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by E. L. Jorgenson

100 Years ago in May 1920 Word & Work


     The teaching in Revelation 18 and 14 is an excellent illustration, both of the understandableness and the practicalness of prophecy in general, and of Revelation in particular. In chapter 13 that wicked world-ruler, the Beast, announces a boycott upon all who will not kowtow to him. Unless men accept his mark or number they will be unable to buy or sell—which may mean starvation. The temptation to knuckle to the beast will, of course, be tremendous, and, to many it will be overpowering. But in chapter 14, God declares that those who yield to the temptation, shall drink the undiluted cup of His wrath, and be tormented with fire and brimstone.

     But how could God propose to punish those who accept the name or number of the beast unless it is possible to know and understand what that number or name is? The mark may not be recognized until the time comes, but the facts must be found out beforehand. Here then, is a proof of the understandableness of one of the most difficult things even in Revelation.

     That there will be believers who will yield to that temptation and accept the mark of the beast, will not, I suppose, be disputed. But is it not also conceivable that among them will be believers who would not have so yielded had they known the warning of the following chapter? namely, that while it may mean the destruction of the body to refuse the mark, it will mean destruction of the soul to accept it. Here then, is also a proof of the practicalness, and the possible essentiality of prophecy.

     Our Lord, who knows all things, was exceedingly anxious to know from Peter’s own lips that he loved Him still, after the denial: ‘‘Simon, Son of John, lovest thou me?” This was the question once, twice, and three times. “Thou knowest that I love thee,” answered Peter;” and then came the commission, “Shepherd my sheep.” Peter is to feed and tend the flock of God; but not unless he truly loves the “Chief Shepherd, that “great shepherd of the sheep.”

     And no man can lay claim to any divine commission to feed God’s sheep, who is not sure in his heart that he loves the Lord truly–though he may be called elder, preacher, or teacher. For no man is fit to feed who does not love. He will not, with a true motive, desire to do it, and he will not know how to go about it. It is lore that “doth not behave itself unseemly;” love always knows how to act. In the problems attendant upon the shepherding of God’s sheep—who came from all nations, classes, and races—love and love alone knows how to act.

   E L Jorgenson

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10