CITY OF THE
June 8, 1997 pm
Lamentations 1:1-2 How doth the city sit
solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that
was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she
become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her
cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends
have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.
Revelation 17:1-5 And there came one
of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying
unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore
that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed
fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the
wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness:
and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy,
having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and
scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having
a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE
MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which
thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive
power as kings one hour with the beast.
ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and
shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her
woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings
of the earth.
she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment
and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am
no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
The book of Lamentations speaks
about a CITY which lost all of its people. Such a great loss was comparable
to a woman losing her husband. A widow.
THIS PICTURE OF A CITY is a symbol
of humanity who once, as the church now is, were espoused to Christ, but
who lost that relationship with Him. Mankind lost something which mankind
originally had with God.
- The aspect of a great loss
is what is connoted by the description of the city as a widow.
- Revelation shows another
city which exclaimed she was not a widow, and a city which glorified herself.
- She uttered that she was
- Comparing this with Lamentations,
we see that this City in Revelation truly suffered a great loss, but would
not admit it
- This City spiritually called
Babylon uttered that she not only was anything but a widow but also that
she was a Queen.
- This indicates that her
loss was her husband.
- She lost her husband, but
insisted she was not a widow in such a loss but rather a Queen.
- Such a proud self-glorifying
spirit in this entity called a city, while proclaiming she is a Queen, indicates
that she sought to rule by herself without her "Husband"
- She is called BABYLON the
I. GOD'S INITIAL
Genesis 2:15-17 And the LORD God took
the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou
mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou
shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with
all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
1Corinthians 6:16-17 What? know ye not that
he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be
one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
- Let us note here that the
same words used to describe Adam's role in the Garden - KEEP THE GARDEN -
are used to describe our role as believers.
- Instead of a Garden, we
are told to KEEP OUR HEARTS.
- THIS is what the Garden
- The human heart or spirit
of mankind united with the Spirit of God.
God compares His intended relationship
with the human spirit as the relationship of a man and woman in the flesh.
Mankind was meant to unite with God in the sanctuary of the Garden. But things
did not go that way.
God placed mankind in the Garden
Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that
day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have
cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will
I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
- God instructed Adam to eat
of the fruit of Life.
- if you eat of these fruit,
you will live forever!
- Eternal Life was an everlasting
union of God with mankind, and this is what was originally intended.
- But another Tree stood in
the Garden vying for man's attention, also.
- Like a competitor, the Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and evil let out its appeal to mankind.
This story is a parallel of something
Paul the Apostle was conveying in his epistle to the Corinthians.
1Corinthians 12:31-2 But covet earnestly
the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak
with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become
as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
This passage in 1 Corinthians
is given AFTER Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit in Chapter Twelve.
- Paul was urging believers
to watch out for the same tactic used by Satan in the Garden.
- Spend not your time in the
miraculous - concentrate on the tree of LIFE - LOVE.
- We have TWO TREES to pick
from in this garden.
- Adam was told to KEEP THE
- The men who confronted Jesus
at the door of the Kingdom depended upon their operation of the gifts of
the Spirit to take them into the Kingdom.
- Jesus was not looking for
- The gifts of the Spirit
accomplished towards others are the most extreme example of good deeds done
for man, but good deeds will not buy our way to glory.
- The tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil is indeed a tree of the Knowledge of GOOD.
- Not just EVIL.
- These "Lord" criers had
unintentionally looked to the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil rather
than the Tree of LIFE.
- They had many good deeds,
but were nothing.
- A stress on good deeds without
a relationship with Christ is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- Jesus did not KNOW them.
- If KNOWING these people
would mean their entrance into the Eternal Kingdom, then the Tree of Eternal
Life involves this LOVE for God.
1Corinthians 1:7 So that ye come behind
in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
- The gifts of tongues, prophecy,
knowledge, wisdom and faith from Chapter 12 are all listed in the first few
verses of Chapter 13, and are said to do nothing for our relationship with
Christ if we possess them without love.
- The people at Jesus' coming
list all the miracles they did and all the wonderful works in Jesus' name.
- Jesus said, I never knew
- they had the gifts, as listed
in 1 Corinthians 12, but they lacked the love of God.
