Guess Who? The Strong Angel of Revelation 10

When one decides to teach on an entire book of Scripture, there is a tension that exists between covering every single word and picking out key passages and elaborating on them. Today’s teaching is a place of tension. Do I pick the first verses of chapter ten apart, or do I offer a 30,000 foot view of them? Originally, I thought it would be the 30,000 foot view, but then as I read commentaries on the first four verses I decided it would be thought-provoking and instructive to offer opposing points of view on one portion of the verses and let you decide for yourself what they mean.

I want to begin, however, with a disclaimer. God tells us exactly what He wants us to know and not one more tidbit of information. So, when we come to a passage that does not give us all the info we would like to know, we must trust that: a) God knows and chose not to reveal, b) it likely is not crucial that we know, and c) we just need to trust God’s sovereignty in the whole thing.

 

Guess Who? The Strong Angel of Revelation 10

 

So, let’s take a look at the first three and a half verses of Revelation 10. Be sure to download and print the drawing of this chapter for your study time

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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.

2 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,

3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.

 

So, the issue on the table is concerning the identity of this ‘mighty angel’. Is he simply that, an angel, or is he an appearing of Jesus Christ to John? I will go ahead and tell you that commentators (that I highly respect) fall out on both sides of this question. Let’s consider the arguments for both answers.

 

The Angel is, well, an Angel

 

Dr. Paige Patterson, writing for The New American Commentary/Revelation, admits it is impossible to make an absolute identification. His personal preference is that ‘since the appearance of the Lord elsewhere in the book is largely undebatable….this angel is one of great prestige and authority. That he is called an angel is not determinative one way or another but must favor the view that this is not the Christ.”

Fair enough.

Commentator John MacArthur offers several factors that argue against this angel being Jesus:

 

  • The Greek word translated ‘another’ early in verse 1 is allos, which means another of the same kind, likely saying that this strong angel is an angel like the ones seen in previous passages, just stronger.
  • Anytime Jesus appears in Revelation, John the Revelator gives Him a clear and unmistakable title, i.e. ‘Faithful Witness (1:5), the Amen (3:14), Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (5:5), the Lamb (6:1, 16; 7:17; 8:1), etc.
  • Other STRONG ANGELS who are clearly not Christ appear in Revelation (5:2 and 18:21).
  • MacArthur believes that it is ‘inconceivable that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, could make the oath that this angel makes in verses 5 and 6. (stay tuned for next week)
  • This angel came down out of heaven to earth. If this is Christ, this would add another coming of Christ to earth that is not foretold in Scripture and that does not mesh with the biblical descriptions of the Second Coming (cf. Matt 24:30; 25:31; 2 Thess 1:7-8).

 

Good arguments from both scholars for this angel being just that…an angel.

 

The Strong Angel is Jesus

Dr. Warren Wiersbe offers some compelling characteristics of this angel that are like the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • He is Strong
  • The last time we saw a rainbow it was around the throne of God in Chapter 4. Now it is a crown on the head of this messenger perhaps signifying that he has been given authority by God.
  • Clouds – Jesus ascended to heaven in the clouds and He will return just as He left.
  • The angel’s face shines ‘as the sun’, corresponding to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:16.
  • The description of the angel’s feet corresponds to the description of Jesus’ feet in Revelation 1:15.
  • The voice like a lion reminds us that Jesus is described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
  • In the Old Testament, Jesus appeared several times and was called ‘the Angel of the Lord. (Exodus 3:2; Judges 2:4; 6:11-12, 21-22; 2 Samuel 24:16)
  • The book in his hand. We learned in Revelation 5:5 that Jesus was the only one worthy to take the scroll and open it. It might be extrapolated that Jesus is the only One worthy to give His servant John the revelation.
  • The angel’s stance is one of a victor or conqueror who is taking possession of the territory he has conquered. Only Jesus holds the title deed to earth, sea, and sky.

 

Compelling arguments on both sides, wouldn’t you say? I have to say that my opinion, for whatever it is worth, is that this being is simply an angel and not Jesus.

What is your opinion? Angel? Jesus Christ?

I’ll see you next week.

SDG/FCA!!

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NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I know all this study in the book of Revelation can be unsettling at times. The good news is that WE WIN and there is always encouragement for your heart from Scripture….even in Revelation. Perhaps you are looking for a bit of encouragement today. I’d love to share a little devotion book I wrote with you. It is called When Words Won’t Come.

Sharing Life: A Kitchen Hack

Fridays are all about Sharing Life with YOU! Women Sharing Life with other women. Titus 2 mentoring.

Sometimes we talk about Friendship:

Here

Here

while other times we talk about Faith.

Here

Here

Today, however, we are talking Food, and specifically a kitchen hack that I learned last year that has been a money saver. Not huge sums of money, but every penny counts, right?

 

Sharing Life A Kitchen Hack

 

So, how many of you have recipes that you love or that you would love to try and they call for 1 tablespoon or 2 ounces or some other ridiculously small amount of tomato paste? Yeah, me too.

The smallest size can of tomato paste that I have been able to find is 6 ounces and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste is only 1 ounce, so what do you do with the rest of that can? Well, if you are like me, you just throw it away. UGH, WHAT A WASTE!

Well, not anymore.

I learned last year that you can FREEZE tomato paste.

Who knew??!!

So, I proceded to take myself to the grocery and buy a large can of tomato paste (12 ounces).

Tomato paste can

 

I tore off small sections of plastic wrap, measured 1 tablespoon portions of tomato paste into each little piece of plastic wrap,

 

Tablespoon of tomato paste

 

sealed it up and put them in an airtight container in the freezer.

 

Storage Tomato Paste

 

Abracadabra!!! Now any time I need tomato paste in small amounts I simply pull my pre-measured portions out of the freezer and use them in my recipes. It is quick, easy, and economical. How ’bout that!!!

I would love to hear some of your kitchen hacks in the comments. Come on! Let’s share kitchen life!

SDG!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Since we are talking about kitchen hacks, I wanted to give you links to some of my favorite kitchen products. If you are reading this post via email and cannot see the links, please click HERE to go to my website where the links will be visible.

Authentic: Stop the Fighting! We Are The Body of Christ

DISCLAIMER: Electronic media makes it difficult to convey emotion. Please, please know that there is not one smidgen of anger contained in this post. As you read it, I hope you will hear my heart of love for the body of Christ. I believe this is an important conversation to have, and I invite you to enter in.

 

Would you pardon me while I climb atop my soapbox for a moment?

Stop it with all the denominational fighting! Just stop!

 

Authentic Stop The Fighting Body of Christ

 

I grew up in the Southern Baptist denomination, and I am grateful for (most of) that upbringing. I learned about missions and Jesus and amazing old hymns and the beauty of an organ and piano and the order of service and the Doxology and Girls in Action and Acteens and Summer Vacation Bible School and ‘raise your hand if you read your Sunday School lesson this week’.

I also learned that women are not to be pastors and speaking in tongues is not actually an accepted thing and, dear Gussie, exclusivity. I think my Grandma might have had to be revived with St. Peter’s smelling salts when she stepped through the gates of heaven and discovered that there were Methodists, Church of God, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and many other people who affiliated with non-Southern Baptist denominations, or no denomination at all, right there in heaven.

I am not here to bash the Southern Baptist denomination. I really am not. My ‘letter’ is housed at the Southern Baptist church where I grew up, and I love that church and pray for that church. Southern Baptist just happens to be the well from which I draw my experience. No denomination is perfect, and many of you might have a similar perspective about your denomination. But, our time in Romans 12 today prompts me to step back with you so we can take a 50,000-foot view of the body of Christ and the scene that will one day be around God’s throne in heaven.

Let’s read these two verses…..

 

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

 

You have a body….head to toe, inside and outside…it is a body that houses all sorts of organs, cells, membranes, ligaments, and muscles. Bones are connected by ligaments, tons of miles of blood vessels run all over your body, your brain is the control central, and your muscles allow you to walk and run. Your body is not just your brain. If you were only one big brain, you could not move or eat or kiss your sweetheart. If you were made up of only a pinky finger, you could not stand up.

Every part of your body is necessary to your physical well-being. Just let one part of the body malfunction and the entire body suffers in some way. Don’t believe me? Have you ever broken your pinky toe? Yeah! I rest my case. That pinky toe is important, people!

