Let Me Offer You Peace

2018-08-01T15:47:31+00:00

Paul wrote to the assembly at Ephesus and wrote six times concerning peace. He desired that they have peace (1:2). He wants these Christians to know that the peace of God is real. It is available to a Christian, but it is not the world’s kind of peace.
The world desires to have peace, meaning a lack of struggle, a lack of war, and the absence of difficulties in life. “I am at peace” we are told when a person is calm their mind or when they sit in the right yoga pose or when they breathe the right way.

Peace is tied directly to sanctification and faithfulness. 

“To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:1-2).
This understanding that our peace originates with God, and more specifically, Christ, is valid for more than Christians individually. It is true for Christians collectively as well.
Paul writes, (2:14) that Jesus Christ Himself is our peace. Christ “has made both one,” the text says. Verse 15 clarifies, “so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”
Jew and Gentile are being brought together from diverse backgrounds, often with opposing worldviews and becoming one in Christ Jesus. The blood of Christ washes the sins of humanity away and breaks down the walls of separation in this world. It makes peace.

Peace is Proclaimed (Ephesians 2:16-18)

“… and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

Paul makes it clear that Jew and Gentile will have reconciliation with God and one another. The preaching of peace with God and the obedience to that preaching allows for reconciliation in one body. The one body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4).

Where will you find peace? Please let me offer you peace with God and man through the blood of Christ in the body of Christ, the church.

Let Me Offer You Peace2018-08-01T15:47:31+00:00

Revelation 17

2018-04-13T07:35:18+00:00

The Harlot and Her Judgment

A Look Back:

The plagues (bowls) bring destruction to the armies of humanity that fight against God and the Lamb.  The kings of the earth have joined forces with the Beast and they are not willing to repent.  Every judgment causes greater blasphemy and rebellion.  Is there hope?  Will the Beast continue to dominate the earth?

Babylon — The Great Harlot

John hears the angel call to him.  The angel beckons him to witness the judgment of the “great harlot.”

This harlot is the primary cause of sin and wickedness among the kings of the Earth.  The people of Earth are “drunk” on the influence of the harlot and her wickedness.

John sees the harlot, arrayed in rich fabrics and jewellery. She drinks from a cup filled with sin.

The sins of the harlot include the murder of saints and martyrs of Jesus.  Her appearance causes John to marvel.  There doesn’t appear to be any chance to defeat the great harlot. She is allied with the Beast which carries her and has ten horns on seven heads.  The Beast represents Rome and the heads and horns her Caesars and their continuing opposition to the Bride.  The text calls them “kings.”

A False Resurrection

The people of Earth marvel at the majesty of the beast and its supposed “resurrection.”  The beast himself is the eighth king.

The ten horns are ten kings who recieve their power and ability to rule from the Beast.  They supply the Beast with power and authority in return.  They together make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb, together with those who are called, chosen, and faithful, will overcome the kings and the Beast.

Rome’s judgment will come from the inside out.  God will bring about its fall as it quite consumes itself and judgment comes upon the great city, the Harlot, for her wickedness.

 

Read more from Revelation

Revelation 172018-04-13T07:35:18+00:00

144,000 and a Lamb – Revelation 14 (Part 1)

2018-04-13T07:35:18+00:00

144,000 and a Lamb

144,000 and the lamb

A Look Back:  The Third Woe is coming.   It is going to be pronounced, but before that happens, we see the “Lamb” using his power as King to reign.  We also see the Beast working in opposition to the Lamb by attacking the church, giving life to the Land Beast, the Sea Beast, and their blasphemy.

Is Victory Ever Going to Come?

True devastation realizes itself in the lives of Christians.  Persecution wreaks havoc upon the early Church.  In chapter 6, the question is “who could stand in the day of the wrath of the Lamb?” Right now, it looks like the Christians are the ones who will be unable to withstand the beast!   Will God allow this?  Will the Church be brought to its knees by the Dragon and his crowd?

144,000 Hope in a New Song

John looks to Mount Zion and hope is found.  A New Day is dawning in the sunlight of the Lamb of God.  Standing on Mount Zion: The Lamb and 12,000 from each tribe of the true Israel (the obedient of God marked by the angels).

He hears a voice that sounds like rushing water, loud as thunder. He hears harps.  He hears a song.  A new song.  A song that only the redeemed of earth could learn–the 144,000 represent those redeemed from the Earth.  This song is not the song of Angels, sung at Jesus’ birth.  It is the song of those who have suffered, lived, overcome, and reign victorious with the Lamb of God–the song of the first-fruits of the harvest of the Earth’s faithful.

