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Following the Lamb

Mark Ranzinger


Mark Ranzinger

Country Surgeon in Goshen, Indiana. 



  • November 1, 2013
    7:30 PM
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my wife and I spent three years at here in Florida about six blocks from Florida Hospital always taking my residency during that time my own the most amazing car I had in my life we called it the blue goose that because we painted it blue the reason we painted it was because it needed to be painted fairly desperately that some things and danced and had some rough spots but the thing that I really enjoyed was that I had a parking card to the Florida Hospital physicians locked and I have this recurring dream of parking between a BMW and of course with my sun visor there were randomly not appear treasures on earth Little Rock five says Farah actually it was the best financial car I've ever owned as well I bought it for five hundred and seventy five dollars changed a battery and a brake cable and sold it ten years later for four hundred dollars the other interesting memory I had while I was here was never Walters who was one of the other residents in the program gave me a call over to his house where neighbors is in marketing I have a tenseness in my being I was just down at a computer fair today and it got this really new need thing out were not then have to do DOS anymore dollars I paid ninety five dollars for this gives is this new promotion for Windows ninety five lots of happy memories of our time here in Florida the Bible exhorts us to pray for one another Chester has prayed and for me I'm done and trust myself in my words that prayer into the God who widget ascended the theme of this conference and then follow the leader what is a means to follow Jesus in your medical or dental practice whom this evening I would take like to take a low closer look at this name from a spiritual perspective the closest phrase I could find them in the Bible is found in Revelation chapter fourteen verse four if you have your Bibles please turn to that passage maybe I'll start at the beginning of this chapter then I looked in the hold the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him one hundred and forty four thousand having his name and the name of his father written on therefore hence and I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters like the sound of loud thunder and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpist playing on their hearts in the same the new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders no one could learn that song except the one hundred and forty four thousand who had been purchased from the earth these are those who have not been defiled with women for they have kept themselves pure these are the ones who follow the Lamb wheresoever you go it these then been purchased from among men as the first fruits to God and to the Lamb no lie was found in her mouth for they are blameless surrounded by chapters of war and carnage man and bloodshed on every five the smell of sulfur in her nose and visions that would make us closer rise how is it that we come upon this rest by this peaceful Hollow this tranquil scene how can an experienced BR 's how can their peaceful face says their mature experiences from their graceful elevation yards the experience delineated here this group of people cannot be studied closely enough the next section is the three angels message the final gospel invitation to the world with the most chilling warning found in Scripture the double sickle harvest of the righteous and the unrighteous and the end of the age the close of history the finale when I was in school there were times the teacher would say this is important there were times when the teacher would say you should underlying this and some teachers were more blatant than would say this is going beyond the test I'd like to speak playing with you this is can be on the test this passage should be studied word by word and phrase by phrase until its message saturates our minds and heart and tonight I would like to consider only one phrase 14B they followed the lamb wheresoever he go at now there is a well-known phrase in regards to surgeons sometimes applied in one straight for the jugular one of its meanings is to get straight to this point will this evening I don't want to go straight to the point I would like to take the slow route I desire to make several stop along the way it's Friday night we don't have any particular rush to be some other place so I'd like to form a picture in work on the frame slowly moving to the center of the portrait they followed the Lamb wherever he go us what did that taint the first century Christians did these words have a deeper meaning a more searing reality than we from our vantage as comfortable 21st-century Americans can understand I'd like to begin with a bit of history followed by a scenario question for us to be located in relation to their lives we begin our story in Rome the center of the then known world the seat of government would dictated the laws which held light blue the various sections and parts of the vast empire be locally in Rome or in the far-flung areas from which John writes the revelation Romans founded as Isaiah was beginning his prophetic ministry destined to become one of the greatest history 's ups greatest cities of civilization this city was well on its way by the mid- first century the Caesars had ruled for decades the city boasted a size of about five hundred square miles and have a million inhabitants a melting pot