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Over the weekend, my wife and I went to The Source to look at gamebooks and such, and I was allowed to make a purchase. Funny how life is cyclical in some ways...there was a time when I bought what I felt like, when I felt like it. I think it was around the same time as when I was always broke, despite making over $13.00 an hour. Wonder if there's a connection?

Anyway, I ultimately decided to forgo purchasing a gamebook (I know - it's completely unlike me), mainly because I decided that I should actually run a game or two with my wife before expanding on what I already own. We've been out of California since the summer, and I have yet to actually run a game for her (I have a Star Wars campaign planned out, and I'm currently building a Shadowrun campaign...but I haven't run a single adventure of either). Instead, I bought a graphic novel that I had been thinking about since the first time I went to The Source. I'm glad I did.

The book is Revelation: The Comic Book by Leo Bak. Leo is in the Christian Comic Arts Society, and contributed a very attractive piece for Proverbs & Parables. He's got an easy manga style that manages to avoid all of the conventions of manga that annoy me. As you might imagine from the title, it's a visual telling of John's Revelation on the island of Patmos. It opens with John in prison (though the narration focuses more on the Roman guards assigned to him), and then goes into the details of his revelation from God as he writes it down. In the midst of the narrative, we are introduced to two Jewish twin brothers, Yakov and Esau, Yakov's wife Naomi and son Benjamin, and we follow their experiences as they live through the Tribulation. The Rapture is placed mid-Trib in this presentation, and most of the events mentioned in Revelation are taken literally (for example, the nasty-sounding locusts that God unleashes upon the Earth are shown to be demonic locust-like creatures which the people of Earth believe to be invading aliens). The way in which Leo illustrates the Milennial Reign of Christ on Earth and the city of New Jerusalem following the destruction of the Earth are completely unlike anything I ever imagined, and I'm glad for it, because I like Leo's vision better than mine (which always depressed me, looking rather bleak and dull in my head for some reason); Leo's versions are vibrant, beautiful, and full of life; something I really look forward to if the real things will look anything like these drawings).

Additionally, Leo provides footnotes on the bottom of the pages to mention Scripture references for the various events and figures which appear, along with explanations of what theologians believe certain symbols to represent and so on.

One of the main points which this reading has driven home to me (something which has been driven home to me at least three times now since summer) is how close all of these prophesied events may be to our present time. Never before have all of these prophecies been possible as they are now - Israel has existed as a nation since 1948, and while the rebuilding of the Temple still seems an incredible feat given current politics, it's now a possibility, and I've read that there is a global movement to prepare for it; genetic engineering allows for the right kind of sacrifical animal (without blemish, etc.) to be grown; global telecommunications and webcasts allow for the entire world to witness events as they happen; money can be transferred into an entirely digital medium, etc. Exciting and scary at the same time. This generation of believers in Christ may never experience death! That's a weird thought.

I think the Holy Spirit has really been encouraging me to be bolder about speaking to my friends about Jesus. To take the initiative and be more proactive. At the very least, to be praying for my unsaved friends and asking God for the right opportunities. And - echoing the frustrated encouragements of such good friends as Monte Wilson and Jesse Hamm - to make some comic books. I don't want to die - or be Raptured - before using my God-given abilities for God's glory.

This last point was encouraged after reading a part in Revelation , near the beginning when God dictates His letters to the seven churches in Asia. There's a footnote saying that some theologians believe the letters/churches correspond to the progressive ages of the Church; here's the spread:

Ephesus = Apostolic Church (30-100 AD)
Smyrna = Persecuted Church (100-313 AD)
Pergamos = State Church (313-590 AD)
Thyatira = Papal Church (590-1517 AD)
Sardis = Reformed Church (1517-1790 AD)
Philadelphia = Missionary Church (1790-1900 AD)
Laodicea = Apostate Church (1900-Present)

If you'll recall, God doesn't have anything positive to say about Laodicea. "Indifferent". "Lukewarm," about to be vomited out of God's mouth. The mention of money and buying goods from God makes me more convinced at the moment that this interpretation of the passage is true...

So, I've been thinking about it. When we went to church on Sunday (and we almost didn't, since I stayed up until 4 AM that morning), the pastor spoke about Revelation.

I suspect God may be speaking to me. Hmm.

On a completely mundane note, I think I may have installed a "Comments" function, so those of you actually reading this thing can make, well, comments. I suppose I should admit that I was initially a bit hesitant to install this, because I've been trying to be completely honest when I write, so I probably come across as rather blunt a lot of the time, which may offend readers who don't agree with what I'm saying. So be it. I didn't really want to have to deal with Joe Blow coming in off the Internet to curse at me because of my stance on abortion or something, but I guess that's the risk of posting your thoughts online. Perhaps I owe it to people to be able to speak back. Nonetheless, I don't want this blog to suck up more of my time than it already does, so I probably won't devote huge portions of time debating with people in the comments section. I'll try to respond one way or another, though - all I ask, Joe, is that you understand that I do have a life offline, and I'm struggling to make that life take up more time than my online life.

On the other hand, it'll be nice to hear from those of you I know. So here goes nothing.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at Tuesday, November 11, 2003 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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