The Gospel Is For All the World

Gentiles Receive the Gospel

Book of Acts Chapters 10 and 11

We know that it was the Apostle Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentile world but before Paul, it was the Apostle Peter who first took the “Gospel” to the Gentiles.

God knew that Peter would have to be convinced that the Gospel was also written to the Gentiles, which means to all the world and not just to the Jews.

The Jews would have kept the Word of God to themselves if they could have.

This is known as discrimination. Everywhere we go we find that people are different.

People differ in beliefs, religion, speech, looks, color, behavior, status, and many other ways.

This has been true since the time of Cain and Abel.

In our nation today all these things are brought together in one word, racism.

There is only “one race”, and it is the “human race” and we are all full of flaws.

In our lesson today we find that God treats everyone the same and He encourages the Church to treat everyone the same.

We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross!

The Jews had their own laws and customs and they looked upon Gentiles with suspicion.

We should keep in mind that the Jewish people have always been mistreated, enslaved, and persecuted more than any other people upon this earth.

They had been conquered by army, after army, after army and by the millions they had been removed from their nation and scattered all over the world.

Their religion is what has kept them together all these years and their belief in the One true God.

They opposed anyone who threatened or attempted to break their laws of religion or the laws of their nation.

Instead of proclaiming God to the world, the Jews claimed God was the God of the Jews and to no one else.

All gentiles were called dogs.

A gentile could have no dealings with the Jews until they were ritually cleansed.

They would never help a Gentile to give birth for the fear that another Gentile would be born into this world.

The Jews were too stubborn to change their ways, but God was not going to allow Christianity to follow that same path.

If God could convince Peter, then all the Apostles could be convinced of this truth.

God will not allow prejudice any room in Christianity!

God had convinced Peter of all these things the day before Peter had gone to visit Cornelius, a Roman Centurion.

*Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

It was the Apostle Peter who first preached to the Gentiles the means of salvation to all people.

God does not show partiality or favoritism to any person because of looks, position, or circumstances.

God has no favorites in the Church! We may think so, but the fact is God looks upon all His saved children exactly the same!

God will never discriminate between His children!

Appearance, or position, abilities, works, health, or stature do not make any person acceptable to God!

God has always said these things even throughout the Old Testament but hardly anyone paid attention to Him.

Deu 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
Deu 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

2Ch 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

And God does not ever change in the New Testament:

Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

God simply does not play favorites!

God’s love is in equal portions to all!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are two things that grab God’s attention:

1) Fearing God.

This fearing of God is a reverent fear of God along with an absolute fear of God.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

2) Working righteousness according to the Word of God. (To be right and to do right).

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

We cannot just stress righteousness but we must also do righteousness.

We cannot just believe but we must be a doer of the Word.

We must walk the talk as some would say.

There are so many who claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and acceptable to God, but they neglect obeying God and serving Him.

Loose living allows one to go out and do pretty much as he desires. He may feel secure and comfortable in his faith. He knows that what he does may affect his fellowship with God, but he also does not think it affects his salvation.

In reality this is false righteousness! It is self-righteousness or legalism.

There is no such thing as righteousness without living righteously!

We must obey the law of love and acceptance! God loves us and accepts us not because we do good but because we love and trusts the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

We have no righteousness in ourselves.

There are no laws that can keep us righteous and we certainly cannot judge the actions of others to try to be as righteous as they are.

Our goal is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ!

We cannot be acceptable to God without being made righteous in the Lord Jesus Christ!

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

*Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

It is true that God sent His Word through Israel.

The Word of God is very clear that a Savor, the Messiah would arise out of the Jewish nation and from that point the knowledge of Christ the Savior should spread to all nations under Heaven.

Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Israel was the first nation to receive the Word of God:

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

None of these things can be denied.

God sent the New Testament by the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s very own Son.

These things being true, the Word of God was not meant for Israel alone.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come just for Israel’s salvation!

God is no respecter of persons.

God accepts people from every nation.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

There is almost no one today who can truthfully say they have never heard some part of the Word of God!

The world still pays no attention to what God says.

Today people will tell you that the Word of God is not relevant to the world of today.

In America many say the same thing about our Constitution and the Word of God is much more important than our Constitution.

The “Gospel” of Jesus Christ has been published around the world today, it is just ignored by most of the world.

Jesus began preaching the Word of God in Galilee just after John was imprisoned.

Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Jesus then preached the Word of God in every city and village.

Luk 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

There are no excuses for rejecting the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

There is no excuse for ending up in Hell at your death.

The ignorance of the Lord Jesus Christ will put you in Hell!

*Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Jesus Christ is the Anointed One of God, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Savior!

The word Christ in Greek and the Hebrew Messiah denote the Lord Jesus as the “Anointed One” of God.

Jesus was anointed with God the Holy Spirit but he was anointed in a way that no other person has ever been anointed.

The Holy Spirit was given without measure to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
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 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit so that He could go about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil.

What are some the things the Devil will oppress us with?

Evil spirits and demons, lying and deception, bitterness and hatred, killings and wars, selfishness and greed, immorality and lust, power over death and many other things.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, the devil will have lost any and all power over us!

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.

This part of the “Good News” we can witness to others about.

There is proof that the Lord Jesus did all these things.

The disciples were with the Lord for about three years and were eyewitnesses of all these things.

The Lord Jesus did not come to debate the Word of God!

The Word of God stands as the absolute truth for this world!

The Lord Jesus may no longer be upon this earth in body, but He is still working in lives today. Still delivering from the oppression of the Devil.

The Scripture speaks of at least four anointings:

1) The anointing of respect or of hospitality.

Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2) The anointing for service:

Exo 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

3) The anointing for medical purposes.

Luk 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

4) The anointing of God’s Son. (Our Scripture)

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Many of the disciples of Jesus Christ were also witnesses to His death!

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Act 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
Act 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Act 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

But God raised Him up from the dead.

*Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

There was no doubt that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was done in such a way that showed He had victory over Death, over Hell, and over the Grave.

The Lord Jesus appeared to a selected group of witnesses.

1) God showed Jesus openly. He was visibly, openly, and publicly seen as the Risen Lord.

2) The Lord Jesus appeared to chosen witnesses who were chosen for a reason.

3) Certain witnesses did eat and drink with Him after He arose from the dead.

Peter tried to stress that the person we know as Jesus, did die, and did raise from the dead and did have fellowship with His disciples.

Peter tried to emphasize that he and the other disciples, men and women were as closely associated with Jesus as people can be. These were all true, verifiable witnesses.

Peter emphasized that the Lord Jesus Christ actually died and actually rose from the dead and he was certain of it!

The person that rose from the dead was the same person that died. He was the same Jesus that they knew before He died!

His body was a real body, not as a ghost, but a body that could only be described as “glorified”.

He was real. He could eat, drink, speak, and do all things that people do, but He could do all sort of Heavenly things also.

The same body that was buried was the same body that was resurrected!

This same Lord Jesus who they had traveled with also repeated some the same commands He had already given to them.

*Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Peter said we had all get it very clear, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Judge of the living and the dead of all nations and all peoples.

He will judge the Jew and the Greek and all other nationalities and He is no respecter of persons!

He is ordained of the same God that the Jews had worshiped all these years beginning with Abraham.

Jesus Christ is the One and Only Judge of all people no matter who they are or where they are, alive or dead.

He and He alone will judge all their works from the day they were born to the day they die within His creation.

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

All the prophets of the Old Testament when they spoke of the Messiah, they were speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

The Bible from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation tells the story of God’s Messiah, our Savior.

Peter had been convincing of this truth.

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.

It is the believing in all these truths that He allows the forgiveness of sins.

There is no other way to be forgiven by our Heavenly Father!

So, what are the results when people hear and understand the truth of God?

*Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Without the Holy Ghost we cannot be “Born Again”.

Without the Holy Spirit we will have no power against the Devil.

Without the truth of the Word of God we will remain lost in a dying world.

1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

While Peter was still preaching, faith entered into these Gentiles and they were gloriously saved.

Hearing the Word of God is a requirement before the Holy Spirit will enter into the soul of any human.

Our “Faith” must be based upon the truth. Not just any truth but the truth of God!

Jehovah God caused the Holy Spirit to fall upon these Gentiles because they had become believers.

No man not even Peter had anything to do with God pouring out His Spirit upon these believers.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is an act of God!

They received the Holy Spirit because they received the truth of Jesus Christ and believed.

The Jewish believers who were present with Peter were astonished. They had been taught since childhood that the Holy Spirit was available to only the Jews.

They in their teachings had developed a hatred for the Gentiles.

The signs they saw were identical to what the Jews had seen on that day of Pentecost and could not be denied.

We know that speaking tongues was them speaking in a language they could not have known, probably the Jewish language as these were Greek speaking Gentiles with some knowing Latin.

This called the “baptizing of the Holy Spirit.

Note: Even today the Jews are always seeking some sign that what God does is true. Their faith has always been lacking.

*Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Tongues is simply another word for languages.

The words of Jesus:

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

*Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Peter then challenged those Jewish believers to see if they would deny water baptism.

There could be no question that these Gentiles were just as saved as those Jewish believers.

God will never teach a lie!

The door to the Gentile world was now opened.

It seems it was the Jewish believers who baptized these Gentile believers.

They all believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and they all became part of the Church, the Bride of Christ.

They were all baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father God said:

Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

God the Son said:

Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

The Holy Spirit directed all these things to be written down so we would all have the truth!

Amen

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!

The Ministry of Deacons

The Ministry of Deacons

Book of Acts Chapters 6 and 7

One of the greatest statements in our lesson today is that Satan will change his tactics according to where he sees weaknesses in the Church.

The greatest weakness in the Church as I see it today, is that the modern Church has begun to reject the infallible truth of God and has begun to accept the world’s interpretation of the Word of God.

As Christians, we know that we will not be able to have a good understanding of God’s Word without the Holy Spirit living within us!

If lying and hypocrisy are allowed to live within the Church, the Church will cease to be “the pillar and ground for the truth”!

1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The truth of the Word of God is that “it is the mystery of Godliness”, and this truth is rejected by the world we live in today.

We must clearly understand that God will not allow these things to go on indefinitely.

Remember God’s plan moves right along as we see all these things unfold before our eyes.

We must never forget the command of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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.

As the Church begins to grow in Jerusalem, God will take this command and the errors that Satan is bringing upon the Church, and He will cause some changes in the direction of the Christian Church in Jerusalem.

Remember the Church in Jerusalem had not been obedient up to this time. Spreading the Gospel was only done locally.

These are all things the Church of today is to learn so these same mistakes are not made again.

The Book of Acts teaches us about the beginning of the Church, and we are never so far advanced that we cannot learn from the Book of Acts and all the Word of God.

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

God has said what He means, and God means what He says!

We are not to interpret the Scripture!

We pick up our lesson with the Church begins to grow:

*Act 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Here we see that the Church began to grow in numbers, but is this a true measurement?

Church growth should not be measured by the amount of people who attend nor by the number of people who join the Church as we will see.

Church growth must be measured by those who have accepted the complete Word of God and live their lives accordingly.

Only then can these certain ones become witnesses to the truth of God and therefore witnesses and missionaries to the world.

As missionaries and witnesses who speak the truth of God.

We are all to be missionaries in the place where God has allowed us to live!

“It is our job to just speak the truth of God and God will do all the work from that point on.

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and “it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”.

We need to have this clear understanding of the Word of God and just be obedient witnesses and allow God to do what God does which is.

“God can save anybody, anywhere, at any time”!

Act_2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Moving on, we see that there were some problems that comes when the people of the Church do not accept the complete Word of God.

Do not be fooled “murmuring” means problems.

We see here the clash of two distinct cultures.

Hebrew women: We should understand that men and women are on equal ground when it comes God and salvation.

In the Hebrew culture the men were the bread winners, and the women took care of the household and even then, they would contribute in every way possible in caring for their families.

It was the Hebrew family that was to take care of these mothers when her husband died and many times this did not take place.

God had given clear commands on this issue.

This became something that the Church took upon themselves to do.

As the Church grew from being for the most part Jews of Hebrew descent, it began to absorb mothers who were Jews of Greek descent.

We should understand the conquests of Alexander the Great had changed the culture of the entire world.

These changed people were known as Hellenists.

Alexander the Great encouraged his soldiers to take wives from the lands that were conquered and with the other things that he did, Greek culture was spreading like a wildfire around the known world at that time.

Even the Romans had adapted the Greek culture in many ways.

Governments always believe they know better than the average person.

Along with these things, philosophy and intellectual pursuits were the rage amongst these conquered peoples.

It is easy to see the clash that was bound to happen between these widows.

The Hebrews were more accustomed to the ways of Jerusalem, and the ways of the Law, than the Greeks and this would cause a conflict.

The Apostles tried to take care of these matters and it was hurting them in the pulpit.

Peter produced the answer.

So is born the “Deacon”.

*Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

The word or title Deacon means to minister or to serve as a minister.

This is not a Minister in what many refer to a Pastor or Preacher but knowing the Word of God was certainly a requirement.

This is not to say the Pastor is not minister also because God has called the pastor or Preacher to do as he is led.

The Deacon should be able to manage day by day matters and the more serious events they can bring to the Pastor.

The Pastor is in charge of the things of the Church.

In this instance the subject was the care of widows.

The Apostles addressed these same issues.

If we want to help our Pastors, then we need to shoulder the majority of the visitations of our Church and our elected Deacons and committee people should shoulder this responsibility as they are able.

The Deacons need to study this passage.

They are not to be rulers as they are to be more like a waitress as Peter has described them.

We see that number seven and we should realize the seven is a perfect number so it could take more than seven in some churches, and it could take less than seven in some churches, but it should never be less than three in my opinion.

What were the keys to choosing these men?

“Honesty, full of the Holy Ghost, the wisdom of God”.

The wisdom of God is knowledge of the Scriptures

They must be appointed by the Body of Christ!

There must be proof of their faith!

Their job was to take the minor things off the shoulders of the Pastors and Preachers.

If a problem needed to go to the Preacher, then it should go these Deacons first.

The preaching of the Word of God is far too important to not give our Preachers time to prepare!

The Church then then be made aware of these things before they occur!

*Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Act 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

We should notice a few things here. This Church in Jerusalem has met as a group in unity. The biggest part of these are Jews who left Judaism to become Christian.

Some were so bedded in Judaism that they thought Christianity was just a growth from Judaism, but this was never true.

To be Christian is to love and trust the Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian Church stands alone in this world as teaching that the Lord Jesus Christ the only means to ever get to Heaven.

It takes a personal relationship with Jesus to get to Heaven!

There are so many who reject this truth at their own peril!

This is not something we should brag upon; it is just the truth of God and the truth of the Word of God!

This Church acted out of love and humility.

No one spoke up at this time because of hurt feelings.

The Apostles had not denied that this was a problem, and it was the Apostles who brought forth the remedy provided by the Holy Spirit and this was the first qualification for such men, “to be noticeably filled with the Holy Spirit”‘

A Church cannot survive in this world if it is not a Holy Ghost (Spirit) filled Church!

It was the Grecian believers who seemed to be having the problem and God begins training the Church to manage all the problems that would come against the Church until the end of what we call time.

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”.

It was persecution that was in the near future for this Church, and it was time to prepare.

Problems in the Church can only be solved when the Church works as one unit led by the Holy Spirit!

The Church must be rooted in love for each other with the love of God!

Our Pastors must be given the time to prepare a message they have received of God, or “they will try to give us a message they have made up themselves” and that Church will fail.

It was the Church that chose these men not the Apostles!

Stephen was the first of these men chosen. Why? He was a man full of faith and full of the Holy Ghost (Spirit)!

Notice also it appears that Stephen was a Hellenist himself as were all these new Deacons that are mentioned.

In fact all these men had met the qualifications set down by the Apostles and these qualifications should still be the same today as any church chooses its officers and Deacons.

We had met Philip earlier, but this is not Philip the Apostle but Philip the evangelist.

Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

Philip was a great preacher and spoke boldly as persecution of the Church began.

The Holy Spirit traveled with Philip as He does with al Christians but there are no miracles performed by the evangelist of today.

They bring with them the promise of salvation a healing of the soul.

It is Jehovah who is the source of all miracles, and He allowed some men to take credit for these things during the time of the early Church

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.

There are no men in the modern Church who can actually perform such miracles today, no matter what some claim!

Next came Prochorus who we know nothing more about. Tradition says he could have become the Bishop of Nicomedia.

Next came Nicanor. We also know nothing more of this man. Tradition says he died in the early persecution of the Church.

We should also keep in mind that there are many men and women who are working in the background of every church, not ever seeking recognition but who keep the Church moving in the right direction.

Next came Timon. Timon is also a Greek name. In reality all these seven men may themselves have been Hellenists.

Parmenas another man that the Bible offers no more information.

Last comes Nicolas which the Bible adds was a Gentile who had converted to Judaism and now having heard the truth became a Christian also forsaking Judaism.

After these men were chosen, they were then presented to the Apostles who ordained them for the work that was given to them.

Notice this ordination was done in view of the Church because it was an official ceremony!

The Church set these men apart.
The Church prayed for each of them and the work they had been chosen to do.
The Apostles, the Preachers, laid their hands upon them in ordination.

The “laying of the hands” was a significant symbol for God’s blessing!

Mat 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

For healing: Mar 5:23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
Mar 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

For imparting the Holy Spirit: Act 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Act 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

We still see the laying of the hands in ordaining and commissioning men to the ministry!

What were the results?

*Act 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

1) The Word of God increased as never before because those who preached the Word of God were not hindered trying to solve every little issue that came up in the Church but concentrated on the message of God.

