Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shall and Will

702. "Shall and Will"      February 28, 2013
Revelation 21-Part 25
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1 KJV


Who doesn't like new things? New clothes are exciting to wear, but I don't particularly like to break in new shoes. Last year I painted the doors and door facings a bright pink, then bought hot pink curtains to match in our computer room/playroom. (Of course, the decor had to be pink, also.) So it is like having a new room.

John is seeing some new things in this chapter. He sees a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem. He got a preview before anyone else. This present fallen universe will be done away with, replaced. Instead of living in a sin-twisted, broken down, and bruised world, we who know and love Jesus Christ will have a new place to live, forever. We read about this happening in 2 Peter 3, Psalm 102:25-26, Luke 21:33, Isaiah 65:17, 66:22. There will be no seas, which will make for a different climatic condition. Does it mean that there will be no rain, no snow, no storms, since the seas evaporate to form them?

New, kainos in Greek, means different from the usual, impressive, better than the old, superior in value or attraction, according to Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.

In 20:11, John watched as the earth and heaven fled away, along with the associated contaminations of sin. The new ones, created by a perfect God who does perfect work, these will be perfect places existing in a perfect environment. John described the new city in terms of a bride adorned for her husband.  Do you think it will be pure, radiant, lovely, elegant, and stunning?

Does the new Jerusalem already exist, since it will "come down out of heaven?" According to John 14:1-3, this is the city where the saints will live. All the saints (bride) will live with Christ (groom) in the Father's house, as was the tradition of the Jews.
I can't imagine how wonderful it will be.

What are some things that will be missing from the new heaven and new earth? There will be no more:
  • sea (v.1)
  • tears (v.4)
  • death (v.4)
  • mourning (v.4)
  • crying (v.4)
  • pain (v.4)
  • thirst (v.6)
  • wickedness (v.8,27)
  • temple (v.22)
  • night (v.23-25)
  • closed gates (v.25)
  • curse (22:3).


Shall means (first person) expressing the future: am or are going to or sure to; (second or third person ) must. Will means expressing the future: am, is, are, etc. about to, sure to, determined to, etc.; expressing desire, wish, want; is able to, can.

God tells us that He shall/will do these in verses 1-8:
  • dwell with men
  • be with his people
  • be their God
  • wipe away all tears from their eyes
  • take away death, sorrow, crying, and pain
  • make all things new
  • give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost (NAS)
  • give an inheritance of all things to the overcomer and be his God.
Is there anything more that we could want? Friend, will you be there with me to enjoy all of this? The only way is through faith in Jesus, confessing sins, and asking Him to be your Savior.


Hold things loosely so I can let go of them when God requires them.

Get ready for a new earth.

Prepare for a new heaven.

Tell others about Jesus and His ssalvation so they can be with me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is Your Name Written in the Book?

701.  "Is Your Name in the Book?"
Revelation 20-Part 24  Verses 11-15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  Revelation 20:15


Is your name written in the book?
I have a distant cousin, with whom I share the same great-grandfather, that has spent a lot of time researching and writing the history of our family. (His grandfather and mine were brothers.) He wrote the names of our ancestors, then brought the lines down to the names of our children and grandchildren. My name is written in that book. It is a big deal to me, seeing my name in a book listed along with the names of kings.

My name  is also written in another book, the book of life. Now that's the one that really counts, the most important book there is. It contains an eternal list of names. Believers in the Old Testament times were saved by grace, through faith, as they trusted in God's promises and honored the old covenant. Their names are written in it. When Jesus initiated the new covenant, He told His disciples, Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven (Luke 10:20). So the New Testament believers' names are there.
We are justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law (Gal. 2:16). We will not be summoned to stand before the great white throne. Believers, whose names are written in the book of life, will never receive punishment based on their deeds.

Are you rejoicing with me that our names are written in the book of life? And that God chose us to be one of His children? His grace did it, in spite of us all being sinners. It was nothing that we did or could do to earn our salvation nor heaven. It is His gift. Have you accepted this gift?

If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (verse 15).

What more can I say?


Great describes the most awesome assize ever held. White refers to the purity and holiness with which it will be conducted. Throne is mentioned nearly 50 times in Revelation. It indicates that majestic authority is involved.  This is the judgment throne, elevated, pure, and holy. God sits on it as judge, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains that there are seven judgments, 1 past, 1 present, and 5 in the future. They are the judgments of:
  1. the Cross-man's sins at Calvary and Satan were judged there.
  2. the sinning believer-if he doesn't judge himself.
  3. the believers' works-takes place at the Rapture, at the judgment seat of Christ in heaven, where rewards or suffering loss occurs.
  4. upon Israel-after the Tribulation Period, those who reject or receive their Messiah.
  5. the nations-after the Tribulation Period, based upon acceptance or rejection of Christ, manifested in their treatment of the earthly brethren of our Lord.
  6. the fallen angels and Satan- time and place is not specific for the angels, but the beast and false prophet will be judged before the reign of Christ and Satan after the 1000 years.
  7. The Great White Throne Judgment-verses 11-15.
The sinner who rejected Christ will one day stand face-to-face before Him. The final doom of those whose name is not written in the Lamb's book of life will be cast into the lake of fire to exist there forever. So this is not ended on a downer, we believers in Christ will not appear before that judgment seat.

Am I sharing salvation with people so they don't have to appear before the Great White Throne of Judgment? (We don't know whose names are written in the Lamb's book of Life.)


Be ready for judgment.

Rejoice that my name is in the Book of Life.

Share the gospel with other so they can go to heaven.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


700.  "Lights"                 February 26, 2013
Revelation 20-Part 23
And he laid hold on the dragon that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. Revelation 20:2


We have read of many future events that John saw take place. Christ defeats all His enemies at Armageddon; Satan and his minions are bound for a thousand years while Jesus reigns on the earth; Satan's attempt to attack Christ and regain the world one final time. Despite all of that, the lake of fire is the final destination of Satan, the Antichrist, and his false prophet. Then the last curtain opens on the final reckoning of fallen humanity before God and the great white throne judgment.

Oh my goodness, what a time it all will be. Thank you, dear friends, for sticking with me through it all. I know I haven't been alone through the thick and thin of it. Some of the reading has been fairly rocky and rough to travel on, but we kept going. Keep thinking about the best is yet to come.

I have two overhead light bulbs in the middle of my room where my desk and computer are. This morning, both had burned out making it rather dark. I brought in the room a second lamp, which only shed light on a small area. Another piano light, I call it, glows over the other computer I don't use. They weren't sufficient light, though. So I did my reading of commentaries on the sofa  in the other room.I am thankful that my husband replaced the light bulbs. I said all that to show how we can have a little or lot of light. Just as we can have a lamp to give light on a certain area, so can the scriptures. Quite often, the angels shed some light on specific details which the Lord wants us to know about after we got the overall picture.

