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Turning Things Upside Down

SIH STSTA ICONHave you ever heard the phrase “putting the cart before the horse”; or, how about “closing the gate after the horse has bolted”?  Both of these phrases are saying basically the same thing, they are describing putting things in the wrong order.

Another phrase meaning something similar is the phrase “turning things upside down”.  This phrase is speaking of getting the obvious order of things confused and mixed up.

Let’s take time to see how the people of Judah were “turning things upside down”….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 29:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

15) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

16) Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

Isa 45:9-10

Jer 18:1-10

Rom 9:19-21

THE STUDY:

In our text (Isa 29:13-16), we find that the people of Judah were trying to hide their true inward motivations…

Isa 29:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

They were living pious, religious lives but did not love, nor reverence, God in their hearts (vs13).

14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

They thought they were hiding this from God and that they were wise in doing so (vs 14).

15) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Secretly, they lived in opposition to the desires of God for their lives (vs 15).

16) Surely your turning of things upside down

The Lord is confronting them in verse 16, as He states that “Surely (truly), your turning things upside down…”   In other words, He clearly declares they have taken that which was obvious and mixed it all up.

It was obvious God knows all things, including the condition of their hearts.  It was obvious the Lord did not desire outward, hypocritical obedience.  It is obvious that they were exhibiting foolishness and a lack of knowledge of the True God.  It was obvious that they were ignorant of all these truths.  They were “turning things upside down”.

Just like the people of Judah in the OT, the Pharisees of the NT times hypocritically served the Lord as well. (Matt 23:23-33, Matt 6:1-8).  In today’s time there is no difference.  We still have to be on the lookout that we are serving the Lord from a pure heart of love and submission to His will and ways.  (Luke 10:25-28).   This is the only way we can avoid following in the footsteps of the people of Judah and the Pharisees.

But there is more that we can learn from our text…

shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

What they were doing is much like a piece of potter’s clay complaining to the potter about how it was shaped and formed.  Talk about being mixed up!  What right does a lump of clay have to complain to its maker?   Absolutely none!

This applies to each of us as creatures of the Lord.   The Lord is our Creator… because of this, He has a right to make us as He will and to plan a life for us of His good pleasure.  The basic principles of our Creator’s Lordship and Sovereignty over us are spoken of throughout the OT and NT Scriptures…

Isa 45:9-10  – Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! [Let] the potsherd [strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto [his] father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Jer 18:1-10The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter’s hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it];  If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And [at what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant [it]; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

Rom 9:19-21Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

WHEN WE RECOGNIZE THE LORD IS OUR CREATOR, WE ARE RECOGNIZING WE ARE UNDER HIS AUTHORITY AND SOVEREIGN RULE OVER OUR LIVES. This is an extremely important principle… by recognizing His Creatorship we are automatically recognizing His authority over us!

This is why Satan is trying for the world to accept the false teaching of evolution as truth.  By our believing evolution, God’s position as Creator and, by implication, His authority over us is denied.

To believe in evolution is to be in denial of the literal interpretation of God’s Word and the basic attributes of Almighty God. (John 1:1-3, Gen 1:1, Heb 1:10-12)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We are to always remember that we are our Lord’s possession in two ways.  Our Creator (the Lord Jesus Christ) has given us our physical life (at conception) and our spiritual life (when He purchased us on the cross).  As such, we are under His two-fold authority and should be willing to give our all to Him… (words in italics – my insertions):

1Cor 6:19-20 - 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?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (given to us at our physical creation) , and in your spirit (purchased on the cross), which are God’s.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Keep in mind, your physical existence is the result of our Lord’s work of creation (which was begun at conception in your mother’s womb).   Because of this, you are under the authority of Almighty God.

What is your first responsibility to please and serve Him?  Recognizing the sin that is in your life is hateful to God.  And then, based on a heart of sorrow, turn from your sins.

