A Revelation of Jesus
Posted on 07/08/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
Good morning and welcome. I hope those of you who celebrated Independence Day the 4th of July had a wonderful celebration, remembering the price that was paid for your freedom.
Regardless of whether you're from the U.S.A., or from France, or from China, or from Australia, or from New Zealand, or from Portugal, or wherever on this earth you call home, a great price was paid for YOUR freedom -- your freedom to be made right with God, to have your sins washed away, and to walk through life free from sin.
That great price was the precious blood of the only human being who has never sinned, the only begotten Son of God, who humbled himself, left his glory, and took on the flesh of an unborn child. He lived a sinless life, being tempted in every way that you and I are, and went everywhere healing the sick, bringing hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, sight to the blind, and even new life to those in the grave.
And then he submitted to torture, ridicule, and humiliation, as he was beaten, whipped, and hung on a cross to die, taking on the guilt and shame of every sin we have ever committed, paying the penelty for every single one.
And this is what he offers you today -- the freedom from eternal damnation for your sins, freedom from the power that sin has over you, freedom from the emptiness deep inside, freedom from the weight and guilt of sin, and freedom to walk in true liberty, joy, righteousness, and peace, as you are reconciled to God through Christ.
Let's all stand to our feet, and open today's service with prayer.
Lord God, we welcome you into this place today. You are our reason for coming here today, the reason this place even exists in the virtual world.
Those of us who do not already know you as our personal Lord and Savior, we ask you today to forgive us for our sins. Wash us clean. We accept your sacrifice for us on the cross. Make us a brand new creation. Adopt us into the family of God. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be the Lord and Savior of my life.
Jaime has requested we pray for him, so we lift his request to you today, Lord. You are our healer, and Jaime is requesting healing for his teeth. We ask that you visit him now, Great Physician, and touch him with your healing hand. Bring him complete recovery, and may you receive all the glory, in Jesus' name.
We pray for the private requests. Bring healing, deliverance, wisdom, and truth. You know each need, both of those who have requested prayer and of each one here today or listening later. Meet each one of them in their hour of need, and draw them closer to you.
Come now, Holy Spirit, and have your way with us today. May none of us leave here the same way we came.
And it's in Jesus' name we pray.
Remain standing, and click-touch the pulpit for a notecard or follow along with the overhead. Let's worship God with our song.
EVEN THE MOUNTAINS
We praise you Lord because you're worthy
You are Lord and King of the earth and sky
Let us lift you up and declare your glory
Let us lift our hands and our voices high
Even the mountains praise your name
the rocks and the stones cry Holy!
Whoever seeks for your face
will never be the same
Let your kingdom come
in Jesus' name
I'm an instrument, I am only a vessel
Help me open up to receive your love
Let us put to death thoughts of opposition
Let me step aside and point the world to above
Hide me now, under Your wings
Cover me, within Your mighty hand
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You, above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God
Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power, in quietness and trust
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You, above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God
Thank you Lord that you give us that hiding place in you, that we are safe and secure under the shadow of your wing, that you hide us in the cleft of the rock so you can show us your glory.
Open your Word to us now, and let us stay in the shelter of the Most High God so we can see you as you are.
Thank you Lord.
You may be seated.
Today's message is titled, "A Revelation of Jesus."
Most of us picture Jesus as a simple man walking about doing good.
Most of us picture Jesus as a man hanging from a cross wearing a crown of thorns.
Some of us picture Jesus as a spaced-out guru with a light glowing around his head.
Just as some of us refer to the mother of Jesus as the “Virgin Mary,” ignoring the fact that she had a husband, and that after Jesus was born she bore several natural children to her husband and is therefore NOT still a virgin, we also see Jesus as he once was instead of how he is right now.
While on this earth, Jesus set forth a pattern for us to follow. Since he limited himself to human flesh, no supernatural thing he did was possible without the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through him. Thus, the life Jesus leads us to live is only possible when we fully surrender to that same Holy Spirit.
And yet while it is important to remember him as he was while on this earth, it is also important to get a grasp on how he is now. We do not serve a mortal, dying man. Rather, we serve a glorious, risen savior.
Have you ever been afraid to stand up for Jesus as the conquering king, as the one and only way to the Father while all other ways are false and lead to eternal damnation, as the one who will return in awesome power and slay all his enemies, as the one who will return to Jerusalem and destroy the golden mosque and all those who continue to worship false gods there?
These things are politically incorrect. But if we pay attention to political correctness, we will live our lives letting people spend eternity in hopeless torment rather than risk hurting their feelings or making them angry.
The truth is, we have become quite wimpy and whiny. We're always complaining about our rights being violated, about people saying things that are discriminatory or intollerant, about people favoring someone else of a different race or sex over us.
But who gives us our so-called rights? Who owns this world and everything in it? And did he tell us if someone ridicules us or violates our supposed rights to imagine there's nothing wrong with us and all is right with the world, to take them to court or strike back in anger?
We hear these types of complaints all the time. One group of people complain that we don't do anything about unproved claims that another group of people are causing problems, then a third group complains that we violate some imaginary right to private public chat by listening in on public conversations involving the second group in an attempt to help the first group.
We people sue fast-food resteraunts when we get so fat that we can't fit in their chairs, or when they serve us hot coffee without reminding us it's hot.
If you don't like the fact we monitor activities in this place you come as a guest, go somewhere else. If the seats at a resteraunt are too small for your fat behind, go on a diet, or at least just go to another resteraunt.
I'd like to point out that I'm being purposely offensive today to make a point. Our feelings are so easily hurt because we're so focused on ourselves. When we buy into the mindset that "it's all about me, except for giving to charities that make me feel good, in which case it's still all about me feeling good about helping someone else," then we lose our ability to see the big picture and to recognize where we really fit in to it all.
