THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (7)

This is the final article in the series of THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION. I pray it has been a blessing and encouragement for all to read the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Most of all I pray that Jesus has been exalted above all in your hearts. It is quite clear to me that the Revelation and all of Scritpure is about Jesus our Lord and Savior.

THE HAPPY CLEANSED

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14 (KJV).

The one’s “Whose robes are washed” are the one’s who keep the commandments and are given way to the “Tree of life”, and are also free to enter “The gates into the city”.

We have come to the concluding Beatitude of the Revelation. In chapter 1:3 we see THE HAPPY READER; in 14:13 THE HAPPY DEAD; 16:15 THE HAPPY WATCHER; in chapter 19:6-10 the fourth Beatitude we see THE HAPPY FEASTERS; in the fifth and chapter 20:6 we see THE HAPPY VICTORS; and in chapter 22:7 we see THE HAPPY KEEPERS. What an encouragement to have these seven happy phrases throughout the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is words of hope and peace for all who are in Christ Jesus. Words which say to us, “You have nothing to fear. Be Happy”. What a blessing.

To be clean is the desire of many – maybe by all – people. Pilate futilely washed his hands to be cleansed of the blood of Jesus. Many try to physically shower or bathe to remove the dirt and filth of evil deeds, but without success.
There are people who walk around carrying a heavy load of guilt. To be cleansed of guilt is an endeavor many find difficult. To have your heart and mind cleansed of all guilt would truly be a glorious event. Many would love to start their lives over with a clean slate. Their lives ruined by deeds done, and how they long for cleansing from their past wrongs.
We know by comparing scripture with scripture; by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”, that no one is saved – no one finds cleansing – by keeping commandments. Those who are knowledgable in the Greek say this should read, “Blessed are they who have washed their robes”. I have no problem with that because only those who have washed their robes in the “Blood of the Lamb” can do His commandments.
This work was done on the cross. God put our sins upon His Son, and He puts His Son’s righteousness upon all who will receive it. There is no greater peace of mind than knowing we are clean in God’s sight, because of the blood of Jesus. No wonder John called them “Blessed” or “Happy”.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29 (KJV). THEY ARE WASHED AND DOING HIS COMMANDMENTS. John also wrote, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 (KJV).
When one comes to Jesus by faith in Him and His finished work of grace on the cross you experience the cleansing from all sin. It is not a cleansing just from one sin, the worst sin, the lesser sin; it is cleansing from “all sin” one has in their life. There is no sin, short of unbelief, that cannot be forgiven.
Anyone who comes to Jesus can receive forgiveness for sin and take part in loving Jesus with all your life. It is a wondrous thing to know that you are forgiven, and that part of that forgiveness means we can have a close personal relationship and fellowship with our God and Savior Jesus – not only in the life to come but right here and right now.
There is HAPPINESS for all who come to Him , throughout all eternity. Join the HAPPINESS crowd. It can be found only in Jesus Christ.

There is happiness because WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY LOST HAS BEEN RETURNED. The fruit of God’s tree brought life. In the garden of Eden there was a tree of life. The way to the tree of life was blocked by Cherubims and a flaming sword (Gen. 3:24), because of the sin of Adam and Eve, and they were drove from the garden. “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Gen 2:9 (KJV)
The other tree brought death. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:17 (KJV). This was a spiritual death which eventually led to physical death. Death is much more than the cessation of life, it is a separation. That day in the garden Adam and Eve became separated from their union with God. They would eventually be separted body, soul and spirit.
Because of sin and disobedience we lost access to the Tree of Life. “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Gen 3:22-24 (KJV). This was, in reality, God in His grace and mercy in action. Can you imagine what it would be like to live forever with sin and disease, all the pains of aging, and not dying. That is not for me. God protected us from and endless life of pain and sorrow. God created us eternal beings; created to live forever.
Access to the Tree of Life has been restored through THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS. This was a gift purchased for us by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. If you want cleansing; if you want access to the TREE OF LIFE you must trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Do you hear Him calling you. Trust Him. Be clean.
The TREE OF LIFE is restored to those who have been redeemed.

WE NOW HAVE ACCESS TO ENTER THE CITY OF GOD. No one can enter there except the righteous. Not the self-righteous who are depending on their own good works, goodness, saying, “Look at the good deeds I have done. God must let me in. I have been so successful in all the good deeds I have done.” What arrogance, pride, but no Heaven, no Jesus, only hell.
All evil is kept from the city and its inhabitants, and from the very presence of God. There is glory only in the presence of holy God. There is light in His presence. There is eternal life in His presence. Have this life and BE HAPPY.

In conclusion, there has been a way prepared for all who will come to Him. He has a prepared place for all who will come to Him. The only way to experience this cleansing is by faith in Jesus. This is cleansing from all evil and from the guilt of the past sins. Trust Him you are forgiven. You are clean in Him.
These things await THE HAPPY CLEANSED.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (6)

THE HAPPY KEEPERS

Revelation 22:7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 22:7 (KJV).

Showing God’s favor toward those who count His Word as a treasure, and obey Him; and His disfavor toward those who reject its truths and disobey Him.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” PROVERBS 13:13

The prophecy of this book of the Revelation is an unveiling of the glory of Jesus Christ. In reading the Revelation we can really only just catch a glimpse of His glory,but it should be enough to cause us to desire to draw closer to this marvelous, mighty, and Majestic Savior, Lord and King.
The Revelation of Jesus is not found only in this book. He is pictured, prophecies foretell His coming, and we see Him in His earthly ministry throughout all of scripture – in both the Old and New Testaments.
In four short words at the beginning of the text Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly:” Can we take Jesus at His Word? We sure can. This word quickly does not necesarily have to do with time, but suddenness, or surprise. Jesus gave us these words that we might always be ready through the application of His Word.
The Word truly is a treasure to all who have the peace and joy in life that only Jesus can give.

These are THE HAPPY KEEPERS because…
…THEY PRACTICE THE TEACHINGS OF DECENCY AND MORALITY; “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:” 1 Thess 4:3-5 (KJV). It is the same standard which Jesus followed, and it is not to be shunned by followers of Jesus today or in any generation. God’s words and commandments and teachings stand forever. Jesus said, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” John 8:29 (KJV).
It Is The Standard Which Glorifies Him, and will throughout our whole lives. These standards are given to us for our protection, and benefit.

…THROUGH GOD’S WORD WE ARE TAUGHT TO DISCERN THE TRUE FROM THE FALSE. This is the responsibility of every believer. To abstain from all false teachers and their teachings. Listening to false teaching is about as bad as putting arsenic in water and thinking that is okay to drink. False teaching and doctrine can poison your thinking.
We are to hold on to the Word of God. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9 (KJV). If we are to live with the Word of God having an eternal impact in our lives we need to know the Word. When we know God’s Word the false teachers and teachings will be made known to us. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalms 119:9 (KJV). A false teacher’s or preacher’s lifestyle will show what they are. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16 (KJV). His, and nowadays, her view of Jesus will show their true heart. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3 (KJV)
We Are Commanded To Rebuke False Teachers and Their Teachings. “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Titus 2:15 (KJV). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV).

…WE ARE TAUGHT WHO THE LEADERS IN OUR CHURCHES SHOULD BE. Though the following scriptures here do not mention anything dealing with church leadership, it does tell us the rewards of following all of scripture; “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalms 19:7-11 (KJV). These from God’s Word do have to do with church leadership; “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;” 1 Timothy 3:2 (KJV).
This is how the Word of God should be to the pastor, deacon, and any one who loves Jesus: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 (KJV). The leader must be able to instruct others in the Word of God, and lead them into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus.
When Leaders – pastors or deacons – Are Not As God Instructs It Is Rebellion And Disobedience. It will cause problems and division among the people. It could cause some to fall away from the faith they were about to come to.

…WE ARE GIVEN GOD’S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH IN THE WORD. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:42-47 (KJV).
We are to pray together and for one another. This brings us into the will of God. This will also unify us in His purposes for ourselves individually and for the church.
We are to fellowship. In fellowshipping together we discover one another’s needs. We also can encourage one another and how we need it as we go about our daily lives. It should be no bother to us to get together, pray, have a fellowship meal, talk about God, His Word, and how it helps us live life and get us through each day.
The word of God teaches us to be in unity. Unity does not mean UNIFORMITY. If there is uniformity that only means that someone is giving up something they believe in order to keep peace. Unity is realizing our differences of opinion, but seeing one cause and going on with it together.
It is also the call of God’s Word that each Christian bear fruit. There is the “Fruit of the Spirit of Galations 5:22-26 which is a part of every professing and possessing Christian.
It should be the practice of each local congregation to practice discernment when it comes to teachings that seem out of Christian character and witness, and warn those who might fall for something that seems to grab hold of emotion, and will not let go. We are to base our beliefs on what God teaches in His Word not on emotion of an experience.
The highest thing we can do as Christians and His Church is to glorify Jesus. That is what salvation is really all about. It is not about me. It is not about you. It is about Jesus. Worship Jesus. That is the highest work of the Church.

WHO ARE THE HAPPY KEEPERS? They practice the teachings of decency and morality taught in God’s Word. They, through God’s Word are taught to discern the true from the false. By the Word of God we are taught who the leaders of our churches should be. In God’s Word we are given God’s plan for the church.
Be THE HAPPY KEEPERS.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (5)

THE HAPPY VICTORS

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:6 (KJV).

Those who truly know Jesus Christ will have part in the “First resurrection”, and through Christ are “THE HAPPY VICTORS”.

It is truly a blessed thing to know God’s promises; especially the promises concerning the future. By thse promises we learn of God’s sovereignty, thus we can know He is in complete control. Unlike the “Open Theists” who believe God does not know the future any more than you or I, we do have a sovereign who is in complete control, and does know how things were, how things are, and how things will be. He can even direct things to come out according to His plan.
We can rest assured, and be at ease knowing God in a personal way.
Our verse abovee speaks of a “First resurrection”. If there is a first it seems to me that there will also be a “second”. The “First resurrection” began with Jesus’s resurrection from the grave. His resurrection is still effective in changing people’s lives. Because of His resurrection He is coming to call His Church home – the rapture. Many who die during “the great tribulation” for Christ will be raised as part of the “First fruits” of Christ’s resurrection.
Any person in the “second resurrection” is guaranteed an eternal destiny as well. The fires and torments of hell. I do not know about you, but I care nothing for that kind of guarantee.
God has provided a way of escape. Listen to Him today. Hear his voice. Call on Him for salvation.

Who are THE HAPPY VICTORS? They…
TAKE PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” 1 Cor 15:20-23 (KJV). The Scriptures also tell us, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” 1 Thess 4:16 (KJV).
The Old Testament speaks of two resurrections as well, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2 (KJV). Remember there is often a gap of time in some prophecies, which I believe to also be so in this case.
The “First Resurrection” is also called “The Resurrection of Life”. “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; John 5:29a (KJV). We can take part in it in this time by calling on the name of Jesus for salvation. All who have received God’s gift of salvation will be “Fruits” of the “First Resurrection”.
It is the resurrection for those who are just. “And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14 (KJV). These have passed from death unto life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24 (KJV).

…They HAVE NO PART IN THE SECOND DEATH. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 (KJV).
This will be the plight of all those who reject God’s gift of salvation. The atheist who trust only in himself/herself will be cast alive into the “lake of fire”. The agnostic who heard, read, studied himself/herself to tears, but did not believe, and died ignorance will have no excuse. The “good man or woman” who believes in God, but shoves the cross of Christ back in His face, believing his own works are sufficient will wake up in a very sad condition at the Great White Throne of God’s judgment.
The “second death” means judgment of eternal, tormenting consequences. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15 (KJV). The fires of hell. Memories of hearing the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Separation from God. “and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:29b (KJV).
The power of the “second death” is eternally binding. There is no escape from torment, once there. The way of escape must be made today, by being born again in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:11 (KJV). “If you are born once you will die twice. If you are born twice you will die only once.

…They HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AS PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV). To show forth the praises of God. Showing God’s mercy and grace to all with whom we come in contact. While here on earth in the flesh and while around His throne and serving Him in His kingdom.

