Lighting Up the Apocalypse 17: Fallen Star, Bound Angels, and Hardened Hearts

Revelation 9, Job, Ezekiel 9:3-8, Luke 21:18 The second part of the seven-trumpet series does not make for pleasant reading.   Chapter 9 is prefaced with the cry of “Woe! Woe! Woe!”  As trumpets five and six are blown, we infer from the commentary that these  trumpets comprise two of these three woes (9:12).  The first of the woes, heralded by the fifth trumpet, features a fallen “star” who is allowed to unlock…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 16: Silence, Trumpets, and Suspense

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 16:  Silence, Trumpets, and Suspense Revelation 8;  Exodus 7-12; Ex 19; Ezekiel 33; Isaiah 19; Zech 9; Zech 13:8-9; Eccl 3:7 In Revelation 7, we witnessed the opening of the first six seals, beginning with the White Rider, and capped by a twin vision of the people of God, first numbered particularly, and then depicted as an innumerable host, clad in white, and made clean by the “blood…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 15: God’s Sealing and Going Beyond

Chapter 7 of the Apocalypse presents us with a divinely orchestrated interruption of the sequence of the seven seals that slows down the inevitable action of judgement.  In this moment of calm, we are reminded that, in the center of tribulation, God is with His people. John sees a double vision, in which the people of God are actually sealed, or protected from harm. Then, sheltered by the very presence of God,…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 14: Wrath and Deliverance

Revelation 6; Zechariah 1, 6; Isaiah 64; Psalm 84 (85) Chapters 4 and 5 of the Apocalypse are awe-inspiring, but also lift up our spirits. There we hear of God’s loving sovereignty over creation, and give thanks for this along with the heavenly hosts.  There we hear also of God’s faithful sovereignty over history, and give praise, along with the hosts, for the redemption brought by the Lamb.  We have seen this…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 13: The Lamb in Two Places

Revelation 5, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 43 One of the glories of a God-given vision is that, by it, we can be shown matters that seem logically contradictory, but remain true in their paradox, and demand to be kept together.  Chapter 5 of Jesus’ Apocalypse to John is famous for the picture of a slaughtered-standing Lion-Lamb.  In this visionary description of our Lord, we see two double mysteries. First, Jesus’ resurrection does not…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 12: Sitting, Flying, and Falling Down

Revelation 4, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7 Chapters two and three of the Apocalypse concentrate upon the words of the Word of God, though we have seen glimpses also of how He “looks” in John’s vision of him prior to the seven messages, when he turns to “see” the Voice.  The exalted Jesus then proceeded to direct various words of admonition and encouragement to the churches, and to the Church, coupled…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 11: From the Amen to the Apathetic

Revelation 3:14-22; Isaiah 65:16-19; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 31 Finally, we reach the end of the glorified Jesus’ messages to the seven Churches, and to us.  The final word is a sober one, which nevertheless retains hopefulness for the people of God.  The hope that is offered lies in the character and plans of the One who is reproving them (and us!).  Here are the words that He addresses both to Laodicea, and…