As long as we still have breath in our lungs, we need to still be learning. That is why it is important to read and study the Bible. It is precisely why after having read through it from cover to cover now twice, I can't give up reading it. I am working on my third time, this time with my husband along for the ride. Why? Why not simply give up now that I have already read it? It's because there is always something to learn. Each day offers new insights into what I am dealing with and God's voice is the only one I want to hear giving me advice. Today is not the same place where I was a year or even two from today.
This is why attending a firm Bible teaching church is so critical as we begin to enter into these final days on earth. Christians don't worry about what happens when we die. We already know what is going to happen and we live in joyful expectation of that so we simply move on to better things. We know heaven awaits when this life ends or when we hear the sound of the trumpet and we are caught up in the air to meet the Lord in the rapture of His church. We have that confidence! We don't doubt it will happen.
Jesus reminds us hear in Revelation 16:15 to be watching and in doing so we will be blessed.
Revelation 16:15a ~ "Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake."
We need to understand that this is not a contradiction in the Bible due to the word "like" and not "the" when Jesus makes the statement that He is coming like a thief. Not that He is one. He will be like one to those who are not watching.
If you are watching, can a thief break into your home? No, because you are watching. As believers in Christ, we have nothing to fear because we are walking in the light of being a believer of Christ. We can't be caught off guard or surprised by anything that happens. It is merely a confirmation that the things we read about in the Bible are true. However, those who are not believers in Christ, who are not walking in the light, can be easily surprised when a thief comes. Why? Because they weren't watching. They simply didn't believe it would happen as predicted.
Now don't get me wrong, the Bible is clear that no believers or non believers will know the day or the hour of Christ's return, but the Bible did say we would know the time or the seasons. Just like now, it's the beginning of Spring, but how do you know? Because new growth is beginning in our trees, our plants, the birds are back from hibernation, everything is turning green again. We don't need anyone to tell us, we can see the signs.
That is just what the Bible is saying about being vigilant and in watching for the return of Jesus. It can happen at anytime, but there are indicators or signs that it is getting closer. Just like looking in the mirror, you don't need to see it to know you are growing a year older. Every single day, we are one day closer than yesterday to Christ's return. We are watching and looking for the signs. A time to be watching because its what God's people do. We watch in joyful expectation.
The Bible warns us that in the last days there will be those who will lead us astray, whether political leaders or spiritual ones. Jesus warned us.
Matthew 16:12 ~ "They understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."
The apostle Paul issued a warning.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 ~ "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars who consciences are seared,"
The Bible even warns us.
Matthew 7:15 ~ "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
The world out there is seen as those who are not urgent about Christ's return. They are preoccupied, burdened, distracted, and self righteous. The Christian on the other hand is seen as one who is very excited about Christ's return and so by nature is watching and waiting. That is why the Bible says "blessed are they that watch."
Are you toying with God? Do you play with sin thinking you still have plenty of time to change your ways? If you really believe in Christ's imminent return that could happen at any time, it would make you reconsider what you choose to do today.
If missionaries need help, spend the money to help them get the word out. Don't allow them to live in less than ideal situations while churches pile the money in their bank accounts. We need to ensure they have everything they need. Money is simply tools. We need to change the way we look at it.
We need to watch with joyful expectations and stay busy doing all we can for the glory of God in the time we have left. It might be til the end of today or it might be ten years from now. The entire book of 1 Thessalonians is all about the church waiting for the imminent return of Christ.
The world will mock us for doing just that. Waiting and watching for God. I am sure you have already received your own dose of ridicule when you speak of Christ's return for His church. People mock and ask, "Well where is He then?" They will argue that what we read in the Bible is not what it really means. Don't let them cast doubt on what the Bible is clear about. All the apostles said to stay alert and be watching. It will be a warning sign in the last days that people will simply give up hope and that is just what Satan wants them to do.
