Rebuilding The Walls of Jerusalem

Rebuilding the Walls

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 2:9-20

In last week’s lesson we met a Jewish man named Nehemiah who was born in captivity in Babylon. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar had taken most of the Jews of Jerusalem to Babylon after he had destroyed the city.

Nehemiah had never seen the city of Jerusalem but there can be little doubt that his parents had told him of God’s city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had great concern for those who had returned to Israel because God had softened the hearts of King Cyrus and King Darius and they had helped financed the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon that had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Nehemiah was just a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes, who was now the King of Persia and he had learned of the turmoil of those who had returned to Jerusalem and he approached this king to release him long enough to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so his people could be safe from the neighboring enemies.

King Artaxerxes gave permission Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem as long as he would return to his job as his personal cupbearer. A cupbearer could be considered today as a butler.

Nehemiah was given documents of proof of his mission, access to the king’s forest and an armed escort for the trip to Jerusalem a 900-mile trip that would have taken at least 3 months.

So let’s pick up our story where we left off:

*****Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Many good things had not taken place in Jerusalem because of a lack of leadership. Ezra had done what he had set out to do. The work on the Temple was completed and worship and the festivals where being observed but the city lived in fear of the neighboring enemies.

As things improved in Israel and the land began to blossom, the enemy began to take notice and began to hinder the lives of the Jewish people.

We must understand that the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem would not be something that would be allowed by most conquering nations because, if rebellion came again it would take much time to regain control of Jerusalem, but King Artexerxes allowed this to take place because he knew the enemies of Israel and refused to allow these things in his kingdom. Again another type!

The name Jerusalem means the city of peace but there will be no true peace in Jerusalem until the return of the Messiah.

We can think of those enemies now as Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon who still cause problems for Israel.

They did not want Israel to remain a nation then, and they do not now.

They were pained to see someone come to seek the welfare of these Hebrew Jews. They did not know at that time that Nehemiah had come to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

We have no recording of the trip of Nehemiah, so we know it was without incident.

What we do know is, that King Artaxerxes cared for his cupbearer so much, for the safety of Nehemiah that it would have been foolish to confront this armed escort that was with him.

These governors were no more that puppet rulers who could have been quickly removed and replaced had they caused them harm.

So Nehemiah came to Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
Neh 2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

After three day’s rest Nehemiah secretly looked at the task that needed to be done in secret, at night by the light of the moon.

He could not make plans until he evaluated the job that had to be done.

Nehemiah did not bring a large workforce, he would have to present his plan to God’s people to get this work done.

This is the same thing God does today. God does not have a work force, He presents His plan to God’s people.

Nehemiah was in love with Jerusalem and he had never even been there.

This is the way the church should be today!

We may never see this Jerusalem but as Christians we will see God’s New Jerusalem!

What does God say about these things?

Psa 51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Psa 51:19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

The walls of Jerusalem are as much about the city as the city of Jerusalem itself!

The walls would be built, and the gates would be repaired.

All those who reject safety and security of their nation, are no more than ambassadors for the enemy.

*****Neh 2:13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

Let’s look at these gates:

1) Gate of the Valley was the gate that opened to the Valley of Hinnon. In the days of King Solomon this gate led to where children were sacrificed to the false gods Molech. No Jew would enter at this gate because it was considered to be unclean.

It was King Josiah who finally broke down these false gods!

2Ch 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
2Ch 34:5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

No one seems to know exactly where the “Dragon Well” was located though most of them believe it was the well that fed the “Upper Pool of Gihon”. Maybe the same as the “Serpents Pool” mentioned by Josephus.

2) The Dung Port was the gate where all the trash and the filth of the city was taken out of the city. It was located about 1500 feet from the Gate of the Valley.

*****Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

The Gate of the Fountain was the gate nearest to the Pool of Siloam which is also called the King’s Pool, some say this was the only true well in Jerusalem, others say it was probably the aqueduct built by King Hezekiah to bring the waters of Gihon into the city. This Gihon was a fountain near the city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had to walk for a time because of the rubbish that was gathering where this gate once stood, his horse could not pass for that rubbish.

*****Neh 2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
Neh 2:16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

The brook would be the brook Kidron, which carried the filth of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea when the rains came, but from there Nehemiah could see the Eastern wall and then he returned to get his horse.

