From Saul to Paul

The Enemy is Changed

Book of Acts Chapter 9

In the Bible, Paul is first known by the Greek equivalent of his Hebrew name which is Saul. Paul is best known by his Latin Roman name Paul.

Paul went from being the most hated persecutor of the Church to being the great Christian and Apostle to the Church that belongs to Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul was the most dominate missionary to the Gentiles.

To the Church Paul was a murderer and he was certainly a murderer.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who came to Paul and brought salvation to him.

It is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can save anyone.

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ that cleansed Paul from his sin of persecuting and murdering the Church.

We can be sure Paul had other sin.

Paul hated the Church and wanted to destroy the Church.

When we persecute the Church, we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ for He is the Head of the Church!

*Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Paul burned with a flaming fury against the Church and all Christians.

It is Christians that make the Church. The Church is not a building!

Paul was consumed with fierce anger and that fierce anger was against Christ Jesus and His disciples.

Paul hunted down and slaughtered all the believers he could find, and we can be sure the world helped him.

The followers of Jesus Christ were called “the way” before the term Christianity was used.

Act 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of “that way” before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

Act 19:23 And the same time there arose no small stir about “that way”.

Act 22:4 And I persecuted “this way” unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after “the way” which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

Act 24:22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of “that way”, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

The teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ were not pictured as a religion and Christianity is not a religion!

The teachings of the Lord were not pictured as rules and regulations for they are simply the truth of God.

The teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ were seen as “the way of life’ according to our Heavenly Father.

Not just that but also the “course of life”, “the means of life”, “a condition of life”, and “an experience of life”.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who showed us “the way” of salvation!

Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us “the way” of salvation.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who showed us the “way of the Lord”.

Act 18:25 This man was instructed in “the way” of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us how to have peace in our lives!

Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into “the way” of peace.

Rom 3:17 And “the way” of peace have they not known:

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us “the truth” of God’s creation.

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom “the way of truth” shall be evil spoken of.

This is what Paul was doing. He was speaking evil of the way of truth!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has shown us “the way of righteousness”.

2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Paul was about to see “the way” himself and what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

What is the truth of our Savior? God can save anybody, anywhere, at any time!

Saul was going to Damascus to slaughter Christians and wipe out Christianity.

Right in the middle of doing this evil, Paul was saved.

A light appeared suddenly, out of nowhere and unexpectedly. A light brighter than the noon day Sun!

Act 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

Paul saw the Lord standing in the middle of this light.

1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

This light was the Glory of the Lord!

1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto”; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Just the power of this Light struck Paul down to the ground.

Act 26:14 And when “we were all fallen to the earth”, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

The truth is, the Glory of God must shine in our hearts before we can be saved.

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Glory of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of Heaven!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God Himself!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior to all those who believe, there is no other Savior.

Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Paul is converted from Judaism to Christianity.

By the way, to be a Christian is to do the best we can to be like the Lord Jesus Christ and we can only do this by being filled with God Holy Spirit!

*Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Paul had realized he had seen the Lord and now realized that He was hearing the Lord speak.

Paul was not alone but he was the only one who heard the Lord speak all the others heard was a mighty sound, but they could not distinguish the words spoken by Jesus.

What was Paul’s sin?

Paul was opposing and persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh_16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Paul was treading on dangerous ground and every soul upon this earth will get to meet our Savior.

Opposing Christ Jesus is serious, so serious it dooms a person to hell unless there is repentance.

This day was Paul’s chance to miss hell and Paul had to make the right choice.

This may have been Paul’s last day on earth had he remained rebellious.

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Paul knew these things happening around him were coming from Heaven.

When Paul asked “who art thou Lord”, he knew it was the Lord of Heaven and earth who was speaking to him.

Paul knew this person was the Lord of Heaven, but he did not know the Lord as his Savior but they are One and the Same.

It takes a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

Until you meet Jesus and recognize His glory, you will never understand this.

When a person really sees he has been rebelling against the Lord of Glory, the Savior, he will come under conviction.

Paul understood that what he was doing was opposing God who he had great faith in.

In Judaism it is Jehovah who is worshipped and Jehovah and the Lord Jesus are the same Deity.

Paul began to understand that he was lost, separated from Jehovah God and doomed to Hell.

Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It is hard to kick against your own conscience.

“To kick against the pricks” is a picture of a stubborn ox being goaded with a long stick that was sharp on its end.

It was hard for the ox to kick against the goad for he would only feel more pain.

Paul was questioning himself over the truth.
Paul was fighting himself over the truth.
Paul was struggling within himself with the truth of the Scriptures which he knew very well.

When the Light of the Gospel finally breaks through our sinful darkness, we will begin to know the truth.

Everyone who chooses to go against the Lord Jesus has chosen a hard way of life!

They will never know if they have chosen right, and it will affect everything they try to accomplish.

This something each Christian understands!

Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Psa 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

There was only one thing Paul could do, he had to obey the Lord.

*Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Paul had to surrender to the truth that he was the greatest of all sinners.

Gal_1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Paul was hardly able to bear up under the weight of his sin!

We all get this way when we realize we are just dirty rotten sinners.

These things became part of Paul’s testimony.

Paul became a shattered man, and it would take some time in prayer and meditation to clear his mind so he could learn the truth.

Paul needed the companionship of another believer who had been through similar things.

Paul had been converted and a radical change was taking place within him.

It would take proof of his conversion for the Christian community to receive him.

There were some who witnessed this event that happened to Paul.

*Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

There were some witnesses, but they did not know what was really happening.

In typology, we would say they were a type of the world we live in.

The world listens to false science and lies and reject the truth so the world cannot know the truth.

The world is aware of the miracle of conversion, but the world refuses to open their eyes to the truth but cling to the lies of false science.

We have to open our hearts to see the Light of the Lord Jesus.

We have to silence ourselves and our thoughts to hear the voice of God.

We have to make ourselves available to confront the Lord.

We have to be prepared to surrender if we call upon the Lord.

Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Act 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Paul could only do as the Lord instructed him. It is called obedience!

*Act 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Paul was blind and he did not know if it was temporary or forever.

Paul was helpless and had to be led by others.

Paul could do nothing else but to think about what had happened to him.

Paul became ashamed for what he had been doing.

Paul needed some help from a Christian!

Paul thought his purpose was to eliminate Christianity, but Paul now had no purpose in his life.

Paul wondered why the Lord Jesus had chosen him.

Paul wondered what the Lord Jesus wanted with him, and he wondered what the Lord Jesus was going to tell him to do.

Paul was unable to eat or drink for three days and Paul became exhausted with no strength at all.

We must understand that once the Lord Jesus has forgiven us, He no more remembers our sin and it is best we forget that old sin.

God sent Paul a brother in Christ named Ananias.

*Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

What Paul needed most was the need to experience the help and ministry of a fellow Christian.

As Christians we all know we are only sinners saved by the “Grace” of God!

Paul needed to see the faith of a brother in Christ.

Paul needed to know that he was also a brother in Christ.

Paul needed to feel the power of God and a glorious healing.

Paul needed to feel the power of the Holy Spirit.

Many ask, just when was Paul saved?

Was Paul saved on the Damascus Road or when he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul knew that awesome Light was from Heaven.
Paul knew that voice he heard was from Heaven.
Paul knew who ever was speaking to him was of Heaven.
Paul called this Heavenly being “Lord”.

Paul was surrendering to the Lord when Paul asked Him “What will you have me do”?

Paul did not have a personal relationship, but he knew it was the Lord God of Heaven.

Paul called Him Lord a second time.

Paul realized his only help was to obey the Lord God of Heaven as he surrendered to the Lord.

Paul prayed and the Lord Jesus heard him.

Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, “he prayeth”,
Act 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

It is evident that Paul surrendered to the Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road.

Does not sound a whole lot different from many of us who prayed the sinners pray and many pray and never give themselves to the Lord Jesus.

We now have Paul’s history of how he served the Lord in the New Testament.

Paul could now eat because he was settled in his faith.

*Act 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

Paul was a changed man because he had been “Born Again”!

We see that a Church had been established in Damascus and now Paul was identified with other believers.

Paul was a true believer; his old man had surely died!

Paul became a follower of “The Way”.

Paul became a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Paul preached Christ, the Messiah.

Paul no longer preached religion, or tradition, or ceremony or ritual.

There is a great significant difference between the two!

Paul also did not preach his firsthand experiences, his visions, his praying.

Paul preached Christ. It takes a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to know the truth!

2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily

Paul preached Christ the Son of God:

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:

The people were amazed at the change in Paul. We could say Paul made a 180 degree turn rom his old life.

*Act 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

Paul stood as a testimony to the change that comes about when the Holy Spirit moves in and we are “Born Again”.

The people in the synagogues and in the public were amazed at what they saw in the new Paul.

They were expecting all the things they had heard about in Jerusalem to take place.

They had known about the mission of Paul and how he treated men and women Christians.

Paul now identified as a Christian himself.

Paul would later declare to the Romans that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

And to the Christians at Corinth:

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Paul became steadfast and faithful to the cause of Christ and his old friends became his enemies.

*Act 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Act 9:23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

Paul continued to grow in his faith and his zeal was now for the truth of Jehovah who is the Messiah who came to our world to save us.

Paul grew Spiritually. We can have no strength that can compare to “Spiritual Strength”.

The Bible we have today is rich in the work of the Holy Spirit.

We should never forget the Holy Spirit is one third of the Triune God.

The Holy Spirit is not the influence of God, the Holy Spirit is God with His own work in our lives to accomplish and the power of the Holy Spirit showed mightily in the Apostle Paul.

The more Paul grew in the Lord the more he was able to confuse those who opposed the “Gospel.”

Paul could take the Scriptures and prove that the Lord Jesus was the true Messiah!

Paul grew in strength because his “faith” grew greatly every day.

Paul had been studying the Old Testament since he was a child, but he now knew the truth of the Messiah.

What is the truth of the Bible?

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

So the same ones who had encouraged Paul to persecute Christians now plotted to kill Paul.

God was not about to allow this to happen.

*Act 9:24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

We would wonder why they would hate Paul with such a vengeance.

They then considered Paul to be a traitor to Judaism.

When Paul escaped, this is probably the time when Paul went to spend some time with the Lord.

Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Where did Paul get his message?

Paul says not from man.
Paul did not immediately go back to Jerusalem to learn from the Apostles.

Paul went to Arabia where he stayed about three years. The same amount of time the other Apostles spent with Jesus.

It is after this he returned to Damascus.

Many times we just need to get alone with God and just talk to Him.

He is always ready to hear from us!

It is probably on his return to Damascus that verse twenty-three kicks in and this passage we are on now.

