Wednesday, July 26, 2017

OUR CREATOR'S LOVE FOR US

JESUS, OUR CREATOR
*  John 1:1, 3 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made."
*  Colossians 1:16-17 - "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by Him, and for Him:  and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."
*  Hebrews 1:1-2 - "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."

LOVED HIS CREATION
*  Philippians 2:5-8 - "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

THE LORD'S SUPPER IN THE GOSPELS 
SPEAKS OF HIS PENDING DEATH FOR OUR SINS
*  Matthew 26:26-28 - "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body.  And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
*  Mark 14:22-24 - "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is My body.  And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them: and they all drank of it.  And He said unto them, This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
*  Luke 22:19-20 - "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of Me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you."

THE FOCUS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER FOR THE CHURCH AGE
REMEMBERING WHAT JESUS DID, AND THAT HE IS COMING BACK
*  1 Corinthians 11:23-26 - "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:  and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat:  this is My body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of Me.  After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come."


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

WILL THE CHURCH GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION? YES AND NO!

THE TRIBULATION IS APPOINTED UNTO ISRAEL
*  Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city...."
*  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."

SOME CLUES FROM THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
*  Matthew 24:5 - Israel still looking for their Messiah.
*  Matthew 24:9 - Those saved are persecuted in the synagogues [See Mk. 13:9; Lk. 21:12].
*  Matthew 24:14 - The Gospel is still about the kingdom.
*  Matthew 24:15 - The Abomination of Desolation is a Jewish problem.
*  Matthew 24:16 - Those in Jerusalem and Judaea told to flee.
*  Matthew 24:20 - Only the Jews would worry about it being on a Sabbath.
*  Matthew 24:23-27 - Israel still looking for their Christ.


WILL THE CHURCH EXPERIENCE THE TRIBULATION PERIOD?
YES!
*  Matthew 13:24-40 - The church is made up of both wheat and tares.
*  Matthew 13:31-32 - The church grows so large that birds dwell in it [Birds represent agents of the evil one - see Mt. 13:4, 38].
*  Matthew 13:47-48 - The church is like a net containing both good and bad "fish."

LAODICEA:  THE PEOPLE RULE, NOT JESUS!
*  Revelation 3:14-22 - "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."



WILL THE CHURCH EXPERIENCE THE TRIBULATION PERIOD?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!
*  Genesis 7:1 - Noah's ark was lifted above the flood below [See Lk. 17:26].
*  Genesis 19:29-30 - Lot take up BEFORE the destruction below [ See Lk. 17:28].
*  John 14:1-6 - Jesus is coming for true believers BEFORE the Tribulation.
*  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - Our removal is clearly described.
*  1 Thessalonians 5:9 - The Tribulation is described as the wrath of God - it is not for the church.

PHILADELPHIA:  OBEYING JESUS' COMMAND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Revelation 3:7-13 - "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name.  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

YOU AND I ARE SINNERS!

I have met many professing Christians who claim that since they accepted Jesus, they no longer sin!  I have never really understood how any person could make that claim (other than Jesus - 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb.4:15)!  What really bothers me about such a claim, is that it is such a put-down to others, and especially me!  I first believed in, and trusted in Jesus on January 31st, 1971, and for all of the forty-six years since, I constantly struggle with sin.  And even in those few short periods where I succeed to resist the world, my flesh, and the devil, I am guilty of pride!  O wretched man that I am; I cannot wait until I see Jesus face-to-face, and become like Him (Rom. 7:24; 1 Jn. 3:2)!!!!!!!

I think the problem lies in how those who hold such a high opinion of themselves, study God's Word. They always have a verse or a passage of Scripture upon which they base their claim.  However, I have found that when studying God's Word, one needs to take all that the Bible says on a specific subject, instead of building a doctrine on one or two verses.  For example:  what does God's Word say about divorce?  The Bible says God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16; Mk. 10:11-12; etc.), and yet, the Old Testament Law allowed it (Deut. 24:1; Mk. 10:4; etc.).  The apparent contradiction can easily be explained when we understand why God accepted the fact that people divorce; there comes a time in some marriages when one or both of the couple's love for their partner has turned to hate.  Jesus said it this way:  "...Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so" (Mt. 19:8)!  So you can see that understanding an issue from God's perspective, requires one to consider ALL that the Word says on a subject.

Another problem people have is that they are unfamiliar with the original languages of the Bible.  They have chosen a Bible version in their language, and consider it to be like Jesus:  perfect!  Most English speaking believers, have in the past, considered the King James Version to be 100% accurate. But my question to them is:  Which KJV?  There have been several "upgrades" over the 400 plus years since the first edition in A.D. 1611.  Another question I have asked in the past, is:  If the 1611 version is what all of the others are based upon, then why don't they all have the Apocrypha in their Bibles?  The 1611 version did!  Somehow, I have, so far, been able to avoid being burned at the stake, but not because some have not wanted to.

