Revelation Chapter 12

Verse 10

“For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

I have been accused of many things over the years, some of them good, some of them not so much. Some of the things I was accused of were true and some an outright lie. There is nothing quite like being accused of a wrongdoing. When I was younger, I would feel downright sick to my stomach with the knowledge that I had done something wrong. Whether it was big or small, I hated getting into trouble. I dreaded the look of disappointment in my parents’ eyes and the lectures that would follow. I hated every bit of it! 

The idea that the devil is standing in front of God rattling off a list of my wrongdoings is probably one of my greatest fears. Not so much that he is ratting me out but that God might believe him and be disappointed in me or worse yet…want nothing to do with me.

I am so grateful that I am covered by the blood of the lamb–FOREVER. The devil will continue to let God know everything that I do wrong. Trying to shake His opinion and love from me. Like a hunting dog with its prey. But it doesn’t matter…it just doesn’t matter. Why? Because with that covering I received as a child of the most high, I become blameless in God’s sight. 

Revelation Chapter 11

This chapter is a reminder of God’s power and supremacy over darkness and evil. In the mists of the holy city being trampled, God called two witnesses to proclaim his Word to all the nations. He gave them awesome powers that were used to protect themselves. When their testimony was complete, they were killed. The people of the world celebrated their demise because the message of God tormented them. After three and a half days, God resurrected the witnesses and took them to heaven in front of the world. 

One of the most comforting aspects of the chapters like this is that God’s Word will continue to be proclaimed no matter what is happening in this world. Even in situations where it seems like the darkness has swallowed the light, and those far from God seem to rejoice over the suffering of His people.  Their victory is a façade, God is sovereign, and nothing will prevail against the Kingdom of God.

Revelation Chapter 10

Two things jump out at me in today's reading of Revelation chapter 10.

First, a reminder of the power of Almighty God. The visuals of Jesus descending from the heavens, clothed in clouds, rainbow over his head, legs like pillars of fire and a face like the sun. One foot planted on the ocean, one on the land and whose voice altogether roared like a lion, clapped like seven thunders and whispered like a dove. It's almost impossible to comprehend! However, this IS the God we serve. 

Mighty beyond measure, greater than all human understanding, more powerful than the mysteries of the universe and yet, intimate with his most beloved of all creation. His children. 

We can take great comfort in reminding ourselves of this today. No matter what you're facing this week… God IS bigger!

Second, I reflect on our desire to know prophesy, to get a glimpse of what’s to come in our lives. Most of us feel pleasure in looking into future events and receiving a word from God, and it most often brings comfort. However in this case what God revealed to the apostle, was a time to come of much suffering and pain for all of humanity as it turns away from God, and the effects are even felt in the earth. This foreknowledge turned the apostle's stomach sour as he was commissioned to go and prophesy of this destruction to the people, in hopes of turning hearts back to God.

Prophesy is good, understanding is good. May the things God reveals to us through prophesy draw us to our knees in prayer. May we have hearts that are soft to His teaching and may our souls be nourished by His love. 

Revelation Chapter 9

Revelation 9 can seem like a very scary chapter for many people. When I first read it I left feeling confused, unsure, and afraid. I have spent some time listening to others speak on Revelation and studying it for myself. There is a lot if information here. Essentially it is describing a being opening the gates of hell to run rampant on the world. To most people this is terrifying. This is scary and we do not want to read this chapter or share this chapter with other people. However, if you keep reading, the beasts from the Abyss were given power and they were told not to those who had the seal of God on their foreheads. First all I notice that God gave these beings power, which means He is still in control. Secondly, He commands them not to harm people who believe and love God. This is comforting to me because literally hell will be let lose but I will be kept safe because God commands it. God is judge here and he lets the evil beings freedom to do harm. I am not one to question God’s judgment but the thing that this chapter reveals the most to me is, grace. God is judge and it is hard to read about and hard to imagine but I am reminded that that same God is also full of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.

Revelation Chapter 8

Revelation 8:3-5

Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. 5 Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.

This is one of the most vivid and profound images of the power of prayer.  It affirms the significance and effectiveness of prayer in both the natural and supernatural worlds.  When God’s people pray it moves God and His angels to act.  It causes things to be that would not have been.  It brings justice where there would have been continued injustice.  It brings healing where there would have been continued brokenness.  It brings sure hope where there would have been despair. 

What is frightening to me is the converse. If Christians don’t pray, then the bowls stay empty, and the power of God as it moves on earth is stayed or postponed. More personally speaking, if I don’t pray, then I allow the continuation of  sorrow, loss, pain, fear, anxiety, illness, hatred, greed, offense, etc., to reign in both my life, my wife and children’s lives, and on behalf of those the Spirit has called me to war in prayer.

 I encourage and challenge you to invoke the redeeming power of God and His Kingdom and “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere”(Ephesians 6:18).

Revelation Chapter 7

I once saw a painting that depicted the throne of God and before the throne was a group of people so vast that it was not practical to count. I remember the image of that painting capturing not just my gaze but my amazement. It really did get me thinking about what it will be like standing before El Shaddai, the Almighty God one day with all of His redeemed people. Even now, thinking about being in that vast crowd creates a sense of rich deep peace as well as joy in my soul, and brings a smile to my heart.

The whole book of Revelation brings a level of grandeur that is hard for my senses to take in. All of the heavenly scenes depicted and all that will happen is truly amazing.  

