How to Spot a False Teacher

050612am Wn-21 Spot False Teachers.Anchored Souls.Fundamentals How to Spot a False Teacher Anchored to Christ The Fundamentals Matthew 24:24 COR-01  NR4-41  WNS-28 As the end of the physical world approaches, so does earth’s darkest spiritual hour. Satan knows that God has plans to save “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, […]

Worshiping Jesus through the Prophets

KGD-11   OTI-41   REV-21   NR3-05   XAS-27 970219WE The Scriptures are all about God revealing Himself to His creatures. The ultimate expression of God’snature and character is Christ. Note the words of Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, […]

Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – Is Romanism Biblical

APO-10    NR6-01   REV-35 930307PM Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – Is Romanism Biblical Galatians 1:6 The largest visible church in the world is the one called the Catholic or Roman Catholic church. There are many who love the Lord and serve the Lord who have been or are Catholics today. Many organizations […]

Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – God’s SImple Plan of Salvation

APO-11   NR6-07    REV-36 930314PM Why I am Not A Roman Catholic –  God’s Simple Plan of Salvation I was challenged this morning after the second service.  Someone came up to me and said, “It’s really wonderful to know everything that the Bible says is wrong about that; but how do you get in to […]

Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – Adding to the Gospel to Earn Salvation

APO-12   NR6-08   REV-37 930321PM Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – Adding to the Gospel to Earn Salvation There are seven reasons, but I’ll introduce that starting in verse 6, because the apostle Paul was confronted with something of nearly as great a magnitude as the Roman Church is. And you can see how […]

Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – The Slow Rise of False Traditions

930328PM APO-13    NR6-09   REV-38   ZNA-236 Why I am Not A Roman Catholic – The Slow Rise of False Traditions GALATIANS 1:6-10 30328PM I’d like to start in our study tonight and then review where we’ve been by going to 2Cor, chapter 11. We’re going to do something a little different tonight, I’m going to […]

Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth – #1 The Rapture

081109PM WNS-8 Rapture.doc WNS-39 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #1 The Rapture I Thessalonians 4:17-18 Jesus enclosed a snapshot of what life on earth was like–just before He touched down on the Mt. of Olives, the Ground Zero of His Second Coming[1].   Those snapshots are in Matthew. So please open with […]

Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth – #2 The Judgement of Believers – The Bema Seat

081026PM WNS-6 Bema.doc WNS-37 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #2 The Judgment of Believers The Bema Seat Romans 14:10-12 What will matter when you stand alone right in front of Jesus? What do you wish to have in your hands to give to the One who loved you and gave Himself for […]

Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth – #2 The Judgement of Believers – Seeing in Heaven

081012PM WNS-5 Heaven.doc WNS-36 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #2 The Judgment of Believers Seeing in Heaven Romans 14:10-12 As we open to II Peter 3, think about the greatest day of our lives. That will be the day we each get to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ—and kneel in front […]

Christ and the Antichrist

050605PM WN-20 Hitler.Christ.Ultimate Angel And Antichrist NR4-40    WNS-27 The Ultimate Angel Hitler, Christ and the antichrist Matthew 24:24 As the end of the world approaches, so does earth’s darkest hour.   Hell will open and the pit will vomit out it’s demon hordes to run wildly throughout humanity. Other beasts from the abyss will […]

Is Your Soul Anchored?

050529am Wn-19   Shipwrecked NR4-39    WNS-26 Shipwrecked Souls Christ our Refuge Matthew 24:24 One of the most feared activities of the ancient world was sailing in a ship across the Mediterranean Sea. Why? Because shipwrecks were so common back then. Many who sailed never returned. The families of would be travelers and sailors most often […]

When Troubles Come in Overwhelming Waves

050522PM WN-18  Anchored By Clinging Hope.Hupomeno WNS-25 Anchored by Clinging Hope Matthew 24:13 Lamentations 3:21-25 Isaiah 40:31 For those of us who believe the Bible, the weeks since Christmas have been thrilling.   Jesus said that the generation that sees His plan unfold for the end of days–will witness His second coming. That promise has […]

Beware – Asteroid Dead Ahead

050522AM WN-17  Anchored By Hope NR4-37    WNS-24 ASTEROID DEAD AHEAD Anchored by Hope Matthew 24:29 Jesus said that the generation that sees His plan unfold for the end of days–will witness His second coming. That promise has kept the church throughout the centuries in the Word, on their knees, and ready to go at […]

Living in Hope

050501pm Wn-14   Cling-Resting-Sheltering Hope NR4-34    WNS-21 Living in Hope: by Waiting, Clinging, Resting, Sheltering Matthew 24:21-22 This evening join me as Jesus describes the most hopeless moment in our planets future; the moment when life is heading toward a complete extinction. This moment is somewhere near the end of the Tribulation. That where Jesus […]

The Final Siege of Jerusalem

050424AM WN-13   Final Seige Of Jerusalem Jerusalem NR4-33   WNS-20 The Final Siege of Jerusalem Matthew 24:15-16 If you read and listen to the news with a Biblical mind, you can often hear a faint whisper of some of the truths God’s Word faintly in the background. Think about the implications of this summary I read […]

Jesus is Alive and at Work Today

050327AM  NR4-30   ORS-06   WNS-17  “MEET THE RISEN CHRIST” THE GLORY OF JESUS REVELATION 1:9-18 Portraits 4-7 On the first Easter morning, Mary was looking at the empty tomb and met Jesus.   She had come in sorrow and confusion. All the memories of Him flooded her mind. Jesus had loved her, forgiven her, and made […]

What is Jesus Doing Today?

050327AM EASTER JESUS DOING TODAY 1-3 WHATS NEXT-09 NR4-29   ORS-05   WNS-16 What is Jesus Doing Today? “MEET THE RISEN CHRIST” THE GLORY OF JESUS REVELATION 1:9-18 Are you consciously, expectantly enjoying what Jesus is doing today?   On the first Easter morning, Mary was looking at the empty tomb and met Jesus.   She had […]

The Prophetic Precision of Palm Sunday

050320am Palm-Prophetic Exactness ORS-07   NR4-28   WNS-15 The prophetic Exactness of palm sunday Matthew 21:1-11 One thing you can be sure of—God keeps His Word.   You can count on Him, trust Him, and believe His Word. We have been looking at the future for the last few weeks in our Prophetic Series What’s Next. But […]

Folly of Date Setting

050313PM WN-07   25 Trends NR4-27     WNS-14 Twenty Five Trends that are Present When Christ Returns— that are present NOW!   One of the greatest dangers in studying Biblical Prophecy—is coming to unbiblical conclusions. That has been the constant threat over the centuries since Christ’s messages on the side of the Mount of Olives. As […]

A Tribulation Survival Guide

050206AM The End Of The World-5 Prophetic-07 NR4-20   WNS-07 Tribulation Survival Guide Jesus Explains The End of the World Luke 21:7-36 For centuries, skeptics who deny God’s Word is reliable and inspired—have pointed to one entire chapter of the Bible that describes an event that has never happened. That event is the prophesied end of […]

When is The End of the World?

050109AM End Of The World.Travel. Prophetic-01 NR4-14    WNS-01 Prophetic Series-1 Christ’s Return and the End of the World Tribulation, Tsunamis And Global Travel Luke 21:7-36 In Matthew 24 we get to see the Tribulation from Christ’s perspective. What will the end of days be like? Jesus tells us–   Matthew 24:22 And unless those […]

Lamb’s Book

REV-40 990829AM   The Lamb’s Book The death of John Wesley, the father of Methodism, occurred  in his room on City Road, London.  The end was very beautiful.  No pain, only a growing sense of weakness, and a tranquil acceptance of the inevitable.  He slept much and spoke little, but sometimes the dying flame flickered up, and the inner light that […]

The Extravagance of Jesus

 NR8-05   REV-51  TAB-15 980927AM When the Bible closes in Revelation 22 we are transported forward to the fringes of eternity and step out again into the very Paradise of God, another Garden, again perfect and beautiful.   Please join me in Eden for a few moments. To realize how glorious Heaven will be, we need […]

Pergamos – The Security of Jesus

NR2-04   NR6-10   REV-12 980607PM DTS # 13 The Security of Jesus Pergamum: Wed to the World REVELATION 2:12-17   Revelation 2:12-17 12 “and to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘these things says he who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. […]

The True Bride of Christ

NR6-02   REV-39 980809PM The True Bride of Christ Revelation 17 – Why I’m Not A Roman Catholic Aug 9, 1998 | tags: 980809pm   Other congregations meet in churches, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, and temples where organized religion stresses the achievements of humans working their way to God. This is the church of good works, self-righteousness […]

