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#31 The Final Solution?

September 4, 2008

As we approach the scripture passage for today I am reminded of the Nazis in WWII and their plan to exterminate the Jews from the face of the earth. They called their plan “The Final Solution.” And it would appear from our passage today that once again “there is nothing new under the sun. There are no new plans, only old plans that have been retread and whitewashed to make us think that it is new.

 

Now we know from the scriptures that the devil is like a roaring lion, prowling about seeking whom he may devour. And this morning’s message is going to be a journey through history to see how many times he has tried to do just that.

 

And we must remember that Satan was cast out of heaven because he wanted to take over. He wanted to sit on God’s throne as God! He obviously hates God and all that He stands for. In his pride the devil believed he could do a better job at running the universe. And so he rose up, the creation fought against the Creator and no place was found in heaven for him.

 

And this is true of sinful man. It is true that sinful, unregenerate mankind hates God and does everything in his finite power to eradicate the idea of God from the public square. They will not have God reigning over them and they don’t want any pesky Christians running around telling the truth.

 

Jesus told us that sinners hate the light of truth because it exposes them for who they really are. Their sins are revealed by the light and so they hide in the darkness and suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They profess to be wise but their very actions show them up as the fools they are.

 

They practice their evil under every green tree, try to force their evil upon the rest of the world and call those who speak out against them “Bigots,” and “Narrow minded Neanderthals,” and, oh yes, “Religious fanatics!” But they are only following the example of their father the devil who is a liar and the father of lies. And like him, they want to crush, wipe out; erase the memory of Jesus Christ and His righteousness from the face of the earth. They want to replace God with “natural causes” and “evolution” and the like.

 

Let’s follow the trail of misery that has been the devils modus operandi and consider those who are trapped in his web of deceit with prayer and supplication for I am reminded of an illustration from Pilgrims Progress where Apollyon meets Pilgrim in the valley of humiliation and offers him ‘double wages’ if he will return. Consider what that means. Since his wages are death what he is offering is double death, the second death; eternity in hellfire. 

 

Can we think of these poor souls who don’t know their right hand from their left without trembling for fear of what lies in store for them? I think not. 

We must consider that they are in bondage to sin, self and the devil and unless God has mercy they will die in their sins and their sins will sink them lower than the grave to that place of unspeakable torment!

 

It is God who has mercy on whom He will have mercy and we must plead with Him to look upon our loved ones with compassion, knowing that they are but dust. We must pray that He will regard their helpless estate and apply His precious blood to their souls.

 

We begin in (Rev 12:3-6) where we read “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

 

To refresh our memories from last week, we discovered that the woman represents the church, both in the Old Testament and the New. The Church in both dispensations is one. It is one chosen people in Christ, on tent, one vineyard, one family.  Abraham is the father of all believers for we remember that Abraham believed God. We who have come to know Jesus Christ have believed that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

 

In Christ we are one elect race, one royal priesthood, one holy nation. We are the people of God’s own possession, His beautiful bride. We are children of the Promise that was first uttered in the Garden.

The Initial Promise.

Turn to (Gen 3:15) where we read of the initial promise, 15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” The serpent of Genesis 3 is the ‘dragon’ of Revelation 12.

 

The woman’s “Seed” of Genesis 3 is the Male Child’ of Revelation 12. And the reference to “her seed” in Genesis 3:15 is a reference to Christ. So here in Genesis the conflict is announced. And so the same characters appear in both chapter and the same truth is pronounced in both.

 

Going to Genesis 6 now, we see the conflict continuing in the children of Adam and Eve. Remember that their first children after their expulsion from the Garden were Cain and Abel. And we know that Cain killed his brother Abel because in his mind Abel made him look bad. God honored Abel’s sacrifice because it was according to the divine mandate but Cain decided that he would bring “what he thought was good enough” before God. There is no difference here than the strange fire that Nadab and Abihu tried to pass before the Lord except that God was more merciful to Cain than to the other two.

But neither sacrifice was acceptable, and neither of the two groups regarded God as Holy or worthy of reverence. And so in a fit of rage Cain killed Abel.

Seth To The Flood.

But God had mercy on Adam and Eve and gave them another son, Seth whose name means “compensation”. Hendriksen poses the question…”does Satan realize that the family of Seth is predestined to bring forth the promised seed, the Messiah?” Looking at the things that happened you would be inclined to think so. The dragon stands in front of the woman for the devil now begins to do everything in his power to destroy Seth. He whispers in the ears of Seth’s sons that they must marry the daughters of Cain.

 

He tries to destroy the godly line of Seth in order to short circuit the promise of the Messiah. Does he? It would seem so for we read in verse 5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

But what’s this? Not everyone has gone the way of Cain. There was a man named Noah who loved the Lord! Notice verse 8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” So among the families that descended from Seth there is one who fears the Lord; godly Noah. And God saves this one family while the Flood destroys the rest.

From the Flood To Jacob.

Again the dragon stands in front of the woman in order to t destroy the Child. The promise concerning the Messiah has been given to Abraham and Sarah his wife. Humanly speaking though it would seem that the promise will never be fulfilled for Abraham is old and Sarah is barren. Sarah tries to help God out by giving Abraham her servant and Ishmael is born. It seems that the dragon has triumphed when suddenly a miracle occurs! God has made a promise and when God says He’s going to do something, you can rest assured that He will do exactly what He said. Isaac is born and God declares that the Promise will continue through him. But what’s this? The Lord orders Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering… what will happen now?

