As we complete our year of reading and blogging on the New Testament, I want to thank all of the readers and your faithfulness in following the sometimes ramblings of a “still learning” disciple. We finish Revelation this week, and that will be the topic of my blog. As a commercial – next year I will be blogging on the 16 prophetic books in the Old Testament in 2016 – “16 in 2016.” If you are interested – I will begin with the book of Daniel, so read five chapters during the week, and follow along if you desire.
Okay, now with the book of Revelation, of which there is no shortage of commentary or opinion – we finish with chapters 18-22. When we look at the difficult previous chapters [16-17] the Wrath of God is being poured out on the unrepentant left behind. The saints have been removed in chapter 14:14-16; the seals and the trumpets have been completed; last trumpet in 11:15; actually if you look at these to aforementioned passages, you find that they are describing the same thing. This also occurs in our passage this week. the chapters of 12-14 reflect the wrath of God poured out from a different perspective. It is from the Demonic or Satanic position. The Bowls are the wrath of God described from a mankind perspective. The struggle with many “prophets of today” is that they break their own rules of interpretation. If a parable is a parable for example, the entire pericope is a parable; we do not have liberty to change the literary rules of interpretation – having said that prophecy is prophecy, if it is symbolic, we cannot then change midstream and start ascribing literalness to the symbology. At the close of chapter 17; the Lamb of God is victorious. The armies of the world have been defeated by “his breath,” with the final victory on earth is complete, the scene shifts to heaven. in Chapter 19 – the wonderful scene in Heaven is the marriage of the Lamb [Jesus] to His Bride [the Church]; as indicated, blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast.
There is a saying “you can’t fix stupid” this applies to Satan – He even though defeated; will not quit. Word for Believers; Satan doesn’t die, he just strives for another day. But his tactics never change. The Beast and the False Prophet are judged and cast into the lake of fire. All is well right, no more evil right? I wish I could say yes; but chapter 20 reflects a different answer. Even though Satan is bound and chained, cast into the bottomless pit – and Jesus refining for 1000 years; we find that given the opportunity to deceive and lead astray from God; Satan will attempt to do so. Now we could ask the question, why the 1000 year wait? I really do not have the answer for that; all I know is when the 1000 years is up; Satan again tries to deceive the nations and is then cast into the lake of fire. The Wrath of God is poured out on ALL ungodliness; that means heavenly and earthly. While the earth had been judged, Satan had to be finally once and for all eliminated.
As a side note; many may ask am I Pre-, Post- or A- millennial? In other words does Jesus come back before the 1000 year reign, afterwards, or do we just progress into a Utopian realm? My answer is this – I do not agree with making a long drawn out doctrine based on one verse [20:7]; at what point did we switch from prophetic to literal in this chapter? Scripture says that Jesus will reign – what does that mean; I don’t know, nor does anyone else. Somethings of the bible are left a mystery. The point is did Jesus reign? Yes indeed, the adversary Satan is eliminated! I get the same question from people about whether I am pre, mid, post tribulation in reference to the Rapture. As I previous took the position that we will/are going through tribulation times now; the seals and trumpets ate that tribulation – when the 7th and last trumpet sounds; the saints are carried home! Only in American Christianity are we so enamored with Jesus coming a 2nd time – the rest of the World is still discovering He came a 1st time!
Chapter 20:11-15; the day in court for all. Books are opened up, the deeds of all people, then the Lambs Book Of Life is Opened up. We are judged out of the books our deeds, this in reality will condemn all of us, but we [believers] have an Advocate, a defense – Jesus pleads our case with evidence that He, Himself provides. The Father declares that we are not guilty; our faith and trust in Christ as the Savior, we depend on His works not our own! Now even though we are children, we still will have accountability for how we lived in faith [sanctification], which is the basis of our rewards. “Death and Hades” give up the dead. The 2nd resurrection, imagine what that would be like to be given a glimpse of Heaven, knowing you are not staying. God is so just and righteous, He gives every soul their day in court. Hades, [Luke 16:19-31] has two sides, at the resurrection of Jesus, the Abraham side was emptied. [Ephesians 4:7-8] Hades, the Rich man side still is torment and suffering, but nothing to be compared to Hell [Gehenna].
In the last two chapters we are given a “restoration” view. All is New, the old has passed away [2 Cor 5:17]. New Heaven and Earth. Order has been restored, man is now one with his Creator. The Garden is in view again, the Tree of Life is available to all to eat. Sin and Satan have been eradicated!
