121214 – We Three Kings

Matthew 2:1-12 King James Version (KJV)

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

“When we come to Jesus, shouldn’t we return, “another way?” Think about it.

Mannheim Steamroller

We Three Kings

121114 – Stille Nacht

Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Peter Benenson, December 10th, 1961.

Mannheim Steamroller
Stille Nacht

121014 – Christmas Hallelujah

Luke 2:8-14 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

There are small restaurants and coffee shops in many cities and towns that present an unusual opportunity for witnessing. In my town there is a quaint coffee shop that has a piano that is situated near most of the tables where patrons drop in and spend an enjoyable time, consuming hot coffee and tasty muffins, and sharing intimate conversations. There have been times when I have been there enjoying the niceness of an evening when someone would make their way over to the piano and begin planing a series of songs that just “hit the needed spot.” The stresses of the day would seem to disappear from my mind and leave me desiring more of that soul-easing music. I can imagine that there are other similar places that have pianos that can also be played for the comfort of the customers. Consider the setting that is shown in the following video. A young man sits down at a piano in a restaurant and begins to play a song that is pleasing to the mind of almost anybody, whether Christian, Jew, or indifferent. I am certain that there are readers of this post who are musically inclined and talented, and who would like to take such an opportunity to share the message of Jesus to people who are usually isolated, or insulated, from such a story of the gospel of Christ. Give it a listen; share the story. Consider adding a guitarist, or other musicians, and have a small combo. Always consider ways of creative witnessing (Acts 1:8).

Hallelujah

ETS Thought 031814, “Search Me, Cleanse Me,” Psalm 139:23-24

Our nation needs to be cleansed by God. Please join in prayer with me this Wednesday, and every Wednesday at noon to pray for our nation. I am on Eastern Standard time. If you can’t pray at that time, consider praying at some other time for our nation. Invite others to be a part of this much needed time of self-examination.

Equipping Site

Psalm 139:23-24

King James Version (KJV)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

“Search Me O, God,” and “Cleanse Me,” are two titles that lead the same song and the same message. It is a message that we should all have within our souls. I first heard the song in 1977 when my Pastor sang it, while being accompanied by a very good female singer. It is a song that I will sing, while also being accompanied by a much better female voice. When I listen to Glen Payne and George Younce singing this beautiful message of our calling out to God after we have sinned, and I think of my, now deceased, best ever pastor singing it, tears begin to swell. When we…

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120714 – Christmas Of Simpler Times

Matthew 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus, God With Us

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

The year was 1959. The month was September. I had just started sixth grade in Gretna, Louisiana. I would spend the next three years at the same “Grammar School.” My life was common to those of my school mates. I lived in a small house that was located only about three hundred feet from the school. At lunch time, I could go home, or go to a nearby grocery store and buy a “po boy” sandwich (French or Italian bread with ham, turkey, shrimp, or oysters, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato slices). I could also have my lunch at school where we would have tasty red beans and rice, with links of smoked sausage, every Monday. I would arrive at school every day early enough that I could play basketball or jacks. I might also shoot marbles or try to sharpen my yo-yo skills. When we started our school day, we would say the pledge to the flag and say a prayer. We had real Christmas holidays, and had real Christmas programs at school. We would sing Christmas carols, which included biblical songs. The school would give the children song sheets that showed the words to those biblical songs. Teachers were free to talk to their classes about their church lives. Most of my friends watched the same television programs. We didn’t have cable tv or dish types, so our selection was limited to traditional network programming. The programs were family oriented and were not restricted to “church and state” limitations. The Cleaver family went to church and Sunday School. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, and Gomer were shown in their church, even when Gomer might fall asleep and snore during the “Reverend’s” sermons. The Christmas programs that were produced and shown by ABC, NBC, and CBS did not hide the fact that “Jesus was the reason for the season.” Television hosts did not omit “Jesus” from their discussions when they were talking about Christmas. Jesus was truly “God with us” during those programs. Please take time to play the videos that I have selected to show that there was truly a much simpler time of Christmas in our nation’s not too distant history. You may gather that I am a fan of Bing Crosby’s songs. May God bless the USA!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Andy Williams

