Behold I Am Coming Quickly!

Revelation 22:7

Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.

Throughout Scripture Christ declares His return many times.

Behold

  • To listen or look upon with interest, for a specific purpose.
  • Taking note to observe carefully the details

I am coming

  • Fact, not fiction
  • We do not know when

How will He arrive?

  • Quickly, suddenly
  • In the clouds
  • For His church

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  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.  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.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Luke 12:22-46 – Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.  Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?  And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?  “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.  “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.  Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.  And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”  And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Blessed is he who keeps the words of this prophecy

  • “This book” – Revelation
  • The blessing is to those who keep the things which are written by John concerning this revelation from Jesus Christ

Revelation 1:1-3 – 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, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.  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.

Six rules for study of prophecy

  • Understand prophecy as history written beforehand
  • Give the same meaning to words of prophecy that you give to words of history
  • Do not seek for hidden meanings
  • Do not think prophecy must be fulfilled before it can be understood
  • Take all prophecy literally unless it is clear that it cannot have a literal meaning.  Then, seek for the literal truth conveyed by the figurative language.
  • Let the Bible be its own interpreter.

o him who overcomes, I will……

Seven times these statements are repeated in Revelation chapter 2 and 3 that clearly indicate we need to heed and obey the words of this book.

  • To him who overcomes, I will….
  • To him who has an ear, let him hear.

Luke 6:46-49 – But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?  Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.  But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Let us do all we can to be ready when Christ returns!!!!!

Behold I Will Make All Things New

Revelation 21:1-7

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

When we go to be with the Lord on that great day of His return, what a difference for us!!!

  • We have had trials – God will give us victory
  • We have had sickness – God will give us health
  • We have had sorrow – God will give us joy
  • We have had torment – God will give us peace
  • We have had lack – God will give us plenty
  • We have had hate – God will give us love
  • We have had bondage – God will give us liberty

In Christ, on that day – no more death, sorrow, crying, pain.  These are the “former things.”  They are gone, gone, forever gone, forever passed away. God will dwell with us.  What a thought! 

  • God dwelt with the Israelites in the Holy of Holies
  • God came to dwell with us in bodily form through Jesus
  • Now, God will be with us – and we with Him throughout eternity.  Forever and ever.

It is done! 

The Alpha and Omega – the Beginning and the End – He has accomplished all this for us

  • The fountain of the water of life will be given freely.  I will never thirst again.  My desire will be satisfied.
  • He who overcomes shall inherit all things
  • Nothing will be lacking
  • I will have all things – nothing incomplete
  • It’s mine – The King of Kings calls me His son
  • I will be a joint heir with Jesus Christ

What an incentive to overcome the world!!!!

Judgment of The Believer

Revelation 20:11-15

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Romans 14:9-12 – For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written:  “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

1 Corinthians 4:5 – Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

  • Several judgments are mentioned in the Bible – judgment of believers, nations, general, great white throne.
  • Great White Throne Judgment – This judgment is universal and final.  Every member of Adam’s race will be present.  There will be no exceptions, certainly no place to hide.  This judgment will signal the end of the human trial which we call history.  The books will be opened, then forever closed.  The abuse of free will, both by angels and by men, will be so completely conquered as to be hereafter impossible.  Active hostility against God will cease, and moral choice so confirmed as to be irreversible.  Never again will an act of sin mar God’s universe.  From the verdict of this general judgment there will be no appeal, because the “great white throne judgment” is the ultimate authority.  It is the final court of appeal.
  • Christ’s relation to the church is different from His relation to the world.  There is a corrective judgment now in progress.  If the purpose of discipline is that “we may not be condemned along with the world,” it is clear that if the discipline fails, we will be condemned along with the world. 

Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

1 Corinthians 11:28-32 – But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Hebrews 12:10-11 – For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

1 Peter 4:17-19 – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?  Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved,

Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”  Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Books of Revelation 20:12

  • The books – “the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
  • The other book – “book of life” – record of one’s repentance and forgiveness – not humanly good people, but redeemed people.

Luke 10:20 – Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

  • Our sins have been judged once at Calvary our faith during the probationary period appropriates this judgment, so the book of life reports “Judged Already.”  “Covered by the blood.”
  • The believer’s judgment
  • “Deeds done in the body”
  • Attitudes
  • Thoughts and intentions of the heart
  • Total stewardship of one’s life

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,  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.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

The Lord God Omnipotent Reigns

Revelation 19:5-7

Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”  And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

End time Bible prophecy is difficult to understand.  It can be interpreted in many ways and much of what has been written has been speculation by those trying to understand.  However, no matter how difficult it is to understand, no matter how it is interpreted, no matter how much we speculate on what it means, God is still in control.

