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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 7:3 KJV

(3)  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

 

 

 

The angel from the east (Christ) commands the four angels to “hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees” until He protects His people by taking them to be with Him.

What a blessing it is to understand that any of God’s wrath that is pointed towards the lost will be withheld from His people.  Of course, this is not limited to His wrath that will fall to His second coming but also includes His eternal wrath that will be meted out following the judgment of all lost mankind.

This judgment, and its eternal results, are described in Revelation 20:11-15…

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
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.”

 

Throughout the Word of God, His people are promised to be protected from this time of eternal wrath that is faced by those who have never trusted in Christ. One such passage is 1Thessalonians 5:6-11 KJV…

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

 

In our last devotional, we saw that one source of the believer’s comfort concerning future events is the knowledge that the Lord is coming again.  At that time He will take us to be with Him and our saved loved ones who have passed on before us (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Here in our 1 Thessalonians 5 passage, we see another great source of comfort for His people… the knowledge of our deliverance from His eternal wrath that is to come.    What should be the natural result of that comforting knowledge?  A spirit of preparedness and seriousness, as well as a strengthening of God’s people.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3XK

 

 

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The End Of The World Revealed (Part #1)

SIH STSTA ICONThis was first posted in 2010.  The truths in this post remain unchanged… may we all come to a better understanding of the times of Christ’s second coming!

 

 

2012… just four little numbers that in the past few years have become a BIG DEAL!  What used to be simply a descriptor, for a 12 month segment of time on coming calendars, has become synonymous with the end of all mankind.  How did this happen?  Well, to tell you the truth, I think it takes a Mayan scholar and historian to really get the answer straight; there is much controversy over the whole theory.  I can’t read the Mayan language, nor do I understand how the Mayans went about creating their calendar; so to be fair to supporters of this theory, I think I’ll leave the explanation of all this to them.  If you are interested this link may help you…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

As far as I’m concerned, the only area of interest for me is … “What does God’s Word say about the world ending in 2012?”   From my perspective, God’s Word (made up of 66 separate books, Genesis – Revelation) is the only reliable authority on this whole issue.  Therefore, if God’s Word teaches that the world ends in 2012… so be it, then that proves to me that the Mayan’s had it right all along; but, if God’s Word proves the 2012 theory is baloney…. that settles it for me… I’m placing my faith in my Lord, and His Word, and I’m delegating the 2012 theory to my trash can (file 13).  (If anyone is interested in why I count God’s Word as the ultimate authority in matters like this, please refer to my previous blog entry on the Bible and Science: http://bit.ly/bYDWbZ for more info)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? … But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Mat 24:3, 36, 42; see also Matt 25:13, 2 Pet 3:10)

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  (1Th 5:1-11)

THE STUDY:

Matthew chapter 24 is a record of the teachings of Christ on the subject of His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world:

Matthew 24:1-3…

If you notice, the question that initiated the Lord’s teachings of Matthew 24 is found in verse 3 …” Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

So clearly, the context of this chapter is the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.  To say otherwise is to deny the context of this chapter.

(Please note, the “things” being referenced in verse 3 was the destruction of the temple by Rome a few years later in 70 AD by Roman general Titus.  This brought an end to the Hebrew worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem and began the time period we call the “latter days”.)

Matthew 24:4-28

In these verses, the Lord describes the different events leading up to His second coming. An in-depth look at these signs will be presented in Part #2 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:29-31

The coming of Christ is described as he takes His followers to heaven to be with Him. A closer look at these verses will follow in Part #3 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:32-51

Here our responsibility to look for the signs and to be ready for His coming is brought into view.  These verses we’ll look at in detail in Part #4

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

He clearly says in verse 36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

And then in verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

In the context, watching the signs of His coming, He makes it plain that, as we watch, we should not expect the exact time to be revealed to us!   In other words, the signs are to help us know the basic time frame of His return, but we will not know exactly when He is coming.

He explicitly states that no man, nor angel would ever know the exact time of His coming.  Even Christ, while on earth, as a human, who did not exercise His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8), did not know the time of His second coming.  (Just a note here…. I believe that since Christ is ascended and has begun to exercise His divine attributes and authority, (Phil 2:9-11) He now knows when the second coming will take place.)

This same principle is also brought out in the Scriptures in our other text, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

In other words, Paul did not need to write to the believers in Thessalonica about the times and seasons of Christ’s second coming because Christ had already addressed the topic.   But even though they already had teachings on the signs, there would be no specific announcement of when He would come.  In that sense, He would be coming as a thief, unannounced and unexpected by many.

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

So for this blog entry, it is important for us to see that Christ gave us signs marking a basic time frame of His coming.   However, the coming of Christ and the end of the world, will not be announced with any exact date. He specifically teaches that no man, nor angel will be shown the time of His coming.   It is a truth only known by the Triune God.

By the way, good old “2012 theory” is already rattling around in my file 13, and we are only one-fourth finished with our study!

My next blog entry will answer the question, “What are the signs of His second coming?” from Matt 24:4-28.

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.

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.”

Waiting For That Day

As Christians, we all are waiting for the second coming of Christ.  It will be the fulfillment of all of the many precious promises that our Lord has given to us (John 14:1-3).   It will be the receipt of our long-awaited inheritance (Rom 8:17-18).  It will be our homecoming (Heb 11:13-16).  It will be our reunion with our Lord (Acts 1:10-11).

There are many verses in the Bible that speak of that day.  Some of them are very familiar to those who are acquainted with God’s Word.  There are others of which we may be unaccustomed or, perhaps, even unaware.  Let’s take a look at one of the lesser known of the verses on His second coming to see what we can learn about that great day …

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 25:9  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

 THE STUDY:

 And it shall be said in that day,

What is “that day” of which we are talking?   It is the “day of the Lord” (1 Thess 5:1-5).  It is when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will come back to take us to be with Him for an eternity.

 Lo, this [is] our God;

When Christ comes back we will recognize Him as our God.  The word translated “God” carries with it two basic ideas:

  1. He is the true magistrate – In other words, He is the one that possesses the Authority to judge and rule over all creation.
  2. He is deserving of all worship – We are to recognize His attributes, His position, His      character, His works and His person. We are to then treat Him appropriately by honoring, praising and worshipping Him.

 “we have waited for him,

This will be the moment of which all of His people are waiting.  The word translated waiting is a very interesting Hebrew word.  It means “to be bound together due to a common expectation”.  In other words…. as Christians, we are united in our expectation of Christ’s coming.

One of the great things that Christians share in common is a love for Christ.  It is this love for Him that produces our feelings of longing for His return.   That’s why Paul in 2 Tim 4:8 describes those who are saved as those who “love His appearing”.  If we are not eagerly awaiting the Lord’s coming, we must place serious doubts on our salvation.  How can someone saved by His grace, due to the sacrifice of Himself on our behalf, not love Him and anxiously await experiencing communion with Him in His presence?

 and he will save us:

Keep in mind, those speaking are those who have already experienced God’s saving grace; they are the ones who “have waited for him”.  If they have already been forgiven, why do they say “He WILL save us”?

