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SCRIPTURE - Rev 7:14) MAY, 2004
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.
SUBJECT - THE FLUNKY
Picture this, if you will. The scene, is in Heaven, around the throne of God. We find John, the author of Revelations (actually God is the author, John is the one who wrote what God told him to write), being questioned by one of the 24 elders. Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
John had seen a multitude of individuals, which no man could number, standing around the throne, Rev 7:9-10 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; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
The elder, we don't know who he is, makes a statement (the subject verse), that seems not to be all that important, at first glance, but is really profound. And it is that point, that I want to expound on.
If you will notice, the statement, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,
you will notice the second part says, they have washed their robes and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb.
What is the significance of this?? It is this. Unlike what may be the common belief of a lot of Christians, that Jesus washes their robes for them and makes them white, their robes are made white, by something that they, themselves did.
If we will look at the title of this message, the definition of a flunky, is someone, whose sole purpose, is to do things for a person or group, that, that person or group considers too dirty, nasty, or just plain insignificant for them to do.
Case in point. I am sure you have been to a parade, where you have animals participating. You may have noticed, the animals walking along the parade route, and following them, you would see men pushing a cart, or barrel, with a broom and shovel. Their job is to clean up any droppings that the animals produce, while in the parade. The animals, are going along, and are totally oblivious of the mess they are making. To them, is just a natural function, to relieve themselves whenever they need to. They don't care about the mess. They have no will to, or means to clean up after themselves. If the mess is to be cleaned up, then someone will
have to do it.
Those men with the cart, are, in a slight sense, representations of 'flunky's' to the animals. Of course, they get paid for what they do.
Maybe you can better relate to this. You have clothes, a house, a car, or other things that, over time, get dirty. Well, what do you do?? You wash them, to make them clean again. If you don't have the time to do it, but you have money, you pay someone else to do it, right?? Well what if, you could get someone to, not only do it, but to do it without pay, and even without your even having to ask them to do it, even though you have the time and ability to do it yourself, or the money to pay them? Then, my friend, you have a flunky.
Now I said all of that, to say this. Many of us, talking about Christians, tend to, and I know it is hard to swallow, treat God, as if He is our flunky. How, you might ask? By committing sin, and not repenting of it.
Many Christians take the view, that because they are saved, that no matter what wrong they do, that Jesus will automatically, run behind them and wash their messes clean, without them even acknowledging that they have even made a mess. And if they will acknowledge it, it is usually with a flippant attitude like, 'so what??'
The elder, told John, that these people, that were praising God, were in robes of white, that they had made white, by washing them, in the blood of the Lamb, and not that Jesus had done it for them.
As I look around, in this city, and the nation, I see many of my brothers and sisters in Christ acting as if they have a 24 hour, 7 days a week flunky, named Jesus.
They will go out and involve themselves in things that God says for them not to do, and when trouble comes along, instead of repentance coming out of their mouths, they ask God to make things better, and put it under the blood. Well, what they are actually asking is tantamount to asking God to forget about what they have done, and just clean up the mess.
Now while God is merciful, and His grace, extends far beyond what we can even believe, He is not stupid. If someone slaps you upside your head, and then asks you to forget about it, how would you react?? Not too favorably toward that person, I would dare say.
Yet, that is the same thing these Christians are asking God to do.
Look at these verses for a minute. 2Chr 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
What do they tell you???
What they tell me, and there are plenty more that say the same thing, and that is that we have to 1. acknowledge our sin, and 2. repent, and then there is remission of sin.
If you will remember, when you got saved, you had to first, admit that you were a sinner, then, ask God's forgiveness, and then turn from your wicked ways.
Today, admitting we have sinned, or are even committing sin, is totally overlooked, and turning from it, then, becomes a matter of empty words. How can you turn away from something, if you don't even acknowledge that there is something you need to turn away from??
Look. God is willing to do all that it takes, to clean us up, and put us on the right track, and He has done that, but, there are prerequisites that must be met, for Him to go any further, after that.
This nation, is in a mess. It is in a mess, not so much because of sinners, as it is, because of unrepentant Christians. And what too many of our responses are to these problems, are to pray to God, to straighten out the mess, without our admitting to our faults, and repenting.
But, not to dwell so much on the problems in this nation, I want to focus on the individual Christian,
God said, Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
That means that sin causes stains, and there is a way to remove the stain. That Way, is through the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Now, the idea of the multitude standing before the throne of God with white robes, that have been washed in the Blood, identifies with the scripture saying, 2Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2Pet 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Many of us, today, are talking about how we want the Lord to come and take us away from this mess. And while that may seem to be a good thing, we need to consider one thing, and that is, are we really ready to meet Him??
Christ is coming back for a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. In other words, He is coming for the righteous. The multitude of those mentioned in the subject verse, are the righteous. And those are the ones that have come out of great tribulation.
Notice, I don't believe that it is talking about 'The Great Tribulation' period, but out of great tribulation, or persecution. But, in either case, they remained righteous, by washing their sins away, when it was necessary, through repentance. Adversity, was nothing more to them than something that, if anything, gave them opportunity to win another crown.
Many saints today, don't want to face persecution, of any sort, and therefore, seek to blend in with the world, so as not to call attention to themselves, while at the same time, trying to hold on to that blessed hope of being raptured out of here, when the time comes.
This is a call for all of us, to examine ourselves daily, hourly, or even every minute, to see if we need to get some stain off of our robes. When I write many of these messages, or am preaching one, a lot of times, I have to examine my own life, and repent along with others of you. That's the one good thing I like about God. He still uses vessels that are not perfect, to deliver His message of how to be perfect. Just like the apostle Paul said, Phi 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
This Christian walk, is a battle, and we have all of the resources we need to come through it unscathed. But, we can only do that, if we use them.
If you have an umbrella, and you go out in the rain, without using it, then you will get wet. If a police officer has a gun, and faces a criminal who has a knife, and he doesn't use it, he is liable to get hurt, or worse.
Therefore, God has given you what you need to achieve righteousness, and maintain it, but if you don't use it, guess what?? You lose it.
How about making a fresh start right now?? I mean, going to the Cleaner, right now. Just pray this prayer, from the heart, meaning every word. 'Lord Jesus, I come to you today, asking you to forgive me, for all of the wrong that I have done in the past, that I have not repented of. I have taken your gift of salvation, your mercy and grace, and disregarded them. Cleanse me Lord, make me fit to stand before You and the Father, as a bride, adorned for her husband, faultless and blameless. Help me to maintain righteousness in my life, by keeping me aware of Your power in my life, and helping me to make decisions that will bring glory to the Father. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.'
If you prayed that prayer, and were serious about it, then, just as the bible says, 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That means, as of this minute, you are righteous in His sight, and your robe is once again, white and spotless. And remember, it is up to you, not Him, to keep it that way.
Do you realize that the best witness you can give the world, is living a life of righteousness before them?? When you do, then God can bless you, like He wants to, and people around you will want to know how you are able to be getting blessed the way you are. What better way to glorify God??