Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
House Built Without Hands - Pastor Mike Taylor -
5 "You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ ...
2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
2:7 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,
2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (2nd Peter 2:5-9)
This is a continuation of my last message entitled "God Created a Family" and can be found in last week's Prophecy Update or found on my blog at the site address listed in this message. I encourage each of those who follow my messages to read or re-read what God has prepared for those who love Him. As Isaiah spoke of in the Book of your Bible that bears his name..
4 "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." (Isaiah 64:4)
And again, the Apostle Paul restated what Isaiah wrote by Holy Spirit leading the same in writing to the Church at Corinth...
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." (1st Corinthians 2:9-10)
These verses testify of something that we, as mortals, cannot wrap our minds around, as the glory that will be revealed in those who believe on God's only Begotten Son, is something we can only imagine....
SO WHAT HAS GOD GOT PREPARED FOR US?
I had a dear sister ask me what will we be (the saints borne of God) during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ ? She understood that we will be given duties by our Lord and Savior, but her question was "will we rule over the people still living after the tribulation? Besides what will we be and will there be mortals able to sin during this time?" Good set of questions and those that I feel need further exploration by looking at scripture to get an idea of just what we will be and our task during this 1000 year reign after the rebellion during the great tribulation is put down by our King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Let's start in Romans on our journey to identify what and who we will be and our responsibilities that our Lord will impart to all that are found in Him at His coming. Paul speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit reveals what we will be:
15 "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:16-19)
Can you fathom what these verses means, as I explored this in my last message? It is almost too glorious to ponder and beyond our immediate comprehension of its full implications.. It is a infinite promise of future glory of those found in Christ. Verse 17 says we will be "joint heirs" of our Savior Jesus Christ. Heirs of what? Simple answer is that all that He is in spiritual nature, in His glory, in the ability of our mind to comprehend as we will have the mind of Christ (1stCorinthians 2:16), and in the inheritance that He, our Savior has, we will be given the same inheritance. For a lack of a better illustration, we will be adoped into the family of YAHWEH, Jehovah, God Almighty, God the Father. Jesus will be our "Big Brother" if we can even call Him that. He is our King, but He is our elder brother in a family type relationship. We will be adopted because Jesus will bring us into the family at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when we are joined to Him, our betrothed, our Groom spiritually, as a groom takes his wife and they become one. What the Groom has, so will the wife partake of the same inheritance. We are the Bride of Christ. We will be of the God kind, in the Family of God.
I can't EVEN imagine it...my mind cannot wrap around such glory. Our God and our Savior will be the source of all of our glory and power upon this earth during a time when the earth is restored to its former glory as during the Garden of Eden. It will be a perfect environment with no war, no inclement weather, no disease, and no tempter of the nations. Satan will be given his Sabbath rest of 1000 years from being the source of all temptation and lies. But note, even though we will be on this earth during the Millennium, this planet is NOT our home, till God creates a New Heaven and new earth.
SO WHERE IS OUR HOME?
Jesus told us where our home is and it's in 3rd heaven with our God and Father..
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." (John 14:2-3)
As we will see, we will come and go from the heavens, which is our home, to the earth in instant of time, according to the desires of our Father in Heaven. The 3rd Heaven will be our Home, that is until God creates a NEW Heaven and a NEW earth and we will dwell with God our Father on that earth forever, as the light will be sourced from God our Father and the Lamb, Jesus Christ and everything will be perfect, and a new star is created that if there be life elsewhere in this universe, they will see a bright star in their heavens.
Even though this present earth will become a near perfect world, sin will still be around. We, His Saints, will be sinless, immortal and of the same new body that our Lord was resurrected with when He came out of the tomb and appeared to the living. He was able to walk through walls, but be handled and able to eat, but disappear at will. He had a new glorious body, and we will have the same body as He does. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus when he came to Him in the night:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."(John 3:3)
This totally confused Nicodemus as the following verses after this show that he did not understand what Jesus meant. Jesus went on to explain of being borne of the Spirit and of water (baptism that shows that a man or woman understands that they are buried with Jesus Christ and are dead to the world, but raised a new creature in Him, by obediently following His footsteps in our life) a man cannot inherit the Kingdom of God or enter therein unless he is born again. He then said something that many overlook what we will be when He changes us into His likeness:
3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:7-8)
Did you catch that? We will be as the wind. On earth, we now see the effects of the wind through the trees, but we cannot see the wind,, but its effects on the material world. Spiritual bodies will come and go much as the wind, but appear at will to whomever we decide to let see us. Our bodies will move at lightning speed . It is how we will come and go from the heavens and our heavenly mansions to earth, in an instant.
