References: Revelation 1:10
And of course, when dirt starts flying, you know something’s happening, right? So pray for that over the next few weeks. It’d be great to have access to that by Easter.
That’s what we’re hoping. Revelation one, we’ve been going through this chapter of verse at a time. And as we do that, looking at many things in these verses, as I said often, it’s really a study of the Lord Jesus Christ and a lot about what’s happening in John’s life here at the end of the first century.
In verse nine, last week, John gave kind of a broad view of what happened to him and what caused him to be on this island called Patmos, where they put political and other prisoners, and they were left there either to die or they were there for a long time. But in verse 10, John began to describe what happened on the day when the revelatory visions began, when he began to see these things that he would be commanded to write down. It’s interesting that we have this special glimpse here, and we get this once in a while in the scriptures, as in Isaiah six, when Isaiah sees the Lord high and lifted up and his train fills the temple, and we get a little more information about what the throne room of God even looks like. Or Daniel nine, when he’s praying and Gabriel comes and speaks to him and we get this glimpse of Gabriel and who that was and how he gave that revelation or Ezekiel one. When Ezekiel sees the throne of God and the wheel in the middle of a wheel and that vision of God that he sees in Revelation one, these are great glimpses into the world where God exists, if you will, beyond our time and space where we can’t see. But these men, as they receive vision and revelation from the Lord, these biblical writers, they get to see this and they’ve written it for us.
So he begins this in our verse here in verse 10. John wasn’t a stranger to supernatural encounter, was he? Remember the baptism of Jesus as those new disciples were standing there and they heard this voice come out of the sky that said, this is my beloved son and whom I am well pleased. His first introduction to that kind of revelation from God or at the mount of Transfiguration, remember Peter, James and John, got to go up onto the mountain with Jesus and there see him transfigured and Moses and Elijah appearing the same way and the three of them talking and here’s Peter, James and John saying, I’m not sure we should be seeing this and God assures them of give Galilee in the storm kind of like we had last night about 2 a.m. you know and the waters are boiling and the wind is blowing and the rain and the disciples are afraid and Jesus just merely says peace be still and everything came to a calm and it was Peter who said my Lord and my God, I mean you know how can even the wind and the sea obey him? John saw all of that and John was there at the resurrection of Christ, John was there at the ascension of Christ, John has seen these things and he is then the last of these inspired writers, he’s the last of these apostles, he has himself written the Gospel of John, first, second and third John, he’s read Peter’s works, he’s read Matthew’s works, he’s read most of or probably all of Paul’s works by now and so he knows how this process of inspiration happens and here he is the last of these writers, what a great man he was. I don’t think John needed to be convinced that Jesus was alive do you?
I think even by this time Jesus isn’t appearing to him to convince him that he’s alive after his resurrection, no John knew that, John had written about that already, John had given his Gospel to that testimony, John knew that, I think John did not need to be convinced that there was a heaven and a hell, he knew where people go when they die, he knows that all souls that have ever been created that have ever lived on this earth are alive somewhere right now and alive for eternity, John knew that, was well aware of that and he didn’t need to be convinced that Scripture as it was written was God’s word, this is what God wants us to know, the books that he had written, the books that Paul, Peter and all of the others had written, he knew that but he also knew that there were many false prophets and false prophecies around even by the end of the first century there were many of those as there are to this day right and have been since the first century and we are commanded to watch for those and John himself said you be sure to try the spirits to see whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world, he knew that, you know yesterday I left here late afternoon and going to go home and eat something and come back for the men’s prayer meeting And for some reason, my wife and her mother decided it was time for pizza. So, you know, and you could buy a pizza and get an extra one for a penny. So, okay, so I was on my way down to, you know, pick up a pizza. And so I called back in Aaron and said, you want a pizza for a penny? And they said, yeah, well, I’m bringing you one. So I went by their house and dropped it off. And you know, I don’t know why I’m telling you this whole story for what I’m going to say, but you know, when you drop in on your grandkids and they’re glad to see you, it’s really hard to leave, isn’t it?
