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!

Revelation 10; Spreading the Good News

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa First SDA Church.

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. Revelation 10:11

 We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls. Let literature be distributed judiciously, on the trains, in the street, on the great ships that ply the sea, and through the mails.  {9T 122.3} 
     A great work is to be done, and those who know the truth should make mighty intercession for help. The love of Christ must fill their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. As they consecrate themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others. We must no longer sleep on Satan’s enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, availing ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed before “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings,” and the promise is given, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Revelation 10:11; Matthew 28:20.  {9T 12} 

 The Lord will fit men and women–yes, and children, as He did Samuel–for His work, making them His messengers. He who never slumbers or sleeps watches over each worker, choosing his sphere of labor. All heaven is watching the warfare which, under apparently discouraging circumstances, God’s servants are carrying on. New conquests are being achieved, new honors won, as the Lord’s servants, rallying round the banner of their Redeemer, go forth to fight the good fight of faith. All the heavenly angels are at the service of the humble, believing people of God; and as the Lord’s army of workers here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in thanksgiving, ascribing praise to God and to His Son. {7T 71}

As well as carrying out my regular responsibilities as a Bible Worker at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church, I have also been teaching the young people at Tampa Adventist Academy to mark their Bibles and give Bible studies. This week I have begun a baptism class with about 28 kids. Seven of them have already been baptized but wanted to take the class as a “refresher course.” I decided to let them attend but to also have them help Pastor Brad and me in actually doing some of the presentations! I have made Power Point Presentations out of the In Light of The Cross Bible study guides, so each baptized student will have an opportunity to give a lesson in the baptism class. I was amazed how excited the kids were to do this!

Revelation 8; Praying Families

 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.  And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.  Revelation 8:1-5

Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to the Lord wherever they pitch their tent. . . . Fathers and mothers should often lift up their hearts to God in humble supplication for themselves and their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry. 

     Let the members of every family bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in the families of His children here below. Angels offer the smoke of the fragrant incense for the praying saints. Then in every family let prayer ascend to heaven both in the morning and at the cool sunset hour, in our behalf presenting before God the Saviour’s merits. Morning and evening the heavenly universe take notice of every praying household.  {Child Guidance, p. 519}