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 here," 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 there 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 it 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. Been 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 archaeological 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 laboratory 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.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Worship in Heaven is Going to Be Loud!

If you don't like loud, you aren't going to like Heaven! Heavenly worship will be spectacular and it will be loud! Most people don't care for loudness, unless it is something that they enjoy! Trust me, this will be something you will enjoy so much, you will want it loud! Here's another theory, if our ears are perfected in heaven, it won't matter any way. Everything will be perfected in our glorified bodies. To imagine hearing Mozart and Handel all in perfect clarity! When worship is so good, you want to shout. We want to embarrass the angels! Worship here on earth is not only affecting God, but at the same time, it is practice for what we will be doing forever!

Thinking back to heaven again and what we will be doing there is entering into heavenly worship.

Revelation 4:9-11 ~ " Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Right now, we enter into earthly worship. There it will be heavenly worship. "Whenever" is means spontaneously, unpredictably. Worship explodes in heaven. In heaven, we read, it's loud, there is music, God's people are shouting in praise and worship and glory. There are at least 24 elders and four sepharim or four living creatures, falling down on their faces, before the throne of God, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." How often is that? Whenever! You can't set a watch to it! Whenever the four living creatures give glory,  honor and thanks, to Him to who sits on the throne and lives forever, look what happens. The 24 elders fall down. One day we will see this. One day we will be a part of this!

Something happens. At the moment, the four living creatures with their six wings begin to sing, it reaches a crescendo, and the 24 elders fall on their faces. That is what is happening right now as you sit here and read this! When I was growing up, we didn't have Starbucks in those day, as hard as it may seem. We had Pyrex. We actually had to make our own coffee. In ancient times, you would put coffee grounds into the hopper thing, it is all glass, completely transparent, and you would put it on the stove, and it would heat up! I loved watching coffee being made, the little bubbles beginning to form on the bottom, and smelling that aroma of freshly made coffee on the stove.  Just listening to the gurgling and bubbling the faster it would heat up! Remember that sound? That was in ancient times.

It's like using the same analogy of making coffee as we see this experience begin to unfold in heaven. It starts off slowly but gradually begins to gain momentum, until it explodes in worship like you can't imagine. It affects the inhabitants of heaven. When we worship the Lord it will affect people. When we are out and about and say, "Praise God, He is so good to me." People are listening. They will even try to act like they are not listening. Some people come to God out of sheer jealousy because they want what you have. How does that happen? When you worship the LORD. You can worship God in church, while you are working, while you are eating, you can worship Him at all times. It's how you live your life!

Did you see the sunrise this morning? The sunrise this morning caused you to stop in your tracks. It was unusual because of the arrangement of the clouds. It truly only lasted about 60 seconds. Thanks Lord, I am so glad I got to see it. Just 60 seconds out of the whole day. When you say, "Thanks Lord!" that is worship.

We will not only enter worship, but we will honor the Lord with our earthly victories!

Revelation 4:10b ~" the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne"

So will you. So will I. It is for this reason, we want God to work in our lives, that He loads up the crowns. Because when I get there and fall down and worship You, I want to be able to give back all that you have given to me. Don't say you are simply too spiritual or too humble to want a crown. Believe me, you will want a crown.  It's not your crown, it's not yours! You don't get to keep it! So don't act like you are going to walk around with it. You are going to give it back to Him. That is why we want to do things spiritually for Him while we are here. We want to be able to give it back to Him when we get there! He is going to award us when we arrive in heaven.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ~ "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be show for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." 

What this means, gold, silver and costly stones, these are the good things; wood, hay or straw, those are the not so good things. Revealed by fire = God is going to test our motives. God is going to reward us for what we have done in this lifetime, in our bodies for Jesus. Question is, what are you and I doing for Him? Not because we have to, but because we get to! What God is going to do is give us rewards back. We are going to appear before God and when those seraphim begin to take off in their worship, you and I are going to hit the ground on our faces. We will cast our crowns before the throne of God in absolute worship and praise. No one is going to want to get their crowns back. You won't be able to wait to cast your crowns before God. When's the next time they are going to do it? Whenever. Be ready. We are going to give Him all the honor because of our earthly victories. Christian, stay at it for Him!

Don't become weary at well doing. Don't give up. God is going to bless you. For those Christians, who are not involved, get involved! Don't be afraid. You should be afraid not to get involved. If you make a mistake, you know what? You will, we all do! We need to wake up to God's reality! We need to stop letting the world creep in and steal what is God's reality. You look around at the world and it's messed up. It begins to creep into the church and you hear people talk about voting. "Oh, I'm not sure I'm going to vote for the President." How come? They give their reason why. I've come to conclude something, it's as though we are trying to find someone to vote for who is the Messiah, Himself. Have we become so silly that we believe that politics is the answer? It is what God has put in place for this hour, for this time of our lives and for the history of our nation. When you vote, you're not voting for the Savior of the world, we wait for the Savior of the world. There's a big difference.

