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
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.