Have you ever wondered if God, or anyone else, knew or cared about the difficult circumstances you were in? Have you been faithful to the Lord in some tiny, little, obscure corner and asked yourself if it was worth it? Then this Biblical story is for you and can bring tremendous encouragement in the truth of God’s character. (TTTS#33)
As the Word of God approaches the earth on His white horse, with millions of believers behind him, the apostle focuses in on Him. ¡What a vision it is! He sees a sword flashing from the Word’s mouth, that He will use to smite the nations. He also wields a rod of iron to rule, and He treads the winepress of the wrath of God.
To those who have never suffered for their faith at the hands of wicked authorities, this verse will probably come as a shock. The raw details may make some of us cringe because of how little they match what we could have imagined.
But that in itself should make us think. This has nothing to do with our imagination, or John’s for that matter. It is all about the reality of power and justice. Undoubtedly, this scene will be quite appreciated by millions of believers who down through the centuries have suffered brutally at the hands of evil people.
They will not at all be upset to know that the Lamb coming back is also the Lion. He is not only grace and kindness. He is truth, and power, and justice.
Finally John sees a fourth name, written boldly and where it is easy to read: KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. It speaks of ultimate authority! Jesus Christ has no rival. Nobody stands a chance against Him. Absolute victory is already His.
What a ride is before us! AB
As we saw earlier, the first thing showing through this amazing window is Jesus Christ Himself. But John also noticed the blood on His clothes. Although blood is not a subject we normally like to talk about, its crimson river runs from Genesis all the way through the Bible to this verse. God never wants us to forget its spiritual significance. And yet, we are not dealing here with sacrificial or expiatory blood. This scene is all about the justice of God against the sum total of demonic and human evil.
Once again he mentions a name, the third one in this passage. This time it is the Word of God. The title refers to the Son of God and His Voice, the one that in the beginning created everything and has sustained it throughout history. It is the omnipotent, invisible Voice that is everywhere, always communicating, always relevant.
But John sees something coming behind the great white horse and its Rider; an enormous multitude, also on white horses and clothed in bright linen. The massive army, made up of celestial beings and the entire congregation of true believers, is following its Captain.
In his vision, it seems as though the Apostle is looking up from Patmos.
But that is not the way we will see it…
I wonder if it will be something like when those first astronauts came back to earth from the moon. We will be behind our mighty Lord, with millions and millions of our eternal family, on that exhilarating descent toward the circle of earth where we lived out our lives. As we get closer we will see Israel, then Jerusalem, then the Temple area, and finally watch Jesus touch down on the Mount of Olives, just east of the city. Will the skies above the Holy City be our grandstand to watch that fantastic touchdown take place? Is it not logical that every Christian eye should see it happen?
One thing is certain. However it occurs, it will be awesome.
What a trip! What a sight is coming up, one of these days
I just finished the Bible again. It never grows old. In fact, I'm always itching to jump back to Genesis 1 right away. It may be ink on paper or black letters on a digital screen, but there is nothing dry or stiff about it. The living Word of God does not go stale, it never gathers dust, and it has no expiration date. It is always alive and eager, wanting to communicate truth and life to the human heart. The soul that reads it humbly and expectantly will never be disappointed. AB
Why was the prohibited tree smack in the middle of Eden? Why are we surrounded even today by so many easy options to sin? These are powerful questions that only God knows the full answer to. However, with some thought we can discern reasons that make sense, and will help us understand a little better the nature of our challenges.
What an incredible sight is ahead! One of these days a window is going to be opened between the spiritual heaven and the physical earth. It sounds like something out of a movie, but the truth is that a time is coming when reality will exceed the most fantastic plots of human fiction.
That is what John saw, a strange opening carved out of the cloudy sky! The apostle looked in amazement as a magnificent white horse appeared.
Then he focused on the One riding it whom he identified by His character. He was the Faithful and True One, coming to the world to sentence and execute in righteousness.
The next thing to catch John’s attention were His eyes. They were not soft and gentle, looking down from the sky with kindness and compassion. No, they were intense and piercing, glowing as two fiery torches. Above them, on the rider’s head were multiple crowns. John did not elaborate on how that could be, but let the bare fact speak for itself. They were symbols of royalty, proof that He was coming into our world with full and legitimate authority.
All of this sent that clear message: This was no joy ride. Yes, He is still the Lamb; but no, this time it is not a friendly visit to earth. It is a charge into battle.
That future window will reveal the One who is the Truth, the One who is faithful to His promise...
Jesus Christ is back!
The most fantastic meal ever prepared or enjoyed is coming. It is called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the combined superlatives from every language in the world could not describe it with justice.
