Read: Revelation 5


 "Weep not; lo, the Lion of the Tribe of

 Judah, the Root of David has conquered,

 so that He can open the scroll and its

 seven seals."


Current worldwide upheavals have not hit us very hard

in a material way -- yet.


- We're still able to buy gas for our cars.

- We still have some heat.

- The streets are no more dangerous than they

   were a year ago.


And it's possible that as time passes the atmosphere of

terrorism,  war, earthquake, and the shifting sands of

world leadership will settle down, and many of us will

go back to sleep.


But, at the moment, there is enough disruption and danger

going on around us to rouse us, at least somewhat,

from our slumber.


It's as if we're living at the bottom of a mountain where,

long ago, it was prophesied there would be a landslide

that would engulf our village. For centuries the prophecy

was ignored. But now, we're beginning to see movement in

the very places where it was prophesied the landslide

would begin.


- A few rocks have been seen tumbling down

from that crack in the cliff near the summit.


- A tree falling here, three trees crashing

down over there.


Is this the beginning of the end? Could it be that the

fanatics, who have been warning us, were right after all?


As we look up at the mountain, and hear strange noises,

and feel ominous vibrations under our feet, we get that

sick feeling known as helplessness.


When things go wrong and you can do something about it,

that's not so bad. But, when things go wrong and there

is absolutely nothing you can do but watch and wait,

that can be frightening----especially frightening for

Christians who, all their lives, have never taken any risks,

always played it safe, never exposed themselves

to anything more dangerous than a drive down the freeway

or a flight to Miami.


Christians who, even in their prayers, manage

to stay far enough away from the true and

living God that their lives won't be disrupted.

Who intentionally avoid any encounter with God,

any message of truth, even any thought of God

that might make them tremble,

or weep,

or cover their faces with shame,

or confess their sins,

or destroy their idols,

or change their ways.


Christians who instinctively gravitate to those

doctrines that make them feel comfortable and

who avoid any dealings with people who make them

   feel uncomfortable.


Now, all of a sudden, the mountain begins to tremble,

the rocks begin to fall, and we remember the prophecy

of the landslide. And there is no way out of this valley.

All we can do is sit here and wait.


The question we need to ask ourselves, while it's still

only an occasional rock crashing down, is:


Is the Christ we say we believe in Lord

over that mountain up there as well as

over ourselves?


Do we really believe that when the land

slide comes (and we know it will) it will

be His landslide?


What kind of Jesus have we been worshiping all along?

For most of us its been a Jesus who's about as big as

our thumb.


- Small enough to put in your pocket.

- Small enough to carry Him where you want to,

  to take of His teachings what we like, and

  leave the rest.


No wonder when the mountain begins to shake we feel



But the Jesus who died on that cross outside Jerusalem

two millennia ago, and rose from the dead,

                          and appeared to His disciples,

                          and who has guided His true followers

down through all these generations, is Lord - not over

our little clubs for nice people, and ecclesiastical

kingdoms, but over the whole earth. He is worthy to

break the seals on that scroll that announces God's

judgment on the earth. And when He breaks the seals

on the scroll, those judgments are no longer just things

written down, they become events - they happen. The

Four Horsemen begin to move.


In other words, the Lamb of God, who by His death has

taken away the sins of the world, is also the Lion of

the Tribe of Judah.


Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven

seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures

say, as with a voice of thunder, "Come!" And I

saw and behold, a white horse, and its rider had

a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went

out conquering and to conquer.


When he opened the second seal, I heard the second

living creature say, "Come!" And out came another

horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take

peace from the earth, so that men should slay one

another; and he was given a great sword.


When he opened the third seal, I heard the third

living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold

a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his

hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the

midst of the four living creatures saying, "A

quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts

of barley for a denarius; but do not harm the oil and

wine !"


When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice

of the fourth living creature say, "Come!!" And I

saw, and behold a pale horse, and its rider's name

was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were

given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill

with sword and with famine and with pestilence and

by wild beasts of the earth.


What does all this mean for us, especially in the light

of the fact that the face of our mountain is beginning

to tremble?   It means several things.


