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The Reign Of The Saints

SIH STSTA ICON

 

In Revelation 5:8-9, we find the 4 beasts and the 24 elders (symbols of the people of God) praising the Lamb (Jesus Christ) for His great work on their behalf…

 

 

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Then, in the very next verse, they praise Christ for the blessings they receive through His work …
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Here, we read of the saints being given two positions of great authority (“Kings and Priests”) allowing them to “reign on the earth”. What does this promise involve? Or put another way, In what way do the saints of God reign as Kings and Priests upon the earth? This is the question we will be answering in this Bible study.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Daniel 7:15-22; Daniel 7:26-27; Matthew 19:27-30; Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-48; Luke 19:11-27; Luke 22:24-30;  1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 22:3-5

THE STUDY:

When we speak of the saints reigning, we are describing several different types of dominion that are granted to the redeemed of God. The following is a description of these types of dominion by subject in outline, form. What follows the outline is a listing of many of the Bible texts which teach these areas of dominion with a brief summary of each event listed in chronological order (when possible).

 

Dominion Over The Nations – The Saints God-Given Authority Involves the saint exercising great authority over the powers of darkness IN THIS PRESENT WORLD and in THE WORLD TO COME:

A) Saints are given DOMINION IN THIS PRESENT WORLD (the existing heaven and earth):

(1) This dominion involves the ability to overcome the control of our sinful flesh and powers of darkness in this present world. This is why the saints are described as “Victors over the world” or “Overcomers”.

(2) This dominion is displayed by the saints’ sharing of victory at Armageddon – the saints accompanying Christ at final defeat of lost mankind in this present world at Christ’s second coming

B) Saints are promised to receive DOMINION IN THE WORLD TO COME (the New Heavens and New Earth) in which we will live eternally:

(1) This dominion will be a reward for the saint’s faithfulness – The future dominion of the saints is given as a reward for victorious living now. This dominion involves dominion over the nations, and dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth…

(a) Dominion Over The World By Judgment – this will take place as the saints share in the final judgment of the wicked men and angels, both Jew and Gentile, both OT and NT lost mankind. This will be the ultimate defeat of the powers of darkness in the world to come lasting for eternity.

1. Judging Israel – Saints will judge Israel (who rejected Messiah and crucified Him) during judgment of the lost. Israel is a representative of all lost mankind due to their rebellion and rejection of Christ.

2. Judging Angels – Saints will also judge the fallen angels (demons) including Satan, himself at this final judgment of the lost.

(b) Dominion over New Heavens and New Earth – Reign on NH & NE in Christ’s presence will stretch from the 1000 year reign into eternity. This will take place from the creation of the NH and NE throughout eternity. This includes both phases of the eternal state (the 1000 yr reign and the finalized eternal kingdom of God)…

1. 1000 Yr Reign – Beginning Of Christ’s reign on NH NE. As believers are judged they receive authority over NHNE during this time period

2.  Eternal Kingdom – This is the ultimate proof of the saint’s victory over this sinful world. Their dominion over the world symbolizing the renewal of the Garden of Eden on the New Earth.

 

Scripture References For Above Outline:

 

Dominion Over The Nations

1. The Lord blesses those who are truly saved (overcomers) with dominion over the powers of darkness of this world….

Revelation 2:26-27 KJV “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Note: “The nations” are referring to lost mankind (as part of the powers of darkness of this world). In this text, we are given representations of the two types of dominion possessed by saved mankind (dominion in this world and dominion in the world to come).
The phrase “rule with rod of iron” points us to the overcomers dominion over the powers of darkness in this world. This victory finds its completion at the Battle of Armageddon which is the last historic event that takes place on this present evil world.
The phrase “power over the nations” speaks of the dominion which the saints will possess in the future in the New world to come. This phrase speaks of the judgment of lost mankind at the final judgment and consignment to the Lake of Fire. This judgment is the ultimate, eternal defeat of the powers of darkness for eternity.

 

The Dominion Given To Saints NOW: “Overcomers”

1. The ability to escape the dominion of sin (context – false teaching) based upon power of indwelling Spirit…

1 John 4:4 KJV “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

2. Access to Godly power overcoming the dominion of sin (Satan, antichrist spirit, powers of darkness, our flesh) which is received through saving faith (resulting in Spirit indwelling)…

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

3. The Saints had overcome the dominion of sin (shown by thrones) and were now in Christ’s presence following their death …

Revelation 4:4 KJV “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

 

Victory At Armegeddon

1. The Lord, accompanied by His saints, returns to the earth and gains the final victory over the lost kingdoms of this current world…

Revelation 19:11-21 KJV “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

Note: The victory at Armageddon is an outward display of the authority given to the saints as Overcomers.

The Dominion Given To The Saints As A Reward For Faithfulness

1. Faithfulness of true believers will result in rewards and blessings of rulership at the believer’s judgment…

Matthew 24:45-51 KJV “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:14-30 KJV “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2. The truly saved servant was faithful – he was rewarded with rulership. The lost servant was unfaithful and cast into hell.…

Luke 12:42-48 KJV “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Note: Of those who were lost the greater the knowledge (responsibility) the greater the punishment. (Teaches us that levels of hell exist based upon amount of knowledge and willful rejection of truth)

Luke 19:11-27 KJV “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Note: Those who are lost servants, who fear Lord as being unjust and hard will have their knowledge of God and hypocritical service made useless and they will be empty handed at day of judgment. The lost, who are outwardly rebellious and immoral, face immediate rejection by God as well.

Dominion Over New Heavens and New Earth

1. Saints, those who are redeemed through blood of Christ, are given authority to rule and enter God’s presence. Both types of dominion will be clearly seen as the saints enter eternity with the Lord, ruling over the New Creation and entering into His presence for an eternity.

Revelation 5:8-10 KJV “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

 

1000 Year Reign

1. This marks the first part of Christ’s eternal reign on the New Heavens and New Earth (immediately following the appearance of the NH & NE following Armageddon) At this point in time the saints are judged and they are given reign over NH and NE for eternity (restoration of Garden of Eden before fall).

Revelation 20:4-5 KJV “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

 

2. This time periods runs from the 1000 Year Reign throughout Eternity

2 Timothy 2:11-13 KJV “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Revelation 3:21 KJV To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Judging The World

1. Saints will judge lost world (fallen world) during final judgment of lost…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

2. This judgment also involves fallen angels (including Satan) as well as lost mankind…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

Note: saints will judge fallen angels during GWTH (Jude 1:6) (Satan included?) Saints, as Overcomers were given authority over demons during Bible days pictured saints holding authority over demons (John 12:31). Likewise, angels ministering to believers is a sign of man’s authority over angels as well.

3. A part of this judgment involves the nation of Israel (those who rejected and crucified Christ) picturing all lost mankind.

Matthew 19:27-30 KJV “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Note: “The regeneration” is speaking of the reformation of the Heavens and Earth resulting in the New Heavens and New Earth. The Lord is reigning upon the earth with His saints at this time.

Luke 22:24-30 KJV “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

Eternal Kingdom

1. Saints given “the kingdom” beginning with the end of Armegeddon (appearance of NH and NE) into 1000 yr to GWTH to Eternity

Daniel 7:15-22 KJV “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:26-27 KJV “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

 

2. The eternal, perfect, dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth. This is tantamount to the blessings of the Garden of Eden restored to mankind. The curse of sin being totally undone…

Revelation 22:1-5 KJV “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

 

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The Book Of Life: Can Our Name Be Removed?

SIH STSTA ICONTHE SCRIPTURES:

 

To the best of my knowledge, below is a listing of every verse in the Bible that addresses the subject of  the Book of Life and other related teachings…

 

 

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.   And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.   Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Isa 4:3-4 KJV – And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:   When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

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

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

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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

 

 

THE STUDY:

In our study for today, we will be looking at “the Book of Life” that is written by God.  Before we look at our names being removed  from this book, we need to come to a basic understanding of this books contents…

  1. It is a book that contains the names of all the redeemed (those who will live with Christ eternally.)

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

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

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

  1. Those who are written in this book will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

[Please note: this prophecy is speaking of the times of the Gentiles (the times we are living in now).  It clearly tells us that those whose names are found written in the book of life will be saved (delivered) from their sins.  None will be lost, none will forgotten.  Everyone written in the book will receive deliverance from their sins.  This time of deliverance will end with Christ’s second coming]

 

  1. Wicked mankind (those who do not repent of their sins nor submit to Christ as Lord) are not included in this book.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

[Please note: “the writing of the house of Israel” refers to a listing of all the redeemed of God.  It is referred to as “the writing of the house of Israel” because the redeemed make up the citizens of the “Israel of God” (God’s spiritual nation – Rom 2:28-29, Gals 6:16 etc) and will dwell in the New Jerusalem with Him.]

