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Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Relationship With The Lord Allows Us The Priviledge Of Experiencing Worship In His Presence!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 11:1-2 KJV – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-434

 

Revelation 11:3-13 “The Ministry Of The Two Witnesses”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT: 

Rev 11:3-13 KJV

(3)  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
(4)  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
(5)  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
(6)  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
(7)  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
(8)  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
(9)  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
(10)  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
(11)  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
(12)  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
(13)  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 11:3-13 KJV

 (3)  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

John’s attention is now turned to two witnesses who are authorized and empowered by Christ to verbally proclaim Christ to others.

Please note these two witnesses are implied as already present in John’s vision.  John does not introduce two new characters to his vision by saying “and then I saw two witnesses”.  Christ implies that He is simply empowering those whom John has already seen.

How can this be?  We need to remember that John had previously seen true worshippers of the Lord gathered in His temple in the beginning of this vision (11:1-2).  These two witnesses are simply another symbolic representation of these true worshippers of God.   John already saw them as people accepted by God and worshipping in His temple, now John sees the same group symbolized as two witnesses sent by God into the world to proclaim Christ to the lost world around them.  The WORSHIP of Christ and the WITNESS of Christ are two of the greatest responsibilities that God has given to those He has redeemed.

Two throughout the Bible is a number that is related to Godly witnesses (Luke 10:1 and Deut 19:15 etc)

Clothed in sackcloth helps us to understand these witnesses were sorrowful due to their message of sin, judgment and the need to repent.  Sackcloth was commonly worn during times of great mourning.  Apparently they are mourning the sinful condition of those around them.

 

(4)  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

These two witnesses are mentioned previously in Zechariah 4:1-14. In that text, Zechariah saw a lampstand with two olive trees standing alongside them.  The lampstand combined with the olive trees represent witnesses for Christ.

The lampstand fueled by olive oil is a picture of Godly witnesses giving forth the light of the truth empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.    The olive trees are representative of Godly empowering of the witnesses.  God is the supplier of the Holy Spirit (olive trees) to these witnesses (lampstand).

Why are there two olive trees? They represent the two Anointed Ones (Christ and the HS) who are active in the empowering of the witnesses. Christ is the One that has sent the Spirit into believer’s hearts enabling them to serve Him.  (John 15:26)

 

(5)  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

God’s Word, as it proceeds out of the witnesses mouths would be like fire purifying some (those who accept their message by faith) while adding condemnation to others (those who reject their message) (Jere 23:29).

The Lord promises vengeance upon those who abuse and martyr His people (Rev 13:10)

 

(6)  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

These witnesses are linked to Old Testament witnesses for Jehovah.  Elijah (Luke 4:25) and Moses (Exo 7:-12:).

Why are these two witnesses that John saw linked to these 2 Old Testament witnesses?

  1. They are all witnesses of the same One… the Lord Jesus Christ, who was prophesied in the OT and revealed in the NT.
  1. They are all accredited by God through miracles… Moses used by God to accredit the LAW Moses had been given. Elijah accredited the PROPHETS and their message of the coming Messiah, the NT saints (prior to the completion of the Word) that accredited the writings of the New Testament which clearly reveals the identity and work of the Messiah.
  1. Both Moses and Elijah were seen on the Mount of Transfiguration along with Christ Himself. They picture OT witnesses of God.  Christ is the perfect witness of the Father wile on earth.  He stand in the place of the earthly witnesses for God that are left behind after His ascension.

 

(7)  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 

Following the completion of the witnesses’ testimony for Christ, the beast from the pit fights and kills them.

This beast is representative of the worldly kingdoms of man that are under Satan’s control.  We will be looking at the identity of this beast in detail in Rev 13: where we are given much more information about him.

This same beast is mentioned in:

11:7 – Beast of bottomless pit;                                            13:1-18 – Beast from the sea;

14:9-11, 15:2, 16:2 – Beast with image and mark;           16:10-13 – Beast’s Seat and Kingdoms;

17:3-17 – Scarlet Beast;                                                         19:19-20 – Beast with armies, image, mark;

20:4,10 – Beast with image, mark                                       This beast is also mentioned in Dan 7:1-14.

