Crying Out Against Injustice (Revelation 6:9-11)

It Can Be Frustrating When We Are Waiting For God's Justice.

Matt Stokes
Mar 8, 2021    38m
Have you ever found yourself waiting for God to act? It can be frustrating when we are waiting for God's justice, but we must trust that He will act when the time is right to accomplish His purposes. Video recorded at Ocean City, New Jersey.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Matt Stokes: 00:01 I just want to welcome all of you again, that are here for the gathering, and want to welcome all of you that are watching online. We're going to be in Revelation chapter 6 today, looking further into this passage. I entitled this message, Crying Out Against Injustice, which of course seems appropriate on so many levels. And probably more titles will, as we see certain things unfolding in the book of Revelation, and then making the correlation to maybe what's happening in our world today on different levels as well. Because it doesn't matter what side of the political platform you're on, everybody is feeling like there's a certain measure of injustice that's happening in some way. And what the important question that the believer has to ask is, how are we handling that in the midst? And what's even more important is not how we are handling it, but how does God want me to be handling it, right? Because I don't want there to be any deconstruction between what it is that God wants to see happening and what I want to see happening, I want those things to be in perfect alignment, and I think you do too, and I think that's why you're here.

Matt Stokes: 01:18 So as you open up to Revelation chapter 6, let me just give you a little bit of background about what's happening here. The first few chapters of Revelation, they present a certain amount of symbolism that we've been looking at. Chapter 6 marks something of a change, as the imagery now, and I lovingly warned you that this time was coming, it's going to become more and more elaborate. So the reliance on symbolism must be kept in mind when you're reading John's interpretation of the vision in the book of Revelation. Understand that not all the description in Revelation is meant to be understood in absolute terms of wooden literal interpretation, and not everything is meant to be understood symbolically, well then which one is it? It's always hard to tell, that's why we need to pray and seek God to try and understand this mysterious book. In some cases, it seems that he is describing something that is quite apocalyptic. And then there are other times where it seems that he's describing a very literal event, but he's using some very dramatic, poetic language. So context and caution are very useful in knowing which passages are falling into which categories as we continue to move deeper into the book.

Matt Stokes: 02:50 So let me say this, as we begin, this is where we are, we started Revelation 6 together just recently. And in Revelation, the Lamb, Jesus, the Lamb of God, he opens and reveals the title deed. And the reason I say the title deed is, Jesus is the one who receives the title deed from the one who sits upon the throne, which is his Father. So you remember when I say title deed, it's because you remember it was said to Jesus, all power in heaven and earth, all authority in heaven and earth, has been given unto me. And he talks about how all judgment has been given unto the Son, that it all belongs to him, that he's been given the name that is above every name, where every knee will bow in the earth, on the earth, and under the earth, and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Kurios, that Jesus Christ is the Lord.

Matt Stokes: 03:44 So there's this title deed, if you will, in heaven. In other words, there's a scroll, and on the scroll, there are these seals, and the seals can only be opened by one particular person. So I have a family heritage, right? And in my family heritage, I have on one side, let's just say the Mulholland's, and on the other side, I have the Carroll's. Two very good Irish names, Mulholland and Carroll, and our day's coming up in just a couple of weeks, so be ready for that. Then after those two names, you have underneath that the rest of our family, which is like Schroeder, Brokaw, Stokes, [inaudible] Smith, right? So when they had a title deed, what happened was, and here's an image that you can see, this is probably more or less with the scroll look like. Because if you saw, John said, "I saw a scroll, and there were seals on and within the scroll." So in other words, one person, one family would be able to open the first scroll on the top, right? Because it would have a seal on it that would say Mulholland. But then he would open that scroll and see what rights, and what inheritance, and what land, was given unto him. But he could only unwrap it so far, until he came to the second seal, and that seal would say Carroll, and only the Carroll's were able to open that piece and see what was given to them.