 

  1. Absence from this book results in being condemned to eternal judgment

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

  1. It is a book that is owned (controlled) by Christ and based upon His work on the cross.

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

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

  1. It is a book that was written in eternity past.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

  1. Gives great joy to those who are included in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

After looking at these basic principles concerning the book of life, we can see that having our names in this book is the greatest blessing we can receive from the Lord.  If we know our names are written in this book it means that we are counted as a citizen of God’s nation, we have been delivered from our sins through Christ’s work on the cross, we are now safe in Christ as our eternal intercessor, and our eternity is secure.

 

But now to the question at hand…. can our names be removed from this book?  The answer SEEMS to be “yes” based upon three passages…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

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

 

Can we take these verses at face value, or is there more teaching that dwells beneath the surface of all of these?  I think it is very important that we take these verses in the context of the entire Word of God and its teachings on this subject.  Before we draw conclusions about the above verses, we need to look at another verse from Revelation that addresses the subject of name removal from the Book of Life…

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

Please notice this book is addressed to “overcomers”.  The Apostle John, the author of Revelation, clearly defines the meaning of this term in another letter that he wrote, the book of 1 John.  He clearly explains that an overcomer is one who has overcome this sinful world through faith in Christ:

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

 

So in Revelation 3:5, Christ is speaking to those who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.  He promises to them that:

  1. “the same shall be clothed in white raiment” – they will be given clothed in Christ’s righteousness
  2. “and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,” – their name will not be blotted from the book of life. This insures them that they will not lose their salvation, but are safe in the hands of the Lord eternally.
  3. “but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” – They will be recognized by Christ as their Redeemer, Intercessor, Mediator and Lord. He will act as their “defense attorney” before the Father, proclaiming that His work on the cross covers their sin and paid the sin debt that was due.

 

There are many other verses in the Bible that profess the same basic truth.  Those who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ are eternally secure in Him (John 6:39-40, John 10:27-30, Romans 8:29-37 etc etc)…

1Pe 1:3-5 KJV – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

These verses are, in effect, saying that their names will not be removed from “the book of life”.

 

Based upon the context of the entire Bible, we can see that the verses that appear to speak of being blotted out of the book needs to be studied with great care and understanding.  The Bible does not contradict itself.  If the redeemed of God are secure in Him, then their names cannot be removed from the Book of Life.  Therefore, the three texts in question before us must hold another meaning for us.

 

The key to understanding two of these three texts is for us to understand a principle that is presented to us in Isaiah 4:3-4…

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”

[Please note: In those days, a record was kept that listed all living citizens of a city. At their birth they would be added to this list, at their death they would be removed.

In this case, the Lord is telling Isaiah that He would purge out the sinfulness from Jerusalem by allowing great judgments to fall upon them (Isaiah 3:).  These judgments would result in most of the lost being killed and those who were followers of Jehovah being preserved.  At that point in time, the city’s registry of living citizens would be made up of a few lost men and Jehovah’s followers that were yet alive.]

So we can see that another type of book that the OT Jews were very familiar with was this type of registry of those who were physically alive within any given city.

 

In our Psalm 69:26-28 passage we can see that the Lord keeps a similar record of those who are physically alive on the earth.  It is called “the Book of the Living” not the “Book of Life”…

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Here, David asks the Lord to judge the wicked in two ways…

  1. “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.”

In other words, let their sins multiply upon them and all them to face the wrath of God that is due them.  This speaks of judgment in ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR SINS.

  1. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

In other words, bring physical death upon them so they can no longer harm the people of God.  As you punish the wicked of Israel, protect the righteous and allow them to continue to live.  This is the exact same principle that was spoken of in Isaiah 4:3-4.  This speaks of judgment meted out in the PHYSICAL DEATH OF THE WICKED, removing their name from the “book of the living”.

 

This book of the living is also referred to in our Exodus 32:32-33 passage…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Here, Moses shows to us his great love for the people of Israel.  He asks the Lord to take his name out of the book of the living if Israel will not be forgiven.  In other words, Moses is saying that the pain of seeing the nation of Israel face the wrath of God will be too great for Moses to bear.  He would rather physically die than to see the judgment of God take place against his nation.

The Lord assures him that He will send wrath against the lost members of Israel bringing upon them physical death, but He will spare the righteous men in the nation (including Moses) and allow them to continue to live.

Again we see the same basis theme, the lost of the nation being sentenced to physical death due to their sins while the righteous would survive in their midst (Psa 69:26-28, Isa 4:34 above)

 

The final text that seems to teach that names will be removed from “the book of life” is…

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Please notice that “the book of life” is specifically mentioned.  This does refer to the eternal listing of the chosen, redeemed saints of God that are secure in Him.  The important point to notice is that this verse says “God shall take away his PART out of the book of life…”.  The word for “part” means “allocation” or “share”.

In other words, God removes the portion of the book that could contain his name if only he was one of God’s people.   Likewise, his portion of the eternal inheritance and blessings of God described in this book he will miss out on, they will be given to those who are in the book.

 

This verse is not saying his name is there and then taken out… it is saying the place where his name could be is removed and therefore, there is no chance of it being written in the book…

For example, let’s assume that there in one page in the “Book of Life” for each person’s name to be written.  It is as if the Lord is saying, “the page that would have contained your name has been removed. There is no place in the book for your name to appear.”  Their “share” of the book does not exist.

 

It is much like the Lord’s teachings in Luke 8:17-18.  Although these men claim to be Christians and claim to share in the blessings of God’s people, they really have taken from them their “part” in God’s book that they really never possessed (their name not written in it):

Luk 8:17-18 KJV  – For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.   Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

 

By saying this, the Lord is making it plain that those who “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” have no chance of having their names entered into the book of life nor receipt of eternal salvation… they are eternally condemned just as is spoken of in Rev 21:23-27…

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

So what we have spoken of in Rev 22:18-19 is the clear condemnation of anyone who does not hold fast to the teachings found in God’s Word.  If they add to these teachings, the plagues of this book are placed upon them…. If they take away from these teachings, they are removed from all the eternal blessings of God found in this book.   Unless Godly repentance takes place, there is absolutely no hope for these wicked men to share in deliverance from God’s wrath and receipt of the great blessings that God gives to His people.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all praise the Lord for the security that is found in Him.  If our names are in the Book of Life we can rest assured we will spend eternity with Him.  May we all be diligent to make our calling and election sure, by doing so we will be making certain that our names are in His book, and we are safe in the hands of our Lord.

 

2Pe 1:10-11 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

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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.”

What does God Look Like ?

SIH STSTA ICONWe all have our own concept of what God looks like.  Some of us think of God as an old man with a long gray beard and robes; a young youthful powerful man; a carved or molten totem made by man; or even an inanimate object found in nature.    With all these differing ideas about God’s appearance, how does God appear in His Word?

THE SCRIPTURE:

Dan 7:9-14 (KJV)

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.  I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

THE STUDY:

Several times in God’s Word we find man seeing God in visions or dreams.  Some of the many times God is seen is found in: Ezek 1:26-28, Dan 7:9-14, Rev 1:13-16, Rev 14:14 etc.  In every case, the vision of God varies in appearance, with each descriptive element of the vision symbolizing a truth about our God.

In this blog entry, we will be looking at Daniel 7:9-14 to help us illustrate the use of symbolism in descriptions of God’s appearance:

The appearance of God the Father:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,

The “thrones” that are cast down signifies the overturning of the different nations and rulers of this world by the ultimate authority holder, God Himself.   God is given the title the “Ancient of Days” referring to the fact that He is the One who has, and will eternally exist.

whose garment [was] white as snow,

Here, the purity of God is being described using the symbolism of white clothing.  White being symbolic of purity, while black many times is used to illustrate the wickedness or “darkness” of this world.

and the hair of his head like the pure wool:

Here the wisdom of God is in view.  The head being the center of the thought and judgment processes, while the symbolism of wool for His hair is a representation of thickness, vitality and abundance. The white color of wool is a picture of purity.

Remember, in the context, we are looking at God who is the Judge of all “the judgment was set and the books were opened”.   What is being described is the fact that God’s judicial decisions are always wise, pure and in abundance.  He never lacks perfect wisdom, nor does He ever cease to exercise it.

his throne [was like] the fiery flame,

His throne, speaks of His authority to rule.  The fiery flame is a picture of punishment of sin (example: lake of fire) and also it pictures judgment based upon the truth of His Word.  His Word is described as a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” by the psalmist.

[and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 

In those days, thrones had wheels on them allowing them to be moved swiftly.  Here in symbol, we are taught that the judgments of God, even though brought upon the guilty very swiftly, are still just and right.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him:

As the Lord renders His sentence upon the lost it is much like a flame of fire, picturing His Word as it departs from His mouth. The flames are also a picture of the end result of His decrees … the judgment of sin.

thousand thousands ministered unto him,

Again, we have the authority of Lord being illustrated.  Millions of people serving the Lord shows His authority over all.  This is a picture of those saved by His grace now serving Him throughout eternity.