The same is true of the body of Christ…..regardless of the denomination in which you choose to worship…..if you name the name of Jesus Christ over your soul, you are a necessary and important part of the Body. Now, you may not like the way your toes look, but they are your toes and you must accept that and care for them because they are part of your body. So, let’s pretend the Baptists are the toes, the Methodists are the fingers, the Presbyterians are the blood vessels, the Church of God folks are the muscles, and our non-denominational brothers and sisters are the eyes.

Y’all, I am dying at all the exclusivity and condescension in the body of Christ. We are THE BODY OF CHRIST, knitted together in Him. We need those muscles and eyes and blood vessels, and even those toes and fingers. We need everyone who professes Jesus as Lord and stands firmly on the gospel in order to be a strong and functional body. We may disagree with Church of God folks about speaking in tongues, or the Methodists about sprinkling, but that does not give us the right to look down our noses at our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus said that the world would know that we are Christians by our L-O-V-E for one another in the body of Christ.

Even when I attended a denominational church, I did not label myself according to that denomination. If you ask me which denomination I belong to, I will tell you that I am a Christian because that is the label that I want others to associate with my life. My ministry is a non-denominational ministry. I have spoken at churches from many denominations. I seek to write from a Jesus perspective rather than a denominational perspective because I believe it encourages unity in the body of Christ.

So, friends, let’s use grape juice and wine. Let’s use the KJV and the NIV. Let’s use musical instruments and sing a capella. If we are going to choose a hill on which to die, for the love of Pete, let’s let that hill be the gospel of Jesus Christ, not whether to sprinkle or dunk. Let’s show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ and unity of Spirit to the world, so that the world will see Jesus.

I’m off my soapbox now! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment or email me at info@leahadams.org.

SDG!

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Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie?

Shop Amazon Devices – $10 Off Fire Tablet 

 

Linking this week at:

Grace & Truth Link-Up

The Day When Discipline No Longer Works ~ The Sixth Trumpet

Do you recall when you were a child and your parents disciplined you? Perhaps it was a spanking, or time-out, or something else. The goal of discipline is usually to encourage a change in behavior or speech. All throughout Scripture there are examples of God using discipline to encourage heart change. Last week we saw the most sweeping act of discipline on the part of God that has ever hit the earth, other than the flood in the time of Noah. There is a difference in this discipline, however.

 

The Day When Discipline No Longer Works The 6th Trumpet

 

Instead of having the goal of reformation, the Revelation 9 discipline is retributive, which means that God is DONE and people are now being judged for their sin against Him. If you studied with us last week, you know that the events that will take place as a result of the sixth trumpet are horrendous and bring widespread death to the earth. Just when it seems like it cannot get worse, I’m gonna tell you that it will. Today in our study we examine two verses in Revelation 9 that are some of the saddest verses in the entire Scripture. Let’s take a look.

 

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.

 

The earth is reeling from multiple judgments that have devastated the land, sea, heavens, and her people. Millions of people are dead; in fact, over half of the population of earth has been killed. It is in this scenario that we find Revelation 9:20-21 telling us that, in spite of all that has happened as a result of the seal and trumpet judgments, mankind does not turn to God.

Whaaat?? Are you kidding me?

This, my friends, is your classic case of hearts that are hardened toward God because of sin. Impossibly hardened hearts. Irreparable hearts. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit of God drawing the hearts of the unsaved to Christ. There is only judgment, which begs the question of whether there are believers on earth at this time. Has the rapture already occurred? Press hold on that question. We will return it.

Let’s take a look at five things in these verses of which mankind will not repent in that day.

Making idols and worshipping demons

In that day there will be rampant idolatry. People will create idols and worship them. Does that mean what they are worshipping will be little statues that sit on a shelf? Not necessarily. Even today, people worship all kinds of idols….money, status, homes, jobs, physical abilities. Behind every form of idol worship is one who feeds it and encourages it. That one is Satan. His goal is to counterfeit everything that God is and does, including worship. If he can get men and women to worship anything other than God, the devil has succeeded. In the coming days, he will be quite successful in convincing humanity to worship anything and everything other than God….and to not be repentant over it.

