Are You Being Seduced?

The Importance Of Learning How To Resist Temptation.

Matt Stokes
Dec 13, 2020    36m
Has anybody ever tried to tempt or seduce you into doing something that is a sin? If so, this message from Revelation chapter two reminds you of the eternal importance of learning how to resist temptation. Video recorded at Ocean City, New Jersey.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Unknown: 00:02 As the Book of Genesis begins with the origins of the world, Revelation is a Book of the consummation of the world, the divine program of redemption is brought to fruition, Christ is shown as victor before all creation. In the Greek text, the title of this book is Apocalipsis, where we get our word apocalypse, which at its essential meaning actually means the unveiling, the disclosure, or revelation. So the book is a revealing of that which could not be known. And this book is a Book of prophecy, not unlike Daniel or Ezekiel, it is filled with visions, symbols, and imagery that simply need to be understood and put in their proper context. Written by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos, there is a unifying theme. That's why we need to be careful not to call it Revelations, there is a single, critical, central, unifying theme upon which this book centers, and that is the unveiling, revealing of the victory of Christ. These are not the revelations of John, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Matt Stokes: 01:16 Good morning, everyone. We are going to be in Revelation chapter 2 today, so if you want to turn in your Bibles that you are now all bringing to church to Revelation chapter 2, I will be so proud of you. We're in Revelation chapter 2, we're going to start in verse 18. And the name of this messages is are you being seduced? And I will tell you more about that title as we move forward into the message.

Matt Stokes: 01:41 Beginning in Revelation, chapter 2, for the sake of time, I'm going to hit it right away as you're turning there. Revelation chapter 2 says this in verse 18, “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze." A bit of background to help you understand and color what this looks like in terms of the city of Thyatira. Thyatira was a city that was famous, not like the others for being decadent, and for affluence, and for all of the wealth, but they were famous because they had lots of tradesmen, lots of guilds, so there was lots of product that were coming out of this one city called Thyatira. They had people there that actually worked on wood and stone and they had people there would actually work on materials and leather and all different types of garments. You might remember a woman named Lydia from the Acts, it says that she was from Thyatira, and she worked with dying garments and she made a special purple dye and was very wealthy because of the purple dye, which she was able to sell in that particular city in which she lived. And the list goes on stone masons, men that worked with metals, and different types of silver, gold, and brass and all of those things.

Matt Stokes: 03:08 And so they had what they called guilds, most of us know what guilds are. They're similar to unions, but they're different than unions. And they're different in this sense, you know, when you're a union and a non-union workers, sometimes you can have a little bit of friction on the job site, right? So guilds actually worked together, they appreciated each other. Today, if there's a restaurant over here and a restaurant over here, they're in competition with each other. In the days of Thyatira, they enjoyed each other, they were like family together. You had meat and they had cheese, and so they would give you their cheese and you would give them their meat and you both would have full markets, right? And so there was real kind of family type of fellowship between the guilds.

Matt Stokes: 03:52 The interesting thing is most of the guilds also had their own cultic idol, which they worshiped to help bring them more money, or help them make better tools, or make better equipment, or sell more products, or what have you. So it became tough for the Christian to live in this particular community, because they weren't ready to be a part of any Guild. And in other words, let's just say for a minute that Karen was a great sculptor and she sculpted Apollo made of stone, but then you have someone else here, let's just say Kathy, and Kathy worked with gold. And so Karen asked Kathy, if she would take the Apollo statue and cover it with beautiful gold, but Kathy's a believer and Karen's not, now, do you see the friction? Now, the guilds are not working together, and the Christians are sort of being outed from the community.

Matt Stokes: 04:45 So that was what they were struggling with in Thyatira, so he writes to them and he says that this letter comes from the Son of God, which is really powerful. Of course, seeing those guild things, this affected them socially, politically, economically, religiously, it affected the lives of all the people. But who's God, Jesus Christ, and he writes a letter and he says, I'm going to write a letter and tell them the letters coming from the Son of God. Now the Son of God is God himself. You might say, as some do, well, Jesus, isn't really a God. He's just like, you know, he's the Son of God, the Bible says, he's the Son of God. No, when he said that he was the Son of God, he meant that he was God himself. I'll give you an example, I've said this a few times before. James and John in the Bible, you know, they were called the sons of thunder. Well does that mean their father was like thunder? No, it meant they were like thunder, it's a colloquialism, it meant that's what you were like. Right? So when it came to Caesar, they believed that Caesar was the son of a god. But he's saying I am the, definite article, I am the Son of God. Write this letter, this is from the Son of God.

