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The 70th Week - Motivation to Holiness
Are We Teachable?
It almost seems to have become a mere cliche' among Christians that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7) and wisdom (Prov 9:10) by equating fear as reverence alone. This is church attendance, works, devotional time and/or good behavior in too many people's minds. Sadly, we dismiss the fact that when John saw the glorified Christ, he fell down as if dead because he was overwhelmed by true fear of the Lord. Jesus' first words to John; "Fear not", for he was very afraid. Likewise, when in 2 Peter 4:17-18, Peter warns the Church that judgment shall begin with us, writing "and IF the righteous be scarcely be saved", should cause us to question our fear of the Lord. When I was a child, I knew without a doubt that my father loved me, but when my mother spoke those terrifying words, "wait until your father gets home"; I was anything but calm or confident, always hoping that my mother would forget to tell him. My mother had an incredible memory, much to my chagrin.
Wisdom in living a God honoring life has two necessary components: the Word of God and a teachable spirit. From the Word of God we receive knowledge and understanding as well as being held personally accountable for acting upon that knowledge and understanding. Today within our culture, the Word being preached and taught within our churches is too often tempered with the traditions of men and denominations. Books have replaced the Bible for the main study source for both the preaching and teaching ministries. Recent events have demonstrated that we have become far too compromising when dealing with the Truth and thus cowardly in the face of the onslaught of the growing darkness in this self-destructing world. I can only speak of America, for we think we are the Church, yet we comprise maybe 5% of the world's redeemed. The majority of the worldwide Church compromises very little as compared to America and as the latest reports indicate; persecution of Christians in 2014 was the highest in modern times.
Why the 70th Week?
Why The 70th Week? We are not to know the date of our Lord's return but we are not to be taken by surprise; we should see the signs of the times that it is growing ever closer, even imminent. An in-depth study of Revelation touches almost every doctrine of the Word of God and as verse 1:1 states, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants..." which should motivate us to seek wisdom to live a godly life is these last days.
For the last 20 or so years when I was not teaching Revelation, I made it a point to read through it at least once a year as a devotional. As I do with any devotional time, I take notes. Sometime in 2013, I was in chapter 19 verse 10 and I never got past that passage when I read the last part of the verse; “...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Bells and whistles went off in my brain, devotional time was over; I had a new vision of how I was to approach Revelation. Just like a torrent of water over a waterfall, my objective was to center my study from an Old Testament basis, centering on the nation of Israel and putting one of my favorite scriptures into practice: Amos 3:7 - “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” There are NO surprises in Revelation; some strange supernatural events and a greater detail of the scope of judgment, but all has been foretold within the Old Testament prophecies.
Immediately I began a very intense study, “sola scriptura”, no commentaries, no speculation except when noted for the reader to contemplate or internet sources, except for technical pictures, maps and data. My current class began the first Sunday of 2014 with dramatic changes to what I held in previous years. The excitement was back, no longer just editing or updating prior outlines but a new fresh approach that took me by surprise.
Let the adventure of discovery begin.