"Well I don't know, George Bush got drunk in 83, I don't think I can vote for him." So who are you going to vote for? Do you understand what I am saying? Jesus is perfect! The governments on this earth, He has installed. Whoever we vote for, they are going to make mistakes. Some, more than others. That has crept into the church. Paul says that those that compare themselves to others are not very wise people. You begin to look at others in the church. "Well if she can wear that, I guess I can wear that too." "What does he say? Oh I guess I can say that too." As though we are the standard, one from another. That's not true. Who is the standard? Who are we supposed to look to? Who are we supposed to follow? It's all about the Lord, Jesus Christ. That is a serious thing. We need to have our eyes on Jesus. In a big way. And if you're looking to any earthly religious leader to be your hope, I feel bad for that leader because God will do to that leader no matter how precious they might be. He will humble that guy right in front of your face, because your eyes on on them, and God will pull the rug right out from underneath feet and they will fall flat on their face and you'll have to deal with the reality worship God and Him only!

The more you and I worship the Lord, the less influence it has on us and in our lives. It's a great way to live. We will give Him complete acknowledgment! Look at the end of verse 10, just one little word, "You!"

Revelation 4:10b-11 ~ " "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

All those in heaven are very conscience of the fact that creation is both biblical and of God. I think there is a reason why you need to be reminded of that. We are living in an hour where many scientists are bailing out on the evolutionary theory. There are those who don't even believe in God, say in a symposium, "We can not adhere to the theory of evolution, it's scientifically bankrupt and intellectually dishonest. God has engineered all that there is. Granted we live in a fallen world where animals eat one another and all that stuff. That is not what God designed! All that stuff came from man's rebellion.

Let me ask you a question. What would you rather have for example, would you rather be strapped to a spaceship that has been engineered by a bunch of guys that believe in God and they are praying for you and because they believe in God and God is the Creator of mathematics and all that there is; and so their efforts to their engineering was as excellent as possible because they believe that God wants the very best out of us? They obeyed the laws of the universe that God has created. I would much rather get into a spaceship made by guys like that than to get into a spaceship where somebody says, "Well I'm an evolutionist and I happen to work at NASA here and this is what I think. I think we should just get our calculators throw them up in the air and however they land you know, wires and parts hanging out of it, you know, take this collective accident and see what comes of it. They strap you to it and send you out into space. What do you think about that?

Do you know the people that are hired that work at Mercedes Benz are the best of the best, you want to know why? Because they don't want any accidents at Mercedes Benz. The evolutionary theory is an accident. They'll tell you that it is an accident. Then why would I want to believe in some guy's thinking that is an accident? It's crazy! Everything that you point to and and can consider has evidence that there was a creative designer behind it. I don't care what or who it is. It could be your eyeball, or Jupiter or look at Mars. We landed on Mars and we are getting pictures of a giant crater or lake bed, that at one time might have held water, that is the size of Connecticut, We landed exactly where they wanted to land. Spirit received it's cousin Opportunity 4 weeks later. The French were suppose to land on Christmas day on Mars, they lost their satellite. They can't even find it. They've been trying to communicate with it but it's lost. NASA even called them to ask if they wanted them to try and find it.

They are looking for signs of life. We got giant telescopes and radio towers broadcasting and we have for years into outer space. "Anyone out there?" Looking for signs of life. There's a guy somewhere listening with his headphones on, looking for intelligent life out there. They do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Could you imagine what would happen if a zipper opened up the universe and God's face came out, and said, "Hey! I'm right here!" Wouldn't that be great? The guy throws his headphones off!

Isn't it interesting that in heaven, we will be conscience that God created. The Bible says in the book of Colossians and in the book of Hebrews as well, that Jesus Christ holds all the physical material in the universe together. Did you know that to this hour, no man knows what holds the universe together, they call it cosmic glue? Did you know that? Instead of using the name Jesus Christ, they use "cosmic glue." His name is Jesus, not cosmic glue.

Psalm 14:1 ~ "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good."

Heaven says there is! No matter what your opinion is.

Romans 1:18-24 ~ "The wrath of God is being revealed in heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither gloried him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another."

You won't be able to stand before God and say this can't be happening. I'm an evolutionist. God has clearly revealed Himself to them in what He has created everywhere. The great engineer of your soul is the God Almighty who we will worship in heaven.

There are three things we can experience here on earth, locked in our time zone, that we can escape into eternity. 

Whenever we pray whatever time zone we are in, we leave it, and you go into eternity before the throne room of God.

When we share the Lord with somebody, and they accept the Lord, immediately in this time zone, angels rejoice in heaven in eternal time.

