Friday, July 12, 2019

GRACE OR SIN

Grace or sin



The Apostle James changes his tone about the subject of temptation. If we are tempted with a sin --- an enticement as it were according to James 1:14 we can never say "I want to sin" is from God.

First of all God can never be tempted with evil nor does He ever tempt any person for any reason. This does not come from God. The first truth we as Christians need to understand is when demons tempt us that is not a sin but it is a test. The only time the enticement becomes a sin is when that person is drawn away because of his or her lust. This is the only way the enticement will be effective so the obvious answer to not committing transgressions is to not be drawn away with our own lust. The choice is up to us but the command is from God to not let this happen which means we have to be on guard all the time.

The second step is when lust is conceived we sin. A basic principle in the Bible is sin brings forth death. James urges his readers not to be deceived but then James once again changes his tone and says every good and perfect gift is from above. Let me just stop there because when demons tempt us with sin that is from below. These good and perfect gifts come from the Father of lights and there is no variableness in God; however, this is in demons. There is no shadow of turning in God and yes I have heard many heaven testimonies where they all testified that when they were traveling down the streets of Paradise they never saw their shadow. 

Whenever God does something it is of His own will and He decided to give us the word of truth. The reason why the Triune Godhead did this is because we as Christians are to be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. It would only stand to reason that if we listen to the enticement of demons and allow ourselves to be drawn away of our own lusts we are for all practical purposes second fruits of sin that leads to death. James is making a comparison of us being tempted and perhaps caving into the transgression against Jesus Christ or keeping our focus on the Father of lights. I am going to expand on this passage but first let me quote the original text of this passage so you can read it and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(13) "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (16) Do not err, my beloved brethren. (17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (18) Of His own will will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." James 1: 13 - 18. 

God is not the author of any person's transgressions but some Christians may fall in their hour of temptation. The Bible warns believers in Jesus Christ not to live a life of sin. Whether we sin every once in a while or give ourselves to a lifestyle of transgressions the blame of this conduct lies entirely on the Christian that made a choice of being drawn away of his or her own lust. If you feel you are living a lifestyle of sin / sins do what you have to do to stop. The believer in Jesus Christ that constantly transgresses against God is in serious trouble before divine authority. Pray that Jesus Christ gives you the conviction in your heart that sin is wrong. There is nothing in the nature of God where we can say, "God made me do this transgression against Him."

The Bible clearly says that God can not be tempted with evil so it would have to be obvious that Jesus Christ will not be a tempter to other people. Sinning is bad enough but to blame it on God as opposed to taking responsibility for our transgression / transgressions is not only incorrect but the real problem is we do not have strong conviction in our hearts against something destructive in our life. When God sends afflictions and pain in our life the end result is to trust Jesus Christ and rely on His grace, not go the other way into corruption.

We need to ask ourselves a question and that would be where does the true cause of evil lie or where should the blame be put from a biblical prospective? When it comes to temptation, evil and sin it is originally in our hearts. It is born in us but outward causes may tempt us to be enticed into a full blown episode. First it is in us, then it draws us away and finally entices us into sin. This whole process carries us from good to evil. We could literally have a strong fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and then fall into sin which is usually measured in degrees if we allow the temptation to draw us away and entice us into a transgression against God. The term drawn away is to be forcible compelled so at certain points of our life it will be very hard to abstain from sin. The word enticed means to be beguiled so the power of sin could never have victory unless something cunning takes place from the corruption of our hearts. 

Sin excites desires in us and then we consent to the transgression but at this point it is conceived. Unfortunately this brings forth death. First this death takes place in the soul and then it is manifested in the body. The moral is we need to be careful with what goes into our minds and hearts. I can guarantee you that we will be tempted at our weakest moments so in advance Christians may desire to pray for those inevitable times when enticements will come into our life. If we know we sinned it should be obvious that repentance should take place before God through His Son Jesus Christ.

I like the way James changes his tone and says God is the Father and fountain of all good. If we have a wrong misconception of God this can be very dangerous to our spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. Sin is evil but we serve a good God. When James says do not err or wander we need to remember God is not the author of anything that is evil. Just the opposite is true because Jesus Christ is the cause of everything that is pure and holy. God does not change but our off course directions are not altered by God. If this happens in our walk with Jesus Christ we must look inside ourselves and even be more determined that we are going to do the will of God.