The salvation that we receive is actually given to us in three different stages:

  1. At our initial salvation experience, we receive deliverance (salvation) from the penalty of our sins.  We are no longer headed for eternal, divine judgment in the Lake of Fire. We are freed from the PENALTY of sin.
  2. During our life on earth, the Lord is continually giving us deliverance (salvation) from the power of sin in our lives.  We are no longer under sin’s bondage; we no longer serve sin.  We are freed from the POWER of sin.
  3. But at His second coming, the Lord removes us from this fallen sinful world.  We are no longer affected by sin nor a fallen nature.  We are freed from the PRESENCE of sin.

This is the salvation of which Isaiah is speaking.  One reason we are eagerly awaiting His return is that we will no longer be touched by sin and its effects.  No more death, no more sorrow, no more failing our Lord, all of this is taken from us at His second coming.

this [is] the LORD;”

At Christ’s coming we will acknowledge Him as LORD (Jehovah).  When we see Christ as Jehovah God, we see that He is the only true God and the only God that actually exists. His coming back will be a public declaration that all His promises are now coming true because He is the faithful, sovereign God who is in control of all things (2 Peter 3:).

we have waited for him

The sharing of our desire to see Him has caused all Christians to share a bonding of desire and expectancy.

we will be glad and rejoice

Our response to seeing Christ’s return is two-fold:

  1. We will be glad – to outwardly display gladness or joy.  Outwardly, we will be overflowing with gladness and joy, being liberated from sin’s presence and entering eternity with Christ
  2. We will rejoice – to be brightened.   Our beings will be brightened with the  receipt of new glorified bodies that will be similar to that of Christ’s  (Phil 3:21).  This brightening may involve displaying the glory of God in our new bodies.  Or it may be speaking of the brightening  of our countenance due to the extreme joy of entering into eternity with  Him.

 “in his salvation.

The source of our gladness and joy, must ultimately be attributed, in part, to our deliverance from the presence of sin in our spirit, our body and our surroundings. What a day that will be when we will no longer be touched by the sin that had previously permeated our very beings; and when we will be delivered from the effects of sin that had brought sin, sickness, sorrow and death into our existence on earth.  (Rev 21-22)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved:

No matter what may befall us as we continue in the fallen world around us, we can know assuredly that there is coming a day when our Lord will return and graciously bestow upon us the ultimate eternal salvation that we so long for.

Just knowing that, someday, the struggles of this world will end, and we will enter eternity in His presence, is enough to allow joy to continue to reign in our hearts…

1Pet 1:6-9 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.”

 For those who have never experienced the grace of God in our lives:

Do you see the horrible results of sin in the world around us? Do you see the wonderful future that the Lord is offering to those who will come to Him an place their faith in Him? Do you feel the pain of guilt, realizing that you have rejected the very One who offers salvation from the personal sin that is dominating your life?   Do you understand the offer of forgiveness of sin and a wonderful, sin-free eternity in the very presence of God is what you are spitting upon and trampling under foot?

By God’s grace, may you see the sinfulness of your actions, hate the very acts of rebellion you once enjoyed, and turn from your disobedience and come in faith and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is then, that you will receive His gracious mercy.  It is then, you will experience a change of heart.  It is then, that you will be able to call these precious promises of a sinless eternity yours.  It is then, that you will be anxiously waiting for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (8)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].
See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

To close this devotional series from 1 Thessalonians, let’s review the six basic exhortations given to us by Paul…
1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 

Before we close this series, I would like to remind us of a very important truth… all of these exhortations given by God, through the Apostle Paul, are desires found in the heart of those who love the Lord and all mankind…

 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)

 

 

I thought it would be beneficial to take a short time to answer a few questions…

Basic Question #1 – As we went through this series, did you find within your heart a desire to live out the exhortations given to us?

 

If you said “No”, it is very important that you stop and do an honest evaluation of your spiritual condition. It is very possible that you have never actually experienced the Lord’s gracious, life-giving intervention in your life.

 

 

 

However, if you said “Yes” then it is important we ask another question…

 

Basic Question #2 – Why do you desire these attributes in your life?

 

Is it because you would like to be popular with others or, maybe, you would like to receive praise for being a “good guy” or “a sweet lady”?
Or, maybe, you are a business owner who desires to have a good reputation in the community so that your business will increase?
Or maybe, do you want to others to believe you are more “holy” and “religious” than those around you?
To put it simply, do you desire these attributes in your life so that you alone might benefit?

Folks, once again, if you find yourself answering “yes” to any of the above questions, please take the time to be honest with yourself and come to a true understanding of your spiritual condition. By all indications, you have never been made into a new creature through the work of Christ. You are yet ruled by your fallen nature and are yet in your sins.

 

Or…
Could it be that you desire these attributes because you love the Lord and those around you?

This type of love will manifest itself in your life through a desire to please and glorify the Lord and a desire to care and help those who are around you. These desires are unselfish in nature and based upon love. This is a clear indication of a genuine, Scriptural, salvation experience that has taken place in your life.

 

 

APPLICATION:
As we have looked at these questions and the Holy Spirit has shown you that you are not saved, please keep in mind… the Bible clearly presents to us the way of salvation from sin. It is found solely through the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. This is clearly presented to us in the message of the gospel…

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:And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:1-7)

 

It is this same message that must be accepted through repentance and faith…

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.(Mark 1:15)
What does the Bible mean by repentance? It is a gift that God gives to us that causes great change in our lives. Some of the change includes:

1. A change in how we see ourselves. We no longer see ourselves as good and in need of nothing, finding security in ourselves and the things of the world. We now see ourselves as sinful human beings, who have utterly failed to live up to God’s standards, destined and deserving of eternal punishment for our sins, and without any ability to secure salvation of ourselves or our good works.
2. A change in attitude about the sin we have in our lives. We no longer desire to sin but mourn over it, turn from it, and forsake it.
3. A change in attitude about Jesus. We no longer mock, ridicule and reject Him. We now see Him as our Lord, the One we want to please and the One we want to serve.

 

These are just a few of the changes that need to take place for us to be the recipients of God’s great salvation.

 

 

What does the Bible mean by belief? Other words that mean “belief” include “faith”, “trust”, “acceptance”, and “conviction”.  All of these words describe a God-given certainty that we must possess concerning Jesus Christ. We come to know with certainty that:

1. Jesus is the only One from whom we can receive salvation from our sins.
2. Jesus is God Himself come to the earth.
3. Jesus is Lord of our life because He is Our Creator and Our God. It is our responsibility to please Him and serve Him.
4. Jesus, our divine Lord, died on the cross, and in doing so, took the judgment of our sin upon Himself. It was through His death that the wrath of God against all of our sins, past, present, and future was satisfied.
5. Jesus arose from the grave. His resurrection gives us proof that He truly was God in the flesh and that His work on the cross was accepted by God as the complete payment for our sins.

 

These and many others are the things that we come to know with a God-given certainty about Jesus.

 

Folks, may Christ graciously intervene in our lives and bring us to a saving knowledge of Him as our Lord and Savior, trusting in who He is and what He has done for us.  In doing so, we can know with certainty our sins are forgiven and we are eternally secure in Him.

 

This ends our look at 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (7)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].  See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].  (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the sixth, and final, of Paul’s exhortations to us…

 

ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men]

In this exhortation we find 3 basic parts:
1. “ever follow” in other words “Everywhere, and at all times, pursue”
2. “that which is good” in other words “that which is beneficial”
3. “both among yourselves and to all men” in other words “among members of your church and all men”.

