Bible Pathways - Dec. 28, 2007
In Today's Reading:
The Lamb; messages of the three angels; harvest of the earth; preparation for the seven vials (bowls) of God's wrath
In the midst of world chaos as a prisoner on Patmos, John is led to report good news: I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's Name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts (living creatures), and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:1-4). The Lamb is the exalted Christ who once again will stand on Mount Zion. His sheep, whom Satan cannot deceive, are undefiled.
Here is the patience of the saints (Christians): here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, 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 (14:12-13).
The dead which die in the Lord can only mean those for whom Jesus prayed: They have kept Thy Word. . . . They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:6,16-17). Such believers willingly take up Jesus' cross of daily self-denial (Luke 9:23).
Now the heavenly chorus sings praise to God for His righteous judgment. They praise God because truth has won the battle against the deception and violence of the Devil. These visions in Revelation show that God is not indifferent to human suffering — to tyranny — to idolatry. Judgment of the unbelieving will come from Almighty God who also is the One who cares enough to send an angel to preach the Gospel unto them that dwell on the earth (Revelation 14:6). Unbelievers who do not have a change of heart choose to have nothing in common with the people in heaven, who proclaim, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God (Revelation 19:1).
14:5 no guile =b> no lie or deception; 15:7 vials =b> bowls or cups.
For Revelation 14:7: See Psalm 146:6. Revelation 14:8: See Isaiah 21:9. Revelation 14:10: See Jeremiah 25:15; 51:7. Revelation 14:20: See Joel 3:13. Revelation 15:1: See Leviticus 26:21. Revelation 15:4: Psalm 86:9; Isaiah 66:23; Jeremiah 10:7. Revelation 15:8: See I Kings 8:10-11.
Pray for Executive Director of the IBRA: Reverend Michael 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: United Arab Emirates (2 million) on the eastern Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and Farsi • Pressure and hostility against Christians are increasing • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for boldness in telling others about the Lord (Psalm 119:46).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 13:21