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March 28, 2021 7:00 pm
When your preaching book preaching expositional through book here doing that.
Also, with the mind of the calendar and I to the calendar and wondering if you will come to a place in your preaching that will correspond with the particular highlighted event that the calendar is drawing attention to this is Palm Sunday and I prayed about preach today and have been breaching here in the book of Revelation.
I thought what an appropriate passage to come to on Palm Sunday, and you'll know I'm not smart enough to arrange that right that's God's doing.
So here we are in Revelation chapter 1 verses nine through 20 and if my math is correct. This is the sixth message in this way throwing us a series as I'm not sure yet that I've committed myself to move through the book of Revelation because while just because of who I am and because I say this with take it for what it's worth, I have an undergraduate degree in Bible study. I have a master of divinity degree that ironed three years of seminary, but at times I feel like I'm in over my head.
Don't think ill me about that. I'm just being frank and honest with you when I read of men great men smarter than me. Ben's root preach and studying the Bible longer than me written commentaries and books and one man says this and another man says this and you know the conclusion you draw. They both can't be right. Somebody's not correctly or in fact both could be wrong. Okay, so there's a lot here and I've got a lot of encouragement from a good number of people by phone call and email and just interaction encouraging me to move forward in the study of the book of Revelation. My fear is that some of that is driven by he's gonna he's gonna get to the good stuff. He's got come down on my side of the issue. He's gonna reconfirm I belief in doctrine and I may, I don't know but if I do it, come down on the fee to somebody else to go now just a matter whether it's eschatology or what it is most endeavor to know the word of God is God's given us light and understand. But any area of eschatology, we cannot make it a test fellowship okay. We can't say if you don't believe what I believe about the end times I'll have nothing to do with you that is not a bounce that is out of order right. We can agree to disagree agreeably not just agreeably but agreeably.
Now I'm not billed putting Kindle around a fire them. Gonna light a match to and create controversy on that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying if you've done any study in eschatology. You know what I'm talking about.
There's a lot of I got a book that I just picked up picked up a number of years ago read it quickly got off the shelf again this week and you'll laugh at the title of the book ready for an times made simple not admire the man wrote the book in the NIAID.
I find a lot of agreement and what he saying nominal fee shows that title with tongue-in-cheek or not, because what I've discovered is studying the end times is not simple challenging is difficult. So here we are. Think about the fickleness of those who lined the streets of Jerusalem to offer praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ to see entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
How quickly did all the praise and worship and adulation turn to crucifying him crucified him another's numbers of explanations for that there were people who were stirred up and paid off to be a part of that uprising. And yet there were people whose hopes were dashed because Jesus did not deliver what they had expected him to deliver their worship was to a God of their own making. They had invented the Messiah will do this because Jesus didn't do what they wanted him to do when he did it. They turned on and caused me to wonder how many people are in churches today that are worshiping a God. David ended in her own mind. Jesus, I worship does this he does this he does not does the other thing. What happens if the Jesus you are worshiping is not the Jesus of the Bible. That's what we need to be careful students of the word of God so that we understand God's he's revealed himself Scripture well this morning I want to ask you this question as we begin to see you already began.
Well yes, but if someone were to ask you for the meaning of the book of the Revelation, where would you go, what would you say I do hope you would direct them to the Scripture somewhere. What is the book of Revelation about you couldn't go to a better place than the first chapter of the book itself. The apostle John is been exiled on this small remote island water know how remote it is. I don't know how many other people live there, but it's a small island. He was exiled.
There and why was he there is an agent man is calling to his fellow apostles have died a martyr's death. And here is been sent to be silenced.
So though I have no influence and is there for two reasons.
He says he was. Therefore, the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I've said in previous messages. The day is coming, folks that there will be a line drawn in the sand and we will have to declare ourselves whether we will be willing to accept opposition and affliction and perhaps persecution for no other reason than those two things for the word of God and for your testimony for Jesus Christ. That's why John was where he was think about John Gary Aziz and aged man we don't know how long he was on the island of Patmos, but he lived through to his life covers two emperors. Emperor Nero Roman Emperor Nero, who was famous for the horrendous methods of torture and persecution that he brought upon the church and omission who reigned and terrorized the church. So here's John and he's there because he's been afflicted. He's being persecuted.
