Joel, Revelation 5

Joel 1:12

The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree,
The palm tree also, And the apple tree—All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

Joel’s prophecy was given to the Southern Kingdom of Judah approximately 835 to 796 B.C. Throughout the scriptures, the fig tree is a representation of Israel.

Joel 1:15
Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Generally speaking, the ‘day of the Lord’ is a reference to the end when The Lord comes and reigns. It is a day we eagerly look forward to. Bible teqcher and commentator David Guzik says this, “For the day of the Lord is at hand: The idea behind the phrase the day of the Lord is that this is Gods’ time. Man has his “day,” and the Lord has His day. In the ultimate sense, the day of the Lord is fulfilled when Jesus judges the earth and returns in glory. In a lesser sense, a time of judgment as Judah experienced with the locusts and drought is also an example of the day of the Lord.”

Joel 2:12-13
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

We see here the heart of God in His call to repentance. He wants all of our hearts, not just part of them. The phrase, ‘rend your heart’, and not your garments’, is a pressing God’s desire that repentance comes from an inward sorrow rather than an outward appearance of being remorseful. How wonderful it is that we have a God who is slow to anger and so very kind.

Joel 2:25
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

I love this verse, it is a picture of how God restores things that we or others have tried to destroy. When I think of things that have happened to me, beyond my control and how devastating they were, I realize how God has blessed me and restored so many wonderful things in my life. He is such a good God.

Joel 2:28
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.

When Peter gives his first sermon, actually the first recorded sermon after the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came on the scene, he quotes from Joel 2:28 and to the end of the chapter (Acts 2:17-21). Speaking of not only the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but also to the coming day of the Lord and the Great Tribulation.

Joel 3:14
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

The valley of decision here is a reference to Joel looking out over the judgment that will take place in the Battle of Armeggedon. It is not man making a decision for Christ, but rather brining judgment upon the rebellious.

Revelation 5:2-3
Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

Some scholars believe that this scroll is actually the deed to the earth, which we know has been temporarily given over to Satan. Imagine the sense of despair as they begin to think that no one will step up and take the scroll.

Revelation 5:5
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

It is Jesus who takes the scroll, the deed to the earth. He takes back that which He created and belonged to Him all along.

Revelation 5:13
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

It is evident that they are speaking of Jesus. Remember the Gospel of John, John 1:29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Hosea 12-14, Revelation 4

Hosea 12:10

I have also spoken by the prophets, And have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.”

The Lord did everything He could short of altering Israel’s mind, making them into robots, so that they would have to follow Him. If we only knew God’s heart for people, how He longs for and desires a relationship with a his creation. And, how it breaks His heart when people refuse.

Hosea 13:1
1 When Ephraim spoke, trembling, He exalted himself in Israel; But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.

Exalting oneself will always lead to some form of idol worship, which in turn leads to a spiritual death. We must keep our spiritual guard up as to how he schemes to distract us from the things of God and tries to draw us to himself.

Hosea 13:16
Samaria is held guilty,For she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword,Their infants shall be dashed in pieces,And their women with child ripped open.

A person is never held guilty by God, for He has made a way for man to be saved. A person is held guilty because they refuse to follow God’s precepts. This is one of the great lies of the devil, that God condemns people. No, people make the choice to condemn themselves when they reject God.

Hosea 14:9
Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.

What a great way to end this book. We must cling to the truth that, ‘the ways of The Lord are right’. There is no greater truth than this. If we keep this in the center of our hearts and seek to understand it, we will have a rich and fulfilled life unlike what we could ever imagine. All good things point to the fact that everything that God has declared is right.

Revelation 4:1
1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

This begins the part of Revelation which speaks to the future, the things that are yet to take place. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to do an exhaustive study on all that is taking place in these prophetic verses. I would encourage you to take some time and listen to the messages in Revelation (click here). I will try to highlight some of the things which will hopefully begin to direct you in an understanding of what is going on. Hopefully this will spark your interest in a further study of this marvelous book.

Revelation 4:10
the twenty- four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

It is believed that the twenty-four elders represent the church. The Bible speaks of rewards that Christians will receive for the things they have done for the Lord. What will we do with these crowns? Will we walk around in heaven gloating over having more than the person next to us? Absolutely not, we will cast them at Jesus’s feet. I love this picture. It makes me want all the crowns I can get, so that I have more to cast down at Jesus’s feet. I can’t wait!

Hosea 9-11, Revelation 3

Hosea 9:7

The days of punishment have come; The days of recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool, The spiritual man is insane, Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.

I know someone who completely walked away from the Lord and entered into an adulterous relationship with no regard for anyone but them-self. One pastor friend of mind said, you are watching the consequences of sin, which lead to form of insanity. He was so right.

Hosea 9:15
“All their wickedness is in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious.

