Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Sightseeing in San Francisco, CA – Golden Gate bridge

The book of the Bible that promises to make things plain to us

Revelation 1: A revealing of Jesus, the Messiah. God gave it to make plain to his servants what is about to happen.

It’s interesting that a book of the Bible that states its purpose to be “revealing” and making “plain” God’s intentions is considered by most people to be secretive, filled with hidden meanings and puzzles that can only be unraveled thousands of years after it was written. To some extent I think its John’s own fault. He likes to write using symbols and poetry. Also in play, I think, are the advances of technology John never imagined. He writes this letter thinking it’ll be passed around among seven churches. He never imagines that 1500 years later an invention will allow his letter to be mass produced and put in the hands of anyone who wants to read it. Had he thought about people greatly removed from the seven churches reading and trying to understand his words he might have at least added a few footnotes for those of us reading his writing hundreds of years later and under vastly different circumstances. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here for us today. In fact, it’s just the opposite. John’s Revelation connects us to Jesus in a way very different than do the Gospels or the Epistles. Here, we get a glimpse of how things look when viewed from heaven’s side. As long as I remember the purpose of this book – that it’s a revelation of Jesus — it has great value to me. Also, let me remind you that I’m writing devotionally here so don’t expect me to find any secret messages or unique interpretations here.

Take Away: When reading any book of the Bible it’s important to understand its purpose and read it with that purpose in mind.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Pinnacles National Park, CA

He sees

Revelation 2: I see what you’ve done…I see where you live…I see everything you’re doing for me.

In his Revelation John has a message for seven churches. Each message follows a similar format: a description of Jesus as conqueror followed by a declaration that he sees what’s happening in the churches. Then there’s a word of encouragement followed by a word of correction followed by a call to response. Finally, there’s a command to hear these words and respond by taking action. These churches are operating in some extreme circumstances with lots of opposition both inside and outside their number. There are enemies of Christ dressed up as apostles and there are those who are trying to blend Christianity with the local religion. As the church stands firm in the faith and stands up to these deceivers the Lord is pleased. If the church fails here it places itself in danger of being something other than Christian. The thing that stands out to me today is that the Lord sees all this. He wants the believers to know that they aren’t operating out in the darkness apart from him. He also wants those who are dabbling in some of these beliefs and practices to know that he knows what they’re doing. It’s good to remember that our labor for the Lord doesn’t go unnoticed. As I faithfully serve him he takes note and wants to encourage me. It’s nice when people tell me I’m doing a good job. It makes me feel good, even appreciated. However, whether that happens or not there’s One who sees what I’ve done, where I live, and appreciates what I do in his name. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that really matters.

Take Away: Even if no one else sees the Lord sees. In the long run, that what matters.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Pinnacles National Park, CA

Not one size fits all

Revelation 3: The people I love, I call to account – prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best.

The message of the Lord to each of the last three churches is far from uniform. Two of these churches are in trouble. The third is doing quite well. One of the two that is failing on the surface looks quite healthy. It’s a church that’s operating an aggressive program with lots of meetings and activities – a full calendar. The other church that’s failing believes in moderation. They feel they’re successful and have earned a respite. Sorry to say, that attitude has caused them to take a bit of a break from God too. The result is a stern warning from Jesus. The third church, though, has been through some tough times. Many have fallen away leaving a small, but dedicated group that’s been tested in painful ways. Through it all they kept the Word of the Lord with “passionate patience.” In other words, their love for the Lord has done nothing but increase even as they’ve patiently worked through some of the hardest days of their lives. The Lord’s pleased with them and promises to open doors for them and to vindicate them and to keep them safe. As I read about these three churches my takeaway today isn’t that it’s a bad thing for a church to have an aggressive program or for church and people to take a breather once in a while. I don’t come away thinking that to be small and poor is to be more spiritual. Frankly, I’ve been around a few groups that were small and poor and proud of it. What does come to mind is that there are challenges to be found in just about every situation. A busy, successful church needs to be careful not to mistake what it does for Jesus for a vital, living relationship with him. A church that has had some success needs to be careful to keep its priorities straight. To personalize this farther, I need to remember that it’s the same for individuals. The satisfied, fulfilled Christian life isn’t defined by past success or current business for the Lord. It’s all about living in a daily, connected relationship with him.

