Settled In Heaven Blog

Category Archives: Matthew

“Come And See What God Hath Done”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

“Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” – (Psalms 66:5 ESV)

 

 

In the context of Psalms 66:, the Psalmist invites all of us to see the great things God hath done as He delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians.  Folks, some of the Lord’s greatest displays of His power and mercy were on display as He brought the ten plagues upon the Egyptians which resulted in Israel’s release.

However, this was not the greatest display of His power and mercy found in the Bible.  In a small city in Israel, Bethlehem, God the Son willingly came to the earth to live among sinners in the face of temptation, abuse and mockery.  And then, motivated by love, He chose to willingly die to redeem those sinners.

In my mind, this is the greatest display of power and mercy that we find recorded in the Bible:

  1. His power was on display as He defeated death, sin, Satan and the powers of darkness during His life and through His death.
  2. His mercy was displayed as He humbled Himself, came to the earth as a babe and then faced mockery and abuse all His life, culminating in His greatest act of love and mercy, His death on the cross for sinners.

Folks this wondrous act of willingly coming to the earth, humbly, as a babe, is the reason why we celebrate the Christmas holiday season.  It is simply a time set apart by man to remember this great event that took place in history… the coming of God to the earth as a man to redeem His people from their sins!

 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  – Matt 1:23 (ESV)

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11 (ESV)

 

May we all have a very blessed Christmas season as we take time out from our regular schedules to remember the birth of God the son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the perfect gift of love given to us by our Heavenly Father…

 

Let us all “Come and See What He Hath Done”!

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/may-you-all-have-a-blessed-christmas-from-sih

“Jesus Is The Anointed Prophet Priest and King”

SIH STSTA ICON(Identifying Jesus as the Anointed One During His First Coming)

 

INTRODUCTION:

Many times in the New Testament Jesus is given the title of “Christ”.  The title “Christ” holds the same meaning as the Old Testament title “Messiah”.  Both of these titles possess a similar meaning, “one that is anointed”.

Why are these two titles for Jesus so important? It is based on the Old Testament practice of the anointing prophets (1 Kings 19:16), priests (Nums 3:3), and kings (1 Kings 19:16).  The public anointing of these office holders revealed  that they have been given God’s authority and enabling to hold their perspective offices.

Based upon this Old Testament practice, understanding that Jesus was “the Anointed One” reveals to us that Jesus has received God’s authority to hold the offices of “Prophet”, “Priest” and “King”.

In this study, we will be making a quick search for proofs that Christ exercised this divine authority as Our Prophet, Our Priest, and Our King, thus proving that He truly was anointed by God.

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Isa 61:1-3

(1)  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  (2)  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3)  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

  

Mat 16:13-16

(13)  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  (14)  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (15)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Mat 16:20

(20)  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

Act 10:37-38

(37)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  (38)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

 

Heb 1:8-9

(8)  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  9)  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

In the Old Testament, there are many texts which speak of the Messiah, or “the Anointed One”. These texts describe the individual who will be anointed by God to perform many different earthly, and heavenly ministries…

Isa 61:1-3 – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Heb 1:8-9 – “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

Jesus was anointed by his Heavenly Father with the Holy Spirit as the Spirit came down upon Him at His baptism…

Act 10:37-38 – “That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 

So in Matthew 16:13-20 the Lord was not only emphasizing His position before the Father as “the Christ” (“the Anointed One”), but also he was emphasizing the ministries he was performing at His first coming as God’s Prophet, Priest and King.

Mat 16:13-20 – “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

While on earth, and immediately afterward, Christ fulfilled all three roles that His Father had given to Him…

  1. Prophet – During Christ’s ministry on earth, He delivered the Father’s message to the people…

Joh 12:49 – “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what  I should say, and what I should speak. 

Joh 14:10 – “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

 

  1. Priest – During Christ’s ministry on earth, He acted as Priest making intercession and sacrifice for His people…

Joh 17:9 -16 – “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.   And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.   And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  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.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…”

Joh 10:11-15 – “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 

  1. King – immediately following His ascension Christ was seated at His Father’s right hand and began His reign as King of King and Lord of Lords… 

Mar 16:19 – “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” 

Act 2:32-35 – “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, every time we speak of “Jesus Christ, the Messiah” we are affirming that Jesus is the promised King, Prophet, and Priest sent from God to rule, intercede for, and sacrifice Himself for God’s people.

Do we believe, with a God-given faith, that Jesus is our Christ?  Has He died for us?  Does He intervene for us?  Does He rule over our hearts and lives?

If we can answer “yes” to all of these questions, we have been delivered from our sins and are eternally secure in Him.  If we cannot say “yes” to these questions then we have to question our standing before God.

May we all come to a saving faith in Him, placing all of our trust in Him as the Prophet, Priest and King of our lives.

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

Serving Christ For His Glory… What Does “His Glory” Mean?

SIH STSTA ICONINTRODUCTION:

From the pulpit, from the classroom, and from the mouths of most Christians, we hear the instruction to “serve the Lord for His glory”… unfortunately, this phrase can be very confusing for each one of us due to the variety of teachings about the Lord’s glory found in the Bible.

Many times, when the Bible describes God’s glory (as in Exo 24:17), it is speaking of a bright manifestation of the very presence of God.  This meaning of the phrase reveals to us that God’s glory “appears” (Exo 16:10), “can be seen” (Num 14:22) and is “revealed” (Isa 40:5) to us.   When we tell others to “serve the Lord for His glory” are we telling them to serve our Lord in the hopes of seeing His presence revealed as a bright, overwhelming light?  I think we all understand this is not the case.

In at least three different occasions (Job 40:10, Psa 93:1 and 104:1-2), God’s symbolic clothing is described as his glory.  If we use this Biblical definition then we are to serve Him to receive a vision of the symbolic clothing that He is said to wear.  Of course this is not the meaning of “for His glory” that is to motivate us to service for Christ.

