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4. Preparing the King's Highway

Mark Howard


Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism


  • April 15, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Gracious Heavenly Father we thank you today for the holy Sabbath and Lord not just any Sabbath but a Sabbath where we have the emblems of reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us so long ago. And even now stands interceding for us by virtue of that sacrifice in the temple in heaven. And we rejoice in that this morning and we just ask Father that Spirit of God in light in our understanding to help us to sense a little bit more of the significance of the wonderful plan of salvation wrought out to your son Jesus we ask and pray these things in his name Amen were in Luke Chapter twenty two and verse fourteen in the Bible says here when the hour had come he that is Jesus sat down and the Twelve Apostles with him then he said to them with fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer for I say to you I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God Now if you're looking at in the King James New King James Version rather what does the word fervent look like. Should be a tallis size is a supply of words in it what it would say literally in the Greek is with desire I have desired to do this as that word for desire twice and the point is that Jesus is heavily burdened in his heart he was he so is a longing to have this time with his disciples because he wants to reveal something significant to them this is the last conversation is going to have prior to the sacrifice and Calvary and he wants to. Really communicate to them. What is about to take place. The problem is that they weren't ready to receive it you pick it up in verse twenty four. Verse twenty four says now there was also a was a dispute among them as to which of them should be considered the greatest and this posed a problem because it created a barrier where Jesus couldn't get through to communicate the truth he wanted to communicate this is the whole reason Jesus instituted what we call the ordinance of humility at the foot washing service this is why he assumed the role of a servant because he was trying to in the words of desired ages bring them down from the stilts of human pride. So that they would be open and ready to receive the gospel. I want you to notice a statement from desire of a just Page Six fifty it says speaking of the ordinance of humility this ordinance is Christ's appointed preparation for the sacramental service. Yes that is the Lord's supper while pride variance and strife for supremacy our share our cherished the heart what cannot enter into fellowship with Christ that's not just now then that's now as well. And other words the gospel of Christ can be the greatest and is the greatest thing in the world but there are things that will bar us from receiving the benefit of it three of them listed here pride variance and strive for supremacy and that's where the disciples of Christ were we are not prepared to receive the communion of his body in his blood therefore it was that Jesus appointed the memorial of his humiliation to be first observed that is before the supper we have the foot washing it's designed to help us to come to a sense of are our need of Christ for salvation and so it was here with these early disciples There was a work of preparation that need to be done now I try to figure in the everlasting Gospel series a message that would go in his communion Sabbath and by nature of communion Sabbath it's going to be a little abbreviated today but there's a piece that I felt was essential that goes very well with this introduction from the Lord's Supper because in the same way that there were things that barred them from receiving the gospel. There are things that may rebar bar us from receiving the gospel the message today is entitle preparing the king's highway and it's taken from that reading that we had in Isaiah and you're going to see that repeated in Luke chapter three if you go to Luke Chapter three with me in Luke chapter three we're introduced to a man named John the Baptist. Who had a work of preparation to do Luke chapter three and verse three Speaking of John the Bible says and he went into all the region around the Jordan preaching a baptism of what repentance for the remission of sins as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet saying the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straits every valley shall be filled every mountain and Hill brought low the crooked places shall be made straight in the rough ways smooth and all flesh to see the salvation of God Now what Isaiah is referring to and now Lucas quoting from Isaiah is the practice for the eastern kings when they would go somewhere of sending for runners to smooth out the road ahead. And that included taking a hike that literally the road ahead the pit the pavement right there take the high places they would knock them down the low places in the road they would fill in if they needed to for a river or build a bridge they would do it so when the king and his entourage would come through the road was ready and smoothed out Isaiah in his prophecy of John the Baptist uses that imagery to point to the work of John only John's work was not a smoothing out of pavement not a leveling out of pavement but of people and how did John level the people. You just read it. He preached repentance What does repentance do it points out our sin and let me ask you how many have sinned. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Now once we all come to terms with that human pride kind of dissipates doesn't it and the words Who is it hey look I'm more important is this guy right I'm the higher in the low or no it's all smooth out it's all leveled out all of a sudden we're all in the same page were sinners in need of a savior and so I say uses that language to point to the work of John the Baptist and that was his work of repentance that was what Jesus truth was trying to bring about as he went in washed the feet of his disciples. Leveling as it were the playing fields and I want you to know that the message of repentance always accompanies the preaching of the Gospel we talked before about how long the Gospel go together that's what we're talking about the law brings conviction should bring us to repentance they always go together you may be familiar with this statement I don't have it on the screen it's found in the book steps to Christ page thirty four it says even one wrong trait of character one sinful desire persistently cherished will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. What an amazing statement as powerful as the gospel is if we cherish sin and refuse to repent it will neutralize all the power that the Gospel has and so the Lord sent John the Baptist to prepare the way with his message. I want you to Luke Chapter five because we are in the Gospel of Luke and Jesus builds on this the idea of how the repentance the message of repentance works in connection with the Gospel here in Luke Chapter five or thirty one. The Bible says Jesus answered and said to them those who are what those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick now most of us don't go call the doctor or go to the doctor when we feel good unless you're a hypochondriac you might go all the time but for most of us we don't go to the doctor unless we feel sick and Jesus makes this point it's not those who are well who have need of a physician and I can reverse the language there but those who are sick and then Jesus says this I have not come to call to the righteous but sinners to repentance now was he excluding somebody there were there some righteous people that his message didn't apply to you know because the Bible says in Romans Chapter three there was no one righteous no not one Jesus knew that back when the rich young ruler came to him he says oh good teacher Jesus said there's only one who is good and that is God. His point was this until a man sees his sinfulness he has no need of Christ in his mind. We all have need of Christ and so he says I've come not just John the Baptist I've come not to call the righteous but to call sinners to repentance and I want you to go over to Luke Chapter seven with me. And I want you to see what happened to those who rejected the message of John Luke Chapter seven and we're going to look at verse twenty nine Bible says In Luke seven twenty nine when all the people heard him I mean back up to verse twenty eight Jesus is speaking here he says for I say to you among those born of women there is not a greater profit the John the Baptist but he was least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And when all the people heard him even the tax collectors justified God having been why. Having them baptized by him I don't want you to miss this when the tax collectors who are looked down on by society heard Jesus saying John was the one that God sent to you those who were baptized by John which means they received his message they said yeah we needed that message and they justified God It's an odd word to use in connection with God We use it usually in connection with men but they basically were declaring that what God did in sending John was right because they needed to be called to repent. But not everybody felt the same way. You see that the next verse in verse twenty nine it says even the tax collectors having been having been baptized with the baptism of John just by God verse thirty but the fairest sees in lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves not having been baptized. If they refuse to repent and in doing so they rejected was the will of God for themselves folks this is where Nicky Demas was and lot of people missed this when Jesus was talking with naked Demas and he said A man must be born again but let me rephrase that he didn't say a man must be born again he said You must be born again nigga Demas was all about that in fact if you read this and desire pages Nicodemus was thrilled with John the Baptist ministry a lot of people needed it. But he didn't think he needed it and when Jesus told him unless a man is born again he can't see my kingdom and they could be misperceived he was talking about himself and got a little riled up. And he said What's a man going to do the barman is old and Jesus said I'm telling you the truth and it could be miss unless a man is born are water and the spirit and nicotine is new and connected the dots he was saying you need John's baptism just like everybody else you needed to go into the water just like everybody else. Well that was an easy year but there were those who did not receive the message of John and it and listen carefully to prepare them to reject Christ which is what they did those who refuse to be brought to repentance will reject Christ in fact in the very act they're rejecting Christ because Christ is the one according to accept a five that gives repentance now in the connection with this. I want to come to the end of time because just as God sent John the Baptist with a message there's a message that comes to the last day church we find in the book of revelation sometimes we call the Laodicean message Revelation chapter three verse fourteen Revelation chapter three in verse fourteen the Bible says here into the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans right who's speaking here. OK Jesus is speaking in his dictating a letter I want you to take dictation on this I want you sent this letter out to the church later to see if the church to the ends of the church the messenger of the church to see as I want you to write this These things says the Amen the what faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation of God which has to do with the fact that he is the creator with the same gospel author says that John wants a don't miss this a faithful and true witness why would you address yourself as the faithful and true witness why would you want to tell people that you're a faithful and true witness. Because what you're about to say they might not think