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Dave's Blog

I will be writing short articles from time to time and will post them here for my readers and other interested parties to comment on. Please check back often.



John has given us a glimpse of what to expect as we try to lead Christian lives. There will be people who are helpful to us and people who try to take us down a different path. There will be organizations that help us and organizations that try to lead us away from Christ. There will be ideas that are helpful to us and ideas that lead us to false teaching. Events will happen around the world, which make us question the character or the existence of God. There will be wars, famines, floods, droughts, violent storms, earthquakes and volcanoes. Evil will seemingly win many times and in many situations. Evil will sometimes seem like the right path to follow either because it’s easier or doesn’t seem all that bad or may even to appear to be a good thing. There will be false teachers and prophets. Sometimes they will have powers that seem to come from God. A very powerful Satan, the great deceiver, will continue to try to lead us to destruction. In the face of all these obstacles, what can we do? John tells us that we have been sealed by God and have his protection. What we have to do is trust in Him and accept that He has a plan and timeline, a time that is not for us to know, for salvation and the permanent end of evil.

   God is in control; trust in Him!!

I recently had a back problem and for about three months I couldn’t even walk without a walker. During that time even small movements would cause me tremendous back spasms, which lasted 5 to 15 minutes. For the next three months I could go short distances and would often have back spasms. Over the next three months I slowly healed and could start physical therapy to recover my strength. During these eight or nine months I had some strange conversations with God. I would sometimes whine and complaining, sometimes arguing and yes sometimes doubt. I could see no benefit to God’s kingdom by me going through this suffering. Because I couldn’t do much else I read a lot, watched TV a lot and did a lot of self-reflection. The books I read and the teachers/pastors I watched on TV gave me insights into my faith that I would never have gotten without this down time. Many of the things I learned during this time I have had the opportunity to share with people during adult bible studies at my church and the feedback I’ve gotten is tremendous. I also can do things physically that I hadn’t been able to do for years thanks to the physical therapy I’ve been doing.

So, for me yes God is in control even in the difficult times. We just don’t have the same big picture perspective God has.

I Am Coming Soon

Rev 22:6-21

In these verses John confirms the truth of what he has written and confirms he is the author. His expectation in that Christ will be coming back soon. I recently had a conversation with my sister, and we said we should get together soon. Each of us I’m sure has a very different idea of when that soon will be. An eternal God’s soon can seem like a very long time to a mortal basing soon on his or her own life span. We should not lose heart waiting for God’s soon to arrive. In these verses there is also an angel confirming that only God should be worshiped. That should be a message for all of us who tend to worship athletes, actors, actresses, rich people, money or anything other than God. There are many lessons in this book of prophecy and John does not seal them up, but, in spite of the warning given life will go on pretty much as usual with good people being good and evil people being evil. We can however take heart from the message here that God is in control. Those who wash their robes (in the blood of the lamb) get to enter the city through Jesus, the gate, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Be assured, however, Christ is coming in judgment.

Lord you have given us assurance of your return and descriptions of the majesty that awaits those who overcome. Help us stay patient for the day that will come soon. We know that we tend to be in awe of people who have been successful in things of this world. Please help us remember you have a different scale for the measurement of success.

I pray, Lord, that all I have written here is consistent with at least some of the message you want people to take from this wonderful book. I pray that all who read this will be blessed and led to conversations with you.

New Jerusalem

Rev 21:9 to Rev 22:5 - Here the city, the bride of the lamb (all the saved) is described. Here we can see that among the saved will be people from the twelve Jewish tribes (the 12 gates). We can also see gentiles being saved represented by the twelve foundations being built on the names of the 12 Apostles. The size of the city shows that there will be a great number of people living with God in eternity. The construction shows that the saved will be forever safe. There is no need of a temple because God is ever present in this city and no need for light because all that needs to be seen is seen by the light of God. Unlike the Garden of Eden, where evil entered, no evil will ever enter this city. In this existence God will provide every need, and life will be a constant paradise in a relationship with God. We will see God’s face because the sin that has separated us from him is gone.

