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Posts Tagged ‘Revelation’

Caught up on my Bible reading! Zowie!

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Thankfully, my parents are not offended by my taking our surname in vain. It’s catchy, so no worries. I wish I hadn’t been so shy about that two decades ago when I absolutely insisted–with no success-that my classmates call me Richard and not Zowie. I might as well have asked them to throw away their Van Halen 1984 albums.

So, back to the ranch…

This morning, while doubling my reading in Isaiah and Hebrews, I got caught up on my Bible reading. No more having to read four to six Old Testament chapters a day and no more reading two chapters in the New Testament. I can now focus on quality and not quantity.

I briefly considered keeping my pace so I could read the Bible through twice this year but decided against it and felt it was yet another desperate obstacle of Satan’s to discourage me from reading God’s Word. I take it that The Adversary Formerly Known as Lucifer must not like it when people read in Revelation about his being cast into the lake of fire and how, for the first time ever, he will feel something he won’t like–physical pain. This kind has no morphine to look forward to: it’ll be eternal, excruciating and unspeakably terrible.

So now, I sigh, take a breath and get back into a normal routine. A brochure from the Roloff Homes in Corpus Christi, Texas states the homes had this very strict rule for all its staff and those in its homes: each morning, you begin with devotions. No Bible, no breakfast. No exceptions. Perhaps that is a rule I should modify and implement for myself: No Bible, no internet/facebook/blogging.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Coming soon: my potential adventures serving my church’s library ministry and an interview with an outstanding Christian blogger (no, I won’t be interviewing myself–far from it).

Richard Zowie still has a long way to go as a Christian, but he is getting there. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Today’s Bible reading in 2 Timothy, Isaiah

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I doubled my reading today to get caught up and will be completely back on track by the end of this week–if I stay on top of things and do my Bible reading and don’t fall a willing victim to the Eighth Deadly Sin.

Doubling reading is not something I recommend except for the seasoned, in-shape Bible readers. Otherwise, as you read a passage you’ll see things whiz by and you won’t have the time to study them in-depth. Perhaps in a few years, after I’ve read through the Bible three times, I’ll take my time and read a chapter a day. Or maybe I’ll do my daily reading and then go back to a passage and study it in detail. I counted the amount of passages I read today. By Saturday I’ll be caught up on my Old Testament reading and by Sunday, caught up on the New Testament.

As I read through Isaiah and use a Bible with no commentary, I wonder how much of the judgment God is preparing for the godless nations around Israel is for that time and how much of it is to be fulfilled in the end times. There is mention that the water from both the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea (which the Nile flows into) will become undrinkable…perhaps that’s when God in Revelation turns a third of the ocean water into blood in the second trumpet judgment and then all of the ocean water and then all of the rest of the water into the blood of a dead person during the second and third bowl judgments?

As tough as it is since I’m not a morning person, the morning really is the best time to read God’s Word. The days are stressful enough without starting them talking to God (or as that one PCC floorleader poetically put it, spending time with the “Holy of Holies”) and listening to what He has to say. So often we forget that Bible reading shouldn’t be viewed as something we as Christians have to do, but rather that it’s time we get to spend with a Creator who wants nothing more than to spend time with us and for us to to get to know Him on an intimate basis.

Richard Zowie will turn 30 years old as a Christian in October and was led to the Lord in mid-October 1981 by Pastor Jim Lilley of Kings Row Baptist Church in Alvin, Texas. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Daniel 12: ‘All in good time’

I imagine Daniel must’ve been mentally exhausted at the end of his long life. He saw many visions, some wonderful and others horrifying. He also had to deal with royal egos, not the least among them King Nebuchadnezzar.

Chapter 12 takes place immediately after the events of Chapter 11 and is in itself a separate prophesy.

We learn in this chapter that Michael the Archangel will stand up for the righteous during a time of trouble that the world has never seen. It is possible this is a time of trouble that has taken place, but its wording suggests very strongly to me these are events that will occur in the Book of Revelation.

God’s people will be delivered, those who are found written in the book (my interpretation being the Lamb’s Book of Life) will be delivered, and that delivery is wonderful. The end times will be especially horrible; among many reasons, it’ll be the first time the world has seen what God is like when He is truly angry.

