QT – Matthew 2

Vs. 19, “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.” It was tumultous time during the first few years of Jesus’ life…Magi came to visit and Herod plotted to kill the promised Messiah, Joseph, Mary & Jesus had to flee to Egypt of all places, and there was weeping in the land as Herod slaughtered all the boys in the vicinity of Bethleham. Tradition states there were three Magi, but that is actually not supported anywhere in Scripture…they were a sign to all Gentiles that Jesus was not just going to be a King of the Jews. It’s interesting to note that the scribes & teachers of the Law knew the Sciptures…but did nothing about it (vs. 4), it’s one thing to know, it’s all different thing to believe.

Regarding application…Enemies Deceptive Ways. Vs. 7, “Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.” Herod & satan forgot one thing…nothing is secret to God. God chose the right parents in Joseph & Mary to have the courage to obey and protect the very Son of God. Their journey in life was a incredibly arduous but one with many blessings….what an honor to have the priviledge of such an intimate relationship with Jesus. As we know, the enemy wasn’t finished trying to stamp out Jesus and stop us from being saved. May we all desire to live out the truth and integrity that God has called us heavenward!

QT – Matthew 1

***We will be going back to Matthew for the start of the school year***

Introduction:
Some scholars believe that Genesis & Matthew are the two key foundational books of the whole Bible! The Jews waited for a King who had been promised centuries before by prophets. They believed that this King would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and establish a new kingdom. As their king, he would rule the world with justice. However, many Jews overlooked prophecies that also spoke of this king as a suffering servant who would be rejected and killed. Author: Matthew (Levi) was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. Once he was a despised tax collector, but his life was changed. Matthew wrote this Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah! As you read this Gospel, listen to Matthew’s clear message: Jesus is the Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords!!! Audience: The Nation Israel…to the Jews. But also to all people!

Vs. 17, “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.” We are reminded that throughout history, God has shown His faithfulness! The enemy perhaps thought he had won over these centuries yet, God would conquer satan even before the birth of Christ….even from the beginning of Abraham and Sarah’s predicament and bad judgment with Hagar. This is a genealogy filled with intrigue and human drama!

Regarding application…God With Us. Vs. 23, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.” Christ is Jesus’ title…Jesus is His name….and Immanuel is God with us. He is the fulfillment of the promise of God’s word…we have the comfort of knowing that we will never be alone, never fear, never feel like we have to explain ourselves. Jesus already knows. That is why we can find joy in the comfort in knowing God is with us! In a world of 6 billion plus…we cans still feel very lonely at times. I urge you to turn to Him each day so the reality of His presence grows sweeter each day.

QT – Revelation 16

The bowls of wrath contain the direct judgment of God upon the world; they are not the result of what people have done or Satan’s influence. Once again, they are very similar to the plagues against Egypt.

1st Bowl
These sores will be worse the leprosy or cancer. It mirrors the sixth plague. It’s interesting to note that God is in control of all such ailments to the body. Whether allowed or because of the result of sin.
2nd Bowl
This bowl turns the seas to blood! Unlike the trumpet that turned 1/3 of the seas to blood, this turns it all to blood. Of course blood signifies death. What once was full of life now becomes full of death.
3rd Bowl
This turns to the rivers to blood & fountains to blood. This is huge because all of the Earth’s water supply is now blood! The evil world shed the blood of God’s people…now God will most definitely bring consequences!
4th Bowl
The sun will scorch people! Yikes! I remember when I was badly sun burnt…It took literraly days for it to heal. This will be quite a painful consequence to say in the least. One biblical commentator mentions this bowl we be a preview of what Hell will be like!
5th Bowl
Now we see the opposite…this bowl will bring darkness to the land. It is possible this darkness will only apply to where the Beast has setup his kingdom. Satan is the prince of darkness, so it is only appropriate that darkness from God be a consequence.
6th Bowl
The Euphrates river will be dried up so that the Kings of the East may come and find passage to eventually fight in the War of all Wars: Armageddon. Who are the Kings of the East? It is the Asian countries that have the largest population in the world. They will come to fight the war against Israel. Satan & his trinity (The antichrist & the false prophet) will assemble this vast army against the Lord. This is also the only passage that has the word Armageddon, although there are many passages that speak of it. Armageddon: Mount of Meggido. Har or Ar = Mountain. Meggido = place of slaughter. It’s location is the plain of Esdraelon. Barak defeated the Canaanites & Gideon defeated the Midianites in this same location. It could be an actual place where the war is done or it can a metaphor for the battles thorughout the tribulation.
7th Bowl
This is the last of the wrath before Jesus comes back! We are near the end of the seven year tribulation. The voice is Jesus (vs. 17) There is a great earthquake that splits Jeursalem into three and destroys the city of Babylon. And we end the last bowl with Hail the size of 100 plus pounds!

