Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHICH GOD ARE WE SERVING?


Today I want to talk to you about: "Which God are we serving?"

Do we bow down to the One and Only Almighty God who is described by the Bible alone, or do we serve another god whom our Church says we should be worshipping?

Of course, you all know the answer to that question.

We must worship the God of the Bible, because the men in the Church may be badly mistaken.

If we would not worship the God who is described by the Bible alone, we will be condemned to Hell for worshipping idols.

Therefore, if we find that we do not like a certain passage in the Bible, or we have an aversion against some verses of the Bible, then in fact we are bearing a grudge against God for placing words in the Bible that are really unacceptable to us.

Watch out!

That may be a sign of an unsaved heart.

That is why I want to lead you to this chapter 13 in Revelation.

In this chapter God shows us an awful beast, who is doing awful things to the people of the world, and God lets him do it. Let's look at:

The Beast (Revelation 13:1-9)

Revelation 13:1
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 13:2
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13:3
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:4
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:5
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Revelation 13:6
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:9
If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Are we really going to see such a strange beast rise up out of the sea?

Of course not.

We do not expect literally to see such a strange beast with seven heads and ten horns rise up one day. God is giving us here a word picture.

And the picture of this beast is a picture of Satan.

But here we read a very uncomfortable message, and remember, it is a message from God:

It Was Given Him to Make War With the Saints (Revelation 13:7-8, John 10:28)

Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

This is an awful message!

God is not just allowing Satan to make war with the saints, but it was given to him.

The Greek word that is used here indicates that it was really given to him, like given to him on a silver platter.

This verse 7 says: God is giving to Satan the gift that he may make war with the saints, and he will overcome them. What a horrible event!

But what is this?

Does God give the saints into Satan's hand?

Can the saints lose their salvation?

Of course, the saints cannot lose their salvation.

God did not lie when He said in John 10:28,

John 10:28
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

What then does God mean when He said:

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them".

How is Satan going to overcome them?

Will Satan bring on worldwide persecution and bloodletting so that the Church will be destroyed?

No!

That is not how Satan is able to destroy the Church.

He tried this many times in the past.

He tried it again in the 20th Century in Communist countries. But it has never worked.

The result of persecution has always been that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.

How then will it be given to Satan to make war with the saints and to overcome them?

Well, the Bible gives many examples of how the people of God go down to defeat.

The scenario was always the same:

Whenever they were unequally yoked together, that is when the people of God go down to defeat. This also brought on the Flood of Noah's days.

Here is one of the aspects of God that we do not hear very much about.

God is angry about sin in the Church. God is preparing the Church for Judgment Day, by giving Satan to devastate the Church.

Why don't pastors preach about it?

This is not the only place in the Bible where this is mentioned.

We should feel no inhibitions to talk about this.

In Revelation 13 God is speaking about the last days before the end comes. God tells us here that God is using Satan, not to persecute the Church, but to join the Church.

And the majority of Churches in the world will fall, because God has it so decreed:

And he will Overcome Them (Revelation 13:7-8, Revelation 17:8, John 10:15, John 10:26-27)

God is sovereign. God can do with His creation whatever He likes to do.

Who are we to stand up against God and say: You cannot do this!

God simply carries out His plan, but God warns us ahead of time:

Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Here we see the Grace of God shining through.

Even though the majority of mankind shall be deceived into worshipping Satan, by the Grace of God there will be a minority who will not be deceived.

God has a "Book of Life of the Lamb". All those on earth whose names are not written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are given to worship Satan.

But those on earth whose names are found written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are under the special care of God; they will not be deceived.

But look carefully: This is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".

Does this mean that this Book of Life of the Lamb also dates from the foundation of the world?

Indeed it does. We read in Revelation 17:8,

Revelation 17:8
And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

God is sovereign!

The Bible says here that before the foundation of the world God chose a people for Himself out of this rebellious mess of mankind, and God wrote their names in this Book of Life of the Lamb.

God said: They will be My people, and I will be their God.

No one can steal them away from Me.

