Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bowls of plagues & harps of God (Revelation 15:1-8, Psalms 22:3-5)

This is the first time I've actually noticed harps being played in the Bible.  I guess I never thought it was real but here it is.  People standing on a sea of glass having harps of God.  That must be where the pictures of angels with harps originated from : )

Revelation 15

1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
These plagues are the culmination of God's wrath upon the earth.  We see child molestation, murder, stealing, lawlessness and greed in the News .  God has given everyone time to change, to allow Him to heal them and set them free.  The plagues will be for those who dwell in darkness and refuse to change.

2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 
Wow harps of God : )  Sounds so amazing!  Even at this late of a time in Revelation, God is accepting new believers into His kingdom.

3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!  Just and true are Your ways,O King of the saints!
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
Then in verses 2-4 we see how true and complete God's forgiveness is.  The people who have turned to Him praise and adore God.  I will never forget my joy after I came to know the Lord.  I was 16 and hadn't laughed much at all.  After I became a Christian I giggled it felt sooo good!  Pastor Chuck Smith from Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, noted that these people sing the song of Moses which could imply they are of the 144,000 remnant in Israel.
3 But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5 They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
(Psalms 22:3-5 NKJV)
One of the things about God that fascinates me is even though He is a rock, is almighty, all powerful, our Creator, Redeemer and friend.  He loves our singing : )  He blesses those who praise Him.

5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 

7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
These words are sad.  I wish everyone could know the Lord and see His love.

(Revelation 15:1-8 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up those in Ukraine and pray they will receive Your blessing.  Please keep them safe and encourage them in their faith, throughout Europe as well.  Father I pray for Your wisdom and guidance as we, in the USA, begin to elect new members in our government.  I pray You will bless our nation and keep us from evil.  Please protect and guide those who are trying to stop the terrorists.  I pray You will open their eyes as to what they have become.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Revelation Song, by Kari Jobe (link)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reaping the Earth's Harvest or the Grapes of Wrath? (Revelation 14, John 3:5-8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

"I heard a voice from Heaven, like the voice of many waters."
Canon Rebel t1i

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

My husband and I drove to Pennsylvania last weekend to see fall colors.  It's a beautiful state.  This is of the Bushkill waterfall.  I wanted to blur the water giving it a dreamy look and have the background be in focus.  So I used 1/10 of a second on my camera.  Sometimes I'm a bad backseat driver.  I try not too.  But, well, you know...  We got home safe.  My poor husband...  He still loves me.

I've made friends with a local gallery for my artwork.  So, I'm trying to challenge myself to finish at least 3 pieces of work a week.  I have a ton of photos.  It's exciting to think after all these years I can really be a professional artist.  Err sometimes my husband is a backseat driver with my paintings, "The sky should be blue right?"

Oh well, we are all in this together right?  I still love him.  Besides remember the Michelangelo story?  It's human nature.

Revelation 14

1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty- four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty- four thousand who were redeemed from the earth
I love this!  John is telling us his experience in the vision.  He hears waters tumbling like a waterfall, loud thunder, harps, and it was a new song.  Instead of a mark from the beast, these people wear God's Name on their foreheads.  We don't know His real name.  That will be revealed in Heaven.  These verses come to mind:
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
(John 3:5-8 NKJV)
I've always loved these verses because, when things are going wrong I know God can redirect my steps. When people are mean and annoying, the Holy Spirit gives me wisdom and words to say. When I speak in anger and rudeness, He points it out so I can change.  He gives hope to the hopeless, strength to the weary.  
4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
I believe the 144,000 are the remnant of Israel that accepted Christ as their Messiah.  They followed Jesus.  The Church will be with Jesus.  When I read the New Testament (Acts), I see all sorts of Jewish and Gentile people believing and accepting Jesus as their Messiah (Savior).  Many of these were martyred.  I would be surprised if 144,000 are the only ones in God's Church.  In Revelation it appears to be a number associated with the Jews.  The lamb symbolizes Jesus.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV)
Those from history who died, and are Christians, will be the first to rise in the rapture : )

Remember this children's song?

Mary had a little lamb,
His fleece was white as snow,
Everywhere that Mary went, 
the lamb was sure to go.

(just a fun thought... Jesus promised to be with us always.)

6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write:‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
He gives rest to the weary, hope to the hopeless.  I believe this will be a peaceful rest like nothing we've experienced on earth.

