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The Marvel of a Martyr's Prayer - Revelation 6:9-11

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2019 1:00 am

The Marvel of a Martyr's Prayer - Revelation 6:9-11

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey

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October 28, 2019 1:00 am

The pages of history are stained with the blood of Christian martyrs. Even today, all across the world, people are dying for their faith in Christ. Why isn't God stopping it? Does He not care that His children are suffering? Revelation 6:9 gives us a powerful reminder that not only does God hear the prayers of the martyrs, but He has something special in store for each of them.

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In his resurrected body. Jesus carried the scars of the crucifixion that had led to his death.

Jesus Christ is chosen to retain his glorified body prominent. What scars does that really happen for him. What I really happen for him to remember how he died for us will ruin heaven for us as we see him and recognize fully that it was our sin that scar know it will make heaven all that much sweeter. Remembering all that Jesus Christ. Salvation offers us all the sweeter is a parallel between that and our own experience. Heaven is not a place where we forget all that happened to us here on earth if we suffer for Christ here on earth. It makes the joy and celebration of heaven sweeter. Stephen Devi continues through his current series from the book of Revelation.

Today we come to a passage where we see a group of martyrs in heaven. They remember all that's happened in there talking to God about it today.

Stephen examines what they say in a lesson. He's calling the marvel of a martyrs prayer.

This is wisdom for the heart. And here's Stephen with today's lesson from God's word tribulation. Open if you are with us in our last studies for horsemen appear one after another they perfectly parallel Jesus Christ's warnings in Matthew 24. These horsemen sort of thunder their way across the planet, triggering global horrors which they represent the white horse and its rider bring a counterfeit or false peace which will ultimately set the stage for global deception is one world government one world religion of the writer of the red horse then appears bringing global unrest and bloodshed. Next comes the black horse and its rider carries in his hand. Scales representing global famine as bad as it gets as horrific and devastating as all of this is, it will only get worse before writer appears writing on a pale green horse and lets loose such pestilence that one fourth of the world's population dies, you can imagine in the space of a year or two, several billion people die if somebody wanted to make a fortune in the tribulation only need to do is build coffin.

This all happens in the opening couple of years of the tribulation which parallel the warnings of Christ and is not how the discourse of Matthew 24, 25, in fact, it all happens in the same sequence. The Christ said it would happen first global deception and then you have global unrest, then you have global famine overlapping with all of these and then global pestilence and death. There has never been a time when the results of all four horsemen have occurred in overlapping sequences of time. There's never been a time in world history when world madness like this has been experience in this sequence, and to this extent. And this is just for starters before horsemen represent the first four. The tribulation is the first four seals are peeled off the scroll of the scroll unrolls a little further with the removal of each seal and what it does.

We catch these brief glimpses of the future unveil the future is revealed, hence the name of this book.

Revelation. This is the future reveal for us. Now there are three more seals to be open is this coming madness only deepens and intensifies. So let's take our study backup and Revelation chapter 6 where the fifth seal was about to be opened with read what happens next in verse nine when the Lamb broke the FTSE all I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they had maintained Melanie quickly ask and answer five or six questions. First, who are these people were told her martyrs. It evidently died during the onset persecution in the tribulation.

One author put it this way, the Lord in our day. By the power of the Holy Spirit on earth rivals the passions of but let the presence and power of the spirit be withdrawn even slightly in the world is enmity to Christ and those who are his shell burst out fierce and bitter persecution, even unto death words, hell will break loose as it were on the earth after the rapture of the church and the unregenerate nations of the world will unleash a bloodbath on anyone claiming the name Christ.

Now there are those who would say that these are the martyred ones from the entire church age that simply does martyred during the tribulation.

