Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190005A
00:01 Where is Jesus now?
00:03 And what is He doing?
00:05 Heaven is a busy place.
00:07 And it's all about you.
00:32 One of the most fascinating scenes that we see
00:34 in the book of Revelation, the revelation of Jesus Christ
00:37 Himself, is that He's standing right in the midst
00:40 of seven golden candlesticks.
00:43 Why is Jesus standing there in those seven golden candlesticks?
00:47 It's because heaven is a very busy place, as we're going to
00:50 find out in this time together.
00:53 The book of Revelation talks about the seven churches.
00:57 And Jesus is passionate about His churches.
00:59 The churches are the focus of His love,
01:02 and He has great expectations for His churches.
01:05 In Revelation 1:4-6, John is saying to the seven churches,
01:11 or Jesus is saying through John,
01:13 "John, to the seven churches that are in Asia..."
01:15 I'm skipping down just a little bit.
01:17 "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins
01:21 with His own blood, and made us kings and priests
01:26 to His God and Father,
01:27 to Him be glory and honor and dominion forever and ever."
01:30 What John is really saying is that the Lord Jesus
01:34 has great plans for His church and for His people.
01:37 Exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we can imagine
01:40 or even think about.
01:43 Well, why are the churches so special?
01:46 Now a lot of people today, they take churches for granted.
01:48 You know, they look at them, they see them,
01:51 they hope somebody is going, but they're not going.
01:54 But the church to the Savior is very, very special.
02:00 And we want to understand that.
02:01 At the end of the seventy weeks, as we talked about earlier
02:04 in another broadcast, we find that as the nation of Israel
02:10 and its leadership, many wonderful Jewish people,
02:12 but as the nation and the leadership rejected Jesus
02:15 as the Messiah, the mission that had been given to Israel
02:19 now switched to the Christian church.
02:21 And the Christian church is now the agency by which
02:24 Jesus moves and communicates to the world.
02:28 That's pretty important.
02:30 Communication is a very important thing.
02:32 Without communication, you can't get your message across.
02:35 So Jesus is working through human agencies.
02:38 And the church of Jesus versus the great red dragon.
02:43 Because the great red dragon, Satan,
02:46 also works through human agents.
02:48 Now we're going to see more about that as we get into the
02:51 great dragon, and the beast from the sea,
02:54 and the beast from the earth, and all of those symbolic powers
02:57 that the Bible talks about.
02:59 But the church is the agency through which Jesus operates.
03:03 And in the first part of Revelation,
03:05 that's where the focus is at.
03:07 It's on the church of the living God.
03:10 In fact, Jesus wants you to be, He wants His church,
03:13 He wants you to be encouraged.
03:15 He wants to give you a lot of hope.
03:16 So right in the very first chapter of Revelation
03:21 we have these words, Revelation 1:8, it says,
03:25 "Behold, He is coming with clouds,
03:29 and every eye will see Him..."
03:32 So right away He says, "Look, I am coming back."
03:34 Yes, the book of Revelation is going to tell you about
03:36 a lot of tribulation, a lot of difficulty.
03:39 It's not all going to happen at one time.
03:41 It starts right in John's day and it covers
03:44 the entire Christian era.
03:46 We'll talk more about that.
03:48 But the church is given encouragement.
03:51 Encouragement because Jesus is coming back.
03:56 Sometimes people get, they think that the Lord has
03:59 delayed His coming.
04:00 But He knows what He's doing.
04:02 And He's going to come back and get His church
04:04 and redeem them.
04:06 So no matter what the church goes through,
04:08 the church has hope.
04:10 Now you know when Jesus was here and He was crucified,
04:13 He was mocked, He was made fun of,
04:15 it still just hurts me so much to think of how
04:20 here Jesus is dying on the cross and people are walking in front
04:24 of Him while He's dying making fun of Him, mocking Him.
04:30 But listen to what the Bible says.
04:32 The Bible says that those who pierced Him...
04:37 And I think that's going to include those who sentenced Him,
04:39 and mocked Him, and put Him on that cross.
04:42 They're going to see Jesus come.
04:45 They're going to see Him come.