There are different theories about Paul’s time in Arabia.

The point being Paul spent some quality time with the Lord Jesus and became a much more mature Christian and it was time for the Lord to use Paul in a mighty way.

Even after returning from Arabia it was still 12 years before Paul went to the missionary field.

Paul fled from assassination all the remaining days of his life.

Paul was run out of Jerusalem and did not get to go home very much.

Paul went to his childhood home in Tarsus until he was called to the mission field.

The message of the “Gospel” convicted and threatened the followers of Judaism, and it still does today.

Christianity is not a growth from Judaism but in fact all those in Judaism will have to convert to Christianity which will take place after the “Rapture of the Church.

The Apostle Paul is an example for us all of the change that takes place after we are saved and the work that we need to be doing as disciples.

Paul was not some fanatic no more than a Christian is today, witnessing for our Lord and Savior.

God will always make a way to escape when we are true witnesses for the Lord.

God will deliver us from difficulty when we true witnesses.

God will carry us through to His presence when death comes.

2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

You see this is the truth of the Scriptures!

The Jerusalem Church is Scattered

The Jerusalem Church is Scattered

Book of Acts Chapter 8

The one thing we should get noticeably clear in our minds is the fact that God will have His way in this world!

Even when things look dire, we need to remember that Jehovah God is in charge of every aspect of this world.

Nothing happens upon this earth that God does not know about!

What had God told to the early Church?

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
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:
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.

Over and over again we see the command to the Church.

The Church is not a building! The Church is every true believer!

The Church in Jerusalem had grown to an exceptionally large congregation, yet no one had considered what the Lord Jesus had commanded.

Yes, when the Lord Jesus speaks, He is commanding us to do as He says.

In fact, the Bible is a Book of Commands and not a Book of Suggestions!

Since the Church in Jerusalem would not “go into all the world” then, God would allow some things to take place and the result of these things would be the Church would be obedient to the Lord.

Now God did not cause the persecution that came to the Church, but God did allow it to take place.

The early Church grew because of the “Grace” of God, and we are still in this period called “Grace”!

Because of God’s Grace, He will not do things to go against His grace!

In other words, God did not cause this persecution, or the Church could not call it “Grace”.

In our lesson today we get to see some things about a young man named Saul.

Saul will become the worst of the persecutors of the Church, until He becomes maybe the greatest Christian who has ever lived.

First the persecutor:

*Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Though Saul did not cast a single stone upon Stephen, Saul was still consenting to his death.

As Stephen was dying, he gave God’s final invitation to those who were super religious in Jerusalem, but Israel rejected God’s message.

Israel set out to destroy God’s Church and Israel found out that this would be impossible.

The world of today needs to take note, that man cannot destroy the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ!

God overruled Israel and used this persecution to scatter the Church as the Lord Jesus had commanded.

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.

The Holy Ghost (Spirit) had come and it was time for the Church to get busy about the work of the Lord!

God has a plan for this world and no one, not any human can change the plan of God.

No matter what is happening in this world, God’s plan moves along at God’s pace.

It was Saul who launched this heavy persecution.
Some godly men buried Stephen.
Saul would persecute both men and women.
The brethren were scattered in every direction.

Saul was well pleased with the death of Stephen!

As Christians we should never be pleased with the death of anyone no matter their guiltiness!

We should never be happy that someone has died without knowing the Lord as their Savior.

Fury had been building inside Saul and Stephen’s death just set Saul out to destroy all the Church.

Saul felt that the preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ would destroy Judaism.

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous “of the traditions of my fathers”.

What Paul had not considered is the “traditions” cannot save anyone!

We can see that there were also politics behind the work of Saul, and Saul prospered in many ways because he persecuted the Church, the Body of Christ.

The persecution of the Church began immediately on the same day that Stephen was buried which was the same day Stephen was murdered.

Note the Apostles stayed behind.

They had given some freedom by the authorities because of Gamaliel:

Act 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
Act 5:35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
Act 5:36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
Act 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
Act 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Act 5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Remember that Council would carry the same weight as our own Supreme Court.

The Apostles were highly esteemed by the people and these wicked men did not need any more intervention from Rome which could happen if the Jews were in some sort of civil war.

Act 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

Had the Apostles fled Jerusalem, then there would have been no one left to stabilize the Church at Jerusalem.

God does not shut down one Church to see it thrive somewhere else!

The Church in Jerusalem was an important Church and still is today.

Remember the Church is that congregation of believers.

This church would have ceased to exist, and this was not part of the plan of God.

The Church requires good godly leaders who cling to the Lord Jesus Christ.

You see we can trust that what God has said is the truth!

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.
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.

Do not be confused by this Scripture. Peter is not the “Rock” of the Church, it is the Gospel, the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

No matter what Satan or the rebellious governments of this world send against the Church, the Church will prevail until the day the Lord removes the Church to deal with this wicked world.

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

We see that good godly devout men of God carried Stephen to his burial expressing great sorrow for him, but the soul of Stephen was already with the Lord Jesus Christ in our Heavenly home. These men were no longer afraid to show their faith.

*Act 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

As for Saul. he joined in the persecution of the Church becoming the ring leader.

Saul had every intent to completely destroy God’s Church and remove it from the face of the earth.

Many would come behind him trying to do the same thing even in today’s time.

Even mighty Rome could not destroy the Church and none today will be able to.

Saul was like a man gone mad!

Act 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Saul would even go into homes, breaking down the doors, seeking every believer.