Murders

This one requires little explanation. The hearts of men and women will be so hardened and evil that murder will be rampant, and if Christians are still on this earth, surely they will be the prime targets.

Sorceries

The Greek word that is used here is pharmakeia which means the use of drugs. As a pharmacist, I see a rapidly advancing drug culture in our society today. In the last days, the use of drugs, potions, poisons, etc will be epidemic. They will be used as part of magic, sorcery, and divinations.

Sexual immorality

Another Greek word used in the original manuscript gives us insight. The word porneia refers to a preoccupation with sexual themes that is base, selfish, and abusive.

Hello! We are certainly seeing that take place in America and around the world. Consider the epidemic of human sex trafficking in the world today, as well as homosexuality and inappropriate heterosexual sex.  We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, folks!

Thefts

A complete lack of honesty will be widespread over the face of the earth as people claw and fight for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. It will be a dog-eat-dog world in that day.

 

No one will repent. Hearts will be harder than a diamond. It will be a sad and frightening time for humanity. The time to turn your heart to Jesus is NOW. Do not wait, friend. God’s forgiveness and mercy are waiting, but there will be an end to it one day.

Want to know more about why I choose Jesus? CLICK HERE.

SDG!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. 

Want to really dig into Revelation? Write out the entire book using a Journible. I love my Journibles and I think you will as well. Check it out.

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You Carried Me – The Story of An Abortion Survivor ~ A Book Review and a Giveaway

What happens when an abortion survivor finds her birth mother… …who never knew her daughter was alive?

 Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In this intimate memoir she details for the first time her search for her biological parents, and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness. 

 

I am frequently presented with opportunities to review books and movies here on the blog. There are very few of those opportunities to which I say ‘yes’. If I choose to present a product to you, my faithful readers, I want it to be something that will enrich your life and bless your heart. When the opportunity to review Melissa Ohden’s book, You Carried Me, was placed before me, I knew immediately that I wanted to share with you.

You Carried Me

 

Ohden does a masterful job of sharing a story that is full of heartache, despair, joy, and healing in a calm and thorough way. Her life after learning that she is the survivor of a saline abortion includes teenage bouts with alcohol, pre-marital sex, and bulimia. Over the course of several years and with the blessing of her adoptive parents, she searches for her birth parents, gleaning little bits of information about them from time to time. The book includes an account of her first meeting with her birth mother 38 years after the attempted abortion. Ohden details the journey of healing through which God led her from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness. As a social worker, she has been able to help others who have experienced severe emotional trauma related to abortion, child abuse, and other issues that plaque our society.

Melissa’s very existence as a survivor of a botched abortion impacted so many people and this book is one family’s story that highlights the complexity of the issue. It will leave readers with more compassion for every woman impacted by abortion. This compelling human interest story, and the sensitivity with which Ohden personalizes issues such as adoption and women’s rights, will appeal to readers of all stripes.

Kirkus Reviews said the following about You Carried Me:

“A memoir of mothers, daughters, adoption, and abortion. . . . Ohden’s story is complicated, and she has impressively overcome significant emotional challenges. . . . [Her] perseverance is inspiring.”

 

I encourage you to learn more about Melissa’s book. Here are some ways you can do that:

Book Trailer

You Carried Me Page

Melissa’s Website

Melissa’s publisher is giving away 5 copies of the book. You may enter to win by CLICKING THIS LINK.

 

Want a copy for yourself? Here is the link to Amazon for You Carried Me.

Authentic Christianity: Don’t Let Pride Take You Down

The year was 2007 and God had just confirmed the call to ministry that He had placed on my heart. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I shared that confirmation experience with those closest to me. I received great encouragement from everyone…..except one. One person looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You will just make it all about you.”

Whoosh! I felt like a 50-gallon barrel of iced water had been poured on my spirit. I was crushed and I might have shed a few tears. What in the world was I supposed to do with that bomb?

I had to journey quite a few miles down the ministry road to realize that those words would serve as warning flags to my heart. You see, I can be very prideful and all about Leah. In fact, it is my nature to be prideful and self-serving.

What? You, too?

