Monday, November 23, 2015

What Does a World Look Like Without God In It?



When you look around at the world, especially in the coming end times, and all you see is chaos and confusion, it is hard to look at it all and wonder is Jesus really in control? We don't even have to be in the Tribulation Period for people to wonder, "Where is Jesus in what I am going through? Be it relationship issues, health issues or anything else we find ourselves struggling through just to make it to the end of the day. You have to remember that God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. That is He is all knowing, all present and all powerful. Even though when it looks to us that things are going crazy, God is there.

When we look at today's study into the Book of Revelation, we can see that God is still in control but this is what happens when man tries to do things without God. This is a world out of control because God has been rejected and put on the back burner. This is man being at the helm and saying we are going to do this without God. Now man is reaping what he has been sowing.  God is always in control. When we tell God we don't need Him in our life anymore, is it any wonder when He stands back and lets things happen in hopes that you might learn something from it? However, He is still very much in control of what is happening, despite how you might feel about it and Him!

God's timing is always perfect even though at times it doesn't feel like it. When you pray for someone to be healed and they aren't. When you pray for the perfect someone and they choose someone else. When you pray for a job so you don't lose everything and God doesn't come through. Sure it's easy to be angry at God during those times. He is the Lord and you are not. He created all things and you didn't. God is in control of all of our days. He is perfect in all that He does. He doesn't consult with us when He does something. He knows exactly what is right at the right time. We may FEEL like God has somehow taken a break and He isn't with us, but He is. We just need to make sure that our emotions do not dictate to us our theology.

As we continue this morning with our in depth look into Revelation 10, remember this is a parenthetical insert to put a break in the story line of what has been happening up to this point in order to infuse hope into this bleak situation. To remind us as it were, that God is still in control! This is a future vision. John is being given this ability to see into the future, a break in the events to remind us who the truly victor is in this situation as we have a mighty angel standing on the land with one foot and the sea with another, in a victory stance. It translates absolute dominion.

Revelation 10:3 ~ "and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke."

Proverbs 19:12 ~ "The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion,"

Joel 3:16 ~ "The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; and the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge or his people, and stronghold for the people of Israel."

Jeremiah 25:30 ~ "Now prophesy all these words against them an say to them: "The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth."

Revelation 5:4-5 ~ "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."

 This vision John is having might just be Jesus as He stands triumphant over dominion over the world and reminding us that He is in control. The revelation of God to man is simply overwhelming. Many scholars agree that Psalm 29 makes the connection of seven descriptions of when God roars. When God roars it's powerful, mighty, merciful, and that the earth shakes. It even makes a reference that when God roars the deer give birth.

Job 37:1-5 ~ "At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding."

Psalm 29:3 ~ "The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters."

When God takes a break, He prepares to fulfill His word to mankind with a sealed message.

Revelation 10:4 ~ "And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down."

We won't know what was said, even though John has clearly heard it. John is allowed to write everything down he sees except for this.

Deuteronomy 29:29 ~ "The secret things belong to the LORD, our God."

There are some that will study this all day and night but the point is, you will never know. God didn't want us to know. This means that God knows more than what He has told us. That's really an affront to us because we want to figure it all out. We want to know all the answers. God says, "Too bad, I'm not going to tell you." Whenever something happens in your life and mine that we don't understand, you want to spare yourself some grief, stop trying to figure it out. Press the default button. You know what the default button takes you in life, because default takes you to the nature of God. His nature is merciful, gracious and kind. Keep going on, this too shall pass. Keep moving forward despite how you feel and remember what you know about the nature of God. He is kind, loving, gracious, merciful, and is good to us, when we can't figure things out.

All we know is that this context demands that it has something to do with the great Tribulation Period to come. That it is administered by Jesus Christ, and that is prepares the way for the final trumpet blast to come. What's withheld, cannot be good for a Christ-rejecting world.

Matthew 24:21-22 ~ "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."

He prepares to fulfill His word with a sworn promise. He has done so with His sealed message.

Revelation 10:5-6 ~ "Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it and said, "There will be no more delay!"

This proves however that this angel is not Jesus because he swears an oath to God in heaven. Don't move so quickly. It states in Genesis and in Hebrews that when God could not swear an oath by none greater, He swore by Himself.

Is anyone struggling with legalism in your Christian experience? If you struggle with performance, He doesn't love you any more or less than if you prayed today or not. God doesn't love you more because you gave a $100, or less because you gave a $1. It has nothing to do with anything. It is the wrong equation here. God loves you. Jesus died on the cross for you. When God really wants to make an everlasting deal, He never leaves it open to humans. Case in point, Abraham! God tells Abraham to make an offering. Put the offering on top of the altar. Sacrifice it to Me! I will make with you a covenant that is everlasting. Read Genesis. What is the covenant that is everlasting? That the just shall live by faith. That justification comes by faith, not by works, not by performance,.

