Friday, October 30, 2015

Is There Any Precident That Must Happen Before the Rapture?

Most people have probably wondered about the very same statement I'm about to share, and wonder what the answer is? What about people living in the most remote places on earth, how do those tribes here about Jesus? How are they saved or are they? It's simple.

The answer is found in Romans 1:20 ~ "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

We still should however keep on with our efforts to reach the ends of the earth with the gospel of Jesus until He calls us home. But Scripture clearly points out that even if it doesn't make it through radio ministries or missionaries, His revelation to the mind of man is that He is Creator God. All of humanity, even the ones not yet reached are without an excuse. He is speaking to them and He will reach them even if we don't. That is how merciful our God is.

Right now you have the choice which type of saint you want to be. Either the Church Age saints, the Tribulation saints or you are going to reject God and be forever separated from the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ when your life comes to an end or until the Lord comes and raptures the church out of this world. There are some who have stopped by here today, and will say to themselves, well if that all really comes to pass, then I will accept Jesus if it happens like the Bible says it will. Be warned, there are some Scriptures that say if you had the opportunity to come to Jesus before this all happens, your heart might grow so hard, that you will buy into the deception and will forever pass up your opportunity to make that choice. Don't play games with God now. You might end up regretting it for the rest of all eternity.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 ~ "And in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."

What this means is that if you understand today, that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, that He died on the cross for your sins and mine, rose from the dead, and that He is the Almighty and that He loves you, there is a possibility that if the rapture were to take place today, and you were left behind, you might not be able to believe. Accept Jesus today, while you can!

The question might also be asked why was the Tribe of Dan deleted from the list of the 12 Tribes of Israel in Revelation 7:5-8? Dan was the first tribe to introduce idolatry into the tribes of Israel. The tribe of Dan also did not want to cross over into the Promised Land, they wanted to stay on the other side. Many Jewish and Hebrew scholars believe in the Scripture that concerns the tribe of Dan in the Old Testament, a rider shall come forth and he shall fall backwards upon his neck. It is a reference that the tribe of Dan will bring forth the Antichrist or that the Antichrist, himself will come out of the tribe of Dan. It is interesting to note however that the tribe of Dan is not mentioned in Revelation 7.

The people mentioned here in Revelation 7 are not the church age saints, they are the Tribulation Saints and it is clear that you must not confuse the two groups. The church age believers come to Christ in faith before the Tribulation. These other people find their faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation period. The church age believers are kept from the Tribulation period, while this group must go through the Tribulation period. The church age believers are seen in heaven wearing fine white linen whereas the tribulation believers wear white robes. The church age believers are called to express their faith by living for Jesus Christ, whereas the tribulation believers are called to express their faith by dying for Jesus Christ. The church age believers are seen seated in heaven before the tribulation period whereas the tribulation believers are found suffering on earth during the Tribulation. The church age believers, they are the heavenly wedding scene whereas the tribulation believers find themselves invited to attend the wedding as well as the Old Testament saints. The Bride and Groom are never invited to the wedding, they are the wedding party. The church age believers are married to Jesus Christ in eternity, whereas the tribulation believers are servants of Jesus Christ forever for all eternity. The church age believers wear crowns in heaven whereas the tribulation believers wear no crowns at all in heaven. The church age believers have harps and vials and the tribulation believers have palm branches. 

Heaven will be well attended by those who have come out of this world.

Revelation 7:13-14 ~ " Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I  answered, "Sir, you know." 

When John says, "Sir, you know," it is a subtle play on words, it is basically saying, "I don't know, how could I, I am new here." John was basically telling him he has no knowledge of these things because he is new in heaven. John knows intuitively that the elder knows both whom they are and where they come from. This is a significant truth here. Why? Because these are the ones mentioned in Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:11 ~ "Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed."

This tells us that in the first 3 1/2 years during the opening portion of the Tribulation period, there will be believers who die during the advent of the Antichrist and his antics. When they die and go to heaven, they cry out in the earlier portions of Revelation 6 about being under the altar and crying out to God how long do they have to wait before God vindicates them and they were told to wait a little longer for the others. Now in Revelation 7, these are the others in that parenthetical insert of the Scripture. We know that the 144,000 are Jewish converts to Christ, and that they do not belong to the church age believers. The preaching of the gospel in the earth will be prolific by this men at that time.

There are some who say, based on the way they have been taught in their churches or doctrines that Jesus Christ can not come back until the gospel has been preached to all the world. Did you know that this is not true? This is not true. There is nothing that proceeds the rapture of the church. There is no prerequisite. In fact, even after the preaching of the 144,000 during the Tribulation period, an angel has to be sent into the atmosphere to preach the everlasting gospel to all peoples and then the end will come. So the gospel will be preached in the world to all the ends of the earth during the Tribulation before the end comes but it is post rapture. The church is already gone. So will the church succeed in reaching every person on the planet? No, but that doesn't mean we give up our mission either through outreaches, because Jesus told us to go into the world and share the gospel to all the ends of the world. We will not reach everyone with the gospel.

The 144,000 will not reach everyone. There will come a moment, when we will study it later, that God will send an angel preaching. This will fulfill Jesus' prophetic words in Matthew 24, this gospel shall be preached in all the world and then the end will come. It will be a gathering of God's faithful in heaven. A faithful believer is one who has his course set.

