Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It is difficult for Christians to imagine why God would "reinstate" animal sacrifices during the Millennium, Christ's 1000 year reign upon this earth. After all, we know Jesus "needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself" (Heb. 7:27). The writer of Hebrews also had this to say:
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:12-14).
And again, he wrote:
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:10-12).
So what is the reason for animals to be sacrificed during the Millennium? First of all, the millennial system of sacrifices described by Ezekiel differs profoundly from the Aaronic system, so that it is not simply a reinstitution of Mosaic Judaism as many have claimed. Dwight Pentecost, in Things to Come, points out that there will be no Ark of the Covenant, Table of the Law, Cherubim, Mercy Seat, Veil, Golden Candlestick, or Table of Showbread. Instead of a high priest, there will be a prince who has some royal and priestly powers, but will actually be neither king nor high priest. The Levites will have fewer temple privileges except for the sons of Zadok who will serve as priests. The Feast of Pentecost is omitted as well as the great Day of Atonement, and there is no evening sacrifice. Also, the dimensions of the temple and courts will also be changed.

Secondly, even though Christians do not offer animal sacrifices during this, the Church Age, we do something very similar. The Lord's Supper is a memorial looking back at the sacrifice our Lord made for us on the Cross. Christians are told to continue the practice "till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26). In other words, the Church Age memorial of Christ's sacrifice was to begin at Pentecost, and to end when He comes for us at the Rapture.

During the Millennium, the offering of animal sacrifices will be the Jewish memorial looking back and honoring what took place at the Cross. The Word says that the Mosaic Law, with its blood sacrifices, was a picture or shadow of things to come. Again, the writer of Hebrews wrote:
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect" (Heb. 9:28-10:1).

Monday, January 30, 2012


There are things that we, as born again believers, know (Rom. 8:28; 1 Jn. 5:20); there are things we do not know, but will know when we see Jesus (Mk. 13:32; 1 Cor. 13:9; 1 Jn. 3:2); and there are things we may never know. Only God is Omniscient, and unless He reveals all to us, we cannot know everything. The Apostle Paul wrote comparing our limited knowledge to God's foreknowledge:
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:22-29).
God, knowing our limited understanding, has chosen to "make up the difference." What we lack in knowledge, God has supplied by indwelling us. Jesus said:
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (Jn. 16:12-15).
Many Church members are deceived into believing they are born again Christians. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16). James wrote concerning the difference between knowing and doing:
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (Jam. 1:22-25).
James also wrote, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jam. 4:17).

It is not enough to know the will of God, but one should desire to do His will.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


"Jesus...said unto him...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered...Except a man be born of water (physical birth) and of the Spirit (spiritual birth), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (physical birth); and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (spiritual birth)" (Jn. 3:3-6). In other words, man dies spiritually the moment he sins. Notice what happened to Adam.

God wanted man to be like Him in order for us to have fellowship with Him. So He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). And so it was that Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:28). God provided the perfect environment for the couple, and although there was fruit from one tree that was deadly (Gen. 2:17), God called creation "very good" (Gen. 1:31).

God warned Adam against eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, saying, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). When Adam disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, he did die that very day; he died spiritually. We know that because we learn later that Adam lived for 930 years before he died physically (Gen. 5:5). Eight hundred years before his death, Adam produced a third son and he is described as a son in his (Adam's) own likeness, after his image (Gen 5:3). It is clear from Hebrews 11:4, that Adam's first two sons also had his image and likeness, because they needed to sacrifice to God.

Just as death was passed on unto all of mankind, so was our being born in the image and likeness of Adam. We are told that "in Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22). Paul wrote, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12). In other words, because we are born with Adam's image and likeness, we will, and do, sin. It is my belief that the moment we consciously choose to disobey, we die spiritually. That is why we must be born spiritually.

The Good News is, God has provided us with the means to be born again. He draws us to His Son (Jn. 6:44). The Holy Spirit, the One who produces spiritual birth (Jn. 3:5-8), also produces conviction that the Word of God is true in speaking of Jesus (Jn. 16:7-15). And when we accept Jesus as our Lord, the Spirit "baptizes us into Christ" (Gal. 3:27). And it is in Christ that we are alive spiritually, now ("For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" - Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2); and we will live eternally in Him (1 Cor. 15:22; 1 Jn. 3:2).

For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

Saturday, January 28, 2012


There is an interesting passage in the Book of Revelation that I have never heard preached. It has to do with four "beasts" who praise the Lord day and night. The text reads:
"And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And...those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever" (Rev. 4:6-9).
One commentary suggests that these four "beasts" are the same creatures as those found in Isaiah 6:1-4 and Ezekiel 1:5-25; in other words, Seraphim. That makes sense, as there are no other created beings mentioned that have six wings. Whether or not they are Seraphim, I find their description very interesting.

To begin with, the four "beasts" are "like" something. That means their descriptions are similes, and therefore symbolic of something else. Just as in Daniel, the four "beasts" were symbolic; the Lion was a picture of Babylon, the Bear was symbolic of Medo-Persia, the Leopard represented Greece, and the "fourth beast" was identified as Rome. Each simile told us something about the character of the four empires. The Lion is the greatest or the king of the beasts. The Bear is weaker and slower. The Leopard is weaker still, but very fast. And the "fourth beast" was not only stronger than the others, but it could fly.

So what do these four six-winged "beasts" of Revelation symbolize? Our first clue is found in what most theologians have to say about the four Gospels. Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews. Mark pictures Jesus as the Sacrificing Servant. Luke portrays Jesus as the Son of Man. And finally, John declares Jesus to be God. If you compare these four Gospels to the four beasts in Revelation 4:6-9, you will find that they match the emphasis of each of the Gospels. The Lion is Matthew's King; the Calf is Mark's Sacrifice; the Man is Luke's Incarnate Son; and the Eagle is John's Heavenly Lord.

