Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We Are All Slaves!



When you read this title, it might offend some. Yet for others, it might cause them to stop and think about how this statement might apply to them. Others will simply shake their heads yes, and agree to it fully. How do you respond to this simple statement, that we are all slaves?

We are all slaves to something. It might be our jobs, our marriages, being a parent, or financial portfolios, our social status, or simply where we fall in line with our beliefs to Jesus Christ. The simple fact is that this is true, even though what we are slaves to might change. Let's define first of all what the world slave here applies to in the Greek which is the word "doulos" and it means a voluntary slave-ship, a willful subjection or subservience to the will of another, to hand back one's rights to be free. It doesn't make sense at all, unless you have an amazing Master.

As we have been studying in Revelation 19, we know that Jesus Christ is coming again. The question you need to ask yourself if what are you doing with your resources? There is a balance in life of what we're to do and what we get to do.

What we're to do is....for God's glory.
What we get to do is...for God's glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ~ "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

When you ask yourself this simple question, does this, will this...bring glory and honor to God? (things now and things in the future) it helps keep us as believers in Christ, in the proper perspective of everything we think, say or do. We are God's slaves!

Romans 1:1 ~ "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God."

We need to understand a few things as servants of Christ:

Whatever I have...it's God's.
Whatever You have...it's God's.
Whatever we have...it's God's.

1 Corinthians 6:20 ~ "for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

1 Corinthians 7:23 ~ "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men."

2 Peter 3:11 ~ " Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,"

It's obvious because of what I am doing with my vitality.

Revelation 19:17-18 ~ "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great."

The supper of the great God, notice with me the difference between verse 9 and this verse above verse 17.

Revelation 19:9 ~ "And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true words of God."

The great supper of God's is the final judgment of God through (by) Jesus Christ. The real life application is this...The clock is ticking...is what I am doing making a difference in my life and the lives of others in the eternal realm?

Matthew 6:19-21 ~ "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures is, there your heart will be also."

That is why going to heaven is going home for the Christian!

Philippians 3:20-21 ~ "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself."

Hebrews 11:10 ~ "For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God."

Make your plans, decisions, futures based upon the reality of heaven. Live now for heaven!

Jesus Christ is coming again! It might sound outrageous!

Revelation 19:19 ~ "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.

Are you willing to follow Jesus Christ?

Some might say this is a stupid, beyond stupid decision, which equals deception destination. This deceived world crucified Jesus Christ didn't it?

This battle zone that will stretch from North Israel through Jerusalem and south easterly towards Jordan, the troops will amass in a unified rebellion, the forces of the anti-christ will make their last stand.

What is true is outrageous is man's rebel heart against God at this point in the Tribulation!

2 Peter 3:11 ~ "2 Peter 3:11 ~ " Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,"

More on our study tomorrow.... until then, consider what you are a slave to today?


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Rapture or the Second Coming? Are They the Same or Different?



It's been a debate among believers and non-believers alike...is there a Rapture in the Bible or is the Second Coming the same thing? Are these two very different events or simply the same event with different names?

As we open our Bible study once again into the Book of Revelation in Chapter 19, are we in the Old Testament or the New Testament? The Old Testament contains what the New Testament reveals. In order to understand the Book of Revelation, you have to understand the Old Testament first.

Jesus is coming again with the church to earth, concerning the rapture and the Second Coming. We do not know the day or the hour, even when so many people want to know, when will these events take place. These are two absolute different events. One has 100s of prophecies that must be fulfilled before it happens and that is the Second Coming.

Concerning the Rapture, there are no prophetic precursors or requirements before the event happens. One is imminent and one is first given with much notification. One is for a Gentile nation or church called the Bride of Christ with an appearance of Christ in the air. The other is Jesus Christ, physically coming to the earth for the nation of Israel. One is an atmospheric appearance, the Rapture; the other is a physical touching and physical presence of Jesus on earth. One takes the church to heaven, the other brings the church from heaven down to earth. One is a period of time, where the church will be in heaven for 7 years, the other causes Christ to dwell on the earth for 1000 years or in the Greek, Millennium. Both are important but separate events.