This is a hard verse to reconcile. God is love, and yet it says here that he hates them, that He will love them no more. God hates sin, it is the antithesis of who she is. We must seek to always walk in the Spirit in order that we might stay far away from sin.

Hosea 10:12
Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

We see a beautiful picture of repentance here. We must grow in our desire to sow righteousness. Jesus is righteous and lives in us, the Holy Spirit lives in us. What more do we need?

Hosea 11:7
My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him.

It is sobering to think that it is possible to call upon the name of God and not exalt Him. We see this all around us. People who cry out to God, people who even believe they know Him, and yet they do not regard Him as Lord.

Revelation 3:1
1 “ And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, “ These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

It is possible to look like we are alive and actually be dead inside. This is what Jesus is saying to the church at Sardis. They had all of the appearances of being alive, when in fact they were dead. There are a lot of churches like this, they have the appearance of having Jesus as the center of their worships, when in fact, they don’t know Him at all. People who arrive in Christ are obvious. Their lives exude those things we see in the New Testament.

Revelation 3:8
“ I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

The church in Philadelphia is the only church that Jesus had nothing negative to say about. Oh how I desire that we would be this kind of church. Holding fast through all persecution and all trials, accurately representing the Lord.

Revelation 3:17
Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

This is a tragic picture of much of the church today, especially those who preach and teach the prosperity doctrine, the belief that God wants Verne to be rich.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

We often use this verse in evangelism, and it is a good verse to use. However, in context, it is a verse that Jesus is speaking to the church. Imagine that, Jesus knocking on the door of His church, and people ore fusing to open the door. Isn’t this what we see today?

Hosea 5-8, Revelation 2

Hosea 5:4

“They do not direct their deeds Toward turning to their God, For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, And they do not know the Lord.

People will always get themselves into trouble, because they do not direct their deeds towards God. And this is because they they have never directed their hearts towards God. Once our hearts are fully directed to God, then everything else falls into place.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

The Lord is not interested in the things we do for him without a humble and broken heart. Burnt offering represent the things we do for God. He desires mercy, in the sense that we understand His mercy and His grace which when fully understood, leads us to doing things for Him.

Hosea 7:2
They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face.

Many people just never stop long enough to consider that there is a God and that there isn’t anything that He isn’t aware of. He is so aware of sin, and so willing and desirous to forgive, but they just aren’t interested and never cry out to Him.

Hosea 8:4
“They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves—That they might be cut off.

God had always wanted to be their king, but they insisted that they have kings like every other nation (1 Samuel 8:19). This is where trouble always begins, when we insist on having what we want at the expense of what God knows we should have. It boils down to whether or not we truly trust the Lord with our lives.

Revelation 2:4-5
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

There was much good to be said about the church at Ephesus. They were doing many things right. However, they forgot the most important. Love God with all their hearts. What was the solution to this forgotten love? Repent, and return to the Lord.

Revelation 2:7
“ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’

In every one of Jesus’s messages to the churches, He extends a blessing to the ones who overcomes. There is much to overcome in this world, so many temptations which try to pull us into sin. Jesus is the only answer to overcoming. He conquered death, He overcame the grave and every temptation that has ever been faced. He is eager and willing to help us be overcomers.

Revelation 2:11
“ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’

The ‘second death’ is a reference to the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Great Tribulation. It is referred to as the second death, not because a person will physically die, but because their life as they know it will cease to exist and they will enter into eternity in hell. Those who have trusted in Christ as savior, will not experience this death, but rather will enter into eternity with Him.

Revelation 2:16
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

I love the Word of God. It is fun to follow all the things that are said about the Word, and then to realize that all that is said points to Jesus of whom the Gospel of John declares to be the Word (John 1:1).

Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1

Hosea 1:2

2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the Lord.”

We know that the Lord had the prophets do some unusual things, things which we normally wouldn’t see the Lord do. Here, he asks the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute in order for him to understand His broken heart for the adultery committed by Israel.

Hosea 1:6
And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.

Lo-Ruhamah means ‘no mercy’. We know that we have a merciful God, a God who does not give us what we deserve. However, we must abide in Jesus, for it is possible to behave in such a way that the Lord decides to quit being merciful towards us. God forbid that that should ever happen.

Hosea 2:5
For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink. ’

Whenever we forsake the things of God for the things of this world, we are committing spiritual adultery. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Hosea 2:13
13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.

The Baals were the false gods they had given themselves over to.

Hosea 3:1
1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”

Imagine how painful this must have been for Hosea. Imagine how painful it must be for our God, who is aware of every heart on the face of the earth, who has turned away from Him and given themself over to idols.

Hosea 4:1
1 Hear the word of the Lord, You children of Israel, For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land.

I fear that as a nation, America is quickly heading in this direction. May God have mercy on us as we move further away from God then ever before.

