Patient Endurance

Friday, December 27, 2013, 7:23 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with this song:

He Was Despised / Handel (From “The Messiah”)

He was despised and rejected of men;
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief… (From: Is. 53:3).

He gave His back to the smiters,
And His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:
He hid not His face from shame and spitting (From: Is. 50:6).

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 14:1-13 (NIV).

The Redeemed

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

The Lamb is Jesus Christ, who was slain for lost sinners, in order that we might go free from our slavery to sin and have eternal life with God in glory. Mount Zion is the City of God, the New Jerusalem, the church (temple) of the Living God, the body of Christ; the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ, the Lamb who took away the sins of the world, is standing with the redeemed of the Lord, whose names have been written in the Lamb’s book of Life. He is with us, supporting, strengthening, and encouraging us in our faith, and in these trials we face and are yet to face here on the earth. He will never leave us or forsake us. These who have the Father’s name written on their foreheads are the chosen people of God; those who have been set apart for and consecrated to God and to his service, called to be holy, who have been cleansed of their sins, made right with God via the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins; the faithful servants of Christ, separated from the world, and purified by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes, i.e. they are his servants and witnesses.

We, who hope in Christ, even though our bodies will see decay, have the promise of resurrected bodies and life eternal with our Lord in heaven. Amen! Only the truly redeemed can sing such a great song of salvation as this.

The Gospel

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 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.”

In today’s modern world a different gospel from the one taught by Jesus and the apostles has gained much popularity among people of many faiths, and has even gained respect among those with no faith at all, for it teaches a Jesus whose life could be characterized mainly by the good works he did in healing the sick, lifting up the fallen, feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. This Jesus they teach is inclusive of other faiths and tolerant of sinful acts and practices, and makes no advance toward trying to win others to faith in Jesus Christ. He does not confront sin, nor does he call for repentance, for that is considered intolerant, and even hateful. He mixes with the world of sin, with pagan religions, and does all he can to make people feel good about themselves no matter what they believe or how they are living their lives. He teaches that all people are children of God, and that God is within each and every one of us, which would mean that we are all going to heaven.

Yet, this modern gospel is not the gospel being proclaimed here by the angel of God, which is the gospel taught in the word of God (of truth). This gospel proclaimed by the angel teaches that we must have the fear (awe, honor, respect, and worship) of God. This means to reverence, esteem, and to treat God with submissiveness or humble obedience. In other words, this means to accept his words (his truths) into our lives, to believe what he says, and to act upon that belief in his power and strength within us, by faith. It means to follow Jesus Christ in all that he teaches us, and not just in the things that make us feel good about him and/or about each other. This true gospel not only proclaims our great salvation via God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice for sins, but it also teaches that faith in Christ means dying to sin and self, and it means living for God and walking and living in his righteousness - all the working of the Spirit of God within us as we yield to his control in our lives.

To give God the glory not only means to give him the credit and the praise for what he has done in our hearts and lives, but it means that we honor, value and esteem him by our very lives, in our submission, obedience, surrender, love, worship, and in living holy lives, pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds by the Spirit of God who works in us the will of God, as we allow him to do his work. The best description I know of how we best worship God is given to us in Romans 12:1-2 where it tells us to present our lives as living sacrifices to God, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable service of worship to him. Worship is not just something we do on a Sunday morning in a “worship service” when we raise our voices in song to God, though certainly that is a very important aspect of our worship. Yet, if all we are giving is lip service only, that is not true worship. True worship is the surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ to follow him wherever he leads us, and to do what he says to do.

Judgment and Mercy

A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Many people like to forget that judgment is also part of the gospel, yet we are saved by God’s grace, not only from slavery to sin, and to walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, but we are saved from the pit of hell via his grace and through our faith in him. Because of what Jesus Christ did in dying on the cross for our sins, and because of our faith in him, we will no longer face the judgment of eternal punishment in hell, but we will have the glorious reward of eternity in heaven with God. Amen! Yet, for those who refuse Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, which includes those who make profession of him, but whose hearts are far from him, only eternal punishment awaits them. There is no escaping this. This is the reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unless you submit to Jesus Christ by faith and give him your life, you will NOT spend eternity with God in heaven, no matter how good you are, or no matter what people have told you to the contrary. Yet, not only is there the judgment of eternity in hell that awaits you, but there is also a time of judgment on this earth prior to the very end, during which time God will pour out his wrath on the people of the earth.

Yet, for those of us who have given our hearts to Jesus Christ, who have been cleansed of our sins, and who have submitted to his Lordship over our lives, and who follow the Lamb everywhere he leads us, we are certainly not promised a “rose garden.” In fact, we are promised that we will be hated, persecuted, and even killed for our faith in Jesus and for our testimony for Christ and his gospel of salvation. And, in this day and age, the persecution and killing of Christ’s followers and witnesses is drastically increasing in severity.

I read in the news yesterday about the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 which President Obama just now signed into law. Some of this law has been in effect since 2012, “authorizing the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, and detain without trial, and held indefinitely, American citizens thought to ‘represent an enduring security threat to the United States,’” [1] stripping American citizens of their Bill of Rights. The definition of who or what is a terrorist (or terrorism) is very loosely defined in this bill, and can easily be adapted to fit anyone the government wishes it to fit, including myself and many of you. From what I understand, “Evangelical Christians” are ranked high on the government’s list of potential terrorist threats, because they are considered “extremists,” i.e. we preach the true gospel of salvation as was taught by Jesus and the apostles. There is a new addition to this law, which is the “Conflict Records Research Center,” which evidently keeps videos, emails, text messages; social media site posts, telephone conversations, pictures, etc. on each person of interest, or perhaps on every U.S. citizen, to be used against us, it appears. We no longer live in the home of the free and land of the brave.

The Lord Jesus keeps showing me that the U.S. government and their “New World Order” allies are setting up this rule of the beast, and that they are purposefully targeting followers of Christ for persecution and for extinction. They are in the process of labeling evangelical Christians as terrorists, and are going after them full force. They appear to be especially concerned with putting a stop to the spreading of the gospel and the spread of new followers of Christ throughout the world. They are putting the “heat” on them. I believe this NDAA 2014 is a crucial instrument in this labeling of “terrorists” for planned persecution, imprisonment and eventual extinction, and Obama has the authority to carry it out, completely stripping Americans of their rights as U.S. citizens. Yet, this is global, so there must be a global version of this NDAA, which is basically the “Deal with the Devil,” i.e. this New Deal with the New World Order, giving the beast complete rule and reign over all nations and peoples of the earth. And, by this document, I can now be arrested and even killed just because I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Yet, I have no cause to fear, for I know my Redeemer lives, that he will sustain me, uphold me, be with me, give me courage and strength, and that one day soon he will take me to be with him forever. Amen!

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth / Handel (From “The Messiah”)

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall
I see God. (Job 19:25-26)

For now is Christ risen from the dead; the first fruits of them that
sleep. (I Corinthians 15:20)

News Source [1]: