-We will be noting as we go along:
“VARIOUS ACTS ON THE STAGE OF THIS DIVINE OPERA.”
-The one we are dealing with now begins in REVELATION 12:
a. It begins with a GLORIOUS WOMAN, CLOTHED IN SUN, RADIANT FEET, 12 STARS UPON HER HEAD!
b. And this GLORIOUS WOMAN, is also PREGNANT about to GIVE BIRTH TO A CHILD.
C. And standing in front of her according to Revelation 12:3 is A GREAT RED DRAGON.
-And that RED DRAGON, according to Revelation 12:9 is,
“SATAN, THE DEVIL, WHICH DECEIVETH THE
-THE WOMAN is Israel in the Old Testament, and she is PREGNANT WITH THE CHRIST!
d. Israel BROUGHT US THE LORD JESUS, and the DEVIL TRIED TO KILL/DESTROY ISRAEL.
-Why? TO STOP THE BIRTH of Him Who would rule over all – including Satan!
-Throughout the Old Testament again and again THE DEVIL fought TO KILL THE FAMILY, WHO WAS THE WOMB in which CHRIST WAS TO BE BORN!
-Again and again, the ONE PERSON, who was TO BE THE MAIN CHANNEL through whom THE SEED IS TO BE BORN, was spared in WARS and CONFLICTS, in a most MIRACULOUS WAY!
-How could SAUL miss DAVID with the SPEAR, at such close RANGE?
e. But PRAISE GOD, THE CHILD IS BORN:
-Listen people, GOD’S PLAN is OLDER THAN THE DEVIL and HELL PUT TOGETHER!
-God has never had to call a meeting TO PLAN for AN EMERGENCY SITUATION!
f. Jesus was BORN, DIED, ROSE AGAIN, and ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN…SATAN IS DEFEATED!
g. And we read in Revelation12:10,
“AND THE GREAT DRAGON WAS CAST OUT: AND I
HEARD A LOUD VOICE IN HEAVEN SAYING, ‘
NOW IS COME SALVATION, AND STRENGTH,
AND THE KINGDOM OF OUR GOD, AND THE
POWER OF HIS CHRIST!'”
I. THE GREAT LUMBERING BEAST
-Now the Devil turns his ATTENTION on BELIEVERS, those who follow Christ, and are now WASHED IN HIS BLOOD of the LAMB!
2. If SATAN CANNOT STOP CHRIST, so now HE PERSECUTES THE CHURCH.
-Then, in Revelation 13:1-2, you find,
“THIS GREAT MONSTROUS BEAST COMING OUT
OF THE SEA.”
“THE DRAGON IS SATAN, AND THE GREAT LUMBERING
BEAST IS THE ANTI-CHRIST, ALONG WITH
ANTI-GOD GOVERNMENTS OF THE
WORLD THAT SERVE HIM.”
-They are against GOD and against the Christians.
-The DEVIL’S PARTNER in the LAST DAYS’ GREAT TRIBULATION IS the GREAT LUMBERING BEAST WHO IS THE ANTICHRIST.
II. THE DEVIL’S TRUMP CARD
THEN SATAN BRINGS IN HIS “TRUMP CARD.”
-A little PET of the DEVIL that we read of in Revelation 13:1,
“AND I BEHELD ANOTHER BEAST COMING UP OUT
OF THE EARTH, AND HE HAD TWO HORNS LIKE
A LAMB, AND HE SPAKE AS A DRAGON!”
-A little PET/WOOLY/DEAR LITTLE LAMB; who would ever THINK HE BELONGED TO THE DEVIL!?
-I mean, what is THE SYMBOL of Jesus all THROUGH THE BIBLE AND REVELATION? – THE LAMB OF GOD!
a. But THIS LAMB is NOT LIKE THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN SLAIN! (Revelation 5:6)
b. Jesus THE LAMB bears THE MARKS of His death for OUR SINS, and this one DOESN’T!
c. When this LAMB opens HIS MOUTH, he DOESN’T BLEAT!! Rather, HE ROARS LIKE A DRAGON.
WHAT IS THIS HORNED LAMB?
-This is all THE RELIGION in the world that looks like Christianity.
-But for all of its talking, it misses COMPLETELY THE BLOOD SHEDDING OF THE LORD JESUS!!
