Our calling is to do exactly what Scripture tells us. To wait patiently for a time when the true Occupy Movement will take over and occupy this entire world. That movement is called the Kingdom of God.
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In early 1968, media coverage in the aftermath of what was called the Tet Offensive spurred increased protests over the Viet Nam war, especially among university students in the United States. The protests were most prevalent in the U.S., but on the 17th of March in 1968 several thousand demonstrators marched to the American Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square and violently clashed with police. Major protests concerning other political issues made international news, such as the March 1968 protest in Poland against their own communist government, and the campus uprisings in May 1968 in France, all related to the war.
The British pop group the Beatles had avoided expressing political viewpoints but during his time in India, John Lennon, decided to write a song about the recent wave of political protests in the U.S. in the 1960’s. Despite Lennon’s anti-war feelings, he had yet to become anti-establishment and expressed in the song that he wanted to see the plan from those who were advocating toppling the system, which is what we see in our world today; a movement that is intent on toppling the system, a movement that began in New York. The Occupy Movement, of course, has since gone world-wide and it includes many Canadian cities as well as other cities in the world, and it reminds us of the lyrics of the song by John Lennon. A song called, “Revolution”. The lyrics go like this:
“You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world
You tell me that it’s revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world
But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out, don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow, don’t you know it’s going to be alright.”
Lyrics of a song called Revolution, written by John Lennon in the 1960’s. The repeated phrase, “it’s gonna be alright” in this song came directly from Lennon’s transcendental meditation experiences in India, conveying the idea that somehow God would take care of the human race no matter what happened politically. Of course, John Lennon’s idea of god is a different god that we understand from the Bible, but the concept nevertheless is the same.
Protests against authority are as old as this world itself. In fact, the earliest protest came who knows how many millions of years ago; it was Satan’s protest – Satan’s protest and rebellion against the authority of God. And like the occupy movement that we see around our country and across the United States and around the world that has it’s thousands of followers, millions of demonic beings followed Satan. Well, they weren’t demonic until they did. Almost one third of the angelic world followed Satan the devil, Satan the adversary.
You know of the most famous revolutions, of course, in modern history is the French Revolution, the one that overthrew French royalty. Protest often becomes rebellion, and then it becomes anarchy, and the end result is sometimes worse than the beginning. The Russian Revolution overthrew the Czar and what did the Russian people get? They got Communism and if you think it was an easy life to live under the heel of Communism, just ask anyone who lived in Russia or in Eastern Europe under the Russian rule. Richard Anyana, for example, escaped that particular part of the world several years ago. Do you want to know what it’s like to live under Communism? Ask them and they will tell you. The Iranians overthrew the Shah of Iran and what did they get? They got the Ayatollah. They go the Ayatollah and Sharia Law and a president that is bent on building nuclear weapons to blow Israel right off the face of the earth and destroy the Western World.
So, what will the Occupy Movement achieve? Some of the tents have come down. Don’t think it’s over – it’s not. These people are not going to go away. Will it focus on things that will make the world better or will we eventually see anarchy? I guess time will tell. And now there’s a high profile church pastor who wants to open up churches across America for occupiers so they don’t have to stay outside in the cold and the wet and the rain. Out of the New York newspaper, I think the Wall Street Journal wrote this, (I’m not sure exactly) it says, “It’s time to invite the occupy movement to church, at least according to Pastor Jim Wallace.” You might recall that Wallace is a member of President Barack Obama’s faith council. He’s also a spiritual advisor to Mr. Obama, to the President himself. But as this article goes on to say, “Given reports of occupiers defecating and urinating both in and on churches around the globe and using the carpet at St. Paul’s as a latrine, would occupiers really take kindly to being given shelter in houses of worship, or would the move instead provide vandals easy access to the structures that they seek to defile?” They consider churches to be part of the world that needs a change.
Protest and rebellion; it’s all part of the human psyche. In essence, when you to back to the very beginning of Scripture, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that in effect was rebellion against God. They listened to the devil. They bought the devil’s song and dance and this world still buys his song and dance. And there are other examples of protest and rebellion in Scripture and we can learn from those accounts what God’s reaction to all of this is. Here is the most common example. It’s in Numbers chapter 16; if you turn with me we’ll look at some of the highlights of this story.
