Langenburg Evangelical Fellowship

Lifting Up Christ, Transformed by His Love; Serving Others

Langenburg Evangelical Fellowship - a small church in southern Saskatchewan which promotes authentic worship of God, is Christ-centered, and holds the Bible as being divinely inspired and authoritative.

 

Sundays
9:45 - Pre-Service Prayer
10:30 am - Worship Service (includes Sunday School for the children)

July 1, 2018
Exodus 3:10-15
"I AM"
Pastor Bryan Watson

Good morning. Who else is enjoying this hot, dry summer that was foretasted?

The other night I saw a few fireflies. They were beautiful. At first, I thought the mosquitoes had installed landing lights! I used to enjoy fire-pitting, now I just put up pictures of other people doing it.

Normally, I’d be preaching about the next chapter of Daniel, and rest assured, we aren’t finished with Daniel yet. However, for today, since we are kicking off the summer memory program, I wanted to stay with the theme of “I AM.”

Our scripture passage for this morning is from Exodus 3:10-15. The context is that God is speaking to Moses from the burning bush, instructing him to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews out from under Pharaoh’s cruel hand.

10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

Let’s pray….

There are many names by which God is revealed. To name just a few:

  • Elohim: God Creator

  • El Shaddai: God Almighty

  • El Elyon: Most High

  • Adonai: Lord

  • Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide

There are many more names by which God is revealed. The thing about the names that God uses is that they all reflect something of His character or nature. He is Most High, Almighty, Creator, Provider, Lord.

This is especially true when God reveals His name to Moses at the burning bush. I AM WHO I AM. Tell them I AM has sent me to you.

The descriptive name above any other descriptive name, God is I AM. He has no beginning. He has no end. He was not created. He’s not the God who was and is no more. He’s not the God who is not yet. He is I AM. There has never been and never will be anyone like Him. Dr. Charles Stanley says that Jesus Christ came to give us a living example of who the Great I Am is.

Turn in your Bibles to Galatians 4:4-5. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Jesus Christ came in the form of a baby a little over two thousand years ago. Yet, in the form of The Son of God, the 2nd person in the Trinity, He existed from the very beginning.

Let’s look at John 1:1-3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Skip down to verse 14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

So it was by Him that all things were made, and yet it wasn’t until thousands of years later that He was born in the flesh. He was with God in the beginning, and yet he was a baby in Bethlehem. How can that be except that He is I AM? The truth of His existence is wrapped up in I AM.

Turn now to John 8:58. Here, Jesus is speaking with a group of Jews about who He is. The conversation turns to Abraham. In verse 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Can you imagine how this would had driven the Pharisees insane? They knew the scriptures, so they knew God’s name was I AM. But they failed to recognize the Messiah, so when Jesus called Himself by this name, I AM, this would have been blasphemy to the utmost degree. They would have torn their clothes and plucked out their beards. They would have been picking up stones to stone this man.

They. Wanted. Jesus. Dead. Jesus was making the claim that He was God.

And in case there is any doubt about Jesus’ claim to be God, let’s turn to John 14:7-11. Here Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the Father. Beginning in verse 7: “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

So, Jesus is either a liar, or He is who He says He is. You can’t have it both ways. You need to choose for yourself. John 10:30 – “I and My Father are one.” Is He a liar? Is He crazy? Or is He God?

Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” He looks after us and protects us.

“I am the bread of life.” He is our sustainer. He gives us everything we need.

“I am the Light.” He shows us the way out of darkness.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the only way. There is no other way. Every other path to salvation is false.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He is the one who paid the price and took our place on the cross.

Turn in your Bibles to John chapter 18.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas and his thugs are coming to arrest Jesus. Beginning in verse 4: Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

When Jesus Christ, the very Son of God uttered those words from His lips, “I AM He”, the evil spirits present in Judas and his men immediately fell back from Jesus. They knew. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” It’s not enough to believe. You have to accept Him! And quite frankly, they physically could not have arrested Him unless He willingly gave Himself up. They fell to the ground at the mere mention of His name. It was all in His hands the whole time.

