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September 1, 2021 3:00 am
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you.
So just send an email to Mia email@example.com again it's firstname.lastname@example.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie present a new series and revelation its authorship its message and its relevance to the times in which we live. The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation.
John was one of the apostles that one would Jesus Christ affect in his gospel. He described himself as a disciple that Jesus loved, he outlived all the other disciples and they trying to put them to death.
According the church mission and a pot of boiling oil. John would not die.
So instead, the distant island of Patmos and isolated little island out in the middle of nowhere and Willey with placed on that island.
No one ever thought we would hear from John again. Maybe even John felt abandoned by God. I don't know but I know this much Jesus Christ came to the apostle John on the island of Patmos and the Lord took John into the future for catapulted him into the next dimension and he saw things that no man had ever seen before.
John had a front row seat to the beginning of the tribulation. He tells us about the Antichrist.
The mark of the beast. The battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus also tells us about the millennial reign of Jesus with the lamb and the lion will lie together and John tells us about the momentous event heaven and earth all come together again and he wrote these words down in the book that is simply called Revelation, the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation means unveiling this book given to reveal Jesus Christ to okay will grab your Bible and turn to the book of Revelation were all very aware of the fact that our world is in turmoil right now there's a sense of fear in the air.
This is due in part to this global pandemic that was supposed to have come and gone, but it just seems to go on and on with you strains of the virus.
With no real end in sight at the moment is affected people all around the world. Meanwhile, back at home we fear cities in turmoil. We see the murder rate up dramatically. We see all the things that are going on and it causes us to wonder. Are the signs of the time.
Are these the things the Bible told us to be looking for letting us know that Christ is coming back.
The answer is yes, they are Jesus like in the end times events or the signs of the times to birth pain so labor pains, we might say so when the baby is closer to coming to being born.
The labor pains get closer and closer together. The Bible tells us that as we get closer to the Lord's return organist see the signs for these labor pains if you will, closer and closer together alerting us to the fact that his return is near.
Have you ever heard of the doomsday clock and sponsored by a group of atomic scientists and it goes way back to 1947. Because of the rise of the use of nuclear weaponry.
They thought we are getting closer to doomsday and back in 1947 they set it to 11:43, and each year it's gotten a little bit closer, I just read that the doomsday clock is closer to midnight than it is ever been. Now they're not even counting it in minutes. It 100 seconds to midnight.
And as we see these things happening, we understand that there almost like dominoes general view take a lot of dominoes and stuck them closely together when the first domino goes all the others follow in rapid succession. That's with the last days of events are like the first domino falls and the others come after. Let me give you a big picture of how I see the end times events. I believe the next event on the prophetic calendar will be the rapture of the church, the rapture of the church is that event when Christ comes for his church were caught up to meet him in a moment, in the twinkling of an that could happen at any time following that will probably be the invasion of Magog against Israel could be right after that or a little bit after that, but it seems like it will be enclosed. Proximity to that event called the rapture. Also, after the rapture, that coming world leader emerges on the scene called the antichrist also known as the beast, he effectively inaugurates a seven-year period called the great tribulation. When antichrist first comes on the scene. He seems like a good guy. He seems like a man of peace, a man with economic solutions, a man who fixes things. But at the halfway point of the seven year tribulation antichrist shows his true colors and commits what is called by Jesus in Matthew 24 the abomination of desolation.
He has the Jewish Temple rebuilt and he erects an image of himself and it commands people to worship him. Now there's a series of cataclysmic judgments that fall on the earth for the remainder of the tribulation. And everything culminates in a massive series of battles called Armageddon. Armageddon is from the root word the ghetto Armageddon. So it's basically talking about where the final wars of mankind will be fought in the be fought in Israel, then Christ comes back in the second coming. That's a separate event from the rapture and the rapture. He comes for his church in the second coming. He returned with his church. After this we have what is called the millennium, the millennium means of thousands. The word millennium means a thousand, and it's the 1000 year reign of Christ and then heaven and earth become one is the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. Amazing things are going to happen, but the first domino is not yet fallen, the rapture is not yet taken place. But we know these things because we believe in the book, listen the best Christians know things that non-Christians do not know. We know that God is good and man is bad know people often have the reverse they think man is good and God is bad. This is often expressed in the question along the lines of how could a God of love allow this and that were in effect I'm putting myself in the position to judge God I'm challenging the fact that God is loving because I don't agree with the listen. Who are you when did you become the moral center of the universe.
Here's the bottom line that is not good man is bad bad to the bone. He's utterly sinful. All of us are, but God is good, but because we know man is bad and God is good. We know that man is not going to solve these problems, but we know ultimately God will resolve these things.
We know God is in control.
