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02 Revelation’s Exhortation for Half-Hearted People

Chris Holland


Chris Holland

Associate Director of HopeLives365 and World Evangelist for Adventist World Radio


  • July 16, 2021
    6:45 PM


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Good evening to all of you. Oh, you sound so tired, so tired, let's try one more time. Good evening to all of you. Oh, your sound like you're awakening. That is a wonderful thing and it's good to be with you. Again, and I am excited to be here and be a part of this heartland camp meeting, as we explore, explore revelations, cosmic messages. You know, as we look at the book of revelation, it is important, as I'm sure has already happened during the week to understand what revelation is. It comes from the greek word apocalypse, this from where we get the English word apocalypse. But literally translated means the unveiling. What is the unveiling of the book of revelation? It is the revealing of jesus christ because as we talked about last night, he is the only one that has the solution to all of the problems that exist in this world. It is only jesus and his 2nd coming that will bring an end to all injustices. It is only jesus and his 2nd coming that will bring an end to all matters of political strife. Too often we have hung our hat or our dependence upon our cell. For others in the book of revelation teaches us that that frankly is a foolish endeavour because it is only jesus who has the answer. Let's go ahead and pray this evening. Heavenly father, as we study once again, we are thankful for the opportunity to be here. We are thankful for the opportunity that we have the freedom to worship because lord, we do know there are places in this world that worship is not freely practiced. And so lord, as we spend these moments in your book, we pray and ask that you would reveal to us something tonight to help us understand. We pray in jesus name a man. When we look at the book of revelation, i have always found it to be important to have some context. Of course we know that the book of revelation was written by the apostle john. But sometimes we missed the context in which the apostle john was writing. The book John was pastoring the church there, an emphasis and there and emphasis if you visit that ancient site today, it's considered by many to be one of the best ancient sites because it has been maintained from its ancient glory. And so as you walk along v v, v intricately paved roman road there and there you see the library of celsius along your journey. You are confronted with the realities of 1st century christianity. As there you have a temple to hadrian, you have a temple to die. Oh, nice sees you have a temple to athena. You have a temple to apollo. You see john would have been confronted on a daily basis with the false worship of these false gods. But that was the least of john's worries because there was a lunatic of an emperor who came to power in Rome. His name was domitian. And domitian did something that No other emperor prior to his existence had done. You see all other emperors prior to domission would be deified once they died, meaning that they would be made a god after their death. And then they would build the temple a temple to julius caesar a temple to octavius a temple to so on and so forth. But do mission thought so highly of himself that he made a decision in executive decision to be of by himself while he was still living. And so the romans wanted to make sure that the, that the members of the roman society were submissive to the government of the caesars. And so they visited emphasis and there in ethicists they demanded an offering be made to the newly deified god of domitian. And the apostle john at that time, the last of the apostles to be alive, all of the rest of his friends had been martyred. The last living apostle would refuse to take salt and cast it before the altar of domission. And this of course, did not make the roman authorities happy, so they promptly ad john drink poison to kill him. But then the romans had a problem on their hand because he did not die. And so then the romans, not too happy with this. Now we're going to make john pay And so they were going to boil him in oil. Let me ask a question. How many of you have ever worked in fast food? Anybody work in fast food? Don't worry. I'm not going to call you up here. It's ok to admit it. I actually believe it should be a requirement of life to work in fast food. If you can deal with people who have so many problems with their food, you can deal with anybody. Those of you who have worked in fast food Have you had the distinct pleasure of being burned by oil? I never forget. I was working in a restaurant i. Prior to my becoming an adventist, i managed restaurants and not to if you can't be an advantage manager restaurant, it's just happened to be the order of things in my life. And I'll never forget the they were cleaning out the oil and I was unaware that they were cleaning out the oil and they had taken the greatest safety precaution to sit. And I'm being very sarcastic right now. And they had emptied the friar into a 400 pan, which for those of you have never had the pleasure of working in food service. That is a deep pan. That is twice the size is a 13 by 9 and twice the depth and vague, safely placed it upon the top of a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with oil. That was approximately 335 degrees fahrenheit. And I was working in the back and I came around and I did not know the oil was there, and I knocked the oil off of the 5 gallon bucket and it probably went onto my feet. I was wearing shoes. Thank the Lord. But my shoes began to get a little worn, and so my shoes were taken properly off of my feet very quickly, along with my socks, and the workers were casting ice upon the place in which I was standing. And thankfully, i did not burn my feet. When you're heating oil and utilizing oil and cooking, have you ever had the opportunity where your oil begins to smoke? Yeah, that's not a good thing. That means you've reached what is called the smoke point. You didn't know you're going to get a lesson on covington. I did you If you would continue to heat that oil to higher temperatures be on the smoke point, your oil would eventually begin to or to boil. And then it would reach as it came to the boiling point. What is called its flash point, and that's when things get real exciting, because what's happening at the boiling point of oil, which is called the Flash point, is the oil is boiling, and as it's boiling, it's vaporizing. But here's the problem. As it vaporizes, it ignites this is how kitchen fires are started. And so now I want you to envision the apostle. John is now taken to rome, where he is going to now be boiled in oil. And so as the apostle john would have approach this large cauldron that had been promptly prepared to fry him to death, the oil would have been boiling and vaporizing, and so there would have been flames skirting across the oil. You see sometimes we just say, oh there and they tried to boil john in oil and we kind of go, oh, that's kind of interesting. I want you to envision now for a moment that the apostle john is then taken. And he is cast into this cauldron of oil that is boiling and on fire on the top. And to the amazement of the romance, he is not scolded one bit. So what to do with him? Except for one thing, they take the approximately 90 some odd year old john and they take him to the island of patmos. I've