Whenever we worship in whatever time zone, you are affecting heaven at that moment. Worship is that important! We need to worship more! The truth about worship is are we worshipers in private? Please don't store up your worship for Sunday morning! Let Sunday morning be salt and pepper to your week long daily worship because to worship is part of the air spiritually and lungs of the believer. Joshua is a great example. The Bible tells us that when they crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land, Joshua told the priests to set up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan River, stack them up, representing the 12 names of each tribe right? Then the river flowed over the stones and Bible says those stones are still there, of course no one knows where, but then later on in the book of Joshua we read, that Joshua goes back, this is often very missed, and Joshua goes back and sets up 12 stones of his own, in the water, in the river, by himself. Why does he do this? Wasn't the worship of the priest enough? I believe he went back to set up his own monument of worship to God. Just like we need to set time up to worship God privately. We are created to worship, not just on Sunday but everyday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sea of Glass and the Mystery Behind It! Mind Blown!

The Book of Revelation has more Old Testament symbolism, verses, metaphors, and facts than any book of the Bible. So when we talk about a sea of glass, we are talking about things that are in heaven, and we see things as it were right now as in a glass dimly, we see just enough. We are going to see the reality of it all, and all of these things represent God's eternal truth of course, but they are copies and symbols given to us in the New Testament Scriptures. But there is the reality and John is seeing that reality. What does a sea of glass look like? What does it feel like? What does it sound like?

When he talks about these thrones and the throne of God and all these sounds, the seraphim and cherubim before the throne of God, these angelic beings with their heads and faces, with their wings and eyes. Don't tell me you know what that looks like! Because you don't. You and I are going to walk around heaven, and if you have ever been on a tour, you spend the first few hours or days, stumbling around with your mouth hanging wide open, we are going to be like that for a couple hundred of thousands of years just in awe of what Heaven is, what is there and being in the presence of God Almighty and Jesus along with everyone else. Nothing can prepare us for what awaits us. We are continuing our study today into Revelation 4:4-11

Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Judgment is soon coming upon the earth. Notice what John sees in heaven and this should be exciting!

Revelation 4:6 ~ " From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. "

What is important is this? What God showed Moses regarding the tabernacle, the menorah, the show bread, the Ark of the Covenant, the cheribum on top of the mercy seat, the Ten Commandments inside along with Aaron's rod and the manna, all those things that were with the children of Israel in the Egyptian or Judahian wilderness, and even as they crossed over from the Jordan River, they carried it with them until there was a home for it, meaning the temple in Jerusalem. All of that, and the Bible says in the Book of Hebrews was a type or symbol of that which is in heaven.

It says that Jesus Christ, having been crucified on the cross and resurrected from the dead, entered into the Holy of Holies in Heaven not made with human hands. You might say, "Well I thought the Holy of Holies was in the tabernacle in the temple?" Nope! I mean, Yes, but it was only a type. What about the high priest going in, wasn't that special? Sure it was special, but the Bible says they were acting out a type of what Christ is to us, our Great High Priest! But again, it's just a type or symbol of the glory of God that is in Heaven.  As the Scriptures tells us that Jesus entered that place, not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood, He entered in and is now appearing on our behalf.

No one can break into the throne room of heaven and steal your salvation. They can't tear down the temple and destroy it by an invading army. It's in heaven! Aren't you glad that Jesus Christ represents your salvation? Where moths and rust and thieves can not steal? So what about this sea of crystal or this sea of glass? This is most significant. The Bible tells us in Exodus 30 regarding this sea or basin of water before the throne.

Exodus 30:19-21 ~ "Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come."

What this is saying is in the wildness before the tabernacle was a big brass laver or basin filled with water, it was also referred to as the "sea." And before someone could meet with the Lord, that person had to wash their hands and feet, before they went in. Even before that there was a ceremonial process, but right before they entered into the presence of the Lord, They had to wash their hands and feet. Keep that in mind. That is what God said you must do. If you don't do it, you are going to die. So what do you think Aaron and his sons were faithful to do? Wash their hands and feet.

Exodus 40:30-32 ~ "He placed the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing and Moses and Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and feet. They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar, as the LORD commanded Moses."

You might say, so what's the big deal. Before the entrance before the throne room of God is this basin of water. Yes, but that is not what it says in Revelation. That is exactly right. It says before the throne of there was a sea of glass. Every Jew who knows the Old Testament, knows what this is referencing. They got it. You and I may not get it. Maybe you need to look at a picture of the tabernacle or temple. John is talking about how we would have to wash before we could go in. That is what the priests would have to do. Not only that is says like crystal, it means it was solid. Solid and transparent. Now that is different. The laver on earth, was water. We are commanded to wash. In heaven, it's solid before the throne of God. You can walk on it. It's transparent, its beautiful but no one gets a washing in heaven.

John 13:3-10 ~ "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part of me." "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "Not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, thought not every one of you."

