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SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:40-41

1Cor 15:40-41  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  (41)  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 

Paul continues describing our resurrection body using common comparisons from nature. In this case, he is using two different examples of the heavenly and earthly bodies…

  1. In his first example, Paul reminds us that the spiritual bodies of the angels “bodies celestial” differ from the fleshly bodies of humans “bodies terrestrial”.   This comparison helps us to understand that the glory of our resurrection bodies will be far greater than the glory associated with our human, sinful bodies that are broken and tarnished by sin.   Like sinless angels bodies, our resurrected bodies will be bodies of perfection not touched by sin, death nor the ravages of sickness and aging.
  2. In his second example, Paul shows us the basic principle of differing levels of glorification. This is illustrated by the differing levels of light given off by the sun, stars and the reflected light of the moon.  All three heavenly bodies shine forth light in the midst of a blackened outer space.  From the sun pours forth the greatest amount of light, while stars give forth a lesser amount.  The moon, although it does not give off light of itself still reflects light into our world.  In each case we have a differing amount of “glory” given off and yet none of them fail to be glorifying to God.  So too, the bodies of angels, glorified bodies of humans and fleshly bodies of humans.

We need to remember, just as our resurrected bodies will glorify Him someday, we should be striving to glorify and honor God in our fleshly bodies by living our lives for Him.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:39

1Cor 15:39 –  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 

Paul continues describing our resurrection body by using common comparisons from nature…

The differing types of flesh that exist instruct us on the nature of our resurrection bodies.  There are differing types of flesh that exists in the world today.  We all recognize that that are 4 basic types of flesh: human, animal, fish and fowl.  What does this teach us about the nature of our resurrection body?  The key phrase in this section of teaching is “not the same”.

Our resurrection body will be quite unique:

  1. First of all the COMPOSITION of our resurrection body will be “not the same” as our human fleshly body.  It will be changed.  It will be “glorified”.  It will not be touched by sin, sickness, or death.  Just like the composition of a bird’s flesh is not the same as the flesh of humans, animals or fish…. So too, the composition of our bodies will be different.
  2. Secondly, the APPEARANCE of our resurrection bodies will be “not the same” as the appearance of any other believer’s glorified body. (vs 38).  Although we will all be glorified, each of our bodies will carry in them differing characteristics.  Just as in our fleshly bodies.  Although we are made of the same human flesh we possess differing characteristics.  Skin color, height, weight, hair color, the lists goes on and on.  In some way, the appearance of our glorified bodies will be different one to another. This is supported from the example Paul gives us… although animal flesh is the same, every animal appears different from one another.   One dog differs in appearance to another, although both have the flesh of dogs on their bones.

It is a hard thing to try to understand what our resurrection bodies will be like.  Why?  Because they are “not the same” as anything we are familiar with here on earth.

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

The Ministering Spirits of God

Did you ever feel alone in this world?  If you are a Christian, there are many reasons why you can know that you are never alone.  The Lord promises that He will come and dwell with all those that place there trust in him (John 14:16-20).  Also, the Lord promises His people that they are in the hand of the Father, He will be always watching over them protecting and keeping them (John 10:26-29).

So for the Christian, knowing that we have our Lord dwelling within us (in the person of the Holy Spirit) and knowing that we are always protected in the hand of the Father, results in our assurance that we are never alone on this earth.  Even when it appears as if the entire world has forsaken us, we know that our Lord will never turn from us. (Hebs 13:5)

However, there is another reason why we can rest assured we are never alone on this earth.  In the little read book of Zechariah (and several other books of the Bible),   we find that God has sent His ministering angels to oppose the forces of evil in this sinful world.

SCRIPTURES:

Zech 1:7-11 (KJV) 7) Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which [is] the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8) I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white. 9) Then said I, O my lord, what [are] these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these [be]. 10) And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11)  And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

Zech 6:1-8 (KJV) And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass. 2) In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3) And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4) Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord? 5) And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6) The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7) And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8)Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

Dan 10:10-14 (KJV) 10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands.  11) And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12) Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13) But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14) Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days.

