Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What You're Dying For Is What You Are Living For!

Does the word "Antichrist" appear in the Book of Revelation? It does not, but it does refer to the word "Anti" which means instead of or replacement of Christ; an impostor Christ.  The Book of Revelation is giving you the detailed explanation of who this "Antichrist" person is, who operates in a spirit of "Antichristism," which deceives those who are "Antichrist-like" in their hearts and minds. He does not introduce us to himself as, "Hi, I am the Antichrist." It will become apparent by the things he does that are not Christ like in his words, actions or thoughts.

God is a God of not only spiritual things but also a God of Science. He is the God of electricity. When we look at the evidence of engineering, which is creation, it dovetails perfectly with my Bible. The God of the Bible tells the truth always! His creation is in full agreement with His Word, the Bible! Never do they contradict. In fact, the more science advances, the more it has to change its view of how they see the world through the eyes of the Bible and how God has orchestrated this in advance before science could ever explain it from the ocean currents, to the water cycle or the structure of the earth and the universe, only we never knew it until science discovered it and it made sense that what we are reading in the Bible is in fact 100% true. It was the Bible that said the life of man is in his blood. We didn't know that until a couple hundred of years ago.

A life worth dying for is a life greater than what this world can offer recognizing the integrity of the Bible. You know in the original languages, Greek, Hebrew, and a little Aramaic, the Bible is without error. You need to test the scripture. I love the fact that we can hold in our hand, a book that has been preserved not only from New Testament time for the last 2000 years, but let's look at the Old Testament, that are thousands and thousands and thousands of years old all in our hand. Kept by God for this 21st century. A book so accurate and marked with integrity, that there is not a man living on the planet that can find an error in the scripture, that man that thinks he can, can try to find a way to substantiate than that man would become a billionaire. IF he could find an error in the Bible.

Revelation 6:9 ~ "I saw under the altar the souls of those that have been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held."

This is referring to a future event that we need to consider, it is timeless and provided perfect detail to the events it predicts with unparalleled accuracy. This book, the Bible, transcends our world.  It is a message that did not come from here. We can prove that it has come from outside our world, by what it has to say and what it does, it's prophetic in nature = futuristic! It has been sent from heaven to earth for us. This book prophesied that Israel would become a nation for a second time in one day, which it did on May 14, 1948, from Isaiah 66:8. It is this book that prophesied that God would call the Gentile world, that a people that did not know God, would become God's children throughout the world in the book of Isaiah.

First things first, notice where a believer goes when he dies. Directly into heaven in the presence of the Lord! Look at where the Bible says these Tribulation saints go when they die? To heaven! Their souls are there in heaven. We want to focus on the point of the accuracy of the Bible at this point. So convincing is the accuracy of the Bible, that it is intellectual and undeniable! Examine the scriptures. Test the scriptures. Match it against the sciences as well. There is nothing in the scripture that contradicts the sciences. This is because the God of the Bible is the God of the sciences. The God of the Bible is the God of Physics. He is the God of electricity. He is the God who understands hydrodynamics. He is the God who knows all about the weather.

Did you know that ancient mariners figured out that the Bible says highways or courses of currents in the oceans that they can ride on? Did you know that in the Book of Job, it tells you that God cuts the path for the lightning bolt to follow through in the sky and that is exactly the truth? It's also in the Book of Job that God tells us that He tells the little bird where to go to migrate that he has never been to before. Birds born have never been told by their bird parents where to go when migration comes, but they know without a doubt how to get there even through they have never been before. How does he know how to get there? God does that! He is that amazing!!!!

We take our telescopes and our Mars probes and what do we find out? That the God of the Bible in perfect detail, the God of Astronomy and Physics that if planets begin to wobble, it would wipe us all out! Even right now do you understand that you are moving 1200 miles per hour and you look amazing! God has established a case of equilibrium that as we are moving, He causes everything to stay together. Colossians tells us that by the power and the Word of Christ.

1 Timothy 6:20 ~ "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge" 

These are false arguments labeled as science. God said, "I made the world, read my Book and you'll understand science."

These are the souls of those that have been slain by the Word of their testimony and their testimony which they held. When it says that he saw these souls under the altar, it doesn't mean that they are peeping out from underneath the altar in heaven, John's not saying he is looking and he sees these eyeballs peeping out from under the altar, that is not what he is talking about. He is talking about something that is extremely powerful even to the Jewish mind, "the souls under the altar" in Leviticus 4:6-7 ~ " He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the bull's blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting."

It conveys what we have learned at the beginning of this study that you will never understand the Book of Revelation unless you read the Old Testament. The sacrifice was placed beneath the altar. These are believers during the Tribulation Period, that have no rapture coming for them, they have no deliverance and must die for their faith. That is what every Tribulation believer or saint has in common. They will not get raptured, because the rapture has already happened.  The Bible says they must die for their faith during that period. Their souls immediately go into the presence of God. Their bodies must await for the resurrection. Notice that when it refers to the souls being under the altar, that they are very much aware and conscience of what is going on and where they are. They are not sleeping. They are not in some coma, they are very alert! They know they are in heaven. By being beneath the altar, they were sacrificed for believing in Christ! They were martyrs. That is the meaning of that. As we have read in Revelation 6, there is a persecution happening to believers at that time, in the first degree and the Bible mentions the tremendous word, that they were 'slain,' meaning a brutal word, and isn't referenced in the Bible unless referring to a brutal sacrifice. To be slain, means to be murdering in the worst way imaginable. If you think murder is bad enough, these people were tortured.

You think about the murders of the children of Israel at the hands of Pharoah, or the hundreds of thousands of Christians that were killed in China during the Buck's rebellion for their faith or the believers in Russia who were banished in Siberia during the Soviet rule and their empire? Or the believers during Hitler's tyranny, not only 6 million Jews but also a million plus Christians who died under Hitler's regime also who were sympathetic to the Jews? What about the barbarisms of Saddam Hussein and the killings of Christians, not only did he kill his own Kurdish Muslim people, but also the Christians as well? What about the 2 million Christians killed in the last 10 years in the Sudan alone? The word "slain" means the worst kind of way to die. To be brutally tortured, sacrificed and killed.

Revelation 1:9 ~ "I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the Island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. "

If you are going to stand for Christ in the Bible, you are going to be persecuted. In America, we don't know much about it yet, but we are seeing some recent trends showing up with the recent shootings in Oregon's university based on the fact people were killed if they confessed to being a Christian. The Bible says, it's only going to increase both in frequency and in intensity. Judgment is coming to the hands of a non believing world. Jesus said for us to not be surprised at people hating us, because they hated Him first. These in the Tribulation Period had been sacrificed for their faith. Their time on earth had ended.

Notice that the verse, says that "they held on to the Word of their testimony." Why didn't they cave in? Why did all the apostles of Christ die for their faith if it was simply a big lie? Did you know that they all died except for John, they were all persecuted to death? If it was simply a big conspiracy that they would have simply just given up? What about all the believers throughout history? What about all the people in Fox's Book of Martyrs which offers accounts of Christians who could not deny the fact that Jesus had changed their lives, much like these people during the Tribulation Period? What is so powerful is that to embrace that kind of faith that when faced with the odds of being killed, you simply can't deny that Jesus had changed their lives! You can't deny Him. You must hold on to the testimony of Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Notice that before that Peter was denying Christ, but after the resurrection, what do you see Peter doing? Not only standing true to the gospel but his whole life had been changed to the point to where according to church history, Peter was crucified upside down. He could not deny Christ and he died for his faith!

John 6:66-68 ~ "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not want to leave too, do you? Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Do you know what that is like to have that conviction? The Bible tells us that he was mutilated more than any human being ever.

Isaiah 50:6 ~ "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting."

It is hard not to look at that and realize that while that was happening, Jesus was paying for your sins. Your bad temper, your lustful thoughts, your pride, jealousy, arrogance, anger. What is your sin? Every lash or strike was something in your life, he took the price of our sins. How can you turn away from that? He did this for me. He did this for you. I gladly embrace Him and hold on to Him and His testimony, you want to know why? There is nothing in this world that the world can offer me that would take the place of what Christ offers me. Nothing.

What are you living for? Is it worth dying for? This message of love and forgiveness, why do you find fault with it? What is your problem with it? What is your issue honestly with Jesus Christ? Don't blame it on your upbringing or your experience with a particular church. Be honest. He loves YOU! Stop kicking against Him! Give up! Surrender! Don't refuse and reject such love.

They could not let go of their love and testimony of Jesus. A life worth living for is a life that lives beyond death. The believer will be justified in eternity.

Revelation 6:10 ~ "They cried out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"

The word here for "Lord" is a word that isn't often associated with Jesus. It is "despotes" which means absolute ruler; a despot, master, supreme authority. This is a very serious statement that these souls are making in heaven."Lord, Despot, Master and Supreme Ruler over all, how long will you wait before you judge those who murdered us?" Isn't that far different than what Jesus called out from the cross? Remember? "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." What about Stephen? "Lord, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing. Lay not this to their charge. Forgive them." As Stephen was being stoned to death.

In the Tribulation Period, to the Tribulation believer who dies for Christ, what do they say? "How long O' Lord til you bring judgment upon those who have done this?" Why is that? Because it is coming to a time where God's wrath will be coming over to the whole earth. The believer will be justified in eternity, but some might say that's fine but I'm going to get mine now! Don't do it! It's not Christ-like! There is a lot wrong in this world. What should be our response at this time? In righteousness, yes, but loving. In holiness, not compromise, forgiving, pointing people to the cross. Why? Because judgment is coming.

The Bible says that God will judge the earth in righteousness. God loves you, that is true, but you need to come to Christ, to have your sins forgiven, because until we do our wickedness is upon our own neck. That is why He is the Savior. We have to be saved from something to be our Savior.

We are all going to be dying, but what are we dying for? What you're dying for is what you are living for! When you die, you will be resting your soul upon that for all eternity. You'll be called out for that. Will that hold you up? Think about that for a moment. Today, the church is doing everything to get people into its doors. We've never been called to do that. We've been called to give them the words of eternal life which is Jesus Christ. To have faith in Him. We don't have to act like the world, and present ourselves to the world to be attractive to the world.

Do you know what is attractive to the world? The same thing that is attractive to the believer. I can be forgiven and I can go to heaven through Jesus. We need to get back to that everybody! Oh well our church gives free popcorn away! There are even some churches that have beer and Bible gatherings. You don't have to have beer and Bibles or to give popcorn away, but here is my point, the motive was to get people in. Here's what gets people into heaven. Forget about your church. Give them the Word of God. Because Jesus said, "My sheep will hear My voice and follow Me."

If in your church, people are following the band, if they are following the man, if they are following the glitz, the hype and push or coffee, at the time of your death and you lean back for the man, he's not going to be there. He will be someplace else. You can lean back to whatever you have fastened your identity to and it won't hold up. Are you leaning on a steadfast God? Are you leaning on Jesus? If you do, He will never let you down!

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