And so we come to the end of this wild, crazy, difficult and amazing book which for me has been a great healing experience and one that has stretched me into new thinking. Healing, as I have stated all along, that has helped my view of the end to go from literal to symbolic, judgment to grace, wrath to love. Healing, this in turn, will help me– to help heal the world. I hear God say he’s got my back, justice will come, it will ALL be made right, just wait, I am coming soon so get the word out.
My new revelations on Revelation that I now have come to understand about this book are: (a) That this book was written by John to the seven churches but we are also the seven churches (b) That most of this book …
Human slavery has been going on for centuries with different people groups lording over other people groups. In the end, the master as well as the slaves, are both slaves; one to power and one to submission. As a matter of fact, aren’t we all slaves to something?
NT points out how John lists all the luxury items of that day that are being sold. At the end of that list is bodies….human lives. As most people know this practice is still going on today, here in the U.S. as well as around the world. Sweat shops, exploitation and those goods produced in other countries have notably been in the news. International domestic and migrant workers have also been referenced as potentially having slave to master relationships, when abuse is taking place. Human sex trafficking is rampant, even in our contemporary …
So this is the part in the story where my childhood literal interpretation of Revelation kicks in. I was raised to believe that yes the Abyss is the pit of an eternally burning fire called Hell, that it is a literal 1000 year reign without Satan’s interference that yes people were literally beheaded and reigned with the Messiah for the thousand years and yes there will be another resurrection where all our bodies will be raised from the grave to meet our new bodies in the air. That’s a lot of literal.
And the other part of my dysfunction in all this was the expectation of achieving perfection in the interpretation of all the above. Yes to be a childhood Bible scholar is what I believe was expected of me. Lots of pressure!!
So for NT to say: “Those who go in …
I love college football. I have loved it since I was very young. One aspect I appreciate about technology and football is the concept of instant replay. If you missed some part of the game, you can watch it again immeditely. Great for all us spectators but sometimes not so great for the players. That fumble that could have been avoided or the sack the quarterback just endured. Not always pretty the first time it happened let alone on replay.
As we come to the final judgment portion of this entire book of Revelation and of the entire Bible, I am very happy that there is no instant replay of our life. IT IS FINISHED as Jesus stated on the cross. That is WHY he died so it could finally be finished.
So as NT and our astute Pastor Dave have said, …
Behold—all things are made new (verse 5). What a great verse of hope. Have you ever felt like brand new? Perhaps after a restful long vacation or you have beaten a deadly illness, or the ‘empty nest’ has come and you can create a whole new future. This is but a glimpse of the real deal.
Newness itself will be made new as NT says. It will not be a reboot of the current heaven and earth but a whole new heaven and earth, new bodies, new roads, new food, new stuff to explore, new EVERYTHING. How great is that.
As a kid in Sunday School we used to sing a song that I think is straight out of this passage: Perhaps you know it as well: Heaven is a wonderful place… Filled with glory and grace…. I want to see my …
If you have ever prepared or eaten the Middle Eastern pastry Baklava? If you have, you know how many layers it takes to comprise this wonderful dessert. Layer upon layer of phyllo dough encased with more layers of ooey gooey nuts, butter and honey. Oh so good!!
Well I find this passage is oh so good and filled with layers of meaning. God’s victory reigns and the monster is finally dead, thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur (verse 20). NT points out that you think the victory is the defeat of Rome, when actually it is the dark forces behind Rome and all the other pagan empires. And the dark forces behind Rome are the evil ones who work for the accuser or Satan himself. And the solution to defeating Satan himself is Jesus. That’s about four …
NT commentates on the ludicrousness of extravagant weddings in Britain of which he finds both sad and encouraging. He is sad that we in the West have commercialized a covenantal religious ceremony to the tune of thousands of dollars for one day. That we focus on the wedding and not the marriage is really messed up.
But is this not a mirror for how we treat Christ in our “marriage” or covenant relationship? Do we focus on the wedding, the fun stuff, the shiny pure linen (verse 8) we get to wear on our day. The stuff that makes our faith walk so great and wonderful in the moment instead of doing the real work that a marital relationship requires for the long haul. To build trust, and love and have on- going communication goes beyond the wedding day. And so …
“Wickedness has turned on itself” as NT says. This is the mantra of addiction.
Anyone who has been addicted to anything started out loving and enjoying the very thing that in the end turned on them and destroyed them. Addiction is the rotting of the soul. Souls stuck in pain, trying to find their way out through pleasure, but ultimately if left untreated, find death and destruction.
This is not unlike the city of Babylon. It has an addiction problem; it loves pleasure and it’s selfishness to death. “She mixes her own poisons, (verse 6) she made herself glorious and lived in luxury.” (verse 7.) Like watching our loved ones self destruct, we don’t want to be a witness to their demise or the demise of this city. However, they both have been warned numerous times, as to the consequences of their …
As I stated previously, I was raised in a fundamentalist religion that was often referred to as “those who preach hell, fire and brimstone.” I sat through more sermons than I can count on the terrifying accounts of eternally burning flesh and how to avoid that reality. As a child or an adult it CAN scare the hell out of you. Was that a good method to use to reach the lost? Was it effective then? Would that same methodology be effective today? Let’s see what NT has to say:
“Perhaps we should return to the preaching habits of former generations, warning people to repent in case they end up frying in hell forever. Or perhaps we should recognize that in passages like this, as we have seen throughout this book, John is working with symbols, and that it’s important not …
As NT says,” all this may seem to be complex beyond the point of comprehensibility, but the abiding and overriding lesson for the church then and now is clear…. The brutal but seductive civilizations and national empires which ensnare the world by promising luxury and delivering slavery gain their power from the monster, The System of Imperial Power.”
So my family’s favorite genre of movies is those that involve some sort of governmental involvement that has gone haywire with power with the good guy coming in and revealing all the evil. The Bourne Series, is our all time favorite (number four is coming, but I digress) because in the end the powerful government that programmed Jason Bourne to be an evil killing machine gets theirs, bit by bit or revelation by revelation through the current three part series.
So too, is the …