Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Enemy Comes With A False Alternative to the Truth!

Before we head into Chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation, a transition has taken place. Let us recap in case you are just joining us today. We have learned up to this point about the revelation of Jesus Christ and His love for us, we have learned about His instruction for the church and what heaven is going to be like regarding worship that is beautiful, challenging, exciting, and personal. From Chapter 6 on out to Chapter 19, the vantage point is solely from heaven looking down on the earth, it is bloody. It is the wrath of God. It is the punishment of the earth for their sins. It is man gone crazy. It is evil unchecked. Chapter 6 through Chapter 19 is the Great Tribulation period. It is horrific and it all begins with the first rider in the famous four horsemen of the apocalypse. We now meet the first rider. This is a time yet coming for all of us. But the question is, will you be here on earth or will you be with us, looking down from heaven?

For some of you that have been following, we are getting into the Great Tribulation and you really want to hear more about this stuff. The dynamic about the Christian faith is that we do not worship some dead God or some token religion. But the fact of the matter is our Lord is risen, He is alive and His book, His love letters given to us in the Bible. In Revelation 5, we saw the glories of heaven and the worship that was taking place there. We saw those whom Christ has purchased through His blood and redeemed by every kindred tribe, tongue, nation and people. They have been raptured up into heaven. Now we come to Chapter 6, where the Tribulation Period begins. It covers all 7 years of it all the way to Chapter 19 around verse 11. The bulk of it, is the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period. By the time we get to the end of the Book of Revelation, you should be an expert on the End Time Events!

We are going to set the plow today to begin to dig in deep into the Scriptures so you might want to gather together your Bible and something to write down what you have learned alongside your Scriptures for easy reference.

Revelation 6:1-2 ~ "I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest."

This is the first of the four riders of the apocalypse and we will be spending some time really studying what they mean, what they are carrying and what it means for the inhabitants of the world. The first rider comes with the loosening of the first seal. Now remember that Jesus Christ was the only one found in heaven, on earth and under the earth, in all the created world both spiritual and physical,  to be worthy to take the scroll and open the seven seals. The word "worthy" meant that Jesus had met all the requirements necessary to take the scroll from God the Father, the Lamb of God, the Root of David. He was the only One to be found worthy to open the seven seals. Once He opens one, He will continue until they are all opened. This all takes place in a very short period of time. Once it begins, it will run its successive course. Once the seven year Tribulation period begins, yet one day in the future, and it will be so clear that those living then, will be able to mark their calendars and count the days as 7 years begins to the day. It will go 7 full years without stopping or pausing, without hesitation, without a comma, until Christ returns in the Second Coming.

We may all remember in high school or college, being on a time table. We enter high school on one day and will graduate on another. It may be two years or four years but there is a predetermined time table that must be followed to go from the beginning all the way to the end. We will have met all the requirements and all that needed to happen to graduate and be free from those institutions. As we approach graduation, there is an increase in the tests, exams and effort. There are finals we have to go through, and we have had to go through all those years to get to the point where we can finally graduate. We have met all the requirements.

The seven year Tribulation Period  must happen, it will happen, because all the requirements in both the Old and New Testament describe, must take place. When it comes to the prophetic Word of God, let alone all the other portions of the Bible, when we fail to take these Scriptures literally, unless otherwise specified by the Bible, we often wind up being in error. Most of the mistakes we often make is when we don't take the Bible literal enough. For example when Jesus says, "All those who come to Me, I will no wise cast out." What does that mean? It means that all those who turn to Him, He will not turn away! When He says, "You must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven," what do you think He meant? If you keep reading John 3, He tells you exactly what He means. God is not mysterious in that He withholds all the information that we need. He gives us all what we need to know. He's a great God!

So in regards to the time table in your life, you are coming to a predetermined graduation so to speak, and so is this world, by the way, everything, politics, economy, ecological issues, are all marching forward in a predetermined moment of time in the mind of God. That is kind of eerie in one point but awesome in another. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow! We often feel that God is not on time. "Where is that predetermined moment in my life?" God is never early and He is never late. He is always on time and God's prophetic Word is one of those truths, about that.

In Chapter 6, this view is from heaven because the church is no longer mentioned from Revelation 4:1 on earth, until it comes back to earth from heaven with Jesus Christ in Revelation 19. That is significant with all the efforts put forth in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, regarding the church on the earth, now there is no church on the earth, and we shall see some of the reasons why as we go further into our study. The events of the 7 Year Great Tribulation Period is those 7 literal years that will usher in the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, in what is called the Second Coming.

These seven years or the seven year time table, is a time reserved specifically by God for global judgments and God's revisitation upon the nation of Israel. Make note of that.You may think Israel is out of the picture, but Israel is in the picture! The Bible tells us that God will re-establish the nation of Israel in the last days, and He will come and visit His people. The nation of Israel must be established and on the earth before the Second Coming of Christ. The 7 year period of the Tribulation deals with God's judgment on the earth for a Christ rejecting world, and the re-establishment and the redemption of the nation of Israel! This is very important. Always keep your eye on Israel! Up until May 14, 1948, we didn't have an Israel to look at. According to the Scriptures of Isaiah 66 and the United Nations, on May 14, 1948, Israel was born as a nation a second time in one day.

The Bible speaks of these 7 years that are coming. They will be commencing on a very specific and certain day. It's a day the Bible tells us that a peace treaty will begin with Israel and its surrounding neighbors, which just so happens are their enemies. When the peace treaty commences, there will be a date when its signed, and does anyone know how long that peace treaty will last in a contract form? 7 years! But in the middle of that time, the man who forges that agreement, breaks that agreement in 3 1/2 years! It will take place with the nation of Israel, not any other nation. This is what the Bible said would happen thousands of years ago! That day will commence a very terrible moment in time! That Jesus said would be unlike any other time on the earth, and unless He shortens those days, no flesh would remain upon the earth. Jesus said, "it will be a time of such tribulation nor shall ever be in the world."

In other words, it will make the Holocaust look like a picnic. One man, the Bible says, will be the one who instigates this process that will lead to earth's last attempt to govern itself in human politics, and that man, the Bible refers to him as the son of Perdition, the beast, the worthless shepherd, and in Zechariah, the Bible refers to him as the Antichrist.

As we look around in the world today, where the Bible says this man will come into the world, seeing and riding on the back of another beast called a religious beast. He will use that pseudo false church system and will come out of the old ancient Roman Empire, and he will come and use religion as a tool. At some point, he will discard that false religious system, and the Bible says, he will stand in Jerusalem in the temple and declare himself to be God, and the world will marvel and worship him.

What I find very interesting about that is even now people have been working and have spent tens of millions of dollars reconstructing the tools and the devices, that they believe will be used in the coming temple of their Messiah. They have already completed the menorah they plan on using that stands four feet tall, made of solid precious metal. It's under lock and key and they are waiting, they have tracked and trace men in their lineage of Levites, to be priests and make offerings and sacrifices because they believe their Messiah is soon to come. The problem is that the Bible says, the Messiah that they are going to receive will come riding upon a white horse. You might say, well what is wrong with that? The Bible says that Jesus will come riding on a white horse? It is not Jesus Christ, but the Antichrist. It is the one that is a false representation of the Messiah!

Revelation 1:17-19 ~ "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now, and what will take place later."

We learned that when He (Jesus) told John to "write the thing you have seen", that is in reference to Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation, "what is now," that is in reference to Chapters 2 and 3 and "what will take place later." is in reference from Chapter 4 until the end of the Book of Revelation.

The first rider of the apocalypse brings the advent of evil in human flesh. This man will be unlike Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Hussein, and unlike them he will have success in what he plans to take place on the world. There are powers that are sinister and dark that are moving toward the reception of this man. I believe this man is alive in the world today somewhere, biding his time. I believe he is coming. He may be in his 30's, 40's, or 50's, I don't know, but I believe this Antichrist figure is alive. When he comes, the Bible tells us in the book of Daniel and Revelation, how specifically he arises. He will be evil personified. He will be the son of Satan.

As we go from chapter 6 to 19, keep this in mind, that Satan will always attempt to mimic what God has already given. As we have read in the Bible, we read that God told Moses to thrown down his staff and it would become like a serpent. Remember that? What did Pharoah's magicians do? Same thing. They mimicked back and forth, these miracles of God until they reached a point where their gods were exposed. Satan is always mimicking. He can not create anything new. When Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, that applies to Satan too! He creates nothing! He only steals and manipulates, that which exists. He steals. He rips off. He does that in people's lives. Jesus says "he is the father of lies." The only thing he has ever produced is false lies. Because whenever there is the truth, he comes with a false alternative. He always comes in our life, trying to offer a false alternative.

From Chapter 6 to Chapter 19, these are the chapters in the Book of Revelation that no one wants to read. This is the reason why most people say they won't read the Book of Revelation. It shouldn't be the case. Each of us has the opportunity to choose where we will be viewing this from. If you make the right choice, Jesus being THAT choice, none of this will be yours to inherit. If you just listen to the Word of God, this is heavy stuff, because you don't get these in churches very often. The church in America today is messed up because it has been playing church for far too long. We need to get right with God and get back to the Bible! The first step in doing that is found in John's gospel, where he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." Jesus Christ is your literal ticket to heaven. It's not your smile, your wealth, not your achievements or righteousness, that is all garbage to God. It's what Jesus has done! That is why at the base of the cross, everyone comes at equal footing. Rich man, poor man, beggar, thief. We all come to Him in need of His blood, which He shed upon the cross, Jesus died for us.

If you say to Him, wherever you are at right now, "Jesus save me! Jesus I love You today for what You have done for me. You died on the cross, You rose again from the dead, I declare You today and I receive You today, as my Lord and Savior!"

Monday, October 5, 2015

Worship Crushes Worry Every Time!

When we worship, we connect with our God personally. Sometimes, when you're at church on Sundays or Wednesdays or whatever day you attend, it is often easy to sneak out just as the worship team comes out for the final song, so you won't have to face any delay trying to get your car out of the parking lot. But what you fail to understand is that you are walking out on worship! It has to begin to start being a priority in our lives.  Nothing in this life is certain and sure, but worship is. Most fail to understand what a true privilege worship is.

There is something about this human life of ours, that the blackness and loneliness of the struggles and difficulties, the nagging pain and the sorrows, will someday be pressed into the Diamond of Glory. Deliverance from this world's troubles will cause us to sing. The moon can't sing God a song. Jupiter in all its splendor can't write Him a word of praise. Pluto can't pray to God. When we worship, we connect with our God personally!

It's not just about the singing. It's about having an object that is worthy to sing to. You have to, you must, you will. There will come a day, you will see the glories of God and you will want to break out in song and worship. One day every single knee will bow willingly and say that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. But there will be no second chances after you die to make that choice to choose Jesus today. 

Psalm 100:4 ~ "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

That's a command. When's the last time we told God thank You. There is always something to thank God for. No matter how much pain and suffering we might find ourselves in, there is always something to be thankful for.

Psalm 9:1 ~ "I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders."

That's a Christian. I am deficient in this area and I need to start thanking God more. Because He is on the throne and He loves me no matter what, good days or bad days.

Psalm 35:18 ~ "I will give  you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you."

Psalm 52:9 ~ "I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints."

Psalm 57:9 ~ "I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples."

Psalm 118:21 ~ "I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation."

Psalm 138:1-2 ~ "I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things you name and your word."

Do you notice the repetition in these Psalms? 

1. You are worthy.
2. to take the scroll.
3. to open its seals.
4. for you were slain.
5. you have redeemed us to God.
6. by your blood.
7. out of every tribe.
8. tongue.
9. people and.
10. nation.

Peeking ahead to verse 12...

Revelation 5:12 ~ "In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and  honor and glory and praise!"

"Mark" - the things of heaven in your sights, Jesus Christ is returning to this earth. The song keeps going.

Revelation 5:10 ~ "You have made them to be a kingdom and priest to serve our God and they will reign on the earth."

They sang this song and it keeps on going. Some ancient scholars have said that a better understanding of this reads, "You have made us (a kingdom) , (priests we are) to our God. And we shall reign on earth. Regardless it's all about the divine government to come. "Kings and Priests" the reign of Christ and His government for a thousand years from Jerusalem, Israel.I really like that when you think that Christians really have no place in this world. We as Christians, as just pilgrims, just passing through. Our goal is to bring as many people to heaven with us.

Don't let the world determine what you need to become worthy in the eyes of those here, Jesus is what we should be focusing on. We shall reign on the earth with Jesus. The people in authority in our government will never work right, even though God has placed those people where they are at this time. Government only works when God rules. Until that time, human government is in power. There are men and women dying to establish government in their country, just to have the right to have a say so. To exercise their freedom. We as Americans, we have grown tired of freedom. We don't fight for it or defend it as much anymore. We fought for the right at one time to worship freely.

