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Hope When You Are Distressed – Part 3

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2022 10:00 am

Hope When You Are Distressed – Part 3

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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He has this name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And Jesus comes back. He's coming. He's coming. He's coming. And with that hopeful promise and expectation from Anne Graham Lotz, you're listening to Living in the Light with this week's edition of Anne's powerful series of messages from the book of Revelation. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome. It's Anne's desire that you experience this most wonderful of adventures in this book of Revelation, and that as you do, you'll open your eyes and heart to the person of Jesus Christ.

Here's Anne with today's message. God will use political leaders to judge His people, as He did in Nebuchadnezzar. And as He does at the end of the world, He uses political leaders to judge the world.

And in chapter 13, the middle of verse 1, I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, and with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. Now it's really talking about where he comes from, and I'm not going to go into it all, but this is speaking of the Antichrist. The horns represent his authority in the nations that he rules. He's described in Daniel in 1 Thessalonians, and I'm just going to give you a little synopsis of his description, but he's very attractive, he's brilliant, he's popular, he's able, very profane.

He has a scientific mind that focuses on technology and military might. The beginning of his power, he uses religion, and then he does away with it. He erases religious holidays, and then he declares himself to be God. At some point, he's going to be assassinated, and then he will come back to life. But when he comes back to life, it's not the man, it's an incarnation of Satan himself. And the world is going to be so astounded and impressed, so taken with this man who's attractive and charismatic and able and brilliant, and now he's dead and he's come back to life.

They'll be so taken with him, they just surrender everything to him. And the devil incarnate rules the world. So God uses political leaders, and he uses religious leaders. Amos chapter 8 verse 11 says that one of God's judgments on God's people in the Old Testament was when he sent them a famine of the word. There were a lot of prophets, but they didn't give out the truth. And that was a judgment.

Sometimes I think about our country today. Lots of churches down in the southeastern part of the United States, church on every corner, but how many of them giving out the truth? Is that God's judgment on us? And 2 Thessalonians 2 says that God will send a strong delusion so people believe a lie. We're talking about the deception that has come over our country and our world. And God has sent the deception.

And so you've got to know the word. If you don't want to be deceived, and Jesus said don't be deceived, don't be deceived. Three times I think in Matthew 24 he says do not be deceived. The way you're not deceived, saturate yourself in this book. You need to know from Genesis to Revelation. You need to know prophecy.

You need to know what's happening. You need to know the signs of the times so that you won't be deceived. There is a spirit of deception today where even good people are fooled. And I think how can you believe that? How can you do that?

How can you vote for that? How can you believe that? And it's because they're deceived. And I think it's a supernatural deception.

So he uses religious leaders to deceive people. Chapter 13 verse 11. Then I saw another beast. The first beast was the antichrist that came up out of the sea.

This one comes out of the earth. He has two horns like a lamb but he spoke like a dragon. This is a religious leader who speaks very softly but the dragon is Satan who empowers him. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and he made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. So when you see people doing miracles, when you see signs and wonders, those don't always come from God.

Don't be deceived. The devil can do things. Rachel Ruth, my daughter, was just taking her Bible study through Exodus and it was just so interesting we talked about when Moses went and he took his staff. Do you remember when he threw it down in front of Pharaoh? And the magicians did the same thing. And Moses' staff turned into a snake and so did theirs. They could do signs and wonders.

But Moses' snake swallowed up theirs. But they did signs and wonders and so they can perform miracles in the power of Satan. So don't let that be any sort of validation of a person's ministry because they can do signs and wonders.

In fact, the antichrist is described as someone who can do signs and wonders, the very same term that's used to describe Jesus. So religious leaders, encouraging thing in verse 18 says, well this is maybe verse 16, He forced everyone small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, maybe a computer chip. So no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark which is the name of the beast or the number of his name and this calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast.

It's man's number. His number is 666. And I just point that out because as fierce as this person is, the beast and the false prophet who does miracles in his name and the dragon that gives them both power, he's still a man, still under the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, even the incarnation of Satan.

