Monday, December 31, 2012

Absorption


This post was written in January 2009. I wrote it while Hannah, my middle child was sick for the fourth time in a year with a high fever. Whenever one of my girls is sick, I'm consumed with wanting to do whatever I can to make them better. As I was laying beside Hannah on the couch stroking her head and feeling the heat radiating from her tiny body all I could think about was wanting to absorb the sickness so she wouldn't have to endure the pain. I didn't only want to cover her and care for her, I wanted to take her sickness upon myself. I wanted to heal her from the pain physically but more than that I wanted to absorb her sickness permanently. While closing my eyes and envisioning this transfer, Christ gently reminded me of why He came and what He accomplished on the cross. Seeing the Israelites sin and depravity He offered a way to cover their sin by sacrifices, burnt offerings and sin offerings. This is referred to as the Old Order or Old Covenant. These sacrifices and offerings were never enough to completely take away sin but it was just enough to temporarily cover sin. The Law's purpose was to show them their depravity and the holiness of God. It was to convict their conscience of sin and open their eyes to their need for a Savior. The Law focused on the outer man but Christ came to purify the inner man. The sacrifices performed and required were God's way of reminding them of their inability to keep the Law. Jesus stated that He came not to condemn the law but to fulfill it, Matthew 5:17. If we could have kept the Law apart from Christ then Christ's death is nullified. You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6. Jesus, states in Mark 2:17, "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." In this verse is Jesus glorifying sin? NO, His purpose was that one has to realize they are sick to seek a physician. His response was to the Pharisees' who trusted in their own righteousness and in their deeds. Those who thought their righteousness before God could be obtained by keeping the Law. The Law's purpose then and now is to daily convict us of sin and awaken our love for Jesus as the final atoning sacrifice for my sin. To drive us deeper into Christ as He transforms us into His image. As we grow in the knowledge of our need for Him we fall more deeply in love with Him. We begin to depend not on our own righteous deeds but on His righteousness and His love for sinners.
Here is what occurred to me, I love Hannah so much that my heart's desire in the midst of her sickness was to absorb her pain and her sickness not just to mask it or cover it temporarily with Tylenol. The giving of the pain reliever was a reminder of her sickness. As soon as the medication would wear off the fever would come back.I wanted a supernatural transfer to occur. I didn't want to take her sickness upon myself because I was obligated as her mom to care for her, I wanted to take it upon myself because of my unbearable love for her. As she was laying next to me, I wanted to absorb her sickness so I could endure it on her behalf. Although, I held her and comforted her it was not enough to take away her sickness and relieve the consequence of her being sick. But unlike me, Christ has the power to absorb our sin and free us from our depravity.
God referred to Christ in Isaiah as Immanuel, God with us. He provided a way for us to be made perfect through His suffering. The name Jesus means, the One who saves. You see, it was out of His great love for us, He came down to dwell among us to reveal to us the truth, wear the robe of humanity, fulfill the law by living a sinless life and then dying a sinners death as the final atoning sacrifice for sin. His desire was to absorb our sin once and for all, so that we could be made perfect though His suffering. His sacrifice is totally sufficient for our sins. We are not only covered by His blood but transformed into his image. He endured a brutal death where every sin I have ever committed or will commit was placed upon him. He took on the punishment and absorbed the consequence of my sins. He did what I could not do so that by His death I became who I was created to be, a woman made in His image and for His purposes. For before Christ entered into my sin saturated body I was dead. I have been made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit, raised to new life and called a new creation.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.' Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired but a body you have prepared for me. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can NEVER take away sins; but He having offered one sacrifice for sins FOR ALL TIME, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting form that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:1-4, 5,11-14

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Beautiful Mundane Moments of the Ordinary

It's in the beautiful mundane moments of the ordinary, where God's grace and His provisions go unnoticed.
It's in these beautiful mundane moments of the ordinary that we tend to fall asleep and wish for greater moments. Oftentimes, missing God's grace wrapped up in the ordinary. We look to tomorrow thinking tomorrow will hold something greater than today.
The next stage of life, the next vacation, our little ones getting a little older. Our flesh yearns for something bigger, greater and more exciting. In our desires to make a bigger impact on the world we often miss the daily impact we make on those closest to us, our family, friends, community.
These ordinary moments are God's tender mercies. His preparation for what's to come. May I stay fully awake and my eyes open in these beautiful mundane moments of the ordinary. These moments which are wrapped in God's grace.  God works something beautiful in the mundane. He prepares our hands to serve, our heart to love, and our mind to recall His promises.
Time is fleeting, it fades in the recesses of our mind. We try to hold on to the memories of yesterday and yet they dissolve into moments. Fleeting moments of yesterday. Our kids will never again be as young as they were a moment ago. Oh Lord, how much time has passed by wishing for tomorrow to come.  Thank you for waking me up to the beautiful mundane moments of the ordinary.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Be Lifted High


The Revelation study, Unveiled, is taking a break until the second week in January. I want to take this advent season to focus on Jesus, the Creator of the Universe becoming the created. This post was written in 2010, it's focus is our rebellion against God and our need for a Savior outside of ourselves. A Savior who was born to die.

The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by the snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:8-9

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:14-16
The Israelites became impatient in the wilderness. They spoke against God and against Moses. They complained about everything from food to personal safety. They detested the Lord's provisions and Moses' leadership, and in doing this, the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The Israelites repented of their sin and asked Moses to pray to the LORD asking Him to take the snakes away. Instead of taking the snakes out of the wilderness, the LORD provided the Israelites with a means of escaping death, this means of escape, a bronze snake, lifted high on a pole and anyone who looks upon the snake will be saved from the deadly bite of the serpent.
This takes me back to Genesis to the serpent's first hiss at humanity. "Did God really say, you shall not eat from any tree in the garden?" nay, "You will not surely die" and again " For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:1,4,5. Subtle whispers, luring promises and partial truths caused Eve to take the first bite and since the fall, it has been the serpent that has been given the authority to bite the flesh of man and deliver the fatal bite of death. Before Adam and Eve's bite into the apple, the serpent had no authority to take life. But because of Adam and Eve's unbelief and rebellion against God, the serpent has been given this authority. Adam and Eve chose the serpent over God and in doing so the Spirit God breathed within them died and with this death, all men died and were born into sin. 1Corinthians 15:31

Apples-1
But just as God made provisions for Adam and Eve in the form of animal skins, where a sacrifice had to be performed to hide their nakedness, He provided a means of escape in the wilderness from the deadly bite of the viper. The viper He sent because of their grumbling and rebellion. But ultimately God provided humanity with the gift of Christ, the sacrifice of His Son. Christ, the One who spoke creation into being, and through whom all things where made, humbled Himself and came down to dwell among men. He did what we could not do for ourselves. Through one man, death came into the world but also through one man, resurrection from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:31
Sinless perfection lifted up on our behalf where He bore our sins. He was humiliated so that we might become holy and in His humiliation we have been set free from the power of death. When you look upon Him, lifted up on your behalf, and believe upon Him, the One without sin, the bite of the serpent has no venom and death has been conquered. He conquered the grave at the cross and His resurrection ensures the believer's life for we will not all die but be raised just as He was raised. Look upon Him, the author and perfecter of your faith. Gaze upon His sacrifice and take hold of His provision. Believe in and trust in what He has done for you, for you could not do it on your own. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's In a Name?