So as I’m leaving to go home with the other pizza, here’s this little two-year-old standing at the front window crying because grandpa’s leaving. So guess what happens? Comes with me. That’s right, Matthew and I go delivering pizzas.
So he’s in the car with me in his car seat and we went home. Well, I said all that to say, Matthew and I were listening to Hank Hanagraaff and some guys he was interviewing on the radio. So I’m sure Matthew was getting a lot out of this. But the speaker had written a book paralleling both Muhammad and Joseph Smith, both of whom centuries apart had claimed to be true prophets of God. And because of that had written things that men and millions of people still to this day follow. It was interesting hearing him. He said, for example, that both had an immoral beginning, which they both did, both ended up in polygamy and believing in polygamy.
They both claimed to have received revelation from angels, as most false prophets, by the way, have claimed, that an angel spoke to them. That’s why John said, you try these fears. Don’t try them out. Try them to see whether they’re of God. Both said that they saw secret manuscripts that were shown to them and then they wrote them down and both created extra sacred books, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, claiming to be equal with Scripture. Both said that they were the true prophet on the earth. God had sent them and them alone to straighten everything else out and tell us all what needed to be, what we didn’t know, of course, from the Bible. And both ended up denying the deity of Christ. Both of their lives ended in violence and bloodshed. It was an interesting parallel.
And from things like that, folks, millions and millions of people in this world, though we love them and though we preach the gospel to them and though at many times they seem like good moral citizens, which they may be, but lost for eternity without the Lord Jesus Christ because false prophets have gone out into the world. John knew that too. And Christian history is founded upon the person and the work of Jesus Christ and that and that alone. That is what our faith is built on.
Not even on John, not on the Apostle Paul. Our faith is on the Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for us. And the exclusive inspiration of this book, the Scriptures, this is the Word of God. These 66 books and these alone, though many have taken in hand to write other books that we call apocryphal and added things to the Scripture that we have never received because we realize they weren’t written by these inspired writers. And this Scripture, when it’s applied even to societies, is so far superior than any other holy book or religion applied to society. And America’s history is a testimony to that fact that even with lost people, if they apply the principles of Scripture even to a society, it will be far superior to anything else. But the great purpose of the Scripture, of course, is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we go back to our verse here and I don’t want to do this. I think John gives us two examples, if you will, two examples that come out of his life that ought to be applied to our life.
And I hope that we can do that this morning. In this short verse, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and secondly, heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet. First of all, John lived a life that was ready for God to use. He was ready for this. He was ready for God to use him. And then secondly, John therefore heard God’s call when it came. When God said, I want you and when God said, I want to use you and I need you to do this task, he was ready.
And so first of all, we find John out there on the island, out in prison, out where who knows, he may have died out there. And he didn’t know that he wouldn’t. He is ready for God to use him at any moment if God so wills.
What a fantastic man this was. He didn’t know, for example, that there would be one more book in the Bible. I don’t know that John knew that he would be writing the book of Revelation until Christ appeared to him and told him that. And so he may have thought he would die in obscurity out on that lonely rock. And that would be it.
And you know what? With John, that would have been fine. He wouldn’t have cried.
He wouldn’t have said, well, Lord, why did you leave me out here? God has used him in wonderful ways. And he’s had a wonderful life before God. That would have been fine with him to end his life that way. But God had other plans for him. But I think this, John knew that his primary purpose in this life was to have communion with his God and with his Lord, whether it’s on a rock in the middle of the Mediterranean or in a church service or at home or wherever it is, his main job is to have communion with God.
with God. And folks, it is our responsibility and our job to be as John is here in the spirit, even when we come to the Lord’s house on the Lord’s day to have been walking with him because then we are ready for whatever he has for us at any moment of any day. Now this phrase, he was in the spirit. To us, rightfully, would speak of being filled with the spirit, which we’ll look at in just a minute.