Regarding application…God’s Wrath. Vs. 1, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” As William Newell says, “Men who will not be won by grace will never be won at all.” God’s wrath is final…just as Pharoh hardened his heart…the people who live with one more chance…still turn from God. But that time has not yet come to this world. We as God’s light are called to do our part in bringing those whose hearts are hard back to the Lord while we have a chance.

QT – Revelation 15

Besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, this chapter is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation. Before we mention that in greater detail, we are shown once again the believers who died for Jesus’ name in the tribulation. They are singing the song of Moses, probably the same song Moses & the Israelites sang upon crossing the Red Sea. We saw the sea of glass in chapter 4, but this time fire accompanies it. The fire indicating God’s wrath.

The 7 Vials (Bowls)
Satan at this time is pouring out terrible wrath upon believers…the Jews especially, but God will have the last word. While the earthly temple may have been taken over by the beast, the Heavenly temple cannot be touched (vs.5). Seven angels come out ready to bring wrath…7 being the number for completion (not necessarily perfection). The smoke signifies (vs. 8), signifies God’s judgment. A note regarding order of the seven seals, trumpets & vials: Theologian, William R. Newell contends that the first six seals will be broken during the first three and one-half years, and that the seventh seal (which includes the trumpets and vials) covers the last three and one-half years. A world that has rejected the Son of God, must now bear the judgment of sin.

Regarding application…Our Response. “The cause of Christ can be painful and costly. It is about sacrifice. But the sacrifice is motivated by love, not fear. and the love is what sets us free.” Jeanette Thomason. Just look again at the saints from the beginning of this passage. Their response…as well as our response is to glorify & worship our Lord of Lords. Vs. 3, “…Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.” It is not our place to challenge or wonder if God is just…we must believe His ways are right…His ways are just…His ways are marvelous. Our human intellect sometimes wants to think it is higher than God’s. It saddens me to see people who once knew the greatness of God, turn to the world & it’s logic and now they scorn our God & challenge His ways. May the Love & Wrath of God draw us closer, not further from Him! Turn to the Lord today & Worship His Holy Name! Know that we can Trust everything that God will do…no matter how hard it is to understand.

QT – Revelation 14

Vs. 1, “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” In the very midst of such evil chaos that is allowed on the earth at this time, we get a glimpse to see how God’s people are doing in this grave time. We are given a panoramic view of what lies ahead. The events we see with John are events that are to come.
The Lamb & the 144,000
The Lamb of couse is Jesus, Mount Zion is Jerusalem, and 144,000 are the literal Jews chosen by God from chapter 7. This event is probably going to happen in the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth. The purity can apply to both physcial & spiritual meanings. What a site to see & what a beautiful song to be heard one day!
The Three Angels
In the Old Testament God used Angels, in our time Grace…God uses us, in the time to come…God will also use Angels again. The first Angel brings the message of the Eternal Gospel (vs. 6)….too exhort all to look to God who is the Creator & Judge. This is God’s final call to a world who is worshiping the creature (the beast) rather than the Creator (God). The second Angel brings an even that will come in chapter 17 & 18. The fall of Babylon. The orgin of Babylon goes back to the tower of Babel. Babel later became the city of Babylon & in this city many scholars believe Satan has made is earthly headquarters. Babylon does not exist today, though there are rumors of it being rebuilt. Whether Babylon is actually rebuilt…it can be both a physical city as well as a metaphor for evil in this world. The third Angel brings the message of judgment upon those with the Mark of the Beast. Whether the mark is an actual mark or just a metaphor…in the last days, God is making it clear for all that a person MUST make a stand!
The Harvest of the Earth
This indeeds speak of the coming battle of Armageddon. Jesus was once the sower, but now He comes back to reap of the Harvest He had sown. We know that God is patient and wants everyone to come to him (II Peter 3)…but now the times is up. This battle gives us a terrifying picture…Blood will run from nearly 200 miles out of the city of Jerusalem. It is a sad ending to a people who have rebelled from God from the very beginning.

