If you just think you were born to live and to go to work and have a family and then to die, you don't get it. Dr. Tony Evans says God's plan for the future of our world is more personal than we realize. So you and I are living out and are part of the drama of history. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Dr. Evans says looking at God's prophetic plans for the future can be just some kind of mental exercise until we realize that our part in the story goes far beyond being mere spectators. Let's join him as he explains. Today I want to give you the master key to prophecy, the key that will unlock all the doors of God's prophetic program. We're going to be getting into the nuances of the program of the future. Prophecy speaks about what's in the future.
But how do we tie these different rooms that we will go into? We'll do that with a master key. To understand this master key that unlocks the particulars, I want to go to the central verse for today, Revelation 19 verse 10. It reads, Then I fell at his feet to worship him.
But he said to me, Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. So the master key that will unlock the prophetic doors that we will walk through is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the master key of prophecy. So for prophecy, talk about the future, to make sense, to fit together for the pieces of the puzzle to connect this master key, this centerpiece, if you will, must be understood. He calls it the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy, the key. So there are a number of things I want to talk to you about today relative to the master key, which will help prophecy to make sense.
First of all, Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of prophecy. If I use the term football, you know I'm talking about a football. Now, there are a lot of things that go into a football game. You've got stadiums. You've got uniforms. You've got helmets. You've got concession stands. You've got contracts. You've got parking lots.
You've got seats. You've got a lot of stuff that goes into a football game. But I'd like to submit to you, if there is no football, all the other things that you bring around become inconsequential. Because if the main thing is missing, the pieces don't make sense, and they become ultimately irrelevant. If I said to you, baseball, there's a bat, there's a glove. Again, there's another stadium and more concessions.
There's a batting helmet. But if there is no baseball, all the other things that surround a baseball game becomes nonsensical, because the centerpiece of a baseball game is a baseball. All of history revolves around Jesus Christ. Whether people know it or not, understand it or not, and are able to relate to it or not, if it's in history, even beyond, but specifically in history, all of history is centered on this person. We want to move now to understanding that Jesus Christ is not only the centerpiece of prophecy, He is the cause of prophecy. In other words, prophecy only exists because of Him. God has never been alone, because He exists in a community of gods. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, one being composed of three co-equal persons, who are one in essence, but distinct in personality.
We call that the Trinity. God exists in community. These three are intimately connected to one another. There is no disagreement.
There is no conflict, except when Jesus died on the cross. There is camaraderie that is eternal in nature. Each member of the Trinity promotes the other member.
So they're always hooked up and hooking each other up. So in love is God with Himself and the community that makes up the Godhead, that God decided to create beings that would mirror back to Him His own image. And these beings were called angels. And He organized them according to a chain of command, a hierarchy, and at the top of the chain was chief angel in charge named Lucifer. The word Lucifer means shining one. He was the star angel. He was angel superstar. He used to lead all the other angels in the worship of God to reflect back to God His glory.
But according to Isaiah chapter 12, he developed a pheo-ego, that's a god complex. He declared he would be like the Most High. I don't want to be under God anymore. I want to be God. He said, I want to establish my own kingdom. I want to establish my own followers.
I want to establish my own posse. I want to be like the Most High. Now, what was it about God that Lucifer wanted so bad? He knew he couldn't create anything. He knew he, you know, was a creature. He was created because he was leading in the worship of God. But there was something about God that he wanted badly. And he said, I will be like him. Actually, everybody in here who's a parent understands what he wants because it's the same thing your teenager wants.
Independence. Your teenager gets to the point where they don't want you telling them what to do anymore. They want to be their own boss, running their own show while living in your house. That's what Lucifer wanted. He said, I don't want to have to—all this leading in the angels of worship God.
I don't want to do that anymore. And so he developed a coup d'état, a rebellion against God. In this rebellion, the Scripture says one-third of all the angels followed him.
Which will tell you how powerful this being is, that all the other angels who were living under God, looking to God, dependent upon God, could be tricked by this star. The problem with this rebellion is it's hard to have a coup against an omniscient being. It's hard to rebel against God and he not know about it.
So his coup was uncovered. The Trinity gathered together and held a trial. And Satan and the angels who followed him were found guilty of treason. The sentence was passed and is recorded in Matthew and in the book of Matthew chapter 25 verse 41. It says, hell was prepared for Satan and his angels. So God created a place called hell that would be the judgment for their coup against the living God.