Ps 103:20-21 (KJV) 20) Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21) Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Heb 1:7-14 (KJV) 7) And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire……. 14) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

THE STUDY:

Twice in the book of Zechariah we find references to angels sent by God to minister to His people.  The first reference is found in Zechariah 1:7-11…

7) Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which [is] the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

8) I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.

9) Then said I, O my lord, what [are] these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these [be].

10) And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11)And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

Here we read of God’s ministering angels described as a “man riding on a red horse” being followed by many other horsemen.  The angel explains to Zechariah that “These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.”    Please note that the phrase of walking to and fro through the earth is not only used to describe the ministry of God’s angels, but also of the workings of Satan, the fallen angel opposed to the will and ways of God (Job 1:6-7, Job 2:1-2).

Why would the ministry of God’s angels be similarly described with the workings of the chief fallen angel?  I believe, it is to help us understand the correlation between God’s angels and the angels working to oppose God.  There work is similar yet in direct opposition to one another.

It is made clear throughout Scripture that there is a spiritual warfare taking place on this earth.  This warfare involves the powers of darkness (Satan and other demons, as well as the other sinful forces in this world) versus the powers of light (The Lord, his angels and the powers that are working for good) (Eph 6:10-12, Col 2:13-15)

One of the great reasons that God sends His angels to work for Him on the earth is to intervene and hinder the workings of the powers of darkness.  We can clearly see this in an account found in the Book of Daniel…

Dan 10:10-14 (KJV)

10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands.

11) And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

12) Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

13) But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

14) Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days.

Please note that, here a messenger (perhaps an angel), sent from God to deliver a message to Daniel, is stopped by the “Prince of the Kingdom of Persia” a wicked King that was led by the powers of darkness.  (Some believe this is a description for Satan himself).  Anyway, do you notice how Michael, an angel from the Lord, was sent to intervene on behalf of God’s messenger?  This allowed the messenger to continue on his way and bring God’s words to Daniel.    This is a clear example of an angel of God intervening and helping mankind in the war against the powers of darkness.

Zechariah’s other account of God sending His angels to aid man is found in Zech 6:1-8 (KJV)…

1) And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass.

2) In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;

3) And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.

4) Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord?

5) And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.

6) The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.

7) And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.

8)Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

Here, we can see the Lord sending forth His angels to minster to man throughout the earth.  The Lord says that His spirit had been quieted as a result of their ministry.  What did the Lord mean by this statement?  Ezekiel 16:42 helps us to understand what is meant by this phrase…

(42) So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.

According to this verse, to quiet the spirit of God is referring to dispensing His judgment against wrongdoing, thereby allowing his just, holy, righteous spirit to be at rest within Him.

Not only does He send His angels to protect and keep us, but also to punish those who are opposed to His people and His will for the earth.  These are the two great reasons for the sending of His angels to earth. These two purposes are both mentioned in Hebrews…

Heb 1:7-14 (KJV)

7) And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire…….

(14) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Here, His angels are described in two ways…. ministering spirits (ie those who care for his people) and ministers a flame of fire (ie those who execute his punishments upon those who are opposed to His people and His will)

Once we understand these two truths, other verses about His ministering spirits take on a more clear meaning for us all….

Ps 103:20-21 (KJV)

20) Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21) Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

For those who have been saved by God’s grace, there is no reason to feel alone anymore… you have the indwelling Spirit within you, you have the Almighty God holding you in his hand… and you also have His ministering spirits sent throughout the earth to protect, care and control the situations surrounding you.  You truly are not alone.

If you have not been saved by God’s grace, look to him for your salvation.  You too can then claim the blessed promise that you will never be alone.

If you have any questions about salvation, 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 continue to have 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 salvation 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.

————————————————————————

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: 1 Cor 15:35-38

1 Cor 15:35-38

(35)  But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  (36)  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:  (37)  And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:  (38)  But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Verse 35 – Paul begins a lengthy section (vs 35-50), to answer the questions… “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?”  In this section, the answers are given to us using the example of seed sown in the ground.

Verses 36-37 – When seed is sown in the ground the outer shell decays, during this process you have the new sprout growing up through the earth and presenting itself in a new, entirely different form.  So, too our bodies.  They will decay in the grave, only to rise again in a new form…. a changed body.