 

We read in (Gen 22:9-18) 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”So he said, “Here I am.”12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” 15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” The Seed that will crush the serpents head will be born from the generations of Isaac and Rebekah. But once again we see that barrenness is an issue. Rebekah cannot have children. (Gen 25:21)   And once again Jehovah, the God of the Promise performs a miracle and Rebekah conceives so that the Promise is continued in the family line of Jacob.

 

And everything continues swimmingly right? Wrong! See what happens. Jacob deceives his father and receives the blessing that Isaac had intended for Esau and Jacob has to run for his life for Esau has murder in his heart! But God preserves Jacob and brings him back to his own country the promise continues.

From Jacob To the Wilderness Wanderings

Again the dragon stands in front of the woman. He attacks Jacobs’ descendents, the Jews. This time it surely seems as if he will be successful, for though the Lord in tender mercy led His people out of hard bondage in Egypt through His servant Moses, they reject Him and are dancing around a golden calf right below Mount Sinai and the visible presence of God!

 

And God is mad! We read in (Ex 32:10) “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. Is the dragon going to finally win? He is… unless there is an intercessor, someone to stand in the gap and plead for their lives! And there was for Moses interceded for the Israelites and the Promise is saved again. And remember that it was the Great Mediator, Jesus Christ, who created in the heart of the lesser mediator Moses, the spirit of intercession.

From The Wilderness To David

Again History moves on and out in the tribe of Judah, God choose one family, that of David. The Promised Messiah will be born as the seed of David. (2Sam 7:12, Ps. 89:29,35-36, Jer 23:5, Acts 2:30) So the devil now aims his arrow at David. David must be destroyed. Saul, the devil’ servant tried to pin him to the wall with his spear. But David was preserved by God and escaped death for it is God Himself who was ensuring that the Promise would be fulfilled.

From David to Athaliah

Athaliah the wicked daughter of wicked parents Ahab and Jezebel is reigning as Queen mother. In order to make sure there are no ‘usurpers’ to the throne, she tries to kill all of David’s descendents. Again it would seem that the coming of the Savior is threatened by the gaping jaws of the dragon for he once again positions himself in front of the woman.

His wrath is directed against the Child. His human instrument is Athaliah. Turn to (2 Kings 11:2-3). When her son Ahaziah is killed she seizes the throne and kills all of the royal seed. The dragons reasoning is that if all of the royal seed is destroyed then the Messiah cannot be born as the legal heir of the Throne of David. God’s plan will be frustrated and the Promise will fail.

 

But notice…2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the Lord for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

There is still hope for there is still an heir! And it isn’t long before we see Joash standing by the kings pillar with a crown on his head and the people are shouting, “Long live the king!”

From Athaliah to King Ahaz

Things are looking bleak for the nation of Judah for the combined forces of Israel and Syria are gathered against it. Their purpose is to blot out the house of David which holds the key to the Promise! (Isaiah 7:6) says 6 “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”  In essence they wanted to set up a foreign king over Judah.

 

This is a critical moment in history. Will Christ ever be born of the seed of David? Jehovah orders the Prophet Isaiah to meet King Ahaz of Judah to encourage him. He tells the king to ask God for a sign as an assurance that He will do what He said.

 

Ahaz refuses to ask for a sign…surely the dragon, the serpent of Genesis 3:15 will be successful now for assembled against Judah is the host of Syria and Israel and the wickedness of Ahaz himself. The devil laughs. Again however, he laughs too soon for we read in verse 14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” God’s purpose must stand for Immanuel must be born from the family of David.

 

From Ahaz To Esther.

It is the 5th century B.C. and King Ahasuerus is reigning. At the request of Haman, the king issues a decree that throughout his vast domain, all the Jews should be put to death. The decree is sealed with the kings signet ring and the law of the Medes and the Persians cannot be broken. That is, once a law is signed it cannot be revoked or repealed! But God has people even here and Esther and Mortecai are His instruments of deliverance. Haman is hanged on his own gallows and the enemies of Israel are routed and the Jews are saved again because the promise of the Savior who would be born of the seed of David was sealed with the oath of the King of kings!  

From Esther To Bethlehem

We come now to the final act in this epic drama. The scene is Bethlehem. There in a manger lies the Christ Child. But although he is now actually born, the dragon still tries to destroy Him. In fact, Revelation 12, though covering with a few words, the entire previous history of Satan’s warfare against Christ, refers directly and specifically to the events that took place in connection with Christ’s birth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.”

 

The wise men from the East are in the audience room of Herod. “Be sure” says Herod, “to report to me as soon as you shall have found the Child, so that I also may come and worship Him.” Of course Herod had no intention of worshiping this child. He wanted Him dead. But the wise men, after they had found and worshiped the Child, were warned of God and returned to their own country another way. 

 

Still the dragon refuses to admit defeat. The infants of Bethlehem two years old and under are murdered. But Herod failed. So did the dragon. Jesus was safe in Egypt. Throughout all of this we see that God’s purposes can never be frustrated.  Christ’s birth in Bethlehem was and is God’s victory over the dragon.

The Savior’s death on the cross for His people is His further victory. “And her Child was caught up to God and His throne” refers to Christ’s resurrection, ascension and enthronement. Those who oppose Him will be treated to the rod of iron.

 

So much for a final solution! In fact it is God who has devised the final solution for both His children and those who remain rebels against Him at His coming. (2Ti 2:19)  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

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