First, Jesus Christ is not only earth's Saviour,

         but its Judge.


When the Lamb begins to break the seals, the Age of

Grace is ended and the Day of Judgment has begun.


    - just as faithfully as He held to the road of

      self-emptying and humiliation to lay down His

      life on the cross in order that not one soul

      should be barred from the Kingdom by sin,


   - just as faithfully as the resurrected Jesus

     brings life to those who open their hearts to

     Him now and offers them salvation through His



so faithfully, when the hour comes, will this same Lamb

judge this earth and purge it of every lie,

  every deception,

  every injustice,

  every murder,

  every evil thing,

  every kind of idolatry.


Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed

or hidden that will not be made known. Whatever

you have said in the dark shall be heard in the

light, and what you have whispered in private

rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.


Every sin that is not buried under His blood will come

out. Everything that cannot stand exposure to the blazing

light of His glory will feel the fire of His judgment.


Second, when we look around us, and when we read Reve-

                lation 5 and 6 with any fear of God in our hearts, we

                have to conclude that the hour of judgment is near.


The fact that the scroll in the right hand of the One

on the Throne is sealed, indicates that God has restrained

the things written on the scroll from happening.


- The astonishing thing is not that the shadow

of war is cast over the earth right now, and

that authorities and governments are cracking

and crumbling,


- the astonishing thing is that chaos

  didn't break loose long ago!


The real question is:


- How come He hasn't allowed much more?


- How come He hasn't simply given up the

   human race totally to its own devices?


- How come God has allowed this nation to

   survive so long without lowering the boom?


In sheer mercy, unspeakable patience, the living and

righteous God keeps the scroll sealed. But there

approaches a moment when those seals will be broken.

And they will be broken by the same hands that were

wounded for this world's transgressions.


And when that moment comes, nobody will be able to com-

plain, "But you didn't give us a chance! You didn't

give us any warning! If only we had known!" For the

warning is going forth to all the earth even now.


Thirdly, if we are walking with Jesus Christ, in the

               power of His death and resurrection, we have

               nothing to fear no matter what happens.


"For thou wast slain, and by thy blood didst

ransom men for God. From every tribe and

tongue and people and nation, And hast made

them a kingdom and priests to our God.

And they shall reign on earth."


He doesn't say we won't have tribulation, or that we

won't be killed. But He does say that not a hair on

our head will perish. He will sustain us with His

presence no matter what we have to go through.


The little disruptions some of us are going through these

days, these skirmishes with the kingdom of the enemy some

of us are experiencing, are tame indeed compared with

what lies ahead. Yet, even through these minor troubles,

which seem to upset us no end, we have to learn to walk

without panic and without getting discouraged.


We have to remember that our Lord is even Lord over the

crazy things that are going on.


Finally, seeing the mountain tremble, and heeding the

warning of things to come, we need to get on with the

job of proclaiming the gospel of the Cross before the

Night of Judgment  fal1s.


We are not here to build churches.

We are not here to start movements.

We are not here to establish kingdoms.

We are not here to make a name for ourselves.


- We are here to shout from the housetops that

 the One who is soon going to judge the earth

 is now its Saviour.


- We are here to call men from every tribe and

tongue and people and nation. To draw near

and receive His forgiveness.

- Arabs and Jews.

- Rich and poor.

- High and low.

- East and west.


"Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.

And he who has no money, come buy and eat!

Come buy wine and milk, without money and without price."


The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has not yet taken the scroll

from the hand of Him who sits on the Throne. When He

does, we'll know it.


   - It won't be just another bloody outbreak

     in the Middle East.

- It will be the start of Armageddon.


- It won't be an occasional government official resigning in


  - It will be presidents and prime

    ministers and kings all over the

    earth falling from their heights.


Meanwhile, against the background of the warnings we

now see, comes the call of the Spirit to the Church of

the Redeemed to rise from slumber,

  shake ourselves from the dust,

     loose the chains of unbelief from our

selves, and harvest the earth, beginning right where we are,

among the people where God has placed us.


"All authority in heaven and on earth has been

given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples

of all nations, baptizing them in the name of

the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded

you. And lo, I am with you always, to the close

of the age."