Download... July 15, 2012. Sunday Morning Service. Bro. Dave Goble.
As I was mediating this morning, God drew me to the thought of His Wonderful promises being so Real, that we don’t serve God for naught. It’s not something that we have simply been taught, but we believe what He has to say to us from His Word is “yeah, and Amen! 2Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. His word will come to pass. God has certain requirements, with certain assurances when we become a Christian and serve Him.
TEXT: REVELATION 14:1-5
1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
The Holy Bible is the only book that holds the truths, we need that has the Holy Spirit of God’s witness of the saving power of Christ. One might take out this or that page, but there is no other book that the story of Jesus was originally found in, that can save and keep mankind. God‘s witness to His people and all of humanity is only found in this one. So leave the other books of a different spiritual direction, alone. Make sure you read, understand, and are a student of God’s Word. Can you say you have been reading it?
Each time we come to church to hear God’s Word, we are making a decision whether or not to obey it. If your decision is to embrace and obey the plan of God, it will be the best decision that you can make! If you haven’t decided to take it, you will go empty.
If I ask if you are reading it as a bible student, you may say yes, but you are the one that truly must make a decision to also study it. If in your heart you can’t truly say amen, make the decision that you too will be part of this story of deliverance. We live in a world that “today” is spiritually lazy. It shouldn’t be though, because of the hard times also experienced, of it being now harder to “make a living, and to keep out of debt, etc.
Many would rather turn on the television, and be entertained, and religiously “fed’” without effort, essentially making it “as their god.” They would rather someone else entertain, to feed, and “fill” them. But it is only when we personally “roll up our sleeves,” making a personal effort to get close to God, that one can keep from spiritual sleep. Those that are spiritually lazy fall “asleep,” eventually into a spiritual coma.
When you are in a coma, you don’t know what is happening to you. You don’t come out of a spiritual coma on your own. Many think that they spiritually are able to come out of one. Just as in the physical coma, you cannot come out on your own, just by “willing” it. There are very few things that one can do, to help you out of one. Spiritually also, the reality is, that very few “find their way out of a coma.” It starts with just a little bit of sleepiness.
Are you one that believes God’s word is just for “church people?” Do you think that it is just for those that are religious? In reality the bible is God’s “love letter” to all humanity. There’s not a person attendance here, and all those who are not, that doesn’t need to know what God’s word says. But people are lazy today, and God’s word to them is an option. People today, “fall asleep” on the Word of God, and in their soul. Their increased sleepiness leads them to fall into a spiritual coma.
It starts out with the little things. Like when the preacher ask if you have been into the Word, and you don’t answer the question, because you don’t care. What shows you don’t care? When you are at home the bible is often collecting dust, and often you don’t even know where it is. You might ask “Brother, are you angry this morning?” No, but I care for your soul.
God again brought to my mind that, that day is approaching, ..“Judgment Day,”.. when the wicked and good shall be separated. As that day approaches, God’s people will be awake, and will love, and look forward to that day more and more. It’s enticing, and exciting to them! This only comes when you spend time in the Word of God, in study, meditation, and drawing close to Him.
This book of Revelations, is really a book of many revelations. There are many different parallels here, that are relating the same story or message. It is the same narrative.
Jesus wins in the end, so I want to be on His side! When everyone else loses and Jesus wins, that is the end of the story! This is reality, it will happen! This is when Satan, all temptations, all heartaches, all physical illness, all sin and hell loses! Spiritual health, physical, mentally, and emotionally, wins! I want to be on that side, and part of it! I want to be on the “winning side.” So this book of Revelations is about that battle, and one of the books of history in a spiritual way!
Again, Revelations 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. The Lamb stands on Mt Sion (or known as Mt. Zion), which is spiritual Jerusalem (city of David). John the apostle was narrating what he saw.
