I want to focus on verse 19.This particular scripture refers to a time period in the
future when Satan and the people who follow him will come against
the Jewish nation.This represents the time period right before
and including the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of
Christ.At this battle, Satan influences the nations
of the world to join him in a fight against the Jewish Nation.As they gather to attack Israel,
Jesus comes to their rescue.This
is all recorded in Revelation 19.The enemy will come at the Jews like a flood, but God will
raise up a standard, a banner of protection over them, and that
standard is Jesus Christ.
Though this scripture refers to a time in the future, Christians
often use it when they are feeling overwhelmed by the constant
attack from the enemy.We sometimes feel, with all the pressures and
Satans attempts to oppress and depress us that he is trying
to swallow us up in a flood.At
those times in our live we call to remembrance this scripture
and trust that God will raise up a standard, a banner of protection
over us.Though this is
how we generally apply this scripture, the Lord has led me in
a different way.
As I studied this week, the Lord impressed upon me to look
at Christians in our role as standard bearers.Our enemy since the time of Adam and Eve has flooded our
world with sin and God has since that time continued to raise
up a standard before him.
want to talk today on the topic Raise
the Standard High.
Webster defines standard
as any figure or object, flag or banner used as a symbol of a
leader, people or military unit.Furthermore he says it is something used as a rule or basis
for comparison for measurement or judgment.
sin entered the world, God has not ceased to put a standard before
mankind that we might have a symbol of Him and a basis for measuring
and judging of ourselves.God
chose Abraham and all the tribes of Israel
that they might stand before the nations of the world and show
the glory of the one true and living God.Through them He would show His love and care, His delivering
power, and His desire for relationship with man.Through them He would also set the standard required by
man to fellowship with Holy and righteous God.
John 15:22 Jesus here tell the
disciples that had he not come to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt
that He was the Messiah, then they would not have had the sin
of rejecting Him.But since He had come to show Himself as the
standard of God, then there was no excuse for their sin.God did the same thing with Israel
in the Old Testament.He
used them to show Himself to the heathen nations.The Israelites were the bearers of the standard of God.They took God to the heathens and were the people
through which God gave a written standard, the Law.
Romans The Law set forth the standard for sin.It gave the people a measuring stick by which
they could judge themselves.It
let them know what God considered to be acceptable behavior and
what was not acceptable.Though people sinned before the Law was written
down, they had no rules against sinning and thus they felt no
responsibility for having sinned.
Galatians 3:23-24 The Law was the standard for mankind until
Christ the true standard came.
Christian, we are the bearers of that standard for this dispensation.It is a privilege to raise and carry the standard
of God.Not everyone could
do it.Of the 12 tribes
the tribe of Levi was selected to be priest and minister unto
the Lord.When the Children of Israel were preparing to
enter the promise land, one standard used to signify that God
was in the midst was the Ark of the Covenant.This was a golden box, especially designed by God and described
in Ex. 25:10-22.Gods presence was found at the Ark
and thus it stood as a symbol of the abiding presence of God.It was a standard of God for the Children of
Israel.But though the
Levites were selected as priest, not all Levites could carry the
Ark.God appointed the family of Kohath, one of the
three sons of Levi, to take care of the Ark.
My point here is this.Not everyone who calls himself or herself a Christian is
carrying or can carry the standard of God.Because America
is consider a Christian Society, many who have no
relationship at all with Christ call themselves Christians.Many times there is nothing in the actions or character
of those who call themselves Christians to identify them with
Christ.Many call themselves
Christians but they uphold none of the standards set by Christ.This is confusing to those who are unsaved and recognize
that being a Christian means following the ways of Christ.The unsaved are expecting to see a difference between themselves
and those who are saved.God has appointed each Born Again Believer to
be a bearer of His standards.The Bible teaches that as believers we are to be in the
world but not of the world.We live, work and serve God here, but are not
to take on the character and actions of the world.God has set forth a standard that we as believers
must lift high.That standard
is the life and character of Christ.
When we are carrying the standard of God, we cant
do it any kind of way that we want to.In 2 Sam. 6, there is a story of David transporting the
Ark.They sat it on a cart.When the ox stumbled, Uzziah reached for the
Ark to sturdy it
and he died on the spot.Now
we might think that harsh of God.But He gave Israel
instruction for how the Ark
was to be transported and who was allowed to touch it.When there is a God ordained method for doing
something and we chose to go about it in our own way, we may find
destruction knocking at our door.God is not pleased when we do not follow His instructions.
What would have happened if Israel
had gone into the promise land and acted just like the Canaanites?Suppose they had gone in with lots of idol gods
and sacrificed their children to them.What if Israel
had participated in the heathen orgies and drinking parties.Would the inhabitants of Canaan
have seen a difference between the people of God and the worshipers
of Baal?Would they have seen the God of Israel as any
different from their gods?
This city is our Canaan and we who
are believers in the almighty God have been called to raise His
standard in it.I know that there are many issues we are confronted
with here that are not specifically spoken of in the Bible.But there is one all-purpose scripture that
speaks to every situation we face.
I Cor What are you doing?(Working, student, homemaker, etc) Whatever
you are doing keep in mind that you are to do it to Gods
Israelites were told to carry the ARK
with two poles through the 4 attached rings.It was carried on the shoulders of 4 men, high up so that
the people could see.Why
was it important for the people to see the Ark?
Joshua 3:2-6 The Ark went before the people to show the direction
in which they should go.They
had not traveled through Canaan before
and there were many dangers to confront.They needed Gods direction.
As the bearers of Gods standards we also need Gods
directions.This world is forever changing.In fact each of us as individuals is changing
constantly.We need Gods
direction on how to reach the masses here who know not Christ
as Lord.How do we best demonstrate the standard of God?How do we present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a
way that it is best understood by all?This is our Canaan.How can we best raise high the standard of God?
answered and said, this voice came not because of me, but for
your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince
of this world be cast out. And
I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
final point I would like to make is that you dont have to,
nor can you carry the standard alone.The Ark had
pole inserted so that it could rest on the shoulders of 4 men.
They could share the load.In
Exodus 17, Joshua led men out to fight against Amalek while Moses
stood on top of a hill with the rod of God in raised hands.Moses standing there with that rod in his hand was a symbol
to the people of the presence and power of God.He stood as the standard of God before the people and the
men prevailed in the fight.But when Moses got tired and let his arms drop,
began to lose the fight.Aaron
and Hur, sat Moses on a stone and they held his arms up.God provided support for Moses and Israel
won the battle.
Christians God continues to provide support for us.It is up to us to use the God provided support.
Christians we are all called to be ambassadors for Christ.We are ambassadors on our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in
our schools and even in our churches.As ambassadors, we must represent our King well, and lift
Him high as the standard of God.As Gods ambassadors we must live by Gods
standards so that the unsaved of the world can see our God and
turn to Him.We are Gods
appointed people, to carry Gods ordained standard, with
God provided support.We must raise the standard high.