Here in Chapter 7, however, much of the text seems “a little” more understandable. Ok, the four angels work is a bit challenging, but the rest of the chapter conveys wonderful promises from our Abba Father, and His promises are worthy to trust and to firmly stand upon.

In verses 13 and 14 of Revelation chapter 7, we are given insight into this vast group of people who are standing in white robes before the throne waving palm branches, and from where did they come. The scriptures tell us that they are your friends and loved ones and all who have gone before us who have died in the Lord. Those who lived before Jesus and who had faith in God, and those who have died after Jesus' great sacrifice who claim His name as Savior and Lord. 

In verses 15 through 17 we are given wonderful promises that we will be protected and sheltered in God's presence. Our needs will be met as we are shepherded by Jesus himself, and we will have no more occasion or reason to cry as we dwell with God forever.  May it be so El Shaddai.  Amen

Revelation Chapter 6

“The wrath of the Lamb” (V16b). Now I’m just a city boy, but when I think of a lamb, the first thing I don’t think of is a lamb inflicting “wrath” and even if it did how much damage could a lamb do? But by the end of chapter 6 we read that the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person will hide themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, they will cry out to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb”

Why, why so scared, why are these people so worried about a “Lamb”? Because this Lamb, our Lamb is the only one in creation that has the Authority to open the seven seals, He is the only one worthy to judge the earth, not only for who He is, but what He has done. This Lamb, our Lamb is our Lord Jesus!

Chapter 6 is a time when no one wants to be on earth. Period. As each seal is broken the judgment of mankind on earth intensifies. My friend no matter where you stand on the "isms" be it Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, or Amillennialism you'll have to admit that as intense as it is that at this point in the future Gods judgment of man is just and righteous.

I love the book of Revelation!  I've studied these passages more than any other book of the Bible. One thing I know is that we are one day closer to Chapter 6, so my question to you is will you choose to hide and ask the mountains fall on you, or will you fall to your knees and give your life to the Living God? I pray that if you have never asked Jesus into your life that today is the day!

Revelation Chapter 5

The imagery that the Apostle John describes in his vision is nothing short of incredible! The closest thing I can think are inside grand buildings like the Palace of Versailles in France, Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral in Paris, or Sagrada De Familia, a modern cathedral in Barcelona.  All would come up short compared to John’s vision but definitely are grand and leave you overwhelmed with beauty and majesty.  I was struck by Apostle’s John’s weeping when it appeared no one was capable of opening the scroll.  Apostle John is ‘all in’ on the hope of life with God.  Am I ‘all in’ on the hope of the resurrection?  God’s plan for complete restoration of Life Together with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, three in one?    

Apostle John captures a worship picture totally focused on Jesus work that reconciles us to God.  The 24 elders sang a new song.  For those that follow Jesus we will be singing that new song in heaven with others from around the world to sing …

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!   

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Revelation Chapter 4

This is John’s vision of Heaven given to him by an angel of God. John describes a standing door open in Heaven. Through it was a throne and a description of the one sitting on it. 

John goes on to describe unearthly creatures, elders all giving praise to the one who sits on the throne. 

I think of John’s excitement, praise, and humility in the face of these overwhelming wonders. This was a vision of Heaven! 

A song comes to mind as I read Revelation 4: I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe. 

I can only imagine what it will be like When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see 

When you face is before me I can only imagine
I can only imagine Surrounded by You glory What will my heart feel 

Will I dance for you Jesus Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence Or to my knees will I fall 

Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine hey ya ah
Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine hey ya ah
I can only imagine yeah yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine ey ey ey
I can only imagine

Revelation Chapter 2

This chapter contains the prophetic message John is given for the first four of seven churches. As I read this, I struggled against not only a knee-jerk fear that this is the book of Revelation—an inscrutable book of prophecy that mere mortal me cannot possibly understand—but also the temptation to dismiss the content as being a message for others, for the named churches who have nothing to do with me.

Yet I see this repeated four times in the chapter: “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches” (7, 11, 17, 29). John says this after each message to each church.

Yikes. I definitely want to be among those with ears to hear. So I’ve gotta listen and understand. The good news is that I am to listen to the Spirit to understand what he is saying. I don’t have to approach this in my own knowledge and understanding. Yay.

I reread. I start with the understanding that though these letters are to churches, the churches aren’t buildings, they are the people who make up each church community. So I read this as a believer first, as a member of the Church of the Chimes second, and finally as part of the greater church, the body of Christ.

One thing is immediately clear—the Spirit sees all we do. And not just our actions, but our very hearts. And it’s not enough to be keeping things together for the most part, with a little falling behind on the side. Three out of four of the churches are praised for the ways they please the Lord but chastised for where they fall short.

The one that speaks me is the word for the church at Ephesus. The church seems to be pretty much doing everything right—they’re obedient and vigilant about truth. But Jesus can see through to their hearts—they may be doing all the right things, but what is their motivation? Where is the love for Jesus and the truth that they once had?

This is an acutely convicting concept. Why do I do the “good things” that I do? What am I grounded upon? Duty? The Law? I want my relationships with God and with others to be based in love. I don’t want to lose sight of that. 

I want the same thing for my church and for the body of Christ. Jesus came to serve, to save, to be the physical representation of God’s love for his people. How can we possibly claim to represent him without being grounded in that love?

So, Lord, as I am, as we are, vigilant in our focus on the truth, zealous in watching for false teaching and immorality, please pour out your love on and through us. Help us to cling to that love and never lose sight of it.