The Kingdom of Heaven

New Lessons About the Kingdom

Book of Matthew Chapter 13

We now get to listen in as the Lord Jesus Christ preached in a new way.

The Lord Jesus loved to use parables.

We may not know as much as we like to about the Kingdom of Heaven, but because of King Jesus and His preaching, we know much more of those things that were once mysteries to those who were gathered, to hear the Lord Jesus preach.

The Lord Jesus uses these parables to describe the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven.

So what is a parable?

A parable is a representation of something that is real in life or in nature from which a certain thing is drawn for instruction.

A parable is a mode of speaking for us to learn spiritual things.

A parable is an earthly truth that expresses a Heavenly truth!

A parable is an earthly comparison to a Spiritual truth!

Let us listen to the Lord Jesus:

*Mat 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Mat 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Mat 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Jesus had just preached a sermon and He had healed some who had faith but remember Jesus found not much faith in Capernaum.

Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Since the Lord Jesus had begun His ministry, He had no time to rest so, after a tiring day Jesus just went out to the Sea of Galilee to enjoy a moment of tranquility but it did not last long so, Jesus began to teach some truths of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We should understand that a parable is not a fable.

A fable is just a fictitious story or some legend that may or may not have existed.

A parable was a means of teaching the truth in a fashion that could be easily understood.

We first meet the sower. In the next parable we find this sower is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

These first two parables set the standard for all the remaining parables.

A sower would sow seed. Today we would say broadcast, casting seed out by hand.

Most time the seed of a crop would be cast upon plowed ground, but this was not always the case.

In some soils the seed was cast before the plowing.

In some wet soils the seed would be trodden down by animals.

Isa 32:20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

The one thing we should clearly understand is that the seed of the Christian is the precious Word of God, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the Gospel Seed that will bring great results when presented the right way!

Pro 11:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Psa 126:1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
Psa 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
Psa 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Psa 126:4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Now let us hear this great parable of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must be careful where we sow the “Gospel Seed”!

*Mat 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

The first danger in sowing the “Gospel Seed” is to sow it upon prepared ground. If the seed is not placed where it can be covered then the birds will come and devour the seed.

I know birds have keen sight but as one who loves to feed the birds, they must have another sense that directs them to seed.

There was always a foot path to divide one field from another and seed that dropped on that foot path just could not grow into a useful plant.

On the day, this parable was taught, this sower was the Lord Jesus Himself.

He as our example, is teaching some who might become future sowers of the Word of God.

The ground that is plowed with the “Gospel Plow” (Grace) is ready to receive the “Gospel Seed”(Word of God).

What we should know is that these “fowl” represent that “wicked thing” we know of as Satan.

*Mat 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
Mat 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

There are many today who claim to have received the truth of the Lord, but their hearts are so hardened by their sin they just cannot accept it as the complete truth.

It is like seed that lands on stony ground where there is not enough soil to provide the nourishment to the seed. That soil will dry and become nothing, but dust and that seed will never produce.

Stony ground is cold like a cold heart. These people have no spiritual warmth because the Holy Spirit has not moved in.

What did God say?

Eze 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Eze 11:20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

This is exactly what happened to Israel, their hearts turned to stone!

Zec 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Zec 7:13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
Zec 7:14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

Remember we serve an unchanging God and stony hearts cannot receive the rainfall from Heaven and they cannot get into Heaven!

Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

They will be scorched by the Sun without having received the Son!

They have no root in themselves.

When we find a Bible believing Church, the Lord teaches us “to put our roots in” so we can grow in Christ.

When we have no root then we cannot grow, we must endure!

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Just hearing the Word of God preached and taught will not get you to Heaven, you must receive the Word of God as the truth.

*Mat 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Thorny ground is deceptive ground. When we see growth in bare ground, where weeds grow, we think well “anything” can grow in that place, but this is never true.

Any growth from that seed will soon be choked out.

Thorny ground represents those who receive the Word of God but just want to add it to their lives as they exist and not repent of their sinful ways.

This is the theme of the queer and lesbian and the cross-gender movement today and many other sinners.

They say God made them the way they are, and we just need to accept them for who they are, but God teaches us all that we must be “Born Again”.

God forgave me of my sin, but He told me to go and sin no more. It is called to repent!

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to die just so I could hold on to my sin!

The Bible says:

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Those thorns are the cares of this world!

They prick and stick the Word of God, until what God says is meaningless to them.

Those with their minds on this world do not have their minds upon the Lord Jesus Christ!

This world will hinder, irritate, aggravate and trouble a person from pursuing the truth of God!

The deceitfulness of riches is also thorns, that keep us from the truth of God!

When we become self-confident or self-dependent, we have rejected the truth of God who says we need Him!

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

We cannot change the truth of God or it would no longer be the truth!

2Co 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Some people see wealth as a blessing from God, but this is rarely the case.

God would never put us in a place where we would feel that we do not need Him!

Then there are some seed that lands on good fertile soil that has been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

*Mat 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Mat 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The tender heart that has been plowed with the “Gospel Plow” will reproduce the “Gospel Seed”!

The Gospel is not hard to understand.

That Seed is not just the Word of God, but it is the Gospel Seed of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “Good News”!

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

Not every believer is the same:

Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Not all believers are equal.

Some will work harder than others, but we must also realize the location where Christians do that work.

Remember Moses preached 120 years and only his family went with him on the Ark.

So yes, some may produce 30-fold and others 100-fold, but the object is still to be busy about the work of the Lord once we are saved.

The production of the Gospel Seed lies in the hands of our Savior!

As my Pastor says: “the Holy Spirit was not given to us for our enjoyment, He was given to us for our employment” and this is true.

The Holy Spirit gave us all the Word of God and Jesus says we need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying!

Now Jesus teaches these parables to His disciples!

*Mat 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

We see immediately that the key to salvation and the work given us by the Lord is understanding the Word of God.

What is the “word of the kingdom”? It can be none other than the “Gospel”!

The “Gospel” is the Words of Salvation saved for us by the Holy Spirit!

The Gospel is pure as Jesus is pure and it is the truth of a Holy God!

Jesus teaches these disciples to hear these parables according to the privileges given to them.

Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

You see it is a privilege to be called of God and then be presented the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

It is these soon to be Apostles who were given the privilege first to deliver the “Gospel” to the world!

We must understand that when we present the “Gospel” to some lost soul who has been called of God, then Satan will immediately come to that person to discredit the Gospel in some way.

The Devil will snatch away the truth of the “Gospel”!

The Devil hates the Lord Jesus Christ and will do his best to keep everyone out of Heaven.

He cannot go himself and he does not want anyone else to get there.

It is easier to understand when we understand the truth of the Devil.

*Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Rocky ground has not much soil, but it will grow seed until the Sun rises and draws out all the moisture and that seed will die.

In many a person there is an enthusiastic receiving of the truth of God.

Oh how they welcome the truth at least until the real truth sets in.

As Christians we live in an evil and wicked world where we are hated.

Persecution is real folks.

That old heart that was never broken by the “Gospel Plow” has no real life within it.

They have a form of “godliness, but they know not the reality of God’s power and the power of everlasting life.

The Lord says to stay away from these people.

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

The Lord says they are ever learning but never able to grasp the truth of Jesus.

2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We must understand that being a Christian will draw Satan’s crowd near to us to cause persecution.

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

This is the place where many so-called Christians go back to their old lives of sin!

But there are still others.

*Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

We all know that the love of money is the root behind all the evil in this world!

1Ti_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The deceit of riches does hinder, the growth of the Word of God within us!

In our world today sinful so-called pleasures go unhindered. Free to roam this world to cause destruction.

Plagues such as we have just gone through, will make things even worse.

People will become more dependent upon government, which by the way was probably more involved in the cause than we want to admit.

The cares of this world will come to the forefront.

Anxiety and future uncertainty will rule lives that are not dependent upon God.

The Word of God will be choked out by fear of what tomorrow might bring, because they refuse to believe the God who holds tomorrow in His hands.

There will be a great falling away which we see today!

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

God has already told us of all these things.

1) We see that the Devil snatches up and devours.
2) We see the Flesh attempts and fails.
3) We see the World surrounds and chokes.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ could have spoken such a simple parable with such a deep and far-reaching meaning.

But there will always be that true believer!

*Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

There will always be some who hear the truth and cling to the truth for evermore!

What did the Lord our God say?

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.

1) There is hearing.
2) There is understanding.
3) There is “faith”.

Without “faith” there is no reproduction!

Through “faith” there is fruit bearing and producing!

These things come by a receptive, teachable heart that is prepared by “Grace”!

Amen

Are You Cold and Indifferent to the Truth?

The King Fulfilled Prophecy

Book of Matthew Chapter 12

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

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

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

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

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, “and for him”:

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

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

This is a sin where there is no excuse.

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

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

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

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

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

The Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled before their eyes.

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

These people just refused to believe what their eyes saw!

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

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

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

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

The meaning of Sabbath is to rest from labor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were not harvesting they were only satisfying their hunger!

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

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

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

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

How did the Lord Jesus respond?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be careful or you will miss the typology here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did Jesus feel about these super religious men?

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

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

It was a thanksgiving offering!

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

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

King David had a legitimate need.

The Lord Jesus Christ promises to meet our needs!

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

Again Jesus asks “have ye not read”.

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

We should understand the Lord Jesus here.

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

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

We must never go against the Word of God!

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

The worship of the Lord is a necessary thing!

It does not matter what the government says!

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

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

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

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord Jesus Christ is what Christianity is all about!

You cannot remove the Lord Jesus and still have Christianity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the true High Priest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nor was any other person who had some infirmity.

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

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

Jesus was talking about those ran the Temple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord Jesus never showed fear to these adversaries!

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

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

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

They went to find fault in the people of God!

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

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

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

This had gotten the attention of our Savior!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This thing takes place in many a Church today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are no true atheists!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These things will come later.

Jesus had not fulfilled the ministry He came to teach.

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

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

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

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

This is what frightens the world governments today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

Born To Be King

Jesus Was Presented as a King

Book of Matthew Chapter 3

We should understand that the Gospels are not intended to give us a day by day, account of the life of Jesus.

The intent of the Gospels are to teach us how the Church was to begin.

The intent of the Gospels are to teach us God’s plan of salvation.

The intent of the Gospels are to teach the Jews the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

We will find a thirtyyear gap between chapter 2 and chapter 3 of Matthew’s Gospel.

This chapter begins with the forerunner, John the Baptist.

A fulfillment of prophecy.

Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Chapter 3 Verse 1

*Mat 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

“In those days” means the days the Lord Jesus Christ walked upon this earth.

This wilderness was a true wilderness. It was a wild, barren and desolate place and it was in this same area where we will find that the Lord was tempted of Satan.

In general, when the Bible speaks of a wilderness in the New Testament it means a less cultivated place opposed to pastureland that is plowed regularly.

John lived in the true wilderness.

John was the forerunner for Jesus Christ, and he had begun his own ministry.

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

God had sent many prophets and many true priests and many messengers to the Jews and yet they had rebelled against them all, killing many of them.

We know that John the Baptist would also be murdered for taking a stand against a wicked government but not before his ministry was complete and the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ had begun.

What was his message?

Repent, for the kingdom of God was at hand.

To repent is not just to feel sorrow and regret but it is a complete change in lifestyle, a complete change in your heart, and a complete change in your way of thinking!

Daniel best describes the kingdom of God:

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

The Lord’s kingdom is not of this earth.

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Though the Lord will rule this earth as King for 1000 years, His true Kingdom will be in the New Jerusalem where all the saints of God will join Him to be with Him forever and forever.

*Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

We already have seen this prophecy but let us see it again.

Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

What is “make His paths straight”?

The image of making His paths straight is as building a highway leveling the mountains, filling in the valleys making a sure path to God’s future kingdom, even though that road would be a narrow one.

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Lord Jesus Christ provides that only pathway to God’s rebuilt Heaven. Not many ways but one way and that way by the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is the job of every Christian to prepare the way of the Lord to the lost!

The ways of John remind us of that Old Testament prophet Elijah.

*Mat 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

You cannot be a prophet of God without spending a lot of time alone with God!

John chose the wilderness of Judah.

2Ki 1:7 And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?
2Ki 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

The raiment of Elijah was made of camel’s hair or the skin of a hairy animal.

That raiment sounds like it would be rough but in fact camel’s hair was a good material for clothing, keeping out the heat, the cold, and the rain.

A prophet of God would never wear clothing that could deceive a person.

The Christian is told to wear modest clothing:

1Ti_2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Jesus asked the religious leaders this question:

Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Jesus loves and respects all those who prepare the way before Him:

Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John the Baptist brought baptism by immersion to a reality.

*Mat 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
Mat 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

The preaching of John was real.
The preaching of John was about the truth.
The preaching of John was about repentance.

John had the same message to the poor, the rich, to the religious elders, and to the government!

There was no baptism without first confessing your sins and confessing repentance.

What is our first confession? We must confess we are a sinner.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Our next confession is the need of a Savior, and there is only One Savior.

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Next comes baptism:

Baptism was not new because baptism was practiced in all ancient religions.

For John, baptism was an outward sign or repentance and a changed life. To be baptized was also to promise the Lord we would have that faith in His cleansing of our sins.

The full immersion baptism must represent the death the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The full immersion baptism must be done in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost!

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.

Baptism cannot save, it is only an admission that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from a Devil’s Hell!

If you cannot believe all these things, then you are only taking a bath and a hundred baptisms will never get you closer to the Lord and a sprinkling can only get you wet!

John preached hard against religious deceivers:

Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

If we refuse to repent, then we cannot receive the Holy Spirit.

If we do not show the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, then we are not saved.

What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
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.

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

These Pharisee and Sadducee were not going to repent, and they did not bear the fruit of the Spirit.

We should understand the meaning of being called a “viper”.

A viper is full of deadly poison and venom. The doctrine of false religion is full of malice against the truth and is deadly in that it will separate you from the love and the presence of God!

We live in a world today where the truth is rejected, and the poison is received.

Notice John was a true preacher and not afraid of organize religion.

Both John and the Lord Jesus Christ would not be welcome in the Church of today!