Yes, folks, I do believe were in the last days. I do believe were in the end times and it's important that we understand what's happening around us in Romans chapter 13 the apostle Paul writes under standing. The present time, the hour has come for us to wake up from our slumber, because our salvation is near them. When we first believed the night is nearly over. Yes, we need to understand the times were living in and there's no better book to explain all of that to us in the book of Revelation. The last book of the new testament the word revelation means the unveiling, because it is God's desire to unveil or to reveal God does not want to conceal these things from you. He wants to reveal these things to us and Bible prophecy is not given to scare us is given to prepare us so what is it reveal what we come to the book of Revelation.
It's like the veil is taken away and I see the spirit world, the spirit world of angels and demons and God and Satan, the world of heaven and of hell and the world that shows us what is coming as well.
Yes, I will learn about the antichrist and his henchmen in the book of Revelation, but the primary focus of Revelation is not antichrist. It's Jesus Christ. Don't waste your time trying to figure out who antichrist is give your attention to who Jesus Christ is because he is the very center of the book of Revelation, and he's a very center of Bible prophecy in general. Revelation 1910 says the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.
Jesus is the centerpiece in this star and focus of the book of Revelation should be not be the centerpiece in star of your life in my life as well. You know sometimes we can get so caught up in the study of eschatology, which is a word that refers to last days events and so forth that we can see the forest for the trees. Listen to this Bible prophecy is not given to inflate our brains.
It's given to large our hearts understand the book of Revelation was written to believers who were suffering. In fact, it was written by a believer who was suffering banished to the island of Patmos. I'm talking about the apostle John church tradition tells us that they tried to boil him in a pot of oil were unsuccessful. Though he was banished to this island were the Lord gave him this unveiling.
This Revelation of things that come. It's sort of like John was put in a spiritual time machine and catapulted into the future.
I don't think it was a DeLorean but the ideas he saw the future as he entered into the Journal realm Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of today's message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call harvesting that home is worse and it's a message of the word of God.
You can watch it with your family and your front room where you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you think the word of God with you.
Join us or harvested home harvest today.
Pastor Greg is launching an eye-opening study in the fettered book of Revelation, and if you miss any part of today's introductory presentation you can catch up by going to harvest.or there's something you need to know about the book of Revelation.
It is the only book of the Bible with a built in blessing attached.
Let me say that again Revelation is the only book in the Bible with the built in blessing attached.
By the way, there is no other book in the Bible with an introduction and a conclusion quite like this one, and a blessing is found in Revelation chapter 1 verse three when it says blessed by the way, the word blessed can also be translated happy so happy or blessed is he who reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and keeps the things that are written in it for the time is near. Now there are three prerequisites necessary to receive this blessing. Number one. Blessed is the person who reads it. Artie mentioned that the implication of the original languages to read it out loud. You know there's something wonderful about reading Scripture out loud is in their and will do that in just a moment so you are to read it, but you can't just stop there. Then it says into the person who hears the words of this prophecy say I can read it, but I have to hear it, and when the Bible says here's something the means to have an understanding of it.
It's giving your attention with intention Jesus would often say he that has ears to hear, led him here a modern translation of that might be listen up. Pay attention here. What is actually being said, there is nothing magical about simply reading this book, you need to pray that the Holy Spirit will open up your mind and your heart to what is actually saying again when your focus is on Jesus and on heavenly things, it changes you in the way that you live in Colossians 3.
The apostle Paul says, set your affection on things above are another way to translated think about heaven and earth simple idea ever. They just have your mind and your thoughts focused on the glory of God in on heaven, and if you do that it will affect you in the way that you live on earth. The fact is, those that think more about heaven make the greatest difference here on earth.
This blessing as promised also to the person who keeps the things that are written in it. So first you have to read it. Then you have to hear it or perceive it or understand it. And thirdly, you must keep these words you know it's interesting to note that whenever you read passages about the return of Christ. There is always an extra rotation attached for us to live a godly life. As a result Peter in second Peter 311 talking about the return of the Lord says since these things are happening around us. What holy and godly lives. Should we be living if studying Bible prophecy does not motivate us to live a godly life.
We have missed the point of writing about this.
First John 33 says when you have this eager expectation of the Lord's return. You will keep your self cure just as he is pure. Number two studying the book of Revelation unlocks the mystery of history and unlocks the mystery of history we see that God is in control, and things are moving.
According to a master plan. This is not been decided by people in government or people empower our people and tack are people wherever they are.
God is ultimately in control. He sees the future as accurately as we see the past is even God tells us something is going to happen is not like he's going out on a limb taking a risk God being eternal sees the past and the future and the present as the saying nice and he knows the future as well as I know the past.
A lot of times I forget the past… What I'll be telling the story about something that happened to me when I've done my wife will say that's not the way it happened, LLC no, wait. You weren't even there. She says no but the first time you told me about it. You told me things you didn't tell them this telling of the story doggone it she's right okay so I don't even remember the past all that accurately they I lose my car and a parking lot what level was ion supported I put it again. God remembers the path perfectly, but he also knows the future perfectly. So this is the thing that we need to understand that this book unlocks the mystery of history, God tells us what is going on. Number three studying the book of Revelation will bring sense to our suffering. It will bring sense to our suffering what you say to someone who has suffered tragedy. What you say to someone who is grappling with the disability.
