Alan Smith leads us through the last two chapter of Revelation as we learn about the new heaven and new earth and Jesus’s words to us before He comes. We see not only earth will be changed but so will heaven. The earth will not be destroyed but born again just as man is made new when accepting Jesus as their savior. The two are parallel, two symbols and realities going on side by side. Jerusalem will be the capitol of the whole new earth. It will be a dwelling place of God that will come down out of heaven inhabiting everyone. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain for the old has passed away. What will this city look like? What is God’s plan of redemption for the earth? And what is the message Jesus has for us right before the second coming? Those questions and more are answered in this final teaching of Revelation.
In this teaching, Alan Smith leads us through the thousand years of Satan being bound, Satan’s judgment and the judgment of the dead, and then transitions into the new heaven and the new earth. Revelation teaches us how the second coming is about the visible arrival of glory and power to reclaim the earth from the devil and its angels and fulfill an earthly promise.Knowing that, why would God bind Satan only to then let him loose 1,000 years later? Alan Smith offers us the insight that perhaps Satan is not Jesus’s main project. Perhaps it is mankind. The temptation of the devil will seize when he is bound yet sin will still be here. The devil’s absence is to proof to man there is evil in him so he can take full ownership of where he is and have no excuse for not believing. We need to understand the importance of salvation, the lengths God will go for us to follow Jesus. Our names being written in the book of life should evoke our greatest rejoicing.
The heart of Paul’s gospel is the revelation of Jesus himself. Paul does not want any recognition but always speaks of what Jesus has done through him. He is teaching that our total dependence is on God. It is never about us but what Christ does in us. He preaches the gospel and rejoices wherever he goes in his service to God. We can see just how far his preaching of the gospel was reaching by the thirty-three names mentioned in chapter 16. He divides his writings to them in three parts; greetings to the brothers and sisters in Rome, a brief warning of phony Christians who were there in Rome, and greetings to the brothers who were with Paul as he wrote. Paul’s goal is for the people to be established in the gospel to be able to preach according to the revelation of the mystery of Jesus. It is by doing that all that has been written in the book of Romans will be seen in one’s life. Where the mystery is proclaimed there is life. In this teaching, Alan Smith uses scripture and insight to reveal Paul’s messages to the thirty-three people and show us what the mystery is.
We pick up this teaching in chapter 19 of Revelation where John begins telling his account of the second coming of Jesus Christ. We begin first with the twenty-four elders and an unknown voice that calls for all of the heavens to start praising. It is revealed through this that the thunderous noise mentioned prior in the book is the sound of great worship. They are announcing the arrival of the wedding of the Lamb. Alan Smith goes into further detail using scripture to reveal to us the identity of the bride, how the bride is prepared for its union with the Lord, and the invitation to the wedding. Proceeding the announcement is the arrival of Jesus on a white horse with an army following Him emerging from a portal in heaven. John writes in detail how He returns, His appearance, and His actions as the great battle with the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies ensues. We come to see that Isaiah and John share similar accounts thousands of years after one another of Jesus’s return. That poses a question to us; is what we are reading what we are to expect?
In Romans chapter 14 and 15, Paul approaches the problem with Roman church of how they are to handle their differences with their brothers and sisters. Everyone in the faith is at a different mile marker. Where we are in the spiritual road determines what we see and what freedom God gives us. Our judgement, our projection of our own revelations onto others, and our need to control serve as obstacles on the path of others. God asks us to lay down our freedoms for the weaker so they do not stumble and fall. We are to not destroy the work of God for the sake of our own freedom. Unity is more important than our personal convictions. But how are we to behave to bring joy and not division? What happens within us and through us as we follow God’s command to be true to our own conscience? How does the enemy try to stop us from trusting the Lord with others and what is our weapon against it? Alan Smith answer those questions and more in this teaching.
Chapter 18 of Revelation addresses the fall of Babylon. Babylon’s fall was the result of two things; its extent of influence and immorality and the murder of God’s people. It is the proof of God’s judgement. Babylon appropriated God’s work to man. It made the clergy the church, believing the people are the anointed ones. This religious spirit that came in through the hierarchy struggle had an influence over the earth. People and merchants wept as the city fell and businesses were ruined. People, captured by the addictive spirit of materialism, had put aside their faith in Christ for power and a devotion to a false system of peace and entitlement that can never sustain. All talents and crafts were taken from them. But as Babylon destructed, heaven rejoiced for one huge reason; it means revival could fall on the people. So what does that tell us about how we are living today and how it is blocking God’s move? In this teaching, Alan Smith shows us through the symbolism of Babylon what we need to change in ourselves for revival to come.
In Romans, Paul is addressing the debatables of scripture. We approach this teaching with one question; how are we to respond to a Christian who thinks differently than we do? Chapter 14 deals with the answer to that. Paul is giving us a greater understanding of the commandment to love one another. Using two viewpoints (those who eat meat and those who do not), Paul takes this example to give us revelation of how God thinks when we have a difference in doctrine and thus how we are to behave. Our love is to be genuine, universal, serving, patient, and tolerant of other people’s views. We are not to judge or lookdown on those who are more or less free than us. Paul is saying our relationship with one another is more important than our lifestyle. Does that mean we are to excuse all behavior? What does this type of love look like? What do the accepting of differences have to do with our state of truth and freedom? Alan Smith answers those questions and more in this teaching.
In Chapter 18 of Revelation John addresses the fall of Babylon. Babylon is being used symbolically. It is a true city built by a king unto himself but what it also represents is the Babylon in us; us building within ourselves a great city in which to display our own glory and power that is dishonoring God. Nebuchadnezzar built a temple of Baal in Babylon which was entered into by the Ishtar Gate. To walk through this archway meant you were coming into the presence of Satan. This gate has since been unearthed and rebuilt in Berlin. Why is this gate of significance? We have to have the gate to have the power of the demonic. It is a portal for Satan, and we are experiencing hell being released in this world through it. We are in worse shape than we want to admit, but what do we do about it? How has God prepared us? How is Satan trying to stop us from using our anointing to give the gospel to the world in this time of need? Alan Smith answers those questions and more in this teaching.
In chapter 13 of Romans, Paul is speaking about Christians in relationship to government for all authority is established by God. Although it appears our country is getting darker, we must remember God sets up all forms of government and appoints every leader so there is no thinking the enemy is winning and God is not in control. It is our own behavior as we remove ourselves from truth and morality that has us ending up where we are heading. We are to obey authority for any rebellion is not just against the establishment but God himself. Because we understand God placed all this, we follow government laws not for the fear of punishment but to have a clear conscious and be right before God. Like we are to pay taxes, we are to pay a debt to God as well; a debt to love everyone as He loves the earth. He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. In this teaching, Alan Smith takes us deeper into the function and purpose of the government and how it relates to us embodying Christ like love.
In Romans chapter 12, Paul addresses the offering of ourselves as living sacrifices to God. It is an act of true spiritual worship to give our bodies to Him. But why does He want them? When Paul refers to the body he is talking about nature, and our nature is the thing fighting against God. That is the part of us that needs to be sacrificed to be with Him completely. He does not tell us to be anything but what we are when we come to Him. In our imperfections, we offer ourselves. It is through that God can clean us. We know if we have given our body as a living sacrifice for two reasons; we no longer conform to the pattern of this world and we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. That means we stay humble in service and in how we think about ourselves and we live demonstrating God’s love in action. Alan Smith leads us in this teaching showing us the why and the what of offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to God.