I wonder what went through Daniel’s mind in verse two when he saw the vision of dead people reanimating out of the dust of the earth for their final judgment: the righteous to everlasting life and the unrighteous to shame (their sins and wickedness on open display) and eternal damnation.

Years ago, when Dr. Jack Hyles autographed my Bible, he wrote as his life verse Daniel 12:3. It reads: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (King James Bible)

Sirius, the brightest star visible in our sky.

This tells me that those in heaven who’ve earned rich rewards by becoming godlike and by leading many to Him will not just have glorified bodies, but will shine like the stars in the universe. Our sun. Sirius (the brightest star in our sky), a.k.a., “The Dog Star”. Deneb, Rigel, among a few. Perhaps some righteous souls will even shine like all the stars combined that comprise the Andromeda galaxy.

The Andromeda Galaxy, one of the Milky Way Galaxy’s closest neighbors at about 2.5 million light years away (or, around 150,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles).

Daniel is then instructed by this heavenly being to cease writing and seal his scroll; in the end times, the prophecies would be fulfilled and people would understand. Then, things will indeed be hectic. Many will become very well-versed in the Bible as they seek out God and study what’s going on.

Daniel then saw one more vision, that of two men on different sides of a river. One wonders when things will take place. The other man, who apparently went onto the water, said it would be for a specific appointed time.

I don’t know what it means in verse seven when it says “…he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Perhaps this will mean Israel has been made weak by the antichrist, or maybe it refers to Israel ceasing to become a nation in A.D. 70. I suspect the former.

Daniel wants to know what the end should be and, probably when. He is told, basically, “All in good time.”

In other words: you’ve done a great job, Daniel, but it’s not for you to know…yet. When the time is ready, your physical body shall be resurrected and reunited with your soul and you will know.

Many will be made righteous and will be purified, but not the wicked, who will not understand.

Daniel does learn that the time that passes between the ending of the daily sacrifice and the abomination of desolation (when, I suspect, the antichrist will defile the Temple of God) shall be 1,290 days (about 3.5 years) while those who endure and arrive at the 1,335 days (a little longer than 3.5 years) shall be blessed. I suspect the first set of days refers to the first half called the Tribulation while the second half refers to the Great Tribulation when things really start getting ugly.

To close out this book, Daniel is told to go his way, rest and then arise again at the end. I suspect this means that Daniel died shortly after recording this twelfth and final chapter of the book.

Next, we move on to Hosea, a prophet who must’ve thought God was joking when He told Hosea to marry a prostitute.

Richard Zowie is going through the Bible in his Richard’s Two Shekels blog when not commenting on Christian issues or blogging about his Christian walk. Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Daniel 9: Humble prayer and explanation of 70 weeks

March 23, 2010 2 comments

After far too many days, I spent time this morning getting back into reading God’s Word. It was a glass of ice-cold, freshly-brewed tea. When I think of my own struggles walking with God and why it seems so hard for Christians to stay on the path of righteousness, the answer to “why?” is simple: they either neglected or misinterpreted the Bible and got out of fellowship with God. From there, the many other problems surfaced.

This chapter covers events that took place during the reign of Darius, meaning we can close the door on Belshazzar and his Reign of Error. During his study time, Daniel studied the Hebrew prophets. Troubled by the mention of 70 weeks God had previously spoken about to the prophet Jeremiah, Daniel prayed for understanding. He wanted to understand what Jeremiah meant when he wrote “Seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”

There are two things I find interesting: One, that Daniel would have access to the writings of the prophets (for some odd reason, I’d always assumed they’d been left behind in Jerusalem). I suspect it was either smuggled or Daniel was able to use his influence to have a copy brought from back home. Or perhaps he’d built up such a stellar reputation that he was able to study the sacred writings without interference.

Second, his prayer. Here’s a prophet who had lots of political power and had no doubt become a respected person with his ability to understand and interpret dreams. As we learned earlier in this book, Daniel’s reputation, both personal and professional, was impeccable. Yet his prayer suggested great humility on his part. His prayer was somewhat of a historical record of Israel’s continued disobedience towards God. He recalled all the blessings and mercies and how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and gave them their own home.

