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Exploring Revelation
9396
“Revelation 15:2”
by Art Sadlier   
February 14th, 2010

Triumph over Tragedy

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire", John doesn't say the sea was glass, but "as it were".  Earlier in chapter 4:6 John describes it, "a sea of glass like unto crystal". But here what John sees is glass, "mingled with fire".

"Fire" speaks of judgment!  Hebrews 2:19 says, "For our God is a consuming fire". A righteous judgment is about to fall upon the whole earth! Paul refers to this same event in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengence on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." That is Armageddon at Christ's coming.

Notice, "Standing on a sea of glass", John saw people in heaven standing on a sea of glass. Notice who they were! "Them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name". These are the tribulation saints who have been martyred and now appear in heaven.  They have refused to worship the beast; they have refused to take his name; they have refused to conform; they have laid down their lives.

From the earth's perspective the beast has triumphed over them, they have been destroyed.

From heaven's perspective, "they had gotten the victory". What a contrast!  How we need to constantly have heaven's perspective. God graciously peels back the curtains of heaven and we see them before the throne of God. We see men on earth worshipping the beast - we see men in heaven worshipping God.

Notice their occupation. "Having the harps of God", do you like good music? Just wait.  We see who the real winners are!  Encourage your hearts, God's people are on the winning side!  Paul said, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain"

Where does this idea of the sea come from? It comes from the Tabernacle. The Brazen Altar inside the gate of the Tabernacle was the place where sin was judged as the Lamb was slain and burned on the Altar. It is pictures salvation.

The Brazen Laver or Sea, next to the Altar, was the place where the Priests washed before they went into God's presence to serve Him. Practically we do sin and need cleansing, that is our experience as believers all of our lives. We need this cleansing in order to have fellowship with God. We have a great high priest who ever lives to make intercession for us.

Here in our text we see these believers in heaven, they no longer sin, they need no cleansing. They are now in a permanent, confirmed state of righteousness, instead of washing in the Sea  (the water) they are standing in a fixed state of righteousness. The sea (the water) is now a sea of glass. What a grand and glorious prospect, someday sin will be gone forever. The thing that so deeply grieves us now will be no more forever, thanks to our wonderful Savior!

We are overwhelmed by the contrast of the fate of the believer as compared with the fate of the men of this world who have their portion in this life and then go to hell to suffer torments forever. The believers fate is to spend eternity in a fixed state of righteousness that enables him to stand in the presence of God forever and enjoy the glories and wonders of his heavenly home.

Paul said, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory".  That is to be our perspective!

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