The Bible also describes His glory as being revealed in a thunderstorm (Psa 29:3).  Does this mean we serve Him so that we will see lightning and hear thunder roll?  We can all agree, this is not the case.

The list goes on and on.  When God’s glory is described it can be revealed to man in many, many different ways.

So what is “God’s glory” and how is it shown to mankind when we serve Him and bear his fruits in our life?  In other words, what is the Scriptural motivation for our service to Christ?  These questions are what we will be seeking to answer in this Bible study.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Matt 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

1Co 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

To come to an understanding of our motive for service (as we serve Christ “for His glory”, we need to understand the definition of the term “glory”.  The word glory is translated from several different words in the Bible.  In the Old Testament, it is translated from these Hebrew words and their forms:

  1. kabowd – weight, splendor, honor
  2. paar – to gleam or boast
  3. hadar – ornament, splendor
  4. halal – to shine, flash forth, boast
  5. shabach – laud, praise, command
  6. tipharah – beauty, boasting
  7. howd – splendor, majesty, vigor
  8.  addereth – mantle, garment, robe
  9. tohar – brightness
  10. yeqar – wealth

 

In the New Testament, it is translated from these Greek words and their forms:

  1. doxa – dignity, honor, praise, worship
  2. kauchema – to  cause to boast
  3. kleos – praise, respect

 

As we can see, in both the Old and New Testaments, the most basic, shared meaning behind all the words translated “glory” involves a revelation of the Lord’s excellence.  Whether it be speaking of the bright light like fire that appeared over Mt Sinai, the Lord’s clothing being symbolized as a bright light or His voice thunders and “is full of glory”, we can see that the Lord’s greatness is being described.

Excellence, or the Supremacy over all others, is the central theme we can see in all the above words translated “glory” in the Word of God.  To put it very simply, the phrase “the glory of the Lord” is describing a revelation of the Lord’s greatness.

When we are told to “serve the Lord for his glory” we are being told to serve the Lord motivated by the desire to reveal His Greatness to others.  This should be the motive and goal in all of our ministries and in everything we do…

1Co 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 

We should never seek to exalt ourselves or others around us, our one purpose of ministry is to allow the greatness of Christ to be displayed in us.  This is symbolically like Christ’s glorious light that shines forth from us revealing our Savior to the world around us….

Matt 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

 

As you can see from the above passage the way that Christ’s light shines forth from us is through the fruits of the Spirit which we possess within us.  When we bear these fruits the end results are good works which exalt Christ.

This is the true meaning behind the phrase “we are to serve the Lord for His glory”.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Let’s close our study this morning by asking a few very simple questions….

Why do we serve the Lord and live our daily lives for Him?

Is the end result of our ministry His glory, our glory, or a combination of both?

May we all seek to have Jesus glorified in everything we do!

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

“Sins Of The Eyes And Heart”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

There is a clear relationship between what we see with our eyes, what we sinfully desire in our hearts, and the fallen outward actions that we commit.  Our Lord, Himself, addressed this relationship in Matthew 5:27-28 when He said…

 

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

This is a very important issue that we need to understand clearly. In this study we will seek to come to an understanding of the Lord’s teachings (and other related verses) on the relationship of our eyes, heart (desires) and the acts of sin we commit.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Job 31:1-8

(1)  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

(2)  For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

(3)  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

(4)  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

(5)  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

(6)  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

(7)  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

(8)  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

 

 

Pro 23:7

(7)  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

 

Mat 5:27-28

(27)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

(28)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

Jas 1:13-16

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

(14)  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

(15)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

(16)  Do not err, my beloved brethren.

 

 

THE STUDY:

 

Mat 5:27-28 – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In our Lord’s teachings found in Matt 5:27-28, we are taught that sin can occur within the heart (desires) of a man.  Please notice that “lusting after her” is counted as committing the sin of adultery “in his heart”.  In other words, possessing sinful lusts is one type of sin that can be committed by man.

This also helps us to understand that there are two different ways that any sin can be committed:

  1. First of all, sin can be committed in the heart when we hold burning desires to perform an act of sin.  In the case of Jesus’ teaching, the desire to commit the act of adultery, is, in and of itself, counted as a sin.
  2. Secondly, sin can involve the outward act of the sin.  In Christ’s teaching this would be the physical act of adultery being committed with the woman after whom the inward lust is being committed.

Please note that both the sin of the heart and the actual commission of that sin are recognized as two separate sins. To lust in the heart is sinful, to go farther and actually commit the physical sin of adultery is recognized as a second commission of sin.  We should never think that if we commit sin in our hearts we had “might as well do the act”.  This is a lie that comes from Satan himself, being told to us in an effort to increase our guilt and the sin that abides in our lives.

 

Jas 1:13-16 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.   Do not err, my beloved brethren.

In the above verse, James explains to us the steps that produce acts of sin in our lives.  James teachings helps us to better understand the relationship between our eyes, heart and the outward performance of sin.

Every commission of sin begins as a temptation.  These temptations are wholly based upon the desires that we hold within us.  Notice what James says… “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away OF HIS OWN LUST and enticed.”  Folks, anytime an opportunity to sin arises, but we have no desire to commit that sin, it is not a temptation to us.

A very simple example is a person who is on a diet and HATES vanilla ice cream.  I can offer that person vanilla ice cream over and over again and they will never be “tempted” to eat it and break their diet.  Why?  Because they have no desire to eat the vanilla ice cream.   However, if the same person LOVES chocolate ice cream, the moment I offer it to them, the offer becomes a “temptation” to them to break their diet.  Because they desire it, the opportunity to partake of it becomes a temptation to them.

James then goes further and explains that when the person recognizes the opportunity to sin is open to them (they are enticed by it), the sinful lust in their heart then gives birth to the outward act of sin which leads to their death.

