King Jesus Defined His Kingdom

Jesus Defined His Kingdom

Book of Matthew Chapter 16

There is no doubt that the greatest thing the Lord Jesus Christ did for us was to die for our sins!

Our sin debt has been paid and we stand on Holy ground before our Heavenly father.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What a blessing that has been bestowed upon us!

The greatest thing that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for this world is the formation and the leadership of the Church!

We must know that every building with a steeple is not a church.

Every group of people claiming religion is not a church.

Every time a news source claims a church did this or a church did that, does not mean they are talking about the true church.

Only those who gather in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ where the Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church are the true Church.

Only those who gather in the power of the Holy Spirit are the true Church.

Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth who powers the true Church in this world!

Saying all this, we must know that the Church has tares within the congregation, and they are hard to find but the Lord said He would remove them.

This includes such people as the Pharisees of the Old Testament.

Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

This does not mean we cannot stop someone in the Church from doing wrong and stop them from attending with us in fellowship.

We must be Holy in the House of God!

So Jesus has a little test for His disciples.

*Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

We could ask this same question today? Whom does the world think that Jesus is?

Even today, it is important for the Church to know what the world thinks about the Lord Jesus Christ.

The message of the Church is the Gospel, and this will always be true, but the way the “Gospel” is presented is determined by what the world thinks about our Lord.

We may have to think back when we were lost in this dying world, what did we think about Jesus?

When our Lord was asking these questions, He knew it was but a short time until He faced the death of the Cross.

We already know that the greatest sin in this world is to be ignorant of the Lord Jesus Christ!

To the average man Jesus was highly esteemed and respected.

When Jesus asked this question, that word “men” was not intended to be the Jews only but all the people in and about that part of the world.

We see what the world thinks of Jesus today, but the Lord Jesus Christ changed this world when He walked upon this earth!

We know that an opinion is a “judgment” of someone without having much knowledge of that person.

What do we know about the world today?

Joh 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

The world hates the Lord Jesus Christ!

What did the world say then?

*Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Remember King Herod thought that Jesus was a resurrection of John the Baptist and John the Baptist was the Messiah.

The Bible states in so many words that the Prophet Elijah will return, and some thought Jesus was he.

There was at that time a current tradition among the Jews, that either Jeremiah, or some other of the ancient prophets would rise again before the Messiah came.

We see what happens when we try to interpret the Bible and not study to see what God has said while rightly dividing the Bible.

We know for certain that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah, God in the flesh!

What had God told Moses?

Deu 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deu 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Deu 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

The biggest problem we see is that no one actually took the time to see what God actually said and they depended upon men to tell them what God had said.

Every true prophet spoke the words God had told them to say, even the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

Then Jesus asked his chosen disciples, what did they think.

*Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

We know the “Gospel of Matthew” is not written in chronological order but as far as we know, how could Peter or any of these disciples believe that the Lord Jesus was not the Messiah.

How long had it been since Jesus walked upon the Sea of Galilee and saved Peter from drowning?
How long had it been since the Lord Jesus fed the 5000 plus?
They had seen the Lord Jesus heal person after person, continuously?
They had to see the Lord Jesus just speak and calm the seas and the winds?

How could they not believe that Jesus was the Messiah?

They had rested their beliefs on one thing, and it was their stumbling block.

They wanted another King David for their Messiah!

Jesus came as a Savior, which was far more important!

It was critical that these men knew the truth before Jesus went back to Heaven!

If they could not believe then, how could they continue to learn from Him.

Let us be honest we will never learn from those we do not trust!

We have to answer this same question today in faith or we cannot be saved!

Do we know the Anointed of God sent to this earth to provide a means of salvation?

Listen in as Jesus prays:

Joh 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

It is a fact Jesus did not come to convince us He was the Messiah. Jesus came to do the will of His Father!

Our Heavenly Father has provided us with His Holy Word, and it is up to us to believe Him or not!

It is not that God does not care, for He does, but God has humbled Himself one time and died upon a cruel cross.

God will never humble Himself in that manner ever again.

He humbles Himself every time He listens to what we have to say!

Why should He do anything else? He has provided all we need to spend eternity with Him!

We can ask too much from Him!

I believe the Lord Jesus is exactly who He said He is, and I believe the Word of God came to us from Heaven!

Then Jesus teaches these disciples the platform of the Church.

*Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Who are all those who will become the church? All those who agree with Peter that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed One of God!

It was the Holy Spirit that revealed this to Peter.

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The natural man cannot receive the Holy Spirit!

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

If you cannot think like Jesus Christ, you cannot be like Jesus Christ, and this is what being a Christian is all about!

Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Rom 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Jesus came to inform the world a Church is a gathering of those who have the mind of Christ, so therefore He cannot be guilty of all those things He is being accused of doing.

It was the Apostle Peter who led 10 of those other men in the Doctrine of the Messiah to build the early Church and there were 12 again when the Lord called the Apostle Paul.

We see that when the Messiah returns to Heaven, something new “ecclesia” a community of others who believe as stated by the Apostle Peter.

“Thou art the Son of the Living God”.

This is how the Church began and continues to thrive today!

To those who say they do not have saving faith, they should realize that no one had saving faith until they came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit just as the Lord Jesus said to Peter.

Peter would become that stone, a living stone, who would reveal the “Rock” of our salvation, the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is not hard to understand, really it is very simple.

2Co_11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ did all the work, the Holy Spirit provides the conviction “and that first bit of faith” and just a call upon our Heavenly Father will get salvation for eternity.

Remembering that there is no other way! And there was no Church in existence at this time on earth!

The Church is not built upon the Apostle Peter even though he was instrumental in the beginning of the New Testament Church.

Peter had these words:

1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Peter was one of those lively stones for his lifetime just as every believer is to be a “lively stone” today until our death!

We should keep in mind this was a New Covenant (New Testament) for the children of Israel, it is the only Covenant made to the Church!

*Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

1) Peter is not guarding the entrance into Heaven with the keys to allow those he has chosen to enter!
2) The Lord Jesus did not mean for us to understand that Peter holds the keys to Heaven!
3) The Lord did not say Peter is holding the keys to the Church!
4) The Lord did not mean that the eternal destiny of our souls depended upon Peter!

What the Lord Jesus meant was that to Peter was given the administration of the of the “kingdom of heavens” here on earth.

Peter was designated the first appointed witness to the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” after the Lord returned to Heaven and after Pentecost when, each of the Apostle were filled with the Holy Spirit along with more than a hundred more.

Let us see this again in the context Jesus intended:

Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
Mat 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
Mat 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Mat 18:15 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.
Mat 18:16 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.
Mat 18:17 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.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The keys to the Kingdom then, is being a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Having the keys to the kingdom is having the “Gospel Message”!

We open the door to Heaven when we are witnesses for the Lord!

We close the door to Heaven when we refuse to be witnesses of the truth of the “Gospel”!

But it was not yet time.

*Mat 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Why did Jesus say this?

These 12 men were not ready to be true witnesses of the Gospel, because they did not yet have the faith and they did not yet have all the truth.

1) They needed more preparation.
2) The death, the burial, and the resurrection had not yet taken place.
3) The disciples needed the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, this would take place at Pentecost after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4) Most all the people did not understand the First Coming of the Messiah.

These things were to be clearly understood!

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Peter then shows us why he was not ready:

Peter did not have the Holy Spirit with in him, so Satan made an attempt to use him.

*Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

You see the most important thing for us all is to believe what Jesus says!

Verse 21 said: “from that time forth Jesus began to show His disciples what was going to happen”.

Jesus knows our future long before it happens!

Then Peter, who thought he understood it all, decided he knew more than his Master.

The Lord Jesus was using direct words and not symbols and parables.

The entire known world was fixing to change because of the knowledge given to these disciples.

Jesus was about to usher in the Kingdom of God making it possible for all believers to live eternally in the presence of God Himself.

These disciples needed to pay attention to what Jesus was saying.

The Lord Jesus Christ our God was totally committed to die for us!

Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

God gave us the Bible so we could understand what and why He does what He does, and especially so we can understand what is in our near future.

We could say that Peter just was not paying attention, but the Lord Jesus leads us to the truth.

*Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Notice just after Jesus had appointed Peter to lead the soon to be Apostles, Satan sticks his ugly head in to again try to stop the Church before it begins.

You see Satan can enter anyone who does not have indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

2Ti_2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

This world either does not understand this or they reject it saying, the Satan does not exist, but it is still the whole complete truth.

It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that we break the bondage of Satan.

Notice the Lord Jesus did not speak to Peter, Jesus spoke directly to Satan!

As for Peter, he had to keep his mind on the things the that were important.

The Lord Jesus came to die, but that death must remain His choice and not something Satan was involved in!

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Mar 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

We just cannot allow ourselves to be used by Satan!

Then Jesus explains what He means by being His disciples.

*Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

If we are to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must deny ourselves.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Because the Lord Jesus gave all He had even His life, then who are we if we are unwilling to do the same.

It must be our will to follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

This means it must be our desire, our wish, our purpose, our determination be as much like the Lord Jesus as we can!

It is hard to deny one’s self, but it is a necessary thing to be a servant of the Lord and to be in the family of God!

We must say no to the world and yes to our Heavenly Father!

We must take up our own cross and follow the Lord, if for no other reason than because the Lord said so!

We must be a companion, a disciple, of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This body of flesh has no value, after all it was made from the materials of this world, but that soul is Heaven made and more valuable that all the materials upon this earth.

We must understand that once this union of life and soul is created, it will exist forever.

It is just a matter of where we go at the end of this world.

One will be in torment forever.

The other will be glorified and live with the Heavenly Father forever.

We have it in our ability to choose where we will spend eternity, it just takes faith.

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The Lord Jesus is praying that we will choose right.

2Pe 3:9 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.

Amen

The Power of God

Jesus Demonstrated His Power

Book of Matthew Chapter 14

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ is certainly the Almighty Living God and being God, then He certainly has the power of God, which we know is unlimited power.

In reality, we cannot conceive the amount power God has and it cannot be measured!

In Chapter 13 the Lord Jesus explained the “Kingdom of Heaven” in easy-to-understand parables.

At least these parables were easy if you were a working person. The upper class and the super religious never understood the Messiah!

Most of the Jews in that day were farmers or fishermen.

Chapter 14 takes us deeper into the understanding of our Messiah!

The Lord Jesus proved without a doubt that He was the Messiah by the things that He did in those short three years.

Our lesson today takes place after the first year of His three-year ministry.

We first see what twisted theology does.

Herod was convinced that John the Baptist was the Messiah and he had not intended to murder John, but he did.

We all know the story how he was caught up in the dancing of a minor child along with other men in a drunken party.

He promised this child anything she would ask of him and by her mother’s hatred, she chose the head of John the Baptist.

When Herod began to hear all the things of Jesus, he had it his mind that Jesus was the resurrection of John the Baptist, but he did not recognize the “Power of God”.

Jesus departed into a desert place, but many followed him and here we see the feeding of the five thousand.

We can understand that the feeding of the 5000 was the greatest work the 12 disciples had seen of the Lord Jesus at this time.

After this Jesus needed some time with His Heavenly Father and He went to pray as He sent the 12 disciples on ahead across the Sea of Galilee.

This is where we pick up our lesson today.

*Mat 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

In typology we can say we are on our journey to the other side today that place being Heaven.

We should clearly understand that our Lord Jesus knew what was going to happen at any given moment and at all times.

The Lord Jesus had to convince (constrain) the disciples to leave Him, they did not want to do so. There were things they needed to see and feel, and Jesus wanted some time alone.

Most all of us want some time alone at times and we certainly need some time alone with our Heavenly Father.

When we pray, we do not need to be making request at all times, sometimes we just need to sit and talk with our Heavenly Father.

We are always seeking His right arm when more time should be spent seeking His face!

1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Pro 7:15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

These 12 unwillingly got into the ship and began their journey to the other side.

This is what each of us do once we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior. We begin our journey to the other side.

They were sent out into the sea of troubles.

Remember the Seas represent all the nations of this world.

At this time we are not in the Sea of Tranquility we are in the Sea of Troubles!

The Lord is not with us in His person at this time, but He does live in our hearts.

Once we know the Lord as our Savior then comes the trial of obedience!

Once the disciples had begun their journey to the other side according to the Apostle John, Jesus knew that these over 5000 men would try to make Him to be King and it was not His time to do so.

Joh 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

With the disciples gone and Jesus still with them, these who had been fed were calm while Jesus went up the mountain to be alone.

We need to remain calm today and remain busy in the work the Lord has given us to do.

He may not be with us, but we know He went up unto the Highest mountain (Heaven) and He is there praying for us today.

*Mat 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

In typology, this is the lesson we are to learn here.

Hos 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Today the Lord Jesus Christ is not only praying for us and for Israel He is also our Intercessor and our Advocate.

This night on the Sea of Galilee, is a picture of the Church Age, while Jesus is absent, the Church is tossed about upon the Sea which we know represents all the wicked and evil nations of this world.

Jesus will always come to the rescue of His Church during the Church Age if we call upon Him with a sincere heart.

Today the Church is not in one accord and departing from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Church is in the midst of the sea.

*Mat 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

What do we find out about the Church?

The Church is tossed around by the waves of this world, but as long as the waves do not enter the ship the ship is safe.

It is the same for the Church today! As long as we do not allow the world into the Church, the Church is safe even in troubled waters.

Even when the winds of change that come from this world, the Church is safe riding above the waters.

We simply cannot allow this world to change the Doctrine of Jesus Christ into some meaningless words.

