17.2 Revelation – But everyone is doing it

But everyone is doing it

How often do we base our decisions and direction on “conventional wisdom”.  We look at trends of what is hot in fashion.  We pay attention to polls for the direction of the populous.  We pay attention to ratings and reviews of what others think about vacation sites, restaurants and shops.  We have never lost the argument we used as kids that everyone else is doing something.  And, we continue to ignore our mom’s argument that if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it as well.

The fact is, we live in a fallen, broken, sinful world.  If the majority is doing something, odds are it is wrong or sinful.  As followers of Christ we are promised trials and difficulties, not majorities and power.  If Jesus was hated and unfairly condemned, why should we expect more.

That does not mean we just throw up our hands and say, “oh well.”  It doesn’t mean we give up and go along with what everyone else is doing.  We are foreigners on this earth and our home and kingdom is in another place, in the heavenly realms.

Our direction should come not from what everyone else is doing, but what the bible commands and what Jesus gave.  We follow the spirit of the Holy Ghost, not popular opinion or polls.  We take definitions of truth from what God commands in His Holy Word, not by what is trending in popularity.

When the beast emerges from the waters everyone follows him, everyone worships him.  There is a remnant that does not and for 42 months they suffer and endure.  Right is right, now and then, but it is seldom what is popular.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
10 horns, 7 heads, 10 crown on its horns and on each a blasphemous name.  resembled a leopard but had feet like  of a bear and a mouth like a lion.  one of the heads had a fatal wound had been healed.  dragon gave power, throne, authority, people worshiped

b.
that people were so accepting and worshiped the beast – this is weird and strange.  Why would this be worshiped (right now people reject worship of anything but themselves)

4.
Jesus spoke with authority (Mar 1:27), authority he received from God (authority to forgive sins Luk 5:24, drive out demons cure disease Luk 9:1, The Father living in me who is doing his work Jhn 14:10).  But Jesus used his authority to teach and help and cure and support, not as a means of power or control over people.  He was worthy of worship, but chose to submit to persecution

5.
a.
By testing it against scripture, by counsel with other believers, through prayer

b.
I have gotten myself back on track of being detoured by sinful thinking and enticed by things such as greed or self-worth by being confronted by the truth of the scriptures and the words of Godly people.

17.2 Revelation – But everyone is doing it

16.5 Revelation – Enmity

Enmity

Enmity is a word we seldom use and when we do, we use it in watered down fashion.  It doesn’t simply mean dislike or conflict.  It is bigger and deeper.  It is deep-rooted hatred manifest in open and sustained conflict.  It is all consuming antagonism, with a single mindedness against the foe.

There is enmity between satan and mankind.  When we befriend the fallen world, we take on enmity to God (James 4:4).

But, regardless of the enmity that satan has for us and for God, he has no direct power or control over either.  Satan cannot keep us from God.  Satan cannot prevent God from anything.

It reminds me of some of the haunted house things we would do at halloween.  Characters would be dressed up and jump out at unexpected times, using darkness and distraction and surprise.  The characters would take on the dress and image of our fears, but they couldn’t harm us.  They couldn’t prevent us from completing the journey.  They couldn’t really “do” anything to us.  The only things were in how we responded to them.

Satan, despite his overwhelming enmity, is just as powerless.  We can become paralyzed in our fear.  We may in fact, falter and decide to join with the ranks of the characters, but these are our choices and not because we are locked into it by the devil.  And, even in these situations, God is less than a whisper away – honoring our decision to join in the weak forces that hate Him, while willing to take us back into His arms and carry us to protection and full restoration (like the prodigal son).

My Answers:

12.
The woman – then went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring – those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus

13.
a.
enmity between satan and the woman and between your offsping and hers.  Men who follow the Lord and keep God’s commands have always been despised and attacked (enmity between) those who choose evil and follow wicked ways (the serpents children)

b.
sin entered the world through Adam and, as a result, death – All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  But, Jesus’ gift is greater.  By taking on the sin of all, by accepting the penalty of death for a life lived without sin, and then defeating death, Jesus.

14.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God – nothing, never, nowhere

16.5 Revelation – Enmity

16.4 Revelation – They = Us

They = Us

Revelation 12:11 states, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

The question is, who is “they.”

At first blush, it would be easy to interpret the they as the angels.  This verse comes from a loud voice in heaven directly after Michael and his angels defeat the dragon and his angels and cast satan out of heaven to earth.

