Participants: Charles Byrd (Host), Andrea Endries, Levi Longoria, Stephen Fowler
Series Code: THL
Program Code: THL000021
00:05 We truly are a nation of sports addicts.
00:08 We love our games, baseball, football,
00:12 golf, marathons and the Olympics.
00:16 If you take the time to notice
00:17 there are some interesting parallels
00:19 that can be drawn between sports and the church.
00:23 I am not the first to notice this either.
00:25 Both David in Psalm 19
00:27 and Paul in his Epistles of 1 Corinthians
00:29 and Hebrews made similar observations.
00:33 Now even if you could care less about sports stay with me
00:36 because I am trying to make a point.
00:39 Suppose you are one of the major league players.
00:42 If you were there would be a certain minimum things
00:45 you would have to do, right?
00:47 Like, you have to show up for practice,
00:50 you have to suit up
00:51 and you have to play the game, minimums.
00:55 Well, most of us will never be one of those sports heroes
00:59 who are paid millions just to play
01:02 but we can be and many people are fans.
01:05 But even here there are some
01:07 minimum requirements, aren't there?
01:10 I mean, what if I told you I was a Packers fan?
01:13 But I didn't know what state they were from.
01:15 Had never seen a game, not even on TV.
01:18 I didn't know what colors they wore
01:20 and never talked football at the water cooler.
01:23 Would you believe I was a Packers fan?
01:26 The title of this study is "Jesus chooses His church."
01:31 It almost seems blasphemous to suggest
01:33 that Jesus would choose just one church.
01:36 After all it's said that there are over
01:39 38,000 different denominations
01:42 that all claim to be followers of Christ.
01:44 Would Jesus choose just one?
01:48 Just the suggestion causes a thunderstorm
01:51 in the minds of many today
01:53 and it did the same in the days of Jesus.
01:56 For His doctrine declares,
01:58 "There shall be just one fold, and one shepherd."
02:56 Yes, there are certain minimums to being a fan.
03:01 There's an evidently some article of clothing,
03:03 some decal or piece of memorabilia
03:06 that defines your interest.
03:08 There's always the time spent with friends or fellow fans
03:11 watching the game at the stadium or on TV.
03:15 There's a certain comradery
03:16 as you talk about the specific plays
03:19 that define the game and the shared experience.
03:22 If there are minimums for becoming a sports fan
03:25 it shouldn't surprise us that Jesus has some standards,
03:29 some minimums for being part of His team,
03:31 His church, His remnant people.
03:35 Today, we're going to look carefully
03:37 at the teachings of the Jesus
03:38 on this very important matter. Levi.
03:43 In the culture that prices individual freedom
03:45 and in a society that changes churches
03:48 for the slightest of reasons,
03:50 it seems as disruptive as a thunderstorm
03:52 to suggest that Jesus might pick just one church.
03:56 In this lesson we're gonna let Jesus tell us
03:59 what church or churches would receive His approbation
04:03 and what are the identifying marks of His chosen people.
04:07 As we begin our study, now let's look
04:09 at the first of its seven signs
04:11 Jesus left as a template
04:13 to quickly identify His chosen church.
04:16 The sign number one, can be found in John 10,
04:20 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold
04:24 them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice,
04:28 and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
04:32 "And there was a division therefore again
04:34 among the Jews for these sayings."
04:38 Notice two things, at first Jesus is prophesying
04:41 that there will be one fold
04:43 or one church for His true followers.
04:46 Second, He also tells us
04:48 what that first sign is that one is in His church.
04:52 The people who belong to Jesus, hear.
04:56 If we're not willing to listen then we can't justifiably
05:00 consider ourselves the sheep of His pasture.
05:03 While here in Israel we've seen any number of shepherds.
05:06 If the sheep don't or who won't listen to the shepherd's voice
05:10 calling them to follow then he's not their shepherd.
05:13 But Jesus' doctrine went even further.
05:16 He said, "And other sheep I have,
05:19 which are not of this fold, them also I must bring,
05:23 and they shall hear my voice."
05:26 This is what caused the division.
05:28 The Jews thought all God's blessings were just for them.
05:32 They didn't understand that God is love
05:34 and He loves the whole world.
05:36 He wants to save everyone and He died for everyone.
05:40 Jesus said in John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd.
05:44 The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
05:48 So sign number one that you found
05:50 in God's true church, God's people listen.
05:54 And every person who hears His voice in scripture
05:57 who listens for the promptings of the Holy Spirit
06:00 and following wherever he leads is a part of God's true church.
06:04 And you don't have to be Jewish.
