References: Revelation 1:19
As Ray read, it’s one of the shortest verses here but has three very distinct things to say to us and a command to John to write these things which he had seen, the things which are in his lifetime, the things which shall be hereafter. Do you know that no doubt the two most misunderstood books in the Bible are Genesis and Revelation? The two most controversial books in the Bible is the beginning and the ending. The first book and the last book it seems are more controversies about what it means.
Do we take it literally? Where did we come from and where are we going? The beginning and the ending. Someone said there are three questions in life that we all must answer and that is where did I come from and why am I here and where am I going?
Those are questions that human beings have to answer. But where did I come from? The book of Genesis, where am I going? The book of Revelation are like two bookends that stands on each side of eternity and without those bookends everything in the middle kind of falls over. Without understanding these two things we don’t know exactly where we’re going in this life or how to get where we’re going.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus said to John, I am Alpha and Omega. I’ve been there and I’ve been there. And so I can also explain how to get there in the middle. You know if you had a map, a treasure map or some kind of a road map to get somewhere you would need a mark at the beginning. Here’s where you are and so here’s where you have to start from and you need a mark at the end because that’s where you want to end up. That’s where you want to go.
And then you need someone who can tell you turn here, turn there, don’t go here but go here. My niece Sarah is here and her husband and Sarah went with us to England the very first time we went. It was in 03 I think it was. The very first time we went over there to find things that we wanted to go to and frankly we didn’t know where we were going. We just knew certain things were supposed to be in this town. Sometimes we just got off the train and started walking. And I think back to that first trip and I sure would have written a poor map at that time.
I couldn’t have told you where anything was. Well we’ve gone a few times now as a matter of fact we’ve been there nine times now and now on our syllabus and on our map we can tell you when you get off the subway and come up the steps whether to turn right or left. We have it all mapped out partly because my sister is good at those things too but now we can tell you. You know because when someone’s been there and someone can tell you each step it makes the map a lot easier doesn’t it? And the Lord Jesus Christ has said to John here I’ve been there. I can tell you where you came from.
I can tell you how to start. I know what you’re made of. I know how you’re made.
And then he can tell John I am also the Omega. I know where we will all end up. I know what is ahead for you.
I know what human beings have to do to prepare for the future. And so I’m going to give you a map to map out everything in between. That map folks is the Scripture.
Now as you look at our text here in verse 19 the two things that are said first we have to think about for a minute. Write the things. The writing is the form of this road map is the form that we have in our hands and the things is the content of that map. Write he says go back to verse 11 and remember this verse I am Alpha and Omega the first and the last and what thou seest write in a book and send it. God has designed that his road map would be written. And the reason you’re sitting here today with a Bible in your lap is because this command was given John and all the biblical writers to write these things down put them in a book because from now to the end of time people are going to need this road map.
They’re going to need this book. The word write is a simple word and you know it actually even in the language that John was writing in and it’s the word graphon or graph. You know what a graph is? You can take a piece of paper and a pencil, maybe a ruler or something like that. You can make a graph in the verb form graphon it means he says to John write thou. You write this down.
You make a graph. You recall 2nd Timothy 3.16 all scripture is given by inspiration of God. The word scripture is graphay. All scripture the graphay the graph that you have is given by inspiration of God the alpha and omega so that the map that you have in your hand was commanded to be written and is written exactly as God wanted it to be written. 2nd Timothy 2.10 no prophecy of the scripture of the graph face. So graph is the scripture it is the writing it is what the graph is made of.
