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“The Deliverance Of Creation 2”

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One of the many wonderful truths involving the Christian’s eternity with Christ concerns the deliverance of God’s physical creation from the pain and decay of sin.   What a blessing it is to know that, not only will our bodies be completely delivered from the effects of sin, but so too, the physical creation of God… 

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”  (Romans 8:21-23) 

Let’s take a few moments to look at what the Bible teaches concerning the future deliverance of creation from the effects and presence of sin. 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

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.   Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”  (2 Peter 3:10-15)

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”   (Romans 8:18-23)

 

 

 

THE STUDY: 

The main texts of our study will be Romans 8:18-23 (where we find the basic principle of creation’s deliverance from sin affirmed) and 2 Peter 3:10-15 (where we find the creation’s deliverance described in detail)…

Now let’s take a look at the PROCESS behind the renovation of this heaven and earth from 2 Peter 3:10-15.   Peter now presents to us teaching on the same event as was spoken of by the Apostle Paul, the deliverance of this heaven and earth from sin, its effects and its presence…

 

10) 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.

Once again, we see that the timeframe for the deliverance of creation is shared with that of the glorification of our bodies.  Both take place when Christ comes as a “thief” (at His second coming – 1 Thess 5:1-10, Matt 24:36-41).

 

The removal of sin’s effects and presence from this creation is described with several different terms:

  1. “pass away” – to cease to be. In other words, their sinful condition will no longer exist.  They will “cease to be” what they once were because they will be changed.  Just as the Christian’s fleshly, sinful body will no longer exist when it enters into its glorified condition.
  2. “melt” – dissolved, loosened, stripped away. Creation will be “stripped” much like damaged, worn, finish is stripped from old furniture during the renovation process.
  3. “burned up” – to be burned to the ground. Much like a forest fire burns all to the ground producing fertile soil for the regrowth to begin.

Please note that NONE of these terms dictates a new creative act must take place.  Each term can easily describe a renovation process   Keep in mind, the heavens and earth will not be totally destroyed with new ones created in their place.  Contrary to this false teaching, the Bible is plain that the appearance of the new heavens and earth is the result of the RENOVATION of the old not their total destruction.  They will be “changed” much like restoring used garments…

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”  (Hebrews 1:10-12)  

 

11) [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

12) 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?

Because we know that the Lord will prepare for us an eternal dwelling place wholly separated from sin, should we not seek to rid ourselves of sin while yet on this earth?

Here, in these verses, we find two terms for this act of renovation…

  1. “dissolved” – this is the same term as “melt” in above verse.
  2. “melt” – this is a term that means “to liquefy”. Perhaps this is the most important term of them all.

We are told that through the use of fire and extreme heat the Lord will “melt” the components that make up His creation.  This melting will be used by the Lord to reform (reshape) the heavens and earth, while using its original components…

  1. This reminds us that the earth was covered with water as a part of the original creation process (Genesis 1:1-2)
  2. Also this reminds us of the world-wide flood that was God’s judgment of sin that resulted in a similar, yet incomplete cleansing of the earth… 

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  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.”  (2 Peter 3:5-7) 

 

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

Although we are told that the heavens and earth will “pass away”, “melt”, “be burned up”, and “dissolved” we know that, based upon His promises to us, He will reform these into a “new” heavens and earth.   These will then be the containers of “righteousness” with the Lord and His people forever inhabiting them.

 

It is very important to notice the description “new”.  The Greek language has two terms that are translated “new” in the New Testament:

  1. “neos” which means “new” in relation to age and time.

This word means “young” or coming later in time.  This word carries the idea of a child compared to an adult, or a new place of employment that follows the previous place of employment.

 

  1. “kainos” which means “new” in relation to quality or condition.

It means “fresh”, “youthful” or “renewed”.  In speaks of the idea of a “fresh” coat of paint or the “restoration” of an antique car.

The word “new” in this passage is “kainos” (and every NT passage where we find new heavens and earth mentioned) clearly revealing the heavens and earth are “new” in the sense they are reinvigorated, or refreshed as the result of their renovation.   It CANNOT mean they are new in the sense they are young and come after the old heavens and earth.   Again, this helps us to see that the New Heavens and New Earth are the same Heavens and Earth which we are experiencing now, simply reformed and renovated to remove all traces of sin.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

 

Now Peter gets to the practical application of all these things…

14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  15) And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

 

For those who have trusted in Christ.

14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

As believers, we all look forward to the appearance of the New Heavens and New Earth and our entrance into it.   Because of this wonderful future awaiting us, let us be certain of our standing before Him.  Let us not “miss out” on this wonderful eternity, simply because we are lax in our self-appraisal of our spiritual condition.

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 1:10-11) 

 

For those who have never trusted in Christ. 

15) And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

For those who have never trusted in Christ, please remember, the delay of His second coming (which includes the end of mankind’s opportunity for salvation and the appearance of this New Heavens and New Earth), is because He is a long-suffering Lord who is giving ample time for the lost to come to a saving knowledge of Him.  Please turn from your sins and come to Christ before it is too late…

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?   Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?   But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

 (Romans 2:3-6)

 

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

 

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

 

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

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

 

Galatians 6:14a : Glorying In The Cross

SIH TOTT ICON

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

 

In this devotional we will be looking at the glorious message found in Gals 6:14-15…

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.   For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”  (Galatians 6:14-15 KJV)

Our devotionals will be looking at:

  1. Glorying In The Cross (Gal 6:14a)
  2. The Dual Crucifixion (Gal 6:14b)
  3. Circumcision To No Avail (Gal 6:15a)
  4. A New Creature (Gal 6:15b)

In each of these devotionals our prevailing topic will be the sufficiency of Christ and the insufficiency of man to bring about the transformation of an individual’s life.

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Galatians 6:14a   “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Please keep in mind, the main theme of this section of Scripture involves answering the question, who is to be given the credit for a life that has been transformed from guilt and the slavery of sin, to forgiveness and service to Christ.

Keeping this in mind our look at this text begins with:

 

“But God forbid that I should glory”

In this text, the word translated “forbid” simply means “to not begin”; while the word translated “glory” means “to boast” or “to exalt”.

Paul tells us that God does not want us to begin to boast about possessing a changed life if our boasting points to anyone, or anything other than…

 

“save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”

…the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, is the only source of a truly transformed life.

 

Summary Of Our Study

Folks, if the Lord’s saving grace has been shown to us, we cannot take any of the credit for that change.  No matter how much willpower we may have, no matter how great an inward desire for change we may possess, apart from the intervention of the Lord in our life, all our efforts for genuine change is to no avail.

Without Christ, we are much like the leopard, or the Ethiopian that, try as they might, they can never bring about true, lasting change in their lives…

Jeremiah 13:23 KJV – “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”

If we are saved, we can look back over our lives and see a distinct, lasting, change that has taken place in our life.  Our greatest need is to recognize that this change has only come to pass through the gracious work of Christ which was applied to our lives through His personal intervention.

Once we recognize His indispensable role in our lives, may we praise and honor Him as the Great Redeemer, as the Poet who has brought into existence the wonderful poem that makes up our lives….

“For we are his workmanship (“poem”), created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

The Precious Human Life #5: The Minister And Witness Of These Things

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INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

This is part of a series that is looking at the preciousness of life and the need for a more serious examination of the Scriptural validity of taking a human life under any circumstance.  Folks, our world has devalued the taking of human life to the point the loss of human life is “no big deal” and “JUST a part of the world in which we live.”

By God’s grace, as we continue through this series, my prayer is that the Lord would open all of our spiritual eyes and come to a more complete realization of the great value of human life.  Also, we need to carefully consider the results of our actions, and the circumstances surrounding the taking of human life, making sure that in each situation, the taking of life is Biblically justifiable and absolutely necessary.

Our devotional series will contain six daily devotions, all of which will emphasize the wondrous nature of the human creation and the loss inflicted upon mankind when a human life is taken from their midst…

  1. Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exo 20:13)
  2. The Glory and Honor Of Man (Psa 8:4-6)
  3. God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27)
  4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psa 139:14-16)
  5. The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Acts 26:16-17)
  6. Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12)

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Isaiah 6:8-12, Psalms 66:16, Acts 26:16-17, Romans 10:13-17)

Acts 26:16-17 KJV

“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;   Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,”

 

Psalms 66:16 KJV

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

 

Isaiah 6:8-12 KJV

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.   And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.   Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.   Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,   And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

 

Romans 10:13-17 KJV

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.   How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!   But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

Man, A Minister and Witness of The Lord and His Works For Us

In Acts 26:16-17 and Isaiah 6:8-12, we find the call to ministry of Paul and Isaiah respectively.  In both instances we see the ministry of these men involved telling others about the Lord and His work that was done on behalf of His people…

 

To Paul:  “to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;”

 

To Isaiah:  “Go, and tell this people,…”

 

This calling of men to the ministry of the Lord is shared by all men who have come to faith in Christ.  Although not all men are called to full-time ministry, all men who are saved are called to share the gospel message with those around them.   David, although not called to full time ministry as a minister of the Lord, understood and accepted this great responsibility…  “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.”