Take Away: My spiritual life isn’t defined by what I’ve done or am doing for the Lord. Rather, it’s all about my living in a current, abiding relationship with him.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Pinnacles National Park, CA

What an invitation!

Revelation 4: Ascend and enter.

Having received messages for seven churches John looks upward to see an opening door providing an entrance into Heaven. He hears a voice, issuing to him a command and a word of permission. He’s been invited into Heaven and is immediately filled with a sense of deep worship as he finds himself gazing on the very Throne of God. Everything’s overwhelming and, as he tells us about it, human language fails him. There’s worship going on and we’re left with the feeling that this is business as usual at the Throne. Heavenly beings sing “Holy, holy, holy” and those with crowns of righteousness cast those crowns at the feet of the One seated on the Throne. What’s business as usual in Heaven is all too rare on this side of that door. I’ve had some wonderful moments of blessing, some too precious for me to write about. They haven’t come nearly often enough but when they have come I’ve tasted just enough to long for more. Still, I’ve received an invitation to that place. I don’t know when it is that I’ll hear “Ascend and enter” but I do know that that command and word of permission will come someday. I’m sure I won’t like the process of getting there, but once I do, it’ll be worth it all.

Take Away: We’ve received that wonderful invitation to “ascend and enter” so let’s live as invited people, preparing for that day.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Monterey Peninsula, CA

Lamb, Lion, King

Revelation 5: Look – the Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David’s Tree, has conquered.

The One who sits on the Throne has a small, sealed scroll full of mysteries to be revealed. However, not just anyone is qualified to open it. In fact, no one can be found and it appears to John as though his “revelation” isn’t going to happen. Then, he sees a Lamb that appears both weak and strong at the same time; bearing marks of death but with traits of unequaled wisdom and strength. John hears one of the Elders call this Lamb “the Lion from Tribe Judah.” We know about Judah. That’s the royal family tree of Israel. King David was of that family; so is Jesus. The One John sees looks like a slain Lamb that’s very much alive and powerful. This Lamb is also a Lion – a conqueror. He takes the scroll but at that moment no one’s thinking of the scroll. All heaven bursts forth in praise for the Lamb-Lion. It’s a thrilling moment as “thousand after thousand after thousand” of heavenly beings break forth in a song of praise. That group gets the first verse, then for the next one, all creation joins in. What a scene! There’s more to read, more to be revealed, and more to consider. For the moment though, as happens in this scene of worship I think I’ll just stop and join them in worshiping this Lamb-Lion-King.

Take Away: Worship of Jesus is at the heart of all Creation.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Monterey Peninsula, CA

The blood of the martyrs

Revelation 6: I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God.

The seals unveil future events, although readers though the centuries have been all over the place in their understanding of just what it is John is seeing. Perhaps the broad view is the best one. History is marching to a climax and as that climax draws near the world’s going to experience powerful and disturbing events. As the fifth seal is removed we see those martyred for their faithfulness to the Lord. In John’s day people are already suffering for their faith. John, himself, in fact, is exiled from the church. However, things are going to get worse. Many will die on the floor of the Coliseum in Rome. History, in fact, will see many faithful Christians die as martyrs. Sad to say, it continues to this day. John hears their voices as they cry out for justice. They’re told that the day of justice is coming. As I think about these who’ve followed Jesus even into death I feel small and insignificant. I confess that I’m hardly worthy to share the name “Christian” with them. I don’t want to forget that my heritage of faith has been a costly one. I don’t want to forget those who, even as I write these words, are paying a dear price for standing firm in their faith. At the same time, the promise of this passage speaks to my heart today. These have already been given “white robes” – honored in heaven. The day will come when the books will be balanced and justice will prevail. It doesn’t take my feeling any sense of vengeance at all for me to say, if God is just, then he’ll “avenge their murders.”

Take Away: The justice of the Lord demands that things be set right, and that day is, indeed, coming.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Monterey Peninsula, CA

Victory in Jesus

Revelation 7: Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?

