Revival: Our Great Need

Revival: Our Great Need

Scripture: Revelation 3:14-21, Hebrews 12:7-11
Date: 07/06/2013  Lesson: 1
"Laodicea is the last church in Revelation's sequence of seven churches. ... the Laodicean message is filled with hope. Christ speaks to His people in love, offering to meet their heart needs and revive their deepest spiritual longings."

Twelve Steps to Revival (PB) by Doug Batchelor

Twelve Steps to Revival (PB) by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church coming to you from right here in Sacramento, California. We're so glad that you are tuning in. Whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website at 'saccentral.org', or on the various television networks - however you are joining us - welcome and happy Sabbath. Today we're going to be blessed by a special music coming to you from the Sacramento indonesian seventh day adventist church choir. And it is wonderful when we get musical guests coming in and they're local.

And we've had them once before and it is not going to be the last time. We are very blessed whenever they sing for us. And right now they'll be singing 'hallelujah' and 'we will glorify'. Thank you so much Sacramento indonesian adventist church choir. We look forward to hearing more music later on today.

At this time let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for bringing us here today to glorify you in everything that we say and that we do and as we worship you today. Thank you for the gift of music and thank you for blessing us with the Sabbath. Be with Pastor Doug as he brings us our lesson study and I pray that you will speak to our hearts today. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor. He is our senior pastor here at Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. Thank you debbie and thank you for that beautiful music. I sure enjoyed that. I had the privilege of going to indonesia - oh, I guess, a year and a half - two years ago and heard some just wonderful choirs and this was a sample of that.

Welcome friends. We're glad you're here at central church for our regular class and also for our extended class that is watching. We have people who are just tuning in from satellite around the world. It's always a privilege to be able to study together with you. Some of you are members of central church because you have no local church you can attend and so pastoral staff here and church family says 'welcome brothers and sisters'.

We're glad that we're able to study the Word of God together. We have a special offer for anybody that would like to call and ask for it. And it's called 'twelve steps to revival' - 'twelve steps to revival'. All you have to do to get this is you call the number -study-more - 866-study-more - and that's 788-3966. When you call ask for offer #780.

Now the reason we're offering this is because we're beginning a new quarterly. I'm really looking forward to this - this whole quarter's lesson - written by pastor and evangelist Mark finley and it's on revival and reformation. And so, for those who may be visiting central today, we typically live in the future. We study the lesson three weeks in advance of the rest of the country so that we can edit these programs. We put in closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

We send them out to the various satellite networks who are nice enough to air it for free. We sure appreciate that. And so we're a little ahead of others on that, but that's why we're offering this book on twelve steps to revival. And it's really dealing with both in the old testament - John - I'm sorry, old testament - Elijah, the new testament - John the baptist who came in the spirit and power of Elijah were two characters God used to bring revival. So this is a study on what were those ingredients that brought about or demonstrated revival and reformation.

By the way, if you don't want to call for it, you can go online and read it for free at the Amazing Facts website. It's really easy. It's 'amazingfacts.org'. Something else I keep forgetting to mention is - not every week, because sometimes we forget - but almost every week we take the lessons - myself and the other pastors or teachers - we have our notes and our personal comments and thoughts and some people say, 'you told a story. Where is that illustration?' And so we post them up at the church website which is 'saccentral.

org'. And I've got some good people that remind me when I forget to put the notes up. So they should be up now for the last two or three lessons and we'll try and get these up there. Well, I'm looking forward to getting into our lesson today dealing with revival. And the first lesson is 'revival: our great need' - 'revival: our great need'.

We've got a memory verse. I always appreciate if you could echo this with me. It comes from Revelation chapter verse 20 - Revelation 3:20 and this is from the new king James version. I appreciate that. Are you ready to say it with me? "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me." I slipped up. I dropped in the King James version 'sup'. It's actually 'dine' here. It's one of my problems - I listened to alexander scourby reading the Bible in perfect king James for about 20 years and it's just kind of ingrained and so I always kind of gravitate back to the King James version. Do any of you know The Song that goes with this verse? There's a song of this verse - behold I stand at the door and knock.

Any of you heard it? Okay, yeah - good. Choir, you ought to have - you ought to come up and sing it. Do you know it? Alright, come on up. Let's do that. If you know that - come on, come on, come on - don't be - I'm going to do it.