The Christmas Waltz
Frank Sinatra

The Christmas Song
Nat King Cole

Christmas
Andy Williams

The Secret Of Christmas
Bing Crosby

Silver Bells
Bob Hope And Olivia Newton John

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Andy Williams

The Bells Of St. Mary’s
Bing Crosby

O Sanctissima
Bing Crosby

My Favorite Things
Andy Williams

The Lord’s Prayer
Perry Como

Do You Hear What I Hear
Bing Crosby

Ave Maria
Perry Como

Away In A Manger
Bing Crosby

The Carpenters
On The Perry Como Show

The Osmond And Williams Families
On The Andy Williams Show

Silent Night
Bing Crosby

O Holy Night
Andy Williams

White Christmas
Bing Crosby

If you have any memories that you would like to share, I would be honored to read them. Please have a Merry Christmas, in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.

120614 – Christmas Eve And Divorce

Marlee and Jacob were married on Christmas Eve, “twenty years ago.” On this Christmas Eve, the couple are headed to an attorney’s office…to sign divorce papers. Think about Marlee, Jacob, and your marriage situation. Do you remember the words that you and your mate said to each other as you stood before God, the minister, family and friends, and the rest of the people who were watching and listening as you professed your love for one another other? If you have forgotten those special words, I have written a traditional wedding vow for you to consider. Please read it now.

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…’til death do us part.”

If you are also considering a Christmas Eve “divorce papers appointment,” please! Let me ask you to listen to the following audio recording of Marlee and Jacob, as they are on their way to sign their papers…on Christmas Eve. The time of the recording is fifty-four minutes. Let me ask you to set aside an uninterrupted period of time, “for fifty-four minutes.” Think about your wedding vows. Think about your marriage…please. Set aside fifty-four minutes and consider your marriage.

There are two links that will get you to the recording. I am leaving both of them intact so that you will be able to activate at least one of them, in the event that the other may not work. The one that is at the bottom is the one that I have used. You can click “right in the middle” of the wedding ring (amazing, isn’t it?) to begin the recording. After you have listened to the story of Marlee and Jacob (or, of you and your mate), please set aside another eight minutes and seventeen seconds to listen to the song and oratory that are provided by Bill and Gloria Gaither. It tells about the love and challenge that have encompassed their marriage. After you have read, listened to, and watched everything that is in this post, let me ask you a very personal question. You can answer to yourself. So, here it is. When you check something on fb from a “friend” of the opposite sex, “do you get a spark?” If your answer is “yes,” maybe fb is not something that you should have as a part of your life.

http://www.moodyradio.org/christmas-specials/

Christmas Specials | Moody Radio
http://www.moodyradio.org/christmas-specials/ – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight
Celebrate Christmas with Moody Radio, and listen to a variety of special programs around the sights, sounds and themes of Christmas.

We Have This Moment Today
Bill And Gloria Gaither

120414 – Revelation Chapter 1

Revelation 1 New King James Version (NKJV) – Sermon Draft

Many people have found the Book of Revelation to be “a really interesting book to read.” There are a lot of scripture cross references that come from both the Old and New Testaments. But, it is interesting to know that not many sermons or lessons provide a deep look into the book, whose key selling point comes from Chapter 1 Verse 3: “1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Based on the violent times that surround us, the time is “very near.” Consider the following verses that tell us about “the nearing of time.”

Matthew 24:5-8, “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” An increase in false messiahs, an increase in warfare, and increases in famines, plagues, and natural disasters—these are signs of the end times. In this passage, though, we are given a warning: we are not to be deceived, because these events are only the beginning of birth pains; the end is still to come.”

