"Matthew Quotes Daniel" - 1/7/2018 - Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Matthew 24:15-22 & Daniel 9:26. The "abomination of desolation" predicted by Daniel was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem & the Temple, as applied by interpretation of Matthew. Those who had the discernment to recognize the signs of the times were delivered by God's merciful help, & historians do not record the deaths of any Christians in the midst of the total destruction which fell upon Jerusalem... in 70 AD. Likewise, we Christans are promised an avenue of escape from temptation if we heed the warning & instruction of God's Word, as He remains faithful in the protection of His people in every generation. We must diligently search Scriptures to recognize God's Truth, & we are encouraged to pray even in the midst of affliction & tribulation, that we may receive divine guidance & sustenance.
"Beginning of Sorrows" -- 12/24/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:26 & Matthew 24:1-8. Biblical prophecy, like all things, must be interpreted in the light of Scriptures & thus, the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, to be rightly understood, must be interpreted according to the Scriptures & not merely by human tradition or imagination. The Temple was the focal point of all Jewish pride & culture, yet the judgment of God fell upon it for their rejecti...on of Christ as Messiah. Though its destruction was the beginning of great sorrows & horrendous suffering, it also revealed the deeper, spiritual reality of the eternal Kingdom of Christ, as His people now comprise the living temple of the Holy Spirit, as we are being grafted into that spiritual temple of eternal & heavenly proportion. We must place our trust not in earthly or material things, but only in the Person of Christ.
"The Golden Rule" - 12/17/17 PM Worship & Prayer -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Matthew 7:12. The Lord instructs His people to treat others in the way that we would desire to be treated, in all things & in all aspects of human interaction. This is the summation of all the Law & the prophets, as the foundation of the Old Testament addresses the actions as well as the essential beliefs of God's people, as exemplified by Christ Himself.
"Events Post-Messiah" - 12/17/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:26b. In the midst of the revelation regarding Messiah & His sacrifice, the angel Gabriel foretold the destruction of Jerusalem & the Temple. Even before the reconstruction, further destruction was fortold, illustrating that our hope & trust must be upon Christ & His accomplishments & not merely the material aspects of worship. Jerusalem & the Temple were destroyed as part of God's judgment for the rejection of Messiah, yet He used it for the preparation of the worldwide spread of the Gospel.
"Some Hear & Some Don't" -- 12/10/17 PM Worship & Prayer -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Matthew 13:13-17. The Lord spoke in parables because some have the spiritual discernment to understand & apply the Word of God, while others do not. His truth was presented in everyday illustrations but involved a deeper, spiritual application which required the illumination of the Holy Spirit to fully comprehend.
"Not For Himself" - 12/10/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:26a. Christ was prophesied to be cut off -- violently slain -- that He might fulfill the sovereign purpose for which He had come, namely the redemption & salvation of all who would believe. He died not for His own sins, but for the sins of His people. He had no physical heirs as per a usual political succession, but He rose again to reclaim His eternal Kingdom.
"Even in Troubled Times" - 12/3/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:25. Daniel's expectation of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem was only part of God's sovereign purpose, as He intended the 490 years revealed in the prophecy to accomplish the coming of Christ the Messiah. God's purpose is always far greater than what we expect or think. The events scheduled to signify the accomplishment of God's plan began with Artaxerxes' order to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 BC, with 49 years to complete the work, followed by 434 years until John's baptism of Christ & revelation of Him as the Savior. God's timing is always perfect & right on time.
"Boundaries Set" - 12/3/17 PM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Psalm 104:5-15. The Psalmist observes the Lord's limitations placed upon the movement of the waters, as typical of His sovereign control over nature & all of His creation. Likewise, He establishes the boundaries of evil, permitting only what is according to His will, & He restrains our actions & movements to comply with His purpose.
