1 John 1:3 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. (John 17:6-8)
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
John 14:21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
John 17:26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
This morning’s love message is : “God will see to it, my son.” While God will see to it, we need to come to God with a vision, seeing into the unseen by unwavering faith, as led by the Holy Spirit.
(All Scriptures are quoted from NKJV unless otherwise specified)
Indeed, in the classic case of Abraham’s affirmation of his vision of God’s true nature, God saw to it that Abraham and wife did not have to lose their greatest love -their only son, Isaac, born to him and his wife Sarah at their very old age. What did Abraham see when he went to the mountain of vision with his son just as God instructed him to do? He saw the awesome love of God, who provided His own greatest love, the Son of God -Jesus as a substitute for Abraham and Isaac and all mankind! Jesus became the perfect sacrifice! (Hebrews 10:5-14 “10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”)
God told Abraham to go to the land of Moriah (Hebrew: מוֹרִיָּה -“ordained/considered by the LORD”, which is the name given to a mountainous region by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is the location of the intended sacrifice of Isaac. The Vulgate renders the location specified by God for the sacrifice as terram Visionis, traditionally rendered “land of Vision” in Catholic translations.
Genesis 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
22:8 Abraham said, “The lamb for the entirely burned offering? God will see to it, my son.” The two of them walked on together. (CEB)
“God will see to it, my son,” Abraham replied. And they went on. (TLB)
Abraham said, “Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.” And they kept on walking together.(MSG)
22:13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
John 8:55-56 (Jesus said)
Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
Where is our land of vision today? Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) We can see by reading His words.
We can also see (know) by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) The Holy Spirit will enables us to see, Jesus said, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-15)
What shall we focus on seeing? Like Abraham we only need to focus on seeing God’s great love, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
Awesome! God’s name is LOVE.
Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 shows us who are God’s beloved. Sufferings come from man and not God. The first man reacted to an inbuilt conscience of guilt and shame and started the blame culture after eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The following verses sum up what happened after the fall of Adam: denial of own failures and responsibilities by blaming others. Adam blamed his wife Eve and God for giving him a wife. Eve blamed snake who successfully lied to her and cheated her. Their eldest son Cain blamed God and parents for imagined favoritism, rebelled against parents and God and murdered his own brother Abel and left the presence of God and parents. The rebellious mankind then tried to build a name for themselves and finally became “Babel”. As quoted from an online source: “Babel, the kingdom of earth, is hell-bent on de-throning the God of the universe. It is a kingdom of pride, self-sufficiency, and defiance to the Creator.”
As God warned Cain, beware that sin is a spiritual creature that lurks at the door of our soul and seizes opportunity given by human to conquer and control human. Cain failed to be alert and turn around back to God because he persisted in believing his own deceptive prideful imagination and the lies of the devil. He could have easily turned back to God because at that time God was speaking to him and he could hear and talk back! But he chose to be consumed by defiance, envy and hatred. I believe he was unspiritual and could not believe in a spiritual God. This is still the main problem with many today. Sin is the thief that Jesus has described with the purpose to steal, kill and destroy mankind. Sin seeks to destroy a person’s peace. (Genesis 4:6; John 10:10)
But human is not left helpless and defenseless. Jesus has brought victory over sin and broken the power of death. He has brought super-abundant life to mankind. Man is not destined to be eternal slaves to sin and the power of death. Every born again believer has a new beginning in life. A born again spirit that is joined to the Lord’s Spirit. The wisdom who is Christ in us. The authority of the name of Jesus. The power in us is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This mighty power of the Holy Spirit now gives life to our mortal bodies. The children of God can rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us to live a victorious life. (Read Romans 5-8) We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) We can put on the whole armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
When we read the Bible verses we can see God’s love and mercy everywhere. He is love. He gives warning to help us not to fall into the many snares set by the devil after the first man’s fall. In ancient days (as recorded in the Old Testament) people could even hear God talking directly to them. Today we can hear Him too through listening in our heart to the Holy Spirit and reading His words.
(All Scriptures are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise indicated)
Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
Genesis 4:5-7 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Genesis 4:16 The Family of Cain 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.
Genesis 6:5 5 Then the Lord[God] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 7:1 The Great Flood: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
Genesis 9:1 God’s Promise to Noah: So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
Genesis 11:1,4,6,9 The Tower of Babel 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
GOOD NEWS TO ALL MANKIND: God does not have favoritism. You can be His beloved.