We already see signs that even churches are giving up hope and growing apathetic in light of what is happening in the world. People are simply throwing in the towel because it seems easier to go with the flow that stand firm in what you believe especially when we watch our leaders do what is right in their own eyes. Who would have ever thought we would ever see the day when our own political leaders would put their own needs above that of the country and offices they lead. Is there any wonder that being a Christian is becoming increasingly more hostile and difficult as we enter into the last days?
Keep your joy.
Keep your hope!
For the believer when we die, we enter into heaven. If we hear a trumpet blast today, we will enter heaven. For us, it's a win/win situation. It we are watching, we will not be caught off guard.
It's hard to imagine a time in this world when things get so bad, that people will shake their fists at God in unbelief despite what is happening all around them. Great judgment and wrath being dispensed from God upon a Christ-rejecting world. But when you look around today, the one religious group that is facing the most hostility and persecution is those that believe in Jesus Christ. During the 7-year Tribulation Period that is coming to this world we live in today, some day in the very near future, God will begin to dispense the judgment He has been holding back on those doing just these horrific things today.
Some people I have heard, said that when they see these things happen, then they know God is real and will turn back to Him. They may not have a chance. Why would anyone want to put all their future eternal security in waiting when you can be assured of our eternal destination today?
As we continue in our Bible study through the Book of Revelation in chapter 16, we find ourselves watching the final moments of God's wrath being poured out on a Christ rejecting world. These bowl, pan or vial judgments are truly the worst of the worst. Yet those who rejected Christ all the way up to this point will be 100% committed in their unbelief, while those that are what we call Tribulation Saints, believers living during this horrific time, are also 100% committed in their faith in Christ. This is based on the testimony of the 144,000, the angels in the sky proclaiming the gospel and the two witnesses. The number of these saints will be so great in multitude that no man can number them. Yet these are the saints that will die for their faith in Christ on a much bigger global scale than what we are seeing today. These believers by this time will never bow to the image or take the mark of the best. They can no longer be tempted in that fashion. They belong to God.
Revelation 16:2 ~ "So the first angel went and poured out his bowl onto the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image."
These are foul and evil sores. Probably a plague of ulcers and boils. The brief descriptions of these last seven judgments may suggest that they occur in rapid succession upon a world already badly battered and bloodied.
Revelation 16:3 ~ "The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it become like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea."
We all know that when blood is taken from a living person it is red, but this is blood from a corpse so it would be rust colored and smelling horrible. This happened once in Egypt in the Old Testament with Moses and Pharaoh, but it was a local event. This time it will be globally. It will devastate all the seas and oceans. Have you ever smelled a dead sea creature? Can you image the smell of this one event. It's toxic. You will not be able to clean or purify this water. Imagine the stench and disease that will accompany this event.
Revelation 16:4 ~ "The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood."
This angel's bowl now turns all the fresh water into blood. ALL of it. Though drinking bloody salt water would be toxic, drinking bloody fresh water, even though disgusting, would not be.
Revelation 16:5-7 ~ "And I heard an angel in charge of the waters say, "Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve! And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!"
The angel knows this judgment is righteous and fair. Because the world has shed the blood of God's saints and prophets, He is just in dispensing His judgment upon the world. They deserve to dringk the blood because they shed the blood of saints and prophets. Revelation 16:8-9 ~ "The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory."
When you consider this judgment you have to think, where are people going to go to attempt to cool themselves off from heat? They can't go jump into a swimming pool, lake, shower or go to the beach any longer. ALL the water in the world at this point is blood. Yet in the midst of even all of this, they are still rejecting God and cursing Him for what is happening.
Revelation 16:10-11 ~ "The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds."