Next year when you have the opportunity to vote will you do it? Will you understand the blood that was shed for that right to do so. In the end, in glory, the real Christians will stand before the throne of God. The Lord is saying the hour is late, it's time to worship Me and put Me first.It's time to rededicate our lives to Jesus once again and to be His will before our own.

Help us to search our hearts Lord and restore those broken places where we can learn to feel again. To understand what it is to feel You again in our lives. To come before His throne and read His Word like never before. We ask You Lord, that all we have we dedicate it all to You. Lead us and drive us like a ship across the sea and guide us with Your Spirit.  You've lost the sight of heaven and Jesus has been cursed more than praised and you're getting weaker by the day. It may be the very thing that brought you here today. He brought you here to bring this to your attention. It's time to come home to Him again. It's time to ask for His forgiveness and ask for His restoration. It's time to let Him take control of Your life again. God stores our tears in a bottle for us.

If you've never asked Jesus into your heart and want to do so now, simply pray this prayer and mean it from your heart. He will hear you right where you are at. He won't force His way in, you need to invite Him in today to your life and let Him change you.

Dear Lord Jesus, 

Forgive me of my sins. Write my name in Your Lamb's Book of Life. Receive me today. I believe You died and rose again, and I receive You now, as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus Name, I thank You, AMEN!!!

We need to live our lives on the mark because Jesus is come back. Time is running out and night is coming. Jesus is the most influential person who ever lived and has lived and continue to live. In just 3 1/2 years, He impacted the world like never before. Time is running out for us to minister for Jesus before eternity comes and we hear the final trumpet blast.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Things Angels Can't Do!

Do you want to live life successfully and I don't mean in regards to money or health? Though those would be nice, I'm talking about succeeding in the Spirit, always have Jesus in the forefront of your life! Put Jesus as the object of your affection.  Then everything in this life will come to pass according not to your will, not my will but a better will, God's will!

Acts 2:24-25 ~ But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: "I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

We should all want to be more like David, whose relationship with God was that He was always before his face. That should be our goal in everything from voting to eating, driving, talking, ministering, having fun, going to the beach, working, paying bills, going to school, to see the Lord always before our face, should be our goal in life. Yet all of us desire to become more like Jesus, but one step at a time. We can find people in the Bible who are just like us and see how they rise above, people like David, Abraham, Esther, and others. David and Abraham had born again relationships with Jesus in the Old Testament, for example, Abraham was declared righteous by faith and so are you. We need to keep Jesus every before our face and keep moving forward in our race to finish this life well and give all the glory and honor, praise and worship to Him in the process.

Matthew 6:33 ~ "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

This should be the motto of every church and Christian. "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these (other) things will be given to you as well." You want wealth, you want health, you want power, you want position? Personally if that is what your "want" is I don't think you will get them, or if you do get them, it could be to your own destruction. Are those things evil? No! But we live in a fallen and broken world. But will God grant those things? Sure! All of them? Some of them? It's up to Him! What are we to do first? Seek first the kingdom of God. Is that our passion? As a Christian? As a church?

In John 14:2" In my Father's house are many rooms; if were not so, I would have told you so. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

That should be our passion. Are you moving? Do you have your house up for sale? Are you moving somewhere? Do you understand it is only temporary? Think about that when you go to buy all the new furnishings for the new house. It's only temporary! It's all going to burn. It's just temporary what we live in. These bodies are just temporary and I am so glad of that. Is Jesus the object of your affection? 

Matthew 6:20-23 ~ "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, you whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then, the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness."

If Jesus is the object of our affection, we have an "eye" spiritually speaking focused on Him and He is our reason or we have an "eye" that is bound up in the world. It is not wrong to possess things of the world. As long as those possessions don't possess you! It's not a sin to be affluent. It's a sin to hoard it to yourself. Some of the most successful people I have read of or known, have been people who so give it away, that God winds up having to give it back to them, because they keep giving it away! It's tremendous to have that kind of passion for Jesus.

"For where your treasure.." treasure meaning "thesauros" in the Greek: a place of deposit, the set of wealth, a reserve or treasure of affections.

Wherever your affection is, that is where your heart is going to be. Where your deposit is, that is an interesting word, God is saying, "Where are you placing your deposits, in the things of the kingdom or things that would rob and steal? We live in a hostile world that is out to rob and steal. 

We need to be keeping the mark before our eyes at all times. A person in a race, has a mark. A Christian in this life, has a mark, and that mark is Jesus. Always Jesus. If you are in a worship situation, and Jesus is not the mark, God gave us the instruction on what to do about that. We are to take the dust from our feet and dust it off, get into a church that holds truly and without compromise or apology to the Bible.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 ~ "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer."

Isn't that something? You see all these soldiers heading over to Iraq, or wherever else the battle of terrorism is being fought, can you imagine, they have all their gear and behind them they have a little rope, and they have their surfboard behind them, their golf clubs dragging behind them. Your commanding officer says advance, and you see this guy moving forward and wondering what is that sound? Pots and pans behind him clanging. Nobody entangles himself with the things of this life, when it comes to spiritual warfare! And yet we all battle that! We all have our thing that we fight against. But is Jesus Christ the object of our affection?

 Philippians 3:13-14 ~ "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

There will be no debris in heaven. Nothing that is worthless. Note what is important in heaven.

Revelation 5:8b ~ "Revelation 5:8-14 ~ " Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

John sees these harps and these bowls which are gold and full of incense which means, the incense is rising, but we don't have to guess what they are. They are the prayers of the saints. Two of the three things that affect eternity are right here. We are just little people, mere humans, and God loves us so but you and I have the power, granted by God to do something like this, whenever we pray, we leave this time zone, and in an instant, literally in real time, praying before the throne of God? Second thing, when you worship, you transcend this orb, this terrestrial world, when you worship, you immediately affect God who is in heaven. That should excite you! There are at least two things we send on ahead, two long term investments that will forever produce dividends in heaven. Worship and prayer. There is also a third, conversion. When a sinner repents and comes to know Jesus as Savior, they change their mind about Jesus, to know Him personally, what does the Bible say about that? Even if just one person in the whole world does that one thing today, what happens in heaven? Angels party in heaven it says. Martenellis' certainly, but they party!!!! They rejoice over one sinner who repents. Immediately when one person comes to Christ, it affects eternity in that moment.

Psalm 141:2 ~ "May my prayer be set before you like incense: (may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.)"

Matthew 6:21 ~ "For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Where? There! In heaven. "Mark"  - the things of heaven in your sights. On your mark - "Worship" is our spiritual exercise. We need to get stretched out, we need to get ready. we need to get in tone for worship.

