About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact
About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact

Resurrection Sunday

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

John 20:1-10

Today has been declared by the Christian world to be Easter or Resurrection Sunday or the Paschal.

You may already know this but the date for Easter is determined every year by a complex set of calculations that take into account the lunar cycle, the date of the Jewish Passover, the Jewish ancient calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, the Julian Calendar, and the vernal equinox or the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now, I may be wrong, but I believe that those who determine through their complex calculations what day of the year Easter or Resurrection Sunday is to be celebrated, that they have completely missed the point.

What took place on the original Resurrection Sunday is without a doubt the most amazing, the most incredible, astonishing event to ever take place in human history; especially in the history of human redemption.

The original Resurrection Sunday is not just a feature of Christianity, it is the main event!

The resurrection of Christ is the main event! When God raised Jesus from the dead He simultaneously secured our resurrection to an eternal glory.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

And it is important that we believe this. Remember what the apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9-10?

Paul said, “If you confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Look at this found in 1 Cor. 15 starting in vs. 1. The apostle Paul says: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel (good news) which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand (abide; your foundation, don’t move off of it) , 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

But God doesn’t want us to do that. God intends for us to stand solidly on the resurrection of Jesus and that is why we do not assemble on Friday, the day He was placed in the tomb,  or on Saturday, the day the tomb was sealed, but on Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of His resurrection; Rev. 1:9 John calls it “the Lord’s Day.”

So we assemble on Sunday to celebrate His resurrection: we talk about it; we sing about it; but what is interesting is no on saw it!

But it’s not something that needed to be seen.

There is no doubt that, in spite of the best efforts of the Jewish leaders, and the Pharisees, and the Roman governor to keep Jesus in the tomb (Matt. 27:62-66)…

Now, as I mentioned before,  all 4 gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the actual history of the resurrection, but none of them try to explain the physiology of it; or the pathology of it.

What we do know is it happened; it was a supernatural miracle like all the other miracles that our Lord performed.

The main event is not trying to figure out the date to celebrate His resurrection from all of these complicated calculations.

But then there is another reason why God raised Jesus from the dead. Look at this found in Acts 17.

Now, look at vs. 30. In vs. 30 the apostle Paul calls these individual to repent; to repent of their ignorant, pagan ways.

The resurrection of Jesus calls, pleads for everyone, including those who are “very religious” to repent; to turn away from their ignorance, their worship of false gods, to turn away from their lives of disobedience and sin and seek after God.

Every Sunday, every first day of the week is a reminder of the original Resurrection Sunday.

Feast of Booths

THE FEAST OF BOOTHS

John 7:1-9

Starting here in John 7 the hostility of the Jews toward Jesus steadily grows. In fact, in vs. 1 John tells us that the Jews were seeking to kill Him and this hostility will eventually lead to Jesus being crucified.

But this may seem a little strange but what I would like to do this morning is focus on vs. 2 and the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of the Ingathering.

The Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles is a pilgrimage feast meaning it was required of Jewish males living within a certain distance to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.

Did you pick up on that: Jesus has brothers!

The Feast of Booths is a fall festival intended to honor God and for celebrating the final harvest of the year; it was celebrated in the 7th month starting on the 15th day of the Jewish calendar or for us it would be about mid -September.

Not only was it a celebration of the final harvest of the year but it also commemorated the 40 years that the Jews wandered in the wilderness after the Exodus.

Lev 23:39-44 ‘’On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day.

40’Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

Now, vs. 41: ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42’You shall live in booths (tabernacles, tents, temporary shelters)  for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” 

So, the Feast of Booths was to celebrate God’s blessing them with a good harvest, but it was also a reminder that God had the people live in “booths when God brought them out of Egypt.”

Now, why did God have them “live in booths when He brought them out from the land of Egypt?”

When God brought His people out of Egypt it should not have taken anywhere close to 40 years for them to get to the “promised land.”

These people had been living in Egypt for over 400 years and they had been influenced by the Egyptian culture; perhaps picked up on some Egyptian ideas and practices.

