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Rev. 19:7-10

5/9/10 The universe is right to celebrate. Evil conspired against this event, but it has come. It is the wedding of the Lamb and his bride who has been made ready. His bride is the New Jerusalem, which is in contrast to Babylon. Babylon symbolizes the apostate church, Jerusalem symbolizes the true church of Christ.

The people of God and the kingdom of earth are all involved in this wedding/coronation. God’s people are ready. They have been purified in the fire of suffering as Jesus was. They have dressed themselves in the righteousness of Christ living in them and working through them. They have been transformed in heart and deed.

Later when the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven prepared as a bride, it is the people of God returning to the kingdom of earth as Jesus claims it as his own and sets us up as rulers, as Adam had been originally.

John was commanded to write this down, “Blessed are those called to the wedding banquet.” It’s a forgone conclusion. There is no question about the outcome of this controversy. God’s word is never void. He is never wrong.

John, overwhelmed, responds to this part of the vision in a way he has not responded so far in everything he has seen. He falls down to worship, but the angel must stop him saying that he is only a bond servant like John. We labor together with angels.

“Worship God.” That is what all this has been about: worship. The testimony of Jesus is defined here. It’s not a testimony about Jesus in just any terms, but specifically in prophetic terms.

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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 17:12-14

4/29/10 V. 12, The ten horns on the beast, which are the nations of the world, are the ten kings that haven’t yet received their power, so they are as yet unidentifiable.

They become rulers for one hour. This time period need not necessarily be seen as prophetic time but may easily symbolize of a short, non-specific period of time. First, one hour is not an unusual way to state a period of time; second, prophetic time isn’t necessarily required to make sense of the prophecy; and third, chapter 18, which is an exposition of this part of the vision, calls this same time period one day and one hour interchangeably (Rev 18:8, 10, 17, 19).

V. 13, These kings have one purpose, they are given authority by the nations of the earth to bring the entire earth into unity with the beast. This is their sole function, and they accomplish it. This union of religion and civil power has one purpose also: the annihilation of God’s people.

V. 14, They wage war against the Lamb, via his people. But the Lamb overcomes, as usual, because he is king of kings and Lord of all lords. And those who are with him are his called, chosen, and faithful people–the same who are part of the kings from the East (Rev 16:12).

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 17:1-2

4/24/10 One of the seven angels (the one with the sixth bowl, we later discover) tells John to come and be shown the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters. John doesn’t see her yet. He is just told to come see.

The great prostitute is shown to him in Rev 17:3 and it is the woman sitting on the scarlet beast who is Babylon Rev 17:5, the great city Rev 17:5. The many waters she sits on are the Euphrates River, which represents peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages Rev 17:15. They are her resources. The harlot is an allusion to Is. 1:21, which says, “How the faithful city has become a harlot, she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now murderers.”

This woman had once been a faithful church to Jesus Christ, but no longer. Now she “sits” on many waters, her resources, those who support her (see Jer 50:35-38).

The kings of the earth, the nations, come into some kind of illicit relationship with her, presumably because both they and the church thought this would be mutually beneficial. So the prostitute, apostate Christianity, hooks up with the nations of the world. It is a union of church of state. But the inhabitants of the world are just drunk and confused by all of these developments.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 14:12-13

4/12/10 The context is the seal of God and the mark of the beast. Those with the mark of the beast are loyal to the beast’s system of worship while the saints endure patiently the beast’s attempts to force them to break the fourth commandment.

The reference to the commandments in this particular context is important and yet another evidence that the seal of God is the fourth commandment.

They also have the faith of Jesus, which is the faith in the Father that Jesus had to strengthen him and see him through the darkness of a sin-ravaged world.

A voice came from heaven telling John to write “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” This is referring to the time of the context, those who die in the final persecution. They will have a brief rest from the trials of life (and Adventists believe they will be a part of a special pre-resurrection so that they will see Jesus coming).

“For their deeds will follow them.” In other words they will be rewarded according to their obedience to God even in the face of trials and even death.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 14:7

4/9/10 The message that God’s people will be carrying to the world through their evangelism is the gospel couched in terms of fearing God, giving him glory, and worshipping him, all in the context of the end of time, judgment time.

The parts of the Bible that tell us the time in which we live are Daniel and Revelation. These books identify our place in history. So in sharing the gospel God’s end time messengers will be sharing from these prophecies. We will be pointing out the time we’re living in and showing people the urgency of the times. Our call from this biblical context will be to fear God.

