The Just and True Judge!
Scripture reading for December 29th: Revelation 14-16
As this revelation of Jesus Christ continues, the theme of judgment flows through the vision. John sees the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion and 144,000 redeemed from the tribes of Israel. They were those who had kept themselves pure and followed the Lamb. (Revelation 14:1-4) This company was praising the Lamb with a new song that only they could learn. They were blameless and no lie was in their mouth.
As John continued to look, he saw another angel flying in mid-heaven proclaiming an eternal gospel to those on the earth. “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)
“A second angel followed and said in aloud voice: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”” (Revelation 14:8-9) A third angel warns of the wrath of God against those who have the mark of the beast. They will have no rest and the smoke of their torment will rise forever! This series of angelic messengers warns the people on earth of God’s coming judgments. God does nothing by judgment unless He warns His people by the prophets. (Amos 3:6-7) Here an angel warns all the people still on earth of what is to come. God would rather each person repent than that they experience His wrath!
“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” Yes”, says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor and their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16:15)
These are two of the seven “blessed” statements found in Revelation. Those who read and heed this book are promised a blessing! (Revelation 1:3) God also encourages those who trust in Him and gives them instructions and encouragement to help them in the warfare and patience needed in the trying times of the last days. Death for the believer brings rest from the warfare and rewards for standing true to the Lord! He will come like a thief for those not ready! His people will be awake, aware, and prepared by the blood of Jesus! They will be pure by faith and living by faith in obedience to the Lord!
These chapters end with the bowls of wrath poured out on the earth in terrible judgments. Those on earth are terrified, but curse the God of heaven and refuse to repent and worship Him! (Revelation 16:9, 11, 21) Even though warned that these judgments were from God, they cursed Him! Sin takes us farther away from God, blinds us to the only way out and ends in terrible judgment! We would do well to pay heed! His judgments are just and true!