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Bible Pathways - Dec. 28, 2008


December 28

Revelation 14

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Worship of the Lamb standing on Mt. Zion (14:1,7). Second & third angels predict doom (14:8-12). The vision of the sickle reaping the ripe harvest on earth (14:14-20). Seven angels having the seven last plagues — seven vials (bowls) of judgments poured out (Chs. 15 & 16).

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who should be predominant in our churches' worship services. The angel having the everlasting Gospel (14:6) proclaimed: Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters (14:7). John records: I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth (from that moment on): 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 are 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). They are the ones who willingly take up Jesus' cross of daily self-denial (Luke 9:23). In striking contrast, our Lord drew aside the veil of the unseen world and revealed the horror of the inevitable, fiery torment that awaits those whose worship, adoration, and desires are upon worldly attainments — who live in rebellion against Christ and refuse to worship Him as God.

We may dislike the thoughts of hell and its torment — for ever and ever (Rev. 14:11) — but Christ explained very clearly the everlasting destiny of both the saved and the lost in His One Book. That Book He provided tells how to gain the most out of this life as well as telling about the heavenly rewards He has provided for all who love Him. In His earthly ministry, Jesus used the same word "everlasting" to explain the duration of the punishment of the lost — those who will be cast into everlasting fire (Matt. 18:8) — as He did to explain the duration of the blessings of the saved — those who will inherit everlasting life (19: 29; comp. 25:41-46 with Mark 3:29; Luke 18:29-30).

We dare not disregard what God has revealed. Eternal separation from God is the inevitable consequence of refusing to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. In contrast, there is a wonderful place beyond compare that is prepared for those who receive Christ as Savior and Lord (John 14:2).

There shall in no wise enter into it (new Jerusalem) any thing 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:

We don't like to hear words of judgment, but, if by hearing them we draw close to Jesus, as the old hymn says, "It will be worth it all."

Cross References:

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.

Word Studies:

14:5 no guile =b> no lie or deception; 15:7 vials =b> bowls or cups.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: 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: Sweden (8.09 million) in northern Europe • Major language: Swedish • Religious freedom • 90% Evangelical Lutheran; 1.5% Roman Catholic; 1% Pentecostal; 4% Muslim; 3.5% Other (Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist) • Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord and He will give you peace (Prov. 3:24-26).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:28

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