Matt Stokes: 05:55 And then he goes on, and that's how the Romans saw him. And by the way, the Jews also knew that Jesus was God that came down from heaven, because how do you know that? Do you remember when the high priest questioned Jesus during his trial? And he said, art thou the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus said, I am. And the high priest, ripped his garment and said, blasphemy, what more evidence do we need? Because he knew that he was saying that he is [foreign language], he is God come down from heaven.

Matt Stokes: 06:28 John chapter 5, Jesus was talking about the Sabbath day, and how his Father's always working because the Father always works in the world. And as long as the Father's working, I'm working, and Jesus worked on the Sabbath, he healed a man on the Sabbath. And it says in John chapter, I'm sorry, John chapter 5, if you want to write it down. John chapter 5, about verse 18, it says, "Then the Jews sought all the more to kill Jesus because not only did he work on the Sabbath, but he called God his Father, making himself equal with God." Powerful, Right?

Matt Stokes: 07:06 They went to stone, him in John chapter 10, and Jesus said, "I've done many good works in my Father's name, for which of those good works do you stone me? And the religious leaders said for a good work, we stone thee not, but for being a man and making thyself to be God." They understood exactly what he was saying, whether they were the Jews or the Romans. He saying that I'm God, and I'm writing to you right now. And by the way, I'm not just writing, I've got flames of fire coming out of my eyes, and I've got some feet right now that are covered with polished brass. Okay, so I don't think you need to be too astute to know that when there's flames of fire coming out of your eyes, that ain't good for anybody. Like when you're watching a cartoon, and the first person in the cartoon, like gets mad, right? Like steam comes out of their ears, their face turns red, and flames show up in their eyeballs, right? Like it's just universal, we understand flames in your eyeballs is not good.

Matt Stokes: 08:04 And he's coming, and he's saying, I'm coming in a measure of judgment. And that's what the brass, brass is also symbolic of judgment. You might know that from the temple, when they would bring their sacrifice, they were going to be judged. When they brought their sacrifice to offer forgiveness, they would put it on the brazen, which is the brass altar, because the altar of brass was a symbol of judgment. And here Jesus comes, and when he comes, he says, I want you to see I'm coming as the Son of God, with fire in my eyes, and my feet are covered with polished brass. And when you're writing to tradesmen, and guildsmen, in this community, polished brass, they knew exactly what the implication was, and they got exactly what the imagery was. Are you with me? Am I going too fast?

Matt Stokes: 08:48 All right, here I go, keep going, "I know all the things you do. I have seen..." If you've got a pen, this is why I really want you to bring your Bible, look what Jesus sees, "I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things." Holy cow, right? Like, look at what's going on here. I mean, good night, this is the most awesome thing that Jesus could ever say to you. Like I know you, I know that you're loving. By the way, that's agape, I know that you're giving yourself sacrificially to help other people. I know of your faith, that's [foreign language], without faith. It is impossible to please God. Because the one that comes to God must believe that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. The Hebrews, they're there having faith, they're believing, they're trusting, they're leaning on, they're relying on God, himself, and the truth of his word. Then he says that they're serving. That word serving, is the word diakonos, where we get the word deacon. They know their spiritual gifts, and they're using them in the church. And then he says your patient endurance, in the Greek, that's a compound word [foreign language] means under suffering. So he says, I know that you're suffering under intense amounts of pressure.

Matt Stokes: 10:10 And what's even more than that, is the very next thing he says is, and I see that you are what? You're in constant improvement in all of these things. Not only do you have faith, and love, and service, and persistent endure, but you're continuing to grow in all those things. So I want you to be encouraged here today, if those things are marking your life, you know what your spiritual gift is. You're growing deeper in the grace and knowledge of the Jesus Christ, and you're moving forward in your faith. Jesus is blessed, he's encouraged by that.

Matt Stokes: 10:47 But yet, here's the heavy part. Look at what happens in the next verse, "But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols." So somehow there's a woman here, and her name is Jezebel. So let me give you a background on who Jezebel was from the Old Testament. Because as you know, the is apocalyptic literature, that means that what you're really seeing here are types, and images, and shadows, and reflections, of other things from the past. I don't believe this is a real woman named Jezebel, I believe this is a woman that was in the church that was reminiscent of that Jezebel. He says, you let Jezebel into, you permitted her into the fellowship.

