Lesson 7 - Love’s Unfailing Promise
From the first time I opened the Bible, I felt the Lord’s love. Each word drawing us on a journey of discovery, to seek out the Lord & His ways, the narrow path to His wisdom & knowledge. And with each step, each breath, each encounter, He draws us inexorably nearer to the fulfillment of every unfailing promise.
What an amazing journey the Lord has had us on! I look back over the last few months on Call of the Bride, & I see His fingerprints everywhere. The gentle nudges, the beautiful words, heart-stopping dreams & visions, & through it all runs a steady beat…the beat of the Lord’s heart. His love is unfathomable, unconditional, all encompassing, unfailing, faithful & true, & His heart beats for us.
In our last lesson we learned about the reversal & the unique calling we have, & throughout all of it I see His love. He knows of our desperate need to try to atone, but what can we give to the Lord, creator of all things, we who have nothing to call our own, except what He gave us first? We can give Him ourselves. All that we are we give to Him, our will, our love & our obedience. With these three offerings, He can do amazing things. He can reverse the course of history, turn the tide of evil, & fulfill the many promises He gave us in His Word.
We have come to understand His plans as He laid them out in front of us like a puzzle, well pondered. His fingerprints visible for all to see, each piece moved meticulously into place over centuries, the picture finally coming into view…so what was the picture on the box? Let’s take a look & find out…
The Lord is faithful in all He does, His love is steadfast & true, & He never forgets the sacrifices made by those He calls. We need look no further than Revelation 21, to see how He honors His faithful chosen.
Rev 21:6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Do you see? The twelve tribes were the gateway to bring the Lord & His love & mercy to us all! The foundation of the Lord’s ‘church’ was built upon the 12 apostles! For all eternity the Lord honors the 12 apostles, & gives honor to the twelve tribes, & so too the 144,000. How can that be? Let’s go a little further & see…
15The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 furlongs in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.f 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
Have you spotted it yet? In every direction the 144,000 is found….the length & breadth of the city, 12000 X 12000. Length & height 12000 x 12000. The thickness of the walls 144 cubits. And each layer of the foundation is decorated with the gemstones of the 12 tribes. We are the foundation of the city. Our sacrifice & obedience is the foundation on which the Lord built the Holy City! Did you hear the Angel say “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” This is the Lord showing His love & joy at what we will become. He has woven our story into the very foundation of His Holy City, forever more, never to be forgotten!
Rev 22:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Can you imagine! My heart swells with love & gratitude when I read what our Lord God Almighty has in store for us, for all eternity. And if you still doubt, even for a second what the Lord feels about His 144,000 (X 2 of course!), then look no further than the next & final chapter in the Lord’s Holy Word!
Revelation 22 Eden Restored
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
This is His promise bound by His love for us, reconciled forever, face to face, & heart to heart. His love has never waned, never stopped, never doubted. For centuries He has patiently planned, eagerly awaited, yearning & longing for all mankind to come home, free from sin, redeemed & lifted up. Death & iniquity defeated & evil banished for all time. But before we get there, we have a job to do…
John and the Angel
6The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
7“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
10Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
It is time to make a stand, to step into our calling. The time is upon us, the time for the 144,000 to step forth & claim victory. He has already won for us! We simply need to step out in faith & claim it. The Lord’s love is boundless, & He seeks that none should perish. He has shown us our pathway home, brightly lit by His love & devotion. Let’s shine His light for all to see, & bring as many home as we can!
And just in case there is any doubt left about what the Lord wants….
Epilogue: Invitation and Warning
14“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Do you see the picture on the box yet….It is the Lord beckoning all to New Jerusalem!
Everything has been flowing, year after year, moment by moment, to this convergence! Every colored strand in the tapestry, every brushstroke on His masterpiece, every piece of the puzzle! Accept His love, accept His call & step into a beautiful eternity overflowing with love!
Answer His call, & love like the Lord loves us….selflessly! Bring His light to the world, bring His bread & feed the hungry, draw them forth to the Water of Life! We are His Army! Arise, Arise, mount your horse & take up your sword! The day is almost upon us. Lift your eyes to the heavens & seek His face….I’ll see you all on the other side!