Sanctuary Waymarks in Revelation

Date: 04/03/2021 
Sanctuary Waymarks in Revelation
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Preacher: It is a blessing to be here. We've been blessed having all these meetings on the sanctuary and now we're doing sanctuary waymarks in the book of Revelation. That's what I thought we would do is I brought my glasses so I can see. So, we're going to move right into our Bibles. If you have a Bible with you that is fantastic, or if you have your Bible on your computer, that's good too. I mean, on your phone, that's good too. We're going to open up to Revelation Chapter 1 and we're going to move through the word of God systematically and hopefully in a way that will help us to understand this book of Revelation, perhaps in a different way than we have before. We know we've been told that in the book of Revelation, all the books of the Bible meet and end.

I can't think hardly of a book, I'm sure there might be a couple, but I can't think hardly of a book in the Bible that does not have some kind of sanctuary imagery or sanctuary language connected to it. So obviously, if the Book of Revelation is bringing together all the books of the Bible, we should expect that the sanctuary should be in the Book of Revelation, and we know it's there. It's all through the Book of Revelation, but we want to discover it in a different way. I think that the Book of Revelation can actually identify through the sanctuary symbolism where we are in history. I'm talking specifically about pre-1844 and post 1844 by the language, the sanctuary language that is used.

Now, we have some struggles, some difficulties, some challenges in the Book of Revelation at times, understanding whether this particular prophecy, the trumpets or the seals, et cetera, is preterism or futurism. We are of course historicists and then we've got idealism. We've got the four different ways of approaching the Book of Revelation. At times, even us as Adventists, I know my wife still really appreciates my futuristic interpretation of the seven trumpets that I had over 35 years ago. To some degree, we struggle with some of the symbolism in Revelation, trying to identify ourselves in Historicism. In other words, we understand that we have moved through most of Revelation. We are in the very end of those sections of the Church Seals, Trump, and trumpets, and even the seven vials of the seven last plagues. I think the sanctuary can help us to understand exactly where we are, what is past, what is present, and what is yet to come.

As we take our journey now, I want you to think about that as we process this. Think about that in relationship to history. As history plays out, prophetic history plays out.

Okay we're Revelation Chapter 1, and let's just begin here with the word of prayer. I hope you don't mind me praying again as we ask God to be with us. Father in heaven, I just want to thank you again for this opportunity that we have to enter into your sanctuary, to the symbolism and the plan of salvation that you have given to us in your word. I want to pray right now that your Holy Spirit will be here with us, that you will guide us as we step into the sanctuary in the Book of Revelation and the symbolism that is there. It's challenging for us; this book is challenging for us. For every Christian, this book offers challenges of understanding of interpretation. But Father, tonight we're asking that you'll guide us in an understanding of where we are in sanctuary language, where we are in prophetic history, in the sanctuary language of the sanctuary symbolism guide our steps, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

All right, Revelation Chapter 1 is where we begin our sanctuary language. It's right here in the very first chapter. John is in the Spirit on the Lord's day. What day is that?

Congregation: [Inaudible]

Preacher: The Sabbath. So, you can't really believe the interpretations of some of the modern Bibles, including the message Bible, which tells us that this is Sunday. I was in the Spirit on Sunday. That's what the message Bible said. I actually used to use the message Bible every once in a while. Now it sits on my heresy shelf. It's a good shelf to have because you can have books that you know maybe aren't 100%. You can put them there and reference to them for comparison. There are eight translations of the New Testament that translate Revelation 1:10 as Sunday or the first day of the week, eight translations. Every one of those translations was printed post the year 2000. There is an agenda that we're moving toward. You go and look at calendars in Europe and they begin with Monday, and they end with Sunday being the seventh day of the week. There is an agenda, you need to be aware of that. I encourage people, be aware of Bible translations and have a good old-fashioned King James in your library. Just have it there. It's good to have because it's a great reference Bible. If you can't read it and understand it. It's a great reference Bible. Okay, "I was in spirit on the Lord's day," he says, "and I heard behind me a great voice of a trumpet saying, I am alpha in the omega, the first and the last, what thou seest, write in a book,"

Verse 11, "And send it to the seven churches, which are in Asia, and Ephesus and Smyrna, and Pergamum, and Thyatira, and Sardis, and Philadelphia and Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me and being turned, I saw," what did he see? "Seven golden candlesticks." You see there's the sanctuary language and where are the seven golden candlesticks? In the sanctuary, where are they? Are they in the courtyard? Are they in the holy place or are they in the most holy place?

Congregation: Holy place.

