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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Michael the Archangel, Jewelry, and the 144,000

John Bradshaw - Michael the Archangel, Jewelry, and the 144,000

John Bradshaw - Michael the Archangel, Jewelry, and the 144,000
TOPICS: Line Upon Line

John Bradshaw: Welcome to "Line Upon Line," great to have you with us. I'm John Bradshaw; with me is Wes Peppers here at "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. We get to answer your Bible questions. We love receiving them, so if you'd like to submit one, email us at [email protected], [email protected]. Wes, great to see you.

Wes Peppers: Fantastic, John, good to be here, looking forward to some great Bible questions today.

John Bradshaw: Here's the thing; there was a time in your life where you weren't any kind of Bible student.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Do you remember that?

Wes Peppers: I do.

John Bradshaw: You remember it well?

Wes Peppers: It was my late teens, early 20s, I was actually an atheist, and I hated God, hated the Bible, had no interest in Christianity whatsoever. I actually studied the Bible to try to prove it false.


And through that I found the answers that I was looking for, solid, intelligent answers, but also Christ became very real to me. It was a powerful experience.

I was raised in a religious home, you may call it a Christian home, but okay, let's call it Christian, the Bible was sort of respected, I suppose, it was the Bible, after all, but we had no time for it. We had a Bible in the house; it collected dust. When I started getting biblical answers to my questions, the light just came on for me, changed my life. So, our hope is that something you hear or learn can be a blessing to you. We're gonna start with a question from Moses, who asks, "Who is Michael the archangel, and who is the rider of the white horse in Revelation, chapter 6"? All right, where do we begin with Michael the archangel?

Sure. That's a great question, and, you know, the Bible talks about Michael five different times, three times in Daniel, once in Jude, and once in the book of Revelation, so I wanna take a look at that verse in Revelation. In Revelation, chapter 12, it says in verse 7, "And war broke out in heaven". Michael the arch... "Michael and His angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought". So, every time you see this context with Michael, He's always in battle with the devil, five times.


And you see some different characteristics about Michael. In this chapter He's fighting with the devil; He wins the battle; He casts him out. In Jude, it says that He resurrected the body of Moses. In Daniel He's also contending with the powers of darkness, so each time you find that. It calls him Michael the archangel, and there's actually another text, in the book of Thessalonians, that we're very familiar with, 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, where it says...

"The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel".

Which is very interesting. So the Lord Himself, Jesus, has the voice of the archangel. So what does the word archangel mean? The word "arch" comes from the Greek word, "archi," which means "commander of, or one who is in charge of, the angels".


So, what we find is that Michael really is a name for Jesus.

Now, the minute you say that, someone says...


..".Oh yeah, sure, I see what you mean, Jesus, the ruler over the angels," but here's what both of us know from experience. You say that, and somebody comes unglued because you just made Jesus an angel.

That's right.

So, can I speak to your heart?


Jesus is not an angel. Jesus is not a created being. This designation where the Bible describes Christ as Michael is not saying Christ is an angel. Would you repeat that after me? Jesus is not an angel. What He is is the ruler over the angels. We can understand that.

That's right.


That's right.

There's a spiritual war going on, and the angels are on the front lines of that war. Who is leading them? Who is over them?



That's right.

Yeah, so Michael is Jesus, the leader of, the ruler over the angels, the one who leads them in spiritual war. So, please don't even take a moment to say, "Oh, those guys made Jesus a created being". No, we didn't. Jesus is eternal; He is the Self-existent One; He is the leader over the angels. "They made him an angel".


I'm starting to lose my patience.

That's right.

I'm really not; I'm really not. I just know that it happens so many times that people will say, "Oh, you made Him an angel or a created being". He isn't, but He is Michael, and the name Michael means "one who is like God," so that's a fascinating thing too.

It's very powerful, because Jesus has many names in the Scriptures.


And that's just another name for Him. When you look at those characteristics... He battles the devil in heaven, He casts him out, He raises Moses from the dead in Jude, and the three times in Daniel He's contending with the powers of darkness, and in Daniel, chapter 12, He stands for God's people...

Yeah. the judgment, and so all those characteristics can't fit an angel.

That's correct.

But Jesus, the archangel, the commander of the angels.