Now you may take to draw a map a pencil a paper and like I said a straight edge or something around you you make your marks on that paper. God started out with letters 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet 24 letters in the Greek alphabet and each of those letters are formed a different way as you write a letter you’re going to make this one different than this one and that’s how you distinguish this sound from this sound and as you take those little markings on your graph and you put them together side by side you form a word and that word will be pronounced a certain way because you put those little marks on the paper in a certain order and when you get a word that word then conveys meaning and now you need to make sense out of it so you’ll take those words and you’ll arrange those in a long line that we call a sentence and if you do that in a way that makes sense then people can read the whole thought can read the whole sentence and then you take those sentences and you make paragraphs and you take those paragraphs and you make books and so God has made his graph for us and he guarantees us that every mark on that page as these writers would write it was exactly what he wanted clean airy verbal inspiration of every word matter of fact of every letter every jot and little that John wrote down on this graph was exactly what God wanted so I’m trying to emphasize to you the importance of the writing the importance of the scripture the importance of this book that we have is given by inspiration of God God breathed it the Holy Spirit had him write this letter and this letter so that everything we have in this book is exactly what God wants us to have now that’s the form of it but there’s a content to it write the things write things it’s kind of an interesting expression it’s it’s a definite article with a blank after it write the whatever I tell you write the things write the pictures write everything that I tell you to write is as you look at this look at chapter 2 and verse 1 under the angel of the church at Ephesus write here’s the same command again now to this church write this look at chapter 2 verse 8 under the angel of the church at Smyrna write and and seven different times in these two chapters he gives the same command you write these things notice write these things say if he that hold the seven stars verse 8 these things say at the first and the last verse 12 write these things say if he which at the sharp shore the sharp sword here is the content I like chapter 4 verse 1 we’ll come back to it in a minute but when John is called up to heaven it says come up hither and I will show the things which must be here after hold your place here and go to 1st Corinthians chapter 2 in your Bible want to read a few verses there but isn’t it interesting wouldn’t you wouldn’t you like to be called up to heaven as John was and had the angels say I’m gonna walk you around heaven and I’m gonna show you all the things that are up here because there are things in heaven folks there are things there to see and we will have a lot of them recorded for us in the book of Revelation in 1st Corinthians chapter 2 these verses are filled with this expression beginning in verse 9 as it is written as the graph is laid out for you I hath not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the what the things which God hath prepared for them that love him but God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit that is by the operation of inspiration for the spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man but the spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God. If you have him living in you, I often pray, don’t I, with the spirit in our hearts and the word of God in our hand? If you’ve received the spirit of God which is in you, that we might know what? The things that are freely given to us by God, which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveeth not the things of the spirit of God. An unsaved man, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. We bring this word of God to a person that does not have the Holy Spirit inside them and we try to explain the things that are in this book and that person kind of looks at us blank because he doesn’t have the interpreter inside.
He doesn’t have the resident teacher dwelling there inside him saying, here’s what these things are, here’s what this means. The you and I, the know Christ is Savior, have the Holy Spirit in us and so these things are written by the Holy Spirit, they are interpreted to us by the Holy Spirit and in our heart we say amen to the things that the Holy Spirit has written back to Revelation now, chapter 1. Now in this verse, verse 19, there’s this three-fold division, no doubt.
You write, you make the graph by inspiration of all of the things, first of all, in the past that you have seen, secondly, of things that exist now, John, in your lifetime and then thirdly, of the things which are going to be after this time. Now we have here a three-fold division for the book, no doubt. It’s amazing to me as I read some conservative commentaries and even some more liberal commentaries that there are some that deny that the book of Revelation speaks about future things, believe it or not.
But here is a very clear division. There are things behind John in his past, there are things currently existing at the time John was writing in 95 A.D. and then there are some things that will be in the future that he hasn’t seen yet as a matter of fact you and I haven’t seen yet. This reinforces what we call the futuristic interpretation of Revelation. That is what we believe, that the majority of the book of Revelation specifically from chapter 4 and verse 1, as we’ll see in a minute, clear to the end of the book, these things are those things which shall be which have not happened yet, even in our lifetime, 2,000 years after John. And so most of the book of Revelation has to do with the future. There are some who believe that all of the book of Revelation was fulfilled by 70 A.D. That is when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the city was gone and the Jews were scattered into all the earth. It’s an interesting theory especially since we know John was writing in the 90s A.D.
He’s writing in 95 A.D. about these things still that are yet in his future. It’s interesting too that this three-fold division then covers the whole dispensation of grace. It covers everything from the first coming of Jesus Christ through the second coming of Jesus Christ.
And in between we have this church age, this age of grace in which we live from the first to the last. And all of this perspective that John receives here covers that whole time. So John is commanded to write. And by the way, you and I are commanded to read. We are even told that we have a blessing if we read this book, verse 3, and then each letter to these churches. This is what the Holy Spirit says to John to write. We’re not writing Scripture today. The Scripture is done. These wonderful prophets and apostles wrote these things. So you and I read it and we preach it and we testify of these things.
So let’s look at these three things. First of all, we read about the past. And that is the first coming of Christ and what John saw, the things which thou hast seen, past tense.