Reaping the Earth's Harvest
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
This would include those who died as Christians.  

Jesus told the disciples this day would come years before it will be fulfilled:  
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true:‘One sows and another reaps. ’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.
(John 4:34-38 NKJV)
These are the words of Jesus from the Book of John. He was describing what is to come. I'm sure some of the disciples scratched their heads and wondered. Revelation contains the fulfillment of all the prophecies.

Reaping the Grapes of Wrath
17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
It's believed this this last battle will take place in the Valley of Megiddo, in Israel.  Israel has won wars in this location before.  It's an ancient stronghold.  Blood will fill the valley.  
Here's a link to a web site about this location in Israel:  "Armaggedon - Har Megiddo (link)."   
(Revelation 14:1-20 NKJV)

Here's the song, "Jesus loves me," by Chris Tomlin (link)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Puppet and the Masquerade (Revelation 13, Zechariah 11:17, Daniel 7:20-28, Matthew 24:36)

Revelation 13

As I'm working through Revelation this year, I am amazed by the consistency and threads that weave through it.  I've been studying the Bible for many years, but Revelation seems to be the grand finale tying it all together.  Daniel and Zechariah were ancient prophets from the Old Testament before Christ (BC).  Their words fit beautifully with Revelation.  They were inspired by God.  If His word is this consistent, how can we deny the truth in the scriptures?  

1 And the Dragon stood on the shore of the sea. I saw a Beast rising from the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads––on each horn a crown, and each head inscribed with a blasphemous name. 2 The Beast I saw looked like a leopard with bear paws and a lion's mouth. The Dragon turned over its power to it, its throne and great authority.
The devil gave his power to the beast.
17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded." (Zechariah 11:17 NKJV)
When they tried to kill it, they only wounded him by putting out his eye and destroying it's arm. 
This is in the book of Daniel. Prophets often saw visions from God.  They warned Israel in times of danger, and encouraged them with good words.  Like us they still messed up at times.
15 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:  
To me, it sounds like an angel came and spoke to Daniel. He's describing someone near. It could also be God's Holy Spirit. When I read or write about the Bible I always ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me through His Word.
17 ‘Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.  18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.
19 “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom." The Ancient of Days is Jesus. He was in the beginning, is, was, and always will be. The description is like it was in Revelation 1:14.
24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26 ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him." (Daniel 7:20-28 NKJV)
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him.
This is the same beast from Zechariah 11:16.  This is an age old deception.  Most humans are drawn to those who are hurt, especially women.  We tend to want to heal and nurture.  So the devil will come and show it's wounds and then it will miraculously be healed.  People will think, "We finally have a hero who can lead us and heal our nations!"  They will be excited and dream of wealth, and the end of war.  But war will not end with men.  Only with God.  I am sad because our world is so broken right now; I am afraid this might happen to us.

5 The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty–two months. 6 It yelled blasphemies against God, blasphemed his Name, blasphemed his Church, especially those already dwelling with God in Heaven. 7 It was permitted to make war on God's holy people and conquer them. It held absolute sway over all tribes and peoples, tongues and races. 8 Everyone on earth whose name was not written from the world's foundation in the slaughtered
Lamb's Book of Life will worship the Beast.
The honeymoon is over and the beast begins to show what it's true intentions are.  He will reign for 3 1/2 years.  It will have complete freedom to do whatever it wants.  The beast will be able to do whatever it wants to those who are not believers.  That doesn't sound good at all...  It says that the beast will blaspheme those with Jesus in Heaven.  But that would be senseless.  It's not coming back to God's kingdom.  God threw him out.

9 Are you listening to this? 10 They've made their bed; now they must lie in it. Anyone marked for prison goes straight to prison; anyone pulling a sword goes down by the sword. Meanwhile, God's holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.
When I read verses 9-10 it reminds of when I was a little girl and my Mom would say, "Wait till your Father gets home!!" when she got mad.  Those who terrorize and belong in prison will be put there.  The time for repentance will be ending.  The last call to become a Christian will be sounding.

11 I saw another Beast rising out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb but sounded like a dragon when it spoke. 12 It was a puppet of the first Beast, made earth and everyone in it worship the first Beast, which had been healed of its deathblow.
Here comes the puppet.  The puppet will make the Antichrist seem highly intelligent and great.  It's purpose is to make people so fed up they will believe anything.  It would be like some of the ads on television.  They are so annoying, I want to go do a computer game just to escape it.  Or read a book.

