This week on the Speak Life Church Podcast, I’m going to start off with a long prayer for you, me, and everybody.
Our biblical study continues with the Book of Revelation.
We’re going to talk about chapter four, the Throne of God, and get a little geeky with the theology. Before we get to that, we’ll actually talk about what happened to Cain and his wife, just for those who are skeptical — a little knowledge I want to pass on to you.
Can I tell you how much I love you? Yeah. For listening, for downloading, for subscribing, for being a part of this ministry — and most of you have probably never even seen me before! Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting me.
The Bible says in Proverbs 18 and 21, that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Here, we choose to speak life. We are a 100% online ministry created to restore and strengthen the family, provide hope for those in need, and offer a nontraditional place of worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, using technology to be anywhere. All are welcome, including those souls still searching for what they believe in. My name is Kenn Blanchard. Welcome.
There’s an old standard gospel song by Tommy Dorsey that says
“Take my hand,precious Lord. Lead me on. Let me stand. I am tired. I am weak. I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.”
Eternal God, our Father, it is in the Name of Your Son, Jesus that I bow before You asking that You would forgive me of everything I’ve done contrary to Your Will for me. Help me, Lord God, to hear Your Voice today. Help me, Lord God, to be still, and feel Your presence in this place. We come together, Lord God, to wish each other good will and happiness and thanksgiving, and we pray, Lord God, in the Name of Your Son, Jesus, that everything we do and say be according to Your Will and Purpose for us, but we fall short over and over again. We desire to serve You. We desire to do good. We desire to be good children of Yours, Lord God, but we fall short so many times. Father, please forgive us, and hear this pray. Father, I had the opportunity to hear from a sister this week who is grieving, who is relieving, who is going through what only You know. Father, she asked for some things, and You gave them to her. She might not have even been sure what she asked for, but You answered her prayer.
I ask that You would help her in her situation, that You would help her in her state, that you would help her move to the next level with the assurances that You have never left her, and You have not forsaken her. Thank you, Lord God, for answering prayer. Thank You for being there. Thank You for being so close to us that, even when we don’t know what to ask for, You know what we need. Thank You for being a loving Father — an all-powerful, all- knowing, all-seeing God. There is none like You. There is nothing that can take You away from us but ourselves. You’ve opened Your Hand to us, Your Eyes to us, Your Heart to us, and it is us who choose to walk astray, to walk away, to not hear, to not see the blessings and the gifts that You’ve given us. For that, I also ask for Your forgiveness, and I also want to just say thank you, Lord God. Thank you for the job that you gave one, the opportunity that you gave another, the bringing to the light those who have been in darkness, the answer to pray that they just realized they got. I ask You, Lord God, for another opportunity to say thank You — for more opportunities to say thank You. Sometimes, Lord God, we don’t appreciate what You’ve given us.
I appreciate the food, the water, the warmth, the rest, to be in my right mind right now, to
be able to move with all my limbs. I thank You for security and for safety. I thank You for
intimate relationships and for friends. I thank You for those who I might’ve forgotten, that
they actually care about me. Help me not to neglect the gifts and the people in my life.
Thank You for the feeling of accomplishment. Thank You for helping my self worth,
helping me psychologically to arise when everybody else is falling apart and sad. Thank
You for keeping my mind steadfast on You, for keeping my mind not crazy.
Thank You, Lord God, for helping me achieve my potential. Help me to still be creative — I am Your child. I want to look more like Your Son, Jesus. Help me to remember the person who is down who doesn’t have to stay there. Help me to continue to be a person who uplifts and tries to make this world better. Help us, Lord God, to be more agents of You, more hands and more feet. When we open The Bible, help us to understand the Words that are written. Help us to understand Your intention for us. Feed us, Lord God. Even if we’ve read the same thing before a thousand times, give us a newness, a new strength, a new light.
Renew our spirit afresh. Create in us, Lord God, a clean heart so that we
can act better to our spouses, act better to our friends, act better to our enemies. Again,
Lord, Help us to be more like Your Son. Father, I’m praying for those who are actually
physically sick right now, for those who have coronavirus, for those who have the flu, for
those who have allergies, for those who are suffering in silence from mental anguish
and anxiety and fear and frustration. I pray, Lord, against the enemy who is still coming
to steal and destroy this Your people.
I pray, Lord God, for a steady healing of our nation that has been torn by politics, torn by media, torn by our own arrogance, and finally, Lord, I pray for the person listening to me right now, who has found this podcast and has shared it and meditated on it with me, and has studied with me, supported it. I pray, Lord God, for this church family that I’ve never seen, this church family that You have given me, this church family I hope to see at Your Feet someday.
