Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - Studying Revelation

The Book of Revelation is actually the very first book of the bible I ever read. This was back in the days of the "Late Great Planet Earth" craze when it seemed like everyone was predicting the end of the earth by the year 1988. Exactly five years after the anticipated start date of the Apocalypse I had the honor of studying Genesis (and Ruth) under a Rabbi. 

The name of that class was "The Bible as Literature" because you can't teach "The Bible as God's Word" in a publicly funded University, but you can call it Literature and still teach it as God's word. Personally I suggest everyone take a good long hard study of Genesis (and Ruth) under a Rabbi because that will give you a foundation of Jewish law, and when you understand Jewish law a lot of things in the bible start to make a lot of sense.

For example - ever notice that whenever the ancient Israelites built an altar at a place they would prominently name it? that Adam's first job was to name the animals? that God's acts during creation included naming things like day, night, dark, etc? There is power in naming, it's practically (at the risk of sounding Emergent) Name It and Claim It. Once you understand that there's real power in naming, that white rock we receive in Revelation with our new name on it suddenly becomes a very Big Deal.

For example - there is a lot of Jewish law happening in Ruth, and for us as Christians this is a vital book to understand, especially the role of Boaz. Once I learned to understand what was going on in Ruth it's impossible for me not to tear up when I recognize Christ as my kinsman redeemer and the price He had to pay to free me.

This past year I was actually in two studies of Revelation, one was with Bible Study Fellowship International the other was the series that was preached at our church. Revelation is both easy and difficult, it's easy because Revelation is the epilog of the Bible, everything in Revelation can be referenced in the text of the bible, primarily the Old Testament. Difficult because a careful study of Revelation will slaughter a few sacred cows.

Now personally I like reading and studying Bible prophecy, but a lot of people get very tied up in it. Some take it off 'the deep end' and lead people astray with books of prophecy that are based on little more than a few references taken out of context and a lot of supposition. Yes, Bible prophecy will come true but a lot of it will come true in ways most of us never considered. I'm sure when the dust settles we'll be looking back on the end times, scratching our glorified heads, and saying things like "How did I miss seeing that coming?"

To me prophesy is like miracles - they're proof of the divinity of God and they prove beyond any doubt that Jesus really is who He says He is. But they're just part of the story, we need to look at the Big Picture. Like Charles Spurgeon says:
A man says to me, “Can you explain the seven trumpets of Revelation?” No, but I can blow one in your ear, and warn you to escape the wrath to come.  Another says, “Can you tell me when the end of the world will come?” No, but I can tell you how to be so prepared for it that you need not be afraid if it were to come tonight. I can urge you to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, so that you can await it with holy joy. - Charles Spurgeon
So read the Book of Revelation, pray for understanding and discernment, and keep in mind, it's only 1/66th of the whole story

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