It is not baptism with water that saves!

It is being washed in the blood of Jesus and then baptized with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will not live in a false house.

*Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

You see until you accept that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one and the only way to remain in the presence of God, then you cannot be a home for the Holy Spirit.

1Co_3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co_6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

You cannot be a Living Temple of God until you are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.

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

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?

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Do not be fooled by organized religion!

Jesus will thoroughly cleanse this earth from all sin, and none will be allowed in Heaven!

We are not as worthy as John and though he was the forerunner, a great prophet, who even made Herod tremble, said he was unworthy to be even a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must be washed with the water of the Holy Spirit which means surrounded, immersed, inside and outside by and with the Holy Spirit.

It means a new birth!

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_3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The fan of Christ Jesus is the “Gospel”!
His floor is the “Church” which is covered in a mixture of wheat and chaff.

Jesus will gather the wheat, those who are washed in the Spirit, to take to Heaven, and He will purge all who reject Him for a lifetime of torment!

Even Jesus was baptized to show us all that repentance is real even though He had no sin to repent of.

*Mat 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Mat 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Jesus teaches us that we must set our life apart unto our Heavenly Father in a renewed spirit of dedication.

Jesus always did the will of our Heavenly Father and we must do our best to do the same!

Joh_5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

The One and Only Living Example we have is the Lord Jesus Christ who teaches us by example.

Being 100% man but truly 100% God, Jesus made sure his human side did never exalt Himself above other humans.

He was and is higher than the highest but showed himself as a humble human being who lived in the will of His Heavenly Father.

Jesus needed to be baptized but he needed to be baptized by John specifically.

Jesus had traveled by foot from Nazareth of Galilee to where John was on the River Jordan which was a long walk.

It is on this day of His baptism that the Lord Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry!

It was John who had been preparing the way for Him.

The Lord Jesus identified Himself with the ministry of John the Baptist.

What was John’s message? “Repent and be baptized for the Kingdom of God was at hand”.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the door, not the doorway, but the door to the Kingdom of Heaven!

He is the founder of Christianity.
He is the Head of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.
He is the purchaser of all Righteousness, which He did on the Cross.
He is the Ideal Man our true Example!

John already had stated that the Messiah was much greater than he and said to the Lord “I need to be baptized of thee”.

John was not one to humble himself before anyone. He boldly preached the truth of God, but we must all humble ourselves before our righteous God!

All manner of people had come to John to be baptized but John knew he was nothing compared to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Neither are any of us!

There is no disgrace in humbling yourself before the Master!

**Jesus came to fulfill every law written by Moses and He did, He was the perfect man, to become the perfect High Priest.

Exo 29:4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
Exo 29:5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:
Exo 29:6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
Exo 29:7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.

** Jesus came to pay “every man’s” penalty for breaking those same laws, there 613 laws given by Moses.

** Jesus demonstrated to the fullest extent His humiliation in becoming a man.

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

**Jesus identified Himself with all those He came to save!

**Jesus became the pattern for every human being!

**Jesus began His ministry, as the High Priest always entered his ministry in such a ceremony.

When Jesus came up out of the water, our Heavenly Father recognized His Only Begotten Son.

*Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Heavens opened. We will get to see this one day soon.
The Holy Spirit descended like a dove.

Remember this was a sign given to John the Baptist to verify the Messiah.

Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

The voice of a Holy God spoke about His Son.

“Noticed God said, “my beloved Son”.

One day when we get to Heaven our Heavenly Father will say welcome home son or welcome home daughter.

Amen

The Two Witnesses

The Two Witnesses

Book of Revelation Chapter 11 Verses 1 through 14

We should understand that we are still in that interval between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpet and all these things are part of the seventh seal.

This is a very interesting chapter in the Book of Revelation!

Many people have questions about the Temple whether it will be rebuilt or not a third time and maybe even a fourth time. Part of those questions will be answered here in this chapter.

Much talk has been said about the two witnesses that appear in this chapter and we will learn some more about these things.

Many questions about Jerusalem whether it will be over run again, and we will seek these answers.

The truth remains by the time the Seven Years of Tribulation has reached this point, it will be that time of the Great Tribulation and circumstances will be even more terrible for all people, but the poor and the Jews will suffer the most during this time.

We should understand that the poor are that silent group of forgotten people in all tragedies that occur upon this earth.

The Lord said the poor would always be with us. Why? Because of covetousness of those who already have more than they will ever need!

Most all others will have sided with the Antichrist and they are completely deceived and headed quickly to their eternal destiny in the Burning Lake of Fire.

The Book of Revelation is a Book of Destiny, because it is a Book of Truth, the truth of the Living God who has said many times that “vengeance” belonged to Him.

Deu_32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.

Isa_61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Eze_25:17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

Nah_1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

Luk_21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Rom_12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Jud_1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Is there anyone who does not believe that the Lord will repay His enemies for all the things they have done against Him?

Is there anyone else who wants to stand up and call Jehovah God a liar and get on this list?

Is there anyone else who wants to ignore the Blood that Jesus, shed on Mount Calvary, so that each believer could escape this terrible day.

As the Holy Spirit says: One woe has passed, and a second woe is revealed to us.

*Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Will there be a third Temple? If there were not a third Temple, then John would not be given a rod to measure it!

The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

The Temple of Herod was destroyed in 70 A. D. by Titus.

There has been no Jewish Temple since that time.

Again I ask, will there be a third Temple, that answer is yes!

We know from prophesy that in the beginning of the Seven Years of Tribulation, the Antichrist will present a peace deal that will allow a third Temple to be built upon the Temple Mount that exist today.

Will the Muslim Dome of the Rock be removed? It seems that would have to take place, but some believe that there is room for both to exist.

I personally do not believe there would be room for both.

What is another proof?

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The “man of sin”, the Antichrist, could not sit in a Temple that did not exist!

Still another.(The image of the Beast in the Holy Place)

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, “stand in the holy place”, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Still, I do not believe this is the Temple as described in the Book of Ezekiel, which I believe to be the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom.

We know that Jesus, John described as a Mighty Angel, who is not an angel, but God in the flesh has proclaimed His ownership of the earth and is about to return to take control of the things upon the earth.

It is believed that in this Chapter 11, we will see the beginning of the last three and a half years of the Tribulation known as the Great Tribulation.

We will see the Gentiles, the Heathen, will make their last attempt to end the plan of God and the purpose of God, and they will fail miserably!

The court, of the Gentiles will be overrun by these “heathen” of the Antichrist!

*Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The Romans have trodden down this area.
The Persians have trodden down this area.
The Turks have trodden down this area.
The followers of the Antichrist will have also trodden down this area.

These are the “heathen” of the Scriptures. The Gentiles.

It is very possible that everything the Jews have rebuilt during this time will be destroyed again.

This time of the Gentiles will come to the true end when Jesus returns with His Heavenly Hosts and all the Saints that are in Heaven.

We will see these things when we get to Chapter 19.

We should understand that all the prophets of the Old Testament were also preachers of the Word of God that was revealed to them by God the Holy Spirit.

John was told he would prophesy again and we know that after he had written the Book of Revelation, he was released from the Isle of Patmos and went about preaching the Word of God and we know that his main message was about the God of Love.

The greatest message our Heavenly Father still has today, is His message of “Love” through and by the Lord Jesus Christ!

God had set Israel aside for many reasons but especially for what they said to Pilate.

Mat_27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children”.

These words should never have been used and that generation perished, and the Hebrew children suffered through many, many years, and in reality, still suffer for this thing done by their elders.

The truth of our Heavenly Father is that He will never break a promise and it was time to fulfill that promise.

The Jews would be saved out of the Great Tribulation!

These things begin with the promise fulfilled of the two witnesses.

After all, it would take two witnesses of the truth before God would bring vengeance and death to so many.

Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Because of this, we should pretty much know what the message of these two men is about.

They will do what witnesses do!

God does not ever change the way He operates just because the world does. He will always follow His written Word He has given to us!

*Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

We should clearly understand that Jehovah will not ever forsake the Jews!

They will be given another opportunity to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and this they must do.

God will never altar His salvation plan, no matter what liberal preachers preach and what other religions believe!

Remember they have been spiritually blinded, and those blinded eyes will be opened!

2Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
2Co 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
2Co 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
2Co 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

These two witnesses will open the blinded eyes of Israel at the beginning of the Great Tribulation which will last for three and a half years. The last part of the seven-year Tribulation Period.

These are two men. They are not two systems. They are not two churches. They prophesy! They Preach!

The Prophet Zechariah has told us some things of these two witnesses.

Zec 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
Zec 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
Zec 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Just as Zerubbabel and Joshua held unique and vital positions in the history of the Jewish people, so will these two witnesses of Revelation.

Zerubbabel represented the royal line of Jesus Christ.

Joshua represented the priestly line of Jesus Christ.

These two witnesses will present the reasons for God’s wrath by presenting the evidence of murder and slaughter of God’s people.

So who are these two witnesses in the Book of Revelation?

In all probability one of these two will be Elijah.

Elijah had the power to stop rain for three years and six months as he demonstrated to King Ahab.

1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Luk 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Notice just as James says, this also shows the awesome power of prayer and the relationship Elijah had with Jehovah.

We also know Elijah did not see death and being true to God’s Word then this must take place as a man.

Heb_9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

It did not matter that Elijah was translated and went up to Heaven in a Chariot of Fire, he had to face death as a man.

Elijah was prophesied to return.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

We see Elijah would return before the Great and Dreadful day of the Lord!

John the Baptist was a forerunner of the first coming of the Lord, but not the Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord.

John the Baptist did not fulfill the prophesy of Malachi!

John the Baptist even professed that he was not this Elijah.

Joh_1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

I believe Elijah to be one of those two witnesses.

The second witness is a little tougher.

In reality this other man could be either Moses or Enoch.

We know that Enoch walk with the Lord right up into Heaven without seeing death and we have seen that it is appointed for each of us to see death.

Gen 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
Gen 5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

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.

So we see Enoch did not see death and Enoch was a great witness for faith!

Other than this we do not know much more about this great man of God.

Moses on the other hand did die and was buried by the Lord with no witnesses to his burial location.

Deu 34:5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
Deu 34:6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
Deu 34:7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

It should be obvious that the Lord took the life of Moses for he could have lived longer which proves the Lord holds the power of life and death and not Satan.

We know that Moses did have the power given to him by the Lord, to turn the waters of Egypt into blood.

Moses did have the power given to him by the Lord, to cause the many plagues of Egypt, which shows his close relationship with the Almighty Living God.

Another text we could look at is about that word witnesses.

Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
Mat 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Mat 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Luk 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
Luk 9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
Luk 9:30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
Luk 9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
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There was no doubt that it was Elijah and Moses that met with the Lord before His crucifixion.

The most evidence points toward Moses but there are also many reasons this other man could be Enoch.

The fact of the matter is it could be anyone sent down from Heaven, but in reality, it should be two people the Jews would recognize the most.

According to the Book of Malachi I believe I lean toward Elijah and Moses.

The Civil Ruler (Moses) and the Priest (Elijah).

For a period of time they cannot be hurt by the evil of the Great Tribulation.

*Rev 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Obviously, this fire from their mouth could be real fire, but it can also be the truth of God.

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

In a world that has only heard watered down preaching and false teaching, the truth of God will burn!

All those who reject the Word of God, that will burn into your heart if you allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, but all those who reject the truth of God will die by fire, the Burning Lake of Fire.

Rev_19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

This is also a specialty of the Prophet Elijah.

2Ki 1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

These two witnesses of the Lord may be challenged greatly, but for a set period of time they will just preach the Word of God into the ears of Jews who have been blind to the truth of God.

It will already be terrible upon the earth as we have been learning from the Scriptures, but no matter what good is promised by the Antichrist, these two witnesses can stop the rain.
They can turn the water to blood.
They can send plagues around the world and we have seen what a plague like this virus, Covid 19 can do to the world in a matter of days.

And for a period of time that only the Lord knows maybe three and a half years, they can do this as often as they wish to get the attention of the Jewish people and any others who are listening!

No one can go against the Lord and win, but the Lord’s plan must continue so the Antichrist will be allowed to claim a false victory for a few days.

*Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Notice that very first phrase “and when they have finished their testimony”. Not before, not during, but after they had completed the work God had given them to do.

Do you know that this is the same for every child of God! As Christians, our life is in the hands of the Lord, and no virus, no war, and no Antichrist can change that fact until the Lord is ready for us to come home!

For these two, the “Beast”, the Antichrist has no power over them until God allows it and the Lord has a little surprise even for this occurrence.

These two men of God who had so much supernatural power from God will be overcome by some wicked, evil, man who will also show some supernatural power just as the wicked wise men, and the sorcerers, and magicians, of Pharaoh.

Exo 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Exo 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Exo 7:12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

Notice these men of Pharaoh had a false power that was overcome by Jehovah and it will be the same for the Antichrist, The Beast.

These two witnesses preached “blood and water” as Jesus shed on Mount Calvary.

Notice they are described as the two Olive Trees. It is from the olive from which the oil for the lamps in the Temple were supplied. To the Church it is the “oil of Grace”.

God’s message never changes! The message of the “Cross” is the message of salvation throughout eternity!

They were dressed in humility, but they still showed the power of God.

To be humble is to have you physical and spiritual power under control, in fact given over to God’s use!

Even with all the bad things going on throughout the world, God’s message of “Grace” was still rejected by most, but that message as we will see later, had a profound message to the Jews.

We must always keep in mind that the Church is in Heaven at this time.

Some souls have been saved, but this is the time of Jacob’s Trouble and Jehovah is dealing with the Hebrew people, the Jews, in the process of fulfilling the promises He made to King David, yet they first had to accept the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is God’s provision for “Grace” and the cause of His great “Mercy”!

Until Satan is totally removed, and he will be totally and eternally removed, he will have what seem to be little victories, which are still fueled by deception.

Satan in reality knows he is a loser and he wants to take as many of God’s creation with him as he can, because of his great hatred for Jehovah the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord allowed these two “witnesses to be murdered” and the Beast claimed the victory and what happens next will show the mentality of the people that remained upon the earth.