2) The Church grew not just in numbers but also in knowledge of the truth of God which is far more important.
In many mega churches today the “Good News” of the Word of God is rarely mentioned. Witnessing the truth of God is not even mentioned.

3) Many new Preachers and Pastors were reached for the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. These things are the job of the Church and will always be the job of the Church. So many churches have forgotten this today!

We do not need seminaries training our preachers, this is God’s job!

Seminaries have ruined too many men of God today!

Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

At the death of Stephen persecution came to the Church!

It is at this time that God reminded the Church to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

We must observe these things as commands.

We understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, but we see something amazing in this passage as the Lord stands up in honor of His martyr Stephen!

Stephen preached a sermon exposing the truth to the people of Jerusalem and Judaism.

When they had heard the truth, it brought conviction.

*Act 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

1) They had heard that their father Abraham was called of God before he was circumcised, before the Law was given to Moses, and before the Temple was built, which they had so high regard for.
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2) They heard that Moses and Joseph had not been treated very well by their own fathers they so bragged about. There was not devotion in their hearts, there was only persecution because of the truth.

3) They were reminded how their fathers behaved in the wilderness after receiving the Law they so bragged about keeping.

4) They were reminded how their fathers had fallen into idolatry over and over again. Just because Solomon had built the Temple they so bragged about, the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be bound to any temple nor to any building or place upon this earth. We can build immaculate places to worship the Lord, but we are fools to believe we can trap the Lord Jesus within walls nor to any religion.

5) They were reminded that it was their own fathers that persecuted and slew the very Prophets of God and it was they who were the betrayers and the murderers of the men God had sent to teach them the truth.

6) They were reminded that it was they, themselves that could not keep the Laws they so cherished!

The results: They were cut to the heart. Sometimes the truth will cut you to the heart. They were filled with anguish. They felt great pain. They became uneasy.
They became full of anger and indignation and Stephen became the object of their wrath. They began to show their hatred for the truth, and they were the bigots not Stephen.

How did Stephen react to their hatred?

*Act 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Act 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Stephen may have been aware of what was going on around him, but his focus was upon the glory of God.

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.

You see when we rebel against God the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can become disturbed and tormented and it is then that we must make a choice.

Do we accept or reject the truth of Jesus Christ? When we accept the truth of the Lord Jesus then and only then can we be delivered from this sin filled world!

Once we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior, where else could we look but to Heaven!

This world shows no heartfelt sympathy to us. The Lord Jesus Christ came to this place called earth and bled and died for our sins just so we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

When we know the Lord, and this earth casts us out, then we know Heaven waits to receive us.

This is the truth of peace in our lives!

In the Book of Isaiah Chapter 6:1 through 13 we can see how this glory of Heaven is described, but Stephen sees this and something even more spectacular.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

The Lord of Glory stands to His feet. The same Lord who had been rejected by this world stood up to receive His child with open arms.

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.

While those who were stoning Stephen to death were seeing victory.

While those who were just spectators saw an atrocity, one way or the other.

Stephen saw deliverance!

You see God is always present when one of His children is caused to suffer by this world!

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.

Stephen was a man always filled with the Holy Spirit and he clearly understood what that meant while rocks and stones hit his weak body.

1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

We can believe that what Stephen saw we will see just before we make this same trip to Heaven.

Those in the graves whose soul is already in Heaven will get to see the glory of God as they speed toward Heaven.

Glory, Glory, Glory, Lord God almighty.

What those who knew Stephen saw was a great testimony left behind for all the world to see.

Those who hated Stephen’s testimony saw something else but there would be one sinner who would never forget this day.

*Act 7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
Act 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

Law abiding citizens became murderers this day and the ultra-religious smiled as these were taking place.

We should know that the Holy Ghost is always busy.

We must know that all persecution is rebellion against God!

Those who lead in the persecution of Christians and those that follow them are acting against the Lord and not against that believer!

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

They became murderers free to roam this earth because this earth was on their side!

This is the world we live in today and it is only going to get worse until the Lord returns.

This is the first time that Saul of Tarsus is mentioned in the Bible and this event makes an impression upon him.

*Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The soul of Stephen went to Heaven, his body is buried somewhere in Jerusalem awaiting the call of the Lord.

We must remember as Christians we will suffer the trials of persecution, some much more terrible than others.

Remember Stephen called out for the Lord’s help, Stephen certainly felt the pain.

What we witness is the “grace” and the “strength” to endure these trials and many did become martyrs and there may be many more before the Lord returns in the clouds and calls us out of here.

The Lord wants us all to be with Him right now:

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Stephen was depending on the Lord Jesus as he says “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.

Why? Because he knew this truth.

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.

Then Stephen shows that loving caring spirit for all as he says, “lay not this sin to their charge”.

The truth is that death brings life to all those who love the Lord, and we should have no fear of death.

Just recently I tried to make my doctor understand this as I rejected my last Chemo treatment.

What did Stephen then do?

He fell asleep in Christ and all his pain was over and the Lord met him in Heaven and then returned to His throne awaiting the next saint of God.

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.

There Are No Obstacles to the Plan of God

Claiming the Promised Possession

Book of Joshua Chapter 3

Israel had been on this journey from the slavery of Egypt for forty years. All those who were above the age of twenty when they left Egypt had now died off and those that remained were standing before the River Jordan ready to cross over it into Canaan Land.

Why had it taken forty years? Because those who had died did not trust that Jehovah could fulfill His promises.

Why is there so much doubt in the Church today? Because so many in the Church do not believe that the Lord can fulfill His promises.

They get caught up evolution and things such a climate change.

If you are looking for a place where the climate does not ever change, then that place would be the New Heaven.

We must be truly clear; God does not break His promises!

Still, as the armies of Israel and all their families were as prepared as they could be to enter Canaan Land, there was a great obstacle that was before them, and it was the River Jordan at full flood stage.

*Jos 3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

The Promised Land to Israel lie on the other side of the River Jordan, but it just as well be a million miles away with the River Jordan’s flooded waters rushing towards the Dead Sea at least it seemed this way to these people.

They had been taught for hundreds of years that the promise of a national home was on the other side of the River Jordan in Canaan Land.

All these things bothered these people, but they did not seem to bother Joshua.

They were not completely sure of their new leader, but this was about to change.

To Joshua who rose up at daybreak, things were all going according to the plan of God.

It was faith that kept Joshua moving and it was faith that would win the day!

The spies sent out by Joshua had returned the previous day and the plan of God was in motion.

The Promised Land represented a new life for the people of God, a victorious life instead of a life of slavery.

It always seems that as Christians there are things that we must overcome in this world, and this is not going to change, because this world takes care of its citizens, and we are not citizens of this world.

We are seeking our own Promised Land.

Then the command comes to move forward.

The plan of God is always to move forward and never to retreat. There are no obstacles that God cannot overcome, and faith is still the key to pleasing God.

*Jos 3:2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Jos 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

If we understand that the Ark was a symbol of God’s presence with His people, they were instructed to follow the Ark which would be carried according to the instructions God had given to Moses.

We can just imagine the faith of those lead priests as they took that first step into those flooded waters of the River Jordan.

These people had no choice but to believe and trust in the power of God!

Faith is the key to our relationship with God and trust is putting that faith into action!

The Ark carried within it the Word of God given to Moses and this is a type of the importance of following the Word of God.

These children of Israel had followed a “cloud by day” and “fire by night” for forty years, but an even greater symbol to follow is the Word of God which they would now follow.

They would follow the “Mercy Seat” into the flooding waters, and they would find “Grace”.

The “Mercy Seat” is also the place of “Hope”!

It was the symbolism of these things that taught these children of God a valuable lesson!

Today we have the completed Word of God and as we studied in the Book of Hebrews and all the Bible, we need to listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ has to say about our Christian life.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
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;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

He is the brightness of God’s glory to lead us to the true Promised Land!

It was important for this people to keep some space between themselves and the Ark of God.

*Jos 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

The space that was determined would be about one thousand yards.

There are those that have determined that this was the distance a person could travel on a Sabbath Day, called a Sabbath’s Day Journey and it was determined this day as the children of Israel gave space between themselves and the Ark of God.

It would have been an impressive sight to see the waters of this flooded river cease to flow and that first foot of the priests step down upon dry ground.

We can be sure that when we become the children of God, we will go to places we have never been to before!

We will see things that cannot be described.

The path to Heaven’s Gates is a narrow path.

Mat_7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

We could say that the River Jordan at flood stage could represent the obstacles we face as Christians in our day by day walk with the Lord.

If we do not have enough faith to follow the Lord, then how can we expect to have a good relationship with Him?

How did this trip begin for these children of Israel? They had to sanctify themselves.

*Jos 3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

Just what is “sanctification”?

To sanctify ourselves we must realize that God has given us a purpose and it is not to serve this world!

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What must we realize?

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

How can we begin the sanctification process?

