The King Is Coming

History Chart

(Revelation 19:11-21) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

When Jesus first came into the world the Father decreed:

Hebrews 1:6 (KJV)  And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.

The Bible declares (1 Timothy 1:15) “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He entered the world with a manger for a cradle. Though all the angels of Heaven worshiped Him, praising God and saying:

Luke 2:14 (KJV)  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Man barely acknowledged Him. There was no room for Him at the inn, and today little room for Him in men’s hearts. His first visitors were a few shepherds. When He was taken to the Temple to be circumcised on the 8th day two old people – a man and a woman – recognized Him as the Messiah. There was no other fanfare.

It is amazing to me that the Lord of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:8) grew up in a tiny, unknown place called Nazareth. He was unknown as Messiah as He grew from Christ Child to Adult Christ. When John the Baptist introduced Jesus he did so as a prophet should:

John 1:27 (KJV)  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

When Jesus was baptized of John the next day John introduced Him as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). At that moment you would think that the rulers of the Temple would have knelt before Him, honoring Him, giving glory to Him. And yet there are many Churches today that have little time for Christ. Many come together to discuss progressivism, politics, or petty people. There is always something else on the agenda. We have no room at the inn.

Jesus went about healing and doing miraculous things in His first coming. You would have thought that when He entered Jerusalem for the last time on a young donkey that He would never be hurt nor harmed. The Bible says that He rode into the city …

John 12:12-15 … when {the people} heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem cheered Jesus because they thought He had come to conquer the Roman Empire. Rome would eventually be conquered. But a greater thing had to be conquered first. Our sins needed to be conquered. Our death needed to be conquered.

It wouldn’t be long before the crowds shout Crucify Him! Release Barabbas, but crucify Him!” Put Jesus – the Lord of Glory – on a Cross. Jesus came into the world unwanted. He left the world unwanted. It is telling that Pilate wrote the charge for which He was crucified on the titular. The charge was simply …

John 19:19-22 … JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Pilate’s official reason for crucifying Jesus was insurrection or revolt, but Jesus did not come for that. Jesus told Pilate:

John 18:36 (KJV) …. My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Jesus’ first coming was for
REDEMPTION not REVOLUTION.
But His Second Coming will be for RESTORATION.
He will return all power in the world back to Himself!

Behold A White Horse!

(Revelation 19:11) I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..

When a King rode into a city on a white donkey He came to make peace. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the first time He came to make peace.

He came to give His life as the Savior of His people. The Child Mary brought forth was foretold:

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Jesus came “to save HIS people”. Who are “His people?” They are those who love Him. The Scripture declares:

Romans 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

The Child of God by faith in Christ is at peace with God. God is our Father, Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit our Guide and Teacher. We received Christ in the Manger, Christ in Nazareth, and Christ on the donkey. But the world has rejected Christ, and Jesus returns this second time to overthrow and overcome!

(Revelation 19:11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, …

  • Our King Rides A White Horse Out Of Heaven. The White Horse symbolizes victory over the enemy. He is called “Faithful and True”.

At the Last Supper Jesus shares with His disciples that His Body is to broken and His Blood to be shed for them. He is going to be betrayed by all. In the midst of this teaching Peter speaks up

Matthew 26:33 (KJV) … Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Jesus looked at Peter with love in His eyes.

Matthew 26:34 (KJV) …. Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

When Jesus was taken Peter and another Apostle followed from a distance. As Peter followed I can almost hear his thoughts. “Look at me. I’m not denying Jesus. I told Him I wouldn’t.” But before long his resolve is put to the test. “Aren’t you one of His disciples?” a milk maid asks. “No, absolutely not!”. Then a relative of the man that Peter injured in the garden of Gethsemane says “You are one of His disciples!” Peter denies it. The man says again, “I know I saw you in the garden with Jesus” (John 18:25-27) and Peter denies Christ the third time.

And the cock crows.

Thank God that Jesus is faithful. One of the faithful sayings of Paul was:

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (KJV) It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Jesus is faithful. He is faithful to us even when we fail. There are times when we do fail, but Jesus loves us. He is faithful to His Word. He is the faithful Witness of God. Jesus told the Church at Laodicea:

Revelation 3:14 (KJV) … These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Jesus is faithful to His people and faithful to His Word. Though Israel has rejected Him Jesus is returning on a white horse to restore Israel and to usher in His millennial Kingdom. He is always faithful to His people.

Hebrews 3:1-2, 6 (KJV)1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him… 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

The war that Jesus is bringing to the earth is faithful and true. We read:

(Revelation 19:11) … and in righteousness he
doth judge and make war.

The wars that men fight have to do with human greed and power. Very few wars among mankind have ever been just wars. People kill people for land, for oil wells, for ethnic cleansing, for profit.

When Jesus comes He comes to cut the cancer of sin out of His world, a world He made.

Jesus must come, He MUST COME to purge sin and establish His righteous rule before the Millennial Reign can ever start. Isaiah foresaw this in:

(Isaiah 11:4-6) But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

There cannot be PEACE until the power of sin lies in PIECES. Progressivism is falling, and killing others as it goes. Evil must be cast down. The anti-Christ and those who love him must be disposed of …. only then can Christ reign!

Jesus comes to the earth to restore the righteousness of God and righteous rule. In righteousness He doth judge and make war. The world shall bow to Christ, as it is written:

Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

  • King Jesus Rides A White Horse Out Of Heaven To Judge And Set Things Right According To God’s Standard.

(Revelation 19:12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, …

When John first saw Jesus at the beginning of Revelation he wrote:

(Revelation 1:14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Fire in the Scripture is used to purge trash from something precious.
To take the dross from gold or silver, making it more valuable.
Fire is used to burn up trash, and as a place of torment.
Fire speaks of God.

Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV) For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

The world has been taken from God for a long time. Now God comes to reclaim His own. He looks with jealousy on His Israel and on His earth and will judge the wicked. He looks at a world that has persecuted and martyred His people, and now judgment comes:

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (KJV) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Today is judgment day, and Christ the Judge.

(Revelation 19:12) … and on his head were many crowns …

The devil stole the crown from Adam in the Garden of Eden by deception and lies. When Jesus came into the world the devil offered a crown to Jesus.

Matthew 4:8-9 (KJV) … the devil taketh {Jesus} up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Jesus refused that devil’s crown. “Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve”. Jesus refused the devil’s crown and chose the Cross. When Christ returns on His head shall be MANY crowns! His crowns are not stolen, nor given, but His by right.

(Revelation 19:12) … and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

The “Name” symbolized the unique nature of Christ. He is different and unique. Though Man, He is perfect Man. Though God, He is fully God. He is fully God and fully Man without hybrid, perfect and whole. So much s that He and He alone is the Mediator between God and Man.

The King Returns With His Bride

(Revelation 19:13-14) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

The text now focuses on what Jesus is wearing, and what His people are wearing. Jesus comes with a vesture or robe dipped in BLOOD. This Blood could have two meanings.

  • It can speak of the BLOOD OF CHRIST that saves us.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18, 19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Those who believe on Christ shall not fall under His hand. The armies that follow Jesus arrayed in white are so clothed because of His Blood.

Revelation 7:14 (KJV) … These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Human blood leaves a stain that is nearly impossible to get out of white linen. But the Blood of Christ cleanses us of all sin. The armies that follow Christ back to the earth are the saints who are cleansed by His Blood.

  • This Blood can also symbolize the JUDGMENT that is about to come on the earth. Rejecting the Blood of Christ and rejecting therefore peace with God, the world is now going to be judged.

The armies that follow Christ are His Church. Though the armies also ride white horses they have no weapons. Dr Thomas Constable wrote in his commentary:

“This heavenly army, unlike their leader, has no swords or spears. They take no part in the action. They wear no armor because, being immortal, they are immune to injury. They are noncombatant supporters of the Messiah as He wages the war single-handedly . . .”

Jesus will do the battle, and we will be the witnesses. Oh praise Him for His faithfulness.

Revelation 19:13 … his name is called The Word of God.

Jesus is called “The Word of God” because He is the visible and vocal manifestation of God’s heart and mind.

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

It Is Christ’s Word That Will Defeat The Enemy

(Revelation 19:15-16) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The Word that created life and this earth and the Word that brings new life to the believer is now the Word that smites the disobedient and defeats the Devil!

When Jesus returns to this earth in His Second Coming it will be to cast down the unbeliever and to save the believer. The unbelieving Jew and the unbelieving Gentile will both be judged. Christ will reign. God told His Israel:

(Ezekiel 20:33-38) 33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Israel will be saved during Christ’s second Coming, but unbelieving Israel will be purged. Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He will rule! As He returns this second and last time the Bible says:

(Matthew 24:29-31) Immediately after the tribulation of those days … then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The believing Jews will be gathered together by Angels, and Israel will be restored to her land. Israel shall be saved – but only believing Israel. The Bible says that every eye shall see Christ in this Second Coming – and He will come in GREAT power and GREAT glory. His Coming will be

immediately after the Tribulation of those days”

The Second Coming of Christ was a great comfort to the Christians of John’s Day, and should be a great blessing to us as well. The Apostle Paul encouraged the beleagered Thessalonian Church by writing:

2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels ..

When Jesus returns He is not coming to “make nice”. He is coming to reclaim what is rightfully His. And this will not be a pretty picture.

(Revelation 19:17) And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

An angel stands in the sun – in a place where all will see it’s shadow. The angel cries out to the carrion birds – the crows, the vultures, the turkey buzzards:

Come, gather yourselves unto the supper of the Great God

Those who missed the Marriage Supper of the Lamb are called to a horrible feast of the Lion. The angel cries out to the carrion birds …

(Revelation 19:18) That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

The carrion birds will eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and them that sit on them, of all men. Those who thought themselves important, and those who did not. The free and the bond, the small and the great. There is no difference. All will die who stand against Christ. All who will not believe will depart into a devil’s hell.

(Revelation 19:20-21) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

And thus ends the evil of Satan and his unholy trinity. I hope you are in Christ! If not, call upon Him today!

Posted in Revelation, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , , ,

How To Be Light In The Midst Of Darkness

burning-candle.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore1 gird up2 the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Last week we saw the Apostle address the Church of Christ as “Strangers Scattered”. We are “Strangers” because God has caused us to be born into His family:

Galatians 3:26 (KJV) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

If you have received Jesus Christ as Lord believing that He died for your sins and rose from the grave to be your Savior then God has changed you.

Romans 10:9-13 (KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Saved, born into the Kingdom of God, you who are Christians are strangers to this world. You are “peculiar people” (Exodus 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9). As the Bible says:

Titus 2:13-14 (KJV) …. the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; … gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

You are strangers to this world. Christians are often scattered through persecution. But God left you here on this earth to be a people who walk in light the midst of this present darkness.

God left us here as Light in the midst of darkness. So how are we to be light in darkness?
This is what the Bible tells us this week.

