Cracking the Genesis Code

Lessons From Sodom And Gomorrah

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pastor Stephen Bohr


Series Code: CGC

Program Code: CGC000016

01:12 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
01:13 Our Father in heaven, we thank You so much once again
01:17 for bringing us here.
01:18 We ask for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit
01:21 as we open Your word.
01:22 As we study about the story of the destruction of
01:27 Sodom and Gomorrah, we ask that You will teach us the lessons
01:30 which will be useful in our own personal walk
01:33 with our beloved Savior, Jesus.
01:35 And we thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer,
01:38 for we ask it in Jesus' name, Amen.
01:42 I'd like us to begin our study today in the book of
01:47 Luke 17:28-30, Luke 17:28-30.
01:58 We've already studied the story of the flood in Noah's day,
02:03 and we discovered that the whole flood story is an illustration
02:08 of events which are going to take place at the end of time.
02:13 Now in our lecture today we are going to study that the story of
02:18 Sodom and Gomorrah also is an illustration of events
02:22 which will take place at the very end of time.
02:25 Lets begin reading at verse 28.
02:29 After talking about the flood, Jesus says, Likewise as it was
02:35 also in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought,
02:41 they sold, they planted, they built; but in the day that Lot
02:48 went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven,
02:53 and destroyed them all.
02:55 And now notice verse 30.
02:57 Even so, in other words, in the same manner.
03:00 Even so, will it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
03:07 Jesus Himself told us that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah
03:13 is symbolic of events which will take place at the very
03:19 close of human history.
03:21 And so what we want to do in our lecture today is draw a parallel
03:25 between what happened then, and what is going to happen
03:29 now, as we approach the end of time.
03:32 I'd like us to begin in Genesis 13:10 where we have
03:39 a description of the valley where Sodom and Gomorrah were
03:44 before the cities were destroyed.
03:47 Genesis 13:10. This is when Lot and Abraham parted ways.
03:54 You remember that Lot went into the valley where Sodom
03:57 and Gomorrah were, whereas Abraham decided to stay
04:00 in the country outside the cities.
04:02 It says here in chapter 13 and verse 10:
04:16 And then it explains in parenthesis:
04:30 You notice that that whole valley, according to this verse,
04:33 was beautiful. In fact it compares this area with the
04:37 garden of Eden, of all things!
04:41 In other words, it was a very fertile region.
04:45 Now if you go to that region today, you're going to find
04:48 just the opposite.
04:49 I've had the privilege of being on both ends of the Dead Sea
04:54 of the western bank and on the eastern bank,
04:57 the Jordanian side and the Israeli side, and I'll tell you
05:02 that when that sea is called dead, it is very appropriately
05:09 named, because there is nothing alive in that region.
05:13 There's no vegetation, there is no life in the Dead Sea,
05:18 everything is dead, everything is dry.
05:24 There are no birds in the air.
05:25 It's totally and completely dead.
05:30 Furthermore, probably you're aware of this, the Dead Sea
05:36 Basin is the deepest point under sea level on Planet Earth;
05:41 over 1,500 feet below sea level.
05:45 It's almost as if a gigantic crater was burned into
05:50 the ground there that created this huge hole
05:54 over 1,500 feet deep.
05:58 In other words, there's been a great change in that valley
06:02 from a beautiful area, very fertile like the garden of Eden,
06:06 to an area that is totally arid and devoid of life.
06:11 The question is, what caused this change?
06:14 Go with me to Genesis 13:13, and lets examine in what
06:21 condition these cities were before the
06:24 cities were destroyed.
06:25 It says in verse 13:
06:36 Notice the expression, they were exceedingly wicked,
06:41 and sinful against the Lord.
06:43 Now as we examine this story, we discover that these cities
06:48 had three basic sins which excelled every other sin.
06:54 The first sin was the sin of sexual perversion.
07:00 By the way, we get the word sodomy from Sodom.
07:06 Furthermore, in chapter 19 of Genesis we find that when the
07:11 angels were in Lot's house, the men gathered outside.
07:14 We'll come to this a little bit later.
07:16 And they said, Send these two men out to us
07:20 because we want to know them.
07:22 Now the word know in scripture means to have sexual relations.
07:26 In Genesis 4:26 it says, Adam knew his wife Eve,
07:31 and she conceived a son.
07:33 And so what these perverts of Sodom wanted to do was have
07:38 homosexual relations with these angels in the house of Lot.
07:44 They were totally morally, sexually, perverted.
07:47 Furthermore, they men of Sodom were very violent,
07:52 because when Lot refused to send out these two angels
07:56 the Bible says that the men of Sodom started doing violence
08:00 to Lot and those who were inside the house.
08:03 They tried to break the door down.
08:05 They had the intention of killing Lot.
08:07 In other words they had no qualms about murdering someone
08:12 who did not agree with what they wanted.
08:14 Now in Ezekiel 49 we find a third sin.
08:18 Not only sexual immorality, not only violence, but there was
08:24 also another terrible sin that afflicted these cities.
08:28 Ezekiel 16:48, 49.
08:34 Notice the description that is given here.
08:37 It says there, verses once again, 48 and 49: As I live,
08:43 says the Lord God, neither your sister Sodom, nor her daughters,
08:50 have gone as you and your daughters have done.
08:53 He's talking to the Hebrew nation.
08:55 Verse 49: Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom.
09:02 She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance
09:11 of idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand
09:16 of the poor and needy.
09:18 There's one word which describes this condition,
09:21 and it is the word materialism.
09:24 They had an abundance of food, according to this,
09:28 an abundance of leisure and idleness.
09:31 And as a result they did not help those who were
09:35 poor and in need.
09:37 So the three great sins of these cities were sexual immorality,
09:42 violence, and materialism, crass materialism.
09:48 Now let me ask you, are these three sins also sins which have
09:54 proliferated in our present day world?
09:57 You look at the world; sexual immorality and perversion.
10:01 You look at a tremendous increase in violence.
10:06 You look at the crass materialism; people buying
10:09 and selling, doing business, thinking that the world
10:13 is going to last forever, and not thinking about those who
10:16 are in need, but thinking about self.
10:19 Lovers of money, the apostle Paul called them.
10:23 And so you have these terrible sins that were being practiced
10:27 in the cities of the plain, and therefore God decided that He
10:32 was going to destroy these cities, and obliterate them
10:36 from the face of the earth.
10:37 But God never destroys a civilization, He never destroys
10:41 a city without first giving a message of warning.
10:46 Now I want you to go with me to Genesis 18:1, 2, and lets notice
10:52 who came to visit Abraham before the cities were destroyed.
10:57 Genesis 18:1, 2. It says, Then the Lord appeared to him,...
11:05 That is to Abraham.
11:06 the terebinth trees of Mamre: as he was sitting in the
11:12 tent door in the heat of the day.
11:31 How many individuals came to visit Abraham?
11:33 Three individuals came to visit Abraham.
11:37 Immediately we ask the question, who were
11:41 these three individuals?
11:43 Well, before I answer this question, we need to go to
11:47 chapter 18, and verse 22, Genesis 18:22.
11:54 It seems like after these three individuals visit with Abraham,
11:59 they departed from Abraham's tent,
12:03 and they went towards Sodom.
12:05 Notice what we find in verse 22:
12:12 That is where they met Abraham.
12:16 Now lets stop there.
12:20 They went toward Sodom.
12:21 Actually, lets finish the verse, and then I'll explain something.
12:24 And then what does it say?
12:32 Now lets go to chapter 19 and verse 1.
12:35 Here this gets very, very interesting.
12:38 Chapter 19 and verse 1 identifies two of those
12:41 individuals. Notice it says:
12:51 Now wait a minute! You say, There's something wrong here.
12:53 Two angels came to Sodom?
12:57 How many came to visit Abraham? three.
13:01 The question is, what happened to the other one?
13:04 Well, lets finish reading this verse. It says:
13:20 So two angels, we know that at least two of these
13:23 individuals were angels that came to visit Abraham,
13:27 and two of them end up going to Sodom.
13:31 Now the question is, who was the third angel,
13:35 and where did he go?
13:37 Let's go back to Genesis 18:22, Genesis 18:22.
13:46 It says there, and we just read this verse,
13:58 Hum! Where did the Lord show up from?
14:03 Who was that third personage?
14:07 The third personage was whom? the Lord.
14:10 By the way, do you notice that the word LORD is capitalized?
14:13 That is the covenant name, Jehovah.
14:17 Very significant!
14:20 One of the most solemn names, if not the most solemn name
14:23 of God in the Old Testament.
14:26 So it says that Abraham stood before the Lord.
14:29 Two of them, two of the angels, go to Sodom, but Abraham
14:33 still stands before the Lord.
14:35 And now I want you to notice the conversation
14:37 that takes place. By the way, this first angel
14:40 is the judgment angel, or the judgment messenger.
14:44 Lets read verse 23:
14:54 What is Abraham's concern?
14:56 That maybe God is going to what?
14:58 He's going to destroy the wicked and the righteous together.
15:01 Now what does God have to do before He destroys the wicked?
15:05 He has to separate from the wicked what? the righteous.
15:09 What do we call that?
15:11 What do we call that? the judgment.
15:17 Yes, thank you. Notice verse 24:
15:19 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city?
15:23 Would you also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty
15:27 righteous that were in it?
15:28 Who is Abraham concerned about?
15:30 Is he concerned about the wicked or the righteous?
15:32 He's concerned about the righteous;
15:34 that God judged correctly the righteous. Verse 25:
15:58 What is taking place here with this first angel, if we might
16:04 call him a first angel?