Revelation 7:14-15 ~ " And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them."

When you stand before the altar as husband and wife, what is the whole thing built upon? Faith! They make a pledge to be faithful to one another. Will rough times come? Will tribulation come? Yes! But will that husband and wife endure and make it through those tough times? We need to be faithful. Even if one of you in your marriage has been unfaithful, turn it around. Keep your focus on God and He can turn it around. Don't make things worse by walking away or become unfaithful as well. God can make you both faithful again. You want your marriage to be so strong in your faith, that if one of you walks away it will be leaving the most godly man or woman on the planet. Be faithful in your duties as a husband or wife. If they attempt to leave, let them know that they are leaving the best man or woman in the world. Faithful and that is just in marriage.

Let us be faithful in ministry. Faithful in loving God, faithful in all of the above. You know that is what heaven will be populated with? Faithful people. All Jesus is looking for is faith in Him. If we have faith in Him, our faith will be an active and loving kind of faith. Are you one of God's faithful people? You must believe and trust and faith in Jesus. We just need to yield to Him! Are you ready to meet him? Accept Jesus today, now is the time!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

No Waiting Lines in Heaven for Believers!

Every day we have trouble on this earth. Someday all that we are doing and living for will no longer be important at all. Our time here on the earth will have been completed. Man's attempt has always been to create some type of Utopian culture and society, from Marxism, Mao, Saddam Hussein to even Hitler had dreams of creating a perfect place yet they have all attempted it without the help of our Creator. There is no heaven, no Utopia without the very Creator of the Universe being involved in it. No matter how valiant man's efforts are, there will never be that Utopia until Jesus Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation called His Second Coming.

The one thing we can never know with absolute certainty is who will be in heaven of those who have gone before us. We can never know what their heart condition was like and if they called out to Jesus in their final moments, like the thief on the cross did. Only God does. There will also be those who inherit Hell. Jesus said that there are a lot more going to hell than going to heaven. The bizarre thing is that is not by His design. Everyone who winds up in Hell goes there by their own choice. There are people going to Hell because they don't want anything to do with God or heaven. Everyone gets a least one prayer answered in life, either choosing to accept Jesus and have Him as part of your life, however brief that is, or to have nothing to do with Jesus. We are now in the concluding verses of our study into Revelation 7, known as a parenthetical pause.

Revelation 7:13-17 ~ "Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, not any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

It seems hard to fathom that the world one day might all come together to create a unified government, a unified church and a unified economy, yet that is just what the Bible says will happen during the Great Tribulation Period that will last for 7 years. That the nations of the world would destroy their borders and usher in peace and prosperity so we could all become one family. The concept is beautiful but the means to obtain that is different than what God has decreed. Once Eden was lost, man attempted to recreate that kind of Utopia here on earth. That was the whole inspiration behind the driving force of Nimrod and the creation of Babylon. That God could be brought down and man could create a Utopia on earth. It is the very doctrine behind the New Age movement. That somehow Utopia could be created by man. But as long as man attempts to govern himself, there will be a separation of nations, and of races, and of powers. There will be those that have, and those that have not. It will be that way until Christ comes and establishes His kingdom. That is the answer.

If you ever take the time to read the Communist Manifesto, what Stalin, Marx and Lennon preached in concept, was great! If you look at it very carefully, it sounds almost biblical. That you would be loving with one another, sharing with one another, yet in the deviousness of man's heart is someone who creates such a thing that is skimming off the top. We know that a man will come, we know him as the Son of Perdition or the Antichrist, who will have an idea to create a one-world government, a cashless society where man does business with numbers globally, and that this man will establish this Utopia under his rule and his reign. All things will be going along well, except for the preaching and presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been learning how 144,000 Jewish men that will come to know Jesus as Messiah, and these guys will be spiritual tornadoes throughout all the earth. There will be a vast amount of people brought to the knowledge of Christ through their efforts, and salvation will be happening on such a grand scale during this time than during any other crusade in the history of the world. Whenever the gospel is preached, decisions are made. Some people will say yes to Jesus and others unfortunately will say no. When this happens during the Tribulation Period, it will make every crusade up to this point look like an attempt compared to what God is going to do during that time.

Revelation 7:3 speaks of the assignment and sealing of the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Revelation 7:9 speaks of their successes as a multitude were saved that went beyond anyone's ability to number them. We will get a sneak peek at the efforts of those 144,000 that those that are saved during the Tribulation period who die during that time will go into the everlasting arms of God, the Father in heaven.

The Bible says" to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" in 2 Corinthians 5:8! No where in Scripture is there a waiting period or a place of holding. No where is Scripture is that a biblical truth. There is no doctrine of purgatory, it doesn't exist. It was created after the year 600, it doesn't exist. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, is a wonderful promise to anyone who believes in Jesus, especially if you are called to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. That is our assured hope and our guarantee!

When those that suffer and die for their testimony during the Tribulation, they go immediately into the presence of God. There is no waiting zone, place of purgatory, no, they go immediately into the presence of God and that is exciting.

Jesus says that heaven rejoices when people come to their faith in Him.

Luke 15:4-7, 10 ~ "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent."

