“What in the World is Going On?” – Daniel 2:25-45 and Matthew 13:24-30

Thank you so much, Peace Portal Alliance, for hosting me last weekend.  What a privilege to be able to share the “the flow of history” from Daniel 2 and Matthew 13.   Jesus, the little stone not cut by human hands, has come and his Kingdom–God’s Kingdom–will not be overcome by “out-of-sync human kingdoms.”  No, Jesus’ Kingdom will overcome and and endure forever and ever!  Blessings to you all!

What in the World is Going On?  Daniel 2:25-45 – Part 1

 

What in the World is Going On?  Part 2 – Matthew 13:24-30

Worship on Christmas Day 2016

In this new chapter of life and ministry, investing significant time in encouraging and empowering preachers of the Word, I am asked questions related to the full scope of kingdom work.  So I thought I would start this new “column” in which to share some of my own thinking about how we are to go about participating with the Living God in mission at this very challenging time in history.  I trust what I offer here will be of help and unto the glory of the name of Jesus in Whom we live and move and having our being.

Worship on Christmas Day 2016.

As you likely know, Christmas Day this year, 2016, falls on a Sunday, on a Lord’s Day.  As you also likely know, a number of congregations are tempted to not hold worship that day.  The reasons vary, but are along the lines of: worship that day will interrupt family time; people will be too wiped out from all the activities of the season; human resources will be taxed because of Christmas Eve service responsibilities; and other such concerns.

I want to appeal to congregations not to give into the temptation for three big reasons:

  1. I think that the Lord’s Day trumps any other day, including Christmas Day. We are the people of the Risen Saviour. The first day of the week is His day, the day we once again, regardless of the season, celebrate His victory over the forces that threaten to undo us, and when we once again remember that He has brought us into a new creation. I can think of no reason to ever not worship on His Day!
  2. What a perfect time to worship when the Day we celebrate the Saviour’s birth falls on His Day! The challenge for preachers will not be, “oh, what can I say that day?” but, “oh, goodness, how do I pair it down to 20-30 minutes when there is so much to say?”
  3. For many people, Christmas Day is one of the loneliest days of the years. Many people, for whatever reason, do not have family around them. It is, therefore, the day they need the Family of God around them.

Even if the attendance is lower than other Sundays, for the above reasons I advocate that we need to gather together.

Now, if you, a preacher, are just too tired to prepare a sermon for that day, I will gladly prepare one for you!  You could either: (a) take my sermon and re-work it in your own voice; or (b) say to your people, “A friend of mine is helping me today, and I am preaching a sermon he has prepared for us for this special day.”  Just let me know and I will arrange for you to receive it or, even, a number of options!

So, Merry Christmas ahead of time!  Worship Immanuel on His Day in 2016.

What do you think about what I am thinking?

Darrell

A Facebook Question: What is the Role of the Holy Spirit in the New Heaven and New Earth within a study of Revelation?

Well, a question came in on Facebook a number of days ago, in response to the Revelation seminars and sermons that have been posted there (and here). I thought it would be good to directly answer some questions from time to time…so here goes!

This is a good question. You are obviously reading The Revelation of Jesus Christ very carefully!

Although the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the chapters on the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21-22), He is there. We know this for at least three reasons.

One, wherever the Father and Son are present, so is the Holy Spirit. The persons of the Trinity are so united in life and work that they always live and work as one. Further, the Spirit is the “bond,” if you will, between the Father and the Son. So wherever we meet the Father and Son in Scripture, or in the case of the last book of the Bible, the Almighty and the Lamb, we meet the Spirit.

Two, John tells us in the beginning of the book that the Holy Spirit is “before the throne of God” (1:4). Which means that whenever we see/hear of the throne, the Spirit is there, even if He is not explicitly named.

Three, John tells us that in the new creation there is “a river of the water of life” coming from the throne (22:1). That “river” is the Spirit. How do we know? For many reasons, but chiefly because Jesus Himself makes this connection. At the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, which, in part, celebrates God miraculously providing water in the wilderness, and celebrating the fact that the water is a picture of the coming gift of the Spirit, Jesus stands up and declares, “If anyone is thirsty, come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water'”(John 7:37-38). John, who remembers this event, and writes the Revelation of Jesus Christ, then says, “This Jesus spoke of the Spirit whom those who believed in Him were to receive” (7:39). What a wonder! In the new heavens and the new earth, the Holy Spirit will flow freely, all the obstacles of sin having been removed, and we will experience with all creation His massive, total, life-giving healing.

I hope this helps! Blessings!

The Voice from the Middle of All Things – Revelation 1:1-20 @ Tenth (04/03/2016)

What an honour and blessing to be able to share the Word with so many, hungry for an apocalypse of Jesus Christ, by Jesus Christ, about Jesus Christ! Thank you so much, Ken and Tenth for inviting me to launch your series on Revelation. May the Living One who holds the keys, bless you all richly as you journey through this marvelous book. For truly, things are not as they seem!

Revelation Seminar @ Tenth

Thank you Ken and Tenth for hosting this Seminar.  It was such a delight to listen to, and interact with everyone as we took a whirlwind tour through Revelation.  “Things are not as they seem!”

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” – Revelation 1:3

Blessings as you study and “live in” Revelation these coming months!

Jesus Has a Word for Your Church

In the first three chapters of The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the risen and living Lord of the universe ‘breaks through from hiddenness’ (that is what the word ‘apocalypse’ means), and speaks to seven congregations on the land mass we now call Turkey. In each of His messages, He tells us Who He is, what He knows about us, what He is calling us to do, and what He promises those who obey Him. In this seminar, we will give careful attention to what He said then so that we might hear what He is saying now. Hopefully by the end of the time together, each of us will be able to discern what Jesus is saying to the church in our time, and in particular, to each of the churches He calls us to serve.

“When you come bring the cloak…and the books, especially the parchments.” – 2 Timothy 4:13

In this beautiful letter to  Timothy whom Paul calls his beloved son, Paul asks him to bring “the books, especially the parchments.”  Aren’t you curious what these Paul was feeding his mind and heart with aside from the Scriptures (just the Old Testament back then remember!)?  While the Bible does not say what these books and parchments contained, it is apparent from Paul’s request that even one of the finest theologians and pastors to have ever lived, read “other” books!

With this in mind, I thought it would be neat to share and recommend what I am, or have been, reading recently.  They can be found here: Recommended Books or under Resources > Books > Recommended Books!

Blessings to you all as you dedicate yourselves to learning about the Gospel of the grace of Jesus of Nazareth from other Disciples!

“Things are not as they seem!” Darrell’s First Podcast

Thank you Norm and Westside Church for your hospitality, inviting me to come and “chat” with you about this marvelous book of Revelation in which Jesus “draws back the curtain” to encourage, challenge and most fundamentally, to reveal more of Himself to us!.Bless you and Westside as you spend this next while, walking through Revelation. “Things truly are, not as they seem!”

Here is a direct link to the MP3 for download: Episode 20: Q&A with Dr. Darrell Johnson
And here is a link to all their Podcast Series: Roundtable Podcast