Verses 38 – Who is in charge of the form a plant takes on during its growth?  It is the Lord only.  A grain of wheat, when sprouted, will always look like a wheat plant.  When corn is planted it will always sprout as a corn plant.  A farmer cannot change the type of sprout each seed gives forth… it is ENTIRELY in the hands of the Sovereign Lord. Also, no two sprouts of wheat, or corn, are completely identical; each seed gives forth an unique sprout. So, too our Lord gives each of us unique bodies at the resurrection.

What are the first principles we learn about our resurrection body?

  1. It will come from the fleshly body that has suffered decay.
  2. It will not be identical in composition or appearance to our fleshly bodies… it will be a changed body.   (For the saved it will be a glorified body, for the lost it will be a body capable of existing in a state of eternal punishment.)
  3. It’s appearance and constitution will be controlled by the Lord.
  4. It’s appearance will be distinctive, differing from all other resurrection bodies.

What a wonderful body awaits us thanks to our Sovereign Lord who is victor over sin AND DEATH!

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

The Two Resurrections Of Believers

One of the greatest promises that we, as believers in Christ, have given to us is the promise of the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies.  Just think about it, receiving glorified bodies that are no longer affected by sin nor sin’s affects (sickness, pain, temptation, weakness, death etc etc)!

But did you know that the resurrection and glorification of the believer’s body is preceded by another type of resurrection that every believer experiences? Let’s take a few minutes to look at the “first” resurrection of believers.

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 5:24-29 (KJV)

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

THE STUDY:

Here in our text, we find Christ describing the physical resurrection of the believer’s body being described.  This resurrection will take place at the 2nd coming of Christ.  Please notice, not only is the resurrection of the physical body being described, but the Lord is also describing a spiritual resurrection that takes place at the time of the believer’s conversion.

John 5:24-29 (KJV)

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The first resurrection of the believer is a resurrection of His soul. This resurrection gives to the one who is dead in trespasses and sins spiritual life.   Note that Christ tells us that this resurrection takes place as the result of our hearing His word and then placing our trust in the Lord. This is the essence of the salvation experience for fallen man.  By hearing the gospel message which tells us about Christ and His work, and then placing our faith in the God who gave us the gospel message we will receive everlasting life.  This is the first resurrection.  This resurrection is also explained by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1-7….

Eph 2:1-7  And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;… Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

To be spiritually dead implies that we are unable to do anything to merit or gain salvation of our own ability.

It is much like a person who has died of asphyxiation.  They can have an oxygen mask hanging next to them, but if they are dead, they can do nothing to bring the mask to their face and receive the life-giving oxygen.  For someone who has died of asphyxiation what must take place?  Another person must take the mask, place it on their face and then proceed to give them CPR if that person has any chance of having life restored to his dead body.  In other words, they cannot save themselves but are totally reliant upon the intervention of another for any hope of life.

It is much like that with our salvation.  We were dead in trespasses and sins, undeserving of salvation and unable to do anything to save ourselves.  Yet, our Lord, by His grace, saw fit to intervene in our lives bringing us to Himself and saving us from our sinful state.  He raised us from the tomb of our sinful, spiritually dead condition and resurrected us to a new life in Him.

What a wonderful gift of grace!  To graciously give those who are dead in sins, spiritual life! How wonderful it is to know that we have been spiritually resurrected.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

The Lord now helps us to understand that the resurrection for the believer has a present age and future age aspect to it…

In this present age (“the hour now is” ) the spiritually dead individual will hear the voice of the Son of God (His call to salvation) and shall live (receive spiritual life).  (Eph 5:14, Ro 6:4, Col 2:13, Rev 20:3-6)

At the very end of this age (“the hour is coming”) the dead body of the saint that is in the grave will hear the voice of the Son of God (at His second coming).  At that time, the body will be resurrected from the grave, glorified, and meet the spirit of the believer which has been abiding with Christ in heaven. (1 Cor 15:42-54, 1 Thess 4:14-17, Phil 3:21)

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

God the Father, being God, needed no one to give Him life.  He possesses life in, and of, Himself.  The Son, being God, also needed no one to give Him life. This is one of many proofs that we have of the deity of Christ.  Not only does He possess life in Himself, but He is the One who is the source of all life.  He is the Creator of all and it is through Him that we receive both our physical and spiritual life.  (John 14:6, John 1:1-4, John 17:1-3)

27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Not only is Christ the Giver of Life for all mankind, He is also the Supreme Judge over all.  Christ will exercise His authority to give life to the resurrection body and judge mankind at the same moment in future history.