-LISTEN TO ME:
“GIVE ME PERSECUTION, ANTI-CHRISTIAN GOVERN-
MENTS ANY DAY. I KNOW WHERE I STAND WITH
THEM. BUT WHEN A WHITE WOOLY HORNED
LAMB COMES ALONG, CARRYING A
BIBLE, AND BEGINS TO PREACH
IN A PLACE CALLED CHURCH;
THAT’S HARD TO HANDLE.”
“AND WHEN THE HORNED LAMB SPEAKS, IT IS THE
DEVIL’S VOICE, FOR THERE IS NO TEACHING
ABOUT THE BLOOD ATONEMENT OF JESUS
CHRIST!” (Revelation 5:6 – Worthy is the
Lamb that was slain.)
I want us to see the HORNED LAMB first of all in terms of MODERN JUDAISM, and then in terms of MODERN CHRISTIANITY.
Michael Charles Master writes in his book SAVE AMERICA, “When Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments from God, he found many of the Jews worshipping a golden calf instead of waiting for the word from God. It seems that many of the descendants of those Jews who worshipped the golden calf came to America in the last 50 years. They control the teachers union, they control entertainment and the media, they control Wall Street, and they VOTE FOR LIBERALS.”
“So why is it that here in the United States, 4 out of 5 Jews vote for liberal candidates. Why is it that 54 out of the 55 Jews in the United States Congress are Democrats? Why are the United States Jews so different from the Israeli Jews? Why do modern Israeli Jews celebrate their religion while modern United States Jews propose SECULARISM?”
“Why did 80 percent of Jews in America vote for Democrats in the 2008 election?” (End of Master’s quote.)
Amazing insight! To answer all of the WHYS comes down to this, that modern American Jews no longer center in GOD’S PASSOVER LAMB, but in SATAN’S HORNED LAMB. In other words:
“THEY NO LONGER ARE SPIRITUAL, BUT ARE IN
They have bought into SATAN’S HORNED LAMB which is doing great damage to modern false-Judaism in the United States.
Many Jews around the world do not believe in any LAMB at all. There are approximately 14 million Jews in the world today, with 5 million living in Israel, and 6 million living in the United States. Today across Judaism, surveys indicate that now 12% of worldwide Jews are ATHEISTS. What is indisputable is that they all need JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD AS THEIR MESSIAH-LORD-SAVIOR! Across Israel today, there are thousands of drug-addicted prostitutes dying in the streets, and only THE LAMB OF GOD can set them free.
Today there are ORTHODOX JEWS, SECULAR JEWS, AGNOSTIC JEWS, AND ATHEIST JEWS.
It is no less true with Modern Christianity in America and across the world. Much of the modern Christian Church in the United States worships the DEVIL’S HORNED LAMB. Why? Because HORNED-LAMB WORSHIPPERS also SUPPORT SECULARISM AND SECULAR CANDIDATES over Christian agendas and candidates.
Why is the SLAIN LAMB OF GOD AND HIS CROSS being downplayed in many American Churches? Simply because if you major in the CROSS AND BLOOD OF JESUS, you must then deal with black and white categories of sin and righteousness, good and evil! Therein is the conflict, for modern American Christians who voted for Obama are for SIN – GAY MARRIAGES, ABORTION, WOMEN’S RIGHTS, SOCIALISM, and the entire liberal agenda. They worship the HORNED LAMB WHO IS DOING GREAT DAMAGE TO TRANSDENOMINATIONAL CHRISTIANIY.
“ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS FIND THEMSELVES BUTTING
HEADS WITH THE HORNED-LAMB WORSHIPPERS
IN WAYS 50 YEARS AGO THEY NEVER
EVEN DREAMT OR CONCEIVED OF. “
“TODAY THE HORNED LAMB IS RUNNING WILD IN THE
AMERICAN AND WORLDWIDE CHURCHES.”
THE SLAIN LAMB AND HORNED LAMB IN STARK CONTRAST
-Horns in this symbolism stands for POWER, while slain stands for SACRIFICE. If you will:
“THE SLAIN LAMB STANDS FOR THE POWER OF LOVE,
WHILE THE HORNED LAMB STANDS FOR THE
LOVE OF POWER.”
“THE HORNED LAMB STANDS FOR CONTROL, WHILE
THE SLAIN LAMB STANDS FOR COMPASSION.”
