Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wrath to Come 12:12 Revelation

Revelation 12:12: The Wrath to Come

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth andof the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

The wrath the inhabitants of the earth will be subjected to during The Great Tribulation will come from more than one source.

In Revelation chapter six, we see a reference to the “wrath of the Lamb.”

In Revelation chapter fourteen, we see a reference to the “wrath of God.”

In addition to these things, each of which in and of themselves, are legitimate things to fear and avoid at all costs, in Revelation 12:12, we see the inhabiters of the earth and sea informed that these woes will be compounded by the fact that the wrath of Satan will be added into the mix.

John the Baptist was prophet who had real insight into, and understanding of, the Old Testament prophecies concerning the events of the “wrath to come.” He understood the almost absolute devastation of the earth and human population it would cause. We see that in Matthew chapter 3 verse 7.

Paul understood these things as well and, in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, was praising God that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only to saves our souls from hell but also to delivers us from the “wrath to come.”

There is no doubt that Paul and John the Baptist were both referencing the events that are described so vividly in The Revelation.

Jesus confirms this in his statement seen in Luke 21:34-36 where he emphatically gives warning to “…pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Jesus said again, in The Revelation chapter 3 that he would keep those who keep his word from (out of) the hour of temptation (trial) that was coming upon all the world.

Don’t wait, if you know all is not well with your soul, make it right. Turn to Jesus who is reaching out to you. Repent of the unbelief that will steal your soul for eternity. Romans 10:9-10 & 13 promises salvation to all who call upon the name of the Lord believing that Jesus Christ is his risen son.

2 Corinthians 6:2 says now is the accepted time, now is day of salvation.

Acts 2:38 says:.
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb - Revelation 19:7-9

Revelation 19:7-9 says, Let us rejoice and be glad and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he saith unto me, write, blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.

The book of Revelation is a future book, and from chapter four on, it is written specifically to those who will be living during the times of The Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation. At the time of this writing, there is still time to accept the marriage proposal and attend the wedding as the Bride! 

Missing the wedding could prove to be fatal. Missing the reception (marriage supper) will definitely be fatal.

The message in Revelation 19:7-9 is two-fold. We read about the Lamb’s wife, who has already made herself ready. And we see a reference to those who are invited to the Marriage Supper.

The wedding takes place in Heaven. The reception (marriage supper) takes place on earth.

We know this, because we see the Lamb’s wife coming out of Heaven with Jesus at the time of his return. In verse eight, she is arrayed in fine linen. Compare that with verse fourteen, which portrays the armies of Heaven leaving Heaven with Jesus on their way to the battle of Armageddon (see the rest of the chapter). They are arrayed in fine linen. The Lamb’s wife is included in the armies of Heaven, and will participate in the battle of Armageddon.

The marriage takes place in Heaven. But when did the Lamb’s wife arrive in Heaven? A couple of passages answer this question for us:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 tells of the dead being raised and the living “caught up.” This depicts what is known as the “Rapture.”
  •  Revelation 4  corresponds to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and shows the church, those who belong to Christ in this present age of grace as being in Heaven prior to the events of both the Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation.
  •  Revelation 11 tells about the 2 witnesses who will prophesy during the 1260 days of Jacob’s Trouble.
  •  Revelation 14 reveals the 144,000 who are sealed with a mark of God’s protection before The Great Tribulation begins and are caught up at some point before the physical return of Christ.

The marriage supper (the reception) takes place on earth—after both the battle of Armageddon and the Judgment of the Nations is completed. Those invited to the reception are a completely different group than those who came out of Heaven with Christ, and comprise those who did not accept the original marriage proposal but endured to the end of The Great Tribulation. They missed the wedding altogether, but survived The Great Tribulation and survived the Judgment of the Nations (which immediately follows the battle of Armageddon), and are blessed to attend the reception with the Bride and Groom. 

Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb….

E-book is a FREE download. Bible prophecy is all about redemption, and the book, Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified, presents us with a panoramic and chronological overview of God's plan of redemption for our souls, bodies, and this earth as revealed in scripture. The day The Towers Fell was prophesied in the Bible. The basket of currency connected with the Euro is found in the Bible. Details concerning the Rapture, The Great Tribulation, and the first 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth are looked at from the unique perspective of the seven prophetic feasts of the Lord found in the book of Exodus. Bible Prophecy Simplified is simple enough for beginning prophecy students, but there is plenty to intrigue intermediate and advanced students as well. The Bible reveals methods the antichrist will use in his rise to power and the location of his home base.