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:

His judgment of hundreds of millions of people, again shows what great authority and control He exercises over all mankind.  These hundreds of millions show us that He has authority over all the lost.  He stands in righteous, pure judgment over them.

the judgment was set, and the books were opened…

the time of His judging the lost has come…. The 66 books of the Bible are opened, a prelude to the judgment of their works.  (see Rev 20:12)

 

The appearance of God the Son:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man

Daniel had received these visions in the nighttime (perhaps they were dreams).  In this vision he sees the Lord Jesus Christ entering the throne room.

came with the clouds of heaven,

Several times in the Scriptures Christ’s coming to the earth is associated with the clouds.  Besides His literal coming in the clouds at His second coming, the symbolism here is teaching us that Christ’s origin is heaven.  It also teaches us of His glory and majesty as He is exalted over mankind.

and came to the Ancient of days,

He comes to God the Father, having perfect communion with Him.

and they brought him near before him. 

The servants of God now escort Christ to God… much like a visiting King is escorted into a city by its citizenry.  This procession was a symbol of respect and recognition of authority.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,

Here, due to the faithfulness of Christ during His first coming, is exalted as King of King and Lord of Lords.  The Father is placing Christ in a position of authority and honor.  (Phils 2:1-11)

that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:

The authority of Christ places Him over all mankind. No man or created being holds authority over Him.

his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

The authority of Christ will never be taken away, it is without end.  Throughout eternity, He will be looked upon as our King and Lord.

As we have seen in this example, Daniel’s vision of God was symbolic in nature, teaching us many truths about the attributes of our God.  This principle holds true with all the other sightings of God that we find in the Word of God.  As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it very plain that…

John 1:18 (KJV)

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

So basically what we are told in the Bible is that by looking at Christ, His life and His words, we will see the Father in Him.  Christ is the ultimate representative of God on earth… He WAS God on earth.  This is why to be able to see God we must look to Christ.

What does God look like?  I have no idea.  Remember, God is a spirit, it is possible that He is not visible to man, apart from the fleshly body He took upon Himself when He came in the person of Jesus Christ to the earth.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have experienced God’s gracious salvation…

We have already come to know God through His Son Jesus Christ… as we live our lives on earth, our search for God’s will and ways should be centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our central focus to see God and learn of His ways.

For those who have never been saved from their sins…

The answer to your search for God is find in Christ Jesus and Him alone.   Your first priority is to learn of the grace and truth of God.  It is through a knowledge of His Word and His gracious intervention in your life that you may be saved and enter a close relationship with God…

John 1:12-14

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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The Ministering Spirits of God

SIH STSTA ICONDid 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.

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Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 4)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In1 Cor 13:8
Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:

I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span

III.        The Death Of The Apostles

IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings

V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

Lesson:


The Supernatural Beginning and Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings:

There is a principle that seems to be repeated throughout both the Old and New Testament Scriptures… it is the principle described as of “Supernatural Beginning and Natural Perpetuation”.   This principle says that in many, if not all cases, a Godly feat of creation relies upon miraculous divine intervention for its existence and the uses a series of natural acts for its continuation.

Here are a few examples of this principle….

 

God’s Creative Work Miraculous Beginning Natural Perpetuity/Maintenance
The Universe Spoken Into ExistenceHebrews 11:3, Psalm 33:6-9, Genesis 1:1-2:7 Gradually Decaying Waiting For DeliveranceRomans 8:19-24
The Tabernacle Divinely Inspired Plans Given To ManExodus 35:30-35Miraculous AccreditingMoses – Book of Exodus Joshua – Book of Joshua Levites To Care For TabernacleNumbers 4:16, Exodus 40:33-38
The Temple Divinely Inspired Plans1 Chronicles 28:11-21Miraculous AccreditingElijah -1 Kings 17:-18: Elisha-1 King 19:-2 King 13: Levites To Care For Temple1 Chronicles 9:26-34
The Bible Inspired Men Handed Down Scriptures2 Peter 1:19-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-19 Human Beings Translate and Copy ScripturesDeuteronomy 17:18-20
The Local Church God Comes To Earth/ Forms AssemblyRomans 9:5, Matthew 10:1-2Miraculous Empowering and AccreditingHebrews 2:3-4, Acts 2:1-13, Acts 19:1-7 Church To Send Out Other Men To Form Other Assemblies Throughout The World.Matthew 28:18-20
Eternity Divine Visitation and Recreation of World1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Peter 3:6-8 The Constant Continuation of EternityDaniel 12:1-3, Revelation 21:-22:

 

If you notice, based upon the above chart, the Local Assembly follows in this same pattern. The Lord miraculously came to the earth and, while He was present, He founded the local church (Matthew 10). Also, through miraculous means, following His ascension, He empowered His assembly to do His work in Acts 2:, and then He accredited His assembly through the miraculous works of the Apostles and other members of His churches throughout its beginning years.

However, also in alignment with His other acts of creation, His miraculous intervention stopped during New Testament times and from then forward the perpetuity of the local assembly is brought about through the fulfilling of the Great Commission by members of His assemblies.

Once, again, this falls into perfect alignment with the concept that the age of the accrediting miracles came to an end during the later years of the Apostles’ existence on the earth (approx. 100 AD).

We will finish this section of our study next time with a look at the prophecies given by God of the existence of false miracles workers in the last days.

 

Additional Information:

The Supernatural Beginning and Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings:

1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4) And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
8) And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9) And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.
10) And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.
11) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12) And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
13) And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
17) And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18) And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.
19) And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20) And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21) And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
22) And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23) And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24) And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25) And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27) So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

1) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4) These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5) And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
6) But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7) And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
(Genesis 1:1-2:7)

 

30) And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
31) And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
32) And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
33) And in the cutting of stones, to set [them], and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
34) And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, [both] he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35) Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, [even] of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
(Exodus 35:30-35)

 

33) And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
34) Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
35) And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
37) But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
38) For the cloud of the LORD [was] upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
(Exodus 40:33-38)

 

16) And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest [pertaineth] the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, [and] the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein [is], in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.
(Numbers 4:16)

 

18) And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of [that which is] before the priests the Levites:
19) And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20) That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left: to the end that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
(Deuteronomy 17:18-20)

(refer to the Bible for 1Ki 17:1-18:1)

(refer to the Bible for 1Ki 19:1- 2 Ki 13:1)

 

 

26) For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in [their] set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
27) And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge [was] upon them, and the opening thereof every morning [pertained] to them.
28) And [certain] of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
29) [Some] of them also [were] appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
30) And [some] of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
31) And Mattithiah, [one] of the Levites, who [was] the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.
32) And [other] of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, [were] over the shewbread, to prepare [it] every sabbath.
33) And these [are] the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, [who remaining] in the chambers [were] free: for they were employed in [that] work day and night.
34) These chief fathers of the Levites [were] chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.
(1 Chronicles 9:26-34)

 

11) Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
12) And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
13) Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.
14) [He gave] of gold by weight for [things] of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; [silver also] for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
15) Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, [both] for the candlestick, and [also] for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
16) And by weight [he gave] gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and [likewise] silver for the tables of silver:
17) Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons [he gave gold] by weight for every bason; and [likewise silver] by weight for every bason of silver:
18) And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out [their wings], and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
19) All [this, said David], the LORD made me understand in writing by [his] hand upon me, [even] all the works of this pattern.
20) And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
21) And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, [even they shall be with thee] for all the service of the house of God: and [there shall be] with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people [will be] wholly at thy commandment.
(1 Chronicles 28:11-21)

 

6) By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7) He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8) Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9) For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.
(Psalms 33:6-9)

 

1) And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.
3) And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
(Daniel 12:1-3)

 

(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.
(2) Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
(Matthew 10:1-2)

 

18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
(Matthew 28:18-20)

 

1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8) And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
(Acts 2:1-13)

 

1) And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5) When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6) And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7) And all the men were about twelve.
(Acts 19:1-7)

 

19) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,
21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23) And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.
24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
(Romans 8:19-24)

 

(5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
(Romans 9:5)

 

13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17) Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

 

16) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];
4) God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
(Hebrews 2:3-4)

 

 

3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
(Hebrews 11:3)

 

19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
(2 Peter 1:19-21)

 

(refer to the Bible for Revelation 21:1-22:21)

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:19

SIH TOTT ICON

“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of WISDOM (5:15-21). The Biblical concept of “wisdom” is “the application of God’s Word to our lives”. To be “wise” is to apply the truths of God to our daily living. This is true wisdom and flows from the gracious hand of our Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Universally (vs 15)

II.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Use Time Profitably (vs 16)

III.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Recognizing God’s Will For Us (vs 17)

IV.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Through Self-Control (vs 18)

V.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Praise and Thank Him (vs 19-20)

VI.        Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Submission To Others (vs 21)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

After explaining the need for us to be “filled with the Spirit”, Paul now teaches us concerning the characteristics of those who are filled with the Spirit (ie are submitted to the Spirit’s control in every rea of our lives.)

