“And he (the mighty angel who was robed in a cloud, with a halo like a rainbow over his head, face like the sun, and legs like columns of fire) shouted with a loud voice like the roaring of a lion; and when he had shouted, the seven thunders gave voice and uttered their message in distinct words, and when the seven thunders had spoken (sounded), I was going to write [it down], but I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up what the seven thunders have said! Do not write it down!” Revelation 10:3-4 ->me: This is one of the most mysterious passages I have read in the entire bible. We are not told what/who the ‘seven thunders’ are but we are told that they spoke in words in that John understood distinctly. How interesting that this would even be mentioned; in all of my reading, one thing has become clear -> God has a reason for saying everything that He does in scripture. Nothing is left out that is needed to be said and nothing is there that is not relevant to His instruction to us. So, if I read this in that context then there are things that I cannot know and that is because it is best if I don’t know. The Lord knows what is best for us and I need to know that He is not going to reveal everything; I need to have FAITH in His sovereignty. This angel was also holding a ‘little book’ -> I think this is the Word of God…if that is the case then even though I may not get to hear what the seven thunders said I do have all that I need in the rest of the Bible, the very book in which this mighty angel was holding. I feel like the Lord is reminding me not to get discouraged when I don’t understand everything. I am just to stay in His Word and rest in the peace that He will continue to reveal exactly what I need to know through His Holy Spirit until He returns.
“And the rest of humanity who were not killed by these plagues (the fire, smoke, and Sulphur from the demonic horses released) even then did not repent of [the worship of] the works of their [own] hands, so as to cease paying homage to the demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor move. And they did not repent of their murders or their practice of magic (sorceries) or their sexual vice or their thefts.” Revelation 9:20-21 ->me: I remember when I read the ‘Left Behind’ books and the way LaHaye and Jenkins depict this scene of the horsemen and horses is chilling. The entrapment of idols is real and they just don’t have to be images carved in stone, gold, bronze of the like. They can be something as simple as pleasing your wife above all else -> Nobody wakes up one day and says, “I’m going to start living for the approval and affection of my wife. That will be my ruling passion starting right now, and I will refuse to find comfort in God, His Word, and His promises until I get the approval and affection from my wife that I crave.” Nobody voices that thought out loud; but in action that is exactly what they are doing. God has given us His Word to serve as smelling salts, to rouse us from the idolatrous coma we live in so much of the time. We are locked into our own idolatrous way of thinking and living until we pick up God’s Word, and then, BAM! A wake-up call–we’ve been seeing things wrong; we haven’t had a complete picture. [excerpt from ‘Gospel Treason’ by Brad Bigney] Reading His Word (everyday) allows me to look up and see the idols I allow into my life (this is a life long struggle) and has given me a ‘get up and get moving’ attitude towards change in my life.
“Then the sixth angel blew [his] trumpet, and from the four horns of the golden altar which stands before God I heard a solitary voice, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates’.” Revelation 9:13&14 ->me: Today’s write-up might seem a little off but will give you insight into one of the ways the Lord speaks to me. When I was reading this passage yesterday and today the thing that caught me was John saying “a solitary voice”…that may seem innocuous but it made me pause wondering why John would say ‘solitary’ or ‘one voice coming from one person’. Then today in Sunday Morning Worship at Canyon Hills we were singing several songs and one of them was about the ‘amazing name of Jesus’. Right then I realized that I don’t put a face with the name Jesus…or God the father…or the Holy Spirit; I don’t even think about it. After this was Pastor Steve’s message on Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) -> where through faith we receive grace. Faith in the Son of God being a heart response through repentance. Ok – so how does all of this come together? Well through all of these moments, together they were an awesome message from God and His provision through Grace to not worry about what He ‘looks’ like but Who He is and what He is about. His solitary voice is all that matters. It is not important what He looks like, it is important Who He is in character and spirit; how He operates. Weird as it may seem, this is how God talks to me – He takes what might seem like an inconsequential piece from a passage in His word, pokes me through His Holy Spirit, then follows that up with other things in my day to form a piece of His Theology for me. How cool is that???…and while I have been in His word, this happens ALL the time.
Sorry for the low quality but I wanted the video to render ok through the web. This gives you a real good idea of the location in Rosarito were Carmen and her kiddos live in their new home.
