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Archive for the ‘Revelation Snippets’ Category

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20

With these words, plus a benediction, the book of Revelation ends. It ends with a prayer. John has just finished glimpsing the distant future, a future filled with both tremendous horror and tremendous praise. Look at the book of Revelation from the perspective of one apart from Christ, it is a book of horror. Calamities beyond imagination are coming and there is no escape. Look at it from the perspective of one belonging to Christ, and it is a book of praise. Yes, there will be much pain, much suffering, much destruction, but the overarching theme of Revelation is not the horrors of the tribulation period, it is the victory and supremacy of Christ. What happens on earth happens at His command. When all the dust settles, He stands victorious with the sanctified children He died to redeem.

John saw this day and longed for it to come. Do we? I’ve heard many people say they want the Lord to return, just not yet. Some of their reasons are noble. They have unsaved friends or loved ones who aren’t ready for the Lord’s return. Others don’t want Him coming back yet because there are things they want to do first. Whatever the reasons, this viewpoint seems to be foreign to the men God used to pen the New Testament. They write of our Lord’s return with longing and anticipated joy. If anyone had cause to hesitate regarding the Lord’s return, it was John. His vision could not have been easy to watch. But what were his words when the vision finished? “Come, Lord Jesus.” He longed for the day when His beloved Lord achieved that final, complete victory over evil.

Should we all go stand on a mountain top and stare at the sky? No. But should we long for the return of the Lord even as we go about His business? I think so. Do you?

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“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself with be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3

God used to walk in the Garden of Eden with Adam in the cool of the day. Then sin entered and that intimate level of communion ended. Man could no longer be in the direct presence of God. Since that dreadful day, God has been working to redeem for Himself a people who can once again be in His presence. That is the end-game of it all; that God may dwell with His people and they with Him. In a sense, of course, God dwells with His people now via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each true believer. This is something different. I don’t understand exactly how this will work out, but I do know it is something I long for more and more.

Our pastor asked a question this week: Would you rather be closer to your Savior or “fill in the blank.” Would you rather be closer to your Savior or have that dream job? Would you rather be closer to your Savior or meet the person who will be your perfect spouse? Would you rather be closer to your Savior or have a life filled with ease and comfort? The list goes on and on. God can and does give us marvelous gifts, but when they become the object of our hope instead of gifts from a loving, gracious Father who is our only hope, there’s a problem. The end-game is to live continually in God’s presence. If that’s where we’re headed, why do we let anything else take priority while we’re on the way?

May nothing take God’s place in our hearts as our hope, our joy, our peace, our security. May nothing grow more important to us than being closer to Him.

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“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” Revelation 20:7

Why is Satan bound for a thousand years and then released? Why is he allowed to once again wreak havoc and inspire rebellion against the Lord? These are questions that have hounded people who study the book of Revelation. Why, after defeating Satan and his minions at the final battle of Armageddon, would God not toss him into the lake of fire once and for all and be done with it? Ultimately, we don’t need to know the answer. This is the way God has decided to do things, and His reasons must be sufficient. Nevertheless, there is one possible answer that shines some light not only on who God is, but who man is.

Mankind, since Adam pointed his finger at Eve, has always had an excuse as to why he doesn’t obey God. During the millennium, all of those excuses will be gone. Mankind will live in a perfect environment. Every need will be amply provided for. Peace will reign throughout the earth. Mankind will live in harmony with each other and with nature. And as for the excuse that we have no evidence that God even exists, let alone that Jesus is Him, He’ll be personally reigning from Jerusalem. Every excuse gone. And what happens? At the end of the thousand years a vast multitude of the people living on earth will once again decide to believe Satan rather than God. They will gather together to make war against the very God who has graciously, perfectly, personally given them ample proof that He is worthy to be worshipped and obeyed.

Someday, we all will have to give an account for our lives. On that day, those who have rejected God and the salvation He offers will have no excuse.

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“And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen…” Revelation 18:2a

The discussion flies fast and furious over who exactly Babylon the great is here. Three views I’ve heard most often are the literal city of Babylon in Iraq, America, or the whole worldly system that opposes God. Regardless of who it is, one thing is certain. Babylon the great is going down. There is no question about it, this entity, renowned for her rebellion against God and her corrupting influence, will face total and complete destruction. The world views Babylon as a great and mighty city, her downfall mourned the world over. God views Babylon as the vilest of poison, and her destruction causes rejoicing in the heavens. Whoever Babylon is, the point is clear; Babylon, with all her evil, will not last.