16:05 By the way, did you know that the angel of the Lord
16:08 in the Old Testament is none less than Jesus Christ?
16:10 I don't have time to get into that, but scholars of all
16:15 denominations have come to the conclusion that the angel of the
16:17 Lord, who appeared in the burning bush and said,
16:20 I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and told Moses
16:24 to take off his sandals from his feet, because he was
16:26 standing on holy ground.
16:27 It says the angel of the Lord was speaking to Moses.
16:30 It's generally agreed that that angel of his presence,
16:34 that angel of the Lord, is Jesus Christ.
16:37 The word angels means messenger, incidentally.
16:40 And so we find here Abraham standing before this angel
16:43 messenger, and his concern is that the angel messenger perform
16:49 a work of what? judgment.
16:52 Separating the righteous from the unrighteous
16:55 before the destruction.
16:57 Are you following me?
16:58 Now there's a second angel that has a message.
17:04 Go with me to Genesis 19, Genesis 19:12-14,
17:11 Genesis 19:12-14. It says:
17:32 What did they say? Get out!
18:09 What message did these messengers give to Lot
18:12 and to his family?
18:14 Get out, because the cities are fallen.
18:18 The cities are going to be destroyed because of their sins.
18:21 Get out before they're destroyed.
18:24 So the first messenger is the one messenger of the judgment.
18:28 The second message which is given is the cities are corrupt.
18:33 Get out! Are any of you starting to catch an
18:35 interesting picture here?
18:36 Now whoever doesn't get out, what's going to happen to them?
18:40 Go with me to Genesis 19:24, Genesis 19:24.
18:48 And I see some of you smiling because you know where we're
18:51 going with this, even though we haven't gone there yet.
18:54 You see, we noticed that what happened then is going to
18:57 happen at the end.
18:58 Is it just possible that God is going to send a threefold
19:02 message to the world before the close of time warning
19:06 God's people to deliver their lives from the world
19:10 before the destruction comes? Absolutely!
19:12 You see, those three messengers, those three angels, prefigure
19:16 three angels in Revelation 14 that God is going to
19:19 send to the world at the very end of time, to warn the world
19:23 that because of its sins destruction is about to come.
19:26 Now notice Genesis 19:24. It says:
19:35 This is after Lot and his family had come out.
19:51 Where did the fire and brimstone come from?
19:53 It came from whom?
19:56 It came from the Lord.
19:58 And where was the Lord?
19:59 In heaven, according to this.
20:02 And notice the expression, fire and brimstone.
20:04 Do you know that expression fire and brimstone is used
20:07 only for two events in all of the Bible.
20:09 It's used for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,
20:11 and it's used to speak about the destruction of the wicked
20:15 at the end of time.
20:16 Those are the only two places where the expression
20:19 fire and brimstone is used.
20:20 And, by the way, in the third angel's message it says,
20:24 whoever does not get out will be punished
20:27 with fire and brimstone.
20:29 And so you have contained here in Genesis already
20:33 in shadow form, in miniature form, what is going to happen
20:39 on a worldwide level at the very end of human history.
20:44 Now I want you to notice Genesis 19:10, Genesis 19:10.
20:52 Was there a shut door in this story of Sodom and Gomorrah
20:58 before the cities were destroyed?
21:00 Do you remember that in the story of Noah the door was shut,
21:04 a period went by, then destruction came?
21:08 Is it just possible...
21:09 By the way, the wicked gathered around the ark also.
21:12 Correct? While the righteous were safe where? inside.
21:17 Now notice Genesis 19, Genesis 19:10, Genesis 19:10.
21:26 It says here: But the men,...
21:29 That is the angels.
21:30 We're already identified them.
21:31 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the
21:38 house with them and shut the door.
21:45 Was there any more opportunity of salvation after that door
21:49 shut for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah?
21:51 That was it! Who protected Lot and his family from the wrath
21:58 of those wicked people?
21:59 It was angels that protected them from the wicked
22:04 that had gathered around them.
22:05 Just like at the time of the flood there was a closed door
22:10 before destruction actually came.
22:12 And those who were outside Lot's house didn't have the foggiest
22:15 idea that when the door closed that was it.
22:20 By the way, do you know that in Psalm 91:9-12 it says that
22:25 God will send His angels to take charge of His people
22:28 in the midst of the tribulation, and that no plague will touch
22:30 the households of God's people?
22:32 This will be repeated all over again.
22:36 You see, God gave us the stories of Genesis not only as stories,
22:40 but as prophecies.
22:41 Most people simply read these stories as stories of things
22:45 that happened once upon a time.
22:47 They're not only stories, they are really prophecies written
22:52 as stories. Every single story of Genesis is also a prophecy.
22:58 And so fire descended from heaven, fire and brimstone,
23:02 and consumed the cities.
