Revelation Blog No. 8


In our last blog of Revelation, blog 7, we marveled at the revelation of Christ as the Lamb of God, but also the supreme center of power of the entire universe. The symbolism is fantastic—our savior is a gentle lamb and a fierce lion.

What comes next, I admit, I do not fully understand. But these days when news headlines can jolt us to the core, it’s important to understand biblical prophecy. Roughly twenty-seven percent of the Bible is prophetic. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled with the first coming of Christ. But many are yet to be fulfilled and are found in the book of Revelation. As we’ve discussed before, what the Lord has documented in His Word, we are to examine.

The Seals

In his book, the 50 Final Events of History, Robert J Morgan believes that chapter six begins the first half of the great tribulation. I tend to agree.

This chapter opens with Christ, the only worthy being in heaven and on earth, slipping His finger beneath the first of seven seals. One of the four living creatures (covered in Revelation blog #6) cries out in voice of thunder, “Come!”

Before we peer at what the living creature beckoned into earthly reality, I’d like to point out the significance of the number seven. The number seven is mentioned more than any other number in the Bible and represents God’s divine sovereignty, perfection, and rest (grace). The biblical accounts that contain this mysterious number-puzzle are almost endless. The heavens and earth were created in six days with God resting on the seventh; There are the seven I am’s of Christ listed in the book of John, with the writer of Hebrews using seven different titles for Christ in his writing. And of course, as we’ve already seen, the book Revelation is full of prophetic signs that include the number seven. The seven seals are significant of God’s sovereignty over what is about to take place on earth.

As each of the seals are broken, John’s vision moves from heaven to the events taking place on earth. When Christ breaks the first seal, John sees “a white horse and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

Most scholars believe that though the rider of this white horse is given a crown, this is not Christ. Since our point of view has shifted from heaven now to coming events on earth, this crown was likely given to the rider by men. Also, the word crown in this passage is translated from the Greek word stéfanos—a perishable crown much like the olive leafed-garland placed upon the heads of the Olympian winners of the day. Christ’s crown is an everlasting crown of royalty translated from the Greek word diadema found in Revelation 19.

There is much internet speculation on who the rider of the white horse might be and speculation ranges from Christ himself to the horse and rider symbolizing the power of the Gospel moving forth across the world.

We’re only given this one sentence about the crowned horseman with a bow. But because we are looking at this prophecy from earth’s perspective, this symbolic rider could well represent the antichrist. The antichrist will look to us, at first, like a hero—a man who will take center stage during a time of worldwide conflict and crisis on earth. While this man will appear to have global, peaceful answers, in reality, he is a great deceiver.

I’m copying what the late Jack Kelly (Bible teacher), wrote in an article to further explain why I and others believe this rider represents the political arrival of the antichrist:

“The Lord’s weapon of choice is a sword. The reason he has no arrows is that he won’t use force to make his initial impact on Earth. He [the rider] comes as a peacemaker (Daniel 8:25). Since the Book of Revelation is filled with symbolism explained elsewhere in the Bible, I looked for a reference to a man with a bow, hoping to get an additional clue to this rider’s identity. I found it in Genesis 21:20, referring to Ishmael as an archer. It’s the Bible’s first mention of a man with a bow. Earlier God said Ishmael would be a wild donkey of a man with his hand against everyone (Genesis 16:12).”

It should be noted that Jack wrote this article in 2012 prior to his death in 2015 and eleven years after the tragedy of 9-11. In 2010 we witnessed the Arab Spring which was a pro-democratic movement among Arab communities that sought to end oppressive regimes. Today, the history of the Arab Spring is hallmarked by instability and oppression in many of the counties across North Africa and the Middle East. But those with radical Islamic views took center stage during the early 2,000s, seeking widespread control and also the removal of western customs from their own culture. It would make sense that during the writing of Jack’s article, Islam posed a threat to western ways of life and certainly to Christians around the world. And I can understand that through his biblical research, he concluded the rider upon the white horse could be from the world of Islam or a descendant of Ishmael.

Today’s threats on our Christian culture have multiplied, lining up with many of the prophetic signs found in Matthew 24. And with the prophesies of one great leader of nations found in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7, the timing is ripe for a supposed hero to come to the rescue of the worldwide crises knocking at our earthly doors. What the ethnicity or religious background of this leader is, I cannot say for certain. But Jack’s speculation of an antichrist coming out of the Islamic world is more than interesting.

Whomever occupies the saddle of the white horse, this person is given authority and power over mankind for a time.

Following the white horse, three more riders come forth as the next three seals are broken and things get very … well … apocalyptic.

Stay tuned for more and keep watch as events in our world unfold according to Holy writ.

It’s an exciting time to be alive.

And don’t forget for one second that Jesus is coming back.

If I perish, I perish,


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Alert, Watchful, Ready

“… for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42(b)

As I ponder the odd times at hand and find myself mentioning my biblical Jesus-is-coming-soon conclusions to friends, coworkers, and church folk, someone always mentions Christ’s quote noted above.

Ah, it’s true. We do not know the day or hour of our Lord’s return.

Why then–which seems to be the sentiment of those quoting this part of Matthew 24:42–are you concerning yourself, Laurie, with His return?

I’ve got two answers for the return-of-Christ skeptics: 2 Timothy 4:8 and the first part of Matthew 24:42 (as well as all of Matthew 25:13).

The Details

In their New Testament books, both the apostles Matthew and Mark cite Jesus telling His disciples what to watch for concerning His return. I love the whole of Matthew 24 and all Jesus reveals about the future of the church and Israel. If you haven’t lately, I encourage you to read through it. Good and bad things are underway around our world and I think a few red flags will wave as you go through these words of Christ again.

But back to our subject: When Christ spoke of no one knowing the time or hour of His coming—not angels, not even Himself—He encouraged us to being alert and watchful.

In Matthew 24:42, Jesus explains the situation of not knowing the timing but precedes with the revealing word therefore. When we see therefore in Scripture, it is a signal to us that there is reason for a specific situation and a call to action about that situation is at hand. In the case of Matthew 24:42, the call to action about the lack of knowledge concerning the timing of Christ’s return is to be alert to what’s happening around you. Here’s the whole verse:

Therefore be on alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

In Matthew 25, Christ uses a parable about ten virgins to explain what the kingdom of heaven is like and how some people who think they are headed to the wedding supper of the Lamb will miss the entry into the celebration. Here’s the revealing last portion of that parable, followed by Christ’s therefore command again. Matthew 25:11-13:

 Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Christ takes great care to explain what His disciples (and all of His followers) are to do as we see the last days approach. Because we don’t know when He will come, we are to be watchful and alert for that day.