Last Sunday we spoke on Deliverance, and its process of escaping, which is made through deliverance. There are many examples and testimonies of deliverance to be found. We want to speak this morning here of the example in our text. Just as in physical life, deliverance will not leave you still in danger, but snatch you completely out, so also does spiritual deliverance consist of being snatched completely out of the bondage of sin. Deliverance is not “just being helped,” but snatched out of danger so you that you are no longer affected by it.
If you want real deliverance, you will want it to be that which snatches you out of all the filthy, sinful habits and dangers. For deliverance is not remaining ‘in’ danger, but truly being snatched out of it. God has a clean people. If you want to truly be delivered from the filthy habits of life, then you also want to be snatched out of those habits. This is deliverance is equally for all who choose it.
We need to “compare” our self to the gospel plan of deliverance, to be sure of our place. That’s why we come to church. Come to church expecting to make a decision! You need to want to compare where you are, with what the scripture says. I’m not going to read you anything from my personal point of view, but from what God actually has to say. That’s really where our help is!
The first thing John saw was the Lamb of God. John. 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus takes away (snatches out) delivering out of sin! What does the Lamb of God do? He delivers from the sin of the world. Delivers, from the sins of the world! All the addictions of life, and harmful, hurtful things that holds back one from living free in the things of God. I refuse to accept that there is anything that The Lamb of God cannot deliver a soul from. To do so, is to place limits upon God.
God is limitless! If we place limits on God, then we humanize God! Limits are human things! God is eternal! So don’t place limits on God! You might say, “You don’t know my problems.” I may not know your problems, live in your body, or understand your needs, but still God is limitless! I can safely say that this not my gospel, but the gospel of Jesus Christ which has no limits. You might say “I haven’t been “snatched out of this or that, or delivered!” I’m not God, so don’t “shoot” the minister or messenger. The message is still true!
Too often people look to God as if He is a “toggle” switch, that they can flip on or off. We cannot “demand this, or that must happen. I was again recently impressed with the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after 4 days. I have every reason to believe that Lazarus died again. The only way that Lazarus could be raised to newness of life, is on that great day when the resurrection will occur for everyone.
Lazarus’s soul was resurrected, when he set aside his worldly desires, and became a friend of Jesus. But physically, Lazarus like all of us, died again, and will not physically be resurrected again until that last day. People, we are all going to die! And before we die, some of us are going to be ill! I’m not being flippant or being light with this, ..just honest. Some of us are going to suffer, because our bodies will break down. It is the way it is in this world that we live in. It doesn’t change the plan of God. It doesn’t limit God, or make His plan of any less faith.
It shouldn’t cause us to doubt God, when we began to “break down.” That’s where “the rubber meets the road.” This is where all the years of faith and right living matter, because now you can “draw upon it.” This where you can withdraw from that “bank account of faith,” you deposited so many years into. The Lord being our helper, and if He is willing, we will later study on aging, because it is an important topic.
In the New Testament there is not a lot on the process of aging. For one thing, in this time, the days of life were shorter. In those times, if you lived past 10 years of age, you might live to the “ripe old age” of 30, if you were a woman. Many women died in childbirth. So the average of what a woman lived, was approximately 27. The average age of man (if he lived past 10 years) might have been 35 years old.
This “shortened life span” was usually because of all the hazards of occupation, the living conditions, chemicals in their food and water, etc. Consequently, they didn’t live long then. If you happened to make it to the ripe old age of 20, you “might” have had an expectation to make it to 40, or “maybe” even 50 years old. One might say, “But the bible “promises” (on the average) 3 score and 10 years.” What I am telling you of here, are about the times of Jesus. How people’s habits of life and conditions were then; how they lived, causing their lives to be shorter. So it was seldom, that they might live as long as to the ages of 40-50.
One thing there are accounts of in the New Testament, is their victory over death! People didn’t live long enough for there to be a commentary of how to live life. Even Jesus died when He was young. None of this changes the opportunity for us, and in that time, to live by faith. One thing there is also a lot about is victory over sin, temptation, and death! There is a lot about saints having lived good lives!
