My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Revelation 22

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Here we are at the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22. Revelation 22:1-2 talks about the new Jerusalem as a city and in Revelation 21:2 it’s called the Holy City. How did I miss this before? I don’t know but I did. This is why, so many times I say please, PLEASE check out what I say. I am not trained in this. In fact I have never gone to a Bible college, or had any other kind of training in this. Be wise. Do as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. I pray that I am very accurate, but I’m afraid I will make mistakes and I do not want you to be mislead.

There is a river of life flowing down the center of main street, with a tree of life growing on both sides of the river. And it bears fruit each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Revelation 22:1-2 How this will work, I don’t know, but it will.

There will no longer be a curse, for the throne of God and the lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him face to face. His name will be on their foreheads. They will truly be His. Now Revelation 22:5 says there will be no night, so there will be no need for lamps or even the sun! For the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign for ever.

Much of Revelation is very difficult to understand. But remember an angel told John all he has seen and heard is trustworthy and true.

We are at the tail end of the Bible, and Jesus Himself says these things: He is coming soon, and blessed are those who obey the prophecies written in this book. I believe He is talking about the prophecies told to the seven churches in Revelation 1:4 through Revelation 3:22.

He also says He is coming soon and will bring His reward to repay everyone according to what he or she has done. After all, He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (or the A and Z), the First and the Last. He was in the beginning in Genesis 1:1 as explained in John 1:1-14 and after the Amen in the end of Revelation 22:21. He has known everybody, past and present.

Jesus says also says, He is the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. In other words He created man, and therefor King David, and and He is also the descendant of King David. We just celebrated His birth a few days ago on December 25th.

Now for Revelation 22:14-15. I have so many thoughts about this. I don’t know where to begin or even if I should. It would take way too must space and time. And if I get it wrong… that would be very bad.

So much of prophecy is a mystery because we’ve never seen it. I have read in commentaries at times that Israel and Jerusalem must be a spiritual place or an idea. They thought this because for over 2000 years there was no Israel. But there is now.

A few weeks ago, like myself, many of you bought and paid for your Christmas gifts in you home and maybe even in your pajamas. You mailed no letters and wrote no checks. You did not make any phone calls or even looked at a paper catalog. But you still picked out a gift and even paid for it. Today because of the Internet, this is no big deal. Yet fifty years ago, people would have no understanding of this paragraph. Prophecies in the Bible are the same way. They have to be seen first to be fully understood.

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas (I would have taken more, but the battery in my camera died)

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas (I would have taken more, but the battery in my camera died)

Revelation 22:17-19 is both a welcome and a very stern warning. Basically it says, if you change anything, you’re in trouble. I do not want to be in trouble. I have prayed for wisdom the whole time while writing the Revelation series. This is way so often I have been saying that I am not trained in this. This is also why I have often told you to read, and to check this out for yourself. I want nobody to be misled on account of me. (I don’t want you to be misled at all) So please pick up a Bible and read Revelation yourself. It won’t take long. You may agree with me or disagree. Just read.

Remember Revelation 22:20. Jesus said He’s coming soon.

And now for the last verse: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

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Non-Hearing Christmas

Hearing Loss Symbol

Hearing Loss Symbol

I should have written this before Thanksgiving, but I didn’t. Oh well. Christmas, New Years, and yes, even Thanksgiving, though it has already past; is a time for family and friends to be together. A lot of people have a slight hearing problem. But there are a few that have a big hearing problem. Maybe even deaf. But that’s OK. All of you can still have a Merry Christmas. You just need to know how to communicate.

First relax. Don’t let them just sit in the corner somewhere. Interact with them. Treat them like you would anyone else, almost.

As someone with a hearing loss myself, I’ll say, look at us when you talk. And when you talk, do as my wife does and project your voice. But do not exaggerate your speech. In other words don’t TAAALLK LLLIIIKE THTHTHIISSS. I don’t know what you’ll look like, but some people when they do that, look like they’re trying to make out with a fish. Please do not be a ‘Fish Kisser’.

Another thing is let us see your face. Your full face. Don’t sit in the shadows looking out. Most likely, you are NOT a cold war secret agent. We know who you are. Well someone does. Here are the lyrics and song of Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers in 1966. Somehow this song doesn’t seem very Christmasy. Can you imagine Christmas carolers singing this song? Also, I wonder what kind of ‘secret agent spy stuff’ Santa Claus uses in the song Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

The best conditions for communicating is in a quiet setting. But that’s very unrealistic in a family holiday gathering. So be patient with us. After all we’re patient with you. Usually.

My hearing loss is different than most. I hear, but I still miss things. The best way to describe it is like having hearing ears but a deaf brain. Yet I have 14 years of the United States military service.

For many years I went with my wife to hear the entire Handel’s Messiah. I didn’t like it. All I heard was two and a half hours of Tarzan calls. And without seeing Tarzan wrestling with alligators and fighting lions, I’d get bored. But for my wife, I went.

Then when I was writing my post Revelation 19 I found this video with words to the “Hallelujah Chorus”. I was absolutely, totally amazed at what I saw. I had no clue of what I wasn’t hearing.