What did John need and his condition. What did John need Wallace suggest to you that what John needed is exactly what he the vision that came to him of the glorified risen Christ is what John needed folks in our day of affliction and turmoil in confusion. What we need. What the church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs today, more than ever is a fresh glimpse of the glorified Christ because the vision that John receives is of Christ in the midst of his church. Notice what it says I John verse nine, both your brother and companion in the tribulation, the tribulation, not the tribulation that some people's view of eschatology points to but he was in the tribulation and kingdom of patients of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day and I heard behind me a loud voice as a trumpet, saying I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last what you see writing a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia. There the seven churches are listed. Verse 12 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 his feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. I'm thankful for this little cheat sheet is included in the sacred text because we didn't have verse nine would be all kinds of speculation. One of the seven lampstands what that's symbolize what is that referring to would be a missed mystery to us. You have to bear with me tone down my passion are priming us about a 40 minutes here we we would be wondering. We we would be. It's a mystery to us would know. Notice what it says in verse 20 the mystery get that word the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches in the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches mystery resolved.
We know what these are, what the seven lampstands are one of the seven lampstands. He says right there. The seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches now are these the only churches that were in Asia minor whether other churches. We other other churches were lots of other churches. Think about the church is not represented in the list. Thessalonica is not their court ports, not their rooms not there's all kinds of churches that are mentioned in that list the seven but 10 times from verse nine to verse 20. You see the word seven is there for a reason. Seven in the Bible symbolize a lot of things but I think in this context it speaks of completeness that the seven lampstands.
The seven churches are representative of the completeness of the church as this represents the church church and churches of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout all the ages. That's what commentators believe, and it makes good sense to me. So Jesus comes in a vision to give John a message for the churches and he's told twice he's told in verse things verse 11 is told in verse 11, and is told in verse 19 write the things which you have seen in the things which are in the things which will take place after this. I wondered about what was neat what need to be told twice. This is such a an unusual vision that he well how many of you have, let's say had an experience, and even had your cell phone there and after the the effect that it had on you you you went why I think a picture that right well think about what is happened to this man here is Anna deserted island exiled their aged, probably alone, probably wondering is my life counted for anything in my you know and then hear this vision comes to so he could have been so overwhelmed by what he was saying that he would not have been inclined to write down what he saw but he was told to write these things down and to send it to the seven churches.
So this vision conveys an important message of the relationship of Christ to his church. John says Jesus was in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.
He was in the midst of his church, you say will you in that vision. He was he's in his glorified state. That's the glorified church. He ice is comfortable is in the midst of this church.
No no no you missing it.
The Bible tells us there were two or three are gathered together in his name.
There he is in the next. In the midst of a less than perfect church in the midst of divisions in the midst of sin in the midst of rebellion in the midst of these in the midst he's in our next that's good news is in Christ is raining in our midst. So my message this morning. It has got for headings to and with covered the first one in the first one is the heart or the core of the vision. What is the heart and the core.
The vision the heart and the poor. The vision is Jesus Christ Jesus Christ and is glorified state Jesus Christ in the midst of his churches. That's hard in the core, the vision second. I want you to consider with me the significance of the vision. The significance of the vision so often people come to look at the revelation, with an eye toward eschatology. The study events. What does the Bible have to say about the second coming of Christ, and that is if you're going if you're interested in that subject. There's not a better place in the Bible to go the two than the book of Revelation because there's a lot here that speaks about the second coming of Christ.
But that's future.
There are certain things that are hid from us the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us in our children.