In this passage, we find a great multitude crying:

“Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” 

The earth has just been destroyed.  All is in smoldering ruins following the last battle to take place.  And now we hear:

“Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” 

This simple statement misinterpreted by the beginning Bible scholar or the one totally innocent to the ways of Bible history might lead one to the wrong conclusion.  “This is something new to God.  He is in charge now, not the devil or his followers.’  Or, perhaps, “It sure took Him a long time to get the upper hand.’

Make no mistake about it – The Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  He always has.  He always will.

The very word “omnipotent” brings to mind the thought “all powerful.”   Then, you might ask why are things the way they are in the world now if God is in complete control?

Isaiah 55:8-9 – For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 11:33-36 – Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  “For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has become His counselor?”  “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?”  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Isaiah 40:10-26 – Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.  He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?  Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?  Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?  With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice?  Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?   Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.  And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.  All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.  To whom then will you liken God?  Or what likeness will you compare to Him?  The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.  Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter.  Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.  He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless.  Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.  “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.

Job 40:-1-2, 6-9 – Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said:  “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?  He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”  Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:  “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me:  “Would you indeed annul My judgment?  Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?  Have you an arm like God?  Or can you thunder with a voice like His?

As we look at God’s creation and His Word, we can truly say

“Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” 

We can also agree with the writer of Hebrews who said

Hebrews 2:5-7 – For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.  But one testified in a certain place, saying:  “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?  You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.

You Are Worthy, O Lord

Revelation 15:2-4

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.  They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:  “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!  Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy.  For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

  • Who is singing this song? – Those who have victory over the beast, over his image, over his mark, over his name.  These are martyrs who have given their lives during the great tribulation. 

Here is a picture of the redeemed of the Lamb.  They are singing and playing their harps on the sea of glass around God’s throne.   They are singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.

Exodus 15:1-19 – Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:

“I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath; It consumed them like stubble. And with the blast of Your nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright like a heap; the depths congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; the earth swallowed them. You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. “The people will hear and be afraid; sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling will take hold of them; all the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. Fear and dread will fall on them; by the greatness of Your arm they will be as still as a stone, till Your people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over whom You have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which You have made for Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established. “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

Note the similarities between the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb

  • God is being praised
  • The people are no longer captives of Pharaoh or of Satan
  • The Egyptians are being destroyed – the beast is about to be destroyed
  • The people are rejoicing in victory
  • Acknowledgement is made that the Lord will reign forever and ever
  • Following judgment of sin, the Lord reigns forever and ever

Seven things we see in these two songs of praise

  • God is our song
  • God is our salvation
  • God is the strong one
  • God is all powerful
  • God is able to subdue all enemies
  • God is God!
  • We are not defeated! – As we look around us at the sin in the world that at times seems to be everywhere and almost overwhelming, we may begin to feel defeated.  But Satan is a liar.  He is the one who is defeated. 

1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 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, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • Praise Him NOW – You may not feel like praising Him, you may be sick, tired, discouraged.  But praise Him NOW. 
  • God is “enthroned” or lives in our praises.  Praising God brings us into His presence.

Psalm 22:3 – But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.

  • Praise is pleasant (satisfying, enjoyable) and beautiful.

Psalm 147:1 – Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

  • Praise opens our heart to trust in God and know that He will deliver.

Psalm 42:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.

  • We need to help our children to see what God has done and, even in difficult times we need to set the example of trusting God.

Psalm 78:4 – We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,

and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

  • Let’s praise Him!!!
  • What a Mighty God We Serve
  • Great and Mighty is the Lord Our God
  • Glory to His Name
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Praise Him! Praise Him!
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness
  • Holy, Holy, Holy

Free At Last

Revelation 12:7-12

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,  but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.  Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

  • Free at last – One day we can say, “The accuser can no longer accuse.  The deceiver can no longer deceive.  Revelation speaks of a future time, but even now, the resurrected Christ has put us in a right relation to Himself through the cross.

Romans 8:33 – Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]

  • We sing, “This is the day that the Lord has made.”  But we also can sing, “This is the week of the devil’s defeat.”  Not some far off, distant time, but NOW.

