Revelation 20-22; Who Will Wipe The Tears From God’s Eyes?

I am writing today from the dark and stormy Tampa Bay area under a tornado watch.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4

As I finish reading the book of Revelation, I get excited about the new heaven and the new earth. I can’t wait! While I often think about the second coming and what it means to me, I pause for a moment and wonder what it means to God. Many times I pray for Him to come soon because of the suffering I see and endure in my little corner of the globe. What about God? God does not only suffer with me when I suffer but He suffers with the whole world. He sees the child starving in Africa. He sees the child being abused by the parent and the spouse being mistreated by the other spouse. God sees all the horrific crimes and man’s inhumanity to humanity. I long for the second coming, not to put an end to my suffering, but to put an end to God’s suffering with humanity. I want to see the sin, that hurts my Savior, put away.

I think about God wiping the tears from our eyes, and I wonder, who will wipe the tears from God’s eyes? If I am lost and not in heaven I know He won’t forget me. I will be no more. I will forget Him but He says He will never forget me, even more surely than a mother can’t forget  the child she is nursing.  Who will wipe the tears from God’s eyes if I am not there? I choose to be there! Not just for myself, but for my God who gave His life and everything for me. Friend, rest assured, your salvation and guarantee of eternal life is something more than I want for you or you even want for yourself. It is what God wants! Be there for Him. He will be there for you!

If you are in the Tampa Bay area and would like someone to study and pray with concerning your salvation please contact me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net or 813-933-7505. If you are not in the Tampa Bay area contact me anyway and I will find someone in your area!

While the Tampa Bay area is usually sunny and beautiful heaven will always be beautiful. I can’t wait!

Revelation 19-20; The Second Coming and Thousand Years

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Revelation 19-20 describes the second coming, and destruction of sin, as well as the destruction of those who persistently rejected God’s saving grace, and stubbornly clung o the sin that destroys them.  Revelation 20 plainly reveals to us the truth of the 1,000 years and what exactly will be going on during that time. Many popular theories suggest this will be a time of second chance but that simply is not so, as at the end of the 1,000 years we see the wicked are still wicked. To help us understand the 1,000 years, here is a video by Pastor Rick Kuntz from Maine. Below also is  a study on the 1,000 years.

The Millennium

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE EARTH WHEN JESUS COMES?

The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.   Isaiah 24:20

WHAT BECOMES OF THE ISLANDS AND MOUNTAINS?

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.   Revelation 6:14

HOW DESOLATE WILL THE EARTH BECOME?

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.   Jeremiah 4:23-27

WHAT HAPPENS TO  THE WICKED AT JESUS’ RETURN?

Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.   Jeremiah 25:30-33

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RIGHTEOUS AT HIS COMING?

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.   1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

NOTE: When Jesus comes the wicked are all slain, the righteous are all taken to heaven, and the earth is left in a desolate state (“without form and void” Jeremiah. 4:23; as a “bottomless pit” Revelation 20:1).

HOW LONG WILL SATAN BE BOUND TO THE EARTH?

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.    Revelation 20:1-3

WHAT WILL THE RIGHTEOUS DO DURING THIS TIME?

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark  upon  their  foreheads,  or  in  their  hands;   and  they  lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.   Revelation 20:4

WHOM SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS BE JUDGING?

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  1 Corinthians 6:2, 3

WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT THE RESURRECTION?

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  John 5:28, 29

WHEN ARE THE WICKED DEAD RAISED?

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  Revelation 20:5, 6

WHAT DOES SATAN DO WHEN THE WICKED ARE RAISED?

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.    Revelation 20:7, 8

WHAT DESCENDS DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN?

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.    Revelation 21:2

WHAT DOES SATAN ATTEMPT AND WHAT HAPPENS?

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.    Revelation 20:9

HOW CONSUMING IS THIS FIRE?

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.    Psalm 37:20

WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL OF THE WICKED AT THIS TIME?

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.   Malachi 4:1-3

WHAT BECOMES OF SATAN?

Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.  Ezekiel 28:18, 19

 

WHAT IS THIS FIRE CALLED?

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.   Revelation 20:14

WHAT WILL GOD CREATE FROM THE ASHES?

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.   2 Peter 3:10-13

WHAT DID JOHN SEE IN VISION?

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  Revelation 21:1

WHAT WILL THE NEW EARTH BE LIKE?

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind….And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 65:17, 21-25

WHAT DOES GOD PROMISE?

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  Revelation 21:3-5

Revelation 18; The Light Of The Cross Wins!

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area. I am sharing this picture I took of the sunrise at Key Largo last December.

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Revelation 18:1

This is my favorite verse in all of Revelation! For centuries Satan tries to keep the world in spiritual darkness but he can’t keep away the light of God’s love! After the dark ages, the light of God’s love lights up the whole world! Last Tuesday evening, I walked into our group Bible study that we have each week at Panera Bread. Not only was my study group there, but each week there is another group of people meeting at the same time and place for a Bible study. I got up to get a refill and saw a man at a table studying the Bible too! I thought to myself, what would Martin Luther think, after having to skip meals to  study the only Bible he had access to, chained to a wall in a lonely monastery basement, if he could walk into this restaurant tonight and see two different Bible study groups and a man alone, eating and studying the Bible in a public place! What would Martin Luther think, if today he could see that the Bible that was chained to the lonely basement wall is now printed around the world and is also on our computers, laptops, notebooks and cell phones! What a wonderful time to be living! Truly the world is becoming lightened with the glory of God’s love, forgiveness and mercy! Seize the moment my friends! Take out your Bibles that men, during the dark ages, shed their blood to preserve! With great painstaking effort they have made it possible for you to have the Word of God readily available so you can read and see what Satan has worked so hard to keep you from understanding. God is love! And He loves you! If you find it hard to understand, just ask for the same Holy Spirit to help you which also helped them.