When God's Great Redemption is Understood
Bible Prophecy is No Longer Complicated or Mysterious

Jocelyn Andersen, is Founder and Pastor of Hungry Hearts Ministries. She ministers in preaching and teaching as well as in writing, and through her 24/7 Bible Talk Radio station, She is the author of several Christian books, including the short but powerful booklet entitled, Jesus, God of the Burning Bush: Eternal Father & Beloved Son. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn

Four Angels Four Winds - Revelation 7:1-3

In Revelation 7:1-3, The earth is sitting on the brink of devastating judgment. Four angels are stationed at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth. These angels are endowed with tremendous destructive power that will be violently unleashed as soon as the servants of God, the 144,000 Jews, are sealed in their foreheads.The angels are instructed not to hurt the earth, sea, or trees until these servants of God have been sealed in their foreheads.

Are the angels holding the four winds Holy Angels? Or are they fallen angels?

We know from scripture that God is in control of all powers, even Satan’s. But there is scriptural evidence that He can and does use fallen angels to accomplish His purposes. The scriptures refer to Satan as the prince of the powers of the air. And it is air (wind) that these angels hold in their power.

Think about the consequences of fallen angels that hold power over the wind and the sea: hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, fierce thunder storms, tsunamis….

There is a parallel to Revelation 7:1-3, In Ezekiel 9:1-11. In Ezekiel, we see a city sitting on the brink of judgment. We see angels with slaughter weapons in their hands. We also see an angel, clothed in linen, with an ink-horn in his hand. The angel with the ink-horn, is commanded to set a mark [of protection] in the foreheads of all the servants of God in the city (them that sigh and cry over the sin surrounding them).

Only after the righteous are sealed with that seal of protection, are the destroying angels free to do their devastating work. They acted upon the direct command of God. But were they fallen angels? Or were they Holy angels?

 ... Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified, presents us with a panoramic and chronological overview of God's plan of redemption for our souls, bodies, and this earth as revealed in scripture. The day The Towers Fell was prophesied in the Bible. The basket of currency connected with the Euro is found in the Bible. Details concerning the Rapture, The Great Tribulation, and the first 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth are looked at from the unique perspective of the seven prophetic feasts of the Lord found in the book of Exodus. Bible Prophecy Simplified is simple enough for beginning prophecy students, but there is plenty to intrigue intermediate and advanced students as well. The Bible reveals methods the antichrist will use in his rise to power and the location of his home base.

When God's Great Redemption is Understood
Bible Prophecy is No Longer Complicated or Mysterious

When Will We Rule & Reign With Christ? Revelation 5:9-10

In Revelation 5:9-10, we are presented with a group of blood bought, resurrected and raptured saints. We know they have already been raised/caught up, because we see them in Heaven, before the throne of God, and wearing crowns of gold (Revelation 4:4), because they have already been raised, judged, and rewarded.

The chronology of The Revelation is clear that these things occur before any seals of judgment are opened and loosed upon the earth, initiating The Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation.

These redeemed people are praising the Lamb for two things. They are praising him for redeeming them with his blood, and they are praising him because they are looking forward to reigning on the earth with him.

Jesus, the only Christ, is God of gods, Lord of lords, and King of kings. And he will have the last word. He that sits in the Heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have his enemies in derision, and Jesus will establish a kingdom that will have no end.

But he is not reigning on this earth just yet.

With all the filth and unrighteousness we see around us, it is a gross insult to him to even suggest that he is. It goes without saying, that those who belong to him are not reigning yet either, nor will they... until Heaven opens and Christ returns visibly and physically to this earth, with all his saints.

Those who teach that mere mortals will be instrumental in “ushering in” the Kingdom of Christ by bringing about conditions on earth which will “release” Christ from Heaven, have no idea what they are talking about.

In Revelation 5:9-10 we see two things. We see the pre-tribulational resurrection of the dead in Christ and the pre-tribulational rapture of the ekklesia—the called out [out of] assembly (i.e., the Church). We also see that any ruling and reigning that will be done, is still a future event and will not take place until after The Great Tribulation is concluded. We know this because Christ will not return to earth with his resurrected and raptured saints until the battle of Armageddon, which will conclude The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Revelation 19).