13 This second Beast worked magical signs, dazzling people by making fire come down from Heaven. 14 It used the magic it got from the Beast to dupe earth dwellers, getting them to make an image of the Beast that received the deathblow and lived. 15 It was able to animate the image of the Beast so that it talked, and then arrange that anyone not worshiping the Beast would be killed. 16 It forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on the right hand or forehead. 17 Without the mark of the name of the Beast or the number of its name, it was impossible to buy or sell anything.
The puppet will do things that appear magical and real.   He may pretend to heal disease and then delight in seeing the healed learn they are sicker than ever.  The beast describes satan in the garden of Eden.  He lured Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge so she could know what God knows.  Satan would have laughed and mocked God when she ate the apple.  The true battle is between God and Satan, we are God's people.  

18 Solve a riddle:  Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It's a human number:  six hundred sixty–six.
(Revelation 13:1-18 Message)

The mark of the beast is, "6 6 6."  This could be any combination ###### ###### ###### or 
literal numbers "6 6 6."  I've heard when stores change bar codes and credit card numbers some people become afraid that it's the coming of the Antichrist.  I think it will all be real clear to those of us who believe.  The Holy Spirit is always looking out for us.  We know a lot from the Bible.  But one thing is VERY clear, 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
(Matthew 24:36 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You so much for Your Word.  I am overwhelmed by how it flows when I sit down and really think about it.  Thank You for our salvation and the assignment you've given us to help others out.  I lift up Ukraine to You.  So many troubles.  I pray You will protect these people and help them rebuild what has been destroyed in their country.  Please bless our country that we will get back on track.  I pray You will step in and disorient the terrorists set on destruction.  Bless the Kurds with strength and courage.
In Jesus Name,

This song is from Ellie Holcomb, The Broken Beautiful (link)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The devil's fall (Revelation 12, Genesis 37:9-11, Isaiah 16:1, Isaiah 53:6, 1 Corinthians 7:17)

One day we will be in Paradise
Jesus promised.

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This song is from Jeremy Camp, There will be a day (link).  

Need to remember God has assignments for all of us today: 
17 And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.
(1 Corinthians 7:17 Message)

There is a funny story about Michelangelo.  He was painting this part of the Bible on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, while laying on scaffolding, high in the air.  It took four years.  The Archbishop wanted to help out.  So he kept asking Michel questions, like, "are you sure God's face should be pink?"  This went on for years.  When it was time to paint Hell, he painted the Archbishop in it.  The Archbishop was so offended He told the Pope who responded, "I'm sure you deserved it." 

The book is called, "Do you think the ceiling's too religious?" by Paul Taylor, Price, Stern and Sloan Publishers, 1979.

So it's important to be nice to artists... We have paint brushes muahahaha.  More importantly though is that long ago artists painted the Bible because common people couldn't read.  Praising God we are able to read now.  Back to Revelation...

Revelation 12

The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.  2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
These are interesting verses.  Some believe that the woman is Mary, Jesus' mother.  But I don't believe that's right.  Mary was a wonderful beloved woman.  But her beauty was in her choice as a human to obey God and have His child.  Personally, I'm hoping I can sit and have tea with her in Heaven and listen to her story.  She was never given extraordinary power in the Bible.  She's the woman out of all women, God trusted at this time in history.  I believe the woman in Revelation represents the 12 tribes of Israel, each star symbolizes a tribe. Jesus was born a Jew, the Son of God.  Israel has been quiet for many years.  They have been attacked as a nation many times over.  In part it's because they missed the Messiah, "Jesus."  We love Israel.  

This also describes the dream Joseph had so many centuries ago, as Pastor Chuck Smith pointed out.  I have a t-shirt about Joseph that says, "What dream did God give you?"  Something we should all think about.
9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Genesis 37:9-11 NKJV)
3 And another sign appeared in heaven:  behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The serpent is the the devil.  Seven is God's holy number.  So the devil is flaunting his evil in the face of God.  He has seven crowns on his ugly head.  The devil wants to destroy Israel to bring God's wrath, "You made me this way!"  The man child could be the 144,000 that were taken in the tribulation.  The remnant of Israel.

