Revelation 7 - Sealed
Speaker 1:0:00Two weeks ago I talked about revelation six and revelation six if you'll remember as Jesus opening essentially the deed of the universe and every time he breaks a seal that you'd see this, this scroll and it would have seven seals on it as he's running his thumb up there. Breaking that got something happens every time. Well, there's a pattern in the book of revelation that happens of all the sevens. There's seven trumpets and seven balls and seven woes and seven thunders and seven seals and this is the pattern ne. He they opened six and then there's like a pause or an interlude and we're in that interlude today. That's what we're doing. But if you'll remember we had the seven seals open and it, and it seems pretty dramatic what the world's going through. Every time you open something, 25% of this and 25% of that and famine wages.
Speaker 1:0:56Maybe you've lived in some spot in your life where you felt like there was a struggle or a hard spot and you just needed grace. One of the things that happens in this interlude is this, revelation five was the throne room and Jesus in charge. Revelation six is the struggle. That spot where maybe it's, it feels hard to be a believer. Revelation seven is, is, is the other side of that bracket that, that those difficulties in our life are always bracketed by God's goodness and grace. I just want you to notice that we'll talk our way through that a little bit. Have you ever been in a spot where you just felt like you couldn't stand that maybe it was too hard to rough? There's too much going on, too much judgment, too much, whatever it is. If you've ever been in that spot in your life and you just felt like you couldn't stand, but today we're gonna talk about why we can stand in those spots and here we are. This is revelation seven. I'm going to start from there and I'll stop and explain some of the things going on. Just so you know the patterns that are being brought forward from the Old Testament beyond then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth because the earth have corners.
Speaker 1:2:20No, it's round isn't it? But it is a picture. It is a picture of all directions east, west, north and south. Know if you keep going east long enough, can you ever stop going east and and pretty soon you have to go west and I'll see it doesn't work like that, but it does on North, south, right? You can go north so far that you have to go south anyway, four corners of the universe and they were holding back the winds so they did not blow on the earth and the sea or on any tree. And I saw an angel coming up from the east carrying the seal of the living God and he shouted to those four angels, you have been given power to harm the land and the sea, but wait, don't harm the land or the sea or the trees. Until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.
Speaker 1:3:13I want to talk just for a second so you understand what ceiling looks like and the and the seven and the woes that are going on. Woe is this and and, and the struggle that, that the sea and the land are going to go under or once you to begin to realize that there's a pattern of sealing in the Old Testament. The first one that we really see is during the accidents when Ge, when Moses comes to the people in Egypt and he says to them and they institute the Passover and they put blood on, on the door to take on the sign of their God and as God is unraveling through the 10 plagues, the power of Egypt, because that's what he's doing. He's unraveling, unraveling the power base of Pharaoh. He seals his people and protects them during one of the plagues. And if you're wondering how that happens when, when they come later to Jericho and they meet Rayhab there, she's asked to do what?
Speaker 1:4:16Put a red cloth above her window and a mini Passover, if you will, to take the sign of God in the midst of that. And she is protected from that stuff. If you want more on this, you can go to [inaudible] chapter nine where it has that, that God's going to come through Jerusalem, but before he does, he's going to mark all the people with his mark who mourn for what's going on in Jerusalem for the evil that's been done in the town before. He clears everybody out. He's going to seal them on their forehead. That's the seal nine or we could go like this in the time of Rome, they had a position of priesthood in the Roman world called an ACR and they would represent the the emperor and the emperor worship to make sure everybody's pinch their little bit events since in the fire at the right time and they would wear a headband with a mark with the symbol of the emperor or as face portrait on it.
Speaker 1:5:22They were marked on their forehead, wasn't actually a tattoo. It was, you know, a head band like a sweatband. We would use that now, but they had that and they would tie it on marked in their foreheads. That's what's going on. It's also that we've just had six seals broken and then one seal made. I do attract that with me. If I confuse you with something, will you be happy to raise your hand and go, I'm confused. I don't get it. Would you do that for me? Would you do me a favor and do that practice? Okay, perfect. You know how to do that. So here we are. We've just had Jesus breaks six seals on the throne. There's on the deed, there's one left and just as he does this, he says, don't do any of that until I see all my people and I heard how many were marked with a seal of God.