New Age Christianity, examines ways New Age teaching and practices find their way into Christian churches and lives. The prophetic and spiritual formation movements are just a few of those ways. Both movements corrupt believers from the simplicity of Christ by weaving unbiblical precepts and practices into the fabric of their lives and faith.

Pray That Ye May Escape....Revelation 5:1-5

Revelation 5:1-5

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Who is worthy to open the book of judgment and to loose the seals of judgment?

Just as surely as there is a book of life, there is a book of judgment. And just as surely as that book of life will be opened, so will the book of judgment be opened.

Before Christ can establish his kingdom in righteousness, sin on earth must be judged.

And when the book of judgment is opened, and the seals decreeing the judgments are broken, sudden destruction will descend upon the ensnared people of the earth and, with the exception of the few who are protected by the seal of God during this time, there will be no escape from these judgments.

But who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals decreeing the righteous judgments of God upon a rebellious race of humans and upon an earth corrupted by sin?

Is any angel in heaven worthy to open a book and loose seals which will bring devastating judgments upon a God rejecting race? No, not even one. No angel ever became a man. No angel was ever born in sin and required to strive against sin as a human being. No angel could ever cleanse the sin of man and offer a way for him to be pardoned and attain eternal life. How could an angel do such a thing when angels are beings who cannot shed their blood and die for sin—much less triumph over sin by rising from the dead? Therefore, no angel is worthy open the book or look upon it. The option is not even offered to them.

What about man? Can a man be found who is worthy to open the book and break the seals which decree the judgments? Can a man be found who is worthy to even look upon the book?

In all of recorded history, only one can be found—only one man born without the taint and automatic death sentence passed upon all of Adam’s race.

Only one man can be found who kept himself sinless while enduring every temptation known to man. This man said I will take the punishment for the sins of all men. I will empower mankind to be saved from the taint of sin that now resides in the world and to rise above it. I will make it possible for all men to be able to stand in the presence of God. This man gave his life so all men could live. This man rose from the dead so that sin and death can one day be abolished forever.

This man, Jesus Christ, the lion who is a lamb, is worthy to judge those who reject the way of escape he so freely offers to all who will come to him, now, in the time of favor. But those who reject him during this present time of favor, and are alive when Jesus comes to raise the dead and catch up the living who belong to him, will find themselves utterly ensnared and trapped on earth during the time of the judgments contained within the seven seals of the book that is held in the right hand of him who sits upon the throne.

Jesus Christ is not only worthy to open the book and loose the seals, but he will open the book and loose the seals. And his message to all can be found in the 21st chapter of the book of Luke in the 34th through 36th verses:

“…take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

When We Do Right--But We're Not Right - Revelation 2:1-6

02:1-6 Revelation-Ephesus

When We Do Right but We’re Not Right

Verse one of Revelation Chapter two makes it clear that Jesus is speaking to the angel, or the messenger (many believe to be the pastor, and I tend to agree) of the church at Ephesus. This letter was written to a specific person. It was delivered and read to the church. It was not written to a spirit being such as a holy angel from Heaven.

The seven stars we see in this verse are defined in chapter 1 verse 20 as being the angels (messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches themselves.

In verse 2, Jesus has some words of praise for this pastor. He acknowledges the hard work this pastor is doing. He acknowledged the perseverance of this person. The pastor had some very praiseworthy things to his credit.

Jesus saw fit to praise the fact that this man did not fall for every wind of doctrine—or new “move of God” by following false apostles, but rather that he tested those who claimed apostleship but in reality were not. This pastor had no problems exposing these liars.

Let me say here that I am not necessarily in agreement with the position that each of the seven churches in The Revelation parallel the church at different points in history. Profane history always validates Biblical history and Biblical prophecy, but should never be used to interpret scripture. The opposite is true, though, scripture can always be used to interpret history. History never has, and never will, contradict scripture.

The seven churches in The Revelation were literal churches that had issues relevant to the church as a whole at that time as well as throughout all history, at any given time.

Today, due to the ease of mass communication through media and technology, and accelerated demonic spiritual activity, we are faced with a proliferation of false apostles that would have sent the pastor at Ephesus into orbit. The numbers are staggering. But the problem of false apostles has been with the church from the beginning. Peter addressed the issue great detail, as did John and Jude.