Throughout history the kingdoms of the world, under Satan’s influence, have persecuted the people of God.  Beginning with the first world Kingdom of Egypt who enslaved God’s people, to this day we see martyrdom and abuse being levied against those who hold fast to the truth about Christ.  This is the basic symbolism of this beast and its activity against the witnesses of God. Who are only allowed to be overcome following their completion of the work God has given them to do.

Martyrdom is a constant threat to the people of God (Matt 10:21-28, Matt 16:24-25, Matt 24:9, John 16:2 etc)

 

(8)  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Dead bodies lying in the streets were a sign of great disrespect and dishonor to the one that was slain. This is another way to express the enmity that is held by the worldly governments against God’s people.

The witnesses’ bodies are said to be lying in the streets of “the great city”.  This speaks of worldly habitations influenced by Satan.  Its spiritual names of “Sodom” and “Egypt” helps us to see it could be any city that is characterized by rebellion against God and persecution of His people.  Both of rebellion and persecution were outstanding characteristics of these cities.

There are some that say this could be symbolic of Jerusalem. If so, it simply backs up the rebellious aspects of the cities of the world.  Jerusalem is the epitome of rebellion against the truths of God.  Israel, who possessed the truths of God throughout the OT knowingly, purposefully rejected the Word when Christ was revealed as the Messiah.  Sadly, the majority of Jewish people remain in a state of unbelief to this day.

There are others who say this could be referring to Babylon or Rome, whose histories are filled with the origination of all false religions and the abuse and martyrdom of Jehovah’s people.  Once again this supports the basic principles of “Sodom” and “Egypt”.   Basically, all of these cities (Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome, Sodom, Egypt) held and continue to hold a hatred for Christ in common.

In actuality, this prophecy does not need to be speaking of any particular city.  It likely is speaking about all the cities and governments of this world.  Without exception to a varying degree, they all abuse and mistreat the people of God.  A study of their histories will reveal, in every case, opposition to the message and ministers of God.  Individually, they are described as “that great city” speaking of the great power and seductive aspects of all the kingdoms of the world and their hatred of Christ (shown at His crucifixion).

As these cities oppose the people of God, it is only proof that the inhabitants of the cities hate Christ and desire to kill Him.  (Matthew 10:22, John 15:18)

 

(9)  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  (10)  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

The lost people of the world look upon them with great joy illustrating the lost world’s unified opposition to the truths of God and those who present those truths.

They are joyous and celebrate because there are now less sources of truth and the guilt that comes when God’s Word is presented to lost mankind.  They now can more easily sin without feeling the pangs of guilt or being reminded that their actions displease the Most High Lord.  This is the “torment” that is inflicted by true messengers of the Lord upon lost mankind.

 

(11)  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  (12)  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

This abuse and disrespect of God’s people will last during “the times of the Gentiles”, symbolized by the 3 ½ days (kingdoms worth of time). See Revelation 11:2 for a full explanation.  Following that time period, Christ at His second coming will resurrect the bodies of the saints and take them to be with Him throughout eternity.

This symbolism is taken from Ezek 37:1-14, where the restoration of the nation of Israel is seen as unburied corpses that are restored to life following their abuse and death at the hands of the Babylonians during their captivity.

The great fear that falls upon the world in the initial stages of His second coming in Rev 6:12-17, Luke 21:25-28 & Matt 24:29-31)  Also we see the Lord commanding His people to come forth at His second coming in 1 Thess 4:16-18.

 

(13)  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

At Christ’s second coming a great earthquake is said to take place causing great fear.  This earthquake is the beginning indications of God’s wrath that is beginning to fall at His second coming.  As soon as His people are taken, His wrath begins to fall upon lost mankind.  His wrath now begins to bring an end to these wicked political powers that have abused His people for so long.

The seven thousand men slain speaks of the completeness, thoroughness of His wrath that will fall.  7 represents perfection while 1000 represents completion.  By the time His wrath is finished it will perfectly, completely destroy lost mankind and bring a permanent end to the abuse of His people.