I'll join you. Behold I stand at the door and knock - is that the one? Oh, they're backing out, okay. Well, I didn't want to do a solo but there is a - there's a whole song that goes with it - but I'm not going to sing. So you'll have to find it on youtube. But we're going to get into our lesson today dealing with this subject.

Now, why are we talking about revival? Revival is an ongoing and sort of a chronic need of the church. If you look at the history of Israel, the history of Israel is one of what they call continual backsliding. For instance, take a look in Jeremiah 8, verse 5, "why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?" If someone could discover a perpetual motion they'd be very, very wealthy. Perpetual is something that just keeps on happening. And that was Jeremiah 8:5.

If you look in Hosea 11:7, "my people are bent on backsliding - bent on backsliding from me. Though they call to the most high, none at all exalt him." And that's just a couple of many verses that talk about this chronic problem of slipping back - slipping back. We all sort of have - sin is like gravity in our natures that pulls us down and unless you are - life is like a river and it's always pulling us toward the falls - the waterfall - and unless we make a conscious effort to swim against the current, the current will pull us toward the world. Whenever you have a revival, unless the things done to bring about the revival are continually done, you are going to drift. You notice it's not called 'backjumping' or 'backhopping' or 'backskipping'? It's 'backsliding'.

You can stand still and slide. You ever been in your car on a little bit of an icy hill? The brakes are on and it starts to slide? It's a scary feeling, right? Maybe it's a muddy spot and you just say, 'wait a second. I'm not accelerating and I'm going.' It's like in our natures. If we're not making an effort to go the opposite direction - I always like to think of it this way: life's kind of like an escalator. If you're on one of those mall escalators - I was there at macy's yesterday.

They told me they had a sale. I thought I was very thrift - making it to a sale to get a couple of things - men's sale for father's day, you know? So I went and I got there and showed them my ten dollar coupon and they said, 'that expired at :00. That was only for the morning shoppers.' I felt cheated. So anyway, I was on the escalator yesterday. If you stand on the escalator that is a going down escalator, what direction do you go? Down.

I'm not going too quick am i? If you are on the down escalator and you walk up, where do you go? Nowhere. It depends on the speed at which you walk. If you want to go down - I'm sorry - if you want to go up the down escalator, what do you have to do? You've got to hustle, don't you? To get up there. And life's that way. You've got something in your nature that's just like driving you down and if you want to be a Christian you can't just stand there - you're not going to go anywhere - you've got to really make a herculean effort to grow.

And that means you need to invest in what those ingredients of revival are and we'll talk about that through the whole series but it's really - there's really three things. I may as well tell you now - three principal things that help you maintain a Christian life and, especially, grow. You find them in the first room of the holy place in the sanctuary. There was a candlestick, there was a table with bread, and there was an altar of incense. Those are the three disciplines - the three keys that you need to get into the next room which is the holy of holies.

If you want to get from the wilderness into the promised land, you've got to do those three things. The bread is what? Man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word. You have to be in the word, feasting on the word, memorizing the word. So it's the bread of life. Then you need to let your light shine.

That's the candlestick. It's not enough to just have faith. If you don't share it, you don't get to keep it. If you don't use it you lose it. If you're not giving away the bread it will not multiply in your hands so you've got to be sharing your faith.

And the third thing - and one of the most important - is the altar of incense. That smoke - that incense - that fragrance that came off that altar when they put the incense on there and it drifted into the presence of the holy of holies - represents prayer and we need to always be praying. And it's, of course, we pray in Christ's name and that's what makes our prayers acceptable. Sharing your faith, Bible study, prayer - those are the three things that bring about revival. You can't point to any revival in the church or in history where people were not doing all three of those things.

You look at pentecost - a great revival - thousands were baptized. Were they praying? Were they talking about the word? You read Peter's pentecost sermon it's just riddled with Scripture. Was he sharing his faith with others? You'll always find those ingredients in a revival and you need to have that in a church too. It usually starts with prayer and then God sends the Spirit and people get excited and they share their faith and then you start seeing people come back to the Lord and you have revival. You never say, when a baby is born, 'it is revived'.

