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HOPE As We Look Forward – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2023 3:00 pm

HOPE As We Look Forward – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz. In Revelation chapter 4 and 5 speaks of the worthiness of Jesus. He's worthy, absolutely supreme as Lord of Lords, totally sufficient as the lion and the lamb. Happy Resurrection Day. Today we celebrate the risen Jesus.

He came to live and die so that we might die and live. You're listening to Living in the Light with this week's edition of Anne Graham Lotz's powerful series of messages from the book of Revelation and that as you do, you will open your eyes and heart to the person of Jesus Christ. And it's his resurrection we celebrate on this Easter. So here now is Anne opening in prayer for today's message from Revelation chapter 4 and 5 titled, Hope as We Look Forward. So Lord Jesus, we bow before you and we can hardly take in what Revelation 4 and 5 is revealing to us.

What an amazing scene you showed John. And so Lord, we look forward to that day when all the voices of opposition, rejection, rebellion are drowned out and our ears are filled with praise of the one who alone is worthy of all praise and honor and glory and power. We long to hear it reverberating throughout the universe and we know that it emanates from the throne. The praise was central. So until that day, we ask that you would make that praise central in our lives as we crown you king of our hearts. We accept that invitation. We place you on the throne of our hearts. You are absolutely supreme.

You have the right. You hold that position of greatness and glory and grace and your presence, your mercy, your authority, purity, the activity, and absolutely sufficient Islam, undisputed in your power, unequal in who you are in your position and unrivaled in praise. Oh Lord God, we pray that we would live our lives so that other people can get a glimpse of what it means to live under your authority. So I ask that you take this message and that you impress it on our hearts. Make it go deep, Lord, that this night would be the night that we would place you once and for all as not just king of kings but king of my heart. And we ask this in Jesus name and for his glory.

Amen. The study of Revelation, I think, is thrilling and I love this book. In chapter one, we ended by falling down at his feet, surrendering for whatever he has for us, and then he takes this seriously. It's like he picks this up and says, all right, you're surrendered and you're serious about serving me and doing whatever I say, but before we can do that, we need to look inside. And so then he cleans us up on the inside and begins to pinpoint things that need to go out or need to come in. And now in this message, he's saying, now that you have surrendered and you've cleaned up on the inside, it's time to place Jesus as king on the throne of your heart.

These are some questions I thought of. Is it worth it to do that? Is it worth it to make him king of your heart? Questions that we might ask some of the biblical characters. Abraham, was it worth it to leave Ur of the Chaldees and wander around in tents and for 25 years have really nothing to show for it except basically one son, the cave of Machpelah, and the unfulfilled promises of God? Have you ever wanted to ask Moses, is it worth it to leave the treasures of Egypt and lead a band of former slaves through the wilderness going in circles for 40 years and never even get into the promised land? Have you wanted to ask Daniel, was it worth it to pray three times a day and be thrown into the lion's den? Jeremiah, was it worth it to preach 65 years and never have a positive response to your message? John the Baptist, was it worth it to speak the truth to Herod's face and lose your head? Virgin Mary, was it worth it to say, be it unto me according to your will and then see the son that you conceived grow up and be crucified on a Roman cross?

Have you ever wanted to ask yourself some of these questions? Is it worth it to get up early every morning set that alarm so your heart goes out and you jump out of bed but you have to sacrifice sleep to do that so that you can spend time with the Lord in the morning? Is that worth it? Is it worth it to live your life in obedience to God's word and surrender to his way and walking with him when nobody else is?

They're all going in the opposite direction even in your church. Is it worth it to live your life in the light of his return and be labeled some extremist, a fanatic? Is it worth it to share the gospel with your friend and lose the friendship? Is it worth it to tell the truth when lying would have gotten you a promotion, give you more money, give you favor in the eyes of somebody and by the way everybody else is lying?

Is it worth it to speak the truth? Is it worth it thinking of where we've been so far to fall at the feet of Jesus as though dead? Is it worth it to surrender everything to him when maybe what he wants from you is not something you want to give?

Maybe his will for your life is not what you had planned or your goals and is it worth it to give him that control? Is it worth it to open up your heart and let him search your heart and is it worth it to turn away and look at your schedule and repent of your busyness? Is it worth it to turn away from your fearfulness and share the gospel with that other person? Is it worth it to get up in the morning for a prayer to be real and not be a phony? Is it worth it to stop being so timid and walk through that open door? Is it worth it to crucify your pride and humble yourself and come to him as a little child? Is it worth it?