Revelation 5:9 ~ "And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

Jesus redeems the earth back from its lost condition. He met all the standards and requirements, how? He redeemed us by His death and His blood. A new song, never able to be sung prior to... "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

Only black people? Only white people? Only yellow people? What people? Out of every tribe, and language and people and nation. We are the most guilty of all people on the planet earth when it comes to  reducing God and salvation into some sort of geographical benefit. There are people who name the name of Christian, that can't even tell you what it means and they might attend church on Sunday, but they have no connection to Christ any rest of the days of the week. None whatsoever. Just because you were born in America means nothing. Just because it's a Christian nation at one time. You can't call it a Christian nation any longer. When Christ gets thrown out of schools, it's not a Christian nation anymore. When the ten Commandments get thrown out of a courthouse, it's not a Christian nation anymore. This nation has erred! This nation is wayward and has turned its back on God, and according to the Bible, God will turn His back on this nation. Unless one thing happens, its repent and seek his face. Then He will hear from heaven, and He will answer their prayer and heal their land. But God will not be impressed when you pop up before His throne and say, "Look, I've got my passport! I'm an American!" No way.

One day, there will be Russians in heaven! There will be Pakistani's in heaven! Afghan's in heaven! There will be Iraqi's in heaven! There will be people in Detroit in heaven! There will be people from all over the world in heaven! Some of them round eyes and slanted eyes, and some of them of various skin colors, have you thought about that? Will it be true for you? Only if Christ is the object of our affection!

This new song could have only been sung after the resurrection of Christ! It could have only been sung after He ascended back into heaven. It is only sung when the church is in heaven! Notice who is not singing here and who is not.

Revelation 5:8 ~ "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayer of the saints. And they sang a new song:"

The question you should be asking yourself is who are "they"? You might think the obvious, that it is everybody mentioned in verse 8, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders. That is not the answer, because in this chapter, it goes on to tell you who the "they" are. No where in Scripture do we find the angels singing, except in a very small chapter of Job 38. No where do we see angels singing to God.

You might argue that the angels do sing. From Christmas remember, "Angels we have heard on high," or you might argue that the angels on the night of Jesus birth all sang. Read it again. In Luke 2, the angels gathered around, and they praised God saying. We are praising God when we talk about Him. Praise does not necessarily mean singing did you know that? No where does it say that angels sing since the fall of mankind!

In Job 38:7 ~ "while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy" 

But they have not sang since. They are always found since the fall of man, "saying." They say, "He is worthy." The church sings, "You are worthy." We sing, angels speak. They say. We sing. We worship, but angels look in and they want, I believe, to sing like we can sing. 

The cheribum are not singing, the angels are not singing, the seraphim are not singing. The "they" who are singing are all those who lived on this broken down earth who had been lost sinners and who could not save themselves from their lost condition. Angels do not and can not sing this new song. There is no redemption for fallen angels. They are lost and bound to hell forever. An angel has no knowledge what it is like to be forgiven of sin. The Lord has never asked an angel to call Him, Father, Abba, and Jesus never called angels "Friend."

Isn't that interesting as well that the Bible says that the Lord has created us a little lower than the angels. We can't fly around, we can't do what angels do now, but there is a day coming where the Bible says we are going to sit in judgment of the angels in eternity. What does that mean? It means we are going to be a lot smarter in heaven than we are right now! Jesus didn't die for angels. It appears they are unredeemable since there is no reference in Scripture that says they can be redeemed. They can't sing the songs and hymns we can sing. They can only look on. Angels desire to look in on the things that we can do. They are snooping and eavesdropping on those things. They lean in to listen and learn what we hear in church. They are His ministering Spirits.

All other faiths and religions will always come up short on what Jesus offers to those that believe in Him!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Will the Real Christian Please Stand Up!

Back in the day, there was a show called "To Tell the Truth" in which a panel of contestants would give facts about their life and the role of the judges was to figure out which one was telling the truth and which were telling lies. Their goal was to be the one to tell the best lie. Just like in the world today, we can tell the marks of a true believer in Christ but certain things that are prevalent in their life, kinda of like looking at a tree and based on what you can see, you can identify what type it is, like an apple or lime tree. All the real Christian would do is putting his faith in Jesus Christ alone.

In the lives of a believer such traits like the ability to worship, might be one indicator as to what they believe, but appearances can be misleading as well. To tell the truth, heaven would be a place where people go who love to worship the Lord. From sea to shining sea, Christians around the world love to worship God. Yet it is also something we take for granted here in the United States where we have that right and freedom to worship, at this time, without any repercussions. I guess you might say, one of the earmarks of a true believer might be those willing to die, not to give up worshiping Jesus Christ as Lord.

In our last three lessons we learned about Jesus Christ, being fully qualified to be the ONLY One to redeem us based on a number of things. (1) Jesus has become our salvation by Himself being God's authorized agent' (2) by Himself alone He became our performance; (3) He has done what no other man could ever do, by Jesus Christ, man's hope is restored; (4) By Jesus Christ, man's salvation is realized; (5) It means that Jesus Christ has meet all the requirements, by being faithful to the commitment to save; (6) by being obedient to the death of the cross.

We know that Jesus Christ had taken the scroll, the Last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ if you will, and took it from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. We know that when Adam sinned he basically gave the escrow papers of the earth and handed it to Satan. He now has 51% of the controlling powers of the earth. Many people blame God, but the blame is truly on the real enemy. God will one day, take back control over the pain and sufferings of all the people on the earth from Satan. Judgment is coming and soon! We win in the end if you read all the way to the end of the Bible.

Revelation 5:8-14 ~ "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: "Yo are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels and numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousands times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to received power and wealthy and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and powers, for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped."

This study should provoke you to a stronger worship of Jesus Christ in your life.  It's like the saying, "On your mark, get set, fall down! in this case. "On your mark," means having an active, day by day, living relationship with Jesus Christ. "Get Set" means establishing a biblical understanding that Jesus is coming back. "Fall Down," means willfully applying yourself to be a worshiper of God. Now let's look at it in even greater detail.

"On Your Mark!" - Heaven is in your sights, with Jesus Christ as the object of your affection. Put your citizenship and mind on the things of heaven cause that is where we are going one day. As a Christian we should be asking ourselves that, Is Jesus Christ, the object of our affection? Why, you are going to join a crowd of people in heaven, who will be worshiping Him for all eternity. Jesus does not want to be number 1 on a list of 10. He wants to be number 1 on a list of 1. "No other gods before Me," says the Scripture. He and He alone is to be worshiped, we see everything in all of heaven worshiping Him. And it is the will of God the Father, that we should worship His Son, Jesus Christ.

