THE ALMIGHTY

Rev.15:2,3 – And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.

And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

As in the gospel of John, the book of Revelation gives us a glimpse into the unthinkable mystery of the incarnation. Jesus is absolutely a man and at the same time He is totally God. John brings us into the scene in the throne room, a scene that is unspeakably holy. The martyrs are worshipping victoriously before the throne and are proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Almighty God. All power and authority are displayed in this person, the Son of God. They see Him in His power as the Almighty and His sovereignty as ruler of the nations. Even in their death the Lord reigns and the martyrs are victorious. Here are some comments from Albert Barnes on today’s verse.

“…JEHOVAH—the uncreated and eternal One; that he is God—the creator, upholder, and sovereign of all things; and that he is Almighty—having all power in all worlds. All these names and attributes are suggested when we think of redemption; for all the perfections of a glorious God are suggested in the redemption of the soul from death. It is the Lord—the Ruler of all worlds; it is God—the Maker of the race, and the Father of the race, who performs the work of redemption; and it is a work which could be accomplished only by one who is Almighty.”

He has all power in all worlds and displays that power especially in His work of redemption. What kind of mess were you in or are you still in today? The power of God displayed through His Son is more than sufficient to heal any disease, break any bondage, heal any broken heart, and provide above and beyond what you can ask or think. More than that, He is able to satisfy the deep longings of our empty souls. Join with the martyrs around His throne and sing His praise, He is Almighty and the ruler of the nations.

VOICE OF A TRUMPET

Rev.1:10,11 – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega…

John just couldn’t find words to describe the voice he heard that day on the isle of Patmos. One moment he said it had the sound of many waters, images of Niagara Falls and roaring ocean waves come into our mind. Next, John said the voice of the Lord had the sound of a trumpet blast. The trumpet was associated with a call to battle, festival days, or even a call to assemble. The Lord’s voice is calling John, as well as us, to prepare ourselves for the coming kingdom. His voice is calling us to Himself, to join together with His people, to fight in His kingdom, and to prepare ourselves for His return. Here are some thoughts from Jonathan Edwards on this verse of scripture.

“Hearken, you poor discouraged souls, you that are ready to say that you are cast out of God’s sight: yet let the joyful sound of this trumpet awaken your attention and encourage your heart to look towards God’s holy temple. Look up, see the door that is opened in heaven, the door of mercy and of hope. See the pleasant light that shines forth from that door. ‘Tis the light of the new Jerusalem; ’tis the light of the glory of God and the Lamb. Thither you are invited to enter; the way is open. The root and the offspring of David, the bright {and morning star}, says, Come; and the Spirit and the Sender says, Come; and whosoever will, let him come.”

The voice of the Lord is a joyful sound, nothing in this world can compare. He is calling us out of this dark world to be with Him in His coming kingdom. He is calling us into war. The world is at war with the Lord and His Son. People of the world are desperately trying to take our voice from us and hinder us from advancing His kingdom. The trumpet blast of the Lord is sounding for everyone who has an ear to hear, calling us to engage in His battle for His souls. He is calling us to join with His body, His church, in this last great battle before He returns. John was brought to the ground at the gravity of that moment in His presence. May we also be laid low in His presence until we join in this heavenly battle.

THE FAITHFUL WITNESS

Rev. 1:4,5 – John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood —

John said in John 1:18 that no one had seen God but Jesus had declared or explained Him. Jesus is the Father’s revelation or declaration of Himself. There could be no greater witness, He is the Father’s word expressed in a distinct person. This is where our understanding of everything that pertains to life begins, with an unveiling of Christ Himself. In His light we see light. He is the light of life. That is why Revelations begins with John having a new revelation of Christ. If John needed a greater glimpse of Jesus, what about me? Here is a thought from Matthew Henry of Jesus being the unveiling of the Father to us.

“He is, in person, the Son of God, the only-begotten Son of God, and as such he must have the same nature. This personal distinction always supposes one and the same nature…. The person of the Son is the glory of the Father, shining forth with a truly divine splendor. As the beams are effulgent emanations of the sun, the father and fountain of light, Jesus Christ in his person is God manifest in the flesh, he is light of light, the true Shechinah. The person of the Son is the true image and character of the person of the Father; being of the same nature, he must bear the same image and likeness. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Father; for he hath the nature and perfections of God in him.”