As the worship scene in heaven unfolds John sees more and more worshipers. First, there are 144,000 people from the family trees of Israel. Then, he sees thousands and thousands from “all nations and tribes.” The number is too vast to count and they all begin singing praise to God and to the Lamb. John is transfixed by the scene but his focus is interrupted when one of the Elders asks him a question. He asks John who they are, this white robed, too-vast-to-be-counted throng of worshipers. John doesn’t know, but the Elder answers his own question. These are those who have come through the great tribulation. This huge multitude isn’t made up of everyone in heaven, just of those who faithfully serve Christ right at the end, as earth’s history is being wrapped up. A couple of things come to mind at this point. First, heaven won’t be a lonely place. In spite of “many called, few chosen” the “few” comprise a huge number. Second, as bad as the time of tribulation might be, by God’s power his people can overcome, not just surviving, barely limping in, but thriving in numbers too great to count, coming through clean and rejoicing. This is a testimony, not to human perseverance, but to God’s power at work in the lives of his people.

Take Away: By the grace of the Lord, by his power in our lives…by the Lord, we can hold fast in our faith and receive a glorious entrance into the place he’s prepared for us.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Monterey Peninsula, CA

When’s the best time to pray?

Revelation 8: Smoke billowed up from the incense-laced prayers of the holy ones.

The seventh seal marks, not the end, but the beginning of a series of judgments about the fall on the earth. Things are about to get bad, with huge events coming to earth, each announced by the blast of a trumpet. The sober nature of these events is underscored as a foreboding silence falls in heaven. Before that first trumpet blast John sees an angel carrying a gold censer. The scene in heaven is one of worship at the Temple and the angel with the censor is in the role of priest. The offering, made with incense, is the prayers of God’s people. Even as the judgment of God is about to be poured out on the earth, the prayers of his people are heard. Obviously, there’s a lot going on in this passage and Bible scholars are pressed to the limit to explain all the symbolism. I don’t claim to have any deep insight into the meaning here. However, I do note that before bad things ever start happening that God’s people are praying and that he’s listening to their prayers. While I doubt that the purpose of this passage is to encourage prayer I do see here an example of the importance of it. Of course we should pray when “something like a huge mountain…is flung into the sea” of our lives. However, it’s a good idea to already do some praying before such earth shaking events (literally in this case) start happening. God’s people need to pray before, during, and after unwelcome life events.

Take Away: Prayer matters.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Monterey Peninsula, CA

A good time to turn to God

Revelation 9: There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart.

The final three trumpets are called by some “woe-trumpets” because each one ushers in a period of suffering on earth. John is seeing future events, the end of time. He sees spiritual beings through his limited point of view so his descriptions are of strange, terrifying beings. The “locusts” are beings freed from the Abyss. They sweep across the earth like a huge plague of locusts, inflicting pain on a third of humanity. Angels that have been chained are set free to lead a destroying army that kills another third of humanity. Rather than fearfully turning to God those who survive continue as before: focused on material possessions, promiscuous lifestyles, and worshiping evil rather than God. Even as time draws to a violent end and the judgment of God is obvious they persist in their self-indulgent, God-ignoring ways. It hardly seems possible that it could be this way. Still, I’ve seen just a hint of it. I’ve seen people who’ve rejected the goodness of God and then, in the face of the hardship of life responded by hardening their hearts. In their case, their personal “woe-trumpet” didn’t result in their facing the spiritual facts of life. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. First of all, God’s love; his mercy and grace: these things should cause us to turn to him in sweet surrender. Second, when hardship does come, it doesn’t have to drive us away from God. Instead, it can cause us to run to him even as a hurt child runs to his or her Father for protection and comfort. It’s not smart to wait for such a time before turning to God, but if one hasn’t done it yet, days of trials and hardship, pain and suffering, are good days to turn to the one who offers us hope even as our world crumbles around us.

Take Away: When life is especially hard it is, as is always true, a good time to turn to the Lord.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

A mystery within a mystery

Revelation 10: Don’t write a word.