This vision in chapter 1 reminds us that Christ isn't just going to rule and reign in the future that Christ is ruling in raining right now is seated at the father's right hand at the place of power and impotence authority God is exalted him to the highest place and given them the seat so rather than being concerned with and I wanted to study the book of Revelation and see when Christ is coming and what is going to rule and reign he's rolling in raining now, not to the full extent that he will in that day when he comes, but when he comes, will be the full consummation of his kingdom and his reign. Yes, let's not miss the fact that Christ is ruling his church right now. He holds his church in his right hand, you see that the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars. Christ is holding. The angels will get to that in a moment to were those angels is holding his church in his churches, shining as stars. It's held in the grip of the all-powerful Christ is Lord of his church. That's the significance of this vision. We need to be reminded of that mother significance of this vision is that it shows us that at the center of everything that God is doing in the world.
He's doing it through his church, the world says the church will gives little or no attention to the church. They don't see what is going on in the world related in any way to the church. The what's important in the world is what's going on in government and legislative bodies in the economy in the military and what's going on in Silicon Valley and the latest technology that's what's important decisions in Washington is what is important. Laura was completely unconcerned about the church and its affairs because they view it as insignificant, but God is saying as he looks at history, the most significant thing in all of world history is what God is doing in his church. That's what God wanted conveyed through John. That's what John needed this vision of Christ.
That's what we need today as we hear this message. You see, it's Christ present Lordship that is being shown to John the Christ is among us now. We serve a living raining Lord, whose present wherever his people are gathered.
Who was it that was riding in the Jerusalem on a borrowed borrowed cold on Palm Sunday. It was Christ and Christ had manifested himself in his kingly office. His priestly office in his prophetic office. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord became they were acknowledging Jesus as King. Now they had a different idea of what this king would do and what it what would happen but Christ had established his authority as King about his priesthood. His priestly office. What was he riding into Jerusalem to do it wasn't going to be caught off guard. He knew what awaited him in Jerusalem. He was going to Jerusalem to do what make a sacrifice and offer himself as the sacrifice and his profit. What had been going on is 3+ years on the earth been exercising his prophetic office, thus saith the Lord, with power and authority that astounded people and that that ministry would continue from the cross as we have the seven orderings of Jesus from the cross. So Jesus entered Jerusalem as a prophet, priest and king and was rejected. I want to suggest to you that the vision that John received his vision of those same three offices. Christ is revealed to John for our benefit.
As prophet, priest and king.
So think with me about those three offices and how they are revealed here and will look at the first in his priestly office arming his kingly office.
Now he doesn't appear to John as the suffering servant.
Notice what it says. John says I saw in the midst of the seven lampstands. Verse 13 one like the Son of Man, one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to his feet and girded about the chest with a golden band that references to price priestly office and will get to that in a moment, but I want to take them in the order that we usually think about them.
I'm sorry not any order which we think about them usually think about them as prophet, priest and king.
I want to think about it is king priest and prophet, that's where I want to see it as we look at this text in what follows in verses 14 and 15 is what we refer to is anthropomorphic language that while it's language that we use to describe God that is anthropomorphic. It's weeks of God having hands and feet and eyes and got God is a spirit, no one is seen God at any time, so does God advised his God, have hands, no. So this is what is being used here by Johnny's using anthropomorphic language.
Verse 14 he says in the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about chest with a golden band.
Verse 14 his head and hair were white like wool. God doesn't have hair. He doesn't have a head, but it's described as snow white as snow. His eyes like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, his voice as the sound of many waters he had in his right hand steam is got a hand does God have hands. No, this is kingly language fire bronze gold speaks of Majesty. John sees Christ in his glorified kingship, his eyes like flames of fire. Express holiness and righteousness is feet like brass you will come to tread down the powers of darkness is voice like thunder. The voice of the mighty king who comes to execute judgment in righteousness. Later on he says out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. God doesn't have a mouth, but what is that conveying the sword in Scripture, symbolic of authority, power to judge and it proceeds out of Christ's mouth. He saying that Christ has power as King to rule the judge is what John saw. Second, think about the meaning of the vision verse 13 back to that rope. Christ appears clothed in a priestly garment much like the high priest of Israel would wear the Levitical priests would wear the garments listen me they would only where the garments while engaged in the priestly duties of sacrifice and other duties.
