23 February 2010

Revelation: Explanation

Why? What's the point? Where’s the justification for this study? Why do we need to peel back the layers of Revelation if people hardly talk about it and rarely preach on the subject? Isn’t it a bit far removed from our reality? I think not. I think our perspective and our vision of “reality” is skewed and a study on Revelation may be key to realigning ourselves to the right perspective and true reality.

If everything in the Bible previous to the Book of Revelation is the past—though certainly not dead, but the living, active, Word of God—and it relates to the present—application, accountability, explanation—then Revelation is the account of all things future—what is to come, what will be, what new things will happen or exist; we are living in the inbetween—the gap between the record of things past and the remaking of all things new. Arguably, Revelation could have been as large and extensive as the rest of the Bible, in and of itself, because of all that it reveals (but thankfully, God made it short enough for us to follow and simple enough for us to grasp His main points). It is packed with spiritual Truth. What’s interesting, is that unlike the rest of the Bible (Old and New Testaments), Revelation speaks of things that we cannot relate to, have not experienced, and cannot apply to our lives directly; it is completely different from any life experience we can fathom which makes it incredible and difficult at the same time.

So, if we can’t apply it directly or understand it immediately, what’s the point in studying it?

I believe that the difference is a shift in spiritual perspective—that realignment of our skewed perspective of “reality” and our place and purpose in it; in doing so we have a new and fuller “kingdom perspective,” a stronger, more confident faith, a better picture of the character of God, and a different set of questions.

Let’s look at this in the analogy of being in a battle vs. studying the outcome of a war.

Pick a historical war—any one will do. Imagine yourself fighting in it. When you are in the heat of battle, your questions are varied: What are we doing here? What are we fighting for? What’s the point? Who’s going to win this battle? Who’s going to win this war? Will I be on the victorious side? What will happen if I’m not? How will it all turn out? How many will die? Will their deaths be in vain? Will we be remembered? Will all this be worth it in the end?
Many of these questions are questions we Christians ask daily if not season to season in life in relation to family, marriage, parenting, scheduling conflicts, work, ministry, and so many other difficult things. Here’s the secret to studying Revelation: all these questions and more are answered.

Now, with the same historical war in mind, imagine yourself studying the outcome in a book or in class. Your questions are different; your perspective is different; you’re invested in a completely different way; you know the answers to many if not all of the questions listed above. You still have questions, they are simply different because of your knowledge and this simple principle:

Once you know the ending or the outcome, your perspective changes.

Here’s the best news of all: we know the outcome. Our perspective should be different.

In reading, wrestling with, studying, internalizing, sifting through, believing, and trusting in the truth of Revelation, we know that the war is won, that we are victorious in Christ, and that our purpose and place in the story is more clear: we are here on earth, in the fray of the battle, but we are on the winning side, and we need not fear the enemy or our circumstances, because of the events describe in this book. Our new questions might shift to: When? Why not now? In what ways? In what time frame? In my lifetime? Will I be able to discern what is happening as it happens?
A totally new set of questions from a totally new perspective on life today and reality as we know it.

If the majority of the questions we ask today are—What is Your will? What is your timing? What ways will You do it, Lord?—then at least the “will” and some of the “ways” of the Lord are answered in Revelation, leaving us with “timing,” which I think we can deal with for now.

The purpose of this study is to delve into the text in order to gain a new perspective, to understand our current reality in light of God’s reality, and to ask new questions, having moved forward in faith from the old ones. Not that the old ones are wrong or bad or less-than, it’s simply that God has more for us and wants more for us and desires a deeper level of intimacy with us, which comes with a stronger faith, confident in what is to come, asking a different set of questions, knowing the answers to the old ones—we do have a purpose, God is good, God is sovereign, He allows evil for a future purpose and it’s all for His glory, Jesus is resurrected, He has conquered death, it will not always be this way, there will be a new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, Jesus will reveal Himself in a new way with a new name to His beloved, there will be a wedding feast in heaven when the Church (Bride) and Jesus (Groom) will finally be united in holy matrimony, never straying, never leaving, never forsaking, and never separated forever and ever amen (and these are just a quick overview of the multitude of promises and answers provided in Revelations).

Read the book to find more. It is powerful stuff and God wants it for all of us. Let Him prove Himself to you, reveal Himself anew to you, answer more of your questions, and progress your faith in shifting your perspective. He wants you to love Him completely. Trust Him completely. Know Him completely. And commune with Him intimately.

“My heart has heard You say, ‘Come and talk with Me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” –Psalm 27:8.