…They REIGN WITH CHRIST. Each individual is appointed a place of service during His kingdom on earth. During this reign on earth there will be one thousand years of peace. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:6-9 (KJV). Can you imagine seeing the lamb and wolf lying down and eating together (Isaiah 65:25).
Snakes/serpents frighten many of us in this day. I for one do not want to get too close to a Rattlesnake, or even a black ratsnake, but there will come a day of peace on earth when all the animals will go back to their pre-sin state (it is because of man’s sin that the animals are as they are), and one day a child will be able to play around or over a poisonous serpents den and there will be no need to fear or worry.

In conclusion, let me ask, to which destiny will you go? To the terrors and torments of hell? Will you receive God’s marvellous gift and enjoy eternity in the presence, power and pleasures of God? The choice is yours. You have only today to make that choice. You have no guarantee of “Tomorrow”. It never comes.
Those who have part in “The First Resurrection” are truly THE HAPPY VICTORS.

I COME QUICKLY

I COME QUICKLY

Revelation 22:1-21

The blessings of being with God are wonderful, fantastic, and I do not know if any earthly word could describe it unless it would be AWESOME; His desire for us to know and understand the Revelation is clearly revealed to us, though the understanding may be difficult; warnings and invitation to the unrepentant and warnings to those who might treat His prophecies with contempt are plentiful, and quite clear in their description of the judgment which will follow for those with evil hearts and minds; and the declaration by Jesus of a quick coming sums up The Revelation of Jesus Christ. A marvelous word from God.And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. vv. 22:1-5 (KJV).

We are gathered around the throne of God; the Holy, Righteous, Glorious, One.
Around the throne we find the “Water of life”. It reminds us of the refreshing purity of God. There was a time when king David was in battle and he desired water from the well of Bethlehem. The water from that certain well there was known for its fresh, clean, clear and cool refreshment. Three of David’s men broke through enemy lines and brought him a drink (1 Chronicles 11:15-19). Even the water from the freshest of wells here on earth could not begin to match the satisfaction of that “water of life” which flows from the throne of God. Out of the belly of those who love Jesus shall flow rivers of living water.
John sees the “Tree of Life”. Driven from the garden by the wrath of God wrapped in grace Adam and Eve would never see the tree in the garden of Eden again. By God’s grace they will see it again when we all stand before the face of God. Mankind has been kept from this tree for thousands of years (Gen. 3:22-24). Where the book of Genesis drives man from the garden, in the Revelation we find access to the tree once again for all who came by way of Jesus Christ. Access is granted again. The Tree of Life bears twelve different kinds of fruit each month. Its leaves provide healing for the nations. What kind of healing this is speaking of I do not know, unless it would be speaking of ethnic groups who will find peace and grace, and mercy at the feet of Jesus.
There was a curse put on man in the garden of Eden due to Adam’s and Eve’s sin of disobedience and eating the forbidden fruit. The curse was sin, death, and hell. It has been the inclination of mankind to rebell against God and curse Him. There is an emptiness in man that causes him to search for someone greater than himself, but always, apart from God’s searching for him, looking elsewhere other than the Creator. Making gods in their own likeness, like creatures, and other men. According to the Psalmist these gods have hands, but cannot work; feet but cannot walk; eyes but cannot see; and they that make them are like unto them (Ps. 115, and 135). The curse is eternally lifted at the glorification of Jesus Christ, and obedience will be theinclination of all who enter the city, that is called Holy. God and the Lamb are present, and where God and the Lamb are sin cannot be. PRAISE HIM!!!!
We are gathered around the throne as His children glorifying Him for all eternity. What a blessing to be before His face (Coram Deo is latin for “Before the face of God”). That should be the heart of the child of God until we see Him face to face. One of the greatest blessing will be that we will be marked by His name in our foreheads.
God is the Light of that city. Scripture does not say there is no sun or moon. My mind tells me that the glory of God and the Lamb will be so bright and majestic that the light of the sun and moon will only fade behind the scene.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. v. 6 (KJV).

John receives assurance of the authenticity of the vision.
The angel says these are “faithful and true” sayings (19:9, 11; 21:5); 1) “No curse – Perfect restoration; 2) The throne – Perfect Administration; 3) His servants – Perfect Subordination; 4) They see His face – Perfect Transformation; 5) His name in their foreheads – Perfect Identification; 6) No created light – Perfect Illumination; 7) They reign forever – Perfect exultation.” A. T. Pierson as cited in THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST by John F. Walvoord.
To doubt John’s vision as true is equal to doubting the apostle and prophets. God speaks to His servants, before He acts, to warn of judgment and to invite peace (Amos 3:7).
God’s angel was sent to show what “…Must shortly be done”. When these things begin to happen they will happen very quickly. These things, possibly, began to happen when Israel became a nation. When the rapture of the Church takes place the speed of the events which follow will be astonishing.

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. v. 7 (KJV).

This is the sixth Beatitude in the Revelation. This is a promise of blessing [Happiness] to the faithful. The risen Lord speaks of His imminent return. He is coming for a second time, and it is quickly. Quickly does not mean time wise, but rather a certainty without any doubt. If Jesus said He would come again He will come again.
Those who hold these prophecies dear are the “Blessed” and “Happy”. The “Crown of Righteousness” awaits those who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). NOTE: BE SURE AND READ “THE HAPPY KEEPERS” which will follow this article.

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. vv. 8-9 (KJV).

What an awesome time it will be gathered around the throne of God. We will be AWED into the place of worship. In surprise of the angel’s presence John falls to worship, but is quickly rebuked by the angel. The angel instructs John that he is only a fellow servant of God, in the same category as a prophet, and all who keep the sayings of the Book. John is corrected.
The angel’s correction for John is to “Worship God”. God is the only one who is worthy of worship. May we never forget that; for now and for all eternity.

And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. vv. 10-13 (KJV).

In the book of Daniel, Daniel is commanded to seal the book until the time of the end – “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV). God tells John not to seal the book. The message is open for hearing and understanding. It seems to me that the message is that God wants His people to know and undestand His work among people throughout all of time; maybe even more so in the latter days. There are many who claim that the teaching of the rapture of the Church is relatively new. Praise God if it is. That means, only, that God is revealing His Word in the latter days.
Because of the availability or despite it the just will remain just and the unjust will remain unjust. The just are those who will hear the Word of God and do it. The unjust are those who because of unbelief refuse to hear and/or do it.
In the very end everyone will be rewarded according to their works. The righteous at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). The unrighteous at the “Great white throne” judgment (Rev. 20:11). Keep in mind whose words these are (vv. 12-13).
Jesus, “The first and the last” “Alpha and Omega”. He began the work of redemption. He fulfilled the work of redemption (Matthew 3:15). He completes the work of redemption in the Revelation of Himself.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. vv. 14-16 (KJV).

Here we have our final BEATITUDE of the Revelation. Our final word of solace and encouragement.
Those who “Do His commandments” are those who love Him (John 14:`15, 21). Their garments have been made white by the sacrifice of Jesus precious blood. The greatest motivation to love Him is His love for us (1 John 4:19).
The “Blessed” are given access to the “tree of life”, and may enter into the city. The unregenerate are kept from the city and the tree of life.
Jesus Himself testifies to the truth of the angel’s testimony. The root is the unseen – the Deity, Creator of David. The offspring is the Son of David – Jesus is the root and the offspring of David. Jesus is the bright and morning star.
“The morning star announces dawn’s soon arrival. Jesus Christ will come for His Church as the ‘Morning Star’. But when He reeturns to judge, it will be as ‘the Sun of righteousness’ in burning fury” (Malachi 4:1-3). Warren Wiersbe BE Commentary Vol. 2 pg. 626.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. v. 17 (KJV).

Here is the last invitation in Scripture. When the last page is fulfilled the invitation closes forever.
The invitation is from the Bride [Church] in which the Spirit abides. It is just as sure as if we were already there.
The invitation remains opened until God closes the door (Consider Noah and the ark; Gen. 7:16).
The Church today is responsible for inviting the condemned to faith and righteousness – salvation in Christ Jesus.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. vv. 18-19 (KJV).

There is a final warning in these glorious pages of holy Scripture. This prophecy is not to be trifiled with by attempts to explain it away or by adding to it – thus, treating it with contempt and little or no respect, holding the teachings of men over the glorious and the clear doctrines of God.
The saved of God hold God’s Word in reverence and awe. It is taught with a passion for truth and for Jesus Christ as the only Savior, Lord, and King of kings, and Lord of lords. The curse cannot apply to the redeemed of God because of the above statement. We must keep in mind that as we grow in maturity, in Christ, there are some things we believe that we will change, because we discover we were wrong. This curse applies to those who set out to deliberately deceive and to purposely hold the Word of God in contempt; by those who are deceiving and being deceived.

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. vv. 20-21 (KJV).

A testimony of John and the words of Jesus speak volumes for faith. Testimony and prayer. The testimony belongs to Jesus – “Surely I come quickly. Amen”. John’s prayer – “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
Twice in this chapter Jesus says, “I come quickly” (vv. 7, and 20). John’s prayer and ours, if we are in Christ is, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus”. Come quickly. Come Lord Jesus. AMEN.

In conclusion, all through this study I have tried to show how this book, this Revelation of Jesus Christ, is exactly as it is titled; The Revelation of Jesus Christ. And, He in all His glory. The Revelation is of Him from the first to the last.
Some of the things that are soon to happen are not pleasant, but Jesus is glorified forever more. “The Unveiling Of His Glory” has been my title for this study, and His glory is certainly witnessed in His judgment upon the wickedness of the men of earth and in the resurrection of His saints.
What Jesus began back in the garden of Eden, He will bring to completion for His glory. “I COME QUICKLY.” AMEN.
A CLOSING QUOTE:
“Though not stated in detail, the point of these two verses (vv. 18-19) is that a child of God who reveres Him will recognize at once that this is the Word of God”. John F. Walvoord from The Revelation of Jesus Christ pg. 338.

The final writtings of THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION will follow

THE LIGHT OF THAT CITY

THE LIGHT OF THAT CITY

Revelation 21:1-27

We will see the eternal glory of our Lord and Savior in the prepared eternal home He is preparing for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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 with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 21:1-5 (KJV).

Throughout all of Scripture God thrives at making things new. He especially desires to make the hearts of people new.
We have virtually come to the conclusion of mankinds rule and dominion of earth. Christ set up His kingdom for one thousand years of utopia. Mankind – unredeemed – has stood before the great white throne and has been rewarded “according to their works” (20:13) and their reward was eternity in “the lake of fire”.
At or around the time of the final judgment the heavens and the earth (old) are destroyed (2 Peter 3:10-12). Chapter 21 begins with “a new heaven and a new earth”. The “new heaven” does not mean the abode of God, but the atmosphere and planets of, probably, earths solar system. Evidently the old earth and heaven is so polluted by the evil of man that it is destroyed. That is an amazing show of God’s grace – He redeems a segment of mankind, but destroys the old earth, and creates a new one on which the redeemed can dwell for all eternity.
Verses 3 and 4 provide us with eternal presence of God and His glory. “The tabernacle of God is with men” can refer back to John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us…”. Just as Jesus put on flesh to dwell among us we will put on immortality (1 Cor. 15:53-54) in order that we might bear the glory of God eternally.
There will be no tears – God will wipe them away. There will be no death – it has been defeated. There will be no sorrow – for what reason would there be for it? No crying; this is different than tears in that crying involves sounds of sorrow – since tears and sorrow are no more. No more pain – this will be espcially great for those who are suffering pain from arthritus, or other sickness or disease. The old way is no more.
If God says He will “make all things new” we can trust that He will bring it to pass. He is Faithful and True (19:11).

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. vv. 6-8 (KJV).
The blessing of those who receive Christ and the damnation of the unbelieving.
Even while John is writing this blessed Revelation God says, “It is done”. Everything He had planned on doing is as good as done. Nothing that has taken place has happened against His will. From the beginning, in God’s mind, the salvation of man was as good as done. What God has said will be. A-MEN.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. v. 9 (KJV)

One of the angels that had part in the seven vials [bowls] of plagues came to John with an invitation.
The invitation was to see the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife”. Who is the Lamb’s wife? None other than the Church. Where is the Bride? Gathered in the holy city.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. vv. 10-27 (KJV).