- Paul said we are NOTHING
if we have all gifts and no love.
- These people had all gifts
of Spirit, miracles and such, but they did not KNOW JESUS.
1Corinthians 1:5 That in every thing
ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
- Though they had all gifts,
coming behind in NONE, they did not realize they were nothing.
- They were waiting for the
coming of Jesus.
- But the coming of Jesus
would disappoint them, for Jesus will say, "I never knew you."
- They had been to the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil.
- All they had was knowledge
of good and evil.
- The thoughts of doing good
without the thoughts of Knowing Jesus.
1Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the
gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have
not charity, I am nothing.
- They had all knowledge, but
Paul later said...
1Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could
not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes
in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were
not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for
whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not
carnal, and walk as men?
- Having all knowledge was
not good enough.
- God's love was not in them.
- These people did many good
things, but that is from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- They KNEW what to do in
the way of good things.
- But you can do a good thing
without God's love.
- Anybody can show you good
versus evil, but loving God and doing His WILL gives eternal LIFE.
1Corinthians 13:8-11 Charity never faileth: but whether there
be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they
shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect
is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child,
I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when
I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass,
darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know
even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
but the greatest of these is charity.
- What is more GOOD than seeing
God do a miracle for a person?
- People are in need of money
and food, and to give them such things is good, but to give a person a miracle
from GOD is even greater good.
- But this is not what saves
- KNOWING JESUS SAVES US.
- These miracles workers did
not have eternal life since they were not able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
- To do God's will is to LIVE
IN THE LOVE OF GOD.
- Operate the gifts, but do
them in LOVE.
- That makes the difference.
- Nobody can get eternal life
unless they are filled with God's love.
- The tree of life is linked
with the love of God.
- Gifts of God cannot save
us, for they are only temporary.
II. THE RELATIONSHIP
- Prophecies will end one day.
- When we, like the people
Jesus rejected in Matthew 7, confront the door to the Kingdom after this
"stage-setting" is over.
- The gifts of the Spirit
these people had will not save them because past this point of time is nothing
that will require gifts.
- No healings will be needed
- If our salvation is based
upon being able to pray for miracles, we will never make heaven because miracles
stop at the door to heaven.
- Three things will take us
past that door.
- FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY
- and the greatest is CHARITY.
- Faith, hope and charity
remain after this life is over.
Genesis2:15 And the LORD God took
the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart
with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Genesis2:10 And a river went
out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became
into four heads.
- In that Garden was the tree
of life and A RIVER OF LIFE flowed or issued out from it.
- WE MUST KEEP OUR HEARTS,
FOR OUT OF THEM ARE THE ISSUES OF LIFE.
- The river of Life.
- We see a main reason Adam
was put in the Garden was to protect it due to the fact that the River of
Life flowed from Eden into it to go to all the world.
- Our hearts must be kept,
for the River of Life flows through the Believer's heart to the world.
- Our hearts can be set upon
- Eat the fruit of life - LOVE
- INWARD THING.
- Or eat the knowledge of
good and evil - OUTWARD THING.
- The garden of Eden is like
God's HEART and MAN'S HEART UNITED.
- God and Adam walked together.
- To remain in that union
would be to maintain the flow of the River.
- Adam was to go to the tree
of life and refrain from the knowledge of good and evil.
- He had to forget about being
GOOD without the life.
- This world wants to be good
but they do not want God's life.
- The river of life will flow
from a heart that stays united to God.
1Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified
your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love
of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
- This River is all important
- We are not to put good and
evil foremost in our minds.
- We can think we are God
and think to do good to people, and tell them what and what not is good,
and FORGET GOD IS GOD, and look to His life FIRST, and THEN do good.
- A serpent crept in and ever
so slyly made eve forget about God and think about good.
- GOOD WITHOUT GOD WILL CAUSE
US TO DRY UP.
- A pure heart is one not contaminated.
- We can only see the River
of Life flow - God's Love - if we have a pure heart which has been kept as
Adam was to keep the Garden.
- As Adam failed, we, too,
- The RIVER OF LIFE and the
TREE OF LIFE are linked.
- If we devour the fruit of
LIFE, and remain filled with God's LIFE in knowing Him, we will see that
the RIVER OF LIFE continues to flow through our "Gardens" uninhibited.