The Compassion of Jesus

NR5-05   REV-33 980802AM ü  They stay secure in the face of danger for Jesus is with them. ü  They stay JOYFUL in the midst of desolation for Jesus is with them. ü  They stay PURE in a sea of filth for Jesus is with them. ü  They stay TRUTHFUL in a World of lies for Jesus is with them. ü  They stay HOPEFUL in the […]

The Victory of Jesus

980726AM NR5-03   REV-31    DTS # 26 THE VICTORY OF JESUS REV 12 UNDERSTANDING THE CONFLICT OF THE AGES Above the softness of our blue green planet there are hostile forces poised. They range across space lurking and flying about at their master’s bidding. They are former angels. They are Satan the Dragon’s army. They […]

Pestilences

050227am NR4-23   WNS-10 Whats Next-03 What’s Next Series Pestilences Luke 21:11 Tonight a menacing plague is stalking our planet. Quietly in farms and homes across Asia a global, deadly, unstoppable inflenza pestilence is mutating, strengthening—and trying to find a way out. Last time it got out almost four million people died in 1964. The time […]

The Vengeance of Jesus

NR4-06    REV-28 980823PM He waits, as every page of history is deeply stained. Un-avenged evils, from the time of the first murder until this present hour are still pending. Human history has been written in blood, tears and death.  Why does Jesus wait?  Why is Satan allowed to wrap his vicious, slimy, filthy, cruel […]

The Power of Jesus

NR4-05   REV-27 980809AM Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without Jesus? Hitler freed Germany from their consciences and it brought the killing fields, the gas chambers and an industry of death. That was the darkest hour of the 20th century. Mankind’s unending fight with God at last brings them the freedom […]

The Judgment of Jesus

NR4-04   REV-26 980712PM The history of planet earth may well be traced by the wars our fellow humans have so often fought. It was Babylon that first conquered in a global way. How many  peace- loving boys and their dads perished to fill he coffers of their king? Then Assyrian and Persian and Greek armies […]

The Wrath of Jesus

NR4-01   REV-23 980705AM DISCOVER THE PERFECTION OF JESUS The greatest mystery in the world today is the patience of God in allowing sin to run rampantly through this world. ü There is no village or town without its seething, and there is no human heart without its caliginous, black drop. ü There is no life […]

Experiencing Jesus

 NR3-06   NR8-06   REV-52   TAB-17 980927AM What is the picture? It is the Unveiled Jesus of Revelation. It is the uncovered glory of the Image of God in Jesus. It is a gift from God for us to share ! Have you experienced the irresistible attraction and the incomparable satisfaction of experiencing God? Our Lord proposes […]

The Return of Jesus

NR3-04  NR4-07  REV-20 980823AM Further on Jeremiah sits in rapt attention with Daniel and Isaiah as Ezekiel points out again the wonders they see about the Banquet Hall, as angelic creatures move about, choirs of angels sing and the glories of the galaxies radiating the Glory of God shine down upon the gathered saints. Interspersed […]

The Glory of Jesus

NR3-03    ORS-03  REV-19 980412AM  the resurrection record is clear   John 20 records Resurrection morn. John and the apostles were startled and ran to confirm the report of the women that the tomb was empty. Remember the events? Mary Magdalene Mark 16:9-11; John 20:10-1 8 The other women at the tomb Matthew 28:8-10 Peter […]

The Plan of Jesus

NR1-06   REV-06 980419PM Jesus Has Warned About the Dangers Coming in the Future Mt. St. Helen’s[1] belched gray steam plumes hundreds of feet into the blue Washington sky.  Geologists watched their seismographs in growing wonder as the earth danced beneath their feet.  Rangers and state police, sirens blaring, herded tourists and residents from an ever-widening […]

The Sacrifice of Jesus

   NR3-02   REV-18   TAB-14 980628PM There is a place of eternal calm, unleashing tranquility, perfect peace, endless day…  That place is the center of the Universe, the Throne of God…  To that location John transports us from Patmos’ salt mines to Heaven’s highest point…   In 1989 a hurricane swept through New England, for hour […]

Laodicea – The Request of Jesus

980621PM NR2-08   REV-16 DTS # 17 THE REQUEST OF JESUS 7-LAODICEA LAODICEA: NOTHING? REV 3.14-22 Revelation 3:14-22 14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold […]

Philadelphia – The Approval of Jesus

980621AM NR2-07   REV-15 DTS # 16 THE APPROVAL OF JESUS 6-PHILADELPHIA REVELATION 3: 7 – 13 PHILADELPHIA: OPEN DOORS   Open your Bibles to Revelation 3: 7 13 and in so doing, you open to the sixth of seven letters our Lord Jesus wrote to seven literal, historic churches. Each church was given a powerful […]

Thyatira – The Chastisement of Jesus

980614AM NR2-05   REV-13 DTS # 14 THE CHASTISEMENT OF JESUS-THYATIRA FEARING THE CHASTISEMENT OF JESUS REVELATION 2:18-29 THYATIRA: THE CORRUPT CHURCH JESUS GETS PERSONAL IN THIS 4TH LETTER Revelation 2:18-29 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, […]

Ephesus – The Jealousy of Jesus

980524PM NR2-02     NR4-38   REV-10 DTS # 11 THE JEALOUSY OF JESUS REVELATION 2:1-7 THE JEALOUSY OF JESUS JESUS AS ALL I REALLY LOVE WELCOME TO THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS: If you were arriving in Ephesus this morning, there is only one sight that would catch your eyes. Not the bustling harbor teeing with boats, […]

Experience Jesus Often

Experience Jesus Often LHC: Message Fifty (980927PM) LHC-63 Week 50: Experience Jesus Often (Revelation 1–22) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you experience Jesus often! SUNDAY: The Greatest Event of All Time “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants.” —Revelation 1:1a, emphasis added God […]

Keep Christ’s Perspective

Keep Christ’s Perspective LHC: Message Thirty-Two (980726AM) LHC-41 Week 32: Keep Christ’s Perspective (Revelation 12) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you keep Christ’s perspective! SUNDAY: Space Invaders Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, […]

Understand Christ’s Wrath-I

Understand Christ’s Wrath LHC: Message Twenty-Six (980705AM) LHC-32 Week 26: Understand Christ’s Wrath (Revelation 6) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you learn to understand Christ’s wrath! SUNDAY: The Inexplicable Mystery [He] is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the […]

The Voice of Jesus

980426PM NR1-08   REV-08 DTS# 8 THE VOICE OF JESUS.DOC DISCOVER JESUS REVEALING HIS CARE “THE VOICE OF JESUS” REVELATION. 1:15 Revelation 1:9-16 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony […]

Living Contentedly for Christ

Living Contentedly for Christ: Stewardship LHC: Message Forty-One (050703PM) LHC-53  Week 41: Living Contentedly for Christ (Stewardship—Matthew 11:28–30) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you learn to live contentedly for Christ! SUNDAY: A Lifelong Refuge for the Weary “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I […]

Heed Christ’s Request

Heed Christ’s Request: The Church at Laodicea LHC: Message Twenty (980621PM) LHC-26 Week 20: Heed Christ’s Request (Revelation 3:14–22 — The Church at Laodicea) This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you heed Christ’s request! SUNDAY: Welcome to Laodicea “I know your works, that you are neither cold […]

Understand Christ’s Wrath-II

LHC-33 050227PM As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you learn to understand Christ’s wrath! SUNDAY: The Inexplicable Mystery [He] is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began. -Romans 16:25, emphasis added Revelation 6 […]

Enjoy Christ’s Approval

Enjoy Christ’s Approval: The Church at Philadelphia LHC: Message Nineteen (980621AM) LHC-25 Week 19: Enjoy Christ’s Approval (Revelation 3:7–13 — The Church at Philadelphia) This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you enjoy Christ’s approval! SUNDAY: Flight 961 to Eternity You do not know what will happen tomorrow. […]

Know Christ Personally

Know Christ Personally: The Church at Sardis LHC: Message Eighteen (980614PM) LHC-24 Week 18: Know Christ Personally (Revelation 3:1–6 — The Church at Sardis) This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you make sure that you know Christ personally! SUNDAY: Professing without Possessing “Not everyone who says to […]

Honor Christ’s Holiness

Honor Christ’s Holiness: The Church at Thyatira LHC: Message Seventeen (980614AM) LHC-23 Week 17: Honor Christ’s Holiness (Revelation 2:18–29 — The Church at Thyatira) This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you honor Christ’s holiness! SUNDAY: Holiness Is Fearing Sin The solid foundation of God stands, having this […]

Cling to Christ-I

Cling to Christ: The Church at Pergamos LHC: Message Sixteen (980607PM) LHC-21  Week 16: Cling to Christ (Revelation 2:12–17 — The Church at Pergamos) This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you cling to Christ! SUNDAY: The Security of Christ’s Plan [We] are kept by the power of […]

Get Ready to Meet Jesus

Get Ready to Meet Jesus LHC: Message Four (050109AM) LHC-04 Week 4: Get Ready to Meet Jesus (Revelation 1:4) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you see Christ’s soon return through signs of the end of the world like widespread tribulation, tsunamis, and global travel advances! SUNDAY: The Greatest Tribulation […]

Watch Jerusalem

050417am Wn-12 Watch Jerusalem Watch Jerusalem Matthew 24:15-16 COM-04  NR4-32  WNS-19 When Jesus told His disciples and us about the future he built every word of it around one spot on earth. In theological circles this message (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) is called the Olivet Discourse. Jesus framed His words about the rest […]

Sardis – Where the Great Physician Felt Their Pulse and Declared Them Dead

110911AM CLW-20 Sardis.doc Christ’s Last Word to His Church SERIES: Sardis: Where the Great Physician Felt their Pulse and Declared Them Dead Revelation 3:1-6 This morning Revelation 3 begins with the second shortest letter[1] of Christ’s Seven, written to Sardis, hometown of Aesop’s Fables and Midas’ Touch.   When we read these words we are […]

Christ’s Five Expectations for His Church Declared in Revelation 2 & 3

The last book of the Bible seems to be the most fascinating and revealing of all the books of the Bible[i]for believers. Nowhere outside of the first three chapters of Revelation is there such a concentration of church-related truth and they are the single most important source of understanding Christ’s present focus and work of any Book of God’s Word. 

In the Four Gospels we find a quadrophonic symphony of Christ’s Earthly life and ministry. Acts shows what the Spirit of God, using the Word of God, can do through normal people. Romans through Jude records the doctrinal truths and foundation for everything in our new lives as believers, when we become a part of Christ’s Church.

Philadelphia: Meet the True One, the Key of David Possessor, & the One Who Opens Doors

When Jesus Christ introduces Himself to those precious and faithful saints in Revelation 3:7, He makes one of the greatest promises ever made. They, like us, lived in an uncertain world, and more than to any other church, Jesus explains His power in a way we all can grasp and hold onto today.

We each need to hear and understand and hold onto by faith:

The Most Amazing Promise

In a world of uncertainties, lurking disasters, constant unknowns, and endless potential dangers-Jesus Christ told these believers so much like us: here is truth you can hold tightly.

Thy Kingdom Come: The Big Connection of the Lord’s Supper, God’s Kingdom, Our Lives Each Day, and the Antichrist

Today we celebrate communion, which is the highlight of our month. We have also been studying Revelation. It is amazing that Revelation and the Celebration of Communion have a very big connection. What is also amazing is that the very same big connection can also be found in the Lord’s Prayer. Today may be one of the most amazing connections of the Bible to our every day life.

The Big Connection of The Lord’s Supper & God’s Kingdom

First, please open in your Bibles to Matthew 26:26 where we see Jesus initiating communion as an ongoing reminder of:

Christ’s Death on the Cross for us
Christ’s Burial that forever removed our sins from God’s wrath upon us
Christ’s Resurrection that declares the triumph of God’s plan, God’s Kingdom and of us His children

The Antichrist is the Worst Human Who Ever Lives

As we open to Daniel 7, we continue to listen to God describe the worst human who will ever live.

We first met him as the Beast and the false peacemaking Rider on the White Horse in Revelation 6& 13.
Then we saw him as the One Standing in the Holy Place that Jesus says in Matthew 24 will bring the abomination that causes desolation.
Then we saw Paul’s long description of him as the Man of Sin and the Lawless One in 2 Thessalonians 2.
We went on to 1 John’s description of him as the Antichrist.

When God Removes His Restraint Humanity Destroys Itself

One of God’s attributes is His wrath. Last time we saw His future, ultimate, smoldering wrath as He returns to judge the world. That is His cataclysmic wrath as He pours out His fiery indignation. There is another element of God’s wrath and that is what operates all the time. It is called His consequential wrath. Cataclysmic & Consequential, both are forms of God’s wrath against sin and sinners who do not repent.

God’s consequential wrath was built into His creation of the universe. Please turn to Hebrews 11. Our Creator-God who is the All Mighty Maker of the Heavens & the Earth, spoke so much into existence at Creation that scientists have never stopped discovering, for thousands of years, more and more of what He did. Underlying all the vast parts of the Universe are laws that seem to govern everything.

What Happens When God Shakes the Earth With a “Mega Seismos”?

This morning we are examining the Biblical Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. This Doctrine is taught in God’s Word across over 1,800 verses, with over 300 of those verses in the New Testament.

The Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ

God’s Word is immensely prophetic.

When the Bible was written it was made up of approximately 27% pro­phetic material. Over the thirty-five hundred years since the Bible first began to be written down, many of the prophecies have already come true. But many prophecies are still slumbering, not yet awakened and launched into history by the Hand of God Himself. God watches over His Word to perform everything He has written (Jeremiah 1:12).

The Day of the Lord and the Centrality of Christ to Everything

We have come this morning to the next doctrine in Revelation 6. We have come to the Day of the Lord & Christ’s Centrality to Everything.

All of human history, all of God’s Word the Bible, and the entire universe in which we live centers upon Jesus Christ, God the Son.

Paul overflowed in wonder at Christ’s glory in Romans 11:36 (NKJV) when he said:

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

The Great Contrast: The Intense Hatred of God Against Sin and the Immense Love of God Toward Sinners

This morning we enter a new chapter of the Book of Revelation. As you open with me to Revelation 7, let me explain what lies before us.

If we were doing a one-phrase-summary of each chapter of the Bible, we could summarize the main idea of Revelation 6 as: The Intense Wrath of God Against Sin.

If we did the same for Revelation 7 it would be: The Immense Love of God Towards Sinners. Back to back those seem to be polar opposites.  What is amazing is that God designed this incredible contrast.

The Silence Before the Storm

As we open to Revelation 8 today, we are going to find again that in each chapter there are incredible insights into our Great God. Each of this book’s 404 verses are like tiny windows into understanding a bit more of our All Powerful and Almighty God.

Almost every one of the seven teaching truths or “doctrines”  that are presented in this chapter are tied to the same doctrines in the other books of the Bible that God has already taught us. Here is what we see taught in Reveltion 8:

The Silence of God & the Suffering of Saints

This morning we arrive at the eighth chapter of Revelation. This chapter may hold one of the most impacting truths we have studied so far in this final book of God’s Word. This chapter before us contains the twin truths that explain what has happened to the prayers of every believer and saint of every age of human history. The twins truths are that God illustrates for us:

The Destination & Application of Our Prayers

Each time we pray in Christ’s Name that prayer rises before the Face of God our Father. 

Why Does God Send the Second Greatest Ecological Disaster of History in Revelation 8?

In Genesis 6-8, God sent the first ecological disaster of human history in the catastrophic Global Flood of Noah. It was less than 5,000 years ago, when God completely devastated the surface of the entire planet. Through 40 days of rain, plus most likely the fountains of the deep (volcanic eruptions), God drowned or buried every land animal, and every human except the eight in the Ark. That was:

The First Catastrophic Ecological Event

The Bottomless Pit and God’s Lessons About the Demons’ Location

Before we return to Revelation 9, which would be opening to one of the darkest chapters of the Bible, we should ask ourselves why would we even want to study through this chapter? Why do we need to study what God says about Satan, demons, and the bottomless pit? Is that something that believers in the 21st century really need to know?

The answer to all those questions is the same. A resounding YES. The truth is that God has warned us about our Adversary Satan (that by the way is the meaning of the name Satan, “adversary”), and commanded us to on guard against him. 

Stark Choices: Christ’s Offer of Life and the Devil, Demons, the Destroyer from the Abyss, and Endless Death

We open to what most Bible commentators over the centuries have called perhaps the most challenging chapter in the Bible, Revelation chapter 9. Before we dive in we need to step back and remember one of the most amazing features of this book: the role of the Gospel in relation to the horrors of the Tribulation.

An Invitation from God

The Bible closes with one of the greatest invitations of all, found in the final chapter, of the last book of the Bible. So, before the horrors of Rev. 9, listen to the offer of endless life from Jesus Christ to all who will listen:

Revelation 22:16-17 (NKJV) “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

The Serpent, Devil, Deceiver, Dragon, Accuser Satan is Alive and Busy on Earth Today

One of the reasons God has left us as believers on earth is to resist the Devil and stand against Satan’s plans. God wants us aware that Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, We are to neither ignore nor fear Satan, we are to resist him. That is the truth that God wanted emphasized in the Church, and that is the theme of Revelation 9. 

Satan is constantly prowling the world seeking to demote God, and derail God’s work from being accomplished on Earth among people, but we are called to resist and stand against him.

How Can Our Understanding of Almighty God, Angels, and Demons Transform Us as Followers of Jesus Today?

As we open to Revelation 9 this morning we come asking God to meet with us, and speak to us from His Word. That is what the Bible means when it is called the Word of God. So for each of us, for every day of our lives, we are to live not just by eating food, but by also listening from our hearts to these:

Words to Hear from Almighty God

The Bible is the Almighty God of the Universe Who desires to speak to us, and desires that we respond to Him. The Bible was sent to us by God; and God is the Subject of every part of this Book. 

When God Sends Humanity a Taste of Hell by Releasing the Locust Demons from the Pit

One of the more difficult and misunderstood topics of the Bible is the doctrine God’s Word teaches us about Hell. As we open to Matthew 25, consider the Biblical Doctrine of Hell.

There are many opinions, many disputes, and many misunderstandings. As with almost all disputes about the Bible, each can be answered by a look at the actual passages, and not merely by talking about them. 

So this morning, we open to the greatest living authority on Hell, who spoke more about it than all the other writers of the Bible combined: His name is Jesus; and if you doubt that there will be an endless, conscious, horribly painful torment of un-forgiven sinners in a literal Hell, then understand that you’re protesting the clear, plain and simple teaching of Jesus Christ, and no one else.

Learning How to Resist Our Worst Enemies Using the Five Key Truths of Spiritual Warfare

As we open to Isaiah 14 this morning, we are viewing the spiritual realm beyond our physical world. Above all the vast reaches of the cosmos, above all the swirling galaxies, shining stars and circling planets God made some special creatures, fashioned for His own service—the angels.
 
And in this angelic host of the Almighty God in heaven, above the super-powerful archangels, above the fiery seraphim, and above the mighty cherubim, there was one angel that God chose to be the crown prince of them all.

Deception, Deceivers, Satan, and the Rebels

As we open to Revelation 1:3 this morning, we enter the only book of the Bible that has attached to it a promised blessing from God, for any believer who reads and responds to these words from God. 

God Wants to Bless each of His servants this morning

So just opening and following along today with an open and surrendered heart means we each get to experience today the blessings of God. Listen to His promise:

Rev. 1:3 (NKJV) Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Saved to Have Hope

The closer we get to the end of days, the more we need the bright hope of the early church that radiated from the catacombs and arenas of persecution to radiate from our lives today.

As we open to Luke 21 we find Jesus explaining how to impact our lost world for Him on a daily basis. We can make a choice, that makes our life able to powerfully display Him to a watching world; and that choice is to live in hope. When we live in hope we redeem our time. Daily life when filled with hope makes every moment count for eternity.

A Living Hope in a Dying World

True salvation implants an inextinguishable hope within us. Prophecy is probably the most encouraging and affirming study we can do in God’s Word and especially prophecy. Prophecy has inspired believers since the very first recorded teaching on prophecy in the earliest days of Christ’s church; and it is the hope we have of Christ’s return that has inspired believers to face troubles, afflictions, and wearying persecutions. This morning, as we read the darkest hours of mankind’s earthly journey, note how Jesus weaves into this dark fabric, the rays of HOPE. 

Thy Kingdom Come, Asking for Paradise on Earth

We have come to the twelfth and final promise God made to Israel. 

God PROMISED in His Word that: Jesus will return as Israel’s Messiah, Jesus Christ the Pierced Messiah will rescue the Jews at their darkest hour, after defeating all their enemies and locking up their fiercest adversary the Devil they will rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem for all the world to visit, and finally that Jesus Christ, the Son of David will sit as the Promised King on the Throne of David. 

God Keeps His Promises

The Millenium: Christ’s Return and Reign as the King of Kings

Nothing can ever compare to the return of the King. 

Earth again will see its Creator no longer shrouded in the form of a humble servant. Christ’s Return is with the blazing glory that slightly glowed from the Mount of Transfiguration, but that on Patmos was as blinding as the Sun in the witness of the Apostle John.

So He come, powerfully splitting open the skies, majestically descending with the clouds. Before Him nothing can stand, every knee bows, all heads drop, the people of the earth begin to wail and moan. Their worst nightmares are now reality. The One who saw every secret, who heard every thought, and who felt every drop of their venomous hatred is coming, and finally—its too late.

Strategic Planning to Face the Coming End of Days

Each year we get to start a new fresh page.

This year that page is named 2010, and it contains 365 1/4 days, 8766 hours, 1/2 million minutes , and 31 1/2 million seconds. 

But more than anything else, this new year is a new opportunity for each of us to invest as much of that time as we want to into the First Eternal Bank of Jesus Christ, located at the Throne of the Almighty Ancient of Days, at the source of the River of Life, in the center of the Crystal Sea, also commonly known as Heaven.

God’s Chosen People: Jerusalem, Armageddon and World War III

The God who recorded the beginning, that no one but Him witnessed in Genesis; is also the God gives us the ending, that no one but Him could have ever written, in Revelation. 

Isn’t it amazing that God devotes 1/4th or 25% of the Bible to the indivisible union that the world’s destiny has with God’s Chosen People of Promise, Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jews? Never forget:

The Centrality of Israel
In the Bible

The Flashpoint: Mount Moriah, Golgotha, and Islam

As we open to II Chronicles 6, always remember that God has had His eye one very special piece of property for a long time. 

•    It is the spot that God’s Word tells us in Genesis 14 that the mysterious Biblical character named Melchisadek lived; who was called the King of Righteousness, and lived in this place then called Salem or “the city of peace”. We know so little about this mysterious figure from the Scriptures (he just may have been the oldest son of Noah named Shem) but we do know that is was on that spot he lived; and
•    It is the spot that God sent Abraham to when he brought Isaac his son to be an offering in Genesis 22; and
•    It is also the spot where David’s sacrifice stopped the angel of Death (I Chronicles 21) and the purchased ground where Solomon built the Temple. But most of all, 
•    It is the same spot where God Himself took human flesh, suffered, bled, died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.  
•    It is also the spot where 50 days later the Church was born on Pentecost.
•    It is finally the spot to which Jesus will return when He comes as Israel’s Messiah to save them, end the Tribulation, and usher in the Millennial Kingdom.

The Temples God Describes: First, Second, Third, and Final

Tonight we need to ponder how the Tabernacle God intricately designed and described, as well as the four Temples God’s Word describes, fit into God’s great plan of the Ages. To understand we need to remember that:

The heartbeat of God’s Word is worship.

The only thing God seeks is worship.

The purpose of salvation is worshiping the God of Heaven.

So, to start with—is your heart the heart of a worshipper?

God’s Chosen People: Chastened

God has made hundreds of promises to the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—know as the nation of Israel, the Jewish people. In fact, there are more verses and chapters of the Bible are devoted to the Jews, the Nation of Israel, and their future on Earth before the end of the world—than any other subject or topic in all of the Scriptures.

All of the promises and predictions that God made are part of His offer to us that identifies Him as the true God. We could boil all of those hundreds of promises down to 12 clear groups.

God’s Chosen People: Preserved

As we open to Jeremiah 30-31 tonight we are looking at the 12 keys God has given us in His Word to identify the nation among nations that will signal the end of days. Those people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, His Chosen People of Promise:

These keys are only part of the evidence, as we shall see, that the prophesied “last days” are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of Bible prophecy fulfilled.   

There are so many more specific prophetic passages to be fulfilled in the last days; based on the prophecies, which have already come true, we must conclude that these too will literally unfold in the not-too-distant future. 

God’s Chosen People: Re-Gathered

God uses 12 promises in His Word to identify Israel as the nation that will signal the end of days. God has declared that the Jews, are the nation of Israel, and are His Chosen People of Promise:

I believe that the prophesied “last days” are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of what God’s Word has foretold would happen to the nation of Israel.

The Third Temple: Jerusalem and the Dome of The Rock

Three thousand years ago the greatest human fortune ever amassed on Earth was passed on from father to son. Please turn with me to I Chronicles 22.

