Revelation 10 – Part Two

By the end of Revelation 9 (on Wednesday), we’d figured out that the taste of judgement God was giving his rebellious world wasn’t working. Yesterday, we saw that the time is short – there’s nothing left to happen before God’s plan comes to completion.

Except for one thing. It’s not enough for the scroll of judgements to be opened (Rev 6). Someone has to explain why these judgements are taking place. Who will that be?

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Revelation 10 – Part One

If you’ve been following this series for the last couple of weeks, you’ll be pleased to know that we’re pretty much finished with all the judgement stuff. And by itself, it wasn’t really working. At the end of the first six trumpet judgements (which themselves had followed the seven seal judgements), despite all of the suffering and destruction and death, it was business as usual for a world in rebellion to God:

9:20-21 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

So by the start of chapter 10, another question has to be raised (following on from the previous series of questions we looked at earlier in the series.) And the question is this: the judgements don’t seem to be working; humanity isn’t turning back to God; this isn’t getting their attention; is there anything else that can be done?

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Revelation 9 – Part Two

Still going with all of those trumpet judgements. Not a good one to jump straight into today – I suggest you either start at the beginning of our series in Revelation 4-11, or at least from last Friday, the start of chapter 8. Yesterday, we saw the plague of locusts (that became some kind of demonic army) in 9:1-13. Today, it’s the sixth trumpet, or second woe:

9:13-16 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.

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Revelation 9 – Part One

Although we start a new chapter today, we’re still in the middle of the seven trumpet judgements. This is the second set of seven judgements found in Revelation (remember the seals in chapter 6), and it’s a more intense set: God is upping the ante in his bid to give his rebellious world a taste of what it will be like when he leaves for good. We pick it up at the fifth trumpet, which is the first of the three “woes” announced by the eagle. (See Rev 8:13 and yesterday’s post.)

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Revelation 8 – Part Two

We’re continuing in our series through Revelation 4-11.  There’s a quick recap of the story so far at the start of last Friday’s post, which would be helpful if you’re just joining us, or haven’t been following each day. We’re now up to the second scene in chapter 8. Having just paused to hear the prayers (for justice) from God’s people, a fresh round of judgement is about to begin.

This time, instead of the opening of seals (Rev 6), it’s the sounding of trumpets that enacts judgement. (It’s possible to see the seventh seal as containing the seven trumpets. So maybe the silence after the seal wasn’t so much an anticlimax after all. See last Friday.)

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Revelation 8 – Part One

Continuing our series in Revelation 4-11, we’ve come to chapter 8. The story so far: God is in control of his world (Rev 4) , and has already dealt with injustice once-and-for-all through the sacrifice of the slain-yet-risen Lamb (Rev 5). One day, God will judge those who continue to rebel against him and oppose his people. But until then, he’s pouring out a measure of his judgement on his rebellious world in hope that they will realise what eternity without him will be like, and repent (Rev 6). His people will get caught in the crossfire, yet they’ll be sealed with God’s protection, and have the hope of a glorious future to sustain them (Rev 7).

In chapters 8 and 9, the judgement scenes continue. But first, there’s a brief interlude:

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Revelation 7 – Part Two

Yesterday, we read a message of comfort to those of us who belong to God, but are still caught up in the crossfire of a world under judgement. God has sealed us for protection, just like he protected Noah during the flood, the Israelites from the angel of death, and the faithful ones in Jerusalem during the Babylonian conquest.

But you’d better sign up now, as there are only 144,000 places…

 Rev 7:4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

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Revelation 7 – Part One

(Happy Back to the Future II day. Yes, October 21, 2015 is the date that Marty set the Delorian for back in 1985. Still waiting for my hoverboard.)

This week we’ve been looking at Revelation 6. And all this talk of judgement has been pretty scary! We started out asking about injustice in the world. If God was indeed in control, what’s he doing about it? And we got back the answer: he’s already in the process of judging the world. Of giving humanity a taste of what a Godless eternity would be like, in the desperate hope that they would choose another way.

But what about us, right now? For most of us reading this, we’ve already chosen to align ourselves with God. We’re not perfect… yet… but we’ve defected in our allegiance from a sinful world and have enlisted with God. The blood of the Lamb (Rev 5) has purchased us for God. We are now his people. His children. What about us? Has God heard of the concept of collateral damage? Of friendly fire? Are we going to get caught up in this judgement?

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Revelation 6 – Part Two

Yesterday, we read Revelation 6 – a chapter full of seals being broken which usher in various horrific judgements. And we saw how it might be describing the calamities that befell Jerusalem in the leadup to her destruction by Rome in AD70. Today, we’re asking why. What’s the point of all this judgement?

Remember that in chapter 4, God was depicted as being seated on his throne, in control of his world. OK, but what’s he doing about all of the bad stuff – particularly those who continue to rebel against him, and mistreat his people? Chapter 5 reminded us that the slain-yet-risen lamb has already done something about it. But in the meantime, what’s God doing? Anything?

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Revelation 6 – Part One

We began last week by talking about injustice. That it’s what makes people most frequently question God. Seeing or experiencing something unjust – it makes us ask ‘why’? In particular, why does God continue to allow injustice to be done against himself, and against his people? It makes us ask if God really is in control of his world. And if he is in control, what’s he doing about it?

We then looked at Revelation chapters 4 and 5, which gave at least part of an answer to these questions. Is God in control of this world? Chapter 4 gave a resounding ‘yes!’ It presented a picture of God on his throne, and every other source of power and authority a mere pale, shadowy copy of the heavenly emperor.

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