Shine For Jesus

shining-star.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Exodus 34:28-30 (KJV)  And {Moses} was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.  [29]  And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with {God}.  [30]  And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Fasting for forty days does not usually cause a person to look better, but to look starved. Moses had been on the mountain with God for forty days. He fasted. The Bible says that :

he did neither eat bread, nor drink water

This was not the first time Moses fasted. Deuteronomy 10:10 tells us that he fasted this long more than once.

Moses did not suffer for being without food or water.
The Lord sustained him.

When Moses came down the mountain the Bible tells us that:

the skin of his face shone; and they {the Israelites} were afraid to come nigh him

The people saw the shining of Moses’ face. The glory of God had literally rubbed off on Moses, and as they saw it they were frightened by it. The people were so frightened that they could not hear what Moses had to tell them. They were afraid to come near to him. Moses was God’s Ambassador, and he needed to tell the people what the Lord had told him. But the people would not come near or, if they did, they were more focused on the glow of Moses’ face than they were with the message that Moses brought. So what did Moses do?

He covered his face.
He hid the light of God’s glory,
So the people would hear what God had to say.

Moses Wanted The People To Hear God’s Word

Exodus 34:32-35 (KJV)  And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.  [33]  And TILL Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.  [34]  But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.  [35]  And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Moses put the veil on his face so that he could keep his audience attention. Some of you may be thinking “How silly that they would be distracted by a shining face!”. I have stood and addressed audiences with the Word of God for over 22 years now. When a baby burps or giggles some will focus on the baby rather than on the Word of God. I have seen a wasp come into the Church while I was preaching, and all eyes stare at the wasp as it wanders across the ceiling. I saw one person stare throughout a service once at the carpet. After the service was over I went to where that person was staring and found a dead bug on the carpet. To be kind, perhaps the distracted one was praying for the resurrection of that bug. I don’t know. We are easily distracted.

A young preacher I was mentoring preached in my place one Sunday morning. Following the service an old, retired pastor in the congregation came to him and handed him a piece of paper. On that paper he had tallied up every tick or repeated phrase that young preacher used throughout the sermon. The retired pastor did not hear the Word of God – he heard the ticks or mannerisms. He couldn’t see the glory of God for the man that was there.

Moses wanted his audience to see the glory of God, to hear the Word of God, to be blessed by his encounter as much as he was blessed. So he placed a veil over his face so that the people could perhaps hear. I suspect some in the audience still didn’t hear, but were distracted by the veil.

The Apostle Paul spoke of the veil of Moses in 2 Corinthians 3. In 1 Corinthians 13 the Apostle spoke to us the need of LOVE, love toward God and love toward one another. In 2 Corinthians 3 He speaks to us of the two Testaments or Covenants, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Apostle said that the Church was the “epistle or letter of Christ …

2 Corinthians 3:3 (KJV) … written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; NOT IN TABLES OF STONE, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Moses was a minister of the Old Testament, the Law of God. The people focused on the Law were frightened of Moses’ shining face. They were frightened of God. They did what God told them to do because the Law was written on tablets of stone. It was never God’s intent to save anyone by the Law, but by Grace.

The Law entered because Israel, experiencing the grace of God over and over again, never trusted in God nor received His Grace.

It was by Grace that Israel was not destroyed of the Destroyer. It was the Blood of the Lamb without blemish, sacrificed, eaten, that caused the Death Angel to Pass Over Israel. This is Grace. This is love.

It was the love of God and His graciousness that parted the Red Sea for Israel. It was not by works that Israel was saved, but by God. The armies of Egypt died, but Israel lived because of God’s love.

It was the love of God for His people that He gave them manna and water in the wilderness, yet Israel would not believe. So God called Moses up the mountain and gave the Law. If you are not under Grace, you are under the Law. If you are under Grace you are not under the Law. You must be one or the other. There is no fence sitting with God.

Moses’ Face Shined NOT Because Of The Law
BUT Because Of Grace

God called Moses up the mountain to receive the Law.

Exodus 34:1-3 (KJV)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.  [2]  And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.  [3]  And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.

Moses cut two tablets out of stone, but it is God Who wrote the Law on these tablets.

It was not the Law that caused Moses’ face to shine.
It was GRACE.
It was that God communed with Moses.

Exodus 34:4 (KJV)  And {Moses} hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.

Grace loves God.
If you are under Grace you love God!

John 14:15 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

God told Moses to hew two tablets of stone like the first. Cut out TWO tablets. Not three. Not one. Two. TWO. What size should they be? “Like the first”. Moses, you know what that is. You broke the first set of tablets, so make them again. Make them EARLY.

Exodus 34:4 (KJV)  … and Moses rose up EARLY in the morning …

Don’t procrastinate. People say “I’ll read my Bible later on, when I have time.” Or they say “I’m going to read through the Bible … but NEXT year”. We put God on the back burner. Moses didn’t do that. God said “Do it” so Moses “Did it”. He went “Early in the morning”. When God went to Father Abraham and said:

Genesis 22:2 (KJV)  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Did Abraham put it off to a better time? No! The Bible says:

Genesis 22:3 (KJV)  And Abraham rose up EARLY in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

The Lord says in Proverbs 8:17 (KJV)  I love them that love me; and those that seek me EARLY shall find me.

Moses did not procrastinate. The Bible says:

Exodus 34:4 (KJV) … Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, AS THE LORD HAD COMMANDED HIM, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.

A lot of people say “I Love God” but never show it.
God wants to see your love in action!

When Moses did as God asked – showing his love for the Lord – we read that:

Exodus 34:5 (KJV)  And the LORD descended in the cloud, and STOOD WITH HIM THERE, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

God came down and stood with Moses.
God proclaimed His Name.
He proclaimed Who He was.
God did not start by giving the Law,
but by describing Himself to Moses.
Moses experienced God!

What is “The NAME of God?”. It is Who God is. God defines Himself to Moses. He moves into Moses’ presence.

Exodus 34:6 (KJV)  And the LORD passed by before him …

God defined Himself by His Presence. He is the LORD, the Eternal and Great I AM. This infinite and eternal God “passed before Moses”. He loves His people. He loves them that love Him. God defines Himself as:

Exodus 34:6 (KJV)  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed,
The LORD, The LORD God

He is “The LORD, the LORD God”. It is the LORD God Who made the heavens and earth (Genesis 2:4). It is the LORD God Who made man, and put him in Eden (Genesis 2:15). He is the LORD God who punished Cain, but provided for Noah. It is the LORD God who called Abraham from Babylon, and promised the land of Canaan to his descendants. He is the One Who came in Christ to redeem His people.

The LORD Defines Himself To The Obedient

In our world today everyone thinks that they are an authority on Who God is. Yet God alone is the Authority on Who God is. God defines Himself to Moses, and defines Himself to us. God is …

Exodus 34:6 (KJV)  …. MERCIFUL and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  

God has not written one word on those stone tablets yet. He did not want to write anything on those stone tablets. Yet Israel would not see Him as He is. God is first of all MERCIFUL. He is filled with mercy. Why would God mention His mercy first? I read a statement the other day that said:

God’s Mercy Is Bigger Than Any Mistake
That You’ve Made!

Moses is standing before God right now.
Yet Moses is not perfect.

When Moses came down the mountain with the first set of commandments he broke them when he saw the children of Israel dancing before a golden calf, worshiping it! That was not in accordance with the will of God. Because someone else violates God’s Law is no reason for ME to break God’s Law. Yet many of us are like Moses. Someone does something wrong, then we respond by doing something wrong. My brothers and sisters, this must never be!

Self righteousness says “I would never do that”. Yet the truth is, we all are subject to failure. Moses had no right to break God’s Law just because Israel broke God’s Law. If someone breaks the Law of Love and hurts me, I have no right to break God’s Law and hurt them back. Instead, I am to …

Love my enemies. Do good to those who do bad to me.
Vengeance is God’s, not mine.

Though Moses did not worship the golden calf, he later would worship himself when he let anger get the best of him. Rather than glorify God Moses will strike the rock (Numbers 20:12), making himself a golden calf in the eyes of the people. Though Moses broke God’s Law and later would fall into idolatry God was still merciful to him. God came down to Moses in love. He comes to us in mercy and love.

Ephesians 2:4-6 (KJV)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  [5]  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  [6]  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

God is merciful and gracious.
Mercy is an ocean, and from it run rivers of grace.

God is not only merciful and gracious, but longsuffering. He is patient. He is more patient than we deserve. If God gave us what we DESERVED then none of us would be alive. The Psalmist said:

Psalms 103:10-13 (KJV)  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  [11]  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  [12]  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  [13]  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Praise God for His patient and gracious love.

Exodus 34:6-7 (KJV) …. abundant in goodness and truth,  [7]  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

And yet God does not forget the guilty. To those who repent and come to Him in love, He forgives and loves. Yet God does not wink at sin. Today in America we think that god winks at sin. That’s just not true. God is abundant in GOODNESS and TRUTH. What is “truth”? Pilate asked Jesus Christ

What is TRUTH?”

Do you know what Jesus said? He said:

John 18:37 (KJV) …. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Jesus Christ came into the world – Eternal God in human flesh – to bear witness to the truth. The truth is that we need the Lord. We need God in our lives. We need Him, and need to spend time with Him.

Moses’ face shined because he spent time with the Lord. Moses’ face shined because he loved the Lord. Moses’ face shined because he loved Israel, God’s people. We read:

Exodus 34:8-9 (KJV)  And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.  [9]  And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

Moses did not want to make excuses for his sin and the sin of the people. He bowed himself before the Lord. He asked God’s forgiveness for both himself and the people. And he asked that the Lord not just come and be a temporary blessing, but that the Lord …

go among us

If God Goes Among Us, We Too Will Shine

Israel was frightened of Moses’ shining face because Israel did not understand grace. Beloved, we who are Christ’s are called to shine as Moses shined. Jesus said to us in …

Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV)  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  [15]  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  [16]  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

And again in …

Philippians 2:12-15 (KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  [13]  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  [14]  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  [15]  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

We are to shine for the Lord. We do this by entering into His Presence by prayer and by His Word. We spend time with Him. We do as He says do. We love the Lord by showing our love. We are not to hide the glory of God in our faces by a veil. We are to love the Lord boldly. We are to be a Spirit Filled people, loving and doing, walking hand in hand with our Savior. We are to shine for the Lord.