(Ephesians 5:19-20) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 

Here is a listing of the two of the main characteristics of a person filled with the Spirit…

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Characteristic #1… inward, personal praise… “Speaking to yourselves” .

Is this verse describing us singing and praising God in a public way to each other in a local assembly (“yourselves”), or is this verse describing singing and praising the Lord inwardly as a personal act (“yourselves”)?

This question is very highly debated among sound Bible believers. The answer lies in the word “yourselves”. To whom was Paul speaking when he used the term “yourselves”? All I can do is share my thoughts with you and ask you to prayerfully study these things on your own.

The Greek word translated “yourselves” is found MANY times in the NT. It is used, at times, to mean…

1. “oneself” and is translated “alone”, “himself”, “herself” , and “your own”. It these cases, it is clearly speaking of a single individual with no other person in view.

2. “one group” and is translated “your own selves”, “themselves” and ”they”. In these cases, the word normally speaks of a specific group that contains many members.

 

My point is this, by simply studying the Greek word used here we cannot come to answer to our question because the word “yourselves” can be used in either way. However, if we look a bit farther in the verse, I believe it clearly solves our dilemma.

Later in the same verse, we read the phrase “in your heart to the Lord”. This phrase CLARIFIES the type of praise which is spoken. It clearly is referring to an inward praise coming from the heart and spirit of the believer.   Although the public worship of the Lord through the singing of songs is one way of praising Him, we need to understand that is not the type of singing of which this text speaks.

If an individual is under the Spirit’s control in every area of life (filled with the Spirit), they will consistently honor the Lord through three differing aspects of praise of the heart…

1. psalms – rehearsing of God’s Word. This word commonly refers to the Book of Psalms in the NT

2. hymns – celebration of the Lord and His works. This word comes from an uncommon root word meaning “joyous celebration”

3. spiritual songs – Spirit led honor, admiration and reverence. This word describes “songs of worship”

 

The Spirit filled believer will find their heart and mind filled with praise to the Lord. This praise will take the form of meditation on the Word, inward joy, satisfaction and contentment centered on Christ, and an attitude of reverence and honor for the greatness of the Lord and His works on our behalf.

This praise is likened to outward singing (“singing”) and playing of instruments (“making melody”) that brought honor and glory to the Lord during times of OT worship. Much like music brings praise to the Lord and refreshes the spirit of man, this type of “singing and making melody” of the heart holds the same results for our inward man.

 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Characteristic #2… acknowledgment of the manifold blessings of the Lord found in every circumstance of life… “Giving thanks always”

For those filled with the Spirit, the recognition of God’s control of all things (Dan 4:35), linked together with faith in His promise “all things work together for good to them that love God…” (Roms 8:28), results in a willingness to endure all things, as they submit every area of their life to His will and way.

This is the key to being thankful in all conditions of life… recognize the Lord will always work for our good as we submit our entire being to His will.

Our thankfulness should be pointed towards the Triune God (all three persons are active in bringing about His will in our lives). And should be presented to God based upon Christ and His work on our behalf. It is the work of Christ which gives us access to the Father and makes our thankfulness acceptable in the sight of God.

 

APPLICATION:

Folks are we “filled with the Spirit?” (ie have we handed over every aspect of our lives to the control of the Spirit?) If so, we will see these different characteristics of that filling in our lives….

1. Our minds will be filled with meditation on the Word, inward joy, satisfaction and contentment centered on Christ, and an attitude of reverence and honor for the greatness of the Lord and His works on our behalf.

2. We will be willing and thankful to undergo any circumstance in life as we recognize our Lord is in absolute control of our circumstances, and is working all things out for our eventual good.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

 

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

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

New World Order – 2 – The Seven World Empires

SIH STSTA ICONThe word of God has much to say about the concept of a New World Order (NWO)…. We will be studying the NWO and it’s Biblical implications in a four part series…
1.Part #1 – The NOW – What is it? – Will it take place?
2.Part #2 – Past attempts at forming a NWO by force (The 7 World Empires)
3.Part #3 –  Past attempts at forming a NWO by consensus (The Tower of Babel)
4.Part #4 –  The Future NWO – Is the Lord pleased?

THE SCRIPTURE:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority… And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:1-8)

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns…I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast… (Rev 17:3-14)

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Rev 19:19-20)

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth… And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure… (Dan 2:31-46)

THE STUDY:

Throughout history there have been seven world empires that have sought, through the use of force, to overtake and rule all of the nations that were in existence in their day:

  1. Egypt
  2. Assyria
  3. Babylon
  4. Medo-Persia
  5. Greece
  6. Rome
  7. Includes a variety of world powers existing in the last days – (Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan etc.) that attempted to overtake world in WW1 and WW2.

In every case, their attempt to overtake the known world was unsuccessful due to divine intervention.

This truth is presented in the prophecy of Revelation 13:+17:+19:  In these verses, a beast with 7 heads is described.  The 7 heads represent the 7 world empires;  while the 10 horns on the 7th head represents the 7th world empire being made up of a varied group of nations. see Rev 17:9-12.  The end of this beast is made plain in Rev 19:19-20.  It will be cast in to the Lake of Fire, picturing the Lord’s defeat of all these national empires.

Likewise Daniel 2:, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed an image that represented the world empires that would exist from Daniel’s day forward into the future (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the world powers of the latter days.)  These were pictures by the gold, silver, brass, iron, and iron and clay parts of the image.  Once again, the end of these powers was clearly presented by the stone (Christ) culminating the destruction of the image.

The Bible gives us accounts and prophesies of divine intervention that proves the Lord’s control over the world empires.  These accounts are limited to the empires that fell during the periods in which the Old and New Testaments were written….

  1. Egypt – Exo 14:21-31 – Egyptian army drowning in Red Sea.
  2. Assyria – 2 Kings 19:35-37 – Angel of the Lord defeating Assyrian army at night
  3. Babylon – Dan 5:25-31 – Defeat of Babylon by Lord through use of Darius the Median
  4. Medo-Persia – Dan 8:2-8, 8:20-21 – Prophecy of defeat of Persia by the Greek Empire
  5. Greece – the fall of the Greek empire took place during the silent years of 400-0 BC.
  6. Rome – fell after the New Testament writings were completed and Divine revelation brought to an end.

In every case, these empires wanted to control the wealth and military power of each of these individual nations.  In each case, the Lord said “No’ and acted on behalf of his people, stopping the world wide takeover through His personal intervention or the use of other nations.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

The truth that the Lord is sovereign over all nations cannot be denied.  From the title of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” to the many verses describing His sovereignty (Dan 4:34-37, Isa 40:15-17, Jer 10:10, 1 Tim 6:14-16, Rev 19:15-16) the Bible is filled with references to this truth.

We have every reason to praise and honor our Lord based upon His strength and Lordship over all.  (Psa 150:1-2)  It is because of this truth, that we can find peace and rest in the midst of a tumultuous world.  When we see Iran working to create a nuclear arsenal, terrorist threatening our country on almost a daily basis, and China growing economically and militarily, we can still trust in the fact that He is in control.

Even as we see the world rushing to form new alliances that will involve a unified monetary/economic system, a lessened military defense for our country, and loss of national sovereignty, we can rest assured that the Lord is in control.  None of these events will take place apart from His hand of protection and allowance allowing these things to take place.

While we can freely worship and proclaim His Word, let us increase our efforts to reach the lost around us with His message of salvation by grace.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

The events leading up to the establishment of a NWO should be a warning to all of the closeness of the Lord’s coming and the end of the world.  To date, every attempt to unite the world by force was stopped by the Lord but, someday, world unity will come into existence.  Our time of national freedom is perhaps coming to a close.  The freedom to proclaim the message of God’s grace and the freedom to worship Him is still with us.  Now is the time for you to consider your eternal destiny while the truth is being proclaimed publically and you have the opportunity to worship freely.