That is what the first word of our text tells us today. Do you see it? “WHEREFORE”. The word “WHEREFORE” is the Greek DIO (DEE-O) which means “For this cause”. Last week we were told what we as Christians are meant to be. This week the Bible tells us HOW to be light in the midst of darkness.

Children Of God Must Prepare Our Minds

There is a lady who frequently calls me to discuss her spiritual life. Her life is in disarray, and she can’t understand why it is she seems to be in darkness. I ask her “Where are you going to Church now? How often do you spend time in the Word of God and prayer?” Her response is always, “I know I need to do this, but I just don’t have the time.”

As I am typing this there is a knock on the Church door. Here is another woman who always has a sad story. She starts the familiar story, crying that she needs help. A few weeks ago I saw her and a friend of hers at the local Walmart with two shopping baskets overflowing with food. I’ve asked her to be in Church, and have given her Bibles to read. I have explained Christ to her. But her life is in disarray. She has no time for Christ.

So many who profess to know Christ as Savior live lives as desperate and dark as those who do not have Christ. Why? They shoot at the wrong target. They aim at the wrong goal.

Matthew D. Emmons is a rifleman, a past Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medal winner. In the 2004 Summer Olympics he was in the lead, and just needed to get one shot in the target to take home the gold. He hit the target … and lost. Why?

He shot the wrong target!

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind

What does it mean to
“GIRD UP the LOINS of your mind”?

In the ancient world men wore robes that usually hung down to mid calf or lower. The concept of “pants” was not yet developed. The robe was, however, very effective for those who lived in desert environment. A robe doesn’t trap sand. It is easily shaken out. It’s layers protected you from heat and rain. When you laid down at night you could arrange the robe to keep you warm. It was a great asset.

Unless you had to run or do battle.

Hanging loosely around your lower legs the robe could become a tripping hazard if you tried to run or go into battle. So before getting serious in battle you attended your robe. You would pull the robe UP toward your belt so that the robe hung about mid thigh. This was called “girding up the loins” (see 2 Kings 4:29; 9:1).

To “gird up the loins” is to man up, to get ready to be serious or do something serious. To “gird up the loins of the mindis to take your mind in hand, to gather it up so you can get down to serious business,
to tuck the flowing robes of your mind behind your belt.

What is the BELT that we tuck our minds into?
It is the TRUTH that is God’s Word.

In Ephesians 6 the Christian is told to:

Ephesians 6:10-11 (KJV)10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What is the BELT that the Christian has?

Ephesians 6:14 (KJV)14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

When you GIRD UP the loins of your mind you take the flowing robes of your thought processes and tuck them behind the BELT OF TRUTH, the WORD OF GOD. What did Jesus pray to the Father?

John 17:17 (KJV) (Father) Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth.

What God has presented to us in His Bible is the Truth. When we get away from what the Bible says is true, we always flounder. We cannot be light in darkness if our minds do not embrace the truths of God’s Word. We need to think as God thinks, and do as God says. It is the Bible that defines truth for us who are His.

When Job began to question his situation, coming close to accusing God of wrong, the Lord told him:

Job 38:3-7 (KJV) Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job, I am the Creator Who made all things, even you. I know what is best. Gird up the loins of your mind. Focus on MY TRUTH, on what I have said.

When God sent the Prophet Jeremiah to speak His Word to a people that would not hear the Lord told him:

Jeremiah 1:17-19 (KJV) Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. 18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

When we stand on the truths of God’s Word we do not stand alone, but God stands with us. Our target is to do His will. Our business is to uphold His Word – though all the world reject us, we will stand with Him.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,

To BE SOBER is to be LEVEL HEADED. Some Christians live by their emotions, by their feelings, but not by their FAITH.

FEELINGS always say what IF
FAITH always says EVEN IF

You have all probably seen the drunkard, overemotional, whining, staggering about. The drunkard is not himself. He is controlled by alcohol. The control point for the Christian is the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We do not STAGGER but WALK.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-10 (KJV) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

We are to “walk in the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, 4; Galatians 5:16, 26)
We are to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2)
We are to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7)
We are to walk knowing our works will be judged by Christ
We are to walk knowing “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7)

We are not to stagger, but to walk. Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD (Romans 4:20). We are to be sober.

1 Peter 1:13 gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

We who are God’s Children should be looking for Jesus every single day. It is put this way in another text:

Hebrews 12:2-3 (KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Our eyes should be on Jesus. Our hearts should be dedicated to Jesus. Just as Jesus was about His Father’s business, so should we be about our Father’s business. We are to be like Him.

Children Of God Must Shape Our Conduct

As evening shadows faded and dusk was giving way to darkness, the poet Robert Louis Stevenson, a small boy at the time, had his nose pressed against the window pane of his home. He was fascinated by the old-fashioned lamplighter coming down the street lighting the gas street lamps. “Look,” he cried out in excitement to his nanny, “there’s a man coming down the street punching holes in the darkness.”from actsweb.org

How do we as Christians “punch holes in the darkness”?

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

We are to be “Obedient Children”. We are to put into practice our faith. We are to genuinely DO what Christ has told us to do. We are not to live the way that we used to live. The Bible says:

Ephesians 2:2-3 (KJV) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We used to be part of the darkness.
Darkness cannot punch holes in darkness.
We used to walk according to the Devil.
We used to walk according to the flesh and this world.
We used to be “children of disobedience”.
We used to be “children of wrath”.

That is where we WERE. But when we realized we were lost and “called upon the name of the Lord” Jesus entered our lives.

Ephesians 2:4-9 (KJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We are QUICKENED now, made alive and light by Jesus Christ. We are no longer children of this world but are Children of God.
This changes our behavior.

If you are God’s Child then BE God’s Child!

Philippians 2:2-5 (KJV) Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We are to be Light. Light loves. Light lifts up. Light does for others. Light does not boast of itself, but boasts of God. Light looks upward to light, the Father of Lights. We are to be obedient Children of God, not imitators of this world. We are to live SACRIFICIALLY.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We are to live together as OBEDIENT CHILDREN. We are to be focused upon Christ, living like Christ.

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

We who are God’s Children by the sacrifice of Christ’s Blood are to seek to be HOLY. Now, what does it mean to be HOLY?

When you think of the word “HOLY” what do you think of? Some think of chapels or cathedrals with lit candles. Others think of monks chanting, or church music. This is not what it is to be HOLY.

Holy is to do what God says do, and reject what God rejects.
Holiness is both positive and negative.
Holiness is to imitate God in behavior.

When Isaiah was allowed to look into Heaven what did he hear the angels say about God? Did the angels cry out:

Love, Love, Love, the LORD of Hosts?

No, but Isaiah heard the angels cry:

Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

When John the Revelator looked into Heaven what were the angels declaring about God?

Merciful, Merciful, Merciful, Lord God Almighty, or
Giving, Giving, Giving, Lord God Almighty?

Now God is all these things. But what did John hear?

Revelation 4:8 (KJV) “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
which was, and is, and is to come.

God is Holy, which means that what He says is right is always right.
God never speaks a lie (Numbers 23:19)
There is no darkness in God (1 John 1:5)

We who are God’s Children must not fashion ourselves after the old dark ways of this world. We must follow Christ. We must follow His Word. We must be led of His Spirit. What are we told?

be ye holy in all manner of conversation

The Christian does not compartmentalize his life. Jesus is not a Visitor to our hoes, but He is at home in every aspect of our lives. ALL MEANS ALL. We are to imitate God:

Ephesians 5:1-6 (KJV) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whore monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

We are to live our lives so that – no matter where we go or what we do – we look different than the darkness. We are to live to honor our Lord. Jesus gave everything for us, and we are called to give everything to Him. The Scripture is our flashlight, and we are headed toward glory. Take off the old man, and put on the new.

For Christ lives in you!

C.H. Spurgeon once said “It is a blessed thing for a Christian to be strapped up in one bundle, and not to be divided into a number of separate parcels. … Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Set your affection on things above” that is, have all your affections bound up into one supreme, all-embracing affection, and then fix it all upon Christ. When the many men within the man become all one man, and he is, as we say, “all there,” and you know that he is “all there,” then has he indeed girded up the loins of his mind. May we all obey this apostolic command, and earnestly avoid the opposite!”

Focus on the Jesus Christ our Leader, our Savior, our Lord!

When a newborn baby is brought into this Church it’s members gather around that precious bundle of joy and coo over it. You often hear, “he has his father’s eyes”, or “she has her mother’s hair”. The baby always has certain traits that are inherited from mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather.

This same thing is true of the Christian. Those who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ, though they may still stumble from time to time (and what child doesn’t stumble?), bear a striking resemblance to their God. He who has called you, who has caused you to be born again is holy – separate from this world – so you should be holy. The concept that one becomes saved then ignores God until death is not taught in Scripture. If God has saved you, you are called to be like Him. Saved by faith, justified by God the Holy Spirit, you are called to live out your faith.

Live for Him if He lives in you!

1 G1352, διό, dio, dee-o’, From G1223 and G3739; through which thing, that is, consequently: – for which cause, therefore, wherefore.

2 Aorist Middle Participle of G328, ἀναζώννυμι, anazōnnumi, an-ad-zone’-noo-mee, From G303 and G2224; to gird afresh: – gird up.

Posted in 1 Peter, Sermons Preached | Tagged ,

You Are Gods

John 10:27-31 (KJV)  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  [28]  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  [29]  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  [30]  I and my Father are one.  [31]  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John_10_27t31_You_Are_Gods

I like to cook, so I like to watch cooking shows from the Food Network. One of the shows Sherry and I often watch is called “Chopped”. In that show four chefs are given four basket ingredients that they need to make into a tasty dish. Each round one chef is eliminated – he or she is “Chopped”.

On one show one of the chefs that got “Chopped” was making biscuits. When I make biscuits I sift the dry ingredients into one bowl and the wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk) into another bowl. Once you blend the dry you add it to the wet ingredients until the biscuit dough is the right consistency. The chef I was watching put his flour in one bowl, then (and I don’t know why) his baking powder, soda, and salt in another bowl with a little more flour. He went off to do something, lost his mind, then put buttermilk into the bowl that had nothing but flour in it. In other words he never added the leavening agents to his flour. He mixed these “biscuits” up and put them on a pan in the oven. They were hockey pucks. He was chopped. Flour and buttermilk doesn’t make biscuits. You need the leavening and the flavor. You need the shortening. If you don’t put that in you’re making hockey pucks.

There are a lot of nominal Christians in the world today who believe they have eternal life, but do they?

Jesus was very clear that “His Sheep” have eternal life. If you are one of His sheep then praise God, you have eternal life. But are you one of His sheep? The Bible says:

Philippians 2:12-16 (KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

[13]  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  [14]  Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [15] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  [16]  Holding forth the word of life ..

We are not told …

Work FOR your own salvation

but ….