Everywhere, and at all times, we are to be seeking to do that which is beneficial among our fellow laborers in Christ and all others with whom we come into contact. In other words, we are to constantly seek to have lives which are spiritually beneficial to those around us.

 

Specifically, what does Paul mean by “that which is good”? He seems to explain this idea in greater detail in Romans 14:18-19…

For he that in these things serveth Christ [is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.(Romans 14:16-19)

In this text we can see four basic “tests” to reveal to us “that which is good”:
1. Is it acceptable to God? In other words… Is God pleased with it?
2. Is it approved of men? In other words…. Is it recognized as beneficial to men?
3. Does it make for peace? In other words… Does it promote unity, harmony and peace between men and God?
4. Does it edify ourselves and others? In other words… Does it strengthen ourselves and others?

Folks, these four questions make up the test by which we should judge our life pursuits.

 

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.(1 Timothy 6:11-12)

Examples of things that will “pass this test” include: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Please notice that each and every one of these, when put to the above four-part test, will produce a resounding “yes” to each question of our test.

 

APPLICATION:

May we all seek to pursue “that which is good” for ourselves and those around us. By doing so, we will enjoy a close relationship to the Lord, a productive prayer life, and divine protection from our Lord.

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.And who [is] he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? (1 Peter 3:11-13)

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (6)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].   See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].    (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the fifth of Paul’s exhortations to us…

 

See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];

How easy it is for us to justify “getting back” for wrongdoing that is done to us. However, we are clearly told in God’s Word that “payback” is to be avoided by anyone who takes the name of Christ.

The Lord states the issue very plainly, in this text, by saying “see that none of you hand back injury, harm or abuse to those who injure, harm, or abuse you.

 

In the writings of the NT this issue is addressed several times and helps to explain specifics concerning this responsibility we have been given:

 

1. The Lord will repay any wrong doing that is done to His people
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)

 

2. Better to accept the abuse at the hands of brethren than to expose them to public shame
But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren. (1 Corinthians 6:6-8)

 

3. Keep in mind our eternal blessings gained through obedience to the Lord. Any abuse on this earth only results in temporary loss.
Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9)

 

Christ, Himself, taught these truths and set the perfect example for us to follow:

4. Christ teaches us to sacrificially go above and beyond to those who are enemies. We do this by loving, blessing, doing good, and praying for those who oppose us. 
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also.And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.(Matthew 5:39-45)

 

5. Christ set the example by refusing to give us our due, but to give His life on the cross for us instead.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.(1 Peter 2:21-25)

 

 

APPLICATION:

May we all choose to give of ourselves towards those who mistreat us. In doing so, we are presenting Christ to those around us.

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (5)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].  See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].   (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the fourth of Paul’s exhortations to us…

 
be patient toward all [men]

Patience is, perhaps for many of us, the most difficult of all these exhortations by Paul. But in the context of our study, to be patient is listed as one of the greatest ways that we can show Christ to others around us. Perhaps this is why to be patience is so hard on our flesh!
 
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye. (Colossians 3:12-13)
 
So what does the Bible mean by “patience” or “longsuffering”? Both of these words, in the above texts, are translated from the same Greek word (makrothumeo) that carries four basic ideas with it:
1. to carry a weight
2. for a long period of time
3. without feeling abused or mistreated
4. without allowing anger (or a desire for “payback”) to burn within us
In other words, it to be patient means “to humbly, willingly, suffer under a heavy burden for a long period of time in the absence of anger or desire for retribution.”

Another word that is commonly translated “patience” in the Bible (hupomoneo) is used to describe a donkey that patiently stands while his owner continually adds a heavier burden to its back. It stands there, not kicking the burden off, not braying or running off. It simply stands and accepts the burden placed upon it.

These words represent for us the Scriptural concept of patience.

As difficult as it may be, how many of us truly exhibit patience in our lives? Patience is demanded in both the small and large things in life. From the short-lived suffering of standing in a long, slow line at the store, to the long-term burden of medical issues, personality conflicts, or mistreatment and abuse by others; how do we react when these burdens that are placed upon us?

 

APPLICATION:

Over the years, I have become convinced that EVERYTIME the circumstances in our life demand patience, it is the Lord opening an opportunity for us to show Christ to those around us.

People are constantly watching us and seeing how we accept the difficult times of our lives… What will they say about us?

Will they see our sinful flesh controlling our lives causing selfishness to rear its ugly head? Or, will they see the humility and love of Christ in us?

Will they see that we are no different from the lost fallen world and see no reason to trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior?   Or, will they see our lives and be motivated to turn to Christ and be delivered from the bondage of Satan and their flesh?
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (4)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].  See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].  (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the third of Paul’s exhortations to us…

 

support the weak,

Who are the “weak” ones?
The best way to understand the meaning of this word is to realize that this word comes for the Greek word “asthenes”.  It is from this word that we get our word “asthma”. Anyone who is familiar with those afflicted with asthma know that it involves physical weakness and inability to perform a task (due to lack of breath). When an asthma attack is severe, it stops all other activity and brings everything to an abrupt halt.

It helps if we compare being “weak” with those who are “feebleminded”…
In our previous devotion, we saw that the “feebleminded” were those who were lacking boldness, desire, or spirit. In other words, they lacked the inward strength of will to perform a task.

In comparison to the feebleminded, the “weak” possess the desire to serve the Lord, but are unable to fulfill their desires. They are weak, perhaps they are spiritually immature, weak in the faith, or struggling with some physical weakness which inhibits them from performing the task at hand.  Because they take their service to Christ very seriously, it is like a “weight” of responsibility that lies before them. They deeply desire to bear their cross and follow Christ.   However, when they try to lift the weight they find they cannot; their weakness inhibits them.

The important point is the feebleminded lack DESIRE while the weak lack ABILITY.

 

 

How can we help those who are weak?
In this text, we are told to “support” them. The idea of support involves “to attach to and prop up”. It implies two basic ideas:
1. to accompany someone
2. to help hold them up and make them firm

Any gardener knows that when a plant is drooping down, by tying it to a stake, it is able to stand tall, straight and firm. This is the exact meaning of “support”. We are the “stake” that should attach ourselves to the weak and support them in their service to Christ. When we see someone who is struggling to carry the weight of their service to Christ, we are to join up with them and help lift their cross and follow Christ.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.
For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.(Romans 15:1-6)

 

 

APPLICATION:
May we all be aware of those who are struggling to fulfill His will for their lives. May we take the time to share our lives with them and, in doing so, help them to serve the Lord in greater ways.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (3)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].
See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:
 

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the second of Paul’s exhortations to us. Please keep in mind all of these exhortations accomplish several things on our behalf:

1. They show our love for the Lord and others
2. they help us to build a Godly testimony in the eyes of all who see us
3. and they benefit those that we are helping.   If we help one who is saved we are aiding them to grow spiritually. If the one we help is without Christ, we are pointing them to Christ through our acts of love and kindness to them.

 
comfort the feebleminded

 

What does the Bible mean by the term feebleminded?  The word translated “feebleminded” comes from tow Greek words that are fused together:
1. oligos – means “small, weak, faint or susceptible”.
2. psuche – means “will, spirit, or desire”

 

To be “feebleminded” means to be fainthearted or to be weak willed, lacking courage and/or desire
We are told to “comfort” those who are faint of heart. Again, this word comes from a fusion of two Greek words:
1. para – “to be near”, “to stand by”
2. mueo – “to instruct”, “to reveal mysteries”
This implies two principles… to accompany someone and to teach someone.
In other words, to be of “comfort” to someone teaches us that we are to stand near to the fainthearted, giving to them words of encouragement that is meant to strengthen and encourage them.

