COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"Word of God" Tagged Sermons

HOW COULD THIS EVER HAPPEN?

About 40 years ago, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general of the Unites States, gave a lecture in which Francis Schaeffer made an astounding prediction. Ravi Zacharias attended this lecture and recalls it in his book titled WHY JESUS?
“At that talk, Schaeffer made a comment that caught me by surprise.
He said that the day was coming in the West when the name of Jesus
would not be recognized by the average young person; and if it were recognized, not a single historical fact about him would be known.
At that time I found this statement a bit hard to swallow and wondered
if he had said it just to be provocative. But a generation later, it is appearing to be quite true.”

Let me quote one more time Ravi Zacharias here:
“When you look back in the Old Testament, you see that in spite of all the instruction about worship, often repeated, and astounding loss nevertheless had occurred. All that the priests could control, they did. All that the ceremonies could control, they used to their advantage. And when a select or elect few control and sell salvation, the victim is always the common person. No religion is spared here.
One would think that this New Spirituality has brought about a new Eden and that its river flow peacefully and calmly. But it is not so…In fact, it has never been so. Few arenas lend themselves to abuse and loss as that of religion.”

Ravi Zacharias writes:
“It has been the beautiful teaching of the Word of God across time that has given this nation its ethos. It was this Word of God that put a song into the hearts of slaves during their darkest days. It was this Word of God that gave William Wilberforce in England the conviction and the courage to speak out against slavery and sustained him in the long struggle to see it abolished in the British Commonwealth. It was this Word of God that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of civil liberty…And the same Word of God has transformed the life of many a prisoner, and of many others I could tell of, from some of the darkest parts of the world where the light of God’s Word has shone. Any nation that neglects teaching the sacredness of life and the family does so at its own peril. Any nation that sanctions the removal of God’s boundaries will destroy its own.”

Ravi Zacharias’ commentary on John 18 says:
“If there is any passage of Scripture that accurately describes our modern-day contempt for truth, our attachment to power, and our voluntary surrender to culture, it is this. It is not accidental that religious authorities, political appointees, and cultural symbols have come together to crucify him once again in our day. Barabbas was released…a cultural practice was fulfilled. “We have a law” … Political correctness was enjoyed. “he claims to be the Son of God…kill him” …all at the behest and with the blessing of religion. The irony is that he wanted to be owned by none of the three: culture, politics, or religion.”

Times of Refreshing

Imagine a world were there is complete, total, enforced, and permanent peace, where joy abounds and good health prevails, so much so that people live for hundreds of years. A world where the curse is removed, where the environment is restored to the pristine purity of the Garden of Eden, where peace reigns even in the animal kingdom, so that “the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little boy will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)Our human mind can hardly comprehend such a world. Yet the Bible clearly states that when the King returns, such conditions will be the norm, because this world will be ruled by a perfect, glorious ruler, who instantly and firmly will deal with sin.
When Jesus Christ returns to this earth, He will rule for 1000 years from Jerusalem, on this earth, sitting on the throne of David as promised through God’s Word, the Bible throughout the Old and New Testament.
Today, there are 3 major views of eschatology regarding this 1000 years literal kingdom on earth.
It is imperative to understand all 3 of them clearly and biblically.
• Premillennialism
• Postmillennialism
• Amillennialism
The ammillenialists do reject the concept of an earthly millennium, and especially one that is actually 1000 years in duration. They believe that the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah’s kingdom are being fulfilled right now. They say that this kingdom is now, because the saints reigning now with Christ in the heavenly realm and by the church on earth in the earthly realm. In other words, the church is ruling now in the spiritual realm as well as in the physical realm (meaning political).
What is Postmillennialist?
Postmillennialists believe that the current era is the millennium, though it is not necessarily to be regarded as a literal 1000 year period. After this period, Jesus Christ will return to accept the kingdom then already established by the church. Out of this believe system came the idea that producing a formal powerful church that would be the ultimate determining factor in spiritual and political matters would produce the final kingdom on earth.
This is the belief that the institutional church would bring the world into a kind of new golden age, through the teaching of Christ.
What is a Premmillennialist? A premillennialist is a person who believes:
• That Jesus Christ will return before the Millennium
• That the period immediately before Christ’s return will be the worst in human history
• That Jesus Christ will physically return to this earth, sit on the throne of David and rule from Jerusalem for 1000 years.
Before chapter 20 of Revelation, the Lord already has destroyed all human rebels. The ringleader of that rebellion (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet will have been thrown into the lake of fire (19:20)
And now the final step before the kingdom will be inaugurated will be the removal of Satan and his demons, Jesus Christ will reign without the spiritual opposition.
THE WORD TRANSLATED BOTTOMLESS PIT IS ABUSSOS, which always refers to a temporary place of incarceration for certain demons. This word is found 7 times in the book of Revelation.
The second death is defined in verse 14. It is hell, the lake of fire.
Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ, those who believe what God has revealed to mankind, will never have to experience the second death. They will participate in the first resurrection and rule and reign with Him.