-Get this now:
“THE HORNED LAMB IS ABOUT DOMINIONISM, WHILE
THE THE SLAIN LAMB IS ALL ABOUT EVANGELISM.”
–Wherever there is a LUST FOR POWER IN THE MODERN CHURCH, YOU WILL FIND THAT BILLY-GOATED LAMB RUNNING AROUND DECREEING, DECLARING, DEMANDING, and COMMANDING. It looks like Christianity but it isn’t. It looks like, sounds like, smells like the slain Lamb, but it is the HORNED INTRUDER TAKING THE SLAIN LAMB’S PLACE.
WHY IS JESUS PRESENTED AS THE LAMB OF GOD?
a. Well, a LAMB is one who says:
“YOU ARE HUNGRY – EAT ME.”
b. A Lamb is one who says:
“YOU ARE COLD, SHEAR ME, BE CLOTHED.”
c. A LAMB is one who says,
“YOU ARE A SINNER, BLAME ME, SACRIFICE ME.”
d. Any animal slaughterer will tell you that every animal fights before it is slaughtered.
–But not a LAMB. It almost lays down, bares its throat, and says:
-Jesus is our LAMB Who came to man who hated Him, and said to man,
“LET ME DIE FOR YOU.”
e. Hear it:
“A LAMB IS NOT ONLY INCAPABLE OF BITTERNESS, BUT
IS FORGIVENESS PERSONIFIED, AND LIVES
AND DIES TO FORGIVE.”
f. And not only this:
–But Jesus rose to give us HIS LAMB-LIKE NATURE, TO BE LIKE HIM.
-That is why in part we are called SHEEP WHO FORGIVE IN CHRIST, FOR WE RECEIVE THE LAMB-LIKE NATURE OF THE LAMB OF GOD.
“THE CHRISTIAN IS NOT A PERSON WHO FORGIVES
BECAUSE IT IS A GOOD IDEA.”
“A BUDDHIST MAY FORGIVE BECAUSE IT IS A
“CHRISTIANS ARE ALONE THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED
THE LAMB’S NATURE, WHICH IS WHY BITTERNESS
AND UNFORGIVENESS MUST NOT AND MAY
NOT EXIST IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD.”
g. And that is why:
“THE GREATEST SIN YOU AND I CAN COMMIT IS THE SIN
h. Let this sink in deep:
“WHERE BITTERNESS AND UNFORGIVENESS REIGN
SUPREME IN THE SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN, IS
WHERE THE HORNED LAMB IS IN
POWER AND CONTROL.”
“THE MARK OF THE HORNED LAMB IS A FORCEFUL
HEAD, AND THE MARK OF THE SLAIN LAMB
IS A FORGIVING HEART.”
“THE MARK OF THE HORNED LAMB IS MIGHT, AND
THE MARK OF THE SLAIN LAMB IS MERCY.”
III. THE INFAMOUS SATANIC TRINITY
1. FIRST – THE DEVIL himself; you can smell him; you KNOW WHERE YOU STAND IN RELATION TO HIM.
2. SECOND – THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN SPIRIT in the world; you know WHERE YOU STAND IN RELATION TO IT.
3. THIRD – THE WOOLY-LAMB DRAGON; much tougher to DETERMINE; except THE EMPHASIS IS NOT THE BLOOD-BOUGHT SALVATION; it is SOMETHING ELSE, SIDE-TRACKS!
4. Be careful where YOU GET YOUR TEACHING; LOOKS LIKE CHRISTIANITY BUT IT IS THE DRAGON TALKING THROUGH THE HORNED LAMB.
IV. THE DEMAND OF THE DRAGON’S BEAST
1. The demand of the ANTI-CHRIST will be that everyone receives a MARK IN HIS HAND OR HEAD – “666.”
2. We read in Revelation13:16,
“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich
and the poor, and free men and slaves to be given
a mark on their right hand,
or on their forehead.”
3. Why? Revelation 13:17,
“And he provides that no one should be able to buy or to
sell, except the one who has the mark, either the
name of the beast, or the number
of his name.”
4. What more specifically is the MARK OF THE BEAST?
“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate
the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man;
and the number is six hundred and sixty six.” (666)
-I want YOU TO KNOW THE MEANING OF THIS THING:
a. The MARK is plainly, according to Revelation 13:18,
“THE NUMBER OF MAN!”
b. Obvious, for MAN was created on the “6th” day; God rested on the “7th” day!”
c. “6” is the number of man; “7” is the number of God; MAN will never be “7”, the number of God!!
