Archive for the ‘Revelation’ Category


May 14th, 2009

(100-600 Levels)

“The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,

but the earth he has given to the children of man”

(Psalm 115:16)

On the 100 Level, providence involves-

1.    Definition

2.    Usage (Acts 24:2, from pronoias)

On the 200 Level, providence involves-

1.        A reference to God in the world (Eccl. 3:1-11)

a.   Hebrew world view believes in purpose on earth (3:1)

b.   And, transcendent purpose in heaven (3:11; Isa. 55:8-9)

2.        Christian world view unites God’s purpose in Christ (Eph. 1:10)

On the 300 Level, providence involves-

1.         A long and loud praise of God’s universal providence (Ps. 104)

2.         Psalm 104 begins and ends with a summons for the individual to participate in this providence (104:1,35).

On the 400 Level, providence involves-

1.         The comprehensive terminology of heaven (shamayim; ouranos)

2.         Our deepest reality is that we were meant for heaven-made for earth (2 Cor. 5:1-8)

On the 500 Level, providence involves-

1.         Kingdom of God in personal dailiness (Matt. 5:45; 6:25-34; 10:29-31)

2.         Kingdom of God in personal discernment of kingdom reality (Matt. 13)

On the 600 Level, providence involves-

1.         Living 100-600 level revitalization (Finding your place in His plan)

2.         Revelation 11:15!

-Robert M. Housby

The Ringing of Those Golden Bells

August 17th, 2008

“…with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bells and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe…and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place…”

(Exodus 28:34,35)

“…and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a long robe”

(Revelation 1:13)

The ringing of bells has been associated with deep joy and deep sorrow (Hemingway’s, For Whom the Bell Tolls; Longfellow’s, The Bell of Atri; Poe’s, The Bells; and, of course, Daniel A. Marbelle’s, When they Ring Those Golden Bells, 1887). But, when it comes to the Bible, the reference to Bells brings one to the classic passage of Exodus 28:31-35 (see also, Ex. 39:22-26).

The interpretation of this passage by Andrew Bonar (A Commentary On the Book of Leviticus (1852), pp. 153-54 appears helpful in establishing the significance of the ringing of those golden bells:

And these bells , like the bells of Zech. 14:20, speak to the ear, giving notice of approach. The pomegranates speak to the eye, telling that he comes laden with Canaan-fruit for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. This robe, so peculiarly characteristic of the high priest, the poderes of Rev. 1:13, on which our Lord appears…Besides being “all of blue,” it had a heavenly tinge-the sky tinctured grain pointing to the firmament”

Jesus as high priest, having passed through the heavens, intercedes now for his own (Hebrews 9:11-14; 4:14). Can’t you hear the bells a-ringing?

-Robert M. Housby

Raphael of Urbino, April 6, 1520 and Revelation 14:13

July 9th, 2006

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them”

(Revelation 14:13)

Raphael of Urbino was a famous painter. Like his predecessor, Michaelangelo, who was commissioned under Pope Julius. Raphael worked under Pope Leo X. He died on April 6, 1520. It is said, that before he died, it was “entirely possible that he may have seen the whole series of his works installed in the Sistine Chapel” (Raphael’s Cartoons in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen and the Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel, John Shearman (Phaidon Press: London, 1972) p. 3).

For Raphael, religion meant the Roman Catholic Church; while his art meant his contribution to Christ and his church. Raphael is gone. His works remain though, and, if Revelation 14:13 be applied, Raphael’s works will follow him into eternity. For good or ill, whatever a man does while on earth, those works will mirror him throughout eternity.

For those of the early church, spoken of in Revelation 14:1-5, “their deeds follow them” (14:13). For those of us who now live in the 21st century, we have heard it said from the holy scriptures–“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

Your future has not yet been fully told! Won’t you labor for the Master today? For, you see, this application really is not about Raphael—it’s about us.

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: eternity, New Testament, Revelation Tags:

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

June 4th, 2006

“And one of the elders said to me, Weep no more; behold,
the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered,
so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals”

(Revelation 5:5)

Perhaps the most quotable line in C.S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is that which was spoken by a beaver to children in the Land of Narnia—“Aslan is on the move.” Here was a message of hope and power and comfort to the frightened and morally challenged. Surely, our world will wonder what these words mean and from whence they come, knowing that C.S. Lewis was a Christian scholar and literary critic from Oxford. But, not all are pleased with bringing a New Testament message into the secular market-places of America. After all, what will the religious liberals, who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, say to their wide-eyed children who marvel at the Lion called Aslan? We can hear them now, “Oh, that’s just a myth honey! There’s nothing real about it. It’s just a story”(see John 7:17).

The box office for this movie earned $290 million in the United States. The Narnia winter wonderland series, itself, has sold over 85 million books since their first appearance in 1950. Of course, the critics have their own biases. Alison Lurie, for example, sees this film as nothing more than a conservative Christian work of mindless respect for authority that blocks social progress. (adapted quote from John Williams, “Narnia on Film,” Harding University Publication (Spring 2006/Vol. 14/ Number 2).

As we compose this article, several of our number are in the hospital. To them and others, we propose that Jesus is represented in Revelation 5:5 as, “the Lion” for a reason. That reason is found in his ability to open the scrolls and the seals. Let’s close with a question, What are the scrolls and the seals? And, why would that matter?

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Judah, lion, New Testament, Revelation Tags:

Honored to Serve

February 12th, 2006

In the World War II military movie, Patton, George C. Scott portrays General George Patton, Commander of the United States 3d Army. Throughout the movie, General Omar Bradley is shown constantly counseling Patton on political decorum. One scene in the movie shows Patton confronting a G.I. in a hospital in Sicily for his apparent mental battle fatigue. Patton started striking him on the head and screaming at the man for alleged cowardice. Then he ordered the soldier out of the hospital to a separate location. He would not have this coward to share the tent with honorably wounded American soldiers.
A warm and sensitive psychologist–Patton was not. Still, there are statements made by the Holy Spirit which lead one to know for certain that God hates cowards among his people.