 

Folks, when we see someone who is struggling with doubts and fears in their life what are we to do? We are to approach them, stand with them as they face their fearful, discouraging situation and speak words of encouragement and strength to them.
One of the greatest Biblical examples of a human encourager is that of Barnabas. Although Barnabas was not his birth name, he became known as Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement/consolation”, due to his many acts of comfort that he performed (Acts 4:36-37).

 

Let’s see a few Bible accounts of how Barnabas encouraged others …
1. Barnabas encouraged others by giving materially to those in need. (Acts 4:34-37)
2. Barnabas supported Paul in the face of many doubters.
He overlooked Paul’s past and trusted Paul’s testimony of salvation and his desire to serve Christ. He placed his own reputation on the line by recommending Paul to the many doubters. (Acts 9:26-27)
3. Barnabas encouraged others by verbally encouraging them to continue in their service to Christ. (Acts 11:22-24)
4. Barnabas encouraged Paul by giving up his personal pursuits to physically accompanying him on his missionary journeys. (Acts 13:1-3)
5. Barnabas trusted Mark’s testimony of repentance and his desire to serve Christ in the face of a doubting Paul.
This was very similar to how Barnabas had trusted Paul’s testimony following Paul’s salvation and calling. How sad it was to see that Paul was not willing to do for Mark what Barnabas had done for him (Paul). Eventually, it was proven Barnabas was correct in believing John Mark and Paul actually called for John Mark to be at his side (Acts 15:36-39, 2 Tim 4:11).
 
APPLICATION:
Folks, if we dedicate our lives to serving others, by seeking to encourage the hearts of the downtrodden, we too, will be known as “sons (or daughters) of encouragement”. May we all leave behind the personal testimony that Barnabas has left behind for us to emulate…
For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:” Acts 11:24
May we all be willing to give of our personal, worldly, pursuits to dedicate ourselves to encouraging those who are weak and faint of heart.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (2)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the first of Paul’s exhortations to us…

warn them that are unruly
Do we care about others around us? Do we desire to please the Lord with our lives?  If so, we will take the time and effort to warn others who are erratic in their life walk for Christ.

Who are we to warn? It is those who are “unruly”. In other words, it is those who “unarranged”, or “out of proper order”. It is those people whose life walk is not in alignment with the principles of God’s Word…

1. Their speech and actions are not in alignment.
They may speak the truths of His Word without living them out in their lives. In these cases, their words and actions are erratic and inconsistent with one another.

2. Their lives are inconsistent from one moment to the next.
In these cases, they live inconsistent lives. They are like a ship tossed about by the waves of a sea. One moment they may be living in obedience to the Word, the next moment they are living in disobedience. In these cases, their service to the Lord is not consistent but varies based upon their situation, their mood, or their convenience.

 

How are we to deal with these erratic Christians? We are to “warn” them of their spiritual shortcomings.

If we study the idea behind the word “warn” it teaches us much about the proper spirit and way in which we are to give warning to others. The Greek word for “warn” literally means “to gently place in the mind”.   This helps us to understand several basic principles:
1. to warn implies MILD counsel and correction.
It is simply placing in someone’s mind the need for change. It does not imply a forced submission. It is simply speaking to others wanting to place in their mind the importance of change for their lives.

 

2. to warn implies HUMBLE counsel and correction.
It excludes an attitude of superiority or lordship over others. It is not speaking down to them, nor is it commanding them to change their life. It is simply laying forth the truths of God’s Word in an understandable way, allowing the Spirit to convict and bring about the needed change.

 

3. to want implies LOVING counsel and correction.
It is a counsel that is given from a heart of love (for the Lord and the one in need of counseling). It is to lovingly place in the mind of the individual a gift of advice that is only meant to be of benefit to them. If we really love those around us, how can we withhold spiritual counsel from those who are erratic in their service for Christ?

 

Please note these basic truths about giving counsel to others is upheld in many other Biblical texts…

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 5:25-6:2)

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification. (Romans 15:1-2)

 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.(2 Timothy 2:24-26)

 

APPLICATION:

May we all understand the need to help those who are struggling spiritually among us. We can do this by gently placing in their mind the truths of God’s Word and the need to align themselves with those truths.

The best way for your counsel to be received and be beneficial to others, is by delivering the counsel with the proper spirit and manner. Love, humility, kindness and gentleness should always be a part of the counsel that we give to those in need.

May we all be willing to humble ourselves and lovingly share spiritual counsel to those who are erratic in their service for Christ.

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (1)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].
See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 

Now we exhort you, brethren,

Before we begin with the first exhortation, let’s attempt to answer the question, “What is an exhortation”?
In this verse, “exhort” comes from a Greek word (parakaleo) that holds three basic ideas:

1. to call near (to accompany and/or help)
2. to render encouragement (through words and/or actions)
3. to possess urgency (importance and/or insistence)
The idea that Paul is giving to the Thessalonians an “exhortation” teaches us that Paul was stepping to their side wanting to aid them in their walk with Christ. He did this by delivering a very important (urgent) message that was intended to encourage them in their service for Christ.
What was this important message?   This message encouraged them to treat others in a Godly fashion. If you notice the six main exhortations, they all involve our relationship with others… how we treat them, and how we respond to them in various sets of circumstances.
How we relate to all others (family, friend and foe) is a central area of the Christian’s testimony. It is proof of our adoption into the family of God and of our spiritual growth and maturity…

 

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
(Matthew 5:43-48)

APPLICATION:
As we go about our day today, let’s always be aware of how we are treating those who are around us. Because of our fallen natures, it is so easy to become self-centered with our focus only upon ourselves. But for each of us who are Christians, who now possess the love of Christ within us, may we consistently think of others before ourselves.

By putting others first, we are displaying the love that our Heavenly Father showed to us when He gave Christ to die on the cross so that we might be saved…

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
(1 John 4:7-12)

 

A Godly relationship with others is the central method of displaying to the world that we are Christians…
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

This is why, for the next 6 days, we will be studying Paul’s exhortation to treat others in a Godly way.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 5)

 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 Prophecies Of False Miracles In The “Last Days”:

Please note MANY PASSAGES will be referred to in this lesson. As in all the lessons, the KJV text of each passage can be found at the end of this study. Please take the time to refer to them to come to a more clear understanding on the biblical teachings on these things.
As Christians, it is of utmost importance that we familiarize ourselves with Satan’s deceptive practices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan, the father of lies (John 8:43-45), uses deception as a chief tool to mislead people from the truths of God’s Word (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14). When we understand how Satan works we can more successfully guard against falling for His lies and counterfeit gospel message.
Let’s take a very quick look at some of the ways that Satan opposes Christ’s workings in the days in which we are living.