King David in 970BC gave Solomon 1 million talents of silver (that means somewhere between 60 and 100 million pounds of silver, or 30 to 50 thousand tons of silver, worth 14.4 to 24 billion dollars today at recent market closes of about $15/ounce). 

David also gave Solomon 100 thousand talents of gold (that is between 6 and 10 million pounds of gold, or 3-5 thousand tons of gold, worth between 90-150 billion dollars today at $950/ounce). 

Christ’s Guided Tour of the Grave

Jesus Christ is revealed in God’s Word as love personified. In His daily life He was most observed by those closest to Him as filled with compassion; and He described Himself as “meek and lowly in heart”. So what will be His response towards those who ignore or reject His free gift of grace? 

In a culture where dogmatics, convictions, absolutes, and exclusive policies are frowned upon at best—what does Jesus actually teach us about the destiny of those who do not get saved, who don’t receive the only cure, and who do not come the only way? The first thing we note about Christ’s teaching is that when it comes to salvation, there is:

No Middle Ground
With Jesus

The Four Horsemen, Global Graveyards, Flu, Pandemics, and the End of Days

Adam’s sin allowed death to enter the world. Our original parents were first to taste the warmth of life, and also first to feel the coldness of death. Before the fall there was no disease, no coughing, fevers, convulsions, or death. But death brought sickness when it arrived, and now sickness accounts for the most deaths each year around the world.

Every cough is a reminder of our fallen world, every sickness is a reminder of our inevitable death, and all who will every sin, get sick or die need a Savior. So each new wave of diseases and death is actually an advertisement showing how desperately we all need a Savior.

Global Anti-Semitism: The Final Sign of the Ten Signs Christ Gave in Matthew 24 – Sign #10

Satan the Dragon has a fixation on destroying the people of the Name (Rev. 15).

God has written history, and put on paper that He is going to save a remnant of Israel at their final and most desperate hour (Zechariah 12-14).

Satan can read. He knows the written down parts of the plan, and for the past 2600 years since that plan and other parts were revealed, he has intensified his efforts to thwart God.

Satan wants to
Thwart God’s Plan

Palm Sunday Proclaims: God Always Keeps His Word

As you open to Matthew 21, you open your Bibles to the start of the greatest week since our Universe was spoken into existence by its Creator. 

On this day, Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem  at the time the Passover lambs were chosen. He proclaimed Himself as the Promised Messiah by riding on a donkey as prophesied in Daniel 9, coming from the East. But His true kingship would be demonstrated when He was sacrificed on the Cross as God’s Lamb.

Palm Sunday is a time of great invitation. On this day Jews of Christ’s time, had to choose a lamb to cover their sins, and so on this day we also need to choose our Lamb. 

With Jesus in the School of Suffering

Please join me in Psalm 119 and look over God’s curriculum in “The School of Suffering”, where our Lord shares with us what He expects from each of us as we go through all the various painful forms of suffering, afflictions, trails, and troubles.

The longest chapter in the Bible is the summary of the entire Old Testament written by Ezra after he had copied all of the chapters of the Old Testament into what we would call Biblical Hebrew, In fact, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls would be copies of the scrolls that Ezra hand wrote as the founder of the Biblical Scribes.

When Ezra was inspired by God to write the 119th Psalm, God used him to give us the most complete explanation of how God uses suffering as a classroom to teach us lessons in His Great Faithfulness that can never be learned anywhere else.

Living for Jesus Through The School of Suffering

As we open to Psalm 119:71, we as a nation are in the midst of one of the most challenging times American’s have faced for over a generation. But as bad as it may seem, think about how hard life was here in the USA in 1917. 

That year, World War I was sapping the finances, wearing down the resolve, and destroying the young men of this nation. In the midst of all that, there was no government security for the sick or unemployed. 

People only lived on what they could make and scrape out on their farms or in the cities. Even the churches were struggling. So much so, that one church in Kentucky couldn’t afford to keep their pastor as a paid staff member any longer.

Do Believers Escape the Global Grave Yards?

Do we as present day believers get to escape all of the dangerous times of death and destruction of the Tribulation? In a precise, accurate, Biblical, and theological way the true answer is: YES. Christ’s church is not destined or appointed to go through that wrath (I Thessalonians 5:9). 

However, if we go though just the normal struggles that many face today, and most have always faced—it may seem like the Tribulation to those of us in the English-speaking world. In historic perspective, we Americans are living in a bubble, and I believe the bubble—is already starting to pop.

Are we to prepare for the demonic invasion of Satan’s rampage through the earth in the Tribulation? No, but are you prepared this evening for what most believers alive on earth today, and throughout the past six thousand years, have faced? Probably not!

Getting Ready To Suffer

We can see on the horizon this evening, the world Jesus described as Earth at the End of Days. 

As we open to Luke 21, remember, Christ’s sermon called the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) was His description of what the world would be like during the Tribulation’s horrors. But He framed His horrific description of the End of Days by these incredible words in one of these three parallel accounts, the one recorded in Luke 21:28: 

“When you see these things (listen) BEGIN to happen, look up…”.

His Great Faithfulness in Our Great Suffering

When we listen closely to Christ’s words near the start of His ministry, we hear Jesus say to all believers of all time, “Rejoice when you face persecution” (Matthew 5:10-12). At the end of His public ministry, this same Jesus also goes on to say that for those at the end of days, the worst is yet to come (Matthew 24:9-10). 

When we listen closely to Christ’s words near the end of His ministry, He tells us of a future time when all of us who know and love Him will suffer greatly; and when we add that to all of the struggles, trials, challenges, hurdles, and disappointments life brings—we get a huge amount of suffering in a lifetime. 

So this evening as we turn towards Lamentations 3, we turn to the greatest reminder in all of God’s Word that when there are great sufferings, during them we can find the assurance of God’s greater faithfulness.

Global Apostasy: Ancient Truth vs. Ancient Heresies

Have you ever wondered what we look like from Heaven, as God looks down on us as we gather?

Please open with me to I Timothy 3:15.

God designed His Church to be pillars, grounded in truth as God’s household living on earth; but that truth is under assault –and God has said the war against truth will intensify as the world nears its final hour. 

We have gathered as Christ’s Church. We are members of God’s household and part of His family; and our purpose is to uphold by what we live and say God’s Truth as recorded in the Bible. Please stand as we listen to God describing us this evening:

Global Apostasy: Shipwrecked

Please open to I Timothy 1:19-20.

The God of the Universe has revealed Himself by way of a Book that He wrote.
That Book called the Bible; and it contains propositional truth from the One who calls Himself the Author of Truth.

This God explains that as the countdown to the end of days approaches, so does the level of religious deception. False teachers, proclaiming a false gospel, with false prophets, heralding false messiahs would become the norm as Jesus explained in Matthew 24:24.

Global Pestilences: Sign #7

Jesus sat on the olive tree covered slopes of the Mt. of Olives, and gave His disciples a private briefing of the End of Days for Planet earth. In the shortest and yet most complete summary He describes life from His 1st Advent through to His 2nd. That sermon called by theologians the “Olivet Discourse” is again our focus, as we open to Matthew 24:7. Tonight we hear Jesus is describing another element of what the Earth would be like at His Coming. 

Each of the other six elements we have studied, that are given in God’s Word  (Global: Travel, Knowledge Explosion, Disaster Awareness, Communications, Commerce, and Apostasy) are actually trends that become full blown, global realities during what is known in God’s Word the Bible as the End of Days.

Global Signs of Christ’s Coming

As believers, God gives us an insider’s knowledge. There is an eventual major upheaval in the worldwide social and economic situation. All the currency of the world: its money, possessions, fashions, and whims, will be worthless at our death or Christ’s return, either of which could be very soon. This insight should utterly change our investment strategy.

Jesus explained to us in Matthew 24, verses 8 and 33-34—that these events would begin at the same time, run concurrently, and crescendo like the pains of a woman giving birth—the closer we get to His Second coming. 

Matthew 24:8, 33-34 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Global Apostasy: Ancient Heresies

Before the celestial “shock and awe” judgments of the Tribulation are unleashed, God’s Word describes a time characterized by false teaching and teachers SO strong, that it would even sweep away even true believers (Mark 13:22) if they were not sealed by the Spirit of God. 

In Matthew 24 Jesus describes the world before He returns in His Second Coming, as a world where the love of most has grown cold because of false teachers (Matthew 24:11-12); and where “the Faith” will be nearly extinct (Luke 18:8). 

The end of the church age is shown in Revelation 3 to be like the church at Laodicea where truth is light, self-centeredness is heavy; materialism and personal agendas run deep, and true Biblical spirituality is shallow. 

