A nice video to explain what is going on after the sudden disappearance of 100s of millions of people.
The Rapture and the Thief in the Night
A new topical Bible study has been constructed using a web app called TiddlyWiki. Tiddlers in British are small fish or in modern parlance, small bits of information. The app works equally well on computers and mobile devices. The web page is here. And some screenshots are below.
CHRISTmas 2020 is almost here!
It is hard to believe all the changes during this year. I believe it is not about hardship but about being given a lot more time to acknowledge God's place in our lives. And, just as important, it's about Jesus sacrifice and His soon return to defeat evil and refresh the world.
Evil wants to reset our world also, in the form of global governance, banking, surveillance and other things that will be very intrusive to our way of life.
But, Good does triumph over Evil, it is guaranteed, even when life gets very dark and dangerous. Jesus is our light at the end of the tunnel and needs to be the central light in our lives. That is the point of the year of our Lord, 2020.
Copied from a Youtube page. All of the links work but you will see a redirect message from Youtube. Just click on "Go to site" to get to the link page.
Bible prophecy is converging and flying off the pages from the Bible!
We are on the cusp on the rapture!!
Bro Keegan Watchman in the wilderness🙏
1. 📖SCRIPTURE: The miraculous rebirth of Israel as a nation🌱. Just as Isaiah 66:8 says, on May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation in “one day.” This sign alone tells us we live in the last days before Jesus’ return to earth. At that time, the land of Israel was a barren wasteland just as Ezekiel 36:34-36 said it would be when Israel returned to the land. In verse 35 the prophet says, “The land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden,” indicating how God would turn the desert into fruitful fields.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: Today, Israel exports one billion dollars worth of fruits and vegetables. Is this not a fulfillment of Isaiah 27:6? God’s protection of the current nation of Israel has been nothing short of miraculous. Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War of 1967 compares with the victories we read about in the Old Testament such as those of Joshua and Gideon.
2.📖SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus!💣
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : Damascus is already 75 % destroyed! We do know that tensions continue to escalate in Syria as Israel continues to bomb Iranian military installations. This does not, however, appear to discourage Iran from building up its military in the area. THIS PROPHECY IS ON THE VERGE! https://storyful.com/resources/blog/how-war-has-changed-syrias-landscape-mapping-the-destruction-of-east-damascus/
3.📖SCRIPTURE: Wars and rumors of wars, pestilences (Matt. 24:6-7): Jesus said that one sign of the end of the age would be “wars and rumors of wars.” While this has been true in some way or another for centuries, this sign defines the times in which we live.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : Tensions with Iran have escalated significantly!! Pestilences-Coronavirus: https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-51318246 10 plagues are hitting our planet simultaneously: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/10-plagues-are-hitting-our-planet-simultaneously
4.📖SCRIPTURE: The Temple (Matt. 24:15): Jesus predicted the antichrist would someday defile a temple in Israel just as Daniel prophesied (9:27).
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY :Everything is ready for construction to begin including the architecture plans, vessels ,priestly garments and the Temple Institute in Israel is now training Levites for service in the temple. https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/144915/sanhedrin-gets-authorization-to-use-their-trees-for-third-temple/
5.📖SCRIPTURE : SCRIPTURE : DEUTERONOMY 28:37 The rise of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christian fervor.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : Does not the dramatic increase we see in Anti-Semitism violence along with today’s fierce opposition to biblical values set the stage for the killing of Jews and believers during the tribulation?
6. 📖SCRIPTURE: The battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39):The armies that the prophet Ezekiel prophesied would invade Israel in the last days are currently in Syria, and their forces are growing by the month. The nations of the Middle East are aligned precisely as the prophet said they would be over 2,600 years ago.
📖 SCRIPTURE: ZECHARIAH 12: 1-3 https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/143754/turkey-deploys-2000-troops-to-libya-to-reestablish-muslim-caliphate-with-jerusalem-as-capital/
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY :The alliance between Russia,Iran,Sudan Turkey and Libya has set the stage for the Gog and Magog War (Ezekiel 38). http://dmgnews.com/index.php/2020/01/17/the-rise-of-gog-putin-positions-himself-to-influence-russia-for-life/
7.📖SCRIPTURE: Scoffers (2 Peter 3:1-10): The mocking of our beliefs in a rapture and premillennial return of Jesus is prevalent both inside and outside the church.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : We live in a day when even believers ridicule the rapture, the millennium, and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22.
8.📖SCRIPTURE: The world now has the capability via computers, Artificial Intelligence, and gigantic data bases to control buying and selling on a worldwide scale, just as Revelation 13:16-17 says the antichrist will do in the tribulation.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY :This is already on the way through chip inserts and tracking of products and bank accounts. With the world moving in this direction even before the appearance of the antichrist, how close must we be to the rapture and the tribulation? China has begun micro-chipping its population for the purpose of controlling them through rewards based on what they purchase and how they spend their money and they have a credit scoring system in place! Cash, plastic or HAND?: https://www.wsj.com/articles/cash-plastic-or-hand-amazon-envisions-paying-with-a-wave-11579352401 ID 2020 Alliance: https://principia-scientific.org/id2020-alliance-will-combine-vaccinations-implantable-id-microchips/
9.📖SCRIPTURE: Earthquakes (Matt. 24:7)
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : Creation is groaning!. An earthquake survey revealed that the number is 3 times over! Rarely a week goes by without a strong earthquake somewhere in the world! https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-15/number-global-earthquakes-3-times-above-normal
10.📖SCRIPTURE: (Revelation 13: 2-4, 7) Pope Francis openly and repeatedly calls for a one-world religion, as well as for a one-world government to combat climate change.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : At the World Government Summit in February of 2019, thousands of leading globalists, communists, Islamists and others from around the world converged on the Arabian Peninsula. Their goal: promote technocratic globalism and plot the future of what they often call their “New World Order”. Pope Francis Unveiled the Globalist New World Religion at Summit with United Nations Leader: https://www.endtime.com/prophecy-news/pope-francis-unveils-globalist-new-world-religion-at-summit-with-united-nations-leader/ Pope -Imam sign covernant: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-07/snyder-one-world-religion-looms-pope-islams-top-imam-sign-historic-covenant
Abrahamic house: https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/truth4freedom.wordpress.com/2019/09/23/the-catholic-muslim-interfaith-council-created-by-pope-francis-announces-new-chrislam-headquarters-opening-in-2022-that-combines-a-mosque-and-church-according-to-signed-covenant-now-the-end/amp/ Pope Francis to attend inter-religious Peace Event in Rome!: The ecumenical service is called “An Encounter of Prayer for Peace in the Spirit of Assisi,” and the theme is “No one is saved alone — Peace and Fraternity.”
11.📖SCRIPTURE: Matthew 24:6,7 📖 SCRIPTURE :(Revelation 17:12-13 )
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: The nations of the GLOBE are in a complete state of political and economic unrest and uncertainty!!.From the U.S to South America ,Europe to Hong kong! https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1106006
12.📖SCRIPTURE: (Revelation 17:12-13) A one world army.
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY :We are seeing the ten toes described in the book of Daniel formed right before our eyes with President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Merkel from Germany leading the way as they just paraded the 10 nations army! https://www.thetrumpet.com/20971-bastille-day-showcases-european-military-cooperation
13.📖SCRIPTURE: (Revelation 13:16-17) A one world currency!
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY :Then U.S currently has a debt amounting to in trillions! So when the U.S dollar is knocked off ,the question you need to ask is... where is your next go to currency? Also there is a crypto currency called LIBRA that is currently being readied! https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/businessday.ng/technology/article/facebooks-libra-a-one-world-currency/amp/
14.📖SCRIPTURE : The parable of the Fig tree (Matthew 24:32-34)
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: Israel(Fig tree) is the number one sign of the end times which has flourished like never before!.They are the 8th most powerful economy in the world! https://www.christiantruthcenter.com/the-fig-tree-generation-the-generation-that-will-not-pass/
15.📖SCRIPTURE: We are the generation (Psalm 90:10).
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: We are the generation that are seeing all these signs come to pass!!
16.📖SCRIPTURE:Peace and saftey (1 Thessalonians 5:3). 📖Parted my land (Joel 3:1-2) 📖Covenant with Abram(Genesis 15:18)
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: The Trump peace plan dubbed the "Deal of the century" is being discussed almost everday!. This plan could very well be made greater as the forerunner to DANIEL 9:27 (The false peace covernant)! https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-plan-gives-palestinians-capital-in-jerusalem-but-beyond-security-barrier/ https://m.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UN-Security-Council-unanimously-calls-for-two-state-solution-618671
17.📖SCRIPTURE: Increase in birth pangs (Matthew 24:8).
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY:The number of volcanos, earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires have increased in both frequency and intensity! https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-australia-50951043
18.📖SCRIPTURE : The exponential increase in wickedness (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY : Communities formed like the LGBT, transgenderism and laws passed with regards to killing of unborn children! https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/lgbt-rights
19.📖As in the days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24:37-39)
🎯CURRENT WORLD EVENT: With the abortion laws and LGBT rights passed these are the days of Noah and Lot that we are living in!
20. 📖The Great Apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
🎯CURRENTLY IN PLAY: We are witnessing apostasy and the falling away like never before! My pdf on the TOP 20 END TIME SIGNS speaks on the 2 words CONVERGENCE and AGENDA that define the very final moments that we are living in!: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Sq83X7nijaQM0HN-WqnWsUEWASw9aSSr
Another article shared from Brother Keegan:
Most of the world is asleep today while the signs are screaming loudly for the return of our Lord!!
