We may not fully understand every prophecy in the Bible, but what we can know fully is that we must be becoming people of character now.
[Darris McNeely] As I teach the book of Revelation, I am constantly amazed every year I take students through that book. About the specific concrete things that are said, the vague, ambiguous aspects of the book that are couched in symbolism or in a little bit of mystery, like numbers and images, where God holds certain things back and He doesn't always tell us everything, even though we'd like to know.What I find out, as I focus on certain things is, sometimes people, students, Bible teachers, they want answers and they want to figure everything out. Revelation is full of little traps where that happens.
There's one in Chapter 15 of the book of Revelation. And it begins with verse 1. Let me read it to you. John says, "I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them, the wrath of God is complete." This is the last set of seven plagues, like, seven last plagues of the book of Revelation. And then John says, "I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire." He's looking at an eternal vision at the throne of God and he says, "Those who have the victory over the beast, over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God." So he sees people standing on the sea of glass, which is before the throne of God. It's glass mingled with fire, which has certain symbolism in it as well. But these are those who have had the victory over the beast, the political ruler, identified earlier in Chapter 13, the mark of that beast that's talked about in Chapter 13, as well, and the number of his name, and these who have been martyred are standing on the sea. "And they sang a song," it says in verse 3, "the song of Moses, the servant of God, the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints, who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name, for You alone are holy, for all nations shall come and to worship you.'"
People wanna know, what is this scene about? Is it dead souls, dead saints, martyrs in heaven, having gone to heaven after death? The Bible clearly shows that the dead know nothing, that when we go to the grave, we await a resurrection. That the dead in Christ, the martyr for the faith of God, are those who are asleep in Christ, as Paul writes about in 1 Thessalonians 4, who will rise in the resurrection at the return of Christ.
So, who are these and what is it that is being said? And so sometimes people concoct, I've heard very interesting ideas about resurrections and saints going there, and then coming quickly back, and other aspects of the book of Revelation that try and tie it all together, most of which don't really hold up to the scrutiny of all of the Scriptures.
Here's one thing I can tell you with certainty that this passage does tell us. And I think that it is probably one of the most important keys that you and I should take away from it without trying to get into vain and empty speculation about Scripture is this, that when events connected with the beast, the mark of the beast, the time at the very end of this age before Christ returns, spoken of in the book of Revelation, when that time takes place, there will be martyrs. There will be those who will have to contend for their faith and they must be strong. And they must be able, in a sense, to sing this type of song that these martyrs sing, praising God, standing for God, being faithful to truth. That's what we have to do now. You and I, those who know God's truth, those who understand the testimony of Jesus Christ, those who are looking for these events to come come to pass by living a life of faith now in the flesh, whatever God has in mind with this scenario, we'll know when it takes place and we'll certainly be able to look back on it afterwards and understand that.
But one thing it is telling us, it is that we are to remain firm in the truth, steadfast in faith to God now, in this time, to be able to survive deception, the time of the beast and his mark, and all that that will entail when these events do come to pass. It's a little bit harder to focus on that and make it a part of our life now. Sometimes we wanna get off into other ideas and speculation that aren't quite as profitable. But what it does teach us is very firm and very fast. Now, when you're alive.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.