Yes, Jesus is "the Lamb of God".

That's right.

No one believes Jesus is wooly. Jesus is "the door"; no one thinks He's made of wood. Jesus is so many things that are descriptors of who He is, and that's true with this designation, Michael. Well, good, glad you got that. I wanna ask this question from William. Hey, this is a good one, impressive question.

Great question, yeah.

"I'm struggling with my flesh. I surrendered and failed. Am I lost"? William, let me assure you of something. You might be lost. I'm not saying you can't have any security or can't have any assurance. It depends on you, William. It doesn't depend on God, inasmuch as He has already offered to forgive you; He's already said He loves you; He already accepted you. If you fell, well, turn to the Lord. Continue in faith; don't give up. God won't give up on you until you say, "I'm done". That's why I say "could be lost". Have you quit on God? Did you run from God? Have you decided you don't want anything more to do with Jesus? Have you burned your Bible and gone and lived a whole new crazy life? Yeah, if you were doing that, I wouldn't want you to have too much assurance of your salvation. But here's what you gotta know: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholds him with His hand". You read that in Psalm 37, verses 23 and 24. We don't want people to feel like falling is inconsequential.

That's right.

But man, you can't feel that a fall, a stumble, is the end of your salvation.

That's right, and struggling is not failing.


Struggling is struggling, and the good news is that Jesus can help us through those struggles. And here in this life, there's constantly forces of darkness that are pressing against us, there's media, there's all kinds of things that we battle on a regular basis, and so the struggle and the battle of self in this life is gonna be constant until Jesus comes, and we're always gonna have that wrestling. You know, Paul talks about this in Romans 7; he says, "The things that I want to do, I don't do".

Yeah. "The things I don't wanna do, I do," and he works through this wrestling that each of us have every day, and at the end he says, "I," he says, "O wretched man that I am"! He came to that conclusion, and really we should too, that in ourselves we're wretched, but he provides the solution as well.

Yeah. Jesus is not excusing sin, William. He spoke to the woman taken in adultery and He said, "Go and sin no more". "You better give that up," is what he's saying, "because it's bad for you; it's bad for your relationship with me; it's sin; it'll lead you to ruin". David fell, and that was all to do with the flesh. We know David died a saved man; in the book of Acts: "David is not [yet] ascended into the heavens". In other words, he's gonna go.

That's right.

Solomon...have mercy! Manasseh...we kinda mention those guys all the time. Who are some other people who fell? James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven.


They had a bad spirit.

That's right.

Peter denied Jesus.


And went on to write a couple of books of the Bible.

That's right, absolutely.

There is hope for you. I'm going to say it's up to you whether you're lost or not, but if you are sincere, and you're sorry, and you repented, and you're hanging in there with Jesus in spite of yourself, and you're growing, no, banish that thought from your mind, man. Your salvation is based on your faith and trust in Jesus. You keep looking to Jesus, "the author and the finisher of your faith". Allow Him to work "in you both to will and to do [according to] His good pleasure". There may be times that you stumble. You don't have to, because Jesus "is able to keep you from falling". But the fact of the matter is, man, once either of your children, or either of mine, learned to walk, they didn't have to fall ever again.


But they did.

They do. My daughter, she skins her knee all the time.

There you go.

And I don't look down at her and say, "Hey, you skinned your knee. You should give up on walking; you should be done with that".


No, I pick her up, I put my arms around her, I love her, I put a little Band-Aid on that, I kiss her on the cheek, and I, you know, tap her on the back and off she goes.

That's right.

And she's happy again, and that's what God does for us, William. You've gotta know that. I think of what Paul says here; he says, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God...through Jesus Christ our Lord"! And Jesus is there, He can keep us from stumbling, but when we do stumble, He's our advocate, and He'll raise us back up every time.

Well, one of the great problems people have is they sin, and then they get discouraged.

That's right.

Now. I get it. You shouldn't sin and be encouraged that you sinned.


But look away from yourself and look to heaven.


Somebody once said the hardest battle anyone ever had to fight was the battle against self.

That's right.

I've heard people describe that as, "Oh, man, I took a second piece of chocolate cake, or ate too much dessert. Oh, battle against self"! Okay, okay. Yeah, fine.

