Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190008B
00:01 We left off in Revelation 7:1-3 with these four mighty angels
00:07 holding back the winds of strife.
00:09 And they are holding those winds for a very good reason.
00:13 We'll go ahead and continue with the text.
00:15 "Then I saw another angel ascending from the east,
00:19 having the seal of the living God."
00:22 We might come back to that if we have a chance.
00:24 "And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels
00:28 to whom it was granted to them to harm the earth and the sea,
00:32 saying, 'Do not harm the sea, or the earth, or the trees
00:37 till we have sealed the servants of our God in their forehead.'"
00:44 So this mighty angel cries out to those angels,
00:47 "Keep holding.
00:48 Keep holding till we have sealed,
00:52 till we have gotten God's people ready.
00:55 To answer that question, 'Who will be able to stand,'
00:58 till we've got them ready to be able to stand
01:01 for this mighty event of the coming of the Lord Jesus."
01:07 So they're holding back the winds of strife.
01:11 And the Bible pictures them holding back the winds of strife
01:14 while twelve thousand from each one of the
01:16 tribes of Israel are sealed.
01:19 Now some people have tried to maybe say,
01:21 "Oh, so this is real Israel."
01:23 No, no, wait a minute.
01:24 You have to go back to the seven churches,
01:26 and there you will see the church referred to
01:29 as the synagogue, and you'll find them
01:32 referred to as the Jews.
01:34 Sometimes they were impostors and say they were Jews,
01:37 but they're not Jews.
01:38 No, this is symbolic of the Christian church.
01:41 And the tribes of Israel, of course, had
01:43 all kinds of different characters.
01:46 And I think it's given to us from hope.
01:47 If you study the characters of those twelve tribes,
01:51 or those twelve sons of Jacob, if God can bring people
01:55 ready to meet Him out of that group,
01:57 there's hope for all of us.
01:59 And that's good news.
02:00 So in the midst of this, God is saying, "I'm going to have a
02:03 people ready to stand, and I can bring them out of
02:05 some pretty tough characters."
02:08 So the picture is 144,000.
02:10 Now some people think that maybe that's a symbolic number
02:15 or a real number.
02:16 I tend to think it's a symbolic number.
02:18 And the reason for that is because just a little while
02:20 later we see the 144,000, and it's called a number that
02:27 cannot be numbered, we see them in the kingdom of heaven.
02:30 We'll see that in just a little bit here.
02:32 The joy of a great multitude.
02:34 So there's, I think, a symbolic group.
02:37 And I believe it will be a large group from all over the earth.
02:40 Certainly not the majority.
02:42 But listen to me.
02:43 There are seven some billion, between seven and eight billion
02:48 people on the earth.
02:51 Even if one in ten were ready, that would be
02:53 seven hundred million people that heeded the message.
02:57 I don't know how many people will be ready for Jesus to come.
03:00 But I believe that the great gospel commission
03:03 is going to end, not in a whimper,
03:05 but in a mighty successful onslaught against the devil
03:10 and all the victims that he's been holding in his hand.
03:13 We're going to see the power of God do amazing things.
03:16 God is going to have a people who are ready to meet Him.
03:20 And they're going to get ready,
03:22 and heaven is going to rejoice over it.
03:24 So then we see this next picture in Revelation 7:9-10.
03:29 "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude
03:33 that no one could number..."
03:35 Still talking about the 144,000.
03:37 I think that's symbolic.
03:38 I don't have time to get into the symbolic numbers right now.
03:41 You can do that on your own.
03:43 "...of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues..."
03:45 From all over the earth they're going to come.
03:50 "...standing before the throne and the Lamb,
03:52 clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands..."
03:56 That's palm branches of victory.
03:57 Remember the seven churches and how it ends every time
04:01 a promise to the overcomers?
04:03 Well these are victorious people.
04:05 They've got palm branches in their hands.
04:07 "...and they're crying out with a loud voice, saying,
04:10 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne,
04:14 and to the Lamb!'"
04:15 In other words, the reason we've been able to come through this,
04:18 the reason we have salvation, is because of the Lamb of God
04:22 that's taking us through.