WOW!  What a horrible chain of events that leads to all men’s downfall, reminds us of a fish that is caught by a fisherman…

  1. The bait is seen by the fish (using its eyes)
  2. The bait attracts the fish because it is hungry (its desires)
  3. The bait is taken by the fish (the outward act of taking that which is sinfully desired)
  4. The fish is killed by the fisherman (death occurs as the direct result of sin)

The commission of sin takes place in the same way…

  1. We see an opportunity to sin (we place our eyes on it)
  2. We then take advantage of that opportunity (because we desire to commit that sin)
  3. The natural result of the commission of that sin is physical and spiritual death.

 

 

Job 31:1-8 – I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

Job understood the two types of sin when he said… “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

  1. Job described the outward acts of sin as “If my step turned out of the way”
  2. Job described the role of inward sinful desires as “mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

 

Job also understood how sin develops in our lives:

  1. He was describing his sinful desires being fulfilled following the seeing an opportunity to sin… “mine heart walked after mine eyes”:
  2. This results in the outward commission of that sin “If my step hath turned out of the way”.

 

Because of Job’s knowledge of these truths, he was able to successfully avoid sin in his life.  This is why he was able to boldly ask the Lord to look at his life and see that his life was dedicated to pleasing Him.  So what is the secret to Job’s success?…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

He saw the need to control what his eyes looked upon to avoid these times of temptation that so easily come upon all mankind.  he understood that, due to our fallen, sinful natures we all possess sinful desires.  The one of the most effective ways to avoid cultivating and fulfilling those desires was by controlling his eyes…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

In other words, if Job avoided the opportunity to sin, he would not be feeding his sinful desires nor would he be bringing them to fruition.  What a very important lesson for us all.  By controlling what our eyes look upon we can keep our sinful desires at bay and not “live them out” in our actions!

Job said that the result of this covenant he made with his eyes, he was able to sincerely invite the Lord to examine his life without guilt or hesitation… “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity”

 

CONCLUSION:

Do we attempt to control our eyes and avoid temptations whenever we possibly can?  The answer to this question speaks volumes about our character, the person we are within.

King Solomon understood this principle when he wrote in Proverbs 23:7 … “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;”

In response to Solomon’s writing, lets close by asking ourselves this simple question … “Who are we?”  The answer can be found in our attempts to rule over our eyes and the desires that dwell in our hearts.

 

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

“The Events That Accompanied Christ’s Death ”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

In this small text from the book of Matthew, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

 

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”

  1. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  2. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Do we appreciate the importance and miraculous nature of these occurrences?  What can we learn about Christ and His work from them?

In this lesson we will be attempting to come to a partial understanding of these things realizing that we, as sinful mankind, can never come to a complete understanding of them this side of heaven.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 27:50-54 –

(50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

(51) And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

(52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

(53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

(54) Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

THE STUDY:

In Matthew chapter 27, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

To understand some of the lessons we can learn from these three great occurrences, it is important we include verse 54 in our study of verses 50-53…

“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

From this verse, we can see that these events brought glory and honor to Jesus to the eyes and mind of the Roman military leader (centurion).   After seeing these things, he said “Truly this was the Son of God”, referring to Christ’s claims about His relationship with His heavenly Father.

By using this title, the Centurion was recognizing that these three events had accredited Christ’s claims of origin and divinity ….

 

Christ found His origin in heaven…

Joh 6:38 – “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

 

Christ was God Himself…

Joh 10:30-31 – “I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”

 

The centurion had come to understand that this Jesus “Truly was the Son of God”, just as Christ had claimed…

Mat 16:15-17 – “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

But, for the Christian, the lessons that can be learned from these three events go much farther.  In these miracles, we can see the purpose and results of Christ’s death on the cross.

The first of these miracles was the veil of the temple being torn in two from top to bottom, for the first time ever, giving Jews unfettered access to the very presence of God (signified by the mercy seat in the holy of holies in the temple building).

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” – This speaks of Christ’s death giving sinful mankind access to God. The lost mankind, due to their sin, alienates them from a holy God.  The shed blood of Christ on the cross, when a lost man comes to faith in Christ, covers their sin and gives eternal access to God.  This is symbolically proclaimed when the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” An earthquake accompanies the Lord at many of His appearances to man on earth (Exo 19:18, Nahum 1:5, Isa 29:6).  Why is this? Because when the great Lord visits sinful creation all the earth trembles at His presence (Psa 97:4).  These principles help us to understand the truth behind the earthquake that took place at Christ’s death.  It was at that point in time that God’s presence is clearly seen.  As Christ completed His work on the cross, we saw both the wrath of God and the love of God being clearly brought into view.  His wrath, as it took the life of Christ and His love, as Christ died for us.
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This speaks of the new life that Christ’s death has graciously supplied to sinful mankind.  When the lost person comes to a saving faith in Christ, they begin to live a new earthly life in Christ and inherit eternal spiritual life to be enjoyed in this world and the one to come.

 

CONCLUSION:

The tearing of the veil, the earthquake and the resurrection of the dead, glorify and honor Jesus, showing us that He is the true Son of God.   But we also have two of the great blessings of Christ’s work given to us… access to God and the new life we enjoy now and in eternity.

May we all bring honor to Christ, knowing that He was God Himself, who came from heaven to earth to on our behalf.  May we understand that, as He hung on the cross, He was giving His life for us, and He was graciously bearing God’s wrath against our sins.  In doing so, He was giving us permanent access to God and a new life to enjoy on earth and throughout eternity.

 

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

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

The Reign Of The Saints

SIH STSTA ICON

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

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

THE STUDY:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Scripture References For Above Outline:

 

Dominion Over The Nations

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

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

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

 

The Dominion Given To Saints NOW: “Overcomers”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Victory At Armegeddon

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

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

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

The Dominion Given To The Saints As A Reward For Faithfulness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dominion Over New Heavens and New Earth

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

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

 

1000 Year Reign

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

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

 

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

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

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

Judging The World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Eternal Kingdom

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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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!