We must rise above the storms of wickedness.

We must remain in one accord and travel this world in union with Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus is not only praying for us, but He is also watching to see if we need His help, and we always will.

This reflects upon the Second Coming of the Lord.

*Mat 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

We should understand the panic of these disciples. Most of these men were experienced fishermen who had sailed and fished the Sea of Galilee all their life, so this was not a common storm, this was a Satan sent storm in an attempt to kill these men who would be the beginning of the Church.

As Christians no matter how much we have grown in the Lord, there will never be a day that we do not need Him.

These 12 men were expecting at any time for the Sea to swallow them up, but low and behold our Lord also travels above the stormy waters and He simply walks on the storm just as easily as He walks upon the calm.

We can just see these 12 men as they portray types of true believers who hold the Lord Jesus Christ in their heart and are filled with the Holy Spirit.

We too are above the storms of life when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is why we need that “faith”!

The storms of life may toss us around and those waves are getting higher, and the wind is even more contrary.

We know the god of this age, and darkness continues to grow in our world, but it is relief to see that the Lord Jesus walks upon the storm because He is the Master of the storm!

If we expect peace and calm in this world, then our thinker is not thinking straight!

Satan has no power over the love of our Savior for us!

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What does the ship mean?

In type, it could be the Church as the Church tries to obey the Lord in this wicked world, but we know the true Church rises above the storms of this world and the Church is to have no fear and Jesus said for us not to worry.

These things being true, in type it this ship represents the Jewish people.

The Lord is absent from the Jewish people because He is a rejected Savior.

We must face reality, if Jesus is asked to leave, He will certainly leave!

Our Lord will not push Himself upon anyone.

We know the “seas” represent the nations of this world.

The waves and the wind represent the persecutions and the distress as we know this nation still faces today.

These things will remain true until the descendants of Jacob recognize King Jesus!

We already know that there will be no peace to these children of Israel until the King of Peace, the Son of David returns.

These disciples represent the Jewish people at this time because the death and resurrection of Christ has not taken place.

Think upon this. When the Lord ascended into Heaven, He did not leave the Church behind because there was no Church at that time, it was just beginning with the Apostles beginning their work.

When the Lord returns, He will not find the Church here on earth, because He will have already removed the Church.

Jesus will return to this earth to receive the remnant of the Jews. That hidden treasure from the parables.

It is the fourth watch of the night when Jesus is spotted walking on top of the storm.

It is the dawning before the morning when Jesus is seen.

The darkness of sin has been erased and the Lord of Glory returns.

1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

It is the fourth watch when the Lord leaves His place in Heaven and returns to this earth.

First, He will leave His place and come with a shout and the Church will meet Him in the air.

Second, He will return to this earth to put an end to sin and again deal with backsliding Israel.

So this fourth watch is then the Church Age the gradual approaching of the Lord.

2Pe 3:9 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.

The Church does not fear this fourth watch of the night!

The Church is not troubled, we know our ending!

The Jews in the time of Jacob’s trouble will show great fright!

Then King Jesus will say: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid”.

Then our favorite Apostle speaks up.

*Mat 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Mat 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

Do you know what hinders our relationship with God the most? It is doubt.

Thank goodness our God has almost as much “patience” as He has “Grace”.

The Lord Jesus will always speak to us in our times of doubt, but we must be listening.

Remember what Jesus says:

Joh_10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

We do not know about the others, but we know for certain that Peter knew this man “walking upon the water” was the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus was walking upon the storm, and we will see the Peter thought he was also ready to walk upon the storm.

Peter got one thing right. You cannot come unless you are called!

We also see the Lord is willing to receive all those that He has called!

Luk 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Luk 14:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
Luk 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Luk 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

If you reject the call of the Lord, you will not be at the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”!

Peter jumped out of that little ship and the water felt like pavement as solid as “Rock” and he began walking just as the Lord Jesus was walking.

Remember what Jesus says:

Mat_16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I just wonder if Peter remembered this day walking upon the Sea of Galilee when the Lord said these words?

You see “faith” is that Rock that is needed for the Church.

What or who is this “Rock”?

Mar_1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Joh_20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Act_8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

But what has happened to our Jewish friends?

Peter showed that it took an act of faith while turning of his back upon Judaism, that would allow him to walk upon the storms of this world to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Peter faltered when the storms overcame his faith unlike the Apostle Paul who led an entire ship to safety showing the truth of the Gentile Church.

We know that the Jews will have to separate themselves from Judaism, to become part of the Church and when Jesus came the first time, they rejected this.

Peter only walked a few steps but then he said those famous words of the Church.

*Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me”.
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
If you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Messiah and Lord of your life, the only words you need are “Lord Save Me”!

So when the Lord says “Come” then just walk in “faith” upon the storms caused by Satan, and the Lord will extend His arm down to your level of sin no matter how deep you are in sin, and He will save you!

We must then separate ourselves from this sinful world.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Just as Peter had to separate himself from Judaism.

We must look to Jesus!

Heb_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We must never look away from Jesus and expect better things that do not exist!

Today we see that Satan is bringing a very different “Wind of Change”, but we must not take our eyes off of Christ Jesus!

Faith is still our greatest friend!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

When Jesus comes into the ship, that wind will cease!

*Mat 14:32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

What really happened here?

Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

If we love the Lord Jesus Christ, we to are able to walk upon the storms of life and we to can lay our heads down on the pillow at night and sleep in peace, knowing we have a God to cares and a God who has power over all of His created world.

Satan is going to do his best to make our lives more miserable, but we are stronger than he because of who dwells in us!

1Jn_4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

The Lord will never let the Church sink.

The Church is that Ship that is sailing on troubled waters with boisterous winds, yet the Church is safe in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ who walks alongside the ship to keep her afloat.

It is the false church that has allowed the worldly seas to get inside the ship.

The Lord Jesus is outside that ship begging to get back in and if He is not allowed back in, then those fake ships will certainly sink into the pits of Hell, or Hades, whichever term you prefer.

If you do not believe in Hell, then you have no right to claim Heaven, both are in the same Book of Life.

If you do not believe in demons, then you have no right to believe in angels, both are in the same Book of Life.

If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and only Messiah, then you do not believe in our Creator!

When the ship with Jesus inside it reached the shore, they brought to Him all that were sick, and He healed them all.

Some had so much faith that they sought just to touch the hem of His garment and those that did were also healed.

This is a picture of our Savior!

Jesus never gets tired of saving and He never gets tired of healing!

Amen

Are You Cold and Indifferent to the Truth?

The King Fulfilled Prophecy

Book of Matthew Chapter 12

We should understand that there will always be some who reject the message of Christ Jesus because they reject the person of Christ Jesus!

There will be opposition to Christianity because it does not fit into the themes of this world.

The religious world in the day of Jesus were in a position in which they might have known much about the Messiah.

It is Christ Jesus who made this world we live in!

Col 1:16 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”:

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has preserved this world.

What is the greatest of all sin? The greatest of all sin is to be ignorant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a sin where there is no excuse.

We have our creation written down and described to us.
We have a God who continuously preserves our world up to this point.
We have a Savior who has revealed Himself according to His written Word.

As we begin this chapter in the Book of Matthew where we will witness the religious crowd of Israel begin to show their hatred for their own Scriptures and the truth of them.

Everything Jesus has done so far has proved that He was the promised Messiah, but hatred enters where belief should have been.

The blind saw.
Lepers were cleansed.
Demons were driven out.
People were raised from the dead.

There could be only one explanation for this, for only God could have done these things.

The Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled before their eyes.

There could be only one explanation for this, the Messiah had come just as the Word of God had said.

These people just refused to believe what their eyes saw!

They remained cold and indifferent to the truth that was before them.

They had no heart for the truth of the Scriptures they so acknowledged came from Jehovah God.

We will witness as Jesus begins to break His relationship with these Jews and begin His turn to all the world which was also prophesied.

*Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
Mat 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

The meaning of Sabbath is to rest from labor.

The Sabbath is the seventh day and is something essentially Jewish.

The keeping of it, is one of the laws given to the Jews by Jehovah.

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath was not a day that was given to the Church, even though the Lord does still teach us we need to rest at least one day of the week.

The Church observes the Lord’s Day. The Lord came out of that tomb on Sunday, known as the Lord’s Day.

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

The Church was given no specific day to worship, because we are to worship the Lord every day!

There is no law written to the Church about when to worship the Lord!

It was not the 613 commandments given to the Jews that got the Lord in trouble with His opposition, especially the Pharisees.

It was the “oral laws”, “man’s laws” that had been added, claiming to be the Word of God!

As our Creator and the same One who gave us the Word of God, then we should accept that Jesus knew all the Word of God better than anyone.

To be clear then, if the Jesus is the Lord of my life, then He is Lord of the Sabbath and Lord of everyday that I exist!

We already know that in the lifetime of our Savior, He did not sin, so it is evident He obeyed all those 613 laws written in the Word of God.

Jesus was not obligated to keep any law that violated His own words, even though He also kept the laws of the government that was in place.

He certainly was not obligated to keep the legalistic oral law of the Pharisee! Or the Sadducee or the Scribes, or any other human being.

We must understand the Word of God in the “context” in which it was written!

These disciples had broken no law as they passed through this corn field and taken enough to satisfy their hunger.

Deu 23:25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.

They were not harvesting they were only satisfying their hunger!

These Pharisee saw it as their job to enforce these “oral laws” which were no more than traditions that had become outrageous and considered to be of greater influence that the Word of God itself.

Exo 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

No one was expected to go without a meal on the Sabbath!

If you are following the Lord Jesus, you will move when He moved, whether you had eaten or not.

How did the Lord Jesus respond?

*Mat 12:3 But he said unto them, “Have ye not read” what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
Mat 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

Do you know the biggest problem with all those who claim to be God’s people? They refuse to read the Word of God themselves!

We need to read what God says!
We need to study what God says!
We need to understand what God says!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Jesus asked these hypocrites, “have ye not read”.

David was forced to go on the run by Saul, even though David was God’s anointed King of Israel.

Be careful or you will miss the typology here.

David was hungry and those with him were hungry just as those who were with the Lord Jesus on that day.

If David, the King anointed by God had been rejected while he was a fugitive, the holy things connected with these ceremonial things given to Israel by Jehovah, would have ceased to be holy!

When King Jesus is rejected, then all the things of the Church are then common and no longer holy.

1Sa 21:5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, “and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel”.

There is nothing holy with a so-called Church where the Lord Jesus Christ is rejected!

There is no part of that so-called church that is holy.

They may say, “we do not reject Jesus”, yet when they reject the teachings of the Word of God, they have rejected our Savior and everything He stands for and stands against!

These Pharisee had rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and what He stood for!

It is ridiculous to speak of Sabbath keeping, when the Lord of the Sabbath is rejected!

It is ridiculous to speak of a personal relationship with the Lord when you reject the truth of the Word of God or you try to twist the Word of God in an attempt to change its meaning!

How did Jesus feel about these super religious men?

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

That “shewbread” symbolized the presence of God who is the “Bread of Life”. Twelve loaves of bread were brought to the House of God as a symbolized offering to God.

It was a thanksgiving offering!

Those loaves symbolized an everlasting covenant between God and His people: that God would see to it that His people had whatever food was necessary to sustain His people.

They were changed every week the old loaves given to the priests.

King David had a legitimate need.

The Lord Jesus Christ promises to meet our needs!

Hypocrites will always insist on their own observations without having understood the truth of the Bible!

Again Jesus asks “have ye not read”.

*Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

We should understand the Lord Jesus here.

We have the perfectly written Word of God, but we must accept these words in the context they were written!

According to their interpret ion of the Sabbath by these hypocritical Pharisees, even the priests at the Temple should be stoned to death for doing what the priests were given to do according to the same Word of God.

We must never go against the Word of God!

Doing good according to the Word of God, is never a sin under any circumstances!

The worship of the Lord is a necessary thing!

It does not matter what the government says!

It was necessary for the Jews to worship according to the laws given to them which included animal sacrifices.

Remember their sin was only forgiven for one year, if they did what God had said to do in those three feasts that were required by God.

Today we know the Lord Jesus Christ put an end to animal sacrifice by sacrificing Himself which upon your “faith” forgiveness is eternal.

Heb 9:12 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

Then Jesus told them it was not the Temple that was important, it is the One who paid our sin debt that is the most important!

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath because He is the Lord of life!

*Mat 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

As long as the Church exists there will be some who think their learning has surpassed the Word of God, and the things said by the Lord Jesus Christ, and they will become adversaries unto Christ Jesus and His disciples!

For the super religious in Jerusalem and all of Israel, the Temple was the most important place in all the world.

Many today feel like Rome is the most important place in all Christianity!

What did Jesus teach? Jesus said, “It is not in a building”!

The Lord Jesus Christ is what Christianity is all about!

You cannot remove the Lord Jesus and still have Christianity!

You cannot remove the importance of the disciples of Jesus Christ and still say you are a Church!

Buildings are just places for the people of God to gather to worship the One True God and fellowship with other disciples of Jesus Christ!

If the priests including the High priest, did not have to obey the laws of the Sabbath, then why would the Lord of the Sabbath have to observe some man-made law?

The Sabbath was set aside for the descendants of Israel, the ones to whom many promises were made to spend time with Jehovah.

Laws and ceremonies have no place in the House of God.

It is the Word of God that must reign supreme, and it is the Word of God that teaches us about the Messiah, who physically stood before those hypocrites that day we read about in chapter 12.

Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the true High Priest.

Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the true and only sacrifice that is acceptable to God the Father!

Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the Lord of everyday to the true believer.

There is no day greater than any other day to worship the Almighty Living God!

What we should notice is, the mercy of the Messiah to tolerate our foolishness!

Any place of worship only possesses the symbolic presence of God, now He may show up in power and strength, but only because He resides in the believer.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The Lord Jesus Christ possesses all the fullness of the Godhead bodily!

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

If we cannot understand what these things mean, then how can we say we have come to worship.

They Lord Jesus Christ must be the Lord of our lives every day and every moment of every day!

*Mat 12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
Mat 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

This man with the withered hand was not allowed to go into the Temple to worship or even to visit.

Nor was any other person who had some infirmity.

The Temple was no more than a worldly showcase for the world to go to visit.

Jesus Himself said it had become no more than a den of thieves and He was not talking just about the moneychangers and those who bought and sold.

Jesus was talking about those ran the Temple.

It was the synagogue where these who had infirmities could worship and the super religious hypocrites did not like this either.

We should understand that no one would hire a man with a crippled hand and this man would end up being nothing but a beggar.

This man did not know Jesus would stop by on this day, he had simply come to worship Jehovah and to hear someone read the Word of God.

Copies of the Bible were too expensive for regular people to get one and those who could afford them did not ever read them.

Jesus loved to preach in the synagogues, because there would be other like this man with this withered hand and Jesus would show compassion to them.

What a question to ask, is it lawful according to the Word of God to heal on the Jewish Sabbath days?

Jesus was hated so much by this religious crowd they would use anything against Him!

The Lord Jesus never showed fear to these adversaries!

Yes, the religious crowd were the greatest adversaries of the Lord!

When we go to the house of the Lord, we are to go to worship!

Everyone went to worship except these who claimed to obey all the Word of God!

They went to find fault in the people of God!

We should clearly understand this evil, wicked, religious crowd knew that Jesus had the power to heal. They acknowledged that they knew it.

These same men would drop what they were doing and go home to save one of their animals, even on a Sabbath.

Yet here stood a man who had damaged his hand in some fashion and was no longer able to provide for himself nor for his family in the House God to worship Jehovah showing his great faith.

This had gotten the attention of our Savior!

How could anyone believe that God had to keep Himself from doing good on any day, much less a day He had set aside for rest and worship.

Jesus showed no fear, and He answered this foolish question with action.

*Mat 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
Mat 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Mat 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

Jesus spoke to this crowd and said, by your own actions, you prove that it is lawful to do good on a Sabbath!

It is “faith” that is the answer to the Word of God!

We must understand that so-called religion is nothing without believers.

Jesus explained to this religious crowd that they would break their own rules to save a sheep that had fallen into a pit, no matter what day it was.

Is not a man better than a sheep? If you have the love of God in you, that answer is simple.

We should listen as Jesus preaches to these men. He took one point, to build upon it.

Jesus then said, if you are so willing to help an animal in jeopardy of their life, then the answer to your question is “it is lawful to do well on a Sabbath”!

For which, the animal or is it mankind that God shows the greatest love?

How much do we oppose God by twisting and turning His Holy Word to say what it does not say?

This thing takes place in many a Church today!

It is irresponsible to treat the Word of God in this fashion!

There are animal owners today who put the life of humans at risk, just to keep their animals safe.

There are people all over the world starving to death, some because of religious beliefs about animals.

Rituals and rules that jeopardize the lives of people, have no place in the House of God!

Jesus knew what was in the hearts of these men, and they had no compassion on this man with the withered hand, but their goal all along was to destroy Jesus.

The world today would rather destroy the only means of salvation and keep the world lost in its foolishness!

It does not take good eyes to see that this world is dying!

There are no true atheists!

Even an atheist worships himself or herself and they will fight you over their belief!

An atheist says, “I am my own god above all others”!

They do not want to hear anything that goes against their beliefs.

These Pharisee had become blind to the truth by using man-made rules to push the truth of God away.

In fact, in typology it was Israel at this time that is represented by this withered hand.

Israel was withered spiritually in this day of Jesus and refused to change.

The Lord Jesus had come to restore Israel to Jehovah and because of religion, they chose to remain cripples and are crippled even today!

Here stood the Living God with the power to heal, the power to cast out devils, the power to feed great multitudes, the power to restore sight to the blind and the power to heal lepers and these puny human beings thought they could destroy this man named Jesus, which would be impossible!

*Mat 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
Mat 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
Mat 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
Mat 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not withdraw Himself because of fright!

The Lord Jesus the Messiah withdrew Himself to make sure everything happened just as written down in the Word of God and to fulfill all prophesies.

He did not come to “Judge” at this time, but He will return to Judge all those who reject Him.

We should never allow anger to rule our decisions at any time!

Jesus came to show His Mercy and His truth the first time He came!

Psa 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Psa 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

He will “Judge” according to the same Word of God we have today when He returns!

He asked those who He had healed to not make Him known.

Jesus wished to avoid confrontation with this super religious crowd until it was time to do so!

Jesus did not want the public to push Him forward as their King at this time.

These things will come later.

Jesus had not fulfilled the ministry He came to teach.

The plan of salvation by the Gospel was much more important than these other things!

We must humble ourselves before the Lord, and Jesus is our example of a humble servant during this first time He came!

One lesson Jesus was teaching which is still in place today is, “when they persecute you in one place then move to another place”.

Eventually enough believers will be gathered together to take a stand on the Word of God.

This is what frightens the world governments today.

Guess what, it is going to happen when King Jesus returns in “judgment”!

Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus came to do the will of the Heavenly Father, and it included His physical death, but God is Spirit, and He cannot die!

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

As Christians, we do not have to be concerned what God is going to do, He spells it out for us!

What we have to concern ourselves with is, are we going to be obedient Christians?

Both these things are explained precisely in the same Word of God!

Our Heavenly Father by the will of His Son, places the same Holy Spirit into everyone that He chooses, so we can have no fear of death!

It is the Holy Spirit who makes the changes necessary to become a Christian, being like Jesus Christ!

2Co 3:18 “But we all”, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”.

Amen

Being a Disciple of Christ

Jesus Sent Men on a Mission

Book of Matthew Chapter 10

Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?

1) They will believe His doctrine.
2) They rest upon the sacrificial works of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.
3) They are full of the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
4) They will follow according to His example.

You cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ if you reject any of these things!

There were many who followed Jesus at the first, but Jesus chose 12 specific men for His own reasons.

*Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

We can say that Jesus chose twelve men because there were 12 Tribes of Israel.
At the time of Jesus the separation of the tribes of Israel did not exist in the fashion as determined by Moses.

It is the Church who will “Judge” the twelve tribes of Israel during the 1000-year reign of the Lord Jesus.

Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice men have no power before they are given power by the Lord Jesus Christ.

These men were given only the same powers that Jesus had already shown to the world!

Mat 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Jesus considered all humans as spiritual sheep:

Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Jesus also said many more would become disciples if there were enough laborers with His message:

Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

These powers were amazing powers to be given to men.

At this time they could only preach the same message as John the Baptist except to say the Messiah had come.

1) They had power to heal all manner of sickness and disease.
2) They had power to cast out evil spirits.

If you do not have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you have an evil spirit living in you!

Then we see the names of these 12 disciples who are now called apostles.

The 12 Apostles were men specifically chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that the traitor Judas is in this first group, but he is later replaced by the Apostle Paul, still because every Apostle had to be specifically chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know Paul, then Saul, was chosen as he traveled the Damascus Road.

There were no other apostles then nor can there ever be.

The Church is the one and only group chosen to spread the Word of God throughout the world today!

Their names:

*Mat 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Mat 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

We must understand that when the Lord Jesus allocates power to individuals, it is not about ranking it is only about His ministry.

It is not about position, it is not about wealth, it is not about fame, it is not about earthly dominion.

Those given the power of Jesus Christ are given that power to reach and help people.

The soul of man is the most important commodity to the Lord.

The power of God is to be always directed against the evilness and wickedness in this world.

It is not the power to judge, the Lord holds that power to Himself.

Jesus Christ in the flesh could only be in so many places.

The Lord Jesus taught men to carry on His work after He completed that work and returned to Heaven in all His glory.

These 12 men were not administrators, they were always just ministers.

The Church has only one Head and that Head is the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is not the Pope or any other religious leader.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

The Church is that “body”, the Body of Christ.

Israel was first called the people of God, but they rejected the Lord.

Remember, the Lord Jesus will not force Himself upon anyone. When you say leave He will leave as Jews insisted before Pilate.

Mat 27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Mat 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children”.
Mat 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Why would they still believe they are God’s people?

The Church is now God’s chosen people!

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

It is these Apostles who taught the message given to them by the Lord Jesus, how can we reject their message?

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

An apostle belongs to the One who sent them.
An apostle is commissioned to be sent out.
An apostle possesses the authority and the power of the One who sent them.

These powers were given to these 12 men and to Paul and no others.

Because these men died, then their apostleship died out.

At first these men went only to the Jews, but we must also remember, the Lord Jesus is all-knowing, and He already knew what would happen, Jesus came to die for all sinners in every land!

*Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

These disciples were undergoing a training program that they did not really even understand at this point.

This was a temporary mission.
They were to go only to certain places.
They had a specific message.
They had a specific manner in which they were to conduct themselves.
They had specific powers given under the authority of the Lord Jesus.

We should completely understand that no one is given the power to preach the Word of God unless they are called and then sent by the Almighty Living God.

Much of the problems in the Church today is because of so-called men of God were not truly called of God.

The message to the Jews was a message of repentance as John the Baptist preached.

The difference being John preached Jesus was coming.
These 12 would preach that Jesus the Messiah was now here.
These 12 after the death of Christ and after the Holy Spirit gave them full power would preach, Jesus is coming again and their message would be to all people, in every nation, Jew, Gentile, and Samaritan alike.

Every human being will fall into one of these categories!

There were at this time many others who were following the Lord but most of them followed Him because of the miracles He had shown.

You see a ministry for the Lord is not a profession with retirement plans and salaries and all such things.

A ministry for the Lord is a commission!

Without the power of a calling to serve, you would have to serve in your own strength.
Without the power of a calling, you will try to serve with your own ideas of God’s plan.
Without the power of a calling, you will always come up short in proclaiming the Gospel.
Without the power of a calling, you will always wonder if you are doing any good at all.

We find these problems in many a house of God today.

These 12 went only to Israel at this time and not to the lost world.

Only after the death of Christ and the Holy Ghost came down to these disciples at Pentecost, would their message be a true salvation message!

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We must understand that Israel will always hold a special place in God plans.

God made certain promises to Israel and He will keep those promises.

If we truly understand the plan of God for our salvation, then we should also understand once we are saved our first priority is to reach out to our family.

These Jewish disciples were reaching out first to Jews a lesson to them for the future and a lesson for us once we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior.

We also see that those who are lost are as sheep. Sheep have to have a Shepherd to survive!

What was their message?

*Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

They were not sent to “discuss” the Kingdom of Heaven, they were sent to preach!

They were to proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand.

They were to preach the message that the Lord Jesus gave to them, not some message of their own.

What did God tell Jonah?

Jon 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, “and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee”.

This is another problem in the modern church. The modern Church has forgotten “to preach the message of Jesus Christ”.

This is the message given to the Apostles after Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out to the World!

We are never to preach or teach our own ideas about the Gospel, we are simply to preach and teach the Gospel of salvation and then all the Word of God as it is written.

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

These disciples preached repentance and this repentance message is forgotten today!

We have to stop our sinful ways and turn toward Jesus Christ and His ways.

We cannot say God made me the way I am and refuse to repent, this is what the meaning of being “Born Again” is all about!

We must turn from our old ways and turn to the ways of Jesus Christ!

These disciples were given other powers that are not given to the workers of Christ today.

The Jews always had to have proof.

Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

This same sign that was shown to the Jews was shown to the world!

Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The Lord Jesus Christ remained in a borrowed tomb for three days and three nights just as He said!

*Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

These disciples were given great powers from the Lord, these powers do not exist on this world today.

These things cannot be done without the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

We should understand all powers for the ministries of Christ come by Christ!

Notice the differences in the powers given to the Church and the powers given to these disciples who were to go strictly to the Jews.

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The greatest trait we can be given from the Lord is a giving love!

1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, “and have not charity”, it profiteth me nothing.

The message of Jesus Christ is nothing without “love”!

These disciples had to go to the house of Israel based upon their faith in Jesus Christ!

*Mat 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

If we place our faith in any of these things, then we cannot say we have true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most missionaries today do not go to the field until they have established a fund of support for themselves and their families, but the Lord Jesus did not allow these 12 disciples who would become the 12 Apostles, after Paul joined them, to carry these things with them.

The only thing they had, was their faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Kingdom of God was surely at hand.

These disciples were not allowed to accumulate great estates through their ministry, and they were not allowed to spend their own money on the ministries of the Lord.

1) Their minds and their hearts had to be centered on the Gospel and ministering to the people. Not buying, selling, or accumulating.
2) They were to trust God to meet their needs and teach dependence upon the Lord.
3) They were to depend upon God’s people to provide.
4) They were to allow God’s people to be a part of the Lord’s ministry by the act of giving to that ministry!

The true servant of God is worthy of our support!

These Apostles were to give full time to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they could not do this without support from God’s people!

*Mat 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

A worthy house would be a hospitable house. A person who was willing to entertain strangers.

There was most always someone like this in every town, city, or village, it was in the Jewish culture.

These people would have good reputations for their hospitality to strangers and have good morals according to the Word of God.