That being said, let's look at a couple of verses upon which our "perfect Christians" base their view.  In 1 John 3:6, we read "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not:  whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him."  And in 1 John 5:18 says:  "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."  In both verses, the word "sinneth" is in the Greek Present, Active, Indicative Case.  In other words, one might say that the individual does not currently indulge in habitual sin which characterizes their life - they are not known for their sins, but for their desire to live for Christ!  Romans 7:14-25 describes the genuine born again believer as living in a struggle with sin; [note that the verbs are present tense]; Paul wrote:

"For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the Law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man:  But I see another law in my members, warring against the Law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

I seriously doubt that any student of the Bible would consider the Apostle Paul and unbeliever because he sinned.  If that were the case, half of the New Testament would have been written by a man who cannot be trusted!  In the same letter that the above "sinneth not" verses appear, the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:8-10:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us."

One of the greatest hindrances to the Christian's evangelical efforts, is that the world also believes Christians are supposed to be perfect!  We are not!  But the One about Whom we speak, certainly is!

Monday, July 24, 2017

CHRIST WILL RULE WITH A ROD OF IRON

PSALM 2:1-12
[1] Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
[2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed, saying,
[3] Let us break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us.
[4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
[5] Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
[6] Yet have I set My King upon My Holy Hill of Zion.
[7] I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.
[8] Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
[9] Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
[10] Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
[11] Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
[12] Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

REVELATION 2:18-29
[18] And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, Who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass;
[19] I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
[20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
[21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
[22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
[23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I AM He Who searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
[25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to Him will I give power over the nations:
[27] And He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.
[28] And I will give him the morning star.
[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

REVELATION 12:1-6
[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
[2] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
[3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
[5] And she brought forth A Man Child, Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her Child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.
[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

REVELATION 19:11-21
[11] 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 doth judge and make war.
[12] 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.
[13] And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.
[14] And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
[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.
[16] And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
[17] And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
[18] That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
[19] And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.
[20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
[21] And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

YOU WILL EITHER TRUST JESUS, OR SUFFER HIS WRATH

JOHN 14:1-6  -  JESUS TO JEWISH BELIEVERS
[1] Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.
[2] 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.
[3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
[4] And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
[5] Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?
[6] Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18  -  PAUL TO GENTILE BELIEVERS
[13] But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
[14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
[15] For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
[16] 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:
[17] Then we which 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.
[18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11  -  BELIEVERS VERSES SCOFFERS
[1] But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
[2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
[4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
[6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
[7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
[8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
[9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
[10] Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
[11] Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.


2 PETER 3:3-10  -  THE UNBELIEVER'S LAST CHANCE 
[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
[4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
[5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
[6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
[7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
[8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
[9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
[10] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

IF ONLY ADAM AND EVE HAD KNOWN

IF ONLY ADAM AND EVE HAD KNOWN


*  Genesis 3:3 - Eve misquotes the Word of God.
    -  Eve said, "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said,
       Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
    -  God said, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in
       the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die - Genesis 2:17.
       [Note:  Because Eve did not die when she touched the forbidden fruit, she believed Satan.]


*  Genesis 3:4 - Satan calls God a liar.
    -  God cannot lie - Titus 1:2.
    -  Satan is the father of lies - John 8:44.


*  Genesis 2:17 - When God said "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,"
    -  God was not referring to physical death for Adam lived to be 930 years old - Genesis 5:5.
    -  God was referring to spiritual death.
       -  Adam was created in the image and likeness of God - Genesis 1:26.
       -  Even believers are not like God until we see Jesus face-to-face - 1 John 3:2.
       -  One evidence of Adam's spiritual death is he hid from God - Genesis 3:8.
       -  Another is that God needed to sacrifice animals to cover them - Genesis 3:21.


*  Genesis 3:16-19 - There are consequences for disobeying God's Word!
    -  Women would suffer in childbirth - Genesis 3:16.
    -  Men would struggle to provide food for the family - Genesis 3:17-19.

DO YOU KNOW GOD'S WORD WELL ENOUGH TO RESIST SATAN?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

REPENTANCE: TURN TO GOD FROM YOUR SIN

BOTH ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH ARE CALLED TO REPENTANCE


*  Matthew 9:11-13 - "And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:  for I AM NOT COME TO CALL THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT SINNERS TO REPENTANCE."
  
*  Mark 1:14-15 - "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, THE TIME IS FULFILLED, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND:  REPENT YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL."
 
*  Luke 13:1-5 - "There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay:  but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH."


*  Luke 15:10 - "Likewise, I say unto you, THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGEL OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH."

*  Luke 24:45-47 - "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  and that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM."