If a baby dies and it is resuscitated, that is a revival. Revival implies something was alive and it's lost its life and it must be resurrected - it must be resuscitated. In doing my Amazing Facts for a radio program, I remember reading about michelle funk, who in 1986 - I think she was three years old at the time. Her parents took their eyes off her just for a moment outside there in - near salt lake city - a place called bell canyon creek and she, while they weren't looking, wandered off and dropped into a creek that was swollen with the frozen waters and they lost track of her, they couldn't find her, they looked down at the bottom - 66 minutes she was underwater. Finally at that point paramedics had come.

They found her 150 feet down river. Her body was lifeless - it had reached a core temperature of 70 degrees which, you know, is fatal - and the water was only degrees and they brought her to the hospital there in salt lake - the primary children's hospital. They did something unique - now this is in 1986 - they used the machine that is typically used when they do heart surgery. It's a lung/heart bypass machine that cycles the blood and oxygenates the blood and warms the blood - when they have to operate on your heart they have to do a bypass - they detour your blood - and they used it on this little girl and warmed up her blood and pretty soon she took a breath and her heart started beating - not in that order - her heart started beating, she took a breath, and her eyes opened and now she's about 27 years old and shows no signs of her traumatic experience and has lived a normal life. That 66 minutes michelle was in the creek is the longest documented submersion with an intact neurological outcome.

And that - they still say by even medical standards - it's a miracle that her heart had basically stopped, there was no blood flowing, her brain showed no activity and - but when they were able to get the blood going and the heart pounding again - because her temperature was so low, the cells did not die and so that's unique. If someone drowns in warm water, they don't have nearly as long. Cold water makes a difference, you've probably heard. In the book 'selected messages' - book 1, page 121 - and this is the cause for the title of the lesson, "a revival of true Godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all of our needs." When you think about what your urgent needs are and you pray, how often do you pray for the most urgent thing? What is the most urgent thing? A revival - but not any kind of revival - a revival of true Godliness. A revival where we live holy lives.

A revival of the kind of Christianity that was once delivered to the saints. The kind of faith that the apostles had. That's what we need. And where do we get it? Where they got it. Through the Holy Spirit.

It's through having that simple faith that was delivered to the saints. Now, that's all introduction and I've got a lot more to say about the subject of revival but we'll have to stop there because I want to get into the real subject for today's lesson is Revelation chapter 3, the message to the church of laodicea. And if it's okay with you, I'd like to read this and then we'll back up and we'll study it a little more. If you go to Revelation 3, verse - start with verse 14 - Revelation 3:14. I'm going to just read on through the end of the chapter.

"And to the angel of the church of the laodiceans write," - how many of you have red letter in your Bible - red-letter edition? What color is this? This is a message from Jesus. These are the words of Jesus to the church, okay? "And to the angel of the church of the laodiceans write, 'these things says the amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are Lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee 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, miserable, poor, blind, and 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 anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.

''" - Oh, what a privilege that we could sit down with Christ as Christ sits down with the father. Think about how big God is. "''He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.''" Now that represents the conclusion of the seven messages to the seven churches in Revelation. The last message is to the church of laodicea and that message is basically saying, 'this church needs revival.' Now we're living in the last age of the church right now. This is - we are - it's easy to say, 'they are' but we are the church of laodicea.

You know the problem with arrogance? By its very nature it's hard to convince an arrogant person they're arrogant, which makes me have to ask myself that question. Arrogance is a person who thinks they're better than others or thinks they're better than they are. I heard it described this way once, 'I wish I could buy them for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth.' Then you'd be rich. But when a person thinks everything's fine and they think they're much better than they really are, it's hard to reach people like that. This is what Jesus talked about - you know, so much of Christ's early message and ministry was dealing with the hypocrisy he saw among the religious leaders because they had a spiritual arrogance.

They prayed to be seen of men and they gave to be seen of men and they fasted to be seen of men and they were preoccupied with what others thought of them. And it makes you think of 'two men went up to the temple to pray', right? One was a publican - God could work with him because he saw his need. He bowed his head, he smote on his breast, he said, 'lord, have mercy on me a sinner.' God could heal him. He said, 'that man went down to his house justified.' Who was not justified? The good man - at least he was outwardly good or he thought he was good - that went to the temple and he prayed and said, 'lord, I thank you I'm not like other men. I'm better than other men.