had the opportunity to be on the island of patmos, patmos prior to the romans, was a greek prison colony. If you go there to day, it's a pretty place. There's a nice harbor and a little walkway along the along the waterfront where there's all kinds of nice restaurants and wonderful greek people. When however, outside of that is what john would have experienced the island of pat. This is an island less than 9 miles long and less than a couple of miles wide. It is basically a rock that extends out of the water. You can get there one of 2 ways to day. Typically you can get there from the sailing out of athens, greece, or you can sail there from what would have been at the time fss the journey from emphasis in a modern day. Boat takes about 3 and a half hours or at least that's what it's supposed to take. When I visited patmos, the winds were a little high that day, which meant the waves were a little bit high. And our 2 or director really wanted us to have an intimate moment as a to or group. So we were in a smaller vessel and that 3 and a half hour trip almost took 5 hours And the boat went up and down and up and down. And we were having this wonderful moment be we thought it would just be such a nice thing that we would study the book of revelation on the lower deck. And andy nash was leading us and I'll never forget the boat was going this way and I was sitting this way. And at some point, as the boat is going up and down and up and down, both my head and my stomach told me, I really don't like this anymore. My wife, being the smartest of the bunch, never left the upper deck to which she was sitting directly in the middle of the boat. And as the waves are splashing over, she would get a drip or 2 on her. But she looked out on the horizon, kept to focus on the horizon with her ginger candy in her mouth, and she did not get sick. But it helped me to envision, i don't think they put john on a cruise ship to go to pass. He was probably on a vessel much smaller than what I was on And as they broke around the aisle of same house Where they would have experienced the full brunt of the g and C. I wonder how long it took john to arrive and now this 90 to 95 year old man is in a penal a prison colony Where they would break rocks and exist on this rock that was simply in the middle of the water. Does any one have a mother or father or grandfather that's 90? Something years old? My mom's dad, grandpa bennett, is 92 years old. And I can't imagine being having him cast to an island essentially to survive. Why do I share with you that content context? Because even in our greatest moments of despair On an island alone, Remember he pastored an emphasis. If you look at a map and you find the island of patmos and emphasis, there is only one thing that separated him from emphasis. And this was the great expanse of the sea, with the island of se, most in between. Still wonder why when god is promising, john about the new jerusalem and the new heavens and the new earth, he says, and there will be no sea. Does that mean there won't be water and haven't no gods. Just trying to let john know we will never be separated by great experiences from our home. In the midst of this lonely experience. God comes To John with a message. And as we talked last night, A message That according to revelation chapter one is the revelation of jesus christ, which god gave him to show his servants things which must shortly take place. There in the lonely island. You can visit the cave where they say john received the vision of revelation. We royally don't know. We know that he was in a cave. But when you search around the island, there are many, many caves The orthodox church has built a shrine there. We don't know if that's really where it happened. But what is more important to know is in the midst of despair, god visited the apostle john and said, I will want you to despair. Because john, although rome has made you a prisoner, there is one coming who will release you from your prison. There is one who is coming that will bring an end to all wrong. There is one who will come, who holds the keys to death. And you need not fear. And as john is given this message, he begins this course of messages by writing letters to 7 churches. And as we understand this, and we don't have time to break all of this down, those 7 churches represents 7 time periods of the history of the church. And to night, we're going to go to the last message, the layout to see and message. And now before you turn me off, because sometimes we hear, he's going to talk about leo to see Before you turn the channel off, I want to encourage you to hang on for a moment. You see throughout the 7 churches of revelation there is a formula followed a commendation, a rebuke, an ex or taishan, and a promise. However, the message to the Church of late sir doesn't have a commendation. And that's why we find it a difficult message to swallow. But while there is no commendation the Church of leo to see it is given the greatest promise of any of the 7 churches. So let us go to revelation the 3rd chapter, beginning in verse 14. And let us look at this message and what does this message mean to us? Those who are living in the 21st century, those that are a part of god's last day remnant people in the final moments of this earth history. What does this message have for us, and how do we apply it? And as we listen to this message, and I want to encourage you, as you listen to this message, as you listen to the messages of d casper, as you listen to the messages of all that are preaching this weekend, it is easy for us to take those messages and say, oh I wish the church would do that. When will the general conference make a motion for us to do these things? Or when will my conference make a motion to do these things? Or when will my local church board make a decision for us to follow these ways? I would really encourage you to not think that way. The only way that the church will change is starting right here with each of us as individuals. Revelation 3 in verse 14 says in the angel of the church, excuse me. And to the angel of the Church of the lake to see and Right lay. Oh, to see was an interesting place. It was located on a road. It was actually located on a juncture of 3 roads. When we understand the power of the romans, the romans had an intricate network of roads and highways, by the way, so intricate was that highway that in modern day turkey, when you go there, there are many of the ancient roman roads that cannot be escalated because the lay out was so profound for ancient times that many of the modern day turkish roads are simply laid upon the ancient roads. And show lay odyssey was at this crossroads, 3 important roads. And it was a long the approach to fry geo. But along the road there, you'll remember the letter to the collections colossus. I was about 40 miles away. It was, excuse me, just a few miles away. It was 40 miles south east, the Philadelphia, the church, the Church of Philadelphia lay owed to see about 35 years prior to the letter here of the book of revelation was destroyed by an earthquake. And the roman government came to the rescue and said, we will rebuild later to see and the lay of the sea and said, hey, we appreciate that but know things we're going to do this all on our own label to see it was one of the richest commercial centers of the ancient world. It was in a fluent society, a commercial center that specialized in woollen goods. It was founded during the mito, persian empire. But leo, to see a had a