One is noted in the Bible as the great and terrible day of the LORD, this is the Second Coming, and this is for judgment. The Rapture according to Titus 2:13, is called our blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. One is exciting and takes us to a marriage; the other is dreadful for those upon the earth, and it brings us to the horrific event we are studying today.

We will take the context of what we have been studying which is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ returning to earth and this is the revealing of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:17-21 ~ "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."

This is a worldwide, global call to the birds in the atmosphere. This will happen one day because its in the Bible. As a believer we will escape these things - if you're not, how can you escape these things?

Luke 21:36 ~ "But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man."

How can you be found worthy To believe and trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus will one day for the come for all the church age believers.

It is obvious that Jesus Christ is coming again. Even non-believers say and mock the return of Jesus Christ, do they not? They don't necessarily deny Him or His coming. They make fun of th fact, He hasn't come yet! It's because of His mercy, He hasn't come back yet!

These "birds" are not the seed eating kind like sparrows, but in the Greek the word used here refers to griffons or vultures or any other kind of bird that eats flesh. This will take place in the latter years of the Tribulation when the forces of European nations get together with the armies of the East in the valley of Megiddo, where more wars have been waged than any other place in the world. Today, this place is marked as an intersection with a stop light. It is the gateway to Europe, the gateway to Asia, the gateway north from Damascus to into Russia, and it is the gateway south into Egypt. It is the most important intersection in the world. More battles have happened there than any other place on earth.

Keep your eyes on the valley of Megiddo. It will all happen there, in the war of Armageddon, the final battle place. Notice in this chapter of Revelation, there are two suppers taking place. One is a marriage, a celebration, it tastes well because Jesus Christ is serving it. It is a blessing to the church above the earth. The second is judgment or the wrath of God and humans will be the course, God will be serving it up as judgment on a Christ rejecting earth below.

2 Peter 3:11 ~ "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness."

What are you doing with your time?

The science of physics now tells us that "time" is a physical property of this physical universe. If its a physical, then there is a limit to it. If we honestly stop and look around, we will agree that time is running out, that there is a sense that we are racing towards a climax. Time is a precious commodity we all wish we had more of. The Second Law of Thermal Dynamics conveys that time is running out, it's all headed towards a predetermined time when it will all end.

We all believe we waste time more than anything else we possess. We need to be sure we are investing in the things of God.

John 9:4 ~ "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work." 

In light of the obvious, what are we doing with the time we have in our lives, what are we doing with our time?

Romans 13:11-14 ~ Besides this you know the time, that the house has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not is sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires."

Use your time wisely! We all need to be spiritually alert at all times.

Ephesians 5:14-16 ~ "for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Why Do People Worship Jesus At The Risk of Death?



Why do people around the world worship Jesus Christ around the world at the risk of their own death? Why is it that people use Jesus' name when they swear? It is because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and when you say His name, there is power in the name of Jesus. One day in the future, He will return and when He does, He won't be coming as the meek and mild Jesus, but to execute His righteousness in the last and final advent of war. You need to decide today, which side will you be on. There is only one winner and that has already been decided.

When Jesus returns He will avenge with perfect vengeance.

Revelation 19:12 ~ "His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself."

Isaiah 26:19-21 ~ "Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain."

Jesus puts the church in a safe place while He deals with the sins of those on earth who have rejected Him.

Revelation 1:7 ~ "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen."

This is a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 63:1-4 ~ "(Question) Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? (Answer) It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save. (Question) Why is your apparel red, and you garments like his who treads in the winepress? (Answer) I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come."

This is a prophetic verse asking the question about why Jesus's garment is stained with blood. Where did it come from? This ties into Revelation 19. Edom is in Jordan and even in the news today, we hear a lot in reference to Bozrah in the Middle East.

We see that Jesus will avenge with perfect righteousness.

Revelation 19:13 ~ "He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is "The Word of God."

This is the spoken Word of God. The power of the revealed or spoken word holds an all important place in the lives of those in Jesus day. The culture in the Middle East, is that if you break your word to someone, it may cost you your life. They grant you an instant trust when you tell someone something, if you speak it, they will hold you to it. If you break your word, you'll never get another chance to make it right. In the world of business, this can be detrimental. There is only one word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 ~ "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Isaiah 55:11 ~ "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

It's not "what is the word?" but rather "Who is this word?"