Matt Stokes: 05:02 So imagine what happens when all authority is given to Jesus, he's the only one, picture if all the seals, the wax seals that have the impression on them, they say, eternally wise, eternally righteous, eternally, powerful, eternally loving, eternally forgiving, eternally faithful. Then this great cry goes out in heaven from John, because there's no one like that, who would be that worthy, who would have that kind of authority to be eternal, have all those characteristics, and be able to open a scroll like that. And then the voice comes from heaven and says the Lamb, right, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he is worthy. And I looked and saw a Lamb, and they sung a song and said, he's worthy to open up, he has the authority to break open every one of those scrolls. Is that like remarkable? So as he unrolls each scroll, there's a different revelation that comes forth from that, and that's what we've been looking at for the past several weeks.

Matt Stokes: 06:02 So the first seal is opened, and what comes forth is a white horse with a conquering rider. Then second he is opening the second scroll, and there comes forth or red rider on a horse, and this horse brings bloodshed everywhere. And please listen from the last week, if you didn't hear the last time we were together in the message, some see this rider finishing what the white rider started. The white rider, it says, comes conquering and wins many victories, the second rider says he comes with bloodshed everywhere. So some people think that the well, the one came and it was bad, then the other came and it was worse, because he kind of finished what the other one started. This is just my position on this, I believe, and so may some others, that actually God's allowing the red rider to come into conflict with the white rider, because they're both conflicting with each other. Which would make total sense, and coincide with what Jesus said in the gospels, Mark 13, if you want to write it down, Matthew chapter 24, Jesus said that nation will rise up against nation, and there will be, watch this, there will be wars and rumors of wars, and there will be famine, pestilence, and earthquakes. Does that sound similar to anything we're reading in the book of Revelation right now? And if you're waiting for earthquakes, they're coming next week, so hang onto your hockey sticks and you're going to seem, all of this is totally coming together with what Jesus said. So I believe that the red rider and the white rider are kind of really just forming a total bloodbath amongst the world as this whole thing is kind of just unfolding in front of them.

Matt Stokes: 07:48 So the third seal breaks open...I'm thinking about Psalm 2 also, do you know, Psalm 2? It's a conversation between the Father and the Son, and it says, "The Father says ask, and I will give the nations to you, and the other most parts of the world for your possession." And that seems to be like what's happening right here as well. Right? And then in the end of that chapter, Psalm 2, it says, "Kiss the son, give homage." Is what it really says in the King James, "Respect and give honor to the Son, lest he has wrath and you perish in the way." Like that totally coincides Psalm chapter 22, Mark 13, Luke 24, Revelation chapter 6. That's why I'm saying that the scriptures are just, I mean, the greatest writers with of the pens of men could never put together something over 5,000 years, that would just coincide the way that the scriptures do, it's just, it's nothing short of God's Word.

Matt Stokes: 08:53 The third seal reveals the rider, and the rider has a black horse, and the details of this passage describe famine and scarcity, but also economic imbalance. And I talked about it last week, you've got people over here, this massive amount of people that are begging for bread just to make it through the day. And on the other side, in this passage, you have these rich and powerful people who have unharmed, that's the word in the Greek, unharmed olive oil and wine. So somehow all the things that they have are just perfectly completely protected, and then over here, you have these people that are just starving to death. Which of course gives rise in my mind to the things that we've seen in history, where you have Nazi Germany, and you have, again, the haves and the have-nots. You remember Russia when they were under deep dictatorship, and you had the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, all of these things where a shadow, remember the scripture, all of these things were a shadow of things to come. But like Jesus said, the time is not yet, but we're getting close.

Matt Stokes: 09:58 The fourth seal, it brings a horse that's described as a pale green horse, and the rider upon this horse, his name is death, and it says, and following him is the grave. And I'm not sure exactly mysteriously what that looks like, whether these horsemen that we're looking at right here, whether these Horseman's effects are separate from the first three, or this is like a successive culmination of all of what they brought. The impact is horrific upon the earth, right, war, famine, disease. And I'm saying, two thoughts as I study. One, then comes with disease, comes what scarcity, and then comes exposure, and then I can see why it says wild animals and so forth, right? Because people now may be losing their houses, and they're forced to live in exposure, and they also may be forced to live and to deal with wild animals. Another thought, and I didn't read this anywhere, this is just my own distorted opinion, I'll just tell you that. It's possible that we may go back to the ancient Roman days, where they threw Christians to the wild animals for sport, because Christians are going to be so hated at this point, because they're going to believe that we are the ones who are hating. It's going to be this total flip and role reversals of values, Christ-like character, and culture. And maybe in those days when there becomes execution once again, and I do believe it's coming, they may, for the sake of sport, and also for the sake of tradition, throw Christians back to the wild animals, I just look at this and I say, wild animals, how's that? And I'm thinking, well, it could happen because of scarcity and exposure, but it could also happen because of persecution. Just an interesting thought to think about, we really don't know, but there were a lot of things that I looked at when I read Revelation many years ago and said, how could these things possibly happen? I'm reading it right now in 2021, and I'm looking at and I'm going, I can totally see how it could happen.

Matt Stokes: 12:02 Now, the fifth seal is where we are today, and it brings a contrast to the first four that we already studied. What do you mean? Well, when the fifth seal breaks, there's no shout or command from one of the four living beings to come, right, there's no unleashing of some sort of catastrophic effect on the earth. When the fifth seal breaks, Instead, John sees martyrs under the altar in heaven. These seem to be those that are killed, believers that are killed during the tribulation, making them believers who came to Christ after the rapture were left behind, but then had a testimony for Christ and were killed during that season. Chapter 7, there's a description of those who are sealed by God, this most likely includes that group. These martyrs, they praise God, you're going to see that in just a minute, they praise God, and they acknowledge God, while begging him to avenge their deaths.

Matt Stokes: 13:14 Hmm, and God, I mean, I'll take your attention up here, we'll look at the scripture in just a minute. I want you to hear this, because this is the crux of this morning, so pause and just give me your attention for a second. God's response to them, are you ready for this, is to wait. Is to wait, they're praising and acknowledging God, they're begging that their deaths would be avenged for what it was that they've gone through and how they were tortured and killed. And God says, wait. And the reason that they have to wait, is just worse than the reason to wait itself, the reason he says to wait is because there are others that are yet to be martyred for proclaiming Christ.

Matt Stokes: 14:02 So let's look at this together in Revelation chapter 6, beginning in verse 9. And it says this, "When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for..." Watch this, if you're a student of scripture, you want to mark down there's two reasons. "...for the Word of God and for being faithful in their testimony." I actually looked it up in the original Greek, it actually says, "The Word of God and the testimony to which they held." Which I just find so much more powerful, it's like they held onto their testimony, no matter what was happening. They had a testimony, they taught the Word of God, they preached the Word of God, and they had a testimony. And when it came to bloodshed, being thrown to lions, when it came to the guillotine, they held, they held. Now they're under the altar, and it's their souls, psuché is the word in the Greek. So there's something mysterious happening here right, because how can you see the soul? But John, in the vision, he can see their souls.

Matt Stokes: 15:13 "And they shouted to the Lord and said..." And this is all interesting too, you've got to understand when I'm doing the NLT, I'll usually go back to the original language and see how close we are in terms of the translation. It actually says, "They cried out." It uses the word krauge. I think I've told you this before, krauge is an onomatopoeia, that's a word in Greek that sounds like what it means. It's the sound that a Raven makes, krauge, krauge, right? They cried out like a shriek as they screamed. And it says, as they cried with a loud voice, and that loud voice is actually, loud is megas, and voice is phone, megaphone. I mean, can we get any more close to the American English? They screamed like a megaphone to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters." That's actually one word in the Greek, it's adelphos. "And their fellow servants." That's one word actually, it's sýndoulos Syn S Y N means one, like synthesis or synthetic, and doulos means servant or slave, it's a very powerful word. When you say sýndoulos, it's the description of like slaves that have been working in toiling together. Hey, like fellow servants just sounds so beautiful, but this is a very strong word. Your brethren, and your sýndoulos, your fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred, had joined them. So what you see here is, is God is saying, I want you to wait until this time comes when your brethren and your fellow servants are also going to lose their lives through martyrdom.