And I'm going to answer all of those questions. Yes, yes, yes, yes. It's worth it.

You know why? Because Jesus is worth it. He's worth every sacrifice, every moment of pain, everything that you might risk in rejection or persecution. He's worth giving control of your entire life to him. He's worth serving him. You long to do something for him, the one that you love.

Yes, it's worth it. And Revelation chapter four and five speaks of the worthiness of Jesus. Turn to Revelation chapter four and we're going to look at this. He's worthy, absolutely supreme as Lord of lords, totally sufficient as the lion and the lamb. So in chapter four, John says, after this, I looked and there before me was a door standing open in heaven.

That's a wonderful thought. You could take a whole message just on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and he opened heaven's door for you and me. Heaven is open for those who put their trust in Jesus. And the voice I first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, come up here and I will show you what must take place after this.

So after this, after what? After he's dealt with the churches in Revelation two and three. So from this point on, through chapter 19 until Jesus comes back, followed by the armies of heaven, the church is not mentioned again. And so many people believe that the rapture of the church takes place between chapters three and chapter four. And when John is caught up into this throne room, it's just sort of a shadow of the rapture when we're caught up to be with Jesus.

I don't know if that's so or not, but I believe we're in chapters four and five because in chapter five, we're gathered around the throne and there are people there from every language, tongue, kingdom. And I believe that includes you and me. I believe that includes those who have been caught up in the air to be with Jesus, but nobody knows for sure. I just do know for sure there will be a rapture. I do know that Jesus is coming to take us to be with himself.

I do know that that's imminent. Somebody asks a question, how many generations until then? This is a generation.

Wake up. This is a generation. We're living in the last of the last days. And I can base that on Matthew 24 and other scriptures, but I'm firmly convinced of that. So after this, after he's dealt with the church, now he's caught up into the throne room and John is invited to come into the throne room where God is seated and Jesus is seated.

This is the center of their power. One time when I went to Buckingham palace, I wasn't invited. I bought a ticket like every other tourist and I toured Buckingham palace and I came to the throne room.

I thought that was one of the most interesting places. It looked rather ordinary. It wasn't, you know, you think there'd be marble steps and it'd be glorious, but still just a rectangular room carpeted in red velvet and the two chairs, they look very uncomfortable, straight backs and covered in red velvet. And they were on a raised platform about three steps high. The walls were covered in red velvet.

It was covered in red damask. It was trimmed out in gold, but that's where they do official business. They have official ceremonies. There's a lot of history in that throne room. It's the center in a sense of the power of the British empire. And it would be equivalent, I guess, in America to the oval office. And the oval office in the white house is called the oval office because it's oval in shape and has curved windows that look out on the south lawn. And the north part of the room has a fireplace and they're comfortable with chairs and the big desk where the president presides. And that's the center of power in America.

People come from all over the world to meet with them in the oval office. And I think about the throne room in Buckingham palace. And I think about the oval office and I'm here to tell you, they are nothing compared to what we're going to read about in chapters four and five. They're tawdry in comparison.

This is amazing. I just pray that God will open your spiritual eyes and give you a glimpse as he did to John of what takes place in the throne room in heaven. And he says in verse two, at once I was in the spirit and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

And we find hope in Jesus who is absolutely supreme as Lord. And we know this by his position because we know God the father sits on the throne, but we know Jesus also sits on the throne. So for our purposes, I'm focusing on Jesus who's seated on the throne. And that's a position of authority and power and control. When he's seated on the throne, he's in charge of everything that's taking place in heaven, in the universe, on earth, in your life. So what has caused you to doubt that Jesus is seated on the throne? Is it when we've had these elections and I'm sorry, but some of the bad guys seem to come out on top and evil seems to triumph and our children are being sexualized in elementary school and then they're mutilated, calling it gender dysphoria and sex trafficking and abortion on demand up until the moment of birth. And even then Montana voted that if a baby is born alive either through caesarean section or abortion and the baby is viable, the doctor doesn't have to treat it.

They can just throw it away. And I say, Jesus, really? So what's happened to you? Maybe it's not anything like that.