Work OUT your own salvation

After saying this the Apostle says “It is God that worketh IN YOU”. If God is IN you, then your salvation will show. You will do what JESUS says. You will actually DO what JESUS said. Yes, you will DO what Jesus said. You will not just SAY you will do it, you will DO it.

The Pharisees hated Jesus and wanted to stone Jesus because they wanted God without Jesus.
But you can’t have God without Jesus.
You can’t enter God’s Heaven without Jesus.
You cannot have eternal life without Jesus!

The Sheep Are One With Jesus

John 10:27-28 (KJV)  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  [28]  And I give unto them eternal life …

Jesus said three things about “My sheep”. He said:

  • “My sheep HEAR My voice”. The word translated “HEAR” is the Greek ἀκούω akouō which means not just to hear noise, but to hear so as to attend to, to consider what has been said, to perceive the sense, to hear with understanding, to comprehend, to focus upon and listen to. Those who belong to Jesus not only hear what He says but love Him and want to hear what He says. The Pharisees would not hear Jesus, and could not hear Jesus because they were not His sheep. Jesus told them:

John 8:43-45 (KJV)  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot HEAR (akouō) my word.  [44]  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  [45]  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

The darkness can never hear the light, and the children of this world cannot hear the Son of God. They hear only what they believe, and they do not believe Christ. Jesus calls whosoever will to His side. He came to die for the sins of all people, even the Pharisees. But they would not hear His call. They constantly sought to find fault with Jesus, to stone Jesus, to take His life though He never did any wrong. What has God said in Hebrews?

Hebrews 3:7-14 (KJV)  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will HEAR (akouō) his voice,  [8]  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  [9]  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  [10]  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.  [11]  So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  [12]  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  [13]  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  [14]  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

His sheep hear His Voice. His sheep do not harden their hearts to His Voice, but love Him because He loves us. The sheep call to one another, exhorting one another to follow Him lest they be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

  • “My sheep HEAR My Voice, and I KNOW them”. Jesus knows His sheep.

He knows His sheep by what they do.
He knows His sheep by what they do.
I’ll say it again, Christ knows His sheep by what they DO.

Jesus told us:

Matthew 7:17-23 (KJV) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  [18]  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  [19]  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  [20]  

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them

[21]  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but

he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

[22]  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  [23]  And

then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.

What is “the will of the Father which is in Heaven?” Jesus was very clear on this. The entirety of the Law is summed up in two commandments that revolve around one thing. Jesus said:

Mark 12:29-31 (KJV) … The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  [30]  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  [31]  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

God must be loved above all else. The sheep know this. God loved us by sending His Son to us. His Son died for us. Why? Because He loves us. His Spirit indwells us. Why? Because He loves us. Our salvation is based on love, not hate. We love God more than anything or anyone else. If we:

Prophesy without love to God
Cast out devils without love to God
Do wonderful works without love for God
You are a biscuit without a leavening agent
You are a biscuit without flavor
You are a hockey puck without love!

These seemingly godly things are defined by Jesus as working iniquity or evil. We love God first. We love our neighbor as ourself. If we don’t want it done to us, we don’t do it to others. If we want it done to us, we do it to others. Love thy neighbor as thyself. If you are a recipient of Grace you know that God loved you when you were unlovable. We are to love others even if they are unlovable. That’s tough. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  [44]  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  [45]  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  [46]  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  [47]  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  [48]  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Love is the mark of perfection, the Will of God. Love God, love others. Do good. Bless. Pray for. The Apostles understood this and emphasized it through the Scriptures:

Romans 13:8-10 (KJV)  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for

he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law

[9]  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely,

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

[10]  Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Galatians 5:13-15 (KJV)  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  [14]  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

[15]  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Jesus knows His sheep for His sheep are marked by love. His sheep do not murmur and backbite. His sheep love God with all they have, and love their neighbors – those who are around you – as they love themselves. This is scripture. This is the Word of God. Hear it!

  • “My sheep HEAR My voice, and I KNOW them, and THEY FOLLOW ME”. Those who are saved follow Jesus. They do what Jesus says do. Jesus said:

John 14:15 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 (KJV)  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

You cannot be saved and not be lead to keep His commandments. If you love Christ you WILL keep His commandments. If you love Christ He WILL manifest Himself to you. If you love Christ, the Father WILL love you. Obeying Jesus is not optional. Loving Jesus means to follow Him. Jesus told His Church in His Great Commission:

Matthew 28:20 (KJV)  Teaching them to

observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: …

Jesus Is One With The Father

John 10:28-30 (KJV) … they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  [29]  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  [30]  I and my Father are one.

The sheep of Christ shall never perish – but has eternal life. When Jesus said:

They shall NEVER perish

this is a double negative in the Greek – ou me apolontai – which is,

They shall NEVER, NOT EVER perish!

Two sets of hands guard the sheep. Bible Scholar A.W. Pink said:

“The ‘hand of Christ’ is beneath us, and the ‘hand’ of the Father is above us. Thus are we secured between the clasped hands of Omnipotence!”

When Jesus affirmed out salvation, equation His power over us to the Father’s power beneath us, the Pharisees sought to stone Him for blasphemy. They said:

John 10:33 (KJV) … For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus did not deny their charge, but instead used the Scripture.

John 10:34-36 (KJV)  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?  [35]  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;  [36]  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

Jesus quoted from the Psalms:

Psalms 82:6 (KJV)  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

The children of God are called “gods” by God in that Psalm. What does this mean? When we present the Word of God as God presents it to us then we are His representatives on the earth. When God sent Moses to Pharaoh he told Moses:

Exodus 7:1 (KJV)  And the LORD said unto Moses, See,

I have made thee a god to Pharaoh

: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Moses faithfully presented God’s Word to Pharaoh he represented “God”. Though not literally God he spoke for God. Jesus spoke for God the Father. He did not add to nor take away from God’s Word. In fact, Jesus declared:

John 10:35 (KJV) the scripture cannot be broken

Jesus is One with the Father. He is not the Father, but He, the Father, and the Spirit are all in one accord. The Scripture – written by the Spirit – cannot be broken or annulled. What God has said stands true forever.

Jesus is One with the Father.
The sheep are One with the Son.
We will all be One one day in glory!

The basis of our salvation is oneness. The Pharisees rejected this oneness and were lost forever. Jesus presented Himself to the Pharisees as God’s Son – the set apart and sanctified Representative of God from Heaven. The Pharisees rejected Christs WORKS in ..

John 5:16-17 (KJV)  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.  [17]  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Christ did miraculous things that only God could do on the Sabbath. But they rejected Him. They would not see His works. They not only rejected His WORKS, but rejected His WORDS:

John 8:58-59 (KJV)  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.  [59]  Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus clearly defined Himself as equal to God. He is the great I AM in the flesh. But they would not hear. They were of their father the devil. Rejecting His WORKS and His WORD they now reject HIM as THE WORD. They called Jesus a blasphemer, and sought to stone Him to death. They did so without referring to the Scripture which is what Jesus did. So Jesus departed. The Bible tells us:

John 10:39-42 (KJV)  Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,  [40]  And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.  [41]  And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.  [42]  And many believed on him there.

Jesus will not keep calling if you will not come. Jesus left Jerusalem and headed back to Bethany in Perea on the east side of the Jordan river. Here the Pharisees had no authority. He left.

Christ will not tarry where He is not wanted. He came to save the lost but, dear One, you must want to be saved. You must hear Him. If you do not, you risk Him leaving. He calls. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Will you come? Will you submit to being one of His sheep? Will you hear Him, and be known of Him? I pray you will while it is today – for tomorrow never comes. May God touch your hearts with His Word!

Posted in John | Tagged , , ,

The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb

the-wedding-bandw-blurred.jpg

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Revelation 19:5-9 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Four Hallelujahs

What is the backdrop for one of the greatest celebrations of all time, a spectacular party in the glory that we call Heaven? It is the destruction of Babylon the Great Whore. Babylon was the false religious system that lead so many away from Christ. Babylon was the commercial system that demanded the Mark of the Beast or the Number of His Name. Religion and Money, Idolatry and Mammon joined together to bring as many to Satan as possible. That is why the first few verses of Revelation 19 read:

Revelation 19:1-2 (KJV)1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Heaven is rejoicing! It is:

A Voice – Unified in praise!
A GREAT Voice – Unashamed and Unrepentant in praise!
A Great Voice Of Much People In HeavenThe world weeps, but we praise!
A Great Voice Of Much People In Heaven Saying Alleluia!

The word HALLELUJAH (Greek ἁλληλουϊά) is actually from the Hebrew language. The Hebrew HALAL (הָלַל) means “Praise, honor, glory, to boast or brag upon” and in the Hithpoel stem means “to act like a madman”. It is exuberant praise! It means to praise without concern of what others may think, to magnify, to lift up! The Hebrew YA (יָהּ) is the ancient name of God. The word HALLELUJAH means “Praise and honor unto our God!”. This word HALLELUJAH has been carried into many of earth’s languages without translation. It’s root is in Israel, God’s first chosen and elect people, but it is carried forward into Heaven by God’s second chosen people the Church.

The word HALLELUJAH occurs only in this chapter
in the New Testament!

The word in the Old Testament is often translated “Praise the Lord”, and is found 24 times in the Psalms alone. In Revelation the HALLELUJAH is repeated four times:

  1. To praise God for His REDEMPTION and RIGHTEOUS judgment (vs 1-2)

  2. To praise God for the eternal destruction of infernal Babylon (vs 3)

    And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

    HALLELUJAH! Her smoke rose up forever and ever. Her destruction is eternal. Babylon shall never rise again.

  3. To praise God for His worthiness (vs 4)

    .. the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

  4. To praise God for His reigning power (vs 5-6)

    … Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Though Babylon and the devil have often had the illusion of control, God was and will always be in control. The Lord God OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH! He has proven He is in control by the destruction of Babylon. He hath judged the Great Whore. Having judged and destroyed the devil’s mistress, the people praised God once more:

Revelation 19:7 (KJV)7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

In the ancient world one of the greatest of all celebrations was when a young man – the Bridegroom – would present his Bride to his family. When the wedding occurred it was not just a one day event. Families would come together as one, and the Bridegroom’s Family would provide enough food and drink to carry the celebration out for a week. It was a joyous, happy time. It was the greatest party of the Bride and Groom’s lifetime.

The Marriage Supper Is A Celebration

When we think of “marriage” we think of “sex”. Marriage is not first and foremost about sex. It is about civilization, stability, and family. The goal of marriage is not to have sex, but to unite with our God given spouse in harmony, glorifying God.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians that Biblical Marriage is patterned after Christ and His Church. These are God’s Words:

Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The clear meaning of the text is to define what we call “Marriage”. Biblically “Marriage” is the union between one man and one woman. The husband loves the wife as Christ loves His Church. The wife follows her husband as the Church follows Christ. Looking at the text we see a picture where Christ is likened to the Bridegroom, and the Church His Bride. In the Ephesians text:

The Church is alluded to as the BRIDE of Christ
The Church is alluded to as the BODY of Christian

The Apostle Paul often used marital language when addressing Christ’s Church. In …

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

The Church is “espoused” (ἁρμόζω harmozō) or to be given in marriage to. Paul “wed” the Church at Corinth to Christ,
not to the world.

The Apostle uses similar language to the Church at Rome, saying:

Romans 7:4 (KJV) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

We who are saved and of the Church are as a group “married” to Christ, not to the Law. We are of His Body. He bled and died for us. As His Elect people we shall one day come to the celebration that we read about today.

The Wedding Feast is a celebration because those who are there are the SAVED!

(Revelation 19:1) I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:

We Will Praise God For The Wonderful Gift Of His Salvation. God did not have to save us … but He did. God was never under any obligation to reach out to us in love … but He did. Salvation Belongs To The Lord. I do not think that we truly understand what God has done for us in Christ. The Bible says:

(Psalms 37:34-40) Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

God will save whosoever will, but does not have to save any. He reaches out to the wicked, but the wicked, following their false gods, will not be found. Yet God reaches and reaches. Salvation of the righteous is of the Lord – He is their strength in time of trouble. The LORD – Eternal JAH – shall help them and deliver them from the wicked. Blessed be the Name of God!

When the Redeemed are gathered for we shall praise God for what He has done. In Christ the Father redeemed to Himself a Family of love. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone – the Architect of salvation. We are told in Hebrews:

(1 Peter 2:6-10) 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

When we who are redeemed gather around the Throne of God at this Marriage Supper we shall give God the glory He deserves. We shall be unreserved in our praise of Him! We shall not be looking AROUND to see who’s watching us, but will be looking UP at our Bridegroom Jesus Christ!

He BOUGHT us with His Blood.

(1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are SAVED because of Him. But not only SAVED, but …

The Wedding Feast is a celebration because those who are there are the SECURED!

Babylon has been destroyed. Her smoke rose up forever and ever. She shall no longer try and hurt the Bride of Christ, but as His people we shall be eternally protected by our Superman.

A grandfather sat on the front porch with his little grandson watching the traffic go by, the sun setting just over the horizon. The little boy said excitedly: “Look Grandpa at the shadows the cars and trucks are making!” Grandfather said, “They do cast long shadows! Those shadows can’t hurt us, though. They’re just shadows!” The Redeemed at the Marriage Supper will see the shadows of evil Babylon, but it’s smoke rises up forever and ever. It cannot hurt us anymore. God is in control, and we are in God’s hands.

We are secure because the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. He reigns now, but often we cannot see His hand. We are to trust His heart when we cannot see His hand. The Bible says:

(Daniel 7:14) … his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

(2 Chronicles 20:6) 6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Our God reigns! Our God reigns! When we come together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb we will know that He is in control, and has always been in control. God reigns!

Revelation 19:7-8 (KJV) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The Bride is dressed in white – the righteousness of the Saints.
The Groom is the Lamb – by Whose Blood we are made righteous.

Because it is He that caused us to be arrayed in fine linen. It is He Who made us acceptable unto a holy and righteous God. It is Jesus Who saves us, and calls us with a holy calling. We are His because of His Blood. The Blood of God was shed for us. The Apostle spoke of …

Acts 20:28 (KJV) … the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The Bride of Christ is His Redeemed, those who have received Him by faith.

Ephesians 1:7 (KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Hebrews 9:13-14 (KJV) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

It was His Blood shed on Calvary that saved a wretch like you and me. When we gather at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb the Church and Israel – the saved of Christ – shall gather not to honor ourselves but to honor the Lord Jesus Christ Who saved us.

Over the last 22 years of ministry I have done many weddings where the Bride is the center of attention. All eyes are on her.

At the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
all eyes will be on Jesus.

All eyes were on Jesus when He walked this earth.
All eyes were on Jesus at His trial before sinners.
All eyes were on Jesus as the crowd cried out “Crucify Him”!
All eyes were on Jesus as He bore His Cross to Calvary.
All eyes were on Jesus as they threw Him to the ground.
All eyes were on Jesus as they nailed Him to the Tree.
All eyes were on Jesus as they mocked Him, and naked gambled for His clothes.
All eyes were on Jesus as He suffered, and bled.
All eyes were on Jesus as He said “It is Finished”.
All eyes were on Jesus as a soldier pierced His side so that blood and water ran out.
All eyes were on Jesus as He was taken from the Cross, and laid in the Tomb.
All eyes were on Jesus as He rose again the third day.
And all eyes were on Jesus as He ascended into Heaven.
If you are saved, your eyes are on Jesus.
And one day you will be at this Marriage as all eyes are on Him!

Revelation 19:9 (KJV)9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

This is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The ones who are there, the redeemed, the Angels, the Godhead, they shall all love Him Who gave everything to redeem this lost world.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

What a glorious day this shall be! Will you be there? I pray that you will, but you will not get to that place in your own power, but by receiving the Bridegroom, by receiving Christ as both Lord and Savior. May God move your hearts to do so today!

Posted in Revelation, Sermons Preached, trials | Tagged , ,

Salvation Truth

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1 Peter 1:1-3 (KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

One day Peter’s brother Andrew (a follower of John the Baptist) interupted him while he was fishing. “Peter …

We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (John 1:41)

This intrigued Peter. Every Jew knew that God had promised to one day send a Savior to His people, a “Messiah” or “Anointed One”. The Messiah would be the Servant of God, filled with God’s Spirit.

Isaiah 42:1 (KJV)1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 61:1-2 (KJV)1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

The Messiah would save Israel – and Peter knew (along with all others who were Jews) that they needed saving. Rome had conquered Israel. The King placed over Israel was an Idumean named Herod. So Peter went to see Jesus – and that day was given the name Cephas (John 1:42) meaning “The Stone”. Though Peter went back to his fishing boat it wasn’t long before Jesus saw him again. Calling out:

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”
(Matthew 4:19)

Peter and Andrew immediately left their nets and began to follow Jesus. That is the mark of the Christian – that we follow Jesus. Abraham our Father left family, country, everything in order to follow the Lord. We are to follow Him and Him alone. We are to go where He goes, do as He does, and obey His Word as it were the Word of God – for it is!

It took Peter some time to fully understand what salvation is. Called to Christ’s side Peter thought at first that Jesus was going to bring in a new kingdom on the earth. When Jesus told Peter that He had to go to the Cross:

Matthew 16:21 (KJV) … how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Peter would hear none of this. Kill Jesus? Absolutely not! Peter declared:

Matthew 16:22 (KJV) … Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Jesus rebuked Peter. Matthew 16:23 (KJV) … Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

At first Peter didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. Jesus had to die because we are ALL SINNERS. Sin has separated us from God. Sin has blinded us, bound us, beaten us, and be-damns us. When the Messiah came the Old Testament spoke of His death and suffering. Isaiah particularly wrote of the Suffering Savior. Peter could not understand why Jesus had to die, and many today do not understand the death of Christ as a very real necessity.

He had to die because …

ALL HAVE SINNED &
ALL HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.

Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. By His death He has Anointed Us who believe in Him with His Blood. This Anointed from the Anointed changes us.
This change is called Salvation.

Salvation Is God’s PLAN For Whosoever Will

1 Peter 1:1 (KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ….

You may not understand where these places are in the Holy Land, but I want you to notice two things about this text. First, though Peter is the Chief Apostle, the Leader of the early Church, he does not emphasize himself when he speaks of salvation. He emphasizes Jesus Christ. He is …

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ

The immature believer pushes himself forward. The immature believer in Peter was always seeking attention. But now that he is maturing in Christ he is not Peter THE CHIEF APOSTLE, but he is Peter AN apostle. He is a representative of Jesus Christ. Notice also how he addresses the Church:

to the strangers scattered

The word “STRANGER” means “A traveler, a foreigner, someone just passing through another country (parepídēmos)”. We who are saved by faith in Christ are just passing through this world. We are told in:

Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV) For our conversation (políteuma, citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

We who are saved by faith in Christ are part of the plan of God. The Lord saved us by His sacrifice. We are saved by faith. But we are left on this earth as sojourners, travelers for the Kingdom of God. While here we represent our Lord Jesus. But we never forget that:

This world is not my home I’m just a passing through 
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue 
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door 
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Just like Israel wandered the earth till they reached the Promised Land, we are wanderers. We belong to Christ our Lord. We live to honor Him and Him only. He calls whosoever will to be saved, and then calls the saved into His Church.

1 Peter 1:2 (KJV) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father ….

The Church is God’s “Elect”. He chose Israel in the Old Testament to represent Him, and chooses the Church to represent Him in the New Testament. In the Church we discover later in Peter that …

1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

It was God’s plan to call the Church to represent Him. If you are saved, you are part of that plan. We are told in …

Ephesians 1:4-7 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

As Christ’s Church you represent Him on this earth. As His people you magnify Him by your lives. Christ hath said “by this shall all men know you are My disciples, that you have love one toward another” (John 13:35).

Saved by His Grace, we magnify Him. We are saved:

1 Peter 1:2
through sanctification of the Spirit
unto obedience
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ

We live on this earth according to His Plan. We are saved by faith in Him THROUGH the Spirit TO obey BECAUSE OF His Blood. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! We are strangers on this earth …

Salvation Promises A PERMANENT Home In Heaven

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It is by mercy that we are saved. Yes, we answered the whosoever will call, but there is no more merit in that than a drowning man grasping a life preserver thrown his way! I was drowning in my sin when I first heard the whosoever will call. The Spirit of God whispered my name. I heard His love. I reached out and, grasping Christ and Christ alone, on that day I was saved.

The Lord left me, as He has left you, on this present earth. Yet this earth is not my home. I have an inheritance incorruptible that is beautiful!

Our Inheritance is undefiled (it cannot be perverted)
Cannot fade away (it is persistent)
Reserved for the saved (it is PERSONAL)

Jesus told us when He was on this earth:

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

While on this earth I am a stranger to it, but I am no stranger to Heaven. If you are Christ’s then Heaven is your home. You are …

3 begotten … again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible

Jesus Christ died on the Cross, then He rose again and ascended unto the Father. We have a lively or a living Hope in Christ. He has promised us Heaven. He rose again from this earth and ascended unto Heaven. And He has promised:

John 12:25-26 (KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

We serve Christ. We were born again to serve Christ. We are strangers on this world, but children of the Living God. We live to honor Him, and one day we shall be with Him all eternity.

