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February 5, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn concludes the series entitled “Our Ancient Foe,” from Revelation 21.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today were concluding the 10 part study series about our ancient foe Satan. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn.
I don't know about you but this is been a series that the Lord is used in my own life and as I think about how the series unfolded over the course of our semester we began looking at what the Bible has to say about the reality of the conflict and the identity of our enemy and we spent some time looking at the heart of that conflict in identifying a very powerful and very wicked and a very ancient enemy that is before us and who is determined to destroy God's people and to thwart God's purposes, and you know this enemy is Satan. He is described for you as the attacker, the accuser of the brethren. He is known as the tempter. He is called the God of this world. He is an ancient and cursed foe and we met him at the very beginning of our story.
We were only two chapters and 1/2 into our story as a race before we encountered that this enemy had come into the garden of God and had used words to deceive and to move the heart of the first man in the first woman are our mother and our father are original parents away from the word of God and he's been using that strategy to tempt us to move away from God's word ever since. And we noted that he was a fierce and a very crafty foe first Peter chapter 5 reminds us that our adversary and that's the idea behind the word Satan is our enemy.
He is against us. Our enemy is like this. He is like a roaring lion, think of the idea of a lion that has been enraged and put yourself in the vicinity of that lien that has been maddened by his rage and here is this enemy going around like that, seeking whom he may devour. We learned that he was defeated and vanquished, and probably the most incredible verse to speak to this is in Colossians chapter 2 where were told that because of the death of Christ. Christ disarmed the rulers and the authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them back. Paul reminds the Romans in chapter 16 verse 20 that there is coming a day when the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet and under my feet. So we have. We spent a semester looking at this enemy we took two messages that were very intriguing to sort of understand that Satan does not fight this battle alone. There are forces of darkness and there are forces of light that come against God's people, and that come against each other in the cosmic battle and Dr. hand and Dr. Stites spoke to us about that. We had some helpful messages on the strategies that God describes for us in his word. As we as we adopted as we begin to cultivate in our own lives. A battle mindset and then Dr. Madigan, Dr. May, Zach spent some time talking to us about the armor that God is given there is an armor that God is provided in that armor when it is used when we where the armor and we use the weapon that God is given to us. God says to us, you will stand against anything that the devil and his forces bring against you to knock you off the ground that God has given to you when he adopted you into his family. So it's a powerful messages on the armor and then last week Dr. Olinger gave us. Perhaps the most sobering message in the series when he talked to us about the final justice of God and by the time you get to our passage what you have discovered is that the devil has actually been vanquished. This enraged lien for the entire course of human history has been coming against God's people has been fully defeated and he has been vanquished and banished by the Lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world and this land has taken that lien and cast him into the eternal Lake of fire and that's what you see by the time that you get to the passage before since we want to start this morning. I looking very carefully at the reality of the victory of this land and if you stop and think about it is as you begin reading the book of Revelation.
Way back in chapter 4. When you are brought into the very presence of God the realm that that we call the third heaven, there is the atmosphere of the earth.
That's the first heaven then there is what we know is outer space. That's a second heaven.
But then there is a realm. There is a dimension where the presence of God is most fully expressed, and where his desire and his ability to bless is most fully concentrated and that realm is called the third heaven.
It's the place where the apostle Paul was taken in the vision that we read about when he wrote second Corinthians. It's a relocation it's a real place. Think of it as a dimension that that exists along with the dimension that you and I are and that is the realm of the conflict and in that realm. The Lamb has won a decisive and a final and a permanent victory over this lien and we find out that the Lamb won the victory because he was slain before the foundations of the world. And as we look closer at this land, we discover that he's actually a lion that has been predicted all the way back from the book of Genesis that would come out of the tribe of Judah. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, and that lien has vanquished the raging line, and so we find three important ideas that speak to the reality of the victory of this Lamb in all of these have been thoroughly discussed in the book of Revelation. By the time we get to this point, but they speak to the reality of the victory that God is given to this Lamb and here they are. The first of them is this the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of the son.