But with an apostle who is about to write a book like this, we realize that this expression is a little bit more than that. For example, go with me to chapter 4 verse 2 and you’ll find there immediately I was in the spirit and behold a throne was set in heaven and one sat on the throne. I mean when these Bible writers were in the spirit in this way, God was bringing them into a certain place before him so that they would see even the throne room of God, which he saw here.
Twice more in the book, once in chapter 17 verse 3, he says, so he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast full of the names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. So in the spirit, he sees these things that God wants him to see. And in 2110, he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God. Now we don’t quite have that experience in the spirit before the Lord. Ezekiel, as I told you about when he saw the throne room of God, Ezekiel 312 says, then the spirit took me up and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing saying, blessed be the glory of the Lord from this place. I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another and the noise of the wheels over against them and the noise of a great rushing.
So the spirit lifted me up and took me away. We don’t get to experience that, but these men did. Even the apostle Paul, when he was writing, remember 2nd Corinthians 12 where he says, I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago, whether in the body I cannot tell whether out of the body I cannot tell. When God took me up to heaven, I wasn’t sure how he did it.
I just know that I was in the spirit at that point. And so those things folks, we don’t need to seek after unless you think you’re writing scripture, which in that case you only think you are because you’re not. We don’t need to be taken up in the spirit to these things. We have what those men wrote down when they were taken up in the spirit. That is what God wants for us and we have it in this book. And so this expression up in the spirit and walking in the spirit and being in the spirit is more than just being filled with the spirit. Now go back to Ephesians chapter five because I want to look at that verse for a minute in Ephesians five.
And that is what you and I need to strive for in our lives. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ is your savior, we have seen already many times and talked about this. If you have the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you have the Holy spirit in you.
He has lived in you since the moment of your salvation. That is the baptism of the spirit, if you will. And since you have the Holy spirit, what he wants is for you to be filled with the spirit. Or as someone said, it’s not so much of how much of the spirit do you have. It’s how much of you the Holy spirit has. And he wants all of you. He wants you to be filled with him.
And so it’s our responsibility. So in Ephesians five and in verse 18, you have that command, be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the spirit. And if you back up a few verses here are these admonitions to walk circumspectly in verse 15, redeem the time in verse 16, understand what the will of the Lord is in verse 17. All of those things come from being filled with the spirit. Now this is important to our church worship services these days, but notice that in verse 18, you have a command, right?
Be filled with the spirit. It’s kind of interesting because that command is a passive command. It’s a passive voice, but it’s an imperative command. Be filled. Well, it’s the Holy spirit that’s going to fill you.
How can you be filled? I mean, you know, the Holy spirit is going to choose to do that. You do it by making the conduit open by letting the doors of your house be open and letting him come in. If you block that, if you have things in your life that do not allow the spirit to dwell as he wants to dwell in you, though he’s there and that’s his home. If you block those things and he cannot fill you as he wants. So you must be in a condition where the Holy spirit can fill you.
And that is a command to be in that condition. Now the blessing of this passage is that it’s followed by three things that show us our church. Verse 19, speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Secondly, giving thanks always for all things, unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And thirdly, submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
And he goes on talking much about submitting one to another. Now these three things, excuse me for the technical moment here, but if someone’s listening to this later for this particular thing, I want to make sure this is said. These three participles are resultant. That is, these give you the results of being filled with the Spirit. They are not instrumental participles, meaning this is not how you get filled with the Spirit, but this is what happens if you are filled with the Spirit. In other words, you don’t work it up in an emotional frenzy, and if you work yourself up enough like that, the Holy Spirit will come and fill you. Now, by the way, there are many in our churches today, and in a new thought about worship are saying that these are instrumental participles saying, if we’re going to be filled with our Spirit, then we need to be doing psalms and hymns and spiritual song in such a way that we work ourselves up to where the Holy Spirit will fill us, and we need to be giving thanks in a way that we broadcast that around, and if we’re intense enough about it, the Holy Spirit will fill us, and if we are submitting and doing this, then the Holy Spirit will fill us.