Romans 13:12-14 (KJV)  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  [13]  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  [14]  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Oh that God would go among us. That He would visit His Church. That He would manifest Himself in our hearts, writing love and obedience there. Oh that we would worship Him so that unbelievers could see Christ in our midst. Oh God, come and be among us. Let us be revived again. Let Your Church be revived again, both here and throughout America.

In Christ’s name we pray.

Amen!

Posted in Exodus, General, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , ,

Living Water, Living God

wooden-arbor.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

John 7:37-39 (KJV)  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  [38]  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  [39]  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

As we come to John 7 we see it is the time for the Jewish Feast of Booths – also called Tabernacles or Sukkot. Tabernacles was an important and joyous time for the Jews. The Feast was when Solomon’s Temple was dedicated to the Lord (1 Kings 8:2). When that Temple was destroyed and the people came to rebuild they gathered to heard the Word of God at Booths (Nehemiah 8).

During Booths or Tabernacles Jewish males were to go to Jerusalem, and take with them their tithes and offerings (Deuteronomy 16:16). It was a time of celebration and thanksgiving to God. During the eight days of the Feast the Israelites were to dwell in booths or tabernacles (tents) made from branches of trees (Leviticus 23:40-42).

Booths symbolized God’s provision for wandering Israel.
Booths symbolized that God is faithful to His people.
God comes to His people and leads them.

As Israel left Egypt and headed toward the Promised Land God promised to be with them, and to be in their midst. Though wanderers, God met their every need.
God promised one day to come to His people and tabernacle with them forever.

Jesus Revealed Himself As God Tabernacling With Man

In John 6 Jesus fed 5000 men with a child’s lunch.
Jesus walked on water in the midst of a storm.
Then in Capernaum, Jesus taught that He was the Manna of God
Sent to give eternal life to all who believed on Him.

This was too much for the Pharisees. They didn’t want Him stirring up trouble – PARTICULARLY at the Feast of Tabernacles. So they plotted Jesus’ death. They weren’t secretive about it either, and Jesus knew what they plotted. The Pharisees didn’t believe in Jesus.

And neither did Jesus’ brothers!

His brothers told Him:

John 7:3, 5 (KJV)  His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. … [5] For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Jesus told His brothers:

John 7:6-8 (KJV) …. My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.  [7]  The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.  [8]  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up YET unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

Jesus was going to the Feast, but not yet. If He went too soon He would be a target of the worldly self righteous Pharisees. He would go, but only at the best time. Jesus knew He was going to die for our sins, but only at the appointed time of the Father. He would not go with the crowd. So Jesus tarried while His unbelieving brothers went on ahead. When He later went to Jerusalem for the Feast He went to the Temple about the third day of the Feast to teach.

John 7:14 (KJV)  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

There were large crowds gathered in the Temple, and this protected Him from the assassins who would try and kill Him. As Jesus taught people were amazed at the knowledge He had. Was this not the Carpenter’s son? A common Man? How could such a person know so many things? He never went to Seminary, Bible College, or even sat at the Rabbi Gamaliel’s feet! Jesus told them:

John 7:16-17 (KJV) … My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  [17]  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Jesus spoke the words of God. He came doing the Father’s business. He is the Christ, the Messiah foreseen by the Prophets, promised by God. The source of what He said was not human opinion nor of man’s learning, but it came from God.

John 7:28-29 (KJV)  Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.  [29]  But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

The Pharisees and Chief Priests sent soldiers to take Jesus captive (verse 32). They were too cowardly to step up and do it themselves, so they hired it done. But they could not take Jesus. Why? Because His time had not yet come. The Messiah had to be fully presented to the people. As the Apostle said:

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  [5]  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Until God’s time was right Christ would not be killed. Then He would not be murdered, but sacrificed as the Lamb of God to pay for our sins of Calvary.

Only Christ Can Satisfy Our Thirst

John 7:37 (KJV)  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 

Jesus taught in the Temple for about three days during the Feast. For each of the first seven days of the Feast the priests would go to the Pool of Siloam and there draw water into jugs.

That water was taken back to the Temple and poured on the altar as the Israelites sang Psalm 118, praising God for His provision. The site Bible-History.com notes:

On the Eighth day, the last day, called “the great day of the feast” the priests made no procession and poured no water onto the pavement and this too was very significant, because it symbolized the fact that God had fulfilled the promise to their fathers, He had now brought them into this land that was well watered, flowing with milk and honey, they no longer needed the miraculous supply out of the Rock.

It was on this day the last day that Jesus stood and cried out: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

It is interesting to note that it was on this day that they sang the marvelous “hallel psalms” of praise, which conclude with this passage Ps. 118:22 “.. and You have become my salvation, the Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone .. and blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The Messiah is in the midst of the people. He is the One Who will provide Living Water to those who believe. There is salvation in no other but in Christ. Jesus went on to say:

John 7:38 (KJV)  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promise God made in …

Isaiah 44:3 (KJV)  For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

During the Feast the people lived in temporary tents, receiving sustenance from the Lord. But Jesus promised something greater to those who believed in Him. He promised that once we believed on Him we would become tabernacles in which God’s Holy Spirit would live. God would place wells – not in the ground where we lived, but in our bellies or within our bodies. This would not be a limited supply, not a trickle, but …

RIVERS of living water

Not a little bit, but a lot. To those who give themselves to Christ there is the satisfied life. He meets our needs. He slakes our thirst. And the Spirit indwells us. He flows through us. The Bible tells us:

John 7:39 (KJV)  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy {Spirit} was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

In the Old Testament era the Holy Spirit was active among the people of God. Yet the Spirit did not indwell people to stay. The Spirit came upon people, and then after they accomplished their mission the Spirit left. Charles Ryrie noted:

The Spirit “came upon” such Old Testament people as Joshua (Numbers 27:18), David (1 Samuel 16:12-13) and even Saul (1 Samuel 10:10). In the book of Judges, we see the Spirit “coming upon” the various judges whom God raised up to deliver Israel from their oppressors. The Holy Spirit came upon these individuals for specific tasks. The indwelling was a sign of God’s favor upon that individual (in the case of David), and if God’s favor left an individual, the Spirit would depart (e.g., in Saul’s case in 1 Samuel 16:14). Finally, the Spirit “coming upon” an individual doesn’t always indicate that person’s spiritual condition (e.g., Saul, Samson, and many of the judges). So, while in the New Testament the Spirit only indwells believers and that indwelling is permanent, the Spirit came upon certain Old Testament individuals for a specific task, irrespective of their spiritual condition. Once the task was completed, the Spirit presumably departed from that person.”

With the death and resurrection of Jesus – His glorification – the Spirit would take on a new role for every believer. He would come to stay in us. He would flow through us. He would live in us. We are told in …

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  [17]  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

With the indwelling of the Spirit comes a graver and greater responsibility for every believer. We are to be aware that the Spirit indwells us, and are not to defile our temple. We are not to fall into and remain in sin. Sexual sin defiles the body. The Apostle wrote:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (KJV)  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  [19]  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  [20]  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are to glorify God in our body – and in our spirit – which belong to God. We are not our own. We are His, and He is ours. The Spirit of God indwells the Christian (Ephesians 1:13-14), and will not tolerate unrepentant sin in that which He indwells. We can let Him flow through our lives like living water. This is the way we are to go. We are to walk in the Spirit:

Galatians 5:16 (KJV)  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Posted in John, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , ,

Choose God NOW

forest-fire.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Revelation 15:1-8 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. 5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

We come now to the shortest chapter in the Book of Revelation. Being the shortest does not make it unimportant. In fact, this is one of the most powerful chapters in the Book. As we start the chapter we read:

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

The Wrath Of God Must Be Filled Up

And I saw” tells us John has another vision. John sees seven angels with seven plagues. What is the purpose of these “plagues”? We are told:

in them is filled up the wrath of God

The culmination of God’s wrath is in these plagues. People in our world today do not believe in a God of wrath. They believe that God is no more than love embodied, the kindly Eternal and Absentminded Grandfather who always has a little change for his grandbabies. This is not what the Scripture says of God. God must exercise wrath against sin. The Bible tells us that God’s wrath is justified. The Apostle said to those who would not repent:

Romans 2:5-11 (KJV)  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  [6]  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  [7]  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  [8]  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  [9]  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  [10]  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  [11]  For there is no respect of persons with God.

To those who reject Christ and His Lordship Salvation the Lord promises a payday someday. As we come to Revelation 15 we see payday coming. The world has been given the Gospel. The Lord was preached to by

Three Angels, and
144,000 Hebrew Evangelists, and
Two Witnesses

The world has been told of Christ for more than 2000 years now. The world has been blanketed by the Gospel. Had they come to Christ they could have claimed the promise …

Romans 5:9 (KJV)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Oh Christian, you never need fear the wrath of God! Has He not promised that the Blood of Christ is sufficient? Has He not promised that He poured out ALL THE WRATH OF GOD onh HIS BELOVED SON so that you do not need to endure it. Oh Beloved, what a wonderful truth is this! We Who are Christ’s shall not see Hell, nor Great Tribulation, nor Great White Throne. Christ took the weight of God’s just wrath on Himself. What a wonderful promise:

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 (KJV)  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  [9]  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,  [10]  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Wrath is for the lost. And wrath will come to the lost. J.I. Packer said:

God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil” (Knowing God, 151).

God’s wrath will be poured out on those who are not under the umbrella of Christ’s magnificent Gospel. People will be soaked to the bone with God’s wrath!

The Prophet Nahum said:

Nahum 1:2-3 (KJV)  God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.  [3]  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

God’s wrath will be poured out on those who have rejected His standard. He says in …

Romans 1:18-22 (KJV)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  [19]  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  [20]  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  [21]  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  [22]  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

God has not kept Himself secret, but has revealed Himself to us in:

Our bodily design
Our moral attributes
Our world itself

Even moreso during the Great Tribulation God will reveal Himself through supernatural and magnificent ways. And yet mankind will reject Christ. And so God’s wrath will be fulfilled. It must be poured out. But before we see the Angels pour out this wrath there is another vision John sees. He sees …

Those Who Chose The Wrath Of Man Rather Than God

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

And I saw” marks another vision, not of wrath, but of salvation. We see the Tribulation Saints – those who missed the Rapture of the Church but who received Christ rather than receive the Mark of the Beast – standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire. The last time we saw this “sea of glass” was in Revelation 4:

Context Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass
like unto crystal …

Previously the “sea of glass” was like crystal, but now it is mingled with fire. The Judgment of God is now here. The Tribulation Saints – those who went through the worst time of martyrdom in all of human history – shed their blood rather than bow their knees to the anti-Christ. They refused to compromise, and loved God until the end.