Revelaton 5:8 ~ "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

A great shift in power is happening here. Now when he (the Lamb - Jesus Christ) had taken the scroll. It means there has been a radical announcement, like a lightning bolt. It has interrupted what has looked like gloomy and foreboding. This is an awesome and exciting moment, frankly, this could be the most important statement in the Bible, because there was no one found worthy in heaven or on earth  and John weeps much! So lost is the world, that is why it is trying to find it's way, drugs, alcohol, find other sources of happiness, they are saying we will try everything they can, like telescopes looking out into intelligent life. Wouldn't it be awesome, for God to stick His face out and say, "I'm right here." The world is searching for an answer, and the answer is Jesus, not a religion or a church. When a church says that they are the only way to get to heaven, beware! Jesus is the only answer. He has to be the love of our life. You can put your fingers in your ears all you want, but you can't escape this question. Jesus steps forward because He alone was found worthy to take the scroll!

In Revelation 5:8 ~ "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb" 

Notice it is before the Lamb, not before anything else. Not a host of angels, not before anything else. They fall down before the Lamb. The star of heaven is the Lamb. Jesus is the central figure here. Is he the central figure of our soul?  Noah Webster states that "mark" or "to mark" means that it is a place of beginnings. It is a port of origin for a journey albeit a quick sprint or global journey. Like never before the Christian must keep his "mark" true. The mark is where you begin. Doesn't that dovetail what Jesus already said to the churches?  "You have left your first love." You have left your mark. 

If you have ever seen a sprinter before he runs the race in the Olympics? Before you sprint, what do you do? Before the gun goes off, where are you? You are in the blocks! You take your time getting adjusted to where you need to be, you get in and out until you are set. Why do they do this? Because the race is won in the blocks. It is where it all happens. You don't want to stick to the block. You want to be off the block! But how you position yourself on the block, determines the mark or point of origin. We know the one that presides over the event, says, "On your mark!" How many Christians are on their mark? I'm not asking how you feel. Are you asking yourself how are you spending your time lately? Is it serving Jesus or serving yourself? Are you taking time to spend time in church fellow shipping and worshiping with other believers or doing things you want to do? We should be spending our time here, rehearsing for heaven. We don't want to spend our time wondering what to do in heaven, practice now! Right now, we need to be asking ourselves honestly, "Is Christ the object of your affection?"

Doesn't the Bible tell us that we need to be ready? Are you on your mark? Keep Jesus as the target of your life. There are a lot of people in assumed titles that are exalting themselves over Jesus.They love the benefits and power that come from being in that position. Keep Him ever before You, not some man. It's Jesus. He is the only one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Lion and The Lamb, Seven Eyes and Seven Horns?

You will never understand the Book of Revelation unless you view it through the Old Testament Scriptures. Where does a Lamb appear in Scripture? Old Testament. Where does a lion appear in Scripture? The Old Testament. What do horns mean in the Old Testament? All of these things speak of the ministry and the person and the authority of Jesus Christ. It's absolutely thrilling. He is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. How can Jesus be both a lion and a lamb you might ask? Because He represents all of these things! He is both a King and Priest but also the sacrificial offering, and when we talk about the horns throughout Scripture, both Old and New Testament speak of kingship and authority.

Some people might argue that John was seeing some sort of mutation in heaven, when he describes what is written in Revelation 5, what he is seeing is a prophetic, apocalyptic manifestation of Jesus Christ, regarding past, present and future because he is in heaven viewing what was, what is and what is about to happen, meaning the Second Coming, wrath of God. He sees all of this stuff that to a Jewish mind, and remember that John was a Jew, we need to view these things through his eyes and see things historically that way he sees this. Imagine, he's thinking, this is the King, He's the sacrifice, He's the Priest, He's the Authority. The average Jew in that day would understand these things better than we would.

When someone tells you not the read the New Testament, you should. If your Rabbi tells you not to, trust me, there is something there he does not want you to know. Because if a Jew was to read the New Testament, everything talked about in the Old Testament  is answered in the New.  When a Jew reads the New Testament, because he knows the Old, during the Tribulation Period, the Jews are going to open the New Testament. They are going to read it and know, that Jesus is the Lamb of God, He is the Lion, He is the King, He's everything and it's all there. He is the One and their eyes are going to be opened.

Jesus has met all the requirements by being obedient to the death on the cross.

Revelation 5:6-7 ~ " Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne."

Don't let the horns and the eyes frighten you. It's symbolic language. It transcends all time and generations. The "having seven horns and seven eyes" is a great and wonderful thing. Seven is the number of completeness or completion, and the horns or horn represent an Authority or King in the Bible. Historically we know all about the lion of Judah in Israel's history.

2 Samuel 22:3 ~ "The God of my strength, in whom I trust, my shield and the horn (king or authority) of my salvation."

The seven horns speaks of absolute authority and now presides over all the kings and rulers over all the earth. 

"and seven eyes" this is the Lamb's perfect scope, vision and knowledge of earthly affairs. He is all seeing and all knowing. This verse means that Jesus Christ will be the Conductor over the events of the Great Tribulation. The vision is everywhere. When the Tribulation period begins, people everywhere will be reading the Bible. These seven seals will only be opened by God's authorized agent, Jesus Christ.

Revelation 6:16-17 ~ "They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

Why doesn't it say "from the wrath of the Lion?" Because He was rejected as King, but the Lamb came as a sacrifice. That is the issue today. If you are a Jew today, you welcome the Lion, but you will have nothing to do with the Lamb. You can't have the Lion without the Lamb. You can't have the position without paradise. This is none other than Jesus Christ, our Great God and Savior! These are the awesome and sober moments just preceding the opening of the Great Tribulation. As the Lamb, He is sacrificed, and as the Lion, He is King!

Revelation 5: Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne"

Notice now, that the direction in which the elders and the four living creatures fall down toward is in the middle of the throne. God had fulfilled His purpose! Isaac is with Abraham and they are going to worship God. Fire is the symbol of judgment, the knife represents that Jesus would be pierced.

Genesis 22:6-8 ~ "Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and the wood are hear," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together."

