Welcome to God First, a program committed to encouraging you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, please join us for today's episode.
We all should be looking forward to. We all should be longing for seeing our Lord and Savior, the one who died so that we might have eternal life. And it amazes me the number of people who profess to be Christians, they profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. And yet I see no longing. I see no desire from them to be in the presence of our Lord. I see no no longing, no desire for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. But we should all be longing for seeing our great Lord and King, and that is what we're going to look at today as the apostle John in the Book of Revelation, he has a vision of the Son of Man.
So please turn your Bibles to Revelation Chapter one. We're going to begin today with verse nine, Revelation Chapter one, verse nine. Heavenly Father, we thank you, Lord, for this day. We thank you, Lord, for your great and holy word. It is my prayer, Lord, that all things that are spoken, that it be nothing but sound doctrine. And may you be honored and glorified in all things in your name. Jesus.
Amen. The word of God reads in Revelation Chapter one, verse nine. 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 of Jesus Christ. So if you recall from last week and the introduction, John has been exiled to the island of Patmos. This was in around 95 A.D. and he had been incarcerated there for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so John was the oldest living apostle of Christ at the time he penned the Book of Revelation.
He was likely the most revered saint of his day. But rather than speak to this, he instead identified himself with the people by stating he was both their brother and companion. And I point this out because there are many today religious leaders that really do not identify themselves with the people. Instead, they try to carry this persona about themselves as if they are above others. They tend to lord over others.
Not all, but I'm saying some do that today. It takes me back to a time in which I recall when I was presiding over a service once and the individuals that were to appear on the program were all written out. And in this particular denomination that I came through, you carried the title of minister until ordination. And then upon becoming ordained, your title would change to reverend. And so there was a man on the program and he tapped me on my shoulder at one point. And he leaned over and he pointed to the program where he had crossed out the title of minister and he hand wrote reverend.
And that was his way of letting me know to make sure when I get up to announce his coming to speak, to pray, to address him with the title of reverend. And, you know, folks, for me, I don't get caught up in titles. I don't get hung up on that type of thing. It's just not significant to me. I do understand that when you go somewhere to speak, that in the program or in the announcement, they want to list the title. So people are aware of who you are. But if a mistake is made in that nature is it's not significant enough to me to where I feel the need to to correct someone.
But there are those that put a lot of weight into these titles, into these positions. But I love John. And we should take no take example of him in that he did not look at himself, even though he was a prophet. He did not point that out above the people to say, well, I'm up here and you're down there. Instead, he identifies with the people by stating he was both their what brother and companion in the tribulation. Now, it is important to note that his reference to tribulation is not the tribulation, which he writes about in chapters four through 18 of Revelation. Christians during this time were brutally persecuted by the Roman emperors, and John was obviously included. The apostles, Peter and Paul, and likely most of the others, have been murdered by Roman leaders by this time. In our text, we see the word kingdom.
Kingdom is the spiritual kingdom that began on the day of Pentecost. And John, along with all of us, patiently endure until the return of Jesus Christ. John was enduring on the island of Patmos, which is in the Mediterranean Sea between modern day Greece and Turkey.
And he had been exiled there as punishment again because of the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. But at the approximate age of 90, John refused to compromise. And again, we should take lead from John. We should refuse to compromise as many in the church today as this great falling away is taking place. Many are embracing things that the Bible calls seeing even in the church and yet still claiming to be a follower of Christ. But John refused to compromise.
And that should serve as a lesson for us today. Because, again, there are many who are doing so out of fear of council culture. John had a disciple by the name of Polycarp. And I must reiterate that the emperors of Rome had unleashed bitter attacks against Christians during the first century, and members of the early church recorded many of the persecutions and deaths. And so Polycarp was arrested on the charge of being a Christian, a so-called member of a politically dangerous cult whose rapid growth needed to be stopped. And there are historical accounts that reveal that amidst an angry mob, the Roman pro council took pity on such a gentle old man and urged Polycarp to proclaim, quote, Caesar is Lord, end quote. So if only Polycarp would make this declaration and offer a pinch of incense, a small pinch of incense to seize the statue, he would escape torture and death. But to this, Polycarp responded, quote, 86 years I have served Christ and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my king who saved me, end quote.
And so steadfast in his stance for Christ, Polycarp refused to compromise his beliefs, and thus he was burned alive at the stake. How many of us today are willing to take that same stand? How many of us are willing to say for however many years you've lived that our Lord, our king, he's never did you any wrong?
How can you deny him now? How many of us are willing to do that and then to be burned at the stake? Or to be tormented and to be tortured again, we should all take note of these great religious leaders of that day in which they had an uncompromising loyalty and faith and dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ. And this type of persecution, it is present today in some parts of the world, like China, and it's going to increase until the end of the age. But for those of us living in nations where we have the freedom to worship Christ without persecution, we should constantly express thanks to our Lord. But if and when that day comes that our profession of him as Lord comes with the threat of death, we should follow the examples of John and Polycarp as our Lord did us no wrong. How can we deny him?
Let that be an example for us today. Revelation Chapter one, verse 10, I was in the spirit on the Lord's day and I heard behind me a loud voice as of a trumpet. As John continues his letter to the seven churches, he mentions that he was in the spirit. The fact that spirit is capitalized lets us know that he is referencing deity, that he is referring to God.
Specifically, he is stating that he was taken into the future by way of the Holy Spirit. So when we hear the term Lord's day, we naturally think of Sunday. Many times I've heard preachers state during a Sunday morning worship service that we are gathered on the Lord's day to worship and honor him. Now, Sunday is truly a special day, but contrary to popular belief, it is not the Sabbath day. Most church congregations gather for corporate worship on Sunday because it was a Sunday when our Lord Jesus rose from the dead.
So we come together on Sundays to commemorate that event. Now, it is accurate to refer to Sunday as the Lord's day in that context, but the actual Sabbath day is Saturday. That is the reason that seventh day event is worship on Saturday as they hold to the belief that it is a violation of scripture to not recognize Saturday as the Sabbath worship day. But because of the work of Christ Jesus, believers are now free from the law to meet on the Sabbath because nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to observe the Sabbath.
The other nine commandments are repeated in the New Testament, but the Sabbath commandment is omitted. But what I really want you to draw from this passage is that in the context of John's writing, the Lord's day is in reference to the time period surrounding the second coming of Jesus Christ. Some theologians believe the Lord's day as it applies to the end of the age events is a single day when Christ places his feet on the Mount of Olives, while others state the Lord's day is a seven year tribulation period up to and including the second coming, while others extended to include the millennial kingdom.
I personally hold the view that the Lord's day encompasses the rapture of the church, the tribulation, the second coming and the establishment of the millennial kingdom. But whichever it may be, the main point is that John was taken to this period into the future where he sees Christ and will prophesy of events to come. And so before John sees Christ, he hears his voice behind him. It is loud and authoritative. As John describes, it is like a loud trumpet and trumpets have been used throughout history to alert people of a major event and to display authority. The Israelites of the Old Testament would sound the trumpet as a signal to go into battle, along with sounding it to declare victory. We see that in Joshua 65. God stated at Mount Sinai that the Israelites were only permitted to approach the mountain when the trumpet sounded as Exodus 1913.
Failing to obey would result in death. The passage goes on to state that the trumpet to summon the people to the foot of the mountain was so loud that they trembled in Exodus 1916. The rapture of the church will be accompanied by the sound of the trumpet of God. First Thessalonians 4 16. So in all of these examples, along with what John hears in Revelation, we see the supreme authority in the voice of our great Lord.
His voice is like a sound of a trumpet. So today, how many of you are looking for the trumpet? How many of you are ready for the return of Christ? How many of you are ready for that shout that's going to come from heaven from the archangel and with the trumpet of God?
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Box 266, Knightdale, North Carolina, 27545 for more information. Now let's return to the conclusion of today's program. Revelation one, verse 11 continues saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. And what you see right in a book is send it to the seven churches which are in Asia to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia and to Laodicea. Jesus repeats the words to John, the words that he spoke in Revelation 1 8 in that he is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.
And this repetition emphasizes the importance of our Lord's words and convey that he lives eternally, past, present and future. So he instructs John to write what he sees in a book and send it to the seven churches in Asia, which is modern day Turkey. Now, I want to share with you four applications that these seven churches can have. Number one is that these are seven churches of John's day. They were literal churches that were familiar with John. And out of the hundreds of churches, Jesus picked these seven for a purpose.