When my ears heard those words from my loved one, my heart immediately recoiled from the thought of making ministry all about me. With everything in me, I wanted ministry to be about Jesus. In and of myself, I have nothing worthwhile to offer. BUT, because of Jesus and the transforming work He has done in my heart and life, He can minister through me to touch heart and lives, if I will put Leah aside and let Him shine.

 

Authentic Don't Let Pride Take You Down

 

Today as we continue our examination of a true believer in Jesus, we come to Romans 12:3 and it is a doozy of a verse. Here it is:

 

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (ESV)

 

Let me set the scene. Paul has just told the Roman church, in verses 1 and 2, that they must offer back to Jesus their very lives and bodies, AND they must say no to the world’s standards while taking on the standards and life of Christ. Verses 4-8 will be all about the various gifts that Jesus gives His followers for the purpose of encouraging and serving the body of Christ. Smack in the middle we find Romans 12:3.

Here is my very loose paraphrase of verse 3: Do not get on your high-horse! Remember Whose you are and Who has called you. You did not get these gifts…you do not offer yourself….you do not have the mind of Christ…because of anything you have done. It is all Jesus. Don’t get too big for your britches!

Y’all, pride should be conspicuously absent from the life of a Christian. We should never lose sight of who we were before Jesus saved us. We should never forget that without Him we would be in the ditch of horrendous sin in two minutes flat. We must never underestimate the depravity of which we are capable if we do not keep our eyes focused on Jesus. I must never….!

Paul tells us that it is absolutely imperative that we judge ourselves soberly and rightly, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. Seems to me that Paul is using a metaphor that suggests one must be careful not to be intoxicated on themselves. Let’s not become egoholics, friends!

 

May I close today with a quote from John Calvin that I believe is an astute reminder to seek humility for our hearts?

 

For so blindly do we all rush in the direction of self-love that everyone thinks he has a good reason for exalting himself and despising all others in comparison….There is no other remedy than to pluck up by the roots those most obnoxious pests, self-love and love of victory….This the doctrine of Scripture does. For it teaches us to remember that the endowments which God has bestowed upon us are not our own, but His free gifts, and those who plume themselves upon them betray their ingratitude. (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2:10)

 

(I had to look up the word ‘plume’…it is a verb that means pride or congratulate.)

Every day my prayers include a plea for God to show me any pride in my heart. Let me tell you, friend, that is a prayer that God will answer, AND the answer may not always be jolly and glad. He has shown me some big uglies that have resided in my heart over the years, but He has always given me what I need to get rid of them. I am NOT saying it has always been fun, however. Satan wants us to stay mired down in pride. But, it has always been for my good. I want to challenge you to begin praying that same prayer. I promise if you do it will transform your Christian walk. Pinky swear!

Tell me what you are thinking? What have these Authentic posts planted in your heart thus far? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via email at info@leahadams.org.

I scribed the entire book of Romans in my Journible a few years ago. It was a wonderfully enriching experience to write the ancient words on a page in your own handwriting. I encourage you to get your own Journible and try it.

Hell on Earth ~ The Sixth Trumpet

Hello there! I’m glad you stopped back in today for our series in the book of The Revelation. This is important stuff, y’all. God promises blessings to those who read and heed this book, so why wouldn’t we read it? Oh, I know many people are frightened of it, so that is why we are walking through it slowly. I want you to gain confidence in Christ from the book of The Revelation. It is a book that tells us WE (the saved by  grace children of God) WIN, and that Christ will take care of us. I want this study to deepen your love for, and trust in, God and Jesus.

Have you missed some posts in this series? There are about 50 of them that came before this one. Not a problem. Go HERE and you will find every single one of them linked in chronological order.

 

Hell on Earth The Sixth Trumpet

 

Today we return to the ninth chapter of Revelation where we will focus on verses 14-19. Last week we looked specifically at verse 13. If you missed that post, please go HERE and read it first. It will help you position the events of 14-19 appropriately.

 

Now, let’s refresh our memories of this entire passage.

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.

 

There is a lot going on in verses 14-19, but today I want us to consider two pictures: the angels and the troops.

First, the angels. There are four of them and they have a mission. They have been prepared specifically for the day of the sixth trumpet. And not just the day, but the very hour that the trumpet is blown. This tells us that God has a plan and He is working that plan. Nothing happens by random chance in this world. The end will come according to God’s plan, and not one moment before His appointed time.