is true if you're tempted to doubt what I'm about to tell you I just want you to know that my witness is true. That's what he's saying. I know your works but you are neither cold nor hot I wish you were cold or hot so then because you are what lukewarm and neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say I am rich have become wealthy and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched a miserable poor blind in naked I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich and white garments that you may be clothed that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and in though your eyes with eyes sad that you may see as many as I was. As many as I love I rebuke in chase and therefore be zealous and Repent Now it's interesting this word zealous comes from the same root word as the word hot he uses a little earlier. I thought that was interesting you want to be on fire Christian or be hot repents and on fire Christian is one of those willing to see and acknowledge what God says about him is true when he comes to point out sin and in this case he's telling I know what your condition is as many as a lover be you can chase and be zealous and repent Behold I stand at the door and walk. Knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me. I'm going to stop there and I want to I want to get a visual of what's happening here OK first of all let me ask this what is the problem with that Laodicean church is it that she's wretched and miserable and poor and blind and make it I heard A No I mean if you say no that's not the problem not that it isn't a problem it is a problem it's not the problem why isn't it the problem because everybody has that problem. Right everybody's wretched misreport all have sinned and fall short of Glory of God So for him to single that out that's not the issue here what is the issue with live to see it. They don't realize it not only don't they realize it while their wretched MS were poor blind to make it they think they're actually increased in goods and I want you to understand what he's talking to he's not talking to the heathen nations here Jesus is talking to the church he's not talk of the Jewish church he's talking to the Christian church a Christian church a stablished by the Apostle and now he has to say you wretched Ms report blind and you don't even know what you think you're better off spiritually then you really are and I'm faithful and true and I'm here to tell you your true condition so you can be zealous and repent now I want you to get a piece of this a lot of people overlook after he addresses their condition then what does he tell the church to do take of me receive of me coming in no it says by from me. What's he doing selling OK he's selling something How's he selling it. Behold I stand at the door and how's he selling it Ellen White refers to Jesus in this capacity is the heavenly merchant man going from door to door with his wares he's a door to door salesman selling something and he's standing at the door knocking Now you may have heard this before this I've heard actually preachers bring this up and say you know those pictures of Jesus at the door you know there's only a handle on one side of the inside that's not true folks that's not true Jesus doesn't not open the door because he can't he doesn't bargain because he won't. It's not that there's not a hand on his side but he's not he's a salesman and he's selling something they do you need but here's the thing who's going to open the door for. Only those who believe they need what he's selling. Right so this is the image that Jesus is giving when he says Behold I stand at the door not and he's leaving up to you and me he's saying look I'm here to sell you these things you need you need the gold tried in the fire this this faith or in I'm not I don't have time to break it down all the what this means but he's basically offering his righteousness to the person by him though the problem with Laodicea is legacy is a they got to know soliciting sign up to like hey we don't need it we don't need it here I think you want my neighbor's house are you following that and so the challenge with Laodicea. Is not the sinfulness but they think they're rich spiritually when they're poor spirited and when a person thinks they're rich spiritually they can talk all day long about the Gospel but in the heart they don't sense any. So we can sit here and that look the disciples when we read about their eyes they were sitting at the real Lord's Supper with the Lord right there what did it mean to them nothing because they were striving as to who was going to be the greatest And so Jesus comes to his last to church and to prepare the way just as John did he calls them to repentance you know something we have to understand is that soon blunts our moral perceptions. OK And you know we have met were sinners and I could ask you if everyone who is a sinner here an all hands go up would mean we already said all of sins so we all acknowledge that. We have to understand that what that means is that my vision my moral vision is not clear. That's why I need the Word of God the written word and the Living Word. I don't see things clearly and here's the tragedy of it all is when the Lord comes to me in you and says you're a sinner news I know and he says So let me show you what's wrong as I know it isn't I say no it isn't that's not me I think you got me mixed up with somebody else. The purpose of the message to live to see you was to prepare the church to receive Christ and be ready to see him when he come comes again I want you to notice a statement here from the book are the writings age to seventy now I don't have time to get into the whole vision realm I see as God's people some shaken out and then organized and Company and she as she saw some shaken out she asked this question I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the true witness to the latest Sian's. She says this counsel that we're reading about is going to shake some people right on out of the church this will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver this message of the true witness and will lead him to exalt the standard import forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony they will rise up against it and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people I've heard all kinds of things about the straight testimony was supposed to be but what do we read about right here what is the testimony. That you are not who you think you are spiritually Isn't that what the true witness is saying you are not the spiritual person you think you are and that's not saying we're not spiritual The Lord says that to me today but you know when the Lord comes to me I have to say Lord yes I'm a sinner and I don't even know the extent of it I can't be like you know it then that same mindset is what led Peter to deny the Lord I know I'm a sinner but I know I pretty much got a good idea where my weaknesses are he was a row. Lord says no you don't even know it's. Some are going to rise against it. When the true witness comes and says you're not Spears who you think you are yes I am. Don't talk to me that way now we don't say it that way but well flesh that out in a minute notice what it says this testimony this testimony must work deep repentance all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified. Now in another place speaking of Laird see a message testimonies I want Page twenty six L M I said this I saw that this message delivered see a message would not accomplish its work in a few What short months look you don't see your sins repent of your sins and get right with God overnight. There's a there's a process where God reveals things and you wrestling with with through that it is designed this message to arouse the people of God to discover to them their backsliding is God knows are backsliding we need to know them and to lead to what zealous repentance that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus and be fitted for the loud cry the third angel you know we're all on the edge of momentous times right here in the service but we've got to be fitted for it we've got to be fitted for those times the storm that's coming we're not braced for. This message it's got to do it's work in our arts when she talks about favor with the presence of Jesus time permitted we would show that what she's especially referring to there is the outpouring of the Latter Rain the presence of Jesus as He comes to us in line or in power if you go in spirit and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel and I shared with you in our last message in this series that the gospel message had a bright peak through the eight hundred eighty eight General Conference in the years following that and a lot of people are. Unaware that the eight belayer to see a message was an intra group part of the eight hundred eighty eight message and in eighty ninety three when eighty Jones spoke at the journey his keynote speaker for the general conference session he referred back several of our speakers that G.C. were looking at the aftermath of the eight hundred eight message in the controversy that was going on and he referred back to the eighty Laodicean message and elder Jones read this quote right here that we're just reading and this is what he said after he finished reading it Ochs. Let me go to my notes here I don't know if I have it on the screen this is what he said then he read this quote he says that is where we are robbed that message to the Laodicean message is preparing us for the loud cry God is sending angels everywhere to prepare people for the truth and when we go forth from this conference with this message as it is now the people will hear it and I just want you to understand a little bit now we're going to see a little bit more of this in this message that in our history God had brought his church to the point. Where I believe we are today. But we're here three generations later and it wasn't God's design. Ellen White says in one place that we may have to remain in this world many more years because of our insubordination you military folks know what that means it means you refused to follow the commanding officer it was God's design that we still be in this world so the message came came in eighty eight when God was bringing the message of righteousness by faith the Laodicean message was given with an intention to do its work and if he Jones can say that is where we are then I want to say how much more is that where we are now. I want to ask you what do you think it means in the context of what we're looking at what does it really mean to receive the message of the true witness what does it look like to receive the message of the true witness to the Laodiceans. On a practical level I'm going to tell you that something interesting happens when I talk about sending repentance I always get from some corner of the other this response you know we talk about these things I don't feel like I'm ever going to be good enough Pastor some variation of that and that betrays false thinking about the Gospel and I'm going to explain what that means I don't think I'm ever going to be good enough and you may have thought that or felt that I've felt that before but let me just make something clear enough touched on this before if you're feeling like you're never going to be good enough I say amen to that. And if you say I don't feel like I'm worthy I say mentor that the sooner you come to terms with that the better the gospel is not about us being worthy if I was worthy in good enough I would need a savior the problem with the Laodicean church is she thinks she's good enough and I'm not talking about going around a wallowing in any or even walk around saying Oh I'm such a sinner I'm such a sinner I'm such a sinner all the time repeating that. And that's not what it means to receive the message of the true witness but we're not good enough we're unworthy that's why it's called Grace the term grace conveys that it's something we don't deserve if I was good enough I would deserve it and there are many texts that. Bring that idea Oh