And we will see those purposes when we get to Revelation chapters two and three. Second application, seven basic divisions of church dispensation history, which is the view held by most premillennialists representing the respective periods as follows. The Church of Ephesus representing the Apostolic Church from 30 to 100 A.D. Smyrna representing the persecuted church of 100 to 313 A.D. Pergamos representing the state church from 313 to 590 A.D. Thyatira, the papal church of 590 to 1517 A.D. Sardis, the reformed church of 1517 to 1790 A.D. Philadelphia representing the missionary church of 1730 to 1900 A.D. And then lastly, Laodicea representing the apostate church from 1900 to present. The third of the four applications is seven types of churches that exist today. And then the fourth application, seven characteristics that can exist in any church or Christian. There is a practical application to any church or Christian when we look at these seven churches.
Let's continue with Revelation Chapter one, verses 12 and 13. Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me, and having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the midst of the seven lampstands, one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
When John hears the loud voice, he turns to see who the voice is coming from. And upon doing so, he sees someone standing among seven golden lampstands. And we're going to see in verse 20 of Revelation Chapter one, that the seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches to which John is writing. Lampstand is used to indicate that the church is the light of the world in the same way that a lamp, though, does not originate light, but it gives it from a source of energy. The church does not originate light, but gives it from our source, Jesus Christ. And that is why we say, let your light shine, let the shining, the anointing, the presence of the Holy Spirit in us that comes from Jesus Christ. Let that shine into the world. Everywhere we go, people that we meet, who we talk to, your co-workers, your family, they should see that light in you. And when they're sitting around and they're telling course and filthy jokes and participating in activities that is not becoming of a Christian, you should not sit there and go along with it to get along.
You should not sit there and laugh and smile and partake in it. But instead, your demeanor and your posture should be that everybody knows, yes, he is a Christian. Yes, she is a child of God. Their light shines and their light shines in the darkness. And so that is what we should represent. John describes the figure as one like the son of man. He is speaking of none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is referred to as the son of man. Eighty eight times in the New Testament. And it is the primary title that he used for himself in the scriptures. For example, Matthew Chapter 12, verse 32.
I won't read through all the passages, but take these down for reference. Matthew Chapter 12, verse 32. Matthew Chapter 13, verse 37.
Luke Chapter 12, verse eight and John Chapter one, verse 51. So the question is, why did Jesus call himself that? Why does he call himself the son of man? The son of man focuses on the humanity of Jesus Christ.
He became one of us. We find that in First John for two so that he could redeem us by his sacrificial death. But although he was fully man, he is and was also fully God. That is something we have to understand is that because mankind could not save himself, God himself had to come and do it for us. There was no perfect man on the earth. And that's what it took in order to atone for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God after Adam and Eve allow sin into the world. But because no human being could fulfill the law, no human being could do it.
God said, OK, I am going to take on the form of a man. I'm going to go to the earth, allow them to torment me, to to bruise me and to to beat me with stripes and then crucify me on the cross so that they can be reconciled to me and have eternal life. And folks, that is what you call love. There is no greater love than what is found in our great Lord. There is no greater love in what we see in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and God stepping out of a perfect heaven.
The one who created all things, the supreme being and he coming to this earth to allow himself to be tormented. How can we not serve a God such as that? So during this time of John's writing, the high priest, they wore long robes when they ministered in the holy place of the temple. And Jesus is wearing a long robe, which is held in place by a golden band, which symbolizes strength and authority. The common man did not wear this is like in our military.
There are different stripes and bars on the uniform which signify rank. And so Jesus Christ is the great high priest. And John sees him dress as such. Want to wrap up today with verses 14 and 15 of Revelation, chapter one. His head and hair were white, like wool, as white as snow in his eyes, like a flame of fire.
His feet were like fine brass and as as if refined in a furnace and his voice as the sound of many waters. There is a major heresy among some in the black race that make the claim that Jesus is a black man. The notion is ludicrous and is really not worth devoting a lot of time to, to be honest, because the Bible clearly states that Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. We see that in Hebrews 714. We see it in Revelation five and five and we see it throughout numerous passages that Jesus is of the tribe of Judah.