They stood not with popular opinion, but the Lord.
The rested in Christ, not in the curiosity of the culpable.
They went through the fire like the Hebrew Children.
And now stand before the Almighty God!

They stand now before the Throne of God on a “sea of glass mingled with fire” and they are not afraid.

Those who love the Lord have the harps of Gold. They worship God. For God has saved them and brought them to His side! They Choose To Praise God!

They chose the Harp of Gold over the Bowl of Gold.

1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.

These Saints are standing before the Source of all Power and Majesty. They are standing before the Almighty God before Whom even the most powerful nuclear weapon that man can make looks like a mosquito bite in comparison. These Saints respect God and are in holy awe of Him. But they do not quake. They SING! They PRAISE HIM. They are not judged, but they are loved!

Choosing to follow Jesus will put you at odds with the fallen world. These Tribulation Saints died for their faith. They were not merely ostracized – they starved to death because they would not receive the Mark of the Beast. Yet what do these Saints do?
They praise God. They magnify Him by singing.

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, …

The Tribulation Saints Sing The Song Of Moses.
There are three songs of Moses in the Bible.

Exodus 15:1-19 – written at the Red Sea Crossing
Psalm 90
Deuteronomy 32

The substance of each of these songs is that God is Almighty, Faithful, and True. In the first song of Moses (which is the first recorded song in the Bible) Moses sang:

Exodus 15:1-2 (KJV) …. I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.  [2]  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 15:11 (KJV)  Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

This is just a portion of this song, but it is wonderful because it magnifies God. The Song of Moses recorded in Psalm 90 states in part:

Psalms 90:1-2 (KJV) …. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. [2]  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Psalms 90:12 (KJV)  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

The third Song of Moses was written at God’s direction. God told Moses in:

Deuteronomy 31:19 (KJV)  Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that THIS SONG MAY BE A WITNESS FOR ME AGAINST THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.

The song is in Deuteronomy 32. In part it reads:

Deuteronomy 32:1-4 (KJV)  Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  [2]  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  [3]  Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  [4]  He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Deuteronomy 32:9 (KJV)  For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Which “Song of Moses” did these Tribulation Saints – more than likely Redeemed Israelites – sing unto the Lord? I don’t know. But I do know whichever song they chose,

it magnified God as He triumphed over their enemy.

Revelation 15:3 (KJV)  And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, …

They also sang “The Song of the Lamb”. Some have suggested certain Psalms as the “Song of the Lamb”, but I think this makes the interpretation too difficult. The Song of the Lamb is actually right here:

Revelation 15:3-4 (KJV) … Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.  [4]  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

The Song of the Lamb magnifies God and His Great Salvation wrought through Christ. He is Just and True. He is the King of the Saints – of which you are a part, if you are Christ’s. You are set apart for His glory. You are called to worship and glorify Him and Him alone. Because of the Lamb:

all nations shall come and worship before Thee

Many shall be saved because of Christ. Praise God and His magnificent Grace!

Proper Worship Of God Releases Judgment

Revelation 15:5-6 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple ….

If we would worship God, God would take care of our enemies. Too often we become entranced with an eye for an eye philosophy. Someone hurt us, so we want vengeance. What did the Lord tell us?

Romans 12:19-21 (KJV)  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  [20]  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  [21]  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Those who stood before the Throne were martyred for their faith. They did not moan, but sang praises unto God. They trusted God to do what was right. As soon as they finished singing to God judgment was released. God will repay. Oh yes, God will repay!

Let God do the whipping, and we’ll do the worship!

Following worship the Seven Bowl Angels are released from Heaven to the earth. These angels are carrying terrible plagues with them. How are they dressed? We read:

Revelation 15:6 {they are} clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

These plague carrying Angels are dressed in pure, white linen.
What they are doing is sinless.
It is what is right, regardless as to what we think.

God offered Heaven, but the world refused.
So now the world gets the alternative.
It receives wrath!

We read that:

Revelation 15:7 (KJV)  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Do you remember who these “four beasts” before God’s Throne are? They are the Heavenly Worship Leaders. One of the Worship Leaders passes off the vials of the wrath of God to the Angels. He loads the gun. Now judgment comes.

Revelation 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

What is this symbolic of? “No one can enter the Temple”? In Old Testament times a person accused of wrongdoing could run to the Temple and grab hold of the horns of the altar, crying out for mercy. There will be no running to the Temple. There will be no crying for mercy. Man was offered mercy, but rejected it.

He could have got on the Ark.
But the door is closed, and the water is rising.
He could have killed the Lamb without blemish.
But he ignored the warning, and the Death Angel has come.
He could have walked the aisle, and committed himself to Christ.
But he was too proud to do so. He would not obey.
He could have cried the name of Jesus.
But instead he cursed His Name.
Mercy would have come running a thousand times.
But he had no time for God.
And now the door is closed.
The service over.
Damnation.
Sure.

Posted in Revelation, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , ,

The Glory Of His Presence

flowers-1497042507msL

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Exodus 33:12-17 (KJV)  And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.  [13]  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.  [14]  And {God} said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.  [15]  And {Moses} said unto {God}, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.  [16]  For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.  [17]  And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

What separates us as God’s people?
Is it not that God is with us?
That God goes with us, goes before us?
That He is in a very real way in our midst?

I was reading an article the other day written by a young Christian who thought that what made the Church was its music. Music is fine. I love music. I love all types of music. But you have music in a honkey tonk, in bars, at Walmart, and most stores. You have music in elevators. God’s people should be joyous, singing people. But if God is not in it, there is nothing.

When we gather, we gather under God’s authority for His glory. It is this type of gathering that causes God to be present. Jesus said:

Matthew 18:20 (KJV)  For where two or three are gathered together IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them.

It is not the number of people in a service that brings blessing, but that we are gathered together in His Name and for His glory. The Church has, in many respects, lost this in America.

We need the Lord in our lives, present, living, and real to us. There is no real healing in us unless God is with us. When Jesus healed ten lepers but only one returned to praise the Lord He declared:

Luke 17:17-19 ….. Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned TO GIVE GLORY TO GOD, save this stranger(the Samaritan). 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

It is the faith that seeks God first and foremost that brings wholeness. We must worship the Lord.

God Will Not Walk With The Prideful

God is often better to us than we deserve. As Israel prepared to go into the Land of Canaan the Lord called out to Moses:

Exodus 33:1 And the LORD said unto Moses…

Don’t miss this. Don’t gloss this over. God spoke to Moses. Moses was having coffee one day and the Lord walked in. Moses, let’s talk. Oh what a blessing this would be! God spoke to Moses. He knew his name. He was on a first name basis with Moses. Oh, what a wonderful thing that is! The LORD – the Eternal and Everlasting I AM – spoke to the temporal Moses. He said:

Exodus 33:1-2 … Depart, and GO UP HENCE, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: 2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: [3] Unto a land flowing with milk and honey:

You GO UP Moses – GO UP on the Mountain that I promised to give you. When you go I will send an angel before you and I’ll drive out the bad things and the bad people. I’m going to give you the Mountain. Just Go UP.

You’re going to get everything you ever wanted.
You’ll get the land. You’ll be at rest.
Your enemies will be chased out.
Your children will keep the land.
You will have a progeny.
The land will literally flow with milk and honey.

It will be ALL that you dreamed. You will have it all. However, Moses …

Exodus 33:3 … for I WILL NOT GO UP IN THE MIDST OF THEE; for thou art a STIFF-NECKED PEOPLE: lest I consume thee in the way.

You can have it all – but I won’t be there.

What if God told you the same thing. “You can have it all, but I won’t be there with you”. What would you think? God said …

the people are too “stiff necked”.

You may not know what that means, but ancient farmers did. When a horse or an ox decided it didn’t want to be trained it would stiffen its neck and fight the bit. It was its way of saying “You’ll not be my master no matter what!” To be “stiff necked” is to refuse to bend, to refuse to honor God as Lord and King.

The people would not honor God. God said “I’m not going to go with you for YOUR OWN SAKE, because if I go I MAY CONSUME YOU INTHE WAY”.

God cannot tolerate pride and arrogance.
God will not go with the prideful.
He will not be disrespected by pride filled people.
God is God!

When the Seven Deadly Sins are mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 do you know what the number one Deadly Sin is? P-R-I-D-E. Yes, Pride!

Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an ABOMINATION unto him: 17 A PROUD LOOK ….

The proud look, the stiff neck, the “I am the center of the Universe” pride is an abomination to God. The word ABOMINATION means:

That which causes disgust or hatred”

Why would God call pride an “ABOMINATION”?
Because pride leads us from Him Who loves us.
Pride depraves a nation and a people.
A pride filled people descend into idolatry.
They worship CALVES rather than their CREATOR.

Proverbs 16:18-19 PRIDE GOETH BEFORE DESTRUCTION, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

PRIDE caused ADAM to fall from Paradise.
Pride said “God is depriving you – go ahead, EAT”.
PRIDE caused the destruction of all but eight in the FLOOD.
PRIDE caused SAMSON to fall for Delilah, then fall to Philistia.
PRIDE lead King DAVID to adultery and murder.
PRIDE caused LUCIFER to become Satan, the arch evil angel.
PRIDE causes many to reject the GOSPEL of Christ,
And leads them to a fiery Hell.

Listen to me – if you have something, you have it because God allowed it. If you have a talent, it is because God gave it to you. If you have beauty, or a powerful job, or even life itself it is because the LORD our God gave it to you. Do not think that you are self sufficient.

Without God we are but dust in the wind. God is the Giver, and we need His Presence.

Pride Is Horrid Because It Blinds
The Prideful To Their Condition

You cannot correct a prideful man. You cannot lead a prideful woman to repentance. Why? Because pride convinces me I AM RIGHT and EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG.

Some of the saddest words in Scripture are those that follow. Moses shared what God said to Israel, but the Israelites could not hear what God said. Read with me:

Exodus 33:4 And when the people heard these EVIL TIDINGS, THEY MOURNED: and no man did put on him his ornaments.

The people MOURNED. The word ABAL means to cry aloud, to wail. They began to wail and weep. Was it because they realized they were going into the Promised Land without God? No, but we are told:

Exodus 33:5-6 (KJV)  For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of thee IN A MOMENT, AND CONSUME THEE: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.  [6]  And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.

They mourned because God said He was going to destroy them. They did not mourn because they realized they realized their sin.
They mourned because they were going to be punished.