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

There is no getting around the Word of God!

Those that reject the Word of God, “all the Word of God”, cannot be sanctified!

To reject the Word of God is to reject the truth and to reject the truth is to believe the lies of this wicked and evil world!

Sanctification begins with the Lord Jesus Christ:

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

We must recognize the Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, the God of the Bible:

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Sanctification comes by the sacrifice of our Savior:

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Our sanctification is by the work of the Holy Spirit:

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

We must recognize the Word of God as the absolute truth and know that to be sanctified takes place by being washed in the Word of God.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

There is no other means of sanctification. It is between you and God before your death.

For these children of Israel they had the Word of God given to Moses which was inside the Ark of the Testimony and the words that Joshua was speaking to them this day.

They either believed or they could reject the Word of God and die the death of not knowing the truth!

It was time to get moving.

What did God say?

*Jos 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
Jos 3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

Jos 3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
Jos 3:14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Jos 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
Jos 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

I just wonder what these priests were thinking as they were deciding on that very first step into the rushing waters of the River Jordan.

We must remember that it was harvest season and the River Jordan overflowed her banks during this time.

We should also remember God has a reason for everything He does.

1) God wanted to encourage the faith of these people.
2) God wanted to magnify Joshua at this time as He had Moses.
3) For all of us, we can see that God does not allow obstacles to interfere with His plans.

Joshua had told this people that God would make a way for them to cross Jordan.

And we can also see that God will lead the way when danger is all around us.

God instantly created an invisible dam.

If the River Jordan was a picture of problems and difficulties that confront God’s people, then it is by our own faith that we can conquer these things.

1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

This miracle came about because of the faith of God’s people.

We see that we can say we have faith, but if we do not put action to that faith, which is trust, we will never overcome the obstacles of life!

So what happened?

The priests were the first ones to take that first step of faith when they obeyed the Word of God given to Joshua and walked forth into those raging waters.

We must understand that when there is no way, even then can God provide a way!

The waters of the Jordan started piling up in a heap and we see that it was noticed all the way to the city of Adam which was about eighteen miles from where this crossing was taking place.

The River Jordan was completely cut off.

This crossing was made because believers chose to trust God rather than turn away and wait till harvest time was over.

We can have courage to do most anything if we have faith in the truth of God!
We can be firm in times of danger.
We can remain calm while others are not.
We can be steadfast when others will turn and run.

We are going to need all these things as we enter into these last days!

There is another song in God’s song book that says “The sea saw it and fled, and Jordan was driven back”

Psa 114:3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.

This crossing by Israel was in full view of the residents of city of Jericho.

Two things were happening:

1) The children of Israel saw that Jehovah is in charge of our world and all things Spiritual and Natural are under His control.
This one thing gave these children of Israel the confidence they needed in Joshua, as the Lord had said and confidence in the truth of the Word of God but also confidence in the “promises” of God.

2) This thing also showed the people of Jericho that all they had heard of the children of Israel were true. They were the people of God and their God, Jehovah was real.

The children of Israel crossed over the River Jordan on dry ground right in the middle of the flood season.

This was a momentous event for the people of Israel and a thing to be remembered.

This thing should be a warning to all of America that if you want to survive then we must identify with the Lord Jesus Christ!

As Christians we must learn to walk by “faith” and not by sight.

If we walk by sight, then most everything we see will appear to be an obstacle when there are no obstacles to the plan of God.

God’s plan moves forward with every tic of the clock and nothing upon this world can change the outcome or even slow down the plan of God!

God’s plan moves along at God’s own pace!

Amen

Do You Really Trust the Lord Jesus

A Better Service

Book of Hebrews Chapter 13

We must understand that we were made to worship our Creator!

We must recognize the Higher Authority of our Creator and reverence Him!

He is the Highest of the high!

We live in a world today that rejects authority and everyone wants to do as they please without being held accountable.

Because of sin we had to be “Born Again” again so we could worship God and we have to know the truth of God to understand these things!

We should be able to see from all the previous chapters in this Book of Hebrews that the Lord Jesus Christ did not do away with the Law but He in fact fulfilled the Law.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The Bible would be useless to us if the Lord Jesus had not come to fulfill all the Law and all the prophets!

We need the entire Word of God to understand the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of our Creator!

Unlike most preachers and most men of God today, the Lord Jesus did not shy away from giving us the truth.

It is a fact, that the Lord Jesus Christ would not be allowed to preach in most Churches today because, His message was blunt and to the truth of God.

The first twelve chapters of the Book of Hebrews have described to us the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember the writer was writing to early Hebrew Christians as opposed to the Greek Christians.

The call of the Book of Hebrews is a call to action!

What is wrong with the Church today? It has become lazy and liberal!

The modern church has gotten so bad, it is rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ who is the foundation of the Church!

God the Holy Spirit has been precise in teaching us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ we are to listen to and not the foolish men of this world, even if those men are so-called men of God .

Since it is “by faith” that we can have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, then we must put action to this relationship we have with Him!

We can describe this “action” as “trust”!

Our lives must reflect the reality of our relationship with our Savior, and we do this when we “trust” what He says and be obedient to His Word!

We are to worship in Spirit and Truth, and it seems we have forgotten these things!

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.

See what the Lord Jesus is saying?

If you are saved, then you have the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) living within you and it should be noticeable in our worship of Him.

Those who do not have the Holy Spirit living in them, cannot know how to worship God!

It is a shame that those who are lost, worship sin better than most Christians worship our Savior!

They put more effort into sin than they do eternal life, and it is not supposed to be that way!

What is on the inside of our hearts will come to the outside in our lifestyle starting with the words we speak!

Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

It is this Chapter 13 that teaches us how to deal with some of these things.

*Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

In this chapter we will deal with serving the Lord.

A good meaning of servitude can be taken from the Book of Romans:

Rom 1:9 For God is my witness, “whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son”, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Before we can be of service to the Lord, we must have a realistic view of the world:

Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

We are all sinners so how can we even think we could judge others? There is only one Judge, and He is the Lord and he will judge us by His Word

What are some of the places where the Lord has chosen for us to serve?

Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

If the Lord has something specific for you, He will send it to you by the Holy Spirit.

The one ingredient that will keep us all honest is “Brotherly Love”!

How do we describe “Brotherly Love”?

Brotherly love is that feeling of mutual regard among all the members of our faith.

Brotherly love is a little bit different from the way we love our families.

It is brother like love, it is brother love, the love we must have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. The love of the brethren.

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Our brethren are all those who try to keep all the Word of God as best they can and are in one accord with us.

1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

We are all one family because we all have the same Father! God the Father. We also have the same Savior our High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our soon coming King.

Mat 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
Mat 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

We do these things because we are all filled with the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

As we can see “Brotherly Love” is important to the Church, the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ who are doing the “will” of our Heavenly Father!

Mat 12:50 For whosoever “shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven”, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

If we are obedient servants to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are in the family of God!

We can tell our brothers and sisters by the manner in which they have conversations with us and with others.

*Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

How can we be content as Christians?

1) Living our life without covetousness. Not loving money and our possessions more that the Church!
2) Being satisfied with what the Lord has provided.
3) Having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and knowing He will never forsake us.

When we are focused on our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, none of these other things will seem important!

Even our thoughts should be focused upon the Lord “for what He has done for us and how best we can serve Him”.

Luk 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Now being content does not mean that we cannot spend some time to improve our situation.

As believers we are to work and labor more diligently than those who do not know the Lord and doing this will sometimes bring rewards here upon this earth.

We have the Lord to provide that additional strength we need to succeed, because the results are in the hands of the Lord.

If we fail for some reason, we can know that a failure is only temporary.

God always works things out for our good!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

*Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

As Christians this world and the things of this world can never satisfy us, nor were they intended to satisfy us.

We are not to be a part of this world!

What we are looking for lies in Heaven with the Lord and those who have gone on before us!

The things of this world can only look good, taste good, and feel good, but this is all they can do!

Material things cannot satisfy the soul, remember the Holy Spirit that lives within us knows all about Heaven and He will yearn for His own return to the glory world and pass this yearning on to us as our work upon this earth nears completion.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

We can enjoy the necessities of this life, but only after we have first sought the Kingdom of Heaven!

Mat_6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We should be mindful of the leaders of the Church!

*Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

The Church leaders we are to be mindful of, are only those who proclaim the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” and “all the Word of God”.

If they cannot or do not proclaim the entire Word of God as the truth then, we need to ignore them and find a place where “all” the Word of God is proclaimed as the truth.

If their conviction is that God exist and is the Creator and Ruler of all things.
If their conviction that God is the Provider and the Bestower of eternal salvation.
If they lean on the character of God as written in the Word of God.
If their absolute “trust” and “confidence” is in God’s power, God’s wisdom, and God’s goodness, then they can be remembered as leaders of the Church.

These are living leaders and dead leaders that are to be remembered.