Now this is a glorious reality that we first learned about way back in the Old Testament in Psalm two, when God lays out in that Psalm the blueprint for Messiah's mission and we are we are told in that Psalm that God has anointed Messiah, a chosen Messiah.
And he has given to that Messiah the entire earth for his inheritance and he tells the keenness and the rulers of the nations to submit to that son, and they are responding to that instruction by raging they are enraged at what God is done and he warns them that if they don't submit to the sun. There's coming a day when that son will subdue them with a rod of iron. You trace the story of that kingdom and that plan throughout the rest of the Old Testament until you come to a high mountain where the enemy of God himself is standing in front of the son of God, and in Matthew chapter 4 in the third temptation he is offering him all of those kingdoms in exchange for worship.
And you know how the Lord responded to that temptation and so by the time you get to the book of Revelation that Lamb has come to take his inheritance and one of the most incredible verses in the entire book of Revelation is the theme of the book in Revelation chapter 11 verse 15 where an angel back.
The seventh angel blows his war trumpet in heaven, and there is this incredible announcement, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever more. So one of the things that is happened.
By the time you get to Revelation 21 is the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of the son, here's the second thing that is happened Satan has been thoroughly defeated, finally defeated, fully vanquished to his eternal destiny in the lake of fire and you can read about that in Revelation chapter 20 verses seven through 10 he's cast down from he's eternally barred from God's presence and Revelation chapter 12 verse seven through 12. A great battle as described in the realm that were talking about and Michael and his forces come against the Dragon and his forces, and we learned about those forces from Dr. handed Dr. Stites in this incredible battle happens and Satan and his forces are world down by God from heaven, and then Revelation chapter 12 verse 11, they are conquered by the saints, and I just conquered by the forces of Michael and the angelic hosts the armies of angels with him there actually conquered by some of the most powerless people there in the universe there there conquered by the saints, and we read about that in Revelation 1211 who conquered through the blood of the Lamb. And then there.
Finally, we finally come to the place in Revelation chapter 20 verses seven through 20 where he is defeated and he is not just hurled down from heaven and conquered by the saints. He is hurled into the lake of fire that week we heard about last week where he will will spend the rest of eternity with his angels, and with all those who have rejected God's truth about God son, so the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of the son, and Satan is been defeated and vanquished to the eternal destiny in the lake of fire. But here's the third glorious reality, the consummation of Messiah's mission has been successfully accomplished and you can see that in the passage that were reading about today.
Revelation chapter 21 and I want you to notice what God says in verse five and he that sat upon the throne said, behold I make all things new. And he said unto me right for these words are true and faithful.
What I am telling you. John is actually reliable. You can take this to the bank you you can bank your soul on this.
There is coming a day when I will fully vanquished the enemy that has been waging this cosmic war and when that happens from my throne. I will make all things new. I will bring a new beginning, a fresh beginning in the notice what he says in verse six and he said to me, it is done.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
I will given to him. That is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely not notice the phrase, it is done. That phrase should bring another phrase to your mind when you think of what Jesus said in John when he was hanging on the cross in John 19 verse 30 when he said it is finished. John is is being reminded and he is reminding us because he also wrote the gospel of John of this incredible truth that God's mission has been accomplished when when we think about what God did through the death of Messiah on the cross.
He disarmed Satan. He took the rulers and and powers and authorities of wickedness in high places, and he openly triumphed over them and by the time we come now to the end of the story. He didn't just triumph over Satan. He has made all things new.
He is fulfilled his plan that he revealed to Paul in Ephesians chapter 1 verse nine when he talked about there would come a day when he would sum up when he would read gather everything that is in heaven and everything that it is that is on earth and bring it back to its original state of perfection under Messiah here we are in Revelation chapter 21 and from the throne of God comes the words it is finished.
So how does a story and it ends with the establishment of a permanent kingdom from heaven that is marked by righteousness. It is marked by righteousness because it has a righteous ruler who will rule in righteousness and its mark by righteousness because it's populated by people who have been made righteous and who rejoice in righteousness and who live righteously and this place that were talking about is called heaven.
So it all ends in a place that we have been talking about thinking about hearing about reading about singing about for our entire Christian life.
