Revelation 14-15

Revelation 14 


1. “Then I looked and there  before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.”   The Lamb is obviously the Lord Jesus. Mount Zion is a common reference to Jerusalem. It was first referred to as Zion in 2 Samuel 5, when David captured the fortress of Zion from the Jebusites. The name became a synonym for Jerusalem.  When does this event occur in the time table of the Tribulation? Remember, in Chapter 11- the seventh trumpet is sounded which will bring forth the last judgments – the 7 bowls of wrath. Then beginning with chapters 12-15- we have an interlude, a parenthetic pause as John relates some other events. This vision John relates to us takes place toward the end. We will get back to real time in chapter 15 & 16, for now what we have is a preview of things to come.   We saw the sealing of the 144,000 Jews back in Chapter 7.  They received the seal of God on their foreheads.  Here we see all the 144,000 have made it through. The Shepherd did not lose a single one of his sheep. These 144,000 will be the most hunted men on earth by the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation. So hunted will this group be, that they will have to depend upon converts during the tribulation to supply their everyday needs.(Re: The Hiding Place & Schiller’s List). They will need food and clothing and shelter for they have not received the mark of the beast and will therefore be unable to buy or sell.  When Christ comes to earth to judge people as we read in Matthew 25, He will judge people on the basis of their treatment of these 144,000. Only believers would risk their lives to help these evangelists. {“ I tell you the truth, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”}
Verse2 &3: “ And I heard a sound from heaven like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.” Are these 144,000 on earth or in heaven? They are on earth, but their song is heard in heaven.   Listen to the words of Psalm 100: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His Name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; and His faithfulness continues through all generations.”  As the 144,000 praise the Lord with a song of deliverance only they could sing- the praises and worship and thanksgiving come before Him in heaven. And heaven provides the back-up music. It is like a duet – with the 144,000 providing the words to a song only they can sing because of their unique experience that is accompanied in heaven by harpists. This is a true picture of worship.  Each of us has a song of deliverance that is uniquely ours. It is our testimony- “ This is my story, this is my song..”. The main thing is to make sure you have a testimony. (my testimony)
Verse 4&5:  These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure (virgins). They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb. No lie( guile) was found in their  mouths; they are blameless.”  Virgins?  Literal or spiritual- not sure- could be both. This could refer to spiritual adultery/fornication or literal-physical adultery/fornication or both. During the great tribulation, remember the restrainer of evil, the Holy Spirit, has been taken out of the way. One of the great sins of the Tribulation will be sexual immorality…anything sexual goes. These who are redeemed would refrain from sexual impurity. Also to worship other gods is called spiritual adultery and these will have resisted the taking of the mark of the beast. But to be practical- this great time of tribulation will not be a time of marrying and starting a family. God once before forbade the people of Israel to marry during the time of the Babylonian captivity. Read in Jeremiah 16. Also the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24 said of this time of Great Tribulation- “ Woe unto them that are with child and nursing children in those days.”

We are also told they are blameless, without fault before the throne of God. They are without blemish, just as all saved are without blemish, having been washed in the blood of the Lamb, clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  In many ways, we can look at the story of those 144,000 sealed by the Lord and relate to our own salvation experience. We have been sealed and we can rest assured that the “ One who has begun a good work will complete it.”  You and I can sing praises unto Him with our own song of redemption.
Now in the remaining verses of Chapter 14- we will be given an overview of what will occur with the details coming in the following chapters.