The church today is like Harry R. Truman saying yes one day the Lord will return not realising that day is here!!
As Mount Saint Helens rumbled during the Spring months of 1980, he stood firm in his resolve to remain on the mountain as if he owned it!! Harry R. Truman, an innkeeper, refused to leave his home despite an evacuation order and repeated warnings that came via recurring earthquakes, just as the Lord is repeatedly warning this world!!! The birth pangs are increasing and intensifying by the minute!!
Harry R. Truman acknowledged it was “possible” the mountain might “blow” someday, but he never reached the place where he was willing “to pack up his bags” and leave his home!
Finally on that which he thought would happen 'one day' occurred on May 18, 1980 as Mount St. Helens erupted with such force that the top 1,300 feet of the mountain instantly disappeared!
The explosion caused a huge landslide that moved down the mountainside at speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour devouring everything in its path, including his residence at Spirit Lake!!
Harry R. Truman is a reflection and epitomizes so many in our world today! Just like Mr. Truman, they hear the warnings of biblical prophecy and sense the danger inherent in our day, but they do not turn to the Savior or watch for His appearing as we are told to do!
📖Matthew 24:42 "watch"
📖Matthew 24:44 "be ready"
📖Matthew 25:13 "watch"
📖Mark 13:33 "watch and pray "
📖Mark 13:35 "watch"
📖Mark 13:37 "what i say to you i say to all, watch"
THE WARNING SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE!!
The Lord is not silent during these last days. The first significant indicator of the last days occurred on May 18, 1948 when Israel became a nation in fulfillment of Isaiah 66:8!!
Fast forward to 2020 and we see the world government of the coming tribulation waiting to take over before our eyes along with the technology necessary for the antichrist to enforce the “mark of the beast” under the penalty of death! Lawlessness abounds along with the violence of our day, coupled with the multitude of signs, repeatedly warn us of the approaching devastation and death of the coming day of the Lord.
Sadly like Harry R. Truman, many believers are not yet willing to “pack their bags” in anticipation of Jesus’ imminent return. They do not recognize the urgency of the day in which they live and as a result they live solely for the things of this world without the necessary balance of an eternal perspective.
JESUS IS COMING QUICKLY!!!
Jesus’ last words to His church contain the promise of His speedy return. “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon” (Rev. 22:20). The word for “soon” in the Greek is tachu, which is much better translated “quickly.” It refers to the swiftness or the speed of an action. The Lord ended His direct revelation to the church as a whole with the promise of His quick return for His bride! Amen!!
Our glorification is going to be in an instant! Paul describes the swiftness of Jesus’ appearing to take us home, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52). Jesus will raise the dead in Christ and catch the living saints away in an instant, in the “twinkling of an eye.” !!
What we already see in our world tells us this day is exceedingly close...at the door!!!
Just like the devastation that followed the Mount St. Helens eruption, 1 Thessalonians 5:3 tells us that “sudden destruction” will fall on those left behind after the rapture. After we depart from the earth, the world will experience unspeakable terror during the seven-year tribulation!
What You Should Do?
So with all that's taking place, what should you do? The answer is clear - make the most of the time you have left. If you're not a Christian, turn to Jesus now. He paid for your sins through His blood was shed on the cross. There is no other name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus alone is the way to heaven (John 14:6), so turn to Him while you still can.
If you're already Christian, don't fear the events of the Tribulation. Jesus promised to protect His followers from "the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world" (Revelation 3:10). But don't think that because you'll avoid the Tribulation, you won't face trials in this life. Jesus says you will. He says you'll face many trials and tribulations in this world, but don't let them bring you down, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Realize the rapture itself could be the next traumatic event to hit the world!!
Think of those left behind, the fear they'll have, and the world they'll be living in. Use that as motivation to spread the Gospel. Right now, more people than ever are seeking Him. God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28).
Paul referred to a “crown of righteousness” reserved for “all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8); a special reward exists for those eagerly anticipating Jesus’ return to take us home.
As for readiness, the apostle John wrote, “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).
There’s no genuine imminent hope for those who dismiss the prophetic signs of the day in which we live; only the fleeting hope that “somehow life will somehow return to normal in the future.” They cannot see how the “Great Reset” championed by the elite of our world will lead to the kingdom of the antichrist just as John wrote about in the book of Revelation.
Those of us who understand the warnings of Revelation know that the judgments described on its pages are imminent!!!!
We who are students of Bible Prophecy today and as Bereans (Acts 17:11) can clearly discern the times we are living in !
The Sons of Issachar as told in 1 Chronicles 12:32 ... had understanding of the times, but people did not discern the signs of the times during Jesus’ first coming even after over 300 detailed Bible Prophecies had foretold of it!!
Unlike the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day, we recognize the signs of Jesus’ return and look up in anticipation of His appearing to take us to the place He is preparing for us in his Father’s house (John 14:1-3). It does not get any better than that!
The story of Harry R. Truman warns us of the dangers in ignoring the prophetic signs that tell us we indeed live in the last days....in fact in the FINAL HOUR!!! Just like the eruption that suddenly consumed the top of Mount St. Helens, so the day of the Lord will bring sudden devastation to this world, to those who now reject the saving message of the Gospel and will be left behind to face the day of the Lord.
Harry R. Truman ignored the warnings of the impending disaster. What will you do with the warnings of biblical prophecy?
As this dispensation of the church age (The Age Of Grace) draws to an end, it’s time for us to take our stand as Children of the Light(1 Thessalonians) and tell a lost and dying world that it’s time to repent, believe the Gospel, and be converted to a new life in Jesus Christ today! Explain to them with simplicity (Not Religion) the gospel of our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:9-10)!!!
Here is an article shared from Brother Keegan:
Promise of the Rapture
Jesus promised in John 14:3, “I will come again.” Where was He going? Remember that Jesus said this to sorrowing disciples because He had just told them He was going away (13:33, 36). He will tell them later (16:7) that it will be for their benefit that He go away. So where was He going? To where He was before He came to earth. “I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (16:28). In chapter 16, He said three times that He was going to the Father (verses 10, 17, 28). Where is the Father? In the Father’s house (14:2 – “In my Father’s house are many rooms”). What is the Father’s house? Heaven, the place from which He came.
At this “coming again” He says He will “take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (14:3). Jesus promised to come again and to take the disciples to the place where He is going.
The attacks on the pre tribulation rapture often run something like this...The word “rapture” is not found in Scripture.
The Latin Bible does contain the word rapio (1Th 4:17), and our English word “rapture” is derived from it. Rapio means “to seize or snatch away.”
Purpose of the Rapture (Why?)
What is the purpose of this great event? Jesus stated two things about the purpose of the Rapture. One is “to receive you unto myself” (this happens in the air) and the other, tied closely to the first, is “that where I am there you may be also” (this happens by taking us to the Father’s house). Paul writes that the purpose is “to meet the Lord in the air.” And as a result, we will forever be with the Lord (1Th 4:17).
What needs to happen, then, for this purpose to be realized? Christ’s Bride is composed of those in heaven without bodies, yet Christ Himself is in a body of glory. They need to be reunited with bodies, but bodies of glory. Another part of the Bride is upon earth, in bodies of corruption. They must be changed, which is exactly what we find in 1 Corinthians 15:51: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (KJV). Thus, believers who have died are raised and changed, and believers who are living are changed. The Lord Jesus “will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body” (Php 3:21 NET). Immediately afterwards, we will be “caught up together … to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Th 4:17 KJV). So the purpose of the Rapture is for Christ to unite His Bride, the Church, to receive us to Himself forever, and to take us home to be with Him. Perhaps His anticipation of this event is even greater than ours!
Pre-tribulation Rapture (When?)
A number of Scriptures point to a pre-tribulation Rapture. First, consider texts teaching that Christ’s return is imminent. If He were not going to return until after the seven-year tribulation period begins or concludes, the texts emphasizing His return “at any moment” (i.e., imminent) appear senseless. Some argue the tribulation period has either passed or we’re living it now. Jesus described the tribulation as follows: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Mat 24:21 ESV). This language strongly implies the tribulation has not yet occurred.
Consider some of the imminence texts. In Titus 2:13 Paul says we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” . Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, “… so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end” (KJV). Also, 1 Thessalonians 1:10 instructs us to “wait for His Son from heaven.” The teaching of these and additional texts (Php 3:20; Heb 9:28) is that we await the “any-moment” appearing of our Savior to take us to be with Him. The imminence texts are consistent with a pre-tribulation Rapture position.
Second, there are texts teaching exemption from wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says that we are to wait for His Son from heaven, even Jesus, who “delivered us from the wrath to come” or, literally, “the coming wrath”. The coming wrath appears to be a reference to the tribulation period. The nature of the tribulation itself is God’s wrath (Rev 6:17). Paul writes, “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Th 5:9). If some contend that part of the tribulation is not God’s wrath but Satan’s, the argument doesn’t hold, for we are saved from wrath – period. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation [judgment] for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Revelation 3:10 is also helpful here, where Jesus promises, “I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth” . He does not say, “I will keep you in” but “I will keep you from.” The next verse (v11) tells us exactly how Christ will accomplish this – “I am coming soon.” We are saved from the coming wrath (i.e., the seven-year tribulation period) because the Rapture will remove us from the place where that wrath will be poured out.
Third, a pre-tribulation Rapture is consistent with the removal of the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. Paul is writing to address the faulty belief among the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord had already arrived (v2). They had received a letter, claiming to be written by Paul, which led them to embrace this false view. Because of this, they were “shaken in mind” and “alarmed” (v2). They believed they had missed the Rapture and were going to endure the horrors of the tribulation period!!