HOW CAN THIS BE?
When Jesus comes for His saints, there will be an awards banquet in heaven. The Bible calls it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the Bema Judgment seat of Christ. Here Jesus will impart to each of His saints a measure of ruler-ship by the deeds they have done for Him in this life. Paul speaks of the revealing of what we have done in the body in this life, and what we have done for Jesus Christ and its eternal rewards:
3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1stCorinthians 3:9-15)
What we have done in this life for Jesus Christ will stand and for that we will receive a reward, much like the following parable given by Jesus.
Note the parable of the talents:
14 "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods"
Jesus is this man, who has gone to heaven and is sitting beside God the Father in Heaven and delivered unto us the servants, His goods. What goods? Let's read on.
25:15 "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey." (Matthew 25:14-15)
In ancient times, a talent was a measure of gold. It was the most precious of all possessions. I ask you, what is the most precious possession our God has given us? I tell you plainly, it's HIS WORD! God doesn't need our gold, He already owns it all. He is giving us something much more valuable and He wants a return on imparting us with the responsibility of spreading His Word by personal witness. God's Word is His instructions for living, for His reaching us by His Holy Spirit unto repentance and using that same Word to reach others. That Word is our handbook for living this life, your Bible.
25:16 "Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two." (Matthew chp. 25)
Each of these servants added to what he was given, by sharing that Word with the world around him. And receive an increase by winning the lost to Christ. How much of an impact does that Word have on the world? We may never know fully till it be revealed to us at this Marriage Supper, but we are commanded to share it with all who will listen. IN the age of the internet, the message goes around the world many times, and we may never know who read that message and received Jesus as Personal Savior.
25:18 "But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. This unfaithful and unprofitable servant hid His Masters goods, His Word, away and shared it not with those around him. Woe to those who fail to follow the command of our Lord Jesus.
25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew chp. 25)
Did this man believe or just mouthed the words? Only God knows, but to hide away what we have been given determines our reward or our lack thereof. Each of these faithful servants were given a reward. They were made rulers over many things! Listen to what Jesus reveals to John the Beloved in Revelation:
Revelation 2:7 "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. . . . I will give power over the nations. . . . I will grant to sit with Me on My throne."»
Revelation 5:9-10: . . . "You . . . have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
» Revelation 21:7: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
Note that verse 9 of Revelation chapter 5 says we will be kings and priest before God on this earth. We have established that we will rule on this earth in the coming Kingdom of God according to our deeds done in this life for our Lord and Savior, but what about priest? What will be our duties as priest? Jesus Christ embodies all that is royal for a King, but is also our High Priest. He calls us kings and priests. If priest, then who will be minister to?
In ancient Israel, the priest were the ministers of God. They provided direction to the people and point them to God. They did the sacrifices given by the people for the atonement of their sins daily. Although the nation of Israel became blinded by the ceremonies of sacrifices in the Temple being a forerunner of the Supreme Sacrifice in the body of our Lord and Savior, they were the keepers of the oracles of God and were to be a priestly nation to shine before the Gentile world and lead them to God. We know that they failed miserably in their departure from following after God in spirit and in truth. They knew scripture inside and out, but failed to glean the central message when their Messiah was standing right before them.
PRIEST BEFORE GOD
There are four things that we can learn here about a priest, and actually three of them are spin-offs of the first one, which is this:
A priest has access to God in Israel that other people did not have. Now because he had access to God, we therefore understand that the priest served God personally. Think of this in relation to the life that's coming, but do not detach it from today. Remember, you are a royal priesthood.
The priest ministers to others.
The priest was actually ministering to the average Israelite who came to him whenever he represented him before God in the Old Testament. In the coming Kingdom of God we will minister to the mortals who need still a Savior in the coming reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium. Temple sacrifices will be restored, as Jesus can't die again, but it will demonstrate what Jesus did and point them to the Savior.
The priest has to therefore had to have something to give. He had to have something to give to the Israelite, and he also had to have something to give to God. So it will be in the Millennium. You ask, "are mortals in the Millennium"? That was one of the questions needing to be answered.
