Mid-week Pastor’s Update 5-11-2022

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

May 11th, 2022

“As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13

Well, we’ve just come through Mother’s Day, and I hope it was a lovely one for you and your loved ones. If you are a mother, I hope you know (not just this past recognition day) how treasured, valued, and essential you are for the rest of us.

Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t speak of mothers as often as it does Fathers (surely a reflection of the patriarchal society it was a part of), but in prophecy, there are a couple of crucial ‘mothers’ that are discussed. These contrasting mothers are found in Revelation chapters 12 and 17, respectively, and each represents a system to which people can choose to belong.

Revelation Chapter 12 describes a resplendent woman dressed in white, giving birth to Christ, then being pursued by a dragon who is revealed to be Satan. Satan is continually thwarted in his attempts to catch her, so he turns her attention to ‘the rest of her offspring’ or ‘descendants’, who are described as “Keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (v. 14). While the idea of being pursued/persecuted isn’t pleasant, the Bible makes clear that it’s better than being a descendant of the other woman.

Contrastedly, Revelation 17 shows a luxurious ‘harlot’, or ‘prostitute’, riding a seven-headed beast, which represents corrupted earthly powers. She is getting drunk, imbibing the blood of martyrs as she joyously rules and persecutes. She has the title “Mother of harlots” written on her forehead, as well as mysterious blasphemies & abominations. The scripture further describes in chapter 18 that merchants, seafarers, and kings are united with her for international trade and profit.

On the surface, and in the short-term, it would seem more advantageous to belong to the second woman, living luxuriously and selfishly, than to be a descendant of the persecuted yet pure woman. Each of these represent a body that is either aligned or opposed to the principles of God, and, we see in daily life where people put their priorities to belong to.

We who choose God’s community, to belong to God’s virtuous woman as our ‘mother’, are in it for the long-term, having confidence that the promises which are prophesied will come true.

What are those promises? Well, firstly, the harlot of Revelation 17 has a great fall in chapter 18, so stunning and shocking to her allies that they mourn and wail. But the pure woman of Revelation 12 becomes “The bride of Christ”, whom he comes to rescue, marry, and take home in glory (kind of like a ‘prince charming’ from a Disney move, but much grander, truer, and more glorious!). (See Ephesians 5:25-27, and Revelation 21:2, 9).

So we are called to put off immediate eases, comforts, and rewards for the sake of latter, greater ones. This doesn’t mean God wants us to suffer in the meantime, by no means! Jesus speaks of the “abundant life” in John 10 as current, but it must be understood on more than a surface, material level.

In all areas of life, it is tough to put off gratification for the sake of the future, but it is always the wiser course. This is true with economics, education, relationships, etc. But it is also true with Spiritual matters, and with God.

“Patient Endurance” is another of the characteristics of the woman’s offspring, the faithful remnant of the last days. We must exercise it now as much as ever. As I’ve often seen students “check out” and more-or-less give up in the last moth of school, and their grades suffer for it, we must remain firm and steady now, to not negate all we’ve worked for and invested in thus far. As the Apostle Paul says: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Cor. 9:24-25

So make your decision. “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve” Joshua 24:15. As for me, as for my house, as for my community of faith, we will choose the Lord, and his faithful body, his bride, striving and perseverant for the culmination of prophecy.

I pray that you have a good week, and if you haven’t yet expressed appreciation to the mother(s) in your life, be sure to do so! And live to be worthy of their (and God’s) love and appreciation.


Pr. Mark Tatum

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