Matt Stokes: 17:17 What's really interesting is when you see this, as God's saying to wait, because it's not time, but God measures time differently than we measure time. God does not measure time chronologically, God measures time morally. Do you see that in scripture? Right? I mean, what's it say in Galatians, it says, and when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son into the world, born of a Virgin. Like God waited until a certain moral time that he knew it was time now to send [foreign language] Messiah, Jesus into the world. In Genesis, it talks about the iniquity of the Amorites not yet being full. God said, I'm not judging them, I'm going to judge them at 4 o'clock on Friday, I'm going to judge them on April 12th. No, he says, I'm going to judge them when the iniquity of the Amorites was full. In other words, he waits for the fullness of a moral state. The same thing in Romans chapter 11, where it talks about there's going to come a time called the fullness of the Gentiles. And it's mysterious about what that means, but it seems to mean that Gentiles are the non-Jews, the last nations of the world. And when the fullness of the Gentiles comes, then God then sets in motion a new set of regulation of how he controls and operates on the earth. But does he do it by a watch or a clock on the wall in heaven? No, he does it morally, by the decisions that we're making, and that's just a very interesting way to think about God in terms of chronology versus morality.

Matt Stokes: 18:50 John says brothers and sisters, again in the Greek, this is a word that means, the word in the Greek is adelphos, it's literally brethren. And we talked about this word before, the word brethren in the Greek means one wombededness. It's where we get the word, phil adelphos, Philadelphia, city of brothers, city of brotherly love, right? Philos means love, adelphi, Adelphopoiia means brotherly love Philadelphia. These are the brethren, one wombededness. What it means is, is that we're so close together, it's actually as if we've come from the same womb, that's how tight, that's how secure we are in each other. And the scriptures say that all of us have been birthed, it says in the King James, we've been begotten through a living hope through our Lord Jesus Christ. So we all come in the sense if you're here today and you're a believer in Jesus Christ, we all have a one wombededness, we all came from this one womb and that's from God. We have been birthed by him, that's why we call ourselves being born again of the Spirit. And that's what he's saying that these adelphos are, these are your brothers, these are your brothers and sisters, this is the one wombededness connection that you have with each other.

Matt Stokes: 20:12 And rather than follow the world's destructive ways, these martyrs gave their lives. And again, so important with a pen to write it down in two ways. They gave their lives, one, through the teaching of the Word of God, and two through the testimony to which they held onto in the midst of it all, they became martyrs. That word's used here a few times, the word martyr is a very interesting word too. The word martyr literally means a witness, isn't that interesting? Mártyras, it means a witness, it means one who testimony before a judge. And for that reason, because they say, I swear to tell the truth, this is the truth, and they give God's truth, they lose their lives. Make your own application to what that might mean for this nation.

Matt Stokes: 21:09 The fifth seal now is broken, and John sees an altar, and the altar represents the sacrificial altar that was in the temple of God. And I don't have time to get into the details, but if you study the Old Testament, you'll see that at the base of the altar is where they would catch the blood of the sacrifice. So when they would put the lamb upon the altar on the day of Yom Kippur and they would sacrifice the lamb, it was all done very methodically and it was a ceremony and they would very carefully catch the blood of that innocent lamb. And of course the people were realizing that an innocent substitute died in my place, and that's why I am expressing my forgiveness through looking at that and acknowledging that an innocent substitute died in my place. 3000 years later, John the Baptist comes along and says, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." It's just all fascinating, but nonetheless, the blood was captured, it was caught underneath the altar.