Speaker 1:6:21It was 144,000 were sealed of all the tribes of Israel numbers. Remember when I brought out my tool chest, when we talked about numbers, numbers in the book of revelation are a little freaky. They mean certain things, but 144,000 is as a big number specifically meant to be sort of uncountable. I need you to know that 12 times 12 is 144,000 that's tribes. And then 10 times 10 times 10 is 100,000 or the thousands. That's a lot. And the Hebrews liked to rhyme meanings, not, not sounds like we know on the rain, on the plane, and we write more words. They would run meanings. And so he's about to say this, and I heard how many were marked and then he's going to look up and he's going to see an amount. So that's our rhyme and the Hebrew world. The here in the sea, here it is from Judah. 12,000. How many of you have ever heard the tribes of Israel listed? You've heard that. Who's first everywhere else in the Bible? Why is Judah first haired? You know, something's different, isn't it? Do you know why Ruben is always listed first in the tribes of Israel throughout the Old Testament? He's the oldest. Firstborn. Absolutely. So when you see something in the Bible and it's different, I want you to practice something else for me. Are you ready? Say this.
Speaker 1:7:59When you see something different, go, hmm. Wonder what that means. Okay, so Judah 12,000 from Reuben, 12,000 from Gad, 12,000 from Asher, 12,000 from Naphtali, 12,000 from Manasseh, Manasseh. He's not one of the 12 sons. Manasseh is one of Joseph's sons. He's our grandson. Once you to say this with me, what that means from Simeon, from Levi, from Issa car, from Zeppelin, from Joseph, and from Benjamin. And then after this I saw crowd, right? I heard a number and I saw a crowd too. Great to count from every nation and tribe and people and language sitting in front of the throne. Here's something else that's changed from the Old Testament. Most of you might not know this, but some of you might that whenever they talk about Israel, they always start with tribe and then they go to people and then they go to nations. Because you know in in Israel it was all about who you were born to. You know that I'm from the tribe of Benjamin from my 13th grandmother way back over here or something like that. They would track all that and they would know. They knew that Jesus was from the line of Judah and that's tracking some stuff. I just want you to know there's more than one generation between Judah and Jesus. Several, several, actually so many so that it begins kind of becomes kind of difficult to track.
Speaker 1:9:48I just anecdotally or just a story to tell my mom wants, had a friend who used to say that she could track her lineage all the way through the Middle Ages and into Jerusalem and then back out. She had all this stuff and you should. And when you hear somebody's tracking lineage is through, uh, through a Middle Eastern country during the Middle Ages you should say, because most of them have been rubble at least more than once. And how do they have the records? It's an interesting question. Now, archeology doesn't have a perfect record. It has some information and then we have to sort of extrapolate out. Anyway, so here it is. It starts off with every nation and then it says to tribe and people in language, this is what I'm hearing from the commentators. Now, commentators often have all sorts of ideas, but you should hear that Joseph is mentioned and one of his sons is mentioned and Dan is not.
Speaker 1:10:55Why is Dan, one of the sons of Israel not mentioned? Why is Manasseh mentioned and why is Judah first? Now there's a lot of theories about this. Not, not all of them have a bunch of grounding in scripture. Some say Dan isn't listed because the antichrist is going to come from the tribe of Dan. Hmm, that's an interesting take. I'm not sure I believe it. The one thing I know is that one of the feelings about why Judah is first is because the, the, the, the tribe of Judah split into enough, uh, northern kingdom and a low and a southern kingdom and Judah was the main tribe of that lower kingdom. And they say Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. So it makes sense if you're doing that, that Jesus be first, but that you would start to start to add and change this pattern of talking from the Old Testament. I want you to understand that throughout the New Testament, Paul writes, and even James writes to the tribes scattered, but he's not actually writing to necessarily Jewish lineage people, but he's writing to the people of God and calling them the tribes. So what's beginning to happen here is they're starting to not have an ethnic kingdom.
Speaker 1:12:29It's starting to break down the old forms of what is an ethnic kingdom of Israel is changing into the people of God, which is not based on ethnicity. What is the, what is the, what is the Kingdom of God based on? Do you know what the Kingdom of God is based on how you get in and how you, how you're you're marked as one of the Kingdom of God. I loud here, Jesus, the perfect Sunday school answer. What do you do with Jesus? You just yell his name once and you're all good. No, you place your trust in him for salvation and you become part of the Kingdom of God. That's the lineage that's important from now on.
Speaker 1:13:20it's not who your 17th great grandparent was. Do we all know who our 17th great grandparent was so little tricky on ancestry.com to go back that far. So lot of hearsay. It's a lot of hearsay. Anyway, so this is what's going on. So No, I'm just saying the commentators are pretty much talking about a change in the type of kingdom and how it's formed from being a lineage based on ethnicity, based one into a trust based kingdom. This is a big deal for us because why? Why is this a big deal for us? Why would I make a big deal out of it?