Although His wrath is not complete as of yet, those who remain will attempt to escape His wrath, knowing that their destruction is near.  They give glory to God, simply recognizing Who is doing the judging.  They are not looking to Him in faith, nor are they repentant of their sins.  This is not a salvation experience but simply a recognition of what is taking place around them.  We saw the same type of reaction to His wrath in Rev 6:16-17.

Not only do earthquakes symbolize God’s great power and destruction that results at the second coming, there is also a literal earthquake linked to His coming.  This earthquake is spoken of in Ezekiel 38:19-20 and Zech 14:15.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of John’s vision, we see the Lord pictured as the One that sends (vs 3), empowers (vs 3), accompanies (vs 3), avenges (vs 5) and gives the final victory to His servants (vs 11-12).  Certainly, our Lord is faithful to His promises and will bring to completion that which He begins in our lives (Phil 1:6-7).  He will bring us to completion, use us for His glory, and take us home to live eternally with Him.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, we should not despair as we face opposition in our service for Christ.  He has called us to the task at and and will bring it to completion by His grace and mercy.  Even when it appears as if we are going nowhere and helpless to fight the foe, He will always give us the ultimate victory as we stand before Him in eternity!  May we all thank the Lord for the promised victory He gives to us and the knowledge that we have truly overcome the powers of the world in Christ…

1Jn 4:4 KJV – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

May we all be encouraged to serve Him in greater ways knowing that He will win the victory for us.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 11:1-2 KJV

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

In our previous devotional, we saw some of the immediate blessings that are given to those upon whom Christ’s blood has been applied.   But now, in today’s devotional, we will be looking at some of the future blessings that are awaiting Christians in the life to come…

Paul wrote about those results in Ephesians 2:4-7…

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

With the receipt of eternal life, comes the receipt of a wonderful eternity with Christ.  Note what our verses say….

  1. We were given spiritual life based upon God’s great love, mercy, grace.
  2. We have been given a seat with Christ to be with Him, now and throughout eternity.
  3. We are promised His gracious kindness to be shown to us throughout the ages, including eternity.

 

Folks, not only are we brought into communion with God and saved from His wrath, but we are also promised many future blessings both here and throughout eternity in heaven on the New Earth (Rev 21:1-2).  Some of these many eternal blessings include deliverance from the presence of sin and its results (Rev 21:4-5, 8), receipt of glorified bodies (1 Cor 15:52-54), dwelling in His presence (Rev 21:3), rewards for obedience (1 Corinthians 3:10-17) etc etc etc.

What a blessing it is to know that we have been made right with Christ and no can claim many present and future blessings as our very own.

This is all a part of the wonder of being a “spiritual Israelite”, one that is accepted in God’s sight and able to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

May NONE of us remain a spiritual Gentile, rejecting the worship of the Lord, through rebellion, enmity and disobedience to Him.    For it is these who trample the worship of God underfoot and, therefore, have the judgment of God awaiting them.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

 

http://wp.me/pU88A-42A

We Are Born Separated From God …. Has Christ’s Blood Brought Us Into Fellowship With Him?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 11:1-2 KJV – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-430

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 11:1-2 KJV

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

In our previous devotional, we saw that acceptance by God can only be attained through the application of Christ’s shed blood to the life of sinful man.  In this devotional, I would like us to look at a few of the wonderful blessings we receive when Christ’s blood is applied to us….

Paul wrote about those results in Ephesians 2:13-18…

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

 

In the above text, we are told that the blood of Christ:

  1. brings those who are far from Christ into a close relationship with Him
  2. breaks down the wall of sin that has separated us from God
  3. brings peace to lawbreakers who deserved God’s wrath and displeasure
  4. brings man and God together by putting to death their hatred toward God
  5. offers peace to the “religious” and “moral” as well as to the “immoral” and “irreverent”.
  6. gives direct access to the Father through the indwelling Spirit

What a blessing that is offered to those who come to Christ!  Peace instead of war, forgiveness instead of wrath, and a vdirect access to the Father instead of alienation… truly, the blood of Christ applied to the heart of man brings about a radical transformation to our lives!