and. The sooner we realize that we're not good enough the better because then we will forever stop looking to ourselves our performance our goodness and will start looking to Christ Our Righteousness and then we don't have to worry anymore when it's the idea. I want you to notice the state steps to crisis and in fact you've heard it ourselves with this morning the closer you come to Jesus the what closer you come to Jesus the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes that sounds odd right why notice for your vision will be clear in your imperfections will be seen in broad a distinct contrast to his perfect nature and I've given the example before I don't play basketball well at all I just don't OK this white guy can't jump and what happens is if I get out and I try to play basketball let's say I have a day or appeal like I'm having a pretty good day there are days where I can hit some hoops and I'm like OK I'm doing pretty good until somebody who can you can play even so so shows up and all of a sudden what happens now all of a sudden having a terrible day as have a great day until somebody who knew how to play showed up have you ever had that kind of thing happen by comparison right the point that's being made here is if I'm coming close to Jesus let me ask you a question how worthy do you think a person state feels when they're standing right next to Jesus he is worthy but I'm not worthy when I see his goodness. I can't help to see my badness and that's what this statement is bringing out and so it's a it's a it's a direct consequence of being in the presence of Jesus that will see our own imperfections it's now she goes on to make this point this seeing your sinfulness and don't miss this if you miss everything else don't miss this when you see your sins What are you tempted to think how many of you think when you start to feel like you're really sinful you think well the devil's just is the devil telling me I'm sinful I me tell you something the devil doesn't want you to know your sin. Because then you go to Giago to say the devil let me put it this way the Lord helps us to see our sinfulness the devil doesn't want us to see it because if we did we go to Jesus now once the Lord shows it to us and we see you are sinful then the devil may come in and try to say you're so simple you can't go to Jesus but notice this when we see in our sinfulness our unlike Mr Christ this is evidence that Satan is delusions have lost their power and that the vivifying are life giving implements of the Spirit of God is arousing you. If you see your sinfulness that means the Spirit of God is working on you to save you praise the Lord. It goes on to say no deep seated love for Jesus can do well in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness. Wow if we do not see our own moral deformity it is what what kind of evidence is it it's on the stake of all evidence that we have not had a view of the beauty and excellence of Christ. It's a natural result of seeing Jesus to see our own likeness to Jesus and some people hear that message all that is so hard that is so that's depressing and when Elder Jones was preaching the Laodicean message in eight hundred ninety three he had people come to miss it I don't get it you're talking about we're supposed to be rejoicing because we see our sinfulness event Jones and quoted I'm trying to remember exactly the statement oh my it made as another statement she said Are you in Christ not unless you see yourself as defiled something something sinners I forget the exact wording of it and so people were asking and I have it right here this is what John said He says some have said they cannot see how a man can acknowledge himself to be wretched amiss reported by naked and not and and don't know it and at the same time be rejoicing in the Lord. If you think the same thing he responds Well I would like to know how anyone else can. I would like to know how a man is going to rejoice in the Lord when He thinks he's all right himself. You see the Laodicean he's like hey I'm Rich Increasing good you need Jesus it's when you have nothing. That you look to Christ and he becomes everything. And that's the point that he's making here but when a man know that he is what the Lord says he is wretched miserable to make any knowledge of that and then find that the Lord is so good that he will take him just as he is in fitting to stand in the presence of God through all eternity then that man has something to rejoice for bread when the Lord does not save us because we are so good but because he is so good do not forget that he does not save us nor bless us in the work of God at all because we are so good but because he is good and we are bad and the blessedness of it is that he will bless us so much when we are so bad and the rejoicing of the whole thing is that he saves us and makes us to reflect his own image as bad as we are that is where the rejoicing comes in. And so one of my favorite articles by elder Jones comes from a present truth edition and I want to share it with you so we may get kind of tagging on this whole idea of the closer we come to Christ the more faulty will appear in our own eyes and that kind of thing and rejoicing in our sinfulness what a pulse they are both in my infirmities this is what John says in this present truth article he says Do not be discouraged at the sight of sinfulness in the flesh. When you see sinfulness near Selby says don't be discouraged. It is only in the light of the Spirit of God and by the discernment of the mind of Christ that you can see so much sinfulness in your flesh right you would see it if it wasn't for the Spirit of God Sin blunts our moral perceptions we can't see sinfulness unless the Spirit of God shows us is the Spirit of God Bible says John sixty eight who brings us conviction of sin and righteousness and judgment it's so he says only by the discernment of the mind of Christ is see so much of the sinfulness in your flesh and the more sinfulness you see in your flesh the more of the Spirit of God You certainly have. Amen. This is