They had knowledge that death was not something to fear, because Christ has promised that “I am with you, and I am your helper.” He gives victory over these things giving hope. The problems don’t limit God; they don’t change His plan or ability to limit anything, which God wishes to do for us!
Our part is to be faithful, and believe that God has ‘no’ limits!! Full deliverance is not partial! When we limit God, that’s when there’s only a partial deliverance. Deliverance here, we are going to discover, is “Spiritual Deliverance,” the most important deliverance of all! If we suffer afflictions of any kind, we might have to go through that for the rest of our lives, but we want to make sure our spirit is delivered, ..and stays that way!
Physical, emotional, and mental health problems, all these things are far worse, if the spirit has not been delivered. People that have been spiritually delivered, that have physical, emotional, or mental illness, are far better off than the healthy one without spiritual deliverance, regardless if they are in anyway “physically” impaired. It is because of their hope in Christ! It is those who are still in the bondage of sin that are hopeless, because they are not spiritually delivered.
John, in Revelations, looked and saw the Lamb of God on the hill Mt. Zion. Historically, Zion is where Solomon’s temple stood, (the second one that was built there). So this is a picture of Jesus Christ, right where He is supposed to be, which is where God is, on earth. This is not a make believe story, or speaking of a geographical place, but a place where God “is.”
I want to know where Jesus is, where His house is! Not 5334 Whitney Ave., but a spiritual place where God is! Where Jesus is, is where I want to be! This is where John saw the vision, ‘not’ just anywhere. He saw The Lamb on Mt Zion, and, (Revelations 14:1b). “with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.” So, the Lamb is Jesus Christ, and the temple is the location where God “dwells.”
“The Lamb” is where He is supposed to be, among God’s people, and nowhere else! It is the same today, “He’s still right among God’s people! If you want to worship the Lamb of God you need to see this spiritually. You need to be where God’s people gather, with the Lamb. The Lamb is ‘not’ just anywhere.
God calls one to be where the Lamb brings spiritual deliverance. There were religious “movements” then, just like there is today. But the Lamb was not found among them. He wasn’t found on the other hills, or on the 7 hills of Rome, or amongst where the pagans worshipped. Never, was He found amongst the confusion of where other religions worshipped!
The Lamb was found ‘only’ on Mt Zion, with His people, and with their Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelations 7:4-5,7,9 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. The scripture names here, not just the twelve tribes, but all the tribes of the nations, and John saw still yet also, a great multitude that no man could number. 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
This image here (above), is of all the saved. This is “the symbolic 144,000” that some speak of as the remnant of all that are in Jesus. Not just the faithful that have been in Christ, but also all those that would follow Christ, later, as an allegory. I’m not focusing on this “number” this morning, (although important), but the characteristics of the nature, of this 144,000, because if it represents anything, it represents God’s people! Regardless if they were Jews, or a Gentile, 'all' had these characteristics, and nature. All the delivered, are one in Christ Jesus. They are all human beings, equal, that have been saved, or delivered, by the cleansing through Christ blood. The only way to be spiritually cleaned up is to be delivered from 'all' sin. So the issue is not about what nationality one was, or is, but if they were spiritually cleaned up.
Revelations 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: We need to hear a “voice from heaven!” Not from some televangelist, or one that works “hocus pocus” on stage, but truly a voice from heaven. This could be anywhere, at home, church, or wherever one’s heart is listening for God. This is not just for those seeking God, but those already of God’s family, because they still need to hear a voice from heaven, everyday!
There are people who have heard from heaven, then become spiritually lazy, “leaking out” to no longer hear from heaven. The world just consumes them until they no longer have this burden to hear this voice from heaven. And once you stop hearing, you are as spiritually falling asleep, to not truly hearing anymore. It’s like this example comic strip (I saw) of one who is instructing their dog. “Fido, if you ever do that again…” Or “you need to go home, or “sit down”, etc. All Fido the dog hears is.. “Fido, blah blah blah,” “Fido, blah, blah blah.” …Not… “if you ever do “that” again.” The dog; (“Heh Heh, Heh), (“as if to say, tell me more, they like to listen to their name”). Dogs don’t understand what you’re saying, only that you said their name.