-666 is the number of MAN; MAN, MAN, MAN; man doing HIS THING.
-MAN doing his thing; MAN going his way; MAN wasting his life!
-If YOU ARE YIELDING TO THE DEVIL; then INTO YOUR HEAD/THOUGHT LIFE/PHILOSOPHY there will be STAMPED – MAN/MAN/MAN; I will do what I will; MAN-CENTERED!
-The HAND that reaches out, I, I, I, for ME, ME, ME!
3. Already at WORK TODAY:
-In certain business areas, either you go with that PHILOSOPHY, or you are OUT.
-In certain COUNTRIES, unless you deny Christ as CENTER, and put MAN THERE, you can’t get jobs, buy or sell like others (MAN, MAN, MAN).
-Tremendous PRESSURES brought UPON THE WORLD and the CHURCH by THE DEVIL!
-One wonders: “Looks pretty bleak; WILL ANYONE MAKE IT through THE MAN/MAN/MAN CENTERED WORLD!! (Escape PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD?)
Some years ago I read an anecdote about actor Anthony Hopkins, who played a CHIEF BUTLER in the fine film The Remains of the Day. Wealthy people have servants around them precisely because they EXPECT THE GOODIES OF LIFE to appear on CUE. But the truly arrogant among the rich want to believe they are ENTITLED to such pampered care, and so they don’t want to feel beholden to anyone for it, including to the servants who do the care-taking. Hopkins says that the rich man at dinner expects his wine glass to be full each time he reaches for it, expects his plate to disappear the moment he lays his knife and fork down.
The rich man just wants this to happen because he DESERVES it and so doesn’t want to have to thank anyone for doing for him what he deems is only fitting to begin with. So the trick to being a good butler is complete OBSEQUIOUSNESS – an ability to blend into the woodwork and be no more noticeable on the fringes of the dining room than a floor lamp or the andirons at the fireplace. In fact, in researching his role, Hopkins interviewed a real-life butler who summed up a good butler this way: the room seems emptier when he’s in it.
The room seems emptier when he’s in it.
It IS precisely that kind of ARROGANT PRIDE, ENTITLEMENT, and self-centered narcissism that the Lord Jesus wants His dear people to avoid. Yet, that is exactly what is happening in The Remains of the Age, as God is being treated as the Head Butler in much of the last day’s church, the Head-Butler Who exists to respond to His people upon CUE. These religious narcissists will be among the first to take the MARK OF THE BEAST – 666. God indeed has become the modern church’s BUTLER.
V. THE SCENE CHANGES
-Just when THINGS look bad for GOD’S PEOPLE, there IS NEW ACTION IN STORE – Revelation 14:1,
“AND I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD, A LAMB STOOD ON MT.
ZION, AND WITH HIM 144,000 PEOPLE, HAVING HIS
NAME AND THE NAME OF HIS FATHER
WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS!”
-I thought EVERYONE would be branded by SATAN for sure! But 144,000 are branded by God!
DO YOU REMEMBER ELIJAH?
a. Sat under the JUNIPER TREE! Lord, let ME DIE; I, only I AM LEFT!!
b. The Lord said,
“I HAVE 7000 THAT HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE
-I know every one of them; I know who they are; I know where they are.
-Hold on ELIJAH, things are NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!
-All people don’t care – Baloney!
WHO ARE THE 144,000?
-IS THIS SOME ELITE GROUP IN THE CHURCH; they alone made it? No, No, No
-That’s A SYMBOL:
1. 3 is the number of TRINITY; 4 is the number of the earth; 3 times 4 = 12.
2. God at WORK in the 0ld Testament; all the people of God encompassed in the 12 tribes of Israel!!
3. God at WORK in the New Testament; all the people of God encompassed in the 12 Apostles!
4. 12 times 12 is 144,000 the number of completeness! 144,000.
1. Simply saying THAT THIS IS THE PERFECTED/COMPLETE CHURCH!:
2. This IS THE WORK OF GOD – PERFECTED/the COMPLETE WORK OF CHRIST!
3. AT TIMES:
-This Company of PEOPLE at times it seems AS IF there are only a few of us.
-At times I wonder if there are ANY OTHERS APART FROM ME!
