Song of the Lamb

Having “overcome” the Beast and its “mark,” the saints stand on the Sea of Glass while singing the song of the Lamb – Revelation 15:1-4.

Calm Sea Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash
The fifteenth chapter introduces seven angels who are poised to empty the contents of the “seven bowls of wrath.” Before they do so, John sees the “overcoming” saints standing on the “sea of glass mingled with fire,” and “singing the song of Moses and  the Lamb.” This victorious company has overcome the “beast, its image, mark, and number” - [Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash].

The chapter’s first paragraph is transitional. It introduces the “seven bowls of wrath” and concludes the present literary section concerning the “war in heaven.”

Structurally, the chapter parallels the “seventh seal” and its transition to the series of “seven trumpets” when the “seventh seal” introduced the angels who held the “seven trumpets” - (Revelation 8:1-6, 15:1-4, 12:1-14:20).

Before the “seven trumpets” sounded, the “prayers of the saints” were offered on the “golden altar” as “incense” to God. Next, an angel hurled fire from the altar onto the earth, and that resulted in “claps of thunder, loud voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.”

Likewise, in chapter 15, before the seven angels are dispatched to unleash the “bowls of wrath,” the “overcoming” saints sing the “song of Moses” in praise and worship to God.

Having triumphed over the “beast, its number and its mark,” the men and women who are redeemed from the earth praise God for His “just and true ways.” This is in preparation for the “seven bowls of wrath” that completed His “wrath” - (Revelation 16:17-21).

SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

Like the “seven trumpets,” the sevenfold series of “bowls” uses language from the ten plagues of Egypt when describing its judgments.
  • (Revelation 15:1) – “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, because in them was ended the wrath of God.

The “seven last plagues” were anticipated by the judgment pronouncements recorded in chapter 14. They provide a graphic picture of the judgments, and they culminate in the destruction of the “great city,” Babylon, at the completion of God’s “wrath.”

The seven plagues, the last ones.” The plagues are given in the literary order in which John received them. They are not necessarily in chronological order. Collectively, they comprise the “last plagues” that complete the righteous judgments of God, therefore, they are the “last ones.”

SEA OF GLASS

The vision of the saints “standing” on a “sea of glass” and singing the “song of Moses” stresses the Exodus theme. The glassy sea corresponds to the Red Sea, the beast to Pharaoh, and the victorious company of saints to the nation of Israel after its deliverance from Egypt; hence, they sing the “song of Moses” AND the “song of the Lamb.”
  • (Revelation 15:2-4) – “And I saw as a glassy sea mingled with fire, and them who escape victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing upon the glassy sea, having harps of God; and 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, the Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, O King of the ages! Who shall in anywise not be put in fear, O Lord, and glorify your name, because alone full of lovingkindness; because all the nations will come and do homage before you, because your righteous deeds were made manifest.
Standing.” The verb provides a visual and verbal link to the previous vision of the priestly saints “standing” before the “Lamb” and the Throne on “Mount Zion.” Unlike the “inhabitants of the earth,” they are well able to “stand” on the “day of the wrath of the Lamb and the one who sits on the Throne” since they have not rendered homage to the “image of the beast” or taken it “number.” They will be among the “innumerable multitude” found “standing” before the “Lamb” in the New Creation.

Victory - Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash
[Victory - Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash]

In the Hebrew Bible, the “
sea” is the abode of “beasts” and “Leviathan,” and the latter often represents the Pharaoh of Egypt. So, also, the “glassy sea mingled with fire” represents the persecuting agents and activities of Satan, only now, having been subdued by the “Lamb” - (Psalm 74:12-15Isaiah 51:9-11Ezekiel 32:1-6).

Previously, John saw the “sea of glass like crystal… before the Throne. Here, he sees the “glassy sea mingled with fire.”

The “sea” is the place from which the “beast ascends,” and it is identical to the “Abyss.” The “fire” refers to divine judgments. Thus, on some level, the “sea of glass” is the source of evil and opposition.

In the Exodus story, liberated Israel stood “beside” the Red Sea. In the vision, the “saints” stand “upon” the sea, portraying their victory over the “beast.”

SONG OF THE LAMB

In both chapters 14 and 15 the victorious saints have “harps” and “sing” the song of the “Lamb.” The group from “Mount Zion” now stands on the “glassy sea,” having traversed to the other “side.”

This is also the same company as the sealed “servants of God” and the “innumerable multitude” that came out of the “great tribulation to stand” before God and the “Lamb.” What distinguishes it now it is victory over the “beast, its image and its number” - (Revelation 7:1-17).

The use of the Greek verb nikaō or “overcome” provides a verbal link to the churches of Asia that are summoned by the Spirit to “overcome,” to the “brethren” who “overcame the Dragon,” and to the “Lamb” who “overcame” and sat on his Father’s Throne - (Revelation 2:7-113:215:5-6, 12:11).

Having “overcome” the “beast,” the followers of the “Lamb” now stand victorious in worship before Jesus, even as the “seven angels” prepare to unleash the final “wrath of God” on the “inhabitants of the earth,” the “kingdom of the Beast,” and the “Great Whore, Babylon.”



Comments

  1. I seriously love how much scripture you use! This is really a rarity nowadays. It seems that most people want to preach their own gospel.
    It would be nice if you would check my page as well.

    https://www.staybiblical.com

    Shalom brother.

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  2. Thanks, Jason. Things have changed since I became a believer over fifty years ago, and not always for the better. It is a strange thing when insisting on sticking to the Word - and its careful analysis - begins to feel like rebellion against popular preaching. I took a quick look at your site - Very well done - Keep up the good work. God is raising up men to teach His word, though often in unexpected and unseen places. - Blessings, David Maas.

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