Our second clue has to do with the eyes. Notice they can see everything, behind them, around them, and in front of them. That is a perfect picture of the four Gospels. Each speaks to the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Christ; each presents Jesus during His earthly ministry; and each informs us of what lies ahead for man in his relationship to God. Who could doubt that these "beasts" would proclaim the holiness of the God "(Who) was (behind or past), and is (around or present), and is to come (in front or future)!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I love our Wednesday night Bible studies at our church. We have been studying the main themes of the books of the Bible, beginning at Genesis, and have finally arrived at the Gospel of John. I noticed, for the first time, that in John's Gospel, the word "believe" appears quite often, so I decided to compare the word's frequency in John to how often it appears in the rest of the books of the Bible.

I was amazed at the result for two reasons. The word appears seventy-seven times from Genesis to Luke, and seventy-seven times from Romans to Revelation; that, in itself, is interesting. Admittedly, these numbers most likely vary with the different translations, but their frequency in the King James Version makes me wonder if God wasn't sending a message to English speaking people.

The other reason is that it appears one hundred twenty-six times in the Gospel of John and the Book of Acts combined, and eighty-five of those in John. Eighty-five! That boggles my mind that John's Gospel has the word more times than all the books from Genesis to Luke, and from Romans to Revelation! And I think I know why.

John's Gospel focuses upon the deity of Christ, that Jesus is God. For us to accept that requires great faith; we must believe the unbelievable. After all, how could the Creator of the Universe (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2) become a single-celled embryo (Matt. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:14)? And how could the Eternal die (He is the "us" of Gen. 1:26, and the Eternal of Heb. 13:8)? Why would a Holy God be willing to exchange our sin for His righteousness (Jn. 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:21)? Or for that matter, how could He be raised from the dead (Acts 2:24)? By faith, born again Christians believe the Bible!

The Hebrew word translated "believe" is אָמַן ('aman), which is a present tense verb. The Greek word is πιστεύω (pisteuō), which is also a present tense verb. Interestingly, the root for πιστεύω is πίστις (pistis), which is translated "faith." So, one could say that "faith is believing."

The writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Isn't it interesting that he began with the word "now?" Our faith is present tense. We believe. The unregenerate person usually says, "seeing is believing," but those who have been regenerated, that is, those who have been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, have miraculously taken the "leap of faith." In a sense, to the child of God, "faith is seeing."

Believing and faith are manifested in our lives. If we believe that Jesus is God, that He is the expression of God's love toward us, and that He is worthy of our worship and obedience, our lives will show it. Can those around you "see" that you believe?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


God's Word describes Jesus in many ways (The Light, The Bread, The Way, The Truth, The Life, The Door, The Good Shepherd, The Vine, The Resurrection, etc.), but the most varied picture we have of Christ is as The Stone.

* He is The Rock that provided water to Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:4).
* He is "The Stone which the builders refused" (Ps. 118:22).
* He is "a Foundation, a Tried, a precious Corner Stone" (Isa. 28:16).
* He is "The Stone that smote the image (becoming) a great Mountain" (Dan. 2:35).
* He is "The Rock (upon which) I will build My Church" (Matt. 16:16-18).
* He is "The Stone of stumbling and the Rock of offence" (Rom. 9:33).
* He is a "Stumbling block to the Jews, and unto the Greeks, foolishness" (1 Cor. 1:23).
* He is the Foundation of the Church (1 Cor. 3:9-11).

In 1 Corinthians 1:23, the Apostle Paul described how the Gospel of the Lord was received by most Jews and Gentiles: Jesus was an "offence" to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, He was little more than a joke. Paul, in speaking of the Jews, used the Greek word σκάνδαλον (skandalon), which has the following meanings: "the movable stick or trigger of a trap or snare," or "any impediment or obstacle placed in the way to cause one to stumble or fall." In other words, the Jews who rejected Christ saw Him as a false messiah, one whose intent was to deceive and ensnare them. That is why the Pharisees called Jesus "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils" (Matt. 12:24).

Paul wrote that the Gentiles who refused to accept Christ as viewing his Gospel message as "foolishness." The Greek word he used was μωρία (mōria), which is defined as "the thinking or actions of fools." Paul wrote that the Gospel was rejected by most of the Gentiles because they required logical persuasion (1 Cor. 1:22). Because acceptance of the Gospel requires faith which surpasses human wisdom and reason, it was not possible to prove the validity of his message. Paul described the Greeks as men who "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:22).

The Jews did not accept Christ because He did not match their preconceived idea of God's Messiah. They wanted an earthly king to conquer the Romans as to establish His eternal kingdom. Even the disciples, following the Resurrection, still believed that Jesus would do so (Acts 1:6). The Jews wanted a mighty warrior, "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5:5), but Jesus came as "the Lamb of God" (Jn. 1:29). The real reason the Jews rejected Christ, is because He was not the kind of man they were willing to submit to (Lk. 19:14).

Whether one is a Jew or one is a Gentile, failure to accept Christ results in a far worse consequence than merely "stumbling." The Word says, "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder" (Matt. 21:44). "Broken" here means "humbled" like in "breaking in a horse." In other words, being brought to one's knees. "Grinding him to powder" has more of a "totally crushed" connotation. It is sort of like the difference we see in Genesis 3:15, where Satan "bruises" Christ's heel, but the Lord will bruise Satan's head.

The choice is ours: we can either stand on the Rock of our salvation,
or be crushed when He comes in His glory!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


For those of us who believe the Bible is God's revealed truth to mankind, we have no problem seeing the hand of God in creation. From His Word, we have no problem understanding that God is Holy, and in order for us to have a relationship with Him, we must also be holy. The problem is, we are not holy. That is where the Scriptures come in; they tell us of God's love for us expressed in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, all done for us. And because we do believe what the Bible says, it is our faith that recognizes we owe our Creator our gratitude and allegiance. While nature presents God's glory, and His Word presents God's holiness, His Word also serves to reveal our need of His mercy and grace.


Compare with Romans 1:18-20

[1] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.
[2] Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
[3] There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
[4] Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun,
[5] Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
[6] His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Compare with Galatians 3:22-26

[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
[8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
[9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
[10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
[11] Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Compare with James 1:18-25

[12] Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
[13] Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
[14] Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer.