Global Apostasy

WNS-42 090104PM As the end of the physical world approaches, earth’s darkest spiritual hour also arrives.   Satan knows that God has plans to save “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches […]

Challenge #6: Beware of Self-Induced Spiritual Blindness

One of the greatest works of God in salvation was opening our blind eyes to see. 

Protecting spiritual sight is the final of the three elements we are to deliberately pursue, according to Christ’s Last Words. Jesus counsels His Church in life-long, spiritual vision-care, promoting healthy eyes.

Christ Desires Us
To See Clearly

Please open with me to Rev. 3, and listen again to Jesus,  telling the church at Laodicea what they needed to have lives that pleased Him. Please give attention to the public reading of Scripture.

Jesus Describes Overcomers as Possessing Life the Way God Designed it to Be

One of the things I love about the Lord is that He always saves the best for last. Unlike the world whose joys run out and fade, God’s path that shines brighter each day we walk it (Pr. 4:18).

Just like when Jesus turned the water into wine, all the guests said that the best had been saved for the last. Just like the promise to those who stay close to the Lord in Psalm 92, our God is the God who gives better and better joys so that those at the end surpass all others. As we turn to Rev. 3:21-22 we find that once again, our God has saved the best for last.

Christ’s Question to Us – Do You See Yourself in the Picture of the Seven Churches

This morning we are looking back at where we’ve been. Much like getting home from a trip and spending time looking at the pictures that you took while traveling.

We have invested the past year, looking at the only part of God’s Word dictated by Christ, for the express purpose of: being sent to His Church, being read by His Church, and being obeyed by His Church.

There is no part of the Bible so clear, so personal, and so direct: as these three chapters. What exactly did we find in Revelation? We found that:

Christ Actually
Posted a Picture

Laodicea: Jesus Warns of the Danger of Having Too Much Stuff

As we open to Revelation 3:17, we are opening to Jesus the Christ of Christmas, talking about something so timely to Christmas, so relevent to our choices this season, and so right where we are today that it is uncanny.

Jesus is addressing the condition that the believers at Laodicea had gotten themselves into. They were simply described by Christ as: loaded down with stuff.

They could afford all that stuff, they bought all those items with their hard-earned money. They stored their possessions carefully, and used them regularly. But, what the Laodiceans are confronted with by Christ is not that they had so much, but the danger that comes when we have too much stuff.

Challenge #5: Getting Clothed for Christ’s Sake Daily

There’s only one portion of God’s Word, specifically written to the Church, by Jesus Christ: Rev. 2&3. Join me there as we to continue systematically exame Christ’s challenges to this, the seventh and final of the churches.

If you had traveled to visited friends or family in Laodicea, three things would have stood out to you in the First Century. These three unique features to this city, are the framework of Christ’s words we are examining today in Revelation 3:18. These could be called:

Laodicea’s Three Key Industries

Philadelphia: The Rapture is Christ’s Intentional Rescue of His Church – From What?

We all need a good dose of old-fashioned “living hope”, the kind that the teaching of Christ & His Apostles caused to overflow through the hearts, minds and lives of early New Testament believers.

When Peter addressed the most heavily persecuted saints of the 1st Century living all around the area of the seven churches we are studying in Revelation, he told them a foundational truth. He told them that salvation opens to us life-long lives of hope. Look at 1 Peter 1:3.

Laodicea – Seven Bad Habits of Believers that Sicken Christ and Make Him Vomit

Perhaps the most unlikely words to be uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ are in our Bibles this morning. Jesus says in modern terms of the church in Laodicea, “You make me sick!”

As we open to Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus writes a letter that all scholars conclude is the most piercing, stinging and scathing letter He ever wrote to any church. That means:

Laodicea is the Worst Church

Laodicea: The Seven Habits of Sanctified Believers

Today, and every day of our lives, the Cross of Christ is the source of our power to live in this world of sin.

Living a life that glorifies God is called sanctified living.

Sanctification means that God is leading and controlling our lives.

As we return to Christ’s Last Words to His Church, we find that His Church at:

Laodicea was not Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

For two generations, all the local churches around Laodicea had savored the truths about the Cross of Christ. Today as Christ’s Church we gather to hear again for our generation His warning to: Never stop living in the shadow of the Cross.

Laodicea: Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

As we turn to Romans, think of this: Christ’s death on the Cross is the heart of our salvation. His substitutionary death paid the penalty of our sin, removed the record of our transgressions, and purchased our eternal salvation.

Christ’s life, now lived in and for us, opens to us His sanctifying power to save us from sin’s destructive power and keep us useful for his glory.

Laodicea: Listening to Jesus, the Amen of God

Life for us as followers of Christ is all about Listening to Jesus. Jesus said that as His sheep we need to hear Him and follow Him.

Listening to Jesus

Jesus came on an unannounced visit to a church in central Asia Minor two thousand years ago and then wrote a startling letter back to them about their deteriorating spiritual health. They really should have listened to Him.

Sardis & Christ’s Call to Every Believer: Stay Awake

As we open to Revelation 3:1-6 we are opening to the worst report Christ has given to any of His churches. As we saw last time, this is the only time that Jesus declares that a local church is dead, non-responsive to His plans and non-functional for His purposes.

Look back over the text of the letter Christ wrote to them, which we read last time. In those words we find in an event from Sardis’ past, a key that unlocks the message Jesus gave to the saints that were alive in Christ, and listening.

Philidelphia: How to Build a Quake-Proof Life

This morning we look at what should become the model for us at Calvary. Revelation 3 introduces us to the church that pleased Jesus Christ, and thus had a His blessings poured upon all that they did for Him.

Of all the seven churches, Philadelphia, the sixth church, can be described as the Faithful Church and stands out as the model. My prayer would be that we as a church here at Calvary would be seen by our Lord as a church filled with Philadelphia-like saints, who gather and live out Christ in this faithful way.

The promises Christ gave them, the insights He shares with them, and the lessons He offers to us who listen are unparalleled in any of the other letters.

Philadelphia: The Rapture According to Jesus

Jesus taught such a comforting, hope-filled message of His return to rescue His Church before the Tribulation, that His disciples went everywhere teaching this same truth. When Paul had only a month in a pagan city where he planted a church, the Rapture was central to their doctrine.

The Rapture was First Taught by Jesus

The Rapture is a doctrine started and taught by Jesus, continued and spread by His disciples, and believed and passionately lived out by His Church. The early church heard and understood this doctrine of Christ’s any moment return, and radiantly lived, looking for ways to please Him when He came to rescue them.

The Wrath of God & the Depravity of Humanity

As we continue through Revelation, we have come to one of the key doctrines of the Bible, the Doctrine of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is part of the absolute justice of God.

No sin can go unpunished with God’s absolute holiness and justice. So even though there may be little or no evident response from God for most of the sins being poured out by fallen and sinful humans, God’s justice has kept track of every sin ever sinned against the Infinite, All-Knowing God Almighty.

But a moment is coming when the river of humanity’s sins, piling up behind the dam of God’s patience will reach the limit, and the righteous, infinite, just wrath of Almighty God bursts forth.

Samson: A Study in the Impact of Chastening Upon a Compromised, Worldly (Thyatiran) Believer’s Life

All of us in Christ’s Church are called from darkness to light at salvation; and we are saved from the power of Satan; and we are being transformed into saints of God. That process in called consecration. Last week as we looked at the Church at Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29), we saw that their consecrated lives were slipping because of compromise with sin and false doctrine.

Jesus called them to repent, to have a change of mind that would lead to a change in behavior. The letter to Thyatira is a challenge from Christ for His children of faith to do what is needed: repent of compromising their lives of sanctification.

The Coming of the Promised and Amazing Global Peacemaker

The Bible is a consistent Book from a changeless God; and every part of God’s Word agrees with every other part.

Looking out at each of you who came to Calvary, eager to hear God’s Word and respond to Him and get blessed this morning, just thrills my heart. All week long I study the Word and minister the word to individuals, but this is the thrill of my week standing to share God’s Word with you, Christ’s body at Calvary.

Seal #1: As the World Believes the Lie, How Do We Know if We are Anchored in the Truth

All around us, the winds of apostasy are blowing stronger each day. As we open to Revelation 6, let me ask you: Are you anchored in the Doctrine of Christ? More and more individuals who claim to be born-again Christians and their churches and denominations are slowly caving in to growing public opinion and societal pressures.