The description of the abiding place of the Bride.
The description John gives is only as splendid and glorious as he could give in human terms. Whenever you try to communicate the holy to the unholy all you will do is come up far short of actuality. For instance, “the lake of fire” – the fire may indeed be a human description by symbol, however, the reality or the substance is greater than the symbol.
It is like a nuclear physicist who writes down all he knows and hands it to a kindergarten student. That student will have no idea of what he is looking at. God was showing John some wonderful things and inspired him to write the way he has so we could have a little understanding of the glory which awaits us.
In verse 10 the angel takes John “In the spirit” to a mountain where he sees the holy Jerusalem descending “out of heaven from God”. Warren Wiersbe writes, “The eternal city is not only the home of the bride; it is the bride! A city is not buildings; it is people” (from the BIBLE EXPOSITION COMMENTARY by Warren Wiersbe, Vol. 2, pg. 623).
The city is described as having foundations, walls and gates. FOUNDATIONS speak of permanence. The houses we build, though they do have foundations, are only temporary when marked by eternity. They are only the tents of “pilgrims and strangers” (Hebrews 11:8-10).
WALLS speak of protection. This wall of the city is eternal. Nothing wicked and vile can enter this city for the only entrance is by way of the blood of Jesus.
GATES speak of a way in – an entrance. God used Israel as an entrance for Christ to become flesh. Christ is the door through which man can come to God.
The bride of Christ would then seem to be made up of those of Israel who believe and the Church whom Jesus Christ “…hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph. 3:14).
Each gate of the city is named for one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each of the twelve foundations are named for one of the apostles.
In chapter 11 John is commanded to measure the temple (a symbolic jesture of ownership). Here, he witnesses as the angel measures the heavenly city. The dimensions of the city are staggering. FOURSQUARE means the city is equal on all sides. The shape could be either a cube or pyramid. The length, height and breadth equals “twelve thousand furlongs” – a furlong is equal to 220 yards today – if we say a furlong is equal to 600 feet we would come up with a city fo 1,500 miles long, it would have a breadth of 1,500 miles and a height of 1,500 miles. To help us understand this – to place this city in perspective to the United States, it would cover over half of the contiguous states land mass. It is a large city, showing that God has provided plenty of room for all who will come to Him through His Son Jesus.
Now we come to the wall. It measured 144 cubits. If a cubit equals 18 inches, then the wall would be 72 yerds high or 216 feet.
The construction of the city is astounding; walls of jasper, city of pure gold, foundations decorated with precious stones (jasper, 2. sapphire, 3. chalcedony, 4. emerald, 5. sardonyx, 6. sardius, 7. chrysolite, 8. beryl, 9. topaz, 10. chrysoprasus, 11. jacinth, 12. amethyst). We can tell by this description that the bride of the Lamb is certainly arrayed in glory and beauty (Eph. 5:27a), the gates are twelve pearls, the street of pure gold. What a place to walk. The thing for which men crave most on earth will be under our feet in the new Jerusalem.
There is no temple (v. 22), “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it”. Notice the plurality and the singularity of this verse concerning the temple, God, and the Lamb. We will forever be in Christ Jesus and He in us (John 17:21-22).
There is no ned of the sun or the moon. Verse 23 does not say a sun or moon does not exist. It appears to be saying that the glory of God and of the Lamb is the light of the new Jerusalem – the holy city come out of heaven from God. The glory of God will be so bright that the soon and moon will fade into the background – similar to how the other stars are unseen during the daylight hours, due to the “glory” of the sun.
Then, “nations” are probably those who dwell on the “new earth”. These have access to the city, but evidently do not live there. These walk in the light of the glorious city. These may be those who chose to remain faithfull to the Lamb of God during the thousand years of His reign and during the last attempt by satan to lead them astray. The very fact of their faith is the glory they bring into the city each time.
They are free to come and go as they please – the gates are always opened.
Only those whose names “are written in the Lamb’s book of life” can enter there.
What construction! What beauty! What a Savior! THE LIGHT OF THAT CITY is the LAMB

THE REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST

THE REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST

Revelation 20:1-15

The glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed as He binds the devil, glorifies His saint, releases the devil, judges the devil and judges wicked and unredeemed mankind at the great white throne of judgment.

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 20:1-3 (KJV).

In these three verses we find power is given to “an angel” to bind satan for “a thousand years”.
Some have speculated and said “an angel” is referring to Christ himself. It is unnecessary to speculate. Christ is completly capable of delegating power to whom He will. This angel is given a key and holds “a great chain in his hand” (SEE Judge 6).
The angel “laid hold on” the devil who is described in verse 2 in four different terms:
1. Dragon – this shows his beastly nature and leadership as he inspired the government of the beast of Revelation 13;
2. Serpent – this name shows his subtle nature as a smooth operator, deceiver, etc.;
3. Devil – this shows he is a liar, and murderer, and Jesus said this was so, “from the beginning”;
4. Satan – this shows him as the accuser – he accuses us before God. He was Job’s accuser.
After laying hold of the deceiver (satan) the angel binds him for one thousand years, cast “into the bottomless pit” and “shut up” and “sealed”. This is for the purpose of giving the earth, under the administration of Jesus Christ, complete tranquility, without the deceit, fraud, and destruction of the old serpent.
There is, however, a somewhat sad note at the end of verse three. The devil will be released at the end of the one thousand year reign of Christ, but only for a short duration.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. vv. 4-6 (KJV).

These verses deal with the “first resurrection”, the ruling and reigning of the saints with Christ, and also speaks of the one thousand years we often call the “Millennial reign of Jesus Christ” on earth.
One thousand years is where the word “Millennium” is derived. We measure time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and millenniums. There are three groups of interpretation concerning the millennial reign of Jesus Christ:
1. Amillennial view – this group believes in no literal earthly reign of Jesus Christ – some in this camp believe that Christ is already ruling and reigning on earth;
2. Post-millennial view – many in this camp believe Jesus will come again only after the Church has won the world to Christ, by the preaching of the gospel – the latter part of the victory being a thousand years (not necessarily literal) of peace, prosperity, and long life – with Jesus coming after the millennium;
3. Pre-millennial view – Jesus returns again before the thousand years to rule and reign on earth with His saints. The pre-millennial view is literal concerning the one thousand years.
The thousand years is mentioned in Revelation 20 six different times, in only 15 verses. Is that an accident of, or a clue to interpretation? Six is the number of man. It could be a clue to being one thousand literal man years. The very fact it is mentioned six times seems to stress the point “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” Psalms 90:4 (KJV).
Those John sees on the throne are most likely the saved of God. It could be that John saw the twenty four elders on the thrones, but that does not negate the above statement if we keep in mind that the “elders” represent the redeemed. A great emphasis is placed upon the martyrs. Saints who gave their physical lives for Jesus during great trials and persecutions.
Sometime shortly after the fall of Babylon – religious, economic, political – those who die for Jesus during the Great Tribulation are resurrected and given new bodies. These are the last to be resurrected before the millennium begins. These are the ones who have part in the “first resurrection” along with all those who were raptured at the beginning of the tribulation. The “first resurrection” began with the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and others who came out of their graves also (Matthew 27:51-53). A third group to be raised – of the “first resurrection – are those who “died in Christ” before the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (the tribulation period). This will take place at the rapture when both the dead and living [in Christ] will be “caught up together” (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
In verse six we find the fifth of the seven Beatitudes in the Revelation. “Blessed [Happy] and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:…” The promise is that “the second death” – eternal damnation will have no power, no affect, or effect on them. What a blessing it is. Those who have part in the first resurrection will be “priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years”.
During the thousand years those who survived the great tribulation without succumbing to the vices of satan will live on earth and repopulate it under the rule of Jesus as the King of kings. Some aspects of Christ’s earthly reign will be 1) Complete peace, 2) Prosperity, 3) Long life, 4) The animal kingdom will be practically domesticated (Isaiah 11:1-9). There will be no fear of the animals or beasts of the field. There will be children born during this beautiful era.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. vv. 7-8 (KJV).

Satan is loosed from the abyss “to deceive the nations”, but only for “a little season” (v.3b).
Some have wondered why God would do such a thing. One thing it does is show us that God is in complete control and that the devil can do nothing but what God permits him to.
Robert Govett, as quoted from the REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST by John Walvoord gives us four reasons why God looses satan at the end of the millennium:
1. “To demonstrate that man even in the best environment will fall into sin if left to his own choice’;
2 ‘to demonstrate the foreknowledge of God who foretells the acts of men as well as His own acts’;
3. ‘to demonstrate the incurable wickedness of satan’;
4. ‘to justify eternal punishment, that is to show the unchanged character of wicked people even under divine jurisdiction for a long period of time.”
The Gog and Magog seem to be likened to that of Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. This definitely shows us that it is not our circumstances that causes us to be righteous or evil, but it is the attitude of the heart. We see mankind has rejected Him during a long period of grace to the end of the tribulation period,a nd at the end of a long earthly riegn of bliss.
How could children who have lived under the awesome rule of Christ turn from Him? We might ask Adam and Eve someday. The children born during the reign of Christ will be given a choice through the deceit of the devil. Those who choose the vices of satan will rise up aganist our Lord only to be defeated.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. vv. 9-10 (KJV).

Those who rise up against Christ, inspired by satan, will surround the holy city only to fall in defeat in an instant.
Satan is judged. He is cast alive into the lake of fire. Notice the mention of the beast and false prophet (SEE also 19:20). After one thousand years they still ixxist in the lake of fire. Does this sound like annihilation? Not hardly.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. vv. 11-15 (KJV).

We now come to the last judgment. It is the judgment that many want to deny, and that many, if they could would completely dismiss as a lie. However, “Let God be true and every man a liar”.
There may even be some who see this as a time when they can present all their “good deeds” before God and believe He will justly award them eternal life. If you are at this judgment all you will receive is eternal damnation. Those revelling in their own good works had better take another think.
The “great white throne” of judgment is the judgment of the wicked dead. The dead who have died without saving faith. Please note again verse 6, “…on such the second death hath no power…”, [speaking of those who believed in Jesus] and look at verse 14, “This is the second death” concluding what the great white throne judgment is really about.
He that sits on the throne is God in the person of Jesus Christ (John 5:22). It is certain that the wicked dead will try to flee from His presence, but they cannot. This could be the meaning of “…earth and heaven fled away…” It could also mean that at this time is the old heavens and earth are destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). At any rate, it certainly implies the end of the wickedness of mankind and of their eternal destruction. There is “No place” for the wicked to flee from this judgment, except for now, we may flee to the cross of Jesus – until this door is closed.
It does not matter about what class of people – the small and great will stand before God at this judgment.
There are at least three books opened. One book records their birth and life. One is the Word of God, the road map to justice and eternal life. The other is the book of life in which is recorded the names of every child of God redeemed to eternal life.
Who are these present at the great white throne? Those whom death and hell has delivered up. The saved dead have already been raised and rewarded (19:9; 20:6).
Hell would better be referred to here as sheol or hades – the abode of the wicked dead until the great white throne of judgment. It is the abode of the rich man in Luke 16:23-24 where he cries out, “I am tormented in this flame”.
There are many who want to do away with Hell by claiming only its fiery symbolism. The fire may indeed be symbolic, but only in that there is no other human terminology to describe its pain and eternal torment. “This”, John writes, “is the second death”.
If your name is not in the book of life your eternity will be spent in the “lake of fire” to “be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (v. 10b).
There are two classes of people mentioned in chapter twenty:
1. Those who have part in the second death, which is eternal torment in the lake of fire, because they refused the free gift of God’s grace;
2. Those who have part in the first resurrection by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on calvary.

I am not exactly sure of what those of us who have part in the “first resurrection” will be doing in the kingdom of Christ on earth, but I do know that I will be there at THE REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST on earth. How about you?

THE GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD

THE GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD

Revelation 19:1-21

THE GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD, will only be glorious for those who are in Christ. As we look at our world today and as judgments come in their various ways, it is only a foretaste of His ultimate judgment. When God begins to move the sinful and defiled will not stand, but only those who love Jesus Christ will stand.And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 19:1-5 (KJV).