-Remember those Christians TO WHOM JOHN IS WRITING:
a. Under Roman persecution; some LOST JOBS; BEHEADED; BANISHED; THROWN TO LIONS.
b. It looks like it’s all OVER; God WHO BEGAN is the GOD WHO WILL FINISH::
c. There is a MULTITUDE Revelation 7:9,
“WHICH NO MAN CAN NUMBER!”
d. THE PERFECT CHURCH OF CHRIST, the COMPLETE WORK OF GOD!!!
VI. THEN A LAMB STOOD ON MT. ZION (Revelation 14:1)
1. Remember, MT. ZION is where DAVID DANCED/SANG/CLAPPED HANDS before THE LORD!:
2. And on MT. ZION was placed THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID and THE ARK OF THE COVENANT!
3. It was there where “DAVID” appointed SINGERS/WORSHIPPERS TO MINISTER 24 HOURS AROUND THE CLOCK!
4.. And NOW THEY ARE ALL IN:
a. Standing AROUND THE THRONE, the IMMEDIATE PRESENCE of GOD!:
b. And World without END THEY ARE PRAISING GOD! – Revelation 4:9,
“THEY REST NOT DAY/NIGHT.”
AND THEY ARE SEALED:
1. Here are Satan and the Great Lumbering Beast; and everyone who will NOT BOW DOWN has a “SEAL!”
2. And everyone who does bow down also has a SEAL:
“EITHER YOU CARRY THE MARK OF BEAST OR THE
MARK OF THE LAMB AND THAT FOREVER.”
(Revelation 13:16-18, Revelation 14:1)
a. Remember will you, EVERYONE IS MARKED, frankly, right now in your “MIND!”
b. NOBODY has a “CLEAR FOREHEAD;” or, an “UNMARKED MIND!!” ALL ARE STAMPED!
WHAT DOES THE MARK MEAN?
a. Well, it means OWNERSHIP!
b. A RICH MAN in Bible days would walk through the MARKET PLACE with his slave!
c. He would point at this, and at that, and thereby indicate:
“I WANT TO BUY THAT!”
-And they would have a SEAL, and the slaves would SEAL THAT ARTICLE.
-It would be THE SAME as today, marking the item – “SOLD!”
-And at the end of HIS SHOPPING SPREE, would go and GET ALL SEALED ITEMS.
-But, before that it “WAS ALL MARKED AS ALREADY OWNED.”
d. So, in Bible days: “A SEAL MEANT OWNERSHIP!”
a. If I were YOUR SLAVE, I would be marked WITH YOUR SEAL!
b. If you come from TEXAS, you know PARTNER the MARK/BRAND procedure which means “OWNERSHIP.”
a. Here is THE COMPANY OF THE REDEEMED, standing IN MOUNT ZION!
b. They are OWNED by the FATHER OF THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN!
c. Therefore, they ARE PROTECTED BY THE FATHER AND THE LAMB – GOD’S PRIVATE PROPERTY!
d. They ARE SEALED IN THEIR FOREHEADS:
-HOW and WHEN does that happen? Certainly not just after we get to Heaven!
-No! The Bible tells us in Ephesians 1:13 –
“YE WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
-The HOLY SPIRIT has SEALED YOU, for He has stamped THE MARK OF GOD’S OWNERSHIP ON YOU!
-WHERE? On our FOREHEAD! OUR MIND, OUR THOUGHT PROCESSES!
-I understand WHOSE I AM, WHY I AM HERE; to SERVE THE LORD. God’s! God’s! God’s
-We now THINK THE THOUGHTS OF GOD AFTER HIM, instinctively!
–Hebrews 10:16 tells us,
“HIS LAWS ARE WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS
-Therefore Revelation14:4 says,
“THEY FOLLOW THE LAMB WHERE EVER
-Instinctively, they follow Jesus, they have THE MIND OF CHRIST!
VII.THE VOICE OF MANY WATERS
THERE THEY ARE ON MT. ZION, SEALED! GOD’S FOREVER, LIKE THE VOICE OF MANY WATERS! (Revelation 14:2)
-Have you ever STOOD by TAHQUAMENON FALLS? Have you ever STOOD by NIAGARA FALLS?
-WELL, think about it in THIS WAY:
“MANY NIAGARAS; A NIAGARA UPON A NIAGARA
UPON A NIAGARA!”
