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The Reign Of The Saints

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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 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.

————————————————————————

Spiritual Gifts: Criteria For Trying The Spirits

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”
VII.   The Criteria For Testing The Spirits

 

Lesson:

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

Please keep in mind, we have already seen that one of the principle tools used by false teachers to mislead others are false accrediting miracles. This can be clearly seen in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 and Matthew 24:23-24…

But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

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

 

In 1 John 4:1-8, the Apostle John gives us a listing of criteria that is to be used when we “try the spirits” (ie putting ministers “to the test” to discern whether they are Godly ministers of the truth or false ministers of error.)…

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.   Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 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. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

 

Let’s take a look at the 1 John 4:1-8 passage and find out what five criteria we are to use as we put all teachers of the Word “to the test”…

 

Criteria For Testing The Spirits:

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

Here, John is affirming the existence of false prophets and teachers that seek to mislead others from the truths of Christ. Based upon their existence, John then explains the importance of putting professing ministers of the Word “to the test”. By doing so, we are discerning the motives of their ministry and the spiritual powers that lie behind their ministry.

 

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:

John now gives us a listing of outstanding characteristics of true ministers of Jehovah God:

 

1. Christ as the central theme of their ministry

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

The first basis of our judgment involves the presentation of Christ as the central theme of their ministry. The central theme of the Word of God is Christ (John 5:39). The testimony of Jesus is the theme of all Scriptural prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Therefore, any Godly ministry will hold Christ as its central, main theme.

Does their ministry center upon Christ above all other men, deities, and persons of the Godhead?

Does their ministry present the Scriptural truths about the person and work of Christ?

Is the central theme of their ministry the presentation of Christ and Him alone?

Does their ministry result in greater sorrow for sins, commitment for service and appreciation for Christ and His works?

 

2. Upholds Godly Living

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. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

John now points our attention to the victory that Christ gives over worldliness and the kingdom of Satan.   The Word of God clearly explains the “fruit” that is borne by followers of Christ in comparison to those who are in darkness (Galatians 5:19-23). The ministry of one that is genuinely of the Lord, is a ministry that will uphold Godly living in the midst of a sinful world (1 John 2:15-17).

Does their ministry appeal to the spirit of the regenerate man?

Does their ministry refrain from using motives, methods and means that appeal to the inward lusts of fallen man?

Does their ministry motivate others to live lifestyles characterized by Godliness and separation from the sinful aspects of the world?

 

3. Appeals to Saved Individuals and Is Opposed By The Lost

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.

The presentation of God’s Word results in two opposite reactions. For those who are saved, the truths of God are welcomed, accepted as truth and applied to the life (John 10:25-28). For those who are unsaved, it is rejected and actively opposed. Why is this? The teaching of Biblical truth involves the presentation of the existence of sin and it’s results upon mankind, mankind’s need of salvation, and man’s inability to gain this salvation of their own merit. All of these are themes that are unappealing and detestable to fallen man (John 3:18-21).

Does their ministry include speaking of man’s sins, need of salvation and inability to save themselves?

Does their ministry present clear teachings that come directly from God’s Word?

Does their ministry appeal to the saved by working revival in the heart through sorrow for, and repentance of, daily sin?

Does their ministry face rejection and opposition from the fallen world?

Does their ministry include warning, correction, exhortation and Scriptural discipline?

Does their ministry refrain from “entertainment” that appeals to the world, but centers on “worship” that only appeals to the saved?

 

4. Presents The Scriptural Truths of God Exclusively

Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The Spirit of Truth will lead men to the truths of God and the proclamation of the entire counsel of God’s Word (John 16:12-15). The spirit of error will mislead men to pervert the truths of God and present a false message of salvation which appeals to the fleshly nature of man (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Does their ministry encourage personal Bible study and the use of other sound Christian literature?

Does their ministry use open Bibles during services and give Biblical references for all their major points?

Do all aspects of their ministry seek to present the Bible using Biblical methods and motivations?

Does their ministry teach against the false teachings of the world?

Does their ministry refrain from modern psychological theories and motivational methods?

Does their ministry use music that is Scriptural and Christ-centered?

 

5. Does their ministry exhibit and encourage a motivation of love for God and others?

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

A Godly ministry will display a heart of love towards all to whom they minister (Matthew 5:43-48). Their ministry will be characterized by a spirit of self-sacrifice, mercy, forgiveness and patience towards all to whom they minister. (1 Corinthians 13:4-12).   One of their chief goals will be to encourage and cultivate love toward God and others in the hearts of those to whom they minister (1 John 4:9-21).

