Sermon Archive

In Revelation chapter 4 we were brought into John’s vision of the heavenly courtroom convened for the Tribulation judgments. John was privileged to see the throne, God the Father seated upon it, the Holy Spirit before the throne, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders. Chapter 5 continues John’s vision of the heavenly courtroom. 

What is this scroll and it’s significance such that John weeps when, initially, it appears no one is worthy to open it?

And what is required in order to be worthy? Let’s observe carefully what John saw. According to verse one, where was the scroll?  It was in the right hand of the One seated on the throne; in other words it was in the right hand of God the Father.  God the Father is the author, the source of the scroll and its contents, therefore, whatever it contains is true and whatever plans it holds will be carried out. John saw that the scroll was written within and on the back indicating that it was full and comprehensive, nothing more could be added because it is complete. Finally, John saw that the scroll was sealed with seven seals. Seven is the number of perfection or completeness, again indicating that the contents of the scroll are complete. The scroll may have looked something like this with the wax seals all along the exposed edge of the scroll.

Direct download: 140126AM.mp3
Category:Revelation -- posted at: 7:30am PDT

Courtrooms are a very sobering place to me. The wood panelled walls, the banister separating spectators from litigants, jurors, lawyers and judge, the armed bailiff – all these impress upon me the seriousness of the courtroom. I have witnessed, firsthand, the power and authority of a judge, robed and seated above all delivering life changing judgments. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 usher us into God’s courtroom from which the most severe, earth shattering judgments will be delivered. Please turn in your Bibles and read along with me as I read Revelation 4:1-11.

Revelation chapters 4 and 5 usher us into God’s courtroom which, I believe, is specifically setup to render divine judgment upon the earth during the Tribulation (Rev. 6-19). Revelation chapters 2 and 3 deal with the Church Age, that period of human history from Pentecost 33 A.D. to the Rapture of the Church (2014 + x years). Following the book’s outline, Revelation chapters 2 and 3 constitute the second division of the book, the things… that are (1:19). Presently, we are living in this period of time; we are living in the Church Age prior to the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Chapters 4-5 transition us into the third division of the book of Revelation, the things… that are to take place after this. (1:19).

Direct download: 140119AM.mp3
Category:Revelation -- posted at: 7:30am PDT

The greatest threat to the spiritual vitality of the Church is not persecution, but prosperity. Prosperity has undermined God's people for millennia. On the eve of entering the Promised Land, God warned the twelve tribes of Israel of prosperity's corrosive effects. 

The traveler from Philadelphia would go forty-five miles southeast to Laodicea on the same major postal road that stretches from Pergamum through Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia to the Mediterranean. The city was also one hundred miles east of Ephesus on the main Roman trade route to eastern Asia Minor. Philadelphia and Laodicea were situated on the only two routes into Phrygia (the eastern province) from the west. This confluence of major trade routes made Laodicea critical for trade and communications in the province. Laodicea was the more important member of a tri-city formation with Hierapolis six miles north and Colosse ten miles east; all three cities were part of Phrygia. It eventually became a banking center and an increasingly wealthy city. Known for its soft, raven-black wool, it outstripped other garment manufacturers in the district and became wealthier still. There was a famous school of medicine at Laodicea, connected with the temple of Men Karou ("god of the valley"), the god of healing. Followers of the teaching of Herophilos believed in compound medicines for complex diseases and developed a compound for curing eye diseases called "Phrygian powder," which brought Laodicea even more fame and money. There were only two drawbacks to Laodicea. First, like Philadelphia it lay in a region prone to earthquakes. An earthquake in a.d. 60 virtually destroyed the city, but unlike Philadelphia (and Hierapolis), Laodicea wanted no financial aid from Rome. Instead, the wealthy citizens rebuilt their city. Second, Laodicea had no water supply. They had to pipe in water from Denizli, six miles south, via an aqueduct that left the city vulnerable to weather and enemies.

Direct download: 140112AM.mp3
Category:Revelation -- posted at: 7:30am PDT

The Church of Philadelphia was one of two churches that received only commendation and no critique from the Lord Jesus. The outstanding characteristic of the Philadelphian believers was their faithfulness amidst persecution to reach out to unbelievers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Direct download: 140105AM.mp3
Category:Revelation -- posted at: 7:30am PDT