25.2 Revelation – Locked and Sealed

What a contrast our reading from Revelation 20:1-3 presents between Satan and Jesus.

Jesus’ willingly and knowingly came to earth for the purpose of descending into the grave.  He fully took on the cloak of mankind that He might face every temptation and experience every emotion known to man.  When it came time, He submitted himself to men to suffer, to be hung from a cross, to die, to be placed in a tomb which was then locked and sealed.

But no tomb could hold Him.  Not even death.  For in three days He rose again, of His own power (even though dead).  The stone was rolled back, the seal broken and He was free.  An angel sat at the empty tomb, not as a guard, but as a messenger of the good news.

In contrast, Satan never submitted himself to mankind.  Satan never did anything for the benefit of man.  Satan did not willingly descend into the Abyss, he was thrown there by an angel (note, it didn’t require God, but just an angel who had this level of power over the dragon).  Once the Abyss was locked and sealed, Satan, though alive, was powerless.  For 1000 years, until, by the will of God, he was set free, the serpent simply “was not”.

This dragon is all show, all deceit, all lies.  To us, it seems at times, that evil is winning.  We look around and see horrific acts in the world.  But even this deception is a lie, isolated and, while dreadful, not of consequence in the matters of eternity.  This mighty beast that roars like a line and wants to devour, can cause no long-term harm to any who see the light of God.  Even if He were granted to take a life, in the view of eternity, years on earth are less than a blink of an eye.

The message though is even deeper.  Satan’s rightful place is to be locked and sealed away in the Abyss.  The Holy Spirit’s rightful place is to be flowing through your heart and mind and pouring out into the world in joy and praise and ministering and love.  What a contrast!

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
An angel, key to the Abyss, a great chain in hand, seized dragon bound for 1000 years, threw into the Abyss locked & sealed

b.
1000 years

4.
evil (or anyone) can only do what God allows. God selects timing and limits and

5.
a.
Satan is a liar and murderer, the father of lies, corrupts man to believe lies and reject truth.  blinds the minds of believers so cannot see the true light.  prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

b.
It does seem at times that Satan is winning, there is so much evil and wickedness in the world.  In addition to all the horrific things, this also causes a high degree of uncertainty and unrest – driving away peace and comfort.

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:

3.
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

4.
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

5.
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.