Part of what blinded them to their condition was their ornaments, their stuff. They had lots of “stuff”. Now this was “stuff” that God let them have, but now God told them “get rid of those ornaments, those trinkets, because that “stuff” is bringing you to destruction. God said the same thing to the Church at Laodicea in:

Revelation 3:15-17 (KJV)  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  [16]  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  [17]  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

That Church – like Israel – had lots of “stuff” … but the didn’t have the Lord. Jesus said “You think you are rich, but you are LUKEWARM, a nasty taste in My Mouth”. This is where Israel was. They had trinkets, but not God. They had

Four wheelers
Fishing boats
Two or more cars
Televisions in every room
Healthcare
good bank accounts
Several vacations a year
Condominiums
Jewelry
Social networks
Good jobs

But they did not have the Lord’s Presence in their daily lives. They had no sense of God, so lived senseless lives. I have seen so many obituaries lately of young people – 65 years old and younger still – who lived their lives empty of God. How do I know? The obituary spoke nothing of the Lord. Nothing. Nothing. They had no Church family, no pastor officiating their final service, and in many cases no final service. They had STUFF but did not have the Lord.

What gives us the POWER to OVERCOME in life is GOD’s PRESENCE!

The Scripture says:

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God OVERCOMETH the world: and this is the victory that OVERCOMETH the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that OVERCOMETH the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

If God is with me, I can OVERCOME all things. Canaan is no challenge if I go to Canaan with God. But even if God casts all of my enemies out of Canaan, if He will not go with me, then Canaan will not be Canaan.

One day Jesus sought to explain to His disciples – and US – the importance of God in our lives. Jesus stood in front of a beautiful field filled with wildflowers, and birds, and bees. Jesus stopped, and presenting the field to His disciples said:

Matthew 6:25-33 (KJV)  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  [26]  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  [27]  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  [28]  And why take ye thought for {clothing}? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  [29]  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  [30]  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  [31]  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  [32]  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  [33]  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

God takes care of those who love Him. Seek HIS Presence. This is what Moses did next. He sought God. He told the people to quit seeking stuff and to seek God. Read with me:

Exodus 33:8-9 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, AFAR OFF FROM THE CAMP, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.

Did you read with me? Did you see what Moses did? He set up a place to meet with the Lord. It was a place far from the camp. Why? It wasn’t convenient to Israel. Some people say “I’ll stay home and worship God by watching Charles Stanley on television”. Go ahead, but you won’t find God there. God isn’t your God just when it’s convenient to you. God is not an APP that you dial up on your phone. God is God. Moses set up a place outside the camp

Afar Off From the Camp

a place you had to get up and go to. It wasn’t a McDonald’s sort of Christianity that Moses proposed to Israel. You had to be inconvenienced. You had to get up, get in your cart and donkey, and drive to it. Who experienced God? Those who went to the Tabernacle. Those who sought the Lord.

Jesus Christ went without the camp to pay for our sins. He calls us to go without the camp to worship Him. To step outside of our comfort zone. To intentionally seek God.

Hebrews 13:11-14 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

When we worship the Lord without the camp, we will worship Him in the home. We see that next.

Exodus 33:10 And ALL the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and ALL the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.

Our homes would be blessed if we loved the Lord outside the camp. If we sought Him at Church, in our businesses, in the marketplace.

Oh, How I Need The Presence Of God In My Life!

Many of the songs we sing every Sunday emphasize our need of God’s Presence in our daily lives. We need the Lord. We need the Lord more than stuff. We need Him every moment of every day. Moss told God:

Exodus 33:13-14 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

It is the Presence of God in our lives that gives us rest. Moses did not want the Promised Land without the Precious Savior. He did not want Canaan without the Creator. He said:

Exodus 33:15-16 And {Moses} said unto {God}, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

If You are not with us, God, we don’t want the Holy Land.
We don’t want the stuff without You.
We desperately need You!

That is the mark of God’s people, that they want God.
That they hear God.
That they love God.
That they represent God.
That they follow God.
That they are God’s own.

Are you? Are you God’s own? May God touch your hearts with His Word.

Posted in Exodus, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , ,

The Holy Spirit

path-in-the-woods-13615460746I3.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

John 14:1-6 (KJV)  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  [2]  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  [3]  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  [4]  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  [5]  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  [6]  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:15-18 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.  [16]  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  [17]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  [18]  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

All Together John 14:26 (KJV)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Most people are familiar with the first six verses of John 14. You have heard these words at funerals, heard them preached. I personally love the politically incorrect John 14:6 where Jesus unashamedly declares:

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Here He declares the uniqueness of Christianity.
Jesus is the only Way to God.
Jesus leads us to the Father.
Jesus imparts to us the Holy Spirit.

As Christians we are well aware of what Jesus did for us. He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He promises us eternal life. We are aware of the Father, the Provider of all things. But what of the Holy Spirit?

Many Christians think little of the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge Him, but are confused over His role in our faith. We are confused by Him. Should we call Him “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost”? Sometimes He is presented as “Spirit” and other times in the King James as “Ghost”.

The title “Holy Spirit” in the original text is Hagios Pneuma which should be translated “Holy Spirit”. The word “Pneuma” in the Greek also means “Wind”. Jesus used the wind to describe the operation of the Holy Spirit when He told Nicodemus:

John 3:8 (KJV)  The windpneuma bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spiritpneuma.

It is the Holy Spirit Who brings new Birth to the Christian. Like the wind blowing through the trees you see His effect on the Church and on the individual believer. He brings change to the Child of God who calls upon the Name of Christ. He empowers us to live the Christian way of life. He draws us to God, and binds us, marking us for Heaven and as the lights of God on this present earth.

The Holy Spirit Is A Person, Not A Power

I have heard people refer to the Holy Spirit as “It”, as if the Spirit were a power or a thing. He is not a thing. The Spirit is a Person. As Jesus develops the Doctrine of the Spirit notice how He refers to Him:

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and HE shall give you another Comforter, that HE may abide with you for ever;  [17]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth HIM not, neither knoweth HIM: but ye know HIM; for HE dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

When Jesus referred to the Father it was as HE or HIM. When Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit it was as HE or HIM, not IT.

You will find no place in Scripture where the Blessed Spirit is an IT. He is misrepresented as an IT (Itself) in the Authorized King James texts of Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26, but this is a bad translation. This error is corrected in the New King James Version,
where the text properly reads “The Spirit HIMSELF”

The Holy Spirit is a HE. He is the Third Member of the Godhead. He is accorded equal respect and admiration in the Christian faith. Jesus told us to baptized new converts to our faith:

Matthew 28:19 (KJV)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the HOLY {SPIRIT}:

There is but one NAME – one GOD, but He is in three Persons. Father, Son, and Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person. The Bible says:

Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)  And GRIEVE not the HOLY SPIRIT of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit can be GRIEVED or SADDENED by our actions. You cannot sadden a Power. Electricity does not get upset over the things we do in our homes. Power is a thing, but the Spirit is a Person. The Holy Spirit can become VEXED or UPSET with us.

Isaiah 63:10 (KJV)  But they rebelled, and VEXED his holy SPIRIT: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

The Spirit can be sinned against. ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA lied to the Holy Spirit of God:

Acts 5:3 (KJV)  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to LIE TO THE HOLY {SPIRIT}, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Both Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives because, Peter told them:

Acts 5:4 (KJV) … THOU HAST NOT LIED UNTO MEN, BUT UNTO GOD.

The Holy Spirit is God. He is a Person. We are to obey the Spirit and honor Him with our lives. It was the Holy Spirit Who told Peter to go to the home of Cornelius:

Acts 10:19-20 (KJV)  While Peter thought on the vision, THE SPIRIT SAID unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.  [20]  Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

The Holy Spirit guided men to Peter so they could take Peter to Cornelius. He is not a Power but a Person. A Power cannot send people from one point to another. A Person can. A Person has volition. “I have sent them” the Spirit said. We get confused by the Spirit because He empowers us. God told His servant:

Zechariah 4:6 (KJV) … This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the LORD of hosts.

It was the Holy Spirit Who spoke to Philip the Evangelist:

Acts 8:29 (KJV)  Then the SPIRIT SAID unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

And because of the Holy Spirit an Ethiopian Eunuch – a high ranking official – was led to dedicate his life to Christ. This man would carry the Gospel to Africa because Philip heeded the Word of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives the spiritual gifts to the Church. The Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (KJV)  But the MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT is given to every man to profit withal.  [8]  For to one is given BY THE SPIRIT the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge BY THE SAME SPIRIT;  [9]  To another faith BY THE SAME SPIRIT; to another the gifts of healing BY THE SAME SPIRIT;  [10]  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  [11]  But ALL THESE WORKETH THAT ONE AND THE SELFSAME SPIRIT, DIVIDING TO EVERY MAN SEVERALLY AS HE WILL.

It is the Spirit Who WILLS the gifts to the Body of Christ. He places members in the Church. He empowers the members to serve Christ.

The Scriptures Were Written By The Holy Spirit

The Apostle Peter wrote under the inspiration of God:

2 Peter 1:20-21 (KJV)  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  [21]  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy {Spirit}.

The Scriptures that we have are written by men – but as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul put it this way:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)  All scripture is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  [17]  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The words “inspiration of God” is the Greek word THEOPNEUSTOS which literally means “God breathed” or “Spirit breathed”. The Holy Spirit came on the writers of Scripture and guided them as they wrote. The personality of the writer shows in the writings … but they are God’s Word. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit and Scripture when He said:

John 16:12-14 (KJV)  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  [13]  Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  [14]  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Spirit wrote the Scripture.
The Spirit guides us in the Scripture.
As Spiritual people we must be guided by His Spirit.

The Apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 2:12-15 (KJV)  Now we {who are saved} have received, NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD, BUT THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  [13]  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but WHICH THE HOLY {SPIRIT} TEACHETH; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  [14]  But the NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  [15]  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

The born again Christian receives the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit teaches us the Scriptures that He wrote. The Spirit guides us into the truth of God’s Word. The unbeliever cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually dead. But we who are saved are spiritually alive because of the Holy Spirit.

