Friday, August 31, 2012

In Two Places

Just as Christ entered creation by taking on our flesh. He has remained in creation by the Spirit poured forth on our flesh and caused us to enter the kingdom in Him in Spirit, He in us and we in Him.
There will come a day when heaven and earth will become one.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two Witnesses -Revelation 11:1-3

Revelation 11:1-3 ESV
1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty- two months. 3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

We see the temple of God and all who worship there are in the sight and protection of the Lord. A remnant is measured and sealed. Outside is turned over to the enemies of God's city and trampled, or subjugated. The faithful in Israel hold to their God and walk in His light.
During this time, God continues to hold out witness and mercy to an unbelieving world. There will be a time however when time runs out. In effect, He pleads and warns the those of the earth one last time.
No one knows for sure the identity of the two witnesses. The Jews were looking for Elijah to announce the Messiah, only to hear Jesus tell them that John had come in the spirit of Elijah. John was seen as a light as he prepared the way for Jesus. Many believe Elijah will be one of the two witnesses at this time.

In Ezekiel we see a similar measuring of the temple. The measuring implies sovereignty and control. Events will play out according to God's purpose and design. He declares things before they happen. God measures with justice and righteousness, His judgements true.

Ezekiel 40:3-4
When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. 4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”

Jesus speaks of the coming distress on Jerusalem that will be allowed to take place, but there is a purpose and end.

Luke 21:24
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Two witnesses were always needed to testify and serve to witness to the truth. Sackcloth was common to prophets as they delivered somber words from God, of judgement and mourning.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Scroll -Revelation 10:1-11

Revelation 10:1-11 ESV
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

We prepare for the seventh trumpet that will begin the execution of the final judgement of the wrath of God. Daniel foresaw this vision and points to the time after the tribulation. We wait on the Lord and we will find our rest. The word has spoken and it will be fulfilled.

We see in Deuteronomy the Lord speaking of Himself raising His hand up to heaven. So it may be said this angel in Revelation represents the Lord and His will. This is supported by the description of this angel in Ezekiel. The light like the sun, the rainbow of the covenant of peace, and the surrounding clouds all point to the Lord. The legs like pillars of fire might remind us of the pillar of fire that led Israel by night in the wilderness.

Ezekiel 1:26-28
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking

The seven thunders of the voice can be describing the word of God. Revelation was given to Jesus by the Father, Who revealed it to John. John wrote a record of some of what he saw. It is this witness that blesses us in the form of this book.

Deuteronomy 32:39-42
“‘See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long- haired heads of the enemy. ’

Psalms 29:3-4
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

Daniel 12:7-13
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 8 I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

It seems to say here that the tribulation ends when Israel's punishment is complete. The "shattering" comes to an end and the holy people are restored. Some will receive these words, some shall not. Regardless, they are spoken.

From Isaiah we see the Lord saying He will descend on Mt. Zion and rescue Jerusalem.

Isaiah 31:4-5
For thus the Lord said to me,
“As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,
and when a band of shepherds is called out against him
he is not terrified by their shouting
or daunted at their noise,
so the Lord of hosts will come down
to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill.
5 Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts
will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it;
he will spare and rescue it.”

John takes the scroll and receives it in full. Sweet at first, but it contains a message of judgement to prophesy.

Jeremiah 15:16
Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts.

Ezekiel 3:1-3
1 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

Amos 3:7-8
“For the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sixth Trumpet -Revelation 9:13-20

Revelation 9:13-20 ESV
Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions 'heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,

Upon the golden alter, Aaron would make atonement once a year for the people. The sixth trumpet sounds and from between the horns of that alter the command is given to these four angels of judgement.

Exodus 30:10
Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year. With the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

The four angels have been mentioned before. They were bound until the 144,000 were sealed. This number represents the complete and full sealing of that remnant. 12X12X1000

Revelation 7:1
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.