Verses 6&7: “ Then I saw another angel flying in the mid air and he had the eternal (everlasting) gospel to proclaim to those who live on earth- to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, Fear God and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
In January of this year, I was at Disney in Orlando for our national sales meeting. I arrived on Saturday afternoon for some meetings for our event that would begin on Sunday evening with a welcome reception. As I was sitting outside on Sunday morning enjoying the weather, when a sky writing plane began writing in the sky for all in the area to see.  The message he wrote in clear white letters against a cloudless blue sky:  God Loves U.  I immediately thought of the verses in Psalm 19. “ The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His Hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. The voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the earth.”  I have always believed those verses to refer to creation and how man knew instinctively there was a Creator. In Romans 1, we read: Since what may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  In other words, an atheists is not only a fool because he says there is no God- he/she is also a liar, because they know in their conscience there is one through creation which God has made plain to them— clearly seen.
But I have also thought- why doesn’t God just speak plainly from heaven and reveal Himself to the whole world and we see that is just what He does in the end times. Ever since the Lord Jesus came, God has entrusted the message of the everlasting gospel to redeemed mankind. During the Great Tribulation, God will use 144,000 sealed Jews as evangelists plus the two witnesses with supernatural power. Then finally God will send angels to proclaim the message to the whole world- so that no one on the face of the earth can stand before the Great White Throne and say I never heard about this gospel. They will be without excuse…their mouths will be shut.   Every atheists, every non-believing scientists and intellect, the Hollywood crowd, the rich, powerful and great and small will have no excuse. Like the message the sky writer wrote for thousands to see on a Sunday morning in Orlando, the love of God is once again evident. He is not willing that any should perish, but all would come to repentance.  What a phenomenon- an angel preaching the gospel to the whole world in every tongue. Take note of their message – Fear God and give Him Glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship Him who has made the heavens and the earth, the sea and the springs of water. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The atheists, evolutionists and intellects will have a lot of explaining to do…they can’t explain it.  It will be the  LAST CALL.
Following this first angel with the message of the everlasting gospel comes a second angel with a message that will proclaim:   Fallen- Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.  Don’t get confused- we will see there are two Babylons – both of which are symbolical. Both of which will fall. We will read about their destruction in Revelation 17 & 18. One Babylon refers to a false religious system, the other refers to the center of the world government. ( Just as we often refer to the city of Washington to also mean the government.) We will read how God puts into the heart of the beast to destroy the false religious system so that he is the center of everything- one world government and one world religion- of which he, the Anti Christ is head.   What we are receiving here is an overview of what is going to happen with the details to be coming in the remaining chapters.
Then comes the third angel. Three strikes and you’re out. The third angel proclaims in a loud voice the coming judgment on those who receive the mark of the beast. “ If anyone worships the beast and his image and received the mark on his forehead or hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s wrath, which has been poured full strength into his cup of wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of torment rises forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”  IF—what a huge word. If Only I had listened…If any man has ears let him hear.    There is no neutral position. You are either for or against. Hell is a real place. Death is not the end of things…it is the end of the beginning of temporary life (where you had an opportunity to listen to God and follow Him)  and the beginning of eternal life that will be spent in one of two places- heaven or hell. You will spend eternity in one of these two places based on how you have responded to the offering of God. He has sent His son to die for our sins- taking away not only our sins but receiving the punishment of them in our place. He drank the cup of Gods’ wrath and so you and I would not have to drink the wine of God’s fury. Those who refuse to drink the cup of living water will drink the maddening wine of her adulteries. And in the end all who have not received the Lord as Savior, who have not been cleansed from their sins by the blood of the Lamb and received His righteousness- they will not go to a grave to remember nothing or experience nothing.  They will have no rest day or night- they will be tormented day and night. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a righteously angry God.  Hell is a place of memories, torment, fire, thirst and suffering. (Luke 16)

In these remaining verses we read of two harvests. Let’s look at the first harvest:

“ I looked and there was before me a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.”(vs.14)