Salvation Is PRECIOUS So It Is Tried

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

If I an saved by faith in Christ, a stranger to this world …. then why do I still suffer in this world? How can a loving God let me suffer? Because, dear one, suffering proves your salvation. Suffering reminds us that this world is but temporary. The Apostle said:

James 1:9-12 (KJV)9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

In this fallen world we all have trials. But trials are not without purpose. Trials can draw us to Christ, or trials can prove we are in Christ. Adrian Rogers once rightly said:

An untried faith is an unproven faith

Peter told the Church to REJOICE when tried by this world, for it is all part of the plan of God’s salvation. If you are Christ’s the trial of your faith will be found:

found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

A genuine faith can endure the trials of this life. A genuine faith revels in the trials. Jesus told us “If any man will come after Me …

…let him take up his RECLINER and follow Me!”

Is that right? No! Jesus said:

Matthew 16:24-27 (KJV) … If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

We will be tried in this world. But trials just test our faith to see if it is of God or not. If we are Christ’s He will will hold to us as we hold onto Him. Our faith is precious, and trials prove our faith. In the trials we draw closer to Jesus:

1 Peter 1:8-9 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The saved love the Lord, and show that love even in the midst of trials.

The Salvation We Now Enjoy Was
Prophesied And Promised

1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

From the very fall of Adam God promised a Redeemer would come, a Messiah who would save us. That Messiah is Christ. The Bible declares:

Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

As Hurricane Florence was moving toward the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia I read with interest how millions of people evacuated to farther inland. Those who did not evacuate prepared for the worst. I read of one lady who was having trouble finding water. Bottled water, bread, canned goods, electrical generators, blankets, all types of emergency items were grabbed off of grocery store shelves. Most stores were empty of all but little items by Friday morning. Meteorologists who are well trained and with good equipment predicted the storm damage, and people rushed the stores to be prepared for what is coming.

And yet, few people even pay attention to the God of this universe and His call to salvation. The Bible tells us that:

Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

We will all stand before God one day and be judged. If we are in God’s Plan of Salvation then our works will be judged for reward or loss. If we are not in God’s Plan of salvation our works will be judged for Heaven. The Bible tells us that every work shall fall short of God’s standard. It is but the work of Christ that will save.

Have you believed in Him?
Have you received Him as Lord and Savior?
Be prepared, for death is coming.
Be prepared, for life is short.
May God touch your hearts with His Word.

Posted in 1 Peter, Sermons Preached | Tagged , ,

A Difficult Parable

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John 10:1-6 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Among the Jews of Jesus’ day there were Rabbis – teachers who lead different schools of disciples. One of the most famous Rabbis was called Gamaliel. When people like Jesus went about teaching those in charge of the Jews would ask:

By what Authority do you say these things?”

The Pharisees asked Jesus this question very frequently (see Mark 11:28; Luke 20:2; Matthew 21:23). They expected Jesus to answer …

I speak under the authority of Rabbi ____”

If it was a well known Rabbi then the Pharisees would accept His Word. “Who is YOUR Rabbi, Jesus? Who gave YOU authority?” Jesus never answered their question of authority. When they asked Him the question Jesus asked them a question:

Mark 11:29-30 (KJV) …. I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

John the Baptist announced Christ as the Messiah, but John was never endorsed by any Rabbi. His authority was from God. So the Pharisees never got an answer to their question. But in John 10 Jesus is going to answer the question of His Authority.

The Parable Few Understand

Jesus spoke a parable that no one understood, and few understand today. He spoke a parable about AUTHORITY. Jesus said:

John 10:1-2 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

The sheepfold or place where sheep were kept had but one door in it. The sheep were hedged in and protected because there was only one way to get to them. The wolf or the thief would try to get to the sheep without going through the door. But the Shepherd who owned the sheep would always openly and without hiding enter by the door.

The reason sheep were hedged in and protected by the sheepfold is that sheep have no natural way to defend themselves outside of the Shepherd.

Illustrate

Sheep teeth are suitable for grinding grass, not for tearing flesh.

Sheep have no armor like the armadillo or the turtle.
Sheep have no poison in their teeth, nor fangs to deliver it like the adder.
Sheep do not have the fleetness of foot that the antelope or the rabbit has.
Sheep cannot climb like the cat or the monkey.
Sheep cannot burrow like the mole or the prairie dog.
Sheep are slow land animals.
Sheep cannot swim away like the fish.
Sheep have no size like the elephant or even the bull.

Their protection is the Shepherd or the Sheepfold.
They are either hedged in or watched over.

John 10:2-3 (KJV) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

The Shepherd may leave the sheep temporarily in the Sheepfold, but when he does the Porter watches the door. The Porter’s job is to guard the door, to protect the sheep for the Shepherd until He comes.

The Porter knows two things –
the DOOR and the SHEPHERD.

The Porter doesn’t know the sheep by name, but he knows the SHEPHERD BY NAME. When the Porter sees the Shepherd he opens the door so the Shepherd can come in and call His sheep. When the Shepherd enters the sheep hear HIS VOICE. They may not hear the Porter’s voice, but they hear the SHEPHERD’S Voice. And the Shepherd knows them. He calls them by name. There is a relationship between the sheep and the Shepherd. And the Shepherd …

Leadeth them OUT

They do not stay in the same Sheepfold day after day – lounging about and doing nothing. The sheep follow the Shepherd OUT. They go where HE GUIDES them.

He calls them.
He loves them.
He owns them.

The sheep do not own themselves, nor where they stay, nor even what they even do. He guides the sheep. He protects the sheep. He loves His sheep.

John 10:5 (KJV) And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

The stranger who does not know the sheep cannot lead the sheep. The stranger unknown by the Shepherd cannot lead the sheep. They know not the voice of strangers.

What Makes The Parable Difficult

Why didn’t anyone understand the parable? It’s because we don’t put ourselves in the role of “sheep”.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus “By what authority do You do these things”, this was the sheep asking a perceived sheep for the endorsement of sheep.

When Jesus began to explain the parable He did not initially make Himself to be either Porter or Shepherd. I have seen so many pictures of Jesus standing with sheep, being a Shepherd. But Jesus doesn’t start out with this, but ..

John 10:7 (KJV) … Verily, verily, I say unto you,
I am the door of the sheep.

The DOOR is watched by the Porter. Who is the Porter? It is not Jesus, but the Father that sent Him. Jesus told Nicodemus:

John 3:16-17 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus is the DOOR to Heaven, the DOOR to Everlasting and Worthy life. The Father is the Porter Who sent the Door, Who presents the Door. Jesus said:

John 8:28-29 (KJV) …. When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

The Door is opened by the Porter – Our Heavenly Father.
The Door is protected by the Porter.
The Door is presented by the Porter.
The Porter loves the Door & so do the sheep.
The Door protects the sheep in the Sheepfold.

Jesus said:

John 10:8-10 (KJV) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Those who came before Jesus presenting themselves as the Door – as Authorities – are thieves and robbers. There is but one Door. There is but one Sheepfold. Jesus is the Door of the Sheepfold. The Pharisees are thieves and robbers. The preacher who departs from God’s Son is a thief and a robber. The denomination that speaks of many ways unto God are thieves and robbers. The so called “prophet” who does not recognize Christ as the Door is a thief and a robber. He is the Door.

Christ is the Door of Salvation
Christ is the Door by which we enter & leave the Sheepfold
Christ is the Door by which we find pasture or sustenance

Christ is the Door by which we have abundant life!
My ability is not the door. My Lord is the Door.
But …

Jesus Is Also The Good Shepherd

John 10:11 (KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ is the Door in this parable, but He ALSO the Shepherd. The Porter (the Father) opens the Door for the Shepherd. Christ is both Door and Shepherd. He guards us in the Sheepfold, and guards us outside of the Sheepfold.

  • Jesus guards us from ourselves. He watches over us, and disciplines us when we wander away. A sheep outside of the gaze of the Shepherd is susceptible to death, disease, and destruction. The Psalmist prayed:

Psalms 119:176 (KJV) I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

When we wander, Jesus seeks us. He seeks to save the lost. What did our Great Shepherd do for us? The Bible says:

Isaiah 53:6-7 (KJV) 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.

We are born into this life wandering like sheep, seeking the love of God. What did Jesus do?

The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep
The Shepherd became the Lamb of God
He laid down His life for us!
He bled and died for us!

What has Peter declared?

1 Peter 3:18 (KJV) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The Shepherd bled and died for us that
He might bring us to God.
The Son of God became a Son of man
so that sons of men might become sons of God.

  • Jesus not only guards us from ourselves, but from the enemy. He does not run away. He does not leave us. Jesus did what He did not for Himself, but for us. Jesus is not a sharecropper. He is not hired to do what He did. He said:

John 10:12-13 (KJV) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

The hireling doesn’t own the sheep. But Jesus owns His sheep. He said:

John 10:14-15 (KJV) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Did you see the word “MINE” in the text above. Jesus said “I am known of MINE”. If you are Christ’s then YOU BELONG TO JESUS.

You do not belong to yourself. You are bought with a price:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

You do not belong to you. Your body does not belong to you. You are a sheep. He is the Shepherd. You are His, not yours. What you have in this life you have temporarily. What is given to you is a stewardship – everything you have or hope to be belongs to the Great Shepherd Jesus. You live for His Voice. You live to obey Him.

But to be with Jesus is to be safe. He is the Door. He is the Good Shepherd. He watches over His own and keeps us from straying. He disciplines the unruly, feeds the young, and loves all that are His.

I love being one of His sheep!

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Citizens Of Which Kingdom?

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Revelation 18:1-5 (KJV)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  [2]  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  [3]  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  [4]  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  [5]  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Last week we spoke of Babylon as the false religious system that the world chases after. In this week’s message we see Babylon as mammon, money and power. Babylon will fall because Babylon is evil.

Babylon is the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird!

I’m probably going to make someone mad tonight.
So get ready. You see …
You cannot compromise with Babylon.
You are either a Child of God doing His will,
Or you are a citizen of Babylon doing the devil’s will.
It is Babylon that justifies the mark of the Beast.
It is Babylon – both religious and wealthy – that lives for self.

Choose Which Kingdom You Will Be In

Revelation 18:4-5 (KJV) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  [5]  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Babylon will be judged. Babylon will be plagued. God tells His people – the saints that are on the earth during this Great Tribulation – Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins and that you do not receive her plagues. God’s Children do not belong in the darkness with the sinner. We are to be His Light. Throughout the Scripture God has a people, and He calls them OUT.

We are to come out of the darkness and into the light.
Sin should stay in the closet, But righteousness in the light!

  • Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). It was to Noah God said:

Genesis 6:13-14 (KJV) …. The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  [14]  Make thee an ark

Noah, come out from among them. Do not do evil with the world. Obey Me. Follow My Word. Destruction is coming. The world will die. You – a recepient of Grace – are to live for Me and Me alone.

  • Abraham found Grace in the eyes of the Lord. The Scripture declares:

Romans 4:20-22 (KJV) {Abraham} staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  [21]  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  [22]  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

How did God call Abraham? What did God say?