' - I'm paraphrasing - 'I pray all the time and I fast twice a week and I pay tithe of all that I've got and I'm glad that, lord, you can be honored to have somebody like me as part of your church and I'm not like this publican on the back row.' And the Lord said, 'I couldn't justify him. He didn't feel any need.' He was Lukewarm. Go to Mark chapter 10 and it tells a story here - verse 17, "now as he was going out on the road, one came running," - Mark , verse 17 - "knelt before him, and asked him, 'good teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him, 'why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments: 'do not commit adultery,' 'do not murder,' 'do not steal,' 'do not bear false witness,' 'do not defraud,' 'honor your father and your mother.'' And he answered and said to him, 'teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.' Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and he said to him, 'one thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.' But he was sad at tHis Word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." Now you know something - you notice something about this man? Jesus - he says, 'what do I have to do to follow you?' He says, 'well here's my law.' He says, 'oh, I keep the law. I know all about the law.

I'm a good law keeper.' And he really wasn't, was he? You notice Jesus quoted the commandments to him - that would be on the second table - that deal with man's relationship to his fellow man - and he didn't really love his fellow man that much. He thought he was rich and increased with goods. Jesus said, 'follow me, you'll have treasure in heaven.' Did he follow Jesus? How much real treasure did that man have? It says he went away grieved for he had great possessions. What good was his treasure? He was grieved. What good is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul? He wasn't happy but somehow he thought that he was keeping God's - that one thing that he lacked was really everything.

'One thing you lack.' Anyway, so back to the lesson here. What does the word - let me see - I'm going to give out some Scriptures here you can help me with. Someone - who has Revelation 3:15 and 16? We gave that - alright gene? We'll give that to you and we'll get to you in a minute so be patient. And the word laodicea, it really dates all the way back to when antiachus the second colonized this Greek city or this latin city somewhere between 261 - 246 b.c. He named it after his wife laodice and as near as we can tell, laodicea - it means 'a just people' or 'the judging of the people'.

It can be translated either way. It's interesting because if you call it 'the just people' that makes it sound like the people all felt that they were just, which would describe the condition of laodicea, but if you say it's a judging of the people, well the last age of the church, laodicea, is the age of the church that experiences the investigative judgment. Doesn't the judgment happen before Jesus comes? And the Bible says, 'judgement must begin at the house of God. By the way, that's 1 Peter chapter 4, verse 17, "for the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" And so this is that last age of the church that's talking about a judging of the people. We're living in that time of judgment.

He says, 'I stand at the door and knock. I'm about to open the door and come in to the world.' As well as wanting to come into our hearts and there's a judgment that happens before Jesus comes. Is that clear to everybody? Because, well, just think of it this way - I know, some folks just think - they gag and choke on the idea of the investigative judgment but to me it's so simple. Do we all agree that Christ says, 'behold I come and my reward is with me to give to every man according to his work'? 'When I come I will reward.' He's not going to come and then sit there and say, 'alright, let me see, who's saved and who's lost?' He knows when he comes who's saved and who's lost, right? People will go immediately to their rewards - I mean, if you're not caught up to meet the lord in the air, then it's not a good omen, so he knows who's saved. So some judgment takes place before he comes, is that clear? That's what we call the pre-advent judgment.

Where does it start? The house of God. A judging of the people. And that's what's happening now. Alright, we want to talk a little bit about the hot and cold part of laodicea. Go ahead, please read Revelation :15 and 16 for us gene.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are Lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth." Yeah, that's - you're reading the new king James version? Yeah. That's pretty strong language. That word - 'I will spew thee out of my mouth' - it can be translated 'I will expel, I will spit, I will' - yeah, there's another couple words there.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and you're talking to somebody and they bring out your food and because you're visiting you don't hear that little caution that the waiter gives when he sets down your plate before you and says, 'be careful. It's hot'? It's kind of like watching the take off warnings on a plane before you leave. I mean, if you fly as much as I do you don't pay much attention anymore. And then, you're hungry so without thinking about it you stab your fork into one of those square potatoes and you pop it into your mouth and right then you realize it is scalding hot and it's amazing how quick the human brain works. Because it's a nice restaurant and it goes through your mind, 'I'm not going to look very dignified if I spit this out.