When pressures come in your life as a believer, what will you do? If you haven't had the ultimate test yet of your faith, it will come. What will you do? Quit. Flee from God. Blame Him. Or will you stand firm with God even though you don't understand it? It will either make us bitter or better when these trials come in our life. There is no place we can run from God. A faith that can't be tested is a faith that can't be trusted. Here in what we are reading, these people placed their trust in the world, the global leaders and it has left them with false hope and security. I have seen and know people that when the worst kind of adversity comes in their life, they simply shake their fists at God, blame Him, reject Him and walk away. It's sad, because God never walks away from them. I pray that one day, they will find God again. In fact most atheists were former believers in Christ, but gave up their faith because God chose not to answer their prayers the way they wanted. We need to cry out to God when adversity comes and trust that He will bring us through it.
We need, as believers, to be watching, because the world is being prepared even now.
Revelation 16:12 ~ "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east."
Interesting to note here the rise of Asia, or the Kings of the East, and the focus of the world on the great river Euphrates. We are seeing this even now all the time, Babylon is the modern day nation of Iraq and the Euphrates River still exists in our world today, even though these scriptures were written more than 2000 years ago. Do these still exist today? Yes!!!
In ancient cultures today, the Euphrates River divides the east from the west and one day will be dried up. There will also come a day when 200 million soldiers from various nations in Asia will make preparations for war against God. Literally these are the kings of the rising of the son. The armies of the nations of the Orient will be aided in their march toward Armageddon by the supernatural drying up of the Euphrates River. We know who is responsible for that!
If you remember reading in Revelation 9:14, that there are four fallen angels bound in chains beneath the Euphrates River waiting to be released upon the world. They are truly the worst of the worst.
Revelation 16:13-14 ~ "And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the beast (the Anti-Christ), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (global religious leader), three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty."
This is the ungodly trinity, Satan, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. The kings of the world are the worlds political leaders. There is a great spirit of the Anti-Christ working in the world today. The anti-God agenda is everywhere and it is pure evil and wicked in its intent and purposes in the hearts of people today. If you want to see what is happening in the world today, read the entire Book of 1 John. It is the atmosphere that is being manifested in the world today and will only increase in the last days. The war will consist of several battles, beginning with the Antichrist's campaign in Egypt (Daniel 11:40-45) and including a siege of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2) as well as the final battle at Armageddon.
The only way out of this is through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a great time to be encouraged if you know where to look. Jesus has given us His promise.
We begin today an entirely new chapter in the Book of Revelation and before we begin I want you to write down three specific questions you need to look at while we study this chapter.
1. What is being told?
2. Is there an Old Testament reference to this?
3. How does this affect my life?
As we look at things happening in the world today, we need to understand that one day all the things we have been studying in the Book of Revelation will one day come to pass. These are futuristic events but not in the too distant future, I believe. As believers in Christ, we will not be present when the Wrath of God is poured out on the world during the 7 year Tribulation period. We can however be looking for signs and indicators in the news that the stage is being set for this time to come. What are some things we can look for?
1. The Destruction of Damascus, Syria which is found in Isaiah 17.
2. Russia invading Israel which is found in Ezekiel 37 and 38
While the world and every single person I know of wants to know what the future holds, very few even bother to pick up the Bible, when in fact every single prophecy has been fulfilled to perfection or is yet to come. You can't argue with what has already happened. So why shrug off 100% accuracy if you want to know the future of the world. The Bible is clear, it won't be pretty for those in a Christ rejecting world.
We know all about the angels used in God's judgments. They are instruments to administer His wrath upon the world according to His purpose and plan. The hope we have in this chapter is verse 15, which I hope in your Bible is written in red, because it is Jesus! That is wonderful to see at this stage in what has been coming to the world. Yet this is still a future event coming to the world.
We have understood the Book of Revelation to signify the unveiling or revealing of Jesus Christ, which we uncovered from the very first verse in Revelation 1. He is revealed in the positive. He is the Messiah of Israel. He came to the world to be a Redeemer and Savior to every single person in it. He is the only one. The Bible told us about Jesus before He even appeared on the earth. The Bible speaks about Jesus Christ.