Come before the Lord with a spirit of humility, knowing that you can do nothing to secure His forgiveness and deliverance form your sins.  Come, knowing that He only can bring salvation to you.  Trust in His work on the cross as the basis of your forgiveness and deliverance.  Accept His forgiveness.  Live your life for Him, realizing what great things He has done for you.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 5:3-12 Introduction

(Mat 5:3-12)  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

As we begin our devotions on the Beatitudes, let’s keep in mind the basic theme of our text, it is describing 9 different characteristics of people that are “blessed”.  What do we mean by “blessed”?  The Greek word for “blessed” is describing a person who has received God’s goodness which results in the recipient’s happiness.

We should take a moment today to ask ourselves a question… Are we living a genuinely happy (blessed) life?

If so, we should thank and praise our Lord for the many goodnesses He has given to us this day.

If not, over the next few days of our devotions, let’s pay special attention to what the Word of God tells us about living a blessed life.  The beginnings of a blessed life can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ… it is only through Him that we can find true happiness and peace.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13f

(Mat 6:13)  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Our Lord is ETERNALLY the King of Kings, the All-powerful Lord over all, who deserves all of our praise and devotion.  He always has been, and always will be, the unmatched God of all creation.

His person, His work, and His Word will never change.

Rejoice in Him knowing that we serve an unchanging Lord, who will always work for His glory (and our good) by being faithful to the promises of His Word.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13e

(Mat 6:13e)  For thine is … the glory

The Lord’s “glory” speaks of His person (who He is) and His reputation (His revelation of Himself).

Our God stands out exceedingly far above all mankind. He is the Almighty, Creator, King and God of this Universe. He knows all things, is everywhere present and His perfectly sinless and just.  He is our loving, heavenly, Father who has given His all for us. This is why He is worthy of all of our reverence, worship, obedience, and attention.  He deserves to be at the very center of our lives.  This is His “glory”.

As we enter our day, let’s think about how His majesty and greatness.  Let’s take a moment to dwell on who He is.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Are You An Encourager?

SIH STSTA ICONBarnabas, the missionary companion of the Apostle Paul, is found mentioned throughout the pages of the New Testament Scripture.  Although Barnabas is mentioned several times, little is known about this man and his service to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Barnabas, and his service to Christ, are overlooked subjects lost within the pages of the Word.

The name Barnabas means “son of prophecy”; “son of inspiration”; “son of consolation” or “son of encouragement”.  This name for Barnabas was not his given name, it was applied to him later in life as a description of his life and ministry (Acts 4:36).  Barnabas was a master at giving strength to those who were weary; he helped give hope to the hopeless and accompaniment to the lonely. Barnabas was, truly, an “encourager” above all fallen humans.

By studying the life of Barnabas we will be placing before us the prime Biblical example of giving encouragement to those who struggle in their service to Christ.  Would to God we all could become the “Barnabas” of our day…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Col 1:9-13; Luke 22:31-33; 2Cor 1:3-6; Acts 4:32-37; Acts 9:23-28; Acts 11:19-24; Acts 11:25-26; Acts 11:27-30; Acts 13:3-5; Acts 14:14; Acts 14:11-12; Gal 2:8-13

THE STUDY:

As we study the life of Barnabas, we find several events in his life that help us to understand important aspects of being an encourager…

Event #1 –

The first mention of the events in Barnabas’s life is in found in Acts 4:32-37… here, we find the gifts of sympathy for others in need and a willingness to sacrifice himself for the welfare of others…..

A time of great need had come upon the church members at Jerusalem.  Barnabas, realizing the people’s need, was willing to sell personal property to help the poverty stricken church members…

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid [them] down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, [and] of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold [it], and brought the money, and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet.”

 Event #2 -

The another event in the life of Barnabas displays his willingness to accept those rejected by others.  Also, he made honest, spiritual judgments not being influenced by the judgments made by others.

Here, we find Barnabas willing to stand with the newly converted Saul of Tarsus.  This same Saul was the one guilty of persecuting and murdering Christians in Jerusalem. Barnabas’ trust in Saul, and his conversion experience, can only be explained as a divine act of grace.