This is my prayer. This is Your servant’s prayer, in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
You know, as we go on through this year — and, we’re getting down to the end —
there’s been a lot of folks who are doubting things and worrying about things, and the
Covid didn’t help. I’m just here to tell you that God is still on the Throne. God is still large
and in charge. God is still God. The you look at The Bible — and we’re going back to
the Book of Revelation again. We’re continuing that thing because it’s huge! I’m hoping
that I’m doing justice to it for you. And, if not, please give me a call. Please email me.
Let me know if I’m screwing up because I’m trying to do right, you know? You know one
of the Bible pieces that pops up every once in awhile when somebody says, “Man! I
couldn’t get past Genesis!” I’m saying, “Why?” They say, “Because there’s this thing that
happened with Cain that I just don’t get.” Where did Cain get a wife? — it’s a question
that pops up sometimes, and this is probably one of the favorite questions from those
who are skeptics. Cain was a member of Adam’s family if you remember. He and his
brothers Abel and Seth were the first generations of children born on the earth. Now,
where am I getting this from? Genesis 4:1-2 and 25. After Cain killed his brother Abel —
ah, see? Now, you remember this story, right? — the Lord put a curse on him and drive
him from the land, and later, we read that he went to a place called Nod, east of Eden,
where he took a wife. Presuming that there are no other people on Earth at that time,
the question becomes how Cain was able to find someone there to marry. And, for all
our single people, they’re wondering how the heck Cain found a wife when they can’t
find a husband or wife. Well, that’s something different, right? Well, a few times when this has come up, there is a logical answer to this. Genesis 4:17 says, “Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.” Notice that The Bible doesn’t say that Cain found his wife in Nod. The Scripture just states that Cain had a wife and that he had children. Neither Scripture nor history imply that there were other races of people on Earth whom Cain somehow stumbled across and from among whom he found a wife. It is important to note that in Genesis 5:4 it mentions that by the time he was 800-years-old, Adam had had other sons and daughters. Adam lived a very long time — 930 years total. And during this time were born other children besides Cain and Abel. One of these siblings was the female Cain would ultimately marry. Yeah, Cain married one of Adam’s daughters, making his wife one of his sisters. I know that’s kind of weird, but in a similar sense, every child descended from Adam marries another child descended from Adam, i.e. a relative. At this early juncture in history, such intermarrying was a practical and logical necessity. Just sayin’. [rain forest sounds inserted here] Ahhh! The birds! The birds! Stop the birds! Last week in the Book of Revelation study, we were talking about the Rapture, and part of the Rapture is the Second Coming that happens in two phases — the first is only for the church that is all living and dead believers, and the second is what they called the Glorious Appearing which will take place at the end of Tribulation. So, in saying that, that Glorious Appearing cannot come today. Umm-Hmm. The Glorious Appearing of Christ cannot come for at least seven years, yet, the early church for three hundred lived almost every day in the light of His Return, which is why they were so successful in reaching their world for Christ. When they thought God was coming back any minute, they worked harder. Even now, millions of Christians expect Christ to return at any moment as the many Rapture passages that we have been listening to teach. Well, He won’t disappoint us. He will come, and His Coming could be at any moment, but that Coming is for His Church only, which is made up of all true believers everywhere who have received Him personally by faith. But, to expect His Return in power and majesty, to take control of this earth and set up His Kingdom for at least seven years is to expect the impossible. The different passages relating to Christ’s Coming are in harmony with what we read throughout the New Testament. I am convinced that these two phases of Christ’s Return are what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote the Titus, when he said, “looking for that blessed hope and the Glorious Appearing.” The blessed hope is the confident way we put our Christian deceased loved ones to rest in anticipation of that day just before Tribulation when we will be gathered together with them to meet the Lord in the clouds and then be taken to His Father’s House. The Glorious Appearing obviously refers to His Coming to the earth in power and great glory. To those who take The Bible literally, this interpretation passes the test of “making common sense” out of the Scriptures.