2 Corinthians 15:7 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

  • You are a new creation – if you have been to the cross and Christ is even NOW pleading your cause. 

Romans 8:34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

  • The devil is defeated already and he knows it.  But, do you know it?  He is counting that you do not really realize he is defeated.  That you think he has more power than you do.  He does have more power than you do by yourself, but with Christ, you can defeat him.  The same power Jesus gave to the disciples, He gives to us.

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth

Luke 9:1 – Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  • How we overcome
  • By the blood of the Lamb
  • By the word of our testimony

Revelation 12:11 – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

  • Importance of our praising the Lord and sharing our testimony of what God has done for us.  Satan does not want us to praise the Lord.  He does not want us to be an overcomer. 
  • When Satan comes at you like a cockroach, just turn “on the light” on him and he will run for cover just like an old cockroach.  If he does not run and take cover when you turn the light on him, just stomp him into the ground with “your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel.” 
  • When Satan tries to remind you of your past – remind him of his future.
  • Satan is like an old mop – all wet and dirty.  But you are made clean through the Word and the Holy Spirit
  • Satan is like an old junky car on the way to the dump.  It makes all kinds of noise as you travel along.  You wonder where you will end up and when you get there, you will not like it.

Zechariah 3:1-17 – Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.  And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”  Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.  Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”  And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”  So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.  Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,  “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My command, then you shall also judge My house,  And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.

  • Through Jesus Christ, we are triumphant.  We can be like John Geddie who died as a missionary on a South Seas island.  On his tombstone was written:  “When he got here, there were no Christians.  When he died, there were no sinners.

What are you doing for Christ? 

Who Are These?

Revelation 7:13-17

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”  And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”  So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.  They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

  • These are the saints who made it through the great tribulation.  They were a countless multitude from all over the world – all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues.

Revelation 7:9 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands

  • While the blessings here are said to be for the tribulation saints, it gives us a picture of what heaven will be like.  Look what God has prepared for His children.
  • We will serve Him day and night and He will dwell among us.  ‘Emmanuel” – God with us – in person – where we can behold Him forever and forever.  What an amazing thought! 
  • No more hunger or thirst.  The book of Revelation tells us we will be able to eat of the Tree of Life and drink from the River of Life.
  • The sun will not need to shine for He will be the light.  We saw this in the creation.  The first day of creation God made light, but He did not create the sun, moon and stars until the fourth day.  God is the light.
  • No heat – we will not need a weather man.  The weather will be perfect. 
  • He will shepherd us – lead us, watch over us, protect us.
  • He will wipe away every tear.  There will be nothing to cause sorrow again.  Not separation, no death, no pain.

Psalm 23:1 – The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

  • These saints had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.  This tells us that the only way to receive these great blessings of God and spend eternity with Him in heaven is to repent and have our sins cleansed by acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. 

Acts 2:21 – And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

  • It is not only the saints who come through the tribulation that need to be on guard.  Satan continues to try to destroy God’s people who surrender their lives to Him. 

Revelation 12:17 – And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

  • God sends an invitation to all of us.  We can be a part of that throne around God’s throne, but we must accept the invitation.

Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Sleeping With the Devil

Revelation 2:18-23

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.  And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.  Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.  I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

  • Jezebel – a symbol of someone who tries to control and seduce Christians.  The name refers back to Jezebel in the Old Testament.  She controlled her husband, King Ahab, and led Israel into worship of Baal, into sexual immorality and was responsible for killing many prophets of Jehovah.  Israel over and over was involved in idolatry until they were carried away into captivity as a result. 

The church today is being seduced by this same spirit of idolatry and immorality.  Even Christians seem to fall prey to this spirit of seduction, believing those things that the Word of God says is untrue.  Christians are prostituting ourselves to recklessly do what we want to do rather than following the Word of God.  The church is allowing things that compromise our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Kings 16:31 – And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.

When we sell out our God as our divine moral authority, we are unholy.  We are “sleeping with the devil.”