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…Blessed Is That Servant…”

SIH TOTT ICONMatthew 24:, the companion passage to Rev 6:, tells us…

 

Mat 24:46-51 KJV

(46)  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
(47)  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
(48)  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
(49)  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
(50)  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
(51)  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Did you know that we are all servants of Christ?  Saved or Lost; Physical Jew or Gentile; those of the Christian, Jewish, Buddist, or Muslim faith; Democrat or Republican; Master or Slave; King or Pauper; all of us are under the authority of Christ and held responsible to serve Him. In that sense, we are all His servants and given the responsibility to fulfill His will.

So what is the difference between these differing groups?  Some are blessed servants who are found willfully serving Christ at His coming… others are evil servants who refuse to submit to His authority and disobey His will for their lives.

But the differences between the blessed and evil servant does not end with their desire to serve or rebel against Christ.  The other great difference is found in their eternal end.  For the blessed servant who is faithfully fulfilling the will of Christ, he is rewarded for His faithfulness and shares in Christ’s ruling authority over the coming New Heavens and New Earth.  For the evil servant, he is separated from Christ and consigned to eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire.

The question before us is not “Are we servants of the Lord Jesus Christ?”, actually the question is “What type of servant of Christ are we?”  Are we the blessed servant that is faithful in service and eagerly awaiting His second coming?  Or, are we the evil servant that is willfully rebellious to His will, not recognizing that Christ is coming again and will hold him accountable for his unfaithfulness?

So again…. “What type of servant of Christ are we?”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation & Matthew:

Seals 1-4:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ

Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc

Matthew 24: http://wp.me/pU88A-IW

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…Of that day and hour knoweth no man…”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Matthew 24:, the companion passage to Rev 6:, tells us…

 

 

 

Mat 24:36-44 KJV

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

 

In this section of Matthew 24, we come face to face with a very simple, yet important, principle.  This principle is stated in vs 36,42 & 44…

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

 

What is this principle?  NO MAN knows the exact time of the second coming of Christ.  Thanks to the signs of His coming, all mankind is constantly reminded that He is coming again and, in response, we should be forever vigilant and waiting.

However, our text clearly tells us that all of the lost and many of the saved will be caught unawares.  This principle is then illustrated in three ways:

  1. vs 37-39 – Just as in the days of Noah, men will not see the urgency of preparing for His coming nor change their lifestyle in any way.  They will be preparing for a future, uninterrupted life on earth by continuing to marry and make plans for future marriages, eating and drinking to give them strength for the coming day.  Looking for the Lord’s second coming will change our lifestyle and plans for the future.
  1. vs 40-42 – Two men in the field and two women grinding at the meal. In both cases, the saved is taken the lost is left.  In both cases, He came unexpectedly to both lost and saved.  In both cases, lost and saved were not prepared for His coming.   We should never think that, because we are saved, we are exempt from being unprepared for His coming.
  1. vs 43 – The coming of the thief caused great harm and loss because the master of the house was not prepared for his coming. When a person is unprepared, whether lost or saved, great loss will ensue.  For the lost they will be condemned to the Lake of Fire for an eternity, failing to trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior.  For the saved, it will involve a great loss of reward and opportunity to glorify God on earth and in heaven.

 

Are we prepared for His coming?

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation & Matthew:

Seals 1-4:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ

Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc

Matthew 24: http://wp.me/pU88A-IW

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

SIH TOTT ICONMatthew 24:, the companion passage to Rev 6:, tells us…

Mat 24:32-34 KJV
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

 

 

Following a description of the tribulation that we face in today’s time (Matt 24:3-28), we are told that these things are signs of the coming return of Christ. This is how they are described … “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”

Please note: in this text:
1. the “leaves” are pictures of the tribulations we face in today’s time
2. the “summer” is a picture of the return of Christ.

In other words, the tribulations that are prophesied to take place are signs of the impending coming of Christ. Much like the leaves on a fig tree are signs that summer is near at hand. Folks, look around us, we have clear indicators that the second coming of Christ is near.

Do you recognize all of the false teaching that is being broadcast throughout the world, or what about the many wars that we see taking place? What about the many shortages that the nations of the world are experiencing combined with the horrific deaths that we see on display on the tv news? All of these, and many other tribulations we are facing are constant reminders that Christ is coming soon. These are the “leaves of the fig tree” being talked about.

The disciples are then told that these same “leaves” of the fig tree (“all these things”) would all take place during his generation… “this generation shall not pass, till all these things are fulfilled.” This is teaching us that in the disciples’ day false teachers, wars, famines, horrific deaths, martyrdom, rejection and removal of God’s truth (from Israel), etc etc would take place. And sure enough, with Titus invasion and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, (70 AD) we have these events taking place within 40 years of Christ’s teachings.

May we all see the wonderous prophesies given to us by Christ that were fulfilled 100%.   Just as these prophesies concering His coming came true in the days of Titus, carrying through today’s time, so too we can count on the promise of His soon return to be fulfilled as well.  May we never doubt that He is coming again… we can know this with certainty because what He says ALWAYS comes true!

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation & Matthew:

Seals 1-4: http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ
Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6: http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc
Matthew 24: http://wp.me/pU88A-IW

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…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.”

SIH TOTT ICONMatthew 24:, the companion passage to Rev 6:, tells us…

 

 

 

 

Mat 24:29-31 KJV –  “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:  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.

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.”

 

What a precious promise to all who have trusted in Christ.  At His coming He will take His people home to be with Him!

Note the series of events that we are told will take place…

  1. Following the tribulation that we face in today’s time (Matt 24:3-28), we have the precious promise of Christ’s second coming.
  2. Accompanying Him at His coming will be great physical changes in the heavens and earth (Matt 24:29).
  3. This will cause great sorrow in the hearts of the unbelievers, because they will recognize that His wrath is ready to fall (Matt 24:30)
  4. Then we are promised that those who have trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior will be taken from the sinful earth to meet Him in the clouds before His wrath falls against sinful mankind (Matthew 24:31).

The taking of His people is described in this passage as 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.”