During this time of blessed peace and security that comes upon the earth, men will enter into the Millennium as mortal men and women. The Bible speaks of them in Isaiah,
65:20 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." (Isaiah chp. 65)
Verse 20 speaks of the sinner? Yes, men will still have a mortal sin nature, but not to the extent as in our world now, as the tempter has been locked away for a 1000 years. We will be the teachers of the ways of God as spoken in Isaiah:
Isaiah 30:21 "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
That will be our ministry to lead those who are seeing what Jesus did embodied in the the new Temple sacrifices and explain what Jesus did.
We, as priest, will teach them the Way of the Lord and point them to the cross.
Understand, Jesus will be known to all, as the sea covers the earth.
8:11 "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." (Hebrews 8:11)
All people on earth will be subject to the righteous rule of Jesus Christ as He sits on the Throne of David and all the earth will know Him.....in their mind they will know, but in their heart they still possess a sin nature. That's where we come into our responsibility. As kings of the King of kings, our job, our commission is to be rulers, yes....priests to the people to point them to the Savior, most definitely. We are being instructed in righteousness right now, on this earth, in this time we have left.
9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."( 1st Corinthians 6:9-11)
We were saved before the foundation of the world, in God's foreknowledge, He knew who would be in His Kingdom, but are not the elite of this world....not at all.
25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."(I Corinthians 1:25-31)
God has chosen the humble, not the proud. He has chosen the poor, not the rich. He has chosen the weak, not the noble or strong. He has chosen a select group of people of this earth that you would not consider leaders in this life, but by the Holy Spirit, as 1st Corinthians 6:11 states,
11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1st Corinthians 6:11)
We are being changed into His likeness, one day at a time. We are being sanctified, as He also justified us by His blood.
8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)
JESUS WILL SHOUT, "COME UP HERE".
We have an appointment with the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, very soon. One of these days in the near future, Jesus will break out of eternity into our time and say "come up here." And we will be changed in an instant in the twinkling of an eye.
15:49 "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1st Corinthians 15:49-54)
If you're like me, before I became a follower of Jesus Christ, I wondered, "how can I become someone that Jesus trust so much that He gives me ruler-ship of anything in His Kingdom? It is beyond my imagination. Yes, it will be glorious, and we can't grasp it right now, but to start your road on building a house, that is YOU, that is made without hands, becomes something anyone who says "yes, Lord, and believes on Him by faith. It's so simple, that a child can do it. Want to know the secret to obtaining such a high honor of a king and a priest in God's Kingdom? It's not really a secret, but it escapes many on this earth.
6:28 "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28-29)
That's it in a nutshell. Believe with your heart and ask Jesus to come into your heart and life, and by example, live as He lived, as humanly possible.
Paul gave us a simple formula that it guarantees us to enter into the service of a Holy God,
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 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."(Romans 10:9-13)
We are being made a spiritual house, made without hands, and will begin our eternal destination of being kings and priest before our God, to lead other men who enter the Millennium to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We will rule righteously and give the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the living mortals who still have their free moral will to accept or reject the message. And we will serve God for all eternity in works we have no ability to comprehend.
"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." (1st Corinthians 2:9)
We will not coerce anyone to believe and accept, but as Jesus does by His Holy Spirit now, we will point them to the same cross that we came to know, and the same perfect sacrifice that we accepted upon our own lives for the remission of sins by our God in Heaven. So come Lord Jesus, yes, Amen. Come my Lord. We await our glorification of being kings and priest before You. That is our glorious future of all who believe on His name, by faith and obedience to His call. We, and all who believe in the Lord Jesus are that House built without hands.
AND THE ETERNAL QUESTION
Will you be counted as being changed into the likeness of Almighty God and our Lord Jesus our Messiah? Or will your future be different, because you have rejected His call, rejected His payment for your sins in His own blood. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to make your future sure and set in stone. In comes down to the object of the whole writing of Holy Writ, your bible, in these verses:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting (eternal) life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."( John 3:16-18).
This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying for your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord and become the Temple of God. If there be any need for prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com . Or visit my online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com . bless you all
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Iran: Hezbollah, Palestinian Terror Groups Armed to 'Annihilate' Israel - Adam Kredo -
Senior Iranian officials are warning that terror groups sponsored by the Islamic Republic have been so thoroughly armed that they can "annihilate" Israel in any future conflict.