I have marked and dated in the front of my Bible, " I study the Bible for more of Jesus, who splits rocks in the wilderness. He is the reason for my worship. I don't just study the Bible for more wisdom or knowledge or even to have the right the answers. I study the Bible to know Him and to see Him working in me and through me.  In Him, is hidden all wisdom and knowledge. He is before all things and in Him all things are held together. Jesus, The Word of God." Dated 3/11/12 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  John 1:1-3

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called, The Word of God.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Revelation 19:11-16

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was Jesus, He created all things and in Him all things hold together. When He returns He will be called the Word of God. Jesus is and was the Word in the flesh. He came to earth to dwell among us to reveal to us the truth. What is the Truth? It is the infallible Word of God. The Word that was with God in the beginning. The Word that will be the defeat of the nations when He comes again in great glory. The Word that is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The Word, no creature is hidden but exposed to His sight, all things laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13 We don’t read the Word of God, it reads us. It exposes our need for a Savior and rescuer outside of ourselves because it reveals the sin stained areas within us. It crushes us daily so that Christ can daily resurrect us and reassure us of His unfailing love for sinners and His victory over the power of death and the devil. 
We never grow out of our need for Christ. We never move beyond His finished work. We will forever and always stand before the Father ONLY by His merit. We have been qualified, strengthened with power and rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son. We are to continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast and NOT MOVED away from the hope found in the Gospel, that Christ came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. We proclaim Him, warning every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete IN Christ. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; therefore standing firm and not submitting to a yoke of slavery.

The Word is referred to by Jesus and Isaiah as our Comforter, Helper, the Living Water that dwells within us and the Bread of Life that sustains us.
It is no wonder Satan does his best to distract me from God's Word. He tempts me to doubt it and compromise it by not proclaiming all of it. It's no wonder that in some churches today Truth is stumbling for we have turned aside the truth of God's Word and have attempted to slayed it with the carnal swords of unbelief, indifference, popularity and principles. It's no wonder that when I read His Word my flesh wages war with the Spirit- for no other word has the power to divide my innermost being and wage a war within myself.
Sanctification is not getting better and better and better and therefore needing Jesus less and less. It's growing deeper into Christ and His finished work. It's a daily submitting my flesh on the alter of His grace and reminding myself once again, I'm dead and no longer live but Christ IN me. I've already been given everything I need in Him so I don't need to secure for myself anything because in Him I already have everything I need. I'm free to serve, to die, to give and to love because now I'm truly free. Everything I do, I do for the praise and glory of another. Therefore, I'm to be an imitator of God, as a beloved child; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved me and gave Himself up for me, as an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:2. I'm not to overlook the first part of this verse and jump to the second part. I'm God's BELOVED in Christ. I'm a fragrance of the knowledge of Him.  I'm a pleasing aroma of Christ to God, to those who are being saved and to those who are perishing.  2 Corinthians 2:14,15.
For He who is called Faithful and True is coming again and it is with the Word that He will slay the nations. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. He is the One who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood- and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father - to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen Revelation 1:2-6
Lord, you are coming again in great glory. Sustain us with your mighty right hand as we eagerly wait for you. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord would reveal to us. Revive our hearts with the cooling waters of your Word.
Who is like you, O Lord, for you have called forth the generations from the beginning - You were with the first of them and you will be with the last of them - You are the Great I AM Isaiah 41:4

He is the image of the invisible God the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17

Original Post written July 2009 and reposted in August 2012. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Unveiled: Week 9 Notes

Pathways in Nazareth-1
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe, and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as the had been, would be completed also. Revelation 6:9-11
God will never ask us to do anything which He hasn't already done Himself. God's love came down. Jesus, the Word of God, clothed Himself in humanity so we might wear His robe of righteousness. Jesus didn't only become that, which He created, but His purpose in coming, was to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Perfect obedience to the Father, an unblemished sacrifice for the totally depraved human condition, sinless perfection becoming sin for sinners. He drank from the cup of God's wrath and absorbed in Himself our sins becoming the very embodiment of sin. These things, we couldn't do and wouldn't do but He did and right now intercedes on our behalf.

"What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:31-37. And they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as thy had been, would be completed also....Revelation 6:11
Let's take a moment to review what we have learned from studying Revelation 6. Read through the 7 Seal Judgements listed below.

  • Seal 1: 6:2 - White Horse: Antichrist goes out conquering and to conquer.
  • Seal 2: 6:4 - Red Horse: Rider is War
  • Seal 3: 6:5 - Black Horse: Famine
  • Seal 4: 6:7-8 - Pale Horse: over 1/4 of the earth death with sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts.
  • Seal 5:6:9 - Souls of Saints Under the Alter
  • Seal 6: 6:12 - Great Cosmic Disturbances
  • Seal 7: 8:1-5 - Silence in heaven for about half an hour: The seven trumpets and seven bowls.
Read Revelation 8:1-6
  • Who broke the 7th seal and describe what immediately happened? Why do you think this is significant? 
  • Read verses 3-6 slowly and thoughtfully. 
  • Describe what happens. What was the angel given? Where is this angel standing? 
  • What comes to mind when you read about the alter and about incense? 
  • What did we learn in Revelation 6:9 about the alter of incense and the souls of saints under the alter? Read Revelation 6:9 to remember what we have learned? Compare this verse with Revelation 8:3-6
  • What was added to the golden golden censer? What went up before God? Our prayers are as incense and rise before an All Powerful, Sovereign, gracious and merciful God, who breaths in our prayers and comforts us. He answers us in His time for His purpose. 
  • God begins to answer the prayers of the saints and the souls under the alter, "How long, O Lord, Holy and True will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood?" 
  • What happens in Revelation 8:5-6?
The 7 Angels Sound the 7 Trumpets and the One Woe Judgement
Read Revelation 8:7-9:21 and record what you learn about these 6 trumpets and 1 woe. We will look at these events recorded in Revelation 9 in greater detail next week. We will also discuss the 7th trumpet in a later chapter. 
  • Angel 1: 8:7
  • Angel 2: 8:8-9
  • Angel 3: 8:10-11
  • Angel 4: 8:12 
  • What happens in verse 13?
  • Angel 5: 9:1-12
  • Angel 6: 9:13-21
According to Revelation 9:20-21, how did the people respond to these 7 trumpet judgements? 
End your time today thanking God for His Son Jesus and asking Him to pour out His wisdom and revelation as you continue to learn about Him in His Word. I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Unveiled: Week 1 Notes

I wish I had a photo of my girls and my house right now. Having all four girls home from school, a list of to do's to prepare for Thanksgiving and trying to prepare my heart for this incredibly meaningful holiday, I felt I should spend the morning with the girls, enjoying them and not with my fingers banging away at the computer.
I thought I would re-post the notes from Week 1 of Unveiled. I realize many of you, might be visiting this blog for the first time. If this is your first time to Stones of Remembrance, I'm so glad you are here. We are in the middle of a study on Revelation. This is so different than anything I have done in the past but I knew between helping to lead a ministry in our church and writing a Bible Study, there would be little time to write so I wanted to include you all in what I was already preparing for others. Thank you for taking the time to visit. 

Worshipping in Water-1

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10
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As I mentioned in the last post, The Spirit of Prophecy, I feel led by the Lord to start posting the notes from a Bible Study I've been leading on the book of Revelation and the Old Testament prophets. These notes are NOT an exhaustive study on the End Times and Revelation. The purpose of the Bible Study is to learn and discuss what the Bible says and to discover the Truth for ourselves. I understand there are many ways to interpret the Book of Revelation and there are many scholars I respect that completely disagree with one another regarding this powerful book. Some scholars, believe this book is symbolic and others literal in their interpretations. As I mentioned in the post, The Spirit of Prophecy, I believe these prophecies will be literally fulfilled just as the prophecies concerning Christ's first coming were literally fulfilled. As I say this, I want to also acknowledge that many of the scholars during Jesus' day missed Him because they had their own interpretations of what His coming would look like and when He didn't look like how they interpreted the scriptures they rejected Him and His teachings. You see, the Holy Prophets, saw one vision but this vision contained two comings. To learn more read, One Vision, Two Comings. The nature of Old Testament prophecy is often a near fulfillment that foreshadows a far off future fulfillment.  Because they were prophets to Israel, they didn't see the church age. The people of Jesus' day anticipated a reigning King coming to establish His Kingdom not a Suffering Servant. Although, Isaiah and David prophesied about a Suffering Servant coming to be pierced through for our transgressions, many miss interpreted these passages in scripture because they seemed to contradict the verses of a reigning King coming to establish His Kingdom. I think we also need to keep this in mind when studying future prophesy that have yet to be fulfilled. Many verses regarding the last days also seem to be speaking of two different events that usher in His Eternal Kingdom. 
  • Read Isaiah 61:1-3 and compare these verses to Luke 4:16-21. What did Jesus proclaim to the people in His hometown? What verse did He leave out? Why do you think He did this? Notice the words He closed the book, and sat down.  What had been fulfilled? What time had not yet come?
  • Now read Isaiah 11:1-9 
    • Who was Jesse? How is the root or stem of Jesse described? 
    • Has Isaiah 11 been fulfilled? 
    • What does verse 9 tell us about that day? Why will there be no hurt or destruction on God's holy mountain? Who will rule the earth during this time? How is He described? 
  • Read Isaiah 53
    • How does this chapter open in verse 1? 
    • How is Jesus described in verse 2. Compare this to how Isaiah 11 opens up (root of Jesse). Same person. Different descriptions of the same person. A Reigning King and a Suffering Servant.
    • Has Isaiah 53 been fulfilled? When was it fulfilled?
  • Read Jeremiah 33:15-17
    • In what days and at what time? Who is going to spring up? How is this ruler described and what line does He come from? How long will He rule? Has this been fulfilled yet?
  • Application: How can reading the Bible just for answers to our questions cause us to miss what Jesus is doing here and now? How does study our future with Christ encourage us to live our lives with an eternal perspective with our eyes fixed on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. He Reigns in Heaven but One day He will reign on Earth. He is completely sovereign now and in complete control of all things accomplishing His eternal promises. 
Jesus is too big for our box. If our finite minds could comprehend His infinite glory and nature, He would be too small. Also, for the record, I've never been to seminary nor did I go to Bible college. I'm just an ordinary housewife with four littles who loves to study the Word of God and encourage women to grow in their love and knowledge of Jesus. I also want to mention, this Bible study is not a study of charts and timelines. Our time will be spent looking for and anticipating Jesus, growing in our knowledge and love for Him. Not just having all our questions answered. He is the Word of God, who is creator and sustainer of all things. When He comes again on a White Horse, He is called the Word of God.
  • Again, what is the purpose of this Bible Study? Why do we gather together to study God's Word? Discuss among your group why they desire to study God's Word. Spend time asking God to reveal Himself to you and your group in fresh new ways. Invite the Holy Spirit to move among your group using every individual to bring to light His amazing truths. 
The Bible study I lead is set up without homework. We read aloud the scripture verses and completely rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in our discussion and reveal to us His powerful Truths straight from the scripture readings. I strongly encourage you to always begin your time in prayer, turning your time over to Him and surrendering the study to His leadership. It is His time, His Word, His revelation. He desires for you to know Him, grow in your love for Him as He further reveals Himself to you through His Word. These notes can be used in a small group setting or just for personal Bible Study. Our group time usually runs about 2 hours. These notes will be weekly postings. Today's posting is set up a little different as this is the introduction to the Bible Study.