1 Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 ” Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

We can not deny the obvious and ungodly times that we are experiencing. There is no way that the people who are looting, burning, and destroying property of others can believe themselves to be born again. Parents and friends of such ungodly people have a calling to tell those anarchists of their need to repent of their sins and to call on Christ to save them from an eternity of death and suffering. We are not doing any favors for anyone by ignoring their sinful lifestyles.

The end of the times that we call the Church Age are coming to an end. It is for our families, for our friends, and for ourselves that we should seriously study the book of the end of times, which Holy Scripture calls “Revelation.” Times will be more violent than they have ever been when the church, the born again believers in Christ, will be suddenly and secretly taken out of our world in the catching away/the rapture of the church (Matthew 24:21;1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

We will now begin a chapter by chapter study of Revelation, with support coming from other books of the Bible that relate to the end times. Key authors, such as Charles Ryrie, R.C.Sproul, John Mac Arthur, C.I. Scofield, John Walvoord, and others, will be included as sources of scriptural information that will be gleaned from their study bibles and books of commentary.

PROLOGUE (1:1-3)

VERSE 1 “1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,”

1.1 Of Jesus Christ = from Jesus Christ… from God… to Jesus… by angel… to John the Apostle…

1.2 must shortly take place = not soon to happen… when it happens – will take place swiftly.

VERSE 2 “1:2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.”

2.1 all things that he saw = a testimony of John’s vision. (the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth)

VERSE 3 “1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

3.1 the blessings of reading, hearing, keeping:

3.1.1 the seven churches of Revelation would be blessed by John’s reading the vision.

3.1.2 we are blessed today by reading John’s vision.

3.2 prophecy = the vision is prophetic (futurist); not historic (preterist).

3.2 the time is near = a season… the next event is the Rapture of the church (1 Thes 4:16-18)… occur at any time.

SALUTATION (4:1-8)

VERSE 4 “1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,”

4.1 the seven churches = in Asia, Turkey… not all present during the times of apostolic missions.
Ephesus, Thyatira, Laodecia (in Acts, Colossians, and Revelation)
Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia (only in Revelation)

4.2 from Him Who “was,” “is, and “is to come.” = Eternal presence of God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

4.3 the seven Spirits of God = The perfect fullness of God’s Holy Spirit.

4.4 before His throne = a stately seat; of power; a seat of power and authority, above all other power and authority.

VERSE 5 “1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”

5.1 firstborn from the dead = Christ the first to receive a resurrected body that is immortal…. vs Lazarus …

5.2 Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

5.3 John 11:43-44 “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth !,” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes ”

5.4 Consider the difference in Jesus and Lazarus being raised from death.

5.5 Consider the comment from the Reformation Study Bible on Colossians 1:15.

5.6 Col 1:15 image of the invisible God. For Paul, belief in the deity of Christ (Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13) is practical. Since He is by nature God, Christ reveals the God who is otherwise invisible (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16). The thought is also found in John 1:1–18 and Heb. 1:3. Calvin observes that “we must be careful not to look for Him anywhere else, for apart from Christ whatever offers itself to us in the name of God will turn out to be an idol.”

5.7. the firstborn of all creation. Paul is not saying that the Son was the first created being (v. 17 note). In the Old Testament, a firstborn son would be the principal heir of an estate (Deut. 21:17; cf. Ex. 4:22; Ps. 89:27). Used of Christ, the term “firstborn” means that He has such honor and dignity, not that He was the oldest child in a family. Christ is especially loved by His Father (v. 13), and all things were created in Him, by Him, and for Him (vv. 16, 17).

VERSE 6 “1.6” “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

6.1 kings and priests = a description of both Israel and the church. We shall minister to God forever. (See Exodus 19:6 and 1 Peter 2:9-10)

Exodus 19:6 “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

2 Peter 2:9-10 “9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

VERSE 7 “1.7” “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

7.1 The next event in the Lord’s coming is that of His coming in the air to catch up the saints of all time and take them to Heaven. There is no indication that this event will be seen by those who are left behind (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

7.1.1. 1 Thes 4:16-17, “16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

7.2 The Second Coming Of Christ, to the earth. Those who miss the Rapture will see this event as it happens (See Matthew 24:29-30).

