Sunday, July 16th, 2017 - The Devil's Dragoons of Disaster, Part 2 (Rev. 6:1-17)
Take your Bible. If you wouldn't join me in Revelation chapter number 6. I'm going to try to make it out of fridge Revelation 6 with you this morning. We began at last time together for those who are just two coming in and joining us. I'll try to make sure that tie we cover where we went before so that you can understand where we're going here Revelation chapter number 6. I read just a few verses from the the central part of the chapter as we begin verses 9 through 11. So when you found your place there in Revelation chapter 6 look down at verse number 9 in the Bible records and when he had opened the fifth seal, this is the Lamb that's opening the seals and that's the Lord Jesus Christ who is worthy to come and take the book out of the hand of him that sat on the throne. So he comes in this is now the fifth seal that's being opened on that book on that scroll John says who's recording what he is saying here in the Revelation. I saw under the altar The Souls of them that were slain. For the word of God and for the testimony which they held and they cried with a loud voice saying how long oh Lord, holy and true dust down not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth in verse 11. Notice the answer to their question. Sometimes God says wait. And white robes were given unto every one of them and it was set under them that they should rest yet for a little season until their fellow servants also and their breath that should be killed as they were should be fulfilled. Lord I pray that you will open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of that law. And we stay with the psalmist Lord. It was good that I have been afflicted for before. I was afflicted. I went astray and then later in that song 119. He talks about how precious your word and how precious your law is in Lord. May we take your word and hide it deep within our heart may we learn from these things that were considering about the last days the day when Jesus Christ will come and Purge this old earth once and finally in fully of all of the Twisted things that are here, but God, there's going to be some in that day many who would reject Jesus Christ. And who has we read later in this chapter? Try to take feeble consolation. And crying to the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the Wrath of the lamb and yet the lamb is the one who pleads with each one of us here today to find shelter in that Haven of Rest to come to the rock of our Salvation The Rock from whence The Living Waters Flow the rock of everlasting life the rock of Jesus Christ. the son of God the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. Oh Lord Comfort our hearts as Believers here together this morning and if there is any who do not yet believe who have not trusted Jesus as their savior. May this stir them Lord as Jude said in his epistle some save with fear pulling them out of the fire hating even the Garment spotted by the Flesh and yet Lord as we see that fear. I pray that we would also know your mercy and your compassion and that would make a difference your goodness would lead us to repentance and will thank you Lord for what you accomplished in our midst. Thank you for this church in this church family and for the privilege to be able to stand here in open the word of God freely in public without fear of persecution or thank you for America. Thank you for all that. You've given to us. We pray that your blessed now and move with the power of your Holy Spirit in Jesus name, I pray a man He man, so Revelation chapter 6 of course follows logically after chapters 4 and 5. And the reason I only go back to Forest because there's quite a change in the content of Revelation from chapter 4 in chapters 2 and 3. We have the seven letters to the churches. All of Revelation should be read by the way with those seven letters in mind. So as John comes into chapter four now, he is Before the Throne of God and all of creation eventually is worshipping God and then chapter 5 a great dilemma is expressed in that no one is found worthy to come and take the book The Book of that many have called the title deed to the to the Earth and creation. And so the lamb is the one after much weeping John is pointed to the land by the Elder that's there that has compassion on him and he points them to Christ and he says look to the lamb that standing as it had been slain would it would a conundrum to think about your mind standing in your acid Advance link and John sees this lamb and and it begins to get wrapped up in all of the Heavenly worship there in chapter 5 chapter 6 this lambdin comes after he receives that scroll that book that title deed if you want to look at it that way and he receives that from the hand of the father he begins to open. These seals one at a time and we made it through the first four Last time and we saw first often verse number one as we were considering some thoughts about the false Messiah who I believe is inverse number to we saw Heaven's Messiah inverse number one. He's the lamp. He's the one that was crucified. He's the one that is the Conqueror that can overcome and has overcome and we overcome by faith in him. We saw the call to John to come and see and I pointed out to you that it's important that you have those words and see in your text because they need to be there. John has to be holding something on this scroll as it unfolds. He sees these horses and Riders emerge and whether that was a picture on this book that he was looking at or some kind of you know movie he was watching on there in the first century wrap your mind around that I don't know. I don't know exactly the details aren't there if the Holy Spirit wanted us to know he would have told us the details of that what's important is that it's the black and white medium of God's word that he uses to communicate. Straight to us. So John is invited to come and see so as to scroll opens. He sees first the White Horse come forth and I told you my position on that we're seeing hell's Messiah. So we saw a Evans messiaen verse number one helmet size comes forth because the devil has a counterfeit for