So God, through Moses had a lot to convey to the people.

So, for over a year God, through Moses, taught and prepared these people and finally, on the 20th day of the 2nd month (Num. 10:11) and the 2nd year after they left Egypt they broke camp and set out for Canaan.

And after a period of about 50 days they reached the wilderness of Paran and God instructed Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan to see what it was like.

And that is how the Feast of Booths came to be. The people were to live in booths, small tabernacles, small rudimentary shelters perhaps made of tree branches (Lev. 23), as they wandered in the wilderness.

Now why would God require them to remember those 38 years? Why would He require them to remember all those days and weeks and years of wandering in the wilderness?

First of all, I think God wants them to remember the fact that we bring so much unnecessary hardships, problems, and turmoil into our lives through our simple unwillingness to trust and obey the LORD.

How much grief, and pain, and turmoil do people, perhaps even some of us, bring into our lives because we refuse to trust in and obey the Lord?

And the grief and pain and turmoil often lasts and lasts for years and years.

And for those who were younger than 20 years old, and even the few that were faithful to the Lord (Joshua and Caleb and their families) for 40 they still suffered the consequences of those who refused to trust God before God finally led them into the Promised Land; Numbers 14:26-35.

And the tragedy is they were so close to the Promised land!

And that is what God wanted these people to remember when they celebrated the Feast of Booths.

And there is another reason why God wanted them to commemorate the Feast of Booths and that was even in their unbelief, God remained faithful.

Look at what the apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:13: If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

God doesn’t just act faithful; He is faithful; even when we aren’t.

God will keep His promise! His word is trustworthy! If He says that your unforgiven sins will condemn you to die eternally…you know the will.

But like these people, if we refuse to trust in God then we too will eventually die in the wilderness.

The tragedy is, we don’t have to.

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

True Bread

John 6:30-33

I would like to do a little survey to begin. In our culture and society bread is considered to be a staple. At almost every meal bread is offered.

Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with our lesson this morning. Well, perhaps more than you might realize.

Here in John 6 Jesus has performed this massive miracle of feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

So, Jesus left the crowd behind because He will not obligate Himself to man on man’s terms.

So, He leaves the crowd behind and in the middle of the night and He walks across the sea of Galilee, and gets in the boat with His disciples.

When the crowd that Jesus has fed with the loaves and fish realize that Jesus has left they make their way back to Capernaum and they, along with some of the Jews who opposed Jesus (vs. 57), find Him in the synagogue (vs. 59).

And the people come to Him and say, “Rabbi, not Messiah, not Lord, but Rabbi, when did you get here?” (They didn’t learn anything from the miracles)

And in vs. 27 Jesus tells them to “Don’t work or strive for food that perishes.”

So Jesus says in the second half of verse 27: “Work or strive for the food which endures to eternal life.”

There are several examples in the scriptures where kings held great feasts or banquets and yet no one found salvation because they got their bellies full.

So at the end of vs. 27 Jesus tells them where they can get “this food that endures to eternal life.” Jesus says that He is the One who gives the food that endures to eternal life, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

Yes, Jesus could fix them some breakfast; He could feed them again and again and satisfy their hunger; but He has so much more to give; something so much more important to give but they weren’t interested.

Now, look at vs. 28. Jesus has told them to “work for the food which endures to eternal life” and they ask, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

These people were Jews and when they are told to “work for the food that endures to eternal life” they have grown up with the idea of “justification by works” all of their life and so they want to know, “What works can we do to gain salvation?”

And that is what so many people today believe. They believe they can do enough of the right things that they can save themselves.

But look at vs. 29: Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

You cannot get eternal life from anyone else or in any other thing.  

Now, Jesus has said in vs. 27 that He is the One who gives the food for eternal life.

They said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?

  “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'”

What they are expecting is a sign greater than Moses! If Jesus is really the Messiah, the Son of God as He claims, if He can give “eternal life” which is possibly the greatest miracle because it involves forgiving sin, He should be able to do something greater than Moses did!

Now, here is where the bread comparison comes in.

