2021-12-13

Revelation 13:1-18

  Satan, Antichrist and the false prophet are the pseudo-trinity in chapter 13. They will rule in the Great Tribulation period. This will be the time when Christians would have been raptured and be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who remain (remnants) must bear the mark of the beast in order to do any commercial trading. The moral of this passage is: believers in Christ will escape the sufferings in Tribulations. Those who believe in Jesus as their savior during the Tribulation will need to endure patiently and stay faithful. Evil will rule temporarily as the Lord will have the final victory.

  We know from verse 2, the dragon (Satan) gives power to the beast (Antichrist) to act as a political leader to the world. Not only will he be charming but he will also show his wonder by resurrecting himself from fatal wounds. The world will be under his control. The beast’s main job is to lead people to worship Satan and himself. He will blaspheme God for 42 months (three and a half year) and wage war against God’s people (those who remain and believed in Jesus after the rapture)

  Another character-the second beast (the false prophet) will portray himself as a religious world leader. He will lead people to worship the Antichrist. He is also capable of performing great signs. He will cause fire to come down from heaven (verse 13). He will also make the image of the Antichrist speak, so those who refuse to worship the beast will be killed. He will put a mark on all people (verse 15). Without the mark, no one can buy or sell (verse 17). Does this sound familiar? Without vaccination, you cannot work and you cannot go to places. At my workplace, if you are not vaccinated, you cannot work unless you have a health or religious reason that prohibits you from taking the vaccination. There may come a time when there will be no exemptions such as during end times when everyone will be required to have the the mark of the beast before you can even purchase a roll of toilet paper.

Psalm 149:1-9

  Believers sing psalms to praise God. Psalms help believers to rejoice in the Lord and the Lord find delight in their songs of worship. I remember a pastor ask a member: Every time, I look down from the pulpit , I do not see you opening your mouth to sing. The member answered : because I am enjoying the songs. The Pastor replied, we sing songs unto the Lord for His enjoyment not for yours. Since then, this member told me he started to sing in worship. Indeed, worship should be a reciprocal exchange between God and believers. We praise God with our songs, and God speak to us through the sermon. We then response to His words with songs and prayers. Then God gives us blessings through pastor’s benediction. Believers response with the song of Amen.

  In verse 6, there is a strange picture painted as God’s people hold a double edges sword while they are singing. The sword used to bring judgment/vengeance to nations, kings and nobles. Can you imagine our choir carry swords (or handgun) while they are singing on the pulpit? In Psalm 149, two words are used to describe God’s people: Faithful and humble. Are you faithful to the Lord? Are you serving God with a humble heart? In verse 4, God will crown the humble with victory. In verse 9, God will give glory to his people as they carry out God’s vengeance to the world. The most importance is God’s people love God. They sing new song, dance and make music with timbrels and harp are not for show to people but they do these out of their deepest love of God using music to worship the king of Kings and they rejoice in their maker verse 2.   — Alan Yam

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