Regarding application…Jesus Perspective. Your view of Jesus should be changing. We mostly know of the Jesus that woudn’t even hurt a pesky fly…but now we see the full revelation of Jesus: A Savior & Judge! We should not refrain from sharing both sides of Jesus…or make any apologies to our non-christian friends about who Jesus really is. The sin of this world and sins of our lives have brought this world to this point. We have all been guilty but the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has covered us from such a destiny. In a world where Christians are choosing to believe in a Jesus that is not from the Bible…we must STAND strong to share with this world what is to come! Our job is to share the message of hope & judgment. Woe to us who would cower from such a responsibilty. In a day where everything is tolerable & permissable…let us worship & live in spirit & in truth!

QT – Revelation 13

We are reaching the climatic moment soon as we are introduced to the two beasts the dragon (satan) brings forth.
The Beast Out of the Sea
First off…these beasts are not animals. This beast is a person. The sea does not mean a literal sea, but the nations of the earth. So the first beast comes from the nations of the earth. This first beast is the Antichrist himself. For the first 3 1/2 years he has presented himself as a man of peace…but the Antichrist was prophecied thousands of years ago by Daniel. The Antichrist is Satan’s superman….his counterfeit Christ. The whole world will worship the beast & the dragon. This is something that Satan has been craving all along.
The Beast Out of the Earth
We are now presented a Satanic trinity. The Dragon (satan), The beast from the sea (Antichrist) and now the False prophet. Some believe the reference to land means Israel. So out of Israel will come a false prophet that is most likely a Jew. It’s basically the Antichrist’s right hand man. The false prophet will duplicate similar miaracles like the two witnesses. His sole purpose (much like the Holy Spirit) will be to point the way to the Antichrist & Dragon.
Mark of the Beast
The False Prophet is the one who orders the image of the Beast made. The Beast will have his image set up in the restored Jewish temple in Jerusalem at this time. This image will literally come to life! It will speak and greatly amaze the world. Both the Beast and his image will speak “great things” and utter blasphemies against God. Worldwide worship is not the only goal of the False Prophet. He will also establish worldwide economic controls. Whatever the mark whether tangilbe or metaphorical…this mark will enable them to buy and sell. Those who do not follow the Beast and who do not have his mark (his name) will suffer greatly. Satan will now have what he has always wanted: the world will be worshiping him, and he will be in complete control of all the kingdoms of the world. What is the meaning of the number of the Beast, 666? It is interesting to note that the first six Roman numerals add up to 666 (I = 1; V = 5; X = 10; L = 50; C = 100; and D = 500). This suggests, of course, the revival of the Roman Empire, but it does not tell us anything about the Beast. Both Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the giant Goliath are identified with the number 6 (Dan. 3:1 and 1 Sam. 17:4–7), indicating that the Beast will be a “superman” in the eyes of the world. We do know that, in both Hebrew and Greek, numbers are made from letters, as in Roman numerals. The numerical value of “Jesus” in Greek is 888. However, it is futile to juggle letters and numbers to try to discover the name of the world ruler.