Three Angels Preach

John sees an angel preaching the Gospel to every nation, tribe, and people of the Earth.  The angel cries out to all humanity, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

But that angel is followed by another angel crying out, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

The third angel follows the second declaring, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark… he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God… He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone… and they have no rest day or night…”

John declares this the “patience of the saints.” The ability for a Christian to hold on, to endure, is found is the ultimate victory of the Lamb and judgment of the unrighteous.  Then the sweetest of declarations to fall upon human ears is delivered from Heaven to John: “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

Read more from this Series

144,000 and a Lamb – Revelation 14 (Part 1)2018-04-13T07:35:18+00:00

The Sea Beast and the Dragon make War Against the Church

2018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

The Dragon might be cast down but he's not finished yet.

The Sea Beast rises from the sea to receive power to make war upon the church.

The Sea Beast and the Dragon make war on the church

A Look Back

John has spoken of the Dragon.  He tells us the Dragon was cast from Heaven to Earth and then made war against the children of the woman.  The children are Christians, for they are those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The Sea Beast

John stands at the edge of the sea (I think this is the sea on earth, for the action occurs on there and not in heaven).  He looks out on the water and from the sea arises a magnificent beast.   The sea beast has the attributes of a leopard (body), a bear (feet), and a lion (mouth).  He has seven heads and ten horns, like the Dragon (12:3), but with three additional crowns.

The dragon gives the sea beast authority, power, and a throne.  See in this Rome and the Caesars.  His strength is used to persecute the children of the woman — the Church. The people of the earth witness the mortal wound of one of the beast’s heads, but also the healing.  They will marvel and follow the Beast.  The world adores magnificence and power.  They worship whatever seems to provide strength.  So they worship the Dragon and the Beast.

“Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

Notice the Sea Beast was given authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years — the time the woman was safeguarded.) He was given a mouth to speak against God, His name, His tabernacle, and His followers. He was granted to make war with the saints and kill them.  His power was multi-national, and all who dwelt on the earth worshipped him.

We read here of the “Book of Life of the Lamb” — a record of the faithful.  We also read of the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  Remember from earlier in the vision, Christ is the Lamb who was slain but stands victorious and worthy.

Next Week: The Land Beast proclaims the Godhood of the Sea Beast. 666.

The Sea Beast and the Dragon make War Against the Church2018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

The Dragon, The Woman, and A Victorious Child – Revelation 12

2018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

SatanThe Dragon, The Woman, and A Victorious Child

The Dragon loses.

the dragon the woman and the child

A fierce dragon seeks the life of the child, but Heaven’s deliverance intercedes.

A LOOK BACK: Chapter 11 concluded the second Woe, part of the sixth trumpet.   Now the third woe approaches.  Before it arrives, we receive visions that reassure the faithful of God’s protection and deliverance from persecution.

The Child and the Dragon

A vision of a woman clothed with the Sun and the moon under her feet.   She is pregnant, travailing in birthing pains, and wearing a crown with twelve stars.

The dragon appears in heaven (where the woman is) and is magnificent in size and red.  He has seven heads each with a crown and ten horns.  The tail of the dragon will knock one-third of the stars of heaven to earth as he approaches the woman to devour her child the moment it is born (this might be a representation of Jesus as a child).

The woman gives birth to a boy, one who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.  God will deliver the child out of the reach of the dragon. The woman will flee into the wilderness to a place prepared by God.  God will care for her for 1,260 days.

A War Breaks out in Heaven

Michael and the angels fight against the Dragon and his angels.  They will lose their place and be cast down into the earth.  The text is clear: the dragon is Satan, the Devil, the serpent.  He is the deceiver of the whole world.

John hears a voice from heaven.  Salvation is declared, and so has the Kingdom and power of Christ.  The accuser of Christians has been cast down.  The victory was by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the Christians who did not love their lives to the death (i.e., martyrs).

There is rejoicing in the heavens, but woe to the earth at the presence of Satan.  He has been cast down, and his wrath is great for he knows his time is short.

When the dragon is cast down, he persecutes the woman, but the woman flies to the wilderness once again on the wings of an eagle.  She receives nourishment for a time and times and half a time (3 and 1/2 years).

The woman is attacked one last time by the dragon, but the earth swallows up the attack.  In a fury at this, the dragon begins to make war against the rest of her children — those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (the Christians).

Next Week: The Sea Beast and the Land Beast rise to power.

The Dragon, The Woman, and A Victorious Child – Revelation 122018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

Rejoice! – Revelation 11 (Part 2)

2018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

Rejoice!

The Kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord.

Rejoice the temple in heaven opens and Christ reigns

The Seventh Trumpet & The Third Woe – Summary of the Book of Revelation: Chapter 11 (part 2)

A LOOK BACK: The angels with the trumpets are still sounding.  The seventh angel is about to pronounce the third woe upon the people of Earth.

Consider Jim McGuiggan’s review of the chapter thus far.

