Reflections on Revelation #263

‘Day 263

A quick reflection on Revelation 12 -14 Part 1 

The issue that arises again and again, in these chapters is worship. Seven times in two chapters there are references to worship of the dragon, the beast, or the image to the beast (Rev. 13:4, 8, 12, 15; Rev. 14:9, 11). The overall story is about a satanic triad, which invites the worship of the entire world in the place of God. The focus is on a universal contest regarding the character of God and whether He is truly worthy of worship. It is the central theme of this part of the book and indeed the whole book.  

Ironically, while there are seven references to worship of the dragon and his allies in Revelation 13 and 14, only one time in the same narrative is there a reference to the worship of God, and that is in the call to worship the Creator in Revelation 14:7. That makes this verse the central focus of the section. And because Revelations 12 to 14 are at the centre of the entire book, the call to worship the Creator (quoting the fourth commandment – Sabbath – word for word) states the central point of the entire book. Given that this call to worship is in the context of the Sabbath commandment of the Decalogue, the Sabbath must become a crucial issue in the final crisis of earth’s history. 

In the New Testament, judgment is closely related to the gospel. First of all, judgment occurred at the Cross when Satan was defeated (John 12:31, Rev. 5:5–10). Second, judgment language is closely associated with the preaching of the gospel in John 3:18–21 and 5:22–25. Whenever the gospel is preached, people are called into judgment, based on their response to what Christ did on the cross. This call to judgment is the background of the four horsemen (Rev. 6:1–8). Third, the judgment at the end of time examines our response to the hearing of the gospel (John 12:48). The book of Revelation reserves the language of judgment for the end-time phase (Rev. 11:18, Rev. 14:7, Rev. 17:1, Rev. 20:4).   

Three symbolic angels have done the proclaiming, two more angels have done the reaping. God, in His mercy, has patiently waited until the cup of humanities iniquity is completely full. Every effort has been made to get people to repent. The judgments of God have been poured out in the hope that this would bring them to repentance, but they repented not! The angel of fire now begins his work. Christ spoke of this in Matthew 13:40: “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.”

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