Remember my saying that I am no expert  Revelation? I wanted to remind you now, after reading chapter 20. You can make up your own mind about how and when events will take place. I am going to give you three that are out there.
  1. Amillennialism-the figurative view, teaches that the real thousand-year kingdom ruled by Christ is not literal. They view verse 4 as the spiritual resurrection of believers when they are saved, then the church history period is symbolizing the 1,000 year reign. A means  no and millennialism means thousand years.
  2. Premillennialism-the literal view, strongly argues for a literal kingdom. I suggests that Christ will return prior to a literal thousand-year reign. In Matthew 19:28-30 and Acts 1;6-8, it is referred to, as well as Old Testament minor prophecies. Pre means before.
  3. Post millennialism refers to the thousand-year period as only symbolic of a golden age of righteousness and spiritual prosperity.It will be ushered in by the spread of the gospel during the present church age and brought to completion when Christ returns. He will reign in the hearts of believers in the church instead of literally on earth. Post means after.
There you have the three views, friends. Personally, I lean to the premillennialism view, since the minor prophets foretold of Christ's reign. We could always be a let it-let it happen as God has planned.
[Resources: Swindoll's New Testament Insights on Revelation, The MacArthur Bible Commentary]

Is my light shining for Jesus? Is His light in my life?


In verse 2, Satan is put into the abyss, shut in and sealed it over. He cannot deceive the nations for the 1,000 years. He'll be released for a short time, then finally cast into the lake of fire for ever and ever.(That's what I call good news.)
Remember those who had been martyred for their testimony of Jesus and the Word of God? They will resurrect and reign as priests for that millinnium. The rest of the dead won't be resurrected until it is over (verse 5). Satan and his followers will be released from his prison and deceive the nations, war against the saints, and lose. All those evil ones, Satan, Antichrist, False Prophet will be tormented forever.

So be aware that Satan is currently allowed to have his way in the world culture, society, politics, economics, and religion (1 John 5:19). Jesus is not yet exercising direct authority over the earth. (Heb. 2:8, 10:12-13) The unrighteous people are in the majority and in authority. (Swindoll)
These are only for a short time and then the reign and judgment of Christ. The choice is ours. On which side will we be?


Let it light of Jesus shine in my life.

Turn from the world to Jesus.

Share His love.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Praise ye the Lord!

699.  "Praise ye the Lord!"
February 25, 2013
Revelation 19-Part 22


Everyone join me in singing:
Hallelu, hallelu,hallellu, hallelujah!
Praise ye the Lord!

Growing up in Sunday School, we often sang that chorus.
In heaven, there will be a whole lot of singin' goin' on. That 's because of the joyful hearts.

The transliteration of alleluia (Praise the Lord!), a Hebrew word, appears four times in the New Testament; all in this chapter-verses 1,3,4,6. However, it does occur frequently in the Old Testament Psalms.
John MacArthur gives us five reasons for their praise:
  1. God's deliverance of His people from their enemies. (verse 1)
  2. God's meting out of justice. (verse 2)
  3. God's permanent crushing of man's rebellion. (verse 3)
  4. God's sovereignty. (verse 6)
  5. God's communion with His people. (verse 7)
Sounds like some good reasons to me. Enemies are gone, justice is served, no more rebellion, god controls all, and we are with Him in heaven. What better is there?

The three attributes of God are mentioned in verse 1: Salvation, glory, and honor.
Each of these three great attributes of God should awaken its own response in the heart of man, and these responses taken together constitute real praise. The salvation of God should awaken the gratitude of man. The glory of God should awaken the reverence of man. The power of God is always exercised in the love of God, and should, therefore, awaken the trust of man. Gratitude, reverence, trust-these are the constituent elements of real praise. (W. Barclay)

How often do I show my gratitude, reverence, and trust to God?

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for He hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory. The LORD hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps. 98:1, 2, 4 KJV


There are several descriptions for Jesus/God as His servants, those that fear Him, both small and great offer Him praise:
  • God that sits on the throne,
  • Amen,
  • True and Righteous aer His judgments,
  • Lord God Omnipotent reigneth (All Powerful),
  • Faithful,
  • True,
  • The Word of God,
  • King of kings,
  • Lord of lords,
  • The Great God.
He deserves our praise, too!

I can't end this chapter without sharing that the beast/Antichrist, along with his false prophet and worshipers will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Restitution is coming, so read on into chapter 20 for the next post.

Who reigns upon the throne of my heart?
How often do I praise my Savior?
Where do I praise Him, only in church?
Do others hear me praising the Lord with song and words?


Praise ye the Lord, hallelujah!!!

Thank Him for salvation.

Reverence Him in all His glory.

Trust His powerful hands.

Sing His praises all day long with a joyful heart.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Reception

698."The Reception"
Revelation 19-Part 21
And he saith unto me, Write, blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:9a


What woman doesn't like to go to a wedding? I have been to all kinds. Receptions vary from an extravagant buffet and lovely table settings to outside standin'  without food; music varied from a tuxedo violinist to country and western music and cowboy boots and hats; the couple ride away in a high-class car or on a horse. I want to say that I've seen it all, but probably not yet.

This chapter is describing a marriage supper of a different kind-the marriage supper of the Lamb. Will it be a literal banquet or a symbol for indescribable blessings? No one knows. What kind of food will be served? That great banquet will not be about the menu, but about the Master. Whatever is planned, I am sure it will be great. We will be excited to be invited and attending.

Christ will take His seat with the saints and enjoy that long-anticipated face-to-face fellowship with those He loves. (Swindoll)

Am I ready to go? The only way we can enter into this reception is to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus described in verse 8.


There is going to be rejoicing, singing, worshiping, and praising God at this wedding described in chapter 19. The analogy of the church's marriage to Christ reflects these ancient Jewish wedding customs.
Charles Swindoll puts it this way:
  • The engagement lasts for a year or more while arrangements for the ceremony were being made. the couple was considered legally married, though not living together. The bethrothal  could be broken only by a writ of diverce.
  • After the preparations for the couples' future home were finished and the arrangements finalized, the groom would travel to his bride's home and bring her to the ceremony, presenting her as his bride.
  • The wedding supper could last for days. The new bride and groom would depart the marriage supper with full rights, privileges, and responsibilities as husband and wife.
  • At the wedding feast of the Lamb, the final consummation will begin as Christ and the church take their places to reign over the earth (Rev.20:4-6).
I don't want to miss this wedding feast! Are you going to be there? Jesus offers an invitation for you to attend. Just accept Him as your Savior.


Make sure that I have accepted the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Let go of this world and cling to Jesus.