May we all see our need to make certain that Christ has graciously applied His shed blood to our hearts and lives.  And then, in response to this wonderful work on our behalf, may we bear good works towards others to bring glory and honor to Him…

Eph 2:10 KJV  – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-42A

OT Gentiles Teach Us The Lost Cannot Experience Communion and Worship Of God…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 11:1-2 KJV – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-42K

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 11:1-2 KJV

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

In our previous devotional, we saw that those who are without Christ (pictured by Gentiles in our text), when left to themselves, are rebellious, rejecting His worship, separated from Him, unacceptable in His sight and unable to please Him in anyway.   What a horrible condition to be in!

So what are they to do?  Is there no hope for the lost person?  In this devotional, we will see that there is hope for those who recognize their need of Christ…

Paul wrote about the hope of all mankind in Ephesians 2:4-10…

Eph 2:4-10 KJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Although, lost mankind has no hope when left to themselves, we find in this text that based upon the Lord’s merciful love, there is hope for the lost.   Although the lost person is found to be dead in sins, they can receive spiritual life through Christ.

The giving of spiritual life is an act that is based upon God’s grace.  This means that although lost mankind does not deserve deliverance from spiritual death (salvation), because of God’s love, it is available to them.   The salvation that is made available is an eternal salvation that results in permanent acceptance into the Lord’s presence throughout the ages and into eternity.

So how can the lost individual be delivered from their rebellion and spiritual death?  It comes through God’s grace, as He intervenes in the life of the lost person, drawing him to Christ and granting to him the gifts of repentance from sin and faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.

The Lord’s intervenes in the life of the lost person when the lost person recognizes his spiritually dead condition, his rebellious attitude against the things of God, and his inability to save himself.  This causes the lost person to come before Christ humbly, realizing Christ alone can deliver him from his wretched condition…  he cannot save himself, nor can he demand salvation to be given to him based upon his merit.  Apart from the gracious intervention of Christ he is helpless, hopeless and without God in this world.  This is the attitude of the one that Christ will graciously bring to repentance and belief, which will result in his eternal deliverance for his sin and the wrath that abides upon him.

 

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-42A

 

OT Jews Teach Us That The Worship Of God’s People Is Accepted By Him…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 11:1-2 KJV – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-42G

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 11:1-2 KJV

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

In our previous devotional, we saw that those who are without Christ (pictured by Gentiles in our text), when left to themselves, are rebellious, rejecting His worship, separated from Him, unacceptable in His sight and unable to please Him in anyway.   What a horrible condition to be in!

 

Paul wrote more about this condition in Ephesians 2:1-3…

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

 

In this text, we can see that the spiritual Gentile (lost individual) is described in 5 different, but related ways…

1.  dead in trespasses and sins – lacking spiritual life, disobedient to God and unable to change themselves

2.  walked according to the course of this world – following the path of the sinful age in which they were living

3.  walked…according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: – following the path Satan has laid for them.

4.  conversation… in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind – possessing a lifestyle that seeks to fulfill the sinful desires of their fallen natures

5.  were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. – due to their fallen condition, they are deserving God’s wrath (from birth) as all others

 

The condition of a lost man is horrendous indeed.

They are described as dead, in a state of displeasure before God, and unable to change of their own ability.  They are naturally continuing on a sinful path of disobedience which is laid out for them by Satan, and endorsed by the lusts proceeding from their fallen natures.  Because of all of this, they are deserving and appointed to face the eternal wrath of Almighty God.

But praise the Lord, the lost man’s condition is not totally hopeless.  This Ephesians text goes farther and says…

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.   Eph 2:4-9 KJV

 

By God’s gracious intervention in our lives, turning from our sins and by faith accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can be delivered from this horrible condition of spiritual death and rebellion against Almighty God.