It will also show that technology had to be progressed at least to the level we have today for all these things to take place.

You would have thought it was our commercialized, celebration for Christmas, happening for the murder of God’s people.

*Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Rev 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

It is this Scripture that tells us exactly where these two “Witnesses of God” were witnessing.

They were in Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified.

Look at some of the titles.

Spiritually called Sodom. Because of the wicked character of the people of the world at that time. A wicked and immoral people who worship themselves, and power, and riches, among other things.

All the things of Sodom and those surrounding cities were an abomination to Jehovah!

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
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.

These are the people who are left upon the earth, after the “Rapture of the Church”

Spiritually called Egypt. Because of the way they remembered Egypt when the Lord had told them put all that behind them.

Eze 23:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Eze 23:2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
Eze 23:3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
Eze 23:4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.

Eze 23:8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.

Eze 23:19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

These are the types of people left upon the earth, after the “Rapture of the Church”.

The bodies of these two men were left lying in the street. No one cared enough to even bury them.

They were left in the middle of Jerusalem as carnage for the vultures and wild animals.

They remained in the street for three and a half days but during this time there were great celebrations.

There was great rejoicing over their death.

I do not know how many of you have noticed, but there are many today just begging for this virus to attack our President Trump and our Vice-president Pence and that they die from it.

They do not hesitate to print and say things when someone of the inner circle of advisors test positive for this virus. They wish for this man to die so that he cannot be president four more years.

This is the hatred that has taken over our nation and the hatred that carries over to the Church and the hatred during the Tribulation Period, when this hatred will be focused upon the Jewish people in the part called the Great Tribulation only it will be even greatly multiplied.

The made merry.
They sent gifts to one another.

They claimed that these two men tormented them, but they only came to send a message.

They only came armed with words until they were threatened. Then they showed supernatural power.

They offered one last opportunity to repent before the Lord Jesus would return in Judgment and “WRATH”.

It was only torment because they rejected the truth!

They had the power to protect themselves from those same people who would have caused them harm before they had finished their message from the Lord!

These things would last only three and a half days.

You see today we have that technology for the world to witness all these things as they take place. With phones and live streaming. With TV powered by satellite broadcast to see the things of the world as they happen.

This time of the Book of Revelation could not have happened earlier than in our day when things that happen around the world are seen live the same day it takes place and the death of these Two Witnesses of Jehovah would be big news.

CNN and their sister fake news sources would have a field day announcing these things live.

But the Lord never ceases to amaze me!

All the merry making, and the great parties, and the big news would all amount to a great awakening for all the world that remained.

Because they two humans who came with the message of God, the God of love who would become the God of “wrath” because He was through repenting!

*Rev 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

You see life and death are in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Spirit of Life enters back into these two bodies that had laid where they were murdered for preaching the message of God.

Two men who had great power from God who only used that power when they were attacked, which means as Christians we can defend ourselves. We are not here to be floor mats for the world.

1Ti_5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

There was no reason for their death just like there is never a good reason to murder someone for telling others of God’s plan of salvation and judgment, but this was the Great Tribulation.

People do not want the truth when it differs from their own principles!

They were two witnesses because God would not allow judgment to fall on anyone who was innocent. He never will!

They gave the last warning before Jehovah’s judgment on all unbelievers.

And another promise was fulfilled.

Even these two men, sent of God would not be caught up in that “Judgment”!

*Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Rev 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Again, the Lord never ceases to amaze me.

After these Two Witnesses have proclaimed their message for maybe all of those three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, they will be murdered but the Antichrist had to show his true self to the world before this happens.

Much of the world had been deceived by him and the rest of the world were already his worshipers.

Many things considered to be supernatural will have been witnessed on both sides and it will seem that the Antichrist will have come out on top and all that celebration began like it was the grandest thing to silence the messengers of God.

The Lord after three and a half days just calls His Two Witnesses to come back home.

This is where many believe that one of these men are Elijah and the other Enoch, two men that did not see death in the Bible times.

These things are not worth an argument as they have nothing to do with the Church nor the salvation plan of God.

When the Lord says “Come”, He has already made a way. He has already built the bridge.

All the world will hear this voice, but I believe the Lord will use their names, just as He did Lazarus!

The world comes to a complete standstill because cameras had been watching these two. It was the six oclock object of laughing and ridicule.

All of a sudden, they came alive to live ever more and the entire world watched as they returned to Heaven and all of a sudden, the parties ceased, and joy will become fear.

All of a sudden, the truth will begin to sink in, but it will be too late.

All of a sudden, certain followers of the Antichrist became non-followers.

This was the signal that the Lord was on His way for “Judgment”.

The Lord Jesus has said, when He returns, He would come quickly!

These two witnesses had given the entire world the last warning from a very patient God!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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?

Instantly the first signs of His return will begin to happen.

A great earthquake and a tenth part of the City of Jerusalem falls which included seven thousand men and most likely all their families and possessions.

The remainder of the city turned to Jehovah but only because of true fear!

For the Church we need to understand the Lord could return to get His church at any moment.

Only the Lord has the life and therefore the death of each person in His hands.

No one knows what tomorrow with bring. The proof is this virus that is raging today.

If the Holy Spirit has been working on you, now is the time to give in to Him. Remember what the Lord said:

Gen_6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man,

They gave glory to God this did not mean they gave their heart to Jesus!

What did all these things mean?

Everything on earth that was already terrible, was about to get much, much worse!

*Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

Amen

Spiritual Reality

Knowledge of Spiritual Reality

Book of 1 John Chapter 3:1-10

Last week we had a lesson on Apostasy so today we see more of the truth.

What is reality? Reality is the truth. It is fact. It is real as compared to false!

What is it to be spiritual? Spiritual things are things taught to us by the Holy Spirit as compared to natural things, things that are taught to us by the world.

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

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

Only the child of God can know the reality of the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual truths in the Word of God.

What is the greatest truth of the Bible? The Bible is God’s love letter to those who love Him!

The Bible is God’s instruction manual on how to live in this world until it’s time for us to go home!

The truth is, if God loves us then, He must be very near to us and a loving God is not some deity who does not care about His creations.

What is the truth of our loving God? God does not do bad things even though He is accused of everything that happens that is bad and seldom gets the credit for the good things!

God is always available to help those who love Him in return!

We will never experience the true love of God unless we return to Him the love that He deserves!

*1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

What a privilege it is to be called the children of God even if we are His adopted children. Those who are adopted know they have been chosen!

As a child of God, we know that our Father is the most powerful, the Supreme Majesty of this cosmos we call creation.

Not an accident as so many boasts of, but a calculated creation that operates according to the law of God and overseen by His Holy Angels!

Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Psa 91:13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Psa 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

You know what? Even in these things God is no respecter of persons!

There is only one thing we can do to become a child of God and this to believe the things He has caused to happen for our salvation.

We must have faith in the truth of the Word of God!

We know because we were once a part of them that the natural man has chosen to go their own way without God.

It is their belief that God will restrain them from seeking their own way and this is true! To be a child of God is to be an obedient child!

They do not realize, or they don’t care that the benefits of being a child of God, far outweigh the loses that come by being a child of this world!

The world cannot understand believers because the world never understood the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I do not profess to know everything about my Savior, but I am certain that one day soon He will return to take me home if the end of my days does not come first, where some Angels will carry me home to Heaven to be with my Savior!

*1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

It should be very clear to us, that we are already the adopted children of God. Being a child of God is not in our future because it has already happened! God has just not picked us up yet!

It is not “that we shall be”, we are already in the family of God if we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior!

When we give our life to Jesus, we are accepted into the family of God!

We should say this over and over again until it sinks in!

We have no idea what a glorified body will look like!

We have no idea what perfection does for our soul!

We do know that when we meet Jesus in the clouds, we will be conformed to the exact image of Him!

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.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

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

Will we be equals of the Lord? No this will never happen. We will never be gods! We will be like Jesus Christ in perfection!

We should remember, Jesus still had nail scared hands and feet and His side still showed the marks of a spear.

Most all these things go past our ability to understand, but this flesh we now have will no longer exist as it does today!

Our new body will not be corruptible!

Our new body will be a Spiritual body!

Our new body will be a heavenly body!

Our new body will be eternal!

Our new body will never age!

Flesh and blood will never be allowed in heaven!

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Today we rest in the promises of God and our hope is always in the Lord!

1Th_2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

If you cannot love the Lord Jesus Christ, you can never get to Heaven!

*1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

What are we to be doing? You see God wants a people who are just like Him!

This is why Jesus is to be our example in everything!

God wants us to be pure.
God wants us to be holy.
God wants us to be righteous.

These are the reasons Jesus paid the price for our salvation!

It is His purity, His holiness and His righteousness and especially His love, that we are to strive for today!

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

We will never be pure until we are working the hardest to keep from sin even if it is impossible!

God blesses effort, He does not bless failure!

*1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The “law” in this passage would represent all the Word of God. Jesus Christ came to fulfill all the law of God, “all the Scriptures” and He is the only One who could do this.

The fact remains that any transgression of the law, the laws that Jesus kept, then would be sin!

Any violation of the law of God means a rejection of the authority of our Most High God!

Most of us do not see sin the way God sees sin.

We will say we made a mistake.
We will say we came up short.
We will say we had a momentary brain flaw.
We will say we made a bad decisiuon.
We will say we became irrational.
We will say it is just a social thing.

Sin is a far more serious thing to God!

Sin is a transgression of His law!

It is sin that caused Him to leave His throne room and come to this earth to die!

Sin is choosing to ignore our Supreme God!
Sin is living your way instead of living like God has commanded!
Sin is disobedience, not doing what God has but doing what God says not to do!
Sin is ignoring God and neglecting His Word!
Sin is an outright rebellion to a Holy God!
Sin is denying God and denying His remedy.

God is a perfect God and He only accepts perfection!

If God allowed any imperfection into the New Heaven then it would be imperfect.

Sin is imperfection!

Sin had to have a perfect remedy!

*1Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

We see that word manifested in the Bible and it means that the way to take away our sins has been plainly shown to us!

Why did the Lord come to this earth? To take away our sins!

We had a great need for deliverance and the Lord Jesus Christ came to deliver us!

Until the Lord Jesus came to this earth the first time there was no means available for deliverance from sin and reconciliation with God!

Of all who walk upon the face of this earth not one was ever free of sin. In Jesus there was no sin!

If we are in Jesus, then we are also sin free!

Rom_13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Jesus did not have to come to this world to see how things were coming along with His creation. He could see everything from Heaven!

There was only one reason He had to come, and to do this He had to be born like men and then be put to death for our sins. He had no sin himself!

In order for any of us to make it to the glory world, then we had to be made like Christ, that is we had to be made free from sin!

This is something that we all must know and understand and believe!

Jesus always existed but He had to become visible to the human eye. He had to leave the Spirit world and enter into the physical world!

There was only one reason He would do such a thing, and this is because God loves us, and God wants us to join Him in eternity in His Spiritual world!

To show we love our God then we need to turn from our sin and turn toward the sinless Son of God!

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.

It is now, before the Lord returns for the second time that we must accept these truths!

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

In reality the world is running out of time till the day of the wrath of God, toward all those who reject His Son!

*1Jn 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Most all the world and many in the Church reject this statement. (Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not)

Today many in the church have no problem believing we must not sin, but when it comes to those who believe that God makes mistakes and some girls are in a man’s body and some guys are in a lady’s body and this is not sin, are fools.

God does not make mistakes!
If you are in a boy’s body, then you are a boy!
If you are in a girl’s body, then you are a girl!

These things are reality and to do different is abiding in sin, just like abiding in any other sin!

It is obvious that none of us are perfect and we can only be perfect in if we abide in Jesus Christ!

This is the only proof of deliverance!

To love the Lord Jesus Christ is to be obedient to all the Word of God, rightly divided.

Rightly divided means God wrote about sin and the sinner.
Rightly divided means God wrote how to be saved and teaches us about His Savior.

We cannot truly say we know Christ and reject the Word of God!

To do differently is to be deceived and many deceivers have entered the church today leading many souls to Hell!

We have to do more than profess Christ we must accept all of Christ!
We have to do more than be baptized!
We have to do more than join some church!
We have to do more than attend some church regularly!
We have to do more than fellowship with Christians!
We have to do more that read the Bible!
We have to do more than pray, for without Christ that prayer will never be heard!

When we live according to the world’s temporary pleasures and seek more and more of the world’s temporary comforts and temporary possessions, and still believe that God will receive us, we live in a deceived frame of mind and are still bound for Hell!

We must deny ourselves of our lust and desires, to be acceptable to God!

Rom_8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

To mortify is to go ahead and place the deeds of our sinful flesh in a casket and bury them to be clean from them forever!

We must walk away from our old lifestyle, which by the way is to repent, which is not taught much in the church today!

Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

To be righteous is to do all things the right way and the right way is according to the written Word of God, rightly divided!

God does not ever do anything that goes against His own written words!

It is only in the Lord where we can have righteousness!

Isa 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

The object of being like Christ is to have no sin to keep us out of Heaven!

Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Unless we have faith in the Lord and have picked up our cross to follow Him, we will never be filled with the Holy Spirit who will dictate our lives until the Lord takes us home!

Hint: Without the Holy Spirit you will never understand the truth of the Bible nor be able to teach others the truth of God!

The Bible is a “Spiritual Book” which the world will never understand!

You will never be acceptable to God, until you know right from wrong and live right or live righteous! Righteous according to what God says is right!

For those who reject this truth God has these words:

*1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

All those who think it is acceptable to hold on to their sin and be acceptable to a Holy God, who are of the Devil!

It cannot be much plainer than these words written here!

Jesus Christ is a Deliverer! If you have not been delivered, then you have not accepted the truth of Jesus Christ!

Every place you see the Devil you will see death!

Satan was the very first sinner and he will never repent. Everyone who rejects the work of Christ Jesus belong to Satan and they are bound for Satan’s death!

Remember Hell and the Burning Lake of Fire were created for the Lucifer (the Devil, Satan, the Deceiver) and for all Luciferians!

Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil!

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

What is the reality of sin?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;

What is the reality of Jesus Christ?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

There is no battle of good and evil because all the world is evil, and no one is good enough to get to Heaven!