Numbers 16:1-3 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:  And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:  And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
See All... Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On dared to challenge Moses. Verse 2 these four men were joined by 250 Israelite men, well known leaders of the community chosen by the assembly. Not chosen by God necessarily but chosen by the assembly, by the people. This is the similar example that you might have seen here in Vancouver some time ago when they were asked to move they said, “Well, we’ll discuss it with the assembly” and they had a meeting of certain people that they chose as leaders and they had a meeting with their assembly. Verse 3 says they came together to confront Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You’ve gone far enough. Everyone in the whole community is holy and the Lord is among them. Why do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” Who put you in charge is what they’re asking. They’re saying, “Who put you in charge?” You know the Pharisees said if you recall, much the same thing to Jesus Christ. They said, “Who gives you the authority to do what you do?”
Numbers 16:4-11 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:  And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.  This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company;  And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.  And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi:  Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?  And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?  For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?
See All... 4 So when Moses heard it , he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; 10 and that He has brought you near to Himself , you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”
Moses talking to Korah in verse 6 here says, “You and all your followers must do this tomorrow. I want you to take incense burners,” he said, “and put burning coals and incense in them in the Lord’s presence, then the Lord will choose the man who is holy. You’ve gone far enough! Moses also said to Korah, “Listen you Levites, isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the community of Israel? The Lord has brought you near to himself to do the work for His tent and to stand in front of the community to do what? To serve them.” That’s not what they wanted to do. They wanted to be in charge. In verse 10 Moses says, “He has brought you and all the other Levites near to Himself but now you demand to be priests”. Protests, rebellions usually have their demands. “So you and all your followers have joined forces against the Lord.” It’s interesting that he didn’t say that you have joined forces against ‘me’. He said in doing what you’re doing, you have joined forces against God and he says in sort of a question that he wants to put in their mind, “Who is Aaron that you should complain about him?” Why would you complain about Aaron is what he’s asking.
Numbers 16:12-14 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:  Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?  Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.
See All... And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up! 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us? 14 Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”
Then Moses sent for Dathan, Abiram and the sons of Eliab, but they said, “No, we won’t come. We won’t come. Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey only to kill us in the desert?” Isn’t it interesting that their perception of a land of milk and honey was what? Egypt. That’s what they came out of and they’re saying this was a land of milk and honey. You took us out of there to put us in the desert and kill us. Do you also have to order us around? And verse 14 says certainly you haven’t brought us into any land of milk and honey or given us any fields or vineyards to own. Do you think you can still pull the wool over our eyes? - which is a modern version of Scripture that sort of brings it into our common language today. We won’t come! The Occupy Movement said the same thing in Oakland, said the same thing in Chicago, the same thing in New York and the same thing in Toronto and in Vancouver. We won’t move! We’re not going anywhere! Well they moved, but they just go from here to there, and they go from here to there, and they keep on going and it’s not over.
Numbers 16:15-16 And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.  And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow:
See All... Then Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.” 16 And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the Lord—you and they, as well as Aaron.
Well, verse 15 says that Moses became angry. He got upset and he became angry and he said to the Lord, “Don’t accept their offering, I haven’t taken anything from them, and I haven’t mistreated any of them.” Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow you and all your followers must come into the Lord’s presence. Aaron will be there with you as well.” Now you notice God’s response to the protest rebellion against Moses and Aaron who were the duly elected, selected, hand-picked, whatever you want to call it, leadership of Israel. In this case hand-picked by God, selected by God, elected by God as the leadership of the ancient Israelites.
Numbers 16:19-49 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.  And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,  Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.  And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.  And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.  And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.  So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.  And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.  If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.  But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.  And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:  And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.  They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.  And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.  And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed.  The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before the LORD, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel.  And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar:  To be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the LORD; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the LORD said to him by the hand of Moses.  But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.  And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.  And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.  And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.  And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.  And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.  Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
See All... And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation…. In other words, God was there. This appearance of God was there……. 20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment .”….. The Lord said to Moses, “Move away from these men. I will destroy them in an instant.” …… as the story continues …. v.24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ”…. Then God’s response to the rebellion is dramatic….. v.32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also !”…. But it wasn’t over. They still didn’t get the point. Many of the Israelites still didn’t get the picture as you recall the leaders of the protest rebellion had convinced 250 men to go along with challenging Moses’ leadership. So it says in v.35….. And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense….. That still didn’t convince them. They still didn’t buy it, the protest didn’t end there. Notice…. v.41 On the next day ….the very next day…. all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron,… against God? No against Moses and Aaron….. saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord .” 42 Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; ….this big tent that God had them build….. and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared….. So you get down to verse 45 and you see that God is still angered and He tells Moses that He will consume these rebels with a plague….. v.45 “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” ….. Then down in verse 49 I just want to hit some of the highlights of this story……. v.49 Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident . …That was God’s reaction to rebellion in ancient Israel.