Acts 9:23-28 – “And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.  Then the disciples took him by night, and let [him] down by the wall in a basket.  And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.  But Barnabas took him, and brought [him] to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.  And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.”

 Event #3

 In Acts 11:19-24, we see that Barnabas was selected to represent the church at Jerusalem as he visited the newly formed church at Antioch.  This tells us he was a very responsible man who could be trusted in difficult situations.  This speaks volumes about the person of Barnabas. Note how he was described in the later verses of this section of Scripture…

He is described as a “good man” and “full of the Holy Ghost and faith”.  In other words, an Godly encourager must be one that spent his life being beneficial to others; he allowed the Holy Spirit and trust in the Lord to control every aspect of his life.

Also, as we see his actions with the Antioch Christians … he was sensitive to the workings of God in the lives of others, he was joyful to see God at work in  their lives, and he called them to action by standing with them. 

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

Event #4

Barnabas shows his humility by recognizing the need for Paul’s ministry at Antioch. There was no room for puffed up pride in his life.  He recognized that, for the Antioch church’s good, Paul need to minister to them as well as he.

Acts 11:25-26 – “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Event #5

 Barnabas was used as a courier/representative by taking offerings from the church at Antioch and delivering it to the Judaean Christians.  This showed his trustworthiness, and willingness to serve in any capacity where needed to help others.

Acts 11:27-30 – And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Event #6

Barnabas, along with Saul, was recognized as having the calling of God upon him.  This calling of Barnabus, in context, was to a ministry of missions… however, this calling included the  exercise of encouragement during the course of his missionary ministry.

(This is why Barnabas is said to be an Apostle of God in Acts 14:14.  Barnabas never held the office of apostle, however, a wider meaning of “Apostle” is “one called of God to be a delegate or ambassador” or “one called to do the bidding of another”.)

Also, please note that Barnabas was a willing servant of the Lord, willing to do whatever he was called to do.

Acts 13:2-5 – “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.  And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to [their] minister.”

Event #7

As before in event #4, we see the humility of Barnabas, who was willing to take a back seat to the ministry of Paul.  Please recognize, the ministry of Barnabas was JUST AS IMPORTANT as the ministry of Paul. However, Paul’s ministry was a more public ministry that was recognized by many more individuals (“he was the chief speaker” of the two.)

Acts 14:11-12 – “And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.”

 Event #8

 Here we find, perhaps the greatest exhibition of encouragement in the life of Barnabas.  Previously, John Mark had accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys.  John Mark, unexpectedly leaves them at Pamphylia.  As time passes, John Mark desires to rejoin Paul and Barnabas as they begin another missionary journey.  Paul is not willing to take John Mark for fear of him leaving the group again.  Barnabas is willing to give John Mark a second chance at service to the Lord.

Here, we see Barnabas exhibiting forgiveness, the willingness to give second chances, the  recognition that no one is perfect, and the desire to accompany those struggling to serve the Lord.

Acts 15:36-41 – “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;  And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.”

 As time passes, we find that Barnabas made the right decision in trusting John Mark.  We find Paul, in later years, desiring to have John Mark present with him because John Mark had proven himself faithful to the Lord once again…

 2Tim 4:11 – Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Event #9

 Encouragers are not always perfect… their ministry calls them to make judgments about others all the time.  At times, they can make wrong judgments about those they are trying to help… in spite of their imperfections and misjudgments, they continue to serve the Lord and attempt to encourage those who are trying to serve God.

 In this case, Barnabas mistakenly encouraging Peter to bend his beliefs to please other men.  In the context, there erupts a disagreement between Paul and Peter concerning the gospel going to the Gentiles.  At one point, Peter joins with John and James in agreeing with Paul that the gospel should go to the Gentiles… based upon this belief, Peter began to associate freely with Gentiles.  However, when Peter enters into the presence of other physical Jews who disagreed with his beliefs, he compromises his stand and separates himself from the Gentiles in an effort to please the Jews.  This was a horrible display of hypocrisy.  Unfortunately, Barnabas fell into the trap of compromise as well, following the example of Peter.  In doing so, Barnabas wrongly encouraged Peter by following his lead.