Won’t it be wonderful to be in a peaceful, loving environment, where we have nothing to fear. The truth is that we have nothing to be fearful of now, if we are right with God. In this world there are people or events that can take the body but not our souls. I’m writing this a day after the inauguration of Donald Trump and am hearing about all kinds of fear and protests about what President Trump may do. I refuse to live in fear! I trust that God has a plan that transcends any action that this president or any other president or world leader may take. Anything that can happen to me, no matter how bad is like getting a splinter when building a house. Sure the splinter hurts but when compared to the luxury of a completed house it’s nothing. The same is true about dying. There may be great pain but it’s nothing compared to living eternally with God in paradise.

Think about Abraham, Moses, Noah, David, etc, all who lived in faith of something that hadn’t happened and something they would not live to see. We on the other hand get to live in the faith of a crucified risen Lord. We can see a good portion of God’s plan complete. Having faith should be much easier for us than it was for them.

Lord, thank you for preparing a place for us of such joy and beauty that it can only be described using the most beautiful symbols available here on earth. We look forward to the day when we can be in your awesome presence for eternity. It brings joy to our lives knowing that there will be no more evil and fear. We will know all we need to know about your eternal plan when we are with you in paradise.

God's Confirmation

                                                                God’s Confirmation

Revelation 21:3-8 In these verses God is confirming John’s words and confirming that when the testing or refining is done those who have overcome will be with him in paradise forever. For others their eternity will be spent separated from God. When God tells John to write this down, it’s like it’s written in stone and will not be changed.

John is told by God to write these things down, confirming that what he is doing is Gods will for him. I don’t know about you but I am often guilty of jumping into things without first asking for guidance and help from God. I have no doubt that had I taken the time to begin each thing I was about to do with a short “God guide and help me” prayer there are things I wouldn’t have done and things I would have done better. I’m not saying that we should try to control God with our prayers by asking him to bless the decisions we’ve already made. What I am saying is that we should be asking God to guide us to the right decisions.

I have to admit I ‘m not sure about the exact meaning of the fiery pit of burning sulfur but I can imagine what total separation from God would be like. Think about living in a place with the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic, the idolaters and all liars. Think of a place where no one is kind, loving, peaceful, patient, gentle and has self-control. Spending eternity living in a place of fear and hate is my idea of hell. There would be no doctors or nurses no pastors or social workers no one offering a helping hand or a kind word when you are suffering and there would be no death to end the suffering. That would be a world with God and all Godly people removed.

As you read this you may be thinking you know an evil town, a street, a neighborhood, or even a country like that. The people in those places can look externally and have some hope of how things might be better when they see peaceful communities. But what if there is no place better. God and good have been totally removed. That would be a hell of a place to exist for eternity.

Lord, help me always to ask for your guidance and approval before committing to a task. Help me also to remember to pray at the end of each task and to thank you for your guidance. I pray that all who read this would be among the saved and able to spend eternity with you. Give me strength to do all I can to spread your Gospel.

A new Creation

Rev 21:1-4 talks about the formation of a new heaven and new earth where there is no sea (evil human government). The holy city coming down as a bride is the new church of all believers prepared to be the bride of Christ. God will be with the people of the earth, and no more evil will exist in God’s new earth.

In Galatians 5:16-26 Paul writes about the acts of a sinful nature and the fruits of the Spirit. Imagine a world where everyone exhibited the fruits of the Spirit. Imagine a world where love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all exhibited by everyone. In such a world there is no need for laws or police. In this world everyone would be looking out for others needs more than their own needs. This is the kind of world God intended for us until sin entered in. Think about being able to trust everyone you come in contact with knowing that they have no ulterior motives, that they only want what’s best for you.

We don’t have to wait. If each of us would try to live each day following the fruits of the Spirit we could experience a little bit of heaven now.