Preacher: They're in the holy place. They're in the holy place. So right here, the Book of Revelation is identifying where we are in history. Jesus Christ began his ministry. After his ascension, he began his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, in the holy place. So, we know right here in Revelation Chapter 1, we are pre-1844 because it wasn't until 1844 that he moved into the most holy place. So, we know we're pre-1844. Are we good with that? This is an identifying way, mark of where we are in time. "And I saw the seven golden candlesticks. "And in the midst," Verse 13 "of the seven golden candlesticks, one like the son of man clothed with the garment down to the foot, gird about the paps with the golden girdle." You love that King James language, don't you? What's that all talking about? Well, check it out. Go to your strong concordance. Look up the Greek words, do a little bit of study, a little bit of digging.

It says here, Verse 14, "And his hair were white as wool, as white as snow. And his eyes like the flame of fire." You know, our family loves to go camping. Okay. I love to go camping and my family likes to come along for a little bit of it. The thing that I love to do when I go camping is I like to sit in front of a fire in the evening, especially if there's water out there, the water, the lakes, they just become like glass in the evenings, in the mornings. There's nothing like a, an outdoor fire. You just chop up that wood and you get that fire going and the coals start burning. I can just sit there and I can just look into that fire and those coals and I can just look in there for hours. I can just sit there looking at that fire. It's mesmerizing. It's so attractive. It's so calming, it's so peaceful. His eyes were like fire, they drew. When you sit in front of that fire, you feel warmth, you feel cozy, you feel just like you could just settle there. When you look into the eyes of Jesus, you're attracted, you feel warm, you feel settled. You could just stare into his eyes forever. That's what John is saying here.

Now, we know, this is also sanctuary language. We know that the eyes of fire would remind us of the Shekinah glory. We know that the linen that he's wearing would remind us of the wall around the sanctuary and the hair. Like, whoa, that would remind us of the cloud that settled over the sanctuary in the most holy place. When we look at, for example, the candlesticks they're there, and then we also see his feeders like burnished brass, and of course that was the brazen altar. Everything in the sanctuary symbolizes or represents Christ, his ministry and who he is and what he does. That's why in Revelation 21, it says, we don't need any more sanctuary. The Lord God, the Father and the Son, they are the sanctuary. Because all that points to them. These articles of furniture symbolize or represent who Christ is. He's the light of life. He's the bread of life. He's the sweet incense and merit. He is everything. All of it is Him in a very real sense.

So, Jesus comes to John on the Isle of Patmos, in that lonely, desolate place. In your loneliness, in your desolation, when you feel abandoned, when you feel separated, when you feel alone and by yourself, Jesus comes to you and his eyes are like a flame of fire. They're warm, they're inviting. He speaks to us individually and personally. He is the word and these words that are written, these promises that are written, those pomegranate bombs that are there, right? They speak to us. They minister to us. They heal us. They're bombs for us, and they were a bomb for John on the island of Patmos, on his prison island, basically. Alcatraz, so to speak, right? There he was by himself and Jesus came to him on the Sabbath day. I loved what Don shared about three full weeks. I never thought of that. Three full weeks, a full week. That means the seventh day, it was on the Sabbath day. Again, Revelation on the Sabbath day. His feet were like fine brasses, if they burned in a furnace and his voice as the sound of many waters

You ever listened to the waters just flowing by, the creeks, the rivers, and you just listen and just can put you to sleep. Well, we used to live, we could hear the creek, the down below us, the river down below us at night. The sound would just drift up into our windows as we had them open at night. You to get that fresh air. That sound was just mesmerized, beautiful, just putting me to sleep. This is the sound, this is the appearance. Christ is being pictured here in a way that is attractive. Christ is attractive, and he draws us to him. John here falls down at his feet is dead and he lays his right hand upon him. Jesus does. Saying, fear not. I'm the first and last, I'm him that lives and was dead and behold, I'm alive forevermore, and I have the keys of hell and of death. This is the first message that God communicates to John in the context of the Book of Revelation.

Many times, as Seventh Day Adventist, we give revelation seminars, right? We do evangelism in the Book of Revelation. I remember my first revelation seminar in Maine. I was in a community that was strongly Catholic. As I was becoming an Adventist, one of my mentors, one of the guys that I really looked up to was a guy by the name of Joe Cruz. I don't know if you're familiar with that name, but he was a man. We spent some time together and I had all of his little Bible studies. I still have them. I had all those Bible studies and I was going to England to minister to my mom, to witness to my mom, to get my mom to become an Adventist. I took my Bible, not this one, but the other one I have that's a little bit bigger and heavier than this, but it's the same Bible and I marked in the margins all of those Bible studies on that plane trip over at England, had them all in there on the stay of the dead and the Sabbath and Sunday, those studies, they're just amazing studies ready to do battle, had my sword sharp. I got off that plane and my mom said to me, "I know what you think about our church. You think we're the," and I said, "That's right." We went at it.