God seeks reconciliation and continuing relationship with human. He found a man who was faithful, not a nation, just one individual who could hear God and responded to God positively by faith. The good news is God intends Abraham to bless all mankind and not just his own biological descendants and tribe. The same blessings that God has given to him are to be given too to the rest of the world at all time. Who can qualify and how to receive? Read on.
Genesis 12:1-4 Promises to Abram (Abraham)1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”4 :1 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
Genesis 15:1,6 God’s Covenant with Abram1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Romans 4 on justification by faith: The Promise Granted Through Faith
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Galatians 3:5-9 You can have the faith of Jesus, the Son of God in you. You can have the Holy Spirit God gives to every believer as a guarantee of His blessings. Just believe and you will receive.
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? —6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. ”Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.
I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
God blessed two groups of living creatures at creation: the fishes and the birds, the human beings, male and female in God’s own image. Then He blessed them. God created other things as well: day, night, heaven, earth, seas, grass, fruit trees, sun, moon, stars, animals and other living creatures on earth. But the Bible recorded in Genesis God blessed two groups as quoted below.
Genesis 1:22,28 New King James Version (NKJV)
Fishes and birds: 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
Human beings made in the image of God: 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Why? What do they have in common that other creatures do not have?
Looking at the fact that each has its own domain of operation, we can note the distinct demarcation: fishes in the seas (water), birds in the sky, humans on land. God has granted humans dominion over the whole earth at creation.
There is a word repeatedly used by God in the creation process. “Divide/Separate”. In Genesis 1:3-18 (Quoted in parts) God again makes distinction between two opposite realms: light and darkness, day and night, heaven and earth, dry land and seas.
1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. ..
6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. ..
9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; …17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
Why does God make such clear demarcation between light and darkness, heaven and earth, land and seas? Verse 14 gives us an indication, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;” I believe the distinction is landmark, to guide the whole human race as an entity in survival on this the earth, and each person as to the span of his/her life on earth.
Landmark is a physical guide for a traveler. The Apostle Peter described Christians as sojourners/travelers.
1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT)
Living Before the World
New Living Translation
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners”(Sojourners) to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
God wants His people to be different and make a difference in the fallen world. He has set landmarks which guide us. This is what He said, “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” (Proverbs 22:28)
A WARNING ABOUT REMOVING BOUNDARIES/LANDMARKS
Deuteronomy 19:14 [ Property Boundaries ] “You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
Hosea 5:10 “The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
EVEN THE SEAS HAVE BOUNDARIES WHICH THEY ARE FORBIDDEN TO CROSS OVER
Proverbs 8:29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
6 …The waters stood above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
8 They went up over the mountains;
They went down into the valleys,
To the place which You founded for them.
9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,
That they may not return to cover the earth.
Jeremiah 5:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence,
Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea,
By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?
And though its waves toss to and fro,
Yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
Are there boundaries in the spiritual realms? The answer is yes. In the Book of Daniel, the angel Gabriel told Daniel that he was delayed by the prince of Persia and prince of Greece and angle Michael had to come to his aid so e could come to Daniel in answer of Daniel’s prayer. Apostle Paul also mentioned the existence of such territorial and hierarchical spiritual rulers of darkness and hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12) Revelation 12 described a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the devil and his angels. “but they did not prevail, nor was there a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out…”(12:7-9)
In summary: God sets boundaries to separate. Do not cross them. Do not allow breaking down of such boundaries. That was why Nehemiah and his team returned to Jerusalem in 444BC to rebuild the walls. There is spiritual significance in walls. They are landmarks for demarcation and distinction.
Jesus said Christians must love our enemies. Why? Because God is our Father. He is merciful. He wants repentance and the return of a person’s heart to Him. In this blog we read of what happened to a king and his repentance. We read of how and why he went mad, his subsequent repentance and restoration-a very powerful and time-relevant confession and testimony of one of the most powerful rulers of the earth in history.
Luke 6:27-36 New King James Version (NKJV)Love Your Enemies
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
AN EVIL KING’S CONFESSION AND TESTIMONY
Daniel 4:28-37 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Dream’s Fulfillment
28 “But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. 30 As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’
31 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom. 32 You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’
33 “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.
His rule is everlasting,
and his kingdom is eternal.