These disciples were to stay in this home until their work was done in this area.

A worthy host would normally not be the rich nor the leading citizens of a city.

In many cases, the worthy host may not have the best accommodations, but this was not important.

God’s people are never to seek more comfort and luxury over a Godfearing home!

All these things were to test the sincerity of these soon to be Apostles.

Once established they were to go house to house with the words of Christ.

Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

If they were accepted into the home, then they were to share the peace of God.

If they were not accepted, then their salutation would be enough, and they would go elsewhere.

They were to say nothing else at all.

It iss called being courteous no matter what that person did to you.

We are not ambassadors for Christ to make enemies!

If they reject the message of Christ, then they have rejected Christ!

These were all Jews but no matter what was served at mealtime was not to be rejected!

They were to be content with their accommodations!

If the house be worthy of it, God shall give them the peace you wish them. If not, He shall give you what they refuse.

The same will be the case when we pray for them that are not worthy.

*Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

What is discernment?

Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

As witnesses of the Lord Jesus we must discern and make “righteous” judgment, of the people we witness to.

We are not their personal judge, but we can judge according to the Word of God!

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1) Are they kind and gracious or cold and hard?
2) Are they just shy and bashful or really not interested?
3) Are they truly receptive or just kind and gracious to everyone?
4) Are they spiritually sensitive or just interested in religious questions?

In reality, we are not to waste our time on those who will never trust the Lord.

1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

How did the Apostle Paul react to these things?

Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Jesus put things a little harsher!

When we are rejected as witnesses for the Lord, just trying to tell someone about Jesus, the Lord Jesus says Hell will be hotter for those people.

If we consider the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to be some of the worst of all sinners, then we are thinking wrong.

Gen 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

We see many living in this lifestyle today and they will suffer in a like manner of Sodom and Gomorrah but those who have rejected the simple witness of the child of God, will find the “Judgment” of God to be even more severe!

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Sodom and Gomorrah rejected the truth of God!

Lam 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

Today those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ, reject the “Grace” of God who sent His only begotten Son to die for them.

All sin brings death of the soul and eternal damnation and eternal separation from a loving God, but to reject the Son of God brings with it an even harsher judgment!

At this time, these 12 men were witnessing to the Jews, but it will be the same for all those who reject God’s Son!

The witness for Christ is just the messenger as is every true Pastor and Preacher.

Those that reject the messenger also reject the message, and that message is the salvation plan for this world.

This rejection brings the condemnation of God!

Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and “of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him”.

As the messengers of God we are God’s sheep, and our Shepherd is the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

The Lord Jesus has told us we would face persecution for becoming His sheep.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

It is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can send true messengers of Heaven.

We as disciples are commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, and we should have great comfort in this fact because we go forth with the power of God.

The Lord Jesus is fully aware of the persecution we will face!

Persecution teaches us about God’s care for us.
Persecution matures us as believers.

God sometimes uses persecution to touch the hearts of the persecutors.

We must also consider that if we are persecuted to our death, we will be in Heaven before our dead body hits the ground.

Death holds no power over God’s children!

We must not be caught off guard when persecution comes.

It is almost impossible to walk upon a snake, they can feel your presence as you walk.

A snake will get out of your sight as quickly as possible.
A snake is very quiet!
A snake does not expose itself needlessly.
A snake always seeks to preserve itself.

A dove is mild and meek.
A dove bears no ill or hurt.
A dove is innocent and inoffensive.
A dove is a symbol of peace and not war.

When we have the love of God, we will act like we have the love of God!

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

There is much more to be being a witness for Jesus Christ than just walking around with a Bible in your hands!

Amen

Raptured Into the Throne Room of God

The Vision of God’s Throne

Book of Revelation Chapter 4 Verses 1 through 11

It should be very clear John is speaking the words given to Him by the Holy Spirit!

It is after the Words spoken by our Lord to the Church that the Lord will reveal the “Rapture of the Church” in this passage.

John’s job remained the same! He was to write down the things he heard and the things that he saw.

John is now writing of the things that happen immediately after the Church Age comes to an end.

Remember the purpose of our Lord Jesus in the Book of Revelation, is to reveal the truth. Our Lord Jesus will never hide things from us!

Not many places in the Scriptures have given us the privilege to see into the Throne Room of God and none have been given us the view that John saw!

John saw a door opened into Heaven while the Church was still located upon this earth.

The golden candle sticks were still upon earth.

The seven stars were still upon earth in the hand of Jesus.

Now we get a realistic view of the things in Heaven.

*****Rev 4:1 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.

It is like John was saying, “I have been looking up toward Heaven all these years and all of a sudden a door was opened, and I could see inside”.

As believers we pray, we feel, we know, that we have a Heavenly Father and one day “we will see Him face to face”!

Not that we will see through some door, but we will see “because we will be at home”.

In this passage the Apostle John is in fact, a type of the Church.

The Church will see what happens immediately after the Church Age ends, with the end of the Laodicean Church Age which is the one we are in now!

We all have a tendency to say, “I know who sits on the throne”, well on this day, we will meet Him.

John did not imagine these things for John saw these things!

The Lord Jesus had been standing in the midst of the seven candlesticks holding the seven stars.

We must also remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is that “Door”, that is now opened to the Church after the end of the Church Age.

Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The truth is at the end of the Church Age, Heaven will be laid open to receive the Saints of God.

Those that are alive and remaining, and those in the graves whose souls are already with the Lord.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Th 4:13 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.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 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.
1Th 4:16 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:
1Th 4:17 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.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

How do we know?

John says: “the first voice which I heard, as it were a trumpet talking to me; which said Come up hither”

That word “Come” was a command!

When the Lord says “Come”, He has already made the pathway to Him or we could say, the Lord has already built the bridge for safe passage!

The Lord said by the Holy Spirit “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which “must” be hereafter”.

These will be all the things that take place after the Church is in Heaven with the Lord!

Now we know that no man (or woman) can meet the Lord in the flesh as we have upon this earth, which is sinful, so the Scripture does not fail to mention, that John was in the spirit. John was not in the flesh!

*****Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Immediately, as in the twinkle of the eye, as in a split second, John found himself in the throne room of God.

We know from the Scriptures that even after our salvation, we will face the Lord at His “Judgment Seat”.

Php 1:6 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:

Php 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

This not a “Judgment” for salvation, because once we had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, that cannot be taken away from us.

It is a “Judgment” for what we have done after becoming a child of God, while still upon this earth.

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

What we should know is at the same time we are at the “Judgment Seat of the Lamb”, the earth and those who remain have been given over to the Antichrist for seven long years of “Tribulation”!

2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

The Holy Spirit returned to Heaven with the Church, and is no longer a hindrance to that Wicked One, we know is Satan the Devil and his demons!

But, lets save that for later and have a look at our Savior.

Now how is the appearance of our Savior?

*****Rev 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

The Jasper stone is a stone that glitters and is a stone of various colors which causes it to glitter and it is the stone most precious and it clear as crystal, as a diamond.

Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

But that is not all. Another color as described by John as he looked upon our Savior was as the sardine stone.

As the Lord glittered crystal clear, He would also have that “red color” to remind us that we had been washed in the pure red “Blood of the Lamb”.

As we see a rainbow upon this earth, we can only see a half circle, but at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will get to see the whole circle of the rainbow. The glow of the Lord as Jasper and as Sardine with the glow of an emerald.

You cannot miss this “emerald glow” if you look close at a rainbow today.

Emerald is known as the glowing stone! The Greek word used here describes this glow as a live coal drawn from a furnace. Glittering and shimmering and announcing the absolute “Grace” of God which is the theme of the “Judgment Seat of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

What a site to behold! Not enough words to give us the full picture, but just enough words to show us the “Glory” of God the Son.

Round about that throne we see the Church.

*****Rev 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

We all know that numbers are used in the Scriptures for specific reasons. So then is the number 24.

The number 24 is a multiple of the number 12.

The number 12 can be found in 187 places in the Word of God. The Book of Revelation alone has 22 occurrences of the number 12.

The meaning of 12, which is considered a perfect number, is that it symbolizes God’s power and authority.

The number 12 also serves as a perfect foundation of the Church!
The number 12 also symbolizes completeness!

Completeness in the Church because the Church is built upon the Apostle’s Doctrine! The Lord Jesus chose 12 Apostles when we count the Apostle Paul.

Completeness in the true Israel as Israel had 12 sons!

The number 24 is then associated with the priesthood of the believer!

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

The number 24 being a multiple of 12 is then the complete Church!

Since the number 24 it is composed of a multiple of 12, it takes on some of 12’s meaning (which is God’s power and authority, as well as perfect foundation) except in a higher form.

Twenty-four, therefore, is also connected with the worship of God, especially at the Temple.

It was King David who divided those responsible for the music in the Temple services, those who served as priests, and the Levites who aided the priests, into 24 courses (1Chronicles 23 – 24).

These 24 persons are called elders. The number 24 here represents the enlargement of the Church through all the Church Age.

Jehovah is not just the God of Israel, not just the God of the Church by His Son Jesus, but He is God of this entire earth and God of all His creation!

Though saints usually stand upon earth. In Heaven these elders are a symbol of the “dignity and rest” and “Holy happiness”, having overcome the wickedness of Satan and “Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb”.

They now possess the rewards for their work upon this earth, represented by the crowns upon their head.

Remember there are 5 crowns subject to the work of believers after our Salvation. There are no works before our salvation that account for anything to our God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The first crown mentioned is the “incorruptible” crown. This means it is a crown that will never be destroyed; it will never turn to dust. We will be immortal, and so will this crown.

The “crown of rejoicing” is one example of when we, as Christian believers, will be expected to loudly rejoice or exalt. When Christ comes back and we will all be together, we can let everyone else know about it. Our brothers and sisters in Christ will make up the “crown of rejoicing”.

The “crown of righteousness”. Paul says he has fought a good fight — he did not give up, lie down, or quit. He finished his race — he kept believing. Because of this, a crown of righteousness has been reserved for him, and for others who look forward to the appearing of Jesus Christ.

‘Righteousness’ means that something is just and right! How many times have we read a news story, or seen something on television that made us say, “It just isn’t right”? That will not happen even onetime once Christ returns! Paul wrote this to the church in order to exhort them (us) to stand for God in light of the hope of the return of Jesus Christ. If we look forward to our “crown of righteousness”, we can stand firm and sure right now.

Today as this Corona Virus spreads around the world, we as Christians, must stand firm on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the promises He has made to us. Remember Jesus said there would be days like this!

Happy is the person that endures (remains behind after others have left) trials, tribulations, and temptations. For when he is proved, he will receive (manifest) “the crown of life” (life in all its fullness, complete). This life will be our Heavenly Life!

Peter writes these lines to the elders of the church, so we see “the crown of glory” will be available to leaders in the Word of God.

They are supposed to feed the “flock” the undiluted and perfect Word of God, not for money or any personal gain, but willingly and out of love.

They are not to be “overlords” of the other believers, but should lead by example! If they do this, Peter says, when Christ (the chief Shepherd) returns, they will receive a “crown of glory” that will never fade away. It is everlasting, and the color and brilliance will abide forever.

The five crowns will be part of our reward we receive after the return of Christ. The Word of God tells us some things about the crowns, but not everything.

A big part of the reward will be the surprise of finding out everything about our new life, and the privileges and responsibilities that go with it. For now, we can do the best we can for God, and look forward to the Hope, the return of Jesus Christ.

As John writes in the Book of Revelation, these elders of the Church are wearing those crowns!

That is not all they are wearing. They are wearing “robes of pure white”!

These White robes are glorious.
These White robes are beautiful. They are white and shining.
These White robes are Heavens loveliest garments!

Then the things of the throne again catch John’s eye!

*****Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

This is the throne of our Creator!

Many people say that the Book of Revelation is the most mysterious book in the Bible, but we must consider that John the Apostle saw things he had never seen and many he did not know how to describe. You cannot take a man from the first century and drop him into the twenty first century and expect him to explain what he sees. It is the same for John in Heaven!

He was led by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and if we are filled with the Holy Spirit and understand these things of John and realize that God does not hide things from us, we can accept the Book of Revelation just as it is written!

If we picture in our own mind the words that John says about many things, we can see the many things that resemble what John is saying.

We must also know that the throne he is witnessing here is point blank exactly what John saw!

When God speaks, He will command your attention!

Psa_103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

There is not one thing upon this earth that God is not in command of!

If God wanted to stop this virus, this plague, He could do so in the blink of an eye, so we know there is a purpose to what is happening now, and we need to seek that purpose and be busy about it.

One purpose is to realize that what the Lord says is the perfect truth and the world does not ever have perfect truth!

If we stand on the Word of God with the faith that He demands, we will see what the Lord wants us to see!

Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 Nor “for the pestilence that walketh in darkness”; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Luk_21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

The Lord is serious about the things He says and when we do not pay attention, then He has to show us!

There is an awesomeness to the Word of God and there is an awesomeness in the throne of God!

The throne of God is a throne of “glory” and a throne of “blessedness” but also a throne of “judgment”.

Those that sat before this throne were there for rewards as every saint of God is judged and pardoned before they reach this throne in Heaven.

There were lightnings.
There were thunderings.
There were voices.

The voice of God will be an awesome thing to hear when He speaks to us and says, “have no fear”, “you are home now”.

We should also understand while the Lord welcomes His saints, His voice is also commanding the events to begin in the seven years of tribulation.

The Lord God of this world is always doing things according to His own will!