The nations will descend on Jerusalem from all sides, the strong wind of a mighty army assembled by Satan. The number is variously translated as ten-thousand or myriads. It is meant to communicate a vast number.

Revelation 20:7-8
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

The horses and riders are both said to share the appearance of fire and brimstone. These may signify their allegiance to Satan. They stand for two plagues which are then grouped with the plague of smoke that is associated with the horses. The riders have additionally dark blue as part of the vision. The lion face on the horses may indicate power and strength. They appear at the end of the thousand years. This could be understood as the time between Christ ascending to His throne upon resurrection, thereby binding Satan and setting captives free, and the release of Satan at the end. The thousand years could be representative of a long time, but a finite time, until the time of the Gentiles is complete. During this time many find the truth and peace of God, and His kingdom reigns within the hearts of believers. After the full number of Gentiles comes in, Satan is allowed persecute the earth and people for a time at the end until his final defeat.
Given another opportunity to repent, those that survived the plagues do not, and therefore continue down the path of destruction.

You Shall Know

Ezekiel 37:11-14 ESV
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off. ’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Paul speaks in the NT about how great a blessing it will be when Israel once again and finally comes back to the Lord. They led the way in God's plan for revelation and salvation. They received the word of God and the Son for the world to be saved. Through that tiny nation we know He is the Lord.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The First Woe -Revelation 9:1-12

Revelation 9:1-12 ESV
1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions 'teeth; 9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

The fifth angel sounds the trumpet. We learn more of Satan's fall. Again, we see a reference to the darkness he brings. He is given the key to the Abyss, to release his power of darkness upon those that defy God. It is the smoke from the unlocked abyss that darkens the heavens. From the smoke out of the bottomless pit appear the minions of Satan, a mighty army with the power of destruction at the command of a king named "in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon", whose very name means destruction.

11 Their king is named Abaddon in Hebrew but Apollyon in Greek. The former in the OT denotes the depths of Sheol and means ‘destruction’. The latter is close to the Greek verb apollumi, ‘to destroy’, but may well be intended as a variant of Apollo, which Greek writers have derived from apollumi. The cult of Apollo used (among others) the symbol of the locust, and the emperors Caligula, Nero and Domitian claimed to be incarnations of Apollo. If this was in John’s mind, the irony of the fifth trumpet is mind–blowing: the destructive host of hell had as its king the emperor of Rome! (This is factually paralleled in 17:16-18.). (IVP Bible Commentary)

The inhabitants of the land were familiar with swarms of locusts which would descend on the earth and strip the earth of every thing green. They would darken the sky as they flew through the air. This plague of locusts will only harm the disobedient. Five months was the span of time for a plague of locusts.

7-9 The description of the locusts recalls Joel 1:6; 2:4-9, but it is common in the breast of a lion, its feet with the feet of a camel, its body with the body of a snake, its tail with the tail of a scorpion, its antennae with the hair of a maiden’. (IVP Bible Commentary)

The wrath of God is loosed on those who dwell on earth. The star that had fallen to earth is now allowed to open the pit to plague those on earth without the seal of God. Woe, indeed, to those who reject His name.

Seven Lampstands And Torches

Exodus 20:18 ESV
Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off

Exodus 20:18 LXX
και πασ ο λαοσ εωρα την φωνην και τασ λαμπαδασ και την φωνην τησ σαλπιγγοσ και το οροσ το καπνιζον φοβηθεντεσ δε πασ ο λαοσ εστησαν μακροθεν

λαμπαδασ- torch, lamp

In the Septuigent, this verse uses the Greek word for torch to describe the light on Mt. Sinai because of presence of the Lord.

The same Greek word is used for the seven spirits of God that were before the throne in Revelation.

Revelation 4:5 ESV
And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And there was seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

The fire, majesty, and glory of God are in view.

The church is represented as seven lampstands, with Jesus in the midst.