We will look at what Christ has done for us in our next devotional.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-42A

Bible Lessons and Devotionals for Easter Week…

Easter Promo

 

Easter Week Devotion: The Sufferings Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-hO

Video  http://youtu.be/je1FlxVv5gA

Easter Week Devotion: The Importance Of The Resurrection

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-iq

Video http://youtu.be/9Nqrtwb2q-I

Easter Week Devotion: The Resurrection Of Christ

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-ih

Video http://youtu.be/Jj26nfVrpgo

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings Of Christ On The Cross

Text http://wp.me/pU88A-i7

Video http://youtu.be/4o7gisGPQPI

Old Testament Jews and Gentiles Teach Us About Our Standing Before God!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 11:1-2 KJV – And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-42D

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 11:1-2 KJV

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

In the previous chapter, we saw John receiving a little book from Christ.  This book would answer the question “Why will God send His wrath against sinful man at His second coming?”.

In our text for this morning, we see the first reason why God’s wrath falls upon lost mankind…  It is because they have rejected the true worship of God, treading it under foot.

The one of the keys to understanding this Revelation text, and the entire Old Testament is to understand the Biblical symbolism of Jews and Gentiles…  In the New Testament we find that both the Jews are representative of those who are saved (Romans 2:28-29; Philippians 3:1-3; Colossians 2:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9-10).  On the other hand, we find that Gentiles represent unrepentant, lost mankind who are separated from the Lord, due to their sins (Ephesians 2:11-13;  Romans 11:1-6).

 

What a wonderful truth this is for all of us!  Even the Old Testament historical accounts of God’s dealings with Jews and Gentiles can be applied to us today!

When we see Christ separating out the physical Jew for His own purpose and use, it is a visible representation of our Lord choosing to save us out of this sinful world that we might serve and glorify Him…. When we see the Lord faithfully loving and caring for the Jews, it is a wonderful presentation of God’s love and concern for those who are saved.

Likewise, when we see Gentiles restricted from the worship of Jehovah, it is a clear display showing us that lost men and women are not accepted by God due to their sinful unclean condition.  They are in great need of Christ’s intervention in their lives, being unable to do anything of their own ability to merit acceptance by Him.

However, always keep in mind, there were Gentiles in the Old Testament who were worshippers of Jehovah.  Some of them include: All those who were saved prior to the birth of Jacob’s sons; Rahab the Harlot; Ruth the Moabitess; perhaps, King Nebuchadnezzar; the entire city of Ninevah; etc etc.    All of these examples show us that those who are lost, if they turn to Christ in repentance and faith can be saved and accepted by God.

May we all come to understand the truths of God’s love, election, grace and mercy by looking at the Old Testament accounts of His dealings with Israel.  Likewise, may we come to understand the lost man’s horrible condition without Christ, clearly revealed to us by God’s dealings with the Old Testament Gentiles.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-42A

The Sweetness, and Bitterness, Of The Message Of God’s Word…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristThe Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey …” (Revelation 10:9)

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-427

Revelation 11:1-2 “Measuring The Temple”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 11:1-2 KJV

(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Rev 11:1-2 KJV

 

(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod:

As the contents of the small book are revealed to John, he is given a reed that resembled a scepter. This was a common tool used to take measurements or to count livestock (Lev 27:32)

 

and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 

John then is instructed to measure:

  1. the temple of God – the place of worship for OT saints
  2. the altar – either incense or burnt offering altar. In either case, they were used in temple worship of God.
  3. them that worship therein – the people there who were true worshippers of God.

By John measuring and counting these, it is a sign of God’s ownership, acceptance and authorizing them.  This is much like a King measuring his temple or a shepherd counting up his sheep.  Here, the Lord is picturing the worship that is pleasing to Him.  It is acceptable worship that is wrought by His eternal possessions (the saints).

It is interesting to note that God looks upon His people as His temple (1 Cor 3:16-17, Eph 2:20-22, 1 Pet 2:4-10, 1 Pet 4:14-17)

This reflects the vision of the measuring of the temple in Ezekiel 40:-43:

 

 

(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles:

John was not to measure the Gentiles who were restricted from His OT worship place.  Why?  The Gentiles pictures those who were separated from Him.  They were not a part of the people of God.  Therefore, John was not “leave them out” of his measuring and counting.

This is symbolic of the stark difference between the acceptance and participation of God’s people in His true worship and the rejection and refraining of those who are lost from worshipping God.  The lost are clearly looked upon as holding a different standing before God and display that difference in their actions by refraining from worshipping and honoring the Lord.