You might argue that Abraham offered up the offering. God told him to do it, Abraham put it on there and now Abraham is waiting. He is waiting on God, keeping the birds off the offering and God sends upon him a deep sleep. He is now out, sleeping. At the moment of the contract, while Abraham is sleeping, and because God could not swear by anyone, He swore by Himself in agreement. He fulfilled the covenant with Abraham. He passed between the offerings for an everlasting agreement. I love it! What did we have to do with it? We were sleeping in our sins when God made the deal.

Fast forward 2000 years, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What part did we play in it? Only this, we put Him on the cross. My sin put Jesus on the cross. Your sin put Jesus on the cross. 2000 years ago, He went to the cross with me and you on His mind. With us on His heart. Not condemning, Not angry with us. Not shaking His fist at us. The Bible says, it was for the joy set before Him endured the cross and despising its shame. He went there for you and I, He died there for you and I, and He made a deal with the Father, that if He fulfilled the law and offered up His sinless life upon the cross, the deal would be this: That all those who put their trust and faith in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. God the Father said, "That's a deal!" They shook or swore to one another an oath, a binding agreement regarding your salvation.

Regarding our salvation it is not laid up in any earthly temple, synagogue, mosque or church, It is laid up in heaven before the throne of God pastored by Jesus Christ, Himself, where neither moth, nor rust nor thief can break in and steal. That is why as Christians, we have our treasure stored up in heaven. Because our salvation can not be taken from us, because Jesus not only purchased it, He has empowered it, and guaranteed it by dying on the cross, being resurrected from the dead, and ascending back into heaven and ministering to us on our behalf, as our Great High Priest. That is a wonderful oath by which God has sworn by Himself. God has sworn this promise.

Now He promises that there is no longer a delay. What is this a connection to? It takes us back to Revelation 6 when the souls that were under the altar, those that had died during the Tribulation, and they were waiting on God, asking Him how much longer would it be before the rest of our brothers and sisters die for their faith? The announcement came to them to wait a little longer. Hold on until the believers who die during the Tribulation period for their faith can join you.

God is now saying, It is done! No more delay. Let's get this show on the road. Let's end it. It's over. Those that have died during the Tribulation period have died. It's now time to put an end to the seven-year Tribulation Period after Revelation 11:4.

2 Peter 3:3-4 ~ "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

2 Peter 3:7-9 ~ "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

God prepares to fulfill His word to mankind with a solemn oath.

Revelation 10:7 ~ "But in the last days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."

Tomorrow we will discover what the mystery of God is as this closes our study for today. I'll give you a little hint. Are you right now a Christian? One of the facets about the mystery of God is that God would come to earth and save sinners. You might not think that is such a big deal, but when you realize how holy God is, it's a big deal. When you realize that you and I have no access to heaven, outside of Jesus Christ, it's a big deal. When we realize that as the Bible says, that we were born into sin, that we have to be delivered out of it. We are all S.I.N.+  We all sin! We look at the rules and think those are good rules. Who can argue that we are to love the Lord God with all our soul, mind, heart and strength. Is that not a good rule? Is that not reasonable? Even the evolutionist would say, if they believed in God, that sounds reasonable.

What about this one. You shall not murder. You know that is a really good rule. Even the atheist would have to agree that it is good not to murder anyone. We'd all agree this is a good rule! Most of us would say we have done really good with that one, the first one, maybe not so much, but this one, yeah, they can handle that one. You begin to look at the 10 commandments and think you've done pretty good for the most part. The problem is that you can't pick and choose parts of it.

Think of it this way. Imagine climbing up a chain of links, you're almost there and then just at that last moment the final link breaks and you fall. You might think that isn't fair, after all you climbed all those hours and passed all those other links, but let me as you this, how many links does it have to take for you to fall? Just one! The Bible says, we have ALL broken the law of God. The whole human race stands before God in need of saving. You can't give money to get saved. You can't do things to get saved. You have to trust in Jesus Christ, who saves YOU! Jesus said, all those who comes to Me, I will not turn away. The Bible says if you come to Him with your sin, He issues you His righteousness. It's FREE! Not by any works of our own that we might boast of, but through faith in Jesus Christ.

There are those who put their trust or confessions on world things or through an earthly priesthood or in some earthly sanctuary. It could be money, fruit, meat or a confession. It's not about that. Isn't it interesting to consider that the entire time Jesus was here on earth, He never once went into the Temple? If it would have been such a big deal, Jesus would have gone in there. He always stayed in the perimeter of it, and it wasn't until His last week, that He went to the steps of the Temple but He never went in. If doing religion saves your life, then why didn't Jesus do religion and show us how to do it. He abandoned that action, because if He went in, He would have been able to go into the Holy of Holies, but He avoided it. Why? Because that building was desolate of true worship. Corinthians tells us that the true temple of God is no longer built with human hands but as believers, our bodies become the temple of the living God. Isn't it awesome that when the temple fell down to the ground during the 5th Roman Legion in 70 A.D., that your salvation didn't go down with it? It has nothing to do with our salvation!




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