Speaker 1:14:10Cause cause we can become part of that kingdom. That's really good. Do you know what I don't have in my lineage? A 14 time removed. Great grandparent that's Jewish. No, no. Some of you might. I don't, but God doesn't hold that against me and say you're not part of the kingdom. He says you've trusted in me and that's how you become mine and I become yours. Here we are. What happens to these? We see this huge group of people standing in front of the throne and before the lamb and they were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. Have we ever seen anybody in the hold palm branches in their hands? What did they do?
Speaker 1:14:57They walk their kids with them. It's like the Hispanic sandals idea. No, these yelled Hosanna. Hosanna is he who comes in the name of the Lord? What do they do here? They say salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and the lamb. Who is the lamb? Jesus. So we're starting to do this and we, they washed their robes, clothed in white robes and help palm branches and they were shouting with a great roar. I want you to hear this. Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne. It doesn't come from your ethnicity. It comes directly from our God who sits on the throne and from Jesus and Jesus whose name Yeshua in Hebrew literally means God saves. Or as one of my professors like to say y'all way to the rescue and here we go. And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living beings and they fell before the thrown in their faces to the ground and they worship God and they sang.
Speaker 1:16:04Amen. Let's say men mean that's the way it is. That's the way it is. Blessing and honor and wisdom and glory and Thanksgiving and power and strength belong to our God. Sometimes when we praise God, we lose our ability to form proper sentences and the words and the ideas just start tumbling out. Something has happened inside us. Have you ever been in this spot where you come out and you'd just say blessing and glory and wisdom and honor and power and strength and, and you just can't contain it and, and, and you know you're not using the proper Oxford Commas and you're saying you sort of forgotten how to do that. You're just overwhelmed by the glory of your God. How do you get from a spot where the world seems like it's coming apart in revelation six to a spot where you're gone glory and praise the Lord. How do you get there? How do you get there?
Speaker 1:17:10Would you like to know how you get there? God comes around and he seals his people and he puts his mark on mark on them. What does it mean to have the name or the mark of God and your life? Couple of weeks ago I talked about this, that there becomes a guarantee in our life when Jesus sacrifices and he and he always lives in the throne room of God make to make intercession for us is one of the guarantees that we have. The can have the mark of God on us. He's there in the throne room always. His sacrifice has always been accepted. He doesn't have to leave the room and make another sacrifice to come in. He can just stay in there and as long as he's in there, our sacrifice, his sacrifice on our behalf as a bid accepted and it's in full force.
Speaker 1:18:10That's the thing that changes Isaiah's comment and Isaiah six from woe is me. I've seen the Lord high and lifted up and I am an unclean person and I live in a land of unclean people. I am undone just because I saw God, I'm going to come apart at the seams and something happens because Jesus is in the throne room. Now we can do this. We have the ability to come into the throne room, be invited to have the angel say, come, come. But there's one more guarantee isn't there? The spirit is in us. Proof that God's name is upon us, making it possible for us to stand instead of going, woe is me. We now go worthy and are and just like me this morning, my words just tumble out.
Speaker 1:19:01Blessing and glory and wisdom and Thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever. That's the way it is. And then one of the 74 or 24 elders asked me, who are these that are clothed in white and where did they come from? But that sounds a little bit like a rhetorical question to me. The, let's see how they get it. I said to him, sir, you're the one who knows. It's a rhetorical question. Then he said, these are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the lamb and made them white. Now the great tribulation, the tribulation, we talked about the numbers and about the three and a half years or the 42 months or the, the number of days that they count out that that really does stand for the halftime of the universe, which is from the cross
Speaker 2:20:00to the second coming.
Speaker 1:20:04Those that have died in there that have been forgiven, that him wash their clothes in the blood of the land that had been forgiven. Who are they?
Speaker 1:20:16You have been forgiven. Did you know that it is in full force? Jesus is in the throne room
Speaker 1:20:25and that means that your, that you have a guarantee. His spirit is on you. When when God puts his name on you, when you become his person, when he seals you, that's about his character being built in you and that's proof that your his now to him who does this? Let's read some more. He says they are the ones who died. Let's see. That is why they stand in front of God's throne and serve him day and night and his temple, he was sits on the throne, will give them shelter. They will never be hungry or thirsty. They will never be scorched by the heat of the sun, for the lamb on the throne will be their shepherd and he will lead them to springs of life giving water and God will wipe every tear from their eyes. That is the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal on the thing. When Jesus pops the next seal, it's such a big deal that everything and it's having go silent for half an hour. That's a, that's a long time because every time something happens, people go down and then he'd say, worthy is the Lord Worthy as the Lord. Something happens in us when we go from an old testament understanding of things to a new testament understanding. When we go from an Old Testament understanding in the psalms it says, as I lift my hands before you, Lord.
