28-God Predicts A Satalite

Zechariah 5:1-4

I looked again-and there before me was a flying scroll! He asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. [1] ” And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.’ ”

Scroll and Their Use.

What Is A Scroll

“Scrowle”, the original word for scrolls, is a roll of papyrus, leather, or parchment for writing a document.  The term “Dead Sea Scrolls” discovered in limestone caves carved out of cliffs along the Wadis that descend through the Judean wilderness to the left bank of the Dead Sea, is a manuscripts found in eleven caves within a few miles of ancient ruins on a plateau overlooking the mouth of Wadi Qumran; this scroll has written information on the history of Judaism and the origins of Christianity.

The Purpose.

Scrolls are what ancient historians and scribes used to document information for the purpose of communicating thoughts, events, or messages via written words.   In Exodus 17:14 The LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And in Deuteronomy 17:18, the passage reads, “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.  It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. In the Bible, scrolls are used to record important messages, or information.

What Is A Flying Scroll

The Vision of Zechariah

In the first chapters of Zechariah, the Bible recorded a number of visions that Zechariah had, in conversations with an Angel.  Verse one said he looked again-and there before him was a flying scroll! Can a scroll have wings to fly?  What is a scroll for the purpose of disseminating information doing in the air – flying?  This is a vision and a prophecy that has been fulfilled for us today.  God is in the business of high-tech. State-of-the-art communication medium, even in Zechariah’s time.  To Zechariah, this is a mystery because scrolls don’t fly, but he saw it in the air flying – a flying scroll.

The Position of the Scroll

The Angel asked him, “What do you see?”  And he said, “I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.”  Now 30 x 15 is the size of most rooms.  That is a big scroll.  Most objects seen in the air at a far distance seems small.  To Zechariah this flying scroll was 30 x 15 feet, but no doubt it was bigger, but from where he was, his estimation is about 30 x 15 feet.

The Use of the Flying Scroll

What is the purpose of this flying scroll?  The purpose of a scroll we know, that is to communicate with written words or information, but a flying scroll?  For what?  The angel said to him, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.  This message is a warning – a curse as some language would have it, but it is a warning.  But in Zechariah’s time, this is a mystery.  How can a scroll flying in midair warn us?  Verse 4 said “The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.’ “  It will enter into the house of the sinners (thieves, liars, blasphemers, etc).  And it will remain there, so much so that the sinners cannot remove it.  What is this IT coming from a scroll, and a flying scroll at that.  This is information. The scroll is a sigma, or medium of information, coming from the scroll in midair and entering into the homes of sinners, showing them their sinful ways.  This is extremely high tech for Zechariah, but God is always high tech then and is high tech today.

Today’s Flying Scroll – Satellites

God’s Plan for Us Today.

Zechariah’s vision was a prophecy that was fulfilled in our time. October 4, 1957

The Russians launched the first artificial satellite called Sputnik. They equipped the Sputnik with transmitters to broadcast on frequencies at 20 and 40 MHz so everyone will know it’s up there.  At that time, many people did not know how to think of a satellite in orbit. It was too mysterious for them, “What is a 184 pound object doing in orbit?” “Are they looking down at us?”  Christian Broadcasting spans from the first ever vocal broadcast in 1906 through the space-age technology of satellite communications.  Today there are Christian television stations, satellite services, short-wave radio, AM and FM radio, Internet radio, and broadcast television and radio networks. Just as the Bible predicted, the gospel is truly being spread over the entire world. Broadcasting allows Christians to reach areas of the world that are difficult to reach otherwise.  In December,1906, the first ever Christian vocal broadcast came from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Reginald Fessenden transmitted the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ from Luke chapter two as well as a violin solo of “O Holy Night”. The broadcast could be heard by ships all along the Northeast Atlantic Coast.  December 1921 First Christian radio station Washington DC.  May 1939 First “Back To The Bible” program aired in Lincoln, NE. The program still airs nation-wide. 1940 First Christian telecast W2XBS New York. June 1957 First Television Crusade with Billy Graham on the ABC network.  1961 First Christian TV station WYAH Portsmouth, VA.  1971 First Christian Satellite Broadcast; fourteen years since the first satellite went into the space.

The Purpose of Christian Satellites

The Middle East — the birthplace of Christ and of the Church, yet Christians are leaving the Middle East in vast numbers. 60 per cent of believers have emigrated from the region since the 1950s. Many who remain are cut off from any fellowship. And with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, growing numbers of Arab Christians believers faced increasing hostility. What can be done to stop the slides that strengthen what remains?   The story is told of a Westerner who walked into a shop in Saudi Arabia. In his lapel was a tiny enamel badge. The Arab shopkeeper’s eyes widened. Making sure they were alone he confided in the Westerner. Scarcely containing his excitement, he said: “I am also a believer! And you are the first Christian I have met in many years.”  Little is reported about the rough treatment meted out to Christians by some of the nations upon which the West depends for oil. Among the worst offenders are Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

“There have been imprisonments, beatings and deportations. You can still be publicly beheaded for apostasy against Islam and for witnessing to your faith,” says Terence Ascott, SAT-7’s CEO. “The Christians in the region are under attack. In countries like Iran there have been assassinations of church leaders and assaults on Christians.”

The Message of the Gospel.

The badge the shopkeeper recognized was not a cross, nor a fish, nor some other secret sign. It was a symbol that has become commonplace in millions of households across the Middle East and North Africa. It was the logo of a satellite television channel – a Christian channel – with a mission to encourage struggling believers and to strengthen them in their life and witness.  This is the purpose of Christian satellites.  God knew that in our time, he would need state-of-the-art missionary mediums, one that can subvert the Islamic fundamentalism – those who are persecuting Christians.  God is using satellite broadcast to reach sinners in their home, and the Government cannot remove it, because it is in midair, far from their reach – a modem-flying scroll.

“Some people fear there is no future for Christians in the Middle East,” says Rev Dr Safwat al-Baiady, Head of the Protestant Churches in Egypt. “Pessimists say that maybe ten years from now Christians in this part of the world will be extinguished, like a rare plant or animal. But SAT-7 is helping Christians in this area to reaffirm their identity.”

Of the 430 million who live in the 21 Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa, fewer than five per cent are Christians, and many of these do not profess or practice their faith. How to reverse this steep decline has been worrying church leaders throughout the region for decades.

“A physical disappearance of the church is a real possibility,” says the Rev Dr Habib Badr, an executive member of the Middle East Council of Churches. “It would be a tremendous loss if, in the place of its birth, Christianity disappears. In certain places there is no visible church whatsoever. Whatever Christian witness and presence there is an underground.”

But God is at work. Many young people in the region believe the old ways have failed and are seeking new answers – and people who can’t read turn to TV, especially satellite programming, is unstoppable. Saudi Arabia has tried to ban the satellite dish, but rooftops are covered with them. Some 90,000 new dishes are installed each month and improving technology and reduced costs suggest the trend will continue.  SAT-7 began broadcasting in Arabic in 1996. Today several million viewers watch its daily programs each week

In Zechariah 5:4, the LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.’ ”

Summary

God is marching on; nothing can stop the proclamation of the gospel.  The time of the end is near; the days are short for his elect sake.  There is not time to wait or waste.  Make your bad and sinful ways straight today.  The Lord has sent messages upon messages to you today.  Turn to him and be saved.

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