The final three of the seven trumpets are called the “woe-trumpets.” Following the sounding of the sixth trumpet and the woe ushered in by it, there’s an interlude before the final trumpet sounds. Mysterious things happen. A mighty angel calls out and is answered by Seven Thunders. John dutifully starts to write it all down but is told, as the prophet Daniel was told centuries earlier, to seal up what he’s just heard. To this day any effort to understand this scene is more a guess than anything else. Simply put, no one has a clue as to what’s happening here. For an event in a book called “Revelation” it feels quite strange to have John commanded to silence. However, not knowing or understanding something leaves us in familiar territory. Frankly, what I do know of spiritual matters might fill a thimble. What I don’t know would fill an ocean. That doesn’t mean that I rejoice in my ignorance. I want to know all that’s knowable and understand all that’s understandable. This mysterious passage reminds me that not only am I not expected to fully understand everything that there are some things I’m not allowed to understand even in part. In some cases, I explore the best I can, grasp as I’m able and then move on, trusting God with all the mysteries that are beyond my grasp. In the specific case of this passage, I read it, scratch my head a bit, and move on; filing this mystery with a million others that I must leave in the capable hands of the Almighty.

Take Away: We don’t understand many of the things of God, but we can know him. That’s enough.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

Measuring up

Revelation 11: Get up and measure God’s Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it.

This chapter of John’s Revelation might be considered to be the first conclusion of the book. We’re now at the sounding of the final trumpet and once it sounds Judgment Day has arrived as time comes to an end. However, John has much more to see as the description of specific events will be expanded. Before that final trumpet sounds John’s given the same task Daniel was given many years earlier. He’s to measure the “Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping” there. One understanding of this that works for me is that this is a measurement of God’s Church in preparation for judgment. Everything’s about to wrap up and the time Jesus referred to as a dividing of sheep and goats is about to begin. Now John’s given the task of seeing how the Church, represented by the Temple and Altar in the vision, measures up. As John prepares to go to work he’s told to ignore those in the outside court. They may be hanging around the Temple and appear to belong. However, they aren’t part of the worshiping body. I’m not claiming to have figured things out here but there’s a lot of truth in that interpretation. At some point the Church will be measured and people will give an account of themselves to the Judge of the world. Just hanging around the fringes won’t cut it. Those who are faithful, serving the Lord, worshiping him in both good days and bad, though, have nothing to fear even in the fearful days described in this passage.

Take Away: Oh I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

Merry Christmas…maybe

Revelation 12: She was giving birth to a Child.

John’s vision shifts to new images including that of a dragon and war in heaven. It’s my guess that his original readers better understand the symbolism than we do. Interpretations are all over the map but due to the fact this book is written to be read by first century Christians I lean toward understandings of it that keep their perspective in mind. Also, there’s such a strong parallel to the story of the birth of Christ that I tend to think that John’s using that well known story to illustrate something more. Mary, the most blessed of women, gives birth to the Son of God. Immediately, Satan tries to have him killed but, being warned in a dream, his earthly father, Joseph, takes them and flees to the desert, Egypt. Throughout his ministry there’s a war for the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls. Ultimately, though, Satan’s defeated as Jesus goes to the cross, winning the ultimate victory for all who will come to him. It all fits, kind of. The question for Bible scholars is “What does it illustrate?” Most say that the woman represents the Church and that the battle represents the war waged by the enemy of our souls in an attempt to defeat the Church. If that’s right the message here is one of divine protection and ultimate victory. Even readers like me, in spite of my struggles in understanding the passage, can conclude that, whatever the exact meaning here, God will protect his people and that ultimately, in Christ, victory is ours. I know I don’t get everything that’s going on here, but that’s a pretty good place to start.

Take Away: We don’t have to understand everything to have a firm grasp on the fact of the Lord’s provision for, and protection of, us.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

God’s people doing what God’s people do

Revelation 13: Meanwhile, God’s holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.

As I struggle my way through symbolism that has challenged Bible scholars across the centuries it’s nice to find some firm footing, if for just a moment. I can’t identify the Beast or the Beast’s puppet or solve the 666 riddle. Since John writes to specific congregations in a specific place and time I don’t buy into any interpretation that can only be grasped 2000 years in the future, so the 666 reference, in particular has to make sense historically, but again, I’m not the go to guy for this kind of stuff. What I do like is the momentary firm footing of “Meanwhile, God’s holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.” Their situation doesn’t sound very good. There’s some kind of leopard-bear-lion Beast dominating the whole world. This Beast hates the Church and intends to destroy it. Life is hard under this persecution (is it Rome or some future event or both?) and it appears that the Church will be crushed. God’s people, though, stand firm. In spite of prison and the sword their passion for Christ empowers them. In the face of this crisis of (literally) Biblical proportions they “stand their ground.” That’s exactly what God’s people do. It’s not that we travel easy roads, smelling roses all the way. Sometimes we take some hits that are anything but easy. We don’t like it and we do all we can to avoid it, but in the end, whatever comes we passionately and faithfully stand for God. Even as I have a hard time getting the rest of this passage into focus, my view of this truth is 20/20.