The tribulation period cannot begin until this restrainer is removed.
Who or what is this restrainer?
First, note that the word for restrain (v6) is katecho and means “to hold something back.” Second, both neuter and masculine nouns are used to refer to this restrainer (v6 “what” and v7 “he”). Third, consider that this restrainer must be removable. Fourth, the restrainer must be powerful enough to hold back the outbreak of evil under “the man of lawlessness.” Only God can hold back the outbreak of evil. I believe this refers to the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in Scripture as restraining sin and evil in the world (Gen 6:3) and is our restraint as believers. He convicts us of sin and wars against the flesh, thus restraining the full outbreak of evil in our lives.
But how can God be removed, for God is omnipresent? I believe the restrainer is the Holy Spirit at work in and through the Church. This is the only view that adequately explains the use of both neuter and masculine genders. In Greek the word pneuma (Spirit) is neuter. But the Holy Spirit is also referred to consistently in Scripture by the masculine pronoun “he” (esp. in John 14-16). Mark Hitchcock wrote, “The church and its mission of proclaiming and portraying the gospel is the primary instrument the Holy Spirit uses in this age to restrain evil. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mat 5:13-16). We are the temple of the Holy Spirit both individually and corporately.”
But how can the Holy Spirit of God be removed? Is He not omnipresent? This is why I say the restrainer is the Holy Spirit in the Church. The event in 2 Thessalonians 2 seems to be a reversal of the Day of Pentecost. What began the Church Age? The coming of the Holy Spirit. What will end the Church Age? The removal of the Holy Spirit. How can He be removed? By removing from the earth all those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (i.e., all that are part of the Church) at a pre-tribulation Rapture. This must happen before the Day of the Lord begins.
That trumpet is going to sound any day now!
For Christians and Jews, there is no better example of Bible prophecy than Isaiah chapters 52 and 53. It forms a complete picture of Jesus suffering and Jesus the Messiah. Many Jews have become Messianic Jews because of these verses that were written over 600 years before Jesus was born!
CHAPTER 52 VERSES:
Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied (astonished) at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Commentary: The Messiah as Sin-bearing Sacrifice (52:13–53:12)
The closing verses of chapter 52 really belong to chapter 53. They trace the history of the Servant of Jehovah from His earthly life to the cross and then to His glorious appearing. Adolph Saphir, himself a Hebrew Christian, rhapsodizes on this greatest of all prophecies of the cross:
Blessed, precious chapter, how many of God’s ancient covenant people have been led by thee to the foot of Christ’s cross!—that cross over which was written, “Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews!” And oh! what a glorious commentary shall be given of thee when, in the latter days, repentant and believing Israel, looking unto Him whom they have pierced, shall exclaim, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted!”
CHAPTER 53 VERSES:
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
53:1 The repentant remnant of Israel recalls that when the report of the Messiah’s First Advent went forth, not many believed. And consequently the saving power of the LORD was not revealed to many either.
53:2 The Lord Jesus grew up before the delighted gaze of Jehovah like an exotic, tender plant in this world of sin. He was like a root out of dry ground. Israel was the dry ground, a most unlikely soil. The nation of Israel could see no beauty in Him, nothing in His appearance to attract them.
F. B. Meyer describes the mystery of His humiliation:
The tender plant; the sucker painfully pushing its way through the crust of the caked ground; the absence of natural attractiveness. Such imagery awaits and receives its full interpretation from the New Testament, with its story of Christ’s peasant parentage, his manger-bed, and lowly circumstances—fisherfolk his choice disciples; poverty his constant lot; the common people his devoted admirers; thieves and malefactors on either side of his cross; the lowly and poor the constituents of his Church. This were humiliation indeed, though the irregularities of human lot are scarce distinguishable from the heights whence He came.
53:3 Despised and rejected, He was a Man of sorrows who knew what grief was. To men He was repulsive; even by Israel He was not appreciated.
“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!
—Philip P. Bliss
53:4–6 The remnant now knows and acknowledges the truth about Him. They confess: “It was our griefs He bore, our sorrows He carried, yet as we saw Him on the cross, we thought He was being punished by God for His own sins. But no! It was for our transgressions, for our iniquities, and in order that we might have peace, in order that we might be healed. The truth is that we were the ones who went astray and who walked in self-will, and Jehovah placed our iniquity on Him, the sinless Substitute.” Until that time when the remnant acknowledges Him, we who are Christians can confess:
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He bore our sins in His body on the tree;
For our guilt He gave us peace,
From our bondage gave release,
And with His stripes, and with His stripes,
And with His stripes our souls are healed.
He was numbered among transgressors,
We did esteem Him forsaken by His God;
As our sacrifice He died,
That the law be satisfied,
And all our sin, and all our sin,
And all our sin was laid on Him.
We had wandered, we all had wandered,
Far from the fold of “the Shepherd of the sheep”;
But He sought us where we were,
On the mountains bleak and bare,
And brought us home, and brought us home,
And brought us safely home to God.
—Thomas O. Chisholm
Our Lord Jesus suffered all five kinds of wounds known to medical science: contusions—blows by a rod; lacerations—scourging; penetrating wounds—crown of thorns; perforating wounds—nails; incised wounds—the spear.
53:7, 8 Like a sheep, that is, silent and uncomplaining before its shearers, He endured the cross. He was hurried away from prison and a fair trial (or “by oppression and judgment He was taken away”). It seemed impossible that He would have any posterity since He was cut off in His prime, slain for the sins of the people.
53:9 Wicked men plotted to bury Him with the criminals, but God overruled, and He was with the rich at His death—in the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Men plotted a shameful burial for Him although He had done no wrong, spoken no lie.
53:10, 11a Yet the LORD saw fit to bruise Him, to put Him to grief. When His soul has been made an offering for sin, He will see His posterity, that is, all those who believe on Him, He shall prolong His days, living in the power of an endless life. All God’s purposes shall be realized through Him. Seeing the multitudes of those who have been redeemed by His blood He will be amply satisfied.
53:11b “By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many.” This may mean that His knowledge of the Father’s will led Him to the cross, and it is by His death and resurrection that He can reckon believers to be righteous. Or it may mean “by the knowledge of Him,” that is, it is by coming to know Him that men are justified (John 17:3). In either case, it is through His bearing their iniquities that justification is possible for the “many.”
The last stanza of Thomas Chisholm’s hymn, quoted above, reads triumphantly:
Who can number His generation?
Who shall declare all the triumphs of His Cross?
Millions, dead, now live again,
Myriads follow in His train!
Victorious Lord, victorious Lord,
Victorious Lord and coming King!
53:12 Another result of His finished work is that Jehovah will divide Him a portion with the great, that is, with the saints, whose only greatness lies in their connection with Him. And He shall divide the spoil with the strong; here again the strong are those believers who are weak in themselves but strong in the Lord.
Four reasons for His glorious triumph are given.
(1) He poured out His soul unto death;
(2) He was numbered with the transgressors, that is, the two thieves;
(3) He bore the sin of many;
(4) He made intercession for the transgressors.
David Baron comments:
The verb … yaphˊgiaˊ (“made intercession”) is an instance of the imperfect or indefinite future, and expresses a work begun, but not yet ended. Its most striking fulfilment, as Delitzsch observes, was the prayer of the crucified Saviour, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But this work of intercession which He began on the cross He still continues at the right hand of God, where He is now seated, a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel and the forgiveness of sins.
On the paradoxes of this great passage as a whole, Moody comments:
Despised, yet accepted and adored. Poor, yet rich. To die, yet to live. The Rabbis said there must be a double Messiah to fulfill this chapter.
Friends, I found this nice list of recent Biblical signs from this website and decided to post them here as well. We should not be surprised at much of anything happening in 2020 as the Bible has foretold it.
Signs Regarding Israel and Its People:
Signs Regarding the Church:
Signs Regarding Society:
As part of God's foretelling, we understand that satan is “chomping at the bit,” waiting to unleash his nefarious plan. We may watch him move his pawns into place based on what the Bible tells us he is going to do.
The Bible connects these things to the worship of satan and his world system. Even during this upcoming time of trouble, most of humanity will cling to these things instead of turning to the one true God:
Now the rest of mankind... still did not repent of the works of their hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Furthermore, they did not repent of their murder, sorcery, sexual immorality, and theft. (Revelation 9:20-21)
Signs of War:
Lastly, I present to you some additional signs that there is some disagreement as to whether or not they apply:
A Preview of Signs to Come:
God has clearly spelled out what will occur during the final seven-to-ten years of this age. These have not yet occurred; however, previews have been given! The stage is set for them to occur in full force very swiftly—as soon as God's restraint on them is lifted:
A preview of “birth pangs”:
I understand that we are seeing wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, various terrors and signs in the heavens even today. They even seem to be increasing in frequency and severity. As of yet, these are still isolated events. The Coronavirus (Covid19) Pandemic is coming close to a global event, but the other signs aren't occurring globally on top of it--yet. Think of it as grave foreshadowing... What we see now is disruptive, but what will occur then is incomprehensible!
...when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. (Matthew 14:33)
The book of Revelation is meant to REVEAL, not conceal. It's challenging to understand at times, yes, but God has hidden keys throughout the whole body of Scripture that unlock meaning. It's the most amazing and beautiful puzzle which ties together the entire revelation of God to humanity.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13)
What I write here is my best understanding from Scripture, but it is a human understanding, and thus will be flawed in some points. I urge you to search the Scripture for yourself to see if these things are so, praying for wisdom!
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Proverbs 25:2)
The lists above are not exhaustive, but I hope you find them helpful as you watch and wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Friends, we all need to pay close attention to the nation of Israel which many Bible scholars call God's Timepiece. It was created by God specifically to be His chosen people. After many periods of disobedience, God scattered the Jewish people for 1,900 years. Ezekiel prophesied the reformation of Israel would occur. It reformed as a nation on May 14th, 1948. It has been 72 years since then and so much has happened around the world.
The Bible says that before the 1948 generation passes, Jesus will return. While the length of a generation is assumed by many to be 70 years, in Psalms it is extended to as much as 80 years.
Psalms 90:10: The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they be eighty years, yet is their labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
This may seem an over simplification but does fit nicely with all that we are seeing in 2020:
Biblical lifespan of man: 80 years (with years of labor and sorrow)
Israel rebirth: May 14th 1948
Years from May 14th 1948 to 2020: 72 years
Years left in lifespan: 8 years
The year for 1948 generation to be over (1948 + 80 years): 2028
Latest year for Jesus Christ to return: 2028
Latest year for the Rapture and the beginning of the 7 year tribulation (2018 – 7): 2021
We can take this as a guideline on how quickly the age of the Christian church can come to a close. This end of the age will be the Rapture of the church. Afterwards, the 7 year period known as the Tribulation will begin. The Tribulation is to test and punish both Jews and unbelievers. It will be the hardest time in human history. Millions of new believers will be saved during this period.
For those who don't believe Israel is special, read on just how it was preserved over thousands of years. No other nation was scattered to the ends of the earth, brought back together and has flourished like Israel, God's chosen people.
Christians were grafted onto God's family tree through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. But, in regards to the coming tribulation, Christians will be dealt with separately from the Jewish nation of Israel.
The Miracle of Israel
Morris, Henry M.. Many Infallible Proofs: Evidences for the Christian Faith . Master Books.
The continued existence of the Jews, after centuries of dispersal and persecution unique in human history, is a mute but eloquent testimony to fulfilled prophecy. The restoration of Israel as a nation among nations in our own generation is merely the most recent in a long line of prophecies dealing with the Jewish people which finally came to pass.
When the nation was first founded, through Abraham, God promised: "I will make of thee a great nation …And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12:2-3). Not only did Israel become a great nation under David and Solomon, but it is destined for even greater days in the future. The nations that have befriended the Jews (notably the United States and, to a lesser degree, England, France, and others) have indeed been blessed. Those that have persecuted the Jews (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Spain, Nazi Germany, and others — Russia's time is coming!) have eventually gone down to defeat and humiliation.
Through the Holy Scriptures, almost all written by Jews, and through Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham has indeed become a blessing to all families of the earth. Some from every nation have found salvation and blessing through faith in Him.
God promised the children of Israel great blessing in the land of promise if they would remain faithful to Him. He also predicted great suffering, persecution, and worldwide dispersion when they forsook Him. These prophecies came to pass. Some of these warnings were as follows:
Even more impossible than that a people could retain its identity without a homeland for two thousand years is that they should then return and establish their ancient nation once again. Yet this is exactly what the Bible had predicted.
The Rapture of Christian believers is next on the calendar, no other prophecies have to occur before the snatching away of believers. CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
ALL recent Archaeological discoveries have verified names, places and events that are described in the Holy Bible. CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
A list of 45 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
The importance of Bible Prophecy in relation to what’s happened and what’s yet to come. CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
Are we living in the Biblical “End Times” or the “Last Days”? CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
Some of the many Bible verses that point to Jesus’ Second Coming. How soon will it be? CLICK HERE OR ON THE PIC TO VIEW
A blessed way to walk through each day. Click here or the pic to view.
The Christian Life New Testament
MASTER OUTLINES & STUDY NOTES
Compiled by Porter Barrington
This work is published in conjunction with The Holy Bible, New King James Version – Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Bible is the most important book ever written. It is God’s written Word to man. The New Testament tells about the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. It tells of His birth, His death, and His resurrection.
These outlines have been put together by Porter Barrington, who has been an evangelistic pastor all of his adult life. The Word of God has been at the heart of his entire ministry.
The Christian Life Study Outlines and Notes are the amplification of a ministry of over 35 years, both in the pastorate and in the field of teaching and evangelism. These lessons by Porter Barrington on the Great Doctrines of the Bible are simple without being ordinary, short without being shallow, brief without being dwarfed, positive without being over-formal and comprehensive without being complicated.
They were produced to fill a need in the life of the average Christian, to provide an incentive to know more of God’s Holy Word. If diligently studied, they will help to establish you in the faith and give you spiritual confidence.
It is suggested that you study the Master Outlines in the order given; one each day for fifteen days, and at the end of fifteen days, you will know more about the New Testament than you ever thought possible. This study is equal to an advanced course in Systematic Theology. If you review these lessons often, you will continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now begin your Bible study by clicking on Outline One below.
Outline 1: The Bible
Outline 2: God
Outline 3: Jesus Christ
Outline 4: The Holy Spirit
Outline 5: Sin
Outline 6: Judgments
Outline 7: Rewards
Outline 8: The Church
Outline 9: Prayer
Outline 10: Faith
Outline 11: The Abundant Life
Outline 12: Repentance
Outline 13: The New Birth
Outline 14: Salvation
Outline 15: Witnessing
The Bible is The Word of God
It is important for a new or renewed Christian to start right; therefore, the first lesson is designed to help establish your faith in the Bible, for it IS the word of God. Keep in mind that the Bible is not a book of philosophy, although it is philosophical. Do not go to the Bible for a scientific argument. However, there is no discrepancy between ascertained facts of science and the Bible. The Bible is not a book of history, but is found to be accurate when recording history. The Bible was given to us from God, revealing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God the Son, the only Savior John 14:6. He is the center and the circumference. It is Christ from Genesis to Revelation John 5:39.
The Bible is as high above all other books as the heavens are above the earth. Someone has said of the Bible: “Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be right.”
1) The Bible claims to be the inspired word of God – (II Timothy 3:16-17): 16) “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Upon this statement of fact, evangelical Christianity stands. The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. By “inspiration” we mean that the Holy Spirit exerted His supernatural influence upon the writers of the Bible. The writings were inspired – not necessarily the writers, for the Bible nowhere claims to have been written by inspired men.
2) The Bible is a difficult book (I Corinthians 2:14-16): 14) “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16) For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
The Bible is a difficult book because it came from the infinite to the finite – from the unlimited, all powerful God, to limited man. Therefore, you cannot understand the Bible as you would understand the writings of Plato or Socrates. You can study the great philosophers with the natural mind, and by diligent application, grasp their profound meanings. If the Bible could be understood by natural man, it would be a natural book and could not be the Word of God. Since the Bible is from God, and therefore spiritual, before you can receive its teachings, you must be born of the spirit John 3:6 and filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18. Always approach the Bible praying that the Spirit will be your teacher and will guide you to a better understanding of His Holy Word, or it will remain a difficult, closed book John 16:12-15
3) The Bible is a book of oneness (2 Peter 1:21): “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
The oneness or unity of the Bible is a miracle. It is a library of 66 books, written by over 35 different authors, in a period of approximately 1,500 years. Represented in the authors is a cross section of humanity, educated and uneducated, including kings, fishermen, public officials, farmers, teachers and physicians. Included in the subjects are religion, history, law, science, poetry, drama, biography and prophecy. Yet its various parts are as harmoniously united as the parts that make up the human body.
For 35 authors, with such varied backgrounds, to write on so many subjects, over a period of approximately 1,500 years, in absolute harmony, is a mathematical impossibility. It could not happen! Then how do we account for the Bible? The only adequate explanation is: “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
4) The Bible claims special power (Hebrews 4:12): “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
“For the word of God is living and powerful…” The Bible claims:
5) The Bible commands the believer to study the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
“Study to show thyself approved unto God” is a command. As you study the Bible, you will discover that it does not just contain the Word of God – it IS the Word of God. You must also keep in mind that the Word of God contains the words of God, as well as the words of Satan, demons, angels and man – both good and bad. God is truth and cannot lie. Satan “is a liar and the father of it” John 8:44. Man is natural and is therefore limited, and does not always speak the truth. To illustrate: Matthew 22:15-46. In this portion of Scripture, we have the words of Jesus, of the Pharisees, of the Herodians and of the Sadducees. The Pharisees, Herodians and Sadducees were trying to entangle Jesus in His teachings, that they might accuse Him of breaking God’s law. Their words were spoken with evil intent, revealing the thinking of the natural man, along with the words of God that came from the lips of Jesus.
As you study the Bible, ask yourself these questions:
The Bible reveals God as the only infinite and Eternal Being, having no beginning and no ending. He is the Supreme Personal Intelligence, and Righteous Ruler of His universe. He is life, and therefore, the only source of life (John 5:26).
Man is natural and cannot know God by wisdom (Job 11:7). God is a person and can be known only by revelation. In the Old Testament He revealed Himself to and through His prophets? In the New Testament He reveals Himself through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3)
1) The existence of God (Hebrews 11:6): But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
2) The Bible reveals God as personality. He is called “the living and true God” – One possessing self-consciousness and self-determination. His personality is shown in what He does, such as:
Only a personality can love, hate, care and grieve; therefore God must be a living, eternal and personal being.
3) The Nature of God (I John 4:8): He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God is described 4 ways in the Bible. Since God cannot be defined, they are incomplete. However, they do throw light upon the nature of God. They are:
4) The attributes of God reveal His nature. Do not think of His attributes as abstract, but as vital mediums through which His holy nature in unveiled – attributes ascribed to Him, such as:
God is everywhere but not in everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshipping God. God is spirit. (John 4:24)
5) Grace is the love and mercy of God in action. Mercy is negative, and love is positive; both together mean grace. To show mercy in love is grace. God showed mercy in love when He sent His Son to bear our sins in His own body on the cross (John 3:16).