Not so, folks. The great men who have written about this passage over the last 2000 years have agreed that these are the result of being filled with the Spirit. If we in our lives walk with the Spirit of God, and on Monday, and on Tuesday, and through Friday and Saturday, we yield ourselves to Him and open ourselves up to the Spirit so that He controls our minds and our thoughts, our mouths and our eyes, and so that we come to this house, how often have I said we don’t come here to worship? We are worshipers who come here. We come here as worshipers, as people filled, and then our church services will have these qualities, speaking in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody, as I think we heard this morning. Giving thanks for God for all that He has done for us, submitting ourselves one to another, from the family level to the church level to even to the leaders in our country, these things will flow from the filling of the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit. Now, though we can’t be taken up in the Spirit as John and Paul and Ezekiel and Isaiah and those men were, we can and we must be filled with the Spirit, and if we will, folks, then our churches will be what they need to be, and we will let the Holy Spirit cause us, not in some ecstatic utterances, but in plain, simple language, give our praises back to God from a heart that is filled with Him. So when we read in Revelation 110, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, we can apply that to ourselves, can’t we? Were we filled with the Spirit on the Lord’s Day?
Do we come into God’s house the way we should so that we can both express what He wants us to express and also receive from His Word what He wants us to receive? And so John was in the Spirit, we need to be filled with the Spirit. And secondly, John honored the Lord’s Day. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. Now, I want to spend a little bit of time on this expression, the Lord’s Day, because do you realize that this is the only place in the Scripture where you read it expressed like this, the Lord’s Day?
We don’t think of it, but that’s true. Usually we have it as the first day of the week, right? Remember Acts 20, verse 7, when Paul is in Troas, and it says, upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, he preached to them. He was in their service, and he preached on the first day of the week. Or 1 Corinthians 16, 2, upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him and store as God has prospered. You bring your offerings, you come to the Lord’s house on the first day of the week. But only here in this place in Revelation do we have it expressed as the Lord’s Day.
Well, because it’s that way, there have been a number of different interpretations about what John means by this. One of them is that he means the gospel dispensation. You know, this is the day to be saved.
This is the day of the gospel invitation. But very few take that view, and I don’t take that view. The second one by some good men is that he means the day of the Lord, meaning that tribulation period, that time that he’s going to describe in this book called the day of the Lord.
But though a couple good men take that, the majority do not, and I certainly do not. I take it rather as Sunday. But the third view is that he was talking about the Sabbath here, and he’s talking about the Jewish Saturday, the seventh day or the seventh day of the week, not the first day of the week.
Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Now, you may have some seventh day Adventist friends. As a matter of fact, there have been seventh day Baptists in history, not so many, but some.
But the seventh day Adventists believe this very sincerely, and it’s interesting what they believe. I had picked up a book by the Adventists on their doctrine, and I was reading it again yesterday, and they believe that it is our responsibility to keep the moral law of Moses. Though they don’t keep the ceremonial parts of sacrificing animals and things like that, they do believe we need to keep the law, at least those moral parts of the law. And the Ten Commandments, folks, are part of the moral law of God. And guess where Sabbath keeping lies in the law of God, in the Ten Commandments. So they believe it is a command to us to keep the Sabbath, which of course would be Saturday, and keep all the other moral laws, including many dietary laws and some things like that. Now, the Adventists are interesting in their doctrine, and again, I say this in Christian love.
I’m representing them truly. I have some good friends that are Adventists. But they believe that true believers in the end time will keep the law of Moses. So they become what I would call legalistic. Legalistic in the true biblical sense. They have to keep this law, or they may not be saved.
They have to do this. And also, they believe that we are now in the Great Tribulation. Now, if you know a little bit about them, William Miller, back in the early 1800s, prophesied that Jesus would return in 1844. And they were all ready for it, all of his Adventists for the advent of Christ to come in 1844.
Well, guess what? It didn’t happen in 1844. And so they were disappointed. But Ellen G. White came along a few years after that and said, ah, I have received a revelation from God. Matter of fact, she claimed to have over 2,000 revelations from God. And she said, Jesus did come in 1844, but not to the earth, but just to the heavenly tabernacle. And so the second coming of Christ is not literal to the earth.