Finally, the Holy Spirit said to me, James, stop talking and start living, start doing. I said, what do you want me to do? He said, go out in the garden and start pulling weeds and just show your mom in your actions and stop saying all these words that are just feeding this flame of fire and this antagonism between you. I love that pomegranate fruit, that we want to hear the priest. We want to hear the preach. We want the bells, but we also want the fruit. The fruit has to be there too. When we look at this picture, this beautiful picture that John has seen here in Revelation Chapter 1, we realized that many times as Adventists, we skip past Christ and we get right into the antichrist. That was Joe Cruise's method. Third night, antichrist. That church was full the first night that church was full the second night, and that church was full the third night when I shared the Antichrist and the fourth night it was half empty. Why? Because I had jumped right into Revelation Chapter 13. I'd skipped Revelation Chapter 1, Revelation Chapter 2, Revelation Chapter 3, Revelation Chapter 4. I hadn't built any kind of pattern that is outlined here in the Book of Revelation, in that evangelistic series.

I remember one of the things Joe Cruz told me. We asked him a question. We said, would you do anything different in your ministry? If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different? He said, one thing I would change. He said, I would preach more of Christ. More of Christ. So, I decided some years ago, actually it was in the '90s when I went to Pakistan, I decided I'm going to preach the book of Revelation, starting in Revelation Chapter 1. I'm going to do an evangelistic series, starting in Revelation Chapter 1. I'm going to introduce people to Jesus first. Just like he introduced himself to John on the Island of Patmos. If Jesus wanted us to do Revelation 13 and the Antichrist on the third night, he would've put it in Revelation Chapter 3, right? But Revelation Chapter 3 is the Laodicea Church. Hello

Revelation Chapter 1. Why? Because it introduces people to Jesus. You know, even Adventists are afraid of the Book of Revelation. When I was in Pakistan, a young Adventist was interpreting the meanings. He told me that when he started studying the Book of Revelation, his pastor and his dad, who was a head elder, came to him and said, "Don't study the Book of Revelation because If you study the book of Revelation, scary beasts will come to take you at night." I said, "No, they didn't tell you that." He said, "Yeah, they told me that." People are scared of the book of Revelation. God today has, I think, given us an insight to sharing this book with the world.

If you just do a little research on the book of Revelation, just do a YouTube search or whatever, most of the videos you're going to find are doom and gloom videos, apocalypse and bombs and scary figures and features, et cetera. When we went to Pakistan and we started sharing the book of Revelation with a Christ-centered approach, introducing people to Jesus, the doors just opened up. Literally hundreds and thousands of people, about hundreds of pastors wanted to hear more about the Book of Revelation. There was a Pentecostal pastor there in Ezekiel Zaro. He asked me to come to his church and share with his pastors, hundreds of pastors about the Book of Revelation, and asked him, "Why?" He said, "Because I've never heard the Book of Revelation with Christ at the center, Jesus Christ at the center."

You know what, the words of that old hymn, anywhere with Jesus, I can safely go anywhere, anywhere, fear, I cannot know. There's a lot of fear in the Book of Revelation. But if we can open up the Book of Revelation to Jesus, because after all, it is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It's not the revelation of the antichrist or the revelation of the seven last plagues. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. If we can introduce people to Jesus first, and their hearts can be won by his love, we can go anywhere with them, because Anywhere with Jesus, I can safely go. We can take them anywhere. Jesus wants us to take people into the Book of Revelation with his presence there, so that they can get through the crisis of the mark of the beast and the seven last plagues, and he can get us safely into the kingdom of God.

So, revelation opens up with Christ. That's who we see first. You want to witness, you want to do evangelism, follow the outline of Revelation. What does Revelation outline tell us to do in evangelism? Witnessing, introduce people to Christ first before you get to any doctrines. Introduce people to Christ. In fact, you won't even find the 10 Commandments until you get to Revelation Chapter 12. That's halfway through the book. But the reason for that is, is because when Jesus is introduced first and people's hearts are one, and they fall in love with Jesus, you know what they're going to do when they come to the commandments? The same thing that I did. If you love me, keep my commandments. They're going to want to keep the commandments because they've fallen in love with Jesus, not because they're afraid of the antichrist, and they're afraid of getting the mark of the beast. No, because they've fallen in love with Jesus. That's the point of the book of Revelation. So, the churches open up with this picture of Jesus among the candlesticks in.

Revelation Chapter 1, Verses 19 and 20, Jesus pictures himself having the seven stars in his right hand. The keys must be in his left hand. The seven stars are in his right hand. And those seven stars represent the leaders, the pastors, if you will, the angels of the seven churches. In other words, Jesus is pictured among the candlesticks or the churches with the leadership in his hands. Do you believe that? Do you believe that today? Do you believe that Jesus is still in charge? Do you believe that Jesus still has the leadership of God's churches in his hands?