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly (do what is right), and to love mercy (forgive those who wrong you), and to walk humbly with thy God" (Mic. 6:8). Humility comes when we compare ourselves to God and His Word; keep looking in the "mirror."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Numbers! How many times have you heard or thought about the number of people attending your church, or the size of the offering? We seem to judge the success of a revival by the number of public professions and rededications, when in fact, the true results of a revival's success is seen only in the faithfulness of changed lives over time. Numbers are the basis of statistics, and there is an old saying: "Statistics lie, and liars use statistics."

We read that the Church was multiplied at the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 6:1, 7; 9:31; 12:24; etc.). Scripture tells us that the Lord added to the Church on a daily basis (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24; etc.). But it was not long before the Apostles recognized that not all of those professing Christ were, in fact, His. We find warnings against those causing division among the brethren (Matt. 12:25; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:13; etc.).

In His parables, Jesus illustrates the deceptiveness of numbers. In the Parable of the Sower, three types of soil produce living plants, but only one successfully reproduces (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23). The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the field is full to capacity, but not all the plants are wheat (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-41). The Parable of the Mustard Seed speaks of a tree so large that the birds (most often recognized as evil in the Word) live there (Matt. 13:31-32). In the Parable of the Leaven, a little leaven (always recognized as sin in the Word) spreads, permeating the entire loaf (Matt. 13:33). In the Parable of the Dragnet, lots of fish are caught, but not all are good (Matt. 13:47-51).

In the Bible, God frequently speaks of a remnant, or those who remain after He divides the people (Isa. 1:9; Jer. 23:3; Rom. 9:27; Rev. 12:17; etc.). The Lord warns believers to leave the dividing up to Him, as in the example of the Parable of the Tares. God does not want us to subtract or remove folks from the fellowship of believers, and even in the case of Church discipline, the intent is to be aimed at producing repentance and reconciliation with the group. Paul wrote, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Gal. 6:1). Jesus taught His disciples how to handle an erring brother:
"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matt. 18:15-17).
There is another kind of subtraction from the Church, as well. John wrote this about folks "subtracting" themselves from the fellowship: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 Jn. 2:19).

As the Church, our goal should be to add and multiply; subtraction and division serve to dishonor the Lord (Jn. 17:11, 21-23)!

Monday, January 23, 2012


What happens to us, as believers, when we are filled with, that is, under the control of the Holy Spirit? We do what the Lord said the Holy Spirit would do; He guides us to speak of Jesus. Jesus said, "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me...." (Jn. 16:13-14).

In Acts Chapter Two, we read what Peter, being filled of the Holy Ghost, preached to the lost: [22] "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: [23] Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: [24] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it." Note: God proved the identity of Jesus; God delivered His Son; man crucified and buried Him; and God raised Him from the grave. In other words, Peter preached the Gospel message (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Peter continued by showing that the Resurrection of Jesus was prophesied in the Scriptures: [25] "For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: [26] Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: [27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. [28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance." Note: Jesus told two disciples that the Crucifixion and Resurrection were the fulfillment of those things concerning Him as they were foretold by the prophets (Lk. 24:25-27).

Finally, Peter preached on Christ's relationship to David: [29] "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. [30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; [31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. [32] This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. [33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. [34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand, [35] Until I make Thy foes Thy footstool. [36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Note: Jesus was of the house of David and also David's Lord (Matt. 1:1; Lk. 3:31; Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:44).

So, if you believe you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the best way to know for sure is to ask yourself this question: "Am I focused on my spiritual experience, on my personal testimony, or on Jesus Christ, whom God sent as Savior to die for the sin of the world, and resurrected to be Lord over all?"

Sunday, January 22, 2012


When Christians speak of God being Omniscient, we often think of Him knowing all that is going on now. But Omniscience is much greater than that; it is His knowledge of all, past, present, and future. That is why Jesus is called the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). That is why the prophet could write: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations" (Jer. 1:5). However, God's knowledge and plans are set within time for our sakes. These passages speak of God's foreknowledge:

"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ" (Eph. 1:9-12).

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it" (Acts 2:22-24).

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Rom. 8:28-30).

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Pet. 1:1-2).

Just from these few passages, we see that God's plan involved Christ's Crucifixion for us, His Resurrection, His eternal dominion, our salvation, our justification, our sanctification, our glorification, and our future resurrection from the dead! Truly, God does work all things for our good because He knew we would respond by loving Him back (1 Jn. 4:19)! Blessed be the name of our all-knowing, all-loving, all-merciful God!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (the Rapture - Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 5:5; 15:51-52; 2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6, 10; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 5:2; Rev. 3:10), [2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ (two aspects of His Second Coming: in the air at the Rapture - 1 Thes. 4:17; and to establish His earthly Millennial Kingdom - (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11; Matt. 24:29-30; Rev. 19:11-16), is at hand. [3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (based on context and known sequence of events, this use of the Greek "apostasia" here means "catching away" as in the Rapture - see an excellent explanation at www.dbts.edu/journals/1998/combs.pdf), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (Antichrist - the first Beast of Rev. 13:1 - 19:20); [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (the Abomination of Desolation - Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15). [5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [6] And now ye know what (notice it says "what," not "who") withholdeth (the Church - as preserving salt - Matt. 5:13 - and as illuminating light - Matt. 5:14) that he might be revealed in his time (after the Rapture - he is revealed by the seven-year covenant with Israel - Dan. 9:27). [7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way (notice it says "He" - the Holy Spirit sent by the Father for the Church - Jn. 14:26 - "letteth" indicates limited permission - only God limits Satan and his Antichrist). [8] And then shall that Wicked (Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming (Rev. 19:20): [9] Even him (Antichrist), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders (Dan. 11:21-24; Matt. 24:4-5; Rev. 13:1-8), [10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish (those who worship him - Rev. 13:4, 8, 12, 15; 16:2; 19:20); because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (similar to Ex. 7:13; Rom. 1:28; 11:25): [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. [13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4; Rev. 13:8) through sanctification (set apart, sealed - Eph. 1:13; 4:30; 5:25-26; Heb. 10:14) of the Spirit and belief of the truth (Jesus - Jn. 14:6): [14] Whereunto He called you by our Gospel (Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Eph. 2:8-9), to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. [15] Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. [16] Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, [17] Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. AMEN!