problem. They did not have a good water source. They did not have a good water source and so they went seeking to find a water source. But the message continues. These things says the a men, the faithful and true witness. The beginning of the creation of god in the messages to all 7 churches is an introduction to some unique characteristic of jesus christ and in the message to the lay of the sea. And jesus is called the a man. And this is a very, very important because the a man, the a man, it is, it is the god of the a man. It means literally. So be it. Jesus is the one who is the one so to speak, a, it's hard to describe. If you ever talk to a physics teacher, when jesus says I am It literally, if we would speak in English when, when jesus said I am what he would have literally said in English is I, I am, it is the fabric i am, which speaks to jesus existence and more importantly than his existence, it speaks to his self existence. He is the self existent one and not borrow, nor derived life from any other source than himself. In the latest scenes are given a message from the great I am. He is the faithful and true witness. What does that mean? That means that jesus is faithful. Jesus is the one that can be believed in jesus is the one that will deliver. Have you ever known someone that when you ask them, you know instinctively that they cannot deliver they may promise the world, but they deliver pebbles. Jesus is not like that. Jesus. By the way, 1st john, 19. An important part of his faithfulness is if we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins. He is faithful though c, I skipped over a word there he is faithful, which means he can do it. But and what's the word? Just not only does he say he'll do it, but he has the legal right to do it. And here the loudest hands are introduced to jesus as faithful and true. And then there is this introduction, the beginning of the creation of god. And this is now where some people get very confused. It is the greek word r K The word can be used both passively and actively and if use passively that it would mean that jesus is actually the 1st created being. But that is not the intention of the text. It is actually better translated because it is in the active sense that he is not the beginning of creation, but rather the beginner of creation. You see, jesus is the one that initiated the action of the creation of the earth. And we know this throughout the scriptures, by the way, we don't have to guess that this when the creation is taking place in genesis chapter one and genesis chapter 2, god says, let us make, let, let, who let us make man in our image. The book of collages says through him, all things were made. Let us not fall into the modern day trap that satan is painting that jesus is a created being jesus is not an entity that, that at some point in some ancient history like an amoeba, split off from god, the father. No, jesus has existed for all times because he is v, A man, the self existent one. And I said this last night and I will emphasize it again because it is emphasized to the last a church. And why is it emphasized to the last a church? Because god knew, looking down the portals of time that his last a church would face a crisis of epic proportions. As many are questioning the divinity of christ, do not fall for the trap because it is ultimately don't miss this. One of the original accusations of satan against god. Why can't I be a part of the planning for creation? Why can't I be a part of the creation? I am no different than the son. This is the question that is placed. You see, jesus is faithful and true. He is the one that has certainty in his promises. He is the beginner of the creation. He is the ruler. He is the ruler of creation. He is a man. He is the self existent. One. He is the one who has eternal being. So let us not mistake who jesus is. And I will say what I said last night to emphasize it once again today. If jesus is merely a created being than we my dear friends, my dear brothers and sisters are in a lot of trouble Because if jesus is merely a created being, then everything that happened In jerusalem on calvary is of none effect for any of us. Because it means that jesus was merely just another man. And the apostle paul makes it pretty clear that another man can save us And by the way, on the opposite, ah, on the opposite side, the opposite rut of the denial of the divinity of christ. Is it is, is these arguments we have over the nature of christ? Let me just briefly say this, the apostle paul, who was a legal scholar and understood the scriptures probably better than most of us. Because he's responsible for a good portion of the new testament called it the mystery of got the apostle john trying to describe the very nature of jesus christ called him b only be gotten of god, which is a terrible translation for the greek word mon. Oh goodness, which literally translated means the one and only unique one. So what can we say about jesus? He was enough like us that he could save us and he was certainly not like us. So he could save us. And why do I make such a big point about this? My dear friends. Because satan is doing everything he can to take away the essential portion of our message. Because by the way, if we deny all the stuff about jesus, The sanctuary system Is completely and totally irrelevant. And I don't have time that I want to preach on the sanctuary now, but I'm not going to go, I'm going to tell you right now. You take away the sanctuary. Then you take away the re, the reason for the adventist church ever existing. Let us not be mistaken. There are hundreds of churches that keep the sabbath. There are hundreds of churches that teach the truth about death. There are hundreds of churches that teach annihilation is of the truth. About hellfire There is only one remnant that god called forth with truth of the sanctuary. Message seeds of it exist among our mennonite friends. They have a tabernacle up in lancaster, Pennsylvania that you can visit, but the sanctuary message forms the framework for god's last a message to the world. If we get rid of this sanctuary in the words of my professor, doctor, what he, when if we get rid of the sanctuary, we've gotten rid of the reason to exist and we might as well all just go down the street and become some 7th day baptists. That is the danger of the elimination of jesus as the divine self existent, eternal, exist eternally existent. One. And I know this is not primarily a sermon on the trinity, but I'm going to tell you this. And if you get rid of the holy spirit, Then you deny the power by which christ has granted us to take the message to the world. Because here is the mistake in words that we often use. We have to finish the work. You know, the bible doesn't say that actually. Now before you think I'm a heretic and you start casting stones, the bible says, god will finish his work At his mercy. He uses me people like me and he'll use people like you. But it is god that finishes his work Because jesus says all authority has been granted to me and I'm going to send one that is called the comforter. It's to your advantage that I go. Why was it to their advantage that he would go? Because we have no record of jesus ministering to more than probably $15000.00 people at a time. And while that's a lot of people, there are 7000000000 people in the world. And the holy spirit, the bible says, is omni present and could be everywhere at the same time. Now those of us that like to ask a lot of questions then say, how is that