When Nehemiah had gotten to Jerusalem, there was no sign of anyone being in authority and he did not try to contact anyone to see who might be in charge.

It was possible that there was a sort of town council.

It was only after Nehemiah had surveyed all the walls that he confronted the residents of Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

As Jerusalem had begun to grow into a city, they were at the mercy of their enemies who lived around them.

We know that as always, the rich survive but the poor are always at risk!

These words of Nehemiah brought assurance to these people and they went to work building the walls of the city.

Building the walls just seemed like an impossible task, but when you take a great big job and break it down into many small jobs then it no longer seems so impossible.

Jeremiah had described these things for us:

Lam 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lam 2:6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
Lam 2:7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
Lam 2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

All these things that Nehemiah described were the things that God had allowed to happen to Jerusalem and the Temple, because these people had gone against the commands of God!

Eze 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
Eze 5:16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
Eze 5:17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

These people did not need a reminder of the conditions they had to live with.

What they needed was encouragement and “faith” in God that they could change things if they would become obedient to the Lord!

The one thing that we so easily do is to forget we serve an almighty God, who is able to provide our needs and keep us safe from our enemies.

What are we supposed to do?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What will God then do?

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

*****Neh 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

When we witness to others, we need not tell them how great we are because we are a Christian, we need to brag on God.

We do not brag on God near enough today, yet God still loves us!

It is because we are obedient to God that things that most all things are better for us!

If these people would trust the Lord God of Israel, then they would be unstoppable in this world.

The hand of God was good on Nehemiah or how else could he have gotten favor with this Persian King.

We understand that the Lord works upon the hearts of people and just hearing again, “How Great Thou Art”, they quit being lazy believers and became obedient working believers.

All in all, God does not ask much of any of us! He asked us to believe Him and to do that we must accept that (all), (every word) of God is true!

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.

Pro_30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luk_4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

When we say we trust God, then we are saying that we believe what He says, each and every word!

We should remember that caution in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Ezra had made sure these people had the true Word of God and it was time for them to get busy for the Lord.

Again, God will not do for us things we can do for ourselves and there is no need asking.

If we are too lazy to do things that we are physically and mentally able to do ourselves then God will not help with those things.

God does the things that are impossible for man to do!

These people were in jeopardy for their lives because they were too lazy to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.

God sent a man of God, Nehemiah, to remind them of these things.

And of course, the enemy is always watching what God’s people are doing!

*****Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

A Horonite was known for their anger and fury and Sanballat had those qualities. These are some of the things that God says will cause us to sin.

Tobiah was a descendant of Lot and they have always hated the children of Israel, because they still thought that Lot should also receive the blessings of Abraham, but God does what God does and God says what God says, none of these things kept them from being blessed of God, but hatred and anger will never be qualities approved of God.

At this time this Geshem was the Chief of all the Arab nations, and through today the Arabs hate all the things of the Jews and would see the tiny nation of Israel disappear from the face of the earth, but God will not allow this to happen and those that defy God are foolish!

These Hebrews were not going against the King, in fact they were doing things that the King of Persia had already approved, so this time these Hebrews ignored them as they should have all along.

Nehemiah assured God’s people that if they were obedient to God, they did not have to worry about the King of Persia and in fact it was these trouble makers who had better worry about what the King of Persia might do to them.

We need some more men like Nehemiah today to challenge the Church to be obedient to the Lord!

As true believers, we also must challenge and exhort all others to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and join the family of God.

To be honest, God is not impressed with lazy Christians!

When we live self-centered lives instead of God-centered lives, we are most always in jeopardy of getting caught up in the sins of this world!

What are we to do?

1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

We are all to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

We are all to to be present in the House of God when the time comes to do so!

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This is the truth of God, and it is the truth of our salvation, because we are in the family of God and it is still time for us to take a stand on God’s Word without worrying about what the enemy will do!

Our wall is the Lord Jesus Christ and He opens one gate and that is the gate of “FAITH”!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Trust In The Lord

Trust In The Lord

Psalms 11:1-7

Today we will begin a 6 month study in the Book of Psalms.

Psalms are “praise hymns”.

In fact the Psalms were lyrical songs that were to be sung to a musical instruments.