Friday, January 20, 2012


In Daniel Chapter Two, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had a dream that frightened him, but he could not remember it. When none of his "spiritual advisers" could tell him the dream, let alone interpret it, Daniel went to Nebuchadnezzar and, not only did he describe the dream in detail, he interpreted it. As it turned out, the dream described the future empires that would control the nation of Israel. Previously, there had been two: Assyria (Tiglathpileser) and Egypt (Ramesses). Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) currently controlled God's people, but they would be conquered by the Medes (Darius) and Persians (Cyrus). They, in turn, would be conquered by Greece (Alexander). They would fall to Rome (Augustus), and cease to be a nation until A.D. 1948. The sixth Empire would return as the seventh known as the Revised Roman Empire (Antichrist), and through flattery and deceit (Dan. 11:21-23), its emperor would rule until the return of Christ. The Apostle John wrote of this in the Book of Revelation: "And there are seven kings; five are fallen (Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece), and one is (Rome), and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space (Antichrist for seven years - Dan. 9:27). And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth (has mortal head wound, lives, empowered by Satan - Rev. 13:3-4; 12, 14), and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition" (2 Thes. 2:3; Rev. 17:8-11).

[36] This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. [37] Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. [38] And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold (Gold - Babylon - Lion - Dan. 7:4). [39] And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee (Silver - Medo-Persia - Bear - Dan. 7:5), and another third kingdom of brass (Brass - Greece - Leopard - Dan. 7:6), which shall bear rule over all the earth. [40] And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these (Iron - Rome - Dragon with seven heads and ten horns - Dan. 9:24-27; Rev. 12:3 - 13:1), shall it break in pieces and bruise (break, bruise, but not destroy). [41] And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. [42] And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong (Iron - Revised Roman Empire - a ten division world - the ten horns - Dan. 7:3-24; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3-16), and partly broken (Clay - three of the ten horns, or divisions, have no head, or leader - Dan. 7:8; Rev. 12;3; 13:1; 17:3-9). [43] And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men (perhaps marry to form a political union): but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay (it doesn't work). [44] And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom (the Millennium - Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 20:1-7), which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it (He - Jesus) shall break in pieces and consume (apparently the four kingdoms had been assimilated into the kingdom of the Antichrist - Dan. 2:45; Rev. 13:1-2) these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever (eternally after the Millennium, the Great White Throne Judgment, and into eternity - Rev. 20:1 - 22:21). [45] Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands (Jesus - Stone of Stumbling - Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8 - Chief Corner Stone - Isa. 28:16, Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6), and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. IN CHRIST, WE WIN!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Following the Lord's overview of Israel's history from Abraham until the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:27), He informs us of the part each of the members of the Satanic trinity plays in the final three and one half years of the Tribulation. Revelation 13:1-18 with my comments in bold:

1] And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (nations other than Israel - Rev. 17:15), having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. [2] And the beast (Antichrist - Roman) which I saw was like unto a leopard (Greeks), and his feet were as the feet of a bear (Medo-Persia), and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Babylon): and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. [3] And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. [4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? [5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (three and one half years). [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven (Abomination of Desolation). [7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. [8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [9] If any man have an ear, let him hear (notice it does not say "unto the churches"). [10] He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. [11] And I beheld another beast (False Prophet) coming up out of the earth (land; Israel); and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. [12] And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [13] And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, [14] And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. [15] And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed (Israel - note v. 7-8). [16] And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [17] And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [18] Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (666 - Dragon, Antichrist, False Prophet).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Revelation Chapters 6 - 18 describe the Tribulation "week" spoken of by Daniel (Dan. 9:27), also known as "the Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7). When you add these passages to what Jesus had to say about the Tribulation in His Olivet Discourse, the "week" could best be described as a period of three and one half years of peace, followed by three and one half years of "hell on earth" for the Jews (Matt. 24:3-29).

Daniel's description mentions that "in the midst of the week," the Antichrist ["the prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26), and "the Beast" (Rev. 13:1)], will cause the "abomination of desolation" (Matt. 24:15). Israel's eyes will be opened (Rom. 11:25), and they will spend the last half of the "week" on the run.

Chapter Twelve of Revelation is an overview of Israel's history from Abraham, to the birth of Christ, even until His return. Here is Chapter Twelve with my comments inserted in bold type.

[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman (Israel) clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars (the twelve tribes of Israel): [2] And she being with Child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered (from Abraham until the birth of Christ). [3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (Satan), 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 (fallen angels), 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 (Jesus, Israel's Messiah) as soon as (He) was born. [5] And she brought forth a Man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (God's offer - Jn. 1:11; it will be fulfilled in the Millennium): and her Child was caught up unto God (Christ's Ascension), and to His throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness (the second half of the Tribulation), where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the sheep of Matt. 25:32-46) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (three and one half years). [7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, [8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] 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. [10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation (to Israel - Rom. 11:26), 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. [11] And they (converted Jews) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. [12] 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. [13] And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man Child. [14] 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 (three and one half years), from the face of the serpent. [15] And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood (compare Rev. 9:16 with 17:15) after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. [16] 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. [17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (converted Israel), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


There is a Satanic trinity found in the Book of Revelation, comprised of Satan or the Dragon (Rev. 12:9), the Beast or the Antichrist (Rev. 13:1; 1 Jn. 2:18), and a another Beast, the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11; 16:13). Satan seeks to be God; the first Antichrist pretends to be Christ; and the second Beast resembles the Holy Spirit in that, just as the Holy Spirit focuses man's attention upon the Son of God (Jn. 16:13-14), he focuses man's attention on the Son of Perdition (Rev. 13:12; 2 Thes. 2:3).