After a while, people tend to do the same thing, “God knows your name.” “David,” (but when I really want to hear the voice of God, I’m paying attention to every word I can understand). Maybe when I’m a baby in Christ I don’t understand all the words spoken unto me, ..but I know my name! One doesn’t necessarily understand the further words given, but they will listen to that voice of their mother or father. One of the examples of a good mother is of one often talking to her infant, so that they know her voice. I should know the voice of God, but also need to know the voice of The Mother, the Church.
If God saved you, you didn’t "just" change churches. God spoke to you to say, “I need you to be where my people are” (the 144,000 symbolic number). He wasn’t asking you to just join another church. He’s asking you “If” you could hear His voice, where would you go to hear it? I’m not advocating worshiping among the “Mountains”, (not changing churches), but to truly love and know God’s voice. Then as we grow up spiritually, we learn to speak God’s language.
On our “spiritual way,” our eye’s attention can often get “sidetracked” with something “glittery.” A non spiritual example, could be how some, that grew up in a home where Spanish only is primarily spoken. When that one is exposed in addition, also, to the “language of the world,” that one often can lose their original “tongue" when they no longer often hear it.” Spiritually you could be 80 years old, but still love to hear God’s voice!
The faithful will still hear the voice from heaven, as the “voice of many waters.” Have you ever been to any particular place where the ocean waves are “crashing?” Can you hear those “other voices?” You usually can if you stay where the voices of “many water” are “crashing.” The thunder though, is of a different sound. Like thunder, that is also with a great many sounds. Yet in this text, John could also hear the harpist’s sounds. How is that possible? There were different sounds, but they were all coming from the Revelation of Mt. Zion. We also can “hear” spiritually what John in Revelation heard.
All of the voices of “many waters” will be singing the same song. This is important, for it is not a picture about different denominations, for all these were singing the same song, as a new song. For not everybody is singing the song of deliverance, which is what we’re talking about here. Revelation 14:8,9 8 And there followed another angel, saying , Babylon is fallen , is fallen , that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand.
So there is another mark, which is of the mark of the beast! The symbol of “being marked” by the Word of God is being marked by God’s deliverance. You’re not delivered until God frees you from sin, with the branding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Those that say that teaching “doesn’t matter,” don’t know what they are talking about! There are only 2 marks spoken of in this chapter; an impure mark of religious teachings, confusion, bondage, a mark of the slavery to sin. The other mark is the mark of the deliverance from sin. Why are we saying this about “markings?” Because further studies would you show you that this scripture is about a religious “market place,” where there is the buying and selling of the souls of mankind. About those that have religious markings, with a bondage and slavery to sin.
Thank God we are not marked like that anymore! We are not slaves anymore to those “markings.” Like a particular song declares. “He took my name 'off'' the roll!” The delivered are not on “that roll” anymore! God no longer sees my name on ‘that’ roll, but puts me on a new roll. I’m now like the 144,000, with Father’s name written in my forehead!
You might ask “Is that just something that you have “claimed?” I claim it so, because God has made it so! There is a “witness” there, because I now have a harp, and a new song! I know what my old song was.
My old song was of no deliverance. I wanted to live holy, but I fell back into sin, frustrated. All the while false religion assured me I should feel okay, anyway. I didn’t want to feel okay like that, because I knew how ugly my sins were, and I wanted to be delivered! Religion teachings try to say, “You are too hard on yourself, you are already delivered, you should feel okay.” I would reply, “I don’t want to feel okay, I know better that I’m not delivered, because I know how ugly my life is, I know what I’m bound by!”
Until that day when one tells you the truth and you become freed from sin! Then God “marks” you with a new mark, His mark! God brands you with the gospel, and as long as you desire it, the enemy cannot any longer make “his” mark stick. People are “marked” by their teachings. Again those who say that teachings don’t matter, don’t know what they are talking about. There are only 2 marks.