04:24 Then John has a conversation with one of the elders.
04:27 One of the elders comes up to John and says,
04:30 in chapter 7:13-14, he says to John,
04:35 "Who are these arrayed in white robes,
04:38 and where did they come from?"
04:41 He's just re-emphasizing the fact that this mighty
04:44 Jesus has been able to bring them through.
04:47 Who are they? Who are they?
04:49 And John says to him, "You know.
04:51 You know who they are."
04:53 And then the elder says to John, he says, "These are the ones
04:58 who've come out of great tribulation."
05:02 That's a sobering thought.
05:03 Because this great tribulation is coming on the world.
05:07 But I want to tell you that we have the incomparable Jesus,
05:10 the invincible Jesus, who's able to bring His people through.
05:14 You can be brought through.
05:16 Your Savior is not a weak Savior.
05:18 He's got power to help you overcome,
05:21 and to help me overcome.
05:23 We've got to quit concentrating and worrying about the
05:25 power of the devil and focus on the power
05:28 of the One who created the universe,
05:30 the One who went to Calvary's cross,
05:33 who lived a sinless life and was resurrected.
05:35 He has the power of salvation.
05:39 And all of them are rejoicing in Jesus
05:42 and what's He's been able to do for them.
05:45 Then he goes on to say this:
05:47 They not only come out of great tribulation,
05:49 but then he says something, and this is emphasized.
05:52 It's emphasized with the bride of Christ in chapter 19,
05:55 it's emphasized with this symbolic, I believe, 144,000,
05:59 that says, "...they've washed their robes and made them
06:04 white in the blood of the Lamb."
06:06 Notice again, they wash their robes.
06:10 They wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
06:17 Why do they wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb?
06:20 And what does it mean when it says they do the washing?
06:26 What does it mean?
06:27 Scripture is pretty clear on that.
06:29 So we have to answer that question.
06:31 First of all, they come out of great tribulation,
06:33 great chaos, great trouble.
06:36 And with it comes great temptations and great pressures.
06:40 The mark of the beast is not going to be
06:41 an easy thing to come through in the end of time.
06:44 It's going to be a very difficult thing.
06:46 But those who wash their robes are in contrast
06:49 to those who cry for the rocks and the mountains
06:52 to fall on them.
06:54 When people wash their clothes, why do they wash their clothes?
07:00 They wash their clothes because they're
07:01 getting ready for some event.
07:02 They want to look good.
07:04 They want to be ready for the event.
07:06 They don't want to be like the man in the parable
07:08 of Jesus who showed up without a wedding garment.
07:11 He wasn't ready for the event.
07:14 So these people who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb,
07:20 they're getting ready for Jesus to come.
07:24 And this washing is helping them to be ready
07:27 to stand through this time when probation closes.
07:32 I want to say that, yes, the blood of the Lamb
07:35 cleanses us from sin, but it also does something else.
07:40 It not only forgives our sins, now listen to me carefully,
07:44 it delivers us from the power of sin.
07:50 The power of sin is broken in our life
07:53 when the love of sin is broken.
07:56 And when you love this incomparable Jesus enough,
08:01 sin will not have power in your life.
08:05 Now we are all, of course, sinners.
08:07 We all have a carnal nature.
08:08 We've all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
08:11 And heaven knows that we're not perfect,
08:13 but Jesus said to be perfect, even as your Father
08:15 in heaven is perfect.
08:17 And as I mentioned in one of the other presentations,
08:22 Jesus made that clear that we need to learn
08:24 to be like our heavenly Father, to love like He loves.
08:28 Because He loves everybody.
08:30 I don't have time to go into that, but I want to come back
08:32 to this, the blood of the Lamb here.
08:34 He delivers us from sin.
08:36 You know, if you die in Christ right now,
08:39 you'll be sealed.
08:41 Isn't that right?
08:42 If you die in Christ, you're sealed.
08:44 You can't be tempted anymore. The devil can't get to you.
08:46 Your old carnal nature is going to be left in the grave
08:48 on the morning of the resurrection.
08:50 So everybody that dies in Christ right now,
08:52 they're sealed.
