Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Ezra Reading - Revelation 20-22

Greetings Project Ezra. It’s almost time for our Halloween reading, and I’m excited! I pray many of you will participate, and that God will be greatly glorified through the preaching of His word.

I will attempt to keep the preaching notes short this week, and would encourage you to spend time reading and re-reading the passage, and praying for the souls that will hear God’s word this weekend. I was listening to an online sermon by Paul Washer today, and he brought up a point I think we should all remember. He said (I am paraphrasing) that the real work is not done when the message is presented, but on our knees long before we start preaching. We need to give every effort, every word that comes out of our mouths, to God, and trust Him for the results. So if you are reading or preaching, give it to God in prayer first. And if you are not participating this weekend, I hope that you will also go to prayer for your brothers and sisters on the front lines. Please pray for wisdom, humility, divine appointments, and safety during what can be a very ugly weekend.

I would suggest focusing on the following points:
Introduction and reading of Revelation 20-22

The great white throne judgment and the Lamb’s book of life
All of us will be judged by God’s perfect holy standard
Revelation 20:13 - All of us will stand before the great white throne and be
judged according to what they have done.
Revelation 21:8 – Have you committed any of these sins?
What God says about the occult:
Deuteronomy 18:10-11- There shall not be found among you anyone who
burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices
divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a
charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,
Are you celebrating Halloween by making entertainment of things God hates?
Philippians 4:8 – Set your minds on the good things of God

The terrors of hell, and the lake of fire
You will not be in hell enjoying the pleasures of sin with Satan and your buddies.
Satan does not rule hell. It is a punishment for him as it is for us.
Revelation 20:10 – The Devil, the Beast, the False Prophet tormented
Revelation 20:14-15 – Death and Hades (those not in the Lamb’s book of
life) thrown into the lake of fire
Luke 16 - The rich man begging for one drop of water to soothe his tongue

The lamb’s book of life – Who’s name will be in it? Will your name be in it?
John 1:29 - The lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world
Revelation 5:6 – Jesus described as a lamb, standing as though slain
In the temple, a perfect lamb was sacrificed to cover sin, but only for a time
Hebrews 7: 23-25 - The former priests were many in number, because
they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds
his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he
is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him,
since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Jesus can take all your sins, permanently. How?

The cross – Jesus sacrificed for the sin of the world
God’s wrath poured out on His own son, so it didn’t have to be poured out on us.
Isaiah 53 - It was the will of the LORD to crush him. He was crushed for our
Repent, and put your faith in the Lamb of God! (Acts 20:21)

The wonders of heaven, and the New Jerusalem
Gold, which many of us would live and die for, is so common and mundane that it is used to pave the streets!
Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall
be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away.”

Jesus is coming soon, and bringing His recompense with Him. (Revelation 22:12) Are you ready?

I hope this is helpful, and I will be praying for you, that the Lord will use you mightily this weekend for His glory and the saving of many souls. Please post your testimonies and pictures when you can.

For the praise of His glory!


Friday, October 22, 2010

This Week's Suggested Reading - Jeremiah 23

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week our suggested reading is Jeremiah 23. I am sorry for the late posting. Unfortunately I have been dealing with a company emergency, so I have been away from home and unable to finish and post until now. I pray that this will still be a blessing. Below are some suggested preaching points.

Intro and read Jeremiah 23

Be carful who you believe. Many of you who think you are right with God and bound for heaven may be following false teachers, or false beliefs. The bible mentions false teachers and false prophets many times. I’m not here to give you a list of who is true and who is false, but I’m here to encourage you, to plead with you, to examine what you believe and why you believe it. Eternity is imminent. You may live for another 80 years, but you are not even promised tomorrow, so find the truth and get right with God while he has given you time. And the truth is this: We are all sinners, moral criminals in God’s court, who are worthy of death and hell. But God, because of his love, mercy, and grace, provided a way for our sins to be atoned for and for us to be right before Him, through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ.

Have you been taught something different? Don’t take my word for it. Check out God’s word. In this passage Jeremiah talks about some of the false ideas and beliefs of false teachers and prophets.