There is not one that is marked by the enemy of false religion, then those marked by God, and thirdly those that aren’t either. There is not a third one, for example of “perhaps the atheist’s population.” Again you are either marked by one or the other, of only 2 “marks.” It is a crisis moment. Your about to get burned! You might say, “Sounds like you’re making it so narrow.” Deliverance is narrow! There’s no playing around! You either get “snatched” from the “fire” or not. Either you get delivered from sin, or you don’t. Either you get delivered, or you get burned!
These are they that found themselves in the camp of the saints, singing and playing their harps, of one song. These were marked with Father’s mark. Psalms 137:1-4 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? (Or Babylon). For there is not in Babylon, a song of deliverance. When God’s people are in spiritual captivity, it is a “type” of spiritual Babylon.
You can be spiritually born anywhere, but God has a place for you to reside that is not spiritual captivity, but spiritual freedom. You can have a new song, but cannot sing it, because the teaching there won’t allow it. There is not while there, free deliverance taught or offered from sin. For deliverance is the new song! You cannot sing that song in Babylon, because you are not, while there, really delivered!
Thank God, one day He delivers the soul, not only from sin, but from spiritual captivity. God takes you to a place where a new song is sung. He gives you a “harp” when He saves you, and the ability to play it, but not while in Babylon. The new song that, “I’ve been saved from sin, I don’t sin anymore!” That is a ‘new’ song! God cleaned me up! I had this addiction, and that addiction, and other problems. God cleaned me up from those “sinful problems.” That is the song of deliverance!
In this scripture (Psalms 137:1-4) they were delivered from sin, but not from spiritual captivity, while they were still in Babylon. That’s why they had to hang their harps on the willows in Babylon, when the enemy had asked them to sing a new song while there. Here they were honest, to say they “could not sing it” there, because while there, they were not free!
Often people will say, “I’ve been saved, but not delivered from sin.” But God truly gives you a harp to sing the song of deliverance from sin and bondage! “God cleaned me up from those sinful habits!” God cleaned me up from the cursing habit, from chasing around,” to now be “faithful.”
Babylon can’t sing that song, for all around, their sin is evident! They ofteh say, “I sin, you sin, we all sin, although “saved.” That is Not a song of deliverance, but instead the mark of the beast! If you’re caught in adultery, you cannot truly say you’re saved in spite of that weakness. If you have a drinking problem, that’s not just a weakness while saved, for God’s “song” is real and of full deliverance!
As a young person, “craving” the Lord, I found myself (while in false religion) sitting on the front row, but still empty and dissatisfied. I’m not upset with “that humanity” which didn’t teach me of true deliverance, but recognize that they don’t have the song of deliverance, only found on “Mt Zion.” The Lord convicted me one day, praise God! The mercy of God gave me a way out! Some think they can then also sing while in Babylon. No. you must get out in order to sing God’s songs of true deliverance. No man can sing this song unless God gives it to him. It’s still with the same “harp” and song today, in the songs of deliverance. Do you have that song and harp? Or, ..are you still seeking? It’s not just a collection of different faiths, but a body delivered together, not found in “fornication with other religions.”
John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Even religions of that day understood about spiritual fornication. Revelations 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. These, were those seeking the truth of pure religion, not a song to different religions, which is biblically defined as spiritual fornication. It’s not about religion, which doesn’t deliver!
Deliverance will cause you to take a stand, and then not again to be defiled with false religion. When you get a picture of God’s true judgment, nothing else matters! Wherever you are, work, school, etc., we don’t want to be found without God’s deliverance from sin. God’s deliverance is found only on “Mt. Zion.” Are you part of religion, or, of a new song and harp on Mt. Zion? (The One True Church of God). If you can’t now sing that new song, God has a plan to save and deliver you out of false religion, sin and bondage.
Revelations 7:9,12-14 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Are you part of those who have been spiritually delivered?