Every eye will see Him = Mat 24:29-30. “29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

7.3. Those who pierced Him = The nations of Israel will look on Jesus when He returns, and will mourn its rejection of Him as Messiah. Although, many Jews will accept Jesus as Messiah during the Tribulation (See. Zechariah 12:10).

7.4. The tribes will mourn = The wailing of the Gentile nations will not be due to a cry of repentance, but of terror at judgment (see Zech 12:10).

Zech 12:10. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

VERSE 8 “1.8” “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

8.1 the Alpha and the Omega = The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. God is Alpha (Creator) and Omega (the One who ushers in the new heaven and new earth). He is Lord of all—past, present, and future—as suggested by “who is . . . is to come” (cf. 4:1–5:14 note). His sovereignty in creation guarantees the fulfillment of His purposes in re-creation (Rom. 8:18–25). (Reformation Study Bible)

8.2 who is to come. = In the future God will come to fulfill all His purposes (21:1–22:5). (Reformation Study Bible)

THE VISION OF CHRIST GLORIFIED (1:9-18)

VERSE 9 “1:9” “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

9.1 patient endurance = John is a fellow believer of persecution, and is not superior to the seven churches of Asia Minor.

9.2 Patmos = A small island off the west coast of Asia Minor. Patmos had a Roman penal settlement.

VERSE 10 “1.10” “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,”

10.1 in the Spirit = in a state of spiritual ecstasy. See 2 Corinthians 12:4. “how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

10.2 the Lord’s Day = not Sunday. John was projected forward to the future day of the Lord as he received the revelation of the unfolding of the end times (Walvood Commentary).

10.3 a loud voice =the voice of Jesus.

VERSE 11 “1.11” “saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

11.1 what you see … write … send = the vision that the Apostle John had seen was to be written in a book (Revelation), and sent to the seven churches of Asia Minor.

VERSE 12 “1.12” “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,”

12.1 seven golden lampstands = the seven churches of Asia Minor. The church’s function is to give light. The golden metal represents the deity and glory of Christ. The implied olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

VERSE 13 “1.13” ” and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”

13.1 in the midst of the seven lampstands = Christ is shown in the midst of the lampstands, that is in the midst of the churches.

13.2 Son of man = the title emphasizes of Jesus, His humanity and Messianic character.

13.3 clothed = shows Christ as priest and judge. See Daniel 7.9, in the description of the Ancient of Days.

13.4 Daniel 7.9, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;”

13.5 the Ancient of Days took his seat. = The title “Ancient of Days” is a designation for God on the throne, and judgment. (RSB)

13.6 his throne . . . its wheels. The depiction of God’s throne resembles Ezekiel’s vision of the throne chariot of God (Ezek. 1:15–28). (RSB)

VERSE 14 “1.14” ” His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;”

14.1 like white wool … snow = A depiction of Christ’s wisdom and purity.

14.2 eyes like a flame of fire = Piercing and penetrating in holiness. (See 1 Cor 3:13).

14.3. 1 Cor 3:13 “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

14.4 1 Cor 3:13 note. Ryrie Study Bible. The flame of fire in Rev 1:14 compares to 1 Cor 3:13 as it relates to judgment.

VERSE 15 “1.15” “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

15.1 This picture of Christ standing ready to judge and purify is completed by the description of His voice as the thundering voice of the Son of God revealing His majesty and power before which human authority must bow. (Walvoord Commentary) See Phl 2:9-10.

15.2 Phil 2:9-10. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,”

VERSE 16 “1.16” “He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength”

16,1 in His right hand = a place of honor.

16.2 he held seven stars = the stars are the angels (pastors) of the seven churches.