The Book of Psalms serves as the songbook to Israel in their worship of God.

The Psalms are God’s Inspired Hymnbook!

In these “Inspired Songs” we will find the works of God.

We will find the wisdom of God along with the thoughts of God.

We will find the prophecies of God along with the prophecies of the Son of God, as a babe and of His return.

We will read the personal thoughts and the confessions of many of the writers such as King David.

We will even read where many requested to see God’s wrath upon His enemies and our enemies.

We have in the Book of the Psalms, songs from Moses and from many other writers such as David, Haggai, Ezra, Zechariah and there were others.

The Bible is a collection of many books written by 40 different writers across at least 3 continents over a period of more that 4000 years.

The one Book of Psalms is a collection of Spiritual Songs that span more than 1000 years.

All the books of the Bible have one thing in common, they will all lead you to Jesus Christ but also of importance they are all in harmony from the beginning of Genesis to the last written Word of God, in the Book of Revelation.

It is believed that it was Ezra who gathered all these songs into one book, which we call the Book of Psalms.

King David is known as the sweet psalmist of Israel because he wrote at least 73 of the Psalms in this book and by some estimates, many of the others.

The Book of Psalms is the largest book in the Bible and contains 2453 verses.

Psalms 119 is the longest book of the Bible with 176 verses.

Psalms 117 is the shortest book of the Bible with only 2 verses but is not short in importance:

Psa 117:1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
Psa 117:2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 118:8 is the middle chapter in the Bible and the very middle of the Bible verse 8 clearly states the central them of the entire Bible.

Psa 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

It is far better to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ than to place your confidence in anything in this world!

There is no greater truth in the Bible than these words!

There is no created being that is greater than our self-existing Lord.

The New Testament is full of quotes from the Old Testament with 283 direct quotes but 116 of those quotes are from the Book of Psalms.

Jesus said we could not know everything about Him unless we included a study of the Book of Psalms.

Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, “and in the psalms, concerning me”.

This Book of Psalms has been a great comfort to God’s people and this great book of the Bible still brings great comfort to those who read it today.

To many people this is their most favorite book of the Bible.

Even after we have spent 2 lesson quarters in the Psalms we will still have only touched parts of this book so we need to learn that word so often seen which is the word “Selah” which is seen 71 times in the Book of Psalms and means “stop and think on that”.

As we study the Psalms, “we need to stop and think on them and their message”!

We should also make note that the Psalms were sung accompanied by musical instruments.

1Ch 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

Musical instruments and singing have been a big part in the worship of the Lord for several thousand years. Worship is not to be dull and boring but full of spirit and praise, for we serve a Mighty God.

The style of music may vary from church to church but all music within the church should be to praise the Lord, touch the hearts of the believer, and uplift the worship service!

Gospel music by it’s title means to proclaim the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

The church is never to be a place of entertainment, but only a place to worship God but still according to the scriptures.

Church music and church songs must be scriptural!

Our first lesson is titled “Trust In The Lord”.

What do we mean by the word “trust”? It can mean confidence. It can mean to care. It can mean to believe. It can mean depend on or to rely on.

The Bible teaches us to place our trust in the Lord because we simply cannot trust ourselves nor any other human being in our walk with the Lord Jesus.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

There are only two ways to go through this life.

1) We go through life with God believing on things we cannot see.

2) Or, we go through life without God believing on the things of this world.

Most of those in this world will fail because they cannot see past the end of their own life span!

So lets begin:

*****Psa 11:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

Throughout the Bible we are told that the chapters and verses were separated by ancient Bible scholars but that is not the case of the Psalms.

The verses themselves maybe have been labeled but the chapters are basically the individual songs of those that wrote them.

That phrase “to the chief musician” refers to the choir director or the music conductor.

We see that this was a Psalm of David and David wrote more than half of the Psalms, therefore we get this scripture.

2Sa 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and “the sweet psalmist of Israel”, said,
2Sa 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

David was remembered for many things but God made sure for us to know that this mighty man of war who had shed much blood was also the “sweet psalmist of Israel”.

We next see the title LORD in all capitol letters.

There should be no doubt in our minds that it is the Lord who is our refuge at all times but especially in times of trouble!

When we see the title LORD in all capitol letters, the Bible is speaking of Jehovah, the Almighty God.