Congregation: Yeah.

Preacher: He's pictured there among all seven of the churches, not just one or two. There’re a couple churches there, they're doing pretty good. Smyrna doesn't have anything against it. Philadelphia brotherly love, there's other churches that are, ah, they've got some problems. There's one church that's so bad that it makes Jesus want to throw up. That's us by the way, but Jesus doesn't say, listen, I'm going to be hanging out with the Smyrnites and the Philadelphia Nites.[?] When the rest of you get together, especially Laodiceans, when you guys get your act together, you come join me. Jesus pictures himself with all of the churches. He's in the midst of all of the churches because he knows and we should know that the only way that we can get things right is through Jesus. He's the only way. We can't get ourselves straightened up and then come to Jesus. We have to come to him just the way we are. We come as we are, and he straightens us up and he straightens us up. He does straighten us up, right? We don't just come as we are and stay as we are. Who wants to stay as you are? Don't we want to be healed? Don't we want to be helped? Don't we want to be transformed?

Revelation Chapter 4 opens up with the seven seals, is the sanctuary in the seven seals? Are the seven seals as they open up, are they in the post 1844 timeframe or the pre-1844 timeframe? The reason I ask that question is because they're Adventists who believe that the seven seals and the seal book here is a representation of the investigative judgment. But I think you're going to find from the sanctuary furniture that we are still pre-1844, John sees a door opened up in heaven, Revelation Chapter 4, Verse 1, and immediately he's in the spirit. Behold, a throne was set and one sat on the throne. I love this picture because there's a great controversy over the throne of God, and John sees it set, it's established.

The controversy in a sense is over, at least in heaven. That's what we're told later on in Revelation Chapter 12. He said he saw, Verse 3, "And he that sat was to look upon as a jasper and a sardine stone. And there was a rainbow about the throne in sight like unto an emerald." Do you know what a rainbow represents? It represents the combined aspects, elements of justice and mercy. In order to have a rainbow, you have to have sunshine and rain. Two opposites that come together and they form this rainbow. Justice and mercy, two seemingly opposites that come together and they form this rainbow that establishes God as a God of love. People say, well, God is loving. Well, God is loving means God is just as well as merciful. God is merciful as well as just, and they're combined together. So, God's justice and mercy is set now in heaven. His thrown as established. The questions have been answered. You say, well, how have they been answered? Well, we will get to that in just a second.

John says, "But as I kept looking, I saw roundabout the throne, 24 seats, and upon the seats, I saw 24 elders sitting." Elders in heaven. How did they get there? There's never been elders in heaven up to this point. We know that because if you go back just a little way, and you look at other visions of heaven, like the vision in Daniel Chapter 7, or you see the vision in, in Isaiah Chapter 6, or in Ezekiel Chapter 1, you have the same basic picture of the Lord and the seraphim, the angels. But you never see elders. Elders aren't there. Elders don't appear in the throne room of God until we get to Revelation Chapters 4 and 5 and then we have these 24 elders. You have to ask the question where they came from, because you know, the word elder is only ever used in the Bible for a human being. That's the only designation. Of course, when we read and study the Book of Revelation, we always go back to the Bible to find out what the words mean, how they're used in the Bible.

These elders are there and this throne is established and God's justice and mercy, the questions have been answered, but we don't know how yet. All we know is that they're there and there's lightnings and voices and thunders, and there's seven spirits. The seven spirits of God are before the throne. Of course, when we look at the seven spirits of God, we recognize the candlestick because again, the furniture is a symbol of God himself. The temple is a symbol of representation of who we worship. Men naturally tend to want to worship the building. We are in awe because of the building. We can be in awe. I was raised in a Catholic church and you walk into the church where I used to go as an altar.

You walk in there and there's a laver as you first walk in, a literal laver, where you dip your hand, and you do the, and then you go through to the congregation where they sit. Then you've got a little gate right there between the congregation and where I as an altar boy and the priest would go, and that's the courtyard. That gate separates the courtyard from the holy place. I had my robe and I had my little bell that I would ring as the priest would go back to this veil, which represents the most holy place. He would open up and he would take out the host. Of course, as the priest walks up and I walk up behind him, I've got the candle and he's got the incense and he's swinging the incense back and forth. It's a complete counterfeit system. I remember when I first went to England and I was talking to my mother about the fact that I was no longer Roman Catholic, not just Catholic. My mom said, "We're not just Catholic, we're Roman Catholic."

She called the priest over and priest Matthew came over to convince me. The first thing he asked me is, "How are you going to get forgiveness for sins if you don't come to mass?" I was brand new, I'd just gone through all of Joe Cruz's little Bible studies and I'd put a bunch of stuff in there, but I couldn't remember what the verses were. But the Holy Spirit brought the verse to me. First Timothy Chapter 1, Verse 5, there's one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. That's what I said to him.