The resurrection of the bodies, and the judgment of the lost, are linked together in many passages of the Scriptures (Matt 16:27, Matt 25:31-46, 2Thes 1:7-10, 2 Tim 4:1)  This principle of the unity of the future resurrection and judgment is addressed by Christ in the last two verses of our text…

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

We should not be amazed at the coming future resurrection of our bodies.  After all, which is more miraculous, giving physical life to a dead corpse or giving spiritual life to the spiritually dead who are undeserving of spiritual life?

We are told here by Christ that one of the results of the resurrection of the bodies of all mankind will be their judgment.  Whether lost or saved both must give an account of what they have done with their life on earth.  For the saved, our judgment will involve the receipt (or loss) of rewards based upon faithfulness in opportunities that arose for service (Luke 19:16-26, 1Cor 2:12-15, 2 Tim 4:7-8). For the lost their judgment will be based upon their dead spiritual condition and their lack of faith in Christ (Matt 25:30, Matt 7:21-23, Rom 2:13-16) .

Rom 2:5-10  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  (7)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  (8)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  (9)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  (10)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

As Christians we should ALWAYS be thankful for the first resurrection that has taken place in our lives.   By His grace, we have been resurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life.  This first resurrection is one of the proofs we have that our physical bodies will be resurrected from the grave to spend eternity with Him.  Out of a heart of appreciation, let’s be sure we are living a new life in Christ… old things are passed away… behold all things are new.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Without the first resurrection taking place in your life, there will be no second resurrection leading to an eternity with the Lord.  Examine your life in the light of the Scriptures.  Recognize you have sinned against Almighty God.  Turn your back on your sin, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Trust in Him and His work on the cross to pay the penalty for the sin that you have committed.  Trust in Him, submit to His Lordship and you will be saved.

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.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

http://sih.posterous.com/

http://www.squidoo.com/settled-in-heaven

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.”

Thank You To All

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the followers, readers, commenters and re-bloggers of the SIH blog for all your kind words and encouragement to me.  Yesterday was a very blessed day for the SIH blogsite.

Along with the review by Citizen Tom, I received several very encouraging comments on how the SIH blog has been a blessing to others.  The Lord continues to bless the SIH blog site with continually increasing number of hits and visitors. Yesterday was a record setting day for the website.  We had more hits, and more visitors to the blog than any other day in its history.  I only speak of this to bring honor and glory to the Lord for His grace and mercy He is showing to the blog.

When I began the blog about 2 years ago, I simply wanted to share God’s Word to others in an understandable fashion and to be a source of spiritual strength for those seeking the Truths of His Word.   This blog has been dedicated to the Lord from day one.  If there is anything good that comes from this blog, it is only because of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  From my Lord’s grace comes my physical and spiritual life.  Whatever small ability I may have to understand and then communicate His Word to others is only by His unmerited blessings that He has placed upon me.  I can truly affirm Christ’s teaching that “Without me (Christ) ye can do nothing.”

Not only do I thank the Lord for His intervention and grace in my life, I also thank Him for the wonderful followers, readers, commenters and re-bloggers that have graced the SIH blog.  I hate to begin to attempt to list them by name for fear of missing someone, however, I do see a need to recognize those who have been special sources of encouragement to me.

Approximately 2 months ago,  Evelyn Goh, a wonderful Christian lady and founder of the Christian Blessings Blog ministry, invited me to post my blog postings to the CB site on a weekly basis.  This has opened up another opportunity for SIH Ministries to reach others for our Lord.  I thank the Lord for Evelyn and the CB ministry. The Christian Blessings Ministry is a blog that is composed of several different bloggers who present God’s Word in a very understandable, practical way.  At Christian Blessings you can be exposed to different opinions, and presentations of God’s Word. You can read all about the Christian Blessings ministry by clicking on this link: About Christian Blessings

Also to Jon and Lisa Cardwell at Justification By Grace – I would like to thank Jon and Lisa for the wonderful review they did of SIH blog.  It was a great blessing and encouragement to me, and much appreciated.  I have become acquainted with the blogging ministry of Jon and Lisa for only a short period of time but I can truly say it is one of the most Scripturally sound blogs I have seen.  Along with Jon’s messages, they include the writings of many of my favorite authors.  Some of the authors they frequently post are CH Spurgeon, John Bunyan, John Newton, Robert Murray M’Chenyne etc.  You can count on reading authors that only hold to the belief of salvation by grace. In my mind, it is one of the best websites I’ve seen to learn more of God’s Word and the wonderful gracious salvation that He offers to us.