Genesis 12:1-2 (KJV) …. Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  [2]  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

When does the blessing come? When you get OUT Abraham. You do not belong among the heathen Babylonian nation. Leave your unbelieving country. Leave your unbelieving kindred. Leave your unbelieving father and his household. Put God first, and you will be blessed!

  • What did God say to Pharaoh concerning His People?

Exodus 8:1 (KJV) … Let my people go, that they may serve me.

and to Israel He demanded come out of Egypt. God’s people do not need to worship in Egyptian Temples nor bond with unbelieving people. Come out from among them. Come out!

Throughout Scripture God calls a people to Himself by Grace and Grace alone. But saved by Grace we are then of His Kingdom. We are not to be bound to the evil and the evil ways of this world, but are to live for Him. You say “But Preacher, this is Old Testament, but not the New Testament”. Well let me give you God’s New Testament Word. He has said:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  [15]  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  [16]  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  [17]  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  [18]  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

You say you are saved by faith in Christ.
THEN LIVE FOR CHRIST.
Do not live hidden in the darkness. The only time you can hide a candle in the darkness is WHEN IT IS UNLIT. Live for God. Live for Christ.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV)  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  [14]  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  [15]  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  [16]  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Live for God. Love Christ. Obey His Word.

Babylon Lives For Herself – We Live For Christ

Revelation 18:7 (KJV)  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

The mark of the citizen of Babylon is SELF GLORY. Babylon lives for herself. She will be overthrown by God, but she does not process this. She is ME centered.

Babylon lives deliciously (στρηνιάω strēniaō), in a wanton or luxurious way. The world is her oyster, and she is it’s god. Her words are “I sit as a Queen … I am the Queen of Heaven, and God is my Husband, my Doting Husband”. The citizen of Babylon has no time for God. You read the obituary of that citizen. God was not glorified in their lives, and now God is not glorified in their deaths. They love their pets. They were great mothers and grandmothers. They never met a stranger. And yet, there is no mention of God or giving glory to Him. She thinks she shall see no sorrow.

Many years ago I went to visit an aging lady who had left her home to go and live in a rather upscale assisted living home. It was beautiful. I had been out to this woman’s home before – I and my wife – and she lived in a gorgeous home. She had a very expensive framed picture of her and her family that hung on the wall. It looked like there was 500 people in the picture, and not a bum in the lot. They all looked like movie stars! She had children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and even one great-great-great grandchild! I stood at her kitchen window one day, a window which looked out on a wide valley. I told her “You’ve got a beautiful view here! How much of this is your property?” She replied “If you can see it, it’s mine. She own thousands of acres of land. She had money in the bank. When I went to visit her in the assisted living facility – again, a beautiful fancy place, she looked at me and asked:

Brother David, Why Does God Hate Me?

God hate you? God doesn’t hate you. If you life was a life hated by God, I wish He’s hate me a little! Holy cow! But you see, this woman, though professing Christ, had not learned to live by faith in Him. She thought bad times would never come her way. She thought she’d live thousands of years with no aches or pains.

Beloved, if we are Christ’s then we live to glorify God.

We do not live feeding ourselves incessantly, but by loving the Lord Who saved us. We live for HIS GLORY. Jesus taught us to begin our prayers with …

Matthew 6:9 (KJV)  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

“Hallowed be Thy Name! GLORY to Thy Name!” We magnify our God. Jesus taught us to end our prayers with:

Matthew 6:13 (KJV) …. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

To God be the glory! To God be the glory! Babylon glorifies herself. Her citizens glorify themselves. But God says glorify ME and ME alone. This is the way that citizens of the Kingdom live. As Solomon said:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

When you live for God then God lives in you. But when you turn from God and live selfishly you end up eventually like Babylon … Abandoned and judged of God.

Babylon’s Judgment Is To Die Alone

Babylon and the citizen of Babylon lived for themselves. God’s judgment on Babylon is not only it’s destruction, but that it die ALONE. What a horrible thing this is to die alone! Babylon has been in business since the Tower of Babel. It is an ancient evil. It has run the world. It was a great and lasting city. And yet rejecting God and His Word it lost everything. It;s demise was quick when God judged her:

Revelation 18:18-19 (KJV) {the citizens of Babylon} cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  [19]  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

The phrase “one hour” is not literal, but emphasizes how quickly Babylon was stripped of her power. As God judged Babylon those who used her for gain abandoned her to her fate. Politicians turned away from Babylon:

Revelation 18:9-10 (KJV)  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,  [10]  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

As Babylon is judged all those who “lived deliciously with her” have abandoned her. The KINGS that enjoyed Babylon leave her to her fate. They stand afar off for fear of her torment. She is abandoned by the political world.

Revelation 18:11 (KJV)  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Revelation 18:15 (KJV)  The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

The MERCHANTS that grew rich from Babylon – the commercial and capitalistic moguls – they will stand afar off for fear of her torment. They will abandon Babylon because they do not want to be under judgment as she is.

And those who assisted the merchants in using Babylon:

Revelation 18:17 (KJV)  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every SHIPMASTER, and all the company in ships, and SAILORS, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

They ran away from Babylon. God is judging this Babylon. Babylon must fall! And as Babylon falls there is no rejoicing in the world … but there is rejoicing in Heaven.

Revelation 18:20-21 (KJV)  Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.  [21]  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Evil comes in with a bang, but goes out with a whimper. I love the picture of the millstone we see in this text. It reminds me of what Jesus said:

Matthew 18:3-7 (KJV)  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  [4]  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  [5]  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.  [6]  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  [7]  Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!

Babylon afflicted the children of God. It killed Christ’s children. It persecuted us, God’s little children. And Jesus shall avenge us. We do not need to avenge ourselves, but to trust in Him. He will do as He says.

Babylon will fall. Babylon will fall. But Christ will triumph forever more!

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Are You Blind?

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John 9:1-5, 39 KJV And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth. (2) And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (3) Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (4) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. … (39) And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

As we come to John chapter 9 we see a wonderful account of Jesus with a group of blind people. The chapter starts with

a man which was blind from [his] birth

Jesus was leaving the Temple because the self righteous and unhearing scribes and Pharisees sought to kill Him. Jesus told the Pharisees that He was and is the Son of God, and that He came to this earth representing God. Jesus told the self righteous:

John 8:39 (KJV) … If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Whose Little Boy or Girl Are You?

The children of Abraham are children of faith. They belong to God. If you are indeed a Christian you are a child of Abraham, seed of the Promise. This is the teaching of the Apostle in ..

Galatians 3:6-7 (KJV) Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

If you are saved by faith in the Messiah – if you love Jesus – then it doesn’t matter your color or race or even sex. The Scripture declares:

Galatians 3:28-29 (KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If these scribes and Pharisees were Abraham’s children they would not only do the works of Abraham, but …

John 8:42 (KJV) Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: …

If you are Abraham’s child and therefore an heir to God’s promise you would love Jesus. Not seek to kill Him, nor ignore Him, but love Him. You would believe Him and do what He says do. Jesus told the Pharisees:

John 8:44 (KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

There is nothing more sad than a person who thinks they are saved, but they are not. Part of the problem in the Church today is it is often filled with people who think they are saved but they have only deceived themselves. The Apostle James wrote:

James 1:21-22 (KJV)21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtinessresidue of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

I was reading a commentary today where the writer began to teach that there are two levels of Christians – the Christian who just believes and is saved, and the Christian who is saved by faith and does the things that God commands. I don’t know where this nonsense came from. I suspect it is an aberration created by liberal preachers who are looking for numbers. It is not taught in Scripture. And it is not natural.

Let me illustrate. I have a dog named Scooter. I know he’s a dog. Why? He looks like a dog. He barks like a dog. He smells like a dog. He’s a dog. A dog is a dog because it ACTS like a dog. If you take a dog and treat him as a fish, he will drown. A fish is comfortable underwater, a dog is not. Whatever you are born to be is what you will be. Period.

We are all born into this world as sinners.

Romans 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

All are born into this world in the darkness of sin. We are all born blind. We need to be born again. We can only be born again by interaction with Jesus Christ. We must believe on Him. We must receive Him as Lord and Savior. He can bless us and give us eyes to see.

Jesus Proves His Point With A Blind Man

The Pharisees and scribes …

John 8:59 (KJV) … took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus was not afraid of these fools, and fools they were indeed. But Jesus blinded them so they couldn’t see Him, and walked right by them. But then Jesus stopped!

John 9:1 KJV And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.

There is a mob of scribes and Pharisees who want to kill Jesus, but Jesus takes the time to stop for this man. His disciples ask the Lord:

John 9:2 KJV And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin is a thief, a robber. When sin comes into the life it begins by scarring the soul, and ends up scarring the body. James said:

James 1:15 (KJV) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

When the disciples saw this man born blind they wanted to know whose sin caused his blindness. Who was responsible for this man being born blind. The answer to the question may shock you. Jesus replied:

John 9:3 KJV … Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Our God is Sovereign over His creation. Why was this man born blind? What caused this tragedy? It was not a tragedy. Long before the creation of the earth, the universe, the sun and the stars God knew that a day would come when Christ would be teaching in the Temple. He knew that the Pharisees and scribes would first argue with, then attack the Lord Jesus. The Creator Father wanted to insure that an object lesson be given to all that were there so He purposed this man’s blindness. Long before man walked the earth this was established of God.

God is Sovereign!

Isaiah 14:24 (KJV) The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

Isaiah 46:9-11 (KJV) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God controls the birds, and controls the man. He controls the events. There is nothing God cannot do. This man was not born blind because of sin, nor because God was punishing him or his parents. He was born blind so that those detractors of Christ along with His Disciples could see the glory of God in His Son.

This blind man was the clay, and Christ the Potter

This blind man is the raw material that Christ will use to illustrate His next words. Jesus said:

John 9:4 (KJV) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

The Father put this man before the crowd and before the Son. Jesus must do a work of God in him to glorify the Father. Jesus said:

John 9:5 (KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Jesus is the Light of the World. Not light like the fiery star we call the sun is light. Not light like infrared is a light. Jesus is the Light of the World because He and only He can restore sight to the blind, both physical and spiritual. A blind man is exposed to light just as the rest of us are, but is unable to see the light because of a deficiency in himself. Jesus is CORRECTIVE LIGHT. Jesus is the John 1:9true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Jesus is the John 8:12 (KJV) light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus is the CORRECTIVE LIGHT … John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

This blind man has never seen light.
He cannot get better on his own.
He can only come to Jesus.
If he obeys Jesus, he will be given light.
Christ will restore his sight.
This is a FREE GIFT OF GOD!

Jesus now does something that people have debated about and speculated over for years and years. We read:

John 9:6 (KJV) When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

Some have speculated all types of superstitious and unsupported theories as to why Jesus did this. I know why Jesus did this. The Scripture says of God and His people:

Isaiah 64:8 (KJV) But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

When Adam was formed in Eden the Bible says that:

Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

I believe that Jesus in the Garden of Eden reached down, and made a clay man that He called Adam (which means “Red Earth”). He then kissed that which He made, and Adam became a living soul. Jesus mimics what He did in Eden. He reaches down, and spitting on the ground makes clay of the spittle. He then takes this clay and molds the eyes of this man.