In the negative, we have the rejection of Jesus Christ. If we reject him, we are saying we can do this on our own and don't need Him. Jesus is God's greatest gift and when we push that away, we are in danger of becoming like Pharaoh when Moses was sent by God to ask for the release of the Israelites and ten times, Pharaoh said No, and ten times God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Moses proclaimed and Pharaoh rejected. If you reject Jesus long enough, God will one day simply give up on you and your heart will become so hard you will no longer hear that offer of salvation and redemption any longer. Don't fool yourself into thinking you have all the time in the world.
Genesis 6:3 ~ "Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh;"
As we begin to study Revelation 16 and understand the wrath of God we need to gain insight that this doesn't mean hell. It is God's indignation, His judgment, and it has nothing to do with believers in Christ. All of God's wrath is revealed during the Tribulation Period and has to do with 3 sets of 7 judgments from God each getting worse than the one preceding it. The easiest way to remember these are the acronym S.T.P.
The first sets of judgements were the seal judgments and just as the seventh is revealed it opens a new category leading to the next set of judgments. The second set was the trumpet judgments, and again as the seventh trumpet is blown the next category of judgments is opened. The third and final set of judgments is the pan or bowls judgments. I refer to them as pans because we learned that they are not like bowls we use today, but more like pans gold miners used. They are also referred to as the vial judgments and are truly the worst of the worst. The seventh bowl, pan or vial ends the Tribulation period.
We learn that each of the angels getting ready to dispense these pans, bowls or vials is given a specific geographical position in the world by God. Revelation 16:1 ~ "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God."
The Bible is clear in many cases that God guarantees believers will not have to go through His judgments. God removes His people from His wrath and has already proven that in numerous ways, from Noah and his family, to Abraham and Lot in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We need to be very careful not to confuse this with discipline from God. He does not judge believers in Christ, but He does discipline them, much like a shepherd does with a wayward sheep. He will break the legs of a lamb and will continue to carry it as it heals. In doing so, the lamb learns more about the shepherd by being closer to him, than he ever would have. It develops a level of trust in the shepherd in that wayward lamb's heart. Much like what happened to Jacob in the Bible when he wrestled with God. He learned to grow in discipline and knowledge of His Creator. Christians die in cataclysmic natural events all the time and these will only increase as God has promised for the entire world. Just because there is a significant flood or earthquake in an area, this is not God's judgment, merely a natural cataclysmic event.
A day is coming very soon, when God is coming to judge the world in His wrath. We haven't seen anything like it, nor will we ever see it again. The interesting thing is for believers in Christ, while wrath is being dispensed upon the world, we will be celebrating in the marriage feast of the Lamb. Glory in heaven and wrath on earth.
Isaiah 26:19-21 ~ "Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain."
You have a choice today, to be with us in heaven celebrating in glory or reject Jesus Christ and face the wrath of God coming to the world. Those are your only options and the choice is up to you this day. Who will you serve, Jesus or the world?
There are so many living in Israel that are living for the day when the Temple will one day be rebuilt in Jerusalem. They are preparing for that day to happen even now, from researching the linage of the Levitical priests to the Red Heifer and all the Temple implements. But did you know that this Temple is merely a copy of the eternal Temple, the original that is in Heaven?
In order to understand the Book of Revelation, we need to know the Old Testament first. It is the only way you will make sense of what you read. It's not symbolic in nature as some would have you believe, but even the Jews today understand the references to the things found in the Book of Revelation, and it is why so many people today avoid reading it.
God gave Moses a construction permit long ago, to not only build the Ark of the Covenant, which Steven Speilberg replicated almost perfectly in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark, but also for the Tabernacle or the Temple. It was a temporary one, laid out on a prescribed blue print based on the actual Temple that exists in heaven. If you want to research that further read Hebrews, chapters 8-10, and see that the Bible reveals that the Temple on earth is only a copy. Just like our salvation isn't based on temporary things but eternal ones in heaven that can't be destroyed. It is secure.