Saul arrested everyone he could find, trying to stamp out Christianity.

Saul would storm every synagogue and he punished every believer that was present.

Even though women were considered to be insignificant in Saul’s day, Saul still went after women with the same fierceness.

Saul would send as many as he could to prison!

Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

Saul hunted them down like some terrible criminal even though these people just professed the Lord Jesus Christ as their perfect Savior.

This became their theme.

This had been what God commanded all along.

Those that escaped went forth claiming the Lord Jesus Christ and preaching the Word of God.

Persecution will never stop the work of God!

****Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

We know the Apostles were not scattered.

Most of the priests were not scattered.

It was the lay people who were scattered abroad.

That word “abroad” means “widely scattered”, beyond the bounds of a country, before the public.

They went everywhere preaching the Word of God, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

When the Word of God is preached and received it is then time to decide.

This is the power of the Christian Church.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior unto life, or He is Ruler of death unto death.

Our life and our death are in the hands of our Savior!

This is a choice we must all make and thank God, He is the God of second chances.

Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
Act 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Act 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

We should understand that evangelism is still the answer to persecution!

We have the life we live right now to prepare for what is said about us when we are dead.

*Act 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
Act 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Philip went to Samaria which had been prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ with the message of salvation and many of those who were once enemies to the Jews became part of the Christian Church.

These are all things that can happen when we are obedient to the Lord!

Why was Philip given the power to do miracles?

We must remember there was no Bible to be given to believes in that day.

The Old Testament presented the message of the “coming of Christ”.

The message of the New Testament would be the return of Christ to get His Church. The “Good News”!

The New Testament would not be written for many years so God allowed some few men to take credit for some miracles mostly concerning healing.

Today we have the complete text of the Bible, there are no lost books of the Bible.

Miracles still happen every day but most all of them go unnoticed.

God uses persecution to demonstrate the reality of salvation.

God uses miracles for this same purpose!

Persecution of the Church can be simple abuse, or it can be violent.

It can happen at work, at home, at school, at play and yes, even at Church.

In every case God will use persecution to bear witness of Himself!

What the world needs now is to see a revived Church.

Many believe that revival is the time to reach out to the public and it can be, but the intent of “revival” is to stir the Church to get back to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need a true movement of God in the hearts and the lives of all the children of God, inside and outside the Church.

Philip had accepted the call of God and had become an evangelist; Philip was a lay person who was trained by the Holy Spirit.

He did not go to some seminary nor any other school accept the school of the Holy Spirit and Philip obeyed the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philip preached and proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ

Philip preached the “Good News, the Gospel and there is no better news today.

The one thing the Church needs today is to be in “one accord”!

We see just the opposite in our Churches today.

Every so-called Bible that has been rewritten just to pacify some congregation needs to be gathered and burnt for heresy.

There is only one truth and for the English-speaking world! The KJV is the closest we can get to the truth of God along with a few others that are taken from the “Received Text”.

All others are no more than commentaries that are taken from already altered versions of Scripture.

We must be in one mind and one spirit, one accord.

We must have an open mind, a willingness to listen to what God has to say, and then be obedient!

Has Satan infiltrated the Church? Yes, and we are foolish to think differently.

*Act 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Act 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.

All those who do not have the Holy Ghost living within them are under the control of evil spirits.

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”.

Satan cannot touch the child of God without God’s permission. Satan can threaten like he has this power but he does not!

It is not the same for those who have not given their lives to Christ Jesus! Satan can do as he pleases with these people!

People who cannot help themselves can be healed but only by the Lord Jesus Christ!

There will be evidence of changed lives! In fact, if there is no evidence of changed lives then we need to question their salvation!

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

All those who would rather rewrite some book calling it a Bible just because they do not like the commandments of God, cannot then be saved!

When people understand the truth, it will certainly bring joy!

This joy will come and stay because it is the gift of God!

Philip did not have the power of miracles within himself to do miracles!

This power is only of God and God has His reasons and nothing comes from God without “faith”!

It is the deliverance from the great depths of sin that brings the greatest joy!

Deliverance from false prophets.
Deliverance from false religion.
Deliverance from sorceries which is drugs.

False religion will always fail in the end because there is no truth in false religion.

God has one message:

Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
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.

Even though Philip was in a great revival in Samaria, the Holy Spirit had a special request, and we must always listen to the Holy Spirit.

*Act 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

We should know that God has His eyes on everything that is happening in this world!

Remember God knows the ending at the same time that He knows the beginning.

Every soul is important to God!

Why would this angel of the Lord not go himself?

I can think of two reasons:

1) Because this was a mission for a man. In the Lord’s salvation plan there is a place for redeemed sinners to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. No angel could accomplish this mission!

2) The Holy Spirit would already be working upon this individual and one of God’s redeemed could show him the way, the Jesus way.
An angel is but a messenger!

We should also remember Philip was in the middle of a great revival so what was so important about one man?

There were two ways from Jerusalem to Gaza, one desert, the other was through a more populous country.

Philip had no way of knowing a particular reason God would send him somewhere else during a revival, but Philip seemed to understand the importance of this mission.

We must always listen to what the Lord has to say no matter what we are doing at the time God calls!

Philip had to walk by faith!

It is our faith that is important when we are speaking to the Lord!

Jehovah does not limit Himself to our theories or our beliefs and we should not either!

God will use whatever is necessary to reach a lost soul!

