24.5 – Scavenging

Our scripture for today gets a little gory, a little gruesome, but in a glorious way.  We are repulsed by the idea of these scavenging birds being filled with the flesh of those fallen soldiers who stood in opposition to Jesus when He returns.

But lets step back and really look at this.  The only thing of value from these individuals is their flesh.  They lived by the flesh.  They cherished flesh and bone over spirit.  They not only denied Jesus Christ but they took up arms against Him.

Who forms an army to fight against the eternal God?  What hope did they have?  Yet, in their delusion, they saw themselves as equals to Christ and His army.

But, as the facts show, they were truly deluded.  It did not take Christ’s army to defeat them.  Everyone fell by the sword of His mouth.

But even out of their hatred, out of their death, God still did not waste.  He prepared the scavenging birds to consume the only valuable part of these men.

The beast and false prophet did not even have this as a redeeming quality.  They were so fully corrupt that nothing was of value even to the scavenging birds.  Instead they were captured and thrown alive into the burning fiery lake of sulfur.

We hear of fire and brimstone warnings.  This is the source.  This is the lake of burning metal and noxious fumes.

The sword cuts and the flame purifies.  But for these standing against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, there is nothing pure in them.

Do not be deluded by the wicked ways of the world.  Because they are common, because they are acceptable, because the provide worldly riches or fame, because they feel good – Does Not Make Them Right or True.

 

My Answers:

12.
captivity for the beast and false prophet – thrown alive into the burning sulfur of the fiery lake.  Rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse – birds gorged themselves on flesh

13.
Where they put their treasure, where they put their trust, the lack of attention to the things of God, the ridicule of believers, the denigration of God to an “also ran”, the contempt for anything holy

14.
Worship boldly – Do not hide, do not be hindered by wickedness (even that from those within the church), who speak in hurtful ways.

24.4 Revelation – Eyes Like Blazing Fire

In Luke 11, the words of Jesus are recorded, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy (generous), your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy (stingy), your whole body will be full of darkness.  See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Our eyes are organs that soak in what we choose to look at.  If we fill our vision with things of this world, with wickedness and lust, with hatred and sin, then we fill our selves up with darkness.

But the eyes are also a reflection back to the world of our souls.  When our souls are filled with the spirit, a light shines out from us.  A light of joy, a light of happiness and generosity, of giving and of peace.

When we look around us at the world today we see the effects of sin.  We see a living Babylon and lots of darkness.  This reminds of the words of Leonard Sweet in his book AquaChurch 2.0: Piloting your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture (pg 58)

“Light illumines the darkness.  If there’s darkness, the blame should be attached where it belongs; not to the world that is dark but to the church, which is failing to provide the light.”

The answer to the darkness in the world is not going to be found in the darkness.  It is only going to be found by the power of the Holy Spirit within the called, chosen and faithful followers of Christ.  It is only through shining that light that darkness is set back.

John notes in our passage today that: Christ’s eyes are like blazing fire.

Let’s reflect that light!

 

My Answers:

9.
Jesus – They are attributes of Him and also point to His eternal place as a person of the trinity, not only at creation but active in it and active in everything since – He holds the stars in His hand.

10.
His name is the Word of God.  He is unique.  His name is truly unlike any name.  His name is that of God, formed into a word to be pronounced and proclaimed by all mankind.
His blazing eyes tell me he sees and knows all and rage burns behind that vision.
His double edged sword is Him, the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb 4:12

11.
I will read and learn His Word and call on Him and use it everyday, on my tongue and thoughts.  I will quit attempting to hide from Him (a pointless act).  I will recognize that He is alive and active and He alone is judge

24.3 Revelation – A Voice From the Throne

Luke 1:32 –  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David

Matthew 25:31 –  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.”

Ezek 43:2 – and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory

Jer 25:30 – “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: “ ‘The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.”

In reply to the 3 Hallelujahs of verses 1-5, John writes: Then a voice came from the throne: “Praise our God”.

Another voice like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.”  This voice announces that the wedding of the Lamb has come.

The bride of Christ, the church, had been lured away by the temptation of the world, as Eve was by the serpent in the garden.  She has been taken away in exile and held captive in Babylon.  But her warrior savior has come and called her out of the wickedness of that land.  She has been washed clean of all her wrongdoing and sin and all that remains are her righteous acts, she is clothed in them because they were done through the power of Jesus.  And her husband, the Lamb, not only has saved her and punished her captives but has chosen to make her His bride.  A truly glorious union.

Not only is this announced by angels and saints, but it is announced with praise from the very throne of God in the voice of the Most High.

 

My Answers:

6.
a.
The redemption of the church (the bride of Christ) to be united forever with Him, she was kidnapped, but has been redeemed

b.
Eph: Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the water through the word, holy blameless

2 Cor: Christ is the husband of the church – she has been pledged to Him and despite not staying pure, He still takes her and loves her

J14: He sends the H/S to live with you and be in you, not left as orphans, He will come for the church – Jesus will love and show Himsel

J15: Unification – love each other, I love you, friends, bear fruit, whatever you ask will give you, remain in love, keep commandments

7.
The church – us

8.
God alone is to be worshiped.  We stand in awe of all heavenly beings of the angels and saints and apostles and martyrs.  But they are all fellow servants with us, brothers and sisters in Christ – Worship God Alone.

24.2 Revelation – Hallelujah x 3

In our passage from Revelation 19:1-5, we get to see the perfect praise of the three Hallelujahs.  Hallelujah is a combination of the Hebrew word Hallal: an exortation to “praise” addressed to several people and Jah or Yah: meaning God (Wikipedia: Hallelujah).

The great multitude in heaven shouts Hallelujah for His just and true condemnation of Babylon.

The great multitude in heaven shouts Hallelujah that God has executed that condemnation on the city with a burning wrath that shall not be quenched or put out by human hands.

The 24 elders and 4 living creatures in the throne room, supplicate themselves and cry in reply: Amen, Hallelujah.

How many times today have you said “Praise God!”?  When was the last time you shouted with others in praise of God.

We do plenty of shouting.  We shout in anger at the drivers on the road.  We shout for our favorite teams.  We shout (wrongly) at the umpires at our kids’ games.  We form in crowds and shout protests over politics.  Each night there is at least one news report from the day of people shouting.

But when was the last time you shouted “Hallelujah, Praise God”?  Why not?  Do you believe it is right to praise God?  Do you believe He is worthy of praise?  What is holding you back?  Fear? Shame? Are you embarassed?

So, here is my challenge to you.  Practice makes perfect, right?  So, practice.  First, get in your car by yourself and shout it out.  Next do it in your house, then in a field, then at church, then in public with people you don’t know, then… well, just keep doing it.  Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16.  Do not be ashamed of joining the multitude of heaven – you are in pretty good company!

By the way – how cool is it that there is a multitude in heaven.  They aren’t resting peacefully (rest in peace).  They aren’t sitting around on clouds playing classical harp music.  They are part of the Revelation Revolution – They are alive and awake and making some noise, Amen!

 

My Answers:

3.
Salvation (only source to be saved), Glory (He alone is full of Glory), Power (all power and might are God’s)

These are the things all men seek from their rulers, this and justice and mercy and kindness and love

4.
True and Just – That He is true, in Him is no lie, I can always count on everything He says, no trickery or deceit, no malice

5.
a.
The final fall of Babylon – total destruction

b.
To not be timid or reserved – to be energetic and shout His praises