Satan, the god of this world is more at work than ever before. He is older, smarter and has a vast communications system of world media consumption. Our world is slowly self-defining God and His laws instead of honoring His Word. That falling away is called apostasy in the Bible from the compound Greek words: apo (from) and histemi (standing): apostasy – literally, “a leaving, from a previous standing.”

Seal #1 – When the World Believes the Lie, God Launches the Tribulation with Satan’s Global Deception of False Peace, False Security, False Prosperity

Please open your personal copy of the written down words that came directly from the Throne Room of the Universe, from the Almighty God that inhabits eternity. Those words for us this morning start in Revelation 7:9.

At the end of days, Satan empowers one man to win the world. He offers to satisfy all of mankind’s desires for peace & safety. He becomes Satan’s substitute for Jesus Christ, in the person of the antichrist. Today we are looking at how God describes the launch of this event. But why are we doing so? Because:

Revelation Shows Us: God is in Charge

The Rejection of the Real King and the Reception of the False King

Today as we open to Matthew 21, we celebrate what is traditionally called Palm Sunday and marks the time when the Real King, Jesus the Christ, was rejected.

We commemorate the day when God sent Jesus into Jerusalem as the promised Messiah and Prince of Peace who would govern the world perfectly. But Jesus was ultimately rejected as King by the people. Jesus wouldn’t give them what they wanted, so they rejected Him. The summary of what happened the week of the Triumphal entry is:

The Rejection of the Real King

The Easter Message of Genesis 1 to Revelation 19 is: The Ignored Creator is Rejected; The Crucified Savior is Risen; The Angered Judge is Returning

God’s Word places Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as central. Everything in the Old Testament points towards the Cross, everything in the New Testament points back to the Cross.

The Centrality of Christ’s Death, Burial & Resurrection

I would invite you to open to that central event of all time and of all that ever matters. That event is recorded in John 20. Open there to see our Creator, who is crucified for His own creature’s sin, and then rises from the dead.

Understanding Revelation 6-19 by Using Christ’s Longest Answer Ever Given

As we open to Revelation 6 and begin to work our way verse-by-verse through this amazing portion of God’s Word, we all need to get our minds around the big picture of what we are doing. First, let me state the obvious but vital foundational truth:

God Wrote the Entire Bible

The Bible is a complete course of study in order to graduate with proficiency in knowing, serving and pleasing our Creator. God is the instructor, His textbook is the Bible, and the Degree we have enrolled in is “Knowing God.” There are 66 courses of study; one for each book of the Bible.

Peter’s Lessons on the End of the World, Materialism, Contentment and the Uncluttered Life

Jesus sat down and shared with us His disciples the facts of earthly life. That’s how I describe the Sermon on the Mount.

The Facts of Earthly Life

Those chapters contained Jesus explaining the basics about salvation, prayer, relational dynamics and earthly treasures. We’ve studied the prayer portion at length, as well as the salvation portion. But the treasure lesson is what we’ll see today. Look at Matthew 6:19-24.

Materialism Blinds Our Eyes with Earthly Treasures: Look Up

As we open to 2 Peter 3:14-17, we are coming to Peter’s fourth element in how to build an uncluttered, focused life that survives the fires of  Revelation 6-19’s Return of the King.

Peter most clearly explains the Day of the Lord’s Second Coming as King, and we need to frame our understanding of Revelation 6-19 through the other Scriptures God has already given to us.

Beware: Materialism Corrodes Our Wills If We Try to Serve Two Masters

Every day we each make a big choice. Each day we choose which master we will follow. This is not about what we say, because with our mouth most believers would readily say that Christ is our Master.

Each day we point to our Master by our choices, with our time investments and with our motivations that drive our handling of money. Those are the actions that speak louder than our words. Those are the choices that clearly frame who really is the master of our lives.

Jesus, Money, Stewardship, Rewards, and Eternity: What is God’s Desire for Us Laodicean Age Believers?

For the past six weeks we have looked at how Christ’s words about the dangers of living for the temporal treasures of materialism stayed with Peter to the end of his life, even to the point of his last chapter of life, 2 Peter 3. We saw these as:

Peter’s Lessons on: the End of the World, Materialism, Contentment & the Un-Cluttered Life

But, the lessons of Peter’s last chapter are dwarfed by the even more clear and direct words of Christ’s last letter.

Unleashing the Power of Contentment into My Life and Ministry

We were saved to serve God but Satan wants to distract us from God using the world’s allurements.  One of the greatest needs in life is contentment. Contentment comes only by the application of the doctrines of God to my life.

Any lack of contentment signals a deficiency in experiencing God’s truth in my life. Just as prayerfulness reflects how much we need God, so our:

Contentment Reflects How Well We Know God

Challenge #7: Believers are Constantly Repenting of Any Spiritual Laxity

As we open to Christ’s last words, we have come to the last church He addresses in Revelation 3:19. Here in the last words to the last church we find a grand summary of the entire life of the believer, reflecting the theme of most of the New Testament epistles.

In other words, Jesus ends His words to His church asking us to live a life of constant repentence, we are to avoid getting lax about sin. V. 19 brings us to:

Challenge Seven: Jesus wants us to Repent of any Spiritual Laxity

v. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Getting Ready for the Best Part of the Day: Dining with Jesus

Jesus changes the tone of His Voice as we open to Revelation 3:20. After seven rebukes to the most disobedient church of the seven, Laodicea is hearing something amazing. Jesus makes them an offer that is unbelievable. Jesus invites anyone who wants to spend time with Him, face-to-face and one-on-one, to join Him for the most refreshing meal of the day: the unhurried evening meal that every laboring person longed for after a hard day’s work, and every rich person looked forward to as the best time of the day.

How to Live a Life of Pleasing God in a Doomed and Dying World

Last week we began looking at the Return of the King. What a scene of devastation and horror awaits the lost who continued to refuse to repent. We did a Jet Tour through:

God’s Description of the End of Days

Then we ended at 2 Peter 3. On the way back to 2 Peter, stop and look with me at 1 Peter 1. To understand 2 Peter 3, we need some perspective.

Peter is in the midst of great persecution, writing to a group of local churches facing fiery trials. Peter the Apostle has reached the end of his public ministry and, as the most visible of Christ’s followers, is being hunted down by the Emperor Nero. Peter was a big target.

Five Lessons From Peter On How to Build a Destruction-Proof Legacy

Today we open to the second half of the last chapter of 2 Peter.

Peter’s Last Days

Here Peter is at the end of the road. I can just see him now with his gnarled fisherman’s hands, and the skin of his face and arms still leathery from all his years on boats in the sun, those eyes still piercingly full of zeal.

Peter never lost the wonder of Jesus. He has lived everyday with purpose. Jesus had called out to him as a young businessman and said to “Follow Me,” and Peter had.

How to Survive the End of the World

Almighty God who sees everything, knows everything, and is infinitely wise has a plan. That plan involves ending the sin, death, evil and rebellion in this world. That plan has been written down and is ours today.

As we start our study of this next section of Revelation, it reminds us that ONLY God knows the future. No person, demon, astrologer, prophet, writer, no one but God KNOWS the future. That is one of the most amazing facets of God’s character. He is never surprised. God always knows what WILL happen; and only He knows that. We need to listen to God.

The Pergamum Connection: Babylon, Balaam, the Beast, and the Final World Religion

Christ’s words in Revelation 2:12-17, is addressed to the locally assembled church in the geographic place called Pergamum: a place of Satan’s seat. There we have heard Christ’s words, which contain a warning about idolatry, Satan’s plan of false worship.

From those early days after Creation, when Adam sinned and all of mankind to follow also fell into sin, God made a way for mankind to come back. The way back was to worship Him by a substitutionary, sacrificial, blood-sprinkled way. 

The key to understanding all of world history since the Fall of Humanity into sin comes from God’s Word. Always remember that the only absolutely trustworthy and accurate account of the earliest days of both the Universe and the human race is found in the inspired words from God in Genesis.

Pergamum: The History of Satan’s Religion

As we open Revelation 1:1, stop for a moment and remember how God starts this final book. We read that:

God Wants His Servants to Understand the Future

God opens the Book of Revelation by telling us that He wrote this book “to show His servants” (Rev. 1:1) things that we need to know about the future. Only followers of God and servants of Christ have the incredible insight for living that comes from knowing for sure, what will happen in the days, months and years ahead.

How Paganism Merged with Romanism

As we open to Revelation 2:14-15, and see the next section of Christ’s message to the saints at Pergamum, the story behind these words actually starts way back in the book of Genesis with the life of Abraham.