Matt Stokes: 22:12 Well, now in this scene in heaven, underneath the altar that apparently is in heaven, there's an altar, and underneath the altar is the souls of the martyrs, the psuché is the word in the Greek. The souls of the martyrs are somehow in this place. John saw the souls of the martyrs who have died for the preaching of the gospel and their testimony. These martyrs were told that they would still have others that would lose their lives for their belief in Christ, and they are your brothers as well. So here's the point I'm trying to make today, and I'm trying, and I'll continue to say this. I'm trying as we go through the book of Revelation, and in all the books we've gone through, I was surprised, I took a highlighter, we've covered three quarters of the entire Bible by now, since we started this ministry in 2003.

Matt Stokes: 23:08 In the book of Revelation, I'm trying to be simple, I'm trying to simplify the text, but I'm also trying to make it applicable. Most people when they want something good and applicable to apply to their lives, no one is thumbing through Revelation for application, right? And you're like, I'm just going to go to like Book of James or something, right. But I'm trying to find it in the application, so listen to this in light of what I was just saying, please. In the face of war, in the face of famine, in the face of economic and political persecution, in the face of death, true Christians will be called to stand firm for what they believe. Let me say it again, because this is probably one of the most important things I'm going to say today. In the face of famine, economic and political persecution, and even death, true Christians are going to be called to stand firm for what they believe. Are you going to stand firm for what you believe? Don't say, amen, don't clap your hands or stomp your feet, think about it, weigh it out.

Matt Stokes: 24:20 This is why Jesus said to count the cost of what it means to be his disciple. And I'm not talking about standing firm on your Facebook posts, standing firm with your Instagram memes, standing firm with your Twitter tweets, and your snappy chats and Tik Toks. I'm talking about standing firm with their lives is what they did, and we're not called to do anything less. And as if that's not difficult enough, these psuché, these souls of these saints, they're told to wait, they're told to rest in this moment, and be patient, and wait for God. Does anybody struggle with that? Wait for God, wait for his promise, wait for his purpose. Do you have trouble waiting for God? And when I say waiting, let me just give you the biblical definition for waiting. Because American English, we use the word waiting, what we usually mean is, is that we're like standing at a bus stop and the bus is late, that's our idea of waiting. In the biblical concept of waiting, it has to do with, if you want to write this word down, just in your margin at the top or bottom of your Bible, you probably have a little extra space around your typeset. Just write this down, waiting equals eager anticipation.

Matt Stokes: 25:55 See, in American English, the word waiting is very passive. Like I'm waiting for something, right, I'm waiting for my mom to pick me up from my baseball game, I'm waiting. But in the biblical concept of waiting, it's an eager anticipation. And the best way I can describe this, and I've tried to use this analogy before when I talked to students when I was teaching junior high, is like you ever been to an Asian restaurant and the waiting there, like they come, as soon as you finish that one time, boom, that guy's like right there to take your bowl away and then go back and stands in the corner. It's like, he's just waiting for the next thing you're going to finish, and the next thing you know, he's there again. I don't know what it is about that culture, but they are very, it's eager anticipation, there's nothing casual about it, they're just like right there. I don't know what restaurants you fancy, but I know that when I go to a Chinese restaurant, it's very rare, it happens sometimes, but it's very rare that I go, where is our waiter? Where is he? It's like, whoa, there he is again. Like, boom, they're just like right there. Right? Because they're waiting, they're watching with eager anticipation to wait upon you. And the scriptures are telling us not American English, but in the biblical sense, to wait on God, wait on him.