Before the meal, you would wash your hands so Jesus didn't wash their hands. Do you think Jesus knew that? He knew that! What was not washed? Their feet! As they are into the supper, Jesus now begins to minister the washing of their feet. Have you ever had someone wash your feet? It's the most humbling experience you can have. These were men who walked in sandals as fisherman all day. No one else said anything except for good old Peter. Meaning in this life, you and I get our feet dirty. we will have a nasty thought or an angry thought. We will have a temper flare up or whatever it might be. Selfishness, sin, whatever it is when we get up each morning and we dedicate our life to Him, and you might have a really great day and just before you lay down at night, and you smack your toe on the corner of the bed and a word comes out, and you think, "Oh Lord, I was doing so good today and I blew it."

So what do you do now. Do you wait to get saved all over again?  Do you wait until Sunday morning to give your heart to the Jesus again? Nope! You've already been washed. What do you do? You say this, "Lord, I ask you to forgive me for what I just thought, said or did. I ask You to forgive me now. And Lord, if I have offended anyone with what I did, give me the humility to go to them now and settle it. Lord forgive me." What do you think that happens to the Christian when that takes place?

1 John 1:9 ~ "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Dirty feet. We get dirty feet moving around this world. What are we supposed to do? Get our feet washed. Why? Because before the throne of God, that sea has been frozen so to speak. Like crystal.
The joy that's here for the careful reader. In the Old Testament, the Laver or Sea was filled with water for the cleansing of the man who was to approach the Lord. In Heaven, what was once the basin, laver or sea of water, is now solid glass, like crystal. It means no more cleansing in heaven. No more battles with sin. No more need to confess to the Lord anymore wrongs. There is nothing to confess. The sinful nature is gone. That is the only way, by rapture or by death that the sinful nature is removed. Did you know that?  None of us can understand what having your sinful nature removed. We don't know what that is like. You've already been washed. John sees a sea that is no longer in use. It has been perfected by the blood of Christ. All those in heaven are free from guilt. Free from sin. You can have that as well if you are willing to enter into that with faith in Jesus Christ.

Heaven and what it is going to be like? It's all about glory.

Revelation 4:6b-8a ~ "In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings."

These angels, these things, these living creatures are before the throne of God in the heavenly scene right now. Scholars differ in opinions whether these are cheribum or seraphim, it doesn't matter. They are spectacular beings. Don't be scared or afraid, thinking they are very science fiction looking. They are spectacular and beautiful. I don't see how but we know they are beautiful before the throne of God. They are very strange to us and we are going to see them. Why these four? Why these four manifestation of faces on them?

The Bible communicates to us in Matthew's gospel that Jesus Christ is the King. When you read about Jesus Christ in Matthew's gospel you will be hearing all about Jesus being the King. It is interesting that all throughout history, the lion has been associated with being a king or kingship, the lion. Scholars say the four gospels present these four faces. Jesus Christ being the King in Matthew, symbolized by the angelic presence before the throne of God reflects the face of this lion.

Mark's gospel communicates Jesus as a servant. Smallest and shortest of the gospels, but with the most miracles. Jesus came to serve in Mark's gospel. Isn't it interesting that there is a face of a calf or an ox. An animal of service represented.

In Luke's gospel declares Jesus as the Sovereign or righteous man, or Jesus Christ in His humanity. And thirdly what do we see, a face of a man.

In John's gospel, he communicates Jesus' ministry of that of God come to earth in human flesh. The Bible tells us in John's gospel in chapter 1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Jesus Christ.

In John 1:14 ~ "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth."

That is represented as the eagle. The Lord speaks of Himself as a representation of an eagle. That is very interesting. You can see this manifestation throughout the book of Ezekiel (1:22-24 and 10:14-17) and through the prophet Isaiah 6:2-3 " Above the throne stood seraphim; each one had six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts. the whole earth is full of His glory."

These angels are minsters of judgment to a Christ-rejecting world.

If you look down upon the children of Israel from an elevated altitude, did you know that during the wilderness wanderings of Israel, when they left Egypt, and they crossed over the Rea Sea, and when they went into the areas that today are southern Jordan, the country and all that, where they resided. If you got up on a mountain top and looked down at the encampments of Israel, cause you know the Bible gives you exact details, these tribes are to camp this way, these tribes count that way, and so forth, north, south, east and west. If you look at their encampments that were extremely organized, it was in the shape of a perfect cross. And when they camped, the arrangement of it, was very interesting, because when they advanced towards the Promised Land, you would see a cross from a helicopter advancing towards the Promised Land every night in which they camped.

Wait, it gets better! On the north end and on the southern end, and on the east end and the west end, were the outer tribes. There were four of them. They had a banner. Every tribe had a banner. They had a symbol or sign on their banner. The flags of those tribes, the manifestations of them match exactly the faces of those seraphim before the throne of God, which corresponds directly with the gospels. That's very romantic biblically, I love God's detail of it all.

Heaven and what it is like when we get there is that worship is for all time and eternity.