 

 

and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The lost people’s distain and rejection of His worship is clearly seen by the treading down of the place of worship.  Throughout God’s Word, treading down is a picture of rejection, distain, and mockery.

The number 42 is related to punishment and wickedness in several texts (2 King 2:24, 2 King 10:14, 2 Chron 22:2) This helps us to understand that this 42 month time period is a time period of sinfulness and the heaping up of the coming wrath of God upon mankind.

It is said that the temple of God (true worship) would be tread down (abused, mistreated, hated) by the Gentiles (the lost) for a period of 42 months…

Luk 21:24 KJV

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

The Roman government in 70 AD, under Titus, continued the course of the previous world empires by treading down the true worship of God in the temple and abusing God’s people. This abuse of God’s people began in the midst of the Babylon Kingdom and would continue through the Medo/Persia, Greek and Roman Empires until His second coming.

 

What is the significance of this time period, commonly referred to as the time of the Gentiles?

Throughout the Bible this time period is referred to by several differing terms:

  1. 42 months
  2. 1260 days (42 months x 30 days/month – 1260 days)
  3. 3 ½ years (42 months / 12 months per year = 3 ½ years)
  4. Time, Times, and Half a Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [time])
  5. Time, Times and a Division of Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [division of time])

The key to understanding this time frame is based upon the OT prophet Daniel….

Dan 7:25 KJV
(25)  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

Dan 12:7 KJV
(7)  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

In both of these passages, we have the rejection of the worship of God being described as starting with the Babylon captivity of Judah (during their rule as world empire) to the Second Coming of Christ.  This time period involves the 3 ½ periods of rule by World Empires.  This is the same time frame covered symbolically by the 42 months and the similar phrases…

 

Midst Of Babylon Kingdom Medo/Persia Kingdom Greek Kingdom Roman Kingdom Total Timeframe Described
6 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 42 Months
180 Days 360 Days 360 Days 360 Days 1260 Days
½ Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 3 ½ Year
½ Time      Times Time Time, Times, Half A Time
Division Of Time      Times Time Time, Times, Division Of Time

 

From the time of Daniel’s vision, which referred to events during the Babylon Kingdom, until the second coming of Christ, is the time period in which the Lord’s worship was, and will continue to be, rejected by lost mankind.  Please note that even when the second temple was built in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, that the true worship of God was still not renewed among the people.  God’s presence was not manifest in the same way as before.  This would only take place in eternity when His presence would be clearly manifest throughout eternity…

 

Hag 2:3-9 KJV
(3)  Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
(4)  Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
(5)  According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
(6)  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
(7)  And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
(8)  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
(9)  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we can see the grace and merciful patience of the Lord being shown to a lost world that consistently rejects His worship, refuses to recognize His existence and greatness, and abuses those He calls His own.  What great grace and patience in the midst of an a revelation of His wrath to come!….

 

Exo 34:5-7 KJV
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all come to an understanding of the motive behind His great wrath.  He sends His wrath upon those who have

willfully rejected glorifying and honoring Him.  They do not recognize His existence, or His individuality, or His greatness.  They oppose those who seek to gather and worship Him in a way that is pleasing to Him, desiring to place Him on an even level with the God’s of this world.

May we all recognize our need to recognize His greatness and worship Him in spirit and in truth.  After all, He is a jealous Lord who deserves and demands to be placed first above all…

 

Deu 6:13-15 KJV
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 10:9 KJV

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

 

As John receives this little book, he is told that he was to “eat it up”.  In other words, he was to consume it, becoming well-acquainted with it, and making it a part of his entire being.  He is then told that the result of his ingestion of the Word would be both a pleasant satisfaction and a nauseating bitterness.

What is important for us to notice is that before we can get to many of the blessings of God’s Word, we have to go through the “bitter times” recognizing our own condition and the condition of those around us…

Stop and think about it, before we can receive the “sweetness” of His gracious salvation, we must experience the “bitterness” of seeing our sinful, hopeless condition as rebellious, fallen man.   Or, before we can taste the “honey” of obedience by actively taking the gospel to the lost, we must experience the “bitterness” of understanding the horrible wrath of God awaiting fallen mankind and their inability to be saved apart from the gospel.

