The Valley, May 2014
Encouragement from the Book of Revelation by Pastor J. C. Reese Some people seem to be eternal optimists. No matter what bad happens they always find a way to see something good in it. Are they not living in reality or are they? I think those people are not seeing the world through rose colored glasses but through the eyes of God ! Paul wrote “All things work together for good to them that love God. . .” (Rom.8:28). He didn’t say “some things”, he said ALL ! The “woes” of Revelation are a bit frightful if you look at them with a limited scope but if you look a little deeper you can see something positive ! At this point in our articles on Revelation we have seen the first of three series of judgments called the Seal Judgments. Its important to know that these will be more global than what we have just been looking at in the next round known as the Trumpet Judgments. The Trumpet Judgments are more local (taking place mainly in and around Israel). In last month’s article we looked at trumpets one through four which depict the invasion of the “King of the North” on Israel. I am not a date setter but if the rapture were to occur soon, Putin would be after more than just the Ukraine !
Now we come to the final three trumpets and they are introduced in 8:13 thus: “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth. . .”. As the fifth angels blows his trumpet the first woe commences with the falling of a “star” from heaven. It is clear by John’s language that this is a person for the Bible says here “and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit” (9:1). This “star” is none other than Satan (who currently has access to heaven but here will be cast out) and he promptly opens the pit and once he does a great smoke arises out of it so much so that the skies are darkened and “locusts” jump out and infest the earth. These are not ordinary locusts but demonic hordes ascending from their subterranean prison to wreak havoc upon man and being allowed by God to do so for a period of five months. They will be driven to force men to take the mark of the beast or face intense pain and suffering should they refuse as is more described in 13:16-17. I have talked to many folks through the years and things such as bar codes, microchips, etc. come up here and those with any fear of God at all worry about this time.
Hate to Love, Die to Live The bible presents us with a lot of paradoxical teachings. A paradox by definition is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. Jesus used this type of teaching many times and if we don’t take the time to really look at the deeper messages behind these teachings we miss out on extremely life changing ideas. Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33 says, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” These are difficult scriptures to read and can be very troubling. Hate our spouses, family, friends, self and everything we have? It’s
similar to the scripture that says in order to live we must die to ourselves. I have heard people say that Jesus did not literally mean hate but the greek word he used “miseo” actually meant none other than hate! It’s important to take scriptures like these and compare them with Jesus over all teachings, concepts and doctrines. It’s also important to not pull one scripture out of the text of the Bible and the context it is used in to create doctrine. It’s obviously clear after a short scan over Jesus teachings that Jesus did not mean literally hate your family, friends, own self and everything you have in the sense that you should do harm to anyone or anything. The definition of hate is: to feel intense passionate dislike for someone. I was
They swear up and down they would never take this evil mark of the beast but when it comes to being able to buy and sell people will take this mark in droves ! There is only one way to avoid such a decision, make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior now !! How encouraging that God has provided a means to not have to go through this future agony. The second woe or trumpet number six unleashes four demons who have been bound in the Euphrates River. Angels are nowhere seen bound in the Bible but demons are (Jude 6; Rev.20) and here their diabolical mission is to lead in the killing of one third of mankind. Chapters ten and eleven are actually providing for us background to this trumpet as for example 10:6 means that God is permitting judgment upon an unbelieving world through means of this demonic oppression and that at this time there will be no more delay in dealing with the wicked of this old world. And in chapter 11 the Two Witnesses preach a message of salvation and judgment as Noah did prior to his world being judged. The AntiChrist will make war against them
and kill them but God will resurrect them before the world’s eyes (FOX News will have 24 coverage that day !) and the second woe will end. This reminds us that even when we go through the worst of days here there is always a ray of hope if we look for it and latch on to it ! Those who follow Christ will stand !! The seventh trumpet or final woe will come just before the Second Coming of Jesus and will proclaim that the Kingdom of Christ is now about to begin as the trumpet judgments will now usher a Divine response in seven final judgments upon Satan and his kingdom. And with that seventh trumpet blast great excitement is recorded for us by John in heaven exulting in God’s victory over evil on this planet and the ushering in of a just and righteous kingdom of God upon the earth. The boom is about to be lowered on Satan and his minions. Fireworks in the State College area are spec-
tacular but the part everyone oohs and aahs over is the grand finale. That is what the Bowl Judgments, the last set of judgments, will be. How exciting that even in judgment, God’s Word encourages us here in that all the bad guys are going down. That person who oppresses you with no fear of judgment will learn he has a reckoning and when you do right and it just doesn’t seem to pan out, it will !! You can bank on these things, God says so !!
Come join us Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we dig into the Scriptures at the “log cabin church” a mile past Potters Mills on Rt.322 and just ten minutes from State College a
OBSERVATIONS . . . of an OLD MAN
We are living in divisive times, we are challenged daily to discern. Do we understand the opposition’s perspectives? POSITIVES Love Sharing/Caring Light Understanding Compassion Joy Good Trust
God is: Love, Caring, Sharing
NEGATIVES Hate Greed/Selfish Darkness Judgment Cruelty Sadness Evil Fear Evil is: Fear, Greed, Hate
Albert Einstein: “ Peace cannot be found or kept by Force. It can only be achieved by Understanding”
Continued on page 11
“Fair & Balanced” means Spin gets Equal Time
Peter J. Moses