5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
The Lord revealed to the John that there would come a day when a “beast” would rise out of the crowds of the earth and would gain world-wide power. This “beast” is a man who rises with abnormal power and abnormal hatred against God and against God’s people. God will give this man the authority to wage war against God’s people and will seem to conquer them by killing and dominating them. While this will be a very dark time for the followers of Christ on this earth, we do know that this “beast” will not destroy Christianity.
Friends, there are powerful people in the world who hate Christianity and all that it stands for. They despise the Bible and those who read and live it. They are filled with their own lustful ways and prideful ideas and reject the grace of God at every opportunity. Their hatred comes out in a heartbeat as they live for themselves, against any of God’s righteousness. Know this, these haters of God will increase before the end of days.
But notice the bright spot here. In these dark days of godless rulers and godless living, there are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. This wonderful book has the names of all men and women that have given their sin to Christ and have received His righteousness from the Father. The death of Christ, God’s eternal Lamb, took place, as God sees it, from the foundation of the world. The blood of Christ is able to save all saints, Old Testament and New Testament, and today, who place their eternal faith in Him. Furthermore, all whose names are in this wonderful book will not now nor ever bow down to any other except the holy God of heaven. While all the inhabitants of the earth worship this awful beast, those who are known by God will refuse and will remain faithful to Him.
Come what may, we are in the right group. This group, those who names are written the Lamb’s book of life, will rejoice forever with each other and with our Savior, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb himself.
Pray for us today as we go to meet people in an impoverished community not far from our church. This little community faces flooding often but they have no where else to go. They have been flooded twice this week already. We have gotten to know one of the men who live there and he has invited us to meet the other families there. Our goal is to determine their needs and to see how, in love, we can care for them. By the end of today, I expect our fund for food to be zeroed out. By this time, we will have given out 47 sembako bags in the last three to four weeks. The need will continue. If you would like to help us with this, contact the church office or go to the church website for transfer information.
Have a great day in the Lord,
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the law of our God,
You people of Gomorrah:
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
I was struck this morning by this thought: either God has spoken or God has not spoken. In the first chapters of Isaiah, and throughout the whole book, God lets us know that He is the one doing the talking. God calls us to hear because it is He who has spoken.
My friends, we still need to hear the voice of God. There are many voices calling for our attention. There are voices of work, voices of children, voices of politics, voices of news casts, voices of talk shows, voices of Facebook, voices of health, angry voices, bitter voices, and loud voices all calling for our attention all day long. Then there is that voice of sin calling our names and seeking to pull our attention toward its vile ways. We need to hear the voice of God.
In the midst of such clamor of calling voices, it is the voice of God that brings us clarity. It is the voice of God that coming through all of the others gives us correct guidance and leads us into daily peace. When I listen to the news I get upset at either the event or the newscaster. Their bias just gets to me. It seems that I am being pulled whichever way the news writer wants me to be pulled. So called conservative news writers do the same thing. Who has the truth? Whose news really matters? Then I come back to God and to His messages, to His dependable prophecies and I can make sense out of all the other voices.
When sin confronts me I have an opportunity to listen to the Word of God or to ignore it and accept some other words as good for me. But whenever we reject the Word of God we accept the pain of sin. Isaiah 1 and 2 makes that painfully clear.
Has God spoken? What does God want us to do with His words? He wants us to come and to reason with Him, to find His words true and faithful, to accept them as good and right for us so that He can come into us, cleanse us from our sin and dwell in us.
This Sunday we are having a special speaker, Ray Schwarz will be presenting Christ to us as only one who was raised in an orthodox Jewish home can. Ray’s presentations are crystal clear and open our understanding to the Savior. You will want to hear this man’s message.
We are back to regular schedules Kids4Truth tonight as well as Youth group and our prayer and Bible study times.
Nancy Schmidt came home last night rejoicing to get a good night’s sleep in her own bed.
Have a great day in the Lord,
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;
1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
God wants to quench our thirst and He is able to do so. In fact, all who come to God for spiritual water find all that they need at no cost to themselves. The Author of our salvation desires that all who come to Him have their thirst quenched and is able to completely satisfy all who come.
When God spoke through the prophet Isaiah He made clear His offer of eternal life to those who could come to Him for His life-giving water. When Jesus met the woman at the well He offered her himself as the eternal water of life. Throughout time God has offered spiritual satisfaction, eternal life, to those who would come to Him with their thirst. Here we see that at the end of time, God will continue to be the source of satisfaction for all who continue to seek Him.
Where do those in rebellion to God go to when they are thirsty? Are those fountains, that look so incredibly beautiful, able to quench spiritual thirst? Are the fountains of this world, of fame, of power, of money, of luxury, of sex, of self-will; are these fountains able to bring eternal satisfaction? Only the offer from God, only His water, which He has paid for and offers freely to all, can ever satisfy.
Would you stop drinking at the fountains that cannot satisfy and come to the only Fountain that can?
We are thanking God for a wonderful Sunday together here at Grace for Life. It was a great day in many ways and we are thankful. We especially enjoyed the Josh Hedges family as Josh presented his work and we got to enjoy the family.
The message from Sunday is on the church website.
Nancy Schmidt ended up back in the hospital Sunday night with more fluid on her lungs. Keep our sister in your prayers. She is on a donor list for a new liver.
Have a great day in the Lord,