As the issue of Iran's funding of terrorism-which has grown since it received millions of dollars in cash windfalls as a result of the now-defunct nuclear agreement-continues to plague U.S. leaders and Arab countries, Tehran is signaling that its investment in these terror groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah has provided them with the military capability to destroy the Jewish state.
"Friends and enemies admit that today Israel is in its worst conditions and the fighters in Palestine and Lebanon are at the peak of their preparedness to confront any aggression by the Zionists and end the disgraceful life of the fake and criminal regime," General Ramezan Sharif, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps public relations department, said on Wednesday.
The comments come as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo engages in a weeklong tour of the Middle East to galvanize leaders to confront the Iranian regime. Iran's support for terror groups targeting Israel and other Middle Eastern allies has topped the agenda in Pompeo's meetings, according to U.S. officials.
"This is a full-scale reality and it is even admitted by the fronts which support the Zionists," Sharif said in remarks carried by Iran's state-controlled media.
Iran's Supreme Leader appeared to echo these comments in his own remarks.
"Do not retreat against the U.S. and Europe's threats, bullying and prates and stand against them and know that neither their threats nor their promises and even signatures are creditable," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying Wednesday.
The IRGC leader said Iran's support for Hezbollah and "Palestinian resistance groups" has grown "so much powerful" that they now have the ability to deal a devastating blow to Israel, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.
Israeli officials have confirmed this information in recent remarks warning of Hezbollah's massive array of armaments on Israel's northern border.
Iranian officials have been offering a flurry of provocative comments as Pompeo makes his way through the Middle East.
In separate remarks on Wednesday, Iran's foreign ministry vowed to retaliate against Europe for its recent imposition of sanctions on Tehran as a result of its attempt to assassinate high-profile targets on European soil.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will adopt the necessary measures in response to this move within the framework of reciprocal acts," Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Have We Reached Our Potential? - By Grant Phillips -
In Joshua chapter one the children of Israel were preparing to enter the Promised Land, land God promised to Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob. The land was already theirs. God had given it to them, but they had to take possession of it. Forty years earlier their parents could have taken possession, but they instead wandered in the wilderness all that time because of their unbelief.
Notice also that Moses was not permitted to lead them into the land because of his disobedience, but there is also another reason. Moses was the Law giver. The law can only lead one to the edge of the Jordon, but it cannot take us through to the land beyond. The law is our schoolmaster leading us to Christ.
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:24-29)
The law is also an accuser. It says, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23a)
However, Jesus by His grace says, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b)
God provided a list of blessings for Israel if they would obey His law (Deuteronomy 28:1-14.) He also provided curses for disobeying His law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68.) That is the essence of the law. Obey and be blessed, but disobey and be cursed. If Israel had just obeyed, they could have avoided many curses that fell upon them.
I thank God often that I live in the age of grace. God's grace can be seen in every age of course, but the point is, we are not under the law. (Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 5:18) We are under grace.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Who led Israel into the Promised Land? We all know that would be Joshua. Also, his Hebrew name is the same as Jesus' Greek name, meaning "savior." Joshua had to be the one to lead them through the Jordon River to the Promised Land, since he is a type of Christ. Only Jesus can lead us to the promised land of new birth in Him.
When Joshua led Israel through the Jordan River to the Promised Land God held the waters back as He did with the Red Sea when Moses took Israel through on dry ground. It was during the flood season at that time, so the Canaanites were shocked and very frightened by this great miracle of Israel's God.
As the children of Israel were going from one river bank to the other side, the priest carrying the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan. When all had gone through, the priest carried the ark to shore and immediately the waters closed up.
When Joshua led them through the Jordon River, the Israelites were identified with Christ (the Ark) and the land they were entering. When a person today is born again in Jesus, that person is identified with Jesus and all the power of Heaven. Keep in mind that Canaan (this world) is not our promised land. Our home is in Heaven and our strength is in Jesus Christ, just as it was with Israel.
"For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:" (Philippians 3:20 note is mine)
The Promised Land consists of 300,000 square miles (another source says 200,000). Israel has never inhabited more than 30,000 square miles at any one time from my understanding. Even today, they only inhabit 8,019 square miles and now I'll work my way to the point I wish to make.
Israel owned the land at that time and they still do. All of the land, 300,000 square miles, was theirs for their enjoyment. All they had to do was trust God and obey Him. If they had done so, they could have enjoyed a land larger than the state of Texas, but instead they settled for a piece about the size of New Jersey.