Speaker 1:21:49look at my hands and see if there's any wicked ways in me and correct me, examine my hands for blood for victims. That's an old testament view. I don't have any way to deal with it. Make sure that I don't have that, but Lord, woe is me because I've done bad things. That's an old testament. The New Testament view stops that suddenly we're no longer in the spot where we have to pay attention to that because it's been forgiven. We get to be in the throne room and all of a sudden it just tumbles out of us worthy.
Speaker 1:22:27Sometimes it seems like the New Testament is like this that we've been sealed but but we want to be sealed and safe.
Speaker 1:22:37Don't worry. Don't you want to be safe from all harm from all alarms? That's this. Yeah. There is a time when we'll be safe from all alarms and I hate to say that, but that has not. The call of the Christian on earth is to be safe from all alarms. Faith secures us. It's seals us in two ways. First, the first way is it makes secure in God.
Speaker 1:23:03What does it mean to be secure in God? It means that he's got your back. Does it mean you're safe and, and then nothing will ever happen to you? No. It doesn't mean that. It means that you who weren't able to stand on your own can stand in a spot because God makes you a ball. And the call of the Christian isn't to live and happy little places as many in North America and Europe have begun to think is we just, well, if we come to Jesus at all, it's just sunshine and lollipops. By the way, my favorite flavor of lollipop is the one with a stick in it. That's my favorite flavor. You be sealed that God's seals you the very first of being sealed as is, that you can stand. That's what's going on in Jude and James and and in Ephesians three 20 that him who is able to keep you from stumbling, you've been saved. You're secure, doesn't mean safe. Doesn't mean nothing's ever going to happen to you, doesn't mean comfortable. It means that he's got your back.
Speaker 1:24:15Because of the position of the Christian is supposed to be specifically in one spot in the world. Okay. If you ever wondered what your job was, here's your job as a Christian. There's a spot near you where the Kingdom of God is meeting the Kingdom of the world.
Speaker 1:24:35Right at that interface, wherever that line is, do you know what that line is? That's the Christians
Speaker 1:24:41and you have a job to stand there. That's not always going to be an awesome place. Sometimes that's going to be an unfun place. Non Fun. It's a no fun zone. There'll be no laughing there. No it. Have you ever stood in that place where it just suddenly you were under attack, but you didn't know why? Well, sometimes you're under attack because because you're God's person in a place and all God wants is your witness there and say you were going to see the results. He didn't say you weren't going to see the results. He just wants his witness there. Remember way back when I first got here, I made one statement really, really important statement about the word of God. There is no place. If I come all the way over here and I'm on a continuum and I'm on earth, right? This is the best place on earth. There is no place on earth so good that it no longer needs God's word to be heard there. There's no place on earth that doesn't need to hear God's word. It's not. It's so good. It just, nothing can go wrong. Look, we live on earth. Sometimes going to something can go wrong here because we're here. I'm perfectly capable of making a mistake in the best of all moments. I need God's word in my life.
Speaker 1:26:03All the word over here. Thank you. You too. Awesome. If I come all the way over here, that's not to say anything about these four sitting in this corner, okay? I'm just getting as far from that because if that was the best place on earth, this is the worst place on earth. There's no place so bad on earth that God no longer wants his word hurt there.
Speaker 1:26:27and somewhere between here and there is where you stand.
Speaker 1:26:33and you are the interface between God's kingdom in this world, secure, able to stand, not necessarily safe. What's the second of the ceiling? When his spirits in there in you, you can stand there. Your faith is activated. Your ability to do it is there and God's there to make it possible,
Speaker 1:26:59Those are the two parts of the ceiling that are a big deal. When God seals you, he seals you so that your future is secure, so you can be active in the present and then it gives you the power to do it.
Speaker 1:27:14Let's just pray. Let's just pray. Lord Jesus, you've seen us in the difficult places. I asked specifically that you would now see us in the strength that you give us so that we can stand and give us the power to stand so that we might stand and get used to standing. Then our faith might be activated by your ceiling of us with your Holy Spirit move in us, lord and your precious name. Amen.