Revelation 2:14-15 (NKJV) But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat thingssacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Thyatira: Jesus Searches Our Hearts and Minds

As we open to Revelation 2:18-29, we come to the letter to the Church at Thyatira.

That term, Thyatira, is usually a bit foreign to us outside of this chapter. To get our bearings we could also say, we are opening to the geographic area that received more of the books (epistles) of the New Testament than any other geographic area of the ancient world.

Have you ever thought about where these letters we hold were first sent?

God Sent More New Testament Letters Here than Anywhere Else

Here’s the lineup if you haven’t stopped to do the math.

Ephesus: Beware of Doing All the Right Things for the Wrong Reasons

There was a church in the New Testament world that was doing all the right things for the Lord; but there was one problem: they were doing all the right things for the wrong reasons. Jesus addresses that problem in His first letter to the Churches in Revelation 2.

If you were arriving into the harbor to visit the church of Revelation 2 in Ephesus this morning, there is only one sight that would catch your eye. Not the bustling harbor teeming with boats, not the roads lined with the exotic spices and goods from the east. No: it would be the lustrous golden gleam of the Temple of Diana.

Ephesus: First Love Then and Now

As we open to Revelation 2:1-7, we are reading the personal message in Christ’s last words to His Church. These verses are part of a warning about what tripped up the earliest generations of believers. Jesus wanted them, and us, to stay on the right path.

These churches were real gatherings of people 2,000 years ago. That means that Jesus saw seven different types of believers gathering at that moment in the history of His church. Have you ever thought about that?

Every believer back then was like one of these seven types of believers addressed by these seven letters we are studying. In some part of the end of the First Century AD there were Ephesian types of believers (2:1-7); Smyrna types of believers (2:8-11); Pergamos types of believers (2:12-17); Thyatira types of believers (2:18-29); Sardis types of believers (3:1-6); Philadelphia types of believers (3:7-13); and Laodicea types of believers (3:14-22).

The Church at Smyrna: How to Serve Christ Through Affliction

As we open to Revelation 2:8-11 we are opening to the second of Christ’s seven personal letters to individual churches of the late First Century. We looked at them as a group, but now we are taking a look at each individual church.

As we read these words, the historical context is that the Church at Smyrna was going through the second wave of persecutions that the Early Church had to endure.

A Short History of Early Church Persecution

Someone told me this week they could save the first half hour of my messages by just “Google-ing” what I talk about, and implied they wanted me to just stick to reading the text of the Scripture. But for the rest of you that are willing, if you will bear with me, I’d like to give you a sanctified mind’s analysis of Church History: something that they could never get on Google.

Pergamum: When Believers Compromise Christ’s Call to Personal Holiness

As we open to Revelation 2:12-17, remember that Revelation 1-3 is all about:

Seeing Jesus Gathering with His Local Churches

Jesus wants us to know He is walking among us and watching our lives.

The simple message Jesus Christ gives us is that His Highest Priority right now is gathering with His local church. Remember where John first saw Jesus in Revelation 1:12? He was walking around His local churches (that is what v. 20 says that those lampstands represent: Christ’s local churches).

Jesus is Always Encouraging the Fruitfulness of His Church

Have you ever noticed that whenever Jesus described us as His children in the Gospels, somewhere nearby He spoke of fruitfulness?

As we open to the Matthew 13 Parable of the Soils, He said His born-again believers bear three levels of fruit: some 30, some 60, and others 100-fold. Look at v.8 and then at v. 23.

In the John 15 Vine and the Branches discourse, He said that He is vitally interested in us  bearing “more” fruit. In fact, John 15 states more clearly than anywhere else in the Gospels what Christ’s constant desire is for us as His children: glorifying God equals fruitful lives.

How Does Jesus Cultivate Fruitfulness in the Lives of Believers?

God is a Farmer, His Word calls us His field (I Cor. 3:9), and our lives are searched by Him for fruit, so He can harvest from our lives. That is what we will see as we open to Revelation 2 this morning.

Much like the farmers all around us and the many gardeners among us, if you want a good crop this year, the field needs to be prepared and worked.

Jesus desires, from each member of His Body, a life that is plowed, planted and watered, so that we produce a harvest of fruit that pleases Him.

God’s Final Desire for Christ’s Church: Crucified Living

We are part of the gathering, of all His obedient children, for Jesus asked us, as believers, to keep gathering to worship Him until He comes. So, there is perhaps no portion of Scripture more vital for us as we live out our lives on Earth than the last book of the Bible. In the final book of God’s Word we find that:

Revelation is the Culmination & Conclusion

This book comes last because it is not only the Conclusion of God’s Word, it is also the Culmination of God’s Plan. We see everything that started in Genesis: the Perfect Paradise of God, the Rebellion and Fall of the Universe into Sin, the Flood of Water Destroying the rebels, and the choosing and saving of the People of the Covenant-all in their final form in Revelation.

When Jesus Visits His Church and Finds Unrepentant Sins

John is flattened on Patmos when he sees Jesus. Those flaming eyes seemed so much like the ones John had seen when Jesus cleansed the Temple of Jerusalem. But this time its not the Temple of Jerusalem,  Jesus is headed towards the local churches that make up His Body, His visible presence on Earth.  Jesus with piercing eyes of holiness and glowing feet of chastisement is headed to stomp out the sin that is diminishing His power in His Church.

John is staggered. The churches that received the letter Jesus sent them through John were put on notice and Church History records the results. Those churches that did not repent have gone extinct. Jesus removed their lamp from the stand and He had to find others who would stay useful in His sight.

Why Jesus Chastens His Church

Most of us here today hold the most powerful device in the world; it is more jam packed with unbelievable features than the one-day-coming iPhone 5. It has the most ultimate guidance, communication and efficiency apps ever possible to obtain, and it is called God’s Word. God speaks through His Word, and we have His Voice on paper before each of us today.

As we open to Revelation we open to the longest book written specifically for Christ’s Church, containing 22 chapters, and 404 verses; all with the unique target of being given by God to show Jesus Christ to the Church.

The Book of Revelation

Open to the only book exclusively devoted to introducing us to what our Master and Savior Jesus is doing RIGHT NOW: the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Have you paused yet today to check in with Jesus Christ? The best way to do that is through your Bible, because Jesus Christ is revealed to us as the Word of God. He is the Word, and the Word reveals Him.  Each time we open God’s Word we can hear His Voice.

At Creation God the Son, the Creator spoke and made all things; and through His Apostles and Prophets, His Word has been given. As you open to the last book of your Bibles, you open to the climactic conclusion of God’s Word written down for us.

God’s Reminder to Us: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Revelation is God lifting the lid off of Christ, or pulling back the wrapping paper on something very special about Jesus, but not yet fully seen or known. That is what the first word of this book says.

So, chapter 1 is God holding out for us: What Jesus is doing right now.

Chapters 2-3 are God showing us what Jesus sees in His Church.

Chapters 4-22 are what God wants us to know about His plans for the future.

Each of these sections of Revelation is a disclosure and an unveiling of things not yet fully seen, or even really understood.

The Sight of Jesus & Our Progressive Sanctification

As we open to Revelation 1:14 this is the second set of twin descriptions of Christ: His head and hair are white, like wool and snow; His eyes are like burning flames of fire.

When John turned to see who it was that spoke to him, he turned and saw the Ancient of Days Himself, in all His power, in all His holiness, and with those eyes ablaze with an inescapable and penetrating gaze. That is how Jesus Christ the Risen Lord appears at this moment, as we gather before Him. Let that sight get imprinted upon your heart:

Christ’s Flaming Eyes of Penetrating Holiness

Christ’s Chastening & Comforting Work in His Church

When John saw Jesus that Sunday morning on Patmos, he collapsed and was like a dead man. It wasn’t that he was old and weak, or overcome by emotion, John had seen that look in Christ’s eyes before. When he realized what Jesus was communicating, it overwhelmed him. John saw Almighty God the Son, Jesus Christ, who was displeased with His Church.

Did you know that in less than 60 years, the original edition of Christ’s Church had gotten to the point where 70% of the local assemblies were displeasing to God? That’s right 5 out of the 7 churches that Jesus had visited were reprimanded and warned. Christ’s expressed in 5 out of 7 letters His displeasure about the way that were living out God’s plan for their lives.

Coming Soon – Global Peace, Safety and Prosperity

As we open to Revelation 6:2, I wonder if most of us remember what directly precedes the launch of the Tribulation? The way that Jesus, Paul, John & Daniel all describe the start of the Tribulation is not with disasters, wars, famines, and pestilences. The Tribulation begins, according to the Bible, with global peace, safety, and prosperity.

 
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