08:54 They're ready for the coming of Jesus.
08:56 But when you come to the close of probation,
08:58 something different happens.
09:02 Because everybody has made up their mind.
09:04 Nobody else wants any forgiveness.
09:06 Then Jesus changes His role in heaven.
09:09 Those who love Him, they have made up their mind.
09:12 They're not changing, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
09:15 And so Jesus takes off His intercessory robes
09:19 and He puts on His kingly judgmental robes, if you please.
09:23 Because He's coming back in judgment.
09:26 And so, if somebody sins between the close of probation...
09:29 People ask this. They ask it very seriously.
09:31 I had some young people not long ago ask me,
09:33 "What happens if we sin during that time
09:36 between the close of probation,
09:38 and there's no forgiveness in heaven?
09:40 What will happen?"
09:42 Well here's the good news.
09:44 The good news, if you come up to that time and you're ready,
09:48 by the power of the Holy Spirit you're not going to sin.
09:51 Because you're going to be kept by the power of the Holy Spirit.
09:54 And that's the good news.
09:55 But let's take a look at this just a little bit more.
09:58 If a person dies, as I just mentioned, they're not subject.
10:02 But if you come to the close of probation,
10:04 then you're still alive.
10:07 And Jesus has changed His role in heaven.
10:10 You're still alive.
10:12 So you're still subject to temptation.
10:14 The carnal nature is still there, it hasn't gone away.
10:17 Because you don't have that new body yet.
10:19 The devil and his evil angels, they're still active.
10:21 It's still a selfish world.
10:23 The mark of the beast and all of its deceptions,
10:25 Jesus said if it were possible, it would deceive the very elect,
10:27 all of that stuff is swirling around you.
10:30 How are you going to make it, so to speak?
10:35 Well the good news is we have this wonderful, wonderful Jesus.
10:39 And He is able.
10:41 Because the saints that are going to be ready
10:43 have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
10:46 What does it mean to wash your robe in the blood of the Lamb?
10:50 Well let me just tell you this.
10:52 And I want to say this again just in case somebody forgets.
10:54 Jesus has earned our salvation.
10:56 It's not about us earning our salvation.
10:58 This is about getting ready for Jesus coming in glory.
11:02 What are our robes?
11:03 Our robes are our characters.
11:05 And our character is made up of our actions.
11:08 And our actions are made up of our choices.
11:12 So when the sealing time comes, what Jesus is doing,
11:15 He's saying, "I want you to be so close to Me
11:18 that all your choices will be My choices,
11:22 and that your character is going to be transformed
11:26 because I'm going to be in charge of your character."
11:30 Now the blood of Jesus was unselfishly
11:34 shed for all of us.
11:36 And in the unselfish blood of Jesus...
11:39 And the Bible says the life is in the blood.
11:42 In the unselfish blood of Jesus we are going to wash our robes.
11:48 We not only find forgiveness, but we find power for obedience.
11:52 In the unselfish blood of Jesus we are empowered
11:57 to wash our selfish thinking into unselfish thinking.
12:02 We're empowered to wash our selfish deeds
12:06 into unselfish deeds.
12:08 We're empowered to wash our lawless living
12:12 into lawful living and come into harmony with the universe.
12:18 We are empowered by the blood of Christ
12:21 to wash ourselves so that our feebleness
12:24 become strong and vigorous, our faulty characters
12:28 become like the character of Jesus.
12:31 All of this is an exercise of faith.
12:35 Faith drives our behavior.
12:37 I tell some people sometimes, I say, "Listen,
12:41 everything you do is because you trust in someone or something."
12:45 Our faith in Christ must become so powerful
12:49 that there are no gaps in our faith,
12:51 that there's no stopping of becoming
12:55 like our wonderful Jesus.
12:57 I want to tell you that getting ready means living by faith now.
13:04 Living by faith in Jesus, having this union with Jesus.
13:08 We have to have a faith in Jesus,
13:10 a faith that has no interspersion,
13:13 that's continually strong and constant.
13:17 We can have this invincible faith in Jesus
13:21 because He will come in answer to our prayer
13:24 to develop a character like Him and be ready for Jesus to come.