“And the Lord utters His voice before His army, for His host is very great, and [they are] strong and powerful who execute [God’s] word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can endure it? Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].” Joel 2:11-13 ->me: I know I am calling out Joel here but this is because there are so many similarities between Joel 1 and 2 and Revelation 9. In Joel the locusts have ravaged the land and suffering is not only felt by every person but animals as well. What caught me again was God’s grace and mercy that is extended once again. Additionally, the way out of trouble is laid out here so well. I think of those in my life who are suffering from illness, death, loss of work, anxiety, etc. What I hear the Lord saying here is that even when things are terrible ‘also now’ -> ‘turn and KEEP ON coming to Me with ALL your heart’. Do this with fasting, weeping, and mourning (genuine sorrow in repentance) UNTIL every veil created by sin is removed and your relationship with Him is restored. When I let my heart break before Him and come humbly to Him, I will find His grace, mercy, patience, and loving kindness abundant for me. What an absolute gift this is from God; a vision of His love to me. It is hard to imagine that I can come daily to His feet after living every hour in this earthly body and He will be there to rescue me every time.
“And in those days people will seek death and will not find it; and they will yearn to die, but death evades and flees from them.” Revelation 9:6 “Only be sure as citizens so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, so that whether I [do] come and see you or am absent, I may hear this of you: that you are standing firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith of the glad tidings (the Gospel), and do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.” Philippians 1:27-28 ->me: Yes, 3 verses today. I was reading this morning about the locusts that came out of the smoke cloud created by the opening of the Abyss by the ‘Star Angel’. In the references and commentary for verse 6 I was pointed to Philippians and Paul’s instruction to them. The contrast of searching for death because of pain (people vexed by the locust stings) and Paul desiring to be free from his earthly body so that he could be with Jesus for eternity. This passage in Philippians is a great reinforcement of yesterday’s quiet time on God’s authority over evil. Paul says that when we stand firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side with a common drive to spread the Gospel, we will be conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of said gospel. As I head back to work today, I will have many opportunities to share about what happened in Mexico as well as the comfort and peace I received over the passing and memorial of my cousin in Arizona. Phil 1:28 again says to not be afraid or intimidated or frightened – I can tell the Lord is really pressing me on being bold (the last several quiet times seem to be all about it. Will you pray for me today? That I will be bold in my faith and presentation of the gospel as I recount the goodness from my trip?
“Then out of the smoke locusts came forth on the earth, and such power was granted them as the power the earth’s scorpions have.” Revelation 9:3 ->me: Sorry folks, you are going to get a lot of references and points back to my recent trip to Mexico reinforcing God’s Word of application into my life. 🙂 On Sunday morning at Calvary Chapel Rosarito a few of us were confronted by a woman who threatened ours and our families lives (saying either she or her brothers would hunt us down and shoot us) because of where we were from and the fact that we were unable to break her 500 peso bill. I must internalize the fact that evil has no authority that is not given to it by God. NOTHING! So, what am I to do when faced by evil? Be afraid? Run? Withdraw from the plan and purposes I know God has me on? No. Threats are not the same as harm. I believe the biggest weapon satan wields is the one of accusation and fear mongering…working to either distract me or scare me away from the work God has me there to do. God must approve any harm to befall me initiated by evil forces. This must be viewed as a comfort and thought provoking exercise. Comfort in that I can move forward in the face of fear, accusation, persecution, and scorn. Thought provoking when I am allowed to be touched by satan – to ponder and search what the Lord’s ultimate purposes are through that approval. The more satan comes against a good work I am doing, the more dedicated I should be to completing it.
I am home from my missions trip and back at it in Revelation Chapter 9, however [that’s not where the Lord had a word for me today]…what really hit me was an interesting thought from the Lord. As I was standing in the line to board my plane today at Sky Harbor airport, I saw a group of Medonite women getting off the plane we were about to board. They had on their typical white hair bonnets, dresses, and sensible shoes and it was clear that they stood out. I know who they are and what they believe. What came to my mind was the people in the time of Jesus; from what I know no one who followed Jesus dressed any different than those around them. Everyone wore tunics, belts, sandals, and the like…maybe only differing in color. So why were they persecuted? I know why – because they taught, preached, worshipped, and witnessed openly. Why am I not persecuted? Because I don’t do anything to call attention to myself. I guarantee you that the Medonite women I saw get strange looks and are probably treated differently because of the way they dress, yet they are not deterred. Why am I deterred? Am I ashamed of what God did for me? Do I want to hold to myself all that God has given? I better not. I need to dress my speech and actions in such a way that I stand out as a follower of Jesus Christ and like the Medonite women, not be deterred in this no matter the looks and negative comments I might receive.
Super happy to be across the border and in the US. 2 hours and 45 minutes was our wait. We were able to get out and walk a bit as the van poked along. Didn’t have to fend off the onslaught of vendors too badly. 🙂 We Will now grab some lunch before heading to the airport.