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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.”

 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “sword proceeded out of his mouth:”

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Revelation 19:21 – “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.”

 

 

The weapon that is used by Christ to defeat the powers of darkness at His second coming is symbolized as a sword that proceeds out of His mouth.   What does this sword symbolize?  In both Old and New Testament Scriptures, we find God’s Word being pictured as a sword…

 

Isaiah 49:1-2 – “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;”

Isaiah described His ministry of proclaiming God’s Word as “He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword”.  Using the a sword to picture God’s Word that he spoke.

 

Ephesians 6:17 – “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Paul, under the inspiration of the HS, tells the people of God to be equipped with God’s Word as they prepare for spiritual warfare against the powers of evil.  He describes God’s Word as “the sword of the Spirit”

 

Hebrews 4:12-13 – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

Here the writer of Hebrews describes the Word of God as being “sharper than any two-edged sword”.   He goes further describing the Word’s work as that of cutting, piercing and separating…  “piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,”

 

Folks, based upon the above passages, it is easy to see that our Revelation passage is referring to God’s Word being spoken by Christ at His coming that will defeat all of His enemies.  This is the sword that is proceeding out of the mouth of Christ.

Stop and think about what this means.  Christ will defeat all of His enemies simply by speaking to them.  His powerful Word will defeat all of the hosts that oppose Christ as He speaks against them.

Oh, how powerful is God’s Word!

We have read of God simply speaking the world into existence (Hebrews 11:3).  He resurrected Lazarus from the dead by simply saying “Lazarus come forth” (John 11:43-44).  And also, He defeated Satan’s temptations through the same Word (Matthew 4:2-11).  Now, we see Him utterly defeat all His enemies through this same, powerful, Word (Revelation 19:11-21).

 

May we all come to understand the power of His Word and see the importance of using it as  the chief offensive weapon against the temptations that are set before us.   By reading, studying, memorizing and distributing His Word in the midst of a lost dying world we are “tapping into” one of the greatest sources of power available to us as we seek to serve our Lord “in Spirit and IN TRUTH”!

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dO

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies”

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Revelation 19:19 – “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.”

 

 

Please keep in mind, “the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies” are describing the political aspect of Satan’s kingdom (beast – the world political powers throughout history, kings – the political leaders of the individual nations used by Satan, their armies – the army of each individual nation that opposes Christ and his people).

Although they are, and will be, always recognized as individual nations with independent leaders and armies, they are shown to share the same motivations, empowerments and goals.  This is because they all share one great chief … Satan!

 

In this section of his vision, John sees the kingdom of Satan “gathered to make war” against Christ and His people.  Folks, not only is this descriptive of the last days when Christ will return with His glorified saints from heaven, but it is also an accurate description of the spiritual warfare that takes place around us.   Please keep in mind, throughout the New Testament Scriptures, we are told that the powers of darkness (political and religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom that are given spiritual empowerment from Satan and the demonic world) are waging a spiritual warfare against the people of God…

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

Christ HAS WON this victory against the powers of darkness when He died on the cross…

Colossians 2:14-15 – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

 

Christ WILL DISPLAY that victory at His second coming when the powers that are assembled to war against the Lord and His people will be brought down to utter, permanent defeat at His second coming. We can rest assured the same powers we wrestle against now, someday will be brought to utter, eternal, defeat… what a day that will be!   (Revelation 19:11-21)

Because of this great victory that is won on the cross and made manifest at His second coming… we can know with absolute certainty that we are overcomers, through faith in Him.  We are overcomers, not because of us, but because of Him!

1 John 4:4 – “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.”

1 John 5:4-5 – “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?”

 

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dO

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “his name is called The Word of God.”

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Revelation 19:13 – “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

John is told by the angel that one of Christ’s names is “The Word Of God”.  Why would Christ be given that name?

Please keep in mind, words are used to communicate and reveal.  For example, the only way you can know what I am thinking is if I verbally tell you what is on my mind.  My words are used to COMMUNICATE and REVEAL to you my thoughts.

This is exactly Christ’s role during His first coming…

Hebrews 1:1-3 – “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;  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;”

When Christ came to the earth:

  1. He COMMUNICATES the truths of God (“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son”) 

John 3:34 – “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

(see also: John 7:16; John 8:40 etc)

  1. He REVEALS God to man (“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person”). 

2 Corinthians 4:6 – “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

(see also: John 1:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15)

Folks this is why Christ is given the title of the Word of God both in our Revelation passage and this passage found in the gospel of John…

John 1:1,14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Whenever we study the life of Christ during His first coming may we always be looking for God to be revealed in His life… in His teachings, person and actions…

John 14:9-10 – “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dO

The Shed Blood Of Christ On Display At HIs Second Coming

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Revelation 19:13 – “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4e4

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Revelation 19:13

“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

 

The blood of Christ… one of the most important doctrinal teachings found in the Word of God.  It is through the shedding of Christ’s blood that we can:

  1. Learn of God’s and Christ’s great love for us
  2. Be declared innocent from our many heinous sins
  3. Be delivered from the eternal wrath of Almighty God
  4. Be brought into communion with a Holy God
  5. Be saved from eternal death and granted eternal life

 

Romans 5:8-10 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

No wonder His shed blood holds a core position of importance in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is the only hope for a person’s salvation, receipt of other spiritual blessings and eternal security with Him.

 

Sadly, many today will minimize the importance of the death and shed blood of Christ.  It has been done throughout NT times and will continue to be done until Christ comes again.  Anytime that we minimize what Christ has done for us (whether by word or action) after we have mentally received the truth about its importance, it is a sign of a lost condition and increased responsibility at the final judgment…

Hebrews 10:29 –  “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

 

May we all properly value the shed blood of Christ, it will revolutionize our service to Him by leading us to appropriately appreciate what He has done for us.

1 Peter 1:18-20 – “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dO

 

 

Revelation 19: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER: 

In the remaining portion of Revelation, we will be looking at the contents of the sealed book.  This book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

 

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord? (background to eternity with the Lord)
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

 

Here is a short outline of chapter 19:…

  1. Rev 19:1-6 – The Lord praised for His great victory over the powers of darkness
  2. Rev 19:7-10 – The Lord’s relationship to His people – (The Marriage of the Lamb)
  3. Rev 19:11-21 – The Lord’s relationship to the lost – (Battle of Armageddon)

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER: 

1.  The Lord praised for His great victory over the powers of darkness (Rev 19:1-6)

Immediately following the defeat of the powers of darkness, we see a heavenly scene of praise and honor being given to the Lamb for His great victory.  During this time of praise, all the saved and the angels of heaven have a part in rendering songs of praise to the victorious Lamb.   Their songs include the greatness of the Lord, the reasons for His judgments with a great emphasis on His holiness in judging those who were rebellious against Him.