According to Matthew 24:44, He repeats His intention for us to be prepared.

For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Throughout Christ’s end-times discourse, He exhorts us to be alert and ready for the explosive signs that will accompany His return. We will not know the exact moment, but should be able to discern what is going on when the time is near (see fig tree illustration Christ uses in Matthew 24:32,33).

Why? Because He also told His faithful followers that if it were possible, even the elect (committed believers) would be deceived (Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22). Your king doesn’t want to find you deceived by the awful rulers that are at hand or find you caught unaware, distracted by things of the earth. He wants you engaged. He wants you off the bench and in the game. 

And this brings me to an awesome promise. As the Lord who sees all and knows all, He is pleased with our faithfulness to be watchful and ready. Look at what Paul writes to His mentee, Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:8:

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

If you follow Christ and love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind, then you are among all who have loved His appearing, and look forward to His return. Though a crown is not our motivation for watching for His return, it is our reward.

The Next Command

In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul explains the details of the rapture of the church–the occurrence Christ eludes to in the parable of the ten virgins. As Paul assures this body of believers they have not missed this mysterious event which precedes the wrath coming to the whole earth, He goes on to tell the faithful to encourage one another with the hope of the rapture. Here’s Paul’s exhortation found in 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11:

But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake [alive] or asleep [died], we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

The writer of Hebrews also wrote that we should encourage one another, and all the more as we see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:25).

All the more. This means increase. We are to increase our encouragement (and assembling together) as we see the day drawing near.

What day? Because the writer spoke about an event earlier in verses 12 and 13, we see that “the day” is a referral to the time when Christ’s enemies will be made a footstool for His feet. In other words, when Christ is reigning on earth and His enemies are put away.

This is such good news! Anyone tired of the corruption in our government? Anyone long for an authority we can trust? Have the promises of utopia on earth fallen short?

Even though as Christians we have blessings here and now, do you ever experience the mysterious haunting that something is not quite right? There’s more to life and you haven’t grasped the more yet?

That’s because when your Maker designed you, He made you to walk with Him in a garden. Not in a broken and sin-filled culture.

These are the things I ponder when I consider the rapture is near. I don’t focus on what’s going to be left behind, but what’s ahead! I’m one of those who buys—hook, line and sinker—the Hebrew account that everything here is a shadow of things to come. Leaving earth will not be so much leaving the blessings we know, but giving those blessings an opportunity to reach full light, full bloom; our blessings’ intents finally realized and fully!

I think about this: If the love and contentment I experience when I am with my family now is a blessing, what will that love and contentment be like in heaven when I’m with my people group there? Love and contentment times 10? Times 100? Times 1,000? If shrimp tacos are awesome on earth, how awesome must they be in heaven? If the Lord strengthens me when I’m in the shadow lands, then what will He do when I’m living in the full light of His love? Be super caring? Super friend? Super servant? If I love my husband in this broken down, old world, what will my love for him be like in wonderland? How exciting will it be to truly love without selfish thought?

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to get to the new place Christ has prepared for me and meet the Author of Love face to face. Oh, how I want to chat with the One who made the awesome galaxies, but also put tiny black dots on the Lady Bug’s back.

What a conversation that will be!

Are you encouraged? I sure am.

A while back, I read an article on Matthew 24 and the writer explained more on why Jesus warns us to be alert. Though I’ve long misplaced the link to that article, the author wrote something like this:

Jesus told us of the signs of His return so we would be heeding. These thoughts should provoke us to looking and seeing: listening and hearing. We are given warning after warning to pay attention to false doctrines and all of the end-times signs while adequately managing our lives in godliness.

I want to encourage you.

Here goes: Jesus will return for us. Yes, it’s been a long time, but there’s a reason and we can trust that the timing will be perfect. Bride’s keep themselves pure and ready for the Groom by focusing on His coming and other coming attractions that are going to be spectacular! (Colossians 3:2; John 14:2, 3)

Be encouraged and be brave.


Imagine Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints …”

Key Words: at all times

What does “at all times” mean, anyway? Good times? Bad times? Inconvenient times?

How about sleepy times? Tired times? Frustrated times? Times of celebration and joy?

All times.

Considering God created a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve and *visited them among the flora — green lazy leaves, blooming lilies, lush grass — the three must have had exhilarating conversations. I close my eyes and try to imagine what the visit and talk must have looked and sounded like. Did the conversation move easily from one topic to another? Did Adam or Eve pepper God with questions about life or His purposes in creating their new world? Did God take the lead? Or did Eve do all the talking?

Did the three walk together and stop near the perennials, marvel at the continuous life cycle? Were perennials even perennials – never dying back?

As my imagination develops the scene, I’m convicted about the one-sided, self-focused conversations I have with the Lord. I don’t walk with Him in an unrushed manner through the garden of my personal blessings, but rather send short text-type messages of needs and wants. I treat him more like a gift-giving vending machine than a person I enjoy spending time with.

Anyone else?

I want to spend my days doing prayer like Paul encourages – at all times. I think of the word, abide.

I want to try and be conversational with Him. The presence of the Holy Spirit through Christ’s atoning act allows us to once, again, commune. Lord, did you see that homeless person? Does it hurt your heart like mine? Lord, as the sun pops up over the Sandia Mountains this morning, I think of the risen Christ. Did you paint the scene this way on purpose?

Another point in this Scripture is that Paul makes a distinction between prayer and petition. We know we are to ask the Lord for the things we need, but here, Paul seems to say prayer is something apart from petition. Perhaps we are to enter into a two-way conversation with the Lord, along with presenting our requests. Like the original plan with Adam and Eve in the garden with God, this could be what prayer is really all about. Try imagining yourself in a garden with Him, observing, chatting, thanking, and receiving His wisdom.

Breathe it in friends. This is where we abide.


Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  – 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

… behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –  Matthew 28:20

Check out my Podcast for more ponderings and commentary on God’s Word and today’s wildly varied social conditions.

  • Genesis 3:8 tells that after Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God in the garden. This brings me to the conclusion that God came to the garden, and the post-sin visit was likely not the first.

