Lessons from Lent: Day 39

3 Apr

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (2 now because you have already accomplished thirty-eight), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-nine

April 3, 2015 ~~ Revelation 8-16

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Revelation 8

When He [the Lamb] broke open the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour in heaven.

Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

And another angel came and stood over the altar. He had a golden censer, and he was given very much incense (fragrant spices and gums which exhale perfume when burned), that he might mingle it with the prayers of all the people of God (the saints) upon the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense (the perfume) arose in the presence of God, with the prayers of the people of God (the saints), from the hand of the angel. So the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and cast it upon the earth. Then there followed peals of thunder and loud rumblings and blasts and noises, and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

The first angel blew [his] trumpet, and there was a storm of hail and fire mingled with blood cast upon the earth. And a third part of the earth was burned up and a third of the trees was burned up and all the green grass was burned up.

The second angel blew [his] trumpet, and something resembling a great mountain, blazing with fire, was hurled into the sea.

And a third of the sea was turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea perished, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel blew [his] trumpet, and a huge star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it dropped on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 And the name of the star is Wormwood. A third part of the waters was changed into wormwood, and many people died from using the water, because it had become bitter.

12 Then the fourth angel blew [his] trumpet, and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that [the light of] a third of them was darkened, and a third of the daylight [itself] was withdrawn, and likewise a third [of the light] of the night was kept from shining.

13 Then I [looked and I] saw a solitary eagle flying in midheaven, and as it flew I heard it crying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the rest of the trumpet blasts which the three angels are about to sound!

Revelation 9

Then the fifth angel blew [his] trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth; and to the angel was given the key [a]of the shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit). He opened the [b]long shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit), and smoke like the smoke of a huge furnace puffed out of the [c]long shaft, so that the sun and the atmosphere were darkened by the smoke from the long shaft. Then out of the smoke locusts came forth on the earth, and such power was granted them as the power the earth’s scorpions have. They were told not to injure the herbage of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree, but only [to attack] such human beings as do not have the seal (mark) of God on their foreheads. They were not permitted to kill them, but to torment (distress, vex) them for five months; and the pain caused them was like the torture of a scorpion when it stings a person. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it; and they will yearn to die, but death evades and flees from them.

The locusts resembled horses equipped for battle. On their heads was something like golden crowns. Their faces resembled the faces of people. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their breastplates (scales) resembled breastplates made of iron, and the [whirring] noise made by their wings was like the roar of a vast number of horse-drawn chariots going at full speed into battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and they have stings, and in their tails lies their ability to hurt men for [the] five months. 11 Over them as king they have the angel of the Abyss (of the bottomless pit). In Hebrew his name is Abaddon [destruction], but in Greek he is called Apollyon [destroyer].

12 The first woe (calamity) has passed; behold, two others are yet to follow.

13 Then the sixth angel blew [his] trumpet, and from the four horns of the golden altar which stands before God I heard a solitary voice, 14 Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. 15 So the four angels who had been in readiness for that hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind. 16 The number of their troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (200,000,000); I heard what their number was.

17 And in [my] vision the horses and their riders appeared to me like this: the riders wore breastplates the color of fiery red and sapphire blue and sulphur (brimstone) yellow. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and from their mouths there poured fire and smoke and sulphur (brimstone). 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues—by the fire and the smoke and the sulphur (brimstone) that poured from the mouths of the horses. 19 For the power of the horses to do harm is in their mouths and also in their tails. Their tails are like serpents, for they have heads, and it is by means of them that they wound people.

20 And the rest of humanity who were not killed by these plagues even then did not repent of [the worship of] the works of their [own] hands, so as to cease paying homage to the demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor move. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their practice of magic (sorceries) or their sexual vice or their thefts.

Revelation 10

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, robed in a cloud, with a [halo like a] rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his feet (legs) were like columns of fire. He had a little book (scroll) open in his hand. He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, And he shouted with a loud voice like the roaring of a lion; and when he had shouted, the seven thunders gave voice and uttered their message in distinct words. And when the seven thunders had spoken (sounded), I was going to write [it down], but I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up what the seven thunders have said! Do not write it down!

