Dan Henry - Revelations 12 - Saginaw, Oregon - 2003

In 1993, the leader of Haiti was exiled under a rain of bullets. He made his way to Miami then to New York. We were away for conventions and we were not able to go back to Haiti. It would have caused our friends lives to be endangered because of the strong anti-American sentiment that reigned in the country. So we labored in other fields, then workers in Europe, brothers, sent asking if I could come to Europe for special meetings. And also for a special little mission because there is a country in Europe that resembles Haiti in the sense that it is the poorest country in the European block. It is called Albania. There was thought of workers going into that country. So they asked if I could come just for a visit the first time with the possibility that I might stay. This was a privilege, a wonderful privilege. So another brother and myself went for ten days. He had been there on a short visit before. So we landed at the capitol city, Tirane, one evening. My companion said, "Tonight we will visit the doctor." She had been trained in Paris. She is one of the few who ever had the privilege of leaving Albania. Albania had been under a dictator, for seven years, who had his own special form of communism. And he isolated Albania from the entire world. No one could go in and no one could go out. This young doctor had the privilege of studying in Paris and had learned French. That was the reason for visiting, we could all speak French. My companion said, "Now before we go, there will be another woman in the apartment, her younger sister. She will just sit there and not say anything." But at a certain point after we started visiting, this young lady, who had sat there silent and reserved, and who I had assumed could not even speak French, something was mentioned about eternity and that blond, blue-eyed Albanian woman said, "Eternity, eternity, it would be so beautiful to believe in eternity." And I said to her, "It would be so sad not to believe in eternity." She said in French, “It's sad, it's sad, it's sad.” She said, “I have been taught all of my life to not believe in God, not to ever talk about God and now I am a lecturer of law at the University and every day I sow the same big seed, you don't talk about God and you don't think about God. It is so sad.” It was like she was holding out her hand for help. It is true that eternity is everything. If we have this thought as we leave here that we are going out into reality, then we just have to start convention all over. It is not reality, what we have tasted of is the closest thing to reality because eternity is reality. One of these days we will awaken from this little dream of life and eternity begins and that is reality. We are so thankful for what we have tasted. We have grown a little closer, a little higher, a little more alive to eternity. If we have tasted just a little of eternity in these meetings these days, it will change our whole year.
I would like to speak this afternoon from a few little thoughts in Revelations. Before I begin, I want to make this clear, I am glad that Suzie (a prior speaker) had the courage to speak on some of the things in the same chapter. There is no need to explain some things. I firmly believe that Revelation does not explain things in our walk in Christ or in the gospel. It is the gospel that sheds light on the Revelation because that is what Jesus gave us. There are some images and some pictures that are so helpful in this book. When I began in the work, my first days, it was my 19th birthday. My companion was 50 years in the work and after breakfast we went to our room and sat down. Frank Tyson, my companion, said to me, "I think it would be a good idea for us to study together," and I agreed. He then asked me, "What would you like to study?" I thought, "Well, if I am going to spend the rest of my life preaching the gospel that I should start in Revelations." Frank looked at me and said, "I was thinking about Proverbs." Maybe I should speak about Proverbs this afternoon? But there are some things here that can be very helpful if we will just remember that day of Revelations.