The Devil is a real person, much more than just our fallen nature, much more than just than just our sinful actions!

The Devil has brought death all these years, but Jesus Christ is our substitute for death!

Satan, the Devil, no longer has the power to cause us to be separated from God, we can now make this choice ourselves because of the work of Jesus Christ!

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:

All we need do is to open up the doors of our heart and let the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ enter in and cleanse us from all sin!

Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

This is what being “Born Again” is all about!

*1Jn 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

What is the result of being “Born Again”? We have an Advocate who pleads His own righteousness in our favor every day that we remain upon this earth if we ask forgiveness for the errors that we still commit.

Spiritually speaking as the children of God, we must remain in Christ who cannot sin!

What is the truth?

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.

When we have faith in the works of Jesus Christ for our salvation, He gives us the power to become sons just like He is the Son of the Father!

When we come from the flesh, we will be like the flesh.

When we come by the Lord Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be like our Savior, spiritual, holy and heavenly a complete blood bought child of God!

God the Holy Spirit is the author of all the Word of God!
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the author of our salvation!

This is the seed that must be planted in our hearts and allowed to grow as it is watered by the Holy Spirit!

Jesus cannot sin and those who are in Christ cannot sin!

So to live in sin, is contrary to the nature of Christ!

Sin is the greatest of all evil!

Holiness is the highest of all good!

So how can we be made free from sin? We must be “Born of God”!!!!!!!

We must have the seed of the new of the New Birth!

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 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into 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.

We must have the seed of the New Creature!

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.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

We must have the seed of the New Man!

Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

We must put on the New Man!

Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

We now have a divine nature!

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.

This is what the Holy Spirit will do when He is allowed to do His work within us!

*1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

In other words, do we truly love God like we say we do?

Do we really share the love God has given to us with “all” those we come in contact with?

Do we wear the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ?

We should see that there are only two groups of people in this world!

There are the children of the Devil.

There are the children of God.

These two groups encompass all the people of our world.

So which nature are we going show?

God is love!
God is Holy!
God is righteous!
God is pure!
God is perfect!

Now we cannot be God, but we certainly should be showing these same qualities as best we can!

Jesus said we can wrap all these qualifications up in one and that one is “Love”!

1Co_13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The key we are to store in our heart is: “whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God”.

This is our goal for learning today, and tomorrow, and the next day and every day until we go home to be with the Lord!

This is Spiritual Reality!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Washed In the Blood of Jesus

Cleansing From Sin

Book of 1 John Chapter 1

Today as we begin a short study of three of the Books written by the Apostle John, we will see another eyewitness to many of the things of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need also to mention that the Apostle John was writing to the church. In fact the entire Bible is written to the believer because without the Holy Spirit living inside you, you will never have a proper understanding of the Scriptures!

The Apostle John wants us to know the truth, and this was his greatest reason for writing and above all, these are the words of the Holy Spirit given to John.

John had a brother named James and with Peter it these three that witnessed the transfiguration of our Lord and the voice of God!

John was the only Apostle that lived to die of old age!

John wrote 5 books of the New Testament being, the Gospel of John, 1,2,and 3 John and the Book of the Revelation.

John addresses the spiritual beliefs of the believer.

John addresses all the Body of Christ.

John addresses sin in the church and false teachers.

John addresses our sinful world!

John addresses the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

Let’s listen to the words of the Apostle John, given to him by the Holy Spirit.

*1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life,

John simply says that which is from the beginning which is the Holy Ghost inspired Old Testament Scriptures, are the actual words from a Sovereign and Holy God.

Most all the Jews knew of the Old Testament Scriptures and the Apostles and yes even the early church was familiar with those Scriptures!

The difference being that to John, the Lord Jesus Christ was the complete fulfillment of those Scriptures,

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John heard the actual words of Christ which never went against the Old Testament.

John saw the things that Jesus did with his own eyes.

John also witnessed things that he could not put into words.

John handled the nail scarred hands of Christ.
John handled the nail scarred feet of Jesus.
John may have even put his hand in the scarred side where that spear pierced the side of Jesus.

Notice John does not have a great introduction, John jumps right into the subject matter of this great book of the Bible.

God is not living off somewhere in outer space having forgotten His creation.
God is greatly concerned in the things of this earth.
God loves and cares for all His creation.

Remember God has not moved away from His creation, His creation has chosen to follow a false god!

The subject of this Book of 1 John is that the Son of God came to this earth to save all humanity!

We must clearly understand that the Messiah, the Son of God has always existed. He created all things. He walked in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve. He has always been living and He made Himself known by Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, or we simply say Jesus Christ!

Jesus is the exact express image of God the Father in all His ways!

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;

Jesus Christ did not have a beginning because He is the beginning. He has always been!

Moses knew this truth:

Psa 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Jesus Christ proved He was God in many ways, yet so many reject His truth.

John, James, Peter, Paul, Mathew, Luke, Stephan, Barnabas, and so many others in the New Testament did not have a problem believing the Jesus is the Almighty God!

We are foolish not to believe the Apostles, and the other Gospel writers, who wrote by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Jesus is the “Word” because He is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies!

Jesus is the “Word of Life”, because He has the message of eternal life!

Jesus revealed Himself to a lost and dying world, so His life could be shared with all who believed Him!

Jesus revealed Himself to us when He did not have to!
Jesus has given us all an opportunity to share in His life!

Jesus came to us in the only fashion that would be accepted in His goal for us.

Jesus, who is God, came to us in the form of man, His creation!

Jesus Christ came to His creation with a great purpose!

*1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Jesus Christ came to this earth to restore our fellowship with our Creator!

This is the goal of our Father in Heaven that we have an up close and personal relationship with Him.

John is saying let me tell you about my Savior.

We must understand God is concerned about His creation. God cares for each of us!

God has not left us to fend for ourselves against the wiles of the devil and the dark powers of this world!

God promises that there is much more than death and the grave in our future!

God wants to adopt us into His family and with all adoptions there must be some qualifications met!

The Lord Jesus Christ opened the door into the throne room of God, and He is waiting to welcome us with open arms!

Jesus has made us acceptable to our Heavenly Father!

We can talk to Him at any time of the day and His ears are open to hear from us.
He walks with us everywhere we go to caution us and to make us aware of our surroundings.
We can cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us.
We can ask Him for strength to conquer our trials and tribulations, and He will supply that strength.
We can live with peace in our heart because of Him.
We can depend upon Him for His righteousness because we just do not have any ourselves.
And we can know we have been delivered from sin and death, because He gives us eternal life!

We can know our Father, by His Son, through the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ came that our joy would also be full!

Not worldly joy but heavenly joy.

It is the joy of the Holy Spirit.
It is joy based upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is joy, that springs from faith in the work of Christ Jesus.
It is the joy in the knowledge of future rewards.

Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

We know that the world is full 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.

Joh_12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jesus Christ who is the light of the world has come to take us out of this dark world!

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

You see there is no darkness in our Savior!

*1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

We know that all those called of God are to be His messengers so, what is the message they are to carry?

The Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God who died to pay for our sin!

We must not ignore the message of God’s salvation plan!

Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
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 as Jesus Christ Himself who first preached the message of salvation and it was carried on by the 12 chosen Apostles, when we include the Apostle Paul!

Jesus said if you have seen Me you have seen God!

God is Light!

Light is a sign of purity.
Light is a sign of truth.

The Light reveals the nature, the meaning, and the destiny of our world, and those who live on it!

The light of Jesus Christ allows all those in darkness to walk out of the darkness into the Light of the Lord!

In fact Jesus the Light, will one day eliminate all darkness on this earth and in heaven!

Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

We just finished with the Book of 2 Peter where we learned how to identify that false teacher and we can see this again here in 1 John.

*1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

We are all just sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.

As long as we are in the flesh we will stumble occasionally and fall.

If we ask the Lord to forgive us, He will forgive us.

But If we refuse to repent of our sin and continue to walk in that sin, then we are liars if we say we belong to the Lord!

Waking in darkness is walking without the Light of God!

The Lord Jesus is light. His light shines in us by the Holy Spirit who lives within us. The Holy Spirit will not allow us to walk in darkness if we belong to our Heavenly Father.

Joh 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Joh 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

If we continue to walk in darkness after we have claimed Jesus, then our heart was not true. It’s just that simple.

Walking in darkness is the symbol of ignorance of the truth of God, walking in error of the truth of God, and remaining in our sinful ways!

Our outward profession of faith is contrary to our inward reality!

It takes faith and that faith from a true heart!

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

If we have truly repented of our old ways, it will show in our new walk in life!

*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.

What is the greatest misconception among all those that claim the Lord Jesus as their Savior? They believe they can have fellowship with God and still walk in sin and remain in darkness.

Walk the streets of America and most of them will claim fellowship with God but their ways say different.
Walk the halls of congress and many of them will claim fellowship with God but their votes say different.
Better still walk inside the congregation at church and you will see many who claim to know the truth but their actions outside the church say something different.

Jesus preached His message to the Jews who already worshiped God in their own way, yet they did not have the fellowship they thought they had, because they rejected the truth of the Scriptures. They rejected the Light sent down from Heaven to remove the darkness of Judaism. Not only Judaism but all known religions who remain in darkness.

Why is Jesus rejected? Because the world believes they can remain in darkness and have fellowship with God the Father, and it is impossible to do that!

That word walk means we must put forth some effort and it must be a continuous effort.

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.

We cannot confess the Lord Jesus Christ unless we walk with Him every day of the remainder of our lives!

The world remains in the dark about God because they reject the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no fellowship with God without His Son!

There is no church fellowship without the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do I walk in the Light of Jesus Christ?

*I must walk in love!

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

*I must walk in the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

*I must walk by faith!

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

*I must walk in newness of life!

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

*My walk must match my talk!

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

*I must walk worthy of the Lord!

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

*I must certainly walk in truth!

3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Until we walk according to the truth of Jesus Christ how can we say we have a personal relationship with Him?

We are walking in our old sinful ways!

*1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Even after we have given our hearts to the Lord, we are still only sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.

We will still make mistakes, we will still sin. So if we think we have already reached perfection in this life we are sadly mistaken, we are still sinners, but those sins should be out of ignorance and not intentional, as best we can to live according to the Word of God!

There is only one who lived His life pleasing to the Heavenly Father. We know sin is never pleasing to God the Father, so it was only His Son who has pleased Him!

Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

We are not only mistaken about our salvation we are misleading ourselves about the truth of our salvation.

In other words we do Satan’s job for Him. Satan is the great “deceiver” and we will have deceived ourselves if we believe we will sin no more.

The Lord has already given us the answer to this problem!

*1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

To be a Christian is a growing process and the Lord understands this. When we sin, and we will sin, then the sooner we get on our knees and ask for forgiveness the better off we will be.

We actually need to describe our sin to our Father in Heaven, so He will know that we know what we are asking Him to forgive us of!

This is how we grow we learn from our mistakes. Now we will still pay for those mistakes, but we will not lose our salvation as some teach.

Once the Lord is firmly in our hearts our salvation is eternal, but we still need a daily cleansing that comes from forgiveness!

Our God is righteous!

Our God is also faithful to keep the promises He makes and here it says He is faithful to forgive us.

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Once we have been “justified” we cannot ever again be unjustified!

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.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

We must clearly understand God does not make mistakes, but we still cannot say our walk with the Lord will be perfect!

*1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we say we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ecc 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

The truth is, how could anyone say such a thing, yet there are those that do.

The word sinner is such a terrible word that most people object to being called sinners, but it is no less true!

We are all sinners and we will be as long as we are in these bodies of flesh!

There are just too many people who believe that they have been so religious all their lives, that God could not refuse to allow them in Heaven, and they are truly deceived about the truth of God.

Many are just religious perfectionists who believe they can achieve a perfect state without the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is impossible!

There are also those that believe they are just too good for God to reject them, but no one is good enough simply because we have no goodness because we have no righteousness.

Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

The only thing we have to offer God is a dirty rotten sinner in need of salvation and this is what God says so it must be true.

The sooner we agree with God and accept His plan of salvation the better off we will be.

When our name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it can never be erased!

We cannot help but sin, but praise the Lord we have a Savior!

The Lord is soon coming, and we will be going home so let’s make Him proud of His children!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Building Onto the House of God

Staying Right with Fellow Christians

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 5:1-14

You know for a simple fisherman the Apostle Peter had come a long way toward perfection by this time in his life. Peter dealt with the persecution of the Church in words given to him by the Holy Spirit, for in the end this is all we have to offer.

The world we live in today will not cease in its persecution of God’s people, until God removes His people and then evil will persecute evil to see which is the more-evil, of those left behind!

Peter closed out this first book included in the 66 books of the Bible, by speaking to the elders of the Church.

The title elder is plainly the origin of the titles priest and pastor.

An elder could be the old man of the family much like the grandfather.
An elder could be the man with the most experience on the job site.
An elder could be the leader of a group of people.

In the church an Elder would be the chief Priest, the chief Preacher, the chief Pastor.
In the New Testament the title Bishop is also used as an elder.

In my church we have the Pastor and the Youth Pastor, and the elders include the old saints of God who have been doing the work God has given us all to do for many years and possess a great knowledge of the Scriptures.

In fact a new babe in Christ should pick out an elder saint of God to be his or her example until they get off the “milk of the Word” and can absorb the “meat of the Word of God without doubting its truth!

The Apostle Peter knew everything about Jesus was the complete truth!

Let’s begin:

*1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

The persecuted church is in great need, of elders who have committed themselves to the work of the Lord!

In fact, the church of today is in a great need of church elders who stick to the truth of the Scriptures, unyielding to those who would distort the truth of the Scriptures.

We need elders today who will seal the Church against the influence of the world and the interfering hands of government!

Peter stresses that he was not only an Apostle, hand-picked by the Lord Jesus Christ, but just as important a church elder, who had witnessed the sufferings of Christ Jesus.

Jesus suffered at the cross, but He also suffered all the days of His ministry.

Jesus had to go to work to support His family at a very young age, after the death of His adopted father, therefore he was known as the Carpenter.

Jesus suffered every day of His life because He knew what was in His future.

