Friday, August 21, 2015, 4:44 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Search Me, O God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 14:1-13 (NASB). A New Song (vv. 1-5) Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they *sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. The Lamb is Jesus Christ, God the Son, who gave his life up for us on a cross so that we might be set free from (die to) slavery to sin, and so we might become servants of righteousness (See: 1 Pet. 2:24; Ro. 6). The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion. Mount Zion is the church, the body of Christ, the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Jesus Christ is the head over the church, so he stands (presides) over her in authority, and yet he stands beside her, as well, giving her support, encouragement, strength, wisdom, guidance and direction. Those who are his faithful followers were with him. To be with someone can mean to be in agreement with them, in support of them. They were with him in thought, word and deed. His name and the name of His Father were written on their foreheads. Our foreheads have to do with our thoughts, wills, and beliefs. God’s name is his character. It is his word. His character and his Word are inscribed (engraved; impressed deeply) on our thoughts, actions and on our wills (decisions, choices). Our will is to do the will of our Lord God. These, who are the redeemed (purchased; rescued) of the Lord, sang a new song which no one else could learn or sing. So, obviously this singing of a song was concerned with more than just producing musical tones with the human voice or with voicing words melodically. This song had to be something which was sung in the heart, and could only be learned through experiencing God in relationship with him by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ via death to sin, new birth (of the Spirit), and living to righteousness in the power of the Spirit within them/us. These who are the redeemed have been liberated from the earth (world; dirt), i.e. they have been delivered from slavery to sin and have been set free to now walk (conduct their lives) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. We are only able to be blameless in God’s sight because of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, and through faith in Jesus Christ. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight. We can never be good enough to earn or to deserve our own salvation. And, that is why Jesus Christ became our sacrificial Lamb to take away the sins of the world, because no one could keep the law with absolute perfection. So, through faith in Jesus Christ, his righteousness is credited to our account. Yet, his grace is not a free license to continue to conduct our lives according to our sinful flesh. In fact, if we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue (persist) in conducting our lives according to our sinful flesh, the Bible says we are liars, and the truth is not in us (See: 1 John 1). In Romans 8 we read that if we walk (live our lives) according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (See: Ro. 8:1-14). The redeemed of the Lord follow Jesus Christ wherever he goes. Do we really comprehend what this is saying? Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life (See: Lu. 9:23-25). He said his sheep know his voice, they listen to him, they don’t follow strangers, but they follow (obey) Jesus, and these are the ones who can’t be snatched out of his hands or the Father’s hands (See Jn. 10:27-30). We were bought with a price, the blood of the Lamb, so our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want. We have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb to be an offering to God, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our reasonable service of worship to God, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed of the Spirit in the renewing (restarting) of our minds (See: Ro. 12:1-2). The Eternal Gospel (vv. 6-7) And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” So, what is the eternal gospel? I believe the calling Jesus gave to Paul sums it up well. Jesus told Paul that he was sending him to Jews and Gentiles “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (See: Ac. 26:16-18). Paul taught the same thing when he stated that the way we come to know Christ is, “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (See: Eph. 4:20-24). He also taught that Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for Christ who gave himself up for us. As well, Peter said that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (See: 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Pet. 2:24). Paul said that when we believed in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives that we died with Christ to sin, so sin should no longer be our master. Jesus set us free from slavery to sin so we might become slaves (servants) of righteousness. He also said that Jesus died that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who walk no longer according to the flesh, but who conduct our lives according to (in agreement with) the Spirit (See: Ro. 6-8). In Titus 2:11-14 we read that God’s grace which brings salvation teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. God’s grace is not free license to continue (persist) in living for sin and self. We aren’t saved from sin just so we can escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. Jesus bought (purchased) us with the price of his blood, so that our lives are no longer our own, but are his, to be lived for his glory. Keeping the Faith (vv. 8-13) And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” We are presently living in a time in history when this beast is rising, and it is conquering nations and peoples across the globe, and it is killing followers of Jesus Christ for their testimonies for him, and it is destroying independent sovereign governments, and it is attacking those who believe in the gospel as taught by Jesus and his apostles. It may not be in full form yet, and it may not yet have fully conquered all nations, but these things prophesied here in Revelation are beginning to unfold before our eyes. This beast we may call the New World Order. It is comprised of heads of governments, the elite and wealthy of the world, CEO’s of corporations, bankers and the like. They are the ones who rule the world. People in high up positions in governments and in the Christian church (institutional) are spokespeople for this New World Order Beast. And, they are moving the people of the world to cooperate with this beast, and to submit to its authority, and to join in with its one-world government and one-world religion. To receive a mark on our hands or forehead may be literal, but it may be figurative, or both. A mark can be an influence on our lives. Our foreheads symbolize our minds, thinking and beliefs. Our hands represent our deeds. If we bear the mark of someone or something on our thinking (or attitudes) and on our behavior (actions), it means that someone or something has had a profound influence on our lives to where we have, at least to some degree, adopted their way of thinking, believing and behaving. And, this is where the real danger lies. I hear many Christians worried about taking some physical mark while they have already been profoundly swayed by this beast system, which is worldly, conniving, manipulative and deceitful, and the goal of which is to destroy all that is sacred, to wreak havoc in the world, and to bring about a one-world order out of the chaos it first created. So, this is one of the reasons we are told to come out from among them and to be separate. We are supposed to be unlike (different from) the world, because we are becoming like Jesus, yet so many who call themselves Christians are not much different from the world. So, this is a warning to pay attention to what influences we are following, because we may have already received the influence of this Satanic system, disguised as an angel of light, into our lives because we, as the church, have forsaken our first love and have gone after other gods to serve and to worship them. So, this is also a call to do a self-examination before the Lord in prayer, and to ask him to show you the lies you are believing, and the influences on your life which are guiding you, and then to turn away from all which is contrary to God/Jesus, and which is opposed to the teachings of his Word, and instead to follow Jesus Christ with your life, and to walk now in the fear (awe, respect, reverence) of our Lord God. We must stand strong in our faith, and persevere in our commitment to follow Jesus with our lives, and we must obey our Lord’s instructions to us, and go wherever he leads us. Time is short. Don’t play games with God. Commit your all to him today. Search Me, O God / An Original Work / July 12, 2012 Based off Psalm 139 O Lord, You search and know me. You know all that I do. O Lord, You discern my ways. I put my trust in You. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? Where’er I am, You are with me, Guiding me in love. O Lord, You search and know me. You know all that I do. O Lord, You discern my ways. I put my trust in You. O Lord, You made and formed me In my own mother’s womb. Your hands beautif’ly made me. I give my praise to You. My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in the dark place. All the days ordained for me Were written in Your book. O Lord, You made and formed me In my own mother’s womb. Your hands beautif’ly made me. I give my praise to You. O Lord, how precious to me Are Your thoughts, O my God. When I wake in the morning, You are still here with me. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offense. Lead me in Your truth. O Lord, how precious to me Are Your thoughts, O my God. When I wake in the morning, You are still here with me.