Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Study on Revelation

I would like to begin a study on the book of Revelation.  Too often, this book is overlooked as too obscure or hard to understand to be of any use.  However, it is a treasure trove of wonderful news from God!  True, it is an apocalyptic book meaning that it was written in symbolic language such that those who knew what the symbols meant would easily understand.  It was written to provide comfort to the people who were undergoing Roman persecution so any interpretation of its symbology must be made in the light of the question, "What comfort does this interpretation provide for the persecuted people to whom it was written?"  More on this as we go.

Before we start, we must understand some of the basic apocalyptic symbols which were used by its author John.  First, the numbering system.

  • 1 - symbolizes the idea of unity or independent existence
  • 2 - symbolizes strength, confirmation, or redoubled courage or energy
  • 3 - the symbol for the perfect divine
  • 4 - symbolizes the perfect world
  • 5 - Not used as symbol.  Man was considered fully rounded if he had all five digits on each of his limbs.  Thus the number 5 was doubled to 10 to symbolize completeness
  • 6 - Used as a number to symbolize that which was evil as the number fell short of the perfect number 7.  A man was assigned a 6 if he met defeat when victory was in his grasp.  Ultimate or perfect evil is thus 3 6's, 666.    
  • 7 - The perfect world (4) and perfect divine (3) when added together give the number 7 which symbolizes the perfect completeness through union of heaven and earth.
  • 10 - symbolizes completeness.  When raised to the 3rd power (1000), it indicates perfect completeness
  • 12 - If the perfect number for the world (4) is multiplied by the perfect number for the divine (3) the result is 12.  Thus this was a perfect number which referred to organized religion.
  • 3 1/2 - When the number for perfect completeness (7) is cut in half, it equals 3 1/2.  This expressed the idea of the imperfect, the indefinite, or the incomplete during periods of turmoil or trouble
Many thanks to Kirk Session, Joel Tinnel, and Robert Sholl for the source material for this study.  The guide for the class "Notes on the Revelation" is one of the best I have ever read.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Be Still

Do you ever have those times where something keeps happening to you over and over again?  Where you hear the same song that touches you in a certain way right when you need it. Or someone says something in just the right way to make whatever it is that is troubling you melt away.  Or you get an unexpected bonus just when you are short on bills.  I am having one of those moments right now.

I have been very busy with work and family and church duties for quite a long while now.  It has been weighing heavily on me that it seems that I don't have much time for anything; I have been neglecting my study of the word because it just takes too much time I don't have.  I have been praying for some time to unwind and refocus but instead I have been getting more and more overloaded.  Well, a few weeks ago someone during a study at church referenced Psalm 46:10 in a discussion we were having:

  "Be still, and know that I am God.
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth!"

Since then, I have been seeing this in various blogs I have read.  A Christian friend of mine at work talked about this verse in a discussion we were having.  I even saw it referenced in a news item. Right now it seems it is everywhere to me.  And then it suddenly just hit me that God is answering my prayers by loading me up with worldly worries so that I may know He is where true peace lies.  With God's boundless love and grace and mercy, what could possibly worry me in this world? I just need to chill out and relax in the knowledge that God is infinitely patient and that through Christ He has given me the strength to overcome the world.  It is His work that has done this for me.  It is all His work.

And so, I hear you Lord loud and clear because I have become quiet.  I see your work in my life because I closed my eyes to reflect on your blessings.  And I feel you carrying me because I have stopped running my own race.  I thank you Lord for Psalm 46:10.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Study is the key to understanding

In Acts 17:10, we read "The brothers[a] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they(Q) went into the Jewish synagogue. 11Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness,(R) examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12(S) Many of them therefore believed...".  Searching the scriptures daily!  It is hard not to believe if you do this.  This site is intended as a place where we can meet and discuss the word of God, where we and others can reason together and learn to better walk our Christian walk. I encourage you to join in the conversation and use it as a tool to get others to consider God's words of life.

"15Rather,(AM) speaking the truth in love, we are to(AN) grow up in every way into him who is(AO) the head, into Christ, 16(AP) from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,(AQ) when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."
Ephesians 4:15-15 (ESV)