JOHN – Revelation 2-3
The Church at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
- The church at Ephesus had left ____________________. Revelation 2:4 ________________________________________________________________
- For their sins, the churches at Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyatira were told to (a) be baptized, (b) believe, (c) repent, or (d) confess. Revelation 2:5, 16, 22 Possibly, why was the church of Smyrna not told to repent? Revelation 2:8-11 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Where is the tree of life? Revelation 2:7 ________________________________________________________________
- What is the result of being faithful until death? Revelation 2:10 ________________________________________________________________
- Among the sins of the church at Pergamum, one not listed was (a) denying the faith, (b) teaching Balak, (c) eating food sacrificed to idols, or (d) committing acts of immorality. Revelation 2:13, 14 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Among the sins of the church at Thyatira, not listed was (a) committing sins of immorality, (b) decreasing in deeds, (c) eating foods sacrificed to idols, (d) following after Jezebel. Revelation 2:19-21
- How many people in Sardis were not sinful? Revelation 3:4 ________________________________________________________________
- The names of those who had overcome sin were written in the book . Revelation 3:5 ________________________________________________________________
- (yes or no) Was it possible for a person to lose his “crown”? Revelation 3:11 ________________________________________________________________
- What would Jesus do to people that were lukewarm? Revelation 3:15-16 ________________________________________________________________
- For their sins, the churches of Sardis and Laodicea were told to ____________.
Possibly, why was the church of Philadelphia not told to repent?
Revelation 3:3, 7-19 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Descriptions of Jesus – Revelation 2-3
1:1 – Messiah (Christ)
1:1 – Has servants
1:2 – Was testified about
1:5 – Faithful witness
1:5 – Firstborn (preeminent) from the dead
1:5 – Ruler over the kings of the Earth
1:5 – Loved us
1:5 – Washed us from our sins in His blood
1:5 – Shed his blood for us (implied)
1:6 – Made us kings and priests to God
1:6 – To whom belongs glory and dominion forever.
1:7 – Will come with the clouds
1:7 – Will be seen by everyone, even those who pierced Him
1:7 – Was pierced
1:7 – Will cause all tribes on Earth to mourn
1:8 – Alpha and Omega (1:11, 17); Beginning and End
1:8 – Who is and who was and who is to come
1:8 – The Almighty
1:8 – Speaks with a voice as a trumpet
1:11 – Giver of revelation (1:1)
1:13 – In midst of 7 golden lampstands (vs. 20 – churches) (2:1)
1:13 – Clothed in garments of a priest
1:14 – Hair and head of white
1:14 – Eyes a flame of fire
1:15 – Feet like brass
1:15 – Voice like many waters
1:16 – Holds stars in his hand (angels of the churches) (2:1)
1:17 – Shows compassion
1:18 – Who lives, was dead, and is alive evermore
1:18 – Holds the keys of Hades and Death
1:19 – Prophet of future events (Deuteronomy 18)
1:20 – Revealer of mysteries
2:2 – One who sent out apostles with verifiable evidence.
2:3 – One for whose name’s sake we should labor.
2:4 – One whom we should love as the fundamental nature of our Christianity
2:5 – One with power to remove a Church’s lampstand.
2:6 – One who hate false teachers (like the Nicolaitans) (2:15; 2:20)
2:7 – One who has authority over Tree of Life in the paradise of God.
2:8 – First and last
2:8 – Dead and came to life
2:9 – Knows who the real Jews are
2:10 – Knows the future
2:10 – Gives the Crown of life
2:11 – Can tell us how to avoid the second death
2:12 – Has the sharp two-edged sword
2:13 – Knows the faithful who hold fast in face of death
2:14 – Is aware of the doctrines taught among churches
2:16 – Requires repentance from Churches, not just individuals
2:16 – One who fights against Churches with sword of His mouth
2:17 – Possesses the hidden manna (Bread of Life)
2:17 – Giver of new names (on a white stone) known only to the recipient
2:18 – Son of God
2:18 – Eyes like a flame of fire and feet like fine brass
2:20 – Opposed to false doctrine, seducing women, sexual immorality, and idolatry
2:21 – Gives time to repent (long-suffering) even to false teachers
2:22 – Brings tribulation against the unfaithful to get them to repent
2:23 – Death and destruction (judgment) against children of false teachers
2:23 – Searches hearts and minds of Christians (and so-called)
2:24 – Merciful to those striving to be faithful in midst of false teachers
2:25 – One who is coming (3:11)
2:26 – Has works we are to be keeping
2:26 – Has power over the nations
2:27 – Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Psalm 2:8-9)
2:28 – Giver of the Morning Star
3:2 – Examiner of works searching for “perfect” Christians
3:3 – Giver of the Gospel
3:3 – Expects Christians to be watchful (ready / sober)
3:3 – Comes as a thief in the night against Churches and Christians
3:4 – Walks in white with those who are worthy
3:5 – Giver of White Garments (cf. Zechariah 3 – High Priest’s garments)
3:5 – Controls whose names are in the Book of Life
3:5 – Confess/Advocates on behalf of people before the Father
3:6 – Is Holy
3:7 – Is True
3:7 – Has the Key of David (Isaiah 9:6-7)
3:7 – Has authority to open and shut and now one can overcome (Mat. 16:17-19)
3:8 – Knows who has little strength and is enduring
3:9 – Has power over sinners to cause them to bow (worship / defeated) before those who love Him
3:10 – Giver of commandments
3:10 – Protector / Keeper during hour of trials (2 Peter 2:9)
3:10 – Tester of whole world through trials
3:11 – One who comes quickly
3:12 – Controls the Temple of God / makes something out of someone they were never capable of becoming alone (1 Kings 7:21)
3:12 – Controls access to the Father (My God) (John 14:6)
3:12 – Controller of the writing of name of God on Faithful (Revelation 7:1-4)
3:12 – Writer of the name of the city of God (New Jerusalem) on the Faithful
3:12 – Writer of a “new name” on Christians
3:14 – The amen (Isaiah 65:16 – The God of Truth/Amen)
3:14 – The faithful and true witness
3:14 – the Beginning of Creation of God (Not the first of… but the originating source of creation through whom God works – Col. 1:15,18, John 1:3; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 1:18; 2:8; 3:21; 5:13).
3:15-16 – The one of whom Churches/Christians are a part
3:17 – Sees the real condition of a Christian, even if they do not.
3:18 – Has the things of real value available for those who seek them (Matthew 5:6)
3:18 – Clothes those covered in shame and heals the blind
3:19 – A rebuke and chastener of those He loves (for their own good/benefit)
3:20 – A seeker of those who will let Him in
3:20 – Awaiting the opening of the door by the Hearer
3:21 – Authority over who sits with Him on the throne
3:21 – An overcomer (3:7)
3:22 – One who speaks to those who HEAR (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13) through the Spirit’s revelation.
<inaudible><inaudible> good morning. It’s good to see everyone here this morning. Good to have those who are online, joining us online and on the phone, grateful for their presence, and we hope you are doing well. We are in revelation chapter two. We’re going to try something very ambitious today. Um, I mentioned on Wednesday that if there was any feedback one way or another as to whether or not we should just continue through the entire book of revelation,
the material that we’re in covers chapters one, two, and three, and then jumps to the end of chapter 22. And that’s all it covers much like it did the book of job. Uh, there’s just only so much that you can fit into material. And also, uh, only so much you can explain to three and four year olds, and if you’re doing it across the whole span of,
uh, of ages. And so, uh, the material chose to skip over the majority of revelation. Um, so I asked Everyone, what were your thoughts? And not everybody gave me their thoughts as to whether or not we should cover all of it in this class, but a few did. And the unanimous thoughts were that we should. So we’re going to attempt to go through the book of revelation.