John was on an island all alone. Why was he alone? He wasn't there on vacation. It was not of his choosing. He was exiled. There was a difficult, impoverished, persecution. For that reason he was alone. He was writing to saints, saints that were sometimes fleeing, fugitives, for their lives and their children's lives because of persecution. Their language would reflect this language today. I will give you an example. My cousin, Loran, was one of the first workers in Romania. There are some things that I know that are not mine to talk about because of conditions in that country today and I would be presumptuous. When Loran left for Romania, I was a junior in high school. My whole family and all of the friends gathered at the airport. In those days of the dictatorship and communism, we saw Loran walk down that concourse to the plane and he never turned around. He knew that we were all standing there waiting to give him a last goodbye but that cost was so much, that was no play, that was life and he did not turn around. He walked, and he walked, and he walked through. Before he went, he and his mother spent sleepless nights making a language between them to find little signals, little secrets, and they knew language. It is not mine to know. There was one little word in the language that we knew before Loran went, not knowing how long he would be alone. There was a worker there, his name was Richard. Richard had been in that country alone for years. Richard came from our home state. Loran had professed in Richard's meetings went he was an 11-year-old boy. It had been on his heart to go but, because of conditions, he was desperately alone. The Communist authorities had been after him to take a roommate into his room. Richard said, "I am old, I can't take any one into my room, and I cannot change. If you put somebody into my room they will be playing loud music and smoking, coming in late." He said, "I just couldn't live that way." So the authorities backed off. After Loran came, they put a spy in his room with him. They watched him closely days on end and they were convinced that he was just a harmless farm boy. They brought Richard down to his quarters and told him, "There is a boy from your country and he does not drink and he does not smoke, he does not play loud music and he never comes in late, this is what you wanted." Richard said, "No, I am old and I am happy the way I am." So they said, "how would be if you met him?" Back home we were getting letters. When a letter would come, Loran always started it with “I.” We knew that part of the language and when the day comes that a letter starts with anything but “I,” we would know that they were together. When they asked Richard if he would meet him, he said, "I suppose I can't object to meeting him." They brought them both to headquarters and introduced them, "This is Richard and this is Loran, how is your father, how is your mother, where do you come from?" Richard looked at Lauren and said, "Well, I will give it a try." So, back home there came a letter one day and it started with something other than “I.” There were no dry eyes in that meeting. We knew that they were together.

This is something like Revelations; it is a language that is full of images and those people of that day would have well known what those images meant. They were just reminders of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The servant of God exiled on an island was writing to the churches in this known new gospel language. This was the gospel of images. One thing that I would like to speak about is in chapter 12. You read about this persecution in verse 4, "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born." Then in verse 13 it says, "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child." Then in verse 15, "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." The devil is the dragon and he was ready to devour the child when it was born. Persecution is like a stone that is thrown into a pond and the waves go out and out and out, till they reach the furthest shore. They may not reach the furthest shore at the same time, but they do get there, they arrive. That is like this, this flood that came out of his mouth, this persecution as soon as he was born. These people that John was writing to knew that, as soon as Jesus was born, Herod was out to kill him. He said that all little boys two years and younger in that whole area of Bethlehem would be put to death, but the angel warned Joseph and Mary even before that wave hit and in addition, as it says in this chapter, “The earth opened her mouth and helped her.” They went into Egypt and stayed there until Herod died then God spoke again to Joseph and Mary to return to their hometown, Nazareth, so that scripture would be fulfilled that He was called a Nazarene. He was born in Bethlehem but grew up in Nazareth. That was like the first little wave but that was not the end of it. The persecution continued.

You know how that the Pharisees persecuted Jesus. In Acts chapter 8, it tells us of the Pharisees persecution against the first Christians, our brothers and sisters. Everyone in Jerusalem fled for the mountains and again the earth helped in that the distance of remote areas where the Christians hid, they had safety. But the waves reached them again, the flood continued out of his mouth. Later in chapter 9 you read about Saul. He had letters from the authorities in Jerusalem to pursue, which is the root word of persecution, to pursue these Christians even to Damascus, which was the capital of a foreign country. In other words it would be like having letters from Portland to pursue even to Tokyo. The waves were reaching now even into foreign countries. It says even to bring these Christians bound, entering into their homes, beating sisters and brothers and little children and bringing them back to Jerusalem to put them to death, like Stephen. And it went on even in Rome, where perhaps the persecution was a little different. There may be it was more against the Jews. Priscilla and Aquilla had to leave Rome because they were Jews, not because they were Christians. The persecution continued and you know that in the Roman Empire, in the early days before the year 300, they persecuted our sisters and brothers. They put them to death in the arena; they put the lions in and gladiators. These humble brothers and sisters faced death while the crowds cheered. It did not stop there, the waves went on. When the Roman Catholic church decided that anyone who thought different than their doctrine, the Roman Inquisition was started and you can read true stories of what they did, entering into homes, we went to a museum of the Catholic Inquisition in Lima, and what we saw, if you just thought differently, they interrogated you and if your thoughts were different than theirs, you were worthy of death. The waves were going further. Wouldn't you be unhappy in our day if someone came into your home and asked you about your thoughts? But we lived in another day, a day of total indifference. In financial security, what do we see? You people have more financial security than more than half of the rest of the world, maybe three-fourths. Wouldn't you be happy if someone with just say, what are you thinking about? It doesn't matter; you can think anything you want to think. This is a free country.