The Lord Jesus confirmed these things so clearly in John 10:15, when He said:

John 10:15
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The Lord Jesus did not say that He would lay down His life for all the people in the world, but He did lay down His life for His sheep; only for His sheep.

Who are His sheep?

All those whose names the Father wrote in the Book of Life of the Lamb before the foundation of the world are His sheep.

If you have trouble seeing this, look at how Jesus is addressing the unbelieving Jews in verse 26:
John 10:26
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Jesus said: "ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep".

Jesus did not say: "Ye are not My sheep because you do not believe".

Can you see the difference?

Then Jesus said in verse 27:

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

No ifs and buts. My sheep will hear My voice, and they shall follow Me.

But what about all those:

Whose Names Are Not Written In the Book of Life of the Lamb (John 6:64-66, Matthew 26:24)

In John chapter 6 God answers all the questions we have come across in those three verses of Revelation 13.

The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews in John 6:64

John 6:64
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Jesus knew from the beginning of time who believed Him not, and Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him.

These unbelieving Jews were a sample of those whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

The Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for these people.

Of course, the Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for Judas Iscariot.

The Lord Jesus said of him:

Matthew 26:24
The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Without a doubt, Jesus says here that Judas Iscariot would have to pay for his own sins in Hell. Jesus was NOT going to be his Savior.

In fact, most people end up paying for their own sins in Hell, because the Bible says that:

"Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. And narrow is the gate and troubled is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it".

This alone should scare the dickens out of anyone reading the Bible.

How then can anyone find that narrow gate, which leadeth unto life?

How can anyone get Jesus to be his Savior?

Only those who see the need for Jesus to be their Savior, will have Jesus as their Savior.

In other words, only those who recognize that they are dirty rotten sinners, deserving to go to Hell, will cry out to Jesus for mercy.

But who of mankind wants to believe that they were sinners from the day they were born.

That is what the Bible says.

But who believes the Bible?

Jesus said in John 6:65

John 6:65
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Allow me to paraphrase this: Jesus said, "No man will believe My Words, no man will come to worship the God of the Bible, except it were given unto him of my Father."

Remember the title of this article: "Which God are we serving?"

Will we believe and worship the God who said these words here in John, chapter 6, or is this one of those chapters that we wished would not be in the Bible?

Jesus said very plainly:

John 6:44
"No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father".

Only those whom the Father draws to Jesus will believe these words that God is sovereign and He rules in the affairs of man as He pleases.

But this kind of a God is not a popular with man. We read in John 6:66:

John 6:66
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

They were a sampling of those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

But Whose Names Were Written There? (John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:65, Romans 3:11)

Only the names of those people, in whose life are seen the effects of the miraculous work of God in their heart, of having heard and believed the Gospel of the Bible, the Gospel of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, which is:

1. That we are all sinners and we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others;

2. That we were saved entirely by the sovereign Grace of God, and not by any of our works;

3. That Christ took upon Himself the sins of all those whom He came to save, and only those;

4. That Christ paid the full payment for those sins, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell;

5. That God the Holy Spirit gave us a new heart so that we would put our trust in the Word of God;

6. That God gave us a repentant spirit and a heart filled with gratitude towards Him;

7. That God promised eternal life now to all those who have a fervent ongoing desire to do His will.

These are the people whose names were written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, and they were written there before the foundation of the world.


Let's look at verse 37 in this chapter. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:37,

John 6:37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Without fail, all those who were given to Jesus as His Bride, are those whose sins have been paid by Christ on the cross, and shall come to Jesus, not on their own terms, but on God's terms.

What are God's terms?

By Grace alone! By Grace alone! By Grace alone!

But who else would come to Jesus on God's terms: casting aside his own pride, not leaning on his Water Baptism, or on his Profession of Faith, or on his action of making a decision for Jesus, or on any action crafted by man?

Who else would come to Jesus on God's terms?

The Bible says: No One!

Romans 3:11
"There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God".

That is why Jesus says in John 6:44:

John 6:44
No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

No one is willing or able to come to Jesus, to come to this Jesus of the Bible, who is also called the Word of God.

