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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

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

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

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.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

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

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Suffereth Long”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

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…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

 

This will be our first of many devotionals on the events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In every example, we will be seeing Christ giving of Himself for the benefit of others…

 

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Patience (To Be Long Tempered)

 

Christ’s life on earth was a continuing display of love on behalf of all mankind. One of the ways He showed His love was through being very long-tempered in His dealings with those who were living lives in opposition to Him.

 

Let’s notice two (of many) events in His life that showed a clear withholding of wrath towards those who were rebellious and seeking His harm:

 

 

 

1. Let’s take a look at what Christ said to the rebellious nation of Israel that refused to accept the message of His prophets concerning His identity and work…

 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not!

(Luke 13:34)

 

Although the Israelites had rejected His messengers and sought to kill them, now that He has come to live among them, He was still long-tempered in waiting to bring them to Himself, grant them deliverance from their sins and grace them with an eternal relationship with Him.

The only need on their part was to repent of their sinful works and attitudes and turn to Christ in faith. But what was their response to this? “ye would not”. They willfully continued to rebel and reject Him and His works among them.

 

Folks, what great love, Christ waited for them to acknowledge the truth of His prophets.   He patiently went the “extra mile” by actually coming to the earth to live with them and prove the prophets’ message about Him was true. As He lived among them, was rejected again and again and then was falsely accused, put on trial, and put to death by these same men (Matt 21:33-41). In spite of it all, on the cross He gave the ultimate display of controlled temper when He prayed “Father forgive them that they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)”

 

What great love revealed through the patient withholding of Christ’s temper, anger and wrath.

 

 

 

2. There was another great display of Christ withholding His temper during His life on earth. In this case, He held His temper in the midst of temptation…

 

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.(Mark 1:12-13)

 

In this case, Christ patiently went through forty days of fasting and then stood by and allowed Satan, himself, to tempt Him. Please keep in mind, Christ could have easily sent Satan away at any time, but He held back His temper and allowed Satan to continue with his enticements.

 

Why did Christ do this? He did this for us. This was done so that we would have a perfect example of faithfulness in the midst of trials and so that we could come before Him, seeking His grace, and knowing that He has shared in the same temptations as ourselves (Hebrews 4:14-16).

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Folks, there are many times when we are faced with situations that seem to beg us to lose our tempers and show vengeance towards others. It is during these times that we have a wonderful opportunity set before us to display Christ’s love in our lives.

 

In both examples, we could see that Christ’s wrath WOULD HAVE BEEN DESERVED BY HIS ANTAGONIZERS (Jews and Satan). And yet, He chose to withhold the wrath that was deserved. Oh how we can learn a very important lesson… even when it seems as if our opposition deserves our hatred, wrath and outburst of anger, to truly live as Christ lived, we are to patiently show them mercy, grace and love.

 

May we all take the following passage very seriously and ALWAYS seek to live our lives displaying love for Christ and others through the patient holding of our tempers…

 

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. (1 Peter 2:21-24)

 

 

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Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 2)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.
There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
In our previous studies we saw that the Accrediting Gifts that were given to the Lord’s churches on earth were divided into three different types as seen in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11…

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;
to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

As we studied this text we saw the gifts were divided as follows:
1. SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH:
“the word of wisdom” and “the word of knowledge”
2. SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH:
“faith”, “gifts of healing”, “the working of miracles”, “prophecy” and “the discerning of spirits”
3. SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH:
“[divers] kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues:”

In our last lesson we looked at the gifts that are contained in the first two divisions. For this lesson, let’s begin to look at the final division of the Accrediting Gifts…. The gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

Gifts Involving The Proclamation Of The Truth
1. “Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” – This involves the ability to speak HUMAN LANGUAGES that are UNKNOWN TO THE SPEAKER but KNOWN TO THE HEARER.

(Note: Nowhere does the Bible speak of a “heavenly language”.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, …” this phrase needs to be closely examined.
What language(s) do angels speak? EVERYTIME we find an angel speaking in the Bible, he is speaking a KNOWN HUMAN language as he delivers God’s message to mankind. There is no evidence in the Bible that angels have spoken a language other than that which is spoken and understood by man.
The phrase “tongues of men and angels” is simply saying… “ the languages that are shared by men and angels”. There is no reason to make “tongues of angels” refer to a different set of languages than “the tongues of men”)

 

2. “The Interpretation of Tongues” – This involves the ability to interpret HUMAN LANGUAGES that are UNKNOWN TO THE HEARER AND THE INTERPRETER.

