The Martyred Remnant

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
We hear the conquerors over the beast celebrating their victory in Revelation 15. They are like Israel on the banks of the Red Sea, in Exodus 15. They stand on the sea, like the others, in triumph. I judge, however, that in the celebration of their conquest, we learn how it was they conquered. Just as in the song of Israel, Moses and the congregation rehearse not only the fact of victory, but the character of it. They sing of the horse and his rider being thrown into the sea. They publish God as a man of war, who had cast His enemies like lead into the mighty waters. They declare how the depths had covered the foe. Thus the song of triumph publishes the story, as well as the mere fact Of the victory of the Red Sea. Israel had not fought—the battle was all the Lord's, and so the song declares. I believe, in like manner, the song in Revelation 15 lets us know what had been the strength and the weapons in that fiery fight which had now ended in victory, and was celebrating in heaven as the sea of glass.
All the world had "wondered" after the beast, and worshiped him. (See chap. 13.) His power appeared to be so great, his history so marvelous, that all the world bowed down to him, except, I may say, this martyred remnant, who refused his worship, and had to pay their lives as the price of their fidelity to the Lord. But the song utters the strength and weapons they had used in that glorious warfare, and it was this: They were admiring and worshiping the Lord God, while the world around them were admiring and worshiping the beast. The world was wondering at the greatness of the beast, and the marvelousness of his history; they were standing only in holy adoring wonder at the Lord God Almighty, the God of glory, and the greatness and marvelousness of His works. For so they now give utterance to the contents of their hearts (Rev. 15:33And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Revelation 15:3)). And again, while the world was fearing the beast, or him who would kill the body (see again chap. 13), they feared Him whose judgments they knew were coming. They lived in the faith of the angel's voice which had sounded in their ears. (Compare chap. 14:7 with chap. 15:4.)
Thus, this fine but short song tells of the manner of the victory, as that on the Red Sea had done. Only the battle on the Red Sea had been fought entirely by the Lord alone for Israel. The battle with the beast had been fought by and in His martyr host, in the strength of the Holy Ghost, who put these weapons into their hands, and enabled them to use them.
These notices of coming days, beloved, have a voice for present days. We are to be warned by the character of the defeat of the whole world, and encouraged by the victory of the martyr band. The whole world is overcome into a shameless worship of the beast, through admiration and wonder at the greatness and strangeness of his ways and doings.
Does not this tell us to take care how we now follow the multitude in their idolatrous admiration of all the wonderful doings of the present generation? I am sure it does.
And what is my security? To grow IN ADMIRATION OF JESUS! To stand before the Lord in the spirit of my mind and say, "Great and marvelous are Thy works." And when these things begin to come to pass—when wonder at man's great and strange achievements is becoming the character of the day... I am to know that things are ripening, and the judgment of the Lord will ere long be made manifest!