Spirit Poured Forth

Just as Christ entered creation by taking on our flesh, He has remained in creation by the Spirit poured forth, allowing us to take on His Spirit. We thereby enter the kingdom and will sup with Him at His table, even as we commune with Him now.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Very Beginning

The three metaphors of "seal," "down payment," and "first-fruits" provide insight into Paul's already-not yet eschatological understanding of the Spirit's work, especially in connection to the Spirit bringing about new-creational life in people. The metaphors revolve around the idea that the Spirit is the present evidence of future realities, especially resurrection, and therefore provide assurance of the consummation of these realities. The Spirit is not preparatory for future end-time existence or only a guarantee of it, but is the very beginning of that existence;

See G.K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, 582

The rule of Jesus has begun. The kingdom has arrived.

We have been resurrected into new eternal life. Our bodies will follow, rising from the earth to meet and join with our spirits when Jesus returns.
Heaven and earth will become one.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

If I Had Not

John 15:22-25 ESV
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause. ’

The word has been spoken, through the prophets in the Old Testament and through the incarnation of the Son in Jesus. The letter and then the Spirit have been given. Jesus embodied them both. God has provided the knowledge and grace that offers salvation, one then the other. Whoever sees the Son, sees the Father. Whoever does not, has neither.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Delivered, Yet Will Be Delivered

2 Corinthians 1:9-10 NASB
indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,

He has delivered, is delivering us now, and will deliver us.
We are even now children of God, though we are yet to be fully revealed.

Four Trumpets -Revelation 8:6-13

Revelation 8:6-13 ESV
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

The passage below from Zechariah speaks of two thirds of the people perishing. God will save a remnant of His people. They will be tested and found true during this time of tribulation. This might be compared to 144,000 that will be called.

Zechariah 13:8-9
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
9 And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God. ’”

The first trumpet announces hail, fire, and blood from heaven. This is like the seventh plague Moses called down on Egypt.

Exodus 9:23-24
Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.

Ezekiel 38:22-23
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Revelation 9:12-15
The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Again we see reference to the gold alter before the Lord and its role in the plan of God. Here we are told that one third of mankind will perish at the release of these four angels.

The second trumpet sounds and a mountain is thrown into the sea.

Jeremiah 51:25-29
“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares the Lord,
which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
and roll you down from the crags,
and make you a burnt mountain.
26 No stone shall be taken from you for a corner
and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be a perpetual waste,
declares the Lord.
27 “Set up a standard on the earth;
blow the trumpet among the nations;
prepare the nations for war against her;
summon against her the kingdoms,
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;
appoint a marshal against her;
bring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,
and every land under their dominion.
29 The land trembles and writhes in pain,
for the Lord's purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
without inhabitant.

The third trumpet is sounded. A star falls from heaven, likened to a blazing torch. The mountain that fell into the sea was on fire as well. Instead of the sea, this star called Wormwood, enters the fresh water of the earth and many die. Wormwood means bitter. It turns the water bitter. Satan seeks to turn all mankind into bitter creatures like himself. From vessels of the living water of life, he would have us become like puddles of a stagnant and dead sea. Both trumpets could be addressing the defeat and fall of Satan.

The fourth trumpet sounds. As a result of Satan cast down, the darkness he brings settles in creation. The light is diminished, but not extinguished. More about this darkness is revealed after the fifth trumpet.
Before the last trumpets are blown, an eagle warns of the weight of the woes to come at their sounding. We are moving from the judgements made by the opening of the seals, to their proclamation with the trumpets, to the pouring out of the bowls of wrath after the seventh trumpet is blown.

Signed, Sealed, And Delivered

Psalms 116:1-4 ESV
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

His mercy is complete. Even when we do not seek His mercy, He is there waiting, ready to love.