The same is true of anything and everything that opposes God. It may not be in the dramatic, startlingly sudden manner that describes the fall of Babylon, but everything that opposes God will one day be gone. Frank Sinatra may sing with pride about doing it “my way” but the only way that will stand is God’s way. We as believers would do well to keep that in mind. What are we spending our time and energy on? Is it on things that will one day be destroyed? While we are not saved by the works we do, scripture is cleared that our work as believers will be tried. Will our works survive the testing and emerge refined like gold and silver, or will it be shown to be nothing more than worthless rubble that burns away like straw?

As the days grow more evil around us, let us invest ourselves not in the things of Babylon slated for destruction, but in the things of God which last forever.

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“These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

Satan has been at war with God since his fall, a war that will reach its climax at the end of the tribulation. It amazes me that Satan even attempts his final, all-out assault on God. The outcome has already been determined. The Lamb wins, because the Lamb is God. It must take incredible arrogance, not to mention incredible blindness, to believe that somehow, even though it is impossible to win when you war against God, that you will win anyway. But the sentence of doom against Satan and those who choose to side with him is a promise of hope to those of us who are with the Lamb.

Jesus will overcome. There is never a question, never a doubt. He will overcome, and those who belong to Him will overcome in Him. There is no struggle, no trial, no hardship that will be able to destroy those whose hope and trust is in the Lamb who overcomes. Keep your eyes on the struggle, you’ll go down until you learn better. Keep your eyes on the Lamb, He will keep you up, no matter how hard things get. I’m not saying you won’t hurt, you won’t cry, you won’t be tempted to despair. I’m saying that if you keep your eyes on God in faith, nothing will overcome your faith. You may lose your money, your well-being, your loved ones, your health, even your life, but your faith is secure in the hands of God, and He always overcomes.

When the worst happens, stand up, lift your head and your heart to Heaven, and remember, the Lamb will overcome.

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“These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes…” Revelation 14:4b

As with many end-times related subjects, there is a lot of speculations regarding who these 144,000 are. Regardless, I love the way they are described. These are the one who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Keep in mind, they will be following the Lamb during a time when doing so will bring extreme persecution. During the tribulation, the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is public enemy number one. Remarkably, when the world sees the sign of His imminent return to earth, they actually gather together to attempt to do battle with Him. Foolish as that attempt will be, it reveals the mindset of the unbelieving world at that time. They hate God, and hate anyone who follows Him. The 144,000 don’t care. They have eyes for one thing and one thing only, the spotless Lamb of God.

Following the Lamb is not something that should be unique to the tribulation period. Following the Lamb is the mark of the believer. Others follow the world, we follow the Lamb. Can someone point to us and say, “There is one who follows the Lamb wherever He goes.” Or do we follow Him when it’s convenient, when it fits in with our agenda, when it doesn’t cramp our style. Christ is called our life. (Col 3:4) Is He, or is He merely one thing on a list if things that define us? Even now, in the days leading up to the tribulation, the world doesn’t like those who belong to Jesus. Jesus bluntly told us this would be the case. Do we care? Do we let the world’s animosity toward the things of God turn our eyes from the only thing that really matters? Are we willing to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, regardless of the cost?

In the end, it is only God’s opinion of us that matters. May we strive to follow the Lamb wherever He goes and one day hear those amazing words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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“He performs great signs, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. “ Revelation 13:13

Satan is the great counterfeiter. Give someone a flat out lie; chances are they won’t believe it. Give them something close to the truth, with just a little bit of falsehood in it, and more often than not they’ll swallow it down. So it is with the false prophet, mouthpiece of the Anti-Christ. This man will perform miracles to rival Elijah. He’ll call fire down from heaven! Such power must prove he has the authority of God behind him, right? The world will be completely taken in by the signs he is able to perform. And when they are, he slips in deadly poison. Make an image to the beast, worship the beast. The message behind his miracles proves that this man is not God’s mouthpiece, but Satan’s. Those who refuse to listen to him will do so at the cost of their lives.

Even today, miracles are touted as proof that the miracle worker has God’s stamp of approval on him. Don’t get me wrong, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that our God is a God of miracles. I’ve experienced a few of them myself. But miracles shouldn’t blind us. If the miracle worker’s message proclaims anything but the truth of Scripture, reject him. If their doctrine isn’t sound, I don’t care how impressive their actions are, they are to be regarded with suspicion at best. In our culture we have become so divorced from the supernatural in our everyday lives that even common parlor tricks can impress us, let alone the seemingly miraculous things Satan is able to do. There are wolves out there, dazzling the crowd while feeding them poison. Be on your guard.

Listen to the message behind the miracles. If it points to God and His truth, give Him the glory. If it doesn’t, turn away and warn others to do the same.

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