  • Results of falling prey to the spirit of Jezebel
  • Great tribulation
  • Death

Revelation 2:22-23 – Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.  I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Courtship With God

Revelation 2:1-5

To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

  • Courtship with spouse
  • Starts out with ‘There’s nothing, there’s nobody else but you darling.  Then, there’s Monday night football, fishing and hunting with the guys, shopping trips with the girls, etc. etc.
  • Over a long period of time, the church in Ephesus had steadfastly refused to tolerate sin among its members.  This was not easy in a city noted for the immoral sexual practices associated with the worship of the goddess Diana.  We also are living in times of widespread sin and sexual immortality.  It is popular to be open-minded toward many types of sin, calling them personal choices or alternative life-styles.  But when the body of believers begins to tolerate sin in the church, they are lowering the standards and compromising the church’s witness.  Remember, God’s approval is infinitely more important than the world’s.
  • Working at our relationship
  • Budgets, growing families, time pressures.  At times we lose it; we have no more patience, no more love, the war is on.
  • Christ commends the church at Ephesus for working hard, being patient, resisting sin, critically examining the claims of false apostle and suffering patiently without quitting.  Every church should have these characteristics.  But these good efforts should spring from our love for Jesus Christ  Both Jesus and John stressed brotherly love as an authentic proof of the gospel.   In the battle for maintaining sound teaching and moral and doctrinal purity, it is possible to lose a charitable spirit.  Prolonged conflict can weaken or destroy our patience and affection.  In defending the faith, guard against any structure or rigidity that weakens love.

John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1 John 3:18-19 – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.  And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

  • Honeymoon is over
  • First love is gone.
  • Paul had once commended the church at Ephesus for its love for God and others, but many of the church founders had died, and the second-generation believers had lost their zeal for God.  They were a busy church, the members did much to benefit themselves and the community, but they were acting for the wrong reasons.  Work for God must be motivated by love for God or it will not last.
  • Settling in
  • We lose sight of our initial excitement.  There is no more enthusiasm.  (Meat loaf again.)
  • Just as when a man and woman fall in love, so also new believers rejoice at their new-found forgiveness.  But when we lose sight of the seriousness of sin, we begin to lose the thrill of our forgiveness.  In the first steps of your Christian life, you may have had enthusiasm without knowledge.  Do you now have knowledge without enthusiasm?  Both are necessary if we are to keep love for God intense and untarnished.  Do you love God with the same fervor as when you were a new Christian?

2 Peter 1:5-9 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Hebrews 10:32-35 – But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:  partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.  Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

  • Don’t give up
  • He/She still loves you.  After an argument, make up. 
  • For Jesus to “remove your lampstand from its place” would mean the church would cease to be an effective church.  Just as the seven-branched candlestick in the temple gave light for the priests to see, the churches were to give light to their surrounding communities.  But Jesus warned them that their lights could go out.  In fact, Jesus Himself would extinguish any light that did not fulfill His purpose.  The church had to repent of its sins.

He Who Has An Ear – HEAR

Revelation 2:1-7

To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,   ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.  But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

  • The Loveless Church – Ephesus
  • Challenge:  repent and regain your first love
  • Reward:  eat from the tree of life = eternal life

Revelation 2:8-11

And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:  “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

  • The Persecuted Church – Smyma
  • Challenge:  persecution
  • Reward:  crown of life = eternal life

Revelation 2:12-17

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:  “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.  Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

  • The Compromising Church – Pergamos
  • Challenge:  repent and remove the false teachers, the immorality
  • Reward:  hidden manna to eat, white stone with a new name = eternal life

Revelation 2:18-29

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.  And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.  Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.  I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.  “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.  But hold fast what you have till I come.  And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father;  and I will give him the morning star.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

  • The Corrupt Church – Thyatira
  • Challenge:  repent and remove the corruption, the sexual immorality, worship of idols
  • Reward:  power over nations and the morning star = eternal life

Revelation 3:1-6

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘these things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.  You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

  • The Dead Church – Sardis
  • Challenge:  repent, return to God, strengthening the life that is about to die
  • Reward:  clothes in white garments, Jesus will confess their name before His Father and His angels = eternal life

Revelation 3:7-13

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,  ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:  “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

  • The Faithful Church – Philadelphia
  • Challenge – no commendation
  • Reward:  make a pillar in the temple of God and have Jesus write on them His new name = eternal life

Revelation 3:14-22

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘these things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

  • The Lukewarm Church – Laodicean
  • Challenge:  repent and be zealous for God once again
  • Reward:  sit with Jesus on His throne = eternal life

These messages was to the seven churches, more specifically to the pastors of the seven churches.  They represent all of God’s churches.  Seven = fullness/complete.  They represent churches of all ages from John’s time until the return of Christ.

Revelation 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.

  • Spiritual math:

Born twice     =     Die once

Born once      =     Die twice