And finally, let’s look at the unveiled Christ. In Revelation 1:17-18, the Apostle John is speaking… 17 When I saw Him (referring to Jesus), I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 

And again in Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

I AM. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. The One who always was. How can there be a better name? This is who we serve. I AM. This is who Daniel saw in his visions. I AM. What better word to give to Moses?

“Just tell them I AM sent me to you.”

Friends, if Jesus was who He said He was; if He wasn’t crazy; if He wasn’t a liar or a deceiver, then you must believe in the Great I AM who came in the person of Christ and died on the cross so that we would not have to spend eternity separated from Him. If you’ve never made that decision, there is no greater time than right now. I AM is calling you. I AM wants to set you free from the bonds of this life. Why not make today the day that you choose to align with the Great I AM. Come and speak with me afterwards. I would love to help you. Or, there will be some people waiting in our prayer room, and they would love the opportunity to pray with you. Don’t wait. Let today be the day of the Great I Am.

Let’s pray.

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July 22, 2018
Daniel 8
The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Persia's Last Stand)
Pastor Bryan Watson

Good morning.

The last time I spoke on the Book of Daniel, we looked at Daniel, chapter 7. At that time, we viewed world history through Daniel’s vision of the four beasts: the winged lion, representing Babylon, the bear, representing Medo-Persia, the four-headed leopard, representing Greece, and the mysterious beast with 10 horns, representing the Roman Empire.

In Daniel chapter 8, we are going to zoom in on 2 of these kingdoms, with more detail than we’ve had before. In Chapter 8, Daniel’s writing changes back from Babylonian to Hebrew, indicating that his message is now directed exclusively to the Jewish people.

In chapter 2, we saw Medo-Persia as the chest and arms of silver of a large statue. We saw Greece as the belly and thighs of bronze. Then, in chapter 7, we saw Medo-Persia as a bear raised up on one side, with 3 ribs in its mouth. We saw Greece as the four-headed leopard with wings. Now, we are zooming in even closer to get a more detailed look both of these powerful empires.

For reasons that will become obvious in hindsight, I have called this message, The Battle of the Little Big Horn (Persia’s Last Stand). I’m going to go through it verse by verse, and I’m going to be interchanging between the New King James Version, and the King James Version. So if you would, please open your Bibles to Daniel Chapter 8.

Verse 1: In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

One of the things to be aware of in the Book of Daniel is that you have to be careful about the time-line of events. Here we see that we have gone back in time again. This vision occurs 2 years after the vision from Daniel 7, but before the events of Chapter 5. At the time of this vision, we are still in the reign of the Babylonian king, Belshazzar. This vision takes place before the handwriting on the wall, before the Medo-Persians take over, and before Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den.

Daniel’s going to have the context of this vision clearly in his mind on the night that he appears before Belshazzar, in the midst of Belshazzar’s drunken party, when the king whose knees are knocking together in fear requires Daniel to interpret the writing on the wall. After having this vision, and knowing what is going to happen, it is no wonder that Daniel had the confidence to give the king a good tongue-lashing, and the wisdom to refuse his offer of being 3rd ruler in a kingdom that was going down. Daniel knew that it was over for Belshazzar.

Daniel emphasizes that this vision was given to him. He is not reporting something third-hand. He was the recipient of the vision. In fact, in his humility, he seems surprised to have been given the vision. Even unto me, Daniel.

Verse 2: And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

So, in his vision, Daniel is transported to Shushan. Another name for this city is Susa. Later on, in the Persian empire, a girl named Esther becomes queen of Persia when she marries King Xerxes in the Persian capital of Susa. But that is later. At the time of Daniel’s vision, Shushan, or Susa, is not really the capital of anything. In fact, it had recently been leveled by the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. Daniel’s vision has him in the palace, and yet as far as I can tell, there isn’t a palace to be in yet. So, the fact that Daniel’s vision takes him to a palace in Shushan is quite prophetic, because Shushan’s relevance to the story and its future role in the Persian Empire has not yet been realized. But, relevant it is, because the first part of Daniel’s vision is about the very empire that is going to call Shushan home.