Male Congregant: Amen.

He didn't know what to say. My mom was [indiscernible] up in the window and she yelled out, "You're not doing a very good job of persuading him." He yelled back up, "Well, if you think you can do a better job." They started arguing and I just left. I was so nervous. Brand New Adventist. That was 1985, March of 1985. God promises that the power is in his word, if we will put the words in our hearts and in our minds. He's directing us to this heavenly sanctuary that's been made right. It's been cleansed, it's been recovered. The truth has been recovered. We're going to see that in such a powerful way here as we move through this. We see Revelation Chapter 4; all of these elements are here. We're not sure yet how they start to praise God. They start to worship God.

Then we get to Chapter 5 and we get some answers. "I saw on the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written on the backside, and on the inside. And it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the book and to lose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven and no man in earth, and no man under the earth was able to open it or look there on." Our salvation is in this book. This book contains the history of nations and individuals. Everything that's ever been recorded on planet Earth is in this book and it is sealed. No man can change our destiny, which is death, all of sin, and come short of the glory of God. And the wage of sin is death. So, John weeps, he weeps much because no man in heaven, not Enoch or Elijah, no man on earth, not Pope or President, no man under the Earth, not Daniel, no matter how blameless they may have been, can alter our destiny with death. As he's weeping much an elder comes to him.

Ellen White calls this elder that comes to him, an angel. An elder, an angel. In the Bible, elders are humans and in the book of Revelation, angels are humans. There's an angel that flies in the midst of heaven. In Revelation Chapter 14, bringing the everlasting gospel to all the world, there are seven angels in the right hand of him that's standing among the candlesticks. Jesus says, you will be like the angels and we are to be like the angels right now, messengers. I can't imagine what it would feel like to be part of that multitude that were resurrected with Christ and went to heaven with Christ and now get to, along with Moses and Elijah and Enoch actually minister to God's people. Can you imagine how Moses and Elijah felt when they got to go down on that mount and minister to Christ? Moses, he gets to encourage Jesus in this moment of glory. Elijah, the one who turned tail and ran when Jezebel threatened his life.

You see, it's really important for us to remember the failures of God's people who are now in heaven and or who are going to be there like Nebuchadnezzar and Samson. I didn't even believe Samson was going to make it until I read his name in Hebrews 11, thinking, what kind of God is this? Praise the Lord. You can be there. That's what the Bible says. That's what Jesus says. You are savable. There is nothing impossible with God. Nothing impossible with God. This elder comes to John and he says, John, don't weep. Do not weep. Behold the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, he has prevailed. He's prevailed where you failed. He's prevailed where we failed. That word prevailed means to overcome. It's the same word that's used over and over again to the seven churches he has overcome. Where you failed to overcome he has overcome, spotless, sinless, holy, righteous, because that's what you have to have to stand before the law of God. You have to have a spotless, sinless, righteous character without one blemish in it. Daniel didn't even have that. Only Jesus, only Jesus is the one who can stand in front of that law without blemish and we stand behind him with his righteousness. Because we have his righteousness, we live for him.

I love that presentation where it talked about the white linen robe and then the blue on top. The righteousness of Christ leads to obedience. The white righteousness of Jesus Christ leads us to keep God's law. The more of Christ's righteousness you have, the more you trust in the Christians of Christ, the more you see your wretchedness and realize how his righteousness alone saves you, the more obedient you're going to be. Look at Simon and Mary, example number one, Simon didn't realize how unrighteous he really was. Mary was called a sinner in that public supper and she didn't discount it. She didn't argue with it. Her life was filled with forgiveness because she had been forgiven much and that forgiveness was manifested in works. "Weep, not behold, the lion of the tribe...", and so John's looking for this lion. What does he see in Verse 6? In the midst of the throne, in the midst of the four Bs, in the midst of the elders stood a?

Congregation: [Inaudible]

Preacher: Is that sanctuary language?

Congregation: [Inaudible]

Preacher: That's sanctuary language. Isn't it? The lamb as it had been slain. This is the first interdiction in the book of Revelation to the Lamb, the symbol of the lamb. This introduction tells us what this lamb represents. This lamb represents number one, Jesus and it represents Jesus as he had been slain. So that means this lamb, as it had been slain, represents Calvary. It represents the cross, right? Are you with me? It's Jesus the Lamb, as he had been slain. Where was he slain? on the cross. So, what that tells us is that before we get to Revelation 13 and the beast and the mark of the beast, and even the dragon, the dragon's not even mentioned yet. Before we get to any of that, we get to Calvary. Are you with me? We get to Calvary. The sanctuary. Symbolism tells us that Jesus comes first. The lamb comes first.