- Law (Knowledge of good and
evil) was judgmental.
- Unfeigned love is doing
good for people - gifts - with real love.
- And unfeigned love can only
be accomplished THROUGH THE SPIRIT.
- The RIVER of LIFE must flow.
- Our duty is to PROTECT
our hearts so that nothing creeps in and defiles our intentions with another
desire for SELF.
- When WE do the good without
a relationship with God, the RIVER FLOW STOPS.
1John 3:15-16 Whosoever hateth his
brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding
in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life
for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
- Feigned love is doing good
without charity in the heart and without the RIVER.
- LAW is knowledge of good
and evil without God's love.
- LAW CONDEMNS.
- Law sentences.
- CHRISTIANS CAN DWELL IN
LAW - FIGHTING PREVAILS - JEALOUSIES RULE - DIVISIONS - CARNALITY - as in
the case of the Corinthians.
1John 1:5 This then is the message
which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and
in him is no darkness at all.
- ETERNAL LOVE IS NOT IN ONE
WHO HATES HIS BROTHER.
- THEY MAY HAVE MANY GOOD
DEEDS, BUT THEY ARE DRY.
- THEY MAY HAVE MIRACLES,
LIKE CORINTHIANS, BUT NO LOVE.
- "NOT MY WILL BE DONE, BUT
- LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
- WHEN JESUS PRAYED THIS,
HE WAS THINKING ABOUT DYING FOR THE WORLD.
- TO DO GOD'S WILL WAS TO
LOVE THE WORLD.
- LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR OTHERS.
- SO, DOING THE WILL OF THE
FATHER IS LOVING THE WORLD.
- LAYING DOWN YOUR LIFE.
- TO BE ANGRY AND HATE SOMEONE
FOR WHAT THEY DID IS NOT LAYING DOWN YOUR LIFE.
- DOING GOOD DEEDS WITH NO
LOVE IS A GARDEN WITH NO RIVER.
- IT DRIES UP.
- BUT DOING GOD'S WILL IS
A RIVER OF LIFE.
- GOD'S LOVE IS :--" GOD SO
LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE..."
- THIS LOVE IN US WILL DO
- BLOOD POURED FROM HIS PORES
AS HE PRAYED THIS - A RIVER OF LIFE.
- Blood is the life of the
flesh. And a river of LIFE poured from Jesus.
- WATER AND BLOOD CAME FROM
HIS SIDE on the cross - A RIVER OF LIFE.
- BLOOD IS LIFE OF THE FLESH,
AND WATER WITH BLOOD IN IT IS LIVING WATER.
- A HEART UNITED TO GOD IS
A GARDEN OF EDEN.
- JESUS IS IN THE GARDEN,
and we need to join Him there.
1John 1:7 But if we walk in
the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Genesis3:6 And when the woman saw
that the tree was good for food FOR HER, and that it was pleasant
to the eyes OF HERSELF,
and a tree
to be desired to make one wise MAKE HERSELF WISE, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did
- JOHN WAS APOSTLE OF LOVE.
- AND HE SPOKE ABOUT JESUS IN LIGHT AS IN THE GARDEN.
- ONLY THOSE WHO GO TO LIFE/LOVE
WILL STAY IN GARDEN.
- WATCH WHAT JESUS DID AND
DO THE SAME IF YOU WANT HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.
- HE LOVED OTHERS, GAVE HIMSELF,
LAID DOWN HIS LIFE.
- EVE WAS DIRECTED TO HERSELF BY THE SERPENT.
- SHE WOULD BE CAST OUT IF
SHE LOST THAT LIFE.
Jeremiah 2:11-13 Hath a nation changed
their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory
for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and
be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have
committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,
and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
- Tree of law.
- Condemn others and look
down at them due to what they are not doing.
- Law condemns.
- THEY HAVE love for the truth,
but no love for brethren.
Contrast dry Babylon in the wilderness
with the following:
- Israel forsook God, THE RIVER,
just as Adam and Eve forsook God for self-advancement in the self-production
of good as inspired by the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.
- To dwell upon good and evil
alone without God first, is a sly trick of the enemy.