Don't you think we Christians, the Church, are a lot like Israel has been? Think about these two Scripture references in relationship to what I have discussed to this point.
"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:16:21)
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
We have much more than 300,000 square miles of land that is ours. We have all of Heaven. We are children of Almighty God. We are co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). All the power and blessings of our Father are at our disposal.
God has made it so very easy and simple for us in the Church Age. We do not have to adhere to the law to receive blessings and avoid curses. Jesus took our curses upon Himself. He just requires that we trust Him with everything and follow Him.
After a visit with his close friend Henry Varley, Dwight L. Moody kept hearing the words, "The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him." Later, while attending a service of Charles Spurgeon, he realized that it wasn't Spurgeon preaching behind the pulpit; it was God speaking through him. Then he thought again about, "The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him," and realized that the quote says "a" man, not any particular man, but any man. He then said to himself, "Well, I will be that man."
Mr. Moody was poor and untrained. He was not ordained, but he was committed to Jesus Christ. He reached two continents for Christ and that had not been accomplished since George Whitefield did so over 100 years earlier.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves, "What could God do with me to glorify His name if I would just be totally committed to Him? Can He use me? Would He use me?" The questions demand a "Yes!" answer.
The Israelites only took possession of about 10% of what they already owned. Through today, they have never enjoyed 90% of their land.
How much of what God has provided for us have we left unattended?
The law led us to Jesus. By faith, we walked through the Jordan with Him and are on the other side. We have been born again. We have been baptized by His Spirit and carry His name. We are identified with Him.
There is nothing Jesus cannot accomplish in one of His own who is totally committed to Him.
"The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him."
Most of us accomplish very little of the 100% that is ours. Jesus said of us, "And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred." (Mark 4:8)
Every single Christian has the potential to produce 100% through Christ, but the potential is not in us. It is in Jesus, and He can accomplish much in those who are willing.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Fear the Lord and Be Obedient - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32
Fear is an interesting emotion. It can be bad, or it can be good. Fear can cripple us and ruin our lives if we have phobias towards things that we don't need to be afraid of. For instance, a fear of meeting people can make it difficult to hold a job or have friends. On the other hand, fear can also stop you from petting a rattlesnake. The most positive fear you can have is fear of the Lord. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7. If you fear the Lord you'll respect Him and honor Him. Fear of the Lord puts all other fears into their rightful place.
God loves us and has given us Scripture to be our guide to following His ways. Most people have heard of the Ten Commandments and studying them is a good place to begin to learn to follow God's will. As you mature in your walk with the Lord these Commandments shouldn't be forgotten. They are a solid foundation on which to build a God-fearing life. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them. nor serve them...Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Exodus 20:3-5a & 7. These first few commandments make it clear that we are to honor God. If you honor and respect Him you'll have a healthy fear of Him.
Fear of the Lord is a simple concept. He loves us and we love Him. Because we love Him we need to respect Him and be obedient. A child will learn to stop lying because he fears the punishment he will face if he disobeys. His parents discipline him because they love him and he learns to obey. Make no mistake, the punishment you bring on yourself by disobeying God is worse than having a time out. It's a sad comment on humanity that we're more afraid of offending our fellow man than we are of offending God. "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1.You may worry about what others will think if they find out that you're a Christian. Then, not wanting to be "holier than thou", you stop being offended by sin and begin to participate in it. Then you feel guilty and because you don't want to be accused of being a hypocrite you withdraw from fellowship with other Christians. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25. It's Satan who rules the worldly people and he lays a snare to draw us deeper into sin. Living a worldly life will take a toll. The stress of a guilty conscience will cause many health problems, such as high blood pressure and ulcers. A promiscuous lifestyle will lead to disease that will destroy the body. You've chosen to follow the world, so you have chosen the consequences. On the other hand, a healthy fear of the Lord and being obedient to Him is a much safer way to live.
Too often we let the opinions of others get in the way of our faith. When Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem and the shores of Galilee He did many miracles. The people who saw those miracles were amazed. They had been looking for their Messiah to come, but were divided as to who Jesus really was. The Pharisees were blind to the truth and the people were afraid to follow Jesus because of the threats made by the Jewish leaders. "And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews." John 7:12-13. Fear stopped many people from following their Messiah. People today haven't changed. Today there is still division as to who He really was and fear of what friends and family say still stops many people from turning to Jesus for salvation. Maybe it's not what people say that you fear, but you're afraid to turn loose of a favorite sin. Don't let fear stand in the way of you coming to salvation through Jesus.