Do they have no fear of the holiness of God? The greatest men in scripture trembled before God’s holiness. Yes, God is loving, and is a father to His children, but just a glimpse of His holiness was enough to make the most righteous men in the bible fall on their faces before him and cry for mercy. Moses, Isaiah, and here Jeremiah are just a few examples.

Are they ungodly? The man, prophet or otherwise, who claims to follow God and lives an abominable and wicked life before Him, is a liar. We all make mistakes, and we all sin, even the most committed follow. But the person who claims belief and lives in unrepentant sin, is a liar. (See 1 John)

Do they fill you with vain hopes and say all will be well with you? If you despise the Lord and hate His will, and they give you confidence that everything will be fine, they are lying. They say that it will be well for you, and though you stubbornly follow your own heart, no disaster will fall. God is good, and does provide for His children, but the only way you will receive your best life now is if you are going to hell. Do as God’s word says, and store up your rewards in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Do they encourage behaviors that God hates? God hates sin, and will punish iniquity. If a teacher does not deal with sin, he is not a true teacher of God. This chapter states that if they had stood in God’s council, they would have proclaimed God’s word to the people, and turned them from their evil ways and evil deeds.

Go through God’s law and show them their sinful state before a holy God

Preach the cross and the resurrection.

If you want to have a right relationship with your creator, do what His word says. Repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The book of 2 Timothy says that the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. Don’t make this foolish mistake. Find the truth, and get right with your creator through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

Thanks for being part of Project Ezra. It’s just a week until Halloween now. We have more people joining again, and I pray you will be one of them. If not, please be in prayer for your brothers and sisters on the street.

For the praise of His glory,


Friday, October 15, 2010

This Week's Project Ezra Reading - 2 Kings 19:8-28

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week our suggested reading is 2 Kings 19:8-28, and could rightly be called a Tale of Two Kings. The kings are Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and Hezekiah, king of Judah. Assyria is attacking Judah, and Sennacherib sends a letter to Judah, mocking God, in order to cause Judah and Hezekiah to lose hope. But instead of losing hope, Hezekiah brings the letter and lays it before the Lord. He praises God for who He is, and asked that Judah would be delivered, that God may be glorified through the salvation of His people. God answered Hezekiah. That night the angel of the Lord strikes down 185,000 of the Assyrians, and after Sennacherib returns home, he is assassinated by two of his own sons.

These two kings are an accurate parallel of the Christian and the world. The man or woman who rejects Christ depends on their health, their wealth, their power and influence, their own toughness and determination, or their own goodness to save them. Like Sennacherib, many boast of their own accomplishments and glory in their own strength. But the wise man takes his troubles and lays them before God, depending on His strength to carry him through. It is the wisdom in that decision that we need to show to those we read to.

Below in an outline to give you some ideas for your preaching:

Introduction and read the verses

Two kings who trusted in very different things

One trusted in his own strength and accomplishment, and one trusted in the mercy of God

What is your trust in? You may not be a conquering king, but you are probably trusting in your own accomplishments

Are you trusting in Intellectual prowess, either your own or someone else’s, to deny and scoff at God? Will science save you? Science is not bad in itself, but it can not save you, and by now Darwin himself knows the truth!
Romans 1:22 - Claiming to be wise they became fools

2 Peter 3:3-5 - knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,

Are you trusting in financial success or accomplishment to save you? Wealth is not bad in itself, but it is the root of all kind of evil, and envy and covetousness are sins against God. No amount of money will help you stand before God.
Proverbs 11:12 - Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Mat 19:24 - Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Are you trusting in your own goodness to get right with God? Perhaps you have said “God knows my heart” – Yes, he does! That should not comfort you, but frighten you!
Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

See verses 27 and 28. God knows all that we do, and knows our rebellion against Him. He knows every sin we commit, even those we have forgotten. He knows the wicked things we have done, and He knows the good things we have failed to do.
He knows our greed and envy, which is covetousness

He knows our anger and hatred, which he sees as murder

He knows our lustful, X-rated, pornographic thoughts, which are adultery

He knows the idols we have replaced Him with, idols of money, power, pleasure, and personal autonomy

Pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, doing good deeds to get right with God? It won’t work.
Romans 3:10-12 - "None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."