everything that God would do and the Antichrist I believe is seen here as the writer of deception and verse number two and then John saw the second seal opened and we saw the writer of Destruction come forth in verses 3 through 4, then we consider the writer of dearth who entered the scene in verses 5 through 6 and then culminating with this fourth Rider the writer of death and we talked about him and this is the only Rider that has a name death and Hell Followed with him. We talked about all the the ramifications of that and how tragic it's going to be for those that reject Jesus Christ and that have to endure these kind of things. So now we want to Transition to this fifth seal and look not at the folks Messiah. Now, we want to consider the faithful Martyrs and then through the last part of the chapter Lord willing if I make it this far this morning will consider the fearful multitude the faithful Martyrs as this fifth seal is open now noticed the first four are unique because they all have a rider horse attached to them. And this is part of the Judgment of God. Now as the fifth seal opens, there's a little bit more of a transition and we see These Martyrs that are underneath the altar notice with me as we begin here the place of these Martyrs, where are they? They're in a safe place. They are in a place of comfort there in a place of consolation. They are under the altar the souls there their and they're there for a reason because they are the the ones who have followed God and have been Defenders of the truth defending the truth and declaring their testimony. That's why they were killed. That's why they were slain for the word of God for their testimony John tells it not let me just make a side note here if I could just because I really feel that it needs to be said because we've got to be careful when it comes to the word of God and and so misinterpretation when you're coming to the scriptures, we we use Clear passages in the scriptures to interpret unclear passages. It's so we can go to the clear places of scripture this just a principle of Bible study principle of interpretation to use Clear passages to help you with a more obscure text when you see those and so as up we work on getting to God's interpretation. We need to rightly divide the word of Truth. Why is that so important Pastor? Why are you talking about this because there are false teachers that will seek to deceive you remember we read in our scripture reading let no man deceive you by any means And the devil has his ways now. I don't question anybody's motives. I can't know their heart only God can know that but I do know the truth of the matter is there are people that teach false Doctrine and the New Testament is full of warnings about that and if we don't say something and if we don't pay attention and if we're not if we're not diligent to rightly divide the word of Truth, we may wind up deceived as well. So let me just share with you what some do when they come to passages and then how Revelation can help help speak to some of that. For example, I have before I say this I do want to let you know I have really good friends that I admire that I look up to that are good neighbors. They are upstanding people in art in our community their Seventh Day Adventist and in I'm Baptist and we get along and we work together for things. So this is not about any one person. Okay, but Seventh-day Adventist in particular will go to two doctrines like Soul sleep now is a Baptist. I don't believe in Soul sleep because of what I read in the scriptures, but they'll go to verses in the Old Testament. For example, they'll quote Jobe tour 27 verse 3 2 it says there that the breath is the spirit and then they say that since the breath is the spirit man doesn't have a spirit that can live after he dies. I don't believe that that's in the scriptures. I believe that they're using an obscure text and making that overpower the clear texts that show us that I believe man has a body a soul and a spirit and each one of them is that is going to be somewhere after you die. Now before you're born again before person to save that spirit is is dead member Paul said in the fusions chapter 2 and you have to Quicken. Which part of us Was Made Alive while it's that Spirit that's in us that was made to have communion with God that we are dead in trespasses and sins and through the blood of Jesus Christ through faith in him that's made alive. And so when a man dies the evidence will say The Seventh-Day Adventist in particular. He's simply Dead He's non-existent until the resurrection. But when we look at the clear teaching about the verse as we see that man is a three part being as I said Body Soul and Spirit you can compare 1st Thessalonians 5:23 James 2:26, but they'll also use versus like Ecclesiastes 9:5 Which says the dead know not anything in this ties particularly in with our text. So I am going somewhere with this. Just hold on with me the dead know not anything they will claim that this supports the doctrine that the dead merely sleep in the grave. So sleep that's what they teach in their writings in their doctors. But what they're doing there is ignoring the rest of the Bible essentially that teaches that the dead are conscious they are for example Luke chapter 9 and won't turn over and read it for sake of time. I've got a Jesus but Luke chapter 9 verses 28 through 33, you'll see there is a Consciousness there that's represented 1st Thessalonians 4:14. There's a Consciousness after after a person dies and then our texts here. I want you to look at this. These people have been martyred. These souls are under the altar of God and if there's no consciousness then how are they praying? How are they pouring out their heart to God and saying how long Lord and so like I just don't get wrapped up in the doctrine of Soul sleep. Now. Again, this is nothing personal against anyone. I am thankful for those who stand up in our community and and our good neighbors because I'll tell you if you won't find a better neighbor than a Seventh-Day Adventist as far as that goes. You need help they'll be right there for you, but I just want to say some things about doctor because this is what we're