Revelation Lesson 18 Day 4

Flame

8.  Passages about the suffering of God’s people

Psalm 73:26-28

Our flesh has limited strength. God’s strength has no limitations. He is always faithful.

When I abide and trust in Him, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.” Phil. 4:13

I don’t want to be like those who turn away from God. They will perish.

Those who draw near to Him, He will be a shelter.

If we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. James 4:8

Proverbs 3:11-12

God corrects and disciplines His children because He delights in them.

Romans 5:3-4 NLT

Problems and trials help us develop endurance.

Endurance develops strength of character.

Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

Romans 8:17

Since we are God’s children, we are heirs of God’s glory along with Christ.

If we share in His glory, we also share in His suffering.

Romans 8:26-30

(I backed up two verses because this passage can be taken incorrectly without them.)

This verse isn’t saying that whatever happens to us works out for our good.

The passage is about cooperating with the Spirit’s intercession on our behalf.

The Spirit knows our weaknesses.

We don’t know what we should pray for.

God knows our hearts and what the Spirit is interceding on our behalf.

The Spirit translates our wordless sighs and inner groanings in accordance with God’s will.

The Spirit is always leading us in accordance with God’s will.

We also have to be ones who love God and submit to His calling.

If we instead yield to the devil, we become his slaves. Romans 6:16

“The false teaching that nothing happens to us but what God wills or allows has caused many of us to yield to Satan’s bondage instead of resisting him. (James 4:7). AWMI

We can have confidence that God who is deeply concerned about us and is seeing to it that all things work together as a plan for those who love God.

Philippians 3:2-9

Going back to verse 2, Paul is talking about the religious who wave around their credentials. The religious Judaizers still insisted on circumcising Gentile believers.

Paul says he once prided himself in those same credentials. Now he has thrown them away.

He now realizes,

The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials.

Paul says, “Everything else is worthless compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ my Lord. Phil 3:8 NLT

Paul certainly knows a thing or two about suffering persecution, but he doesn’t seem to be referring to that in this passage.

Hebrews 5:8-9 NLT

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.

Jesus suffered anticipating what He knew was coming. He is our example.

Excellent reference. That says it all.

9.  My times of confusion and doubt

My mom’s death when I was eighteen was a tough season for me.

Early in her illness, she had an experience where the presence of God overwhelmed her. She felt the large tumors in her abdomen melt away.

Those growths never returned, but cancer later returned in her pancreas.

I’m thankful she lived another seven years after she was first sent home to die. That was a major miracle. But at the time, I didn’t understand. I still don’t.

I felt, if anyone deserved to be healed, she did. Everyone loved her. She was a really special woman.

I suffered more than necessary because I didn’t fully trust God to be my comforter. I turned away instead of toward Him.

I tried out the world’s way of living for awhile. It felt so empty, lonely and hopeless. It reminded me of a Woody Allen movie I saw.

Even though I didn’t understand what happened to my family, I knew I didn’t want to live an empty life.

On the cross, Jesus quoted Psalm 22. He said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34

Jesus suffered separation from God for a time. “Since Jesus was dying for our sin as our substitute, He was experiencing the agony of separation from His Father. It was the agony of hell.” Billy Graham

Life has been difficult and often unpleasant, but I’ve continued to seek God in faith. As a teenager, He reminded me over and over — “if you seek Me, you will find Me.”

During prolonged times of suffering or persecution, we may feel like God has forsaken us. But He promised He never will.

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My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 18 Day 4
 
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Revelation Lesson 18 Day 3 Jesus’ Suffering

The Purpose of Jesus Suffering

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6. Jesus’ Suffering

Isaiah 53:10-11

It was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Jesus suffering. NIV (That’s so difficult and painful to take in.)

His life was an offering for sin. NIV

Life will come from it. Life, life, and more life! MSG

He will have many descendants. NLT

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. NLT

Because He willingly bore all of our sins, many will be counted righteous.

 

Matthew 16:21 MSG

Jesus knew God’s plan for Him and told His followers.

He must submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders.

He would be killed.

After three days, He would be raised up.

 

Acts 2:23 NIV

Jesus was handed over by God’s deliberate plan.

With the help of wicked men, He was nailed to a cross and killed.