There is no greater version than the Old King James version of this Scripture. It's called redemption. Isaac willingly laid on this structure and allowed himself to be bound without a word. Sound familiar? By the way, all this took place on Mount Moriah, the high point, today we would call this Golgotha, Mount Calvary. The place of the skull. The place of redemption. Thousands of years ago, we have a father willing to sacrifice his only son, willing to take a knife and plunge it into him, and be consumed by the fire, yet the Angel of the Lord comes and stops him. God knew that Abraham loved Him above all things, but Abraham didn't.

Then thousands of years later, a Father in Heaven puts wood on the back of His Son, and lives it out again, as He makes His way up to the mountaintop, there is the wood, there is the piercing, but where is the Lamb? Jesus never utters a word why? Because He was the Lamb. That is why He fulfilled the Scriptures in Isaiah that He uttered not a word like a sheep being led to the shearers. He did it.

 "as though it has been slain." meaning a mutilated lamb, beaten, torn, rejected, hated. This is exactly what we will see in Heaven when we arrive. Let see if you can identify who this is based on this passage of Scripture, written 743 years before Jesus was born, which for us today, makes it 2800 years old. If there is a skeptic here, let him figure it out.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ~ "But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as thee were many who were appalled at him - his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness - so will he sprinkle many nations and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root of of dry ground. He had no beauty of majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgement he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, not was any deceit in his mouth. Yet is was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life, and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors."

Every year when the lamb was offered up as a burnt offering, Dr. Eherdershiem, notes that the Leviticial practice was to take the sacrificial lamb and impale it through the rear and through the lower portion of the lower jaw.   The second stave would be used to pass through from left to right just below and behind the lamb's torso and front legs. It was then placed into the fires of sacrifice.

Professor Albert Barnes points out that if you would exalt or raise that lamb up vertically, you would see a lamb crucified on a perfect cross. That's what Jesus did for you and I!

Exodus 12:3-5 "Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats."

A Lamb: Today in your life, Jesus Christ is just a really great man, unless you know Him personally. , Buddha's doesn't have a lamb, Mohammad doesn't have a  Lamb, Joseph Smith doesn't have a lamb. whatever...they don't have a sacrificial lamb.

Until you consider The Lamb: He's the only Lamb! That's kind of tough to handle. You mean like He's the Lamb and all the others are chopped liver?

Your Lamb: Do you have a personalize Lamb? There is only One. He's the Lamb and if you don't have the Lamb, then you don't have a Lamb to trust in.

John 1:29-30 ~ "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, "A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me."

We are supposed be moved by the sacrificial lamb. It was supposed to mean something. The blood was supposed to have been spread upon the doorposts of the house so that the angel of the death would pass over those homes. It makes you wonder if there wasn't some Egyptian who believed in what Moses said about the Jews and believed in God, and he followed in the message he heard. He would have placed the blood on his doorposts as well and he is spared. Have you taken to yourself, Jesus Christ to be your Lamb? It's hell without Him. Jesus is the only One!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why Is There Evil in the World?

When you think about it all the wealth and worldly goods you possess doesn't mean anything to anyone until we die. That is when it becomes valuable to those who are hoping that they might get some of what you acquired in your living trust or last will and testament. Those documents are worthless until you die and they become empowered by your death in order to make them valid. It's good to have, and means only something to you while you are still alive.

It's like that with the New Testament, it became empowered by Jesus the moment of his death and subsequent resurrection. When Jesus said, "It is finished," what did He mean? The moment He died, his death empowered the total fulfillment and totality of God's absolute Word. His Word would be nothing without His death. The moment He died, the Will was empowered and you and I are blessed. He fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies and requirements. The mathematical odds 10 to the 26th power for just 8 prophecies being fulfilled to the letter as discovered by the University of Texas. That's 10 with 26 zeroes after that. That was only 8 prophecies being fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled over 600 of them. It comes down to an infinite number when you factor that in. He is God. How can you not believe that?!!

Most people don't believe in God, because they are angry at the way things are going, that there is evil in the world. It's not that they don't believe in God, they simply don't understand why things happen the way they do and why it feels at times that evil prevails because if they had it their way, they would certainly change things about the course of the way the world is going. This chapter in Revelation answers that age old question. You want to know why there is evil in the world? (1) Because this is not the world God intended. This world and the Garden of Eden was sold, so to speak, or relinquished to the hand of Satan the Bible tells us. Adam and Eve lived in perfection. They rebelled against God and in doing so, in their rebellion, Satan took possession of the earth. Satan has been in control of this world, did you know that? The Bible says, "He is the prince of the power of the air." Of the atmosphere of this world, Satan. The Bible calls Satan, the god of this age. Satan is in control! When there is a death, murder or robbery, or an illness or sickness that is claiming the lives of a child somewhere, who does that? It comes from the fall! You want to blame someone rather than criticize, than turn your righteous indignation against Satan. It's his fault.

What does this have to do with anything? It's all about redemption and this scroll is none other than the title deed to the earth. It is a will like that of a Roman will, sealed with seven seals. That authorized agent to open it had to meet all the requirements and demands to fulfill the things written that each seal unfurled. That's very important. By Himself, Jesus Christ is God's authorized agent. 
We have in historical museums, the wills of several Roman emperors each of them have been sealed seven times. The seven seals meaning, (1) indicated that the will had been completed by its author, (2) that the will could only be opened by an authorized agent, (3) that the will had specific "requirements of performance" that must be fulfilled, and (4) that the fulfillment of those performance, had to be done by someone who met those qualifications and/or by the author of the will himself (who would have already been dead, a little catch there.)

1 Corinthians 11:25 ~ "In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Jesus is now saying that I am in the process of buying back the world, from its fallen condition and I am going to do it in my blood. I will empower the redemption of this world by my blood. You might think this is boring and that you already know all of this. Well then you should be the most outrageous worshiper in any church because of that truth. He redeemed us, Jesus has done it if you are a believer in Him.

Hebrews 9:15-17 ~ "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance - now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living."

Sounds like a lawyer wrote this huh? The scroll is a legal document, the seven seals are seven requirements... so then, for what reason, is our question...why? Some say it's the New Testament, others it is the will of God, still others, that it is the Counsel of God to man...the scroll is the Title Deed to Planet Earth. The unfolding of the seals takes up most of the Book of Revelation. The unfolding of that will, the scroll, written on the inside and on the back, of this one scroll. This means that all the requirements have been met, there is no room for anything further. It's complete, that is what is meant when it says it was written on inside and out. Be there, done that. There is a problem in all of this however, there is still someone who has to meet all the requirements.

Whatever is done here in order to get the world back to the possession of God, all of those requirements are complete, now it's time to enact it.

