Sunday – April 28, 2013, “How Do You Understand Old Testament Prophecy?”

April 28, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

How Do You Understand Old Testament Prophecy? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Everyone seems to have a opinion when it comes to the Scripture. Depending on where they went to school or what denomination they come from, opinions run all over, especially when it comes to Old Testament prophecy. So how do you know who is right? Even more, how can you understand for yourself what oes the Bible teach? Elder Thom Rachford takes us through Zechariah 12 breaking down the text so everyone can see for themselves what God is foretelling and explains simple questions you can ask for yourself as to the meaning and the purpose of God’s plan for His people.

Word On Worship – April 28, 2013 Download / Print

 II Timothy 16-17
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Often we can read God’s Word and come to certain conclusions about what it says and what it means to us. The process of looking into God’s Word to reach conclusions about His plans is the natural process the Lord has set up. He has given us the inner desire to know him and he has chosen to reveal himself and His plans for us through His scripture as we spend time in it.

We know the Lord usually does not reveal everything in only one section of scripture. He usually does not outline His plan or spiritual principle by listing step one in detail, then step two in detail, step three in detail, and so on. Frequently the steps or concepts are found in various portions of scripture and the whole of scripture has to be studied to fully grasp what the Lord is saying and what he wants in response from us.

This is good. For as, humans in this time in history, we tend to want it all wrapped up in one short package that we can consume in a very short time. In His wisdom the Lord has placed portions of His plans in various places. This requires us to fully study the complete message of God if we want to understand His communications.

Sometimes we approach God’s Word with pre-conceived ideas about His plan. These ideas may come from well-meaning counselors or even false teachers who want to make their comments sound good. More often preconceived ideas come from our own desires, fears, or human “wisdom.” We like what makes us feel good or seems to be an easy way or builds up pride in our own abilities or deeds. Then it is easy to find those passages or individual scriptures that support our view or seem to support our foregone conclusions. When we don’t find specific passages to support these conclusions we may distort or misquote the scripture to make them appear to support. Once we think we have the answers, human nature prompts us to not seek any further scriptural truth about the subject. This is the way heresy, false teaching and apostasy gain prominence and control. And in turn, the heresy, false teaching, and apostasy lead further away from studying the totality of scripture. It is a downward spiral.

The antidote to the downward spiral of erroneous views or incorrect interpretation is daily study of God’s word accompanied by prayer. Daily study has some conditions. First, ask the Lord to clear away our misconceptions and to reveal His truth in the scriptures even when the revelation does not agree with what we had made up as truth in our mind. Second, the daily study must eventually include all the scriptures, even those that seem boring or dealing with Old Testament actions or less than interesting genealogies. Third, we must take God’s Word as literal unless it is clearly allegorical or symbolic. We must take scripture literally even when the scripture seems to defy the rules of nature. Our God is the creator of nature and nature’s laws and can and does overrule them when it suits His purpose. He is, after all, the God of miracles. Daily study of the Word will lead us to a right view of God, His plan for relationship with man, our salvation, growth and blessing.

Sunday – April 21, 2013, “Remember, Obey and Be Thankful”

April 21, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Remember, Obey and Be Thankful from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Does it seem like your walk with the Lord is a boring repetition of that actions day in and day out? It certainly must have felt that way for Israel during their 40 years in the Wilderness. For 40 years they ate the same food, worn the same clothing that did not wear out and followed the same commands of God. It was so easy for them to forget why they were doing the things they were doing. And it is the same with you and I. We fail to remember the faithfulness of God and then begin to disobey thinking all we have is from our effort and innovation only to fail to be thankful for the grace and provision of God. Join Elder Ken McAuley in this insightful journey through Deuteronomy 8 and take this important reminder to heart.

Word On Worship – April 21, 2013 Download / Print

Deuteronomy 8:1-2
“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers.  “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 

God wanted to know whether or not His people would pay attention to Him. He is still doing the same thing today. He leads us into and through tough times to see if we will turn our attention to Him. He promised to lead them into a rich land full of milk and honey if they would keep His commandments. They didn’t pass the test and spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness. He used those 40 years to try to get their attention so that they would teach their children to do what they refused to do, trust in the Lord their God.