Matt Stokes: 11:46 Let me tell you about the original Jezebel, she's in first Kings chapter 16, she's married to a Hebrew King named Ahab, and she seduces him. She seduces him to the degree that Ahab loses all sense of reason when it comes to worshiping God, and he begins to start worshiping all of the people that Jezebel tells him to worship. One in particular, one of the most famous gods of the Old Testament, it's a false God named Baal. And she seduces him in such a way that he creates an altar for Baal, and then she seduces him in such a way that he creates a temple for Baal. And he's falling, this child of Israel is falling farther and further away from God, to the point that it says that Ahab ended up doing more evil before the Lord than any other King before him. That's pretty serious, he even got to the point, if I had the time to tell you, he actually, during some of his construction, he had some of the people that worked for him, kill their children and lay their children in the foundation of the structures they were building, and kill another child and lay it in the wall of the structure they're building to like bless the structure. That is weird, sick and wicked. And how's that all happening? Because Ahab married Jezebel, and somehow she had such a measure of influence over him, that she was able to seduce him into being this type of man, and to distance himself this far from God.

Matt Stokes: 13:21 So the name of this message is, are you being seduced? Have you ever been seduced? Like I never told these stories in church before, just cause they're weird, but I'm just going to tell you because we're here. So here's some new stories. Years ago I was working at another church, and I took crisis calls. And crisis calls could last for a few minutes, a day, or they could last for a week. And I also had people that I reported to, and I had a big yellow legal pad and I would share what I said, and then they'd tell what they said, and they'd give me wisdom on how I should counsel. And after one particular week went by and I shared it with one of the other pastors, he said, yeah, I'd be careful, I think she's trying to seduce you. I'm like seduce me, like that word isn't even in my vocabulary. Right? Like seduce is like a word that I saw in like the movies. So like, I was like, yeah, okay, whatever. But then it ended, there was a knock at my door and it was one of the secretaries, somebody is here to see you. Oh, who is it? It was that woman. She came into my office and sat down and said, I just wanted to see the face of the one who helped me so much. And I'm like, okay, so nice to see you, I'm glad that you were helped. You really helped me. I say, good. I'm glad that God's Word was there and strengthened you in all. She said, no, I just, I had to come in and tell you this, you really helped me. And whenever you need help... Is it that insulting that someone would want to seduce me, that you would have to laugh at the very thought? Why do I even come here? I love you too, don't seduce me. Listen, here's the point, she said, I want you to know if you ever need help, I want you to know that I'll be here for you, do you know what I mean? And I'm like, yeah, I know what you mean. And I was like, oh my gosh, play this right, bye, nice to meet you. Arrivederci, you know, like get this out. I was like, oh my goodness, I couldn't believe this happened.

Matt Stokes: 15:30 I think I did share this story before, where early on in the ministry, I needed an assistant and didn't have one, and this girl offered to be my assistant. And she said, I could help you. I'm like, all right, I got a lot of stuff, what could you help me with? She's like anything, even this, and she took my tie and she straightened it. Do you know how close a woman has to get to you to straighten your tie. And I just remembered you will not be my assistant. Right. And like, you know, cause I was like jing, okay, make sure I get out of this situation. And I'm just saying, I remember being hugged, I'm a hugger. Most of you guys know that, like I'm Irish, I hug, my mom hugs. I kiss my dad, I kissed my uncle one time and he freaked out, because our family, we just kiss each other. You know? So anyway, this woman hugs me at the door, and she hugged me too long and she hugged me too hard. And I had to right away, and in those days my assistant was trained well enough to always keep his eyes on me. And I was just like, do you see that woman over there to the right, she just hugged me too long and too hard. I just want to make sure, that you make sure, that I do not get in proximity with her in this sanctuary. Right? I'm just trying to tell you these things are real, they really happen, and we need to be on guard.

