Luke 17.24 – Lightning

For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.

Luke 17.24

Did you see the lightning last week (or the week before, I can’t remember) in Bahrain? If you don’t live here on the island of a million palms, I’m sure you’ve seen lightning before!

It’s mesmerizing, isn’t it, you can’t take your eyes off it. You don’t know exactly where it came from, you don’t know exactly the plans and purposes of it, you aren’t even 100% sure how it came to be in the sky right here right now, but, when it comes, you can’t take your eyes off it and you want to look for more. Maybe you peer out of the window and around the corner to see if there is more to see there, maybe you just sit back and enjoy the show, but, deep down, it is very impressive.


Jesus said that just as the

lightning flashes and lights up the sky, so He will be in His day.


As much as want to see the lightning despite lacking a full understanding of it, the feeling will be multiplied infinitely when Jesus comes back. Those who say He is not coming back are in for a shock when He cracks the sky like lightning, appears suddenly, and commands everyone’s attention.

For now, enjoy the heavenly show as we await the true heavenly show!

Revelation 10.1-7 – Time with God

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying,

“Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

In chapter 9 we saw six of the seven trumpets blown and now there is an interlude, a break until we reach chapter 11. The best solution as to why is that this is a time for repentance; those living on the earth when the preceding events have taken place now have an opportunity to turn hearts and minds to the Lord.

An angel appears wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. Some ask if this is Jesus, but a more likely solution is that this is Michael, the mighty angel referenced in Daniel 12.1. Why does Michael have a rainbow over his head and a shiny face? Think back to Exodus 34.29-35 when Moses had to veil his face because He had spent time with the Lord. So Moses then, and Michael here, reflect the glory of God by being in His presence.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we can’t spend time with God in prayer, spend time worshiping Jesus, or spend time meditating on the wondrous works of the Holy Spirit to the extent we need to veil our faces; both Moses and Michael have spent time in the presence of God.


However, the principle is still very applicable for us; spend time with God and reflect His goodness to those around us.


When we have spent time in dedicated prayer, when we have worshiped, when we have pondered the deep truths and amazing goodness of our God, we feel different, don’t we? Then, when we feel different in this way, our actions follow accordingly.

So, we spend time with God and we reflect that to those around us witnessing through our actions and reactions just how good, loving, merciful, and gracious our great God is.

Michael here announces that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled. We are not announcing the coming judgement of God on a fallen world, but nonetheless, our changed lives proclaim a great witness to others when we have spent time with the Lord.

So, have you spent time with Him today?

Revelation 9.13-21 – Be mindful of God

Yesterday we said that the fifth trumpet was blown to release tormenting demons onto the earth, the aim of which was to turn people’s hearts and minds to God. Sadly, this did not happen, and the judgement only gets stronger. Again, sadly, despite the situation getting so much worse, people will still not turn to God, even though they have seen possibly the worst conditions ever experienced on earth, possibly.

The passage yesterday finished, rather ominously, with ‘The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.’, and it does here.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.

18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Yesterday torment, today death…on a huge scale. A third of mankind is upwards of two billion people, numbers we just can’t comprehend. The agents used in this are four angels who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year.

Are they good angels? Are they fallen angels? We don’t know because we aren’t told, but we can say that with such a big task comes a high rank. Whether they are good or bad, they are still serving God’s purpose, right? They had been prepared for this very task, this very year, month, day…this very hour. This is absolutely them doing God’s bidding, not rampant demons doing as they please. Whether they are good or bad, they are still serving God’s purpose, because He is sovereign, He is in control of His creation, all of it, every last being.

The saddest this is the last thing we read, the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The remaining two thirds of people on the earth at this time carry about their business as usual, they forget God’s lessons oh so quickly. There are period pauses of judgement throughout this book for people to stop, look, remember, repent, turn to the Lord, and sadly, they are not used! Some are saved during this time, to be sure (7.14), but sadly, many continue about their business and continue worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.


Application for us? Be mindful of what God is doing in your life.


If you are getting pushback on something, persistently and progressively, it might be time to stop.

If a door has opened up for you, an opportunity has presented itself, take it.

God disciplines His children because He loves us, there is never any punishment (Jesus took care of that) only purification.

If things are going from bad to worse, be mindful of the fact God may be preparing you for something new, bringing a chapter to a close before opening a new one.

If things are going from strength to strength, praise the Lord!, and be mindful of what God is doing in your life and partner with Him. What a privilege we have to work together with our Lord for the good of His Kingdom.