In Numbers 12 it’s interesting, we’re not going to turn over there, but we learn that even Aaron at one time and Aaron’s sister rebelled against his own brother. Aaron actually rebelled against Moses after the departure of Israel from Sinai, Aaron had joined his sister Miriam in a protest against the authority of Moses. That’s over in Numbers chapter 12. They assumed that they had the same kind of authority as Moses and for the rebellion what happened was that Miriam was smitten with leprosy but of course was eventually made whole when at the pleading of Aaron, Moses interceded with God on her behalf. Somewhat later of course, in Numbers 16, is the story we just read about the conspiracy of the leaders of Dan and Reuben called Korah’s rebellion and we know what happened there; we just read it.
Let’s notice an interesting account in Deuteronomy 31. Moses also suspected that after he was gone, after his death, Israel would indeed rebel against God’s leadership and in fact he was inspired to make a prophetic prediction that would apply right down to this day and age. Right down to the time of the end itself.
Deuteronomy 31:24-29 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,  That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,  Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.  For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?  Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.  For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
See All... So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying: 26 “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you; ….He had all the various different aspects of the Ten Commandments written in a book. The Commandments themselves, of course as we all know, were written on tables of stone and were in the ark of the covenant. So he says in….. v. 27 for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord, then how much more after my death? 28 Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you….. And then notice what he predicts….. And evil will befall you in the latter days,… who’s he talking to? He’s talking to ancient Israel. Where is modern Israel today? We know that it is the British Commonwealth nations including Canada and the United States of America…. because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”
What we are seeing in the nations of modern descendants of the ancient Israelites, U.S., Canada, the British nations, is exactly what Moses predicted thousands of years ago - evil in every sense of the word from protests and rebellion to murder and mayhem and unbelievable crime and corruption in every level of society. Not only do we have rebellion in the nations that comprise modern Israel, but it is spread throughout the world because modern Israel is the example. Where did the occupy movement begin, this rebellion in some of the cities now around the world? Well, it began in Wall street. It began in New York, the financial capital of the world.
King David had to put up with rebellion against his leadership and interestingly enough the protests and rebellion came from his own son. In a brief overview out of one of the Biblical commentarys, I’ll just read it, “Absalom again reinstated, lost no opportunity to regain lost prestige, having his mind made up to succeed his father upon the throne, he forgot the son in the politician. Interesting way of putting it. He was more interested in being a political leader than in being his father’s son, being David’s son. Full of insinuations and rich in promises, especially to the disgruntled and to those having grievances, imaginary or real, it was but natural that he would have a following. That is exactly what Adolf Hitler appealed to, those who had grievances. Those who had problems, imaginary or real, and the people in Germany bought it. His, that’s Absalom’s, purpose was clear. It was to alienate as many as possible from the king, and then to neutralize his influence in the selection of a successor. For, he fully realized that the court party, the other leadership under David, under the influence of David’s wife Bathsheba, was intent on having Solomon as the next ruler. And of course as the story goes on, that’s exactly what happened. Solomon, of course, replaced his father David on the throne of Israel.
1 Samuel chapter 8 – here’s a good example of a disgruntled people who were not satisfied with their leadership; they demanded change, but their leadership was God. Still they wanted change.
1 Samuel 8:4-7, 19-22 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”… In other words, let’s change the leadership. Let’s topple the leadership and get a new leadership.… v.6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them….. They wanted change so God said if that’s what they want give them change. Remember the Scriptures are very clear about the fact that God gives all of us free moral agency. We can go in any direction we want. We can either let God guide and direct us, or we can go totally the opposite way. They wanted change, but God said I want you to remind them that change doesn’t always work. It doesn’t always work for the better….. v.9 Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” 10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves …. And here’s an interesting statement…. and the Lord will not hear you in that day.” ….. There’s an interesting prophecy about our world today in Isaiah chapter 59. I’m not going there; I’ll just mention it in passing. It tells us that God’s ear is not so heavy that He can’t hear and His eyes are not so blind that He can’t see, but He reminds us that the reason that the world is cut off from Him is because of lawlessness. Because they do not obey the law of God in the land, and because of iniquity is the way the Scripture puts it, lawlessness, He doesn’t listen. And so it says, you’ll get a king and you’ll get the change you want and then you’ll wish you hadn’t and you’ll cry out to God and he will not hear you in that day. But notice what happens…… v.19 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, … so that we will fit in with the world, so that we fit in with everything that’s going on around us….. and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” .”….. What God is not strong enough to fight their battles for them? v.21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. 22 So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”
Of course that king was the tallest and most handsome man in all of Israel, in other words the people looked on the appearance whereas God of course as we know looks on the heart. We’re familiar with the story; they selected Saul to be king. And Saul rebelled against God and ended up blaming the people. Remember, he came back and blamed the people. He said, “They (blaming the people) wanted to do this. He passed the buck as we say and he lost his kingship. And God stepped back into the scene and chose a man after His own heart to be a king, and that man of course, was David.
