Revelation 18:20–24 (ESV)

20  Rejoice over her, O heaven,

and you saints and apostles and prophets,

for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,

and will be found no more;

22  and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,

will be heard in you no more,

and a craftsman of any craft

will be found in you no more,

and the sound of the mill

will be heard in you no more,

23  and the light of a lamp

will shine in you no more,

and the voice of bridegroom and bride

will be heard in you no more,

for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,

and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.

24  And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,

and of all who have been slain on earth.”

 

Verses 20–24
That which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of God on earth, is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. The apostles, who are honoured and daily worshipped at Rome in an idolatrous manner, will rejoice in her fall. The fall of Babylon was an act of God’s justice. And because it was a final ruin, this enemy should never molest them any more; of this they were assured by a sign. Let us take warning from the things which brought others to destruction, and let us set our affections on things above, when we consider the changeable nature of earthly things.

 

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

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Christ said . . .

Matthew 10:34-39 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [35] For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. [36] And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. [37] Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [39] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

Revelation 15:1–3 (ESV)

The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,

O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the nations!

Revelation 15:3–4 (ESV)

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,

O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,

and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come

and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

 

Verses 1–4

Seven angels appeared in heaven; prepared to finish the destruction of antichrist. As the measure of Babylon’s sins was filled up, it finds the full measure of Divine wrath. While believers stand in this world, in times of trouble, as upon a sea of glass mingled with fire, they may look forward to their final deliverance, while new mercies call forth new hymns of praise. The more we know of God’s wonderful works, the more we shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of saints, will make him dear to us. Who that considers the power of God’s wrath, the value of his favour, or the glory of his holiness, would refuse to fear and honour him alone? His praise is above heaven and earth. [1]

[1] Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

The Grapes are ripe . . .

Revelation 14:14–14:20 (ESV)

The Harvest of the Earth

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

 

Verses 14–20

Warnings and judgments not having produced reformation, the sins of the nations are filled up, and they become ripe for judgments, represented by a harvest, an emblem which is used to signify the gathering of the righteous, when ripe for heaven, by the mercy of God. The harvest time is when the corn is ripe; when the believers are ripe for heaven, then the wheat of the earth shall be gathered into Christ’s garner. And by a vintage. The enemies of Christ and his church are not destroyed, till by their sin they are ripe for ruin, and then he will spare them no longer. The wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible calamity, probably the sword, shedding the blood of the wicked. The patience of God towards sinners, is the greatest miracle in the world; but, though lasting, it will not be everlasting; and ripeness in sin is a sure proof of judgment at hand.

[1][1] Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Revelation 14:6–14 (ESV)

The Messages of the Three Angels

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

 

Verses 6–13

The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set forth. The four proclamations are plain in their meaning; that all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be faithful to their Lord. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfal. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus. May God bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word. [1]

 

[1] Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Preparing for the Harvest . . .

I was walking through the valley of Revelation when I veered off into other thoughts; one of them was in regards to my own personal story.

When I go to read the Bible, I often am torn of what to read, where to get advice, where just to start.  Thus, in those times, I do not have something specific; I like to pick a book.  NOW, having mentioned this, I just remembered I had decided I wanted to focus on James, I do and I will, but I do also want to continue my tour through Revelation.

I believe Revelation is good to have fresh in our minds because it helps us realize, our time is limited and we should get on with being Christians as Jesus instructed us to do so, otherwise, we may find ourselves in front of God and his son Jesus with only good intentions to report.

In my blog, I last left off around Revelation 13:11-18, where the second beast was introduced.

 

 

 

Revelation 14:1–6 (ESV)

The Lamb and the 144,000

14 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Verses 1–5

Mount Sion is the gospel church. Christ is with his church, and in the midst of her in all her troubles, therefore she is not consumed. His presence secures perseverance. His people appear honourably. They have the name of God written in their foreheads; they make a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and this is followed by suitable actings. There were persons in the darkest times, who ventured and laid down their lives for the worship and truth of the gospel of Christ. They kept themselves clean from the wicked abominations of the followers of antichrist. Their hearts were right with God; and they were freely pardoned in Christ; he is glorified in them, and they in him. May it be our prayer, our endeavour, our ambition, to be found in this honourable company. Those who are really sanctified and justified are meant here, for no hypocrite, however plausible, can be accounted to be without fault before God. [1]

 

[1] Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

My Walk . . .with Christ . . .