Repent simply means to change your mind. When it says that the shepherd places the sheep upon his shoulders, shows that this sheep was wayward. It's prone to wander. When a lamb goes astray he will be paying for a little disobedience. In the days, shepherds would break the leg of a lamb that continued to go astray. It teaches the little lamb that it must be dependent upon the shepherd if it's going to survive in this evil world. Jesus reminds us how much He loves us despite how much we have wandered away from Him. Maybe God is trying to get your attention today to bring you back to Him. What circumstance are you going through right now, that has you here today? It is the work of the Lord. It is God's desire that our minds need to be changed. That we need to look to Jesus Christ for adoration and worship! We want to look toward Him as our shepherd.

We are taking a sneak peek at what believers of the future shall see. The church remember has already been long removed from the earth during the rapture. Heaven will be well attended.

Revelation 7:13-14 ~  "Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said,"

Where is John right now? He is in the Spirit in heaven seeing these heavenly revelations. John is a member of the church. Remember in Chapter 4 in Revelation, the church has already been caught up into heaven. John is watching this future event and one of the 24 elders, that represent the church, asks John a question. John doesn't know who these people are and where they came from because they are not part of the church.

We as Christians, live in a doctrine of immanency that Jesus could return at any time, the Bible says, without any warning. This is something that we, as a church, await! We live every day of our lives in anticipation of that. Heaven will be well attended by those who have suffered for Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about those who are suffering right now. It is alarming to see how many people are suffering right now in the world for Jesus Christ. There are statistics all over the world that there are people that today will die for their faith in Jesus from North Africa, to China to areas in the deep South Pacific, that if you are a Christian, you will die for Christ! I am not talking about those that are dying for Jesus today .

There will come a time, where the bulk of those who are Christians at that time, must die for Christ. You and I are called to live for Christ in this age. There will come a time during the reign of the Antichrist, where all those who pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ will suffer persecution and the bulk of them will die for their faith in Christ. They will suffer for their identification with Jesus Christ. This group is not the church though the church suffers at this hour. There will be a time when the rapture will take place, the gospel will be preached,  by 144,000, skipping ahead to Chapter 14, Jewish men who are virgins, we speak Hebrew and all kinds of languages, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel.

The people dying for Christ today are different from those that will die for their faith during the Tribulation period. Don't confuse the two groups. Voices of the Martyrs,, there are a number of Christians today being persecuted for their faith to death more than any other time in recorded history. Globally, 100's of thousands are dying for their faith annually now. In the past 21 generations, there has always been a percentage of people who have died for their faith, they're martyred and we are seeing an increase in that today globally.

Those we are studying about in the Book of Revelation in Chapter 7 are not church age saints. These are not Old Testament saints. These are Tribulation saints, these are those that come to faith that are not part of the church , the church is in heaven. These are Tribulation saints, the ones who in future studies, Revelation 13 for example, they will not bow to the demands of the global leader, that we refer to as the Antichrist, they would not receive the mark of the beast. They would not pledge allegiance to his regime. They chose to give their faith to Jesus and honor the Lord. These are the Tribulation saints that will die for their faith, in that period of time. You don't have to be a Tribulation saint. You need Jesus right now and skip all of that. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. You don't know when your day is. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the only way you are getting out of here alive.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is Your Eternal Destination Heaven?

Some of you might be pretty good in math, but in heaven one day there will be a multitude of people that no one can number, from all nations, tribes, peoples and languages. These will be those that come out of the great Tribulation Period, that even John can't count them. They are all giving glory to the Lamb, standing before His throne, dressed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. What this means is that people from all different kinds of religions will hear the gospel during the Tribulation and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That means Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Jews, New Agers, and every other group under the sun will respond to the gospel and be saved. They will make it into heaven because they have been born again.

You can only get to heaven by being born again in John 3 and these people have put their faith in Jesus to save them. They will wake up to the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord. Only one religion is the right one and that is faith in Jesus Christ. There will be a mass of people enter into heaven, declared righteous by the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:9-10a ~ "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:" 

Remember these are the converts that are in heaven that have come from the Tribulation Period thanks to the efforts of the 144,000 evangelists. We will never get the whites and blacks together in peace, the Asians and the Hispanics together in peace, it will never happen no matter what kind of program we implement. There is only one way to crush racial division and ethnic divides. Jesus Christ is the only way. If you understand the gospel you know that Jesus died for all. There is no race that is greater than another one. Racial division is a form of satanic thinking, a form of evil and hatred, because those are not present in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. Racism is satanic to its core.

The apostle Paul spoke to churches that were converted Jews and Gentiles, there were no churches that were exclusively Gentile, unlike some churches in the world today. That is wrong. It is an affront to Christ and an insult to the gospel when you have that kind of division on a church. If you are a born again Jew or a born again Gentile, why are you divided? Isn't that what the Book of Galatians was, to stop it because it's immature? That's carnal, that's division and it's wrong. There is no one better than anyone else in this world. Aren't we one in Jesus?

We will see that the Apostle John does not recognize who any of these people are. They are not from the church age. He doesn't know who they are. They are believers who have come out of great Tribulation. They are not part of the church, they are the Tribulation Saints. We know that there are the Old Testament Saints, there are the Church Age Saints and there are the Tribulation Saints. There are three groups throughout all of history. The Old Testament saints ended with John the Baptist, whom we often attribute with the Church Age saints. He was the last Old Testament prophet. John was of the old economy of God ushering in the Church Age. Is John in heaven or Daniel? Yes!

The Church Age saints are those from the moment the church was born until the rapture. That is called the Bride of Christ. Saints. The church. Once the rapture happens until the Second Coming of Christ, during the 7-year Tribulation Period, there are the Tribulation saints. These three are distinguished in Scripture that we will see as we continue in our study.

What a perfect ending to it all when we know our destination is heaven and it is God who saves. How do we know?

Revelation 7:10 ~ "And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Who are they? John asks the question.

Revelation 7:14 ~ "I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb. Why does it say, "And?" Even though God the Father sits on the throne, there is no salvation outside of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

So how does a man get to heaven?

By bowing his knee or heart so to speak, and accepting Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb. God sent forth His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. Remember Jesus loves us. He willingly died for us.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father, but through Me." ~ John 14:6. Nobody gets to the Father but through Jesus, the Son. It doesn't matter what you believe, there is no other way, but through Jesus. If you don't like it, take it up with God, He wrote the Bible and created you.

1 John 5:11-13 ~ "And that is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Acts 4:10-12 ~ "Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone." Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Philippians 2:9-11 ~ "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth an under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

John 3:35-36 ~ "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

What a perfect ending when It's God who is.

Revelation 7:11-12 ~ "All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"

We already know who the elder and four living creatures are through our previous studies. They worshiped. Everyone who is saved worships! Angels are worshiping, four living creatures are worshiping, Christians are worshiping. It is the one thing we get to do here that we get to do there! Worship.

How do we worship? Singing is one form of worship. When we mean what we sing!

All the inhabitants of heaven are servants of God. Service is the heart of the matter. There is enthusiasm when they worship God. We should all be drunk with the Holy Spirit in our lives. We should be worshiping God because of all He has done for us. When life ends here, it doesn't end for us. He forgives us from all our sins, that should be a reason to worship. We are saved. We should worship God because of His goodness and His ability to promise. There are no promises He denies from us. All God asks from us, is just to walk with Him today. He is the God of ever lasting life. Until we come to see God face to face, we need to ask for God to guide and lead us in the will He has for us.

We will be surprised by those who will be in heaven and then again those who are not. There will be one giant victory celebration in heaven that we will all be a part of because we are believers in Jesus Christ and are born again! It only takes a nano second to accept Jesus into your life. It's just a change of heart.

Do you want that assurance that when you die, you will go to heaven today? It doesn't matter what you have done up to this point, you can have that eternal assurance today. Simply change what you believe in your heart and say this simple prayer:

Jesus, I see You as my Lord and Savior. That You are the Lamb of God who takes away my sins, and I'm asking You right now to forgive me. Make me Your own child. Thank You for dying for me and rising from the dead. I know place my life and my future in Your hands. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why the Jews Don't Accept Jesus as Messiah!

We must never forget that the Lord knows those who are His, much like you know which children belong to you. Jesus said in John 10 and 17, that His sheep know His voice. I know His voice, thank God that I know His voice and I hope that if you have found your way here today, you also know His voice or if you don't, by the end of this message, I will show you how you can. The Lord knows those who are His. Who doesn't love the feeling of belonging to someone who really loves us? There is something we all love when someone we love gives us a big hug and puts their arms around us from our children, to our spouses or even family members and friends. It makes you feel like you belong, you are worthy and you are loved.

We can see how powerful this is, when people all over the world are being persecuted, murdered, beheaded, killed in every manner you can think of, and they are not afraid. They are singing songs, praising the name of Jesus because they are secure in the knowledge of knowing that despite all these things, they belong to God. No other religion in the world gives you that sense of belonging like trusting in Jesus does. How is that possible? Because He is the only one that is real, He is the only one alive and He is the only one who loved you enough to die for YOU! He is the ONLY Way, the Truth, and the Life! You can't get to God any other way, despite what you might have heard. Remember Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of our sins, not some of them.

I believe that when we read of God's sealing of the 144,000 tribes of Israel, that He is providing them with the Holy Spirit, but it's only a guess, which imparts upon them a sense of ownership that no matter what happens in the Tribulation, they belong to God and can't be harmed. They will walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and their ministry will be like that of 144,000 Billy Grahams throughout the world. As the four angels are getting ready to wreck havoc upon the earth, another angel comes to tell them "Time Out, we have to seal these 144,000 first before you unleash the wrath of God!" They will be walking in a bubble of protection and nothing can harm them that God does not allow.

Now we look at salvation and the wisdom of God.

Revelation 7:4-8 ~ "Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000, from the tribe of Gad, 12,000, from the tribe of Asher, 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. "

This is not the church. These are not Gentiles. These are Jewish men from the tribes of Israel. God knows those who are His. The "Church Age" and the age of grace is what we are in right now. That will end the very moment of the rapture and the Day of Christ will begin! God's eye will be focused on the nation of Israel and 144,000 Jews will be sealed to begin evangelizing to the entire world.

Isaiah 49:5 -6 ~ "And now the LORD says - he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength - he says: "it is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

God is not done with the nation of Israel. You need to come to terms that the nation of Israel is not going anywhere. It was brought back as a nation for the second time on May 14, 1948 and it will continue no matter who threatens to destroy it. God has put His hand on that country and He is doing a work in them.

Romans 11:25 ~ "I did not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in."

Isaiah 43:5-6 ~ "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Don not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth -" 

God is not done with the nation of Israel and one of those reasons is that He is going to call out 144,000 of them to be preachers and evangelists. There will be two groups of people saved during the Tribulation period. (1) Many Jewish people will awaken and to see Jesus as the Messiah, and (2) those non-Jewish people who come to believe in Jesus due to the preaching of the 144,000. God has an awesome plan for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel! It's time to choose God and move on!  If you try to share God with most Jewish people right now, they think you are nuts, did you know that? They just don't see Jesus as the Messiah! The Bible says that they can't, that there is a veil over their eyes according to what we just read in Romans 11:25. God has blinded them.

The Bible says that Satan has blinded the minds of those in this world that do not believe, did you know that? That is one group of people in the world. The second group is those that does believe in Jesus, called Christians, and then there is also a third group of people, they are not blinded by Satan. Did you ever think of that? Who are they blinded by? God! He has blinded the Jewish nation until He is ready to open the blinders. Satan hasn't blinded them. Isn't that interesting?

God in all His wisdom has a great plan during the Tribulation, besides the 144,000 sealed, there will be an untold amount that will choose Jesus both Jewish and Gentile alike during this time. They decide to choose Jesus and move on. There are those in the world today, that haven't yet made that decision to choose Jesus, and if you are one of those people, you are walking a fine line, kinda of like sitting on an ice cube right now over hell. It's bad enough to sit on an ice cube, but have you ever slipped on ice? No matter how great you look, in a second you are humbled when you slip on that ice. You are finally brought down no matter how much you think of yourself, just like the rest of us.

You might be thinking to yourself right now, "I'm not sure I'm ready to make that decision just yet, I still have a few things left that I want to do first." Watch out and beware. Right now during this time of preaching the gospel during the time of grace, the call is upon you right now to choose. We will see in 2 Thessalonians 2 in future studies that once the rapture happens, those people who just prior to the rapture who played with the idea of the gospel and didn't accept Christ and put Him off, the Bible says that God, Himself, will turn upon them, and send them strong delusions so that they will not believe the truth, they will not come to the knowledge of the truth, because they would not during that time of the gospel of the Church Age.

So then who will get saved? The multitudes of the Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation Period who did not have opportunity to respond to this age of preaching this gospel. Did Jesus not say to go unto all the world and preach the gospels to all the ends of the earth? Not only that at the end of the Tribulation Period or near the end of it, the Bible tells us that there is going to come a time when God will send an angel to flew through the midst of the atmosphere, not the stars, and it will not be a satellite message either, that does not answer what the Bible tells us. It will be an angel sent from God out of heaven, and it will proclaim the everlasting gospel to the entire world and then the end will come upon the earth.

The church is to do it now. Israel is to do it during the Tribulation Period, and when God is done with both, God is going to say, "Angel, one last time, preach it all around the globe, and then that's it. It's over." If you are playing around with the gospel today, you'd better stop playing. You better receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are having a hard time seeing that, speak to God, open your Bible and He will show it to you. If you want to kill about an 1 1/2, go see the Passion of the Christ. If you need to see something about what Jesus did for you, go see Mel Gibson's rendering of the Passion of the Christ. I stress this rendering because as accurate as it is, it is not accurate enough. In that movie, Jesus is shredded in that and you'll walk away disgusted, changed hopefully, but in the book of Isaiah, it says that Jesus was mutilated so much so that you couldn't even tell who it was or if it was human or not. All you saw was the silhouette of a human being. Can you imagine putting a human being in a blender, turning it on, pouring it out into the shape of a human being and having it stand up? Marred more than any other man for our sins, He loves us that much!

Did you know that while He was on the cross, He was accepting you? All of the sins of the world we could ever commit past, present and future by every single person who had been born, was born and will be born, He paid the price of all it, just for YOU! He accepted it all willfully. That is why He said, "Father if this cup be taken from me, may it pass." The answer was no, it may not. Salvation knows no other way, but for Jesus to go to the cross. And He took upon Himself, what you and I deserve.

John 4:14 ~ " but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Do you know what this verse means? It means that when you taste of what Jesus offers, you will not be like a little bumble bee. What do they do when spring comes? They go from flower to flower sampling all the nectar. They don't build a house on just one flower. There are a lot of people who come from religion to religion to religion, sampling everything that there is to offer, and try to build their own little life from what they like from each of them. Jesus says that when they sample from what He offers, they won't want to go anywhere else!

John 6:51 ~ "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

John 5:39 ~ "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,"

Remember that salvation has a perfect ending. As we look back to the first three words of Revelation 7, "After these things," I had you circle them in your Bible, to make a special note about them, and now we come to verse 9, "After these things," again! In the Greek it is "meta tauta" and means that same as Hollywood filming a scene and when they get to the end, they say, "It's a wrap!" Simply put verses 1-8 in Revelation, "It's a wrap, it's complete! Stop! Change of scene! Bring in the new set! Get ready to film!" Do you get that?

Beginning in Revelation 7 in verse 9, there is insert, still a parenthetical insert, but now there is a shift change. It's all about a God who loves.

Revelation 7:9-10a ~ " After these things, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:"

Why is this important? It is an interesting group of people, who they are and where they come from. Who are they? They are obviously converts by what they say in a moment. We know that they have the white robes that were given to them. They are before the throne of God and before the throne of the Lamb. Notice where they are at and who they are? Some of them are Jewish but not limited to Jews, these are the converts that comes from the preaching of the 144,000. The verses says that they come from all nations, tribes, people and languages.

You might be well versed in knowing about the Bible, but it doesn't mean you know who Jesus is. He is not only the author but He is the One who the Bible says He is. That is why you need to read the Bible and understand it is all about Jesus Christ. If you don't understand something, pray about it and ask God for understanding and remember, it all points to Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Does It Mean to Be Sealed?

We all handle trouble differently when we encounter it, we either run to God or run from God. Here in the Book of Revelation, we see quite a bit is happening from angelic ministries and how they are involved and what their duties are, to the trouble that is about to befall those left on the earth. What do you do when you find yourself in trouble? From that pink slip your boss hands you, to that call from your doctor. Where do you run?

Now more than ever I believe we are seeing more and more troubling things in this world from global economies in trouble to trouble with meteorological conditions in America. We have racism in trouble, violence in trouble, doctrine in trouble, marriages in trouble, and even government in trouble. I believe this is unprecedented for the first time in the history of the world. Why? I believe it is so we can call out to God in the midst of our troubles, but if we, as believers, don't call out to Him, repent from what we've been doing, and seek revival, then the troubles will only continue and get much worse. I believe these are all warning signs from God. If you doubt what I am saying that's fine, but I would encourage you to read Joel 1 to see how God allows things to happen to get our attention. He allows things to happen so that we might call out to Him.

As you might remember when we picked up our study last week about Chapter 7 in the Book of Revelation that this breaks up the chronological events for us to gather a bit of very important information derived directly from God before we can move on. Kinda of like pressing the pause button in the middle of the movie to give you some background information that helps you understand what will be happening before we move forward through the rest of the Book. We know that the information we read in Revelation is all about the future insights into what is coming to the world. John sees the Revelation of End Times.

When we left off on Friday, we learned that God has ordained four angels to hold back the very elements of earth and has assigned them that very duty for this time.

Revelation 7:1-3 ~ "After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angels coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea. "Do not hard the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 

We learned that salvation is being prepared to be delivered to the world at this terrible and dark time. We saw that there is an angelic ministry relating to the powers of nature. These angels have the power to hold back the things we take for granted. Do you know when the weather is about to change, the wind will always blow first? It's making an announcement that a change is coming in the weather if you have ever studied up on weather events. Imagine God will command the angels to hold back the winds. There will be horrific fall out because of that.

We then learned that an angel has been given the duty to place a seal upon 144,000 Jewish Hebrew-speaking virgin men from each of the 12 tribes of Israel and this has to happen before the wrath of God continues. No one knows what the "seal of the living God" means but we have speculated on what it might be. Whenever you look up the word "seal or sealing" in the Bible it is a very strong word of authority. When anything of value was purchased or owned it was sealed by its owner. It has hot wax poured over it, like a knot and then embossed with a signet ring from the owner until the time of redemption. That means it was sealed until such time as the owner came and took it. Kinda like a layaway program. They put your stuff away with a small deposit and no one can purchase it because it has your name on it. When you pay it off, it's yours to take.

Esther 8:8 ~ "And a decree shall be written concerning the Jews, (1) as it pleases you, (2) in the king's name and (3) seal it with the king's signet ring; benefit = for whatever is written in the king's name sealed with the king's signet ring shall no one revoke." 

This means that anything that has been sealed has been accepted, approved and marked on the authority of.

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 ~ "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

For those of you that struggle in your salvation, questioning whether you have it one day and then cover yourselves with yet another altar call just to make sure, never quite knowing if you are truly saved or not, trust in the assurance of this verse that you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment you said "Yes" to Jesus and asked for forgiveness of your sins, and Jesus came into your life, how did God do that? How does God the Father implement the salvation of His Son worked out upon the cross, in the life of a believer today? God the Father sends forth the Holy Spirit in the name of God and according to the Bible, you are baptized into the body of Christ. The Greek implies strongly that it is a once and for all thing. You are either saved today or you're not.

You're either going to heaven or you're not. You either have the Holy Spirit in you or you don't. If you don't by the way, that can all change by the hearing of the Word of God. It is very important to be sealed by the Holy Spirit. It means to be stamped approved, accepted and under the authority of God.

Ephesians 1:13-14 ~ "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory." 

I don't know about you, but I am going to heaven and it has nothing to do with what I have done. It has nothing to do with what I have said or didn't say. It has nothing to do with what I have given or haven't given. It has to do with the fact that I recognize that Jesus died on the cross for me, and that at that moment according the Bible, the Holy Spirit sealed me. The moment we come to faith, we are sealed! The moment any of us does it, the Bible says that angels rejoice in heaven over that! There is no where in Scripture does it say at any time you will be unsealed. The angels wouldn't rejoice if we kept getting our seal broken. That should be a comforting thing. If you have been saved, given your life to Jesus, been born again, the Bible strongly suggest that you will never been unborn again.

You may believe in Jesus just like you believe in George Washington, but you may not be trusting Jesus just like you don't trust George Washington in history. You believe in Jesus, you are religious, but you might not be going to heaven because of that. Have you come from that place of knowing all about Christ, and all the personal history of Christ, but have you come to personal know Christ by relationship? It's a big difference! To believe in Christ and then to come to trust in Christ! The Bible warns us that Satan and his demons believe in Jesus, and they tremble when they think of Him, but they are not saved are they? Have you put your faith in Christ?

Ephesians 4:29-30 ~ "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

The Holy Spirit seals us and with that sealing that He does, there will be no break in it. You've been accepted by Jesus, regardless of how you feel. How many of us, really feel worthy of what Jesus has done for us? He loves us. He died for us all personally. You are THE one! It's not the righteous or self righteous. Do you think anything you have done is more powerful than Christ? He died for all of our sins not just some of them.

God adores us. He has numbered the very hairs on our head. He tells us these things so we know what is coming. Remember as a Christian, our vantage point is from heaven. We will not be a part of this time that is coming. If you are not a Christian now, it's not too late for you! You can be a Christian today, because Jesus wants a personal relationship with Him. He is waiting for you to come to Him.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Angels Assigned to Nations!

If you have been following this study, we learned that Chapter 7 in the Book of Revelation is a pause in the story to provide us with some relevant information that we need to know to understand the remainder of the book. It's called a parenthetical pause. The one thing we need to understand when we read our Bible is understanding the validity of the nation of Israel, where most people would like to simply wipe them off the face of the earth, or say that because Israel rejected Jesus the remainders of the promises of the Bible no longer relate to Israel or the Jewish people, but the church age believers. That is just not true.

God promises that in the last days He will gather together the nation of Israel, not any other nation! All of the ancient prophecies that are foretold by the prophets said that before God establishes His kingdom, or the Messiah returns back to earth, He will again bring Israel back into her promised land. We are living in a time where this has begun, first with the Zionist movement where Israel as a nation was created in a day for the second time on May 14, 1948, we still see Jews emigrating back to their homeland which they have never been to before, no other nation in the history of the world has had a second birth, and for the first time, the church and Israel exist on the same timeline. What does that mean? That means that Jesus, for us, can come back at any moment. We don't have salvation, unless God keeps His promises to the nation of Israel! He told them His covenant with them was everlasting, if He breaks that promise, than we have no hope of eternal life. The same Jesus that died for our sins, died for us all, the Gentiles and the Jews!

Remember if you are not Jewish, you are a Gentile. I am a Gentile. We know that God has a certain number of Gentiles that need to come to believe before Jesus returns for His church and only He knows when that number will be complete as we learned from Romans 11:25 yesterday. Each time someone gets saved, the number increases and moves us ever closer to the end.

Isaiah 43:1-6 ~ "But now, this is what the LORD says - he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the sound, "Do not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth - "

In fact the Bible promises that there will be a great revival of Jews who come to know Jesus as Savior during the Tribulation period.

Ezekiel 37:12-14 ~ "Therefore prophesy and say to them: "This is what the Sovereign LORD says:"O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it declares the LORD."

I believe when that happens, the church will have a bird's eye view from heaven. We already see a great movement happening as millions of people continue to move there from all over the world, in record numbers never before seen in the history of man.

Revelation 7:1-3 ~ "Revelation 7:1-12 ~ "After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angels coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."

We learned that the words "After this" means directly after the final verse of chapter 6. There shouldn't be a period in our Bibles, but a comma or a pause in the story as we have been reading it by God, to inject some important information we need to know before continuing in the Book of Revelation.

Chapter 7, verses 1-8, let's refer that as Phase 1. Chapter 7, verses 9-17, we will refer that as Phase 2. Phase 1 is a division after these things or "After this." These are the things that John saw on earth before the Second Coming of Christ happens. That is verses 1-8. It is clearly Jewish, this is where Jehovah's Witnesses are deceived. They are not of the 144,000 that this chapter refers to. This also does not refer to the 7th Day Adventists. They are not these people. They think they are. They believe that if the Lord raptures the church on a Saturday and the 7th Day Adventist who is keeping Saturday holy, they are the ones that get to be raptured. Anyone who has slacked off that day or the rest of us, don't get to go. I got news for them, it won't be them. None of the 144,000 get raptured.

They are all Jews from the tribes of Israel. So the next time some one knocks on your door, ask them what tribe they are from. When we get to Chapter 14, we will learn that they are all virgin men, who speak Hebrew and have the gift of Evangelism. Chapter 7, from verses 9-17, are what is called Phase 2, that will be discussing in the future, this is what John saw on earth, after the Second Coming of Christ. Verses 9-17 are clearly Gentile in context and it relates to earthly worship. Verses 1-8 clearly Jewish in context and it relates to the ministry during the Tribulation of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

In Revelation 7:1, we see the angelic ministry relating to the powers of nature. These angels are given  powers to hold back certain elements that have to deal with the natural course of nature. Notice the grand authority given to these angels. It says that these angels are given the power to hold back the wind. God grants them that authority. There are angels of varying degrees of ministry, if you didn't know that. There are certain angels who have assignments to specific nations. Imagine there is an angel assigned to the nation of the United States. We know from the Book of Daniel that there is an angel assigned to the nation of Iran. There is an angel assigned to the region of Babylon. There is a specific angel you should know by name that is assigned to the region of Israel, do you know his name? He is known for getting into a fight every time there is a battle? Michael! Gabriel is assigned to make announcements. He must have a great voice! Every time Michael shows up in the Bible, he has gloves on!

There are angels assigned to judgments, remember the angels assigned to Sodom and Gomorrah? There are specific angels who levy judgments against those who sin against the Lord. Remember Balaam when he was riding his donkey? Balaam is not obeying God, and God dispatches an angel to kill him, but then God calls him off. Then there was 186,000 Assyrian soldiers and in one night an angel sent by God kills them all in a moment. That's power!!! You can't do that with any smart bomb. There are certain angels assigned to announcements as we have mention, certain angels assigned to spiritual warfare, and there are certain angels assigned to God's people, both Jews and Gentiles. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 1:14 ~ "Are not angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"

Angels for us. That is a very powerful thing. So many people have written books about the verse in Revelation 7:1 about the four angels that hold back the winds in the four corners and with that they attempt to prove the Bible is wrong. They use this verse and claim on scientific terms, meaning that people have accused God for more than a 1000 years of being limited in His scientific understanding because according to Revelation 7:1, God, they think, is declaring the world is flat, because it has four corners. Isn't that stupid?

If you have any understanding of maps, topography, astronomy, and if you want to study the heavens, you have to lay it out on a single page. The problem is that the page is flat. You have to unwind it. Don't get lost in that. If you ever go online to some place like NASA, and lets say you want to track the progression of the shuttle, do they present a globe on the website and you have to keep clicking on the globe so it turns around so you can watch it as it goes over Africa? No! What do you do? You click on NASA, and you see what is called a surface map, because it's the only way you can see a circle, or the globe in one moment. You have to unwind it and lay it out on a flat page, so you can see it all in one moment.

The words in Greek "gonia," which means quadrants, angles, sections, or divisions,  and Hebrew "kanaf" which means to the extremity of, or to the very ends of the earth", are used here and its fantastic because God is so smart that it takes a while for us to catch up. God has determined that when you lay it all out flat, there are four corners. That is why the US Marines have boasted that they can respond to any crisis anywhere in the world because they come from the four corners of the earth. They're not stupid. They understand that if you want to monitor the world, you lay it out on a flat page. God is saying, "I'm watching it all!"

You can't even think about having a North, South, East and West unless you apply God's law of Him viewing the earth laid out with four corners. There is no such thing as an East, West, North and South without God.

Isaiah 40:22 ~ "He sits enthroned about the circle of the earth." 

What is amazing and scientifically accurate is the fact that our earth and its weather patterns are totally dependent on complete interaction, meaning that what is happening in China weatherwise will impact California in about 2 weeks, plus or minus 3 days. What happens today in Africa weather wise will impact the entire eastern seaboard in about two weeks, plus or minus 3 days! The creation will be effected by the impending judgment of God to soon come.

Now lets look at the angelic ministry relating to the Jewish remnant.

Revelation 7:2a ~ " Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God." 

John sees this angel and they have a very specific ministry assigned to them, and he has the seal of the living God. No one knows what this seal is, the only thing that is the popular view is that when God saves someone the Bible says in Ephesians 1 and 4, that He seals you with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. It means we are put on lay away now until He comes back! The word in Ephesians 1 and 4 is that that seal can never be broken! For those of you that want to struggle with your eternal security, go ahead. I, for one, am saved! I know it. It has nothing to do with what I have done, in fact it is in spite of what I have done. But I know this, the Holy Spirit is in my life. I've never heard of Him audibly, but I know He is with me.

It says here that He will apply that seal upon those 144,000 preachers, and they will (1) be immune from the judgments that will come upon the earth. They will be divinely protected. (2) They will be protected against the antics of the Antichrist. He will have no power over them until God grants him power. Many scholars believe that when the Holy Spirit raptures the church out of here, He will resume back to His Old Testament type of ministry once the church is gone. Meaning that He came upon people like David, and others, and when the church is taken out of the earth, He will once again come upon people like He did back in the Old Testament economy. There will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we will talk about next week, of such power that will come upon the Jewish remnant, 144,000, and God will make them His great servants during that period of time.

Revelation 7:2-3 ~"  Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 

God is telling them not to harm the land or the sea or the trees during the Tribulation period, until I have sealed the servants of God upon their foreheads.This is a divine sealing that will take place upon them and that is a very important thing. God knows those who serve Him and He places a seal upon them in that period of time. We are NOT living in these days that we are studying today, but that time is coming. But God knows you who are Christians! He knows who is real and who is playing games. He knows those that are His. Paul said in the Book of Romans, "that we are justified by faith in God."

James comes along and accents, doesn't contradict. By the way, the Book of Romans is written to believers and non believers alike to anyone who will listen. The Book of James, is written to believers, exposing nonbelievers. The Bible says, "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." James reminds us that if we have faith, we will have Christian service in our life. You're going to be ministers if you are saved. You're going to be servants if you are saved. That's the fact of Christianity. It's a verb. Don't mistake it for a noun. Christianity does.