The Greatest Coronation EVER!

The Crisis

Picture this. There is a serious crisis in the universe. Satan has rebelled against God and now there’s a huge rebellion on earth as well. Things are spiraling out of control. God’s plan to save mankind from self-destruction will only work if there is someone perfect, and I mean PERFECT for the job at hand. Clearly no man has ever fit the bill. Until…

 

Until God became a man through his son Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life and died, taking the penalty for man’s rebellion, which is death. But the giver of life could not stay dead. He conquered death and rose from the grave. But wait! If the resurrection was the main event, why did Jesus tell his disciples to, “wait for the promise of the Father”? Acts 1:4 What were they waiting for?

 

The Throne Room

The book of Revelation gives us a peek into the very throne room of God in chapters 4 & 5. There we find a most amazing description of the Most Important Coronation, EVER! And a clue about what the disciples were waiting for.

ESA/Hubble
ESA/Hubble

 

The throne of God is surrounded with dazzling jewel colors and a green (emerald) rainbow. Rev 4:3-4 Various kinds of interesting and bizarre heavenly creatures and some white-robed elders, twenty-four of them  surround the throne. Rev. 4:4,8 Everyone is praising and worshiping the creator of the universe. Rev. 4:9-11 Beautiful right! But then John, who’s seeing this in vision, begins to weep. Rev. 5:4 What?

 

He’s weeping because it seems, there is no man in the entire universe perfect (worthy) enough to open a book completely sealed with seven seals, and is in the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. Yes, that’s God the Father. What is so important about this sealed book?

 

The Sealed Book 

Time to dig for some clues. The special book has writing on both sides. Remember back then books were scrolls, not books with pages.

Sealed Book
Sealed Book

Where else in the Bible are books written on both sides mentioned?

  • God himself wrote on both sides of the two tables of the testimony (the ten commandments). Exod. 32:15

  • Two prophets saw scrolls written on both sides while in prophetic vision. Ezek. 2:9-10 Zech. 5:1-30

So it’s possible this sealed book may refer to God’s covenant with his people and to a prophetic message. Or in the disciples’ language might be called, “the Law and the Prophets”. John 1:45

Just as the scriptures of Jesus’ day (the Law and the Prophets – a.k.a. the Old Testament) all pointed to Jesus and his plan to save mankind (John 5:39), so this special book contained God’s eternal promise to finish his plan of salvation, including judgments on the unbelievers. So if no man could open it and this plan of salvation could not continue – that would be the BIGGEST TRAGEDY ever! We would all eventually die and cease to exist. Yikes! No wonder John was weeping.

 

The Greatest Coronation EVER!

But look! Here comes the hero – the Lion, the Lamb, the savior of the universe, Jesus. Rev. 5:5-6 He takes the sealed book out of the right hand of God and sits down at right hand of God. Rev. 5:7, Col. 3:1, Heb. 12:2 And a HUGE celebration of praise breaks out. Can you imagine ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels singing praises to God.

ESA/Hubble
ESA/Hubble

 

Jesus is worthy to take the book and open the seals. Rev. 5:9 The great plan to eradicate sin and its horrible effects can continue. This is cause for celebration! And the first thing that happens is whoosh – the seven spirits of God (the full, complete measure of God’s Holy Spirit) rush to the earth. Rev. 5:6

 

That is why Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. On the day of Pentecost, exactly when the Greatest Coronation EVER was happening in heaven, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and they went out preaching the gospel with great power. Acts 2:1-4, 33 Peter, who had denied Jesus three times, now preached boldly. His sermon is recorded in Acts chapter 2.

 

Jesus is now seated on the throne of the universe with complete power . Col. 3:1, Eph. 1:20-22 He has sent us his Holy Spirit which gives us power be witnesses for Him. Jesus will be victorious in this epic battle over evil. This is why all honor and glory belong to Him. Praise the Lord!

This should give you courage as you face challenges in this life. Lift your eyes to Jesus who is working in your behalf with great power and authority.

Do you want your life resting in His capable hands? Give him your heart and your life today. He will not let you down.

