October 23, 2019
Well-loved broadcasters David and Karen Mains launch their fourth podcast with a conversation about David’s insights into the Book of Revelation Chapter 6.
Revelation is a message of great importance. It’s from the risen and glorified Christ who is the beloved apostle John, not some unknown John, and it was initially for the early church. It’s also a prophetic message from the hand of God and I emphasized in this visit that it’s consistent with what Jesus taught earlier in the Gospels.
Intro: Welcome to the Before We Go podcast featuring Dr. David Mains and his wife noted author, Karen Mains. Our subject for today, the last book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation. Here’s David and Karen Mains.
David: Hi, friend. We are David and Karen Mains, and we call these times together before we go. How come that name, Karen?
Karen: Well, partly it’s because that’s a very common phrase in conversation. Before we go, I want to talk to you. We say that a lot. But I am a 76 if you want to give your age. 83. 83. Didn’t want to spill the beans for you.
David: I was in the drive-in the other day getting food, and the lady said, are you past 65? And I said, quite a bit.
Karen: So, we feel that we have some really crucial things to say before we go. And that there is opportunity and there is wisdom that gets resourced in the years, through the years and the decades of the years that we’d like to share, that we feel actually is crucial to share with those who have been interested.
David: For example, right now I’m in this series on Revelation.
Karen: Right. You have been in this series on Revelation for 15 years.
David: In terms of preparing.
Karen: Reading Revelation over and over and getting a grasp on it, and then reading all the commentaries that you could find in Revelation as well. So we’re talking about Revelation for the next, how many more do we, 12 altogether.
David: Before getting into Revelation, let’s you and I tell just a bit about ourselves for those who might never have heard of us. Okay, I can start, something they wouldn’t know. Our son, our third son, we had four children, died early. He was 42, cancer, aggressive lymphoma. And I realized at that point that you don’t always have all the time in the world to do the things you want to. You almost have to grab the moment. Our second son Joel, he’s on television. He’s won, what, five MAs down. He said, “Dad, why don’t you and I”, and then he had this suggestion. He said, “why don’t you and I?”
Karen: This is a Joel idea.
David: Yeah, let’s you and I go to some of the ball parks around the country, baseball parks, and just enjoy the time going there and kind of make this a part of your bucket list.
Karen: But the purpose was to see the Cubs play in those ballparks.
David: Well, sometimes it sucks.
Karen: The Chicago team. I think most of the Cubs, right?
David: Yeah, I liked last year, Karen. We took off early in the morning and drove from Chicago to Cincinnati. Got there early afternoon before the game actually started. Saw batting practice, walked all around that stadium. It was fun. Saw the game, said let’s get a motel. Couldn’t find one, so we drove all the way home. But we had a great time together.
Karen: Yeah, wonderful father-son time. I bet you talked all the way in the car.
David: Just this last month, we flew out to San Francisco. I’ve never been to Candlestick Park, and I never will be because that’s closed down.
Karen: We also had a son out there and our eldest son out there.
David: But I went with Joel, and we wanted to see Oracle Field, I think they now call it beautiful. Played Saw a Cub, hit it all the way out of the park, landed in the San Francisco Bay.
Karen: Oh, my goodness.
David: It was really neat. We had a great time together. You know, been to Wrigley Field obviously on the south side to the Sox Park. And Milwaukee, a great stadium in Milwaukee. It’s one of my favorites. They actually can close the roof over that entire baseball field if it starts to rain. How do you like that?
Karen: I think that’s fabulous.
David: Detroit, the Tigers, I love the stadium in Detroit. But we’re having a great time doing this. It’s kind of fun.
Karen: It seems to me that there were a couple of these intended visits that got rained out, as I would call it.
David: It’s a danger. You buy the ticket ahead, then you can’t go. You got to go home and you didn’t even see the game. And you’ve had to lose your money. We’ve had good luck all along.
Karen: You’ve had a good time.
David: What’s something that people wouldn’t know about you?
Karen: Well, this is a personal, really personal item. As I said, I’m 76. And for years, I prayed that God would give me love. That it would be a person of love. And that wasn’t always something that would have marked me. I think I could have been in my younger years very critical or…
David: You think you could have been, or you were?