Now, look at Jesus’ response in vs. 32: Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven…

And notice the second thing that Jesus says here in the second part of this verse. He says that, “the bread the Jews were given by God in the wilderness was not “the true bread of heaven.”

For instance, the manna that God provided for them in the wilderness didn’t last.

In comparison the “true bread out of heaven” lasts forever! Remember what Jesus said in vs. 27: it endures to eternal life!

And the manna that the Jews received in the wilderness didn’t satisfy their hunger.

What about the “true bread out of heaven?” Look at vs. 35: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

And the people in the wilderness who ate “the bread out of heaven”; they all died; vs. 49.  It couldn’t save them.

But the true bread out of heaven? Look at vs. 33: For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

But only to those who eat of it; and truthfully it is not “it”; it is Him. Look at vs. 35:

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

So now, what is your favorite bread?

Bread is a staple in our daily diet, will you make Him a staple in your daily diet and obtain eternal life?

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

One Sided Conversation

ONE SIDED CONVERSATION

1 John 5: 1-12

This morning I want to try something with you that may possibly help you to understand what John is saying in this passage of scripture.

But first, to understand why John wrote, not only this chapter but the whole letter, you have to understand that John is dealing with some false teachings that were circulating in the first century; more specifically the teachings of the Gnostics.

Now here in chapter 5 we have what John says, but what makes this a little difficult to understand is, reading this is much like listening to a one-sided phone conversation.

Well, that is very similar to what we have here in these verses.

Whoever believes that Jesus  (human-Savior) is the Christ (Messiah)  is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

First, John says, “Whoever believes” – that is a present indicative verb- that means “ongoing action” – it is a present, continuing faith that maintains the “new birth” status.

And look at the second part of the verse: and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

Look at vs. 2: By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and observe His commandments.

Look at vs. 3:  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Again, this is John’s side of the conversation. What were the false teachers saying?

Apparently the Gnostics said they were born of God but they denied Jesus as being a man, they denied Him as the only Savior, they denied Him as being the Messiah, (they wanted to separate Him from the O.T. prophets) and they denied Him as being the Son of God…or deity.

And if you or I say, “I guess I will do what God says but I really don’t want to”…you and I might want to reevaluate our love for God.

Now, look what John says in vs. 4: For whatever (in vs. 1 John says, “whoever.” Here he says “whatever) is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The victory over the world is not achieved by any other means; not by magical charms, or mystic séances, or by human performance.

Vs. 6    This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.

Here in this verse John is dealing with the Cerenthian or Apollonarian Gnostic.

Well, in this verse John refutes that thinking. What John is saying is, Jesus Christ was human, He was deity and Messiah before, during and after baptism…and He was human, deity, and Messiah before, during and after the cross.

Now, how do you know that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah, and the Son of God? Well, look at vs. 7: And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

8 For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

And the blood or the cross bears witness of who Christ was…a man (he died)…the Messiah (sent from God-sky turned dark at noon day)…Deity…(he rose from the grave. – Romans 1:4)

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son.

Look at these words of Jesus found in John 5:33-37 “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 “But the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 “He (John) was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 “And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me.

There is no doubt who Jesus is!

1 John 5:10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son.

But the one who denies what God has said about Jesus; that person has made “God a liar.”

Now, look at vs. 11 And the witness (or testimony) is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (No where or in nothing else).  12  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

 

The Obituary of Babylon (Rome)

THE OBITUARY OF BABYLON (ROME)

Rev. 17

As we begin here in chapter 17 the bowls of the wrath of God have been poured out.

And now it is time for the obituary.

17:1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

 Now, in verse 5, John is going to speak of the harlot as being “Babylon the Great.”

Notice verse 1 again. John says that the “great harlot sits on many waters.”

But there is another meaning behind this phrase “sits on many waters.” Look at verse 15:

15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.

So Rome did this in many regions…and that is why she “sits” on all these nations and peoples.

So the harlot here is Rome…and there is another reason why the angels speaks of her “sitting on man waters.”