As we get to Calvary, we're introduced to the reason why there are 24 elders. Because he goes on to say right here, it says, he saw this lamb and it says, and he, Ït was in the midst of the elders, in the midst of the lamb having been slain with seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth." Verse 7. "And he came", that's the lamb. "As he had been slain", Jesus, "he came and he took the book out of the right hand of him that sits on the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and the 24 elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints. And they verse nine, and they sung a new song saying, thou art worthy to take the book, to open the seals thereof for thou was slain." And has what? "redeemed us."

You've redeemed us out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. So, there's the answer how the elders got there. They were redeemed from the earth out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. There they are thrones, which is what Jesus promised to those who overcome in Revelation Chapter 3. They've got the white robes that were promised to the church in Sardis, and they've got the crowns that were promised to another church. I can't remember which one, but if you look in the seven churches, you'll find it. They've got everything that's promised to the churches, they've been redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

Then it says, after we have a praise time that interrupts our prophecy seminar. Have you ever noticed that in the book of Revelation? You're moving right along in the Book of Revelation, you're studying all these prophecies and all of a sudden there's this praise time. It's like, let me sit down right here. Dawn did it, didn't he with his wife? They came up and they started singing this song right in the middle. I'm go, okay, okay, okay. This is interesting. It's biblical. It's in the book of Revelation. Sit down and listen as all of heaven and all of earth and every creature under the earth, praise God. Because we are just a little bit too animated, a little bit too dead, a little bit too funeral parlorly[?] today. We are.

Some people say, well, you know, that's the Anglo church and that's the way it is. You know, if you go with some of our brothers and sisters in our black churches, they're going to be a little bit more animated. I don't care about that. This is not cultural. This is biblical.

Congregation: Yes.

Preacher: We're either biblical or we're not biblical. Don't tell me it's a cultural thing when we're in the Bible, the Bible tells us we should praise God. In the Old Testament, when the words of God were written, the command was given to say, praise God and say amen. They were commanded. You know what, if you study this, study this carefully in the writings of Ellen White, praising God when his word is spoken, praising God. Amen. Hearty amens is one of the most powerful ways to do evangelism in a church. I know, because I've been evangelist for years and I'll come to church, I'll be doing evangelistic series and the series goes on and finally we get to that place, you know, where it's the Sabbath and we're going to talk about the Sabbath and we talk about the Sabbath and we invite people to come and they're like, they're so excited about all the things they've been learning. They just like, oh, and so they come to church and they come to worship with the saints and they come and then the next night, that night they come and they say, oh, you were there at Sabbath? So good to see you. Yeah, I've really been appreciating this evangelic series and I really loved everything that's been shared. But your church, I don't know if I can do that. It's just dead. There's no life in your church. Well, there's life in heaven.

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: It stops right here. Revelation 5 stops. We don't get to open. I'm sure John is eager to see the seals open. He wants to get to Revelation 6, but there's a whole praise session before we get there. It happens over and over again. It happened in Revelation 4, it happens in Revelation 5, it happens in Revelation 7. It happens over and over and over again in the book of Revelation. It is reminding us of how important it's to praise God. When God's people went out to battle in the Old Testament, they sang, when Moses came through the Red Sea, he sang, when we get on the sea of glass, mingle with fire, we're going to sing.

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: We're going to praise God. Sometimes we're in church and someone says Amen. Everyone turns around like. Like that's unusual or something. No, we need to be animated. Because what happens is when you sit there and you do not respond to God's word, that word does not have power on you. It's just something the preacher said. But when you respond, you say, yes, I agree with that. Yes, I agree with that. I've been sitting in the back room and I've been listening to these sermons and I've been saying amen all the way through because I'm saying I agree with that. I agree with that. Now the pastor, you can't hear me. But now that I'm saying that, they know that I was doing it. But it's not about encouraging the pastor necessarily. It's about praising God. We're here to worship God. God is the one that's receiving this praise. His word is beautiful.

Male Congregant: Amen.

Preacher: The plan of salvation is so beautiful. Then he goes on here in Revelation Chapter 6, we got to move fast now. Revelation 6:1, "And I saw when the lamb opened one of the seals." He opened one of the seals. See, the lamb is Calvary, it's the cross. It's the whole picture of our redemption. Only that picture, only that cross, only Calvary can open the mysteries that are sealed to our understanding. The cross has to stand behind. Every mystery, every truth, every prophetic utterance of the word of God has to be seen in the light of Calvary. We need Calvary to interpret everything and it will, the cross of Christ will interpret everything. That's what Revelation Chapter 6 tells us. Verse 1.

