Martyrs, Judging, and Avenging…Oh My! ~ Part 6

“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sister – their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred – had joined them.” Revelation 6:9-11

The Lamb who is worthy breaks the fifth seal. The scene of the previous seals is played out on earth but this scene shifts to heaven, specifically the temple of heaven. Expositors says this is mostly likely the golden altar of incense (Rev. 8:3, 5 9:13). As the martyrs shout out to the Lord for justice does this verse come to mind? “Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice.” (Luke 18:7-8)

The fifth seal changes from horseman to martyred saints. A martyr is someone who is killed because of their beliefs. Revelation 20:4 speaks of martyrs, “people who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God’s word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands.”

The martyred address God as “Sovereign Lord”. Here, this word implies “ownership”. They shouted for God to judge the people who belong to this world for what they had done to them and to avenge their blood. The word avenge relates everywhere in Scriptures to the idea of punishment or retribution. These saints follow the teaching of Paul in Romans 12:19, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the LORD.” Further examples are seen in Luke 18:7-8 and 2 Th 1:7-8.

The martyrs were given a white robe as evidence of their righteousness and victory before the Judge of all the earth. Hallelujah! They are told to rest (not wait) a little while longer until the full number of martyrs is completed. The predestined number indicates there is a call on our lives. We do not yet know how it will play out but this we know for certain…if we are destined to be God’s martyr than a martyr we will be. If we are in the will of God, we will know when the time is upon us and what our role will be. We shall pray for the grace to honor Him even to the death! Revelation 13:10 says, “Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.” We have the Spirit of the living God residing in us! We MUST endure and we MUST remain faithful at ALL times and in ALL situations. If we are faced with hardship, lack, doubts, and fears in our present situations and we are not handling it well, how can we ever expect to endure in the tribulation? Fellow DIVAs, it is time for us to pick up our swords (word of God) and fight our weak and rebellious flesh, insisting it be in compliance with the Word!! We know our pressure points. With divine counsel and victorious confidence we shall stop allowing our weak flesh the right-of-way! If in this season of comfort, we are unable to allow the Sword to crucify the flesh and follow Jesus on His path, how will we ever do it in a season of woes? The plan is to train our flesh NOW under the guidance of our powerful Lord so that we most assuredly are ready to face our current and our final trial with valiance! Is there an athlete who wins without training? Who is willing to lay aside the many obstacles we yield to and pick up their swords? Spiritually speaking, if you worship the work of your own hands, then allow your hand to experience the sword. “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.” (Mark 9:47-48)

A white robe was given to the martyrs and they were told to rest a little longer. I love that it says they are told to rest a little longer. To me, this shows they are not resting forever because soon they will be very active! The white robe is very significant. An angel of the Lord in Matthew 28:3 was also wearing one. “His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was a white as snow” (Matthew 28:3). In Revelation 3:4-5 the Lord says that there are a few who “have not defiled their clothes and they will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy” He also says the VICTOR will be dressed in white clothes. When heaven opens and the Faithful and True rider on the white horse comes out the armies in heaven will be following Him on white horses wearing pure white linen. When this happens a sharp sword will come from His mouth and He will strike the nations with it! This world will be judged! The sword is the Word and He will judge the world by the Word (see also Rev. 19:15, 19:21, Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17, Luke 2:35)

Righteous Judge, we will follow you in life and we will follow you in death. We will praise your name in life and we will praise it in death. We choose to live life unafraid. Perfect love cast out all fear. All praise and glory and honor to the One who is worthy to open the fifth seal. Amen and Amen.

Are you willing to pick up the Sword God has made available to you and crucify the flesh and its desires and prepare yourself to be a VICTOR in the army of the living God?! If you are bold enough, include your name in the comment section as your own witness. I will go first. Thank you Lord for the opportunity for bravery.

Here is another song we thought would bless you.

In His grace,
Amanda

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Come! And Discern the Truth ~ Part 5

“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8

John looked, and there was a pale green horse. This yellowish green color would describe the paleness of the dead. It probably refers to the death brought by pestilence, or plague, which often follows famine (as suggested from the 3rd seal). The growth of intensity in the judgments goes from the sword, to famine, to plague, and now to the wild beasts of the earth. (Some similarities are seen in Jeremiah 14:12, Ezekiel 5:17, 14:21, Luke 21:11.)

Will you join me in prayerfully considering an application of this verse in our lives?  Please comment if you discern other applications!  There are many.