Then the [mighty] angel whom I had seen stationed on sea and land raised his right hand to heaven (the [a]sky), And swore in the name of (by) Him Who lives forever and ever, Who created the heavens ([b]sky) and all they contain, and the earth and all that it contains, and the sea and all that it contains. [He swore] that no more time should intervene and there should be no more waiting or delay, But that when the days come when the trumpet call of the seventh angel is about to be sounded, then God’s mystery (His secret design, His hidden purpose), as He had announced the glad tidings to His servants the prophets, should be fulfilled (accomplished, completed).

Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke again to me, saying, Go and take the little book (scroll) which is open on the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.

So I went up to the angel and asked him to give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it and eat it. It will embitter your stomach, though in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey. 10 So I took the little book from the angel’s hand and ate and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but once I had swallowed it, my stomach was embittered. 11 Then they said to me, You are to make a fresh prophecy concerning many peoples and races and nations and languages and kings.

Revelation 11

A reed [as a measuring rod] was then given to me, [shaped] like a staff, and I was told: Rise up and measure the sanctuary of God and the altar [of incense], and [number] those who worship there. But leave out of your measuring the court outside the sanctuary of God; omit that, for it is given over to the Gentiles (the nations), and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months (three and one-half years). And I will grant the power of prophecy to My two witnesses for 1,260 (42 months; three and one-half years), dressed in sackcloth. These [witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone attempts to injure them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their enemies; if anyone should attempt to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain. These [two witnesses] have power to shut up the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying (their [a]prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph); and they also have power to turn the waters into blood and to smite and scourge the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they choose.

But when they have finished their testimony and their evidence is all in, the beast (monster) that comes up out of the Abyss (bottomless pit) will wage war on them, and conquer them and kill them. And their dead bodies [will lie exposed] in the open street ([b]a public square) of the great city which is in a spiritual sense called [by the mystical and allegorical names of] Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from the races and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and will not allow them to be put in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will gloat and exult over them and rejoice exceedingly, taking their ease and sending presents [in congratulation] to one another, because these two prophets had been such a vexation and trouble and torment to all the dwellers on the earth.

11 But after three and a half days, by God’s gift the breath of life again entered into them, and they rose up on their feet, and great dread and terror fell on those who watched them. 12 Then [the two witnesses] heard a strong voice from heaven calling to them, Come up here! And before the very eyes of their enemies they ascended into heaven in a cloud.

13 And at that [very] hour there was a tremendous earthquake and one tenth of the city was destroyed (fell); seven thousand people perished in the earthquake, and those who remained were filled with dread and terror and were awe-struck, and they glorified the God of heaven.

14 The second woe (calamity) has passed; now the third woe is speedily to come.

15 The seventh angel then blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the eternities)!

16 Then the twenty-four elders [of [c]the heavenly Sanhedrin], who sit on their thrones before God, prostrated themselves before Him and worshiped,

17 Exclaiming, To You we give thanks, Lord God Omnipotent, [the One] Who is and [ever] was, for assuming the high sovereignty and the great power that are Yours and for beginning to reign.

18 And the heathen (the nations) raged, but Your wrath (retribution, indignation) came, the time when the dead will be judged and Your servants the prophets and saints rewarded—and those who revere (fear) Your name, both low and high and small and great—and [the time] for destroying the corrupters of the earth.

19 Then the sanctuary of God in heaven was thrown open, and the ark of His covenant was seen standing inside in His sanctuary; and there were flashes of lightning, loud rumblings (blasts, mutterings), peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a terrific hailstorm.

Revelation 12

And a great sign (wonder)—[warning of future events of ominous significance] appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crownlike garland (tiara) of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and she cried out in her birth pangs, in the anguish of her delivery. Then another ominous sign (wonder) was seen in heaven: Behold, a huge, fiery-red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven kingly crowns (diadems) upon his heads. His tail swept [across the sky] and dragged down a third of the stars and flung them to the earth. And the dragon stationed himself in front of the woman who was about to be delivered, so that he might devour her child as soon as she brought it forth. And she brought forth a male Child, One Who is destined to shepherd (rule) all the nations with an iron staff (scepter), and her Child was caught up to God and to His throne. And the woman [herself] fled into the desert (wilderness), where she has a retreat prepared [for her] by God, in which she is to be fed and kept safe for 1,260 days (42 months; three and one-half years).

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. But they were defeated, and there was no room found for them in heaven any longer. And the huge dragon was cast down and out—that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over; he was forced out and down to the earth, and his angels were flung out along with him. 10 Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come—the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (the sovereignty, the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out! 11 And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]. +12 Therefore be glad (exult), O heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger (fury), because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]!