In verse three of Revelation chapter two, Jesus continues to praise this pastor’s work, his patience, his perseverance for the name of Jesus. There is no doubt that this man contended faithfully for the faith—with accuracy—else the praise would not be there.

Nevertheless, in verse four we see Jesus throwing a big “BUT” in there. In essence, this is what we hear Jesus saying, “In most everything, dear pastor, you are doing great! But we have a problem—a BIG one.”

The man had good works, He was a hard worker. He persevered and did not falter with discouragement in spite of the fact that he lived in an incredibly sinful city. He boldly contended for the faith testing those who made claims to apostleship—then exposed them publicly for the liars they were. Jesus found all of this very praiseworthy. But all of this was apparently not enough for this pastor’s ministry, and his entire church, not to be threatened. We see that in verse five where Jesus threatens to remove not only him but also his church out of his place.

This is a very serious consequence.

The Revelation is a prophecy—all of it. And I believe that one of the reasons it begins with an overview of the church is because the issues the early church dealt with would be accelerated as the end of the age drew near. The church today faces everything the early church faced and to a greater degree. Scripture declares this to be so.

What was this, apparently “good” pastor’s problem—a problem so serious that Jesus threatened to remove not only his personal ministry but also his church (candlestick) out of its place? The Bible says we are the light of the world. That is only because Jesus dwells in us and we are to reflect his light. Our Candlestick is intended to be seen. It is intended to be a beacon of safety in a dark and very dangerous world.

The pastor of the church in Ephesus had a serious “heart” problem that no amount of “good work” could cure. He had left his first love. He was “doing” all the right things it seemed. And no doubt he started off right—the praise he received from the Lord verifies that—but somewhere along the way his motivations had shifted. What caused this shift? Scripture does not say. All it says is that this pastor had left his first love.

His relationship with Jesus had shifted from a relationship of love, loyalty and commitment, to one of simply compliance.

David understood the subtleties of this issue. He defined it in Psalm 51 when he said, “for thou desirest not sacrifice (i.e., compliance to your law); else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Serving God is always a heart thing. It is a love thing. Hating sin always begins with us—with being sorry for our own sin. This pastor at Ephesus was contending for the faith, he could not bear those who were evil. He was working hard and exposing the false apostles among them. This was a good thing. But he was also attempting to remove splinters from the eyes of others while he had a huge log in his own. And Jesus bluntly told him to get his heart right or else….

How many of us have experienced a motivational shift in our relationship and service to the Lord? We started out absolutely in love with Jesus, and our relationship with him was a joy, our work for him was a labor of love. But somewhere along the way something changed?

What could have caused the change? Fear? Do we now work hard “for Jesus” because we are afraid we will lose God’s approval, our salvation or our “ministry” if we do not?

Have we focused so much on “building a ministry” that the thing no longer belongs to God—is no longer a service to God, but the ownership of it has shifted and it now owns us instead, and our lives are spent doing what needs to be done in order to make sure “the ministry” survives? Jesus said, “You have left your first love.”

Do we give tithes and offerings because the Bible tells us too, but are resentful when we give the money? God doesn’t need our money, nor does he simply want our compliance. He wants our hearts. God loves a cheerful giver.

Could lust or ambition for power, money or some spiritual experience have caused a “shift?”

Issues of the heart, and our love relationship with our Savior, are so important to him, that he sees it as the utter rejection that it is when our affection cools and our faithfulness and loyalty shifts. When that happens, we begin to cheat on God. We begin to commit adultery. We take a lover while lying to our spouse. The Bible says our maker is our husband. We lie to our spouse, to ourselves, and to everyone else involved about where our true affections lie.

Jesus says to remember from where we have fallen from. He commands us to repent and do our first works over, or else he will come quickly and remove our candlestick (remember, Revelation 1:20 defines the candlestick as one of the seven churches). When a pastor or minister leaves his first love, it not only has a detrimental affect on him personally, but also on those who follow him. Jesus said so when he said, “The blind lead the blind and they both fall into the pit.”

Pastors, we need to take care that we do not become pied pipers, because that is exactly what happens when our motivations shift and we leave our first love—Jesus removes us, and often, we take the majority of our followers along with us.