The Greek antichristos is a combination of ante and christos. The word anti can mean "opposed to," or "in the place of." Christos is obviously Christ. In the case of the Antichrist or first Beast of Revelation, both definitions are applicable. Middletown Bible Church shared these observations:
  1. Christ is from Heaven (Jn. 6:38); Antichrist is from the Pit (Rev. 11:7).
  2. Christ came in His Father's name (Jn. 5:43); Antichrist, his own name (Jn. 5:43).
  3. Christ humbled Himself (Phil. 2:8); Antichrist will exalt himself (2 Thes. 2:4).
  4. Christ was despised (Lk. 23:18); Antichrist will be admired (Rev. 13:3-4).
  5. Christ will be exalted (Phil. 2:9); Antichrist will be cast down (Rev. 19:20).
  6. Christ does His Father's will (Jn. 6:38); Antichrist will do his own will (Dan. 11:36).
  7. Christ came to save (Lk. 19:10); Antichrist will come to destroy (Dan. 8:24).
  8. Christ - Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:4-6); Antichrist - evil shepherd (Zech. 11:17).
  9. Christ is the True Vine (Jn. 15:1); Antichrist, the "vine of the earth" (Rev. 14:18).
  10. Christ is the Truth (Jn. 14:6); Antichrist is a liar (2 Thes. 2:11).
  11. Christ is the Holy One (Mk. 1:24); Antichrist, the wicked one (2 Thes. 2:8).
  12. Christ is the Son of God (Lk. 1:35); Antichrist, son of perdition (2 Thes. 2:3).
  13. Christ is the Man of Sorrows (Isa. 53:3); Antichrist, the man of sin (2 Thes. 2:3).
  14. Christ, Mystery of Godliness (1 Tim. 3:16); Antichrist, of iniquity (2 Thes. 2:7).
  15. Christ is my Friend (Jn. 15:15); Antichrist is man's enemy (Rev. 11:7).
  16. Christ is Eternally God (1 Tim. 1:17); Antichrist is temporary (Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

Regardless of his evil intent, and his power to destroy, I have really good news for you, if you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ; you will not have to deal with the Antichrist. True believers, those who have accepted the free gift of salvation paid for through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, will be taken to be with the Lord prior to his being revealed. The seven year Tribulation, which begins when he makes a covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:27), will not occur until the Lord’s Church is removed via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). The Lord told the Church of Philadelphia, the true and faithful believers, that He would keep them from the time of God’s wrath upon the earth (Rev. 3:10). Praise the Lord!!!!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Most students of the Bible are familiar with the fact that there are two Resurrections, but I would suggest that there are at least three. And while the Bible specifically mentions only two Resurrections, I believe there is another Resurrection clearly presented in Scripture. I will try to present them in the order they occur, but such a task is made difficult by the fact that the First Resurrection takes place over at least three thousand years.

The First Resurrection

The First Resurrection, the Resurrection to eternal life, began with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and will be complete when death itself is cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). Jesus identified Himself as "the Resurrection and the Life" for all who believe in Him (Jn. 11:25). Jesus is called "the Firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20), and according to the Apostle Paul, all those who have trusted in the Lord during their lifetime, from the creation of Heaven and Earth, until it is "replaced" by the New Heaven and the New Earth (Rev. 21:1), will be raised from the dead, in like manner, after Him (1 Cor. 15:20-23). The Bible identifies this multifaceted event as the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:5-6).

The Second Resurrection

As early as the Book of Daniel, the Word has described two Resurrections. Daniel 12:2 says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." John mentioned two Resurrections, the one unto Life, and the other unto Damnation (Jn. 5:29). While the phrase "the Second Resurrection" does not appear in the Word of God, it is clearly presented in Revelation. That there are at least two, is indicated by the phrase "the First Resurrection" found in Revelation 20:5. The Second Resurrection is certainly the one to which John refers in verses 11-15.

The Resurrection of Israel as a Nation

For all practical purposes, Israel ceased to be a free nation from its captivity by the Assyrians in 722 B.C., until the United Nations declared them a sovereign state in A.D. 1948. That is about 2700 years, give or take, wouldn't you know it, the Word provides some interesting facts, that when considered together, lead us to see God's plan for His people. First, we read in the Book of Hosea, the following prophecy concerning the "rebirth" of Israel: "Come and let us return unto the Lord for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. AFTER TWO DAYS will He revive us; IN THE THIRD DAY He will raise us up, and we will live in His sight" (Hos. 6:1-2).

Clarence Larkin, in his book Dispensational Truth, suggests that we consider 2 Peter 3:8 as an explanation of the "two days" mentioned by Hosea. It is also interesting that the Psalmist seems to be connecting the Lord's destruction of man, with His raising them up again; note that the day - thousand year comparison is mentioned (Ps. 90:3-4). Ezekiel 37:1-10 is a description of a Resurrection. In verse eleven, we are told who it is that is being raised: "Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel...." And finally, the Apostle Paul wrote three chapters in the Book of Romans, which explain what has happened to Israel, why, and their final "Resurrection" (Rom. 9 - 11).

Sunday, January 15, 2012


About a century ago, when my wife and I accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, there was a popular Christian song that helped to form my theology. The song was It's Gonna Rain, and it showed, not only this world's future, but it showed the progression of how God does things. First, God warns His prophet ("God told Noah, it's gonna rain"). Then His prophet warns God's people ("Then Noah told the people, said it's gonna rain") And finally, as the song's chorus says, believers warn others ("I tell you, it's gonna rain").

The chorus says:
"I tell you,
It’s gonna rain, it's gonna rain,
You better get ready and bear this in mind.
God showed Noah a rainbow sign,
Won't be water, it'll be fire next time."

The Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:10-12 concerning this future event:
"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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
Jesus spoke of the resemblance between the days of Noah's flood and His Second Coming in His Olivet Discourse. His first point was that no man know when the event will occur (Matt. 24:36). Just as those who lived and watched Noah build the Ark, man will continue living and enjoying "the pleasures of life" (Matt. 24:38). And like Noah and his family, God will remove those who have accepted His grace (Gen. 6:8; Jn. 14:1-3; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). In Noah's case, he was lifted up above the destruction below in a boat; born again believers will be lifted up above the destruction of God's judgment in the Rapture.

Today, God has provided His Word for us, His messengers, and we are to pass His warning on to a lost and dying world. In essence, the Word represents the prophets, and we are all "Noahs." God has provided "an Ark" which is the free gift of salvation to "whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord" (Rom. 10:13). But unfortunately, I am afraid we are closing in on the "day we will all set sail." The rain "of fire" awaits God's removal of His messengers, and by the look of things in the news, that could happen at any moment! There is no time to waste; go warn you family, friends, and even your enemies while there is still time!