I do this posting of God’s word and things like my personal testimony for myself. It started out a year back when I was part of a group and we had devotion every morning, I like the idea of having those moments with God first thing in the morning. I do not get to it in the morning, hardly if ever now, but it has made me feel responsible to myself, to read the Bible, find something in it meaningful to me.

I post these to my Blog and it automatically is poste in my FB profile, which then I copy into my Bible Study group. Again, I do not do this for recognition, or any other self-promotion reasons, I have been doing it because it helps me read the Bible and I feel obligated, responsible, wanting to post every day, if possible. In this process, I noticed my post would be seen by a number of people, I thought how cool. After a year of posts, I think I have received a couple like and a couple comments – very short.

The same with the publically poste blog, too much my amazement, I have been blessed with around 60 followers, not something I even expected and am very thankful for. Yet, I seem to get a few likes, but rarely a comment.  I am wondering if folks actually read the posts. I do not ask that with condemnation, it takes time and patience to open a post, read and then comment. I do not do it every day, every week. I only mention this because I found it interesting. I do not know if anyone is really reading of my words. In addition, in the FB Bible Study group, I was hoping for a discussion, a chat from time-to-time. With that said, if you read them, I hope you enjoy them, if you like them and do not read them; just knowing you are there is comforting alone. God Bless and on with the rest of my story.

I met up with a friend I have known since 7th grade, I met him via swimming, he was considered the best Butterflyer in the county. He was a rebellious person again all society and what it had to offer, he was a staunch mountain man. His conflict was so strong, I was not sure he would make it all the way to adulthood and beyond. While I was visiting him, we were talking about being a Christian and he told me, “Being a Christian is hard. . .” At that time, I did not fully understand what he meant.  However, since I became a Christian my life is not the charter of what society would call success. In fact, most if not all of you would call me a loser, down and out, not invite me over to hang out and have dinner. Moreover, that is ok, that does not change the opinion I have of myself.

In my becoming a Christin and more so afterword’s, my life has been transformed. I am in hopes, that a more harmonized life is available to me, it being in God’s cup for me. As I read the Bible, with the engagement of becoming a better Christian, a disciple, I came across two instructions Jesus had told his disciples. Firstly, before one can truly follow him, there can be no grievances between brothers and sisters. Secondly, one has to give up everything, meaning one cannot place anything more important than the relationship one has with Christ.

I recognized I was still so angry towards the people that were the enablers of me having gone down this very humbling path, to put it lightly. I often would be thinking and in my mind, I would be in court with them on the witness stand and seeing a fearless prosecutor holding them accountable for their words and actions. I realized having these thoughts, I truly had not forgiven them, I was still angry, deeply angry and that anger was the anchor keeping me from where I believe God wants me to go.

Not having anything more important than God, do I? I realized, I did and still do, but to a smaller degree. I love my children more, if God called me and my children called me, I would be frozen, I would not know who to run to first. This is when I had a conversation with God, he asked me:  “Do you trust me?”, I said “of course”, then he said: “Give them to me”  I know I have not done this fully, I have not let go entirely emotionally. An example: I have Church on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, I have missed so many Wednesdays and Sundays because I put my kid’s activities in front of my activities with God.

I noticed it is easy for me to put God off, he will always be here. I guess in the same way, when I pray, he can also put off the answer. I am not saying there is a correlation, because God looks at our hearts, but I am betting our actions reflect our heart.

Just recently, I mean just recently, I realized I had to have my own events, just as my kids do and those events are Wednesday night and Sunday morning Church!! I often have to think about my relationship with Jesus Christ as what I would want and expect from my own children and wife. If you are married and you have a time to spend with just your wife or husband, but they keep missing or changing the time, would you feel, they feel the relationship is important? That is putting something before God.

I pray for my Christian Brother and sisters that I have not met and I look so forward to meeting you in heaven. God Bless, I love you!!