Reading the book of Revelation (with minimal outside helps) has put a vivid picture in my mind of a world at once both fascinating and terrifying – and inevitable!! Underscoring the authenticity of this information for the anticipated questions of the astounded reader, Jesus tells John “Write this down for My words are true and to be trusted.” (Re 21:5 jbp) That ends the book which begins: “On the Lord’s day I knew myself inspired by the Spirit, and I heard from behind me a voice loud as a trumpet-call saying, ‘Write down in a book what you see’…”. (Rv 1:11 jbp) It all starts with a clear identification of the Person of Jesus and His assessment of the churches. Next a door is opened to heaven and John is privy to an amazing celestial scenario. Then the judgments begin! There are seemingly endless horrifying plagues and punishments for an entrenched and hostile God-hating populace, and the promise of persecution, suffering and struggle for believers. In fact, it says the devil will wear God’s people down. I shudder to think of what that means! The book ends with the triumph and enthronement of the Lamb once slain – our Jesus – and the ensuing reign of righteousness on the earth for a thousand years. Humanity has one more brief encounter with their mortal enemy, the Liar, and then eternity begins with the final judgment, a new heaven and a new earth – all without sin. Inconceivable!! The word pictures are intense, inciting the imagination to all kinds of possibilities. The creatures described are something out of a science fiction movie.
Environmentalists’ greatest fears for the planet are trivial compared to the predicted terrors of this last book of God’s revealed thoughts to mankind. Thankfully, there is a promised blessing in reading about man’s destiny: “Happy is the man who reads this prophecy and happy are those who hear it read and pay attention to its message; for the time is near.” (Rv 1:3 jbp) Otherwise fear could grip and paralyze us – especially now in our grace soaked Christian culture. This side of God doesn’t seem right to a religion that tells us all is forgiven, complacency is overlooked, and effort towards holiness is legalism. However, Jesus says “See, I come quickly! I carry my reward with me, and repay every man according to his deeds. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End. Happy are those who wash their robes, for they have the right to the tree of life and the freedom of the gates of the city.” (Rv22:12-14 jbp)
Life in the thousand years between His return and the final judgment is not as extensively described. It really intrigues me how people might live in that thousand year interim between the last battle and the inauguration of the new heaven and earth. What the first Adam failed to do as earthly administrator will be accomplished by the last Adam Jesus. A prominent feature of the government will be perfect justice – in contrast to the inequities which exist in political systems today. The meek and the poor will have equity in that day and the wicked are warned of immediate judgment. Jesus, along with His administrators, will rule with a rod of iron ushering in an unprecedented age of cooperation and safety, even among the animals. Jesus suspended the laws of nature from time to time on His first visit here, and apparently there will be some very different “normals” in the millennium of His return. Very possibly immortals, the overcoming believers who have been granted privilege, will rule with Jesus over their mortal counterparts. Add perhaps angels and spiritual principalities of the order described in the book of Revelation, and you get an image not unlike the famous bar scene from Star Wars. People born during this time live longer, perhaps because of access to a spectacular God-constructed city to use the healing powers of the vegetation and waters of that place. How will the immortals look to the people who one day will die? Ideas like these have tantalized the imaginations of many a science fiction writer. There is something in the heart of man that longs for the surreal utopia that is promised by many but only achievable in the kingdom of God.
What an enticing anticipation! What would it be like to reign with the King of the Universe? He is the God-Man Who bears the evidence of His commitment to a fallen race written on the palms of His hands! He invites our trust and relishes our friendship. He offers reward and opportunity for those who are willing to follow Him. It is not a popular or easy path, but what a prospect!!! To be part of His army as well as His administration for the ultimate restoration of the earth and humanity is a possibility worthy of tireless pursuit.”They will all go to war with the Lamb, and the Lamb, with his called, chosen and faithful followers, will conquer them. For he is Lord of lords and King of kings.” (Rv17:14 jbp)
If you hear HIs call, choose to follow, and be faithful (by the grace of God, of course) as He has been to you!!
Read the following and dream!
Isaiah 11 ( net)
1 A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock, a bud will sprout from his roots. 2The Lord’s spirit will rest on him –a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom, a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord. 3He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. 4He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed. 5Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt around his hips. 6A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along. 7A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together. A lion, like an ox, will eat straw. 8A baby will play over the hole of a snake; over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand. 9They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea.
Micah 4:1-4 (net)
In the future the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; it will be more prominent than other hills. People will stream to it. 2Many nations will come, saying, “Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of Jacob’s God, so he can teach us his commands and we can live by his laws.” For Zion will be the source of instruction; the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. 3He will arbitrate between many peoples and settle disputes between many distant nations. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not use weapons against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. 4Each will sit under his own grapevine or under his own fig tree without any fear. The Lord who commands armies has decreed it.
Rev 20:1-6 (net)
1Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 2He seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years. 3The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)
4Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Come Lord Jesus come!
The Calling – Remedy Drive
“My friend, do you search for hidden truth?
Do you know that you can share in a mystery?
Would you take the hand that calms all fears?
My God can open blind eyes and deaf ears.
Hear the calling of the ages – more than a story – there’s hope of glory here to stay –
Turn in the pages – turn to forever- turn to and never turn away!
How now, the foe of my faith rages
As I live a life of the ages
Still I am determined by a vision
I will take hold of the hope that’s set before me
That where I am – there you may be also
My love, there’s glory upon glory waiting for you here
So hear Me call now!
Ages upon ages all laid up for you in. glory land
Hear the call now my love – on and on! Hear the calling of the ages – more than a story – there’s hope of glory here to stay –
Turn in the pages – turn to forever- turn to and never turn away!