Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Politics Don't Mix with Religion!

One of my favorite Pixar movies to date, is A Bug's Life. Not just for the animation but for a powerful scene in the movie when the grasshopper's who are just a handful, run the ants into submission but always providing enough food for them so they don't have to work and can enjoy their time off. They know that if they can keep a tight rein on things and ensure that no one stands up to them, they can continue they way things have been without any issue. Yet when one single ant stands up for the entire colony, the grasshoppers have to take action otherwise their comfy life is about to change forever.

That is just what is happening in our cultural as Christians little by little and why is that? Because we have become like ants and allowed it to happen. I have seen well-meaning Christians turn into what I will candidly call, "Wishy Washy Christians." They do this, because they don't want to be seen as someone making waves, rocking the boat or taking their religion into the workplace, or in government or schools.

As a Christian, the one place we can let out light shine is coming up in November, when it comes to this year's election. I believe the powers that are running things want us to continue to be like ants and not stand up to the grasshoppers in leadership. We choose to sit this one out, like we did last year because we don't like either of the candidates running for office. Here's something to consider, whether you vote or not, one of them will become president! You need to get off your apathetic stance and vote biblically for a candidate. To not vote is to vote for one of them. A politician who supports killing unborn babies is not something you can sit out. A politician who is willing to forgo the national security of this nation is not something you can afford to sit out! To let our returning service men and women to be treated less than homeless people is not something you can afford to sit out! Vote as biblically as you can for those who are running and stop trying to justify sitting out this vote. That IS just what the grasshoppers are hoping.

We live in a world today where things that are happening around us make us wonder, why should the Christian even care? Politics when it comes to the Christian is what is debated everywhere, from family gatherings, workplace lunchrooms, and in every form of social media. There are those who would say we shouldn't mix religion with politics, then what should you mix politics with? What does religion mix with? Are you saying that nothing should be mixed with our Christian faith? I would argue that everything should be mixed with our Christian faith! God invented government. How we live really matters, more so today, than ever before.

Acts 17:28 ~ "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, "For we are also His offspring."

Paul the apostles argument was simply thins, that there is no place on earth, in life, where the Christian is not to be a Christian. That there's no sphere of influence that the Christian is not to be engaged. Wherever we go, God is... There is no place where we are exempt from being Christians!!! We are Christians 24/7/365. We don't leave our faith at the door when we enter our homes, our jobs or political debates. The Bible should be the example for us on how we should live our lives.

Proverbs 29:2 ~ "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan."

Jesus Christ gave the Christian a cultural mandate and that is first and foremost to share the gospel!

Matthew 5:13-16 ~ "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who see in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works an glorify your Father in heaven."

We are to be public Christians, not private believers. Where is Jesus to be Lord in your life? YOU are the light of the "WORLD." It means you are to let the WORLD see your light! We don't leave Jesus out of our lives. Are you living out your Christian faith every single day?

Why should the Christian care? Because we have a responsibility to God? We've all heard the saying, "Don't be so heavenly-minded that you are no earthly good." But I think that the modern day, 21st Century church is so earthly minded that it is rarely heavenly good. It's all about how big it can get, how much money is can bring it...what kind of Christian is that? It looks good but it doesn't do anything.

The Christian is to be a public witness in his world, everywhere, anywhere, because we care! You might be saying as a Christian, you're not going to vote in this election. How can you even say that? As a Christian you're called to be involved! That is a horrific manifestation of a fancied up form of apathy. You can't do that. You can't go there. Let me give you some things to motivate you, because it has motivated me. There is a day coming...

2 Corinthians 5:9-11 ~ "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences."

As believers, we come from a long line of culturally impacting people, cultural crusaders, people of God who influenced governments in the realms of politics or governments... Daniel, Esther, Jeremiah, Isaiah, John the Baptist, even Paul used his political-civic opportunity to appeal to Caesar. They didn't worry about the separation of church and state, that doesn't even exist, yet many cases have been tried and won over something that doesn't even apply and millions are still believing it. Why don't you look it up for yourselves instead of being spoon fed what the media and the people in leadership are telling you?

We should all take up causes that are biblical and that is the very reason to vote in any election. There will be no perfect candidate running for office that appeals to everyone, so stop looking for one. Imagine what kind of political campaign Jesus might have in the world today if he was running for office? He never serve in the military so how can he empathize with what the military needs. He doesn't attend all the public places and dine with dignitaries and celebrities? He doesn't lead a political campaign aimed at winning anyone to His side. He hangs out with the worst of humanity and those that won't make a difference in the world of politics. He's homeless. He has only worked for his father's business as a carpenter. His parents weren't even married when He was conceived. Face it if Jesus were running today, He wouldn't even make it to the primaries!

1 Timothy 2:1-2 ~ "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

Did you catch that? We are to pray for all our leaders and people in positions of power. This is the biggest religious tolerance by Christians over anyone. We don't kill those who don't agree with our world view. We persuade men, not dictate, not coerce, not pressure, but by presenting a better argument. We've grown so weak in our arguments that when we feel ourselves losing, we pull out the "you hurt my feelings" card.

Christian pastors are commanded to be the cultural watchmen on the wall and Christians are to follow their pastors lead. We just need to make sure that our pastors are following Jesus and biblical truths. If not, get out! Find a safe place! The pulpits are alive because they have accountability to God.

Acts 20:26-27 ~ "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God."

Those who hold political power exercise their opinion (they're not suppose to, they're suppose to exercise your opinion) over the will of the people. Our leaders are suppose to listen to us, and do the will of the people. Why have judges overthrowing the will of the people. Why did they ever think they could do this? Because we gave them the green light! Because we never speak up! They know they can overthrow the popular vote on an issue, because they know you won't do anything about it. We begin to be governed by a few, rather than those in government answering to us, we the people. If they can get Christians to simply throw in the towel and not vote, then they will win just like they did 8 years ago.

I'm proud to be an American, but the America in front of us now, is an America I don't recognize. Don't you think we need to ensure that our vote, the one we fought for the right to have, is counted? If you don't vote, it still counts and we all have to give an account to God for the choices we make. Consider looking at the candidates and see where they line up biblical on the issues that are important to you. How do you stand for traditional marriage? How do they stand up for our military? How do they stand up for our country? How do they stand up for our nations security? How do they stand for the rights of the unborn child? These are what you should be using as a Christian voter to vote for the candidate who most closely lines up with the biblical truths, not simply if they are a Christian or not? A woman or not?

Time for the ants to realize that the grasshoppers are hoping that you will simply look the other way and opt out, to stay quiet and just go back to church and stay there. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It is Finished!

