14.5 Revelation – God Doesn’t Want This

God Doesn’t Want This

The other day my wife and I needed to discipline one of our children.  It was horrible.  It was the last thing we wanted to be doing and we felt only sadness and hurt in it.  There was no joy or peace with it.  But, there was love.  The only reason we put ourselves and our family through the pain and hardship that seeing the punishment and discipline through involved was because of a love and desire and commitment to help this child change and turn back to what was right.

In the same way, I don’t believe God wants any of this that we are reading in Revelation for His people and His creation.  He would much rather be taking us into His loving arms and telling us how proud He is of our love for each other and our unity to Him and all the saints and believers.

But, we are on the wrong path.  We are on the path that, in spite of the futility of it, we turn to idols instead of God.  It reminded me of going over to the wall and repeatedly turning the light switch back off and on, when the power goes out.  It isn’t going to make a difference.  The idols made of wood and stone can’t help when 1/3rd of the sun turns black.  It is a ridiculous response.  But it is exactly the type of response we make.

But, God loves us enough to be just.  He loves us enough to take on the pain of disciplining us.  He is willing to destroy a third of creation (or more), to get a soul back on the path to Him.  He is willing to allow pain and death, because He is willing to honor our choices.

Like the prodigal son, if we want to take what doesn’t belong to us and waste it, putting ourselves into a position of filth and defilement and starvation, God will allow it.  But, what He really wants is to wrap His arms and a new robe around us when we return home to Him.

My Answers

12.
a.
1 hail=7,  2 sea to blood=1, 3 wormwood=moses log water sweet ex 15:22, 4 darkness=9, 5 locusts=8, 6 death=10

b.
except for 5, the people of God were not excluded.  Also, these are universal.  With the locusts, not crops, but people.  With death, not only firstborn but 1/3 and no mention of passover protection

c.
Denial – turn to idolatry, sorcerer, anger at God.

13.
a.
This is not what God wants – that is the only reason it is delayed – it is what man is ordering to spite God

b.
pride, wasted time

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14.4 Revelation – Satan Hates

Satan Hates

Man was made in the image of God.  Gen 1:26 says, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”

Satan, and all evil and wickedness, hates God.  It detests Him and rejects Him and all His ways.  It loathes the light and the truth and hides from both.

When satan and the demonic and evil forces corrupt men and turn mankind to their ways, they do not then love these wicked and sinful men.  They do not look upon them with love and brotherhood and admiration.  They detest them because, no matter how evil and wicked they become, these men still have an appearance of the likeness of God within them.

Evil will use men, but it won’t have grace for men.  It does not seek to fill them up and make them whole in fellowship – it only wants to cause hurt and harm.

When the Abyss is opened in Revelation 9, and the beasts of the deep emerge, they show no kinship with wicked men.  But God and God alone puts limits on them; He restrains them and the amount of pain and the duration they are allowed.  God doesn’t distort the reality of what they are, but even in this, He shows mercy and restraint.

Do not be deceived by the lies of evil.  There is no party in hell.  There is no moral code of conduct among the wicked that bonds them together.  There is no brothership or kinship or family.  There is no laughter among the sinners.

But, the lies we allow ourselves to believe can so totally shape our perception of reality that we believe the lie.  Notice it in our passage today.  Even under 5 months of physical and emotional agony like we can hardly imagine, the people did not seek life, they only sought death.  They didn’t seek light, they only saw darkness.

Death and darkness, sin and wickedness, never provide answers or relief – only more rejection and pain.  As hard as sin tries to shape mankind into the image of Satan, we are still rejected and hated by the demons of darkness.

 

My Answers:

9.
Beasts and torment, suffering, death of people – wrath was on humans not on the land, sky, sea, air or other creatures, power tails

10.
a.
the grass, plants, tree or any that had the seal of God on their foreheads

b.
Not allowed to kill but only to torture them for five months, and the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.  – Who would want that pain and agony.  God does not wish it for them, but allow their king to do it to his people.

11.
demons, idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone or wood (all man-made).  Idols that cannot see or hear or walk.  Worship and prize what comes from man but discount or deny what comes from God.