23:04 And I want you to notice the aftermath of this.
23:07 Genesis 19:28. Here Abraham is looking towards the cities
23:13 after the fire and brimstone fell from God out of heaven.
23:17 Genesis 19:28. It says:
23:23 That is Abraham.
23:39 You read the third angel's message it says that not only
23:43 does fire and brimstone fall from heaven, but it says the
23:47 smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever.
23:51 Now we're going to talk about that a little bit later on
23:54 in these series, but what I want you to notice now is that
23:57 fire and brimstone falls from heaven, and the smoke ascends
24:01 as a result. In Genesis as well as in the third angel's message
24:05 of Revelation 14. Now we need to understand this issue of the
24:11 fire which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah, because fire is also
24:15 going to consume the world.
24:17 There's a fundamental misunderstanding among
24:20 Christians that when the fire falls from heaven,
24:23 the wicked are going to burn in the fire forever and ever,
24:26 and the fire is never going to go out, and they're never
24:28 going to go out. They're going to be tormented,
24:30 and they're going to b suffering forever and ever.
24:32 Now we need to take a closer look at that, because I believe
24:36 that that's based on a tradition which is not in harmony with
24:39 scripture, and you're going to see it as we study along.
24:42 Go with me to Jude 7, that's that little book right before
24:46 the book of Revelation.
24:47 Jude 7 where the destruction of the cities of the plain
24:51 is described. Jude 7.
24:54 See, you have to let scripture interpret itself.
24:56 We can't simply take one verse and say, Oh, well this verse
25:00 means this. We have to compare it with other verses to make
25:03 sense out of what scripture is trying to teach us.
25:06 Notice Jude 7, and I only mention the verse because
25:10 it only has one chapter. So it says:
25:24 See there's the sin that we talked about.
25:40 What kind of fire destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
25:44 According to this it was eternal fire which destroyed
25:48 Sodom and Gomorrah.
25:49 But now we have a problem.
25:51 Go with me to 2 Peter, 2 Peter 2:6, 2 Peter 2:6.
25:59 It says here, speaking about the same cities, Sodom and Gomorrah.
26:04 It says:
26:20 What were Sodom and Gomorrah reduced to? ashes!
26:25 Now we have a problem.
26:26 How many of you have ever tried to burn ashes?
26:29 Have you ever gone to the grocery store to buy some ashes
26:34 to put in your fireplace?
26:35 Say, Pastor, that's ridiculous!
26:38 You can't burn ashes because everything that there was
26:40 to burn has already been burned.
26:42 What happens when ashes are all that's left?
26:47 What happens with the fire?
26:48 The fire goes out, because everything that was going to be
26:53 consumed has been what? consumed.
26:55 So immediately we ask the question, how could Sodom and
26:58 Gomorrah have been destroyed by eternal fire,
27:01 and yet the fire went out because the cities were reduced
27:05 to what? to ashes.
27:07 How do we understand this?
27:08 I believe that there's a perfect explanation to this.
27:11 You see, I believe that the fire that burned Sodom and Gomorrah
27:15 is still burning today.
27:17 Not the cities, but the fire, yes.
27:20 Now lets examine this concept.
27:23 You're going to be confused for a few moments until
27:25 you understand what I'm trying to say.
27:27 Go with me to Deuteronomy 4:23, 24, Deuteronomy 4:23, 24.
27:37 Here it says, God speaking to Israel.
27:54 In other words, don't make images, don't practice idolatry.
27:58 Verse 24:
28:10 What is the consuming fire?
28:12 God is the consuming fire, according to this.
28:18 God is the fire. It says He is a consuming fire.
28:23 Now go with me to the book of Hebrews.
28:26 The New Testament corroborates this idea.
28:28 The book of Hebrews 12:28, 29, Hebrews 12:28, 29. Here it says:
28:51 In other words, let's be respectful towards God.
28:54 Lets serve Him with godly fear.
28:56 Notice verse 29:
29:02 Who is the fire? God is the fire according to this.
29:07 My question is, how long has God been the fire?
29:14 How long has God been the fire?
29:15 How long has God existed? Eternally.
29:20 So how long has God been a fire? Eternally.
29:24 Now I need to explain that God is not literally a fire.
29:29 Scripture teaches us what the fire really is.
29:33 Go with me to Exodus 24:17, 18, Exodus 24:17, 18.
29:41 Here we're going to find what the fire is.
29:43 It says there, Exodus 24:17, 18, the following:
29:51 Actually, let's begin at verse 15 for the context.
29:55 It says, Then Moses went up into the mountain,
29:57 and a cloud covered the mountain.
29:59 Thankfully, for Israel, allow me to say.
30:12 What was it that rested on Mount Sinai?
30:14 The glory of the Lord.
30:24 Now notice this.
30:36 What is the fire? The fire is the glorious presence
30:42 and light of the Lord.