John is being told the Church is about to undergo hard times, but at the same time he is being assured everything is all right with them. In this chapter, he is told this in two different ways. A vision of a city trodden under the heel of the enemy while the inner sanctuary is… invulnerable.  The second vision is one of two witnesses. They have a task to perform, namely, prophesy for 1260 days. They have opposition, but they have more than enough ability to take care of that opposition. They finish their task! But there’s that other side of the picture to portray – the gloom. That is hinted at in their wearing sackcloth, but it is spelled out in their death at the hands of the beast. Their defeat is seen to be only apparent since they are resurrected and glorified.

The same truth is taught in chapter 12:6,14 and in 13:5ff.1

Rejoice!  The King Reigns!

The sixth trumpet sounds in 9:13 and then a message came to comfort the Christians. Now the seventh trumpet sounds, and again we will see a message of comfort for the brethren. Understand that with the last trumpet sounding (and the contents of its message), God’s judgment against Rome will be complete, the Christians vindicated, and God will be victorious.

The proclamation of “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” is the announcement of the public vindication of the Kingdom.  The kingdom of our Lord encompasses all sovereignties of the world (see Matthew 28:18). He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

You have taken Your great power and reigned.

The elders rejoice on their thrones (verse 17.) “We give You thanks… Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.”  Jesus’ utilization of His authority to bring judgment upon the Church’s persecutors is rejoiced over.  They rejoice in the wrath of the King upon the nations; the judgment of the dead; the reward of the prophets and saints and those who fear His name; and the destruction of those who destroy the earth.

Has It Already Happened?

This expression is taking place as if the “final woe” was already delivered, but it is still coming–we will read of seven bowls of wrath in the coming chapters.  When God’s wrath begins it is as good as done.  There will be nothing to stop it.

Then the Temple of God opens in Heaven, and the ark of His covenant is in the Holiest of Holies.  John again observes “lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”  Judgment is a reason to rejoice.

Next week: The Dragon Loses to the Child of the Woman.

1McGuiggan, Jim. Revelation. Sunset Institute Press. Kindle Edition.

Rejoice! – Revelation 11 (Part 2)2018-04-13T07:35:19+00:00

Two Witnesses – Revelation 11

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Two Witnesses

and the people who killed them.

Two Witnesses

Two witnesses are called to testify, and their blood will declare the judgment on Earth.

A LOOK BACK: Chapter 10 continues the second woe with a prophecy made by an angel that John is not allowed to write down.  The angel declares that the time when the mystery of God is complete—the mystery declared by the prophets in the Old Testament.

John is commanded to take the little book from the hand of the angel and eat it (his prophecy).  It is sweet to taste, but bitter in his belly.

Measurements

John is called upon to measure with a reed the Temple (or inner sanctuary) of God, the altar, and those who worship in the Temple (God’s priests = Christians).  He is not to measure the courtyard of the Gentiles (profane people). To describe the kind of people these Gentiles are, they are the Gentiles will tread underfoot the city—the persecutors.

The Two Witnesses

The angel declares that two witnesses will be given to prophesy for 1,260 days.  Notice they prophesy in sackcloth – their message isn’t one of hope, but judgment.  The witnesses are olive trees and lampstands which stand before God.  If anyone seeks to harm the witnesses, they fire devours them.

The witnesses’ authority includes shutting heaven, causing no rain to fall, turning water to blood, and striking the earth with plagues.  These are the actions of prophets during the Mosaic ages (Elijah) and Patriarchal ages (Moses).

The Beast Makes War

When the prophets cease prophesying, the beast begins to make war against the witnesses of God.  He will overcome them and kill them. The prophets’ bodies are paraded and dumped in the streets of The Great City.

The city is spiritually Sodom, Egypt, and the place of the crucifixion (Jerusalem).  Here is a picture of the complete rejection of God’s prophets from Moses to Elijah to Christ by those of earth.

The reaction of humanity at the death of the two prophets is to throw a party, to rejoice and give gifts because these prophets “tormented” earth with their prophecies.  But these prophets are not finished yet.

The Resurrection

After three and a half days the two prophets stand on their feet in the middle of the street.  Fear falls on the people who see them.  A voice from heaven calls to the prophets, “Come up here.”  Do not miss: God ultimately protects His messengers – even if the world kills them physically.

The prophets ascend to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watch. Immediately, judgment begins.  An earthquake; one-tenth of the city falls; seven thousand men die (7 x 1000); the remainder of humanity glorifies God (repentance). Thus ends the second woe.  The third woe comes quickly.

Next week: The Seventh Trumpet.

Two Witnesses – Revelation 112018-04-13T07:35:20+00:00

Trumpets & Woes: Summary of Revelation 9

2018-02-18T00:10:31+00:00

Judgments and woes begin as the trumpets continue.