The primary problem. There are several, but you be the primary one with that view assembly. The fact is, will see the moment they are praying for justice to be brought against their tormentors who are alive on earth while they are praying they are praying in heaven while their persecutors are alive on earth she's martyred ones parallel Christ words it is now the prediction that there will be martyrs during these opening birthday this hour reference to the tribulation about the 20 verses 8 to 10. In other words, the persecution Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 corresponds perfectly with the thing that brings these martyrs before the throne in Revelation chapter 6 it intensifies getting the first habit, tribulation, and it escalates into the second half of the tribulation after the end of Christ is fully revealed in all his satanic hatred and power. These are the souls here in verse nine, the first group of believers executed for their faith. This is who they are.

Next question is what exactly are the it says they are souls. II saw beneath the altar the souls of those in sort have this picture that they must be some sort of misty spirits floating around heaven, will the word translated souls can be translated simply lives these in the lives of those who work slain the same Greek word appears again. Revelation chapter 12 verse 11. A reference to the martyrs Texas who did not love their lives even when faced with death. So the fact that they are as well. In addition to that, given white robes certainly implies some sort of intermediate temporary body while they all those who've already died in Christ await the resurrection and glorification of their former body hanger about something that had some kind of body.

In fact, remember that pulling back the curtain on the place of torment, and the place of paradise when Lazarus and the rich man died, Christ reveal what happened to the rich man was in torment, asking the Lazarus dip his white and water is finger in water and touches what is Tom yet to have a body to have a finger and had to have a body to have about avatar taste water to these martyrs at intermediate bodies as all who are with Christ now able to enjoy everything glorious stay prior to the new heaven and new earth there. Given this special row. You can't hang a robot on a missed fact this rope signifies the fact they have been given some kind of temporary body until they receive the final resurrection body.

Next question. Just where are they the verse tells us in verse nine that they are beneath the altar, and I thought I read early hiding days were scrunched altogether uncomfortably. It's helpful to understand this word translated underneath as I study doesn't refer to space but to relationship, they are related to the offer.

So then the next question would be, which altar with the Greek noun used here for altar is always used in Revelation refer to the golden altar of incense pattern after the altar of incense in the temple and tabernacle days this a perfect fit here. Why because the prayers of God are often used as a metaphor of of incense wafting its way up to the nostrils of God the prayers of God's people are often in Scripture, symbolized by incident, John will write later in this Revelation. These words and much incense was given to the angel so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was the throne and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God. Chapter 8 verse three and four. Next question why exactly were these people killed. Well John leaves no doubt for us. He writes in verse nine. Again, look there because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they maintained. That's why they died because they would not recant of their faith, their newfound faith in Christ, simply for their loyalty and love for Jesus Christ spell there do their and daughter, but the glory in heaven. Some of them would have perhaps accepted Christ and the gospel of Christ under threat of dad accepted him and down comes the blame hangman's noose is loose.

This is what we are seeing around the world today is only a prelude for the persecution which will be unleashed in the tribulation today is a sign of things to come. When I was you who they are what they are where they are and why they are there. Now let's notice what they're saying. Verse 10 and they cried out with a loud voice say how long will Lord, holy and true, will you refrain from judging and avenging your blood on those who dwell upon the earth. That doesn't sound very spiritual prayer estimate does it will Lord until you read engines on the planet. This is what would be known as an imprecatory prayer implicated needs to call down calamity.

Judgment upon someone and if you read the book of Psalms you read many imprecatory errors have Psalms 79 verse 10 David sings, let there be known among the nations in our site vengeance for the blood of your servants, which has been shed.

Later in Psalm 94 David Prato Lord God of vengeance got avenging acts shine forth rise up as he looks forward to the judgment of judge of the earth render recompense to the proud, how long shall the wicked will Lord how long shall the wicked rejoice, they crush your people, O Lord, and afflict your heritage, but God will destroy them in their evil of the Lord our God will destroy them.

Basically what you have are these martyrs asking the same question offering an imprecatory prayer. When will you act, O Lord, I notice upon what they expect God to act. They call him holy and true, you are God's holiness and truth. And because of that we expect you to act in other words, when we bring your holy justice to bear, fulfill the truth, promised your word coming judge all things will be made right evidently these martyrs have read Paul's writings to the Thessalonians of that future day. Listen to what Paul wrote for after all it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well. The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. Second Thessalonians, 169. It was the issue this guy just petty and addictive note persecuting Christians the world ultimately scorns Christ the believer. By the way, is wise to warn people that they will be judged one day by Christ.