When Jesus walked away from His adopted earthly family and pursued the work His heavenly Father gave Him to do, He no longer had a place to lay His head.

We are foolish if we believe that our Lord does not have firsthand experience of suffering just because He is the Almighty God!

Peter was a firsthand witness of all the things of Jesus for 3 and 1/2 years.

Peter had all his days since, carried the truth of God to wherever God had led him, and he encouraged all the elders of the church then and now to do the same.

Peter said “forget that I am an Apostle, consider me to be an elder just as you are to be” a workman building onto the house of God.

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

We can almost ask where have all the true elders of the Church gone today?

We can ask, why do not all the Elders of the Church stand up and give account of themselves before God?

Peter also reminds all Elders that if they cannot suffer for the truth, what makes them think they will take part in the “Glory” that will be revealed in the presence of the Lord?

When we do not glory in the work of the Lord, why do we continue to believe we will be glorified when the Lord returns?

What is the job of our church elders?

*1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

The Pastor or Chief Elder has one job. He is to feed the flock that has been given to him, he has no greater job than this and this must be first in his calling all his days!

What is this heavenly manna?

It is the true “Doctrine” of the Scriptures!
It is the true “Discipline” that comes from the Scriptures!

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.

We must understand that God has chosen to speak to us of His own will!

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;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

This must be the message for every generation because the Word of God is unchanging in its “Doctrine”!

Every generation must listen to the Word of God, rather than the message passed down through the church!

The Word of God never changes, and no single person nor group of persons, have the right to change the meaning of what God has said nor have some new interpretation of what God has said!

This Elder must do this in the place God has called him to be located!

This flock is the flock of God and not the flock of some person or some denomination!

This Elder is do these things willingly.

God does not accept the message of someone who is forced to say it!

Only God can constrain this Elder with His message!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live “should not henceforth live unto themselves”, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

This is big today as here in America we have a state government trying to dictate the message of God from the pulpits in that state.

In fact we have many in government trying to dictate the truth of God without even knowing what God says themselves.

In reality this Elder is to remain at his location unless it is God that moves him.

He is never to leave to tend another flock just because the pay is better or the benefits are better, because it will reflect in his message, in his witness and in his God given blessings which are far greater than anything man can provide!

The Apostle Paul is a great example of these things.

1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
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 did add that he preached the Gospel without charge.

Paul was a church planter and by the Word of God that Church was to provide for the Elder of the Church that was established.

Every Elder must submit to the will of God for their lives just as every other Christian.

God has a place for every member of the Church, Elder down through that ‘”Babe in Christ”!

Every Elder must realize that they are only the under-shepherd with the Lord Jesus Christ being the Chief Shepherd!

*1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

What is the “Body of Christ”? The Body of Christ is God’s heritage. Heritage in short means the “Body of Christ” belongs to God, we are God’s possession!

We once gave ourselves to Satan for nothing, and Satan has given us nothing but trouble then and now.

Therefore we could not be purchased with money, it took the blood of Jesus Christ to buy us back from the slave market of sin.

We belong to the Lord! We are the Lord’s possession! We are to obey all the Words of the Lord from Genesis to Revelation!

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work “to do his will”, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

It is only by the Chief Shepherd(The Lord Jesus Christ) that we can be made perfect in the eyes of God!

God the Father has given His entire creation to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Go get My children)
God the Son(The Lord Jesus Christ) paid the ransom, which He paid by His blood.

The Chief Shepherd lives now to gather all those who have wandered from the fold(the lost)!

Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

We should notice that the job of the Elder is to be like Jesus Christ in all His ways and to have the same message that Jesus had all His days and the same message given to the Apostles.

Think about the work of Jesus besides the cross:

1) As Chief Prophet, He teaches His Church and shares His divine wisdom.
2) As Highest of High Priest, He made atonement for the sins of His “Bride”.
3) As King, He will rule this world with mercy and grace but also judge His people.
4) As Chief Shepherd we see all these things wrapped up in one. We see the power and the authority but also the gentleness in the ways He handles His sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

There is the reward for being that true Elder. A crown of glory that will never fade away!

We see another promise that the Lord Jesus will return to get His Bride and He will reward all those that have been true shepherds to the Church.

This also means the only reward for the false shepherd will be the same as Satan. They will be tossed into the “Burning Lake of Fire”.

If that Elder is an example of the “grace” of Christ Jesus, then we need to follow him!

*1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

One of the greatest traits of the true Elder is humility. Humility is the first duty of every believer as we submit ourselves to the Lord to receive His gift of salvation. This trait is to never leave us!

When the world thinks of humility, they see a shy, weak, unimpressive man or woman, but the opposite is the actual truth.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the most-humble person in His flesh of all those who have followed Him. Yet He made such an impression upon this world that almost the entire world knows Him by His earthly name!

The truth is, a humble Christian depends on God who has unlimited power and strength!

The young man seeking to be an elder must not only humble himself to God, they need to humble themselves before that true Elder. That Pastor, that Preacher, that Evangelist, that Bishop are all called of God to be the Elders of the Church. They are easily spotted because they speak the Word of God in their voice and in their being! They have the mind of Christ and it shows!

They are not like the charlatans of this world making merchandise of God’s people!

Then Peter takes this thing a step further and the Holy Ghost says, we are all to be subject to one another.

Remember there is only Lord in the Church and He is Jesus Christ!

If you stand up with pride in the Church thinking you are God’s gift to this world, your first enemy will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty God!

You can go boldly into the throne-room of God, but you better be humble when you get there!

We may get away with reminding the Lord of His promises, but we will never get away with making demands of Jehovah God!

It is in our best interest to just cast all our cares upon Him, and then get out of His way!

The Lord will do as He says!

*1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

That word “under” means we are to take the inferior position with God at all times. There is a whole lot of truth in that song “where He leads me, I will follow”.

The world we live in today has forgotten that it is Jehovah God who sits on the throne of this world.

Mankind is not in charge of this world especially not the elements of this world.

Do we as humans have the power to destroy this world? No!

We do as humans have the power to make life miserable with nuclear bombs, and other such weapons of destruction. With diseases unleashed upon this world. With the complete abuse of our Eco system, but even these things must be allowed by the Lord.

You see God will take care of His Church and He will remove the Church before He will allow any of these things to become a serious problem to His people.

We had better humble ourselves “under” the mighty hand of God.

God will exalt those who have done so!

We sometimes forget just how much the Lord does care for us!

Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Where does our pride get us in the most trouble? When we think we can take care of ourselves!

We must confess the weakness of our own hands and the Almighty strength in the hand of God!

There is not one facet of our lives that the Lord is not concerned with!

The greatest example of this is when the Jews were run out of Egypt, they only had time to gather the bare necessities but for 40 years they never lacked while they traveled in circles in the wilderness.

Deu 2:7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

Even when we are chastened by the Lord, He will still care for us!

Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deu 8:4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
Deu 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

God is no respecter of persons, what He did for His people the Jews, He will do for His people the Gentiles!

We had better cast our cares upon the Lord, because we have an adversary lingering in the background just abiding his time until we reject the truth of God and rest upon our own strength.

*1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We should understand Peter has been teaching us about our conscience and having the mind of Christ, so here he is talking about being sober minded. Having self-control according to the Word of God. Making sound moral judgments according to the Word of God.

To be sober is to be in your right mind not influenced by outside sources remembering we are already filled with the Holy Spirit. Depend upon Him!

To be vigilant is to be aware of your surroundings and the things that are going on in your environment plus what is going on in the world.

To avoid danger and to avoid danger we must be aware of our adversary.

Here he is called the devil, diabolos, the fallen angel called Lucifer. He is the archenemy of God’s children, always standing against us.

He will never have anything good to say about God’s people.

Reminds us of the world of today that has that hatred for the people of God. We must be aware of Him!

Why does the lion roar? The purpose of a lion’s roar is to transfix and actually paralyze its prey, which is why they roar just before they attack. A lion’s roar is so forceful that it is enough to raise a cloud of dust, and can be heard from 5 miles!

The methods the devil uses can be just as effective as that roaring lion, in unnerving us, causing the Word of God to be ineffective.

For instance a tornado touches down in a community and for a time, this community is paralyzed at what happened and lost to reality.

What did the Lord Jesus say to Peter?

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

To be sifted is to pass through a strainer to separate the coarse from the refined. Satan, The Devil, will try to separate the refined mind of Christ from that old sinful body of flesh so he can regain his control.

This is the effect the Bible is speaking of here when it said, “as a roaring lion”.

The effects of the devil are devastating, and we have only one defense!

It is our “faith”!

*1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

The bottom line is when we think like Christ Jesus and keep the faith of His promises, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, the devil cannot touch us!

Think of it this way. The devil and his demon helpers tremble at the thoughts of the work of the Lord.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

If you are a true “Born Again” child of God, you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Though we need to ask for a refilling every day, the Holy Spirit will never leave us.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

We must never fear the devil ever again!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When our faith is sufficient you can resist the devil and it is he, who will have to flee, because he cannot stand on the same ground as the Holy Spirit because we are the Temple of God!

Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

That old saying, “the devil made me do it is impossible” because the devil cannot make the child of God do anything!

You can only allow yourself to be used of the devil because you do not have faith in these words!

Anything else we lack are the grace gifts of God, which He gives freely!

*1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Most every Christian has realized these truths of Christianity. Some Christians, somewhere every day, suffer just because they have claimed the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is unreal how this faith causes so much hatred to occur to people for the most part who are not guilty of any crime at all.

The truth is, while all this suffering and persecution is going on, the God of all “grace” shall Himself, perfect, stablish, and strengthen us, as we go about the work of the Lord.

Our Holy God loves us so much and He takes a personal interest in all the things going on in our lives, especially our suffering.

In most cases we complain about the things that affect us, but we have not gotten on our knees and explained to God what we are going through.

Sure He knows. Sure He already intervenes in some things we may not even know about, but He still wants to hear from us individually.

You never know what will happen when you move the heart of God!

God’s grace means every resource in Heaven is available to God’s people if God so desires. After all He is our Heavenly Father!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
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.

If our Heavenly Father had not known all these things would happen, why would He have written all these things down to make us aware of them?

God knows the temptations and the trials of life are severe and they are terrible. This is because of the influence the devil has had upon this world since he was tossed out of Heaven.

Satan’s days are numbered, and he knows his ending and he will do his best to ruin the testimony of God’s children so even more of the lost will ignore and reject the truth of the Scriptures.

To God be the glory!

We know that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired these words of the Apostle Peter, but God always made sure there were other godly men around His Apostles.

*1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

Silvanus was the proper name of a godly man known as Silas.

The Holy Spirit did not call on Silas to write a book of the Bible, but Silas would take those written words of God to other Churches so they could have the written Word of God, much like those that carry Bible to foreign countries today.

He did this for the written words of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul.

Silas was also a preacher we could say evangelist.

Act 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

Silas was also a witness to the Council of the Church in Jerusalem to discuss the matter of the Jews and Gentiles if the Gentiles would have to follow the laws given to the Jews.

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

What can be said is, that without godly men like Silas, the Word of God would not have been known to every one of the early churches.

Each of us have our particular job to perform in the army of God!

If there were ever any proof that the Apostle Peter was in Rome in may be the fact that when he mentioned the Church of Babylon, he was referring to Rome.

Peter was saying that at this time the seat of evil in the Church was Rome, and many believe that this is still true today.

Many believe the seat of evil is still in Rome.

*1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
1Pe 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

This Marcus is of course Mark of the “Gospel” of Mark who was led to the Lord by the Apostle Peter and who had so grown in the Lord that even the Apostle Paul now knew he was a valuable man of God in the beginning of the early Church.

2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

What is a “kiss of charity”?

This is that act of unity and brotherhood that seems to be lacking in the church of today.

The greatest weapon of the Church today, besides the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God is when we all stand together on the truth of the Bible.

When we are together in one mind, we are a force to be reckoned with in this world.

If we would quit bickering and fighting with each other the Word of God would go to where it needs to go and we all would soon be going home.

Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

We need to quit being each other’s enemy and get busy about the work of the Lord. Amen

Let’s Pray

Jesus Teaches Us About Bearing Fruit

Jesus Taught About Bearing Fruit

Book of John Chapter 15:1-17

What is the relationship of Jesus to those who love Him? We must be open to the fact that we depend upon Him for all things in this life and then the glory of our Heavenly life!

Jesus will teach us the reality of this in our lesson today. Christ Jesus is the source of our life here on earth and our spiritual life and our fruitfulness!

We will see that in our passage today that the Lord Jesus will represent the true “vine” that is strong and cannot fail it is so strong. The vine of nature is only a shadow of this true vine!

We will see that the husbandman, the farmer, represents our Father who is in Heaven.

Isa 27:2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.
Isa 27:3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.

We will see that there are 4 stages of the fruit from this true “Vine”:

1) No fruit
2) Fruit
3) More fruit
4) Much fruit

A true Christian is one who abides in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We already know that our Messiah is the “perfect Light”, “the perfect Bread”, “the perfect Witness”, “the perfect Shepherd” and now “the perfect Vine”.

We should also consider that Jesus is still speaking to His disciples and this will include His disciples today.

1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Judas Iscariot has already left to do his treachery.

So let’s begin:

*****Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

We do not have to guess at anything that Jesus reveals here because He tells us Himself.

This vine many times represents Israel, but the Lord will be rejected by Israel and the Lord said He would never drink of this vine again, so we can understand the now the Lord Jesus Christ has been planted by our Father in Heaven as the true “Vine” who will now become the foundation of the Church!

We must also realize that the true “Vine” cannot do His work in this world without His branches.

We can also understand that the pruning shears is the Word of God but if we allow temptation to draw us away from the Lord, we will see that this world will take away our fruitfulness.

We must also know that when God prunes His Vine it can be a little painful!

We already know we must mortify our flesh, so we do not depend on our own wisdom, our own rightness, nor our own strength.

Rom_8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Col_3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

How do we know we are worthy to be a branch on this perfect “Vine”?

We must be washed in the Word of God!

*****Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

When we use the Word of God as our “mirror” we will see that we come up short all the time, but we need to get a daily cleansing!