So, lets read it again: Rev 17:1-2

And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality. ”

3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet (these are colors of royalty. She is royal on the outside…but inside she is disgusting. She is nothing more than a well dressed tramp.)

4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality(she was quick to share these things with any who wanted to participate with her. However, those who participated with her…would be destroyed like she was)

5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS(she teaches all the other little harlots how to be big harlots like her.)

5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.

And when I saw her, I wondered greatly.

7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

 8 “The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,

 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11 “And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

  1. Augustus
  2. Tiberius
  3. Caligula These 5 have fallen; vs. 10
  4. Claudius
  5. Nero

            Galba (7 mos.)

Otho  (3 mos.)             These three were victims of a horrible civil war. They made no

Vitelius (9 mos.)           contribution to the Empire.

  1. Vespasian “One is”; vs. 10
  2. Titus (He ruled for 2 years, 2 months, 20 days) “The other has not come yet; and when he  comes, he must remain a little while” vs. 10.
  3. Domitian (the son of Vespasian…”one of the seven”; vs 11).

“Beast which was and is not, is himself also and eighth, and is one of the seven, and he  goes to destruction”; vs. 11 (see also vs. 8).

 12 “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

 13 “These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

Now, notice the word “chosen”…that does not speak of “election.”

 15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. 16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.

 17 “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose,(they are God’s too of judgment and don’t know it.) and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.

 18 “And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

 Again, this is the beginning of the obituary…or the announcement of death and a brief biography of the deceased.

 

The Harvest of the Wicked

THE HARVEST OF THE WICKED

Revelation 14

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to understand the book of Revelation is they try to take each event mentioned and apply it to some specific event either in the modern past or still yet in the future.

What we need to understand about this book is instead of trying to apply each vision or event to a specific occurrence, what we must do is simply look at the obvious.

It really is not hard to understand what the theme is of this book and that is true here in this chapter.

Now, when you come to chapter 14 we need to keep in mind that this is all a part of a vision that John is seeing…so we cannot take all he says here as being literal…or that it is going to be literally fulfilled.

At the same time, this chapter is intended to reassure the faithful who are perhaps wondering if their faith in God and His Son has been in vain.

So, let’s look at chapter 14.

And the beast of chapter 13 was a great, terrifying beast that mocked God and persecuted His people.

And now what you are going to see in chapter 14 is the One who really is Lord.

So, let’s look at this, and once again, simply try to grasp the obvious message of what is said.

Vs. 1  And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

And notice the Lamb was standing on “Mt. Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand.”

And notice in the last phrase of the verse is something that we all had better have stamped on our foreheads…and that is His name and the name of His Father.

Now, verse 2:   And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.

Vs. 3  And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.

Vs. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

So these first 5 verses are encouraging words to these Christians…because it reminds them that the Lamb is still alive…that He meets with heavens approval….and so to do those who are remained faithful to Him.

Now verse 6:

And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel (good news) to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;

Vs. 7    …and he(the angel) said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Vs. 8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

And notice that Rome is looked at from a seductive view point.

And notice the angel says: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.”

Vs. 9:  And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

 Those who follow the beast have benefited from the beasts power, influence, and economic prowess.

Rev 14:11-12

“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Rev 14:13

13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

For those who die in the Lord…death is a closed door that Satan cannot open.

Now, we are going to see the harvest of those who follow the beast.

Rev 14:14

14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown (stephanos: victors crown) on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.

Rev 14:15-20

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.

 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

 The vision of the wine press is symbolic of the horror of God’s judgment.

The message of this chapter is not hard to understand.

But those who have the name of the Lord on their foreheads…those who die in the Lord…will be blessed…from now on.

This whole chapter is written here to warn us to come to the Lamb…or to remain faithful to Him even unto death.

Reassurance to the Redeemed

REASSURANCE TO THE REDEEMED

Rev. 7

In chapter 6 we read about the breaking of the seals.

Then the fifth seal is broken…and the souls of those who had been slain because of the word…cried out, “How long, O Lord, will you refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

And when the sixth seal is broken a picture of judgment and destruction is painted for us.