of peoples and religions mixed population of Rome attracted Jews who numbered approximately fifty thousand by the middle of the first century there were at least thirteen well-known synagogues at this time in Rome in acts we read that visitors from Rome were present at the feast of weeks or Pentecost when Peter gave his sermon whether I was these Christians that that brought back the gospel message to Ron we don't know but very early on the Christian message did come to Rome to historian Sue Tony is writes that Emperor Claudius expelled the Christians and Jews and forty nine A.D. because they were constantly rise evicting at the instigation of one crisis probably misspelling of Christ resulting in the expulsion of Jews and Jewish Christians and among them Priscilla and Aquila who we read of in acts five years later and fifty four A.D. Nero invites the Jews to come back and some fifty thousand new and with them regarding the Jewish Christians in the church grew stronger it is thought that Peter visited Rome in the mid- fifties and fifty eight A.D. Paul writes this letter to the Romans and he comes to visit himself and sixty one the church swells the situation is so favorable for Jews and Christians that Paul could write in Romans thirteen let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for there is no power but of God and the powers that be are ordained of God with additional phrases he never resisted the power resisted the ordinance of God for that power is the minister of God who could've known how things suddenly would change for those Christians Josephus reports that a certain Papeete the Jewish proselyte became the wife of Nero at this time and made a way for Jewish concerns to go directly to narrow more than one story has wondered if her presence in the accession provided didn't just something to do with the fate of Christians and eighty sixty four while rumor had it for Nero wanted a least part of wrong burn to rebuild it as the city that he wanted when this was whispered in the streets Nero needed a scapegoat quickly which he found readily in this little-known suspicious group called Christ stands the Roman historian Tacitus thus writes as a consequence to get rid of the report Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations called Christians by the populace Chris is from the name had its origin suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius and at the hands of whatever appropriators Pontius Pilate and the most mischievous superstition thus checked for the moment again broke out not only in Judea the first source of this superstition and evil but even in Rome were all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular in accordance an arrest was made first of all who pleaded guilty then upon their information an immense multitude was convicted not so much of the crime of firing the city as of hatred against mankind mockery of every sort was added to their deaths covered with the skins of beasts they were torn by dogs and perished or were nailed to crosses or were doomed to the flames and burn to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired and the subsequent events Peter and Paul are both taken prisoners and martyred along with thousands of other Christians during this intense persecution under Nero after a hiatus sustained persecution under finish and took place for the next fifteen years this was a continuation of what Nero had done and is now in this context that we find John writing as the beast mauls his fellow Christians in Asia minor and in other places of room so what is this realm of two thousand years ago have to do with us tonight perhaps more than he may consider it first let me give you net hypothetical scenario let's just say that suddenly number of armed guards came into this room they barred all accept you find yourself going on with shock and disbelief nameless terror fill your stomach you begin to realize this is not a joke their leader takes the stage and says will make an example of all of you to the world through those doors we will take you to at a time until you and if there are no volunteers will just kill you like rabbits here assuming scape or fight flight is impossible you would walk to the front of the line school of you here now would make your way to the foreground in the hope that delay would provide extra time so rescue could come to others there are certain death in moments and you have only moments to decide we go some of your thinking that's crazy that's a totally hypothetical situation with slight variation led me bring some things to your remembrance similar barbarities to place under the Nazi regime under the Jennison years of Rwanda given our current state of the world and alter a few details it's not that difficult to imagine think Russian theater thanks Nairobi mall changing a few details the situation is what the early Christians face but back to our question you will go some of you have young beautiful children when you belong to step to the front of the line some of you here are falling in love or have recently married would you be willing to come down off some of you are older and have a spouse who needs your care when you step up to the front of the line and some of you have teenagers at a critical period in their life and need you would you be willing to accept their life now may I suggest that there are two characteristics they would be found in those who would be willing to step to the front of the line the remainder of my time I would like to develop these characteristics that I believe were found in those early