The seventh angel sounded.

Revelation 11:16,17

My previous post has seen the two-witnesses removed from the earth, brought on a great earthquake, and left everyone watching in fear.

Revelation 11:16 ESV And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,

This is rather uneventful but when you compare what they do with how we act here on earth, this is dramatically different. Those leaders, already in heaven, not only worshiped but take it one step further. I cannot help thinking about the God wants you rich scheme pushed on us as part of the faith movement. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the faith movement and I believe that God was trying to wake us up and show us aspects of his  nature and character that we all were missing. But God isn’t interested you making money unless he can trust you with it to advance his kingdom. So to sit in a church were the pastor brags about his money, cars, house, the clothes he wears, and the exclusive places he and his wife eat, it gets to be rather disgusting. Although church leaders are supposed to be religious examples for us, they tend to be just as broken as the next guy, and their selfishness exudes from every pore. Why do you think you find a theme like this on several occasions in the old testament? Woe to you shepherds, for you have fleeced my flock and led them into destruction; a path of selfishness.

The word for worship is proskuneō and means to kiss the hand. These men, mighty as they were, bowed in obeisance.

Revelation 11:17 ESV saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.

Am I the only one that hears how decisive this verse is, “for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.”

I am at a loss about how to express this, but this is the end. Is it detailed out in minutia? No, but what if by God’s clock this is the end?

What would it mean for it to be the end. Well, Christ would have to come back with a sword, plant his feet upon the Mount of Olives, people choosing to fight against him would be dead, the millennial kingdom would be set up, and there would be a thousand years of peace with the martyred saints ruling over the earth.

The word taken is the Greek word lambanō, which means to take with the hand. Doesn’t that at least imply that God has had to regain some authority which was lost.

What is this great power? I am not sure that it can be defined. With it, he created the heavens and the earth, merely speaking them into existence. He demonstrated some aspect of that power both for and against Israel. And it was his mighty power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

To take that power unto oneself implies that it was not in convenient grasp, and yet that is not what we see when we read through the bible. We see an active God, working on behalf of his people.

God’s power was never diminished, nor was it stripped from him, but it was the control over the earth, something that he freely gave to man, that seems to be at issue. Man, who was made in the image of God, is the one that really had the “great power” stripped from him.

Why would I say that? Made in the image of God, man was no less than Jesus in form and manner as he walked on this earth. Jesus was the creative force, the word that created all things. (If this sounds impossible or unfamiliar to you then I suggest you read the first chapter of John’s gospel.) Even if God put a body on the man, which he later did, it made no difference (Jesus’ body was just as real after his death for he had many touch him with no dismay, and yet he could walk through walls – No limitations.) So what was this man Adam like? Like a comic book hero might be a vulgar way of looking at it. Immortal, commanding the elements and surroundings by his  word, walking freely in a garden environment with the creator of the universe, able to converse intelligently and openly about life and whatever came to mind (That concept right there gives me angst, because I cannot do that. My words continuously wrap around my tongue and I rarely find the right words to say in a public venue. I live in a world lacking of confidence and doubt, and I long for a freedom like that. Thank God that in a moment, a twinkling of the eye, I will be change; everything about me, and on that day I will experience a freedom that I have only imagined. The pain will be gone as I rush into my saviors arms. Why do you think those angels showed up that night and announced to lowly shepherds that the SAVIOR of the world had been born. Because he came to save us from so many things, one of which was ourselves.)

Playing off the idea that God put man in control of the earth.

Genesis 1:26 KJV And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Try to deny the concept if you wish, you cannot.

Psalms 8:4-6 KJV What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (5) For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (6) You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet:

Creation: God in unity with the man and all is at rest, but God got excluded, and the rest, well the rest was history, at least for a time.

We recently had to watch as a friend’s family lost control over their own father, the family home placed in conservator-ship, sold, and virtually everything they possessed taken away.

Why? Because the family member that was left in charge decided to get selfish and gave up responsible ownership. That move cut the family off from their ability to step back in and regain control. Certainly there was some twisted form of collusion involved, but like the serpent in the garden it was subtle, and by the time you figured it out there was little the family could do. In God’s case he knew it was coming and had a back up plan, and his name was Jesus Christ.

In the Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan, an analogy of Jesus Christ, voluntarily paid the price for Edgar’s selfishness, a selfishness that affected all of Narnia, just as Christ had to pay for Adam’s and all of us.

You see God cannot and will not work beyond the limits of the contract (that is another way of saying covenant.) When God made his covenant (contract) with Abraham he committed himself to that covenant regardless of what the man did. God was so committed to this relationship with man that he would not break his end of the deal. That means that he put himself under legal binders (at least, in a sense.) Certainly Satan understood that and showed us that he did by trying so desperately to kill everything that looked like it could bring the Messiah into the world. And that happens to be what the culmination of Revelation is all about. Having taken back his might power, he has begun to reign.

Read Romans chapter five.

Romans 5:12 ESV Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–

Colossians 2:13-15 ESV And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, (14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

For God to have taken back control makes me think that the end has come. That cannot be right and yet in many ways it is. Sin is done away with, and yet we still, by giving place to our own selfish desires, we continue to sin. How can this be? Understand that the world, including us, will not be judged for sins, they  will be judged for rejecting the son.

So how do you justify what appears to be the end, when pain, sin, and suffering continue? While an end, by God’s definition, is done, the end of all selfishness has yet to come. That will happen on the day of his return.

Should you not understand much of this then I suggest that you turn your life over to Jesus Christ. Allow him to make himself real to you, for he will open your eyes and the Spirit of God will give you an understanding. I have no doubt whatsoever how he will respond to a sincere request, for He will come in and make his home within you, and you will become part of God’s family. Don’t worry about how crummy you are or how you act, for God already knows all that. He sent Jesus Christ to be your payment fully knowing the brokenness inside all of us. Outside of a love that I cannot fathom he sent his Son to die a brutal death on a cross so that we could live in a restored relationship with Him.

Time is short. Run to him.

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