How many years will it take the Lord our God to get our attention as He takes us through rough places in our lives until we realize that we can’t always do on our own what it takes to provide for our families, make our business successful, win that tournament, etc. Sometimes even our friends can’t help. He only wants us to acknowledge Him so that He can give us His blessing. It may not be what we want and how we want it, but it will be better than we could have imagined in the long run.

God provided water out of a rock (unexpected), clothing that did not wear out (unexpected), manna and quail for food (unexpected). What do you suppose He could do for you in your circumstance? Does it have to be what you would expect?  He doesn’t have to operate within the box. All He wants you to do is keep His commandments. Jesus said, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)  That sums up the 10 commandments for us today if we will listen to Him.

God provided His sacrifice to provide redemption for us who don’t even know we need it. The wanderers in the wilderness needed it and offered sacrifices for their sin as the Lord their God demanded so that He could deal with them. Without those sacrifices He would not have been able to even look upon them because of His righteousness. It is the same today. We need to realize that we need salvation from the wilderness of Hell that we are doomed for if we don’t acknowledge that God has provided the only way that works for Him. And He is the God of Heaven. Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6). If you can accept this, then your hope is to dwell with the Father in Heaven (our promised land) for Eternity. This message is for the people of God. Are you included?

Elder Ken McAuley



Sunday – April 14, 2013, “The Proper Wife”

April 14, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

The Proper Wife from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

The prophetic allegory in the Old Testament illuminates the New Testament.

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John 5:39-40
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

As the speaker, Jesus is referring to what we now call the Old Testament. Today, many assume that because we have a New Testament that the Old one is nullified or at best a historic curiosity and at worst a mythical depiction of a vengeful, almost sadistic God. Indeed, there are Christian groups and denominations that say they would not follow or want a God who would tell the Jews to slaughter the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. They only want a God of LOVE. And that love is defined by their limited understanding and desires, not necessarily as defined by God and revealed in the scripture Jesus is addressing.

However, Jesus gave validity to the Old Testament. He quoted the scriptures of the Old Testament a multitude of times, referring to them as absolute truth from God the Father. The problem is not that the scriptures are out of date, as some suggest. The problem is many don’t study the Old Testament, and don’t know the scriptures well enough to see the truth clearly. What they see they discount because it does not fit their preconceived notions. Also, they believe false assessments and interpretations of those who are advancing another gospel cleverly disguised as truth by their language or sincerity. The truth is that God the Father has revealed his plan for man’s salvation throughout the Old Testament.

This revelation is purposely deep enough to prevent a casual reader, curiously interested in the intellectual and informational content only, from grasping God’s deep truths. Yet, the revelation is simple enough for the sincere seeker to see the completeness and unity of God’s plan for the redemption of mankind throughout both Testaments. The plan remains unchanged from the God who is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. And Jesus makes it clear in John 5:39 that the scriptures testify about him – as the redeemer of mankind. As Jesus often said, “let he who has ears hear and he who has eyes see.”

Today, we have an advantage – we see the Old Testament through the magnifying glass of the New Testament. We can more easily see Jesus and his redemption through his sacrifice in the pages of the Old Testament. For example, in Isaiah 9:6,7 we see the prophesied miraculous birth of Jesus the savior and his reign as king in his kingdom forever. In Genesis Chapter 5 we see God’s complete plan of salvation of man explained by joining the root meaning of the succession of names in the chronology from Adam to Noah.

In the Genesis account of Abraham and Isaac we again see God’s salvation plan in an innocent willing to be sacrificed. Through Abraham and Isaac, we see the miraculous birth of a son, followed by a father willing to sacrifice this only son, the providing of the real sacrifice by God himself and finally the choosing of a willing and perfect bride for the son. All are prophetic allegories of the purchase of the bride of Christ for salvation and new life with him. Let he who has ears hear and he who has eyes see.

Sunday – April 7, 2013, “The Promise”

April 7, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

The Promise from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

We often look at the Old Testament as being a collection interesting stories of long ago. Why has the Lord included these stories in his word? What is the purpose of these stories? Are they more than just stores? How do they speak to us today? How do they reveal God’s plan?

We begin our exploration by taking a deeper look at the significance of the Old Testament stores concerning the events surrounding Abraham, the birth of his son, Isaac and the call for the sacrifice of Isaac.

