First read below and ask yourself, "What don't I get about Revelation 8:6:13 being relevant to what's happening today? And when you read it , keep this in mind: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8246678/More-than-1000-turtle-doves-fall-from-the-sky-in-Italy-in-latest-mass-bird-death-case.html for it's only the beginning.
(Note for Newcomers: The Book of Revelation is the last book of the New Testament of the Bible. Rev 8:6-13 (NIV) means "Revelation chapter 8, verses 6-13, the New International Version which Rev. Barb prefers because it is easily understandable by young and old all over the world.)
There is no need to be afraid of anything. But this is definitely a good time to 'get yourself on the road to being saved' if you haven't already done so. I write this assuming that you may not have that much Bible knowledge, so we'll take it step-by-step, at your own pace.
Here I provide you with 'my unique version of how to get saved as a Christian' in a simple, easy-to-understand way, without using a 'hard hand'. Who on earth would want to join a 'religion' that uses threats, taunts, reprimands, coercion, bullying, brutal rules, demands for money and all the other things 'organized religions' (trans: "churches") are so famous for?
The first followers of Christ who were just regular people and 'seekers' like we are!
After you absorb what I have to say here, I will provide you with 'the traditional' Scripture passages we Christians use and you can begin some more formal and rigorous 'religious training' if you so choose.
But the Message of Christ is a simple one...Simple enough, in fact, for a child to understand... and anyone who says otherwise is not being truthful.
If you are still reading this, certainly you've come so far as to be wondering, at least, what all this Scripture stuff is about and how it relates to life today.
That's GREAT even if you've been a devout Christian all your life. No one, ever, cannot benefit from a 'refresher course', a 'reboot', if you will and the Lord rejoices when Believers stand with their 'new' brothers and sisters in Christ.
I speak to you from my heart and from a unique perspective. Being born and raised in a Russian family where religion was absolutely forbidden, I was an atheist/agnostic for the first 37 years of my life. My 'god' was Science.
Yet ironically, the more scientific knowledge I gained, the more I came to realize that 'a Grand Designer's Hand' is definitely at work in our universe.
Life is no 'accident'. The 'cosmos' is more than just NASA and NOAA and earthquake 'LINKS' and all I'm saying here is that it is a good time to consult the 'ultimate guidebook'--the Holy Bible.
I've joked that "When these things come to pass, we will have read the Book and now we're 'doing' the movie."
We've recently experienced a 'tear' in the earths' geomagnetic sphere, allowing rogue energy, solar and otherwise, to enter and escape said 'hole'. A ten year old girl just discovered a Super Nova, now possibly existing as a 'black hole'.
You may have noticed an increase in earthquakes, with new ones occurring in areas previously thought to be 'earthquake-free'. We've had flooding and and snow on the West Coast of the U.S.A. and hurricanes, tornadoes and storms all over the place.
Birds are dropping from the skies and we have 'the fish'...all the dying fish everywhere.
Yes. Yes, there are 'scientific explanations' for it all, kind of.
The big 'BUT' is that God has ALWAYS used natural phenomena to 'make His points'! Archaeological evidence exists that the 'parting of the Red Sea' did indeed happen and was partly due to extraordinary lunar alignments and extreme low tides.
Egypt's 'plagues'-remarkable by story-telling standards-are now largely explained by natural phenomena ('frogs', locusts',etc)....but oh the timing.
It's all in the timing.
And I tell you from the depth of my heart that any of you so inclined to not be part of the world take steps NOW to assure your 'eternal address'.
1) You do this by asking God for faith, if you think you have none. PRAY for faith and it will be given to you, I guarantee! Only God can give us faith, for it is a 'gift'!
2) Earnestly understand that we humans are all flawed and in need of salvation. We are all imperfect and perishable. You, me, all of us.
3)Turn to God and pledge yourself to Him. Tell Him earnestly that you BELIEVE in Him. Humble yourself before Him.
4) Examine your life and all that is sinful in it...or that you think is sinful...and confess. Promise God to cease and desist any and all of this sinful behavior and ask God to let you know if you 'missed' anything. You will immediately start sleeping better at night. And don't be surprised when you get 'visited' in your dreams as God examines your heart as you sleep.