From this perspective, we can see that the experience of bitterness we receive from God’s Word is an absolute necessity to receive the manifold blessings of God for our lives.

 

Folks, we need to be thankful for ALL of His Word and be prepared to share the entire counsel of God with those around us.  We should not just share the parts of God’s Word that are easily accepted by us and those around us.  By only sharing the “sweet parts” of the Word, we are robbing our hearers of many of God’s blessings, the greatest of which is salvation from sin.

How can we expect men to be saved from their sins through total reliance upon Christ, if they are not told they have sinned and can do nothing to save themselves?

How can we expect Christians to grow in grace and knowledge of His Word, when we are not willing to teach them ALL of God’s Word?

How can we expect Christians to not fall into false teaching, if we are not willing to teach them   the truths found in His Word, in the context of the entire Word?

(Please remember: Most, if not all, false teaching comes by taking verses out of their proper context.  If we are not willing to share the entire Word with those we teach, we are robbing them of contextual background that is needed to properly understand the verses that are attempting to teach them.)

 

May we all thank God for both the bitter and sweet parts of His Word, understanding both are absolutely necessary for our salvation, service and doctrinal soundness.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-41H

The Mystery Of Our Eternity With The Lord Will Become Crystal Clear To Us !

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 10:7 KJV – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-420

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 10:7 KJV

(7)  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

 

The seventh trumpet sounding announces the final stage of the Lord’s wrath that will fall at His second coming.  In this text, we are told that when the trumpet sounds “the mystery of God s should be finished”.  In other words, the mystery of God will then be ended.

This great “mystery of God” is the mystery surrounding God’s eternal kingdom.  The Bible tells us some things about what our eternal state with the Lord will be like, however, much of our eternity is truly a mystery to us…

What will it be like to stand in the very presence of the Lord?
What will our resurrected, glorified bodies be like?
What will the New Heavens and New Earth be like?
Will we immediately recognize the Old Testament and New Testament saints?
What will our relationship with our loved ones be like?
What will our role be in the final judgment of the lost?

This is only the beginning of the questions that we have about our eternal state with Christ. The list of questions about eternity seems to be endless.  It will only be at the inauguration of His kingdom that we will be able to come to a full understanding of the many blessings that it holds for us.

This fits in perfectly, with the context of this verse.  At the completion of His wrath (the sounding of trumpet seven), when He arrives at His second coming, His eternal kingdom will come into existence and the mysteries concerning His kingdom will now be made crystal clear.  This is what is meant by the phrase “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished”

What a day that will be!  To stand before our Lord, in a sinless eternity, with all our questions being answered!  We, then, will know with certainty about what we had wondered.  We will see with our physical eyes what our minds could only imagine.

Folks, this wonderful day is coming!  May it always be a source of strength as we pass our time here in faithful service to our Lord…

Heb 11:13-16 KJV –

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.   For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

 

May we all strength and encouragement today, as we remember that soon… “there should be time no longer” and we shall be in our eternal home with our Lord.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-41H

Eternity With Our Lord Will Not Be Limited By Time…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 10:6 KJV – “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-41V

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…that there should be time no longer …”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 10:6 KJV

(6)  And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

 

What a wonderful thought …. time will no longer exist!  No more rushing to get to appointments on time.  No more watching the clock waiting for the work day to end.  No more counting the years since our birth to see if we are “old age” yet.  No more being fearful of a good time coming to an end.  No more time!

In our text this morning, we are promised that there is coming a day when time will no longer exists.  When will this take place?  It will take place when eternity begins at the second coming of Christ.  It will be at that time that time will cease and the eternal reign of the Lord will begin…

Rev 21:10,11,23-25; 22:5- KJV  –

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: …

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

Just like the song of old says…

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.”

 

May we all strength and encouragement today, as we remember that soon… “there should be time no longer” and we shall be in our eternal home with our Lord.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-41H

Our Lord Owns, And Controls Both The Sea and The Earth And All That Dwell Therein…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 10:2 KJV – And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-41Q