But, I’m going to offer an alternative for consideration.  The sentence immediately prior to 11 states, “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”  What if, instead of the angels, the “they” in verse 11 instead refers to the brothers and sisters?

If this is the interpretation, then we, as believers defeated satan even as the angels taking up arms and waging battle against him.  He was defeated not by our power or goodness or strength, but by the blood of the lamb and by the word (God’s word) brought to the world through our testimony (that is changed lives).

Our triumph, through the saving grace of the blood of Christ, over the accuser would be the root of his demise.  If we were simply un-redeemed sinners, then his accusations before God would be the truth and that truth would have a place in heaven.  But, because of the blood of the lamb, we are redeemed and the price of our sins has been paid-in-full.  The dragon then is spewing forth false accusations and false testimony against those who now stand as witnesses, through their testimony, to the power of the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son of God.

As humans, we will die, but as saved souls we do not shrink from death.  We don’t look forward to dying and we mourn for those who have died, but we recognize it is not the end, but simply a portal to cross to an eternal life.  And, unlike the dragon and his angels, our eternal life will be spent in heaven rejoicing with the angels.

My Answers:

9.
He was thrown out of heaven (out of God’s presence) – God has forgiven them and wiped the slate clean – no one is there rehashing old wounds and bringing the up again and again

10.
a. As co-heirs with Christ, they shared in the glory and victory, through obedience and submission  under christ to reject Satan
b. We are reconciled through the blood (saved) – he died while we were unbelievers, now are in unity to all heaven under Christ
c. Eternal life is only through Jesus, Blessedd. God is first – whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever gives his life over to Jesus, lives forever, christ died for us

11.
a.
It has emphasized the disparity between God and Satan.  We sometimes elevate satan to an undue level.  He is just an angel – not God, not a son of God, not the Holy Spirit.

b.
Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain; thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train: Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!

16.4 Revelation – They = Us

16.3 Revelation – Opposite Not Equal

Opposite Not Equal

Being the opposite of something does not mean the two things are on the same level.  The opposite of financial wealth is financial poverty, but we don’t lie to ourselves and think that someone who squanders their riches is somehow elevated to the same level as a wise investor simply because they are opposites.  The opposite of physical health is physical sickness, but we don’t think, even for a moment, that these two opposites are equal in battle.

But, Satan’s lies through the ages to mankind has attempted to do just this in regard to the things of Satan.  We think the opposite of Good is Evil and we put them as equals in battle.  We think the opposite of light is darkness.  We think the opposite of Love is Hate.  While these things are opposites, they are not equals.

Satan is not on the level of God, He is on the level of an angel – now a fallen angel stripped even of his place in the heavenly realm.  He battled not God, but Michael and lost at that.

By standing against everything the King of Kings stands for, does not give Him kingship – at least not of anything of value or anything that is lasting.

What lies are you allowing yourself to believe about Satan?  How are these lies being used by the wicked ones to elevate him to a level far higher than his true standing?  How are you giving this one being, who can be in one place at one time only, more power and authority than is true?

When the Israelites were first brought to the promised land, they sent scouts ahead who came back and reported how the people of the land looked like giants and they (the Israelites) looked like grasshoppers in their own eyes.  In contrast, Satan is like a grasshopper who sees himself as a giant.  He believes his own lies and wants nothing more than for us to believe them, too.

My Answers:

6.
Michael and his angels – the dragon and his angels fought back

7.
present in heaven with the angels.  He is restrained by God (under Him) and he can do nothing without God’s acquiescence

8.
God is all powerful, Satan has the power God allows him.  God is omnipresent, Satan is not.  God is All knowing, Satan only knows himself.  God is truth, Satan is lies

16.3 Revelation – Opposite Not Equal

16.2 Revelation – Get Away

Get Away

In our scripture today from Revelation 12, the mother and the child are both protected by God by his provision of a place of sanctuary: the child to heaven and the mother to a place prepared for her in the wilderness.

I think this is important as we live and make choices in a fallen, corrupt world.  There is no doubt that sin surrounds us and seeks to overcome us.  It is roaring in boastfulness in every type of media that we see and hear.  Everyday can be a battlefront.

But, God calls us to his sanctuary.  He calls us to spend time in Him, being refreshed and restored.  Do the evils ones desire and attempt to invade even this part of our day?  Absolutely, but we should turn that battle over to the Lord and simply submit and rest in Him for a time.

But how much do we avoid the perils of the rest of the day?  Do we make decisions that take us away from sin and sinful people or put us in partnership with them?  Do our jobs and our co-workers give us strength or are they ones that we battle?  Do our neighbors and friends bring us closer to God or provide an avenue of temptation.