30:44 What was it that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
30:47 It was the fire that came from God, but what is that fire?
30:51 God revealed His what?
30:54 God revealed His glory.
30:57 How long has God had that glory?
30:59 Only since He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
31:04 Is God an everlasting consuming fire?
31:08 He most certainly is, because He is eternal.
31:11 In other words, the everlasting fire that destroyed Sodom and
31:13 Gomorrah has never gone out!
31:15 It is still burning today.
31:18 Not that which it burnt, but the fire itself is still burning.
31:24 Are you understanding what I am saying?
31:26 Now let's notice Malachi 4:1 amplifying this point.
31:32 Malachi 4:1. See when you compare scripture with scripture
31:37 things become very clear in our minds.
31:40 The thing is, people have too much of a restricted vision.
31:43 Malachi 4:1. It says:
32:09 What is the burning oven going to do?
32:11 What is the fire going to do when the Lord comes?
32:13 It is not going to leave root nor branch.
32:15 Who is the root of all evil? Satan.
32:19 Who are the branches? His followers.
32:22 It's like Jesus said, I am the fine, you are the branches.
32:25 The faithful followers of Jesus are the branches.
32:27 Jesus is the vine.
32:29 The devil is the root.
32:30 His followers are the branches.
32:32 In other words, it says here that there will be left
32:35 neither root nor branch.
32:37 And notice verse 3. Verse 3 says:
32:52 What are the wicked going to be reduced to?
32:54 They are going to be reduced to ashes, which means that they're
32:58 not going to burn forever, but the fire that burned them is
33:01 going to burn forever, because the fire is God's glory.
33:05 Raise your hand if you're understanding what I'm saying.
33:08 Now, let's go... By the way, let me just mention this in
33:12 passing: Revelation 15:2 speaks about God's throne
33:15 and it says that before His throne there's a sea of glass
33:18 mingled with fire.
33:21 Do you know why that sea of glass looks as if it's
33:24 mingled with fire?
33:25 Because God is sitting on the throne, and the glory of God
33:28 is reflected in that sea.
33:30 It's the glory of God; a glory before which sinners would be
33:38 consumed in an instant.
33:39 Now I'm going to surprise you by what I'm going to tell you.
33:43 The churches have it all wrong.
33:45 It's not the wicked who are going to be in the everlasting
33:49 flames, it's the righteous.
33:56 Go with me to Isaiah 33.
33:57 We prove everything here from scripture.
33:59 Isaiah 33:12. This is a strange twist, isn't it?
34:04 Isaiah 33:12 speaks of the destruction of the wicked,
34:09 and then it deals with the righteous.
34:12 It says there in Isaiah 33 beginning in verse 12:
34:25 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done; and, you who
34:30 are near, acknowledge my might.
34:38 And then notice the question.
35:12 Who's going to inhabit the everlasting flames?
35:15 It's not the wicked, it's the righteous, because the wicked
35:20 when they're in the midst of the fire, they are what?
35:23 They are consumed.
35:24 But the righteous, because they are right with the Lord,
35:27 the fire will not consume them.
35:30 So the church has got it the wrong way around.
35:34 They say the wicked will be in the everlasting flames.
35:37 The righteous will be with the Lord in heaven.
35:39 The fact is, the righteous will be with the Lord in heaven,
35:42 whose presence, whose glory, is like a devouring, everlasting
35:47 fire. Are you clear on this point?
35:50 Now let me ask you, Is God going to send a message to the world
35:56 before the world is destroyed?
35:58 Do you know in how many parts that message is divided?
36:02 Three parts, in the exact order as we noticed in Genesis.
36:08 History is going to be repeated.
36:11 The only difference is that in Genesis a few cities in the
36:16 Dead Sea Basin were destroyed.
36:18 At the end of time this is going to be a global catastrophe.
36:23 What was local in the Old Testament becomes universal
36:27 at the end of time.
36:28 In other words, that was a shadow, it foreshadowed what is
36:32 going to happen in the future.
36:33 Go with me to Revelation 14 and lets examine
36:37 these three messages.
36:38 Revelation 14 and lets begin reading at verse 6.
36:44 Revelation 14:6. Then I saw another angel flying in the
36:51 midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach
36:55 to those who dwell on the earth.
36:56 To every nation, tribe, tongue, and people,
36:59 saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him;
37:06 for the hour of his judgment has come.
37:12 Some versions say, the hour of his judgment is come.
37:15 and worship him who made heaven, and earth, the sea,
37:20 and the springs of water.
37:21 Let me ask you, does this judgment take place before
37:23 the destruction of the world?
37:27 What good would it be for God to say, The hour of his judgment
37:30 is come, if that didn't warn the world to get ready
37:36 for the destruction that is coming?
37:38 The purpose of this message is to warn people to get ready
37:40 for the destruction.