possible? And my simple answer is I have absolutely no idea. I just don't know, but you know what folks? I'm going to tell you this. When I get up in the morning in my house, I walk over. We have some on the wall here. I walk over to the light switch and I turn it on. And the light comes on and I'm no electrician. But here's what I do know can. Here's what I do know. When I turn it on, the light comes on. When I turn it off, the light goes off. If I function with my light, how some of us function, when we don't understand something that god has simply called us to have faith about, We'd all be reading by candlelight. Just because I don't understand, it doesn't mean that I can't harness advantage from it. And jesus said, it's to your advantage and I send you a helper. And why do I send you that helper? Well, the reason I send you to helper yvonne is because without me, you've got bad news. You can't do anything. But I've got a good promise for you. With me. You could do all things And this is the message that he gets to lay out to see. Because jesus knows he's about to lay it thick on the layer to sands and he says, listen before I lay it on thick with you, I want to give you some promises. You're in deep stuff. You have gone too far from me. And now I'm going to help you understand that there's one who can help you out of this trouble. But if it's me, Because later to see it has a fundamental problem and God gets right into it with no commendation at all. He simply says this. I know your works You know, there are often some, there are often people will say, it's not about what you're doing when know when people are looking. It's about what you do when no one's looking. Don't fall for that trap. Someone's always looking. God knows what we do all the time even when we erase our you tube, search history. Even when we hide physical copies of things, Even when we erase our text message history, God knows everything. And he begins with the layer to see it by saying, I know your works, That you are neither call Nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are, what's the word warm? If you look up in the dictionary, the definition of lukewarm, it will give you the word tepid. Let's make this more tangible. How many of you like to have a hot drink? So it's okay, I'm not going to call you up here. I just, I want to work with me. You like, my dear sister, you know you, you are smiling tonight and you look like you love jesus. Tell me what your name is. I'm sorry I'm going to pick on you because I know I get away with what's your name? Tammy. Tammy. I get right with it. Okay, so tammy, will you like to drink when you have a hot drink? Oh, wow. Okay, so we have options right now, tammy, depends on my mood. Do you like herbal tea? You do like herbal key and let me ask you a question. When you have your herbal tv, like your herbal tea with a little bit of honey in it, just straight. Okay, so we're going to take some herbal tea and let's say we find something fantastic. Something that has a little bit biscuits in a little orange peel and I don't know something little cameo in it because it's going to relax you and you get that to its perfect temperature. You've boiled your water, you've let it steep, and now you've got that t and it's at that temperature where it's, it's warm enough to almost make you think like you're going to burn your tongue, but it's cool enough that it's not and just as that happens, tammy, somebody calls you on the phone and so you said that little herbal to down and you go talk on the phone. And this is your cousin that you haven't talked to you in 5 years. And so 45 minutes later you come and you sit and you get and, and you sit down in that chair that you're sitting down in and you put on the blanket that you had on. And you pick up your, your, your, your christ object lessons that you're about to read. And then you pick up that tea and you begin to sip upon it. Now, my dear sister, you're shaking your head like this. She's warning her don't do that. There is not a technical definition that you could look up in a lexicon to define what your experience will be, but it would be something to the effect of kind of something like this, blah, you're with me. But then there's the opposite issue. How many of you, when you're working on a hot day, like today, and you're working out in the greenhouse is where it's even hotter. I have some students now that are saying faster, we get you. How many of you like a nice cool, and refreshing drink? There we go. So thomas, I know I can pick on you because you've been one of my students. You've already heard these analogies to, you know, what's coming. She working in the greenhouse in somebody brings you it herbal sweetie. That has been sun brewed from the herbs grown right here on the heartland farm. And there's some ice cubes in it, and they bring it to you, thomas. And just as they bring it to you, the sprinkler system springs a leak to which you now must go attend to it. And so you promptly set your tea on the picnic table, which is in the sun. And when you arrive back some 30 minutes later, there are no longer ice cubes in your sweetie. There's this layer of liquid on the top. It's kind of clear, but not really. And then you go to put your mouth to it. It's had the opportunity. Yeah. And you're saying, nope, See, the challenge we have in the English language is the English language is a rather shallow language. For example, the word love. In English, we have one word for love. I love my wife. I love my car. I love pizza. I love to garden it To the young people that are hoping to be in a relationship some day when it is appropriate and you are some 40 years old just The adults got that. So that's good. The quality of that love better be different because if it's not you're going to have some difficulties. You see the greek language paints this word picture that god is picking up that warm drink that has now No longer warm. He's painting this picture of picking up that cold drink. That is no longer cold. And I don't want you to miss this because we need to understand and I'm not a physics professor, i'm not a biologist. But what has happened to the liquid in those cops? What has happened to the liquid in those cups? What has that liquid done? That liquid has adapted to what it's surrounding temperature. Maybe that's use a different word because adapted sounds really, really nice. The warm drink has compromised itself to become the temperature of its surroundings. The temperature of the cold drink has compromised itself To fit in And as god addresses the Church of les, oh defeat, he said, my problem with you is you have adapted you have compromised to simply become like everything around you. You are no longer distinct. You are no longer unique. You're simply like everything else. And while we are not at this yet extreme within the adventist church, let me tell you a little story. I spent 5 years in Canada, and in Canada you have the United church, which is the merging of the methodist church and the Church of christ. And over the course of the last 10 years, the United church in Canada has lost 1000000 members. Why is that? Because you can go into your united church where the pastor may in fact not believe that jesus is divine anymore or you may find a pastor of the United church that actually is an agnostic or a professor atheist. And so those 1000000 people have promptly said, if there's nothing to stand for that, I'm not going to stand. I'm going to take an exit. And god's rebuke to the