Trumpets of revelation - A Star falling from the heavens

A LOOK BACK: In chapter 8, John sees the seventh seal of the book opened and from it comes seven angels with given seven trumpets. Their trumpets sound proclamations of judgment upon those who will endure “the wrath of the Lamb.” Four Trumpets sound, three more are still to come.

The Fifth Trumpet (WOE 1): The angel sounds the trumpet, star falls from heaven to earth.

The locusts look like horses prepared for battle (armored) with crowns of gold on their head and the face of humans.  They had hair like women and teeth like lions.  When they beat their wings, the sound was like chariots with many running horses in battle. They had the tails of scorpions whose sting hurt humans for five months.

The Sixth Trumpet (WOE 2): The sixth angel sounds and a voice comes from the middle of the altar which is before God, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates

The four angels’ army is made up of 200,000,000 horsemen.

After this judgment upon humanity, did the unrighteous repent?  No.  Did they cease worshiping demons and idols?  No.  Did they repent of their murderers, sorceries, sexual sins, or thefts?  No.

The result is another woe to come.

Next week: A Delicious Book that Caused a Stomach Ache.

 

Trumpets & Woes: Summary of Revelation 92018-02-18T00:10:31+00:00

A Delicious Little Book that Caused a Stomach Ache – Revelation 10

2018-02-18T00:09:20+00:00

Eat a little book that taste good

and you might get some unpleasant results.
little book and blast of fire

A LOOK BACK: Chapter 9 reveals the first “woe” and the second. People die. The judgment against the people of the Earth not marked with God’s mark. The Star (King / Angel) with the key to the bottomless pit falls from heaven to earth. Then the four angels under the altar of God release plagues to bring more judgment upon sinful humanity.  After all this, humanity still does not repent of their iniquity.

Note: The second woe continues until Revelation 11:13.

The Angel and the Book: John sees another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He holds a little book open in his hand. He speaks, and his voice is like the roar of a lion in strength. When he cries out, seven thunders speak.  John listens to the voices (thunders) and is prepared to write their message, but a voice stops him and tells him, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”

The angel raised his hand to heaven and swore by God that there should be no further delay, but “in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”

Note: God’s description: “…Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it…”  From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures carry one unified creation account. Accept it or reject it, but if you reject it, also reject the eternal nature of God, and His prophesies contained within Scripture. They all stand or fall together.

Then the voice that stopped John from writing speaks again and tells John to take the book from the hand of the angel. John tells the angel, “Give me the little book.”  The angel responds, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”

John takes the book and eats it, and it is sweet like honey in his mouth but bitter in his stomach.  He must again prophesy about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (his prophecy will end bitterly for them).

Next week: The Two Olive Trees.

A Delicious Little Book that Caused a Stomach Ache – Revelation 102018-02-18T00:09:20+00:00

Silence & Trumpets – Revelation 8

2018-02-18T00:11:00+00:00

In Heaven there is silence… something is coming.

The trumpets sound after silence in heaven

A LOOK BACK: In chapter 6, the first six seals of the book are opened by the Lamb.  In Revelation 7, there is a pause in the opening of the seals to allow the angels to “mark” those who belong to God. These will be the ones will be able to stand in the day of the wrath of the Lamb.

SILENCE: The Lamb opens the seventh seal, and John watches as there is silence in heaven for half an hour.  The silence might indicate reverence or awe at what is coming.  Consider the idea of a “moment of silence” because of a catastrophe that has befallen someone.

Revealed in the seventh seal, John sees seven angels, each given a trumpet.  Another angel comes to the altar with a golden censer, and he receives incense to offer up with the prayers of the saints upon the altar. The prayers plus incense are offered and ascend up before God (sitting upon His throne).  Remember the saints beneath the altar who died for Christianity and their cry, “How Long!”  God’s answer to those prayers is coming.

After offering the incense, the angel fills his censor with fire from the altar casts it into the Earth.  Voices, thundering, lightning, and earthquakes occur.  Always remember, this is vision language of judgment and retribution on the enemies of God.  As this happens, John sees the angels with the trumpets preparing to sound.

The first trumpet: The angel sounds the trumpet and the result is hail and fire mixed with blood is cast upon the earth.  A third of the trees and all the green grass was burnt up.

The second trumpet: This angel sounds and a high mountain burning with fire crashes into the sea. One-third of the sea turns to blood.  One-third of all creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships of the sea perish.

The third trumpet: The trumpet sounds and a great star falls burning from heaven and falls upon one-third of all the rivers and fountains of water.  The name of it is Wormwood (bitterness), and the waters turn bitter and kill many men.

The fourth trumpet: One-third of the sun is smitten, and also one-third of the moon and stars become darkened.  One-third of the day turns black and one-third of the night as well.

John sees an angel fly through Heaven declaring, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Next week: Trumpets 5 & 6 | Woe 1 & 2.

Silence & Trumpets – Revelation 82018-02-18T00:11:00+00:00
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