A place called heaven. Specifically, in this passage in verse one, a new heaven and a new earth. And so if this is how it all ends in a righteous place, governed by a righteous ruler populated by people who have been made righteous who love righteousness and who do righteously.
It might be worth our while to closer series off by talking a little bit about that place so what do you know about heaven. I mean this is something the Bible speaks of it in in great detail. There are over 500 references to heaven in your Bible there more than 50 of them right here in the text before us, and in Revelation chapter 21 and 22 and really throughout the entire book of Revelation there are over 50 specific references to have it so I come back to that question. What you think about when you think about heaven now. I think that just speak for myself.
I think that we have not done a lot of thinking about heaven and because of that we tend to focus all of her attention on what's going on right now on the earth before assuming think about that what what the common ideas of heaven army. A lot of people a lot of things about heaven. I mean, some people think heaven is like this. If you stop and think about it, what are you going to actually do inhabit you know that that heaven is a place where there angels and and so we been talking about these angels and so you probably have a little more about better understanding of what angels are, but here you are and you're thinking about heaven and the average person thinks about heaven is a place where angels are maybe on clouds playing this now if you don't play the harp, you're out of luck. So what happens to a musical Philistine like me. I can't sing.
I can't play the mandolin I can dance, but every Baptist knows that Megan Abbott and Evan so what do we do inhabit, and I think that we come to this section in the book of Revelation and God blows away all of our thinking in all of our concepts about heaven and here in these two chapters, you have the fullest and the most glorious description of what it will and like it doesn't, and in final justice final justice is followed by full glorious eternal mercy in a place that is describe for you. In Revelation 21 and 22 as a new heaven and a new earth you could see it this way.
Heaven actually comes to earth I want you to notice the revelation of the new heaven and the new earth.
This is prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 65 or 17 and in chapter 66 verse 22 of his prophecy, and here in Revelation chapter 21, John reminds us that he saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth. That's the one that wherein were passed away, and there was no more sea and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband and we can go on reading through the chapter.
Here's what here's what John reveals about the new heaven.
The first thing that we notice is that is predominantly terrestrial is a new earth, it appears that it will be much like the original earth before the flood before the curse.
Go back to Genesis and you think about the descriptions that God gives us of the original earth that he created. It doesn't appear that there were different landmasses scattered around the cognates that you and I know scattered around the face of the earth. It appears that there was one big landmass and what you have described here is something similar. The idea that there is no more sea indicates that this new heaven and this new earth will be predominantly terrestrial.
One of the things that you discover in the Scriptures is that often times, the sea is using to describe chaos, spiritual chaos or or some catastrophe or some catastrophic event that comes upon those that live on the earth are those that venture out into the sea and and John says there will be no more of that.
This new heaven and this new earth will be predominantly terrestrial in the notice in verse two that this will this new earth will be governed by a magnificent holy city and it's called new Jerusalem and its describe. When John says I looked and I saw this new city descending from heaven to earth. It was it was resplendent like the day a bride appears on her wedding day. This is a city of legendary beauty is a city of magnificent proportions. As you begin reading the description here in Revelation 21.
It's almost mind-boggling to the point that you say this cannot actually be talking about a real city. This must be symbolic language for something that John saw and I would suggest you that the fact that it is so mind-boggling might be a good clue that it's an actual city that's literally being describe this weight. Think about the legendary beauty of the city and the magnificent proportions of the city were told that that the measurements that are laid out for here for us here in this chapter would what would be a city 1500 miles wide 1500 miles long and and it would rise up into the sky 1500 miles. It's almost mind-boggling to think about, but it is the crowning jewel of God's creation. In fact, it's so beautiful that it's described with the brilliance of a rare jewel, and as you come to the city you begin to realize that this is the city that all of God's people have been looking for is a city whose builder and whose maker is God. This city is his crowning work is it is a royal city and it is the place in verse three where God intends to dwell with his people forever.
That's the third thing, he becomes the central dwelling place of God with his people, God will dwell openly with man.
Look at verse three.
