The Wedding and the War . . .

Vol.4, No.52 – December 29, 2019, Countdown to the end – 39

I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy  –Revelation 19:10

The purpose of all prophecy is to tell about Jesus!

Every being in the universe, inspired by a love of God, from the humblest saint to the mightiest of the cherubim, joins in the swelling chorus. It reverberates and rolls, echoes and swells, resounds and grows until it is a mighty waterfall of sound, a thunderous roar – Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! –John Phillips

John begins this section (chapter 19) saying, “I heard.”

This is the great beginning, the preparation for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At the very instant (faster than an instant) one accepts Christ as Savior, the invisible engagement ring is present. There is also the earnest of the Holy Spirit. The wedding schedule is in place; has been for over 2000 years (actually longer as God chose the date in eternity past).

Wedding bells are sounding. The bride comes—it is a long line; yet, the central figure is the Lamb, who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he said to me, “Those are the true words of God.” (19:9)

  • The church is the bride
  • The church is the redeemed
  • The church takes her place at the wedding table
  • The church includes patriarchs, prophets, princes, priests, scribes, and saints
  • The church has made ready, clothed in fine linen, bright and pure

Chapter 19 concludes with John saying, “I saw.”

What he sees is judgment executed; Heaven’s door is open. The time is for God to settle accounts with the godless crowd running the earth (19:11-12). And so, the scene switches, shifts, from Heaven and the marriage banquet of joy, to the earth and judgment upon the enemies of God. This is the total war known as Armageddon.

Christ was directing earth’s affairs from His throne in Heaven; now Christ leaves Heaven and in an instant of time arrives as the Rider on a White Horse. The Lord Jesus leads the armies. We can speculate somewhat, the makeup of the armies. They could include Old Testament saints, the Church, and the saints coming out of the Great Tribulation. Regardless of the particulars, the armies are united and magnificent. They are!

God speaks and the war is over. [Wow!] The blasphemous, loud-mouthed Beast is stricken where he stands. The False Prophet, the miracle-working windbag from the pit is punctured and still. The pair of them are bundled up and hurled headlong into the everlasting flames. Thus ends the Battle of Armageddon! –John Phillips

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

God finishes what He chooses, elects, predestinates. His plan is sovereign and no one can manipulate Him to domesticate Him into their own image. God warns, and is immutable. Ought we be more urgent in speaking the Gospel to those who desperately need the salvation of the Lord?

Thought for the Season

Jesus was born to die in our place so that we who were dead would be born again to new life. Jesus was born to give us life. The Christmas story has all the drama of a death-to-life story, because the baby in the manger came to die in order to give life to all who believe in Him –Paul Tripp, in Come Let us Adore Him

Forward all the way . . .

Special Edition – December 24, 2019

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

They said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son, and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. –John 6:32-40

From Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum, I have fully preached [proclaimed] the Gospel of Christ. –Romans 15:19

God sent His Son to be born into humanity, with the intense purpose to reach a sick world. God was extending His grace and mercy, making salvation available through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus came to be born, then die for us—a sinful people.

When David Livingstone volunteered as a missionary with the London Missionary Society in 1839, they asked him where he would like to go. “Anywhere,” he said, “so long as it is forward!” When Livingstone reached Africa he was haunted by the smoke of a thousand villages, that he saw in the distance.

That was also Paul’s motivation, his drive and passion was to carry the Good News of Jesus Christ forward to people who had not heard the Gospel.

Paul got the message; have we?

[It strikes me as strange that churches schedule “retreats.” Churches should schedule “advances” not retreats. The Gospel is designed to advance, not move backward! The church is to be a forward moving church!]

Jerusalem is the advance point of the ministry of the Gospel. Paul had a greater regard for Jerusalem’s people who needed the Gospel, than Jerusalem had regard for Paul. From the time of Paul’s conversion in 33 AD, someone has figured out (from the Book of Acts) that he and his companions advanced, traveled, over 10,000 miles – over 4800 by land, and 5200 by sea. It seems, also, that he possibly made a trip to Spain. He advanced, traveled, without the aid of a bike, bus, car, plane, or even a modern powered sea vessel.

He did not have Dr. Scholl’s shoe inserts, a smart phone (or even a dumb phone like mine), an umbrella, bottled water, or other amenities.

From Jerusalem to Illyricum (Albania and Yugoslavia), he traveled about 1400 miles. He mentions two geographical spots – why? I cannot help but think it is because he wants to challenge us with the extensive advance of the Gospel. From Jew to Gentile, from the Middle East to Europe; from a religious center to a pagan country; from big city to rural areas; from Hebrew culture to Greek and Latin influences, Paul advances the Gospel.

