Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Three Messages

"He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water” (Revelation 14:7).

Last week we began discussing the beast. His number is 666, which is said to be the number of a man (Revelation 13:18). We won’t try to identify this with anyone, but notice that 1 Kings 10:14 says Solomon took in 666 talents of gold each year after he had forsaken the law of the Lord (Deuteronomy 17:17). Notice also that Nebuchadnezzar’s idolatrous statue of man measured 6 cubits by 60 (Daniel 3:1). These sixes are the number of apostate political power arrayed against God’s kingdom.

Then we see the faithful standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb. In union with Christ, they are undefiled, pure, and completely blameless (Revelation 14:1–5). These are the ones that the dragon and the beast are trying to destroy.

Then we see three angels who proclaim three truths that are for the faithful of every age, and which need to be heard by all men. The first angel says that God’s day of judgment has come, and that all men should worship Him (14:6–7). This message is called the Gospel, and thus it refers to the entire new covenant era, not just to the end times. We live in the age of God’s judgments in history, which will culminate when Christ returns and renders the Final Judgment.

The second angel tells us that Babylon the Great has fallen. It may not look like she has fallen, and indeed in Revelation 17 she is still awaiting judgment, but, in fact, she has already fallen. The decree has been passed (14:8), and we can take comfort that the ultimate reality will come to pass.

The third angel tells us that because Babylon has been judged, and we should fear her no longer. Beware of the temptation to fall back into the world’s system. Do not fall away from being numbered among the 144,000 (14:9–12).

Then we are told that those who die in Christ will be blessed. Right away we see God harvest His holy crop, wheat first and then grapes. The saints are God’s bread and wine. In union with their Lord, they taste a bit of His wrath and suffer outside the gates of the earthly city, but their martyrdom is blessed and their blood will be vindicated (14:13–20).

One of the greatest helps to us when we are tempted to join with the world is that the world has already been judged. The early Christians died rather than put a pinch of incense on Caesar’s altar. How about you? Do not be swayed by the crowd to compromise with the anti-Christian system around you.