The Bible makes it very plain that in the time period described as the “last days” false accrediting miracles will be used by Satan to mislead many from the Biblical gospel message (Matthew 24:23-24; Mark 13:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-8; Revelation 13:11-14; 16:13-15; 19:20).
These false miracles are very effective tools of deception for Satan, This is because of man’s fallen, carnal nature which is not satisfied with the exercise of faith in the Lord and His Word, but is only satisfied by witnessing supernatural miracles being performed (Matthew 16:3-4). This attitude flies in the face of true Scriptural faith that rests in “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-3).
Please note that… The “last days” is the time period in which we live today. It finds its beginning with the first coming of Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3).   Knowing that the “last days” began with the first coming of Christ, we can know with certainty that the existence of false deceptive teachings, and false accrediting miracles, existed since the days of Christ on earth and will continue to exist until He comes back again at His second coming.

This is why John teaches us that antichrists existed in his day as well as would exist in today’s time (1 John 2:18-19)

Folks, the existence of false miracles is not something new, but has existed for many, many years. We find the exercise of false miracles periodically performed throughout New Testament church history.

The most important aspect of this teaching, for this study, is that these deceptive practices exist in today’s time. Because of this, we must take these prophecies seriously and always put the current day “miracles” to the test of God’s Word (Isaiah 8:18-20; Matthew 7: 15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 4:1-3]. There is no excuse for a Bible believing Christian to not seek out the truth concerning these practices. To naively accept modern day miracles as being of God is to show a lack of understanding of clear Scriptural prophetic warnings from God Himself.

We should all be like the Berean Christians who, after receiving teaching from God’s Word, took the time to check it’s accuracy by comparing it with the Word of God (Acts 17:10-12).  This same principles applies to the modern day accrediting miracles that are taking place around us. That is the purpose of this entire series of studies, to help us to clearly understand the teaching of God’s Word concerning spiritual gifts. This will give us the foundational information we need to properly judge that which is taking place around us.

False teaching and the use of false accrediting miracles is a big deal in the eyes of the Lord. It is such a heinous sin that, in the Old Testament scriptures these practices are deserving of death (Deuteronomy 13:1-8) and at the final judgment will result, apart from the Lord’s gracious forgiveness, in eternal death (Matthew 7:21-23; Revelation 19:20) . It is easy for us to understand why this is such a horrible practice… it is misleading many to eternal destruction and separation from God. And that is why there is such a grave need for all of us to take it upon ourselves to judge the validity of these practices.

You might be wondering why I have included this section under the heading of “When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence?”. My thoughts centered on the need for us to understand that false miracles do exist in today’s time. There are those who argue that simply seeing these things take place proves that the Biblical accrediting miracles are still taking place in todays’ time and, therefore, they have not yet gone out of existence. My answer to them is this lesson.

Just because supposed miracles are taking place around us, there is NO SCRIPTURAL reason to assume that they are divinely originated, nor that they are of the same type of gifts as the accrediting miracles that were performed by the Apostles and other local church members of the New Testament accounts. There is another very Scriptural and plausible answer to these things…. they are simply the deceptive workings of Satan that the Bible clearly teaches will exist in our day and age.

Yes, I believe that all of the false accrediting miracles fall into three basic groups which all find their source in Satan and his workings…

1. If they are miracles that actually take place and supercede the natural laws of nature, then I believe they are the result of demonic enabling and oppression (or perhaps, possession). (Mark 5:3-4)

2. In many cases, I believe they are, in actuality, not genuine miracles at all, but simply illusions that are performed (much like that of a magician) purposefully to mislead others. If that is the case, they find their origin in Satanic workings. They are the result of Satan blinding and twisting the minds of the illusionist seducing them with the promises of fame and the riches of this world. (2 Tim 3:1-8)

3. Finally, there are some “miracles” that are performed by those who are misled, sincere in their beliefs and caught up in their emotions. But once again, these find their ultimate origin in Satan, who has kept them from the truths of the Word and is actively at work in their mind and psyche. It is this group of people that “two-fold more the child of hell” misled and unknowingly headed for the Lake of Fire, while believing they are secure in Christ. (Matt 23:15)

May the Lord graciously protect us from these workings of Satan as he lies in wait to make merchandise of our very souls through counterfeit teaching and miracles (2 Peter 2:1-3; Rev 18:12-13)

I would like to close this section of our study with two very sobering texts. They are found in Matthew 7:21-23 and Revelation 19:20…

Mat 7:21-23 KJV

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In this text we see that there will be those who stand before the Lord at the final judgment making an argument for their acquittal. Their three part argument goes something like this… “But Lord, we HAVE DONE the will of your Father, and we can prove it! …
1. have we not prophesied in thy name? – we delivered a Scriptural message
2. and in thy name have cast out devils? – we successfully opposed Satan and His workings among men
3. and in thy name done many wonderful works? – we performed miracles that prove we were doing the work of God

Although all of these 3 areas of ministry appeared to prove their ministry was of the Father, in actuality they were lost individuals who would be cast into the Lake of Fire as rebellious, disobedient, lying, ministers of Satan. By God’s grace may He allow us to escape such an end.

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

“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.”

In this text we find the beast (ungodly political powers of the world) and the false prophet (false religious powers of the world) are facing their final judgment. Note how the false religions of the world are said to work miracles which deceived the nations. Once again, these miracles are proven to be counterfeit miracles that only add to their eternal condemnation (as those responsible for misleading multitudes of people).

In our next lesson we will take a look at several Scriptural principles to apply as we seek to judge the messages and miracles being performed by those who claim to be followers of Christ.

 

Additional Information(Verses Mentioned In This Study):

The Prophecies Of False Miracles In The “Last Days”:

Deu 13:1-8 KJV

(1) If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

(2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

(3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

(4) Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

(5) And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

(6) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

(7) Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

(8) Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

 

Psa 119:11 KJV

(11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 

Psa 119:105 KJV

(105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

 

Isa 8:18-20 KJV

(18) Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

(19) And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

(20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

 

Mat 7:15-20 KJV

(15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

(16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

(17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

(18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

(19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

Mat 7:21-23

(21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

(22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

(23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Mat 16:3-4 KJV

(3) And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

(4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

 

Mat 23:15 KJV

15) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

 

Mat 24:23-24

(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

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

 

Mar 5:3-4

3) Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him.

 

Mar 13:21-23

(21) And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

(22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

(23) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

 

Joh 8:43-45 KJV

(43) Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

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

(45) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

 

Joh 17:14-17 KJV

(14) I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

(15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

(17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

 

Act 17:10-12 KJV

(10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

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

(12) Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

 

2Co 2:9-11 KJV

(9) For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

(10) To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

(11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

2Co 11:13-14 KJV

(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 

1Th 5:20-21 KJV

(20) Despise not prophesyings.

(21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 

2Th 2:8-12

(8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

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

(11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

2Ti 3:1-8 KJV

(1) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

(2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

(3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

(4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

(5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

(6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

(7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

(8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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.

Heb 1:1-3 KJV

(1) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

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

 

Heb 11:1-3

1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2) For by it the elders obtained a good report.

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.

 

1Jn 2:18 KJV

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

 

1Jn 4:1-3 KJV

(1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

 

Rev 13:11-14 KJV

(11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

(12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

(13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

(14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

 

Rev 16:13-15 KJV

(13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

(14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

(15) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

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

The Importance Of The Local Church -11 “The Membership and Attendance Of The Assembly”

SIH TOA ICON“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this eleventh lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the teachings of the Bible concerning the importance of church attendance.