06:06 That bloodline only helps in that
06:08 it was the Jews who gave us the Bible
06:10 and the living word of God, Jesus Himself.
06:14 But if they don't listen then they are not God's chosen
06:18 anymore than a pagan is.
06:20 And the same is true for every other church.
06:23 So, listen.
06:25 Okay, again from the teaching of Jesus
06:28 let's look for a second sign
06:29 that defines and identifies God's true church.
06:33 Jesus was preaching one day,
06:35 the crowd around the Master was so thick
06:37 that His own family couldn't get through to speak with Him.
06:39 So he sent a message.
06:41 It was passed through the crowd until it came to Jesus.
06:44 Your mother and brothers are trying to see you.
06:47 "But He answered and said unto him,
06:48 that told him, 'Who is my mother?
06:51 And who are my brethren?
06:52 Whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven,
06:56 he is my brother and sister, and mother.'"
07:01 The teachings of Jesus are clear.
07:03 The second sign that we are in God's true church
07:05 is His followers are well, followers,
07:08 they do what God ask of them.
07:10 This is a highly important point.
07:13 Some who are fluent in lip service are offended
07:15 if anyone lifts up the truths of the Bible
07:18 as a standard for living.
07:19 To defend themselves they will even say things like,
07:22 well, God knows my heart.
07:24 And yes, He does.
07:26 Jeremiah 17:9 tells us what He knows about our hearts.
07:31 "The heart is deceitful above all things
07:33 and desperately wicked, who can know it?"
07:36 Let me translate this
07:37 using the original meanings of the words in Hebrew.
07:40 The heart is like a balloon, all puffed up with air
07:43 thinking itself to be important and valuable
07:45 not realizing that it's fragile and soon to break.
07:49 You can't hide puffy balloons
07:51 and you can't hide what's in the heart.
07:53 Jesus taught in Luke 6:45 that,
07:55 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart
07:57 brings forth good.
07:59 And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart
08:01 brings forth evil.
08:03 For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
08:07 What's in the heart always comes out in words and actions.
08:11 And jut like blowing up balloons,
08:13 what's in the heart can't be hid forever.
08:16 "Be sure your sin will find you out."
08:19 God's word tells us in Numbers 32:23.
08:21 So sign number two is that God's people do what He say's.
08:28 Sign number three that identified the church
08:31 Jesus has chosen as His church is found in Mathew 16.
08:35 Jesus has just asked the disciples
08:37 to what people are saying about Him.
08:39 They told Him that some thought He was Elijah,
08:42 Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.
08:45 Then Jesus asked them, but who do you say that I am?
08:49 "And Simon Peter answered and said,
08:52 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
08:56 And Jesus answered and said unto him,
08:58 'Upon this rock I will build my church
09:02 and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.'"
09:05 Some have suggested the church was built on the Apostle Peter.
09:09 No, it was built on the truth of Peter's declaration.
09:14 You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
09:19 The third sign is that His church is built upon Christ.
09:24 Not on traditions or customs or cultures,
09:27 it is built on Jesus Himself
09:29 who is the way, the truth and the life.
09:33 He is the rock whom the church rejected
09:36 in the wilderness of Sinai.
09:38 He is the cornerstone
09:39 rejected by the Jewish leaders in Christ's day.
09:42 The foundation, the rock is a symbol of Jesus.
09:47 "And they did all drink the same spiritual drink,
09:52 for they drank of that spiritual rock
09:54 that followed them and that rock was Christ."
09:58 It is upon truth and truth alone that His church stands.
10:03 That truth is contained in Christ who is the word.
10:07 That truth, Jesus and His words
10:10 is the birthing agent for all the true members of His church.
10:15 "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth,
10:19 that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures."
10:23 Sign number three then is that the true church
10:26 is built on Christ and His teachings.
10:30 That's three signs so far.
10:33 The first is, His church,
10:35 His people listen to what He says.
10:38 The second is, they do what He says.
10:41 And the third sign is,
10:42 the church is built on Jesus and His teachings.
10:47 The forth sign that we found
10:49 the church Jesus would chose is found in Revelation.
10:53 This last book of the Bible is the revealing
10:56 or showing of Jesus Himself and it contains
10:59 the teachings of Jesus as sent and shown to John.
11:03 In Revelation 12:17 we find Satan angry at a certain woman.
11:09 Since Revelation is a highly symbolic book,
11:12 I wanted to know who that woman represents.
11:15 I found the answer in Jeremiah 6:2,
11:19 "I have likened the daughter of Zion
11:21 to a comely and delicate woman."
11:25 The daughter of Zion
11:27 is code language for God's chosen people.