Last December I went to the Florida Keys and took this picture of the sun rising on Key Largo. I thought how wonderful that after several hours of darkness, that God lets the sun simply pierce the darkness with the morning star and slight glow before letting the sun suddenly rise with all its glory. Such light all at once would be blinding and not welcomed! God in His infinite wisdom,  has allowed each reformer during the dark ages, bring us a piece of God’s light and love one by one so as not to blind us all at once. Still, God in His own perfect timing, after the dark ages, lights up the whole world with His glory and love! As I stood that dawn, watching the light pierce the Atlantic Ocean, I could not help but remember Isaiah 11:9, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Yes we are living in an exciting time, and when I walk into Panera Bread and see people studying their Bibles, I think to myself, this can only be good!  

If you would like to join a Bible study group in the Tampa Bay area please let me know! You can contact me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net or 813-933-7505. New study groups are starting all the time! I even have a second study group now meeting at Panera on late Friday afternoons as well as the one I have on Tuesdays. If you are not in the Tampa Bay area call me anyway and I will find a Bible study in your area!

Revelation 16-17; God Protects His People

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

While the scenes that unfold in Revelation 16-17 are devastating, God’s people need not fear. See Psalm 91.

“Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:14-16. The Lord of hosts has said: “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8.  

     Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven. The prison will be as a palace; for the rich in faith dwell there, and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light as when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight in the Philippian dungeon. 

     God’s judgments will be visited upon those who are seeking to oppress and destroy His people. His long forbearance with the wicked emboldens men in transgression, but their punishment is nonetheless certain and terrible because it is long delayed. “The Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.” Isaiah 28:21. To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” Ezekiel 33:11. The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, . . . forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Yet He will “by no means clear the guilty.” “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” Exodus 34:6, 7; Nahum 1:3. By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. The severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor may be judged by the Lord’s reluctance to execute justice. The nation with which He bears long, and which He will not smite until it has filled up the measure of its iniquity in God’s account, will finally drink the cup of wrath unmixed with mercy.  {Great Controversy  626- 627}

Revelation 15; It’s Not A Salvation Issue

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15

 

Today, in the church we hear people refer to certain church standards

as not being a “salvation issue”, and they may be right, certain

standards may not directly affect our salvation. However, wouldn’t

it make us a rather selfish lot of people if the only issues and

standards we concern ourselves with are the ones that affect our

personal salvation? Instead of limiting our concern with “salvation

issues” shouldn’t we be more concerned with “glorifying God issues”?

 

When the Children of Israel worshiped the golden calf, God told Moses

He would destroy them right there in the wilderness and create a new

people after Moses’ name. That would have been a great deal for

Moses as these people had caused him nothing but trouble. But Moses

was more concerned about God’s reputation. He told the Lord,

“Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he

bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them

from the face of the earth.” Exodus 32:12 Moses was so concerned about

what the other nations thought of his God that it became much more

than a salvation issue. As a matter of fact Moses said in vs. 32

“Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me,

I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” To Moses,

God’s honor and reputation was more important than his own salvation!

Moses was not worried about “salvation issues” but rather

“glorifying God issues.”

 

Revelation 15 speaks of an entire multitude on the Sea of Glass,

singing the song of “Moses and the Lamb.” What song or experience,

do Moses and the Lamb have that this multitude shares as well? In

Gethsemane, Jesus, the Lamb was willing to die forever if that’s what

it took to do His Father’s will. “. The Saviour could not see

through the portals of the tomb.” (Desire of Ages p.753) For Jesus,

just like Moses, His concern was glorifying God over His own

salvation. In Revelation 15, John speaks of an entire multitude of people who see

beyond their own “salvation issues” and focus on “glorifying God

issues” when it comes to standards and commandment keeping. Our

obedience and standards are not so much about our salvation, as they

are about honoring and loving Jesus.

Revelation 12; Casting Satan Out of Our Hearts And Homes

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Revelation 12:7-9

I do not think the war in heaven was fought with machine guns and army tanks. I believe it was a war of the minds. Satan, who was full of himself was trying to create and ego in the other angels as well. I don’t know, but I can imagine him coming up to another angel and saying, “That was a wonderful job you did on that project God gave you. Did He give you any special recognition for it?” The other angel replies, “Well no, I did not really need any….” Satan interrupts, “Oh that is too bad. You did such a wonderful job. You know, if I was God I would have thrown a huge banquet in your honor.” And thus, Satan began the war of the minds, attempting to make the angels think he cared more about them than God.

God could have eliminated Satan right then and there, but if He had, we would be serving God for fear of being wiped out too, instead of out of love. God had to allow Satan to grow into the weed that he is so that all could see later, why Satan had to be eliminated.

In the Lord’s prayer we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In heaven Satan was cast out along with all his lies. When we pray “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are giving Michael permission to throw Satan and all his lies out of our hearts, homes, churches and even communities.  If God can cast Satan out of heaven He can also cast Him out of your heart and home!

Revelation 11; The Reign of Terror

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

About 20 years ago I ran across a book by Robert Wieland, called “The Gospel in Revelation.” This book really made the book of Revelation come alive for me. This book is very easy to understand and is full of the gospel. I mention it now, because this particular chapter of Revelation 11 became clear to me when I read this book. You can read about the Reign of Terror in chapter 11 here. The whole book is available online here or you can order a hard copy here. Enjoy!