God's wrath is perfect and it is measured. Just as He is perfect. When He comes in judgment it won't be too long or too short. The Will of God is perfect in all its ways. From the temple, to the priest to the sacrifice.
Revelation 15:8 ~ "and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished."
In order to understand this we need to meditate on John 3:16.
"For God SO loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." ~ John 3:16.
God is love. Every one of us requires love to function. God SO loved us. Put the emphasis on the word "so" and read it again. It implies truly purpose and that is the point in this verse. God gave us His only begotten Son. He gifted us His most prized possession to save us. We are that "whosoever!" All we simply need to do is accept it. To understand what it is to "believe" means that whenever we sit down - we don't question whether it will support our weight and hold us up. We just accept that it will in faith. That is what it means to believe in Him.
Our world is pagan when we reject Christ. We are saying we want anything else but Jesus. What a sad state our world is in because of our rejection of Christ. It's not the president's fault but it is the matter of our own hearts growing hard against the gospel message of the only hope in this sin-filled world.
Hebrews 8:1-5 ~ "Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest (Jesus), one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according the the pattern that was show you on the mountain."
This is speaking of completeness. God showed Moses a pattern of the original that was in heaven. Don't mess with copies when you can go to the direct source. Only through Jesus and no other.
Hebrews 9:2-14 ~ "For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all side with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
Jesus was offered up on the cross only once, that is why the Christian cross is empty, and it doesn't have Jesus on it. He did it once and for all, not to be repeated. On another note, verse 14 of Hebrews 9 mentions the Trinity in it.
Hebrews 9:14 ~ "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead
works to serve the living God."
What's this mean to us? Jesus not only lived a perfect life, but died the perfect death, dying as a sacrifice for all of our sins. The Bible says...
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ~ " Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
Run to God's presence every single day in perseverance.
"This is why our faith will ultimately win over the world, because it is not just faith, but also a way to love, a way to govern. All aspects are united as one. Others are splintered into political factions, denominations, 'church and state.' Allah has designed Islam in this way so that one day his truth will rule the world. While everyone in the West argues and debates, we will command." (pg 159).
In the chilling novel, Enemy in the Room by Parker Hudson, readers get a first hand look at the very possibility that what we think is private is really public knowledge for those with the right technology to gain an advantage not only in business, finances but also in promoting their own political agenda without anyone knowing about it. In this case under the pseudo name of USNet ran by Trevor Knox, a man who is about to plan for the downfall not only of America, but also the world so that Islam can rule and reign as he believes Allah would command.
He has managed to use technology to spy on cell phone conversations and emails using key words to generate a series of closer scrutiny to see how it might benefit one of his corporations, whether in the adult film industry, telecommunications, banking or one of his other many vast holdings as he works to gain even more real estate all around the globe in order to see his plans come to fruition. He has covered his tracks well and no one is any wiser as they go about their normal business day while he grows stronger financial in every area. The only thing standing in his way is the President of the United States who is implementing policies around the globe that will impact his future in a negative way and she must be stopped at all costs.
Terrorist plots continue around the globe and is seems as if they are one step ahead of the game without anyone discovering how they are doing it. As some of Knox's employees begin to question some of their companies business interests, he insures that they will simply disappear in a random series of accidents which lead authorities on a wild goose chase. Now the clock is ticking as both the leaders of the United States and Russia plan a meeting that could end the adult film industry, the one that garners the most money for Knox and he will stop at nothing to make sure that they are both eliminated without their governments knowing how he plans to do it.