The SPIRITUAL Showdown

We sometimes forget that there is nothing the rulers of this world, or the spiritual demonic entities, can do to catch God off guard. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knows the end from the very beginning.
“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” A.W. Tozer
When we talk about the spiritual showdown revealed to us in this 16th chapter of Revelation, we also talk about the spiritual warfare every Christian is involved. If we are not familiar with the entire Bible, which includes all prophetic passages (about 28 % of it is prophetic), we are ineffective when the enemy brings 100% of his plan to your doorstep. The whole world will find out the hard way.
The kingdom of God is the rule of God. God desires to rule over all He has created; the invisible spiritual realm and the visible earthly realm. He will have His way in both domains. How will He do it? Isaiah 14:12-27 God will bring the spiritual and the physical domain together for a final showdown to judge the spiritual and the physical rulers. The 6th bowl judgment is all about that final showdown which God promised in His word would come to pass. He will fulfill it in every detail.
Careful observation will reveal that this is the identical sequence which we find in the Garden of Eden story. It was there where God walked and talked with His creation. This spiritual showdown will set the final steps of God in motion to once again walk and talk with His creation on this earth.
There are 3 very specific demon spirits mentioned in this verse.
One comes from the Dragon’s mouth. The second one comes from the mouth of the beast. And the third one comes from the mouth of the false prophet. This trio is known as the TRINITY FROM HELL. The Dragon is Satan, the Beast is the Antichrist, the False Prophet is the religious leader.
This special place is in the plain of Megiddo. Megiddo is the Hebrew word corresponding to the Greek word Armageddon. This valley of Megiddo is 14 miles wide and 20 miles long. Certainly not large enough to be sufficient for the armies of the world. But the Bible does not tell us that that’s where they all will be at one time. The Greek word translated “battle” literally means “campaign”. Actually, the text in verse 14 literally means:
“ unto the campaign (or battle) of the day, the great one, the one of God, the Almighty One.” In other words, these words emphasize the fact that this period will fully demonstrate the omnipotence and sovereignty of God Almighty.
In other words, the whole world is assembled for this spiritual showdown. It will be the world, under the leadership of Satan, against God Almighty.
How God will do it, we will learn in the next few chapters. Remember, whatever God has written down in his Word, every prophecy, every promise, every single word, will come to pass just as He said. WE can certainly trust Him and His Word.

Preparing Christ’s Second Coming – Part Two

Some people believe that Jesus’ Christ will come back to this earth without any precondition. Others believe that there is no second coming of Christ. They spiritualize the second coming of Christ by teaching that when you are being baptized by their church, the second coming of Jesus has just materialized. And there are those who believe and teach that God is done with physical Israel, and that the church has replaced physical Israel. Therefore, they say, the modern state of Israel is an invention of Zionist zealots and that they have no right to claim any connection to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
When the disciples asked Jesus the question:
“Lord, will You at this time RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?” Acts 1:6b Jesus did not answer: You have no clue. Israel’s kingdom is done. It will never be restored. I will start a new work not many days from now and that work is called Ecclesia, aka as the church, and it is this church that will inherit all the blessings I have promised to Israel. THE FATHER AND I ARE DONE WITH ISRAEL. Just forget it.
Listen to what Jesus really said:
“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” (verse 7)
In other words, all the promises found in the O.T. regarding the restoration of the kingdom to Israel will happen at a time which the Father has ordained. How and when it will happen is determined by the Heavenly Father alone.
That Jesus will come back again to this very earth, this very place they were standing on when this conversation took place.
There should be no question about the fact that this same Jesus, the resurrected Son of God, will COME BACK TO THIS VERY EARTH IN LIKE MANNER. HE WILL JUST APPEAR THE SAME WAY HE DISAPPEARED. People will watch Him coming back. He will not come back as a ghost, he will not be a political leader, he will not be a military leader, he will not be an economic leader, He will not be a religious leader. HE WILL COME BACK AS THE SON OF GOD AND WILL ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM ON THIS EARTH IN VISIBLE FORM.
The entire book of Revelation is dealing with Christ’s return to this earth.
The book itself makes no sense whatsoever if we loose sight of this important fact. That’s the reason why the book is called THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. While John saw Jesus in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father, this aged apostle also saw what God the Father has ordained to happen to this earth and His creation, BEFORE HIS SON WILL RETURN TO THIS EARTH TO SET UP HIS KINGDOM.
Before Israel will receive the cleansing of her sin, they must first look ON HIM, the very one they have rejected at His first coming, and they must plead for His return. Israel will have to be brought to a place of desperation, where and all the nations of this earth will go against them during the final years before Christ’s return. They will not prepare themselves to welcome their Messiah UNTIL THE PRECONDITION HAS BEEN MET. And that will not happen until Israel as a nation will go through Jacob’s trouble, where God Almighty will have to pour His wrath upon this entire world.