Verse 3: Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

This is yet another reference to the Medo-Persian empire. How do I know this? Because beginning in verse 15, the angel Gabriel gives Daniel the interpretation, and thereby removes all doubt. So first, a chest and arms of silver. Then a bear. Now a lopsided ram. The ram represents the Medo-Persian empire as a whole, and the two horns separately represent the Medes and the Persians. The horns are tall, indicating that the empire has great power, but one horn is taller than the other and came up after the other. This is a reference to the Persians, who essentially joined the Medes, and then overpowered the Medes to become the dominant partner in the relationship.

For reference, the Medo-Persian empire reigned from 538 – 331 BC.

Verse 4: I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

This is essentially how the Persian empire expanded, taking Babylon to the West in its highest moment of power.

Verse 5: And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

The goat is the Greek empire, and again this is confirmed by Gabriel later on in this chapter. So, first, a belly and thighs of bronze. Then a four-headed, winged leopard. Now a goat with a single horn. The Greek empire reigned from 331 BC – 63 BC. One of the amazing things here is that in Daniel’s day, Greece was just a small little country that was of relative insignificance. That Daniel would see their rise 175 years in advance through this vision is remarkable!

Notice that the goat came so quickly, it didn’t even touch the ground. This is consistent with the vision of Greece in the form of a leopard with wings back in Chapter 7. It emphasizes speed. And the single horn between its eyes? That is a reference to Alexander the Great, the first great king of the Greek Empire, as we will see evidence for later on.

Watch what happens now in verses 6 and 7:

Verse 6: Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power.

Verse 7: And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.

Alexander, in his fury and thirst for power, crushed the Medo-Persian empire.

Verse 8: Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.

Note that although the horn was broken, it doesn’t appear to have been broken in battle. At the height of his power, at the tender age of 32 or 33 years old, Alexander died. But he didn’t die in battle as one would expect this great conqueror to do. Instead, he died of an illness, possibly by poisoning, after a drunken feast in the palace in Babylon, ironically the same banquet hall in which Belshazzar had his final banquet with the handwriting on the wall.

Alexander had no obvious legitimate heir. His son, Alexander IV, was born months after Alexander’s death. Alexander also had a mentally handicapped half-brother named Philip who could have taken the throne after Alexander. Both of them were murdered, and Alexander’s kingdom was eventually divided between Alexander’s four generals, Ptolemy (Egypt and south), Seleucus (Syria and east), Lysimachus (Thrace and north), and Cassander (Macedonia and west). Thus, the four horns took over and governed toward the four winds of heaven as spoken of in verse 8. This is reflective of the four heads on the leopard in Chapter 7.

Verse 9: And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

This little horn, which comes out of one of the four notable horns, specifically the Seleucid Empire, is a king name Antiochus IV, otherwise known as Antiochus Epiphanes. Why was he described as a little horn? Because he wasn’t even a legitimate ruler. His brother was the king, around 188 BC, toward the end of the Greek Empire, just as the Romans were rising. Antiochus was actually a political hostage in Rome, who somehow managed to get himself exchanged for the king’s son, his nephew. He then manages to get his brother, the king, killed, with the legitimate heir imprisoned in Rome. He also murders his brother’s other infant son, and thereby becomes the new king of the Seleucid empire. Just a great guy to have living next door! So, the little horn rises to become a big horn. And he begins to spread his empire, toward the south, in a war with the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt, and east, and toward the pleasant land, or Israel, the land of God’s chosen people.

Verse 10: And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

Traditionally up until now, the Greeks were quite tolerant of the Jews, allowing them to maintain their cultural and religious practices. But Antiochus, being the nice guy that he is, decides that he wanted to Hellenize the Jews, or turn them into Hellenistic Greeks. As such, he begins one of the worst persecutions of the Jews that the world has ever seen, and there were several. The stars in this passage actually refer to the faithful Jews. For example, in Daniel 12:3, we read, “Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.”