' But then another thought goes through your mind, 'I'm going to have a blister on my tongue if I try to keep this in my mouth.' And so if you're smart you'll care more about your tongue than how you look and you expel it. I remember a friend of mine telling me a story that they, you know, kids in elementary school play cruel jokes on each other. I've probably shared this with you before. There is nothing new, in my class, under the sun. And, you know, I've been here so long I think I've shared all I know so now everything's reruns.

But you've probably forgotten too so I'm safe. And so one of the kids - any of you remember when you went to school they give you these milk cartons? It was about a quarter of a quart or whatever it was and that was your ration for the day. One of the kids, he took one of those one day for lunch and he didn't drink his milk so he stuck it in his locker and he forgot about it for a couple of weeks. And then he thought, 'well, I'm going to take this to lunch and play a little trick on one of my friends.' So they all sat down there at lunch, you know, all these tenth - eighth graders or whatever they were - and one of them said, I bet I can chug my little pint of milk quicker than you can chug yours. I can do it in one breath.

' And he said, 'oh no, I can do it. So let's have a race and see who can get theirs down the fastest.' And they swapped milk with this guy and they gave him this two-week old thing that had been stuck there in the locker next to his gym socks and they said - you know he opened it up - 'ready - one, two, three!' And they started to chug it. He said he had half the curdles down his throat before he realized something was wrong. And the reason I share that with you is that's really the picture that Jesus paints. It's like the water in laodicea - I've never been there - I want to go on one of these tours of the seven churches someday - but a lot of my friends have and I know pastor finley's made several trips there and the water to the city - they built an aqueduct that brought the water from miles away and as it ran through these roman pipes and through the aqueduct it heated up so it wasn't cold like a mountain spring or it wasn't hot.

You know, some soup is supposed to be served hot. Some soup is actually supposed to be served cold, like vichyssoise. But not too much is appreciated Lukewarm. And it came Lukewarm and if you boil water it's usually safe to drink. Or if you are able to capture running cold water it's usually safe to drink but stagnant or tepid water often breeds disease.

And so, when a person drinks some of that water, they'd spit it out because they thought, that'll make you sick. I go camping in Nevada periodically with some friends and they've got a place called 'rabbit hole' and some of the pilgrims coming across the desert, they got some of these mineral sulphur springs and it would kill the cattle and it could make them sick and it's describing this that if you don't spit it out it can be fatal. I enjoyed hearing our indonesian choir sing. It made me think of a story. One of the nicest restaurants I ate in was in indonesia and a friend said, 'I would like to take you and get you some authentic indonesian food.

' I said, 'wow, I look forward to that.' So there in jakarta he took me to a very nice restaurant and it seemed like we were the only two people there but it was a very nice restaurant. There might have been one other person and they - it's like two or three waiters taking care of our one table. The food was great - vegetarian food - and just ate like a king and I was famished. And so after I ate everything and there was - we were eating with chopsticks and there was only one little bean left on my tray of something - and I thought it was garnish, but it looked good to me, you know, you have your parsley and so I was so hungry I was eating the garnish and I took that and I ate it and I bit into it a couple of times and then I realized it wasn't a green bean, it was some bizarre indonesian pepper and - did I mention it was a nice restaurant? You know you don't spit in places like that. And I thought - I eat - I like salsa.

I like mexican food and so I'm not, you know, totally foreign to hot peppers but this was in a different category. This thing tasted like the venom of a box jellyfish. I don't know what was in it but it just began to stab every nerve in my tongue and then it just spread from there through all of my sinuses and I made the mistake of swallowing it because I thought, 'it's just a little one.' It's like lot said to the angel, 'is it not a little one?' So I swallowed it - it was a little thing - and I swallowed it and all of a sudden my eyes began to water, my nose began to run and I got the hiccups and I should have spit it out. And Jesus said that Lukewarmness makes him sick. the Lord can work with us when we're hot.

That means when we're filled with the Spirit, we've got that zeal, we're on fire, we want to serve the Lord. He can give us the Spirit, he can work in us, he can work through us. He can work with us when we're cold. Now what does cold mean? And I've got to talk about that for a second because some people think God is saying, 'I can work with you when you're - you love me and I can work with you when you hate me. I can work with you when you're holy and I can work with you when you're sinning.