35 All the people of the earth
are nothing compared to him.
He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven
and among the people of the earth.
No one can stop him or say to him,
‘What do you mean by doing these things?’
36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.
37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”
When everyone is full of fear of the most powerful evil king on earth and bows down to the idol of gold, three men of God refuse to do so. They have no fear of men. They fear and honor their God only. Who are they? Where are these men today? Can we still find them among the Christians? I believe they are around. Reading Revelation 7 confirms what I believe.
Daniel 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Image of Gold
3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; 6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Daniel’s Friends Disobey the King
8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. 9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Saved in Fiery Trial
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”[a]
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel[b] and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 3:25 Or a son of the gods
Daniel 3:28 Or angel
A Multitude from the Great Tribulation
7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 And I said to him, “Sir,[b] you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.[c] And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 7:5 In NU-Text and M-Text were sealed is stated only in verses 5a and 8c; the words are understood in the remainder of the passage.
Revelation 7:14 NU-Text and M-Text read My lord.
Revelation 7:17 NU-Text and M-Text read to fountains of the waters of life
Words of warning from Jesus: Matthew 6:24 New Living Translation (NLT)
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Words of encouragement and comfort from Jesus to His followers: Matthew 6:31-34 New Living Translation (NLT)
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Declares the Lord Jesus Christ. “The meek will inherit the land.” There are many examples in the Bible. We read some examples today. Bible verses are quoted in parts with boldness and italics added. Unless otherwise noted, the verses are quoted from NKJV.
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.“
The patriarch’s examples in meekness:
Abraham was a meek man. He believed in the unseen God but he also had doubts. He feared man –the foreign kings. He chose to lie about his relationship with his stunningly beautiful wife Sarah because he feared those kings would kill him for her. (Genesis 12:13; 20:2) He also chose to give in to his ungrateful and unthankful aggressive nephew Lot. He chose to let Lot take all the good lands and only after that he took the leftovers. (13:8-12) He heeded the voice of his wife Sarai and had her Egyptian maid Hagar as a second wife and gave birth to Ishmael who was not the promised covenanted descendent. (Genesis 16:2)
Isaac was a meek man. He chose to lie to the alien king about his true marriage relationship for fear that the king might kill him for his beautiful wife Rebecca. (Genesis 26:7) He also chose to give in to the powerful foreign king’s servant who bullied his own servants and took over the wells he dug. (26:20-21) He allowed the strife between his wife, his two sons, and the wives of his eldest son continue in his household and stay out of it. (25:28-34; 26:34; 27:13; 27:41-46)
Jacob was a meek man. He fled for his life after having cunningly took advantage and cheated his elder brother Esau and stole the blessing reserved for the eldest son. He did not inherit or enjoy the physical wealth of his father. Instead he lived as a fugitive for twenty years: cheated and tricked by his uncle and slaved fourteen years for his love for Rachael, and ended up marrying the woman (Leah) he did not love in addition to Rachael. He also slaved and endured another six years for his uncle’s flocks. The uncle/father-in-law tormented him and changed his wages ten times! (Genesis 31:41) When he finally escaped with his wives, children and possessions, he had to face his elder brother again in fear and anxiety. He gave material gifts and physically humbled before the physically stronger and more powerful aggressive brother. (Genesis 33:8-16)
Joseph was meek. He was bullied and despised by his older brothers, who sold him as a teenager-slave and humbled and worked for powerful master in Egypt. He was then falsely accused by his master’s wife and imprisoned for thirteen years. (Genesis 37:4, 8, 11, 19-28, 36; 39:7-20)
Gideon was meek. He feared the powerful and cruel Midianites who marauded and stripped the land bare. He hid at the bottom of a winepress to thrash grains. He claimed that his clan was the weakest of the tribe of Manasseh, and he was the least in the entire family. He asked the Lord to give him repeated signs to prove that he is really called to rescue Israel. In addition he was still afraid before the battle and the Lord gave him one more sign to assure him of victory. (Judges 6:11, 15, 17, 37, 39; 7:9-15)
David was meek. He ran from the powerful aggressive Saul and his own aggressive son Absalom both of whom were after David’s life. He even fled to the enemy king and pretended madness. (1 Samuel 21:13; 22:1; 2 Samuel 15:12-14, 30)
These men displayed meekness in the eyes of men. Their strength came from the Lord. They trusted in God to vindicate and bless them. They had faith in God. See the following outcome as evidences:
Abraham was richly blessed on earth. The Lord gave him all the lands he could see and walk to claim by faith: “For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you. ” (Genesis 13:14-18) He was blessed, became great, and was given physical wealth. He lived one hundred and seventy years, and died a good old age full of years and abundance in material riches and possessions. (Genesis 24:35; 25:7-8)
Isaac too prospered physically. During famine time he sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him. He began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous. (Genesis 26:13-14) He was so blessed in material wealth and farming success that the foreign king said this, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” Genesis 35:28-29 Isaac lived one hundred and eighty years, full of days.