Many of the texts that we talk about for the Rapture of the Church teach an imminent coming of Christ. That just means He could come at any moment, right? So, take, for example, one of the first teachings on the Rapture in First Thessalonians 1:9-10 when it says, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” The Christians in Thessalonica were not sitting around waiting for
the Rapture. They were serving the living and true God in an attitude of expectancy to wait for His Son. That is as it should be for it could take place at any moment, or it could be a generation or more away. Philippians 3:20 is another example of proper understanding, and Second Thessalonians 2:1-8 is another, and there are others, but it must be stressed again that the Rapture is scheduled prior to the Glorious Appearing. Almost all of those who believe that Christ come back personally to set up his Kingdom, called Premillenialists — that’s easy for you to say — agree that there is a Rapture scheduled before the Glorious Appearing. This is where you get into all the theological stuff. It depends on which doctrine you’re looking at, whether you’re Calvinist or whatever, I mean, it’s like, if you go to Seminary or you go to a biblical school, you’ll hear these guys argue all day. So, what should you take out of that? Well, see, some of the million of post-tribulation believers are even now coming out with books instructing Christians to prepare for life in the Tribulation, and I find that interesting in view of the fact that not one verse can be found in the New Testament telling us how to live during that seven-year period. Why? Because we won’t be here. Those tribulation saints, that we will study about in future chapters of Revelation, are individuals who do not receive Christ until after the church has been raptured. Now, it does seem strange that since so much prophetic content by both the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles describes the seven-year tribulation more than any other prophetic subject except the Second Coming itself — that, not even one verse can be found instructing Christians on how to live during that period. This can only mean that the church will not go through the Tribulation as pictured by John, a member of the Body of Christ, who was taken up by a vision into Heaven before the vision of the events of the Tribulation were revealed. For several years, a popular argument against the pre-tribulation theory of the blessed hope phase of Christ’s Return is that it was invented by some dude named John Darby in the last century, and was never seen or mentioned by the early Christian fathers for almost nineteen centuries of church history. That argument is simply not true. In fact, one post-tribulation writer advertised an offer of $500 to anyone who could prove a pre-tribulation rapture was seen before John Darby began to popularize it in Great Britain, the U.S., and Canada in the 1840’s. Subsequently, he had to pay for that $500 challenge when somebody discovered that the Reverend Morgan Edwards saw it back in 1742. Since then, that minister has admitted his error and withdrawn his offer.
Basically, this whole-expecting-a-pre-tribulation-Rapture is not new, and if I can just dig into some old history with you….this is going off-chart a little bit. This is straight from school notes: Reverend Morgan Edwards was a Baptist pastor in Philadelphia who included a discussion on the pre-tribulation Return of Christ for His Church. In his book, Millennium: Last-Novelties was written in 1788. Although he saw only a three and half year tribulation, he definitely taught that the Rapture occurred before the Tribulation. What is even more interesting is that he claimed he had written the same thing as early as 1742. He may have been influenced by John Gill before him, or even others whose writings or teachings were available at that time but had not been preserved. Historically, the Protestant Reformation resulted in a proliferation of Bibles being translated, printed, and made available to the common people for the first time in 1,700 years. As they began reading it, they were impressed with the many prophetic teachings it contained.
There was even a commentary by Sir Isaac Newton in the mid-17th century. He was an avid Bible scholar as well as a scientist, and he was obviously
influenced by other writers before him. By the 19th century, The Bible was being read by
millions in the English-speaking world for the first time. It’s said that prophesy was in the
air, particularly at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, which John Darby and other
prophesy scholars attended between 1800 and 1830. Doubtless, some of these Bible
teachers on the faculty had a strong influence on the thinking. Perhaps all of these old
cats were trying to find when it was going to happen, when the date was coming. They
were just as anxious as we are today, and no matter how scholarly you are or how
much you’re into the weeds of this thing, remember in Matthew 24:36 it says:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only,” in the New King James Version. Let’s continue, lest I hold you too long.
Revelation four through five talk about the Throne of God. Chapter four starts off with: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” That’s Revelation 4:1-2. Somewhere, high in the heavens, out in the universe, a throne is set which is The Throne of God. This Throne, described in the passage before us, gives us a glimpse of the Heaven of God. The Bible teaches us that there are three heavens. Did you know that?