We will be looking at this subject from three different standpoints:
1.  The command to attend the assembly
2.  The examples to attend the assembly
3.  Our responsibility to others to attend the assembly

THE STUDY:

The command to attend the assembly

Perhaps Hebrews 10:25 is a command for every believer to join, and faithfully attend the Lord’s local assembly… “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 

Here, the Christian is exhorted to not “abandon” or “permanently walk away” from the assembly of believers.  This can hold one of two meanings:

1.  This is speaking of the assembly of believers in the Lord’s church.

In this case, this text explains the need for Christians to not abandon the attendance of a local assembly where God’s people meet.  It seems to go further and explain that as the second coming of Christ draws nearer, the need for faithful attendance to the assembly will increase.

This interpretation is the historical interpretation that is held by most Godly men of the past.  Also, it seems to apply in today’s time that we see more and more Christians forsaking the assembly. This could be why we are told to attend so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Could this be said because, in the latter days, there would be a forsaking of His assembly?

If someone does walk away with no intention of every returning to the place of worship, prayer, praise and fellowship there is a real question as to whether his faith is a persevering, genuine faith.  This is the point John made in 1 John 2:19 – They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

However, there is another possible interpretation of this text as well…

2.  This could be telling the followers of Christ to not forsake belief, nor concentration, on His second coming when He will “assemble” His people to Himself. 

A true genuine faith will not lose hope in the second coming of Christ and the entrance of His saints to glory.  Col 1:27-29 makes it plain that the indwelling Spirit and His second coming are inseparably linked and a source of great encouragement for the people of God… To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

 

Why do many believe this is the interpretation of this text?

The phrase “assembling together” comes from one Greek word “episunagoge” it carries with it the idea of “a gathering from all areas” or “a complete gathering”.  This same word is only used one other time in the Scriptures in 2 Thess 2:1 where it is speaking of the assembling of God’s people at the second coming of Christ.  This word for assembly NEVER spoke of God’s people assembling in a church meeting. There is another Greek word “ecclesia” that is normally used to describe that type of assembly.

Lastly, Peter related a denial of His second coming to lost mankind in the days before His coming in 2 Pet 3:3-4…. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

 

This can explain the phrase so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

These are the basic reasons why some believe this text is speaking of not forsaking a belief in His second coming and the deliverance of His people from a sinful world.  But to further explain the confusion on this text….

3. Could this text be referring to the assembling of believers in BOTH ways we have previously described?

We need to study the root word from which we get “episunagoge” which comes from the Greek word “Episunago”  this root word is used as follows:
1. Christ gathering Jerusalem like a mother hen to protect them – Matt 23:37, Luke 13:34
2. Christ gathering His people at His second coming – Matt 24:31, Mark 13:27
3. Citizens of a city gathered to see miracles of Christ – Mark 1:33
4. Multitudes following Christ to hear His teachings – Luke 12:1

In EVERY case the Greek word “episunago” and it’s derivative “episunagoge” is used to described people gathered TO CHRIST.  There is no exception to this.   This is a very important point.

In Hebrews 10:25, a way to transliterate this verse would be “Not abandoning the assembling ourselves to Christ, as the manner of some is…”

If this is the case, then either event could apply to this text…
1.  You see, when God’s people meet to worship Him, He promises to be in their “midst” in the person of the Holy Spirit.  (Matt 18:18-20, 1 Cor 5:4).
2.  And as we have seen previously, we will all be gathered together to be with Him at His second coming. (1 Thess 4:13-18).
Could it be, that this verse is written on purpose to be vague, and both ways of understanding it are in alignment with God’s Word?  We have seen in this short section, Scriptural foundation laid that support both views.  In my own personal studies, I believe this dual-view of the text is the closest interpretation to its intended meaning.

4. Basic Principle Summarized…
To summarize this verse… Whatever was meant by the phrase “assembly” the principle is basically the same.  To encourage (exhort) other believers, and ourselves, we need to be sure we are living out our beliefs.  This can be done by not forsaking church membership and by not forsaking our hope in the second coming of Christ.  This is the last great sign of a living faith that will affect the lives of others.

 

The examples of attendance of the assembly

 
Here are a few, of many texts, that set a clear example for believers to join and attend the local assembly…

1.And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”   (Luke 4:16)

Jesus set the example for us by consistently (“as his custom was”) attending the place of worship chosen by God. (Which was during the first stages of His ministry, the synagogue).

 

2.  “Now the first [day] of the [feast of] unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.  And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.  Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.  And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.  And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?  And he answered and said, He that dippeth [his] hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.  The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.  Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.   And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”   (Matthew 26:17-30)

Here Jesus met with the first church members (His apostles) as they met to observe the Lord’s Supper PRIOR TO His death.  This is one of many examples showing us that Jesus continued to set the example for us of attendance to the new place of worship, the local assembly.

 

3.  “Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.  And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.  (John 20:19-23)

Following Christ’s death we find the church continues to meet on the first day of the week.  Again, this is setting the example for us.

 

4.  “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.”   (Acts 2:41-43)

Following Christ’s ascension, the Lord’s church continued to meet on a regular basis.  This can be seen throughout the book of Acts and the Pauline epistles.

These verses, and others, clearly establish that the followers of Christ joined together forming an assembly and then continued to meet together for instruction, encouragement, and fellowship.

Our responsibility to others to attend the assembly

There are many texts that help us to understand that all of us have a responsibility to join a local assembly, and by doing so, show our love to our brethren (John 13:34-35).  This is done by giving them support, encouragement and strength.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.   (Romans 12:3-5)

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?   And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.   And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”   (1 Peter 4:10)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”   (James 5:14-18)

When we come to understand the role that we can play in the lives of our brethren within the context of local assembly, we can see it is our duty to join the assembly for the sake of our love to them.

 

THE SUMMARY:

Through these verses we are given an understanding of the importance of membership and attendance in the Lord’s local assembly.  May we all remember the Lord’s command, His example, the example of other New Testament believers, and the great opportunities that await us to show our love for others, to motivate us to find a local assembly of the Lord, enter into its membership, and serve Him among our brethren.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  It is an act of obedience to the Lord, and it is an act of love towards the other spiritual brethren in your area.

Just a quick note…  Please keep in mind, this study as all the rest of the studies, is only speaking about our responsibility to the Lord’s local churches that exist throughout the earth.  These principles do not apply to other houses of worship that hold to false doctrine and are not sanctioned by Christ.  The idea that “it is better to attend a false church than no church at all” is unscriptural and can actually harm a child of God’s testimony, growth and communion with the Lord.

What happens if there is no church of the Lord in my area?  The best way to handle this situation is to find the closest church of the Lord and explain your situation and your desire for an assembly in your area.  They will then examine your particular situation and find the best remedy for you.  Normally, most church will accept your membership under these conditions, minister to you through the mail or internet and also seek to establish a sound body that you are able to attend.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.
 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:
https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.pdf
For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:
https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

Biblical Soberness

SIH STSTA ICONAlcohol abuse affects approximately 14 million Americans.  This represents approximately 5% of our population.    The effects of alcohol abuse in our country is clearly on display… 20 % of suicide victims are alcoholic, alcoholism is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US, over 2 million people drive under the influence in the US per year.  These and many other statistics can be found at http://www.alcoholics-info.com/Statistics_on_Alcoholics.html.

After getting  just a glimpse of the effects of alcohol on theUSpopulation, it becomes easy to understand while there is a consistent, steady call for “soberness” in our society.  In today’s society the idea of “soberness” involves abstinence from intoxication, or in many cases, the complete abstinence from alcohol. “Soberness” is almost always used in the context of alcohol usage and abuse.