11:29 The Jews used to be but they rejected the God of creation
11:34 when they rejected Emanuel, God with us.
11:38 God's people were never simply a bloodline anyway.
11:42 They were the people who listened
11:44 who did whatever God told them to do.
11:47 So let's look at
11:50 and see what Jesus says about His last day church.
11:55 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman,"
11:58 God's church, "and went to make war
12:00 with the remnant of her seed."
12:03 Now watch for what defines His church.
12:06 "which keep the commandments of God,
12:08 and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
12:12 In this verse we see
12:14 the next identifying sign of Christ's church.
12:17 Sign four, they keep the commandments.
12:21 These commandments are not something
12:23 they do to earn salvation, for salvation is a free gift
12:26 given to us by our loving Father in Jesus Christ.
12:31 But in the salvation process,
12:33 Jesus doesn't just declare us righteous,
12:35 He actually makes us righteous.
12:38 He writes His law on our hearts, in our minds.
12:43 We then keep the commandments
12:44 because he is willing in us
12:46 and doing in us His good pleasure.
12:50 Any church, any organization,
12:52 who preaches and teaches that God's people can't keep the law
12:57 are playing into the hands of Satan himself.
13:00 Listen to these words of Jesus,
13:02 "If you love me, keep my commandments.
13:07 For verily I say unto you, 'Till heaven and earth pass,
13:11 one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
13:14 pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.'"
13:18 Paul makes it clear in Romans 8:4
13:21 that the law is to be fulfilled in us.
13:24 No, Jesus didn't get rid of the commandments.
13:27 His church, His true church still keeps them.
13:31 This moral code written with the finger of God
13:35 was written by Jesus Himself.
13:38 These are His commandments.
13:40 So this is a sign of Jesus.
13:43 He said, this would set
13:44 His church apart from all others.
13:47 How many churches uphold the Ten Commandments,
13:50 all ten of them?
13:52 This makes it very easy to find God's true church.
13:56 Look for a church that upholds all of the moral law
14:00 and you'll find maybe
14:01 just a handful of churches to consider.
14:04 This one test alone
14:06 is reminiscent to finding Cinderella.
14:09 Just find the foot that fits the glass slipper
14:12 or in this case just find the church that keeps the law.
14:17 Then you'll find a church that Satan is raging war against.
14:21 That's four of the seven signs Jesus left us
14:25 to help us to find His true church.
14:28 Let's once again join our reporters
14:30 as we consider the last three. Levi.
14:35 Thanks, Charles.
14:36 There's one more sign found in the verse
14:38 you've been talking about.
14:39 So let's take another look at Revelation 12:17,
14:43 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman,
14:45 and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
14:48 which keep the commandments of God,
14:50 and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
14:54 Remember, Revelation is a highly symbolic and spiritual book.
14:59 We must let scripture interpret scripture.
15:02 So what does the Bible say the testimony of Jesus is?
15:06 I found that answer in Revelation 19:10.
15:09 And this is so neat when anyone,
15:11 even a young person can clearly interpret scripture.
15:14 This verse says, "And I fell at His feet to worship Him.
15:18 And He said unto me, See thou do it not
15:21 for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren
15:24 that have the testimony of Jesus."
15:27 There's that phrase again, "Worship God
15:30 for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
15:35 Sign number five of God's true church.
15:38 It will have the testimony of Jesus
15:40 which is the Sprit of Prophecy.
15:43 When Jesus went back to heaven He made a promise.
15:46 He promised to send us the Holy Spirit.
15:49 He promised that the Holy Ghost would be our teacher
15:53 and helping us to remember everything Jesus taught us
15:56 and to show us things that had not yet happened.
16:00 "Surely the Lord will do nothing
16:02 but He revealeth His secrete unto His servants the prophets."
16:06 He tells us in Amos 3:7.
16:08 In fact this is part what makes God, well, God.
16:13 He knows what will happen at the end
16:15 all the way back here at the beginning.
16:18 Isaiah 46:10 says, "Declaring the end from the beginning,
16:22 and from ancient times
16:24 the things that are not yet done."
16:26 Don't forget it's the Holy Spirit
16:28 that inspired all the Bible writers.
16:31 Paul told Timothy that
16:33 "All scriptures given by inspiration of God
16:35 and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
16:39 for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
16:43 We need the spirit in the body of Christ
16:45 in His church to guide us into all truth
16:49 and truth found in the Bible
16:50 as well the truth about what's coming in future.
16:53 He will also guide us
16:55 into an obedient experience in the truth.
16:58 So sign number five is that God's true church
17:02 will have the Spirit of Prophecy.