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was supplied with the two wings of a giant eagle, so that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the desert (wilderness), to the retreat where she is to be kept safe and fed for a time, and times, and half a time (three and one-half years, or 1,260 days). 15 Then out of his mouth the serpent spouted forth water like a flood after the woman, that she might be carried off with the torrent. 16 But the earth came to the rescue of the woman, and the ground opened its mouth and swallowed up the stream of water which the dragon had spouted from his mouth. 17 So then the dragon was furious (enraged) at the woman, and he went away to wage war on the remainder of her descendants—[on those] who obey God’s commandments and who have the testimony of Jesus Christ [and adhere to it and [a]bear witness to Him].

Revelation 13

[As] [a]I stood on the sandy beach, I saw a beast coming up out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads. On his horns he had ten royal crowns (diadems) and blasphemous titles (names) on his heads. And the beast that I saw resembled a leopard, but his feet were like those of a bear and his mouth was like that of a lion. And to him the dragon gave his [own] might and power and his [own] throne and great dominion. And one of his heads seemed to have a deadly wound. But his death stroke was healed; and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration. They fell down and paid homage to the dragon, because he had bestowed on the beast all his dominion and authority; they also praised and worshiped the beast, exclaiming, Who is a match for the beast, and, Who can make war against him?

And the beast was given the power of speech, uttering boastful and blasphemous words, and he was given freedom to exert his authority and to exercise his will during forty-two months (three and a half years). And he opened his mouth to speak slanders against God, blaspheming His name and His abode, [even vilifying] those who live in heaven. He was further permitted to wage war on God’s holy people (the saints) and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice] [b]from the foundation of the world.

If anyone is able to hear, let him listen:

10 Whoever leads into captivity will himself go into captivity; if anyone slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Herein is [the call for] the patience and the faith and fidelity of the saints (God’s people).

11 Then I saw another beast rising up out of the land [itself]; he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke (roared) like a dragon. 12 He exerts all the power and right of control of the former beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell upon it to exalt and deify the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and to worship him. 13 He performs great signs (startling miracles), even making fire fall from the sky to the earth in men’s sight. 14 And because of the signs (miracles) which he is allowed to perform in the presence of the [first] beast, he deceives those who inhabit the earth, commanding them to erect a statue (an image) in the likeness of the beast who was wounded by the [small] sword and still lived. 15 And he is permitted [also] to impart the breath of life into the beast’s image, so that the statue of the beast could actually talk and cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast. 16 Also he compels all [alike], both small and great, both the rich and the poor, both free and slave, to be marked with an inscription [[c]stamped] on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.

18 Here is [room for] discernment [a call for the wisdom [d]of interpretation]. Let anyone who has intelligence (penetration and insight enough) calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number [the number of a certain man]; his number is 666.

Revelation 14

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 [men] who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty thunder; the voice I heard [seemed like the music] of harpists [a]accompanying themselves on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and before the elders [of [b]the heavenly Sanhedrin]. No one could learn [to sing] that song except the 144,000 who had been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from the earth. These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women, for they are [[c]pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found to be upon their lips, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, without blemish) before the throne of God.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people. And he cried with a mighty voice, Revere God and give Him glory (honor and praise in worship), for the hour of His judgment has arrived. Fall down before Him; pay Him homage and adoration and worship Him Who created heaven and earth, the sea and the springs (fountains) of water.

Then another angel, a second, followed, declaring, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She who made all nations drink of the [maddening] wine of her passionate unchastity [[d]idolatry].

Then another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a mighty voice, Whoever pays homage to the beast and his statue and permits the [beast’s] stamp (mark, inscription) to be put on his forehead or on his hand, 10 He too shall [have to] drink of the wine of God’s indignation and wrath, poured undiluted into the cup of His anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no respite (no pause, no intermission, no rest, no peace) day or night—these who pay homage to the beast and to his image and whoever receives the stamp of his name upon him. 12 Here [comes in a call for] the steadfastness of the saints [the patience, the endurance of the people of God], those who [habitually] keep God’s commandments and [their] faith in Jesus.

13 Then I heard further [[e]perceiving the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, Write this: Blessed (happy, [f]to be envied) are the dead from now on who die in the Lord! Yes, blessed (happy, [g]to be envied indeed), says the Spirit, [in] that they may rest from their labors, for their works (deeds) do follow (attend, accompany) them!