' Cold is really not saying, 'I wish that you were saved or lost.' That's not really what he means - hot or cold - saved or lost. Hot means full of zeal, on fire, serving the Lord, totally committed. Cold means you've come to the lord, you're repentant, you're humble, you're sorry, you've not done any good works but your heart is in the right place and you realize, 'I'm spiritually dead and I need to be revived.' When you know that, he can work with you. It's like when Peter said - it's like the publican said, 'lord, have mercy on me a sinner.' He was cold. God could work with him.

He was a sinner but he was ready. He was repentant. It's when you think everything's fine he can't work with you. One of the conditions in the last days - Matthew 24:12 - it said, "because iniquity will abound, the love of many grows cold." Jesus is not talking about in the world, he's talking about in the church. Because iniquity is abounding in the church, the love of many will grow cold.

People can be in the church and thinking everything's fine - 'I'm rich and increased with goods' - and not really know what their condition is. So cold is being in that humble state. Someone look up for me 2 Chronicles 7:14 and 15. I think we gave it to somebody. Right here? Hold your hand up so he can get you the microphone.

And in the meantime, I'm going to read an example of what being cold is. Corinthians 7:11, "for behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a Godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!" - Paul was talking about a case in the corinthian church where they were letting somebody in the church - they'd kind of gotten Lukewarm. They didn't want to practice any kind of church discipline and one of the members of the church was having an affair with his step-mother and nobody wanted to say anything about it because they thought the loving graceful thing to do is just ignore it and let the Lord deal with it. And Paul said, 'no! What's happened with you?' They'd become Lukewarm. And finally they repented of that and you notice he described that - they humbled themselves and Paul said that was good.

God could work with that. You know, the best verse on revival is the one we're about to read and I think we're ready for that. It's in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and . Go ahead. "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to prayer made in this place." Thank you. That's a verse that we should remember. 'If my people that are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.' 'If my people will do this I will do this.' And this is during the dedication prayer of Solomon and he talks about that if the people were carried off to another place because of their sins - a lot of us are in the church but we've been carried off to another place. You can be in the church and you can be in a far country like the prodigal son and we may not know it.

You know people got - that were carried off to Babylon - got comfortable in Babylon and they wanted to stay in Babylon. And they thought they could be God's people in Babylon and that's why God said, 'Babylon is fallen, come out of her my people.' That's also part of the Lukewarm condition - being willing to get up and to move out of that situation. You know, another perfect example: what's the most memorized verse? John 3:16? No, actually that's the second most memorized verse. The most memorized verse is 'judge not'. A lot of people lost out in the world know that verse.

As soon as you start talking to them they say, 'judge not that you be not judged.' But the other one is John 3:16. Now who was Jesus talking to when he mentions John 3:16? He's talking to nicodemus. Notice what he says, John 3:10, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'are you the teacher of Israel, and do no know these things?'" How can you be a Bible teacher among God's people in the chosen nation in the chosen city and not know you have to be born again? Is it possible? Did it happen? Was nicodemus a good man? How many would like to have nicodemus be part of their church? An elder in their church? But he didn't understand the new birth. What could be more important than being born again? Isn't this what Jesus is saying? How can you be a teacher? He's asking questions like, 'born again?' He's trying to figure it out physiologically and he should know better. He should have known right away what Jesus was talking about.

You need a new heart. That's the new covenant. 'I'll write my law in your heart.' And if you don't have love for God then all the other rules and all the other regimens of religion - it doesn't do you any good - then you end up just a pharisee. You're going through the motions but you don't have the heart. So that's the Lukewarm condition.

It's possible not to know. Nicodemus probably paid tithe. I'll bet you he didn't eat any unclean food. I'll bet you he didn't work on Sabbath and he was in church - synagogue every week and you probably wouldn't have found that he was going to forbidden places in his spare time. I mean, I think he was probably a Godly man and the Lord - the lord knew that - but he was missing something very important.

He said, 'you've got to be born again.' And, you know, a lot of us struggle in unnecessary ways with obedience because we're trying to do it from a carnal perspective instead of from a new heart. If your heart is new, the Bible says, 'all things are made new.' Isn't that the key of revival? If right now all of us were given new hearts, would we have a revival in our church? Isn't that what we really need? The new birth? That comes through the Spirit of God. And it can happen to some of you sitting here and not happen to anyone around you because it's a work of the Spirit. Is it possible for the Spirit to fall on one person in a room? And can the Holy Spirit fall on at one time? Yeah, the Lord could do it that way too. Alright, someone read for me - now I didn't give this to anyone so I need a volunteer - Revelation 3:14.