And that obviously means he is Jewish. But the heretics point to our passage for today and say the Bible says his hair is is like wool. That is a a coarse hair of a black man.
So so that is what their argument is. They totally ignore the fact that the scripture states his hair is white, like wool. So the description is a reference to color, not texture. But even if it were about texture, that still would not make Jesus a black man. But sadly, there are those who miss that the primary point of our Lord's earthly body was to die for our sins regardless of his skin color. So John describes Jesus as having hair that is white as snow. And this white represents the righteousness of God. And there is anger in his eyes described as a flame of fire.
If you think back to your childhood days when your parent or guardian would approach you when you had done something wrong, you knew from the look in their eyes without them saying a word that punishment was coming. And so Jesus Christ is angry because of the wickedness upon the earth from those who have rejected his sacrificial gift of salvation. And this includes apostate churches. Remember that Jesus came down hardest on the false religious leaders of the day at his first coming. And the same will be the case at his second coming when he comes in judgment. John's description of Christ is similar to that of the ancient of days found in Daniel, chapter seven, verses nine through 13. So turn your Bibles there with me to Daniel chapter seven, verses nine through 13. The text reads, I watched till thrones were put in place in the ancient of days was seated.
His garment was white as snow and the hair of his head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire, a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him. So the brass or the bronze represents judgment. We see that depicted in our Lord's feet. The brazen altar of the temple in the Old Testament is where sin was judged. Jesus is coming back, folks, to judge sin.
Now, I've never visited the Niagara Falls, but for those who have, they typically describe the rushing waters as being so loud that it drowns out all the sound nearby. The voice of Jesus is described in the same way to demonstrate his power and authority. And there are many in the church today today that do not truly listen to the voice of Christ.
And that is obvious with their endorsement or their indifference to things like abortion. I'm still baffled as to the number of churches, the number of pastors in which when Roe versus Wade was overturned, that did not say a single word about it in the following Sunday service, no celebratory announcement, nothing. There's this indifference, things like LGBTQ, things like fornication, never speaking out against what God calls sin.
And so many refuse to speak the truth of God's words on these matters. But when he returns, no one will be able to ignore his voice because it will drown out everything else in the world. And I want to warn you today, if you are guilty of not listening to him today, repent and follow the straight and narrow way that leads to eternal life because Jesus is coming again. And we're all going to have to stand before him.
We're all going to have to give an account. And not only that, but the Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. You're either going to bow before him voluntarily or involuntarily.
But the thing about it is, if you don't do it. Today, by confessing him as Lord and Savior, you're going to bow before him one day and then you're going to be sentenced into the lake of fire. And that is where you will be in eternity, separated from our almighty God, where there will be nothing but torment forever. And that is why I state, folks, that your eternal state is far more important than your current state.
So don't get bogged down by the things of this world. Don't get caught up in trying to hold on to this life, because the best is yet to come for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And that is the only way by which you can inherit eternal life is to receive him. So come to Jesus today as he's already paid the price.
He's already died for our sins. All you have to do is confess your sins. Say, Jesus, come into my heart. I receive you and I thank you and allow you to be my Lord and you too will have eternal life.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you once again, Lord, for your great and holy word. Lord, it is my desire that within the body of Christ, that individuals will long to see you, will long to have a vision of you, will long to come into your presence, will long for the day, Lord, that we can be physically before you and we can put our arms around you and say thank you, Lord Jesus, for dying for us. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your sacrifice. Lord, we adore you.
Lord, we we magnify you. Lord, we praise your holy name for the great God that you are, because there is no greater love than what you demonstrated than by dying for our sins. And so we glorify you, Lord, as the supreme being. And it is my desire, Lord, that more Christians would have that burning fire in their heart to see you, to see you come back to this earth, to rule and reign and bring an end to all the evil. And, Lord, we look forward to the day when you will come back and you your feet will touch the Mount of Olives and your kingdom will be established and there will be no end. And so, Lord, we thank you for all of these things. We look forward to that day. And as we depart, we remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, blessings over the great nation of Israel, and to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Thank you for tuning in to the God First program. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel, and seek first the kingdom of God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 12:11:17 / 2023-01-22 12:21:32 / 10