Simpang Borobudur no 27 Malang
Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 16:8-9
16:8. Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
16:9. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

The fourth bowl of the wrath of God is poured out on the sun to scorch men on the earth with fire up to perdition in the hell forever. Men who are still alive although they have been punished do not want to repent up to being unable to repent; even they blaspheme God. They must experience the scorching fire in the hell forever.
It is the lesson for us. We must use God's longsuffering to repent, so we keep receiving the sunshine of God's love up to the eternal life.

There are five things that are punished by the scorching fire as follows:

  1. The sins up to the peak.
  2. The servants of God who minister to Him with the profane fire.
  3. The people who yield to intense craving or the mixed multitude.
  4. The priests who leave the true ministry to God and turn to the false teachings.
  5. The people who like to oppress others.

ad. 5.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
1:6. since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
1:7. and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

The burning fire refers to the one of glory on the glorious clouds. For those who are left in the world, it refers to the scorching fire. Those who like to trouble others will surely be punished from now on up to the eternal punishment.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
1:3. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,
1:4. so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
1:5. which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;

God allows us to experience the tribulations, so we enter into His will up to perfection in the heavenly kingdom forever.
God allows the tribulations to happen from era to era as follows:

  1. The early age.
    Genesis 21:8-10
    21:8. So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned.
    21:9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham,
    21:10. Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac."

    Scoffing means troubling others. The tribulation of the early age was represented by Ishmael who was jealous of Isaac, so he scoffed and troubled him. Isaac was the son of the promise, namely the heir of Abraham. The false man will surely scoff or trouble the true one like Cain to Abel.
    Why is it so?

    Genesis 16:11-12
    16:11. And the Angel of the LORD said to her: "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.
    16:12. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

    Ishmael was Abraham's descendant from Hagar who was like a wild man. It means not being shepherded but walking about to follow the lust and desire of the flesh, so one lives in the sins up to the peak. He is against as well as troubles and scoffs the true servant of God.

    Why did God allow Ishmael to trouble Isaac? (verse 10) To make the firm separation or expulsion between Isaac and Ishmael until they could not meet or become one anymore. It refers to the separation between the fleshly church that does not inherit heaven and the true one that will inherit the heavenly kingdom forever. The true servant of God must drive out and separate all of fleshly and sinful deeds that do not inherit heaven, so we become the heirs of the eternal kingdom of heaven. We can receive the blessing of Abraham up to the descendants.

    Galatians 5:19-21
    5:19. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
    5:20. idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
    5:21. envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  2. The age of the church of the first rain.
    Acts 22:23-25
    22:23. Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,
    22:24. the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.
    22:25. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"

    The tribulation of the church of the first rain was represented by Paul who was troubled by the Jews. Paul the apostle was bound with thongs. It is contradictory to Judas Iscariot who fell headlong.

    Acts 1:18
    1:18. (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.

    Judas Iscariot fell headlong. It means hugging the earth. Judas Iscariot refers to the church of God who loves the earth, especially the love of money, so he cannot love God but betrays even sells Him. Judas Iscariot also refers to the servant of God who ministers to Him for money, position, or other physical advantages. Consequently, Judas used the money of selling Jesus to buy the grave land. It means that all things that we receive when we betray the true teaching Word will be in vain. Hugging the earth is like a snake. It means becoming the same as the Antichrist who controls finance. He burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. It means living in the decay of sins up to the peak which will be exposed by God but there is no more forgiveness. He will be destroyed in the hell forever.

    On the contrary, Paul the apostle was bound with thongs because of the true teaching Word. Do not betray the true teaching Word for the worldly thing! If we are bound like Paul, we will face heaven. Paul the apostle refers to the church of God who always faces God to be behind the world. It means loving God more than anything in the world. The fact found in it is that Paul the apostle kept worshipping in the tribulation (being put in the jail or handcuffed). The true worship is encouraged by the Word (truth) and spirit.

    Acts 16:24-26
    16:24. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
    16:25. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
    16:26. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.

    John 4:23-24
    4:23. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
    4:24. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

    The perseverance in committing Prayer Service is started from the one in the fellowship (Holy Spirit) and the one in the apostles' doctrine and breaking of bread (the Word). It is like the church of the first rain.

    Acts 2:41-42
    2:41. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
    2:42. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    The church of God who has believed in Jesus, repented, and been reborn by water and the Spirit (receiving the water and Holy Spirit baptism) will receive a new life, namely life in righteousness. We are saved and set free from the scorching fire; even we are blessed by God. The water baptism is useful to increase the quantity of the church of God until it fulfills God's measurement.

    After being baptized by water and Holy Spirit, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to face the temptations of Satan.
    After we live in righteousness and become saved, we will experience the tribulation like the experience of Paul and Jesus, so the flesh can be driven out, and we can be 'on our back'. It means loving God more than the worldly thing.