Both of these gifts came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

 

For today’s lesson lets concentrate on the first time the gift of tongues was given to the local assembly. This text is found in Acts 2:1-24. In this study, we will particularly note the detailed description of the characteristics of this gift.

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Baptism In The Spirit: At Pentecost
In Acts 2:1-24, we find the first reference to the exercise of the gift of tongues. This event was prophesied in the following passages:
Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Luke 24:49; John 1:33-34; John 21:22; Acts 1:3-5

Some Basic Truths About The Gift Of Tongues (Acts 2:1-24)….
Vs 1- “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
The gift of tongues was given to members of a local assembly (church at Jerusalem) who were experiencing unity between their members and gathered together to worship the Lord.

Vs 2 – “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”
The gift of tongues was given to this church in conjunction with their baptism in the Spirit. This Spirit baptism was performed to empower the local assembly to fulfill the Great Commission. This involves taking the gospel to a lost and dying world, baptizing the converts and then teaching those who are baptized the truths of God’s Word.
This baptism in the Spirit manifested itself to the believers in that local assembly as a sound from heaven of a great wind and then the filling of the building with the Spirit surrounding the members of the assembly. In other words the church body was immersed in the Spirit, just as when a believer is baptized in water, they become entirely immersed and surrounded by the Spirit of God.

To help us understand “baptism in the Spirit”, here is a quick comparison of baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Ghost:

Type Of Baptism            Water                                                    Holy Spirit

Administrator     Local Assembly (normally Pastor)              Jesus Christ
Substance             Water                                                               Holy Spirit
Mode                      Immersion                                                     Immersion
Subject                   Believer                                                          Local Assembly

Also, please notice that 1 Corinthians 12:13 is not teaching that the Holy Spirit baptizes the local assembly, it is teaching concerning water baptism of those entering into local church membership…

“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.”

In other words… “Through the leadership of one Spirit are we all baptized (in water) into one local assembly, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or freemen, we all receive the same indwelling Spirit.”

This verse is teaching that it does not matter about our race, nationality, or social status, the Lord will save anyone and lead them into church membership. Also it teaches us that a local church made up of Jews is on equal footing with that made up of Gentiles. Or a church having slaves as members is on equal footing to that church whose membership is made up of freemen. Etc etc.

Vs 3 – “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”
The gift of tongues includes a visual aspect to this gift. When the gift of tongues was given, this gift could be seen visibly as split tongues of fire came and sat upon each member of the local assembly. We are told that Simon “saw” the HS was given in Acts 8:18.

Vs 4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The gift of tongues included a verbal aspect, as the members following their being filled with the Spirit, began to speak in human languages that were unknown to the speakers…

Vs 5 – And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Vs 6 – Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Vs 7 – And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Vs 8 – And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Vs 9 – Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Vs 10 – Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Vs 11- Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues …”
Although this gift of tongues was unknown to the speakers, they were human languages that were known by those who were listening.

Vs 11- the wonderful works of God.
What was the content of the message spoken by the assembly members? They were proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. In other words, they were witnessing to those around them. Keep in mind, the gift of tongues had been given to the church to enable them to fulfill the great commission that had been given to them. A part of the great commission involves presenting the gospel message to the lost men gathered around them who were unable to speak the native language of the speakers.
Because of this gift, the speakers were able to present the gospel of Christ to those who could not speak their language, nor understand their testimony of Christ.

Vs 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Vs 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Here, we have the response of the lost who were hearing the gospel through the gift of tongues. Some were amazed at this wonderful testimony of God’s miracle working power and grace. Some did not know what to think. Still others mocked and rejected the wondrous miracle they had experienced.