We can look down on groups, such as the Amish, as being backward by choosing to live separated from society.  But, is there a lesson to be learned in terms of building a community of strength and sanctuary?

2 Timothy 3:1-5 outlines the wickedness of our times and the people in them, but it closes by saying, “Have nothing to do with such people.

My Answers:

3.
(1) a woman – Israel, Eve, Mary, the Church, mankind (2) red dragon – Satan, sin (3) A son – Jesus

4.
a.
Gen: serpent, crafty, twists word, questions, tempts, lies – cursed to crawl, enmity, crush head (strike heel)
John: murderer, not holding to truth, lies, liar, father of lies (evil ones on earth are his children)
1 Pete: your enemy, prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

b.
it corrupts men.  The power of the Holy Spirit and the redemption of the blood of the lamb are any person’s only hope.  Also, stay away from these sinful people – Have nothing to do with them

5.
a.
Child was snatched up to God and to his throne.  The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God where she might be taken care of for 1260 days

b.
He has given me the bible so I can understand Him.  He has died for my sins so I am forgiven.  He protects me from evil.  He gives me godly people (a church) to be in communion with.

16.2 Revelation – Get Away

15.5 Revelation – Freedom

Freedom

We are called to lay our sins, our worries, our pain, our fears at the feet of our Lord and Savior.  When we turn things over to Jesus, we are freed from the burden.  But, that does not make them magically disappear.  Jesus takes these things from us and carries them in our stead.  He takes on each and every sin that is confessed.  He takes on the emotions we turn over to Him.

Those who love Jesus, such as the elders in heaven, see the baggage He carries for those He loves and long for Him to be freed of it forever.  The way this will happen is when creation has been set right again, when it is restored to the state of original creation with sin destroyed, evil destroyed, wickedness destroyed and its remnant purged from all creation.

Like every other restoration project, it begins with demolition.  The old, rotten and decayed is ripped away and destroyed.  This is what we see in the cleansing wrath of the judgements of God played out upon creation by His angels.  When the rot is ripped away, Christ will return to rule over a new heaven and new earth, where there is no pain, no sin, no tears.  Where the hardships and hurt that Jesus has carried for us have been destroyed forever.

 

My Answers:

11.
24 elders seated on thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, Thanks to God, He is powerful, Wrath has come, the time to judge the dead and reward the servants, prophets and all who revere God’s name (both great and small), also time for destroying the earth

12.
All will be judged.  Rewards to servants, prophets, people who revere the name of God (great and small)

13.
Watchful.  I’m reading, hearing and heeding as commanded.

15.5 Revelation – Freedom

15.4 Revelation – Tribe, Language, People, Nation

Tribe, Language, People, Nation

Revelation 5:9 – And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation

Revelation 7:9 – After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

Revelation 11:9 – For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.

I found it interesting how thoroughly God has stirred the pot of humanity.  Today when we think about people from a certain part of the world or who speak a certain language, we make assumptions about their religion.  But by the end times, none of this will make a difference.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, has paid the price of sin for all mankind, regardless of race, language, nationality, or family and tribe.

However, as amazing as that is, it is even more troubling that there will be people from every tribe, language, people and nation who not only reject Jesus, but do so to the degree that they dance in the streets and exchange gifts celebrating the death of God’s own witnesses.  How sad that no group, however big or small, is “all in”.  Every group has members who will be part of these who reject the Lord.

The challenge in this is to think about the prejudices we hold.  Are we more or less likely to witness to one tribe or nationality than another?  Do we make an assumption that we should or should not make talk about Jesus to someone who speaks a certain language?

We will truly all be brothers and sisters in unity with our Lord.

 

My Answers

9.
a.
attack, overpower and kill them.  God preserved them in death for 3 1/2 days and then brought them back to life and raised them up, in the body, to heaven in a cloud

b.
Earthquake and 1/10th of the city collapsed.  7000 people killed in the earthquake

10.
a.
John 11: Jesus is the resurrection. Whoever believes will live even though they die and then never die
John 14: Jesus has prepared a place for His believers in God’s house, He will come back to take us there
1 Cor: Christ is the first fruits over death, it will be destroyed as all else is under Jesus
Phil: We are citizens of heaven, waiting to be transformed into His glorious body
1 Thes: dead raised first, after those still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds
1 John: We don’t know our transformed bodies yet but will when we see Jesus again, like Him

b.
Kids

15.4 Revelation – Tribe, Language, People, Nation