When we measure ourselves against Jesus Christ, we will realize the path we must follow.

Jas_1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

If we continue to see our “natural face” and not a “spiritual face” we still have much work to do and the Word of God points this out to us!

When we have prayed in sincerity for the Lord to come into our heart, the Lord will send the Holy Spirit to abide in us forever, but we will never bear fruit unless we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work within us!

To abide, as Christ Jesus explains it “I will live in you while you live in Me” and continue in His love.

If we cannot become one in Christ, we are failing in ourselves and are an unattached branch serving no purpose.

The more we are attached to the “Vine”(Christ) the more nourishment we will draw. The more nourishment we draw the more fruitful we will be.

The Christian cannot survive without Christ Jesus and this is what we see in our world today.

The Church that does not abide in the Lord Jesus Christ!

The unattached branch does not understand the nature of bearing fruit!

In fact the unattached branch is not even Christian, but thieves and robbers and they are doomed!

He will wither just to be gathered and cast into the fire!

The unattached branch is doomed!

We can only abide in Christ when we have the Holy Spirit living within us!

When we are in the flesh, we are governed by the powers of our sin nature.

When we are in the Holy Spirit and He within us, we are governed by “Grace”!

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into 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.

There is only one Vine!

*****Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Just like one coat of paint is never enough, the Lord Jesus repeats Himself in this most important lesson.

We are nothing without the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must realize there are those that are not branches of the true “Vine” but claiming to be true.

If we are a disciple of Jesus Christ, we are the branches, but we can never become the “Vine”!

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

As branches we are to produce fruit!

It is impossible to live as a Christian without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

Many believe that producing fruit is just reproducing yourself by leading someone else to Christ and this is a very great part of it but without the fruit of the Holy Spirit we will not get very far.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

If we bear this fruit, we can then be fruitful in all the things of Christ Jesus!

Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How do we get our prayers answered?

*****Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

We should understand that our prayers are the fruit of faith and our prayers can produce more faith!

It is not only answered pray but many other things.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

We live or die by the Words of Jesus Christ!

Our greatest thing then, is we must be to be more like Christ than we ever have, and we must learn from Him by studying the Word of God, allowing the Holy Spirit the freedom to work in our lives!

*****Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

We always talk about glorifying God with our lives. The answer lies in this passage of Scripture!

If we are a truly abiding in Christ and He in us, then and only then are we glorifying God!

Many people ask why has God created such things as the night sky showing the beauty of the stars and the planets.

Why would God create such mighty oceans?

Why God would create the seasons?

Why God would create such beautiful plants even those that feed us?

The answer lies in the fact that everything in nature tells the story of the Gospel and shows us all the glory of God.

Our greatest power for glorifying God is a life of being like the Lord Jesus Christ!

God will transform our soul into the image of the Lord Jesus if we will just allow Him full control.

The true Christian life has the power to overcome all the obstacles of this world we live in.

The sufferings and sacrifices of this life may seem to hinder us, but in reality, they increase our faith and our prayer life, if we would listen to what the Lord is saying!

We will never be a positive influence in this world until we accept the influence of Jesus Christ into our hearts and soul!

Psa 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Psa 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Psa 92:14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
Psa 92:15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

It is while we live that we can glorify God!

It all boils down to, just how much do we love the Lord our God?

*****Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Jesus will not settle for less than a close personal relationship with each believer.

Remember Jesus Christ loved us before He ever met us in His person.

Christ Jesus not only loves us, but He loves us like His Father loves Him.

The entire written Word of God is to show us the Love that God for those who believe what He says and trust in His love.

In fact we could say the Bible is God’s love letter to all those who have faith in His promises!

Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

We must understand that obedience is the key to God’s love!

We already know that we are not disciples of the Lord unless we are obedient to the written Word of God!

We know the Lord is perfect, so He can only have perfect love!

The Lord Jesus Christ paid the supreme price for His obedience to His Father.

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

As we seek for love from someone then we must draw closer to them and it is the same for the Lord. If we truly love the Lord, we will draw closer to Him.

We can draw closer to the Lord if we keep the commandments of God!

We will not know the commandments of the Lord unless we study the Word of God.

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

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.

Joy is an inner gladness, a deep-seated pleasure! Joy can cause assurance and confidence that leads to a cheerful heart.

Joy is divine because it originated from the Lord! It is possessed and given by God to all those who obey the Lord.

Joy does not depend on circumstances!

Joy does not even depend on happiness!

it is Joy that causes happiness and not happiness that causes joy!

Joy comes by “faith”!

Joy comes by obedience!

How much did it cost the Lord to show His love to us?

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

We are a foolish people if we do not cherish the love of God!

*****Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

If we could just keep this one commandment this world would change overnight.

Whatever standard Jesus Christ had in His love, is the same standard we should have!

How many times does the Lord have to tell us until it sinks in, that to be a disciple of Jesus Christ we must keep His commandments?

How many times does the lord have to tell us we are to love everyone including our enemies?

Jesus died for His enemies to.

What were the last words of Christ before He died upon the cross.

“Father forgive my enemies, they have not realized what they have done”.

It was Jesus who decided He wanted to be friends with His creation and through much effort He has given us the truth of His Word!

1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1Jn 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1Jn 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

As the friends of Christ Jesus we must be built upon and centered upon the Word of God!

*****Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

If we are the true friends of the Lord, we would never deny Him under any circumstance even if we were in peril for our own life.

We must never be ashamed of the Lord, we must always be His friend.

If we are part of the Heavenly Family, then we need to act like it!

As the ordained of Christ our job is to go forward and produce fruit!

I believe that everyone who has friends, desires to be remembered by those friends in times of troubles or distress.

A true friend will certainly come to the aid of another friend!

This is what Jesus does every day, and we must do the same for Him.

Christ cannot be in the schools because we let Him down.
Christ cannot be in the government because we will not back Him.

If Christ is our friend, we must rise to His level.

If the world is our friend, we will sink to that level.

Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
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.
Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

One more time Jesus says for us to love one another.

Amen

Let’s pray!

Understanding Brotherly Love

Increasing in Brotherly Love

Book of Philemon

We think of the Apostle Paul as a great Christian, if not the greatest Christian who has ever lived, but it is a fact that this man named Philemon was counted as a great Christian by the Apostle Paul!

Philemon was a Christian, probably led to the Lord by the Apostle Paul.

Philemon was probably a native of Colossae and he had started a church in his own house.

Philemon was a respected member of society but he also held a prominent place in the Christian community.

No doubt that Philemon held some office in the church, some say he even became bishop of Colossae and was murdered by Nero but there is not much proof of this.

It is certain that Philemon would provide for any of the saints as they passed through this city!

It seems that Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave at one time and it is in his behalf that the Apostle Paul wrote this epistle.

This epistle that can teach us of how Christians should handle some of the things from our past and uphold our integrity before other Christians and even more so before those who are lost.

We must remember if you call yourself Christian, you place a target upon your back for this lost world to shoot their fiery darts!

It is probable that the Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this epistle and it maybe that Paul wrote this epistle with his own hands because it was a personal plea from one Christian to another Christian.

*****Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
Phm 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
Phm 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was a prisoner at this time in Rome, where he wrote or at least dictated may of his epistles.

Paul was a prisoner to Nero on the outside but Paul was a prisoner of Jesus Christ on the inside!

We can see that Timothy had joined Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

To be a Christian is to be a prisoner of Jesus Christ because He purchased us from the slave market of Sin!

In our own way, we should all resemble Philemon and be fellow-laborers with the Apostle Paul in the cause of Jesus Christ!

Paul may have never been to Colossae but Paul knew this family very well.

Apphia was the wife of Philemon.

Archippus was the son of Philemon and was saved and working in his own ministry.

Most all Christians of that day gathered in the home of the Pastor and Philemon had begun a church in his own home.

And of course, all things still come by the “Grace”, the unmerited favor of God through the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can be sure that the Apostle Paul had his own prayer list and he also tried to keep up with the happenings of every church that was planted and was surviving at this time.

Not one Christian is of more importance than any other but we all have our prayer list just as the Apostle Paul.

*****Phm 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
Phm 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
Phm 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

If we have a personal relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus, and are filled with His Holy Spirit, then we can also say, “I thank my God”.

If we have none of these things then we are only thanking the devil who is laughing at you all the time!

We must realize that there is a God and we must get up close and personal with Him, and that can only be accomplished by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your “personal” Savior!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

We should always pray for those who are called into the ministry and for those who have needs that only God can fill!

Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
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. Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

There can be no doubt that even when Paul was imprisoned, he did his very best to keep up with all the churches that had been planted and he had heard nothing but good news from the church in the home of Philemon.

It should be clear to us that if you are a child of God, then you are also a saint of God and this happened as soon as the Holy Spirit moved in!

Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, “called to be saints”: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The child of God, “born again” of Jesus Christ, does not need some committee, or the Pope, the laying on of hands, or any man to decide if they are a saint of God!

Philemon had a testimony so strong that even the Apostle Paul thanked God for fulfilling the purpose God had for him!

Our greatest purpose in the work of God is to communicate our faith to others! (we are all in this together)

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Do you want to humble yourself? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “am I walking worthy of the Lord?”

According to the Apostle Paul, remember who is led by the Holy Spirit to say all these words, Philemon was doing this thing!

Philemon walked worthy of the Lord after his salvation!

In other words, Philemon understood what the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us all to do!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We use that phrase “servants of the Lord” but we must clearly understand our servitude to the Lord is being a servant to one another!

We are to be good “stewards” of the “Grace” of God!

When we face the Lord at the “judgment seat of Christ” we will see that the Lord has considered how we have accomplished these things!

All the “gifts” of God are to be shared with our brothers and sisters and our share of God’s “grace” shown to whosoever will listen!

We are always to be “refreshing” when we come together with fellow our brothers and sisters in Christ!

*****Phm 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

The truth is we can never know how far an act of love may travel!

Many of those in Colossae had witnessed the ministry of Philemon and these acts of kindness had traveled across the Sea to Rome and refreshed the spirit of the Apostle Paul who was bound in prison.

We as Christians can also be refreshed when we hear the good works of other Christians from far off places.

I love to hear the good news of our missionaries when they report the good things Christ has accomplished!

Another man once wrote:

We learn about Christ, by giving to others.
We receive from Christ, by sharing with others.
By emptying ourselves, we can be filled with Christ.
The poorer we make ourselves in giving, the richer we are in the gifts of Christ.
To be charitable, is to know more of the wealth of Christ.

Those that know the most of Christ, are not the Bible scholars, but those who move in generosity among mankind especially amongst the saints of God!

We are servants to the Lord by serving others especially to the Church, the Body of Christ!

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We should be able to rejoice when we see blessings given to other children of God!

We should rejoice when we hear the good news of that missionary we support.

We must especially rejoice for each lost soul that comes to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

If Heaven rejoices for every saved soul, then why would we not join in?

Rejoicing is a sign that our “faith” was real.
Rejoicing is a sign that our prayers are answered.
Rejoicing is a sign that God is fulfilling the promises He has made!

The Apostle Paul could rejoice knowing that even while he was bound, the Word of God could not be bound!

We must rejoice because we are all brothers and sister in Christ, who are all doing “one work” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

So now Onesimus.

*****Phm 1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
Phm 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Phm 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Onesimus, whose name means “useful”, had at one time been a slave in the house of Philemon, maybe before Philemon had come to know the Lord himself.

He had escaped and without a doubt had also robbed Philemon and had ended up in Rome.

We know that God works in mysterious ways and God had directed Onesimus to cross the path of the Apostle Paul.

Paul is saying that as a man, he had no business getting involved in the workings of a slave and his master but as one Christian to another Christian by Jesus Christ , who is all our Master and as an Apostle called of the Lord, he did have the authority of the Lord in such matters.

Paul is saying even with this authority, it was best to honor Christian friendship as brothers with the same Lord!

We should never make demands of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Paul laid all these things out before he made his request to Philemon.

We cannot demand that other Christians do the same as we would do. We can try to keep each other on the right path of Jesus Christ!

Notice how gently and humbly Paul approaches his brother in Christ.

The greatest truth of each Christian is that once the Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us of our sins, how can we as Christians continue to condemn one another? Christ never condemned anyone that loved Him. Those that reject the love of God condemn themselves!

Who are we to question the work of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is for love’s sake that we deal with one another!

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

It seems that we forget that as Christians we are never to tear down one another but rather to build up!

Onesimus was a slave not only to Philemon but in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the law, he had no rights at all!

The slave once escaped did not even have the right of asylum.

Until his death, Onesimus would always be a slave!

An escaped slave, in his despair would normally flee to a friend of his master, not to hide, but to seek intercession on his behalf.

Every slave needed an intercessor! (Sounds familiar)

We were all slaves to sin and separated from our God with no means within ourselves to make things right so we needed an Intercessor and that Intercessor is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Isa 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

There was no one upon this earth who could intercede on behalf of us so the Lord God came Himself, “his arm brought salvation to him”!

The Lord Jesus Christ had been the Intercessor for Onesimus to return him to the good “Grace” of God and the Apostle Paul would intercede for Onesimus between him and Philemon.

The slave of Philemon was now a profitable servant for the Lord and for the Apostle Paul.

Onesimus had not only delivered this epistle named Philemon but he had also assisted Tychicus in delivering the epistle to the Colossians.

Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

We know that all the epistles were read in every church but Paul first sent this epistle to Philemon.

It was the Apostle Paul who had led Onesimus to the Lord even while Paul was imprisoned in Rome!

Another name for Onesimus was “profitable”!

*****Phm 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

I think it is important to mention that slavery was never introduced by the Jews. Slavery already existed in the world of that day and God, through Moses had laws regulating its existence and its evils and restricting its duration.

It should also be important to know that slavery in America was never introduced by Americans.

It was the Afro people who introduce slavery to America, capturing and selling them own selves!

Slavery still runs rampant throughout this world. The most valuable source in this evil world is not drugs but human trafficking!

Nowhere in the Scriptures does God endorse slavery. In fact, stealing a human being to make them a slave was a capital crime for any Jew!

Deu 24:7 If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.