It is in heaven. And we are now in the Tribulation period. And since 1844, we have been in the Tribulation period waiting for the end times.
Now, the true believers in the Tribulation period are the 144,000, right? The remnant. And guess who they believe that is? The Adventists.
And hang with me now a minute. Since they believe it is the Roman Catholic Church that introduced the pagan things into the true faith, they believe that the Sunday worship was an institution from the Roman Catholic Church, and all the reformers and everybody else followed in step. And since we’re in the Tribulation period, and that system is of the Antichrist, they believe that the way a person receives the mark of the beast is to worship on Sunday. So we, by meeting here today, are wearing the mark of the beast on us because we are worshiping on Sunday. And that is why they would dare not be here, and they would worship on their day of the week.
Sad and wrong, that they would think such a thing. And their other prophecies are fantastic if I can use a soft word about what they say. And interesting that they are the remnant keeping the law and so forth. Now, are we of the Antichrist, and are we wearing the mark of the beast because we are meeting here on Sunday? I think not, folks. Not only do I not think not, I know not.
Try these spirits to see whether they are of God. And these things align with the Scripture, not what some prophet, he or she, claimed to have received hundreds and thousands of years after John put the final period on the book of Revelation. So the fourth view and the right view, no doubt, is that John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, the first day of the week. Let me give you some reasons why I believe it was Sunday and why we are right to meet on Sunday.
And again, I bring these things to your attention because it’s in our text today, and this is the place to talk about it. In, I’ve already read to you, by the way, two Scriptures, right, where the early church in Troas and also in Ephesus were meeting and commanded of the apostle to meet on the first day of the week. Do you realize that the day Jesus rose from the dead, those disciples met that day, which was Sunday? So John 20, verse 19 says, then the same day, that is, that Jesus rose from the dead, He rose on Sunday. At evening, being the first day of the week, and that’s the first time it’s used in the Christian context, when the doors were shut where the disciples assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst. And then it says in John 20, verse 26, and after eight days, again the disciples were within.
What does that mean? This Sunday, and then the following Sunday, they met again, and Jesus appeared to them again. So what we have is, on that first week, they were not worshiping on Saturday, though many Jews were keeping the Sabbath, of course, in Jerusalem, these Christians were meeting on Sunday. Now Luke records it like this, Luke 24-1, upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre.
So they come on Sunday morning, Jesus is not there, He’s risen. So in verse 13, it says, behold, two of them went the same day, Sunday afternoon now, to a village called Emmaus. And you have these two disciples going to Emmaus, and Jesus appears to them and reveals himself to them, and they realize this is Jesus sitting with them and breaking bread with them. And so verse 33 says, they arose the same hour and returned to Jerusalem, which would be Sunday night, and found the eleven gathered together, and Jesus met with them there. And so in these early weeks of the birth of the risen Christ and the disciples meeting together, they are meeting on Sunday. Now then we have the example that everywhere we have in the epistles, the disciples meeting together, it’s always called the first day of the week. Now the Adventists say that Paul had his churches meeting together on Saturday, and I think how did they get this from the scripture? And then they say that because Paul went into the synagogue, preaching on the Sabbath day that that was the day he was worshiping.
And I thought that never occurred to me that they would think like that. I mean I’m thinking Paul didn’t have to go to church on Saturday so he went to the synagogue and preached so he could meet on Sunday with the disciples. He wasn’t having church in the synagogues. He was preaching to the Jews in the synagogues. As a matter of fact in Corinth in Acts 18 it says he is reasoning with them every Sabbath day in the synagogue and then when he writes back to this church again in 1 Corinthians 16 he says, now upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store. He commands the church to do their business on Sunday.
So just because he’s preaching in the Sabbath there’s no reason to think that that was what the believers were doing in that early century. Now hanging with me do you realize that Jesus rose on Sunday as our first fruits right? And he fulfilled that old feast called the first fruits when they would bring the first crop that grew out of the ground, come before the Lord, wave it before the Lord as an offering to him. Jesus is our first fruits.