“After these things” is certainly speaking of the previous two chapters. The “great whore” was judged by God through the godless. The “great city” was judged by plagues from God.
Remembering the “great whore” represents false religion that basically accepts all beliefs as being legitimate, its fall and the rejoicing of the kings show us that we must stand for truth.
In these first five verses we find Heaven rejoicing (18:20). The “voice” of verses 1 and 5 cannot be the voice of God, according to some. But why not? God does command our worship of Him. There is a possibility that it is that of an angel.
These are rejoicing in the justice and judgment upon world evil and those who tortured and tormented the saints of God.
If you will, notice verse 3. The judgment upon the woman, both as religious, and political/economic Babylon is judged forever – eternally. This could not be speaking of a physical – material city, but of the wicked souls of men who ruled the city. See Isaiah 66:24. Their smoke of torment will rise up forever and ever.
Back around the throne of God again, we find the twenty four elders and the four Living ones worshipping the One who sat on the throne.
Who else could these ‘elders’ be other than the Church – the redeemed by the cross of Jesus Christ? We see them in chapters 4; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16-18, and then once again in this passage. Every time we find the ‘twenty four elders’ mentioned we see that they are in Heaven before the throne of God in worship of Him who sits on the throne.

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. vv. 6-10 (KJV).

We come now to what is called the “Marriage supper of the Lamb”. It is correctly called this in the fourth beatitude of the Revelation.
It matters not whose voice is heard in verse 6. It only matters that it is heavenly.
He is calling out invitation to the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’ for the marriage has already taken place. The Hebrew wedding – to my understanding – has three major aspects:
1. There is a marriage contract drawn up between the parents of the children, while the ones who become betrothed are still children;
2. At a suitable age the bridegroom along with his friends would go to the brides home to take her to his home (Matthew 25:1-13);
3. He would bring her to his home for the marriage supper, to which guests were invited.
The marriage supper of the Lamb precedes the “Day of the LORD”, earth’s blackest, bleakest and most horrible day, yet heaven’s day of rejoicing when evil will be removed from God’s presence.
The Lamb’s wife has made herself ready at the “Judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10) where all the “wood, hay and stubble” (1 Cor. 3:11-15) of every Christian life will be burned up and only the “gold, silver, and precious stones” will remain. Of course, preparation began when each individual is justified (made right with God) by faith (Eph. 2:8-10; 5:25-27).
The beatitude of verse 9 is also a great invitation to people of all ages. “Blessed (Happy) are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb”. Will you be at the marriage supper of the Lamb? By faith in Jesus Christ, becoming wed to Him by the covenant of grace through faith you will be. The marriage supper of the Lamb will be the time of consummation or glorification of the Bride [the saints, the Church].
“These are true sayings of God”. Can God say anything that is not true? Can God lie? Not hardly (Rom. 3:4). Truly the most blessed place to be is at the marriage supper of the Lamb. There is no earthly activity which can compare to the glory of this marriage supper.
The voice spoken of earlier certainly cannot be divine. John falls before the one speaking in worship only to be rebuked, and corrected to worship God. All Scripture is centered in Jesus Christ. However, the whole intent of prophecy is to testify of Jesus. All the prophecies, before He came as man, are proof of who He is. Just as surely as the Old Testament prophecies testified of His first coming and were fulfilled, so too, will each unfulfilled Old and New Testament prophecy which testifies of His second coming be fulfilled. The prophecies of Jesus are the means of identifying Him.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. vv. 11-21 (KJV).

The term “heaven opened” is used only once in the Revelation. It is, however, used three other times in the New Testament; in Matthew 3:16; John 1:51; and Acts 7:56. In each case it is a very special and glorious event.
At heaven’s opening here we see a great army being led by none other that the glorified, risen Jesus Christ. This is not the same horse nor rider that is mentioned in 6:2-3. The first rider went out to conquer with the deceit of false peace. This second white horse rider goes out to conquer and to put an end to every evil man and deed.
He is given several names in these verses.
1. “Faithful and True”, thus fitting with the final sentence of verse nine (v. 11);
2. One name that “no man knew”, but He Himself (v. 12);
3. “The Word of God” – identifying Him as the One John earlier spoke of in John 1:1-5, 14 (v. 13).
4. “King of kings and Lord of lords” (v. 16), for truly all kings will bow before Him and, the devil, that is, satan, the liar will bow before Him as Lord.
The “second coming” of Jesus will be to make war, not peace. War against His enemies who have rejected, neglected, and blasphemed His every attempt for redemption. War against those who considered their way better. War against those who despised His written Word. he will put them down by the Word of His mouth (2 Thes. 2:8).
Let us look now at the description of His appearance (vv. 12-16).
1. “Eyes…as a flame of fire”. They are piercing, looking, judging righteous judgment. Surely, He would have been righteous in His judgment even had He chosen to redeem no one;
2. “On His head many crowns” – Could this be the crowns awarded the saints at the ‘judgment seat of Christ’? Awards the saints received only to lay them at the feet of Jesus recognizing Him as the One worthy of the crowns;
3. “A name, no man knew”;
4. “A vesture [robe] dipped in blood” – This is not His blood, but the blood of those who were trampled beneath His feet. If our sins are not paid for with the blood of Christ, then our own blood will be required to pay the eternal debt.
5. “His name the Word of God” – This identifies Him as our Creator (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16) and as the One who gave His life for sinful man.
The “armies of Heaven” would probably include the angels of God as well as the Bride of Christ. Notice the reference back to verse 8, “fine linen, white and clean”. Verse8 says, “…the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints”. Certainly, then, the ‘army’ includes the saints at least.
He puts down the nations with His Word. We can find reference to verse 15 of Psalm 2:9, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel”. His love, mercy and grace has been extended over millenials of time. Now His ultimate wrath is poured out. The end of the reign of man has come and Jesus Christ shall reign forever more.
Because of the carnage vultures are called to the scene. In the Old Testament it was a sign of divine jugment when corpses’s of the dead were eaten by the feasts of the field. For example read about Jezebel’s death in 1 Kings 21:23; 2 Kings 9:30-37. As a contrast to the above read about the prophet in 1 Kings 13, and pay special attention to verses 23-25.
Needless to say the vultures, at man’s war witht he glorified Jesus, have the feast of a lifetime.
The nations of earth could not keep their own “peace accords” and through this God in His sovereignty calls them to “Armageddon” (16:16) where they fight one another only to suddenly be confronted by the Son of God. Confronted by Him sitting on the ‘white horse’ they unite against Him recognizing a common enemy, only to be slain and fed to the vultures by the Lamb of God.
The beast (13:4) and the false prophet (13:11) are cast into “a lake of fire burning with brimstone”. The smoke of their torment ascending day and night forever. The rest are slain by “Him that sat upon the horse”, and the “fowls were filled with their flesh”.

In conclusion, if this is the end of man’s anarchy against God, and his Word what will be your destiny? Will you be in the blessing of His presence on THE GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD? Will you be at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and riding with Him when He comes with His saints, and in wrath upon His enemies?
WOE TO THOSE WHO FIND THEMSELVES IN HIS WRATH.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (4)

THE HAPPY FEASTERS

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:6-10 (KJV).

We Americans, and especially Baptist Americans like our food. We love a feast. We love to feast too much, in that many people are overweight, or think they are, and yet we continue to take much delight in feasting. It seems that everyone would want to follow God’s way to Heaven and enjoy the feast He is preparing for us. Millions of dollars are spent annually on diets and in fitness centers, while few think of becoming spiritually fit.
There is a feast awaiting the true followers of Jesus that will not cause us to grow weighty; which will not cause us to be lazy, but will be a feast with a table spread in the glories and wonder of our Lord and Savior. It will be a feast of celebration; a celebration of the joining together of the Bridegroom with His Bride.
Each one who has been called and chosen individually will be joined together as the Bride in unity with herself, and the Savior. Everyone who is a part of this joyous celebration will truly be “The Happy Feasters”.

These mentioned, are THE HAPPY FEASTERS because, THEY ARE PREPARED FOR THE FEAST INDIVIDUALLY. It is written, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10(KJV).
WE ARE BROUGHT INTO COMPLETE HARMONY WITH CHRIST AT HIS JUDGMENT SEAT. This seat is not the “Great White throne judgment” it is judgment only for those who are disciples of Christ. Those who were caught up with Him in the air. This is the place of rewards given or lost, because of the works we have done, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Cor 3:11-15 (KJV).
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BELIEVERS WILL BE SETTLED ONCE AND FOR ALL TIME. All the arguments and disagreements between believers while we were in our earthly bodies will fade into nothingness, and Jesus will be glorified. The answers to “Calvinism” and “Free will” will be answered. No more debate about it; all will see that God is Sovereign over all.
OUR POSITION OF SERVICE FOR CHRIST IN HIS KINGDOM WILL BE DETERMINED. There will be no disputes about who does what, or who has the most responsibility or least responsibility. There will be no gloating over one’s position. Each of us will fully realize how merciful and gracious God the Father and God the Son are and will just rejoice in the fact of our presence in His presence.

These are also THE HAPPY FEASTERS because, ALL BELIEVERS, AS THE BRIDE ARE IN UNITY WITH CHRIST. It is written, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:2 (KJV). Again Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Eph 5:25-27 (KJV).
THERE WILL BE NO QUARRELLING OR FIGHTING WITH JESUS. There will be a wondrous love and praise and worship, and admiration which shall never fade away. We will not be fussing with Him or one another about the food that is on the banquet table. Eat to your heart’s content, and do not worry about getting overweight. Enjoy the presence of Jesus, and the peace and comfort He gives.
Another thing as the bride in unity with Christ, THERE WILL BE TOTAL SUBMISSION WITH THE BRIDEGROOM. Jesus is the Bridegroom. He is always right and we will be under His tutelage and care.
It is also wonderful to know that, THERE WILL BE NOTHING TO SEPARATE US FROM JESUS ANY LONGER. He presents the bride [the Church] “to Himself a glorious Church…”. How did we become “Glorious”? The answer for that is simple. Because of His glorious grace, the washing of water by the Word, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

They are THE HAPPY FEASTERS, because THERE WILL BE PERFECT HARMONY. It is written in God’s Word, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Eph 4:13 (KJV). Now part of this is done while we are in our fleshly bodies. It is done while we attend Bible studies, morning worship, evening worship, Wednesday night prayer meetings, any prayer service, and as we go about our daily lives being faithful to His call and direction in our lives.
To say it once again, but it is needed that we remember it; ALL ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE POSITION WE RECEIVE. The only head in Christ’s kingdom is Jesus Christ and the Father. We will receive our positions, most likely, according to how we served while on earth.
One great thing about this harmony will be that, we ALL WILL BE CLEAN AND WHITE cleansed by the blood of the Lamb – Jesus Christ. O, what a wonderful cleansing that will be. O, what a wonderful cleansing it already is. Glory to God.
In perfect harmony with Jesus and one another ALL WILL HAVE EQUAL KNOWLEDGE OF LIVING WITH HIM FOR ALL ETERNITY. All who are with Christ Jesus will know all there is for us to know. We will know the Father as we have never known Him before. We will know Jesus – the Son – in all His glory. We will know the power of the Holy Spirit and bask in His glory for the Son. The knowledge we will have then, would probably, overwhelm us in our present state. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the knowledge you can find on the internet, and some of that is certainly not worth knowing. O, the things of God, Jesus, and of Heaven and eternal glory are deffinitely worth knowing.

One final reason they will be THE HAPPY FEASTERS is because, WE ARE JOINED TOGETHER NEVER TO PART. “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matt 19:5-6 (KJV). It was the plan of God that when a man and woman marries they were to be together , as husband and wife forever.
The husband, HAVING PUT BEHIND HIM ALL EARTHLY CONNECTIONS will enjoy his wife and love her over his mother and father. When we come to Christ Jesus we leave all things, family ties, and all to follow and serve Him. This does not mean we give up family ties, but they are of less importance to us. Jesus is our All in all. We are the bride and He is the Groom, and the love we have for Him will be more than any earthly tie can bring forth. Men, you do not need fear all this is as pure as Heaven, God and His Son are pure. It will be a holy relationship and fellowship in His presence.
In this relationship DIVORCE WILL BE COMPLETELY OUT OF THE PICTURE. There will be no separation in glory. All will be well in all His glory.
THE HAPPY FEASTERS will experience DEATH AND SORROW NO MORE. We will have put off the old flesh and by Christ Jesus all things will be new. No more death. No more sorrow. Those things will have to flee. There will only be eternity basking in the glory of God’s eternal love and grace.
For THE HAPPY FEASTERS, there will be no disappointments. DISAPPOINTMENT WILL NEVER BE EXPERIENCED IN GLORY. How could we be disappointed with Jesus? There will be no discouragement. How could we be discouraged when Jesus has conquered all things and they are “Under His feet”?