Does their ministry exhibit a spirit of self-sacrifice for those to whom they minister?

Do they “practice with they preach” motivated by concern for the well being of those to whom they minister?

Does their ministry reach out to those who cannot give back to them?

Does their ministry refrain from favoring those who are powerful, wealthy and physically appealing?

 

 

May the Lord grace each of us as we seek to put all professing teachers of the Word to the test.

 

Additional Information verses mentioned in this study:

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

43) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(Matthew 5:43-48)

 

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.

(Matthew 24:23-24)

 

18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

(John 3:18-21)

 

39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

(John 5:39)

25) Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.

(John 10:25-28)

 

12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

(John 16:12-15)

 

12) But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

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

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

15) Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

(2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

 

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

(Galatians 5:19-23)

 

3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4) And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

(2 Timothy 4:3-4)

 

15) Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16) For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

(1 John 2:15-17)

 

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

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

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

4) 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.

5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

(1 John 4:1-8)

 

9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

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

15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19) We love him, because he first loved us.

20) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21) And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

(1 John 4:9-21)

 

10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

(Revelation 19:10)

 

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

 SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

Lesson:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mat 7:21-23 KJV

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

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

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

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

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

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

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

 

Additional Information(Verses Mentioned In This Study):

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

Deu 13:1-8 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Psa 119:11 KJV

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

 

Psa 119:105 KJV

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

 

Isa 8:18-20 KJV

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

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

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

 

Mat 7:15-20 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mat 7:21-23

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

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

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

 

Mat 16:3-4 KJV

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

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

 

Mat 23:15 KJV

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

 

Mat 24:23-24

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

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

 

Mar 5:3-4

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

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

 

Mar 13:21-23

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

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

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

 

Joh 8:43-45 KJV

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

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

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

 

Joh 17:14-17 KJV

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

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

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

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

 

Act 17:10-12 KJV

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

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

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

 

2Co 2:9-11 KJV

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

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

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

 

2Co 11:13-14 KJV

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

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

 

1Th 5:20-21 KJV

(20) Despise not prophesyings.

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

 

2Th 2:8-12

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

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

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

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

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

 

2Ti 3:1-8 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Heb 1:1-3 KJV

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

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

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

 

Heb 11:1-3

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

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

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

 

1Jn 2:18 KJV

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

 

1Jn 4:1-3 KJV

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

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

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

 

Rev 13:11-14 KJV

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

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

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

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

 

Rev 16:13-15 KJV

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

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

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

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

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

Personal Experience Or God’s Word, Which Is Our Standard? #2

SIH STSTA ICONShould we trust the Word instead of our life experiences?

Throughout our lifetime, we are called upon to choose between trusting the revelation of God’s Word or placing our faith in our life experiences. Phrased another way, are we to make our life decisions based upon what our senses have revealed to us, or do we look to God’s Word as the only unquestionable standard by which our life is to be directed?

This is study I would like us to come to an understanding of God’s will on this all important issue. There will be three parts to our study for us:

1. Should we trust the Word when we lack life experiences?
2. Should we trust the Word instead of our life experiences?
3. Should we trust the Word based upon Biblical revelation?

THE SCRIPTURES: 

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pharaoh, [and] it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (Exodus 7:8-13)

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, [there is] a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me [him] up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, [As] the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou [art] Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form [is] he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he [is] covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it [was] Samuel, and he stooped with [his] face to the ground, and bowed himself. (1 Samuel 28:7-14)

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, [It will be] fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. (Matthew 16:1-4)

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. 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. Behold, I have told you before. 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. (Matthew 24:21-28)

And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side. (Mark 8:10-13)

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

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-15)

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-14)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:1-17)

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 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. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
(Jude 1:3)

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 19:19-21)

THE STUDY: 

Can our senses, and the events that take place in the physical world around us, be reliable sources to discern, and validate the will of God? This is a very important question that deserves a careful, comprehensive study of the Word of God for its answer.

With the establishment of the Lord’s churches on earth came the clear declaration of the existence of false teaching and purposeful attempts to deceive God’s people….