Scholars have debated whether these are ‘good’ angels or ‘bad’ angels. They have been bound, and are now released to kill one third of the human race. After the deaths that occur at this trumpet, well over half of the earth’s population will be gone. (Current world population is estimated to be 7.5 Billion.) These angels have been bound, and nowhere in Scripture do we find ‘good’ angels bound, so it makes sense to me that these are fallen angels; angels that chose Satan over God in the fall, but who are still under the ultimate authority of God.

 

Let’s turn our attention to the troops that are released. The focus falls on the horses rather than the horsemen, and we are told the exact number of them: twice ten thousand times ten thousand, or 200 million troops released for battle.

Much speculation has swirled over the origin of these troops. It really is a futile effort because the Bible simply does not tell us specific countries of origin for the troops. We are much better served to focus on what we are told about them. We know that these horses are likely not actual horses because of their description: they wore breastplates, had heads like lion and tails like serpents. They wound people with their tails. From their mouths spew sulfur, fire and smoke, and it will be these three elements that will be responsible for the deaths of 1/3 of mankind. Remember that millions have already died in the earlier judgments. So, let’s assume that one billion more people perish in this judgment. The entire earth is now population by around 3 billion people or less after the 6th trumpet judgment.

Y’all, I cannot even begin to describe what the earth will be like. People who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will die from incineration and asphyxiation all over the globe. This gives us as close of a snapshot of hell on earth as humanity will have seen to this point, and God is not finished yet. Next week we will see how humanity responds to this devastation. Until then, stay close to Jesus and stay faithful.

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Would you like to know more about Jesus and why I chose to follow Him? Here are 8 reasons why I believe in Jesus.

In case you want to go deeper in your study, here is the link to another commentary on the book of Revelation that I use in my study.

Sharing Life: A Peek Into A Tasting Grace Event

Hello Friday! Glad you stopped in!

How are you friends? I hope you have had a great week. Our Sharing Life series is focused on women mentoring women, and the words we offer here are centered around one of three themes: Faith, Friendship, or Food. There have been some wonderful posts in this series and I hope you have had a chance to read them all. Today, I want to lighten things up a bit and give you a glimpse into one way that I take mentoring very seriously.

 

Sharing Life Let Me Tell You About Tasting Grace

 

 

If you have explored my website at all, you know there is a link to my Tasting Grace events. In case you are not familiar with Tasting Grace, may I tell you about it?

Tasting Grace is a mentoring in the kitchen event. So many women did not have the experience of standing beside their mothers or grandmothers in the kitchen learning how to prepare home-cooked meals. Because of this many women either do not have cooking skills or are intimidated by the idea of preparing meals from ‘scratch’. It is into this setting that God has called me to help women learn about preparing home-cooked, delicious meals for their family.

Once a month I invite 5-6 women into my kitchen for a short devotion and a couple of hours of standing shoulder to shoulder in order to learn to make a few homemade dishes that they can replicate at home for their families.

Our time in the kitchen has brought forth some tasty dishes like pound cake, chicken and dumplings, chicken and cornbread dressing, chicken noodle soup (um, chicken seems to be a theme here), fruit cobblers, cheese rings, salads, canned strawberry jam, and so much more. While we chop and mix and sauté we share life, marriage, children, joys, and heartaches. We have laughed and cried together. We have prayed and eaten together. We have made new friendships and renewed old ones. We have tasted the good grace that God showers on women as they do life with other women.

Not only do I host Tasting Grace sessions in my home, I take it on the road to other homes and churches. I love sharing the fun that is Tasting Grace.

 

Tasting Grace Bible Study

 

Last year all this fun turned into a book by the same name. Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study offers ladies the opportunity to host a Tasting Grace session in their own homes and churches. The book is a combination 4 week Bible study focused on the topic of mentoring AND a how-to guide for hosting your own Tasting Grace event. The picture of the book below is my affiliate link to the Amazon page for the Bible study in case you would like to pick up a copy for yourself.

 

 

Now, I would love to share a few photos from previous Tasting Grace sessions so you can see what kind of fun we have. I hope you enjoy them AND I hope you catch the fever for mentoring in the kitchen.

