Thursday, March 30, 2017

Revelation: Revealing the Coming King Chapter 14: Final Preparations

Revelation 14: Final Preparations

Audio Podcast Link 

PowerPoint Show Link


144,000 Stand with the Lamb

Revelation 14:1  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. 2  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Who are these 144,000? 
They are the same 144,000 which were sealed in chapter 7

Where are they now?
Standing with the Lamb on earth on Mt. Zion.

Why is this vision seen now?
It looks forward to the end of the tribulation and the beginning of the Millennium.  The 144,000 have passed through the Tribulation under God’s protection and now stand as the first to enter the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Three Proclaiming Angels

Revelation 14: 6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12  Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

What is the time setting of this vision?  What does it immediately proceed?
Just before the final judgment of the Seven Bowls.

Why are the angels now preaching the gospel and giving warning?
There may be no longer a witness for the Lord upon the earth and it will prove God’s absolute justice in sending one last warning to man to repent.

What is the contrast between the warning to the worshippers of the Beast and the patience of the saints?
The worshippers of the Beast are warned or eternal punishment and damnation.  The saints are comforted by promise of rest from labor yet the reward of work done for God.

The Harvesting Angels and the Winepress of God’s Wrath

 14  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.17  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.

How many reapings are there?  Two

Is the one on the cloud and angel or Jesus?
If Jesus, he is describe as like unto the Son of Man; on his head is a golden crown; and he sits on a white cloud.
If an angel: he takes orders from another angel; the other angel of vs. 15 has no precedent; the definite article “the” is not in the Greek for “Son of man”; there are only six angels not seven in this section.
The simplest interpretation would seem to be that this is Jesus and that he acts as one of the seven.

Joel 3:11-17

Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.   Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.

Depending on your answer to the previous question, why do you think there are two reapings?
If Jesus: the first reaping is the final death of the saints just before the battle of Armageddon.
If an angel: it is the harvest of both unrepentant man and perhaps the power or “vine” behind that power.

How great does John say the slaughter will be?
1600 hundred furlongs, in the Greek is 1600 stadia equivalent to 200 miles of blood 4 feet deep.  This is the length of Palestine.


Even at the very end of the earth’s time and man’s continued unrepentance God still sends an angel through the heavens with a Gospel message to earth to repent and believe.
 How much should we then in the midst of the evil around us continue to preach the Gospel despite the evil we see growing around us. God’s ultimate purpose is to save not condemn and only when man completely refuses does He send judgment and wrath. Let us follow His example and only let the grave keep us from reaching out to those who need the “Good News.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Which One Am I?

Which One Am I?

Text: Matthew 27, Mark 14, John 19


I want to go to with me now to the last night of Jesus life on earth.  Have you ever considered what it must have been like for those who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  If you could have been at the crucifixion, what role you would have played? What character in the story would you have been?  What role of  those involved with the most important event of history, would you have played?  Is the relationship I have now with Jesus and indicator of who I would have been then?  Let's look at three sets of people whose life was forever changed by the decisions they made that day.  Then let us look at our own life and the choice we must make over 2000 years later because of that same event.

I.  Two Disciples Mark 14:42-46, John 18:10-11

Mark 14:42
 42  Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. 43. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44  And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead [him] away safely. 45  And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. 46  And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
John 18:10
 10  Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. 11  Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12  Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 13. And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

    Go with me to a garden it is night time and very late.  As we enter the garden we pass by several men huddled together in the night air fast asleep.  A little further up the path we see 3 other men also asleep and then there in the distance we see a lone figure.  We can't quite hear what he is saying but you can see that he is praying and the prayer pours from his soul, like the beads of sweat that run from his forehead.
    He finishes the prayer and walks back to the group of men sleeping now we see it is Jesus.  He wakes them up them with a question.  "Could you not tarry one hour in prayer?"  They join the other group and they begin to walk back towards the entrance of the garden.  Jesus senses others coming toward them in the darkness.  Just as they approach the brook which marks the edge of Gethsemane a crowd of soldiers and guards from the temple appear.  In their hands are spears,  swords and clubs.  A man is in front of the crowd, trying to act as if he is not leading them.  Judas rushes to Jesus and kisses him in greeting.  Jesus looks at his disciple and says, "Judas, betrayest the son of man with a kiss?"  Judas knows he has not fooled the Lord.  Not now with 30 pieces of silver in his money bag for betraying his Lord nor all the other times he had stolen from the bag instead of giving to the poor.  One of the servants of the high priest steps forward to take Jesus away.  Suddenly from the shadows behind Jesus a man leaps forward with a short sword and strikes at the man arresting his Lord.  The blow was aimed for the man's head, but Peter is only a fisherman not a soldier and the blow is a glancing one that takes off the man's ear.  Jesus steps between Peter and the wounded man before the crowd of soldiers can respond.  "Put up thy sword, the cup which my Father had given me, shall I not drink it?  This is their hour, and the power of darkness."  Jesus reaches to the wounded man's head and with a touch heals him.
    As you stand there with me in your mind’s eye, let me ask you a question.  If you were there at this moment, which disciple would you be?
                Would you be Judas, who betrays him with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver?  Or Peter who leaps from the darkness to defend his Lord?  Of course, you say, I would not be Judas!  I would not sell out the Lord, I would not betray the one who has taught me and whose power I have seen.  Yet today as you sit in the real world and not the world of your imagination and you have never fully given yourself to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are just like Judas, the betrayer of the Lord.
    Like Judas you cannot come to a full commitment of your life and heart to Jesus.  Like Judas the things of this world have your devotion and loyalty instead of Him.  Your 30 pieces of silver may not be the kind you can carry in a bag, they may be something else you treasure enough to refuse Jesus. It may be your pride, or your career, or you family or your friends. Whatever it maybe you have given yourself to it and betrayed Jesus who longs to make you his own.  
    You say, "No, I would be Peter."  Oh, I pray we would all be Peter, but that can only be true if you also like Peter while standing on standing on the mountain in Caesera Phillipi and Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Until you can make and believe that same confession you and I and all others will take our stand with Judas. Now in the garden betraying Jesus and later committing suicide. For you must realize that rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior is suicide, the suicide of your soul, and suicide for all eternity.
                Now, let us move on several hours into the future.  Jesus has been convicted in an illegal trial, by an illegally assembled Sanhedrin. He is beaten by their hands, ridiculed by their words and spat upon by their spite.  So violent is their anger they even tear out his beard with their hands.  From this place of trial and torture, He is taken to Pilate the Roman governor, that the sentence of death might be pronounced and carried out. The sentence is passed and Jesus is led through the streets of Jerusalem carrying his own cross on his back, until he ascends a hill just outside of town called Calvary or Golgotha.

II. Two Thieves Mark 15:22 Luke 23:39-43

Mark 15:22-27   And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

      On the way to his execution, weary without sleep and without food for over 12 hours, Jesus falls under the weight and burden of carrying His own cross. The soldiers take the cross beam from Jesus shoulders and grab a man from the street, Simon of Cyrene, who is made to carry the cross behind Jesus. Finally, they arrive at the mount called Golgotha, the skull in Hebrew, in Greek it is called Calvary. Here the cross is laid upon the ground and Jesus weary and worn is thrown prostrate upon it. His arms and legs are stretched out and cruel spikes are driven into his hands and into his feet. The bone underneath fractured and broken by the cruel blows of the hammer. Now the cross is lifted, just as Jesus predicted, lifted up even as Moses had lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, now for all of time and history to see. The cross is cruelly dropped into the empty hole which will hold it, jarring and tearing the nail pierced hands and feet. As Jesus hangs from the cross, he is offered myrrh mixed with gall, a pain killer but he refuses to drink. He will not allow anything to deaden the pain and punishment of paying for the sin of all mankind. That price must be paid in full.   