A dead leader would have had the same message as the modern Church leader’s message and should not have changed from those who have gone on to be with the Lord.

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

Why is this true? Because God does not ever change His character!

*Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Why can we trust the Word of God? Because God will never change His character!
How can we trust that our salvation is real? Because the Lord Jesus will never change His character.

No matter how much this world changes this change will never affect the truth of God!

National leaders come and go, but the Sovereign Master of Life is permanent, and none can change this fact!

The Lord Jesus Christ is forever!

The Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed everything for us!

The Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself all the sin of this world, even the sin that is happening today and bore the guilt of that sin and the judgment of that sin for us.

It is by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can become acceptable to God and there is no other way to do this!

No matter how terrible our sin, during the Church Age we will see nothing but “Mercy” from our Lord Jesus!

During this time of the Church Age we will see the “Grace” of God and not the “wrath” of God!

During this time of “Grace” the Lord Jesus will run to us to meet our needs.

Remember the parable of the “Prodigal Son”.

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.

We can depend on the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ lives to provide all our needs!

*Heb 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

If you are Christian and know that the Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever, then you will not pay any attention to strange doctrines and false teachings!

There are many false doctrines that have filtered through the Church since its beginning!

Many of these are the reason behind the many denominations.

These things have carried so many away from the “Grace” of God and led them to a works doctrine, where it is said your good must outweigh your bad.

There is also the doctrine of moderation which does not exist in reality, there is no such law as moderation.

You cannot sin in moderation when the Lord says to do our absolute best to not sin at all!

Rituals cannot replace the Grace of God!
Ceremonies cannot replace the Grace of God!
Trying to abide by those old laws concerning foods cannot replace the Grace of God!

Our foods are bought with money and money cannot replace the “Grace” of God but is for certain the root of all evil!

God will not transform anyone by some physical or material thing!

Baptism cannot save us!
Church membership cannot save us!
Just because the parents were saved does not make the children saved!

The only thing that can make us “pure” in the eyes of God is a personal relationship with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must get hold of the fact that the Bible is the full and final authority of this world!

We can only be sanctified by accepting the work that the Lord Jesus has completed for our salvation!

*Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

We get the doctrines of God only from the Word of God!

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

What is true doctrine? The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in payment for our sin.

Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

The Doctrine of Substitution is mentioned here.

Only the Lord Jesus could be our substitute!

He was Born of a Virgin.
He lived a sinless and perfect life.
He secured a perfect righteousness.
He became the Perfect and Ideal man.
He became the perfect sacrifice for our sin!

There is no other sacrifice that could be made for our sin, beside the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Heb 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

It is our duty as Christians to guard against strange teachings.

Our best protection is to read and study the Bible for ourselves, and through the preaching and teaching of those who depend upon the Word of God for the truth, because it is the truth if it a translation of the “Received Text”!

We live in a world that is getting further and further from the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a world of difference between the Gospel of Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and being slaves to sin.

It is a fact that you cannot truly call Christ your Lord unless you have the Holy Spirit abiding within you.

Rom_8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

We must continue to be witnesses for the Lord, even if it causes heart aches to those who reject Him.

We must continue to witness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it offends some people including our own families!

We must go forth bearing the reproach of our Savior!

We must remember it is our own sin that caused the Lord to have to die for us!
We do not have it in our power to make a sacrifice big enough or worthy enough for God to accept!
We can never be good enough to be accepted of the Lord!
We must know that it is only by the blood of Jesus that can make us acceptable to God!

The greatest problem of most humans “is to confess that what we do is wrong”, in the eyes of God!

The world just does not acknowledge the sin mess that causes all the problems in this world.

If we cannot deny ourselves and take up the cross of Jesus, we cannot say we are the children of God!

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.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luk 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

There is no place upon this earth that we can call our home, we are citizens of the New Heaven!

It amazes me that a large group of our population are trying to reach the moon and even Mars and leave this earth when it is sin that is destroying this earth and they will take sin with them no matter where they go.

No one can run away from the truth of God!

There is another group who think they can save this earth, but they cannot.

There is a place called Heaven and it does not take magic to get there and it is true that it is an eternal place.

It takes a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

We cannot approach God except by the Lord Jesus Christ!

What sacrifices please God?

1) We must confess His name.
2) We must live a Holy Life in the name of Jesus Christ.
3) We must give to those who are in need.

It is the hypocrite who praises God with his or her lips, but does not live a Holy Life!

We must never forget that God looks into the heart, and He knows what we are.

God cannot be fooled!

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.

Amen

True Worship

A Better System of Worship

Book of Hebrews Chapter 12 Verses 18 through 29

What is true worship? We could say that worship is the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The term “God” is such a generic term that sometimes I hate to use it and use the term Lord or Lord God.

It seems that everyone who has ever lived has a god that they worship!

Even the Atheist has a god! They put their own selves in the position of being god and they think they can tell all others what to do.

This is acting somewhat like a god.

Some people have many gods.

As Christians we are to reverence our Lord God! In the Old Testament He says His name is Jehovah.

He says He is the “I AM” because He is self-existing, and He is.

It is our Lord God who is the Giver and the Taker of life!

We could say our reverence is the fear that is within us, that is acceptable to the Lord God Jehovah.

You see if our worship is not acceptable to the One True God then it is not worship!

We also know Him as the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

We also know Him as God the Holy Spirit!

We are to acknowledge His perfection.
We should be unwilling to offend Him.
We should have that admiration of someone so great He is unfathomable.
We are to respect Him.
We are to respect everything that He says.
We are to respect everything that He does because everything the Lord does is the right thing to do.
We are to love Him and show that love to Him.
We are to talk to Him just like He is with us at all times because He is!

True worship must be of a spiritual nature, and it must be in accordance with the truth of God as revealed to us in the Bible.

Remember the Scriptures recorded in the Bible are the words that our God chose to use to teach us about Him.

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

He did not have to reveal Himself to us! Think about that for a moment.

Worship involves presenting all we have in our heart, our body, our soul, and our entire being, to our Lord God!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

As Christians, we are to be devoted to our Lord God Almighty!

What is true worship?

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 24:15 And have “hope toward God”, which they themselves also allow, that “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust”.
Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, “to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men”.

This is the Apostle Paul describing to us true worship.

True worship is an expressed service of thought, speech, or action that ascribes glory to the One True God!

Let us begin:

*Heb 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

We must be clear, “no one” can approach God and be acceptable to God who is imperfect, “no one”!

No human being can become perfect without the Lord Jesus Christ, who says we must be “Born Again”!

Imperfect beings can never become perfect beings!

It is a simple law of creation; imperfection can never be made perfection!

Once a thing is imperfect, it can never become perfect, it is impossible!

These things are true upon this earth, but God can do the impossible!

So, what can be done?

We could say that life is a race to perfection, but a race that cannot be won without the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must still understand it is God who will first call!

No one can approach God who has not been called by Him!

Once called, we must decide if we are going to approach God or not.

There is where the “gift of choice” becomes so important!

It is the call of God that enables a person to believe!

“It is then a human responsibility to answer the call of God”!

We must clearly understand that God will not just wait around to see if we will answer His call!

God is not governed by situations outside of Himself!

God’s purpose will be achieved with us or without us!

Again, we must understand that God took it upon Himself to reveal Himself when He did not have to, so everything God now does is according to His own purpose!

In reality, God has sent out an invitation to join Him in His realm!

His realm is not upon this earth!

The first approach to God was the Old Covenant.

The second approach to God was the New Covenant.

The approach of the Old Covenant was an external, material approach to God.

People had to approach God to receive His Word and His Law.

The people approached God at Mount Sinai an earthly place, not Spiritual nor Heavenly, just a physical place upon this earth.

When we approach God with material and physical things, these things will not last, this approach will never last long because all material things never last.

A Christian must approach God with a Spiritual approach!

When we try to approach God through the Old Covenant of the Law, we will stand before God condemned!

When we stand before God according to His “Grace”, we will be justified.

Just as if we had never sinned!

Mat_20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Mat_22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

The children of Israel stood before God at the base of an erupting volcano, yet when God spoke His voice was so full of authority and so sure, it drowned out the noise of these things and the people became more frightened of God than the noise of Mount Sinai.

This is when the children of Israel decided they had a need of a mediator and Moses was God’s man chosen for this position.

These people were so frightened of God, they did not want to hear from Him anymore!

We cannot be saved unless we hear for God in a personal way.
We cannot worship God unless we have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus!

*Heb 12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Heb 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Why could not God deal with Israel as He deals with the Church?

They could never overcome their true fear of God in order to approach Him in a Spiritual manner!

They could not make themselves believe they could have of a higher understanding of God.

Even Moses got caught up in this fear, as we all would have on this day.

Exo 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

They were as little children, who wanted to see past His voice in order to believe!

Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

We could say that God was preaching that day to the congregation of these Hebrews, who were so afraid they could understand the message.