Matt Stokes: 16:47 But what I want to talk to you about today is, spiritual seduction. Okay? How are we possibly being spiritually seduced? Because Jezebel is still alive and well in the church today, and I'm not talking about a real woman, although I believe this woman was real. But listen, I'm going to have to move quickly today, what is the Jezebelian spirit speaking to our church today? It says here, let him who has ears, let him hear what the spirit is saying to the church today. But guess what? There's a Jezebelian spirit that would love to speak to our church today, what do you think she would say? She was filled with the desire for sexual immorality and for idolatry. So in other words, embrace all of your sexual desires, isn't that really what she would be saying today? Because that's sexual immorality, you make your own priorities, you decide your life's priority, you embrace your own sensuality. Do you know what that is? That's sexual immorality, and that's idolatry.

Matt Stokes: 17:52 But here's the thing, it comes much more subtle than that. What would the Jezebelian spirit say today? What would she whisper into the ears of the Coastal Community, to keep us from Christ? Would she whispered to us and say, you know what, you should be praised, and you should be honored, and you should be acknowledged, people don't acknowledge you for your work for what you do here? Would she say, you should be rich, and you should be happy, and you should be comfortable, and you should be healthy all the time? Would she say, you should never be criticized, you should ever be passed over, looked over, or forgotten? Who would she say, would she whispered in your ear, you should never be lonely, you should never be hurt, you should never suffer because these are all the things that my savior went through? And she would do well to keep us from the character of Christ, the heart of Christ, the mind of Christ, as she could keep us from these very things that Christ himself endured and suffered as our savior. And I'm saying, watch out, because Jezebel is alive and well,

Matt Stokes: 19:06 And I could get even more subtle things like lukewarmness, which we'll look at in another church coming up soon. Or how about just being spiritually lazy? Or how about this one, can I have your attention lean into this, how about gossip? I've seen gossip rise up in a church, and that church will fall over and die. And if you've been around church life long enough, you know what I'm talking about, where this group over here is criticizing this other ministry over here. And there's a person over here in ministry, and they thought they had the next position in line for a certain amount of authority, and it was given to someone else, and they're making no small qualms about it as they spread their disappointment throughout the rest of the people in their circle of influence. And the whole church just suffers, and Jezebel just laughs. Selfishness, lack of gratitude, selfish ambition, I'm saying Jezebel is alive and well, and I want to challenge all of us as much as I'm challenging myself to watch out for this spiritual seduction. And here's why, because you could be doing some really great stuff, and if you find yourself being seduced into compromise, then it isn't really worth anything at all. Because Jesus says, love is great, faith is great, serving me and knowing your gifts is great, keep on growing and all that stuff, and it's great. But if you're not loyal to me...Do you have a pen? Just write down this phrase, it's really simple, it's easy to understand, no amount of ministry covers disloyalty. No amount of ministry covers disloyalty. While you're writing that down, no amount of ministry covers disloyalty, I'll just tell you what I mean.

Matt Stokes: 20:59 Here's another story for you. When I was in the university, I was at Cairn, we actually had an apartment of six guys. And out of the six guys, there was one guy that when he used the restroom, this dude, it was stinking, man. This dude blew up the bathroom so bad, that like after he was in there, like it was just talk about quarantine, like you could not go in there for like at least a half an hour. It was like, dude, I don't know what you're eating, but we've got a serious problem, we've got to sit down and talk about this, like group dorm talk. So we got like a big can of Glade, like the most commercial can of Glade, like, you know, rose scented Glade that we possibly could. Stuck it on top of the toilet can, so when he came out of there, he went through the entire can of Glade, and guess what it did? Nothing, the whole room smelled like poop and roses. Poop and roses is emanating out from this room. And what I'm trying to say to you is this, there is no amount of ministry that takes the place of disloyalty, just in the same way, there's no amount of air freshener that was going to fix that restroom. That's why we have to be so on guard against this type of idolatry, immorality, and seduction, that comes from this Jezebelian spirit.

Matt Stokes: 22:25 I'll keep on moving very quickly, he said, by the way, circle that we're permitting, because the problem with the church was is that they were permitting it. And you may have heard this said before, I'm just going to say it again. there's some famous expressions like this, what you permit, you promote. What you permit, you promote. What we permit in this church, is what we promote in this church. What you allow, you encourage. What you allow, you acknowledge. What you condone, you own. What you ignore, you excuse. And then one day you turn around and you find out the church is just a shadow of what it once was, a shell of a church with just a mere echo of a time that once was and no longer is. Because we allow compromise to come in, because why, hey, because we permitted it, and we might as well just promoted it. And all we can do after that, is talk about how God used to work at our church, how there used to be people coming to Christ, how people used to be growing, marriages used to be restored, people used to be getting out of addiction. But the truth is, is we've this Jezebelian spirit to come in and seduce us in such a way, that we are no longer who we once were.

