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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they may rest from their labours;”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:13 KJV

(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

The eternal rest of God’s people is in view…. “that they may rest from their labors”.  What type of rest will God’s people experience throughout eternity?  this text answers that question using the term “labors”.  The Greek word translated “labors” carries with it the ideas of “fatigue, grief, sorrow, or pain”.

When we enter into our eternal rest, we will no longer face the trials, struggles, oppostions, weaknesses, and hurts of this fallen world.   We will be able to enter into a peaceful rest with our Lord!

 

The first stage of our eternal rest begins at our physical death…

Job 3:13-19 KJV  “For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, …  There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.  There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.  The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.”

 

The final stage of our eternal rest is a rest for our entire being (spirit and body).   This begins at the second coming of Christ.  At that time we will receive our resurrected, glorified bodies…

2Th 1:6-7 KJV  “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,”

 

Knowledge and appreciation for this eternal rest should be a great motivational force in our service to Christ and need for self-examination…

Heb 4:9-11 KJV  “here remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.   For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

(Please note the phrase “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest”, does not teach us that our labors on earth will gain us this rest.  It is simply instructing us to labor to be certain that we have been saved by God’s grace.   This same principle is found in 2 Peter 1:10 –  “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”)

 

May we all take this exhortation very seriously and take great pains to make certain that the Lord has intervened in our life and brought us to a saving knowledge of Him!  May we use this wonderful promise of our eternal rest motivate us to search our hearts immediately, seriously, and honestly.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-484

Eternal Torment Is Not A Myth, It Is An Eternal Truth From God’s Word…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:10 KJV  – “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-48h

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:10 KJV

(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

 

God’s eternal punishment for sins is described in our text as “torment” which is translated from the Greek word “basanizo”.    In the KJV, the same Greek word is also translated “pain”, “toil”,  “toss”, or “vex”.     Based upon its meaning and usage, it is clear that “torment” is describing the great pain, misery, and sorrow that lost mankind will experience in the Lake of Fire.

To further explain the great agony of eternal damnation the phrase “with fire and brimstone” is added to the description.  (see also Rev 19:20; 20:10, 21:8)   Both fire and brimstone are earthly examples with which we are all familiar. They are given to us, to help explain sufferings that are yet to come and cannot be experienced, nor fully understood, in the here and now.

 

“Fire” – the eternal wrath of God involves excruciating pain…
We have all experienced the great pain that that we feel when we are burnt in a flame or touching a hot burner on the stove.   This is a very faint, earthly picture of the great pain that awaits those who enter the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

 

“Brimstone”  the eternal wrath of God is agonizing and, in every aspect of it, destructive to mankind…
Brimstone (aka burning sulfur) emits an extremely hot (500 degree) blue flame and a gas (SO2) that is poisonous to man.   It is found in abundance during volcanic eruptions.  When we think about the devastating heat and catastrophic effects of a volcanic eruption, we can see the great pain and continuing destruction that awaits lost individuals.  From the perspective of the unsaved, there is absolutely no beneficial aspect to the eternal judgment that awaits them.

 

Christ, Himself, links fire and brimstone to the punishment for sin (Sodom and Gomorrah) in Luke 17:29…
“But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”

 

The relationship between fire and brimstone and the judgment of sin is clearly declared in Psalm 11:6…
“Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”

 

May we never take the phrase “tormented with fire and brimstone” lightly.

It was given to us in the Word of the Lord to illustrate to lost mankind the horrible eternal judgment that awaits them.  Likewise, it was given to the people of God, to help them understand and appreciate His gracious deliverance from this eternal judgment and to remind them of the need to share the gospel with the lost who are still facing this horrible torment.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-484

The Pride, Selfishness and Humanism Of The World Awaits Certain Defeat!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:8 KJV  “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-48c

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Babylon”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:8 KJV  “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

 

 

 

In this verse, and other verses in Revelation (Rev 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 18:10, 18:21), we find the kingdoms of Satan described as “Babylon”.   One of the most important keys to understanding the relationship between Babylon and the kingdoms of Satan can be found in the account of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9).  It was this event that marks the beginning of the kingdom of Babylon.