6) The Trinity of God (Matthew 3:16-17): 16) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17) And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
By the Trinity of God we mean His tri-personal existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one God.
Even creation implies the doctrine of the Trinity.
Christianity is unlike any other religion, because it is more than a religion–it is the story of the life of the Son of God. Christ is Christianity is Christ. He is the main subject of each book of the New Testament, and fulfills all the promises of God in the Old Testament. From His incarnation to His Second Coming (Revelation 17:14), He is the God-man, Christ Jesus in glory, exalted above all creatures, having “all power in heaven and in earth”. Matthew 28:18
During His earthly ministry, He claimed to be God in human flesh. He is what He claimed, or He is not. (Revelation 1:8). Before His claim can be denied, there are some things that must be accounted for:
1) The Deity of Jesus Christ (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The deity of Jesus Christ, or His God nature, is established in the New Testament. Some of the facts are:
2) The Humanity of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:3) 3)“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”
The Humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in His human parentage (Matthew 2:11)
Jesus is man, and yet He is more than man. He is not God and man, but the God-man. He is God in human flesh. His two natures are put together in such a way that the two natures become united in one person, having a single consciousness and will.
3) The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ – (Luke 1:26-35) 26) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31) “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32) “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33) “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34) “Then Mary said to the angel “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35) “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is without duplicate in history. It was by virgin birth that God became man, one person but two natures: God nature and the nature of man-man without sin (Hebrews 4:15). The union of the two natures became the God-man Christ Jesus.
4) The Death of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:8). And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
The death of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 120 times in the New Testament and is spoken of many times by the prophets in the Old Testament.
Only God in the form of man could die a vicarious, natural, unnatural, preternatural, and supernatural death.
5) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-20): 1) Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3) His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. 4) And the guards shook for fear of him, and became as dead men. 5) But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6) “He is not here; for He is raised, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord lay. 7) “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8). So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9) And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10) Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid, Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 11) Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12) When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers. 13) saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14) “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15) So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17) When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18). And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20) “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the doctrine of the disciples, the faith of the true believer, the courage of the martyr, the theme of every sermon, and the power of every evangelist.
Luke tells us that we have “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Let us look at some of these “infallible proofs”:
Many of these eye witnesses died martyr’s deaths because they preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were glad to die for a living Christ. They had the “infallible proofs.”
When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all of His disciples “forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). From this time until after His resurrection, the disciples lived in fear. They did not believe that He would rise from the dead (John 20:9). Without the Resurrection, the cross would have been the end of Christianity. After the death of Jesus, we see His disciples dejected, discouraged, and defeated. The death of Jesus meant the end. How do we account for the great change that came into their lives three days and three nights later? The only logical explanation is that they had the “infallible proofs” that He had risen from the dead, and was alive forevermore. They saw Him, talked with Him touched Him, and ate with Him.
Now look at some “infallible proofs” according to circumstantial evidence:
First, the disciples were afraid. If they stole His body, then how do you account for the fact that they all suffered, and most of them died martyrs’ deaths? Would not one of them reveal the hiding place to save his own life?
Second, no one was ever arrested or tried for stealing the body of Jesus. It is evident that the governing officials did not believe the story of the guards.
Third, the guards could have been put to death for sleeping while on watch.
Fourth, if they were asleep, how could they known who “stole” the body?
Fifth, had the enemies of Jesus moved the body, they could have produced it and ended Christianity!!
The linen clothes found in the empty tomb are proof of the Resurrection (John 20:1-10). Had anyone stolen the body, they would not have removed the linen clothes from a three day old dead body. When John saw the linen clothes, he knew that a miracle had taken place. Jesus came out of the clothes, and they collapsed without disturbing the folds. They were left in the empty tomb; and when John saw and believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.
6) The Ascension and Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11): 9) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of sight. 10) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go up into Heaven.”
After forty days of instructing His disciples, the risen Christ ascended up on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12). Two men brought the message of His second coming to the apostles (Acts 1:11). The message of the second coming of Jesus is so important, that it is mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to the Father and the Son. He is God the Holy Spirit, and is distinct from the Father and the Son. In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He empowered men for service; but, when they were disobedient, He departed from them.
When David sinned, he prayed, “and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me”(Psalm 51:11).
In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, never leaving, filling and empowering him. A scriptural understanding of God the Holy Spirit will make you a better Christian and servant of God.
1) The Deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4): 3) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has the Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4) “While it remained was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
In dealing with Ananias, Peter revealed the Holy Spirit’s Deity (Acts 5:3a). In this Scripture it is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, and He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with the Father and Son.
1) His deity is also set forth in that He possesses divine attributes:
2) The Emblems of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16): John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you wit water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
It is difficult to impart truth by words. Frequently they reveal only a half-truth. The Bible used certain emblems when telling of the Holy Spirit, because they show more about Him. They are:
3) Sins against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32): 31) “therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32) “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
This is a solemn study, because the Holy Spirit is God and can be sinned against by both the believer and the unbeliever. May He help you search your heart as you consider:
4) The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14): 7) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 ) “And when He has come, He will convict toe world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; 9) “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10) “of rightness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11) “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12) “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13) “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but what ever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14) “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you….”
In instructing His disciples, regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “. . . for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will . . .”
5) The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): 22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
“The Fruit of the Spirit is love.” Only as we live in love can we fulfill the will of God in our lives. The believer must become love-inspired, love-mastered, and love-driven (2 Corinthians 5:14). Without the fruit of the Spirit (love), we are just a religious noise (1 Corinthians 13:1).
“The Fruit of the Spirit is love,” and it is manifested in joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control:
Put your all on the altar, and the Holy Spirit will fill your heart with the love of God (Romans 5:5)
In considering the question of sin, we are faced with two startling facts. The first fact is that man makes so little of sin. To some, it is an illusion-a religious mirage-the invention of some fanatic. It is denied, joked about, and laughed at by man. Many, who believe sin to be a fact, continue in it with little thought of its penalty.
The second fact is that God makes so much of sin. God said, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). All sins are an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19), and He hates those who work iniquity (Psalm 5:5). Moses said, “…All who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 25:16). Sin is an evil force. Its presence cannot be escaped in this life, but it can be overcome by the power of God.
1) The Origin of Sin (Jude 1:6): And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their one abode, He has reserve in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
The origin of sin is one of the mysteries of the Bible. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Its origin is one of the “secret things” that will remain wrapped in obscurity.
Sin was first noted in the heart of Satan. He was created a perfect being, “…till iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:11-19). Satan fell from perfection when he exerted his will above the will of God. Five times he said, “I will” (Isaiah 14:12-17). It was his will over God’s will – this is sin. It is believed that Satan, when first created, was the ruler of this earth (Genesis 1:1). , and that he fell through self-will; and at his fall, the earth “was without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2).
Isaiah tells us that God created the earth “not in vain” (Isaiah 45:18). “He did not create it a chaos.” The earth was a perfect creation in Genesis 1:1. Something happened that caused a catastrophe and the earth became “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2), but it was not created thus.
It is believed that some of the angels, along with Satan, sinned by leaving their first estate. This does not prove that Satan was the originator of sin, but it does reveal sin in the heart of Satan before God created man.
2) What is Sin (I John 3:4): Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
It is impossible to deny the existence of sin, when the whole world is in conflict between good and evil. If sin were not a fact, there would be no crime; we would not need jails or prisons. We would need no locks on our doors, or vaults for our valuables. To some, sin is being indiscreet; or it is a weakness of the flesh. To others, it is the absence from good. To the so-called scholar, sin is ignorance; and to the evolutionist, it is the nature of the beast. The latest theory is that sin is a disease to be treated by science, because man is not a sinner-he is only sick. To others, sin is a form of selfishness, but God declares that;
Sin is a folly to deceive you, a force to destroy you, and a fact to condemn you. Sin is a volitional act of disobedience against the revealed will of God.
3) How Sin Entered into the World (Romans 5:12): Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
“…by one man sin entered into the world.” The fall of man is found in Genesis 3:1-24 When Adam sinned, his seed became corruptible (1 Peter 1:23) Therefore, we are sinners, because we are born in sin (Psalm 51:5) You do not have to teach children to be bad, but you do have to teach them to be good. You do not have to teach them to lie, but you do have to teach them to tell the truth.” Therefore as by one man’s offense judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation” (Romans 5:18) According to the Word of God, all men are judged sinners; all are condemned already (John 3:18). “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) Sin entered the world through our first parents in the Garden of Eden, and “all have sinned” because all are sinners.
Man sins by choice, because he is a sinner by nature. Therefore, the dominion sin has over you is according to the delight you have in it
4) The Results of Sin (Ephesians 2:1): And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) As a result of man’s sin, there are three deaths. Keep in mind that death does not annihilate; it only separates. In the Garden of Eden, it separated man from God Spiritually; this is spiritual death. In natural death, it separates the spirit and the soul from the body; this is physical death. In final death, it separates man from the mercy of God forever; this is eternal death.
5) Gods Remedy for Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21): For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Man, not willing to accept God’s remedy for his ruin, strives to bring about his own salvation by human means.
The only remedy for the ruin of man is the Son of God being made sin for us on the cross. The only way to receive this remedy is by faith in Him as personal Savior. (John 20:30-31)
1) In the Scriptures, we are instructed to “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). This is most essential when studying the judgments. Do not endeavor to make all the judgments conform to the theory of one “general judgment.” The “general judgment” theory is the invention of religion, and is not taught in the Word of God. There are five separate judgments revealed in the Bible, and they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in common: the Lord Jesus Christ is the judge. (John 5:22)
Everyone – from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth – will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged.