Lord, we can hardly wait for the dawning of that new day when your heaven and earth arrive. Help us, as we continue our time here in this world, do the things you want us to be doing. Help us remain calm and continue to do what we must to sustain our families, the world you have given us and whatever work you would have us do. While we wait give us the strength and courage to spread the good news of salvation to all.

The Book of Life

Rev 20:11-15 - In these verses we see God seated on his throne and the earth and sky have no place there. Meaning they don’t matter to God anymore. All that matters is the judgment about to take place. There are two books being opened, the book of works and the book of life. I find it interesting that there were two trees in the Garden of Eden, similar to these two books, the tree of Life and the tree of Knowledge. Unfortunately Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree of knowledge. They thought that would make them like God. A similar thing is true of people who rely on their good works. They think this will make them pleasing to God. The book of life contains the names of those who look to Jesus as the path to salvation. Had Adam and Eve chosen the tree of Life that would have meant they were not seeking equality with God but were willing to live the life had planned for them. If we chose Jesus and not works as our path to salvation it can be much easier to follow God’s plan for each of us. Trying to earn heaven can be very stressful. Accepting where we are in life as part of God’s plan can be very liberating.

There are those who would say that if your name is not in the Book of Life you are not saved. I won’t presume to be the judge here. That’s up to God. I know that if your name is in the Book of Life (you depend on Jesus sacrifice for your salvation) you will be saved. I don’t know what God has planned for good people who haven’t heard about Jesus or haven’t been given the Spirit of faith in Christ’s redeeming blood. In Ezekiel 37 God shows he can bring life to the driest of bones. The last sentence of Ezekiel 38 says then they will know that I am the Lord. Does this signify a last opportunity?

After this judgment death and Hades are done away with the only people left are the saved who will live eternally with God.

Lord, we know that heaven with you will be a wonderful place free from suffering and pain where we no longer have to worry about evil. We pray that our judgment will not be according to our works but according to the grace given through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lord, be with my family and friends and let them see the truth of your word so that we can all be with you in heaven. Send your Spirit to those who minister to us and also to our leaders so that the truth is not hidden from their eyes. Guide the less fortunate in this life so that they can be with you in eternal happiness in paradise.

Satan Bound

Rev 20:1-10 - The angel coming down from heaven is a reference to Christ who is the one who has the keys to the Abyss. In Matthew 28:10-20 Jesus says that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and that he would be with us always. With his death and resurrection he took power over all nations so that the word of the true God could be spread beyond the Jews. Jesus has the power to bind Satan. The thousand years is symbolic for a very long time. Having chained and put Satan in prison he severely limited Satan’s power to deceive the nations so that the Gospel could be spread. John is very specific in telling us why Satan is limited for this time. It is so that the Gospel can be spread. John is trying to tell us that we have the power to spread the Gospel.

John then sees thrones and seated on those thrones were those who had been given authority to judge. In 1Cor 6:2 we learn that the saints will judge the world. So, there are believers in heaven at this time. These are the believers John identifies next. In his apocalyptic view those who are martyred for their faith go directly to heaven and won’t have to wait for the final judgment day. They will reign with Christ for a long time and will have no fear of the final judgment.

I find this an interesting contrast to the radical Muslims view. These saints are content to be in heaven, a spiritual place, with Christ and they got there by peacefully accepting death following the loving teachings of Christ. While on the other hand radical Muslims get to heaven by killing others looking for carnal pleasures, many virgins, when they arrive in heaven.

There is going to be a time, when Satan is released from prison, before the final judgment when Satan’s presence is going to be much more prevalent. Maybe that’s now? I don’t know. In the end some will want to follow Satan but God’s victory is assured.

When someone is in prison they still have the ability to influence those outside the prison. So, Satan’s influence though limited is still present. Imagine a world where Satan has the freedom to use all his power. It’s not something I’m looking forward to.

Lord, we know that through your death and resurrection you overcame death for all who would follow you. Help us stay strong and not be deceived by Satan. We know that you have opened the door for us to spread the Gospel. Please fill our hearts, minds, and words with the inspiration of your Holy Spirit so we can fulfill the great commission to go forth spreading the good news.

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