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Archive for May, 2009

“These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes…” Revelation 14:4b

As with many end-times related subjects, there is a lot of speculations regarding who these 144,000 are. Regardless, I love the way they are described. These are the one who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Keep in mind, they will be following the Lamb during a time when doing so will bring extreme persecution. During the tribulation, the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is public enemy number one. Remarkably, when the world sees the sign of His imminent return to earth, they actually gather together to attempt to do battle with Him. Foolish as that attempt will be, it reveals the mindset of the unbelieving world at that time. They hate God, and hate anyone who follows Him. The 144,000 don’t care. They have eyes for one thing and one thing only, the spotless Lamb of God.

Following the Lamb is not something that should be unique to the tribulation period. Following the Lamb is the mark of the believer. Others follow the world, we follow the Lamb. Can someone point to us and say, “There is one who follows the Lamb wherever He goes.” Or do we follow Him when it’s convenient, when it fits in with our agenda, when it doesn’t cramp our style. Christ is called our life. (Col 3:4) Is He, or is He merely one thing on a list if things that define us? Even now, in the days leading up to the tribulation, the world doesn’t like those who belong to Jesus. Jesus bluntly told us this would be the case. Do we care? Do we let the world’s animosity toward the things of God turn our eyes from the only thing that really matters? Are we willing to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, regardless of the cost?

In the end, it is only God’s opinion of us that matters. May we strive to follow the Lamb wherever He goes and one day hear those amazing words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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“He performs great signs, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. “ Revelation 13:13

Satan is the great counterfeiter. Give someone a flat out lie; chances are they won’t believe it. Give them something close to the truth, with just a little bit of falsehood in it, and more often than not they’ll swallow it down. So it is with the false prophet, mouthpiece of the Anti-Christ. This man will perform miracles to rival Elijah. He’ll call fire down from heaven! Such power must prove he has the authority of God behind him, right? The world will be completely taken in by the signs he is able to perform. And when they are, he slips in deadly poison. Make an image to the beast, worship the beast. The message behind his miracles proves that this man is not God’s mouthpiece, but Satan’s. Those who refuse to listen to him will do so at the cost of their lives.

Even today, miracles are touted as proof that the miracle worker has God’s stamp of approval on him. Don’t get me wrong, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that our God is a God of miracles. I’ve experienced a few of them myself. But miracles shouldn’t blind us. If the miracle worker’s message proclaims anything but the truth of Scripture, reject him. If their doctrine isn’t sound, I don’t care how impressive their actions are, they are to be regarded with suspicion at best. In our culture we have become so divorced from the supernatural in our everyday lives that even common parlor tricks can impress us, let alone the seemingly miraculous things Satan is able to do. There are wolves out there, dazzling the crowd while feeding them poison. Be on your guard.

Listen to the message behind the miracles. If it points to God and His truth, give Him the glory. If it doesn’t, turn away and warn others to do the same.

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“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8

The Beast from the sea, the Anti-Christ. What a man he will be. He will forge peace where no one has succeeded before. The world will marvel at him. He will be the one the world has been waiting for, the one who will finally makes things right. Or so it will seem. In reality, he will be evil personified. He will kill millions, persecute the Jews, and slaughter anyone who refuses to take his mark. At first, he will inspire worship. Later, he will demand it. One way or another, however, everyone will worship this man, except those who worship the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. There will be no middle ground, no neutrality, no compromise.

It’s that way today, although most don’t realize it. There are those who worship the true God, those who worship a false god, and those who think they don’t worship a god at all. In some ways, these are the most deceived. They think they are independent. They think they are open-minded. They think they are rational, and the master of their own fate. They are merely pawns. Satan is content to let you think whatever you want, so long as you don’t come to think that Jesus Christ is the one true God and only way to salvation. He knows what so many deny. You either belong to God, or you belong to Satan. If you aren’t a worshiper of God, by default you are a worshiper of Satan. Those who think otherwise will be in for a rude shock one day.

Jesus said you are either for Him or against Him. Don’t fall for the myth of neutrality. Be for Him.

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“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place.” Revelation 12:14
 

 

Make no mistake about it, Israel will suffer greatly during the seventieth week of Daniel, the seven year period called the Tribulation. Another name for this time is the time of Jacob’s trouble. Other passages in scripture tell us that by the end of this time period, two-thirds of Israel will have perished. And yet, God sets limits on what He allows Satan to do. At some point, He will remove Israel to a place of protection. Satan, through the hands of his puppet the Anti-Christ, will be unable to touch her. He will send a flood after her, we’re told, and yet the earth itself will open up to swallow it. Figurative or literal, one thing is clear. Nothing and no one can touch this chosen nation of God without His permission.

We Christians are also chosen people of God. And like Israel, nothing can touch us without God’s permission. We are living in perilous times on many fronts. An economy that is desperately struggling, enemies that are seeking ways to kill as many of us as they can, a new flu that may fizzle out but also has the potential to become something that kills millions, it’s easy to let fear take hold. We aren’t promised protection from any of these things. What we are promised is this: if He says yes, if He allows one or more of these things to personally impact the lives of His children, He will work it out for good. What the world sees as a tragedy, God uses as a means to build into His children the image and character of Christ.

Satan is on a leash. He can do nothing to us unless God allows it. Let us be like Joseph and let God turn intended evil into great good.

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