Stand and Sing
Lord God, You are my God and my Savior. I praise You for all You are doing and have done for me.
Read REVELATION 14:1-20
 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 kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.  No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.  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.”  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 his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,  he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”  This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.  Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: 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.”  I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.  Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.  Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”  The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.  They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat vital message did the first angel bring?
John’s vision continues with a dramatic shift in focus from the two beasts of ch. 13. There we saw caricatures of Christ—cheap imitations of his authority (13:2,7) and his miracles (13:13)—taking center stage for a short while. But now, here is the real thing. Rather than being seated—the position we’ve been used to seeing him in, as a sign to us of his finished work on the cross—here he is standing. With him, there is a vast army of saints chosen for their purity and their faithfulness to the Lamb.
In every age, for all eternity, the presence of Christ will always command worship. We, with all the highest citizens of heaven have a song to sing–a song of redemption (3). Only saved sinners, those who know the depths from which they have been rescued, can understand the wonderful truth of which they sing.
But the end-times are bittersweet. For while God has dealt in gracious redemption since the first coming of Christ, with his return he brings wrath. Sin must be punished and the “grapes of wrath” will be trampled out.
Pick a favorite hymn or song that expresses gratitude for your salvation. Sing it aloud or quietly ponder its lyrics.
Lord Jesus, I pray that the news of the redemption You offer may soon spread through all the earth.
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