I received Enemy in the Room by Parker Hudson compliments of Edge Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own personal ones. This novel really invites readers to look at just how insecure our technology really is and how comfortable we are in sharing information without any regard to how it might be used. While this novel is a fictional story, it is chilling to consider just how true the story might be considering how many of our freedoms we take for granted are now being changed and altered. It really provokes some serious thought into world and cyber security and that is precisely what I believe the authors intentions are in writing this novel. For me this one garners a 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Enemy in the Room, Parker Hudson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
Sometimes when people ask us to make a promise, they are looking for assurance, a certainty that you will follow through on what you say. God always keeps His promises and His rainbow is evidence that He will never again destroy the world by flood. It will be fire when the world's end comes through His final judgment on the world. We are picking up our study through the Book of Revelation into Chapter 15, where we are understanding more about the worship of God and why we, as believers in Christ, should be doing it!
Besides it being that He's done great things, (1) He alone gives the song (vs3b), and (2) it is the right thing to do, (vs 3b), (3) it is the reasonable thing to do. (vs 4).
Who is so stupid as to not bow down and worship God? In the end, everything is going to burn, but will it cost you your soul?
Psalm 72:11 ~ "May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!" Deuteronomy 16:16 ~ "Three times a year all your makes shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands so that you will be altogether joyful."
This is what the Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel. They were not suppose to come before God empty handed.
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 ~ "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the day of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh."
At the first Christmas, they came with gifts. In the Old Testament, we are taught not to come before God empty-handed, and that God deserves to be worshiped and praised. It is the worship of Jesus that is under attack in the world. Look at what happens every single Christmas. The number one thing that they attack is the hymns we sing to Jesus. Then comes the name of Jesus and even prayer. Jesus' life and ministry makes perfect sense - reasonable!
Philippians 2:9-11 ~ "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, n heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
That is why so many people are removing all mention of Christ at Christmas!!! It offends people so they resort to saying Happy Holidays, which is simply saying Happy Holy Day instead. Look at how Daniel stood up to those who wanted him to stop praying, we need to be the same.
4. It is the lasting thing to do because worship is eternal. It will last long after we are gone.
Revelation 15:4 ~ "For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
This verse simply means "I saw your judgments and in the end, they are exactly fair and right and perfect, I must agree with them, it's perfect.
Isaiah 45:22-23 ~ "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a world that shall not return;"
The Wrath of God, He's Just. We can't understand wrath, it's a God thing! His wrath is just because it is perfect, holy and fair.
Revelation 15:5-7 ~ "After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever,"
Heaven has only one temple that matters, all the others on earth are simply copies. The bowls resemble gold mining pans and the angels are holding the contents of what is inside them carefully not to touch it. This is the worst of all the judgments coming to the earth from God.
We need to remember that God is not emotional and out of control. He is patient and just. He has waited all this time to allow people to repent. If you recall the tapestry that separated the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem that was torn when Jesus died, was 8 stories high and 6 inches thick. It was torn from the top to the bottom. It kept man out of the Holy of Holies and it was God saying, "No man will meet me on earth again, through the legal standards." God was letting man come to him freely, and the invitation was going out to all people in the world to come to God! God was done with all the legalism and now we are invited to come to Him of our own free will, but man is done with coming to God for anything at this point in history.
Dr. Henry Morris stated this regarding the Holy of Holies in heaven above: "It is significant that these rare glimpses into the heavenly temple which God has given us in the book of Revelation, also shows us that it is an open temple! Meaning now - there is nothing to keep man from the presence of God if he comes through Jesus Christ. It is the resurrected human flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, which is now the veil that contains both the glory of God and conceals its unapproachable brilliance from sinful man."
Jesus is now the veil separating us from God.
Hebrews 10:19-22 ~ "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
It is one way or the other now to enter into the presence of God. Come boldly into the presence of God. It opened a door to let all men come in freely with boldness, and confidence. He's invited us to call Him, Abba or Poppa, which means Daddy! That's about as honest as it gets with our heavenly Father.
Makes you wonder why our right to pray publicly is so challenged? God's not into politics, keep pursuing Him with all your heart.