                On either side are thieves who have also been condemned to die by crucifixion.  One thief joins in with the soldiers and the crowd hoping perhaps to be allowed to die a little faster or just hoping that by turning his anger on another he will not feel his own pain as much. The other thief though, looks at Jesus and sees a righteous man, the Messiah of Israel, the savior of the world.  Instead of ridicule or hatred, He calls out for mercy and forgiveness, “Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus hears him and said to him, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  In the midst of his suffering, in the midst of dying, Jesus is still loving the lost.
       Which thief am I?  Which sinner am I?  Paul writes in the book of Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  The issue is not whether I have sinned but what will I do about Jesus?  Would I revile him, curse him,  betray him?  We say no not us,  but to ignore Him and what he has done for us is to revile him, it is to curse him, it is to betray him.  We count the precious blood of Jesus Christ of no effect and trample his sacrifice for us underfoot!
       Which sinner are you today, one who would accept Him as Lord and call out for mercy? Or one which would scorn Him, ridicule him, Jesus God’s only son, and die without asking for forgiveness from the one paying the price for my sin. Will I accept or reject Jesus the Son of God who died in my place for my sin?

III.  Two Soldiers

Mark 15:33-41 and when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, behold, he calleth Elias.  And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.  And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

                Finally, look at the soldiers on Mt. Calvary standing around the cross. There is the soldier who swung the whip and struck the Lord thirty-nine times with the scourge, a leather whip with nine straps tied to a handle. The strands of the whip were usually braided with bits of lead, bone or stones.  So that with each lash they would bruise, tear and lacerate the flesh, leaving the skin tore open and the muscle exposed and shredded. 
Over there is the soldier who braided the thorns into a crown and put it upon the head of Jesus to mock and torture him. The thorns are not rose thorns but thorns from the desert, huge with two inch shafts and sharp as needles.  He took the crown and forced it down onto the head and brow of Jesus. The thorns piercing down to the bone, tearing the scalp and embedding themselves.   
At the very foot of the cross, right under his pierced feet a group of soldiers are gambling for the only thing Jesus ever really owned on this earth, his cloak and his robe.  One takes his shoes another takes his robe and since his cloak is woven in one piece they gamble over it rather than tear it in pieces. 
                At the sixth hour, the world turns black. No, this is not an eclipse but God the Father turning his back on the Son as the sin of the world is placed on him. Then, Jesus cries out, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" For the first time in all of eternity he is separated from the Father. He calls out with a loud voice and he gives up his life.  The earth shakes in agony as its creator dies and for three hours the heavens and the earth are covered in blackness as they mourn his death.
The centurion, who was in charge of all the soldiers that day, hears the cry of death from Jesus lips, he feels the earthquake and sees the blackness. He puts in words what his heart now realizes, "Truly, this was the son of God." 

    Now, which of those soldiers would you be?  Would you beat Jesus who never did anything more than love people?  Would you force the thorns down onto his head, laughing as the blood runs from his brow?  Would you gamble for his clothes, while He hangs on a cross dying?
Our minds cannot bear the thought that we would drive nails into his hands and feet. That we could be so cruel to someone filled with so much love. Yet in truth I am just as responsible as they are. It was my sin that drove him to the cross as much as any soldier whip.  It was my sin that hammered the nails just as much as it was the arms of the soldier.

    A man painted a portrait of the Roman Soldier driving the spikes into the hands of Jesus.  He presented at the portrait to his pastor. as the pastor looked at the painting.  He noticed the face of the Roman soldier looked familiar.  He asked the painter who the soldier was.  "Pastor I painted myself into that scene.  For I know that I was to just as much to blame for the death of Jesus."
    All of us are as guilty as the soldiers that day but how many of us are have found ourselves at the foot of the cross and as the centurion, looked around at the darkness of my own sin, and hearing the voice of Jesus have then realized, “Surely, this is the Son of God?"


Which one of these are you?  Which soldier, which thief, which disciple?  They all made conscious choices about Jesus and his crucifixion, so must you. Do you choose to betray him or defend him?  To call out in mockery or to call out in mercy?  To ignore him or to confess him as the Son of God and your Savior?
One final scene which takes place not in the past but in  the present. The time we have witnessed was the most important in all the world's history, but the time you now are in is the most important in all of your history.
       In the book of Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
       Christ is standing at the door and knocking, seeking entrance.  In the book of Revelation it is a church he seeks to enter, but we do the scripture no harm by applying it to the door of our heart.  Jesus standing outside your hearts door, seeking entrance, knocking, waiting for you to let him in.
       A famous painting shows Jesus standing outside a door overgrown with ivy there is a light in his hand and love on his face.  As He knocks we notice in the painting that there is no latch or knob on the outside.  When someone noticed that the doorknob was missing, he told the painter.  The painter looked at the door and said, “This door is the door to our heart and it can only be open from the inside.”
                Will you open it today?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

John Chapter 5 Healing at Bethesda and Conflict

John 5  Healing and Conflict

If the feast, mentioned in verse 1, is the Passover then this marks the second year of Jesus ministry.