1. Revelation 21:8 reads: “But as for the cowardly…their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

2. The opposite of cowardice is courage. Joshua 1:9 reads, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.” And, the way to “courage” is to realize that fear is replaced with the promise of Joshua 1:9b—“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” The promise of the Lord’s presence with his disciples in a New Testament sense is axiomatic to Christian faith— “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20; see also 2 Chronicles 32:6-8; Acts 28:15).

3. Honor is conditioned upon service (John 12:26).

For all that you’ve done, and all that you’re going to do in the name of Christ, it will not be forgotten (1 Cor. 15:58). Serve Him today!

-Robert M. Housby

Parody of a Denominational Minister

April 10th, 2005

[Adapted and revised by Robert M. Housby, from a July 12, 2003, America Online: e-mail, PVO KID; Entitled, Close To, Round About, Or Nearby]


One Sunday, a denominational minister gave a sermon on baptism. The sermon was obscured, however, by his attempt to avoid the actual meaning of baptism as immersion, with the substitution of sprinkling. He proceeded by talking about the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. It did not mean “in,” he protested, but rather, “close to, round about, or nearby.” Again, he continued, when the Bible speaks of Philip baptizing the Eunuch in Acts 8, it did not mean “in the water,” but rather, “close to, round about, or nearby.”
After the sermon, a man approached the speaker and declared how great the essage was, and how it had cleared up many mysteries for him. For instance, he said, the story about Jonah getting swallowed by the whale has always othered me. Now, I see that Jonah was not really in the belly of the fish, but, close to, round about, or nearby. Then, there is the story of the three Hebrew oys thrown into the fiery furnace, but were not burned. Now, I see that they ere really not in the furnace, but, close to, round about, or nearby, keeping arm. Then, there is the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. I see that he was not in” the lions’ den, but, close to, round about, or nearby, like at a zoo.
He continued with delight, these explanations have been a great comfort to me, eeing that I’m a wicked man. Now, I am grateful to know that I won’t be in hell, just close to, round about, or nearby. And, next Sunday, I won’t need to be in church, but close to, round about, or nearby. Thank you so much! You have ut my mind at ease.
The reader is urged to consult Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18,19, which plainly states not to add to, nor subtract from the word of God.

-Robert M. Housby

“The Four Winds of Heaven”

July 25th, 2004

(Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 7:2; 8:8; 11:4;
Zechariah 2:6; 6:4,5; Mark 13:27; Revelation 7:1)

“Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these my lord? And the angel answered and
said unto me, These are the four winds of heaven, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.”

(Zechariah 6:4,5)

Sometimes the people of God need a reminder that their work really matters. The apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The Bible communicates that God, himself, is very interested in what happens on earth. One such figure of speech expressing God’s interest and participation in what happens on earth is, “the four winds of heaven”. This is a universal expression of cosmological vastness.

“Wind” is from the biblical word, ruach. The wind is a creation of God (Amos 4:13). The Spirit of God uses physical breath and wind to fulfill his great purposes for mankind (Genesis 1:2; 2:7; Ezekiel 37:5,6, 14).
1. The north wind (ruach tsawphon) – is associated with cold conditions (Job 37:9)
2. The south wind (ruach darom) – is often destructive, sultry and withering (James 1:11; Job 37:9)
3. The east wind (ruach qadim) – is portrayed as strong, gusty and scorching (Jeremiah 18:17; Hosea 13:15).
4. The west wind (ruach yam) – associated with storm and rain (1 Ki. 18:44,45).

The churches of Christ are involved in a universal mission (Eph. 3:10,11). This universal sense may be seen in Acts 2:2,5,6,17. Although difficult to conceive (John 3:9), Jesus is reassuring about this kingdom (John 3:8). May the four
winds of heaven, which loom large in Scripture and in Space, find their place in us as well. The church must see herself as involved in the awesome and universal power of God

–Robert M. Housby

Baptism for Remission of Sins

July 11th, 2004

“And Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness
of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

(Acts 2:38, NAS)

The following excerpt is taken from brother Walter Scott’s periodical, TheEvangelist (Vol. VIII.Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 1840. No. 12) reprinted by College Press. We are including it in this week’s bulletin to assist in the teaching of persons currently under the influence of Calvinism, Baptist, or other denominational error regarding the role of Christian baptism. The article is impressive because it is written a learned Baptist scholar, Dr. John Gale:

“…I would note to you that one use, and end, and design of baptism, was for the remission of sins; of this we are assured in the express words of scripture. Thus in 1 Corinthians 6:11, after the apostle has enumerated a great many abominable sins and vices, which exclude the unrighteous from the kingdom of God, he adds, “and such were some of you; but ye are washed, i.e. in your baptism you are purified and cleansed from all guilt and pollution of these sins… .Thus saint Peter says to those being pricked in their hearts, and convinced by his preaching, inquired what they must do, Acts 2:37,38… And so again, chap. xxii.16, baptism is said to wash away sins… The scriptures shew us, that Christ instituted baptism for the remission of sins”

(Sermons of John Gale, London, 1724)

We prefer, “a thus saith the Lord,” or a word from an apostle. However, there are many in the world, who, because of their allegiance to their particular denomination, will hear only one of their own speak, we offer the words of Dr. Gale.

May all come to accept the words of scripture without human amendment (Rev. 22:18,19).


– Robert M. Housby