Folks, this responsibility given to saved mankind is of great importance.  Without the proclamation of the gospel message, the lost of this world are without hope with salvation unavailable to them…  “…and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? …  How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! …   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

Folks, every human life that is taken from this earth is one who has, or is potentially one who has been given the responsibility to take the gospel into this world.  Whether they be saved, or potentially a future recipient of salvation, by taking away physical life, we are silencing one who may be used of God to accomplish great things in His service.

It is important to note that NONE of us can know whom the Lord will call to salvation.  Even the most wicked and vile of mankind can be called to salvation through the call of God.  Therefore, even when the life of a lost man is taken, from a strictly human standpoint, we can never know if he would have been saved and what he might have accomplished for Him.  The Apostle Paul is the perfect example of this type of individual (Acts 26:1-23).

Please note: I am a firm believer in the sovereignty of God in salvation… He will save those who are chosen and none will be lost (John 6:39).   However in matters of this nature, concerning man’s responsibility, we must look at things from man’s vantage point without regard for God’s unknown workings of providence.  More about this principle in our next devotional.

 

In our next devotional, we will be being looking at the preciousness of human life by examining man’s need to “prepare to meet thy God” during our lifetimes on earth.

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea”

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Rev 18:21 – “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”

 

The mighty angel in John’s vision illustrates the catastrophic downfall of Satan’s religious kingdom by throwing a millstone into the sea.  As it sinks to the bottom, totally disappearing from sight, the angel says…

“Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”

 

Folks, not only does a gracious God defeat the religious powers of Satan, casting them into the deepest parts of the sea; but, He also mercifully forgives us from our sins, casting them into the depths of the sea as well…

Mic 7:18-19 – “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.   He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

When the Lord speaks of casting “all their sins into the depths of the sea”, He is speaking symbolically concerning sins ETERNAL effects on the children of God.

 

He is pointing out that they are symbolically, placed out of God’s view forever… no longer will the saved be called into account for his sins, no longer will the saved face the eternal wrath for those sins…

Isa 43:25 – “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

 

It is impossible for a Holy God to simply “forget about” sin and let sin go unpunished…

Hab 1:13 – “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”

 

The only way that God can forget about our sins is by punishing another.  That “another” is the Lord Jesus Christ.  On the cross of Christ, God received payment for the sins of His people by punishing Christ on our behalf.   The result of Christ’s payment is the declaration of innocence placed on the people of God, this is called being “justified” and it takes place when a person places faith in Jesus as His Savior…

Rom 5:1-2 – “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.”

Not only does faith in Christ give us access to this declaration of innocence (justification), but also gives us assurance that we will live with God eternally, in glorified bodies that have been purified of sin.

 

A Holy God, punished His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for the sins of His people.  This took place based upon the wondrous love and willingness of Christ to receive that punishment as He hung on the cross of Calvary.   Now, by turning from our sins and placing our faith in Jesus, we are given access to the forgiveness of God and a glorious future with Him.

Folks, for those of us who are saved, our sins will never stand between us and our God… they have been cast into the depths of the sea!  May we appreciate, love and praise Him with our lives for all He has done for us.

If you have never sorrowfully turned from your sins to Christ as our Lord man Savior, I trust you do so today.  The Lord is patiently waiting for His people to come to Him and receive these wonderful gifts He has prepared for them!

 

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

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

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “thou hast given them blood to drink”

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Rev 16:6 KJV – “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”

 

 

Divine retribution.  To give based upon what was given.  This is the basic principle we see in this text.  Here, we see that those who shed the blood of the saints and prophets was given retribution by receiving blood to drink.   They shed blood… they were given blood in return.

Another very familiar passage that speaks about divine retribution is found in Galatians 6:7-8.  In this passage, we come face to face with the two great results borne when the doctrine of divine retribution is denied…  Man is deceived and God is mocked…

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

 

WOW.  To deny the principle of divine retribution is to be deceived.  In other words, a man who does not believe in divine retribution has been led astray, he has gone off course, he is aimlessly drifting without a path to follow.

Stop and think about the ill effects of not believing that we are held accountable for our sins. One of the greatest motivations that drive men to Christ is the knowledge that their sins will be judged.  If there is no divine retribution, there is no purpose for the Lake of Fire, no separation from God for an eternity, and no danger in dying while yet in our sins.   Why seek forgiveness and restitution with God when, really, our sins will not be reckoned unto us?

 

The second great result of denying divine retribution is the mockery of God.   It is to ridicule God, scoffing at Him and jeering Him.  Basically, to deny divine retribution is to say…

“Lord, you stand back and take no action against those who commit heinous sin.  They will never stand before the bar of divine justice, they will get off scot free.  You are unjust and unable to punish those who disobey you”

Or

“When you tell us to refrain from sin, you are being entirely selfish.  Since we will feel no results to our actions, you are not helping us in any way by restricting our activities.   We can do what we want, when we want, with no harm coming our way.  Therefore, the only reason you warn us away from sin, is for your benefit and your benefit alone.  You are simply a selfish, cosmic killjoy that works for your benefit alone.”

Ridicule. Mockery. Blaspheming at its finest.

 

May we never be found guilty of the most heinous sin of denial of sin’s results and the need for salvation from sin. Most of us would say… of course, we would never deny such a clear Biblical truths.   If this is so, why then are we silent, when lost men all around us are dying and facing retribution for their sins?

Although most of us mentally acknowlege the existance of God’s punishment against sin… there are many of us who, through our actions, deny that which we claim to believe.

 

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

http://wp.me/pU88A-49C

He Deserves ALL The Praise For Our Salvation…

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 7:10 KJV

(10)  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3YO

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotionals…

SIH STSTA ICONShare Christ And The True Meaning Of His Love With Others!

 

 

SIH Valentine’s Day 3-Part Devotion Series: The Greatest Of These Is Love:

Part  #1 – The Importance Of Love

Part #2 – The Eternal Nature Of Love

Part #3 – The Supremacy Of Love

 

 

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotional Video Playlist:

SIH Valentine’s Day Devotional Playlist (4 Videos)

 

 

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 7:1 KJV

“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.”

 

 

 

John receives a vision that reveals events that will take place between the tribulation of the present day (the six seals – 6:1-17) and God’s wrath that will fall during His second coming (seal seven – 8:1-on).

Here, immediately following the opening of the first six seals, we see a break taking place prior to the opening of seal seven.  This break is explained by four angels, who are sent to deliver His wrath, told to delay the sending of God’s wrath that will be revealed in the the opening of seal seven.   Much can be learned about God’s coming wrath, and the withholding of it, from this text.

This text runs parallel with 2Pe 3:10-13 which presents the same basic principles concerning wrath of God that falls at His second coming…

“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.”

 

Please notice:

  1. These angels are positioned over the “four corners of the earth”.

In other words, they are positioned in the North, South, East and West parts of the globe.  This helps us to understand that God’s wrath will be falling over the entire earth, every geographic area on earth will be touched by His coming wrath.  That is why the angels are positioned over the entire earth to hold back the wrath that is to come.

2 Peter 3:10 – “the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

 

  1. These angels will hold back the “four winds” of God’s wrath.

God’s wrath is being symbolized in this passage as “four winds”.  This helps us to understand that God’s wrath will devastating and come quickly and unexpectedly.  Although wind is invisible, it exists in every area of the world and brings great destruction quickly and without warning (tornadoes, whirlwinds etc)

2 Peter 3:10 – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;”

 

  1. The angels are holding back God’s wrath from falling upon “the earth”, “the sea”, and “the trees”.

God’s wrath will fall against all creation.  It will affect all life that exists on earth whether on the earth or in the sea, inanimate creation, plant life, and by implication animal and human life as well.  God’s wrath, when it falls, will result in the entire creation renovated, made sinless, formed into the New Heavens and New Earth, and prepared as the eternal dwelling place for the people of God.    No sinful man, or other created thing will be able to escape this wrath that is to come.

2 Peter 3:10-12 – “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.  Seeingng then that all these things shall be dissolved,… 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?”

 

When we see the greatness, enormity, and universality of the wrath of God during His second coming, we are reminded of our great need to be certain we have been saved.  Although the wrath that He sends at His second coming is severe… think of how much greater will be His eternal wrath sent against all lost mankind for an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

By turning from our sins in Godly repentance, and turning to Christ trusting Him as our Lord and Savior, we will, through His shed blood, be forgiven of our sins and receive the righteousness of Christ on our account.   This in turn, we result in our eternal security and escape from His wrath that will fall at His second coming and throughout eternity.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3XK

 

A New Year… A New Beginning

SIH STSTA ICON“The Former Things Are Passed Away… I Make All Things New”

 

 

 

A new beginning.  For many of us, this is one of the greatest desires in our lives.  We look back and see mistakes that were made; sins that were committed; and hurt, pain, and loss that cannot be undone. Our only hope is for a new beginning.

