Revelation 19-22

Sixty-six books in a year

Sometimes I look around me and wonder if I really believe there is a war taking place over the souls of people. When I read Revelation I am reminded not only that there is a war, the best side to be on in that war is with Jesus. Especially when I read portions of scripture like Revelation 19:11-21 that describe what the war looks like.

It is Jesus who is wearing the crown. Jesus’ honour is engaged in this war. There are others who follow Him and they must be honoured to be able to do so. The clothing of Jesus is described as if they were badges of honour that He has earned.

Jesus has paid the price for me with His own precious blood, and He calls me to live in a way that brings honour and glory to Him so that I will not be ashamed when I see…

View original post 312 more words

The honour of Jesus is for me to bring Him honour

I envision this resonance to be due to the fact that the conflict-victory motif of Christ’s atonement answers a basic offense held by Muslims. This offense pertains to the public shaming of Christ on the cross. Jesus is the Quran’s second most honorable prophet, and Muslims believe that God would never allow “Isa” (Jesus) to be horribly, publicly shamed through death by crucifixion. But as we have seen, the Bible addresses this offense through the vindication of the honor and glory of Christ through all he achieved by his death, resurrection, and his ultimate exaltation. – Werner Mischke

I love the worship songs in Revelation. I love when the church worships together to give Jesus all the glory. This song came as a result of the people of God refusing to take the mark of the Beast. They died for that decision. In heaven, this is the song they sang.

They sang the Song of Moses, servant of God; they sang the Song of the Lamb:

Mighty your acts and marvelous,
    O God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Righteous your ways and true,
    King of the nations! – Revelation 15:3 MSG

I separated the two verses because I wanted to note that they are not two separate songs since they both originated from the Holy Spirit. He is the author of worship.

Who can fail to fear you, God,
    give glory to your Name?
Because you and you only are holy,
    all nations will come and worship you,
    because they see your judgments are right. – Revelation 15:4 MSG

Giving glory includes giving honour.

Praise, honour and thanks to God

Can this story of Jesus Christ as suffering servant and conquering King become a presentation of the gospel? Yes! For people of Majority World cultures—or Western culture—for whom shame-anxiety or honor competition is a daily struggle, the story of Christ as servant-conqueror who overcomes the horrible shame of the cross and rises in victory may resonate deeply. – Werner Mischke

My dad would scare people into heaven. He could describe hell in such a manner as to get someone to repent in a matter of moments.

 I heard a strong voice out of Heaven calling, “Come up here!” and up they went to Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, their enemies watching it all. At that moment there was a gigantic earthquake—a tenth of the city fell to ruin, seven thousand perished in the earthquake, the rest frightened to the core of their being, frightened into giving honor to the God-of-Heaven. – Revelation 11:12-13 MSG

I am not sure they actually ever gave God the honour He deserved in their lives, but they had no excuse to knowing and getting to know Jesus.

It used the magic it got from the Beast to dupe earth dwellers, getting them to make an image of the Beast that received the deathblow and lived. – Revelation 13:14 MSG

Precisely why people can get fooled by the Beast. The Beast can only fool those who do not know Jesus.

He preached in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Worship the Maker of Heaven and earth, salt sea and fresh water!” – Revelation 14:7 MSG

Simple commands – “Fear God,” “give Him glory,” and “worship Him.”

Honour God

Jerome Neyrey refers to “challenge and riposte” as the “game of push and shove.”1 This game may sometimes be nothing more than harmless and humorous competition. But all too often in inter-family conflict, inter-ethnic rivalry, or international gamesmanship, the “game” gets deadly and leads to bloodshed—honor-based violence. – Werner Mischke

Worship has a way of setting my sights on who really matters.

The moment he took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people. And they sang a new song:

Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals.
Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
Bought them back from all over the earth,
Bought them back for God.
Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
Priest-kings to rule over the earth. – Revelation 5:8-10 MSG

I love the object of my worship – the Lamb – Jesus. It is my way to honour Him. Worship does require some maturity but the elements are the same – I was a slave of sin and Satan and Jesus purchased my liberty. More than that, He gave me the highest honour by making me a king and a priest-king to overcome the world and the evil one, giving me access to Himself.

The song is my way of honouring Jesus.

· The song honours the price of redemption: for You were slain.

· The song honours the worker of redemption: bought them back.

· The song honours the destination of redemption: bought them back.

· The song honours the payment of redemption: in blood.

· The song honours the scope of redemption: all over the earth.

· The song honours the length of redemption: have made us kings and priests to our God.

· The song honours the result of redemption: to rule over the earth.

I have read Martyrs Mirrors and there have been too many martyrdoms in this world and they should all be honoured and I am blessed by their testimony. However, I keenly note that ony one of them is honoured and celebrated in heaven – Jesus.

Even so, Jesus honours me with position and responsibilities.

 I looked again. I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:

The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!

Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:

To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age.

The Four Animals called out, “Oh, Yes!” The Elders fell to their knees and worshiped. – Revelation 5:11-14 MSG

There is nothing like being in a church where the redeemed saints of God ascribe honour to the Lamb of God. What a day that will be to do the same and be joined by the Angels in heaven.

I know the Angels have not been redeemed, they can only sing that Jesus deserves great honour and blessings for His death on behalf of the saints of God, but still, they can sing. This is the time where we can all give honour, glory and blessing to show appropriate worship, reverence, and respect for what He has done.

With my liberty, I can approach the presence of God, pray and praise, and be His ambassador here on earth, with complete expectation of being honoured in God’s Kingdom.

All of this worship, honouring and praising of Jesus should be mirrored by me here on earth. May I seek to recognize what Jesus has done, appreciate it and seek to live my life for His glory and honour.

Crowns of honour to give back glory and honour to Jesus

How can the unlimited good of our riches in Christ be understood properly—so that, on the one hand, it does not reflect the excess of consumerism contained in the “prosperity gospel,” and, on the other hand, is not limited to a pious spirituality that is divorced from the physical and practical challenges of our life together on earth? – Werner Mischke

Sometimes I find myself not wanting a crown of any kind when I enter into heaven’s gates because at the end of the day they all belong to Jesus. I love the encouragement to “keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.”

“I’m on my way; I’ll be there soon. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown. I’ll make each conqueror a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, a permanent position of honor. Then I’ll write names on you, the pillars: the Name of my God, the Name of God’s City—the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven—and my new Name.” – Revelation 3:11-12 MSG

Of all the promises of God in these verses I love the one of honour the best. Crowns are given as rewards, as honour recognition. When I endure, with all my weakness, leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit, I will be rewarded. There is promised honour.

On top of that, I will have a pillar giving me honour in heaven, but more importantly, glory and honour to Jesus. Since I have honoured Him on earth, He will acknowledge me in heaven.

 Every time the Animals gave glory and honor and thanks to the One Seated on the Throne—the age-after-age Living One—the Twenty-four Elders would fall prostrate before the One Seated on the Throne. They worshiped the age-after-age Living One. – Revelation 4:9-10 MSG

Every one in heaven will be giving glory and honour and thanks to Jesus. He receives glory and honour for His perfections and thanks for His great works.

An honourable task, not dishonouring my walk with Jesus

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Moreover: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” In Jesus Christ, there is a new possibility of surplus—surplus life, surplus honor and glory, surplus blessings in Christ. If this is true, then why is it common for believers to live with a persistent sense of deficit and neediness—of rivalry and competition? – Werner Mischke

What should be my frame of mind when I think of my relationship with Jesus? Most of us would go with “friend,” as the popular hymn reminds us. Yet, as with so many of the writers of the New Testament, they go with “slave.”

I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! – Jude 1:1-2 MSG

It seems that this is the only title of honour they feel comfortable with. It is a reminder to me that God calls me for a purpose, for a task. That task is one of honour and not one that is made to be a burden.

I’m laying this out as clearly as I can, even though you once knew all this well enough and shouldn’t need reminding. Here it is in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected. And you know the story of the angels who didn’t stick to their post, abandoning it for other, darker missions. But they are now chained and jailed in a black hole until the great Judgment Day. Sodom and Gomorrah, which went to sexual rack and ruin along with the surrounding cities that acted just like them, are another example. Burning and burning and never burning up, they serve still as a stock warning. – Jude 1: 5-7 MSG

It is hard to imagine that God would save a people, look after them, honour them, and walk with them, only to see them turn their backs to Him. It did not only happen with Moses, but it happened with the angels. They were in a holy and honourable position with God – created for such a position – and chose to follow a path towards evil. They quit their posts of honour unwilling to be subject to God. Maybe that is why it is easier for Jude to introduce himself as a “slave to Jesus.” Sodom and Gomorrah – what a dishonourable place to describe the downfall of human nature.

I’m fed up with them! They’ve gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed; they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion. – Jude 1:11 MSG

It is not that hard to realize how easy it might be to take the success that comes with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the honour that comes from the grace of Jesus and end up going down Cain’s road. Balaam is a great example of how money can destroy a soul and end up dishonouring all who pursue it.

Crowned with honour to give praise and honour to God

Shame-based, dyadistic cultures do not have any serious difficulty accepting our collective condemnation through Adam. The Scriptures teach that in Adam, as well as through our own willful sinning, the whole human race has dishonored God. We are not merely individually or privately guilty before God. We are also corporate participants in a race that has robbed God of the honor due him. This is why Paul declares such truths as “in Adam all die” or “the results of one trespass was condemnation for all men” – Timothy Tennent

I like growing. I feel alive when I see how much I can grow in my relationship with God.

Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 3:18 MSG

Growing in grace is a thing of beauty in a follower of Jesus. Spiritual maturity is so vigourous and eminent and God crowns this with honour.