This law was not only for the Jew but for the Gentile:

Exo 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Anyone that was treated as a servant had to be paid and treated humanely!

Lev 25:39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
Lev 25:40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile:
Lev 25:41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

In fact, any person who had sold themselves into servanthood for a price could redeem themselves or they could be redeemed by family or friends which was encouraged by the Word of God,

When we study these things out in God’s Word, we find that the Lord Jesus is in “type” our “Redeemer” who purchased us all from the slave market of sin!

Obviously, the Gentile laws about slaves, differed from the Word of God, but God still expects everyone who places their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be obedient to all laws but first placing the Word of God as the supreme law of their life even if it conflicts with man’s law!

Now back to Onesimus.

In the Gentile nations (God said heathens) there may have been value in a slave because they were purchased but there was no profit in them.

They served till they died or became useless. A slave in bondage did not ever increase in value! The only value was the work that they performed and that decreased as they aged.

Onesimus had escaped and fled from his bondage and had even robbed Philemon of something of some small value.

As Onesimus had fled to Rome, God placed the Apostle Paul in his path and Onesimus called on the Lord Jesus Christ, was washed in the blood of Jesus and was saved and restored to God.

Now could he be restored to Philemon?

There is no Christian who is hopeless and every Christian has great value in the eyes of God and that value increases as we get busy in the work of God!

Mat_6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat_6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

A Christian who begins to be good to himself will then good for others!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Onesimus was “born again” and a changed man!

Jesus Christ changes lives. Jesus takes a good for nothing sinner and makes them useful.

Jesus Christ takes a nothing and makes a something, just as in the act of creating our world when He made our world out of nothingness!

Onesimus had wronged Philemon and it was important to make things right with Him!

*****Phm 1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
Phm 1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
Phm 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Onesimus had traveled with Tychicus who carried the epistle to the Colossians but also the epistle to Philemon, not because Onesimus would not have delivered this epistle but because Tychicus could be another witness to the conversion of Onesimus.

It is said that Tychicus also carried the epistle to Ephesians at this same time. Tychicus was not a Colossian himself.

Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Paul sent Onesimus to be at the mercy of his offended master.

Philemon, without consent of the law could treat his slave as he pleased and he held the power of life and death in his own hands.

That’s what we all do when we bow our knees and repent before the Lord, who also has the power of life and death of us all but He also holds the power of eternal life and eternal death.

A slave who robbed his master and then fled from his master was sentenced to death and we already know the wages of sin is death!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

These are some of the things that make the epistle of Philemon such a great book of the Bible.

Onesimus had become very dear to the Apostle Paul, just as we have to our Father in Heaven toward His spiritual children!

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Onesimus would have been a great help to Paul while he was imprisoned but Paul deemed it more important for him to return to Philemon who he had wronged.

Paul said of himself “Paul the aged” and with his bad health it was certain that he needed some help and Paul knew that if Philemon had been in Rome, he would have gladly stayed with Paul and been his help and so stated.

We can just imagine the Holy Ghost working on Paul as even in prison, he was more in bonds to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ and in his own way, was spreading the Word of God to the far reaches of the world in the only way that was available to him at that time.

The words of Paul by the Holy Spirit added to all the other Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit were the hope of Israel but more important the hope of the entire world!

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.

Just as Paul’s purpose was to bring the “Gospel” to the Gentiles, before Onesimus could go further in his own ministry it was his duty to return to Philemon.

In a sense Onesimus needed the permission of Philemon before he could be of service to the Apostle Paul and at the same time Paul was not asking for his return.

This was not a test for Philemon! This was a chance to show his willingness to show his goodness as a Christian.

For Philemon to get a blessing from the Lord, he could not show the appearance of restraining Onesimus as a slave but as a willing brother in Christ to share the work of the Lord.

It is important for us to restrain from all appearance of any evil doings!

1Th_5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Paul, it should appear that Onesimus was a brother who had departed for a period and had come back home.

We all know the importance of the parable of the “Prodigal Son”!

We were all prodigals before we met Jesus Christ! Onesimus was no different!

These are the thoughts that Paul was teaching to Philemon and more important to all Christians everywhere!

*****Phm 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
Phm 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

One of the greatest problems of Christianity is “forgiveness”. We seem to have very little problem accepting the stranger who we know nothing about their past but we struggle sometimes to forgive those, who God has forgiven but we know a lot about their sinful past.

In this sense, we are just hypocrites.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
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?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

When God has forgiven someone, then who are we to say we will not forgive them!

We also know we should be able to see the truth of them by their works!

We cannot work our way into Heaven but we are to be obedient to the Lord after we are saved and promote the “Gospel” in every way we can.

It is these works after salvation that works toward our perfection!

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

We may think we can have a good relationship with just about anyone but in truth there should no relationship that can be as close as that one between brothers and sisters in Christ!

Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Two people that know and have accepted the Word of God as the inerrant truth, can certainly agree on most everything and develop a good relationship and it should be or “it must” be the same for the entire Christian community.

This is where God’s people have failed the most today!

Everyone wants to interpret the Word of God in their own fashion and ignore what God has really said! It is what God has said that is the truth not those who twist the Word of God into something false!

Onesimus was prepared to accept whatever relationship Philemon offered and Paul was pleading on behalf of Onesimus that his relationship with the Lord would bring about a renewed personal relationship.

Two people with a personal relationship with the Lord should have no problem having a personal relationship with each other!

After all, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is pleading with God and who intercedes on our behalf so that we can have that personal relationship with our God, our Father in Heaven.

Why cannot we do the same for each other!

When we are in the Lord, we are to give our flesh to the Lord as His servant. Not a servant to Him, but a servant to the Church and to one another!

If Philemon counted the Apostle Paul as his partner in the “Gospel” then he should count Onesimus as a partner in the “Gospel” also!

*****Phm 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
Phm 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

Paul was an Apostle of the Lord with all the powers of an Apostle yet he never tried to abuse this power.

God has this simple rule for us all to follow in those who are called to be the Christian leaders.

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.

We are to follow them in “faith” while considering their conversation to see if it lines up with the Word of God!

If it truly lines up with the Word of God then we are to be obedient to those who have rule over us!

Caution: We are never to take the Word of God out of context! We must never allow this power to be abused in any way!

We must also remember once we have been forgiven we are wrong if we are not just as forgiving!

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Philemon certainly did not have to submit to the wishes of the Apostle Paul but in this case Paul was right and again God has given us a great example of the Christian life!

Then Paul said, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;”

There is no doubt that Onesimus had robbed his master and then run away and therefore he certainly had an unpaid debt.

Even we as Christians deserve the debt of our brothers and sisters or of anyone else to us, to be repaid!

God says thou shall not steal and these laws still hold true! We are never to take something that belongs to others!

Paul said he would assume any debt that Onesimus owed to Philemon.

The truth is we all had a debt we could not pay and the Lord Jesus Christ told our Father in Heaven, “just put that on My account”!

1Jn_4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jn_2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We all faced the wrath of God and by the death of Jesus Christ, “in our place”, we that believe have been reconciled to God!

Rom_5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Paul was saying to Philemon, we as Christians all have this same ministry toward one another.

2Co_5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

If Paul could not live what He preached, then none of His epistles could be accepted as the truth.

If is the same with Christ Jesus, if He did not fulfill all the prophecies of the Old Testament and walk in innocence upon this earth, then the Bible would be only an old history book.

If it was the same for Paul and the same for our Lord we can be sure it is the same for us all!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

These are simple things that cost us blessings with the Lord but they ruin our testimony as Christians.

To be Christian is to be like Christ and making Him our Lord!

Joh_13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

If Christ is our Lord then we need to obey the things He has told us to do! (Simple as that)

Luk_6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Again, we should understand the outcome of Onesimus was in the hands of Philemon according to the laws of the land at that time regarding slaves.

Paul dearly wanted to Philemon to make the Christian decision, as the Lord has already justified both Onesimus and Philemon and their sins blotted out in Heaven!

*****Phm 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
Phm 1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
Phm 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

As far as Paul was concerned this epistle to Philemon was also an “IOU”!

Paul made sure his signature appeared on this document as proof of his intent to repay Philemon for his losses.

Paul wrote to Philemon with ink.

The Lord Jesus Christ wrote to His Father in Heaven with His Own Blood!

Act_20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The truth is, in the Colossae of that day, no one in that day would want to be caught with a lawless slave and yet Paul said this is my partner.

The greatest truth in this epistle besides our debt to Christ is, just how much do we owe that person that led us to the Lord!

Another thing Paul was saying that the “born again” man who had returned to Philemon would now not only be profitable to Philemon but also profitable to the Lord!

In truth Onesimus was so much better a slave when he returned to Philemon and he was of so much greater value, that , a debt could be said to be owed to the Apostle Paul.

Again, a true born-again Christian who is now in harmony with our Father in Heaven is of such a great value that the Father may owe a debt to the His Son, Jesus.

Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Heb_1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

And the Father will allow the Church to share in that inheritance and in the glory of Christ!

Heb_9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

If there is one thing we lack today besides “faith” then it would be “confidence” in our brothers and sisters to do the right thing every time!

If there is one thing that each new child of God needs, it is to be received by his brothers and sisters in Christ!

We must also understand that Paul was not accusing Philemon of anything. Paul was trying his best to show his confidence in Philemon and that he would do the right thing.

We must all hope for the best outcome as each child of God goes through the burdens of the world but a brother or sister in Christ should never be one of those burdens.

We are not to think bad about our Church family without true biblical evidence!

A godly love will always cause the right actions!

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

As we can see the Apostle Paul had much more love for each child of God than we can imagine.

It was important to Paul that each child of God do their best to show the love of God in everything they did!

It is important for us to know that no one is excluded from the “Grace” of God, except those who exclude themselves!

No one is excluded from the glory world except those who exclude themselves!

The Lord God Almighty is standing with arms open to receive all those who call upon His name and only those who reject the Word of God will miss His embrace as of a loving Father!

And Paul begins to close:

*****Phm 1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

We know that without “faith” we cannot please God.

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 already know that the Apostle Paul accepted the will of God and moved to wherever the Holy Ghost moved him. Paul had his own plans changed many times, the Macedonian call being the most well-known.

Here the Apostle Paul was showing Philemon his “faith” in answered prayer.

If by prayer Paul was released from prison, he would have loved to come to Colossae just to see the good works of Onesimus!

God had other plans!

In fact, Paul had a great desire to visit all his friends one more time before his death.

Some say after this imprisonment Paul spent some time in Greece, Spain, and Asia Minor before returning to Rome and to his death.

Some say Paul was never liberated and was just put to death in Rome.

Paul realized his time was short before his Roman trip even began!

Act 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

It was in Rome where we hear the last words from Luke.

It is the Book of 2 Timothy that we hear the last of Luke, who kept us informed of the travels of the Apostle Paul. We can just imagine the health of the Apostle Paul by the fact the Luke, also a physician, traveled with him.

2Ti 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
2Ti 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

And Paul closes this epistle to his dear friend.

*****Phm 1:23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
Phm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
Phm 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Epaphras not imprisoned in Rome but still a fellowprisoner in Christ.

It is Epaphras who is believed to be the missionary who had planted the church in Colossae.

This Marcus is the probably the same Mark that was sent home by Paul and the means of the dispute between Paul and Barnabas.

We know this because it was Peter who had led this Marcus to the Lord at a young age, probably a teenage.

1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Aristarchus had been traveling with Paul since his time in Thessalonica.

Demas with Paul now, at this time is the same Demas who had forsaken Paul.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

If the Book of Philemon was written after 2 Timothy then it appears that Demas has been restored, there is no way of actually knowing.

This Lucas is the same as Luke the physician, who wrote the Books of Acts and the Book of Luke and possibly was the writer who wrote down the words of Paul for the Book of Hebrews,

Without the “Grace” of God, supplied through the Lord Jesus Christ, and powered by the Holy Spirit, then there could be no Church!

The true Church consists of those who assemble to worship Jehovah God, who have accepted His Dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and are now in the power of the Holy Spirit.

All others are just fakes!

Amen.

Let’s Pray!

Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River

Book of Isaiah Chapter 66

It has been a great trip through the Book of Isaiah and we only just touched on parts this great book of the Bible.

The greatest understanding, we can have is that our world of today is moving quickly toward the great climax of all the “ages” that God has so methodically laid out.

Anyone who cannot understand that God has systematically laid our creation and the creation of this cosmos and His plan to find a people who choose to spend eternity in the presence of their Creator do not understand our God!

The next thing on God’s clock is the calling out of the Church, then the 7-years Tribulation Period, followed by the 1000 years of the Millennial Reign of King Jesus. Only after these things will there be a New Heaven, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem!

Just knowing the truth of our existence is the first step to bring to us that true peace to the soul!

We know as Christians that there is an awful lot of talk about the Temple Mount and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. It is a fact that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt possibly even 2 more times.

It is a fact that the Lord Jesus will sit on the throne of David and rule this world for 1000 years. Would that throne be inside the rebuilt Temple?
The throne of the Jewish kings has never been inside the Temple!

In fact, what did God say?

Isa_16:5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

When would this take place?

Amo_9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

That day will be the day the Lord returns!

Act_15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

The pure truth of God is that He will never dwell in a Temple made by the hands of man!

A tabernacle is a tent that is not a permanent structure. The tabernacle of David was put up to house the Ark of the Covenant to the Jews and the Mercy Seat to all who will call upon His name.

Understanding the truth of God will certainly bring to us that peace that those who cling to this world simply cannot understand!

Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

Peace like a river!

God may visit this man-made Temple but He will never dwell there permanently!

Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Act 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Act 7:50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

What is the truth of our God?

Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Why will the Lord build a New Heaven? Because sin began in Heaven with Lucifer and it is no longer a decent place for the Lord to present His Church to His Father! Any place that has seen sin would not be a proper place for the Lord to live with His Bride!

Today our Holy God will only dwell in the heart of the believer because each believer is the handiwork of our Savior!

We must remember Isaiah was a prophet of God to give us the truth of our God, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

God lives and dwells in the heart of the “believer” so Heaven is then the place where God shows His “Majesty’!