Christians and that I believe will be found in those awaiting Christ's second coming first these lines know Christ Messiah not only is the righteousness of God but as they are very own righteousness they are found one hundred percent in Hannity not trust one I owed it to himself not one speck seen by faith sells only the stains of weakness the less than virtuous motives for far too many actions in their life and passions unworthy of the name Christian word they see themselves as the Bible has described them sinners the lost race of Adam the prodigal sons and daughters they unified her need and helplessness have tried to the cross to the Savior and are totally hitting Christ they like Paul have only one glory in one great fixation which is away from themselves and directed holy Messiah secondly they have the law of God written on their hearts this law was the great law before the earth came to be the law of the throne of God 's government in the highest principle of his administration found strewn throughout both the first and second testament its most brilliant manifestation is most sublime form its express image of loveliness was seen in the face the life and the death of Jesus Christ it is a principle of self-sacrificing self renouncing love this principle find its origin its source and its fountainhead in the heart of God alone armed with these two principles known secure and unbending Christ my righteousness in the precept of self-sacrificing love you could walk straight to the head of the line with human trembling and with the buying confidence this total dependence on God alone this lot self renouncing love whether founded in single form arts multiplied to work can form is what revelation trademarks as the faith of Jesus announcements of God it is interesting to note that exorbitant sums of money young people are willing to pay for brand name clothing though certain brands or the trade name subgrade clothing companies of America but this combo characteristic trademark is the logo of revelation gave the New Testament in the Bible it is the brand name worn by those who follows the Lamb wherever he goes down order for this experience to be ours there is something we cannot have an something must have this can't add and must have will be our focus and there are many examples in line for this to a parting of the ways when you go to medical school you cannot have a normal life and past medical school well it's one words the other the common proverb for this is that you can't have your cake and eat it too there is something you cannot have and follow the Lamb were soever he go us if that's something using your mind and you and your heart it will not be hard but impossible to follow this Lamb wherever he goes John found this problem in incipient form in one of his churches but prophetically founded flourishing at the end the cannot found is found in Revelation three starting with verse fourteen Revelation three verse fourteen to the angel of the church of Laodicea write being the faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation of God says this I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot I wish you were cold or hot so because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot I will spit you out of my mouth because you Sam Rich and have become wealthy you need nothing and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked I advise you to buy from me gold refined by the fire so that you can become rich white raiment so that you may close yourself and shame of your nakedness not be seen and I sat to anoint your eyes so that you may see those whom I love I reprove and discipline therefore be zealous and repent behold I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me he overcomes I will grant to sit down with me on my throne as I have overcome and sat down with my father on his throne he who has an year let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches what is this passage have to do it alone everything in that became very personally experienced by me several weeks ago I had finished my shift at the wound Center and was headed back through my office to the hospital when my pager went off and it was the wound care Center which I just laugh and said that he piece of the one result staff there treat me very well they wanted to share with me and because of my unique diet another beliefs and practices as a Christian as an Adventist the scene has a bit of a curiosity it has been suggested and jazz that I dance around made polls and sacrifice those so whenever I am invited somewhere as far as possible I do I can to cross bridges to ship said sit with them and laugh and enjoy fellowship I returned and have a couple pieces of pizza whether it was that or not by that evening I was not feeling very well and since we are doctors and dentists and health professionals I will take the liberty of being a little less delicate and would be proper for polite company when I suffered gastrointestinal affliction I often have enhancements that urged to defecate without the ability of physical version of Paul's two will was with me but not to do it's like my body once the toxin out that the contamination ones who come out as slowly as possible in order to inflict maximum discomfort in the process of leaving I suffered that evening was greater than usual intensity but that is my usual G.I. course and I thought it was a passing thing this was Thursday night that weekend we were scheduled to go to a Christian camp for spiritual medical retreat I felt that this G.I. but wouldn't stop me and after eating