Take Away: The Lord’s people have staying power even in impossible situations.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

The way to die

Revelation 14: Blessed are those who die in the Master from now on; how blessed to die that way!

In this passage the harvest of the world is about to be described but prior to that there’s another description of God’s people standing “passionately patient, keeping God’s commands, staying faithful to Jesus.” Then John is told specifically to write about those who finish their lives while being “passionately patient.” They serve God through their lives, looking for Jesus to return, overcoming the hardships and trials of their journey. In the specific case of this passage there’s considerable pressure on them to follow the general population in worship of the Beast. These saints resist and at personal cost persist in being “faithful to Jesus.” Now, for them, the battle ends. Their “hard, hard work” is over and “God blesses them for it all in the end.” I’ve known people such as these described in this passage. They loved the Lord and served him through their lives. When hard times came, they wished for a way out, but way out or not, they continued to trust God. Physically, they were ultimately defeated. Spiritually though, they were victorious. John is told to remind God’s people that those who “die in the Master” are blessed. Unless Jesus comes back first, my turn’s coming. I want the same kind of passionate patience, the same faithfulness to God’s commands, to be the hallmark of my life. As this passage says: “how blessed to die that way!”

Take Away: Live the right way so you can die the right way.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

God’s wrath

Revelation 15: One of the Four Animals handed the Seven Angels seven gold bowls, brimming with the wrath of God.

The revelator hears a song performed by a huge number of overcomers. It’s a song of praise and worship. It’s also a song of fear and judgment. “God is holy,” they proclaim, “all nations will come and worship you, because they see your judgments are right.” That song ushers in the final set of the Lord’s judgments on the earth. Angels are given the task of delivering those judgments. They’re given gold bowls, filled to the brim with the wrath of God. Any view of God that ignores his blazing hatred of sin is an incomplete view. He’s merciful and kind and loving and has overflowing grace. He wants nothing more than to save people and his goal is to save every human being. That’s all proven at Calvary. Some though, refuse his offer of salvation, an offer that cost him everything. Now, as time draws to an end we find ourselves face to face with the wrath of God. How dare people spit on his mercy? How dare they treat the crucifixion with distain? Now, in this vision, we’re given a preview of the wrath of God. John sees smoke from God’s glory and power pouring out of the heavenly Temple. It’s a fearful thing to be even this close to the wrath of God.

Take Away: Any view of the Lord that fails to take into account his hatred of sin is an incomplete view.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

Muddling my way through, holding fast

Revelation 16: Keep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You’re blessed if, awake and dressed, you’re ready for me.

The seven bowls of God’s wrath bring untold misery to the earth. Some of the miseries remind us of what happened in the limited region of Egypt during the ten plagues. In this case, though, the suffering is worldwide. When God’s attention specifically turns to the Beast and his unholy trinity they rally the nations of the earth to fight back. Armageddon is at hand. There’s so much here that I don’t understand that I’m ashamed of myself. Here I am in the book called “Revelation” and I’m constantly reminded that I’m missing whatever it is I’m supposed to grasp. Still, once in a while I’m graciously given something to which I can cling. Even if I don’t get it, I’m advised to “Keep watch!” and to be “ready.” Jesus said the same thing during his earthly ministry and now he repeats it. Even as I muddle through these pictures of judgment filled with symbolism that I’m missing more than understanding, I’m encouraged to simply hang in there. I may not understand Armageddon but I understand what it means to stand fast in my relationship with the Lord. Ultimately, it’s that that matters much more than my poor grasp on the precise meaning of passages like this.

Take Away: Even when you don’t understand what’s going on stand fast in the faith. Ultimately, that’s what matters the most anyway.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

The end is at hand, the end is at hand!

Revelation 17: The Lamb will defeat them, proof that he is Lord over all lords, King over all kings.

John’s mysterious journey continues with disturbing scenes and promises of divine judgment. He sees a woman riding a beast. She’s branded as Babylon, but he’s told that that, too, is a riddle name, and the city, Rome, is described. In John’s day, seeing Rome as the seat of evil in the world makes a lot of sense. Some continue to take the woman, Babylon, and description of the riddle to add up to the literal Rome, carrying with it lots of religious overtones. Frankly, it’s beyond me (seems I’ve been saying that a lot lately). If it isn’t to be taken literally, it may be that the “Babylon” represents a current world power that dominants the world as Rome did in John’s day. All of this is the set up for the big battle. This world power will rally the nations of the world to battle against the Lamb of God. Then, before the battle is even described, we’re told the outcome of it. The Lamb wins. In the end, there will be no doubt as to his high standing: Lord over all lords, King over all kings. The descriptions of judgment, war, and destruction are soon to give way to victory, worship, and the exaltation of the Lamb of God.

Take Away: We don’t have to understand everything to understand this: in the end, the Lamb reigns.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

When God’s had enough

Revelation 18: The Strong God who judges her has had enough.

The actual God has had enough. It takes a lot to arrive at this place. A lot of God’s grace has to be rejected. A lot of his patience has to be wasted. As we’re reminded by the writer of Hebrews, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” All heaven cheers this act of Judgment, not because of vengeance, but because of righteousness. For a righteous, pure, holy God to be who he is, ultimately, the end of all that is unrighteous, impure, and unholy must come. It’s not as though there haven’t been opportunities to turn around. I can say with confidence that there’s been at least 2000 years. At some point the patience of God will be exhausted. I want to be standing on the right side of things when God has “had enough.”

Take Away: For the Lord to be righteous, pure, and holy, sooner or later all that is unrighteous, impure, and unholy must be defeated.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

The King is coming

Revelation 19: Blessed are those invited to the wedding Supper of the Lamb.

I think I have plenty of male company when I say I’ve always been vaguely uncomfortable with the “bride of the Lamb” language of the New Testament. Men see themselves as, well, “manly” and not as blushing brides. I’ve been helped with this discomfort, at least a bit, by the realization that it’s the Church as a whole that’s described as the bride of Christ, not followers of Jesus as individuals. We aren’t all “brides of Christ.” Together we’re “the bride of Christ.” Obviously, there’s no sexual component here anyway. Here in the latter part of his vision, John sees Jesus riding on a white horse finishing up the judgment of God upon the earth and preparing for the great celebration that’s about to come. His people, the Church, have stood faithful to him and now he’ll be united with them forever. The big feast that has been in the making for all these years is about to take place. Christ is about to claim his Church as a King who comes to claim his throne to the cheers of his loyal subjects. When I think about it this way, I’m reminded that there’s nothing “sissy” about it at all.

Take Away: It’s the Church that’s the bride of Christ and every believer is a part of that great number.

Devotional on Revelation

2014 – Grand Canyon, AZ

Judgment Day

Revelation 20: I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there – before the Throne!

The events described are challenging to say the least.  There’s a 1000 years of peace on earth as the old dragon is bound in the pit.  Is it a literal thousand years?  Is the peace total or just the general condition of the earth?  At the end, it seems there’s a good chance that the story of the human race is about to start all over again as the dragon is released and goes to work.  But it’s not to be.  Time is up.  The dead are called forth and Judgment Day has finally come.  Two books; one detailing the deeds of each life and the other listing those who’ve given themselves to the Lamb are the witnesses.  The separating of the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares takes place.  It’s the end.  It’s the beginning.  Everything that’s happened has been the prelude to eternity.  As is plain to anyone reading my devotionals on Revelation I really don’t have a clue.  I’m lost as to both timeline and actual events.  However, even someone as clueless as I am can have a handle on this final event.  I’m going to stand before God.  My life is going to be an “open book.”  At that point, my only hope will be that second book, the Book of Life.  If I’ve given my heart to Jesus and lived for him, it’s that book that’s my hope: my hope of life.  Is your name in the Book of Life?

Take Away: Ultimately, that’s the only question that really matters.

 

 

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