Anticipating His Coming
We do not know the day or the hour of the Lord's return but we are to understand the times in which we live and eagerly anticipate His coming, as a mother eagerly awaits the impending birth of her child, with joyful expectation. Joyful expectation is how I would describe the last few months of pregnancy with Jocelyn. Every kick and contraction brought with it a sense of eager expectation as I anticipated her arrival. I spent my days dreaming of holding her and the moment I would finally meet my little mystery in the making, wondering about her personality and who she would look like. I was in one sense, mourning, as she would never again be so close to my heart but anticipating my life with her and wanting desperately for her  to be in my arms. As the impending arrival approached, so did the reminders of her arrival, as my body prepared for her delivery. The pain brought with it joyful expectation and excitement. I would soon behold my precious daughter and for the first time see her as she is, perfectly made. The frame which was once hidden from me will be made known. The moment of her revelation was at hand. It brought to mind, Jesus' words in Matthew 24, all these are the beginning of birth pains. 24:8 And later on in the chapter, No one knows about that day or hour. 24:36 Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 24:42.
This thought came to me during the last few weeks of pregnancy, "As I've eagerly awaited the impending birth of my precious Jocelyn, I should also be joyfully expecting and anticipating the Lord's return."

The Word Revelation comes from the Greek word, Apocalypse, which means to uncover, it would apply to anything which had been covered up so as to be hidden from view, as by a veil of darkness or ignorance. It may also be applied to the disclosing or manifesting of anything which before was obscure or unknown. Barnes Biblical Commentary.
As the birth pains of Christ's arrival draws near my excitement and anticipation should increase. Just as it did with the pain of labor which brought forth joy and completion. The Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, who is coming again in great glory and triumph, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It's in essence, His revelation at His second coming, the culmination of events that usher in His eternal Kingdom and fulfill His eternal promises to all the called, chosen and faithful. 

End your time together reading aloud Revelation chapters 1 and  4, and 2 Thessalonians chapter 3. Will will be discussing these chapters in detail next week. These truths bring so much comfort in the midst of chaos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unveiled: Week 8 Notes




And we have the Word of the Prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

Sometimes God allows tribulation and trials to come our way for the purpose of drawing us to Himself and reminding us of our need for Him. He disciplines His people for the purposes of reconciliation. Let’s begin by looking at the Book of Isaiah. These events are recorded for our instruction.  Isaiah’s very name points to Jesus. His name means, The Lord is Salvation. Isaiah was written 700 years before Christ and yet it is so applicable to us today. Although, Isaiah was a Prophet to Israel and spoke about the nation of Israel his writings and the Word of God speak directly to us today.
    • Let’s begin in Isaiah 1:4-6: In verse 4, how are the people described? How is God trying to get their attention and why? 
    • Read Isaiah 1:16-20,What does God call His people to do? What will happen if they return to Him? What will happen if they continue in their rebellion?
    • Let’s look at what God’s judgement on a nation looks like. Read Isaiah 3:1-6, What is God going to remove from His people? What is He going to allow and for what purpose do you think? Let’s go back and read Isaiah 2:22...Who are we NOT to fear? What does God remind us in these verses? How are the leaders of Israel described? How are the people described particularly the youth? What is lacking in the land according to verses 6 and 7? Verses 8 and 9 tells us why. 
    • Isaiah 3:10-15, What does God remind the righteous? Who are righteous now? 
    • But they did not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, nor did they consider the works of His hands. Isaiah 5:12 
    • Although, the people were faithless, God remains faithful. Read these amazing truths found in the midst of God's rebuke. Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 55:6-9
Let's review what we learned two weeks ago. Read through Revelation 6:15-17
    •  What do we learn about the kings and inhabitants of the earth from these verses? What were they doing and why were they doing it? According to verse 16, who is in complete control of the events on the earth?
    • I love this amazing truth found in Isaiah."Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed."Isaiah 2:22
Read Revelation 7:1-3: 
    • What were the four angels doing and why? 
    • What did the one angel cry out in verse 2 and to whom was the angel speaking? 
    • What did you learn about the 4 angels? 
Read Revelation 7:4-8
    • How many were sealed and what do you learn about them?
    • Do you personally believe these numbers are literal or symbolic? Why? What did we learn when studying prophesies concerning Christ’s first coming
If you are in Christ and He is in you, you are also sealed! Read aloud these verses and write down what you learn.
    • Ephesians 1:13-14
    • Ephesians 4:30
    • 2 Corinthians 1:22
KEY VERSE: 2 Timothy 2:19-21: Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are HIs,” and ,“Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
    • How does knowing this powerful truth encourage you today?
Read aloud Revelation 7:9-17 
    • After what things? Describe the great multitude. What were they wearing, where were they from? What were they holding in their hands? What were they crying out? What did the angels do at their proclamation?
    • Who are those clothed in white robes? Read aloud verse 14.
    • Read aloud verses 15-17? What is their future? Compare these verses with Isaiah 49:10 and Isaiah 65. What do you think it means “He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them?
    • Compare Revelation 7:15 to Revelation 6:9-11 and the 5th seal broken. What do you learn when comparing these verses? How does this encourage you today?
Lord, Thank you for your faithfulness even when we are faithless. I thank you for the Book of Revelation and the comfort it brings knowing You are sovereign and in complete control of the events taking place on earth. We place our focus on You and Your Word, which You have given us for such a time as this. I thank you for showing us in this amazing Book the events taking place in heaven as chaos breaks forth on earth. It is so comforting to know and remember, You reign in heaven and on earth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Unveiled, Week 7 Notes

Jezreel Valley-1
Lord, You are sovereign over the affairs of man and in complete control of all things. Right now, You are working all things according to your perfect will. I surrender to You today. I confess my many weaknesses and ask for your strength. I ask for peace as I've been struggling with anxiety and fear. I thank You for your promises, which are eternal and not based on our feelings but on faith. I thank you for your continual provisions in my weakness and your faithfulness to your infallible Word. I ask for You to take over this time, to multiply these moments and speak the Words You want communicated to your precious children reading this blog. I turn this blog and this time over to You, as this is your time, Your Word and Your eternal truths, for such a time as this. I ask for You, to surround those effected by Hurricane Sandy, with your peace and presence. Speak tenderly to them in their moments of fear and draw many unto Yourself. Comfort those who mourn and awake the church to the needs of those who are suffering. Lord, we thank You for Your truths found in Revelation and the overwhelming depiction of Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, depicted as the Lamb slain. I thank you for showing me that even in the midst of the chaos on earth, you are in complete control in the heavenly realm, working all things according to your perfect plan.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgement He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? But the LORD was pleased to crush Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong HIs days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:8, 10-11