Satan was a fallen angel under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. So Jesus uses political leaders, religious leaders and then here come the plagues, the bowls of wrath. And chapter 14 verse 10, this begins the last three and a half years of the tribulation. And this is when God, in verse 10, he too will drink of the wine of God's fury which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.

There is no more mercy, no provision of grace, no more preachers, no more gospel. This is just God's wrath being poured out on the earth. Verse 14, I looked and there before me was a white cloud. Seated on the cloud was one like the son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple and he's coming right out of the presence of God.

This comes directly from God. Called in a loud voice to him who is sitting on the cloud, take your sickle and reap because the time to reap has come. The harvest of the earth is ripe. So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth and the earth was harvested. Chapter 15 verse 1, I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign, seven angels with the seven last plagues. This is the harvest in the sense of the earth because with them God's wrath is completed. He's going to pour out his wrath and then it will be done and the judgment is finished. And then everything done to prepare for the physical, visible return of Jesus to earth.

It says, I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire standing beside the sea. Those who had been victorious over the beast in his image and over the number of his name and they held harps given them by God and they sang the song of Moses. The servant of God and the song of the Lamb.

So if you can just get the picture, down on earth there's this blaspheming profanity and full rebellion against God and hardness of hearts. And up in heaven there's celebration and joy and praise and worship. Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed. Chapter 16 verse 1, I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, Go, pour out the seven bowls of wrath on the earth. And now these happen very quickly.

Boom, boom, boom, boom. Verse 2, the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land and ugly, painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. This wasn't an increase of disease. Health was erased. No one was healthy. Verse 3, the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea and turned it into blood like that of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died. The whole world smelled like death.

Not a third, everything. Verse 4, the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and the springs of water and they became blood. Everything was contaminated. Verse 8, the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. I don't know if it explodes, burning the earth like a scorched earth policy. Maybe it melts the ice caps.

Maybe it's just ultraviolet rays that don't hurt the earth but destroy people. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God who had control over these plagues but they refused to repent and glorify him. So the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. They had a victim mentality so they gnawed their tongues in agony and they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores but they refused to repent of what they had done. So the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east and this begins Armageddon.

And they come from all over the world and they come to make war against each other. Verse 17, the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne saying, it is done. Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, severe earthquake, no earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth. So tremendous was the quake.

The great city split into three parts and the cities of the nations collapsed and every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. And from the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men and they cursed God on account of the plague of hell because the plague was so terrible. And God's judgment is poured out on planet earth. And people who are created by God and for God whom he loves so much that he sent his son to die on the cross to take away their sin that they could be forgiven. They could come into a right relationship with him.

They could have the hope of a heavenly home. Instead I just can't believe such evil, wickedness, such hard hearts, such pride, such arrogance, such defiance. And they come under God's wrath and the plagues are poured out and God says it is done. Jesus has taken charge and everything is finished. And the world has been set up for Armageddon so we have this earthquake and the hailstones and now the armies of the world are coming together in the valley of Megiddo. And just imagine one day when that huge Jezreel valley is filled with the armies of the earth that are coming to make war against each other because they rebel finally against the antichrist.

I mean he has not done them any good, has he? So under his reign it's gotten worse and worse and worse and the plagues and all of the sores and the diseases and the economy is destroyed and the world is destroyed and the environment is destroyed and you can call it global warming or you can call it the judgment of God. But I mean it's all falling apart under his rule.

It's on his watch. So the world erupts in rebellion now against the antichrist and they're coming to the valley of Megiddo, to the Jezreel valley to make war against each other and to take on the antichrist and that's when Jesus comes back. He has taken charge and now he's coming. Chapter 19, after this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting, Hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God for true and just are his judgments. In fact, four times in this passage, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Jesus has taken charge and he's coming. He's going to reign and rule on this earth and he's going to set the wrong right and he's going to rule the world the way it was intended to be ruled from the time it was created.