In conclusion, let me say, that, I find it fascinating and wonderful, that the Lord placed this “Beatitude” here in the Revelation. He has a time and reason for all that He does. We must rejoice in that and join Him in whatever He does; where that is possible.
We can have our feasts while here on earth, and greatly enjoy them, but there will never be a feast that compares to the MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. Will you be there?
By faith, call on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation.
Preparation for that glorious feast begins today. If you have heard the message of salvation by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is calling you, now. Hear Him and obey. Do it today.

BABYLON IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN

BABYLON IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN

Revelation 18:1-24

In this study we will see that the judgment of God will be upon the evil political-economic government of the world empire, God’s grace in warning His people to flee from her, and that we are to rejoice in the judgment of God upon evil.NOTE: The woman on the “scarlet colored beast” of chapter 17 is referred to as “the great whore” which implies religious apostasy and spiritual adultery, thus chapter 17 is dealing with religious Babylon shown by the use of symbolism.
Chapter 18 is more literal and seems to be dealing with a literal city, probaby Rome since that is what Christians of John’s day would have seen as Babylon.
Please note the differences in the two. In chapter 17 the kings rejoice in her death by causing it. In chapter 18 the kings and merchants mourn the destruction of the city.
Religious Babylon is established, by the world ruler, of all the world religions, only to be thrown down by him to establish himself as god (2 Thes. 2:4; Daniel 11:37), thus, making it illegal for the people to worship any god but him.
Chapter 18 is political – economic Babylon, described by the trading in verses 11-13.

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 18:1-3 (KJV).

“Another angel”, a different angel from 17:1 is identified as “having great power” and being very brilliant in appearance.
Great power in which to exact punishment upon the wicked city.
“Glory” which exposes all that is hid in the darkness.
This angel declares the same cry of another angel (or is it?) in 14:8. It seems as though there are Old Testament prophecies which would forbid the idea of the rebuilding of literal Babylon (Isaiah 13:19-22; Jeremiah 50), so we must, to a certain extent, believe this to be Rome. Rome is probably what the Christians of John’s day would have understood Babylon to be. Babylon is symbolic of apostasy, evil powers, and greed.
Since the Babylonian system will fall it becomes the habitation of every kind of unclean and evil thing (v. 2). See Daniel 4:4-27 and compare Matthew 13:31-33, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (KJV).
The city has been a source of great wealth, because of her commerce. Others around the world flock to her to become wealthy as well. Selling their souls to obtain wealth that the moth and rust can corrupt.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. vv. 4-6 (KJV).

There is “another voice from heaven” crying out in mercy, “Come out…” The invitation is to those who are God’s to flee from the great city.
The call to flee has a twofold purpose:
1. By separation from her they will not partake of her sin;
2. They, also, will not be inflicted with the plagues of judgment.
There is an allusion to the Genesis 11 account of Babylon. Her sins are stacking up like brick and mortar; building a tower of self-righteousness. In the piling up of her righteousness, which is “filthy rags”, she only heaps up judgment on herself.
For every stone of self-righteousness they are exalting themselves over God’s righteousness and He remembers every such sin.
The reward of the city of Babylon will be double what she did unto the saints of God. The same cup she used to seduce the nations to commit fornication with her, is the cup from which she herself will drink damnation.

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. vv. 7-8 (KJV).

She is seen as self-satisfied. She says she has no need. She is so full of pride she takes no thought of God or His judgment.
She is rich. Notice the similarities between the church of Laodicea and the city of Babylon (see 3:17). How can she repent when she has no need.
Therefore, her judgment comes quickly, “in one day”. The day before she is prosperous and proud. The day after she is dead and despairing. “When it is time for God’s judgment it descends with unwavering directness”. JOHN WALVOORD from the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Look at some other times of God’s quick and direct judgment upon the frivolous and self-righteous:
1. Daniel 5:24-30 — Belshazzar is judged the same night that he defiled the cups of God’s temple;
2. Luke 12:16-20 — The foolish man’s soul is required “that same night” that he decided he was in charge of his life.
We can be sure when God’s judgment comes it comes quickly. The Lord God He is strong and mighty. No one; no government, religious institution, or power can stand against Him or avert His wrath. He will bring to pass what He has proclaimed.

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. vv. 9-10 (KJV).

As a contrast to chapter 17 in which the kings desolated the “great whore” and “burned her with fire” (17:16), here they are “bewail(ing) her” and they “lament for her”. They have great sorrow of heart. Their means of wealth has fallen. This in itself shows us this is the commercial or economic Babylon.
The “kings of the earth” are fearful. She had been strong, wealthy, and “beautiful” just a few hours before, now she is FALLEN, poor and desecrated. They stand “afar off” – at a distance – fearful of where their wealth will go, of what will become of them now; is there anyone to protect their losses.
Isn’t it great to know that when one knows and trusts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior our treasure is in Heaven, where thieves cannot break in and steal, whre moth and rust cannot corrupt, and that it is riches than can stand the fires of God’s judgment, even coming out of the fires of a purer sort.
The suddenness of judgment upon this economic empire could loosely be likened to the drash of the stock market that caused the Great Depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s. People lost wealth and threw themselves from windows, and committed suicide in various ways. Times like these are certainly times when we find out where our heart and treasure is (Matthew 6:19-21).
It seems that at the time of this judgment the nations of earth will have been prosperous. Great prosperity will abound in the last days of man’s rule on earth – economically. The banks and governments will be wealthy; the people, for the most part will be in slavery. Babylon, the city of wealth, has fallen. A sad day for the “kings of the earth”.

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. vv. 11-19 (KJV).

Now, the “merchants of the earth” mourn her demise.
I think it would be fitting to make this statement; What the world rejoices in, God weeps upon, and what God rejoices in the world weeps upon.
A list is given of the merchants merchandise. Everything on the list is the objects only the wealthy could possess.
Let us look at that list;
1) Precious metals – gold and silver; 2) Precious stones – diamonds, rubies, pearls, etc.; 3) Fine materials for clothing – linen, silk, and scarlet; 4) Scented wood – like cedar fro lining closets; 5) Vessels – special made pieces of art from ivory, and wood; 6) Other metals; 7) Seasonings; 8) Perfumes; 9) Drinks; 10) Oil; 11) Livestock; 12) Chariots – which could very likely be automobiles (since it is a time yet to come); 13) Men made slaves – the government and the wealthy merchants probably enslave the common man, making them think that they (the banks and the government) will supply all their needs – shelter, clothing, food, health care; transportation, etc., only the common man will own nothing in order to have this, while capitalism thrives for the wealthy.
“And the souls of men” seems to be saying that the merchants are responsible for the deaths of many, or their enslavement.
The words “no more at all in thee” or its minor variations are found seven times from verse 14 through the end of the chapter. What the “merchants of the earth” have relied upon and trusted in has come to an abrupt end. The economy of man, no matter how prosperous it is, cannot give peace in times of calamity or times of peace.
The city burning almost sounds like the twin towers falling on September 11, 2001. There were many nations around the world who were grieved by this calamity. Thousands of people were killed in that attack by an evil people. Sad to say many were more concerned with the economic impact than they were with the thousands who died.
It not only seems that the city is destroyed, but all the wealth as well (v. 17). In verses 16-19 the merchants are weeping more over their economic ruin than they are over the eternal ruin of their soul.
You can sow your seed, but remember God does not give the harvest the next day. You do reap what you sow – good and/or bad (Gal. 6:7).

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. v. 20 (KJV).

Remember what I said above about the world’s rejoicing and God’s rejoicing.
He is speaking here to all the saints of God (“holy apostles”). Rejoice because God’s righteousness is being vindicated. We rejoice not over the condemnation of a lost soul, but that God is glorified.

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. vv. 21-24 (KJV).

Babylon – religious, economic, and political – is utterly destroyed, to rise no more.
She will sink like the “great millstone” never to rise again. There is a similar story in Jeremiah 51:61-64. Jeremiah wrote against Babylon, and had a young man read it to Babylon, and when finished reading the “book” to “bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates”. Jeremiah’s faith in God and His Word was sure. Babylon will fall. The Word of God continues.
The pronouncement of the angel, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” is in the past tense. Just as surely as God said it, it shall be done.
The merchants will buy “no more at all” (v. 14); the city “shall be found not more at all” (v. 21); music “shall be heard no more at all in thee”; “no craftsman… shall be found any more in thee”; the work of the mill “shall be heard no more at all… (v. 22); “the candle… no more at all…”; wedding ceremonies “…no more at all…” (v. 23). Seven times is complete and final. God’s Word is true.
In looking at these verses we could have a very convincing description of our own nation. Capitalism when not restrained by God’s Spirit can breed greed, selfishness and lust for power, yet, I believe it is the best economic system mankind has going, when kept in check by the Spirit of God. Babylon could be capitalism run amuck, because of the absence of God’s restraining influence.
Because some chose to stand for Christ the world of Babylon slew them. O, what a bloody city.

Here is a parallel to the Babylons of Scripture: The first is historical and found in Genesis 11 prepared to maintain the union of the world – overthrown by God through confusion of language and scattering of people. The second is ecclesiastical, symbolized by the woman of Revelation 17 proposes common worship and religion uniting all religions into one world church, and much advocated in our day by some of the EMERGENT church movement – destroyed by the beast in Revelation 17:16, thus fulfilling the will of God. The third is political, symbolized by the “great city” of Revelation 18, attempts domination of the world, by common market and world government. These are destroyed at Jesus’s second coming in power and great glory. EVEN SO COME LORD JESUS.
BABYLON IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN – stop trusting in the “Babylonish garment” (Joshua 7:21), and trust the One who has already won the victory

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (7)

“…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” REV. 19:10c (KJV)

There are many more pictures, types, likenesses, etc. in the book of Genesis. I chose to do only seven, because that is a number which John the apostle liked and used quite often. You can see his use of the number in the gospel according to John and then, especially in the Revelation. It is a number for fulness, completion, and certainly in Jesus there is fulness and completion.

Our final study in LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS will be of Joseph. In looking at Gleanings In Genesis by A. W. Pink he had 101 examples of Joseph’s pictures of Jesus. I am going to only look at fourteen of them. I went through them and picked what I could consider the favorites, and the most clear. The study covers chapters 37 – 41.

In the first picture we find Joseph as a shepherd. Look at chapter 37 verses 1 – 2a, “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren;” Joseph, “Was feeding the flock with his brethren”. He certainly had a heart for the sheep and that should remind us of the Great Shepherd, and the twenty third Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd…”. What does the shepherd do? He feeds, tends, protects, directs, and leads the sheep. Joseph is a picture of Jesus as the Shepherd.

The second type is where we see the father’s love for the son. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age” (37:3a). Many people look at this verse and immediately think and/or say, “Well, this just isn’t right. Anytime a parent loves one child more than another it is going to cause problems.” It does in this case. This was different. Joseph was a special son, a unique one. He was the child of Rachel, the wife whom Jacob had chosen, but was tricked and deceived out of. So, of course, Joseph is going to be loved in a very special way. In such a way is Jesus loved by our Heavenly Father. There is a very special relationship and fellowship between the Father and His Son Jesus. That relationship and fellowship caused problems with those who believed they were the “sons of God” – the people of Israel. This led to His crucifixion.

In another picture we find Jacob/Israel having made Joseph ” a coat of many colours.” (v. 3b). This was a very special coat. The word “colors” is translated as being, “a long and sleeved tunic”. The specialty of this is that it is a garment of royalty. The garment of one who is ruler over others. The common worker would have worn a sleevless garment for ease in doing manual labor, but not the one who is the ruling leader. Because of this garment the statement was being made this is the one who is ruling over the family. Jacob, in making the garment, most likely did not realize the full import or impact this message would have upon himself or the rest of the family. Jesus, the favored Son has been appointed as the One who will rule over all, and does. ” Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:6-9).

In the fourth picture we find that the brothers hated Joseph’s words. “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.” (vv. 5-8). When Jesus spoke the Sadducees and Pharisees hated the words Jesus spoke. It was because of the words Jesus spoke that they sought to put Him to death. You can read Matthew 22 and 23 and see their hatred for Him. They were condemned by the truth which He spoke. Joseph was hated because of his dreams, and they were dreams which would come to pass. Just as surely as Joseph’s words would come to pass even more so did the words Jesus spoke.