The will of God is wise, is pure and is just, and is guided by His great love for all those who have trusted Him with their souls!

This throne is a throne of Holiness!

Weak people see this place as terrible, but to the saints of God, this is a place of joy. A place of pleasure. A place to reverence our Divine Majesty.

The seven lamps of fire denoted the fulness and the perfection of the Holy Spirit. The light from those lamps show He is sufficient in His work with the Church, who He has now returned home with those saints of God.

2Th_2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

John was standing some distance from the throne and after observing the throne, John took a look at the throne room.

*****Rev 4:6 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.
Rev 4:7 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.
Rev 4:8 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.
Rev 4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Many things could be said about this Sea of Glass, which in reality reads “a Glass Sea like crystal”.

This could be a Sea that is clear and calm and prepared as the Lord Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee.

We know that the Seas upon this earth are never calm as they are driven by winds and storms.

The Scriptures tell us that wicked are like the troubled sea.

Isa_57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

There is no wickedness in Heaven nor around the throne of God!

The sea before God was clear, deep, and pure!

Now we know the Seven lamps of fire and this Sea of glass and we know that the Holy Ghost, whose powers, and operations, are many times mentioned as fire and water.

Mat_3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: “he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire”:

1Co_6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, “and by the Spirit of our God”.

We know that it is those who are washed and mingled with fire that have gotten victory over the beast!

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: “and them that had gotten the victory over the beast”, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Then in the end that pure, crystal clean river of life with flow out of the New Heaven into the New Earth.

Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Then there were four beasts.

These beasts are the closest things to God in Heaven in distance.

They are Angelic beings who are posted in the middle of each side of God’s throne.

They are the guardians of God’s throne!
They are the guardians of God’s Holy Presence!

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

They are always found near the throne.
They have six wings (3 pair) and are full of eyes.
Their function has to do with the Holiness or the Wrath of God!

Rev 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

They never cease to declare the holiness of Jehovah God!

They never leave God’s presence!

The Holy Spirit decided we did not need any more information about these four beings than what we have here in this Scripture. They belong to God for His specific purpose.

We will all have a purpose in Heaven, just as we have a purpose here upon this earth, though it will be far different then.

They are living creations of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Act_17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Heb_1:2 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;

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

What do we know as humans?

1)The lion denotes majesty and power among the animal world.

Pro 30:30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;

2) The calf whether be calf or ox denote humility and patience.

1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
1Co 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

3) The third beast with the face of a man is the highest of all God’s creation, denoting wisdom, reason, and intelligence.

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

4) The fourth beast with the face of an eagle. The eagle is the wisest of all birds. He flies the highest. His eyes the keenest. He is swift to take action when it is time to take action. He does so then without hesitation.

Job 39:27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
Job 39:28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
Job 39:29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
Job 39:30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

Brother Oliver Green writes that it is these characteristics combined, that express the character of God’s Throne in relation to earth.

We can ask these things of the Lord when we meet Him for, He made them!

For what is their main purpose?

They give glory and honor to Him who sits upon the throne in the Throne Room of God!

*****Rev 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

As those beast give glory to the Lord, those elders, who represent the redeemed children of God, who have received the rewards for the works they did after salvation and realize they are still unworthy of any rewards, fall down on their faces having casts those crowns at the feet of Jesus.

Yes, we can still come under conviction even in Heaven!

If we do not understand today that no matter what has happened in our lives, the fact that we are saved from the wrath of the Father by the actions of His Son Jesus then, we need to verify our salvation!

Our salvation is all about the actions and the love of our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

There certainly is no other way to reach the gates of Heaven and enter into the City of God!

The world is foolish to think anything different!

We must always be ready to acknowledge our obligation to the work of the Gospel no matter our circumstances!

If we are given anything at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” we are still unworthy to receive it!

So the object remains not to earn rewards for our own self, but to earn rewards to cast at the feet of Jesus.

It will be bad enough not to earn a reward after becoming a Christian, but it will be far worse not to have even something small to give back to the Lord for all He has done for me!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who created all things and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has done all these things for His own pleasure.

God did not have to save anyone!

He is God, He does not need us!

He saved us just because He wanted to!

He saved us because He loves us!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Message to Thyatira

The Message to Thyatira

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 18 through 29

Thyatira was another city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its modern name is Ak-hissar which means “white castle.”

It is here where we find another one of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation.

Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this color, was from this city.

Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

This city is still to this day is famous, for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.

What will we find in this church as the main problem? Compromise!

To compromise between two different parties is to allow concessions to the claims of one or more of those parties.

What do we know about the Word of God? God will never yield to the teachings of man!

God will never compromise for any reason.
The Lord Jesus will never alter the “Gospel” to allow for compromise with sin.
The Holy Spirit will only lead people to Jesus. He will never lead anyone astray!

Let’s listen to the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Rev 2:18 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;
Rev 2:19 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.

What is the one thing we had better get straight about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Jesus knows everything that is going on in every church.
Jesus knows everything that is going in every Christian.
Jesus knows everything that is going on in every person.
Jesus knows everything that is going on in this world and He always will.

Jesus is the only One we have to please in this world and in our lifetime!

Jesus says to this Pastor, “I just want you to know who is speaking to you”.

This Pastor is the recipient of these words from our Lord.

It is the Pastor who is responsible for the direction of the church.

It is the Pastor in charge, who received this message who is to preach this message from the Lord, to his congregation.

This letter is a letter of knowledge, “Jesus Knows” and then a commandment “to repent”!

If the members of a church begin to compromise the Word of God and give in to the world, it is the Pastor or Minister or whatever He is called, to preach the truth of God and warn those who are giving in to the world!

What is the truth of people? They will sell their souls for possessions, or for power, or for the so-called pleasures of this world!

What is the reality? We owe our lives to Jesus Christ!

We cannot jeopardize our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by giving in to the world and still be considered to be a child of God.

How did the Holy Spirit put it?

2Co_6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

This is why we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the same Father!

If we look back at the Church of Ephesus, they had left their first love and a church is not a church if they do not love the Lord Jesus Christ above all else!

The church at Thyatira was a busy church.

The church at Thyatira showed the love of God to everyone.

They supported missions.
They had a great youth program.
They had a great senior program.
They supported orphaned children.
They supported single parents.
They fed the hungry.
They would help the poor.

This was a great church! Their faith was strong! They loved the Lord and it showed!

This church was growing, but here lies the problem.

*****Rev 2:20 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.

This church was growing so fast, that they did not have enough qualified teachers and this church allowed teachers to teach who compromised with the world.

They allowed the newcomers to be baptized, without a confession of faith.

They allowed newcomers to be accepted into the church, without repenting and separating themselves from the world.

So who is this Jezebel?

First the original Jezebel: Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab of Israel. She was the daughter of a heathen king who claimed Baal as her god.

She was crafty, she was malicious, she was revengeful, she was cruel, and she hated God’s people.

She had no fear of God, nor did she fear any man, and she ruled her own husband.

She spared no pain in maintaining idolatry all around her!

Her idolatry was the most debased and sensual kind!

She was a seducer!

She was the daughter of Satan in her actions as seducer and murderer.

When the Lord says Jezebel, this is the type of persons that had been allowed into this hardworking church at Thyatira and in a short time this church was ruined!

It seems that this hardworking church had been contaminated through the seductive influence of a corrupt woman.

We should remember that it was a corrupt woman who had prayer and the Bible removed from our schools and the schools are now just as corrupt as she was.

There is another corrupt woman who is now in her 80’s but she does not miss a chance to slander the Word of God and the American women listen to her. I beleiver her name is Gloria.

We see that she called herself a prophetess. This meant that she claimed her message was from Jehovah when it was a false message made up from listening to Satan.

he claimed that it was Jehovah who had called her and ordained her and because of the great love this church had, she was allowed in to teach all the church.

She taught contrary to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

John wrote:

2Jn_1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn_1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

The church became contaminated with the world and began sinking!

It was the Pastor that allowed this to continue!

The members of the church began to associate with the world.
They would attend the feasts where animals were offered to false gods.
They would then eat from the tables of those feast sitting before the altar of a false god.

Thyatira was known for its trade guilds and unions because dying of cloth and wool industry.

Act_16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

The church at Thyatira had begun in her home. It was a house church at first.

Act_16:40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

The church members were encouraged to attend those union gatherings to be secure in their jobs.

These were some of the things that this Pastor had to contend with, when he prepared his sermon.

If these people lost their jobs they could not tithe!

This church decided that they needed to fit in with society.

They decided they would be politically correct.

We must remember idols are anything that we put in place before our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, still the foundation of the Church.

Listen to this message to the church and the Pastor from the Apostle Paul:

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

What did Jesus say?

*****Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

This person knew that what she was doing was wrong!
This person knew she was teaching against the Word of God.
This person had felt Holy Ghost conviction and rejected Him!

The Lord dispatched the Holy Spirit to this woman to show her the error of her ways.

Num_32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

She rejected the Holy Spirit and everything that Jesus stands for.

Her intent was to permanently ruin this church!

Her father was Satan!

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

So, here comes the warning, or the “or else”.

*****Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Rev 2:23 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.

One man wrote, “the bed of her sin shall be the bed of her sickness and anguish”.

There is an old saying, “she made her bed, she can lie in it” meaning she brought about her own destruction.

Everyone who rejectes the Word of God do bring about their own destruction!

As we see this Coronavirus as it goes from nation to nation, it may be that God is nearing the end of His patience!

Yes we must not be confused, God did say these things would happen!

Luk 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

It can also be called a plague or epidemic.

Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

The “judgment” of this Jezebel will match her sin!

Sadly the teaching of this “Jezebel” has caused many more to place something terrible in the place of our pure God!

What happened to the Jezebel of the Bible?

2Ki 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
2Ki 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:
2Ki 9:9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:
2Ki 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

Before anyone could get to her dogs had eaten her and deposited her remains

2Ki 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
2Ki 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

There comes the judgment of God upon all those who give in to Jezebel’s seduction and lifestyle. Those who refuse to turn to Jesus Christ and separate themselves from the world!

There is a warning to all those who feed at the table of Jezebel today!

Still, even such a woman is offered a chance to repent!

As long as we are alive and as long as the Holy Spirit comes to us with conviction, we can accept the truth of Jehovah God and be saved!

Act 3:19 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;
Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

We must remember Jezebel is a person of the Antichrist inside the church.

What did Jesus say to this Pastor?

*****Rev 2:24 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.
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

God will judge all those who compromise with the world. This is His truth!

So many today have twisted the truth of God into making Him a good old grandfather that would never harm His creation and they are fools!

Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Head of this universe and we will live or die according to the Words He has given to us!

This meaning is a Spiritual death without God or Eternal life in the presence of a Holy God!

Jesus told this church if they would just leave off compromising with the world and hold on the the truth of the Gospel and have patience, He would surely come and take His church home and out of this world of compromise.

I get tired of seeing our government and others doing what Europe does, when not much in Europe ever works very well.

I get tired of seeing our government compromise with things that have never worked, when the only thing that has ever worked in our nation is the Gospel and Freedom.

We fought to separate ourselves from the tyranny of England and gained our freedom. Why in the world would we want to give up our freedoms?

We cannot change to way the world thinks, but we can tell those we cross paths with, that there is a better way and patiently wait on the Lord to return!

He does not ask much from us but our commitment!

He says just be an overcomer!

*****Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 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.
Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Who is an “over comer”? A Christian who keeps all the works of Jesus Christ, until he takes us home, either by our own death or the Rapture of the Church.

Now I do not know what that power over nations really means, but I do know what the Scriptures say.

Rev_1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev_5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The “overcomer” will be given some power over nations.

This is then, ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ throughout eternity!

Jesus will return to conquer all the forces of evil.

To prove all those who will be with Him throughout eternity!

To give the overcomer the “morning star”!

What is this “morning star”?

Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

If we open our eyes and our ears and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say knowing He will only lead us to Jesus, then all we have left to do is to overcome the weakness of our own flesh and let the will of God be our own will!

It is really a great time to be a Christian. Instead of looking down at all the wickedness in our world we just need to look up!

Luk_21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Message to Smyrna

The Message to Smyrna

Book of Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 8 through 11

The word Smyrna means bitterness. This is the word that describes this Church at Smyrna.

The city of Smyrna had suffered through many wars and was destroyed and laid in ruins until it was rebuilt by Alexander the Great in a new place a few miles from the old city of ruins. Those of Smyrna had learned some valuable lessons, or at least they had thought so.

In the wars with Rome, Smyrna quickly became faithful to Rome and was rewarded for it.

It was Smyrna who was one of the first cities to build a temple to the new Emperor.

It is said that everyone in the city had to come twice each year to publicly declare Caesar as Lord.

If a Christian refused, they were tortured or put to death.

They also erected a temple to Homer, because they claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. Homer was the great Greek poet.

Smyrna also built a temple to Zeus, one of the Roman gods.

The city of Smyrna had learned their lessons from the past and would always choose to be on the side of the strongest and of the victor, which is not always the best side to be on.

The city Smyrna began to be a city full of pagan worship and pagan rituals.

This is the backdrop from which this Church in Smyrna was established.

We may not know who it was that started this Church, but we do know that Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John was an early Pastor there.

Polycarp could not be the Messenger that this message was addressed to, because he came to Smyrna only after the death of John.

The Christian Church at Smyrna still hold Polycarp in high honor today.

One man writes, this church was established by Paul and one of the first Pastors at this time could have been Apelles who is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his salutes to Christians.

Rom 16:10 Salute “Apelles” approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.