I heard a great voice out of heaven, out of heaven, saying, behold, the tabernacle, the dwelling of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. He will dwell with these people that are in that city in the very same way that he dwelt in full openness and in full fellowship and in perfect union and in perfect harmony and in full love and in glad glad relationship with our first parents in the notice in verses four through six of this passage that this new heaven and earth will be cosmically unique. There is more than just the city.
This city becomes the central place where God dwells in a reconstituted earth.
And in that earth. The curse will be reversed. The effects of sin will be eradicated.
There will be no sorrow, no pain, no death, it will be marked by life. This will be a world of life and in this city there will be fullness of life. There will be pleasures forevermore at the right hand of God.
Just like the psalmist said in Psalm 1611 in the notice in verses six through eight that it will be the permanent and exclusive dwelling place for all genuine believers who have been adopted into the household of God. Look at verses six, seven, eight, and he said it to me. It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end and I will given to him. That is the thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
He that over, shall inherit all things, if you go back to chapters 2 and three. At the end of every one of the letters to the churches. There is this interesting phrase about overcoming persevering in here are the people of the land who have continued to follow the Lamb even at the expense of their own life and they are finally at that place that Jesus talked about way back in John 14 when he talked about going to his father's household and that in that household.
There would be dwelling places and he was going to make a place for us and here we are in Revelation 21 and we are learning about that place. So we see as we come to this section of our Bible. The reality of the victory of the Lamb and the revelation of a new heaven and of a new earth, but finally notice the description of the eternal city at the center of all of this is this incredible city that John saw and those who are describe those who dwell in this city that you and me are described in the most intimate terms. They are described as the wife, the bride of the Lamb. Look at verse nine and there came in to be one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues and talk with me saying come Heather. I will show thee the bride the lamb's wife.
Just like the new heaven and the new earth in the new Jerusalem were described at the beginning of chapter 21 in terms of the people that would occupy that land in that city. Here we have again a city that is being described in terms and identified in terms of who will be dwelling in that city and what we describe in verses nine through 27. Is this incredible city and when you read about this city and you read about its gates and its walls and its foundations.
You are immediately reminded of the people of God in both the old and the new Testaments, who had been brought to that city. This is indeed the city that Adam lost that Abraham saw that Moses long for that. David longed for and that Old Testament saints spent their entire lives searching for and they have come to the city whose builder and maker is God.
And as you think about the city's glow.
It is describe for you in terms of a glorious temple when you think about the Old Testament temple and tabernacle the holy place in that temple, and in that tabernacle was a perfect cube and this city is described in that way is to be the temple. The royal city of the God of heaven and it will be populated by kingdom of priests, royal priests that have been brought near to him by a sacrifice that is better than the blood of bulls and goats and then when you get inside the city in chapter 22 verses one through 10 is describe for you, not just as a glorious temple is describe to you as a great garden go back to the tabernacle that the Israelites had an you go to the temple the glorious temple of Solomon. There are things that are included in the descriptions of both of those that include things like certain plants and certain trees and certain things that are intended to get you to think about a garden as you go there and here you have a city and when you get inside the city you find in this city everything that was in the first garden.
The river of life. In verses one into chapter 22 the tree of life. In verse two.
The reversal of the curse in verse three. Perfect and continual fellowship with God.
In verses four and five, and then you'll notice that that this whole thing ends with the people of God in that city doing something they are going to reign with God forever from this glorious temple that brings us to the final observation we want to make this morning.
So where is the mercy in all of this. If the story ends with final justice and final justice is not the final word. Eternal mercy is where is the mercy in all of this and the answer is you, me, we are there and the whole reason that we are in that city is because of mercy that comes out of an ocean of God's grace and this is why Paul said, I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, this is the greatest mercy of all that right now you take your body's and you present them to this God who is extending to you this mercy and you use them as a living sacrifice to do for the rest of your life on this earth good and the perfect and the acceptable will of God. Father, thank you for a text like this.
Thank you for mercy like this. Thank you for grace that made it so in our life. And as we live in the now waiting for the van. We ask that you would arm us with your armor so that we may be good soldiers fighting the good warfare for your glory and for the gospel, saying Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to Dr. Sam Horn.
This concludes our series entitled our ancient foe.
Join us again next week, as will hear more chapel messages from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform