Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Greetings to All in the Name of Yeshua:

The one thing that I would like to tell you all is this - You are the second greatest miracle that has walked on this earth, next to Jesus Christ. We now find ourselves facing very perilous times and are we ready, watching and praying to see Jesus' face and hear His voice say to us "Come up Hither"? We look and we know the Word of God has prepared for us to see the signs of the times. Now as we see tiny Israel standing alone against every Mideast country there is, we know that our Redemption draweth nigh. I often wonder God do I have the faith to withstand the evil days ahead that will see our own nation collapse in front of our eyes and I know the answer is yes. You have prepared me for over 38 years to see this time in my life.
We rant and rave at the things we see going on, but do we thank the Heavenly Father for them? Do we know that God is in complete control? All powers that be are created of God and we are getting ready to see a man that has done nothing, not even sure if he is an American, take the greatest office in our land. His resume will not even fill a single piece of paper. Yet we see him as the pre-cursor to the antichrist for that is what he is. I have never seen people flock to a personality as I have seen them flock to this one. I am old enough to remember the hordes of young people that cheered and chanted for the Beatles, and now I see it again. The only difference is it is just not the young, it is the old alike. As I watched with a weeping heart, as this man came in to accept the office as our president and all the signs of the worship of satan there bright and bold before our eyes, how many people saw this? We are a nation that has turned our back on God and yes there is a remnant that still serves God, but it is just a remnant. Most of the main line churches have boldly walked full form into apostasy. We as a people and a nation have walked away from the God of our forefathers also just as Israel did. God allowed them to walk and worship their idols in the groves, yet we do it full force in many of our churches. You may think I am bringing in doom and gloom, but I stand here telling you the Truth. Are you so wrapped up in Jesus that no matter what happens you will be able to stand and be courageous and still stand? Are you ready to see all of your rights that you have always had gone away? You must be! New Years is 45 minutes away from now in Israel. Who do you all think will stand and pray and weep over the apple of God's eye? Will we, the gentiles because of the blindness of Israel's eyes, who have been grafted in, take heed all of my beloved friends, as you will see many of the craftsmen out of work? We already see everyone that worked in the construction business of building houses, out of work, out of unemployment benefits and no jobs in sight. How many more will enter into this sphere as God wraps up the final days of Grace on this earth? Prepare Yourself to Meet Your God whether it be on the side of Grace or on the side of Justice. For He will protect Israel. They are His Chosen people and His Chosen land. My Prayers and Love are with you all: No matter what, Be Courageous and Stand and when you can no longer do nothing, still Stand Up for Jesus!
Agape
Zelma

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

A gift of a smile is worth more than words.
A Merry Christmas is saying we are proud of His Birth.
We stand tall together and declare it on high
Jesus was born that you cannot deny.
You can shout from the housetops;
but we shut up our ears.
The child of God will say Christmas is near.
We look to our Father'
from heaven above
And all shout together as we proclaim His dear Love.
We will all sing together and the carol will ring
As the Heavenly hosts join with their wings
The activity are happening
up in heaven above
As Jesus looks down and sends us His love
He looks at His Father
A smile on His face
He laughs so very softly
As He hands us His grace
My Children won't deny me
of this you can see
To them I am Saviour
Not just a tree!

This is just a short little thought from my heart. Merry Christmas to all! Jesus soon will be in Sight.
Zelma

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who's Right and Who's Wrong

Who's right and who's wrong? "

There are two main groups of people that I have observed as Christians approach the rapture of the Church. Actually there are good and bad points about both sets of these people. Ideally if both groups would learn the good and the bad in both approaches, I believe our love for the Blessed Hope would be more well rounded and enriched with a spirit of optimism and truth.

In studying this subject for over thirty years, I am going to be honest with my discernment on the following issue with you. As I explain these two groups that I have seen in their view toward this subject, it will be impossible for us in our spiritual walk to strike a balance without the help of the Holy Spirit. So few Christians ever do. I still find it difficult. If the Lord tarries in His return and I honestly do not think He will with everything that is happening prophetically in recent times, these observations may help.

I will call the first group "The general group." Not a very glamorous name but the broad stroke of the words sort of describe these people; however, I need to be more specific as I depict persons of this persuasion.Their main premise is "I occupy until Jesus Christ returns and when He comes, He comes." Date setting for the most part is a non issue with this group, if they ever thought about it at all. This is not to say people in this camp do not have prophetic wisdom. Some do and some do not.

If you are really into prophecy and try to dialogue with a person on this side, often times he or she may build a wall up in their spirit. Some half listen to facts pertaining to prophecy. Some are angry and distant about the subject. Others have no clue as to what the other person is even talking about.

Their somewhat liberal attitude with their approach to the above subject matter tends to bother the people that really follow the prophetic Word. When the serious "Watcher" attempts to talk to the believing skeptic they often meet up with defense mechanisms. Some of their responses are...a half smile, a blank stare, hard hearted listening, a mocking reaction, no reply, or even a respectful roundabout "I am just not interested."

Some of the people that really follow prophecy might say "They just do not love the Lord." This is not really true because I know plenty of people that approach the Blessed Hope this way and they really do love God with all of their hearts.

Some say they are not as productive as they could be for the Lord because they are not really watching for His return. I know many people in this category that moved mountains for the Lord (really only God can move a mountain but you know what I am trying to convey here) and I am almost positive that they will be in the Hall of Faith in Heaven.

The bottom line with this group whether their prophetic doctrine is on or off is that they have their reasons as to why they are reserved with end time biblical prophecy. Some observations are as follows:
1---" I do not want to be hurt or let down."
2---"Let's not put the cart before the horse."
3---" Nobody knows when the Lord is going to return."
4---" That is not really an issue to me."
5---" Come on, be serious, let us be in the business of doing the Lord's work
day to day."
6---" We have to live our lives down here because we are in the here and
now."
7---" Just leave the timing to God."
All sorts of reasons come up.

The second group is in the minority, not the majority.Since I called the first set of people "The general group" let us call the other people "The specific group." They do not want one jot or tittle to pass them by as they listen or look for end time prophetic developments around the world.

Their motives could range from being anxious about the world to the other end of the spectrum in that they love the Lord so much that they long to be with Him in heaven. If there is something prophetically significant to be studied, they are immediately researching it on the Internet magazines etc.They are watching a prophecy TV show or reading the newspaper for themselves to pick up any clues that they can find for the possible general or even specific timing of the Lord's return. Approaches even vary among "The specific group."

Many of the people in this category have been through difficult times in their lives and see the exciting events unfolding in which we are now living involving their soon departure to heaven which is better known as the rapture of the Church. Since their prophetic aptitude is usually high, they see the joy along with the horror. Many get discouraged as they look at this prophetic runaway train that has already left the station and there is just no stopping the biblical developments of the world being shaped exactly the way God foretold in the Bible.There is a sense of fear but the good news is that Jesus Christ is coming very soon for His "Body." The Blessed Hope must be close!

Let me just say some things about the Lord's return for His children.This is just an opinion but I am thinking the rapture probably will not happen when people are expecting it to occur.This includes the knowledgeable people that follow the subject every day; however, I do believe we are very close. I am just not exactly sure what "close" means. I suppose you can get into speculating a date or a month or even a season but whatever you do don't make a Law out of the speculation.

I know there are many people out there right now that love the Lord and really want to know when they are going to their real home which is in Heaven.I feel it is only natural to want to physically be with Jesus Christ in our new resurrected bodies. We are in embryo down here in this difficult world that we now reside.It is very temporary. I know that the seriousness of looking at all of the different prospects on the return of the Lord can weigh heavy on the heart but I just cannot resist explaining this non fictional, comical scene that I once saw on T. V.

It was a raffle and the numbers were on ping pong balls.The winning number was 99.The person that won started jumping up and down saying "I won, I won," but then the moderator turned the ping pong balls upside down and explained that the winning number was 66, not 99. The new winner started jumping up and down, and of course this went back and forth until they resolved the problem in their own way.

There are so many prospects for the Lord's soon return that it almost reminds me of that comedy. Do you see what I am trying to say? My hope has to be in Jesus Christ as I watch for His return, not in a specific time frame that an individual or group makes "Law." For all practical purposes in a case like that, subtlety, Jesus Christ will be pushed to the background and the focused date will be placed in the foreground.

The Rapture is all about Jesus Christ. We are just the recipients of His love because we placed our faith in Jesus Christ. We accepted Him as our personal Savior for our sins.I would urge anybody reading this article to make this all important eternal decision today because I do not believe the rapture of their Church is too far in the future. I believe we are one minute before twelve o'clock.

There is another way we could look at this. If our focus on a time period is so strong, it might in all actuality be a form of false worship. Remember God is above time because He created it for His purposes. If God is the Creator and time part of His creation, we have to remember what Romans 1: 25 says in the second part of the verse... " and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." Of course there is the very first Commandment in Exodus 20: 3 which says " Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me."

I really believe that when we focus on a date, month or time period and are so strong in our opinions, it becomes a type of the "Law," but remember, we were saved by grace, kept by grace and the Lord will take us up in the rapture because of His grace.

As God's children this does not mean if we fall into a misconception on this matter we are no longer His child. It just simply means that God has to take us to a higher level of faith and hope, which will point to His greatness, purpose and grace. God is still chiseling me in this area.

We will not know when the rapture is taking place until the very last second. I am just going to assume that Jesus Christ could return at any moment and just occupy until He comes. I cannot even imagine the joy we will have when our loving Savior summons us home.

In 1st Cor. 15: 51, the very first thing the Apostle Paul wrote was " Behold I show you a mystery." I know that we are close to the Lord's return but this whole thing is still a little bit of a mystery even for the most astute prophecy scholar in the world. Don't you sense a mysterious element about this whole subject? I know that I do. Perhaps that is part of the anticipation. "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth near." Luke 21: 28.

Jesus talked about the fear and the joy but left the timing a little open for interpretation. A little mystery is good. It keeps us relying on God even when we do not want to have faith in Him.

The challenge of this is to love and praise God for the mystery of this whole thing but at the same time realize that God has a plan. It is in motion and He will fulfill His Blessed Hope promise exactly as He said He would in His perfect timing.

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." 2nd Timothy 4:8.

I am only assuming that this is a specific crown given to only a few that love His return, but even those that do this in many cases still violate other Biblical principles.

Some in this process become anxious, fearful and disillusioned.I know that I have fallen into these sins.Think of the balance a Christian has to strike if he is watching for the Lord's return. We have to know prophecy, which involves knowing the broad stroke of the future. Much of it is bad news. We are told in Scripture to get excited about the Blessed Hope; however, we do not exactly know how far we are going to have to go into the perilous times of this world.

Perilous times are before the rapture. God's wrath is after the rapture, but still that is just a broad stroke. I ask myself the question. "To what intensity am I going to have to go through these perilous times"?

We are urged to keep a posture about ourselves in the midst of these perilous times with joy as we look forward to our reunion with Jesus Christ in heaven at the rapture. We look for this blessed event in the midst of fearful times, trying to strike a balance by not falling into other sins such as preoccupation, anxiety or maybe even depression. Of course we cannot do this in our flesh, so we have no other choice but to rely on the comforting guidance of the Holy Spirit who, of course is more than willing to help us through this process.

This takes faith, hope and love. I pray that Christians (myself included) reading this writing will realize that we need God's help in striking a balance between the good (Jesus Christ) and the evil (the corruption of the world).

My continuing prayer is that the Lord will give us this Godly watchful balance in our hearts and minds. Also that we will have such joy and confidence in our souls, overflowing with grace that only God will be glorified through us by believing and hoping in this precious truth day by day as we look for His return with such exciting anticipation and expectation.

Of course, I would like to end this article the way that I started it.Two groups, two different persuasions with two different approaches.This is certainly what I would call opposite contrasting thought. Let us face the facts here that gaps are apart of life. We cannot even walk down the street without there being some kind of chasm somewhere along the way. One of the reasons that we look forward to heaven is because in this future place that Christians will occupy, there are unique Godly differences but not gaps. We will be one in Christ without sin. We need to learn from the strengths and mistakes of both groups.Striking a Godly balance will actually be impossible without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to long and love for His Son's return because that is one specific way we can express our devotion to Him. Of course there are other ways but God wants to give us a specific crown that we can lay at His feet because of our love for His return. It is good to long for the rapture with a proper Godly balance.

The loving presence of our Lord in heaven is where our true home resides. In His timing which will be most likely soon, Jesus Christ will call us home. For anyone out there that does not know Him, time is running short. Each and every day the blessed return of Jesus Christ better known as the rapture becomes closer and closer. Simply accept Him into your heart today/tonight wherever you are as your personal Savior and He will airlift (rapture) you up into the third heaven in His perfect timing. Jesus Christ's love and joy will encompass your whole being and His purpose will be tailor-made for you in Him for all eternity.

Love In Christ,
Bob D










No virus found in this incoming mess

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Matthew 24 Part two verses 24: 29-31

Why the rapture is also in view in Matt 24:29-31

This event appears to be the rapture for several reasons.

1. It reads like the rapture. Even if this passage were strictly and only speaking of the supernatural gathering together of the Jews carried one by one by Angels to another location, that alone is certainly similar to various rapture events such as happened to Philip in Acts 8:39-40 who was transported from place to place, and to Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11-12

2. The parallel passage from the gospel of Mark 13:27 says they are gathered "from... earth to... heaven." The rapture is a gathering of people into the air, 1 Thess 4:17.

3. It is "A great sound of A trumpet" in Matthew and not necessarily "the great trumpet" of Isaiah 27:13. Why is Matthew more vague, saying "a trumpet" instead of "the great trumpet"? Is it because two events are in view? The point is that a trumpet sounding blast is a key element of the rapture mentioned in 1 Thess 4:16 "the trump of God" and 1 Cor 15:52, "at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound."

4. It mentions the son of man "coming in the clouds", as does 1 Thess 4:17. "...caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air..."

5. As I have already noted, and will continue to explore, Matthew 24 is filled with double references. These passages can easily be describing BOTH the pretribulation rapture, and the posttribulation gathering together of the Jews. I believe it is typical of the Lord to conceal things in prophecies like this. It hides things from unbelievers, and makes the study of his word glorious, bringing glory to God. ("It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." --Prov 25:2)

Furthermore, a third event might also be in view which is the posttribulation return from out of heaven of those who were previously raptured. The return of the saints from out of heaven following Jesus Christ is pictured in Revelation 19. The first reason for this idea is that Matthew writes they are gathered "from one end of heaven to the other" and not gathered from the earth as does Mark. The second reason is the "great trumpet", because this is associated with the Day of Atonement, which should be fulfilled at the end of the tribulation with the defeat of Satan. The third reason might be that the two events, the gathering of the Jews from the earth, and the gathering of the saints from heaven, all together into Christ's presence at his return, happens at the same time. If these two gatherings from the earth and heaven happen at once, it would make sense that these two events are blended together in scripture. Thus, the term "elect" can easily refer to both the Jews and to the previously raptured Christians.

6. Matt 24:30 appears to be the rapture because of the mention of the sign, "the sign of the Son of man in heaven". Those who deny the pretribulation rapture have challenged, "Where does the Bible ever describe two returns in one verse?". Well, in Matt 24:30, the "son of man" is mentioned twice, first as a sign in heaven, and then, after the nations mourn, he is coming in the clouds. The pretribulation rapture would, indeed, be a sign for the nations.

As an aside, if the rapture is "the sign of the Son of man in heaven", then it supports the argument that Jesus remains in heaven at the rapture. This is an important point, because it refutes the argument from Acts 3:21 that Jesus cannot return before the "time of restitution of all things" which is supposed to be after the tribulation. This argument is refuted because Jesus remains in the sky, in heaven, at the rapture. (Sky and heaven are nearly interchangable terms in scripture.) Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

I wonder, if the sign of the son of man in heaven is not the rapture, then what else would it be? And there is no statement in Matt 24:30 that the three sequential events need happen simultaneously. There could easily be 7 years from the sign to the coming of Christ in glory. After all, there needs to be time for the nations to mourn, which would be the tribulation.





7.One only needs to turn to 1 Thess 4:17 to see that at the rapture, the Lord is returning in the heavens, which is much like a "sign of the son of man in heaven".

If the "sign of the son of man in heaven" is the rapture, whether the nations see the Lord or not at that time is not the issue. Margaret suggests they will not see the Lord -- and this may be the origin of the "secret rapture" idea -- but that's not the issue. The nations will certainly see the results of the rapture. And in that case, it will certainly be a sign for all people. Whether they understand it correctly as the rapture of the righteous or whether the nations are deceived by any one of the many possible lies about it afterwards (2 Thes 2:11) is the real issue. Some such lies might be "that was the rapture of the wicked", or "those people not ready for the earth changes and not ready to evolve to the higher plane were removed", or that "those were abducted by space aliens", or any combination of the above.

Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

8. The emotional state of the nations

That the tribes of the earth mourn, (bewailing, lamanting, in grief, cut off, [kopto --Strong's) is unlike how they are described at the end of the tribulation, which is in anger. "Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come..." How can one be lamenting in grief, and provoked to wrath at the same time? It seems that sadness would be the appropriate emotion for the nations after the pretribulation rapture, when millions of people have disappeared and the world thrown into chaos. And anger aptly describes the world that has gathered together to battle at Armageddon.

Mourning, bewailing, or lamenting in grief, is a description that fits the rapture parable of Matt 25:1-13, where the foolish virgins are left behind the shut door of the rapture. Other false-believers to whom the Lord says "I know you not" are described as weeping and gnashing their teeth. First, those who didn't have the proper wedding garment in Matthew 22:13 are described as "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Second, the evil servant in Matthew 24:51 is described as "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Third, it's the unprofitable servant who mourns, Matthew 25:30 "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Both mourning and anger seem incompatible with the description of the world that is carrying on as usual with normal daily activities and taking no note. Thus, the time when people are not taking any note is appropriate for before armageddon when people are in anger, and before the tribulation when people are in mourning. Thus, when people are "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage", this is the time before the rapture, before the tribulation.

Matthew 24: 36 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. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

This description in Matt 24:36-41 where people are living their lives as usual, is out of place with the description of how they will act after the beginning of the stellar signs and the Day of the Lord when the nations are mourning, as described in verses 29-31. The mourning in grief and lamenting seems most appropriate for the beginning of the tribulation, and anger is appropriate for the end.

Thus, we have three descriptions of the emotional state of the nations, which represent three different times. Life as usual before the rapture at the start of the tribulation. Mourning after the rapture in the tribulation. And finally, anger at the end of the tribulation at Armageddon. This also shows that the description of Matt 24:29-31 is apt for the beginning of the great tribulation, at the start of the Day of the Lord.

Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: 8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Isaiah 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Amos 5:16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.

Zephaniah 1:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. 11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

Joel 1:13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

Thus, the emotional state of the nations may be a strong clue to what is being described here, which is the tribulation of the Day of the Lord.

Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The tribes of the earth mourning seems to most appropriately describe the start of the day of the Lord, just after the pretribulation rapture. This is long before the world has turned angry at Armageddon.

9. They vs. You

And there is another key word in this verse: THEY. It says "they shall see the Son of man"... Now, if seeing Christ return after the tribulation was the blessed hope of the believer, wouldn't the appropriate word be YOU? Why the change, unless it signifes that faithful believers, YOU, are no longer there?

Luke also contains the different words "they" and "you", but also includes a phrase that might be a final warning to be especially ready, which suggests to be ready for the rapture.

Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The question must be asked, why didn't Jesus say in verse 27, "and then shall YOU see the Son of man coming"? The answer is that YOU would be behind Jesus, following after him as depicted in Rev 19. The armies that follow him out of heaven would include faithful believers such as YOU.

The phrase "when these things begin to come to pass" indicates a pretribulation rapture before all these things come to pass. It does not say "after these things completely come to pass..." Nor does it say "when these things begin to come to pass, hide your heads, for you will have to endure tribulation for several years". And a few verses later, Luke records one of the strongest pretribulation verses in the Bible:

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

In order to escape the abomination of desolation, which is among "all these things that shall come to pass", the rapture must be before the tribulation.

Regarding the abomination of desolation, it also says "YOU", instead of "they". It has been argued that this indicates that we would have to go through the tribulation to become the "YOU" that sees the abomination. But this is a wrong conclusion for the following reason. All the word "you" proves is that there will be believers in the tribulation. But "believers in the tribulation" is not a valid reason to say the rapture could not have happened earlier. Some people left behind after the rapture will repent. From Rev 3:10, we see that the tribulation is the "hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." So, Scriptural examples of saints in the tribulation are from Rev 7, the "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Trinity Nature of God

Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith
The Trinity Nature of God

  

  Many people have wondered about what is meant by the Trinity of God, and there has been a lot of misunderstanding about it throughout History. I find that the best way to understand the Trinity(tri-unity) of God is by just examining the Bible Verses which God has provided to explain Himself, and then believing these verses. You don't need to do a lot of mental or verbal gymnastics to explain the verses and thus the Trinity of God: you just need to compare these verses with faith, and then they will be profitable for you. This study starts out with a statement of faith, then goes on to give some major verses in which God is trying to convey what He is like for our benefit and teaching, and then excerpts from an article by Jerry M. Henry in the Holman Bible Dictionary and Stephen D. Swihart’s, “The Work of the Trinity”.

  We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect
  and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  
We believe by comparing the scriptures in this study you will come to the conclusion all three are God and all three are one.

It seems to have been a man named Theophilus of Antioch who first applied the term trinity to this Biblical concept as early as 181 A.D. or from the Latin trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. But it was the Anathasian Creed, completed sometime in the fifth century, which stated it most clearly: “We worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons, nor separating the substance.”

Gen 1:1 (KJV)
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
God = Myhla 'elohiym el-o-heem' - Masculine plural of hwla 'elowahh el-o'-ah – Masculine God

Deu 6:4 (KJV)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD
God = Myhla 'elohiym el-o-heem'

Gen 1:26-27 (KJV)
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. {27} So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

1 John 5:7 (KJV)
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
  
1Tim 3:16 (KJV)
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory

Mat 1:23(KJV)
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 3:21-22 (KJV)
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, {22} And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
  
Mat 28:18-20 (KJV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 10:30 (KJV)
I and my Father are one.

Gen 3:22a (KJV)
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:

Gen 11:6-7 (KJV)
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.{7} Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

2 Cor 13:14 (KJV)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Heb 1:1-3 (KJV)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, {2} Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; {3} Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

1 Cor 8:6 (KJV)
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

John 8:57-59 (KJV)
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? {58} Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 10:30-33(KJV)
I and my Father are one. [31} Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. {32} Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? {33} The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

John 5:17-23 (KJV)
But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. {18} Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. {19} Then answered Jesus and said unto them,   Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. {20} For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. {21} For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. {22} For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: {23} That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 14:23-26 (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. {24} He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  {25} These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. {26} But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14:9-21 (KJV)
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? {10} Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. {11} Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. {12} Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;   and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. {13} And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. {14} If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. {15} If ye love me, keep my commandments. {16} And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; {17} Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,   because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. {18} I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. {19} Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. {20} At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. {21} He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Compare
GOD the Father God the Son - Jesus

Gen 1:1 (KJV)
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Hebrews 1:10
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Isa 63:16
Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. Titus 2:13-14
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
{14} Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Mat 4:10
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
John 20:28
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
1 Tim 4:10
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe. John 4:42
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.
2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:








The Doctrine of the Trinity (excerpts from the Holman Bible Dictionary article. "The Trinity" included)


  The TRINITY is a theological term used to define God as an undivided unity expressed in the threefold nature of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As a distinctive Christian doctrine, the Trinity is considered as a divine mystery beyond human comprehension to be reflected upon only through scriptural revelation.
  
  The Trinity is a biblical concept that expresses the dynamic character of God..... While the term "trinity" does not appear in Scripture, the trinitarian structure appears throughout the New Testament to affirm that God Himself is manifested through Jesus Christ by means of the Spirit.  A proper biblical view of the Trinity balances the concepts of unity and distinctiveness.
  
  Two errors that appear in the history of the consideration of the doctrine are "tritheism" and "unitarianism"....
  
  In "tritheism", error is made in emphasizing the distinctiveness of the Godhead to the point that the Trinity is seen as three separate Gods, or a Christian polytheism. On the other hand, "unitarianism" excludes the concept of the distinctiveness of each Person, while focusing solely on the aspect of God the Father. In this way, Christ and the Holy Spirit are placed in lower categories and made less than divine. Both errors compromise the effectiveness and contribution of the activity of God in redemptive history.

   The biblical concept of the Trinity developed through progressive revelation. The Revelation of God is the content and process of God's making Himself known to people. The word "revelation" means an uncovering, a removal of the veil, a disclosure of what was previously unknown. Revelation of God is God's manifestation of Himself to humankind in such a way that men and women can know and fellowship with Him.
  
  All knowledge of God comes by way of revelation. Human knowledge of God is revealed knowledge since God, and He alone, gives it. He bridges the gap between Himself and His creatures, disclosing Himself and His will to them. By God alone can God be known.
  
  The Old Testament consistently affirms the unity of God through such statements as, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4). God's oneness is stressed to caution the Israelites against the polytheism (many-gods) and practical atheism of their heathen neighbors.

  The Old Testament does feature implications of the Trinitarian idea. This does not mean that the Trinity was fully knowable from the Old Testament, but that a vocabulary was established through the events of God's nearness and creativity; both receive developed meaning from New Testament writers.
  
   For example, the word of God is recognized as the agent of creation (Ps. 33:6,9; compare Prov. 3:19; 8:27), revelation, and salvation (Ps. 107:20). This same vocabulary is given distinct personality in John's prologue (John 1:1-4) in the person of Jesus Christ. Other vocabulary categories include the wisdom of God (Prov. 8) and the Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30; Zech. 4:6).

   A distinguishing feature of the New Testament is the doctrine of the Trinity. It is remarkable that New Testament writers present the doctrine in such a manner that it does not violate the Old Testament concept of the oneness of God. In fact, they unanimously affirm the Hebrew monotheistic faith, but they extend it to include the coming of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  
  The early Christian church experienced the God of Abraham in a new and dramatic way without abandoning the oneness of God that permeates the Old Testament. As a fresh _expression of God, the concept of the Trinity--rooted in the God of the past and consistent with the God of the past--absorbs the idea of the God of the past, but goes beyond the God of the past in a more personal encounter.
  
   The New Testament does not present a systematic presentation of the Trinity. The scattered segments from various writers that appear throughout the New Testament reflect a seemingly accepted understanding that exists without a full-length discussion. It is embedded in the framework of the Christian experience and simply assumed as true. The New Testament writers focus on statements drawn from the obvious existence of the trinitarian experience as opposed to a detailed exposition.



The New Testament evidence for the Trinity can be grouped into four types of passages....


  The first is the trinitarian formula. In each passage a trinitarian formula, repeated in summation fashion, registers a distinctive contribution of each person of the Godhead. See for example, Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:4.
  
  Matthew 28:19, for example, follows the triple formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that distinguishes Christian baptism. The risen Lord commissioned the disciples to baptize converts with a trinitarian emphasis that carries the distinctiveness of each person of the Godhead while associating their inner relationship. This passage is the clearest scriptural reference to a systematic presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity.
   
---------------------------------
 
  Paul, in 2 Corinthians 13:14, finalized his thoughts to the Corinthian church with a pastoral appeal....
  
  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.2 Cor 13:14 (KJV)

  
  It is significant that in the trinitarian order, Christ is mentioned first. This reflects the actual process of Christian salvation, since Christ is the key to opening insight into the work of the Godhead.
   
---------------------------------
 
  In 1 Peter 1:1-5, the trinitarian formula is followed with reference to each person of the Godhead.
    
  {1} Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, {2} Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.1 Pet 1:1-2 (KJV)

 
John addressed the readers of Revelation with an expanded trinitarian formula that includes references to the persons of the Godhead (Rev. 1:4-6).
    Rev 1:4-6 (KJV) John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; {5} And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, {6} And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

  
  The focus on the triumph of Christianity crystallizes the trinitarian greeting into a doxology that acknowledges the accomplished work and the future return of Christ. This elongated presentation serves as an encouragement to churches facing persecution.

   A second type of New Testament passage is the triadic form. Two passages cast in this structure are Ephesians 4:4-6 and 1 Corinthians 12:3-6. Both passages refer to the three Persons, but not in the definitive formula of the previous passage. Each Scripture balances the unity of the church. Emphasis is placed on the administration of gifts by the Godhead.

  A third category of passages mentions the three persons of the Godhead, but without a clear triadic structure. In the accounts of the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:3-17; Mark 1:9-11; and Luke 3:21-22), the three synoptic writers recorded the presence of the Trinity when the Son was baptized, the Spirit descended, and the Father spoke with approval. Paul, in Galatians 4:4-6, outlined the work of the Trinity in the aspect of the sending Father. Other representative passages in this category (2 Thess. 2:13-15; Titus 3:4-6; and Jude 20-21) portray each member of the Trinity in relation to a particular redemptive function.
   
The fourth category of trinitarian passages includes those presented in the farewell discourse of Jesus to His disciples (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:13-15). In the context of these passages, Jesus expounded the work and ministry of the third person of the Godhead as the Agent of God in the continuing ministry of the Son. The Spirit is a Teacher who facilitates understanding on the disciples' part and, in being sent from the Father and the Son, is one in nature with the other Persons of the Trinity. He makes known the Son and "at the same time makes known the Father who is revealed in the Son" (16:15). The discourse emphasizes the interrelatedness of the Trinity in equality and operational significance.
    All of these passages are embryonic efforts by the early church to express its awareness of the Trinity. The New Testament is Christological in its approach, but it involves the fullness of God being made available to the individual believer through Jesus and by the Spirit. The consistent trinitarian _expression is not a formulation of the doctrine, as such, but reveals an experiencing of God's persistent self-revelation.
  
 
The Work of the Trinity

    The Work of the Trinity in Salvation by Stephen D. Swihart     offers the following helpful information: "The relationship of the Father to the Son, and the Son to the Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation is unique. A careful study of the following outline will make this association plain."

The Father’s work: Design the plan in eternity.
a. Foreknow (Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet. 1:2, 20).
b. Predestinate (Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11).
c. Choose/elect (Mt. 20:16; 22:14; 24:22, 24, 31; Mk. 13:20, 22, 27; Lk. 18:7; Acts 9:15; 22:14; 26:16; Rom. 8:33; 9:11; 11:5, 7, 28; 16:13; Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2:4, 6, 9; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rev. 17:14).
d. Call (Mt. 20:16; 22:14; Acts 2:39; Rom. 1:6, 7; 8:29, 30; 9:7, 11, 24; 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:2, 9, 24, 26; Gal. 1:6, 15; 5:8, 13; Eph. 1:18; 4:1, 4; Phil. 3:14; Col. 3:15; 1 Thess. 2:12; 5:24; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2:14; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 9:15; 11:18; 1 Pet. 1:15; 2:9, 21; 3:1; 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:3, 10; Jude 1; Rev. 17:14).
The Son’s work: Discharge the plan in fullness of time.
e. God’s eternal covenant with Christ: real.
f. Matthew 26:54; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22 with Luke 24:25-27, 46; Acts 2:23; 4:25-28; 13:27, 28; 26:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 Peter 1:11, 20.
g. 2 Corinthians 1:20; Galatians 3:17; cf. Luke 1:68-79; Hebrews 11:13, 17-19, 39, 40.
h. Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 3:11; cf. Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 1:9.
i. Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-9; cf. John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 17:14; 18:11.
j. Isaiah 42:6; cf. Malachi 3:1.
k. Hebrews 7:22; cf. Hebrews 9:15, 16; 12:24; 13:20.
i. God’s eternal covenant with Christ: revealed.
1. That Christ should be the second federal Head of the human race (1 Cor. 15:45-47).
2. That Christ would partake of flesh and bones (Heb. 10:5-9).
ii. That Christ would function in a Son and Servant relationship to God (Isa. 43:10; 49:3-6; 52:13; Mt. 12:8-20; Jn. 10:17; 12:49; 14:28, 31; Acts 3:26; Phil. 2:7).
iii. That Christ would die for the sins of the world (Mt. 1:21; 18:11; Jn. 1:29; 12:23, 47; 17:1-5; Acts 3:26; Rom. 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 2:14, 15; 10:5-10; 1 Jn. 3:5, 8; 4:9, 10).
iv. That Christ would receive as his inheritance the nations, along with all power and authority (Ps. 2:6-8; 8:5-8; 22:27; 110:1-7; Dan. 7:13, 14; Mt. 11:27; 28:18; Jn. 3:35; Eph. 1:20-23; Rev. 1:5).
The Spirit’s work: Declare the plan daily.
l. Propagation (Lk. 8:5-15; Rom. 1:16; 10:14-17; 15:18-21; 1 Cor. 1:18-24; Col. 1:4-6; 1 Thess. 1:5, 6; 2:13; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; Heb. 4:12; Jas. 1:18, 21; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
m. Conviction (Zech. 12:10; Jn. 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 14:24).
n. Regeneration (Jn. 3:3-7; Titus 3:5, 6).
o. Sanctification (Rom. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2).
  (The Victor Bible Source Book, pp. 120, 121)

In conclusion, our God is a righteous and just God. He would never ask or allow another to pay for your and my sins, BUT He would pay for our sins Himself. Jesus Christ, God the Son, died for our sins. Without the trinity, we would not have a just God. If Jesus is not God, then God the Father would not be just in allowing another created being to pay for our sins.

Bob, Zelma, Ken 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Commentary on Matthew 24 Part one of five

Commentary on Matthew 24, part 1

Matthew 24 is among the most heavily debated passages in Bible Prophecy discussions, especially for those who debate the timing of the rapture. It is troublesome for those who preach the pretribulation rapture, because verse 29 contains the phrase "...after the tribulation..." and then goes on to describe events which appear strikingly like the rapture. I teach the pretribulation rapture, but I disagree with the popular pretribulation arguments that attempt to explain the passage: For example, one argument is that the entire passage is for the Jews only, written to the Jews and not Christians. The conclusion that follows from that is that the passage does not contain any information about the rapture at all. Such popular teachings are unconvincing, and I think wrong, which is my reason for writing this commentary. Many people have said that it is irresponsible to say that large parts of the New Testament are not for us. I believe Matthew 24 is written to Christians, and teaches about the rapture, and this commentary will explain how and why this passage need not be troublesome, but supports the pretribulation rapture position.

One method of understanding Matt 24:29 is through the realization that the great tribulation takes place during the Day of the Lord. I will provide several scriptural arguments to back this assertion. Thus, the stellar signs which signal the beginning of the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:31) also come before the seven year great tribulation. This shows that the stellar signs would not be after the "great tribulation" (verse 29 does not say "great") but would be "after the tribulation" of today, and I will examine the stellar signs in depth, which will indicate that the stellar signs suggest the pretribulation event of Satan being cast out of heaven.

So, one of the other ways through which I have come to understand the passage is by recognizing many of the double references in the passage. Specifically, the word "tribulation" in Matt 24:29 has been interpreted by many people to refer to the past history of the Church, while others say it refers to the future tribulation. If we simply let the passage retain both of these Biblical meanings so that word "tribulation" refers to two times, both today and the future, then the problem for the pretrib position is solved: Thus, I believe the general tribulations that the Church has always experienced will end with the rapture, the stellar signs, the casting out of Satan, and the start of the Day of the Lord at the beginning of the future great tribulation. The second meaning and fulfillment of Matt 24:29-31 would then be that the future "great tribulation" will end with the gathering together of the Jews.

Thirdly, my understanding has come from letting scriptural comparisons give the interpretation. 1 Corinthians 2:13 "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

The fourth method that has helped me to understand Matthew 24 is through the study of the Feast of Trumpets and the Jewish Wedding, both of which teach about the pretribulation rapture. This commentary will not focus on the Wedding, nor the Feast of Trumpets, since those are each topics large enough for their own study, but I will bring the conclusions that those studies make to this discussion, as supporting evidence.

Although people who argue for the post tribulation rapture quote Matt 24:29-31 frequently, they usually have relatively little to say about the passage, giving little analysis, although they do typically attempt to make scriptural comparisons to 1 Thess 4-5, Rev 6 and Joel 2:31. They often claim scripture is easy to understand, (in contrast to the Bible's statements about itself such as contained in Prov 25:2, Isaiah 44:18, Ezek. 14:9, 2 Cor 4:3, Matthew 11:25, Mat 13:10-11, 2 Peter 3:16, John 12:16, 16:12, 1Cor 2:7-8, 3:2, 13:12, 14:22). Thus, they claim that Matthew 24:29 is the final answer for their side of the debate, "it's after the tribulation", and think nothing else need be said. While a few obvious scriptural comparisons of the stellar signs to the day of the Lord are often made, they are apt to draw the wrong conclusions because they refuse to acknowledge the stellar signs are related to Satan being cast out of heaven, they typically ignore comparisons to Deut 30:1-4, Isaiah 11 & 27 & Zech 2:6, and they erroneously place the Day of the Lord after the great tribulation. They also assume the stellar signs of the sixth seal Revelation 6 must come late in the tribulation or after the tribulation, although there is no basis in Revelation 6 for making such a claim.

Matthew 24-25 is also known as "the Olivet Discourse". Luke contains very similar wording to Matthew 24, but in Luke, parallel passages are spread out and contained in Luke chapters 12, 17, & 21. Guessing when Jesus actually spoke each passage is part of the "Synoptic problem". I will quote Luke and Mark to help explain Matthew, in line with the Bible's command that we should be "comparing spiritual things with spiritual", (1 Corinthians 2:13) and to let the Bible interpret itself. I do not believe I need to prove when various things were said. In all the gospel accounts, these are the words that Jesus spoke, and he probably repeated himself and certain themes all the time. I would not claim that parallel passages are unimportant or irrelevant simply because another gospel records that Jesus spoke a parallel passage at a different time and place. I cannot dismiss any scripture. (2 Timothy 3:16) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Nor can I dismiss any slight nuance of scripture. Paul and Jesus both made arguments that hung on a single letter or jot and tittle. This examination is long because it examines many details.

Regarding double meanings:

There is a popular rule of Hermeneutics, or Bible interpretation, which says, "Although there can be more than one application in a passage, there can be only one meaning." Unfortunately, I have never seen the Bible say this or teach this concept. Nor have I ever seen anyone ever provide a scriptural basis for this method of understanding scripture. We should let scripture teach us how to interpret scripture, and not use arbitrary man-made rules that go against common sense. This hermeneutic rule of "only one meaning" is a concept and tradition of men.

Such a rule is designed to prevent wild speculations of meanings. However, as a man-made invented rule, designed to prevent man-made invented interpretations, it seems rather ironic and thus, self defeating.

Although this rule is popular among academic circles, I reject it. There are other academic circles which laugh at such silly things, and I speak of five year olds who tell jokes which are funny because a word ends up meaning something other, or in addition to, that which was originally thought when setting up the joke. Thus, since it is such common sense, I do not feel I have to prove the general principle that words in real life can have more than one meaning at once.

Nor do I feel a need to prove this from examples elsewhere in scripture, that words can have more than one meaning, or that passages can refer to two different prophetic events at once. I suppose I could list 10-20 or so other examples in scripture where I see this happening, but then this would be a commentary on those cases, and not on Matt 24. All I need to prove is that there is evidence in Matt 24 for double meanings, and my case is made.

In contrast, those who wish to prove their hermeneutic rule of "only one meaning" have an overwhelmingly large burden of proof upon them since they must prove that this is a rule which must apply everywhere in scripture. Furthermore, they need to prove that God tells us somewhere in his book that this is the approach we must have. They fail on both counts, and so I reject their rule as wrong. The problem with umbrella rules like this is that one exception is enough to prove the rule invalid.

Thus, those who would discard my explanation of the pretribulation rapture in Matthew 24 on the basis of the rule of "only one meaning" really need to ask themselves which they value more, a rule of men, or the Word of God?

Furthermore, there are two ways this rule might not necessarily be invalidated by my exposition. First, the word "tribulation", although referring to two times, still means "distress & trouble" in both cases. Second, the "one meaning" may well be a choice of determining which ONE of three options is correct. A. Tribulation refers to the future "great tribulation". B. Tribulation refers to the tribulation of Church history. or C. Tribulation refers to both time periods.

I will conclude this section by saying that the "Word of God" itself has a duel meaning, since we use it not only as a term for the Bible, but it is also one of the names of our Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 19:13 "...his name is called The Word of God." John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

Duel meanings in the Olivet Discourse

In the Olivet Discourse itself, this technique of two prophecies being mixed together was being used regarding the subject of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Luke records the historical fulfillment more strongly than the other gospel accounts in Mark and Matthew. When Jerusalem was surrounded by armies, the Christians fled when the army left. (Luke 21:20 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.") This prophecy seems to be mixed together with the description of the abomination of desolation, which is yet future. That this passage contained relevant prophecy for early Christians should be enough evidence that the Olivet Discourse was not written to the Jews exclusively, but to us also, given that the people who took the warning to heart and fled were Christians. After they fled, the Roman army came back and destroyed the city. Then, Luke 21:6 was fulfilled by the armies who destroyed the Temple to retrieve the gold of the Temple which melted into the cracks between the stones. (Luke 21:6 "As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.")

This historic fulfillment proves several things. First, the Olivet discourse is prophecy, the Word of God, and that it is accurate and reliable beyond any of man's writings. A near term partial fulfillment in prophetic writings often established their authority, even in Old Testament times. Second, it shows that the passage clearly has a duel fulfillment in view, the historic abomination of desolation fulfillment of 70 AD with the destruction of the temple, and at least one more future fulfillment of the abomination of desolation. Third, we are given proof that elements in the passage are not given in chronological order, since Luke 21:20 was fulfilled first, when the armies surrounded, and then Luke 21:6 when the stones of the temple were later upturned.

It can be confusing to try and see two separate events that are both prophesied at once in the same passage of scripture. Such requires much study, and perhaps this is what is meant in 2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

This concept, that duel meanings exist in words and in prophecies, aids in understanding that the word "tribulation" in Matt 24:29, can easily refer to both the present day tribulation of Christians, and also the unique future time of great tribulation which is unlike any other. And since this is the heart of the explanation of Matt 24:29, it should be no surprise that this hermeneutic of recognizing duel references is viciously attacked.

Truly, the passage is not as simple as post trib authors frequently claim. I'm not saying that God is the author of confusion, but people, who do not know how to rightly divide the scriptures, and who may not have studied well, can be confused, and fail to recognize the principle from Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Misunderstanding can come from failing to search the scriptures fully, or by not having been taught correctly. Truly my exposition is not necessary for understanding, since the Holy Spirit is the guide to all truth. 1 John 2:27 "...ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." Nevertheless, God has provided teachers for the body of Christ (Hebrews 5:12, 2 Timothy 2:2,24, 1 Corinthians 12:28 ), and one cannot use 1 John 2:27 to reject knowledge of the scriptures. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God should guide you, the reader, as to whether or not my scripture presentations are truth.

Is the Olivet Discourse addressed to the Jews "only", or Christians too?

It is a popular view that this passage is not written to Christians at all. The view that this "entire" passage is to the "Jews only" is a rather broad umbrella type argument that would collapse if only one exception is found. A context based argument such as "The passage is to the Jews only" cannot be rightfully used to refute that the rapture is being spoken of in the passage because such an over reaching context based argument collapses in the face of evidence to the contrary. Here are eight obvious evidences that the Olivet Discourse, and thus Matt 24-25, is to Christians also, and not to the "Jews only". I am not refuting that this passage is to the Jews, but rather, my point is that the actual context of the Olivet Discourse is spoken to both Jews and Christians: Even if it be granted that Matt 24 is to the "Jews only", that would include true Christians who are Jews inwardly, since Christians are heirs of Abraham. Romans 2:29 "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

1. Mark records at the end of the Olivet Discourse that Jesus said his words were for all, not just the disciples, in Mark 13:37 "And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."

2. Luke 12:35-44 mirrors this concept that a specific parable from the Olivet Discourse is spoken "unto all", but gives a slightly different answer. Luke records the question from Peter to the Lord, "speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?" This question is regarding the parables of watching for the thief, the goodman of the house, the faithful steward, and not knowing the day or hour. These parables from Luke 12 are recorded as part of the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13:32-37 and Matt 24:42-47. Mark's account of these same parables gives the more specific answer, Mark 13:37 "And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." It is as if Luke and Mark record different bits of the same conversation, Luke leaving out the answer "unto all", and Mark leaving out the question that repeats the same concept that the Lord is speaking "to all". The answer in Luke 12:41-44 is not the phrase "unto all", the answer is the faithful steward who rules. The faithful steward parable, in connection with the same context of the Lord coming at the unknown time, is repeated in Matthew 24:42-47. Ruling is the promise to faithful Christians. (Rev 2:26-27, Rev 3:21, Rev 5:10). Thus, if the Lord is speaking to the faithful steward who rules, he is speaking to Christians who will be raptured.

3. The Olivet Discourse was spoken to the 12 disciples, who were Jews yes, but believing Jews. And there is no difference between believers, Jew or Gentile, all in Christ are Christians.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

These speak of believing Jews. There is no difference among those who are in Christ, among those who are believers. The Jewish disciples, therefore, represent their fellow Christians. The disciples might represent the unbelieving Jewish nation, but because the disciples are not unbelievers, they represent Christians first, and only maybe unbelieving Jews also, but only on a symbolic level.

4. The martyrs for the faith in the Olivet Discourse were both the Apostles and Christians. Luke 21:12 says they will be brought before kings, and Paul was arrested to be brought before Ceasar, Acts 25:10, Acts 27:24, Acts 28:19

Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

5. Matt 24:4-13 read like a history of the Church.

6. Luke's words from the Olivet Discourse saved the lives of Christians in 70 AD, when they had opportunity to flee before the destruction of the city. Unbelieving Jews did not heed these words, and they perished in the city. Christians heard these words, and Christian lives were saved.

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

7. There are words to servants who are believers, Luke 12:42-48, Matt 24:45-51 Jews are not believers, but unbelievers. Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

8. Many people simply admit and feel that there is no basis for tearing out parts of the Bible as irrelevant to them. Although there may be a phrase or verse that speaks to the Jews only, that is no basis for saying the entire prophetic passage is written only to them. Likewise, the evidence above should not be construed to mean that the entire passage is to Christians only. I believe the passage contains prophecies for both the now-unbelieving Jewish nation at large, and believing Christians all throughout history.

In addition to these several obvious quotes, each verse in Matt 24 that teaches about the rapture is an indirect piece of evidence that this passage is written to Christians who will be raptured.

What follows next are parallel bible verses that show Matt 24 contains prophecy which is specific for the Jews that have been scattered among the nations.

Matt 24:30-31 compared with Deut 30:1-4.

It is likely that Jesus had in mind several Old Testament passages regarding the return of the Jews when he spoke his words as recorded in Matt 24:30-31, (& Mark 13 & Luke 21): In the Greek Septuagint, many of the words are the same between Deut 30 and Matt 24. Specifially, I will note that the word "heaven" can be used of the earth. Jews who were "driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven" is a phrase meaning that people are driven to remote parts of the earth.

Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds,from one end of heaven to the other.

Deuteronomy 30: 1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: Comparing Matt 24:30-31 to Isaiah 11:11-12, Isaiah 27:12-13

I see that there are at least four concepts in common:

1. The elect, Israel, are gathered together. 2. There is a sign for the nations. 3. The great trumpet shall be blown. 4. They are gathered from the four corners of the earth.

Separately, these 4 concepts contain 8 elements: 1. The elect, Israel 2. are gathered together 3. there is a Sign 4. For the nations 5. Great Trumpet 6. Blown & sounds 7. From four corners 8. Of the Earth

The final comparison is that this is a supernatural gathering done by angels or by the Lord's power: "be gathered one by one" with "he shall send his angels". "The Lord shall set his hand... to recover... his people".

Isaiah 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 27:12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Isaiah 11:11 "the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people" Isaiah 27:12 "ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel." Isaiah 27:13 "they shall come which were ready to perish... and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem" Matthew 24:31 "And he shall send his angels... they shall gather together his elect"

Isaiah 11:12 "he shall set up an ensign for the nations" Matthew 24:30 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn"

Isaiah 27:13 "the great trumpet shall be blown" Matthew 24:31 "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet"

Isaiah 11:12 "from the four corners of the earth." Matthew 24:31 "from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

These similarities are all contained in Matt 24:30-31, not verse 29 which I will examine in detail a bit later. I will paraphrase the description of this event as: The supernatural gathering together of the Israelites from the four corners of the earth when the great trumpet sounds after God has set up the sign of the Lord Jesus Christ for the nations.

The point of this scriptural comparison is to show that there is an event in Matt 24:30-31 which is NOT the rapture or translation of the Church to immortality. This is the gathering together of the Jews or Israelites. This should be enough to prove to those who already insist that the passage is about the rapture, which I agree with, that two events (the rapture, and the gathering of the Jews) are being mixed together in this one prophetic passage of Matt 24:30-31.

Other Passages to Compare

The following is a short list of other passages about the gathering together of the Jews, in addition to Deut 30:1-4 and Isaiah 11:11-12, 27:12-13. Take special note of Zechariah 2:6, it contains the same phrasing as Matthew 24:31 about the "four winds" and "of the heaven"

Zechariah 2:6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 30:3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

Jer 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Isa 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; Isa 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

See all of Ezekiel 36 & 37: Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Ezekiel 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

Ezekiel 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; 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.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Maranatha
Zelma

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THE GRACE OF GOD PART TWO

Bob D (31 March 2007)
"The Grace of God and Five Part 2"


The Grace of God and Five Part 2

This world knows almost nothing about the grace of God. That is why it is an honor to write about this because I know in this hopeless planet people will come at the foot of the cross and accept Jesus Christ as their very own personal Savior in their heart if Christians present this subject correctly. There is a problem with the way the message of salvation is given today.Works are empathized over grace and without a doubt this theme appeals to the adamic nature of the spirit rather than a persons' real need for Jesus Christ. What is missing is (5) grace.

In Part One I just went over how examples of (5) were used as Jesus Christ walked thought planet earth in His earthly ministry. What a blessing to read the words of our Savior. I would like to give you a few more Bible truths and how it relates to this amazing principle of (5) grace. Here is the link for Part One. If you desire to backtrack, feel free. The Lord did indeed give me some very uplifting insights.



The life of Abram just speaks of the grace of God from his conversion to the end of his life. There was no real merit in him yet as Abram thought about God and His responsibility before Him, he came to know the Lord. God gave him an unconditional covenant, but for no real apparent reason and sealed it with (5) sacrifices in Genesis chapter 15. God gave Abram a promise through His grace. Hey is the "fifth" letter of the Hebrew alphabet. When the name of Abram was changed to Abraham there was a (Hey) added to his name.This is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. What people in general don't seem to understand is the grace of God makes all the difference in the world.If you are in a very strict environment and people are hammering the law everywhere, if just one person shows grace doesn't that stand out as love. It does to me. That is what God desires to give you through His Son except it is so much higher than any human could imagine. There is a world of difference between God and man.

God changed the name of Abram to Abraham when (Abram) was really starting to rely on the grace of God. To understand this you would have to read Genesis 16,17,and 18. God does this with most of His children. There comes a point when God with purpose pulls the rug out from under our lives so we will have no other choice but to rely on the grace of God. Look at the Apostle Paul. He prayed three times to get a healing from God and our Lord focused upon His grace being enough for Paul. Think about this for a second. Knowing what I know about Paul he would have doubled his efforts to get the gospel around the world. Instead from the wisdom of God,Paul learned and rested in the grace of our Lord. Abram had a deepening experience of grace and so did Paul. God desires to bring us to this point.

God bestows His grace when we walk by faith because these two go hand in hand. In Genesis chapter 28, God promised Jacob (the grandson of Abraham) five reassurances and they all involved a specific type of grace. It starts out as God giving him land and ends with God never forsaking him. This is all couched in "five" because God is describing His grace. This is not surrounded by four or six because these numbers symbolize something else.

I feel so inadequate to write about this subject yet so compelled. In that sense I feel divided. One of my favorite examples of the grace of God is in the way the Psalms are segmented into five books.The "fifth" book of the Psalms, which is the Deuteronomy section has a entire theme of grace from Psalm 107 to 150. Psalm 107,108, and 109 speak of the judgment of God in contrast to the "proceeding" chapters up to Psalm 150. These chapters (110 to 150) are pointing to the 1000 years of peace in the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ.The fifth book of the Psalms is the only section that talks about the grace of God all over the place.The first four books (the Genesis through Numbers section) focuses on worldly themes. Four is the number of the world system and in these books we see so much conflict. In the fifth book of the Psalms praise and worship accelerate because of the "grace" of God. Since four is the number of the world, weakness,conflict,or a sense of hopelessness is present.In the first 4 books of the Psalms If an individual were to add 1 to 4 (4 +1) the strength of God is added to the despair of man.This is exactly what we see in the fifth book of the Psalms. This is the grace of God. In this context of "five" we see how close we really are to the return of Jesus Christ.

I believe the most important passage in the Bible relative to grace and 5 is Romans 11:5-6. "Even so at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of (1) grace. And if by (2) grace, then it is no more of (1) works: otherwise (3) grace is no more (4) grace. But if it be of (2) works,then is it no more (5) grace: otherwise (3) work is no more (4) work." You may ask yourself what are all these numbers? A total of (5) for grace and (4) for works." Grace is mentioned (5) times for obvious reasons that I already went over. Works are mentioned (4) times because it is not of God. It is of man. It is very interesting to me that 4 is divisible by 2.Two is the number of division. The people that try to work their way to God are divided against themselves. True grace with God does not divide, it unites us with the person of Jesus Christ.

I will explain the exercise of futility that being a decent person will get you to heaven. Much of what I would like to say is in James 2:10. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." So all it takes is one time. This is the standard of God. Imagine you are hanging from a cliff and there are 10 links on one chain that you are holding on to for your life. These 10 links represent the ten commandments. If just one link breaks you fall.Be honest with yourself. Did you ever sin even one time? According to the Bible that is all it takes to be guilty before God. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you are falling into the pits of hell and you desperately need the grace of God.

It is amazing to me that survey after survey has been taken and the average person in this world will judge themselves based on their own curve (I'm not so good but I am not all that bad either) rather than the standard of God. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer.17:9. I am talking hard core prisoners when interviewed will usually say something to the order of "I really believe I am not that bad of a person." Do you see the problem? God says we are bad. We desperately need a Savior for our sins. His name is Jesus Christ. It would be wise to make that eternal decision today if you have not already done so. Of course the choice is up to you. I can assure you Jesus Christ did not suffer on the cross so a person would say, "I am not really all that bad." When individuals make these kinds of statements they see no need for a Savior to deliver them from their sins.

I don't believe it is by coincidence that in Ephesians chapter 4 "five" forms of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ are mentioned. (1)Apostles,(2) Prophets,(3) Evangelists,(4) Pastors and (5) Teachers. There are five because their emphasis must be on the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Without grace how could anybody be saved? It would be ridiculous for me as a child of God,saved by His grace at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ to say "Judge me by the law. Punish me for everything I did." Because I accepted the Lord I am not under condemnation. I am under grace. Romans 8:1.Is it not just as absurd to say, "I am basically a good person?" Be fair with yourself. Do not judge yourself based on your opinions. Judge yourself based on the standard of God. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. Accept this provision of God for your salvation. His name is Jesus Christ! He loves you and desires to come into your heart today. All you have to do is ask. Jesus Christ is patiently waiting, but time is running short.

Hoping to see you in that place of love called heaven on the other side,

Bob D.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MORNING IS BREAKING

Morning is Breaking...

Thank You God, for Your Love;
Thank You God, for Your Son;
Thank You God, for His Precious Blood,
Shed for us, Whom you have called.
Thank You God, that we have heard You,
and have chosen to trust, believe, and obey,
Your Word, Your Love,
Thank you for the opportunities to Love others
and show them Your Love.
Thank you God, for giving us the choice,
to walk in Your Light and have Life Everlasting.
Thank You God, for the Peace that passes all understanding.
Thank you God for the Morning, For each new day.....
I Love you Lord Jesus, Sheridan

Song: Morning has Broken
["Child in the manger, Infant of Mary"]

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day


The lyrics[2] were written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1922 and are found in the hymnals of many denominations.[3] The original poem can be found in the anthology "Children's Bells" under Farjeon's original title A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring), published by Oxford University Press in 1957. The tune to which it is normally sung is called "Bunessan", based upon a Scottish Gaelic traditional melody. Before Farjeon's words, it was used as a Christmas carol which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald.[4]



God gives to each, equally, a morning, bright and shiny;

a new day, to fill as we will;

Full of Hope and the opportunity that it will be lived according to His Will.

We each decide, from our waking how our new day will be lived out.

How we will allow Him to Bless us - or need to chasten us.

Whether we will greet those in our lives with a smile and gladness,

as a witness of Him and the Joy in our lives,

or by our actions and deeds that we are not yet conformed to His Way.

It's our choice, Divinely Inspired, Freely Given.

Yet, even when we falter, He Forgives if we only ask, for He has already

Paid the Price in our place. But we cannot forget to tell Him;

to give Him the opportunity to show us His Mercy - once again.



Sometimes our day goes awry, but I remember a little saying:

A day hemmed in Prayer, rarely comes unraveled"

....but if it does, God is always there, waiting to listen,

always wanting to help us along our way.

Desiring only to return us to His Way....through His Amazing Love.

Love,
Sheridan

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Grace of God

Bob D (30 March 2007) "The Grace of God and Five Part One"

The Grace of God and Five Part One

I have to be honest with you. I have gone over four numbers so far and I am most excited about explaining this subject. I have heard people say "too much grace is not good," yet as I read the Bible I find this statement to be incorrect from God to His Children.It is true in one respect that we have to live our lives but to put limits on the grace of God sounds impossible to me. We cannot understand how much God really does love us. I recently went over this number and explained from a worldly point of view that in essence we are surrounded by four walls. That is a prison. I also went over the transcendent meaning of the number 4 which speaks of the love of God. So here we see an option, a choice as it were-the confines of the world system or the love of God flowing through our spirit. Then we arrive at the number 5 which has grace written all over the number. Get excited about this because in a world of law we need all the grace we can receive from God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Did you notice how this world is getting more "law originated?" Some people would respond "well it has always been like that." I would say "there is no question about that." What I am talking about is a trend that I am noticing on planet earth in comparison to the 1990's up to this point. Back in the 1990's the concentration in many countries was, you are an individual with rights. Now there are so many laws yet so little grace. That is what happens when a group of people reject the love of God. They go to the only other alternative which is law.

Over here in America I find this to be a society that is good in many ways; however, our country seems to have everything yet nothing. So many options yet so little opportunity. The economy is not bad yet we are knee deep in debt. I remember back in the 1980's the national debt was starting to go up. Many people were disturbed that one trillion dollars was way too high. This was a real issue back in that era.Do you know how high the national debt is now? It is coming close to 9 trillion dollars! In Time Square which is in New York they have a billboard that second by second shows the debt going up and trust me the numbers are moving so fast that if you were to look at the motion you would not even be able to follow it. The presence (grace) of God is slowly being removed from this country because when individuals,societies and a nation as a whole reject the love of God , law and lawlessness go hand in hand.In Deuteronomy chapter 28, God was instructing ancient Israel that if they obeyed Him they would be blessed. If they did not they would be cursed. In verse 44 "He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail." Deuteronomy 28:44. This verse is saying that one of the signs that a country is under or coming close to the judgment of God is excessive debt.The tail is a biblical way of describing our modern word for debt. So many laws but it is interesting that just like the electronic billboard in Time Square suggests, we live in a runaway society. Don't get me wrong. I am not against laws; however, grace should be the emphasis and maybe a little common sense if you know what I mean.

I remember a couple of years ago the Lord gave me a dream at night time when I was sleeping. I know all about the controversy over dreams. We can't necessarily trust them and it is way too subjective. Perhaps, but the Lord still called me to share this with you. There were only two characters in my dream. Both men were dressed well with signs on them going over their chests and stomachs. One said law and the other said mercy. The man who represented law was relentless in attacking the man who represented mercy. He kept quoting the law very loud at mercy. Each time this would happen the man who represented mercy threw his hands up in the air trying to explain that he had nothing to do with the law.Each time this would happen law would be even more determined to make his point. Mercy kept throwing his hands up in the air saying "I have nothing to do with you because I am on the other side."

It is very interesting to me that Luke 16:26 says "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." This is a verse that describes the souls that died before Jesus Christ died on the cross. They went to either the Paradise section of Sheol (Hades) or the suffering section. The Righteous went to the good side because they accepted the grace and mercy of God. The wicked went to the bad side because they chose law rather than grace. That "great gulf" described in this verse kind of reminds me of my dream. The man of law could not pass over to mercy and the man of mercy could not pass over to law.One man made his position very clear (law), the other (mercy) refused to join him in any way.

As this was taking place I could hear words coming from the throne of God that I never knew. If "I were able" to translate this into the English language I suppose the words would be 75 letters long. I don't even know. The Lord gave me understanding that each and every word meant a specific form of mercy. I did not see any of this, I only heard. The motion picture I saw were the two men at an impasse; however, a portion of heaven was open to my ears. When a heavenly word of mercy was spoken it seemed to me that an applause in paradise expanded into togetherness at what this truly meant. The words were spoken very fast with no hesitation. I have not ruled out that it was Jesus Christ Himself speaking these words.That was the sense I had in my spirit. The very moment the words were spoken there seemed to be many joyous responses. They were actually living out the reality of the grace of God and understood exactly what was being said and why.They were in full agreement. Such hugh words. Rest assured God never wanted me to forget this dream.My Lord Jesus knew exactly where I was, preciously what I was going through and how to portray His message to me.

Trying to explain the heavenly portion of this dream is near close to impossible but the main idea was so clear. Heaven was not on the side of the man of law. The man with the sign of mercy over his chest and stomach clearly had the blessings of heaven.When I logically thought about this dream, I found myself asking "Am I a law man or a person of grace." I sensed God gave me this dream because He knew I was struggling with this issue. This is an example of the mercy of God.

As Christians we are looking for the rapture of the church which ends this age of grace.The world moves into the dispensation of law and the kingdom. As you can see the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ is the most important subject in the universe. Our salvation, whether we will be a part of the rapture, and our eternity hinge upon this one biblical truth!

I would like to start with the person of Jesus Christ because if there is any hope for grace it is through Him. Isaiah introduces our Savior. "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. As you can see 5 titles were ascribed to Jesus Christ. John 1:17 introduces Jesus Christ as grace and truth. The Apostle Paul often said "Grace and peace be unto you. Peace comes after grace. The fifth title Isaiah through the Holy Spirit gave Jesus Christ Himself was "Prince of Peace."

Several months ago I prayed to the Lord that He would give me His supernatural peace by experience working through my spirit because I was going through so many trials. For the most part I never lost it.If I were to try and logically explain that I could not, but if I could this would not be grace.The Holy Spirit gives this to Believers. In that small section from John chapters 14-16, 4 times the Holy Spirit is referred to as the comforter. The fifth time He is written about is in Acts 9:31. "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." This is mentioned 5 times because the peace of the Holy Spirit and His mercy are always present because of the Grace of God.

I always try and center every subject I write about around the person of Jesus Christ. Grace means favor. It could be in the form of mercy,compassion,or patience but the most popular way of looking at this is an unworthy sinner being saved by the grace of God.In Part One I just want of focus on some examples in the gospels because grace is found in the person of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew chapter 1 there are five women in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. If you were to read the Bible or their biographies they all had an incredible experience of the grace of God working through them. At the very beginning of the first chapter in the New Testament these five women, Rahab,Ruth,Tamar,Bethsheba,and Mary are pointing to the very essence of Jesus Christ (Grace) through the symbolic meaning of this biblical number because there are five.

Jesus Christ came to redeemed humanity from their sins. He being the very embodiment of grace really does fit the succession of order. (1) God the Father (2) Jesus Christ (3) Holy Spirit (4) Creation (5) Redemption. All you have to do is read one of the gospels and it will become evident how the average person was drawn to Jesus Christ because of His grace. Redemption and grace go hand in hand. Unfortunately most people reject this. "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14. A wise person will accept Jesus Christ into his or her heart.

I would like to show you through numeric examples in the Bible why Jesus Christ is the very embodiment of grace. It is our responsibly to accept Him by faith as our personal Savior. That famous verse in Ephesians says "For by grace are ye saved through faith"... Ephesians 2:8. I would like to go in order and show you these examples from the backdrop of the number 5.Once again I am just going over examples at this point in the book of John and looking at Jesus Christ Himself.

The first two involve a man by the name of Nicodemus.This man was a Pharisee. He probably came to Jesus by night because he did not want to get caught. More then likely he was steeped in religion and took a couple of looks at Jesus and noticed there was something different in a good way. Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus as being of God because of his teachings and miracles. The response that Jesus gave him did not really have anything to do with what Nicodemus said. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily,verily, I say unto thee,Except a man be born again,he cannot see the Kingdom of God." John chapter 3:3. Some things were said and then by the time the reader arrives at verse 13, 2 sets of 5 are written in Scripture to show us the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Himself on the cross and the hope of everlasting life people have through His eternal grace.

(1)" And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, (2) even so must the Son of man be lifted up.(3) That whosoever believeth in Him (4) should not perish,but have (5) eternal life." John 3:14-15. That (1),(2),(3),(4),and (5) are not verse segmentations. There numbers represent "5" distinct biblical truths that Jesus taught yet they are all tied into one principle (5) grace.

If that were not enough the verse right after those 2 follows the same pattern and it is the most popular in the entire bible. (1)"For God so loved the world, (2) that He gave His only begotten Son, (3) that whosoever believeth in Him, (4)should not perish, (5) but have everlasting life." John 3:16. Once again Jesus said five different truths in one subtext; (5) grace.

Moving through the gospels in John chapter "5", five porches comprised a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda. This whole chapter (5) carries a strong theme of grace. People were looking for grace around these five porches."And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years." Thirty eight in the Bible is the number that represents slavery. Jesus asked this man..."Wilt thou be made whole." John 5:6. This question was in the form of "5" words. Here we see a man in slavery helpless to save himself. The Bible says "Jesus saith unto him,rise,take up thy bed,and walk." John 5:8. Main theme; chapter 5, (grace) sub theme a new beginning; verse 8 (new beginnings). When Jesus spoke to heal him,He said "7" words, the number for spiritual perfection. Jesus Christ gave this man a new beginning (8) through His grace (5) by making him perfect (7) through Him. The "7" words (1) Rise (2)take (3)up (4) thy (5) bed (6) and (7) walk. Does that sound like salvation? We were helpless sinners unable to save ourselves until we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts by faith. Then He gave us His grace. There is no way anybody could do that for themselves. Grace is a gift from God available to all through His Son Jesus Christ.

In closing there were 5 offerings in the tabernacle which was a place that described the grace of God. On the Alter of Sacrifice there were 5 offerings. (1) The Burnt Offering (2) The Peace Offering (3)The Sin Offering (4) The Trespass Offering and (5) The Meat Offering.All these offerings were precursors of the atoning death of Jesus Christ and they were comprised of "5". The death of our Savior on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for us. As a result humanity has something called "grace" offered to them. It would be my pleasure to share some insights with you in Part 2 tomorrow. I have arrived at the number 5 only through the strength of God. I get to write about my favorite subject which would most definitely be the grace of God.

Until then have a nice day or night wherever you are,

Bob D.