REVELATION 15Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 15:1-815:1 THE DOUBLE INCLUSIOTHE WRATH OF GODWHY WRATH?WRATH BRINGS SIN TO AN END15:2-4 THE SONG OF VICTORYWHAT IS FALSE WORSHIP?WHAT TRUE WORSHIP IS AND IS NOTWORSHIP LIKE THEY HAVE IN HEAVEN15:5 THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONYWHY EMPHASIZE THE LAW?15:5-8 THE CLOSE OF PROBATION


15:5 THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONY

And after that I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened” (Revelation 15:5). This verse refers to the Old Testament “tabernacle of the testimony[1] which was the original tabernacle set up by Moses. It was called the tabernacle of the testimony because it contained the “Ark of the Testimony”,[2] (the “ark of the covenant”)[3] which had the “testimony” inside. The testimony was the law of God on two tablets of stone, the Ten Commandments.[4] As we saw at the beginning of this chapter, this verse, which focuses on the law of God, is one end of the “inclusio” that highlights chapters 12-14. The other end is 11:19, “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in the temple,” again highlighting the ark with the Ten Commandments inside.

Thus both ends of the inclusio emphasize the law of God. Moreover, the chiastic structure shows that the three chapters highlighted by this inclusio are the climax of Revelation. Within the climax passage (chapters 12-14) God’s people are twice characterized as keepers of the law—“Here are those who keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 12:17, 14:12). The mark and the number of the beast were shown in chapter 13 to be integrally related to God’s law, specifically the Sabbath command, and the fourth commandment was quoted in Revelation 14:7. The Sabbath will be a major end-time issue, not because God is “picky” about a day, but because it is the “seal” in the midst of the law—it gives God’s name (“the Lord your God”), the extent of His dominion (the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them”) and the basis of His authority as the Creator and source of the law. The Book of Revelation ends with the promise, “Blessed are those that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22: 14).

This commentary has emphasized the law of God because of the obvious emphasis in the Book of Revelation. Most modern Christian books focus on faith, love and the grace of God, and this book has had much to say about those themes as well. But few modern books focus on the law or the wrath of God, and no doubt some readers have concluded that this book has a legalistic orientation. But an emphasis on the law of God is not necessarily legalistic.

Continue to next section: WHY EMPHASIZE THE LAW?



[1] See Exodus 38:21, Numbers 1:53, 10:11.

[2] Exodus 25:22, 26:33,34, 30:6, 26, et.al.

[3] Numbers 10:33, 14:44, 10:8, Deuteronomy 31:9, 25, 26 et. al.

[4] Exodus 25: 16, 21, 31: 18, 32: 15, 34: 29, 40: 20.