small meals carefully all weekend I was ready for a real meal on arriving home I asked my wife to make my favorite food lentils and cornbread and I ate with gusto that Sunday night I awoke with a spasm of abdominal agony that I can scarcely recount to you I felt his own elephant were shifting all his weight on to my viscera and it would herniated and one massive exodus through my rear ramp after repairing Fran came to me with such intensity in such short order that a time that I was losing my mind I laid in bed in Maine searching for sleep until a crescendo buildup of pressure went higher and higher till I could stand it no more bending forward at the waist trembling I shuffled to the restroom sitting on the commode I would try to relax but found it impossible container would literally cry out in agony for deliverance when explosive compressor discharge would physically jolt me the result of this effort was typically the size of a raisin with incomplete relief the main wish I would hand to the same to wash my hands but before I was finished washing would have to return to the scene of my some reason we visited distress now momentarily let's shelve this discussion and go back to the five descriptive words of revelation here is the what we cannot have spiritually rich having all we want in meeting nothing rather the first word we are to have his ratchet ratchet while at the Bible camp I had mentioned that I went to for the weekend I was listening to the sermon something the speaker said Continental lookup Revelation three so while they were preaching I looked at Revelation three and as I was reading this passage I said to myself you know I don't understand this wretchedness at all this is something I've never experienced from my lips to God 's ear never have I experienced such wretchedness in all my life however has a biblical passage presented itself so alive thingy with meaning never have the words O wretched man that I am commenting he was such a vividness miserable is there any other words I could use to describe what it was like to have the removal of my intestines the twisting of my viscera like a wet summer towel being squeezed dry a newsreader caused me to hold the bathroom counter as though I were on the edge of a cliff God answered my prayer in a way that I could have never imagined all right you doctors learned then true what was my diagnosis him him to that would interact self I was surely blind to my own diagnosis not until two days later and after to correct incorrect diagnosis coupled with the near rupture of my rectum by three large volume and MIs did the colonoscopy revealed a correct diagnosis near total obstruction due to strict chain ruptured sigmoid diverticulitis and this is the really rich part that Saturday night of the retreat after the meeting I relaxed with new physician friends laughing about my colonic globes we crack jokes about the G.I. tract and mine in particular for physicians postulating and joking none of us realizing the gravity of my situation blind guides worthless physicians in all of us him I for when you're why you just can't see what needs to be seen for a naked porn means not having what you need to care for yourself and make it means not being able to cover yourself these five words together give a composite picture of an abject and deplorable state mine was a physical state revelation air describes a spiritual state God often uses the physical to open our minds to the spiritual which is why pain as painful as it is such a useful tool to God in the context of seven solvation what we see and feel unilluminating by God 's spirit is not what we are I was surprised you shy to find it I had diverticulitis no strict strength diverticulitis no ruptured stricture and obstructed diverticulitis a week before that I had felt fine there was no possibility this was me there was no possibility this was my condition until he lay in a thin robe with an IV in my arm staring at the ceiling on the wing of the hospital where I am the attending physician Mister Doctor surgeon now reduced to this while you cannot deny the wretchedness and misery of physical illness you can certainly deny the wretchedness and misery of spiritual illness because it's perfectly crafted deception leave you feeling fine this means this condition subtle yet invariably fatal carbon monoxide poisoning comes to one is an odorless gas you swing internally you don't feel bad you don't have pain you don't smell anything and then you're gone you may not feel wretched tonight but you may want to ask the perfect diagnostician if that feeling is right sometimes fatal things are not felt or sensed this condition will never allow you to walk to the front of the line in lay down your life for your friends for those often hid from our conscious minds the cell and moments of eternal peril will always shield itself know this man this woman of Revelation three will hand for self-preservation every time and never moved to the head of the line of self-sacrifice so why this excursus from her subject on the lam because without this understanding of our fundamental condition and accurate diagnosis not heard his words from Doctor 's lips but is experienced as the reality of a wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death and you begin to appreciate the land solution to settle tried this sense of okaying this accomplishment this rich got the goods need nothing this inner secret subconscious thought is as fatal to our souls is this illness almost was to my body and though this was not the case with the majority of the generation who