"I tell you,
It’s gonna rain, it's gonna rain,
You better get ready and bear this in mind.
God showed Noah a rainbow sign,
Won't be water, it'll be fire next time."

Saturday, January 14, 2012


The Holy Spirit's work in us begins when He produces repentance in us by convicting us of: 1) our sin; 2) of Christ's righteousness; and 3) of the inevitable judgment of Satan and all who are his (Jn. 16:8-11). When we acknowledge that we are in need of a Savior, the Spirit uses God's children to provide us with the Gospel, God's good news (Rom. 10:14-15). When we believe, trust, place our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit works in us the miracle of the new birth (Jn. 1:13; 3:3-8; 1 Jn. 5:1).

As born again believers in Jesus Christ, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and as a result, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19). Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit was present with them, but that He would one day dwell within them (Jn. 14:17). His promise that believers would be filled, began being fulfilled ten days after His Ascension, on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:3; 2:1-4). The Word says ALL born again believers are indwelt by the Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:6-7). In fact, not only are we indwelt, we are forever sealed unto God by the Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).

The Holy Spirit's "job" in us, is to guide us as we seek to do the Lord's will (Jn. 16:13). He equips us for ministry (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:4-12). He teaches us, and when needed, He brings to our remembrance all that He has taught us (Jn. 14:26). Believers are to "walk in the Spirit," that is, to be led step-by-step through life (Eph. 5:16-25). And before we follow, we must be certain that it is God's Spirit that is leading (1 Jn. 4:1-3).

When we are absolutely certain it is the Holy Spirit, we have a choice; we can either obey or we can disobey. When we disobey, we are sinning against God, and the Word says we "grieve the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 4:30). The Greek word, "grieve," is λυπεῖτε (lypeite), which means "to offend, to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness." By our failing to follow His leading, simply put, sinning, we cease to be filled. That is why we need to confess our sin, and allow God to fill us again (1 Jn. 1:9; Eph. 5:18).

There is another word in Scripture that believers are warned against. We are told not to "quench the Spirit" (1 Thes. 5:19). In context, one is capable of quenching the fire in others, because the following verse warns against despising prophecies, obviously referring to those given by other believers (1 Thes. 5:20). The Greek word translated "quench," is σβέννυτε (sbennumi), and it means "to extinguish." The Holy Spirit is described as "fire" (Matt. 3:11; Acts 2:3-4), and among other things, fire provides "light" in a dark world (Ex. 13:21).

As I understand it then, we grieve the Spirit when we sin, and we quench the Spirit when we hinder the manifestation of Spiritual gifts in others. So, in effect, the first is our sin against God, and the last refers to our sin against our brethren. And in so doing, we are breaking the two greatest commandments (Matt. 22:37-39)!

Friday, January 13, 2012


The Trinity that is God, is known through God's Word, to be the God of all truth. The Father is called the God of truth (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 31:5; Isa. 65:16). The Son is the Truth personified (Jn. 1:14, 17; 14:6). The Holy Spirit is called the "Spirit of truth" (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). In other words, whatever God has said, you can trust it to be true.

In contrast, there is another "trinity" which the Word of God says is characterized by lies. This false "trinity" consists of the "anti-father" (the Dragon, that old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan - Rev. 12:9; 20:2). He is called "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). Not only does he lie, he is called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).

Just as the true God sent us The Truth, Christ, the false god will provide the world with the Antichrist (2 Thes. 2:3-5; 1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 13:1-4). He will be like his "father" in that he will be a liar (2 Thes. 2:4, 11; 1 Jn. 2:2). He, like his "father," will "deceive the whole world" (2 Jn. 1:7; Rev. 12:9).

And, just as the Holy Spirit's ministry is focused upon Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, so also is it the "ministry" of the third member of the satanic trinity (the False Prophet - Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) to focus the world on the Antichrist (Jn. 16:13-15; Rev. 13:12). And as the Holy Spirit worked genuine miracles through Christ to reveal His identity (Lk. 4:14; Rom. 15:19), the False Prophet will show false signs and work miracles to deceive the world into believing in the Antichrist (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:13; 16:14).

Finally, those who follow Christ are to walk in the truth. In fact, the true test of a person's salvation is evidenced by whether or not he or she tells the truth. Paul wrote, " But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (2 Cor. 4:2).

John made a point of calling believers to be truthful in all three of his epistles:

* "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (1 Jn. 1:6).
* "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father" (2 Jn. 1:4).
* "For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth" (3 Jn. 1:3).

Based upon all of this, if you want to know whether or not you are a child of God, just ask yourself these questions. "Do I resemble the Christ, or the Antichrist?" "Am I known for telling the truth, or am I known for being a liar?" "Is God my Father, or am I a child of the "father of lies?" You be the judge. If God is your Father, praise the Lord! If Satan is your father, then turn to the Lord! And do it quickly!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Over the past seven days, I have shared the Word of God as it is written in Revelation Chapters Two and Three, Clarence Larkin's interpretation of the Seven Churches as representing Seven Church Ages, and "my two cents worth." Larkin's basic premise is accepted by many conservative theologians, although most feel compelled to "tweak" it some; especially since it is clear that the Raptured Church, Philadelphia, is still here.

However, there is another problem with Larkin's suggestion: the Word itself. Prior to John being instructed to write to the seven churches, the Lord provided an outline for the Book of Revelation. John wrote, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (Rev. 1:19). Based upon this "key verse," Revelation is clearly divided into the three tenses: the past (things which thou HAST seen); the present (things which ARE); and the future (things which SHALL BE hereafter). The past is presented in Revelation 1:1-18; notice the repeated use of the past tense.

The present, the time period in which the seven churches existed, is seen in the constant use of the present tense. Jesus told John, "I know thy works" for each of the seven (2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15), and He ended His comments on the churches with the present tense "what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). There is absolutely no doubt that the Lord wanted to warn His Church that their present condition would come to an end.

Perhaps the clearest evidence of this outline of Revelation is found in the following verse: "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Rev. 4:1). This verse begins the nineteen chapters which have yet to be fulfilled. The Rapture is pictured here (4:1). Chapters six through eighteen describe the future Tribulation. Chapter nineteen deals with Christ's Second Coming. Chapter twenty speaks to the one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth, the Millennium. The remainder of the Book of Revelation, chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, tell us of a new heaven and a new earth, and attempt to describe our eternity in the very presence of God Almighty!