However, in the Word of God, the idea of “soberness” carries with it a slightly different meaning.  In the New Testament to be “sober” is not used exclusively in relation to alcohol but it is used in many aspects of our lives.  Also, the original language of the New Testament (Greek) being “sober” carries with it a variety of ideas:

  1. One of the Greek words for sober is a word that carries with it the ideas of “self control”  and “moderation.”
  2. The other Greek word translated “sober” means “to be sensible”, “to be aware”, and “to be watchful”

Let’s see how the idea of being sober is explained to us in the Word of God.

THE SCRIPTURES:

2Cor 5:12-13; 1Thess 5:6-10; Titus 2:2-6; 1Pet 1:10-16; 1Pet 5:8-9

THE STUDY:

Being sober is referred to in five different texts in the New Testament.

In the first text, 2 Cor 5:12-13, we find this idea, “sober” is referring to a sound, self-controlled mind…

For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to [answer] them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

Here, we find that Paul and the other ministers of the gospel did not try to defend themselves by explaining their sincerity and motives to the Church at Corinth.  Instead, they chose to allow their life and message to speak for itself.  Paul and the others allowed the church to decide on their own about the motives of Paul’s ministry.

For whether we be beside ourselves, [it is] to God: or whether we be sober, [it is] for your cause.

Paul then continued, if the ministers of Christ were accused of being out of their mind (“besides themselves” – Acts 26:24), they put up with this false accusation for God’s glory.  Or, of people recognized that they were really of sound, controlled mind (sober) they were ministering out of a heart of concern and love for the church’s wellbeing

In this second text, 1 Thess 5:6-10, we find “sober” referring to the need for Christians to be watchful and alert.

Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

In the context, the Lord’s second coming is in view (1 Thess 5:1-5) Here we are told of the Christians need to be watchful (alert) against the sin and darkness of this world and to be watchful (alert) for the coming of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul uses two examples of being unprepared and unsuspecting, sleep and drunkenness.  In both cases, you have individuals who do not have keen senses, nor are they in full control of their actions, thoughts, and speech.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

How does a Christian accomplish this responsibility of watchfulness and alertness?  By putting on the spiritual armor of God that enables us to remain faithful to the Lord while in the midst of a sin darkened world.  It is this same armor that gives us the ability to be consistently watching for Him to come at the second coming.  What is the driving motive for our watchfulness?  Christ’s death on the cross for us and His promise of an eternity with Him.

In Titus 2:2-6, we find that to be sober presents the need to be sensible or serious.

The idea of being sensible and serious about our lives touches every age group and gender…

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Old men are to be keenly aware of their influence on the lives of others.  As older men, who are held up as the wisest in society, they were to be to sensible about their outward testimony and take it very seriously.

Note all the other aspects of their testimony being described is outward in nature…

Grave – honest

Temperate – self-controlled

Sound in faith – doctrinally sound in teachings and beliefs

Charity – self-sacrifice for others, servant spirit

Patience – willing to suffer long for the sake of another

The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach

Just as older men must sensibly take their testimony seriously; so too, aged women are to do likewise.  Also, their outward actions are being emphasized in Paul’s instructions:

Becometh holiness – to be attractive based upon morality and separate from sin

False accusers – not to deceitfully defame others

Not give to much wine – No alcohol abuse leading to uncontrolled behavior, no drunkenness

Teachers of good things – Instructors of things pleasing to the Lord.

The older women were to teach the young women through their actions and words…

the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  

The younger women were to take their testimony seriously as well.  They may not be as influential in general society due to their lack of maturity; however, they are extremely influential in the lives of their families (husband and children).  This is why they are to…

Love husbands/children – be willing to sacrifice themselves for their husbands and children.

Discreet – self controlled in mind and actions

Chaste – modest

Keepers at home – to guard, watch over, rule home

Good – morally upright and pleasing to God

Obedient to husband –  to recognize and submit to husband’s authority/responsibility to God.

By doing all of these, the young woman isn’t the cause of the Word being spoken against or defamed

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

After listing several times, the basic issues involved with being sensible and serious minded about our testimonies; the younger men are now instructed to follow the same basic principles that we have seen in the preceding teachings.

In our fourth text, 1 Pet 1:13-16, we find watchfulness and preparedness being a key aspect to being sober.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

In the previous context, the person and work of Christ was clearly revealed in Old Testament prophesies.  Based upon these miraculous OT revelations of Christ, the Christian responsibility is two fold:

Firstly, we are to serve Him in the midst of this sinful world.  To do this we are to strengthen our weak and vulnerable areas and be watchful and alert to the temptations and workings of Satan  in our lives.

Secondly, we are to be alert and watchful, as well as retain our confidence about the future promises He has given to us.

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

By being watchful and prepared for service and His second coming we are children that are pleasing to Him.  Also  we are separating ourselves from this sinful world for His use.  By doing this we can follow His example and strive for consistent holiness in all areas of our lives.

Finally, in 1Pet 5:8-9 we find being sober is referring to being sensible and controlled.

Be sober, be vigilant;

Here, the responsibility handed to the Christian involves being”

Sober – sensible, serious and self controlled

Vigilant – to be on guard and expectant

As Christians, we are to be sensible, serious, controlled and on guard because…

because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan is “out to get us” and destroy our testimony and service to the Lord. He is searching with care and deception trying to bring us to ruin.

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

This is why we must solidly stand against him.  We are to realize we are not alone in this fight, but Christians everywhere are being tempted and opposed in their service as well.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

In our study we have seen the importance of living sober lives, which involves:

  1. Living controlled lives of moderation by…
    1. Keeping our minds and desires under control as we serve Him.
    2. Be serious and sensible about our testimonies for Him.  We can do this by taking care to live Godly lives which include, but is not limited to, no drunkenness; it also includes honesty, love, patience, doctrinal soundness, modesty, and spiritual alertness, among others.
    3. Taking the threat of Satan and His workings seriously.  He is out to destroy us we are to recognize His workings and affects in our lives and the lives of others.
  2. Living watchful, and alert lives that are…
    1. Against the sin and temptation of this world through the use of spiritual armor given to us by the Lord.
    2. Focused on and confident of the second coming of Christ.

Are you living a sober life of service to our Lord?

For those who have yet to be saved…

As you can see from our study, the only way to live a spiritually sober life is through the divine intervention of Christ alone.  Without His presence in your life and His intervention through the indwelling Holy Spirit, none of us can lead a spiritually sober life.  Do you desire His presence and intervention?  Realize you have failed Him, and your sin is a great offense against Him, turn from your sin and turn to Him in faith, believing He will save you from your sins and submit to His Lordship for your life…

Matt 11:28-30 (KJV)

28) Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30) For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

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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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Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

SIH STSTA ICON“Oh what a feeling…”

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 is “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 4 of our study lets study… “Oh what a feeling…”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Phil 1:9-11 (KJV)

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;Being filled with the fruits

of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Phil 2:12-13 (KJV)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

Eph 5:6-13 (KJV)

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

1Thess 5:16-22 (KJV)

Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing.In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.Quench not the Spirit.Despise not prophesyings.Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.Abstain from all appearance of evil.