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:… That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;… (Ephesians 4:11-15)

We must pay attention to  the descriptive phrases that are used in this passage to describe the attempts that are used by Satan to deceive the people of God. For it is in these phrases we can clearly see willful intent, the motive of this deception, and the basic way in which the deception is brought upon Christians.  Please notice:

1. “sleight of men” – this phrase refers to seducing those who are unskillful. It was a term used to describe the experienced taking advantage of naive youths in games of chance.
2. “cunning craftiness” – this phrase refers to trickery, or cleverness, that misleads. It is speaking of the ability to lay plans ahead of time to mislead and take advantage of others.
3. “lie in wait to deceive” – to stay among travelers, or a well-traveled path, for the purpose of taking advantage of the travelers. It is describing something like a lion, who crouches along a much-used path waiting for an innocent animal to appear.

In the above, we can see the nature of Satan’s workings as he makes plans to use trickery and deceit to mislead the people of God. What was God’s remedy that He supplies to us? He graciously has given us the different offices of teachers that will share His Word, whose principles give us the ability to discern and resist Satan’s attempts at misleading us. These offices are listed in this text, “apostles” , “prophets”, “evangelists”, pastors and teachers”

So from this text we learn two very important truths…

First, as Christians, Satan is out to deceive us during our physical walk on earth. He will try to deceive us using various tricks and false teachings.

Secondly, the Lord has given us His Word, and those who minister His Word, both past (Apostles and Prophets who gave us the completed Word) and present (Evangelists and Pastor/Teachers who now minister that completed Word), to us to enable us to overcome the trickery of Satan.

In this text, He establishes the principle that His Word, when used as our standard for living, will thwart any deceitful plans of Satan that are sent our way in an attempt to mislead us. This principle is also presented in 1 John 4:1-6…

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world… Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

Please notice that Satan’s use of false teaching (and false teachers) is emphasized. We are told in this passage that we must “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:” How are we to try the spirits? We do this by comparing the truth of God with the teachings that come our way. This is presented to us in this text in two different ways:

First, teachings concerning the person of Christ are used as the basis of recognition of the deceitful teaching of Satan, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” This tells us that we need to compare the teachings of man with the truthful and reliable truths of Christ found in the Word.

Secondly, please note the closing sentence of this text, “Hereby know we the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, and the SPIRIT OF ERROR.”  What is the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error?
This is further explained in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15…

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

In this passage we see emphasized the deceitful nature of Satan’s plan. His teachers claim to be sent by Christ. They claim to be doing the works of Christ and they even appear to our senses to be the servants of the Most High.   In these two texts, Satan uses the proclamation of error through false teachers, false prophets etc. in an attempt to deceive the people of God. This is the “SPIRIT OF ERROR”.

In the 1 John 4:1-6 passage, the term “truth” refers to that which is genuine, actual to fact, verifiable truth. It is this very body of truth that is contained in God’s Word. The Word is the only source of absolute truth that is available to man…

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
(Jude 1:3)

Here we find the need to stand fast and defend the set of doctrinal truth (or “the faith”) God has given to man is found in His Word.  This is the “SPIRIT Of TRUTH”.

Notice what is said about “the faith”…
1. it was “once delivered” – in the original language this phrase means “to be delivered in its entirety once and for all”. This clearly refers to the Word of God, once handed down and brought to completion in about 100 AD.
2. it was delivered “unto the saints” – it was given to those He had selected to be the writers of His Word…. the OT prophets and NT apostles, and their associates. These men were inspired by God to write down the very Word of God recorded in the Bible, which now makes up “the truth” and “the faith” that upon which we base our entire system of beliefs and teachings.

It is this “SPRIT OF TRUTH” that is in a constant spiritual struggle with the “SPIRIT OF ERROR” we have previously seen.

But the Bible goes farther.  As it looks ahead in time, we find that we are told that this struggle will increase and be brought to fruition as the last days draw closer…

… Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

… Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. 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. Behold, I have told you before. 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. (Matthew 24:21-28)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come… Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was…. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:1-17)

… 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 19:19-21)

In the last three passages, please notice that Satan’s attempts to deceive the people of God are not limited to the use of false teachers and error filled teaching.  We see also the usage of “great signs and wonders” (Matt 24:); misleading miracles, “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth:” (2 Tim 3: and Exod 7:8-13); “wrought miracles” (Rev 19:).

Both in the days in which we are living, and in the days which must yet come, we can see the Bible is warning us about Satanic use of “miracles” and “signs and wonders” which will be used in an attempt to mislead God’s people.