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

People willfully reject the knowledge of God for the foolishness of man. Proverbs 2:6 says, For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Hosea 4:11
11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.

Man, if this verse isn’t completely true! All around us we see people, young and old, being enslaved to these things. Oh the foolishness for the state of Washington, to add gay marriage and legalization of marijuana to the mix. My heart breaks at the refusal of man to embrace God.

Revelation 1:1
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

This revelation was given to John after being exiled to the island of Patmos. It is the final book of the New Testament, which expounds on what we can expect in the final days of this earth as we know it. It can be interpreted either literally or as an allegory. I believe it best to be interpreted as an allegory.

Revelation 1:11
…“ I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “ What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

In chapters two and three, we will read of Jesus’s messages to seven churches. We will find that He was speaking literally, as to what was going on at that time, and prophetically, those things we would see in the future.

Revelation 1:19
Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

Jesus tells John to write about the things He is going to reveal to him; the things which had already taken place, 2) the things that were currently going on, and 3) the things that would take place after the previous things. We are expectantly waiting for the things that are yet to take place.

Daniel 11-12, Jude 1

Daniel 11:3
Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

Again, this is a reference to Alexander the Great who came to power in 335 BC, over the Graeco-Macedonian Empire. He defeated Persia and assumed world dominion, just as Daniel prophesied.

Daniel 11:30-31
For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. “So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

Here we see a picture of the sanctuary of the temple being desecrated. This will happen in the Great Tribulation period by the Antichrist, but this is a more specific event that historically has already taken place. Antiochus Epiphanes was a Seleucid king who came to Jerusalem built a pagan altar above the altar of God and offered a pig to an idol.

Daniel 12:1
1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.

This time of trouble is described in the Book of Revelation. We have looked at it before. It wall be a most terrible time. However, during that time, the Lord will ultimately bring is people, Israel, back to Himself.

Daniel 12:9
And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

This is one of only five uses of the phrase, ‘the time of the end’. All are found in Daniel and speak of the end times, those times which we are still waiting for.

Jude 1:3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude tells us that we are to contend for the faith, which means defend the faith. But, notice that he doesn’t say to just contend for the faith, but ‘earnestly’ contend for the faith. How do we do this? Through prayer and studying God’s word.

Jude 1:6
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Angels are created beings, just like man. And, like man they have choices. There were a third of the angels who rebelled against God and gave themselves over to every evil and vile thing. Satan led the charge in this celestial fall. God had a proper domain for angels as well as for mankind today. That domain is in heaven, available only through Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:9
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Some people are pretty flippant about how they speak to the devil. They suggest they can boss him around because they are Christians. Here we see a clear picture of how careful we must be in this regard. Even Michael the archangel did not accuse the devil, he left that up to the Lord. We would do well to take the same attitude.

Daniel 8-10, 3 John 1

Daniel 8:5
And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

We come to understand later on in this chapter, that the large male goat is Greece and the notable horn is Alexander the Great.

Daniel 8:16
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

Gabriel is a fascinating angel. He is one of the principal messengers of God, whose name means “hero of God”. He is the angel who appeared to Mary regarding the virgin birth, as well as Zacharias, regarding the birth of John the Baptist.

Daniel 8:26
“And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.”

Parts of this vision, those things that will take place during the Great Tribulation, are still sealed up.

Daniel 9:2
in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

I love this verse, because it points to the veracity and connectedness to other Old Testament prophets. The reason Daniel knew and trusted these things, is because the prophet Jeremiah and written of them.

Daniel 9:24
“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.

Truly, this is one of the greatest prophecies in all of the Bible. It is referred to as the ‘seventy seeks’ prophecy. These weeks, are speaking of weeks of years. In other words, each week representing seven years, or seventy weeks representing 490 years. This prophecy speaks of the exact date that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem several hundred years before Jesus actually did. I will actually be teaching on this this Wednesday. It is a fascinating study.

Daniel 10:12
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

God is acknowledging when He first began to show Himself strong in Daniel. It was in the beginning, chapter one, when Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the kings delicacies. They’ll hears and responds to the prayers of a humble and contrite heart.

Daniel 10:13
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty- one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

This is the last vision in Daniel and speaks of the spiritual battle that goes on in the heavenly realm. That which is spoken of in Ephesians 6:12. Michael is an archangel, or angel of high rank who serves as the prince or guardian over the destinies of the nation of Israel.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

I love what John writes here. I echo his sentiments for my own children. There is no greater joy than to know that they are walking with Jesus, who is the truth. This also carries over to the lives of other family members and friends. To know that people are walking in truth, brings no greater joy.

3 John 1:13-14
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

In this fast paced world of texting and any number of electronic methods of communication, we have lost sight of the value of speaking to people ‘face to face’. There are some things which should never be said by any other means. Probably far more than we would want to admit.