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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Revelation Part 10: Facts and Questions...

There are a lot of things I'm not too sure of in Chapter 14, but there are some things I am sure of. Here's my list of facts and questions:

FACT:
The 144,000 people John sees are God-fearing, God-obeying Jews. Back in Rev. 7 we are introduced to this group and they are specifically identified as members of the 12 tribes of Israel. And we know they have come to know Jesus Christ as their Messiah. In 14:4 it says, "They follow the Lamb wherever he goes." They've been marked with God's seal (7:3).

QUESTION:
What is the significance of this group of Jews being marked with God's seal? Do they have a mission? Are they being protected while they do God's work in the last days?

FACT:
God's wrath is coming. In verse 24:7 an angel says to us, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgement has come." All through the Bible--over thousands of years--we've been told this in one way or another. But for some unknown reason, people just don't seem to believe or accept it. Which is really bad for them, if you'll look in 14:14-20. The last verse is especially awful: "They were trampled in the winepress [of God's wrath] outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of [180 miles]." That is an unimaginable sight John is witnessing! More horrible than any horror movie made in Hollywood.

QUESTION:
When will all this happen? I know, I know. That's the million dollar question, right? But it truly begs an answer when you read chapter 14 and realize God is not going to put up with our sin and disobedience forever. How much time do we have to make sure our loved ones who don't know the Lord won't be part of God's wrath? The fact that God gave us this "revelation" nearly 2,000 years ago doesn't leave a lot of people with the excuse "I didn't know." We do know!

FACT:
God won't tolerate worship of idols. In chapter 13 we are told that an enormous image will be constructed of the first "beast" and the second "beast" will lead people to worship it/him. They'll be given a mark on the forehead or right hand which is the number of the first beast. But look at the severe warning we're given in 14:9 about this very thing:

A third angel followed them [the first 2 angels] and said in a loud voice: 'If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or hand, he,too, will drink the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."

God will not tolerate it, folks!

QUESTION:
What exactly is the mark of the beast? Some people today think it will have to do with technology. Possibly a tiny micro chip or maybe something as simple as a tattoo. But whatever it is, I truly believe anyone who has read Revelation and who has even the most basic understanding of "the beast" will recognize it for what it is. It will be something that can either go on your forehead or your right hand. No where else. That clue in itself should send up red flags. That it is being required--to the point of death--by someone in authority is your other clue.

DO NOT ACCEPT THE MARK OF THE BEAST! DON'T DO IT!

But despite all the dire warnings and terrible things John is shown, there is one simple truth that cannot be overlooked!

Those who belong to Jesus Christ don't have to worry about God's wrath!

Do you belong to Jesus Christ? Or are you traveling the road to the destruction we see in chapter 14? One day it will be too late to change your mind. Don't wait!

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