    We can persevere in the three kinds of main service to God in the sheepfold as follows:

    • The perseverance in committing General Service. We have fellowship with Holy Spirit God.
    • The perseverance in committing Bible Study Service and Holy Communion. We have fellowship with the Son of God in the Word and Christ's sacrifice or Holy Communion.
    • The perseverance in committing Prayer Service. We have fellowship with God the Father in His love.

    Thus, our body, soul, and spirit firmly attach to the trinity of God. We cannot be seen or touched by the trinity of Satan. We are safe in the hands of God. The shock (the great earthquake) becomes the test of faith, and the freedom gets closer.

    Acts 16:26
    16:26. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.

    God allows us to face the increasing problem to become the test of perseverance. It is useful to increase our perseverance and spirituality. We do not increase in quantity only, but also quality, so we can reach the number of three thousand. It refers to the volume of the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. We can live in holiness up to perfection like Jesus. The tribulation brings us to the perseverance.

    Committing sin is the same as being put in the jail in the world. If the doors are opened, we will be set free. All problems are finished. We have the beautiful and successful future until the door of heaven is opened for us. We must persevere; even if only one in the household is shepherded, because there is the guarantee of salvation and the heavenly bliss for our family.

    Acts 16:27,30
    16:27. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
    16:30. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

  3. The age of the church of the last rain (the last days).
    1 Peter 4:12-14
    4:12. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
    4:13. but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
    4:14. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

    The church of God on the last days must also experience the increasing tribulation, the sprinkling of blood, or the fiery trial. It is the same as entering into the Most Holy Place. The peak is that the Antichrist reigns over the world for three and a half years. 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, because they do not need to face the Antichrist. We who are still alive until God comes a second time must face the Antichrist, at least pre-persecution of the Antichrist

    God allows us to experience the tribulation, so we are separated from the fleshly men and deed, and we can live in righteousness as well as be shepherded well and correctly. We also appreciate Christ's sacrifice.

    John 16:7
    16:7. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

    Jesus died, but He was risen and ascended to heaven to pour out Holy Spirit for us. God allows the tribulation, so we receive Holy Spirit or Shekinah Glory. It is our strength on the last days to face the Antichrist.

    The usefulnesses of Holy Spirit or the Spirit of glory are as follows:

    • Psalm 78:23-25
      78:23. Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven,
      78:24. Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven.
      78:25. Men ate angels' food; He sent them food to the full.

      The Spirit of glory opens the doors of heaven for us. God gives the shepherding Word or angel's food, namely the repeated true teaching Word which is entrusted to a shepherd to become the spiritual food for the congregation. As a result, the congregation experiences the spiritual satisfaction (being full), so they do not need to look for the worldly satisfaction or bring it to the church of God. Do not be conformed to this world! If we are full, we will surely be quiet or peaceful even though in the midst of the winds and waves. The Spirit of glory is God's hands that carry us, so we become quiet. We can surrender, give thanks, and worship God. Further, we can grow to the spiritual maturity by eating the spiritual food that makes us full and quiet.

    • Psalm 105:39
      105:39. He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.

      The Spirit of glory protects us in the wilderness of the world. It means that we are protected and taken care of in the midst of the crisis of the world. We are taken care of abundantly until we can give thanks to God and become the blessing for others. We are protected and evacuated from the Antichrist who will reign over the world for three and a half years. We are directly taken care of by God in the wilderness of the evacuation.

      The pillars of cloud and fire also protect us from destruction in the world. It also protects our marriage and children. The thing that has been destroyed can be good before God.

    • Psalm 78:14
      78:14. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire.

      The Spirit of glory leads us to the New Jerusalem (Canaan). It means as follows:

      • We do not stumble or fall in sins up to the peak, so we can live in righteousness and holiness.
      • We are not lost, but keep on being in the line of the true teaching Word, ministry, and worship.
      • Holy Spirit renews us from the fleshly men to the spiritual ones like Jesus, starting from the attic of Jerusalem.

      The examples are as follows:

      • Peter who was great could lie and deny Jesus. But when Holy Spirit was poured out, he could confess about Jesus before three thousand men. Actually, he was not obedient although he was the oldest disciple, so he returned to go fishing. Peter could obey God to become the fisher of men by Holy Spirit. It we become obedient and honest, we will become the house of prayer.

      • Thomas had faith by seeing, not hearing the Word. Faith by seeing means not believing. Thomas could believe because of Holy Spirit. He had the true faith until he died for God.

      • Mary Magdalene who had seven demons (uncleanness) could return to live in righteousness and holiness.

      Holy Spirit helps us to become strong and of good courage, namely being honest, believing, and being holy and obedient. We just hope the working of Holy Spirit in the midst of us, so the physical miracle will surely happen. Holy Spirit is able to make the impossible thing becomes possible; even He makes us perfect when Jesus comes a second time. We become the heavenly bride who is ready to greet His coming. We enter the One-Thousand-Year Kingdom of Peace (the upcoming Paradise) and the New Jerusalem forever.

God blesses us.

Print Version

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Lfe experience with the Word of God

Sermon transcript from church service in Malang and Surabaya, preached by Pastor Widjaja Hendra.

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