Vs 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Vs 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day.
Vs 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Vs 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Vs 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Vs 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Vs 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Vs 21 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Peter now explains what is actually taking place so there would be no misunderstanding… He tells those who are observing this event that it is not due to drunkenss… but a sovereign, planned act of Almighty God as proven by it as being the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
It also proved that this great event had a main purpose, to enable the gospel to be shared and for the lost to come to salvation through their calling upon the name of the Lord. (Note at the end of Joel’s prophecy, we have this text “And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved “ Peter reapplying this phrase to those observing this wonderful gift of God)

Vs 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Vs 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Vs24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Peter then shares the gospel message to the observers, once again emphasizing for us the purpose and scope of tongues… to enable members of a local assembly to fulfill the great commission by enabling them to speak in languages they do not know. Thiis enables them to speak to those of other languages, sharing with them the wonderful gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We then see in the closing verses of this chapter that the great commission is fulfilled by the church at Jerusalem – (gospel proclaimed – vs 25-36, souls saved and baptized– vs 37-41, fellowship and training received by new converts – 42-47)

Here is a short summary of what we have learned in Acts 2: about the Accrediting Gift of “Diverse Kinds Of Tongues”:
1. The gift was given to the local church at Jerusalem, not to believers in general (vs 1)
2. The gift was given following the local assembly being baptized IN the Spirit (not BY the Spirit) (vs 2)
3. The gift was given following the Spirit filling the church members (vs 4)
4. The gift had a visible manifestation: tongues of fire sitting on their heads (vs 3);
5. The gift had an audible manifestation: speaking in other human languages that were unknown to the speakers but known to the hearers (vs 4-11)
6. The Word of God was used to clearly explain what had taken place amid the confusion (vs 12-21)
7. The message proclaimed through the gift of tongues was proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. (vs 11-24)

The Word has now explained the details of the Scriptural gift of tongues that existed during the period of the establishment of the Lord’s church and the giving of the New Testament to man. Following this, when the Bible speaks of the gift of tongues, it simply mentions the gift without a lengthy description of what we have just learned.

This above principle can be used with many different teachings of the Bible. This principle of Biblical interpretation is described as “The Law Of First Mention”. This law states that “the very first time a word, doctrine or other teaching is mentioned in the Bible, usually, the Scriptures gives that word, doctrine or teaching its most complete description and meaning.” This is the case with the gift of tongues. This first reference to it has given us the detailed description of the gift which is to be applied throughout all of the other Biblical mentions of the gift.

In our next study, we will look at other times in the Bible that this same gift of tongues was given to local assemblies.

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
Gifts Involving The Proclamation Of The Truth
The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Baptism In The Spirit: At Pentecost

Joe 2:28-32 – “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

This prophecy took place in its entirety during the 30-100 AD time frame:
1. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. “ – The spiritual gifts (especially accrediting gifts given to accredit the assembly)

2. “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” – The invasion of 70 AD and the preceding events that would involve the judgment Israel for their rejection of the true Messiah. The devastation of Jerusalem using fire as weapons of war resulted in great amounts of smoke and fiery ashes to appear in the sky above Jerusalem.
Why was this event mentioned in the context of the spiritual gifts? The accrediting gifts greatly increased their responsibility to accept the message and worship of the NT. Yet many rejected it.

3. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” – True believers in Christ paid attention to His warnings of coming destruction upon Jerusalem and left the country. Other true believers were driven out due to the persecution of the Romans coming upon them. In either case, in Israel both the message of Christ and the persecution of Romans took place resulting in the deliverance of God’s people before Titus entered the country. These persecuted Christians then took the gospel to a lost and dying Gentile world.

Mat 3:11-12 – I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
This prophecy speaks of Pentecost in combination with Titus invasion of 70 AD. As also seen in the Joel passage

Mar 1:8 – “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
Pentecost is being prophesied

Luk 3:16 – “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
This prophecy speaks of Pentecost in combination with Titus invasion of 70 AD. As also seen in the Joel passage

Luk 24:49 – “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The church baptized in the Spirit at Pentecost, empowering and enabling them to take the gospel into the world.

Joh 1:33-34 – “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
The baptism of Christ in water and the baptism of the local church in the Holy Spirit being described

Joh 21:22 – “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
“till I come” Christ’s coming to His local church at Pentecost

Act 1:3-5 – “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Pentecost, the empowering of the local assembly with the HS is described here.

Act 8:18 – “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,”

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
(Acts 2:1-24)

“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.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Spirits Among Us – What Are They?

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

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

THE SCRIPTURES:

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

THE STUDY:

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

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

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

(Eph 6:10-12) – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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

(2Co 4:3-4) – But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. the importance of the OT law and prophets

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

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

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

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

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

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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.