Jacob too was blessed. He had twelve sons who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. He lived one hundred and forty seven years. He and his descendants dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. (Genesis 47:27) All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph born in Egypt were two persons. (46:26-27) by the time the Israelites left Egypt to possess the promised covenanted land, they were numerous. Numbers 1:45-46 “So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel—all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. This number excluded the tribe of Levites who were appointed to keep charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony. (1:49-53)
Joseph was greatly blessed and honored. The Lord was with him, showed him mercy and favor and he was a successful man. (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23) God gave him excellent business and administrative acumen and talent to both administer and invest wisely. God also gave him special supernatural spiritual ability to interpret dreams. When he was thirty years old he was given the second highest powerful post in the kingdom of Egypt, serving in the court of the King of Egypt. (41:37-44) He was successful and well respected and honored in his role in having foresight and managing the economy and finance of the nation during a time of widespread famine and crisis. (41:46-57; 47:13-26) His unique high position gave him the opportunity to reconcile with his father and his brothers and save them from famine, thereby carrying out God’s plan for the Israelites to multiply and grow until they become a nation too. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years old and saw his sons’ children to the third generation. (47:5-6, 11-12, 27) His own two sons Ephraim and Manasseh became two large tribes of Israel, inheriting much land when they entered the Promised Land. (Joshua 17:17-18)
God delivered the enemy into Gideon’s hands (Judges 7:9). So Gideon conquered Midian’s kings and delivered Israelites from the Midianites. The men of Israel made him rule over them. He had seventy sons and many wives. He ruled Israel for forty years. He died a good old age. (Judges 8:22, 28, 30-32)
David was greatly and richly blessed. “So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10) David was thirty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned forty years. (5:4) “So he died in a good old age, full of age, full of days and riches and honor;” (1 Chronicles 29:28)
Jesus Himself declares He is meek: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly (humble) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus’ meekness was prophesied about eight hundred years before He came to earth as a man:
In the following passage the Prophet Isaiah (whose ministry took place in 792-686 BC) prophetically described the Messiah. The prophetic words came true in the life history of Jesus: Isaiah 53:2-12
“For He has grown up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised, and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent. So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and judgment. And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked–but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
The Holy Spirit confirmed this through the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5-11
Philippians 2:5-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
2:6 Or Being in the form of God.
2:7a Greek he emptied himself.
2:7b Or the form of a slave.
2:7c Some English translations put this phrase in verse 8.
Often I see Christians forgetting that their family members are their brothers and sisters in Christ. But they are God’s children and co-heirs with Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, interceding for Christians. When we next deal with our family members let us look up and see Jesus watching and interceding for that person, no matter how unlovable he or she may appear to you. She or he is not your enemy. The enemy is outside. You need to take care of your household first according to the Bible. I see open contempt and rude manners which Jesus and God see too. When I open the Bible this morning I read this:
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you——…for though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Remember: even Jesus who is Christ, sitting at the right hand of God now is humble and gentle. The Bible says, “As He is, so we are in this world.” Are we? If we cannot be humble and gentle to one another as Jesus is to us, how can we claim to own all His riches and wealth and prosperity and success?
Who are your brothers and sisters in Christ? Parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins.
[ Obedience by Faith ] If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
1 John 4:20-21 NKJV
When family members cannot be united as one just as God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One, the enemy can come in to steal, kill, and destroy. Why? Because where strife is there are all kinds of evil. Jesus has warned against the division that will cause downfall:
John 17:22 (NKJV) 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
James 4:1-3 (NKJV) Pride Promotes Strife
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
- James 4:2 NU-Text and M-Text omit Yet.
Romans 13:12-14 (NKJV)
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.