14 Again I looked, and behold, [I saw] a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud [h]One resembling a Son of Man, with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp scythe (sickle) in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple sanctuary, calling with a mighty voice to Him Who was sitting upon the cloud, Put in Your scythe and reap, for the hour has arrived to gather the harvest, for the earth’s crop is fully ripened. 16 So He Who was sitting upon the cloud swung His scythe (sickle) on the earth, and the earth’s crop was harvested.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple [sanctuary] in heaven, and he also carried a sharp scythe (sickle). 18 And another angel came forth from the altar, [the angel] who has authority and power over fire, and he called with a loud cry to him who had the sharp scythe (sickle), Put forth your scythe and reap the fruitage of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are entirely ripe. 19 So the angel swung his scythe on the earth and stripped the grapes and gathered the vintage from the vines of the earth and cast it into the huge winepress of God’s indignation and wrath. 20 And [the grapes in] the winepress were trodden outside the city, and blood poured from the winepress, [reaching] as high as horses’ bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia (about 200 miles).

Revelation 15

Then I saw another wonder (sign, token, symbol) in heaven, great and marvelous [warning of events of ominous significance]: There were seven angels bringing seven plagues (afflictions, calamities), which are the last, for with them God’s wrath (indignation) is completely expressed [reaches its climax and is ended]. Then I saw what seemed to be a glassy sea blended with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his statue and from the number corresponding to his name were standing beside the glassy sea, with harps of God in their hands. And they sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, Mighty and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God the Omnipotent! Righteous (just) and true are Your ways, O Sovereign of the ages (King of the [a]nations)! Who shall not reverence and glorify Your name, O Lord [giving You honor and praise in worship]? For You only are holy. All the nations shall come and pay homage and adoration to You, for Your just judgments (Your righteous sentences and deeds) have been made known and displayed.

After this I looked and the sanctuary of the tent of the testimony in heaven was thrown open, And there came out of the temple sanctuary the seven angels bringing the seven plagues (afflictions, calamities). They were arrayed in pure gleaming linen, and around their breasts they wore golden girdles. And one of the four living creatures [then] gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath and indignation of God, Who lives forever and ever (in the eternities of the eternities). And the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory (the radiance, the splendor) of God and from His might and power, and no one was able to go into the sanctuary until the seven plagues (afflictions, calamities) of the seven angels were ended.

Revelation 16

Then I heard a mighty voice from the temple sanctuary saying to the seven angels, Go and empty out on the earth the seven bowls of God’s wrath and indignation.

So the first [angel] went and emptied his bowl on the earth, and foul and painful ulcers (sores) came on the people who were marked with the stamp of the beast and who did homage to his image.

The second [angel] emptied his bowl into the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a corpse [thick, corrupt, ill-smelling, and disgusting], and every living thing that was in the sea perished.

Then the third [angel] emptied out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they turned into (became) blood.

And I also heard the angel of the waters say, Righteous (just) are You in these Your decisions and judgments, You Who are and were, O Holy One! Because they have poured out the blood of Your people (the saints) and the prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. Such is their due [they deserve it]!

And [from] the altar I heard [the] cry, Yes, Lord God the Omnipotent, Your judgments (sentences, decisions) are true and just and righteous!

Then the fourth [angel] emptied out his bowl upon the sun, and it was permitted to burn (scorch) humanity with [fierce, glowing] heat (fire). People were severely burned (scorched) by the fiery heat, and they reviled and blasphemed the name of God, Who has control of these plagues, and they did not repent of their sins [felt no regret, contrition, and compunction for their waywardness, refusing to amend their ways] to give Him glory.

10 Then the fifth [angel] emptied his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was [plunged] in darkness; and people gnawed their tongues for the torment [of their excruciating distress and severe pain] 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their anguish and their ulcers (sores), and they did not deplore their wicked deeds or repent [for what they had done].