It gets more intriguing. Because in Luke chapter 10 verse 18, Jesus says, I was there when Satan fell from heaven like lightning. Now there are three important things in that statement from Luke 10 18. One, Jesus says, I was there. Well, if he was there, that means he existed before his birth.
Going back to the eternality of Jesus Christ. So he says, I was there. I watched it happen. I was part of the trial.
I was there. Second thing, I was there when Satan fell from heaven like lightning, not when Lucifer fell from heaven like lightning, because God always changes your name to fit your character. He was originally called Lucifer, the shining one. Now he is the adversary and enemy of God.
And so he gets a name change. When Dr. Evans returns in a moment to continue our message, he'll talk about the parts you and I play in God's prophetic plan. Stay with us. God has been faithful. When the world was topsy-turvy due to all kind of pandemics, God still touched the heart of donors to come alongside of us and keep us strong at a time when the world needed spiritual strength. And we were able to maintain and even expand ministry during the pandemic because that's how faithful God has been.
So I am not a doubter about the greatness of God nor his faithfulness. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years we've seen his kind hand of favor on this ministry. One lasting hallmark of the ministry here at The Alternative is our commitment to offer resources that help listeners like you grow strong in faith, wisdom, and dedication to God's kingdom. And that's why I want to tell you about our current featured resource, Tony's powerful book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare.
We're helpless to defeat the devil on our own, but God has done it for us and equipped us to win every battle along the way. In this book, Tony will teach you how to pray your way to victory when Satan attacks you through relationship problems, drug and alcohol struggles, financial hardships, sinful impulses, and much more. We want you to have a copy of Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare to help reinforce your faith when the going gets tough. So we'll send you a copy when you make a contribution to help support Tony's work here on the air and around the world.
You'll get the brand-new luxury edition with a special cover that looks and feels like leather. Along with another bonus, all 12 lessons in Tony's current two-volume series, Prophecy and Our World. Get the details at TonyEvans.org before this limited-time offer runs out. Or call 1-800-800-3222.
I'll have our contact information for you again later on. But right now, here's Dr. Evans with more of our message. The third thing that Luke 10 18 says is that I was there when Satan fell from heaven like lightning. So he fell from there to somewhere. Well, in both Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, we're told that Satan was booted to a place called earth.
So follow this. When you open up your Bible in Genesis chapter 1 verse 1, you read, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. So when you open your Bible, the earth is separated out as a distinct place from everything else God made. When you go to verse 2 of Genesis chapter 1, you read, And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The Hebrew word is tohu wa bohu, without form and void.
It's pronounced tohu wa bohu, and tohu wa bohu means garbage dump. It's waste. You remember, God had to separate the water from the land, because whenever you have water and land mixed up, you've got a swamp. So the earth is not a pretty place. How did the earth become a garbage dump?
Because garbage now lives here. Satan and his angels were kicked out of heaven, and they were put in wherever he resists garbage sets in, including our lives. So God and the committee of three make a decision.
They make a decision to institute out of eternity something called time. And before we send them to their sentence of the hell that we've prepared for them, why don't we do something? Why don't we, Trinity, create a lesser creature, an inferior creature to angels? And why don't we demonstrate how really good we are by taking a lesser creature and demonstrating what we can do with less when less is committed to us than we can do with more when more is in rebellion against us? Why don't we create man? And why don't we not only create man, but why don't we create man and put him in the garbage dump that Satan has created in the place we kicked him to in the holding cell called earth? So why don't we fix this place up? Why don't we say, let there be light so the darkness disappears? Why don't we create a sun and a moon so that there's light by day and smaller lights by night, separate the land?
Why don't we create some animals? Why don't we create him a home called a garden? And this man will be inferior to angels. Psalm chapter 8, verses 3 through 8.
What is man that thou art mindful of him? He is a little lower than the angels. That is constitutionally inferior. He can't fly. He can't turn into invisible. He can't make himself invisible. He does not have the intellect. And we will work through a man, mankind, to defeat this enemy before we execute his sentence in hell.
Let's get this straight. There is no battle between God and the devil. You cannot have a battle between an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being and a creature. That's like saying there was a fight between Tony Evans and Mike Tyson.
Well, if there was one, it didn't last long because I'm no competition for him. It can't be a fight between God and the devil and it be lasting for years and years and years. That's why the Scripture says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and world forces in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6, 12. So the battle is really between men and angels.
The problem is we are inferior to angels. So God tells Adam, here's how you're going to beat him. I'm going to give you my word. From every tree of the garden, you may be free to eat the tree in the midst of the garden.