In this persecution, he slaughters the innocents, including women and children, and he is even successful in convincing some of the Jewish people to abandon their faith, thus “casting down some of the host to the ground and stamping on them.”

Verse 11: Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.

He proclaims himself to be God. He sets up an altar to Zeus in the Jewish temple. He forbids the Jews from conducting their sacrifices and other important religious practices. There are acts of his that are recorded in the Apocryphal Book of 1 Maccabees that are so horrendous that I cannot preach them from the pulpit out of respect for sensitive ears.

Antiochus even went so far as to slaughter a pig on the altar, splashing the blood throughout the temple, defiling it, and forcing the Jewish priests to eat the pork, thus defiling themselves, too. Daniel calls this the “abomination of desolation” in chapter 11. Antiochus gave himself the name Epiphanes, meaning “God Manifest.” Behind his back, people called him “Epimanes”, meaning madman.

Verse 12: Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Antiochus destroyed every copy of the Jewish Law that he could find. Truth was cast to the ground.

Verse 13: Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

Verse 14: And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Literally, the scripture says, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings…”

Now, history has recorded for us that the sanctuary was actually cleansed of this defilement on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, or by our calendar, December 14, 164 BC. This was the result of the Maccabean Revolt led by a faithful Jew, Mattathias, and his sons, primarily Judas Maccabeus. After finally running Antiochus and his minions out of Jerusalem, they cleansed the temple and rededicated it. A Jewish religious feast was established that day to celebrate this miracle. Today, that feast is known as Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, which occurs near our own Christmas holiday every year.

As a side note, it is at the Feast of Dedication where Jesus proclaims Himself to be the Good Shepherd, laying down His life for the sheep. He is in the very temple in which Antiochus Epiphanes proclaimed himself to be god, and at the feast of the cleansing of the temple, Jesus now proclaims Himself to be God, and is accused of blasphemy by the Pharisees. He knew exactly what He was doing, and so did the Pharisees. I can only imagine their outrage! You can read about it in John 10.

Back to Antiochus Epiphanes. Regarding the 2300 days, some scholars believe that this cycle of 2300 “evenings and mornings” actually means 1150 days, or 2300 actual sacrifices, which would fit fairly closely with when Antiochus first erected a statue of Zeus in the temple. Other scholars believe that this refers to 2300 actual 24-hour days, which would take us back to 171 BC, when the faithful priest Onias was assassinated, and Antiochus placed another line of priests, intended to Hellenize the Jews, in his place. Either way, the interpretation fits.

So, while I can’t say with certainty when this persecution actually began, we are clear that it ended with the cleansing of the temple on December 14, 164 BC.

Are you not stunned by the accuracy of the vision? How can we say there is no God?

Verse 15: And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.

Verse 16: And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Now we come to Gabriel being sent to bring understanding to Daniel.

By the way, do you want to know something interesting about Gabriel? Daniel 8:15 is the first time in the Bible that we encounter Gabriel by name. The name Gabriel comes from the Hebrew words Geber, meaning “man”, and “El”, meaning God. Literally, Gabriel means “Man of God”

So whose voice was it that Daniel heard commanding Gabriel? Well, who could command an archangel? I believe it was God Himself who Daniel heard.

Verse 17: So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

Verse 18: Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.

Gabriel was so intimidating that Daniel passed out. Our pop culture depicts angels as cute little fairies and pixies. I don’t really know what Gabriel looks like but considering that a great prophet like Daniel passed out when he saw him, I can well imagine that I’d be pretty uncomfortable, too. “Yo, Gabe. Whazzup?” I don’t think so.

Verse 19: And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.

This is the indication that the prophecy of the little horn in Daniel 8 is going to be a “type” of the little horn from Daniel 7. These two horns should not be confused with each other. Antiochus Epiphanes is not the actual Antichrist. Antiochus comes from the Greek Empire, whereas the little horn from Daniel 7, or the Antichrist of the End Time comes from the Roman Empire. But God uses Antiochus Epiphanes as a “type” of Antichrist, in order to give us an illustration of what is to come.