When we look at the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning understand that every good gift is from Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can give us as believers in Christ the light of spiritual reasoning. This is a vast contrast from temptation and sin but James understood that unless we on a regular basis seek the Father of lights that gives spiritual reasoning we will fall into transgressions. This "Light" teaches us biblical principles and divine revelation which we desperately need because our sin nature will take center stage if we as Christians do not position ourselves before God in a proper way to receive this gift through His Son Jesus Christ. The bottom line is we will receive nothing good unless we as believers in Christ get this pureness from God. We were redeemed by Jesus Christ and certainly do rejoice but the benefits of being born again Christians is His "Light" which involves spiritual reasoning, learning and as a result comfort. 

When we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts we became a new creature in Jesus Christ but we must remember this was not because of our skill, power or good works. This happened to us because of the goodwill and grace of God through the redeeming power of His Son Jesus Christ. This is why we as Christians are able to proclaim the word of truth or the gospel of Jesus Christ because His resurrection Power conquered sin and we or anyone who desires to come to the Lord has power over sin through the Son of God who died for our sins. If you feel deep down that you have not made that all important eternal decision now may be the time to accept Jesus Christ into your hearts by repenting of all your sins and inviting the true Messiah into your life. This decision will produce real and lasting effects in your life. 

If you just made this decision rely upon the renewing grace of God through His Son in the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Like the passage says in this article if we do not then we are far more susceptible to fall into sin. Remember Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could be set free from our transgressions.

James also talks about that we should be a kind of first - fruits of His creatures. Without getting to deep into this subject Jesus Christ is the first - fruits of His children. He is the head and we are His body. The most popular interpretation is Christians are the first - fruits of creatures. Our primary focus should be Jesus Christ is the first - fruits of His children. Praise the Lord because we serve the head who is sinless and pure and desires to impart this in our hearts.

God Bless You,
Bob D.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

STANDING STRONG FOR JESUS CHRIST WHEREVER YOU ARE IN LIFE!

Standing strong for Jesus Christ wherever you are in life



In my last article I explained that if we ask God for wisdom He will bestow this in our spirit. I had to stop the writing at James 1:5 but in verses 6 - 8 the Apostle gives the conditions for receiving wisdom. If we ask Jesus by faith without wavering this is indeed what God desires to see in our hearts and minds. I believe one bit of practical advice would be we should ask God for this faith without wavering so our conviction is strong when we make intercession for this wisdom in our trials. When the average person goes through something they usually get angry or upset but this lacks the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit working through our hearts.

If a Christian does not have the conviction of faith without wavering then he or she is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. If you ever observed that it is very unpredictable to say the least.

Then James in verse seven writes very bluntly in essence do not think that a believer in Jesus Christ will receive anything from the Lord. This is pretty heavy duty language to not even be the recipient of even one thing in this particular context. This is not to say we did not receive anything from God in other areas of our life but when it comes to wisdom and trials that we are presently facing faith without wavering compliments God through our spirit of belief. If we are double minded the bottom line is we are unstable in all our ways. Does this sound like faith without wavering ? The latter says God I know you love me and you are a good Father and desire the best for me but being double minded is putting God in a position where He can not give us a definitive blessing which includes wisdom from heaven.

The Apostle James talks about the brother of low degree and rejoice that he is exalted. This was the way of James phrasing that a born again Christian should be humble in their bad circumstances approaching Jesus Christ in faith and asking for wisdom in the middle of hardships. We think it is more spiritual to be taken away from our trials but for the most part we learn so much more trusting God during our sufferings.

James also writes about the rich person and says he or she is made low because as the flower of the grass he or she will pass away and die. We were born with nothing and we will die with nothing. Of course I am talking about earthly riches. Being rich is not a sin but the "Love" of money is a transgression against God. It is not a good idea to get attached to anything in this world. James goes into another analogy about the sun with it's burning heat withers the grass and the flowers die. The beauty perishes and the rich person will die in his ways. In context James is talking about the corrupt wealthy person that does not care about God but is depending on his money to save him.

In the last verse that I will be going over the Apostle James goes back to the person that has sincerity for God. He switches his tone from hardships in trials to enduring temptation. If said Christian is tempted with sin and is in the habit of refusing to cave into transgressions this believer in Jesus Christ will receive the crown of life as a reward in heaven. The connection most Christians do not seem to understand is abstaining from sin is loving God. Let me just quote the original text so you can read this passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study in the Bible.

