By Nels Angelin
The glories of God are very special to me. I look to the heavens above for the joy of all that our Creator God has produced, which is filled with glory. Indeed, it is God that is the fullness of glory that is awesome to behold. In the heavens, everyone can look up and see the Great Orion nebula. It is in its glory right now whenever the sky is open to look up and see. Just with your eyes is enough to find it. Yes, a telescope is tremendous to fill more glory, the more that is there to fully see. I can tell you that there is more there than meets the eye alone. Special wavelengths of light reveal much more than the visible light my eye has to see. The hydrogen-alpha and beta light spread a grand nebula arc around the whole constellation of Orion with glory upon more glory like gathering clouds before a storm. Thousands of light-years of expanse sweeping around the grand arc of light is a majesty of splendor that I see only in pictures. I wish I could see it with my eyes. I am thankful for my eyes, aren’t you?
Have you seen the horse-head nebula? It is right there in a spray of light with a curtain wall of red light beside the first star to the left that makes the row of three belt stars. To see that glory, you must have a hydrogen-alpha filter that reveals that light wavelength. There is so much more glory the Lord has for us to see from His hand the more we come to know God and see as God sees. Men of science have looked up to the stars with little telescopes they made, as did astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in 1751 surveying the southern sky with a telescope a half-inch in diameter to discover nebulae from the Cape of Good Hope. Today they look earnestly with space telescope Hubble and now the James Web to see a universe of stars splashed like paint splatters dashed from a mighty wind. The glories of God there are full like the hallways of heaven into the very throne of God.
Who are the one hundred and forty-four thousand? They represent the great glory of God, don’t you suppose? Is the number great or small? There is a lot of speculation to know that number that Jesus is filling and is soon to come. Certainly, we must be fully filled with the glory of God to have His filter to know about that special group of God’s people and who they are. Remember what God told to Ellen White. She saw marvelous things of heaven and more of the great glory to come. Ellen wrote what she was told, “You must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000 shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handiwork of God” (Early Writings, p. 40).
Sabbath was coming on as I listened to a sermon by a young pastor making a connection of that special number of people in comparison to the life of the prophet Daniel. Surely the same could be told of Moses and Joseph and each that has been faithful to God through great hard times, choosing to align with God’s people than die many other riches of an empty world. Daniel had to live out his life in exile but with dependence upon God to do his work faithfully with an unmovable standard. It was God who would perform the miracles that preserved his life, time after time from one kingdom and again even into the succeeding kingdom. Greater is the reward for Daniel coming to God’s kingdom.
Over the past year, we have been captive to witness many changes in our country and worldwide, never before thought possible could ever take place. Crisis after crisis, real and reported from an agenda with horrors of failed leadership never thought to be a reality. Churches and businesses to be shut down from pandemic, the country under unjust mandates. Virtual schools in place of learning – what more is yet to come? Such is only the beginning of sorrows as we move nearer to the time when Jesus will come. All the more we are come face to face with where we are and what we must be victorious to represent Jesus in the message of the gospel both here and to go to all the world for a witness to all nations of who God is. And then the end will come.
Before the skies will open and roll back the clouds of blackness like a scroll, there are things yet to come we must endure before the voice of God is heard. All of the histories of where we have come has prepared us for where we are and how we live our life where we find them. The standards of what defines what our life is and what is the future of the church is ready for what the destiny is just now breaking into view. It reminds me of what Ellen wrote of the time where we stand watching.
“Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, “Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads” (Early Writings, p.38).
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” “Those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” “But the meek shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:7,9,11).
Please note that opinions expressed in The Manna are solely the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of the McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Image: Hubble Space Telescope/NASA/ESA