Who is this?  The white cloud is a mark of identification.  In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us of the signs of his second coming.  “ And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory.” The sharp sickle speaks of judgment.
Then John tells us another angel came out of the temple  and called in a loud voice to the Lord Jesus to take his sickle and reap because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe. So He who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth and the earth was harvested.  This is the first harvest. This speaks of a harvest of the earth which would be the terminology for a harvest of wheat. Remember the parable of the wheat and the tares? (Matthew 13) The one who sowed the good seed is the son of man. The one who sowed the tares in the field while everyone was sleeping was the enemy. The Lord of the Harvest instructs his servants to let them both grow until the harvest where he will separate the wheat from the tares. In explaining the parable, Jesus tells his disciples: the one who sowed the good seed  is the Son of Man. The field is the world; and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom( saved). The tares (weeds) are the sons of the evil one and the enemy who sowed the tares is the devil. The harvest is at the end of time and the harvesters are the angels.
The second harvest is described in verses 17-20.  We see not only the sharp sickle but also fire which speaks of judgment. This harvest is of the earth’s  vine- these are the fruits of the sinful  nature- described in Galatians as : sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. These are warned they will not inherit the kingdom of God. These are gathered and  thrown into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city of Jerusalem.  The blood flowed as high as a horse’s bridle ( approx. 4 feet) for a distance of 185 miles.  We will read about this great battle in more detail later. This is again a preview of the last days and the harvest that comes at the end of the age.
When the Lord appears in the clouds with the sickle. The age of grace is officially over. It has ended at that point. All who have not believed in the Lord Jesus- their fates are now sealed forever.  It is a sad day, the saddest day in history.
How can one be ready and avoid this second harvest? You must be prepared- you must be ready. You cannot procrastinate- less you risk going past the point of no return. Look at Matthew 25- which speaks of the coming of the Lord in a parable of the ten virgins- some of who were prepared and some who were not.
The Midnight Cry- when the angel cries out with a loud voice “ the time is come to reap”- it will be too late.

The coming of the Lord will be a happy event for the prepared believer.

Last minute preparation is now impossible- no escape.

Key to preparation is the oil- speaks of the Holy Spirit.

This oil cannot be borrowed.

The door will be shut forever.

Just as God instructed Noah to build an ark. Noah when warned by God about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. And when you read the account of Noah, you will see that it is God Himself who closes the door of the ark, the only means of escape.
Look what God has done for us:  He gave us physical life- it is God who has created us and not we ourselves. He created us to have a personal relationship with Him and experience His love and goodness.  He created the heavens and the earth and the seas and everything in it and on it- both visible and invisible. All was created by Him and for Him…and all of it is held together by Him. Every beat of your heart is a gift from Him.
When mankind sinned- and God knew man would. God had already prepared a plan of salvation. Like the watchmaker who knew that a watch would quit- he devised and built into the watch a way to re-set the watch- so did God create a plan to reset us and make us right with Him.
People rejected Jesus. People have rejected the everlasting gospel from Christians as we sowed the seed, the word of God. In the tribulation they will have rejected the message of the gospel from the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, the two witnesses who were empowered to do miracles were killed and then were resurrected and ascended into heaven…then finally they have rejected the message of the everlasting gospel from an angel flying midair proclaiming the gospel to the whole world.
The Lord Jesus was and is our ark who protects us from the coming flood of God’s wrath and judgment. The time will come as we read here in Revelation when the door will be shut- the day of grace will be over.
Listen to these verses in Hebrews 2:  “ We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape such a great salvation?”
“The salvation which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.”
For it is by grace through faith that you are saved and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God lest any man should boast.


Revelation 15
One thing to notice about Scripture- remember the Holy Spirit is the author of scripture and our guide and teacher of truth. One of the methods that is a signature trait of the Holy Spirit is to give you a general overview and then retrace the same events with added detail.

For example:  Genesis 1 & 2 – In the first chapter of Genesis, the Holy Spirit gives an account of the creation, day by day in broad strokes. Then in Chapter 2 of Genesis the Holy Spirit goes over the creation of man in more detail. This is known in scripture as the Law of Recapitulation. In Exodus, we have the giving of the 10 commandments, in Deuteronomy we have further detail and interpretation. In the New Testament  we don’t have just one account of the Gospel and Jesus’ ministry, we have four.
Think of it this way- a wedding can have photographs that record highlights in still pictures- a video can show and tell the details that go beyond the photographs.
This is what we have here again in Chapter 15 & 16- they go together because they describe two aspects of the same set of events- the seven bowls of wrath being poured out. Chapter 15 is the shortest chapter in Revelation- it is the preparing to pour out the bowls as we observe the event from a heavenly perspective.
Verse 1: I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues- last,  because with them God’s wrath is completed. ( it is finished.)   When Jesus cried from the cross- ‘ it is finished.’ He was declaring the debt of man’s sin against God was finished. Here we see what happens to those who have rejected Christ’s finished work on their behalf will discover that God’s patience and long suffering is finished. These seven bowls that bring forth seven plagues are universal- not just a fraction of the world will be impacted- the whole world will be impacted.  Jesus died for the sins of the world- so now the world that did not accept His finished work – will receive the seven bowls of wrath- horrible plagues that are universal and will end the world as we know it. It could be that this great and marvelous sign in heaven is actually a sign that can be seen on earth, just as the wise men saw the star of Bethlehem, a sign in the heaven announcing the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Verse 2-3:  And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and standing beside the sea those who had been victorious over the beast and the image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb;
Remember the Church, the true believers have been raptured. In the Tribulation, God is accomplishing two things: His long awaited judgment of evil and its utter defeat; and He is dealing with the nation of Israel and fulfilling His promises to Israel.  I believe that is why there is so much similarity in the 7 plagues that come from the final 7 bowls in destroying  satan and the beast during the Great Tribulation and how God dealt with Egypt and the Pharoah with the plagues that would free the Israelites from captivity.