Karen: You could have been. Well, we’re, we’re. I was. But I find that these days, there’s just this gift. It’s a gift where I see people and I have this tender, tender feeling for them. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they look like. They can be strangers on the street, homeless guys. And I have this tender sense of love for them. The little children in the church had to show her loose tooth to somebody. And her mom caught me and said, “Would you look at her”? She wants to tell a big person this is a show, show me her loose tooth. It was just too cute for words. Her first loose tooth. And you just have tender feelings. So, I consider this at this stage in my life to be just an answer to long-term prayers on my part for myself and a gift of God. I like being here. It’s very, very sweet.
David: I think yours was more personal than mine was.
Karen: Yours was maybe more interesting.
David: I don’t think so. Anyway, where are we in this Revelation series?
Karen: Well, we’re just at the start of it. We have 12 podcasts that we want to do on Revelation. And because we just have started it, we’ve recorded three and…
David: We’re number four.
Karen: … we’re number four. So, I’ve been reading along in your manuscript. You’ve taken 15 years to reduce this to manuscript level. And then reading Revelation as well in the chapters that you recommend that we read. And David: this is an extraordinary book for this time. I know every generation, Christian people, particularly the older ones, look at Revelation if there’s any bad times in the world or in our national history. We say to the next generation, these could be the last days. But when you look at the totality of what is going on in our world, there are some things that are available on a self-destructive level that were never available in times past. And I’m thinking of what Daniel Ellsberg in his book calls the doomsday machine. And he, of course, was the one who exposed the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. He felt that much of what the American population was getting were lies from our government. We’re not really being told the truth. And so he exposed a great peril to his own self, the Pentagon Papers. But he is also a nuclear analyst and planner. So, the next book he came out with, the first was called The Secret. The second one is the doomsday machine. And when you look at it and read about the potential of utter destruction if we had nuclear war, that’s something we have never had in the history of the world before. And it fits right into all of these prophetic messages that Christ gave in his time on the Earth.
David: And the Olivet Discourse.
Karen: Olivet Discourse.
David: I’ll explain all of that as we get into it.
Karen: And then to what Revelation is saying as well, particularly this early part that we’re looking at right at this moment.
David: Well, we’re just coming into what is really the interesting section. We’re talking about the opening of the seals, the horsemen and so on.
Karen: All of it is very symbolic.
David: Very interesting.
Karen: Yeah. But what you’re saying is that that has a message for us today.
David: OK. We’ll stop dialoguing. And we’ll just listen as I was able to go into the studio and record this earlier. Have you ever tried your hand at predicting the future? My guess is that you soon realized you weren’t all that good at it. I believe, however, that today’s text, Revelation chapter 6 and the first verse of chapter 8, will reaffirm the truth that Jesus is quite good at knowing what tomorrow will bring.
Obviously, Revelation deals with matters of prophecy. It states that in the opening paragraph of the book, Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy. In the Bible, some prophets, not all, predicted the future. Some even performed miracles. But every one of the biblical prophets claimed to have received a word from God that the prophet was accountable to deliver. Jesus is the greatest of the prophets. He is the most clear and complete word from the Lord ever given us. He also performed incredible miracles and made numerous bold statements regarding the future. From him, this is important, we know that history doesn’t just continue on indefinitely. Jesus makes it clear that our world is headed toward a showdown between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, God and Satan, and Revelation gives us the eventual outcome of that conflict.
In Revelation chapter 4, a mysterious scroll of the future was introduced. Obviously, everyone, including us, is curious as to what it contains. The bad news we learned is that it’s sealed with seven seals that apparently no one is capable of breaking. Then the good news is made known. The lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed and he’s able to remove the seven seals and open the scroll. Only then, instead of a lion, John sees a lamb looking as if it has been slain.
Nevertheless, it’s Jesus. When we left off last visit, the lamb had taken the scroll from the hand of him who sits on Heaven’s throne, and when he did all, creation broke out in musical praise and worship of the lamb, including the voices of millions of angels. Now, we are at Revelation chapter 6 and working with the material you were asked to read in preparation for today.
It begins, I watched as the lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, Come! I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
What follows with the breaking of seal two is a fiery red horse. Seal three is a black horse and seal four is a pale horse. Seal five of an open reveals the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God. They cry out, How long sovereign Lord, Holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood? They’re told to wait a little longer until the number of martyrs is complete.
With seal six being open there’s a great earthquake. Now let me read from the text. The sun turned black like a sackcloth made of coat hair. The whole moon turned blood red and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as figs dropped from a fig tree when it was shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll rolling up in every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks fell on us and hid us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb for the great day of their wrath is coming who can stand.
I’ll pause there momentarily because Revelation chapter seven is on a related topic before the text in chapter eight gets back to the seal number seven. Note, this information related to the seals is not the new prophetic information that’s to be found inside the scroll of the future. It’s only what happens when the outside seals of that scroll are broken one by one.
Shall I repeat that?
This is not the new prophetic information that’s to be found inside the scroll of the future. It only is what happens when the seven seals of that scroll are broken one by one. Sounds like new information to me, you say, all that stuff about the sun, moon, and stars and people hiding in caves?
Not really. Bible scholars have long pointed out the similarity between what’s seen here with the breaking of the seven seals and the material in our Lord’s Olivet discourse. But for that to mean anything to you, we need to go back to the Gospel accounts.
The final week of his life, sometime between his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Last Supper, Jesus had an extended conversation with certain of his apostles about the future. They had been in the city together when some unnamed of Christ’s followers said, look, teacher, what massive stones, what magnificent buildings.
Jesus responded, Mark 13, 2-4, do you see all these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left on another. Everyone will be thrown down. Later, quote, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, the same John we find in Revelation. Peter, James, John, and Andrew ask him privately, tell us when these things will happen, like the stones all being thrown down, and what will be the sign of your coming? Our Lord’s extended answer is called the Olivet discourse. That’s because they were on the Mount of Olives when the conversation took place. That account can be found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 23.
I won’t take time in this presentation to read all three of those long passages but let me give you a summary or four basic observations.
In the Olivet discourse, the events are mixed chronologically. They aren’t listed sequentially, but one, Jesus plainly says that the end will not come right away. I took those words right from the Bible, Luke 21.9. The end will not come right away.
Two, next, there’s information specifically regarding the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Again, here are words taken from Luke 21, 23, and 24. There will be great distress in the land and wrath against these people. That’s the Jews. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all nations.
Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled. In the spring of 67 AD, the Romans had amassed 50,000 troops on the Mediterranean coast 80 miles north of Jerusalem. The general, Vespasian, felt good enough about his situation to begin to surround the city and lay siege to it.
However, news arrived that Nero had died, and what happened was that Vespasian was made the new emperor, so the siege was put under his son named Titus. It was during this interlude that a large portion of the Jewish Christian community fled from Jerusalem to the city of Pella in Transjordan.
At the time of the Roman attack, 70 AD, Jerusalem was filled with some 3 million worshipers, wrote the historian Josephus. Over one million died in the subsequent battle. Of those who survived, one hundred thousand were led away to work the mines in Egypt. Others were distributed to various Roman amputators to be slaughtered in spectacles. Only a few prominent and beautiful persons were singled out to adorn the march of triumph by Titus when he returned to Rome. The great arch, the arch of Titus that marked that occasion, can still be seen by tourists in Rome today.
A third observation from Christ’s Olivet discourse. Next mentioned is a period of what’s called birth pains. The length is not defined, but here is scripture on the topic, Mark 13.6-8. Many will come in my name claiming I am he and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. These birth pains related to Christ’s coming also include persecutions and martyrdoms. Matthew 24.9. Then you will be handed over and persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
Okay, allow me to list these birth pains. False Christs, Wars, Earthquakes, Famines, Pestilences, or Infants. Infectious Diseases of Epidemic Proportions. Persecutions, Martyrdoms. Quick Review. So far, we have one word from Jesus. The end will not come right away. Two, information about the destruction of Jerusalem. Three, a period of birth pains. And four, a final observation from Christ’s Olivet discourse. These are signs that the end of our age is near.
Matthew 24.33. When you see all these things you know that it is near right at the door. The birth pains. Part 3 of these four don’t stop. But with these new items everything is accelerated even more. So, what are these right at the door signs? Let me list them.
Again, taking the words right from the Scriptures. Luke 21.25-28. There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On earth nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror apprehensive of what is coming in the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time, they will see the Son of Man coming in a clout with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.
So there are signs in the heavens, tossing to the seas, great apprehension about what is happening to our world that is undefined, and the return of Christ in power and great glory.