Maybe it's more personal. It's when you were diagnosed with cancer. When your spouse of how many years walked out on you? Was it when your son came home and said he's a girl and you say, Jesus, are you seated on the throne? And John said, I saw him seated on the throne. Isaiah chapter 6, the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah looked up and said, Jesus, seated on the throne. Sometimes his ways are not our ways, right?

And we just have to trust him when we don't understand. There's a mystery to all of this, but we know that Jesus is seated on the throne. Other thrones come and go. Kings come and go.

Leaders come and go. Jesus is always seated on the throne in absolute charge, absolute control. And one of the blessings when something disastrous happens to you, when I was diagnosed with cancer, when my son was diagnosed with cancer, when Rachel Ruth had her two heart attacks and I was standing beside her and knew I was watching her dying. And at that moment, I was filled with confidence because I knew Jesus is seated on the throne. There are no accidents with him.

There are no mistakes. He knows exactly what he's doing. I had no idea I would have cancer, but he did. It was part of his plan and purpose for my life. So then I say, all right, Lord, what's this about? Not that why did you let it happen to me, but how can you use this in my life? How can I use it for your glory? So it's a wonderful thing to fall back when something like that happens and you just fall back into the confidence, hope, confidence that Jesus is seated on the throne.

He's in charge and his supremacy is revealed. His position of greatness that he's seated on the throne, his position of glory. In verse five, the one who sat there had the appearance of Jasper and Carnelian.

And Jasper is like a diamond, Carnelian is like a ruby. So I don't exactly know what that means, but I think it just means that Jesus is beautiful. And when Moses asked God to show him his glory and God put him in the cleft of the rock and he passed by, he said, you can just see my backside, but he showed Moses his glory. But what he showed him was his goodness and his mercy and his faithfulness. The glory of God is his character. So I think of the character of Jesus like a diamond, like a ruby with all of its multifaceted beauty reflecting light and this is the heart of the Shekinah glory.

This is the source of the Shekinah glory. The glory of God emanating from Jesus like a brilliant jewel, all of his character shining and all of its beautiful facets and it's more than that. It's a position of greatness and a position of glory, but a position of grace because in the Old Testament when the high priest would go into the most holy place once a year to make atonement for the sin of the people, he wore a breastplate and on his breastplate were 12 semi-precious stones and each stone was carved with one of the names of the tribes of Israel. And the significance was that when the high priest went into the presence of God, he carried the names of God's children on his heart and the first was a jasper and the last was a carnelian and I believe as Jesus is sitting on the throne and he's getting ready to come back and judge the world and pour out his wrath and in control of everything, in charge and by the very colors that he wears he's saying, I love you, I love you, I love you, I carry you in my heart and he won't and he won't stop loving you when he's there on the throne at the center of the universe getting ready to orchestrate everything that we read in the rest of the book of Revelation.