It is possible that both interpretations of the seven churches could be correct. Scripture is replete with prophecies that have more than one fulfillment. The most obvious is that of the coming of the Messiah of Israel. When the final prophecy of the Bible has been literally fulfilled, as are all prophetic fulfillments of Scripture, Israel's Messiah will have come to earth twice. He came the first time as the Lamb of God, to die as our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7), and He will come again, as King of kings and Lord of lords; He will come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)! In light of the many dual fulfillments of prophecy, it is both possible and reasonable to believe the seven churches have a dual meaning. We will soon see!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The seventh and last church addressed, the Church of Laodicea, is by far the saddest church; it is the church of unsaved members! These are Christian in name only.
"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" (Rev. 3:14-22).
It is my belief that at the time of the Rapture of the Church, the Church will be comprised of two groups of people: those trusting in the work of Christ, and those trusting in their own works. One will be possessors of eternal life as the born again children of God, and the others will profess to be the children of God because they "are busily involved in the Christian Religion." The Rapture will remove those described as "Philadelphians," and those remaining on earth will be the "Laodiceans." The following is gleaned from Larkin's book, Dispensational Truth:

"Christ has no "commendation" for this Church. He said, "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 or hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth." The cause of this "lukewarmness" is the same as that of the Church of Laodicea - was Self-Deception. "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."

Then a most startling revelation was made to the Church of Laodicea, Christ said, "Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock." Jesus was excluded from His own nation, for they Rejected Him; excluded from the world, for it Crucified Him; excluded from His Church, for He stands outside its door Knocking for Entrance."
Today's church members need to take inventory as to which group they belong. Are you trusting totally in the gift of salvation provided solely on the basis of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection for you? Or are you a believer that He did those things, and now it is up to you to live a life worthy enough to be acceptable to God? The first group received the gift of salvation; the latter group seeks to work for salvation. In that, they are no different than members of every religion on earth. Religion is not the way; Jesus is the Way!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Two of the seven churches listed in Revelation did not receive criticism from the Lord: Smyrna and Philadelphia. The Church at Smyrna was faithful, even in the face of severe persecution, and was praised. The Church at Philadelphia was recognized for its love for the lost souls of the world.
"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" (Rev. 3:7-13).
It is to the Church of Philadelphia that the Lord promises to remove them from the earth [the Rapture of the Church - Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18] prior to the "hour of temptation" [the Tribulation, Daniel's Seventieth Week, the Time of Jacob's Trouble - Matt. 24:21; Dan. 9:24-27; Jer. 30:7]. It is my understanding that the Church of Philadelphia and the Church of Laodicea co-exist in time. I came to this conclusion based upon four of the seven parables of Matthew 13 (wheat/tares, mustard seed, leaven, and the fishes). All picture good and evil co-existing within the Church. About the Church of Philadelphia, Larkin wrote:
"It had a "little strength." It was like a person coming back to life who was still very weak. It was the "dead" Sardis Church "revived, " and Revivals have been characteristic of the Philadelphia Period. These Revivals began with George Whitefield in A. D. 1739, followed by John Wesley, Charles G. Finney and D. L. Moody. (He) had set before it an "open door," that no "man" could shut. Note that this promise was made by Him, who "hath the 'Key of David,' He that 'openeth' and no man shutteth; and 'shutteth' and no man openeth." As the Church at Philadelphia is still in existence (written in 1920), and while it suffered more or less under the "Ten Persecutions" of the "Smyrna Period," it has never yet suffered in a persecution that was world-wide. This "hour of temptation" then must be still future and refers doubtless to the "Great Tribulation" that is to come upon the "whole world," just before the return of the Lord to set up His Millennial Kingdom, and as the promise is that the "Philadelphia Church" shall not pass through the Tribulation.
While Larkin believed the "Philadelphia Period" covers the time between A. D. 1750 and A. D. 1900, I would suggest it is from A. D. 1750 until the Rapture. It consists of genuine, born again believers, whereas the next church consists of believers in name only.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Sardis, the fifth church addressed by the Lord, should have been a victorious church. One commentator described the Church of Sardis as "a church that was too good to be true." It appeared to be spiritually alive in that it was a church of good works, but as we know, works cannot save you, and works will not keep you saved (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-5).
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Rev. 3:1-6).
In his book, Dispensational Truth, Clarence Larkin describes this church as picturing the church of the Reformation. While I agree with his starting date for the period represented by Sardis, I seriously doubt that his interpretation of the end of the period. I would suggest that this church period runs concurrently with the next church. The Lord's comment about coming as a "thief in the night," clearly pictures His teaching on the Rapture. I hope to say more on this in connection to the sixth church: Philadelphia. Larkin wrote:
"The Church at Sardis was called a "Dead Church, that is, it was a church given over to "formal" or "ritualistic" worship. The meaning of the word "Sardis" is the "escaping one, " or those who "come out" and so it is an excellent type of the Church of the Reformation, the Church (escaping) the Papal Church. It had the advantage of encouraging and aiding the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, that had hitherto been a sealed book, the revival of the Doctrine of "Justification by Faith, " and a reversion to more simple modes of worship, - but the multiplication of sects only led to bitter controversial contentions, that, while they threw much light on the Word of God, interfered greatly with the spiritual state of the Church, until it could truthfully be said, "That she had a name to live and was "dead."

While the reformers swept away much ritualistic and doctrinal rubbish they failed to recover the promise of the Second Advent. They turned to God from idols, but not to "wait for His Son from the Heavens." The "Sardis Period" extended from A. D. 1520 to about A. D. 1750."