 

Romans 4:25 NLT

He was handed over to die because of our sins.

He was raised to life to make us right with God.

 

I show my appreciation by

Give thanks.

Praise Him.

Worship Him.

Share the good news.

 

7.  As followers of Jesus, we identify with Him when we remain faithful and endure persecution.

Mark 8:34-38 To be a follower of Jesus

Let Him lead the way. MSG

Be willing to endure whatever (persecution) may come. AMP

What do you benefit if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul? NLT

Don’t be ashamed of Him and His message. NLT

 

Acts 5:41

The apostles were overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the name of Jesus. MSG

 

Philippians 3:10

Become a partner in His suffering, even in His death.

Reward: Come to know Him intimately.

Reward: Experience the power that raised Him from the dead.
I experienced persecution for many years.

At the time, I hadn’t caught on that I should be overjoyed.

So, as an act of my will, I choose to begin now. I will rejoice when the pain of those years comes to mind. I repent for all the years I’ve responded incorrectly. Holy Spirit, remind me. Amen.

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Revelation Lesson 18 Day 2 Suffering

Prayer incense

Genesis 3; Romans 8:18-22

3. Why?  

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:18-22 NLT

The Curse:

Because Adam and Eve sinned, the world suffers the effects of God’s curse. Genesis 3:16-19

Persecution:

Paul endured and persevered through years of persecution. He wrote, “everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. (From Phil. 1:18-21 MSG)

Consequences of giving into temptation:

  • Feeling guilty
  • Punishment, like being fined or arrested
  • Destroyed relationships

4.  Suffering

I’ve rewritten my answer to this question several times today. Thinking about it has left me depressed.

  • Mom in and out of the hospital for seven years before she died when I was 18
  • Five church splits
  • Lots of difficult moves while I was growing up
  • My on-fire-for-God husband quickly lost his zeal after we married. His focus turned to making money, working six and seven days a week. When he was home, he was often exhausted, angry and verbally abusive.
    He persecuted me for seeking God instead of his god—money. I prayed and prayed. I fasted until I lost way too much weight. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown, I think. After twenty-three years, he left.
  • One of my sons attempted suicide when he was away at college. (Thank God for His mercy.)

I can’t say I coped all that well. I pushed myself to stay busy at church, at work, and at home. 

I burned out more than once over the years.

Somewhere I got the impression a Christian’s life was supposed to be easier. That probably caused me more harm than anything.

I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough.

Somehow I felt the challenges were my fault.

I guess I’m finally learning life isn’t supposed to be easy.

Am I developing character in the process? Am I maturing spiritually?

I just remembered something Bill Johnson said, “I’ve never gone in looking to see how I’m doing and come out encouraged.” 

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Psalm 3:3 NLT

5. Hope

I hope I don’t blame God.

I hope I run to Him.

I hope I pursue Him despite dark circumstances. (Where else is there?)

I hope I will worship Him until the prison doors shake open.

No matter what, when the books are opened, my name will be there. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

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Revelation Lesson 17 Day 5 Unholy Trinity

Revelation 13:1-18

Daniel 7

Revelation 13:1-18

12.  a.  The Unholy Trinity

Unholy Trinity

  • The Dragon, Satan The anti-God (Revelation 12)
  • First Beast, The anti-Christ (Revelation 13)
  • Second Beast, False Prophet, The anti-Spirit (Revelation 13)

I keep thinking they are all three wannabes.

For you said to yourself,

   ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.

I will preside on the mountain of the gods

   far away in the north.

I will climb to the highest heavens

   and be like the Most High.’  See Isaiah 14:12-15 NLT (emphasis added)

b.  The second beast had two horns like a lamb.