Six is the number of man. Man was created on the sixth day, and was given six days for labor. The total hours of the day are a multiple of six (4 6 = 24); so are the number of months (2 6 = 12) and the number of minutes (6 10 = 60). The Hebrew OT uses four different words for “man,” and the Greek NT uses two, a total of six. There are six different names for both the serpent and the lion in the OT; both are symbols of Satan. History tells us that the number “six” was used in the secret mystery religions of the East. It seems, then, that the Antichrist’s number “666” represents the highest man can become apart from Christ. He is Satan’s “superman,” his false Christ. Seven is the number of perfection, and this Satan cannot reach.
Regarding application…Knowledge. Vs. 9, “He who has an ear, let him hear…” We begin to see how truly hard tribulation is going to be. This is a hard chapter to understand, but the biggest thing you need remember is not the identity of who this beast is or if you need to avoid the number 666. Rather let us desire Him who is Holy. Back in the day NBC used to do those commericals from NBC with the theme “The More you Know” The whole premise of this is really community outreach by this station. They want to inform people about drugs, family, relationships hoping the more they know, the more better society will be. Likewise…the more we know about Jesus & His full revelation…the more we will live Godly lives for Him! Let us not be people who are scared of such a time, but let us be people who warn others so they may turn from the world to the Lord!

QT – Revelation 12

The focus of this chapter is the final conflict between Israel and Satan after he is cast out of heaven:
The Woman
Who is this is woman? Some have said it must be Mary. However, this woman is not a literal person. This woman is the symbol of the Nation of Israel…for it is Israel that gave birth to Christ (symbolically). Genesis 37:9, gives us some insight as to her identity. In the Old Testament, Israel is pictured as woman & mother (Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 3:6-10).
The Dragon
There seems to be a general consensus from all scholars the Red dragon is Satan himself (vs. 9). Red = Murderer, Dragon = Danger & Power. 1/3 of the stars (vs.4) indicates that he took 1/3 of the angels from heaven. Satan also did indeed try to destroy Jesus.
War in Heaven
This is a spiritual war where Michael the ArchAngel fights against Satan. Up to this point, Satan still had access to God (of course on God’s terms). But now God banishes him from access to the Heaven’s. Satan has done his best to bring about danger & turmoil to God’s people (most notably the Jews). Egypt & Babylon persecuted the Jews…in modern times it was Germany. Satan could not kill the King, so he does his best to kill His offspring. But we see God will protect her (Israel) and we see that after hundreds of years…God has restored Israel as a literal nation once again. Indeed the time is near!

Regarding application…Spiritual War. Vs. 7, “And there was war in heaven…” We are still at War!!! And I’m not talking about Iraq. We are at war with the Red Dragon…Satan himself! We did not call this war…Satan is on the offensive against us. The only thing that can protect you is faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. We bear the full armour of God (eph. 6) and take our own offensive weapon the Word of God! Let us continue to fight the good fight, pray for the nation Israel (for if it were not for her & her faithfulness we would not be here today) and stand firm in our foundation in Jesus! It’s only going to get more difficult as the birth pains of this world increase. In our life endeavor to serve our God…let us strive to lessen the battles that Satan may win and always remember we WILL win the WAR!

QT – Revelation 11

Scripture is being fulfilled as Jesus prophecied of these times in Luke 21:24. We come to the first three and 1/2 years of the seven years of Tribulation. The church is gone and we revert back to the Temple Times of the Old Testament.

The Two Witnesses
We must come to a point where we ask ourselves: Who are theses guys? Of course, their are varying opinions as to who these two are. However, let us not spend too much time speculating…for if God wanted to reveal their true identity, He would have already done so. Some say Elijah & Enoch (the only two to escape physical death)…others say Moses & Elijah (the two at the Mount of Transfiguration). It seems fitting that there are two…for Jesus sent them out in pairs of two & two are the required witnesses according to the Old Testament Law regarding testifying. Elijah is a definite candidate for the Old Testament predicts his return (Malachi 4:5, Matthew 17:11). Some say it will be Elijah & John the Baptist! Elijah the witness to the Old Testament and John the Baptist the witness to the New Testament. It is truly amazing the authority & power God bestows upon these two witnesses. But their purpose is to live up to their name. To be witnesses to God’s power so unsaved Gentiles & Jews will come to the Lord! They will announce to the world of the coming wrath of God. Then God allows the beast (possibly the Antichrist) from the Abyss to come for the Antichrist will not be able to come into the temple and fulfill prophecy if the two witnesses are there. Their death is literally a world celebration for the depraved world…but God will restore them and strike fear in all. And God will bring about the second woe = Great Earthquake that kills 7000 in the city of Jerusalem.

