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.
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
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.”
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.
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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.
Fridays are all about Sharing Life with YOU! Women Sharing Life with other women. Titus 2 mentoring.
Sometimes we talk about Friendship:
while other times we talk about Faith.
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?
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.
So, I proceded to take myself to the grocery and buy a large can of tomato paste (12 ounces).
I tore off small sections of plastic wrap, measured 1 tablespoon portions of tomato paste into each little piece of plastic wrap,
sealed it up and put them in an airtight container in the freezer.
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!
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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.
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!
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 email@example.com.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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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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.
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:
You Carried Me Page
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.