Gal 2:8-13 – “(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”

Here are a few more points about being encouragers ….

Additional Point #1

 Godly encouragers point others to the ultimate source of encouragement and strength, The Lord Jesus Christ

Col 1:9-13 – “For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Additional Point #2

 Godly encouragers recognize the role of their life experiences in their ministry. They also recognize the importance of their ministry in the plan of God and the lives of God’s servants.

 Luke 22:31-33 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

2Cor 1:3-6 – “Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation.”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved…

Let us all be thankful to the Lord for the encouragers who have aided us throughout our lifetime of service to the Lord.  Also, let us take seriously, the opportunities the Lord opens to us to be an encouragement to others.  Let us always be watchful for those opportunities and be thankful when we are allowed to help others who are striving to serve the Lord.

For those who have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ…

Do you find yourself in need of encouragement?  Do you miss having someone who will always accompany and strengthen you throughout your walk on this earth?  Then look to the Lord for the forgiveness of your sins and an everlasting presence in your life.

I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you have any questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvaiton with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

————————————————————————

SIH Ministries Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13d

(Mat 6:13d)  For thine is … the power…

The Lord is all-powerful.  The Greek word for “power” is the word from which we get “dynamite”.  It describes the type of power that can accomplish any given task.  No matter how great the need; no matter how difficult the situation; no matter how great the temptation… our Lord can intervene and graciously give us the victory.  What a wonderful Lord we serve!

Are you facing a trial that seems impossible to get through?  Be patient and wait on Him. He will do what is for our good.  When we are unable… He is always able!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13c

(Mat 6:13c)  For thine is the kingdom,…

The Lord Jesus is truly our King.  We are His kingdom.  He is our Ruler… Why?  He has purchased us with His own blood on the cross…

1Pet 1:18-20 (KJV)  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold…19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Let’s remember the great price He has paid for us and our need to allow Him to reign in our hearts.  We are His kingdom and owe Him our everything!…

1Cor 6:20 (KJV) “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13b

(Mat 6:13) but deliver us from evil:…

As fallen mankind, our lives are imprisoned by our own evil sinfulness much like an explorer is trapped and held by quicksand. We are facing eternal, spiritual death and cannot remove ourselves from this horrible situation.  Our only hope of deliverance is found in the Lord.  He is the One that can reach down and pull us out of sin’s punishment, power and even its very presence (in eternity).

Let’s come before the Lord in a spirit of helplessness and submission, realizing, without His intervention in our lives, we are ensnared by our own sinful desires and awaiting eternal ruin.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                              Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                     SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

The Observance Of The Lord’s Supper

SIH STSTA ICONTo those who have requested this information, I hope it helps…This is a typical Baptist church service in which we observe the Lord’s Supper…

The Message: 1Cor 11:20-34 (KJV)

20) When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

Although they were claiming to meet with the intent to glorify God by observance of His supper…

21) For in eating every one taketh before [other] his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

22) What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise [you] not.

They could not have been meeting with the right motives in mind for the supper.

Their actions clearly revealed this… each selfishly ate without consideration of the others.  They brought their own suppers to church to eat in front of others.  Some ate to fulfill their own fleshly desire of hunger, others drank to excess causing drunkeness.  In both cases, this was selfish behavior not behavior that desires the Lord’s glory.

Desires and Intentions are very important in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.  Our motives should be:

vs 23-24 – To remember His physical suffering for us

23) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24) And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Paul’s instructions were based upon the example that Christ Himself set as He led the first observance of the Lord’s Supper.

The bread is symbolic of the body of Christ (His sufferings on the cross).  As we chew the bread it is a picture of Christ’s body being abused, torn and broken on our behalf.  As we swallow the bread it is picturing that His work has been applied to us.

vs 25 – To remember His shed blood for us.

