20.5 Revelation – Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

I had a college roommate who was a sound sleeper.  A lot of it may have had to do with the hours he kept, but trying to help wake him up, particularly after he had stayed up late cramming for a test, was daunting.  As his alarm blared and his backup alarm roared, he snored.  Yelling at him escalated to turning the lights on, escalated to throwing things at him.  Finally, the only thing that would awaken him was to literally shake him out of the bed.

I was reminded of this in the earthquake that accompanies the final bowl judgment.  It is the ultimate final wake-up call.  No more gentle nudges.  No more sing-song wake-ups.  No more bird and wave sound alarms.  This is a “your house is on fire and you are going to burn up (for all eternity) wake up shake”.

We tend to focus on the power and the terribleness of these final judgments/  But isn’t it also reassuring that even up to shaking people out of the planet, with no place to hide under the covers, God pours out His desire on mankind to wake up and repent and turn to Him?

And isn’t more amazing and far more terrible that even in the grasp of God shaking them violently to wake up and repent, they still refuse?

My Answers:


The heavens and the skies opened and the earth quaked like nothing before in all creation – islands disappear and mountains fall

personally seen was aftermath of a Tornado in Joplin.  heard of would be the Japan tsunami

Terrifying – there will be no place to turn or hide – but more so terrifying is the fact that they still curse God

To be ready and alert.  To not follow the worlds ways and be deceived – to joyfully anticipate God

Working – prepared to fulfill duties – not sleeping on the job

Amazingly they still curse God rather than repent.  It is a total denial of God’s justice replaced by their own.  They want to be God.

20.4 Revelation – I would if…

I would if…

There is a guy I work with who smokes.  He knows it is bad for him and horrible for his family, particularly his young son.  He knows it is expensive.  He talks about wanting to quit.  He’s switched to alternatives, but he keeps falling back on the addiction.

One day I was listening to him and made an offer.  I said I would give him $100 if he quit smoking for 6 weeks.  If he started smoking within that time period, he would have to give me $50 which I would donate to charity.  He declined.  I increased the offer to $200 vs. $50.  Again, no.  $300? No.  $500? At this point one of our co-workers offered to take up smoking to get in on the offer.  But the smoker still declined (although he asked us not to tell his wife).  $500 doesn’t come easy to me, it is a lot of money, but I thought it worthwhile if it would be what helped this co-worker, both for him and our company.

The fact is, while he got enjoyment out of complaining about smoking and wanting others to think of him as someone who wants to quit, he didn’t.  I’m sure there is some amount of money that would have gotten him to quit for 6 weeks, but I’m equally convinced that the next day he would have picked up the habit again.

The same is true for those who deny God.  Sure, there are some who will see the light (we were all once one of those people, right?).  But for others, there is simply nothing that will change their hard hearts.  When you look at the bowl judgments of Revelation, or the plagues on Egypt, you see the fact that there are those who continue to refuse to repent.  When you look at the price Jesus paid, as a free gift; yet they refuse to repent.  When you look at the promise of eternity in full communion with our creator; yet they refuse to repent.

Sometimes we get discouraged for friends and family that we pray will turn to God.  We sometimes take it personally that maybe we are insufficient in our explanation or in our words, maybe we aren’t trying hard enough.  But, when we see the response of some even when faced with the 7 bowls of judgment – well, it clearly isn’t us stumbling over words that is standing in the way.


My Answers:

1st: on land – festering sores on those with MoB.
plague of boils over Egypt

2nd: On sea, turned to blood, every living sea creature died
Plague of blood – Nile turned to blood, fish died, stunk

3rd: On rivers and springs – became blood – they shed blood, blood to drink
second trumpet – star called wormwood, 1/3 bitter, many died

4th: on sun, scorch people with fire, intense heat
judgement against sinners in deut (wasting plague, fever, blight, scorching heat), fire reserved for final judgmet

5th: on throne of the beast – darkness, gnawed tongues in agony pain sores
Darkness over Egypt at plagues before Exodus

6th: on river Euphrates – dried up, 3 impure frog spirits
Nile teeming with frogs in plagues before exodus

These are all events classified as “acts of God”, they are far outside mans’ power – only the creator could manifest such wrath

They refuse to repent

A failure to change = a failure to truly repent.  words and heart confess but my sinful actions continue – fasting helps reset

A failure to change = a failure to truly repent.  words and heart confess but my sinful actions continue – fasting helps reset

20.3 Revelation – God is Real and Really Wants Us

God is real.  He is tangible.  He fills space.  He exists within a time.  He can be seen, felt, experienced.  He can be addressed and He responds.  He has a home, a temple, a tabernacle.  He enters into and keeps covenants.  In these ways and more God is a person, greater and mightier than any human person, but with all the attributes of a person and more.  Each person of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is equally a person.  No part of God is less than a person.