And the chapter ends with this question: …for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

And here in chapter 7 the writer answers this question.

Rev 7

7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth (Four relates to the world: east, west, north, south) , holding back the four winds of the earth(winds here represents the activity of God. In Exodus 10: 13 God told Moses to stretch out his hand and when he did an east wind brought locusts on the land. In Exodus 14: 21 God used a strong east wind to turn the sea into dry land. See also Isa. 57:13; Jeremiah 18:17; Dan. 7:2) , so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. (They hold the wind back so that no destruction on Rome can take place until God’s people are identified. This gave God’s people comfort. When Rome is destroyed God will know whom to destroy and whom to save.)

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun (This angel comes from the east…from where the light originates. His message is one of cheer.), having the seal of the living God; (The seal indicates that God owns sealed ones and would keep Satan from tampering with them. This message here in this chapter is for the saints. They are under God’s protection. Is this a protection from death? No, many will die. But when they do they will not be condemned like the wicked. Ezekiel 9 and 21: 3-4 will help you understand the principles of sealing.)

 Rev 7:2

 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”(This angel calls for delay. The reason for the delay: the welfare of the righteous. “Don’t hurt the earth until the righteous are marked.”)

Notice that the “bond-servants of God” will be sealed.

 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

Now, let me give you some thoughts about the number 144,000.

Notice the phase: “from every tribe of the sons of Israel.”

 To speak of “Israel” is to speak of God’s redeemed people.

 14:1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

“Israel” is an established name for the redeemed people of God.

 Rev. 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues (four statements: four is the number of the world. Indicates these people were once in the world)  standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands(Lev. 23, 40. Palm branches were used in the “Feast of Tabernacles.” It was a time of celebration, joy, thanksgiving.”

10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God (Salvation is attributed to Him)  who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,

 “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

 13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?”

 14 And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation (probably the great tribulation mentioned back up in chapter 6. Daniel told of the time when the kingdom of God would destroy the 4th great kingdom on the earth.) , and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple (notice, they are priests); and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. 16 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. ”

This chapter reassures these saints…the redeemed of God that when judgment and destruction comes on Rome…even though some of them may be killed in that judgment and destruction…they will be in heaven with God and the Lamb.

 

 

 

The Opening of the Seals

THE OPENING OF THE SEALS  

Revelation 6

Here in the 6th chapter we see the breaking of the 7 seals.

Now, here in chapter 6 we see the Lamb breaking 6 of the 7 seals that sealed the book and as He does so we see the beginning of the end of the book.

Now, keep in mind that this is a vision and a lot of what is expressed here is expressed in symbols and symbolic language.

CHAPTER 6:

Remember that this book is a book of prophecy and prophecy always warns of a coming judgment….and it always deals with the situation that is going on at the time.

So, look at verse 1.

And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.

Notice the “white horse”.

This rider has a crown given to him.

And He says that He had a bow.

Then the verse says that this rider goes “out conquering and to conquer.”

Now verse 3: “And when He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature say “Come.”

“And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.”

In verse 5 we see a description of economic hardship. Look what He says:

And when He broke the third seal, I heard the living creature saying, “Come.” And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

“And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and wine.”

Economic hardship could cause the people to revolt against the authorities and the government…and this too would aid in the decline of the Roman Empire.

And notice, He says: “Do not harm the oil and the wine.”

7 And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8 And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse (sickly pale, yellowy green); and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades (Hades…the grave. The abode of disembodied spirits. Death slays, Hades reaps) was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth (indication that this is not the final judgment) of the earth, to kill with sword (war) and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained (faithful unto death. These Christians had died because of their faith); 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe(spiritually clean, pure); and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer (the persecution is not over yet), until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

12 And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

 There will be no place to hide when God comes in judgment.

 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand? ”

Chapter 6 speaks of the coming judgment on the Roman Empire.

 Second: Anybody who touches God’s people touches the apple of His eye…and those people will answer to God for it.