The Jews would write this title as YHWH or JHVH or with vowels added Yah-weh or Jehovah.

When we see the title Lord with just the first letter capitalized in the Bible it usually refers to Adonai or the Supreme Master.

When we this title written lord with all small letters it means someone with absolute control or a ruler over others such as slaves.

The Bible records that the Philistines had five such lordships.

The Palestinians along with many others still allow men to be lords over them in our day.

But many of the Jews even in our day hold the name Jehovah in such high regard they will not pronounce it aloud for fear of using God’s name in vain.

And just to throw this in, Allah is not Jehovah.

Allah is the god of the Muslim.

“Allah” comes from the Arabic word “elah”, which is any god or some thing that is worshiped.

This word (elah) can be made plural (gods), as in “aleha” and it can be male or female just as the word “god” in English can be “goddess.”

“Allah” comes from “elaha” but it needs more clarification and understanding.

Allah = Has no gender (not male and not female”He” is used only out of respect and dignity – not for gender)

**********(Jehovah is always male in gender, It is Our Father who is in Heaven)

Allah = Is always singular – Never plural *”We” is used only as the “Royal WE” just as in English for royalty.

*********(Jehovah is always plural and consist of Our Father who is God, The Holy Spirit who is God, The Son, The Lord Jesus Christ who is God, The Tri-Une God not three Gods but One God in three persons, Elohim)

Allah = Means “The Only One to be Worshipped”

*****(Jehovah is the True God who only deserves our worship)

There is a move by so called religious groups to convince the world that The Muslim, The Jew, And Christianity all worship the same God.

This is a lie of Satan.

There are many who will try to convince you that Allah and Jehovah are the same but that cannot be true because to the Christian, Jesus the Christ is LORD and the Living God.

The Muslim do not accept that there is a Son of God and they refuse the Godship of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus Christ is not Allah and Allah is not Jesus Christ!

The Jews are still blind(according to the Bible) to the fact of The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

All others including the Muslim are blinded by Satan.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The Bible is very specific on this issue!

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 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.

The Jew are still looking for the Messiah to come.

The Muslim are still looking for some messiah to come.

The Christian know the truth that the Messiah has come and He was Jesus the Christ!

We simply should not be deceived as there are many today trying to link Christianity, Jewish, and Muslim under one and the same God and this is simply a lie just as the Apostle John says it is.

We either trust all the Word of God or we trust none of it!

It is in the Lord Jesus Christ we must place our trust!

And it is this the only Lord who can and who will be with us in all our troubles just as He promises us!

Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

And just as a fugitive runs for the hills, or a soldier seeks safety from the enemy, every child of God should seek the Lord as the place for protection!

The Lord is our only refuge!

When we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior there is no need to flee like a bird to some mountain to hide, we must flee to the LORD.

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.

But evil will always be the enemy of God’s people.

*****Psa 11:2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

The wicked of this world are always ready for action against the Children of God!

If you haven’t figured it out already, the world looks upon a righteous man or woman as someone to take advantage of!

They slander them with their bows in their hand.

Bows were a weapon of war in the time of David but this bow is referring to deceptive and destructive words.

Psa 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, “whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword”.

That word “for” means because we trust in the Lord and not in the ways of evil men.

That word “privily” means “in darkness”. Our enemies will be treacherous in all their actions but they always try to hide behind the ways of the world.

That word “shoot” means they have no fear of God and are morally wrong. They are wicked to the core and they know what they are doing, they just refuse to see the truth of God.

The blindness of all those who remain lost will end in their own destruction.

Pro 4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

*****Psa 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

There are four obvious foundations that every human being can build onto which will guarantee the best possible life we can have.

1) There is the foundation of “faith”.

“Trust” in the Old Testament relates to “Faith” in the New Testament.

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

When we allow the foundation of “faith” to be destroyed, those that do right will loose hope.

We cannot please God without faith.

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.

2) There is the foundation of “honesty”.

Honesty is conforming to justice. Remember the just shall live by “faith”.

Honesty is fairness, in all transactions, upright in all decisions and conforms to justice.

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

3) There is the foundation of “Moral Integrity”.

It is the laws of God that must be the basis for our morals.

We simply cannot allow the world to dictate the morals for society!

Integrity is wholeness!