When Rome began to persecute Christians in Smyrna, Christians suffered much through dreadful torments.

They were put to death at the stake, or killed and mauled by wild animals in great arenas, while the stands were full of the enemies of God, laughing and enjoying, while Christians were mauled and maimed and put to death.

Even Polycarp was put to death during this time in 155 AD.

It is said that while the Romans were burning Polycarp, that the flames formed an arch above his head, and he was not injured until a Roman soldier murdered him with a spear. Sounds familiar does it not!

Some people go outside the law to kill Christians and get away with it!

The Romans intended to stamp out Christianity in these early years of the Church.

It is also said that persecution came from Judaizers who also hated the Church.

The church also suffered through false teaching, which is the greatest enemy of the Church as a whole.

We can see that it was just tough to be Christian in the city of Smyrna!

It is also said that today the Church is still thriving in Smyrna, so all these enemies of the Church failed.

Here again we will see that this letter from Jesus, is addressed to the Angel or the Pastor of the Church of Smyrna.

*****Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Look how Jesus says, His own persecution caused His death and He overcame that death, when He arose from that death to new life.

Every Christian will overcome death and live in a new life in a new place called the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem. This is the message that we need to understand!

Jesus totally understood the conditions that this Pastor, or Preacher or however you describe him, was going through, as he witnessed the things his flock suffered.

I know how our Pastor stands before us each week and tells us of those in our own church family, who have been taken on to Heaven to be with the Lord and those who are suffering and those with sickness.

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

When the Pastor of the Church in Smyrna stood before his own flock every week, he told of all those who were murdered and mauled in the arena and other places and were persecuted just because they refused to reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was a daily thing that some Christian was murdered in Smyrna.

It was a daily thing that some Christian was persecuted in Smyrna.

It was a terrible place to live if you were a Christian, in Smyrna.

We know that, before these people even felt the pains of death, they were already with the Lord!

We also know that wounds will heal, and a heart sold out to the Lord, will not quit on the Lord!

To many of these seven churches Jesus criticized many things, but to this church in Smyrna Jesus let them know that He understood their persecution and His proof was His own death by persecution.

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

This same message goes out to those going through severe persecution today in the many places where it is just hard to be Christians.

It is hard to be a Christian in a Muslim dominated country.

It is hard to be a Christian in a Hindu dominated country.

It is getting hard to be true Christians even in America, because the Church is compromising with the world.

Christian persecution is increasing all around our world today while the Christian Church is not even in competition with any false religion!

When you are in possession of the truth, many will come to hear this truth!

Jesus says to them “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore”.

This is true of every Christian whose life is taken away from them, just because they know their Savior and will not reject Him!

The name Smyrna signifies the substance called “myrrh”.

Myrrh is used in perfumes.
Myrrh is mingled sometimes in wine and with gaul to deaden the mind to the things around them. This drink was given to those who were sentenced to death on the cross to deaden their pain and make their agony longer. Jesus rejected this drink when it was offered to Him!
Myrrh is also used in embalming fluid.

But Smyrna was a proud city.

Proud of its culture.
Proud of its beauty.
Proud of its commercial wealth.
Proud of its social life.
Just not proud of the Christian Church!

The residents of this city felt that they were living in the first city of all of Asia.

Everyone would try to climb the social ladder, stepping all over those who got in their way.

The Jews in the city took advantage of all these things and became some of the worst of those who persecuted the Church.

In some cases if an employee was redeemed by the Lord, they would lose their job.

Most of the government and certain others, did everything they could do to get this city to stamp out Christianity!

Where are the churches like that of Smyrna located today?

According to the “Open Doors” ministry:

1) North Korea has the number one nation for Christian persecution for 19 consecutive years.

If a Christian has a Bible, or part of one, it will be carefully hidden and only read when the believer is sure they are alone.

Most Christians do not even tell their own children about their faith until they are older teenagers for fear that they may let something slip.

As you can imagine, gathering for worship in a church is non-existent.

Daring to meet other Christians for worship is a risky feat that must be done in utmost secrecy.

It is a miracle that this underground church in North Korea is able to exist. But more than that, it is growing.

2) Afghanistan: Where Christianity exists only in secret.

Afghanistan is once again only a point behind North Korea’s ranking on the 2020 World Watch List.

An Islamic state by constitution, the country does not permit any faith other than Islam to exist; and it is illegal to convert to anything else.

To convert to a faith outside Islam is tantamount to treason because it’s seen as a betrayal of family, tribe, and country.

Those who are discovered to be Christians may be sent to a mental hospital; because their families believe no sane person would leave Islam.

They may also be beaten or even killed by family members, or members of Islamic extremist groups like the Taliban which continues to increase its strength.

Violence against Christians remains very high, but the measures taken against converts depends on the family.

One Christian in Afghanistan says, “How we survive daily only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”

3) Somalia: Christians are hunted for their faith.

Estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somali citizens are Muslims, and any of the minority religions are heavily persecuted.

The violent extremist group, al-Shabab, which subscribes to the ultra-strict Islamic doctrine of Wahhabism, advocates Shariah law as the basis for regulating all aspects of life in Somalia.

This group has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from this country.

In every sphere of life; private, family, community and national; being exposed as a convert to Christianity in Somalia means life-threatening danger, often leading to on-the-spot execution.

As a result, most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. But despite the risks, Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus; some in miraculous ways.

4) Libya: No freedom for Christians.

After the ouster of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya plunged into chaos and anarchy.

And that situation has not changed for Libyans.

The continued absence of a single central government to uphold law and order has enabled various Islamic militant groups to control parts of the country.

Libyan converts to Christianity face abuse and violence for their decision to follow Christ.

5) Pakistan: Constant threat of mob attacks.

In Pakistan, all Christians (4 million out 204 million people) suffer from institutionalized discrimination, illustrated by the fact that occupations seen as low, dirty and derogatory are reserved for religious minorities like Christians by the authorities.

Many Christians are poor, and some are victims of bonded labor.

There are Christians belonging to the middle class, as well, but this economic status doesn’t save Christians them from being marginalized or persecuted in an Islamic culture—believers are always at risk because of the country’s notorious blasphemy laws.

The country’s patriarchal culture is especially cruel to Christian women, who are often targeted for both their faith and their gender.

An estimated 700 girls and women abducted each year are raped and then forcefully married to Muslim men in the community, usually resulting in forced conversions.

6) Eritrea: Christians arrested in increasing police raids.

7) Sudan: Political chaos increases vulnerability.

8) Yemen: Christians targeted in chaos of civil war.

9) Iran: Illegal to convert from Islam.

10) India: Violent and spreading persecution.

These are the top ten nations for Christian persecutions but there are still many others suffering from Christian persecution today.

This is where we find most all the Church that are like Smyrna today.

And Jesus says to these Churches:

*****Rev 2:9 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.

There is nothing that goes on in this world that Jesus does not know about.

Jesus does never sit in Heaven saying, “what will I do now”!

This world is moving along according to the plan of God and God’s plan will never change.

You see the Lord sees all those who are persecuted for their faith in Him.

In the eyes of the world these may seem to be the most neglected people upon this earth and there is no doubt that they suffer greatly.

Jesus knows that they must keep their work secret and work unnoticed or they will be found out.

In reality, it can be said that none of the other six churches had the faith of this one church.

They did have just a little strength, but they were determined to do the work given to them by the Lord Jesus.

As Christians we all talk about the wonders of Heaven but in reality, none of us know just how beautiful Heaven will be and the riches of Heaven far outweigh, any riches in this life.

The saints of Smyrna were already full of the riches of faith and love.

These saints of God were holding up under constant persecution and affliction from their own government and they risked their lives every time they witnessed to those around them about the Lord Jesus Christ and the free gift of God’s Grace.

Jesus warned us all:

Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

The church in Smyrna clearly understood what Jesus had said!

These people survived poverty because when you truly have nothing, you can be sure that Jesus is all we need.

In Smyrna even the Jews were their enemy, ignoring all the Word of God.

But who is a Jew?

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Today in all the places where we see churches similar to that one of Smyrna, it is not the Jews who cause problems it is the false Christians trying to be politically correct rather than be true to the Word of God or just deceivers.

They too were of the synagogue of Satan!

How did the Lord Jesus address these issues?

*****Rev 2:10 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.

Jesus said to the Pastor, “fear none of these things”!

Jesus also said more persecution is coming!

This is a message we all need to understand.

The Devil is going to arouse all the unbelievers of this world to attack the believers.

God is going to allow all His children to be tried!

That word “tried” meaning to be proved reliable!

We should remember Abraham and His son Isaac.

Heb_11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

If God tried Abraham who do, we think we are? Are we reliable Christians? Can we stand up to the Devil?

Php_4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

How are we to react to those to reject us?

1Pe_4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Why were the saints of Smyrna going to be so rich?

Jas_1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1Pe_1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

If we are tried and endure it according to the Word of God, we are able to receive the praise of our Savior.

These things are not limited to the saints of Smyrna but to every saint of God!

We can be assured that Satan only has a short time left to do his evilness!

In fact with all the earthquakes, volcanoes, increasing weather, pestilences such as the Corona virus, and insects, we should all be looking up for our redemption is drawing nigh!

This short time is not the devil’s doing, it is because the Lord is soon coming.

Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

We must remember this message is intended for every church and it will always have the same meaning.

And the Holy Spirit says:

*****Rev 2:11 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.

We have no reason to fear what this world can do to us, but it will require that we be steady in our faith.

We must have great faith!

How did Jesus describe this “great faith”?

Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, “I have not found so great faith”, no, not in Israel.

This may sound hard, but if we just accept that the Lord Jesus will do exactly what He said He would do and all the promises of God will be fulfilled, then this is where we are to place our faith!

We serve a Living God who is exceedingly able to do everything He says!

There is no greater reward than eternal life that is lived in the presence of our Holy God!

We must understand that there will be a second death!

Everyone that lives will certainly die. This is the first death.

Then there is this second death, and it is this second death that we need to avoid, and the Lord Jesus Christ provides that opportunity by giving us a choice.

If we are tried and proved faithful, we will miss out on this second death.

We must be faithful to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, even if we are going through the worst of persecution!

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Our day of “redemption” is so near that we can almost feel it. It is not time to quit on the Lord!

Amen

Let’s pray!

The True Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

Book of John Chapter 10

Before we start Chapter 10, we need to look back to Chapter 9.

Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Jesus had just boldly said that He was the Son of God and some truly believed, but the Pharisees and the High Priest and those close to them rejected everything that Jesus had said.

These are the same men who had all the Scriptures, who spent much time studying the Scriptures and swore to abide by them.

These men were not blind to what Jesus was saying, in fact some them believed that Jesus could be who He said He was.

These men just refused to give up their places of leadership and thought that they could resist God.

These same foolish men still exist today, and they will exist when Jesus returns and then they will be no more, till in the end when they will face the Lord again at the White Throne Judgment.

These men were followers of Satan, even if they did not know this was true.

They clung to their sin so tightly that no one could deprive them of it.

What is said of Satan?

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jesus told these evil men that if they did not know the Word of God, they would have believed but because they knew so much of the Scriptures and had so many means of knowing the truth and rejected the truth, then there was no hope for them and Jesus continues in Chapter 10.

*****Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

If we look at the original Greek manuscripts, we will see that the word used for “thief” is the same word used for “Judas” and the same word used for “robber” is used to describe “Barabbas”.

Jesus begins with a passage much like a parable and a parable is an earthly story that has a Heavenly meaning.

This lesson boldly states that it is Jesus Christ who is “the door” of the sheepfold and we will see this soon.

The sheep fold will one day include most all the Jews but at this time the sheep fold is the Church.

Those who try to enter the Church by some means other that Jesus Christ become as a thief and a robber and as the trained servants of Satan!

Jesus was probably looking straight into the eyes of these Temple leaders as He said these words.

Most of these men only thought of shepherds as the low-lives of society and had nothing to do to them. A true shepherd was with his flock 7 days a week.

We could say that Jesus was also pointing out what a true Church leader should be. These who were before Him knew nothing of caring for God’s people!

We should clearly understand that God does not deal with us a General over a His great army, the Lord deals with us a Shepherd over his valuable flock!

In this parable the sheepfold is the place where the Lord keeps His sheep.

This parable will deal with the false shepherd and the true Shepherd.

The true Shepherd is Jesus Christ and the false shepherds are all those opposed to Jesus Christ!

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in threat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

No one can get inside the pen where the sheep are kept unless they come through the Door and that Door is the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

We should understand that a flock of sheep are led by the shepherd and the shepherd’s boy will bring up the rear.

When there is a journey that shepherd’s boy will lead the sheep while the shepherd drives the sheep.

When darkness comes the sheep are herded into enclosures to keep them safe and the shepherd becomes the door to enter into that enclosure. Nothing gets by the shepherd to cause harm to the sheep.

The Shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep and the sheep know him.

It is sin for Christian people to suppose that they are just part of a crowd. The Lords knows each child of God as a shepherd knows his sheep!

In fact the Lord knows each of us so well that He knows when one hair on our head has fallen out or if we stumped our toe while walking.

God also does not so much convert the masses as He deals with us one on one.

The Lord Jesus wants a personal relationship and we can have one with Him if we just accept Him as the truth!

In the short time the Lord spent upon this earth in the flesh, He personally felt every infirmity that we deal with and so He knows what we are going through in every situation.

Note: Christ even felt what it like to be hated by other people even by some His own family for a time!

Christ does not just know something about us, He knows all about us and He makes the effort to know more that He can help us through this life until He takes us home to present us to His Father.