When people approach God according to the Law, they must approach God cautiously, because each broken Law will see the wrath of God.

This is the fear that God intended for them to realize.

This is the fear that God wants us all to realize, we absolutely do not want to see the wrath of our Heavenly Father.

We just do not want to see the wrath of God!

God has shown us a way to avoid His wrath by His Son Jesus!

The second approach, the New Covenant removes the wrath of God!

*Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The New Covenant is a Covenant of “Grace”!

The true approach to God today is by this New Covenant!

The Old Covenant, the Law is our “schoolmaster” to teach us about sin not about salvation!

Gal_3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal_3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

This new approach to God is Spiritual and it is Heavenly!

It is by the cross of Christ Jesus that a doorway is opened for us to enter into Heaven, which is where our Lord is located right now.

This Mount Zion that is the place of the city of the New Jerusalem.

Mount Sinai is earthly and physical!

Mount Zion is both Spiritual and Heavenly!

What does the Church say?

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We should know that there are angels around every child of God to help and protect us, but there are still more angels in Heaven than can be counted.

These angels are perfect and when we get to Heaven we will have been perfected.

Rev 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Rev 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

In fact, we will join them singing this same song!

It is by this New Covenant, that the Church will enter into Heaven and there is no other path but by the Church!

That One, who is the Firstborn, is of course the Lord Jesus Christ!

He is also God and the Judge of all things, but we can be assured He will only judge according to the Word of God!

The Lord Jesus is First Born of the Church, but He is also the Founder of the Church, the Author of Salvation, the Beginning of the Truth, and Savior of the Church.

Those who are part of the true Church, are the same ones whose names are written in Heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

We get to Heaven, we will join not only the angels, but also to those who have gone on before us who have already reached that state of perfection.

Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Those that can reach Heaven’s gates are the same ones who have been judged by God and are then “justified”.
Each believer has been judged while in this body of flesh and justified to enter in Heaven!

Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

It is also important that it is this same Judge who will judge the unbeliever!

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Heaven is the place where all the Saints of God will come together to rejoice in the Lord!

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We can only be received into Heaven if, we know the Mediator and He knows us!

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Then comes the warning to all those who reject the Lord Jesus.

*Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

If we remember when we started in this great book, the first thing we read was that we had better listen to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
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;

Here in this Scripture the Holy Spirit states that we had better not refuse the Lord Jesus Christ, who is speaking to us in this New Covenant!

There is no one who will escape the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and then get to Heaven!
There is God’s warning about a great shaking and judgment of the entire universe not too far into our future.
There is a new unshakeable kingdom that must be received by all!

It was Moses who spoke on this earth and gave us the Law of God.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who speaks from Heaven who speaks as He is God, because He is!

Because the Lord Jesus is speaking from Heaven, the New Heaven, we will be held more accountable than the Old Covenant Saints and will face a much greater judgment if we reject our Redeemer.

Mar_6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

There will be no escape whatsoever for any person who refuses to hear the words of “Mercy” and “Grace”, which are the words that the Lord Jesus Christ proclaims.

It is only by the Blood of Jesus Christ we will ever enter into Heaven!

*Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

There is coming a great shaking of this earth!

In the time of Moses when God spoke, the early Hebrews became so afraid, they just told Moses that he could talk to God.

They did not want to hear the voice of God again because of their great fear.

There is another great shaking coming again when God will decide to speak to this earth, and this is a promise and God does not ever break His promises!

Hag 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
Hag 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

Have you ever seen the damage caused by earthquakes today and some are major, but we have seen nothing compared to the day God will shake this entire planet called earth and there will be no place to hide then and there is no place to hide now because the Lord put us in the places where we are located, he knows where we are at all times.

It will be only those things that cannot be shaken that will remain!

God’s New Word will be eternal and more alive than anything we can see upon this earth!

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

By the way, God does not make empty threats!

*Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

How do we receive God’s New Kingdom?

1) Make sure we have received the “Grace of God”.
Grace is that unspeakable gift and favor of God that comes by His “Grace”.

2) Make sure after we have received God’s Grace, and that we serve Him with a godly fear.
This fear describes our reverence to Him and His formidable power.

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

We must serve God according to His Word because God is a consuming fire.

A consuming fire will not go out until all things that fuel it are consumed!

Let us pay attention and worship God, the Lord Jesus Christ with the reverence that He deserves!

This way we will be in practice when we join Him in His Father’s House.

Amen

The Principle of Faith

A Better Principle

Book of Hebrews Chapter 11

What does the word “principle” mean?

According to the Websters dictionary the word “principle” means: In a general sense, the cause, source, or origin of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds; as the principle of motion; the principles of action.

We should be able to understand the “principle of faith”!

Let us talk about “the principle of faith”.

It is the “principle of faith” that is the foundation of the Church.

1Co_3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Our salvation can come only by “the principle of faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He has done for our redemption!

Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

The “principle of faith” is the same for all people!

Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith is the only way we can approach God!

When we are in conversation with God, we must have faith and we must show God our “faith”!

Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

It is because of the principle of faith” that we can be forgiven of our sins!

It is true that our only responsibility in our salvation is believing the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” but we need to believe all the Word of God!

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

We must understand that the many different translations of the Scriptures can contain errors, but the “Received Text” has no errors at all, and we need a translation that comes from the “Received Text”.

“Saving Faith” involves three things:

1) Knowledge:

There are certain basic truths that must be believed!

We must believe the things that Jesus claimed to be!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Unless we believe these things, we will die in our sin!

Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: “for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins”.

The Apostle John wrote these things by the Holy Spirit.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Joh 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
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.

2) Conviction:

There must be an inner conviction that the things that Jesus has said are the complete truth!

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.

3) Trust:

As a result of our knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and Holy Ghost conviction that these things are true, then we must place our “trust” in the truth of God, and these things will be settled in our heart.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, “and shalt believe in thine heart” that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

It is our own responsibility to take our knowledge of the Lord Jesus and our inner conviction and then trust in the Word of God!

God will not do this for us!

We must get up close and personal with the Lord!

It all begins with “faith”!

So, how can we describe faith? The Bible has one definition.

*Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

In this Chapter there are men and women who believed what God has said and the Holy Spirit gave us some of their names.

Without a doubt the key to God having good memories of us depends upon our “faith” in Him!

Here in this chapter of the Book of Hebrews is the only place where the Holy Spirit gives us a definition of “faith”.

In the rest of the Word of God, we get to see examples of those who had great “faith” and those who had little or no “faith”.

“Faith” is the single most important thing we need in our relationship with God!

We will see that without “faith” we cannot please God, and if God is not pleased with us, He will have no part in our lives!

Along with “faith” we must have “hope”!

Our “hope” lies in the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our “faith” must be in that “hope” and this “faith” must lead to our “faithfulness” to the Lord our Savior.

“Faith” is our act of believing in the truth of the Word of God!

We have “historical faith” in the fact the character of God does not ever change!

What He has done in the past He will do a similar work in the future according to what He has said.

James says:

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.
Jas_2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

This is not works as in working for salvation!

This is the work of faith being Christian in our thoughts, our ways, and our actions.

Our “faith” is meaningless if we are not growing to be more like Jesus Christ and is therefore dead.

We must understand that with our heart we believe unto righteousness.

We must put action to our “faith”!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Now our heart does not have to see, yet our “faith” knows these things are true as having seen this truth in the actions of those who have done these things.

We cannot be justified without our work of faith!

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

A work of “faith” is not like obeying some old law!

Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

This is the “faith” that must continue to grow with us, as we grow as Christians, so it is our faith that leads to our growth in sanctification.

Sanctification is the act of being made holy in the eyes of God!

As we grow in Christ, then we need to add to our faith daily, again because our faith lies in the unseen promises of God as if we can see our redemption, which we can!

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The elders of our faith in time past understood these things.

The elders of our faith also knew of our Creator and our Savior being the same person!

*Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

We know our Lord and Savior is so powerful that He just speaks, and things happen!

We know that our Lord is so powerful that He created all we see and things that we cannot see, out of nothingness.

The very reason there are no creators today, is the fact they cannot create without using something that God has already created.

God is a God of order, and we can only look into the night-time sky and see order in our universe.

We do not see chaos as would have been the case of some Big Bang Theory!

We have a Universe, or some say Cosmos, because “God said” for these things to take place and they took place.

You see, we do not need “a hope so faith” which is in reality meaningless, we need “a know so faith” in order to please our Creator.

Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Notice it was “faith” that Abel offered, meaning much more than the sacrifice that He offered to God.

This has been the same since the beginning of the human race!

Any sacrifice to the Lord is meaningless unless it is accompanied with believing “faith”.

Our “faith” is our sacrifice that has meaning to our Savior!

The reward of “faith” is God’s approval of the things we do according to the Word of God!

When God approves us, then God accepts us!

God will never approve us when we go against the Word of God, because this immediately shows our lack of “faith”.

It seems our politicians do not understand this.