Why see the return of Jesus as a sign you ask? I mean when he comes back the ball game is over. Not really. There are significant events still to follow. But that’s a future topic. The Gospel of Matthew shares some of the same signs of the end of our age as does Luke, from whom I’ve been reading, plus two additional matters. Chapter 24 verse 14 of Matthew. And the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
One more. Matthew 24 verses 36 through 39. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man, for in the days before the flood people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving and marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. This is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
So, we have added to our list the Gospel being preached in the whole world, and a prevalent but naive attitude of everything is like it’s always been and always will be. Let’s also look quickly at Mark’s Gospel. Without reading the verses, he too mentions the Gospel of the Kingdom preached everywhere in the world in the return of Christ, signs in the heavens, then Mark adds Jesus saying, For false Christ and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect if that were possible.
So be on your guard, says Jesus, I have told you everything ahead of time. I know this has all been very fast, but I believe the overview I’ve given is fair to the Bible. Here, then, is a list of end-time pointers given by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse that add to the initial birth pains. Signs in the heavens, roaring of the seas, great public apprehension, the gospel preached around the world, a naive public attitude of business as usual, false Christ performing signs and miracles, the return of Jesus, and because of time I didn’t read specific verses for these next two, but I should add them, increasing wickedness worldwide, and persecutions against the church and more martyrs.
Back now to Revelation 6. What the breaking of the seals represents is the same matters talked about by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse. It’s the birth pains, and what’s at the very door issues. For example, there’s little disagreement among Bible scholars about horse and rider number two, three, and four. So, when seal two is broken, the rider on the fiery red horse gallops forth and he represents war. From Scripture, its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.
Seal three is the horseman on the black steed. He’s scarcity, famine, and pestilence. It’s a day’s wages for a quarter-wheat. Not a lot to live on to feed a family, just enough to maybe stay alive. Comes as a living creature once again, and now we observe a pale horse. This one is actually named, his death. Terrible name, death.
Where he’s yet behind this rider is Hades. Lots of people are killed by death. It reads, “sword, famine, plague, wild beasts.” Seal five is all the martyrs, crying out for God to avenge their blood. Seal six is the terror associated with the frightening things happening to the world because of the wrath of God and his son. Its signs in the heavens, roaring of the seas, great public apprehension.
Seal seven, hey, someone interrupts. What happened to the first seal in Stallion number one, the white horse in the rider? I believe Seal one represents a great contrast to the other three horsemen. That’s because every reference to whiteness in Revelation is associated with Christ. There are thirteen such places. You can check them out later if you want. I’m not saying the rider on this white horse is Jesus. After all, he’s the one opening the seals. But I do believe the white horse and his rider represent the Gospel of the Kingdom spreading everywhere throughout the world. Like Jesus prophesied, in the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come. Come on, you say. It says this rider rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. That doesn’t sound like the Jesus I know.
Again, my response is that it’s not Jesus, but the Gospel being preached throughout the world. Also, you’re still thinking of Jesus as presented in the Gospels. Just last session we saw Jesus as the Lamb being worthy to open the seals. Why? Because he has triumphed. He is the victor, the conqueror. In Revelation he’s intimidating, terrifying even. And if that’s not enough, recall at the end of Revelation 6 how people are hiding in caves and asking mountains to follow them and hide them from him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.
I’m telling you, get used to this new picture of Jesus because you haven’t seen anything yet. What about seal number 7? Revelation 8 verse 1. When he, Jesus, opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. It’s like the quiet before the storm.
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel who had a golden censer or a firepan came and stood at the altar. There he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all God’s people on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of the saints went up before God from the angels’ hand. The angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth. There came peels of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. All this high drama is a fitting introduction to the seven trumpets. And finally, we will get to see some of what’s in the scroll of the future.
Up to this point we have not seen what it actually contains, and that material will have a totally different and incredibly somber feel. In this series, however, that’s two sessions away.
Why? Because I believe it’s important for us not to skip Revelation chapter 7. We will look at that passage when next we meet, so please read it, chapter 7, ahead of time. So, before the actual in-time events of the seven trumpets, the gospel will continue to be preached, wars will be fought, conflicts, famines, and plagues will destroy up to a quarter of the earth’s people.
Large numbers of believers will still be killed for their faith. Basically, with the opening of the seven seals we view the global scene, not just America, as it historically has been and remains even today.