Um, well, no, we’re going to go through the book of revelation. We’re going to attempt to do it well and do it quickly and expeditiously, because I think that in a sense, the quicker you go through revelation, the better you get it, um, in the sense that we don’t want to get bogged down, we don’t want to spend,
as, as I know, one class did a year going through the book of revelation. And by the time you got to the end, the teacher said, I don’t think anybody remembers what the, It looks about it. So remember this about revelation. It is a picture book. If you sit down with a child and you pick up a picture book,
you ought to be able to get the gist of the book fairly quickly. That’s the book of revelation. Okay. Now what we’re going to attempt to do this morning, because we are going to try and go through the entire thing, but not lose, you know, a whole quarter doing it. Um, and, and get caught back up with the other classes,
uh, is we’re going to try and do chapter two and three this morning. One of the reasons we’re going to do that is because this is, these were the two chapters that most people are the most familiar with, but I want to look at it in a different way then I think we usually do. So, the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to answer the questions,
where do you get those out of the way and do those? Uh, because that is probably the closest thing to a traditional study of chapters two and three, that you’re going to get to do Question number one. Okay. Chapter two, verse four, the church at Ephesus had left blank. First love question, number two for their sins, the churches at emphasis Promar Pergamum fire,
Tyra and Thyatira were told to a be baptized, be believe, see, repent or Dee confess. See repent. Possibly. Why was the church at Smyrna? Not told to repent. Let’s go through and read the section to Smyrna verse eight and the angel or, 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 words, 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 of those things, which are, 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 10 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. So this is a cool thought question, possibly. Why is it that they’re not commanded to repent? They’re not getting no, nothing negative is said about them.
They were faithful. And they were about to go into what severe persecution tribulation up to and including death. Okay. So, so I think maybe those were the two reasons. Number one, there wasn’t anything negative to say about them. That might, that might be the answer right there. Number two, it might be the severe persecution that they were about to undergo.
Number three, where is the tree of life in the paradise of God? According to verse seven, according to chapter two, verse 10, question four. What is the result of being faithful until death? You will receive a crown of life. And the question number five among the sins of the church at Pergamum one, not listed was a denying the faith B teaching Baylock C eating food,
sacrificed to idols, or D committing acts of immorality, denying the faith question. Number six, by the way, the reason there’s 11 questions is I combined the questions from chapter two and chapter three. And what<inaudible>. Okay. Uh, question six from verses 19 through 21 of chapter two among the sins of the church at Thyatira, not listed was a committing sins of immorality B decreasing in deeds C eating food sacrificed to idols or D following after Jessebelle,<inaudible> Be decreasing Indeed’s questions.
Seven from chapter three, verse four. How many people in Sardis were not sinful?<inaudible> Chapter three, verse horses. You have a few names, even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. So the answer is a few, by the way, that is Sardis in Asia, minor dot Sardis, Mississippi. Okay. Just so we’re clear revelation,
chapter three, verse five, question a, the names of those who had overcome sin were written in the book of blank book of life. Yes or no. Question nine from chapter three, verse 11. Was it possible for a person to lose his crown? Yes. Chapter three, verses 15 through 16, question 10. What would Jesus do to people who were lukewarm spew them out?
Question 11 chapter three, verse three and verses seven through 19 for their sins. The churches of Sardis and Laodicea were told to Milink repent. Possibly. Why was the church at Philadelphia? Not told to repent. They were faithful. I think the answer to both of those questions is, is that idea right there. They were faithful. Okay. What I want to do next is I want to look at chapters one,
two, and three as a cohesive unit talking about one singular thing. Usually what happens is chapter one, we introduce revelation and we talk about John, uh, at the Island Patmos. And we talk about the visions and we talk about, uh, figurative language, all of which we did on Wednesday. And then we get to chapter two and we talk about the church.
We talk about problems with the church and good things about the church and things they’re doing right. And things they were doing wrong and all of that’s good, but there’s a reason why these three, these three chapters are the preface to the book. They are not the focus of the book. It’s, it’s kind of astounding. Um, it’s kind of feels like high school sometimes where you go through a book and you really don’t ever read the book,
you just read the preface and the cliff notes, and then you move on just because you had a test on it or a book report to do. And that’s all you all the time you want to spend on. That’s how I think sometimes we treat the book of revelation. We read the preface, we go through some highlights and then we move on.
But when we do that, I think we miss the focus of the preface. And we miss the focus of the book. The book of revelation has a singular message, the victory in Christ and the message of the book of revelation to these Christians and note, first and foremost, it is written to Christians who were alive, right then this is not the only book in all the new Testament,
written exclusively to people who hadn’t lived for 2000 years, but that’s how people interpret it. They’ll interpret it as if it’s written to us today or some future generation and not to the people who were right there. And that’s just simply not true. John was writing to Christians just the same way was in first, John and second John and third John and the gospel of John he’s writing to the same people,
but he’s writing to them about some thing that must shortly come to pass. As we get in further into the book, we’re going to look at the dating of the book. There are those who argue for one date and they’re those who argue for another date. And I’ll tell you, I think they’re both wrong and that’s going to astound you. You know that Aaron things everybody’s wrong now,
not everybody’s wrong. There are some people who are right. It’s just that both of those camps are wrong. Um, and it’s because generally what those two arguments come from is the historical information around the book and the traditions that have been handed down through the years, but they’re not dated by the content of the book later on in our study, we’re going to go to revelation chapter 17.
And we’re going to see where John says the books written because John dates the book. So we don’t have to guess he told us when it was written. And we’ll see that as we get into the visions and as we explain what’s going on in the visions, which will help make, help them make sense. But what we’re going to do this morning,
we’re going to focus on the single most emphasized aspect of chapters. One, two, and three, that is underemphasized in every study I’ve ever seen to the book of revelation. And that is Jesus Christ. See chapter two and chapter three are not about the church they’re written to the church. They’re correcting issues in the church. They’re encouraging the church. They’re telling the church what’s coming,
but they’re not about the church. They’re about Jesus Christ. So let’s begin going through a list. And what I have here is a four page list of every description. Every attribute of Jesus Christ contained in these three chapters. And in order to do compile that list, it took four pages. The entirety of the text, almost every single verse focuses on Jesus Christ.
Go, go to revelation, chapter one, we’re going to go through the list and I just want you to see this. And then I’ve got the handout for you later. You can go back through so you don’t have to try and take notes. I want you to see it in the text revelation chapter one, verse one, 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 notice, first and foremost, he’s introduced as the Christ. We’ve talked about this before. What is the Christ mean? It’s the word mean? The anointed one. And it’s a carry over. It’s a brought forward from the old Testament word.
What? Okay. Messiah the Christ was a synonymous idea with the Messiah. When someone said, this is the Christ, they meant this is the old Testament Messiah. Okay. But notice as well that Christ Jesus Christ in verse one has servants. He sent and signified it by his servants. But notice in verse two, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ,
to all things that he saw, Christ is one who is testified about Jesus made it. Or John made it clear in his other epistles. We saw him, we witnessed these things. We heard him, we touched him. We know that of which we speak. Okay. So Christ is one who has testified about verse five and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness,
the firstborn from the dead, the ruler of over the Kings of the earth, to him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. You’ve got a number of descriptions right here about Jesus Christ. Notice number one, he’s the faithful witness all throughout the old and the new Testament. God condemns. Those who perjure themselves. One of the things that God hates is those who bear false witness.
John makes this clear as he introduces Jesus Christ. And this, this letter is beginning. This witness is faithful. This witness is true and you need to listen to him, but he not only calls him the faithful witness. He calls him the firstborn from the dead. The idea there, as we mentioned on Wednesday being the preeminent one, he also called him the ruler over the Kings of the earth.
This statement right here is going to introduce the position of Christ, the position of the lamb for the rest of the book. We can talk about Jesus reigning on his throne and Jesus being the King and Jesus leading the army army of, of the faithful over in chapter 18 and 19. But he’s introduced as the King over all the earth right here. This is a blow to Caesar who claims to be the ruler over all the earth.
John says, no, you’re not Jesus Christ is. But then also where we see a description of Jesus, as one who loved us, here is a faithful witness. Here is a King, but here is one who loved us so much that he washed us from our sins in his own blood. The implication of course, there being that Jesus Christ is the one who came and died for us.
So you have John chapter three verse 16 brought right in here into this text for God. So loved the world that he gave. His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He gave his son for us, but Jesus came, Jesus chose to do that because he loved us. One of the messages to these Christians,
to these Christians that are about to go through persecution is number one, Christ is on the throne. Number two, he came and he died for you. He washed you from your sins and he did it because he loves you. And so when you go through the persecution, that’s coming, because everything in this book is stated in view of a calming persecution.
John wants them to know at the very outset, he loved you. He’s on the throne and he washed you from your sins in his blood. But then notice, he also says in verse six, he not only did that, but Anne has made us Kings and priests to his God and father to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Notice that he has made us Jesus. Didn’t just save us from our sins. He took us from our old status in life and made us something entirely new. He made us Kings and priests that second, Peter and second Peter chapter two verses five through nine speaks concerning that. But then also we read to, uh, that to him, belongs glory.
And we’re beginning to see a picture of a lamb, a Christ who is worthy of praise. And John’s going to set that out right here. But then verse seven behold, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him. Even they who pierced him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. Notice he’s coming, he’s coming and that’s going to be emphasized in chapter one,
chapter two and chapter three. And every time it’s mentioned there, somebody who needs to wake up every time Jesus is spoken of as coming, somebody needs to be aware because it’s coming in judgment every single time in chapters, one, two, and three, we’re going to see every single one of them, but in every single one of them he’s coming and he’s coming in judgment.
Why is it that the group of people mentioned here in his coming, who are going to see him is described as those who pierced him? What is that reference as he was there on the cross? What happened to it? His side was pierced. It references back to the old Testament, by the way, it hearkens back to the book of Zechariah.
We’ll get to that in a few weeks, but he was pierced for us. His blood was shed for us. And John writes as an older man that there were those who were still alive, who had something to do with that, who were going to witness what was coming. This is no different than in Mark chapter nine, verse one, Jesus saying to those disciples who were standing there,
there are some of you standing here who will not see death till you see the kingdom of God come with power. And John says there were going to be some of those who pierced him, who were involved in his death, who would witness this coming judgment. He says they will also, or that he will also cause all tribes on the earth to mourn this coming judgment.
This coming of Christ was going to bring about mourning from all the tribes of the earth. And you’re going to see that as we go through the text, but then verse eight, we see 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. You see him described as the alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end, the first letter of the Greek alphabet in the last, you see him described as who is and who was, and who is the com declaring his eternality. You see him described as the almighty, every single one of these descriptions is to get these Christians to see he’s in charge. You got to get that the whole message of book of revelation Christ is on the throne.
And he has not handed authority over to Caesar. And he is not handed authority over to Rome. And he has not handed authority over to the beast. And he is not handed authority over the dragon. He is not handed authority over to Satan. He has not handed authority over to anyone. He is on the throne. He is the almighty, but then also verse eight.
He is one who speaks, no, that’s not verse eight. There’s a typo there. A verse 10. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day. And I heard behind me aloud voice as of a trumpet. His voice is that which is described as the sound of a trumpet verse 11. He is the giver of revelation. He says, I am the first and the,
uh, the alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, what you see right in a book and send it to the seven churches. He is the giver of revelation. All these are descriptions, not of the spirit, not of the father. They’re all descriptions of Christ. Okay? Verse 13, you see him pictured as John begins to see him in the midst of the seven lampstands 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, his head and hair were white, like wool, as white as snow and his eyes like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass as if refined in a furnace, his voice as the sound of many waters he had in his right hand,
seven stars and out of his mouth, when a sharp twoedged sword and his countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. All these descriptions, you just break them out one by one, all of them describing a picture of Christ. But I want you to notice one specifically. Now they’re all on the list when you get the handout, but one specifically,
what’s coming out of his mouth, a sharp two edged sword. When you get into chapter two and three, you’re going to see a reference back to that. So don’t forget it. Notice where it’s coming out of though. It’s not in his hand. Is it coming out of his wide mouth? This is a picture of God’s word and it’s power.
It is the power of God’s word to defeat God’s enemies. When Satan came tempted Jesus there in Matthew, chapter four and Luke chapter four, every time Jesus was tempted, he responded with what the sword of the spirit. He did battle with Satan and was victorious by using the one tool. Satan didn’t have access to the word of God and using it properly.
But when we see the description of Jesus Christ fighting with the sword, that’s a warning because he doesn’t fight against his friends. He doesn’t fight against his allies. He doesn’t go out to do battle with a sword against those who are on his side. He does it against his enemies. So in chapter two and chapter three, when you get a church being warned that he will turn and fight against you with the sword,
Oh, we’ve got a problem in a church. Don’t we? Okay. But again, the point, the focus isn’t on the church, it’s on the Christ, but then notice also verse 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 notice something in here that isn’t explicitly stated, but it’s there in his actions. Jesus is one who shows compassion. Here’s John Xi. He sees this vision. He sees him, he hears the voice and then he falls down at his feet and Jesus doesn’t command them to stand up. Jesus reaches down and lifts him up.
This is the same savior, the same Jesus who sat in the upper room at that final supper who John, we read about laid his head on his chest. There was a love, a care, a compassion, a concern in Christ for his apostle still, but he also says do not be afraid. Jesus is one who brings about the possibility of living in a time of tribulation in a time of persecution with out fear.
Then also verse 18. I am he who lives and who was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Again, another description of his eternal illness, how he always has existed, how he does exist. I hadn’t how he always will. But also you see in this a description of a break in time, and sometimes people will say, time has no has no bearing on eternity,
disagree entirely because in eternity you have everything that happened before Jesus died and you have everything that happened after it. You can’t tell me, time has no bearing on eternity. Now, can you tell me that time? Doesn’t mean the same thing to God in eternity, that it means to us. Absolutely. But you have everything that happened before the cross and everything that happened after it,
time has to have some bearing on eternity, but then also notice you have this description of him. I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and death. This is a message of victory. This is a message that says, because remember the likelihood is, and I’m going to give you why I believe this. Every other book of the new Testament is already been written.
The church has every other book of the new Testament already in their hands before they get this. So they’ve read Hebrews chapter two. They’ve read when the Hebrew writer said that the last enemy to be destroyed was death and Jesus conquered death. So when he says I have the keys, that means I went down into Haiti’s and I opened the door. I opened the door for the resurrection.
Death has no power on you. The book of revelation is going to make it clear for the one who is faithful for the one who is righteous, the one who endures until death, they won’t stay a part of the second death. They won’t become those who are brought into the second death that is eternal torment. They instead will have eternal life. And how can they be assured of that?
Because the one who’s going to give them eternal life holds the keys to Hades and death. He’s in charge, not just of this world, but that world, but then also notice, right? These things which you have seen and the things which you, which are and the things which will take place after this here, you need to get this. Here’s what this book is about.
This book is about, what’s already been said all of the revelation from the old Testament prophets and from the, from a Z Gill and Daniel and all those profits that, that have visions that are part of this book. He says, those are the things which were, and tell them about the things which are what’s going on right now and write what’s coming.
That’s the book of revelation. But then also he says the mystery of the seven stars, which you saw in my right hand. And the seven golden lamp stands. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven church or seven lampstands, which you saw are the seven churches. So he’s now going to address these churches. But again,
as we go through this, I want to get the picture of Christ. I want you to see this as the introduction to Christ in view of the church, because John’s now focusing entirely on these churches, but he’s going to write the message from Christ to the churches. And they need to know who they’re dealing with before chapter four starts before John gets invited into the throne room of God,
before John starts revealing the things which he’s about to see, they need to know who it’s coming from. And so Jesus says, you write to these seven churches, you write these things down and you put them in a book and you send it to them. And this is what he is going to reveal. Number one, that he holds the stars,
the angels of the churches in his right hand, he has power over death. He has power over the Kings of the earth and he holds the churches in his hand, Jesus Christ has power over the church, but it’s also his strength. We read in Ephesians about the manifold wisdom of God in bringing about the church. And we read that we fight not against principalities and powers of this earth,
but against the ruler of the darkness that we fight a spiritual warfare and we better suit up. Ephesians chapter six, we better be prepared to fight. The sword comes out of his mouth, but in his right hand, the churches. And now he’s going to address them to the angel, the church at Ephesus, write these things, says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand,
who walks in the midst of the golden lamp stands. I know your works, your labor, your patients, 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. Number one about Jesus. He knows what’s going on in every church. He makes it clear and he’s going to make it clear to every single congregation.
I know. I know. I know. I know. Oh, so many times The old Testament, the Israelites believed the false teachers who said, God, doesn’t know, God’s not paying attention. God, won’t see what you’re doing and that it’s wrong. God, won’t judge you. Jesus says, I know. And he’s also going to tell them,
I know when you’re failing, but notice as well. He is described as the one who sent out the apostles with verifiable information. He says, I know your works, your labor, your patients, 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. When Jesus sent out his apostles,
he sent them out with verifiable evidence. Jesus is a God of evidence and proof, not of a leap of faith. And so he says, I know what you’ve done and you’ve done it. Right? But then also notice in verse four, one of whom we should, or one whom we should love as a fundamental nature of our Christianity. Verse four.
Nevertheless, I have this against you that you have left your first love. What was their first love God and Christ. If you love me, keep my commandments. Hereby, will they know that you are my disciples? If you love one another, as I have loved you. Okay? So verse five, we see Christ as one with power to remove a church’s lampstand.
Not only does he have the, the angels of the churches in his right hand, he has the power to remove a congregation from his presence that the vision of him standing in the midst of the lampstand is a vision of him being in communion, in fellowship with those churches. What happens if one of those lampstands is removed? That means that church is no longer in fellowship with him.
That church has been cast out. That church is like the Jews who were part of that vine that got cut off and burned. He’s warning the Christians. What happened to them? Jews can happen to you. No. What he says in verse five, remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamps And notice his coming again.
First coming back in chapter one, it’s the peoples, the tribes of the earth that need to be paying attention. They’re going to mourn when he comes, but now it’s the church at Ephesus. He says, I’m going to come and I’m going to come quickly. And you are going to suffer when I come, this isn’t the second coming of Christ.
This isn’t the day of judgment. This is now, John. John’s not selling them. You get, you be sure to repent before you die. He’s telling them you better repent now, or your candlestick is going to be removed. But then also he says, or we see in verse seven, he’s one who has authority over the tree of life in the paradise of God.
Um, actually I skipped verse six, but this you have that. You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Here’s a description of Christ. He hates false teachers. He hates their doctrine among whom was the Nicolaitans, which are meant mentioned at least twice in these chapters. He who has an ear, let him hear verse seven.
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. Can you give something you don’t possess? No. Okay. So here Jesus is pictured as the one who has access to the tree of life. Now where’s that tree of life come from in old Testament,
scripture garden of Eden, the very beginning, the, the, the, the possibility that they could have lived in that garden and eaten of that tree and never died. And yet Jesus says I have access to the tree of life, and I’ll give you access to the tree of life, but also to the paradise of God, Jesus said in John chapter 14,
verse six, I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh where under the father, but by me. Okay. Uh, notice in verse eight, we have a couple of statements here. He’s again described as the first and the last one who was dead and came to life 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 poverty, but you are rich. And I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not. But our synagogue of Satan, he is one who is the first and the last. He is one who was dead and came to life.
He knows who the real Jews are using this reference as the descendants of Abraham, the children of Abraham, those who live according to Abraham’s works, whether or not they live according to Abraham’s okay, I’m going to have to hurry up. He knew Sales, uh, here in verse 10, he knows the future. He says, do not fear what you’re about to endure,
because I know what’s coming and I’m going to tell you what’s coming. He knows the future in verse 10. He is also the one who gives the crown of life. Verse 11, makes it clear though, that he can also give us what we need to avoid. The second death verse 11, 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. He wants us to know, I know how to help you avoid this. And I’ll tell you, then also Verse 12. He is the one who has the sharp twoedged sword. These things says he who has the sharp twoedged sword. I know your works. And where you dwell, where Satan 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 verse 12, he has a sharp twoedged sword, verse 13. He knows the faithful who hold fast in the face of death, but also verse 14. He is aware of the doctrines taught among the churches.
We have there. Another reference to the doctrine of Baylor BeyLat who chose the children of Israel to stumble in eating things, sacrificed to idols and committing sexual immoralities verse 15, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans as well, verse 16, one who fights against the churches with the sword of his mouth. Now notice this, who is he fighting against verse 16, repent,
or else I will come to you quickly. There’s another coming. There’s another description of how he’s going to come. He’s going to come to this church quickly and fight against you with the sword of my mouth. You don’t fight against your allies. This church is being threatened to become the enemy of God. And yet they will. They have a sign out front that says church of Christ.
That’s a warning. We better be paying attention to it. Verse 17, He possesses the hidden manna. That’s the bread of life. He is the giver of new names. He will give them a new name on a white stone known only to the recipient verse 18. He is described as the son of God, verse 18. He has eyes like a flame of fire and feet,
like fine brass verse 20 he’s opposed to false doctrine there in Thyatira to seducing women to sexual immorality and to idolatry. But in verse 21, you see that he gives time to repent. And I gave her speaking of Jezza bell here, and the one who Jessebelle represents, I gave her time to repent of her sexual immortality. And she did not repent notice Christ is described as one who is long suffering,
even to false teachers and the immoral, but there comes a time. And this is important in this book, there comes a time when God’s long suffering runs out. And for this woman, the time has run out verse 22. He’s going to bring tribulation against the unfaithful to get them to repent. Indeed, I will cast her into a sick bed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation,
unless they repent of their deeds. Here’s their final warning. Here’s your last chance you repent or else this is coming upon you. 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, he searches the minds and the hearts of Christians.
He brings death and destruction. That is judgment against the children of false teachers, but he’s also a merciful to those striving to be faithful in the midst of false teachers, verse 24 now, to you, I say, and to the rest and Thyatira, as many as do not have the doctrine who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say,
I will put on, you know, other burden. He’s merciful to those who are being faithful in the midst of false teachers, but he says, but hold fast, what you have till I come, there’s another coming of Christ. He has works that we are to be keeping and to him, he who overcomes and keeps my works until the end to him.
I will give power over the nations. Again, you can’t give what you don’t possess. So Jesus has power over the nations. Otherwise he couldn’t give it. But notice also he is the fulfillment of old Testament, prophecy. He shall rule them verse 27 with a rod of iron. They shall be dashed to pieces like the Potter’s vessel, go to the Psalm chapter two,
verses eight and nine. And go read that the Psalmist writer says, this is the Messiah. He’s going to come. He’s going to do this to his enemies. And Christ is saying, I’m going to give you the Christians, the Christians who are faithful in the midst of false teachers, the Christians who hold fast until the end. He says, I’m going to give you the power to do this because it belongs to me.
But then also verse 28. He is the giver of the morning star. He is The one who holds the power over light and life. And he’s going to give it to these Christians. All right, we’re not going to get through chapter three. We’re going to pick up with chapter three on Wednesday and go through three and four on Wednesday. Uh,
and introduce this vision. I will go ahead and hand out these handouts. So you’ve got this entire list. If there’s any typos on it, it’s not my fault. It’s whoever typed it up, you’re dismissed.<inaudible><inaudible>. We want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone here today. We have a few that are visiting with us, and it’s always our pleasure to have you.
We would ask you if you don’t mind to please fill out an attendance card and that way we might have a record of you being here. If you did not get your communion, that’s prepared on the table there in the back of the auditorium would encourage you to go ahead and get that. Now, if you fail to get it earlier, we do want to remind you of several things this morning,
uh, continue to pray for Dorothy and Rodale Wilson. They’re still not doing real well. It’d be good if we could check on them every now and then see if there’s anything that we might can assist them with. Joan Springer they’d have her bronchoscopy and there they’ve got to wait a few days before they can get the results of that. So she hasn’t been feeling well.
Um, Marie said she’s, um, I think might even be running a low grade fever, and we want to continue to pray for Joan that she might get better. It’s good to see Sylvia back today, after having her nerve block, she says she relays it, starting to work, uh, take a few days for that to actually work, you know,
for her to really know whether or not it’s going to work or not. So we pray that it will, Pam is at home and doing much better. So we to remember her and our prayers and, and glad that she’s doing well after having her back surgery also continued to pray for Gladys. Gladys is feeling better, uh, at home now, uh,
she’s making progress, but it will take a while for her to get over that fall and hitting herself. I think her, she hit her head against the floor when she failed and she has a big knot on the back of her head. She says, and, uh, so we want to continue to pray for her, but she’s in good spirits.
And we’re thankful for that. Also Janet’s daughter, Janell is at home now, but still, uh, not doing well, having that cancer. So, uh, we want to remember her and our prayers and pray that that whatever can be done for her, that, uh, they can, they can do that. Christian Dale is at home with broken toe,
and we hope that he continues to make some improvements with that as just a, those of you that have done that. That’s just kind of a long drawn out process. Just takes time for that to heal up. Don’t forget about the flyers on the table there in the four year about the nationwide gospel meeting, uh, Michael Dell’s father, James Dale will be speaking on the one faith this Friday at 9:00 PM.
So keep that in mind. Uh, Kevin bladelock with Potter children’s home will be here Wednesday to pick up a coin cans and the commodities that we have gathered together. So please, if you have a coin, can we ask it to you? Bring that by the building and leave that in the office. Memphis school of preaching, ongoing spiritual training classes begin September the 10th.
So there’s a flyer on the bulletin board. If you would like to see that and get more information about that, you can find that there, we do welcome those that are this thing with us on a live stream. It’s a, we miss all of those that are members of this congregation. And we just want you to know that we’re thinking about you and praying for you and longing to see you,
hopefully one of these days soon. So, uh, so you can join us here this morning. Uh, Michael Dale will be leading our song service. Uh, terror Sanderson has our opening prayer. Eric Halvorson will be waiting on the table. Aaron Cozort would be bringing us a lesson and then Tommy O’Neil will have our closing prayer. My son is at home with a broken toe,
but it’s not just his broken toe. He has a virus of unknown origin causing him to have a fever And a rash all over his entire body as well. So if you could please just keep them in your prayers. Our opening song this morning will be number 71 as the deer number 71 As the deer pants<inaudible> to you. You<inaudible>, you<inaudible> to<inaudible> you.
Oh, no. Ah, ah, geez. Ah, and I long to, uh, uh, you, uh, I want you more than<inaudible> you<inaudible> the, uh, uh, my, ah,<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> ah, jeez. And, uh, I long to shut up you The song before our opening prayer will be number 797.
Lord, we come before the now 797<inaudible> Oh,<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> two<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> me. Uh, God,<inaudible>,<inaudible> free.<inaudible> the<inaudible> Prior a father who art in heaven. We thank you for this day and the opportunity to, we have to come together to worship you. We thank thee for the rain that we’ve had in the past few days to reprint initiative grass and the flowers and the crops.
We thanked you for all of the blessings that you give us each day that we forget sometimes to be thankful for. We thank you for Jesus. It came to this earth and died for you. That we might have forgiveness for sin and eternal life. With me, we pray that you would be with those that have been mentioned today that are sick and unable to be with us.
We are, we’re thankful for the progress that some of those CIC are making are having in their ailment, pray that you would be with those that are attending to them, give them the strength to do the things that they need to do. We pray that you would be with our country in this troubled time. We pray that people might turn to you for guidance.
In these situation, we pray that you would be with the leaders of our country, that they make wise decisions on how to run the country. We pray that you’d be with us now, and as we go through the further exercise of the day and that we may learn from the lessons that we have here today, that would help us to become stronger Christians.
We pray that you would go with us and keep us safe and bring us back at the next appointed time in Christ name. We pray amen song to prepare our minds for the Lord, Or will be number 350. When my love Christ grows weak. When my love to Christ grows. And we, when for deep faith, I see<inaudible> go to the garden.
Uh<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible><inaudible>,<inaudible> when my four man grows. We when for strong, uh, eh, I see<inaudible> to those scenes. Uh,<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> a bit a tree<inaudible><inaudible> a man to<inaudible><inaudible><inaudible> and, uh, uh, uh, uh, I have a King James study Bible. And in these study Bibles, if you don’t have one,
there’s always paragraphs and notes about different scriptures. And this morning from Matthew chapter 26, verse 26, where Matthew recounts Christ last supper with his disciples, I would like to read what the authors have written here, says the Lord’s supper should be meaningful to Christians today in that three concepts relating to the past present, and future can be helpful. First, the Lord’s supper is a time of remembrance and Eucharist Jesus said,
do this in remembrance of me. This is not to be so much are dwelling on the agonies of the crucifixion as it is to be. I remembering the marvelous life and ministry of our savior. The Eucharist is to be an occasion for expressing our deepest praise and appreciation for all Jesus has done for us. So in the Lord’s supper, Christians proclaim their deliverance from sin and misery through the death of Christ.
Second, the supper is a time of refreshing and communion. As we participate in the benefits of jesus’ death and resurrection life, we are actually being nourished and empowered from the risen Christ through the spirit. It is not that God can not empower us with the Lord’s supper, but that he has instituted to supper for us even has he, as he has designated prayer and the hearing of scripture as immune means of communicating his grace and third,
the supper is a time of recommitment and anticipation. We are to examine ourselves and partake in a worthy manner in doing so. We renew our dedication to Christ and his people in hopeful anticipation till he comes and that crushed return, we all share partake with him in his physical presence, in his kingdom, God, our father, we come to you at this time,
thanking you for having sent your son Jesus here to live amongst us and to teach us and to give us your written word so that we may live our life as you properly want us to live. And we know that your son paid that ultimate price by his body hanging on that cross at Calvary. And we cannot thank you enough for that. We hope that each and every one of us here remember this and think about this and think about everything that he and you have done for us.
We pray this through your son, Jesus name, amen. Our father, as we prepare to partake of the fruit of the vine help each and every one has to remember one of us to remember that it represents the blood that your son, Jesus shed for our sins so that our sins may be washed away so that we may have that opportunity to live with you for eternity in heaven,
we pray this through your son, Jesus name, amen, separate and apart. We’d like to take this opportunity to give back God our father. We come to you thanking you again for everything that you provide for each and every one of us to live our daily lives here on earth. We know that everything we have is because of you and everything we have comes from you.
And as we prepare to give a portion of our tidings back to you, we ask that each you help each and every one of us do it with a cheerful heart. We also ask that you help them out of this congregation. Use any, uh, funds donated in a manner that will be pleasing to you, and it will help spread your word To those that are less fortunate than us and have not heard your word.
We pray this through your son. Jesus Christ. Amen song. Before our lesson will be number 706 90 Lord take control My<inaudible> my body, my soul also, uh,<inaudible> to you<inaudible> I gave my buddy<inaudible> ah,<inaudible><inaudible> The scripture reading this morning will be from Zechariah chapter seven, verses eight through 10 Zechariah chapter seven, verses eight through 10.
I forgot to make everybody stand up. I’m sorry. And the word of the Lord came on to Zechariah saying thus speak at the Lord of hosts saying execute true judgment and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother and oppress, not the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor and let none of you imagine evil against his brother and your heart.
Good morning. Just doublechecking take your Bibles if you will. And open them to the book of Zechariah, because we continue our study through Zechariah. We’ve taken a couple of weeks off from it. Just a quick reminder about what’s going on in this book. Why is Zechariah prophesied and why would we spend time studying it? Zechariah is prophesizing to the people who returned from Babylonian captivity under the governor and under the high priest,
they are There and they have been brought back to Jerusalem to do one specific task, build the temple. And yet they came back, they laid the foundations and then they met opposition. And when the opposition came and when the decrees came that they were to cease building, they ceased to build well, now hat guy and Zechariah have come. And they have come to this people to prophesize,
to this people, to set things back in order and to put things in the place where they ought to be. And they have admonished Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest to, again, begin to build. And hag guy has prophesied and dated those prophecies. And the people heard those prophecies and began to do the work they began to build and they would finish building.
But during this time, Zechariah also begins to prophesy and he is still prophesizing and they are still building verse one of chapter seven of the book of Zechariah after Zechariah has through his prophecies, shown how God approves of the high priest shown how God approves of the governor shown how God is in control and the coming of the branch. That is that prophecy looking forward to the Christ.
We now have in chapter seven, a situation chapter seven verse one. Now in the fourth year of King, Darius, it came to pass that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month Chis live. When the people sent, share Azir with Regan Melech and his men to the house of God. Okay. So here’s,
here’s the situation. The timeframe is the fourth year of the reign of Darius. And these Jews have sent men to the house of God. Why are they showing up at the temple? Here’s why they’ve shown up to pray before the Lord. Okay. Sounds like a totally positive thing. That sounds like something they ought to be doing here is, is an individual and another individual.
And his man that have been sent as representatives of the people to pray before the Lord, but then verse three, and to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets saying, should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so years, It’s the Fourth day of the ninth month. And they’re looking forward to the events of the next year and planning for them.
And they want to know, do we need to continue this morning and fasting that we have been doing in the fifth month for years, but they go on or the answer comes. Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying, so, or say to all the people of the land and to the priests when you fast it and mourn in the fifth and seventh months during those 70 years,
did you really fast for me, for me in order to get just a little bit of context as to why they were fasting and why they were fasting when they did, we need to go over to second Kings chapter 25, these fast, while the actual fast themselves are not recorded in this chapter. These fast correlate to events recorded in this chapter. And they correlate to the events that would transpire during the final days of Jerusalem.
Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign in the 10th month, on the 10th day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it. And they built a siege wall against it all around. So the city was besieged until the 11th year of King Zedekiah by the ninth day of the fourth month,
the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city wall was broken through and all the men of war fled at night by way of the gate, between the two walls, which was by the King’s garden, even though the Cambodians were still in camp all around against the city. And the King went by way of the plane,
but the army that Cal DNS pursued the King and they overtook him in the plane of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him. So they took the King and brought him up to the King of Babylon at Riblah and they pronounced judgment on him. Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and put out the eyes of Zedekiah bound him and with bronze fetters and took him to Babylon.
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon Nebby, uh, uh, nephews are Aiden. The captain of the guard, a servant of the King of Babylon came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord and the King’s house, all the houses of Jerusalem. That is all the houses of the great,
he burned with fire. When was the temple destroyed in the fifth month? And so now they have been having a fast, they have been keeping a fast for 70 years in the fifth month, they have been mourning. They have been grieving. They have been having this morning, this expression of morning in fasting for 70 years, but now the Temple’s rebuilt.
And now that the temples rebuild, they come to the priests and they asked the priests and the prophets, do we need to continue this? Yeah, Let’s say something about fasting for a moment. Fasting, of course, is the abstaining from food. Sometimes the abstaining from drink as well for a period of time, for a reason, either because of morning or because of a spiritual reason,
somebody is choosing to withhold the natural things that we do as humans that is eat and sleep and do other things. They’re withholding natural desires so they can focus on something that’s more important. At least that was the general idea. This is a, an act that can be a benefit. It can be a spiritual act. It can also be something entirely different.
You remember that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for fasting. He didn’t condemn the Pharisees because they fasted. He condemn the Pharisees because of how they fasted. He condemn them because they fasted to be seen of men. They would show themselves as appearing to be in worse condition than they were. They would allow themselves to be visibly seen, to be fasting in order that the people around them would think they were spiritual.