So far in this post, I have the Secret Agent Man song, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, so how about a few more, with the lyrics of course.

O Holy Night
Mary Did You Know
Silent Night
Go Tell It On The Mountain

Merry Christmas

Revelation 21:8-27

Revelation 21:1-7 talks about a new creation for God’s people. But who are God’s people? To the horror and disappointment to some, it will not include everyone. Far from it. Revelation 21:8 has a list of those who will not make it into the next life in the new world. It includes cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars. These people will go into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

I know many people will say, “Oh I believe.” Good, but what do you believe? Jesus is not just nice guy, or just a prophet. He is not at all like Buddha. He is Lord. He has authority over everyone and everything. And God is not some cosmic consciousness. The God of Israel is a very real and mighty God. He can do anything He wants. And He has.

I have heard that if you’re good and kind, you’ll have life after death. Well, you may think you can earn you way into Heaven, but you can’t. God’s standards are way too high. We can never make it on our own. It is impossible. However, there is good news though. God loves people so much that He sent His son to pay our way. Jesus died on a cross to pay for our sins. Then He rose from the dead, physically, then some time later He went up into Heaven.

Remember, For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

It is through His grace that we may have eternal life, and that is why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord.

The rest of the chapter, Revelation 21:9-27 talks about the Jerusalem. It is described as the bride or the wife of the Lamb. I have read in several commentaries that Christians are the bride of Christ. And I agree with that. However this time I do believe this is a building. A very large building. In fact it’s 1400 miles by 1400 miles. (2253 kilometers by 2253 kilometers) That’s an amazing 1,960,000 square miles! (5,076,377 square kilometers) To give you an idea how big an area this is, Australia is 2,969,907 sq mi (7,692,024 sq km), and the United States total area: 3,794,083 square miles (9,826,630 sq km).

Imagine being able to look down and see the International Space Station – NASA

Imagine being able to look down and see the International Space Station – NASA

Revelation 21:16-17 says that the walls of Jerusalem were 216 feet (66 meters) and 1400 miles tall. (2253 kilometers) The International Space Station is only about 240 miles (386 kilometers) up. Imagine being able to look down at the space station. Of course the space station won’t be around then.

Now I know some of you will say all this is crazy, because the size of Jerusalem would throw the whole earth out of balance. OK. But if God can create the smallest sub-atomic particles, link them together to build atoms, then molecules, then planets, living animals, and plants; don’t you think He would know enough to offset the axis of the earth to keep it balanced???

Anyway, Revelation 21:10-21 goes in the detail of what Jerusalem will look like. To us at this point in time, this seems strange and almost unbelievable. Keep in mind that 100 years ago people most likely wondered about Israel being mentioned in the Bible when talking about end times. After all, there was no Israel for maybe 2700 years. How could they possibly make sense of this? But now there is Israel and it’s in the news often.

There is a lot going on in Revelation 21:22-27. First God and the Lamb are the temple, and the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light. The rest of the chapter is interesting in that there are nations. Plural. And if there are different nations, then there will be different governments and different cultures. And all will be good. Even in a single country there could be different governments. For an example, in the United States, Louisiana and Alaska are the only two states that do not have counties. Louisiana has parishes and Alaska has boroughs and census areas instead.

Another thing I find interesting is that Revelation 21:27 says: Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This makes it sound like there could be other people who are not God’s people around still. However I don’t believe there will be because of Revelation 21:8. Besides, if there were bad people then, it would go against the first part of Revelation 21.

There is only one more chapter left in Revelation. It’ll tell more about the new world, and I’ll tell you why I have been so detailed about what I have been writing. And please, please check out everything I say. Remember I am not trained in this. I am a mechanic. So until next time…

Merry Christmas

What do you do when you hear Happy Holidays at the store? Do you just let it go, or do you complain to the management? Do you answer back with a Merry Christmas?

I myself just say Merry Christmas back to them. I have found that even though they don’t or can’t say Merry Christmas to you, they will most likely enjoy hearing it. Even those who don’t celebrate Christmas will often take it as a good will jester. So go say Merry Christmas.

Now for an off-beat Christmas story. For over twenty years I have had a beard. Sometimes it’s trimmed and sometimes it needs trimming. And although it used to be dark, it’s not anymore. It’s gray. My wife says it’s because I’m getting old.

One summer day, maybe July, when my beard was a little longer than it should be, (when you’re a self employed mechanic, you can do this.) I was in the store shopping. When I went around the corner of the aisle a small boy of maybe 4 or 5 years old saw me, and cried out, “Santa Claus”.

And to that I quickly said, “Yeah and I’m here to see if you have been naughty or nice.” The kid was shocked and greatly shaken up. He quickly ran off to his mom.

I don’t know who this boy was. I’ve never seen him before. But I bet you he was most likely the best behaved kid for the rest of the day.

Have fun this Christmas and remember whose birthday we’re celebrating.

The real Christmas story.

Luke 2:1-40

Merry Christmas

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