“AS THE VOICE OF GREAT THUNDER!”
-And yet, “LIKE THE VOICE OF HARPERS, HARPING THEIR HARPS!”
-Thunder has within it THE SENSE OF AWE; HARPS, the sense of GENTLENESS!
-When you COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE CHURCH of Jesus Christ, HERE – THERE:
a. And when YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH HER AT WORSHIP!
b. You have come into CONTACT WITH THE MOST AWE-INSPIRING; GENTLE, MOST GENTLE SOOTHING POWER ON EARTH.
c. THE POWER OF GOD IS IN A WORSHIPING CHURCH:
-God’s power is RELEASED IN WORSHIP!
-As WE LEARN TO WORSHIP, THE POWER OF GOD FLOWS!
-THE MOST TERRIFYING SOUND:
a. To the DRAGON; to the BEAST; to the PHONY LAMB!
b. Like a CLAP OF AWFUL THUNDER is the sound of a Church, WORSHIPING THE LAMB!
-THE MOST COMFORTING:
a. Yes, the MOST COMFORTING, SOOTHING, EXHORTING, EXHILARATING SOUND!
b. TO A DISCOURAGED BELIEVER is THE SOUND OF A WORSHIPING CHURCH.
c. It’s all THERE:
“AS WE WORSHIP, WE RELEASE COMFORT; AS WE
WORSHIP, WE RELEASE POWER; AS WE
WORSHIP, WE CAUSE TREMORS TO
GO RIGHT THROUGH HELL!”
THE NEW SONG
-And we read in Revelation 14:3,
“THEY SANG A NEW SONG BEFORE THE THRONE”
-It is a “NEW SONG!”
a. In Heaven, it is always a “NEW SONG!” It should be here also!
b. Heaven IS INFINITE in its discovery of the LAMB. It is THE ECSTASY OF HEAVEN ITSELF. It always calls for NEW RESPONSES TO JESUS! In fact, Heaven will be ENDLESS, ECSTATIC NEW DISCOVERIES OF GOD’S GLORY!!!
c. And we see also that:
“NO MAN COULD LEARN THE NEW SONG, EXCEPT ALL
WHO WERE REDEEMED FROM EARTH.”
a. You cannot just LEARN THE WORDS OF THIS SONG! YOU MUST EXPERIENCE IT!!
b. And, ONCE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED you know THE WORDS AND YOU SING IT!
-But unless you’ve EXPERIENCED IT, you could hear words and STILL NOT SING SINCERELY.
-WORSHIP IS NOT JUST SAYING WORDS, IT IS EXPERIENCING JESUS!
-And out of YOUR EXPERIENCE, there flows WORSHIP!
c. SO THEREFORE:
-Only those WHO EXPERIENCE Jesus through THE HOLY SPIRIT!
-Only Those CAN WORSHIP! Even Religion CAN’T MAKE Revelation14:2 come to life.
YOU SEE, JESUS IS EVERYTHING TO THE BELIEVER:
a. ALL OUR MEANING IS IN HIM, and HIS MEANING IS UNLIMITED!!
-WE LIVE IN A MEANINGLESS, EMPTY WORLD!
-Most MOVIES, TELEVISION PROGRAMS, say NOTHING! THEY END:
1. With A SHRUG OF THE SHOULDER!!
2. With EVERYBODY DYING!!
3. With SOMEONE WALKING OFF INTO THE SUNSET, WITHOUT ANSWERS!!
-What are they trying TO SAY? There are NO ANSWERS!
-Life IS INSANE; SENSELESS; PURPOSELESS!
Remember THE MODERN ART EXHIBITION STORY:
EVERYONE WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF IT AS IF THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT!! One said, “IT MEANS THIS!” Another said: “IT MEANS THAT.” And the next: “NO, NO, IT MEANS THAT!” AS the Artist stood there looking terrible, for they had ALL MISSED THE POINT. He said: “NO, NO, NO, you are all wrong!” And ONE LITTLE OLD MAN standing off to the side said: “I THINK I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY THAT!” “WHAT’S THAT,” said the artist? “Well, I think you MEAN BY ALL OF THIS, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!” “That’s right,” said THE ARTIST, “THAT’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!”
