02.5 Revelation – Waiting

Waiting

There are many people you will talk to and read writings from that will discuss how we are in a downhill slide and Jesus must be returning soon.  Many of us look around and see persecution and trials and can see things getting worse and worse.  Like the saints in heaven we desire to cry out to God, how long will you wait?.

I was at the automobile service station this week and it made me think.  We sometimes view the events of the world like we view our cars.  This is starting to go bad, and that is making noise and this is wearing out and, and, how much longer can this thing keep running?

But, God isn’t waiting for things to get worse, He is waiting for the fullness of believers to come to Him.  It is not a matter of how much worse, frankly things can and will get worse.  It is a matter of waiting patiently and refusing to close the door of the fortress, despite the heavy attack, because there still are more people to come in to the shelter.

Maybe our prayer should not focus on the enemy or the attack, but on whom God would have us invite.  Who have you asked to come to BSF this year?  Who have you invited to sit down and discuss their personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  Who have you spoken boldly to so they see and hear the testimony in you actions and words?  If you long for Christ’s return, the surest way is not along the path of complaining, but along the path of spreading the good news.  That person you reach out to in the spirit just might be the last one whom God is waiting to bring into His house before the first seal is broken.

My Answers:

8.
a.
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

b.
He is God – He triumphed over death.  It is confirmation that all He said and promised is absolutely true and what He said and promised is amazing.

9.
a.
sin, sin, sin, fear, denial of the truth, lost on the wrong path, lack of faith and trust, lack of understanding of purpose, rejection of purpose

b.
all of this is temporary, but what will come will be eternal

02.4 Revelation – God is die skepper

God is die skepper

I was preparing for the school lesson this week and one of the items is the basic truth about the question: Who is God?  Part of the answer was that God is the creator, and I was looking for an interesting way to help the kids learn and understand this.  In the process, I was using Google translate to see how it translates into other languages, when I ran across the translation from English to Afrikaans.

According to Google Translate, “God is the Creator” translates into “God is die skepper.”

I loved this image.  We can sometimes get into incorrect thinking, called deism, that God was very active in the creation and then stepped back and let things be.  That God is distant and not involved in day-to-day, moment-to-moment life on the Earth or the Universe.  He just set things in motion and lets the laws of physics, chemistry and biology take over from there.  But being the Creator is not a “one and done” thing, it is ongoing.  Using a boat as an analogy, God didn’t just create the boat that is all of creation, He is the skipper of the boat. He is the captain, the admiral, the commander.  His hand is steering it and in charge and control at every moment.  Everyone and everything is under his command and authority.

I think, in the study of Revelation, we will be reminded of just how true this is.  God is die skepper!

My Answers:

6.
If you have ears: listen.  The victorious will be in paradise.  God is holy and almighty,worthy, creator
Jesus (the lamb) is worthy, Angels and heavenly beings profess this in unity in continuum
Only God is to be worshiped, not the angels (they are fellow servants)We are invited to come and drink, free gift of h2o life
7.
a.
All who know Him do it gratefully and continuously.  It is the logical and right thing to do and it brings joy to those who do.  It is the appropriate response to the one true God.

b.
Mercy and grace.  That He is everlasting, all knowing, creator, and yet chose to save His people from the clutches of sin instead of giving us what we rightly deserve

02.3 Revelation – The perfect resume

The Perfect Resume

I have been interviewing people the last couple of weeks to hire a new employee to join our team at work.  It is an important job that has significant impact on our customers and I want to do my best to select someone with the right qualifications and experience for the job.  I review their resume, their past work experience and internships, their skills and experiences, trying to find someone who would be a match for the very important job.

In regard to the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ desired to reveal the revelation that God had given Him, to show His servants what must soon take place.  As with the rest of the bible, it would be written by a human inspired by the Holy Spirit.  But who should be the human to write down the words.

I think it is safe to argue that there never before had been nor every since has been any person more qualified for that task than John.  One of the sons of thunder, John was an avid and intimate follower of our Lord.  He was at His side during His ministry, at the transfiguration, at the last supper, at the cross, at the empty tomb, after His resurrection.  And John remained a witness and servant of Jesus, suffering persecution for the spreading of the gospel, but continuing to proclaim what he saw and knew.

This was not an accident.  When you think about it, you saw that John had been in an apprenticeship program since the day he left his father’s boat to follow the Lord.  All of the things he witnessed and all the experiences, tests, trials and triumphs of his life were preparation for this important job.  One that has lasting (and everlasting impact) to many people including you and me.