Some of my “encouragers” have been faithful followers for quite a long time…. They include:

PJ at PJ’s Prayerline – PJ was one of my first followers and commenters and she continues to do so today.  Her website is devotional in nature. She includes her personal experiences and opinions along with the Scriptures to point out many practical points about service to the Lord.  Although, I cannot say I agree totally with doctrinal beliefs, from a practical, daily Christian living standpoint, her blog is a true blessing to any who read it.

Angela at  Meeting In The Clouds  – Angela used a combination of true stories, illustration and art to present the principles from God’s Word for daily living. Through her postings that Angela presents the Word of God in a very understandable, sound manner.  It is always a blessing to see the unique way that Angela presents the Word.

Paul at  Certainty Of Drawings – Paul uses art to illustrate principles from God’s Word.  I am not, by any means an artist, nor do I appreciate art as I should.  However, from the first time I saw Paul’s art, I found myself amazed at his artistic abilities.  Once again, I have to say that I may not fully agree with a few of Paul’s beliefs, but certainly, this blog will be a blessing to any who appreciate art and the Word.

Some of my newer followers whose comments and words of encouragement have been an added blessing to me include:

Granbee at Granbee – Although one of my newer followers, Granbee has become one of most frequent commenters.  If you visit her website, you will find a unique combination of Bible verses and poetry that work together to present principles from the Word.  Granbee amazes me with her poetry for it is very unique, using fictional characters to illustrate the Scriptures for each day.  If you have an interest in poetry, I know that you will enjoy her blog.

Debbie at If Today We Hear – Debbie is another one of my followers that uses a combination of poetry and the Word to present spiritual truths.  I really enjoy the way that Debbie chooses a set of verses for the day, she then finds an important truth in those verses, clearly states it and then presents a poem to illustrate it.  I visit Debbie’s blog everyday, normally when I need a quick break from my tasks for the day to get my mind on the Lord and His Word.

Patricia (LoopyLoo) at  My Blog – On “My Blog” Patricia presents a wide variety of postings that range from video sermons, Christian music videos, news and political events of the day, and short devotional writings, among others.  When I visit her blog, I have found myself staying for a good amount of time browsing all the different material she has posted.   This is another website that is great just to give you a break from your routine and maybe listen to a song or short message from His Word.

Added to this list are my Facebook, Twitter and Youtube friends who have been great sources of encouragement as well.  Thank you all so much for your kind words.

Again, I am sorry if I have missed anyone. Please forgive me. And thank you, to all who have been a part of the SIH ministry.  May the Lord bless you as you study His Word.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:33-34

1 Cor 15:33-34 – Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Are we concerned about the influence of others in our lives?  Paul addresses the Corinthians reminding them of the need to guard against the effects of ungodly relationships on the lives of Christians.  Satan is the “great deceiver”.  This is one of the ways he attempts to deceive us.   According to Paul, as Christians, we are to “wake up” and be sure our lives are being lived in harmony to God’s will, not being influenced by the ungodly.

Why is godliness an important aspect of the Christian’s life?  There are many people around us who do not have the Lord in their lives.  They do not see their need of Him, nor do they understand who He is and what He does for us.  The lost one’s only hope is to see Christ in us and come to an understanding of Him through our lives.

According to Paul, for a Christian to minimize the importance of living a godly life is a shameful attitude.  Are we seeking to live our lives for the Lord today?

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

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

Citizen Tom’s review of Settled In Heaven Blog

I would like to express my thanks to Citizen Tom for reviewing and reblogging the SIH blog posting “Kidron: The Death Valley In The Bible”.