The more I grow in grace the more glory I bring to God. When I think of myself as a plant, and if I am growing and thriving, that is a praise and honour to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Immense honour and irreproachable with hope

Here is where people raised in collectivistic honor/shame societies have an advantage over the individualistic secular mind. Because people in shame-based cultures understand themselves to be embedded in the group, they have an easier time embracing the biblical truth that we are all embedded in a sinful human race. We are together a depraved humanity in need of a Savior. – Werner Mischke

These are some collective thoughts on 1 Peter chapter 2 with a little bit of the first part of chapter 3 as they focus on honour-shame dialogue.

Live an exemplary life in your neighborhood so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. – 1 Peter 2:12 MSG

Simple enough – I will prove their gossip to be wrong with honourable and irreproachable modest behaviour within and beyond the community.

This honourable conduct is spelled out further – first in the area of government (1 Peter 2:13-17), then within the borders of life at home (1 Peter 2:18 – 3:7). Jesus Himself modelled what honourable conduct looked like when He suffered innocently (1 Peter 2:21-25).

This blog by Werner Mischke really lays out the dialogue verse by verse – 1 Peter 2:1–12 … Immense honor and hope for Christians in shame-based societies

The highest honour given as God honours the poor

The hierarchical Roman Empire into which Jesus was born was characterized by widespread poverty, injustice, restriction, limitation.1 The struggle for food, for survival … the competition for patrons willing to provide goods and services … the unending competition for honor … all of these dynamics comprised a social environment of limited good into which the powerful gospel of unlimited good in Christ was proclaimed. – Werner Mischke

I have heard so many young people say that they will never be a slave to Jesus. There is a lot of meaning in that word and I am sure to many it does not mean, “I am free.”

 I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello! – James 1:1 MSG

James feels it is the highest honour, more than his office, more than his position and perfect for being an ambassador. James is also the half brother of Jesus, so he could have claimed that too, but he maintained his position of a slave. I love seeing the Trinity in action here too. A slave means absolute obedience, absolute humility, absolute loyalty and maybe there is even some pride in this statement. One thing I know, the title of slave is not about dishonour. Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Job and Isaiah all described themselves as slaves of God. What an inspiration for me to do the same.

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. – James 1:19 MSG

A few things, a heads up if you will, honour God’s word, His truth, swift to hear, prizing it highly, and waiting for grace readily and diligently. Anger is usually evil, and very unrighteous: anger justly moderated, is a duty, but such a duty as is very difficultly managed without sin; rash, causeless, and immoderate anger, gratifies the evil one, dishonours God, discredits our walk with Jesus, wounds our own peace.

My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? – James 2:1-4 MSG

And I know that it still happens every Sunday in church. Of course I want to honour a well-dressed person, that is okay. There is no disapproval from God in doing so. It is the context of vanity that does not honour God and the contempt of the poor that makes us step over the line. Can I do the greeting of both the rich and the poor, in honour? Yes, by fearing God. What if I honour the rich, who happen to be wicked – is it not true that I will then dishonour the good? My sin takes place when I honour the rich alone and despise the poor, treating them with contempt.

Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms? – James 2:5-7 MSG

It is still hard to believe that the apostles counted it worthy to suffer dishonour for the name of Jesus. His name is an honourable name, a beautiful name, a noble name, a name above every name. A name with power to save. His name is a badge of honour and glory.

Faith was their honour and made them worthy

Jesus had a way of transforming the disciples’ limited resources to provide more than enough. The life of following Jesus was demonstrated to be not a life of limited good and deficit, but of unlimited good and surplus. The effect of this was that honor competition could be marginalized, if not eliminated, because in Jesus Christ there was a new possibility of surplus—not just for some, but for all. – Werner Mischke

I was inspired by Hebrews 11 as a teenager. I wanted to be the next Moses. I know that faith came by the Word of God so I immersed myself in it and read it every day.

The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. – Hebrews 11:2 MSG

I saw faith was their honour and their faith reflected honour on them – that is what I saw. They were an honour to their faith and their faith was an honour to them. When I hear testimonies today, genuine acts of faith, is it not true that they rebound to honour those of us who are followers of Jesus?

But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them. – Hebrews 11:16 MSG

God was proud of their faith. There is nothing more I want than for God to be proud of me and to identify Himself with me – there is no greater honour in this life, in my resurrection from the dead, and in my life spent in eternity.

I spend my mornings with Him and I believe He is honoured by my faith in His Word and I believe He glories in it.

By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. – Hebrews 11:24-25 MSG

It is hard to believe that Moses honoured being a son of Abraham over being a son of Pharoah’s daughter, his relationship with the people of Israel over being a citizen of Egypt. Moses conquered the riches of this world, and all its pleasures and yet he refused them to accept the honour that comes with being with God’s people.

 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. – Hebrews 11:32 MSG

Gideon is a great example of faith. He could not accept the call of honour to serve at first. I read how he was filled with courage and honour to face the army and I saw how he reacted with meekness and modesty afterwards. The grace of faith helped him do great things and the grace of faith kept him from having high thoughts of himself.

The world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. – Hebrews 11:38-39 MSG

The world was not worthy to have these honourable people among them. These were people who made it into the honour roll even though they themselves went through hell. The difference was they walked with God.