There are dozens of other Old Testament examples of protests and rebellion, but let’s take a brief look at the New Testament where we also find several examples of protests and rebellion.
In John 9:16Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. See All... for example it says: 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man… speaking about Jesus Christ…. is not from God, .... why? ..... because He does not keep the Sabbath.”…. that’s their version of the Sabbath. Jesus Christ never broke the Sabbath but their version of how they thought He should keep it, they thought He broke….. Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
And that’s what you have today-confusion and division. Eventually through, division and rebellion really propagated by the Pharisees as much as anything, the Pharisees we able to turn the people against Christ and the mob scene that’s recorded in the gospel shows how an out of control crowd will conduct itself in a manner that can only be compared to a wild beast. Some of the same people who sat in synagogue on the Sabbaths and heard Him teach, “Love your enemies”, now were a screaming mob, screaming at the top of their lungs, “Crucify Him!”; the same people.
You look at the mob scene that took place in Vancouver during the riot that took place after the Stanley Cup; an out of control crowd of protests in London of mostly university students. Look at what’s happening in Greece all the time, continually, not to mention the uprisings that have taken place all over the Middle East. Syria could soon see a civil war. More riots and protests are going on in Egypt. Egypt wanted change. They got change, they overthrew the government so they got the military to replace the government. Now, they’re not happy with the military. People are not always happy with change. What was the slogan for the presidential campaign in the United States just before Obama was elected? “Change is coming to America!” Was it change for the better? Is it change for the same? Was it change for the worse? Time will tell. Let’s go to the book of Acts chapter 13 for a moment.
Acts 13:49-50 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.  But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
See All... And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region…. In other words, the word of God was going out; the gospel was being preached….. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution ….rebellion if you will….. against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. They told Paul and Barnabas, don’t ever come back here.
Acts 19:23-34 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;  Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.  And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.  And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.  Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.  And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.  But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
See All... And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way…. Before it was called Christianity, it was simply called the Way. Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life. I am the Way” and they called it the Way until it became known as Christianity…. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul ….like Paul was some sort of bad guy…. has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.” …Did these people listen to what he had to say? Of course they did…. 28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” 29 So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions. 30 And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him…… Paul’s traveling companions kept him from going in there and trying to reason with the people because they had turned into a mob and it would be very dangerous. And in his place, they chose a man named Alexander… 33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”…. Finally of course as the story goes on, an official of the city quieted the crowd down. The crowd eventually dispersed but as Biblical students know, Paul was eventually sentenced to die. In fact, Paul wrote several of his epistles from prison prior to his death.
I understand the cause; I’m sure some of you do too. I recognize that the occupy protest that is going on around the world indeed has a point. There is indeed corruption at high levels of government. There is corruption in business and in various aspects of our society, however, is what they’re doing, doing it the right way? Going about trying to bring about change – does change always mean something for the better? Here’s an interesting question: What if you’re hired to work for a whole day by someone and then you find out that another person had been hired only to work for the last couple of hours of that day and you were both given exactly the same wage? You were paid exactly the same thing. As a Christian, would you protest? Should you protest? We covered this in last week’s Bible study, some of you who were here know where I’m going; it’s Matthew chapter 20. It’s the story of a landowner, a parable by Jesus Christ but it has an extremely powerful point in the punch line at the end of it. Jesus Christ continuing from what He had taught in Matthew 19 -
Matthew 20:1-16 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
See All... “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour,… that’s about noon and 3 o’clock in the afternoon….. and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour …. one hour left to work the vineyard…. he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ 8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius…. which was equal to a full day’s wage at that day and time…. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius… ..they got a full day’s wage for working from early in the morning until late in the evening, the same amount of money as the people that came and worked one hour…… 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ ….notice the answer…. 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ ….then Jesus makes the point…. 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” …That’s the whole point of that particular parable.