Revelation 4:8b ~ " Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come."

They never stop because they cannot. They don't rest. They are in worship. Eternity is about worship. We have to perfect worship. We need to apply ourselves. It is what blesses God. It's what we will be doing in heaven for an eternity. You need to figure out who you are to worship. He is the LORD, God Almighty. So awesome, holy, beautiful and wonderful is the Lord, that those beings closest to God and His throne must worship! How can you tell if someone is close to the Lord? There is something beautiful, wonderful, holy and awesome about them. It's the angels of heaven worshiping the Almighty God, the one who was, and is, and is to come.They really mean it every second of it. They know something I don't and they have seen something I haven't seen. If you have a loved one that has died in the Lord, this is what they are seeing right now. No wonder, they don't want to come back.

 Monday we will learn more about the four living creatures tomorrow in detail!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gaining a Heavenly Perspective!

There are two judgments that are coming and to the believer, we only need to be concerned with one. Thanks to the blood of Jesus, our faith in Him, we won't have to deal with the later one that everyone else will have to face. The first one that is referred to 1 Corinthians and in the Book of Romans, where Paul tells us that we will all have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. This is ONLY for the Christians. It has nothing to do with your salvation, it has nothing to do with you being evicted from heaven, it has nothing to do with you getting into some hot water with God, it is the Bema seat of Christ. It would be the same seat that an athlete would receive a gold, silver or bronze medal. It's all awards, it's only for believers, we are going to be judged for our motives for what we have done for Christ.

The second judgment found in Revelation 20:11 is something that no believer is going to be involved in and that is the Great White Throne judgment. We are going to be rewarded or accept loss if we didn't do something Jesus told us to do, or we did them with the wrong motive. It has nothing to do with you losing your salvation. Judgment will be your appointment before the throne of Christ, by Jesus and it should be something we are excited about. We have all failed. But God's grace will handle that. We all get up wanting to serve Jesus every day and we fight with the flesh, to see that through by the time we lay our heads down at night. That's our battle.

John is going to show us the activity that is happening around the throne where Jesus is sitting in heaven. He is surrounded by that emerald rainbow. He is there with all this light flashing and thundering and the voices being uttered. That is terrifying. John is watching this unfold from the safety of heaven, and what is about to happen on earth, in Chapter 5, soon to come is the wrath of Almighty God. So we are about to see the judgment being levied upon a Christ rejecting world. This will either terrify you or excite you depending on where your heart is with Jesus.

Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dresses in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

 All of this that John is unveiling for you of what he saw, is actually happening. There are four living creatures bowing before the throne right now, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come."Awesome to think that this is going on right this very minute, and that John saw 2000 years ago, he saw what it is like, what is will be like, because he saw the eternal picture, of these 24 elders, who we learned prior to this, that are representatives of the believers. We know that these 24 elders have been redeemed from all the earth, they are men or mankind, they have been purchased out of the world by the blood of Christ, we can also collectively understand that they represent the believers, but there are records in Scripture of the 12 tribes of Israel, for in heaven the foundational stones have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, the names of the 12 sons of Jacob in heaven, but also the names of the 12 apostles, equaling of course, 24. Collectively representing the believers across the ages, 24 elders. We don't know their names and can't point to them specifically, but that's not the point. That is not what God would have us glean out of it. The point is that gathered together before all time and eternity, the collective representation of God's people.

There is coming attractions for all of us believers! Regarding this preview into heaven, we are looking at what we will see in heaven. For it is a real place. We looked at before how these 24 elders will be seated around the throne room of God. They have a unique place. Our concept and thought is just to get there. We get in because of who we know. We know Jesus Christ, therefore. We have a ticket that enables us to sit down with Him.

They also have a unique practice before God. They are sitting. They are not worried. They are not panicking, we are entering into the rest of God when we arrive. Some Christians sweat out their relationship with Christ, as if its a performance based relationship. They are so bound and caught up with their regulations and performance, that is religion, not a relationship! It's legalism. We are seated in the heavenlies and our citizenship is in heaven. Are you living a life of freedom? Do we pledge our lordship to the things of the past in this world, or do you accept his grace and mercy? Jesus has set us free! Sit down in the power of God and He will do it. It's the power of God by the Holy Spirit in your life.

They also have a unique protocol before the Lord. They are clothed in white raiment. This is the righteousness or the doing of deeds of the saints. That is in this lifetime, not later. There are no homeless in heaven. You can't feed them there or visit the sick either. There is no sick in heaven. The white raiment that they have been given, has been give to them from the Lord and its representative of the deeds they did while they were serving in their Christian ministry, that they performed here on earth.

Remember John is looking ahead into the future. He's there by Spirit and he sees the church in heaven, for the church has been raptured, and these 24 elders also had a unique possession in heaven. They had crowns of gold. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, He is going to reward us for the things we did while in our body. It's not for our bragging rights, these crowns, not for us to compare with one another, but to cast it back to Jesus for his glory. It is God who created everything and it is He would gives us the opportunity to share it with Him.