Woman Takes The Lead-a biblical story

Can a Christian woman lead?

Most of us are familiar with the story of the rags to riches queen from the Old Testament. Out of the 66 books that make up the Bible only two bear women’s names. Esther is one of them. And in this book, Esther takes the lead.

Figuring Out the Ezer Role

I’ve been on a journey to discover how Christian women today take their rightful place as Ezers—the helpmates of man. As I’ve written in my blogs and talked about in my podcast, Brave Girl, the Hebrew word Ezer means helper in a different way than our English language eludes. Here’s why: The word Ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament and most refer to God being our help (Ezer) in a warrior sort of way. Ezer is a guard, a strongman, the hero when God uses it in reference to himself. So from this biblical insight, we know the Lord meant to make the woman more than a creature to keep Adam company. When God made an Ezer Woman out of man, He created for the man a rear guard—a woman to have his spiritual back.

The woman, made in God’s image reflects the beauty of God and nurturing side of His nature, but she reflects more—a fierce force to be reckoned with when it comes to right and wrong in spiritual matters.

This is why I love the book of Esther. The heroine of this literal story is not only a wealthy queen but also lays her life on the line for God’s people. These two points are what she is most famous for. But with a closer look, we see Esther also takes a kingdom leadership role and becomes a policy writer for an empire that stretched from India to Ethiopia.

And I dig it.

The Esther Story

Here’s a refresh on Esther’s story: Through a series of dynamic events, Esther, an orphan and refugee, is chosen as a candidate to replace the former disgruntled queen who was married to a … well somewhat unpredictable king. Crazy, but Esther and other young women found in the kingdom are gathered up for a beauty contest of sorts where the king will choose his newest queen.

Before the pageant, Esther’s adopted dad (and cousin Mordecai) warns her to keep her ethnicity a secret. Antisemitism existed back then, too.

Things go extremely well for Esther. The king’s enthralled and she gets the job, the title, and the first-class pass to all kingdom socials. Life couldn’t be better for Esther.

But while she is living the dream, her cousin Mordecai discovers a diabolical plot to kill the king. Mordecai sends this explosive information to Esther, and she, the devoted wife, shares the awful news with the king while giving Mordecai full credit for the tip off.

The would-be murderers are found and put to death. and everything is hunky dory and back to palace normal. Until. Until someone gets jealous.

Doesn’t that always happen?

In the narrative, we’re told that one of the king’s top officials, (Haman) had it out for Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow to this newly appointed bureaucrat even though the law required it. But that refusal started a chain of royal gossip among the disgruntled-with-the Jews court. Put out with Mordecai, Haman then seeks to destroy all Jews. All Jewish people. Haman even convince the king to sign an edict that on a day in the not-too-distant future, government officials of all provinces were to approve the destruction of their local Jewish neighbors—women and children included.

Remember, no one in the castle knew Esther Jewish. But some folks in the lower ranks of the kingdom-dwellers knew. And that put the Queen at risk.


A few desperate messages are passed between Esther and Mordecai with Mordecai urging his queen cousin to go to the king, beg his favor, and plead on behalf of her people.

But…the king doesn’t know…she’s a Jew. And there’s that law about entering the king’s court….

Esther knows palace protocol. No one can go to the king in his inner court without being summoned. She can’t just bust in and demand an audience of her husband. There are rules— deep, traditional laws, and those laws say she’d be put to death if she pulls a stunt like that. He is the unpredictable king, after all, and he hadn’t summoned her for 30 days. For a palace woman (queen or not) to go a month without being summoned by the king meant she was as good as forgotten. This king had several wives and a whole harem of concubines. If he wasn’t sending for Esther, he was spending evenings, most likely, with another.

So Esther sends a message to Mordecai explaining the dire situation.

But Mordecai pushes back. He reminds Esther from where she comes. She’s a Jew, an orphan of captives. He warns her no palace wall or fortress of silence will save her from the day of death ordered by her own husband. And then, Mordecai utters my favorite line of all times. He told the messenger to tell Esther, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for a time such as this.”

Esther’s purpose as an Ezer hero is revealed.

Eyes now opened to her call, Esther takes a lead role and issues a call for local Jews to fast and pray for three days. She declares her intent to go to the king though it is against the law. Then, Esther utters another great biblical line. “If I perish, I perish.”

On day four, she gets ready. Dressed in royal robes, smelling of spicy perfume, how ironic it must have felt that day in her beautiful gown knowing it would soon be soaked in blood.

But God. When the king sees his wife in the inner court, he extends his scepter, issuing Esther an invitation to approach the throne.

She’s in.

Wise Esther doesn’t run to the king and fall at his feet begging mercy. She plays her hand like the shrewd woman she is. Esther, my friends, appeals to the king’s stomach. She invites the king (and his evil official Haman, btw) to dinner.

Three days of fasting and prayer will render us iconic moves like that. Just saying.

With his stomach full, the king tells Esther he’ll grant her half the kingdom if she wants it. But Esther doesn’t take him up on the offer. No, she wisely lays another step to gain his favor.

Esther doesn’t want half the kingdom. Esther wants salvation for her people.

Now Haman struts around like a rooster, bragging about how he’s been invited to a second private party with the queen and king. He’s feeling so confident that he has gallows built specifically for Mordecai on the coming day-of-death for the Jews.

At the second and successful banquet, the king once again informs Esther that he will give her half the kingdom if she’ll only request it. Our brave queen doesn’t take this second offer but requests her own life and the lives of her people be spared because one single man has bargained them into death.

Furious, the king asks, “who has dared to do this.” Esther, brave and bold, points to Haman. “This wicked man.”

Uh-oh for Haman. His wicked plan is revealed and I bet the banquet he just devoured went sour in his stomach.

God’s kingdom-people saved, the king orders Haman’s death and the Jew’s salvation.

Israel is saved!

And Esther is promoted. She and Mordecai are given authority to declare a kingdom-wide feast with Esther writing a nationally recognized letter that outlines how all the peoples will recognize the salvation of Jews. In Esther 9:32 we read, “And the command of Esther established these customs for Purim, and it was written in the book.” The king gave Esther some major power so she could mold the future of the Jews.

The command of Esther. Esther serves as a fine example of a godly leader.

The Command of Esther

Let’s recap her accomplishments: This orphan-queen initiated a nation-wide fast, outwitted an evil official, put her life at grave risk, saved an entire people group, then wrote national policy that is still recognized today. Given the opportunity, Eshter made a difference.

So what about you? Have your blessings given you unique chance to bravely lead change? What position has the Lord given you, and how can you use it in these interesting days when the whole world has gone nuts? The time for truth is now.  Go ahead. Call a fast. Then go make a difference.

If I perish, I perish,

Laurie, Queen at My Palace

Push the button for epiode 4 – Lead like Esther

God, Satan, and Glitter

Dissatisfaction. It slipped in just as you settled into that new home, or car, or … relationship. Something glittery turned your head again.

But this was going to be it, right? The promotion … love at last … new resolutions … new you?

And then. The next thing.

Whether you recognize it or not, there is only one phenomenon that brings complete, long-term satisfaction. And that one thing is spiritual. And that one thing is your maker.

This phenomenon is no secret to the principalities, authorities, and holy angels living in eternal dimensions. These creatures knew long before you made your birth debut that one day you would struggle to keep God front and center in life.

Through Scripture we’ve learned some of the angels have spurred you on, others have tempted you to go astray.

And you thought no one knew your fickle heart was in such bad shape.

But let’s start with the basics.

Why God?

We are each miraculously fashioned with a requirement for spiritual fulfillment—something we’re so unaware of, we spend our days throwing temporary trappings into a bottomless pit of discontent while holy angels scratch their heads. The space I speak of is shaped for Christ’s spirit alone. It has been His plan to occupy our hearts since His Father lovingly positioned the first man and woman in the well-prepared Garden—the Garden of Eden made before but for His mud-made people.

And in the Garden, those first humans were made for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7), not their own. And yet, here we humans are some 6,000 years later, seeking self-glorification with every breath—the very breaths God placed in our previously hollow chests.

I know. I struggle with the glitters of the world and the grass-is-greener syndrome.

Maybe your self-glorification quest isn’t fame or throne bound like mine, but what about those little I deserves or I must haves that initially seem harmless. You know, the things our world screams we must have to be happy? The little material or relational achievements we believe will usher in true happiness?

Well …

According to Proverbs 1:31-33, eating the fruit of our own ways and filling ourselves with our own schemes leads to self-destruction. Even more revealing—coveting or pursuing the temporary thrills of the world will only bring more dissatisfaction. Look at Isaiah 55:2-4 or read Matthew 6:19-34 to see that the comforts or pleasures of this world are neither meant to last nor satisfy.

We are to crave the holiness and righteousness of God, not His gifts.

A Revealing Example

This is why I find the book of Job so fascinating.

With a fair amount of us humans worshiping the gifts rather than the Giver, Job, early on, was an exception.

Scripture tells us Job was a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from all evil. From numerous biblical passages (hang out in Proverbs for a while), we’re told that to fear God is the beginning of wisdom. The Hebrew word for fear is yirah which describes that physical reaction you get when you’re scared—shaking, weak in the knees, heart pounding. But the same word also means reverence, respect, or a sense of awe. When the Bible exhorts us to fear (yirah) God alone, we are instructed to place our respect and awe in a spiritually healthy place. Not a material one.

According to Scripture, Job was spiritually fit.

Fear Can Be Righteous

Job was a man who feared the Lord. In one of the earliest biblical accounts, we’re shown the fantastic story of a man who placed God at the center of His need. Also in this story, readers are given an insider’s look at an exchange between God and Satan and in that exchange, Job’s righteousness is discussed. Considering that we’re told angels present themselves to God and their conversation with God can be about … well … our virtues or lack of, I should remind myself that every thing I do … everything … is up for spiritual interpretation by the creatures of the airways.

Nothing is in secret. Nada.

As the story goes, when Satan presents himself to God, the Lord flaunts Job’s righteousness. Through Job’s upright life, God receives glory and our maker wanted Satan to take note. I admit, the idea of God pointing out my own virtues (or lack of) to Satan is unnerving, but the idea also helps me understand God’s relational nature. Our righteousness is a precious commodity to our Maker—so much so, He boasts of it.

As a side note, I love the Apostle Paul’s further explanation as to why humans must choose to glorify God. Check out the Scripture below:

“…To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to enlighten all people as to what the plan of the mystery is which for ages has hidden in God, who created all things; so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:8-10

The Enemy Will Push Back

Back now to the heavenly encounter from the book of Job. Satan asked God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” He goes on to say that the reason Job is dedicated to the Lord is because the Lord has blessed Job with all the trappings of earth life, including riches, servants, loyal friends, and family members.

This is where things get dicey. Satan is given permission to test Job through enemy raids, a consuming fire, and a great wind that destroys the house where Job’s ten children celebrate a feast. His seven sons and three daughters are tragically killed in the natural disaster.

Loss beyond our understanding.

Wallowing in unimaginable devastation, Job states, “Naked I came from mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

When Job’s faith proves steadfast, Satan wants at him again, and again, God grants permission. This time, Job is struck with a painful disease. Even when his wife urges him to curse God and die, Job keeps a righteous perspective. He told his wife, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”

Job’s deep and spiritual understanding stays centered, even amidst great pain and loss.

Friends and Their Warped Theology

Job has three friends join him for seven days of solidarity and silence. This is an honorable action on their part. But then the trio share their theologically bent opinions. In three cycles of discourse, each man makes inaccurate declarations about God’s justice and each pleads for Job to repent of whatever great sin caused these multiple afflictions. If Job had lost everything, they voice with more than enough words, it must be because Job did something to offend God.

But this isn’t the case. Job’s afflictions were allowed by God to prove Job’s righteous faith to heavenly creatures watching mud-made creatures on earth.

In the final chapters of this story, God speaks to Job through a whirlwind, citing His unquestionable sovereignty over all, even Job’s circumstances. Job replies, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted … I repent in dust and ashes.”

Eternal Perspective

In the very end of the story, God restores Job’s fortunes twofold increasing his livestock and wealth. God also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. I believe these gifts are a metaphorical glimpse of our future with Christ in eternity. What we have lost or been denied in our temporary decaying state will be restored with Christ in eternity.

I also love that the writer of Job records the names of Job’s youngest three daughters stating these three are given equal inheritance among their brothers. This action breaks the long-held tradition of male-only inheritances which kept family land within the bloodline of a specific tribe. The unusual move and documentation furthers my sense that the end of Job’s story is a glimpse of heaven—men and women with equal inheritance as we believers are adopted into one bloodline—the royal bloodline of Christ.