The Christ Operated By The Holy Spirit

When Jesus came to this earth He was both fully God as well as fully perfect Man. Yet Jesus did not operate in His own power while on this earth. The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:

Philippians 2:5-9 (KJV)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  [6]  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  [7]  But made himself OF NO REPUTATION, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  [8]  And BEING FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  [9]  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

When Jesus came to this earth – perfect God/Man – He humbled Himself. The King James says “He made Himself of no reputation”. This is the Greek KENOSIS which means “to empty oneself”. When Jesus Christ as Messiah came to this earth He had the power of God, but did not use His own power to do what He did. When Jesus entered this world as perfect man, He entered through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Angel of God told the virgin Mary:

Luke 1:35 (KJV)  And the angel answered and said unto her, The HOLY {SPIRIT} SHALL COME UPON THEE, AND THE POWER OF THE HIGHEST SHALL OVERSHADOW THEE: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit would cause the conception of Christ in the blessed virgin. Before Jesus’ ministry started in full He had to be baptized by John. At His baptism we see:

Luke 3:22 (KJV)  And the HOLY {SPIRIT} DESCENDED IN A BODILY SHAPE LIKE A DOVE upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

The Father endorsed the Son, but the Spirit indwelt the Son. He descended looking like a dove, I believe, because the Spirit brings the peace of God that passes all understanding. Right after His Baptism we find Jesus in the desert being tempted by the devil. How did Jesus get to the desert? The Bible says:

Luke 4:1-2 (KJV)  And JESUS BEING FULL OF THE HOLY {SPIRIT} returned from Jordan, and WAS LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS,  [2]  Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

The Spirit led Christ to the desert to show us how to battle that old devil. When tempted, Christ defeated Satan with “it is written”. He quoted the Book the Spirit wrote, and stood against the devil in the power of that selfsame Spirit. As Jesus ministered and did miracles He did so through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:14-21 (KJV)  And Jesus returned IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  [15]  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.  [16]  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  [17]  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet {Isaiah}. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,  [18]  THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  [19]  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. [20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  [21]  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

It is the Holy Spirit that anointed the preaching of Christ, and empowered the miracles that He did. Jesus as God could have done the miraculous – but He humbled Himself and became like us, but without sin. Jesus told the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:28 (KJV)  But if I CAST OUT DEVILS BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

That which He did He did through the Spirit of God. When Jesus went to the Cross He was able to endure what He did through the power of the Blessed Holy Spirit. The Writer of Hebrews said:

Hebrews 9:14-15 (KJV)  How much more shall the blood of Christ, WHO THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  [15]  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Life is in the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who participated in the resurrection of Christ. The Scripture declares:

Romans 8:10-11 (KJV)  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  [11]  But IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The Holy Spirit caused Christ’s body to resurrect. That same Spirit indwells every believer, and promises to make us alive as He made Christ alive. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

The Christian Operates By The Holy Spirit

John 14:15-18 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.  [16]  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  [17]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  [18]  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Jesus promised His Spirit to those who love Him, who have received Him as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. The Holy Spirit is not optional to the Christian. The Bible declares:

Romans 8:9 (KJV)  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

It is a fact that gravity is what holds us to the earth. It is a fact that we must have oxygen to live. It is a fact that the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. If any has not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of His. It is the Spirit that is the mark of God on our lives.

Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)  And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, WHEREBY YE ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION.

Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, our Companion throughout eternity. He dwelleth with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU Jesus said. The Holy Spirit is called “The Comforter” or “The Helper” because He enables us to live the Christian way of life. We are to “Walk by the Spirit”, following His direction as we read His Word. The world cannot know the Holy Spirit. The worldly Christian will not experience the power of the Spirit. But we, like Christ, must empty ourselves to be availed of His Spirit. It is the Spirit Who helps us understand the things of God. Jesus said:

John 14:26 (KJV)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy {Spirit}, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

It is the Holy Spirit Who teaches us, guides us, and keeps us company as we walk through this life. The Father loved and planned to save us. The Son loved and moved to save us. The blessed Spirit comes to us when we call upon Jesus. He indwells us. He empowers us. He assures us that we are adopted into God’s family.

Romans 8:15 (KJV)  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:6-7 (KJV)  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  [7]  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Posted in John, Sermons Preached | Tagged , ,

Babylon Must Die

Revelation_14_Babylon_Must_Die_Israel

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Revelation 14:1-7 (KJV)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.  [2]  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:  [3]  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.  [4]  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  [5]  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.  [6]  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  [7]  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

In The Midst Of Tribulation The Lamb Stands

In the previous chapter we saw the rise of the unholy trinity, the devil, the Anti-Christ, and the False Prophet. But as we come to chapter 14 we see that the devil has not won the day. The devil and his evil partners have led many into receiving the mark of the Beast in their right hands and foreheads. The False Prophet …

Revelation 13:16-18 (KJV)  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  [17]  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  [18]  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

You might think that the entire world would be under the devil’s spell, but you’d be wrong. As we enter this chapter we read:

Revelation 14:1 (KJV)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood …

The Lamb STOOD. He has not fallen. He STOOD. He STOOD tall, and strong. He STOOD undefeated. How can a Lamb stand against all the forces of evil? Because He is the Lamb of God. He is the Lamb foretold in the sacrifices of Israel. He was represented in the Lamb without spot or blemish. He was introduced to Israel at the first Passover at Exodus 12:

Your Lamb shall be without blemish (vs 5)
You shall keep it until the 14
th day of the month (vs 6)
You shall kill it in the evening, and take its Blood
Striking it on the two side posts and upper door post (vs 7)
You shall eat it’s flesh, and burn the rest (vs 9-10)
For I will pass through and smite every household where there is no Blood.
When I see the Blood, I will pass over you (vvs 13)

Though an animal at the Exodus, it represented the Lamb of God. It was Jesus that Isaiah saw when he wrote:

Isaiah 53:5,7 (KJV)  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. … Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

When John the Baptist came preaching he saw the Lord, and declared:

John 1:29 (KJV) … Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Though God Eternal, Jesus came to this earth to redeem a people. He lowered Himself to be the Lamb of God. He died on Calvary to save a wretch like me … and you! It is His Blood shed on Calvary that paid our sin debt. The Apostle said our redemption is not purchased with money or gold …

1 Peter 1:19 (KJV)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Worthy is the Lamb in the midst of the Throne of God (Revelation 5:6, 12). This is the Christ, sacrificed for our sins. BUT THE LAMB STOOD. He STANDS. Beaten and bruised, nailed to a Tree, mocked and scorned, He died for you and me. He was laid in a borrowed tomb. BUT THE LAMB STOOD. Death could not hold Him. The devil could not defeat Him. He was dead. The soldiers knew it. The Centurion who executed Him …

John 19:34 (KJV) …. with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

He was dead. He was embalmed. His body was wrapped, and laid in a borrowed tomb. But the Lamb STOOD. He rose again on the third day, just as He promised. He could not be defeated.

In The Midst Of Tribulation
The Lamb Stands On Mount Zion

Revelation 14:1 (KJV)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,

The Lamb is standing firm on the mount Sion. Peter wrote:

1 Peter 2:5-6 (KJV)  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  [6]  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in SION a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Peter was actually quoting from Isaiah

Isaiah 28:16 (KJV)  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in ZION for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Zion or Sion are actually the same place. Zion is the City of God, the City of David, Jerusalem. The Scripture declares:

Psalms 87:2-3 (KJV)  The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.  [3]  Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

Zion or Sion is God’s Jerusalem. On earth it is the City of David. In Heaven it is the City of God. Overlooking the earthly Zion is a Mount called Mount Zion or Mount Sion. This was a high place on the southeast size of the city of Jerusalem where King David built a citadel to protect that city. The Lamb STOOD on Mount Sion. He guards God’s City. Who stands with Him?

Revelation 14:1 (KJV)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

We were introduced to the 144,000 back in …

Revelation 7:4 (KJV)  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

These are 144,000 HEBREWS. They are from the tribes of

Judah
Reuben
Gad
Asher
Naphthali
Manasseh
Simeon
Levi
Issachar
Zebulon
Joseph
Benjamin

Though the False Prophet is busy making disciples of hell, these 144,000 are sharing the Gospel to Israel. God is not done with Israel. The Lamb STOOD in the midst of Mount Zion. Though many are fallen to the devil, many are coming to Christ, to the Lamb of God. What can we learn about these 144,000?

Revelation 14:3 (KJV)  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

The 144,000 sung a new song before the Throne of God, a song that only they could sing. The Psalmist wrote:

Psalms 40:3 (KJV)  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

These 144,000 have a special mission, a calling from God that only they can do. They are redeemed from the earth. They are special emissaries from God.

In The Midst Of Tribulation The Lamb Stands
On Mount Zion With Firstfruits

Revelation 14:4 (KJV)  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the FIRSTFRUITS unto God and to the Lamb.

These emissaries forgo sex. They are virgins. Their focus is not on self gratification, but on Jesus. They follow the Lamb where ever He goes. They are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and their allegiance is to Him and Him only.

They are FIRSTFRUITS. These 144,000 Hebrews are not the only redeemed that come out of the Great Tribulation. The term “firstfruits” is used in the Bible of the first and greatest harvest of the field. The tithe was to come from the firstfruits. During the Church Age the genuine Blood bought Christian is the “firstfruit” of the redeemed. James wrote:

James 1:18 (KJV)  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures.

Christ is the firstfruit of the resurrection, which tells us that others shall be blessed as He was.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (KJV)  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  [21]  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  [22]  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  [23]  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

When Jesus comes for His Church we shall all be given glorious, resurrected bodies as He has. He is the firstfruits, we the second harvest. These 144,000 Hebrews are the firstfruits of the Great Tribulation. Their focus will be primarily Israel, though the whole world will have an opportunity to receive salvation and redemption through the Christ. The Lamb stands on MOUNT ZION with the 144,000. Israel is the primary focus.

Yet the world will hear the Gospel.
The world will hear the warning of impending judgment.
No one can say that they did not know.
An angel from Heaven will preach it!

Revelation 14:6-7 (KJV)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  [7]  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The Judgment will not come without warning. Babylon must die. Man must worship the Creator, not the created. God must be honored. The Lamb of God must be revered.

The Lamb Will Stand But Babylon Must Fall

One angel preaches the Gospel and calls the world to repentance, but two other angels declare the destruction of Babylon.

Revelation 14:8 (KJV)  And there followed another (the second) angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

There are over 100,000 false religions in America and the world.

