Highlights In Today's Reading:
The people of God sing a new song at the throne (14:1-5; Ps. 96:1; 98:1; 149:1; Is. 42:10). A special offering of firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (Rev. 14:4). What to preach and to whom (14:6-7). The wrath of God (14:9-20; 15:1,5-8; 16:1-21). Victory over evil (15:2-4). Be alert, faithful, watchful, and ready (16:15).
The beast (14:9) is symbolic of all that is opposed to God. This beast is worshiped through the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). These lusts dominate the lives of the worldly-minded. Our Lord drew aside the veil of the unseen world and revealed the inevitable, fiery torment that awaits those whose worship, adoration, and desires are upon worldly attainments, or persons, or objects, or anything other than God. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone . . . And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night (Rev. 14:9-11).
We may dislike the thoughts of hell and its torment with fire — for ever and ever. But Christ, who is holy, just, and righteous, explained very clearly the everlasting destiny of both the saved and the lost. In His earthly ministry, Jesus used the word everlasting to explain the duration of the punishment of the lost — those who will be cast into everlasting fire (Matt. 18:8) — as much as He did to explain the duration of the blessings of the saved — those who will inherit everlasting life (19:29; 25:41-46; Mark 3:29; Luke 18:29-30).
God, who will have all men to be saved (I Tim. 2:4) sent Jesus for that purpose, but we must receive the gift of God (Eph. 2:9). Eternal separation from God is the most horrible of the inevitable consequences of refusing to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. In contrast, there is a place, wonderful beyond compare, that is prepared for those who received Christ as Savior and Lord: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be . . . their God (Rev. 21:3,21-27).
There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).
Thought for Today:
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Rev. 14:13).
For Rev. 14:7: See Ps. 146:6. Rev. 14:8: See Is. 21:9. Rev. 14:10: See Jer. 25:15; 51:7. Rev. 14:15: See Joel 3:13. Rev. 14:20: See Is. 63:3. Rev. 15:1: See Lev. 26:21. Rev. 15:4: Ps. 86:9; Is. 66:23; Jer. 10:7. Rev. 15:8: See I Kin. 8:10-11.
14:5 no guile =no lie or deception; 15:7 vials =owls or cups.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Phillip Stout • Executive Director & Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael & Terry Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Spencer Bachus (AL), Gov. Mike Beebe (AR), Sen. John Isakson (GA), Sen. Tim Johnson (SD), and Rep. Jim McDermott (WA) • Country: Samoa (190,000) in the South Pacific • Major languages: Samoan and English • Religious freedom • 68% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Baha'i; 1.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in prayer, turn from your sinful ways, and God will have mercy and pardon for you (Is. 55:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 28:20