Alright, let's get you a microphone. Hold your hand up. You got - okay, foster - thank you. Bring - hold your hand up - bring her a microphone. Right here up front.

And this is a verse that's often misunderstood. We're talking about the creator. And somebody else has Hebrews 1, verses 1 and 2. Who has that one? Did we give that to somebody? I don't see a hand so seeing no hand, who is willing to read that? Oh, you've got - someone back here willing to read it? Hebrews 1:1 and 2? I've got to see volunteers - you can't draft your neighbor. Alright jonathan we'll get you a microphone next.

Yeah, we want you to read Hebrews 1, verses 1 and 2. Alright, you go ahead and read for us Revelation 3:14. "And to the angel of the church of the laodiceans write, 'these things says the amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:" alright, why does Jesus refer to himself as the beginning of the creation of God? That's throwing a lot of people. They say, 'you mean there was a time when God first created and Jesus was the first thing he created?' No, that word 'beginning' is actually 'arche' - you've heard of the archangel? Arche means 'chief' or 'head' like in a cornerstone or the arch stone that held the arch together. That's why it's called an arch - it's the high part.

And so it's talking about the chief or the originator of the creation of God, meaning all things that were made were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. Is Jesus sometimes called 'Michael the arche-angel'? The greatest or first messenger? He's the chief or the highest and so - and it calls him the amen. You know the amen is - it just really is the summary of all the prayers. It's the final endorsement of the prayers of God. And so, for instance, look in Colossians 1:13 - this is in your lesson - Colossians 1:13 - talking about how do you - how do you get revival.

There's a point to this. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of The Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." For he - Jesus - "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." - First meaning the greatest born over all creation. First time God was born was when he came as a man - "for by him all things were created that are in heaven." Now how many things were created by Jesus? How many things? Anything that was made was made by him. If all things were made by Jesus - if Jesus was made by the father at some remote distant time in history then it wouldn't be true to say that all things were made by Jesus. All things except himself it would say, but it doesn't say that.

All things that were made. He is from everlasting to everlasting - the same book tells us. It says, "for by him all things that were created that are in heaven or on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things consist.

" Alright, let's get the microphone back to jonathan. Are you - are we ready for you? Go ahead. God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to The Fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;" through The Son he made the worlds - not just this world - all worlds. I believe Genesis really is talking about the creation of our world and it says God made everything in the beginning and then it goes more into the history of our planet's creation, but there are other unfallen worlds out there. There was a day when The Sons of God came to meet before the Lord and satan came - remember? And the Lord said to the devil, 'where'd you come from?' 'I came from the earth.

' So God's got his other intelligent worlds out there. Now the reason I'm saying all this about Jesus is: who is the author of creation? So if revival is a recreation and a new heart, who do we depend on to be recreated? You cannot recreate yourself, it's a miracle. We don't understand how God, through His Word, brought things into existence, but revival happens the same way - through the power of His Word. The same way the first creation happens, a recreation, or a revival, or a restoration happens through the proclamation of the word. And all the healings that Jesus did - when someone's covered with leprosy and they're dying and someone comes to Jesus and said, 'lord, if you will you can make me clean.

' He says, 'I will. Be clean.' And when he says, 'be clean' a miracle happened through the word. He was healed. He was revived. When you go from the disease of leprosy to wholeness, it's a revival.

And that's what happens with us. Leprosy's like sin. We need the words - the power of the word - to experience that transformation of heart. Sometimes it happens in - it could happen in a moment, like with Paul. Sometimes it happens in hours.

It usually happens with a process because it's a change of thinking and the Holy Spirit begins to work on the mind and we become convicted of things that need change. You notice the lesson is not just revival? It's revival and reformation. I had to double-check here but I was almost sure. Reformation means 'reforming' - revival is, you know, you come to life and then there's the sanctification where you start having to change in your behavior. Then we've got a place here where there's a loving rebuke and you read in - somebody look up for me job 5:17 - I want to get us queued up for that.