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1 Samuel 18:1-4
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

I do not know what David said to Saul that impressed Jonathan – his faith in God, his humble spirit or the care David had for the people of Israel; but it is clear from this point forward they were kindred spirits. We also know David and Saul will struggle for the remainder of Saul’s days. For better or for worse, Jonathan and Saul will represent the two possible responses people in Israel will have to David and his kingdom.

Jonathan provides the most excellent picture of the love that God requires of us toward His Son. This is symbolized so beautifully when Jonathan removes his robe and armor to provide them to David. Throughout the Bible, the robe is the outward representation of authority. In Genesis, it was the robe given to Joseph that symbolized his authority in Jacob’s home. Before Aaron died (Numbers 20:22-28) his priestly garments were removed so that they could be worn by his son Eliezar. Even in the gospels the woman with the issue of blood looked to just to touch the hem of Jesus robe, the symbol of his authority while he was here on earth. The offering made by Jonathan is not “above the call of duty” but rather the fulfillment of his duty.

Saul’s response to David is similar to the disciples; and sadly, of many in the church today – jealousy, competition and self-recognition. The disciples were continually looking to see who would be the greatest in the kingdom, and indignant with any other disciple that seemed to outdo them. Jesus had to continually remind them that the first will be last while the last is first and in Mark 9:35 “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Saul failed to grasp this truth as well.

Today, all who are born of the Spirit are given a spiritual gift or gifts to enable them to excel in the ministry they have been called as a blessing to others in the Body of Christ. We can both rejoice in the strengths God has given to others and seek to benefit from their ministry or we can resist them with a competitive spirit. How much criticism of those serving the Lord is rooted in jealousy and envy rather than faithfulness to God and His Word? Let each one here guard against jealousy. Many wonderful things in ministry are obscured by the ugly face of jealousy because we have made ministry about how it will make us appear to the world around us.

Sunday – March 31, 2013 – Lessons from the Empty Tomb

March 31, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Easter 2013: Lessons from the Empty Tomb from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

It is very easy to read the story of the women at the tomb of our Lord and to expect a very different message from the angels. When I consider my shortcomings and lack of faith, I hear the angels prepare a word of rebuke at why these women failed to take Jesus at His word at rising again on the third day. How many other things has Jesus spoken to us in the gospels that we acknowledge as Scripture but still fail to truly take Jesus at His word?
Join us this Resurrection Sunday at we “Learn From the Empty Tomb” lessons on taking Jesus at His word for life and living from the Gospel of John 20 verses 1 to 18.

Word On Worship – March 31, 2013 Download / Print

John 20:11-13
But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

It is very easy to read the story of the women at the tomb of our Lord and to expect a very different message from the angels.  When I consider my shortcomings and lack of faith, I hear the angels prepare a word of rebuke at why these women failed to take Jesus at His word at rising again on the third day. How many other things has Jesus spoken to us in the gospels that we acknowledge as Scripture but still fail to truly take Jesus at His word?

This is a teachable moment in the lives of these women, just as you and I have teachable moments when the Lord calls us closer to look and see, testing for ourselves that the validity of His promises is sure and not to throw away our confidence which yields great reward. Jesus is no longer in the tomb, but the evidence remains — the linen wrappings lying there with the face cloth rolled up to the side. No disciple has come to remove the body or any enemy to pillage the tomb. Jesus has yet again kept His word.

There is a time to believe the promises of God as a child believes a parent when told to be ready for school in the morning. But there comes a time when each one of us must learn by faith to believe the Word of God is unfailingly true. We will experience the prick of our doubts, just as the women must have felt when the angels reminded them in Matthew 28:6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” This resurrection Sunday is the day for us to move forward, past our previous doubts and failures, into the realm of faith. Not understanding how God will do what He has promised, but believing He who has promised is faithful, and will bring it to pass for our good and His glory.

For the church to believe Jesus rose from the dead is fine, but it is not enough. We need to personally understand what kind of Savior rose from the dead. He is the same loving Redeemer who healed the sick, comforted the mourning and died for the sinner. That is the Savior who now calls us to share with others  — the news Jesus Christ has risen — just as He said. He laid down His life so we could share in the inheritance as members of His family, if we believe as John did that first morning when he entered the tomb and saw and believed.