That They May Rest

An Eternal Gospel to Proclaim
Revelation 14:6-7 ESV

“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’”

It is critical in these last days before the return of Christ that the gospel of Jesus Christ go out to the people on this earth, to every tribe and nation and language and people. And if the Lord can’t find enough humans to take his gospel to the ends of the earth he will use angels to get out his message, because the gospel must go forth so that all will hear.

One of the best ways right now to get the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth is via the internet. Missionaries used to go to just one nation and one people group at a time and they could only share the gospel with a limited number of people in a limited number of locations. But via the internet, the gospel can go to any nation where they have the internet.

Now, I do know that there are nations whose leaders block certain internet sites because they don’t want their people to have access to them, but it is amazing to me how many different nations show up on the list of nations these devotions are going to, so the gospel is getting out there to people all over the world and the Lord will make sure it reaches all nations.

And what is the gospel this angel is proclaiming here? “Fear God and give him glory.. and worship him who made heaven and earth..”

So, what is this saying? Well, to fear God is to honor, revere, respect, worship and obey him. And to obey him is to do what he says in his word that we are to do as followers of Jesus Christ, and it is to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to follow his lead, too. For, how will we know what God is calling us specifically to do if we aren’t listening to the Spirit’s voice?

And to obey the Lord means we are not willfully and deliberately disobeying him as a matter of practice. For, if we do that, we do not have the hope of eternal life with God, but a fearful expectation of the wrath of God. For, if we make sin our practice, and righteousness is not what we practice, we will die in our sins. Heaven will not be our eternal destiny.

And to worship the Lord is not just through singing songs, but it is to give him our lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our spiritual and acceptable worship of him. And we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God so that we can discern good from evil.

Fallen is Babylon the Great
Revelation 14:8-11 ESV

“Another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.’

“And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.’”

“Babylon” is a physical place, I believe, but she is also a mindset and a philosophy and a way of doing things, for we are all told to come out of Babylon so that we don’t share in her sins and in her punishment. So she obviously extends beyond physical boundaries. I see her as the institutional church which is the church in partnership with the world.

For, we are not to be partners with the world. We are not supposed to be unequally yoked together with the ungodly. But that is what much of today’s church, at least here in America, has done. And so she has adopted the ways of the world and of big business and so she is marketing the church to the world, and thus she is patterning the gatherings of the church after the world in order to attract the world to the church gatherings.

And by going the way of the world to attract the world to her gatherings she has also diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ to exclude God’s requirements for true repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord (master). And now she is teaching the broad road that leads to destruction as though it is the narrow road which leads to eternal life with God.

The gospel she is teaching does not put sin to death in the lives of its adherents, but rather it entertains their sin, and it coddles them in their sins, and it gives them permission to keep on living in their sins only now without guilt and without the fear of punishment and without the necessity of true repentance and walks of obedience to our Lord Jesus. And so sin is running rampant as is sexual immorality, even among pastors of churches.

And this “beast” is really anything that stands opposed to God’s holiness and righteousness and which is leading people away from pure devotion to Jesus Christ and which is giving them permission to live in immorality, and which is attacking the truth of the gospel, and which is leading “Christians” to live worldly and fleshly lives so that heaven is not their eternal destiny.

But this “beast” is also a conglomerate of the elite, wealthy, and powerful of the world who are the ones truly running the world. For, how else would you get so many nations on the earth to all cooperate together in doing all the same things to their people? This is a one world totalitarian regime in the making which includes a one world religion, too.

And the “mark” of the beast is first and foremost the influence of the world’s system on our lives, on our thinking (foreheads) and on our deeds (hands), before it ever becomes a physical mark of some kind. And we are already seeing much in the news these days moving us this direction. So, please, please, pray for spiritual discernment to not be led astray.

Endurance of the Saints
Revelation 14:12-13 ESV

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’”

I do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. I don’t believe it is biblical, and it didn’t come into being until many years after the death and resurrection of Christ, and it is primarily an American belief. The saints of God, which is what we are as followers of Jesus, will still be here during the tribulation. And so we have a call here to endure, for those of us who are keeping (obeying) the commandments of God and who are walking in faithfulness.

Many of us who are still alive during these final days before the return of Christ and who endure the tribulation will be martyred for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. We will be put to death for our testimonies for Christ and for his gospel. And until we die, we will be persecuted, rejected, falsely accused, abandoned, and mistreated even by those who are supposed to love us.

But death will be a blessing from God, for then we will no longer go through tribulation. We will no longer be hated and persecuted for our walks of faith. We will no more be outcasts because we stand on the truth of the Scriptures and we hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But now we will be at rest. We will be home with our Lord and he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

Paradise Valley

Lyrics by Noah White, Music by Virgil Stamps (1935).

As I travel thru life, with its trouble and strife,
I’ve a glorious hope to give cheer on the way;
Soon my toils will be o’er and I’ll rest on that shore,
Where the night has been turned into day.

Up in paradise valley By the side of the river of life,
Up in paradise valley, We’ll be free from all pain and all strife;
There we’ll live in the garden, ‘Neath the shade of the evergreen tree,
How I long for the paradise valley, Where the beauty of heaven I’ll see.

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