Integrity is pureness!

Integrity is genuine!

Integrity is a sound mind, moral soundness, and incorruptible by God’s standards!

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

4) There is the foundation of “truth”.

Truth is conforming to the facts.

Truth is conforming to reality.

Truth is in accordance with that which is, that which has been, and that which shall be!

Jesus said:

Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Jesus also said:

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.

And Jesus said all these things are of God:

Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

If your life is not what you want it to be, then you have weak foundations.

All four of the foundations we have discussed are things that each of us can do!

In fact these are things that we must do!

We can build a strong working faith in God by examining the evidence for His existence.

This wicked world continues to attack these foundations with worldly wisdom that is not from God.

The evidence of God begins with His Creation and God created all things by Jesus Christ!

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:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

We already know that without “faith” we cannot please God.

The truth of Creation is recorded for us in the Book of Genesis. This is the foundation for the rest of the Word of God, and the faith and the practices of each Christian.

While the world keeps up the attack on God’s people, the ungodly world is trying to systematically destroy the truth of Creation by the “Design Of God”.

Evolution has dug it’s way deep into society and even as this false theory is defeated over and over again with the truth, the Evolutionists have gotten control of the education systems of this world and are teaching a false science that goes against the Word of God.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

If we allow these foundations to be destroyed within ourselves then it is certain there will be no place for the righteous!

But it is the Lord who sits on the throne in Heaven and will not allow this to happen.

*****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.

Unless you are having that rare perfect day in your life, all you see around you are problems.

I don’t know if at any other time in history that the world seemed to have as many problems as we see today.

The one thing we cannot see in our world is the answer to these problems.

So where do we look? We Look Up!

When we have trusted the Lord, the place to look for answers is up because Our Lord sits in His Holy Temple.

The Bible teaches us with these words.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

From His position in Heaven, Our Mediator can see everything!

And this holy temple is the same place where the Lord went to prepare us a place.

Jesus said:

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.
This holy temple is none other than the Father’s House!

It is in the Father’s house where we find the throne of God.

Psa 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

**It is Jehovah God who is the final authority of our world!

It is the Lord who is able to control all the events that are happening on this world!

When things happen on this world it is because the Lord has allowed them to happen.

The Lord Jesus is “omnipotent”! God is all powerful and can do anything that is consistent with His own nature. God will never go against His Own Word, but His Word will be fulfilled just as He states it!

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

**It is Jehovah God who has all knowledge. Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven in His glorified body so it is His eyes that can behold all things.

The Lord Jesus is “omnipresent”! God is everywhere present in All Power, in His totality at all times.

In His humanity Jesus is localized in Heaven but in His deity Jesus is present everywhere.

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

**It is Jehovah God who can feel the things that we feel. It is His eyelids that try the children of men.

The Lord Jesus is “omniscient”! God knows all things that can happen and all things that will happen, past, present, or future.

Jesus knows whats in the heart of every man and the Lord will test each man’s faith.

*****Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Why would the Lord put trials on the ones He has saved?

The Lord tries each of us so He may do us good in the latter end.

God provides opportunities for us to show our faith!

Deu 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, “to do thee good at thy latter end”;

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

God goes beyond to furnish us with everything we need to survive this cruel world and along the way He will send some trouble so we can be fine tuned for the tasks that lie before us.

God never wants us to fail and we cannot fail in His eyes, we can only fail ourselves in our own eyes!

The trials of our faith are only temporary and even the worst of them will only last a short period of time.

But this is not so for the wicked!

This not so for those that love violence!

The wicked are all those that are morally wrong.

Those that love violence are all those that love to be cruel. These are all those that would be bullies!

The world is more full of bullies who would have things their way, than it is full of racist.

Our government is more full of bullies than it is racist!

As the Holy Ghost led David to write these things we get to see how God will deal with the wicked and violent people who reject the Word of God and have made themselves gods.

*****Psa 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

1) God will rain down fire and brimstone upon them.

Where do we find some examples?

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Isa 30:33 For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

Rev 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

2) There will be a terrible storm upon them.

Where do we find examples?

Psa 18:7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

What is a Simoom?