14.3 Revelation – Sin permeates creation

Sin permeates creation

We tend to have a major separation in our minds between animate and inanimate objects that may be overstated.

In Exodus 4, when Cain killed Abel, “The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.  Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.””

In Luke 19, as Jesus makes His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the pharisees ask him to rebuke the crowds, He says, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

All of creation has a voice and our sin and the sin of our ancestors has permeated and distorted the resonance of that voice.  What once was a beautiful melody is now noise.

We think of sin as ephemeral, while we know it has long lasting repercussions.  We think of it as intangible at the same time we feel the weight and pain of it.

Sin has corrupted not only mankind, but all of God’s creation.  The sounding of the first four trumpets touch this corruption.  They yank it out and destroy it.

They also serve as a sign for God’s call to the assembly.  He does not need trumpet blasts, they are not for Jesus, they are for us as a sign and a calling to repent.  He does not need an eagle or vulture flying in the mid heavens calling out a warning of Woe, Woe, Woe, that is for us.  He did not need to start with the soil and water and plants, he could have started with the ones causing the corruption instead of the corrupted, but, again, these are signs to repent.

To repent is to turn away from all that we would like to be right, but isn’t, and turn only to the truth.  To acknowledge the truth is to acknowledge our sin, our weakness, our corruption.  It is easier to blame something or someone else.

How is God calling you to repent?  We all have sin and all need to repent.

 

My Answers:

6.
1st: came hail and fire mixed with blood hurled down on earth, 1/3 of earth, 1/3 trees, all grass burned up
2nd: like  mt, all ablaze, thrown into  sea, 1/3 of sea turned to blood, 1/3 living sea crtrs die 1/3 ships dstr
3rd: great star, blazing torch, fell on 1/3 of rivers/springs WORMWOOD 1/3 waters turned bitter, many die
4th: 1/3 sun, moon, stars turn dark.  1/3 of day without light  1/3 of the night

7.
To allow the people of earth to repent and turn back to God

8.
a.
Patient, Just, Righteous, Glorious, All-Powerful, Mighty, Creator, Willing to Forgive, Jealous

b.
An appreciation of God’s power and might and that He holds this back, although all we deserve is wrath.

14.2 Revelation – What if its not about us?

What if its not about us?

As I was reading the section in Revelation 8, it made me ask the question, what if it is not about us?

Jesus has taken the scroll, sealed with seven seals, and, because He is worthy, He has opened the seals.  Because we are human, because we have been given dominion over the earth, we assume the document that He has unsealed must be about us.  But, what if it is not?  We are never told what words on on the page (although we know there is writing on both sides of the scroll).

What if this document is the deed to the New Heaven and New Earth?  What if, instead of dominion going to mankind, it has been given to Jesus?  What if He has the choice to start anew and simply leave the old in silence instead of going through the messy and painful work of redeeming and cleansing the old creation?

I can’t substantiate this, nor am I stating it as an argument contrary to some of the great biblical commentators, but it provides an interesting challenge to perspective.

If this is the case, however, then it is the aroma of prayers that rekindles us to the new order.  It is because of prayer that the angel reignites the world with the fire of the altar of God, claiming it in not just water and blood but in fire and spirit for the ruler of all, Jesus.

It is not our day, it is the Day of the Lord.  The fact that time and time again, our God chooses us is an amazing thought.  The fact that prayers matter given the fastness of the cosmos, is unfathomable.  The fact that a being as mighty and awesome as God would want to be in communion with such sinful and weak people, is truly a gift.

My Answers:

3.
a.
Silence in heaven for about half an hour

b.
Unlike anything ever before.  Reverent and unprecedented silence in anticipation

c.
The angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar and hurled it on the earth; then came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

4.
a.
Joel: The day of the Lord is coming, it is close at handEx: The time (after preparation) for the people of Israel to meet with God at the foot of the mt
Num: To call the community together and for having the camps set out
Joshua: Sounding of a long blast when walls of Jericho came down
1 Thes: The Lord himself will come down in heaven and the dead will rise up

b.
The day of the Lord has arrived.  Christ is going to return

5.
Things do not continue exactly as they have been, there will be a point in time when it changes and the wrath held back is held back no longer