This is in Haiti, my brother and I were a way off in the mountains where a young man named Poufy, professed last year. He never had a Bible in his hands before. He came home from the fields with his hoe and machete. He parked his donkey, got cleaned up and came in. He laid his Bible on the table and said, to my brother, "Tell me your thoughts." My brother did pretty well. It warms our hearts when someone asks us what we have been thinking about. I can remember going home from convention then going to school and the teacher talking about all that stuff on the blackboard, but my thoughts were back at convention. If there could only be that glow and that response and a ready answer of something good. But nowadays there is only indifference in this world. We can't be persecuted for that, so where is the flood? Does that mean that the wave has died and the flood, the persecution, is gone? To the contrary. You take the persecution to a higher degree, more subtle and more deadly than ever. Again, it is not revelation, it is gospel and Jesus said this. Most of this In Matthew 24, you have the flood and you have the river. Jesus said that in the last days that iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold. That is the river, iniquity abounding. All that feeds People's thoughts, movies, TV, DVDs, continually just a flood. Where does it stop? You cannot go to a place remote enough where it is not. Even in Haiti, the radio with its decadent music, jazz and all that. So where are you going to hide? You can't even get away from it in the mountains. Do you know where? God has given us the wisdom again and again. We sing in that hymn, "My poor cot, and a palace fair." Close the door, that does not come in here. It stays out. Our homes can be homes of Zion. I see it everywhere, in the slums, where you walk through fetid water to arrive at a little room where young men are studying their Bibles. Rooms with a thatched roof and behind the door there is a hymnbook and a Bible and in no time the conversation is about the scripture and it takes you to a higher level, pure fellowship.

We were up on the central plateau in Haiti one afternoon and had our gospel meeting. A young man, Abuh, was there and when he got home he found his whole community in distress. A little boy named Croytee had been left in a home, a little hut, his mother had gone out to do something and she had left him in the care of a neighbor, then the neighbor left him in the care of two little girls. The two little girls left him and went to play and little Croytee, two and one-half years old, toddled out of the hut and found his way to the river. There was no one to watch and no one to help. He had watched his mother wash clothes there and he loved the water. Other boys were looking and looking and that night found his little body caught in the roots of a tree and brought it home. Everyone wept and cried all night long. Abuh came and told us. That boy's father had been in one meeting. The funeral was to be at 3 in the afternoon and we had a gospel meeting at 5. At noon when we were sitting at the table, the boy's father came to the door. I greeted him and told him that he had our sympathy. He said nothing. We told him that we wanted to stand by him that afternoon. He said nothing. Then he said, “You men are going to have the funeral,” and we said, “Yes, we will do that.” This beautiful little boy in his homemade box, gone. What bothered us most was to think of that little boy going down the river with no one to help, no one to save, no arm extended. Just to think of him closing his eyes and swallowing the water and drowning all alone. How many people in this cold world are just like that? Not one person to help, just drowning and drowning alone in the waters of this world. You have seen and heard it at this convention, there is a hand held out, there is One who can save us from the waters of this world. What will you do for your children? What will you do for your soul, in such a river of iniquity that is abounding and the love of many waxing cold? Warm that love with all your might.

There is another story back in Exodus chapter 2. There was the mother and father of Moses. When he was born the persecution was extended, the river was running deep. The command from the king was that all little boys had to be thrown into the river. Moses' mother made a little arc with bull rushes, a little basket, a woven basket. It was nothing fancy, not extravagant, but it was strong. She pitched it within and without with tar. It was not pretty. Her concern was that it be waterproof. This is just like the truth today. We are not concerned with buildings and extravagance. Our concern is that it is strong and it is waterproof, that is what we have in the truth. What we see around us and in religion is the waters of this world. It has leaked in and it is all inside, pride, vanity, and iniquity, it is all inside. But in the truth of God, this wonderful family, it is the most simple thing, it is truth. What makes it strong? It is bands of love. It is true care. It is strong because it is all woven together and it is waterproof. It is just so full of love that the things of this world can't get in. I remember running home from school, just running, opening the door and running in and finding a piece of pie. I could pound on the piano and mom didn't care. I loved my mom and dad and brothers, our home was so full of love. I didn't want to go anywhere else. The strength of the kingdom is to fill the home so full of love that it is waterproof. Nothing of this world can enter in, we don't need it, we don't want it. There is something better that fills our lives. 