37:41 So let me ask you, does the judgment take place
37:42 before the destruction?
37:43 Is God going to separate the righteous from the wicked,
37:47 and is He going to seal His righteous followers before
37:51 destruction comes, like He did with Lot? Yes!
37:54 And, by the way, when the cases are all decided,
37:57 what is going to close?
37:58 The door is going to be shut.
38:02 That's the door in the parable of the ten virgins.
38:05 Ever heard of the parable of the ten virgins?
38:07 The shutting of the door is not the second coming of Christ.
38:09 The shutting of the door is the close of probation,
38:12 because after the door closes, the five foolish virgins
38:16 still have a chance to go, and they try to find oil everywhere,
38:19 but there's no oil, because the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn.
38:24 Preaching has come to an end.
38:25 The door of salvation has ended.
38:29 So do you see that you have an announcement of the judgment
38:33 by the first angel of Revelation chapter 14.
38:35 Now what about the second angel?
38:37 Notice Revelation 14:8.
38:40 It says here: And another angel followed saying,
38:45 Babylon is fallen, is fallen.
38:46 See at the end time the power is not Sodom, it is what?
38:50 It is Babylon. Babylon is fallen, is fallen,
38:53 that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the
38:56 wine of the wrath of her fornication.
38:58 Lets go to chapter 18, because there's an additional concept
39:02 in chapter 18. Chapter 18, and let's read verse 2.
39:08 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, Babylon
39:12 the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place
39:16 of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for
39:19 every unclean and hated bird.
39:21 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her
39:24 fornication. The kings of the earth have committed fornication
39:27 with her. We'll talk about all this later.
39:29 And the merchants of the earth have become rich through the
39:32 abundance of her luxuries.
39:34 Verse 4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
39:37 Come out of her, my people.
39:42 Is that what the angel said in Sodom?
39:43 Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her what?
39:48 In her sins, and you receive her plagues.
39:53 Very same message given to God's true people who are
40:00 in the midst of Babylon, like Lot was in Sodom,
40:03 at the very end of time.
40:04 And then, of course, you have the third angel's message,
40:07 which warns against worshipping the beast and his image,
40:10 and receiving the mark.
40:11 By the way, we have lectures on each one of these topics:
40:14 on the beast, on the image to the beast, and on the mark
40:18 of the beast. We're going to be dealing with a lot of issues
40:22 in Bible prophecy now, in our second half of this seminar.
40:25 But the third angel says that those who worship the beast
40:28 and his image, and receive the mark, in other words,
40:30 those who don't come out of Babylon.
40:32 Fire and brimstone will fall from heaven, and the smoke
40:36 of their torment will ascend to heaven.
40:40 Very same sequence as in the book of Genesis.
40:45 God has a message for His people in these last days.
40:49 Now the question is, how can we be sure to be ready
40:55 when Jesus comes?
40:57 Lets notice several verses in the New Testament that tell us
41:02 how we need to prepare so that we can stand when Jesus comes.
41:05 You see, just not anybody is going to stand, if they're alive
41:09 when Jesus comes.
41:10 There's a special preparation.
41:11 We have to develop a fireproof character.
41:15 Yes, we must receive Jesus as our Savior, but we must be
41:20 like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; loyal to death.
41:25 Willing to give up the most precious thing, their life,
41:29 in order to be loyal to God.
41:31 Obey His law, worship only Him, not practice idolatry,
41:35 not worship the beast or his image, and as a result,
41:38 when they went into the fire the fire did not consume them,
41:41 because they had fireproof characters.
41:44 Now what will God's people be like, those who are ready
41:48 for the coming of Jesus?
41:49 See, this is something that is almost totally
41:51 absent in the churches.
41:52 Churches talk about, Oh yes, Jesus died for your sins.
41:56 Yes, Jesus stands in your place.
41:58 Jesus intercedes for you.
41:59 You know, if you sin we have an advocate.
42:01 By the way, I believe all of these things; they're Biblical.
42:04 But you have to take the additional step.
42:06 You have to ask God to give you a pure heart, a clean heart.
42:10 That He'll give you clean motivations.
42:13 That He'll give you a pure mind, so that the fountain
42:17 of the heart will produce a change in the life.
42:19 Because the life proves whether our profession is true or not.
42:23 Now allow me to mention a few verses: Hebrews 12:28, 29.
42:28 We already read this, but let's read it again.
42:30 Hebrews 12:28, 29.
42:33 Here the apostle Paul is talking about the second coming
42:37 of Jesus. And, by the way, I believe that Paul was the author
42:40 of Hebrews. I'm not going to give you the reasons why
42:43 I believe that now, but I believe that he was.
42:45 And sound Christian tradition indicates that.
42:49 Now notice chapter 12 and verse 28.
42:57 That's the kingdom that's going to come when Jesus arrives.
43:09 How should we serve God?