Revelation 11:15 ~ "The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."

Did you get that? "Now they have become." Didn't God make the world and all there is? Yes, but it was delivered by Adam into the hands of Satan. Not only did Jesus redeem us from our lost condition, but His redemptive powers go to this world and the cosmos. He's buying it back. According to John, from his vantage point, it's done. It's finished.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ~ "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Ephesians 2:2 ~ "In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."

If this is hard for you to understand maybe this might help. Remember when Jesus came to the earth in the form of a man and went into the wilderness for 40 days and who came and tempted Him? The Bible says that Satan came and tempted Him. Now Jesus has no sin nature. But the temptations were true none the less. They were real temptations. He had to resist them. He laid aside certain mechanics of his deity as God, all of His powers and all of His knowledge, but certainly within reach, He didn't pick them up in his humanity, it's called "Kenosis." He could of picked them up at anytime, but He didn't. He humbled Himself and Satan tempted Him, when Jesus became thirsty, He felt it like you or I would. He got tired, He had to contend with the same things you and I do. 

So when Satan came to tempt Jesus, one of those temptations was this...

Matthew 4:8-9 ~ "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of he world and their splendor. "All of this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

Was that a valid temptation? Yup! Did Jesus do it? Thank God, No! Did Satan have the power to tempt Jesus with that temptation? Yes, by the way, there is one coming who Satan will offer this deal one more time to. We don't know his name, but he goes by the title of the Antichrist. Satan is going to tell him if you bow down and worship me, all of these kingdoms will be yours. And he is going to do it. Pretty amazing! By Himself alone, He became the performance.

Revelation 5:2 ~And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 

Can you imagine the sound of this angels voice? He is referenced as mighty. There must have been silence in heaven when he posed this question. Angels looked at one another, redeemed hosts looked around, everyone looks at one another, John certainly observes the situation and there is a catastrophe in his heart. This redemption by Jesus means that He has done what no man can.

Revelation 5:3-4 ~ "But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside."

No one was worthy to take the scroll and look at it. John is weeping because there isn't anyone to be found who could open it. People might say they have a problem with that statement because they believe there are no tears in heaven. Wait that is coming. As John is viewing this in both heaven and the need upon the earth for this deliverance, Why is he weeping? Because no one was found worthy to redeem man and the world out of its lost condition, no one can do it, there is no salvation any other way. No one has cried like this, over the lost soul of someone. Then John realizes that salvation can only be found in God alone. No one is worthy. Listen to the answer. Redemption in Jesus Christ, is that He has meet all the requirements by being faithful to the commitment to save.

Revelation 5:5-7 ~ "Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne."

The elder commanded him to stop crying. Not in a harsh way. It's strong but tender. God calls us His children because we are not supposed to worry. Much like a little child. They live for the here and now. They are supposed to worry about things. The elder turns to John and tells him, "Stop it, it's not over yet." It's not over until the fat angel is going to sing, and he's going to sing! Read Genesis 49: 1-11. Write that in your Bible next to Revelation 5:5! This is what this elder is referring John to!  Shiloh is one of Jesus' names! 

This is referring to the Tribulation period where it describes Jesus robe in Genesis 49:11 and His judgement found in Isaiah 61-63. Who is worthy? Jesus! The Lion of the tribe of Judah. How in the world can Jesus who the Lion of the tribe of Judah, be the Root of David, when David was born before Jesus? If you have kids, you are the root of your children! In other words, they came from you. You are a branch and they might be a leaf. You are a branch, because if you are alive today, you had a mom and a dad. That make them further up the trunk. But your grandfather is further down the trunk until somewhere in that genealogy you get back down to the dirt and the roots. How can Jesus who was born 2000 years ago be the root of David when David is older than Jesus? The answer is that David is not older than Jesus! Jesus has always existed! The Bible tells us this and the Scriptures challenge us with this.

Matthew 1:1 ~ "A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." 

Matthew 9:27 ~ "As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!"

Jesus came forth from David's lions, from David's DNA, but watch what happens.

Matthew 22:41-46 ~ "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?"  "The son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him Lord? For he says, 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.' "If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions."

The Father is always greater than the son, unless the son is God from all time and eternity and came into this world. The Bible tells us that Jesus pre-existed. He is the eternal one. He draped Himself with human skin. That is why He is THE Root of David. David ain't got no roots without Jesus. He has no lineage without Jesus like Abraham. He declared Himself to be God. They couldn't handle the truth and thus the reason why the teachers of law wanted to stone him.

More to follow tomorrow!!! Hope you'll join me!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Last Will of the New Testament

Chapter 5 in the Book of Revelation is the most neglected chapter in all of the Bible. It shouldn't be for this one ginormous reason, we will learn that no one was found worthy in heaven, on the earth, under the earth or anywhere to loose the seven sealed scroll. Jesus is the only one found worthy. So why is that important? Because without Jesus Christ being qualified as our Priest, our salvation, our advocate in heaven, we are lost because He alone is the only one who can unloosen these seven seals. Each seal, as we learned through studying Roman history represents a chapter in a person's life. In a sense the scroll represents a will, like it did in Roman times, sealed with seven seals. For the sake of argument and those living in the western world, the first seal would be opened by let's say, your real estate attorney, and he would tell those present what the will said in regards to the property or estate, because he, being the real estate attorney was qualified to share that part of the person's will.

The next guy would open up the will and he would be your financial adviser, he loosens the second seal and says here is where all the money is going to go and here is how it will be spent. Then the next guy would go who was qualified. You see my point? Here Jesus Christ is the only one to be found worthy to open all seven seals, who can unfurl the scroll and meet all the demands.

You've probably been to the auto races like Nascar or even some of the drag street races and have seen the cars labeled, "powered by...Ford" or whatever the sponsors want on the car. We, as believers in Christ are powered by Jesus. He has done it all and we are going to hear the accolades of heaven. One thing to note before we get into our study is that there is no break between chapter 4 and 5. When you look at the original scriptures, there is no break between chapters 4 and 5 like our Bibles have laid out for us today. There is a language flow that begins in Revelation 4:1 and and goes all the way out to the end of Chapter 5. There is no break to the presentation of this message. Meaning that John in the beginning of verse one in Chapter 4 when he is raptured out of the world, and now the perspective or vantage point is now from heaven looking down on the earth, John is giving us an eyewitness account to what is happening as he is in heaven.