25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

Paul’s instructions continue …

The fruit of the vine is symbolic of His shed blood (His life given on the cross – the life of the flesh is in His blood).  His shed blood is the basis of the convenant of salvation by grace that the Lord has given to us.  As we pour the fruit of the vine from the cups to our lips it pictures the His blood being poured form His body.  As we swallow the fruit of the vine, we are picturing His blood being applied to us.

vs 26 – To remember His death and His second coming.

26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Paul now summarizes what he has covered so far….

A combination of His body being abused, torn and broken along with His blood being shed is symbolic of the process of death that He went through on the cross.

4.  vs 27-34 – To drink of it worthily  

27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30) For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Paul gives ample warning about the need to take care in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper.  To eat of it in an unworthy fashion is sinful and, therefore, makes one guilty of the body and blood of Christ.  He suffered to pay the price for our sins.  Some of those sins He died for were the sins of partaking of the Supper unworthily.

How do we eat of it unworthily?

  1. Selfishly partaking of the Supper by having the wrong desires and motives for partaking of it. (context above)

2.    Selfishly partaking of the Supper by having known, unconfessed sin in our lives, those sins have caused His death and suffering.  Lord sent sinful away before eating.  (John 13:18-30)

  1. a.    Jesus at sop (before Lord’s Supper) says that one will betray Him’
  2. Disciples ask Him who it is…

John 13:26-30 (KJV)

26) Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped [it]. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave [it] to Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon.

27) And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28) Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29) For some [of them] thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy [those things] that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

30) He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Therefore, we are to take time to give all opportunity to examine ourselves to be sure we have right motives and desires in the supper and that we have no unconfessed sin in our lives.

By partaking of the supper unworthily, we are harming ourselves and may face sickness or even death.  This is a big deal, no small issue.

  31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

 How do we avoid this type of judgment, by taking the time to judge ourselves and take care of our known sins, our desires and intentions in observing the supper.

 33) Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

34) And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

 Therefore, we are to make sure we give all the needed time to examine our lives and to prepare our hearts properly for the supper.  No selfishness by hurrying the self examination or fulfilling hunger.

 The Observance of the Lord’s Supper

 

  1. Message
  2. Invitation and Time of      Examination combined
  3. Uncover Table
  4. Read :

1 Cor 11: 23 – 24) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Prayer For Bread
  2. Distribute Bread
  3. Hold Up Bread and      Read:

1 Cor 11: 23 – 24) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Eat Bread
  2. Read:

1 Cor 11: 25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Prayer For Cup
  2. Distribute Cup
  3. Hold Up Cup and Read:

1 Cor 11: 25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Drink Cup
  2. Read:

Matt 26: 29) But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

1 Cor 11:26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Matt 26: 30) And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

 

  1. Closing Prayer of      Thanksgiving
  2. Sing      Closing Song
  3. Dismissal      – Everyone quietly leave church

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:13a

(Mat 6:13) And lead us not into temptation, …

We know that the Lord brings temptation upon no man (James 1:13-14).  In other words, in this section of Scripture, we are saying “Please do not allow temptation to overcome me today.”

Two wonderful principles is brought out by this request:

  1. The Lord is watching over us and protecting us from Satan and His temptations.
  2. Our Lord is in control of the tempter (Satan, demons, and this sinful world) and the temptations that we face.  He will never allow a temptation to come our way that we cannot resist through His grace. (1 Cor 10:13)

Let’s thank Him today for His protecting hand upon us!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                     SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

Reader Appreciation Award – I Thank the Lord for You!

This lovely award was created by Jennifer Avventura and I quote her reason for the award: “I’m giving an award to those who have made this past year of blogging worthwhile. You have kept me on my toes, left comments, advice and tons of encouragement. For this I am grateful. Thank you.”