Refuge In God’s SOVEREIGNTY

We have already learned that all of us are subject to spiritual warfare; that Satan and his demons have built strongholds in our mind, that is, make us believe certain doctrines that are contrary to the Word of God. And we all have learned from the Apostle Paul’s admonition that such strongholds, such doctrines that contradict the Word of God, must be pulled down, demolished, pulverized.
When we read these verses, we can easily come to the conclusion that the battle is entirely in our hands and in our power. However, as we will find out today, these weapons of warfare are MIGHTY IN GOD. And the battle of our mind, bringing our very thoughts into captivity, cannot be done apart of OBEYING THE WORD OF GOD.
Who is really in Control? You, Satan or God Almighty?
THE ANSWER MUST ALWAYS COME FROM THE BIBLE, which happen to be our standard for living.
God’s sovereignty does not mean that you have no responsibility in spiritual warfare. Although the ultimate outcome is not in question, what happens in your life will be affected by how you respond. Listen, Satan is not deciding what is going on in your life. It is God Almighty who has His own purposes for allowing the enemy access to your life, and God’s purposes are always only for your good.
Because Jesus found refuge in God’s sovereignty, the attitude was one of absolute obedience, the obedience unto death, having confidence in His Heavenly Father as Jesus Himself focused on the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).
Satan did warfare against Jacob and his sons. Satan’s intent was to destroy them all, so God could not fulfill His promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. After Joseph was sold into slavery, and the brothers struggled to survive in Canaan during a great famine, God finally revealed His ultimate purposes to those involved. Satan wanted to derail God’s purpose by using evil means, but God meant it for good. He will always turn into good what Satan means for evil. All our spiritual battles are in our mind. The way we think. Strongholds, Paul calls them. Do we think according to the Word of God or according to the things we feel or hear?
No exception.

Prepared To Fight Godly

For the next five weeks we will take a very close look at the battle every Christian is involved in on a daily basis. We will look at what the Word of God says about these battles, and how God intents us to fight according to His will and His word.
In other words, it is possible for born again Christians, for genuine followers of Jesus Christ, to be victims of Satan, who ensnared us, who has taken us captive for one purpose, which is TO DO SATAN’S WILL. We all know that we as the children of the living God ought to DO GOD’S WILL and not Satan’s will. However, God’s word is warning us that Satan can take one of us captive at his will. In other words it is possible for a believer to come under the influence of a “tormenting spirit”.
James is saying that wisdom and understanding comes only from the Lord and from His word. If we claim to have that wisdom, then show it by good conduct. And if your conduct is not godly, not according to the Word of God, then someone has set a trap for you by making you believe a lie and you act on it. And by acting according to the lie, you by default will do SATAN’S WILL.
What is a stronghold? A stronghold is a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character.
Listen, all of us grew up in a home, some homes are better than others. As children we have heard and observed a million different actions and reactions from our parents, from our siblings, from our teachers, from our friends. All such observations have somehow shaped our mind and character. Especially our families and what they have done, how they lived, will influence our mind and character. Such influences have formed strongholds, patterns of thinking, which we will eventually act out.
Whatever your stronghold or strongholds may be, there is a solution to your problem.
These strongholds can be demolished, by taking your thoughts captive, prisoner. Before you act on what you think, ask yourself the question: WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT THAT BEHAVIOR? Do not enter into an argument with God. Paul commands to CAST DOWN THOSE ARGUMENTS AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
You must be prepared to fight godly, that is GOD’S WAY. You must come to God with a willing heart and to ask Him to destroy those strongholds in your life. The Lord wants you to break those strongholds by learning to think God’s way. Accept the Word of God as your only sure guide in all your decisions. Remember, the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword and is a discerner of your very thoughts. When the Word exposes your pattern of thinking as opposite to God’s revelation, take those thoughts immediately captive and before long, your strongholds will be demolished. GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.