He’s the first one risen from the dead and we will all follow in the great harvest time. Well do you realize that first fruits was always on Sunday? And even as far back as the book of Leviticus when we read it in Leviticus 23 it says you shall count unto you after, or excuse me, from the morrow after the Sabbath then you’ll do this first fruit feast. Here’s the Sabbath on the morrow after the Sabbath is what? Sunday you will keep the feast of first fruits. Why did Jesus come out of the grave on Sunday morning rather than the Sabbath? Because he is not going to have anything to do with those old Jewish customs. He fulfills the feast of first fruits which will become our example of resurrection to the church.
A great thing. And do you know that the feast of Pentecost was always on Sunday? In Leviticus 23 also 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath. You have seven Sabbaths that would be 49 days and the morrow after on that next Sunday would be the 50th day that’s the day of Pentecost then you keep this feast of Pentecost.
Guess what happened on the day of Pentecost folks? We’re studying this on Sunday night. The Holy Spirit came and filled the church and began that church with this baptism of the Holy Spirit on a Sunday. So both the first fruits and Pentecost happened on Sunday and God chose that day to begin his church with the great truth of resurrection and with the filling of the spirit both on Sunday.
Now a couple more points because I want you to be convinced of this. Though this is a unique expression the Lord’s day. He was in the spirit on the Lord’s day. The only other parallel to such an expression we have is the Lord’s Supper because Paul calls the Supper of the Lord the Lord Supper with the same type of expression the Lord’s day the Lord’s Supper. Well what does the Lord’s Supper represent and to whom does it belong?
It belongs to the church. It is not the Passover. It is not to be done on the Sabbath and in relation to the Passover. This is the Supper of the risen Lord and we are to keep it when we come together as a church and they were keeping it in Jerusalem. They were keeping it in Troas. They were keeping it in Corinth and they were taking the Lord’s Supper on Sunday. And the other expression here isn’t it natural then that John after doing this for a whole century and at the end of the first century would be there on the first day of the week and call it the Lord’s day. It’s the Lord’s Supper and it’s the Lord’s day. And if that isn’t enough the great Baptist scholar John Gill who was a previous pastor of Spurgeon’s Church in London listed in the second century alone these men who speak about the church meeting on Sunday the Didache which is a teaching of the apostles Ignatius, Barnabas, Arrhenius, Dirtillian, Origen, Milito and Justin Martyr all mentioned the disciple in the second century worshiping on Sunday before William Miller or Ellen White wherever I ever thought of and Barnabas in his epistle even calls one the eighth day. We met on the eighth day like the disciples did after that.
Interesting. There are lots of stories as I read them about this and by the way I’ll throw in this note too that I don’t call Sunday then the Christian Sabbath. I think our Reformed brethren have done that but I don’t like that term because it’s really not a Sabbath to us. It’s not that you have to keep all of the Sabbath laws on a Sunday. It is a day of rest and the principle of rest from the day of creation has followed and it ought to be a day of rest but it’s not a Sabbath to us though many Christians have referred to it as the Christian Sabbath. Do you know that in Alabama years ago it was against the law to do any business on a Sunday and that was true in many states in the United States.
So a man one day forged a check, wrote a check and forged the owner’s name and dated it on a Sunday and he was caught, he was taken to trial but his defense was that a check is a legal contract and this one was made on Sunday and so it’s null and void and so basically he did nothing and the judge upheld it and he was off free because he wrote his check on Sunday. Somebody traveling through Pennsylvania saw a lot of mules around the coal mines that were always out in the fields and they knew these were the mules that pulled the coal carts in the mines. And they were always out in the fields on Sunday and he asked somebody about it and he said, well, we found out, you know, a mule will go blind in the tunnels unless he spends a whole day out in the sunlight so that he gets his sight back. And of course the application was, you’ll go blind in this world, folks, walking in the darkness of this world unless you come to the Lord’s house on the first day and get your sight back, which we’re supposed to do on the Lord’s day.