This is a very hot, dry, suffocating and dust-laden wind that blasts across the African deserts, notably in Arabia, Syria, and neighboring countries generated by the extreme heat of the parched deserts or sandy plains. It can form into whirlwinds. It is one of the briefest winds and lasts only 20 minutes but can carry mounds of dust and sand that it has scooped from the desert floor. This is one of the winds that reshapes the desert and the sand dunes.

3) They will drink of the cup of God’s wrath.

Where do we find examples?

Psa 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

If we could a picture all these things happening at the same time we should know that the “day of the Lord” will not be a good day for all those that have rejected the Word of God.

But God has better plans for those who love Him.

*****Psa 11:7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

C. H. Spurgeon wrote “Upon the roses of grace grow the thorns of justice”

Justice is God’s plum line!

If you walk on the wrong side of God’s plum line you will see judgment.

If you walk on the right side of God’s plum line you will have justice.

Isa 28:17 “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet”: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Our righteous Lord could not be righteous in “Justice” if He were not also righteous in “Judgment”!

The plum line that God uses is His Written Word He has given to us!

What does God have planned for those who choose the right side?

The righteous shall see the face of God!

For God to turn His face away is to reject us but to look upon us with delight is to receive His blessings!

Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Because Our Lord Jesus is also the Creator it is only He that has the absolute right to decide “Justice”.

Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.
Pro 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

Jesus said we will all suffer persecution at some level.

Jesus said the world we live in will only grow worse not better.

We must see these threats for what they are and the only place to flee is the mountain of comfort which is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be our foundation in this life!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Believing The Bible

Believing Biblically

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we should be looking for one thing.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This is believing Biblically!

In our lessons we have been seeing ways to improve our walk with the Lord.

Many places in the Bible will teach us how to better serve the Lord but the bottom line is that looking for Jesus Christ to return to take us home is our greatest encouragement to living a life dedicated to Him.

We need to live our lives with the expectation of seeing our Lord.

We should be filled with joy continuously with this thought and the reality of it.

This is the medicine we need when we are having that bad day.

There is nothing wrong with this being the topic of our conversation!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is only after the Rapture of the Church that it will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Jesus is coming and we will be going and only then will the Lord begin again to deal with Israel.

Israel will go through the 7 year tribulation period but not the Church!

So Paul continues:

*****2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Paul is writing this epistle to erase any doubts and any confusion this church may have had about the return of Christ in the two separate events. (The Rapture and The Second Coming)

Paul will go further to explain the time of Christ’s return and place it in it’s proper light.

Paul is not referring to the day Christ came as a babe born in Bethlehem.

Paul is not referring to the day of the Lord when Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem.

Paul is referring to the day Christ will gather His Saints in the clouds!

Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in “the day of Christ”, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

The “day of Christ” is the day of the Rapture.

The “day of the Lord” is the day the Lord returns to this Earth at least 7 years after the Rapture.

This also the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and Israel will be saved out of this tribulation to begin the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Paul is speaking to saved people as these things only concern saved people.

It is these saved people who gather together unto the Lord and have been commanded to gather more often as they see the day of the Lord approaching.

Paul said we must consider and learn all these things before we get so shook up worrying about God’s day of wrath.

Let the world concentrate on the day of God’s wrath and we concentrate on the day Christ Jesus will gather His Church!

For the Church, we should be looking for that “Blessed Hope” and not the “wrath of God”!

The Bible teaches us these things for a specific reason.

*****2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

We sometimes have poor memories. Paul had tried to make himself clear in his first epistle but through false teaching or a letter from some other source than Paul, these people had gotten confused and were shaken in their minds.

When they found themselves going through such bitter persecution and in their many troubles they felt that they had missed the Rapture and were already in the “day of the Lord”.

They had lost sight of the truth!

When we lose sight of the truth of the Word of God, we will get confused!

The Lord will definitely return with His mighty angels but not till the Church has been removed from this Earth!

We must not be deceived.

*****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;

The “day of the Lord” cannot begin until the Church has been gathered to the Lord!

There are some things that must take place before the Second Coming of Christ!

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

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

What is the “falling away”?

A “falling away” is a defection from the truth. A falling away is a turning away from the teaching the sound principles of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Not one soul that believes on the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ can be lost but much teaching today denies the fundamental doctrine of the “Gospel”.

This was occurring even at the time of these Thessalonians and this was the reason Paul was writing this second epistle.