These verses are identifying the saints during the Tribulation who were victorious over the beast and refused to take his number.  The song they sang referred to here as the song of Moses is a reference to the song Moses and the Israelites sang after God delivered them from Egypt and drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. They sang of the mighty power of their God who hurled the rider and his horse into the sea. This was the climax following 10 devastating plagues that God poured out on Egypt that were similar in content to the seven plagues from the seven bowls.
Let’s take a look at the song in Exodus 15 and see what Moses and his sister Miriam sang about:

  1. We see the enemy’s evil intent – vs. 9.
  2. We see the Lord’s magnificent faithfulness- vs. 11.
  3. We see the devastating consequences of his judgment- hurled into the sea, God destroyed them with the breath of his nostril


Now John describes the heavenly scene in verse 5-8:
“After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is the Tabernacle of the Testimony was opened. Out of the temple came 7 angels with 7 plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests ( the uniform of the temple priests.)  Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God who lives forever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues and the seven angels were completed.”
Is there a temple, a Tabernacle in heaven?  Yes, based on scripture- we see in Exodus 25, when God was directing Moses and the Israelites how to construct the tabernacle and what would go in it, we read “ And look that thou make them after their pattern which was showed thee in the mount.”  And also in Hebrews 8 & 9 _ “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘see to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Now prior to today’s lesson- I had considered bringing a message of the cross for Easter Sunday.  But the cross is found in many places in the scripture.  And as I prepared this lesson- I saw the message of the cross and what it had accomplished and what is saves mankind from.
We saw earlier in Revelation 11 what was in the temple of God in heaven.  In Revelation 11: 19—“ and then the temple of God in heaven was open and there was seen the ark of his testament..”
Here John describes the Temple as the ‘tabernacle of testimony-( witness.)’ The Tabernacle and later the temple was both a witness TO man and AGAINST man. It was a witness to man- because it told man of the only way you could approach God. It witnessed against man in that man was unworthy to come into the presence of a Holy God on his own merit- there is only one way you can come to God. No man comes to the Father except by me. He alone is the way.
So in the end- we once again see the message of the cross, redemption, sacrifice and the way God has made for mankind to be saved – but also what will happen to those who do not accept God’s sacrifice.

“ Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.
This is God speaking to Moses. He instructs Moses to make this tabernacle after a pattern He will show Moses.  God tells Moses: “ There I will meet with thee, and commune with thee.” The Meeting Place. The meeting place of God and man. It was called both a sanctuary and a tabernacle- two words to describe the uniqueness of this place.
A sanctuary carries the meaning of a holy place, a sanctified place.

Tabernacle comes from a Hebrew word meaning residency, an abode, a dwelling place.
God has always wanted to dwell among His people. In the Garden of Eden before the fall, God used to come each day in the cool of the evening to walk and talk with Adam and Eve.
Do you know why you and I exist?  We exist because God willed for us to exist. In Revelation 4: 11 we read what the 24 elders who represent the raptured church said as they bowed down and laid down their crowns: “ You are worthy O Lord to receive honor and glory and power for You have created all things and for your pleasure they are and were created. Colossian 1 in speaking of the Lord Jesus tells us all things were created by Him and for Him.
When you read the creation account in Genesis we see all things were created by God for us to enjoy. And mankind was God’s chief creation. We were created for His pleasure and glory. He did not create us because He needed us…He created us because He wanted us. We are what He values most.. we are what He treasures. And where your treasure is – your heart will be also.
Look at Adam and Eve’s life- no need, no sickness, no hunger, no danger, no bills, no worries, ( of course they had no kids at the time.)  How could they have messed up so bad? They were deceived. They believed a lie. They did not believe the Word of God. Ever since they were deceived and fell- man has been born with a heart that is deceitful and wicked above all things.