felt the heat of persecution John by prophetic insight sought is the devastating malady of the final generation we have heard sermons about so many things we ought to think we ought to do we ought to pursue but unless we understand the wretchedness this type of richness and the blessing of this type of misery we cannot follow this Lamb wherever he goes we want to finish the work but until this work is done in us there will be no finishing of the work Jesus did indeed get his disciples something to do to teach about his kingdom but the essential lesson he had to teach them and that they had to learn is that nothing they did for the kingdom mattered unless self was dad and the remains were hidden in Christ this was through the VV unalterable can and must of Messiah 's kingdom my favorite illustration of this principle that was the sum and substance of Jesus teaching the only principle that can prepare us for that optimist test was Peter 's walk on the water asking to come to Christ Jesus bids him come I blessed Peter for this lesson but personally I think he was crazy why would you leave a firm secure wooden structure in the middle of the night on black choppy water the walkout he had no idea that was forty or eighty feet deep but it didn't matter to get no matter how deep it was he was not to touch bottom in case of emergency he was either man or full of faith he walks in when he realizes what he's doing he cannot help himself but turns to his fellows boys are you seeing me now DC the I am Rich coming through in the story and into the watery grave he begins the sweat I am convinced that Peter could of died that night back in the boat he buries his head in Christ Sorrell and reselling he realizes he is miserable wretched and was close to death 's hand his body is buried in a Savior no rich no need of nothing here but poor and in need of all things all we see is his backside and precious little of that he cleans he hangs he cries here is a picture of one in himself is deflated like a ruptured balloon and the remains hidden and buried in close and Savior that is until God gave Peter his next revealing test for you see this emptying of the self love principle never happens all at once it's a little by little experiences we can bear the revelation of our true deformity in light of the lambs glory but Peter experience after experience learned about Messiah until he too with many of his brothers and sisters could die outside of raw crucified upside down full of Messiah and empty itself a richer man than Nero would ever be the spirit of the disciples in the spirit of Israel of old was to do something anything in the flesh and whether it is the quiet comfortableness of the rich need of nothing group or the busyness that we have to do something group any doing in the flash only strengthens the flesh the more insecure is our eternal loss and this is where the Lamb story takes front and center here is the great must there is nothing you can do to secure favor with God except by the Lamb there is nothing that you can brain is able to atone for your home equity except through the lamb there is no right or activity you can perform that will make you acceptable to God except through the end there is no sacrifice of the flash adequate to procure your satisfaction except the lands can you hear the spirit Adventists my Catholic brother and is it is clear no activity or experience my Pentecostal friends and on and on to each and every denomination and religion no other way no other method no other gospel disallowing of the land does not mean getting up and walking afternoon doing something not in his first order anyway that is our natural tendency that is our natural thought notice filing of the Lamb is first and foremost with EI no walking about no following now know you sit and watch as this is a lands alone performance see him in the garden as a slam undergoes the beginning of his shaving process the total giving up of his will in utter and complete submission to the father see him claim to the ground air and his family the removal has the sharing process proceeds the removal of that wife will that white protective coating has those curls of complete intimate fellowship with his father fall to the ground as the Lamb now becomes coded and covered with handful after handful of that vital pace called your sin and mine take sick double layer running over until it equals the weight of the world and rebellion and equity sin and transgression followed the Lamb as he is taken by season ruffians this pure tender spot the son of God tied manhandle pushed and pulled see him falsely accused light against railed upon silent before his shares watch in disbelief as Messiah is prepared for death strip mock bruise beaten crushed by hardening Roman soldiers just doing their job watch is a force of his scourging splatters blood across the praetorian a fitting symbol of one whose blood will cover the world followed the land as he passes through the sheep gate its name bearing you an awful testimony to its centuries enduring purpose if there ever was a time to focus your vision a time to bend your years distill your hands and your feet it is now beholden the Lamb of God stumbles at the weight of the cross can't top of mine yours and humanity 's sins it seemingly cannot be born no angel in heaven buries like synchronized swimmers the father 's image reflects the signs reality completely and if you have not the interest earned runs to watch this and Angel will immediately take your place for him this is the most stupendous thing so since his creation Jesus rises