In summary, Christ clearly spelled out the signs of the end of the age, and He told us to be on the watch. Here is Luke 21.36. Be always on the watch, and pray that you will be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you will be able to stand before the Son of Man.
To be on the watch means to keep this truth about the return of Jesus regularly in mind. Don’t let it get shoved down the list pretty much out of your daily thinking. Incidentally, have you memorized Revelation 1.7 yet? Look, He’s coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn, or they’ll wail because of Him. So shall it be. Amen.
May I also suggest that this week, as you follow the news, start to observe if any of what you watch or hear has a prophetic feel to it. Are there articles or reports about famines or wars, are the seas rising, or earthquakes, or infectious diseases, or increased lawlessness, or greater wickedness, bad mouthing of the church, even martyrdoms, whatever? Kind of conduct your own investigation. Is the gospel being preached around the world? Is there a naive public attitude of everything as business as usual?
You decide. You may want to have a conversation about this with someone close to you. A friend, a family member, someone you see is more spiritually mature in your church. Ask that person if he or she has a half hour to have coffee or tea and a conversation with you. That’s because this is a matter you want to carefully consider, and maybe one you’ve never conversed all that seriously about.
The early church kept this matter of the return of Jesus always in mind by making it a customary greeting or statement of farewell. Maranatha was an Aramaic expression that meant, our Lord comes. Paul uses it as he closes his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 16, verse 22. See it as a contrast to the word anathema. A person accused or damned. Anathema, damned. Maranatha, our Lord comes.
Since I’ve given what sounds like an assignment, let me also do some checking on past suggestions. Have you memorized yet the short praise paragraph from Revelation 1, 5 and 6? It starts to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and so on. Someday I believe you will want to thank me for pushing you on this matter. And it doesn’t really take all that long to make that passage yours.
Last time together I talked about worship. In conjunction with that past emphasis, this week as you talk to the Lord, discipline yourself to bring up this matter of Jesus being characterized by wrath. I don’t know how you’ll pray. Maybe say, try to get used to this one Lord. I praise you that you have your wrath under control. I guess I like it that you can tap into this side of who you are when you need to and so on. You figure out what you’re going to say in prayer as you begin to assimilate this new picture of Jesus in Revelation 1.
Before I finish the topic of seals, I’d like to discuss another one that to me is vitally important. This seal is not found in the text of Revelation, but it is imperative that people understand it. I’m referring to the seal with which God marks all believers when they become His own.
In Ephesians 1.13 Paul writes about the topic of salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. The sign that someone belongs to God is this Holy Spirit living in that person. In fact, Romans 8.9 states, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. So, you always want to be one of those marked by this seal of the promised Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ, or the Holy Spirit, the terms are used interchangeably, is granted one at conversion. This is the seal by which the Lord makes us one of His own. So, it’s quite important that you’re confident this has taken place.
I’ve walked many people through this experience, so if you’re at all confused, I believe I can be of help. Let’s start by noting that all human beings have great worth. That’s because they’re made by God. We’re not here because of mere time and chance. I don’t fully understand the entire process of creation, but I believe that at a given point God breathed His Spirit into mankind, and we became fully alive, knowing close fellowship with our Maker. You’ve probably heard the term spiritual life and spiritual death. When God’s Spirit indwells a person, he or she is spiritually alive.
On the other hand, someone is spiritually dead when the Spirit of God has left that individual. So, one can be alive physically, but dead spiritually. That makes sense.
God’s intent was that everyone would love Him and love others while enjoying immensely this incredible world He made. It all sounds quite simplistic. But think for a moment what a different planet this would be if everyone just obeyed these two commands. Most of the world’s problems would quickly vanish if its inhabitants loved God and loved their neighbors.
One meaning of the word sin is to miss the mark. And from the beginning man has missed this mark established by God. Because of sin, human beings have fallen from our position of dignity, and we have made our world a place of great suffering and pain. All of us, in one way or another, have contributed to this problem. We are all sinners. What I’m sharing is compounded by the fact that God is holy. God and sin don’t go together. Ever have? Never will.
So when sin characterized human beings, the Spirit of God left them. The great depths of this fall can only be fully appreciated when we realize the high status that once was ours. Now, man was alive physically, but dead spiritually. And were it not for one marvelous truth, we would all be helplessly and hopelessly cut off forever from our maker.