The fifth picture is how he was envied by his brothers. You can see that in verses four and five of chapter 37 [above]. They “hated” Joseph. Surely we can see the envy of Jesus’ brethren, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11). He was rejected and despised according to the prophet Isaiah in chapter 53:3.

Sixthly, we see Joseph being sent by the father. “And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.” (vv. 12-13). Jesus was sent by the Father to a world of wickedness to die for the godless and unbelieving. As Joseph went willingly in saying “Here am I”; so too did Jesus go, in full agreement with the Father to His brethren, and there Jesus would die for the sins of the world.

Seventh, there is a conspiracy by the brothers to kill Joseph. “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.” (v. 18). If you will read the New Testament accounts of the anger, envy, hatred by the religious leaders for Jesus, and the arrest and trial of Jesus you will see a conspiracy. The Jewish religious leaders even brought their hated enemy Rome into the picture to get Jesus arrested, tried and convicted to death.

In another picture we see the unbelief of the brothers to Joseph’s words. “Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” (vv. 19-20). Their “Unbelief” showed that they actually hated what he had to say. By the arrest, trial, conviction, and crucifixion of Jesus the religious leaders were showing their unbelief, and said, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40). They too were in unbelief.

Joseph was cast into a pit by his brothers (v. 24). Some might say in looking at this, “Now how does that picture Jesus?” It could very well picture His death and burial. The brothers of Joseph had actually conspired to kill him, but decided to cast him into the pit. From the moment of Jesus’ ministry the Pharisees plotted to kill Him. Let me quote here what A. W. Pink has written, “We quote now from Dr. Haldeman: ‘The pit wherein is no water, is another name for Hades, the underworld, the abode of the disembodied dead: of all the dead before the resurrection of Christ. ‘The pit wherein is no water’ (Zech. 9:11). ‘For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’ (Matt. 12:40). It is here our Lord, as to His Soul, abode between death and resurrection.” (GLEANINGS IN GENESIS by A. W. Pink).

In the tenth picture we find Joseph facing temptation, yet without sinning. “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” (39:7-12). Those who are familiar with the life of Jesus know the Scripture concerning His sinlessness (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15). Was Joseph perfect? No! Was he without sin? The answer again is NO. However, you will not find one accusation against him in the texts which mention him. That alone must be evidence that he Spirit of God intended for Joseph to be a picture of the sinless Son of God.

The eleventh image of Christ we see in Joseph is that he suffered at the hands of Gentiles. “And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.” (39:20). Jesus suffered at the hands of Roman guards, and the governor: “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,” (Acts 4:26-27).

Twelfth, the picture is of Joseph’s “Predictions come to pass”. The dreams which Joseph dreamed of his father and brothers bowing to him were fulfilled, and also the interpretation of the dreams of the butler and the baker; “And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.” (40:20-22). The Lord Jesus never spoke a word that did not come to pass, or it will one day. He is the Truth. There was no lie that ever came from His lips. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32). Jesus spoke of His death, and He spoke of rising from the dead, and He did. Just to keep us aware, He also spoke that He would come back again. He will.

In the thirteenth picture we will look at we see Joseph exalted at the throne of Egypt. “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” (41:39-45). In the New Testament following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, we find that Stephen sees Jesus standing at the right hand of the throne of God (Acts 7:55-56). According to A. W. Pink the Egyptian meaning for Joseph’s new name, Zaphnathpaaneah is “Savior of the world”. Jesus has been exalted to the throne (REV. 5).

The final picture we see is that Joseph is given a wife. We see in verse 45 above that he is given a wife. If you have a copy of GLEANINGS IN GENESIS by A. W. Pink you would find it interesting to read his explanation of Joseph’s being given a wife. It is in chapter 44 titled “Joseph The Savior Of The World” and it is the first item in the chapter. One thing I know and that is that this pictures Jesus Christ and His Bride. I believe that His Bride will consist of Israel and the Gentile believer. Jesus came to call the Jew first and then the Gentile. In Jesus “…There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile]…” (Gal. 3:28). We will one day see Jesus face to face, and that will be one GLORIOUS DAY.

In closing this study of LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS let me stress this. When we see a photograph of something, say, the Grand Canyon, we may marvel in the picture, but it really does no justice to actually seeing it, being there. So, too, these pictures, types or shadows, beautiful they may be, really do no justice to what it will really be like seeing Jesus, our Lord and Savior, face to face.

Keep LOOKING FOR JESUS in the Scriptures, in everyday life, and in the air.

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (6)

Genesis 24:1-67″And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Gen 24:1-9 (KJV).

I will not post all 67 verses, but I will put the verse numbers for your reference to check out.

We have been LOOKING FOR JESUS in Genesis for several articles. I will do one more following this one, and then I am going to do a study in The Revelation of Jesus Christ; Lord willing.

There is a wedding which is going to be celebrated, in what I believe to be the not too distant future. Here in the Old Testament book of Genesis is a picture of the bringing together of the bride and the Bridegroom.

Jesus promised that after His ascension into Heaven He would send a Comforter. This comforter would guide into all truth. He would draw people to Jesus Christ.

In our text we have an unnamed servant of Abraham who is sent to find a bride for his son. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit inspired the writings of Scripture in the way He has here showing forth the glory of God, and His work bringing the lost to Jesus.

The servant went to the assigned place to seek a bride for Isaac. Rebekah was that chosen bride. This bride 1). “Believed a man she had never met before, 2). was asked to go to a land from which she was never to return, 3). was asked to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.” M. R. DeHaan. The journey was about 600 miles on the back of a camel.

When the servant chose Rebekah it was then, a decision for her to make. The decision was one that could not wait (vv. 55-58). So Rebekah chose to go on a journey over hard country – a barren, dry and dangerous country.

When Rebekah saw Isaac for the first time he was coming from Lahairoi, which means, “The well of a Living One”. This is the first appearance of Isaac since the altar of Mount Moriah. Jesus will one day appear to take His bride who has been chosen by the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at four of the characters in this text, and we will try and focus the picture on the One who is True.

First of all, look at the father. He loved Isaac and wanted a bride for him. He believed that God was faithful and would keep His promise and provide the bride. The bride could not be an outsider. The Father getting a bride for His Son, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. John 6:44 (KJV).

The next character we see in the text is the servant. He is a model servant. He does not go unsent (vv. 2-9), he goes where he is sent (vv. 4-10), he does nothing else, is prayerful and thankful (vv. 12-14, 26-27), he is wise to win (vv.17, 21), he speaks not of himself, but of his master’s riches, and Isaac’s heirship (vv. 34-36; Acts 1:8), he presents the true issue, and requires a clear decision (v. 49).

The work of the Spirit of God is the True: the antitype. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” John 15:26 (KJV). “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:13-14 (KJV).

The third character is the chosen bride herself. She welcomed a stranger, whom she had never seen. This servant came to the well, seeking God’s direction, and Rebekah came and fulfilled the needs of this servants prayer (vv. 18-20, 24, 25). She accepted the servants invitation (vv. 55-58). The invitation was that she return to Canaan to be the wife of Isaac and receive the blessings of what he would inherit. Rebekah and the servant must have spoken much on the journey to meet the Bridegroom. She learned more about Isaac (v. 65) and more as she saw him and was getting nearer to him. She went over hard country in the care of the servant. This “Hard country” is the hardships, trials, and tribulations of living and growing in the Christian life. M. R. DeHaan said, “Rebekah was asked to believe a man she had never met before, to go to a land from which she was never to return, and to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.”

The final character, but certainly not the least of the four is the son, in particular; his wedding. Weddings are most always a joyous event. It was for Isaac, and it was for Rebekah. When Rebekah came riding up on the camel with the servant she leaped off the camel. It does not say what she did when she leaped off the camel, but I just suppose that she ran to meet him, and their hearts became as one. In leaping off the camel Rebekah had left the last of her worldly possessions behind. Her journey is complete.

When Jesus and His Bride are joined together at last, they will never part, because it will be for all eternity.

The invitation is still extended. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17 (KJV).

If we have “Eyes to see, and ears to hear” we can see quite clearly the picture the Master has painted for us. We can see Jesus’ death in Isaac at the altar, we see His resurrection and ascension in that Isaac came from the “Well of the Living One”. We can see the work of the Holy Spirit in Abraham’s servant as he sought a bride for Isaac.

God is so good He paints us such beautiful pictures to show us how He is working throughout all of time to draw us to Himself. The Antitype is even more beautiful.

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:5-10 (KJV).

THE END OF RELIGION

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MOTHER/CHILD RELIGION

Revelation 17:1-18

Bill Dudley, a Missouri Baptist Evangelist has written some notes on the Revelation. I am going to quote him here.
“In his book THE TWO BABYLONS, Alexander Hislop traces the development of Mystery Babylon through the centuries to the present time.
NIMROD was the founder of Babel (Gen. 10-11), and the kingdom of Babylon. His wife’s name was SEMIRAMIS. In Gen. 3:15 God had promised to deliver the race through the “seed of the woman”. Because of this promise, when NIMROD’S wife, SEMIRAMIS, gave birth to a son, she said he was miraculouly conceived by a sunbeam and she preseented him as the promised deliverer of the earth.
The son’s name was TAMMUZ. When TAMMUZ was grown, so the story goes, a wild boar slew him; but after forty days of his mother’s weeping, he was raised from the dead. This ancient story of SEMIRAMIS and her son, TAMMUZ is the origin of the cult of mother/child worship that has spread throughout the whole world.
In ASSYRIA and NINEVEH she is called ISHTAR and her son was still known as TAMMUZ.
In PHOENICIA she was called ASTARTE or ASHTEROTH, and her son, still TAMMUZ.
In EGYPT she was called IRIS and her son is OSIRIS or HORUS.
In GREECE she was called APHRODITE, and her son was called EROS.
Among the ROMANS she was called VENUS, and her son was called CUPID.
As this mother/child worship spread through the earth, she was worshiped by the offering of a wafer (a little cake) to her as the queen of heaven. The worship always included forty days of Lent, of weeping over the destruction of TAMMUZ, before the feast of ISHTAR, at which time his resurrection was celebrated. The sign of TAMMUZ was an ISHTAR egg, a symbol of his restoration to life.
The Old Testament prophets rebuked the mother and child cult. In JEREMIAH 44:19-30 he rebukes the people for worshiping the queen of heaven and in EZEKIEL 8:5-18 the prophet sees the people, v. 14, observing the forty days of Lent during which they afflict themselves and weep for TAMMUZ, the child that was slain by the wild boar.
This ancient worship of the mother and child passed down from BABYLON to ASSYRIA, to PHOENICIA, to PERGAMOS, and finally, to ROME.
In ROME the Emperor was PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, the high priest of all the idolatrous systems of the Roman Empire. When there were no more Roman Emperors the title of high priest of the rites and mysteries of the cult of mother and child, the Babylonian mystery religion, was assumed by the BISHOP OF ROME.” pp. 55 & 56 of Bill Dudley’s notes.And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 17:1-6 (KJV).

In these verses we have a description of religious Babylon.
In the book of the Revelation there are four women of four different visions who have a relationship with religion:
1. In the letter to the church in Thyatira “Jezebel” was a false prophetess corrupting the church in this city (2:20);
2. In 12:1-6 the mother of the man-child was the nation of Israel, the people of the Old Covenant;
3. In our present chapter Babylon is seen as a religious system centered in man rather than God – a woman riding the beast;
4. And, in 21:9, the Bride of Christ represents the saints of the Church joined to Christ who redeemed them.
This false religious system is seen sitting “upon many waters”. NOTE: In most other cases water, in the Revelation, is to be taken literally, but here, the text itself gives it a symbolic meaning by its interpretation of verse 15.
This shows how false religion has covered the earth and influenced and condemned many to destruction.
Verse 2 has this “harlot” in an act of spiritual adultery. God has accused, and rightly so, Israel of being a harlot (Hosea). Spiritual adultery is the pretense of worshipping the one true God in ceremony, while at the same time honoring other god’s in heart.
In this case the “whore” has power in government. She has sold out every spiritual principle for political power. Our verses here describe her as riding a “scarlet colored beast”. This beast represents government, and by its color, an evil government – scarlet represents the devil.
This “great whore” is seen as full of wealth (v. 5). She is also seen as a “mystery”. A mystery only those to whom God gives the interpretation can understand. It is godly wisdom that causes understanding. She is proud to even call herself, “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATION IN THE EARTH” – Religious Babylon (Babel). There has always been an attempt to join all religions. The apostate religions of earth want the Church to join with them, to lay aside the truth of sin, Jesus, the cross, the resurrection, the ascension, the second coming and be in unity with them. The apostate church accepts all beliefs.
This “MOTHER OF HARLOTS” is guilty of shedding the blood of God’s saints. John is astonished. He knows about persecution, but it has come from the government. However, what he saw was the apostate church – professing to know Christ – in the end time, drunk on the blood of the saints of God.