And so many other things. I let Voltaire even said, I can never hope to destroy Christianity until I first destroy the Christian Sabbath. William Gladstone, the great Englishman, said, tell me what the young men of England are doing on Sunday and I will tell you what the future of England will be. I could say that of America, couldn’t we? And Billy Graham once said, Jesus spoke about the ox in the ditch on the Sabbath.
But if your ox gets in the ditch every Sabbath, you should either get rid of the ox or fill up the ditch. One island. What hope has he got of ever seeing anybody again? And he’s ready in the Spirit and he’s on the Lord’s day worshiping God, though he’s the only one there, ready for God to use him and he has no idea whether God ever will or not. What a testimony to this man.
Now secondly, he heard God’s call when it came. I know when the big hand goes past six and I say secondly, it’s not a good morning, is it? I know what you’re thinking.
It will be. John hears God’s call then when it came. So notice in the second part of the verse, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet. He heard the Lord’s voice. He heard it. Now I don’t know about you, but I had jumped. Now, you know, John, I know he was in the Spirit and so forth, but folks, if I’m out on an island and I haven’t heard a human voice in months, you know, I’m like Robinson Crusoe out there and all I hear is the water and all I hear are the birds and then all of a sudden a trumpet blasts right behind me.
I’m jumping out of my skin. You know, my brother-in-law, Sam Slobodian, you know, is one of our missionaries now and he plays the trumpet and he still does. When he was a youth pastor in Chicago working for a church, the pastor said, I’m going to be preaching on the rapture and the Trump of God, so I want you to be up in the balcony. When I get to this place in my sermon, I want you to blast on the trumpet. So Sam’s up in this balcony and he gets to that place and sure enough he blasts that trumpet horn out. Five people died, three had cardiac arrest.
No, I’m just kidding, but I mean they jumped. He said, of course, it was a great effect, but it ruined the rest of the sermon. I mean, there was no getting that crowd back, you know, after that. Well, can you imagine being out there on this island by yourself and hearing this voice and he did. I think something unique about this, he heard it behind him.
As a matter of fact, I read you a passage in Ezekiel just a few minutes ago similar to that. He heard this voice behind him. Genesis, even Abraham, is offering his son Isaac and it says he looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket. God always has something behind us, it seems like. Ezekiel said, the Spirit took me up and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing saying this. It’s interesting that the Lord often came to his prophets behind them.
I thought these things about that. God’s voice always makes us turn around. You know, when God calls us, he keeps us from going away, we’re going and we go his way. We turn around and go where he wants us to go.
I thought this too. You God always sees us before we see him. And then isn’t that an obvious truth? God knows where we are. God knows what we’re doing and he sees us and knows us thoroughly before we ever recognize or think about the fact that he is right there with us. And folks, thoroughly, there is a real spiritual world all around us. The saints are alive. There’s a great cloud of witnesses. The angels before God know what goes on.
There’s great rejoicing over one sinner that repents. I can’t say to you exactly that your loved ones who have died know what you’re doing right now, but I can’t say they don’t. And I think that great cloud of witnesses may be aware of what you’re doing every minute of every day. There is a spirit world around us, folks, that if God would allow them, they could step in and say something to us, but God does not allow it.
And Christ did this once in a while with his men. So, there he is and he hears this voice behind him and this voice is like the trumpet. A trumpet sounded every morning in Jerusalem as the temple was opened. A trumpet sounded on the day of Jubilee and many other times in the Old Testament. And he heard God’s voice, like Adam walking in the garden and hearing the voice of God. Moses, when he, the first day the Tabernacle went into operation, the voice of God came out from the Holy of Holies and spoke to him. They’re standing at the baptism of Jesus and they hear a voice from heaven. This is my beloved son.
On the mount of transfiguration, the same thing. And here is this voice again. Ezekiel again. I like this passage because it’s a prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ. Behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east and his voice was like the noise of many waters, even at the Second Coming of Christ. Christ. And in Exodus at the Mount Sinai it says it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud. Coming from around the throne of God there’s this voice of a trumpet very loud.