a sure test when then when you see sinfulness abundant in you thank the Lord that you have so much of the Spirit of God that you can see so much of the sinfulness. Every think of it that way. And notice surety that when sinfulness abounds grace much more bounds in order that as soon as rain done to death even so might Grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life Jesus Christ our Lord. And so when the true witness comes to us and shows us our simpleness is because he is there ready to say this because he has the gold tried in the fire he has the white Raymond he has the I set out then he is willing to give us or sell us and we won't go into the details of that right now today. Folks I want you to understand this some I've got I know Christians who think that if it's the gospel you're always going to feel good about it I don't know how many of you've ever read the account in the Spirit of Prophecy volumes I don't think it's in some prophets it's clear he clearly is a Spirit of Prophecy Volume one with Jacob wrestling with the Angel. And Ellen White says in that pastor's when Jacob was wrestling with Christ that Christ himself would bring Jacob sins up to his mind not just the devil Christ would bring the sins to Jacob's mind and then she said he appeared in the vision to be returning to try to get away said Jacob trying to grab when he wants to get away from him and here's Christ putting the sins saying what you've done this and this and this and trying to get away and all Jacob I had was the promises of go all he had was but Lord you promised but Lord you promised there was no feeling that would tell him otherwise God's people in these last days have to realize that an abundant Christian experience does not come from how we feel but who we believe in there will be times when you feel down but you don't have to be down. Because Christ never lives to make intercession So if you feel like you're not good enough you're not praise God or Jesus is and I want to tell you something for some for some the I don't feel worthy is a carnal copout. It's a carnal copout In other words some people say I I fit for example you have the person who says I hate myself I'm so ugly I've ever that I hate myself I'm so ugly if you hated yourself you'd be glad you're ugly I think about it right so will say sometimes oh you know I feel so unworthy but oftentimes what we're doing is we're saying Stop telling me I need to change L Y says the Christ object less is the lips may express a poverty of soul that the heart does not acknowledge I've had people come and say I just feel like I'm not worthy enough and that same person then will be found fighting against the will of God in every particular. Well you all make you must feel worthy enough to fight with God and argue with him you understand him saying the words God comes in of its own I feel like I'm some worthy in Gaza Well look go and do this and say I'm going to do that I don't feel like applies to me or I don't think I need it and when we begin Listen folks any person who truly feels unworthy will be humble and teachable not fighting against God reveal it God's revealed will at every step of the way when you're fighting gods of your will is not because you feel unworthy it's because you feel worthy enough to contend with God. No fool yourself this why this true witness has to come and talk to us because we deceive ourselves sometimes about our true condition. So Jesus said be zealous and repents Where are we to day Saints where are we today as the message comes to us today and says I stand at the door knob says be zealous repentance the Lord is knocking will we open the door because W W Prescott William Prescott who at that same general conference session there's a lot happening at that I don't have time to get in the details but talking about the latest in message he too comments on it and this is what he told the people in it resonated with me as I read it I was praying for the sermon Now listen he's talking if they get the general conference session to mostly ministers who are coming to religious meetings morning noon and night I mean it's not like what we do throughout the week is going to you're going to religious meetings all day and yet this what he says Now to my mind it does not mean that we can come here and go on as usual get up in the morning after breakfast have a social chat come to this service and listen to it talk and visit come down at two thirty and hear some more and they're hearing what they're hearing are servants of spirit or presentation. Come down to two thirty and hear some more at seven o'clock come and hear some more and come back and do the same thing again the next day I tell you that will not bring it it will not do it his context was receiving the Holy Spirit so this is going to cut it we can't keep going on the same way God is sending a special call to his people at this time it has be zealous and repents. Now that is a simple situation that faces you and me tonight the question is what are we to do about it. What are you and I going to do about it right here now at this conference that is the practical question and the whole purpose of this instruction is to bring us face to face with that question again I say what are we going to do about it rather sisters what are we going to do today about the call of the faithful and true witness to us we have the table prepared before us are we in our hearts striving for the supremacy like the Disciples of Christ in this me nothing. Those words were spoken three generations ago and this church is still here we should have passed through Heaven's gates by now and saints you know as well as I do that sometimes you never know that God has given us a shred of counsel on how to live as Christians we watch and listen to what the world watches and listens to we don't laugh at the same jokes or read the same classics and bestsellers we eat the same food at the same restaurants we pursue relationships just like the world does and have the same divorce rates what are we going to do about it I can't