We call on His name and it becomes ours. In His name is life. He answers with salvation. It is personal.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Silence In Heaven -Revelation 8:1-5

Revelation 8:1-5 ESV
1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

After the jubilation in heaven, the exultation of the savior by the saved, comes the time for the trumpets to be blown. There is a pause between the seals now broken by Jesus, the strong and mighty Son of the Most High, and the decrees are now to be sounded of the judgements to be directed toward earth. It is for a short time. Jesus always said He was coming soon and quickly.
Now we see seven angels that stand before God. Previously, we saw a reference to the seven spirits of God which are before the throne. We also saw Jesus standing between the throne and the living creatures with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into the world. His eyes were upon the seven churches we saw in chapters two and three. They are described as Lampstands, as lights of witness in this dark world. The seven spirits of God are described as torches of fire before the throne of God.

Trumpets are made ready for the word to sound.

The worship and prayers of the saints is shown to be in concert and an agent of the will of God. God works through us. It is through us that He reveals Himself and His will done. This lends an added perspective of our being in the body of Christ. Our presence and life are informed by His presence and life everlasting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out Of The Great Tribulation -Revelation 7:9-17

Revelation 7:9-17 ESV
A Great Multitude from Every Nation
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Out of the great tribulation come a multitude before the throne of heaven. From the peoples of the earth come people of God, responding to the witness of Israel as God intended and for which they were chosen. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He was met by a crowd waving palm branches and giving glory to God. This time the people enter His house as they give Him the glory.
There is no mention of the Holy Spirit. Could it be that the Spirit is not present on earth, no longer restraining Satan with the church in heaven? Israel may take the stage in proclaiming God as only God's unique and particular people are able.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All Flesh Shall Come

Psalms 102:25-28 ESV
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you.

Isaiah 66:22-23
“For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.

Revelation 15:4
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelation 22:14-16
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The earth shall be made new and the children of His servants will remain. So shall the offspring of His name remain.

Then all flesh will come to the New Jerusalem to worship the Lord. It would seem the new earth will be populated with people with bodies different from those living with God in Jerusalem. Just as there were people outside the Garden of Eden where Cain went to live and take a wife.

They will come to worship the Lord at the appointed times and we will be with Him and lift our voice in praise on His Holy Mountain.

Monday, August 20, 2012

144,000 -Revelation 7:1-8

Revelation 7:1-8 ESV
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

The unleashing of the winds does not happen until sealing of Israel takes place. He repeatedly said He would save it remnant of His elect. Once done, the seventh seal is now ready to be opened.

Zechariah 6:5-8
And the angel answered and said to me, “These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The chariot with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go after them, and the dappled ones go toward the south country.” 7 When the strong horses came out, they were impatient to go and patrol the earth. And he said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. 8 Then he cried to me, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country.”

Ezekiel 9:3-5
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. 4 And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity.

Revelation 9:14-15
saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Revelation 14:1-5
1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

The Lamb and the 144,000 stand on Mount Zion. Israel now fulfills its promise to give witness to the glory and testimony of God. They at last become the first fruits of the earth. Many will believe. Heaven rejoices.

How Long?

Psalms 79:5-9 ESV
How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call upon your name!
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8 Do not remember against us our former iniquities;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
for your name's sake!

This same question of "how long?" is heard from those beneath the alter in the throne room of heaven. God's wrath in Israel's rejection of the Lord has been playing out in history and seems to coming to culmination in the ongoing hatred directed toward them from the world today.
Our question of how long will remain until God moves. There is no question that He will.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Sixth Seal -Revelation 6:12-17

Revelation 6:12-17 ESV
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

There is similar language that speaks of the last day when the Lord comes in the following passage in Joel.

Joel 2:28-32
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Judgement on those on the earth that have not accepted the Son is likewise anticipated in Isaiah. The figure of the fig tree appears again, a symbol of Israel. Jesus judged Israel as figured by the cursing of the fig tree full of leaves, but bearing no fruit. Some of the leaves that fall from this tree will be saved, a remnant.

Isaiah 34:1-4
1 Draw near, O nations, to hear,
and give attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
the world, and all that comes from it.
2 For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,
and furious against all their host;
he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast out,
and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
the mountains shall flow with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.