John 1:1, 14 ~ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

1 Timothy 3:16 ~ "Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

1 John 1:1 ~ That which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life."

Revelation 1:8-18 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is come, the Almighty." I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea." Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs on his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice as like the roar of many aters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the First and the Last and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades."   

The armies of Jesus Christ who have believed in Him.

Revelation 19:14 ~ "And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine line, white and pure, were following him on white horses."

The context is the Second Coming of Christ. It will be the end of human governments, it is the end of the tyrannical reign of the man, the antichrist; it is the end of the 7-year Tribulation Period; and it puts an end to Armageddon.

The awesomeness and avenging of the Second Coming of Christ and the armies of heaven. Just who are these armies, plural?

There is the angelic hosts, which are angels.

Matthew 25:31 ~ "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne."

When Jesus interacts with the earth, there has always been a contingent of angels. The angels will accompany Jesus Christ both at the rapture of the church and at His Second Coming.

At the rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ~ "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the cloud to meet the Lord in the air, and wo we will always be withe the Lord."

At the Second Coming:

Matthew 24:30-31 ~ " Then will appear in heaven the sign of the on of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heave with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the earth to the other."

Those Tribulation Saints that were martyred at the command of the antichrist and there is of course, the church, the Bride of Christ. The armies of Jesus Christ are those who have been forgiven.

Revelation 19:14 ~ " And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine line, white and pure, were following him on white horses."

Their garments of fine linen is a declaration of forgiveness. They are those who have united with Christ. "were following him on white horses," this sound like something from the Lord of the Rings!

Speaks of the authority of Jesus Christ during the Millennium.

Revelation 19:15-16 ~ "From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."

Zechariah 14:9 ~ "And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day, the LORD will be one and his name one."

The authority to rule the nations.

Revelation 19:15 ~ "From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of fury of the wrath of God the Almighty."

This verse is a combination of 2 Old Testament Scriptures:

Isaiah 11:4 ~ "but with the righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked."

Psalm 2:10-12 ~ "Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled."

This tells you that God has a Son, and you'd better pay attention. The Dome of the Rock in Israel states in Arabic around the dome, "God does not have a son." This is why the same God that they believe in, is not the same God we do.

Matthew 5:5 ~ "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Who would want to inherit the earth the way it is now? You will after Jesus takes control. It is a reference to when He returns and He will clean it up and restore it to its former glory.

In reference to taking the nations...

Isaiah 9:6-7 ~ "  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."

Psalm 125:1-3 ~ "Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surround his people from this time forth and forevermore. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong."

Micah 4:6-7 ~ "In that day declares the LORD, "I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whim I have afflicted; and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth forevermore."

Zechariah 14:1-3 ~ "Behold a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on the day of battle." 

Revelation 6:16 ~ "calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."

This is an important point in Revelation. Here the Lamb is mentioned, not in a salvation sense or in a marriage sense, but in a judgment sense, an angry and wrathful sense. When will the Lamb reveal Himself to the world in total and righteous anger? In the Second Coming of Christ, not in the rapture! When Jesus is revealed as the Lamb, His Bride, the church, is in the context of Scripture.

We see the authority of Jesus Christ to rule the rulers.

Revelation 19:16 ~ " On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."

At Jesus' first coming, He was rejected as King and was mocked. Rather than a crown of gold, He was given a crown of thorns. He is the King of all kings and He will execute His righteousness in the last and final advent of war upon the earth of a Christ-rejecting world.

We see His authority to rule the people and nations.

Revelation 19:16 ~ "On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."

The Hebrew prophet of old, Daniel said...

Daniel 7:9-14 ~ " As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and then thousand times ten thousands stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed."

The Hebrew prophet of old and new, He who is more than a prophet, Jesus said...

Matthew 24:29-30 ~ "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the cloud of heaven with power and great glory."

Matthew 18:11 ~ "For the Son of Man came to save the lost."

Matthew 24:44 ~ "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

Everything is exactly is as He has planned. The question is, Is He the King of your life and is He the Lord of your life? If you are not sure if you died today, that you would go to heaven, ask Jesus into your life today! Jesus came the first time as a Savior and a sacrifice and His second Coming will be as King and Lord of all.








Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jesus Is About To Bring It!



It's about time to get down to brass tacks! Now is the time to see Jesus Christ as a warrior when we open up Revelation 19, and see Jesus about to execute the wrath of Almighty God. A day is coming when God will judge the earth and it is Jesus who will be bringing it!!

Don't confuse war with righteous vengeance on a Christ rejecting evil world. God is holy and just. The game is just about over, and time is running out.

2 Peter 3:3-4 ~ "Knowing first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation."

You might be tempted to write off the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as a fairy tale and there are those even on Christian radio that have given up on hope for the rapture, but trust me, it is coming and every day puts us one day closer to that actually happening.

The awesomeness of Jesus Christ is His position.

Revelation 19:11b ~ "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war."

In John's day, Rome ruled the world and victorious Roman generals were always careful to ride upon white horses. It was the white horse that stood out, it spoke of authority and it was the white horse that the conqueror rode upon. Research the significance of a white horse! It means I'm not afraid of you! Come and get me!

His first coming he dealt with the sins of the world. In His second coming, He will deal with man's government and to set up His throne forever!

Revelation 3:14 ~ "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation."

Joel 2:31 ~"The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes."

Acts 2:20 ~ "The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificient day."

Jesus Christ is awesome in His power.

Revelation 19:11b ~ and in righteousness he judges and makes war."

It is interesting to see the words righteousness and war together. Kind of odd. This word for 'war' is literal war, physical warfare, military engagement. Jesus Christ physically and literally will involve Himself in the conclusion of the Batlle of Armageddon. When Jesus Christ returns in His second coming, He returns in awesome power. There will be no war in heaven, nor will there be war when Jesus reigns. There are wars happening literally every day that the news fails to report, tribal wars, cultural wars and even wars on a much larger scale we don't hear about or even know about.

The avenging Jesus Christ is with perfect knowledge.

Revelation 19:12 ~  "His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself."

This is not the vision of the meek and mild Jesus who came the first time. His eyes, refer to His all seeing eyes. He knows everything about us, even the things we think. Nothing is hidden from Him. That is a reference to His perfect knowledge.

Revelation 1:14 ~ "The hairs of his head were white, liek white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,"

His head, upon His head is a reference to His kingdoms! "On His head were many diadems" this is the all knowing God of the nations.

His name is His royal name. He had a name writte that no one knew except Himself. The name or names of God. There are over 700 references to the names of Jesus.

Isaian 9:6 ~ "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

This was written 743 before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Judges 13:17-18 ~ "And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?" And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?"

This is Samson's father asking what is called the angel of the LORD, which is a Christophany, or a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. The name wonderful in the Hebrew simply means too big to fit inside your head. It goes beyond human comprehension.

Genesis 32:24-30 ~ " And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Whi is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."

When anyone in that culture asked for your name, it mean to be conquered. The name of the loser was declared by the victor. In this case, "I beat Jacob."

Whatever this name is, it will be Jesus' exclusive name.

Proverbs 30:4 ~ "Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is his son's name? Surely you know!"

Acts 4:12 ~ "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Philippians 2:7-11 ~ "but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father."


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This Is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, Not the Rapture of the Church!



Our God, the One we, as believers in Christ know, is NOT tolerant, as the world would try and have you believe He is. It is false doctrine for believers to tolerate everything. Jesus didn't tolerate everything. Do you know the real definition of the word tolerant or tolerance? Or are you buying into the new re-defined meaning of tolerance?  It has nothing to do with the definition given by Noah Webster in 1828's dictionary of the American Language of Colonial America.

Tolerance is to put up with the differences of others respectfully.

It doesn't mean to change their minds. It doesn't mean to make them thing what you think. It doesn't mean you beat them into submission, mock them, ridicule them or label them until they surrender, give up or think like you think. That is not the meaning of tolerance, but it is what it means today. You either think like me or you're intolerant.

Tolerance is respecting someone who has a different viewpoint than you do.

Jesus doesn't tolerate sinful behavior. We should thank God for that! It is the very reason, He went to the cross. To destroy sin. Our God is NOT tolerant, as the world would lead you to believe.

Revelation 19:11-21 ~ "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine white line, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. 

"Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."

What a gruesome scene! But it is very exciting for the believer of Christ. For the believer, we have nothing to fear, it doesn't pertain to us. Our role in this is most exciting. If you fear reading this, you might be on the wrong side. We will be returning with Christ on white horses. It might sound like a fairy tale, but its 100% true prophetically and will be fulfilled literally as the Bible describes.

The best selling book of all time is the Bible. It's not even recognized by the New York Times Best Seller list because it has outsold every book that has ever been published and still continues to do so. What we are studying and reading about today is the Second Coming of Christ, not the rapture of the church! These are the events of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is taught in 17 of the Old Testament books alone. Jesus Christ, Himself, spoke about more than 200 times either alluding to it or mentioning it specifically. It is found 1845 times in the Bible, 318 times in the New Testament alone. It appears in 7 out 10 chapters in the New Testament. It is a futuristic event that has not happened yet and is at least 7 years from today. You can be assured of that.

If the rapture of the church happened today, then 7 years from today, you would have the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It could, should the rapture of the church happened today. They are two very different events. Coming up in our study we will outline the differences between the rapture of the church which is a Gentile event, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which is a Jewish event. Those who struggle with the differences should have a lot of those questions answered.

Acts 1:9-11 ~ "And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Jesus will come again! Detailed events and explanations are given by Jesus in all 4 gospels! In the Old and New Testament alike, the event is truly awesome.

Zechariah 14:1, 4 ~ "Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Lives shall be split in two from the east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward."

Jesus doesn't appear in the atmosphere calling his people up. From the Temple Mount you can see the Mount of Olives with the Kidron Valley in between, and that is the direction that Jesus will come from when He returns. He must first place His feet on the Mount before coming to the Temple. When that happens, the earth will split into two in a great earthquake and the waters will come from the Mediterranean Sea, 1282 feet like a river to the Dead Sea, and it will be revived by the life giving waters of the Mediterranean, so much in Ezekiel, the same fish will be found in both. That is not true today. In the Book of Isaiah, the deserts will bloom when Christ returns.

Joel 3:14-16 ~ "Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel."

Zechariah 12:8-10 ~ "On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy so that when they look on me, on him who they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn." 

Don't mess with Jerusalem. This was written 1000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:27-30 ~ "For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the signs of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

All these refer to the Second Coming of Jesus not the rapture of the church! The awesomeness of Jesus Christ in His place.

Revelation 19:11 ~ "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war."

The last time John has said that was when he was let into heaven in the vision.

Revelation 4:1 ~ "After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."

From that point on, the church was never seen again on earth! In Revelation 4, you have the church going up. In Revelation 19, you have the church going down. How did it get there?

In between Revelation 4 and 19, is the 7-year Tribulation Period. Heaven opens, the church is raptured upward. Heaven opens again, the church returns downward. John, who is in the church, is a type of the church! The Second Coming is when Christ returns "with" the church. The Rapture is when Christ comes "for" the church.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Will You Say I Do?



We have been studying about the marriage supper of the Lamb and what the significance is as being the Bride, the church is! What a wonderful idea when you really consider it. A wedding to the most amazing man that will never let you down, will always be there for you and will never ever leave you. He sees the absolute best in you and wants you to have an eternal future with Him in heaven! Who wouldn't want all this?

The Lord has given us boasting rights! The Book of Romans is justification before God, faith that saves.

Romans 15:17 ~ "In Christ Jesus then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God."

The Book of James is justification before man, faith that works.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 ~ "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."

We need to let others judge our lives as Christians based on what they see us doing and saying, to see if that is true in our lives. Jesus says we will be known by our fruits. Are you ready to have your fruit inspected? We shouldn't have to tell others that we're a Christian, they should be able to tell things are different, just by how we act and what we say.

We should be able to share that confidence in our life by what God has called believers to do; build that hospital, school or university; help feed the poor and needy; help on the mission trips. We shouldn't be boasting about ourselves, but about what God is doing. Those are the righteous acts, the ones that point the way to Jesus and glorify Him.

2 Corinthians 5:8-10 ~ "Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."

Isaiah 61:10 ~ "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

If God is for us, who can be against us? Who cares?

Don't you want to know the true meaning of life? It is the one question we all ask ourselves at some point in our life. Jesus has invited us to know happiness.

Revelation 19:9a ~ "And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!"

To be blessed is true happiness found in Jesus Christ. The invitation to know Christ is global! The Lord is calling out.

Matthew 11:28-30 ~ "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

What will your response be?

Jesus has invited us to celebrate!

Revelation 19:9a ~ " Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!"

Those who are called at not the Bride, the church, no those called are friends of the bridegroom. No one will be unhappy in heaven. When you die as a believer there will be no resting in peace, the celebration the moment you breathe your final breath on earth and take your first breath in heaven, is when the celebration will break forth and you will be alive as you have never been before! Our funerals are almost morbid and somber, while funerals in the deep south for a black brother or sister, is done right! They are breaking into song, worshiping and praising God that their brother or sister is with the Lord!!!

John 3:29 ~ "The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete."

Blessed are those who are called (invited) to the marriage supper of the Lamb! These are the believing Tribulation saints who died for their faith in Christ, and the Old Testament saints that died believing in the coming Messiah, and the believing Israel will be there too. A bride is never invited to her own wedding. She is the wedding. Jesus isn't invited to this wedding, because it takes a bridegroom, (Jesus) and a bride (The church) to make a wedding. Everyone else is simply guests of the wedding for all eternity.

Matthew 22:1-14 ~ "And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, "Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast. But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ' Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be a weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."

Jesus has invited us to relax.

Revelation 19:9b ~ "And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." 

1 John 1:1-4 ~ "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete."

John 1:1-3, 14 ~ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." 

Psalm 107:20 ~ "He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction."

Aren't these the very promises you would want from your husband or wife fulfilled with absolute certainty?

Don't you want unconditional acceptance?

Revelation 19:10 ~ "Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

John saw his new home!! He was so excited, he fell down in worship. The brethren have this testimony, that Jesus Christ is our future! What can you say about heaven?

John had something to say. The witness of Jesus, specifically the Tribulation believers but limited to them, what is your testimony today?

Heaven is where we will talk about Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit, about what He id and what is happening around us forever. John knew what his future held. To see this entire marriage paraphrased, read Genesis 24. It parallels the story of Abraham, which is the epitome of God, the Father, who is searching for a bride (the Church) for his son, Isaac (Jesus). He find Rebekah for his son and along the way His servant, Eliezer, (Holy Spirit)  gives Rebekah gifts telling her all about Isaac and her future. She is so excited about Isaac that she falls in love with His nature and character without ever having to see him. She can't wait to marry him.

This is what Jesus is doing right now, sitting on a throne at the right hand of the Father, relaxing until the day of His wedding.

Do you take this Lamb, to be your personal sacrifice, to have and to hold, in honor and peace, to accept Him and His love for you? Do you promise to trust Him, to believe in Him, and to be forgiven of all your sins on account of Him?

Will you say I do?





Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What Type of Gown Will You Be Wearing in Heaven?



As anyone already knows, for a bride, it is all about the dress. Once that decision is made, the rest of the planning goes relatively smoothly. For a bride it is all about looking her very best the day she walks down the aisle to her future husband and her future life in marriage. As we have been studying in the book of Revelation, we are witnessing our future as believers in Christ. We are looking into heaven at this point to a wedding. Our wedding! Aren't you excited?

In order to understand the context of this marriage and the preparation that goes into it, we have to look into the culture of the Middle East. It was all about the preparation from the time a son or daughter is born. Parents knew everything about other parents, their reputation, lineage, how they conducted themselves. They would work out arrangements when the children were little and they would each do their part to ensure that these relationships were groomed from the first time they entered into that agreement. The parents would do all they could to establish, watch over and protect, until the time arrived to present them to one another.

The Bride, we are talking about in Revelation 19, is the church. She has been purchased, she's been saved. We see that the Bride or church is wearing fine linen, and not a robe. Old Testament Saints and Tribulation Saints all wear robes, but the church wears a gown of fine linen. How does she get it, what is the meaning of the gown. She gets herself ready, it means, how does the church make itself attractive for Christ?

How does she get herself ready? Holy living. Having a single focus for Jesus. We give money to what honors Christ. We give our time and energy, everything we do, we present it to God as an act of worship. That should be our attitude before we step inside the church, preparing ourselves for worship at the feet of Almighty God. Those are the righteous acts. It's dedicating anything we do as unto the Lord. A great question to ask yourself is would Jesus enjoy doing what you are doing and going where you go?

Worship, remember has nothing to do with us, or the church. It is not about you, it's all about Jesus. It's living for Him. We are going to heaven, as a believer in Christ, earth is NOT our home.

Nehemiah 8:10 ~ " Then he said to them, Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

1 Peter 1:8 ~ "Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,"

If we focus on Jesus, it is easy to express our joy for Him. God desires for us to be attentive.

Revelation 19:7b ~ "for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready."

Who is getting married? The Lamb. There are over 700 names that refer to Jesus. When He is getting ready to put His name on the wedding invitation, what name does He use? The Lamb! He could use any name but you want to know why? It is because He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Even in the Middle Eastern cultures, they understand the significance of a lamb, it is the Lamb of sacrifice, that is who we want to get married to!

2 Corinthians 11:2 ~ "Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you."

Once a bride belongs to that man, she begins to make herself ready. How does she make herself ready? By being attentive!!! Let us remember earlier in our study, we are looking at the Middle Eastern marriage culture. We have it all wrong her in the West. It is too rushed and often times the bride has slept with previous men and so has the bridegroom before arriving where they are at today.

Matthew 25:1-13 ~ "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, "Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the wise answered, saying, "Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves." And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready, went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, "Lord, lord, open to us." But he answered, "Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

This is how Christ will come for the church, when they are ready and waiting while the world is busy with the things of this world, thinking they still have plenty of time. In the Middle Eastern cultures, the parents of both the potential bride and groom spent time watching over and protecting them, until they were ready to be engaged. The parents arranged for all the preparations while they were growing up. This is the reason for the Holy Spirit in our own lives. The son in the marriage would begin making preparations for their future home, just like Jesus has been doing for us.

The church, the true Christian, is making herself ready. She is waiting for Jesus to come back at any time, and she is anticipating that happening at any moment.

Titus 2:13 ~ "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."

Do you want to know complete forgiveness?

Revelation 19:8 ~ "it was granted to her to cloth herself with fine linen, bright and pure - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."

The Lord has given us all that is needed to get into heaven. Wouldn't you want to know that every single one of your sins is forgiven? You can! Notice is stated it was granted to her to cloth herself in fine linen. It means it was granted, bestowed up, graced. She is graced with a gown. In the western world, weddings are very different. The bride spends months or more preparing and buying, organizing and buying, inviting and buying. This gown is given to her, because she already belongs to Him by engagement.

Jesus has given us everything we need to get into heaven. It is fine linen! Remember the Old Testament saints and Tribulation Saints will be wearing robes. The church or the Bride of Christ is the only one in the Bible who wears fine linen. It is a special garment. In the Middle Eastern culture if you wanted to break off your engagement, you had to write a letter of divorcement, even before the wedding actually took place. Remember Joseph's intentions to divorce Mary when he learned she was with child. They weren't even marriage yet. That is how binding this agreement is.

The church was born corporately on the day of Pentecost. What was the day you gave your heart to Christ? That is the day the Holy Spirit entered you and has sealed you until the day of redemption. That was the day you got your engagement ring of promise that was placed on your finger that day.

Jesus is saying in a sense that day, I promise you, I'm going to prepare a place for you, and until that day when I come for you, I will never leave you or forsake you. Isn't that what every husband and wife wants to hear in their own marriages? The great thing is that even if we have been unfaithful to Him, he is never unfaithful to us. He remains that way to us, no matter how far we walk away from Him. We wander away all the time, yet God is greater than our heart. God is not an Indian giver, he never takes His promises back.

The Lord has given us opportunity.

Revelation 19:8 ~ "it was granted to her to cloth herself with fine linen, bright and pure - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."

Notice that the linen is fine, clean and bright.

Ephesians 5:25-27 ~ "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."

This solidifies the way husbands are to see and view their wives, and sets the perfect example of how they should be within the context of a godly marriage. Because this is true, we are making ourselves a gown that is beautiful, made out of right-doing which will honor Jesus Christ on that day.

More tomorrow...