Yeah. Some element of truth to that, maybe.

Yeah, but the greater battle against self? "God doesn't love me; I'm lost," because what you're doing is you're looking at yourself. You need to be looking at Jesus. It's worth spending the time on that question because that could be the difference between a happy life in Jesus and a miserable life outside of Jesus.


William, hang in there. God is with ya, not against ya.


Question for ya, Wes, from Dean: "Are the 144,000 in Revelation a literal number..., or is it [a] symbolic [number]"? We could take forever on this, and I don't think we need to.

I don't think we need to, and the answer is, whether it's literal or symbolic, we wanna be in that group.


And, you know, I think of Revelation 14, verse 1; John here sees with, standing with the Lamb the 144,000; they have the Father's name "written on their foreheads".


Which means they have the character of God, and, you know, that, there's a lot of symbolism in the book of Revelation. And are there exactly 144,000? We don't know, it could be symbolic, but this is the group that will see Jesus come in the clouds of heaven.

That's right. So the 144,000, that's the group of people saved and alive on earth when Jesus comes back, ready to meet Him. When we look in Revelation, chapter 14, and I'm gonna do that, we discover a lot of symbolism: "I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand," as you said, with the Father's name... Did John envision, look, and see a wooly lamb? Is that what he looked to see? No, it was Jesus, wasn't it?

Yeah, that's right.

Was Jesus really on Mount Zion? Well, we don't know, but He was certainly somewhere.


It goes on to talk about these people being virgins, "not defiled with women," so if it's a literal number, they must all be literal virgins.

That's right.

None of them would be parents; none of them would be married; you're looking for 144,000 celibate Jewish men. And that's why we would tend to think that the 144,000 number is symbolic as well.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Now, if you fault me, or Pastor Wes, no sweat. I don't think anybody's salvation depends on this; I really don't. The key is to understand who they are and then to know that they have the Father's character re-formed in their mind, and we want that, and we can have that. We can have that. And you can have that, so turn to Jesus. Ask Him to do a great work in you; tell Him not to quit. Tell Him you won't be happy until He has completed all in you that can possibly be done and prepared you to stand on the circle of the earth on that great day when Jesus returns. We'll be back with more in a moment. Email us a question: [email protected]. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw, more "Line Upon Line" in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. We are answering your Bible questions, the "we" being me, John Bradshaw, and my friend and colleague from It Is Written, Wes Peppers. Wes, I wanna ask you this question; it comes to us from Deborah. Deborah asks, "Why do some Christians wear jewelry and others don't"?

Well, that's a great question. There are a number of verses in the Bible that speak about this, and I think they're pretty clear, and there's some pieces that can go with that, but we're gonna read this first verse, 1 Peter, chapter 3, verse 3 and 4. It says, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward...arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel... rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God".

Okay, let me read this from 1 Timothy, chapter 2, starting in verse 9: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves"... and by the way, I think this would be women or men... "in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array: but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works". There's an emphasis here on inward adorning, not outward adorning. Now, we must be careful, because we are talking about something that to some people is very personal to them.

Very sensitive, yeah.

Yeah, and so we wanna respect that. And the other thing is, you start talking about jewelry... a moment ago we were talking about fine apparel, fancy clothes, so let's just pivot for a second. I would say that for some people I know wearing a real expensive suit wouldn't be inappropriate. Maybe they move in certain circles, maybe they got tons of money, maybe they wouldn't really miss it, maybe for them to show up at a function that they attend with high-end people in a suit they got from a department store just wouldn't be cool.

That's right, I think so.

Yeah. Yeah. But for me, to wear a $2,500 suit would be wildly inappropriate.


It would be way beyond my means; I would... it just wouldn't look good. So, some of this is a little relative, but we do need to say...with hair? I mean, you got that figured out, no problem here.

Yeah. I got the solution solved.

Yeah, and me, I don't have much to worry about. Well, should I say, I got a lot to worry about. You gotta look good, but it can be overdone.


It can just be overdone where it's clearly not for looking appropriate; it's become about show.

That's right.

So now, back to this, God wants us to adorn the heart, not the body. What do you say?

I agree with that, and we think about... you know, sometimes people wear things, and they may wear jewelry or whatever, and they get compliments.