talking about with false teaching right? We get wrapped up and it in and we've got to always be on check to because we don't have a monopoly on God's truth and if there's everything that I find out in our Baptist catechism that doesn't line up with scripture. I'll be the first one to say call me a biblicist because I'm going to stick with the Bible a man. And I in in in if you know movements tourism's or whatever starts going different directions, we're going to state route to the text because this is eternal. This is timeless. And this is what we build our churches on. This is what we build our life on. This is what we build our faith on and so the the Bible is the sole Authority for all matters of faith and practice and as long as Baptists believe that you can call me when I reckon so notice they are under the altar here in verse number nine back to our text. When you open the v c Alesso under the altar The Souls of them that we're playing for the word of God and for the testimony which they held so they're there for defending the truth. They're there for declaring their testimony. the word of God and the testimony No, I also want to say something about another commentator that I disagree with and that is Newell, and I did and I already mentioned before that. I disagree with him on his interpretation of the white horse rider back in verse number to I pointed out that he believed staunchly and wrote very adamantly that he believed that was Jesus Christ on that horse. And these things can be traced all the way back to irenaeus. So it wasn't new with him. But I do while I disagree with him on that listen to his other thoughts when it comes to the altar these souls are where they are under the altar were talking about their place. They are under the altar so he recorded and he says to Moses was given a pattern of the things in the heavens. I could stop right there and just think for a really long time and meditate on the patterns of the things in the heavens and back. That's one of the things that that that draws me to the book of Hebrews when I think about all that our Saviour accomplish their Hebrews 9:23 in particular this pattern of things in the heavens was given to Moses and therefore we see an altar in heaven. Why because there's an altar in the pattern. So that's a representation a picture was in heaven. Maybe we can say this is where the Lord was going in John chapter 20 verse number 17 because he had to go into the Heavenly of heavenlies and in an according to Hebrews 9:12. He went there as our great high priest and he went underneath the he went to this altar to sprinkle his blood to purge the things in the heavens. It was necessary that the things in the heavens be purged with greater than these greater than what greater than the animal sacrifices. Are bulls and goats in those things that were only pictures of what had to happen in heaven and that's what Jesus accomplished when he went there as our high priest as our lamb all-in-one. It just is mind-boggling. I just cannot fathom the depths of our infinite savior. He's marvellous and he's 100-percent God 100% man. And so you think about this altar underneath this Altar and have an ecd Souls. They don't have a body yet their souls. But where are they there with God there with him there. They they are with the lamb and these are God's martyrs. Maybe from Abel all the way on Abel's blood crying from the ground against his murderous brother came with their martyrdom as cried to Heaven just like Abel's blood did this is nothing new we reach we read about that in Hebrew and even in Genesis for his brother's blood cried from the ground. So there's a Consciousness there again that I point out in this this is a witness to these Souls these Souls give expression now, That things are about to transition. From Grace two judgment and we've already seen the Judgment come forth in the horses that have preceded ended the Judgment. That was only the beginning things are going to get worse and worse because as we get to the seventh seal, we're going to find out there's seven trumpets and that's the seventh trumpet sounds we find their seven bowls seven vials full of the wrath of God. And so as we see I want you to notice what they were given they were each given a white robe. I manifested righteousness. If you want to look at it that way and they were told that they should rest. So they asked the question how long Lord and then? His answer was just wait, but why you're waiting. Let's give you some new clothes. Here's your white robes in the sweet constellation that comes from that so they're at rest yet for a little time notice these two people that are these two categories if you will that are here as well. They had their fellow servants that are mentioned. And their Brethren and you want to cut those two categories in your mind as you read through the rest of Revelation because every word of scripture is inspired and it's profitable so their fellow servants have to suffer like they did and their Brethren have to suffer each one of them have their time those two classes if you will. So this V seal exhibits, especially three things Newell said first it exhibits the patience of God now, I agree with that don't you see the patients here? Where's their place? They're underneath the Altar and they say how long Lord they want judgment now. And God says in time. He's a patient guy. He is long suffering. He's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and so he proceeded slowly reluctantly from Mercy to judgment. He doesn't just Wham it's over. He gives Grace he gives time he gives space to repent that is how our God is known to deal. And how long did the Lord just in my life? How long did Lord have to give me space and give me Grace and he could have just ended in it and you could have said you're done it's over but in his Mercy he let me continue and that's why I'm here before you today still in the land of the living because God has given me Grace and life and he's a gracious God. And so these want judgment they want Justice. They want it Swift and certainly we can empathize with this. I read an article a headline just last week another tragedy in Broomfield.