and with superhuman force he sets his face what is left of it his body it's mangled and shredded remains that I don't offer the anti- chamber of death the skull the entrance to the never returning underworld but nothing will stop this divine purpose nothing will stop this march of self renouncing self-sacrificing love this is the no thing and nothing of Romans chapter eight follow the Lamb if your eyes are able and since this suffering servant of Isaiah voluntarily lays down on that especially splintered cross as you close your eyes there is no rest for you for what you here's here has no echoing down the canyon is the meeting of wood and metal the echo of timber and nail with human flesh as the mediator crushed and open for you that cry of pain ringing ears until year shall hear no more the sound takes the last of Mary's ebbing strength and she faints into John's arm who bares her away for time you know the sayings of the cross in other words you know the actions and interactions a darkness now surrounds the cross through which no man no woman no angel can look despite the darkness you follow the Lamb now by sound two sounds are heard in the darkness one is of blood dripping out in the almost silent writer chorus is more sign language and sound drip by drip as it is poured out on the ground for the life of the world the other sound you hear is grading is the supernatural effort the weight of Jesus is placed on his laterally fastened ankles he puts all the weight of his body on the piercing nail to push as well and shredded back against the splintered rough and cross he catches his breath being unable to breathe in the sagging position as his strength gives way descends into the suffocation of death again this in space between back and being between sacrificial lamb and altar of burnt offering grading is designated the loom of heaven here is Jesus pushes himself and lowers himself down the loom of heaven at infinite painful cost is creating that robe of righteousness without which no man or no woman shall stand in God 's presence up and down he goes the Weaver shuttle thread by thread the garment is made a tapestry beautiful rich majestic divine and costly beyond description finally we hear it is finished he pauses had his last breath breathe his life is gone where silence than on the lands solo performance has been full entire swing flawless spotless total and complete the lamp for sinners slain do you have a new insight into how Paul can say before your eyes Jesus was openly portrayed as crucified can you understand what Paul would say to the Galatians that severed foreskins really don't add anything and it's not an integral part of the script to which scene of Calvary would you and what would it do for you that was not done on the cross Christians over a death to Jews who for centuries have kept alive the sacrificial system for this moment of New Orleans and from the Muslims we can learn much about submission that we see par excellence in Jesus but perhaps there is something that neither group has yet seen in the cross and what have you seen the cross is there anything you'd like to add to it or is it enough before there is any doing on your part any following of the Lamb there must be a scene of who the Lamb is of what he has done all following is on this side of the cross in its shadow shadow giving more life and warmth and cloud in the Old Testament ever could there is so much more revelation time prophecy symbols and acted scenes that cry for explanation in light of what is happening in the world today but each of those lecturers must be given in the Lamb 's dialect and each of those chapters must be written with the ink drawn from Immanuel 's veins if anyone studying and expanding revelation does not see this great sacrifice as a central theme the boring the focus of Revelation there is nothing in this book of any real importance or lasting value because first Corinthians Palace that prophecy will cease but that this love will remain forever this cross is the reason that the early Christians could would and did follow the Lamb wherever he went this cross is the basis for giving one's life in a moments notice this crosses the cure for the wretched condition Revelation three is crossed lamb is what John wanted us to see and to follow wherever you go with the perfect doctors offices for not without the Lamb following the leader without following the land is fruitless for each of us the cross of con crisis comes is the answer to our weakness and to our need having listened to many appeals and calls there is only one for me the cross has its own appeal for this cross speaks to each of us directly for some the call of the cross is your life for it has been withheld from the land thus far for others baptized Christians you came to know the doctrines intellectually the cross is that great missing center the power of God unto salvation for yet others it's the call to let go of that one thing keeping you from clinging with both hands onto the base of the cross and for others it may be just that evening baptism of what the cross of Christ means Jesus stands at the door and knocks and only you know for what he did have ears let him hear what the Spirit says follow this lamb with your eyes with your mind and then with your heart how then will you follow in this media was gone audio nurse a website dedicated to spreading God 's word through reading sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe is like this is more so than please visit www. .com universal .org


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