I was nominated for this award by Angela at http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/.  Angela’s blog has been a constant source of encouragement to me.  Angela is a wonderful lady whose blog glorifies and honors her Lord.  She consistantly honors the Lord by presenting both doctrinal and practical truths for us to live by.

I thank the Lord for her faithfulness and His workings in her life.

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Award your top 6 bloggers who have commented the most.

2. Be thankful.

3. You cannot award someone who has already been awarded. You cannot give the award back to me.

4. Don’t forget to tell the bloggers you’ve awarded.

5. If you don’t want to pass on this award, that’s okay too. Just admire it.

I thank the Lord for the following bloggers who have so faithfully commented on Settled In Heaven Blog…. they are my recipients for this award.  

1.  PJ at pjsprayerline.blogspot.com

2. Paul at http://certaintyofdrawings.blogspot.com/2010/10/caught-up-in-clouds.html

3. Joy  at http://www.2livewithjoy.com/

Let me mention Angela at  http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/ , who has already recieved this award and was the blogger with the greatest number of comments on my blog..

To each of the above… let me say “thank you”!  Your comments and suggestions have been a tremendous asset to Settled In Heaven… May the Lord continue to bless each and every one of you!

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:12

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:12)  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Our willingness to forgive the debts of others is an indication of the Lord’s forgiveness of our sin.  After all, if the great debt of our sin has been forgiven by God… how easy it is to forgive the small debts owed to us by others.

Have we ever experienced God’s gracious forgiveness?  If so, forgive those who are indebted to us.  It is one of the greatest ways we can display Christ and His love to those around us.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                            Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                  SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

Who Is Your Friend?

SIH STSTA ICON“A true friend is worth their weight in gold”, this saying is forever true, no matter how high the price of gold may rise.  A true friend can be counted upon to always keep our confidences, give sound advice, always be there to help in time of need, the list goes on and on.

Even the Word of God addresses the value of friendship when it says in Eccl 4:9-12…

“Two [are] better than one; … For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him [that is] alone when he falleth; for [he hath] not another to help him up. …  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

The Bible continues on the theme of friendship by explaining that there is one friend that we can have in our lives that far excels over any other friend we may have.  This friend is described as “ a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.” (Prov 18:24).   This friend is the Lord Jesus Christ…. “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.” (John 15:15)

In Christ, we find a perfect friend.  Why is Christ the perfect friend for us?  Let’s take time to study what the Word of God teaches us about being friends with the very Son of God.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Heb 4:13-16 (KJV)

13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.

15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

THE STUDY:

Why is Christ the perfect friend for us?  The Word of God gives us the answer to this question in Hebrews 4:13-16 – In this text, we find 4 reasons why we can rely on Christ to meet our every need when we look to Him as our friend.

Reason #1 – He knows us better than we know ourselves…

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Our Lord knows us better than ourselves… He knows our weaknesses, our likes and dislikes, why we do what we do, our needs, what our future holds, and He ALWAYS knows what is best for us.  When we are facing challenging times in our lives, we should run to Him with the knowledge that He knows us perfectly and understands exactly what we are to do.  (Job 34:21, Eccl 12:14, Psa 139:12)

Reason #2 – He takes our needs and requests to God…

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.

Sinful mankind cannot stand in the presence of a Holy God.  This is why Christ’s intercession on our behalf is an absolute necessity.

Acting as our high priest, Christ died on the cross and now through His shed blood , we are found acceptable in God’s sight.  He is now sitting at the right hand of God, testifying that He has taken the punishment of our sins upon Himself, His blood is now covering those sins, and we are one of His people.  (Hebs 2:17, Hebs 7:25, Hebs 9:24)

Reason #3 – He knows what we are going through..

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Christ, who is God Himself, was born into the earth as the Incarnate God.  He did this not only to die for our sins, but also, so that He could share in the experiences of this world.  He faced temptation (Luke 22:28), disappointment and sorrow (Matt 23:37), loss (John 11:35), hunger (Mark 1:12-13), loneliness (Mark 14:34-40)… the entire human experience.  He even knew the feeling of guilt as He bore our sins upon Himself.   This knowledge of our experiences makes Him the perfect One to run to for comfort and encouragement in times of great distress.

