The visions of the seven seals given to John in Revelation, and the teachings of Christ concerning the signs of His second coming found in the gospels correspond perfectly with one another. In order to emphasize the meaning of the seven seals of Revelation, I would like us to come to an understanding of the perfect alignment that is found in these two Scripture texts.
Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9:21, 11:15-19, 16:1-21
First, the lesson taught by Christ concerning the signs of His coming can be found in three of the gospels. Each account is parallel in nature, the Bible is recording this one lesson from three different perspectives. Keep in mind, these three texts record a SINGULAR LESSON that is taught by Christ Himself…
From this table, it is very easy to see the parallel nature of the accounts of this event found in Matt, Mark and Luke. Matthew’s seems to be the most detailed. This makes sense because Matthew is the only author of the three that personally accompanied Christ during His earthly ministry. Both Mark and Luke wrote their accounts from second hand sources.
In the other portion of our lesson, I would like us to examine the seven seals presented by John in Revelation with the above accounts of Christ’s teaching on the same subject… the signs that will take place before His second coming to the earth.
Because the account of Christ’s teaching in Matthew is the most detailed, we will use the Matthew text in this comparison. However, it would be possible to use any (or all) of the three gospel accounts in comparison with the seven seals of Revelation…
|Seal #||Descript||Revelation TextRev 6:1-17||Affects WorldMatt 24:4-8Matt 24:29-31||Affects ChristiansMatt 24:9-14||Affects Jewish NationMatt 24:15-28|
|1||Anti-Christs& False Teachers||6:1-2||24:4-5||24:11-13||24:23-28|
|(1) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.(2) And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.||(4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.||(11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.||(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.(25) Behold, I have told you before.(26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.(27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(28) For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.|
|2||Wars & Rumours Of Wars||6:3-4||24:6-7a||24:15-21|
|(3) And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.(4) And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.||(6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.||(15) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17) Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19) And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.|
|3||Famines & Shortage||6:5-6||24:7b|
|(5) And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.(6) And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.||(7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.|
|(7) And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.(8) And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.||(7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.||(22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.|
|(9) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:(10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?(11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.||(9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.||(22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.|
|Six||Darkness In Heavens||6:12-17||24:29|
|(12) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;(13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.(14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.(15) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;(16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:(17) For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?||29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:|
|InterLude||Protecting God’s People /Prelude To His Coming||Revelation 7:1-17||Matthew 24:30-31|
|Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages)||(30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.|
|7||God’s Wrath At The 2nd Coming||8:1-13; 16:1-21; 19:11-21|
|Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages)|
As you can see from the above, chart the very same events that are described in Christ’s teachings on the signs of His coming are identical to the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation.
This is important for us to understand, because it is another proof that the seven six represent the events that must take place before Christ’s 2nd coming. The seventh seal reveals the wrath of God that falls at His 2nd coming.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”
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)
As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s great love being on display as He entrusted His life into the hands of His Heavenly Father and entrusted different areas of service to each of His followers…
The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: To Believe In, And Trust, Others
Christ’s love for His Heavenly Father was consistently on display throughout His ministry on earth. One way in which He shows us this love was by entrusting His life, work and future into the hands of His Father. On two separate occasions we see this trust exhibited very clearly for us…
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:41-43)
In this text we can see that Christ (as He prayed to the Father concerning His upcoming arrest, trial, suffering and death on the cross) laid aside His own desires, and chose to make His Father’s desires His first priority. In doing so, He was entrusting His father with His entire being.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.(Luke 23:46-47)
Immediately preceding His spirit’s departure from His body, Jesus clearly declares that He was entrusting the welfare of His spirit in the hands of His Father. Not only did He trust His Father with the course of His life on earth, but He also trusted His Father with the course of His life in the afterlife.
But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
[For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.(Mark 13:32-37)
In this account, Christ is reminding us that He has entrusted them with many various responsibilities in His absence… “gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch”
He gave us this example to emphasize the need for all of His people to “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”
What was the basis of His trust, in giving us these important responsibilities for us to fulfill in His absence? His great love for us!
Our Lesson To Be Learned:
Peter reminds us that Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow in many areas. One of those areas is Christ’s trust in His Heavenly Father (“him that judgeth righteously”)…
21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
24) 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)
May we all learn to trust our Lord to the point we will fully commit our earthly life, and our existence in the afterlife, to Him.
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“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”
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.
(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.
(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.
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.
(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.
(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;
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.
It seems as if the practice of meditation is becoming more popular with the passing of each generation. And no wonder, the claimed benefits of habitual meditation are far reaching. They range from alleviating stress to helping to break smoking or drinking habits and to help reduce pain. It is claimed that “Meditation is wonderful in that it’s free, always available, and amazingly effective in short-term stress reduction and long-term health.” With claims such as these, is it any wonder that the number of those who practice meditation is growing throughout the world?
Mediation is described as:
“Meditation involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind.”
“Meditation encompasses a variety of practices that are somewhat different, while holding to the basic principles of consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination.
“Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’ . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns . The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.”
To view the source of the preceding quotes, the results of meditation and the descriptions of meditation please see: http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/p/profilemeditati.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation; http://www.project-meditation.org/what_is_meditation.html ;
Based upon the above, it seems as if meditation, in some cases, involves “clearing the mind’, while in other cases, it is said to centered on one centralized point of attention, while excluding “scattered thoughts and various patterns”. There seems to be lacking a uniform, consistent definition for meditation.