Matt Stokes: 23:56 "She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead." So there's three pieces here. You like to seduce people, you like to seduce Jezebel? Well then I'm going to throw you on a bed, I'm going to throw you on a bed of suffering along with all those others that are permitting you, and also your children. I don't believe it says, I'm going to kill your children. I don't think Jezebel is a real Jezebel, I don't think that these are her real children, these are her followers, you know, and it says he's going to kill them.

Matt Stokes: 24:45 He very well, God has every right to do so you, guys have read First Corinthians, when they were getting drunk on the communion wine, and they were like gluttons eating all the food at the communion feast before the poor people will come. And it says in First Corinthians 11, "There are many sick among you, and even sleep, because of this type of sin and compromise that you've fallen into." So God takes this type of sin very seriously. You might say, oh, I thought I was forgiven. Well, you are forgive, God's love is unconditional. Don't miss this, God's love is unconditional, he loves you unconditionally, but there are conditions upon your obedience that have to do with the rest of your life. That God might love you, and still strike you dead. He loves you unconditionally, but he's removing you from this world because of the way that you still aren't letting go of this particular sin. That isn't always the case, maybe I would even say not even most of the time the case, but sometimes it's the case. And it's the case here, where they're allowing this seducing spirit to come into the church, they're permitting it. And what they're permitting ends up being promoting, and he's saying, if you do that, she's going to suffer, and her followers are going to suffer.

Matt Stokes: 26:03 "Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve." The thoughts and intentions. The word thoughts there in the Greek is literally the word kidneys. Isn't that funny, because in ancient, Hebraic times, they thought that the deepest thoughts that came forth from you, and the deepest emotion, they came from your kidneys. They would actually say, I love you from my kidney, like that was what they said when they really loved you. Do you know what I mean? So what he's saying is, is I know all your thoughts and I know all of your heart, and I know these things, and to every person I'm going to get to each you what you deserve. You know what that tells me, that tells me that there's a mixed multitude going on here. That somewhere in this church of Thyatira, there were genuine believers and there were false believers. Somewhere in this ministry, there were genuine pastors and there were false teachers, there were genuine prophets and there were false prophets, and one of them is named Jezebel. And God says, look, I know all of you, and I know all your thoughts, and I know all your intentions. I just want to let you know, knowing all of that, I'm going to come and I'm going to divide to each one of you, and I'm going to give you what you deserve. I know, powerful.

Matt Stokes: 27:18 So let's move next verse 24, "But I also have a message for..."And this is an important word to circle, "For the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). You have to understand the language and the syntax here, he's using a bit of sarcasm. A lot of these cults, they had secret knowledge, and some of the gods they worshiped were the gods of knowledge and the gods of secrets, and if you came to them, you would receive secret knowledge. People love secrets, people love to know something that no one else knows. I know something you don't know, however that song went when you were a little kid, it's like when we grow up, it's like we never lose that. There's something about gossip, there's something about secret knowledge, there's something about knowing what other people don't know, that's kind of just makes you more powerful, makes you more significant, makes you more desirable to be part of my group. He's saying to not fall into that type of secret type of seduction, as it were.

Matt Stokes: 28:24 I have something to you, for the rest of you, who aren't going to fall into that. This what he says, he says to them, "I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have." I'm not going to ask anything. Your Bible might say, "I place no other burden upon you." There's a word here he's using, "Hold tight to what you have." And by the way, in the Greek, this expression hold tight is a very aggressive word. It's the word that was used when they arrested Jesus in the garden, and it says they took hold of him and arrested him, same word. Earlier I was talking about what happens if your cattle falls in a pit on the Sabbath day, will you not reach down and take him out? That word to reach down and take him out, that's the same word being used here. Do you know it's power, and strength, and aggressiveness, you have to have to reach down into a pit and pull out cattle. That's the word he's using here, hold tight to what you already have.