But the reality is the compliment is about the thing rather than the person, and that's what Peter and Paul are saying. Let those compliments be about the character of Jesus shining through us. And when I really think about this, you know, God created us in a certain way, and when we are His, He calls us to live as He created us, and when we have Jesus, we have everything; we, you have the greatest treasure of heaven.


And so both authors, Peter and Paul, they're calling us to allow Jesus to be that treasure, both inward and outward.

You read about this in Genesis as well, Genesis 35...


...other places. What I don't want anybody to think is that grandma's lost because she put an earing on.

That's right.

Or if you're a saved individual that suddenly you can't go to heaven because you've got a necklace around your neck. I don't want you to go there. I think, like you do, the Bible is pretty clear, and that's why I follow that. Here's what I would encourage you to do. Read the Bible for yourself about this subject, come to your own understanding, prayerfully in consultation with God, and then if you see the Bible speaks about this in the way that we've explained, make a bold statement for Jesus. Make a statement that says I wanna follow His will; I don't wanna open myself up to criticism from anybody who says, "Yeah, you call yourself a Christian, but look what you're doing, in view of what the Bible says". Take a stand and be seen to be on the Lord's side on this issue. You've probably done it on many other issues. And if you don't see it that way, the question is, "Why do some and why do some not"? So the question, I think, is because people read it in more than one way. By the way, this was written a couple of thousand years ago. People did wear jewelry; today you are really the exception if you don't.

That's right.

It's cultural.

It's cultural.

It's fashion...make a statement; you be you; show your thing; get tatted up because you're an individual. People can read things different ways because of culture, background, 'cause your church has always taught this, you've never read it before, some people 'cause they're precious about it.


So, you go to God and talk about that, but that's how we see the Bible teaching on that subject. All right, Wes, you got our next question for us; what is it?

Certainly. This question comes from Nancy: "When it says in Revelation 21 that nothing...has gone on before the creation of the new heaven will be remembered, will we still remember the good things we had in our life"?

It is hard to say that we forget everything, hard to imagine. Jesus went to heaven, came back, and recognized people and remembered what had gone on before. You might say that's different, and you might be right, but I don't know that we're gonna get to heaven as though our brain has been removed and it's just this complete blank slate. Of course, there'll be memories. Will you remember the bad stuff? I don't think so.

I don't think so.

Will you say, "It was such a tough life"? No, I don't think so. Will people who were persecuted... remember the hardship of all of that? I don't think so. One of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in my life, man: My wife delivers our first child. Never an easy process. Jacob is born; she goes through that whole difficult childbirth process. I catch the baby...I caught him and held up my son. Ha-ha-ha!


Great moment! We hand the baby to mommy. She lays him on her chest. The pain is forgotten, man.


Just forgotten, I mean it's not forgotten forever. In that moment's the child... you're not thinking about the difficulty you went through.


At least not in that moment.


I think heaven's gonna be a little like that, don't you?

I think so, and, you know, you think about the hardest thing you've gone through in this life. The Bible talks about the tree of life, that "the leaves...were for the healing of the nations". And Paul says also, in the book of Corinthians, that we will know even as we're also known here. So there are many indications that we will know each other; we'll remember those wonderful memories. But I think that the greatest treasure is that the pain that we've experienced in this life, when we're standing in the presence of God, Pastor John, the love of God is gonna so fill our hearts that that pain is just gonna wince away.


It's gonna be gone, and the only scars that will remain will be those that Jesus has in His hands and in His feet, and so that'll be a great blessing, and I think God's love will bring healing. You know, we'll remember things of this life, we'll remember each other, but the pain and suffering we experience, it's just gonna fade away into memory in the presence of the goodness of God.

Yeah, yeah, amen, amen to that, amen to that. Question here from Patricia: "Why did God change Jacob's name to Israel"? And, by the way, we recently did an It Is Written program on this called "Your New Name," so I'd encourage you to go to and go to the archive, hit the "It Is Written" program, and look up "Your New Name". You'll like that program, deals with this. All right, what's the answer? Why did God change his name?

Well, because he had gotten victory.


And he was, he had been a liar, a thief, not even a thief, but a deceiver, and he had...well, he had been a thief in many aspects.