Be a part of the church, the bride of Christ.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Big City Flattened

697. "Big City Flattened"
Revelation 18-Part 20
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.  Revelation 18:20


Have you ever visited a big city? This country gal has only visited a few downtown. Mostly, I have seen them from the air as we were landing in an airplane. But there a few, like Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, Providence, Las Vagas, San Palo, Brazil, that I have marveled at the sky rises and busy traffic on so many lanes of highway.
When I was a kid, Mom and I went to the big city of Joplin, Missouri to shop. I realize that it is not a "big" city to some, but back then, it was the only one close to us. (The only reason you are familiar with Joplin is because of the tornado that hit it a few years ago.) It is hared to imagine everything flattened and no activity, silence, in a city. That is what will happen to the Babylon in Revelation.

Babylon the great is fallen. Have you seen the devistation of a city hit by a tornado? Nothing stands. It is all down on the ground flat. And that is how I should be when God is before me-down on the ground, worshiping and praying to my God.

Just as the flattened city is astonishing, so it will be to the people of Babylon when God flattens it.
Imagine a busy, noisy city that suddenly has no more music, no industry, no luxuries, no preparing of food, no more power for light, no more weddings because God will destroy the deceivers and deceived. Life is totally disrupted and the end is near.

So what is the encouraging thing that I could find from this event?
The religious and commercial/political systems embodied in Babylon will commit unspeakable atrocities against God's people and He will avenge that slaughter of His people. (verse 2) The political leaders of the world will weep because the loss of their capital city will signal the doom of the Antichrist's empire, and with it, the source of their power. (MacArthur)


Rejoice amidsts the devastation?
In verse 20, the angel will exhort the tribulation martyrs (6:9-11) to rejoice, not over the deaths of those doomed to eternal hell, but because God's rightousness and justice will have prevailed. (MacArthur)

Do some feel that God's complete destruction of the world system is too extreme or unjust or simply uncalled for? The angel reminds us that Babylon had to go. Judgment was needed because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth. (verses 23-24 NAS)

Only god is to be worshiped. He plainly told that way back in the Ten Commandments. Also, Jesus said that was the most important of the ten. He is a jealous God. (Ex.20:5, 34:14; Deut. 4:24, 5:9, 6:15) Israel, throughout their years, always had a problem with this.

Am I loving the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength?


Don't be devastated if my town is devastated by an event.

Trust in Jesus, not things.

Rejoice in God's justice.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pick Sides

696."Pick Sides"
February 20, 2013
Revelation 17-Part 19
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 17:14

I don't like it, but sometimes you have to pick sides. I'm sure you have had situations, like me, where you try to avoid it as long as possible, but the inevitable comes and you have to decide who you are for and who you are against. Right must preveail against the wrong. The people during the Tribulation will have to decide which side they are on-Bablyon and the devil or the Savior, Jesus Christ. That's what it will come do to towards the end.

Babylon will  loose again. Victorious is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords and His believers.

The war is a reference to the battle of Armageddon (16:14-16), where the Lamb will utterly destroy the king (19:17-21).

He (Jesus) has both by nature and by office, supreme dominion and power over all things; all the powers of earth and hell are subject to His check and control. His followers are called out by commission to this warfare; they are chosen and fitted for it, and will be faithful in it. (Matthew Henry)

The issue is never in doubt; it is victory for the Lamb and His redeemed (not angels) in heaven. (Falwell)

Am I on the side of the Lamb, Lord, and King? Am I a called, chosen, and faithful follower of Jesus?


Chapters 17 and 18 focus on one aspect of those bowl  judgments, the judgment of Babylon. (MacArthur)

Since there is no timetable for the events of the seven bowls of God's wrath, we are peeking into some details in between.

Charles Swindoll tells us that Babylon refers to the Antichrist's end-time religious/political/economic empire. It is not a specific city or country, but represents a final godless, humanistic, and worldwide religious system. The foundation of this man-made false religion is:
*rejection of God's promises-faithlessness,
*rebellion against God's commands-disobedience,
*refusal of God's grace-legalism.

Do you remember the story of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11? The descendants of Noah worked together on a tower that would reach to heaven, to make a great name for themselves. They refused God's order to scatter on the earth, until He confused them with various languages and work could not continue. Evidently, those people refused to believe God when He told them He would never flood the earth again, so they made their waterproof tower to keep from drowning. They thought they could get to heaven by their own works.
This is where Babylon in Daniel's day was located and Satan's empire will be located. (Swindoll believes it is modern day Iraq.)

God's grace and mercy is what we need so we don't fall into that trap. It is God's unmerited grace that saves us and is the same grace that keeps us.

Which side will you choose to be on?


Stay true to the Lamb of God.

Don't trust in a system for my needs, but trust in the King of kings.

Make Jesus Lord of my life daily.

Pick the side I am on and stay true to the end-Jesus' side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yellow Bowl

695.  "Yellow Bowl"
Revelation 16-Part 18
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, God your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. Revelation 16:1 KJV


I remember as a young child, Mom in the kitchen singing, preparing a meal. She would use a yellow glass bowl in which to mix up the homemade biscuits for breakfast. Sometimes I would help her cut them out, using the old, red biscuit cutter, on the pull-out board. If there was any raw dough left over, not big enough for a biscuit mind you, then I would get to eat it. That was over fifty years ago, but it is clearly stamped on my mind. I do miss her scrumptious hot biscuits with homemade blackberry jelly. Yum. (And of course I miss her, too.)
Now I use the same yellow bowl to mix up biscuits, cakes, or cookies with my granddaughter. She loves licking the beaters or the spoon when all is done. Needless to say, that old, faded, yellow bowl is very precious to me. Only I wash and handle it. (Not taking a chance on breakage) I was reminded of it when I read about seven bowls in chapter 16. However, these bowls are not full of pleasant things to eat.

These seven angels pour out of their seven bowls the wrath of God upon the evil ones and the unbelieving world. Here is a summary of the devastation of the plagues, according to Charles Swindoll and John MacArthur:
  1. Malignant sores (painful, incurable cancer);only effected were those with the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image;
  2. Poisoned seas by blood flowing and killing marine life;
  3. Poisoned fresh water turned into blood, nothing safe to drink;
  4. Humanity scorched by the searing rays from the sun; solar flares penetrating our atmosphere, causing all sorts of climate changes with catastrophic results;
  5. Widespread darkness/misery results from the bowl being poured out on the Antichrist's throne;
  6. Vast military invasion sets the stage for the infamous battle of Armageddon at the Euphrates River;
  7. Most destructive earthquake/hail; islands and mountains are leveled by the earthquake; chunks of ice bring devastation and death; the Day of the Lord.
We could call the first four bowls, directed against the natural realm (earth, sea, waters, and sun), the natural disasters with a supernatural cause. It sounds like the ten plagues upon Egypt found in Exodus, doesn't it?

I found it difficult to read this chapter, didn't you? What good can I emphasize? God is in control, has it all planned out, is paying back the evil ones for what they did to God's children, putting an end to evil once and for all. That is the comfort I find. Jesus and His army of saints and angels win!!!!


After all seven bowls have been emptied, and God's wrath poured out, the evil ones destroyed, a voice proclaims, "It is done." Just like Jesus did before He died on the cross, He said, "It is finished."
The Great Tribulation is over.