Matt Stokes: 27:16 Are you being patient for God to reveal his plan? In other words, yes, you are waiting, yes, there is a concept of being patiently enduring, but there's also this active idea of looking, and watching, and listening. Let him who has ears, let him hear what the spirit is saying to the church, right? Paul prays that you might have eyes with wisdom, and revelation, and understanding, and the eyes of your understanding might open so that you can see certain things. I'm saying, are you being patient for God to reveal his plan in the midst of trials, reveal his plan in the midst of testing, I'm looking, reveal his plan in the midst of this temptation that's kind of coming at my life, reveal his plan, and I'm anxiously anticipating eagerly how to go and manage my way through this tribulation, manage my way navigate through this persecution. I'm saying if that's you, you are in great company. Why? Because the scriptures are filled with challenges to be patient with God to reveal his plan in the midst of your trial.

Matt Stokes: 28:25 What? God in the scriptures, there are great men and women, you'll see it all throughout the Bible, where he is challenging them to be patient as he reveals his plan in the midst of your trial, James, the half-brother of Christ, says be patient brethren and wait until the coming of the Lord. Hosea says, continually wait for the Lord. Psalm 27, one of my favorite says, wait for the Lord, be of good courage in the midst of that. and he will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say again, on the Lord. Psalm 37 says, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently on him." It's like waiting is hard enough, but he's saying no, no, no, wait patiently, he combines the words. Isaiah says, how blessed are those who wait on him? Most of you know, Isaiah also said, those who wait upon the Lord shall what? Renew their strength. "Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up like Eagles, they'll run and not grow weary, they'll walk and not grow faint. Corinthian says, "Wait upon the Lord, and when he comes, he will bring the light to all that is hidden in the darkness." Hebrews says, that Christ will appear with salvation to those that, here it is, watch this, to those that eagerly, eagerly wait for him. Romans says that the Holy Spirit groans within us, as we eagerly wait for our redemption. In other words, we've been redeemed when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, but there's an ultimate redemption that's going to come someday. And when that ultimate redemption comes, that we wait for, we're really gonna see what we were made for. We're really going to see what the world was designed for.

Matt Stokes: 30:13 Like I don't want to...I'll talk about this some other time. I was going to tell you that, just think if green isn't green and blue isn't blue. Green is greener than you've ever seen, blue is bluer than you ever knew, but we don't know because the fall of man has so affected us. Dads, did you ever I'm into it, I said, I wasn't gonna get into it. It's like the Wizard Of Oz, right? Did you ever notice like the things in black and white, but then when she gets to Oz, like the whole thing turns to color? Like what if, because of the fall of man and the effects of sin, like we think this is color. But if we wait eagerly for the redemption, when we really experience what God intended, like the full color of the spectrum opens up and we see color that we never even knew existed because that's what God always planned and intended. Okay, that's just an interesting thought, helps me fall asleep at night.

Matt Stokes: 31:09 Galatians says, "Through the spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness." And last week I spent a lot of time on hope, if you want to listen to that message and combine the biblical concept of hoping with the biblical concept of waiting, I really think that you might be encouraged because I was as I wrote it. There's a challenge for the church, the challenge for the church in the midst of these horsemen and these martyrs crying out in the tribulation for vindication, for the fullness of their redemption. There's a challenge for the Christian, and that's to wait on God, wait on God. Would you say it with me? Wait on God.

Matt Stokes: 31:49 Remember in the letters to the seven churches, Jesus reminding and encouraging believers to be overcomers in the midst of their various afflictions and oppositions. The martyrs are eager for God to bring justice to the earth, but they're told to wait. There's a sovereign plan, not known to any man, and although you don't understand, will you like these, accept this command, and trust God's hand and wait? Because God has a plan. God has a plan. God has a plan. Would you say that with me? God has a plan.

Matt Stokes: 32:27 And although you haven't been martyred, I know that because you're here, you may have been misunderstood, you may have been mistreated, you may have been misaligned, you may have been slandered, used, abused, backstabbed, and betrayed. God is promising that those who suffer, and even die for their faith, will not be forgotten. This passage right here, here's the practical encouragement. Rather, they will be singled out by God for special honor. We may, is anyone else here, do you not wish for justice immediately? We want immediate justice. And as these martyrs did, but we must be patient. God, this is what I'm trying to say, this is what I'm trying to say, God works according to his own timetable and his own promises, he works according to his own justice. No suffering for the sake of God's kingdom, however small, is wasted, trust him.