What you say to someone who is lost a loved one. What you say to someone who is weeping from grief answer. You say this is not God's final plan. Because Revelation 21 four, says he will wipe every tear from our eyes will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain, all these things are gone forever. When I read the Bible and specifically the book of Revelation. I realize that God is going to resolve all things. In the end. Story about a guy who love to read the book of Revelation, but he had no proper theological training and he was being criticized by some wiser so-called theologians and they said you don't understand the book of Revelation, and he said no II do I do understand it, they said no. No one can understand the book of Revelation. It's a mystery it's a riddle it's an enigma. He says no II do understand the book of Revelation this out all right. What is the book of Revelation about it. He replied it means we went hey, that guy was right we win in the end, and God wants us to understand revelation and prophecy. In general I mentioned briefly, the abomination of desolation and then it's interesting this statement is attached so that let the reader understand when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet says Jesus ascended that let the reader understand why would that be identified. Not supposed to understand what that is all about Paul writing about and times since he says brothers I would not have you be ignorant about these things. Speaking of Daniel in chapter 12 of his bookies disturbed by visions he is having a by the way Daniel in the Old Testament is a parallel book to Revelation. In the New Testament, so I'll be referring to Daniel because they complement one another, but in chapter 12.
The prophet is disturbed by visions he's having. He doesn't understand that he can't quite wrap his mind around the meaning of these things and an angel of the Lord appears to him in Daniel chapter 12 and since Daniel keep this prophecy a secret seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase if he Daniel was told that his visions were a glimpse into the future and he wasn't going to be able to understand them that no one would be able to until the time of the end when knowledge would increase. You see, it was a secret to him at the time but now we know the secret. Everybody likes to know a secret my grandkids when they were little I used to trick them and would be going into a restaurant and everyone else to go on the front door Nazi kids you want to go in this secret way. Yes, they think let's go this eager way and I would just taken through a side door with his hand was so fun. We came to see her way with pop-up. There's a park are not far from our house and we used to call it the secret part and there was nothing secretive about it. It's open public park but but they thought it was a secret part will now they know it's not a secret anymore, but the funny thing is we still refer to it that way Kathy rose, walked out of the secret part.
Everyone likes to know a secret. Secrets are revealed in the book of Revelation to Greg Laurie just getting started with his opening study of his new series in Revelation and there's much more to come here on a new beginning in the days ahead. Hope you can join us just as often as your schedule allows. But listen, if you missed any of this introductory message you can get a replay of today's email@example.com just look for the message called your password to unlocking Revelation again go to harvest.org and then we want to mention Pastor Greg's new book that springs from the series is called Revelation, a book of promises yesterday. Some people have a rather cloudy understanding of prophecy. You know they're not sure of the terms and some prophecy is just so rich in symbolism that they wonder where they can get a decoder ring your member decoder reggae Arava decoder ring. I don't know if I ever got one.
But I was very aware of them and I wanted one. Do you have an extra effort for your gift of any size. Okay, so it is your book. Sort of a literary decoder ring as it were for for all of us to understand what Revelation means and how were supposed to employ that insight today. Yeah yeah I think it's good description. You know, my objective as a pastor is a Bible teacher as an evangelist is make things understandable to people I don't see any value in speaking over someone's head and using theological terminology that people don't understand the Bible says of Jesus, the common people heard him gladly. Which simply means regular rank-and-file people understood what Jesus was talking about. So the book of Revelation.
This is a book. Many people are fascinated by, but it's also about many people are mystified by and there is a decoder ring as I describe it early in the book of password password or an encryption key that will help you understand the book of Revelation, and it's found right in the first chapter, I think you're going to be surprised by how understandable this great book of the Bible is, I write in a way. Well, it's as though were just sitting down over a cup of coffee and were just reading the verses together and were talking about them together and I'm trying to explain to you with simple analogies, and other scriptures commentating on Scripture and showing you how these great truths apply to you. So it's in a brand-new book that just came out, never excited about it and I want our listeners to have a copy again. It's called Revelation, the book of promises and will send it to you for your gift of any size, though some can only give a little will send one to you. Some can give more. Of course, will send one to you, but whatever your gift is large or small, we will use it to continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel so get your copy of Revelation, a book of promises I will rush it to you and arthritis brand-new be one of the first to own a copy of this new hardcover commentary from Pastor Greg and Dave let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this new book Revelation about the promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events so you probably wondered okay I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the antichrist and the second coming. What happens when will this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lease it out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now.
Yeah that's right so we hope to get in touch today and ask for Revelation, a book of promises will send it to say thank you for your donation. Just address a letter to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org next time more insight from Pastor Greg helping us unlock the eye-opening insights contain Revelation join us beginning. Thanks for to a new beginning. Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org