Don't eat it because if you do, you're going to die. The only way you're going to beat him is with my word because in your own power, you are a lesser creature. So you cannot beat him on your own.
So stick with my word. By the time you get to Genesis, chapter 3, slick has shown up in the garden. Oh, slick is there. Slick gets them to abandon the word of God for the preferences of their emotions, for the preferences of their desires, and so they abandon the word. When they abandon the word, the devil defeats them, and the earth is handed over to the devil because man was created to rule the earth on God's behalf. But God does not interfere. And the reason that God does not interfere is he says, I have to do this through a man because I said that I would work through the lesser creature.
That introduces to history what we call the angelic conflict, the conflict between men and angels. Remember, Adam fell because of an angel. Satan, in order to cut off the godly line, gets Cain to kill Abel. He's trying to cut off the godly line because God prophesied in Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15, the woman was going to have a seed, the woman was going to have a baby, and that this baby would destroy the head of the serpent. So in order for Satan not to get his head cut off, he's got to keep this seed from being born.
So he goes on a mission to cut off the seed so that this predicted child never gets a chance to live. So he stimulates Cain to kill Abel, not knowing that Eve would give birth to Seth where men would call back on the name of the Lord. He then causes angels to infiltrate men who have relations with women, producing a demonized race in Genesis, chapter 6. But that's when God goes and finds Noah and said, we're going to keep this seed alive, and I'm going to let it rain for 40 days, and we're going to start this mama all over again. Satan then goes and finds a man named Nimrod, and Nimrod, in Genesis 9 and 10, gathers the world together in rebellion against God at the Tower of Babel.
God then comes in and confuses their communication devices so they can no longer talk to one another. And then he goes to Ur and finds a man named Abraham and says, come on, we're going to start this thing all over again. But when he starts it all over again, the people get caught up in Egypt, and when the people get caught up in Egypt, Satan is now again in control.
But that's when God gets Moses, and he prepares Moses to tell Pharaoh, let my people go. And so all of this is moving against the seed. Satan is using a seed.
God is using a seed because God has determined He would only do it through a man. To make a long story short, we come to the end of the Old Testament. There is a 400-year silent period before the beginning of Matthew, the beginning of the New Testament. How does the New Testament begin? The New Testament begins with the genealogy, the most boring parts of the Bible. So and so begot, so and so begot, so and so begot, so and so.
What's that got to do with the price of tomatoes? It gives a genealogy. If you study the genealogy, you see some weird stuff going on. Because within the genealogy, God has to skip people and bring in outsiders like Ruth and Tamar, and he's got Rahab.
He's even getting a prostitute in on this act to make sure that the seed is untampered with. So that by the time you get to Matthew 1, verse 16, it says Joseph, who was married to Mary, by whom Jesus was born, because it prophesied that the seed had to come through the line of David. But it couldn't have a father, a human father. So Joseph was legally in the line, but not physically in the line. You got to go to Luke, where it talks about the genealogy of Mary, who was physically in the line. So when Joseph married Mary, Jesus has both lines. He's got the legal line from Joseph and the physical line for Mary.
They hook up, and so he qualifies to be the king. In other words, all through history, God had no man he could depend on because every man failed. So what he did was became a man.
God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. In other words, he was fulfilling his prophetic promise because Jesus Christ is the cause of why prophecy exists in fulfillment of the Word of God. So you and I are living out and are part of the drama of history.
See, if you don't understand that, if you just think you were born to live and to go to work and to have a family and then to die, you don't get it. You're part of something much more dynamic and much more critical. You're part of a scheme that is taking place in the unfolding of his story called history. So Jesus is the centerpiece of prophecy.
Prophecy exists all out of the fulfillment of Jesus Christ in history. Dr. Tony Evans with the first part of a lesson he calls The Key to Prophecy. We'll have Part 2 for you tomorrow, but in the meantime, don't forget about that special offer I mentioned earlier as a way of saying thanks for your contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. We'll send you all 12 full-length messages in his current two-volume sermon series, Prophecy and Our World, along with his book Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. You'll get the keepsake edition of this 100,000-copy bestseller with a special binding that looks and feels like leather, but only if we hear from you before this special offer runs out. Make the arrangements by calling our resource request line day or night at 1-800-800-3222.
That's 1-800-800-3222. Or visit us online at tonyevans.org. A lot of people think biblical prophecy is a complicated subject, but Dr. Evans says it doesn't have to be if you've got the right key to unlock it. He'll explain that tomorrow. I hope you'll be with us. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you. ? ?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-24 19:10:11 / 2023-09-24 19:18:49 / 9