Then Revelation Chapter 6, Verse 10 talks about those who are under the altar. Verse 9. "And when I had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar," what altar is that? "under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held." Now in the book of Revelation, there are two altars mentioned. There's the altar in the courtyard. We're getting to that Revelation 8, and then there's the golden altar. And usually when the golden altar is mentioned, it's identified as the golden altar. So, if it's not identified as the golden altar, we can pretty safely assume that it's the brazen altar.

The reason why these souls are slain under the altar is because they are slain for Jesus. They're slain because they've accepted Calvary. They're slain because they've accepted the cross. They're slain on the altar because they're there with Christ. I'm crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live yet [inaudible] Christ lives in me. They're not just slain physically, they're also slain spiritually. They're dead to self and they're living for Christ. But these are martyrs specifically. They're crying out how long and it's their blood that cries out just like Abel's blood cried out. It says here, as you look at this, it says, "White robes," Verse 11, "were given to every one of them. And it was said unto them, they should rest yet for a little season until their fellow servants and their brethren that should be killed as they were should be fulfilled." This is the first intimation we have of the judgment, the judgment for the dead being taken care of and white robes given to all those who have died in Christ.

Then we move to Revelation Chapter 7. Revelation Chapter 7, of course, is this amazing picture of the ceiling of God's people, the 144,000. It transitions from the 144,000 to the great multitude in Chapter 7 and Verse 9. As you get through to the end of this, it talks about this great multitude and it says, "That this great multitude," Verse 15, "are before the throne of God and serve him day and night" where? "in His temple." So, there you have another mention of the temple and God's people, the great multitude serving Christ day and night serving God day and night in the temple.

Then we pick up in Revelation Chapter 8, beginning with Verse 2. "And I saw seven angels and which stood before God and then were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar."" What altar is that? "Having a golden censor. And there was given to him much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne." You've got a transition taking place here from one altar to another altar. We know the second altar is the golden altar that's in the holy place. So, when we open up Revelation Chapter 8, we're still pre-1844, we're still in the holy place. Every cycle in the book of Revelation, the churches, the seals, the trumpets, and the seven last plagues, the seven vials, all begin in the first part of mediation, the first part of ministry of Christ in the holy place. They all start there and we see this in the seven trumpets. We have the altar and then the golden altar. The altar is the same one that's identified in Revelation Chapter 6. It represents, Calvary represents the brazen altar. It represents the place where Christ was crucified.

Why is the angel taking something from that altar into the holy place of the sanctuary? Because Christ is taking his sacrifice, Ephesians 5 Verse 2, that is a sweet-smelling savor, it's like incense. He's taking his sacrifice into the heavenly sanctuary there to minister in our behalf, to apply his merits to our prayers. See that's what happens when we pray, we pray to God and our prayers go up to heaven, but not by the lonesome. No, no, no. They're mingled with the righteousness of Jesus Christ and they're accepted to God because of his righteousness. That's what we pray in his name. That means we pray in his righteousness.

We see here in Revelation Chapter 8, the beginning of the seven trumpets in pre-1844. Now, we go to Revelation Chapter 9, and look here in Revelation Chapter 9 and Verse 13, "And the sixth angel sounded." So, this is the six angels, the sixth trumpet, "the sixth angel sounded. And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God." The four horns of the golden altar is in what part of the heavenly sanctuary?

Congregation: The holy place.

Preacher: The holy place. So, we know that this prophecy right here in Revelation Chapter 9, which happens to be the prophecy of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, that prophecy is still pre-1844 and that's exactly what Joss predicted it perfectly, the Ottoman Empire fell in 1840, August 11th, 1840. So, we're right here. We're still in the holy place, but we're about to transition into the most holy place because we're getting into Revelation Chapter 10. The sanctuary language is telling us this.

In Revelation Chapter 10 Verse 1, "I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven clothed with cloud" Exodus 34, "that covered the sanctuary with God's presence by day and the fire by night." This is most holy place language in a sense. "Clothed with the cloud, a rainbow was upon his head. His face was as the sun." There's the Shekinah glory inference. "His feet is pillars of fire." You've got the same basic representation here as Christ in Revelation 1. "He cried with a loud voice." You know the story here. So, I'm just going to move through Revelation Chapter 10, the sweet bitter disappointment of 1844, the Millerites’ movement.

Then we get into Revelation Chapter 11, Verse 1. Right after that, disappointment when they're told they're going to prophesy again before many people's nations and tongues, "There was given unto me a reed like unto a rod. And the angel said, rise and measure" what?