last day remnant movement is that you are neither hot nor are you cold. And so therefore, in very, very strong words that would be rejected by most in 21st century society. He says, I therefore will bomb its you out of my mouth. There are 2 applications to this situation that layer to see a finds their self in 1st is their own spiritual condition. Our scripture reading today came from 2nd timothy, 2nd timothy chapter 3. And there is something about this passage that I preached on this passage countless times. And I did not notice it until a recent reading beginning adverse one, but know this, that in the last days, in which days last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves. Lovers of money, bolsters proud blasphemy, mirth, disobedient to parents on thankful on holding on. Loving, unforgiving slanders without self control. Brutal despises of good traitors, headstrong, haughty lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of god. And often we stop the quotation there, and we apply this text promptly to the world. But then he continues and he says this having a A form of godliness, but denying its part. Now let me ask you a question. Which of those words would describe a form of godliness? Not one of those words would at least I find in a dictionary to describe godliness. But paul says that these descriptions are not problems with the world out there. The problem with those words are the people in here and let's make it vastly more personal. The problem paul says, is right here in my own heart, We have become self sufficient. We have become a people of rather than the people of the book, we have become the people of pulling up the bootstraps. We've become the people of keeping lis. We've become the people Who have a form But not a reality. Because we can make it look good, we can make it sound good. Might even be able to make it taste good. But it's completely artificial. Have any of you ever been to a miracle berry party? Anybody know what that is? Anybody know what a miracle varies? I don't know the mechanics of American barry, i just know that she put it in your mouth. Chew it up, you let it swirl around in your mouth. And what you can do is you can take a lemon and you eat a lemon. And it is sweet. See the miracle very does something with your taste, but then it changes your, IT doesn't change, then it blocks receptors in your taste buds so that, that those things that are sour and bitter are now sweet. So you eat a deal pill can taste like a sweet pickle you eat something very, very bitter, and it tastes sweet. And you see the christianity that many of us are living these days is like a miracle. Very, we've received ourselves into thinking that we're pleasing to God, but he is about to vomit us out of his mouth. A vote. I'm sorry if you've not met me before and you're just meeting me for the 1st time. And if I'm coming across as being a little rough tonight, i'm just telling you right now, friends. I have spent the last week speak teaching a master's class to southern advocates university where I challenged myself and I began exploring the metaphors of the church. Why do we have the church and my dear friends, the church, the church is called is the body of christ. The church is called as the temple of christ. The church is called as the field agricultural field of christ. The church is called as the family of god. The church is called as the army of god, and God has something to do on this earth. And he is waiting for one thing for us to be serious about what he has called us to do. But we have a problem where like the warm t there is no longer warm. We're like the cold drink that is no longer cold. We have a spirituality that is a form. We talk a great game. We may study hours upon hours. But we have not connected ourself to jesus christ. There is one thing that god desires. And it begins in genesis 3 and it goes through out the entirety of scripture. It is the 1st question that god ever asked. What's the 1st question god ever asked? praise lord, where are you? Let me ask you a question. Did god know geographically where adam was? Because he put him in the garden that he was in. This was not a question of geography. This was a question of spiritual orientation. It reminded me a bit. It reminded me a bit of my dear friends in newfoundland, anybody, bender, newfoundland, how you're missing out one of the most unique places in the world. It's like ireland and kentucky. Got married And they're all fishing villages around the coasts. And the greeting in newfoundland is this you come and they'll ask you where are you at The proper response to that pastor armando is this, is it what the thinking? Let let your mind think on that now because it makes sense Where yeah, this is it. What did they say and what he had Right here, is it this is it I'm right here, right now present And so Got to think question about him. Well yeah. How did adam respond to that question? By the way, he knew what he was asking. The woman which you gave me God says what you're taught. And from genesis to revelation, god has one question. One question: every book of the bible. One question. Where are you? Where are you, by the way, this hit me square between the eyes and my own personal devotions, as I have been exploring the prophets during the time of daniel and again, my students are here. So you've got all my stories. But in the book of each i'm doing something different. For my own devotions, i've been listening through the bible and as I was listening through the book, if you see here, there's a little phrase that appears in the z keel. It appears $68.00 times about the 3rd or 4th that caught my attention. And the phrase is simply this, that they would know that I am god. It appears $78.00 times in the old testament One of the most interesting places that it appears is in the book of exodus In the bible says that the 10 plagues that fell upon the egypt. Why did those 10 plagues happen? That the children of israel would know that I am god, But it says it a 2nd time because the children of israel weren't the only ones that he was trying to catch their attention. It says that the egyptians would know that I am god. And then I begin to think about that God had a hebrew, that was the 2nd in command in egypt. And they rejected the authority of god and enslaved his people. And even after 400 years. And this is a fascinating thing, even after 400 years. And the brutality that probably happened to god's people during that time. God wants them to know him. And we get upset because some person in the church looks at us a little cross side. But god said, I want the objections to know that I am god And the layer of the sea and he sank. Stop with your forms and stop with your ceremonies. It's time for the real deal. And we'll talk about the real deal here in just a moment, but then be on just the personal spiritual application. There is the evangelistic application. What did leo to see, I have a problem with, they had no water supply. So they sought out a water supply. And they found this town up in the mountains, if you from Colorado, it be more like hills, but it is an ancient city called high roblis, and high rockville. It was a healing center. You know, it's kind of like the heartland of the days they, they had a lifestyle center. The one thing that they had that you don't have. And if you found it, I will tell you people would come far and wide is they had a hot water spring, they came forth from the ground. It is believe it cleopatra came to hi Rob alice because