17:05 Sign number six for identifying the church of Christ
17:08 is also found in Revelation, Revelation 12:11,
17:12 "And they" the Christian church "overcame him" that is Satan
17:15 "by the blood of the Lamb,
17:17 and by the word of their testimony,
17:19 and they loved not their lives unto the death."
17:22 That sixth sign is that God's people are overcomers.
17:26 Satan thought his wiles and temptations
17:28 cannot stop God's people from going
17:30 from victory to victory and glory to glory.
17:33 That's what Paul told the folks in Corinth.
17:35 "But we all, with open face
17:37 beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
17:40 are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
17:43 even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
17:46 God's true people can't help but overcome
17:49 because of what Jesus did for them at the cross,
17:51 declaring them righteous and perfect.
17:54 They can't help but overcome in their daily lives
17:56 because Jesus also supplies them with everything
17:59 they need for living a holy life.
18:02 "His divine power hath given unto us all things
18:05 that pertain unto life and godliness,
18:08 through the knowledge of Him
18:09 that hath called us to glory and virtue."
18:12 In God's true church people don't drink or smoke
18:16 they are overcomers.
18:17 They don't shoot on their spouses,
18:19 they are overcomers.
18:21 They don't harbor unforgiveness or a bitter spirit,
18:24 they are overcomers.
18:26 In God's true church they are overcomers even a fear.
18:31 Once you love Jesus
18:32 more than father or mother or even life itself
18:35 there is no fear in what Satan or other people can do to you.
18:39 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love,
18:43 but perfect love casteth out fear,
18:45 because fear hath torment.
18:47 He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
18:52 This leaves us free to be always obedient to Jesus.
18:55 This leaves us free to bask in His love.
18:59 "If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love,
19:03 even as I have kept my Father's commandments
19:05 and abide in his love." Jesus said in John 15:10.
19:08 Abiding in Christ does not mean
19:10 bad things wont happen to His people.
19:13 Revelation 12:17 tells us the devil is angry
19:15 at Jesus' church and seeks to destroy it.
19:19 During the Dark Ages alone it is conservatively estimated
19:22 that 40 million Christians lead their lives down
19:25 rather than compromise
19:26 the true teachings of Jesus found in the Bible.
19:30 Perhaps that is a key reason
19:31 that church is called the remnant.
19:33 The true followers of Jesus are remnant
19:35 or an exact copy of the church
19:37 Jesus established while here on earth.
19:40 His followers carefully receive
19:42 and study the prophecies of the Bible.
19:44 His followers look like the original disciples
19:46 who shun out with adornment.
19:48 They didn't try to amass wealth for themselves
19:51 but helped others who were truly in need.
19:54 So sign number six,
19:55 is God's church is an overcoming church.
20:00 This leaves us one more sign. Andrea.
20:03 Thanks, Steven.
20:04 This last sign is in Mark 16:15.
20:07 Let's look at it together.
20:09 "And he said unto them, 'Go ye into all the world,
20:12 and preach the gospel to every creature.'"
20:15 God's true people are mission minded.
20:19 It is not just a few believers who enjoy each other's company
20:22 or a large mega church that has a great and charismatic leader
20:26 who keeps them all feeling good.
20:28 The seventh sign is of the remnant church of Jesus
20:31 is a worldwide movement
20:34 going from home to home and heart to heart,
20:36 going into every country to all people with the true gospel.
20:41 I mean, the gospel is not just the good news
20:43 of Jesus dying for us on the Calvary.
20:45 Jesus tells us what the gospel is
20:48 in His Revelation to John,
20:49 "And I saw another angel
20:52 fly in the midst of heaven, having--" here it is,
20:55 "the everlasting gospel to preach unto them
20:59 that dwell on the earth, and to every nation,
21:02 and kindred, and tongue, and people.
21:04 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him
21:08 for the hour of His judgment is come
21:11 and worship Him that made heaven,
21:13 and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
21:17 God's church has a last day message to the whole world.
21:21 The creator God is about to return,
21:24 the hour of His judgment is come.
21:26 Be ready, go out to meet Him.
21:29 TV, sports, the internet and music
21:32 seem bent on lowering people's interest
21:35 in this end-time message.
21:36 Not many today even think about the fact
21:39 that they are soon to meet the judge of the universe
21:42 who will based on our choices and actions
21:45 decide where we'll spend eternity.
21:49 That judgment has already come.
21:51 The message was given to the prophet Daniel
21:54 and because of that prophecy,
21:55 the longest time prophecy in the Bible
21:58 we absolutely know we are on borrowed time.