To think that this is going and going and going. It is Satan's last stand. The flood is still coming and the earth is still helping, that is what this 12th chapter is telling us. In chapter 6, we read something else that is interesting 6:1, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, 'Come and see.' And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, 'Come and see.' And there went out another horse that was red; and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, 'Come and see.' And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, 'A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.' And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

Again now this is Matthew 24 where we can read about these beasts, these horses. I have heard some people say, "This is Russia, this is Israel, this is Palestine, this is Iraq and this is the United States of America." Well, if you see it in that line, that is just not what I see. You know, if you try to say, "This is Russia and that is Iraq in this over here is Palestine," it is like someone taking a painting of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and all of its waves one after another and say that you went down by the Sea and sat on a rock and you held up your painting and you looked at it, and looked at it, then you said, "That's it." No, it is not, it just moved. It changes, it is never the same.

Let's go back to Matthew 24 the foundation, in the words of the master. Verse 7, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." Verse 6, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: nation shall rise against nation and nation's shall rise and fall." This is a mighty nation but nations rise to fall. Waves rise to crash. When it speaks about these four different horses it is not speaking about four different countries or four different people or four different generations or periods. The beasts are marching, marching, and marching, one ahead and one behind. It is time marching on. It is four different times. And as Jesus said, there will be wars and rumors of wars, there will be famines, there will be pestilences, which means epidemics, death. There will be these things. One is red, one is white and one is black. Of the white one, it says that he that sat on him went out to conquer and to conquer. You read about the first one, the white one, in Revelation 19, that is the gospel. As time marches on and all of these things are happening, the gospel goes on. It goes out to conquer and to conquer. Revelation 19 says, "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, 'KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.' And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called 'The Word of God.'" There is one that will win, that is what is important. Yes, there is persecution, yes there is trouble. But don't forget that through all of this the gospel will prevail. There is a coming kingdom, there is a Lord of lords that will win, will absolutely win. Again in Matthew 24, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My Word shall not pass away." All of this shall pass away, this is not reality. My word shall not pass away, that is the avenue to eternity, it is forever, it is the final word. For that reason John was just encouraging these people to see that. Yes, there will be wars and rumors of wars and all of these things but Jesus has said, "Don't be terrified, don't be afraid." So, when we hear that there is another war in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Africa, the word is, "Don't be afraid, don't be troubled, and don't be terrified." When you go back to work tomorrow and hear these things, be the salt of the earth, the wine of the kingdom, don't be afraid, don't be terrified. Others will be able to see that you are not troubled. People are losing their jobs, wages are going down, but you are not troubled. You have listened to Jesus and you have obeyed. You are not afraid. 

This has affected everybody, 9/11 has affected everybody, the entire world, even Haiti. Immediately, it even affected you. My brother was a friend to the pilot of 511, the first plane to go into the Towers. That man had sat in his office just one week before, just to chat. What do you do? Be not afraid. Jesus said that it is not the end of the world. The end is not in the hands of man, it is not an atomic bomb nor nuclear warfare. God created the world, He ordered it step-by-step, stage-by-stage for six days, and then He rested. When it comes to the end of time, it will not be in the hands of man. We see that in Revelations three times, seven vials, seven seals, seven trumpets, this is the shutdown sequence and that is in God's hands. He has a plan, a program, and when the time comes, He will close it down, there is a sequence. We do not understand it all, we don't need to. Neither do we understand the creation. We know that there was a plan and it was ordered. In that day God will order it in His time.