Matt Stokes: 33:22 The saints have been slain by the enemy because of their witness to the truth of God and the message of the gospel. So it looks like Satan wins, but he doesn't Satan's bark is worse than his bite, I assure you, you will see that in the chapters to come. It's clear to those martyrs that your sacrifice, listen, the Father trying to say, your sacrifice was not an accident, it's an appointment. And you might be going through something right now, and you need to hear the Spirit of God say that to you right now, what you're going through right now is not accident, it's an appointment. I'm not naïve, I recognize in the course of these three gatherings, there's going to be a lot of people coming through here with a lot of stuff. I'm saying, what you're going through is not an accident. If you believe in his sovereignty, you know it's an appointment. And when it comes to these martyrs, there are going to be others that are going to be joining them, and Jesus is trying to say you have nothing to fear. And neither do we, even to the point of death, God is in control. God is in control. Say that one with me, God is in control.

Matt Stokes: 34:25 It actually says in Psalm 116, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." What, wait, what? Yeah, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." The martyrs shouted to the Lord because they trusted in...Did you see it? Did you circle it? They said, sovereign Lord, Holy and true, they trusted his honor. And they're crying out for him to address their grievances, they say, how long, how slow is it going to be before you act, is justice going to be done? Does God act decisively? His wrath has to be understood in terms of his justice, and his righteousness, and his sovereignty, and all that goes on into infinity. So we don't even understand, we just have to be patient and wait.

Matt Stokes: 35:10 Psalm 103 says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, he's slow to anger and plenteous in mercy." I said, this last week, he's longing for others to come to repentance. It reminds me of Romans chapter 2, where it says, "Do you despise?" You know what it means to despise, right? "Do you despise the riches, and the patients, and the forbearance, of God, knowing that his kindness is what leads us to repentance." God's being patient, because believes that his kindness is going to lead people to repentance. So it talks about how they said they wanted their blood to be avenged, this cry goes out for God's justice. It flows from the pattern of the Old Testament, many of you have read, David and other writers and scripture saying, "How long, O' Lord, will you deliver God's people. How long will you leave us without strength?" Why don't we receive hope and help from you? Where will we find our hope, except from you? Where would we find mercy, except from you? When will our cries for injustice be heard? Why does it seem like you're silent before our affliction? But remember also what it says in Romans, when it says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place onto God's wrath. For its written, vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord. They received these white robes, symbolic of a martyr's victory and God's full acceptance. Then were told to rest, wait on God's justice. Only. God knows how many Christians will be martyred before the end. So again, his sovereignty, in his sovereignty God will fulfill his purpose through his children, those who are martyred will be vindicated in the appropriate time.

Matt Stokes: 36:57 So as we close, the challenge for believers is to wait for the mercy and justice of God. Again, how long will we put our hope in the power structures of the earth, in the government of the world, and realize those efforts are just futile. Again, this fallen world cannot offer hope, lasting hope to humanity. But God is in control, and his purposes will be accomplished. Are we afraid of death? "Precious in the eyes of the Lord, are the death of his saints." Do you believe it? How many of us long for wrongs to be made right? How many of us long for that which is broken to be made whole? How many of us long for that which is wicked to be brought to justice? The Lord says those of you who have suffered the greatest affliction, even death, hey, hey, be patient, rest. Satan's bark is worse than his bite, and everything in darkness will be brought to the light. The death of my saints is precious in my sight, and you know who wins the end of this fight, and everything wrong will be made right by my justice, my wisdom, my power, and might. And with that, amen.

Recorded in Ocean City, New Jersey.
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