Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Are You Looking for God's Warning Signs?

Today as we enter a new chapter into the study of the Book of Revelation, we are going to see how technology plays an important role in what will be happening as God uses two witnesses to preach not only His message of repentance, grace, and mercy but also as a last warning of sorts to those still living in a Christ-rejecting world. We know that this prophecy was written more than 2000 years ago and the Bible assumes that the world would have the technology available so that they would be able to see what is happening around the world, without anyone having to be in Jerusalem to witness what is happening to these two men. We know with satellite television, the internet and smart phones, this is a very real possibility and as it advances, it will only make this even more real when it happens.

If you had someone in your life that you truly cared about, wouldn't you want to warn them that danger is coming? This is just what God's plan is in these final moments of the Tribulation period. His grace, love and mercy are so evident that He is giving us these final opportunities to come to know Him, as it was never His intention that anyone should be separated from Him. It will be our own choice to make the decision. God doesn't force Himself on anyone. He wants everyone to make that decision on their own.

If you have been following this study, you may remember that when we got to chapter 10:1 all the way to chapter 11:14, we are in what is called a parenthetical insert or pause in the action of what has been happening to give us more insight into what is happening at this time in John's teaching through what he is seeing during this 7-year period of the Tribulation on earth. It's like the camera stops for a moment and then pans back to John and zooms in on him, the apostle who has been given this vision of the future. We remember that as John was attempting to write down what the voices of the seven thunders had spoken, he was told to stop.

He wasn't allowed to tell us what those voices said, because it is something so bad that is reserved only for those living on the earth at that time. They are specifically reserved for the last days only. No one knows what that is. We are only going to get through the first six verses today, because this is one of the most complex portions of scripture in the Old and New Testament combined, so I don't want you to miss anything. Scholars throughout the ages have said, this is difficult stuff.

Revelation 11:1-6 ~ "I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1, 260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want."

The one thing, I want you to remember is that if you are reading this, you have an opportunity not to witness this event live. If you are a believer, you will be spared from the judgment of God and will be in heaven when all this happens on the earth for a full 7 years. The Bible clearly teaches us that the church will be removed from the earth before these things happen. In every generation throughout the ages, God has always maintained a witness to His great plan. The Lord God is everlasting and His Book, the Bible, is eternal.

Isaiah 55:8-11 ~ "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways my ways, " declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seeds for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

God's Word always maintains a witness, even the Dark Ages, and we know that there are things done in the name of Christianity to which we can be ashamed of. We don't even have to go to the Dark Ages to find things like that. There are those that kill doctors who perform abortions because they believe they are justified in doing so because killing babies is wrong, which it is, but so is killing the doctor under the premise that because you are a Christian, you are justified to do so. That is terrorism. Yes abortion is wrong, but we are instructed not do those things, like blowing up clinics or murdering the staff that work there. That is the definition of insane. People will say that they did it in the "name of Jesus" or that "God told me to do it." God judges! God issues vengeance, not us. Many things are done in the name of Christianity, that is frankly embarrassing. We think about those Dark Ages where in the name of Christ, military operations were conducted and people were destroyed by the name or in the name of Jesus.

Even in those Dark Ages, from 1200's to early 1400's before the Great Reformation period, even when these horrible things were happening, God had a faithful witness. God is faithful to give a witness at all times.

Matthew 5:16-18 ~ "In the same way, let your light sine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Not one little Hebrew comma, or exclamation point or hyphen of that language will pass, Jesus said, until all these things are fulfilled because God has established His witness. You, as a Christian, are a witness of Christ. There is no doubt that the Bible is God's witness to mankind! It is without error in its original language. It is perfect and He has preserved it through the ages. The Bible is in direct harmony with all that God has done. God is the Designer and Creator of all creation and we can say that creation is a witness to mankind an undeniable and great witness. Perfect creation! The scientific evidence of creation is also an undeniable witness because everything in the observable universe demands an intelligent designer.  Good theology and good science should never contradict one another. God has given us a perfect witness in His creation.

Psalm 19:1-4 ~ "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun."

We are missing this these days. We need to get out more and chill out. Get outside. Sit back in the desert where it is pitch black and stare at the skies. It just begs to have a conversation when you look at how beautiful it truly is. The greatest witness to God however is Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:5 ~ "and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood."

John 1:1-4 ~ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." 

1 John 1:1-2 ~ "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Rod of life. The life appeared; we have see it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father has appeared to us."

That is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God's faithful witness. In the context of the book of Revelation, not only do we have the unveiling of Jesus Christ in the coming Last Days but it is the witness that Christ gave unto the world. That witness is that time will conclude. Civilization will cease as we know it. All of this will not continue on indefinitely. The Bible says so. God has given us signs that we are approaching those tremendous days where it will all come to an end. God's final witness is a final and specific warning of events.

Revelation 11:1-2 ~ "I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months."

Let's not make a big deal out of this measuring rod, it's really not the point or the issue. This rod or the word that was used was the rod that was found in the Jordan River Valley between Galilee, the Sea of Galilee as the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea, and as it approaches the Dead Sea there is this area or region of reeds. Some of these reeds were used during the days of Ezekiel, Zechariah, Jeremiah, the prophets. These reeds were hollow on the inside, they were very firm and very light. Ezekiel was given a rod that measured about 9 feet high, and he was told in his vision to measure the temple. John is told the same thing. So this rod is a measuring rod that they used in construction. Guys back in those days would have used a measuring rod and a plume line in construction. Men use lasers or plume lines today to measure the uprightness of something. The measuring rods we used today bear such names like Stanley, and when we measure something out, we press a button and the measuring rod coils back up. John would use this as a staff and was used to lay it out and measure things with it.

John's given instruction by the angel to measure three things. (1) the temple of God, (2) the altar, and (3) the worshipers there. In this chapter, a warning is being given to those that God loves. Just like you would do for someone you love or even like that danger is coming. You wouldn't just keep that information to yourself. Something is coming that is detrimental to them. Something is coming. What you do with that warning however is up to you.

We are all responsible to how we respond to the warning of God. Are you going to heed the warning or are you simply going to choose not to believe it? Jesus is the only way for you to find your way to Heaven and relying on Him otherwise you will simply miss out.


LV said...

Bless you my friend. Keep up the good work as you never know who is reading.

Diwakar said...

Hello Stevenkat. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am glad to stop by your blog post which is a needed alert and caution. I am blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you because of who you are in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India and love getting connected with the people of God around the world to be encouraged, strengthen and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 36yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you come with your friends to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. Wish you a joyous Christmas season and a very bright, prosperous and Christ centered New year. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends.