What Did John See?

Revelation 1:1-20. The Book of Revelation shows us that Jesus is at the center of everything. We can’t have a proper view of the world, or of the church, until we have a clear view of Him (Rev 1:1, 4, 11). When we finally do see Him clearly, the pressure to conform to the ever-fluctuating standards of this world will be released.

I. JESUS REVEALED: PURPOSE

A. To brace the church against persecution (Rev 2:10)
B. To warn the church of false teaching (Rev 2:14–16)
C. To threaten the impenitent with rejection (Rev 2:20–21)

II. JESUS REVEALED: POWER

A. Faithful Witness (Rev 1:5; John 18:37; 1 Tim 6:13)
B. Firstborn of the dead (Rev 1:5, 18; Matt 27; Heb 7:15-16)
C. Ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5; 19:11–16; Matt 28:18)
D. Awe and Fear inspiring (Rev 1:12-16)

III. JESUS REVEALED: APPLICATION

A. Appreciate what HE has done (Rev 1:5-6)
B. Appreciate what HE will do (Rev 1:7–8)
C. Appreciate what HE wants to do (Rev 1:17; Matt 11:28-30)

This image of the Lord should make us consider how we are living.
He comforts us, but He evaluate us too (Rev 20).
Are you in His Kingdom?

The Authority of Christ

One who has authority possesses power and jurisdiction. One with authority has the right to tell others what to do, the right to expect them to do it, and the right to punish them if they refuse to obey. As the Son of God, Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

Jesus worked many miracles while He walked this earth. Although people were helped by these miracles, none of them were performed exclusively for the immediate physical benefit of mankind. They were performed primarily as signs, certifying that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Jesus said, “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36). Some of the Jews understood this. “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world’” (John 6:14). To the Jews on Pentecost, Peter claimed that Jesus was “a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22).

When Jesus performed miracles, He exercised His divine authority over a variety of things. One should notice that in all these miracles, the things which were under the Lord’s authority responded positively and immediately to His authority. When Jesus healed the sick, He showed His authority over disease. When Jesus healed the leper, the leper was cleansed “immediately” [authority over time] (Matt. 8:2-3). When Jesus cast out demons, He showed His authority over demons. The demons recognized both Jesus as well as His authority over them. When people saw Jesus cast out demons, they marveled, “For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” (Mark 1:23-27). When Jesus calmed the sea, He showed His authority over nature. The disciples who saw it feared and remarked, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:39-41). When Jesus raised the dead, He showed His authority over death. Jairus’ daughter arose immediately when Jesus called for her to come back to life (Mark 5:41-42).

When Jesus healed the sick, their bodies responded immediately.
When Jesus commanded the elements of nature, they responded to His voice immediately. When Jesus told the dead to come back to life, they arose immediately. When Jesus rebuked and cast out demons, even they responded in immediate obedience. These miracles were done before men, and for the benefit of mankind. Those who witnessed these miracles concluded that Jesus was a man of unique authority. Those who heard Him speak acknowledged that He spoke with authority (Matt. 7:29).

Thus, one would expect that individuals who heard Jesus would respond positively and immediately to His authority. Yet, sadly, many of them did not. The all-authoritative Christ could command the elements and the subjects of the spiritual world with the sound of His voice, but when this same Christ appealed to mankind, He was often met with reluctance, rejection and rebellion. And He allowed it.

“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” (Phil. 2:9-11, emphasis mine – HR). Notice, Paul says everyone should respect the authority of Christ, but many still do not today. However, there will come a day in which everyone will respect His authority. “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom. 14:11).

On Judgement Day, everyone will see the Lord of glory, will bow the knee, and will confess that He is Lord. Many will do so to their eternal regret. However, those of us who have acknowledged the authority of Christ in our lives by our obedience to His word will bow before Him with confidence and expectation of an eternal reward. — By Heath Rogers

What Did Isaiah See?

Isaiah 6:1-13. God commands respect and honor for leaders (1 Pet 2:17; Rom 13:7). Our national anthem, however, leans toward honoring veterans. People may not wish to honor leaders or veterans, but one day ALL will honor God. Let us petition God that ALL might know the truth about Him now (1 Tim 2:1–4). The vision Yahweh (God, the LORD) gave Isaiah ought to shape everyone’s view of God, the world and ourselves.

I. GOD IS HOLY

A. God is ON His throne (Isa 6:1-4; Ezek 1:22-28; Rev 4:1-11)

B. God is HOLY on His throne (Isa 6:3; Exo 15:11; 1 Sam 2:2; Rev 15:4; Isa 40:23–25)

II. MAN IS LOWLY

A. Sin must be exposed (Isa 1-5)

B. Sin must be confessed (Isa 6:5)

  • God’s nearness to man drives some away (John 3:17–21)
  • Man’s nearness to God gives clarity to sin (Rev 1:17; Dan 10:8)

C. Sin must be cleansed (Isa 6:6–7; Isa 53:5–6; Eph 1:7; Col 1:21–22; Heb 10:9–10)

III. GOD WILL PARDON

A. Ready to serve-up (Isa 6:8)

B. Ready to bear-up (Isa 6:9-13)

Confess your faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 10:9-10).
Repent of your sins and to be baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:36-38)
That is an invitation to be cleansed and made holy as God is holy.

The Joy of Serving the Lord

There is joy in becoming a Christian. There was “great joy” in city of Samaria when they accepted the gospel (Acts 8:5-8). After being baptized, the Ethiopian eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). The Philippian Jailer “rejoiced” after his baptism (Acts 16:34). Unfortunately, this joy often becomes diminished over time. The trials and struggles of life continue, with the added persecution that comes because of our commitment to Christ. These things can cause us to lose our focus, our zeal, and our joy.

What are some things we can do to help us remember the joy of serving the Lord in a world full of darkness and sin?

The Joy of Knowing We Know We Are Doing What Is Right. Serving the Lord is the right thing to do, and there is joy and satisfaction in knowing we are doing what is right, even if we are in the minority. “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9). In serving the Lord we are laying a solid foundation for our lives (Matt. 7:24-27), preparing ourselves to be useful to others (Titus 3:14), and doing what we were created to do (Eph. 2:10). This should bring us great satisfaction and joy.

The Joy of Worshipping God. Like David, we need to say, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’” (Ps. 122:1). The joy of worship is not an emotional or reactionary experience. It is a joy that is based in knowledge, reason and logic. When we remember who God is and what He has done for us (despite our sins), we will enter into worship with joy in our hearts. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (Ps. 95:1-2).

The Joy of Fellowship with Other Christians. One of the blessings of being a child of God is that we are not alone. We are part of a spiritual family, and this family is intended to be a source of joy. There is joy in our association with our brethren (Acts 2:46). There is joy in knowing others are walking in the truth (2 John 4; 3 John 4). We rejoice when sinners are converted to Christ and when erring brethren are restored (Luke 15:7, 10). There is joy in receiving help from our brethren (Phil. 4:10). “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1).

The Joy of Leaving a Good Example. We are to let our light shine so it can be seen by others (Matt. 5:14-16). Some people will not appreciate this, but others will benefit greatly from our godly example. The time we spend serving the Lord, without grumbling or complaining, is setting a positive example for others. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15). It is also rewarding to know we are setting a good example and leaving a spiritual legacy for our children to follow. The generation that arose after Joshua “did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals” (Judges 2:10-11). What are we leaving behind for our children? Are we bringing them up in the way that they should go?

The Joy of Investing in Something Eternal. We want to make wise investments of our time and money. Everything in this world will eventually perish (2 Pet. 3:10). We are not to labor for and lay up treasures that will perish on the earth, but that will endure to be enjoyed into eternity (Matt. 6:19-21; John 6:27). The people of the world run “to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). We rejoice, not because we have obtained fame and recognition in this world, but because our “names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

The Lord is not going to force us to serve Him. Neither is He going to force us to be happy while doing so. It is easy to become distracted and discouraged. The devil would love to see us walk away from the Lord, but we need to be like Paul and “finish our race with joy” (Acts 20:24). Have we found the joy in serving the Lord? – By Heath Rogers

Catastrophic Complaining

There’s one characteristic seen in the “personality” of every generation. The ever-present need to COMPLAIN about something.

I. WARNING (1 Cor 10:1–12)

A. In adversity (Num 11:1)
B. In fear (Num 14:36-37)
C. In leadership (Num 16:25-33; 41-49)
D. In God (Num 21:1-20; cf. Phil 2:14–15; Jas 5:9)

II. RESULTING

A. Destroying joy (Psa 105:42–43; cf. 5:11–12; 9:2; 16:11; 32:10–11; 64:10; 100:2; 118:24; 122:1)
B. Destroying morale (Num 13:1-2; Deut 1:20-23; Num 14:1-4; Deut 1:26–28)
C. Destroying progress (Deut 1:34–35; 2:1; cf. Phil 2:14–16)

III. TERMINATING

A. Set your sight on Heaven.
B. Expect disappointment along the way.
C. Love your manna and quail.

Joy, even in sorrow and adversity, is how a Christian must approach the presence of God.

(Phil 3:1; 4:4-5; Psa 126:5; 100:1-2)