But he doesn’t immediately see. The blind man is still blind. But Jesus tells him:

John 9:7 KJV … Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Faith obeys God.
Faith obeys God.
Faith obeys God.

My dear friend and fellow Pastor Joe McKeever wrote an article called “Why A Lot Of Professing Christians Never Attend Church”. In the article he wrote:

Why don’t Christians go to church? I think I know. You’re not going to like my answer. They’re probably not Christians. …. In the earliest church, the believers gathered for “the apostles’ teaching, for fellowship, for breaking of bread, and prayer” (Acts 2:42). Fellowship was, and remains, a huge element in the function of a church. … But for believers–those who truly do take the things of God seriously–that fellowship element, as important as it is, is just the icing on the cake. Underneath it is the dead-serious work of the Kingdom–worshiping God, teaching His word, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, supporting those doing the Lord’s work, reaching out to those in need …”

Joe allows for comments on his blog (http://joemckeever.com/wp/why-a-lot-of-professing-christians-do-not-go-to-church/). You should have read some of the nonsense I read. Some accused Joe of spreading a false Gospel. Others said he was going to hell for this teaching. Yet you can find absolutely NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT for the concept that there is EVER salvation without first repentance, then obedience.

Had this young man never went to the Pool of Siloam as Jesus said he would have never been healed.

End of story. Period.

Obedience Brings Salvation

When the blind man did as Jesus commanded he came away seeing. Jesus restored his sight. This caused a lot of confusion in the neighborhood.

John 9:8-12 (KJV) The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

This caused the Pharisees no end of confusion. It was the Sabbath day when Jesus healed this man, and the Pharisees said:

John 9:16 (KJV) Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

If it was sinful to heal on the Sabbath Day (and Jesus healed people many times on the Sabbath Day) then Jesus was a Sinner. But if Jesus was a Sinner then how could He heal anyone? They began to debate among themselves. You see, the darkness can quote Scripture, and the devil can preach a great sermon, but they cannot tie anything to Jesus. So how to resolve this dilemma?

Call the healed man a liar!

John 9:18-19 (KJV) But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

The parents couldn’t answer their questions, and rightfully so. They knew this was their son, they knew he had been born blind, but they had no idea how he regained his sight. They told the Pharisees:

John 9:23 (KJV) ….He is of age; ask him.

The Pharisees came to the blind man once more.

John 9:24-25 (KJV) … again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

His profession got him thrown out of Church. If you profess Christ and His power today in many
Churches you’ll be thrown out! Jesus is able!

Once the man was thrown out of Church – a false Church led by false believers – Jesus went to him. To be honest the Pharisees did this blind man a favor! No one wants to stay in a false Church … but we do want to stay with Jesus!

John 9:35-38 KJV Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? (36) He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? (37) And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. (38) And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him.

The Church of the Pharisees was not interested in worshiping God, but were all about power and status quo. We come together to worship the Lord.

Psalms 95:6 KJV O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

When we come together it is to worship our God. Our God is awesome! Our Jesus is spectacular! We are His Kingdom on this present earth. We are not ashamed to submit to Him, to speak of Him, to glorify Him. The Pharisees died in their sins. Their Church is no more. But those who love the Lord endure. We love one another, and show His love by loving one another.

Until the day that Christ comes. Maranatha!

Posted in gospel, grace, John, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , , , ,

Standing Up For The Word Of God

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When you enter our Church building (for WE are the Church, the building but a place where we meet) the first thing you see as you walk down the aisle is a Communion Table and on it an open Bible. The pulpit where I preach stands directly behind this open Bible. We are a Bible believing group of Christians. We are not perfect, but we love God’s Word. I am certainly not perfect!

The Bible is not an add on for our Church. It is not incidental to the service. We sing songs that are Bible based. Men are appointed to read Scripture as God places it on their hearts, then to lead the Church in prayer. When we come to the time where God’s Word is shared, as the Pastor I ask the congregation to – if they are able (and all are not able) – to “Stand In Honor Of The Reading Of God’s Word”. Sometimes we read the text that we’ll be studying together – in unison. At other times I will give the audience a handout that breaks the text down as a responsive reading. We focus on honoring the Lord by honoring His Word. Then I say “You may be seated”.

I have not always followed this format in ministry. Though I am an old man (60 years old this year) I am young in ministry. I’ve been serving the Lord as preacher and pastor for about 22 years now. When I first entered the ministry people had great respect for God’s Word. occasionally I would invite pastors I knew and respected to preach in my pulpit. Sometimes these pastors would ask the audience to stand in honor of the reading of the Word of God, something I never did at that time. I saw it as unnecessary. As an expository preacher I quote quite a bit of Scripture as I preach. Should the people jump up every time that I quote another Scripture? Absolutely not. It would be distracting. So why have everyone stand and read Scripture together. Relax, be seated, and learn. But one day I changed my mind.

As I said before, I appoint men to share Scripture and prayer every Sunday. One older gentleman by the name of Jimmy stood up one Sunday and read from the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is an interesting book – you need to read it.  Israel had gotten away for obeying the Word of God. As a result Jerusalem was captured by unbelievers, the Temple razed, and walls of the city destroyed. Nehemiah lead a group of Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and restore the faith of that fallen nation. Jimmy asked the Church to stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word, then read from Nehemiah chapter 8:

Nehemiah 8:1-6 (KJV)  And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.  [2]  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  [3]  And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.  [4]  And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.  [5]  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  [6]  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Jimmy began to speak about how people had begun to undervalue God’s Word, and this attitude brought sin and destruction into the land. He emphasized how the people – refugees in their own country – lost everything when they lost reverence and respect for God’s Word. Jimmy said that he felt we should show honor to God’s Word by standing for it when no one else will. He called on the congregation to be lights in the midst of darkness, then prayed for the Church.

As Jimmy spoke God’s Holy Spirit began to deal with my heart. I began to think about the big battle going on between President Trump, the NFL, and many of the American people. It seems that during the National Anthem one day a player named Colin wavy-american-flag-1399556474E68.jpgKaepernick “took a knee” rather than standing during the playing of our National Anthem. A wave of other players began to “take a knee” to protest various things they did not like in America, often locking arms to show solidarity. Conservatives were incensed. How dare they “take a knee” during the National Anthem? How dare they disrespect the flag of our Great Nation? Though the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and taking a knee is freedom of speech, many found what they were doing repugnant and perhaps even treasonous. The NFL said it would fine teams that allowed this to go on. The President said those who did so should be fired, that they worked for the American people and were unpatriotic.  It seemed like the indignity and acrimony rolled on and on.

I understand the indignity. I entered the Air Force when I was 17 years old, remained in active service for 20 years, then in inactive reserve for 10 years. Over half of my life was spent in service to my country. I love my country, and love its flag. Having traveled the world in the military, often leaving my wife and children by themselves, I can tell you firsthand that our country is the greatest and most free country in the world. I don’t like to see our flag or our country disrespected. I stand during the National Anthem, out of respect. When I was overseas and the flag was raised or lowered I stood at attention and held a salute to the flag until the ceremony ended. But Beloved,

The Flag is man made.
The National Anthem is man made.
The Bible is God made.

Many who go to Church meetings, who were so incensed that Kaepernick and others “took a knee”, do not regard the Bible to be God’s holy Word. Many view the Bible as an “add on” in a Church service. I have heard preachers read a Scripture, then speak for 20 minutes on absolutely NOTHING to do with that Scripture. I have been to Church meetings where the songs that were sung were in direct contradiction to what the Scripture plainly teaches. When Aretha Franklin died (and I loved her singing) hours were spent in speaking of her, but minutes in the Scripture and in focus on Christ. When John McCain died – a great American – his funeral had little to do with Scripture. In most Churches today the title of “Worship Leader” is not bestowed on the preacher but on the song leader. I have preached in Churches where the song leader took much time, leaving just a small slice of time for exposition of God’s optional Word. I have seen people yawn through and take naps or surf the net on the cell phones while the preacher speaks. One lady knitted. Another woman had a child she would not make behave, a child who shouted throughout the preaching time so that none could hear the Word. The Bible says of itself:

2 Peter 1:20-21 (KJV)  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  [21]  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  [17]  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Bible is NOT a collection of books written by dead men, printed on dead trees, and wrapped in dead cow skin. The Bible is God’s Word.
We grow by hearing and doing His Word. 

As a preacher and a pastor it is my duty and privilege to disciple the Church, to teach it to cherish God’s Word. Jesus commanded that we “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus cherished the Word of God. He said:

John 17:17 (KJV)  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth.

The Church itself is not built on a foundation of brick or concrete, but on the Word of God. The Apostle said:

Ephesians 2:19-20 (KJV)  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  [20]  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone;

The Bible is written by Apostles and Prophets. It’s focus is Jesus Christ. It is God’s Word. When Israel returned to the land that God gave them they gathered to hear the Word of God. They stood to show their respect for God’s Word. Do you have to stand up to respect the Word of God? No. Jesus stood up to read the Scripture, but sat down to preach. He respected God’s Word, and people knew it. I lead a Tuesday night Bible study and, no, I do not ask those men who come to stand for God’s Word. They respect His Word, else they would not be at a voluntary Bible Study. 

But those who come to Church on Sunday are a mixed bunch. Some come every time the moon is blue. Some only come when the holidays arrive, or when they are in trouble, or need money. Some are Sunday Morning only believers.  Some come out of curiosity. “I heard a Buffaloe preaches here”. But some are faithful to God and His Word. To disciple the mixed crowd to show respect for God’s Word I ask them to stand briefly, then be seated. You don’t have to stand. You can “take a knee”. Some are unable to stand, and others unwilling. That is your choice. But if you’re going to throw a hissy fit over the NFL “Take A Knee” controversy but have little concern for God’s Word, then what does that say of your faith? 

So when you’re in our Church on Sunday and you hear me say …

“We’re going to read responsively from today’s text. Please open your bulletin to the inside right hand page. And if you’re able,
stand in honor of the reading of the Word of God.”

… then please stand if you are able, or hush about the flag and the anthem. Me, I’m going to stand for all three. But most of all, I’m going to stand up for my Father’s Word! I hope you do, too.

Posted in General, Glory To God | Tagged ,

The Great Whore

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(Revelation 17:1-6) 1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Last week we saw the forces of evil gather for a battle called Armageddon. But this week we see the force that is behind all rebellion against God. It is false religion, idolatry, described as “the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus”.