But we don’t have to look very far to see what John saw. Look at verses 1 and 2 of Revelation, the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass. He sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John, who bear record of the word of God. And of the testimony of Jesus Christ and notice of all things that he saw.
You write the things that you have seen, John. What did he see? He saw these things God was giving to him. Verse 12, I turned to see the voice that spake with me and being turned.
I saw seven golden candlesticks. Or we have verse 17, when I saw him, I felt at his feet as dead and he laid his right hand upon me. And so John had seen these things. Now John saw Christ standing on the Isle of Patmos and the description of what he saw is here in chapter one, no doubt. And of course that is included in the things that John has seen. But I don’t think that we’re wrong in understanding that these apostles, whether we’re talking about John or the apostle Paul or Peter, these men had the same command to write what they knew about Jesus Christ.
They had seen the Lord. Let me remind you, for example, of 1 John chapter one and verse one. This is John speaking, and by the way, just a few years before he wrote Revelation, that which was from the beginning, which we, that is, all the apostles have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life.
These apostles go back to that time when they walked with the Lord Jesus Christ. They heard Him with their ears. They saw Him with their eyes.
Their hands touched Him. This is the Word of life. And as John is writing the description of Christ here, he is bringing into view everything that he knows about Christ, or Hebrews 1, 1, God who at sundry time and in diverse manners, spake in time, passed unto the fathers by the prophets. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he at the point at error of all things by whom he made the world. And then in chapter 2, verse 9, but we see Jesus, the writer says.
You write, he says to John, the things that you have seen. And Jude reminds us that he gave all diligence to the right of the common salvation. And he wrote unto us of the faith which was once delivered to the saints.
And so here is John seeing the completion of the first coming of Christ. He knew about his birth, although he didn’t see his birth, but he knew he had been born. He knew Mary, and he may have known Joseph as a young man. He knew of what Jesus did in his lifetime. He saw Jesus die on the cross. He saw the empty tomb three days later when he went to the tomb on Sunday morning. He saw Jesus appear to him for a period of 40 days, and now, many years later, standing on the Isle of Patmos, he sees not only the resurrected Christ, he sees the glorified Christ, the way Christ is existing in heaven right now.
And so when John writes to us, whether in his Gospel or in his Epistles or here in the book of Revelation, he is telling us of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can be confident that what we have in our hands is that record. You know, in England, we don’t get a chance to go up to Manchester, but right in the middle of the country of England is a town called Manchester. My son Matthew knows it well because he’s a Manchester United soccer fan. But in that town of Manchester, there’s a library that’s called the John Rylans Library. And we know of that library because in that library is a little piece of old paper called the John Rylans Paprus, the John Rylans manuscript. And when the archaeologists were doing their work and discovering these things, they discovered this piece of manuscript, this piece of paper. And when they looked at it, it’s only about three inches by four inches, but it’s got writing on both sides. So it was two sides of a book page. And they know that one side and the other has to do with John chapter eight.
This is the writing from John chapter eight. Now they look at the paper, they see how it was made. They know that it’s paprus. So they call this, by the way, P 52.
P means paprus. It’s not animal skin. And you look at it, and I’ve seen pictures of it. It looks like a board really more than a piece of paper, really old rough paper that they made out of a paprus plant. And they assigned it number 52, because that’s when it was discovered. And they know that this little piece of paper could not be written any later than 125 AD. Because of the way the paper is made, the way the letters are shaped, the type of ink that was used on it, they know that this is a piece of the Gospel of John from 125, maybe even earlier than that.
And John wrote this Gospel in the 90s AD. Imagine, if you will, that we have this kind of evidence of what Jesus said. There is no other book in the world, folks, and you can have confidence in this. You can be more sure of what Jesus said because of what manuscript evidence we have.
And by the way, we have over 5,000 and many of them complete New Testaments and many of them much larger than that. You can be more sure of what Jesus said than of what Plato said, of what even Shakespeare said 200 years ago or a few hundred years ago. You have in your hands the graph that God gave to us by inspiration. And when he said to John, you write the things which you have seen, you have it in your hands and it is a great piece of roadmap.
You know these things of Jesus Christ. We can be confident in them. Now, we read about the past. Secondly, we read about the present.