Heaven, what do we know? In Revelation 4:1-3, the rapture of the church has taken place, the church is in heaven, and the church isn't mentioned again until Revelation 19, when she appears in heaven with Jesus as He returns to earth in the Second Coming. John the apostle says this,

Revelation 4:5-8 ~ "From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come." 

Whenever you read in Scripture, the proceeding forth of lightnings. thunderings and voices, it is always an association with God's throne and it's always an association with God's dealing with man. First case, when God is speaking with Moses on the mountaintop, what happens? Mount Sinai begins to shake, there are lightnings, thunderings and the sound of a trumpet as if it were talking, and Moses was there with God for 40 days. He was with the Lord, sustained by the power of God. Moses comes down from the mountaintop and he has some sort of veil over his head. He sees the glory of God. His face is shining. But because he had left God's presence it had begun to diminish. So rather than have the people see the glory and then have it diminish, Moses comes down from the mountain with the absolute authority of God but he veils his face in the presence of the people. So they don't see the glory fade. Not sure how long he kept it on, but Moses announces the law of God, the blueprints to the tabernacle. They told Moses that they were afraid of the thunderings, lightnings and the voices.

We see throughout Scripture, that these things always precede God's intervention, God speaking to man, or God's judgment. So this is now our introduction into the judgments of God that are soon coming to the earth from Heaven's vantage point. It is responsible to be fearful of the judgment of God, more so from the unbelievers perspective over that of the believer. God said to John, who represents you, "Fear not!" It will be unlike anything we have seen before. They didn't want Moses around because they were fearful of God. That generation of people, non believers, don't enter into the Promised land due to their unbelief. Some people say they will believe when they see. That isn't the case. In God's world, seeing comes from believing.

We will expand on that thought more tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ready for Your Heavenly Reward?

There are 3 types of saints mentioned in the Bible, the Old Testament Saints, the New Testament  or Church Age Saints and the Tribulation Saints. The Church Age believers wear white linen or a raiment, which is the wedding gown of the bride of Christ. The church is the bride of Christ. It was a garment referred to in Revelation 4, that the person wearing it was arrayed, or granted to ability to wear this amazing linen garment. You don't have to guess what this is exactly, because the Bible tells us what it is, it is the righteous acts of the saints. Don't be confused, King David was a saint, an Old Testament Saint. You and I are saints, if we trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that we are all saints. Some people might call it heresy to say that but that is only those bound by the man made legalism of their religion. Paul refers to the church believers in Corinth as saints in the opening verses of 1 Corinthians. When we hear about people being "sainted" based on their acts, that is man-made stuff. That is the truth according to the Bible, God anoints His saints, based on their faith in Christ alone.

To recap what we learned yesterday, is that we know the 24 elders represent the body of the church in Jesus Christ, that has access to His throne anytime they want. They are also sitting at rest on those thrones around the Throne of God.

Hebrews 1:3 ~ "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Jesus didn't need our help. He is sitting down right now in heaven. It appears according to Scripture that the only time He stands up, according to Acts is to receive in death one of His children. Stephen says, He saw Jesus standing at the throne room of God. Other than that, Jesus is resting. If Jesus is resting, shouldn't we be resting? Should we take rest in His promises?

John 17:3-5 ~ "Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. "

John 19:30 ~ "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

The work is finished that God sent Jesus to do. There is a unique proximity and a unique practice when we get to heaven. We will be at absolute peace and rest in heaven. These 24 elders have a unique protocol before God. It is the clothing they wear.

Revelation 4:4b ~ "clothed in white raiment."

The 24 elders wear a unique garment before God. The garment of the redeemed.

Revelation 19:7-9 ~ "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "There are the true words of God."

Revelation 5:8-9 ~ "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: "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."

The protocol is that these are saints, declared so by God who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. If you get that in your heart and head, the Holy Spirit sanctifies you unto the will or work of the Lord. That will or work, we will never be fulfilled in this life, until we are doing that in this world. We want Jesus as Savior in our life, but not Lord of our life. If you are doing God's will in your life, nothing will stop you. God will keep putting things on your heart until you move in such a way, you are a force to be reckoned with. Nothing will stand in your way. That is the joy of serving Him.

The garments are the righteous acts of the saints. It is what we do, and we love doing it. Ah come on, let's go feed the homeless so I can get a white robe!" That is not the attitude God is looking for to obtain your white garment. That's religion actually. They wear white. That is why we believe this is referring to the body of believers or the church of Christ.

These 24 elders also have a unique possession before God.

Revelation 4:4b ~ "and they had crowns of gold on their head."

There are two words in the Bible for crowns. (1) is "diadem" = reserved only for a king. (2) is "stephanos" = is given to a conquering soldier or winning athlete. Jesus wears a diadem. He is the only one. Stephanos was given like a laurel wreath. It means you won!

