Monday, February 23, 2009

The Lord's Four Sore Judgements

The popular argument against "escaping from all," which includes all of the seal judgements, is that the seals of Revelation 6, are not judgement at all. Using Jesus, who is the word of God, to translate the bible, what do we see below?

Ezekiel 14:21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? 22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.

Its an exact match with the opening events of the tribulation period, sword, famine, beast and pestilence/death.

Rev 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The coming 7 years will be a time of judgement and wrath, and it starts immediately after we see redeemed, rewarded men in heaven in Rev 4-5.

Here are some key words I'd like to highlight for you this morning:

For as in the days that were before the flood. Let the words "days before the flood" sink in. What about the days before the flood? What is Jesus telling us about these days before the flood? People were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. Yea, so? People will be doing the exact same things, up until when? Until the day that Noe entered into the ark. it appears that the day Noe entered the ark was a "transformative" day for the world would'nt you say? Why? What happened the day that Noe entered the ark? They knew not until the flood came and took them all it again below:

Matt 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

You know what I find amazing? I find it amazing that in spite of all the bad news, economic problems etc, for many people, eating and drinking and marrying/giving in marriage continues as it always has, perhaps minus a couple steaks per week in lieu of burgers. What does the Noah account in Matthew tell us? It tells us something specific about "the coming of the Son of man ."
The coming of the Son of man has very specific word markers attached to it. Read them again, words are used for a reason, how does Jesus paint the word picture for us surrounding this "coming of the son of man?" Here's the paint:

days of Noah
coming of the Son of man
days that were before the flood
eating, drinking, marriage/giving in marriage
until the day Noah entered the ark
they knew not
flood took them all away
one taken, the other left
ye know not the hour
be ye also ready
hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh

I won't even get into the "one taken, the other left" argument, suffice it to say, we know an escape from all is coming, that's a fact. We know that some will be kept from the hour of trial to come on all the earth. We know that the seals are judgements and they are the first things listed in the book of Revelation as our God's dealing with this wicked world. The escape, being kept, Noah entering the Ark, Lot leaving Sodom, they are all pieces of the end time puzzle, and they all fit somewhere. Many are the "teachers" today who will argue you till blue in the face, that the pieces to the puzzle our Lord gives us fit nowhere, they'd rather just throw those pieces out.

The end time puzzle is a big one, and different people will fit into this puzzle in different ways. Some will escape, some will be sealed as part of the Lamb's 144,000, some will be martyred saints, some will be kept by our God's power in the desert for 3+ years, many will die from sword, famine, beasts, pestilence. One size does not fit all here. So when we hear people telling us that what they see ahead is tribulation for themselves and others, realize that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We are close enough to the time of Jacob's trouble, that people's hearts are being prepared for what lays ahead of them, again, one size does not fit all.

If you are living and breathing, and reading now, you still have a chance to pray that you may be counted worthy of the escape that is coming (luke 21:36). Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding, so get to know him today. If you already know him, get to know him better. Some people will spend eternity never even scratching the surface of the depth and breadth of the wonders of our God, he is that magnificent. Time is short so be watching and ready. The things going on around us today are final touches on preparation for the 7 years of hell on earth. Those 7 years do not have to be for you. If you are pure in heart, with no deceit in your spirit, if you are "in Christ," and you strive to please him each day, what need have you for wrath and judgement? In Christ, there is no longer condemnation for you. Noah and Lot walked as right standing men in the eyes of our God, and they were spared from the judgements of their day. Our God tells us that those who walk before him today in that same way, will be spared from the judgements coming in our day. Our God does not lie. If he said there's an escape from all, then there is an escape from all. If he said the coming of the son of man will be exactly like the days of noah and lot, it will be exactly like the days of noah and lot. You can count on it. I am looking for it, I am counting on it.

I write to you today to encourage you to count on Jesus to do what he said he would do, exactly how he said he would do it. Do not doubt him. Get out of the boat and walk to him out on the water. Your faith in him, which is faith in the word of God, is what will keep you above the stormy seas. You will be above....the storm below. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength today to both know and do his will. You are dearly loved. Grace and peace