The Finale – Day 1

What an unusual way to end a “book” — especially since we know from other historical resources what happened next.  Why this sudden “The End” in the middle of a page-turner about first-century world-changers?  Aha!  Maybe it wasn’t intended to be The End.  What we call The Book of Acts or The Acts of the Apostles was really never given an inspired title.  If Part One of the Trilogy (The Jesus’ Story) was God presenting His plan and solution for bringing about the perfect Kingdom of God, then Part Two (The Sequel) is the ongoing story of how the plan is taking shape in our lifetime(s). Just maybe the Author wanted to pull the reader into the action in such a way that by the time they reached yesterday’s blog, they’ve become part of the story themselves! I hope you’re “in.”

Working through the complex images and metaphors of Revelation, my brain felt rather like a pretzel, all twisted and randomly connected . . . or not.  But I just kept pushing forward, trying to visualize the scenes and organize the drama.  It wasn’t until I was finished with it that I realized the best way (at least at first) to take in The Finale is to experience it like a high-tech, Imax theatre production.  What do I mean?  When you go to a theatre to watch a cinematic thriller, you don’t get a remote control to pause the presentation every time there’s a character or plot twist you don’t understand.  No, you simply have to sit still and let the show go on from beginning to end.  After all, the director of the project mainly wants you to come away so gripped with the overall impact that you have to go back time and again to fit the pieces together.  That’s what you need to do with this complex little “thriller.”  Read it through.  Ask the Director what He mainly wants you to get from it first time through.  And now, buckle your seatbelts, The Finale is about to begin!

May 1, Friday

alpha omegaPROLOGUE – Narrator

This is God’s revelation of things to come, the Word from God regarding Jesus Christ. This Message was delivered to God’s bond-slave, John, by the Angel of the Lord.

A special blessing is promised to all who read these words, listen to them, and keep them. The time of fulfillment is very near.

I, John, am particularly addressing this to the seven Churches in Asia.

Grace to you and peace from Him

  • Who is,
  • Who was,
  • Who is coming;
  • from the seven Spirits before His throne;

and from Jesus Christ

  • The faithful Witness,
  • First-born of the dead,
  • Ruler of the kings of the earth.

Glory and never-ending dominion belong to Him who loves us

  • Who has released us from our sins by His own blood,
  • Who has made us into a Kingdom,
  • Who has made us priests to His God and Father.

Look! He is coming through the clouds! Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. The sight will bring every tribe on earth to its knees in bitter grief. Amen!

“I am the Beginning (Alpha) and the End (Omega),” declares the Lord God,
“Who is, Who was, and Who is to come,
the Supreme Almighty.”

This Word came to me when I was exiled on Patmos for declaring God’s Word and telling people about Jesus. We are brothers in Him, and in Him we share in suffering for the Kingdom and in patiently enduring all the difficulties we face, just as Jesus our Messiah did.

Psalm 89

David anointed

Your mercies, O Lord, are the theme of my song
Your faithfulness I will declare
Forever Your mercy and grace will endure
I will sing of them all the day long.

“I’ve chosen My servant, a covenant made
Your seed I establish your throne will not fade
My promise to David forever will stand
Descendants shall reign evermore in this land.”

Behold, how the heavens Your wonders declare
Your faithfulness saints also tell
For who in the heavens is like unto Thee?
Not an angel or god can compare.

Indeed, all around You in reverence bow
The Lord God of hosts is supreme
More awesome than all who around Him do dwell
Your faithfulness all must avow.

By Your mighty arm all Your enemies flee
The sea in its raging is stilled
The sea monster, Rahab, You’ve crushed and destroyed
O Lord, there is no one like Thee.

The heavens are Yours and the earth You have made
The world and its fullness You formed
From north unto south all the mountains rejoice
Your great name like a banner displayed.

Your powerful hand is exalted on high
Before You dwell mercy and truth
With justice and righteousness You rule o’er all
On Your faithfulness all can rely.

How blest are the people who shout the glad sound
Who walk in the light of Your face
In Your holy name they rejoice all the day
For Your righteousness praises abound.

For You are our glory and strength, Adonai
By Your favor, exalted, we rule
Our king is from You, our protection and shield
All we need Your great hand doth supply.

In a vision You spoke to our fathers before
“I have raised up a warrior for you
‘Tis My servant David, anointed with oil
Upon him My great strength I’ll pour.”

“The wicked who hate him will never prevail
His foes I will fight and destroy
In My name he’ll conquer and crush enemies
And My covenant never will fail.”

“With My help his rule will extend far and wide
I will make him My cherished firstborn
He’ll call Me his Father, his God, and his Rock
In My love I’ll uphold and provide.”

“His reign I’ll establish, His throne keep secure
All the kings of the earth will bow down
Exalted, victorious, his kingdom remains
As long as the heavens endure.”

“And if his descendants My Law should forsake
I’ll punish their guilt with a rod
I’ll discipline soundly with firmness and wrath
The ones whom My statutes would break.”

“But I will not withdraw My love even then
My promises still I will keep
As sure as the sun and the moon in the sky
Forever his throne shall endure.”

But, Lord, Your anointed You’ve spurned in Your rage
The covenant has been forgot
His crown lies in dust, his walls broken down
He’s defeated by all who engage.

Our lives are cut short and we’re covered with shame
How long will You hide from our plight?
How long will Your anger consume us as fire
While enemies mock and defame?

Remember, O Lord, that our lives are so short
How fragile we are without You
How futile our efforts to live and not die
And the pow’r of the grave to abort.

O Adonai, where is Your former great love
Your acts of deliv’rance and might?
To David You swore Your allegiance and help
Your assistance from heaven above.

Remember, O Lord, the reproach that we bear
How our enemies hold us in scorn
Every step that we take they are there to oppose
Leaving us in deep shame and despair.

In conclusion we praise Him again and again
As we say, “Bless the Lord evermore”
You are faithful and true and worthy of trust
Bless the Lord, Amen and amen.

© 2014 J Dan Small