But TO THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN:
“LIFE IS TOTALLY MEANINGFUL. THROUGH THE BLOOD
OF JESUS, WE BELONG TO GOD OUR FATHER!! WE
KNOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN MADE TO SERVE
GOD AND ENJOY HIM FOREVER!”
And it is true,
“IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS FULLNESS OF JOY, AND
AT HIS RIGHT HAND ARE PLEASURES
“YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS, AND ONLY THOSE
WHO DO CAN PRAISE GOD FOR IT’S LIKE
THE NIAGARA PRAISE HE DESERVES!!”
VIII. NOTE THE CHARACTER OF THESE 144,000
-FIRST – In Revelation 14:6 they are called,
“THE FIRST FRUITS UNTO GOD AND TO THE LAMB.”
Remember in the Old Testament we read of “THE FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS” when, they took ONE SHEAF:
1. ONE SHEAF OF THE HARVEST was GIVEN TOTALLY TO GOD!!
2. It was presented TO GOD AS A WAVE OFFERING!
3. Being presented TO GOD, that WAS HIS:
a. Israel TOOK THE HARVEST; God HAD THE FIRST FRUIT!
b. NOW THEN:
-This Company of 144,000, which IS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.
-They ARE THE FIRST FRUITS, YES WE ARE; WE BELONG EXCLUSIVELY TO GOD!
-The REST OF THE HARVEST is described at the end of Revelation 14:15-20:
-It was THE HARVEST OF JUDGEMENT!
-But, the FIRST FRUIT is GOD’S! That is THE GREAT EMPHASIS!!
-SECOND – THEY ARE A PURE COMPANY
“HAVE NOT DEFILED THEMSELVES WITH WOMEN!”
1. That is probably on of the MOST DIFFICULT VERSES IN THE New Testament.
2. Remember THIS IS GOD’S PEOPLE:
-Over and over again, we read in the Old Testament that Israel’s relationship to God is ONE OF MARRIAGE!
-And over and over again, she IS TOLD THAT SHE HAS COMMITTED SPIRITUAL ADULTERY!
-How? By GOING AFTER OTHER GODS! Idolatry!
“HERE’S A COMPANY THAT WASN’T UNFAITHFUL TO
GOD, HAS NOT COMMITTED SPIRITUAL ADULTERY,
BY JOINING THEMSELVES TO IDOLS.”
A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE IS SONG OF SOLOMON:
-In this, you have KING SOLOMON, the HUGH HEFNER PLAYBOY of his day!
-And, HUGH SOLOMON is going around the VILLAGES, to pick up WOMEN for HIS HAREM.
-And he sees THIS PEASANT GIRL, but she doesn’t WANT TO GO:
a. She says she has the MOST FANTASTIC SHEPHERD BOY any girl could ever have
b. She doesn’t want OLD KING SOLOMON, but is dragged off to the HAREM ANYWAY!
c. She is given all the jewelry, and EVERYTHING she COULD EVER WANT!
d. She still WANTS TO GO BACK TO HER SHEPHERD BOY, and describes him to the harem!!
e. And KING SOLOMON was so impressed with her devotion, he let HER GO BACK!
f. And in the last Chapter, SONG OF SOLOMON 8:7 we read,
“OF LOVE THAT MANY WATERS CANNOT QUENCH,
NEITHER CAN FLOODS DROWN IT!”
A Tremendous Story:
-What is it doing there anyway!
-Why did the Holy Spirit let that get INTO BIBLE?
“THE APOSTLE JOHN AND KING SOLOMON, IN THOSE PARTICULAR INSTANCES, ARE USING PICTURE LANGUAGE, THE DRAGON GOING AFTER THE CHURCH! HE WAS THE POWER TRYING TO BEND THE CHURCH, BOW BEFORE ME! HE WAS THE SOFT-SPEAKING LITTLE LAMB SAYING COME HOME!”
“AND THE SHEPERDESS, THE SOFT-SPEAKING PEASANT GIRL, AND HERE COMES THE WORLD, GRABBING AT THE CHURCH, SAYING, ‘COME WITH ME’ AND SHE SAYS, ‘YOU DON’T KNOW WHO I HAVE WAITING FOR ME, CAN I JUST DESCRIBE TO YOU MY JESUS, MY GOOD SHEPHERD! DEVIL, WOULD YOU JUST LISTEN TO HOW GLORIOUS MY JESUS IS. MANY WATERS CANNOT QUENCH THE LOVE THAT CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH HAVE FOR EACH OTHER.’”