It is hard to look back and see that 195 Bible Study sessions have walked us through the Book of Revelation, verse by verse so we can have a true understanding of what is contained in this Book. People have been afraid to read these words contained within it. The Book of Revelation begins with a blessing, and it ends with a provision of blessing of God's grace. You will never find another God's like ours. This is the final message in this series.

God did not give us prophecy to scare us, He gave us prophecy to prepare us.

Remember you will never understand the Book of Revelation without understanding the Old Testament, that is answered in the Book of Revelation by design.

We need to stand in our wholly Bibles unto the end.

Revelation 22:19 ~ "and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

We read yesterday about the warning "not to add to," the Bible which is a warning against cults. Those who add to the Bible are recognized as cults, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Mormons. They breed abhorrent theology in thinking God's Word is not enough and it needs interpretations outside of the Bible to explain what it really means.

Verse 19 is a warning to those who want to "take away" from what the Bible has to say. It recognizes theological liberalism. This 'take away' is amazing because it directly warns against biblical liberalism in the last days. Biblical liberalism means to diminish, to revise, to suppress, to altar, to usurp over the Author with the intent to change its original meaning. To sum it up, a false prophet.

Deuteronomy 4:2 ~ "You shall not add to the word which I command you, not take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."

2 Peter 2:1-3 ~ "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber."

While the "taking away" from the Bible also gives birth to cults as well like Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code). Without knowing what the Bible has to say, how can you tell the truth from the lies permeating the world today. Their goal is to get you to question what is really true or not.

1 Peter 1:17-21 ~ "And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of you stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

The Bible isn't some private interpretation, and man didn't write it. The Holy Spirit possessed man to write it. That is why it is without error.

How do I stand in my wholly Bible until the end?

1. Start to take your daily reading and glue it to your day. (No matter how many times you have started it, don't back up, pick it up today and keep on going. Get out a highlighter and highlight the verse that speaks to you in your daily reading. Incorporate that into your prayer and into your day.

2. Move out being confident because it's God's Word.

3. Confront the false, by using the Truth!

We need to trust in our Lord Jesus Christ right now.

Revelation 22:20 ~ "He who testifies to these things says, "Surely, I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

But how do I trust Jesus more? Do it now! God have never lied or deceives you.

1. Know what He says is true beyond perceptions.
2. Let Him be personal with you.
3. Obey Him when he speaks to you.

Mark 5:35-36 ~ :While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue's house who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

We need to enjoy our Lord Jesus Christ every day.

Revelation 22:21 ~ "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

The grace - is the enemy of every cult and the stumbling block of every liberal. In the Greek, is is 'charis' meaning the divine influence upon the heart, being accepted, benefited, favored, gifted, to become an object of joy, pleasure, approval, unearned delight!

A cult says you have to work you way into heaven and the one saying that all can agree with that Jesus said is that you should tithe. They are all about you giving your money to them.

Ephesians 2:4-10 ~ "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The Christian life begins with grace; it is sustained by His grace; and we will finish by His grace. And we, we're finished by His grace.

Amen - so let it be, it is the truth, that's it.

But how do I enjoy the Lord Jesus more?

1. Take hold of His grace.
2. Practice His presence moment by moment.
3. Rest in the fact that you are His special child.

Remember you will NEVER have to work to get saved. It is a gift from God, paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross and all it takes is for you to simply accept it and ask Him into your heart today. Won't you take God on His word and be saved?

My hope is that first of all you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and that you have enjoyed these 195 individual Bible Study sessions through the Book of Revelation. My goal is that Jesus Christ has been revealed to you in a more powerful and real way through our time together. Now it is time to begin to study how we can be more Christ-like in our own life! Hope you continue to join me.

Monday, June 27, 2016

What is Behind Door # 2?

Who doesn't love a vacation? In fact, most of us are counting down the number of days or hours until we leave for a vacation. You know what the best part of a vacation is? The anticipation! It is knowing all the planning, all the preparation is counting it down til the day you leave. That is the best part! That is how God wants you to be in anticipation of Jesus Christ's return.

He is coming soon! The more we think on that and the more real it becomes to us, we begin to prioritize what is really important and what isn't. We need to weed out those things that carry us far from what Jesus wants in our life and start digging in a bit more to what He wants us to know and do in these coming and final days.

In our study today, we will realize that Jesus doesn't say I am coming soon, but He says "I am coming quickly." As you look around the world today, doesn't it seem like things are becoming unhinged, a bit on the crazy side? When we see these things we know that they are signs that He will come quickly, when we least expect it.

We need to turn off those distractions and get some time alone with God. Pray that God will reveal those things in your life that are keeping us apart from God. To knowing who He really is. That is how we can prepare to get ready for His coming. We won't have time to look around when He does come back. He is coming quickly.

As we begin our study today, in these final lessons on the Book of Revelation, we see the last words of Jesus and they are found in the final book of the Bible. These are His last recorded words and the words, "Surely, I am coming quickly," answers any questions we might have regarding our Christian walk of faith. Why do we read our Bible? Why do we go to church? Why do we feed the poor? Why do we help the homeless? All because Jesus is coming quickly.

Now a days there are more theologies out there than you can shake a stick at. Everyone has their own theory, everyone has the right answer to get you into heaven, and to help you know God more fully. One thing is certain, that all roads lead to God!" The real meat of it is, however, that not everyone gets to stay. Every man and woman will stand before God one day regards of your religious beliefs or non religious beliefs. Every. Single. One. We need to be concerned however, about what lies behind door number 2. The first door gets us all into God's presence, it's what lies behind door number 2 that should really cause us to sit up and take notice.

Just like the television show, Let's Make a Deal. There were always three doors, and more than anything you wanted to ensure that you picked the right door to get the best prize. This is certainly the case here. It's what lies beyond door number 2 that matters. Is it heaven? Or is it hell? Those are our only two options, regardless of what your "religious" upbringing my have you to believe.

Revelation 22:18-21 ~ "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plague that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

These final words of Jesus Christ demand an attentiveness to exhort the church to be ready and stay awake. But how do we get ready and how do we stay awake?

These are the questions that we must answer if we're going to be faithful until the end, if we're going to persevere in this life, if we're going to be effective Christians.

There are those who would tell you that the Bible does not contain the Word of God, and that is true! The Bible IS the Word of God. To say that it contains the Word of God implies that not all of it is the Word of God and other interpretations are represented in it. That is 100% false. Every. Single. Word. of the Bible is the Word of God. Not of man. Don't be confused.

Because Jesus is coming quickly, we need to know our wholly Bibles like never before. Yes, I said, "wholly" Bible.

Revelation 22: 18 ~ "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plague that are written in this book;"

"Wholly" means complete in its fullness. There is nothing more to add or take away. It is done. Here in the consummation of the Bible, warnings are given that ring loud and true in our day. Who hasn't heard of numerous versions of the Bible or additional books claiming to contain the Words of God? There have never been more cults on earth than right now.

"If anyone adds..." In other words: (1) to tamper with what the Father has said, God has preserved the Bible throughout all these years. (2)To confuse what Jesus has said; people have always argued with the words of Jesus Christ, and what He really meant or who He was really. (3) To improved upon what the Holy Spirit has said; the Holy Spirit is the author of the Scriptures.

Galatians 1:8-9 ~ "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you that what you have received, let him be accursed."

This was written more than 2000 years ago and now there are numerous other resources out there other than the Bible.

Acts 17:11 ~ "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

This is the standard on how we are to judge things today, from what our pastors have to say from the pulpit, and what other Christians say.

1 John 4:1 ~ "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

There have been and will continue to be...many false prophets in the world today, from Jim Jones, David Koresh, to even Dan Brown, author of the DaVinci Code, is a false prophet. In just one novel he has people second guessing what they know of the Bible to be true. He makes you doubt the Bible and only through a fictional novel.

Proverbs 30:5-6 ~ "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to his words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."

Even without the Bible as a resource, we know that in 1947, the Dead Sea scrolls have backed up the Bible, Word for Word, with the exclusion of the Book of Esther. So how can we know our wholly Bibles like never before? (1) stop pretending that you're a Christian, and become one. Put it into practice every single day, not just on Sunday's. Be a Christian every single day. (2) Determine now to put the Bible into practice daily. Don't just read it, live it out among your family and friends. (3) Go on a diet, eat up what it is saying to you!

We will finish our study on the Book of Revelation tomorrow. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

He Wants You!

I remember during World War 1 and 2, we saw posters of Uncle Sam saying, "I want YOU!" It was a plea to inspire men and women to do their part to win in the war effort. It was a strong message in hopes of pulling on the patriotic heart strings of those to do their part. They were needed. Wanted! Doesn't everyone everywhere desire to be needed and wanted? Deep inside all of our hearts, we have a thirst for someone to love us as we desire to be loved. To be wanted, cherished, admired and cared for unconditionally, don't we?

Jesus Christ is being proclaimed to know who He really is. Isn't it amazing that He is personally inviting us to eternal life in heaven with Him. As long as we are willing to give everything up we are holding on to just to follow Him. No other faith group extends this invitation, from a God who loves you so much He wants to do everything He can to make sure you're not left behind for all eternity. He's willing to remove all of our sings and allow us to start fresh today.

Isaiah 1:18 ~ "Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Whatever excuse you think you can make as to the reason why you have put off taking Jesus up on his offer, is not reason enough to separate you from Him for all eternity. Will you come to Him today, while you still have that chance and opportunity to do so? You can't do it when you're dead. It has to happen before them and no one is ever guaranteed a tomorrow.

We've been studying yesterday and continuing today about the deity of Jesus Christ and the scriptures that back up that Jesus Christ is God!

Psalm 2:11-12 ~ "Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling, Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him."

Isaiah 7:14 ~ "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."

Luke 1:30-32 ~ "Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David."

Philippians 2:10-11 ~ "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Philippians 3:20 ~ "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

John 3:16 ~ "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

John 4:42 ~ "Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

1 John 4:14 ~ "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world."

2 Peter 1:11 ~ "for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

It's no wonder than that Jesus Christ is crying out to you today.

Romans 10:13 ~ "For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

Acts 4:12 ~ "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

And this is just the the Bible from cover to cover! You can't help but see Jesus as God throughout! Now will you come please, because Jesus Christ is the request and He is requesting YOU!

Revelation 22:14-16 ~ "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

When it says that outside...this is not referring to looking over the wall of the heavenly city and seeing those who have rejected Christ, it is simply referencing hell, the complete opposite of where Jesus is and as far away as possible as they can be.

Jesus, Himself, is making a personal plea and testimony. He is speaking to YOU! Confirming the message He has sent in the churches, inviting YOU to come to know Him personally in your heart. Jesus is the Root of David, He has engineered it all from the very beginning of creation.

Revelation 22:17 ~ "And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" and let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."

Come is a very common and simple word in the Greek language, which means to show up, to arrive, to return, to be there. There is a subtle, yet profound truth here in the Greek construction of this verse. Collectively, the confession is Come, Lord Jesus!

I would encourage you if you have been waiting on making your choice to follow Jesus, Come! Come to know Him today! Come let Him change your life forever! Come make the choice before it's too late. Come just as YOU are and He will do the work to restore, redeem and renew your life. Just invite Him in, He is waiting for You!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Is Jesus God?

Image courtesy of "Son of God"

That is really the question that sparks all kinds of controversy in almost every single religion and even among Atheists, is the deity of Jesus Christ. Is Jesus God? He is no other than God in the flesh, but this very study will answer all those questions pertaining to the very essence and nature of just who Jesus is. You might want to print this to answer all those door knockers who come to your door with another gospel. This study will determine what the Bible has to say about whether Jesus is God.

One verse alone almost is guaranteed to upset most Muslims, Jews and other religious groups because their agenda is to dismiss or downgrade Jesus Christ. Some try to make Him a god among other gods; some try to make Him an angel among others, and some try to make Him an enlightened one among others. The issue has to do with Jesus Christ. 

Proverbs 30:4  ~ "Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound 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, if you know?"

Even Jew's can't answer this one. Most of them don't believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God. They are still waiting on the promised Messiah! Yet they can't argue this verse. They are stuck. This is the very same reason that the god of Islam is not the same God of the Bible. Islam refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and goes so far as to proclaim it around the Dome of the Rock in Arabic..."There is no God but God. He is One. God has no son." The Muslims don't even know the name of God and that is why they call Him, Allah. It's just a title, but the Bible clearly gives the many names of God in it. It is a monotheistic belief, a belief in one God is about all we have in common with Islam. With God, there are no multiples, no Firsts and Lasts, plural.

Did you know that prior to 1954, our government allocated part of its operating budget dedicated to the printing of the Bible? The reason "In God We Trust" is printed on our currency is because the government feared that during our countries prosperity, we would forget about God. Did you know that?

God anticipated that Jesus Christ would be under attack, and that is why the Book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible is all about the revealing who Jesus Christ really is. Why?

Because if you remove Christ out of the message, if you take away His deity, mankind is lost, no matter how religious he may try to me. There is no hope of eternal life if Jesus didn't really rise from the dead. 

Jesus Christ is the Righteousness! The one thing to note is that not all Bible versions have verse 13 from Revelation 22 printed in them. The King James and New King James Versions and some New International Versions do, but most modern versions don't. It's omitted. Even modern day publishers are trying to remove the very deity of Jesus Christ and are stripping it out. Be careful of that.

Revelation 22:13 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

There are three distinctive names of God given here by Jesus.

1. The Alpha and the Omega
2. The Beginning and the End.
3. The First and the Last

How is Jesus Christ our righteousness? Jesus is God incarnate? A few of the scriptures that teach this truth...

Isaiah 48:12 ~ "Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last."

Isaiah 44:6 ~ "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God."

The Lord of the Hosts is a reference to the Lord of armies or the Lord of war.

Isaiah 41:4 ~ "Who has performed it and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He."

Isaiah 43:10 ~ "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me."

"I am He" is a reference to the eternal self existing one.

Revelation 1:8 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 21:6 ~ "And he said to me, "It is done!" I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts."

Revelation 4:8 ~ "The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

Revelation 1:11 ~ "saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and what you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches..."

Revelation 22:13 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

Revelation 1:17-18 ~ "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."

Just this one verse alone, verse 18, points specifically to Jesus Christ alone, which the door knockers have written in their version of the book but refuse to believe what it says. Highlight that one!

Revelation 2:8 ~ "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, "These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:"

1 John 5:20 ~ "And we know that the Son of God has come and have given us an understanding, that we might know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."

1 Timothy 3:16 ~ "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory."

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

John 8:58 ~ "Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

John 8:24 ~ "Therefore I sad to you that you will die in your sins' for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

John 10:32 ~ " Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"

Titus 2:10 ~ "not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things."

Jude 1:24-25 ~ "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen."

1 Timothy 4:10 ~ "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

Isaiah 42:8 ~ "I am the LORD, that is My name; and my glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images."

Hosea 13:4 ~ "Yet I am the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no savior besides Me."

Isaiah 45:21 ~ "Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is other other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me."

Isaiah 43:11 ~ "I, even am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior."

Psalm 68:4 ~ "Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH, and rejoice before Him."

There is no "J" in the Hebrew language. God is called YAH-Weh or YHWH, meaning Yehovah! This would be the correct pronunciation of the word we see often times as Jehovah!

We will continue this tomorrow....

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

You will NOT Get to Heaven Based On Your Works!

A lot of Christians believe their Christianity or maintain their Christianity or somehow conclude their Christianity by salvation being established, kept or preserved by works. It's human nature, as fallen as it is, to assume the responsibility of works and in many cases it can be commendable, but not when it comes to your salvation.

You will NOT get to heaven based on your works. Jesus did the work to get you into heaven. As a born again Christian, the Holy Spirit dwelling within you will cause works to come out of your life. Words, deeds, actions, but it doesn't save you. It's just evidence that you are saved.

Don't make the mistake thinking you can work your way into heaven. That's an abomination. The unsaved will be condemned by their works, while the saved are rewarded for their works. That is exactly what the Bible teaches.

We start to approach God on our merits. We have good weeks so we attribute that to how much God must love us and we must be doing good in His eyes. But that is NOT how God loves us. That's not how we relate to Him or even love Him.

Because we have a true living relationship with the LORD, that new life produces good works, but we are not saved by them. It's just proof we are saved. You don't have to work your way into heaven and any religion that tells you that is false. That is why Jesus said, "It is finished," as He hung on the cross dying for our sins. He gave His life that we might be saved.

What is required of you?

Jesus said, "This is the work, to believe on Him, whom God has sent." That is the work you are to do. Singular! From that life flows a life of works as proof that you have been saved, and have faith in Christ.

Does the return of Jesus Christ excite you? If not, why not? If you are afraid, perhaps something in your life isn't right. Will you now open your heart and give up everything for Christ today? Perhaps finally give up after all these years...your status, your religion, your position and give everything up to Jesus and humble yourself before Him? All your righteousness? Give it up!

Revelation 22:12-17 ~ "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."

Why should you come? Because Jesus Christ is the reality.

Revelation 22:12a ~ "And behold, I am coming quickly..." 

No less than six times does Jesus teach us about His return, twice as a warning (Revelation 2:5,16) and four times as a promise (Revelation 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20).

Why Jesus Christ?

He is our only hope! He could come suddenly and without warning! There is nothing worth living for in this world, if we don't have Jesus. He promised He would come the first time, and He'll come back as He has promised again for the second time! When death comes to us in this life, it is merely a doorway to eternity.

Jesus Christ is the reward.

Revelation 22:12b ~ "My reward is with me, to give to every one according to his work."

This is not a verse for justification for salvation by works as many would quote and point to, when they read this. Salvation is apart from works, says the Bible. But the LORD will give rewards according to the words which the Christian, the one who has come to Jesus, has done while in this world!

You and I will be rewarded for every penny that we've invested in work of the Lord. You and I will be rewarded for every effort that we've made to tell others about Jesus and His love for them. You and I will be rewarded for every act of obedience to Christ while in this life.

Matthew 13:23 ~ "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty."

Here's a simple, but powerful self-test to determine if you are a real, fruit-bearing Christian...What "effect for Christ" have you left people? His reward will be the "complete redemption" of our person. It needs to be for God's glory and not ours!

Believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, not the Great White Throne judgment, not to determine salvation and our entrance into heaven, but to determine our rewards and our intents on our works whether for our glory or for Jesus'!

What will you do today for the glory of Jesus?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Are You Gambling With Your Soul?

It is the same question I posed to you yesterday, yet so many people do this every single day without any consideration what the eternal impact will be one day. The most scariest thing to think about is having today, the time God has given to you, it has been divinely given to you by God and we simply squander that time away. That is terrifying!

Some people treat their souls like it's a lottery world. The natural man doesn't care about the things of the Spirit. They are willing to take the most dangerous risks imaginable. They just don't care. When your living for your own pleasure, you don't really care about anyone else except for what people can give you. That's carnally-minded and ends in death. If you're spiritually-minded that will lead to life. Are you gambling with your soul? Trust me it is not worth it!

If we keep our eyes open to identify God in our day, then we will be drawing closer to Him. If we don't, we are going to drift, in our relationships, in our lifestyles, in our conversations, we will drift away from Him in our decision-making; you better anchor your soul to Christ or you will simply drift away.

It's time for us to present ourselves to the Lord because of the Word of God in our lives.

Revelation 22:8b-9a ~ "I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that."

This is the second time John has done this. He is so blown away by the Word of God that is being revealed here. But let's make one thing clear, no where did it say John worshiped the angel. It just says he fell down before the angel. The angel quickly reminds him not to do that. He admonishes him. Do you really believe heaven is next for you? Stand on the promises of God. He will not let you down, ever. What will separate you from the love of God? The Bible says, Nothing. Do you really believe this? Be a living sacrifice and present yourself willing to God.

Because of the God we worship.

Revelation 22:9c ~ "I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

Romans 12:1-2 ~ "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

But what does this mean to me?

A dead sacrifice can do nothing. It can't say anything. It can't sing. It can't love. It can't worship. Our presentation matters to God and man. Now is the time for us to proclaim to the world Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:10 ~ "And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand."

There are 2 arguments as to what time it is today on God's clock. (1) It's time to proclaim the Bible. Reveal what God has to say. (2) It's time to do it now. The time is at hand. Every person should read this Book, at least every Christian should. There are denominations that seal up this Book, if you do that you are fighting against the Holy Spirit. By showing them who Jesus really is.

Revelation 22:10 ~ "And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book."

The world portrays Jesus as..just one of the many other religious leaders or good men.
The church portrays Jesus as...just being on our side. As if God chooses one side or the other.
The Christian portrays Jesus as...our best friend. He doesn't belong to the Christian club.

But who Jesus Christ really is determines the destinies of nations, and families and of people. Just Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation, reveals who Jesus Christ really is. Who Jesus Christ really is determines the success of a church...or not. For us to proclaim to the world Jesus Christ, by showing them who Jesus really is, by giving them the love of God. It reveals that God loves every single one of us.

Revelation 22:10 ~ "And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book."

Do not seal or "Sphragizo" means to undo the stamp, open up that which was closed, announce that which was secret, release that which was closed, my public that which was private. For the time is at hand. The ordained times and seasons of God's keeping are soon to be taken hold of, to be gripped or squeezed out and into the world.

By looking for each day's appointment.

Revelation 22:10 ~ "for the time is at hand."

Time is of the utmost, every day.

Ephesians 2:10 ~ "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

But what does that mean to me?

There is a natural-supernatural encounter that the Lord has prearranged for you to experience today and every day. God should be expecting complete cooperation from us at any time. Lord, did I keep our appointment today? Or more like are you willing to keep God's appointment for you today?

For us to practice our lives before the Lord.

Revelation 22:11 ~ "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy; let him be holy still."

Practice by getting before Him daily. Start today if you have slacked off  in going to church, reading your Bible, praying, worshiping the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:1 ~ "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart."

Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't let it take control, but get back to what God has called you to do. You have no other hope for salvation. Don't stop going to church.

Hebrews 10:24-26 ~ "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,"

Practice by letting go and letting Him. It is an American heritage practice to ring the bells of church for 5 minutes before it begins. It was a call to action, just like verse 11 of Revelation 22 is. It is an admonishment to some and an encouragement to others.

We need to practice by setting our eyes upon the finish line.

Revelation 22:11 ~ "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy; let him be holy still."

This is a terrifying verse. There are those who will refuse to call out to God for forgiveness. He say os them, leave them alone.

Genesis 6:3 ~ "And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

Matthew 15:13-14 ~ "But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."

2 Corinthians 2:16 ~ "To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 

Now is the time to heed the call God has placed before you today.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stop Playing With Your Soul!

It seems like this time of the year, a lot of us are approaching the end of things, like graduations, new careers, marriage and even births of new family members. It brings with it anticipation and a sense of achievement. Thus there is a sense of expectancy...That is where we find ourselves in today's Bible Study, there is an immanency to the return of Jesus Christ, even though it hasn't happened yet. I remember growing up even before high school, I truly believed I was living in the last days and that Jesus could come at any time. Yet it hasn't happened. Yet! One thing is for sure, we are closer today then we were 30 years ago.

Revelation 22:8-10 ~ "Now, I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. "

In order to understand the book of Revelation, we have learned a few things in our study. We must have first read the books of the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, and then skip on over to Revelation before it can really make sense to us. Revelation presupposes that the reader has that knowledge to understand the conclusion of God's redemption of man through Jesus Christ is the central theme of all these books.

Revelation 22:7 ~ ""Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Revelation 22:12 ~ "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to gie to everyone according to his work."

Revelation 22:20 ~ "He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly."

In the doctrine of Christ's imminent return, each of the new testament writers gave admonitions to the church to be watching. Christian vigilance has always been at a premium. The Book of Revelation is the most overlooked and neglected Book of the Bible.

2 Peter 3:3-4 ~ "knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

A promise is only as good as the virtue that it can be fulfilled. There are robbers of hope out there, and they walk in religious circles and they do so after their own lusts. Here's what they do, they mock the promise of His coming, and they say things like "Where is the promise of His coming, because He hasn't come back yet and odds are that He isn't going to."

This is a dangerous and damnable doctrine that the Bible clearly warns us about. The hour is later than it has ever been before.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee tells a story..."When a little boy who had grown up in his home with a grandfather clock, he really never paid much attention to it, until one day the clock rang past 12:00 and kept on chiming until that little boy turned to his parents and declared...with complete excitement...mommy and daddy, it's later than it has ever been before."

Romans 13:11-13 ~ "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in the revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness, and lust, not in strife and envy."

Biblically, there are those who at this hour in church history, that seek to take away from the Bible and from the hope of the Christian doctrine of imminence saying this like...

Matthew 24:45-51 ~ "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler oer all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, "My master is delaying his coming," and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping an gnashing of teeth."

Mark 13:35-37 ~ "Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming - in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning - lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

I need to make a confession: I have had this prayer in my private time with the Lord; "Lord, please come while I'm studying in the Book of Revelation!"

Revelation 22:10 ~ "And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand."

There are churches and ministries that are guilty of sealing this book of Revelation from the people. Ministers of the Bible must teach this book of the Bible or they are in violation of the this the Book of revelation and's all about Jesus Christ and our future with Him.

Now is the time for us to present ourselves to the Lord because of the days in which we live.

Revelation 22:8-9a ~ ""Now, I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that."

Notice: saw and heard: heard and saw = when it is repeated like that, it means for us to pay close attention. John is making a testimony to what he personal saw and heard.

In the Greek the word "saw' is "blepo" to take in, to visually ingest it, stare at it.
In the Greek the word "heard" is "akouo" to grant audience to, to bring into the ears.

The days we live they match up with what the Bible said, would be the days that would usher in Christ's return? I believe we are.

2 Timothy 3:13-14 ~ "But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them."

2 Peter 1:16 ~ " For we did not following cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."

It's time for us to present ourselves to the Lord, because of the days in which we live. There is a warning for Christians in the book of Hebrews, that we can become dull of hearing. If our hearts become dull, then our ears become dull of hearing. These are connected directly to our spiritual heart, and the symptoms sound like, "I've heard this before..." Is it because you've been so schooled in the Bible, that it is time t move on to another ministry or to seek God in how you should be involved in ministry? It's possible! But the danger comes from not deciphering that clearly and saying, "I've heard this before, I don't need to listen any longer. I'm going to tune out! " Stop right there!

Is it possible, you've become dull at hearing? If you've heard this before, over and over again, the Holy Spirit is bringing it to you over and over again asking you are YOU doing it? Our first nature is to say, "I've heard this before..." God comes back and says, "I don't care if you've heard this a 1000 times before, are you DOING it? This sets the tone for the rest of the verses in this book.

We are living in the days, when we are becoming dull of hearing. We need to be paying attention and be ready to present ourselves to the Lord. We need to stop playing around with our souls because once we miss this opportunity and die, there is no turning back. Wake up!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Beginning of Forever!

Can you rest? I mean really rest. Stop what you are doing. Stop thinking about what you will be doing next and simply rest. Cease all activity? If you're like me, that almost seems like an impossibility because we live in a very busy and fast paced world. Technology hasn't made things easier, it has made them more busy. We can't even turn that off.

So what does it mean, when the Bible says to "rest in God?" It simply means to give up on trying to do things yourself and instead trust in Him. We can have that peace in knowing that God has it all figured out despite how we may feel about anything, because our feelings can lie to us. Don't believe me? Think about the last time you worried about anything. More than likely you took all those "What if's..." and filled in all the proverbial blanks of what could happen. Looking back however, you realize how silly most of those were because they were so far from happening, even though they could have. Yet it drove us mad during that time. Our enemy is so great at working that into our lives in any situation, even when everything is going great, he'll toss a few worry arrows in just to stir things up.

As believers in Christ, however one day all that will come to an end. Be it the day you die and step into the very presence of God with your final breath on earth, or when we are raptured and wind up in heaven with God. That will be the very beginning of forever, when we see all this world and its sin nature and evil end once and for all. Won't that be great?

We need to set our hearts upon the presence of God because of what He shall reveal to us.

Revelation 22:4 ~ "They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads."

Remember how badly Moses begged God just to see His face? You can read about it in the opening chapters of Exodus. But God knew that for that to happen Moses would die. So God takes Moses, stuffs him into a crack in the rocks, covers his eyes and passes by him, all Moses saw was the after glow, where God was. He was so glorified by that sight that his face glowed even to the people of Israel when he returned that he had to cover his face, to avoid scaring them. Can you imagine how Moses would feel today if he had a Bible and read this verse today? This is the very heart of man, to see God's face. Moses would have longed for that day.

No one has ever seen God in totality.

1 Corinthians 13:12 ~ "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." 

John 1:18 ~ "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."

1 Timothy 6:15-16 ~ "which He will manifest in His own time, He who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, who mo man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power, Amen."

1 John 4:12 ~ " No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us."

Hebrews 12:29 ~ "For our God is a consuming fire."

Matthew 5:8 ~ "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

When will we be able to see God face to face? In Revelation 22:4, when eternity begins for all of us!

The issue with the name on the foreheads is quite the honor when you consider it. What does this mean to have God's name on our forehead?

Revelation 3:12 ~ "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name."

Throughout history, tattoos have been a sign out ownership. Even Hitler understood that. Pharaoh and the Babylonians understood the meaning, because to do so was the identity of your god. This was a fantastic even in history and it will be for our future as well.

After the great earthquake of 17 A.D., the Roman Emperor Vespasian ordered the city of Philadelphia to be free from Roman taxation and so for five years it could regain its footing in the empire's economy. The city was so grateful for its tax exempt status, it declared its new name to be Neo-Caesarea ro New Caesar City. In gratitude, the citizens of Philadelphia tattooed "Neocaesarea on their bodies. It was the name, the announcement of ownership.

Isaiah 49:16a ~ "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."

Until we get to heaven, we need to rest in the finished work of Christ, because Jesus Christ will never fail us.

Revelation 22:6a ~ "Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true."

Revelation 3:14 ~ "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, "These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God."

Hebrews 1:1-3 ~ "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself, purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

John 5:30-32 ~ "I can of Myself do nothing,. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true."

Hebrews 4:9-11 ~ "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did fro His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience."

God said it, that settles it. Meditate on what He has told you until He returns. We need to rest in the finished work of Christ, because Jesus Christ will complete things.

Revelation 22:6b ~ "And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servents the things which must shortly take place."

"Shortly" is a compound Greek word en-tachos. It means in haste or in short order, not the word for soon, but the word that means, "once they begin, it will not be long." That is precisely what will happen once the Tribulation period begins, it will move forward without any delay until it is finished.

Jesus Christ will come again.

Revelation 22:7 ~ "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Notice with me what God thinks about the Bible. So then Christian, rest in Christ, because He will never fail you. He is faithful and true. This here is Jesus' exhortation to every church age believers since the day of Pentecost...always be waiting for me.

To not be waiting is to be spiritually unfaithful. How should the doctrine of imminence affect us today? Why should the doctrine of immanency matter to us today? Who does the doctrine of immanency apply to today? The Bible is very clear it its warning to not add or remove from what God has written in it.

Revelation 1:3 ~ "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written in it; for the time is near."

Matthew 5:17-18 ~ "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 

2 Peter 1:19-21 ~ " And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. "

Isaiah 46:9-10 ~ "Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."

Revelation 22:18-19 ~ "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book." 

Deuteronomy 4:2 ~ "You shall not add to the word which I command you, not take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."

Proverbs 30:5-6 ~ "Every world of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."

Galatians 1:8-9 ~ "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."

This final verse was written more than 2000 years ago. Just this one verse alone predates the Muslim cult and the Mormon cult and thus renders them helpless and useless.

In the Muslim cult, the angel Gabriel is said to have given Mohammed another gospel from heaven in the year 600-700 A.D.

In the Mormon cult, that angel Moroni is said to have given Joseph Smith, another gospel, The Book of Mormon in 1823.

We are all responsible for the choices we make, so what are you doing to keep the prophecy of this book? If you are....

You would be busy for God, giving to God, serving God, Honoring God, in the Word of God, building the kingdom of God, caring for the things of God, and obedient to the will of God.

That is what you are blessed or happy because you keep the words of the prophecy of this book!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Are We Cursed?

 image courtesy of

Are we cursed?

The Bible says that everything is this life is under the curse of sin. Our thinking, our living, our eating, our breathing, the world, the animal life, the universe, this earth, everything is under the curse of sin and it's all messed up. Looking around at the things in this life, it is easy to see that. With the recent shootings in Orlando, people are still trying to make sense of it all. It's simple, we are under the curse of sin. It doesn't mean God's not involved or that it happened because we are living in a cursed world, and God is simply letting things run its course, but we can forget that we now live in a sinful world filled now with the curse that began in the Garden of Eden when disobedience to God caused sin to enter a perfect place and into perfects hearts of His created beings. That means that people now have a choice, to follow God or to follow their own sin-filled hearts and the outcome of those choices is played out right before our very eyes.

It's not about gun control or terrorism, it's a matter of the heart. It is either filled with the things of God or the things with what man wants instead. In both situations in Orlando, the choices of the shooter is clear, they did what they wanted and what they felt was right in their own eyes, however wrong that may be. This is the outcome of living in a sinful world, but it will not always be the case. We need to place the blame in these situations where it needs to be and that is on Satan, not God. God merely lets things play out as He allows, and the fallout is what we experienced this weekend. Let's see how our study today, in the book of Revelation 22 will see what God has to say in these things.

There will be a time when we will no longer live under this curse of sin, and that is called heaven. As we believed in Jesus, repented of our sins, and now follow Him to the best of our ability, we moved from the curse of sin, which was lifted when we became born again in our spirits, and moved from judgment to eternal life. It's removed. It doesn't mean we won't get sick, have cancer, face unprecedented loss in some fashion, or dying in a shooting, because the world is still living under the curse of sin. Our spirit has been redeemed, our minds still need to be renewed, by the Word of God, but our physical body is still under the curse of sin. The last final stage of our removing the curse of sin, will be when as believers our body will be resurrected. It is a true benefit of going to heaven!

Jesus died for our sins on the cross, as an atonement, but He didn't stay dead. He rose again to guarantee our eternal life through Him. He was the perfect sacrifice. We don't need to do anything to better ourselves before Jesus

John 7:37-38 ~ "On that last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

Is this the same water that came out of the side of Jesus when the soldier pierced His side with a spear in which blood and water flowed? Living water?

From Jesus Christ, our eternal temple, forgiveness and His benefits flow continually. Our ability to live the Christian life is of God, and it's Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-9 ~ "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself."

God has provided more than what is needed - sufficiency.

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 ~ "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."

We need to fix our eyes on eternal life and the prerequisite of God by Christ.

Revelation 22:2 ~ "In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

Prerequisite, means the performance of something that is required for the next step to take place in order to fulfill a purpose.

Psalm 46:4 ~ "There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High."

This verse references the verse in Revelation 22. Fixing our eyes on eternal life because, God performed, by Jesus Christ, our redemption. The cross for us became the tree of Life!

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away' behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

The prerequisite of God by Christ, but what does that mean to me? It means that I was so without God and so unable to save myself and so lost and so in need of being found and so in need of being rescued, that Jesus had to die for me, if I were to be saved from eternal destruction!

We all still struggle with our past, even though we are saved and bound for heaven. We try and pray for our meals but get too excited by the food around us and the presence of others, we forget. We try and dedicate time to read our Bibles, but other things get in the way and we don't. We try and spend time with God each day, but we struggle to find the time. We try and focus on our prayers but our thoughts get out of control and we are lost in our prayers. We try and stay awake to read our Bibles, pray and spend time with God at the end of the night, but we get tired and fall asleep instead. Isn't that the truth of what all believers in Christ struggle with? The old residual is still present in our world, even though we are saved.

We have all heard the words, "Be still and know that I am God." But do you ever wonder what that means? Especially in light of all the turmoil that is escalating everywhere we look today? It means Yada, the word for know. It means to discover. It means whenever we are facing difficulties in our own lives or in the world where we struggle to come up with all the why's, God is asking us to discover Him. See Him in whatever we are experiencing, whatever it is, God will speak to You in that moment.

We've all had those times where we could have done better in listening to God, handling things better but we blow it. God is really great at saying, "Well you could have done better, and I believe you can get through this, let's try again later." and sure enough that same test will come around again. We have to learn to not panic and fail and trust in our own answers, but be still and discover what is it God is trying to say?

We need to set our hearts upon the presence of God because of where He is in reality.

Revelation 22:3 ~ "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him."

Much of what is found being lost in the Book of Genesis is recovered in the Book of Revelation. What was lost is now found. What has been denied is now accessible. What died is now made alive!

"No more curse" the undoing of the will of Satan. From death to life; Satan has a death wish for your life.

It was Satan, through the flesh who said, "Come on Eve! Live a little will ya, and be your own girl. Do your own thing!"

It was Satan, through the flesh who said, "Come on Job! Blame God for all that is wrong in your life."

It was Satan, through the flesh who said, "Come on Elisha, kill yourself because you're all alone."

Listen, its been Satan, through the flesh who says, "There's no hope for you, God won't forgive you. If God is a God of love, why do all these bad things happen?"

There will be no more curse one day. There is the curse of sin and that is death! There is a curse of the law and that is condemnation. This "no more curse," is the curse against creation! The cursed creation is gone and there is a new creation.

Where will you be in eternity? The choice is up to you but you have to choose before you die, otherwise your choice has already been made.

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's a Win-Win Situation!

Zig Ziglar has coined the phrase, "It's a win-win situation," but did you know that He said God gave it to him? That he is a solid born again Christian! Have you ever considered that one day, you will enjoy eternity with God, if you're a believer of Jesus Christ? If you've read the Book of Revelation, we know how it all ends up.  We are in the last chapter of Revelation and of the Bible, and we see how God's perfect restoration and identification all culminate in eternity with Him. We will all get new names in heaven and it will have a new significance there.

If we follow Christ, it's a win-win situation. It doesn't matter what happens to us in this life, whether we are shot, killed, or beheaded or simply breathe our final breath in peace, because when our life ends here, we go immediately into the presence of God. It's not about us and what we have done in this life, but in trusting in Jesus Christ and what He has done.

Some people think heaven will be boring. That it is quiet there. We're all in white choir robes. The Bible says that it is beyond man's ability to imagine or comprehend it. We will interface and interact with angels, and we will behold the face of God, face to face. No one has ever seen the face of God before. We will have an eternal existence, and there will be no end. We will explore an infinite world, beyond what we can ever imagine.

Eternity is real. You need to pick where you are going to live. There is more than enough room in heaven for everyone.

Revelation 22:1-7 ~ "Then the angels showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city, also on either side of the river, the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place." And behold, "I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of this prophecy of this book."

Until we get to heave, we need to fix our eyes on eternal life, and the sufficiency of God in Christ.

Revelation 22:1 ~ "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb,"

Proceeding from God's throne...was a pure river of something very different. It's not water like we think of in terms of water to drink. This 'proceeding' is an overflowing, a flooding or a gushing forth. We saw life giving water flow out of Eden, the garden of God. We see life giving water flow out of the New Jerusalem, the city of God. It is God who gives eternal life. It's in the heart of every man.

What was lost in the garden of Eden is restored by God. Adam and Eve were created never to die. They were the first perfect humans, yet they sinned. Did you ever consider that? So how is that possible if they were perfect?

God engineered within them the ability to exercise a free moral agency. You can't have real love or a relationship without the ability to make real decisions. God doesn't make robots and we are all responsible for the decisions that we make. You can do anything you want in this life, it's your choice. You have that freedom. But freedom carries with it, responsibility. God says choose me. Your freedom of choice comes with it the responsibility for that choice.

If people can wrestle you into heaven, than they can wrestle you out of heaven as well. The choice must be yours.

The water in this verse is not real water. It is life giving water of eternity from God. There are four rivers that flowed from Eden. They had their origin there and we know the names because they are in the Bible. There is restoration in heaven, because there shall be no more curse there.

Jesus was the bridge of restoration of man. On one side, He reaches out to what was lost in the Garden of Eden with His right hand. With His left, He reaches out to the very eternity of God and the dwelling place of God's children, because it is God's desire to bridge that gap. In between those two moments, two great events, there is Jesus Christ.

Out of His side, the Bible tells us in John 19:34: "But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."

People have tried to explain this event but the amount of water that came out doesn't make sense, "it gushed out, it didn't drip out slowly." What was Jesus doing on the cross? He was dying for our sins, it was an atonement for us and He had an appointment He couldn't miss.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Looking Into Eternity to Our Heavenly Home!

It's hard not to become disappointed in the things we see happening in the world today. Disasters, illnesses, death, financial loss, theft, murder, destruction on virtually every level and it seems to be getting worse, where there is no place we can look to for safety and security. Jesus reminded us that these would be the ways of things in the last days. He also reminded us to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20).

Aren't you glad that when we get to heaven, everything will be waiting there for us in absolute perfection as only Jesus can provide?  Everyone has their own vision of what they imagine heaven will be like, but why not go to the source to read what it will really be like! The Bible is clear what it will look like, but even then words pale in comparison to what it will truly be like in both sight, sound and glorious wonder!

There will no more need for temples in heaven either, because Jesus and God are already there. A temple is man's way of meeting God. It won't be needed anymore because Jesus is it! He is all we need in this life, everything else is what man puts on top.

Our new heavenly home will be beautiful.

Revelation 21:18-21 ~ "The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was gold, transparent as glass."

All these stones mentioned here are not only their colors, but they are opaque or translucent to allow light to penetrate. In Exodus 39, the LORD told Moses to make an ephod or breastplate that had 12 stones which represented the 12 tribes of Israel. When a high priest was to appear before the LORD, he was to be wearing the ephod with the 12 stones, which had the 12 names of the tribes of Israel.

Our God is a God of detail. The artwork of the city of God is beautiful no doubt, but do you think that a building or a city is more important than salvation? Your salvation is God's work! And if He has given such detail to foundations, gates and walls, then what about His love toward us and to our blessings?

These foundations will be ascending upwards for 1500 miles, and all of these things speak of God's love for us. God has wanted us with Him for all eternity and that is why He is going to such great lengths to reach us. The effects of the city speaks of His joy for us.

Revelation 21:21 ~ "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was gold, transparent as glass."

The gates of pearl, each entrance is lined by a pearly gate. The appearance is of light and glory. We are reflections of His glory. This is impossible for us to imagine. It's beyond what we can comprehend. This is not a metaphorical description of heaven, it's the real thing~ Could God make an oyster large enough to get a pearl to make a single gate? Absolutely! Nothing limits God.

Our new heavenly home will be a place of worship. Worship in heaven will be direct.

Revelation 21:22 ~ "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb."

There will be no need of a temple (absolute fellowship). We won't gather for church on Sunday's any longer because God will be among us. We can worship and honor Him now, we don't have to wait for heaven. We can walk in that reality and not be bound by earthly things. Our worship in heaven will be complete and again there will be no need for a temple (complete expression). In this time zone, this side of eternity, we are the temples of the Living God.

1 Corinthians 3:16 ~ "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"

Our heavenly home will be filled with light. Jesus is its light.

Revelation 21:23 ~ "And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb."

There is something about the light that blesses us. In John 3:16-19, the Bible says that people who love evil, love the darkness and the deeds that they do, they do in darkness so that nobody knows. They will not come to the Lord who is light, lest their deeds be exposed. But men loved the darkness, rather than the light (agape). We will be in the light.

John 8:12 ~" Again Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life." 

Jesus Christ is its focus.

Revelation 21:24 ~ "By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, "

Everyone divorces himself from glory and honor and gives it to God. Our new heavenly home will have great access. The feeling of being welcomed. Heaven's gates will never be shut.

Revelation 21:25 ~ "and its gates will never be shut by day - and there will be no night there."

Why will the gates never be shut? There will be no need to shut them. There is no evil anymore. Nothing will need to be guarded against. This is God's infinite house in eternity, and you can come and go in infinite directions through infinite space for all eternity.

Heaven's glory will never diminish.

Revelation 21:26 ~ "They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations."

As we await this glorious time to come, in a way, this is being done now by every effort you make to obey the Lord today. Heaven's guests shall never be afraid.

Revelation 21:27 ~ "But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Unbeknown to the non-believer is the constant danger of their name being blotted out of the Book of Life. Very well known to the Christian believer is the constant joy of knowing that your name can never be blotted out of the Book of Life. Why is this so? Because there is only one way to preserve your name in the Book of Life, and that is to have it written in the Lamb's Book of Life!

Can you imagine, someday every human being will await a call from heaven?

There is no longer any mention of the Book of Life because that dealt with those in the millennium. It doesn't matter anymore in eternity, because only those whose names are found in the Lamb's Book of Life are residents of heaven!

Is your name in the Lamb's Book of Life? Only those win it will be in heaven and see all these unbelievable and glorious things we have been studying.

Does heaven occupy your mind? Have you accepted Jesus? Are you going to be in heaven? It's all up to you and the choice has to be yours!