And so, he prayed for God to help him understand the 70 weeks. God sent the angel Gabriel to reveal the interpretation.

In verse 24, Gabriel told Daniel the 70 weeks are meant to complete the transgression of the people, end the sins and to “make reconciliation for iniquity” along with ushering in eternal righteousness, “seal[ing] up the vision and prophecy” and bringing honor to God.

Here’s one chart that “explains” the 70 weeks.

Again, my understanding is from a lay perspective, but it looks like the 70 weeks apply to several future times. One, the return to and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. Two, Jesus’ crucifixion and, three, the end times. Gabriel said the end would be with a flood, and that the Messiah would cause sacrifices and oblation to discontinue. This sounds like something that has not happened yet.

Some say 70 weeks could actually represent hundreds of years. Who knows for sure.

Here’s another chart. Same basic idea, different layout.

Perhaps the next time I read Daniel 9 in a year or so, I’ll have more to add.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian since 1981. He had a reassurance of salvation in 1984 and has actually been baptized twice–first in 1981 and then in 1990 for his reassurance of salvation. Whenever Satan tries to remind Richard of his past, Richard gladly likes to tell Satan, “Hey, Satan, don’t you have an eternity in the lake of fire to get ready for?”. Post comments here or e-mail Richard at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Daniel 7: the visions begin

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I read this passage of Scripture this afternoon after finishing work at the gas station and after going with my wife and two youngest sons to a park where the boys could sled down a hill (an activity I passed on this time). It was around 30 outside, but for some reason I felt very cold. Took a long, very hot shower when I got home and settled down to read the Word.

It’s been a long time–too long, in fact–since I last visited Daniel 7.

I must admit I struggled with this passage. Not that I disagreed with it (I didn’t), but because I’m not an eschatologist, some references will take some research to grasp.

We notice that this passage chronologically took place earlier than Daniel 6, when Babylonian second-in-command Belshazzar was terrified as he saw hands spelling out his doom on the wall. We presume that Daniel, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, felt it was best to keep the prophetic visions grouped together later in the book.

Daniel also apparently felt it was better to keep these visions to himself, writing them down for later generations to read. What he saw, no doubt, troubled him. I suspect he saw visions of events happening in the distant future, and he, like John would in Revelation, described the best he could things he had limited understanding of. Imagine William Shakespeare describing someone talking on a cell phone or updating their Twitter account.

In this vision, he (Daniel, not Bill Shakespeare) saw four beasts arising from the sea. They looked very creepy and surreal: a lion with birdlike wings that looked plucked, a bear with three ribs in its teeth, a leopard with four heads and wings like a bird, and a terrible-looking creature with iron teeth. Daniel also reported seeing a little horn that many believe is a reference to the antichrist. He also reported seeing the “Son of God”.

Reading the passage, I think it’s possible Daniel saw visions of the the antichrist’s rise to power, the Great Tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, Glorious Appearing and the Millennial Reign of Jesus. I could be wrong; further study, reading and maturing in the faith will tell for sure.

All I know for sure is that the dream troubled Daniel greatly. It makes you think: while Jesus will win at the end, the earth has yet to see what God is really like when He’s really angry.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian since 1981 and a blogger since 2007. He regrets not having discovered blogging sooner. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Revelation and the anti-Christ

January 31, 2009 Leave a comment

We’re currently studying Revelation in Sunday School class. Great class. It’s made me think about who the anti-Christ will be. The Bible tells us that he will have the number 666.

Some say this was Roman emperor Nero (whose name in Hebrew has six letters). Some thought it was Ronald Reagan (President Reagan’s first, middle and last name had six letters).

To me, 666 tells us two things:

1) Six is the number of imperfection, falling just short of the perfect number seven. This means the anti-Christ will be imperfect and a fraud.

2) The three sixes represent the unholy trinity: Satan the father, the anti-Christ the son and the false prophet the holy spirit.

Who will be the anti-Christ? I don’t know. We’ll find out soon enough.

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