Believers from all over the world will be gathered to the Lord through the aid of the angels of God.  It will be much like the citizens of a city going out to meet their king and escort Him back into their city.  However in this case, it will be the saints of god being taken from the earth, meeting the Kings of Kings in the air, and then accompanying Him back onto the earth as He comes to judge the world for its sin…

2Th 2:1-2 KJV – “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation & Matthew:

Seals 1-4:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ

Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc

Matthew 24: http://wp.me/pU88A-IW

 

Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…all these are the beginning of sorrows …”

SIH TOTT ICONMatthew 24:, the companion passage to Rev 6:, tells us…

 

 

Mat 24:8 KJV – All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 

In the context of this passage, we see Matthew 24: listing six “sorrows”, which align themselves perfectly with six seals of Rev 6:…

  1. vs 5… False Teachers and Anti-Christs
  2. vs 6–7a …. Wars and Rumors Of Wars
  3. vs 7b ,,, Famines
  4. vs 7c … Horrific Deaths (pestilences, earthquakes)
  5. vs 8-14… Martyrdom of Saints
  6. vs 15-21… Worship Taken From Jews and Lost World (Taking Truth and Physical Destruction From Lost)

 

Why does this Matthew passage refer to these 6 types of tribulation brought upon mankind as “sorrows”?  The word for “sorrows” is a Greek word for “birth pains”.   Why would Christ describe these as “birth pains”?

There are at least three basic ideas connected with birth pains:

  1. suffering that increases in frequency
  2. suffering that increases in intensity
  3. suffering that lead to a new life

The six types of tribulation listed by Christ will increase in frequency and intensity as the coming of Christ draws near.  This will lead to a whole new type of life at Christ’s appearance in the clouds.  Lost mankind will be destroyed, the world will be purified, and His people will enter into   eternity with Him. This is why these sin areas of tribulation that have, is and will continue to fall upon mankind is described as birth pains.

Folks, as we see these types of tribulation take place around us, and increase in both frequency and intensity over time, may we all continue to remember that these things are leading us to a new type of existence.

At the coming of Christ, His people will no longer be in the presence of sin, nor feel its affects in our lives.  We will enter a world that has been remade by the Lord specifically for the habitation of His people.  We will be living in the very presence of our Lord for an eternity!

May we all rejoice in Him knowing these trials will come to an end someday and we will enter into eternal rest with our Lord!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation & Matthew:

Seals 1-4:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3TJ

Next weeks’ posting – Seals 5-6:   http://wp.me/pU88A-3Uc

Matthew 24: http://wp.me/pU88A-IW

 

The Seven Seals Compared To Matthew 24:

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.   

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matthew 24:1-51

Mark 13:1-37

Luke 21:5-36

Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9:21, 11:15-19, 16:1-21

 

THE STUDY:

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…

 

Segment of Teaching Matthew 24: Mark 13: Luke 21:
The Question 24:1-3 13:1-4 21:5-7
(1)  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.(2)  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (1)  And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!(2)  And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,(4)  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5)  And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,(6)  As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(7)  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Trials Faced By Lost and Saved Alike 24:4-8 13:5-8 21:8-11
(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.(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.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (5)  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:(6)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(7)  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.(8)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (8)  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.(9)  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.(10)  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(11)  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Trials Faced By All Christians 24:9-14 13:9-13 21:12-19
(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.(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.(14)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (9)  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.(10)  And the gospel must first be published among all nations.(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.(12)  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.(13)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (12)  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.(13)  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.(14)  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:(15)  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.(16)  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.(17)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.(18)  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.(19)  In your patience possess ye your souls.
Trials Faced By The Jewish Nation 24:15-29 13:14-25 21:20-26
(15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoreadeth, 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.(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.(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.

(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:

 

(14)  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him thatreadeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:(15)  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:(16)  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.(17)  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(18)  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.(19)  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.(20)  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.(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.24)  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

(25)  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

 

(20)  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.(21)  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.(22)  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.(23)  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.(24)  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.(25)  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;(26)  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The 2nd Coming Of Christ 24:30-31 13:26-27 21:27-28
(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. (26)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.(27)  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.  (27)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.(28)  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Parable Of Fig Tree 24:32-36 13:28-33 21:29-33
(32)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:(33)  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.(34)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.(35)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.(36)  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (28)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:(29)  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.(30)  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.(31)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.(32)  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.(33)  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (29)  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;(30)  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(31)  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.(32)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.(33)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
3 Examples Of Unreadiness 24:37-44
(37)  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(40)  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(41)  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(42)  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.(43)  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.(44)  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Exhortation To be Ready 24:45—51 13:34-37 21:34-36
(45)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?(46)  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.(47)  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.(48)  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;(49)  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;(50)  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,(51)  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (34)  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.(35)  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:(36)  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.(37)  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (34)  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.(35)  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.(36)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

 

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.
4 Horrific Deaths 6:7-8 24:7c-8 24:22a
(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.
5 Persecution  Christians 6:9-11 24:9-10 24:22b
(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.”

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The Signs Of His Coming (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICON

This posting was first made in 2010, but the truths that it presents continues to be true to this day, may we all come to a better understanding of the times of the Lord’s second coming!

In part number one of this series, we saw that the exact time of Christ’s coming and the end of the world would not be revealed to any man, nor angel, but only to God alone.  (Matt 24:3-6, Matt 25:13, 2Pet 3:10)  Also, because mankind will not be told of the exact time of Christ’s return, His return is described as if a thief was coming in the night. (1 Thess 5:1-11).

These teachings of God, bring into question the year 2012 theory for His return.  According to the most popular version of the theory, the world is coming to an end on Dec 21, 2012.  We know the Lord clearly says that He will not reveal the exact time of His coming; because of this the 2012 theory must be labeled unscriptural and, therefore, false.