5) Start reading or re-reading the Bible and look to 'mainline Christian sources' for specific Bible passages to get you started on your role to salvation. Read everything you can get your hands on and ask God to guide you to the Truth. There's no right or wrong way to read the Bible. Some start with Genesis and read through. Some start with the New Testament and read through and then back. Right here we are going to start with a passage relevant to 'current events'. Choose your own favorite 'translation' based on your own 'market research' or by the recommendation of someone you know and trust.
6) Somewhere along the line, get baptized by water by a Christian clergy-person or by any Christian who will to do so for you. If you have already been baptized by water, ask a minister or even any Christian capable and willing to do so to 'reaffirm' your baptism. This can be done anywhere, not just in a church and any Christian can do it. The water need not be from the River Jordon, or anywhere else. It just needs to be clean and 'consecrated' for Holy use through fervent prayer by the one who is doing the Baptizing. You needn't be completely immersed, either, just some on the head will suffice. If anyone questions this, ask them what they say of the 'validity' of the Baptisms we do on preemies in hospital Isolettes baptized with eyedroppers of sterile, consecrated water. And ask them if those Baptized bedside have 'true Baptism' and you will have you answer.
7) After you've earnestly accepted God through Jesus Christ your brother and Savior who died for YOU into your life, confess, be clean, go forth, let the Holy Spirit indwell in you at all times and spread the Good Word (the Message of Christ) yourself. Don't be surprised if you have some 'demonic' encounters along the way. 'New Christians' are ripe 'pickin's' for a certain amount of time. Satan WILL try to dissuade you from your new spiritual path. But rest assured, if confronted with ANYTHING demonic or negative, simply invoke the Power of the Holy Spirit by saying, "HOLY SPIRIT INDWELL IN ME." To command a demon or anything 'negative' TO GET OUT, say, "I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE ME IN THE STRONG NAME OF JESUS CHRIST NOW!'. Doing and saying these things isn't always a picnic at the time, but they work. And the aftermath leads to incredible things. Again-don't be afraid. Satan is 'loosed' on the earth, but only has a limited number of bad angels (demons) to harass anyone at any given time. If you put up a strong fight in God, the bad guys will lose interest and move onto easier pickings. And, don't forget God sends his (good) Angels to protect you, as well, during times such as this, because there really is a spiritual battle going on.
8) Watch as your life is enriched in all ways. You will be a blessing to those around you. As you grow past the initial learnings as a New Christian, you will educate yourself more and more. In every area of your life, you will begin to discern God's Hand at work where you never did before. Prepare to be amazed.
9) Pray like it's your job, and then pray some more. You will want to keep a journal, especially if you are at all troubled by #7--Satan and his minions.
10) Enjoy your new found faith and revel in it. Be joyful. Don't be afraid of anything except being separated from God, for this is the very 'essence of HELL'! Attend a church and worship in fellowship with others. Remember that no one will see Heaven just by doing good works. You don't NEED to do 'good works' as a Christian, but you won't be able to help yourself from naturally doing so because the Holy Spirit is IN YOU, alive and well and working!
(Please note that some 'religious groups' such as Baptists and Catholics may not necessarily agree with what I say here due to denominational differences. If you wish to belong to one of these denominations, then you can take what I say above under advisement and then take the steps necessary in order to become a member of the church of your choice. As far as I am concerned, I know in my heart that the different denominations are like different 'airlines' with different carriers and passenger lists all headed to the same destination. The early church was 'one united' (with women playing a prominent part with our Lord, ahem) and I've no doubt that it shall be that way at the end of the world, God be Praised!)
Now, onto today's Scripture Reading. At first 'blush', what do these passages mean to you?
Revelation 8 The Trumpets
"6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels
Rev 8:6-13 (NIV)
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There's always a 'scientific' reason for what happens in our world, but what happens is purely God's Will.
The Lord alone will let us know what we need to know when we need to know it and I pray you, my dear Readers, see that!
For You In Christ,
Reverend Barbara Sexton
"The Biblical Biochemist-Where Science Meets the Cross"