And yet inwardly Jesus tells them you’re fast is worthless because there’s nothing about your actions that are spiritual. Now here’s the remnant, the people in Jerusalem, coming to the high priest, coming to the prophets and asking, should we continue to mourn? Should we continue to fast in the fifth month or not? And God’s response is very interesting. And it’s enlightening about spiritual matters even today because the word of the Lord comes to Zechariah and says,
who were you fasting for? Was it for me all these 70 years when you were fasting in the fifth month? Was it for me? If fasting is a spiritual action. And if their morning was true and heartfelt in their fasting was that which they were doing because of their love and concern for this, the state of the nation and the captivity they were in.
Then why is it that God responds this way? Because this isn’t the response of a God who says I appreciate and value your spiritual action. Something’s missing here. But what is it? Notice what else the Lord says through Zachariah? Was it for me? Did you really fast for me when you eat? And when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves?
Should you not? And here’s the key. Should you not have obeyed the words, which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous and the South and the low land were inhabited. Here’s the condemnation of the fast, here’s the problem. God says you fasted. And you mourned when the destruction came, but before the destruction came,
when there was prosperity and when there was happiness, and when there was inhabitants in the land, you ignored the commandments. You didn’t keep my word. When I commanded you through the former profits to repent, you didn’t keep my commandments. When I told you to change your ways or destruction was coming yet, you mourned. When it came, you mourn the,
because of the consequences, but you weren’t willing to repent. Here’s a lesson that we need to get clear because this is a problem in our world. Today. We have people who want spirituality. They want to take part in spiritual things. They want to be involved in spiritual actions that express their inner emotions, But they don’t want to keep his commandments.
Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, thus says the Lord of hosts execute true justice, first commandment, and all of these harken back to the commandments, given to them before Babylon destroyed their nation. All of these were things they had all ready, been told to do. Zechariah is rehearsing. The former prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, all of these prophets that spoke to them and said,
change your ways. And now Zechariah is going to bring those messages forward and remind them of what they were told while Jerusalem still stood. And while the temple was still there. And while the inhabitants of the South and the lowland were still there, the things they could’ve done that would have kept the destruction and the judgment from ever happening to begin with. He says,
execute true justice, show mercy and compassion. Every one to his brother, justice, mercy love do not oppress the widow and the fatherless, the alien or the poor led. None of you plan evil in his heart against his brother. You could take these statements and carry them over to books like first Peter and first John, and you would find the same message to the Christians about how they were to treat one another and how they were to care for the poor James chapter.
One, true religion is this and undefiled before God to care for the fatherless and the widow in their affliction. If any man says he is righteous and does not speak in a way that is in accordance with God’s word, that man is a liar. James says, Zechariah says, you want to fast, and you want to claim you’re fasting because of me,
but you haven’t kept my commandments. We do not get to choose spiritual actions and replace obedience. God says that’s not going to work. But verse 11 says they refused to heed. Who’s the, they here the first generation, the people during the days of the former prophets, not he’s not referencing the, they, the, the people in the land right now,
he’s talking about their fathers, their ancestors, because they’re doing something they were taught to do. They’re doing and keeping a tradition that was handed down to them by a former generation. The people who were brought into captivity, most of whom are dead. Now taught them as they were growing up, taught them as they were becoming young men taught them as they were becoming middle-aged to keep a fast and to mourn in the month that the temple was destroyed.
How many times in modern times have we found people fighting for traditions handed down by their ancestors in religion, instead of fighting for the word of God, how many times have we found people arguing over a lays, something is done. That is merely a choice, merely an option, merely something of judgment and not a matter of doctrine. When they have ignored the commandments of God,
concerning mercy and justice and benevolence and goodness and righteousness and truth. And yet they want to argue about matters of judgment. He says they refused to heed shrugged their shoulders. There were few actions in my life and in the lives of my brothers that got us in more trouble than rolling our eyes or shrugging our shoulders to our mother. I cannot remember how many times.
And it was an instantaneous reaction, especially the older we got as teenagers, especially, ah, that was not going to fly well. That was their reaction to God. God says, execute true justice show mercy show compassion, do what’s right to the fatherless and the widow and the alien and the poor. And they go, man, right? No,
God says they refuse to hear. They shrugged their shoulders and they stopped their ears so they could not hear. And we were in revelation chapters two and three, well, one, two and three this morning in Bible class. And every single letter to every single church ends with these words, he, that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.
God says, you want to express to me your morning, your grief, your concern for your nation. Yet you will not open your ears to hear my message. He says they stopped their ear so that they could not hear. He says, yes, they made their hearts like Flint refusing to hear the law and the words of the Lord of hosts,
which he had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Zechariah makes it clear. Babylon did not bring this destruction on you. Babylon did not bring this judgment on you. Babylon did not destroy your temple. Your God did the Lord of hosts. Brought this judgment on you. The Lord of hosts brought destruction upon your nation.
The Lord of hosts removed you from the land for 70 years. And he told you, he would because you wouldn’t listen. Therefore it happened that just as he proclaimed and they would not hear. So they called out and I would not listen. We need to learn this. We don’t need to miss this. God says, when I speak to you and you ignore me,
guess what’s going to happen when you need me. When you reach out to me, when you cry out to me, I’m not going to listen. I’m not going to hear you because you didn’t hear me. But I scattered them. I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, which they had not known. Thus, the land became desolate after them so that no one passed through or returned for.
They made the pleasant land. Desolate. When Babylon came in, they didn’t leave anything behind the land was such that no one desired to live there. I mean, when the people returned from Babylon after 70 years, they didn’t come to Jerusalem and find 20, 30,000 people in a small village. There was nothing there. They have the opportunity to rebuild the city because no one was inhabiting that place.
And God said, that’s the way it would be. God said for 70 years, I’m giving the land, her Sabbath. I’m going to allow the wild animals and the beast to live there because you didn’t do what I said. But then chapter eight, chapter eight is the reversal. Chapter eight is the opportunity. Chapter eight is the, the light shining through the clouds,
to the current generation and the opportunity for them to be different from their fathers. You see their fathers refuse to hear their fathers wanted spirituality without obedience, but they have the option to be different. Again, the word of the Lord of hosts came saying, thus says the Lord of hosts. I am zealous for Zion with great zeal, with great fervor.
I am zealous for her. They want to know, should we continue to mourn? They want to know, should we continue to grieve? God says, I never commanded you to mourn to begin with. I never commanded you to have a fast, what I’m going to tell you is I’m zealous for you. Now. I wouldn’t listen to you before because you wanted my favor without obedience,
but I’m zealous for Zion right now. Thus says the Lord, I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth. When you first go back to obedience. When you first go back to hearing the word of God, then you can change your very nature. Then you can change everything about your city.
Then you can change everything about your nation. You can become a city that is set on a Hill that cannot be hidden. He says the city will be called the city of truth. The mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy mountain thus says the Lord of hosts, old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. Each one with his staff in his hand because of great age.
What’s the significance of this. The old died, the old didn’t make it to Babylon. The old didn’t slow up. The moving of the people to babble on the old were left behind to die. The old, the, and from the wretched, those were left behind and they didn’t survive. But God says, once again, the old people will be sitting in the streets.