To circle back to the chronic dissatisfaction plaguing our hearts today, let’s consider Job. A rich man, Job owned lots of land and glittery stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wealth.

It is replacing the person God with the material gifts of God that is the problem. If at any point you feel you would rather die than live without (fill in the blank) ________, then this is an indicator you’ve put a temporary gift on the eternal throne of your heart.

I’m certainly guilty.

And I cringe to think evil dominions of the air watch (and maybe cheer) my fickle ways.

Perhaps in this new year, with the squeeze of bad economic news, rumors of wars, declining morality, and the love of many grower colder by the day, we’ll have opportunity to, like Job, speak the sovereignty of God. So I’ll share my favorite quote from Job here at the end:

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Job 13:15a

Keep speaking. Stay brave. They are watching.

If I perish, I perish,

Laurie, (Mud Creature)

Where Are Our Davids?

Can you hear the smack talk of the enemy? The taunting to be afraid … very afraid?

Our good and God-created world has metamorphosed into an evil dominion as more and more, mankind is turned over to his own sinful nature (Psalm 81:12). I think of the days of Noah when God regretted handing His virtuous world over to man’s management. So disappointed was our Lord, He destroyed all things living, save Noah and his family and reproducing pairs of creatures.

We’ve circled back to the days of evil but this time, we’ve been warned. Christ, the answer to man’s follies of heart, has been given the ruler’s scepter and He’s instructed His own about the days at hand. I feel confident we are witnesses to the events He spoke of when He addressed His disciples concerning the timing of His return: world famine, earthquakes increasing, wars and rumors of wars and kingdom rising against kingdom. Similar to the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37).


But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains, He explained. After giving the above signs, in Matthew 24:9-12 Christ goes on to say:

Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold.

While Christ addressed His Jewish followers in the city of Jerusalem, the above warnings apply to all believers. True, Israel will be the scorn of the world, but in the bigger picture, Christ followers will be the albatross tied around unbelievers’ necks. As God’s adopted family, we represent everything God’s enemies hate. And because Satan does not hold the power to change the order of prophesied events, his tactic will be fear. Destroy trust. Lead the sheep to faux safety as a false shepherd, laughing all the way to hell.


Simultaneously, while evil cries for one-world orders, new and government-controlled economies, and self-glorification through worldly—eh hum—knowledge, Jesus, in that still small voice, whispers stand up child, I’ve got this.

His parting gift to His followers was the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Mark 13:11) who will impart the needed wisdom when perilous times arise. We are not left as orphans (John 14:18). We are equipped with power during these anticipatory years.


After giving the disciples tangible signs of His return, Christ continues to open their minds to coming events. He shares the fig-tree parable explaining that while we cannot know the exact hour of His return, there will be warning signs so we can be prepared. I love the parable of the fig tree as budding spring leaves usher in the beautiful expectations of life after a dormant winter. We’ve been promised new life after the dormant years of evil rule. But what are we to be prepared for? If the rapture is pretribulation, then we’ve nothing to worry about, correct?

But His parables indicate we will live through the darkening signs of His return (Luke 12:35-38; Matthew 25:1-13). We may not live through the Great Tribulation, but we will certainly live through the tribulations of the onset or the birth pains. The Covid pandemic, rising inflation, and all the talk of gender fluidity are just a few examples of what the pretribulation days will be like. Circumstances mirror Christ’s words in Matthew 24 and the signs are here. We’re to be prepared.


Our Jesus made it clear that His return will happen just when we have decided it won’t (Matthew 24:44). So why the signs and markers? Look at the last verses of Matthew 24:45-51:

Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household slaves, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time, and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and he eats and drinks with those habitually drunk; then the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know, and he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Tucked into the parable about a master (Christ) who leaves his household (budding believers) under the charge of a faithful and sensible slave (you and me), is an amazing command: give them their food at the proper time.

Christ is consistently referenced as the bread of life in multiple passages and I think John 6:55 makes it clear what “food” we are to be sharing during the coming perilous times:

“For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.” – Jesus at the last supper.

There it is. As the signs of the times increase in urgency, we are to be sharing Christ, offering His sacrificial love as the true sustenance of life. As the battle intensifies, we as the faithful slaves are to represent Christ in all things. No fence riding. No ducking out of bold encounters. No watering down our faith.


This amazing revelation leads me to a particular battle from the Old Testament. When literal giants still walked the land, one of these large men, called Goliath, taunted the army of Israel. For forty days, He strutted around yelling blasphemies at the Israelites quivering in fear in their tents. Because literal stories in the Old Testament serves as foreshadows in the New, Goliath represents the enemies of God and Israel represents … well, Israel but also the grafted-in Gentiles.

But then David arrives.

David, the shepherd boy sent to the front line to share food (there’s that revealing food metaphor again) with his brothers in battle who where cowering in their foxholes. Hearing Goliath’s scoffs, David declares he will defeat the enemy. No one believed him, but they sent him out to Goliath anyway.

Looking back at Matthew 24:45, David represents the faithful and sensible slave who was put in charge of the household.

You see, at the time David delivered his father’s food, he had already been anointed as king of Israel. Sammuel had sealed the deal when the Lord sent him to Jesse to pour oil (a symbol for the Holy Spirit) on one of Jesse’s sons. Interestingly, God selected the youngest and puniest of the brothers—David.

Fast forward to the battle, and David, equipped with food (the bread of life) walks into a precarious situation and David, understanding His royal and anointed position, declares he will defeat the giant.

You know the story, David selects five stones and places them in a pouch at his waist. I believe these five stones represent grace and the favor of God. But selecting just one of the five, David slings the rock at the large and loud target on the other side of Elah valley. Though Goliath is covered in bronze armor, helmet included, that stone cuts through the clutter and smacks Goliath center forehead.

I love this truth! Truth cuts through to find the enemy’s weak spot every time.

The strutting giant goes down with one single blow.

And David, completely understanding his royal position, runs over to the knocked-down giant and with the giant’s sword, removes his head.

David decapitated the enemy. Put an end to the taunting and threats.

Today, as the enemy gains momentum and struts around on the battlefields of our lives, I’m asking where are our Davids?

Guess what.

You are one of our Davids. As David lived and accomplished phenomenal acts for the Lord, he serves as your metaphor.