Matt Stokes: 29:32 Okay. Okay. What do I already have? The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the shed blood of Jesus Christ on cross for the forgiveness of sin, so you can be forever forgiven, so that you can have the hope of heaven. You've been given spiritual gifts, so that, look and listen, so that you can love, so that you can have greater faith, and it can get abound more and more unto the day of Christ. As it says in the Gospel, so that you can grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. [Foreign language] You have the gifts of the Holy Spirit that have been given to you, so that you can serve the church and be built up, and you're continuing to grow in all of these things. These are the things to which you need to hold tight. Your Bible might say, hold fast, hold fast, hold on to these things.

Matt Stokes: 30:17 How long? How long, here's how long, "Until I come." If there was ever three little words to circle in your Bible, it's right here, "Until I come." You hold fast until he comes, he's coming, and he's looking for those who are going to be faithful to him until the day that he returns. "To Him who is victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots, They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! Anyone with ears, let them hear what the Spirit has to say to the church today." So here is how he typically closes each letter, is with this challenge in this word of encouragement. If you're going to be that one that wrestles and overcomes in life, if you're going to be wrestler, and you're going to be victorious over these things of which we're discussing today, I've got something for you, and that is that you are going to partner with me in my authority.

Matt Stokes: 31:30 Now, I don't know how to explain all of this, and when we get to this place in the Book of Revelation, we'll talk more about it. But somehow it says in the scriptures, particularly in the Book of Revelation, and in about three other places, that we are going to reign in authority with Christ. And that always kind of put me into a quandary, because I always thought to myself, well, reign over who? Aren't we all like going to heaven? Whom we reigning over? Actually no, there's something before eternity in heaven, and that's called The Millennium. And after the rapture and the second coming, and I'm not here to draw sacred timelines for everybody, at least not right now, but after the rapture and the second coming, there's a time called The Millennium. And during The Millennium, those who survived the tribulation, will enter into The Millennium, because they gave their lives to Christ during that tribulation period. And guess what? They will have children, and those children will have to make a choice, whether they choose to commit and surrender their lives to Christ, or they decide to follow Satan. And if you read the scriptures, you know that Satan will rise again. And he will, if it is possible, he will try to tempt them, and lead them into sin, it actually says he'll even try to tempt the elect. But the point is, is when you get to heaven, there are different levels of leadership, right? There's different levels of authority. And Jesus is saying, yo, I'm the one who's got like a crowbar. Imagine getting a crowbar of iron, and just like smashing a clay pot in your backyard, can you imagine how that would shatter? Like a thousand pieces, right? He's saying judgment during the millennium, it's going to be swift, and it's going to be sure, and it's going to be strong. And I'm saying, if you endure with me, and you live this type of lifestyle where you do not permit the spirit of Jezebel to enter into your family, into your community, into your church, into your fellowship, and you hold on tightly to what is given to you already, then I am going to put you in a place of authority next to me. Remember Jesus said, all power and authority has been given unto me, go ye therefore and make disciples. Well, guess what? He hasn't lost that authority, that authority hasn't left him, he still has it. And like in some kind of sacred condescendence, he wants to share it with you. Remarkable.

Matt Stokes: 33:53 And then he says, "And I will give you the morning star!" Do you know what the morning star is? The morning star is Jesus. Later on in the Book of Revelation you'll see that it says that he is the bright and morning star. She's like, I'm going to give you, okay, I'm not just going to give you authority, I'm going to give you myself, which is another way of saying that I'm going to give you salvation and all the promises that come with heaven. Remember I said, I'd go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, you may also be. Like, I'm giving you all the things that come with me. It says in the Old Testament, "That though you lived in darkness, behold, a light shall come, a light unto the Gentiles, a light unto the lost nations of the world, which will bring salvation and hope to all people." Right? That's the morning star, the morning star is Jesus. But also it's symbolic of a light in the midst of darkness, is who Jesus is. I am the light of the world, Jesus said, the one who follows after me will never walk in darkness again, but will have the light of life. Jesus says in the Gospel of John, these are the promises that he gives unto you and I today, if you and I will rise up right now today from this place, and we will go forth from here and we will do this, do what? There's two things he's calling us to do. One, we do not permit the Jezebelian spirit to enter into this place, we say no to gossip, we say no to lukewarmness, we say no to spiritual laziness, we say no to judgmental spirits, we say no to being ungrateful, we say no to being selfish, we say no to being selfishly ambitious, and we hold tight to what is fast. And with that, Amen.

Recorded in Ocean City, New Jersey.
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