2) Judgment of the Believers Sin (John 5:24): “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
In the above verse, our Lord tells us that the believer “shall not come into judgment.” (Matthew 10:15) Our sins were judged in Christ on Calvary and every believer “has passed out of death into life.”
The believer will never be condemned with the world, because Christ was condemned in his place. “For He has made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ was made a curse for us on the cross and “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment because his sins have been purged (Hebrews 1:3).
3) Judgment of the Believers Self (1 Corinthians 11:31-32): 31) For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
The judgment of the believer’s self is more than judging things in the believer’s life. When the believer judges self, the good and the bad in his life come to light; and he will confess the bad (1 John 1:9) and forsake it (Isaiah 55:7) However, it is not enough just to judge sin in the believer; he must judge self.
4) Judgment of the Believers Works (2 Corinthians 5:10): For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
5) Judgment of Nations (Matthew 25:31-46) 31) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep form the goats. 33) “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34) “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35) “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? 38) “When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39)‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40) “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly , I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41) Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42) ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43) ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44) “Then they also will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45) “Then He will answer them, saying ;Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did not do it to one of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46) “And these things will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
This judgment is not the judgment of the great white throne (Revelation 20:11-15). A careful comparison of the two judgments will establish the following facts:
6) Outline 6.5: Judgment of the Wicked (Revelation 20:11-15): 11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
The great white throne judgment will follow the thousand year reign of Christ. This is the final judgment, and only the wicked dead are to be judged. According to (Revelation 20:5), the believers were resurrected a thousand years before this judgment, and their works were judged at the “judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
1) There is a vast difference in the doctrine of salvation for the lost, and the doctrine of rewards for the saved. Salvation is “the gift of God, not of works” (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is received by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:36). Rewards are according to the works of the believer (Matt. 16:27).
A most revealing Scripture concerning rewards is found in 1 Cor. 3:8-15.
2) The believer who builds on Christ with eternal materials, “gold, silver, precious stones,” shall receive a reward. Those who build on Christ with temporal materials, “wood, hay, straw,” will receive no reward. The works of “wood, hay, straw” will be destroyed at the “judgment seat of Christ,” and he believer will suffer loss – not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards.
In the first year of my ministry, I set at the bedside of a dying friend. As we talked of his home going, tears filled his eyes. Being young in the Lord, I thought he was afraid to die, and attempted to speak words of encouragement to him. He said, “I am not afraid to die; I am ashamed to die.” He went on to say that Christ was his Savior, but he had lived for self, and now had to meet the Lord Jesus Christ empty handed. His life loomed up before him as “wood, hay, straw.” He was “saved so as by fire.”
Rewards are called “crowns” in the New Testament.
3) The Crown of Life (James 1:12): Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
The Crown Imperishable (1 Cor 9:24-27): Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26) Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27) But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Paul makes use of the Greek games to illustrate the spiritual race of the believer. They ran to win a “perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” No young man could contend in the games unless he was a Greek citizen, born of Greek parents. No unsaved person can participate in the services of the Lord for rewards; only the born of God are eligible (John 3:3)
Just as the athlete must deny himself many gratifications of he body, so the believer must say “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” or he will become “disqualified.” He will not loose his salvation, but he will lose the “imperishable crown.”
The Greek games had hard and fast rules for all participants. The New Testament contains the rules for believers who would enter the spiritual race to win the “imperishable crown.”
Do not be spiritual spectator. Enter the race and run to win the “imperishable crown.”
4) The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19-20): For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
The “crown of rejoicing” is the soul winner’s crown. The greatest work you are privileged to do for the Lord is to bring others to knowledge of Christ as personal Savior. The degree of you joy in heaven will determined by the souls you have had a part in bringing to Christ. Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that they are his “hope, or joy or crown of rejoicing” now and when Jesus comes.
How can you win souls to Christ:
God has promised that your labor will not be in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). The soul winner will not rejoice alone – all of heaven will rejoice with him when he receives the “crown of rejoicing” (John 4:36)
5) The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:5-8): 5) But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and my departure is at hand. 7) I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. 8) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
The “crown of righteousness” is a reward, and it is not to be confused with the “righteousness of God” which the believer receives when he becomes a Christian; for at that time, the believer is to “become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). This saving righteousness is a gift to be accepted by the lost. The “crown of righteousness” is a reward to be earned by the saved. If the believer looks for, and loves the doctrine of the second coming of Christ, it will affect his whole life. Look at the dynamic impact this truth had on the life of the apostle Paul. He could say:
6) The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:2-4): and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive crown of glory that does not fade away.
The “crown of glory” is a special reward for the faithful, obedient, God-called pastor. He will receive this reward when the “Chief Shepherd appears.” It is eternal; it “does not fade away.” Every believer may share in the pastor’s “crown of glory.” He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward” (Matt. 10:41). Support your faithful, God-called pastor by praying for him and encouraging him in the work of the Lord. Under gird his ministry with God’s tithes and your offerings (Mal. 3:10 OT) giving freely of your time to the service of the Lord. And God will reward you for supporting His chosen servant by allowing you to share in your pastor’s reward. The pastor will earn this “crown of glory by:
Church is not a place to go, or a building, or something you do. It has no walls. It is organic in the sense that it is made up of the people of God. We “are” the Church. Additionally, a congregation is an assembly of people gathering together to worship, fellowship, and study about God. And “a place of worship” also called a “temple,” is exactly that. A place that people use for worship.
1) Jesus said, “I will build My church” (ecclesia) (Matt. 16:18). The word “ecclesia” in the New Testament is used to designate any assembly whether it be political (Acts 19:39), Christian (Eph. 1:22-23), or national (Acts 7:38). It means a called-out assembly or congregation. God called Israel out of Egypt; they congregated in the wilderness; they were, “the church in the wilderness.” Today, God calls the saved out of the world to congregate in worship. This is the church in the world, in it, but not of it.
2) Unlike the church in the wilderness, the Church that Jesus is building will never cease. He said, “The gates of Hades shall not over power it.” His Church is not synonymous with Christendom. It is in Christendom in the same way in which it is in the world, in it, but not of it. Christendom is made up of those who profess to be Christians, but they know not Christ as a personal Savior (Matt. 7:21-23, also, 2 Tim 3:5 and Titus 1:16). Only blood-washed, born again, Spirit-baptized believers constitute the church that Jesus is building. It is called a:
3) The Church: Its Foundation (Matt. 16:13-18) – Peter’s Confession of Christ – 13) Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14) And they said, “some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15) He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16) And Simon Peter answered and said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17) And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18) “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and gates of Hades shall not overpower it…”
4) The Church: Its Head (Col. 1:18) He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
5) The church is more than a religious organization; it is an organism, with Christ as the living head. It is alive with the life of Christ made living in each member (1 Cor. 12:1-31). Let us examine briefly the church and observe its role as the body of Christ:
6) This is the church in its broadest sense. You cannot join this church. The only way to become a member of His body is to be spiritually born (John 3:1-7) and baptized into it by the Holy Spirit.
7) The Lord Jesus Christ has never delegated His authority to anyone, whether he be pope, pastor, deacon, or the majority of the congregation. He is “head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22), the only absolute and final authority.
8) The Church: Its Organization (Titus 1:4-5) 4) … to Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.
9) The local New Testament church is a microcosm of the complete body of Christ in heaven and earth. The word “church” is used over one hundred times in the New Testament, and the great majority of the references refer to the local congregation.
10) Its Membership records: The church must have kept records of its members. The Book of Acts tells us that there were about 120 in the upper room. The account (Acts 1:15-26) reads like the average local church business meeting. Simon Peter is the pastor; he takes the lead and gives direction in choosing one to take the place of Judas. “And they drew lots,” and Matthias was chosen to be an apostle. On the day of Pentecost about 3,000 were added to the body of Christ by Holy Spirit baptism (1 Cor. 12:13) and the local church in Jerusalem by water baptism (Acts 2:41). Again the records show another 5,000 added (Acts 4:4). The Scriptures tell us that “the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
11) Its Ordinances:
12) The Church: It’s Discipline (Matt. 18:15-17) 15) “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16) “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17) “And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as Gentile and a tax-gatherer.
13) The Church: Its Worship and Work (Matt 28:16-20) 16) But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17) And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
14) You can always recognize a Holy Spirit-powered church. The evidence is obvious; they have power to:
This is the power that filled the upper room congregation on the day of Pentecost. That power is with the believer today in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is the power of the church.
15) The Church: Its Future (1 Thess. 4:16-17) 16) for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The true Church of Jesus Christ has a glorious, victorious future in the world, in the air, in the kingdom and in eternity; it cannot fail. “The gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18). The Church of Jesus Christ will emerge triumphant for, “we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rom.8:35-39). The church cannot fail because Christ is its Head, the Holy Spirit is its power, and the Word of God is its guide.
16) The church. His bride will remain in His presence forever. If in His human form He is in the new heaven or the new earth, we will be with Him, to see Him, to serve Him, and to worship Him. He will continue to bestow upon His bride the riches of His eternal grace (Eph. 2:6-7). Even in our perfect, glorified bodies it will take eternity (time without end) to begin to comprehend the greatness of His grace.
Prayer is as old as man, as universal as religion is, and as instinctive as breathing (Gen. 4:26 OT). All men of all faiths practice it in some form. Prayer springs from the heart with a need – a need greater than man’s ability to encounter. Prayer is man’s acknowledgement of a being higher than he is.
