Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't Be Afraid Of The Piggy

Two days ago, a reader "lostnomore" asked me for the title of a sermon that Pastor Prince preached this year which (s)he felt is appropriate to listen to deal with the swine flu crisis that is threatening to sweep across the world.

I actually couldn't recall which sermon but "lostnomore" came back later and told me that the sermon (s)he was referring to was "God’s Protection Plan Against The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse". I have the DVD and watched it yesterday.

In the sermon, Pastor Prince taught from the book of Revelations and explained how the Four Horsemen is going to attack the world and how we, Christians, can repel their attacks because we are in Christ.

It's a pretty long sermon and I am not here to preach it but I want to discuss the horseman who's attacking us right now with the swine flu:

Rev 6:8 (Amplifed Bible)
8So I looked, and behold, an ashy pale horse [black and blue as if made so by bruising], and its rider's name was Death, and Hades (the realm of the dead) followed him closely. And they were given authority and power over a fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword and with famine and with plague (pestilence, disease) and with wild beasts of the earth.

If you had not listened to the sermon or watched the DVD, it is not easy to visualize what I am going to say but please bear with me. Pastor Prince also taught on how Israel's tribes set up camp. The Israelites camped around the tabernacle with three tribes in each direction (north, south, east and west) and from a bird's eye view, the Israelite camp looks like a cross with the tabernacle in the centre of it.

On the east side are Judah, followed by Issachar and Zebulun, and they are under the banner of Judah which is the Lion. On the south side are Reuben, followed by Simeon and Gad, and they are under the banner of Reuben which is the Man.

On the west side are Ephraim, followed by Manasseh and Benjamin, and they are under the banner of Ephraim which is the Ox. On the north side are Dan, followed by Asher and Naphtali, and they are under the banner of Dan which is the Eagle.
(for the details please read Numbers 2, for a diagram of the camp layout, please see here)

This picture of the four banners surrounding the tabernacle is paralleled in Ezekiel 1:10 (Amplified Bible) - "10As for the likeness of their faces, they each had the face of a man [in front], and each had the face of a lion on the right side and the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of an eagle [at the back of their heads]."

This is also paralleled in Rev 4:6-7 (Amplified Bible) - "6And in front of the throne there was also what looked like a transparent glassy sea, as if of crystal. And around the throne, in the center at each side of the throne, were four living creatures (beings) who were full of eyes in front and behind [with intelligence as to what is before and at the rear of them].
7The first living creature (being) was like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature [was] like a flying eagle. "

The four gospels recorded in the New Testament are also typified by the four living creatures: Matthew - the Lion, Mark - the Ox, Luke - the Man, John - the Eagle (for a detailed explanation, please listen to the sermon).

So far, I am just laying the groundwork of what I actually want to say. Let's take a look at Zech 6:5,6 - "5 The angel replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth. They are going out to do his work. 6 The chariot with black horses is going north, the chariot with white horses is going west, and the chariot with dappled-gray horses is going south.”"

This passage in the book of Zechariah also talks about the same four colours of horses mentioned in Rev 6. Take note that the pale colour horse is going south ie. it is proceeding from the north and travelling to the south. In Rev 6, the rider on the pale horse is Death, and he is attacking with plague ie. pestilence and disease and he is attacking from the north.

Interestingly, the source of the swine flu epidemic is Mexico which is in North America. Which is the banner that is guarding the north side? It is the Eagle which represents the gospel of John. In his sermon, Pastor Prince suggested that we should read the book of John and chances are we will be strong and healthy. That got me thinking - what is the "ingredient" that makes the book of John special and distinguishes it from the other gospels?

There are of course quite a few unique "ingredients" that only appears in the book of John eg. the recording of Jesus' very first miracle (turning water into wine - John 2) and Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus (John 3). However, in the context of dealing with swine flu, I want to discuss the greatest miracle (from a human point of view) that Jesus performed and which is recorded only in the book of John - the raising of Lazarus from the dead four days after his death.

Specifically, I want to focus on what Jesus said before the actual raising of Lazarus for the miracle serves only to confirm His word.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We, who believe in Christ Jesus, were once dead in our sin BUT NOW we are made alive in Him and He lives in us, so therefore we have the resurrection life in us. We, who are now alive and believe in Christ Jesus shall never die - believest thou this?

Don't be afraid of the piggy ... I mean swine flu. We shall never die because we are in Christ. If you are still not convinced by what Jesus said before the cross, don't worry because Jesus also confirmed His word after the cross through the apostle Paul:

Romans 8:10-11 (NLT)
10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.



Angie said...

haha.. AMEN! :) Coincidentally i played one of the CDs in my car last week and this sermon on the four horsemen came on. I had inserted this CD some weeks back but forgot abt it. While listening to the sermon, I thought how apt it was on the current situation and i dunno if you noticed but pp mentioned at the start of the CD that the message he was abt to preach is gonna bless us cos he prepared the msg even before the papers published abt the four horsemen of the apocalypse. it's like a prophesy on what's to come in yr 2009. We're indeed blessed to have an anointed pastor and yes, we shall not fear! ;)

btw, your eagle eye on Mexico being the 'horse attacking from the north' is indeed eye opening. :)

Daughter Of Sarah said...

And this little piggy cried whee whee whee all the way home... =)

Thanks for the sharing! We are indeed in Christ and hedged in.