The relationship between Babylon and Satan’s kingdoms centers upon the motives behind the building of the tower which are reflected throughout the history of the kingdom of Babylon.  Note the following verses that are taken from the Tower of Babel account:

Gen 11:1,4 – “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech…  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

In these verses, we are told that mankind, prior to the tower incident, spoke the same language and dialect.  This allowed them to be a unified group of men who could clearly communicate with one other.  In all likelihood, this would have fostered a spirit of oneness between them giving them the ability to achieve many great accomplishments, a sense of security, and a heart filled with pride at all they had accomplished.  This basic principles seem to be born out in Gen 11:4.

In verse four, we can see the two great prideful motives at work in the building of their tower:

 

  1. a desire to remain unified – “lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth”

By building a tower that reached high in the clouds, they would be able to see it from great distances on the earth.  This would allow them to have a universal meeting place, allowing them to retain their unity, security, and strength while spreading out and traveling great distances upon the globe.

 

  1. a desire to be exalted in their own eyes – “let us make us a name”

By building such a tremendous feat of engineering (an incredibly tall ornate tower) it would be a display of their great strength, abilities, and knowledge.  They would become famous among the people throughout the generations, thus creating a lasting name for themselves.

 

Put another way, the Babylon empire was based upon selfishness, pride, and humanism… so too, the kingdom of Satan….

Satan’s fall was the direct result of His prideful, rebellious, selfish attitude, as he desired the worship, praise and honor deserved by God alone.  Those who are members of his kingdoms share in these three same life characteristics…   They refuse to submit to their Creator and Lord, which is an issue of selfishness and pride.  Also,  they believe they can better themselves, better society and avoid the results of their sinful condition through their good works and self-reformation, these beliefs are prideful and represent humanism at its finest.

These similarities between the beginning of Babylon and the basis of Satan’s kingdom is one of the great reasons why the kingdoms of this world are described as “Babylon” and “Mystery Babylon”.

 

As Christians, may we all see our need to flee from these “Babel” characteristics (pride, selfishness, and humanism) that are commonly seen in the lives of the lost around us.  In opposition to these, may we seek to live holy lives that bear the fruits of the Spirit in the eyes of all around us.  In doing so, we will be showing the characteristics that were seen in the life of our Lord, which lie in direct opposition to the characteristics seen in the life of Satan.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-484

The Good News About Christ Holds Many Eternal Blessings For Us!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:6 KJV  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-487

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “The Everlasting Gospel”

SIH TOTT ICONThe Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “The Everlasting Gospel

 

Rev 14:6 KJV  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

 

For most Christians, the gospel message is very familiar… it is the death, burial, resurrection and its proofs:

1Co 15:1-8 KJV… “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried,  and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

 

And most of us also understand that this gospel message is powerful… it is the tool used by God to save members of fallen mankind from the penalty, power and presence of sin:

Rom 1:16 KJV … “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

 

But not as many of us, I am afraid, understand that it is the everlasting gospel message.  It is perpetual, without end in two different aspects…

 

  1. Its EXISTANCE is everlasting:

Eph 3:11 KJV… “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Heb 13:20 KJV… “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”

It was a part of the eternal purpose of God, Who made this everlasting promise to all His people.

 

  1. Its EFFECTS are everlasting as well:

2Th 2:16 KJV – “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,”

Tit 1:1-3 KJV – “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;   But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”

It results in God’s people being given everlasting comfort and good assurance of eternal life.

 

May we all bow before our God this day and praise Him for His great eternal purpose that included Christ’s sacrificial work on behalf of His people.   It is this very work that is declared plainly in the everlasting gospel message.   It is this everlasting message that gives us access to His work of grace!

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-484

God’s People Are Firstfruits Brought To Him For His Use!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-480

Revelation 14:6-13 “The Warnings Of The Three Angels”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note in the following passage the messages of the three angels are related and should be taken as one unit.  We can see this when verse 9 says “the third angel”.  This points us to the fact that these three angels present a series of three warnings that refer to the same basic event…. The wrath that falls during the second coming of Christ.

Also, please remember these warnings of coming judgment are being proclaimed prior to the second coming of Christ.

When these warnings are delivered, both lost and saved still dwell on the earth.  It will be in the immediate future that Christ appears, takes His children to be with Him, and begins to release His wrath upon fallen mankind that remains upon the earth…

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

 

I…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon All Mankind

 

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,

John says that he sees another similar angel flying in heaven.  “Another” implies that there was a previous angel that John has seen.  Which angel is he referring to?  The last angel that delivered a message was the angel written about in Revelation 11:15, the angel that announced the final stages of wrath that would bring God’s punishment upon mankind to a conclusion.