 

Ready to make homemade biscuits

Ready to make homemade biscuits

 

Measuring and sifting flour.

Measuring and sifting flour.

 

IMG_0330

 

Chicken and Dumplings!

Chicken and Dumplings!

 

Tasting Grace recipes

 

January 2017 Tasting Grace group

 

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Authentic Christianity: Will You Conform or Be Transformed?

Hello, y’all! In case you are just now tuning in with me on Wednesdays, I am offering a series that the Lord laid on my heart late in 2016. It is called Authentic: Being a Stand-Out Christian in a Shut-Up World. What does authentic Christianity really look like? I truly believe this is one of the most important series the Lord has ever given me the privilege to write.

Is an authentic Christian one who always has a smile on her face and never seems to be shaken by problems?

Is a real Christian one who is in church every Sunday and whose children never fight?

While any of those things might be true of an authentic believer, they are not the things that characterize authentic Christianity. Our Wednesday journeys will take us deep into the book of Romans, to the twelfth chapter to glimpse of ‘mug shot’ of a stand-out Christian.

Here are links to the first two posts in the series:

Authentic: Being A Stand-Out Christian in a Shut-Up World

Authentic: What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

Last week we considered the idea that a true follower of Jesus is willing to offer everything they are to Him. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me, and that means we must be willing to offer our entire self, our living-breathing-walking-around body, back to Him. Oh it sounds nice and churchy, but sister (or brother), it is about as easy as jumping to the moon when we try to do it in our own efforts. We may succeed for a time, but eventually we crawl off that altar of sacrifice and decide it is just too hard, unless we allow the Holy Spirit to do it through us. Offering ourselves to Jesus for Him to fill and use CAN be done, and when we do it we reap amazing rewards and benefits.

 

Authentic Will You Conform or Be Transformed Romans 12 2

 

Once we have offered up our bodies on the altar, what then? Let’s take a look at Romans 12:2. I have to say that I am partial to the NIV rendering of this verse. Check it!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I shared with you last week how God harassed me with Romans 12:1 a few years ago. Well, verse two was also included. As I meditated on these verses in those days, it became very apparent to me that one thing was for sure….I had a choice in whether or not I CON-formed to what world wanted me to look like. Conforming to the world’s ways happens with little effort. Our human-ness does it naturally. Satan makes sure of that. What is tougher is making a choice to be TRANS-formed into the likeness of Christ. To be honest, there is only one way that will happen, and that is by allowing our minds to be renewed.

Renewing our minds is a bit like wallpaper. In 1996, Greg and I purchased our first home together. It was a lovely ranch in a northern suburb of Atlanta and we were tickled pink to get it. What we were not so tickled about was the wallpaper in the house. To use the word ‘hideous’ to describe the wallpaper would be kind. The master bedroom was floor to ceiling huge burgundy and green floral print…circa late 80s. It made me dizzy to walk into the room. If that were not painful enough, the kitchen and breakfast room had another pink/burgundy/green floral paper that extended from the chair-railing to the vaulted ceiling, about 20 feet high. Needless to say, job number 1 was to do something about that hot mess of wallpaper in those rooms.

The world plasters its wallpaper all over our minds through television, books, movies, music, and the influence of others. We take it in and soon our thoughts and actions are no different than the world. When we seek to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, we must tear off the world’s wallpaper and replace it with something new that will transform us. What we MUST replace it with is GOD’S WORD. Scripture is the only thing that will transform us into the likeness of Christ. Just as we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, we must also offer our minds up for transformation.

In those days when God was planting Romans 12:1-2 deeply in my heart, I would throw my arms wide open and tell Him that I was His…body, mind, and spirit. I would spend time each day in the Scriptures because I desired to be more like Jesus. I wanted to please Him and be obedient to Him. It did not happen overnight, and the offering of myself to Him is something I still do daily. So is the immersing of my mind in Scripture.

 

Authentic Conform or Be Transformed Romans 12 2

 

I want to challenge you, dear reader, to take these two verses very, very seriously. IF you are serious about looking like Jesus to a lost world, would you commit to praying these verses back to God with me? Let me offer a prayer for you to use.