An Angel Of The Bowl Judgment Speaks

Back in chapter 10 an angel spoke directly to John. As this chapter starts we read:

(Revelation 17:1-2) And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Once more one of the Judgment Angels speaks directly to John. He wanted to show John – and us – why this Judgment was being poured out so severely on the world. The Angel points to “the great whore that SITTETH upon many WATERS”. There is significance in this phrase. If you let Scripture define itself you will find that …

(Revelation 17:15) And he saith unto me, The WATERS which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are PEOPLES, AND MULTITUDES, AND NATIONS, AND TONGUES.

These are people of all nationalities. The Whore is “SITTING” on these people. What is the significance of this? If I am sitting on you my weight is pressing you down, restricting you, keeping you from moving or, if you move, making any movement very difficult. If I am sitting on you I am holding you away from freedom. If you are wounded or need help my sitting on you keeps you from reaching salvation. To sit on you is to hurt you.

The Whore has sat on Kings ans on common people. She impedes their finding of God and salvation in Christ. She convinces those she sits on that good is evil and evil is good. The Prophet said:

Isaiah 5:16-24 (KJV)  But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.  [17]  Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.  [18]  Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:  … [20]  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  [21]  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!  … [23]  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  [24]  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

The Bible declares that the Wages of sin is ALWAYS DEATH (Romans 6:23). But Babylon the Prostitute sits on the lap of her victim, whispering in the ear, holding the victim back in sin and destruction. Babylon whispered from the mouths of past presidents who claimed to be saved. Babylon rejects the Word of God, knowing full well that to do so is to bring destruction. But Babylon does not care. She is a prostitute, a whore, a harlot. She does so for temporal profit. She does not care for you, but for your money.

The Power Behind The False Religions

(Revelation 17:3) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Don’t miss the significance of this verse. “He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness”. After Jesus was baptized we read:

Matthew 4:1 (KJV)  Then was Jesus led up of the SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS to be tempted of the devil.

Jesus was led into the wilderness to meet and be tested by the devil. John is led by the Angel “in the Spirit into the wilderness” not to be tempted, but to be instructed. Here he will see the Devil. The Woman – the Prostitute of False religion – is “Sitting upon a SCARLET colored BEAST”. This strange creature is “FULL of names of BLASPHEMY” speaking against God, “having seven heads and ten horns”. We saw this “Beast” before back in:

Revelation 12:3-4 (KJV)  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  [4]  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: …

This “Red Dragon” tried to take over Heaven, and convinced a third of the angels to follow him. This Red Dragon is clearly presented as the Devil or Satan:

Revelation 12:9 (KJV)  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

This woman is RIDING on the back of this Red Dragon.
This Beast also represents the devil’s manifest presence, the anti-Christ.
False religion is powered by Satan and the anti-Christ.
No matter how harmless it might seem it is but a distraction from that which is right, and holy, and true. False religion is Satanic no matter where it comes from.
Babylon the Prostitute is riding on this Dragon.

The woman is wealthy, a well paid prostitute. We read:

(Revelation 17:4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand

False Religion looks GOOD!
Oh how she’s dressed up!
It sounds GREAT!

The Prosperity Gospel sounds great.
The Self Help Gospel sounds wonderful.
The All Roads Lead to Heaven Gospel is very appealing.
The You Can Be Saved And Still Freely Sin Gospel will fill churches.
The Our Church/Denomination Is The Only Way To Christ is so exclusive.
These are all Golden Cups, but what is in them?

It is …

(Revelation 17:4) …. full of ABOMINATIONS and FILTHINESS of her fornication:

The Bowl Angel carried a golden cup filled with plagues
intended to punish mankind for rejecting God.
False Religion carries a golden cup that is supposed to bless mankind
but it is filled with hideousness and filthiness.

Tim Keller writes in his book The Reason For God:

Everybody has to live for something. Whatever that something is becomes ‘Lord of your life’, whether you think of it that way or not. Jesus is the only Lord Who, if you receive Him, will fulfill you completely, and, if you fail Him, will forgive you eternally.”

It is so sad that so many Churches are trying to compromise with False Religion. I have heard people say “Well, let’s just say it’s ok. After all, God is love”. But friend, God is also JUST. The Cross proves that.

The Three Names Of False Religion

The Bible makes much over names. This whorish woman is named with three names:

(Revelation 17:5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Mystery
Babylon The Great
The Mother Of Harlots & Abominations

  • She is called “Mystery” or the Greek μυστήριον mystērion. This word was used in the New Testament by Jesus and the Apostles to speak of our faith. The disciples – those who follow Christ – came to Him with a question one day:

Matthew 13:10-11 (KJV) …. Why speakest thou unto them in parables?  [11]  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries (mystērion) of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

When we say “Yes, Lord” to Jesus He gives us the power to understand the deeper things of God, things which the world considers mystērion”. The change that Christ brings in us is a mystērion. The fact that the Spirit of God can indwell we who are still sinful creatures is mystērion. In fact, there are so many mysterious and wonderful truths to our faith – miraculous things – that the Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 2:6-12 (KJV)  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  [7]  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  [8]  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  [9]  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  [10]  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  [11]  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  [12]  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

The mystērion” or mystery of our faith is not revealed to the world nor to the godless but to those who are surrendered to Christ. So why is mystērion” one of the names given false religion? Because false religion imitates Christianity. It was false religion that founded this country. When a “Catholic” was in power in Old England that king ordered the death and persecution of the “Protestants”. When a “Protestant” was in power in Old England that king ordered the death and persecution of the “Catholics”.

When did Christ order we kill our enemies? Did He not command:

Matthew 5:44-46 (KJV)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  [45]  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  [46]  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

The fighting in Northern Ireland between Catholic and Protestant is not godly, but Satanic. False religion cloaked as a form of Christianity – whether Protestant or Catholic – ignored Christ’s Word and made killing acceptable in the name of God. It was not in God’s name they killed, but in falseness. The Pilgrims came to America to escape persecution in England and founded this nation to follow after Christ. False religion cloaked as Christianity twists Christ’s words, pretends to be mystērion”, but is not. It is a travesty.

  • She is called “Babylon The Great” because the first organized rejection of God and His Word came from ancient Babylon. Babylon was founded by a mighty hunter called Nimrod (Genesis 10:9-10). Nimrod was the grandson of Noah, his father was Cush. Nimrod’s hunting business was so good that he founded not just Babylon, but three other cities. Nimrod’s four city metropolis was hugely successful, and people flooded into the area. And this was a problem.

When Noah and his family left the Ark God gave humanity a simple command:

Genesis 9:1 (KJV) … Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Be fruitful” is something only man and woman can do, so God endorsed one man one woman marriage. “Multiply” means that God endorses marital sex, not the horrendous perversion that has gripped America and most of the world. And “replenish the earth” meant to spread out, to populate not just one area, but all of earth.

Nimrod may not have been there when Cush heard this command, but his father share it with him. God’s order was for mankind to spread out over the face of the earth. But instead of spreading out and doing as God said mankind revolted against God. They went to Shinar and while in that place said:

Genesis 11:3-4 (KJV)  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.  [4]  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

The people chose to reject the Word of God, so God scrambled their word. The Bible says that all the earth was of one language up to this point. But God said:

Genesis 11:6-9 (KJV)  And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  [7]  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.  [8]  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  [9]  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

The Triune LORD God said “Let US go down and confound their language”. They rejected God’s Word, so He confused theirs.

Once their language was confused they scattered, doing as God commanded they do in the first place.

Therefore it was named BABEL
Babel eventually became known as Babylon.

King Hammurabi made Babylon a religious power again in 1600 BC by making Marduk god of the city of Babylon and head of the 1300 gods and goddesses worshiped there. The first fake christ came from Babylon. The goddess Semiramus gave birth to a son name Tammuz, supposed to be the savior prophesied in Genesis 3:15. False religion would steal the glory from God and from His Son if it could. That is why it is called “Babylon”.

  • False religion is called “The Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” because this is her true face. She is both a Whore and a producer of Whores. A Whore or a Harlot is someone who sells her body and its use for profit. God gave us our bodies. He created us in His image and in His likeness (Genesis 1:26). The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The prostitute worships money and things rather than the God Who made us. False religion does not care what God has said about a thing. It only cares about promoting self, while demoting God. The Beast is carried by Satan and the Anti-Christ. We read:

(Revelation 17:7, 8) And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT, AND GO INTO PERDITION: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonderadmire, WHOSE NAMES WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

False Religion is carried by anti-Christ, and empowered by Satan. This is why the text says that the Beast is “full of the names (plural) of blasphemies”. The anti-Christ, like his father Satan, hates Jesus and hates the Father.

There Is No Compromise Between Light And Darkness

The true face of false religion is found in what it does. We read:

(Revelation 17:6) And I saw the woman DRUNKEN with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.θαῦμα thauma means “wonder”

There is NO COMPROMISE between false religion and Christianity. I recently read that the United Methodist Church is considering changing it’s statutes to endorse abortion as a good thing. Abortion is an evil – it kills a child. But the United Methodists began a dark descent from the Word of Christ long ago, departing for the honorable Wesley and Whitefield who founded them. Yet this is true among many “denominations” and “non-denominations” even today. Even among Baptists there have been slips where well meaning people and soft hearted pastors have pushed compromise with the darkness. But there can be no compromise between light and darkness. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  [15]  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  [16]  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  [17]  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  [18]  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

There can be no compromise between the devil and the Kingdom of God. We must choose. We can love the world, and love it by sharing the unvarnished Gospel of the Kingdom. But we must not believe – even for a moment – that there is any possible compromise. Those who have compromised with darkness have found themselves sitting in darkness. The Whore of False Religion will drink the blood of saints, martyring the Children of God. The devil desires your damnation and, failing that, your death. If he can get your faith to die then all the better.

Some Final Considerations

Revelation 17:9-13 (KJV)  And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  [10]  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  [11]  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.  [12]  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  [13]  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

The “Seven Mountains” are the seven hills of Rome. The Harlot would rule from Rome. Some have taken this to mean that the Catholic Church will be the root of the Harlot. That is possible, though not stated in the text. I believe the text plainly taken means that the Capital of this False Religion empowered by Satan and endorsed by the anti-Christ will be in Rome. We do not know who the seven kings are, though they are somehow connected to Rome. The ten kings are mentioned in Daniel’s prophecies:

Daniel 7:24 (KJV) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

These ten kings or nations will rise up and bind with the devil and the anti-Christ, but they will only be in power for a set time (one hour). It may be for 3 ½ years but in comparison to God’s reckoning of time it is but for a short time.

Revelation 17:13-14 (KJV)  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  [14]  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Though these ten nations are in collusion with one another, with the anti-Christ, and with Satan, they shall still lose to the Lamb of God. There is a lesson in this for us all. God is always triumphant. His Word is always right. Regardless as to what we “feel” or “think” what God has said will stand. No matter what flight of fantasy a denomination shall fly, God ultimately wins. Jesus Christ has the victory, and His people shall stand triumphant!

Revelation 17:17 (KJV)  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

God is in control! He is always in control!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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