What do you expect to happen in worship? As we look at the first 5 bowls of the wrath of God’s holiness being poured out, I wonder if you have ever expected GOD to dethrone YOU! But that is not something that I can produce by yelling louder or slapping the pulpit. As Thomas Watson rightly said, “Ministers can only speak to the ear, the Spirit speaks to the heart.” Only the Spirit of God can change our hearts to honor God as God!
Worship Is Warfare (Revelation 15:5-8)
Worship is Warfare! This is the Strangest type of warfare … as the songs go UP the canons are fired. As the delight in Grace is realized the infantry advances! It is an odd battle tactic, but not one we are totally unfamiliar with. God gave us plenty of examples in the Bible. John is teaching us in the introduction to the 7 bowls of God’s wrath, that we are most effective in defeating the devil when we are most transformed in worship!
The Lamb’s Song Your Song (Revelation 15:1-4)
Truly loving Christ is to have Him as your song! And when you know Christ to be your conqueror then you will sing His song like it is your song!
Sitting Under the Rain (Isaiah 55:1-13)
The Compassion of the Lord
55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (ESV)
addresses this problem by describing how the Word of God Works, coming from Heaven to Earth with the Power to Germinate.
Tender and Terrifying (Revelation 14:14-20)
we will reap what we have sewn unless and only if Christ Reaps it first and fully for us. He would do such a thing because of his obedience to His Father – which He never loses even after His exultation … and because of His Tender compassion for His own, which we likewise never loses – even remaining the incarnate God/man for all eternity so that We might be ONE with God. He will have nothing come between us and Him and so acts as Redeemer and as Judge – so great is His intimacy.
Gospel for Sinners and Saints (Revelation 14:6-13)
It should come as no shock to us that Revelation links the Eternal Gospel with the Judgment of sinners. Strange as that may sound, it is what the Bible explicitly states. It’s only strange to our ears if the center of our glory is not God, but man. That is why the False Prophet appeals to man even in the guise of Christianity. But when the Lamb is all the Glory we cannot escape the necessary part of Judgment in the good news. What I hope the Spirit will show us all this day is that the glory of Christ is not just our GOAL but it is our GRACE for living!
The Lamb’s Fair Army (Revelation 14:1-5)
John encourages the church with the details of heavenly worship on Mt. Zion with the Lamb that stands as a counterpoint to all the mischievous evil of the unholy Trinity – and answers to the cosmic conflict of the Seed of the Woman and the Seed of the Serpent. By doing so, the Holy Spirit indicates once again the potency of Worship in Spirit and in Truth to utterly undo our foe and the peculiar glory we reflect of Christ’s Redemption. John wants us to see that heavenly worship connects us to the conquering Christ as His conquering Army!
Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:11-18)
The second beast is the embodiment of all false prophets but even at full potential what we will see is that he falls short of divine perfection. At then end of the day the whole satanic Trinity is doing nothing more than appealing to MAN, the power and resource of man… but what we are to consider is … true wisdom searches for and is satisfied only with divine perfection!
God of Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
guest Speaker Ozzie Ozgood lays out 3 comforting truths from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
Enduring the Beast by Believing the Truth (Revelation 13:1-10)
With the parallels between Christ and this Beast we are supposed to be alerted to the need for real discernment – what is worse is that Satan is allowed in a limited but still potent way, not only to deceive but to war and to conquer! He is a counterfeit with a club! That means that we are going to need more than just discernment. In fact John tells us what we are going to need … he says at the end of v.10 that in Satan’s great counterfeit Beast there is a call for two things: endurance and Faith. we need endurance and faith this side of the resurrection to fight the good fight! and the passage I believe, will teach us that the Truth of Christ is our greatest TONIC for Spiritual endurance!