The angel we are reading about in this verse is a similar type of angel.  He, too, is delivering a message of the impending wrath of God that is ready to fall upon lost mankind.

 

having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

This angel possesses the everlasting gospel message (death, burial, resurrection) of Christ that he will be proclaiming to the entire world giving the lost one last chance to repent before the judgment falls upon them.

This angel and his message is symbolic of the gospel being proclaimed throughout all the world during the last days prior to Christ’s coming.  Christ said that this would take place….  Mat 24:14 KJV – “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

The gospel, in actuality would be proclaimed by the Lord using nature, His people and, especially, His local churches.  This is shown to us by the symbol of the “angel” (the gospel proclaimed by a “messenger” of God).

 

(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The angel, in the context of the gospel message, proclaims mankind’s need to “Fear God and give glory to Him”.  This is describing mankind as coming to salvation and honoring and worshipping their Lord.   Why should they act immediately? “for the hour of judgment is come”.

The angel also reminds mankind that the God they are to worship is their Creator… the One that holds the ultimate authority over them (Roms 9:19-26).

 

 

II…  Warning Of Certainty Of God’s Wrath

(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

The second angel now explains that God’s wrath has already been accomplished in the eternal counsels of God.  it is as good as done.  That is why he makes the statement “Babylon IS fallen, IS fallen”.  This fall is prophesied in Isaiah 21:7-10 and Jeremiah 51:6-10.

Please note: “Babylon” is a term that is being used to describe Satan’s kingdom(s).  This would include the religious and political aspects to that kingdom.  We will see this in much greater detail in Rev chapters 17-18.

Why does “Babylon” to refer to his kingdom?  Babylon finds it beginning with the tower of Babel event of the Old Testament (Gen 11:1-9).  The tower of Babel was mankind’s first attempt at organized rebellion against the Lord.   It is mankind wanting to pridefully “make us make a name (for ourselves) and seek to always remain united in their rebellion “lest we be scattered abroad”.   This is the epitome of Satan’s kingdom.  Both the political and religious aspects of his kingdom seek to rebel against the Lord, relying entirely upon themselves (their knowledge, strength, and abilities) instead of humbly recognizing their need of God and submit to His worship and service.

Babylon’s fall comes upon her because she has corrupted lost mankind to commit acts of uncleanness (fornication) with her.  Therefore she must partake of the fitting results of her sins and corrupting of the lost.  She entirely deserves the wrath that is about to fall upon her.  Her certain fall brings a just end to her sinful ways.

 

III…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon Satan’s Kingdoms

(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The third angel now delivers his warning to those who are members of Satan’s kingdom.

He describes these members of Satan’s kingdom as those who “worship the beast”, “worship the beasts image”, and “receive his mark in his forehead or his hand”. These descriptions mirror the description of lost mankind found in Rev 13:11-18.  Those who follow the political, religious kingdoms of Satan show themselves to be:

  1. worship the beast – those who honor and submit to Satan and his kingdoms
  2. worship his image – those who worship themselves, their abilities, their works, their knowledge etc
  3. receive the mark in his forehead or in his hand – bear fruits of sinfulness in their thoughts, desires, and outward works

 

(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

Anyone with these above marks will face God’s wrath at Christ’s second coming…

 

which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;

God’s wrath pictured as being undiluted and based upon God’s “indignation” (violent passionate anger).  Sin angers God, especially when that sin is propagated through methods of deceit and enticement of the lusts of the flesh….

Rom 1:18-19 KJV – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

 

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  (11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,

The wrath of God being poured out involves being “tormented” (tossed and pained) with fire and brimstone. This symbolism comes for the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:23-28, 2 Pet 2:4-6)

This torment begins at Christ’s second coming when His wrath falls upon sinful mankind on the earth (2 Peter 3:10-12, Luke 17:29-20, Psalm 11:4-6, 2 Thess 1:6-9) and then continues for an eternity in the Lake of Fire immediately following their time of judgment before God (Matt 25:41, Mark 9:43-48).

When both of these punishments take place, at the second coming and the final judgment of the lost, the Lamb and the angels of God will be present (Mrk 8:38, Lk 12:9).

 

Verses that teach the existence of an eternal punishment:

Isa 33:14 KJV – “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

Isa 66:23-24 KJV – “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.   And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Dan 12:2 KJV – “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.”