The people were afraid of course and hid themselves. You know I hardly have time to turn to Psalm 29. But would you mark that and go read it sometime? Read this Psalm.
Well do it. We’re in the Lord’s house in the salour’s day right? Go to Psalm 29. At least you can mark it that way after we go there.
Because you ought to see this. Give unto the Lord, O you mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory do his name.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Notice now the voice of the Lord is upon the waters. The glory of God thundereth though Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars. Yea the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
He maketh them also to skip like a calf. Lebanon is syrion like a young unicorn. The voice of the Lord divided the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakeeth the wilderness. The Lord shakeeth the wilderness of Cades. The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to cab and discovereth the forest. And in his temple doth everyone speak of his glory. Isn’t that a great Psalm? Now you’re going to sing out of this book in just a minute. Take the one in front of you.
Take this book in front of you and turn to page 59. And let me remind you folks that when we sing these songs, I hope filled with the spirit of God, we sing them on the Lord’s day. And we sing some songs that are very similar to Psalm 29.
All creatures of our God and King. Lift up your voice and with us sing hallelujah, hallelujah. Thou burning sun with golden beam, thou silver moon with softer gleam. Oh praise him. Do you see God’s handiwork and his voice so to speak? When you see the golden beam of the sun breaking through the morning, thou rushing wind that art so strong, he clouds that sail in heaven along. Oh praise him hallelujah. Thou rising mourn and praise rejoice. Ye lights of evening find a voice. God speaking in every language of the world.
Look at page 61. This is my father’s world. Trees of skies and seas. His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my father’s world. The birds their carols sing. The morning light, the lily white declare their maker’s praise.
This is my father’s world. He shines in all that’s fair. In the rustling grass I hear him pass. And he speaks to me everywhere. I’m not saying that we hear audible voices from God, but this is the way God reminds us that he is there. And as the psalmist said, his voice is as the thunder, his voice is as the lightning, his voice is as these great mighty works that he does all around us. We ought to hear the voice of the Lord in such ways. Now back in our text and let me end with this thought. You know over in chapter three and verse 20, Jesus’ voice is heard in another way, don’t you?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock and if any man hear my voice and open the door, I’ll come in and sup with him and he with me. You come to a service like this and you don’t know Christ is Savior. You never received Jesus Christ into your heart. And though John heard this mighty voice behind him, Jesus is speaking at your heart’s door, knocking at your heart, saying open the door, let me come in.
It is your invitation from God Almighty to come in and be your Savior. And many times you’ve turned him away and many times you said, I’m not going to let him in this house. He continues to knock and said, let me in. If you’re here today without Jesus Christ, open that door to him.
Let him come into your heart and be your Savior. And I like chapter four and verse one. For those of us who know him, I looked and behold, a door was open in heaven and the first voice I heard was as of a trumpet talking to me and someday a trumpet will sound and someday Jesus is going to say, come up hither and the church of Jesus Christ is going to go. And I wish it were today and we are waiting for that voice. We are listening for that voice and praise the Lord. We have that great hope in him and I trust that’s your hope today and you know that as well.
Stand with me now if you will. And before we open our song books to our song, let’s go to him in prayer with our heads bowed and let’s ask his help and his blessing in this time of singing invitation. Father, now I pray that you would take your word and use it in the way you desire. May your Holy Spirit be strong in this place today. May the spirit filled hearts and people that make up your church be open to the spirits moving and may you have power upon those hearts that don’t know you to enter in and dwell there. And Father, I pray you’d speak to our hearts the way we need as your children cause us to be looking for the voice and for the trumpet of God at the second coming. And so, Father, speak to our hearts. There may be some here that need to be saved. May they come even as we sing. Maybe some waiting for baptism.
Maybe others for membership. Maybe some just need to kneel at this altar and get rid of those things that weigh them down and block the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. May they do it today. Now, Father, as we sing, do that work in our lives. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. On page 309, a familiar old song softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling. Let’s sing these