7th Trumpet
The blowing of the 7th trumpet plays a huge role in the Tribulation. For it will usher in the beginnings of the mystery of God & His Kingdom! Jesus will not take control until chapter 19, so this is a proclamation of events to come. Vs. 18, “The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great–and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” This verse outlines the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Nations will become angry and the Antichrist will persecute Jews & new Christians alike. The last half is even worse regarding the sin & depravity, but God will endure & Jesus will be victorious!

Regarding application…Witnesses. We must remember that we too are Witnesses of the Power of God! It seems extraordinary how God protected the two & gave them power not of this world during their ministry. While we may not possess super-human qualities as witnesses of God in the church age of Grace…we still have a God who has chosen to protect us & give us a calling! God protects until He decides for us to go home. Missionaries like Jim Elliiot who died so young still has an impact today…and perhaps more so because of his martyrdom. Either way, God’s power & love are displayed in His witnesses who choose to obey. Remember what Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Ask yourself: Are you truly with all your heart living a life of a Witness? May the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ spur us on towards Godly living!!! Brothers & sisters in Christ…we are reading what will happen one day soon! Let us do our best to be ready when God calls us into action & even calls us home!

QT – Revelation 10

We now come to break between the sixth & seventh trumpet. Vs. 1, “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven…” Who is this angel? Some scholars believe this angel is Jesus…others believe this angel is simply a mighty angel. Either way, you will be in good company. What is the little scroll? It is the same scroll that God the Father had in Revelations 5:1…the same one that Lamb of God took from His hand. The breaking of the seven seals opened the book and the seven trumpets are still part of what is in the book including the seventh that soon will blow. This book holds the judgement of the earth. What about the seven thunders? It is a voice(s) from Heaven. This is the only place in the Book of Revelation where anything is sealed. This is all done to answer the souls under the alter, “How long?”…and now the answer was given (vs.6).

Regarding application…Power of the Word. Vs. 10,”I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.” Likewise…The word of God is full of enjoyment & blessings, but we also feel the burdens of the Word. We are so blessed to see the full revelation of Jesus & what is to come…yet we also see the sufferings that must take place. John heard the message of God through this mighty angel & even literraly ate it! We hear the message of God through sermons, bible studies, QT’s….but we, like John, must metaphorically eat & digest God’s word into our spiritual bodies. “If you conscientiously undertake to walk in the truth revealed, you too will know something of its bitterness. . . . We need the bitter as well as the sweet; and every soul who has walked in the truth, as God has revealed it to him, has found, at last, the blessedness of obedience.” H. A. Ironside.

QT – Revelation 9

5th Trumpet
This star is no ordinary star…in fact this star that had fallen from the Heaven’s is in fact: Satan himself. God would permit Satan temporary control over the Abyss…not Hell, but a temporary hell. The Locusts will not be allowed to touch the chosen by God, but will torment many. They are led by a demon named Abaddon (destruction)…probably one of Satan’s right hand demons.
6th Trumpet
The releasing of these four angels (fallen angels…demons) mark this trumpet. The significance of the Euphrates river cannot be overlooked. It flowed from the Garden of Eden, sin was born here, the first murder of Abel was near hear, the flood began here, the tower of Babel began here, Babylon (epitome of pagan evil) was built here, and now one of the final surges of sin & consequences will start here. We already saw 1/4 of humankind killed…now we see 1/3. That’s over half of the population of the Earth, not to mention the Christians who are raptured before this all begins. The army led by these angels is a staggering 200 million! That’s one immense army!

Regarding application…Hardened Heart. vs. 20, “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent…” Stunning to say the least. Understand that they were spared out of God’s mercy…yet the still would not turn to Him. God will shell out even worse to those whose hearts are hardened like stone. It’s hard to imagine such a sight…yet we must! Though many of us come from small churches we have been called to do a God-sized job! We may not have the opportunity to save the world, we can do our part with where God has us now! In our schools, in our homes, and even in our churches! Think about those who still need to know of God’s love so that they will not have to go through such horrific events! In fact, this is a command from Jesus Chirst Himself. (Matt. 28, Acts 1). This world and this life we have are bigger than our little worries of school, work, future, career, etc. Let’s look at this life through the eyes of our Lord!