The following sermon is from this new series being downloaded in droves because of the state of our nation/world.
A Refreshing Interlude
Rev. 14:1-8a, 18:8-10
1870—Bishop Wright was told one day by a parishioner that one day man would fly like birds/he answered: Don’t say that - only God can prophesy, and He never said it will happen, and it won’t! 33 years later it was HIS SONS Orville and Wilbur, who flew for the first time!
We don’t know the future, only God can prophesy!
Things are winding down. The end is drawing near. Why do we need to talk about these things?
Ill.—man went on vacation to Switzerland/took walk in countryside/came upon a beautiful Swiss villa/exquisitely pruned, manicured/talked to man in yard/nice house!/not mine, just the caretaker…the owner lives in the states/how often does he come, sometimes years between visits!/well, you’ve got this place looking like as if he were coming tomorrow!/[w/ disgust on face: “today, sir!”]
That’s how we should be living!
What country do you think of when you think of historical Babylon? Iraq! It's true, but Iraq is NOT "Modern Babylon." The future "Babylon" is (figuratively) the one-world government [political Babylon] (Rev. 13:3-4), the one-world church, [ecclesiastical Babylon](13:11-15) and economic Babylon (13:16-18) under the Antichrist. But, trouble in Iraq over the years is significant since it is part of the ancient Persian Empire (split into Iraq and Iran by the British in the early 1900's).
Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible.
But coming in a close 2nd place is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers. The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed, Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. So is Egypt, Libya, and the entire mid east region. But Iraq is the heart of it all
Eden was in Iraq -- Genesis 2:10-14
Adam and Eve were created in Iraq--Genesis 2:7-8
Satan made his first recorded appearance in Iraq -- Genesis 3:1-6
Nimrod established Babylon and the Tower of Babel was built in Iraq --Genesis 10:8-9 and 11:1-4
The confusion of the languages took place in Iraq -- Genesis 11:5-11
Abraham came from a city in Iraq [Ur] -- Genesis 11:31 and Acts 7:2-4
Isaac's bride came from Iraq -- Genesis 24:3-4 and 10
Jacob Spent 20 years in Iraq -- Genesis 27:42-45 and 31:38
The first world Empire (Persian) was in Iraq -- Daniel 1:1-2 and 2:36-38
The greatest revival in history was in a city in Iraq (Nineveh, now Mosul, 3rd largest city in Iraq)--Jonah 3
The events of the book of Esther took place in Iraq --Esther
The book of Nahum was a prophecy against a city in Iraq
Heaven will be different for each of us…a different perspective for each of us…what was I saved from…what was HE saved from? (there will be levels of rewards in heaven as well as levels of punishment in hell!)
It says here in v. 3 the 144,000 sing a song unique to them…reason being their experience here on earth was unique!
We’ve just scratched the surface of understanding the glories of heaven!
v. 4-5 Here we have this beautiful picture painted of the 144k witnesses standing on Mt. Zion w/ Jesus, singing a new song!
And we’re told about it right here in ch. 14, smack dab in the middle of the tribulation period! Why in the world after the antichrist/false prophet?…it’s a refreshing interlude!
God’s Prophetic Calendar:
Rapture/7 yr. trib. As 7 yr. peace treaty signed w/ anti-christ/hell on earth (we don’t serve a half-baked God…yes, he’s a God of love, but also of wrath—“it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”)
Aren’t you glad the rapture precedes the tribulation?!
I Thess. 1:10—God’s people are saved from the wrath to come!
I Thess. 5:9—we are not appointed unto wrath!
The Tribulation will be a horrific time:
4 horsemen--widespread violence/war/famine/starvation/ make war on terror look like a baby shower/afraid to leave your home, if you have one/take a day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread!
7 trumpet judgments—1/3rd of all earth’s vegetation destroyed/1/3rd of marine life killed/1/3rd of salt water turned to blood/1/3rd of ocean-going vessels destroyed/1/3rd of freshwater poisoned/1/3rd of all sunlight diminished…these things result in economic chaos and ecological disaster!
Angel then sounded 3 woes:
An invasion from hell—demons turned loose on earth so vile and wicked they have been incarcerated since they fell from heaven/will torture mankind/sting like scorpions/and 1/4th of world’s population is now dead…
Next follows an invasion from the east: a 200 million man army/ one-third of remaining population now killed/evil hearts of mankind that’s left will be unrestrained/ the flower of wickedness will be in full bloom!
Then we meet up w/ the antichrist, and his sinister minister the false prophet, and it all goes downhill from there/the abomination of desolation/deception of those who remain/multitudes take mark of the beast and seal the fate of their soul forever…the rest of the story which will be told is even worse, beginning in ch. 15 the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out, the battle of Armageddon, the Great white throne judgment, the lake of fire!
But notice the refreshing interlude which takes place right here as we turn the page from ch. 13 to 14.
13:1—beast (antichrist/false worship)
14:1—Lamb! (Jesus Christ/true worship)
This is a refreshing interlude…these verses appear to be out of place, shouldn’t they be in the back of the book? The tribulation isn’t over until ch. 19 ends! So why are they placed here where they are?
Ill.—ever read a great mystery novel/get ½ way thru and can’t take the suspense? Who dunnit?/so you turn to the back of the book to find out!
That happens here…God knows we’re tense at this point, and need a break and encouragement…He lets us read the back of the book, and guess what: we win!
Did you know? Saddam Hussein of Iraq constructed a $1,000,000,000 palace on the site of ancient Babylon…
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
Saddam Hussein placed a plaque on the rebuilt Babylon Palace comparing himself with King Nebuchadnezzar of Ancient Babylon (Dan. 3, 4).
A refreshing interlude!
And in Rev. 14 in the midst of it all, we’re reminded that God Almighty is calling the shots, and He’s already won! Dictators dead! [executive orders] The regime of Satan and his unholy trinity may think they still have power, but they don’t! God is winding it all down.
Some practical application: If God can handle things during the tribulation, don’t you know He can handle the tribulation in your life right now?
The things in your life that are spinning out of control right now…turn them over to the Lord, He can handle it! Got people against you? God can handle them! Circumstances storming around you? Give it to the Peace Speaker, who handles the winds and waves like a whipped pup!
Prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes! Are you saved?
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