Mat 5:29-30 KJV – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.   And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Mat 7:23 KJV – “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Mat 10:28 KJV – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Mat 25:41 KJV – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Mar 9:43-48 KJV – “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Luk 8:30-32 KJV – “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.”

Luk 16:19-31 KJV – “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

2Th 1:6-9 KJV – “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Heb 6:1-2 KJV – “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

1 Pe 3:19 KJV – “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

 

Based upon these verses, we can see the teaching of eternal punishment is found in both Old and New Testaments, in a multiplicity of verses and texts.

 

who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who are the recipients of God’s wrath?  Those who are followers of Satan and members of his political and religious kingdom.

 

 

IV…  Summary Of Above Warnings

 

(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Knowledge of the coming judgment of the Lord against the abusers of His people is a source of great patience for His people.  There are the people whose lives are characterized by an obedience to the commands of the Lord and continuing proclamation that hands down to others the truths of God’s Word.

 

(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

After seeing the horrible end of the wicked, John is now prompted to emphasize the great blessings of the saved who are kept secure in Christ and pardoned from sin’s penalty.

What a drastic difference between the lost and saved!  The lost are destroyed at His coming, and sentenced to an eternal punishment. While the saved, on the other hand, enter into a Godly rest from their earthly labors (Hebs 4:8-9. Isa 57:1-2) and gain rewards for their obedient works (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Tim 5;24-25).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we find a four-fold revealing of Christ…

  1. In the message of the first angel, we can see the GRACE & GREATNESS of Christ revealed as He consistently presents the gospel message to the lost up to His second coming. This gives lost mankind every possible opportunity to repent and come to faith.   In this message He is also revealed as the True God and Creator of all mankind illustrating His greatness in comparison to fallen mankind.
  2. In the message of the second angel, we can see the SOVERIEGNTY and VICTORY that He has won over Satan and His kingdoms. His victory is an absolute certainty, being won at the cross and manifest at His second coming.
  3. In the message of the third angel, we can see His WRATH and His JUSTICE on display as He clearly displays His victory over the powers of darkness.
  4. In the angels’ instructions to John, we can see the FAITHFULNESS of Christ, as He remains faithful in keeping the promises of future blessings for His people to enjoy.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Servants of the Lord, may we all find encouragement to continue to take the gospel into the lost and dying world around us.

We have learned of the great need of the lost to come to Christ before they face their eternal punishment, the blessings awaiting each one of us, and the Lord’s promise of future victory and retribution in Him.

May we allow these truths to burden our hearts and motivate us to greater service to Christ!

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

 

 

The 144,000, symbolic of all who are saved, are described as being “the firstfruits of God and to the Lamb” here in Revelation.  The same title is also given to God’s people in James 1:18…

“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

 

What is meant by the term “firstfruits”?

The firstfruit was the early portion of a crop that was given back to the Lord as an act of worship and thankfulness for His gracious supply…

Pro 3:9 KJV – “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

 

Some of the basic priniciples of the firstfruits involved:

  1. a separation TO the Lord for His use
  2. a separation FROM the other portion of the crop
  3. a separation MOTIVATED BY thankfulness
  4. a separation RESULTING IN bringing honor God

 

What can we learn about God’s people from these truths concerning His firstfruits?

  1. God’s people are brought to Himself – John 6:44
  2. God’s people are brought out of fallen mankind – Romans 5:8-9
  3. God’s people serve Him out of thankfulness/appreciation of heart– Col 3:17
  4. God’s people serve Him resulting in God being glorified – 1 Peter 2:12

 

Are we living as firstfruits for our Lord and Savior?

After all He has done for us by graciously bringing us to Himself, removing us from the bondage of sin, and making us new creatures in Him, how can we not live as if we were offerings given to Him for His glory and praise?

 

May we all be firstfruits for His glory and grace!

Heb 13:15-16 KJV – “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47o

Do We Follow Our Lord Or Expect Him To Follow Us?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47U

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

 

The saved that have died and gone to heaven are described as “these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”    One of the great hallmarks of the life of a child of God is their willingness to follow their Lord in every area of their lives.   Christ Himself explained this principle to us when He said ….

