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Three Pictures

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. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because t
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Beauty or the Beasts?

Of all the chapters in Revelation, chapter 13 may require the most decoding. That’s why it is a good thing that we all have our secret decoder rings. Did you know you have such a thing? The other name for our secret decoder ring is “the Holy Spirit”. Let’s ask for his help in understanding this passage…   Holy Spirit, give us understanding of the Scripture we are about to read, and application to our everyday lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.   Now listen for God’s word to you from Revelation 13…   The dragon   stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.  The beast I saw resembled a leopard but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.  One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled wi

Five Characters in Search of a Plot

When I was a drama major, I had to read a play entitled   Six Characters in Search of an Author.  It was an absurdist work written in 1921 by the Italian playwright, Luigi Pirandello. Since 1921, there have been many variations on this catchy title. P. G. Wodehouse made up a play, referenced in one of his books. The title was   Six Corpses in Search of an Undertaker.  Then there was a Twilight Zone episode entitled   Five Characters in Search of an Exit.  The list goes on.   It occurred to me in reading Revelation 12 that a good title for this sermon would be  Five Characters in Search of a Plot . See what you think of my title as we read Revelation 12 together. Listen for God’s word to you…   A great sign   appeared in heaven:   a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars   on her head.   She was pregnant and cried out in pain   as she was about to give birth.   Then another sign appeared in heaven:   an enormous red dragon   with seven heads