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

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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New World Order – 1 – What is it and when will it take place

SIH STSTA ICON
This is part of a previously posted series on the New World Order. These postings are more relevant now than ever before. The remaining portions of this series will be posted every Saturday this month…

Over the past 20 years or so, we have heard much said about a “New World Order”.  Especially GHW Bush, the president of the United States had much to say about the subject.  Other presidents, as well, spoke outwardly about this subject… listen to the last 4 presidents in their own words…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc7i0wCFf8g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvEqg_UlGaA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF-obJ8lYWc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CV8Xt2VWvc

The word of God has much to say about the concept of a New World Order (NWO)…. We will be studying the NWO and it’s Biblical implications in a four part series…

1. Part #1 – The NWO – What is it? – Will it take place?

2. Part #2 – Past attempts at forming a NWO by force (The 7 World Empires)

3. Part #3 –  Past attempts at forming a NWO by consensus (The Tower of Babel)

4.  Part #4 –  The Future NWO – Is the Lord pleased?

In this first section of our study we will be answering these questions…

What is meant by the phrase “the New World Order?”

Based on Bible prophecy will the New World Order ever take place?

THE SCRIPTURE:

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Rev 13:7-10)

THE STUDY:

We’ve all heard the phrase, “The New World Order” or “The One World Order”, but do we really understand what this phrase is talking about?  Is it simply a harmless concept of world unity to bring about peace, or does this phrase refer to something that displeases the Lord and endangers us as the United States of America, and as individual citizens of our country?

New World Order defined…  (Please note… I have, on purpose, omitted definitions of NWO that is presented by conspiracy theorists.  For purposes of this study, the mainstream definitions of NWO will suffice.)

“the post-Cold War organization of power in which nations tend to cooperate rather than foster conflict.”  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/new+world+order

“any period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order

“a vision of the world in which greater peace and stability is achieved through a new political order following the end of the cold war.”

http://www.allwords.com/word-New+World+Order.html

“a political situation in which the countries of the world are no longer divided because of their support for either the United States or the Soviet Union and instead work together to solve international problems”

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/the-new-world-order

Based upon the above definitions, my understanding of the meaning of New World Order (NWO), has these basic parts to it…

  1. some type of political unity between nations
  2. this unity is brought about by an exercise of authority
  3. the desired results of this unity are
    1. less conflicts
    2. dramatic changes in political thought
    3. dramatic changes in national power
    4. greater harmony and agreement between nations
    5. greater prosperity between nations (military, economic, social)
    6. the solving of international problems

This sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?  To unify all the nations so that there is no more wars, no more social injustice, and basically, no more disagreements.  Who would want to oppose that?

The principle sounds pretty good and for those who are fans of a NWO there is even better news… in our texts, it will take place…

And it was given unto him… and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world… Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Rev 13:7-10)

See also (Dan 7:21-25, Dan 11:36-39)

There is coming a day, I believe not too far into the future, the world is going to be put under a unified authority.  The identity of the authority is under much debate, but one thing we know for sure… when this takes place, Satan will be the ultimate authority. (Rev 13:1-6)

SUMMARY:

The answer our original questions…

What is meant by the phrase “the New World Order?”

Simply put it is:  a political unity between nations, that results in less conflict and instability by working together to solve the problems of the world.

Based on Bible prophecy will the New World Order ever take place?

Absolutely, according to Rev 13:7-10 (and many other verses) the Bible makes it plain that this NWO will take place in the not so distant future.

The basic concept of a NWO has existed throughout the ages of mankind, beginning with the Tower of Babel; followed by the different world empires extending from the Egyptian Empire to the Roman Empire; and extending into today’s time.  The concept of the NWO is nothing new.

In our next study will we look at the different forced attempts for a NWO brought about by the ancient world empires (Egypt to Rome).  Were they successful?  What was Lord’s response to their attempts?

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Phil Robertson, Sin and The Christmas Season

SIH STSTA ICON(Before we begin our study, let me quickly explain that, although I agree with the main thrust of Phil Robertson’s message, I am sorrowful that he presented his message using some crude language that was unnecessary to say the least and harmful to the cause of Christ.

Without knowing the man and his personal life, it is impossible for me to make a judgment about the intent and motivation behind the inappropriate phrases. Based upon his personal testimony, I am trusting that they are the result of his upbringing and environment and not an indication of any malice in his heart towards those of whom he spoke.

Who among us can say that we have never said things that have harmed the cause of Christ and brought sorrow to our hearts?  However I do want to take a look at the Biblical principles he was presenting in the interview and the importance of recognizing their application to our nation and world today.)

 (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted; He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

The past few days has given us living proof of the truthfulness of this wonderful text of Scripture.  How true it is that our Sovereign Lord is in control of the events that take place among men and that He brings these events to pass in His perfect timing, while accomplishing the goals for which they were determined.

The Bible also speaks of this principle in…

(Daniel 2:20-23)Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:  He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.  I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast [now] made known unto us the king’s matter.

Here, we see that our Lord uses the timing of the events of mankind to teach us many of the deep, secret things about Himself and our condition before Him.  In other words, He shows us, through His control of the events of mankind, many truths that are very difficult for us to understand and accept as truth.

This principle has come to light this past week as our nation, in the midst of the Christmas season, has witnessed the events surrounding Phil Robertson, A & E network and the world’s response to both of them.  I would like us to take a few moments and try to take a Scriptural look at what we can learn from this week’s series of events, and come to understand that these events were perfectly timed by the Lord.

 

THE STUDY:

First, the Lord has clearly presented to us the truth of the existence and results of sin in our world.  

The most controversial of Robertson’s statements involved various types of sin that exist in our world today.  The teachings of the Bible confirm the existence of sin, and give us a list of the individual sins that were mentioned by Robertson….

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

 

Secondly, we have clearly displayed the lost world’s blindness to their own sin and the truths of the Word.

As Robertson gave his listing of sins, the appropriate response was for the world to acknowledge that sin exists and be motivated from a Godly sorrow to confess and repent of their sins.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Instead, we find them denying the existence of some of those sins, justifying their commission and, in doing so, rising up in opposition to these truths of the Word.

(Isaiah 5:20-24)Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

(2 Timothy 3:13-15)But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(Just a side note: this very principle should bring out a spirit of gratitude and praise from the heart of all who have been brought to a Scriptural repentance and trust in Christ.  We were all in this condition of spiritual blindness and apart from the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives, we would also be in denial of these truths of God.)

 

Thirdly, we have presented to us the solution to sin and its effects in the world.

Here is where we begin to see the wonderful timing of our Lord.   Although Phil Robertson presented the need for repentance and faith in Christ, it was not included in most of the news accounts of the interview with him.  But the Lord has a way of overcoming any obstacle that opposes His will.

What better time for our nation to be presented with its sinfulness and need of repentance than the Christmas season when all mankind have their thoughts pointed towards the coming of Christ to the earth to save lost mankind from the very sins of which Robertson had spoken.

In direct response to the sin of this world we read that ….

(Matthew 1:20-25)But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

(1 John 4:14)And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 

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

It is only during the Christmas season that the lost world has their minds pointed to the truth that God sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins.  Just as the new reports of Robertson’s interview reveal to the world their sinful condition, so too, the Christmas season is placing on display the One who was given by God to save the world from their sins.

How is this salvation received?  It is by placing faith in the person and work of the One who was born in Bethlehem.  It is by placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh…

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

Jesus is the One who came to this world and died on the cross bearing the sins of His people.  His body was buried for three days and three nights in the tomb and then He rose again the third day, proving to us all that His payment for sin on the cross was accepted by His Father in heaven…

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

As a matter of fact, Christ came and died on the cross to save people from the exact same sins that Robertson was talking about.  Notice in the 1 Corinthians 6: passage that gave us a list of the sins Robertson mentioned, we find the concluding verse that says ..  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Christ came to save those who have committed homosexual acts, adulterous acts, and other immoral, perverse acts…. There is no sin so great for which the grace of God cannot grant forgiveness and cleansing.

But if we read this verse closely we find that those of us who have been saved were guilty of these same offenses as well…  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Therefore there is no room for feeling of superiority on our part, nor is there room for boasting.  Folks, we were in the very same “boat” as the unsaved that are around us.  Apart from God’s grace, we would still be facing an eternity of separation from Him in the Lake of Fire having committed the same sins as they.

That is why we are to use this holiday season (and every season of the year) to humbly share Christ and the forgiveness He offers to the sinful world around us.   Let us put down the carnal aspects of the Christmas season and use it as the perfect opportunity to share Christ with those who are in desperate need of Him.

The Lord has graciously given to each one of us the perfect opportunity to address the sinful state of the world and their need of Christ through the use of the news stories about Robertson’s interview and the Christmas season that is upon us.

May we all use these events to bring honor and glory to His name.

For more information about the Bible’s teachings on homosexual relationships:  http://wp.me/pU88A-nE

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Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICON
He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand,

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” (Isaiah 45:7)

“[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…” (Habakkuk 1:13)

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures. On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”. Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says “[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:” then, to add confusion to our subject, James states clearly that God “cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

In this series of lessons, we will be looking into two basic questions, first, “What Is God’s Role In The Existence of Evil ?” and, secondly, “What Is The Purpose Behind The Existence Of Evil ?”