- It isolates us from God,
and though it APPEARS good, death is what results for one has abandoned LIFE.
- Those who dwell on God in
love are filled with a SOURCE of LIFE.
- A RIVER flows from them
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy
city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband.
Revelation 22:1-3 And he shewed me a
pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the
throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either
side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner
of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but
the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall
Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away
in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon
a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads
and ten horns.
- When throne of God is in
your life, MORE THAN GOOD DEEDS, a river flows out.
- But doing good deeds without
love of God is a dry desert.
- We will still do good deeds
if we LOVE God and go to the Tree of Life, for the healing of the nations
is in her leaves.
- But to remain in good
deeds alone with the knowledge of GOOD and evil leaves us dead, for we abandoned
the FIRST priority - SEEK FIRST GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, not our own (Matthew
- The harlot is a woman.
Revelation 17:18 And the woman which
thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the
Revelation 18:7 How much she hath
glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow
give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and
shall see no sorrow.
- As Jerusalem is a CITY, so
- Not a literal City, but
what a city to God represents.
- Something initially intended
to bear His name.
- A large group of PEOPLE
united towards GOD.
Lamentations 1:1 How doth the city
sit solitary, SHE IS NOT A WIFE BUT A WIDOW that was full of people!
how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess
among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
To forsake the Holy Ghost is to
resort to human works of goodness to carry on an APPEARANCE of godliness.
- "TRIBUTARY" -means OF TRIBUTE,
ENFORCED PAYMENT, FORCED SERVICE.
- It indicates that the woman
lost her means of support when she lost her husband.
- LOST SOMETHING THAT CAME
- She lost all, like a woman
loses her husband.
- LOST THE RIVER.
- A widow was compared to
one who lost something.
- She says she lost nothing.
- Said she is no widow.
- She is like a widow - she
- She glorified herself and
- She says she is a well,
but she is a cistern.
- A cistern looks like
a well, but you must put the water in yourself and hold it there.
- There is no source to bring
- It requires water from outside
- Babylon was in the wilderness
- Babylon required water from outside itself to be carried in.
- Broken cistern - saints
who get filled up and leak it all out.
- No real love of God.
- The river of life flows
only from the garden. And the only ones in there are people who are eating
fruit of life - GOD'S LOVE.
- Do you have a source?
John 7:38-39 He that believeth on
me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of
living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that
believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because
that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
But ye are
come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general
assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and
to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
- God does
want a CITY.
indeed did look for a CITY, but its maker was GOD, not mankind.
- When Adam
was placed in the Garden, he was intended to remain there and have his children
grow up in there.
- It would
eventually grow into a large CITY
- In Revelation
22 we see THIS CITY.
- All will
return to as God originally planned.
- But until
then, it is being RESTORED NOW.
- God's people
are a CITY.
And the whole
earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they
journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and
they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick,
and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they
for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we
be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
- When Adam
was thrust out of the Garden, his children were born outside the Garden.
- Cain was
eventually cast away and built a City.
built his own city.
was the maker and Builder of this city.
- When Nimrod
first built Babel (Babylon) the people cried a self-glorifying cry.
Daniel 4:30-31 The king spake, and
said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the
kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While
the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying,
O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from
boasted over the City he built.
2Timothy 3:1 This know also, that
in the last days perilous times shall come
- Babylon the
Great is proud of herself.
- She is a
Garden without a River.
- A City without
- A Church
without the Holy Ghost.
- A tree without
fruit of Life.
- City of the Lost River.
- God is trying
to tell us to remain united to Him and ever desire to KNOW HIM above all
things, even above doing good in this world.
is a City whose maker is mankind, and she has no river, and has no fountain,
but is a cistern.
- God is not
concerned about your religious affiliation if you are not affiliated with
Him in the Spirit.
can replace spirituality.
- It is not
good enough to do good.
abounds in our world, but in the last days (the days of the entire CHURCH
age) a dangerous counterfeit must be recognized and avoided.
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
- The power
is the RIVER.
- The Holy
APPEARS with the FORM of a City of God, with all its good deeds.
- But she
attempts to rule as a Queen without her King, Jesus.
- She abandoned
God as Adam abandoned God.
- She is the
City of the Lost River.