All I can say is let's share the good news of a Savior, Jesus Christ, so people will be ready for eternity. Hang in there with me because supper is coming.


Keep my faith in Jesus growing stronger by the day.

Share the plan of salvation with others.

Put everything into the right perspective, it's all going to burn up.

Stay on the winning side.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Who is Great and Marvelous?

694.  "Who is Great and Marvelous?
February 18, 2013
Revelation 15-Part 17
Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.
Revelation 15:3b-4


A meteor hit Russia last week.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.
Snow fell upon my yard last weekend.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.
I am breathing, walking, talking, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting today.
How great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty.

John is listening to the vast choir of tribulation redeemed saints singing their song of victory, before the throne of God and before God's wrath is finally outpoured on the earth. Our key verse is from Exodus 15:1-18 and Deuteronomy 32:1-43.

Author Charles Swindoll comments on these verses:
These songs refer to deliverance from Egypt through the ten plagues, God's defeat of the Egyptian army, and Israel's preparation for entrance into the Promised Land. Both songs, the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, praise God for who He is and what He has done.
One commentator contrasted the two songs, Moses' song and the Lamb's song:
  • sung at the Red Sea/sung at the crystal sea;
  • triumph over Egypt/triumph over Babylon;
  • tells how God brought His people out/tells how God brings His people in;
  • was the first song in scripture/is the last;
  • commemorated the execution of a foe, the expectation of the saints, the exaltation of the Lord/deals with the same three themes.
He is God the Almighty, the Righteous and true King, who alone is holy. Whether the songs are old or new, the purpose of worship is to glorify God for His awesome Person and awe-inspiring works.
Unlike teaching and preaching, musical ministry will endure throughout eternity.

Are we practicing our praising God now so we will be ready when we get to heaven?


Judgment is coming!
The end is near!

Swindoll describes it as a message of doom from the temple of God. The seven angels have seven bowls full of God's wrath, the last seven plagues.

These angels are dressed as priests because they come for the sacrificing of a great sacrifice to the offended holiness and justice of God. (Seiss)

Bowl refers to a shallow, saucer-like dish used for boiling liquids as well as for drinking or pouring libations. (An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon)

These shallow saucers were familiar items often associated with various function of the temple worship, such as wine (Amos 6:6) and blood sacrifice (Ex. 27:3). Their flat shallowness pictures how the divine judgments will be emptied instantly, rather than slowly poured, drowning those who refused to drink the cup of salvation. (MacArthur)

Plagues literally means blow or wound. Instead of long, drawn-out epidemics, these have sudden impacts-swift, severe, destructive, and fierce. These will be the last expression of God's wrath toward the inhabitants of the earth. They will climax at the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ. God's judgment will accomplish its purpose and come to an end. Its purpose is to avenge the holocaust inflicted on the saints at the hands of the Antichrist and his henchmen during the great tribulation. Its end will be the reward of the resurrected saints when they come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. (Swindoll)

Along with wrath, God's grace is revealed. His mercy during the tribulation delayed the full measure of judgment to give people an opportunity to repent (2 Peter 3:9). Don't presume on God's mercy. Postponed judgment is not the same as denied judgment.

What can we learn from this chapter?
  • We should express gratitude for God's promise of protection. Do we have the hope of redemption and deliverance? Am I ready to be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air? (1 Thess. 4:17)
  • We should be concerned for those who choose to reject Christ.Sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart, then be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks me to give an account for the hope that is in me. 
  • Treat unbelievers with "gentleness and reverence." Show the sweet fruit of the Spirit, as in Galatians 5. (Swindoll)
Notice that the last verse says no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the the seven angels were fulfilled.

Why can they not enter? The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power.
In Isaiah 6, he witnessed the same thing, the Lord sitting on His throne, lofty and exalted, with the heavenly temple filled with smoke.

The chapter began with and ended with the concept of finality and irretrievablility. (Falwell)


Bless the Lord O my soul.
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before, oh my soul.
Worship His holy name.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A New Song

692. "A New Song"
Revelation 14-Part 16
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. Revelation 14:3 NAS


Several years ago, we attended a Bible conference in Florida with many others. The mega church had a gigantic choir singing heavenly songs praising our Lord. They sang some old hymns and some new songs. What an experience for this country gal! I was so blessed during that time. John heard a wonderful choir, too. Shall we listen to his description?

In chapter 14, we immediately meet the Lamb of God standing in Jerusalem with the 144,000 Jewish witnesses who had been killed.
What is this group doing? They are singing a new song before the throne and the four living creatures and elders. Now this is one gigantic choir.
Is everyone joining in the singing? No, no one could learn the song except the 144,000 martyrs who had been purchased from the earth.
What else do we know about these faithful saints?
  • They are sexually chaste.
  • They follow the Lamb without hesitation.
  • they have no lies on their lips.
  • They are blameless.
In their relationship with others, they are pure; in their relationship with God, they are obedient. They are living proof of the gospel being authentic.
If we are known for moral failures, nobody will listen when we claim to be followers of the one true God. (Swindoll)

Is my lifestyle an unspoken testimony of God's grace?
Do I keep my relationships above reproach?
Am I picking and choosing what to obey in God's Word?
Is my speech absolute truth or half-truths?
Are there any secret sins in my life?

God's most effective witnesses are those who are not only saved and sealed, but also walking in the light-set apart for God and willingly available to be sent as lights into a dark and corrupt world. (Swindoll)


John saw Jesus as the sickle-wielding Judge of the earth who treads the wine press of God's wrath. Swindoll gives us two principles from this:
  1. God's grace gives us the freedom to choose righteousness. Christ's death has set us free from slavery to sin (Rom. 6:5-7). The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to choose righteousness instead of wickedness (Phil. 2:12-13). We are to use this freedom in the service of God, not our self.
  2. God's justice holds every person accountable. We who are "in Christ Jesus" are free from the condemnation (Rom 14:10) and wrath of God (1Thess. 5:9). Romans 14:10 tells us that "we will all stand before the judgment seat of God."
A day of divine examination is coming. Are we ready?

Revelation 2:23 says, I am he who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

Are we using our freedom in Christ to live a life free from sin's domination?


Review the questions above so I am ready for the divine examination.

Let go of sin and surrender to Christ.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

I thought today should be a little different, so if you wish to leave a comment today for others, feel free to do so.

Hear are a few Scriptures that deal with love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, Love is:
  • patient,
  • kind,
  • not jealous,
  • does not brag,
  • is not arrogant,
  • does not act unbecomingly,
  • does not seek its own,
  • is not provoked,
  • does not take into account a wrong suffered,
  • does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
  • rejoices with the truth,
  • bears all things,
  • believes all things,
  • hopes all things,
  • endures all things,
  • never fails.
But now abides faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.

Whew! What a list. Which ones do I need to work on so my love is........?