Categories: Chapter 4, Chapter 5 | Leave a comment

Revelation, Reformation and Resolutions

While thinking about plans for the coming year, these 3 R’s came to mind. Revelation, Reformation and Resolutions

 

Let’s start with Revelation and Reformation

 

Without a basic understanding of the Protestant Reformation, parts of the book of Revelation are very hard to understand. But with a basic knowledge of reformation history, they become much easier to grasp.The Beggars Bible

 

How do you teach a kid about reformation history? We have found reading “living” books, that is, story books about that time period very helpful. At time I read aloud to our kids and other times they read themselves. These are not deep history books but rather introductions to the reformation in the form of historical fiction. As your kids get older you can tackle more heavy reading. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.

 

Recommended reads for kids on the Protestant Reformation

 

  • Beggars Bible by Louise Vernon: A poor boy becomes a disciple of John Wycliffe and helps spread word of his English translation of the Bible.

 

  • The Bible Smuggler by Louise Vernon: Through the eyes of a young helper, readers learn of William Tyndale’s work of translating, printing, and distributing the Scripture under difficult circumstances.

 

  • Thunderstorm in Church by Louise Vernon: The story of Martin Luther as seen through the eyes of his son.

 

  • Ink on His Fingers by Louise Vernon: Twelve-year-old Hans works in Johann Gutenberg’s shop as work is done on printing the first Bible with type.

 

  • Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson: Set in the darkness of medieval England, John Wycliff’s pursuit of truth paves the way for the great Reformation. (ages 10 and up)

 

 

Picture Books for all ages

(Disclaimer – I have not read these yet in full but have previewed several pages. They are definitely on my wish list to add to our home library.)

 

  • Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier

Lady Jane Grey 

  • John Calvin by Simonetta Carr

 

  • Lady Jane Grey by Simonetta Carr

 

  • John Knox by Simonetta Carr

 

 

Now on to the third R – Resolutions

 

It has been said that writing down goals and sharing them with someone else leads to a better chance of them happening. So I’m sharing my goals for this website with you. Maybe it will help me keep on track. I have tons of ideas but am trying to be realistic with my schedule since I’m also homeschooling among other things.

 

My resolutions (aka goals) for 2015 for Revelation for Kids

 

  • Add regular blog posts (3-4/month), continuing to cover main topics in the book of Revelation

 

  • Complete a set of lessons for kids on the Book of Revelation

 

  • Complete picture cards on Revelation with key memory verses and main points

 

Seven Last PlaguesNew Heaven & New Earth

 

If you have specific information you are looking for on Revelation for Kids, please comment below. I’d be glad to hear from you!

 

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Revelation and Christmas?

This subject could actually fill pages and pages and hours and hours of information. I’ve drafted this post at least three times and it’s always too long, so I start over. It’s supposed to be simple, right! So kids can understand it. So here’s some info my son really connected with. He’s ten years old, and he got it – fast. (Note to grown-ups: Our children can handle more truth than we sometimes think they can. And they actually like being told the truth.)

 

Revelation and Christmas?

Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to examine the Bible and history together, because sometimes the stories of history help us understand the Bible. Or more accurately, the Bible helps us better understand what’s happening in history. 

 

Satan has always been trying to take the place of God. Isaiah 14:12-14 He’s a master of deceit. Rev. 12:9 All through the book of Revelation the dragon (aka Satan) tries to take the place of God – as an impostor. An impostor is a person who pretends to be someone else in order in deceive others.  

 

Is there an impostor flying around at Christmastime?

Let’s examine this popular figure to see if he’s an impostor. Then we’ll see if there’s any clues about this in Revelation.

 

Santa Claus                                                                         Jesus Christ

Drives a sleigh through the sky

Drives a chariot up to heaven (2 Kings 2:11)

White hair

Hair white like wool (Rev. 1:14)

Wears a red coat

Wears a robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13)

Checks if you’re “naughty or nice”

Judges all according to their works (Rev. 20:12)

Gives gifts

Gives the best gift (Luke 11:13)

Is a carpenter – makes toys

Is a carpenter (Mark 6:3)

Comes from the North (Pole) and wants to take the place of God (Isa. 14:13)

Comes from the North (Ezek. 1:4; Ps. 48:2)

Says “Ho, Ho, Ho” (this phrase was used to introduce the character of the devil in Old English plays)

Holy, Holy, Holy (Rev. 4:8)

Wants little children to come to him

Wants little children to come to Him (Mark 10:14)

Comes as a thief in the night (through fireplace)

Comes as a thief in the night (Matt. 24:43-44)

Must lie about him to your children (Devil is the the father of lies. John 8:44)

Is the truth (John 14:6)

 

What’s the big deal?