This isn’t sitting in the streets in morning, sitting in the seats in, in EHRs, sitting in the streets in sorrow. They’re sitting in the streets because their grandchildren are playing in front of them. They’re sitting in the streets because that’s where you sat. When you were old, when you weren’t out in the fields anymore, you were enjoying the older age in life.
You had your staff with you and you had peace. You weren’t cowered in the house. You weren’t afraid at every corner. You had peace. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts. If it is as if it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days,
will it also be marvelous in my eyes says the Lord of hosts. Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I will save my people from the land of the East and from the land of the West, I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.
There’s a clause there that makes a big difference because God said to the former generation, I give you up. I’m done with you. I will not have any relationship with you anymore because you will not hear and you will not repent and you will not do what’s right? But now he says to this generation, I will be your God. And you will be my people in truth and righteousness.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, let your hands be strong. You have been hearing in these days, these words by the mouth of the prophets who spoke in the day of the fact that the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord of hosts, that the temple might be built for before these days, there were no wages for man nor any hire for beast.
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in for, I said, all men, everyone against his neighbor, but now I will not treat the remnant of this people. As in the former days says the Lord of hosts for the seed shall be prosperous. The vine shall give its fruit. The ground shall give her increase and the heaven shall give their due.
I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these. You remember bill back to what Moses said, go back the book of Deuteronomy. And when he told them, this is what will happen. If you obey God, he will bless you. He will give you all of these things. If you disobeyed, God, you’ll have all of these curses.
But if you repent and return, he’ll return the blessings to you. Securize saying the same thing nothing’s changed about God’s law or God’s message. And it shall come to pass verse 13. That just as you were a curse among the nations, Oh, house of Judah and house of Israel. So I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear.
Let your hands be strong for those says the Lord of hosts, just as I determined to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath says the Lord of hosts and I would not relent. So again, in these days, I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah do not fear. These are the things you shall do now.
Here’s what God says. You do these things and we’ll be on good terms. He says, you do these things speak each man, the truth to his neighbor. Number one, speak truth. Number two, he says, give judgment in your Gates for truth, justice and peace. Number three lead, none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor.
Number four and do not love a false oath for all these things. I hate says the Lord. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, thus says the Lord of hosts, the fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the 10th shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace. While they got their answer, they came asking a question. They came asking a question about the fast of the fifth month, the one having to do with the temple. But you’ll notice as we get here to the end, it had multiple paths fast. They had fast in the fourth month and the fifth month they had fastened the seventh month and in the 10th month,
and God says, I’m turning all your mourning into joy. I’m turning all your fasting into feasts. It’s time to rejoice. It’s time to move past the sorrow. You see when salvation is found, when you go from being dead in your sins to being alive in God. When you go from being aliens from him and having his curse against you, to being part of his family,
having a relationship with him and having a fellowship with him, you turn your mourning into joy because you have hope and a relationship with God, but then God starts looking forward. Thus says the Lord of hosts, peoples shall yet come, uh, Israel, you need to be ready because people are going to come to you. Notice what he says is going to happen.
Peoples are going or shall yet come and have it. It’s of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another city saying, let us continue to go and pray before the Lord here are the Gentiles. And one city will go to another city and says, let’s go to Jerusalem. Let’s go to the God of Israel and pray before him and seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and pray before the Lord. When I dwell with you and you dwell with me, not only will people come, not in war, but they will come to worship me with you. Now, when you read those words, take your mind to the time of Christ.
When he drove out the money changers, when he cleaned the temple out, when he drove out, those who were defrauding, the people coming to pray to the Lord and he condemn them because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. God said, Israel, you are to be my light. You are to shine my light and the nations around you,
those pagans and those idolaters are going to see you. They’re going to come to your temple, to your nation to worship your God because they know he’s not like there’s thus says the Lord of hosts. In those days, 10 men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man saying, let us go with you for, we have heard that God is with you.
Do non-Christians see Christians this way. Do non Christians look at our lives and go, I don’t understand what he’s got. Well, whatever it is, I want some and wherever he needs to take me to get what he’s got, I need to go with him or are we ineffective so ineffective in our lives that no one sees us and sees God in us.
As we close, turned to Matthew, chapter five, verse 13 says you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing to be thrown out and trampled under foot of nine men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a Hill that cannot be hid,
nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand. And it gives light to all who were in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify. Your father in heaven is our light shining. Are we like the first generation? That’s morning. That’s grieving over what we once had instead of being like the generation of the remnant that had the opportunity to be something entirely different.
Are we mourning for losses instead of being joyous for hope, do people see in us a people who they can learn how to live? Like they can learn how to follow and they can learn about Jehovah. That’s not our life. Then something’s missing. If you have need of the invitation today, if you are a Christian, who’s departed from the truth and has said,
I’m not going to hear any more. Then you better heed the warning of what happened to Israel. But if you’re willing to hear and your willing to repent, and you’re willing to seek God, he is willing to hear. And he is willing to listen and he is willing to forgive. And he is willing to be your God and you to be his People.
If you have need of the invitation, if you’re outside the body of Christ, you can enter into that body by birth in the watery grave of baptism. But if you’re a member of the body of Christ and you’ve turned your back on him, why not come home? But if you haven’t been living like you’re the light of the world, read Zechariah seven and eight and start living that way.
If you have need of the invitation, why not come as we stand in, as we sing Things that are high things, I don’t know. Blue, the<inaudible> Hey son to him.<inaudible> jeez.<inaudible> ah, yes. Ah, well come to the, I am resolved to go to this<inaudible> he is the true one. He is the,
just one he had ah, ah, Hey son to him. Hey son. So glad and free. Jeez. Um, it’s great. Uh, yes. Uh, well come to the, uh, I am resolved to<inaudible> to him. Hey son. So glad and free. Jeez us great. Ah, yes. Uh, I will come to the,
uh, I am resolved to the King.<inaudible> friends, me pause me. Foes maybe said me<inaudible><inaudible> Hey son to him. Hey son. So glad<inaudible>. Jeez, us great. Uh, yes. Uh, well come to the song before our closing prayer will be number 634 we’ll work till Jesus comes number 634. Oh. Land of Russ for the,
uh,<inaudible> and P side. Oh geez.<inaudible> Jesus.<inaudible> to Jesus Christ.<inaudible><inaudible> he can duct me. Oh, Jesus comes. Well, Jesus comes. Woo. Jesus comes and<inaudible> uh, I saw one smile.<inaudible> Chile tide and reach my family. Oh geez.<inaudible> geez.<inaudible> You bow with me, our heavenly father.
We thank you for every blessing that we received from you. We thank you for each opportunity and the freedom that we enjoy to gather together as your children to offer our worship under the bright dear God did our worship has been pleasing none today. Well, so pray dear God, that all people through out the world might someday enjoy this freedom. Our heavenly father,
we pray for each of those mentioned here today that are ailing. Pray that if it be that we’ll, they might soon be able to join together with us to worship. They are heavenly father. We ask that you would strengthen us each day of our lives as we strive to, to the wheel. And when we do fairly, dear God, we pray that you would continue to forgive us as we were at Penn of those Sams,
our heavenly father. We ask that you go with us now, protect us, keep us safe. And thank you for the hope of heaven that we have in each of us. Thank you for Christ, our savior, these things we ask in his name. Amen.