I have always been perplexed to see adults purchasing and children playing with dolls of this color. It is a ‘monster’ theme and the dolls I suppose were cute in every respect except their pale green skin color. I imagine it is the same idea of parents giving their children ‘cute’ dolls to play with that look like witches. These items are marketed to appear innocent, cute, and harmless. It would be a difficult sale if the monsters and witches were ugly and scary but does it really change the meaning? Let’s discern and be diligent about what we are purchasing and bringing into our households. While we are at it let’s also consider the Monster drink. A friend showed me a video (I have included the title if you care to view it) that outlines research someone did on the drink. (YouTube:  MONSTER Energy drinks are the work of SATAN)  Whether you agree or not, our goal is to discern what is put before our eyes.

In the midst of all this I love Revelation 5:10, “You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Expositors explains it beautifully. “The Lamb’s right to open the scroll rests also on his having made the ransomed into a ‘kingdom’ and his making them ‘priests’ to serve God in praise. Christians ‘will reign on the earth’ with Christ because they have been given kingly authority through his death. While not excluding the present reign of believers, the reference to ‘the earth’ is best taken to refer to the future eschatological kingdom reign of Christ.” We will reign in the future but we also reign in the present. If not, Jesus would have completed His mission on the cross and our time under the sun would have been over. That was not the divine plan. We were to remain here on earth to live in POWER and REIGN over every form of ungodliness. As we experience this season of foundational shaking we are purposed to live NOTHING LESS than a victoriously powerful life by being in full submission to Jesus Christ.

Let’s prayerfully consider this verse in light of reading the Seals of Revelation. Abraham is speaking to the LORD as the LORD has brought Abraham into his counsel regarding the destruction of Sodom. Abraham asks, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (Genesis 18:23) He speaks again in verse 25, “You could not possibly do such a thing; to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possible do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). His thinking is the same, His emotions are the same, His priorities are the same, and His love is the same. The LORD is sovereign (1 Tim. 6:15). Let’s consider the righteous and the wicked. The righteous’ ways of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore need no rectification in the heart or life. They are in ‘right standing’ with God. The wicked are evil or morally bad in principle or practice, sinful, malicious, spiteful, ill-natured, and iniquitous. We can not control events but we can control whether we are righteous or wicked. In Revelation 16:5 the Lord is referred to as “righteous, who is and who was, the Holy One, for You have decided these things.” Indeed He has. Thank you Judge of all the earth for considering Your possession during these times. We gladly choose to keep our feet on the path of righteousness.

Don’t forget to check out Guest Writers under ‘pages’!

In His grace,
Amanda

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The ‘Balanced’ Life ~ Part 4

“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a set of scales in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius – but do not harm the olive oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6

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Will you join me in prayerfully considering these verses?  Don’t forget to read part 1,2, and 3 for further understanding!

The voice that comes from among the four living creatures announces the price of a quart of wheat, indicating that food will be scarce and expensive probably due to severe drought. A denarius was the normal day’s wage of the common laborer. A quart of wheat (necessary for bread) was typically enough for a meal for one man. Barely (necessary for porridge and the stalk was for feeding animals) was usually considered inferior and used as food for livestock. The vision shows that a man working all day would only have enough for himself. Since food for the non-laborer usually comes from the excess of the laborer what will become of those in need as well as the animals? Nonessentials like wine and oil apparently will still be available.

According to Vincent’s word studies, “a balance is anything which joins two bodies, hence a yoke.” It is also the beam of the balance, and hence the balance itself. “The judgement of this seal is scarcity, of which the balance is a symbol, representing the time when food is doled out by weight.” Leviticus 26:26 gives us an example of a time when there was a ration of food and it was therefore weighed for each person. “When I cut off your supply of bread, 10 women will bake your bread in a single oven and ration out your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied.” (All of Leviticus 26 is interesting to read as we look at the seals) Another example is found in Ezekiel 4:16-17, “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They will anxiously eat bread rationed by weight and in dread drink water by measure. So they will lack bread and water; everyone will be devastated and waste away because of their iniquity.” DIVAs, do you feel compelled to repent of your wrong doing and seek the Lord desiring His paths wholeheartedly?

What if this seal instead represented a spiritual judgment (the lack of nourishment for our souls) as opposed to a physical judgment (the lack of nourishment for our bodies)? Isaiah 55:1 instructs us to, “Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!” When the darkness of ignorance spreads as denoted by the black horse, the knowledge and practice of truth becomes scarce. What if people despised their spiritual food and God justly deprives them of their daily bread (spiritually speaking)? The famine of bread is indeed terrible but is the famine of the Word more more awful? How would you answer?