Is meditation mentioned in the Bible? If so, what is the Bible teaching on meditation?
Gen 24:63 – 63) And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels [were] coming.
Josh 1:8 (KJV) – 8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Ps 1:2 (KJV) – 2) But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Ps 5:1 (KJV) – 1) To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Ps 19:14 (KJV) – 14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Ps 49:3 (KJV) – 3) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
Ps 63:6 (KJV) – 6) When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.
Ps 77:12 (KJV) – 12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
Ps 104:34 (KJV) – 34) My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Ps 119:15 (KJV) – 15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
Ps 119:23 (KJV) – 23) Princes also did sit [and] speak against me: [but] thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
Ps 119:48 (KJV) – 48) My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Ps 119:78 (KJV) – 78) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: [but] I will meditate in thy precepts.
Ps 119:97 (KJV) – 97) MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.
Ps 119:99 (KJV) – 99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.
Ps 119:148 (KJV) – 148) Mine eyes prevent the [night] watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
Ps 143:5 (KJV) – 5) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
Isa 33:18 (KJV) – 18) Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the receiver? where [is] he that counted the towers?
Mark 13:11 (KJV) – 11) But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Luke 21:14 (KJV)- 14) Settle [it] therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
1Tim 4:10-15 (KJV) – 10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11) These things command and teach. 12) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
In the Old Testment, the word “meditate” or “meditation” is translated from three different words.
- In Genesis 24:63 the Hebrew word means “to muse” or “to be absorbed in thought, to turn over in the mind”
- In all the Psalm 119 references to “meditate” the Hebrew word means “to speak to yourself, to think deeply and thoroughly”
- In all the other OT references a different Hebrew word with much the same meaning is used “to mutter, to ponder”
In all the New Testament references, the word “meditate” is translated from a Greek word that means “to revolve in the mind, to look over from every angle”.
What does the definitions for meditate teach us about Biblical meditation?:
- In EVERY case, to meditate Biblically involves having our mind thinking about something. NEVER does the Lord tell us to “empty our mind” or “clear your mind” or “cease your mental processes”. I believe this is a point that needs emphasis… To empty our minds of every thought is a very dangerous practice. The dark (sinful, demonic) powers of this world seek to inhabit lives that are “emptied” (Matt 12:43-45) I believe, by emptying one’s mind opens up an opportunity for Satanic oppression of the emptied mind.
- Biblical mediation involves active mental concentration and examination. If you notice in our definitions some of the terms used are “to turn over in the mind”, “to think deeply and thoroughly”, “to ponder, and to look over at every angle”. None of these words implies a state of rest or cessation of the minds activities.
To summarize our definition study we find that to meditate in a God honoring, Scriptural way involves a mind actively examining and thinking. NEVER does the Lord advocate a empty or inactive mind. This type of inactivity, very possibly, can open the door to demonic influence.
Now, let’s continue our study by answering the question what subjects should a Christian be meditating about?
“To meditate” or “meditation” is mentioned in the Bible 21 times… Gen 24:63; Josh 1:8; Psa 1:2, 5:1, 19:14, 49:3, 63:6, 77:12, 104:34, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97, 99, 148, 143:5; Isa 33:18; Mark 13:11; Luke 21:14; 1 Tim 4:15.
If we study these references, in their context we find the following:
- Subject of meditation not described: Gen 24:63
(Although we are not told, Isaac was thinking about something! Based upon the word used for meditation he was “absorbed in thought” over some subject, we are simply not told what that subject is.)
- Subject of meditation Word of God: Josh 1:8, Psa 1:2, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97, 99, 148
- Subject of meditation burdens on heart seeking His mercy: Psa 5:1
- Subject of meditation desires of heart being acceptable to the Lord: Psa 19:14,
- Subject of meditation spiritual understanding: Psa 49:3
- Subject of meditation The Lord and His works: Psa 63:6, Psa 77:12, Psa 104:34, Psa 143:5
- Subject of meditation terror for disobedient facing Divine judgment: Isa 33:18
- Subject of mediation the gospel message and need for service to Him: 1 Tim 4:10-15
- Not to be a subject of meditation: Concern, worry about answering opponents of Lord : Mark 13:11, Luke 21:14
To summarize the above:
- As faithful children… we are to be thinking about Our Heavenly Father, His works, and His Word. They should always be on our minds. We should seek quiet times when uninterrupted, we can solely place our minds and hearts on Him.
- As burdened pilgrims on earth… we should be taking quiet times to concentrate on turning our trials over to Him seeking His presence, mercy and strength.
- As faithful servants… we should be meditating on our desires, making sure they are pleasing to Him; we should be examining the understanding He has given to us to enable us to serve Him in greater ways. Finally, our meditations should also involve an examination of our lives making sure we are leading lives of holiness and separation to His work.
- As witnesses of His grace in salvation,… we are to always have the gospel message of grace upon our hearts, remembering what He has done for us and our need to share it with others. We are to lay aside any worry about how to answer those who oppose our message.
- As those who have never experienced God’s gracious salvation but are continuing to face His wrath… examine your current condition and allow terror to fill your mind, as you continue to face judgment from Almighty God. Turn to Him and trust in Him, realizing that the Lord is abundantly gracious, slow to anger and of great mercy.
The Lord summarize what our daily meditations should be based upon….
May the Lord bless our times of Godly meditation when we turn our minds to these things….
Phil 4:4-9 (KJV)
4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.
6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
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