And this happens when we get our eyes off of Jesus and we don't have and hold on to a revelation of who he really is.
We compromise with the world because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We sit in numbed comfort and appathy because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We end up leaving our spouse because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We argue and complain because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We get our feelings hurt by every little supposed violations of our imagined rights because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We bow to the rantings of those who wish to silence or at least dilute the true Gospel because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
We whine and complain, moan and groan, bicker and fight, justify our sin and compromise, explain away Scripture we don't like, and stay in our zone of comfort and ease as the centers of the universe we imagine ourselves to be, because we don't have a revelation of Jesus.
The thing is, a true revelation of Jesus will also bring us a true revelation of ourselves. We want to think that we're good, we're right, we're okay, or at least we're not that bad; and when we get even a glimpse of Jesus as he really is, every hidden thing is revealed.
A dirty white wedding gown may look dazzling under a black light, but when you step out into the sunshine, you just might find it's covered with dirt and stains.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is returning for a bride without spot or blemish. Church, we desperately need a revelation of Jesus, a fresh revelation of Jesus, a personal revelation of Jesus, so that we can get our eyes off of ourselves, off of our rights, off of our petty complaints, and off of our desire to be accepted and to be seen as tollerant.
This revelation won't come about by some type of mental ascent or human reasoning. We don't see anyone in Scripture who grabbed hold of Jesus using their intellect, rituals, religious ceremonies, or Eastern meditation.
In fact, a revelation of Jesus did not even come to all those who saw him in the flesh. After all, it was people who had seen him and even witnessed his countless miracles who led the charge in his torture and execution.
Pilate's wife had a revelation of Jesus, and begged her husband to have nothing to do with his sentencing. But although Pilate did catch a glimpse of his wife's revelation, he ultimately obeyed the crowd and turned Jesus over to be crucified.
You cannot rely upon your mother's revelation of Jesus, or your husband or wife's revelation of Jesus; you cannot rely upon your pastor's revelation of Jesus, or even upon Scripture's revelation of Jesus.
In a moment we're going to read a revelation of Jesus as recorded in Scripture. But just hearing the words will not change your life. Those words must be brought to life in you by the Holy Spirit, and only the Spirit of God can give YOU a true revelation of Jesus Christ.
So I ask that we each take a moment to ask God to reveal Jesus to us, a fresh revelation, a personal revelation, a life-changing revelation.
And I would like for us to remember what Jesus said in Luke 18:16-17, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it at all."
So let us throw off our pride, our superiority, our highness, our education, our criticism, our desire to intellectually understand, and our foolish hardness of heart that wrongly makes us feel mature, and open up our hearts like a little child who comes to his or her good, loving father, fully trusting, asking for revelation and then trusting that what they receive is good and right.
Jesus tells us in Luke chapter eleven verses eleven through thirteen,
11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
We need the Holy Spirit to have a revelation of Jesus, and we need to trust God as a child trusts a good and loving parent to give us only good things and to never lead us astray.
So in this attitude of humility and child-like trust, let's ask our Father God to send his Holy Spirit and reveal Jesus to us today.
Lord God, we ask you to cleanse us now. Prepare our hearts to see Jesus. Forgive us for our sins, our pride, our reliance on the flesh and on our own ability to reason. We know that you will never give us anything bad; rather, when we ask you to pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, what you give us may surprise us, it may step on our theology, it may not be what we've always believed or been taught, but it will be true and good and of you.
So we ask you now, Lord God, to blow over us. Breathe upon us. Send your Holy Spirit to baptise us, filling us to overflowing. We just want more of you, more of your presence, more of your Spirit, and we surrender to your Holy Spirit, regardless of how he will manifest himself in us.
Pour out your Spirit upon us now!
Put yourself in a posture of receiving, whether that is lifting your hands, kneeling, lying prostrate on the floor -- just prepare yourself to receive from God, waiting in expectancy.
Some of you are already experiencing God in a fresh, maybe even unexpected, way. For those who are not, just keep asking him until he pours out his Spirit upon you and you know that you know that you have been radically transformed by the Holy Spirit of God.
And now, Holy Spirit, we know that one of the things you do in us is to reveal Jesus to us. We desire to see Jesus as he is, to see with the eyes of our spirit a revelation of Jesus that only you can give us.
Ask the Spirit of God, in your own words, "Reveal Jesus to me!"
As we wait expectently, let us envision Jesus as he is described in the first chapter of the book of Revelation.
And when we think of him, let us remember that he is not hanging on a cross. The blood he shed and the death he died paid for our sins and bought us eternal life. But his death would have been in vain if he had not risen from that grave.
The resurrection of Jesus is what makes it possible for us to walk in newness of life.
So let us read from the first chapter of Revelation, letting this description of our Lord and King sink deep down into the depths of our hearts and minds, brought to life in us by his precious Holy Spirit.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Who bore record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him: and all nations of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, unto Smyrna, unto Pergamos, unto Thyatira, unto Sardis, unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the chest with a golden girdle.
His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
His feet were like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice was as the sound of many waters.
He had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: His countenance was as the sun shining in his strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
I am he who lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and I have the keys of hell and of death.
The altar workers can come to the front now, as we continue to let the Holy Spirit bring these words of Scripture to life in us.
If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, today is the day of Salvation, now is the acceptable time. Don't wait another moment, come to this altar now and tell one of these altar ministers you want to know Jesus.
And as we continue to let the Holy Spirit minister to us, feel free to come to the front, or stay in your seats, seeking God and receiving from him.
When your time of ministry is finished and you feel the need to converse, please make your way to the room on your left for our time of fellowship.
Continue your time with God as he reveals Jesus to you as he is.