He is like a reporter on the scene reporting to us live from heaven, with the events as they will happen just before the judgment comes to the earth. We are so often caught up in presenting the "fire and brimstone" nature of God, but what we should be focusing on, is the forgiveness and grace of God instead. But in order to give you the full biblical nature of God, God is holy, He is just, He is loving and like the Bible states, "He is angry with the wicked every day." God is all these things and He is also forgiving. But because He is holy, he must discipline all unrighteousness and godlessness. We believe that we will prosper if we simply turn the other cheek on certain matters, that maybe the evil that is happening in my home, my church or my community might just go away.

We do those things because we are unrighteous. God is holy, He doesn't think like that, He sees things that are wrong and unholy and must deal with them. As we enter into Chapters 4 and 5, we are seeing the preparation of God's judgment that is coming. From Chapter 6 through Chapter 19, is God's disciplining or judgment upon the world. He is not weak, or mad, or out of control for doing it, but His holiness creates a righteous indignation which must be executed, because of God's justice. The beautiful thing is that in Jesus Christ, we escape all of that. Jesus took the beating and the crucifixion upon Himself on the cross, for the sins of all those who put their trust in him. That is called redemption, that Jesus went to the cross for us. He bought for us, our salvation, which was a price so great, that all of humanities collective goodness, could have never produced.

You and I can offer up our best goodness that we can give, but the problem is, like poisoned water, it's tainted. You can't see it and it looks clear, looks okay and presentable, but there could be cyanide in that water. The best of our efforts is tainted the Bible tells us, by ungodly motives. and sometimes as the Bible tells us, we don't even know our own hearts. It is interesting when we look further into things that we see when the apostle Paul saw into heaven, he was told not to mention or write what he had seen when he gazed into heaven,

2 Corinthians 12:4, ~ "was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." 

Yet we see that John has permission from the angel to write about the things which he has been shown, to tell all that he sees and hears regarding the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the concluding events of these last 2000 years. Here John has been telling us of these great and awesome things about heaven, about the future and about eternity. We are just seeing snippets of Heaven and we won't see it in all its glory and wonder until we get there. Chapter 5 is the most important chapter thus far in our study because it deals with one of the most troubling issues in our lives. That issue being, "If God is all loving and caring, why is there so much suffering in the world?" and "Why did God create Adam and Eve, if He knew they were going to sin and mess it all up?" The answers are found right here in Chapter 5.

Revelation 5:1-7 ~ "Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne."

These things keep in mind, when we consider that our redemption comes from Jesus Christ, that Jesus has become our salvation, by Himself being God's authorized agent.

Revelation 5:1 ~ "Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals."

I stress this as if it was a legal term and I want you to think of it that way. Redemption is a legal affair. Redemption demands that certain legalities take place. We are a society that is governed by laws, in fact, there is no society unless it is a society that is governed by laws, and that law that we operated on has been founded on the Judean law or the law of the Bible. In the Supreme Court, there are marble carved images that go all the way around the court, and sitting right over the Chief Justice, a marble carved image of  Moses sitting on a throne, holding the ten commandments in both arms. The law giver! Emanating out from him and all around are the subsequent law givers throughout humanity, they all have their names. Redemption is a legal act before God. Let's look at how it authorizes Jesus to be that agent.

Revelation 5:1 ~ "Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals."

Everything in that culture, of authority and power, is on the right hand. Remember what Jesus said, "I will look to those on my right hand, and I will say enter into the joy of the Lord and he says to those on His left, depart from Me, you workers of iniquity." The right hand is the place of authority. It is the place of strength, it is the place of transaction on the right side. So John is telling us something that is very important. The protocol of heaven and the protocol of what is taking place, you've got the court set in heaven, Daniel talks about this in great detail. He says as the angels were gathered around and the court was seated, making a reference to the 24 elders, then the Ancient of Days did come, and He was seated and exercised judgement upon the earth. It is a legal courtroom setting. Jesus is our authorized agent. So when John says, "I saw him seated on the right side, he says in his hand is a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals." 

In Rome, when a will was written it had writing on the front and back. It meant that the scroll was full and nothing could be legally added. Roman law required that a legal will, a Last Will and Testament, be sealed 7 times. In fact in 1962 in the Middle East, through archaelogical digs, a scroll was dug up, it was in an earthen jar, they pulled out that scroll and some of it was weathered and lost, but a lot of it was intact. It was dated some day in March, in 335 BC. They took it into a labratory and began to unfold it and they unfolded the first seal, and that seal unfolded the next document, and the next document because it is all rolled up in one.

Imagine and I will try and describe it the best way I can. Imagine a long piece of paper like a newsprint laid out. That is a piece of paper rolled out. On the end of it is a seal. I place one more piece of paper on the inside a little bit smaller with one more seal. Yet a smaller one and a smaller one, each of them having a seal. You got it? When I roll it up, it is sealed but it has seven seals. So when I take off the first initial seal, and open it, it reveals the remaining seals, I can see them but I have to undo each seal, and with each seal opened, there were requirements that the go-el or redeemer, or the authorized agent, had to perform or to execute for that will to be enacted. As the scroll is unrolled, there are more and more things that must be done. They are not negotiable. The problem is that is deals with someone, that will, that someone wrote it, and as long as a will is in a safe deposit box or at the bank, or at your agents office, or whatever the case might be, that will has no power at all. Did you know that? It's worthless. It's just abiding. It's just there. There is no power to it. There is no authority to it until what happens? Somebody has got to die. Not just somebody, the person who wrote it. As soon as that person dies, by a record of the deceased, when the legalities declare that that person is pronounced dead and on that Good Friday at 3 o'clock, (we are going someplace with all of this), and the Roman government declared he is dead, grab a spear by the way, pierce it through his side, yup, he is dead; Rome requires that Jesus is dead. When Jesus died, that will, was empowered. The last will of the New Testament. A will is a testament. The Old Testament was completed in Christ. The performances.

The New Testament is written in His blood so to speak. Having no power, until Christ dies. But rather than leaving all that He wrote and planned to mankind to the distribution and authority of other people. He died and rose again so that everything written on that will would be executed. He didn't leave it to anyone else. He is that authorized agent.

Whether you believe it or not, doesn't change the truth of it. We come to the truth. Jesus Christ, is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus says that when a man believes in Him and dies, he will have eternal life. We don't have to understand everything in the Bible, it is by faith that we do. He gives us evidence of that truth every day.  God gives us each day the ability to make that choice and only You are responsible for the decision to accept or reject Christ and that will have eternal consequences. That is a choice you want to ensure is the right choice.

Tomorrow we will continue this study and I hope you will continue to join me into our in-depth study of the Book of Revelation.