04:46 There's probably going to be a special resurrection,
04:49 but they're going to see Him.
04:50 Remember in His trial Jesus told Caiaphas,
04:54 when he said, you know, "Who are You?
04:56 Are You the Son of God?"
04:57 I'm paraphrasing, using my own words.
05:00 And Jesus said, "You will see the Son of Man
05:03 coming in the clouds of heaven."
05:06 So that's going to happen.
05:09 This Man they mocked and hung on the cross
05:13 who had been so good, who gave sight to the blind,
05:17 who cured the leprosy, who raised the dead.
05:20 There's no one ever been like Jesus.
05:23 He's the incomparable Jesus.
05:24 He'd go through a whole village and not leave one person sick.
05:28 This wonderful Jesus is coming back.
05:32 And His church has hope.
05:34 It has a lot of hope.
05:36 And you hear it right there in the first part
05:38 of the book of Revelation.
05:40 So in Revelation we have a lot of symbols,
05:44 but these symbols are really rooted in realities.
05:47 They're talking about realities.
05:50 And so these churches, the seven churches
05:53 in the book of Revelation, they're all real churches,
05:56 but they're also symbolic.
05:57 And they also are instruction and messages
06:02 to God's church through all of the Christian era,
06:06 from the time of John all the way to the coming of Jesus,
06:10 I wish people would take the seven churches
06:13 and the messages from Jesus Himself, from His own lips,
06:17 I wish people would take that more serious.
06:19 We need to study those seven churches.
06:22 We need to understand what Jesus is saying to us.
06:24 Those messages are very important.
06:26 Because we have an enemy; he's cunning,
06:29 he hates the church, he wants to destroy the church.
06:32 He tries to destroy it from the inside,
06:34 he'll try to destroy it from the outside.
06:36 But Jesus has promised that the gates of hell
06:39 will not prevail against this church.
06:41 That even though it goes through trouble and difficulty,
06:43 even though it may even appear like it's going to fall,
06:46 it will not.
06:47 God's church will go through, because Jesus
06:51 is steering the boat, if you please, in the storm.
06:56 So we want to look at this imagery that Jesus has given us
06:59 in the book of Revelation.
07:01 Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.
07:03 We're going to look at Revelation 1:19-20.
07:06 Jesus says to John, "Write these things which you have seen,
07:11 the things which are, and the things which shall take place."
07:14 In other words, the things which are present in John's day
07:18 and the things that are going to take place.
07:20 So this is a prophetic picture for God's people
07:24 and for the church till Jesus comes.
07:26 And then He says, "The mystery of the seven stars
07:31 which you saw in My hand, in My right hand,
07:35 and the seven golden lampstands..."
07:38 What's the meaning of those symbols?
07:42 So Jesus is going to tell us what He means by those symbols.
07:48 Then He says, "The seven stars are the angels
07:55 of the seven churches..."
07:57 So there are designated messengers for these churches.
08:01 We'll talk about that in a moment.
08:03 "...and the seven lampstands which you saw
08:06 are the seven churches."
08:07 So the seven lampstands represent light,
08:11 and they are the seven churches.
08:13 But it also says earlier that the seven lampstands
08:17 are the seven spirits of God.
08:19 Now the Holy Spirit is at work in the church.
08:23 And we want to talk about the Holy Spirit.
08:25 Before I do that, let's talk about the seven stars
08:28 for just a moment.
08:29 That word, "angel," means, "messenger."
08:32 Now I don't have any doubt that there are heavenly messengers,
08:35 heavenly angels, that are assigned
08:37 to look after God's churches.
08:39 I don't have any questions about that.
08:41 But it also can mean ministers, or the human agents that are
08:45 in charge of God's church.
08:47 I had a friend of mine that says, he took this and he says,
08:50 "You know, this is an important passage.
08:52 Because God, He's very interested in those who are
08:56 giving leadership to His church."
08:57 Now they're not better that anybody else,
08:59 but they have huge responsibilities.
09:02 Now many are faithful and they're going to get a
09:04 faithful person's reward.
09:05 And many of these leaders sometimes are not faithful
09:08 and they're not going to get a faithful reward.