You cannot claim Christ Jesus and go against the Word of God! This is sin that is condemned!

I was not here when God created our world, but I know in my heart that He is my Creator and today I know even more, because I know He is my Savior!

You see, it was not the sacrifice of Abel that God remembers, God remembers His “faith”.

God cannot remember anything of Cain because Cain had no faith!

He will hear those dreaded words:

Mat_7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

It is with “faith” that we can see the power of “righteousness”!

The power of faith is what is written in the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

Righteousness is the approaching of God, “exactly as He says to approach Him”.

It cannot be done in any other way or fashion!

It cannot be done without the shedding of “Blood” as proven by Abel!

Heb_9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

It is by the shedding of blood by the Lord Jesus Christ that we can obtain righteousness!

This was true in the time of Adam and Eve, and it was just as true when the Lord Jesus shed His blood on Mount Calvary, just so we can be saved, but it is our “faith” that makes this true.

I was not there to see what the Lord has done for me, but by “faith” I know He did this for me:

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Cain may have been religious, but His religion could not save Him!

Most religion is about religion, form, and ceremony and none of these things can make you righteous because they lack “faith”!

They are just mindless rituals!

It is “faith” that gives us the power to have our own daily walk with God and it is faith that will deliver us from the death of the curse because of Adam’s disobedience.

Enoch just believed God, everything God said was ok with Enoch, because He believed every Word God said, and this is exactly what God demands of us all today!

Any disagreement with the Word of God is sin!

Just what does it take to please God? It takes “faith” that the Word of God is true!

It takes “faith” enough to believe that God is exactly who He says He is!

*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.

We will never be able to please God if we cannot believe every Word that He has given to us!

God exist just as He says.

God has done everything that has been written of Him!

We must believe we have a Creator!

We will never be acceptable to God if we cannot believe Him!

It is time for those so-called Christians on the border line of faith to understand this!

The Bible is specific!

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

This is not so hard to understand!

Many people do not understand the word “condemned”

Oh, they love this verse close to it where it says, “for God so loved the world”.

We cannot pick and choose what we believe in the Word of God!

It is an all or nothing Book!

We cannot grow in our “faith” if we have none to begin with!

We must practice that hope mentioned in 11:1.

This is hoping for the things God has promised and them making a personal claim to those things just because God promised them!

We must diligently seek God!

To be diligent is to be seek God until you have found Him, and He is not hard to find for those who believe Him!

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;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

We must hunger and thirst after righteousness:

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

We must ask, we must seek, we must knock:

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

We must seek the Kingdom of Heaven because it does exist.

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

We must pray and fast, we must persevere in our prayer life!

Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Many people pray and pray and pray, never finding the answer to their request, when they do not even have enough “faith” that God can do as He says.

They will never get a prayer answered!

We should understand the greater our need, the greater the time we must spend with our Creator, asking God, conversing with God, listening to God, sharing God, believing God and most important, living for God!

There is always an answer to those who seek God in true “faith”!

The more we stay in touch with God the more our “faith” will grow.

It should be truly clear, God will never reward sinful, carnal trust, nor will He ever reward doubtful trust!

If God did ever answer a prayer for those who doubt Him, then that person would think they could live their lives as they wish, and God will never so this.

God will certainly answer the prayers of the righteous with a believing heart.

Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

God will never answer any prayer that goes against His Word, nor should we expect Him to!

No one can read the Scriptures with attention, without feeling the intensity of God to produce confidence in His “Mercy” and His “Grace”!

To be a Christian, is to show the character of God to the world.

The world should be able to see our “faith” and our “faith” will set us apart from the world we live in!

We must put action to our “faith”!

When we doubt God’s goodness, then we are biting the hand that feeds us!

The work of God is our victory in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we reject this victory, we remain cursed, because we have no “faith” in the truth of God.

We can honestly say that there is really not much faith in this world and in fact when we see all those so-called Churches allowing the immoralities of the world inside the Church, we can truthfully say that there is not much “faith” left in the Church.

Wake Up Church, God’s Word does not ever change!

Now God gives us some examples of “faith”.

*Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

We should pay close attention to the things addressed by Noah.

There was a time in the history of this world when this earth had become so wicked that it was filled with corruption and violence.

Humanity had reached such a sinful level that God simply would not tolerate it and God was left with no choice, but to destroy this wickedness.

There was only one man, on earth who was a godly man, and his name was Noah.

God will never destroy the godly with the wicked, so God warned Noah about the coming “judgment” to this world.

Though many doubt the story of the world-wide flood, it is still the complete truth because God said it was and there is much proof of it today.

There is no place upon this earth that you cannot see signs of this worldwide flood!

This is a place where our faith is so important!

We already know that God had made a promise to His Son Jesus before Jesus created this world.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

The world-wide flood happened just as God has said and the evidence proves it!

This is important today because God has said it will happen again.

Not with a world-wide flood, though there certainly be flooding, but this time “with” fire for the exact same reasons and we can see that without a doubt our world is returning to days that were the same in the days of Noah!

Mat_24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luk_17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

All those with “faith” are expecting this to happen and to happen right after the “Rapture of the Church”

Just as Noah received a warning, the Lord Jesus Christ has warned His Church, but He has also warned this world.

Those without “faith” have been made aware of these things for centuries!

If you do not believe in the world-wide flood, then you are calling the Lord Jesus Christ a liar, and you need the Lord Jesus to be saved.

You are calling the Word of God all lies and you cannot please God so, to those who read this it will be your warning.

After the “Rapture of the Church” you will see a world with all evil, wicked, and immoral people even worse than the days of Noah!

A world that is trying to live by science and corrupt governments, and focused upon pleasure and riches, cannot please God!

*Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Abraham also had a faith that is not even understood today!

Abraham was born Abram in what would now be modern day Iraq and Abram was not a Jew and no Jewish nation even existed in all his days.

God made Himself known to Abram and told Abram to leave his homeland and all his kinfolk and go to a land that Abram was not familiar with.

God made some sincere promises to Abram and today we are still seeing the fulfillment of some of those promises.

What did Abram have that few others had in his day.

Abram had the ability to see God as our Creator and Abram believed all the Word of God given to him.

It never appeared that Abram was a poor man, but only later does it say that because of God’s blessing he would be considered to be a rich man in his day.

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

It may not be spoken of Abraham, but Abraham took his beliefs and shared them with his family and all those with him, and it appears that most all of them believed also.

Abraham might not have known that his wife Sarah would go childless when he married her, but God was well aware, and we see the desire of Abraham to have a child.

Abraham learned a valuable lesson from God, and it was when God makes a promise all we need do is believe it and not doubt what God says and also that God will do what He says and He does not need our help, He just wants us to have faith in His truths.

God told Abraham he would be the father of many nations and Abraham did not yet have a child and he was ninety years old.

Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Gen 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
Gen 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
Gen 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Gen 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
Gen 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

1) God would cause a people to be born of the seed of Abraham.
2) God would bless all nations through this seed born of Abraham.
3) God would give Abraham a promised land which in fact was the land of Canaan.

What did God ask of Abraham?

He asks Abraham just to have faith in what was told to him.

Abraham had a decisive, obedient faith.

He obeyed God and did as God ask him to do.

What did Abraham not do?
He did not hesitate.
He did not argue.
He did not question.
He did not waver back and forth.

Note: Abraham did not know where he was going, and this was not important to Abraham.

Abraham did not know where following God would lead him.

Abraham just believed the promises of God, and this is all God asks of us today and God has given to us much more information than what Abraham had.

We should clearly understand, we cannot say we believe God and then live our lives in disobedience!

To be true, no person can know where his faith may lead him, but we must not fear following God!

How did the Lord Jesus Christ put it?

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

You see Abraham was not looking for the things of this earth!

*Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Abraham lived in a tent and a tent does not require a foundation.

Abraham had seen the things that were built in his day and none of them were great masterpieces of construction because man had built them.

Abraham understood much more than we give him credit for!

Abraham could live his life without the things of this world that hold us in peril most all our days.

You see obedience is in our hands and providence is God’s business!

As far as being a witness, we take God’s seed and scatter it where the Holy Spirit is working and God Himself is in charge of all results.

Our job then is simply to obey!

Obedient “faith” is the only way to eternal life and good preachers cannot even preach this message today without making their congregation mad at them so, many do not preach salvation at all.

Obedient “faith” creates a life which many will want to copy. This is why the Lord ask us to live by faith.

This is why the Lord will give more “Grace” to those have “obedient faith”!

By “faith” Abraham gave up the known world and rested on the promises of God!

Abraham was not called because he was any better than others.

Abraham answered the call of God simply because God called him.

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Abraham believed God and God accounted it righteousness for Abraham.

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

It is the wicked and evil riches of this world that has caused so many to end up in Hell, and Abraham knew if you could see it here, then it would not be in the City of God.

Why was the promise to Abraham so important to us today?

