Song of the Lamb

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

The fifteenth chapter introduces the seven angels who were poised to pour out the contents of the “seven bowls of wrath.” Before they did so, John saw the “overcoming” saints standing on the “sea of glass mingled with fire,” where they “sang the song of Moses and of the Lamb.” They had successfully overcome the “beast and its number.”

The first paragraph of the chapter is transitional. It introduces the “seven bowls of wrath” and concludes the present literary section about the “war in heaven.” Structurally, the chapter parallels the “seventh seal with its transition to the series of “seven trumpets.” The “seventh seal” introduced the angels who were holding 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, which resulted in “claps of thunder, loud voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.” Likewise, in chapter 15, before the seven angels were dispatched to unleash the “bowls of wrath,” the “overcoming” saints sang 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 were redeemed from the earth praised God for His “just and true ways.” This was in preparation for the “seven bowls of wrath” that completed His “wrath” - (Revelation 16:17-21).

THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. Like the “seven trumpets,” the series of “seven bowls” uses language from the ten plagues of Egypt to describe 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, and not necessarily their chronological order. Collectively, they are the “last plagues” - They complete the righteous judgments of God, therefore, they are the “last ones.”

THE 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 loving kindness; 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 victorious saints “standing” before the “Lamb” and the Throne, and the image of the priestly company “standing” with Jesus on “Mount Zion.” Unlike the “inhabitants of the earth,” this group is well able to “stand” on the “day of the wrath of the Lamb and the one who sits on the Throne,” for they have not rendered homage to the “image of the beast” or taken it “number” – (Revelation 6:17, 7:9-17, 14:1-4).

In the Hebrew Bible, the “sea” was the abode of “beasts” and “Leviathan,” and the latter often represented 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 ascended,” and 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 - (Revelation 8:7-8, 9:17-18, 13:114:7).

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.” This group is identical to the 144,000 undefiled males seen previously “standing on Mount Zion” - (Revelation 14:1-4).

In both chapters 14 and 15 the victorious saints had “harps” and “sang” the song of the “Lamb.” The group from “Mount Zion” now stands on the “glassy sea,” having traversed to the other “side.”  It 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 the group 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 were summoned by Jesus 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.”



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