22:02 Jesus is soon to return.
22:04 There is no party time left. There is no self time left.
22:09 "Fear God, and give glory to Him
22:12 for the hour of His judgment is come."
22:16 So the seventh and final sign
22:17 that you've found in the church of Jesus Christ
22:19 is His church is a world wide church,
22:23 obedient to His command to share the gospel with everyone.
22:28 On this point I did a little research.
22:30 What I found surprised me.
22:32 I found this document made up
22:34 by the American Bible Society and Church Missions.
22:37 This non-Protestant group has one goal.
22:41 Let's get the Bible out there for everyone.
22:43 They are not promoting any specific denomination.
22:46 It was this group that made this little sheet called partners
22:50 showing the major Protestant denominations across the top
22:54 and in what countries they have an establish presence and work.
22:58 It was very interesting for me to know
23:00 that only one of these churches
23:02 was in virtually every county of the world.
23:06 Upon further investigation I discovered that
23:09 among all named Christian churches
23:11 there are only two churches who claim the name of Jesus
23:14 that are in virtually every country.
23:18 They are Catholics and the Seventh-day Adventists.
23:21 When you take these seven signs Jesus taught us about
23:24 and compare them with the different denominations
23:27 it doesn't take long to learn
23:29 what church Jesus would affirm as His own.
23:34 God's word is truly amazing.
23:37 And it's so clear and direct
23:39 and it really is easy to understand
23:41 if you accepted the fact that God is our creator.
23:46 If you embrace the love of God revealed to us in Jesus,
23:49 His selfless life, His death on the cross
23:52 to take away the sins of the world.
23:55 Let me see if I can make this really simple.
23:58 Imagine you are the manager of the Taco Bell,
24:02 part of your responsibility as a manager is to hire people
24:05 and make sure that they are there
24:07 and train to server the customers.
24:10 Simple so far.
24:12 So you hire a young lady.
24:14 You give her the uniform
24:15 and the next day she shows up without it.
24:18 Then she won't listen to any of your instructions
24:20 as to how to prepare the food.
24:22 She keeps doing what she think is best.
24:25 She adds more beans than it's called for
24:27 and then leaves off the lettuce
24:29 because that's the way she likes it.
24:31 She puts in hot sauce
24:33 because that's the way her friends eat theirs.
24:36 Which brings me to an obvious question,
24:39 how long will she remain your employee?
24:42 The same is true in sports.
24:45 Anyone who plays sports knows that there are rules
24:48 that must be follow by all the players
24:50 or the game simply doesn't work.
24:53 If a player won't wear their uniform,
24:55 wont listen to the coach,
24:57 won't show up for practice,
24:58 and won't follow the rules
25:00 how long till the player is booted from the team?
25:03 Jesus has told us
25:05 who He will affirm as His people, His church.
25:10 First God's true church, God's people listen.
25:14 Jesus said His true sheep hear His voice in scripture
25:18 and in spirit promptings.
25:20 And the second sign naturally follows,
25:23 people who are part of His church
25:25 and do what God asks of them.
25:27 The third sign that you find God's true church
25:31 is that His followers had built their faith on Jesus.
25:34 The rock, who is the way, the truth and the life.
25:39 Sign number four is God's true church obeys the commandments.
25:44 All ten of them including the Sabbath commandment
25:47 just like Jesus did.
25:49 This one item alone
25:51 dismisses most denominations as counterfeit Christianity.
25:56 We also learn from Jesus teaching
25:59 in Revelation 12:17 and 19:10 that God's true church
26:03 will manifest the testimony of Jesus
26:05 which is the Spirit of Prophesy.
26:10 Jesus provides sign number six in Revelation 12:11.
26:14 His church is an overcoming church.
26:18 This of course means that
26:20 they allow His Bible to define sin.
26:22 And they allow Him to willing them
26:24 and doing them his good pleasure.
26:27 His followers don't continue in the old habits of sin.
26:31 They are definitely overcomers.
26:34 And the seventh sign that you've found
26:37 that church of Jesus Christ
26:38 is His church is a world wide church,
26:41 obedient to His command to share the gospel with everyone.
26:46 Jesus Himself as the living word
26:49 has already ordained these identifying marks
26:52 of His true Remnant Church.
26:56 So in reality Jesus isn't choosing
26:59 one church over another.
27:01 We are doing the choosing.
27:02 Every time we chose to suit up as it were
27:05 to get into His game, obeying His rules.
27:09 When we chose to embrace these identifiers
27:12 we are in fact accepting His invitation
27:15 to come out of all the false man made systems of worship
27:19 and come into His fold, His true church.