Jeremiah 3

Vs. 6, “During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there.”  Jeremiah would team with Judah’s king Josiah to try to clean up the idolatry.  Israel had turned from God and now God is warning Judah of the same path they were headed down.  The Lord’s judgment would be stronger on Judah for they had Israel’s mistake to learn from and still didn’t turn to God (vs. 10).  If they would just acknowledge their guit & sin and turn back to God, He would graciously forgive them.

Regarding application…Backsliding.  Vs. 22, “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding.”  In other versions of the Bible, the word backsliding is used seven times in this chapter alone.  Backsliding is a refusal to go God’s way, a refusal to listen to Him.  God would liken backsliding to a young cow unwilling to obey (Hosea 4:16).  Judah became like an unfaithful wife, faithless & disloyal.  It is choosing to leave your first love & going out to fill the appetites of the flesh.  Notice how Jeremiah states backsliding is like a disease that must be cured.  I know in my life I have gone down the road of backsliding.  The further you backslide the more you isolate yourself from the very person who can bring you back….Jesus.  Find encouragement from Jesus as He tell us, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matt 26:41)  Come back to Jesus, He loves you so very much…

Jeremiah 2

Vs. 1, “The word of the LORD came to me…”  Jeremiah’s first message would be a message of tender exhortation to turn back to God.  It reminded me of our Youth message this past Sunday about drifiting along. Jeremiah would use many picture illustrations of how God’s people had turned from Him.  From an unfaithtful wife, broken cisterns, a plundered slave, a stubborn animal, a degenerate vine, a defiled body, an animal in the desert, a disgraced thief, a prisoner of war…Jeremiah would try his best to help them see their folly.   Why was judgment coming to the nation of Judah?  Because the people were unfaithful to God and had mixed the worship of God with the worship of idols.

Regarding application…Denial of Sin.  Vs. 35, “you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.”  What keeps a person seeking holiness?  I believe they never forget what they are…a sinner.  The apostle Paul was able to do so much because he called himself the chief of sinners.  When we approach God, we should be like the tax collector who bowed his head and confessed he was a sinner.  Yet, I think so many of us are like the Pharisee who stands before God proud of what we have accomplished so far!  I believe that is why Jesus would exhort us to take up his cross daily.  We need to die each day to ourselves so that sin cannot penetrate our being and rule our lives.  Denying sin and turning from sin are two different things.  Take a moment today and consider your own life & the sins you may have still lingering around.  Let’s confess them to the Lord & let his grace heal the scars of sin.  Let’s be careful to stop drifting along…

Introduction – Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah (The Lord Exalts) would serve under Judah’s last five kings; Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, & Zedekiah.  Jeremiah is known as the prophet of the broken heart.  Jeremiah was born a priest, was chosen to be a prophet by God even before he was born, was called to be a prophet even at a very young age, was forbidden to marry because of the terrible circumstances of the day!  During that time the destruction of Jerusalem & the Babylonian captivity would transpire.  Jeremiah’s life was filled with tragedy, rejection, hatred, beatings, & imprisonment.  He was a man in tears most of the time…God would choose a soft-hearted man to give a harsh message of judgment.  His time of being a prophet was filled with agony and the outside world would look at his ministry as a failure.  But in God’s eyes, Jeremiah’s ministry was filled with success.  Success, as measured by God, involves obedience and faithfulness. Regardless of opposition and personal cost, Jeremiah courageously and faithfully proclaimed the word of God. He was obedient to his calling.

Jeremiah 1

Vs. 5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Even before Jeremiah was born, God would already have His will for him.  Amazing, huh?  Jeremiah would begin serving God as His prophet at the tender age of 20.  Though Jeremiah was young & felt inadequate, God would use him anyway!  God told Jeremiah He would protect him and give him the words to speak.  The almond tree signified God’s eye watching.  God’s people had now forgotten him.  All of God’s prophets of the past—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah and Nahum, all those who had been contemporaries of Isaiah—had now passed off the scene. Zephaniah and Habakkuk were still living. Ezekiel and Obadiah were also in the same time with Jeremiah, but they are not going to prophesy until the captives are actually in Babylon. Daniel, too, will be prophesying later on. But at this time, Jeremiah stands alone, and he is to proclaim these judgments that are to come upon the nation.  God would warn Jeremiah that he would have an incrediblely hard task, his own people would be against him.