THE STUDY:

Before we begin this portion of our study, let’s pick up with the summary from our last study (Lesson #1)…
1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness

So, in summary, “Evil” can describe an act, or the results of that act, and, in every case that it is used in the Bible, it is describing something that is harmful to man. In other words… Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”

We will now attempt to come to an understanding about the Sovereignty Of God….

Before we actually see the Bible teachings on the origin of evil, we need to lay a foundation of a few other basic truths about our Lord…

Our Lord Is In Control

One of the many attributes that is exclusive to our Lord, is the attribute of “absolute sovereignty”. To put it simply, “absolutely sovereignty” means that our Lord is in total control of all things. The Bible is very clear on this subject. So clear, as a matter of fact, I think it is important to simply let the Bible speak for itself as we read these verses and are in awe at His greatness on display:

The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (1 Samuel 2:6-7)

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? (2 Chronicles 20:5-6)

For the kingdom [is] the LORD’S: and he [is] the governor among the nations. (Psalms 22:28)

A Psalm of David. The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Psalms 24:1-2)

But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (Psalms 115:3)

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand: (Isaiah 14:24)

This [is] the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this [is] the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul [it]? and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back? (Isaiah 14:26-27)

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

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:34-35)

But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3)

From this sampling of verses we can see that the Biblical teaching of God’s absolute sovereignty is not an issue of the misinterpretation of a few select Bible passages. The truth of His control over all things is a subject clearly declared in many passages and is found in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.

Let’s imagine a world where the Lord is not in control of all things. Let’s imagine that Satan is not under the Lord’s control and, therefore, could thwart His workings among men. If that was the case….

1. When we pray to the Lord, we would have absolutely no confidence He is able to answer us. He may have every intent to fulfill our request but, Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s gracious workings on our behalf. The principle is this…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to believe He would, or could, answer any of our prayers.

2. When faced with trials and temptations, there would be no reason to look to Him for help. Again, He may intend on helping us, but Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s actions. This, in effect, would isolate us from the Lord’s presence and aid, and therefore leave us to stand alone to face Satan…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to rely upon Him in our times of need.

3. In the area of our lost loved ones, there would be absolutely no need to pray for them or even share the gospel with them. After all, if there is one thing we would be certain of, it would be that Satan would stop the Lord’s workings in the lost person’s sins hardened heart. Out of everything the Lord would try to do, Satan would certainly put the priority upon stopping a lost person from coming to Christ… If God is not in control, there is no reason to look to Him to save our lost loved ones.

4. Think of all the future promises our Lord has given us. Do we realize if He is not in control of all things, He is not to be relied upon to keep His promises? Think about it. The wonderful promises of an eternity with Him, rewards for faithfulness, an eternity separated from sin, the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies etc etc etc . Even the assurance of salvation can no longer be relied upon as certain, if Satan is able to overcome the plans and intents of the Lord… If God is not in control, there is no reason to have any assurance of future with Him.

But praise the Lord, we know that no one, not even Satan, can do anything that the Lord does not allow. One example of that is…

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 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. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:6-12)

And we have the assurance the Lord will have the ultimate victory over Satan, we can know this based upon the truth of His sovereignty over all, and His ability to perform the future prophecies found in the Word….

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41)

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

Based upon the indisputable fact the Lord is sovereign, we must come to the conclusion that the evil that takes place in the world around us is under His sovereign control. No evil takes place in this world that He does not allow….

the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have seen in our study so far….

We have attempted to come to a very basic understanding of the term “evil” as used in the Bible. We have come to see that:

1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9. Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”
10. Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11. It is because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in His enabling, His responses to our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies of future events
12. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance

In our next study, we will examine the holiness of the Lord and the source of evil in this world.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

For The Free Study Guide For This Series:  .pdf format    .docx format

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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.”

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #1)

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the most frequently asked questions posed to me during my ministry has been “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

  1. What is God’s will?
  2. Not my will, but thine be done.
  3. Thus saith the Lord
  4. Oh what a feeling
  5. Open and shut doors
  6. Summary of the study

In part number 1 of our study lets answer the question… What is God’s will?

THE SCRIPTURE:

 God’s Sovereign Will:

 Prov 16:9 – A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Prov 16:33 -The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.

Dan 4:35 -And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

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

Acts 4:27-28 – For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Rom 9:17-24 – For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.Thou 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?[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Eph 1:11-12 -In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

And many, many more….

God’s Revealed Will:

Ps 119:1-12 – ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded [us] to keep thy precepts diligently.O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed [art] thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

Matt 28:20 -Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 14:21 -He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Eph 5:15-17 -See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].

Eph 6:5-7 – Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Heb 8:10 – For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

1John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

And many, many more….

God’s Individual Will:

Prov 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Eccl 9:10 – Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Jer 10:23 –  O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Acts 11:12  – And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

Acts 16:6-8 – Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

Gal 6:10 – As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Phil 4:10 – But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

And many, many more….

THE STUDY:

  1. God’s Sovereign Will – This is the “secret’ will of God that has been determined before the foundation of the world.   This will includes EVERY event that actually takes place throughout history. (Deut 29:29)
    1. Prov 16:9 – Here we find that mankind makes many plans concerning his future, but the Lord is the One that controls all the future events in one’s life.
    2. Prov 16:33 – Here, we find that although the casting of lots from man’s standpoint is a random occurance… it is actually predetermined and under God’s total control.
    3. Dan 4:35 – It is clearly declared that His sovereign will is done both in heaven and on earth. No one can hinder it
    4. Acts 2:23-24, 4:27-28 – Even the crucifixtion of Christ was a part of His “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”
    5. Rom 9:17-24 – Pharoah, his rebellion and his defeat, was all a part of God’s plan, which ultimately resulted in glorification of God. We cannot question His will, He knows the end from the beginning, but we do not.
    6. Eph 1:11-12 – Even our salvation and our inheritance are a part of His eternal plan.  All of this is why we are to thank and glorify Him for all things.  He is the One in ultimate control of all.
  1. God’s Revealed Will – This is God’s desires for our lives as revealed in His will.  Commands like “be ye holy” and “thou shalt not lie”, as well as “think on these things” etc. are all a part of God’s will for all His people.  These are all revealed to us in the Bible.
    1. Ps 119:1-12 – In the entire Psalm 119:, we find the importance of God’s Word for our lives stressed.  The Word of God in Psa 119: is given the titles “Law”, “Ways” , “Precepts”, “Statutes”, “Commandments”, “Judgments”, “Word”… the list goes on and on. And yet, the basic principle is that we are responsible to be in submission to His Word for our own good.
    2. Matt 28:20 – The Lord’s churches are to teach new believers to observe all of His commands (which are found in His Word)
    3. John 14:21, 1 John 5:3 – Keeping His Word is a sign of our love for Him.
    4. Eph 5:15-17 – By understanding the principles of His Word, and applying them to our lives, we can wisely walk in this world, using our time on earth to the greatest spiritual benefit.
    5. Eph 6:5-7 – We are to sincerely obey His Word with the right motives in our hearts.  This is an act of service to the Lord.
    6. Heb 8:10 – The Word is placed in our hearts, minds and consciences.  As we study and learn more of His Word we carry it with us and, hopefully, live according to it.  (Psa 119:11)
  1. God’s Individual Will – This is God’s desires for each one of us as individuals.  Throughout the Scriptures, we find followers of Christ being directed in their lives.  This direction normally takes the form of open and closed doors of opportunity.
    1. Prov 3:6  – Here we find that if we recognize His Lordship and submit to it in our lives then He will supply the direction we need to choose the correct life paths.
    2. Eccl 9:10 – “whatever thy hand findeth to do” – this can be describing the opportunities we have open to us.  Our responsibility is to take advantage of the opportunities we have in God honoring ways.  He is the One that controls what opportunities open to us.
    3. Jer 10:23 – We do not have the ability in and of ourselves to control the future events and opportunities of our lives.  This is all in the Lord’s hands.
    4. Acts 11:12, Acts 16:6-8 – Here is one example where the Lord used His Spirit to lead Peter to accompany men to a house where Peter received the call to Joppa.  Also the Lord led Paul in his ministry to forego preaching the Word in Asia and Bithynia.  In both of these cases the Lord used His Spirit to lead His servants to areas of ministry.  This Spirit leading could have been received as a combination of open/closed doors, the Word in conjunction with the human conscience, or even supernatural revelation (prior to the completion of His Word).  Neither Peter, nor Paul, explicitly details how the leading came about in their lives.
    5. Gal 6:10 – Paul clearly declares that we are to minister for the Lord based on the opportunities that are open to us.
    6. Phil 4:10 – Paul as he was writing to the church at Philippi made it plain that the church had faithfully supplied their support of Paul when they had opportunity.  But for an unspecified length of time, they lacked the opportunity to support him.  Note, that Paul was not critical of them and their lack of support during the inopportune times.  He only praised them for continuing to support him when they had the opportunity.