Fear God: Fearing God means to take him seriously. When do parents feel that they are being taken seriously by their children? Is it when the children obey or disobey, are respectful or disrespectful, when they listen or do not listen? To take God seriously, especially in light of Rev 12:17, means that we will obey God by keeping his commandments, sharing him with others, respecting him, being in relationship with him.

Ps 96, which is strongly alluded to in this passage, breaks down what fearing, glorifying, and worshipping looks like. We fear God over idols–images to beasts. We fear him as Creator.

Glorify: We glorify God first by proclaiming his glory to others. We represent him aright before people, we bring offerings (Ps 96:8), we dress with respect to who God is (Ps 96:9 NASB), we proclaim God’s sovereignty, we proclaim his mighty deeds, particularly his big four: creation, flood, exodus, and exile. We glorify him by recognizing his majesty, splendor, strength, and beauty. We glorify him by carrying his name in perfect vessels, physically healthy bodies, clear minds, Christlike thoughts and actions.

Worship: We worship in song that blesses him, we proclaim his salvation, we worship him in context of creation. The allusion here is specifically to the fourth commandment. So we worship as he has asked us to worship. This is the seal of God that opposes the mark of the beast. Here in the center of the commandments, as was in all ancient covenants, is the seal of the author of the covenant. It states who he is (Creator) and the seal of our loyalty to him. So worshipping God in context of the Sabbath is central. So central in fact that chiastically speaking this is the dead center of the book of Revelation.

Beyond worshipping on the seventh day Ps 96 gives more specifics on how to worship. We worship dressed for the occasion (NASB), we worship with joy, with respect, and reverence, etc.

Judgment: We do all of this because the hour of his judgment has arrived. We are living during judgment time. This is a special time for showing loyalty in the ways God is looking for it. In Ps 96 this judgment is a time of joy because justice will finally prevail. Wrongs will be set right. The wicked will be punished and the righteous will be rewarded.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 14:1-5

4/7/10 Then John sees the Lamb standing on Mt. Zion and with him 144,000 who have Lamb’s and his Father’s names on their foreheads. John just finished describing the beast and those who had his name on their foreheads and hands. The 144,000 are the same as the great multitude in Rev 7. The Lamb’s name on their foreheads are his character and loyalty to him.

Then John hears a sound like a voice from heaven. John is at a loss how to describe the sound so he gives several descriptions: many waters, loud thunder, many harpists. And the 144,000 were singing.

I’m not clear if the sound was their singing or accompaniment to their singing, but it’s probably their singing that was the sound. They stood before the throne of God that John had seen earlier with the elders and living creatures, and they sang a new song that only they could sing. Why could only they sing it? Because the song was about their redemption. They were the ones purchased by the blood of the Lamb, so only they could sing about it.

This group is made up of those who had been faithful to Jesus. They had not followed after strange women, which is standard metaphor for the church. They had remained faithful to the church of Christ and not followed apostate beliefs. They are the ones willing to do whatever the Lamb asked in spite of the consequences. They are the harvest of earth, the wheat among the tares.

No lie was found in their mouths. Laodiceans lie a lot because they say they are rich and in need of nothing, whereas they are really wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. The 144,000 aren’t lying because they have admitted their true condition and have overcome it by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Therefore they are blameless.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 13:17-18

4/6/10 The land beast makes it so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name. An interesting cross reference with Gal 6:17 is recognized here in which the marks of Jesus are mentioned, and Paul says that he bears them. Perhaps there was a standard metaphor among first century Christians about marks? This would make sense if the beast is a counterfeit of Jesus.

Paul didn’t bear the same wounds as Jesus except for lashings, so the marks of crucifixion wouldn’t fit the bill. But the marks of overall suffering because of loyalty to God would fit. At any rate, those who can continue to buy and sell carry a mark, the name of the beast, which means that they must identify themselves with him, cast their loyalty in with him, or the number of his name.

Three elements are going on: the beast himself, his image, and the number of his name (Rev 15:2). The saints gain victory over all three. They gain victory of the beast himself by not giving their loyalty to him. They gain victory over his image by not supporting the union of church and state. And they gain victory over the number of his name most likely by refusing to worship as commanded as in the story of Daniel 3, which is probably one of the likeliest of explanations for 666: the image termed in measurements of sixes, a decree to worship the image, a death decree for disobeying.

Seeing that we are using symbols these are not repressing a literal image. The number of the beast is something that can be counted, which someday at its fulfillment we will recognize clearly. It’s man’s number.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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