she had some dermatological issues and she stoked in the hot waters of high rockland because they're the hot water. So I rappel it were used for soothing and healing people. And so the lady to see and said, hey, we are rich and in need of nothing except water. So let's build an awkward out from. Hi, rappel is down to leo to see the problem is, is, while the water comes out hot at high rock las by the time it gets delayed, to see and goes into the tank in which they stored their water, it was no longer hot. But it was lukewarm, But then in colossus i somewhere in between leo to see and colossus i, they found a cold water source. And the water was wonderful. And so because the lay of the scenes are rich and in need of nothing except water, Take note was water represent Does represent the holy spirit. But what did jesus say to the woman at the? Well, if you drink this water, be thirsty. But you partake of this water, you will never thirst. Again, the lay odysseus were thirsty people but not finding it from the right source. And so they built an aqueduct from this place outside of colossus, brought it into layer to see. And while it came out of the water out of the ground, cold, cold, cold by the time it arrived and late to see it was lukewarm. And what is god saying, and what is the practical application? God is asking us as individuals that our presence on society would affect society. One of 2 ways that we would be a soothing and healing influence upon society. Or we would be a refreshing and revitalizing influence upon society. But we are neither because we have merely adapted to society. And our great goal of being a 7th day adventist remnant movement member is just to have church once a week for 3 hours. And then we've done our duty And God is calling his church in these last days to be a healing influence. And so what you are doing here at heartland is vital to train up individuals that understand not only the natural remedies of healing influence, but you know, there's something very, very simple. We're, we're all going to become medical missionaries tonight. Are you ready to become a medical missionary? Here it is. It's very, very simple. Can you all smile? See? So it's such an easy thing to do. 6 less muscles to smile then to frown. Let me tell you how important smile it's In Canada we. When I was with it is written canada, we interviewed dr. Neal nedley and we talked about depression, depression away out And on one particular morning a young man walked up, walk up and in. And he was depressed. And yvonne, he made a decision that day I'm going to walk around the block. And if no one smiles at me, I am going to kill myself. And Thank the Lord that someone when he passed by just when, how you doing today. And then what he did is he went and he turned on the television. And if you don't think the holy spirit is real, let me tell you how the holy spirit works. He came upon it is written telecast with me, and Dr. Neil nedley. Here's the problem, thomas. The channel. He was watching. We don't air our program on that. Because the holy spirit came into his little cable box and said, that's not what you need to watch. I got something better in store. But you see, my dear friend, god wants this healing influence. He wants this revitalized in revitalizing and rejuvenating experience that our presence in society makes a difference. But somehow, some way we have cloistered ourselves together. Thinking that as we cloister ourselves, we can protect ourselves from the outward influence of everything else. And we hear this all the time. We need to figure out ways to keep our kids. That's not what jesus said. Jesus said, we need to send our kids. Because the commission is to go now there's a place for training. That's why heartland institute exists. But beyond heartland institute, by the way, that's why your home exists. The greatest challenge, many of our young people faces that for many years. What they hear, what they read. And what they see are vastly different. So what do we do? You know, there was a television program a number of years ago called extreme make over Here's the problem with that. That just changes the appearance god is not into behavior modification therapy. Romans chapter 12 tells us what god is into. He's not into extreme make over pastor armando. He is into extreme transform ation. The word transformation is the greek word metamorphosis, all for which we get our english word. Metamorphosis. What is the most classic example of metamorphosis? praise lord, you always make it easy for me. The butterfly, Once again, I'm not a biologist. But I did a little reading For we thought that when the caterpillar goes into the little cocoon, it just changes. And it basically becomes a caterpillar with wings. But that's not what happens in that cocoon, the caterpillar releases it, releases some enzymes And grizelda of what those enzymes do. It completely dissolved the entirety of the caterpillar and then a butterfly is formed. It is A new creature, Which is why jesus was but for too many of us, our christian experience is that we are mere caterpillars with wings taped upon us. And God wants us to be I'm going to make up a word. He wants us to be metamorphosed And he gives us the solution For 17 says, because you say I am in rich, i am rich and had become wealthy and have need of nothing. And you do not know That you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Don't miss the snow lay oh, to see I went back to the garden of eden and has the same problem there make and Except we've grown in our rebellion and lay over to see it doesn't even try to hide it. She's just naked. She is poor. She is wretched. She is miserable. And what makes it worse? If she does not even know I'll give one last piece of bad news and then we'll get the good news. Some of you have heard me share this story before. When I was a young man, I sold insurance. I was terrible at it, but I did it anyways. When you're traveling, have you ever have you ever pass to pick farm? What is nodding their head? How's that experience go? You're laughing, so I'm assuming that you've before you ever see the pig farm, there is something distinctly different with one of your other senses that informs you. You are coming upon in. What sense might that be? The sense of smell. I went and visited a pig farmer to sell him insurance. And I'll never forget. I was somewhere in argus, indiana. I was a little nervous because I turned into his driveway and there was corn on either side very, very high in the air. And I, I know that pigs will eat just about anything. And I was really hoping that this pig farmer was a nice guy because I didn't want to get fed to the pigs. But what I distinctly remember is the smell Because then the smell actually began to effect another one of my senses. It began to affect my sight, be my eyes began to water at the intensity of the filth that I was approaching. But after I was at the pig farm For roughly 15 or 20 minutes, Something miraculous happened. What do you think happened? Some of you said the smell went away. I Know Some of you said I adapted. That's a nice way of saying I got used to it And that's the problem that lay owed to see a house She Pardon the strength of the word? She stinks. But the bigger issue is she does not even know it. Another analogy i went to andrew university enters university, used to have a dairy in order to have a dairy, you need cows. And in order to run a dairy, you need people. And people would work there. And you always knew when