To understand the book of Revelations we must have a revelation of Christ. It is in seeing Him that we begin to understand and see the things to come. In the beginning of this new year we need a greater revelation of Christ. This is where we see God’s plan unfolding before us. Draw near, get yourself in the Spirit like John and you too will begin to have insight into things to come.

THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR

Rev.22:16 – “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

This is the very last name in the Bible attributed to Christ, needless to say, I don’t think that is an accident. Christ has appeared in these last days to bring light into our lives and to point us to the glorious day that is dawning on our world. We live in the last moments of the darkness, the glorious day is about to break in upon us. As I was beginning to prepare for my Revelation class I came upon several quotes about the bright morning star. This first one is by Albert Barnes.

“Its place—the first thing that arrests the eye in the morning—might serve to remind us that the Saviour should be the first object that should draw the eye and the heart on the return of each day.”

This connection of Jesus to the morning star reminds us to center ourselves every morning by turning our attention to Jesus. It is impossible to sustain your faith without a consistent, daily time with the Lord. Learn from the morning star and look to Jesus as we begin this new year. The next quote is from jonathan Edwards.

“And he is the fountain of that spiritual influence whereby this light is caused to shine into the heart: he is the luminary whence all this light shines into the heart. And therefore he himself is the daystar, or morning star, that rises in the heart.”

What else can you say, light flows into us as we look to the morning star Himself. Next is Adam Clarke.

“The bright and morning star. I am splendor and glory to my kingdom; as the morning star ushers in the sun, so shall I usher in the unclouded and eternal glories of the everlasting kingdom.”

Clarke says that the morning star is ushering in the glories of the eternal day. All we can say is come quickly Lord Jesus. The last quote is from Matthew Henry.

“He is the fountain of all light, the bright and the morning star, and as such has given to his churches this morning light of prophecy, to assure them of the light of that perfect day which is approaching.”

This light that flows from Jesus is the light of prophesy. As we gaze daily upon the morning star we can chart our course through the turbulence of our new year. The Lord is drawing this age to a close, whatever you plan to do, do it now.

THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER

Heb.12:2 – fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is this, what exactly are we looking at? What we focus on will determine what fills our being, that is why our “eye” is so important. If we look at our problems and obstacles (and we all have our share of those) our inner man will be clouded with darkness. Looking at sickness, poverty, and lack will cause sadness and depression to settle in our hearts. When we turn our eyes upon Jesus in the midst of our trials our being will be filled with light and joy will fill our hearts. Look at His promises, look at today’s promise, what He has authored He will complete. Fill your heart with this word and you will stand strong in adversity and you will see Him who has promised to finish the work. Here are some amazing thoughts from John Gill on today’s verse.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,…. Not with bodily eyes, for at present he is not to be looked upon in this manner, but with the eye of the understanding, or with the eye of faith; for faith is a seeing of the Son; it is a spiritual sight of Christ, which is at first but glimmering, afterwards it increases, and is of a soul humbling nature; it is marvelous and surprising; it transforms into the image of Christ, and fills with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: a believer should be always looking to Christ, and off of every object, as the word here used signifies. Christ is to be looked unto as “Jesus”, a Saviour, who being appointed and sent by God to be a Saviour, came, and is become the author of eternal salvation; and to him only should we look for it: he is able and willing to save; he is a suitable, complete, and only Saviour; and whoever look to him by faith shall be saved; and he is to be considered, and looked unto, as “the author and finisher of faith”.

So I ask you again, what are you looking at? Look at Jesus and you will find yourself in the middle of His completed plan.

