Revelation 7 – The Sealing of God’s Servants & Gay Friendly Christians

Finger Pointing Up

1 Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama thinks her man is above the law, and that the color of his skin obliges American citizens to vote for him. Qualifications and legitimacy mean nothing.
Which of the two is more of a man, physically speaking?

Many say that Obama is gay, that he is the first gay president, but others say that Obama is the second or maybe the third gay president because Bush was first and Clinton may be have been second.

No one believes that Obama’s Birth Certificate is authentic, and I tend to agree with that.  Some say that not only is he not a true American, but he and some of this Secret Service aren’t even human.

So tomorrow we will look at…

Revelation 7
The Sealing of God’s Servants

1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

7:1-17 – a parenthesis separating the final seal from the preceding six (the same feature is found in the trumpet sequence; see 10:1-11:13).  It contains two visions:

(1) the sealing of the 144,000 (vv. 1-8) and
(2) the innumerable multitude (vv. 9-17).

“Four winds” – destructive agents of God (see Jer 49:36).

2 22 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

“Seal of the living God” – ancient documents were folded and tied, and a lump of clay was pressed over the knot.  The sender would then stamp the hardening clay with his signet ring or roll it with a cylinder seal, which authenticated and protected the contents.

The sealing in chapter 7 results in the name of the Lord bring stamped on the forehead of His followers (see 9:4, 14:1, cf. 22:4).  Its primary purpose is to protect the 144,000 Jews in the coming judgments.

For the background see Eze 9:4, where the mark was the Hebrew letter Taw, made like an X or +.

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

“A hundred and forty and four thousand” – some find here a reference to members of actual Jewish tribes, the faithful Jewish remnant of the “great tribulation” (v. 14).

3 3Others take the passage as symbolic of all the faithful believers who lived during the period of the tribulation.  This must be a reference to actual Jews, because they are listed by tribes and then distinguished from the great multitude of Gentiles (v. 9-17), who are from every tongue, tribe, nation and people.

5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

“Juda” – perhaps listed before Reuben, his older brother, because the Messiah belonged to the tribe of Judah.

6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

Manasses” – one of the two Joseph tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh), yet mentioned separately, probably to make up 12 tribes since Dan is omitted.  This omission is due perhaps to Dan’s early connection with idolatry (Jud 18:30), or to a tradition that the antichrist was to come from that tribe.

7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

4 The Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is a book of prophecy on the end times and comprises the final book of the New Testament and the Bible.
The Greek word for Revelation is Αποκαλυψις, or Apocalypse.

Revelation always implies the unveiling of something previously hidden, in this case, future events.

The first 4 verses of chapter one are key to setting the stage for this intriguing text.

John opens the Book naming this the “Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

As the final book of the Bible, it brings to fruition symbolism found in Gen 3:15 in the first book of the Bible.

The book, also known as the Apocalypse of John, was written by the Apostle John, the Beloved Disciple, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, while he was in exile.

Written in symbolism, the book has always been surrounded by mystery, and has fascinated mankind throughout the ages as to its meaning.

The Book of Revelation is at once frightening, as it speaks of the rise of the antichrist and the end of the age, dramatic as it describes the final battle of good and evil, and, above all, optimistic, as it points to the triumph of Jesus Christ over evil and the dawn of a new creation.

The number seven resounds throughout Revelation and often serves as a key to important events.

There are the seven Churches, and the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls.

There are the seven angels who stand before the Lord (8:2).

One also speaks of the seven Blessings or Beatitudes – μακáριος – of Revelation, as found in 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, and 22:14.

Following the proclamation of the Kingdom of God (11:15), seven spiritual figures are revealed: the Woman clothed with the sun (12:1); the dragon (12:3); the male child (12:5); Michael (12:7); the sea beast – θηρíον (13:1); the land beast – θηρíον (13:11); and the Lamb (14:1).

Revelation describes The Book of Life and gives a warning about the Day of Judgement.

The only ones to enter the New Jerusalem will be those written in The Book of Life – τῷ βιβλίῳ τῆς ζωῆς – of the Lamb (21:27).

Those that write their own laws, ignoring God will be burn in hell for eternity.

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

“Great multitude” – identified in v. 14 as those who have come out of the great tribulation.

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

“Salvation to our God” – see Gen 49:18; Jon 2:9.  These individuals were saved, but not protected as the 144,000 during the tribulation, and therefore they lost their lives.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“Great tribulation” – the period of final hostility prior to Christ’s return.  Some hold that the beginning of this hostility was already being experienced by the church of John’s day.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

“Temple” – all 16 references to the temple in Revelation use the word that designates the inner shrine rather than the larger precincts.  It is the place where God’s presence dwells.

“Dwell among them” – the imagery would evoke memories of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Lev 26:11-13).

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Can You Be a “Practicing Gay”
and a “True Christian?”

The answer is a flat no.  Being gay is not a sin, participating in the gay world is.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24).

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev 20:13).

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Rom 1:24-27).

The above scriptures, Rom 1:24-25 explains why God hates homosexuality.  He created us to be men or women and for us to love and enjoy the opposite sex. 

5When a homosexual or lesbian prefers their own kind then they are altering what God has created and basically saying that they are more important than God is. 