But for many of us, apart from Christ, there is no real hope for a new beginning.  We understand that the effects things we have done, and things that were done to us, will continue to affect us as long as we are alive. And then, once our life comes to an end, there is absolutely no reason to believe that our condition will improve in anyway.

If we believe the record of the Bible, those without Christ can only expect a much worse experience after death than what was experienced here on earth.   Ephesians 2:12 summarizes their condition in a very concise way when it says that a person without Christ is “having no hope, and without God in the world”.

But the story does not end there, all who have Christ, have the hope of a new beginning.  A new beginning while yet on the earth, and a new beginning that will begin, and last, throughout eternity. What a wonderful blessing that the Lord has given to each one of us… the ability to have a totally new beginning that will remake us, lead us from the error of our ways, and erase all our regrets and sufferings for an eternity!

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

2 Corinthians 5:17 & Revelation 21:3-5

 

THE STUDY:

In the following texts, we can see the promise of a new beginning given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our first text addresses a new beginning that can be had while yet on the earth.  In our second text, we can see a new beginning that will be received, and will last, throughout eternity.  In both of these texts one principle is constant, the presence of Christ in the life of the recipient… 

 

 

2Co 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are told that “if any man be IN CHRIST”…. he has a new beginning: he HAS BECOME A NEW CREATURE while yet on earth…. 

In other words, a man has Christ is given a new existence while yet on earth.  He is given spiritual life and renewal, a new source of strength, a new set of desires, and a new heart of love for His Lord and others around him.

Although he will still feel the past effects of sin in his life, now he has One upon which he can lean, One upon which he can receive guidance, and One by which he can be comforted.  He truly has become a new creature in Christ, eternally loved by his Heavenly Father, forgiven through the shed blood of Christ, possessing a life revolutionized by the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Rev 21:3-5 KJV

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

In Revelation 21:3-5, we are told that the people of God… they have a new beginning: they WILL POSSESS A NEW EXISTENCE throughout eternity. 

In other words, those who have Christ experience a new type of existence that far surpasses anything they have experienced on this sinful world.  They will enjoy the physical presence of their Lord, they will have all causes of sorrow, pain, suffering, and death taken away, they will enjoy a new heavens and new earth that has not been touched by sin, nor corrupted by the workings of Satan.

 

 

THE SUMMARY: 

As the Old Year passes away and the New Year begins, may it be a reminder of the new beginning that is promised to those who are in Christ.  Just as the Old Year is gone, never to be revisited… so too, the portion of our life that has been lived never to be changed.  Just as the New Year has arrived, awaiting us with open arms … so too, we have received an invitation to begin a new life in Christ.

By forsaking our past sins, failures, and rebellion and turning to Christ accepting Him as Lord and Savior by faith, accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, any one of us can receive a new beginning now, and throughout eternity.  This is the key to living a life that is filled with joy and glory now, and throughout eternity!

 

1Pe 1:3-8 KJV –
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

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.”

Isaiah 61:1-3: “He Hath Sent Christ…”

SIH STSTA ICONWith Christmas just a few days away, I thought it would be good to stop and answer the question… “Why did God send Christ into this fallen world?”

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 61:1-3 KJV

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

 

THE STUDY:

 

In Isaiah 61:1, we find God’s calling of Christ to His ministry…

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;  because the LORD hath anointed me

This Messianic prophecy is given from the viewpoint of Christ.  Christ explains that the Spirit of God resided on Him to empower Him in His God-given ministry.

He goes further and explains when He received the enabling presence of the Spirit into His life.  It was when He was anointed with the Spirit at His baptism (Matthew 3:16).

 

 

This ministry of Christ has three very basic aspects to it, the first aspect of His ministry we find in…

to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Aspect #1 – To Proclaim Cheerful News To The Needy (Lost) – “to preach good tidings unto the meek;”

 

This aspect of Christ’s ministry led Him:
To bandage those whose hopes have been destroyed – he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To announce freedom for those who are enslaved – to proclaim liberty to the captives,
To release those who were imprisoned – and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

 

The second aspect of His ministry we find in…

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Aspect #2 – To Proclaim The Coming Days of Grace and Day Of The Judgment Of God – “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God;”

 

 

The third aspect of His ministry we find in…

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

Aspect #3 – To Console Those Who Are Sorrowful (Saved) –  “to comfort all that mourn;”

 

This aspect of Christ’s ministry led Him:
To commit blessings to those who are sorrowful in His nation – To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,  
To commit ornaments instead of ashes – to give unto them beauty for ashes,
To commit the perfumes of joy instead of cries of sorrow – the oil of joy for mourning,
To commit clothing of praise for heaviness of spirit – the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

 

 

These three aspects to His ministry worked together in harmony to fulfill 2 goals…

that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

2-Fold Goal Of Christ’s Ministry:
The Salvation/Growth of His People – … be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD
The Honor And Glory Of His Heavenly Father- that he might be glorified.

 

 

THE SUMMARY:

Christ, as He proclaimed the gospel to the lost; proclaimed the coming days of grace and the final judgment of God; and consoled those who were sorrowful for their sins and the condition of the world around them;  secured the salvation of His people and enhanced their spiritual growth.

All of this was done so that His Heavenly Father might be glorified in the eyes of men!

During this Christmas season, may we all bring our praise and honor to Him… the One that was sent by God to be the Savior of the world…

1Jn 4:14 KJV-  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

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

“The Three Great Benefits Of Thanksgiving”

SIH STSTA ICON(Thanksgiving Devotional 2014)

 

 

This Psalm, which is attributed to King David is a Psalm that was written during times of great affliction (Vs 1-12).  In this Psalm, we find David explains his situation to God (Vs 13-21) and then, asks for His intervention in the situation (Vs 22-29).

Then, in an act of faith, he begins thanking the Lord for His future intervention in the situation (Vs 30-36).  What great faith… To honor and give thanks to the Lord before He worked!

This Psalm gives us a wonderful example to follow during times of heartache in our lives.

However, we will not be looking at this entire Psalm in detail for this lesson.  Instead, the intent of this lesson is to look more closely at David’s time of faith in and thanksgiving to the Lord and the benefits accrued from it.

 

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Psa 69:30-32 KJV

(30)  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

(31)  This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

(32)  The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.

 

THE STUDY:

(Verse 30)   David’s determination to honor the Lord with his thanksgiving:

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

 

In the midst of David’s trials, before he saw the intervening hand of God, we see him determined to honor the Lord and praise Him with thankfulness.

Before we begin to look at the benefits of giving thanks to the Lord, we need to understand the basic definition and some principles of concerning the giving thanks…

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  1. David’s definition of “thanksgiving”.

In this text, the Hebrew word that is translated “thanksgiving” is the word “towdah”.  This word helps is to understand the basic idea behind thanksgiving.

This word means “to extend the hand”.  This pictures for us the idea of handing over a gift to show our appreciation.   It involves not simply a verbal thank you, but it is a thankfulness that is backed up by our actions (normally some type of giving of ourselves motivated by appreciation).   In the OT a common way that thanksgiving was shown was through the handing over of an animal for a sacrifice of worship to Jehovah.

Folks, this is a very important point.  The type of thanksgiving that David had in mind when he penned this verse, was not a simple saying “thanks”, but it was a deeply sincere type of thanksgiving that would be shown by sacrificing for the one we appreciate.

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  1. David was compelled by the Holy Spirit to “praise” the Lord…

The idea of “praise” involves directing attention to the Lord.  It is like shining a spotlight on the Lord allowing those around us to clearly see Him and learn more about Him.

David was going to do this by singing songs that would clearly tell others of His greatness and all He had done, and would do, for David.

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  1. David desire was to “magnify” the Lord through Thanksgiving (through giving of himself )…

The idea of “magnify” involves making something greater or higher in other’s sight.  By David giving of himself for the Lord, others would see how great God is.  David’s acts of thanksgiving would “magnify” the Lord in others’ sight allowing them to see His value for their lives more clearly.

Now that we have learned about the meaning and motives that should lie behind our thanksgiving, let us now begin to see the benefits of the giving of thanks to our Lord for His person and His wonderful works on our behalf…

 

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(Verse 31)   Benefit Of Thanksgiving #1… It Pleases God

This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.”

Our verbal praising of the Lord (songs) and magnifying the Lord through our actions (thanksgiving) are more pleasing to our Lord than outward religious acts of piety and worship.

Religious acts of worship that are done out of routine and necessity are the acts of those who hypocritically serve the Lord.  However, our willful words of praise and acts of sacrifice motivated by appreciation are acceptable, and desirable, to God.   As a matter of fact, the word for “please” actually implies a type of pleasure or happiness.  In other words, these sincere acts of worship make our Lord happy.

One of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is that we are pleasing God with our lives.

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(Verse 32a) Benefit Of Thanksgiving #2… It Helps Others

“The humble shall see this, and be glad:”

Not only do our giving of thanks to God please Him, but they also are beneficial to others around us.

The greatest benefit comes to those who are humble.  This teaches us two truths:

 

  1. If “the humble” are referring to those who are lost, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, recognizing they can do nothing to secure their own salvation…

The convicted lost can greatly benefit from our words and acts of thanksgiving because our thanks will point them to Christ, His love, grace and kindness, and His willingness to intervene and grant salvation to those who cannot save themselves.  As we tell others of His gracious workings in our lives, motivated by a spirit of thankfulness, we are telling others that our Lord can and does intervene in the lives of the helpless comforting them and meeting their every need.

Folks, think about it, every time the Lord intervenes in a seemingly  “impossible” situation in our life, it is an outward display of His ability to intervene in the life of a lost individual and do for them what they cannot do for themselves… deliver them from their sins and the punishment for sin that awaits them.

 

  1. If “the humble” are referring to those who are by faith submitting to the Lordship of Christ, then we are being told that our words and acts of thankfulness encourage the heart of believers. This takes place in two ways:

First of all, the saved are encouraged knowing that others are serving the Lord and honoring Him with their lives even in the face of great trials and testings.  In effect, we are telling them they are not alone.

Secondly, the saved are encouraged knowing that, if the Lord has (or will) intervene and meet our every need in the midst of the storms of life, there is no reason for them to doubt His intervention in their life as well.  As they see His blessings upon us, they recognize His ability to bless them as well.

Another of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is that we are helping those who are around us.

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(Verse 32b) Benefit Of Thanksgiving #3… It Revives Ourselves

“and your heart shall live that seek God.”

David now tells us that words and acts of thanksgiving to the Lord are beneficial to the thankful one…it revives the heart of the thankful… it encourages and strengthens them.

How is this so?  When we verbally, and actively, thank the Lord for His blessings, it reminds us of His love for us, what He has done for us in times past, and the blessings He has promised for us in the future.   It encourages our hearts knowing that He has been with us in times past and, therefore, there is no reason to expect Him to continue to accompany us along our life path whatever may come our way.

The last of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is strengthening and encouragement for the thankful one. 

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

During this thanksgiving season when our attention is turned towards the Lord’s goodness and blessings He has shown to us May we all actively present our thanksgiving to Him, realizing we are not only pleasing God by encouraging those around us and strengthening ourselves in His joy.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

For other Bible Lessons on Thanksgiving please click on link:

A Christian’s Thanksgiving Day

Therefore, O God, We Thank Thee

Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So

 

For the 30 part series of Thanksgiving devotionals please click on link:

A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Part Devotional Series

 

 

 

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Visit our text blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Visit our video blog: http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

 

What does God Look Like ?

SIH STSTA ICONWe all have our own concept of what God looks like.  Some of us think of God as an old man with a long gray beard and robes; a young youthful powerful man; a carved or molten totem made by man; or even an inanimate object found in nature.    With all these differing ideas about God’s appearance, how does God appear in His Word?

THE SCRIPTURE:

Dan 7:9-14 (KJV)

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.  I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

THE STUDY:

Several times in God’s Word we find man seeing God in visions or dreams.  Some of the many times God is seen is found in: Ezek 1:26-28, Dan 7:9-14, Rev 1:13-16, Rev 14:14 etc.  In every case, the vision of God varies in appearance, with each descriptive element of the vision symbolizing a truth about our God.

In this blog entry, we will be looking at Daniel 7:9-14 to help us illustrate the use of symbolism in descriptions of God’s appearance:

The appearance of God the Father:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,

The “thrones” that are cast down signifies the overturning of the different nations and rulers of this world by the ultimate authority holder, God Himself.   God is given the title the “Ancient of Days” referring to the fact that He is the One who has, and will eternally exist.

whose garment [was] white as snow,

Here, the purity of God is being described using the symbolism of white clothing.  White being symbolic of purity, while black many times is used to illustrate the wickedness or “darkness” of this world.

and the hair of his head like the pure wool:

Here the wisdom of God is in view.  The head being the center of the thought and judgment processes, while the symbolism of wool for His hair is a representation of thickness, vitality and abundance. The white color of wool is a picture of purity.

Remember, in the context, we are looking at God who is the Judge of all “the judgment was set and the books were opened”.   What is being described is the fact that God’s judicial decisions are always wise, pure and in abundance.  He never lacks perfect wisdom, nor does He ever cease to exercise it.

his throne [was like] the fiery flame,

His throne, speaks of His authority to rule.  The fiery flame is a picture of punishment of sin (example: lake of fire) and also it pictures judgment based upon the truth of His Word.  His Word is described as a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” by the psalmist.

[and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 

In those days, thrones had wheels on them allowing them to be moved swiftly.  Here in symbol, we are taught that the judgments of God, even though brought upon the guilty very swiftly, are still just and right.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him:

As the Lord renders His sentence upon the lost it is much like a flame of fire, picturing His Word as it departs from His mouth. The flames are also a picture of the end result of His decrees … the judgment of sin.

thousand thousands ministered unto him,

Again, we have the authority of Lord being illustrated.  Millions of people serving the Lord shows His authority over all.  This is a picture of those saved by His grace now serving Him throughout eternity.

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:

His judgment of hundreds of millions of people, again shows what great authority and control He exercises over all mankind.  These hundreds of millions show us that He has authority over all the lost.  He stands in righteous, pure judgment over them.

the judgment was set, and the books were opened…

the time of His judging the lost has come…. The 66 books of the Bible are opened, a prelude to the judgment of their works.  (see Rev 20:12)

 

The appearance of God the Son:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man

Daniel had received these visions in the nighttime (perhaps they were dreams).  In this vision he sees the Lord Jesus Christ entering the throne room.

came with the clouds of heaven,

Several times in the Scriptures Christ’s coming to the earth is associated with the clouds.  Besides His literal coming in the clouds at His second coming, the symbolism here is teaching us that Christ’s origin is heaven.  It also teaches us of His glory and majesty as He is exalted over mankind.

and came to the Ancient of days,

He comes to God the Father, having perfect communion with Him.

and they brought him near before him. 

The servants of God now escort Christ to God… much like a visiting King is escorted into a city by its citizenry.  This procession was a symbol of respect and recognition of authority.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,

Here, due to the faithfulness of Christ during His first coming, is exalted as King of King and Lord of Lords.  The Father is placing Christ in a position of authority and honor.  (Phils 2:1-11)

that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:

The authority of Christ places Him over all mankind. No man or created being holds authority over Him.

his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

The authority of Christ will never be taken away, it is without end.  Throughout eternity, He will be looked upon as our King and Lord.

As we have seen in this example, Daniel’s vision of God was symbolic in nature, teaching us many truths about the attributes of our God.  This principle holds true with all the other sightings of God that we find in the Word of God.  As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it very plain that…

John 1:18 (KJV)

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

So basically what we are told in the Bible is that by looking at Christ, His life and His words, we will see the Father in Him.  Christ is the ultimate representative of God on earth… He WAS God on earth.  This is why to be able to see God we must look to Christ.

What does God look like?  I have no idea.  Remember, God is a spirit, it is possible that He is not visible to man, apart from the fleshly body He took upon Himself when He came in the person of Jesus Christ to the earth.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have experienced God’s gracious salvation…

We have already come to know God through His Son Jesus Christ… as we live our lives on earth, our search for God’s will and ways should be centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our central focus to see God and learn of His ways.

For those who have never been saved from their sins…

The answer to your search for God is find in Christ Jesus and Him alone.   Your first priority is to learn of the grace and truth of God.  It is through a knowledge of His Word and His gracious intervention in your life that you may be saved and enter a close relationship with God…

John 1:12-14

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of 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.

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A Place that has to be Believed to be Seen

SIH STSTA ICONHow many times have we heard the saying…. “seeing is believing”?  In other words, experience leads to belief.  It is only when we experience something that we can then place our faith in it. This is a generally accepted attitude that has existed throughout the generations, to say otherwise is just being foolish.  Or is it?

In their song  “Walk On” the group U2 sings the following lyrics… “Walk on, walk on;   What you got, they can’t steal it;   No they can’t even feel it;   Walk on, walk on;   Stay safe tonight… You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been;   A place that has to be believed to be seen”  (http://www.macphisto.net/u2lyrics/Walk_On.html)  In the context, they point out that heaven must be believed in BEFORE it can be experienced.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wfjPmDlCB0

The need to have belief before someone can enter into heaven aligns itself with Bible teachings … “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” … “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” (Heb 11:1, 13-14) The need for faith to precede experience is not a principle limited to our experience of heaven, the Word of God makes it clear that faith is an absolute necessity in many areas of our Christian life…

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

Faith is a basic Biblical principle, going far beyond the subject of heaven.  It applies to many different aspects of Christian living… when it comes to spiritual living, belief must precede experience.   Faith is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, for the receipt of the promises of God, as well as the experience of God’s glory after our death. (Roms 5:1, Roms 4:13, Roms 5:2)   Truly the life of a Christian is a life centered on faith, which then leads to experience.

One of the most amazing things about faith is that it is not a natural part of man, it is given to us as a gift from God. (Eph 2:8-9).  This emphasizes our need for Him in all areas of our life.   At our initial salvation experience, we could not trust in Him apart from His intervention in our lives. (John 6:44)  During our Christian life on earth, we are helpless to trust His promises and receive His blessings apart from His gift of faith. (Matt 13:58)  And finally, we would all be without hope for our future without His faith being granted to us. (1 Pet 1:18-21).  Yes, the Word is so true when it says that “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. (Joh 9:33)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In Gals 5:22-25, “faith” is described as a “fruit of the Spirit”.  In other words, like all the other fruits of the Spirit, our life should be a living testament of the faith that has been so graciously given to us.   As we live our life on earth, the choices we make exhibits our faith to others. Pastor Charles Stanley of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta Ga.; says that we should “obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”  This is a very simple way of stating the role of faith in the life of a Christian.  By choosing to obey the Lord, we are choosing to exercise faith in Him and His promises, instead of relying on our own abilities and devices.  This is the testimony we should be living in the sight of others…ALWAYS putting the Lord first and then, by faith, trusting Him to take care of the consequences of our actions.

For those who have never received the Lord’s faith into your life…. Your most important responsibility is to look to Him for salvation, realizing apart from Christ, you can do nothing for your own salvation.  He must intervene in your life and save you from your sins.  By totally trusting on Christ for your salvation, you are fulfilling your responsibility and can be assured that He has given you spiritual life and a wonderful eternity awaiting you…

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:5-10)

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

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (8)

SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].
See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
(1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

To close this devotional series from 1 Thessalonians, let’s review the six basic exhortations given to us by Paul…
1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 

Before we close this series, I would like to remind us of a very important truth… all of these exhortations given by God, through the Apostle Paul, are desires found in the heart of those who love the Lord and all mankind…

 

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.
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.Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)

 

 

I thought it would be beneficial to take a short time to answer a few questions…

Basic Question #1 – As we went through this series, did you find within your heart a desire to live out the exhortations given to us?

 

If you said “No”, it is very important that you stop and do an honest evaluation of your spiritual condition. It is very possible that you have never actually experienced the Lord’s gracious, life-giving intervention in your life.

 

 

 

However, if you said “Yes” then it is important we ask another question…

 

Basic Question #2 – Why do you desire these attributes in your life?

 

Is it because you would like to be popular with others or, maybe, you would like to receive praise for being a “good guy” or “a sweet lady”?
Or, maybe, you are a business owner who desires to have a good reputation in the community so that your business will increase?
Or maybe, do you want to others to believe you are more “holy” and “religious” than those around you?
To put it simply, do you desire these attributes in your life so that you alone might benefit?

Folks, once again, if you find yourself answering “yes” to any of the above questions, please take the time to be honest with yourself and come to a true understanding of your spiritual condition. By all indications, you have never been made into a new creature through the work of Christ. You are yet ruled by your fallen nature and are yet in your sins.

 

Or…
Could it be that you desire these attributes because you love the Lord and those around you?

This type of love will manifest itself in your life through a desire to please and glorify the Lord and a desire to care and help those who are around you. These desires are unselfish in nature and based upon love. This is a clear indication of a genuine, Scriptural, salvation experience that has taken place in your life.

 

 

APPLICATION:
As we have looked at these questions and the Holy Spirit has shown you that you are not saved, please keep in mind… the Bible clearly presents to us the way of salvation from sin. It is found solely through the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. This is clearly presented to us in the message of the gospel…

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:1-7)

 

It is this same message that must be accepted through repentance and faith…

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.(Mark 1:15)
What does the Bible mean by repentance? It is a gift that God gives to us that causes great change in our lives. Some of the change includes:

1. A change in how we see ourselves. We no longer see ourselves as good and in need of nothing, finding security in ourselves and the things of the world. We now see ourselves as sinful human beings, who have utterly failed to live up to God’s standards, destined and deserving of eternal punishment for our sins, and without any ability to secure salvation of ourselves or our good works.
2. A change in attitude about the sin we have in our lives. We no longer desire to sin but mourn over it, turn from it, and forsake it.
3. A change in attitude about Jesus. We no longer mock, ridicule and reject Him. We now see Him as our Lord, the One we want to please and the One we want to serve.

 

These are just a few of the changes that need to take place for us to be the recipients of God’s great salvation.

 

 

What does the Bible mean by belief? Other words that mean “belief” include “faith”, “trust”, “acceptance”, and “conviction”.  All of these words describe a God-given certainty that we must possess concerning Jesus Christ. We come to know with certainty that:

1. Jesus is the only One from whom we can receive salvation from our sins.
2. Jesus is God Himself come to the earth.
3. Jesus is Lord of our life because He is Our Creator and Our God. It is our responsibility to please Him and serve Him.
4. Jesus, our divine Lord, died on the cross, and in doing so, took the judgment of our sin upon Himself. It was through His death that the wrath of God against all of our sins, past, present, and future was satisfied.
5. Jesus arose from the grave. His resurrection gives us proof that He truly was God in the flesh and that His work on the cross was accepted by God as the complete payment for our sins.

 

These and many others are the things that we come to know with a God-given certainty about Jesus.

 

Folks, may Christ graciously intervene in our lives and bring us to a saving knowledge of Him as our Lord and Savior, trusting in who He is and what He has done for us.  In doing so, we can know with certainty our sins are forgiven and we are eternally secure in Him.

 

This ends our look at 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

A New Series Beginning On Settled In Heaven Ministries

SIHs HALTAL ICON FPMaster 457x453If the Lord is willing, beginning tomorrow, we will be presenting a new daily series entitled:

“The First Principles”: The Basics of Christianity.  

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”   (Hebrews 5:12)

This series will include basic truths of Christianity in an effort to answer the questions:
1.  “What Is A Christian?”
2.  “Who Is Christ?”
3.  “What Were Christ’s Ministries?”
4.  “What Did Christ Accomplish?”
5.  “How Can I Become A Christian?”

It is intended for those who are unfamiliar with the Christian Faith; for those who would like a review of the very basics of the Christian Faith; and for those who desire to know verses that can be used to share Christ with others… this series will be for you!

Each posting will take less than one minute to read and will consist of a truth from the Bible, a very short explanation of that truth, and one or two texts that present that truth for us.  (It’s format will be very similar to the “Christ In Hebrews” series we are also currently presenting.)

Please join us beginning tomorrow for this new extended-length series, along with our other two daily series “Reflections Of His Grace” a daily devotional series from Ephesians and “Christ In Hebrews” a study of  the truths about Christ that are found in the book of Hebrews.

 

“The God of Of Salvation, The Lord Of Death”

SIH STSTA ICONThroughout this text, we will see that different aspects of the physical and spiritual realms of existence will be discussed.  We need to recognize that our lives here on earth are not affected by only the events that take place in this physical world.  There is also a sphere of influence in our lives that is best described as a spiritual realm.  The determination of our eternal abode and our service to the Lord are both effected by the events and characters found in this realm.

In our text for today, we find one verse that clearly declares to us that our Lord is in control of both realms of existence…

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

20) [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death.   (Psalms 68:20)

 

THE STUDY:

[He that is] our God

The deity that we will be discussing in today’s text is the God of both the physical and spiritual nations of Israel:

1.  Please keep in mind, King David was addressing the physical nation of Israel.  They were brought into existence by the Lord and used by Him to give us the truths of His Word and to bring the Messiah into this world.

2.  The spiritual nation of Israel contains all of God’s people who have been saved, and will be saved throughout history.  Paul refers to this group of Jewish and Gentile believers as “The Israel of God” in Gals 4:13-16.

Both the physical and spiritual nation of Israel can claim a special relationship with the True God, Jehovah.  Therefore, we can truly say ….”Jehovah, is OUR GOD”!

The term translated “God” in this phrase is the Hebrew word “El”.   This word refers to the supreme strength and ability that Jehovah possesses.

[is] the God of salvation;

The God that we can call our own, is “the God of salvation” or, in other words, He is “the Mighty One that controls the deliverance of His people.”  Here, once again we can see a physical and spiritual aspect to this text…

1.  In this physical world, God acts on behalf of His people to deliver them from many of the ills that this world offers. Whenever the Lord delivers His people from a physical threat of harm, He is displaying to us that He is the God of “physical” salvation.  War, governmental oppression, natural disasters, persecution, etc etc.  the list is endless.

2.  However, His greater work is that of a spiritual nature.  It is our God, Jehovah, that delivers His people from the evils of the penalty, power and, eventually, the presence of sin. He saves us from eternal punishment from God which takes place in the Lake of Fire. This is the spiritual aspect of the salvation that He graciously gives to His spiritual Jewish people.

The same Hebrew word translated “God” in the previous phrase (El) is, once again, translated “God” in this phrase.  Remember, it  carries with it the idea of the “Mighty One with all ability”.  This helps us to understand that Jehovah is mighty over salvation and absolutely capable to save His people.  He can do what no other man or false God can do for us.  He is able to do for us what we cannot even do for ourselves, save us from this world’s evils and the evils that await sinful man in the world to come.

and unto GOD the Lord 

This same God, who is the Strong One, is given a new set of titles here.  God is now called by the names “GOD”  and “Lord” which come from two different Hebrew words:

1.  The name “God” is the Hebrew word “Jehovah” which carries with it the idea of the “One that Exists”.  This personal title for God helps us to understand that He is the One True God.  In actuality, He exists, while all the other false gods of this world do not.  He is the only God that is in existence, all others are human, sinful, replacements and, in actuality, are the figments of lost mankind’s imaginations.

2. The title “Lord” is the Hebrew word “Adonai” which teaches us that the Lord is the One who is the Master, Owner, or Originator of all things:

He is the One who brought physical Israel into existence, He is the One that owns Israel, and He is that is her Master.

The same can be said about His relationship with the spiritual nation of Israel.  It is He is formed her, it is He that owns her, and it is He that rules over her.  Spiritual Israel is His spiritual kingdom that submits to His Lordship as He rules in the heart of her citizens.

[belong] the issues from death.   

Jehovah, the Originator, Master and Ruler of the two Israels, possess the “issues of death”.  In other words, death flows forth under His divine control.  He is the One that controls the “flow of death”.  It is Jehovah the Master that delays, restrains, and restricts and destroys both physical and spiritual death:

1. The phrase physical death is describing the condition whereby our spirit is separated from our body.  By His control over physical death, we are speaking of the Lord’s governance of the length of our physical lives, the resurrection of our bodies which will rescue the physical body from death, and the total elimination of physical death for those who are alive when He comes back again.

2.  The phrase “spiritual death” is describing the condition whereby, due to our sins, we are separated from God.  This separation is displayed by a lack of communion, alienation from His family and kingdom and estrangement from God throughout eternity.  This spiritual death can only be overcome through the gracious intervention of Almighty God whereby, through the work of Christ, our communion between God and His people is restored.  This results in renewed fellowship with God through prayer and the Word, the Spirit’s indwelling, and an eternity living in the very presence of God.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

It is from the Lord that we receive eternal spiritual life which transcends all other aspects of our existence on earth.  With the possession of spiritual life comes security, peace, and communion with Almighty God.  What a blessing it is to know that … “[He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?  The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.  But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”   (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

Won’t you look to the Lord Jesus Christ, in faith, trusting Him as your Lord and Savior before it is too late?

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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.”

All About Living Dogs and Dead Lions

SIH STSTA ICONIn Ecclesiastes 9:4, Solomon makes the statement…
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

In Phils 1:21, it is explained to us that Paul believed that ….
“For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.

Solomon and Paul seem to contradict each other.  Solomon seems to say that the possession of physical life is far better than departing into eternity.  However, Paul seems to place our eternal existence ahead of our temporal existence here on earth.  Which view is correct?  Is the Bible contradicting itself?  How can these two verses be reconciled?

Let’s take a few moments to study these two Scriptures, in their proper context and see what we can learn from each statement…

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

4) For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5) For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6) Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
 (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6)

 

13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
 (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

 

21) For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
22) But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24) Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.
 (Philippians 1:21-24)

 

THE STUDY:

Solomon’s message included the truths that for all mankind, our physical life that is given to us is of great value that should never be downgraded nor ignored….  

 

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:
It is during our life on earth that we possess HOPE.  The hope of salvation, and the hope to be faithful in our opportunities of service for Him.

 

for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
The hope we possess as the result of the physical life that is given to us is so great that it outweighs all the wealth, power and fame this world has to offer.  Far better for us to possess life as a poverty stricken servant, than to be a dead king, millionaire or movie star that has wasted their life by ignoring their need of salvation and their opportunities to serve Him.

 

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Dying is a universal event that touches every person.  Everyone knows death is coming. 
With physical life comes the opportunity to prepare for the certainty of death and entrance into the afterlife….
1.  When death comes we will enter into a conscious eternity in the presence of our Great Judge. We will no longer experience life on earth, nor will we know about anything that is taking place on earth.  All of our interaction on earth will be over.
2.  Our opportunity to use it to prepare for eternity has passed.  We will no longer have the opportunity to lay up eternal rewards through faithful service to Him.
3.  When death takes us, we will no longer be able to influence men, and in many cases, we will not even be remembered by men.

 

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
4.  When our life on earth is over, our interaction with other men is brought to an end. We will no longer be able to react to the needs, desires and actions of others with the emotions of love, hatred or envy.
5.  No longer will we have allotted to us any type of role in the land of the living.

 

Based on Solomon’s previous message, later in Ecclesiastes, he tells us….
 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
Our most important responsibility is to use our life on earth wisely by submitting to the True God through faith in His Son and then living lives of obedience to Him.

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.” 
We must always be thinking about the permanent separation from this earthly life that death brings to us and the need to prepare NOW for the judgment that is to come upon us.

Based on the above verses, Solomon’s message is thus….
1.  Our life on earth gives us the hope of salvation, and the hope to be used by Him in service.
2.  These hopes we possess in life outweigh all the wealth, power and fame this world has to offer.
3.  Once our life on earth is ended…. IT IS TRULY ENDED.  We will be TOTALLY CUT OFF from any type of intervention in this world.
4.  We will be in God’s presence and will stand before Him to answer for what we have done on earth.

 

Paul’s message reiterates and supports Solomon’s message fully….

For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
Paul is reminding those of us who are saved and serving Him that, in spite of the great importance of our physical life on earth, we will be gaining when we enter into eternity.

 

But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
As we live our life on earth… we should always remember that our upcoming eternity with Christ, and the rewards it will contain, will be the direct result of using our earthly life wisely.  Although, we would rather be home with the Lord, we should continue on preparing for eternity with faithful service to Him.

 

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.
Paul desired to go home and be with Christ NOW, he recognized it would be of great benefit to him.  However, he also understood that as long as he was on the earth, the Lord had work for him to do. He also recognized that Christ’s work for Paul was to glorify Him in all things.  Through Paul’s teachings and example others were receiving spiritual benefit.

This is perhaps the greatest sacrifice a Christian can give to others around him.  To be willingly to use their physical life wisely, by living a life that honors the Lord in word and deed, being a living sacrifice of His grace, and choosing to continue on in service on earth… all the while knowing that there is a far greater eternity awaiting Him.

Based on the above verses, Paul’s message is thus….
1.  Our life on earth, for the faithful saint is an opportunity to affect the lives of others for the glory of His Lord and Savior. Although, times may get tough and the saint may feel like quitting…
2.  He knows that a far greater blessed eternity is awaiting Him.
3.  He knows that he is being used of God to be a blessing to others.  This is a part of the Christians being a “living sacrifice” for Christ.
4.  He knows that his continued faithfulness on earth will reap spiritual blessings in eternity

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In spite of the seeming differences in their writings, the three texts listed above clearly show us that these men shared much in common.  They shared the same faith in the Messiah as their Savior, they both recognized the need to trust Christ and serve Him in this life and they both understood that the afterlife would include recompense for their service.

So why did they make seemingly contradictory statements?  Although had held much in common concerning their beliefs, the audience  and therefore the purpose of their writings are different and key to reconciling their two statements….

 

1.  Ecclesiastes – Solomon is addressing mankind in general.
In his writing of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is explaining the true purpose and meaning behind our physical life on earth.  He has come to learn, through a lifetime of investigation that to “fear God and keep His commandments” (see Eccl 12:13-14) is the purpose of our existence and the key to living a joyous, fruitful, satisfying life on earth.

He is trying to emphasize to us all that we should never take the importance of our physical life for granted.  It is during our physical life on earth that we possess the opportunity of salvation and service to our Lord and Savior.

Solomon’s desire is to share the importance of using our physical life to glorify God by trusting in Him and serving Him here on earth.

 

 

2.  Philippians – Paul is writing to saved church members at Philippi who are faithful in their service to Christ.
Unlike those to whom Solomon writes, the faithfulness of Paul’s readers has proven that their salvation is genuine and that they possess an understanding of the need to serve Christ while on earth.  Therefore, the issue of the importance, and purpose, of their physical life is not needed to be emphasized to them.

What did they need to hear?  They needed emphasized to them the need to be remaining faithful amidst affliction in this world and the wonderful blessings awaiting them in eternity to come.

Paul’s intent was to share with his readers that, compared to this earthly life filled with trials and heartaches, THE BEST IS YET TO COME.  They should continue on in the faith knowing that someday they would go home and be with their Lord and Savior for an eternity.

So folks, there is no contradiction in these two passages.  Both texts, while complimenting and building upon each other, hold many truths to encourage, comfort and strengthen us as we live our life on earth…

For those who know Christ as their Savior, may we never take the blessing, privilege, and opportunity of our physical life on earth for granted, while yet understanding that we have a far better life in heaven to come!

For those who have never come to know Christ as their Savior, please take advantage of the wonderful blessing of physical life that the Lord has given to you.  Turn from your sins, trust in Him as your Savior and know that your life was given to you as a gift.  This gift is to be given back to Him by living your life in service to Him.

 

For all of us…. always remember… it is far better to be a living dog than a dead lion.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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.”

What Troubles Christ?

SIH STSTA ICONChrist, who is described in the Bible as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and “over all, God blessed for ever”, is also described as being “angry”, “grieved”, “sorrowful”, “heavy” (ie burdened), “exceeding sorrowful even unto death” and is said to have “wept”, “cried with a loud voice”, “groaned”, and “grieved”.

What could possibly have caused the Lord Jesus Christ to feel such emotions and to respond to those emotions with such deep, distressed reactions?

In this study, we will be looking at several different events in the life of Christ that show Him to be troubled and in anguish. We will attempt to come to an understanding of what has brought this anguish into the life of our Lord and how He deals with the situation…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 26:36-46 – (36)  Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  (37)  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  (38)  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  (39)  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  (40)  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  (41)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  (42)  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  (43)  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  (44)  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  (45)  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  (46)  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Mat 27:45-50 – (45)  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  (46)  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  (47)  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  (48)  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  (49)  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  (50)  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Mar 3:1-6 – (1)  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.  (2)  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  (3)  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.  (4)  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  (5)  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  (6)  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Luk 19:41-44 – (41)  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,  (42)  Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  (43)  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  (44)  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luk 22:39-46  –  (39)  And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  (40)  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  (41)  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  (42)  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  (43)  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  (45)  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  (46)  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 11:1-46 – (1)  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (2)  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  (3)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  (4)  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  (5)  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  (6)  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (7)  Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.  (8)  His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? (9)  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.  (10)  But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.  (11)  These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  (12)  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  (13)  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  (14)  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  (15)  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.  (16)  Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.  (17)  Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.  (18)  Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:  (19)  And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  (20)  Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.  (21)  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (22)  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  (23)  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  (24)  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  (25)  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (26)  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  (27)  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  (28)  And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.  (29)  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.  (30)  Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.  (31)  The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.  (32)  Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (33)  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  (34)  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  (35)  Jesus wept.  (36)  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  (37)  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  (38)  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  (39)  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  (40)  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (41)  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  (42)  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.  (43)  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  (44)  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.  (45)  Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  (46)  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

 

Joh 12:27-28 – (27)  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.  (28)  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Joh 13:21-26 – (21)  When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.  (22)  Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. (23)  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. (24)  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  (25)  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (26)  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

 

THE STUDY:

Mar 3:1-6 – “And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.   And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.   And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.”

In this text, we find Christ experiencing both anger (to abhor with passion) and grief (extreme sorrow).

What caused these emotions within Christ?

This account tells us it was due to “the hardness of their hearts” which was made manifest in their great desire to find some type of fault with Christ, as He went about fulfilling the call given to Him by His Father in heaven. They wanted to mischaracterize God’s workings among sinful man.

In other words…. it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by a sin-hardened heart by mischaracterizing the works of God.

 

 

Joh 13:21-26 – “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.   Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?   Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

In the above Scripture we are told that Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (agitated, stirred, anguished).

What was taking place at the time?

Christ was preparing to declare that one of you shall betray me.”  He then would identify that individual, Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon”

In other words… it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by the desire to oppose the work of the Lord using deceit and conspiracy.

 

 

Joh 11:1-46 – Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby…  and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him…  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world…. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.   And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.   Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.”

In this set of verses we find that Jesus is described as “groaned in the spirit”, “troubled”, and “groaning in himself”, all of which was displayed for all of us as He “wept”.

What was the background to this experience in the life of Christ?  The EFFECTS OF SIN shown in the existence of universal physical death affecting all of fallen mankind.

 

 

Luk 19:41-44 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

In the text above, we find Christ as He “wept” over the city of Jerusalem.  Why was He experiencing such sorrow?  Because He understood the coming destruction of 70 AD that would take place annihilation the city, due to their rejection of the Messiah…  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Once again, we see the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by physical destruction and death that is experienced as the direct result of sin.

 

 

Mat 26:36-46 – “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.   Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”

Luk 22:39-46 – “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.   And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.   And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 12:27-28 – “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.   Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

In the above three passages, we find Christ described as being “sorrowful”, “very burdened”, “troubled” and “in agony”.   Especially, please notice He is said to be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”.  This was made clear to all when we are told that “sweat was as it were great drops of blood”.

What was the event that was causing this tremendous emotional occurrence in the life of Christ?  In all three of these accounts, Christ is thinking upon His upcoming death on the cross.

Here, as before we can see the EFFECT OF SIN on display in two different ways:

First, His upcoming sufferings were a necessity because of sin devastating effects upon His people whom He loved.  This is what motivated His Father to send Him to the earth and motivated His own willingness to die on the cross as payment for their sins.

Secondly, the very suffering and terrible death of Christ on the cross was the effect of sin, as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins. When He became sin for us, He suffered the agony of God’s wrath against sin as He hung on the cross…

Mat 27:45-50 – “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”

We see Christ suffering the most horrible of all deaths as He was separated from His Father as He bore our sins on the cross.

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Christ, willingly, suffered this most horrible effect of sin, separation from His Father on the cross.  Why did He do this?

To protect those He loved from the monstrous effects of sin that affects the lives of all fallen mankind:
1.  hardness of heart leading to  mischaracterization of God’s workings among fallen man.
2.  opposition to the work of Christ through deceit and conspiracy
3.  physical (and spiritual) death and suffering
4.  destroyed and ruined lives

In protecting them, He had to bring upon Himself horrible physical suffering, separation from the Father and terrible death upon the cross.  He did this as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins upon Himself, so that they might be reconciled to God and given eternal security in Him.

“And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  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.” – (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

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

 

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

Out Of Egypt I have Called My Son

SIH STSTA ICON(His three-fold deliverance so that we might be saved)

Hosea 11:1 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.“

This Old Testament prophecy found in Hosea is clearly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew…

Matthew 2:14-15 – “So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.”’

 

Although this prophecy is relatively unknown, compared to some of the other OT prophecies concerning Jesus’ first coming to the earth, it is still of great importance to our recognition of Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Son of God sent to the earth.

Let’s take a few short moments and study this wonderful affirmation of Jesus and His role as the Christ, Our Savior and Lord over all.

 

THE STUDY:

When we look at this prophecy in its context (Hosea 11:1-4), we can see that its main thrust involves a backslidden nation of Israel.  Note some of what we are told about the condition of Israel during the times of Haggai’s prophecy….

1) When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
1.  Israel, as a young nation was loved by the Lord
2.  Based upon the love of the Lord for Israel, He delivered them from their captivity in the land of Egypt.

 

2) [As] they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
3.  As Egypt beckoned for the Israelites to return to them, the Lord through the 10 plagues, overcame the desire of the Egyptians and brought out the nation of Israel from their midst.
4.  However, the Israelites forgetting all the Lord had done for them, turns their back on Him and begins to worship and serve the idols of man.

 

3) I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
5.  Ephraim, the favored son of Joseph, is here a picture of the entire nation of Israel as the favored nation of Jehovah.  The Lord took up Israel kindly removing them from captivity and leading them through their wilderness wanderings to the land of promise.

 

4) I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
6.  Jehovah then brought Israel to Himself, forming a strong bond of love with them
7.  He removed the yoke of oppression and slavery from off of them
8.  He supplied their every need as they traveled to the promised land.

The text following this (Hosea 11:5-7) then explains how this same liberated, loved and protected Israel turned their backs on the Lord and forgot all of his many benefits that were bestowed upon them: He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return…

So, when kept in its proper context, we can see that this Old Testament passage is a look back in time to the deliverance of Israel from bondage at the hands of the nation of Egypt and the Lord’s gracious deliverance of Israel.

Now let’s turn to the Matthew 2:13-15 passage where we find this Old Testament text applied to our Lord at His first coming….

 

lo, the messenger of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph, saying

The context of this passage centers on a message received by Joseph from an angel sent by God.

Having risen, take to thyself the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt, and be there till I speak to thee;

Joseph is now instructed to take his young son, Jesus, into the land of Egypt and then stay until they are told to depart by the angel.

 

for Herod is about to seek the young child to destroy him. 

The reason for Joseph and his family to flee into Egypt was that Herod was now looking for the young boy seeking to kill Him.  Why did Herod desire to kill Jesus?  Because Herod had been told by the wise men that the King of the Jews had been born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-3)

 

And having risen, he took to himself the young child and his mother by night, and turned back in Egypt:  And was there till the death of Herod:

Joseph, being faithful to the command of God given through His angel, fled to Egypt with his family.  He then stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod.

 

that it might be completed having been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

One of many reasons for this event to take place, was so that the Hosea 11:1 prophecy of Christ might be fulfilled exactly… “Out of Egypt have I called my son

 

At this point, many of us are wondering how can it be that a Old Testament account of an historical event (the deliverance of the physical nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage) is now applied to an event that took place 1200-1300 years later?

To understand the answer to this question we must acknowledge the most basic similarity between these two historical events…

In both cases, we have GOD’S LOVE ON DISPLAY AS HE DELIVERED HIS CHOSEN BELOVED FROM HARM…
1.  In the case of the Nation of Israel, the Beloved of Jehovah, we find the Lord’s gracious deliverance being shown to them their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.
2.  In the case of our Lord Jesus, the Beloved Son of God, we find His Father delivering Him from the sinful desires of Herod’s heart.

But our lesson does not stop there because, in both deliverances, He was working to bring deliverance to those who are saved, from the bondage of sin and a wicked world.

Stop and think about it….
1.  If God had not delivered the nation of Israel from the Egyptian bondage, you would not have the establishment of the physical nation from whom would come the Messiah, Jesus, the promised “the Lamb Of God who taketh away the sin of the world.”
2.  Likewise, if you did not have the Lord Jesus delivered from the clutches of Herod, once again, you would not have Him completing His earthly ministry which was to “save His people from their sins”.

In other words, it is through the loving deliverance of Israel and the deliverance of the Lord Jesus Christ that we find the deliverance of the saved from their sins.

Or to put it another way,…
1.  It was through the deliverance of God’s PHYSICAL NATION OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPT that we find the deliverance of His SPIRITUAL NATION FROM A FALLEN SIN-SICK WORLD.
2.  It was through the deliverance of His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON FROM HEROD’S GRASP that we find the deliverance of His ADOPTED SONS AND DAUGHTERS FROM SIN’S GRASP.

What a wonderful truth to keep in mind this holiday season.  As the Lord delivered the physical Israelites and His Son, Jesus… He had His people in his mind.  He not only brought deliverance to them for their sake, but He also worked their deliverance for His people as well!   He did all of this so that we might have a Redeemer who would deliver His people from their sins…

20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:20-25)

 

26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27) For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28) As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29) For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
30) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
(Romans 11:26-32)

 

Over the holidays, let us praise and honor Him for all He has done for us in working to raise up a Deliverer on the behalf of His people. 

One of the greatest ways to bring glory to Him is by telling others about all that He has done for us.  We can do this by sharing with them the gospel message of His death, burial and resurrection which brings salvation to those who will come to Him in faith.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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.”

Phil Robertson, Sin and The Christmas Season

SIH STSTA ICON(Before we begin our study, let me quickly explain that, although I agree with the main thrust of Phil Robertson’s message, I am sorrowful that he presented his message using some crude language that was unnecessary to say the least and harmful to the cause of Christ.

Without knowing the man and his personal life, it is impossible for me to make a judgment about the intent and motivation behind the inappropriate phrases. Based upon his personal testimony, I am trusting that they are the result of his upbringing and environment and not an indication of any malice in his heart towards those of whom he spoke.

Who among us can say that we have never said things that have harmed the cause of Christ and brought sorrow to our hearts?  However I do want to take a look at the Biblical principles he was presenting in the interview and the importance of recognizing their application to our nation and world today.)

 (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted; He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

The past few days has given us living proof of the truthfulness of this wonderful text of Scripture.  How true it is that our Sovereign Lord is in control of the events that take place among men and that He brings these events to pass in His perfect timing, while accomplishing the goals for which they were determined.

The Bible also speaks of this principle in…

(Daniel 2:20-23)Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:  He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.  I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast [now] made known unto us the king’s matter.

Here, we see that our Lord uses the timing of the events of mankind to teach us many of the deep, secret things about Himself and our condition before Him.  In other words, He shows us, through His control of the events of mankind, many truths that are very difficult for us to understand and accept as truth.

This principle has come to light this past week as our nation, in the midst of the Christmas season, has witnessed the events surrounding Phil Robertson, A & E network and the world’s response to both of them.  I would like us to take a few moments and try to take a Scriptural look at what we can learn from this week’s series of events, and come to understand that these events were perfectly timed by the Lord.

 

THE STUDY:

First, the Lord has clearly presented to us the truth of the existence and results of sin in our world.  

The most controversial of Robertson’s statements involved various types of sin that exist in our world today.  The teachings of the Bible confirm the existence of sin, and give us a list of the individual sins that were mentioned by Robertson….

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Secondly, we have clearly displayed the lost world’s blindness to their own sin and the truths of the Word.

As Robertson gave his listing of sins, the appropriate response was for the world to acknowledge that sin exists and be motivated from a Godly sorrow to confess and repent of their sins.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Instead, we find them denying the existence of some of those sins, justifying their commission and, in doing so, rising up in opposition to these truths of the Word.

(Isaiah 5:20-24)Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

(2 Timothy 3:13-15)But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(Just a side note: this very principle should bring out a spirit of gratitude and praise from the heart of all who have been brought to a Scriptural repentance and trust in Christ.  We were all in this condition of spiritual blindness and apart from the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives, we would also be in denial of these truths of God.)

 

Thirdly, we have presented to us the solution to sin and its effects in the world.

Here is where we begin to see the wonderful timing of our Lord.   Although Phil Robertson presented the need for repentance and faith in Christ, it was not included in most of the news accounts of the interview with him.  But the Lord has a way of overcoming any obstacle that opposes His will.

What better time for our nation to be presented with its sinfulness and need of repentance than the Christmas season when all mankind have their thoughts pointed towards the coming of Christ to the earth to save lost mankind from the very sins of which Robertson had spoken.

In direct response to the sin of this world we read that ….

(Matthew 1:20-25)But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

(1 John 4:14)And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 

(John 3:16-17)For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is only during the Christmas season that the lost world has their minds pointed to the truth that God sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins.  Just as the new reports of Robertson’s interview reveal to the world their sinful condition, so too, the Christmas season is placing on display the One who was given by God to save the world from their sins.

How is this salvation received?  It is by placing faith in the person and work of the One who was born in Bethlehem.  It is by placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus is the One who came to this world and died on the cross bearing the sins of His people.  His body was buried for three days and three nights in the tomb and then He rose again the third day, proving to us all that His payment for sin on the cross was accepted by His Father in heaven…

(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

As a matter of fact, Christ came and died on the cross to save people from the exact same sins that Robertson was talking about.  Notice in the 1 Corinthians 6: passage that gave us a list of the sins Robertson mentioned, we find the concluding verse that says ..  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Christ came to save those who have committed homosexual acts, adulterous acts, and other immoral, perverse acts…. There is no sin so great for which the grace of God cannot grant forgiveness and cleansing.

But if we read this verse closely we find that those of us who have been saved were guilty of these same offenses as well…  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Therefore there is no room for feeling of superiority on our part, nor is there room for boasting.  Folks, we were in the very same “boat” as the unsaved that are around us.  Apart from God’s grace, we would still be facing an eternity of separation from Him in the Lake of Fire having committed the same sins as they.

That is why we are to use this holiday season (and every season of the year) to humbly share Christ and the forgiveness He offers to the sinful world around us.   Let us put down the carnal aspects of the Christmas season and use it as the perfect opportunity to share Christ with those who are in desperate need of Him.

The Lord has graciously given to each one of us the perfect opportunity to address the sinful state of the world and their need of Christ through the use of the news stories about Robertson’s interview and the Christmas season that is upon us.

May we all use these events to bring honor and glory to His name.

For more information about the Bible’s teachings on homosexual relationships:  http://wp.me/pU88A-nE

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