Day 355 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Revelation.
Revelation 14 – spoke of those with the mark of the beast on the right hand or the forehead, and develops by showing the 144,000 with the name of the Lamb and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. As in chapters 5 and 7, those who experience the gospel respond to it by praising God for it.
The statements in verses 4–5 that these are virgins and that in their mouth no lie was found do not mean these people were celibates or that they were perfectly sinless in what their lips uttered. Rather, these people lived the Gospel by avoiding spiritual adultery with the world, and they told the truth about God. They did not engage in idolatry and the sexual immorality that accompanies it. The redeemed follow the Lamb and do not lie. They worship God and they tell the truth about how to be made right with Him by grace through faith in Jesus. Redemption results in purity of action and speech.
The call in verses 6–7 to fear (revere), give glory to, and worship God is based on the certainty that He will establish justice in His creation, which is the blessed end result of the eternal Gospel. Because of Jesus’ cross, God can show mercy, but those who refuse the mercy offered there will face His judgment they have chosen. The declaration in verse 8 that Babylon is fallen is not explicitly called “gospel,” but Nahum 1:15 calls the downfall of Assyria “good news.”
It is good news that God acts in perfect justice, because otherwise evil would never be punished. The call of the third angel in verses 9–11 explains that not worshiping the beast equals not committing idolatry, and not receiving his mark equals not making peace with the world. John again applies the message in verse 12, explaining that the endurance of the saints means keeping the commandments of God not to commit idolatry or make friends with the world, and keeping faith in Jesus.
John recounts in verse 13 that he heard a voice from out of heaven declaring “rest” to those who “die in the Lord” (those who are Believers). Those who oppose Jesus, on the other hand, “have no rest, day or night.” This is where the gospel finally takes us: rest. Jesus said that He came to give rest (Matthew 11:28–30), picking up a theme from the prophets (Isaiah 30:15; Jeremiah 6:16).
How are you experiencing God’s rest even now?
Revelation 15 – The judgments that accompany the bowls of wrath are called plagues in verse because the deliverance that will come through them fulfills the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Then in verse the song of Moses has become the song of the Lamb because Jesus died as the Passover Lamb in the new exodus, fulfilling the exodus from Egypt.
This new exodus frees not just one nation but all, and verse 4 sings that all nations will come to worship the creating and redeeming God (5:9–10; 7:9–10). The reference in verse 5 to the tent of witness recalls the one in which Moses met with God, but this is the one in heaven of which the Mosaic was only a shadow. What was depicted in shadow at the completion of the tabernacle and the temple, when each was filled with the glory of God (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10–11), is fulfilled in Revelation 15:8 as God prepares to fill the world with His glory.
How does seeing all of these Old Testament shadows being fulfilled in Jesus lead you to worship Him?
Revelation 16 – The bowls match the trumpets in the literary structure of Revelation, and both are fulfillments of the plagues on Egypt. The sores of the first bowl (verse ) match the sores of the sixth plague (Exodus ). As with the first plague on Egypt (Exodus ), the second and third bowls (verses ) see waters turned to blood. The fifth brings darkness (verses ) like the ninth plague (Exodus ), and the unclean spirits gathering for battle after the sixth (verses ) may correspond to the death angel (Exodus ; ). The hail that accompanies the seventh bowl (verses ) matches the hail of the seventh plague (Exodus ).
Through the outpouring of these bowls, God is bringing the final fulfillment of the exodus pattern to completion. This pattern points forward to the final salvation of God’s people through the judgment of their enemies in the everlasting glory of God. In this final salvation and judgment we take strong hope despite the trials and tribulations we face until that time.
How does this help you trust God with your future?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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