You know despite the violence of the anti-war protest of the 1960’s, the demonstrations were basically about give peace a chance. You remember that song also from the Beatles. The occupy wall street crowd has a new anthem, a new song. But it is anything but peaceful. The song is titled, “We Stand As One”. It was written by a Grammy award winning songwriter, not some fly by night, and it tells how opponents will have their body destroyed and that we will be strung up to bleed. Here’s one of the lyrics:
“Our canvas is freedom, your blood is our paint and what you won’t share will be ripped from your hands.”
How do you compare that, as their theme if you will, to the parable that we just read? Or even try to compare it to the 1968 song by John Lennon called Revolution? It’s much different, much more violent. In fact there are lyrics in the song that I would not quote in church. I just gave you a couple of the ones that are just barely ok. How do you compare it? You can’t because the world is doing exactly what Jesus Christ said. It’s becoming more and more selfish, more and more into itself and these people want change, and they’re going to fight until they think they can get it. In many cites, especially in the United States, the protests have become very violent. One news report put it this way, “The Occupy Wall Street protests spreading around the country have devolved into a spectacular display of disease, destruction, deviance including rape, drug overdose and even murder.” Frank Miller, who created several comic strips in newspapers, and is the creator of the comic book, Batman, said this, “Occupy is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly expressed attempt at anarchy to the extent that the movement is nothing more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of IPhone, Ipod wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.” From the bank of a Province newspaper just last week, in one of the letters to the editor in the opinion page as they call it in the newspaper, this is what one writer managed to express, “Occupiers raped a fourteen year old girl in one camp, there’s a report of a rape in another, there’s murder in one, there’s disease breaking out in others, the occupiers beat up an old lady and threw her down the stairs, another defecated in a police car in New York, they dropped urine on a union worker in Victoria. These camps are disgusting. It’s time they got a life.”
Some interesting Biblical perspectives now as we draw this brief look at the Occupy Movement to a close because there’s a lot more to it than you could ever do in one particular message. There’s just hundreds and hundreds, thousands and thousands of words on the internet and everything else about this particular movement and what they want and what they don’t want and whether they’re willing to back off or not back off; all kinds of different things. The apostle Peter for example, encourages those who are Christians to honor all forms of authority, and remember, Peter lived under the heel of the Roman Empire under Roman law. It was much more difficult to live under the heel of the Roman Empire under Roman law than in our country today.
I Peter 2:13-17 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king… the governing authority.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Proverbs 24:21-22 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:  For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
See All... My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those given to change; 22 For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring ?...In a more modern version of the English language, the NLT puts those two verses this way….. My child, fear the Lord and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, 22 for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord and the king?
One thing is certain. The worldwide Occupy Movement that has gripped hundreds of cities, will eventually come to an end one way or another, because this society as we know it will eventually come to an end. God is not the author of confusion, nor is He willing to accept rebellion. In fact, God tells us in the book of Samuel that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. I Samuel 15:23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
Final Scripture, Revelation chapter 17. We know there will come a time when the entire world, with the exception of a few true Christians called of God, will rebel against God and as recorded in the book of Revelation will fight against Christ at His return to this earth. But like the current Occupy Movement, that revolt will also meet its demise. Revelation 17:12-14 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.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
See All... The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. 13 They will all agree to give him their power and authority . … .We’re aware of many Scriptures that tell us through the book of Daniel and other Old Testament prophecies that there will come a time when there will be a united Europe that will recreate, if you will, a modern version of the Roman Empire in that same part of the world and they are going to take over a very powerful group of individuals together, known as ten kings or ten government leaders will eventually take over practically the entire world. It says these are of one mind and they will give their power and authority to the beast. You know there’s an interesting story that came out on the internet just yesterday, that says that no matter what happens to the Euro inside Europe, they now have to move from not only the economic base, where they are together economically so that they’re able to trade back and forth, but they need to have political union under one political government. And that story did not come from somebody who reads the Bible necessarily; it came from Der Spiegel magazine in Germany. 14 Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”
Remember what He said earlier – the first will be last and the last will be first. Many are called, few are chosen. We can sympathize with the cause, but it is not our calling to join some protest group and walk around with protest signs up and down the street demanding change and demanding the government be toppled. No, our calling is to do exactly what Scripture tells us. To wait patiently for a time when the true Occupy Movement will take over and occupy this entire world. That movement is called the Kingdom of God, and Jesus Christ as it’s king will plant His feet on the Mt. of Olives and He will have those whom He has called over a period of six thousand years with Him as part of His government and that’s what we want to be - part of the Kingdom of God among those that are not only called, not only chosen, but are called, chosen and faithful.
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