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The Lord's message to the Church of Thyatira was both praise and warning. They actually grew in their service to others for the Lord, but their association with "Jezebel" was unacceptable unto the Lord.
"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; 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. 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. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 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. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 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. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Rev. 2:18-29).
Clarence Larkin had this to say about the church's association in his book, Dispensational Truth:
"(Jesus) charges them not merely with permitting a bad woman, Jezebel, who called herself a "Prophetess," to remain in the Church, but with permitting her to "teach" her pernicious doctrines, and to "seduce" the servants to "commit fornication, " and to "eat things sacrificed to idols." Probably she was of noble lineage. She certainly was a woman of commanding influence. Whether her real name was Jezebel or not, she was so like the wife of Ahab, that Christ called her by that name. Jezebel was a princess of idolatrous Tyre, (and had an) ntense devotion to Baal and Astarte. Ahab, king of Israel, to strengthen his kingdom, married Jezebel, and she introduced the licentious worship of Baal into Israel, and killed (most of) the prophets of the Lord. (She had) a house of Baal built in Jerusalem.

Jezebel typified the "Papal Church." When the "Papal Church" introduced images and pictures into its churches for the people to bow down to, it became idolatrous. And when it set up its claim that the teaching of the Church is superior to the Word of God, it assumed the role of "Prophetess." A careful study of the "Papal System," with its institution of the "Sacrifice of the Mass" and other Pagan rites, reveals in it, the sway of "Jezebelism." It was also a period of "Jezebelistic Persecution," as seen in the wars of the Crusades, and the rise of the Inquisition. A careful comparison of this "Message" with the Parable of "The Leaven" (Matt. 13:33), will reveal the correspondence between "Jezebel" of the Church of Thyatira, being the "Woman" of the Parable, who inserted the "Leaven" of "False Doctrine" into the Meal of the Gospel.

This Period extended from A. D. 606 to the Reformation A. D. 1520."

Saturday, January 7, 2012


The third church was in the city of Pergamum. This church followed Satan's typical way of doing things by combining truth with false teachings. Truth, when coupled with the false, becomes a lie.
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Rev. 2:12-17).
Clarence Larkin, in Dispensational Truth, wrote:
"In this Message Pergamos is spoken of as "Satan's Seat." When Attalus III, the Priest-King of the Chaldean Hierarchy, fled before the conquering Persians to Pergamos, and settled there, Satan shifted his capital from Babylon to Pergamos. At first he persecuted the followers of Christ, and Antipas was one of the martyrs. But soon he changed his tactics and began to exalt the Church, and through Constantine, united the Church and State, and offered all kinds of inducements for worldly people to come into the Church. Constantine's motive was more political than religious. "Pergamos" means "marriage," and when the Church entered into a union with the State it was guilty of "spiritual fornication" or "Balaamism."

It was at this time that "Post-Millennial(ism)"
had (its) origin. As the Church had become rich and powerful, it was suggested that by the union of Church and State, a condition of affairs would develop that would usher in the Millennium without the return of Christ, and since some scriptural support was needed for such a doctrine, it was claimed that the Jews had been cast off "forever," and that all the prophecies of Israel's future glory were intended for the Church. (Today, we call this false view, "Replacement Theology.").
This "Period" extends from the accession of Constantine, A. D. 312 to A. D. 606, when Boniface III was crowned "Universal Bishop."

Friday, January 6, 2012


Of the seven churches addressed by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation, only two are given encouragement without rebuke for failure to obey Christ in some area. The first is the Church at Smyrna, and the other is the sixth church mentioned, the Church at Philadelphia in Revelation 3:7-13. Smyrna is a picture of the suffering genuine believers have encountered over the past two thousand years.

"And unto the angel of the Church in Smyrna write; These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" (Rev. 2:8-11).

Clarence Larkin, in his book, Dispensational Truth, had this to say about the second of seven churches listed in the Book of Revelation.

"The Church in its "Ephesian Period" having lost its "First Love, " the Lord is now about to "chastise" it, so as to cause it to return to Him. Smyrna has for its root meaning "bitterness, " and means "Myrrh, " an ointment associated with death, and we see in the meaning of the word a prophecy of the persecution and death which was to befall the members of the Smyrna Church. They were told not to "fear" the things that they should be called on to suffer, but to be faithful "unto" death, not "until" death. That is, not until the end of their "natural" life, they were not to "recant" when called upon to face a Martyr's death, but remain faithful until death relieved them of their suffering. The reward would be a "Crown of Life." This is the Martyr's crown.

They were told that the "author" of their suffering would be the Devil, and its duration would be "ten days, " which was doubtless a prophetic reference to the "Ten Great Persecutions" under the Roman Emperors, beginning with Nero, A. D. 64, and ending with Diocletian in A. D. 310. Seven of these "Great Persecutions" occurred during this "Smyrna Period" of Church History. Or it may refer to the 10 years of the last and fiercest persecution under Diocletian.

This Period extended from A. D. 170 to Constantine A. D. 312."

The tribulation spoken of here is not the Tribulation, the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7) and "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:24-27). That seven year period is yet to come, and it follows the Rapture of the Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).

Thursday, January 5, 2012


"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:1-7).
The following is what Clarence Larkin, author of Dispensational Truth, had to say about the passage above.

"The complaint that Christ makes against this Church is that it "had left its First Love." Its character is seen in its very name, for Ephesus means to "let go...... to relax." It had become a Backslidden Church. Paul, who founded it, warned it of what should happen, in his parting message.

"I know this, that after my departing shall grievous 'wolves' enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, 'speaking perverse things, ' to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 2:29-30).

The significance of this warning is seen in the commendation of the Message, vs. 6-"But this thou hast, that thou 'hatest' the deeds of the Nicolaitanes which I also hate." Here Paul's "wolves" are called Nicolaitanes. They were not a sect, but a party in the Church who were trying to establish a "Priestly Order." Probably trying to model the Church after the Old Testament order of Priests, Levites, and common people. This is seen in the meaning of the word, which is from "Niko" to conquer, to overthrow, and "Laos" the people or laity. The object was to establish a "Holy Order of Men, " and place them over the laity, which was foreign to the New Testament plan, and call them not pastors, but-Clergy, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, Popes. Here we have the origin of the dogma of "Apostolic Succession, " and the separation of the Clergy from the Laity, a thing that God "hates." The Church at Ephesus was not deceived, but recognized them as false apostles and liars.

The character of the Church at Ephesus is a fair outline of the Church Period from A. D. 70 to A. D. 170."