Most men try to pray, yet so few know how. There are two kinds of prayers: the prayer that does not reach God and the prayer that does reach God. This is illustrated by our Lord in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14). Both men went to the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose – to pray.
The Pharisee prayed in his religious pride, expecting God to answer because he thought himself worthy. He informed God of his own goodness, that he was better than others were. He boasted of his good works. He said, “I fast; I gave.” This is the kind of prayer that does not reach God. It is self-righteous prayer.
Now look at the publican and his prayer. He came to God in great humility, conscious of his unworthiness, confessing himself a sinner, and begging for mercy. This is the kind of prayer that does reach God. This is righteous prayer.
It is a rare privilege to pray; because it brings you into close fellowship with God, admitting your need for Him and your utter dependence upon Him.
1) What is Prayer Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking (Matt. 7:7-11) 7) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9) “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10) “Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11) “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Prayer is asking and receiving; it is talking with God. It is making your request known to Him in faith. The above Scripture is so simple on the surface that we are in danger of failing to recognize its immensity. Our Lord instructs the believer to ask, see, and knock; because these three works cover the whole spectrum of prayer.
2) Why Pray? The Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1) Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to prayer and not lose heart.
3) How to Pray (Matt. 6:9-13) 9) “In this manner, therefore, pray; 10) Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11) Give us this day or daily bread. 12) And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen.
“In this manner, therefore pray.” Our Lord gave this as a model prayer after one of His disciples said unto Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
This model prayer is brief, to the point, and not repetitious. It is the perfect prayer.
4) Where to Pray Peter Freed from Prison (Acts 12:5) Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
There was a remarkable change in the prayer life of the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus, and it is noted again after Pentecost. Before the death of Jesus, the disciples slept while Jesus prayed in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-46). But, after His death and resurrection:
It is great joy to be able to talk with God, any time, any place, under any condition, and to know that He will hear and answer.
5) Hindrances to Prayer A Word to Husbands (1 Peter 3:7) Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
When prayers are not answered, you should examine yourself in the light of God’s Word. If you find anything not pleasing to God, confess it, believing God for forgiveness that you prayers may be answered (1 John 1:9)
When you pray, go to God in all humility. Ask Him to reveal anything in your life that is not pleasing to Him. Then judge it; confess it, calling it by name and forsake it. Pray in all simplicity and earnestness, believing, and God will hear and answer.
6) Does God Answer All Prayers? (John 15:7) ”If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
The Bible is filled with answered prayers from Genesis to Revelation. You are command to pray, and God has promised to answer (Jer. 33:3 OT). In the above Scripture, there are two requirements for answers to prayer. First you are to abide in Him; that is, to continue in Him. It means to remain in His perfect will at all cost (Rom. 12:1-2). Second, His words are to abide in you; they are to become a vital part of you life. You are to be filled with and guided by His words (Col. 3:16-17). Meet these two requirements, and your prayers will be answered.
“The just shall live by faith.” This declaration of he Christian’s principle of life is found four times in the Bible: Hab. 2:1-5 (OT); Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:10-11; and Heb. 10:38. In Habakkuk, we see the difference between the lives of the unjust and the just. The unjust are puffed up and live by their own self-sufficiency. But the just live by faith – their confidence is in God. To them, faith is more than a philosophy of life; it is the very principle of life (Hab. 2:4 OT). The just shall live his whole life by faith. He saved by faith (Acts 16:31); he is kept by faith (1 Pet. 1:7); and he lives by faith (Gal. 2:20). His faith shall be tried many times and in many ways (1 Pet. 1:7), but faith will always be vindicated, because it is more than equal to any occasion. Faith knows how to wait on the Lord (IS 40:31 OT), and it is always victorious (1 John 5:4)
Faith defies reason; it moves mountains (Mitt. 17:14-21). Faith does not always face facts; it never gives up (Heb. 11:32-39). Faith says, “God is working out His perfect will in my life, and I can wait, endure, and suffer.” Faith does not make anything easy, but it does make all things possible.
1) What is Faith? By Faith We Understand (Heb. 11:1-3) 1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2) For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3) By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
“Now faith is the substance [title deed] of things hoped for …” Your faith is your title deed to eternal life. Just as a title deed is evidence of real estate, so you faith evidence or your eternal estate in God (2 Cor. 4:18).
2) The Importance of Faith (Eph. 6:16) … above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
The shield of faith is a vital part of the Christian’s armor. You are to put on the “whole armor of God” because the Christian life is a warfare, a spiritual conflict. As Paul names the different parts of the Christian’s armor, he comes to the shield and emphasizes its importance by saying, “Above all, taking the shield of faith…”
For with the shield of faith, nothing can hurt you; “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37)
The importance of faith is seen in that:
Faith is important because it honors God, and God always honors faith.
3) Little Faith (Matt. 14:28-33) 28) And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. 29) So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30) But he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord save me!” 31) And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32) And when they got into the boat the wind ceased. 33) Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
At this stage in the spiritual growth of Peter, he was a man of “little faith.” However, after Pentecost, he became a spiritual giant. Let us take of good look at his “little faith” and profit from it. Jesus, walking on the water in the midst of a storm, came to His distressed disciples. Peter asked to come to Jesus on the water. He must have thrilled at the thought of doing the impossible. Jesus said, “Come.”
Now, let us recap the steps that led to failure. Peter started by faith and walked on water. Then he saw the storm and had second thoughts that lead to doubt, that produced fear, that caused him to turn back, that brought about failure.
You need a faith that is bigger than the elements that would drag you down to defeat. You can have big faith “prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:20-21) and by feeding your faith on the Word of God (Rom 10:17). You can have mountain high faith.
4) Three Kinds of Faith(John 11:21-44) 21) Now Martha said to Jesus “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died. 22) “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23) Jesus said to here, “Your brother will rise again.” 24) Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26) “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27) She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28) And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29) As soon as she heard that she arose quickly and came to Him. 30) Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31) Then Jews who were with here in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” 32) Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33) When Jesus therefore saw here weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, 34) and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35) Jesus wept. 36) And so the Jews were saying, “Behold how He loved him!” 37) But some said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?” 38) Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39) Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40) Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41) And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me. 42) And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that “Thou didst send Me.” 43) And when He said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” 44) He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” .
In this chapter, we see the faith of Martha in connection with the resurrection of her brother Lazarus. Now Lazarus fell ill, and Martha and her sister Mary sent for Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus delayed His coming until Lazarus was dead and in the tomb for tomb for four days. Then He came to raise him from the dead, and found the limited, fundamental faith of Martha His only obstacle.
5) The Hall of Faith (Heb. 11:32-39) 32) And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33) who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34) quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35) Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection, 36) and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37) They were stoned, they sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38) (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39) And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, [40) because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
This chapter is call the “Hall of Faith.” You need to come here often and linger long, that your faith may become strong in the Lord; for in this Scripture we get a view of the history if Israel and the church, as it is written by faith, in the blood of the saints.
They worshiped by faith as Abel. They walked by faith as Enoch. They worked by faith as Noah. They lived by faith as Abraham. They governed by faith Israel. They fought by faith Joshua. They conquered by faith as Gideon. They subdued kingdoms by faith as David. They closed the mouths of lions by faith as Daniel. They walked through the fire by faith as the three Hebrew children. They suffered by faith as Paul. They died by faith as Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
By faith they were patient in suffering, courageous in battle, made strong out of weakness and were victorious in defeat. They were more than conquerors by faith. It is only by faith in the all-powerful Christ that you can be superior to circumstances and victorious over all the evil forces that would destroy you. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith.” The faith of the saints inspires us, but we look to Jesus as our example of faith.
THE ABUNDANT LIFE
“… I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10) The only way into eternal life is through faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior (John 3:15) But do not stop here; to have eternal life is great-but there is more. Christ came that you might have life abundantly. All believers have life, but not all have abundant life. You are living beneath your privilege if you are a believer and not enjoying the abundant life
For life to be abundant, it must have abundant resources, and the only unlimited source of life is in the person Jesus Christ, the son of God (John 14:6) To possess this fuller life, the believer must abide in Him (John 15:1-5). Dynamic, abundant living is not for just a few, it is God’s norm for all believers. It is spiritual life in depth, and without it, the Christian life becomes inane and meaningless.
If you do not have abundant life within you, you will soon yield to the carnal (fleshly) life around you (1 Cor. 3:1-4) The carnal life is circumstance-controlled; the abundant life is Holy Spirit-controlled. The carnal Christian life leads to defeat; the abundant life leads to victory in Christ. Man seems to know everything about life except how to live it abundantly. From this moment on, determine not to be satisfied with anything less than God’s best: living life abundantly.
1) The Abundant Life is a Yielded Life Rom. 6:10-13 10) For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11) Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
How to live the abundant life is no secret; it is revealed in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” (above verse 10). Faith that saves identifies you with Christ in His death-this is eternal life. Faith that yields identifies you with Christ in His resurrection-this is abundant life (Col. 3:1-4)
In the above verse (verse 13), the believer has a choice. He may yield to God by faith and enjoy abundant life or he may yield to sin and endure a defeated life (Rev. 3:1). God would have you know the power of a yielded life; it will lift you above circumstances that circumvent abundant living. The abundant life begins when you yield to Him as Master, allowing Him to live His life through you by faith.
2) The Abundant Life is a Service Life (Rom. 12:1-2) 1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
To live abundantly, you must serve the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself became our example. He served all the way to Calvary, and there He was the obedient servant,” …obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:7-8) In the verses 1 and 2 the believer is urged to take the necessary steps for abundant living.