Think about it, our physical senses observe that these false teachers are able to perform great acts that mirror the acts of the Godly men in the days of old. Based upon our senses, we are tempted to accept Satanic teachers based upon their display of “supernatural powers”. Then on top of it all, we hear with our ears messages that scratch “our itching ears” (2 Tim 4:), in other words, the messages are be pleasing to us and bring satisfaction to our sinful, fleshly, nature.

In these life experiences, our senses will certainly be working hard to mislead and deceive us. The only hope for us is clearly presented in the 2 Tim 3: passage, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

It is only through the use of the completed, inspired Word of God, that we can possess a standard to compare all teachings and workings of man.

In closing let’s notice a few things about the Word of God from the 2 Tim 3: passage:

1. The Word is what we have “learned” – to come to acknowledge and understand as genuine truth
2. The Word is what we have “been assured of” – to be trustworthy
3. The Word is “known of whom we have learned” – Godly, reliable men have given us this Word.
4. The Word is “able to make thee wise unto salvation” – was applied to our heart when we were saved.
5. The Word is “given by inspiration of God” – spoken by God Himself, it is “breathed out” by God
6. The Word is “profitable for doctrine” – it benefits us by supplying the truths of God
7. The Word is “profitable for reproof” – it benefits us by supplying warnings from God
8. The Word is “profitable for correction” – it supplies direction on how to correct error in our life
9. The Word is “profitable for instruction in righteousness” – it supplies truths on how to live a Godly life
10. The Word causes us to be “perfect” – it supplies what we need to be spiritually mature
11. The Word causes us to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” – it is ALL WE NEED to be furnished to please God in every aspect of our life.

The above description of God’s Word reveals several important facts to us about the Word. Of these facts let me emphasize four of them:

Notice we have learned it is trustworthy… our physical senses, which are touched by sin, are not trustworthy witnesses of that which is Godly and that which is against God. But the Word can be relied upon to reveal the true nature of what we may experience in this life.

We also saw that it was the Word that has revealed the way of salvation to us. If we can trust this Word to give us reliable discernment that affects our eternal destiny, surely we can trust it to give us Godly discernment our experiences in life.

The Word through its own testimony, and the examination of men for over two centuries, has been proven to be perfect, without error, and absolutely trustworthy. Surely, we can continue to rely totally upon this Word to lead us from error as we seek to serve the Lord.

Finally, in the last sentence of 2 Tim 3:, we are told that the Word is ALL THAT WE NEED to become spiritually mature and to perform “all good works” that we are called upon to do. This statement confirms for us the need to rely totally on the Word of God to discern to true nature of our life experiences. We do not need our life experiences, apart from the Scriptures, to show us the will of God. But we need the Scriptures for Godly discernment of all that our senses perceive as we experience life on earth

The revealed Word, as found in the Holy Scriptures is all we need and ALL WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN by God to give us a standard for comparison of all teachings and works of the men that minister unto us.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Getting to the heart of our study for today…

The Word is our completed guidebook for Godly discernment and leadership as we seek to serve our Lord on earth. If we rely upon our physical senses and physical experiences alone to discern the Lord’ will for our lives, we are headed for doom.

How does this apply to us in a practical way? Here are just a few examples….
1. When we hear teaching on spiritual things we must run to the Word and compare its teachings with the teachings we have heard. Any teachings that are in alignment with the Word we can cling to as much fine gold, and any teachings we hear that are in opposition to the Word we must cast aside as chaff.
2. When we see works performed by those who claim to be God’s messengers, we are to grasp our “gold standard” of the Word to see if these works will stand up against its teachings. Does God say that these works will be used by His ministers? Does God say these works will be done during the time in which we are living, or have they fulfilled their purpose and no longer exist? Are the works accomplishing the proper end? Etc etc
3. When we see methods being employed by churches and ministers we must not be caught up in the idea that “the end justifies the means”. Just because a certain method APPEARS to have great results for Christ, it does not justify their use. We are to take the Word, and see if the methods being used are glorifying to the Lord and sanctioned in the Word.

It is these type of issues that Satan uses to reap havoc and chaos among God’s people. It is only through the use of God’s Word as our final authority concerning the teachings, works, and methods of ministry that we can see the true nature of the ministries and ministers that may come our way.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth concerning this very important subject.