In verses 1-6 we have had revealed to us the mystery. In the following eight verses the angel gives the interpretation.

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. vv. 7-8 (KJV).

The Beast 1) “Was” that means, had lived prior to this day [John’s], 2) “Is not”, that is, was dead during the time of action involved, 3) “Shall ascend out of the bottomless pit”, that is, to come to life and appear on earth [at the time of God’s appointing], 4) “To go into perdition”, that is, to be appointed to death and confined to eternal torment.
The beast comes out of “the bottomless pit”. There are several references to this pit in the Revelation – 9:1-2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3.
The Beasts’ destiny is to perdition. Eternal torment awaits him and all those who follow him. Remembering the “Beast” as a government; governments are represented by leaders and, of course, it would be these leaders of whom this would be speaking.

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. vv. 9-11 (KJV).

In these verses we have the interpretation of the “seven heads”. Rome is often called, “The city of seven hills” and may be somewhat implied.
Sometimes mountain also refers to a kingdom, this seven kingdoms. Since “seven” is the number for completion, maybe this is reference to world government, all Gentile governments, and most likely they have reached the end.
Prior to John’s day five empires had fallen [five kings]: 1) Egypt, 2) Assyria, 3) Babylon, 4) Medo-Persia, and 5) Greece. One king was then present – Rome. The seventh was yet future, and an eighth comes out of the seventh.
The last world ruler could be the seventh and the eighth. When he begins at the beginning of Daniel’s “seventieth week” he is a man greatly influenced by satan. However, in the midst of the week he is killed, ending his rule, only to be seemingly raised from death as the incarnation of satan, totally possessed by him, thus, making the eighth king. This is a possibility, however, there is no way to be dogmatic about it. Only God truly knows.

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. vv. 12-14 (KJV).

The “ten horns” are ten kings.
These unite to make war with the Lamb. They will be defeated by the Lamb, because He is the “Lord of lords, and King of kings”.
There are four descriptions of the people of Christ: 1) They are with Him, 2) Are called, 3) Chosen, and 4) Faithful.

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. vv. 15-18 (KJV).

The fall of Religious Babylon is described in these verses. The sovereignty of God is seen throughout all of Scripture and it is none the less so here. God using a wicked political system to put away the wicked religious system. God hates hypocrisy and destroys all religion that opposes His plan and will for mankind.
When these political rulers think they are serving their own purposes and plans they will actually be carrying out the judgment of the Holy God upon the unholy harlot.
Any religion that bases salvation of man upon works, rather than by grace through faith, is a false religion and will fall under the judgment of our holy God.
The keeping of sacraments, indulgences, confession, rosary, witnessing, saying empty words, are works and not grace provided by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. To claim works obtain salvation is to make void the cross of Christ, and commit “spiritual adultery”.

WORKS ARE THE FRUIT OF SALVATION, NOT THE CAUSE.

This will be THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MOTHER/CHILD RELIGION. Let me pose a question. Could this beast be the beast of democracy? Religion rides highly in democratic governments, in most cases. Just think about many of the political campaigns of our day. Somehow “god” always comes into the picture.

THE DARKNESS OF THE CRUCIFIXION

Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44

When Jesus went to the cross there was a period of three hours which is not given much notice in sermons that are preached. Of course, there is actually no way we can know all that went on in that three hours, unless it is by reading the twenty second Psalm, and hear the heart cry of our Savior as He was rejected by His Father, forsaken by His Father.Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. Matt 27:45 (KJV)
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33 (KJV)
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Luke 23:44 (KJV)

A few years ago I read a sermon by G. Campbell Morgan titled “THE DARKNESS OF GOLGOTHA” which really impressed me. Because of that message I developed this one using Brother Morgan’s main points, and quoting him often.

I. THE MEANING OF THE DARKNESS.
A. It was the hour of evil.
B. No matter how deep or dark the darkness the Light is always shining.
C. Satan wanted to extinguish the Light.
“From the very beginning of the shining of that Light, focused in history by the Incarnation, the one supreme purpose of the enemy was to….put it out. And in these three hours of darkness we are brought face to face with the time when all the force of evil was brouth to bear on the soul of the Son of God, and all the unutterable intent and purpose of evil wrapped Him about in darkness that is beyond our comprehension.” G. Campbell Morgan.
D. Darkness is a symbol of spiritual evil.
“The people which sat in darkness saw a great light:” (Matthew 4:16).
“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” (6:23). ASLO SEE Matthew 8:12 & 25:30.
E. Death and darkness express the ultimate in evil.II. THE PASSING OF THE DARKNESS.
A. The four sayings after the passing of the darkness;
1. The cry of forsakenness (27:46);
2. The cry of human limitation and experience (John 19:28). [I thirst].
3. The cry of spiritual accomplishment (John 19:30) [It is finished]
4. The cry of confidence (Luke 23:46).
“…He died, not of a broken heart, not of human brutality, not of murder by human hands; but by His own volition He yielded up the Ghost, and His spirit, commended to God passed to God. The death that saves was not that physical dissolution, but the infinite spiritual mystery of the three hours and the darkness, which being passed, He Himself did say, ‘It is finished'”. IBID
B. It seems that during the three hours of darkness the crowds were silent.
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps.46:10).
1. Not a word is spoken until His cry of forsakenness.
2. Not a word of mockery, insolence, or hate is heard.
C. After the darkness, it was people who loved Him who took Him down, prepared His body and laid Him in the garden tomb.
D. The foes of Jesus seemed to have withdrawn.
1. Satan seems to be nowhere around.
2. Christ triumphed over him on the cross.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Col 2:13-15 (KJV)

III. THE TRANSACTION WITHIN THE DARKNESS.
A. We cannot begin to understand all that took place during the darkness.
1. Much of what has been said by men is mere theory.
2. Only what the Scriptures reveal can be received and concluded to be fact.
B. God cannot be expressed in finite or human terms.
“God must pity any man who thinks he understands the cross completely.” IBID.
C. Every sort of darkness that has been mentioned in Scripture as a symbol of evil was experienced by Jesus.
“That does not answer the inquiry as to what happened. I have no answer for that. Only this I know, that in that hour of darkness He passed into the place of the ultimate wrestling of evil in actual experience. There is light as I hear the final word, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit’ (Luke 23:46), for the word is a word which declares that whatever the transaction was, it was accomplished; that whatever the dying indicated, it was done.” IBID.
D. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42).
1. Because He saves others; He cannot/could not save Himself.
2. Because He chose to go up to the cross; He could not come down. His heart was set on saving others.
E. WHY COULDN’T HE SAVE HIMSELF?
“Because He is God, and because God is love, and love is never satisfied with the destruction of a sinner, but with the saving of a sinner.” IBID.
“Someone may say to me, ‘Cannot God forgive out of pure love?’ I shall answer, ‘If He can, I cannot.’ If He could forgive me for the wrongs of which I am conscious, and that have left behind them their stain and pollution – If He could forgive my sins by simply saying, ‘Never mind them’, then I cannot so forgive myself. My conscience cries for a cleansing that is more than a sentiment of pity. Somehow, somewhere, in order that I may have forgiveness, there must be tragedy, something mightier than devilish sin.” IBID.
F. In the darkness He determined not to deliver Himself, rather He chose to deliver me.
1. Out of darkness has come a Light.
2. From the darkness had come the treasures of pardon, peace, power, and purity.
“I do not know what happened in the darkness, but this I know, that as I have come to the cross and received the suggestions of the material unveiling, I have found my heart, my spirit, my life brought into a realm of healing spices, to the consciousness of the forgiveness of sins. And there is no other gospel of forgiveness.” IBID.
G. In the darkness He chose not to save Himself; He chose to save the world.

NO MATTER WHAT MEN MAY SAY, SATAN WAS DEFEATED BY JESUS ON THE CROSS: THE RESURRECTION WAS CONFIRMATION OF THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS.

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (5)

“…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10c)

We are going to look at a picture of Jesus in Genesis 22 in this study. It is surely one of the clearest pictures of Jesus, the crucifixion, and resurrection that you will ever find in all of the Old Testament.

First of all I want you to put from your mind the old Sunday School picture of Isaac being a small child as he and his father, Abraham went on this journey of sacrifice. It is highly, more probable, that he is a man in his thirties. I will explain that a little later. Now, how do we see the Lord Jesus in the text of Genesis 22.

The command from God to Abraham is, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering up one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (v.2). God the Father offered up His only Son for the sacrifice for sin upon the cross of Calvary. Which is said to be the very place where Abraham came to offer Isaac. It was a planned place, “which I will tell thee of”. Abraham rose without question, “early in the morning” maybe to avoid the questions of Sarah, but he went in faith. If you will notice how many times it is stated rather emphatically that it was a “certain place” (vv. 2,3,4,&9).

After Abraham had gathered all the necessary items, his son, a couple of servants, the wood, and the fire they journeyed for three days (v. 4) and “saw the place afar off.” In the heart and mind of Abraham, Isaac had been three days dead. He had been committed to obey God believing according to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews that God was able to raise Isaac from death (Hebrews 11:17-19). From this point on Abraham and Isaac proceed up to the mountain top alone. What is about to transpire can only happen between the father and the son. What happened on Calvary between the Father and Son was such a transaction that no one will ever be able to describe. Three hours of darkness. Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us about the event.SEE Matthew 27:45-46; Mark15:33-34; and Luke 23:44-45.

If you will, now, notice the wood that Abraham, “…laid it upon Isaac his son…” Notice also who took “the fire” and “a knife”. By whose hand was this judgment to fall? The father. See Isaiah 53:4-5ff.

Now, back to something I mentioned earlier. Isaac would have been a grown man, not a child as is often pictured in many Sunday School quarterlies. He could have been 37 years of age. I base that on Sarah’s age at the time of her death (Genesis 23:1) 127, and age of Isaac at the time of his marriage to Rebekkah – 40 (Genesis 25:20; also see 24:67). The reason I mention this is because as a grown man he would have been able to overthrow his father, and not be the sacrifice, but Isaac went as a willing participant in the offering. He was submissive to his father’s will. 1) He took the wood (v. 6); 2) He walked up the hill carrying the wood (v.9); 3) He allowed his hands and feet to be bound (v. 9). Does that sound familiar?

Isaac’s typology of Christ ends here at the altar. He was an unworthy sacrifice for sin. Isaac himself needed a substitute, and that would be the ram. At the point where the “angel of the LORD” stops the hand of Abraham from slaying Isaac, in the heart and mind of Abraham Isaac is alive again. He has been resurrected and lives. Three days dead, now living. On the was, alone with his father, Isaac had asked, “…Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”, and Abraham responded, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering… (vv. 7-8). God has provided HIMSELF as a sacrifice for sin in the person of His own only Son.

I do not think it to be an accident that it says, “…and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns…” In Scripture horns represent power and authority. The ram was held by his own power. Christ “…Stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem…” (Luke 9:51).

May they who have a heart for seeing Jesus see Him clearly here. If you cannot see Him here you will miss Him elsewhere.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (3)

THE HAPPY WATCHER

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Rev 16:15 (KJV).

If we knew a thier was going to come to our home to break in, and steal from us we would make every effort to spoil that thief’s plans. We would be ready for him/her. I have seen some signs on country store fronts which read, “This store is guarded by angry man with a double barrel, twelve gauge shotgun, three nights per week – you guess which nights”. With that kind of statement theelement of surprise is given to the store owner, and taken frim the thier who if he has any sense will not break in.
The coming of our Lord Jesus in the clouds is likened to a thief, but only by surprise. It will be as a thief in that something will be snatched away – His prized possession purchased with His own blood – the Church. It will be no surprise to those who are watching in expectancy for the Lord’s return. It will only be a surprise to those who are unprepared. “THE HAPPY WATCHER” is the one who is prepared.