The first, the atmospheric heaven where the prince of the power of the air hold forth. He will one day be destroyed. The second heaven is the stellar heaven known to us as the universe. The third heaven to which John was caught up in (verse one) is the Heaven of God. This could be the “empty space” referred to by Job in 26:7. Although the heavens are filled with stars, wherever the telescope can reach, it seems that behind the North Star there is an empty space, and for that reason, it has been suggested that this could be the third heaven, the Heaven of God, where His Throne is. How cool is that? So, you gonna float up somewhere, or you’re gonna rise up somewhere. You’re gonna teleport. You’re goin’ a long way, Jack! You know the central object of Heaven, this Throne of God is referred to eight times in Revelation 4:1-6, and eighteen times altogether in chapters four and five. It seems to be a fixed point with everything else in Heaven located in relation to it. We find such expressions such as “about the Throne,” “out of the Throne,” “before the Throne,” and “in the midst of the Throne.” The Throne of God has been considered the fixed center of the universe, the immovable point of reference, just like the North Star has been the ancient navigators’ positional guide because of its fixed position among the stars. So, the Throne of God is the place of authority and the center of God’s Rulership for all of the activities of Heaven. This Throne before which everyone in Heaven worships may well be the Judgment Seat of Christ before which all Christians will stand, as you remember in the Book of Romans (14:2) and Second Corinthians 5:10. Immediately after the Rapture, they will all go there to receive their awards (1 Corinthians 3:10-15), or to have them burned up, depending on how you roll. I always say, “Which side are you sitting on? Smoking or non-smoking section?” And, I think I’m going to put a pin in it right there on my notes and stop, so that next week, we’ll talk about the seven things around the Throne of God, and also the things that are mentioned here in chapter four, like the Triune God, the 24 Elders, and —what else we got in here? — the Signs of Judgment, the Seven Spirits of God, the Sea of Glass, the Four Living Creatures, the Heavenly Worship of Christ.
Yeah, It’s gonna get mystical and special. I
t’s the Word of God. You with me? Thank you for listening. [music playing] I got a really good email from Laura, and I want to mention something to you that I probably failed to before. “My sister, Carolyn, is home and working and back in her normal life after recovering from chemo and radiation for cancer. She is doing well. God blessed her. God blessed me.” I don’t know what you’re going through this week. I don’t know what’s happening in your life, but I’m here to tell you that God is still in control. God is still awesome! God is. He just IS. Sometimes you can’t even say what He is because the word we would use is too small. Make sure you honor that this week. Make sure you thank God, personally, for where you are and where you are not. I don’t care if you’re locked up in a prison, if you are in a hole, if you are down deep, buried in something, and you can’t see the light of day, God is still able to reach you. God is still able to lift your spirit up. God is still able to talk to you. God is still able to save you. Don’t forget that. Don’t let the enemy of God, don’t let the world, don’t let anybody walkin’ around here now convince you otherwise. You can make it. It ain’t too late for you. That’s my new theme. It ain’t too late. I’m trying to make sure that I inspire people to live their best life, and not be a cliche with that. I mean, truly, if you understand whose you are and who you are, you can do a whole lot better. Amen? I, personally, am working on being a better husband. I’m working on trying to learn the guitar to the point where I can be a studio musician, where I can actually play in a band. My desire is to be like a worship guitarist, to be really, really, really good, so I can take my show on the road and go to senior homes and retirement places and play Christian music. We can play jazz and blues, and cheer up people. I get joy from playing the guitar like nothing else — so much so that I’m actually working on a little book that I’m trying to put into words that make sense of what I’ve learned about that joy and that feeling. That’s just somethin’ I’m doing on the side, but that’s not the only thing I’m doin’. I’m actually also trying to become a professional voice actor. I figure Morgan Freeman and Keith David and James Earl Jones can’t get all the work! SO, I’m spending my extra money trying to learn the business. I’ve got coaching. I did my demo tape just last week, or, this week, rather, in a real studio we paid for, and hopefully the engineers are all going to master that thing down to a 30-second piece, and I can shop my stuff around. What will that do for this church? Hmm. When I’m able to pay for everything and not ask for anything, whoooooo! That’ll make me feel good. I know, for you, it’s biblical to give, to help a Body of Christ, to help worship, to help the less fortunate, all that stuff is biblical. “Giving” is written so many times in The Bible. I give of my service with this, but I also want to give in a way, which will probably be when I’m traveling around and playing in retirement homes, playing in assisted living, playing with this band that I can actually probably pay them off of Speak Life Church because I just learned that a lot of people don’t like to play for free. Where am I coming from with that? So, I’ll be paying them if nothing else, but if your heart is right, God can do wonders for you. It’s gotten me through my whole world. Get your heart right, so God can use you. It’s all we got until He calls us all home. Amen? Well, that’s it for this week.
May the Lord bless and keep you. May heaven’s face continue to shine upon you and give you great peace. Until that great day — that we’re talking about right now! — when there is no dawn and there is no sunset, when He calls us all and we meet in the air, both us and those who have gone before, my friends, my brother, my sister, I will see you at the Feet of Jesus.
Tell somebody about the Speak Life Church.
Tell somebody about this podcast, and remember, it ain’t over yet.
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