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

Change We Can Believe In… It’s Not Just An Election Slogan!

SIH STSTA ICONIn 2008, during the presidential campaign, the slogan “Change We Can Believe In” was brought to our attention… over, and over, and over, and over again!   It was the slogan chosen for the Obama presidential campaign in an attempt to capture the desires of the electorate.   Apparently, based upon the result of the campaign, the slogan had hit a nerve with the people.

The desire for genuine change applies to many, many people, cutting across all age, gender and race barriers.  Talk to almost anyone in today’s time… they are unsatisfied, and wanting change to take place in all aspects of their lives.  The problem comes when we impatiently demand change, any change, without considering its end results.  Many times this type of change leaves us worse off than we were prior to the change.

The Lord helps us to recognize the most important, beneficial change that a person can experience in their life.  Let’s see what type of change will always lead to our benefit and satisfaction…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,…  (2Co 5:17-18)

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mar 1:14-15)

THE STUDY:

In 2 Cor 5:17-18 – we read about the greatest change a person can experience in their life… this change is brought about by God in the heart of man:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”  –  In other words, just as God created us at our conception by giving us our physical life; so too, He can also recreate us, giving us our spiritual life through the work of Christ.

“old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” – This change results in a transformation in our lifestyle and way of living.  What we used to love we now hate (sin and rebellion to God) what we hated we now love (Obedience to Him based on His word).

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” – Finally, our first text reveals the creator of this great change… it is God (“all things are of God”). It is through His will and workings in our life that we experience this wonderful change.  He changes us and brings us to Himself (“reconciles us”), through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.  When Christ died on the cross, He was paying the penalty of the sins of His Father’s people (John 17:9-13).  This payment results in the forgiveness of our sins and adoption into the family of God.

In our second text, Mark 1:14-15 teaches about our response to the Lord’s working in our heart…

“preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:” – This message of Christ was spoken to prepare mankind for His death and resurrection  and the reception of a new life in Christ.   This message was good news (“gospel”) of Christ.

“repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mar 1:14-15) –  Here, our response to His intervention is described as belief and repentance.   Remember how we said that we become a new creature when God intervenes in our life?  We said that this change brought us a change of lifestyle and way of living.

The terms “believe” and “repent” reflect this change in our life as well:

“To repent” – means to change, especially to change our minds, to think differently about things.

“To believe” – has the idea of accepting something as absolute truth and relying on it.

Why are repentance and belief necessary responses to the Lord’s workings in our life?….

To become a new creature in Christ many of our old attitudes about sin, death, the Bible, and even the Lord Himself must change and we must come to believe a new set of truths.  This is what becoming a new creature is all about… it is a life changing experience that revolutionizes the way we look at many different spiritual issues.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those of us who are saved, as “new creatures in Christ”, we should constantly review and reinforce the truths we have come to accept.  By doing this, we are constantly reminding ourselves of the true nature of this world, our Lord, His Word, and eternity to come. (Roms 12:2).

For those who have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ, it is necessary to act upon the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…  “repent ye and believe the Gospel”.

In other words.…

“Change your mind about your sin…. See your sin as harmful and an act of disobedience to the Almighty God, recognize your need to hate it and rid it from your life.”

“Change your mind about The Lord… See Him as your only hope of salvation, recognize He is the ultimate authority holder, who loves you and desires your worship.   Look to Him as your only source of spiritual life.”

“Change your mind about your eternal status before God…. See that without Him you have committed sin and the guilt of your sin remains upon you.  You deserve eternal punishment and, without Him, you cannot escape that judgment.  But, through His intervention in your life, you can escape that punishment and know that someday you will enter eternity with Him”

“Change you mind about His Word, accept the fact that His Word is true, it can be relied upon, look into its message and see the way of salvation clearly revealed to you.  Understand that His Word is a vital part of your daily walk of life and contains “His revealed will” to man in its entirety.”

And finally….

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, rely on His death on the cross to pay the entire sin debt you have built up in your life.  Realize He suffered for you so you could escape the eternal suffering of hell.  Place your entire being at His mercy and accept that you can do nothing to save yourself… all you can do is rely on Him for your soul’s salvation.”  (John 3:14-18)

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.”