"All things" means everything is included. Love has no limits. Christlike love leaves no doubt in the mind of another that you will continue to love steadfastly. You never loose hope in the ones you love. You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you. (Blackaby)

Shall we go share the love of Christ with someone today?

In His Love,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


February 13, 2013
Revelation 13-Part 15
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the parts of the saints.
Revelation 13:10b NIV


Last Sunday in children's church, two boys were aggravating a girl by imitating her. They kept repeating what she said, which didn't set well with her. Finally, I had to put a stop to it. You know what, that's the way it is with Satan. He is an imitator of God-to such things eventually God will put a stop.

Friends, I keep reading this chapter and nothing changes. I keep hoping it will, but it doesn't, anyway in this chapter. but don't let it depress you. God is in charge and has a plan and He's working that plan.
After reading several commentators, here are my conclusions:

Skip down to verses 8-10. If a person's name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, then they are a child of God. They believe that Jesus died to purchase their salvation, they were chosen by God before the foundation of the world, has their redemption sealed forever, and is fulfilling an eternal plan.
Therefore, they are called to suffer and die for Christ. Verse 10b, NIV, says, This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.  

Also, they don't take the mark of the beast, even if it means no food, medicines, buying or selling for them and their family (verse 16). Verse 18 says, This calls for wisdom. To me, this would be the hardest thing to endure-seeing loved ones suffer. Faith is Jesus will be tested to the max, just as the children of Israel had to trust Jesus while walking 40 years in the wilderness.
If God could and did provide food, water, and clothes and shoes for the Israelites then, can He do it now, or in the future? All things we have are actually a gift from God anyway, right?

We must continue to contend with the various means of spiritual deception aggressively at work in our present age. Each of us must, therefore, equip ourselves for spiritual battle with reliable knowledge, keen discernment, and God-given wisdom. Are you equipped with those three essentials to face the challenges of your relentless and ruthless attacks? Our first responsibility is to be alert and engaged in resisting our Adversary today. (Swindoll)


As I said earlier, Satan is an imitator of God. He wants so badly to be worshiped, that he will go to any extreme to get it. He imitates the Holy Trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, with his unholy three-Satan, the Antichrist (beast of the earth), and the False Prophet.

In chapter 13, John describes a world empire that opposes God and His people, which has occurred through history. The Antichrist will be directly empowered by Satan himself, acting as the ultimate dictator and leading the mother of all evil empires. This worldly copycat "christ" will strive to match all man-centered ideals of personality, politics, and power.
Keep in mind, this is happening during the last 42 months of the Tribulation.
 Just so we will be informed, here's what's going to take place.
The Antichrist or first beast:
  • will blaspheme God, slander His name, dwelling place, and those who live in heaven. (verse 6)
  • have a fatal wound that will be healed.
  • will be given power to make war against the saints and conquer them. (verse 7)
  • will be given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. (verse 7b)
  • All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-those whose names aren't written in the Book of Life. (verse 8)
The second beast, False Prophet:
  • will make everyone worship the first beast. (verse 12)
  • performs great and miraculous signs, even fire from heaven. (verse 13)
  • will be given power to deceive the inhabitants of the earth. (verse 14a)
  • sets up an image, idol, in honor of the Antichrist, first beast, gives it power to speak.
  • kills all people who refuse to worship the idol. (verse 15b)
  • requires the mark of the beast, 666, to be on people's right hand or forehead. (verse 17) Satan marks his people.
Oh, my, what a terrible time to live on earth. I am so thankful that I will not be here to experience this. I believe that believers in Christ, the church, and the Holy Spirit, will be out of here and live in heaven during the Tribulation.
Am I willing to pay whatever the price to be faithful to my Savior?
Am I willing to die instead of taking the mark of the beast?


Be ready to go to heaven in a blink of an eye.

Examine my commitment to Christ.

Surrender unconditionally my all to Him.

Remove any idols in my life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


690. "Characters"
February 12, 2013
Revelation 12-Part 14
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11


When I used to read novels, I would write the characters' names on the back page or the cover page. Usually I would identify and describe  them. This was so I could keep up with who was whom. It might be helpful to do such a thing again concerning chapter 12. I found that this was already done for me, which is a big help.

Charles Swindoll, in his book Swindoll's New Testament Insights on Revelation identifies the characters as:
Woman-the righteous remnant of Israel,
Dragon and his armies-Satan and his demons working through the wicked world powers,
Male child-Christ the King of kings and Lord of lords,
Michael and his armies-archangel Michael and elect angels,
Offspring-the tribulation saints.
It's good to know who you are up against. I have heard that saying before. If you know about your enemies and how they operate, then you can prepare yourself and your strategy of attack or defence.

Well, friends, I'm here to let you know, our enemy is Satan and his demons. (Probably this is not news to you.)

The Bible calls Satan "the accuser of our brothers," in Revelation 12:10. It's the Devil's job to blame, complain, and criticize members of God's family. anytime we do the same, we're being duped into doing Satan's work for him. Remember, other Christians, no matter how much you disagree with them, are not the real enemy. Any time we spend comparing or criticizing other believers is time that should have been spent building the unity of our fellowship. (The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren)

What can we do to help that person? Perhaps I need to ask the one criticizing another. I should ask myself that question. Perhaps I should walk away and not listen nor participate in that conversation. Paul tells us in Romans 14:19: Let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault.

Yes, indeed, I have something to world on today.


Swindoll gives us some practical points to use in our everyday lives:
  1. Israel may be blind and disobedient as a nation, but God has never forgotten her. The same God who stands by His promises to Israel stands by His promise to each of us: I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. (Heb. 13:5)
  2. Although Satan is a powerful and aggressive foe, he will not triumph. Satan accuses us before God every day and night, while at the same time Jesus Christ, our advocate, ceaselessly intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25).
  3. We may be open and assaulted targets today, but we need not fear. Satan still operates under the restraining hand of God. When we draw near to God, He will protect us from any attack Satan can unleash against us. James 4:7 says, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Revelation 12:11 states, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Am I like the remnant which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ? (verse 17)

Here are some verses to remind us of the victory we can enjoy as a member of the Body of Christ:
  • Luke 22:31-32
  • Ephesians 6:12-13
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • 1 Peter 5:8-10
  • James 4:7-8
  • 1 John 4:4

Be an encourager, not an accuser.

Stop fault finding-love.

Beware of the lieing devil.

Resist and rebuke the devil so he flees.

Trust Jesus, the Almighty God.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two Witnesses

689.  "Two Witnesses"
February 11, 2013
Revelation 11-Part 13
And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  Revelation 11:11


I have only served on a jury once, but I recall listening very closely to the witnesses in the matter. What they had to say was extremely important to the case. Now in chapter 11, we read about two witnesses. They aren't ones in a case against someone, but they are proclaiming a case for someone-God.