Coach someone involved in the school here. Maybe you saw it taking advantage of students. How can that bring any piece to a parent's mind it can You think about these things Wicked people do wicked things? No, I don't know. I don't want to make a judgement before, you know, anything said done. But that was the headline and it just turned my stomach. So how long were you when something like that happens, you know, you see some of the comments underneath and and people are are wanting Swift judgment. I remember when that incident happened a few months ago with the with the toddler. I mean before the thing was even in court people are already wanting the fellow hung sweat judgment. Now, we understand that we can empathize with that because we want Justice to happen if we wanted to happen yesterday because people shouldn't be doing these things. It's wrong. And so we can empathize with their Spirit but we also trust the god of Mercy who says in time.
It don't has his purposes. I I don't I don't know all that is in his mind, but I think of comments from Puritan preachers of days gone by Great Awakening preachers like Jonathan Edwards who preached that sermon sermon sinners in the hands of an Angry God used illustrations to describe centers, as you know Souls of spiders hanging over a fire that it will only take just God's hand we're gone nothing. I mean that it's only the hand of God that's keeping us from eternity that's keeping us from having to reckon with our sins and it can all it's so fragile. None of us are guaranteed to tomorrow and I think about you know, how he described people who would live their life and reject Christ and die. That it would be in his I'm just going to paraphrase cuz I can't remember the exact quote but he basically was saying that it would be better for them to Die Young if they were to eventually reject Christ and we don't ask anybody to die understanding on that. But you said it would be better for them to Die Young because the longer they live the more they sin if they are going to eventually reject Jesus Christ. It's like picking up another stick for their fire. And there will be judgment and so I don't know all the purposes of God. He is long-suffering but there will come a day when Justice will be given so also we see here the character of these these prayers, you know, if you want to if you want to know what prayer looks like under the altar of God. how close to these prayers are your prayers? These are prayers of imprecation. These are prayers that that show us much of what the Psalms and tail as the psalmist would cry out for justice. And we don't wish ill on anyone, but we do want God to bring Justice. Because people do bad things and they do things that are wrong and sometimes it is so beyond any human control that there is no one else that we can go to but God and he's the only one and then notice as we come and we we pour out our concerns to him and we cling to him and we say gone you've got to do something because no one else can no one can do what you can do and we pour out her heart out to him. He says peace. And he gives us Grace. And he gives us the means that patients to trust him and to wait. Now there are times when he sent forth his sword and he'll use government to do that. He'll use authorities to do that. And so we understand God can move but also we see how Wicked the Earth is by this time and how it's progressively getting worse and worse.