My Answers:

4. a.
M4: brother of james, son of Zebedee, immediately left boat and father and followed him
M17: was present with james and peter at transfiguration with Moses and Elijah
J19: at cross Mary and John: here is your son and here is your mother
J20: He was the first man to the tomb after hearing from Mary Mag
J21: Jesus specifically spoke to John’s life, His testimony is true
A4: courageous, with Peter, although unschooled and ordinary, spoke boldly about Jesus
1J1: His authority as a witness: heard, saw, looked at, touched – proclaim the life and eternal life
R1: God – Jesus – Angel – Servant John – testifies to what he saw, that is, the word of God

b. He is fully qualified for the job of testifying.  He was there, He stayed there, the revelation was delivered directly to him

5.
a.
They underwent suffering & persecution (as had John) for the sake of the witness of gospel.  Ttested false witness, persevered, endured hardships, not grown weary.  Afflicted, poverty, slandered, suffered, tested – continue to be faithful

b.
The same things happen today and people still persevere.  Not to the same degree in most places, but in others it is a constant struggle.  The power of the gospel and its impact on the lives of fully committed believers has not diminished.

c.
1. To be more faithful, 2. To be more bold in professing Jesus’ name, 3. To stand the ground of the gospel regardless of the attack 4. to be a good witness in thought, word and action. 4. To encourage and strengthen others

02.2 Revelation – Remember, Redeemed, Removed, Renewed

Remember, Redeemed, Removed, Renewed
Revelation Themes

As the conclusion to the amazing story of the bible, the book of Revelation is filled with victory.  It is a victory that can be shared by anyone who chooses the gift of being on the team.

The fact that the book opens with letters of warning to the churches shows the mercy and grace of our God.  That even in this final book, where John outlines the end times of God’s wrath and judgment, God tells him to extend an invitation again to put on the jersey of Christ and be clothed in His sacrifice.  John, in particular, calls the church to remember.  If you have ears – then listen.  This is important.  This is important enough that believers for ages have been willing to be afflicted, persecuted and subjected to suffering for the honor of staying true to the team colors.  Remember and repent.  You want to be on the winning team.

A game-winning, grand-slam, home run happens at the moment that the ball connects with the bat.  Yes, it has to fly through the air out of the park.  Yes, the players have to run the bases and touch home plate.  But, from the very moment of impact, the work is done.  In the same way, Jesus’ work of paying the price for sin and defeating death is done.  When He resurrected from the dead, He connected with a strike ball that has been on a victory trajectory ever since. We are redeemed. It is done.  But Jesus is not done, yet.  One of the central themes of Revelation is this run of redemption.  The best is yet to come as He rounds the bases and returns back to home plate on Earth, gathering every one of His team to rejoice in victory.

When He returns, it will not be a partial victory, but a final one.  Satan and sin will not, as the saying goes, “live to fight another day.”  Christ’s return is a time when Satan and evil are just defeated, but completely removed.  Those who have made the choice of evil, who have rejected the gift of Jesus and rejected God, are judged and will be found to be incapable of paying the price of their own sins.  They and all enemies of God and good will be removed, forever.

And, finally, the book of Revelation closes with the most amazing gift of all.  God does not leave us to clean up the mess of this broken world.  We are not left in a war savaged place, with the need to tear out and rebuild on top of the weak foundations of the past.  But, instead, God takes us to a new place.  A place of beauty and peace of joy and happiness.  We have nothing to contribute to it, it is a wedding feast and the one true happily ever after ending.

My Answers:

3.
a.
1. greetings from him who is, who was and who is to come. Jesus the ruler of the kings of the earth.  Look his is coming with the clouds, every eye will see him – Look, I am coming soon, blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy
2. Be faithful, Jesus knows about affliction, persecution, suffering.  He will give you life as a victor’s crown. captivity and death will continue, but be patient, endure and faithful
12. Dragon removed from heaven, triumphed over by blood of the lamb.  The woman who gave birth to the child was protected, dragon went off to wage war with her offspring.  Beast was given… (note: it did not take, it was given – it is not in control)
19. For the wedding of the lamb has come – blessed are those who are invited – white horse, rider was faithful and true, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
21. New heaven and new earth, God’s dwelling place is now among His people – new heaven forever, river of water of life, tree of life, see the face of God in the city.  no more night, reign for ever and ever

b. God dwelling with His people for ever and ever – the new Heaven