Joh 10:27-29 KJV – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

 

WOW. What a wonderful passage for us this morning.  In this text, our Lord relates to us three characteristics of those who have turned from their sins and, by faith, accepted Christ as the Lord of their life and Savior from their sins…

A genuine believer will:

  1. My sheep hear my voice, – be able to understand God’s Word, and recognize His will for their life    
  2. and I know them, – the Lord recognizes and accepts them, forming a relationship with them
  3. and they follow me: – will willfully submit to His desires and calling for their life.

We need to be honest with ourselves.  Do these three marks characterize our life?  If so, then we can know that we have been given spiritual life and eternally secure in Him….

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

Folks, these are the people that John saw standing before God’s throne in heaven.  Will we be found there as well?

 

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47o

Are We Spiritually Faithful To Christ ?

SIHs HALTAL ICON FPMaster 457x453Rev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47N

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they are virgins”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:4 KJV – “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

 

The purity of God’s people is described using the symbolic phrase “for they are virgins”.  This is a wonderful description of the people of God  who are now in heaven.  These believers who have gone on before us, are pure in the sight of the Lord in two different ways…

  1. First, they are pure (sinless) based upon the blood of Christ which has cleansed them from all their sins that they have committed….

1Jn 1:7 KJV – “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Based upon Christ’s shedding of blood in His death on the cross that God the Father no longer sees us as sinners but we are now looked upon as reconciled in Christ.

Col 1:21-22 KJV – “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:”

 

  1. But secondly, based upon their physical death, these beloved of the Lord have left their sinful flesh behind (in the grave) and now their spirits stand in sinless perfection before the Lord.

Both Paul and Peter affirm that at death we leave our bodies behind as we enter into the presence of God…

2Co 5:6 KJV – “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:”

2Pe 1:14-15 KJV – “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.  Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”

This is why our spiritual brethren, who have gone to heaven are said to be “virgins” (pure, sinless) as they stand before the throne.  This stands in direct opposition to those who are looked upon as spiritual “adulterers” which symbolically describes those who are unfaithful to the Lord by turning our affections from Him to the fallen world and all its sinful pleasures..…

Jas 4:4 KJV – “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

 

May we all be pure virgins in the sight of our Lord and Savior, having His blood covering our sins and remaining faithful to Him while on earth as we wait to be with Him at our death!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47o

Do We Worship The Lord Based Upon Our Experiences With Him?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 14:3 KJV – “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47E

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “No Man Could Learn That Song ”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:3 KJV – “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”

 

 

In John’s vision, he hears a song of praise being sung by the 144,000 (the saints in heaven).  As they sing this song, John tells us that “no man could learn this song” with the exception of the people of God.

To better understand this passage, we need to remember the true nature of praise and worship.  Folks, when each of us praise and honor our Lord, much of it is based upon our personal experiences with Him.   Moses understood this truth when he linked the Israelites praise to the Lord with His wondrous works on their behalf…

Deu 10:21 KJV – “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.”

 

Although we can learn about the Lord from His Word, we gain a much greater understanding of Him when we experience Him in our personal lives.   This is why we are told that… 

Psa 25:14 KJV – “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”

Through life experiences, we have learned to reverence the person and workings of the Lord.  During this process, we have come to an understanding of many truths about the Lord that remain a secret to others.   Also, as He keeps His promises that He has given to us, He is revealing to us His covenant.  This, in turn, results in our greater experiential knowledge of His gracious workings on our behalf.

This experiential knowledge of the Lord and His workings results in the enriched praise and worship of Him.

 

This is why only those who have been saved by His grace, and now in heaven with Him, can learn this wonderful song of the redeemed that is sung in John’s vision.  Unless we experience both His salvation, and his gracious acceptance of us into His sinless presence in heaven, we can never really experience this level of worship and praise of Christ.   This song will be a secret to us until we enter into heaven with Him at our death.

Based upon our differing personal experiences in our walk with Christ, each one of us has a very unique song of praise that we can offer to our Lord.  May we all live our lives seeking to sing this song of praise to Him who has done so very much for us!  If we do not sing our song, it will go unheard by those around us…  remember no one can sing our sing for us!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47o

The Glorious Mt Zion… Home Of The King Of Kings!

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:1 KJV – “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47w

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Lamb Stood On Mt Sion”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 14:1 KJV – “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”

 

 

What a glorious site that John is seeing in this vision…. Christ standing in heaven (symbolized by Mt Zion) in the midst of His people. How can we know that Mt Zion is this vision is a symbol of heaven, the dwelling place of God Himself?