Finally, the world's going to become what it was intended to be. And again, they shouted in verse three, Hallelujah. The 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne and they cried, Amen, Hallelujah, and a voice came from the throne saying, Praise our God all you his servants who fear him both small and great. And I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and peals of thunder shouting, Hallelujah, for our Lord God almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory for the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. And the angel said to me, Right, blessed are those who were invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.

These words are true, in case you're doubting any of this. And the wedding feast of the Lamb, that's you and me celebrating the fact that finally everything is done and Jesus is coming back. And at Armageddon, when the armies of the world, 200 million, 300 million, however many their numbers, they're gathered together to make war against each other. And the sky suddenly splits in two. And a rider on a white horse appears. John says, I saw, do you remember the same eyes that saw the miracles, that saw the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension? These same eyes, I saw heaven standing open. And there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice, he judges and makes war.

His eyes are like blazing fire because he is good, but he is angry. And on his head are many crowns. Those aren't just, you know, these are the crowns that Antichrist was wearing on his head, the crowns from the ten kingdoms and the seven. And Jesus has just swept them off.

They're his. He's going to rule the world. Nobody's going to usurp his authority anymore. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself because they've been blaspheming his name and profaning his name.

Now they can't even say it. He's dressed in a robe dipped in blood. That is not the blood of the cross.

That's their blood, the blood of his enemies, Isaiah says. And his name is the word of God. Don't ever make light of this book.

I know you won't. I remember one time, and I just want to insert this at this moment, I don't know. But I was speaking at a congress for evangelists and pastors in Moscow before communism came down. And they weren't even allowed to share the gospel, but communism was coming down. So for the first time they could share the gospel with somebody else. They could share the gospel with their family around the kitchen table. So I was speaking about 1,500 of them and I was waiting up in the speaker's box and I was listening to another speaker.

And you know how you have your things and everybody's sitting around you. And so I had my Bible and my pocketbook on the floor. And this evangelist, or this pastor, because they weren't called evangelists at that point. But this pastor comes over and he picks up my Bible and he just kisses it and he hands it to me.

I have never since put my Bible on the floor. His name is the word of God. And the arm is of heaven, listen to me.

That's you and me. We have been in heaven celebrating. At the marriage feast of the Lamb, now we're dressed in fine linen and we're riding white horses. And we're coming back with Him to reign and rule in this world. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

Those were our wedding garments. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword. That is His word with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And Jesus comes back. He's coming. He's coming.

He's coming. And I believe any day now we're going to hear the trumpet and we're going to be caught up in the air to meet Him. And we're going to have this wonderful wedding celebration. And then, while we're up there celebrating, I expect, I would think, He would shield us from seeing what's taking place on planet earth. But we're going to know that something's happening because our population keeps increasing in heaven.

These people who are under the altar in their white robes and weeping for those who are on earth. And then He says, the time has come. Mount your horses. We're going. Can you imagine that moment? We come back to help Him set wrong rights and establish love over hate and righteousness over injustice. And what a day that's going to be.

Let's just finish this out. Verse 19. Then I saw the beast, the antichrist, the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.

Can you imagine? So they've come to make war against each other and they look up, they see the sky unfold and there is the Lamb of God riding on a white horse. They know exactly who it is. His name is written on His thigh.

You can't miss it. So they know who He is and they decide to make war against the Lamb. Can you imagine their rebellion to that point? And so they turn around their battleships and they aim their missiles and they go to aim their guns and their bombs and they go to make war against the Lamb.

Is he afraid? He just reaches down and plucks up the beast who was captured with him, the false prophet who had done miraculous signs on his behalf. And he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. God judged those people, but he judges the beast and the false prophet. And the two of them were thrown to hell, alive, into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. And the rest of them were killed, how?

With the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse. He basically just speaks a word and they all drop dead. The day is coming when everything's going to be made right.

How to conclude a message like this? And I'm going to tell you what's in my heart because I know the Bible says Jesus will take charge and He's coming. And those who are not right with Him are going to come under His judgment.