Jesus and the Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda

Vs. 4 Does the pool of Bethesda story sound like a way God would heal?
No. God never uses a contest.  John records the belief of the people but does not say it is true.

Vs. 10  Jesus heals the impotent man and tells him to take up his bed (pallet) and walk.  Why would Jesus do this on the Sabbath day?
First because there was a need.  Second to force the issue of His being Lord and Messiah before the ruling Jews.

Vs. 11-13  The healed man cannot identify the one who told him to take up his bed.  If he did not even know Jesus how could he have faith to be healed?
He did not have faith to be healed.  He simply obeyed when Jesus told him to arise.  Jesus healed Him without his having faith to be healed.

Vs. 14  Later Jesus finds him in the temple and warns him against future sin, “lest a worse thing come upon thee.”  Why do you think Jesus gave such a warning?
The man’s condition may have been caused by his sin.

Vs. 15  The man goes and tells the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him.  Do you think this man was a believer, a disciple?
No.  His actions indicate he sought to bring Jesus under the condemnation of the ruling Jews.

What does the reaction of the Jews, determining to slay Jesus, tell you about what they really believed in?
They believed only in the laws which they had created.  The law and the position it gave them was more important than the truth of who Jesus really was.

Open Conflict and Debate

In vs. 17 Jesus gives as his reason for healing, “My Father worked hitherto, and I work.”  Why would this phrase be equivalent to making Himself equal with God?
Jesus called God “My Father” not our Father or your Father. He was saying God was his Father personally not nationally or by heritage as Jewish people

Vs. 19-21 What was the purpose of the signs that Jesus did?
They proved He was doing what His Father was doing and placed all under judgment of the Son.

Vs. 21 What would be the greater works that they would marvel?
Resurrection of the dead.

Vs. 22-23 What is the point, the crux of the judgment?
That all should honor the Son just as they would the Father.

Vs. 24-26  Jesus says belief in His Words and the Father will result in what?
The possession of eternal life, no condemnation and the passing from death unto life.

Vs. 27-29 Why has authority been given to Jesus?
Because He is the son of man.  He became a man in order to save all men.

How will this authority be exhibited?
Jesus will call all the dead from the graves.

According to Jesus words there are two resurrections, what are they?
Resurrection of life and resurrection of damnation.

In the Old Testament, the test for establishing truth was established. Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Vs. 31-47 Knowing the OT law, Jesus calls on witnesses of who He is. What or who are the witnesses of Jesus as Messiah and Lord?
John the Baptist, the miracles, God the Father and the Scriptures.

According to verse 40 what must the Jews do before they can be saved?
They must come to Jesus.

In vs. 41-44 Jesus describes what is wrong with the Jews.  What is the reason they will not come to Jesus?
They don’t have the love of God in them.  They cannot accept Jesus because he acts under authority of God.  He is not acting as they think a ruler and leader should act they refuse Him.

In verse 47 Jesus tells them they won’t believe His word because they won’t believe the writings of Moses.  What does this tell us about the importance of scripture in knowing God?
It is vital and of equal importance to hearing Jesus speak in person.  You can’t believe one without also believing the other.


Today we still have witnesses of who Jesus is and what Jesus can do. Though sign miracles are not a part of this time, between Jesus’ comings, but we stand in the place of John the Baptist as forerunners telling others that Christ is coming and to repent. The scriptures speak even louder today than they did in Jesus time because they are now complete and tell His full story and the final witness is God the Holy Spirit convicting and convincing us that God’s Word is true and that we are sinners needing a Savior.

Can we be as foolish as the Pharisees who saw the evidence right before their eyes but refused to believe the truth and refused to come to Jesus for salvation?