ALPHA AND OMEGA

Rev.1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

What a way to start Revelations, the last book of the Bible. He is the Alpha, the beginning of all things. Everything that is came from the Alpha. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. He is not only the Creator, He is also the source of redemption, healing, deliverance, provision, and renewal. Every good gift comes from above and keeps coming continually. He is an overflowing fountain of life. He is also the Omega. Everything consummates in Him. He will finish everything He has started. He is also the cause, everything exists to display His glory. From moonbeams to rainbows, from earthquakes to volcanoes; everything that is displays his attributes. We see His beauty in the sunsets, His power in the splitting of an atom, His creativity in the smallest things like ears, noses, and fingers. Only the fool has blind eyes, not able to see the glory of God all around. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes today’s verse.

“And when God is so often spoken of as the last as well as the first, and the end as well as the beginning, what is meant (or at least implied) is, that as he is the first efficient cause and fountain from whence all things originate, so he is the last final cause for which they are made; the final term to which they all tend in their ultimate issue. This seems to be the most natural import of these expressions….

And the manner is observable in which God is said to be the last, to whom, and for whom are all things. ‘Tis evidently spoken of as a meet and suitable thing, a branch of his glory; a meet prerogative of the great, infinite and eternal Being; a thing becoming the dignity of him who is infinitely above all other beings; from whom all things are, and by whom they consist, and in comparison with whom all other things are as nothing.”

As we end one year and enter another we can be encouraged from today’s verse. He will lead us into the beginning of this year with His promises of new beginnings. He will also strengthen our hearts as His declaration that He is Omega, He will watch over every day of the year from the first day until the final day to guarantee that is promises will be realized.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE?

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”—Revelation 14:1-3.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE? Has anyone asked you that question? Maybe you were getting over a cold, or like me mumble or reach for words? But the real question to ask is “where is your spiritual voice?” I believe throughout our lives our prophetic voice has been taken away or attempted to be taken. Like a fresh horse out of the gate running for the finish line our legs begin to give way. Our voice fades, loses its strength and grows silent, dreams fade and our echo is no longer heard.

At our last women retreat while another speaker was sharing I was brought back to a very painful time in my life. It was the day I gave up my baby at 15 years old. But this time In the open vision I saw a hand reaching over my throat and attempting to strangle me. Then it seemed I was transported to one shameful moment to the next with the same hand over my throat. Next I saw scriptures began to wrap around each of those times I was being suffocated. In 1974 Dick Mills spoke over me as a young wife at Gods Army with the verse “songs in the night”. Then “for such a time as this” came the day at the kitchen sink as a young mother of 3 boys when the voice of suicide and despair came. “Breakthrough-enlarge the place of your tent came at yet another crossroad. Our voice is taken through depression, despair and offenses as we grow silent in our praise, silent in our intercession, silent in our prophecy. We are to become bearers of the voice of joy uniting with the voice of the bridegroom in us. The god of this world wants our silence! I also saw that when I get angry with people my voice of intercession was taken.

Jonathan Edwards said, “The work of the saints in heaven doth very much consist in praising God. The saints in heaven are employed; they are not idle; they have there much to do: they have a work before them that will fill up eternity.”

Want your voice back? Labor to praise, labor to prophecy and labor to join the voice of others in prayer! The sound of many waters is about us! The sound of heaven wants to give vent through us!

I want my voice to be heard here and in heaven. Our voice is our song.

FOUR BEASTS

Rev.4:6-8 – And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

who was and is and is to come!”

What a shock all of this must have been for John. One minute he is all alone, in prayer on the beach. The next minute he is caught up into heaven in the midst of a scene that is too big for words. There is a voice like a trumpet, One seated on the throne surrounded by an emerald rainbow, elders, angels, and unimaginable beasts. The sounds and images only manageable because John was “in the Spirit”. Heaven is a place too big and too wonderful for words, nothing in this realm can ever compare.

Today, I want to focus on these strange beasts that John saw. Isaiah had called them seraphim, the burning ones. You think?! These beasts had been in the fiery presence since the day of their creation. Their whole existence has been spent caught up in unimaginable glory. These beasts are seen by John with four faces. I think these faces have prophetic significance and have something to say to us today. Maybe these characteristics portrayed by these beasts say something about us as we spend time in His glory.