Yeah, yeah, ripped off his brother.

Ripped off his brother, lied to his father, had to flee, his brother was ready to kill him, he lived in the wilderness, but in that time he had an experience with God; he had a transforming conversion experience. He laid his head on the rock, and he saw the vision of Jesus as the ladder, and the angels ascending and descending, and his life became transformed. But he still wrestled.


And on his way back to meet his brother, he spends the night alone, and he wrestles with God.

Yes, literally.

He wrestles all night long, and God gave him that new name as a symbol of being victorious in that, just that experience, that relationship with God. So the name Jacob means "supplanter or deceiver".


The name Israel means "prince of God," and so God gave him a new name to describe his new walk with Him, that new relationship as the prince or the son of God.

And important too, because you had the line that began with Abraham and was gonna go all the way down to Jesus; the Messiah was gonna come from that line. Abraham had some challenges; Isaac, too. Along comes Jacob; he's gonna be an ancestor of Christ; the covenant promise is gonna be fulfilled in him. I wonder if there were some people looking from afar and saying, "That scoundrel"?


God said, though, "He has a new heart. I've given him a new name, indicative of the fact that he has a new heart". And also, it was Jacob's assurance, when he became Israel, that God had forgiven him. Remember the prayer, "I will not let You go unless You bless me"!


God blessed him, and He said, "You know how much I've blessed ya? Give you a new name"...

That's right.

"Because you have a new heart". The Bible says that we'll have a new name one day. We'll get to heaven, and God will give us a new name because we have received a new mind, a new heart, a new character from God. Be sure to receive that from Him today, and you can when you invite Jesus into your life; that's all you do: Jesus, be my Savior. Lord, give me a new heart; Lord, change my mind. Lord, remake you. God will answer that prayer. Once you've prayed that prayer and you believe it in faith, don't doubt. You say, "I'm a child of God now. I will receive a new name one day. I am a Jesus follower now; my life is new". You keep praying that prayer, keep renewing that relationship with God, and know that God is with you always. All right, what's our next question? Let me take a look here, and it is from Sandra. Ah. "How do you pray in the Spirit"? And "how do you know if [you're praying in the Spirit]"? Some people are gonna say, "You know you're praying in the Spirit because you're uttering interesting things, these"...

Noises and sounds.

..".ecstatic utterances"...

Yeah, right.

..".and new words in a new language". But if you do speak with other tongues, other languages, other bona fide languages, that's a gift of the Holy Spirit. That's good; praise God for it. Most people don't. I have the sneaking suspicion that down towards the very end of time we'll see that more...

Yes. prosper the furtherance of the gospel. So if praying in the Spirit isn't just praying... with ecstatic utterances, how do you know if you're praying in the Spirit?

Why, you know, the scripture, Jesus talks about this in the Gospels, in John, chapter 16 and other places, that we wanna be in unity with the Spirit; we wanna be submissive to the will of God. And I don't see why...every time we pray, we're gonna be praying in the Spirit...

That's right.

...and praying in submission to His will, asking Him to guide us. And it's not that we're using the Spirit to do something, but the Spirit is speaking to us in the heart and through the Bible. And so, certainly, you know, there's not praying in the Spirit and praying out of Spirit. You're either praying in the Spirit...

That's right.

...or you're not really praying at all.


And so Paul talks about this in Romans, that when we pray, the Spirit carries our prayers into the throne room of heaven.

I just turned to that very verse.

Yeah, mixes them with the prayers of Christ.

That's right.

Maybe you wanna read that verse?

Oh, it tells us, "The Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings [that] cannot be uttered".

That's right.

Romans 8, verse 26.

That's right.

We are to pray guided by, motivated by, impelled by the Holy Spirit. When you are surrendered to God, the Spirit of God is working in your mind, working in your life. You are praying in the Spirit in harmony with God.

And by the way, we should mention this, that praying in the Spirit will always lead us to be in harmony with the Word of God.


There are many people that say, "Well, the Word of God says this, but the Spirit told me something else". But the Spirit doesn't do that. They are one; Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit are one, along with the Word...Jesus is the Word, so he's never gonna tell us something that's contradictory to the Word of God.

Absolutely right, that's all we have time for. So glad you joined us. Let's do this again. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
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