These are two chosen witnesses prophesying in Jerusalem. The scene culminates in their tragic execution and triumphant resurrection (verses 1-14). These two end-time prophets take a stand in the midst of the worst generation in human history. (Swindoll)

Who these two witnesses are is not told to us. Some think they are Moses and Elijah, Enoch and Elijah, Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, Peter and Paul, or James and John.We are not told.. They are sent to sum up the kind of miraculous and prophetic ministry.

What do we know about these two witnesses?
  • They will prophesy 3 1/2 years.
  • No one can harm them; if attempted, fire will destroy them.
  • They are given power to stop rain, to turn water into blood, to strike the earth with every plague.
  • They are killed by the beast of the abyss, martyred.
  • People will look upon their dead bodies for 3 1/2 days.
  • Their death will cause people to rejoice and celebrate by sending gifts to one another because their message tormented the unsaved.
  • God resurrects them and takes the two witnesses into heaven.
  • Afterwards, an earthquake caused 1/10 of Jerusalem to fall and 7,000 killed. The survivors gave glory to the God of heaven. God's mission was accomplished.
Swindoll gives us some truths from all this:
*God transforms tragic situations into triumphant events.
*Underdogs become overcomers.
*Weakness is changed to strength.
*Overwhelming obstacles lead to magnificent opportunities.
*Great things are accomplished for God by His power, so all the glory is God's, not ours.

Am I trusting God for His victory, strength, overcoming the odds, so He receives the glory for His work?


At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, John sees the 24 elders fall on their faces and worship God:
  • They give thanks to our Almighty God who are and who were;
  • They recognize His great power and reigning on the earth;
  • He judges the dead and rewards His bond-servants the prophets and saints, and those who fear His name;
  • He will destroy those who destroy the earth.
No matter what the world looks like today, or how out of control things appear, in the end, God wins!

Do I trust in the sovereign God who reigns?


Let go of my fears, anxieties, unknowns, and let God reign in my life and the world according to His will.

Your will,
Your way,
I pray.

Friday, February 8, 2013


688.  "Intermission"
February 8, 2013
Revelation 10-Part 12
And they said to me, "You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings."  Revelation 10:11 NAS


A much welcomed intermission was given during the play of Fiddler on the Roof. (I think the movie last 4 hours.) It was a special evening when our daughter and her husband took us country folk to the big city to see it in a grandeur of the theater. The live orchestra and singers/actors were fantastic, but after sitting for almost two hours, my body had needs to be met. We found our way to the huge facilities and met those needs, talked about the play, and returned for the last part of the play. It was an exquisite event that I shall never forget.
Anyway, as I was saying, an intermission allows people to pause, recall what has happened, and prepare for what is to come. Having seen the movie a few times, we knew how the story turned out-the Jewish man's daughters got married, some to non-Jewish men.
So it is with the book of Revelation, we know how it ends-Jesus and His followers win and Satan and his followers loose.

Swindoll describes the series of sevens with interludes:
1st 6 seals-Rev. 6:1-17,
    1st interlude-Rev. 7:1-17,
    7th seal-Rev. 8:1,

        1st 6 trumpets-Rev. 8:2-9:21,

               2nd interlude-Rev. 10:1-11:14
               7th trumpet-Rev. 11:15-19.

The first interlude between the sixth and seventh seals revealed two groups of redeemed believers who will be saved during the tribulation (ch.7). This second interlude interrupts the sequence between the 6th and 7th trumpets. In this interlude, we see a change of emphasis from the outpouring of wrath on unbelievers to the consolation and encouragement of believers. At the same time, the apostle John is recommissioned for the second half of his prophetic role. (Swindoll)

Sometimes we just need a break, whether it comes in the form of a vacation, a weekend trip, or a night out. Often, the stress and pressure of my situation tries to get the better of me, so some sort of get-a-way is needful. A drive in the country works wonders and the scenery refreshes the mind and soul.

Alan Carr explains, "God is describing a break in the action of the Tribulation as He takes care of some heavenly business."

John MacArthur says, "God's intention is to encourage and comfort His people in the midst of the fury and to remind them that He is still sovereign, that He remembers His people, and that they will ultimately be victorious."

I must say, we have taken in quite a lot in these first 9 chapters. Thank you for sticking with me. I think with this intermission, we need a break, could go get a cup of  hot tea and a cookie, before we plunge into the second part. Perhaps you have some comments to add to the post.


This is not one of the seven angels responsible for sounding the trumpets, but one of the highest ranking in heaven, filled with splendor, greatness, and strength. Some say it is Jesus, some say not.

Well, John is given a strange but significant assignment: take the book from the hand of the strong angel and eat it (verse 8-9).  He was warned of the bitter-sweet it would produce. John's mission was broader than Ezekiel's mission, which was to warn Israel of judgment. John was to proclaim the mystery of God to many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. (verse 11).
Just like John, we have roles to play in God's ultimate plan. Each of us has been given a crucial mission to share the good news of salvation with the world (Matt. 28:19-20). We must first internalize the message, allowing it to become a part of our own lives. We are to communicate the message of a righteous Redeemer of Jesus Christ who paid the complete penalty for us and saves us when we simply trust in Him. (Swindoll)

Am I going as an ambassador for Christ in my world at this time? Are you? Have I accepted God's commission on my life? Have you?


Trust God in His sovereignty to run things as He wishes and has planned, in His time.

Pray for the lost to believe in Jesus as Savior.

Be an ambassador for Christ in my world today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stepping on a Wasp

687.  "Stepping on a Wasp"
February 7, 2013
Revelation 9-Part 11
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21


One week we had a missionary couple staying our home while he taught and spoke to our church. I recall that on a warm day, some way, a wasp got into our house. His wife stepped on it while in the kitchen, but it did not injure her foot. The Scriptures of Luke 10:19-20 came to my mind. Check it out.

In light of the five-month demonic attack of the future tribulation, how does it relate to us?

Charles Swindoll, in his book Swindoll's New Testament Insights on Revelation,  gives us four important ways that this chapter informs our own situation:
  1. Although they are invisible, demons are real and aggressive. Not all demons are confined to the abyss (Luke 8:31). Countless spirits of wickedness roam freely in search-and-destroy mode. Thy pounce at any opportunity to strike both believers and unbelievers.
  2. Demons are organized and committed to our destruction. Satan's forces know how to wage an efficient war to conquer the hearts and minds of all people. They are ready to use whatever is necessary to win. 1 Peter 5:8, 1:13-16 warn us to be sober and alert, obedient and holy children of God. Are you prepared for the inevitable spiritual attacks?
  3. Although demons are powerful, they have limitations. These wicked angels can only do whatever they are allowed to do. Don't drop your guard. 
  4. These aggressive and insidious creatures flee at the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus can flatten Satan's entire army with a single syllable of rebuke. They are no match for Him. Let Christ handle your spiritual battles for you. Submit to Him. Release all your anxieties to Him through prayer (1 Peter 5:6-7). Resting in Christ, resist the devil in faith and trust that He alone can shut the mouth of the roaring lion and quench the flaming arrows of the evil one.
In the Scriptures of Luke 10, Jesus gave authority of His 70 followers to preach, heal, and cast out demons. Jesus told them upon their return, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."