(6) "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (8) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (9) Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: (10) But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. (11) For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. (12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receice the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." James 1: 6 - 12.

There is one thing essential to be understood in our asking God for His wisdom. No wavering or staggering at this promise of God through our spirit of unbelief. Our intention must be sincere and our mind should be steadfast in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is our responsibility in our afflictions because we will be like a wave tossed by the wind. Faith can lift us up but distrust can bring us down. If you ever read the entire Bible God places a high degree of having faith in Him. If a believer in Christ changes from unbelief to doubt in God this Christian is not going to have favor with God. In this context he or she can not expect wisdom from Jesus Christ in their distress which is the plan of God. If our spirit wavers and we do not have true faith in Jesus Christ this will influence our conversation in our prayer life. It is true because some intercession can be destructive. We will even be unstable in life and our responses will be evident as people observe us walk in our journey and this will reflect bad on the Person of Jesus Christ.

James makes it clear that it does not matter if you are rich or poor because both are directed on how to receive this joy and comfort from God in times of affliction. When James writes about Christians that are of low degree they are just as important as believers in Christ who have money. The only things we do that are going to last for eternity are that which we do for Jesus Christ with the right motive. I have seen some of the poorest Christians extremely rich in Jesus Christ. I have seen rich people very unhappy. There is no condition in life that puts us out of reach of rejoicing in God. If we are made low in life we are in a greater position to receive the grace of Jesus Christ through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. If we are low that just gives us an opportunity at our prospect of our exaltation because God has a heart for these types of people.

If anything rich people according to James 1:10 -11 should be humbled because they along with their wealth are going to die. Just as the flower fades so will the rich man unless he lived his life for Jesus Christ. The rich person should rejoice but not in what God allowed him or her to possess but in the grace of Jesus Christ that keeps this person humble even or should I say especially in their high status of life. A rich powerful person in pride will be destroyed in his or her soul and will probably ruin other lives in life for eternity. I have never seen so much big money running around in the history of all mankind and with equal measure I have never seen so much sin and corruption on this earth.

There is a special blessing that is promised to those who endure their duties for the Lord along with trials. A person that just got redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ right before he dies can not expect to receive the same reward as the Apostle Paul. It is not the person that grows in the Lord only when he is blessed but endures in hard times and remains faithful to God. James 1:12 says there is a crown waiting for him or her that rejoices in good times and endures in bad times. Afflictions may cause us pain but a blessing usually arises from them. It can sometimes be very difficult to keep our devotion to Jesus Christ at horrible set backs when humanly speaking in our circumstances there is just no hope but sufferings and temptations are the way to eternal blessedness.

Verse twelve says when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life because when the grace of God is found in this Christian to be authentic this is of very high worth to heaven. To give you a human analogy earthly metals are tried to their excellency by fire but in like manner the tried believer in Jesus Christ shall receive this particular crown. This is referred to in this passage as the crown of life. We only bear our cross for a season on earth in these fleshly bodies but this reward is for eternity. This is promised to a Christian living a righteous life in trials enduring to the end. When we endure trials and temptations we must continue to love Jesus Christ. To phrase this another way the crown of life is promised to believers in Jesus Christ who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Good and bad times will come because this is the way life is but we must remain faithful to Jesus Christ.

If you are one that does not know the true Messiah who created you now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. We are all going to go through good and bad times but there is something about the person that does this with allegiance to Jesus Christ. The person who does not care may get drunk but his or her problems still lie dormant in life with no real solution. Having an eternal perspective through the Person of Jesus Christ is the plan of God and according to James 1:12 we will receive a heavenly reward.

God Bless you,
Bob D.          

Monday, July 01, 2019

The Rapture

THE RAPTURE {CATCHING-AWAY} OF BELIEVERS

MEANING OF THE WORD "RAPTURE"

The "Rapture" is the name given to a Biblically revealed event in which Jesus Christ descends from Heaven, accompanied by the spirits of all the saints who have passed on prior to this event, and then the bodily remains of these saints are transported from the earth to meet the Lord and be rejoined with their corresponding spirits in the air. Immediately after this, all Christians alive on the earth are simultaneously transported to meet the Lord and those who have preceded them in the air. All are transformed into immortal bodies like Jesus' body, referred to as the "resurrection body".