Now, we know that Santa Claus is a combination of many old myths and traditions that have changed and combined over time. So what’s the big deal if he resembles Jesus? One obvious reason is Jesus is the truth, and Santa is based on a lie. But beyond that there is some interesting tidbits in Revelation and in the history of the early church.

Digging Into History

The church started growing rapidly after Jesus went to heaven. In fact it grew so quickly that some of the Greek-speaking Jews complained that their widows were not being taken care of. So the twelve disciples of Jesus suggested they choose seven men to be in charge of this ministry. Among those chosen was a man named Nicolas, a convert from Antioch. Acts 6:5

 

Apparently Nicolas, some time after this, began to introduce false teachings into the church. The people that followed him were called Nicolaitans (followers of Nicolas). Quite strongly, Revelation says that Jesus, “hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans.” Rev. 2:6,15 That should give us a big clue as to whether this is a big deal or not.

 

CLUE: Does anything at Christmas time have to do with “Nick” or “Nicolas”?

How about St. Nicholas (also known as Satan’s Claws, oh excuse me, Santa Claus)!

 

Now wait a minute – wasn’t St. Nicholas a priest of the early church who gave gifts to the poor? The truth is, the church very early on had started mixing pagan practices with “Christian” worship. It would be a little hard to explain how St. Nicolas could be a good thing, when the Book of Revelation said Jesus hates the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans (the followers of Nicolas). So they had to embellish the life of a very obscure saint Nicholas who lived many hundreds of years later than Nicolas, the leader of the Nicolaitans, and make him more acceptable and “holy”.

 

In fact, the origins of Santa Claus go even further back than even the deacon Nicolas. Way back, to Babylonian religions. But we don’t have room for all that now. Except to say the Revelation does say loudly, “Come out of her my people”, in otherwords, come out of Babylon. Rev. 18:4

 

The Nicolaitans believed that men could lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. In other words, do whatever you feel like. It was the idea that the law of God is no longer binding, so as long as you “believed” in your heart, you didn’t actually have to do what the scriptures said. This is where we should be careful about saying, “Well that’s not what Santa means to me.” 

 

So we know that Nicolas went way off track somewhere. But there’s more. Another guy by the name of Cerinthus was also a follower of Nicolas. He invented a feast to honor the holy birth of Christ and picked the date December 25. Why would he pick this date? It certainly was not a biblical date. He probably picked it because it was close to the important feasts of two, if not more, groups of pagans – the followers of the sun-god Mithra, who’s birthday was December 25th, and the followers of Saturnus, the god of seed and sowing. These feasts took place during a huge Roman festival called Saturnalia which was celebrated at least 200 years or more before the birth of Christ. But by the middle of the fourth century AD, its festivities had been fully combined with the celebration of Christmas.

 

Now, what do you think the apostle John thought of Cerinthus? We don’t have to guess because Irenaeus, a bishop who studied under bishop Polycarp, who had been a disciple of the Apostle John told us in his writings what John thought about Cerinthus. He told this little story:

 

“There are those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within!” (Irenaius. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4)

 

As for me and my house

This is really just an introduction on Revelation and Christmas. There is way more. But for now the question is, who or what will I follow? The truth or the lie. The real thing or the impostor. Let’s choose Jesus, who is the truth and the way.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

 

Categories: Chapter 2, The Basics | Leave a comment

Seven Messages – one main thing

The disciple John, who wrote down the book of Revelation, was told to

Ancient Pergamum

Ancient Pergamum

write to the seven churches. These were real churches in real towns and cities at that time. They didn’t have a mail system like we do so they would send the letter by messenger to the first town. Those people would read it and then send it on to the next town or city. So everyone got to read what Jesus was saying to their neighbor’s as well as themselves.

Here’s a very simple list of the seven churches and how they are described in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. 

Ephesus – the loveless church

Smyrna – the persecuted church

Pergamos – the compromising church

Thyatira – the corrupt church

Sardis – the dead church

Philadelphia – the faithful church

Laodicea – the lukewarm church

Not only were these messgaes important to the churches back in John’s time, they were also for all of God’s people in the future. Rev. 1:19 That means they are also important for us too! 