THE STUDY:

In our search for God’s will, many times we find ourselves relying on our ”feelings” to help us determine His desires for our lives.  For example, a lack of a guilty conscience can be interpreted as the Lord’s approval for a certain action.  Likewise, a feeling of excitement, or certainty, can be interpreted as the Lord’s urging us forward in our plan of action.  How about a depressed, or anxious, feeling?  That can be interpreted as the Lord putting the brakes on our current life path, showing us a need to seek another. A fleeting thought that enters our mind, can be interpreted as the Spirit revealing to us the path the Lord would have us to take.  Seeing the need in the life of other people, many times, is interpreted as the Lord’s call to a certain ministry.

I am not denying that the Holy Spirit, at times can use our thoughts, conscience, emotions and desires to aid us in the understanding of His will for our lives.  However, we should never rely exclusively on these inward “impressions” to decide the life path for us to take.  So how can we discern the Lord’s will in our life “impressions”?

1 Thess 5: 21 gives us a very straightforward answer to our question… “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

The Lord gives us some basic principles of guidance to “prove” (put to the test) our feelings thoughts and emotions in Phil 1:9-11:

 … that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment” –

Our life should be centered upon showing love… love for our Lord and love for others around us.

How do we show our love for the Lord?  One way, is to put His will for our lives ahead of our own.  Another way, is to become familiar with His Word (knowledge) and then apply it to our life decision making (judgment).

“That ye may approve things that are excellent” –

Another way to show our love for our Lord is to take the time and effort to put to the test all our life experiences ,and feelings, so we can know which ones He approves.  By using our knowledge of His Word and then exercising Godly judgment, we can discern which emotions, desires and feelings are coming from Him.

This point cannot be underemphasized…. One of the greatest uses of His Word is to use it to prove what is pleasing to Him.  This applies to any area of our life.  The teachings we receive, the world’s influences on our lives, and His will for our lives (including the events we experience and the feelings we have) are to be put to the test using His Word and a mind that is renewed through a growing knowledge of His Word .   See Acts 17:10-11 (the Scriptures), Eph 5:6-13 (the truth) , Roms 12:1-3 (a renewed mind).

“that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness”  –

What is the result of putting the teachings we receive, the influences of the world, and our life experiences and feelings to the test?

It is two-fold righteousness both an inward righteousness (“sincerity”) and an outward righteousness (“without offence”). These two types of righteousness combine to bring about a life that is fulfilling His will and bearing an abundance of spiritual fruit.

“which are by Jesus Christ” –

Living a life that is fulfilling His will is a work of Christ in our hearts.  Christ, through His Spirit enables us to serve Him in spite of our sinful, fallen nature.

“unto the glory and praise of God” –

Living lives that fulfill His will brings all the praise and glory to the Lord.  Why? Because we are living our life according to His will due to His will because He is at work within us.

Phil 2:12-13

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

We can prove what is His will for our lives, through an attitude of submission to His will and the renewal of our minds.  This renewal comes through a consistent increase in knowledge and application of His Word.

The more we are familiar with His Word, the better we can discern His will for our lives.  The greater our knowledge of His Word, the easier it is to discern if our thoughts, feelings and urgings are from the Lord or elsewhere.

Again, as in our prior study, we find that His Word takes preeminence in our life decisions.  If our feelings, thoughts, or emotions run parallel to His Word we can follow them without hesitancy knowing that we are living within the instructions of His Word.

If however, our impressions, in any way, depart from the principles laid out in His Word, we can rest assured that the impression is not from the Lord, but is being produced from a sinful origin (our flesh, the world, or powers of darkness).  In this case, we are to flee from the path these impressions would indicate we are to follow.

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

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

Prayer Principle #4 –  We must pray for the Lord’s discernment of His leading 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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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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The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The End Of The World Revealed (Part #1)

SIH STSTA ICON2012… just four little numbers that in the past few years have become a BIG DEAL!  What used to be simply a descriptor, for a 12 month segment of time on coming calendars, has become synonymous with the end of all mankind.  How did this happen?  Well, to tell you the truth, I think it takes a Mayan scholar and historian to really get the answer straight; there is much controversy over the whole theory.  I can’t read the Mayan language, nor do I understand how the Mayans went about creating their calendar; so to be fair to supporters of this theory, I think I’ll leave the explanation of all this to them.  If you are interested this link may help you…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

As far as I’m concerned, the only area of interest for me is … “What does God’s Word say about the world ending in 2012?”   From my perspective, God’s Word (made up of 66 separate books, Genesis – Revelation) is the only reliable authority on this whole issue.  Therefore, if God’s Word teaches that the world ends in 2012… so be it, then that proves to me that the Mayan’s had it right all along; but, if God’s Word proves the 2012 theory is baloney…. that settles it for me… I’m placing my faith in my Lord, and His Word, and I’m delegating the 2012 theory to my trash can (file 13).  (If anyone is interested in why I count God’s Word as the ultimate authority in matters like this, please refer to my previous blog entry on the Bible and Science: http://bit.ly/bYDWbZ for more info)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? … But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Mat 24:3, 36, 42; see also Matt 25:13, 2 Pet 3:10)

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  (1Th 5:1-11)

THE STUDY:

Matthew chapter 24 is a record of the teachings of Christ on the subject of His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world:

Matthew 24:1-3…

If you notice, the question that initiated the Lord’s teachings of Matthew 24 is found in verse 3 …” Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

So clearly, the context of this chapter is the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.  To say otherwise is to deny the context of this chapter.

(Please note, the “things” being referenced in verse 3 was the destruction of the temple by Rome a few years later in 70 AD by Roman general Titus.  This brought an end to the Hebrew worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem and began the time period we call the “latter days”.)

Matthew 24:4-28

In these verses, the Lord describes the different events leading up to His second coming. An in-depth look at these signs will be presented in Part #2 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:29-31

The coming of Christ is described as he takes His followers to heaven to be with Him. A closer look at these verses will follow in Part #3 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:32-51

Here our responsibility to look for the signs and to be ready for His coming is brought into view.  These verses we’ll look at in detail in Part #4

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

He clearly says in verse 36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

And then in verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

In the context, watching the signs of His coming, He makes it plain that, as we watch, we should not expect the exact time to be revealed to us!   In other words, the signs are to help us know the basic time frame of His return, but we will not know exactly when He is coming.

He explicitly states that no man, nor angel would ever know the exact time of His coming.  Even Christ, while on earth, as a human, who did not exercise His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8), did not know the time of His second coming.  (Just a note here…. I believe that since Christ is ascended and has begun to exercise His divine attributes and authority, (Phil 2:9-11) He now knows when the second coming will take place.)

This same principle is also brought out in the Scriptures in our other text, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

In other words, Paul did not need to write to the believers in Thessalonica about the times and seasons of Christ’s second coming because Christ had already addressed the topic.   But even though they already had teachings on the signs, there would be no specific announcement of when He would come.  In that sense, He would be coming as a thief, unannounced and unexpected by many.

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

So for this blog entry, it is important for us to see that Christ gave us signs marking a basic time frame of His coming.   However, the coming of Christ and the end of the world, will not be announced with any exact date. He specifically teaches that no man, nor angel will be shown the time of His coming.   It is a truth only known by the Triune God.

By the way, good old “2012 theory” is already rattling around in my file 13, and we are only one-fourth finished with our study!

My next blog entry will answer the question, “What are the signs of His second coming?” from Matt 24:4-28.

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.

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.”