You've got that one too? Okay, well we'll - since you stepped up to bat last time we'll let you do it again. Not just now but be ready - job 5:17. A loving rebuke. The Bible tells us that the church of laodicea is being rebuked. Proverbs 3:11, "my son, do not despise the chastening of the lord, nor detest his correction; for whom the Lord loves he corrects.

" Any of you ever go to your parents and say, 'you know, I think I need a spanking.' Did you ever look forward to that? Did you ever apply for one? Not knowingly. Hebrews 12:7 - that was the old testament now we'll go to the new - Hebrews 12:7, "if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;" - sons and daughters - "for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons." ¬- Uses a strong word in some translations - "furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to The Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them," - earthly fathers do their best and they mess up when it comes to disciplining their children but he said, 'our Heavenly Father, he doesn't make those mistakes' - "but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness." Why does he chasten us? That we might be partakers of his holiness. And it says if we surrender to earthly fathers 'shall we not much more submit to The Father of spirits and live?' "Now no chastening seems joyful at the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Can any of you look back at a time when your father or mother had to discipline you and smile? I can now - I didn't then. I can now because I can think as a father I understand they did it because they love me or I needed it.

Sometimes they were just plain exasperated. It might not have been the right time but you understand it. You didn't enjoy it then. Well those are human parents doing their best to chasten you for your good, hopefully. How much more if your father in heaven is going to chasten you, to just embrace it? Someone said if you draw near the one who is holding the rod it takes the sting out of the blows.

You know, because of centrifugal force, the further you are out on a bat, the harder it hits. The more you draw in to where the hands are, there's not so much velocity. So the best thing to happen, if you're going through the chastening of God, draw close. I noticed when my mom was swinging at me, if I hugged her she couldn't hit me very hard. So when you get out there you get the terminal velocity.

So what do we do when we're being chastened by the Lord? Draw near, right? Alright, go ahead, job 5:17. "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the almighty. For he bruises, but he binds up; he wounds, but his hands make whole." It shows the love of God. When he chastens us it's because he loves us. And then - I see I've got a lot more lesson here - I know in future lessons I'll probably get to talk more about laodicea but Jesus makes an appeal.

He says, 'behold, I stand at the door and I knock.' You sure you don't want me to sing that song? Oh, not now. And he says, 'I knock' - and back in Bible times they had vendors that actually went from door to door and they'd walk up the street and they'd be selling their bananas - no they didn't have bananas back then - what did they sell? They sold figs and pomelos and pomegranates and those others biblical fruits and they'd call out at the door and they'd - and he says, 'look, I've got something. Buy without money - without price.' What is it? 'I've got gold which is that faith that works by love.' Faith and love, which need to be the value. And he said, 'I've got the garments to cover your nakedness that your shame does not appear.' The robe of his righteousness. And he said, 'I've got that balm from gilead to anoint your eyes - the Holy Spirit - that oil that will heal your eyes that they might see.

' You know Jesus once anointed a blind man's eyes and he came seeing again. And he says, 'as many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent.' In other words, we need to respond. Is repentance something we can choose to do? Repentance is a gift God gives us but you must choose to do it. You can resist repentance.

When Jesus washed Judas' feet - don't you think every spiritual desire left in Judas wanted to repent of what he was doing? But he subdued it. He stifled it and he was lost. Some people put off - postpone - stifle the desire to repent and confess and God won't force you. So when the Holy Spirit is bringing conviction, respond - yield yourself - humble yourself, repent, pray. And then he can heal and then you can open the door, you invite him in.

That's what you do. He's at the door knocking and he wants to give you all those things but you must open the door. It's like he said to zaccheus, 'I want to abide at your house today.' He wants to come in and sup with us but you've got to open the door. A house was a sort of sanctuary - you couldn't barge into someone's house, you had to open the door and invite him in. Now, if Jesus is not in your house, the devil has no manners.

He will break in. And if you want to get the darkness out, you turn on the light. If you want the devil out of your life, you invite the light of the world into your heart, right? Well, we're out of time. We've got a lot of lesson left but we'll be talking about revival for a few weeks. I want to remind you - a free offer - you can either call for it and it's called 'twelve steps to revival' and based on the experiences of John the baptist and Elijah - and ask for offer #780 or you can go to the Amazing Facts website 'amazingfacts.org' and download it there. God willing we'll study together again next week.

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