But when they had finished their work. They would lay their garment aside, what we see here we see Christ clothed with the garment say Walt Whitman. I thought his work was finished, I thought he would offer once for all for all time himself as a suitable sacrifice so why is he still wearing the priestly garment as if he still carrying on priestly duties because he is because he still carrying on priestly duties.
Now these sacrifices over the sacrifice of Christ put an end to the entire Levitical order. God was saying something very dramatic when the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. No need for this anymore. No need for this anymore. The priest himself is come. He's offered himself all the sacrifices were pointing to him. And now that he's gone, there's no more need for sacrifices no more need for a temple Christ our great high priest has offered himself once for all finishing that redemptive work forever, but here in John's vision of Christ. He seen with the priestly garment because he's engaged yet in his great high priest work. He sympathizes with us. He intercedes for us. He represents us before the father. He response to the accusations of the adversary would've beautiful portrait and picture of Christ.
Christ is revealed in this vision to John is king in his priest, but thirdly as prophet. The two-edged sword proceeding from his mouth. Notice he says there in verse 16 he had in his right hand seven stars, out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword in his countenance was like the sun shining in its strength is prophetic office.
The two-edged sword speaks of the word in Hebrews chapter 4 we have this reminder that the word is what quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edge and sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart Christ reveals himself as prophet by the word which he speaks. You see, John was instructed to write what he saw and send it to the seven churches. That's again verse 11 in verse 19 in the chapters that follow in this book is the fruit of his obedience were Christ is exercising is prophetic office in speaking words of what instruction and of consolation and of encouragement and of exhortation and I'll rebuke his church stands in need of those things. This church stands in need of those things are times we need encouragement times we need consolation times we need instruction times we need exhortation times we need rebuke, we have the prophetic word to do that forth in this morning.
Notice I said forth in my last. But it is less something in your mind happens when you hear the preacher say. And lastly, you know I'm saying your mind starts going last season was done not done fourth point in my message this morning. We looked at the heart and core. The vision, the significance of the vision. The meaning of the vision. Number four the hope and comfort of the vision of hope and comfort of the vision. Verse 16 says he had in his right hand seven stars were told the same thing over and verse 20.
Mr. the seven stars which you saw in my right hand right hand of God. If you want to do an exciting word study just Google the right hand of God see what comes up and read those verses about what it reveals about God. It's God's right hand. It's his power to his authority. It's his power to save. I have eight or 10 verses with me but I don't have the time to read them to you but I would just encourage you beat you, you will be blessed and it is a that is a fruitful study. Think about why is it that the Bible refers to the right hand of God here the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and they are in the right hand of God. Here's the question, are these angels heavenly beings or are they human messengers and you will read good men who come down on both sides of that.
I read the arguments and I've come to the conclusion that I feel comfortable with that. The Angels refer to the messengers of the churches.
The Greek word and and Jell-O's is literally in the Greek means a messenger or a servant, and here's what I've come down on that John is to write this to the seven churches in notice.
Each one of the churches we will look at all of them because they are the same. Beginning chapter 2 verse one to the angel of the church of Ephesus write why would John be writing to an angel. Now if that angels a human messenger and the human messenger is the overseer or the owner or the pastor of that church, then that makes sense. That makes sense.
So because the Greek word can mean messenger servant, and because it makes sense to me that John is not writing to angels he's writing to human messengers.
I feel comfortable that that is a reference to, as I say, overseers, pastors, elders, any messenger servant of God. Think with me were talking about the hope and comfort of the vision of the stars are held in the policy as my left.
The powerful right hand of Almighty God. Stars have a light and a brightness about them. But what is it about that light is that light inherent in the stars.
