Cover to Cover

December 23

December 23, 2023

Revelation 14

 

John sees Jesus, the Lamb, with the 144,000 sealed Jews. Then John sees three angels and hears their proclamations.

 

The first is proclaiming the everlasting Gospel all over the earth, fulfilling the prophecy that every nation, tribe, tongue, and people (Matthew 24:14). Jesus will come at an appointed, set time, and before then, this prophecy will be fulfilled.

 

The second angel proclaims that Babylon is fallen. In the Old Testament, Babylon was a center of immorality, idolatry, and the occult.

 

The third angel says that anyone who takes the mark of the beast will receive the outpouring of the wrath of God, the bowls of wrath that follow the tribulation and purify the earth.

 

The second half of chapter 14 describes two harvests. The first harvest describes the rapture, where the Christians are caught up in the air. The second harvest describes the bowls of wrath, or the judgments God pours out on the earth to purify it. The church will go through the Great Tribulation, but removed before the wrath of God is poured out.

 

 

Habakkuk

 

Habakkuk is an Old Testament gem! It’s a book on reliant, dependent faith. It’s a faith that starts off with questions and ends with a prayer and a song.

 

Habakkuk’s first question, “God, why aren’t you doing something about this?” Sound familiar? I’m sure that question has been asked of God multiple times. God does answer Habakkuk, saying, “I will use the Chaldeans.” This leads to Habakkuk’s second question, “Why does God use wicked men?” God answers in chapter 2 with a popular portion of Scripture:

 

“Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” This certainly is a leadership principle that we can apply today; however, do we understand it’s intended meaning in the day and time in which it was written? It was written in an answer to the question, “God, why do you use the wicked?”

 

It is about a real vision from God, not just about leadership, goals or agendas. God gave visions about what He would do or allow to happen in the future. He asked his prophet to write it down very plainly, so the one who was informed by it could quickly act on God’s message.

 

In 2:4, God says, “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” The opposite of a reliant, obedient faith is pride. The Chaldeans were proud, and God predicted their downfall. However, He did use the Babylonians to get Israel’s attention and bring them to repentance. God also promises His coming glory, saying, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

 

Habakkuk then prays for mercy and declares God’s might. He ends with a song to the Lord, saying, “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Even though life is difficult in Habakkuk’s day, he makes the decision to rejoice in God. He also prophesies of the Christ in 3:13, talking of salvation with God’s Anointed one.

 

Then he talks of life in the spirit, saying, “The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”