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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ZNA-432 890416pm Sufficiency of Scripture #5 Prophecy Part One So why do we trust the Scriptures? What have made saints cling to the Word for so many centuries? Inspitre of all the trials as Hebrews 11:36-40 speak of? How? they trusted the Bible. Because: I. Because of the supernatural origin of this book. It has […]
081116PM WNS-07 Signs.doc WNS-40 Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3 Are you living each day in light of the seven step plan God has for this world that stretches from Now to Eternity? We have just completed our look at the plan God left for us. Those are what I call the: Seven Steps: […]
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. Those snapshots are in Matthew. So please open with […]
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 […]
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081005PM WNS-3 Fire.doc WNS-34 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #2 The Judgment of Believers The Fire II Corinthians 5:10 Please open with me to I Corinthians 3:10-15. This evening we look at one of the most sobering day of our lives as believers. The entire Trinity will be involved in that […]
080928PM WNS-2 Return.doc WNS-33 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #4 The Second Coming Matthew 24:21-22 As we open to Matthew 24:21-22, we come to the Second Coming of Christ, the 4th of 7 Big Events on God’s Calendar that we are examining from last to first. The Second Coming of Jesus […]
080921PM WNS-1 Numbers.doc WNS-32 Prophecy by the Numbers Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3, 8, 33 Please open with me to Matthew 24. The disciples ask Jesus a question that interests all of us, I’m so glad they did. Follow along as they ask in Matthew 24:3, and as Jesus answers them in verse […]
050612PM WN-22 Anchored To Christ WNS-29 Anchored to Christ Matthew 24:24 Open with me to Revelation 7. 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
050515AM WN-16 Living In Trusting Hope NR4-36 WNS-23 Living in Trusting Hope Matthew 24:21-22 Our God is a God of hope. Living in hope is Christ’s plan for our lives today. But when we dig into the prophetic portions of God’s Word the future looks very bleak and hopeless. So to balance what […]
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 […]
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 […]
050410AM WN-11 Prophetic Hope NR4-31 WNS-18 Living in Hope! Matthew 24:15-16 Jesus enclosed a snapshot of what life on earth was like–just before the Ground Zero of His Second Coming. We have been looking at those snapshots in Matthew. So please open with me to the greatest sermon on the end of the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
050306PM WN-05 25 Trends NR4-25 WNS-12 Twenty Five Trends that are Present When Christ Returns— that are present NOW! What does the world look like when Jesus come back? We can know if we read His messages about His Second Coming. And if we read carefully we see a very clear picture He describes. […]
050306AM Whats Next-04 Grave NR4-24 WNS-11 What’s Next Series One Moment after Death Luke 16:19-31 We are in the midst of our What’s Next Series. We are studying prophetic Scriptures that are coming to pass just as God promised that they would. This morning I want to look at the most frequently fulfilled […]
050220am Whats Next-01 WNS-09 What’s Next Series Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3, 8, 33 God left us the greatest book ever written. He watched over every word that is in this book. This book is our guide, our plan for how to live every day of our lives until Christ comes or calls. […]
050220AM Prophecy By The Numbers Whats Next-01 NR4-21 WNS-08 Prophecy by the Numbers Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3, 8, 33 Please open with me to Matthew 24. The disciples ask Jesus a question that interests all of us, I’m so glad they did. Follow along as they ask in Matthew 24:3, and […]
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 […]
NR4-19 WNS-06 050130AM Auschwitz and the Final Holocaust In Luke 21 Jesus preaches a sermon about the End of the World. The end of the world is easier to comprehend when we can compare it to the world around us. That is what Jesus does. He points to things they knew and said amplify […]
050123AM The End Of The World-3 NR4-18 WNS-05 Jesus Explains The End of the World Luke 21:7-36 I have been thinking about time all week long. New Year’s Day and birthdays always do that. Time is marching unstoppably toward the end–the end of the world, the end of life, the end of days. […]
050116pm Standing Before Jesus NR4-17 WNS-04 At the end of his life the great Reformer and servant of the Lord, Martin Luther shared what kept him going through such lifelong adversity and hardships. He said he lived by this simple truth: “I have but two dates on my calendar today and the day […]
050116AM The End Of The World-2 NR4-16 WNS-03 Jesus Explains The End of the World Luke 21:7-36 All of the excitement about the great quake of 2004 is slowly moving away from the headlines of the news reports. Our military will soon be wrapping up aid flights. For us thousands of miles from the […]
050109PM Standing Before The Throne NR4-15 WNS-02 ARE YOU READY TO stand BEFORE Christ’s THRONE? At the end of his life the great Reformer and servant of the Lord, Martin Luther shared what kept him going through such lifelong adversity and hardships. He said he lived by this simple truth: “I have but two […]
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 […]
ORS-30 120401AM Palm.doc Palm Sunday reminds us: God’s Word can be trusted The prophetic exactnessof Christ’s Final Week John 12:12-19 As we open to John 12, we are looking at the final account of Christ’s Triumphal entrance into Jerusalem for His final week of His earthly ministry. After the other three Gospel writers had penned […]
MOI-03 NR5-09 010211PM This evening have you ever connected the happenings in the world, in our newspapers, history books, and on the evening news – with God’s Word the BIBLE? To begin with open to Isaiah 11:11 as God describes the 2nd Return of His People. The 1st was after the Babylonian Exile in 586 BC, this is […]
MOI-25 NR4-12 NR5-27 990530PM The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14) The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur […]
MOI-24 NR4-11 NR5-26 990509PM GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’. So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that […]
MOI-22 NR4-09 NR5-24 990425PM This expectancy fired the early church into a prophetic purity. Note 1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. The purpose of prophecy is worship. The focus of prophecy is Jesus. The result of prophecy is purity. Revelation 19:10 And […]
MOI-21 NR4-08 NR5-23 990404PM So what’s the bottom line? There are seven years of history left for Israel to complete in God’s program. It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdered; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last […]
MOI-20 990321AM Daniel 9 records perhaps the most amazing prophetic passage in all the Bible. Who would ever dream of predicting an event 500 years into the future and naming a specific day on which it would occur? One man did just that. His name is Daniel; his prediction was the day Jesus would ride […]
MOI-26 NR4-13 NR5-28 990530PM Let me explain by focusing tonight on the final round of Tribulation judgments, the Bowls of Wrath. Remember there are Seals of Death, Trumpets of Doom and Bowls of Wrath. We have covered all of them in detail in this Hoofbeats Series, the End of the World Series and […]
Book you can trust # 6 BYT-06 960616AM Open in your Bibles with me, if you would, to Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 41. And just to kind of track you where we are, where we’ve been, we started several weeks back. In fact, this is our sixth week looking at the book that you can trust. […]
BYT-07 960623AM.DOC THE BOOK YOU CAN TRUST # 7 BIBLICAL PROPHECY PART #2 ISAIAH 40:8 What is the simplest and yet most profound evidence the Bible offers? Fulfilled Biblical prophecy. What an irrefutable verification reserved to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures alone. Prophecy is the missing element in all other […]
BYT-08 960630AM.DOC The Book you can Trust # 8 A Flat Tyre Biblical Prophecy Part #3 Dr. John Phillips states in his book Exploring Prophecy, “Of the hundreds of specific and detailed prophecies in the Bible we could examine, here is one of the most famous: the body of prophecy concerning the destruction […]
080831AM BYCT-1 Trust God.doc Living Hope for the End of Days— Walking Each Day with THE GOD You Can Know and Trust BYT-28 As you open with me to Joshua 1:8-9, may I remind all of you who already know this, and introduce any of you who do not—to the God whom we can […]
080914AM BYCT-3 Huge Event.doc One Huge Event in Prophecy BYT-30 Please turn with me to the second to the last Old Testament book called Zechariah. There God gives us the key to understanding His plan for the last days of Earth. Everything in God’s mind centers upon one place, one city, one word and that […]
What does God say about charismatic theology, the prosperity gospel and continuing prophetic revelation?
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What is Ezekiel 36-39 describing?
130623PM Q&A-39 Tribulation.docx The Tribulation Q&A on The Seven Year Tribulation: Who Goes Through it & Why? Who Can be Saved During the Tribulation & How? What Lessons can Believers Today get from the Tribulation Coming? The Seven Year Tribulation: Who Goes Through it & Why? Israel because it is the time of Jacob’s troubles. […]
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 Final Generation: Psalm 83, ISIS, Islamic Hatred of Israel & God’s Plan for the Future
Prophecy is to point us to Christ who is the author of history, and the theme of Scripture.
God’s Word is at its very center prophetic.
The God who recorded the beginning, that no one but Him witnessed in Genesis; is also the God records the ending, that no one but Him could have ever written, in Revelation.
Please open with me to Matthew 24.
The disciples ask Jesus a question that interests all of us, I’m so glad they did. Follow along as they ask in Matthew 24:3, and as Jesus answers them in verse 8 and 33.
This week I was examining just how much God has left for us to know about the future.
1 Kings 13 Prophets: The Good & The Bad & the Lessons for Us
Being a prophet does not automatically make someone a follower of God, saved forever. There are prophets who God uses that are not believers, like Balaam (Num. 22-24; Joshua 13; 2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 11; Rev. 2:14).
What Is The Prophecy Of Every Stone Being Knocked Down?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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
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!
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…”.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
What standard do we use to measure proper handling of the Bible? Whenever we use the Bible one standard we should always seek to gage if we are doing so correctly. The standard is how Jesus used God’s Word.
This morning as we open to John 1:1-18, we need to consider the implications of Christ’s convictions about the Word of God, because:
Jesus has the
Highest View of Scripture
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.
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.
What is the most repeated sign of the End of Days in the New Testament?
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.”
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.