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Revelation (Part 20): The Two Witnesses
December 02, 2019 09:32 AM PST
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Today we consider the second half of the interlude between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet in Revelation chapter 11. This focuses on the tale of the Two Witnesses, that God has chosen to prophecy, dressed in sackcloth, to the people who are trampling Jerusalem. A lot of the things discussed in this chapter are deeply rooted in allusions to the Old Testament: to Ezekiel and to Jeremiah. And who are the two witnesses? They are the witnessing Church... the true Israel of God, and they have a task to speak their testimony and to prophecy the coming wrath of God and the salvation through Jesus until they die. Our testimony is not complete until we die, so if we are still alive, we still have a task to do!

Revelation (Part 19) The Angel and the Little Scroll
November 26, 2019 05:56 AM PST
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Today we consider Revelation chapter 10, the first half of the interlude between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet. In this passage, a mighty angel gives John a little scroll to eat, which will be sweet to his mouth, but sour to his stomach. In order to understand this passage, we need to understand that this section is a direct allusion to Amos and Ezekiel from the Old Testament. The point is that we must to speak the gospel to people who do not want to listen. And while the gospel is beautiful and sweet to us, it fills us with some fear, and sits sour in our stomachs, at the prospect of speaking about the coming wrath of God to those people we know around us.

Revelation (Part 18): The 1st Six Trumpets
November 19, 2019 05:36 AM PST
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In this sermon we consider the plagues of the first 6 Trumpets. We take a look at the literary structure of the trumpets, and see the similarity of the seals and the trumpets. This similarity points to escalation and cyclical repetition. The 6 trumpets are 6 plagues that correspond to the plagues of Exodus that God sends against Egypt in order to set His people free. In revelation, God is responding to the prayers of the persecuted Christians, in order to dispense judgement and wrath on their behalf. And the end of all of these plagues, those who are still alive still do not repent and turn to God.

Revelation (Part 17): The 7th Seal
November 04, 2019 11:08 AM PST
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Today we consider the opening of the final seal, in Revelation 8:1-6. When Jesus opens this 7th seal, there is silence in heaven for half an hour. We are tempted to skip over this silence to the more active parts of Revelation... But let's take a moment to consider this silence, and it's transition into the action of God. The silence from an Old Testament perspective is an anticipation of the coming of God's judgement. The silence from a New Testament perspective is linked to temple worship (in Luke chapter 1). The people were involved in the deep silence of prayer, as the priest began the burning of the incense... which is the transition into the seven trumpets.

Revelation (Part 16): Heard the 144 000, Saw the Multitude
October 29, 2019 08:42 AM PDT
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In this sermon we consider Revelation chapter 7, whose 2 main characteristics are: the list of the 144 000 slaves of God that are sealed on their foreheads, and the multitude that have come out of the great tribulation. The list of those sealed is an allusion to Ezekiel chapter 9, where God is bringing judgement and wrath and death on Jerusalem. The list of 144 000 is a military list, and the multitude is holding palm branches, which is a celebration of victory. And John "heard" the number being sealed, and then he looks and "sees" the multitude. These two groups, the 144 000 and the multitude, are inextricably linked.

Revelation (Part 15): The Opening of the 5th and 6th Seal
October 21, 2019 09:30 AM PDT
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In this sermon we consider the second half of Revelation chapter 6, where Jesus opens the 5th and 6th seal. With the opening of the 5th seal comes a great persecution of Christians, and many Christians are killed for their testimony and for maintaining their belief in the word of God. The opening of the 6th seal unleashes the great day of the wrath of the Lamb, when Jesus kills all the wicked and evil people of the world. We struggle to understand this passage because we live in peace and prosperity in Canada... we conclude by reading letters written by a pastor and an elder from a persecuted church in China... where the reality of persecution brings chapter 6 of Revelation into greater focus and understanding.

Revelation (Part 14): The 4 Horsemen of Thanksgiving
October 17, 2019 07:08 AM PDT
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In this sermon we consider the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In chapter 5, we found Jesus, who is worthy to take the scrolls and open the seals, and in chapter 6: Jesus begins to open the seals. The first 4 seals that Jesus opens call forth 4 horsemen, whose purpose is war. And the natural reaction that we have when we hear of wars and rumours of war, we get anxious. Yet, instead of being worried, we should instead be thankful that Jesus is authority. We are, after all, His kingdom, and He is, after all, worthy of opening these seals.

Revelation (Part 13): The Worthy Lamb
October 07, 2019 10:35 AM PDT
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In this sermon we consider chapter 5 of the book of Revelation. This chapter is dedicated to the Worthiness of Jesus, as the Lion and the Lamb. No one in heaven, on earth, or under the earth is worthy to read the sealed scroll, only Jesus... because of His redeeming work through his sacrifice (His blood), where He makes a kingdom and priests from people of all nations and languages.

Revelation (Part 12) The Throne Room of the Creator
September 30, 2019 10:49 AM PDT
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In this sermon we consider chapter 4 of the book of Revelation. This chapter introduces the setting, the throne room of God, where the majority of the rest of the book of Revelation takes place. It describes the incredibly majesty of God, and the thundering loudness of the worship of God. He is worthy of all worship, because He created and sustains all things.

Revelation (Part 11): Jesus, to the Church at Laodicea
September 23, 2019 09:12 AM PDT
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Today we consider the final personalized letter that Jesus dictates to the seven churches: the letter to the church at Laodicea. Like Sardis, Jesus does not have anything good to say about the church. Even though they think they are doing well, Jesus is nauseated by them, and wants to vomit them out of his mouth. And the reason is surprising to us: because they are wealthy and self sufficient, and they have forgotten to be faithful witnesses in their prosperity. Again, like in Sardis, we realize that we are not very good at judging what makes a successful church. Good financial stewardship does not mean that a church is successful or spiritual. Jesus wants to vomit them out of his mouth. And yet, he loves them, and because Jesus loves them, he rebukes them and disciplines them. And if they hear that rebuke, and repent of their self reliance and focus on money, Jesus will have fellowship with them.

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