Him, I hope I can someday make it up.

 

             I can't wait to just tell Jesus, and thus God indirectly, that I love Him and just kiss the ground He walks on because He should be worshiped. I want God to be God and to take His rightful place. I'm tired of the way people put Him down."

 

   All by herself, with her Bible and the Holy Spirit, this young girl came to realize that the glory of God was what life was all about. I know some people who have been Christians for decades and haven't learned this truth. That is the purpose of our existence -- to give God glory, and part of that means hurting when He hurts.

 

   Another angle on this: aiming at God's glory also involves being content to be outdone by others in gifts and honors just so God gets the glory. We aim at His glory when we willingly take a backseat and see somebody else lifted up, somebody else honored, just as long as God gets the glory.

  

Application 

 

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)