Please visit…
Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, How Does It All Affect Us? (Part #4)

 SIH STSTA ICONIn the previous parts to our study in Matthew 24, we’ve seen:

Part #1 – The Lord does not show the exact time of His coming to man, nor angels.

Part #2 – There are ten groups of signs pointing to His second coming in this chapter.  All of them currently exist today and many of them are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Part #3 – When Jesus comes back in the clouds, He will take His followers from the earth to live with Him.  Then, He will begin the final phase of His plans for earth; judging unsaved mankind and then bringing the world to an end.

Now in our final section of Matthew 24, we will be seeing the results to all of these events and our responsibility concerning them.

THE SCRIPTURE:

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. … 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.  (Mat 24:32-51)

THE STUDY:

The Lord now begins to summarize and complete His teachings on the subject of His coming and the end of the world…

Vs 32-33 – The Lord uses the picture of a fig tree to describe how we are to use the signs of His coming.  Just like the leaves on a fig tree is proof summer is almost here; so, too His signs.  As we see His signs taking place around us, it is a clear certain indicator that His coming is drawing closer.

Vs 34-36 – The Lord emphasizes the truthfulness of all He has taught to us.  I am the first to admit some of these things are hard to grasp and imagine in our finite minds.  But by faith, we know these things will take place, just as He said, irregardless of the level of our understanding of it!

In these verses “this generation” is describing the “generation” that exists on the earth between His ascension and His second coming.  He is separating this one segment of time from all the other segments throughout history.  Why does He single out this segment of time?  That is the segment in which the signs of His coming exist.

Vs 37-39 – He compares the status of men in Noah’s day with the status of men in this generation.

Noah’s day is characterized by selfish living, centering on the fulfillment of fleshly desires; in other words, a big “party time”.   How did the Lord deal with this attitude?   He brought judgment upon an unsuspecting lost world after protecting His people.

In today’s time we see the same basic attitude of man.  How will He deal with this again?  He will once again, bring judgment upon a lost world after protecting His people!

Vs 40-42 – How will the Lord protect His people from the wrath to come?  He will take His people from the earth while He leaves the lost behind.  Our responsibility is to be watching the signs and to be always prepared for Him to come and take us home.

Vs 43-44 – The saved will take their responsibility to be ready very seriously. They will make sure their salvation is genuine; they will be ready for the Lord to come.

Those who neglected Christ’s coming by not taking care of their spiritual condition will suffer a loss when He comes.  In this way, His coming is much like that of a thief.  If the homeowner is not prepared, then the thief can come unexpectedly and cause the homeowner great loss.

Vs 45-51 – Salvation and living a faithful life is needed to live a prepared life.  Living a faithful life is wisely investing the time and the opportunity the Lord has given us.  This results in receiving rewards at His coming.

The unprepared believe His coming is far off, they will not trust Him, not serve Him with their lives. The reward they receive will be eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.

The person who is prepared to meet the Lord is described as a “faithful and wise servant” for obvious reasons.  But, why would those lacking salvation and faithful service be called an “evil servant”?  How can he be called a “servant” of God?  He didn’t serve Him with his life. This is a very important principle…

By this, the Lord meant that all mankind is under His authority.  He is Creator and Lord of both saved and lost.  They are all held responsible to serve Him. In other words, they are His “servant”.  Are all men responsible to serve Him?  YES.  “Are all men fulfilling their responsibility to serve Him?”  NO.  Many choose to rebel and disobey Him. They are still servants but, just as He describes, they are “evil servants”.

SUMMARY:

So to close, let me first thank you for being willing to invest some of your time into reading this 4 part blog.  This series was much more in depth, and had much more detail in it, than any of my other blog entries.  The subject was so important, and the chapter held so much information, it was hard for me to “skim over it”.  Thank you again for your patience.

Next, I would suggest, you should go back and re-read any part that is unclear to you.  Also, I’ll be glad to try to answer any questions you may have, feel free to email me.

Thirdly, allow me to offer one question for all of us to answer honestly, and seriously, knowing we are in the presence of Almighty God….

If we would stand before the Lord today and answer for our lives; what title would we receive?  Would He say we are a “faithful and wise servant” or are we an “evil servant”?

I believe, after examining this chapter and looking at the world around us, we can see that His coming is closer today than ever before.  I see no reason why He could not come today.  We must be sure that we have this issue settled before it is eternally too late.  Remember, we have no promise of tomorrow.  There are some of us who may not see another day on this earth.