The above outline helps us to understand that there are three aspects to the will of God.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

Here are the beginning principles we must understand as we begin our study of finding God’s will for our lives:

  1. The Sovereign Will of God cannot be changed by man.  This will of God will always be done.  Every event in history that has taken place, and will take place is a part of this sovereign controlling will of God. (Dan 4:35).  We have no need to be concerned about following this will of God.  It will always take place.
  1. Please notice that the Word of God (His Revealed Will) is the basis of the future judgment of the believer’s life. (Roms 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10)   It is this same Word that was given to us to lead us and guide us along life’s pathways. (Psa 119:105, Psa 119:11)

Therefore, all of our life’s decisions are to be made based upon our knowledge and understanding of His Word. The revealed will of God for each of our lives is regulated by the Spirit’s inner witness through the use of His Word (1 Pet 1:22, Ezek 36:27) and in our conscience (1 Tim 1:19, Heb 13:18)

  1. The individual will of God is regulated based upon the Spirit’s intervention in each of our lives normally through open or closed doors of opportunity (Gals 6:10)

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

Prayer Principle #1 –  We must pray for the Lord’s leadership in our lives.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

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

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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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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What does God Look Like ?

SIH STSTA ICONWe all have our own concept of what God looks like.  Some of us think of God as an old man with a long gray beard and robes; a young youthful powerful man; a carved or molten totem made by man; or even an inanimate object found in nature.    With all these differing ideas about God’s appearance, how does God appear in His Word?

THE SCRIPTURE:

Dan 7:9-14 (KJV)

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.  I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

THE STUDY:

Several times in God’s Word we find man seeing God in visions or dreams.  Some of the many times God is seen is found in: Ezek 1:26-28, Dan 7:9-14, Rev 1:13-16, Rev 14:14 etc.  In every case, the vision of God varies in appearance, with each descriptive element of the vision symbolizing a truth about our God.

In this blog entry, we will be looking at Daniel 7:9-14 to help us illustrate the use of symbolism in descriptions of God’s appearance:

The appearance of God the Father:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,

The “thrones” that are cast down signifies the overturning of the different nations and rulers of this world by the ultimate authority holder, God Himself.   God is given the title the “Ancient of Days” referring to the fact that He is the One who has, and will eternally exist.

whose garment [was] white as snow,

Here, the purity of God is being described using the symbolism of white clothing.  White being symbolic of purity, while black many times is used to illustrate the wickedness or “darkness” of this world.

and the hair of his head like the pure wool:

Here the wisdom of God is in view.  The head being the center of the thought and judgment processes, while the symbolism of wool for His hair is a representation of thickness, vitality and abundance. The white color of wool is a picture of purity.

Remember, in the context, we are looking at God who is the Judge of all “the judgment was set and the books were opened”.   What is being described is the fact that God’s judicial decisions are always wise, pure and in abundance.  He never lacks perfect wisdom, nor does He ever cease to exercise it.

his throne [was like] the fiery flame,

His throne, speaks of His authority to rule.  The fiery flame is a picture of punishment of sin (example: lake of fire) and also it pictures judgment based upon the truth of His Word.  His Word is described as a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” by the psalmist.

[and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 

In those days, thrones had wheels on them allowing them to be moved swiftly.  Here in symbol, we are taught that the judgments of God, even though brought upon the guilty very swiftly, are still just and right.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him:

As the Lord renders His sentence upon the lost it is much like a flame of fire, picturing His Word as it departs from His mouth. The flames are also a picture of the end result of His decrees … the judgment of sin.

thousand thousands ministered unto him,

Again, we have the authority of Lord being illustrated.  Millions of people serving the Lord shows His authority over all.  This is a picture of those saved by His grace now serving Him throughout eternity.

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:

His judgment of hundreds of millions of people, again shows what great authority and control He exercises over all mankind.  These hundreds of millions show us that He has authority over all the lost.  He stands in righteous, pure judgment over them.

the judgment was set, and the books were opened…

the time of His judging the lost has come…. The 66 books of the Bible are opened, a prelude to the judgment of their works.  (see Rev 20:12)

 

The appearance of God the Son:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man

Daniel had received these visions in the nighttime (perhaps they were dreams).  In this vision he sees the Lord Jesus Christ entering the throne room.

came with the clouds of heaven,

Several times in the Scriptures Christ’s coming to the earth is associated with the clouds.  Besides His literal coming in the clouds at His second coming, the symbolism here is teaching us that Christ’s origin is heaven.  It also teaches us of His glory and majesty as He is exalted over mankind.

and came to the Ancient of days,

He comes to God the Father, having perfect communion with Him.

and they brought him near before him. 

The servants of God now escort Christ to God… much like a visiting King is escorted into a city by its citizenry.  This procession was a symbol of respect and recognition of authority.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,

Here, due to the faithfulness of Christ during His first coming, is exalted as King of King and Lord of Lords.  The Father is placing Christ in a position of authority and honor.  (Phils 2:1-11)

that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:

The authority of Christ places Him over all mankind. No man or created being holds authority over Him.

his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

The authority of Christ will never be taken away, it is without end.  Throughout eternity, He will be looked upon as our King and Lord.

As we have seen in this example, Daniel’s vision of God was symbolic in nature, teaching us many truths about the attributes of our God.  This principle holds true with all the other sightings of God that we find in the Word of God.  As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it very plain that…

John 1:18 (KJV)

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

So basically what we are told in the Bible is that by looking at Christ, His life and His words, we will see the Father in Him.  Christ is the ultimate representative of God on earth… He WAS God on earth.  This is why to be able to see God we must look to Christ.

What does God look like?  I have no idea.  Remember, God is a spirit, it is possible that He is not visible to man, apart from the fleshly body He took upon Himself when He came in the person of Jesus Christ to the earth.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have experienced God’s gracious salvation…

We have already come to know God through His Son Jesus Christ… as we live our lives on earth, our search for God’s will and ways should be centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our central focus to see God and learn of His ways.

For those who have never been saved from their sins…

The answer to your search for God is find in Christ Jesus and Him alone.   Your first priority is to learn of the grace and truth of God.  It is through a knowledge of His Word and His gracious intervention in your life that you may be saved and enter a close relationship with God…

John 1:12-14

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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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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Escaping Fear’s Grip Part 2

SIH STSTA ICONAnyone who is familiar with the current events of the day, realize that we are living in fearful times.

Terrorism; our nation’s debt, crime, and unemployment; the decrease in value of our homes, investments, savings and retirement plans; shortages of oil and food;  the recent rash of  floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes; personal tragedies and trials, the loss of health, the loss of strength that comes with aging or sickness… all of these, and many others, produce anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic, in the hearts and minds of us all.

So what are we to do in these troubled times?  What is the answer to fear in the hearts of someone who has lost their job, is facing the foreclosure of their home and, perhaps, does not know where their next meal is coming from?  What about those who are suffering the loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Even worse, what can possibly take away the anxiety and stress that stems from losing a loved one who was the sole provider for the family? What comfort can be given to someone who is facing failing health with no medical reason to believe things will get better?

By God’s grace, over the next few blog entries we will be looking into the Word of God to see what comfort we can find during these catastrophic times of our life.  In our 3-part study we will be looking at three basic principles:

  1. Realize that the fearful times will remind us of God’s presence in our lives.  He is always with us.
  2. Realize that the fearful times fulfill a purpose in our lives. It opens doors of opportunity to us.
  3. Realize that the fearful times will come to an end.  A glorious eternity awaits us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Dan 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Ps 40

1) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings.

3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

4)Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.

Ps 64:9-10 (KJV)

9) And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

10) The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

THE STUDY:

PRINCIPLE #2 – Our God Has A Purpose For Every Fearful Time of Our Life…

As Christians, we all need to understand that our Lord controls all events in our lives.  Even wicked King Nebuchadnezzar, after having received a divine work of grace in his heart came to understand the absolute authority of the Lord….

 Dan 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 With acceptance and understanding of this truth comes the acknowledgment that all the events of our life are either caused, or allowed by the Lord.  In the book of Job, we find the perfect example of the will of allowance exercised by the Lord in the lives of those who have trusted in him.  In this example, the Lord allows Satan to intervene in the life of Job within limits set by God…

 Job 1:6-12 – “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them… Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 Job 2:1-6 – “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD…  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.”

 Even Satan, himself, is limited in his workings by our Lord.  The Lord restrains and controls Satan limiting the extent of his interaction with God’s people.  This principle applies to every event that takes place in our lives…. the Lord either causes the event, or He allows the event to take place in our lives.