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ~ "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

This crown is the crown of completion. The 24 elders have a unique possession from God.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 ~ "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? It is not you?"

2 Timothy 4:8 ~ "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

James 1:12 ~ "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised for those who love him."

The believers crowns.

1 Peter 5:4 ~ "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

The one you got in the world would fade away or die. This one doesn't. It will never fade away. 

Revelation 2:10 ~ "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you a crown of life."

Crowns are rewards given in heaven.

Revelation 4:10 ~ "the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne."

You might not think you need a crown in heaven. You might think you are too humble or meek to get one. If God gives you a crown, you'd better take one. The crown He gives, is in response to in this life. If the elders represent the church of God, the believers, you don't think you will be falling down before the throne of God? Oh yes you will! What else do they do? They cast their crowns before God, in honor of Him. They give back what He has given. It brings Him glory! With that being said, you want the crown! No one is going to be comparing crowns in heaven. You want to have as much reward in this life, we want to give gifts to Jesus, to give Him all the glory. It is to bring Him all the glory and honor, because He alone is worthy.

1 Corinthians 3:8 ~ " The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor."

1 Corinthians 3:14 ~ "If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward."

Colossians 3:23-24 ~ "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

We need to re-evaluate the way we spend time in prayer, in praise and worship, in attending the church and make sure our heart is in it. Ask God to change how you spend that time and make sure you are doing it for His glory and honor and not out of obligation of what we think we ought to do. That is religion, not a relationship. This is merely just a practice for the things to come in heaven!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Preview of Coming Attractions

When John was banished to the island of Patmos, he was given a unique and life changing perspective. Not only did he see the unveiling of the true Jesus Christ, but also received letters to give to the seven churches in the region of Asia Minor. Today, John is given a unique look into heaven, the one place, we as believers are anxiously awaiting for one day but we get a glimpse of what awaits the believer of Jesus Christ today.

John, was the only apostle that died of natural causes in church history. It wasn't the plan, the Roman Empire had condemned him for proclaiming the gospel as had all the other apostles. According to church history, John was placed in a cauldron of boiling oil, and it didn't affect him. He was taken out of that and banished to the island of Patmos. John received from the LORD, the Book of Revelation, and gave him little snippets of heaven to get excited about. We serve a mighty God! Read Fox's Book of Martyrs to see just how God can act in the lives of those who die for Him. It encourages us to die for our faith because something more awaits us much like Stephen, who was stoned and saw into heaven before he died.

John is going to show us a preview of coming attractions when he gets a glimpse into heaven on a tour. We learned in the opening chapter of Revelation 4, that the Holy Spirit showed John what awaits those who died for Christ and also at the rapture of the church, where it was caught up into heaven and it not mentioned again until Revelation 19, when it appears with Jesus Christ at the Second Coming.

John now begins to describe for us what he sees as he begins his tour of heaven.

Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peal of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night, they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who sits on the thrones and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you create all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

John is telling us what we will see when we get to heaven, what we will one day see. This is a sneak preview of where we are going. If you are a Christian, and that is not belonging to a special club or church, it simply means if you belong to Christ, if you have looked to Him and asked for forgiveness, if you believe that He was raised from the dead, that you have confessed this with your mouth, You are a Christian.

John is seeing heaven. What do you tell someone who is dying? One day you will encounter someone who is dying? Will you tell them how their portfolio looks like or how Wall Street is doing that day? They won't care. All they care about is their position with God! They are going to be departing from this world into the presence of eternity. They want to know about the Lord. The number one thing you can give to someone who is dying is the knowledge of Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior! Some might ask, "Shouldn't I pray for their healing first?" No! why take the chance, first pray for their salvation, then pray for their healing. It doesn't matter if a person is raised from their death bed, only to be healed and then go off living their Christ-less life. What is important is that they come to know Jesus first. So pray for their salvation and also give them the gospel. So we often get weak in those moments when we should be willing to step out and share the gospel with those in need. We need to speak with them in those moments and share that gift of salvation.

From that moment on whatever happens from that point on, they will awake knowing that Jesus is their Savior and heaven awaits! Or if the Lord decides to come today, we will see the glories that John is sharing with us today. Another thing we want to share with those who are dying is what John is sharing with us in Revelation 4, these sneak peeks into heaven as it were. Heaven! What it looks like, smells like, feels like...not much is given to us in the Scriptures in detail, but what he does share we can get excited about.

