Friday, May 21, 2010

revelation..interludes 2

Where have we been?
1 Revelation is looking behind the scenes…
It’s like a look behind the scene…it’s reality but not quite as we know it
2 to understand revelation…you got to take your shoes off.
3 Revelation is about God’s Kingdom come and coming – that requires change
Change requires sorting - Also known as judgment.

We are currently looking at the interludes, the times of pauses between 6th and 7th judgment
As I said last I believe these interludes are the time we live in.
At the 6th judgment - in Rev 6:17
We are posed a question… if God’s Judgment is coming who will be able to stand?
The first interlude was an answer to that a call to stand and be faithful to the gospel in spite of what the world throws at you.
Because God has sealed you he gives you the supernatural ability to stand…
And for those who overcome there is the promise of eternity where we will join with the church past, present and future…the church from every nation and sing God praises…
Why because it’s the only possible response to what god has done for us…

So we stand in the in-between days…
The last days where the new reality of God’s kingdom is breaking in but will only fully be realized when Jesus returns

Tonight we are looking at the second interlude…
It’s kind of like playing blues clues…
You look for the paw prints… paw prints are clues…
In revelation the paw prints are often echoes. Images, because much of revelation is written from the perspective of eternity. - These paw prints help us to see our reality…maybe in a different way.
When we find out paw prints we need to then put them in our hand dandy note book got tour thinking chair and think.
Well that requires prayer, reflection, pausing. Not only asking what this means but how does this speak to me today…

It’s not just a case of reading it.. Revelation is not story book – it is written to transform you, to make you change your mind about this world
To bring you to a realization that in spite of what happens…..
Our God reigns

As I said earlier way back in chapter 6 the question...WHO CAN STAND is asked…
The interlude that followed answered that
Chapter 6 we have another question…
6:10 How long… how long must we go un avenged…?
How long must we wait…

It’s fine to now that you are called to stand.. but for how long.
How long do we have to resist evil….

READ REV 10:1-7
There is to be no more delay... when the 7th trumpet is sounded...that is it.

In the mean time we wait...
But beyond this interim period. that’s it... there is no third act…

But we don’t just wait around like the apprentice who was told to go to the store and get a long stand.
We stand yes but we are called to do something else…
Chapter 10 goes on to introduce John easting a little scroll, which is bitter in the stomach but sweet in the mouth…
We need to play blues clues again.
Called to eat a scroll?
Sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach?

The nature of judgment is that it is a two way street –
We want to see the bad guys get it…BUT reality is that innocents are harmed too

Nature of God’s Kingdom coming is Sweet for some but Bitter for others…
If there is no time left and judgment is up…what about those who don’t turn around…
Yes God is forgiving but how endless is his patience – how much will he put up with before the cries from under the altar cause him to say ENOUGH….

John is called to eat this scroll...
to declare this message… it is probably not an easy message for him to say…
At the end of the day John is a pastor, you only have to read his letter to realize that 1 john chapter 3... he talks about nothing else but God’s love… how Jesus laid down his life so we could experience the height and depth of the love…
Love is an essential part of God’s nature…
But we too easily forget…that the message of Gods’ love is such that it is sweet on the lips
But can easily be bitter in our stomachs
Love make requirements it requires change…
For the kingdom of Love to break in something’s some people will be driven out…
When you are exposed to something as pure as God’s love you seen realize how flawed you really are…
The call to John… is the call to all...
I and you included

Jesus is coming soon... pass it on

Moving on into chapter 11 we encounter a temple and two witness…
Now if revelation wasn’t hard enough to get our heads around…we really need to sit down in our thinking chairs and think about this…
So what Paw Prints can we see…?
Listen, close you eyes, and take your shoes off…

Read 11:1- 11

Sounds kind of familiar.
Echoes of other stories
Building the temple and the exactness of the measurements…
Echoes of Daniel chapter 12…In fact if you were familiar with Daniel 12 you would think that this is what you were reading

As we move into verse4 there are more images
Lamp stands….we have heard that before… chapter 2:1
but these lamp stands spew fire…
these lamp stands have the ability to shut up the heavens like Elijah
to turn water to blood like Moses….

Who could these lamp stands be?
….and they will be put to death in a city that is Jerusalem, Sodom and Egypt… places where God’s work was opposed…

So how are the witnesses… well I think the identity lies in the lamp stands...
In chapters 2=3 seven churches are identified...
7 churches who light is burning for Jesus...
Only some of them have burnt out.
Some are in danger of being snuffed out and only two remain faithful…
Smyrna and Philadelphia…

They are faithful in spite of their circumstances.
And even though they face death at the hands of the world. they will continue to remain faithful
And there faithfulness when it is put into God’s hands has an amazing effect

There words become like Sprit fire blazing form their mouths.
Their prayers are answered,
They act in God’s name…and they wind up dead on the streets...
But in time God revives and breathes back the breadth of life into them

Because they are faithful…nothing can hold them down

Faithfulness does not deliver us from death or persecution – because if the cross shows us anything it is that in defeat God triumphs.

In the Lion witch and the wardrobe a deeper magic brought Aslan back to life after the ice queen killed him
In our world a deeper magic will revive the Church that is ultimately faithful to God’s message...

Revelation is ultimately a letter from a pastor to a church…
He has heard stories of who they are in trouble. how Nero has tried to kill them off. how the Jew have driven them out of Jerusalem in an attempt to preserve themselves from persecution
He has heard how times are tough and it seem like all hope is gone…
But this same Pastor. while deep in prayer receives a vision of reality the reality of what is really happening.
The message is clear…it might look as though you have lost, but that is not the real reality.
If you remain faithful…God will take your message and transform it
If you remain faithful – God will cause you to stand in the face of persecution

It looks someday like we are on the loosing side. that we should just give in and sell out
But the realty is that Our God Reigns...
The age we live in is temporary—it will not last.
It’s an intermission between the first coming of Jesus as a baby in a stable bad the glorious second coming where he will come and reign.
forever and ever and ever and ever and ever

The Christian hope is that some day soon...
The kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah and he will reign forever and ever...
Maranatha..- come Lord Jesus


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