12 Then the sixth [angel] emptied his bowl on the mighty river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to make ready a road for [the coming of] the kings of the east (from the rising sun). 13 And I saw three loathsome spirits like frogs, [leaping] from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For really they are the spirits of demons that perform signs (wonders, miracles). And they go forth to the rulers and leaders all over the world, to gather them together for war on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 Behold, I am going to come like a thief! Blessed (happy, [a]to be envied) is he who stays awake (alert) and who guards his clothes, so that he may not be naked and [have the shame of being] seen exposed! 16 And they gathered them together at the place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

17 Then the seventh [angel] emptied out his bowl into the air, and a mighty voice came out of the sanctuary of heaven from the throne [of God], saying, It is done! [It is all over, it is all accomplished, it has come!] 18 And there followed lightning flashes, loud rumblings, peals of thunder, and a tremendous earthquake; nothing like it has ever occurred since men dwelt on the earth, so severe and far-reaching was that earthquake. 19 The mighty city was broken into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And God kept in mind mighty Babylon, to make her drain the cup of His furious wrath and indignation. 20 And every island fled and no mountains could be found. 21 And great (excessively oppressive) hailstones, as heavy as a talent [between fifty and sixty pounds], of immense size, fell from the sky on the people; and men blasphemed God for the plague of the hail, so very great was [the torture] of that plague.

And the Amen rises to the Throne

#lessonsfromlent

Here’s what I am hoping for you . . .you did not come here looking for a symbolic interpretation or a definitive word on the events described in Revelation. Scholars debate the perspective of the Book—is it historicist, is it idealist, is it preterist, is it futurist—and we’re going to leave all that debating to them.

More than anything else what the Book of Revelation resonates with in my brain is that God always finishes what He starts. We see so many parallels between these chapters that describe the final deliverance of God’s people and the first time He ushered them out of the hands of their oppressors in the Book of Exodus. We see the elements of the tabernacle in our mind’s eye as we peek inside the Throne Room and God’s Glory fills the temple. I’m left in awe that we’re given a glimpse of the Ark of the Covenant . . .the Law on the bottom, covered by the Mercy Seat, leading straight to the Presence of God . . . just as He introduced it in the wilderness.  See God being God?  Remaining Himself?  Creating a platform for the future that features that same Holy One present since before time began.

We see the dragon waiting for the woman to give birth so he can devour her child here in Revelation and the very first announcement of the Messiah coming forth in Genesis 3:15 rings in our ears. Adam and Eve weren’t the only ones who heard the curse as it came from God’s mouth . . .the serpent heard every word.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her [a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel.  Genesis 3:15 AMP

This first prophecy of Jesus could not have more clearly stated that the Savior would be a “He” and from that moment forward the serpent’s agenda had to include trying to destroy the “Offspring.” We see the evidence of it in the opening chapters of the Book of Exodus as Pharaoh is killing the Hebrew baby boys. It just seems to me that that had to be the work of the enemy, who even then, knew his time was short. And just like the woman Revelation records being cared for in the desert, God cared for His chosen people as they wandered for 40 years.

We see the Ancient Serpent, the Devil, still trying to destroy the Child through Herod at the birth of Christ and we travel with Joseph and Mary as they flee to Egypt in response to the angel’s warning.  And how will the final fulfillment of the Revelation come to pass at the end of the age? I have no idea but I do know, and so do you Sister, that in every age God faithfully preserves His people.

I know it’s a very simplistic view but the idea of Revelation being our final deliverance, our final emergence from the constraints of this world . . .our final Exodus, well, that fits for me no matter where the scholars come down on the thing. Doesn’t it seem an exercise in futility to try and define the activity of God and make Him fit neatly into a box our finite minds have created?  Our Infinite God, our Elohim, has been planning to deliver His children home since before time began and it seems that Revelation speaks a combination of flashbacks and flash forwards that concludes with God being God.   The final Book, the conclusion of the redemption story where we see God be who He says He is and do what He says He will do is the culmination of it all.

The culmination of a God who does not change. The culmination of a God whose purposes cannot be thwarted. The culmination of a God who is, who was, and who is to come. There are many things left open to interpretation in the Book of Revelation but the constancy, the commitment, and the consistency of God is not one of them.

From the opening verse in Genesis to the concluding discourse in Revelation. . . . God remains God. The same God who cultivated the beauty of creation and spoke life into existence has authored life in you. The same God who met His people in their captivity and led them out under the banner of freedom has met us in our bondage, unshackled our hearts, and set us free. The same God who was faithful when His children were faithless is faithful to this very day.

We can’t get so immersed in looking behind the Holy Writ for the “what’s really being said” that we miss the clear message . . . He has saved us. He has delivered us. He has set us free. And Girlfriend, He will make certain that we make it home.

creation swap headed home 1554_Road ribbet

The way home has not changed . . . #lessonsfromlent

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