I know that it is impossible to not see that throughout scripture, but, for some reason, it is not always acknowledge and believed.  We shout up a plea when we are in trouble, but we don’t address it to the person of God, we just shout.  Our actions and thoughts betray our worship of created things, in denial of the pain this causes to a jealous creator.

John witnesses the physical presence of God in heaven.  His presence completely fills the tabernacle – so much so that no one (man or angel) can enter – there simply is not room, it is so filled.

This is the same desire we should have for our interaction with God.  Not only acknowledging that He is real and present, but asking, directly asking Him, to not only be present in our lives but to totally fill our life.

I look at the lives of the apostles and every moment of every day became filled with God.  No matter what torture or imprisonment, not matter what persecution or threat, nothing could enter them because they were fully filled.

Do you seek the same relationship with God?  Are you more comfortable with a God that is fully filling you or one that is just “out there somewhere”, not too near, not too distant?  Are you more comfortable with a God whose “got your back” but doesn’t interfere in the way you want to live?

God desires a relationship with you like no other.  He desires to fully fill you with His spirit, His power, His might, His love.  But He wants all those things to much that He doesn’t force any of them.  Welcome Him and He will do amazing things – keep Him at arms reach and, He is there, but you miss out.

God is eternal.  He isn’t going anywhere.  It is the rest of us that have a limited time to open ourselves to Him – just ask and He will do the rest.  Our bodies are to be temples.

My Answers:

the temple, the tabernacle of the covenant law – and it was opened.  The 7 angels with 7 plagues came out of the temple dressed in clean shining linen with golden sashes – they received 7 bowls of wrath from the 4 living creatures

it is real and tangible, visible, fills (like a cloud/smoke).  So filling and powerful that men (or angels) could not enter the temple

God is above and beyond.  By being eternal He is subservient to no one or no thing.  He predated and goes on for eternity.

I look forward anxiously to joining Him in perfect unity (perfect community.

20.2 Revelation – Knowing God

A motivational book I’ve been reading called “18 Minutes” presented an interesting point.  We are often coached to make goals.  These are often “I will” statements.  This year “I will” lose weight.  “I will” go to the gym.  “I will” complete my BSF lesson each day.  But the author of the book pointed out that these seldom work because they are set in the future.  They are prone to excuses of our future self compared to our present circumstances.  They are noble and create great amounts of guilt and angst, but they don’t work.

Instead, the author recommends addressing your own impression of how you see yourself: your own attributes.  I am a person who eats healthy.  I am a person who exercises every day.  I am a person who spends time in the word of God every day.

God is the great “I am”.  To be the Christians we want to be, that we are called and commissioned to be, we must start with the “I am’s” of God.

We see these throughout the song of Moses and the Lamb.  God is Lord.  God is Almight.  God is great and does marvelous deeds.  God is King, etc., etc. etc.

When our attention turns to these, our full attention not just our future self, then it prompts us to desire to praise God for these attributes and tell others about Him.  If you are a person who fully believes that God alone is Holy, that He is perfectly perfect and nothing else is, how can you not stand in awe of that?  How can you stand idle while friends and family sing praises of anyone or anything that isn’t God as if they are?

It is not just saying the words, that is simply wrote repetition.  When you take the attributes to heart and fully believe them, they prompt transformation and maturity.  You grow when you allow your heart to see more of God.


My Answers:

another great and marvelous sign: 7 angels with the 7 last plagues.  A sea of glass glowing with fire, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast, they held harps given them by God and sang Moses’ song

1. God is Lord, Almighty with great and marvelous deeds – All powerful God does amazingly wonderful things
2. God is King of the Nations, Just and True – Our leader/king of heaven and earth is honest, fair and consistent
3. God’s name is glory, worthy of fear by all, Lord – Glorious God is master of all and deserving of all respect
4. God alone is holy – God stands alone as being perfectly perfect, no other gods, no other person compares
5.God’s righteous acts are now known and all worship Him – The veil is lifted and the full nature of the creator has been revealed to everyone.  The veil disguised God to allow those who wished to select to deny Him could.  If not for the veil, it would be impossible for mankind to make that choice when faced with His fully revealed holiness

Praise Him for opening my eyes and heart.  Praise Him for His mercy to all – that none are expressly prohibited from coming to Him, they need only see through the veil and accept the gift into their hearts.  He gives everyone a just and fair opportunity to make this choice.