 

Dear God, I thank you that you do not just save me and leave me as you found me. Your desire is for me to look more and more like Jesus. Today I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice. Take me, clean me up, and use me in any way you will. Lord, I do not want to conform one minute longer to the pattern of this world. Transform me and renew my mind with Your Word as I read it every day. I am yours. Change me, mold me, make me more like Jesus. In the mighty, transforming name of Jesus I ask these prayers. Amen.

If you would take my challenge and pray Romans 12:1-2 over your life and mind, would you let me know so I can be praying for you? Leave me a comment or email me at info@leahadams.org.

 

Although I cannot sing very well, I do love the old hymns of our faith. I thought I would share a link to a CD that is playing on my iPod A LOT right now. It is Selah’s ‘Greatest Hymns’ CD and it contains so many of my favorites. Perhaps you would enjoy it, too?

Linking up today at Grace & Truth:

Grace & Truth Link-Up

The Trumpet Judgments ~ The Sixth Trumpet

When I was a child my Daddy was the primary disciplinarian. Oh, my Mother would not hesitate to discipline my sister and me, but very often Daddy was the one to whom the task fell. My parents were big believers in corporal punishment, and did not hesitate to pull out the bolo paddle when we needed to be reminded of the straight and narrow. We never got spanked with a belt or a spoon, but rather that esteemed toy of childhood, the bolo paddle. Do you remember it?

It was a thin piece of wood with a rubber-band like attachment that had a small ball placed on the end of it. When used as a toy, the joy in it was to be able to successfully bounce the ball off the wood. When applied as a paddle to the backside of a child, the rubber string and ball were removed and no joy was found in the using of it!

My parents utilized spanking in a very appropriate way. They did not beat us, harm us, or injure us. What they did was enforce the idea of appropriate behavior in a way that got our attention and effected a change.

My Daddy was a very strong man. Because he had contracted polio at the age of 16, he walked with crutches the rest of his life, making his arms and shoulders quite strong. When Daddy spanked you, there was not a doubt in your mind that you had been spanked! A spanking from my Daddy was a major deterrent to future bad behavior.

 

Trumpet Judgments Sixth Trumpet

 

In our passage today, we will see mankind refusing to change their ways in spite of horrendous judgment being rained down upon them. But, before we get to that refusal, we have quite a bit of material to cover.

Did you download the Revelation 9 drawing? If not, go here to download and print it. We will likely spend 2 weeks, maybe three, in Revelation 9:13-21, so settle in. Let’s go ahead and read the entire passage, then we will dive in to just the first verse.

 

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.

Let’s begin by considering what happens immediately following the sounding of the sixth trumpet. John hears a voice, and it is important that we not rush past the location of this voice. It comes from ‘the four horns of the golden altar before God’.

Recall with me that there are two altars in the Old Testament tabernacle. The brazen altar (Exodus 27:1-8, 38:1-7) which was outside the tabernacle proper. This was the altar on which sacrifices were made to atone for sin. The other altar was the golden altar (Exodus 30:1-10, 37:25-29) that sat just in front of the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle. It was on this altar that the High Priest burned incense twice daily. Then, once each year, the Priest would make atonement using the blood of the sin offering on the horns of this golden altar.

This is not the first time in our study that we have run across this golden altar. Let’s take a quick look back.

When we studied the 5th seal (Revelation 6:9), we learned that there were martyrs beneath the altar crying out for justice. Scholars are mixed regarding which altar is being referenced. Given today’s verses, I tend to believe the reference is to the golden altar of sacrifice. There would be no need for an altar of sacrifice in heaven….Jesus has already been the perfect sacrifice.

Then, in Revelation 8:1-5 the 7th seal was broken and we saw the golden altar before God’s throne. The angel took incense, placed it in a censer and hurled it to earth, causing thunder, lightening, and an earthquake.

In view of the fact that the golden altar is always mentioned in conjunction with incense which represents the prayers of the saints, and the prayers of the saints in Revelation 6 were asking God for judgment on those who had taken their lives, it seems that judgment is now being meted out on mankind in the sounding of the sixth trumpet.

K…..enough for now. We will be back in this passage next week. I hope you will take some time to read through it between now and then. There is much here to ponder.