No they only reflect light there, dependent, and they derive their light from him who is light so this is to the elders the overseers the messengers. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to know that I is a messenger as a elder as a pastor I am kept and Ima held Christ's right hand and it is the Lord's good pleasure to enlighten and instruct his church and his people through his messengers through his pastor through his overseers overseer and I did legitimately. Thank you for your prayers. Allow me to be here this morning, but as I read this and studied this week. II found incredible amount of comfort. I am in Christ writing. I am his messenger. I am to be light.
I am doing what the minds of his people is charged Lord Shirley on this Lord's day you want me to exercise that so keep me by your power, restore my health to me.
Allow me to stand and be the very thing you called me to be as a testimony of who you declared yourself to be.
Hallelujah. Here I am.
See the stars are nothing in themselves. He holds them he holds us.
He called his church in his strong omnipotent right hand and we are nothing unless Christ holds us and works through us unless he does, we have no function. If were disconnected from the source of light were nothing and unfortunately many churches are engaged in fruitless activity because there disengaged from him who is the light entire churches held and preserved by his power and his power alone. This is what John needed.
John needed this for himself he wasn't going to wither away on that island. He wasn't going to give his life as a martyr for the cause of Christ.
This way he's being held by Christ sustained by Christ in here. They've exiled him to an island get rid of them.
How does God using God use them on that island given her study is amazing is think about the enemies of Christ what they want more than anything to be guesses from that point forward he began to plot how they might kill them because in their mind if we kill him.
Thus, the indium no more influence. We stamp out this movement were done with it, we move on. Life can be back to normal well did they kill in the killing, killing was at the end of them know, and his death accomplished the greatest kid ever be done because it was his death in his death only that sinful men and women are redeemed and reconciled to God so unwittingly they serve God's gracious kind purposes of they didn't do it with any they say let's let's serve God's purposes. Oh, they were serving their own purposes. Her own evil intentions. How good of God. Got a few minutes to listen to these verses concerning the right hand of God. Exodus 1516, your right hand of the Lord is majestic in power.
Your right hand.
Oh Lord shatters the enemy is a 4110 do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Shirley. I will help you. Shirley, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Psalm 1611 you will make known to me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy in your right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Some 4810, as is your name. Oh God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth your right hand is Psalm 98, 10 sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wonderful things. His right hand in his holy holy arm have gained the victory for him right hand of God is a place of blessing the place of protection. This verse from the parable in Matthew chapter 25 all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats and he will put the sheep where on his right hand and the goats on the left, then the King will say to those on his right, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Yes, there's a reason why chapter 1 is so concentrated on the person of Jesus Christ. God wants us not to miss that this portion of his revelation is given to reveal Christ to us reveal Christ and his glory to us for us to benefit from that. What is the writer of Hebrews tell us he tells us consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself less you become weary and discouraged in your hearts if we don't consider Christ. What is the outcome of our earthly pilgrimage in existence down here we will become weary and discouraged in our souls. So consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself. Verse two Hebrews 12 looking on the Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down where at the right hand throne of God church that application about Christ holding the stars in his hand. I believe the immediate application is the Christ is holding those overseers those pastors those shepherds that he has gifted telling them I've got you. Nobody can take you out of my and you stay in me use you abide in me, I will use you will like the only messenger that God has we been committed.
What a message of reconciliation were ambassadors of Christ were all in one sense messengers of God is good to know that in a world it's going more hostile toward us in Christ we have one who rules and reigns and holds us in right your preacher got think because I'm up, you're going to hold my right hand but as you look at me, your thinking know that's your left. The rest of that sometimes we say past is the past to me is one way but I'm trying to communicate it to you so we need what John received on this palm Sunday. We need reminded of our risen ruling raining Christ in his majesty and his glorious King's priest and his prophet spray father how thankful we are for the revelation of your word to us how we thank you for him who is the living word, the one who became flesh and dwelt among us.
Thank you that you have revealed him to us and thank you that you came to John in his aged state on that remote island and encouraged him with this vision and that he was obedient to record what he saw, so that we would benefit from the Lord. Please receive our praise in our worship today as we offer to you through the merits of him who loved us and gave himself for us, even him.
Jesus Christ, amen