That is why God asked us to give Him our whole hearts. He in turn will give  us a new heart, a heart where He can dwell, it will be our meeting place, a sanctuary, a holy place which will also be His tabernacle, His Home, His Dwelling place.
That is what the Cross is about- THIS IS THE STORY OF EASTER-  the cross made a way for a Holy God to reconcile a sinful, deceived mankind and create in us a clean heart where He may take up residence. It will be both a residence, a dwelling place and a sanctuary, a holy place where we can meet and fellowship. There He will walk with me and talk with me and tell that I am His own.
It is in Revelation, that He ‘reveals’ what happens to those who do not accept God’s offer to give them a new heart, a heart that can be His Dwelling Place. Those who refuse the offer – who choose not to have God come live in there hearts on earth- will find they will not live with Him in eternity.
In the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah, listen to Abraham’s response to Isaac’s question-‘where is the lamb for the offering?’- to which Abraham replies-“God Himself will provide lamb, a sacrifice.” And they looked up and there was a ram whose horn was caught in the thicket in the thorns. Centuries later- God would send His Son, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And on that very same mountain the Lamb of God would have His Head wrapped in a crown of thorns and laid on an altar in the shape of an old rugged cross in order to secure the  blessings of God for you and me.
God did not simply provide a sacrifice for us- but instead of us. That is the Good News- that is the Gospel. That is the story of the Cross and Easter.
When you read about the instructions of the building of the original tabernacle in the wilderness in Exodus 25-31, it is interesting to note that the first piece of furniture God instructed Moses to build was the ark of the covenant. The most holy piece of furniture overlaid with gold on the top with two angels was built after a pattern in heaven. The very throne of God, the mercy seat. And the seat of all mercy is in the heart of Holy God.  So the story of redemption told by the construction of the tabernacle begins where the story of redemption begins- in the heart of God. God then shows how sinful man can reach that meeting place- that sanctuary of God . There is only one way and that is what the tabernacle tells us- it tells us the story of Redemption.
Now turn to Hebrews 9: verses1-8 tell you of what was in the Tabernacle- the articles, the furniture and what they clearly stood for. Keep in mind all of this was built after a pattern in heaven. Hebrews 9 is kind of Cliff notes of Exodus 25-31.