 

There are two main uses of this title in the Bible…

First of all, Zion is a description of the earthly city of Jerusalem. This is the capital of Israel, the seat of the kingdoms of David and Solomon, and most importantly the home of the temple where the true worship of Jehovah took place. Zion is the place where God met with man and man worshipped God.

 

 

Secondly, Zion is a title given to the spiritual city of the Heavenly, New Jerusalem…

Heb 12:22 KJV – “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels”

What a wonderful thought. Our heavenly home, Mt Zion or New Jerusalem is where our Lord will meet with us (in perfect communion) and we will worship Him (in sinless perfection)! What a blessing that will be to live with Christ in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth for an eternity! This is what John sees in his vision… Christ standing in heaven among His chosen people!

 

When we understand these truths about Mt Zion, we begin to see the relationship between the communion and worship of the temporal and eternal Mt Zions. The Mt Zion on earth is simply a faint reminder to us of the wondrous, eternal, relationship that we will enjoy with our Lord upon the future Mt Zion on the New Earth.

But how can this take place? How can we be so blessed that, although we are sinful, fallen beings we can look forward to a perfect eternity with Christ? We have that answer given to us in 1 Peter 2:6…

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

The wonderful eternal blessing of Mt Zion (heaven) is brought to us through Christ and His work on the cross. This is why Christ is described in this verse as the “cornerstone” of Zion. In other words, all the blessings that heaven holds for the people of God are built upon the person and work of Christ. Without Christ, the blessings of heaven cannot exist because He is the basis of them all.

May we all serve Him with renewed strength and love, as we remember His great work on our behalf which gives us access to a glorious, eternal future with Him in the New Jerusalem, Mt Zion, Heaven come down to earth!

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:
http://wp.me/pU88A-47o

What Is “666”… A Computer Chip? A Tatoo? A Bar Code? Or Something Else?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:18 KJV – Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-47i

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:18 KJV

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

 

The mark of the beast consists of the number 666 and is described as the number of a man.  These two descriptions are simply teaching us the same truth in two differing ways.  This is because the number 666 is the number that represents mankind:

  1. Man was made on the sixth day
  2. Man falls short of perfection (7 is the number of perfection)
  3. Man was consigned to 6 days of labor (day 7 was the day assigned to rest and worship)
  4. Man, due to their fallen nature, stands opposed to the Lord and His people (Goliath is the perfect illustration of this principle – notice the repeated usage of “6” in the description of Goliath the enemy of God and His people in 1 Sam 17:1-7)

Alongside this principle of 6 being a number that is associated with the sinfulness and opposition of lost mankind to the Lord and His people, please notice that “666” stands in stark contrast to “777”.    777 is the perfect number listed three times which denotes a perfect Triune God (The Father, The Son and The Spirit).   Therefore 666 seems to indicate an imperfect, rebellious false triune god… (Satan, the beast of the sea, the beast of the earth)

666, as the number of man, teaches us that humanism is the core philosophy of Satan, the beasts and lost mankind.  What is humanism?  It is the exaltation of man.  It is saying that man should be the center of our attention, interest and devotion.  Basically, it is giving to man the honor that is due to God alone.  In that sense, humanism is making man equal to, or surpassing God Himself.

 

Humanism seeks followers by exalting man, using man’s pride and arrogance to appeal to the lusts of lost mankind attracting them to become followers.  Within the lost community humanism runs rampant affecting every aspect of life…

  1. Beliefs that mankind can somehow remove the guilt, shame and punishment of sin through a religious reformation, human psychological methods, censoring of the truths Of God’s Word, or even religious genocide can be seen all around us.
  2. The literal worship of other men can easily be seen in the cult following of political, entertainment, and even religious figures of our day.
  3. The praising of men works and achievements with absolutely no acknowledgement to the God that has given these men their abilities. Without God they could never have begun to achieve such great accomplishments.
  4. Looking to men to solve all of the problems of this world is lost mankind’s replacement to looking to their God as the only One truly able to resolve these issues.

These are just a few of the ways humanism can be seen in our society today.

 

As we see all of these attitudes in the world around us, may we always, as Christians, be on guard to not allow the humanist influences of the world enter our lives.  May we always remember that “…For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Act 17:27-29), and ALWAYS give to the Lord the honor and glory that he deserves!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46S

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