Because the promise God made to Abraham was the promise God made to us all through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

I am not looking forward to seeing Jerusalem here on earth though it would be great to visit the land where Jesus walked.

I am looking forward to seeing the New Jerusalem that is in the City of God!

The same city Abraham was looking for!

*Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

There are great rewards that come by “faith” in the promises of God!

We can be encouraged when we read about these Old Testament saints of God.

We know that God was encouraged because He has written these things down for us.

Their faith was an encouragement to the early Church.

Their faith pointed others to God and still does today.

Their faith was their greatest testimony!

These things are the greatest testimony we can leave behind once we have left this world and joined the Lord in Heaven.

What was this great faith based upon? The future promises of God.

We must get it through our thick skulls that the God’s promises are in the future!

No doubt a Christian life does have its many rewards, but it is our future life where we will reap those greatest rewards.

So, with “faith”, its best blessings are in the future.

Just as with the Old Testament saints the object of our faith is still in our future.

The faith of the Old Testament saints looked forward to the promise of salvation.

The Church looks back to the work that the Lord Jesus has done for our salvation.

We should remember when the Old Testament saints died, they entered into a place called Abraham’s Bosom having to wait for the fulfillment of the Messiah.

Abraham’s Bosom

Before the finished work of the cross, everyone who died and believed in the Messiah went to a separate place in hell known as “Abraham’s bosom”.

This was also referred to as “paradise” in another scripture.

It was separated from Hell by a fixed gulf that could not be crossed by either side!

Just before the Lord Jesus died on the cross with the two thieves, He promised one of them he would meet him in Abrahams Bosom the very same day.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43 KJV

The bible tells us Jesus descended to the lower depths before He walked with the rest of the saints in town for 40 days.

This means Jesus went into Hell but into Abraham’s Bosom, to free those who believed in him and took them out before he ascended to heaven along with those more than five hundred saints that came out of those graves.

The saint of God that dies today goes directly to be with the Lord having being made perfect at death.

Our death now turns to eternal life in the glory world!

Amen

What Have You Offered the Lord

A Better Sacrifice

Book of Hebrews Chapter 10

The sacrifices under the Old Testament dispensation were all shadowy representations and types of that one great sacrifice of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, whereby “He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

We know that these sacrifices came by the Laws of Moses, and they are “types” of the truth of Jesus Christ, but we know that the sacrifice did not begin with the Laws of Moses.

It is in the Garden of Eden in the early days of Adam and Eve where the Law of Obedience to the Word of God was first given!

All the sacrifices in the Old Testament can be considered to be “types” of the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ!

As in all things, it took “Faith” for any sacrifice to be received of God and then it must be a sacrifice true to the Word of God.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

For instance “God says thou shalt not kill” so human sacrifice will only bring death to those who murder.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Heb 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Heb 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Abraham’s “faith” was in the fact that if God took His son Isaac, then God would have to raise him from that death.

We know that God did not allow the sacrifice of Isaac and He will not allow the sacrifice of any human by those who are Christian.

All vengeance belongs to our Heavenly Father!

The only acceptable sacrifice was the sacrifice of God’s Own Dear Son, Jesus!

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.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Let us begin Chapter 10 of the Book of Hebrews:

*Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

We should understand that there has never been a perfect man!

Every individual will fall short of what they could become if they have not learned obedience to the Word of God!

Humans are lustful and immoral and the proof of this is seen every day in this world.

All this movement called LBJQT is about lust and immorality and rejection of the Word of God!

LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

All these things are abomination to the Lord Jesus, but God is willing to forgive even these things but just like all others so full of sin, they must repent after salvation.

God does not expect us to repent before salvation because we just do not have it in us to do so.

God says to come as you are and be saved and then the Holy Spirit will cause us to repent of our old life.

This works the same for every sinner!

It is by the Holy Spirit who will give us the power to repent as we are “Born Again” into something new!

We can never live with God until we are “Born Again”!

If we had to the power to clean our sinful lives ourselves, then we would not need Jesus nor the Holy Spirit and many believe they have it in their own power to do this today and they are so wrong!

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Even in animal sacrifices, those animals had to be pure and flawless, so why should we ever expect God to require less from humans?

1) An animal is not the same nature of a human no matter what evolution teaches.
2) An animal has not the same value of humans in the eyes of God.
3) An animal was not capable of consenting to be a sacrificed or volunteer to be substitute for that human that offered it.

There was no power in the sacrifices of the Old Testament to gain salvation and a fellowship the with God!

There is no power in our own sacrifice of ourselves because it brings our own death, and we would get not one step closer to the Lord.

It is only because of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can have New Life!

Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

God knows we believe this when pray the sinner’s prayer!

Hos 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

Rom_12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

We must be capable of consenting to the fact of our sin before God will hear us!

It is only by the Holy Spirit that comes to live within us after we are saved, that we will have the power to repent!

God had no pleasure at all in the sacrifice of animals especially when the true meaning of those things was ignored!

*Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

The perfect sacrifice for our sin was in a Body specifically prepare by Jehovah God!

Psa 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Psa 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

It should be obvious, that both the Psalmist and the Holy Ghost inspired writer of the Book of Hebrews, were speaking of the Virgin Born Son of God.

Do not listen to false teachers and preachers who reject the “Virgin Birth”.

The Lord Jesus had to be born of a virgin or his sacrifice would be the same as all those other sacrifices, which is worthless!

He also had to live a perfect life, so that He would be the ideal person to die for our sin!

He also had to be eternal Himself, in order to cover our sins eternally!

Remember Jesus died for all past sin from the day He hung on that Cross and all future sin since that day!

There is a reason His arms were reaching to the East and West of His body!

When God knew that no one person of earth could die for our sin, He came Himself to be the perfect sacrifice!

I am heartbroken to know that Jesus the Messiah had to die just I could be saved!

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
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.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

We must understand that God the Holy Spirit has taken the time and with patience to write down all the Word of God, just so we can come to this conclusion.

There is only One Body of Christ!

One in nature.
One in truth.
One in glory.

Jesus was mortal and natural.
Jesus is Supernatural and real.
Jesus is mystical (the Spirit of Jesus) yet magnificent in His truth.

Paul by the Holy Spirit wrote:

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.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ had to do the Will of God, or He too would have been a false Messiah!

The Lord Jesus Christ took away the First Covenant by fulfilling it, so He could establish the New Covenant!

Notice that verse 7 should have been in Red Letters because this is Jesus speaking, though by the Holy Spirit!

*Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice and the sacrifices of the Law were imperfect, then those sacrifices became useless!
,
This what the Scriptures above have proved.

The sacrifices of the Law were powerless to remove sin because of a lack of faith!

The removal of sin would take a perfect sacrifice!

God loves His created beings, and it is God’s will that as many as will believe be saved.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The Lord Jesus came to do the will of His Father!

This is the same thing that our Heavenly Father expects from us, to do His will for us!

The fulfilling of the will of God is spoken of as a substitute for sacrifices.

The Divine will of God is our redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ and is perfectly fulfilled by Him!

No other sacrifice will work and there is no other way to approach God, but by His Only Begotten Son!

*Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The perfect sacrifice, the offering of the body of Christ, makes people holy once-and-for-all.

This work of the Lord Jesus Christ perfectly satisfied the holiness, the righteousness, and the justice of God once-for all!

When a person comes to God by the Lord Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of Christ Jesus is applied to that person and covers all that person’s sins!

Only then, can we have a complete fellowship with our Heavenly Father, all because of the work Jesus Christ did for us!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

All the shame that comes from our sinful lives will be removed, because we can be at peace with our Creator.

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

Our sin could never be removed by some earthly priest nor the sacrifices that they offered!

*Heb 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

The earthly priests were never done with their work.

Our Heavenly High Priest has completed His sacrifice, by making one sacrifice that last forever!

The Lord Jesus gave His own life willingly, that we could be reconciled to His Heavenly Father!

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

*Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Heb 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

The fact of the matter is, that after completing the work He came to do, the Lord Jesus Christ is now at this time, sitting at the right hand of God.

He would not be in this place if His work were not finished!

He accomplished these things because He obeyed!

No matter how much we think we know about our Heavenly Father, the most important thing we can do is to obey Him no matter what He ask of us!

Remember God will never ask us to do unreasonable things!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How long will the Lord Jesus Christ be sitting at the throne of God?

He will sit there until God the Father has separated the goats from the sheep!

This is what is going on in our world today!

The Lord Jesus Christ has already taken away our sin and now He is in place to deliver us from sin, from the evil in this world, from disease, from corruption, from death, from evil spirits, and from Satan.

We will find none of these things in Heaven!

These things are reaching their peak today as we have seen and continue to see!

He will deliver those who love Him eternally!

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Those old sacrifices could do none of these things!

*Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Heb 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Notice it is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that has caused our sanctification!

To be sanctified is to be set apart to God!
To be sanctified is to be made holy!
To be sanctified is to be consecrated, dedicated to the service and the worship of the One True God!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Amen