Isaiah 64:6 - We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Enjoying pleasure and not worrying about it? Wake up now while you have time!
1 Corinthians 15:32 - If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

Luke 12:19-21 - And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

James 4:13-14 - Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

As Hezekiah was, you are in deadly peril. But as Hezekiah was delivered through his trust in God, you too can be delivered! God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to earth, that we might be delivered from the wrath to come. (1 Thes 1:10)

So repent today towards God, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone (Acts 20:21), and through Jesus sacrifice, your sins can be atoned for, paid in full by His blood (Romans 3:23-26). Repent and trust Christ today, while God has given you time.

Thanks for being part of Project Ezra. Have a great weekend, and a great time of outreach. Remember, we have just a couple weeks until out Halloween reading, and still have less that 60 confirmed participants. If you haven’t responded yet, please do. If you are on the Maybe list, change that maybe to a yes, grab some brothers and sisters in Christ, and get out there and tell someone about He who is worthy to be praised!

For the praise of His glory,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week's Suggested Reading - Isaiah 59

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week the suggested reading for Project Ezra is Isaiah 59. This is out of order form our normal book list, but since we missed this list one month a while back, and since Proverbs has a limited number of passages that stay on a single topic or line of thought for any length of time, I have decided to use this chapter instead. But we will not be using Isaiah 59 alone, but in concert with Isaiah 53. We have read Isaiah 53 before, but I think these two chapters together have a great impact.

Chapter 59 talks about separation from God for those may claim His name, but through willful sin have separated themselves from Him. This described all of us at one point. But chapter 53 talks about a redeemer, who will take our iniquity so we can be made right with God. Consider the points in the outline below:

Introduction and read Isaiah 59

Please consider this passage and look at yourselves in truth. We are not passing judgment, but pleading with you to judge yourselves by the truth of God’s word, the only true standard for judgment. You may have a religion, or a spirituality, which is devoid of power, because it is nothing but words.
Titus 1:16 - They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

God is not unable to save, but your sins have separated you from God so that He does not hear you. Your sins have defiled you.
Proverbs 28:9 - If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Isaiah talks of those who are swift to shed innocent blood. Their feet run to evil, and they do not know peace or justice. Are you swift to run to evil? Do you find pleasure in the things God hates?

You may one who stumbles even in the daylight. You may have grown up around church and may have an idea who God is and some of what the bible say. But, if you are living for sin you are blind to the truths of God.
2 Cor 4:4 – The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers

1 John 2:11 – The darkness has blinded his eyes

Are you willfully blind to the truths of God, including his hatred of sin?

Our sins testify against us. We are transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God.

Go through God’s law, and be specific about sin. People need to feel the weight of their sin personally.

At the end of the chapter God is described as a warrior preparing for battle, putting on His armor, and His garments of vengeance. God will repay the wicked according to their deeds, and there will be wrath for His adversaries.

You shall fear the name of the lord
Matt 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

You deserve God’s justice and wrath. But this chapter says a redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression.

Isaiah 53 tells us of that redeemer! This chapter very clearly refers to Jesus Christ, although it was written 700 years before His birth.

Read Isaiah 53

The transgressions and iniquities which separate us from God in Isaiah 59 are borne by Jesus in Isaiah 53. Listen to the contrast between these passages:
Isa 59:8 - The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
Isa 59:12 - For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities:
Isa 59:13 - transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Isa 53:5 - But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Every one of us will receive either God’s justice and wrath, or God’s grace and mercy. Claiming the name of God is not enough, if our actions show that our claim is a lie. But through repentance and trust in Jesus Christ, who bore the sins of many and makes intercession for the transgressors, we can be made right with God. Don’t presume on God’s patience. Repent and trust in Christ while He has given you time.