3) The Abundant Life is a Separated Life. Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to bean apostle, separated to the gospel of God.
Separation is both positive and negative. You are to be “… set apart for the gospel of God”, this is positive (Rom. 1:1). You are to come out from anything that is contrary to the perfect will of God (2 Cor. 6:17) this is negative.
To be separated means to be sanctified (set apart) for salvation and service.
Without being separated, you can have relationship with God; but, you cannot have fellowship with Him. You may be united to Him in Calvary, but separated from Him in sin (Isa. 59:1-2 OT). Without separation, you can have influence without power, movement without achievement; you may try, but not trust; serve, but not succeed; war, but not win. Without separation to God from sin, your whole Christian life will be “wood, hay, straw”. The abundant life is made possible by death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and made a reality by being separated to Him.
4) The Abundant Life is a Spirit Filled Life. (Eph. 5:18-20) 18) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20) giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. You may be immature, weak and imperfect; but, if you have been “born again” of the Spirit (John 3:3-7) He dwells in you (1 Cor. 6:19 and Rom. 8:9). It is one thing for you to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, but does the Holy Spirit have you, that He may fill you with abundant life? The abundant life is not found in environment or circumstances, or in the things you may possess. It is found in the infilling of the Holy Spirit. “But filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18 ) is a command. You may be filled many, many times (Acts 2:4 and Acts 4:31) The apostles that were filled in Acts chapter 2, were filled again in Acts chapter 4. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be: Spirit-possessed, Spirit-empowered, Spirit-led and Spirit-controlled (Acts 8:26-40).
The Abundant Life is a Mature Life (2 Pet. 3:18 ) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). The scriptures reveal four stages of spiritual growth in the Christian life:
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper. But, he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion” (Prov. 28:13 OT).
God desires “truth in the innermost being” (Ps. 51:6 OT). And commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). The sinner must repent before he can become the recipient of salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). The saved must practice repentance if he is to enjoy unbroken fellowship with God (Job 42:1-6 OT). Someone said, “I repented before I understood the meaning of the word, but since then, as a Christian, I have repented many times.”
Repentance is granted by God (Acts 5:31 and Acts 11:18). “The kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Rom. 2:4). The kindness of God is not merited; therefore, the result of His kindness which is repentance is a gift. This gift of repentance is an inward change produced by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit as the Word of God is proclaimed (Acts 2:37-38; and John 16:7,11). The results, “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21); faith that Christ died for our sins; and that He was buried and that He rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
Repentance qualifies a man for salvation, but it takes a faith in Christ to acquire it. True repentance is always coupled with faith. It is impossible to have saving faith and not repent. “Repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” are essential and inseparable in salvation.
Faith without repentance is the ultimate of hypocrisy and repentance without faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is sheer folly.
1) Repentance Defined (Read: 2 Pet. 3:9): The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Repentance is a change. The prodigal had a change of mind; and his change of mind effected a change of heart; and his change of heart effected a change of will. No one is ever saved until he wills to be (Rev. 22:17). Repentance is change of mind, of heart, and of will.
2) Repentance Preached (Read: Mark 1:1-4) 1) the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2) As it is written in *the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” 3) “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.'” 4) John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Repentance was preached in the Old Testament before the birth of Christ, and during the life and during the life and ministry of Christ. It was preached on the day of Pentecost, and in the Book of Acts after Pentecost. It is taught in the Epistles and the Book of Revelation. It is a doctrine to be preached and practiced in all dispensations.
3) Repentance From Dead Works (Read: Heb. 6:1) Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.
What does the writer of Hebrews mean by, “repentance from dead works”? First, we need to see the other two categories of works. They are:
4) Repentance and God (Read: Heb. 7:21) for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’”
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent” (Num. 23:19 OT). Yet the Bible tells us that He does repent (Gen. 6:5-7 OT). This is not a contradiction. It is paradoxical, but not contradictory.
God makes two covenants with man.
The first is unconditional. When He makes and unconditional covenant, He never repents (change His mind [Ps. 110:4 OT]). He made such a covenant with Israel (Rom. 11:25-36).
The second is conditional. The Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Gen. 6:3 OT). In the days of Noah, God gave the human race a 120 years to repent. Only Noah and his family repented and “found favor in the eyes of the Lord: (Gen. 6:8 OT). They met God’s condition and were not judged with the rest of the human race who refused to repent. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is patient toward you, NOT WISHING FOR ANY TO PERISH BUT FOR ALL TO COME TO REPENTANCE” (2 Pet. 3:9). It is clear that God wills to save all lost souls. He is “not wishing for any to perish”. To be saved the lost must meet His condition, “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Now if a man does not repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God will repent. He will change and judge that man. In love He bestows grace; but, if salvation by grace is rejected, in justice He terminates it. In this way God repents.
5) Repentance, Impossible to Renew (Read: Heb. 6:4-6) 4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5) and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6) if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
The key that unlocks the mystery to this difficult portion of Scripture is the word, “impossible” in verse 4. The writer is saying, that the person who so sins will find it impossible to repent again.
First, let us see what the writer does not mean. He does not mean a backslidden Christian. Simon Peter backslid (Matt. 26:69-75), repented (John 21:3-17), and was restored to fellowship with the Lord. King David sinned (2 Sam. 11:1-27 OT), repented (Ps. 51:1-19 OT), and was restored to fellowship with the Lord (2 Sam. 12:13 OT). Any backslidden Christian can repent and be restored to fellowship with God.
Second, let us see what the writer does mean. Hebrews 6:4-6 is proof that being religious is not enough to save you. They professed, but did not possess eternal life. In outward appearance they would be called Christians. But Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 7:21-23).
Esau so sinned against the Lord when he sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Gen. 25:27-34 OT). Later he tried to repent, but found it impossible to do so. The Scripture says, “He found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears” (Heb. 12:16-17).
At the great white throne judgment where only the wicked dead are judged (Rev. 20:11-15), they too, will try to repent but will find it impossible.
6) Repentance, The Importance of (Read: Acts 17:30): “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
Repentance is so important that God commands that “all everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30).
The church at Ephesus was to repent because she had left her first love.
The church at Pergamos was to repent because she permitted the doctrine of Balaam to be taught, and to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality.
The church at Thyatira was to repent because she tolerated Jezebel to teach and lead God’s servants to commit acts of immorality.
The church at Sardis was to repent because she was a dying congregation.
The church at Laodicea was to repent because she taught she was rich and did not need anything. In her opinion, she had arrived. She did not know that she was neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm and God was ready to spit her out of His mouth.
The Lord called upon these five churches to repent or else He would remove their candlestick and they would cease to be a light in darkness.
The lost are to repent or perish.
The backslider is to repent or be disciplined.
The local church is to repent or lose its effectiveness in a world lost in sin.
7) Repentance, The Evidence of (Read: Acts 26:19-20): 19) Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20) but, declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
The evidence of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ is seen in:
THE NEW BIRTH
It is of the utmost importance that we have a clear understanding of what Jesus meant when, speaking with Nicodemus, He said, “You must be born again”. The new birth is a spiritual birth. It is as much a birth as the natural birth; it is not just a figure of speech. The first birth is of the seed of man. The second birth is of the seed of God (1 Pet. 1:23). Therefore, you cannot become a child of God by joining the church, any more than a monkey could become a man by joining the human race. He may act like a man, dress like a man, and try to live like a man… but he would still be a monkey. Now, if by some miracle, the monkey could be born again of the seed of man, then… and only then, could he become a man. The only way to become a child of God is to be “born again” (John 3:3); not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God”. What is the new birth?
1) Jesus and The Two Births (John 3:1-8) 1) There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2) This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4) Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
In John 3:1-8, we see Jesus and Nicodemus face to face-Jesus the Son of God, and Nicodemus the son of natural man. Nicodemus was a very religious man, but he was not a child of God. What a shock it must have been to learn that his religion was not enough! It never is. He came to Jesus, addressing Him saying, “You have come from God as a teacher”. Jesus knew Nicodemus , as He knows all men (John 2:24-25), and Jesus knew that he needed more than a teacher-he needed a Savior. He needed more than religion-he needed regeneration. He needed more than Law-he needed life. Jesus began by going right to the point when He said, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Then Jesus pointed out the dissimilarity in the two births: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (the flesh will never change); and “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (the Spirit will never change (John 3:6).
First, let us take a brief look at the flesh birth:
Every born again person has two natures: The old from the old birth, and the new from the new birth. By the old birth, we are children of the flesh; by the new the new birth, we are children of God. This is why, “You must be born again.”
2) The New Birth Issues a New Sinless Nature (1 John 3:9) Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Do not try to understand it in the light of personal experience. Keep in mind that the above verse is speaking of the new nature-not the old nature-because the old nature is not born from God. The old nature is born of fallen man and is depraved. The new nature is born of God and is holy.
First, let us see what the verse says about the new nature:
Second, let us see what the Bible says about the old nature:
If you have been “born again”, you have two natures-the old and the new-and you are walking according to one of the two. Examine your Christian walk in the light of God’s Word (Rom. 8:5-6).
3) The New Birth is Imperishable (1 Pet. 1:23) Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
In the above verse (23) we have two seeds, two births, and two natures.
4) The New Birth - It's Means (Read: John 3:14-18 ) 14) And as “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18) He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
5) The New Birth: Its Threefold Proof (1 John 5:1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
Every “born again” child of God has the threefold proof of the new birth-proof that he is a child of God. This threefold proof is: first, inward proof; second, outgoing proof; and third, outward proof.
If you do not have the threefold proof of the new birth, now is the time to get on you knees and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior-by faith in His Vicarious death, burial, and resurrection!