A counterfeit symbolic of the Lamb of God

c.  Holy Trinity versus the Wannabe Trinity

God is good, loving, all-powerful, lover of peace, compassionate, merciful, healer, deliverer, perfect, holy…

Works of the Holy Trinity

  • Infinite love personified
  • All powerful
  • Prince of Peace
  • Wisdom
  • Truthful
  • Good, compassionate, merciful
  • Healer
  • Deliverer
  • Giver of life
  • Restorer
  • Provider
  • Builds up
  • Denounces idolatry
  • True signs and wonders

Works of the Unholy Trinity

  • Lies and deceit
  • Hatred
  • Evil personified
  • Dissension, war, murder,
  • Bondage
  • Wounds, affliction, humiliation
  • Steals, kills, destroys
  • Tears down
  • Demands idol worship
  • Counterfeit signs and wonders
  • Produces Ishmaels

Colossians 3:15-17

13.  a.  Scriptural warnings against false prophets and counterfeit leaders

Deuteronomy 13:1-4

A false prophet may suggest the worship of other gods.

Mark 13:22-25

For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.

Matthew 7:15-20

  • False prophets seem harmless and sincere. But they are leading others astray; ripping them off in some way. MSG
  • They don’t bear good fruit. Character is more important than charisma. Who they are is more important than what they say. (MSG) Their actions do not agree with what they profess. James 2:17, 20, and 26

Deuteronomy 18:21-22

Their prophecies don’t come to pass. (Sometimes this is a tough one to use as a test. Prophecies like the Messiah’s birth or the number of Abraham’s descendants went unfulfilled for generations.)

Matthew 24:24

Some will falsely claim, “I am the Messiah.”  They are deceived or simply set out to deceive others.

2 Peter 2:1-2, 15

Greed for money and/or power motivates them. Verse 15 compares them to Balaam.

1 John 4:1-3

  • “Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!” MSG

A false prophet may not exhibit all five of these characteristics, and not everyone who exhibits one or two of these characteristics is a false prophet. However, these traits are associated with the false prophets who were identified in the Bible and should be questioned. (Note on Matthew 7:15 AWMI)

b.  Daniel 7:21-22  Focus on The Most High

As I watched, this horn was waging war against God’s holy people and was defeating them, until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom. NLT

Hallelujah, we win!

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Revelation Lesson 17 Day 4 Second Beast

Revelation 13:11-18

marked sealed

Revelation 13:11-18

9.  Type of Power

The Message Bible calls the second beast a puppet and the amplified calls it a false prophet of the first because,

“He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence [when the two are together].” AMP

He had the power to work magical signs, like making fire fall from the sky.

He got the people to make an image of the first beast, and he animated it so that it appeared to talk.

10.  a.  Power of the Second Beast

The purpose of false prophets and fake Messiahs is to deceive even God’s chosen ones. False prophets lie and flaunt their impressive credentials and dazzling performances to deceive. See Mark 13:22

b.  The Beast’s evil power versus God’s holy power

MOSES: God made Moses seem like God to Pharaoh. His brother, Aaron, was his prophet. When God delivered the Israelites out of Pharoah’s clutches, all Egypt knew that their God was the LORD. See Exodus 7:1-5

ELIJAH: Through Elijah, God demonstrated His great power to Jezebel’s prophets of Baal. Elijah prayed and the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood, and even the stones and the dust; it also licked up the water in the trench.  See 1 Kings 18:30-39 NLT

JESUS: When Jesus called Lazarus to come out of the grave, God demonstrated His power and confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. See John 11:41-44

JESUS: “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in the book of John. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.” John 20:30-31 NLT

PETER: Peter explains to the people that what they see happening is the sign prophesied by Joel. He warns that further signs would be seen in Jerusalem before God’s judgment brought destruction to Jerusalem and the temple. Acts 2:19-21

11.  a.  The Mark of the Beast

The second Beast forced everyone to have a mark on the right hand or forehead.

The mark signified allegiance to the beast.

Only those who accepted the mark were allowed to buy or sell anything.

The number is the [imperfect] number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

b.  As followers of Jesus Christ He stamped and sealed us with the promised Holy Spirit.

This seal shows God owns and protects us. AMP

Benefits of Jesus’ Followers

God gives us His Spirit who searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets and wisdom.

Those who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths because it all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it.

We have the mind of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee the he will give us the inheritance he promised.

See Ephesians 1:13-14

c.  Godly Wisdom

I’m not always quick to connect the dots from new information to Scripture. I’m learning to rely on the inner witness of the Holy Spirit to guide me.

I’ve learned that some of what I thought was true was actually religious doctrine. I pray daily that the Spirit of Truth will lead me into ALL truth. 

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