I pray that this will be helpful and encouraging to you.

We have just over 50 people signed up for our Halloween Reading so far. The chapters for this reading will be Revelation 20-22. There’s still plenty of time to prepare, and I guarantee there will be plenty of lost people out and about to talk to, so why wait? Start getting your team together and preparing now! This time of year is very spiritually dark, so the light of God’s truth will shine that much more brightly. So, as Matthew 5 says, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

For the praise of His glory,


Friday, October 1, 2010

This Week's Suggested Reading - Psalm 8

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week the suggested reading for Project Ezra is Psalm 8. It is one of the shorter passages we have read, but is amazingly rich in truth.

First and foremost, God is glorified in this chapter. God’s glory is said to be greater than the heavens. In many places God’s word makes it clear that He can not be contained even by the vastness of the physical world. He does not live in temples built by hands, and is not served by hands, since he gives all me life, and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25). One commentary I read on this chapter noted that even the creation of the universe did not tax God’s power, but was merely the work of his fingers. As when the scriptures state that He created with a word, this again emphasizes that the creation of the universe in all it’s splendor was nearly effortless on God’s part. His power and majesty is beyond our comprehension. So preach on the glory of God, and the wonder of His creation, which proves His existence and power beyond doubt (Rom 1:20), and challenge those listening to consider the implications of these truths.

Out of the mouth of babes and infants He has ordained praise. This is both a prophecy fulfilled in the life of Christ (Matt 21:16), and a reminder that God uses the weak and the foolish to display his glory and confound the wisdom of this world (1 Cor 1:27, 2 Cor 12:9). The majority of the disciples were uneducated, common men (Acts 4:13), yet they stood fearless before the powers of that day to preach the truth of the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the world has never been the same. In the same way, we need to preach the folly and the stumbling block of the gospel, praying for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and knowing that even when the world mocks us, the preaching of the cross is the means God chooses to use to draw people to Himself (1 Cor 1:21-23).

As we move on, we indeed have to wonder how God could be mindful of us, in comparison to the vastness and greatness of His creation. But we are told that we were made just a little lower than the heavenly being, and crowned with glory and honor. Humankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation, and has been given dominion over everything He has made (Gen 1:28). But this passage also refers to Jesus Christ, and the fact that the second Adam, through the cross and the resurrection, is given dominion over all creation, including us, and is given the glory and honor of God. Several places in the New Testament it speaks of everything being put under Jesus’ feet (1 Cor 15:24-25). So when you preach the death and resurrection of Christ, preach of His glory and majesty as God the Son as well. The wonder of the cross is not the death of a man for sin, but the creator and lord of all that exists humbling Himself and dying for sin, so make sure glorify Christ as God when you share the gospel.

At the end of the chapter, once again, the author gives glory to God. And we too should give glory to God from beginning to end in every gospel presentation. We should always try to present the gospel in a way that is clear and logical to the person or people listening, but we should also remember that it is God that saves, and it is the Holy Spirit that changes people, regardless of the quality of our presentation. The quality is not in us, the sowers, but in the seed of God’s word, and He will bring the increase. It is not our responsibility to convert anyone, but only to focus on trying to be faithful to God’s word, and making every witnessing encounter an act of worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

As I mentioned last week, the Facebook Halloween event is now up here:
We have about 40 people signed up for the event so far, and another 50 considering participating, which is great! For those of you who are on the maybe list or have not responded yet, I would encourage you to participate. There are very few times of year where there will be as many people who are out and about and thinking about spiritual things. We will be reading Revelation 20-22 again, and Revelation is one of the books of the bible everyone seems to have read or is interested in. So get some brothers and sisters in Christ together, get yourself some Halloween tracts, and hit the streets.

I am still working on updating our Project Ezra YouTube video, and I would still like additional pictures and videos, if you have them available. The original video is here:

If you have any good pictures or video you have not posted, please send them my way.

Have a great weekend and please pray that hearts will be changed and souls will be saved by God working through you and other members of Project Ezra.

For the praise of His glory,