We will now pickup with our Matt 24: study by looking at Christ’s teachings concerning the signs of his coming and the end of the world (Matt 24:3-28)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? …. 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. 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. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.  (Mat 24:3-28)

THE STUDY:

Matt 24:3 – The context of our study… Christ is answering the question, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The 10 great groups of signs pointing to His coming and the end of the world’:

Sign #1 – Matt 24:4-5 – The appearance of men who will claim to be anointed by God, but they will deliver a false message, some will even claim to be Christ Himself.  (2 Cor 11:13-15, 2 Thess 2:3 )

Sign #2 – Matt 24:6- Wars will take place, combined with threatening of wars about to take place.

Don’t let these things surprise you, they are a part of God’s plan and must take place before the end. (Luk 21:9)

Sign #3 – Matt 24:7- Nations will oppose nations economically, politically etc.  Also, famines will take place with deadly diseases and earthquakes.  All of these things will take place in a variety of different, multiple places. (Ezek 14:21, Luke 21:11, 25-26)

Matt 24:8 – All the above signs (vs 4-7) are described as beginning of “sorrows”.  The Greek word for sorrows means “birth pains”.  The above signs are compared to birth pains, i.e. they will increase in frequency and intensity as the end times grow closer.  Much like a woman’s birth pains increase in frequency and intensity before the child is born.

Sign #4 – Matt 24:9 – This speaks of the persecution of the followers of Christ. This includes physical, emotional, social, and economic abuse of God’s people. (John 15:19-20, Rev 2:10, Rev 6:9-10)

Sign #5 – Matt 24:10 – Disagreements, legal disputes, hurt feelings, physical confrontations will take place between individuals.  These will stir up hatred for one another.  (Matt 10:21,35-36,  Matt 13:21)

Sign #6 – Matt 24:11 – Many men will teach a message of error, yet claim it is God’s Word. This is speaking of false religions that teach salvation is received apart from Christ. (1 John 4:1)

Sign #7 – Matt 24:12- Sin will be rampant as love for one another dwindles. Natural types of love will decrease (parents for child, man for woman, child for parents, etc.) Perverted, selfish lust will be on the rise. (Mark 13:12, Luk 21:16, Roms 1:26-32)

Matt 24:13 – One of the greatest marks of those who are saved is consistent service to Him. Perseverance in service to the Lord is one of the greatest proofs of genuine salvation.

Sing #8 – Matt 24:14- Worldwide gospel outreach by ministries of the Lord.

Sign #9 – Matt 24:15 – The Abomination of Desolation is Daniel’s account of the Hebrew temple being

defiled.  This was done by the Antiochus Epiphanes in 170 BC when he slew the pig on the Israelite altar. (see for more info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abomination_of_Desolation) .

This ceremonial defilement of the altar is a picture of God’s worship being defiled today through false teachings and harboring of sin in worship.  This sign is about sin and error creeping into the Lord’s assemblies causing the true worship of Him to be defiled. (Daniel 9:-12:, 2 Pet 2:1-3, Rev 2:12-17)

Matt 24:16-20 – All of the above events will be unstoppable and world-wide, causing even God’s people to flee in terror, knowing that these things cannot be overcome by mankind’s efforts.

Matt 24:21-22 – At the completion of these signs, the Great Tribulation will be ready to commence.  The Great Tribulation would even destroy God’s people, but the Lord will intervene and take them home before the GT begins.

Sign #10 – Matt 24:23-28 – False accounts of Christ’s return will radically multiply as the end draws near. These false teachings will include Him physically coming back to the earth. These false claims about His return will give support to the rise of false Christs with miracle working powers coming on the scene.  They will be empowered through Satanic intervention deceiving virtually all men (with the exception of genuine believers. (2 Thess 2:9-11, Rev 13:13-14)

Only God’s people will reject these false teachings. Christ’s true followers will understand the Biblical teachings about His second coming.  They will understand He will come in the clouds and take His people to heaven to be with Him.  He WILL NOT return to the earth at this point in time.

(Note: I have included a few extra verses with each sign to supplement this study.  There are many, many more verses I could have included but the length of this study restrained me.)

THE SUMMARY:

By looking at the above list of signs of His coming and the end of the world, it is plain to see that we are living in the last days.  Every one of these signs has already appeared and many have become much more frequent and intense.

Although there is no way I can know exactly when he will come, I believe it will be soon… in any case, we all can echo Paul’s sentiments in Rom 13:11-14:

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In the next part of our blog series we will be looking at our long-awaited event, the second coming of our Lord.

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.”

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

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

 

 

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

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

THE SCRIPTURE:

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

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

THE STUDY:

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

Matthew 24:1-3…

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

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

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

Matthew 24:4-28

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

Matthew 24:29-31

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

Matthew 24:32-51

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

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

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

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

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

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

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

Signs of the End of the World

The Lord, by His grace not only tells us He is coming again but He also gives us signs that will tell us His coming is getting closer.  Lets take a look at Matthew 24: and see what are some of the indications that His coming and the end of this world as we know it.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matt 24:1-51 (KJV)

THE STUDY:

In the above passages, we find the Lord giving us several  “signs” or marks of His second coming and end of the age in which we are now living…

Matt 24

 

1) And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to [him] for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Here, we find that the destruction of the Jerusalem temple would be the first sign, of many, that the Lord gives us to indicate when He is coming back.  This temple destruction took place in 70 AD as the Roman general Titus came into Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.  (Luke 19:41-44)

 

3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The disciples linked the destruction fo the temple with Christ’s second coming and the end of the current age.  Why did they do this?  They recognized that all three of these events would take place during the same time period.   It is the period that begins with Christ’s first coming and ends with Christ’s second coming. …

Hebs 1: 1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,   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;

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.

The second sign of His coming is the appearance of many false Christs.  The Bible talks about these men as “Antichrist”.  In other words, they come to impersonate Christ, replace Christ or oppose Christ.  In any case, they will be mislead many…

1John 2:18 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.

 

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:

The third sign of His coming is war.  Warfare and the threats of warfare indicate His coming is getting close.

7b) and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Here, we find three other marks of His coming…. Lack of food (famines), deadly diseases (pestilence) and earthquakes.  All of these will take place in many varied, numerous places on earth.

 

8) All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.