16.3 sword = a symbol of the truth and severity of the Word of God. A weapon of Divine judgment.

16.4 His countenance = depicts the brilliant glory of His face.

16.5 See Acts 9:3-4,and 1 John 3:2 for examples of the light and glory of the face of Christ.

16.5.1 “Acts 9:3-4, “3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

16.5.2 “1 John 3:2″ ” Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

VERSE 17 “1:17” “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.’ ”

17.0 I saw Him = in a spiritual ecstatic trance.

17.1 I fell at His feet = the majesty and glory of Jesus was; John fell at His feet.

17.1a Right hand = sign of power and blessing

17.1b Fear not = the Sovereign Lord spoke words of comfort

17.1c The First and The Last = The Sovereign Lord had conquered death and Hades by His power

17.2 do not be afraid = John had been at the transfiguration of Jesus (Matt 17:6); had been at the side of Jesus at the last Passover meal (John 13:23); had been with the mother of Jesus at His crucifixion (John 19:25-27); was at the empty tomb (John 20:1-5); saw Jesus resurrected (John 20:19-20); was given special grace by Jesus (John 21:20-23); saw Jesus ascend up into Heaven (John 21:46-51; Acts 1:8-9). As John was at the feet of Jesus, Jesus said to John, the apostle that Jesus loved, “fear not.” (KJV). It was like Jesus said to John, “you know who I am,” (my words).

VERSE 18 “1:18″ I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

18.0 He who lives = the Living One; the Living God; the Possessor of life and death; never to die again; your life eternal is in Me.

18.1 the keys of Hades and Death = “the keys” denote the authority of Christ over physical death and Hades. the place that temporarily holds the immaterial part of the unbeliever between death and the ultimate casting into the lake of fire (See Rev 20:14).

18.2 the keys of Death = Christ alone holds the key or authority over death; no one can die without divine permission. Because Christ is in authority over Hades, He is also sovereign over the life to come.

JOHN COMMISSIONED TO WRITE (1:19-22)

VERSE 19 “1:19” “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”

19.1 the things you have seen = Chapter 1.

19.2 the things which are = Chapters 2-3 (the present state of the church).

19.3 the things which will take place after this = Chapters 4-22.

19.4 this outline allows for a futuristic understanding of Revelation.

VERSE 20 “1:20” “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, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

20.1 the seven stars = the pastors of the seven churches.

20.2 the seven golden lampstands = the seven churches.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS OF EXPERIENCES WITH GOD

One of the key thoughts that has stayed with me is that the Apostle John, not only was told by the voice of God to write the Book of Revelation, but he also came face to face with our Triune God … Father, Son, Holy Spirit … who displayed all three offices of … Prophet, Priest, King (Rev 1:9-18). We should all consider how we would act if we were to experience such an event in our life. There are two other scriptural incidents that we should consider, of God coming “face to face” with His prophets. As we read about the experiences of Isaiah and Ezekiel with God, we should mentally put ourselves in their circumstances and think about how we might respond.

Isaiah 6:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

A Vision of God in the Temple

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people:

‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend;
keep looking, but do not understand.’

Ezekiel 1:1-3; 1:26-28 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifthday of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, 3 the word of the Lordcame expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

Ezekiel 2:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me.

WORSHIP VIDEOS

The videos that have been chosen were recorded at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. They deal with personal worship experiences that reflect on our need for God to be merciful to us, and for us to seek His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Such mercy is needed for us, individually, and for our nation. The videos were made during the Revival at the church which began on Father’s Day in 1995 and ended in the year 2000.The revival speaker was Evangelist Pastor Steve Hill, who passed from this life on March 9, 2014 and is now in the Presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Lord Have Mercy – Lindell Cooley

Mercy Seat – Charity James Hubbard
Evangelist Pastor Steve Hill

Forgive Me – Altar Call For Repentance
Evangelist Pastor Steve Hill