First, there is the lion. The lion speaks to us about royalty and boldness. You and I are royalty, reigning with Christ in this life. As we draw near to the Lord beginning 2019 we too are filled with boldness. Nothing the enemy throws at us can cause us to back down. The next creature is like an ox. This speaks to us about servanthood and sacrifice. Our lives are now consumed before the Lord as we draw close. What do you have for me Lord in 2019? I offer myself as a living sacrifice in view of all you have done for me. Now we come to the beast with the face of a man. Man alone is created in the image of God. We are now born again, adopted as His sons and daughters. Man alone holds this place as the crown of His creation, our redemption from our fallen state will bring glory to the Lord forever. The last beast has the face of an eagle. This beast speaks to us about prophetic vision and insight. As we press in to the Lord at the beginning of this new year we are being filled with understanding about the things to come. The Lord has promised to fill us with visions and dreams, 2019 is unfolding before us by the Spirit of the Lord.

GOD’S VINEYARD

JN.15:1,2,8 – I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

The Lord speaks through pictures. The great prophesy about the last days from the prophet Joel speaks of the Lord pouring out His Spirit in the last days, speaking to us through visions and dreams. If we have eyes to see it, God is always speaking through His creation. Today’s passage is a great example. Jesus is teaching His disciples about The Holy Spirit and miracles and bearing fruit and used a vineyard they were walking through to make His words understandable. The harvest we are expecting will come from His vineyard. Seeing the valuable spiritual truth in the vineyard will help us cooperate with the move of God. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on the Vine.

“What has our Lord to say to us of fruit? Simply this–that fruit is the one thing the branch is for, and that if it bear not fruit, the husbandman takes it away. The vine is the glory of the husbandman; the branch is the glory of the vine; the fruit is the glory of the branch; if the branch bring not forth fruit, there is no glory or worth in it; it is an offense and a hindrance; the husbandman takes it away. The one reason for the existence of a branch, the one mark of being a true branch of the heavenly Vine, the one condition of being allowed by the divine Husbandman to share the life the Vine is–bearing fruit.

And what is fruit? Something that the branch bears, not for itself, but for its owner; something that is to be gathered, and taken away.”

Creation is intended to display God’s glory. We have the privilege of being the Lord’s greatest vehicle to display His glory. Why is that? We are His redeemed sons and daughters of God. Our connection to Him and to one another in the local church is the vehicle the Lord has chosen to display His choice fruit. How is He glorified? Through the quality and quantity of His harvest. As I stay connected to Him and His body He flows through me and He is glorified.

THE ALMOND BRANCH

Jer.1:11,12 – The word of the LORD came to me saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “I see a rod of an almond tree.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”

This passage was given to me and our ministry in January of 2000 as a word from the Lord by the prophet, Dick Mills. After Brother Mills shared this word with me he asked me if I knew what it meant. I said no so brother Mills proceeded to share the meaning of this prophesy. He said that the almond tree was like the “watcher of the harvest in Israel”. He went on to explain that the almond harvest came in first. He said that the almond harvest would point toward the harvest of the rest of the crops for that year.

The thing Brother Mills didn’t know was that we had just started the production Beyond the Grave about two months earlier. As soon as Brother Mills explained the significance of the prophesy it suddenly hit me. Beyond the Grave would be the almond branch watching over the coming harvest. Almost twenty years have passed since that first performance of BTG. Many thousands of people have come to Christ through this production and are now in churches all over this area. The exciting thing is that the BTG harvest is the almond branch pointing to the super natural harvest about to break out. Here is Dick Mills definition of this word translated ‘watching’ in the NASB Bible.

“Watching – shaqad: Watching, waking, hastening, anticipating; to be sleepless, alert, vigilant; on the lookout; to care for watchfully. This verb occurs 12 times, including Ps. 127:1: “Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” In Jer. 31:28, God promises to watch over His people with an intent to build and to plant. The present reference may best be understood by noting the linguistic connection between “waking” (shaqad) and “almond” (shaqed) in Hebrew. The almond is considered the “waker” in Hebrew thought, because it, of all trees, blossoms early, watching diligently for the opportunity to bloom. Thus, in vv. 11, 12, the linking of the vision of an almond branch and its interpretation is clear.”

So get ready, get ready, get ready. I think the harvest of the Lord in this region is about to break out suddenly.