Things aren't getting better. We might have had a little reprieve for a while, but things are really bad. I don't want to minimize that they are but we have a great God who is greater than all of these things greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. And so how Wicked is the earth when these are crying bring Justice and now we see that all of this has to be fulfilled. God says here that they were slain for the word of God for the testimony. They cried how long holy and true dust on not judging avenge and then he says, rest until Rest until till what fellow servants? Full the fullness must come and so God's going to move. So we noticed the place of these Martyrs notice their prayers. I've already kind of talked about that. But I just want to mention they're appealing to what they appeal to the Holiness of God and Jesus taught us as his disciples that when we pray. The first thing we dwell on is the character of God when you pray pray after this manner Our Father which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name and so they are appealing to the Holiness of God and their cry is Avenged an appeal. Lord of Eng What did they ask afflict afflict the enemy that's a hard prayer to pray maybe not for some people because they're like James and John ready to call fire down from heaven when somebody doesn't do something that they feel they should do for the Lord, but they cried with a loud voice how long Lord so we see the the place of these Martyrs we see the prayer of these Martyrs and we have a God who hears and answers prayer, aren't you thankful for that and then noticed the provision verse 11 white robes were given to every one of them not one was missed by the compassion and the love of Our Lord white robes. I thought of Joshua, you know in Zechariah Chapter number three that powerful passes were Joshua gets new raiment in his his enemy The Devil Is there ready to to tarnish and in the largest steps in and changes his clothes and Something to God did friend as have you experienced that kind of Grace in your life that God would come in and remove those old filthy rags give you white robes. If you're saved then you have white robes to look forward to not in your own righteousness because our righteousnesses are as filthy rags according to his Mercy he saved us and he can give you a white robe as well. So we see the provision and then the promise you see the provision God is going to meet needs you just trust him. I know we can't see the end from the beginning like he can and trust God he's going to come through he's going to work his plan have faith in him. He will not fail you. He will not falter. He is an everlasting God you can lean on his Everlasting Arms and he will provide for you. Even to the point where if your life is given for the Lord you're still in his hand you're still in his care and he's going to watch out for you provision by the master. There's more yet, the promise that it gives isn't the last part of verse 11. He says rest boy. What a beautiful word rest. Is a day of turmoil a day of uneasiness a day of much going on everywhere you turn. It seems like there's something else in our personal lives in our corporate lives in in our schools and in our communities in our states and our governments around the world Nations. There's turmoil everywhere. You look we have a God who the God of Peace who just like Jesus when those disciples were concerned. They said Master carest thou not that we perish. He was able to stand forth and calm the Seas before them. That's the Savior and he gives him this promise. He says rest for a little season. He lived any length of time You observe the seasons that common Seasons that go rent a good season here. Maybe some would say it's a hot season here in Colorado some, you know, every year. It seems like I'm here in Colorado when we come through the spring. And in that time, I hear multiple people saying, you know, this is my favorite time of the year already come to the fall. When the Aspens are there any this is my favorite time of the year and and then the snow hits and some of them are going. This is not my favorite time of the year, others are going this is my favorite time of the year. And so there's something to do while you're around here but Seasons, you know, I'm glad to live in a place where there's four seasons. I live in a place before were there was only two green and brown those were the seasons and so here you get you get that picture of all four seasons and it's it's refreshing, you know to be able to sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch the snow as it falls and then to be able to go, you know, hiking or whatever in the mountains and it just a beautiful place but seasons So this is a season that we're looking at you see the Earth is going to be purged and seasons will pass and remember the writer to Hebrews told us that Moses. He had respect to the recompense of reward knowing that the pleasure of sin was only for what a season now who sets the seasons who determines when the seasons are going to be God does by the laws of nature that he has instilled in his creation. And so Seasons come and go and Jesus reminded us that that the seasons will continue until the end. Anna and so I know that we can speculate a lot about things like global warming and and Seasons going away and But I trust what Jesus said that Seasons aren't going anywhere. We're going to have them it's going to continue on and you know, the Earth didn't get blasted away in 2012 by the end of the Mayan calendar. It made it through Y2K. Is there at the still here Heaven and Earth shall pass away. Jesus said but my word shall not pass away. We have a God who who gives promises in his word and we can take those and rely on them and God made it clear to these Martyrs that their sacrifice.
What's an appointment? It wasn't an accident.
Think about that they are in this place under the altar crying to God and it is all by Divine appointment. What put John Huss on the stake to be burned by fire. It was a Divine appointment and we still talk about him today and read about him in our history books for standing for the word of God others throughout history. We could we can mention surely the foxes book of Martyrs is filled with accounts of people that lay down their life for the Lord and Christianity is is a is a system of peace right? We're not a system of the sword now, I know some would disagree with that as to how Christen them has acted in previous Crusades. But that's not the religion of Jesus Christ. That's the religion of Jesus Christ is found in James 1:27. To visit the fatherless and the widows and to keep himself and spider from the world. That's true religion and undefiled before God the father. So anything that's man's contortion is going to have problems with it. But when we get to the purity of scripture we see hey this is not an accident that these Martyrs are here underneath the altar in this place praying and seeing the provision of God and having these promises by God. It is not an accident. And also we see that by Divine appointment others are going to join them.
Even in the death of his people wiersbe said God is in control.
It's like that plaque we have on our wall. I've mentioned before relax God is