Jesus had a lot to say to the seven churches. Right now let’s focus on one thing that must be important because it’s mentioned seven times in the seven messages.

That thing is to REPENT. To repent does not mean to be just a little sorry for something. Repent means to make a complete about face, stop what you’re doing wrong, turn around and go in the opposite direction. It’s a complete makeover!

ACTIVITY TIME!

1.  Highlight the word “repent” everywhere it appears in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. If you don’t want to mark in your Bible, print out the chapters from an online Bible.

2. Which two churches were not told to repent?

Here is a great prayer to pray often.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

When God shows you anything that you need to change in your life or in your heart, repent! Turn about face, and start walking the way He is leading you.

Categories: Chapter 2, Chapter 3 | Leave a comment

Revelation Mountain

Have you ever been hiking through a thick forest? The trees are so thick you can barely see the sky, let alone the top of

Photo by Matthew Faltz

Photo by Matthew Faltz

the mountain you are trying to climb. But when you follow the path and get to the top of the mountain, suddenly you can see everything. There’s the trail where you came up through the forest, and on the other side, there’s the trail leading to a beautiful lake where you want to make camp. The book of Revelation is kind of like that. If you just start reading through the book, soon it seems the details are so thick, you can’t even see where you are going.

 

Revelation Mountain

Photo by Angelo Amboldi

Photo by Angelo Amboldi

Let’s step back and take a look at Revelation Mountain. Pretend

you’re going to climb over this mountain. As you climb, you will see that God is working to save you and warn you about what is happening in the world. When you get to the top you discover a battle raging between a Lamb and a Dragon. It might be unnerving to find yourself in the middle of a battle, but at least  from this view you can see where things started and where they will end up. But don’t stop there. Keep climbing down the other side of the mountain. After God gives the world his final warning, he finally takes care of evil and saves all who have decided to follow Him. 

 

Hopefully when we start to look at the details in the forests of the book of Revelation they won’t seem so scary, because now you know this mountain can be crossed.

 

Revelation Mountain Revelation Mountain

For any of you scholars in training, this style of writing is called a chiasm (pronounced ky’az-um). It is a repetition of similar ideas in reverse order. For example like a pattern, A – B – C – D – D – C – B – A. Often the main topic or strongest focus is in the middle section.

 

Above you can see, the focus of the book of Revelation is on the conflict between Christ and Satan. Everything else in the book relates to this battle.

 

Praise the Lord that He has given us a preview of the outcome of the battle between good and evil. We know that Jesus wins this greatest of all battles and all his promises to those who follow Him will come true!

Revelation Mountain

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Finding Jesus In Every Chapter – Part 3

It has been great fun finding Jesus in every chapter in the book of Revelation. Below are chapters 15-22.

 

Some may wonder how I’ll find Jesus in chapters containing the seven last plagues and the scarlet woman sitting on a seven-headed beast. Well, praise the Lord, Jesus promises to be with his followers always, even to the end of the world. Matt. 28:20 

 

Read below to see where Jesus is even in the middle of great trouble.

 

Chapter 15

This chapter has a beautiful song called “The Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb”. Remember, the lamb in Revelation represents Jesus. So this is Jesus’ song. I’d like to learn that song. Here are the words.

 

“Great and amazing are your deeds,

Photo by Jeff Kubina

Photo by Jeff Kubina

O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,

And glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship you,

For your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelation 15:3-4 (ESV)

 

I’m glad I serve a God who is great, amazing, just and true!

 

Chapter 16

Seven angels pour out vials of the wrath of God upon the earth and terrible things happen. But right in the middle of this chapter, Jesus speaks.

In “red letter edition” Bibles, Jesus’ words are written in red. So I knew Jesus was speaking when it said, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Rev. 16:15

 

What does it mean to watch and keep your garments?

First, watch for signs of Jesus’ coming. Did you know Jesus’ coming will not be like a thief if you are watching for Him. 1 Thess. 5:4-6 By reading and studying His word the Bible, including the book of Revelation, you are watching for Him.

Secondly, keep your garments. This represents the armor of God (truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the word of God) as explained in Ephesians chapter 6. It also represents the salvation that comes from accepting Jesus. Eph 6:13-17 Isaiah 61:10.