So he also says the things which are. Now not only from the first coming of Christ to the last coming of Christ, but the absence of Christ. Because between the first and second comings Christ is not here on this earth, but rather churches are here. And so in the outline of the book of Revelation chapter one is the things which were, which John has seen.
He saw Christ. Chapters two and three give us the seven churches to Revelation. These are the things that exist now. Those seven churches by the way, and we’ll see this next week, existed at the time of John. And here we are, a local church between the two comings of Christ, still reading this Scripture that is giving to us. We know about Christ. We know how he came and we know that he will come, but we haven’t seen him yet. We exist in this present time.
Write about the things which are. So John writes to seven different churches in Asia. They’re typical churches. You read these seven letters and you’ll find a little bit of ourselves in there. A little bit of everything in these seven letters. So that, so every church that has existed for 2000 years can look at these seven letters and say, there we are a little bit or yeah, we have that problem too or, or what we find ourselves there. There are faithful churches. There are sinful churches. There are apathetic churches. There are evangelistic churches. There are churches that last their first love.
There are churches that are faithful unto death. A little bit of everything is here for us. And so we have, as I pointed out, like in chapter two, verse one, John writes, and then by the time you get to the end of that letter, look at verse seven, he that hath an ear, let him hear. How many, let me see, how many have ears here today?
I think that applies to all of us. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. We read these things. We are to hear them. And for 2000 years now, folks, we have been reading what the apostles wrote and it is our guide to what we do in this world.
So think about it. The New Testament epistles, if you will, letters written to the churches, the book of Acts that describes how the church grew in that first century, these letters to these seven churches, all of these things become our pattern for faith and practice. We still come together as a church and take this book with us. And we look in this book though now to these, these letters are 2000 years old, but we look in these letters and say, how did they do it? And when we see how they did it under the guidance of the spirit and of these apostles and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then we say, we’re going to do it that way. What did they believe?
What were their doctrines? And we study these things and we come away with similar beliefs, same beliefs we hope. And we say, this is what we must believe because this is what is written. Churches have been doing this for 2000 years on the church. No, we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. And we pick up this book and we read it. It’s good to have a historical pattern, isn’t it? You know, if you had this treasure map, let’s say, and you left the port in one of those old sailing vessels and the only way you knew where you were is by reading the stars with, with, with an instrument. It would be nice to know that the stars always give you the same information, wouldn’t it? I mean, it’d be kind of a mess if the stars were always rearranged every day, you know, that there was no pattern to them. They just went wherever and you’re out there in the middle of the ocean and you’re trying to get from point A to point B and you’re trying to read these stars and they’re everywhere something new every day. You’d be totally lost. You couldn’t get there. The only way you can get from A to B is by referencing something that is fixed and unchanging. So you can say in relation to that, here’s where I am.
them. You know America is going through this struggle right now and it’s too bad where we think that our Constitution ought to be a fluid document that changes with everyone’s interpretation so that rather than trying to discover what our founding fathers meant 200 years ago, we are at the mercy of whatever a judge happens to the way he wants to interpret it, what he thinks it should mean or she thinks it should mean. And how can we have justice and how can we have a rule of law if the founding document is fluid and changes all the time? Well folks there are some people who treat the Bible like that. It’s as if however we interpret it, however you know what we want it to mean, however it can fit into our culture or our thoughts and whims, then this is what we’ll take it to be.
No, we must discover this unchangeable inspired word that has been around for 2000 years that we still have in our hands so that we can say this is the way we must go. This is what we must believe. This is what we must do. And we follow that, not what the crew says we should follow, you know. When the crew says we don’t want to go there, we say no, the star says go that way. And this is where we must go by the word of God.
Man kind of likes it. It’s our nature to be independent. Adam and Eve rather than following God broke off in their own way because Satan tempted them to go that way, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life, and they fell into sin. And ever since then we’ve done the same thing when we get to go in our own way and we think well Lord I know what’s best, I know better than you know.
I know I read it this way in the Bible but you know I just can’t do that. And we get off course. And it’s called sin and we need repentance and we need to confess those things and come back to God and follow his path. Now thirdly, not only do we read about the past, we read about the present, these churches and the church age, we also read about the future and that’s a great thing. He says to John and the things which shall be here after. Look at chapter 4 verse 1 again. Now after the seven letters to the churches, the first section is chapter 1, the second section chapters 2 and 3, and this third section will go from chapter 4 all the way through chapter 22. Look at chapter 4 verse 1. After this I looked and behold a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me which said come up hither I will show thee things and here’s exactly the same phrase which must be here after.
