The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 11:15.
The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime . . . utterances of the sacred writers. . . . The psalmist sang of the power and majesty of Israel’s King: … “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad . . . before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Psalm 96:11-13.
Said the prophet Isaiah:…”He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it….” Isaiah 25:8….
When the Saviour was about to be separated from His disciples, He comforted them in their sorrow with the assurance that He would come again: “Let not your heart be troubled….In my Father’s house are many mansions….I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” John 14:1-3….
The angels who lingered upon Olivet after Christ’s ascension repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11. And the apostle Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Inspiration, testified: “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Says the prophet of Patmos: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7.
About His coming cluster the glories of that “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:21. Then the long-continued rule of evil shall be broken; “the kingdoms of this world” will become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15.
Maranatha p. 21
—–Please pray for Tom.His heart is giving out and his kidneys are failing they are shutting down. Hospice will be here today to set up a bed for him. Pray for us. Mary
Although not an Israelite, Balaam was a worshipper of the true God. Even more than this, he was a prophet. All was going pretty well for him. He was recognized for his prophetic abilities and many people came to him for counsel.
One day princes of Balak, king of Moab, arrived at his door. They brought gifts that Balaam desired. He treated them with hospitality and told them “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.” Num 22:8
That night, God told Balaam, “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.”
Balaam thought of all of those riches he could have had and he was not happy to send the princes back to Balak, but he did it. In the morning he told them that the Lord refused to let him go with them. He did not explain that Israel had been especially favored and blessed by God. He was chafing under the prohibition.
Because he did not explain everything, the princes got the wrong signal. They told their king, “Balaam refuseth to come with us.” vs 14 Balak decided that he just had not honored the prophet enough and sent higher ranking officials with greater gifts.
When Balaam saw that Balak again sent more honorable princes and greater gifts, he coveted the gifts and the high honors he would receive if he cursed Israel. He pictured himself as a great man in their kingdom. He saw himself as sitting beside the king receiving kingly honors.
He should have told the men, “I’m sorry, but as I told you before, the Great God of the Universe, the only True God, Maker of Heaven and Earth has blessed these people. I cannot come with you to curse those whom the Lord has blessed.” This would have brought honor to God and Balak would have been afraid to proceed with his plans. Even more, Balaam had the opportunity to teach the king and his princes about the One Who had given them life, but instead he helped them in their rebellion.
Instead of shutting his mind to the temptation, Balaam toyed with sin. The more he toyed with it, the more he desired it. The more he desired it, the stronger became the temptation. He again went to God and begged to let him go to Balak. Finally God gave him a sign that if the princes called him in the morning, he could go Instead of waiting for that to happen, “Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.” vs. 21.
Sometimes if we persist in wanting our own way, God gives it to us, but there are grave consequences. We all know what happened next. As Peter said, “Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:15,16 God taught Balaam a lesson that he should have been thankful for, but instead it brought forth a spring of rebellion.
Balak was happy to see the prophet and took him with great ceremony to the top of a hill where he could see Israel. Balaam explained that he could only say the words God gave him and blessed Israel three times. Moreover he prophesied Israel’s future victories.
The king chased Balaam from his sight. Balaam went back home, but that spring of rebellion that had taken root grew and grew. He murmured in his heart. Finally those honors and gifts meant more to Balaam than did his service to the only True God. He saddled his donkey and made the journey back to Moab. There he counselled Balak to send women into the camp of Israel and lure the men into sin. (Num 31:16)
This worked well. Because there was sin in the camp, God could not bless His people. Finally the sinners were purged from the camp and God directed Moses to fight against their enemies. Balaam never got to enjoy all of the riches and honors that he coveted. He was slain in the battle. As he was perishing, he must have wished that he had not toyed with sin. He must have wished that he had shut out the first temptation that had come into his mind.
Paul tells us, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Cor 10:11
Let us be careful not to toy with sin. Let us shut out the first whispered temptations of the evil one. Let us keep our eyes upon our Dear Saviour, Who loves us so.