Many who claim to be saved today do not know what to believe in and to doubt in the truth is to remain lost!

In the Book of Revelation this is called the doctrine of the Laodicean Church.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

When this teaching reaches it’s full fruition the Lord will return.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When the Lord Jesus cannot enter any doors He will call His Church out of this world!

Jesus said:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

That “falling away” actually means “standing away” and on the day of the Rapture, the Church will stand before Christ at the “Bema Seat”.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The 7 year tribulation period cannot begin until after the Church has been removed and it is only then that the “Man of Sin”, the “son of perdition” can be revealed!

This a fact of the Scriptures!

That “man of sin” is called the “son of perdition” because of his being fully energized and control by Satan and can be said to be the “son of the Devil”.

When we look back we have one example who was named Judas.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and “one of you is a devil”?

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the “son of perdition”; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: “but woe to that man” by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

This same person is called the “Antichrist”.

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Just as Judas was antichrist there were many others but the true Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church.

This is the same prince that shall come in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of “the prince that shall come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

This is the Beast of the Book of Revelation.

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

His true identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church and soon after that the first half (3 and one half years) tribulation period on this Earth will be begin.

This is the 70th week that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

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.

The second half of the tribulation period (The Great Tribulation) will begin when this Antichrist sits on the throne in the rebuilt Temple of God.

*****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 Apostle Paul clearly understood all these things and he was trying to keep the “Gospel” simple for these Thessalonians.

This Antichrist, the son of Satan, will be the leader of a worldwide global religion that is against all the Word of God.

This will consist of all false religion that is left behind after the true Church has been removed!

This is the false king of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

This evil son of the Devil will take this opportunity to speak to all those that are left behind by speaking great words against the Most High God.

He will win many over with his “God given” powers.

Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

He will proclaim himself to be God to all those that are left behind.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

We must remember the things that are taught in the Word of God and not from those that teach a false doctrine.

*****2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

Wherever Paul preached he declared the whole counsel of God.

Just like these Thessalonians, we listen to others who only preach what we want to hear or just tickle our ears when we truly need to the truth of God in it’s entirety over and over again.

As faithful as these Thessalonians were they did not study the Bible as they should have and none of us do!

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There are no secrets in the Bible “that we need” during the Church Age that are hidden! Everything we need to know is in the written Word of God!

Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

The Word of God is perfect now.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

So what restrains the man of sin from being revealed?

It is not in the power of governments that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of social structures that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of man-made laws that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is only by the work of the Church that follows the whole counsel of God that can hold back this evil Antichrist!

The true Church would point this man out immediately and he would lose some of his power!

Evil in our world is growing because so many places of worship avoid teaching the whole counsel of God as the truth!

It is the influence of Christians in this world who, not only win others to Christ Jesus but who are the salt of this Earth and the light of this world!

This only happens because each Christian is indwelt and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church that prevents the revelation of the Antichrist!

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

The “mystery of iniquity” is the exact opposite of the “mystery of godliness”.

What is the mystery of the godliness?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The “mystery of godliness” is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and delays and hinders the “mystery of iniquity” which is the Antichrist, the “Man of Sin”.

That word “let” means the Holy Spirit will “make late” and will not “permit” the Antichrist to reveal himself until He (The Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.

When will the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way?

Paul has been teaching the Rapture of the Church. The Church has no power without the Holy Spirit.

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

When the Church is removed from the Earth there will be no one left on this Earth who will have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist evil.

There will be no one left to witness for Jesus until God begins dealing with Israel.

The Holy Spirit is not removed, it is His influence on evil in the world through the human beings that follow the Word of God, that will be removed. It is the Church that has been removed.

The Holy Spirit will not be restraining the forces of evil as He is today through true Christians!

This is when the “son of perdition”, the “man of sin”, the Antichrist will be revealed.

*****2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This evil man will have 7 years to claim to be triumphant!

He will be lawless. He will set himself above the laws of God and also the laws of man.

He will have certain powers given to him by God.

Rev 13:5 And “there was given unto him” a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and “power was given unto him” to continue forty and two months.

Rev 13:7 And “it was given unto him” to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and “power was given him” over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

After these 7 years the Lord will destroy him with the “sword of the Spirit” from His mouth.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

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.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

In our day and for many years, many Christians have sought for “signs and wonders” to increase their faith.