Reason #4 – He gives us the ability to come into the presence of our Holy God…

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

With Christ’s blood covering our sin, we can now, as sinful man, enter into the presence of a Holy God. (Hebs 10:19) It is through Christ that we can look to God for the mercy, grace and help to meet our every need in this troublesome world in which we live…

Heb 13:6 (KJV)

6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Oh, what a friend Christ is!

John 15:12-15 (KJV)

12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

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.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:11

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:11) Give us this day our daily bread.

We are a needy people. We need our spiritual bread (an understanding of His Word) supplied to us every day. Because we possess a physical body, we need our daily physical bread (food, clothing and shelter) provided to us as well.

As we enjoy, and benefit, from the daily blessings… Do we recognize they come from our Lord? Do we partake of them with thankful hearts? By taking the time to request these blessings from Him, we are showing a recognition of our need, an understanding of His grace and appreciation for His divine supplies.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                          Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                  SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:10b

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:10) Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

God’s will is perfectly fulfilled in heaven.  What a different world this would be if we all flawlessly obeyed His will on earth!  No more murder, no more thefts, no lying nor deceit, the list goes on and on.

Let’s all pray that His will be done here on earth…. beginning with our own life.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                    Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

Spirits Among Us – What Are They?

SIH STSTA ICONThe belief in the existence of ghosts is on the rise, and no wonder… in today’s world the subject of ghosts has flooded the TV screen. A few of the TV shows that have ghosts as a central theme are: “Ghost Whisperer”, “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Stories”, “Ghosts Lab”, “American Paranormal”, “A Haunting”, “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, “Being Human” the list goes on and on.  One list I found said there are 50 shows currently on TV centering on ghosts.  If you would like to see the list just click here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110628172308AA4hkzC

With the existence of ghosts a major subject in today’s entertainment world, I thought it would be good to look at the truth about ghosts.  The Word of God is the final authority on all issues of life here on earth and in the spirit world.  Let’s take some time to examine the truth about ghosts.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Eph 6:10-12; Rom 8:38; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Acts 26:17-18; Mark 1:23-27; 1 Sam 28:11-20; 2 Cor 11:13-15; Mat 17:1-9;

THE STUDY:

In part #1 of our study we have seen that the Bible clearly tells us that the spirits of those who have died DO NOT return to earth and live among us.   If this is the case, does this mean that the only living beings on earth are human, embodied beings?  Absolutely not!

The Word of God tells us that there is a spirit realm that does exist on earth.  This spirit realm includes Satan and others who oppose the things of God. Also, there are angels that exist to aid and protect God’s people.

First let’s look at those spirit beings that oppose the cause of Christ….

(Eph 6:10-12) – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  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.

(Rom 8:38) – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(2Co 4:3-4) – But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  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.

(Act 26:17-18) – Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

(Job 1:7) – And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

(1 Peter 1:5) – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 As we can see, it is obvious that Satan and other fallen angels are present among us seeking to hinder the Christian’s walk with Christ and keep blinded the eyes of the lost world.

Keep in mind angels are spirit beings (do not have fleshly bodies)…

(Heb 1:13-14) – But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

(Psa 104:4) – Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

(Job 4:15-21)  Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:  It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,  Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?  Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:  How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?  They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.  Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Based on the above we can see that elect and fallen angels (including Satan himself) are spirits that are present on the earth with us.  The existence and ministry of these beings explain many of the references to “angels”, “spirits”, “ghosts” and “demons” that we find in the Bible….

(Mat 14:24-27) – But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

(Luk 24:36-40) – And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

Note in the above references, the followers of Christ understand that spirit beings (fallen angels) do exist on the earth… Christ Himself affirms it by saying “for a spirit has not flesh and bones” .  he did not say, “there is no such things as spirits on the earth.”