And we've seen that. But you know if you step into eternity and you've never been to the cross and you're not right with Him, you're going to come under His judgment at that moment, not necessarily at the end of human history. But the moment you step into eternity and because of your rebellion and your pride and your hard heart, your religiosity, whatever it is, you step into eternity, you come under His judgment.

But I know that you know somebody that it applies to. Somebody, if they were to step into eternity, they would come under God's judgment. They would go to hell. And if Jesus comes, takes us to be with Him in heaven, and that begins that seven-year period of tribulation, then our friends, our neighbors, the people that live around us, our family members, then they're going to come under the judgment that's going to come on the world. And yes, they'll have opportunity to repent during that first three-and-a-half-year period. And God will send His mercy, but oh, there is so much disaster going on.

We wouldn't want anybody to go through that, even the first three-and-a-half-year period. So what I want to do as we end this message, let's just pray for those that we know who are not saved, those like Lot living in Sodom, who are in danger of coming under God's judgment. Just pour out your heart and ask the God of heaven to save them before judgment comes, before they step into eternity, before the rapture takes place.

Ask God to give you opportunity to share the gospel with them. And Father, now we bow before you and we ask, please, that you hear our prayer. We think of the bowls of incense being filled up, and we ask that it would rise before you in heaven, a pleasing aroma. We know that we're praying your heart. Your heart is that all would be saved, that none would perish, everyone would repent of their sin. You sent Jesus to die for the whole world, and that includes the ones who we've been praying for by name. And so, oh God, we ask that you break their hearts.

Bring them to that deep conviction of sin, that humbling of themselves so they'd be willing to come to the cross like a child and tell you they're sorry, and ask you to forgive them and come into their hearts, Lord. So we're praying, please, that you would save them. And as we look earthwards, we have the hope of knowing one day soon Jesus is going to take charge.

He's coming. But there's so many people who are utterly hopeless. So Lord, would you use us to give hope to the hopeless by sharing the gospel, living our lives before them in such a way that our lives demand a verdict. And they want to know who we're in love with. They want to know who our Jesus is, that they might have him for themselves. So I pray as a result of our prayers, Lord, that there would be people even now, you'd be stirring in their hearts, quickening them to bring them to salvation. And so we ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, the soon and coming King, the one who even when he comes back carries us in his hearts, loves us to distraction, going to set up his kingdom on earth and we reign with him in love and righteousness and holiness and justice and beauty and love. And Lord, we long for that day when we see you as Lord and King on this planet. And until then, keep us faithful, enable us to endure that last half hour before you take charge. As we pray these things in the name of the one who is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, whose name is the word of God. It's in your name we pray.

Now here's Anne with this final word. God loves you. He loves you so much, in fact, that he says in John 3 16, he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. If you were to die today and stand before the judge, what would he say is your eternal destiny? Will you go to heaven or hell?

The choice is yours to make. Now, if you were to die today, would there be a blank space where your name had been recorded in the book of life but was blotted out because you've never deliberately, consciously made the choice to receive Jesus Christ by faith as your Savior and Lord? If you would like to know that you will be saved from the judgment that's coming, from hell, that you will go to heaven when you die, would you take a moment right now to pray along with me quietly, earnestly this prayer? Dear God, I confess to you that I'm a sinner. I'm sorry for my sin and I'm willing to repent, to turn away from my sin. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross as the only acceptable sacrifice for my sin. God, I ask you in Jesus' name to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin with the blood of Jesus. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead to give me eternal life. So God, right now, would you give me eternal life? I open up the door of my heart, my inner life, and I invite Jesus to come live within me as my Savior and my Lord. I surrender the control of my life to Him, and from this day forward, I will seek to live for Him. In Jesus' name, amen. If you've just prayed this prayer, praise God, regardless of your present circumstances or condition, you are saved, saved from eternal judgment and hell, saved for heaven. Your name will never be blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-17 15:10:49 / 2022-11-17 15:21:10 / 10

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