These are just a beginning list of the sorrows we face before His second coming takes place.  It is important to notice that “sorrows” is the Greek term for “birth pains”.  Just as a woman that gives birth experiences an increase in intensity and frequency of her birth pains… so too,  these marks will be gradually increasing in intensity and frequency as His coming draws nigh.

 

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.

Martydom and hatred towards the true messengers of the Lord will increase.

 

11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

False messengers who claim to be sent from the Lord will come on the scene and mislead many people.

 

12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The sinful condition of mankind will cause the natural love between men to become cold and perverted.  Mothers being willing to kill their children through abortions, the increasing divorce rate and the rebellion of children against their parents and the homosexual lifestyle are just four of a multitude of examples of the natural love between mankind being replaced by selfishness and perversion.

 

13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

The true followers of Christ possess a faith that will preserver even in the most troublesome of times.   They will remain faithful to their calling and their Lord.  This is the indication of a genuine salvation experience.

 

14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The worldwide proclamation of the gospel is another indication that the Lord’s coming is drawing close. In today’s age of internet and satellite TV the gospel is going into many nations that had been closed to the gospel message. Keep in mind it was only during His first coming that Christ gave the authority and obligation to take the gospel to the Gentiles to the local church (Acts 1:8).  Also, the gospel to the Gentiles was first accredited after His ascension at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:)

 

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:)

The abomination of desolation is referring to the acts of the Roman government as they attempted to bring an end to Christianity. (Luke 21:20 makes it plain that the A of D involved armies overtaking Jerusalem)  It was done through the crucifixion of Christ, the martyrdom of the followers of Christ, and the destruction of the temple (see also in Daniel 9:).   Keep in mind the A of D written about in Daniel 11: referred to the slaying of a pig on the altar of God in the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes a general in the Greek army. This was a public display that the true worship of Jehovah (Jewish worship) had ended and had been replaced by Greek Gods.   Likewise the crucifixion and martyrdom of God’s people was a public display of Christianity being put to death under the Roman dictatorship.

 

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:

The need to flee form Israel during the times of the great persecution resulted in Christianity being preserved, and spread throughout the world.

 

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.  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.

The destruction that takes place in 70 AD, is the greatest day of tribulation that the physical Jews will ever face as a nation.  It signaled the end of the Lord’s using them in a special way to present Histruth to the world.  Spiritually their desolation began with the accreditation of gospel going to Gentiles at Cornelius house.  The spiritual desolation became complete when Titus destroyed the temple in 70 AD.  Likewise, their physical desolation began with the Greek Empires occupation but came to completion with Titus total devastation of the city.

This tribulation upon the Jews was a foreshadowing of the great troublesome times that the world faces prior to Christ’s second coming.  As bad as things may get in this world, we need to remember that things could be worse, and they will be worse during the Tribulation of the last days.

 

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.

As we look for His second coming remember, it will be in the clouds!   He will not physically come to the earth during the rapture.  He will gather up His children to be with Him much like eagles go skyward and group together over prey.

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:  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.

“Those days” refers back to the age of the appearance of all the signs of His coming (vs 4-27, not just vs 15-21).

This is a description of the 2nd coming of Christ taking place immediately following the troublesome times we have been looking at.  At the very instant of His coming great changes in the sky will take place and Christ Himself will appear in heaven. (Isa 12:9-11)

32) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh:  33) So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.  34) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.  35) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.  36) But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

All these signs we have looked at give us an indication of the closeness of His coming but they do not give the exact time.  Just like looking at a tree tells us what season it is, so too, these signs help to remind us His coming is close.  We cannot know the exact time of His coming but we know it is coming based on the signs.

Note: in vs 34 – “all these things” refers to the signs of the leaves on the fig tree.  This includes all the signs prior to His coming but it does not include the second coming itself.  Every one of the signs of His coming (including Titus invasion) had appeared in the world by approx. 70-75 AD.

 

37) But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

For the lost world, the second coming of Christ is not expected, nor prepared for.  That is why He gave these signs to His people, so they would not be unawares.  In Noah’s day, everyone was planning for tomorrow they were marrying and getting engaged, they were partying and not giving a thought to their lives coming to an end the next day.

 

40) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  41) Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  42) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

At the rapture, not everyone will be taken, only those who have trusted in Christ.  The others will be left to face the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God.

 

43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.  45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  46) Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  47) Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.  48) But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;  49) And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;  50) The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We are told all of this to help us be prepared for His coming.  We are to be always looking and waiting, as each sign takes place it should remind us that His coming is soon and our opportunity to serve is short.  This attitude will result in our receipt of rewards and blessings from the Lord.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have received the Lord’s gracious offer of salvation, let us serve Him with our whole heart realizing that He is coming soon to take us home.  Our opportunities to serve Him are limited.

If you have never trusted in Christ as your Savior, do it today.  As you can see from the list of signs of His coming… we see them all taking place in today’s time.  His coming is drawing near… we need  to accept this message by faith and turn to the Lord to receive forgiveness and spiritual life.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Endureth All Things”

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)

The Lord’s great love moved Him to willingly accept horrible false accusations, abuse and even death.

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Perseveres Under A Heavy Burden

What great patience and perseverance is shown by our Lord as He withstood this abuse. Especially when we keep in mind that, at any time, He could have called legions of angels to come and rescue Him from this great burden of abuse that was placed upon Him…

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. (Matthew 26:52-56)

 

What was the motivating force behind Christ’s willingness to suffer long under this mistreatment? It was His love for His Heavenly Father and the people that His Father had given to Him:

 

1. His love for His Father – Christ was driven to fulfill His Father’s will for His life which included facing this horrible abuse.

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.(John 14:31)

Christ declared His love for His Father through His obedience to His Father’s will.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:7-11)

Christ’s submission to abuse and death did it as an act of obedience to the Father. This same faithful obedience resulted in His exaltation as Lord over all.

 

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;(Hebrews 5:7-9)

It was through His sufferings that Christ learned of obedience. Likewise, it was through His suffering that He became the Savior of His people.