The wisdom and might of man will be revealed for what it is, and cover will be sought, even in the dust of the earth, when the undeniable reality of the Lord is visible.

Isaiah 2:10-11
Enter into the rock
and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty.
11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Joel 2:10-11
The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?

Joel 2:31-32
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Ezekiel 38:16-23
You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
17 “Thus says the Lord God: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? 18 But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Under The Alter -Revelation 6:9-11

Revelation 6:9-11ESV
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

If the elders are the church which has been saved by the blood of Jesus, then those under the alter might reference the saints of Israel. Notice the different wording used for the reason they were slain. They were slain for "the word of God and the witness they had borne". There is no mention of Jesus and His testimony. This can remind us of the veil that covers the eyes of Israel to this day. They have yet to see Jesus, mourn for the one they pierced, and be sealed in the Holy Spirit. We will see their sealing and following Christ in the 144,000 mentioned later in this book. Then they will witness to the testimony of Jesus.

Revelation 12:17
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Israel is the woman. The offspring are the children of God who have trusted in Jesus.

Behold, You See It

Jeremiah 32:22-24 ESV
And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 And they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. They did nothing of all you commanded them to do. Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24 Behold, the siege mounds have come up to the city to take it, and because of sword and famine and pestilence the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it.

Jeremiah speaks to the king.

The imagery of the four horseman from Revelation is seen here in this passage about Jerusalem - "because of sword and famine and pestilence". The white horse with rider speaks of siege and being conquered. It is the Lord Who does this thing.

As the result of disobedience, judgment is decreed.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Four Horsemen -Revelation 6:1-8

Revelation 6:1-8 ESV

1 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

The four horseman seem to speak of four judgements against Jerusalem. We find four acts of judgement in the Old Testament in the fourteenth chapter of Ezekiel as follows:

Ezekiel 14:21-23
“For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! 22 But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord God.”

Jeremiah 21:6-7
And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. 7 Afterward, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion. ’

God has used outside conquerors numerous times in the past to punish Israel. The beasts we will see later as agents of Satan will repeat history as they war against the saints. Jerusalem has seen more than its share of sword, famine, and pestilence. This vision of four horsemen might be considered both in light of history and the days to come. The past often foreshadows the future. An example would be the bronze snake Moses erected in the desert as commanded by God to save the Israelites from poisonous snakes, or the plagues visited on Egypt before they were freed from slavery.
The galloping hooves of judgement continues to be heard in the events of today. The streets of today in Jerusalem and the world are subject to the endless cycles of violence and want. They serve to confirm these latter days.

The eye of the storm is centered in Jerusalem. Revelation, from chapter 4 on, is seen through the eyes of Israel.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dominion Forever -Revelation 5:11-14

Revelation 5:11-14 ESV
11 Then I looked, and heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “ Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Surrounding the throne and elders is the heavenly host of angels who give witness to the power and glory of God. They proclaim the sevenfold fullness of the risen Savior.

Then all creatures in heaven and earth give praise to the Father and Son, repeating three of the previous accolades, but adding a
unique fourth of their own.



The additional reward received by Christ is dominion. All creatures in heaven and earth acknowledge Him as King. The sevenfold dimensions and descriptions apply to the Father and Son. The Father has given the Son dominion over all creatures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Taken The Scroll -Revelation 5:6-10

Revelation 5:6-10 ESV
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

Jesus descended to earth, accomplished the purpose and mission of salvation, and was raised up onto the throne of God. All things are given to Him.
The ESV translates the Greek word "mesos" as "between". It could be translated as "in the middle" or "midst". The Lord has taken His place as King. This the same word used in Revelation 1:13. Just as He is in the middle of the throne, He is in the middle of the elders.
The Lamb is given seven horns and seven eyes in this vision. These are interpreted for us as the seven spirits of God "sent out into all the earth". This could be a reference to the Spirit given and filling the church. It is the Spirit who empowers and speaks to us.
He takes the scroll because He was able to overcome the world. He receives it at the hand of the Father. He is given power, authority, and dominion over all things. This is confirmed as the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fall down before Him in worship. The harps and incense signify worship.
Their mouths are filled with a new song, the good news of God's victory and mercy through His Son Jesus Christ. A kingdom arises out off the people of earth. A people made holy by His grace and who will reign on earth with Him as the head.