your classmate worked at the dairy, they could shower and shower and shower. But the smell had permeated them. And I don't care how much cologne my friend would put on before he came to class. I would turn to him and say, bro, what is wrong with your man? And to which he would say, why not? I showered This Is the message to lay over to see Your cologne. Not help and Yeah. Your soap. Not working. Your water. Not doing anything. So what is the solution? Here's the good news. God doesn't give up on us. God has in all that I just said In the poor, miserable, blind, wretched state of the church. Let's make it more personal enough for wretched, miserable blind state that I'm in. The bible says that while you were yet sinners, christ died for us. And so what is he say? What is the solution to the problem I counsel to you Buy from me? gold refined in the fire, But we have a problem though, because later to see it has a problem. She thinks she's rich, but jesus just told them you're poor. How are you going to buy something when you're poor? I say 55 has a solution for that. I say a 55. Keep her thumb in rev. Revelation chapter 3 idea $55.00, says hall o everyone who thirsts Wait a 2nd. I see a 55 that was written that was written several 100 years before john was sitting on the island of patmos. But I say a 55 is a message to the laodicean church because leo, to see it has the origin in need of nothing except water. Every one who thirst come to the waters and you have no money. You don't have money. The council is come by and eat yes. Come by wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Decline your ear and come to me here and your soul shall live. What is the gold refined in the fire? He offers inexperience without price. That as we enter into a relationship with jesus through the power of the holy spirit, we will go through a refining experience that may not be comfortable and may not altogether give you smiles, but it will refine us. So we are prepared. And the beauty of that is it comes without price. But let us be clear because this is what we often say. Salvation doesn't cost anything. That is false. Salvation cost the life of jesus, but there is one price. It'll also cost you yours, which is why paul says, I die daily. And for some of us, Because if the apostle paul had to die daily, i kinda think about done. I'm like, lord, I might have to die. Our me See you will may be penniless, penniless But we can experience the gold which in galatians 5 and james too seems to reference faith that work is by love. It is a faith in jesus christ that he can and he will prepare us for that last day. But more than just prepare us, he will give us inexperience. That is real, it is fresh, it is organic. So that way, when we encounter others, we are refreshing influence upon them. We are a soothing influence upon them. Too often in the adventist church we say we have the truth. There is a vastly more important question. Does the truth have you Too often we are so right that we are wrong and how we do things. But not only a gold experience, he says this. He says, he says that you may be rich. And what else are we to buy from him? White garments that you may be close. See, 1st of all, he's taking care of leo to see his water problem. And now he's taking care of their nakedness problem. It is in contrast to that nakedness. And so they put on the white ramen and the white raymond is understood to be as galatians, 3 points out the righteousness of jesus christ. Have we had a righteousness by faith experience with jesus christ. Ellen, why talks about the righteousness of christ as being woven in the loom of have in Our we completely and utterly dependent upon christ? Because when we become self righteous, which by the way is an oxymoron. Because the book of isaiah says that our righteousness is as filthy rags, but god wants to place upon us the white raymond experience leo to see a see. They had famous clothing there and leo to see and but it wasn't. White is black wall and they also did some dying in purple gods. Not interested in US making a fashion statement. God is interested in US making a spiritual statement in which we would experience the righteousness of jesus christ and experiencing the righteousness of jesus christ is experiencing the reality that there is nothing about me righteous. And I am going to tell you right now. I don't care if you were brought up in the church. I don't care if you were home school from day one. The bible is clear, the wages of sin is death and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god. And I wanted to be a math teacher when I was going to grow up. I didn't grow up administer. And so if we put this whole thing into a little calculus equation, if the wages of sin is death, if all have been involved in short it short of the glory of god very for all will die praise lord that there is a 2nd half of roman 623, but the gift of god is eternal life. The righteousness experience of the white raymond is putting on the clothes of christ that we would have both imparted and imputed to us his righteousness that when we are coming before the judgment seat of god, christ simply sees. Because john fix says christ is the judge. By the way, that's a wonderful thing. Because 2nd, excuse me 1st john chapter 2 verse. Once that he's also the advocate, which means he is literally the one that draws up and stands next to us. And also 1st john chapter 2 says that he is the propitiation. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sin, which is why then paul says, if God before us who can be against us, that's the righteousness by faith movement that we need in the church right now. By the way, if we're not straight on this whole righteousness by faith thing, And I have witnessed it in my own life. And we come to this place where we think we can become righteous by our own works. You are creating a pathway and it is a pathway that will be do straight out of god's remnant church. And straight into the pat baloney and confusion that I talked about last night, B, C, I grew up in that environment. And my catechism told me the surest and shortest way to heaven is through the eucharist. If I'm going to be righteous by works, when I go to the place that I follow the 7 sacraments and I am saved. But no god says put on the white ram, it which we've, we are not self sufficient. We are not self dependent. We are fully dependent upon god. And then he says this an anoint your eyes with I shall later to see was known as a healing center for eyes. You see the layer to see and we as individuals, our blind and we are blind to 2 very important things. We are blind to our own spiritual reality. We esteem ourselves much more highly than we ought Because we get into comparison game. I know this doesn't happen in any of our churches, does it? Where we look around and we say, well, I mean I go to sabbath school, they don't I don't need this, but they do. I don't say this, but they do. I don't go to those places, but they do. Our experience needs to be a vertical experience because when we read measure ourself against the righteousness of christ, when we measure ourselves against jesus the only one to ever walk the earth, perfect. It's a bit more humbling experience. So we need, I sat to wash away from us, the blindness of overestimating our own spiritual experience. But there is another aspect to the ice that we have become blind to the realities of the world around us. And God needs us to wash out our eyes. So we can look around and see the needs of