Thank you Deanna for leading in worship!  We are blessed indeed.

A statement in our feature verses begs the question, “Why are the olives and grapes spared?” Is it the question of poverty vs. wealth? We seem to do a fine job drawing our line between the haves and have-nots and keeping the issues of the have-nots removed from sight. Is there judgment associated with this? Judge our hearts Lord and determine where our true lack is. May the Lord have mercy on us as we repent in our areas of pride and greed.  Or, are we “yoked” together, the have and have-nots, and each will be weighed in the scales of Justice?  Revelation 1:3  tells us, “The one who READS this is blessed, and those who HEAR the words of this prophecy and KEEP what is written in it are blessed, because the time is near!” (emphasis mine) My personal belief is the blessing is that those who read Revelation will be blessed because the season of His coming will be recognized.  However, the Father will bless in whatever way He sees fit!  Could a blessing be that we read the warnings and change?  I think so.

Why do you think the olives and grapes might be spared?  Why do you think about the scales?  Post your thoughts in the comment section!  I want to hear from you♥!

In His grace,
Amanda

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Peace?? Absolutely!!! ~Part 3

“When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its horseman was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.” Revelation 6:3-4

Make sure you have also read part 1 and 2 fellow sojourners, as they have additional information to aid in understanding. Will you join me in prayerfully considering the applications of Revelation 6:3-4 in our lives? Thank you Lord that you reveal all things and you consider and remember those you call Your children. Increase our understanding Lord as we seek Your ways.

The Lamb opened the second seal and John heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Looking to Revelation 4:6 we read that in the throne room of heaven there are four living creatures. These creatures are described as being like a lion, like a calf, like a man, and like a flying eagle (Isaiah 6:2-3, Ezekiel 10:20-22).

We will do well to remember that all authority is given from the sovereign One. His desire is that all are saved and brought to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Because He did not send His Son to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17) he is therefore patient with all because He does not desire any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but delights when someone turns from his own ways and lives (Ezekiel 18:23 and 32, 33:11). Because people will be stubborn at times, they require a demonstration of the results of unrighteousness. God reserves the right to shake ANY foundation we dare step foot on that is not His. He warns us of His plan to shake the earth and the heavens (Hebrews 12:26) and when the time is right the Lamb will open the seals and our foundations will indeed shake. Let us be aware of these things and not slumber! Pray for discernment during this season and for the empowerment to lovingly tell others with powerful words and a demonstration of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4). Amen!

The second horse that rides out in Revelation is a fiery red one. Some say red represents the results of the acts given by the rider to accomplish (bloodshed). He was “empowered” to take peace from the earth and a sword “was given” to him to wage war. I find it interesting that it does not say the rider slaughters by his sword. The wording is, “people slaughter one another”. What a warning! We are ultimately in control of our mouth AND the works of our hands. The enemy of our souls indeed tempts us with his poisonous lies but it is up to us whether we take the bait. “People slaughter one another” and “bite (wound the soul with words) and devour (tear down) one another” (Galatians 5:15). The rest of Galatians says, “watch out or you will be consumed (destroy) by one another! If we are tempted to think we would never pick up the sword so this does not apply to us, please consider the workings of our tongue. After all, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Therefore, let us not praise one moment and curse the next because both of these acts flow from the same vessel. Shall we cleanse our tongues from all unrighteousness so that we can boldly speak the praises of God to one another? Yield your will to the Spirit of God and it will be so!

Whenever someone conquers a nation or nations, some will rebel against the loss of freedom or independence and this typically initiates war. So, following the first seal which brought on a shifting of world power, the rider on the fiery red horse encourages war. The rider is indeed given authority to take peace from the earth but as Christ followers we know that Jesus GAVE us His peace and will not take it from us. The ONLY way we will lose His peace is if we relinquish it by an act of our will. Jesus said Himself, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27). Once Jesus gives it He does NOT take it back. HALLELUJAH!!!

Remember we discussed that the description here in Revelation parallels Matthew 24:6-7. “You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom.” Jesus also says, “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

Let’s also remember Jesus said, “Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” (John 14:27). He love you sweet beloved. Lets also love Him and not let our hearts be troubled or fearful because perfect love cast our fear. Love does not shrink back in fear but shares the truth we know so that others can live. Be bold DIVAs!

In His grace,
Amanda

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