It would take me weeks if I were to start naming them and what they believe. They are false because they depart from the clearly written Word of God. They are characterized in Scripture as Babylon. You see Babylon on television, masked as God’s Word. The Bible declares:

2 Samuel 22:31 (KJV)  As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Matthew 4:4 (KJV)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

It is God’s Word that spoke creation into being.
It is God’s Word that changes the sinner into a New Creation.
It is God’s Word that holds the created together.
His Truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:5)
There has always been a Babylon.
It started in the Garden of Eden.
It whispered “Hath God really said?” and waited for converts to its evil.
Babylon goes by many names, by many denominations.
Yes, it even hides itself as “Non-Denominational”, which is a mask on a mask.

In ancient times Babylon was “Pharisee” or “Sadducee”.
In modern times it may be “Conservative” or “Liberal”.
The mark of Babylon has always been the mark of the world,
a departure from Scripture Truth.

The focus of Babylon has always been worship not of God but of the little “g” god of mankind and womankind. Babylon was manifest in the evil that caused the Noahic Flood. Though God destroyed all but eight by water, Babylon rose up again in hearts that would rather worship anything other than the Creator of Scripture.

Babylon was at the foot of Mount Sinai, building a golden calf.
Babylon demanded that the Prophet Daniel pray only to the King, and cast him into a lion’s den.
Babylon demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worship a golden statue.
Babylon ignored God’s directive and told the Israelite to marry the Canaanite.

Babylon today says that the priest can forgive sins, though the Scripture declares only God can forgive sin. Babylon prays to a man made statue and ignores the God Who has manifested Himself in glory before us.

But Babylon will die, and Christ will reign.

The THIRD angel cries out:

Revelation 14:9-11 (KJV)  And the THIRD angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  [10]  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  [11]  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

The third angel warns specifically against worshiping the Beast and his image. The angel is very specific. If any person WORSHIP the Beast and his image (his idol) he SHALL DRINK THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD. In other words, God’s judgment shall fall on that person without dilution. Wine is not grape juice. Wine is fermented, stored, kept until it reaches a certain consistency. What is the outcome of God’s wrath?

he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  [11]  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night

Some cults believe that there shall be no eternal punishment, just annihilation. God shall burn people up. But this is not what the Lord says in His Word. The text gives a clear presentation of eternal torment to those who worship the Beast. THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT. This is not temporal, but eternal. In contrast, however, we see the Children of God at rest:

Revelation 14:12-14 (KJV)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.  [13]  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.  

Those who love the Lamb of God rest, whereas those who love the Beast never rest. Those who love the Lamb of God their works follow them. The good that was done for Christ and for the glory of God shall be given to us as rewards in glory. We will be blessed then, though we may suffer now.

There Are Two Reapers At The End Of This Chapter

As the chapter closes, we see Two Reapers. One is like unto the Son of Man – a title for the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. We read:

Revelation 14:14-16 (KJV)  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  [15]  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  [16]  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Jesus is reaping souls unto salvation. To those who love Him as Lamb of God, He shall reap unto salvation. But to those who reject Jesus there is another Reaper. A Grim Reaper. A Judgment Reaper.

Revelation 14:17-20 (KJV)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  [18]  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  [19]  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  [20]  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

This reaping is unto judgment, terrible judgment. Blood will flow up to the horse bridles, about 4 ½ feet deep for about 200 miles. Thomas Constable writes:

Much of this action will take place in the “Valley of Jezreel” in northern Israel (i.e., the battle of Armageddon; 19:17-19). There God will put vast numbers of people to death (cf. Isa. 63:1-6). The blood will evidently drain out of the Jezreel Valley for a distance of 200 miles, probably flowing eastward down the Harod Valley to the Jordan Valley, and south all the way to the Dead Sea.”

Though many saved will die during the Tribulation, they will be blessed in Eternity with Christ. Though many will choose the easy route of following the crowd and the Beast, they will suffer eternally. And Christ will destroy Babylon. He will reign supreme for He is Lord!

Posted in Revelation, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , , ,

Who Is On The Lord’s Side?

Exodus_32_Who_Is_On.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Exodus 32:26 (KJV)  Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

God’s People Must Rely On God

Moses had been on the mountain top with God. In fact, as I studied this, I found out that Moses went up the mountain a total of eight times (see Exodus 19:2-7; 19:8; 19:10; 19:20-25; 20:21; 24:1; 32:32; 34:1-2). Moses wasn’t alone many of those times that he went up the mountain.

On the third day of the third ascent Israel heard God come down
On the fourth ascent God had Moses bring Aaron with him
On the sixth ascent Moses took Aaron and his sons (Nadab and Abihu) along with 70 elders

Exodus 24:9-11 (KJV)  Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:  [10]  And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.  [11]  And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

They experienced God in all His glory. I believe this was the manifest Presence of Christ, our Beloved Savior. Jesus said that Moses wrote of Him:

John 5:46 (KJV)  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.

Israel experienced God. The leadership of Israel experienced and saw God. Moses and Aaron saw God. On the seventh day of this sixth ascent the Bible tells us:

Exodus 24:17-18 (KJV)  And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.  [18]  And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

The Moses who had been coming and going up the mountain, who was always with the people, disappeared for 40 days and 40 nights. The peoplke should have been looking upward at the mountain and trustinbg in God. The leaders who had been introduced to God, who saw God in all His glory, should have trusted in God. Aaron the High Priest and his sons should have trusted in God.

But they were not reliant on God.
Their faith was not in Christ.
Their faith was in Moses.
They were too dependant on Moses.

It is wonderful to trust and follow your leaders … but YOU must have a relationship with the Lord. Your Pastor praises God for every member of Christ’s Body who loves Jesus and serves Him. Your Pastor appreciates those who give without having to be begged, who serve without having to be chased, who are ENCOURAGERS instead of DISCOURAGERS. I praise God for those who work within their calling. Praise God for the workers. But never let the work make you believe that the work is enough. YOU must have a growing relationship with the Lord. YOU must be saved and secure in His hand. YOU. YOU. YOU. I cannot do it for you. We read:

Exodus 32:1 (KJV)  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

A faith in man will not last for very long. Moses has been gone into the mountain with God for forty days and forty night. I’m sure the drift started out small. First a few people talked. “Wonder where Moses is? Have you seen the fire on the mountaintop? It’s been over a month now, and I’ll bet Moses burned alive in that fire! What are we going to do?”

Unbelief begins with a whisper,
and as it gains a hearing moves to a shout!

Fear began to creep in. The people had forgotten the first sermon Moses ever preached to them, standing at the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army bearing down on them:

Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV) …. Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  [14]  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

It was a short sermon, but sometimes the shortest sermons are the best. Fear like a snake slithers in, making us imagine so many “what if” scenarios. Moses is gone. We are all alone. But Beloved, God did not bring you to the foot of Sinai through the Red Sea to abandon you. Trust God.

Psalms 9:10 (KJV)  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalms 20:7 (KJV)  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalms 56:3 (KJV)  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  [6]  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

The people had put their trust not in God, but in Moses. So now without Moses they come to the closest thing they can find – Moses’ brother Aaron. They tell Aaron:

the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him,
Up, make us gods, which shall go before us

Unbelief Works Best With A Manufactured God

The word rendered “gods” in the King James is the Hebrew (אֱלֹהִים) ‘Elohiym, which is the first name of God mentioned in the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 we read:

In the beginning ‘ELOHIYM created the Heaven and the earth.

It was ‘Elohiym who said in …

Genesis 1:26 … and ‘ELOHIYM said “Let US make man
in OUR image after OUR likeness”…

Elohiym is the Triune name of God.
It represents our God in three Perfect Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit.

The people said “Get up Aaron. Let us make ‘Elohiym – God in all His manifest Glory. Let us manufacture our own Trinity. Let us make a ‘Elohiym that WE can control. Oh, what a horrible thing this is, yet it is so common in the Church today. Rather than trust the God Who has the power to save us, we want to manufacture a god or gods that we can manipulate like a puppet. This cannot be, but it is.

And it seems there is always a willing Preacher who will help the misguided.

There is always a compromiser who is willing to take things from the congregation,
Melt it down, and make a golden Calf ‘Elohiym.

We who are saved by the Blood of the Lamb are not to manufacture our own Elohiym. We are to follow Him Who loves us, and gave His life for us. The crowd came threatening Aaron. Here is a mob. “Get up, Aaron. Make us ‘Elohiym!” The love of God saved Israel, and saves us. What does the Scripture say:

Ephesians 5:2-5 (KJV)  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  [3]  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  [4]  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  [5]  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

1 John 3:16 (KJV)  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Titus 2:13-14 (KJV)  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  [14]  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

The Triune God saved us.

  • The Father PLANNED our salvation from the foundation of the world. Jesus was foreordained by the Father to go to the Cross from the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Ephesians 1:4; John 17:24).
  • The Son PERFORMED our salvation. He knew that He was destined to fie for us, but went anyway. Jesus set Himself to go and finish the work of the Father, no matter how horrendous it might be. Jesus chose the nails.
  • The Spirit POWERS our salvation. It is He Who indwells the believer. It is He Who seals us to eternity.

How sad it is that any of God’s people would manufacture a replacement god for the Perfect God Who is! How sad that Aaron would allow this! Yet many Churches do this. The people direct the preacher, who takes what the people give and melds it into a god that in no way is represented in Scripture. Enter Aaron, the compromising preacher.

Exodus 32:2-4 (KJV)  And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.  [3]  And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.  [4]  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

The people cast into the god pot. They cast their ear rings, their jewelry, and threw it into the pot. The preacher built a fire and went along with it. He’s such a nice man! The whispered unbelief of just a few days ago has gotten momentum. Now evil has permeated all of Israel. So it is in our day. A whispered lie – an untruth that the Word of God rejected – has become acceptable. The Aarons have taken it in. The “Reverends” and “Doctors” and “Fathers” have taken from the people. Not wishing to offend, they stir it up, heat it up, take an opinion poll.

And God is not pleased!

God told Moses …

Exodus 32:7-8 (KJV)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:  [8]  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

God is not pleased!
God is not pleased with our compromise with worldliness.
God is not pleased with our rejection of His Word.
When we turn out of the way that He has commanded
We walk a dangerous path.

Moses showed his love for the people and for the Lord. The Lord was going to destroy Israel, but Moses asked God to save Israel for His own sake. God did. But when Moses came down the mountain the Bible says that Moses:

Exodus 32:20 (KJV) …. took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

How did one man restore order where there was only chaos? He stood in the power of God. Then Moses stood in the GATE of the camp – the place where business was often transacted – and asked Israel a simple question.

Who Is On The LORD’S Side?