Regarding application…Stand Up For Something!  Vs. 17, “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them…”  In the final chapter of his book Walden, Henry David Thoreau (Amercian author of the 19th century) writes: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”  “If anyone desires to come after Me,” said Jesus, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me….For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  Matt. 16:24-26.  In light of that sobering question, what decision will you make? Will you conform to the crowd or carry the cross?  Jeremiah was willing to Stand up in the face of opposition!

In the movie Braveheart…Mel Gibson’s character William Wallace stands up against tyranny and fights for Scotland!  It’s a story of someone going against the odds…but even William Wallace would have his followers.  Jeremiah would be asked by God to do something crazy from human standards….Stand up, but you must do it alone.  Jeremiah’s story is one truly heartfelt and deeply moving story of a man who stood up against the odds.  But did Jeremiah really do it alone?  Of course, not…God was there…but it took an incredible amount of faith on Jeremiah’s part to believe & act upon it!  Sometimes, we may feel alone & know one else understands what we are going through….but God does!!!!  You are never alone.

Revelation 21

.”  God will make that which is imperfect…perfect.  Consider it an “extreme makeover” for the earth!  God is redecorating and renovating the earth as we know it.  No matter how much “Green” we go…only God can make it perfect.  And what wonderful changes there will be when we see it for the first time!  This city will unite people from both Old Tesatment times and New Testament times…there will be no need for Temple, for God will dwell personally with us…there will be no need for natural light (for God’s glory will be light enough)…and there will be no need for night (for night symbolizes death, sin, sorrow).  It is an enourmous city…a city that measures 1500 miles on every side (that’s 2/3 the size of the United States).earthVs. 1, ”

Regarding application…God’s Glory.  Vs. 6, “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  The most important aspect of this new Heaven’s and Earth…is God’s eternal glory!  Question: Why would Jesus give the apostle John this preview?  To give all of us the reminder that Jesus is going to prepare a wonderful place for us (John 14:1-6).  But another aspect about God’s glory is that it is not something God is holding back until we reach Heaven….God’s glory is something that was promised to us when Jesus asceneded to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:8).  We sell ourselves far too short in this life.  We give the excuse that we can’t be perfect so why try in the first place.  When you come into the presence of God and see the Glory of the Risen Lord by faith…something changes in our lives!  God’s glory gives us the ability to not just wait for the new Heaven’s and Earth…God’s glory gives us the ability to bring God’s presence in the lives of people today!!!  The preview and glimpse of the New Heaven is only to motivate us that when we have done His will…He has such a wondeful place in store for us!

Revelation 22

Vs. 7, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Question: Are you ready for Jesus to return?   For most of us…we probably are not completely ready.  It’s safe to say there is still much to do when it comes to preparing the way of the Lord.  I love the promise that we are given if we follow His word…we will be blessed.  Being blessed by God isn’t always what we see as being blessed…just remember the life of Paul and all of his hardships.  But, we are reminded about how glorious it will be when He brings the final chapter to fruition!.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Vs. 7, ”

Regarding application…All Who Are Thirsty.  Vs. 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  What a wonderful way to end the whole bible with the reminder that we are invited to drink from the Living Water (Jesus)!  By the time you are 70, you will have required 1 ½ million gallons of water.  If you lose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy decreases by 20%. If you lose 10%, you’re unable to walk.  If you lose 20% of your body’s water supply, you’re dead. You can only survive about 72 hours without water.  Everyday we wake up and drink water or something to quench our thirst.  How much more than should we be drinking from God’s word & prayer?!?!  Dearest brothers and sisters…it is no coincidence that God would end his final chapter of His Word with the reminder of being thristy and quenching our thirst!

Revelation 20

This is a very talked about passage in the Bible, for many have wondered its purpose.