Are my ears open to recognize when evil is speaking to me? Are my eyes open when evil is tempting me? Am I opening my heart to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment? Am I using Jesus' name to rebuke evil around me?


What a horrible time to be living on earth-during the Great Tribulation. Back in 6:8, we read that 1/4 of the population was killed by sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts. Then an army of 200 million will be active for the four angels of death.  According to in 9:15, they will kill 1/3 of humanity.
"A third of humanity is over two billion people," Swindoll wrote in 2011.
God wants all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), but they won't do it. So we know their destination.

"Out of love and compassion for the lost, we desperately hope that hardship, calamity, and the fear of death will soften the hearts of men and women devoted to idolatrous false religions. Sadly, John's vision reveals the opposite will occur," states Swindoll.

Whatever we place ahead of God in our lives is our idol. The modern world is replete with idols: money, possessions, power, pleasure, sex, success, fame, drugs. They are the tools of Satan. Idolatry blinds humanity to the Word of God.

Do I have any idols in my own life? They can become destructive to our spiritual growth in these areas:
  • material possessions,
  • important people,
  • worldly positions,
  • uncontrolled passions,
  • selfish pursuits.
Are there changes that need to be made in my life? in your life?

Ephesians 5:5 NIV says, For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Colossians 3 also lists the sins of the idolator.

We must ask our heavenly Father to forgive us and free us from any idols that threaten to distract our attention from Him.
Serious stuff!


Watch and listen, be aware of evil surrounding me.

Surrender to Jesus and do His will.

Do an idol check.

Destroy any idols.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trumpet Blast

686.  "Trumpet Blast"
February 6, 2013
Revelation 8-Part 10
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
Revelation 8:4 KJV


We have a trumpet player in our church. One time, during a Bible lesson on Revelation, our teacher secretly and previously asked this trumpet player to blast his trumpet outside our door. He did so and did it ever bring to reality the trumpet blast when believers in Jesus will be raptured, taken up into heaven. There was nothing we could do to get ready at that moment. Either we were ready or we weren't.

Here is the seventh seal, which includes four of the seven trumpets. These judgments of God progress greater in intensity. They occur during the final 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. The first four announce the divine destruction of earth's ecology (verse 6-12), while the final three involve demonic devastation of earth's inhabitants (9:1-21). (MacArthur)

The trumpet or horn, was an ancient instrument known as the salpinx was not a musical instrument used for entertainment. Rather, it was a horn employed on solemn occasions. It was used to call soldiers to battle (1Cor.14:8), to proclaim a sacred assembly (Matt. 24:31), or to call attention to the presence of an important person (Heb.12:19). These trumpet blasts were pronouncing solemn and somber occasions in Revelation 8 and 9.  (Swindoll)

Am I listening for the trumpet?


Instead of going into details of the destruction during this time, I want to focus on the prayers of the saints, mentioned in our key verse.

The setting is reverent silence of all in heaven for half an hour. when God prepares to intensify His wrath, every creature is reduced to open-mouthed silence. In fact, silence is the only proper response to looming judgment. It is spoken of in Psalm 76:8, Isaiah 41:1, and Zephaniah 1:7.
Then the silence ends.

Here we have an angel approaching the altar holding a golden censer of incense (verse 3). The offering of incense symbolizes the earlier impatient prayers of the martyred saints in Revelation 6:10. Here we observe that unanswered prayers are sometimes stored up until God chooses to answer in His perfect timing. Beginning in 8:5, the time has finally come to answer those desperate pleas for God's intervention (Deut. 32:35-36).(Swindoll)

John Phillips writes, "What a potent force is prayer! The saints go into their bedrooms, close the doors, kneel down, and pray. They spread out before God their petitions, and God hears. The prayers are placed in the scales of judgment."

This makes me realize that I should not be praying selfishly, but for others. Am I praying enough? What is enough?


Listen for the trumpet of the Raptured.

Pry for others' salvation, for God's will in my life and in my church.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fall on Your Face

685.  "Fall on Your Face"        
February 5, 2013
Revelation 7-Part 9
They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever, Amen!" Revelation 7:12 NIV


Have you ever fallen flat on your face? I shared previously about the time I was pushing an outside light into the ground and it broke, causing me to fall on my face onto the concrete rock porch. There have been a few other times that this has happened. It is a humiliating experience. I wonder, will we all join the angels, elders, and four beasts as they fall on their faces to worship God? Maybe we should be practicing our worship on our face now.

According to MacArthur, the seventh chapter forms a parenthesis between the sixth and seventh seal and answers the question posed at the end of chapter 6-Who can withstand God's wrath?
Two distinct groups will survive the divine fury:
  1. the 144,000 Jewish evangelists on earth (verses 1-8), and
  2. their converts in heaven (verses 9-17).
This group of redeemed Jews will be instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation (verse 9-17). they will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel (verse 4). At last, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the Old Testament.
God will seal 12,000 from each of the Twelve Tribes, by God's sovereign election, thus promising His protection while they accomplish their mission.
Of the tribes, Dan is left out and Ephraim is replaces Joseph. Ephraim and Manasseh were Joseph's two sons. Dan may have been omitted because it was one of the first of the tribes to go into idolatry (1 Kings 12:28-29). Be assured, God has His reasons.
These 144,000 Hebrews will serve as faithful, courageous, and diligent witnesses for Christ during the darkest period of the earth's history. It is encouraging to know that God will call to Himself numerous believers in Jesus (verse 9). (Swindoll)


John has a conversation with an elder, discussing who the people were, which were clothed in white robes. They are the ones who came through the tribulation, have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.
The tribulation believers who, because of their conversion in Christ, will suffer earthly affliction disaster, tears, pain, anguish, grief, sorrow, and tragedy. They will understand what Paul meant in Romans 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Their eternal glory is described in 7:15-17:
  • They are before God's throne.
  • They serve in God's temple day and night.
  • God grants them His favor and protection.
  • They no longer hunger or thirst.
  • The elements can no longer harm them.
  • Christ will shepherd and nourish them.
  • God will relieve all their sorrows.
These martyrs will believe in Jesus as Savior and Messiah during the tribulation. They will be divided into two groups. The remnant of physical Israel sealed for protection and called to testify concerning Christ (verse 1-8) and the masses of Gentiles who believe in Christ and suffer persecution and martyrdom for their faith. God is always faithful to keep His promises. We learn that when we suffer, God never fails to reward those who remain faithful to the end. He will wipe away all tears.

Such promises!


Fall on my face to worship the Almighty God.

Trust God's plans to be best.