The beginning of this third section is right here in chapter 4 verse 1 and now John sees things which will be here after and he begins to write them down. Actually the phrase can mean which are about to occur. It has a certain eminency to it. It’s right the things which shall be but right the things which are about to be could happen at any moment and the great thing about living in this church age is that it could come to an end at any time. Chapter 4 verse 1 could commence at any moment.
These things are about to be. We didn’t know that the church age would be 2,000 years. Paul when he was writing about the rapture said then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with him and meet the Lord in the air. He thought he might be part of that rapture and now it’s been 2,000 years and every one of us has this hope in us so we purify ourselves but we look for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of Christ and so we sit here this morning hoping that chapter 4 verse 1 will happen today and we’ll be caught up there and then the things which shall be here after will begin. Now let me also emphasize this. John when he writes from chapter 4 to the end of the chapter he sees a lot of things right?
I’ll show you things. I thought about this in 2001 January 1 when my mother died. My dad lived a few years longer. She died on the first day of the new millennium. She wanted to see the turn of the millennium.
She did. 2001 January 1 she went home to be with the Lord and I thought on that day I remember thinking of this verse chapter 4 verse 1 and I thought to myself you know mom is seeing a lot of things right now. Her eyes are beholding things that we only think about are described to us on our graph but we haven’t seen them with our eyes yet.
She’s seeing them with her eyes and our loved ones who have gone before us are seeing these things. Now John in a unique way writes about something that hasn’t happened yet, right? The tribulation period hasn’t happened, but he’s going to see these things. And he’s going to see real things. He’s going to see four horses starting off in chapter four. He’s going to see the throne room of God, by the way. He’s going to see locusts. He’s going to see demons. He’s going to see real angels. He’s going to see all of these things. And I ask you, are those things real or are they not? Will they be just as John describes them?
And our answer must be, of course they will be. What good is writing? What good is description if the things aren’t going to be like that? And if that’s true, folks, that these things have not happened yet, but will happen as we read them from chapter four through chapter 22, then we know it hadn’t happened yet. The Preterist view does not hold water because you have to say these things are not what John saw.
Everything happened in the first century and it’s already done. And you say, well, what about these four horses? And what about this throne room? And what about these crowns?
And what about these 144,000 with the marks on their heads? And what about all these things? Oh, well, that’s all symbolic.
And it’s all done. No, John sees these things. He sees these.
Let me ask you this. Of what John saw in the past, was it real? Did he see Jesus Christ? Was he describing to us a real savior who walked on the earth and he really saw that and wrote it down? Yes. Let me ask you again, when he looked at the churches of Asia, beginning with Ephesus and then Smyrna and Pergamus, Thyatira, were those churches real? Absolutely. Then what right do we have to understand that what he saw was real?
What he was seeing at the time was real, but what he is seeing in the future is not real? No. As literal as the first two divisions. Was the first coming of Christ and the prophecies around him? Did they happen as the prophet said? Was he born in Bethlehem? Was he born of a virgin? Did he walk? Did he live in Nazareth as Isaiah prophesied? Did he die by crucifixion as Isaiah described? Did all of the things, every prophecy of Christ in his first coming happen literally as the prophet said it would happen?
Of course they did. Then what right do we have to think that the prophecies of his second coming aren’t going to be exactly the same way? The first one happened that way, the second one happened. If the church age is literal, so would the tribulation period. As a matter of fact, Daniel’s 70 weeks, if you know that prophecy in the Old Testament, begins in 444 BC. He prophesied of 69 weeks, weeks of seven years. From 444 BC to 32 AD, the first 69 weeks happened. And let me ask you this, did they really happen? And did those things actually take place that are described within those?
Yes. Were there even 2300 real days where the Maccabees fought their battles and then finally purified the temple? Were there really 2300 days? Yes, sorry, Seventh Day Adventist friends. But that was literal, not symbolic. And so if the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy was literal and happened to the day as he gave it, then what right do we have not to take the 70th week? Literally, and happening just as the prophet said it would happen. And so you know what we have to look forward to, folks? A shout and a trumpet and the voice of the archangel and the trump of God will sound and when that does, we’ll be gone. And the middle part will be done, the church age will be done, and now the things which shall be hereafter will start at that moment.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. What a book we have. Things which were, things which are, and things which shall be hereafter.