The earthly tabernacle was a portable building, a tent made of cloth and skins and carried from place to place by the Jews during their forty years in the wilderness and used in their first years in the Promised Land. Later Solomon would build a temple using the exact floor plan of the tabernacle but with more opulent materials.
There was only one gate in the fence that surrounded the tabernacle. Squarely in front of the gate, inside the fence was a brazen altar of sacrifice. This showed man there was only one way to God and that was thru the shed blood of an innocent sacrifice which would bear the guilt and death-penalty of the person making the sacrifice. Jesus said enter in at the narrow gate.
There was only one light inside the tabernacle- the menorah, the candelabra of God’s design. It was by this light that all divine services of the priest were performed. In other words they worshipped by the light God had given them. The single light taught that only God could provide true illumination for the understanding of divine truths and divine worship. Jesus told the woman at the well you must worship God in spirit and in truth.   That is why the Lord Jesus is called the light of the world. He is the way , the truth and the light.  He is also called the Lamb of God who takes away the sin.  He who was innocent was made sin for our sakes.  God had told Abraham – that He would provide a lamb- and so He kept His promise on the Cross of Calvary.
There was an altar of incense on which the priests were to continually burn incense. The incense represented the prayers of the people- it’s  aroma filled the area as a picture of our prayers continually coming up to God.
But the greatest witness of the tabernacle was on the Day of Atonement. On that one special day of the year the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of a spotless  lamb. A lamb without fault.  Pilate said of Jesus before Jesus was sacrificed on the altar of the cross – I find no fault in this man.  The lamb had been inspected and was found flawless.
Before entering the Holy of Holies, the high priest would take a censer of incense and thrust it through the heavy veil that separated it from the Holy Place. That veil was torn from the top down on the Day of Calvary showing the way was opened for man to come into the presence of Holy God with our own prayers in the name of His Son our High Priest.
When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies- which was the holiest place in all of Israel, in front of him would be the ark of the covenant. It was a  chest of acacia wood overlaid with gold. On each side of the ark were two golden angels standing upon the lid facing each other and looking down at the ark. When they entered the tomb of Jesus do you remember what was there? Two angels looking down at the empty place where his body had lain.
In the Holy of Holies on this day of atonement the multicolored light, a phenomenon known as the Shekinah Glory of God would appear as a manifestation of God’s  presence on earth.  The day the Lord died, the earth shook and the light was gone as the Roman soldier confessed- surely this is the son of God.  On top of the ark and beneath the light was a golden throne which was called the Mercy Seat. It was there the high priest sprinkled the blood of the lamb to obtain mercy for the people each year.
Inside the ark of the covenant were the following items:  the ten commandments- the law of God; (which man could not and cannot keep)- the pot of manna- God’s provision of daily bread in the wilderness- a testimony that our God shall provide all our needs, including our greatest which is the forgiveness of sins and a new nature; and also Aaron’s staff which sprouted leaves-which represented God’s chosen leadership.
But all have sinned- that is rejected God’s law; have gone their own way- that is decided they could provide for themselves – and rejected God’s chosen leadership.
All of this was to point the way to the Lamb of God, our True High Priest who would take away the sin of the world.
In Hebrews 9  we will see as it makes clear that rituals and symbols of the earthly tabernacle and temple worship were all designed to portray things that would have their ultimate fulfillment in Heaven’s Temple.  When we read the scripture we look for evidence of what is important to God by the amount of time He spends explaining or telling us about it.  For example:  God only used five words to explain the creation of stars: He made the stars also.  He covers the creation of earth and all that is in it in one chapter.  Yet- God spends over 40 chapters giving detailed instructions how to construct the tabernacle and the articles of worship. Why is this so important to God?  Because the tabernacle is all about redemption- and the Redeemer, the Son of God, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Which is what we celebrate today- the Power of the Cross.  Resurrection is simply God’s validation that He has accepted the sacrifice of His Son’s life, his shed blood for our sins.  And because He is alive- my sins are forgiven- cancelled, marked paid in full.
Remember in the beginning of His ministry- the Lord said he did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it – every jot and tittle.
Hebrews 9: 11-15; 23-28 tell us the story of the Cross. And the Power of the Cross.
Verse 11 states : When Christ came as High Priest- Christ means the Anointed One, the Promised One, the Messiah.  He is both our High Priest and sacrifice in that He carried His blood into the presence of God where it was sprinkled on the throne of the mercy seat of God for the forgiveness.  Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.   So the Lord Jesus is both our High Priest and the Lamb of God whose shed blood more precious than gold has redeemed or paid for our sins. An innocent sacrifice.

In verse 14- we read the blood cleanses our conscience.

In verse 15- we read for this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant. “Then He took the cup and gave thanks and offered it to them saying, Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” If you do not drink from this cup in this life- you will drink from the cup of God’s wrath.
After his death, we read in verse 24-27- that the Lord entered into the presence of God as our High Priest who brought his own blood the blood of the lamb as once for all.   That is the power of the Cross.
His death provides eternal redemption.. That is the power of the cross.
His death fulfilled the first covenant’s demand every jot and tittle and enabled us to become new creatures- with new natures that are compatible with a Holy God, because of His shed blood.
Resurrection- simply validated that God had accepted this sacrifice. That it truly was finished. Mankind’s debt paid in full.
What John is describing here is the place in heaven that has been a place of mercy a witness to man of what God has provided becomes a witness against man and the throne of mercy becomes a throne of judgment.
So on this Easter- my song and your song should be : I serve a Risen Savior- He’s in the world today. You asked me how I know He lives- He lives within my heart.



Copyright © 2010 Linda Benthal
Last modified: 08/12/14