Go and talk with the Lord. See what He has for you in Revelations this week.

17 February 2010

Revelation: Intro


Why is it that we tend to shy away from this last book of the Bible? Have you read it? If not, why not? It's only 22 quick chapters, and yet, I had only read it for the very first time yesterday. Why is that?

I've certainly never heard anyone preach on the subject (though we should, Rev 1:3), but I have heard a variety of "end times" musings—though I can't seem to find or justify many of them in the Bible. Example: Jesus comes down, we all go up, 7 years of trial and tribulation, the war is over, Christ reigns forever, Amen. That doesn't seem to be exactly what the text says at all. Granted, the text can be a bit confusing and one has to wonder how much is given to us in allegory or metaphor, simply so that we can take it all in (b/c the full truth would be too much for our little brains, of which we use maybe 5%). But Deuteronomy 29:29 says, "The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that He has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions"—so we're only accountable for the Word and our obedience in following it. Let's see what we can glean from a quick survey of the Word in Revelations, shall we?

It’s difficult for me to begin this way especially if you have not yet read it and I have not yet provided any evidence for this claim.

However, it seems to me that this is the easiest time in the history of all things to believe in and trust in God—to fully accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savoir. I say this because, having read what is to come (and how long it all will take to unfold) and the chaos the future events bring—later will be a much harder time to discern right from wrong, good from evil, God from Anti-Christ, and life from death. There will be so many illusions and fakes, counterfeit imitations of truth and false idols performing false miracles, that right now is the time we seem to have the best chance at grasping the straight-forwardness of the Gospel and the truths of the Bible. It must be heartbreaking for God to look down, in such times as these, with the difference between good and evil so glaringly obvious, and watch us choose wrongly over and over again. Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do. Deliver us from ourselves. It should be so easy to realize that there is simply no comparison and the choice should be thoughtlessly right each and every time.

But please, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourselves and see what the Holy Spirit reveals to you—whatever the case, I just want you to read it: bury yourself in God’s Word. It is such a treasure and no time spent there is ever wasted.

Some of the following will be simple recap and some will actually be my commentary on what I believe to be true of the Scriptures—so some skimming the surface, and some deep.

lent and revelation


I started a post on the book of Revelation, having finally read it and wrapped a portion of my mind around it...

and it turned into a book. seriously.

So I'm publishing it a bit piecemeal as it were. it's all very interesting, just so much. just a little fyi on my life and what i'm doing/ writing/ pondering these days.

As for Lent, instead of giving something up I'm taking on more scripture/ day. I'm really excited about it and actually started one day early by reading 3 books of the Bible yesterday, one of which was Revelation.

More to come...

14 February 2010


a note from mama today:

Way back when, Warne wrote me the following little verse:

If I could make us something else
to be forever more,
I'd make us two forgotten spoons,
left cuddling in a drawer.

Today, I woke up to find this poem from my love:

My Valentine 2/14/2010

When I was 19 years of age
I wrote a poem for you,
A simple statement of my love,
a rhyming line or two;

I hoped we'd be forgotten spoons
left cuddling in a drawer.
Now years have passed and I can say
It's all been so much more.

We've flown, and grown, and lived a life
together, you and me,
that most folks only dream about
but never comes to be.

So here we are, and life is good
and love grows even stronger,
and these two spoons, while not forgotten,
will cuddle much, much longer.

my father is a good man--the best. i'm thankful, grateful, and proud to have grown up surrounded by their love. what a testimony.

circus circus

Last night Grant and I went to the "Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey Greatest Show on Earth: Zing Zang Zoom"--AMAZING.

We saw dogs do BACK FLIPS (35 of them), horses and zebras DANCING on hind-legs (15 of them), elephants doing HEAD STANDS and dancing on 2 legs (front and back, alternately--11 of them), tigers HOPPING on two feet like bunnies and jumping through obstacle courses together (12 of them), and two women shot simultaneously through the air from a double-barreled canon; a magician made an elephant disappear, changed a man into a live tiger, cut several people in half, and levitated 4 adults; tiny chinese acrobats flew through the air with the greatest of ease and built pyramids on top of each other's contorted bodies (crazy!); there were clowns, dancers, cheerleader, tight-rope-walkers, stunt men, and two guys in the "wheel of death" (if you've seen it before, you know what I'm talking about-wow!). It was incredible. Best Christmas/ V'day present ever. and our seats were perfect for seeing, singing, interacting, dancing, and actively participating in the audience ;)

life. is. good.