Go for it Paul!

Why are we not doing the same?

Paul sees the big picture [do we?]. Go into all the world. Nothing provincial or bigoted, just advance the Gospel to everyone. His statement at the beginning of Romans carries weight throughout the book: For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek!

Contemplate the comprehensiveness of what he says, I have fully proclaimed the Gospel of Christ. We in our theological zeal call this the divine initiative tied in with human get-up-and-go.

Back to David Livingstone.

Whatever way my life can be spent best to promote [read, “advance”] the glory of our gracious God, I feel desirous to adopt it. I did not come to Africa to be suspended on the tail of anyone, and what is of infinitely more importance as a motive to immediate action; souls are perishing while I have no power (not knowing their language nor culture0 to point them to the Cross. I am convinced that the Gospel has lost none of its pristine efficacy.

Are you in forward mode . . . or backward mode? There is no middle of the road.

A thought from Paul Tripp . . . Come Let Us Adore Him

The Way, the Truth, and the Life was in the manger, causing angels to rejoice, Mary to wonder, shepherds to worship, and us to have hope.

The Christmas story shows that Hope of the universe comes in the Person of Christ. Hope is Who the angels sing about; Hope lies in the manger. Hope causes Mary to wonder in her heart. It is Hope the shepherds worship. Hope is presented with gifts from the Magi who had traveled so far, to meet a Hope like no other.

The Advent story is the story of Hope, it chronicles the coming to earth of the One who is our Hope, Jesus. For a people born in sin, and for a world damaged by sin, there simply could not be any other source of rescue. The inescapable condition of sin infects every single human being and has scarred every aspect of the cosmos, that cries out for one thing, and one thing alone: Divine intervention.

Our Hope has a Name; His Name is Jesus!

As Jesus traveled on this earth, He came to do God’s will. Being born. Confronting people with truth. Willingly dying (He came to die). Providing our salvation, if we but would simply respond to the Holy Spirit’s call.

On Wednesday, December 25th, many of us will celebrate Christmas with family and friends. It is a time of gift-giving. The absolute best gift anyone could receive this Christmas is salvation in Christ.

Paul got the message; have we?

Perversion Defeated . . .

Vol.4, No.51 – December 22, 2019, Countdown to the end – 38

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls –Revelation 18:11-13

Perhaps verse 15 is plainest in the last days: The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud.

It will be proper for us to make a brief comparison of Chapters 17 and 18

  1. Mystery Babylon compared to Babylon the Great
  2. A woman or a mother compared to a great city
  3. The Superchurch compared to the Supermarket
  4. Situated on Seven Hills compared to visible from the sea
  5. The judgement of the great whore compared to the collapse of the world market
  6. Destroyed by the kings compared to destroyed by God
  7. The kings rejoiced compared to the kings wept

Babylon, founded under Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-12), became the first center ruled by violence. She (the city) once was the capital of the world. She will once again become the central city of the world and a home for idolatry, occultism, perversion, demonism, fake and false religion.

Like many corrupt businesses, Babylon’s economic pail has its bottom drop out. Bigger barns (houses, churches, businesses) do not guarantee life. The 28 categories of merchandise are luxurious and worldly baubles. Made for impression.

Note there is not a single necessity of life contained in the list!

  • The monarchs of the world cry (Alas, alas! 18:10)
  • The merchants of the world cry (Alas, alas! or Woe is us, woe is us! 18:16)
  • The mariners of the seas cry (Alas, alas! or Misery and disaster! 18:19)

The reality of the Great Tribulation is upon them. During the last days of the Great Tribulation, there is a transition. Rejoice over her, O Heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her! (18:20)

After this, I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of q great multitude in Heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and just; for He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of His servants” once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever” (19:1-3)

God’s salvation, vindicated, the overthrow of Babylon marks the end of those organized evils that have plagued the earth for so long. The saints and angels of Heaven are singing for the severity of God, the sovereignty of God, the supremacy of God, the justice of God, and the righteousness of God.

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

Do not assume that future events allow you to sit back, because you know how the story ends. Countless millions of people do not confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are on the road to destruction. If we care, we will spend time, sharing the truth of the Gospel, and the absolute outcome due to rejection of the Gospel. How we care demonstrates in our personal ministry of witness and invitation.

Thought for the Season

The incarnation of Jesus Christ is God’s clear demonstration that He will always make good on all of His promises to us . . . .Paul powerfully argues that when God fulfilled his promise to send His Messiah Son to earth, He guaranteed that He would fulfill every other promise He’s made to us –Paul Tripp, in Come Let us Adore Him

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