Note: Christ does not watch over us as if we are in a prison. We are never treated as slaves even though Christ purchased us from the slave-market of sin. Christ treats us members of His own family and He is our older Brother.

Note: Christ is the true Shepherd of the Christian sheep and the Holy Spirit is then the Porter or the Doorkeeper.

As sheep, the Christian will listen for the call of the Shepherd and He knows our name and we will follow and obey the Shepherd.

We should understand that the Lord deals with us individually. The only time the Lord will call us as a group is at the “Rapture” of the Church.

The truth of the Shepherd:

Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

If we do not know these things, then we are subject to be led by a false shepherd.

*****Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Once we know the Lord as our Redeemer, we will know His voice and we will never forget the sound of His voice.

We must trust the voice of the Lord. He will speak to us through the Holy Spirit just as we speak to Him through the Holy Spirit.

Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Our true Shepherd does not just go before us as some man, but He goes before us with all the power of God.

1Jn_5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

When the Lord puts forth His sheep none are ever left behind, and He will feed them with the truth.

When a false shepherd puts forth his sheep it is to rid himself of trouble, making merchandise of them.

2Pe_2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The true Christian will never follow a stranger whom they do not know as a Christian.

Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Those who do not put forth the truth of the Scriptures are all strangers and have nothing of God within them!

What is the path of the stranger? Humanism, materialism, worldliness, fame, false religion, false science, false philosophy.

We are to flee from these things!

Again we see a parable that these Pharisees could not understand so Jesus explains this parable to them.

*****Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Without the Holy Spirit who abides in each believer, these things cannot be understood.

Pro 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

If we can see the truth, then we can see that these things are a fulfillment of prophecy.

Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Jesus continues to teach the truth that these men would not accept.

*****Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Jesus begins with “Listen to Me, these things are very important”(verily,verily)

Jesus explains that He is not only the Shepherd, but He is also the Door.

Maybe the most important thing in this parable, (some say proverb) is that we must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Door to the sheepfold or we could say “The Church”!

The fact of this is that the sheep cannot leave without confronting the Door and enemies could not enter without going through the Door which is impossible.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Notice in verse 8 the “I Am”. When the Lord says “I Am” we know He is Jehovah or Yahweh!

Who are those thieves and robbers?

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

By knowing these about these things, we should never be fooled by them!

All those who disagree with what the Lord is saying here need to get a true Bible and study and believe!

The Lord’s sheep will never be sheared again but those who follow a false prophet or priest, or false pastor will be sheared over and over again!

All those who reject the Lord as the Messiah, as Lord, as the True Shepherd, as our Redeemer cannot come through the Door where the sheep of the Lord are located.

Their message is a message of plunder and murder, they will not have a message from Heaven and God the Father because they cannot know Him!

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

*****Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Door to salvation.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

He Lord is the “Door”:

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

He is also the Shepherd:

Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

He is also the Pasture.

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

His Pasture contains not only the “Bread of Life” but also the “Water of Life”!

Joh_4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Joh_6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Notice again, no one enters except by the Lord. (by Me).

*****Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Again Jesus is blunt when He says all those who say there is another way get to Heaven are just “thieves” and “robbers”. The only thing that they know to do is to kill and destroy.

Some just want the wool which is all the things of value.
Next, they will want the life of each sheep.

Life is the power behind our being!

Even as Christians we cling to life not willing to let go and there is nothing particularly wrong with this, as long as we know that true life comes after the death of our flesh.

True life is the deliverance from condemnation and death!
True life is forever.
True life is satisfaction.
True life is security.
True life is enjoyment.
True life is found only in God!
True life comes only by Jesus Christ!
True life begins when we are filled and sealed by the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

*****Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ is our Perfect Shepherd and He knows we cannot be left alone so He will care for us all our days.

Jesus is the good Shepherd because He gave His life for His sheep!

Jesus is the Great Shepherd!

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is the “Ideal” Shepherd

Isa 49:9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
Isa 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of our souls:

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Who are those that are false leaders of God’s people?

*****Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

There are many of these “hirelings” behind the pulpits today.

They are men and women who are hired who care not for the children of God but they are more like the mercenary who will leave when things look bad because they serve only their own interest!

These men and women who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who spend their time attacking the Christian faith.

They attack Christian liberty.

They attack the Christian life.

A wolf will capture some and scatter the rest intentionally destroying the flock of God and those that follow them are just as bad!

The hireling will never defend the cause of Jesus Christ!

*****Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ is the owner of all the Christian sheep.

They were “given” to Him by His Father.
He is the Creator of all things and He “created” the Church and His flock.
Jesus laid down His life for His sheep and the Christian sheep are “paid for with His own blood”.
In a day that is close by, Jesus will “Redeem” His sheep and take them home to a New Heaven.

This is why His sheep know Him. He knows my name and your name if you love Him.

What is on the mind of Jesus Christ today? His sheep.

Every thought of the Lord is always on His sheep every day.

He is concerned about our joy and our happiness.
He is concerned about our trials and our sorrows.
He is there to pick us up when we stumble or if we stray from the path.
He is concerned about or needs and our wants.

Jesus keeps His mind on His sheep every moment we live and is waiting with open arms when He takes us home.

This is why the Rapture is guaranteed, so the world will know that Lord has redeemed His sheep and then proof that those left behind chose wrong.

Because those left behind all got an opportunity to know the Savior!

*****Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

As the Lord was speaking to the Jews of course, these other sheep would be of the Gentiles, that includes us who here today.

This included all other nations and every generation until Jesus returns!

Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In the end there will be only one church!

There will be only one flock of sheep because there is only one Savior who is also the true Shepherd!

That word “must”, is very important. It means Christ Jesus is compelled by His Father to reach out to the Gentile sheep!

There are not Jews nor Gentiles, there are only Believers!

*****Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Had Jesus not died we would all still have our sin.
Had Jesus not arose from the dead we would still have our sin!

Our Good Shepherd sacrificed His life for our sin to become the Perfect Shepherd!

The Fathers infinite love for His Son would not allow for Him to stay dead.

It is because of the Son’s infinite love for His sheep that He arose from that death.

We must realize that Jesus as the Son of God could not die.

This passage means, it was Christ’s human life that died, and Christ had to take on that human life again in order that we be saved.

Christ was still in that human life when He ascended even though it was glorified to teach that we will certainly be like Him when we meet Him!

Jesus Christ will free us from death by providing eternal life to each and every believer!

If Jesus had not taken up that human life again, then we would still be lost in this dying world.

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

So we see that our Father in Heaven not only sent His Son to die but to also rise from that death.

Joh 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

We know that our Father in Heaven has given us the choice to follow Him or not and Jesus had this same choice. Jesus could have said no and just went back to Heaven, but had He done so then as far as truth goes there would be no God at all.

The Scriptures must be fulfilled just as they are written, or we would have nothing to to put our “Faith” because remember this plan was conceived before creation week began.

So, all these things being true it should increase our “faith”.

1Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus did all these things to glorify His Father another example for us to do the same!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Order Between the Church and the Government

Order Between the Church and Governments

Book of Titus Chapter 3

As we get into this lesson we must realize, this passage is not about the rulers of government and their behavior, because God has chosen them according to His continuing will.

Paul is writing to Titus and the Church, to each believer and our duty to the state.

In most cases we can do very little about the authorities and our government, or how they conduct their affairs.

The one thing we can do, is when we get the opportunity to vote, we vote for those who claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior even if we know it could affect our incomes. God will hold them accountable!

We should never forget that God has promised to provide our needs in every situation!

We know by now that God is very, very clear about the behavior of every believer!

We know that one of the evilest of the Caesars, Nero was ruler of the entire Roman Kingdom at the time Paul wrote these words to Titus and to the Church. Not many rulers have been as evil Nero though there have been some.

*****Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

As Christians who are citizens of Heaven and preside right now in the nations of this world, we are to obey the laws of the nation where we are located.

It is our duty to obey those who are in authority in the places where we live.

This includes the local government and the national government!

We as Christians are to be subject of and obedient to them by the laws in place!

It should be obvious we should never do anything that goes against the will of God at any time!

In most all governments there is an attempt to keep the peace and to put down all chaos.

We should see this passage as the commands of God, as we do in all the Word of God!

The Holy Spirit would not have used the word “subject” if we were not to obey our rulers for the sake of public good.

Our conscience, by the Holy Spirit, upheld by the Word of God, will dictate our actions when our own government causes chaos to Christians.

It is the governments job to keep law and order, so societies can flourish rather than be as the unruly beast as described of the people of Crete.

If there were no communities, nor societies, and no life, there would only be selfishness and lawlessness.

As Christians we are to set the example for all others in this world to see, while showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When laws are written to outlaw the fruit of the Holy Spirit, then we must obey the Lord above all governments!

We must understand that chaos is not in the will of God.

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Law and order in every land is in the will of God!

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

When we claim to be Christians, God expects us to act like Christians in every situation we face!

1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

As Christian citizens, we are to always be ready to do “good works”!

In most all cases it is the Christian who should be the first to reach out to meet the needs of the community where we live, and all communities have needs!

Our Pastor would not be run down all the time, if he did not feel the need for what he does, and we should be no different!

In fact, we could say here at Gethsemane, our Pastor can be our example in the doing of good works in our own community!

*****Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

No one, Christian or lost, should be slandered or verbally abused and torn down!

We must understand that we do certainly live in an evil world and there will be somethings that we must bear.

I read something today that said if Donald Trump had not become president, we would never have known all the corruptness of the previous administration and the abuse behind the backs of the people. I’m sure we have not heard it all yet and no one would admit the abuse of women and children that was going on by people in high places.

If people shut their eyes to corrupt governments, these things will never change!

As Christians we are not to slander anyone nor speak evil against any citizen, not even those who have proven to be evil.

This is the Word of God and not my interpretation of the Word of God. Verse 2 says speak evil of no man and this includes women.

Meekness is the surrender to all the Divine Will of God, but we are still to be bold in presenting the Word of God to all who will listen to us.

We must totally understand that we will never reach the lost when we slander them and put them down. They already know how to be lost our job is to teach them how to be saved!

Pro 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

We are never to be a fighting, contentious, person.
We are never to walk around like we have a chip on our shoulder.
We should never be looking for an argument or a fight over the Scriptures.

But we must always take a stand on the truth of God under all circumstances!

Pro 3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

As Christians we must be gentle. Men will understand this better by saying courteous rather than gentle.

We as Christians we are to reach out to all the people of the world with the “Gospel”, so we can explain God’s “grace” which is the absolute best way we can show our gentleness!

Meekness is strong self-control as we know that the Lord had to possess when He spent His time on this earth!

We have no better example than the Lord Jesus in all these things.

We must remember where we came from!

*****Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

We are still only sinners who have partaken of the “Grace” of God!

The person who continues to reject the truth of God, is certainly a foolish person!

Foolish means, having no understanding of Spiritual matters as used in this Scripture.

We are not to call them fools but their actions are indeed foolish.

Praise God, He will still save the foolish. I know because I was once a fool!

Everyone who rejects God is also disobedient, which means they refuse to obey the Word of God!

Today we have more problems with our younger generation because they do not obey their parents, which leads to disrespect of all authority and we see much more violence in our streets!

Psa 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Psa 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Psa 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We must claim the Word of God and be obedient to it!

2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

All those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ are deceived by this world, which means being misled and led astray of the truth of God.

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

All those without the Lord Jesus Christ are enslaved by the lust of this world. How do I know? I was once amongst them!

That word “lusts” means passionate cravings, passionate desires, passionate urges, that we allow to dictate our actions by giving into them!

All those who are lost are enslaved by the works of this world in one way or another!

The Lord Jesus Christ gives us the strength to overcome these things.

Everyone in this world faces temptations, but the Lord shows us by example how to overcome them!

This Scripture, (verse 3) should not bother those who love the Lord because we know what we once were. Thank the Lord “I use to be one of these” but not anymore!

Those who live without the Lord are evil in nature and most have an evil disposition!

These are those same people who look for the worst in people and set out to ruin their testimony!

These are the very same ones who put themselves first no matter how it affects others including those they say they care about!

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

A person without God most always lives in envy, they covet the possessions of others. In fact, they covet them so much they will seek ways to take them away from that person.

We live in a world where most everyone you meet are not satisfied with the life they lead but not many of them care to change.

Envy can also cause depression along with other physical problems which may lead to lawlessness!

Pro 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

We must also know that those who are without the Lord can be very hateful!

It is very easy to hate others if you do not know the love of God!

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

We live in a world of hate and the one who is hated the most is, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Hatred will consume you until it destroys you. I serve a God who is called Love because He has no hate for any human being!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

*****Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 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;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

People just do not understand that there is power in kindness!

In fact, our salvation comes from the “kindness” of our Savior!

Without God’s kindness we would never know God’s “Grace”!

The pattern of all kindness is set before us in the Bible, in the behavior of God toward us!

The wealth of God’s “grace” is shown to us in the Lord Jesus Christ!

God is not far off having no concern for His creation!

In fact, to the “Born Again” child of God, God is very near to each one who wears the seal of the Holy Spirit because He dwells within each Christian!

All those who say they cannot get their prayers answered, maybe they first need to repent of their sin! God has promised to answer every prayer that reaches into His throne room!

God is not some Supreme Being hovering over every human being to smack them down every time they make a mistake.

God is also not some loving Grandfather type being, that allows just anything to go on.

In fact, God hates worldliness!

Salvation comes from God’s love for each of us!

God reached out to man because as the Supreme Creator, God has great affection for all His Creation!