This is the gospel that both warn and wins LME make a number of quick observations from the scene. Heaven fact you need to get ready to rewrite.

Perhaps her perspective of God's will and maybe even your perception of heaven first God not only knows about those who suffered and died.

He plans for even more to die through suffering.

He said these martyrs, there are still more servants and brethren who will be killed like you have been killed. He knows part of his plan. The next observation follows this is that is evidently God's will for many that I peacefully in their faith, but millions to die for their faith believes that God even today wills. Everyone died prosperous and healthy is not biblical. It sounds good but it is not biblical. In fact, this was the question. This was the, the longing of the hymn writer who can must I be carried into the skies on flowery beds of the know what that is, as well. Others fought to win their prize sale through blood AC the will of God is for some relative peace. But for many today and in the future.

Real persecution real pain which also tells us nobody dies back were in his sovereign of the opening of this fifth seal, which reveals to me the marvel of this martyrs prayer is martyrs also challenges the normal perspective of heaven. Those who going to have me give you two or three were quickly put them in the form of misconceptions misconception number one being in heaven means never ask questions, we know everything. Not true. Only God knows everything without having to learn anything will still have to learn. And the good news is, will have eternity to do it. It'll be one long remedial class.

For those of us who learn slowly right they didn't know the answer they said God how long how long is it until you bring justice they didn't know this and being immortal is not the same thing as being omniscient God is omniscient. He knows all were not omniscient will learn and will learn and will learn even more. However, just because we don't know everything, even when were in heaven doesn't mean we forgotten everything. That's the other misconception I want to mention or lease the second is this being in heaven means we forgotten what happened was on earth all these martyrs remember and they were pretty worked up about it. They were praying for the for the wrath of a holy God, because they died in their persecutors are alive. One author said this particular text here that were studying argues against the prevalent belief that you remember anything unpleasant would automatically strip us of happiness in heaven, and the edges very good insight.

He says his joy is not dependent upon in the race memory but a renewed mind while said for all of us. We will one day stand before Christ at the bema seat and do what will give an account which means we now remember, and probably with his help recall those things which are unprofitable in those things which were profitable, for which we will be rewarded second printing chapter fibers 10 sounds like were going to do a lot of remembering in fact and in John's letter here later on in Revelation chapter 19 were told that in the new heaven and earth, the clothing we wear will actually be reflecting the testimony of our deeds on earth that brought glory to God.

No wonder Paul said, I am giving everything I have, to press on the run this race to win the prize.

He writes in prescriptions 924 know the joys of having and will be that our minds will be renewed and performed and perfected will have a sinless perspective and we will discover like never before of God's grace. Heaven will not require some form of spiritual amnesia. We all get a shot at the gate were inoculated against remembering anything since Jesus Christ is chosen to retain in his glorified body prominent. What scars does that really heaven for him. What I really heaven for him to remember how he died for us will ruin heaven for us as we see him and recognize fully that it was our sin that scarred know it will make heaven all that much sweeter. As we understand more fully the depth and glory of the forgiveness and grace of God see the plan of God for heaven is one that includes him reminding us of his grace forever.

By the way, this makes hell all that horrible to have the memory that unrepentant man who died across the chasm from Lazarus and Abraham said oh you please send somebody because I've got five. What if I brothers he remembered new adult pikemen will have his memories to he will not be leaping for joy but for the redeemed, though we remember so much of our lives on earth. We will be granted perfected perspective of heaven choose not to dwell on sin and sorrow diminished, frankly, will matter anyway.

Much of it for our perspective will be much like Joseph suffered greatly and was honored greatly and his brothers came to him and he said you know it really doesn't matter you meant it for evil. Yes I know it was suffering. But but God meant it for what could that was the dominating emotion and feeling number three third misconception being in heaven means we do have questions will get immediate answers.