Psa 145:12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

Jesus said we would all live in the Father’s house in the glorious “majesty” of His Kingdom and Jesus “do not be troubled” about what is happening in this world where we are only pilgrims passing through!

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.

None of these things can be built by man!

God has been very patient during the “Church Age” (which the length of time only the Father knows), to see that all these things come about and when the Church is “jerked out” of this evil world, this will set things in motion that are timed until they reach a point of no time or eternity!

We do not know the length of the Church Age but it is obvious that it is coming to an end.
We know there will be 7 years of Tribulation.
We know there will be 1000 years of King Jesus on this earth.
Then eternity will be a place of no time (time as we know it will end)!

Where is the place that God can rest? (but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word)

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Isa 57:16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

Jesus said: (blessed are the poor in Spirit, “for theirs” is the Kingdom of Heaven)

A “contrite” spirit is in all those who have been beaten and battered by the works of Satan!

The evidences of a contrite spirit are:

1) Deep conviction of the evil of sin.
2) Humiliation for partaking in sin.
3) Sorrow for having sinned.
4) True confession of our sin.
5) Prayer for the deliverance of sin.
6) Being Born Again.

The answer is the Lord Jesus Christ

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.

To tremble at the Word of God is to accept it as the truth even every point of punctuation!

Mat_5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

It seems the modern-day Christian has forgotten many of these things!

Those that go their own way will never get to see the “majesty” of the New Heaven!

*****Isa 66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
Isa 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

God says those that go their own way not having a “contrite spirit” and then try to offer sacrifices to Him are no more than murderers!

We cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in the Church and think we are saved, God says this is an abomination to Him.

Think about all the abominations to the Lord and then include this one to know those whose company you keep!

A dog was considered an unclean animal to eat, though this is done in many places in this world but God will not accept those who are unclean and they will remain unclean until they have a “contrite spirit”, no matter what the false doctrines that are taught today say!

Those who do not have a “contrite spirit’ and make any sort of sacrifice to the Lord are no better than those who worship idols!

God says they have chosen their own way and their own way is the way of delusions!

Have you seen a child pitch a fit because they did not get their way?

This is the world we live in today just check the evening news!

They just getting warmed up for the arrival of the Lord for this will be the way of the lost on the “Day of the Lord”.

They will be delusional, pitching a fit that turns to anger, just because they realize that they have been wrong all this time in defying the Living God!

The truth is everyone will get an opportunity to either choose or to reject the Word of God and His salvation plan.

God says when He called they acted like they did not hear and instead they intentionally did evil before His eyes.

This to, is the way of our world today!

They that deliberately rebel against the Word of God will certainly answer for this terrible mistake in judgment!

*****Isa 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
Isa 66:6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

We must know that any person that goes through the motions of worship but is not submissive to the Lord, will be rejected by the Lord!

God is also making us very aware that the Words spoken by all the Prophets of God are to be considered His Own Words!

God has said this repeatedly!

It is obvious that God is aware that once we accept the Word of God as the complete, inerrant truth and we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the world will hate us.

Many Christians were cast out of the Temple and the Synagogues.
Many Christians were cast out of their nation.
Many Christians were cast out of Rome.

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
Luk 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Today, we know that even in America, the Christian is being asked to leave.

Even this month (08/03/2017) I read where the liberals of the Vatican are condemning the conservatives for not accepting their beliefs.

And this same month (08/16/2017) Putin of Russia declared that the Pope did not follow the Words of the God of the Bible, which in fact is true!

This is the world we live in today.

It is a reality, that if we accept the Word of God as the absolute truth and tremble at His Words, our brethren will hate us and try to cast us out and away from trying to make a difference in this world.

What does God say?

Rom_16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Why?

All we need do is look around and see the things that are done in the midst of us as a people!

All we need do is see what evil teaching is doing to our children and our societies!

1) God says to listen to the state of our society and hear the noise that is coming from our cities and our governments.(In other words just look at the news every day and see the bad news)

2) God says to listen to the twisted words that tickle the ears coming from the pulpits.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

3) God say to take notice of the voice of the Lord, who will bring “judgment” upon these who do such things!

2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
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.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

What else does God say?

God says the He will appear to our joy and it is they who will be ashamed! (This is Spiritual)

God also is referring to the fact that all prophecy will be fulfilled and Israel will be restored! (This is physical)

We must notice how far God allows His prophet to see into the future!

*****Isa 66:7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
Isa 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Isa 66:9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Facts:

1) The day King Cyrus decided to allow the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt, the Nation of Israel was born in one day.

Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

2) The day that the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Church was born in one day and the church can never be destroyed!

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

3) Even with the devastation of Rome that continued throughout history until May 14, 1948, again the nation of Israel was reborn in one day!

4) Even further down the road in prophecy, in just one day that only the Lord knows, there will be a new birth as the Nation of Israel will once again be revealed as the people of God.

King Jesus will sit upon the throne of King David!

Luk_1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

We are foolish not to believe the prophecies of the Word of God and see that God has allowed these men to see farther into the History of this world that we can ever realize!

God simply says that we are foolish if we cannot believe He can cause these things to happen!

God loves the tiny nation of Israel and God loves Jerusalem and God loves the Church!

*****Isa 66:10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:
Isa 66:11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

God shows us Jerusalem (Zion) as a mother mourning for her children to come home.

In fact, we as Christians should all mourn until the joy of Jerusalem takes place.

If we love the Lord, we must also love Jerusalem and all the nation of Israel and rejoice, not only with her today, but rejoice in what lies in her future.

We also know that Zion also refers to the Church and we need to mourn for the Church, as many who say they are of the church move away from the Lord Jesus Christ and travel the road to destruction but we must also rejoice with the knowledge that we know the end of things and we that trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are on the winning side!

The Church will return with Christ Jesus when He comes to sit on His throne in Jerusalem, so we will also be a part of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem.

All that love Jerusalem will rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her now and forever!

This also is a command of God that can help us today!

Psa 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

How can we sing the song of the Lord and ignore His love for Jerusalem?

Psa 137:4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
Psa 137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
Psa 137:6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

Consolations mean, it is in Jerusalem where God’s people will find comfort along with a refreshment of their minds and their spirits, together with hope, joy and courage!

There is coming the day when Jerusalem will again grow from the Word of God!

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Then in the entire world there will be “peace like a river”!

There is no reason for the Church of Jesus Christ not to have that “peace like a river” today!

*****Isa 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

Most everyone finds rivers to be peaceful, I know I do. God created the means for rivers to be that peace for us because again God will always give us example after example in His created world to remind us of the beauty of the spiritual world!

Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

Even all these things are to remind us of our Savior!

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This river also represents prosperity and without teaching a prosperity “Gospel”, salvation is a very prosperous event for every life, some here on earth but especially in Heaven.

It is the peace of God that is a well of water springing up in the depths of the Holy Spirit and everlasting life!

When the Lord sits on His throne in Jerusalem and the Jews have returned to Him after so many years of rejection, then it will be the Gentile nations that have made it through the 7-year Tribulation Period that will dandled on the knees of Jerusalem!

We know that the Church is made up of all nations during the Church Age and return with Christ but these are the tribulation Saints!

The world that remains will know the comfort of a loving Savior in the city that He loves so much!

*****Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isa 66:14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

The one person almost everyone who lives today respects is, their mother.

The Holy Spirit was the cause of the birth of Christ but the virgin Mary was His mother! Jesus had a mother. Even our God has felt the love of a mother!

God clearly understands how a mother can comfort her children and God says He will be that comfort to those who love Him!

The exiles of the Jews will all one day find the comfort of God and they will find that comfort in Jerusalem, the Church will already be there as the Church had returned with the Lord.

We will all find true comfort in the New Jerusalem!

Gal_4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

God is our Creator, our Father, our Savior, our Messiah, and God has more love than we can ever know and much of that love can be described as the love that a mother has for her child.

God describes His love in the most tender and compassionate way that He can!

1Jn_4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn_4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

During the worship service of these Jews, they sang many Psalms and one the favorites in times of sorrow was Psalms 31, a Psalm of David.

Psa 31:10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

God says these things will change for those who love the Lord and those dry bones would flourish like an herb.

In the hand of the Lord is all power! The power of the Father, the power of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Church and those who repent and return to the Lord will flourish in Jerusalem, those that hated God would see that same hand of power used in indignation toward His enemies!

*****Isa 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Isa 66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Obviously, we now see what is the “Day of the Lord”!

The phrase the “Day of the Lord” is found 31 times in the Scriptures.

What will happen in that period known as the “Day of the Lord”?

Isa_13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Many times, the Lord has said that “vengeance was His and the “Day of the Lord” is the period in which the Lord will take His vengeance out on all those that reject the Word of God!

Isa_34:8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

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.

The Lord is very serious about ridding this world of sin!

In the day of Noah, God used the flood waters.

At the end of the Church Age God will use the flaming fire!

The truth of fire is that fire will consume until it runs out of fuel or oxygen is depleted. This fire will consume all the things that are under the power of God’s enemies!

Like a terrible sweeping tornado made of fire rather than wind, this describes the sweeping judgment of God.

Those that rebuke the Word of God now, God will rebuke with fire and His Sword.

We know that from the time of Noah until the day we live now, God has pleaded with sinners using His Words but when the Word of God is unconvincing to some, God will plead with them with “fire”, with pestilence, with blood, things they certainly understand, for they have been the cause of so much of their own misery.

Sadly, the slain of the Lord will be many!

All those who worship in places other than the true Church, will be slain!

*****Isa 66:17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
Isa 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

What is an apostate? In simple terms, they are those who have rejected the Church. The Church is not a building but Christians who profess Jesus Christ to be the Savior to the world and of all mankind.

Or we could use God’s definition in verse 17!

To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’ use. An apostate sanctifies themselves for their own desires regardless of others!

To purify, is to be free from the penalty of sin and can only be done by the Lord Jesus Christ!

An apostate will use their own methods with things that are idols. Idols are anything that come between us and Jehovah God!

These animals mentioned were an abomination for the Jews to consume. An apostate is then anyone who goes against the Word of God!

Note: These are some of the same animals that have been made gods by apostate peoples.
Note: The Philistine, which are called Palestinian today, worshiped rodents.

God says all apostates will be consumed when He gathers them all together.

Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Remember not one apostate can stand before the glory of God and live!

Exo 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
Exo 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
Exo 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Only the “Redeemed” of the Lord can come “Face to Face” with the Lord and live!

1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

God will send them one more sign before all these things happen.

There will be some who repent and return to the Lord.

Rev 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

*****Isa 66:19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

There will always be some who have never heard the Word of God, who will then escape the pollutions of this world and give glory to the Lord in “every age”!

For “whosoever” will call upon the name of the Lord “shall” be saved! (These words will never change but it will always take a pure heart of faith)

It is probable that these are part of the 144,000 Jews set aside for the work of the Lord but they could also be Gentiles converted and become missionaries.

Rev 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

All these nations mentioned are the descendants of Japheth and now another prophecy will have been fulfilled.

Gen 9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

The task of these missionaries is to return all the Jews to their homeland.

*****Isa 66:20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
Isa 66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.

God has made this great promise to the Jews and He will fulfill this promise!

Neh_1:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Eze_20:41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

Eze_36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

It is these Jews who will be servants to the new Rebuilt Temple.

Then the Lord assures all His “redeemed”, Jew and Gentile of our wonderful future.

*****Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

The truth:

The New Heaven and the New Earth will be for eternity before the Lord!

The name of Israel could be said to be “the people who wrestled with God and won” instead of principalities and powers, and rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness!

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.

Here again we see that even when the Lord makes this earth to like the Garden of Eden for 1000 years it will still not be our eternal home!

The Lord will never live where there was once sin. Therefore, a New Heaven and a New Earth will be made by the hands of God!

How can we best describe eternity?

There will not be a moment that we will not worship the Lord?

*****Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

How can we put the meaning of eternity in words so others can understand? Eternity is a never-ending day!

When get to Heave and meet our loved ones they will say it has only been a moment since they arrived they we arrive.

Isaiah says every day in the month will be the same.
Isaiah says every day in the week will be the same.
Eternity is then a never-ending day, a day that has no end!

To the Jew life will become a perpetual Sabbath!
To the Church life will become a perpetual “Lord’s Day”!

It would be unreal to believe that all flesh could gather in one place on this earth to worship the Lord but we can all gather in Heaven where there is plenty of room to worship our Savior and our God!

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.

Jesus Christ did not condemn worship on the mountains if it was directed at Jehovah.
Jesus Christ did not condemn worship in Jerusalem if it was directed at Jehovah.
Jesus Christ said that all who worship the true God of this cosmos must rise above these limitations.

In Heaven, all limitations of worship will disappear!

If you do not like worship then you will not enjoy Heaven at all!

The last days of the Millennial Kingdom will usher in the wonderful gift of eternal life!

At the end of this 1000 years God’s people will be the only members of humanity that is left on this earth except for all those who will spend eternity in the “Burning Lake of Fire”.

*****Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

This will be the place of all those who are apostates!
This will be the place of all those who have rejected the truth of God!

To the Jews, this place was called Gehenna. This was the place where all the filth was cast and consumed by fire that was always burning.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
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.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Notice that their worm would never die and they would suffer through their own eternity.

This is the place of that we as Christians known as the “Burning Lake of Fire”!

Those who are “Born Again” will die once but there will be no “second death” for them!

Those who reject the truth of God will “die twice”!

As we see these things, in fact as we are a part of this “White Throne Judgment” will be the greatest reason God will wipe away all the tears we will shed for those who have missed out on Heaven!

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

This is when we will truly know the peace of God, (peace like a river)

The peace we can have now, knowing we will be a part of this glorious non-ending day!

We now know why Isaiah did not write even more for us.

1) God had given us all we needed for this great prophet of God.
2) Isaiah was murdered for preaching all these words and especially these in the end!

The world hates us for repeating the Words of Isaiah and all the Words of the Scriptures but God says repeat them and repeat them because there are still some who will hear and believe!

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:

It is a sad fact the when the Scriptures of Isaiah are read in the Jewish synagogues, his prophecies are never read by the Rabbis.

Let’s Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and that “peace like a river”!

Amen