"Rapture", when used in eschatological terms, is an English word used in place of the Latin word raeptius, which is taken from the Vulgate version of the Bible, which in turn is a translation of the Koine Greek word harpazo, found in the early Greek New Testament manuscripts of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

In many modern English translations of the Bible, harpazo is translated; "caught up", or "taken away". The meaning of "harpazo"[ har-pad'-zo Koine Greek;] is= "forcibly snatched away", "taken for oneself".

THE RAPTURE WAS A HIDDEN MYSTERY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

(Gen 49:10 KJV) The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the GATHERING of the people be.

*Note: this is the only occurance of the word "Shiloh" in the OT, and means "peace". Shiloh={Heb=an epithet for the Messiah; tranquility, prospering, peace,} Also, the name "Melchizaderk", who is also a type of Christ or a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ , means "the King of Peace".

(Gen 14:18 KJV) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

(Heb 7:1-3 KJV) For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; {2} To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; {3} Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

THE FEAST OF "IN-GATHERING"... AN OLD TESTAMENT HINT ABOUT THE RAPTURE

(Exo 23:14-16 KJV) Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) {16} And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast GATHERED* in thy labours out of the field.

* The Hebrew word for "gathered" means " to receive, to take away, to take up. Jesus said:

(John 14:1-3 KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and RECEIVE you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

THE NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION OF THE RAPTURE- WHAT WAS HIDDEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS CLEARLY STATED IN THE NEW

(1 Th 4:13-18 KJV) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. {14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. {15} For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent {precede) them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

(1 Th 5:1-6 KJV) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. {2} For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. {3} For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. {4} But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. {5} Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. {6} Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

THE RAPTURE IS ASSOCIATED WITH A CHANGE TO A HEAVENLY BODY

(1 Cor 15:49-58 KJV) And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. {50} Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. {51} Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {52} In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. {53} For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. {54} So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. {55} O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? {56} The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. {57} But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. {58} Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

THE RAPTURE IS GOD'S PROVISION TO PROTECT BELIEVERS FROM COMING JUDGEMENT. THIS DEMONSTRATES A CONTINUING PRINCIPAL THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE

(Gen 18:25 KJV) That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

(Exo 12:7,12-13 KJV) And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses,... (12} For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. {13} And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.

(Psa 11:4-7 KJV) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. {5} The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {6} Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. {7} For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

(Psa 26:8-12 KJV) LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth. {9} Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: {10} In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. {11} But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. {12} My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

(Luke 17:26-30 KJV) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. {27} They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. {28} Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; {29} But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. {30} Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

(Luke 17:34-36 KJV) I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. {35} Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. {36} Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

(Rev 3:10 KJV) Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

THE RAPTURE IS IMMINENT. ie, LIKELY TO OCCUR AT ANY MOMENT

(Mat 24:36-39 KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. {37} But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. {38} For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, {39} And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(Mat 24:42-44 KJV) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. {43} But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. {44} Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

(Mark 13:32-33 KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. {33} Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(Acts 1:6-7 KJV) When they, therefore, were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {7} And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

(1 Th 5:2-6 KJV) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. {3} For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. {4} But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. {5} Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. {6} Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

(Rev 3:2-3 KJV) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. {3} Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

(Rev 16:15 KJV) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

(Rev 22:20 KJV) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Ezekiel 39 and 39

