Thursday, June 22, 2017

1 THESSALONIANS 4:13 - 5:11 AS I UNDERSTAND IT

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS 
THE LORD IS COMING TO TAKE US HOME
I, Paul, would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have died, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those also who have died believing in Jesus, will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede the dead in Christ.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
WORDS OF WARNING TO THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE
THE WRATH OF GOD IS COMING ON UNBELIEVERS
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you.  For you know perfectly well that the Day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night.  For when unbelievers shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all the children of light, and the children of the day, just as we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not be like them; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunkards, are drunk in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, so that whether we are awake or we have died, we shall live together with Him.  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and continue building one another up just as you have been doing.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SEEING GOD: AS I UNDERSTAND IT

NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD THE FATHER OF JESUS CHRIST
*  John 1:18 - "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."
*  1 John 4:12 - "No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us."

MANY MISTAKENLY BELIEVE SOME HAVE SEEN THE FATHER
*  Genesis 3:8-10 - "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:  and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
*  Genesis 5:24 - "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
*  Genesis 6:9 - "These are the generations of Noah:  Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
*  Genesis 32:30 - "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel:  for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
*  Judges 13:22 - "And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God."

IF THEY HAVE NOT SEEN THE FATHER, WHO DID THEY SEE?
*  John 14:9 - "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?  He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"
*  1 Timothy 3:16 - "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
*  Hebrews 1:1-3 - "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."


YES, JESUS IS GOD AND WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH
*  John 1:1-3, 14 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made....And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."


JESUS IS LORD!  
"LORD" is defined as "I AM" in Exodus 3:14, which says, "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:  and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."  Later, Jesus would identify Himself as the I AM in John 8:58 - "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM."  His enemies knew He was calling Himself God, and they were going to stone Him to death!  So, in other words, I believe the 6000 plus times the LORD (all caps) appears in the Old Testament, it is referring to Jesus, not the Father!

JESUS:  CREATOR OF ALL THERE IS; THE I AM; GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH; SAVIOR OF ALL WHO BELIEVE; KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! 









Tuesday, June 20, 2017

EVENTS LEADING UP TO CHRIST'S SECOND COMING

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
*  Titus 2:11-13 - "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."
*  John 14:1-3 - "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
*  Acts 1:9-11 - "And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."
*  1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 - "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
*  1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 - "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."

DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK / THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE / THE TRIBULATION
*  Daniel 9:26-27 - "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
*  Jeremiah 30:7 - "Alas!  For that day is great, so that none is like it:  it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."
[See also:  Matthew 24:4-28; Mark 13:5-23; Luke 21:8-26; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3;
2 Thessalonians 2:1-11; and Revelation Chapters 6-18]

THE SECOND COMING OF THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
*  Matthew 24:29-30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
*  Revelation 19:11-16 - "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.  And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

HOW TO BECOME PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, THAT IS, THE CHURCH
*  Romans 10:9-13 - "...if you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.  For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentiles:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."







Monday, June 19, 2017

READING THE SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS


There is currently a teaching that the church did not begin at Pentecost (Acts 2), but that it was "conceived" at that time.  Then, on the Feast of Trumpets (perhaps Sep. 23, 2017), the church will be "born" and immediately called up to heaven in what is known as the Rapture.  This teaching is based upon the assumption that Revelation 12:1-5 is a picture of Christ's body, the church, being the "man child," joining Jesus Christ, the Head of the church (Col. 1:18).  According to this view, the time between Pentecost and a future Feast of Trumpets, now nearly 2000 years, represents the forming of the "man child" in the womb.  Without going into the signs in the heavens (Virgo, Leo, Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Mars lining up), I would ask these questions:  If the church is made up of born again believers, and the Word states that we are now born again (1 Pet. 1:23); that we are now children of God (Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2), how can it be said that we are not yet "born?"  And how can these verses in the Book of Acts be explained?  These verses, now Historical, speak of the church as being present in the days of the Apostles!


*  Acts 2:47 - "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
*  Acts 5:11 - "And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."
*  Acts 8:1-3 - "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
*  Acts 9:31 - "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."
*  Acts 11:22, 26 - "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch....And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.  And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
*  Acts 12:1, 5 - "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church....Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."
*  Acts 13:1 - "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
*  Acts 14:23, 27 - "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed....And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."
*  Acts 15:3-4 - "And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them."
*  Acts 16:5 - "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily."
*  Acts 18:22 - "And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch."
*  Acts 20:17, 28 - And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church....Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."


WHILE I DO BELIEVE THE SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS ARE PROPHETIC, I AM NOT WILLING TO BE DOGMATIC THAT THEY REFER TO THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.  ESPECIALLY SINCE REVELATION 4:1 IS A CLEARER PICTURE AS IT IS TIMED BETWEEN THE END OF THE CHURCH AGE AND THE BEGINNING OF THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE, THAT IS, THE TRIBULATION.



THE GOSPEL MESSAGE: JESUS IS THE RISEN LORD!

MATTHEW 28:18-20
[18] And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
[19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
[20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


VERSE 18
"All power is given unto Me" - the Greek ἐξουσία (exousia), speaks of His authority.  In Acts 1:8, the Holy Spirit would come and His disciples would also receive power.  Here, the Greek δύναμις (dynamis), could refer to the Gospel message, which is "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16 where the Greek δύναμις (dynamis) is also used).  This makes sense because in the next verse, those who receive their message, were to be baptized.