Wow, as a believer it is hard not to look around at the craziness of the world and not begin to wonder when it will all end. We have the hope that one day, a complete restoration will come to this world, and all the stuff that is getting out of hand now will one day, fall under the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. He will be the perfect ruler of everything and life will go back to the way it was intended. No more tears, death, illness or even sadness. No desire to commit sin. It is even hard to wrap our minds around that, but it is what Jesus has promised. It is the very reason why we study Bible prophecy, because if the promises of the Bible didn't come true, we would have no hope in a future, eternal life in heaven!
As we continue through the Book of Revelation in Chapter 15, we see the this is the smallest chapter in the entire book. This is the final preparations before the announcement of the vial or bowl judgments from God. Here the final last minute stage is being set and God is gathering everything together as the final judgments are about to being. These will culminate into the Second Coming in the closing months of the Tribulation Period.
Chapters 15 and 16 will pick up the chronological events of the Tribulation Period while chapters 17 and 18 are more parenthetical inserts before the action picks back up again in Chapter 19. At this point in time as all the judgments from God have been unleashed, you would think people would turn to God and accept what He has to offer. They unfortunately have become like Pharaoh and have hardened their heart towards God. If you remain undecided at this point in your life, you're either getting softer and ready to accept what He has to offer, or you're growing hardened towards God. One day it will all be set in stone in your heart like concrete and I encourage you not to wait.
We find that in the worship of God, He's done great things. Revelation 15:3b-4 ~ "And they sing the Song of Moses, the servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!"
The Worship of God, He alone gives the song. The Song of Moses is the Song of Deliverance, and the Song of the Lamb is the Song of Salvation. These Tribulation Saints that are singing these songs are not complaining that they have lost their lives for being believers of Jesus Christ, they are singing them because they stand victorious in what they have accomplished in Him. They are born-again Jewish believers but not exclusively. They have been redeemed and are saved.
Today in our world, we have everything, but the world still complains. They are like spoiled children who don't appreciate anything. As believers, we need to be mindful to be thanking God for everything He provides. We can complain about everything if we set our hearts in that mindset.
Do you thank God today? If not, why not?
Psalm 145:8-11 ~ "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power. "
Do you bless God?
Psalm 66:1-4 ~ "Shout for joy to God, all the earth' sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you' they sing praises to your name." Selah."
The worship of God is evident to all mankind, is the reference to the millennial Jesus who is coming to rule and reign for 1000 years at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. The deserts will bloom and all those needles on the cactus are merely under-developed flowers that will not bloom. Imagine what the deserts will look like when Jesus returns. Nature wants to set free to go back to its original beauty.
The worship of God, therefore, is the right thing to do. The Tribulation Saints that have been martyred are not complaining about the death they had to endure, they stand victorious on the sea of glass singing with confidence!
Revelation 15:3b ~ "Just and true are Your ways, O' King of the saints!"
People fear death and it often times keeps people in bondage from living the life God had intended for them. The glory of God can captivate you instead! Even as believers in Jesus Christ, we are fearful of that valley of the shadow of death, that is speaking of the death process. It's the getting there that we are afraid of, because we don't want to have to suffer and be in pain, but God promises us that He will walk with us as we make our way through that valley. When we take our last breath here, we take our first one in heaven, as we walk into the presence of God.
The Bible is very clear on its promises to the believer of Jesus, that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. Our physical bodies will remain in the ground until the Rapture of the church and then we will receive our new heavenly redeemed and perfect bodies! So while you may fear the process of death, rejoice if you are a believer because one day it will all be worth it in the end, even to die for Jesus!
Lets get into the practice now and begin to appreciate singing praise and worship songs to Jesus! They are prayers to God and one day it will be part of the new life we share in heaven thanking Him for our eternal life!
In light of the coming election this year, there is so much talk about just who the right person is to take over the presidency of the United States; there are debates happening everywhere, work, home, school and even social media. Yet let us not forget the one thing that is so important, no one will ever take the place of Jesus Christ. So many people throw their hands up in the air, disappointed by what they see, and they firmly vow that they will not vote for anyone or will write in their choice instead.