Your royal position has been sealed by the Holy Spirit in Christ, and you are the faithful and sensible slave in charge of the household. You carry with you the bread of life and stones to sling at the loud-mouthed giant.

Oh beloved, (and I mean that word), if you could see yourself as I see you. As young in the faith and as puny as you feel, you are, in God’s eyes, a warrior.


As the giants taunt, pick up your weapons—stones of truth and hurl them at your enemies. Of course I speak in a spiritual sense but I’ve found speaking truth into the natural world can be equally as powerful. In today’s climate, truth, we’re told is relevant. But I say truth is absolute and the more we speak truth, the more battles we will win and the more people we will bring into the kingdom.

After all, that’s our ultimate goal—to be kingdom builders.

You might like my latest Bible study: God’s Will: Unraveling the Mystery. This study is about God’s over-arching will to have His family members subdue and rule the earth.

For more insight, dicover your Stones of Truth here.

Carry your stones, my friend/warrior. Be prepared in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2).

Be Brave.

If I perish, I perish,


Scripture References

Psalm 81:12 nlt – So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas.

Matthew 24:37 niv – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

John 14:26 – nasb – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.

Mark 13:11 nasb- And when they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you at that time; for you are not the ones speaking, but it is the Holy Spirit.

John 14:18 nasb – I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

Luke 12:35-38 esv – Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.

Matthew 25:1-13 – Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us. But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Matthew 24:44 – Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

2 Timothy 4:2 – preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Stones of Truth

Though David selected five stones of favor and grace, I couldn’t stop there. I want to add the two following bonus stones to my warrior’s pouch. See below:

By the way, Brave hosts a private FB page called Take the Hill. There, you’ll find brief devotionals, prayer requests, and electronic fellowship with like-minded women. Go to face book and request to join our private group!

Thank Him for What?

In all things give thanks.

You know you need to, but there’s just no way you can give thanks to God for that person. Anybody but that person. Sure, you’re thankful for your bestie, your kids, your grands. You’re even thankful for the neighbor who picks up your mail while you’re out of town. No doubt God’s brought awesome people into your life including the driver who let you merge into that left lane. And for each, you are grateful. But …

Then there’s the situation. The situation. The maddening circumstance that developed  just weeks ago. And now you’re stuck. You’ve given thanks for a lot of problems, but not this one because there’s no green light at the end of this emerging dark tunnel.

And the unanswered prayer. How could you thank God for not lifting His hand on the big one when you’ve asked a hundred times—maybe a thousand?

But you know this is the point. You truly trust God with all things. Your thanks give God glory. But it’s easier to ask Him to change people or circumstances than change yourself. It’s easier to grumble about the rain than to praise God when the thunder is so loud.

the benefits

But thank God, opportunities for attitude adjustments exist for our benefit. Take a look at the returns of having a grateful outlook:

  • Gratitude helps relieve stress. Research shows that when we give thanks, we can keep our minds from slipping towards anxiety.*
  • Gratitude places a positive spin on your day. According to studies, a position of thankfulness releases dopamine and serotonin—two feel-good neurotransmitters.*
  • Gratitude improves your social life. Thankfulness increases empathy and reduces aggression.*
  • Gratitude reduces harmful psychological and emotional downturns. Expressing thankfulness can lesson symptoms of depression and anxiety.*

God created us in His all-knowing, all-understanding image. As His image bearers, we’re to reflect the truth that all things work to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Knowing all things lead to God’s will of goodness, we can praise Him in our trials.

prompt some gratitude

Try using these gratitude prompts to steer your mind into a space of thankfulness.

  • When a situation turns difficult, stop and thank God first before moving into your own action plan.
  • Start your day thankful. Not just for the good, but for the hard you will encounter throughout the day. Recognize God is in control, even of the difficult.
  • Thank God your trials are not dead-end roads. He uses trials and difficult people to lead us to new heights of faith.
  • Write down the things you grumble about. Take a hardship inventory and as you consider each difficulty, thank God.
  • Make gratitude a spiritual discipline. Forming thankful habits will take time, so determine to go through your thankful exercises daily. Soon, your heart will catch up to your list and you’ll be truly grateful the Lord molds and shapes you into a vessel of honor.

The art of gratitude belongs to the warrior. It is the heroes who worship God in the fights of life—in the sweat, in the pain, in the loss. We can praise because we posses understanding—we’ve read the book and know victory comes.

You’re not a grumbling couch potato. You’re a warrior. Give thanks!

...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18


If I perish, I perish,


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Ezer Emunah

The Guardian Woman Takes Action

Watch out!

When we women take on our natural and first-appointed role as the quote-un-quote helpmate, we are shields of protection and agents of change–the Ezer Woman created to help the man in ways our earthly cultures have forgotten to recognize.

When God told Adam He needed a helper, He called this helper ezer. Ezer is a Hebrew Word used 21 times in the Old Testament, and apart from the first two uses in Genesis (referring to the woman), God primarily uses this word to describe what He is to Israel when Israel is in trouble. Another Old Testament use is when Israel needs help from her powerful neighboring countries.

By God’s standards and original language, helpmate means the one to powerfully intervene.

When humankind is in trouble, it is the women that are to have everyone’s spiritual backs.

Doesn’t this paint a clearer picture of Eve’s temptation? If Satan could take out Eve, Adam would be easy fodder. Our enemy’s successful plan has morphed the world not only in the deadly-curse ways, but in societal ways, too. Across the world, women are second-class citizens or slaves to religious laws–not the warriors we’ve been called to be.

We women are right where the enemies of God want us.

Is it any wonder, considering Satan’s knowledge of the potential spiritual power of a woman, that his plan is to keep women in a perceived weaker role?

Though we still live in a cursed world, we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Bought and now paid for, our gender roles can be restored! There is no better time than now.

Our Current Situation

Hyperinflation, food shortages. Increased immorality, ramped addictions, and wars knocking at our doors (Russia/Ukraine/Israel/Iran).  Isolation … rejection … the cancel culture.

Do any of the above circumstances jumpstart the anxiety?

These fear-inducing commodities are sold to us hourly by the media, sometimes well-meaning friends, and even a few of our supposed spiritual leaders. Fear is one of our enemies’ top sellers and we, not fully comprehending our royalty or positions as warriors, lift the apple from the hand of evil, ingesting the poison just as we should be stepping onto the battlefield.