others. A man who is actually an expert in church growth, asked this very question. If your church close, the doors today never to open again. Would anybody in the community know any different But let's make this vastly more personal. If you moved out of your home today, never, ever to return. Would any of our neighbors know any different? And by the way, I'm not pointing a finger. I struggle with the same reality. That's a whole nother sermon altogether. But many times, dear friends, we are so busy. Yet any fact if The activity trap, the devil has made us so busy, so so busy. I don't even have it up here with me because I forgot it in the back. Some of us are old enough to remember when phones actually used to have cords on them. And not because they were charging it Now anybody can call us anywhere. And if the phone doesn't work, then they can text message out. And if a text message doesn't work, they can watch us. And if what's app doesn't work, they can telegram us. If telegram doesn't work, they can direct messages from facebook. If that doesn't work, they can send a direct message from twitter. If that doesn't work, we can send a direct message from instagram. And if that doesn't work, you may have your location services on, and they can figure out where in the world you are. Are email follow with us are news follows us are whether follows us and if that weren't enough, then we've developed a whole consortium of games to just keep us continually busy. And by the way, I'm not against phones. I'm against busy. And by the way, that's a big lesson that I'm trying to learn in my own life right now. Leo, to see had a problem. She was so busy that she didn't understand the importance of being vitally connected to God. And when we are vitally connected to God, we have a faith experience with him that is refining and preparatory to heaven. It might be deemed a sanctification experience in him. We have a righteousness experience with him, a justification experience with him, where we come to an understanding that we cannot save ourselves, but then we have an experience of the I shap. What is the I said the I step is 1st, so each of us can have time for self reflection. And that's why the devil keeps us so busy these days. Because if I don't have time to reflect upon myself, I don't realize what's become of me. It's like a mirror The only way you know how you look is to go look in that mirror. And the closer you are to the mirror, The more defective we realize we are Which is while and white insteps, the christ says the closer we come to christ, it is as if the further we feel away that is a loose paraphrase. Then comes the promise and I will and Jesus says as many as I love i, I rebuke And I chase and I share this message tonight out of love. I'm concerned friends. I'm concerned for myself, but I'm concerned for each of us because we're just kind of marching along And the movements that we've been talking about 400 years are happening right before our very eyes And the devil in a master plan through shade called coffee 19 and whether you believe it's real or not, that's between you and God, I don't but it distracted the world and it distracted many of us from the reality of what that was teaching us. That is the world can shut down like that. Sometimes we think we have to wait for everything to be set up. It was set up a long time ago. There's only one thing being waited upon now For god to have a remnant it's ready Therefore, be zealous. The words just os hot engaged and repent The whole nother sermon, but in brief, what is repentance, it is the greek word met her mouse Now says the word from mind matter is a creek prefix. That means beyond repentance is not a change in behavior. Repentance is a change in the mind and how we think It is only then that behavior changes. And then he gives the promise. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him and he with me to him who over comes to him who overcomes your label to see in condition. I will grant to sit with me Where on my throne isn't that fascinating. James and John were arguing with the rest of the disciples on the way to calvary, about who would sit on the right and who would sit on the left And the promise to lay to see is this You're going to get to sit on the throne with You filthy, you're miserable, you're blind, and you're naked. But I got a seat right here for you. All I need to do is open the door. All I need for you to do is buy from me gold. All I need you to do is buy for me to white raymond. All I need you to do is buy for me the oh, by the way, I know you don't have any money because you're poor. So I paid for it all. It's prepaid for you. We got this whole thing paid forward. I paid it forward for you. All you have to do is receive it And you will sit with me on my throne as I also overcame and sat down with my father on his throne. And so it is not by my, not my power, but by the spirit of god that we become overcomers. And then just to make sure Where he who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit's as to the churches. Some of you are watching on YouTube right now. Some of you will watch this on the archive. If this is just another message we plug into our phone and we listen to while we're jogging. While we're walking while we're cleaning our home. And if all we come at the end and say, while I always hop as a good term, and I'm not interested in this being a good sermon, I'm interested in, I see, experiencing the change that god desires. And so the question simply is, is what's going to take God doesn't need another disaster. Signs of the times had been fulfilled. God doesn't need to pope to make a move. He's established his authority and the connections that he needs. God doesn't need there to be the development of a worldwide currency that's existed for a really, really long time. It's called visa, MasterCard, American Express. God just needs one thing. That's 1. 1 thing you need your heart. And the fundamental question that we must wrestle with as we talk about revelations, cosmic conflict. Because we can talk about all the stuff that's happening out there. But the cosmic conflict is about one thing. The battle for your heart. And will you yield to him? Because what happens out there Is of little difference. If God doesn't have what's in here, let's pray. Heavenly father, we have come to night. And lord, I don't know about everybody else. I know for me I'm tired of messing around. Lord And so lord, tonight I come to you and my poor, miserable blind and naked state. And I ask your lord, she would give me the gold refined in the fire experience. I pray, dear god, that you would cover me in the white raymond. And I pray that you would cleanse my eyes with your, with your spiritual eyes, sad that I would see my own condition, but also would have compassion on those around as I see their condition father and heaven. We are weak But you are strong. And so to night, in the quietness of this moment, And as we will sing a closing song, I pray lord, That we would hear the knox of the, the knocks on the door of our heart. And that we would let you when I pray that everyone that is within my hearing would open the door. Lord, please save us. Please help us. Please change us. And lord help us that we would be over commerce. We pray this in jesus name him in this media was brought to you by audio person, a web site 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, please visit w W W dot audio verse dot org. I.


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