God tells us all to “arise” and “go” and walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ!

What did Philip do?

*Act 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Act 8:28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Philip saw some man riding in a chariot who was returning from Jerusalem.

We should understand that Chief officers of nations were called eunuchs. Some were eunuchs as we understand but not all were!

Many of them were the chief ministers in eastern courts and called eunuchs.

For instance we know that Candace was the queen of the Ethiopians but all the queens of Ethiopia were named Candace.

We should understand what the Bible says:

Psa 68:31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

This eunuch would be one of the tools Jehovah would use to fulfill this prophecy!

No doubt that this eunuch was also a proselyte to Judaism. A Gentile converted to Judaism.

Tradition tells us that even Candace was baptized by this eunuch after the work of Philip was completed.

This eunuch had taken part in all the Jewish festivals of that day, and he would now learn the simplicity of salvation by Jesus Christ.

He was reading from the Book of Isaiah the prophet of Jehovah.

It is a fact that many believers shy away from foreigners when the Lord only sees souls and all souls are as jewels and are valuable to the Lord.

The Lord Jesus wants us to reach all people with the truth!

Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
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.

We might understand that if we could reach the higher ups in our own government, it could change everything about the America we see now.

The one thing that can be said about eunuchs is, that they are dedicated to their position.

This eunuch was a worshiper of God, yet he was not saved because he did not know all the truth.

We must all seek a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philip sensed what he was sent to do but Philip still needed a little push from the Holy Spirit.

After all this man was a high ranking officer of some country and not a Jew.

The Holy Spirit will always guide us if we listen to Him and place our lives under His control.

*Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

Notice that Philip came straight to the point.

It was not time to talk about the weather or the long trip. Philip was sent to this man for one purpose and Philip did what the Holy Spirit instructed him to do.

Philip initiated the conversation, but he did not give this man time to ask what he was doing chasing his chariot.

No doubt this man was faithful to have traveled such a great distance to worship Jehovah.

This man had a copy of the Word of God and few especially Gentiles had such a copy of the Word pf God.

Remember all copies were done by hand and were unbelievably valuable.

This man had a problem that he could not solve and there were no answers at his home in Ethiopia.

He did not understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for him.

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

If we believe the Bible then we must understand that Isaiah was writing about our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah was writing about the Messiah who had already come and completed the work required of His Father for our salvation!

He was led like a sheep because He was the Lamb of God.
He willingly died for our sin though He could have said no.
Because He was God it was in humiliation that He died and the justice due Him was not allowed.
In this time of “Grace” His followers are innumerable and who could have numbered them.

Psa 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
Psa 22:31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

This eunuch could not have understood about the Lord Jesus Christ until He had heard this truth.

It is the same today to those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ.

The prophecies of the Old Testament of the coming of the Messiah have been fulfilled.

We are now awaiting upon the return of the Messiah to collect His Church to take His bride home to Heaven to present to His Father!

He is coming back to get His Church!

Come Lord Jesus Come

Amen!

Fully Following God

Caleb–Fully Following God

Book of Joshua Chapter 14

The most important thing we can do after we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior is, to then follow Him.

In fact, you cannot be counted as a Christian if you are not following the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is the truth of repentance! We quit traveling the path of sin and start traveling the path of righteousness.

Righteousness is doing our best to do things right and right means according to the Word of God!

As we will see the truth of this man called Caleb, it means “fully following” the Lord.

There is no room for those who just follow the Lord whenever they think it works for them.

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and “take up his cross daily, and follow me”.

To follow our Savior is a daily walk with Him!

When we are not following the Lord Jesus Christ, we are then traveling on a road of darkness!

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ is denying our own will and accepting the will of God as the correct path of life!

Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.

What is the key to following God? Being in the Will of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ is our example in all things of the “will of God”!

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”:

We cannot follow the Lord unless we “fully follow the Lord”, as did Caleb!

Who was this Caleb?

This Caleb was the son of Hezron, the son of Pharez, the son of Judah and the father of Hur, as the Word of God is written, to separate him from others named Caleb in the Bible. He is also the son of Jephunneh.

Caleb was a prince of the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Hezron, the son of Pharez, and a grandson of Judah

This Caleb was one the twelve spies sent out to Canaan Land by Moses representing the tribe of Judah.

It was this Caleb and this Joshua, who told Moses that Israel could easily take the land of Canaan.

The Lord said that this Caleb had a different spirit than the others.

Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, “because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully”, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Why did Caleb have another spirit? Because he followed God fully!

Obviously, this thing pleased God!

How many of us here today would like to have such a thing said about us?

Caleb had a great testimony.

It can be said of us when it is the truth, when God’s will be our own will!

We should strive to have such a testimony as did Caleb.

Israel had already been in many battles and had captured much land on the far side of Jordan.

Caleb had grown old, and Joshua already knew what land that Caleb would receive.

This land was still under the control of the enemy gentiles.

So let us begin:

*Jos 14:1 And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.

Thirty-three kings had now been defeated by Israel.

Those who were to divide the lands of Canaan were Eleazer as son of Aaron, Joshua the son on Nun who God had chosen to replace Moses and the heads of the fathers of the tribes.

The word for “tribes” used in connection with the word “fathers” implies genealogical descent which would be according to the Word of God.

In typology we have the Church, the Head of the government, and the Tribes the Heads of the people.

This is God’s way of setting up the government of Israel.

This is the way God intended for all governments to be set up!

The distribution of the land would be according to the “will” of God displaying no partiality.

The casting of the “lot” was to be the method used where it could be said that every decision was by the “Will of God”.

*Jos 14:2 By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe.
Jos 14:3 For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.

The “lot” was a small stone used in the casting of “lots”, the method used to determine chances or preferences, or to decide a debate.

The decision by lot was often resorted to among the Hebrews, but always with the strictest reference to the interposition of God!

Today we would say a thing of “chance”.

Even today ,placing names in a hat and drawing those names out one at a time has the intention of God choosing those to serve Him.

We should understand that there nothing done by chance when God participates in it.

Canaan land was divided between nine tribes plus one half of a tribe as Moses had already given land to two and a half tribes on the far side of Jordan.

God had decided that the Levites would not be given land for an inheritance.

God had said that He would be the inheritance of the Levites.

We always have that question “why”?

*Jos 14:4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.
Jos 14:5 As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.

God had chosen the Levites to be the tribe that would serve Him exclusively.

God has His reasons!

Jacob had made this statement:

Gen 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Gen 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
Gen 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
Gen 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel”.

Simeon and Levi were associate in wickedness, and so the same prediction would be equally applicable to both their tribes.

Levi had cities allotted to them in every tribe.

On account of their zeal against idolatry, they were honorably “divided in Jacob”; whereas the tribe of Simeon, which was guilty of the grossest idolatry and the vices inseparable from it, were ignominiously “scattered.” over the Promised Land.

God had chosen the Levites to be His own personal representatives among the people, so they belonged to the Lord.

The Lord was their inheritance!

The Levites were replaced by the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim which will also take us back to Jacob who is Israel and his favorite son Joseph, who is also a type of Christ as we studied in the Book of Genesis.

The two branches of Joseph’s house, Manasseh, and Ephraim, forming each a tribe, would have made Israel’s family to have been thirteen to have divided Canaan, had not Levi been separated to the Lord: and Reuben and Gad, with half the tribe of Manasseh settling on the other side of Jordan.

It was at this time, before any land had been given that Caleb the head of the tribe of Judah spoke up.

*Jos 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
Jos 14:7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.

You see God never breaks a promise!

Forty-five years earlier Caleb had a promise from Moses as the spies had returned from spying out Canaan Land.

Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Moses spoke as the Word of God was given to him.

We know that Joshua also stood as Caleb, but he is not named because he was no longer in the ranks of the people and was the constant companion of Moses until Moses died and was now the leader of all of Israel.

Caleb was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and did not fear what this world could do to him.

This is the way we should live today.

Out of those twelve spies only Caleb and Joshua had stood by the Lord.

*Jos 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
Jos 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

You see we cannot just follow the Lord when we feel like it!

We must follow the Lord no matter our feelings.

Our relationship with the Lord is not about feelings!
Our relationship with the Lord is about “the truth” of God!

We must do exactly what God (Jehovah) has commanded us to do.

The Word of God has never been a book of suggestions!

We must execute the Word of God just as it is written, “rightly divided”!

There is the promised inheritance of the Lord that can also be to every believer, but obedience is absolutely essential to receive it.

Obedience is the only proof that the Lord has that we genuinely love Him!

It will take courage, duty, and commitment and our faith, to achieve the goals that the Lord has placed upon us!

We will see that Caleb had all these traits.

We will need these traits if we are to “wholly follow the Lord”.

Though the world disagrees it is our Heavenly Father who keeps us alive!

It is Jehovah who holds the power of life and the power of death!

It is Jehovah who keeps the promises He has made to us just as He would to Caleb.

Before the first lot is cast, Caleb reminds Joshua of the promise made to him by Moses who spoke according to the Word of God.

Caleb was totally convinced that Jehovah would give the power to His people to claim victory in the Promised Land.

We have this same promise today!

Our victory is still the fulfillment of the true Promised Land which is not upon this earth.

Moses had sworn that Caleb would inherit the land focused upon by the other spies.

Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Deu 1:34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
Deu 1:35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
Deu 1:36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

What drove Caleb to wholly follow the Lord was the fact of the promises of God would be fulfilled!

As a young man of 40 years old was sent out as a spy, from that point on Caleb strived to obtain the promises of God.

Caleb is the truest example of a Christian in the Old Testament!

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It takes a wholehearted commitment to the Word of God and the knowledge that the Lord will never break a promise He has made to us!

*Jos 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
Jos 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Jos 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

Caleb had a willingness to face the enemy who stood opposed to the Children of God.

Why? Because Jehovah had already claimed the victory!

If we are willing to study the Word of God, we can see that God has still proclaimed victory for the people of God!

Caleb praised God that He had kept him alive long enough to see the truth of God and the reality of “Victory”.

The war was not yet over.

There were great giants that stood before him.

You see even our physical strength comes by the Lord.

Caleb was just as able at eighty-five years old, to face the enemies of God as he was when he was a spy sent out by Moses.

We need to understand Caleb made a request for the promise made to him even while the enemies of God’s people still controlled that land and many of them were of a race of gigantic people that will be mentioned for many years in the Old Testament.

We should understand that if the average male or female stood in the midst of a professional basketball team, they would think they were amongst giants.

These giants mentioned by the Bible are just real people who are larger than normal.

Caleb may have been up in years, but he was not about to retire before his work was done.

As Christians we should feel the same way today!

God will tell us when our work is done, and He will then take us home.

Unless the “rapture” of God’s people takes place, our work will not be complete till the Lord takes us home to the true “Promised Land” which is Heaven, the New Heaven where the Lord has prepared us a place.

The army of God is to remain busy until that time!

God has given us our marching orders and has never said to stop but rather to stand on the Word of God.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The army of God needs more Caleb’s today!

*Jos 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
Jos 14:14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
Jos 14:15 And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

Caleb marched his family into the land of giants and gained the promised victory.

A fortified city named Kirjath-Arba again became Hebron now exists as one of the oldest cities in the world.

The truth is we must be totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This wicked world will do its best to knock us backwards, but the army of God must move forward at all times.

We go backwards when we give up.

When we give up on ourselves then we have given up on the Lord.

We must follow the Lord whole heartedly.

There must be a wholehearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The term Israel means the people of God.

The true church is the gathering place for the people of God.

We need to be in our place each and every time God calls us to be there.

We must be committed to the work the Lord gave us to do!

We must wholly follow the Lord all our days!

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
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:
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.

Remembering Our Past

Remembering Israel’s Past

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 4

As we look back in the history of Israel and their escape from Egypt, we should understand that even on foot the journey from Egypt to Kadesh on the outskirts of the River Jordan, was only an eleven day journey and it took Israel forty years to make this journey.

Deu 1:2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
Deu 1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;

This is the difference between obedience and disobedience even among God’s people!

As Christians remembering our past can be painful but also joyful at the same time.

It is sad to recognize how sinful we were, but joyful to know that God has enough “Grace” to forgive us of our sin.

Rom_5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

When we look at our past with clear eyes, we can utterly understand that the news of what Jesus Christ has done for us, is certainly Good News.

We serve a merciful God who is also full of “Grace”!

There is one God who is also our Creator and to Israel, He is Jehovah and to the Church He is the Lord Jesus Christ the true Messiah who came down from Heaven to die that we might have eternal life.

As Christians the one most important thing we must do after we are saved, is to snuggle up to Jesus and stay as close to Him as the hem of His garment.

We need the Lord in our lives much more than we can know!

We must never forsake our Savior as Israel forsook Jehovah, and traveled in the wilderness for forty years.

The journey of the new nation of Israel to their Promised Land in type means, “it will not be easy to be a Christian”, but the rewards of obedience to Him are out of this world.

So, we must not just read the Word of God we must study the Word of God.

2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: “he cannot deny himself”.
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.
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 know when we pray being filled with the Holy Spirit, God does speak to us in our heart and relays that into our mind and we know we have heard from the Lord.

It is a true saying that “I know that Jesus lives because I just spoke to Him, and I know He heard me”.

But these Israelites heard the actual voice of God.

Even though we rarely take notice that God is still doing miracles today, these twelve tribes of Israel were eyewitnesses to many miracles, yet they denied the truth of Jehovah God.

When the Lord commands us, He is actually telling us His commandments are better for us and this is why we should obey.

In other words it is good for our health here on earth and later in Heaven if we will just be obedient to all the Word of God!

When we have that understanding, then it is rather easy to tell others what the Lord has done for us and this is what we are to do!

When we study the Old Testament, we realize that God never broke one promise nor any covenant with Israel, and since He never changes, it is the same for the Church if we continue to be obedient to Him.

We know for sure that when we make requests that are known to God, He will respond to that request!

He may say “yes”, He may say “no”, or He might say “now is not the time”, He may even say “I have something better for you”, but He will respond to every prayer that reaches Him in Heaven.

Our job is to live our lives so that our prayers can be heard in Heaven!

Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

It is a great privilege to take our burdens to the Lord, but when we do, we must certainly leave them there!

Moses declared unto this nation of Israel the truth of God, and they should have listened just as the Church needs to listen to what God has to say today, no matter what part of the Bible He is speaking to us from!

*Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deu 4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
Deu 4:33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?

The Creator of all we see here on earth and what we can see in the heavens declare the glory of God!

As stronger telescopes are made and sent into the heavens, we see a never-ending array of God’s creation and we need to stand in awe of His mighty power.

We should also understand that according as the speed of light, there are still great lights in the heavens that have not been seen and when they are seen it does not mean they are something new.

This information is ignored because it makes the earth to be young earth and not billions of years old.

Why would such a powerful God pay close attention to the people He created, we might not ever understand that, but He does!

I am sure that He does not call us “birth persons” and “non-birth persons” as we see our government is pushing for us to use instead of boy or girl or male or female. Such foolish people insist that God makes mistakes and I know He cannot make mistakes!

God works for those who love Him!

It is not just anybody who can brag and say, “my God works for me” and He does!

This same powerful God will still humble Himself and stop what He is doing long enough to listen to me when I speak to Him.

The greatest enemy of our prayer life is our lack of faith!

Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The Lord is the only true multitasker!

He can listen to me and many others and still keep His creation moving along according to His plan.

God never has to alter His plan!

My God is not afraid to reveal Himself to me!

My God will also act on my behalf in a world that rejects Him!

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

What was the reality of God in removing the children of Israel from Egypt?

*Deu 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Deu 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.

We must understand that God alone has the power to conquer the enemies of life and there are many enemies ready to take control of our lives.

Temptation may be our greatest enemy as it was to Israel!

These children of Israel had witnessed with their own eyes the formidable power of God.

All the way back to the time of Adam there was no evidence that God would deal with a nation as He had dealt with this band of slaves.

We could say that only Adam and Eve had ever heard the voice of God until He spoke to Israel.

Gen_3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

God spoke out of the midst of a fire to Moses, yet Moses still lived.

Exo 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Exo 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Exo 3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

God spoke from the midst of a fire to this entire nation of Israel to give them the moral laws.

Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

No other nation could brag of such a thing as Israel could!

God had shown great signs in the plagues upon Egypt.

Jehovah God is certainly a merciful God.

Yet this same merciful God is a consuming fire to His enemies.

And in the future, not too far off, the enemies of God will be destroyed by this consuming fire.

And yet, this consuming fire can be a refining fire in our hearts to remove the dross and impurities of our sinful lives causing us to be “Born Again” into a new life.

Why had God done all these things in eyesight of Israel? So Israel would know there is a true Living God!

Why does God do what He does? He wants everyone in this world to be saved!

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.

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.

You see the Lord God is the only Living and True God, the Sovereign Majesty of the Universe, (Jehovah Yahweh), which also makes Him a God of discipline, correction, and holiness!

*Deu 4:36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

God gives His commandments in order for us to know right from wrong!

These are commandments and not suggestions and they are all for our benefit in order for us to live a joyous and productive life upon this earth and a glorious life when He calls us home to Heaven.

These things are not that hard to understand when you come to know Him as your personal Savior!

We would be wrong to think that He will not correct us when we are disobedient!

There is no one more faithful to the things He says than the Lord God Almighty!

There is no one who keeps all His promises as does the Loving God!

It is the faithfulness of God that gives us hope for eternal life!

Death has no real meaning to the child of God, and He wants us to be as His dear children!

Apostasy is the abandonment of our Christian Faith!

The title Christian comes from being like the Lord Jesus Christ!

All those who have abandoned the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ are living in “Apostasy”!

Just as these Israelites began to fall away from Jehovah God, we see today the Church is “falling away” as the Apostle Paul taught and this is a sign of the soon coming of the Lord.

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Everything we see going on in our world today is building to this climatic event just as it was for Israel for their own apostasy.

We can believe that the “Man of Sin” is about ready to stick his ugly head onto the world scene if he has not already.

God and God alone have the power to conquer all His enemies who can empower His people to victory.

Victory over our own sin, victory in our lives and that victory will lead us to eternal life in the “Glory World”.

It was the nation of Israel who was chosen to bring forth our Savior just as He chose the land now called Palestine for them to live!

*Deu 4:37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;
Deu 4:38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

Notice also that this same powerful Holy God, is the God of Love!

1Jn_4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn_4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

When you know Him in a personal relationship you can feel this love!

God proved His love to Israel by leading them out of slavery and bondage.

Egypt can be understood as a symbol of what the world is today.

We should be able to see easily that nations even in the USA are all trying to make slaves of their people and succeeding.

God hates slavery and He removed the tiny nation of Israel out of slavery and the survival of Israel over all these years is enough proof the God is still on their side!

God does not save from a distance. God remains close to His people even when He does not have to!

God alone has the power to conquer all our enemies and He does not need some mighty army to do so.

We know that God had chosen Abraham, then Isaac, and Jacob and He never took His eyes away for their children.

It’s like this today! God chose His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ and all those who accept Him become the children of God and He will never take His eyes off His children.

All He ever ask of us is obedience!

Most all the mighty nations of Canaan Land fell before that ragtag bunch of Israelites when they were obedient to God.

In fact, the problems they have today with those called Palestinians are the result of disobedience all the way back to the time of Moses and Joshua when they rebelled against the commands of God.

It is the same for us today. Our lives are joyful and peaceful when we come to know our Savior, but when we decide to do some things our own way, we will see failures and some of these things we will carry with us the rest of our days.

It is best just to have faith in the Word of God and be obedient.

*Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Deu 4:40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

The entire Bible is the revelation of God. God revealing Himself to the world!

He could have chosen many ways, but this the way He chose.

After we recognize this then it behooves us to be obedient. Even through the many translations, the Word of God still has a simple message.

Just be obedient to God because He is all knowing! He knows the ending at the same time as He knows the beginning.

There is only One Living And True God and it does not matter what unbelievers think or say. They are wrong!

We must always understand, God does not intend for us to argue with the Word of God, the truth is the truth, and we have the truth.

Why are we to keep His commandments, it is quite simple? That it will go well with us!

This means in this life but also in that everlasting life to come if you accept the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.

The Bible is the wisdom for every nation and should be accepted as such.

When we obey the Word of God, we get the blessings of God and just like last week when we studied Balaam.

There is no one that can take away the blessings of God except God Himself!

The Bible will elevate the national character of any nation, and this was once true in the USA, but now our government has kicked God out of government, schools, the laws and about everything else and when God is asked to leave, He will leave.

God will not stay where He is not wanted!

It is the duty of each and every Christian to have a close personal relationship with God!

We are then under obligation to teach those things to our young!

Israel had to relationship with Jehovah.

In contrast those Gentile nations each had their own different god and most all of them had many gods and much of these things were debased forms of human passion and immorality.

God wanted Israel to be a nation of Priests and a Holy nation the same as the Church today.

Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

And the Church:

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.

We are royal because of King Jesus.
We are peculiar because we are obedient to God and not to this world.
We love Him so we praise Him.
He gives to us “Mercy” and “Grace”.

A perfect relationship.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

It only gets better!

Amen

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!