Knowing that the Lord is in control of all things, leads us to our next question. “If our Lord is in control of every event in my life, why does He allow the fearful times to come?”  There is a simple answer to this question, as well as a more complex answer.  Let’s look at the simple answer first….  The Bible is clear, everything the Lord allows in the life of His people is for their benefit…

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”

 As His people, we can know for certain that everything that takes place in our lives is allowed for our benefit.  In one way shape or form we will gain by going through this time of anxiety, doubt, and fear.

 Now for the more complex answer to our question, “Why does God allow the fearful times of our lives?”

#1 – These difficult times in our lives are used by Him to get our attention.

We all live in a busy world.  Unfortunately, for many of us, we get so busy that we do not take the time to listen to the leading of the Spirit in our lives. The Lord uses the fearful times in our lives to bring us back to Him and to be more receptive to His leadings through studying His Word.  When fears enter our lives they drive us to our knees approaching Him in prayer.  As we come to Him in prayer and Bible study, we come listening and willing to obey His will.  The prophet Hosea makes this clear for us in Hosea 5:15, as he describes the reason for the dark times Israel was facing….

I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. “

 Why does He need to get our attention?  Many times, during the course of our lives we allow sin to creep into our lives, or we cling to tightly to a possession in our life, we have gradually drifted away from Him.   As we seek His face through prayer and Bible study, He shows us His will and  guides us to a closer walk with Him.

#2 – These difficult times are placed in our lives to prepare us for greater service to Him.

The Lord uses the fearful times of our lives to strengthen us and prepare us for future service for Him.

The fearful times of our lives can be used to increase our faith, teach us to count our blessings, to   under the importance of spiritual blessings and minimize the importance of temporal blessings.   Also, these times draw us closer to Him, and gives us a firm foundation of experience in His will and ways.

In Ps 64:9-10, we find several aspects of this principle… “And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

When we come face to face with His power and glory we will become better witnesses for Him.  Why? It is during these hard times of life that we begin to consider His workings and dwell on His purposes, as well as His greatness and gracious intervention in our lives.   This, then, leads us to a greater trust in Him, more gladness during the hard times and an increase in glory and honor to Him.

All of these characteristics are used by Him to make us better servants.

# 3 – These difficult times come in our lives to prepare us for future trials to come.

We live in a fallen world.  We live in a world that is slowly decaying due to the affects of sin.  This is a very sad, yet true fact of life.  Because sin exists and its affects upon us,  we will always be faced with hard times in our life.  Many times the Lord allows us to go through hard times now so that we will be built up to face future trials.

Let’s look at the life of the young boy David.   When David was a young boy he was given the responsibility care for his father’s sheep.  During his tenure as shepherd, David was faced with great trials.  At different times, David was faced with protecting the sheep during attacks by predator animals.  Specifically, a bear and a lion attacked his flock.  At the time these attacks took place, David was faced with dark, fearful life experiences.  He had to risk His own life to protect the sheep he had been called to protect.

It was these dark events in his life that prepared him for an even greater fearful event…. facing the giant Goliath.

Remember the account of David facing Goliath?  Please notice what David said in 1 Samuel 17:32-37…

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”

 Clearly, we can see that David’s dark times of facing a bear and a lion had prepared him for the future fearful time of facing the giant Goliath.   Could it be that the current trials we are facing in life are being allowed by God to gradually build us up for greater trials that lie ahead?  This is a real possibility.  If this is so, it is a wonderful display of our Lord’s love for us.  He loves us so much, He is taking the time to prepare us and equip us, so we can handle the future dark times of our lives.  David recognized this fact about the Lord in Psa 121:5-8…

The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

 What a great Lord we serve, He uses even the fearful times of our lives to help us and prepare us for the future…. To God be the glory great things He hath done.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

We have seen that the Bible clearly promises that the fearful times in our lives do not have to overcome us.  We can be victorious even when we are in the midst of these dark, seemingly hopeless situations that we face….

How can we know if this promise applies to us?  David, in Psalm 27:1, touches on this subject.

[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

 In these verses, David links his relationship to God with the application of His promises to us.  David describes his relationship to God as “the LORD is my light and my salvation”.  David here says that the Lord has given him the “light” of knowledge and understanding of the truth of His Word.  He goes further and says that the Lord is his “salvation”.

It is only when we have been enlightened with the truths of His Word and we have received deliverance from our sins, that we can apply His promises to our lives.  Have you ever been forgiven of your sins?  Have you ever come to Him understanding your spiritual needs and His divine supplies?

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.

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My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://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.”

New World Order – 2 – The Seven World Empires

SIH STSTA ICONThe word of God has much to say about the concept of a New World Order (NWO)…. We will be studying the NWO and it’s Biblical implications in a four part series…

1.Part #1 – The NOW – What is it? – Will it take place?

2.Part #2 – Past attempts at forming a NWO by force (The 7 World Empires)

3.Part #3 –  Past attempts at forming a NWO by consensus (The Tower of Babel)

4.Part #4 –  The Future NWO – Is the Lord pleased?

THE SCRIPTURE:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority… And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:1-8)

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns…I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast… (Rev 17:3-14)

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Rev 19:19-20)

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth… And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure… (Dan 2:31-46)

THE STUDY:

Throughout history there have been seven world empires that have sought, through the use of force, to overtake and rule all of the nations that were in existence in their day:

  1. Egypt
  2. Assyria
  3. Babylon
  4. Medo-Persia
  5. Greece
  6. Rome
  7. Includes a variety of world powers existing in the last days – (Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan etc.) that attempted to overtake world in WW1 and WW2.

In every case, their attempt to overtake the known world was unsuccessful due to divine intervention.

This truth is presented in the prophecy of Revelation 13:+17:+19:  In these verses, a beast with 7 heads is described.  The 7 heads represent the 7 world empires;  while the 10 horns on the 7th head represents the 7th world empire being made up of a varied group of nations. see Rev 17:9-12.  The end of this beast is made plain in Rev 19:19-20.  It will be cast in to the Lake of Fire, picturing the Lord’s defeat of all these national empires.

Likewise Daniel 2:, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed an image that represented the world empires that would exist from Daniel’s day forward into the future (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the world powers of the latter days.)  These were pictures by the gold, silver, brass, iron, and iron and clay parts of the image.  Once again, the end of these powers was clearly presented by the stone (Christ) culminating the destruction of the image.

The Bible gives us accounts and prophesies of divine intervention that proves the Lord’s control over the world empires.  These accounts are limited to the empires that fell during the periods in which the Old and New Testaments were written….

  1. Egypt – Exo 14:21-31 – Egyptian army drowning in Red Sea.
  2. Assyria – 2 Kings 19:35-37 – Angel of the Lord defeating Assyrian army at night
  3. Babylon – Dan 5:25-31 – Defeat of Babylon by Lord through use of Darius the Median
  4. Medo-Persia – Dan 8:2-8, 8:20-21 – Prophecy of defeat of Persia by the Greek Empire
  5. Greece – the fall of the Greek empire took place during the silent years of 400-0 BC.
  6. Rome – fell after the New Testament writings were completed and Divine revelation brought to an end.

In every case, these empires wanted to control the wealth and military power of each of these individual nations.  In each case, the Lord said “No’ and acted on behalf of his people, stopping the world wide takeover through His personal intervention or the use of other nations.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

The truth that the Lord is sovereign over all nations cannot be denied.  From the title of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” to the many verses describing His sovereignty (Dan 4:34-37, Isa 40:15-17, Jer 10:10, 1 Tim 6:14-16, Rev 19:15-16) the Bible is filled with references to this truth.

We have every reason to praise and honor our Lord based upon His strength and Lordship over all.  (Psa 150:1-2)  It is because of this truth, that we can find peace and rest in the midst of a tumultuous world.  When we see Iran working to create a nuclear arsenal, terrorist threatening our country on almost a daily basis, and China growing economically and militarily, we can still trust in the fact that He is in control.

Even as we see the world rushing to form new alliances that will involve a unified monetary/economic system, a lessened military defense for our country, and loss of national sovereignty, we can rest assured that the Lord is in control.  None of these events will take place apart from His hand of protection and allowance allowing these things to take place.

While we can freely worship and proclaim His Word, let us increase our efforts to reach the lost around us with His message of salvation by grace.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

The events leading up to the establishment of a NWO should be a warning to all of the closeness of the Lord’s coming and the end of the world.  To date, every attempt to unite the world by force was stopped by the Lord but, someday, world unity will come into existence.  Our time of national freedom is perhaps coming to a close.  The freedom to proclaim the message of God’s grace and the freedom to worship Him is still with us.  Now is the time for you to consider your eternal destiny while the truth is being proclaimed publically and you have the opportunity to worship freely.

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

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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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