Moses did not ask “Who is on MY side?”, but “Who is on the LORD’S side?” He asked all who could hear him to make a decision. The Bible tells us:

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

There is a spiritual battle going on all around you. On whose side are you on? Are you on the Lord’s side? If so, then you will put God first in your life. What did Solomon say, the wisest man that ever was?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Do you say you love Jesus? Do you? Then what has Jesus said?

John 14:15-21 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.  [16]  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  [17]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  [18]  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  [19]  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  [20]  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.  [21]  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

We are saved by faith in Christ. Jesus Christ died for my sins. Jesus Christ rose again for my justification. This is true. We are saved not by works of righteousness …

Titus 3:5-7 (KJV)  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  [6]  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  [7]  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Justification is a free gift. Yet once saved, we obey the One Who saved us. We love Him with all our hearts. We strive to know of Him. We are on the Lord’s side.

We are not on the side of self righteousness, but on the side of Grace.

We are saved by His Gospel, not by the superstitions of Rome, a rosary bead, a priest’s genuflection, nor by a statue of Mary. It is to God we look, and Christ we magnify. When we sin, we do not seek PENANCE but REPENTANCE. I said this the other day and will say it again. When I went to school there were THREE R’s we had to learn:

Reading
Riting
Rithmatic!

For the Christian saved by Grace there are three R’s we must learn:

RECOGNITION of sin.
REPENTANCE under Christ’s Blood.
RETURNING to a correct walk with God.

If you are on the Lord’s side you will walk with God. You will not get naked with Aaron, but you will love and support the Lord Who saved you. We will read and cherish God’s Word. Remember that it was the serpent who crept into Eden and said:

Hath God really said …

What has God said about human sexuality?
Let God be God!
What has God said about marriage?
Let God be God!
What has God said about hatred and love?
Let God be God!
The Spirit will not abide where God’s Word is not loved.

Who Is On The Lord’s Side? Let Him Come Unto Me!

The children of Israel were not ashamed to dance naked before a golden calf. So now Moses calls out to the people. Who is on the Lord’s side. LET THEM COME UNTO ME. Stand up for Jesus. Make known to all that you are on Christ side. The Apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 1:16 (KJV)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

And Jesus declared Mark 8:38 (KJV)  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

I am reminded of a movie I watched several years ago called The Patriot. At one point in the movie the American forces began to retreat from the British forces. One of the American generals grabbed the American flag and, holding it above his head, said “Follow me! Follow me!” The American forces turned and defeated the numerically superior British forces.

The banner Moses held – and I hold today – is not me, but my Christ. Will you follow Him? He is a magnificent Savior, a gracious Lord. Let us not follow the world and its faithless ways, but let us follow Jesus. Yes, you will be in the minority. But no, we will not be defeated. Our God is greater than all the forces of Satan combined.

Who is on the Lord’s side. Let him come to me.

And All The Sons Of Levi Came

Those who stood with Moses would late be deemed the priests of Israel. A priest stands up and out for God. If you are saved by faith in Christ, then Christ is your High Priest. You are to live for Him, representing the Lord Who saved you.

Are you on the Lord’s side?

Posted in Exodus, Sermons Preached | Tagged , ,

Revival with Bob Pitman

IMG_3863

8:30 AM Message Mark 3:20-26

11 AM Message Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23

6 PM Message Psalm 32:11

Monday at 7 PM Luke 18:35-43

Tuesday at 7 PM Mark 12:41-44

Wednesday at 7 PM 1 Corinthians 1:15

Our Revival Services were a wonderful success at Riverview Baptist. Hope you enjoy the messages!

Posted in Revivals, Sermons Preached | Tagged ,

Jesus Loves Me

san-francisco-ocean-storm.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

John 6:32-36 (KJV)32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

One of Jesus’ greatest sermons was one He preached from Capernaum. The sermon was not just great because Jesus preached it (and everything Jesus preached was great), but it was great because of the wonderful illustration Jesus gave the crowd the day before.

He fed 5000 men with two fish and five little barley loaves.

Now I’m not going to preach this text again. I preached it on Sunday, and if you were here you heard it – if you weren’t asleep! I do want to emphasize the great truth that Jesus taught us in the feeding of the 5000.

If you give what you have to Jesus, He will multiply it.
If you surrender to Him and let Him work in you, you will be blessed.
Those who looked to Jesus in faith were fed, blessed beyond measure.

After feeding the 5000, Jesus walked to Capernaum while His disciples rode in a boat. He preached another sermon to His disciples while they were on the sea.

Jesus Our Shepherd Is Never Far From Us

Jesus separated from His disciples. We read

John 6:16-21 (KJV) And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

In order to understand all of what happened, we have to compare John’s Gospel with Matthew’s Gospel. John gives us part of the story, and Matthew another part. John tells us that the disciples went down to the boat and started rowing away without Jesus on board. But Matthew tells us that this was Jesus’ idea. Matthew writes:

Matthew 14:22-23 (KJV) {following the feeding of the 5000} Jesus constrained (commanded) his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Jesus sent the disciples on to Capernaum while He prayed. As Jesus prayed, Jesus watched His disciples. Now why did Jesus send His disciples away?

Faith demands that we step out where Jesus says.
Faith demands that we believe Jesus loves us.
Our Shepherd Is Never Far From Us!
Our Shepherd watches over us!
Our Shepherd prays for us.
Our Shepherd loves us.

Jesus was teaching His disciples that He is faithful. Though He was alone in prayer, He watched over His own. There are times in our lives when it seems as if God is far away, but He is not. Jesus is praying for us. We are told in …

Hebrews 7:24-25 (KJV)24 But this {One}{Jesus}, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.

My salvation has permanence because my Jesus ever lives to pray for me … and for YOU, too, if you are His. Jesus watches over His people. He prays for you, and prays for me. He was praying on the mountain, praying for His people. The Apostle said:

Romans 8:34-35 (KJV)34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, WHO ALSO MAKETH INTERCESSION FOR US. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

No matter what may come in our lives, no matter what valley we go through, Jesus makes intercession for us. He prays for us. He loves us. Fear is what we often foolishly do. We worry. We need to stop worrying and fretting, and trust the Lord.

If He put us in the boat, the waves won’t get us!

Matthew writes ..

Matthew 14:24-26 (KJV) But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

The sea is tossing and turning. The disciples are not in a ship with sails, but a boat that was rowed. A row boat!

John 6:19 (KJV) So when they had rowed about FIVE AND TWENTY OR THIRTY FURLONGS

They had rowed twenty five to thirty furlongs, which is equivalent to 3-3.5 miles. It’s dark. It’s scary. Matthew tells us ..

it is the fourth watch of the night

which is the last part of the night between 3 am – 6 am. The waves are rolling the boat, tossing it to and fro just like a rag doll. Then the disciples see something walking on the water. Matthew tells us that they thought it was a spirit – a ghost. The scary movie music is playing in their heads. I suspect they began to row faster and harder, trying to get away from this “creature”.

John Expected Jesus To Come

If you read verse 16 again you will see this.

John 6:16 (KJV) And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

When we read those words before we didn’t pause over them. The disciples have gone on ahead of Jesus. They are 3.5 miles from shore, and it is between 3-6 am. And John says:

and Jesus was not come to them

John expected Jesus to come. That’s what it sounds like to me.

John is known as “The disciple whom Jesus loved”. This was a title that John gave to himself. John never called himself by name in his Gospel, but referred to himself as:

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

We see John at the Last Supper with Jesus:

John 13:23 (KJV) Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES, WHOM JESUS LOVED.

Jesus is trying to eat, and John is laying all over Him. John is on Jesus’ bosom. You would expect Jesus to say

Get off Me, I’m hungry”

but He doesn’t and never will. Jesus loves John more than He loves Himself. Jesus loves us more than He loves Himself. Jesus will go to Calvary for John, and John knows it. When Jesus hangs dying on Calvary He looks down from that terrible Tree and what does He see?

John 19:26-27 (KJV) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and THE DISCIPLE STANDING BY, WHOM HE LOVED, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Jesus is bleeding out. He sees the disciple whom He loved standing with His mother Mary. As a good Son He wished to take care of His mother. John, this is now your mother. Mama, this is now your son! Oh beautiful love of our Savior! He loved John and John knew it. John wrote in another place:

1 John 4:18-19 (KJV)  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  [19]  WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.

John knew that he was loved of Christ. That was why he stood at the foot of that Cross when so many others ran away. John knew that Jesus loved him.
Jesus was dying because Jesus loved him.

When Jesus was buried, and Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty on that blessed Sunday she ran and told Peter and John. The Bible says:

John 20:2-4 (KJV) {Mary Magdalene} runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and TO THE OTHER DISCIPLE, WHOM JESUS LOVED, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the {tomb}, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the {tomb}. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the {tomb}.

Though Peter, it seems, had a head start in that foot race to the tomb that day, the “disciple whom Jesus loved outran Peter”. What gave him the strength to do so? It was that he identified himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Oh yes, John loved Jesus, but more than this John reveled in the truth that Jesus loved John.

Following the resurrection of our Lord from the dead Simon Peter got up a fishing party, and asked all the disciples to attend. This was a busted fishing party. All day long they fished, and caught nothing. But then from the shore a fellow hollers out.

Children, have you caught any?”
“No”
they holler back.
“Put the net on the other side of the boat”

They did so, and caught 153 great fishes the Bible says. What do we read?

John 21:7 (KJV) Therefore THAT DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

The disciple whom Jesus loved recognized Jesus FIRST. Peter jumped in the water to get to Jesus on the shore, but John recognized Jesus first. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. Now Jesus loved all His disciples, but John was more keenly aware of the love of Jesus than the others. This is why when they were in 3.5 miles off shore John expected Jesus to be there.

And I think John is the reason that Jesus came.
The text doesn’t say this, but it’s my belief.
Why else would John write “Jesus had not yet come”
and they are 3.5 miles from shore.

John knew Jesus was coming.
Because Jesus loved him!

John 6:19-21 (KJV) … they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

When Jesus got in the boat “immediately the ship was at the land whither they went”. Jesus has already preached a message to His disciples. His message is:

I love You”
I will watch over you”

Now Jesus Preaches His Love To The World

I haven’t forgotten our responsive reading, part of a sermon our Lord preached at Capernaum. In this sermon Jesus reminds the Israelite how much that they are loved of God.

John 6:32-33 (KJV)32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

When Israel was in the wilderness God gave them bread from Heaven. He gave them “manna”. Why was it called “manna”. The Bible says:

Exodus 16:15 (KJV) And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

Manna” literally means “What Is It?”. It was bread from God, but they had no idea what it was nor how it came about. Moses didn’t give the manna … God did. The Israelites didn’t know what “manna” was, but manna is easy to define.