We are going to begin where we left off last week. Read Revelation 6:1-17 and make a list of the seals and their judgements.
Seal 1: Revelation 6:1-2, White Horse: Most common interpretation: The rider symbolizes the Antichrist. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Also, keep in mind, Lamb is in heaven opening the seals, not on earth. 
  • Compare Revelation 6:1-2 with Revelation 19:11-16. We are told about the Rider in Revelation 19:11-16? Who is He and how is He described? What is He wearing? Do the two riders have any similarities other than they are on a white horse? 
  • Revelation 6:1-2: The rider given a bow, notice no mention of an arrow. The bow is a symbol of war, but the absence of arrows implies that this victory is a bloodless one-a peace won by covenant and agreement, not by war. MacArthur Bible Commentary. Also see Daniel 9:24-27. The rider was also "given a crown". This crown was a victory crown similar to a crown given to one who won a race. This laurel wreath is given to him by the world's inhabitants when the world makes him king. He is elected by the inhabitants of the earth and will preach peace and safety to the world.  While they are saying, "peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3
  • Matthew 24:4-5: "See to it that no one misleads you, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." Mark also gives a stern warning, "if possible, even the elect."
Seal 2: Revelation 6:4, Red Horse: Rider granted to take peace from the earth and men will slay one another and a great sword given to him. War.
  • Matthew 24:6,7: "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom, against kingdom."
Seal 3: Revelation 6:5-6, Black Horse: Rider had a pair of scales in his hand. Scarcity of food and famine. A days wages to feed a small family. 
  • Matthew 24:7, "and in various places there will be famines." see seal 6 for the continuation of this verse.
Seal 4: Revelation 6:7-8, Pale Horse: Rider is named Death. Authority over a fourth of the earth given to this rider, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
  • Matthew 24:7, "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom and against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.  
Seal 5: Revelation 6:9-11, Souls of the Saints Under the Alter. A glimpse of what is taking place in heaven while the war is waging on earth. 
  • "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Souls under the alter of incense...the prayers of the Saints, raising before the Lord. 
  • Read Leviticus 4:7 for the significance of under the alter. Notice the alter of fragrant incense. It makes me think of the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints in Revelation 5:8. "How long until you avenge our blood," is also found in Luke 18:7-8 
  • What were these saints given and what were they told to do?
Seal 6: Revelation 6:12-14, Cosmic Disturbances. Great earthquake, sun turned black, moon blood red, stars fall to earth, sky recedes like a scroll, mountain and islands removed. 
  • Compare these verses to Isaiah 34:4, Isaiah 54:10 (An amazing promise to those who stand firm during this time)
  • Matthew: 24:7,8 "and earthquakes. But all these are merely the beginning of birth pangs."
Read Revelation 6:15-17. How do the kings and the inhabitants of the earth respond to these 6 seal judgments? What do they say? Do they repent?

End your time today in 2 Peter 3:1-11
  • What does Peter want his readers to recall in verse 2?  What does he want them to understand in verse 3? Are we seeing this more and more in our culture and in some churches?
  • What have the people forgotten in verse 5?  What strikes you by the word, deliberately? Do you think this is a message for the church in the last days? "Watch out that no one deceives you?"
  • In verse 10, how is the Day of the Lord described? What will happen to the heavens?
  • How then shall we live in light of what we are discovering in Revelation? How do these verses encourage you to live for the praise and glory of another and walk in a manner worthy of your calling? 
Picture above is of the Jezreel Valley in Israel.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unveiled: Week 6 Notes


And I saw a Lamb, standing at the center of the throne, looking as if slain, having seven horns, seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out to all the earth. Revelation 5:6, paraphrased. Because God is infinitely holy, Jesus who was fully God and fully man, absorbed God's wrath, for those who are His, and became sin for sinners. He alone is worthy to open the scroll and break it's 7 seals.

Lord, You are holy and worthy of all praise glory and honor for you were slain and purchased for God with your blood, people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Give us eyes to see You and ears to hear your instruction. Use your infallible Word to bring peace and comfort to those who are afraid or who mourn or who are anxious about the future. You are sovereign and in complete control of all things. Every Word you have written down for our instruction, will come to pass, just as it is written. Bless this time, may these moments of study glorify you and may our prayers rise as incense before you as we continue to study your Word and ask for Your revelation. Reveal Yourself to us and take over these hands as I type what you have for us today. Amen

Read aloud Revelation 5:6-10:
  • How is the Lamb described in verse 6? The number 7 represents completeness. The Seven Spirits represent the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The 7 horns, horns represented power in the animal kingdom and this would signify the Lamb being complete and perfect in power. 
    • Read John 1:29, What did this Lamb do in His first coming? What is the Lamb about to do in His second coming. The Lamb is getting ready to open the 7 seal judgments of God. Remember Isaiah 61? The favorable year of the Lord and the Day of Vengeance of our God? 1 vision 2 comings.  
  • Read 2 Chronicles 16:9. This verse is an amazing promise but it's also a warning. Write down this verse and commit it to memory.
  • What does the Lamb do in verse 7 and how do the living creatures respond? What are the living creatures holding, 2 things. What are the golden bowls of incense and why are the living creatures holding them before the Lamb? 
    • Our prayers are as incense, worshipful and sweet to the Father. 
    • Think about what is taking place, the scroll representing the title deed to the earth, and the Lamb standing as if slain and taking the scroll. "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." - the prayers of the saints- rising before the Lamb as He prepares to break open the 7 seals. 
  • Compare Revelation 5:9 to Revelation 1:4-6, how do these verses compliment one another?
I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well being and creating calamity. I am the LORD who does all these things. Isaiah 45:5,6 paraphrased.

The Seal Judgements
Read Revelation 6:1-17 and list out the seals judgements. How is the 5th seal different from the rest? 
  • Seal 1: 
  • Seal 2:
  • Seal 3:
  • Seal 4:
  • Seal 5:
  • Seal 6:
Read Matthew 24:1-22, what similarities do you see between the seal judgements and Matthew 24? Watch for references to the 5 W's and a H of this chapter. Write down what you observe by asking, who, what, when, why and how. Who asked the question, what was the question and who is Jesus talking to in regards to the question? Why the Sabbath? Have these events happened?