If called to be a martyr for Christ, be faithful to the call.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Horses of a Different Color

684.  "Horses of a Different Color"
February 4, 2013
Revelation 6-Part 8
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?  Revelation 6:17 KJV


Have you heard that saying-That's a horse of a different color? I heard it while I was growing up, but did not stop to consider what it meant. Perhaps in discussion, things are similar, but different, too. Horse have the same features, but not all are the same color. Family members may look alike, but their personality, even attitudes, may be different. I think I'm a horse of a different color. As Christians, we are supposed by be unique. Well, this chapter talks about horses of a different color. Are you ready? Get your ridin' boots on and your hat, pardner.

If you read the previous post on chapter 5, you recall that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the one able and worthy to open the seals of the scroll, the book. We have read about the scenes of heavenly worship and scenes of joy in chapters 4 and 5. Now we come a totally contrasting scene-scenes of judgment.
The seven seals on the book in the hand of our Lord Jesus begin to be broken, one by one. As the seals are opened, a series of divine judgment is poured out upon the earth and those who dwell on the earth. The first 4 seals described events which will take place during the first 3 1/2 portion of the Great Tribulation. This occurs after the church has been removed in the Rapture, so the world will have no Gospel witness, singing preaching, no Christians, nor peace. The wrath of God is fixin' to be poured out upon the godless people and godless world, those who deny Christ as the Messiah and His authority as King of kings.

What good can I point out in this chapter? I believe that I will be enjoying heaven when these event happen. I will be among the billions singing praises to The Lamb of God. I realize there are others who do not hold to my beliefs, so I challenge them to consider it.

First, notice that there are 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls. In chapter 6, we read about the first six seals, riders on various colored horses, symbolic of different things. Jesus is not among the living creatures, beasts.
Here's a summary according to Liberty Bible Commentary and Alan
  1. Seal: The White Horse of Deception is not ridden by Jesus, but the Antichrist.  His crown is given him by men, serving as an earthly king. This man brings in false religion and false peace Jesus wears many crowns (diadems) because of Who He is, not what He has done.
  2. Seal: The Red Horse of Destruction speaks of war and bloodshed. This rider breaks the promise of peace. Man will attempt to have world peace by the sword. Jesus warned this would happen, in Matthew 24:6-7.
  3. Seal: The Black Horse of Destitution carries a rider holding a symbol of commerce, the balance. Famine follows war due to the abuse of the soil, resulting in poverty.
  4. Seal: The Pale Horse of Devastation speaks of death, probably due to pestilence and plague. One-quarter of the world's population will die during this time. God allows evil in the world, but He is not the author of evil; He is sovereign, righteous in all His deeds (Ps. 11:7). He oversees all things in accord with His will, but He is not the source, the cause, or the author of sin. God is absolutely just and fate in punishing evil. Yet in His abundant grace, God tempers His wrath and demonstrates His mercy.


5. Seal: The Martyrs change the scene from the horses to the Temple.
The church, having been rescued before the tribulation by being caught up to heaven at the rapture, will already have been rewarded in their glorified bodies (3:10). Those who are left behind and come to faith in Christ during the 7-year tribulation period, will face the greatest persecution the world has ever known (Matt. 24:21). These martyrs who suffer at the hands of the Antichrist described in Revelation 13 will ultimately be vindicated when God pours out His wrath on His enemies. (Swindoll)

The altar is a place of sacrifice. These Jewish martyrs have been slain as burnt offerings for the Word of God and their testimony. They are given white robes and rest for a little season, until the other martyrs join them. (Falwell)

6. Seal: Upheaval in Nature
A great earthquake changes the heavenly bodies-sun, moon, stars, mountains and islands move.
all sorts of men, kings, rich, captains, mighty, slaves hide from the devistation. They want to hide from God instead of repent of sin and believe in Jesus as the Savior, bowing down to His as Lord. Their cries are not for salvation, but an end to their miseries.

Who is able to stand?  (verse 17) None.
Romans 14:11 says, For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Am I willing to be martyred for Jesus?


Be different from the world.

Trust Jesus with everything.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Will

683.  "The Will"            February 1, 2013
Revelation 5-Part 7
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 
 Revelation 5:5KJV


Mom and Dad had written their will together before he passed away. Mom kept it the same, so both of them would have their wishes carried out when both were gone. Mom died ten years after Dad. That was the appointed time for it to be read.They appointed me the executor of the will, so I carried it out, did what they said to do with everything they owned, distributing to us three heirs, their children, as they wished. I was the one appointed to open the papers and read aloud to us three.

Chapter 5 is actually a continuation of chapter 4. They didn't divide the Word back then.
John saw a book, written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals, held in the hand of the One who sat on the throne-God. Lest we think of The Book as one of our modern bookbinding ones, it is actually a scroll which was so full of information that it took both sides front and back to convey all its contents.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary has this to say:

This is typical of various kinds of contracts in ancient world, including deeds, marriage contracts, rental and lease agreements, and will. The inside of the scroll contained all the details of the contract, and the outside or back contained a summary of the document. In this case, it almost certainly is a deed-the title deed to the earth. The Romans sealed their will seven times on the edge at each roll, to prevent unauthorized entry. Hebrew title deeds required a minimum, of three witnesses and three seperate seals, with more important transactions requiring more witnesses and seals. 
John would easily have identified this type of document from the ancient world as a deed or last will and testament-an instrument of ownership that could be opened only by a legal redeemer or rightful heir. (Swindoll)

It was at God's appointed time that this book be opened. They looked for someone worthy to open it, but no one on the earth was found. There was only one that was worthy and appointed who could do so-Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As the scroll is opened, Jesus Christ receives His inheritance as the Son of God. This showed that Christ's ownership of the world was created by the Father through the Son (John 1: 1-3). The saints' inheritance and rule will be with Jesus.

Why was Jesus qualified to open the book?
  • His work of redemption,
  • His blood covers every tribe, tongue, people, and nation,
  • He purchased people from the hopeless slave marker of sin and death and made them kings and priests of God. (Swindoll)
Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the Lamb of God. The Lamb's seven horns point to His fullness of power (Ps. 89:17, 24); the seven eyes speak of complete wisdom (Zech. 4:10), a characteristic of the fullness of the Spirit, which was uniquely His. (Falwell)
It was and is what the creation, world of humanity, the church especially, have been waiting for-Jesus taking the book and opening it.

What a sight to behold!


What will we be doing what that occurs? We will join all creatures, in heaven, earth, subterrarean, and the sea singing Jesus' praises: "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

Power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing-the sevenfold accrual is the Lamb's because of Calvary and the unfathomable agony endured there. (Falwell)

Do you wonder if you are on the right path, headed for the right future and focused on the right priorities?
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your ultimate destination is clear.
We can be reassured to know that the Lamb of God qualifies to carry out God's plan.
It's thrilling to engage in worship and praise while we wait and pray. (Swindoll)

Do I daily worship, accept Christ's sovereignty, refocus my adoration on the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world?


Fall on my knees before my Savior and worship Him alone.

Praise and thank Him for what He has done and will do.