READ, LOOK, LISTEN
Today’s Reading: Revelation 14
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Key Verse: Revelation 14:3a
They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders…
Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…
John now shifts from a description of the beast and his worshippers (chapter 13) to a description of the Lamb and His followers. Consistent with Old Testament expectation, the venue is Mount Zion. Micah, for instance, foresaw the day when God would gather the faithful remnant to Mount Zion and reign over them forever (Micah 4:6-8). Joel and Isaiah also saw something similar (Joel 2:32; Isaiah 11:9-12; 40:1-46).
Who are these “144,000”? In chapter 7, we saw this number first mentioned, and I underlined the importance of the symbolic numbering. The group in this chapter (chapter 14) is probably the same people. In both chapters, the 144,000 are sealed on their foreheads…in chapter 7, the substance of the seal is not mentioned, but in chapter 14, John tells us that the seal comprises the names of the Father and the Lamb. This seal, of course, is in direct contrast to the name (or number of the name) of the beast which was placed on the right hand or forehead of his worshippers in chapter 13.
The message to the worshippers of the beast is one of dire warning – they “will drink of the wine of God’s fury” and “will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb” (verse 10). Usually we think of torment as the exclusive domain of Hell, but here we see the high view God has of our wilful choices and the total anger He has at those who choose to reject His Son. That’s why verse 13 has special meaning and warning: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I’m very aware that one day I will stand before Your Judgment Seat where believers in Jesus will be judged. The words of the hymn writer come to mind, “Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.” I pray for Your grace so that my faith in Jesus’ salvation will never waver. In Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Besides telling his people to read the Bible, which was something discouraged by the Roman Catholic church for centuries, Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) symbolically opened a window in the vatican which faced St. Peter’s Square, and in front of thousands of people welcomed the Holy Spirit to come in. Shortly after this I was preaching in Quebec City at the invitation of Rev. Vern O’Brien, when we received an invitation to visit a Roman Catholic convent to preach to the nuns. The Mother Superior had written to me as a result of seeing the Crossroads telecasts on local TV. She wrote that she had prayed with me and for the first time in her life she had the assurance of eternal life. Vern and I witnessed an amazing sight… 20 or more Roman Catholic sisters opening their hearts and minds to the assurance of salvation according to the promises of the Bible as shared with them by Protestants. It was quite shocking for us to see the Holy Spirit come upon these nuns as the Apostle Peter had seen at the home of the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, as recorded in Acts 10:34-48. This work of the Holy Spirit, I discovered, was happening all over the world. When we begin to read seriously and consistently God’s Word, we begin to think God’s thoughts, and as someone has said, “When a person begins to think, God has the advantage.”
Yours for reading (or listening) to God’s Word and for enthusiastically convincing others to do the same,