So what do we do?  How can we be sure that we are prepared to meet our God?    The Word of the Lord contains the answers for us and it makes clear that we must totally submit to the Lord trusting in Him, His Word, and His Work…

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Heb 12:2)

with Bible in hand, read the following passages…

(Isa 53:1-12, Acts 8:35-37, Acts 13:30-32, Roms 4:20-25, Roms 10:8-11, Eph 2:1-22, 1 John 5:1-4)

If you have any questions about salvation feel free to email me, I’ll be glad to help you any way that I can.  Or, you can go to any church that teaches God’s Word, they will be glad to help you as well.

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 (Part #3)… Or, The King Of Kings Is In The House!

SIH STSTA ICONIn this blog series we’ve been looking at the teachings of Matthew chapter 24.

In part one, the Lord has shown us that no man, nor angel, will know the exact time of Christ’s coming and the end of the world.  From this we have drawn the conclusion that the 2012 theory cannot be relied upon, and therefore, must be discredited as pure speculation with no foundation in fact.

In part two, the Lord has taught us the ten groups of signs that reveal to us the general time frame of His coming and the world’s end.  We have seen that these signs are present in our world and many of these are increasing in intensity and frequency.  This allows us to know that the Lord’s coming is possible at any time.

Currently, we are in the time frame of waiting.  As we wait on the Lord to come back and waiting for the world to come to an end.  During this waiting period the world is slowly decaying around us.  (Roms 8:20-23)   The Lord’s second coming will begin the final phase of the world coming to an end.  This final phase will greatly accelerate the world’s ending.  So now, let’s see what will take place when the Lord actually comes back and the process leading to the world’s end as it enters it’s last stage.

THE SCRIPTURE:

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. (Mat 24:29-31)

THE STUDY:

“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”

The Greek word “tribulation” simply means to be burdened, to be pressured, or to face trials.  What is the “tribulation of those days”?  It is simply the different signs of his coming that we have already studied (false teaching, wars, famines, persecution of God’s people etc.).  In and of themselves, they are tribulation that we face on a day to day basis.  After Christ’s coming, however, far greater tribulation will fall upon the world.

In our text, at the coming of Christ, great changes will take place in the heavens. Christ’s glory and power are so great, He will outshine the moon, stars and even the sun.  In comparison to Christ, all of these will appear as if they are dark.  Or perhaps, the sun, moon and stars will actually be darkened and misplaced at His coming.  Remember, this is God, Himself, coming in the heavens to take His people home to be with Him; who knows exactly what effect His coming will have on the created world?

“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.” 

Please notice that the “secret rapture” of God’s people is not taught in Scripture.  Here, we find that when Christ comes back to take us home to be with Him the entire world will see Him (Rev 1:7).  Both lost and saved will see Him as He appears in the heavens.  Again, when He comes, we see Him coming with “power and great glory” … this is probably why the heavens will grow dark at His coming.

“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.”

Here is the great purpose for His coming back in the heavens.  It is to take the living saved (and the bodies of the dead saved) home to be with Him (1 Thess 4:13-18).  This will entirely remove the saved from the world before His wrath falls against sinful mankind.   Note, that the angels play a big role in retrieving the Lord’s people from the earth.

This event is the FIRST reaping as described in Rev 14:14-20:

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

The SECOND reaping is the beginning of His wrath falling upon sinful mankind in Rev 14:16-20:

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”

The promise of His second coming, and of the saints removal from the earth before His wrath falls, is commonly described as “the Rapture”.  This is the event we are talking about in Matt 24:29-31. This is the beginning of the last phase of the earth’s existence.  Within a short period of time, immediately after the Great Tribulation, the earth will be totally renovated preparing the way for our Lord’s return to the earth to reign. (2 Pet 3:12-13, Isa 65:17, Rev 21:1-5)  These promises are a source of great encouragement and strength to believers everywhere. (2 Thess 2:1-2)

Today, with joy in our hearts, let’s live our lives for Him!  ….

 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luk 21:28)

In our final part to this study, we will be seeing the end result of these events and what our responsibility is concerning these events.