09:10 But Jesus is watching over His church
09:12 and He does hold it in His hands.
09:14 So if you're a leader, if you're an elder in your local church,
09:18 or you're giving leadership in your local church,
09:21 or you're a pastor, or a member, just remember God has His church
09:26 in His hands.
09:29 So let's take a look at these seven golden lampstands
09:31 for just a moment.
09:33 We want to look again at the fact that the Holy Spirit
09:36 is operating at this.
09:37 At the end of every church Jesus will say to that church,
09:42 He will say, "He that has an ear let him hear
09:47 what the Spirit says to the churches."
09:51 So the Holy Spirit is speaking to the church.
09:54 Now the Holy Spirit is like oil.
09:57 And the oil is the fuel that makes the church
10:01 bright and light.
10:03 So if we don't have the Holy Spirit in the church,
10:07 the church is not going to burn brightly.
10:10 And this is a dark world, let me tell you.
10:12 There's darkness everywhere.
10:14 It seems like it's getting darker by the moment.
10:16 And if there was ever a time for the church to shine,
10:20 it's now.
10:21 And the church is no stronger than those who are the members
10:25 in that church.
10:27 So today we have, of course, lots of attack on the church.
10:31 We have an absence of the Holy Spirit in the church.
10:34 We need to be praying and pleading with
10:36 God for the Holy Spirit.
10:38 And when there's no Holy Spirit moving in the church,
10:41 the church doesn't burn.
10:43 Doesn't burn brightly at all.
10:46 So the Holy Spirit's job is to put the fuel and the power
10:51 in the local church.
10:52 That's the reason there are some churches
10:54 that have a form of godliness but they don't have power,
10:59 real genuine spiritual power that changes
11:02 the lives of people.
11:04 There was one church, big megachurch,
11:06 I won't say which one it was, some years ago,
11:09 I mean, they had a lot of snap, crackle, and pop.
11:11 They had thousands of members coming out.
11:14 And they decided that they would do a survey,
11:16 and found out that the moral behavior of their members
11:20 was no better than the John Doe in the street.
11:23 They were shocked.
11:26 They had a form of godliness, but no power.
11:32 The church must have power.
11:35 Power that changes people's lives.
11:40 That's why we have to have the Holy Spirit.
11:42 That's why your church and the leaders of your church,
11:45 and I appeal to ministers, don't turn your church
11:50 into a social club.
11:52 Don't turn your church into religious entertainment.
11:56 It's not about religious entertainment.
11:59 This is about getting people ready for Jesus to come,
12:02 because He is coming.
12:04 And He's coming soon.
12:07 You see, the only way to keep that from happening
12:09 is to have the power of the Holy Spirit.
12:11 Now the Holy Spirit is Christ's representative on earth.
12:14 He's the real Vicar of Christ.
12:17 He's the one who's in place of Christ
12:19 while Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary.
12:21 In fact, Jesus said in John 14:15-18, He says,
12:27 "I will pray the Father, and He will give you
12:28 another Comforter..."
12:30 In other words, "Someone like Myself."
12:33 And when the Holy Spirit comes, He brings power.
12:37 But He also brings the living Christ.
12:39 Because He said, "I will not leave you orphans."
12:43 So if you have the Holy Spirit, you have the living Christ.
12:46 And that's why we should be praying for the Holy Spirit.
12:49 Because He brings the living Christ into the church
12:52 and into the hearts of the members.
12:55 I want to share with you a wonderful quote from
12:58 somebody that I have a lot of respect for and appreciation.
13:01 It says, "The lapse of time has brought no change in Christ's
13:05 parting promise to send the Holy Spirit as His representative.
13:09 It is not because of any restriction on the part of God
13:13 that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to man.
13:17 If the fulfillment of the promise is not seen
13:20 as it might be, it is because the promise
13:24 is not appreciated as it should be.
13:28 If all were willing, all would be filled with the Holy Spirit."
13:34 Now in just a moment I'm going to finish that quote.
13:37 But listen, the church can be filled with the Spirit of God.
13:41 You can be filled with the Spirit of God if we're willing.