And it has greater testimony to it than any other writing that has ever existed in this world. It’s a roadmap. If you want to get from point A to point B, from your birth to your death, and then stand before your Savior, confident that you will hear, well done, now good and faithful service, then you follow this book. You do what it says. You understand the detail by which it was given and the instruction, and that the author of it is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
He knows every twist and turn along the way. Some have made themselves shipwreck, right? Some have departed, the apostle Paul said, and become shipwrecked, because as a ship that should have been following its course, it gets off course. I read a little, a story this week of a guy who was writing about the sinking of the Titanic.
panic. On April 14, 1912, that huge ship sailing from England to America with 2200 people on board of course struck an iceberg as we know and in a matter of minutes that great ship went under. 1500 people out of the 2200 died. There were 20 lifeboats and they began to lower those lifeboats and people got in them and the shame was that some of them trying to get away from the ship as quickly as they could left half full and had much more room for other people. And the lifeboats were lowered and of course the water was beginning to swirl and the ship was pulling things toward it and so they were rowing as fast as they can to get away from all of that and get out away and yet all around them and there was a testimony in this story of a lady who was still living when this story was written and she described the screams of dying people, drowning people and in the midst of these screams and in the midst of this tragedy here are all these boats and they’re rowing as fast as they can to get away from it all but there was one lifeboat it was lifeboat number 14 and lifeboat number 14 was already pretty full but they heard the screams and the cries of people drowning and so lifeboat 14 turned back and even in the swirling water as much as they could tried to reach the screams of people and pull them on board and as many as they could get on board they did overcrowded and all the rest and they made it okay. And I thought folks our world has lost its way and the ship is going to sink and countries common countries go, nations common nations go, people common people go, churches come and churches go but in this sea that we are in they need a roadmap and people are dying and drowning and you and I have something secure and something to give them and yeah we have to go out of our way yeah we have to take a chance with things to reach these people with the gospel but that is the only way they’re going to be saved. You and I that have this roadmap you and I that have this security let’s do it and if we are on this on this road and you know you have taken a detour and you’ve gone away from what God wants you to be then in your heart bow your heart to God and say oh Lord forgive me of these things and restore me come and be on your knees here even at this altar and confess that sin to God and say I need to get back on the right path I need to be where you want me to be today maybe you don’t even know Christ to save you maybe you’re really one of those sinking in the water and you’ve been crying out for help let me tell you Jesus Christ is the one to save you and the scripture tells shows us plainly how we can receive Him as our personal Savior maybe you need to do that this morning too I want you to stand with me if you will but let’s stand with our heads bowed before we open our song books let’s bow our heads and let’s go to the Lord in prayer and let’s ask His help and His direction at this time now Father we are standing here before you and we have read your word and we have tried our best to understand it without the Holy Spirit’s help we cannot even know it but because we know Christ the Savior we know we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts and so we know also we can ask you for help and you give us the desires of our heart when these desires match your desire the Father we ask for that conviction of the Spirit we ask for that direction of the Spirit this morning we ask Father that you would show us in our own lives in our own hearts where we have veered away from your path help us to come back to what the chart what the scripture what the writing shows us then Father there may be one here today that doesn’t know Christ as Savior maybe this is the time when the Spirit has done that work that only He can do in that heart and maybe they would come and receive Christ today we pray that that would be the case now Father whatever our need is and whatever we need to do I pray that you would guide us in that in Jesus name amen page 338 a song that we sometimes sing it’s a good song for what we know 338 let me remind you even as we do this that maybe you know that you need to be in a church like this next week five o’clock not tonight but a week from tonight if you are wanting to know how to join this church you need to come to that class next week at five o’clock maybe you’ll say today as we sing this song I’m going to go next week and I’m going to take those steps that I need to join this church maybe you’ll do that maybe you’re waiting baptism and here in July we will be baptizing again and maybe you need to start preparing for that and you want to surrender yourself to that or maybe you need to receive Christ to save you meet me here at the front and say this is what I need let someone show you from the word of God how to do that let’s let’s sing on this song you do what God wants you to do