Make sure that you understand that if you call on the Name of Jesus, that you are not bearing the Name of the Lord our God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that beareth His Name in vain.

When we even doubt the sovereignty of God, we are bearing the name of the Lord our God in vain.

In case you have still not understood this chapter, the Lord Jesus says again in verse 65,

John 6:65
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Whose names were written there?

All those who give the credit of their salvation to God alone.

If Any Man Have an Ear, Let Him Hear (Revelation 13:9, John 6:45, John 6:63)

Perhaps you remember, when we were in Revelation 13:1-9, that verse 9 ended with these words:

Revelation 13:9
If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Who does not have an ear?

Well, there are some deaf people around, but they too can be saved.

What then does God have in mind when He said: "If any man have an ear, let him hear"?

God does not have physical ears in mind.

God is speaking to all those who received from God spiritual ears with which we can hear spiritual truths.

These are ears of discernment, to discern truth from error.

Moreover, can you see that this is the application of all the preceding verses in Rev 13?

God said:

Revelation 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

In other words, God said: "Listen carefully, this is important.

The Church around the world shall fall into apostasy, because Satan will come with gospels that are so close to the true Gospel that most people in the Church are unable to discern between the true Gospel and the false gospel.

Put on the whole armor of God. Be prepared.

Those remaining faithful will be few.

You will be maligned.

You will be gossiped about.

You will be called a cult.

You will be called old fashioned.

You will be accused of not being filled with the spirit. And so on.

Just remain faithful to the Word of God, and I will not let you down.

Hang on to the Gospel of Grace alone, and I will not let you down."

And when we have done all that God has commanded us, and we are prepared, and we do remain faithful to the Bible, we must remember that we only could do it by the Grace of God.

Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God Himself will guide us all the way, both in our justification as well as in our sanctification, so that we will know which God we are serving.

God says it again, here in John 6:45,

John 6:45
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Whom does the Father give spiritual ears to hear so that they come to Jesus?

He gives spiritual ears to those whom the Father has chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Bride of Christ.

His Grace is irresistable.

And what are the channels that God uses to reach the ears of those He intends to save?

God says it here in John 6:63,

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The words God speaks to us through any of the channels He provides, those words are the substance of our spiritual understanding:

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

What Does the Spirit Say unto the Churches? (Revelation 2:7, John 6:67-69)

God says to us in Revelation 2:7,

Revelation 2:7
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God repeats the same sentence in Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:29, and in Revelation 3:6, Revelation 3:13, and Revelation 3:22.

When God says it seven times, it must be quite important.

What does the Spirit of God have to say to the Churches?

In summary, what was the message to the seven Churches of Asia Minor?

Paraphrased, God says: Make sure that you know which God you worship.

When Jesus declared: "No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father", there was immediately a falling away of many of His disciples.

This was not the God whom they wanted to worship.

They wanted to worship a god of their own liking.

We see the same thing in most of today's Churches.

When you tell people that they can trust in their Profession of Faith, or trust in their Water Baptism, or when you tell people that they can accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior right now,
they will fill your church, because you will be bringing them a gospel that they like.

But God will then hold you accountable for His words in John chapter 6.

Do you dare to call God a liar?

Whose friend would you rather be?

John 6:67
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

John 6:68
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

John 6:69
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Eleven of the disciples agreed with Peter. This was not something that Peter and the eleven disciples dreamed up. This was given them by revelation from God. God has done His work in them.

When a giant named Goliath defamed God's honor, David did not hesitate to risk his life, because he could not bear to hear his God being blasphemed by this giant.

Will we stand for the truth when our God is being defamed?

Will we stand up for the truth of the Word of God?

Today in many Churches which used to be quite orthodox, Hell is not mentioned any more, the wrath of God is not mentioned any more and the sovereignty of God is not mentioned any more.

This means that many pastors do not preach the cross of Christ any more.

How can you preach Christ crucified without mentioning Hell, without mentioning the wrath of God and without mentioning the particular atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is not possible, unless you tell only lies.

What does the Spirit say unto the Churches?

Make sure that you know which God you worship.

By Alfred J. Chompff

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