The Thousand Years

” comes from the Latin word that means “one thousand”.  There can be no Millennium until Satan is removed from the Earth…satan is sent to the Abyss, but not the Lake of Fire (at least not yet).   The Old Testament Saints as well as those who went through the Tribulation will live on Earth with Jesus.  Now you may ask:The word, ”

Satan’s Revolt

?” (Jer 17:9) God will release Satan one more time.  Because the heart of people still have the sin nature in them.  It is to prove that we cannot be perfect..and we needed Christ no matter what.  A perfect environment cannot create a perfect heart.  Unfortunately, some of the future generations of the resurrected will revolt and join Satan.  It just shows you the heart of people when they do not choose God….how sad.  “

Great White Throne

Final judgment for the sinner.   What books are involved in this final judgment? The Bible will be there, according to John 12:48. The very Word that sinners hear and reject today will judge them on the last day. There is the Book of Life, containing the names of the saints. If a person’s name is not found in the Book of Life, he or she is cast into hell (v. 15). Also present is the book containing the deeds people have done. God is a Righteous Judge; He keeps a record of their deeds and will punish each one justly.  The church & all who are saved will not take part in this judgment.  We stood before the Lord at the Judgment seat.

Regarding application…Accountability.  Vs. 11, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.”  No more can people use the excuse that Satan tempted me.  For me, this chapter helps me realize even more just how much we need Jesus.  Apart from anything other than God…we are doomed.  Don’t live this life without remembering who you are!  I pray we all are judged for our rightous acts at the judgment seat…rather than our sins at the Great White Throne.

Revelation 19

Praie the Lord, Hallelujah!  From out of the blackness of the dark tribulation, we are witnesses of the greatest event to happen to this Earth: The Second Coming of Christ!

Hallelujah

Hallelujah means “Praise Jehovah” (Praise God).  There are four Hallelujah’s…and we might ask the question: Why?  Why does Heaven rejoice at such an event?  Because Sin is finally be judged!  Babylon (the world) has been the cause of so much hatred toward’s God & His children and the death’s of literraly thousands upon thousands of Christians who died for Christ throughout the centuries.  Why? Because our God Reigns!  The inspiration of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” comes from this passage.  Why?  Because the marriage of the Lamb has come!  This marriage will be so incredibly thrilling for all of us!!!  We the church will be presented to Christ unblemished!

Should we even ask who this may be =)  It is the our Lord Jesus Christ!  The heaven’s open up to let Jesus and His armies ride forth in victory.  At His trial, Christ said that the Father could send legions of angels to deliver Him; and here the Lord rides forth with the armies of glory: the OT saints, the church (US), and the angels (Matt. 25:31; 1 Thes. 3:13). In 6:1, the Antichrist had ridden on a white horse, imitating Christ, but here the “Faithful and True” (v. 11) rides forth to judge and make war (Ps. 45).  This is  an awesome scene of gigantic proportions!  It is the Jesus fully revealed before all creation!  It is not a humble man on a donkey…it is the Glorious One riding on a magnificent horse followed by the armies of our Lord!   Jesus is referred to as Faithful & True (vs. 11), because He has come to fulfill His promises.  This time Jesus has come to judge & make war…not to die on a cross.

Armageddon

The war has waged on some time, but here we see the final battle!  It is truly a frightful scene!  Hell (Lake of Fire) is opened up & the Antichrist & the false prophet are thrown in & the others perish by the sword of Christ!  It is a monumental victory for the ages!

!  It’s so exciting yet sad…while we still have time, may we never neglect our purpose to do good works & live rightous lives for our Lord…we live to serve Him!Earth being a Christian must have seen the similarities.  I simply cannot fathom what a scene it will be with the armies of the world amassed to think that they could fight against the Lord of Lord’s, King of Kings!   where Gandalf (resurrected) comes to the rescue at Helm’s Deep.  The scene is pretty magnificent as Gandalf dressed in all white with white horse come galloping down the ravine with hundreds of other horse riders all bent on destroying the evil orcs.   I am reminded of the scene in Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great  Vs. 5, “

Revelation 18

Praie the Lord, Hallelujah!  From out of the blackness of the dark tribulation, we are witnesses of the greatest event to happen to this Earth: The Second Coming of Christ!

Hallelujah

Hallelujah means “Praise Jehovah” (Praise God).  There are four Hallelujah’s…and we might ask the question: Why?  Why does Heaven rejoice at such an event?  Because Sin is finally be judged!  Babylon (the world) has been the cause of so much hatred toward’s God & His children and the death’s of literraly thousands upon thousands of Christians who died for Christ throughout the centuries.  Why? Because our God Reigns!  The inspiration of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” comes from this passage.  Why?  Because the marriage of the Lamb has come!  This marriage will be so incredibly thrilling for all of us!!!  We the church will be presented to Christ unblemished!