In Isaiah 53:1-12, we find a prophetic compilation of the many types of suffering that was borne by Christ as an act of love and obedience to His Father.

 

 

2. His love for the people given to Him by the Father – Christ’s great love for His people drove Him to willingly bear the horrible abuse, and in doing so, paid the price for their sins.

And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.(Revelation 1:5-6)

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

May we be willing to give of ourselves for our Lord and those around us, motivated by the love of Christ in our hearts…

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.(Ephesians 3:16-19)

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Rejoiceth In The Truth”

SIH TOTT ICONAnd 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)

 

 

 

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 desire for sincerity and the proclamation of the truths of God…

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Desires Sincerity and The Truths Of God

 

The need for sincerity in Christian service is very closely related to the need to proclaim the Truths Of God to others. Both are necessary for an effective Christian witness.

 

A sincere belief motivating the proclamation of error is false teaching.

Insincerity in the proclamation of truth is, simply, hypocrisy.

The only effective, Godly witness involves the proclamation of truth about God that flows from a genuine heart of belief.   This is a mark of true love toward the Lord and those around us.

 

Christ gave us the perfect example of this type of divine witness as He lived His life among us…

 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truthFor the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].(John 1:14, 17-18)

 

In this section of Scripture, we see that Christ was the epitome of a perfect, divine witness. He was “full of … truth” (ie perfectly sincere) while living a life that “declared” the truths of God the Father to those around Him.

In other words, Christ was a very genuine, sincere, Revealer of the truths of His heavenly Father.  In doing so, He was opening the channel of both grace and truth to a lost and spiritual dead world… “[but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

Christ, in His teachings emphasized the importance of the Word of God as the singular source of revelation for the salvation, sanctification and adoption of those who come to Him in saving faith…

 

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”   (John 17:17-23)

 

Not only did Christ reveal the importance of truth for the lives of those around Him, but He also clearly revealed His hatred for hypocrisy and insincerity in His address concerning the Pharisees…

 

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.   Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:1-8)

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Folks, Do we love our Lord? If so, let us shun all false teachings and hypocritical attitudes as we honor Him though presenting His Word to others through our words and actions.

 

Do we love others? If so, we should have a genuine desire to present the truths of God to them, knowing that it is only through a knowledge and faith in these truths that a person can come to salvation, entrance into His family and entrance into eternity in the very presence of God…

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”   (Romans 10:13-17)

 

 

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

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Thinketh No Evil”

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)

 

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 hatred of sin on display…

Christ’s Life:

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Does Not Plan Or Desire Evil

Christ, the perfectly holy One, hated the commission of sin. We can clearly see this in the account of Christ cleansing the temple of those who were using the worship of His Father for personal monetary gain…

14) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
(John 2:14-17)

What was the sin that was taking place in this account? “found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:”  In other words, there were men who were making an unjust profit from the sale of animals to be used as sacrifices to Jehovah and from exchanging foreign money to that which was acceptable as an offering to Jehovah. Both of these “services” were being offered to those who had to travel long distances and in most cases came from outside of Israel.

Please note… Christ was not angered at making the animals and proper currency available to those who arrived to worship. His anger was pointed towards taking advantage of the faithful worshippers of Jehovah by making an unjust gain from these transactions. In other words, they had turned a place for true worship into a “house of merchandise”

How did Christ display His anger? It was through the exercise of physical force as He drove the exchangers out of the temple area… “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables
 
This event had been prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures in Psalms 69:7-11. This Scripture is not only the historical account of the sufferings of King David, but it is also a prophetic Scripture revealing to us truths concerning the ministry of Christ during His first coming…

Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. (Psalms 69:7-11)

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

What a tremendous display of Godly anger! Folks, don’t ever think (not even for a moment) that all anger is wrong. We are to consistently hold a Godly anger against the acts of sin that are taking place all around us. Then, we are to allow this anger to motivate us to stay away from these sins and take a stand against them. This is the principle Paul presented to us in Ephesians 4:26… Be ye angry, and sin not:…”

 

How is this type of anger a display of love?

1. It shows our love, and respect, towards our Lord as we recognize His attitude towards sin and the harm that sin does to His glory and the cause of Christ.
2. It shows our love for others, as we recognize the harmful effects of sin in the lives of those we love.

This anger should also motivate us to earnestly desire and fervently pray that “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

What a day that will be, when we are dwelling in New Jerusalem with our Lord on the New Earth and know that sin, and its effects, will be permanently done away.

 

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

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Is Not Puffed Up”

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)

 

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 willingness to unhesitatingly, humbly, submit to others as He stoops low to meet their needs…

 

 

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Is Not Puffed Up (Is Not Proud)

From Christ’s entrance into the world until His exaltation following His ascension, we see Christ (God Himself) ministering to others in the midst of abuse and mistreatment.

 

Christ’s humility was shown to us in many, many ways as He ministered to fallen mankind…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men…
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not…
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-4, 10-11, 14)

 

Christ, the eternal God and Creator of all things, was the source of all physical and spiritual life. It is this same Creator God who humbly came to the earth as a Man to give the world the light of the revelation of His Father. In spite of all He did for fallen mankind, they did not recognize, nor kindly receive Him.   Yet, He remained faithful to His people and finished His work on our behalf…

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.(Philippians 2:3-8)

This is true humility motivated by love… love for His Father and love for those to whom He came.

 

Christ summarized this aspect of His ministry as recounted by Matthew…

But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(Matthew 20:25-28)

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Christ set the example for us of ministering to others instead of living a life of  of pride, arrogance and rulership over others. During one of the most shocking displays of His humility, He taught all of His followers the need to, with no hesitation, place no limits on our service to others…

 

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am.If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.(John 13:12-17)

 

Are we willing to serve in ANY WAY to which we are called? Are we willing to stoop low to meet the needs of those who do not merit our aid? This is a genuine mark of our Lord for our Lord and for those around us.

 

 

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