There are four things we need to see and realize about THE HAPPY WATCHER;
First of all, they TAKE GOD’S WORDS SERIOUSLY.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:42-44 (KJV).
Taking God’s words seriously means we will LIVE BY HIS WORD, SO AS NOT TO BE SURPRISED, AND CAUGHT UNPREPARED. Jesus said He would come again. In First Thessalonians 5:4 Paul wrote, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”. It is a shame that in the day we live in a large percentage of people who call themselves “Christian” are Biblically illiterate. Can you imagine the number of people who think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, and that amounted to 12 percent of people surveyed. Eighty two percent of Americans believe that, “God helps those who help themselves”, is a verse in the Bible, and those who called themselves “Christian” were only one percent better. How are people going to be prepared to meet God when they do not even know His Word. Pastor’s get back to preaching the Word and the gospel. People are perishing with your topical “How Tos”
The word of God is not to be joked about, but IT IS DELIGHTED IN BY THOSE WHO KNOW THE ONE WHO IS COMING AGAIN. Read Psalm 1, “…His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law does he meditate day and night”. The righteous DELIGHT in God’s Word.

Secondly, THE HAPPY WATCHER GUARDS AGAINST THAT WHICH IS PERILOUS.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:12-14 (KJV).
The one who watches for the coming of Christ will have no part in the works of darkness and evil. The only part we are commanded to have is to expose evil, and to overcome evil with good. We are to be clothed, and armored with the light of Jesus. Put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand. Always doing things that are honest, godly and good. We give only room for Jesus Christ. When “we put on Christ”, that means we will put off worldliness, and sin. How can two walk together, except they agree.

Thirdly, THE HAPPY WATCHER HOLDS ON TO THAT WHICH IS PRECIOUS.
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (KJV).
When we hold on to that which is precious THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HEARD AND OBEYED. He is not grieved, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” Eph. 4:30-31 (KJV). Neither is He quenched; “Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thess 5:19 (KJV). When the fire of the Spirit of God is burning we should be very careful to obey and keep adding fuel, not seeking ways to put it out. The fruit of the Spirit will be seen in the Christian’s life; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Gal 5:22-26 (KJV).
Our salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ is rejoiced in, every moment of our lives, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, all through life, and not seen as trivial. It is appreciated daily. The security we have in this salvation is not a license to sin, but a license – freedom to practice holiness and righteousness (Rom. 6:18).
Faith in God, His Son, and His Word will increase as we apply the Word of God to our daily lives.

Finally, THE HAPPY WATCHER IS SPIRITUALLY PREPARED.
The spiritually prepared are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Not depending on any of their own, “Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy, He has saved us”. There is a longing in the heart of the one who is prepared for the coming of Jesus, that causes us to be alert [watching] and working until He comes . When we are faithful we will be unashamed at His coming, not by our own goodness, but by His sovereign grace. To those who are prepared for His coming He will appear as our Savior and Lord.

In conclusion I would ask, what is your present situation with the Lord? have you been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ: Is He your Lord? If He is none of these you are not prepared for His return. Be saved today by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation.
Christian, are you holding as dear to you the precious gift of faith and His Spirit he has given you, or are you living solely for self forgetting about the needs of Christ and His Church? If you are living for self, you are not prepared either. You will be found naked and ashamed before Him at His coming. Repent of the wicked, evil desires of your heart and follow the ways of Jesus.

HIS GLORY IN HIS WRATH

HIS GLORY IN HIS WRATH

Revelation 15:1 – 16:21

There is a phrase used several times throughout the Revelation which becomes quite obvious after a while. It is the phrase “Inhabitants of earth”. The fulness of God’s wrath is in view upon this group, therefore it is fitting for all who will call upon the Lord, to do so before that day comes, do so by trusting exclusively in the glorious Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross, believing that He died, was buried, and rose again bodily from the grave, that He ascended unto the Father, and that He is coming again.And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 15:1 (KJV).

Since we have been in an interlude, the Scriptures has three different times taken us to the brink of the destruction of wickedness in chapters 11, 14, and will again in 16 only to stop and fill in some details until chapter 19 where it happens.
John is shown seven angels, probably different from the others, “Having seven last plagues”. “Last plagues” seem to certainly indicate these events will precede the coming of Jesus in power and glory. In these plagues is the bringing to completion of God’s wrath upon wickedness on the earth.And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And 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. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. vv. 2-4 (KJV).

These “That had gotten victory over the beast…” are probably those who refused the mark, and all the things of the beast, and died by his hand. They are alive.
The “Sea of glass mingled with fire” certainly implies a persecuted people by the trials and fires of the Great Tribulation. There is another “Sea of glass”, but without fire in 4:6.
These, like the 144,000, sing a song. This song is clearly called “the song of Moses”. I mentioned in the previous chapter the possibility that the 144,000 sing the song of Moses from Exodus 15. These in this chapter, most likely, would fit in singing the “Song of Moses from Deuteronomy 32. The 144,000 being delivered physically would fit Exodus 15, while these of our present chapter of Revelation, being delivered by death would be in accord with Deuteronomy 32 because it is a song of God’s vengeance on the wicked persecutors. The “Song of the Lamb” is a song of grace, apart from which no one can be saved. As the Lamb, it speaks of His blood sacrifice; “Without shedding of [His] blood is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22b).
The Lamb of God is worthy of our worship and one day every tribe, and tongue and nation will worship Him. All shall see that He is holy in His judgments, He is righteous in all His assessments. All the earth shall bow at His feet and call Him “Lord”.And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. vv. 5-6 (KJV)

I am going to let John Walvoord describe this scene: “Another vision now introduced by John as a later development constitutes the immediate introduction of the judgments represented in the vials. Our attention is arrested by the phrase ‘I looked and, behold.” This expression always introduces something dramatically new. As John observes, the Holy of Holies in the heavenly Tabernacle is opened. The expression ‘the temple’ (Gr., naos) refers to the inner holy place of the Tabernacle, the design of which God gave to Israel during the wilderness wandering. The expression ‘the tabernacle of the testimony’ is a reference to the whole tentlike structure, a portion of which contained the Holy of Holies. It is described as ‘the tabernacle of the testimony’ because of the presence of the tables of stone containing the ten commandments which were placed in the ark of the testimony in the Holy of Holies (cf. Exodus 32:15; Acts 7:44) and is mentioned frequently in the Old Testament (Exodus 38:21; Num. 1:50, 53; 10:11; 17:7-8; 18:2).” From THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST pg. 229 (1966).
It seems quite obvious that this “Temple” is not the Church. It is actually the temple from which God gave the design to Moses for the tabernacle in the wilderness.
John describes these angels as coming out of the temple. It almost seems to be a quiet, hushed, reverent procession.
These angels are clothed in white. These are angels of God. The white represents the righteous character of Holy God, and the justness of His wrath which is about to proceed from the heavenly throne. The golden girdle speaks of justice and righteousness of His wrath. The truth is bound in this golden girdle.
Each of the seven angels holds in their hands one vial of judgment, which seems to be given to them after they proceed out of the temple. God in His holiness will be glorified.And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. vv. 7-8 (KJV)

One of the four Living ones of chapter four gives each angel a golden vial [bowl] according to the plague for which they are assigned.
In 5:8 is mentioned “golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints”. It would appear that there is no more prayer – “no man was able to enter the temple”. The time for prayer will cease, and the time of God’s vengeance against those who mocked His name, His law, His holiness and righteousness, and His people has come.
The vials are the last judgment before the appearance of Jesus in all His glory.And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 16:1 (KJV)

The voice from out of the temple must be that of God the Most High. The prayers of the saints from 5:8 are being carried out to the fullest. Do we pray for vengeance upon evil today? Should we? I believe that we do and should; of course, for the cause of God’s glory. We must remember evil even in our own lives. The fire of His Spirit falling on us burns away the dross and filth of evil. If you are “in Christ” ( a phrase used by the apostle Paul) you stand in the fire and come out purer and stronger before God.
Let us commit ourselves as followers/disciples of Jesus Christ to praying for God’s vengeance upon evil, and one day we will see it brought to pass. Let us pray also that friends, family, all our loved ones, and neighbors will be convicted of sin, and that lead them to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Every time a soul is saved evil is judged.And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. 3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. 4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. 8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. 12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. vv. 2-14 (KJV)

It seems that where the seven seals, and seven trumpets speak of man’s choice to live without God, their sin brings judgment and finally in the bowl judgments God’s own hand is stretched out to judge.
1. For God to pull away and let mankind have his way is a terrible judgment;
2. Man’s selfishness, pride, lust, greed causes pollution, and environmental harm bringing their own judgment;
3. Finally, when wicked men see God’s wrath and yet reject His mercy and grace, God steps in in full force to put an end to evil.
These vials [bowls] seem to coincide with the seven trumpet judgments. Remember the seventh trumpet brings in the seven vials of wrath. Where the seals and trumpets only seemed to touch a part of the earth – one fourth part in the opening of the “seals” (6:8), one third part in the “trumpets” (8:7-9) – these judgments seem to touch the whole earth and the heavens.
What the seven vials of judgment deal with and their correlation to the trumpets:
1. 8:1-7 “The earth” 16:1-2;
2. 8:8-9 “The sea” 16:3;
3. 8:10-11 “The rivers” 16:4-7;
4. 8:12-13 “The heavens” 16:8-9;
5. 9:1-2 “Mankind – torment” 16:10-11;
6. 9:13-21 “An army” 16:12-16;
7. 11:15-19 “Angry nations” 16:17-21
These seem very similar, but the scope of their devastation is much different. The vial judgments are said to be “the last”.
With the vials:
1. (V. 2) The objects of this wrath are clearly the ones who worshipped the beast;
2. (V. 3) The whole sea turns to blood compared to only one third with the second trumpet (8:8-9);
3. (VV. 4-7) Every stream and fountain of fresh water becomes “blood”; with the third trumpet one third of the waters became bitter (8:10-11);
4. (VV. 8-9) With the fourth trumpet the sun was darkened (8:12-13), but here the heat of the sun is intensified and is destructive (see Isaiah 30:26);
5. (VV. 10-11) This vial is poured out upon the throne of the “Beast”; even with this great wrath these wicked men refuse to repent;
6. (VV. 12-16) With this vial two important events take place; 1) the drying of the Euphrates River, and 2) the gathering of the armies of the world.
Within this, note the Beatitude (v. 16). It is God’s reminder to us of His provision for those who prepare by receiving His grace.
“Behold I come as a thief”. The Church can be assured that Jesus will come as a thief for His bride and take her out of the world. Who will He take out of this world before the Tribulation? 1) Those who are watching and alert; 2) Those who are living lives that please the Lord. “Blessed” or “Happy” will be those who are with Jesus during this horrible time of God’s wrath.
ALSO SEE “THE HAPPY WATCHER” following this article.
Verse 16 clearly shows the very sovereignty of God. When the world peace is not working and the armies of the world gather for battle against one another – it is God who brought them to this battle. While they are battling with one another the King of kings will descend from Heaven, and the armies of earth will join forces against Heaven’s army and do battle. All He must do is speak a word, and it is over. What a mighty God we serve.And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. vv. 17-21 (KJV)

The final wrath of God is poured out. Sin is totally put away and evil destroyed. “It is done”, the voice from the temple says. It almost sounds like Jesus as He hung on the cross and cried out, “It is finished”. The work Jesus came to do was finished on the cross. The work God began in mankind with Adam will be finished when He completely destroys sin. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
What happens with the final or seventh vial being poured out?
1. Voices, thunderings, and lightnings;
2. Great earthquake – unlike any known by man;
3. The destruction of Babylon – the political, economical, and ecclesiastical rule of man will crumble, probably recognized through a city;
4. Because of the earthquake the face of the earth is changed (v. 20);
5. Hailstones about the weight of 100 pounds will fall;
6. Rather than repenting men still living will blaspheme God.
It is great to know we are still in a day of salvation. If people would harden our hearts to God, it just could be God will harden our hearts to Him, and if that happens – there is no hope.
Repent when God calls (2 Corinthians 6:2). When God calls do not harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-8). You may not have another day (Proverbs 27:1). Do not wait to experience HIS GLORY IN HIS WRATH. Experience His glory in His grace through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.