THAT COMPANY ON MT. ZION:
A. Though the powers of evil have done all in their power!
b. They HAVE THE SEAL OF THE LAMB UPON THEM!
c. You can kill us, but we are joined to one person, undefiled!
Mark Salzman’s novel, Lying Awake, is set in a Carmelite monastery just outside of Los Angeles. The book details the lives of the NUNS who live there and ultimately ponders the meaning of what constitutes a genuine religious experience of God’s presence. The nuns devote themselves to prayer and contemplation, allowing the rhythm of liturgy to set the cadence of their lives. All their thoughts are bent toward the HOLY and the DIVINE and so they eschew anything that could distract them.
One of the perceived threats to a spiritual life is FOOD AND DRINK. And so when, three times a day, the nuns gather in the monastery’s refectory for meals, they are not allowed to speak a single word. The only one who does speak is that day’s appointed reader, who reads from Scripture and classic works of Christian devotions while the other nuns SILENTLY take in their sustenance.
The goal at mealtime was to do anything-but pay attention to the food. At the head table where the Mother Superior sits, there is a HUMAN SKULL sitting in the center of the table, serving as a reminder to the nuns that everyone will die one day anyway and so food and drink were of only marginal significance. And so the nuns made as little noise as possible during the meal in the firm belief that maintaining a proper spiritual focus was never more threatened than when taking food into the body. It was, therefore, every bit as important to observe PROPER DECORUM in the dining hall as in church. One might say: THE NUNS ARE SEALED IN THEIR HEADS AND THEIR HEARTS AND THEIR STOMACHS.
(As some of you know, a monastery such as this one reflects a strain of asceticism and austerity that runs fairly deep in the Christian tradition. But that is not the only focus the Christian tradition has had. Many Christians view the physical creation and all its bounties as profound gifts of God. Whereas the nuns in Salzman’s novel are convinced that pondering food would distract them from God, another main line of the Christian tradition is more apt to think that not celebrating food is a sign of ingratitude toward God.)
The Christian’s seal is seen and heard in different ways.
Garrison Keillor calls car ownership in Lake Woebegone “a matter of faith.” Lutherans drive Fords bought from Bunson Motors, the Lutheran car dealers. Catholics drive Chevrolets from Main Garage, that’s owned by the Kruegers, who are Catholic.
The Brethren, being Protestant, also drive Chevys. However, they distinguish themselves from the Lutherans by attaching small Scripture plates to the tops of their license plates. Those Bible passages are written in tiny glass beads so that they show up well at night. The most popular is “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH.” Keillor’s dad’s car had a compass on its dashboard with “I AM THE WAY” inscribed across its face. Keillor remembers that those words were clearly visible in the dark to a girl who might be sitting beside him.”
However, Lake Woebegone’s Church of the Brethren’s real champion is Brother Louie. Keillor calls his four-door Fairlane a “rolling display of Scripture.” After all, Bible passages adorn its license plates, dashboard, sun visors, armrest, floor mats, glove compartment and, yes, even the ashtray.
However, nothing quite matched Brother Louie’s musical car horn that he’d ordered from a company in Indiana that sold custom-made ones. Louie’s horn played — you guessed it — the first eight notes of the DOXOLOGY. So he blew it at pedestrians and oncoming traffic. Brother Louie honked the Doxology while passing and sometimes even just for his own pleasure.
“On occasion,” Keillor writes in Lake Woebegone Days, “vexed by a fellow driver, he gave in to wrath and leaned on his horn, only to hear ‘PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW.’” It calmed him down right away.
-The original lie to man,
“YOU SHALL BE AS GOD!”
-That’s the great lie on which THE WHOLE WORLD SYSTEM IS FOUNDED!
-Everything 666, for MAN, UNTO MAN, MAN IS CENTER OF UNIVERSE, MAN IS GOD!
-If I STAND OVER AGAINST THAT WALL:
1. And say that is center of the room.
2. Suppose I plan THE ROOM AS IF THAT’S THE CENTER! Chaos! Distorted room!
3. That’s why the world is distorted!
4. Everything and everyone to the world is 666 and not 777. It is a world totally out of whack, off center, a mess.
5. Only by putting Jesus in the center will life make perfect, beautiful sense. Amen