Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day six)
This should sound very familiar. From the beginning there is a foreshadowing of redemption to come through the offspring of Eve, redemption from the condemnations of the serpent. Revelation 12 retells for us an old story and an old promise, but this time with a woman and a dragon. The first is an episode from the earliest days of human history, the second is redemptive history on display like a grand fresco. Why does God retell this story in this way?
The woman and the dragon in chapter 12 remind us of God’s promise to overcome the travesty in the Garden, to undo sin and rebellion, offering restoration through the woman’s offspring. It is a reminder that God, throughout all history, is making things new through Jesus; that the adversary can never overcome His bride, the Church.
That’s good news! Just the kind of reminder we need.
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day five)
The saints described in Revelation 12:11 remain faithful and devoted until the very end of the world. Their perspective has never changed or waivered. Their worldview remains biblically based.
Sin- Sin is too big a problem/condition for man to fix or solve. It is a man-made problem, but doesn’t have a man-made solution. The sacrificial death of God’s Son (the blood of the Lamb) is the only means by which to experience the forgiveness of sin.
Testimony- An experience deeper than emotion or intellect has forever changed the heart, mind, and soul of each believer. A life-saving encounter with Christ gives personal knowledge and understanding of the power of God. (power that opposes the attack and deception of Satan)
Life- Life is larger and longer than just the experience on earth. There is an eternal outlook and awareness. Physical death is not the end; therefore they need not fear it. (to live is Christ, to die is gain)
Will we be know as faithful and devoted?
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day four)
Revelation is full of symbolism. In this week’s passage, there is a dragon and two beasts. Three separate pictures, but seemingly one purpose. The common thread that weaves them together is death and power…they each use their power to blaspheme the Lord and to divert worship to them instead of God. Deception…idolatry…destruction…whatever they could use to turn the world away from God.
We see it in today’s world…the whole culture seems bent on using an overwhelming authority to divert worship from God to a culture of death. What are the beasts around you? What is trying to turn you away from God? Is it your friends? Is it your job? Is it your leisure activities? Learn to recognize the ‘beasts’ around you. They work together in conjunction with each other to claim your worship and devotion. Remember verse 11: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day three)
“The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” People are often surprised to hear that their actions have consequences for which they are accountable. And sometimes, people blame the church—or more commonly, “organized religion” (just a hair’s breadth away from “organized crime”) for making up this system. But accountability is not an arbitrary system, it’s a fundamental reality. And it’s certainly not an invention of the church. (Accountability gives too much credit to the moral reasoning of the individual; you don’t want to emphasize the value of each person if you’re just seeking raw power.) Accountability is the way the universe has worked from the beginning. And sinful humans cannot survive it, so God’s mercy has been right there all along—“from the foundation of the world”—to save our lives.
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day two)
I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 13:3
Do you remember the Exodus story? When Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh they performed many wondrous signs, but so did the magicians of the court. We often hear people claim that if they could behold something really amazing and miraculous they would follow God. There are several things wrong with that statement. God doesn’t have to convince us of anything. His wonders are clearly on display for all to behold. But the other thing to think about is the deceiver can perform wondrous things as well. If we are lured by spectacle, we must resist the temptation to follow blindly. How does any work or wonder point to Jesus? How does it show us more of his character. Be on guard.
Re:Verse reading–Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day one)
In Revelation 12, John’s vision continues to grow (in complexity and in tension). He sees a gloriously clad woman who was “with child”. Standing in front of her is a dragon, waiting for the child to be born so that he might “devour” the newborn. (v 4).
The dragon represents Satan (v 9). The woman (some say) is Mary, and the baby is Jesus. (But what, then, does it mean that she fled to the wilderness for over one thousand days?) Others say the woman is the church. (But Christ gave birth to the church, not vice versa). The best explanation is that the woman represents true Israel, Israel of faith. From her came the Savior. Against her, the wrath of Satan is poured out.
At the end of time, God will still be dealing with Israel. Calling them to salvation in Christ, protecting them. Long struggle. Not over yet. Someday soon, we hope. Someday soon!
Revelation 10:1-9; 11:1-15 (day seven)
“Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” v 10:9.
Strange image. Not unusual in the Bible. The strong angel tells John to eat the scroll! “Your words came to me, and I did eat them.” said Jeremiah. The idea (clearly) is that Scripture must “get inside of me” to have its powerful effect. I digest it. It becomes part of of me.
It will not always be fun to do so. As sweet as God’s word can be (to my guilty soul or confused mind) it is, just as often, a bitter pill. My stomach turns sour as I struggle to apologize, to confess sin, to wait on the Lord as His word instructs.
“They word is a lamp unto my feet” says the scripture to God. True, but it also can be a pain in the belly.
Revelation 10:1-9; 11:1-15 (day six)
What is astounding is the authority in which the two witnesses testify. They do incredible things for a season, and then they fall under the weight of evil,…at least that is what it seems. And then while the world gawks at their victory, God raises the two witnesses back to life. Ultimate victory was theirs.
We too have been given divine authority. Remember when Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me?” He gave us authority to “go and make disciples.” Will we go? Will we trust in the authority given to us? We must. Victory is assured.
Revelation 10:1-9; 11:1-15 (day five)
In John’s vision of the end times, there is clear direction and instruction for him. He is not just a spectator in this vision. He is involved. In chapter 10 &11 notice the prompts to John: do not write, take the book, eat the book, measure the temple, prophesy again. John is an active and obedient participant.
Some believers have a vision (version) of the Christian life that does not give attention to obedience. Following Christ does not allow for the option of being bystanders. He desires us to be engaged in the work of the Gospel and involved in God’s plan and purpose. He desires to use our gifts, talents, abilities, and opportunities for His Glory!! Daily we can join in His redemptive work that continues until he decides time has run out. God will use us as an employee, student, husband, parent, co-worker, employer, neighbor, and a hundred more ways. Anyone struggle with being obedient? Repent and get in the game!!
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 10:1-9; 11:1-15 (day four)
Our God is a God of details. At the creation of the world, even the smallest details of design were carefully planned and executed. Now, as we read in our Re:Verse passage this week, we discover that the end of time has been carefully planned out with every detail in place. From start to finish, God has established a well-ordered design. Every event in history, from creation to final judgment, has been a part of God’s grand design.
For a God to be able to plan such a vast array of details…each one building to a climax of grace and judgment…why do we question whether or not He can take care of the details of our lives? Something happens…good or bad…in our lives, and we begin to “re-calculate” the direction of our life, based on the new circumstances. Our “re-calculations” may be accompanied by great anxiety or great excitement, depending on the circumstances.
When will we learn to go to God first to seek His counsel…His direction…His wisdom…His comfort. Paul said it best…”Be anxious for nothing, in everything give thanks.”