It is time for Christian women to cast off fear and claim their God-given role in this world.

Fear Not When Engaging

Scattered throughout Scripture are various forms of the phrase fear not and the message is so prevalent, I fear (pun intended) we gloss over the passages without considering the weight of this command. In Joshua 1:9, God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid.” These words are imperative—God does not make a suggestion to fear not here. This is an order from our Maker.

And because women were created as militant helpers, it’s time we take our call seriously.


Fear-laden Christians befuddle me, and the reason may well be because I have my own fear issues. Here’s the deal: I love to make people happy. Seeing smiles on faces is my heart’s desire but as a parent, a grandparent, a corporate manager, and Bible teacher, I’m called to be honest and that sometimes requires saying things people don’t want to hear. At the core of my people-pleasing tendencies is a fear of rejection–not wounds, or scars, or a post battle limp like Jacob’s (Genesis 32:22-32), but rejection. The enemies of God have held me back because I’ve been afraid that people in my inner circle, or people I wanted in my inner circle would reject me.

Since when is should a warrior be concerned with popularity?

Since the fall of woman and man.

Everything is topsy-turvey.

In this blessed age of grace, it’s time to take action against the fears growing in our society.

Faith is an Action Word

In our Laodicean-esque culture the word faith has come to identify our spiritual philosophy rather than our spiritual being or essence. We tend to view faith as religion we’ve signed off on. The Hebrew word for faith is emunah and this is an action word defined as help, support, or defense. Faith is the substance of who God is. Our faith is not about what we believe (God exists) but the person/deity we believe in. He is all in all. He sustains, He protects, He lives, He saves.

And because He is all the above, we have no reason to fear. We are to fear not!

I think of those team-building exercises at wilderness camps. In one activity, some brave soul volunteers to fall backwards off a platform into the waiting arms of wide-eyed participants below, building trust in the team. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen too many Youtube videos of experiments like this going wrong. But with Jesus, we don’t fall into human arms. We fall into the source of all power. When I’m on the proverbial platform and called to jump, my heart pounds at the thought. But I take that anxious step and fall (faith) knowing Christ will not only catch me but is with me as I descend. This is faith. This is how we battle–in Christ.

Faith is not a belief. Faith is an action. Women, your faith should show up in practical, but powerful ways.

But First, Fear the Lord

In the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord says: You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him … Deuteronomy 6:24

Wow. This is your motivation.

Fearing God alone means respecting Him and His seat of honor–His throne of sovereignty. Think of it as a robust respect for that hot pot, the height of that cliff, and that powerful storm. All of these can cause you harm, yet all are good in their respective ways. He is to be feared. But He is also the good commander directing your every swing of the sword.

The Scriptures below explain the fear of the Lord better than I ever could:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge … Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom … Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life … Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the Lord leads to life … Proverbs 19:23

Step Up Today

Let’s battle!

What doe battle look like? Armor up and pray against growing, societal fears in our church bodies, families, and own hearts. Because encouragement is a powerful battle tactic (Paul reminds us over and over again to encourage one another for a reason), determine to be an encourager in these times of discouragement. Counter the cancel culture with the grace you’ve been measured through Christ’s sacrifice. Show mercy, but do not stand for lies.

Pray against the lies taught in public schools.

Pray against the spirit of addiction capturing more souls than we even know.

Pray for our fellow workers in the fields harvest in other cultures.

And if you really want to land a blow against the enemy’s head — lead a nonbeliever to Christ. You can do it. You’ve been equipped.

You have nothing to fear and everything to gain for Christ. If you are a woman, you are the Ezer with Emunah.

Fear God. Not man. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? – Psalm 56:4

Let’s do this!

If I perish, I perish,


Check out my new and growing-quick Podcast about God’ plan for woman (the ezer emunah) — She Heard.

Wanna study further with me? My very affordable Bible Brief allows you to explore the will of God at your own pace without stress. Check it out!

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Revelation Blog No. 10 – The 5th Seal and Martyrs

Revelation 6: 9-11: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

Post Apocalyptic Horsemen

After the four horsemen of the Apocalypse fulfill their demonic roles on earth (the one-world dictator takes the stage, the short time of peace is decimated, hyperinflation is followed by famine, and a quarter of the earth’s population dies), John’s vision is taken from the earth back to the realm of heaven where Jesus is sliding His finger beneath the fifth seal.

What appears next reveals to us the power of the gospel—the good news of Christ’s atoning work on the cross and the hope of eternal salvation.

I believe this is the big take away from this 5th seal revelation—the awesome reminder of God’s eternal purposes. God is building a kingdom for Himself. His love, sacrifice, and salvation are continued even during His wrath.

Beneath the Altar

Back to John’s vision, he’s shown beneath the altar are thousands of souls who have been slain because of their faith and testimony. These souls appear to crave justice, knowing God’s wrath is incomplete and a day of judgement is not too far in the future. “How long,” they cry, “until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

These faithful servants are martyrs, those–who’ve been murdered during the tribulations of the four horsemen.

I can imagine after the rapture of the church; a one-world leader taking stage; and the rage of the four horsemen, many who’d been on the fence about Christ pre-rapture are now quick to become faithful, brave believers. Having lived prophecy, our tribulation brother and sisters will passionately work to spread the gospel at this last hour. With the supply of information the raptured church left behind, new believers will have pathways (albeit secret) for heralding truth and converting unbelievers.

Looks Familiar

Considering the spiritual anti-Christ climate of our world today, I can understand better how these Great Tribulation Christians will face acute persecution as the antichrist and his demonic forces thirst for power, control, and the blood of Christ’s family. There is an anti-Christian movement rising up beyond the enemy’s historical strongholds. In America, deadly persecution seemed impossible just ten short years ago. Today, I can feel it coming.

Obviously, many believers are killed during the last half of the Great Tribulation, but at this moment in John’s vision, the blood bath of martyrs is not complete. The souls beneath the altar crying out for justice are given white robes and told, “that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.”

There is a specific number of tribulation believers who will be slaughtered for the sake of Christ.