We will spend next week really diving into these verses and studying them in greater detail. 
Before we close: How does knowing, God is Sovereign and Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, as depicted as a Lamb during this period of human history encourage you today?
The apostle Peter, stirs up by way of reminder, this amazing truth, "therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. 2 Peter 3:14 
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together we will live together with Him."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Unveiled: Week 5 Notes

Sundown over the Sea of Galilee-1
I have chosen to rename these notes from The Spirit of Prophecy to Unveiled. For one, it is shorter and secondly, I think it captures perfectly our purpose in studying Revelation. As I mentioned in our introduction and during the first week, our purpose in studying this amazing book is to see Jesus. Revelation literally means to uncover, it would apply to anything which before was covered up so as to be hidden from view, as by a veil of darkness or ignorance. It may also be applied to the disclosing or manifesting of anything which before was obscure or unknown. - Barnes Biblical Commentary. 
This amazing book focuses on the unveiling of Jesus Christ at His second coming. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:1 

And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll or even look inside of it?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. "Do not weep! the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and it's 7 seals. Then I saw a Lamb looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures. Revelation 5:2-6
These verses will be our focus for today. Some of Chapter 5 and these notes will be a review but I know for me the more I look at previous scriptures the more my mind recalls what I've learned thus far.

Let's go back to Revelation 4:8 and read through 5:5. 
  • In Revelation 4:8, what were the four living creatures proclaiming and for how long are they proclaiming it? 
    • "Holy, Holy, Holy,"Jerry Bridges in his book, The Transforming Power of the Gospel, tells us that only God is infinite, and He is infinite in all His glorious attributes. Infinite means without limits and immeasurable. But it is only His holiness that is given the threefold ascription, "holy, holy, holy." We never read of God being "wise, wise, wise" or "powerful, powerful, powerful," though He is infinite in all His attributes, God's purpose is to magnify His holiness in a unique way. In fact, God's name is qualified by the adjective holy in the Old Testament more often than all other qualities put together. Page 20.
  • Read Revelation 5:1-5 again. What was in the right hand of him who sat on the throne and how was it sealed? 
    • Many interpret this scroll as the title deed to the earth. The Romans sealed their deeds 7 times -on the edge- of each roll to prevent unauthorized entry. The purpose of the scroll was the unleashing of the events that would soon take place. Remember how 4:1 opened up, "After these things," These seals and this scroll was the beginning of the end of human history. Jesus was about to be handed the title deed to the earth.
  • What was the mighty angel proclaiming? What was the problem? Why did John weep? 
    • How was Jesus described in verse 5? Now for a little review. Read Genesis 49:9 and Isaiah 11:1-11. Has Isaiah 11:1-11 been fulfilled? When do you think these events will take place? We will look at these events in greater detail later in our study.
  • Read Revelation 5:6-10
    • How was the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of Jesse described in verse 5? What was His appearance? Why do you Jesus is referred to as a Lamb standing as if slain? What do you think God wants us to remember as read about His judgements and wrath which is about to be poured out on the entire earth and it's inhabitants. (I could preach on this for hours)
      • Read Mark 14:1, what feasts were about to be celebrated? Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover. Now read 15:25-38 note the chain of events and when they happened. These events happened days after the events in 14:1.
        • 3rd hour: Jesus crucified.
        • 6th hour: Darkness over the land until 9th hour (He who takes away the sins of the world. Sin poured out and placed on Jesus for three hours. Every sin you or I have ever committed or will commit was placed upon Him during this 3 hour time frame.) 
        • 9th hour: Jesus gives up His Spirit and the curtain of the temple torn in two from top to bottom. The Gospel of John tells us, Jesus stated, "It is finished." Jesus is Sovereign even in His death. He gave up His Spirit when He declared it was finished.  Before the foundations of the world,He knows those who are His. He ordained every one of our days before one of them came to be. 2 Timothy 2:19, Psalms 139:16
      • What is the significance of these above events taking place during Passover? For information about the Passover read Exodus 12:1-8. Compare these verses to Revelation 5:6. 
    • Read Isaiah 53: What do you learn about Messiah from these verses? What will Messiah do at His first coming? Again, how is Jesus described when He takes the scroll which is the title deed to the earth? Why was John weeping? How is God described in Revelation 4:8? 
    • Summary: Because of God's infinite holiness, Jesus who was fully God and fully man, absorbed God's wrath for those who are His and became sin for sinners. He alone is worthy!
This is where we will end for this week.  Next week we will look at Revelation 5:6-6. Again, please overlook all grammatical errors. I wish I could sit among you and discuss these amazing truths over a cup of coffee. It is my prayer that as you read these notes that God would further reveal His love for you through His Son, Jesus, who was the Lamb who was slain and is worthy to take the scroll and open it's seals because He was slain and purchased with His blood men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
Picture above: My husband on the Sea of Galilee. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unveiled: Week 4

Sunset 2-1

Write the things which will take place after these things....Revelation 1:19

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." Revelation 4:1

Our finite and limited minds can't explain His infinite glory and holiness. Words fail us as we see Him as He really is and and the only words we can come up with to describe His glory and supremacy seemed veiled and insignificant.  Lord, You are all powerful from everlasting to everlasting, You created all things by your perfect and sovereign will and You reign. You hold all things together and by your will all things were created. Thank you for your sustaining power which is perfected in weakness. Lord, take away all my fears as I surrender to your will. Strengthen my faith and forgive me for my unbelief. Help me to believe. Fight the battle on my behalf as I continue to trust  you. For you are all powerful, all knowing from everlasting and to everlasting. What you have purposed comes to pass and what you have spoken will be fulfilled. I turn over this time to You. Take us where you desire for us to go. To you be the glory, honor and praise.

Read Revelation 4:1
  • Chapter 4, opens up with these words, "After these things". After what things? In chapters 1-3 the churches are mentioned 21 times. After Revelation 3:22 the churches are never referred to again in the book of Revelation. 
  • I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like a sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
    • Again after what things? Remember the purpose of Revelation. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. It is, in essence, something that was once hidden now being revealed. The veil is being taken away as the time is ushered in. 
Revelation 4:2 states, "Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 
  • The words "Come up here," and, "Immediately I was in the Spirit." are not veiled references to the Rapture of the church, but a command for John to be temporarily transported to heaven "in the Spirit" - MacArthur Bible Commentary.  But I do believe the wording does remind me of some verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9. Compare these verses to Revelation 3:10.
      • Write down what you learn from these three passages. 
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
      • In verse 13, what was Paul reminding the believers? What was he telling them not to do?
      • What is Paul describing to the brethren? If the Kingdom of Heaven is coming down, which it is, then why are the brethren going up? Did you notice in verse 16, how the sound is described? In verse 17 what happens and what is Paul telling them to do? "to comfort one another."
      • I mentioned the first week of our study, that the Old Testament Prophets saw 1 vision that contained 2 comings. Because of this, some of the prophecies seemed to contradict one another. For instance, you had a reigning King and a Suffering Servant. We know looking back, these visions contained two comings. I personally believe we need to study God's Word in the same way looking forward to future fulfillment of Christ's second coming and His Kingdom being established on earth. I want to again mention, I lean toward a more literal interpretation of Revelation and my reason being,  if Christ's first coming was literally fulfilled then I have no reason to believe that His second coming will be any different.  Because this book is an unveiling of Jesus at His second coming, until these events start to take place they will be shrouded in mystery, but as the time draws near, these pictures and shadows will begin to take a more concrete form. 
      • Read Acts:1:6-12
        • What were Jesus disciples asking Him? What was His response to their question? What did He tell them to do, specifically what did He tell them to do while they were waiting for the times and the seasons to be fulfilled (to be witnesses). How did He depart and How will He return?
        • We are right now to be His witnesses. This study is to get our focus on Him and His purposes and to encourage us to live our life with an eternal perspective with our eyes fixed on Him. His Majesty, glory and supremacy. 