Congregation: [Inaudible]

Preacher: "The temple of God and the altar and them that worship therein." Right after 1844, we entered into an understanding of the heavenly sanctuary and the Arab judgment, and here it is right here in Revelation 11, right on time, right on target. Revelation 11, Verse 1 is telling us to measure the temple, the altar, and those that worship and that's how it works. God is represented by the temple; the cross is represented by the altar and we are represented by those who worship therein. We are measured, we are judged in relationship to God's character in relationship to the cross, and how we see and understand that. Did you know that God is being measured also right now? Atheists are measuring God, we measure God, we judge him. We wonder, Job had struggles with God. Where is He? Is he going to show up? Job Chapter 9. Every human being on planet Earth has these questions for God.

Then quickly we get to Revelation Chapter 12. We know in Revelation Chapter 12 that we have transitioned from the holy place to the most holy place because Revelation 11:19 says, "The temple of God was open in heaven. There was seen in his temple, the archivist covenant of his testament. And there were lightnings and voices and thunderings of a great earthquake." Verse 1 of Chapter 12. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars." That's our destiny. A lot of people understand Revelation Chapters 12, 13, and 14 to be a summary of the great controversy starting with the war in heaven and the birth of Christ. Then pointing a remnant church who flee into the wilderness and finally come out of that wilderness, keeping the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. This remnant is us. The commandments of God tell us we've moved into the most holy place because that's where the commandments are. They're in the most holy place. You know that the commandments of God are not mentioned in Revelation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. They're not there. They're never mentioned because we haven't moved into the most holy place yet. But now we're in the most holy place and we know that because the sanctuary language tells us that. The commandments of God are now mentioned here.

The most important thing we need to understand as we close out, because we're out of time, is that I can go a little bit of overtime because there's no meeting after me. The second most important thing is that when a pastor says he's about to quit, you know what that means? Absolutely nothing. But I will quit. The most important thing for us to understand about Revelation Chapter 12 and this transition to the most holy place is Verse 1. See, a lot of times as Adventists, we make the mistake of focusing on Revelation 12:17 and Revelation 14:12, those who keep the commandments, those who have the faith of Jesus, have the testimony of Jesus. We've got to recognize something that's right here in the text in Revelation 12:17, let's just read it. It says, "The dragon was angry with the remnant church." Is that what it says.

Male Congregant: Woman.

Preacher: No. It says the dragon was angry with who?

Congregation: The woman.

Preacher: The woman. The dragon's angry with the woman. The remnant church is a remnant of the seed of the woman. We think the dragon is angry with the remnant church that keep the commandments of God. We need to recognize that the text doesn't say that. The text says that the dragon is angry with the woman. The reason the dragon is angry with the woman is because the woman is clothed with the sun. That clothing is symbolic of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That's what we're told in Malachi Chapter 4, that he is the sun of righteousness, S-U-N. When you are clothed with the sun of righteous, when you are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, you know what you're going to do? You are going to keep the commandments of God and Satan knows that. So that's why he's angry with the woman. He's angry with the woman because the woman has figured out how it is that people keep God's commandments. They keep God's commandments by being clothed with the righteous of Jesus Christ. That's how they do it. He's gone to make war with the remnant and try to get their focus on commandment keeping instead of getting their focus on Jesus. He's trying to get our focus on our obedience instead of getting our focus on his obedience and his righteousness, which motivates us, transforms us, and causes us to live for him.

When we realize that we are saved by the righteousness of Christ, Satan's power of us will be broken and so he's angry with the woman, and that's what we want to identify. Tonight, we want identify with the woman so that we can be the people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. How many of you tonight want to say yes, I want to identify with that woman in her righteousness? Praise God. Let's pray together. Father in heaven, we want to thank you tonight that we can identify with that woman, that we can identify with that righteousness that has been woven in the life and death of Jesus Christ, that perfect righteousness without one spot, without one blemish, that righteousness that is revealed to us in this sanctuary message.

Father, as we've moved through the book of Revelation as best we can tonight in the time allotted, we realize that Revelation 10 pictures a people who measure the temple. That's what this weekend has been all about, measuring the temple and bringing to the world this measurement of who you are in the temple of your salvation plan, in the temple of the altar, of the temple, of the cross, of the temple of the lamb, of the temple that was slain to get those elders to heaven, to get each one of us to heaven with those robes and those crowns and sitting on that throne. To be part of that movement, part of that work of encouraging others to weep not, but to behold the lion, the lion who's prevailed where we have failed.

So tonight, father, we surrender our hearts to you. As my brother Carlos said, that's where the work lies. It lies in surrender. It's not in what we can do. We've tried that. Abraham tried that. We've all tried that. It took Abraham 25 years of trying that before he finally surrendered and gave up on himself. Father, tonight, there are people here who need to learn how to give up on themselves and how to put their full weight of trust on you, on your righteousness, to have that linen underneath so that that blue garment can come on top so that we can keep your commandments because we love you and because we love you, because you first loved us. So, do that for us tonight Father, we pray, we ask, we plead in the worthy and precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Congregation: Amen.


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