43:11 With reverence and godly fear.
43:15 Why should we do that?
43:24 So whom does the fire not consume?
43:26 Those who serve God with reverence and godly fear.
43:31 Godly fear means with the utmost respect.
43:36 Notice Hebrews 12:14, being that we're in Hebrews 12.
43:42 Hebrews 12:14, we find these wonderful words.
43:52 And then notice the last part of the verse.
44:03 What must we have in order to be able to see the Lord?
44:06 We must have holiness.
44:09 We must serve Him with godly fear.
44:12 By the way, the Lord Jesus said, Blessed are the pure in heart.
44:19 This is Matthew 5:8.
44:27 Do you know what the wicked are going to do when Jesus comes?
44:30 Revelation 6 describes it.
44:32 They're going to hide in the caves of the earth.
44:34 They're going to cry for rocks to fall upon them,
44:37 because they have not learned to love Jesus.
44:40 They are totally unlike Jesus.
44:42 They can't stand the idea of spending an eternity with Jesus,
44:46 and therefore they're going to hide from the Lord.
44:50 God's people are going to say, Lo, this is our God.
44:53 We have waited for Him, and He will save us,
44:57 as it says in Isaiah 25.
45:00 Notice that passage that we read in Isaiah 33 again.
45:05 There's one verse which I didn't read.
45:07 Isaiah 33:17. After speaking about the righteous living with
45:12 the devouring fire, in other words inhabiting with the glory
45:15 of God, we find these very interesting words about someone
45:20 that the righteous are going to see.
45:26 Notice Isaiah 33:17. It says here:
45:39 See the conclusion?
45:48 Do you know what that land is?
45:50 The land that is very far off?
45:52 It is the place that the King comes from.
45:54 Where does the King come from?
45:56 He comes from heaven.
45:58 Notice a couple of other verses that we find
46:03 in the New Testament.
46:04 Go with me to 1 John 3:1-3, 1 John 3:1-3.
46:13 We find this theme time and again when the second
46:16 coming is spoken about.
46:17 God tells us that we must have a pure, clean life in order to be
46:23 able to wait for the Lord, in order to see God, as Jesus said.
46:28 Notice what we find in 1 John 3: 1-3.
47:02 And what should we be doing in order for this to happen?
47:05 Notice verse 3:
47:09 That is the hope of seeing Jesus when He comes.
47:14 Does what?
47:21 What should we be doing in preparation for
47:24 the coming of Jesus?
47:25 We should be developing holiness.
47:28 We should be purifying ourselves, even as He is pure.
47:32 He provides the soap and water, but we must use it.
47:35 What does it mean, purify yourself?
47:37 I can't purify myself!
47:40 I don't have the soap and the water.
47:41 The soap and the water represent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
47:44 But I have to take the soap and the water,
47:47 and I have to apply it or it will do me absolutely no good.
47:51 Notice also 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 3:10.
47:56 This is a very marvelous passage that deals with the final
48:03 destruction of the world by fire.
48:05 And I want you to notice the special preparation that God's
48:08 people are going to need in order to withstand this fire.
48:11 It says in verse 10:
48:28 And now notice:
48:34 Because the fire is going to destroy the world,
48:37 what should we be doing?
48:49 What? How should we live?
48:51 In holy what? Conduct and what? godliness.
48:56 Some people say, Ah, it doesn't really matter.
49:00 God doesn't really care what you do.
49:02 We're not saved by works, we're saved by faith.
49:04 Yes, we're saved by a faith that works.
49:08 A faith that doesn't work is a dead faith,
49:12 and a dead faith cannot save you.
49:13 Faith is shown by works.
49:17 If there are no works, there is no faith.
49:20 And so to say that you're saved by bare faith, that you can be
49:26 saved and still live like the devil, is not in harmony with
49:31 the Bible, because when Jesus comes into our
49:34 lives our lives change.
49:37 When He genuinely comes into our lives.
49:39 And that's what the Bible is talking about when it deals
49:42 with preparation for the second coming of Jesus.
49:45 And then it says that we're supposed to do that,
49:47 because the day is hastening when Jesus is going to come,
49:51 it says in 2 Peter 3.
49:53 And then we're told that Jesus is going to make a new heavens,
49:57 and a new earth where righteousness dwells.
50:01 Now, how is this possible?
50:06 How can we develop this fire proof character?
50:10 We've found that God wants us to have it.
50:11 He says without holiness you won't see the Lord.
50:13 The pure in heart will see God.
50:15 We must purify ourselves as He is pure.
50:19 How do we do it? We can't do it!
50:24 The Lord does it, and how does He do it?
50:26 Lets go to three texts: Psalm 119:9-11, Psalm 119:9-11
50:38 gives us the secret.
50:39 We're told here by David, the longest chapter in the Bible,
50:46 the following. Listen up young people!
50:52 That means the behavior, by the way.