Ezekiel 38 &39

For this study, I will be using only the King James Bible and verses out of this. This study is my opinion and the research will be mine and mine alone. I will not be using any other material other than my own mind. Therefore I will be writing on a literal understanding of the Chapters and also on the prophetic context that I see in them.
I do not care to debate the issue at all, so this is why I say this is my opinion.
Ezekiel means God Strengthens.
As you read the Book of Ezekiel, you must see the strength and character of this man. He went thru many things during the years that he prophesied for the Lord Jehovah. He starts in the reign of King Jehoiachin in captivity. He ends with the Shekinah Glory of The Messiah.
His leading characteristic is realizing determined energy; this admirably adapted him for opposing the "rebellious house" "of stubborn front and hard heart," and for maintaining the cause of God’s Church among his countrymen in a foreign land, when the external framework had fallen to pieces. His style is plain and simple. His conceptions are definite and the details even of the symbolical and enigmatical parts are given with lifelike minuteness. The obscurity lies in the substance, not in the form, of his communications. The priestly element predominates in his prophecies, arising from his previous training as a priest. He delights to linger about the Temple and to find in its symbolical forms, the imagery for conveying his instructions. This was Divinely Ordered, to satisfy the spiritual want felt by the people in the absence of the outward Temple and its sacrifices. In his images, he is magnificent, though austere and somewhat harsh. He abounds in repetitions, not for ornament, but for force and weight. Poetical parallelism is not found except in a few portions, as in the seventh, twenty-first, twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth through thirty-first chapters. His great aim was to stimulate the dormant minds of the Jews. For this end, nothing was better suited than the use of mysterious symbols expressed in the plainest words. The superficial, volatile and willfully unbelieving would thereby, be left to judicial blindness (Isa_6:10; Mat_13:11-13, etc.); whereas the better-disposed would be awakened to a deeper search into the things of God by the very obscurity of the symbols. The attention to this Divine Purpose has led the modern Jews so to magnify this obscurity as to ordain that no one shall read this book till he has passed his thirtieth year.
Ezekiel lived and prophesied for twenty-two years at the same time that Daniel and Jeremiah were prophesying. But they lived longer and prophesied longer than Ezekiel. God called Ezekiel to live his life according to his prophecies. I wonder just how many of us, if God told us our mate was to have a stoke tomorrow and we were not to grieve if we would obey? To really understand where we are at in 38 please read 36 thru 39. To get the context of what is being written in these Chapters.
Now Just a brief Outline and then I will continue.

EZEKIEL 38, 39

"THE COMING WAR"


I. NECESSARY PRE-EXISTING FACTORS.
A. Israel had to become a nation again.
1. God began giving details about this in chapter 34.
2. Chapter 36, he speaks of the agricultural developments.
"The desolate area has become like the garden
of Eden."
3. Chapter 37, the valley of dry bones and two sticks.
B. There were to be forests again. 34: 25 / 39: 10
1. The Turks in their long occupation denuded the land.
2. The Israelis in one of the first major projects began
planting trees.
3. Millions of trees now planted - they proudly point out
their forests.


II. THE IDENTITY OF MAGOG - ROSH, MESHECH, TUBAL.


III. THE TIME OF THE BATTLE - "LATTER YEARS". ( 38: 8 )


IV. THE RESULTS OF THE BATTLE.
A. 5 / 6 of invaders destroyed. 39: 2
B. Weapons cache will provide fuel for Israel for seven years.
C. Seven months in burying dead.
D. The end of Israel's backsliding and blindness. 39: 22


V. GOD BEING SANCTIFIED IN THE EYES OF ALL NATIONS.
A. He speaks of ten of that day that will come.
Ez. 20: 41 / 28: 22,25 / 36: 23.
B. This promised day comes when Russia and Allies destroyed.
C. Ez. 39:27-29.


VI. WHERE DOES THIS PLACE THE CHURCH?
A. Romans 11: 25 - "Blindness has happened to Israel till the
the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
B. 2 Thess. 6: 7. The restraining force holding back the power of the
anti-christ. "That which hinders shall hinder until He
be taken out of the way."


==========================================================


"WHEN GOD POURS OUT HIS SPIRIT ON ISRAEL"


I. THE TIME OF THIS PROPHECY.
A. "When I have brought them again from the people and gathered
them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them; in the sight of many nations" Ezekiel 39: 27, Ezekiel 28: 25, Ezekiel 38: 23 & Ezekiel 36: 23.
1. Or when Israel becomes a nation again.
2. Ezekiel 37 - the valley of dry bones.
"Behold I will take the children of Israel
from among the heathen where they have gone,
and will gather them on every side and bring
them into their own land, and I will make
them one nation in the land."
3. This has been done as of May 14, 1948.
B. "And am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations."
This is when God destroys Russia's army that is
invading Israel.
1. Ezekiel 38:8, 18-23.
2. Special note on vs. 23 - "sanctify Myself" -
known in the eyes of many nations.


II. THE PROPHECY - "THEN SHALL THEY KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD."
A. The vast majority of the Jews in Israel are not religious.
1. They blame the Holocaust for their atheism.
2. "Where was God when 6 million Jews were killed?"
B. They were proud and cocky after the Six Day War in 1967.
They would not acknowledge God's help.
C. The 1973 Yom Kippur War brought a different attitude.
1. Much of the arrogance was gone.
2. Many began to suspect maybe God was helping them.
D. Once God destroys the vast army led by Russia, there will be no
doubters.


III. THE PROMISES. Ezekiel 39: 29
A. God's time clock has been standing still.
1. Daniel 9 - seventy sevens determined on the Nation Israel
to finish transgression - to make an end of sins - to
make reconciliation for iniquity - to bring in
everlasting righteousness - to seal up the visions and
prophecies - to anoint the most holy.
2. These 70 seven year cycles were to begin with the
commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
3. After 69 seven year cycles or 483 years, the Messiah
would come.
4. The Messiah would be cut off and receive nothing for
Himself.
5. Jerusalem would subsequently be destroyed, and the
people dispersed.
6. That part was all fulfilled.
7. We still have one more seven-year cycle determined for
the nation of Israel.
a. It will surely begin when God once more puts
His Spirit on the nation.
b. It will culminate with the return of Jesus
Christ in power and glory.
B. Another prophet foretold God's pouring out of His Spirit on
Israel after their re-gathering in the land. (Joel Chapter 2.)
1. Drive far off from you the northern army - vs. 20.
2. Restoration in the land - vs. 25.
3. Acknowledgment of God - vs. 27.
4. God's Spirit poured out - vs. 28, 29.
5. Followed by events of great tribulation, culminating in
the great and terrible(awesome) day of the Lord's Coming
- vs. 30, 31.
C. What does this mean to us, the church?
1. It means we will be gone.
2. The church is the agency through which God's Spirit
works today.

Now to Discuss - Ezekiel 38 & 39

My first question here would be - are we living in this time now? We find these nations mentioned here- Russia, Islamic Nations, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Romania. Verses 1 thru 6. But keep in mind verse one, God has set His face against these lands.
Now we find a huge army coming with all sorts of Armour, Shields, Bucklers and Swords.(speaking of the modern warfare items of today, but in Ezekiel's terms.) God is speaking of the latter days here, in the which, I believe that we are living in now. Right now, as we see in verse 8, many nations, out after Israel. Muslims surround Israel and their greatest desire is to annihilate them. When a nation threatens to annihilate another one, we best pay heed, because the great "white satan" is in there with Israel. We to the Muslim world, are the "great white satan", the USA.
Verse 9 - They are going to come like a storm to cover the land and bring all these nations with them. They are coming after Israel because of the bounty of the land.
Verse 10 - God is now going to put an evil thought in their minds in the which, explains to all of us, that God is completely in control here, as He always had been in the control of All Things pertaining to this world.
Verse 11 - This tells us, to keep our eyes on the West Bank now. As many have seen, Israel is tired of war. This is all she has ever known and now the USA is pushing her to a road map of peace, with people(Arabs), with which, there will never be peace. If they can't kill others, they will kill each other, as we see in Iraq right now. Israel is not walled, She just sits at the hand of the enemy, surrounding Her. Which we could call the heathens, the Muslims or the Gentiles.
Verse 13 - Now we are going to find other nations, going against Israel, to spare their own lands. People are coming out of everywhere, to this little nation of Israel. To Bad, that they do not know, that they are about to touch the "APPLE OF GOD’S EYE!" God will protect Israel and we all know this. They will come, but instead of Israel, they will meet the fury of God and in His jealousy, there will be a great shaking in the land of Israel.
Why is all of this happening, it is not Armageddon, as verse 23 answers the question for us - "Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known, in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that I am the Lord. If the heathen were all going to die, why would God magnify Himself, in their eyes. God at this time, is still dealing with people to repent and come to Him.
(Between chapter 38 and 39, I believe that the gathering of the church takes place and we are removed from the earth.)
Chapter 39: 2 - 6, In the beginning, we see 5/6 of this army wiped out. How is it wiped out? Does Israel fire a shot? Nope, But God does this - Verse 3 -"I will smite the bow out of the left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand." Verse 4 - Then God smites them all and gives them over to the beast and the Ravenous birds of the field. I believe that this is the beginning of the tribulation period, when the horses begin to ride, for at this time, one-fourth of mankind will be killed. (Rev. 6: 8). God said they would fall on the open field. Amazing, what an awesome God we serve! Verse 6 tells me of the possibility of a nuclear exchange. Verses 11 thru 16 are the ones that talk about the burial of the people and it will be to the east which places it in the Jordan. We see Professional Grave Diggers, here which does point to nuclear possibilities (contamination). Again, you see Ezekiel repeating the verses which is in verse 4, again in Vs 17-20, but deeper, this time!
Now to verse 21- 29

Eze 39:21 "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
Eze 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. Also see Romans 11: 26!
Eze 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
Eze 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
Eze 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
Eze 39:26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
Eze 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
Eze 39:28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there."
Eze 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD. Also see Romans 11: 26 & 27!
If this is after the tribulation and God has set up the Millennium Kingdom, why does he say what he says in verse 21? Why does He want the Heathens to know that He is God and also the House of Israel, if there were no time left for the plan of salvation, to all mankind still going on? Much to question oneself about! Can’t get a metaphor, simile or symbolic nature in these verses, Can You? The final rest of the chapter, deals which what I believe, will happen to Israel during the final tribulation period. The blinders will be removed and Israel will have to flee to Petra. Revelation 12: 10-17 & Romans 18.
Now as we start the following Chapters 40 thru 48, we see the third temple being rebuilt which I believe will be the covenant that the antichrist will make with Israel, in the first part of the Tribulation period. I believe that this is the temple that Jesus Christ will rule out of, during the Millenium - Ezekiel 48: 35 I was round about 18,000 measures, that the name of the city, from that day shall be "The Lord is There" ( Jehovah Shammah ), this Temple will be cleansed, by the Lord, Jesus Christ, The Messiah & He will Rule & Reign from there.
As I have already stated I do not care to debate this. I have given to you the best that I have to offer. Maranatha Lord Jesus
Jesus Christ is my Lord & my Saviour!
Agape
Zelma

Friday, June 21, 2019

JOY FAITH PATIENCE AND WISDOM IN OUR TRAILS

Joy, faith, patience and wisdom in our trials



James starts out by saying that he is a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He first greets the twelve tribes who were scattered abroad. He writes count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations or various trials. Then he says that the trying of our faith worketh patience. He then writes a third step process to let patience have her perfect work that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. It does say in Psalm 23 the Lord is my Shepard I shall not want. It is interesting to me that in James 1:4 the verb "Perfect" is used two times. The first time it is written we allow God to let patience have her perfect work. The second time it is used we are the recipients of our obedience to God and receive the blessing. 

James changes his tone and talks about wisdom. If we lack wisdom we should ask God who gives to all men liberally. The phrase James uses is ... "And upbraideth not" and as a result this "Wisdom" from God will be given to us so we will understand how to apply this in our life.

Let me just quote the original text and you can read the passage for yourself and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(1) "James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (2) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:1 - 5.

James starts out with his character and describes himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. Most people believe this James was the earthly brother of Jesus but there is no evidence in the book that he cared about this particular issue. James had much to say in this writing and it is more than obvious that he had a heart for the Son of God. He knew the greatest title was not being an earthly brother but a servant of God and of Jesus Christ. If we are servants of Jesus Christ this pleases God the Father but James gets very specific in this book on how Christians can truly honor God the Father and His Son through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

When James talks about the twelve tribes scattered abroad these were Jews that embraced the Christian faith. They were scattered in several areas of the world and James desired to greet them. I look at my own life and earlier in my service for the Lord, He had me scattered much doing His work. Now I have been called to be for the most part immobile to reach people for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The key is we have to listen to God on how He wants us to execute our task for the Lord and one of those directions we have to seek is , "Lord do you desire me to travel or do you want me to be stationary to do my part for the kingdom of God." The twelve tribes probably were going through calamities of some sort but it is probable that comfort was sent to His scattered people. He desired their needs to be meant but not without the peace of God. 

There was a suffering state of Christians in this world because the implication is sort of implied and as a result troubles and afflictions were probably the lot of strong Christians. James desired them to have the joy of the Lord because they were enduring grievous afflictions. These trials were not self inflicted, sinful but it was due to their faith in Jesus Christ.

In verse two James encourages the suffering Christians to focus on grace but to do it with the joy of the Lord. The Apostle did not want them to sink into sadness because they would just faint under their trials. Joy is the opposite of sadness. The secular world would probably focus more on sadness but Christianity does teach us to be joyful in the Lord. Trials will come and go but the joy of the Lord will last forever. Our problems can brighten our grace in Jesus Christ but if sadness takes center stage in our heart not only will we spiritually faint  but go into a downward spiral toward depression. A consistent despondent Christian is a very bad witness for Jesus Christ. James gets his point across because he says count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.

Of course James does not stop at this biblical principle because having the joy of the Lord in affliction produces strong faith in Jesus Christ. To continue in faith there must be a strong belief in the Bible and it's precepts but we as believers in Christ must claim the promises in the word of God by faith in our particular circumstances.

James goes on to say the trials of our faith worketh patience. If we go through a bad circumstance in life with grace in Jesus Christ we will be more equipped to face the next trial. This is going to sound strange but to exercise patience in our Christian journey we must be patient to allow this spirit to materialize in our hearts. We are believers and the Holy Spirit is at work in our souls. We are not called to be numb to our affections but must pray to Jesus Christ that we are victors over our bad circumstances in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is a waiting period by which we have to be patient and in our time of trouble God will never fail us as His Children. This will be in the timing of Jesus Christ and precision on how the Triune Godhead so chooses to rescue us in our bad situation. In horrible trials joy, faith and patience is a compliment to God. Jesus Christ will produce His perfect work in us even in our afflictions. Since patience is mentioned last when this characteristic is complete in our hearts then our Christian journey is on the correct path. We will be able to say the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. I know I quoted that in the first paragraph but it bears repeating because this is where God wants us in our walk with Jesus Christ. 

James changes his focus toward our prayer life to God. The Apostle says we are to specifically intercede for wisdom. The tone of this particular passage does not tell us to pray for our affliction to be removed; however, James does seem to point to intercede for wisdom in the midst of our trial. To be wise in troubling times is a specific and special gift from God. Our part is to sincerely ask God but the role of Jesus Christ is to bestow this in our spirit. We are usually without a clue in the midst of hardships but when we become pleaders at the throne of grace in our helpless state we will receive wisdom. If we feel we do not need any help why should God allow us to have this special and specific gift in our life? This should give us encouragement because if we try and go through something complex on our own it is pretty much inevitable that we will make wrong choices in our journey through afflictions.

When the Apostle says He giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given this means God is the only one that can give this to us as believers in Christ. This is in His disposition to grant this request. There is no favoritism so God is not limited to certain people but desires to bestow this on anyone that meets the qualifications of this promise in this text. The portion of wisdom that God gives to us is up to the Triune Godhead and this is their final decision. We should often ask for this during the course of the day and the prayers should not necessary be timed or scripted because we are allowed to be spontaneous in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We still have to be honest, sincere and earnest but this whole idea that we as Christians have to be stern in times and words is false theology. 

Always look at the promises of God in the Bible but please take it in context. The promise --- wisdom shall be given to us as earnest children begging for this characteristic from God because this is one of His attributes. Jesus Christ does desire to share but we have to be open to receive this from Him. The Apostle James does get even more specific in James 1: 6 - 8 but this is for another article because these are three verses in a bundle that is jammed packed with biblical content. It is pretty obvious that I have to stop at this point or the article would be way to long for you to read. 

If I followed this particular biblical principle in my past a lot of hardship would have been spared in my life. I was the king at saying I know how to handle this (I did not) and as a result I went into major trials. If I was more faithful everyday in asking God for wisdom with a sincere heart in my troubles I would have received a path in the right direction in my journey down here but I was foolish. Anytime we say I can handle this without God that in and of itself is a lack of wisdom. Every time I handled major distress on my own I always fell flat on my face. I do not want you to face the same hardships I had to deal with because I really care for you. Wisdom from God does not just mean --- this is what God desires me to do but it also means that when God says do nothing He means what He says so please ponder what I am trying to portray to you. Many times I decided to take matters in my own hands and figuratively received many black eyes. The mental / emotional pain I went through was really difficult to go through and get to the other side (resurrected victory in the Person of Jesus Christ).

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord now might be a good time to repent of all of your sins and invite the Son of God into your life. I hope and pray that you just decided to make that all important eternal decision.

God Bless you,
Bob D.