All posts by Disciples Church

Revelation 11

Revelation 11

11:1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,


  “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    who is and who was,
  for you have taken your great power
    and begun to reign.
18   The nations raged,
    but your wrath came,
    and the time for the dead to be judged,
  and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
    and those who fear your name,
    both small and great,
  and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

(ESV)

Revelation 10

Revelation 10

10:1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

(ESV)

Revelation 9

Revelation 9

9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

(ESV)

Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Revelation 4-8 (11.16.19)

Grab your Bible, and let’s go deeper into Revelation 4.

The Holy Spirit is giving John a view of the throne room of God. Let’s be honest for a moment and realize that sometimes we can think our world is out of control. There are people killing each other, people manipulating and cheating others to make themselves feel pleasure, governments or political terrorists raping the communities they rule with no regard for life, Godless ideas being embraced and taught to our children, and so much more.

But the world is not out of control nor will it ever be because of who sits on the thrown of the universe. The God of creation is at the helm and will carry out His plans. One of the reasons I believe we are given this view of God’s throne room is to give us a sense of peace. In the chapters that follow Revelation 4, we are let in on the horrific times that are to come, but we need not fear because of Him who sits on the throne! He is God! He is our God!

Let me ask you this: When you go to prayer, how often do you stop, not speak, and just ponder to whom you are about to speak? Do you approach His throne with total reverence? Is there a holy wonder, respect, and awe in your heart as you go to God? My prayer is that after this study, you will see and savor God with a greater reverence than you did before. May it be so.

Revelation 4:3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.

Now, you have to picture the fullness of this in order to capture the power and beauty of God’s surroundings. The brilliant gemstones it speaks of are:

  1. Jasper: not the opaque jasper stones we know today, but a clear jasper that would be similar to our diamonds today.
  2. Carnelian: also known as rubies.

A little fact about these two stones: They were the first and last of the 12 stones worn on the breastplate of the high priest in biblical times. They create a radiant, rainbow-esque beauty when combined with the emeralds that encircled His throne. Wow!

Revelation 4:4-6 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

Imagine what it must have been like for John to stand in the presence of the Almighty who “from his throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder” all radiating amongst a sea of shining glass!

Who are these 24 elders? It is not totally clear to us, but some study brings us to consider that they may represent the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and the 12 apostles of the New Testament. Or maybe the number 24 is a representation of the fact that the law of Moses has 24 orders to the priesthood. Most importantly, the 24 elders represent those redeemed by God both before and after Christ. Notice the gold crowns on their heads, which symbolize that they had been judged and then rewarded for eternity.

Now, before we look at what is next, remember that we serve a God that is capable of much more than you and I have ever dreamed or witnessed.

Revelation 4:6-8 … And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within.

I am taken aback by the choice of God to install four beings around Him in this form! If I am honest, it’s weird to me, but with a closer look it begins to make sense! Think for a moment with me about what each of these beings represent:

The lion: the most powerful of the wild animals (this represents power)

The ox: the most powerful of the domestic animals (this represents faithfulness)

The human: called to rule over all the land and animals (this represents intelligence)

The eagle: the most powerful of the flying animals (this represents sovereignty)

These beings are the “authority of their species,” and God installs them in His presence to do a mighty and holy work. They are always watching! They have eyes everywhere. Why? We don’t know, but it is pretty awesome. To me it is just another part of the wonder and awe of God and His workings.

This is just a taste of what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). My prayer is that this interaction with God’s word this morning draws you to a place of reverence and honor—for He is worthy!

What would you do if one of those beings appeared where you are right now? How would you react to seeing a being so powerful and so far beyond anything you have ever seen? In reading about these creatures that are so different than what we have experienced, we must ask, what is their purpose? Well, beyond watching, if we read on, we discover their purpose.

Revelation 4:8-11 And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty- four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.

They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

“… by your will they existed and were created …” This includes you and me! It is for His pleasure that we exist and were created! Day and night, they worship and give reverence and glory to God who is so much greater than they are.

In chapter 5, it says there are 100 million angels praising God. Imagine the glory and magnificence in that. Wow! Total reverence! Think about one throne with the being of God (lightning, thunder, the rainbow, beautiful stones). The four living creatures bowing before Him. The 24 elders on their faces and worshiping Him. One hundred million angels submitting in song only to God. Every living creature worshiping Him.

When we pray, it is this God to whom we are speaking. When we meet together to sing praises, this is who we honor and worship! Beloved, we were created to glorify Him. We are commanded to worship Him. As John looks at this most amazing wonder, what position is everyone in as they worship? They are on their faces! This is what a life of reverence looks like—a constant state of being prostrate before God. Prostrate means to put or throw flat with the face down, as in submission or adoration. The Lord of all should bring us to our faces!

Now, we need to regularly find ourselves in this place of worship. Do it now. Get down on your face and just be still before your holy God. Know that He knows you and sees you and hears you. Know that your heart before Him is seen. Worship Him. Honor Him in your silence, in your prayers, and in your singing. Pour out your heart to Him in adoration and thanksgiving.

Do you look to Him and talk to Him with total reverence? Is your reverent worship of Him a daily thing? This huge God wants to have a moment by moment relationship with you—His created, His child. He even calls you His friend!

Too often when we pray or worship God, we are not even thinking about who God is, and yet the very words we speak are for Him. Our mouths are moving, but our hearts are not engaged!

This is the God of the universe to whom we are speaking and singing: the One who is and determines all! The One who determines and decides if I will even take my next breath or if you will even live through the rest of this very day.

Today, I hope and pray that you can see God in a new and powerful way!

May we, day and night, never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” May we cast down our crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Amen!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church

Revelation 8

Revelation 8

8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

(ESV)