"Why Seventy Weeks?" - 11/26/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:24. After dealing with the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy of 70 years of captivity as chastisement for their disobedience, Daniel & his faithful remnant were informed of a new prophetic period of 70 times 7 or 490 years through which God would send the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah, to finish the task of salvation, providing the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all who would repent & believe. As God is able to provide far more abundantly than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21), Daniel came to understand the ultimate purpose of God was not merely the return of the Jews from captivity or the restoration of the Temple & its sacrifices, but, rather, the appearance of the Savior, Jesus Christ Himself.
"Watering" - 11/19/17 PM Worship & Prayer -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Proverbs 11:25. As plants & crops are sustained through watering, so we are exhorted to generously & cheerfully provide for the needs of others, that we, likewise, might receive God's blessings (Matthew 25:34-35). The validity of our giving is determined by our motive & unselfishness, & not necessarily by the amount. Like the material principle, we are also encouraged to understand the principle spiritually, trusting that God will bless those who faithfully proclaim the Gospel message.
"Greatly Beloved" - 11/19/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:20-23. Daniel's prayer was answered as he began his prayer, as the angel Gabriel was dispatched to explain & encourage him. Daniel was reminded that God was pleased with his faithful service & blessed his intercessory prayer. We, too, receive the blessings of the Lord in response to our prayers.
"Confession & Prayer" - 11/12/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:4-19. Genuine confession, both individually & nationally, is essential for effective prayer, for it is the fervent prayer of the righteous that avails much (James 5:16). Daniel repented for his own sins & shortcomings, as well as for those of his people, as he sought the Lord's blessing near the end of the 70 years of captivity which had come upon them for willful disregard & disobedience of God's Word. Though God often sends His faithful prophets & preachers to warn of chastening & judgment, we often neglect to hear, resulting in severe consequences for our sins. Nevertheless, God is a covenant-keeping God who if merciful & gracious, willing to forgive when we confess & turn from our sins.
"Fear the Lord" - 11/5/17 Worship & Prayer -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Psalm 33:6-8. God commands all living beings to fear Him as He has revealed His creative design & omnipotent authority through speaking the world & all living creatures into existence. The Bible affirms the truth of God's Creation from Genesis to Revelation, & Paul reminds us that there is sufficient evidence in nature itself to convince us of God's existence & to leave all without excuse regarding His holiness. We are thus obligated to fear Him, to hold Him in reverence & awe if we know Him by faith & to dread His judgment if refusing to heed His commandments.
"Seventy Years Accomplished" - 11/5/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 9:1-3. At the appointed time, Daniel observed the events which marked the fulfillment of God's sovereign purpose for the chastening of His people & the punishment of the wicked Babylonian empire, as they were succeeded by the Medo-Persian kingdom. Daniel looked forward with hope & anticipation to Jeremiah's promised return of the faithful Jews to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10), as the Lord would fulfill His promises exactly as He had said. Likewise, we can trust Him to do that which He has said He will do in our lives & in our future for eternity. We must have discernment regarding the will of the Lord for our lives as we complete our allotted time, prayerfully seeking His wisdom & enabling power through His Word & the Holy Spirit.
"Long Season Without True God" - 10/29/17 PM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from 2 Chronicles 15:1-7. As Israel experienced the chastening hand of God for willful neglect & disobedience of His laws & statutes, so individuals & nations today have experienced trouble when deviating from God's holy standard. He has & will always hold all accountable, either in the present or at the Last Judgment, for the deeds, words & thoughts done in the flesh, and even great nations & empires must answer to to the Lord for the way in which they administer the power entrusted & delegated to them by the Almighty. Yet the Lord is longsuffering & provides a means of reconciliation through repentance & turning back to His ways.
"Truth But Not Understood" 10/29/17 AM Worship -- Pastor Rick Waltz preached from Daniel 8:15-27. Daniel sought further understanding because he did not yet understand the vision, even as we must diligently search Scriptures, prayerfully desiring illumination of the Holy Spirit for divine wisdom & understanding. Daniel was overwhelmed with the awe & difficulty of the revelation, but God graciously sent the angel Gabriel to explain the mystery, even as He has promised to provide His Holy Spirit to teach us Christians all things when we look to Him for wisdom.