 

If we give our hearts fully to Jesus, we will not experience God’s wrath when He pours it out on the earth. If we follow Jesus, we will be saved! 1 Thess. 5:9 Now that’s good news!!

 

Chapter 17

Here John, the writer of Revelation, sees a wicked woman wearing purple

By Waiting for the Word

By Waiting for the Word

and red sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and 10 horns. Whatever this woman and beast represent we know it’s bad because many followers of Jesus are killed. Rev. 17:6

However, Jesus will be victorious in the war between good and evil. The Lamb – that’s Jesus – will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and those who are with him are called chosen and faithful. Rev. 17:14

 

Will you join me in faithfully following Jesus? He will be victorious!

 

Chapter 18

This chapter describes the fall of Babylon the great. Rev. 18:2-3 Then Jesus calls his people to come out of Babylon. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4

 

What is Jesus trying to tell us? It must be mighty important, because it determines if we receive the last plagues or not. While this could be a VERY long study, I will keep it short with two main points. We will look for clues in other parts of the Bible to understand what “Babylon” represents.

 

Clue number 1, Isaiah 21:9: Isaiah uses the same exact words as Revelation, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen”. Then he talks about Babylon’s gods, which are broken on the ground. The first of the 10 commandments is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exod. 20:3 Is there anything in your life that has become more important that Jesus? Anything can become a god if it takes away our time and attention and worship from the God of heaven. Jesus is calling you to let go of the things of this earth that will fade away, and focus on heavenly things that will last.

 

Clue number 2, Dan. 4:30-32 & Proverbs 16:18: There is an interesting story in the Bible about King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He had great pride in his heart and stood up one day and announced how great he was because

Ishtar Gate by Theron LaBounty

Ishtar Gate by Theron LaBounty

he had built this great empire of Babylon by his own power. It was the mightiest empire in the world at that time. But God decided to give him a lesson in humility. The same hour, King Nebuchadnezzar was driven from his palace and became like an ox in the field. For seven years he had to eat grass and live outside like a wild beast. When the time was up, Nebuchadnezzar admitted that all people are really nothing. Only the King of heaven is worthy of praise and honor. The Bible says pride goes before destruction. As Christians, it is easy to be prideful. We must humble ourselves before God and realize that none of us deserve to live. Jesus has offered us life, because He is worthy, not because of anything we have done. Praise His holy name!

 

Leave your “gods” and pride at Jesus’ feet and come out of Babylon today!

 

Chapter 19

Wedding Feast

Jesus has a wedding feast and you are invited. Are you ready? Rev. 19:7,9

All who follow Jesus’ are called his bride, or the church. Eph. 5:25

Jesus himself helps us get ready for this great wedding party. He cleans us up and gives us fine, bright, clean clothes to wear. Rev. 19:8

Use this clue if you want to find out one way Jesus’ washes his church. Eph 5:26

 

Are you reading His Word, the Bible, everyday? Jesus wants you to be ready for that great wedding feast up in heaven!

 

Chapter 20

Those who stay faithful to Jesus will reign with Jesus a thousand years. Rev. 20:4

A blessing is promised to this group of people who are part of the first resurrection. Rev. 20:5, 1 Thess. 4:16 The second (or final) death has no power over them. Rev. 20:6

 

Dear Jesus, please keep me faithful to you so I can be a part of the first resurrection!

 

Chapter 21

Here, the holy city, the new Jerusalem, comes down from heaven to a new

The Holy City by Waiting for the Word

The Holy City by Waiting for the Word

earth. Rev. 21:1-2

Where is Jesus? He is right in the holy city. Jesus’ presence lights up the whole city so there is no need of the sun or moon. Rev. 21:23

God comes to live with his people. Heaven is now on earth, the new earth.

Wow! That’s incredible! God’s moving and he’s coming to live with us someday. I sure want to be there! Don’t you?

 

Chapter 22

Jesus confirms that He, for certain, sent these messages in the book of Revelation to us, his church. Rev. 22:16

Jesus also says, “Surely I come quickly.” 

 

Jesus is coming soon! He has sent us a special and important message in the last book of the Bible – Revelation. The more we read and study it, the more we will learn about the wonderful love of Jesus and how much He wants to save you and me and live with us forever!

Categories: Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Overview of Revelation | Tags: | Leave a comment