But the is a warning, no not the adding or subtracting of the prophecy; I am Coming Soon! We do not know when, but we do know He will. Who will He find being faithful when He comes? I pray it is me and you!
April 11, 2020 – The Jewish Sabbath, a day of rest according to the Mosaic Law
I was thinking of the various day names surrounding Easter:
But there is a day that rarely anyone talks about – Silent Saturday. We have plenty of commentary on the other days, but what happened on Saturday? Only in Matthew 27:62-66 do we have anything said about Saturday. The greatest fear the religious leaders had was that Jesus’ body would be stolen and give credence to what He said about raising up “This Temple”. So a seal was put on the stone to let them know if the grave had been tampered with, that and a guard was placed to keep watch.
Seals and Soldiers – Okay, so the Tomb is secure, the guard in place and the rest of the Disciples are huddled up in the Upper Room waiting for the Sabbath to be over. The Sabbath is suppose to be a time of rest and worshipping God. Instead I think inside the Upper Room the disciples were asking all the questions they could think of – but we find that the answers didn’t come until Jesus arose from the grave. [Then the disciples remember what He said, after the resurrection – Luke 24:9.] I can’t imagine all that went through theirs minds and hearts during that long day. I’m sure they were in shock at what happened; guilt ridden for how they ran from the scene; pondering the suicide of Judas; anger and remorse of how the crowds and religious leaders used mob tactics to have Jesus killed on the cross.
But there are some other things that went on during that day. The scene of the religious leaders securing the grave as I mentioned. But what about where Jesus was? We know that Psalms 16:10; I will not leave your soul in Sheol [place of the dead]. This begs the question – what happens when someone dies? Where do they go? We have the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31, a place called Hades. The Rich man in one part and Lazarus in another part in “Abraham’s bosom. There is a great divide between the two, one cannot go from place to place. Wherever a person finds themselves, that is their lot until the Judgment. [Revelation 20:11-15]. To help us answer the question of where Jesus went, we also have to ask where the Old Testament saints went when the died. Obviously, they didn’t go to Heaven, access was not available yet. So they waited – Waited in a place called Hades. John 14:6 tells us that no-one can come to the Father except through Jesus. We know that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection; Ephesians 4:8 tells us that Jesus when He ascended having first descended, led captive those who were captive. It is my understanding that Jesus liberated those who had been waiting for their eternal Salvation. SO as Jesus ascended to the Father, He led the Old Testament Saints into the presence of the Father. Their HOPE was in the Coming Messiah; ours today is also in the COMING, but His 2nd Coming! The great gulf had been spanned through the precious Blood of the Lamb of God. Also today we know that – “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord [1 Corinthians 5:8]. Today when a person dies, he/she can go into the presence of Yahweh because the “wall of separation has been tore down.” [Eph. 2:14-15]
So, imagine while the rest of mankind was waiting and hiding; those who by faith had trusted in God, their waiting was over! Imagine if you can what it must have been like for them to see Jesus the Messiah enter into their presence – I can hear Him say “Let’s Go Home.” As saints are in Heaven even now waiting for US – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18!
I think God likes Gardens – Of course there is the tragic rebellion incident in the Garden of Eden; also the place where the first sacrifice for sin was slain; and that was done by God. We also find that the Garden of Gethsemane; God provided another sacrifice – the Last Sacrifice for sin. There have been preachers and commentaries that think A “Jesus had to present His blood in Heaven, to the Father as a Passover/Sin sacrifice.” I’m not so inclined to follow that thought. All I know is that the shed blood of Jesus Christ was the price that was necessary as the Lamb of God to satisfy the “death penalty of sin, and cleanse/forgive all who trust in Jesus as the Son of God and sacrifice for sin. The Blood of Jesus was the ONLY way mankind could come to the Heavenly Father; reconciled back to HIM – the offense of SIN which began in Eden had finally been revoked by Faith in Jesus.
Silent Saturday – not very much, for while mankind was SILENT; God was in Christ, but He was anything but silent. We must wait, as the Old Testament saints waited. But our Wait is with anticipation that a trumpet will sound and Jesus will say for a second time – “Let’s Go Home!”
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Tagged as expiation, hades, Last Sacrifice, Old Testament saints, reconcilation, Resurrection, seals and soldiers, Sheol, Silent Saturday