YOUR Final Thoughts on BSF’s Study of Revelation

Hey all!

It’s been suggested to me to gather thoughts, ideas, comments, concerns, questions, etc on BSF’s Study of Revelation.  I’ve posted some specific questions on the Side Bar if you are interested in participating in those.  Also, I did a survey in November and asked what you all thought so far.  Those results are HERE if interested.

Please post in the comment section.  Any thing goes as long as it’s in a Godly-way.  Some suggestions have been:  what did you like most about the study; what did you like the least about the study; what changes would you make for the next go around; how would you rate the questions, the discussion, the leaders, your group; did you grow with God because of this study; was it worth your time and effort, etc.

Love to all!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 30: All Days

Since the last lesson of BSF is always personal questions, I just sum up my answers.

I’ve learned a lot about the End Times, who’s going to heaven and who’s not, Satan and his methods to deceive the saved, God’s faithfulness, timing, and goodness, and the importance of Jesus.  Jesus is paramount in God’s plan for this world.  He’s the linchpin.

Overall, the study was great.  Great discussions in my small group.  Great questions.  Great material.  Great God who showed up in the midst of it.

Some repetition that some liked and others didn’t.  Could have delved deeper into the differing End Times eschatological views.  Could have gone deeper into the possible meanings of symbols and passages.

My love for God has deepened as I’ve learned just how much God loves us by sending His son to die for us and planning a home for us in the future.  He is good despite what society says.

Not for sure if I see yet how this study has impacted me and God’s will for my life.  Some changes don’t show up immediately and because we are so close to ourselves often we don’t see it.

It has been a blessing to study alongside you all and listen to your thoughts on the material.  I hope I have broadened the base of discussion just a tiny bit.  I will miss you all and be praying for you during the summer.

God bless you all on your summer break and we’ll see you all in the Fall for the study of John!

One Defining Moment

One Defining Moment

One defining moment in each of our lives
That make our life have purpose, that make us feel alive
One defining moment which way before our birth,
God has a plan for each of us so we may feel our worth

One defining moment we fit into his plan, the one we were
created for, there’s one for each born man…

Sometimes when we are open, we may be truly blessed,
To know that one small moment, that brings us happiness
One defining moment and sometimes there may be more
If you’re open to the master’s call, help me Lord, not to ignore

Sometimes we may be open and sometimes if we are not
God uses us to help another fill their special spot
So on the days you wonder, why you have been brought here,
That one defining moment will help to make it clear.

By :
Marcie Wert

Comment on One Defining Moment
I remember my one defining moment. I had opened a Bible for the first
time when I was living in Belize. I remember becoming interested but I
was still a skeptic. My first prayer was to ask God “I want out of this
jungle, help me find a way back to the U.S.” That was my first tour in
Belize.                          .

He answered my prayer, we came back to a beautiful home, I started a
ladies accessory shop. I was living the American dream. I kept reading the
Bible, seeking, knowing that there was so much that I needed to learn.
I was frustrated but I kept seeking.

One day, something happened. It is hard to put into words. I didn’t hear his
voice, I didn’t feel him touch me but I felt his presence. I felt his love.
A silent voice said “I am with you always”. Silent because the words I
heard did not come from me, I did not know that the verse was in the
Bible. The other thing that happened, all at the same time was that my
heart leaped. All was unexpected.

That was my defining moment. I have since had many moments with the
Lord, but that was the first. I became a believer, after feeling that presence,
that love, my whole life changed.

Do I still sin? Yes, but that voice that I heard “I am with you always”
makes me run back and confess. That was almost 50 years ago. In all that
time he has been faithful even when I wasn’t.

You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart
–Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 5: Revelation 22:6-21

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming and John falls at the feet of the angel to worship it (he did this in Revelation 19:10). The angel told John to tell others of what he has seen and heard and to let them continue to do wrong or good as they are doing.  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done. He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End. Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life. Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods. Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride. A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation. Jesus is coming soon. Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It really doesn’t.  I plan to do what I normally do:  tell others as God leads me.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t know.  Too soon to tell.

Conclusions:  Filler.

End Notes:  See previous days.

Conclusions to Lesson 29:  What words of hope and encouragement.  Jesus is coming.  All should be ready.  Hold fast.  Reflective lesson leading up to Lesson 30, our last lesson where we’ll be asked what has changed within us.  This is always hard to answers for little changes we don’t see but others do.  I’d wait 6 months and then ask someone close to you if something has changed.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 4: Revelation 22:17-21

Summary of passage:  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride.  A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Jesus is coming soon.  Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

9a)  The invitation is to all to accept Jesus as Savior.  It is open to all.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am thirsting for Him more.  For His world here.  For His presence more in my life.

10)  So nothing is twisted to mean something else.  God wants all to know the promises for the believers and the consequences for the nonbelievers.  No sugar-coating going on here.  All need to know the Truth.  Whoever changes it, corrupts His word and leads others astray.

Conclusions:  I love the ending!  A final invitation to God’s world and eternal life with Him.  A reminder Jesus is coming soon.  And a prayer for us!  His grace be with us!  Awesome!

End Notes:   Is this an invitation to Jesus, asking Him to return? Or is it an invitation to those with a spiritual thirst to come to Jesus? Either sense is certainly true.  Isaiah 55:1 echoes this invitation.

All you need is the desire to have Jesus in your heart.  Come and God will do the rest.  There is no bringing anything to God or giving.  It’s HIM doing the giving.  All you have to do is accept.  This is the greatest invitation you’ll ever receive.

The warning is either Jesus, the angel, or John.  It is not clear who is speaking here.

God’s word is holy and must not be altered. 2 Peter 3:16 says those who do face destruction.