Here are a few other, among many, verses that speak of fallen angels being active among mankind on earth…

(Jdg 9:23) – Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

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

(Mar 1:23-27) – And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

There are two events in the Bible that seem to teach that the spirits of dead men did appear to those still living on the earth…

(1Sa 28:11-20) – Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?  And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:  Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.  Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.  Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Did Saul actually see Samuel or a demon masquerading as Samuel?  To answer this question we should turn to ….

(2Co 11:13-15) – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

The Lord would not have blessed the sinful efforts of King Saul by sending the genuine Samuel to deliver the message from the Lord.  This is simply a demon masquerading as Samuel to deceive Saul.  For an in-depth study of this Biblical event please look at my blog entry located at: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/halloween-part-4-%e2%80%93-the-necromancy-symbols/

Finally, the transfiguration of Christ is brought up as proof that spirits of dead men live among us…

(Mat 17:1-9) – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah was a “vision” that Peter, James and John saw.   The spirits of Moses and Elijah were not on earth in actuality… they were simply a part of a vision that helped Peter, James and John see:

1. the importance of the OT law and prophets

2. Christ was the fulfillment of the law and prophets (ie He was the True Messiah)

3. a glimpse into what eternity will be like for all who have trusted in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We must realize that those who have died do not return and live among mankind on earth.  We should also understand that spirit beings do exist among us in the persons of elect and fallen angels (called spirits, demons, angels etc.)  We are in a spiritual war and must be certain we are prepared on a daily basis wearing the armor of God that He has graciously given to us. (Eph 6:11-18)

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

There are spiritual powers that exist in this world that incredibly dangerous to man.  To dabble in the spirit realm through channelers, Ouija boards, Satanism, Spiritism etc. is incredibly dangerous for Christian and non-Christian alike.

It is only through looking to the Lord Jesus Christ can we find protection and safety from the spiritual powers of darkness that are around us.  Look to Christ for salvation, protection and eternal security in Him.  (1 John 4:4)

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:10a

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:10)  Thy kingdom come.

Do we desire for God’s kingdom to come?  If so, we are telling Him that we are willing to submit to His will and desires for our life.  We are saying, Lord, I desire for you to be the King of my life and reign in the world around me.

Are we willing to follow His leadership, as the Lord speaks to us through His Word?

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                       Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:9c

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:9c) Hallowed be thy name.

The term “hallowed” refers to “one that is set apart from all others”. Jesus is stating that the “name” of our Heavenly Father is so pure, and special, it is set apart from all others.

The name “Heavenly” reveals to us that He finds His origin in heaven.  He is not of this earthly, sinful world.  His existence is that of eternal perfection far above all mankind.

The name “Father” teaches us that He is the Beginning (Creator) of all.   Also, it helps us to understand that God possesses a love for all which is demonstrated by His care of all creation.  This is in addition to His greater redeeming love He holds towards those he has chosen to save.

Today, let’s praise our Lord for being who He is … our perfect loving Creator who reigns from the heavens!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                     Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                  SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:9b

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:9b) Our Father which art in heaven….

Remember, when we pray, as Christians, we pray to our Heavenly Father who loves and  genuinely works on our behalf AT ALL TIMES…. He will always give us what is best for us.  If the request is not received, it is only because it would harm us.  If the request is postponed, it is being delayed for our benefit.

As we pray, let’s always remember we are praying to One who has a perfect love for us… we can rest knowing He is in control, He knows what is best for us, and He will always bring it to pass.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                           Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 6:9a

SIH TOTT ICON(Mat 6:9a)  After this manner therefore pray ye:…

As our Lord begins to instruct us on the content of our prayers, He makes it certain we understand that His instructions are not to be repeated word for word in a vain routine.  The Greek word for “manner” puts forth the idea of “following this pattern” or “in this fashion”.

In the preceding verses, He especially emphasizes this principle by saying …”But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

As we enter into our day and come before Him in prayer, let’s always keep in mind that our prayers should be sincere and personal, flowing from our hearts in an individualized fashion.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                   Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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