We should be mindful of what He is doing, take encouragement from the fact that He is there with us during the bad, and that He is equally as present in the good, making straight our paths.

Be mindful of what God is doing in your life, and look around too, what is God doing in the lives of others in our church family? Some are hurting, some are suffering, some are riding high, some quietly going about their God-ordained business.

Come alongside people, pray with them, partner with them, be mindful of them.

Revelation 9.1-12 – Why is this happening?

1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.

2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; 9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

Yesterday four trumpets were blown and God’s judgement on a fallen world began. Today, the fifth trumpet is blown and things start to get intense…well, more intense.

An angel is given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from it all hell breaks loose, literally. Could this be satan? Most likely not, he is hell’s victim, not ruler, despite what pop-culture would depict him to be. He is real, for sure, but he is is not in charge of hell, he is sent there.

From the bottomless pit, then, come demons, not actual locusts. We know they are not actual locust because there is lots of likelike…Why locusts then? Well, throughout the Bible locusts are used as a tool of God’s judgement, quite prolifically through the Old Testament.

The obvious question (for me at least), is why is this happening? Why does God allow such severe suffering on His earth, suffering that makes people want to die, suffering that lasts for months on end?

The answer, as always, is to turn hearts and minds back to the Lord, to have people repent of their wicked ways and turn back to God. Think about being at home and having to discipline your children; if they knock over a cup and spill a little water you don’t flip out and send them to bed with no dinner, do you? I hope you don’t, anyway. But, if they repeatedly disobey your instructions, continue behaviour that you have specifically asked them not to, culminating in breaking a priceless gift you gave them, then your reaction would be more firm than a little spilled water, wouldn’t it?

These verses then are a last chance for those on the earth who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour to repent, to turn away from wicked ways, to seek God through Jesus for their Salvation. Sadly, the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues (that the trumpets bring about), did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.


If you are going through a tough time today, this week, this month, or this year then please know that God is not punishing you, your punishment was poured out at Calvary on the cross.

Please do not listen to the demonic deception that you should give in, give up, or just walk away.

Instead, take it to the Lord in prayer, seek out other believers who can come around you and offer guidance, who can cover you with spiritual protection through intercessory prayer, but don’t listen to the deception.

As hard as it is to read, passages like this should make us sure in our choice to live the Christian life. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. The troubles we face on earth are the worst it will ever get. Those who may live prosperously now are living their best life, now. Ours is hidden with Christ, and when He comes or calls us home, we will be justified in our choice.

Revelation 8.6-13 – Do we want others to experience this?

6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead,

“Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

Now we move from seals being opened to trumpets being blown, the seals have opened the scroll and now the contents of the scroll are being played out, so to speak.

Often times nowadays we hear things like

‘Oh, it was just nature taking it’s course.’.

Of course, sometimes this is absolutely true; coastal erosion whereby cliffs are constantly battered with spray from the sea laced with salt, trees dropping their leaves each autumn…these things are nature taking it’s course. However, sometimes people throw ‘nature’ and ‘That’s just how the world works’ around as an explanation for things which have far Superior cause.

Here we see the first four trumpets being blown and God brings about judgement, through nature, but nature is not bringing these events about of it’s own accord.

Targeted here are vegatation (v.7), the sea (v.8), freshwater (v.10), and light (v.12).

Despite the judgment of a fallen race being played out here, crucially God spares more than He smites (great word that, isn’t it, smite). Only a third is destroyed and we have to believe that if people saw this and turned to God, He would welcome them with open arms. The progressive, loving discipline of a Father seen in Amos 4.6-13 does include punishment, but at all times aimed at turning hearts back to the Lord.

One third of all these things being destroyed is a stark reminder of who is really in charge, isn’t it. Nature is not so reliable and steadfast, but there is One who is. After the first six trumpets are blown there is an interlude, so to speak, in the judgement all the way until we pick it up again in chapter 11. Again, then, this is time for people to repent, stop, turn hearts and lives back to God through Jesus.

He is the One who is reliable, who is steadfast, and who literally gave His life to ensure that we don’t have to endure the things we are reading about here, that we won’t experience what we are reading about here, and that if anyone calls on His name, then they won’t experience what we are reading about here either.


With whom can you share this message of available Salvation today?


Scaring people into being a Christian is never the best path to take, but some people really do need to see how the end of the book reads to give them that last little encouraging push. At this point, God is saving more than He is smiting, but that will not always be the case. Encourage those in your lives who do not have a relationship with the risen Saviour to start one, and start it today.