“Come, Lord Jesus” in verse 20 is a common Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: Maranatha!  Should be our cry today!

Will the End Times be in our times?  Only God knows.  It is our job to be ready.  God has the rest.

Note:  it’s a cry for Jesus to fix the world.  Man cannot fix it.  It’s man’s fault the world is full of sin.  Despite our noble efforts, we are Fallen.  Only God can catch us and make us whole again.

The word of grace was used by Paul as well to sign off on his letters (1 Corinthians 16:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:18).  In 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18, Paul indicated that this signature – no doubt written with his own hand – was a mark that the letter was genuinely from him.  John is greeting those who will soon be reading his testimony and praying for them as well.

The last verse of the Old Testament contains a curse by the Lord: “Else I will come and strike the land with a  curse. (Malachi 4:6).  The last words of the New Testament speak of grace–the saving grace of Jesus that saves and redeems.  The fading of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.  A curse but a promise fulfilled at the end.

Unforgiveness

Unforgiveness

What is unforgiveness? It’s heavy and it’s cold
The damage that it does to us is like a rock we hold
What matters if we keep the rock? Who cares how much we hate?
The wrong that has been done to me, it wasn’t a mistake…!!!

It isn’t for that person that forgiveness needs to be
It’s for your inner spirit and the way to set you free
If you don’t let go of this, it will bring you down
You will not grow, you cannot love, your spirit will be bound

So anyone you can’t forgive, just give them all to Him
He will take the hurt you feel and heal you from within
I promise you’ll feel better if you do this from the start
Love and peace will fill the space of hatred in your heart…

The action that you need to take is simple and it’s clear
Write the names, say a prayer and leave them all right here…
The fireplace is a perfect way to take the step you need
To rid yourself of the rock you hold and set your spirit free…

By
Marcie Wert

Comments on Unforgiveness

I can relate to this poem. I remember the hateful thoughts, the torture
that I put myself through. I could feel it ruining my health and yet I
wouldn’t let go. I could not do it on my own. But…when I turned and
asked God to help me I was able to forgive and even apologize for
how I had been acting. The actual act was not easy, never excusing
myself or asking for explanations. My flesh screamed to tell her how
she had hurt me. But that would not have been forgiveness.

Was it worth it? The feeling of release and freedom that I felt was an act
of God. That poison that was eating away at me, the bitterness and
resentment disappeared. It was replaced with peace, that peace that
God promises in His Word.

 

The Father will not forgive my sins unless I forgive others. When I let
that sink in I was ready to forgive. I sin everyday, the thought of God
not  listening to me, not forgiving me, that I could not bear.
After that experience I am quick to forgive. It isn’t easy, it hurts, but the
benefits are tremendous.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience.

Like Marcie says in her poem, don’t carry that rock, let it go.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father
will not forgive your sins
–Matthew 6:14-16 (NIV)

 

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 3: Revelation 22:12-16

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done.  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End.  Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life.  Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods.  Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End, the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  The first and the last or alpha and omega because everything starts, ends, and everything in between is his.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end for every Christian.

7a)  Blessed are those who accept Jesus as their Savior and not blessed are those who don’t.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who accept Jesus because he lives inside of me via the Holy Spirit.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray to be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  All personal.  No meat.  I love how Jesus uses all his titles here.  We see most of them in Revelation and throughout the Bible.  It’s a culmination of who he is.

End Notes:  Be ready.  This is stated 3 times in this chapter (verses 7, 12, 20).  It’s meaning is not soon but when they come it will be in rapid succession.  The church and us are meant to be ready always.

“And My reward is with Me.”  The word for “reward” means to “pay for service—good or bad” (more literally, as a “wage”).  Jesus will compensate the saints (Revelation 11:18) as well as the unrighteous (2 Peter 2:12-13).  A believer shall be given the gift of life and rewarded for good works, whereas the unbeliever shall be given the wages of death (Romans 6:23).  There is no partiality with God.  He “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-16).

What you do here matters.

Jesus uses titles normally associated with God.  Alpha and Omega is in Revelation 1:8; 21:6.  The First and the Last is in Isaiah 41:4.  Jesus wants to leave no doubt he is a Triune God.

There is debate about who speaks this last beatitude in Revelation:  John, an angel, or Jesus.

Some versions say blessed are those who do his commandments instead of who wash their robes. The difference stems from a Greek word:  HOIPLUNONTESTASSTOLAS (washed their robes) or
HOIPOIOUNTESTASENTOLAS (do His commandments).  This would be a copyist’s error.  Still, the meaning is clear.  This is the desire of our hearts.  Obviously, we all fail.  But our desire is to keep his commandments and wash our robes.  That is what matters.  The unbeliever has no such desire.

We saw washing of robes in Revelation 7:14 or washing in Jesus’s blood.  It means fully committing to the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives.

Being on the outside is not literal here.  There are not throngs of unbelievers standing outside the New Jerusalem.  It means they are not in the eternal city.  Jesus is making clear one last time who will stand with him and who will stand against him.

Dogs here is a derogatory term for the morally impure or unbelievers (Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2).  Dogs were considered unclean and despised.

Jesus assures us here the Book of Revelation is his word to us, the churches, to be known.

The Root is a Messianic title (Isaiah 11:1).  It shows that Jesus is both the Creator of King David and His descendent.  Jesus spoke this same idea in Matthew 22:41-46.

The Morning Star is another Messianic title from the Old Testament (Numbers 24:17) and the New Testament (Revelation 2:28).  Just as the Morning Star (generally held to be the planet Venus) shines and welcomes the new day, so does Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the first reference to the church since the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.