This is not unusual in scripture, as we see a “type” or “forerunner” relationship also between Joshua of Exodus fame, and Jesus; as well as the priest Melchizedek from Genesis, and Christ, as explained in Hebrews 7. Both of these relationships are sermons unto themselves, so I’m not going to belabor the point here except to note that the Bible uses these types of “forerunner” relationships to provide us with views of things to come.

Verse 20: The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.

21 And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king.

22 As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

In verse 23, the nature of Gabriel’s answer changes in that it appears to have a double fulfillment. Here, he is clearly talking about a different future ruler, but with striking similarities to Antiochus.

Verse 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes.

By “the transgressors reaching their fullness” indicates that at this point in world history, God has finally had enough. Sin has finally reached its fullness. This king who will arise at this time will be very powerful and intimidating. In some translations, “sinister schemes” is translated as “dark sentences”, indicating that this king will probably have some background in the occult.

Verse 24: His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

This is a fairly accurate description of the unholy accomplishments of Antiochus Epiphanes, but is also consistent with descriptions of the coming Antichrist. Jews and Christians will be persecuted, and he will draw his strength from Satan himself.

Verse 25: Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.

Like Antiochus Epiphanes, the future Antichrist will declare himself to be God. He will blaspheme against Christ. And like Antiochus Epiphanes, the Antichrist’s end will not come about by human means. Antiochus died of an illness, but the Antichrist’s end will come by an act of God.

Verse 26: “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.”

Again, this phrase is consistent with the double prophecy. The reign of Antiochus was still around 400 years into the future from Daniel, and the time of Antichrist is still in the indefinite future for us even now.

Verse 27: And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.

Daniel went through extreme emotional strain during this vision. He was given a partial glimpse into how much worse it was going to get for his people in the future, and the evil and violence that he saw must have been on the verge of being too much to bear. This laid him up for days before he could go back to his normal routine. Quite simply, Daniel was overwhelmed.

So, what does this mean for us today?

First, as I have explained over and over and over again through this series, and will continue to do so, the Bible is entirely true, and it can be trusted completely. With the amount of prophetic detail contained in Daniel, and the precision with which it has come to pass, there is no way that this isn’t the Infallible, Inspired Word of God. For those prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled, we can rest assured that they will be, sooner or later.

Second, we need to get busy. If Christianity is a myth, and this church is a social club, then we don’t need to do anything. Just show up for the next potluck, and bring food. But if this is true, then we need to start getting serious about our faith. God isn’t some Greek myth. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the world, including you, me, and the tract of land we live on, and He sent His Son to die for you and me, so that we could be with Him through eternity. That’s how much He loves us, but He’s not going to let this go on forever. These prophecies will be fulfilled, and it may be sooner than we think. It certainly was for the people who lived under Antiochus’ tyrannical reign. We need to reach the lost in our families and communities. We need to open our Bibles. We need to get serious about prayer. There is a small remnant of people who meet here every Wednesday night to pray: for you, for this church, for our communities. But there is always an empty chair that needs you in it. Come and take part.

Third, we need to be ready. Whether or not these prophecies are fulfilled in our lifetime, our life as we know it will draw to an end one day. As Jesus said in his parable about the foolish farmer in Luke 12:20, “‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” Are you ready? If your soul was required of you tonight, are you ready for what comes next? Or have you put it off until now. If God decided that today was the day He was going to begin to fulfill the last of these prophecies, are you ready? Will you be found as one of His flock, or are you outside the fence, looking in? Why take the chance? When these things start coming to pass, or when my name is called, I’d rather be found on the side of the God who is in control, than on the side of the world who is not.

If you want to make a decision for Christ, come and see me afterwards. Or come and meet with some of our prayer warriors in the prayer room after the service. Then you, too, can be certain about your future.

Amen. Let’s pray.