50:57 How do we cleanse our way? by obeying what?
51:00 By obeying the word.
51:01 How much of the word?
51:05 The nine commandments.
51:08 How many? All of them, because the Bible says that if you break
51:14 one you break them all.
51:16 We don't keep them in order to be saved, we keep them
51:20 because we're saved.
51:21 Works are good as long as you don't put the
51:25 cart before the horse.
51:26 Verse 10. With my whole heart I have sought you.
51:31 Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments.
51:43 What is the secret for gaining the victory over sin?
51:47 Hiding the word where? in the heart.
51:50 You know, the more time I send in the Word, the more victory
51:52 I have in my life.
51:54 The reason why we don't have victory is we spend most of our
51:55 time in front of the television.
51:57 And what the television does, it confirms our sinfulness.
52:00 It strengthens our sinfulness, because we reflect what we see.
52:05 But when you put the word in the heart, day after day, after day,
52:11 our lives take the form of the word.
52:14 Notice also John 15:3 John 15:3.
52:20 Here Jesus is giving the allegory of the vine
52:23 and the branches, and He says some very wise words.
52:27 John 15:3. Speaking about His disciples, He says:
52:31 You are already clean because of the word
52:37 which I have spoken to you.
52:38 What is it that cleansed the disciples?
52:41 The word that Jesus spoke to them.
52:44 Notice Ephesians 5, the same idea, that it's the word
52:49 that cleanses. It's the word that purifies.
52:51 When it comes into our hearts it expels evil.
52:55 Because the word is light, and light expels
52:57 darkness from the life.
52:59 Notice what we find,
53:00 Where did I say we were going now?
53:03 Ah, good. You're still with me.
53:05 Ephesians 5:25-27.
53:10 It says in verse 25:
53:19 Did He give Himself for her for a reason?
53:22 Let's read verse 26.
53:31 How does He cleanse her?
53:39 Do you know what the water represents?
53:41 The water represents the Holy Spirit.
53:43 The Holy Spirit, when we read the word the Holy Spirit,
53:46 it comes in through the word and cleans our hearts.
53:49 And then notice what type of church Jesus is going to have.
53:52 It says in verse 27:
54:09 That's what the word does.
54:12 That's how we can be pure in heart so that we can see God,
54:17 so that we can say, Lo this is our God.
54:20 We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
54:23 That will prepare us to live in the midst
54:27 of the everlasting fire.
54:28 Now allow me to close by saying that there were four kinds
54:33 of people related to Sodom.
54:37 I'm just going to mention this in passing.
54:40 Genesis 13:10-12. Don't even bother to look for it.
54:43 I want you just to listen to what I'm going to say.
54:46 You can read it later.
54:47 It's on your list of texts.
54:48 Genesis 13:10-12 speaks of Abraham.
54:52 Do you know that Abraham never actually lived in the cities?
54:56 From the time that he was called out of Ur of the Chaldees,
55:00 he was faithful to God.
55:02 He never even had contact with the cities.
55:04 You have a second type of person relating to the cities.
55:10 You have Lot who lived in the cities, but he was a follower
55:16 of the Lord in the cities.
55:17 In fact we are told in 2 Peter: 2:7, 8, that Lot was
55:22 tremendously bothered by the wickedness in the cities,
55:27 and he's even called righteous Lot there in 2 Peter 2.
55:32 You see he lived in Sodom, but his heart was not in Sodom,
55:38 and God called him out.
55:40 And now he was with Abraham, the faithful one who never
55:44 lived in the cities.
55:45 Now you have Lot who was a member of God's people,
55:48 who was called out from the cities.
55:50 You have a third type of person.
55:52 That person is Lot's wife.
55:55 She also lived in the cities.
55:59 She accepted the call to come out, but the trouble is she came
56:05 out of Sodom, but Sodom had not come out of her.
56:08 The Bible says that her heart was there.
56:13 She looked back, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
56:16 That represents those, perhaps, that have heard the call
56:20 of Jesus, calling them out of Babylon,
56:22 calling them out of the world where sinful
56:24 practices are carried on.
56:27 And they've come out in excitement, but their heart
56:31 is still in the world.
56:32 Lot represents those who have lived in the world,
56:35 practiced the sins of Babylon, but their heart is
56:38 with the Lord, and so when they're called to come out,
56:40 they come out. Abraham represents those whose strength
56:44 has been pure, let's say since birth.
56:46 And then you have a fourth group which are those who chose
56:51 to stay in the city, the vast majority,
56:54 and were destroyed in the city.
56:57 What group do you belong to?
57:00 Those who were born into the pure faith of scripture?
57:05 Those who were in battle, but had been called out?
57:10 Those who have come out, but whose heart
57:15 is still in the world?
57:16 Or those individuals who remain in the world?
57:20 Our decision will determine our everlasting destiny.


Revised 2014-12-17