Revelation 1:12-13
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In The Right Hand -Revelation 5:1-5

Revelation 5:1-5 ESV
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The right hand of God is where Jesus was seated after His resurrection. He is described as the right hand and strong arm of the Lord.

Matthew 22:41-44
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

Matthew 26:64
Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Acts 5:31-32
God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Ephesians 1:18-23
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

John 12:37-38
Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

We are told in verse five that the victory has been won. There is one found worthy. God's plan can move forward. It is through the people of Israel that the Savior has come. Weep no more. There is joy in this morning star. Ephesians 1:21 tells us He rules now and in the age to come.

Twenty-four Elders -Revelation 4:4-11

Revelation 4:4 ESV
Around the throne were twenty- four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty- four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.

Elders appeared in the Old Testament. They were comprised of mature leaders who represented and dispensed wisdom among the people. We see here before the throne those who wear crowns and white robes, seated on thrones themselves. Various speculations have been put forth as to whom they might represent. There are some verses which seem to point to those who believe in Christ and have overcome the world. We are told they will be clothed in white robes, will be given crowns of life, and will reign with Him with His authority. One of the seven blessings of Revelation is reigning with Christ for a thousand years. Jesus promised over-comers they would rule with Him and be a pillars in the New Jerusalem. They will have the name of God, of the Lord, and of the new city as part of their new name. Blessed are those who die in the name of the Lord, who are in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

The presence of God on the throne is confirmed by the lightening and thunder. The same was present from Mt. Sinai when God came before the Israelites in the desert. This is the fire between the Cherubim, that burned in the bush before Moses, and in which Jesus baptized believers starting with Pentecost: the very fire of God.
The sea of glass might remind us of that separation between heaven and earth, of the waters between the waters established at creation. Its smoothness can remind us of God's control and order. On earth, Jesus commanded a stormy sea to be still, and so it was.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty- four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

The throne is comprised of four living creatures. This might represent God's sovereignty over the four corners of creation and the life therein. The eyes may infer the all seeing view that is the power of God. He sees in any and all directions, through time and space, from beginning to end.
If the creatures symbolize creation, we might be reminded that all creation finds its purpose in the worship and glory of God. He is Holy and ever present.
The elders worship and give Him glory for He is worthy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Had The Appearance -Revelation 4:3

Revelation 4:3
And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.

There is uncertainty what the stones mean here, but there are speculations. Some say the jasper was clear like a diamond. If this is the case, it might represent purity, that there is no imperfection in His light.

Ezekiel adds to this vision:

Ezekiel 1:22
22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.
Ezekiel 10:1
1 Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.
Ezekiel 1:26-28
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.

If the carnelian is indeed red, it might remind us of the love of God which was shown in the shedding of His blood for us. If the emerald is green, it could be an indication of the life that is the root and essence of all life.

A rainbow might be a reminder of the sign of His covenant promise not to destroy mankind after the flood. The Hebrew word translated as "rainbow" actuality means war bow. God shows that mercy is His intent that would later come in the form of His Son.

God Can

God can reach down into any circumstance and save a repentant heart. No one is too far from His grace. He has drawn near and His word is in our mouth.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In The Spirit -Revelation 4:2

Revelation 4:2-11 ESV
At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.

