Rabbi Schneider - What Saves Us from God's Judgment?
And where we're going today, is we're going to look at a scene in heaven where there's a scroll and no one is found worthy to open the scroll. I want to actually begin today by going with you to the book of Revelation, chapter number 5. And we're gonna actually read through this together, Revelation chapter 5. Now let me set the stage, the antichrist has emerged. How did he emerge? Because there was a spirit of tremendous desperation and chaos on the earth. And in this climate of desperation and chaos, this political figure arose. He was so confident. He put forth such a facade of having the answers, that the world was duped by him in their desperation and because the world had sunk into a state of moral depravity. At first it seemed like this one that was called the antichrist, or is called the antichrist was gonna be able to solve the world problems, but eventually about midway through his reign, three and a half years into his reign the Antichrist begins to be revealed for who he really is, a demonic and evil figure. There begins to be such destruction unleashed upon the planet that the world, Jesus said, "Has never seen anything like it before, or after".
Now as the Antichrist emerges and the world becomes infiltrated with demons, eventually God's wrath is poured out upon the world. His wrath is poured out, we read, we're gonna see in a second, in twenty one different judgments. We're gonna begin in Revelation 5. We're gonna see that this scroll contains the twenty one judgments, which are broken up into three different categories of seven. There are seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls, seven, seven, seven. Seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls for a total of twenty one different judgments. Not since the time of Noah where the Lord destroyed the world with the flood has the world ever encountered the wrath of God like we're gonna read about today in the book of Revelation. The world has come to its end. God has been patient with man for thousands and thousands of years and now God's patience is over, judgment has come. There's no relenting. There's no turning back. It's over. God's judgment is poured upon the earth. The righteous will be rescued and the rest of the earth will be destroyed.
Now, we're gonna be talking a little bit further in the series as to why God did this. In other words, when we read the book of Revelation, when we read about the different judgments that we'll be reading about in the next several messages, some of us ask our self, "How could this be? I thought God is a loving God. How could He pour out such fury upon people on the earth"? It seems like a disconnect to many of us, that a loving God could pour forth such wrath. But as we continue I'm gonna share with you beloved, this is not the act of a God who is unjust, or mean spirited. This is the loving act of a patient Savior that has waited as long as is possible for men to repent. Men have made up their mind. Those that have not repented are on a trajectory of destruction. There's no more opportunity left for them and God pours forth His wrath in order to cleanse the world of evil, so that He can start over and begin to build His millennial kingdom, culminating with the new heaven and a new earth.
So I want to go with you today to the book of Revelation, chapter number 5. We're just beginning to set the stage. We're not actually in the twenty one judgments yet, but we're looking at the scene that sets the stage for these twenty one judgments. I encourage you if you have your Bible to read along with me. I'm gonna go slow now through these passages of scripture, because this is such an important portion of God's word. Remember, Jesus said in the first chapter of the book of Revelation and in the last chapter of the book of Revelation, Yeshua said, "Blessed is he that reads, studies and heeds the words of this book". And He was referring to, beloved ones, the book of Revelation. So this is extremely important. One of the most important portions of the word of God. I know that many of you that are watching right now have never paid much attention to the book of revelation, but today I'm challenging you and charging you that we must.
So let's dig in. We begin, Revelation chapter 5 verse 1. John is speaking. He is in the midst of a vision. He said, "I saw in the right hand of him who sat on a throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up were seven seals. And in God's hand is a book and I saw strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?'" So John had this mysterious sense in him that there was something in the book and that the seal that kept the book closed needed to be broken, so that the contents, beloved ones, of what was in the book could be released. In other words, there was a sense of destiny, the sense of momentum, the sense of the Spirit of God there was contained in the book to go forward so that the purpose and destiny of God could be fulfilled on the planet. The problem was, listen, no one was found worthy to open the book. No one was found worthy to break the seal.
So once again he said in verse 2, "And I saw strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?'" Get this, "And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book, or to look into it". John says, "Then I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it". So get this sense, John knows inside this book, this mysterious book that's inside the hand of God that John sees on the throne, the sense of destiny, God's glorified purposes would be expressed upon the planet. Something needed to happen. The glory of God needed to be expressed and manifest, but it could only happen if the contents of the book were unleashed. And yet John saw that there was no one found worthy to break the seal out of the book, so that the contents couldn't be manifest.
So John, when he sees that no one was worthy to open the book, begins to weep. The scripture says, "That in heaven no one was found worthy, on the earth no one was found worthy, under the earth no one was found worthy". We could imagine it, that in the heavens the eyes of the Lord begin to look. He looks at the seraphim. He looks at the cherubim. He looks at dead saints. He looks through all the host of heaven. No one in heaven was found worthy to open the book. Then the eyes of the Lord go upon the earth and the great leaders upon the earth were looked at. The great men upon the world, the kings, those that were religious leaders, the great preachers, the great teachers, the great political leaders, the great athletes, those that mankind esteemed, that were on the earth, "None of them," John said, "Were worthy to open the book that we're living at the present time".
And then the eyes of heaven go under the earth, those that had died in times past and John once again sees, that no one that had died in times past, no one that was under the earth was found worthy to open the book. Great leaders of the past, great military generals, the reformers of the faith, great people that had lived, great individuals that the Lord had used to start, to launch great reformation, even the apostles, none were found worthy to open the book. So once again John sees no one in heaven was found worthy. No one in the present time on the earth was worthy and no one that had passed away, no one that was under the earth was worthy. It seems that all hope was lost and the scripture says that John, "Began to weep". It was like a little kid that wanted his present and he couldn't get his present and he begins to cry.