VERSE 19
"Teach all nations" - the Greek μαθητεύω (mathēteuō), means to make disciples.  Again, only disciples would be baptized.  Those doing the baptizing were to do so as servants of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!  The fact that the word "and" is there, indicates that there are three personages of the Trinity, and that the Trinity was part of the message accepted by the new babes in Christ. 
VERSE 20
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" - this clearly shows that the new believers were to be taught the same teachings that the disciples had received from Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.
 
SOME OTHER VERSES TO CONSIDER
*  Mark 1:1 - "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (the entire Gospel of Mark is considered "the Gospel.").
*  Luke 24:47 - "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
*  Acts 1:8 - "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
*  Acts 15:7 - "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe."  (Finally, they understood what Jesus meant when He told them to preach the Gospel to ALL NATIONS!).

*  Romans 10:9-13 - "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."







Sunday, June 18, 2017

THE GREATEST FATHER OF ALL


BECOMING A CHILD OF GOD
*  Acts 4:10, 12 - "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole....Neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
*  John 1:11-12 - "(Jesus) came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the (children) of God, even to them that believe on His name." 
*  Romans 10:9-10 - "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
*  Galatians 3:26 - "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."


WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD BY ADOPTION
*  Romans 8:15 - "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
*  Ephesians 1:2-6 - "Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in The Beloved."

AS HIS ADOPTED CHILDREN, WE HAVE GOD AS OUR FATHER
*  Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."
*  Matthew 6:1 - "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them:  otherwise ye have no reward of your Father Who is in heaven."
*  Matthew 7:11 - "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
*  Matthew 18:14 - "Even so it is not the will of your Father Who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."
*  Luke 6:36 - "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
*  Luke 12:32 - "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
*  John 20:17 - "Jesus saith unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God."

SOMETIMES, IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN!
*  1 John 3:1-2 - "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the (children) of God:  therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."



Saturday, June 17, 2017

SOME INTERESTING SEVENS IN THE BIBLE

The number seven, in its various forms, appears 763 times in the King James Bible.  Here are just thirty examples: 


*  Seven days of creation:  Gen. 2:2-3.
*  The seventh day God rested:  Gen. 2:2.
*  Enoch was the seventh generation from creation:  Gen. 5:24.
*  The life of Lamech, son of Methuselah was 777 years:  Gen. 5:31.
*  The number of clean animals and fowls on the Ark was 7 pairs each:  Gen. 7:2-3.
*  The seven feasts of the LORD:  Lev. 23.
*  Seven priests, seven trumpets, seventh day, Jericho fell:  Josh. 6:1-20.
*  Solomon's 700 wives turned him away for God:  1 Kgs. 11:3.
*  Naaman dipped seven time in the Jordon:   2 Kgs. 5:14.
*  David was the seventh son of Jesse:  1 Chron. 2:13-15.
*  Job's "counselors" were silent for seven days:  Job 2:13.
*  The seven abominations to God:  Prov. 6:16.
*  Daniel's seventy-sevens prophecy:  Dan. 9:24-27.
*  The 4000 fed from seven loaves:  Mt. 15:32-39.
*  We are to forgive 70 time 7:  Mt. 18:21-22.
*  Seven "devils" cast out of Mary Magdalene:  Mk. 16:9.
*  Seven spiritual men ordained to be servants to the Church:  Acts 6:1-6.
*  The seven churches which are in Asia:  Rev. 1:4.
*  Seven candlesticks:  Rev. 1:12.
*  Seven stars in Christ's right hand:  Rev. 1:16.
*  The seven Spirits of God:  Rev. 3:1.
*  The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne:  Rev. 4:5.
*  The book with seven seals:  Rev. 5:1.
*  Seven angels with seven trumpets:  Rev. 8:2.
*  The seven thunders uttered their voices:  Rev. 10:3.
*  Seven thousand killed in an earthquake:  Rev. 11:13.
*  The dragon with seven heads and seven horns:  Rev. 12:3.
*  Seven angel with seven plagues:  Rev. 15:1.
*  Seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits:  Rev. 17:9.
*  Seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come:  Rev. 17:10.

Seven is obviously easily identified with God, but have you ever noticed that the next number, the number eight, which speaks of new beginnings, is the sign for infinity when it is horizontal?  
Image result for infinity
 


Friday, June 16, 2017

WHO IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE?

I AM
*  Exodus 3:14 - "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
*  John 8:58 - "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM."


ALMIGHTY GOD
*  Genesis 17:1 - "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect."
*  Ezekiel 10:5 - "And the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when He speaketh."
*  Revelation 19:15 - "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations:  and He shall rule them with a rod of iron:  and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
*  Revelation 19:6 - "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."


KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
*  1 Timothy 6:15 - "Who in His times He shall show, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords."
*  Revelation 17:14 - "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them:  for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
*  Revelation 19:16 - "And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."


ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS
*  Genesis 1:26 - "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
*  Deuteronomy 6:4 - "Hear, O Israel:  The LORD (singular - Jehovah) our God (plural - Elohim) is one LORD (singular - Jehovah)."
*  Matthew 28:19 - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
*  Ephesians 4:4-6 - "There is one body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
*  1 John 5:7 - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One."