This whole universe is like a body. We have a sister worker, Guyana, and she sat down one time and told me about her father's death. She loved him to the last breath and when that breath was taken, she looked at him, and she told me, “I closed dad's eyes.” God will close the eyes of this universe. It is His creation, His body; He created it, as the living gospel (nature) to preach every day in every language, in every nation, that He is the creator. The gospel does not need to preach that He is the creator; it teaches that He loves us through Jesus Christ. For that reason, that day is in His hands. We just need to be quiet and we can have faith that as we face the future that it is not in the hands of man and God is in control. You heard about the year 2000, preachers preached that all over the world. Isn't it sad? Our calendar was calculated by a Roman monk and it is three years off, so, the year 2000 came three years before that. Jesus said, "No man knows the hour or the day." He said that He did not know Himself. We do not need to know, it is in God's hands.

It says here that the red horse is like wars and rumors of wars. In Matthew 24, Jesus said that there would be wars and rumors of wars and nation would fight against nation. I feel moved to say something and I don't want to say it, but I feel that it should be said and I hope no one will hold it against me. Maybe it doesn't need to be said but maybe it does need to be said. Maybe it takes someone younger to say it. Do you know what is happening? It concerns us, it concerns me. Wars and rumors of wars, where is the last superpower? It happens to fall on us, the United States; there is no other superpower. To put the picture in perspective, when I came home from Haiti, for the first time since I went into the work, I went to a high school graduation in the same school where I attended. Something happened. We all stood and faced the flag, crossed our heart with our hand and sang the star spangled banner. After visiting the cruelty and violence of Third World countries these years, when that happened I was so moved that I shook and I tried not to show it. I held myself and held myself. A few weeks later I was at a convention. Before it started we had an evening meal and on the table all of the glasses were red white, and blue and the plates had the image of the American flag on them. There was an American flag hanging in the dining hall, the napkins were American flags. We were asked to stand and face the flag and sang the star spangled banner. My blood ran cold. Why? Because it is not the place, excuse me if I say it. This kingdom of God is a higher standard, we are not of a nation, we are not of a race, we are not of a tongue, we are a people seeking a better country. When the day that nationalism enters into this, it will only divide, it will only hinder. Do you understand? Again I say, "I love my country." In Haiti at the convention grounds, someone put the sticker of an American flag on the refrigerator. No one else could do it, but I took it off, wadded it up, and put it in the wastebasket. This will not enter into it. We have heard about that, presumptuousness. We should savor of unity. The pure savor of brethren who love each other with no superiority of race or nation or tongue, we are brothers in Christ the world over.

It speaks about the black horse, which again is hard times. Revelations 6:5, "And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, 'Come and see.' And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, 'A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.'" What he is saying is that times are so hard that you work for a whole day for just enough pay to eat for one day. We don't have that here in this country yet, but if it came, what would you do? Would you despair? Would you be troubled? Jesus is telling us, "Do not be afraid." Someday there will be no more flights to Haiti. It all closes down. The economy is shattered. Do you know what we will be doing? It is already settled. We will be walking the trails and preaching the gospel, till we starve to death. These things are all walking together, marching, marching, marching. The pale horse, death, Jesus said, in Matthew 24, there would be pestilences. In the past, there have been plagues. During the bubonic plague, one-third of Europe died, whole cities died. It can happen again. There is the White horse, which is the gospel, and people are being brought into the fellowship. Again, the black horse, hard times, you know it could be a blessing. I'm not saying that I would wish this, but that might be the best thing that ever happened. I'll give you an example. When we arrive in Miami, we fly over the city and look down and see homes with three or four cars out front and out back a dock: on the canal with two or three boats. Inside the home you know that there is everything imaginable. I know that everyone doesn't have that affluence. Inside there is a message on the recorder, “I will be home from the club at 2, or I'm at the game.” Children, mother, father, just a recorded message, just a call to check. Where is the family? Where is happiness? Where is joy? What a contrast in Haiti. After a gospel meeting in a little hut with people gathered in under the light of a Coleman lantern. We walk home and children walking with us, all walking together down the trail, dividing, going to their different homes. With the family, we enter the door and are given a little hard bread and homemade hot chocolate off of the tree in the backyard. There is one lamp, one kerosene lamp. They love to sing hymns, so we gather around the one lamp and sing hymns then we move back and the children move in and the notebooks come out from the oldest to the youngest. They all help each other. In God there is no poverty. Many God bless our year. 

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