Should we even ask who this may be =)  It is the our Lord Jesus Christ!  The heaven’s open up to let Jesus and His armies ride forth in victory.  At His trial, Christ said that the Father could send legions of angels to deliver Him; and here the Lord rides forth with the armies of glory: the OT saints, the church (US), and the angels (Matt. 25:31; 1 Thes. 3:13). In 6:1, the Antichrist had ridden on a white horse, imitating Christ, but here the “Faithful and True” (v. 11) rides forth to judge and make war (Ps. 45).  This is  an awesome scene of gigantic proportions!  It is the Jesus fully revealed before all creation!  It is not a humble man on a donkey…it is the Glorious One riding on a magnificent horse followed by the armies of our Lord!   Jesus is referred to as Faithful & True (vs. 11), because He has come to fulfill His promises.  This time Jesus has come to judge & make war…not to die on a cross.

Armageddon

The war has waged on some time, but here we see the final battle!  It is truly a frightful scene!  Hell (Lake of Fire) is opened up & the Antichrist & the false prophet are thrown in & the others perish by the sword of Christ!  It is a monumental victory for the ages!

!  It’s so exciting yet sad…while we still have time, may we never neglect our purpose to do good works & live rightous lives for our Lord…we live to serve Him!Earth being a Christian must have seen the similarities.  I simply cannot fathom what a scene it will be with the armies of the world amassed to think that they could fight against the Lord of Lord’s, King of Kings!   where Gandalf (resurrected) comes to the rescue at Helm’s Deep.  The scene is pretty magnificent as Gandalf dressed in all white with white horse come galloping down the ravine with hundreds of other horse riders all bent on destroying the evil orcs.   I am reminded of the scene in Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great  Vs. 5, “

Revelation 17

We are now given more detail on Babylon .  We will see that each person that lives in this time will either have to identify themselves to the Harlot (Prostitute) or the Bride (The Church).

Woman

?  Jezebel was accused for bringing many in the church to live like the secular world.  By this time, not only has it affected the local church of Thyatira …it has now affected the whole world!  Just as ancient Babylon led people away from God into idolatry & wickedness…so the woman sets the nations against God.  Many scholars believe that with the rise of the antichrist & the false prophet that one world church will be formed.   However, it is a apostate (false) church that leads many astray.  Even now we see the move of univeralism & the acceptance of all religions being equal. This woman represents the metaphorical Babylon : the apostate world system.

The Beast

The wild beast is restored Rome , but also can represent the Antichrist.  This is the same Beast we met in chapter 13, the Antichrist.  The Beast is scarlet-colored, linking him with the dragon, Satan (12:3).

The Seven Heads

We have already seen that these heads represent seven mountains (v. 9) and seven kings or kingdoms (v. 10). The five kingdoms that had fallen were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. The kingdom “that is” would be Rome in John’s day; the one yet to come, the seventh, would be the kingdom of the Beast.

The Ten Horns

Verse 12 explains that these are ten more kings. They parallel the ten toes of Daniel’s image in Dan. 2:36–45, the revived Roman Empire. These ten kings willingly give support to the Beast in his battle against Christ and the saints; and that, with the help of the Beast, they will destroy the woman.

The Waters

The waters are the people of the earth.  The woman will have influence over the whole world, politically, economically and, most of all, religiously.

Expounding…The woman (the world church) will become a great power during the first half of the Tribulation.  However, the Beast (the Antichrist) will get greedy and want the power all to Himself (vs.16).  Once the woman is out of the way, the Beast will then fully reveal Himself.  He will declare Himself & God and demand the world follow him.  Remember…the true church is the bride while the world church is the prostitute.  These are turbulent years to say the least.

Regarding application…Apostasy.  If the church of Thyatira during John’s days were on the brink of apostasy…how much more are we?  Dearest brothers & sisters in Christ…when I say “we” I mean the “Bride”…God’s church.  Now more than ever must we stand up for the truth of God’s Word!  In a day where Christians are looked down upon for their steadfast belief’s..let us not succomb to the judgment of this world or even other Christians.  Who do we fear…people or God?  So many so-called Christians today want to embrace “tolerance” and use the label of “Love” as their reason to not follow what the Lord has taught in his LIVING WORD!  I will not apologize for teaching God’s Word.  WE should not apologize for living out God’s commands.  The end times will only bring more apostacy & false teachings.  Let us not form our opinions from this world or other ignorant Christians…but let us form our beliefs on the solid rock of Jesus!