I find it fascinating. These martyrs are praying for God to act in a literally a prayer request. They offered to God and God says wait so encouraging to me, he doesn't really give them an answer. In fact, he simply redirect their attention to the glory of heaven in the coming judgment he says is effectively up to him and he's in control and in charge and has everybody numbered will dies were martyrs. They ask God tells them to wait that response. By the way explodes yet another misconception that in heaven there is no more time, God's answer to the martyrs.

Verse 11 is for a little while longer should rest for a little while, you could translate it a little time yet products a little time yet you can't wait a little time to pass by for a little time to go to elapse unless there is time you say but doesn't the Bible say and time shall be no more.

No writer said that the perfectly good him actually the King James version in chapter 10 verse six, you may look there rights. There should be time no longer that seems to be the background of the misconception to perfectly fine translation as long as you understand the context with context in mind, you can amplify that verse three. There will be no no longer time standing in the way of God's next act of judgment. That's what he saying is nothing. There's no more time. In fact, my translation takes that into account when this is there is no longer any delay.

No time standing between this and that Buddhism believes that eternity is without time and were just in nothingness forever. Heaven is vastly different. The tree of life is going to yield fruit every month. The Bible says month without the passing of days and weeks in the calculation of time. He said we have months though we don't have the moon. Our son all the Bible and say that either in the new heaven and earth, earth will be remade all his qualities I believe with the cosmos as is perfected. Earth will be much again like the Garden of Eden.

What the Bible does say in Revelation 24 is a refers to the new city of Jerusalem that many believe will hover over the old city that city that is described by John, it says that in that city.

There is no need of sun or moon, the sun is shining out there right now but we have no need of it because in here we have another source of light.

So in the new city doesn't mean there will be a son re-created. It simply means it'll need it because of divine resplendent resident glory. But in this remade earth. There will be seasons and months events all elements of timing will deal with it more later we go to chapter 21 hopefully for the rapture occurs right to me say one more thing about time. One of the things we see over and over again occurring in heaven is music and music requires what time meter and tempo and rests and retired all of those are essential components to music and each of them are related to time. I remember in my eight years of piano lessons.

One of things I struggle because I struggle with Matt and it's a formula you get to know many beats per measure and you have to know how Whitley paid his play.

This court notes in his dotted notes and 16th notes and when arrested, how many beats they they didn't get.

You put the formula together and sell because I struggle with time.

So much my piano teacher and back then lessons were and how more or less a death sentence, but they were an hour-long, she would reach over and she would turn on the metronome that the instrument of great torture and she's at the speed and I went to play, keeping time, I know from experience. You cannot have music without time passing. For now, time is an enemy in this good things happen. You're on the phone will long distance friend. Time flies and barely losing or having a root canal. We would get behind. We we miss it in heaven. Time will never work against us. You will never ever run out of one of these martyrs who been told to go and spend some time enjoying the rest. They do and they soon break in the song, but if we could interview them today, what would they have to say it was I think they would certainly commend us to our God is holy and true, generous, creative, and gracious. The one who has prepared heaven for us all believe in his son. I believe these martyrs would urge you to place your faith in the Savior. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I also believe the martyrs would urge those of us who do believe to live on earth.

With this new heaven and new earth to run with great diligence, passion, race of God.

I hope this time in God's word has encouraged and challenged you today this is wisdom for the hearts and our Bible teacher, Stephen Devi is the senior pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina. If you'd like to listen to this lesson again or if there someone in your life who would be encouraged by hearing the lesson you just heard you can go to our website which is wisdom and listen to with their it's also available on our smart phone app which you'll find in the iTunes or the Google play stores we can make this lesson available on a CD. If you prefer to have it that way and you can call us for information at 86 648 Bible on tomorrow's broadcast.

Stephen continues in his series through this section of Revelation. So join us here on wisdom for the hearts

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