God loves us so much that He acted to save each one of us!

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The one thing we must realize is that we cannot work our way into Heaven. God gave us all the Scriptures, so we can understand what He has already done and just believe in the Son of God who paid the sin debt of every human being, no matter where they come from!

It is a fact we cannot earn our righteousness by good works because we have no good works.

Common sense says we are all just growing older until we die and if we would just open our eyes we would see that all God’s creation is just ageing to the point that one day it will not exist!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Salvation comes only by God’s “Mercy” which has been dipped into God’s “Grace”!

God sees the need for our salvation and provides the only method by which we can be saved!

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

So just how does God save us?

By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)!

There is no other means of salvation!!!!!

Salvation is a regeneration!
Salvation is a new birth.
Salvation is Spiritual New Birth!

Being “born again” is a definite experience!
Being “born again” is a noticeable changed life!
Being “born again” is a totally new life!

Salvation can only through the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what the Oprah and the rest of the world says. God says it and that settles it!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who pours out the Holy Spirit upon us and within us.

We could not have the Holy Spirit except by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The power of the Christian is the Holy Spirit, so when you say you have no power to standup for the Lord, then you are saying that the Holy Spirit has no power, when the Holy Spirit is the most powerful force that exist!

Without the Holy Spirit we cannot be a child of God!
Without the Holy Spirit we will remain totally unacceptable to God!

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

All the work of the Church is powerless without the Holy Spirit.

The biggest problem with the church in this Church Age is that the Holy Spirit has been quench by false doctrine in many places of worship!

We cannot be justified without the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are without Christian power without the Holy Spirit.
We are without salvation without the “Grace” of God.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

If you still do what you use to do, then you are not saved, it is just that simple!

*****Tit 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.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

If this is a faithful saying, then this is a warning to all to all those who call themselves Christian!

We must be careful to maintain good works after our salvation!

Salvation does not mean any sort of works have saved us and it does not mean that any sort of works will keep us saved, it only means that the works we do after salvation are just the opposite from the works we did before salvation.

If other people cannot see Jesus Christ in us and the works of Jesus that we should be doing, then we are not saved, bearing in mind the baby Christian who is still learning what God expects from them!

1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

We will now see the second warning in verse 9.

The Word of God is not to be debated. As believers we must reject foolish and controversial discussions that go against the Word of God!

We have the truth and the truth cannot be debated, it is what it is!

This includes foolish questions, God says what He means, and God means what He says.

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

We are wasting our time on genealogies. Just as all Jews spring from Abraham and Sarah, just because Abraham trusted in the Lord did not mean that all Jews were saved.

Just because my mother and my grandmother, and many others who have gone on to meet with the Lord, had faith in the truth of God, it does not make me also to be saved.

Being restored in a fellowship with God can only be settled with our own personal relationship with Him!

There are 613 Jewish laws and those who would argue and strive over those laws are foolish because it was impossible for anyone to keep all those laws all the time.

Even as a baby we are all born into sin!

The Jews had preserved all the Old Testament, but all the Old Testament will only lead you to the coming of Jesus Christ!

Contention is strife in words or debate; quarrel; angry contest; controversy. The Word of God is the absolute truth of our world and of ourselves and no debate can change the truth of God!
If you will take time to get personal with God the Father, you will also know God the Son, who is the Lord Jesus Christ!

2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

Let’s look at warning number three.

*****Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Tit 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

A heretic is someone who rejects some or all the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

God says that we cannot pick and choose what parts of the Scriptures we will believe and what part we refuse to accept as the truth.

This is the second reason that there are so many different translations today.

The first reason is that the KJV Bible copyright has expired and with many changes to the Scriptures, some can get a new copyright and therefore they are in it for the money, they are not sincere about your salvation!

When we try to pick and choose what we believe, we have called God a liar!

1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

This is the one true Scripture that is rejected the most today and Paul wrote to Titus, by the Holy Spirit, to prepare these Churches to defend the truth of God!

Anyone, I say anyone, who rejects the truth of God and chooses what they believe while rejecting the Word of God is bound for Hell because this sin cannot be forgiven!

This is the same for those who would take the Word of God and twist it to become a different meaning from what God intended!

These who will do such things will not only answer for themselves at the White Throne Judgement, but they will also answer for everyone they have led astray from the truth of God!

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

There may be many different opinions of what God means but those who intentionally seek to promote discord in the church will see the wrath of God and not the “Grace” of God!

All heretics need to be removed from the church!

And now Paul will begin to close out these Scriptures.

*****Tit 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Paul had some other things to discuss with Titus, so he was going to send Artemas or Tychicus to replace him until he could return.

We already know that Tychicus would travel to take the Word of God to the many places where the many churches were established but he could also step in for any other Pastor.

Not much is known about Artemas except to say he was trusted to preach the truth of the Word of God and would go where he was sent.

Tradition states that Artemas became the Pastor at the church at Lystra.

His name Artemas means given by Diana, which would mean that he had at one time been a worshiper of this pagan goddess.

And Paul continues:

*****Tit 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

Just as Artemas, this is the only place we see this lawyer named Zenas.

It is very possible that Zenas and Apollos had been sent to help Titus on the Island of Crete. We can also see that Zenas was someone who could not devote all his time to the Church. Like many he had to support himself, so he could be in the ministry without the help of the church but with much help from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is always good to have a lawyer who loves the Lord and Paul needed advice from this lawyer as he soon would be defending himself before Nero.

Some say Zenas was a Jew, but his name would seem to connect him to the pagan god Zeus, who had been converted to Christianity.

It should be clear that the Lord needs committed laymen in the Church, those who will not rob God of His tithes and offerings.

Apollos was a Jew born in Alexandria who had been well versed in the Old Testament but did not know the Lord Jesus Christ until he met Aquila and his wife Priscilla who taught him the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

It could be that Titus was in possession of the funds necessary to pay the expenses of this trip to join the Apostle Paul and Paul knew or Paul had given this fund to Titus when he was sent to the island of Crete.

*****Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Good works are those works that grow out of a loving personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

It should be obvious that those sitting in the pews are to support the Church and also support the missionaries and evangelist.

It is our job as Christians to support those who take the “Gospel” to all the places in this world beginning with our own communities, and our own families.

1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Those who are the richest are all those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

*****Tit 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

As life goes on and no matter where we travel, all those who claim the Lord Jesus Christ, are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we need to treat them that way!

All those with Paul were also praying for the church or churches on the Island of Crete and we must also pray for the other churches we know of!

If we cannot support those we call missionaries and evangelists and Pastors, we can certainly urgently pray for them!

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

When we cannot help our brothers and sisters in Christ, who gave Himself for us, it does not speak well for us!

Thank goodness that we have our own Church here at Gethsemane that supports not only the church but also many missionaries.

There are always those who rob God of His tithes and offerings.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

What Is The Gospel Of The Lord Jesus Christ

"What Is The Gospel According To The Lord Jesus Christ"?

Text:

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

What is the "Gospel"?

To me the "Gospel" is the "good message", or the "good news" that comes from the knowledge of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.

The "Gospel" is the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ has taken my place on that cross and paid a debt that I could have never paid!

Like the Apostle Paul, I am not ashamed of the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ. If not for God’s mercy and God’s grace, I would have surely been in shame, when I would have faced the Lord Jesus at the White Throne of Judgment.

Because of the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been pardoned and will not face that judgment!

So when did the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ begin?

God said:

Heb 10:7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with a personal relationship with My Lord Jesus and it cannot get more personal than at our Creation as written in the Book of Genesis!

Gen 1:26  And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness": and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

To be created in the image of God is a very special relationship that God Himself decided on before He made anything else.

In fact God decided my entire features before He made me, I was designed!

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

To me, this is where my personal relationship with my Lord must begin.

Since I now know the Lord Jesus as my Savior, I want to be more like Him.

I want to be in His "image" and only by the "Gospel" can I truly know Jesus Christ!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can be saved!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can live on this Earth, no longer in misery but at peace!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can make it to my real home which I now know is in Heaven and not on this Earth where I am just a visitor!

God did not make this a hard thing for me to understand!

God made this a simple thing and all He asked me to do was believe on all the things of His Son, the "Gospel"!

And, I now realize that it is the Devil who causes the problems in this world I live in!

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The "Gospel" changed me and I know that whosoever calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ can also be changed!

1) So how can the "Gospel" reach those that do not know the Lord Jesus?

Preaching!

When Jesus preached He said He was God.

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We must accept this as fact before we can take any other step.

This is what is called "Faith".

Jesus gave these words to a grieving father whose daughter was on the death bed one day. Jesus said "be not afraid, only believe".

Mar 5:36  As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

If there 1000 steps between us and the Lord Jesus, Jesus Himself will take 999 of those steps, but we must find enough "faith" to take that last step.

Without this "Faith" we cannot begin to please God and we cannot go any further.

But with ‘Faith" we can please the Lord and He will reward us with His free gift of "Grace".

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It is by God’s Grace that we are saved!

It is by God’s "Grace" that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ!

Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

These are free gifts and all that is needed is, to accept them, this is the "Gospel"!

It does not get any easier than that!

2) What was the "Gospel" as taught to the Apostles?

Mar 8:36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Life is all about the choices we make. Until we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we will never choose life.

Our God is a Tri-Une God. The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost!

Jesus told all His Apostles to teach this message:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

But Jesus also gave them the message they were to teach:

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things "whatsoever I have commanded you": and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The message that was to be taught was the Words of Jesus, the Word of God, the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ!

How can we trust the Word of God?

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Every word that is written down and preserved for our knowledge was inspired by God Himself, by His Holy Spirit!

We are created in His image and therefore also tri-une. The physical body, the spirit, and the soul.

While we are living, we must make a choice about our soul because to not choose is rejecting the truth of God.

Rejecting the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is the soul that is granted eternal life and it is the soul that is so precious to Our Lord!

It is the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ that will lead us to make the right choices!

1Ti 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

3) What was the Gospel that was taught to the Church?

Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Just before Jesus Christ "willingly" got on that cross to pay our sin debt that we could not pay, He said He was going back to Heaven to prepare a home for those sinners that had been converted.

Joh 14:2  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.
Joh 14:3  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.

Jesus said He has given us His "Gospel" so that we would not be confused and could know the way.

Joh 14:4  And whither I go ye know, "and the way ye know".

And just so we can never be confused thinking that there could be other ways to get to Heaven, Jesus clears that up for us also!

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ made His "Gospel" simple because He will not tell us anything that will cause confusion.

1Co 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The church that is confused, is a church that has moved away from the "Gospel of Jesus Christ"!

4)  How do I make a personal application of the "Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I must use every means available to me, to spread the "Gospel Seed".

When God created our world He made this statement.

Gen 1:11  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit "after his kind", whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

When the "Gospel Seed" is spread, it will also produce fruit after "it’s kind".

It is my job to be a "Sower of the Gospel Seed" after the Lord Jesus has been merciful enough to save my soul!

The parable of the "Sower" teaches me that I can only be the Sower. I must cast the seed in every direction and on every soil, realizing that the soil itself must be prepared by the Lord and it is He, and He only who controls the results.

BUT, if I will not sow the "Gospel Seed" then there can be no fruit and no results.

Hag 2:19  Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

I must apply all these things to my own life that I may be more like Jesus Christ, who is my example!

5) What are the results of the Christian life?

Only by being like the Lord Jesus Christ can I be a Christian!

Jesus gave me this commandment:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I will not be much of a witness if I cannot honor the Word of God with my life!

I certainly cannot consider myself a Christian unless I am more like Christ Jesus!

And if I walk as the world walks then I do not actually love the Lord.

I must come out from among those of this world, if I am to be in the family of God!

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

If we consider that we are in the last "Church Age", as all signs show, then this is the only way we can judge church growth.

God says that mankind will become more evil in the last days:

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

God says the last "Church Age" is a time when people will please themselves and forget Our Creator:

Rev 3:17  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:

This the time when this world makes God sick:

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

These are the days we live in now!

The truth of God may not bring in the great multitudes into the House of God during this time, so those that know the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him should be even more noticeable!

6) How can I know all these things are true!

I must believe in all the Word of God!

I must study the Word of God that I may not only help myself but I may be able to help others!

And I must live what I learn!

I will never be approved of God without these things!

This takes a workman like ethic.
This takes effort on my part.
This will also increase my love for the Lord.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I must believe that the Bible that God has given me is His truth:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This the only method that I have to be more like Jesus:

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

7) So what are the facts of the "Gospel"?

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.
Jesus Christ came to the earth that I might be saved.
Jesus Christ gave His life, (no one could take it from Him), on that cross to pay a debt that I could not pay.
Jesus Christ rose from that grave because not even death could hold Him.
Jesus Christ went back to Heaven to be my advocate before my Father in Heaven.
Jesus Christ sent me His Holy Spirit to keep me in His ways until He returns to take me home.

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

And one day I will be like Him. Not as a God but as a part of His family!

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

8) How can you know what I know to be the truth?

You must admit that you are a sinner!

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

You must know that sin brings death apart from God but Jesus Christ brings life eternal!

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You must not be ashamed to confess the Lord Jesus before this evil world!

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You must accept the free gift of salvation and you too can be saved!

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We cannot only believe all these things are true but we can also know all these things are true!

1Jn 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; ‘that ye may know that ye have eternal life’, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Joh 1:14  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.

Why did Jesus come to this Earth, His own creation?

Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Where is Jesus now?

Joh 14:2  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.
Joh 14:3  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.

Because this is the "Gospel of Jesus Christ"!

Amen!