I very much appreciate that Citizen Tom understands my intent for the SIH blog … it is “not trying to find something new in the Bible. He is just trying to explain what is already known”   That is my desire for the blog to simply help each one of us to better understand the teachings of God’s Word.

Again, I want to thank Citizen Tom for the very kind review.  To see it in it’s entirety just click on the link… http://citizentom.com/2012/03/24/kidron-the-death-valley-of-the-bible/.

Also, let me just say that over the past several weeks since I have found Citizen Tom’s blog I have enjoyed it greatly.  In his blog you will find postings about the founding of our great country, the intent of it’s founders, the role of religion in it’s founding.  But Citizen Tom doesn’t stop there.   He includes posts about the current affairs of our nation,  and many of the dangers we now face as a once “nation under God”.

I would heartily recommend Citizen Tom’s blog for a better understanding of the history and current condition of our great nation.  Thank you Citizen Tom for the effort you put forth to help us remember what our nation is truly all about.

May the Lord bless each one of us who are concerned about the welfare of our nation and desire to see it returned back to a nation in alignment with the intent of it’s founders.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:29-32

1 Cor 15:29-32  (29) Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (30) And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?(31) I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (32) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.

Paul continues his argument to prove the existence of the resurrection and the eternal afterlife..

To understand what Paul meant in these verses we must understand several points in the context of Paul’s questions:

  1. Remember,  one aspect of baptism is that it is a public profession of Jesus’ death,      burial and resurrection. Three of the main results of baptism are:
    1. It benefits the spiritually dead (lost mankind) by presenting a witness of the work of Christ. (vs 29)
    2. It reaps eternal rewards for the Christian by obeying Christ and associating themselves with Christ and His work. (verses 30-32)
    3. An unintended result was to bring persecution upon the Christian. In the days of Paul, when they associated themselves with Christ (by baptism) they were, literally, taking their life in their own hands.  (verses 30-32).

By putting the above information together, it leads us to a proper understanding of Paul’s statements. Paul is saying this…

Verse 29 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be putting their lives on the line (at their baptism) for the benefit of those who are spiritually dead?  If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why be concerned about the lost’s spiritual condition? Why sacrifice the Christian’s safety to give the lost a witness of Christ’s work through baptism?

Verse 30 & 31 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be willing to risk their lives (at their baptism) to obey their Lord? How can Christians rejoice in the midst of persecution if it were not for the hope of a resurrection and afterlife?

Verse 32 – If there is no resurrection, instead of willingly making sacrifices for their God and the lost around them, why doesn’t the Christian “live it up”? What advantage is there to serving God in this life, if we will not be blessed with rewards and an eternal home?

Summary of our text for today…. When A Christian is willing to suffer persecution for being a gospel witness, it proves that there will be a future resurrection of both lost and saved.

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

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:27-28

1 Cor 15:27-28  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Why does Christ possess authority over all? Because God the Father has given to Him that exalted position. (1 Pet 3:22, Phil 2:9-11)  Why was Christ placed in that position?  It is due to His obedient, self-sacrificial death on the cross (Heb 10:12)  Notice, when the Bible says that Christ is placed over all, it is speaking of all the creation of God.  Paul, here, makes it plain that Christ does not hold authority over God the Father.

Although Christ possesses all authority, all things are not yet “subdued” (to be obedient and submissive) under Him.  Rebellion still exists in this world.  Although the Christ is “Lord over all”, there are those who are not willingly in submission to His rule in their life.

There is coming a day, throughout eternity, when the Lord will not only possess authority, but His authority will be completely, perfectly submitted to by all creation. For those who are saved, this perfect submission will take place in His presence on the New Heaven and New Earth.  For those who are lost, they will be in perfect submission to His will, facing eternal separation and punishment in the Lake of Fire.

One of the outstanding characteristics of those truly saved is the willful submission to the authority of Christ over us.  Although our submission is not perfect, due to our sinful flesh, we still actively seek to please the Lord with our lives.  The mark of one who has never received the grace of God in their life is a “no care” attitude about the Lord’s desires for their lives.

Do we care about what the Lord desires for our lives? Are we consistently seeking to do what is pleasing to Him? Our eternal destiny can be revealed to each of us by our honest answer to this questions.

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

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