Eight years ago, that is exactly what happened. People, conservatives, Christians, church goers were looking for Jesus in the candidates for president. Guess what, He will one day come back to rule and reign but it isn't going to happen in this next presidential election. We can only look at who comes close to the biblical standards we support and choose the best person for the job. No one will be perfect, let's stop expecting that and support the best person to do the job. God will take care of the rest.
As we pick up our study through the Book of Revelation in Chapter 15, we see the Tribulation Saints or martyrs for Christ, during the Seven Year Tribulation Period, singing a Song of Moses. Remember whenever we began Revelation, we needed to understand the Old Testament because there are so many references to it throughout the Book of Revelation. In fact, every Jew will recognize the meaning of it here. It is a song of salvation, a song of sacrifice, of redemption, of God coming through, His deliverance.
This is actually a reference to 2 very different songs of Moses from the Old Testament, (1) in Exodus 15, which conveys Israel's deliverance through the Red Sea, and (2) Deuteronomy 32, which is the more accurate reference to Revelation 15, which speaks of a greater deliverance out of the Great Tribulation period by the saints at that time. This answers Abraham's question of God providing the lamb for the sacrifice. In the Old Testament, when he was going to sacrifice his son, God provided the lamb, and in the end, God provided us with Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrificial Lamb to take away all the sins of the world except for one. That is to reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Worth of God is that He is the Deliverer.
Revelation 15:2-3a ~ "And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire - and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing ' the song of Moses' the servant of God and the song of the Lamb,"
Jesus Christ, alone gives the salvation we all need. The sea of glass 'mingled' with fire, speaks of the judgments of God that those who trusted in Him became victorious. John sees into the future as do we who are reading this today, as this remains a future event that we are looking ahead to see. These martyrs have succeeded through the Tribulation Period or those 7 years.
The sea of glass is translucent, not transparent, meaning it is opaque in nature, there is a light coming from within. The fire mingled, as it is illuminated from beneath it. More accurately a glowing pavement of heavenly material.
The Tribulation Saints are standing on it, not bowing before it, that brings us to this that it is only the knowledge that only Jesus can save us. Nothing we do here will ever be good enough to earn our way into heaven. These saints, now with salvation having been made complete, they are standing on this sea of glass in bold confidence. Don't let this reference be confused with the streets of gold in heaven. They are not the same thing. In 2 Peter 3:5-7, 10, 12 ~ "For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word, the heavens and earth that now exist are stored p for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!" Psalm 78:12-13 ~ "In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap."
These scriptures reference both the ancient great flood and the future coming with fire. Are these combined events we see culminating as the sea of glass mingled with fire? Not sure, but it does stand to reason that everything that God reveals has a significant prominence in the end times events. Past and Future collide as it were.
Are you confident in Christ?
We need to remember that we are nothing without God. We are sinners saved only by His grace. The only sin in your life that can ever keep you out of heaven is your rejection of Jesus Christ. Everything else can be forgiven. You can start over with a clean slate today. Grace is not cheap! It cost Jesus Christ, the Son of God, His life to save you.
God wants you, any way, despite all your sins in your life. Jesus Christ, is the one and only friend you will ever need in this life. But He won't always put up with your stubborn ways either, time is running out. He is calling you today to put your trust in Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He is the only one to get you through this life. We will not be saved by the next President, only Jesus Christ, the Savior and Lord of all.
Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.
I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!
This is my online ministry that God is using to bring about encouragement, hope and love to a hurting and dark world. I am hoping that all of you that find your way here will take something away that will add some meaning to your life! I personally feel it's a calling I have from God at this time in my life to reach out to people that are hurting and offer them hope in a dark world or at least give them a smile and laughter back! I am sold out, body, mind, spirit and soul to Jesus Christ! This blog is dedicated to God, The Great I AM, Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ, my Savior!