His supremacy is revealed not only by the position that he holds seated on the throne but by his presence on the throne and his presence is revealed by his mercy. Verse 4, a rainbow resembling an emerald encircled the throne. Do you remember the first time we see a rainbow, I know you do, after Noah built the ark and he preached righteousness and invited everybody to come on, nobody would come on except his family. So he went in the ark preaching for seven days getting the animals settled and nobody would come so finally God shut the door and the judgment that everybody said wasn't coming came and the vapor canopy over the earth burst and the floodgates of the deep erupted, the earth's crust erupted and the water just deluged the earth and the whole earth was flooded covering even the highest mountains and Noah and his family and all the animals inside the ark for over a year and then the waters dried up and the day came when God said all right Noah you can come out. So Noah and all those animals came out he sacrificed some of those precious animals just in thanksgiving to God and have you ever wondered what Noah thought the next time he heard thunder next time he felt the raindrops because you know up until the flood there had been no rain on earth it was like a terrarium and then all of a sudden he went through that and then the next time would he be terrified God having once been saved from your judgment am I going to lose my salvation I don't have an ark this time am I going to come under your judgment and so God gave Noah a sign a covenant and it was the rainbow that he gave Noah and he said Noah I'm going to make a covenant with you never again will I send a flood on the earth listen to me environmentalist never again would he send a flood on the earth as long as the earth exists there will be seed time and harvest summer and winter you don't have to worry about the glaciers melting and flooding the earth you don't have to worry about us burning up to a crisp and you know God is in control yes we might be in a global cycle of warming but it's not what they're telling you it is God has said so you take God at his word and you look at the rainbow it doesn't represent what they use it to represent the day it represents the covenant that God made with Noah I'm committed to you Noah you're saved yes yes amen and so think about it the rainbow was given to Noah so that when Noah saw the rainbow he would remember God remembered he was saved somebody here afraid you can lose your salvation somebody afraid something you've done something you've said once being saved you think you can lose it and so God has given you a sign it's a sign of the cross and you look at the cross and you remember God remembers you're saved you will never lose your salvation so that's emerald rainbow around the throne to me speaks of his mercy and in verse four his authority he was surrounded on the throne with 24 other thrones seated on them were 24 elders they were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads so I don't exactly know who they were but obviously they're kings he's the king of kings remember so these are 24 kings who reign with him and the interesting thing in the old testaments in order to be a priest you had to be a descendant of Aaron and Levi and after a while there were so many descendants that they had to divide them up into 12 orders and there were two people from each order that served the Lord in the temple at any one time so the 24 priests who served the Lord in the temple at any given time and so these kings I believe are not only kings who reign with them but they're there to serve but they're there to serve the king of kings the highest positions in the universe are positions of service to Jesus Jesus said that if you want to be great the ones that are greatest among you are the ones who serve the son of man has come to serve and we are to do as he does so these kings with their crowns dressed in white but they give an impression to me their service is dignified it's serious they do it with excellence there's no haphazard coming late slouching on their throne you know doing what they feel like they're just at full attention ready to serve at a moment's notice whatever the king wants so if you're in service to the Lord how how are you serving him why is it that we think you know we serve our secular employer with more attention and timeliness and consistency and excellency than we do Jesus it's because we think Jesus will understand if we're late you think he'll understand if we're tired we just don't do it quite right he understands all right you're not doing it as under the king you serve him with excellence the third characteristic I see of his presence his activity verse five look at this from the throne came flashes of lightning rumblings peals of thunder I don't know what that means except I know something was going on it was exciting the atmosphere was electric and if Jesus is seated on the throne of your heart listen to me you can't do nothing there's no apathy no complacency and I know some people have more energy than others but surely if he's king seated on the throne of your heart you'll be doing something for him and then his purity verse five and six before the throne seven lamps were blazing these are the seven spirits of God that's speaking of the Holy Spirit by the way the Holy Spirit because he's invisible you know he's represented by a dove at the baptism of Jesus or the flame of fire at Pentecost because you wouldn't know he was there except he's represented by something so he's represented by these seven lamps and before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass clear as crystal that would just like a mirror that would reflect his glory throughout the universe in his presence there's absolute purity there's holy holy holy the Bible says without holiness no one will see the Lord in his presence in this throne room there is no impurity there's no sinfulness there's no hidden agenda there's no evil or nothing that defiles in his presence so what in your life needs to be put out if he's on the throne of your heart there should be purity in his presence so just check it off maybe I didn't do it so well but if Jesus is seated on the throne of your heart there should be mercy there should never be uncertainty about your salvation when Jesus is seated on the throne of your heart you don't keep doubting your salvation and his authority you serve him with excellence there's no mediocrity in your service in your service when he's king of your heart when he's king of your heart there's activity no apathy complacency and there's purity no immorality no sinfulness at all and yes oh my goodness I don't want to sin I try not to sin but I sin and so I confess my sin and ask the Lord to cleanse me of this and I know I'm forgiven because I've been to the cross and so all of my sin has been forgiven you know that when you come to the cross your past sin your present sin your future sin is all forgiven it's all under the blood of Jesus you can just live and enjoy your forgiveness but I still sin and so I come back to the cross not for forgiveness because I've been forgiven but I come back to the cross to confess my sin that I might be cleansed that I might maintain that sweet intimate love relationship with him that fellowship with him so in his presence when he's king of your heart there should be no conscious sin no deliberate sin no willful sin in fact first john says if you're sinning willfully and deliberately and intentionally then he doubts you even know Jesus oh I long for the day when I see him in his absolute supremacy and the whole universe acknowledging that he's king of kings and lord of lords and seated on the throne at the center of the universe and in the meantime I'm thrown him as king of my hearts absolutely supreme in my life would you do the same living in the light is a weekly study in God's word with teacher and author Anne Graham Lotz learn to listen to his voice then start making the choice to keep on going and believing and trusting who God is go to take advantage of the many helpful free resources to get you started join us again for living in the light
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-09 16:07:41 / 2023-04-09 16:17:18 / 10

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