Journal Rev 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “When he [Jesus, the Lamb] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” Rev 6:9-11
Observation: I can get caught up with the attempt to decipher the images or I can recognize certain aspects of the passage(s) that look plain enough to understand…
Application: I am not a Revelation scholar; I don’t pretend to be.
I hold an opinion that many of those that call themselves “Revelation scholars” aren’t either. It is the reason that I hold these principles highly:
- I am a plain text reader. Just like what the US Constitution says is what it means, I am currently of the “no more, no less” scholar branch in my life…
- Having “insight” is tricky and difficult to support in a rigid scholarly manner, even if I maintain, “the Holy Spirit showed me…” After all, there are 2,200 years of shoulders to stand upon in the Christian church and I should keep that in mind when I have a “revelation…”
- “I don’t know, it is a mystery”, is a valid position to take (theologically speaking) and it is supported and mandated by Deut 29:29,
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Therefore, I think I see these things:
- Recognizing the Sovereignty of God in all aspects of my life is important. It is testified that the martyrs thought and acted so, it should be in my life as well, and just not in my talk. I must refer to the testimony concerning the churches previously: Is losing that embraceable sense (not just verbalizing a flip saying) a part of the issues that those churches had negatively?
- There is another clue published of God’s Sovereignty in election: “…until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete…” Somehow, God knows who, what circumstances, and when. Logical when I think that God is Omniscient throughout time and space, being Eternal and all that. Surrendering to that principle makes a huge difference in my personal theology.
- Jesus is our avenger…but will he choose (as only He can) to avenge in this life, or the next? Enduring to the end is a Christian’s mandate, privilege, and reward:
“…if we endure, we will also reign with him…” 2 Tim 2:10
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering… 2 Tim 4:5
“It is for discipline that you have to (must) endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” Heb 12:7
Considering the above, I am challenged again. I became a Christian in an era where the “Commie menace” was palatable. “Would I confess Christ in the face of a firing squad? You bet I would…” Theatrical, I know and see from my privileged perch looking backward.
There are those in this world who see this “perch” as their reality of the day; martyrs that we never see, never hear about, and hardly pray for.
I appreciate the blessings that God graciously gives; I am aware that these are gifts, not rights. My “right” before God is that I deserve His Wrath, his Justified Wrath. His “Gift” is the Blood, the Propitiation, the Atonement of the Son on my behalf.
I recognize this “Gift” will not be taken away. But I cannot “claim” anything resulting from it as a “right” to possess—it is always a Gift.
Prayer: Father, why do I wander in journalling? Started with Revelation things/principles and precepts and ends with the Gospel.
Probably because all the Trinitarian Plan of the Gospel was placed into action from before Time began, I suppose.
Ricky Two Shoes