Read Revelation 4:1-11 and mark every reference to the word throne and the word "like". 
  • How many times is the word throne mentioned in Revelation 4? Heaven is God-Centered. Worship revolves around the Creator and Sustainer of all things. 
  • Describe what is taking place in these verses. What do you think the rainbow represents? Genesis 9:8-19. God displayed His mercy in the midst of judgement by sparing Noah and his descendants from the wrath that was coming upon the earth because of the extreme wickedness. God provides Noah, his family and two of every living creature a dwelling, a holy sanctuary in the midst of total devastation and the earth's annihilation. God then establishes a Covenant with Noah and all descendants and living creatures, to never again destroy the earth by a flood. The rainbow was the sign of the Covenant. 
  • In Revelation 4:1-11, what do you learn from marking the word like. Our finite and limited minds can't explain His infinite glory and holiness. Words fail us as we see Him as He really is and and the only words we can come up with to describe His glory and supremacy seemed veiled and insignificant.
  • What were the four living creatures proclaiming? Describe their appearance.
    • Read Isaiah 6:1-8: What was Isaiah's response to God's infinite Holiness? How should our response model Isaiah's. How did the angel respond to Isaiah's confession. What did God tell Him to do?
    • God is infinitely holy. Our best efforts on our best days are like a polluted garment before an infinitely holy God. We only stand before an infinitely Holy God based on Jesus' performance for us. The only thing we contribute to our salvation is the sin that makes Jesus' death necessary. 
    • The Book of Ezekiel opens up giving us a little more detail about the 4 living creatures. Read Ezekiel chapter 1 and discuss what you learn about these powerful creatures. 
End your time thanking God for His revelation and asking Him to continue to pour out His wisdom and revelation as you begin to read the Bible not just for answers to all your questions but to see Him and grow in your love for Him through the reading of His Word.

Again, please overlook all errors. I'm speed writing and have no time to proof-read. I'm also dyslexic and catch many errors when finally getting around to proof-reading which is rarely ever. I did catch where I wrote right instead of write:). For those of you who are coming back week after week, thank you for being so gracious. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unveiled: Week 3

The Mount of Olives-1

Write the things which are. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 1:19, 2:17

As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation:1:20

If this is your first time to visit, Stones of Remembrance, I want to redirect you to the beginning of this series call, The Spirit of Prophecy. We are going through the Book of Revelation so each post builds on itself. I'm so glad you joined us.

Last week we saw John was to write three things. 1. The things which he has seen 2. The things which are 3. The things that take place after these things. Revelation 1:19.
Today we are going to look at, "the things which are," the seven churches of Revelation.

As I have mentioned before our purpose in studying the Book of Revelation is to grow in our love for Jesus and to see Him as He reveals Himself in this powerful book. The book itself means the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Some of these verses are wrapped in mystery but I do believe that as things start to take place and as the time becomes near these verses will make more sense. Jesus throughout this book tells us, "The time is near." In the Book of Matthew he talks about "the beginning of birth pangs." The purpose of this study is not to try and predict the time of Jesus' return, for we do not know the day or the hour, but we are to understand the season. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem saying "They didn't regonize the time of their visitation". Because they failed to regconize Him as Messiah there was no hope for the people and the city. In AD 70 the city was destroyed along with the temple. But God in His faithfulness to His people and His land has brought them back into the land and has reestablished the nation. This amazing and miraculous event happened in 1948.
Jesus in Luke 19 says, "If you had known this day the things that would make for peace but now they have been hidden from your eyes." Jesus is the Prince of peace and now is the favorable year of the Lord. Revelation is the unveiling of Him. Let's take a moment to pray for God to open our eyes to who He is and to show us His glory as we study this powerful book and learn about the churches in Revelation.

He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches...
These churches were specific churches doing specific things during a specific time but what God has to say to these churches He has to say to us. God's truths are eternal. God never changes, He is the same yesterday today and forever. I also believe they represent the types of churches throughout the church age. I also believe they speak to each of us individually and corporately. Take a moment to ask God to give you a repentant heart as you learn the specifics of each church. He longs to forgive you and draw you deeper into His grace.