The Spirit lifts John into a vision of God, the very throne room of heaven. We are reminded that God is indeed on His throne and is over all things, always has been and always will be. It is by His will that creation came into being and it is His will that will done.
It might be possible to relate the Spirit mentioned here to the seven spirits who stand before God in the vision of the throne room. This Spirit may also be what is referenced as the angels of the seven churches in chapters one and two. It is the Holy Spirit which reveals the word of God and guides us into all truth. Seven implies perfection and completeness.
There is one on the throne. There is one Creator and God.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Will Gather Against It

Zechariah 12:1-3 ESV
1 The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.

He told us beforehand so that we would know that He is the Lord. It is happening now. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Your will be done.

A Rebellious House

Ezekiel 2:4-7 ESV
The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God. ’ 5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

God gives Ezekiel a word for his people, though God knows beforehand the word will be largely rejected. Yet the Lord speaks to all of us through these words, to fulfill His will and purpose. So that in the end we will be with Him. If only they could see what the Lord has in store for them.

But they are a rebellious house.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Door Standing Open -Revelation 4:1

Revelation 4:1 ESV
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

Things as they are give way to those things to come.

Matthew 3:13-17
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

John 19:30
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “ It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Jesus opened the door to heaven and provided the way to God for each of us. He knocks at our door of our hearts that we might make a way for the Lord. This is the way things are. He gave up His spirit that we might receive the Spirit. The Holy Spirit opens the word of truth and shows us the things of God, as it is and is to come.


1Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Being asleep takes on a new and different meaning when we consider it from the Christian standpoint. We can be asleep from a spiritual view, even dead, while we still walk around on this earth.

Our bodies can be "asleep" in the ground for years in the earth, yet we are alive with Jesus in that everlasting moment which is eternity. We were transferred into the kingdom of God when we placed our trust in Him. We share in His resurrection if we share in His life. I believe this is the first resurrection, for we are blessed and we do not participate in the second resurrection. The dead in Christ are still alive for we have been reborn, now waiting to join with immortal bodies to fully be like Jesus.

Here Paul says those preceding us in passing will come with Jesus when He returns. Jesus will descend from heaven. The bodies of the dead will rise first into their glorious and immortal bodies. We who are still alive in mortal bodies, who have undergone that same rebirth, will join them in the clouds.

Clouds in the Bible usually are associated with the power and glory of the Lord's presence:
In the desert
With Jesus
On the mountain with Moses.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Word Of Truth

Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Colossians 1:5-6
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,

The word of truth is our salvation. It bears fruit in our lives and will carry us to our inheritance.

Monday, August 6, 2012

For They Shall Return

Jeremiah 24:5-10 ESV
“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6 I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
8 “But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.”

In Revelation there are four horseman which are called forth by the living creatures. The first is a conqueror followed by a sword, famine, then pestilence. So it was, so it is.

Jesus has taken His place in heaven. The seals have been opened by the Lamb Who is the King of Kings. He alone was worthy.

"I will give them a heart".
A remnant will be saved, a full number from each tribe.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

We Will Not Serve your Gods

Daniel 3:16-18 ESV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

How easy it is to go along with the world, to trade the truth of God to get by, to fit in, to go along the crowd, to call bad good, and what is good to be bad. It has always been that way. These three men did not hesitate to stand with God, and God was with them.
We don't always know the immediate outcome of our actions, but we know the final outcome.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


1 Peter 1:19-21ESV
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

God's plan and purpose was known beforehand. He sees the end from the beginning. He reveals what He is doing in His word and has made it available to us so that we would know.

Take A Scroll

Jeremiah 36:1-3 ESV
1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. 3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

On a scroll is written what the future will bring and the judgements that will take place, so that the people would repent and be saved.
This is done again in Revelation.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peace Among Yourselves

1 Thessalonians 5:13b-15 ESV
13...Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

In order to be at peace with one another, we must be at peace with ourselves. This is only truly possible when we are at peace with God. When He is in our midst, peace is among us.
With that peace, we can ourselves labor and tend God's harvest, providing encouragement when needed, admonishment when warranted, an open hand to keep ourselves from stumbling or to help a brother up. We find expression of love in the things we do for each other. We express love for God in that love.