Satan Thrown Out of Heaven
7 And war broke out in heaven:  Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
"Lucifer," was the devil's name in the beginning.  He was to be the most beautiful and strongest of God's angels.  Like us he had a choice and chose evil instead of faith.  It broke God's heart.  Yet, He never gives up.  Even when we break His heart, if we confess our sin and turn back to Him, He's waits to restore us with joy and hope. 

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.
Don't know about you but I'm not liking the part that says, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." Yikes!  Believers should be gone at this time.

Michael is the Archangel, leader of the Angel army.  We call the devil's angels, "demons," today.  Gabriel is God's special messenger.  He is the angel who came to bring good news to earth when Jesus was born.  Gabriel could have been the one who spoke with the loud voice.

The Woman Persecuted

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 

These verses describe what could be Isaiah's prophecies about the remnant of Israel during the tribulation.  In the Bible, God describes humans as sheep.  We are not always as smart as we should be.  We are easily distracted. The woman would be Israel.  Even Jews in Israel today wonder at why they have had to face so much tragedy.
1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela to the wilderness,
To the mount of the daughter of Zion.
(Isaiah 16:1 NKJV)
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53:6 NKJV)
The lamb of God is Jesus.  The final sacrifice for Israel's, and our sin.

15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The woman here could be the remnant of Israel.  Jesus was born as God's son sent for the Hebrews.  We are also included as, "Gentiles."  After the Anti-Christ allows Israel to rebuild their temple, his true evil will be recognized.  Two wings of a great eagle could symbolize an airplane but I don't know that for sure.   Israel will get away from the serpent.  They will need to nourish themselves with God's Word.  The serpent tried to cause a great flood, but the rainbow is the symbol of God's covenant that He will never do this again.  So the flood failed.  Verse 17 sounds like the devil will try to attack any Christians still on the earth at this time.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up Japan to You.  I pray You will send the angels to help those who have been hurt by the typhoon.  I pray You will protect them and give them courage.  Let Your awesome mercy and grace abound.  Father we are frightened by the Eboli virus.  I pray You will grant wisdom to all of our government leaders.  Help our country stand in the right ways that please You.  I pray for healing in Liberia. I pray You will guide our nation to elect a qualified, intelligent, President in the next elections.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jerusalem rebuilt & 2 witnesses, (Revelation 11, Zechariah 4:2-10, Hebrews 9:3-5)

I found this testimony from Miss Kay (Duck Dynasty) and Phil on Godtube.  We've got some great testimonies in the Church.  I got a few tears, I admit it.  One thing God has done in my life by becoming a Christian, is He made my heart more mushy and compassionate for others.  Makes it hard to be a great photojournalist, but it's worth it to allow my heart to be touched by His love.  

Duck Dynasty Testimonies (link)

One of my favorite verses:
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Revelation 12:11
Miss Kay's testimony is a wonderful example of how our testimonies, faith, and prayer can help change lives.  God Himself is the ultimate heart healer.  It's so awesome that He's allowed us to contribute : )  

Back to Revelation 11:

This chapter starts out with the Antichrist allowing the Jews to rebuild their temple.  Then Jesus steps in : )  My thanks to Pastor Chuck Smith from Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa.  Your notes are really great.  Love the part about the witnesses speaking on TV.

1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty- two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
The Apostle John was given a measuring rod to measure the Temple.  A portrayal of the witnesses was in the Left Behind Series movies.  They stood outside the Jewish Temple, in Jerusalem, prophesying  for around 3 1/2 years which is also how long the Gentiles marched.  Sackcloth is like burlap which would be very itchy.  In the Bible it's usually worn by a prophet who is in mourning to demonstrate God's pain.  I know Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah wore sackcloth when Israel was caught in sin.  Gentiles who weren't raptured would be outside in the court.  Those who are on earth at this time will hear what the witnesses prophesy. 

The witnesses took control of the Temple for 42 months.
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
The 2 lampstands and olive trees symbolize the 2 witnesses.  The drought, plagues and turning water into blood is a reminder of the Exodus with Moses.  It would be a historic example of how God set the Israelites free.  Through our faith in Jesus, we also are set free.  In John's time it would have been impossible for the whole world to hear the witnesses.  In ours, we have TV and the web so they could be heard around the world.
Here's the description from Zechariah of the seven lamps and olive trees: 

1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”
So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.”
6 So he answered and said to me:
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’Says the Lord of hosts. Zech 4:6 (one of my all time favorite verses).  
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
And he shall bring forth the capstone
With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’”
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple;
His hands shall also finish it.
Then you will know
That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.
(Zechariah 4:2-10 NKJV)
Zerubbabel laid the foundation for the temple.  Jesus is the cornerstone.  The next question is, "What will happen when the witnesses stop prophesying?"