The Church of Ephesus:
Read out loud Revelation 2:1-7

  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 1? 
  • How does Christ commend the church of Ephesus in verse 2 and 3? 
    • John MacArthur states that the deeds of Nicolaitians was similar to the deeds of Balaam. Nicolas was made a deacon in Acts 6 but proved to be a false believer and became apostate; because of his creditials he was able to lead many astray. Like Balaam he led the people into immorality and sensual temptations. The name Nicolas means "one who conquers the people."- John MacArthur Bible Commentary pg. 1996
  • What is the rebuke in verses 4-6? 
    • What do you think it means to leave your first love? As we begin to put our focus on ourselves and how we are doing instead of on Christ and what He has done we sever ourselves from His perfection and love. We must daily abide IN Him. Remembering His work on our behalf. Growing in our love and knowledge of the gospel, that Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Daily walking in the grace of the Gospel. 
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome in verse 7?
The Church of Smyrna:
Read out loud Revelation 2:8-11
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 8?
  • How does Christ commend the church of Smyrna? What is about to happen to some of His beloved and for what purpose and for how long? God foreknows and prepares us for what He allows. It is always for His glory and purposes. 
    • Read 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 1 Peter 5:10? What does Paul  and Peter write about suffering?
  • How does Christ rebuke the church of Smyrna? He doesn't!
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome in verses 10 and 11?
The Church of Pergamum:
Read aloud Revelation 2:12-17
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 12? Compare this verse to Revelation 1:16 and 19:15. What do you learn about the two edge sword from these verses? What is also referred to as a sword in Hebrews 4:12?
  • How does Christ commend the church of Pergamum verse13? 
  • What is Christ's warning to the church verses 14-16? To learn more about Balaam read Numbers 22-25.
  • What is promised to those who overcome? Hidden manna, a white stone and a new name!! A name that is so personal that only the believer will know what it is. God is intimately aquainted with all your ways and lavishly loves those who are His. 
The Church of Thyatira:
Read aloud Revelation 2:18-29
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 18?
  • How does Christ commend the Church in 19?
  • What is His warning in verse 20? A woman like Jezebel. To learn more about Jezebel read 
    • 1 Kings 16:31, 21:25
    • 2 Kings 9:7, 22, 30
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome?
The Church of Sardis
Read aloud Revelation 3:1-6
  • How does God describe Himself in verse 1?
  • What is Christ's warning in verse 1? I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive but you are dead!! These verses remind me of 2 Timothy 3:5.
    • Read 2 Timothy 3:5 and write down this verse. 
  • What does Christ tell the people to do in verses 2 and 3?
  • What is promised to those who overcome?
The Church of Philadelphia
Read aloud Revelation 3:7-13
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 7?
  • What is God's commendation and what has He promised his beloved and why? 
  • Read verse 10? What is God going to keep them from experiencing? Do you think this hour has come? Is this event still future? What does God remind them in verse 11?
  • What does Christ promise to those who overcome? What specifically will be written on His beloved in verse 12?
The Church of Laodicea
Read Revelation 3:14-22
  • How does Christ describe Himself in verse 14? How do these descriptions of God speak to you right now? The Amen, Faithful Witness, the Beginning of Creation...
  • What do we learn about this church in verses 15-17. How are the people described? How did the people see themselves? How did God see them? What does God tell them to do in verse 18?
  • How does God treat those He loves? What is the purpose of His discipline? How should we respond to His discipline?
  • What does God promise to those who overcome?
If you made it this far, I'm so proud of you!! One last thing before we end our time together. Which church could you relate to the most in this season of life? What commendation spoke to you personally and what warning rebuked you and why? Take a moment to fall on your knees before your Father in heaven and thank Him for giving you a Savior who longs to receive you and restore you to Himself. His disciple is ALWAYS for the purpose of restoration. 

BTW: This post is not going to be proof-read before posting. Thank you for overlooking all grammatical errors.
The Church-1

Monday, September 24, 2012

Unveiled: Week 2


And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. - 2 Peter 19-21



Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord am with the first and the last of them - I am He! Isaiah 41:4


Last week, we learned that the word Revelation comes from the Greek word, Apocalypse, which means to uncover. It would apply to anything which had once been covered up so as to be hidden from view, as by a veil of darkness or ignorance. It may also be applied to the disclosing or manifesting of anything which before was obscure or unknown. Revelation is the revealing of Jesus Christ as He is coming again in great glory and triumph as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


Today we are going to be looking at Revelation chapter 1. 

Read Revelation 1:1-5
  • Who gave the revelation and to whom was it given? Who are his servants mentioned in verse 1? When are these events taking place? 
  • Who is the blessed one? Why are they blessed? 
  • To Him who is, who was and who is to come? Read Isaiah 41:4 and record what you learn about God from these verses.(This verse is one of my favorite verses in the Bible because it reminds me of God's supremacy. He is the One who calls forth the generations, from the first generation to the last generation.)  
Since the Book of Revelation is an unveiling of Jesus Christ. Let's take a moment to see how the book of Revelation describes Him and the titles given to Him throughout the book. Take some time reading the passages below and record what you learn about Jesus from these verses. Mark the verses in a special way in your Bible.  
  • Revelation 1:4-5, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:13-15, Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 2:18, Revelation 3:7, Revelation 3:14, Revelation 5:5, Revelation 5:6, Revelation 6:1, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 11:15, Revelation 14:1-2, Revelation 15:3, Revelation 19:11,13,15,16, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:16
  • Why is it important to look at how Jesus is described in the Book of Revelation? How has looking at who He is and how He's described encouraged you today? How have these descriptions of His character and supremacy challenged your current theology? 
Read Daniel 2:20-23. 
  • What do you learn about God from studying these verses? 
  • Take a moment to pray for God to direct your time and reveal to you the deep and hidden things found in the Book of Revelation. 
Read Revelation 1:6-7
  • What have we been freed from and how have we been freed? What have we been made into and for what purpose?
    • We have been purchased by His blood and for His glory and purposes. We now belong to a new Kingdom and our purpose for living is to serve Him and bring Him glory, honor and praise. We have been brought with a price, His precious blood.
  • According to verse 1:7 How is Christ's coming described? How are people going to respond to His coming? Who specifically is going mourn? Read Zechariah 12:10-13? What do you learn about the mourners? Who are they? We are going to learn so much about the tribes of Israel and the people of every tribe, nation and tongue. Two groups of people referenced throughout the book of Revelation. 
Read Revelation 1:8-19
  • Why was John on the island of Patmos? What did the voice speaking to him sound like and what was John told to write and to whom was he to send it?
  • I know I had you write the descriptions of Jesus earlier in the lesson but again how is He described in Revelation 1:12-17? According to verse 17, how did John respond to his vision of Him? Remember, this is the same John who reclined on Jesus during the Passover feast before His death.
  • How does Jesus respond to John in verses 17-18
  • What is John to write? There are three things he is told to write. This is really important to understand. 
    • 1 - What you have seen: Chapter 1, the visions John had just seen. This reminds me of other verses John's penned in the Bible. Specifically, 1 John 1:1-4. 
      • 1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared ; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 
    • 2 - "What is now" or the "things which are": Which refers to the Church Age or the times of the Gentiles referred to in Romans 11:25-26 (The 7 churches of Revelation are found in chapters 2-3)
    • 3 - What will take place after these things: The revelation of future history (Revelation 4-22)
  • According to verse 20, What do the seven stars represent? What do the golden lamp stands represent?
  • In verse 20 the angels could be literally translated "messengers".
Next week we will discuss the Church Age and look briefly at the 7 churches of Revelation. End your time in prayer thanking Jesus for His revelation. Ask Him to give you a love for His Word and to grow you up in wisdom and understanding of who He is and why He came. Ask Him to open your eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit says to the churches....


Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord am with the first and the last of them - I am He! Isaiah 41:4