Jesus preached against these things.

Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

It is obvious that the danger is very real of being led into a false doctrine and not in the “Saving Grace” of God.

It already estimated that 80% of those that say they are Christian will slide off the pews into Hell.

Satan and his false prophets are also able to shew “great signs and wonders” but these are “lying wonders” intended to mankind into a false worship of this “Man of Sin”.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, “they shall deceive” the very elect.

How are these things avoided? By receiving and accepting the truth of God.

*****2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What is the truth of the “Gospel” and the entire Word of God?

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.

Those that refuse this truth before the “Rapture” of the Church, will “perish” into eternal damnation under the rule of the “Man of Sin”.

There will be no second chance after the Church has been taken out of this world for anyone who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Word of God.

God is sending His Word around the world as time goes forward and with the technology of today surely the Word of God can reach into all places.

Behold, now, today is the day to believe!

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.)

Now, before the Rapture of the Church, is the accepted time to to be guaranteed to miss eternal damnation.

Christ Jesus has made this to be such a simple thing.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

Because they have rejected the truth of the Word of God they will have missed their opportunity to be saved when the Church is taken out!

*****2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A merciful God will withdraw His mercy from these that have rejected Him because they received not the love of the “truth”.

The “truth” is still the “truth” even when no one believes it!

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

What is strong delusion?

“Delusion” is the misleading of the mind.

What is the lie that Satan has told from the beginning of sin?

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and “ye shall be as gods”, knowing good and evil.

That “lie” is the idea that man is his own god and can do whatever he pleases without any judgment!

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.

All those who have refused the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be given strong delusion by God Himself when the “man of sin” is revealed and they will believe Satan’s lies.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Now we are foolish to believe that the Holy Spirit will not convict souls to be saved after the Rapture of the Church.

There will be those that never had the opportunity to understand and receive the “Gospel”.

There will also be those Jews who will then see the “light of the Gospel” once the Church has been removed!

Souls will be saved during the tribulation period!

Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Most of them will have died as martyr’s!

Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

**And there will be a great many saved BUT not one individual who has rejected the Lord Jesus during the Church Age and is alive during the 7 years of tribulation will get another opportunity to be saved because they will believe the lies of the Antichrist, the lies of Satan!

All those that did not believe the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be damned to eternal damnation.

Even during the tribulation period salvation can still only come by Jesus Christ!

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The names of those that die before accepting the Lord Jesus Christ are not in this book of life.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

The names of all that worship the Antichrist are not written on this book of life.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life” of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Why should we be so thankful? Because from the beginning this has been God’s plan.

God has never had to piece meal a plan together, God has always had this plan!

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

God has had this plan from the beginning to save every soul He created!

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The means of salvation was decided before God spoke His first words of Creation in Genesis 1:1.

Those that are saved are called when they hear the “Gospel”, believe the truth of the “Gospel” and are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart by walking in the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.

It is only these who have believed who will one day be “Glorified”!

How was this plan accomplished for these Thessalonians?

Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

And there are always those that will reject the “Gospel”.

Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Jesus said:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

God will provide this opportunity to every human being that has been born on this Earth!

God already knows because God knows the beginning and the ending of us all!

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Therefore because these things are true.

*****2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Traditions can be either valuable or they can cause harm depending on whether they follow the Word of God!

The New Testament Church was barely 20 years old at this time and there were only a few books of the New Testament written.

The Word of God was taught according to the Doctrine of the Apostles.

Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These teachings are the “oral traditions” that Paul was referring to.

To deviate from this “Doctrine of the Apostles” caused confusion in the early church, until all the books of the New Testament were written and then there would be no more “oral traditions” of the Doctrine of the Apostles it was this doctrine that has now been written down for them and us all.

We now have the complete Word of God and Jesus has these words as John last Apostle has written.

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We can be established if we adhere to the Word of God!

*****2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and “good hope” through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

All these things have been provided for us by the “Grace” of God and by God’s salvation plan, and they all come through Jesus Christ!

We must go through Jesus Christ to reach God, Our Father.

Why?

Because He has given us everlasting comfort, and not just hope but “good hope” because He loves us.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Don’t you just love the Word of God and the Truth of it?

God’s Word is not confusing!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!