Therefore, more-or-less, putting their own desires before God and are committing idolatry.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3).

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LOD thy God am a jealous God” (Ex 20:5).

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).

There is a tendency to declare homosexuality as the worst of all sins. While it is undeniable, biblically speaking, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural (Rom 1:26-27), in no sense does the Bible describe homosexuality as an unforgivable sin.

6 1There is only one sin that God will not forgive:

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matt 12:31-32).

Nor does the Bible teach that homosexuality is a sin Christians will never struggle against. 

Yet, there is no excuse to practice the gay or perverted lifestyle because God is here to help us with temptations:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).

7 1Perhaps that is the key phrase in the question of whether it is possible to be a gay Christian: “struggle against.”

It is possible for a Christian to struggle with homosexual temptations. Many homosexuals who become Christians have ongoing struggles with homosexual feelings and desires.

Some heterosexual men and women have experienced a “spark” of homosexual interest at some point in their lives.

Whether or not these desires and temptations exist does not determine whether a person is a Christian. The Bible is clear that no Christian is sinless:

“If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his words is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8, 10).

While the specific sin/temptation varies from one Christian to another, all Christians have struggles with sin, and all Christians sometimes fail in those struggles, but as noted above, God will always give us a way to battle and defeat temptations.

I have mentioned before that I had a gay brother that died of AIDS, but once he accepted Christ he stopped having sex with men. 

8 1He lived ten years with Christ, rather than with men.  He didn’t stop being gay, he just retired from the lifestyle.

What differentiates a Christian’s life from a non-Christian’s life is the struggle against sin. The Christian life is a progressive journey of overcoming the “acts of the flesh”:

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21).

All Christians fall into at least one of the above categories, including myself.  I’m not gay, but I have other temptationS (the capital S is not a typo).

During my last stint in prison (2007-2010) I told God that I wanted to be like Paul and I asked Him to remove the desire I have for women, drugs, alcohol, and money.

Do you think He did?  Not one bit.  I like to have money so I can spend it on women, drugs and alcohol.  When I got out of the joint I was in quite a fix, what am I to do?  Remember the above scripture (1 Cor 10:13).

When I went to prison I had to sell my house or the bank would foreclose on it so when I got out I had to live with my mother, who lives somewhat out in the boonies.

I had money to buy a car, so all I had to do was get my driver’s license, a car and I’m good to go.  God was always on my mind and we talked frequently (not as much as when I was in prison, when I was in prison we talked daily), so I wasn’t worried, I was ready to battle those vices.

9Anyway, He told me not to get my driver’s license, that He would tell me when to get it.  So I waited, I waited until June of 2013 (three years).  Then I was ready to get a car, but God told me to wait, that He would find me a car I would be happy with when it was time.

Again, I waited and the five main things I wanted in my car were:

1. Perfect condition, i.e., no work needed at that time,
2. Good on gas,
3. Leather seats,
4. Automatic, with the gear shift off the steering wheel, and
5. A good stereo that played CDs.

On December 31, 2013, I got my car, a 2011 Toyota Camry LE, and it has all of the above.  Plus, it is a 4 cylinder, but also a 6 speed so I can drive it as an automatic or as a manual. 

It had only one owner and is certified, i.e., if anything goes wrong with the engine or transmission in seven years Toyota will fix it for nothing.  Also, the previous owner had it altered a bit so even though it is labeled as an LE, it’s an XLE.

And all of that because I waited on God.

So why did God make me wait?  Because I wasn’t strong enough to re-enter the world as I thought, I would have been bombarded with all my temptations and with my past track record I probably would have ended up in the joint again or dead.

So are all my temptations gone?  Not at all, but I’m prepared now.  Have I sinned?  You bet, and out of my four vices I noted above, I failed twice on the strongest of the vices – women.  But God has forgiven me and as of the day of this writing (April 5, 2014) I have not failed in this department for over 13 months.

10 1There are times when the devil brings past feelings of the good times I had with booze and cocaine, but I shrug it off.  Those two I no longer have the desire for, but God didn’t take it away, He strengthened me so I can battle against them.  The temptation is still there, but not the desire.

Remember to always wear the Armor of God:

“Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph 11-13, also 14-17).

In regards to money, I’ve failed on that numerous times, i.e., I spent a lot of time here and there working online.

It’s not that we should not work, but God told me that I needed to work on this blog, and not to worry about money, that He would provide.

I no longer neglect my Jerry and God blog, I trust God to His word.

11We must always allow God’s Spirit to produce the “fruit of the Spirit” within us:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).

Christians sin, sometimes horribly. Sadly, sometimes Christians are indistinguishable from non-Christians. However, a true Christian will always repent, will always eventually return to God, and will always resume the struggle against sin.

But the Bible gives no support for the idea that a person who perpetually and unrepentantly engages in sin can indeed be a Christian, on the contrary:

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries (Heb 10:26-27).

12 1First Corinthians 6:9-10 (shown above) lists sins that, if indulged in continuously, identify a person as not being redeemed – not being a Christian. Some versions of the bible leaves our homosexuality in that list, but it’s included, a sin is a sin to God.

You can be a gay Christian, but you CANNOT be a “Practicing Gay” Christian!  But, you can obviously be a “Practicing Gay” politician.

…Shape Shifters?

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