There was something in that book that John wanted to have happen, that John wanted so bad and it appeared that it wasn't gonna happen. But the scene changes, let's listen to the next verse. Verse 4, "Then I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it". Verse 5, "And one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and it's seven seals.' And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders, a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And He came, and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints".
I'm just gonna pause for a second and make a comment and a side note from Revelation 5:8, this verse we just read, let me read it again. "When He had taken the book," the Lamb takes the book, "the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints". And so the scene that John observes in heaven is a scene where there's prayers rising to the Lamb. That represents the bowls. Let me read it again. He says, "Before the Lamb, each one having a harp and golden bowls full of incense". And the scripture tells us that the incense in that same verse, are the prayers of the saints and the harp represents worship music. So what we find is that the atmosphere of heaven is an atmosphere of worship and music and prayer. So the very air that we breathe in heaven, beloved ones, will be filled with worship music and continuous prayer.
Continuing on, getting back to the story line of today's message. "Then they sang," he said. "And they sang a new song, saying," listen, "worthy are You". They're singing to Lord Jesus. "Worthy are You to take the book and to break it's seals. For You were slain and purchased for God with Your own blood, man from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth". So once again the scene is that the Lamb is being worshiped and the Lamb, the Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, the Lamb of God, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the King of David is about to open this book that's gonna unleash the end times plan and mystery of God. "Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands sang, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.'"
And just to make the comment here, that today many preachers and those that represent themselves as Christians, they're good and well to say they believe in God, but when it gets to claiming that Jesus is the only way as the scriptures teach, they back off. But there is no one in heaven that was found worthy to open the book, beloved, but Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Jesus Himself. There is no other way and there is no other person. Jesus must be praised, confessed as the only way to heaven. He is the only one that can open the book and there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved. And nobody that calls himself a Christian can shrink back from naming and proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to God, because His blood alone is the mystery that saves.
Let's continue on, verse 13, "And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.' And the four living creatures kept saying, 'Amen.' And the elders fell down in worship".
Listen again, verse 13, "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb". Jesus said that the Father's purpose is that the Son should be worshiped even as the Father. And he that denies the Son, denies the Father that sent Him. So once again we see, "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb". And so I say to every single one of you weak and lukewarm believers today that shrink back from naming the name of Jesus, that when you talk to somebody that doesn't believe that Jesus is the only way, you shrink back from declaring that He is the only way, I say to you, woe is you. If you call yourself a Christian you must pay the price and stand with Him and confess Him before men. There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved. Well this background of Revelation 5, beloved ones, it sets the stage for the opening of the book and the opening of the book releases now the twenty one judgments of God. Before I actually begin to look at the contents of the book I want to make this statement.
As we begin over the next several weeks to look at these twenty one judgments in the book, I want you to hear me, some of the judgments are easy for us to understand how they could happen, wars, famines, etc. Some are more difficult to understand, as you'll see. Here's what I want to say to you, we can't expect that these judgments will be fulfilled exactly the way that we think that they're going to. The study of prophesy teaches this, that a lot of time when we get so focused in our mind of how prophesy is going to be fulfilled we miss it when it is fulfilled, because we've limited God. For example, in the book of Malachi, Malachi tells us that before Messiah comes, he said Elijah will come. I'm reading now from the book of Malachi, chapter 4 verse 5. Malachi says, "See I will send you," he is speaking on the Lord's behalf. "See I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord".
And so the Jewish people were looking for Elijah to come before Messiah. They were looking for Elijah to come and announce Messiah's coming. And then when Jesus came the religious leaders of the day came up to Jesus and said, "How can you be the Messiah, because the prophet told us that before Messiah came Elijah would come". But notice what Jesus said, "John the Baptist is Elijah if you can receive it". So they were expecting based upon Malachi's prophesy, the same exact Elijah that those that lived during the Tanakh, or during the time of the Old Testament experienced. But instead what happened was John the Baptist came in the same spirit of Elijah. So you see the prophesy was fulfilled in a different way then the Jewish people had expected. They expected it to be a literal Elijah, when in reality was fulfilled when John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. So Jesus said concerning John the Baptist, "He is Elijah if you can receive it".
So even as this prophesy concerning Elijah's coming was fulfilled in a spiritual sense, as opposed to the exact literal sense that the religious people of Yeshua's day expected it to be fulfilled, I simply am saying to you that when we read about these judgments, let's not limit God in how they'll be fulfilled. Some of it's a mystery, but this I can assure you, they will be fulfilled. So let's begin today by looking simply at the first of the judgments. Chapter 6, "Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, 'Come.' I looked and behold the white horse and he who sat on it had a bow and a crown was given to him and he went about conquering and to conquer".
So the first seal that's broken unleashes the Antichrist. The second seal that's broken, verse number 3 and 4 beloved, unleashes war. Now in the book of Matthew chapter number 24 Jesus speaks about this same phenomenon when He says, "When you get in the end times and begin to approach it there's gonna be wars, rumors of wars". And listen He said, "And nation and kingdom will rise against kingdom".