 2.  The Lord’s relationship to His people – The Marriage Of The Lamb (Rev 19:7-10)

The scene next shifts to the Marriage of the Lamb, which is a symbolic representation of the Lamb and His people being prepared to spend eternity together.

We are told that the saints (the wife of the Lamb) have made themselves ready.  This is speaking of the saints continuing faithfulness to Christ during the time preceding the second coming of Christ.

Christ gives to His bride robes of white symbolizing His righteousness being placed on their account, as well as their lives of faithfulness on His behalf.  Perhaps these robes also symbolize the visible representation of His righteousness, their newly received glorified bodies which will be the visible proof Christ’s righteousness.

Much like a marriage is the beginning point of the groom’s and bride’s intimate lifelong relationship, this marriage between Christ and His bride symbolically signals the beginning of their eternity together.

 

3.  The Lord’s relationship to the lost – The Battle Of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21)

In this section of Revelation 19:, the initiation of the Lord’s relationship to lost mankind is presented symbolically.   We see Christ at His second coming described in great detail.  The symbolism of His appearance and actions reveals that Christ is faithful, holy, ultimate authority holder, righteous, revealer of God to man.  Although all of these truths, and others, are presented in His description, we are also told that it is impossible to come to a complete understanding of His greatness which is shown by the name He possesses that no man can know.

Christ, at His second coming, is seem returning with His saints, who are described in this vision as “armies” which are in heaven.  Keep in mind, as Christ first appears in heaven, He will take His saints up to be with Him, graciously give them glorified bodies and then begin His descent with them following Him.

As Christ continues His descent the fowls of heaven are invited to prepare for a feast which will be made up of the corpses of the enemies of Christ which will be available to them following Christ’s complete victory over them.  Their death is symbolizing the completeness of their defeat, while their bodies lying unburied points to their shameful lifestyle they have lived.

Those opposing Christ are the powers of darkness made up of Satan, His kingdom (both political and religious aspects), demons, and lost mankind.  They all are found being opposed to Christ and in rebellion against Him at His coming.  As Christ simply speaks they are defeated (His words are the sword that is seen coming out of His mouth bringing them to defeat).

At their defeat, Satan’s kingdoms are cast into the Lake of Fire which will be their dwelling place throughout eternity.   The remaining lost are seen being brought to death by Christ.  Their bodies are consumed by the birds as a declaration of shame and their rebellious rejection of Christ, leading to their eternal separation from Christ.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 20, we will see the events surrounding the segment of eternity known as the 1000 year reign.  In vs 1-3 we will see that Satan is defeated, rendered helpless and cast into the Lake of Fire during this initial stage.

Then, we will see the 1000 year reign and the judgment given to the saints of God.  Following the 1000 year reign, we will see Satan’s release, the resurrection of the lost and their final judgment as they stand before God Alimghty.

This is a very brief outline of Revelation 20… the initial stage of eternity on the New Heavens and New Earth

  1. The Binding of Satan 1-3
  2. The 1000 Year reign 4-6
  3. Gog and Magog 7-10
  4. Great White Throne Judgment 11-15

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Revelation 19:11

“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.”

 

See also:

Revelation 1:7

“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.”

 

In the above two texts we see the same event being described.  Both of them help to interpret the other:

  1. In Rev 19:11, we find the second coming of Christ being described in the context of His coming back to judge and victoriously conquer the powers of darkness (Satan, fallen angels, Satan’s kingdom, lost mankind).
  1. In Rev 1:7, we find the second coming of Christ being described as a great time of sorrow and mourning for those who have opposed Him and taken part in His death (the powers of darkness). The reason for the great sorrow and mourning is found in 19:11… it is because their judgment and defeat is at hand.

 

In comparison to these verses, we find the second coming of Christ described as a wonderfully joyous event for those who are saved…

Revelation 7:1-4, 9-10

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.   And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel…”

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

Folks, here we read at the second coming of Christ, the saved will be taken prior to the winds of God’s wrath falling upon the world.  Once they are delivered, they are seen in the presence of the Lord, praising Him for delivering them from His wrath.

 

For the Christian, Christ’s second coming will be a wondrous, long awaited, joyous event.  May we all encourage our hearts as we wait for that day.  However, for the lost, the second coming of Christ is a very fearful and solemn event, for it is then that His wrath will be clearly displayed as He brings the powers of darkness to defeat and consigns them to an eternity of wrath and punishment for their sins.

As Christians may we share the truths of God’s Word with others motivated by two great emotions.  Appreciation, knowing we have been blessed with assurance of a wonderful eternity with Christ, compassion knowing the lost are in desperate need of the truth which can lead them to Christ, their only hope for salvation.

 

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dO

 

 

The intent of all prophecy is to reveal Christ to us!

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Revelation 19:10 – “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.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dI

Revelation 19:11-21 “The Great Battle Of The Lord”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Revelation 19:11-21

(11)  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.
(12)  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.
(13)  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
(14)  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
(15)  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.
(16)  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
(17)  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;
(18)  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.
(19)  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.
(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.
(21)  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.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapters 17: and 18: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom, the Great Whore, along with warnings given by God to separate ourselves from her by opposing her deceptive enticements.   This two chapter look at the Whore ended with a Mighty Angel picturing her absolute defeat and abolishment from the earth, by casting a huge millstone into the sea and watching it sink into oblivion.  This brings an end to seal #7.

Immediately following seal #7 being revealed (which we have seen in great detail in previous chapters of Revelation 16-18, we are now shown the contents of this sealed book.  The contents of the sealed book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord?
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

 

In the chapter before us, we use a very simple outline:

  1. Rev 19:1-6 – The Lord praised for His great victory over the powers of darkness
  2. Rev 19:7-10 – The Lord’s relationship to His people – (The Marriage of the Lamb)
  3. Rev 19:11-21 – The Lord’s relationship to the lost – (Battle of Armegeddon)

 

In Revelation 19: – we can see the appearance of Christ in heaven as He returns with His saints.  Throughout several chapters of Revelation 7:-18: we have seen what will take place during his second coming:

  1. He will take up His people who are living on the earth and take up the bodies of the saints who have previously died. He will give them prepare them to spend any eternity with Him, including giving them glorified bodies.
  2. He will send His wrath against lost mankind, the political and religious kingdom of Satan, the fallen angels and Satan Himself. The wrath that falls will result in their utter, permanent defeat and consignment to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
  3. He will renovate the existing heavens and earth, making them sin-free and equip them to exist eternally as the home of Him and His people.

 

All of these events were previously revealed in detail in Revelation.  In this chapter we can see these same events symbolized in summary fashion…

The Lord Praised for His Defeat of the Powers of Darkness Rev 19:1-6:

The Marriage Of The Lamb (Preparation of God’s People For Eternity) Rev 19:7-10:

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:7-10: – We saw preparation of God’s people initiating eternity with the Lord.   This was pictured as a marriage, the inaugural ceremony for living a life of closeness and intimacy with our spouse.

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:7-10 Interpreted – This marital symbolism taught us about the saint’s separation from the lost, their unification as one assembly and the glorification of their sinful bodies.  It is these events which then prepare the saints to spend eternity with Christ.

The Eternal Relation Of Christ With His People As Symbolized In Rev 19:7-10 – This marriage symbolism emphasizes the purity and intimacy of the eternal relationship that is had between Christ and His people.

 

The War Against The Powers Of Darkness (Preparing the Satan, Demons, and the Lost For Eternity) Rev 19:11-21:

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:11-21: – This preparation is made up of a symbolic war between Christ and the powers of darkness leading to their final absolute defeat.

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:11-21 Interpreted: – This was accomplished with the completion of the God’s wrath which fell upon mankind at His second coming… symbolized by seal #7, trumpets 1-7 and vials 1-7.

The Eternal Relation Of Christ With Lost Mankind As Symbolized In Rev 19:11-21: – This war symbolizes for us that Christ’s relation to the powers of darkness will be that of a King who has gained an absolute victory over the lost permanently reigning over them.  The lost will abide in eternal torment, never to rise again, being the vanquished foe.

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 19:11-21

 

(11)  And I saw heaven opened,

Following viewing the Marriage of the Lamb, John’s attention is now turned to Christ returning from heaven at His second coming.   This will help us to understand what has happened in preparation of the Lord ruling over the lost in the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

 

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.

(12)  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.  

(13)  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 

(14)  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 

(15)  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. 

(16)  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

In this text, Christ is given six titles which teach us about His character:

  1. vs 11 – “Faithful” at His second coming and the defeat of the powers of darkness, He is fulfilling many promises.
  2. vs 11 – “True” reveals He is not deceitful, nor secretive, He is very open and transparent. He has nothing to hide.
  3. vs 13 – “The Word Of God” – He reveals the mind of God to man.
  4. vs 16 – “King Of Kings” – He is the One with the ultimate authority over those who hold authority.
  5. vs 16 – “Lord Of Lord” – He possesses the absolute control over those that control others.
  6. vs 12 – “A Name No One Knew” – His greatness cannot be totally understood

 

Now, we see truths about Christ revealed in six actions…

  1. vs 11 – appears on a “white horse”. The color white shows us His wisdom and purity.  Riding upon a horse reveals His His power, speed and authority.
  2. vs 11 – “in righteousness he doth judge” – He judges others in a lawful, just, way that pleases God
  3. vs 11 – “in righteousness he doth… make war” – He makes war in a lawful, just, way that pleases God
  4. vs 15 – “smite the nations” – He strikes out in punishment against the nations of the world
  5. vs 15 – “rule them with a rod of iron” – He exercises unbreakable authority over the nations of the world
  6. vs 16 – “treadeth winepress of His fierceness and wrath” – He exercises His passionate vengeance by trampling down those that oppose Him.

Christ’s physical appearance is described by John:

  1. vs 12 – “His eyes were as a flame of fire” – Everything is revealed in Christ’s sight and will be brought to judgement
  2. vs 12 – “on His head were many crowns” – He holds rulership in every area of the world, praised by all mankind.
  3. vs 13 – “clothed … in blood” – His shed blood on cross and/or the blood of His enemies as He brings them to defeat.
  4. vs 15 – “out of his mouth…sword” – the Lord’s Word defeats lost and cuts into men convicting them of sin.
  5. vs 16 – “And he hath … LORD OF LORDS.” – Lord’s robe and thigh with His name, publically (robe) and secretly (thigh) the Lord’s title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Now, some recognize Him as King and Lord while others do not.  But at His second coming it will clearly be revealed to all.

 

At Christ’s second coming, He will be accompanied with His saints.  They are described as:

  1. “following Him” – The Lord is their leader and the captain of their lives. They simply follow Christ as their Lord.
  2. “upon white horses” –Their power, purity and authority granted to them by Christ.
  3. “clothed in fine linen, white and clean” – The saints have received the righteousness of Christ leading to their purity Their glorified bodies could be in view here. Compare this to clothing of bride in Rev 19:8.

 

Other verses that teach at Christ’s second coming He will be accompanied by believers include – Psa 149:5-9, Jude 14-15, 1 Thess 3:13,

 

In verses 11c-16 we have seen Christ descending from heaven at His second coming.  He is described in great symbolic detail which helps us to understand the greatness of His person and His works.  Then we see following Him, His people returning with Him on that great day, prepared to spend eternity with Him.

Our attention is now turned to the Battle that is fought by Christ as He returns to the earth.  Again, this symbolizes, in summary fashion, what we have seen in seal #7… Christ’s wrath being poured out against lost mankind which was detailed in Rev 7-18…

 

(17)  And I saw an angel standing in the sun;

Here we see one of God’s angel, delivering a message from God.  The “sun” can easily symbolize God who “in Him is light… no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5, Psa 84:11, Isa 60:19, Rev 21:23).

The angel is standing in the sun which reminds us of the angel standing in front of God, standing between God and the fallen world, acting as God’s representative to them.

 

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;

The angel then cries out to the flying fowls of the sinful earth.  He will be inviting them to eat of the remains of the defeated lost.

This symbolism is taken from Ezekiel 39:17-20, Isa 66:24, Zeph 1:7

 

(18)  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.

The Lord’s victory would affect all types of lost men and animals:

    1. the flesh of kings – ultimate authority holders
    2. the flesh of captains – commanders of 1000s,

the flesh of mighty men – those physically strong

      1. and the flesh of horses – animals used in war
      2. them that sit on them – soldiers
      3. the flesh of all men – all lost mankind
      4. free and bond – masters, slaves
      5. small and great – despised and respected men

 

(19)  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.

Those fighting against the Lord include:

      1. the beast – the kingdoms of the world
      2. the kings of the earth – the leaders of those kingdoms
      3. their armies – the armies representing those kingdoms

All of these are united in goal and assembled to go to war against the Lord and His saints.  This is a very clear symbolic representation of the Lord’s enemies that are united against Him, His work and His people.  Please notice the past tense of “gathered”.  These were gathered together prior to His coming.  At the time of His coming, John sees this gathered group ripe for defeat at His hands.

Throughout history a spiritual war has been taking place and at his second coming, He will defeat them and bring an end to their opposition…

 

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

The results of Christ’s wrath falling at His coming is complete and utter destruction of His enemies, along with permanent consignment to the Lake of Fire; which sets the stage for eternity to begin.

Both the political powers of Satan (the beast) and the religious powers of Satan (the false prophet who worked deceitful miracles that misled lost mankind) are brought to absolute defeat.  What is their end?  It is “The Lake of Fire burning with brimstone”, the place of eternal torment and separation from the presence of Almighty God.

See Daniel 7:21-28, Joel 3:2,9-17

 

(21)  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth:

Not only do Satan’s kingdoms suffer eternal defeat and punishment at the hands of Almighty God, Christ, but also those who remain (the remaining lost men on earth).

How is this defeat brought about?  Simply by the use of the words of the Lord.  The words of the Lord are very powerful.   He simply spoke the world into existence (Gen 1:3,6,9 etc) and He spoke life into the dead (John 11:43)… how easy it would be to simply speak His enemies out of existence as He calls fire from heaven to devour His enemies…

2 Peter 3:7-13 – “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…   But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

 

(see also 2 Thess 1:8-9, Psa 50:3 , Hebs 12:29)

 

and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Keep in mind, those who die, remain unburied, and are eaten by birds is a symbol of outstanding shame and dishonor in Bible days.  (Isa 56:9-12, Jer 12:9, Isa 34:2-3).  It is a picture of those who are not loved, respected, and friendless.  In many cases, the corpse of a criminal was not buried but left for the animals to eat. ( Deut 28:26, Psa 79:2, Eccl 6:3, Isa 14:19, Jer 7:33, 9:22, 16:4, 16:6, 25:33, 34:20 etc)

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, Christ is revealed as the victorious, returning, King and Lord.  His great authority and strength is emphasized as He leads His people and gains victory over all the powers of darkness.

Romans 14:11-12 – “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.“

Philippians 2:10-11 – “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

No matter how things may appear, we need to always remember our Lord is the Ultimate Authority Holder and Almighty One.  Based upon His faithful, successful, completed work on the cross, He now sits as Lord over all.  He is, and always will be in control.  May we all be like Nebuchadnezzar, who came to understand this very important and comforting truth…

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

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 19:10

“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.”

 

The “testimony” (evidence, profession) of Jesus is the “spirit” (vital principle, motivating force, intent) of prophecy.  Folks the main overriding goal of prophecy is not to reveal future events.  It is to reveal Christ.

This same truth is emphasized in Rev 1:1 when John gives his book the title “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”.  In other words, this book is the uncovering, or revealing of Jesus Christ.   Not only is the uncovering of Christ the core purpose behind the book of Revelation, baut also every prophecy found in the Bible. As verse 19:10 states, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit” of every prophetic message.

 

Peter teaches us that the profession of Christ is the central theme of all the prophets messages throughout God’s Word…

1 Peter 1:9-12 – “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

 

Folks, when we grasp this very important principle about Biblical prophecy it will revolutionize our understanding of the prophecy.   To properly benefit from any Biblical prophecy, we must ask ourselves “What can I learn about Christ from this prophecy?”   If we are content learning of an event that is yet to come, without learning more about Christ, we are missing the intent of that prophecy and greatly diminishing its value to us.

 

May we all learn more about Christ as we study the many prophecies found in His Word.

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dj

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 19:9 – “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

 

 

In Matthew 22:1-14, we find a parable that was taught by Christ and commonly called the “Parable of the Wedding Feast”.  In this parable, we read about a King preparing the wedding celebration for his son.    A part of that celebration would be a great dinner to which many guests were invited.  Great dinners incorporated within the marriage ceremony were a very common occurrence in New Testament times.

Here in Rev 19:9, the guests who are invited to the great dinner which was a part of the symbolic marriage of the Lamb, are described by the phrase “they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (the Son of God)What is the symbolic importance of these invited ones?

Keep mind… Christ, the groom is being united with His people (those who have come to a saving faith in Him), the bride.   Their marriage is representative of their intimate communion that they will enjoy throughout eternity.   The guests who are invited to observe their relationship are the angels of God, who will exist with Christ and His people in eternity.

These “elect” angels are truly “blessed”, for they were protected and granted faithfulness by the Lord while the other angels (fallen angels, demons) fell in disgrace and shared in the ultimate defeat with Satan and His kingdoms (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 1:6).

 

What will these elect angels be doing throughout eternity?  Although the Bible has little to say on this subject, perhaps their acts of service prior to eternity will continue on into eternity.  If this is the case then their basic role will be two-fold…

  1. they will be serving the Lord, by continuing to minister to the needs of His people. (Hebrews 1:14)
  1. they will continue to learn about the gracious workings of the Lord and His relationship with His people. (1 Pet 1:10-12) They will do this by assembling with the people of God and joining them in acts of worship and praise (Eph 3:10-11). This is also implied in 1 Cor 11:10, where the women are encouraged to have their head properly covered so that the angels might learn about the differing levels of authority when men are assembled to worship etc.

 

What a blessing it is to know that the Lord will invite His elect angels to be with us throughout eternity.  Perhaps, they will be continuing to meet our needs while learning more about the Lord and all the great things He has done for us as we live together with Him!

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dj

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “fine linen, clean and white:”

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Revelation 19:8 – “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

 

 

The fine linen, given to the saints of God at the Lord’s second coming, is described as “the righteousness of the saints”.  In other words, this clean white linen is a picture of the saint’s right standing before the Lord.

Due to their righteous standing before the Lord, the saint can stand before Him cleansed without the filth of sin and the dirt of rebellion upon him.  God can look upon the saint as being clean, pure, and without sin in His sight.  This is why this symbolic linen is described as being white and clean.

 

The righteousness that we possess as we stand before God has a two-fold origin.  First of all, we are told this righteousness flows from the work of Christ on the cross, and is a gift given to man by God that cannot be obtained through man’s good works.  It is entirely a gift of God’s grace, and is given the title IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS.  This simply means it is righteousness that is placed upon the account of sinful man.  …

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Titus 3:4-7 – “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

This is a very important aspect of righteousness in the life of the Christian. This type of righteousness which is placed on the believer’s account is received at the moment of salvation and is eternally permanent in nature.  This righteousness SECURES OUR ENTRANCE INTO ETERNITY with Christ.

 

However, there is another aspect to the fine linen garments of righteousness for the believer.  Please note in Rev 19:7 we are told that “His wife hath MADE HERSELF ready”.  This is speaking of the wife clothing herself in the linen of righteousness.  This is describing the second aspect of a believer’s righteousness, EXPERIENTIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS..

Romans 13:12-14 – “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.”

Here, we find the believer commanded to lead a holy life is told to “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ”.    In the Greek language, to “put on” means to clothe oneself.”   Yes, the Godly works of the saints are pictured here as the clothing of Christ.  Just as sin is pictured by dirt and filth that needs to be cleansed from off of us (Rev 22:11).

 

The Lord has made it abundantly plain that He desired for His people to remain unspotted from sin as they eagerly await His coming (in doing so they are SECURING REWARDS for themselves)…

2 Peter 3:11-14 – “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,   Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?   Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

1 John 3:2-3 – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

Although these two types of righteousness may seem to contradict one another (one refers to righteousness obtained through grace alone, while the other involves works of righteousness on behalf of believers), but really they go hand in hand.  We are graced with imputed righteousness so that we may seek experiential righteous in our lives.  The Lord saves us TO serve Him.  As a matter of fact, if we have undergone a genuine work of grace in our hearts, we are changed and we WILL serve Him as the result  If our life never changed after our “salvation” experience, it is proof positive we have never really been saved through His divine intervention in our lives …

Ephesians 2:10 – ”For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
May we all faithfully serve Him as we eagerly await His second coming and the wonderful rewards awaiting us!

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dj

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “The Marriage Of The Lamb”

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Revelation 19:7 – “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of

the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

Here, we find the inaugural phase of the Lord dwelling with His people throughout eternity symbolized by a marriage.  Christ, the Lamb is said to marry His bride, all of those who are saved from both Old and New Testament times.

This same group of believers is described in Hebrews 12:22-23….

Hebrews 12:22-23 – “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”

Here, His bride is described as:

  1. “the general assembly” – contains believers from throughout history made up of all nationalities, languages, genders, ages economic and social status.  It is truly a “general” assembly!  (Rev 7:9)
  1. “the church of the firstborn” – they are the assembly that is possessed and formed by Jesus Christ, the firstborn among many. (Romans 8:29)
  1. those which are “written in heaven”. – They are citizens of Heaven with their names on heavens rolls. (Phils 3:20)

When we enter into eternity with the Lord, it will be like a marriage. This is much like an engaged couple who enjoys a much more intimate relationship following their marriage.  Although we enjoy communion with the Lord now while on earth, we will enjoy a greater, closer, fuller relationship with Him throughout eternity…

1 Corinthians 13:12 – “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

What a wonderful day that will be! When we enter eternity in the presence of our Lord and experience a new type of existence that goes beyond our understanding and imagination!

1 Corinthians 2:9 – “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

May we all praise and honor our Lord by living lives faithful to Him as we patiently wait for that great day.

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dj

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Alleluia”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 19:1

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

 

 

We frequently hear, and use, the term Alleluia (or Hallelujah).    But what does this term actually mean?

This Greek word comes from a phrase that is made up of two Hebrew words (Halal & Yahh).  This phrase is normally translated “Praise the Lord”  (Psalm 150:1 etc)…

  1. “Halal” means “to make shine”, “to boast”, “to draw attention to”, or “to rave about”
  2. “Yahh” is a contraction of the Hebrew word Jehovah, which is the personal name for the True Lord.

 

 

If we put all of this together, we can see that when we say the word “Alleluia”, we are attempting to draw all the attention to our God, Jehovah.  We are wanting to make Him shine in the eyes of others.  We are desirous to boast about the Lord, the greatness of His person and the perfection of His workings among men.  In other words, we are “raving” about Him…

Psalms 150:2 – Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.” 

 

 

All of this implies a very humble attitude on the part of the speaker.  We are saying. “I am nothing, my Lord is everything.   I want you to take all of your attention off of me and concentrate entirely upon my Lord”.    This is the implications and intent of the use of “Alleluia”…

Psalms 34:2-3 – “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” 

 

 

Folks, when we use the term “Hallelujah” are we centered upon the Lord and humbly desirous for all the attention of others be placed upon Him?   Are we sincerely declaring His greatness and His glorious workings among men? Are we putting ourselves down as we are exalted Him as highly as we can?

Or, are we using it flippantly, simply as another exclamatory term among many such as “wow”, “fantastic” or “isn’t that wonderful”?    The term was never meant to be used in this type of frivolous way.   The very meaning of the term, and its usage in the Bible, clearly shows us that it was ALWAYS meant to be used in a very reverent, sincere, humble manner that points all of our attention, and the attention of others, to our wonderful Lord alone.

 

May the Lord bless us as we attempt to use this glorious term of praise in the way in which it was intended to be used.

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-4dj

 

 

Revelation 19:1-10 “The Marriage Of The Lamb”

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THE TEXT:

 

 

 

 

Rev 19:1-10

(1)  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
(2)  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
(3)  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
(4)  And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
(5)  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
(6)  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
(7)  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
(8)  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
(9)  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
(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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapters 17: and 18: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s religious kingdom, the Great Whore, along with warnings given by God to separate ourselves from her by opposing her deceptive enticements.   This two chapter look at the Whore ended with a Mighty Angel picturing her absolute defeat and abolishment from the earth, by casting a huge millstone into the sea and watching it sink into oblivion.  This brings an end to seal #7.

Immediately following seal #7 being revealed (which we have seen in great detail in previous chapters of Revelation 16-18, we are now shown the contents of this sealed book.  The contents of the sealed book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord?
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

 

In the chapter before us, we use a very simple outline:

  1. Rev 19:1-6 – The Lord praised for His great victory over the powers of darkness
  2. Rev 19:7-10 – The Lord’s relationship to His people – (The Marriage of the Lamb)
  3. Rev 19:11-21 – The Lord’s relationship to the lost – (Battle of Armegeddon)

 


THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 19:1-10

(1)  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

Following the Lord’s defeat of the religious powers of Satan (Rev 18:21-24), His people in heaven praise Him for His great victory.  Their praise consists of:

Alleluia – Praise the Lord! (make Him shine with our lives and voices)

  1. Salvation – Praise for deliverance from the powers of Satan’s Kingdom
  2. Glory – Praise for the dignity and attention that He deserves
  3. Honour – Praise for the His great value
  4. Power – Praise Him for His strength and authority

All these areas of praise belongs to…

“Unto the Lord our God” – the One who is their Master and the One who deserves all their allegiance and worship.

 

(2)  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Some reasons why praise belongs to the Lord alone is given to us:

  1. The sinless nature of His judgments – His judgments are described as being “true” (honest, sincere, not deceptive) and “righteous” (perfect, sinless, aligned with God’s laws).
  2. His judgment of the false religions of this world – The Holy, Just Lord cannot allow sin to escape punishment.
  3. His retaliation of the murders of His people – The Lord is faithful to His Word and His Promises shown by His avenging of the martyrdom of His people.

 

(3)  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

The people of God praise Him as they fully agree with the reasons for His deserving of their praise is set forth.

 

(4)  And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

The 24 elders and the 4 beasts (both symbolic of different aspects of heavenly saints) now are seen falling down an worshipping God for His greatness and His sovereignty that allowed Christ to reign over all.   Before John HEARD these same saints praising the Lamb with their voices…. Now John SEES them as they worship the Lord God Almighty.

They worship Him by showing their submission to His will and ways (“fell down”) and they praise Him with the voices (“worshipped… saying”).  Their message?  “So be it” (“Amen” – accepting of His plan and the glorious results of it found in the victory of Christ over the Whore) and “Alleluia” (“Praise the Lord” – praising Him for His great control over all)

 

(5)  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

John hears a voice from the throne of God, probably God Himself, commanding His people to praise Him.  He describes His people as “ye his servants” and “ye that fear him”, two attributes of those who are truly saved.  He continues by reminding us that His people are made up of people of all social and economic levels, “both small and great”.

 

(6)  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Once again John hears the people of God responding to God’s command in unison, praising God for His sovereignty.  The greatness of the combined praise is described as “the voice of a great multitude”, “the voice of many waters”, “and “the voice of mighty thunderings.”

Babylon’s defeat (17:1-19:5) and the eternal salvation of God’s people (19:7-10) are the direct result of God’s sovereignty.

 

(7)  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Following the praise given to God for His sovereign victory over all paving the way for the saints to enjoy eternity with Him, we find the saints preparing themselves to spend eternity with God.   It is as if we are experiencing a time of espousal now… we are Christ’s and promises to enjoy perfect, everlasting, communion with Him. We still have not experienced our ultimate union with Him but, at His second coming, we will enter into this perfect type of communion with Him in His presence.

John now sees a vision that will describe how eternity will affect the people of God.  In this text, eternity with God is symbolized as a marriage which initiates the husband’s and wife’s cohabitation and life together.   Following Christ’s victory, the saints now prepare themselves for living an eternity with Christ, much like a bride prepares herself for her wedding.

Let us…

1.  “be glad and rejoice” – be cheerful and jump for joy… eternity with the Lord has come!

2.“give honor to Him” – give Him all the credit and glory for what He has done for us

3   “for the marriage of the Lamb is come” – the most personal, intimate relationship between God and His people is ready to be experienced.

4.  “his wife hath made herself ready” – the saints are now eagerly awaiting the moment they will enter eternity with the Lord.

A prophecy found in Hosea 2:14-20 shows us God entering eternity with His people as a wedding.

We are responsible to prepare ourselves for this eternal union with Christ by living chaste, faithful lives before He comes (2 Cor 11:2, 1 John 3:2-3, 1 Cor 3:12-14, 2 Cor 7:1, Eoh 5:25-27.

Note  Isa 49:18 – “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.”

Eze 16:10-14 – “I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.   I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.   And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.   Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.  And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.”

 

Is Bride the local assembly or all believers?

The apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15-32 also uses the symbol of a wedding to describe Christ’s special relationship to members of His local assemblies at His second coming.  Why?  Because, church membership is a mark of those who are truly saved…

Paul gives us a further understanding of this in 1 Cor 6:16-18…. Joining to harlot is not a marriage, it is simply an outward display that some type of union has been made.  Likewise, joining to the Lord’s assemblies is not a marriage, but an outward declaration we are all in unity with the Lord.  Therefore, do not join with harlot.

Also, it is important to remember that, when we enter into eternity we will be looked upon as “one glorious assembly” prepared to be with Christ!  (Eph 5:27, Hebs 12:23).  While on earth, we are members of different distinct assemblies but at the rapture on the truly saved will become members of “the church of the firstborn (saved)” who are prepared to enter eternity with Him as His bride.

 

(8)  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

For the saints to be prepared for His coming is a matter of our responsibility and the Lord’s graciously supplies (Eph 2:8-10, Phil 2:12-13, Rom 1:17).  Here, we look at the Lord’s grace in these things by supplying wedding garments to His bride.

These include clothing:

  1. “of fine linen” – expensive, carefully made, high quality linen
  2. “clean and white” – pure, sinless, not dirtied. Bright etc.
  3. “righteousness of saints” – the righteousness of Christ placed upon the believer in conjunction with the righteous works of the saints as they serve Christ following salvation.

This includes both imputed righteousness of Christ (placed upon the account of the saint – Roms 3:22, Zech 3:4, Isa 61:10) and the experiential righteousness of the saints (gained through works of obedience to Christ – Roms 13:14, ).  These do not contradict themselves because those who have been clothed in Christ’s righteousness will experience a change of lifestyle that will include serving Him and remaining faithful to Him until death.

It could be that this wedding “clothing” is, in actuality, the righteousness of Christ displayed in believer’s as their glorified bodies 2 Cor 5:1-4,  (see Mat 17:2, Mrk 9:3 – On the mount of Transfiguration, Christ is seen in this vision in His glorified body)

 

(9)  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

We have an additional group that is being described besides the bride and groom… “they which are called unto the marriage of the Lamb”.  In other words, we are talking about invited guests (Lk 14:15-24).

If Christ is symbolically the groom and all who are saved are symbolically make up the bride, then who are these guests that are invited but are not parties in the wedding?   It is the angels of God.  They will be present to witness Christ and the saved being joined together throughout eternity.  They will enjoy seeing these blessings come to God’s people, just as they are joyful at their salvation… Luke 15:10

The angel then affirms to John that, although the wedding is such a wonderful blessing upon God’s people, that it seems as if it is unbelievable, it is true.  It is a certainty, God’s people will be blessed with clothes of righteousness (glorified bodies?) and be united with Christ for an eternity.

 

(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:

At the affirmation of these great blessings, John bows down to this angel ready to worship him.  The angel then reminds John that he is simply another servant of the Lord, just as was John and his brothers in Christ.  They all are working towards the same goal of glorifying the Lord by keeping His commands and delivering His message to the world.

 

worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The angel then reminds John that worship is to be reserved for God alone (in His three persons).  Also, he reminds John of the purpose behind this revelation (made up of several visions) from God.  It was not to glorify, honor, or bring worship to the angels…. it is to reveal Christ to the world.  That is the true “spirit” (goal, purpose, thrust) of the entire set of visions he has received.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we find Christ presented as the Divine Groom who will unite eternally with His Bride, those whom have been redeemed by His blood.  This is the Christian’s entrance into eternity being clothed with glorified bodies and accepted into His presence for an eternity.

1 Th 4:16-18 – “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

1 Corinthians 15:51 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.   For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.   So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

 Rev 19:10 – “worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Folks, I believe this is, perhaps, one of the most important texts found within the pages of the Revelation.  It clearly defines the purpose and goals of this book…. It is to testify of Jesus Christ.  (Just as the introductory portion of the book clearly tells us this is the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1)).

Its first concern is not to show us prophecy of the coming events of this world, nor it is given to reveal who the next “anti-christ” will be, nor is it given to define “the mark of the beast” etc etc etc….

It is given to show us Christ and bring to Him all the honor and glory that He deserves.   May we all learn to properly approach Revelation looking for Christ, and truths about Him, within its pages.  When we do this, the other truths found in His Word will reveal themselves to us as added benefits.

 

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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.

New World Order – 2 – The Seven World Empires

SIH STSTA ICONThe word of God has much to say about the concept of a New World Order (NWO)…. We will be studying the NWO and it’s Biblical implications in a four part series…
1.Part #1 – The NOW – What is it? – Will it take place?
2.Part #2 – Past attempts at forming a NWO by force (The 7 World Empires)
3.Part #3 –  Past attempts at forming a NWO by consensus (The Tower of Babel)
4.Part #4 –  The Future NWO – Is the Lord pleased?

THE SCRIPTURE:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority… And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:1-8)

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns…I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast… (Rev 17:3-14)

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. (Rev 19:19-20)

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth… And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure… (Dan 2:31-46)

THE STUDY:

Throughout history there have been seven world empires that have sought, through the use of force, to overtake and rule all of the nations that were in existence in their day:

  1. Egypt
  2. Assyria
  3. Babylon
  4. Medo-Persia
  5. Greece
  6. Rome
  7. Includes a variety of world powers existing in the last days – (Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan etc.) that attempted to overtake world in WW1 and WW2.

In every case, their attempt to overtake the known world was unsuccessful due to divine intervention.

This truth is presented in the prophecy of Revelation 13:+17:+19:  In these verses, a beast with 7 heads is described.  The 7 heads represent the 7 world empires;  while the 10 horns on the 7th head represents the 7th world empire being made up of a varied group of nations. see Rev 17:9-12.  The end of this beast is made plain in Rev 19:19-20.  It will be cast in to the Lake of Fire, picturing the Lord’s defeat of all these national empires.

Likewise Daniel 2:, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed an image that represented the world empires that would exist from Daniel’s day forward into the future (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the world powers of the latter days.)  These were pictures by the gold, silver, brass, iron, and iron and clay parts of the image.  Once again, the end of these powers was clearly presented by the stone (Christ) culminating the destruction of the image.

The Bible gives us accounts and prophesies of divine intervention that proves the Lord’s control over the world empires.  These accounts are limited to the empires that fell during the periods in which the Old and New Testaments were written….

  1. Egypt – Exo 14:21-31 – Egyptian army drowning in Red Sea.
  2. Assyria – 2 Kings 19:35-37 – Angel of the Lord defeating Assyrian army at night
  3. Babylon – Dan 5:25-31 – Defeat of Babylon by Lord through use of Darius the Median
  4. Medo-Persia – Dan 8:2-8, 8:20-21 – Prophecy of defeat of Persia by the Greek Empire
  5. Greece – the fall of the Greek empire took place during the silent years of 400-0 BC.
  6. Rome – fell after the New Testament writings were completed and Divine revelation brought to an end.

In every case, these empires wanted to control the wealth and military power of each of these individual nations.  In each case, the Lord said “No’ and acted on behalf of his people, stopping the world wide takeover through His personal intervention or the use of other nations.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

The truth that the Lord is sovereign over all nations cannot be denied.  From the title of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” to the many verses describing His sovereignty (Dan 4:34-37, Isa 40:15-17, Jer 10:10, 1 Tim 6:14-16, Rev 19:15-16) the Bible is filled with references to this truth.

We have every reason to praise and honor our Lord based upon His strength and Lordship over all.  (Psa 150:1-2)  It is because of this truth, that we can find peace and rest in the midst of a tumultuous world.  When we see Iran working to create a nuclear arsenal, terrorist threatening our country on almost a daily basis, and China growing economically and militarily, we can still trust in the fact that He is in control.

Even as we see the world rushing to form new alliances that will involve a unified monetary/economic system, a lessened military defense for our country, and loss of national sovereignty, we can rest assured that the Lord is in control.  None of these events will take place apart from His hand of protection and allowance allowing these things to take place.

While we can freely worship and proclaim His Word, let us increase our efforts to reach the lost around us with His message of salvation by grace.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

The events leading up to the establishment of a NWO should be a warning to all of the closeness of the Lord’s coming and the end of the world.  To date, every attempt to unite the world by force was stopped by the Lord but, someday, world unity will come into existence.  Our time of national freedom is perhaps coming to a close.  The freedom to proclaim the message of God’s grace and the freedom to worship Him is still with us.  Now is the time for you to consider your eternal destiny while the truth is being proclaimed publically and you have the opportunity to worship freely.

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

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.”

http://www.settledinheaven.org
http://www. settledinheaven.wordpress.com
http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
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The Importance Of The Local Church -12 “The Metaphors Describing The Assembly”

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

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

In this twelfth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the metaphors used in the Bible to describe the Lord’s assembly. By studying these metaphors we will be seeing another aspect of the importance of the Lord’s assembly for every Christian.

Basically, a metaphor is used to describe a likeness that exists between two unrelated things.

An example of this is when Christ said “I am the door” in John 10:9.  Although Christ is totally unrelated to a literal door, He uses this metaphor to describe the idea that it is through Him that we can receive access to eternal life (just like a door gives access to a room).

 

THE STUDY:

Here is a listing and short descriptions of the main metaphors used in God’s Word to reveal truths about His local assembly.

1. “The Pillar and Ground Of The Truth”

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)
The local assembly holds up (pillar) and supports (foundation) the truths of God’s Word.  It is through the ministry of the local assembly that the truths of God are published and defended.

 

2. “The House Of God”

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  (1 Timothy 3:15)
The church is a meeting place for the Lord and His family.  It is within the confines of the assembly of God that the Lord meets with His people in a very special way. As they worship, seek His face,and desire to serve Him; He, in turn, speaks to them through His Word.

 

3. “The Flock Of God”

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”   (Acts 20:28)

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”   (1 Peter 5:1-4)
The metaphor of the flock teaches us many truths about the Lord’s relation to His local assembly. Here, the Lord is pictured as the “chief Shepherd” while His assembly is pictured as a flock of sheep:
1. The Lord feeds His assembly, as a shepherd feeds his sheep. – The church is to look to Him for their spiritual strength and nourishment.
2. The Lord leads His assembly, as a shepherd leads his sheep – The church is to follow the Lord and His will for their lives
3. The Lord protects His assembly, as a shepherd protects his sheep – The church is to rely upon Him for their spiritual warfare, realizing they are defenseless without Him.
4. The Lord died for His assembly, as a shepherd gives his life to protect his sheep. This allows the forgiveness of sins of the individuals within the assembly, as well as, the sins committed by the church as a local assembly.  – Now we, as individual members and an assembly, should be committed to serve Him with all our beings, as living sacrifices for Him.
5.  Human pastors are given the responsibility to watch over the Lord’s assemblies in His absence, and empowered and led by the Spirit are to feed, lead and protect the assembly.

Not only did Christ die for the individual members of a local church, but also He died for the church as an assembly. (see more about this under metaphor #6, Eph 5:22-31)

 

4. “The Body Of Christ”

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

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

The individual members of the local assembly have specific tasks to fulfill within that assembly.  When each of the members is submitted to fulfill the specific role each has been given, the church is a healthy church which will work together in unity for the cause of Christ.  Every member is brought into the local body to contribute to the functioning of that body with the specific gifts and ministries that they have been given.

And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”  (Ephesians 1:22-23)
Christ possesses the authority to rule over all, including His local assembly on earth. The church is to be in submission to Him.  Christ, fills the assembly revealing Himself to the local church as they worship Him in spirit and in truth.

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)
The offices of the local church were established for the strengthening, maturing and enabling of the members of the assembly.  This spiritual growth of the assembly allows them to recognize and refute false teaching as well as become more holy as an assembly and individual Christians in that assembly.

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”   (Colossians 1:23-26)
The church’s role is to proclaim the truths of the gospel message which will result in affliction and persecution of the assembly.  This persecution should be accepted with joy realizing that Christ suffered for us as individuals and the assembly as a whole.

5. “A Candlestick”

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”   (Revelation 1:12-16)

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”   (Revelation 1:19-20)
Here we see a vision John received in vs 12-16 and the interpretation of that vision in vs 19-20.  In the interpretation, we find that the candlesticks in his vision represent the local assemblies of the Lord.  Why is the assembly pictured as a candlestick?  Because it holds forth the light of God’s Word in the midst of a sin darkened world around us.  Also note the close relationship that Christ shares with His assemblies.  They all surround Him picturing subjects who have entered the presence of a king awaiting His commands.

 

6. Every Local Assembly Will Someday Be A Part Of The “Bride Of Christ”

Would to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me.  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].”  (2 Corinthians 11:1-4)
Paul, as missionary, played a very important role in the founding of the church at Corinth.  Here, he is telling the church that he has labored to given the church the truths of God so that they might remain faithful to the Lord.  This would result in them standing before the Lord on the last day as a faithful bride awaiting to partake of a new level of communion with the Lord throughout eternity.  Much like a bride on her wedding day is prepared to experience new forms of intimacy with her husband…

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”   (Revelation 19:7-9)
This takes place when all of the saints gather and commune with the Lord.  At this future event, they will be a local assembled body of believers (in other words, a local assembly located in heaven).  They will stand before Him, ready to be united with Him to enjoy a new level of communion, worship and service to Him…

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”  (Hebrews 12:22-23)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”  (Ephesians 5:22-31)
Here, the Lord’s leadership and authority over the local church is in view.  The church should be in submission to the leadership of Christ, serving Him as His helpmeet.  This is compared to the wife in a marriage being in submission to her husband as he leads the family to obey Christ above all else and then making decisions that put her needs and desires before his own as he loves her as Christ loves the assembly.

Note in this text we clearly see the purpose of Christ’s death for His assemblies described…

”even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
in other words, it is through His death that the church assembly can receive the forgiveness of the sins of the assembly and be sanctified and prepared for His use and to be spotless before Him on the last day.  ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS THAT COME UPON INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS, AND LOCAL ASSEMBLIES, COME THROUGH THE WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS.  The cross of Christ is the channel through which all blessings flow.    

 

THE SUMMARY:

In this lesson we have seen several truths about the Lord’s local assemblies presented to us:

It is the:

1.  “The Pillar and Ground Of The Truth” – The local assembly holds up (pillar) and supports (foundation) the truths of God’s Word.
2.  “The House Of God” – The church is a meeting place for the Lord and His family.
3.  “The Flock Of God” – The Lord leads, feeds and protects His assembly and the Lord died for His assembly.
4.  “The Body Of Christ” – A unity exists between the individual members of the assembly, arising from a joint need one of another. The church is to follow the directions of the Lord.
5.  “A Candlestick” – The assembly holds forth the light of God’s Word in the midst of a sin darkened world around us and enjoys a close relationship with Christ.
6.  “The Bride Of Christ” – The final gathering of believers before the Lord will be like a faithful bride awaiting to partake of a new level of communion with her spouse (the Lord).  The Lord died so that the church could be sanctified and stand before Him spotless upon entrance into eternity with Him.

Why should we join with and support a local assembly of believers?  Because of its close intimate relation with Christ and its six-fold unique role of service to the Lord.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

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

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