Why Numbers

The idea of a specific number of martyrs reminds me of Paul’s writings in Romans eleven when he addresses God’s mercy for the gentiles and the partial hardening of Israeli hearts. He writes: “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in …”

As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, one of my favorite commentators is Jack Kelley who passed to heaven in 2015. Concerning the “full number” of the gentiles, Jack writes: “According to my research the phrase “full number” is a nautical term that describes the number of soldiers and sailors necessary to operate a ship under sail. The ship couldn’t sail until they had the full number of crewmen. Once the full number was reached, off they went. Sometimes that meant they didn’t depart on the day people thought they would. It would have been on a date no one knew in advance.”

In Scriptures Revelation 6:11 and Romans 11:25, we’re given insight into one of God’s greatest mysteries—the intersection of His foreknowledge and His perfect will. He knows the number and His will will see that the number of new-kingdom people will be reached.

Kingdom Building

Even in the Great Tribulation, men, women, and children become believers. God’s redeemed and beloved people will fill His new heaven and new earth in a future time.


I’ll wrap up this fifth-seal blog with this: even though our world is headed for disaster (and news headlines and prophecy signs prove it), God still works in His people. And will work in His people during the coming wrath. The Trinity will continue to kingdom build. This holy work has been the mandate from the time Adam and Eve walked in the garden.

To discover more about God’s initial and eternal will for man, grab a copy of my Bible Brief, God’s Will: Unraveling the Mystery, on Amazon. The study is affordably priced so everyone can ponder our earthly purposes.

That’s all for now. More Revelation blogs coming in 2023. In the meantime, I’m working on the next Bible Brief to be published in 2023. God’s Will for Leaders. Get a taste of godly leadership in this Peculiar Leadership blog.

Keep watch. Stay brave.

If I perish, I perish,


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Need inspiration for your warrior life? Take a break and read my fiction–you’ll probably love Isa, the ordinary accountant who fumbles her way into a brave and courageous heart. Here’s the latest review from Amazon:

I do NOT read fiction often but “Calculated Encounters” by L. G. Westlake was one of the best books I have ever read! I could not put it down. I especially enjoyed the large number of short chapters that kept the action and interaction between the plots moving at breakneck speed. There are no chapters that are on “cruise control”.
Now I am forced to go back and read the first book in her series, “Calculated Risk”!

Revelation Blog 9: the horsemen

Revelation blog 9 – Riders of the Red, Pale, and Black Horses

In blog number 8, John’s vision moved from heaven to earth as the first rider on a white horse entered his vision scope. I believe with the arrival of the four horsemen, what John witnesses includes scenes on earth. The horseman with the earthly crown (again blog 8) was given power to conquer men on our planet, not in heaven. As I stated earlier, most consider the arrival of the white horse and his rider to be the entrance of the antichrist. In Daniel 9:27, the first three and a half years of what the Bible calls The Great Tribulation, are years of prosperity as a world leader is given power to seduce the nations into believing he has the authority to rule and reign nations. The crowned rider on the white horse could be that guy–the antichrist.

The first three and a half years of The Great Tribulation are a time of false hope in the world. I find it interesting that as our world edges toward hopelessness (famines, pestilence, wars and rumors of wars), as prophecies from Ezekiel 38 and 39 line up globally. Could we see a powerful and hope-inducing leader take the stage soon?

Rapture Recap

If you’ve read all of these Revelation blogs, you know that I lean toward the idea that the church is raptured before the The Great Tribulation. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul tells us that we see as in a mirror dimly (without a clear view) and so the timing of some prophecies are unclear and will remain so. But because we are called to be ever watchful (Mark 13:33), should the rapture not take place until sometime during these first peaceful, three and a half years, we should take great heed. Time and again, Christ warned that believers can fall prey to deceptive teachers and false Messiahs.

After the Peace

Getting back to what John witnesses in heaven, another seal is broken and another horse appears. This horse is red and it’s rider is granted to take this false peace (under the false Messiah) from the earth. The short time of peace earth’s inhabitants enjoyed will come to an end.

After Christ breaks the third seal, a black horse takes to the earth and his rider holds a pair of scales. As this rider moves into the human atmosphere, a voice comes from among the living creatures and this voice announces economic woes in the form of hyperinflation.

As the fourth seal is broken by the Lamb, a fourth and pale horse take to man’s habitations. This rider of the ashen horse is named Death and Hades follows him. And this rider, like the others, is given authority over a fourth of the earth to kill with the sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beast.


Finding Hope

There’s much to chew on here. The riders and their purposes are mind blowing, but when we look with the eyes of faith instead of fear, there are biblical truths to hang onto.

I believe it is important to note that as Christ the slain Lamb (the only one worthy) breaks each of the first four seals, each of the four living creatures (from Revelation blog number 6) calls one of the riders to “come.” The riders, whose purposes are likely fashioned in the pits of hell, cannot affect the things of earth without God’s holy permission. We know from Scripture our Creator uses all things (even the horrific) to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Without doubt, hesitation, or fear, we can find peace in the hell that is about to be unleashed upon mankind because, ultimately, those who love Christ will be redeemed for His glory.

This is what hope is all about.

Most of the imagery here is disturbing and it is easy to focus on the wrath of the horsemen. But there’s insight to be gained—insight purposefully provided by our loving Maker. He’s pulled back the veil, as it were, or lightened the glass darkly so we can see into the mysteries of His work. Considering that the horsemen and their steeds are allowed into humanity one at a time, we’re given an important timing reveal. Whether we’re raptured and watching events from heaven, or still on the ground when the first rider takes center stage, we’ll know that soon after this leader has captivated the world, more war will come, the economy will crash, and death and destruction will soon follow. There will be no guessing. No speculation. From the false peace of the faux world leader, life on earth will fall apart, one catastrophe after another.

And the order of events is written in the Lamb’s book.

I take great comfort in the truth that God reveals His secrets and His future to His children. Even though we will likely suffer hardships prior to this possible antichrist coming to power, we know God has planned the end from the beginning.

When feeling anxious about where our world is headed and what could be around a quick corner, I skip ahead to Revelation 20 where we’re told Satan is bound for a thousand years and believers reign with Christ in a time of perfect peace and beauty. This is what we are headed for—the original picture of man subduing earth from the Garden of Eden. Our god-man Christ will be the One to usher in a perfect government in an unspoiled world.

But to get there … there are spiritual principalities and evil dominions to overcome.

We’ll look into Revelation blog 10 in a few weeks. Until then, I pray you find peace in knowing God’s plans will always be accomplished, and we who overcome shall be forever with Him.

He will not leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

If I perish, I perish,


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