Actually, we don’t know too much about it, but what we can deduce from the few verses in Revelation 19, is that it will be the grandest, largest, most magnificent banquet our human minds could ever imagine.
When will it be? Towards the very end. Or maybe we should say, “At the beginning”, for everything will be different from this moment on.
Who will be present? The bride of Christ, a multitude so large their voice is as the roar of many waters, whose number is not even given. It is made up of every child, youth and adult, who from Eden to the Second Coming has ever looked to Jesus in true and humble faith. It is the largest family gathering ever held.
Who will serve in it? Probably the angels. It sure seems natural that they would be involved, along with many other glorious creatures we know nothing about.
What will be on the menu? That’s another secret, but undoubtedly our taste buds will be in for a completely new culinary pleasure.
What about music? Will there be any? Of course there will be! Wherever God is there is music, and this would not be a heavenly celebration if it didn’t have the most awesome of orchestras, playing flawlessly whatever masterpieces the Great Musician has chosen for the occasion.
What will the attire be? This answer is mysterious too. Somehow we will be dressed in the righteousness Christ has given us, which is some kind of celestial linen, fine and white as light.
How will we be seated? Again, no indication is given. But somehow the massive array of tables will be so arranged that every eye will be able to see the Host, our Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the Hero and main focus of attention at this meal. And although He is always the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah, yet He chooses to show up on this occasion as the meek but victorious Lamb whose perfect sacrifice has made it all possible.
Nobody will be thinking about the pains of their earthly experience. All sorrows will be swallowed up in the everlasting comfort of divine grace. Politics will not even be a dim memory. Nothing from earth’s history will ever again have any power to distract us from the pure worship of God.
Indeed, the best is coming.
After God’s crushing victory over the evil world system, John hears a thunderous sound from an uncounted choir saying, “ALLELUIA!”
And a bit later again, “ALLELUIA!”
Then the mysterious creatures near the Throne join in, “Amen! ALLELUIA!”
Finally, the fourth and only other utterance of this cry in the New Testament makes its appearance. It is as if the entire record of Scripture has been building up to this moment. The LORD has finally brought justice to thousands of years of human rebellion and the heavenly multitude rejoices in His sovereignty. He has established His absolute authority over heaven and earth and hell. He has avenged every single believer who ever suffered for righteousness. He has forever secured His loved ones from their enemies and has eternally banished every kind of curse from His children.
Here comes that massive shout, greater than the roar of a thousand Niagaras and the poundings of mighty thunder. Throughout the amphitheatre of the universe it rings out:
ALLELUIA, FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNS!
What a day that will be
It is most remarkable to read Daniel’s prayer in his 9th chapter.
If you started reading the book there, not having any idea of what happened in chapters 1-6, you would have a very different mental picture of his character. You would think he was a despicable person just turning to God after a life of horrible sin.
But that wasn’t Daniel. He was godly. Not perfect, but exemplary in faith and courage.
Yet in his prayer he repeatedly includes himself in the terrible wickedness of the nation and asks for mercy. He is not playing around or trying to manipulate God. He is honestly accepting part of the responsibility for the judgment that has fallen on the nation. At the end of his prayer he asks the Lord to cause his face to shine once again on the sanctuary and his people.
We too may be tempted to pray with a finger pointed only at those actively and currently involved in our nation’s moral descent.
Perhaps it would be better to humble ourselves and follow the example of one of our Biblical heroes. God put his prayer in the Bible for a reason.
May we have the wisdom to learn.
Daniel 9 (v.17)
In Spanish we say, “no tiene pelos en la lengua” which has the rather odd literal translation of, “he has no hair on his tongue”! It refers to a person who says things like they are, more or less the equivalent of “not mincing one’s words”.
At any rate, that would seem to describe an elderly Daniel fairly well, especially as he talks to the wicked king Belshazzar. A paraphrase would be, “You have used God’s temple utensils for a blasphemous party, knowing very well what He did to your proud grandfather many years ago. Now, He who holds your breath in His hand has had it. You are in major trouble.”
What a phrase! “He who holds your breath in His hand.”
In Genesis 2, God breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, but He did not relinquish ownership of it nor authority over it.
Modern man, from the poorest to the most powerful ones in world politics, tends to think his breath is a personal possession. Day after day we see the authorities speak with cocky assurance about their plans and goals. There seems to be little doubt in their minds that their breath is guaranteed for tomorrow.
Belshazzar thought so too, until the hand appeared.
We live in special times and may soon witness events that could parallel stories like this one in Daniel 5.
Meanwhile, let’s use our breath to honor God every moment we are awake