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 Signs Of His Coming (Part #2)

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

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

THE SCRIPTURE:

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

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

THE STUDY:

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

Matthew 24:1-3…

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

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

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

Matthew 24:4-28

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

Matthew 24:29-31

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

Matthew 24:32-51

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

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alien Sightings and Alien Abductions in the Last Days (Part 2 of 2)

(Please refer to my previous post… “Do Aliens From Other Planets Exist?… A Biblical Perspective” For Part 1 of This 2 Part Series)

Beginning in the 1950s, reports of alien sightings and abductions have been steadily increasing across the globe.  Explanations for these events range from misidentifying military/governmental flight vehicles or heavenly bodies, to drug abuse or psychological issues on the part of those making the sightings.  However, some experts believe these explanations are not sufficient.  There are still reported sightings and abductions that, according to them, cannot be rationalized using earthly explanations.  Could they be right?

In my previous blog entry, “Do Aliens From Other Planets Exist? A Biblical Prospective.”, we saw that aliens from other planets simply do not exist.  So, from a Biblical standpoint, aliens cannot be the cause of these events.  In this study, we’ll try to answer these questions… Is there another possible explanation for these “alien sightings/abductions”?  How are “alien sightings/abductions” connected with the end time teachings of Scripture?

THE SCRIPTURE:

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.  (Rev 1:7)

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. (Mat 24:30-31)

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  (Rev 14:14-16)

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.  (Luk 17:34-37)

THE STUDY:

To begin a Scriptural study of alien sightings/abductions it is important that we understand a little about Satan and his workings among men:

Satan, throughout both Old and New Testament, is clearly revealed as a Deceiver of mankind (Rev 12:9).  Beginning in the Garden of Eden with his deception of Eve (2 Cor 11:3, Gen 3:1-5) and continuing throughout history, Satan lived up to his title Deceiver, Opposer of Mankind (John 8:44, Zech 3:1-2).   One way that Satan deceives men is by performing miracles imitating the very works of God. (Ex 7:9-13, Deu 13:1-3, Matt 24:24, 2 Thes 2:7-12, Rev 13:11-15)

Satan was cast out from heaven along with other wicked angels (fallen angels, demons) (Rev 12:7-11)

These fallen angels became Satan’s followers serve him in the pursuit of the deception of mankind about the truth of God’s Word (2 Cor 11:13-15, 1 Tim 4:1-3).

The Bible does not specifically mention Satan’s use of the alien sightings/abduction phenomenon. But after examining how Satan and his demons work among mankind; I believe, it is possible, that some of the alien “events” our society is experiencing could be the workings of the powers of darkness (Satan and other fallen angels).  It is very possible they are trying to mislead mankind about Christ’s second coming and the rapture (taking of His saints to heaven)…

First, demons posing as aliens could be Satan’s way of imitating, and explaining away the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Rev 1:7 and  Matt 24:30-31 clearly teach that when the Lord Jesus comes back at the rapture the entire world will see Him.   How could Satan “explain away” Christ’s coming?  With a foundation of deception (alien visitations) already laid it would be very easy!  Satan could mislead a blinded, lost world into believing that what they saw was simply another of many alien visitations.

Secondly, what about alien abductions?  Keep in mind, when Christ comes back, He will take His followers to heaven to live with Him eternally (Rev 14:14-16, Lk 17:34-37).  You will have millions of people disappearing from off the face of the planet earth when Christ appears.  The Bible is not clear, but possibly, the lost world will actually see the saints ascending to heaven.  How can the disappearance of millions be explained?  Once again, it would be very easy (in the context of alien abductions).   When the lost world sees Christ’s return, and the saints taken to heaven, it could be explained as a mass abduction caused by the visiting alien (Christ at His coming).

What would be the result of this demonic deception?  Millions of lost men and women will totally misunderstand one of the greatest displays of God’s power and grace that will ever be exhibited to mankind.   Instead of viewing the event as a call to submit to the Lord’s authority and power, it would be viewed as a ”call to arms” preparing the nations for an “alien invasion”.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

All Christians are embattled by Satan and his demonic followers and need the spiritual armour that our Lord so graciously gives to us. (Eph 6:11-13).   As we understand more of the great ability of Satan to deceive man, we need to heighten our guard against his workings in our life (2 Cor 2:11, Matt 24:23-25)

If you have never been saved you are already under the control of Satan being blinded to the truths of God’s Word (Eph 2:1-3, 2 Cor 4:4)  You are entirely helpless to attain salvation of your own ability or works (Isa 64:6-8).  But all hope is not lost!  If you look to Christ by faith, submitting to His Lordship,  and totally relying on His working in your life you will receive the forgiveness of your sin.  (John 15:3-7)

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.

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.”