It will be a unique place! Heaven and what we're going to see, these 24 elders have a unique place before God. The word "elder" represents the word "church" here. That gets our attention immediately. 24, in the Old Testament, the order of priesthood was established, that the ministry was to take place 24/7 by 24 orders, or courses of priests. To always represent the ministry of God, to his people. So what some scholars believe is that the 24 number are actual representatives, they remain unnamed because they are not important, God is the only important one, that the represent the church age believers, meaning that it is in Christ that He has declared us to be kings and priests forever. And it could be, that they represent us or maybe its broader than that. Maybe they represent all of the Old Testament priesthood and all of the New Testament priesthood and in a symbolic manifestation they represent all believers. That is a unique thought. Pick one, it doesn't matter to me. We know this, that they represent the believer!!!

So why is that important to me? Number 1, is their proximity to God. That they are around the throne you can't get any closer than that. Do they always have a front row seat?I don't think so. In this world, we have time zones and time lines and in heaven, its much different. In this world, we have to deal with problems. In heaven, there won't be any problems. When John sees 24 elders seated in thrones before the throne of God with perfect access to God, and if they are representatives of all believers, then what does that mean? That all believers have immediate access to the close proximity of God. I like that because I don't like standing in line. No lines, that is a time issue. It is eternal there. What this is referring to is that we will have immediate access to God.

Revelation 4:4 ~ "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads." 

Who are these elders and why these thrones? It is that they represent the entire body of believers in heaven. 24 would represent the entire body of believers, their unique place = heaven. Heaven is a reality. As a Christian, do you ever feel like God is not near? You don't feel Him near. Sometimes we don't always need to feel anything, like others do. The just shall live by faith. But we want feelings, but feelings can come and go. When we pray, we don't hear anything, but we feel like He has left us. Do we have an emotionally based relationship with God or a faith based one? Are you going through a seasonal period in your life or what some call a desert experience, where you feel God is not listening to you or near you anymore? When you sin, in thought or in deed, you know, you have a bad thought, how long does it take for God to speak to you? Right away!!! How long does it take God to speak to you when you are blowing it? Instantly!!!

When you feel like you're in the wilderness, get on your knees and pray, "Lord, is there something wrong? What is going on, is there something going on? Have I sinned, have I erred, have I departed from You? You know how long it will take for Him to answer you? About a second! If nothing comes, then dust yourself off, and get up and go because you're in a trial and your faith is being tested. Keep going. You're not always going to see glimpses of heaven. This is given to us that we might know based upon faith, the revealed Word of God where we are going and the proximity is that where we are going to a place where we will see God face to face. This is our destiny. This is our destination. This is our eternity, that we, as a Christian, will be with God. The proximity is manifested before us through the 24 elders.

We won't have to wait in line to see God. Somehow in His eternity we will be in the proximity of Christ. It wouldn't be heaven if we had to wait in line. We will see Him face to face. There is a unique place the elders have that we shall have.

The 24 elders have a unique practice before God. They are sitting. The word "sitting" means to sit. It means to rest. It means to get off your feet. The word here in English, Greek, Hebrew or any other language means this, to sit down and to rest. Why is that important? It is very important because the elders are seen in heaven, having taken the seat of rest. They are sitting upon a throne, we will see what else they have, but they are sitting. When we come to Christ as Christians, what does the Bible command us to do? To rest in Christ. The book of Hebrews says that there is a rest, to those who believe in Christ. A rest. A rest, we might ask, from what? The elders, note, are sitting down. Do you see them up in heaven working? Nope! Do you see them up in heaven ringing their hands? What am I going to do? Sit down. No, I don't want to sit down. They are not doing that. We can also translate this word in the English language, "repose" We would say this in our modern tongue and I mean this reverently, they are kicking back! They are relaxed. How can they be relaxed? Because, before you come to Jesus this is how you live, you're religious, you're trying to do the best you can but you fail miserably so you are caught in this web, of trying, trying, trying and failing, failing and failing. You ask God to forgive you, and then you even make God promises, "I'll be better today God, I'll be better." God just shakes His head, "I don't want to see, there is no way." You can't do it, that is religion. When you come to Christ, you say, God I can't live this life. I can't do it! In fact, Paul said, the very thing I don't want to do, I do it and then thing I want to do, I don't do it. Oh Lord, deliver me from this body of sin and death.

Romans 8:1 ~ "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

How can this be? How can this be true? Because we go from a religious life to a relationship to God, to relational relationship with God, and He is your friend, day in and day out. Not based upon feeling but based upon fact and faith.

You just have to imagine this tour from John's perspective. The orders of priest were called to minister before the Lord, the 24 elders, the orders who were required to minister 24/7. You see John who is witnessing this. They are ministering before the Lord, representing the ministry of the church. They are also sitting. In the Old Testament wilderness tabernacle and in the Temple in Jerusalem, there were no seats, there were no chairs. That is important, because earthly priests are to minister without stopping. But now we see heaven, Jesus is seated, the Father is seated upon the throne, and the 24 elders representing the church, they are seated. We are done!

There will come a time when no more pastors, no more missionaries, or no more evangelists any longer. There will be no more church so to speak, except for the fact that we will just be worshiping before the LORD! Our mission will be completed!