7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three- and- a- half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Ok so the witnesses were very annoying to those on earth during their 3 1/2 years.  When people are addicted to alcohol, drugs, and sex, they seem to be extra annoyed with people who are doing God's will.  Even satan came out to destroy them. In my heart this sounds like a last call, like the people on earth needed to listen.  But, instead chose to go on with drugs, abuse and violence.  God called His beloved city, "a spiritual Sodom and Egypt."  Sodom was filled with evil doers and Egypt held the Hebrews captive as slaves.

However all those drugs went to waste, the witnesses rose again : )  Imagine their surprise!  The party was over.  They saw firsthand that God allowed the witnesses to die, and  then to top it off - He has the power to resurrect whom he chooses.  Maybe they thought it was a hangover so they'd drink more.  Some sobbered up and ...
11 Now after the three- and- a- half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
After the witnesses were resurrected, God brought them to Heaven.  A great earthquake took place at the same time, it was so strong a tenth of the city was destroyed and 7000 were killed.  So you heard a bunch of people outside yelling, screaming.  You had a horrible headache and nausea from the night before.  Then the ground started shaking really hard and loud.  The sickness turned to ice as thousands died in the earthquake.  People fell on their knees and gave God glory.  

14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

God took control of all of the earth's kingdoms.  He is also Jesus, "His Christ."  They are one.  A great celebration will take place in Heaven.  God will reign over the earth forever.  The 24 elders worshipped God.
15 Then the seventh angel sounded:  And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty- four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,  And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
God will give His servants, prophets and saints rewards.  I can't help but notice  verse 18.  The description about the nations being angry and God's wrath has come, the time of the dead has come, they will be judged.  It all reminds me of today, yet in my heart I know things aren't as bad as the description here.  Sometimes, as humans we forget how good it is in our, "Today."  Hug the kids, wives and husbands.  Say an extra thanks today : )

19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
(Revelation 11:1-19 NKJV)

The Ark of the Covenant was made by God's direction to Moses, it went before the Israelites to seek out a place where they could rest as they wandered in the wilderness.  David brought the ark to Jerusalem.  The Philistines tried to steal the ark but this awful plague came out so they took it back to Israel : )  The ark disappeared after the destruction of the first temple. ( Zondervan, The New Compact Bible Dictionary)

This description comes from the Book of Hebrews in the Bible:
3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.  
(Hebrews 9:3-5 NKJV)
I remember seeing the Ark of the Covenant in the, "Indiana Jones," movies as well.  A lot of us are intrigued by it.  When we get to the New Jerusalem we'll see it in person.  If I wasn't so afraid of spiders, I'd love archaeology : )

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You for the hope we have in the Bible.  Help us always remember to hug the ones we love and also to remember to get to Church.  Sometimes it's too easy to stay home.  Forgive me and my husband.  Your Word, Your love it's all too awesome to let slide.  Father I pray for wisdom with the Eboli virus from Liberia.  Please help doctors find ways to cure this epidemic.  I pray You will help our President understand what the military is.  Protect them from assignments that are not meant for their training.  Please bless Ukraine.  Protect the Kurds and Turkey.  Help us to be candles in this present darkness.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

This song is from Matt Maher, Hold us together (link)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 10, Isaiah 42:13, Jeremiah 25:30, Hosea 11:10-11, Joel 3:16)

This week was my husband's birthday.  We had a lot of fun.  Family came and we had cake.  He opened his presents.  My next door neighbor got mad at me because he thought I was supposed to get a discount for him on his TV.  He's been sick with prostate cancer and I had to remind myself he deserves the grace card because of what he's going through.  We also walked on the shore to raise money for people who have alzheimer's disease.  It felt good to help out in some small way. 

Here's my prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray You will bring down Alzheimer's like in Jericho.  They walked around the walls and the city walls toppled to the ground.  Hear our footsteps father, we hope You will stop this disease.  Please bless my neighbor Father, help him to come through the treatments and feel better than ever.  I pray You will bless those fighting to stop terrorists overseas.  Please bless those in Japan who are facing more hurricanes and terrible storms.  I pray You will place an umbrella of protection over them. Direct the storm somewhere out of harms way.   I pray You will bless Ukraine.  Keep them safe from harm.  Help them to live independently and free.  Thank You for all our blessings and love.
In Jesus Name, Amen.  

I tried to illustrate the angel here- but it just didn't look right.  So we'll use imagination on this one : )

The Mighty Angel with the Little Book
1 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”
Verse 1 describes Jesus.  The rainbow from Noah's Ark is God's covenant with the world that He would never flood the entire earth again.

5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

These are some of the prophesies that fit in with this part of revelation.
13 The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man;
He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.
He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
He shall prevail against His enemies.
(Isaiah 42:13 NKJV)

30 “Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:

‘The Lord will roar from on high,
And utter His voice from His holy habitation;
He will roar mightily against His fold.
He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes,
Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
(Jeremiah 25:30 NKJV)

10 “They shall walk after the Lord.

He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt,
Like a dove from the land of Assyria.
And I will let them dwell in their houses,”
Says the Lord.
(Hosea 11:10-11 NKJV)

16 The Lord also will roar from Zion,

And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
(Joel 3:16 NKJV)
God has always and will always love Israel.  As Christians we have been included in God's plan.  He has opened the door so anyone can come to Him and find forgiveness for sin, everlasting life, peace, and hope.  We are so honored in this.  In the New Jerusalem the names of the twelve tribes of Israel will be written on the gates.

John Eats the Little Book (this might be where the saying, "you're going to eat your words came from... just a thought.)
8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.”
9 So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.”
And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
(Revelation 10:1-11 NKJV)

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus Name, Amen.

This song is from Rush of Fools, "Lay me down (link)"

God bless everyone!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fifth and Sixth Trumpets (Revelation 9:1-21, Luke 10:18-20)

I am so proud of our military, and all those who are working together to defeat terrorists overseas. Thank you!  I can't do much, but I can pray.  I got this e-mail from GodTube, the song the soldiers are singing is from Revelation, Ezekiel, and Exodus.  

Troops singing (link)

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You again for Jesus sacrifice.  Thank You for Your Word.  I lift up all those soldiers fighting to protect justice and rightness. Please keep them safe and send encouragement to their families.  We look forward to Jesus return riding on the clouds.  No more pain, no more fear, You are our hope and our salvation.  I pray for Your blessing on Israel.  I continue to lift up our president for wisdom and also for other world leaders.  Please bless Ukraine with peace and safety.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

I hope no one is giving up on Revelation.  There is good news coming up soon.  My spiritual gifts are in intercessory prayer (healing), evangelism and encouragement.  So this is a real challenge!  It's good for me to think this through and understand again what God is telling us through this Book of the Bible.

Fifth Trumpet:  The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit

1 Then the fifth angel sounded:  And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
My first thought with this is a reminder of the fall of satan.  It sounds like God cast satan out of Heaven and left him in a pit.  Here's what Jesus told the disciples:
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
(Luke 10:18-20 NKJV)
3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
Verse 4 refers to to the 144,000 who have the seal on their foreheads.The number, "7" is the holy number of God.  That's the number we want on our foreheads- His seal.  We don't quite understand if the number is symbolic or literal.  The number of the beast/satan is "6".  We've heard of the punishment by God for those who take the seal of satan.  People will want to die but won't be able to.  Sounds like everlasting torment instead of love.

7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Abaddon/Apollyon is Satan.  He is the ruler of lies and corruption.  He believed he should be God.

12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
Ok we're almost through this chapter.

Sixth Trumpet:  The Angels from the Euphrates

13 Then the sixth angel sounded:  And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 
The river Euphrates was the one going through Babylon.  This was a place where all satanic cults originated.  If you remember the awful story of Jezebel's death, she was one of their citizens at one time.  She was a terrible woman who brought corruption and occult worship to Israel.

15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision:  those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

Verses 20-21 are so sad.  The people who did not turn to Christ for forgiveness and a new start continued on in evil practices.  They're minds were left in a fog.  Fear and abuse happened everywhere.  Such a dark place.  It would be so hard to get up each day with no hope or joy.
20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
(Revelation 9:1-21 NKJV)