believe the fireworks across the street when we tried to change one thing from the way we've always done it. And I think the faithful and true witness is coming to us and appealing to us I don't think we get we can talk about the gospel all day long and it means zero and so we humble our hearts before the Lord Jesus and say Lord all that thou has said about me is true I'm wretched and I'm miserable and I'm poor and why make it and I don't even know it Lord I need you so much I need to be like you I need to think like you I need you to fill me in earlier writings what a way to always says many of these professed Christians dress talk and act like the world in the only thing by which they may be known as their profession. You can't look at you and tell your follower Christ unless you say you're our prize it is evident that many who bear the name of Abin to study more to decorate their bodies and appear well in the eyes of the world than they do to learn from the Word of God how they may be approved of him how long Saints is it going to be it's going to be another generation are we ready to listen and he the counsel of the true witness I'm going to tell you even today and this exasperates me so you can agree or disagree we've got communion Tsawwassen already here lamenting because this communion found them we're going to have to be in church a long time today guess what it's still going to be Sabbath when we're done. And I think to myself those were talking about the Lord coming soon. And in the in the in the whole scheme of things let's say we have to sit here an extra fifteen whole minutes in church what does that say about where we are Jeremiah Chapter eight verses seven verses eight through eleven the Lord spoke to his people in German is this it would you steal murder committed adultery swear falsely burn incense to bail and walk after other gods whom you do not know and then come in stand before me in this house which is called by mining and that is where you live like the world and coming here like a yeah we're here and say we are delivered to do all these abomination right hey Jesus saves us I live like the world but Jesus saves us. Jesus does save us saves those who are willing to or he counseled the true witness God says has this house which is called by mining become a den of thieves in your eyes behold I even I have seen says the Lord and you might well say to us today do we live like the world around us and come in here and sit in his house called by his name and sit at this supper representing the broken body of Christ in the blood shed on the cross as if it was a common thing the words of Jesus to you answer me and folks I'm speaking to me as much as to you as be zealous in repentance we need the Lord Jesus to draw us closer to him and pull us further from the world around us we need our hearts and our minds brought in harmony with His will ever each one sitting in here today the Spirit of God is pointing out some place where you have allowed yourself to become distant from Jesus what are you going to do as he stands and knocks. Are you going to say Lord I'm everything you say and more I'm going to open that door and I want your gold and I want the I said and I want the white rain. This is where in the Communion service we separate for the foot washing service. Now one of the purposes of that service is to make sure all things are right with our fellow man. But a more important part of that service. Is to come to terms with the counsel of the true witness to us where we stand spiritually. And accept the words of Christ you're wretched you're miserable you're poor you're blind and they don't even realize it and when we come to terms with that and accept that in accepting his counsel we accept him and then we have the fullness of the Godhead in Christ and then we come to this supper we can have the assurance of having Christ in place of our wretchedness and our miserable in this in our corners in our blindness in our name in that sense I want to appeal to you today be an honest with the Lord this is no time to pretend about Christianity this is not an act like it was in Christ day the Pharisees went as actors in a play let it not be so with God's I'm going to pray and then we're going to dismiss for the for the ordinance of humility the foot washing service we need somebody help me out again we have. All chairs lined in the hallway here who's over here the men are over here what about in the something else room. In a man over there is well on this side of the church for the foot washing service and then over here Junior's room in this hallway. The women in and downstairs for the families so that right. Brothers sisters let's help make this service not just a routine and a formal thing today. Let's be real with God. And nobody can do that for you but you and you don't have to have an hour long personal prayer just breathe up a prayer and say Lord Jesus I accept your counsel the true witness be to me my righteousness and my sanctification and my redemption we do that today. We do that today let's pray together Father in heaven Oh father. Father we said we are so thankful for the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ so thankful father. But far too often and I can speak for myself I'm like that person who feels like he's well and isn't looking for a physician. All too often like that Laodicean who doesn't realize that I am wretched in Israel or blind in naked Lord today as we meditate upon the words of scripture as we listen to your counsel to us as we recognize it is work of repentance is not something that even is going to happen in a few short months. But we have to have a rediscovering of who Jesus is to us. Lord May your spirit guide us step by step. For we want not only to know Jesus. But we want to possess his righteousness we asked today father whatever it takes that you would make the Lord Jesus to be my righteousness and I see every each one here today he meant. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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