Where Is Your TREASURE?

When Jesus is talking about the treasure, he means the WORD OF GOD. God communicating to his creation, unlocking the mystery of who God is, why we human beings are here on earth, and how we should live on this earth.
We read the Word of God because it is God’s treasure entrusted to us. When we read in His treasure, we will get to know God better. In it our heavenly Father communicates with us, revealing to us His heart and vision for our lives. Where else could we learn about God’s holy character, or about His kingdom established in our hearts, or about the grace of God, the unconditional love of God for us. Apart from such a treasure, we would never know anything about God’s nature, God’s plan for us, God’s future for us, God’s purposes for us.
In other words, this treasure, God’s Word, shows us the way we should go. It also shows us what will happen if we do not treasure God’s advice.
The psalmist clearly points out that by treasuring His Word in our heart, we will be able to live under its daily influence and experience the blessings that come with it.
The Bible, the written word of God, is the only book in the entire world, especially the only religious book in the world where hundreds of prophecies have been recorded when they were spoken and then recorded hundreds of years later when they have been fulfilled exactly as predicted.
“My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms, but the text was unknown to me. I looked and looked, and I suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew Scroll which had not been read for more than 2,000 years. ” Hebrew University Professor Eliezer Lipa Sukenik
Oh, let us never come to a point to read the greatest treasure like most of the religious leaders did when Jesus walked this earth. Searching the Scripture to find eternal life, yet never understood that the very text was testifying of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Under The INFLUENCE

WE CAN LIVE OUR LIFE UNDER TWO KINDS OF INFLUENCES. And whatever we choose, one or the other, will not just have a major impact how we live, how we behave, how we interact with one another, but also HOW WE INFLUENCE ONE ANOTHER.
John 6:63 says it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
In other words, the Holy Spirit makes life worth living. The flesh, this world, and all religious activities apart from the Spirit of God are of no help at all.
This whole world is under the influence of the wicked one. Jesus introduces to us the ruler of this world as the Father of lies. In other words, the whole world is under the influence of the master LIAR. We are being bombarded daily with news on TV, Internet, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, magazines and books produced by people that are under the influence of the ruler of this world. They are being used by Satan to conceal the truth, to hide the truth, to distort the truth, to make the lie look like the truth. Notice have Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit as the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which the world cannot receive. Those who are of the world are being influenced by the ruler of this world and are unable to see the truth.
The Holy Spirit was in control of Jesus life. It is this same Holy Spirit whom the Father sent to us as our helper to make us see the truth.
The world cannot see the truth. They are under the influence of the ruler of this world and life and act accordingly. They have given the ruler of this world control over their lives. The child of God is confronted with this truth and must make a decision to GIVE TOTAL CONTROL OF THEIR LIFE OVER TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD. You can decide to give some control to the Holy Spirit, and leave the rest under the influence of the ruler of this world. Such a Christian life is a very hard life indeed. Full of worldly influence, full of schisms, battles of confusion, anxieties, depressions and despair.
Notice that no one had to force these new converts to read the bible, to show up for fellowship, to participate in a meal together, or to encourage them to pray.
WHY? Because a Holy Spirit controlled Christian does not have to be forced to read the Bible or to pray. The Holy Spirit gives them the understanding of truth and the more they understand the more hungry they become. Remember the Old Testament saints proclaimed HOW SWEET GOD’S WORD IS TO THEM. You come under the influence of the WORD OF GOD because the Holy Spirit gives you understanding, which allows you to apply the Word of God in your life. You can literally see it at work. SUCH ACTIVITY GLORIFIES JESUS.
We need to come under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the one who searches all things, the deep things of God, the hidden things of God. And it is then when we surrender control of our life to the Holy Spirit, that we are able to influence the world around us by letting His light shine through us. There is just no other way.