Manna represented the love of God to His people.
Manna = LOVE!
But Manna also represented the coming Christ.

In order to benefit from the Manna Israel had to go and gather it. It was there for all, but only those who received it would be blessed. Jesus Christ is the Manna of God. He is the

Bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world

Bread is made by gathering and crushing wheat. The wheat must die in order to become bread to feed us. Jesus was the wheat of Heaven come down to earth. The Prophet wrote of Him:

Isaiah 53:2-6 (KJV) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus loves us. Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. This is why we come to Him surrendered. Jesus told those in Capernaun that day:

John 6:35-36 (KJV) … I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

Many see the Christ but never come to Him believing in His love. He loves you, and calls you to His side. If you will receive Him as He is, believing that He loves you, then you will be saved. Jesus said:

John 6:40 (KJV)  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

He has made a promise to us. Will you believe in Him. Will you go to Him? Will you believe He loves you? Will you?

Posted in John, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , ,

An Unholy Alliance

Revelation 13:1-18 (KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

deserted-ocean-sea-beach.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

For everything God has, the devil has an imitation. We studied last Wednesday the Trinity of God. We talked about how the God we love and Who saves us is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We saw the Trinity revealed in Jesus’ Baptism, and discussed how:

The Father Planned
The Son Performed
The Spirit Powered

in salvation. I’d love to ignore this chapter and just preach the Trinity and the Christ all over again. Those are glorious truths. But there are dark truths we also need to understand. God is Triune, the Three Persons working in one accord and in one love. But during the Great Tribulation there will be another trinity revealed. A dark trinity. A trinity not of love and light, but a trinity of evil. This trinity mimics in an evil way the good that is God.

The Dragon (That Old Devil) Plans
The Anti-Christ Performs
The False Prophet Powers

This evil trinity (and I refuse to capitalize this false godhead, or to give it any respect whatsoever) rises up not to benefit humanity but to enslave it.

The First “Beast” Is The Anti-Christ

The Scripture declares:

1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV)1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

That is where we are today. The world has become darker and darker as it has turned farther and farther from God.

As John stood on the sand of the sea – exiled for his faith in Christ, left to die – he saw the first beast rise up.

Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Word Study John saw a “Beast” rise up “out of the sea”. The word translated “Beast” is the Greek word THERION, which means “A VENOMOUS or WILDLY DANGEROUS Creature”.

This Creature is the anti-Christ.

This Wild Beast Rising Is The Anti-Christ. He Rises Up Out Of The SEA. What does the “Sea” represent? In the ancient world the sea was the source of food as well as the source of commerce. The Beast could then be someone of great financial power, a financier, having much power in business.

Further, the sea or waters are used in Revelation to represent a multitude of people. For instance, the angel tells John in …

Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The WATERS which thou sawest …. are PEOPLES, and MULTITUDES, and NATIONS, and TONGUES.

The “Sea” could represent the people of the world, a people who will not worship God. In the midst of the violence and conflicts along with natural catastrophes, these God rejecting people do not look UPWARD to God but look AROUND. The anti-Christ shows up!

The Anti-Christ is described as ..

Revelation 13:1 … having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Now this is very symbolic, but not literal. The Anti-Christ when he comes will not have seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns. He will be a man who looks like any man. But this text describes his power.

  • The anti-Christ has SEVEN heads. Seven is the number of God. The anti-Christ will be tied into false religious worship. In Revelation 17 we are given the description of the false religion of the Tribulation called

Revelation 17:5-9 (KJV)  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  [6]  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.  [7]  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.  … [9]  And here is the mind which hath wisdom. THE SEVEN HEADS ARE SEVEN MOUNTAINS, ON WHICH THE WOMAN SITTETH.

The Anti-Christ will be worshiped, and the world religion of that day will promote him.

  • The anti-Christ has TEN horns. These are not musical horns but horns like animals have. He will be backed by ten powerful nations.

  • On his heads the name of BLASPHEMY. He will be in direct opposition to God, unholy, unjust.

  • The anti-Christ will be backed by SATAN. We read last week in the previous chapter (Revelation 12:3) that the DEVIL has SEVEN heads and TEN horns. The anti-Christ will mimic his god and get his power from Satan.

Revelation 13:2 … the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

  • The anti-Christ will mimic Christ. We read:

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

The people of the world who would NOT receive Christ embrace the anti-Christ. He is the savior who saves man IN his sins, not FROM his sins …. and the world WORSHIPS this perversion of Christ! We read:

Revelation 13:4 And they WORSHIPED the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they WORSHIPED the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

the lost world is astounded, and worships the Dragon that old Devil and worships the anti-Christ.

Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to CONTINUE FORTY AND TWO MONTHS.

This pretender to Christ’s Throne will rule for 42 months – 3 ½ years. His time will be limited to that period of time, but during that period he shall stand against everything that is God. We are told that:

Revelation 13:6-8 And he opened his mouth in BLASPHEMY AGAINST GOD, TO BLASPHEME HIS NAME, AND HIS TABERNACLE, AND THEM THAT DWELL IN HEAVEN. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP HIM, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

During that 3 ½ years the anti-Christ will mock everything holy, whether it be God, His people, or His Heaven. He will kill the saints on the earth, martyring them so that the world can see. As the righteous are killed what will be the reaction of the world? They shall worship Him. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb will not worship the anti-Christ not Satan, but all others shall. This will be a tremendously hard time for believing Israel. Christians are often persecuted. Jesus told us in …

Matthew 10:22-23 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Persecutions for our faith will come. The Great Tribulation will be the greatest time of persecution for God’s People. Yet in the end the Lord will overcome. The innocent will suffer because of the Anti-Christ, but his days are numbered.

The Second Beast Is The False Prophet

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld ANOTHER BEAST coming up OUT OF THE EARTH; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

  • The anti-Christ rises up out of the SEA, and the False Prophet comes up out of the earth. The False Prophet is less charismatic than the Anti-Christ, but he is part of the same system.

  • The False Prophet has two horns like a lamb. No one fears a little Lamb. He’ll look innocent, harmless, attractive, sweet – a cuddly little lamb. He will be the wolf in sheep’s clothing that Jesus warned us of:

Matthew 7:15 (KJV)  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

  • He speaks as a DRAGON. His word is the devil’s word. The Holy Spirit of God lifts up Christ and His Word. The False Prophet is like an unholy spirit. He lifts up the Anti-Christ and the Devil, promoting his agenda. He demands that the world worship the Anti-Christ.

Revelation 13:12-16 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to WORSHIP the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image (AN IDOL) to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as MANY AS WOULD NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST SHOULD BE KILLED. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

The False Prophet will be able to do miracles of sorts, to draw fire down from the sky, and will look like an emissary of God. His intent is to have the world worship the Anti-Christ. John wrote of the Anti-Christ and the many anti-christs in …

1 John 2:18-23 (KJV)  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  [19]  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  [20]  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.  [21]  I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  [22]  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  [23]  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

The False Prophet will promote the Anti-Christ as if he were the Christ. His purpose is to deceive the whole world, and to enslave the world in the false religion he promotes.

Religion Is Tied To Survival

The False Prophet requires all of mankind receive the IMAGE OF THE BEAST as proof that they love his master. We read:

Revelation 13:17-18 And that NO MAN MIGHT BUY OR SELL, save he that had the MARK, or the NAME OF THE BEAST, or the NUMBER OF HIS NAME. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

What is the purpose of this “mark”? That “no man might buy or sell”. Worship the anti-Christ or starve! Here is the mark of false worship:

False Worship Always Removes Free Will.
The Bible Shouts “Whosoever Will”.

John 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

During the latter half of the Great Tribulation the saints on the earth will be martyred, but the unbeliever shall be fed. As Pastor Greg Laurie describes it:

Take my mark and worship me, or starve to death. No mark, no merchandise. No seal, no sale”.

There are three different markings offered by the False Prophet to the lost world, described as:

The Mark, OR
The Name of the Beast, OR
The Number Of His Name

People have been debating over this section of scripture since John first released it to the Church. What is this mark? Years ago, people thought that the mark was a bar code, and there were numerous Bible Prophecy teachers that spoke of how bar codes were the sign of the end of times. On June 1, 2012 the New York Daily News headline stated “Human Barcode Could Make Society More Organized”. The article went on to say “Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have become a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people”. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved the use of RFID chips in humans. The technology is there for the marking of humans and the coming cashless society.

People have wondered about the “number of his name” aspect of this text, and that the “number of his name is 666”. If you look up “666” on the Internet you will get 465 MILLION returns. For years people have been trying to put together the name of the anti-Christ from the number “666”. In ancient Greece and Rome letters of the alphabet were often used as numbers, so some believe that they can figure out who the anti-Christ will be based “on the number of his name”. Good luck with that!

People have tried to make popes, presidents, and politicians into the anti-Christ. No one will know the anti-Christ before the time by his name …. the anti-Christ will be known by his actions. HE WILL DEMAND WORSHIP THAT BELONGS ONLY TO GOD!

Matthew 24:15-16 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

How will the anti-Christ be known? He demands worship. He will go into the Temple of God in Jerusalem and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped … showing himself that he is God”. No one will figure out the anti-Christ before he is revealed by his actions and his False Prophet. When he is revealed he will demand that all receive his mark in their forehead or right hand.

Why in the forehead or right hand? Because what starts in the HEAD comes out in the HAND. Worship in the HEAD comes out to work in the HAND. It is the RIGHT hand because – in the Far East – the RIGHT hand is used for interaction with others. The LEFT hand is the TOILET or PERSONAL hand, whereas the RIGHT hand is the hand that others shake or do business with you.

What you worship matters. We will read next week:

Revelation 14:9-12 …. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The SAME SHALL DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

God designed you to worship Him. We were made to walk in peace with God. We were made to live in Paradise, the Garden of God. God wants to bless each and every one of us …. but we must not worship the wrong thing. Those who belong to Jesus worship Jesus.

Revelation 13:8-9 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

I thank my God that – though life here is often brutal – there is coming a day when I will be with Him forever. Before the anti-Christ rises my God shall take me, and all those who are His, into glory. While hell is on earth we shall praise and worship the God of Heaven. Do you know Him? Do you know Him? If not, today is a great day to believe on Him, for whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

Posted in Revelation, Sermons Preached | Tagged ,