Yet despite our sinfulness, God deeply loved us. Because of this divine concern, humans can be restored to their rightful high status. In the fullness of time, the Savior, a mankind, entered our world. His name was Jesus. Not only was he the Jewish Messiah, the Christ, he was the Son of God. Jesus taught us how to love. He said that everything could be summed up in two great commandments. Love God, love your neighbor. Who was one’s neighbor? Anyone in need. More than just talk, this is also what Jesus modeled by his life. He showed his concern for the needy by caring for them in numerous ways, all the while expecting nothing in return, and he never sinned or missed the mark. Not even once.
How amazing. Jesus’ love for God was also obvious. He spent a great deal of time conversing with his father in prayer, and then living in accord with God’s directives, even to the point of obediently submitting to a cruel death on the cross. Calvary was necessary because there our Lord took on himself the sins of the world and the death, they resulted in.
You see, this huge sin barrier had come between humans and a holy God. We were unable to remove it, but Jesus allowed himself to be separated from the Father by our sins and to die on our behalf. Remember how he cried out from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Fortunately, the Gospel account doesn’t end there. Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave, triumphant over death and sin in the devil. He broke through the blockage that earlier had come between us and God and was victoriously united once again with his Father. Now the way was clear for us to come to God through Christ, and ask not only that our sins be forgiven, but that the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit enter our lives. We aren’t complete without this. I believe we’ve all longed to be elevated to the position of worth we once knew through creation. We want to be made new creatures in Christ. What this requires of us is confession of our life of sin against God and man, of following the ways of the world and its false leader instead of those of heaven.
To one degree or another we have all contributed to the world’s pain. Everyone needs to ask for forgiveness and resolve to turn from the devil’s paths to those of the Lord’s. This is called repentance. The key request is that the Spirit of God once again enter our lives making us highly sensitive to being a Jesus follower from now on and forever.
I’ve often suggested to people that they make their conversion prayer while imagining themselves at the foot of the cross. I know Jesus is no longer on the cross. He’s risen. But I believe being mentally at this place enables us to better realize the great love Christ bore for us. I find it certainly helps people to return to this calvary scene that is so pivotal in the history of the world and thereafter should always be special to them personally as well.
There at the foot of the cross the sinner asks Jesus for his forgiveness and requests that the Holy Spirit or the spirit of Jesus enter his or her life and begin to teach the new way of love for God and for others.
Quick review about this prophetic passage of Revelation 6. What I’ve told you so far is that Revelation is a message of great importance. It’s from the risen and glorified Christ who is the beloved apostle John, not some unknown John, and it was initially for the early church. It’s also a prophetic message from the hand of God and I emphasized in this visit that it’s consistent with what Jesus taught earlier in the Gospels.
Quickly in closing, some of you with church backgrounds have almost been inoculated against this kind of presentation. Germans about the return of Jesus or prophecy in general were so your parents or grandparents’ generation. Some of those memories make you gag. It’s like you’re even considering dropping out of this series. Eight more sessions to go. Can I stand it? I also have some of those memories. But you know what? The great truth of us living daily with the awareness that the world doesn’t just go on forever and merrily on its way and aren’t we lucky to be living the good life in America. This teaching that we need to know the signs and always be on the watch made many in the generations before us better people in a whole lot of ways.
So in this current day of ours when events in our land and around the world prompt all kinds of anxious thoughts and conversations about that always elusive world peace and conflicting religions and major earthquakes and devastating famines and possible pandemics and global warming with peculiar new negative weather patterns. And yes, rising seas and oceans and untrustworthy national leaders in possible nuclear wars and all kinds of what ifs. I say it’s good to be reminded about a strong Jesus who can act powerfully and wisely and timely and true to his word and in the process kindly keep his followers informed with enough insight so that they can be reasonably in the know. I for one want to know what Jesus is about. And thank you Lord for all that you have already told us.
Outgo: You’ve been listening to the Before We Go podcast. If you enjoy this podcast please remember to rate, review, and share an Apple podcast or on whatever platform you listen. This podcast is copyright 2019 by Mainstay Ministries, Post Office Box 30, Wheaton, Illinois 60189.
Get a copy of David Mains’ The Remarkable Revelation – Sermon Series.
November 08, 2023
November 01, 2023
October 25, 2023