*  Acts 2:38 - "Then Peter said unto them, REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST."
 
*  Acts 3:18-19 - "But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.  REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."


*  Acts 11:17-18 - "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, THEN HATH GOD ALSO TO THE GENTILES GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE."


*  Acts 17:29-30 - "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at [the Greek ὑπεροράω (hyperoraō), means "chose to overlook"]; BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT."


*  Acts 20:20-21 - "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST."
  
*  Romans 2:3 - "...despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH THEE TO REPENTANCE?"

*  2 Peter 3:9 - "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE."

Friday, July 21, 2017

RELIGION TRIES TO WORK FOR THAT WHICH GOD HAS ALREADY PROVIDED

"GRACE" - Undeserved, unmerited favor; the free gift of salvation based upon God's character and not our own; God's Riches At Christ's Expense!


*  John 1:1, 14, 17 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....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....For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."


*  Acts 15:7-11 - "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.  And God, Who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."


*  Romans3:20-24 - "Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God (apart from) the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."


*  Ephesians 2:4-9 - "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."


*  Titus 3:4-7 - "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Whom He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

BECAUSE SALVATION CANNOT BE EARNED, BUT IS A GIFT FROM GOD,
BELIEVERS SHOULD EXHIBIT TWO CHARACTERISTICS:
GRATITUDE TOWARD GOD AND HUMILITY TOWARD MAN!

LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD SAY SO!

Psalm 107:2 - "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so...."

*  Psalm 7:17 - "I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness:  and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high."
*  Psalm 33:1-3 - "Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous:  for praise is comely for the upright.  Praise the LORD with harp:  sing unto Him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.  Sing unto Him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise."
*  Psalm 107:8 - "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
*  Psalm 109:30 - "I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise Him among the multitude."
*  Psalm 111:1 - "Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation."
*  Psalm 115:18 - "But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD."
*  Psalm 117:1-2 - "O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people.  For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth forever.  Praise ye the LORD."
*  Psalm 118:19 - "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD."
*  Psalm 135:3 - "Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant."
*  Psalm 146:1-2 - "Praise ye the LORD Praise the LORD, O my soul.  While I live will I praise the LORD:  I will while I have any being."
*  Psalm 147:12 - "Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion."
*  Psalm 148:12-13 - "Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:  let them praise the name of the LORD:  for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven."
*  Psalm 150:1-6 - "Praise ye the LORD.  Praise God in His sanctuary:  praise Him in the firmament of His power.  Praise Him for His mighty acts:  praise Him according to His excellent greatness.  Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet:  praise Him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise Him with the timbrel and dance:  praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.  Praise Him upon the loud cymbals:  praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.  Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD.  Praise ye the LORD."

Revelation 19:5 - "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, 
Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great."

THE TWO HALVES OF DANIEL'S SEVENTIETH "WEEK"

DANIEL 9:24-27 - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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 [Note:  Rome destroyed them in A.D.70]; 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." [Note:  We know that "week" represents a period of seven years, based upon the various ways it is described elsewhere in Revelation Chapters 11 and 12 below. This period is also known as "the Time of Jacob's Trouble" - Jeremiah 30:7; and "the Tribulation - Matthew 24:29]


THE FIRST HALF OF THE TRIBULATION - THE TWO WITNESSES
"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months (Rev. 13:5). And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Rev. 12:6), clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3) shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them" (Revelation 11:1-12).

THE SECOND HALF OF THE TRIBULATION - SATAN'S DOMINATION
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Rev. 11:3). And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (Dan.7:25; 12:7), from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:1-17).

THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE HERE:  SATAN DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD

Thursday, July 20, 2017

DOES YOUR LIFE SHINE, OR CAST SHADOWS?

There are two kinds of people who say they are believers in Jesus Christ:  
(1) Born-again Christians - Individuals who live their lives in gratitude; according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, according to God's Word - their light shatters the darkness; and 
(2) Professing Christians - Individuals who live their lives according to the flesh, and whose lives not only fail to shine so that the lost are drawn to Jesus, but they live their lives in such a way as to block the light from reaching those needing to see it:  they themselves, cast shadows!

RELIGIOUS WORKS CAST SHADOWS!
*  Romans 4:2-5 - "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
*  Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast."
*  Titus 3:5-7 - "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Who He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

THE FATHER'S WORKS PRODUCE LIGHT!
*  Matthew 5:14-16 - "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."
*  Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
*  Philippians 1:6; 2:13 - "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ....For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
*  Titus 3:8 - "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."


HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE!
*  Matthew 7:16-20 - "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit....Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
*  Galatians 5:16-26 - "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other....Now THE WORKS OF THE FLESH are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no Law."


THEREFORE
*  Galatians 5:13-16 - "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself....This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."