If you're afraid to accept Jesus now, you haven't seen anything yet. We are swiftly approaching a time which will bring fear unlike anything ever experienced before. Scripture is very clear about the period of time known as Daniel's 70th week. This is also called the time of Jacob's trouble and the Tribulation. No matter what you call it, it's a seven year period of time when Satan's hatred brings the ultimate terror upon the earth. You do not want to be left on earth to experience it. Many prophecies in the Old Testament describe the signs to watch for and Jesus confirmed them. If you don't study prophecy you may be very afraid of the things you hear on the news. Wars and rumors of wars fill the headlines. The wickedness in this world is growing stronger and more violent, just as Jesus said it would. Even the "advances" in science are frightening. Genetic tampering, artificial intelligence, and much more are all in direct opposition to God. If you pay attention to the events in Syria and compare that to the war described by Ezekiel you'll see that the end of time is rapidly approaching. There's much going on in the world that can bring fear, but it will get much worse. "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:26. Is there any hope? Of course there is. There's the Blessed Hope through Jesus Christ. Although Christians face the daily challenges of life as well as persecution, we won't face the Great Tribulation. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ we will be "snatched away" from that reign of terror. We will be Raptured and not face that period of time when Satan unleashes his demonic hoards . Brothers and sisters, this fact alone should encourage you to get busy sharing the Gospel with everyone. Time is very short.
A fear that is shared by many people is the fear death. This is really the fear of the unknown. Most religions have come up with stories of what happens after death. Mormons teach that you will become a god of your own planet as long as you've done enough good works (there's only one God and works will never bring salvation). Muslims believe that a man will be rewarded with 72 virgins if he's done enough works to make Allah happy (Allah is a demon and never can be happy). Catholics teach that if you follow the rules and all of the works and rites required then you'll get to Heaven, but if you don't quite make it then there's a place called Purgatory and you can work your way out of there (not a Biblical teaching). Many religions teach reincarnation (no, this is another story out of someone's imagination). Scripture teaches that there is a real Heaven and a real Hell and only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will allow you into Heaven. You have a choice to reject Him or accept Him. This is why you need to fear the Lord. "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."Matthew 10:28. The body is going to die. Whether you die at the hand of someone acting on behalf of Satan or because of disease, death is certain. Even though bodily death cannot be avoided, don't be afraid of anyone or anything that can kill only the body. It's God that you need to fear. There's only one way to gain eternal life and that's through faith in Jesus Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. Jesus Christ, God Almighty, shed His blood to purchase your salvation, but the Muslims believe that Allah will allow them into heaven if they sacrifice themselves for him. That's misplaced faith. You will not be reincarnated and get a second chance to be a better person. The only way to be assured of eternal life with God is to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on your behalf. It's a free gift, but like all gifts it has to be accepted. Accept His gift and then begin to conform your life to His example. Repent and turn from sin. Fear the Lord and let that fear lead you to obedience.
As Christians we need to stop being afraid to share the Gospel. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7.This is the only verse where the Greek word "deilia" is used. It's translated "fear" but means timidity or cowardice. If we only understood the power (dynamis) that is available to us through the Holy Spirit our fear would fade away. Don't let fear stand in the way of serving God. Instead let your fear of Him show in your obedience and love as you share the Gospel with your friends and loved ones.
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The wall, politics and the Bible - Bill Wilson -
President Donald Trump made his case to the American people about the need for increased border security. Of course, the news media loaded up to refute his statistics and made the entire narrative about the "Wall." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that a "wall is an immorality." But there are deeper reasons for the case of increased border security than just a wall-which many of these same politicians once supported. Trump's funding package also requests money for increased drug enforcement, 52,000 detention beds, 75 more immigration judges, 750 more Border Patrol agents, and 2,000 more ICE personnel. It's not just about a wall, it's about the national security of Americans-you and me.
But that's the political issue. No matter how many crimes are committed-the first being that these people break the law by entering the country illegally-or how much disease is spread, or how many more women and children are sold into sex trafficking, or how much drug trade is conducted, the Democrats believe that once they get these people into the country, they will vote for Democrats. So they will twist the numbers, cry immorality, call people racists and xenophobes, or whatever they have to do to allow illegals into the country. It is already proven that voter fraud is their way to win. They already have a platform to prevent voter reform. They already state they want to abolish ICE. This is politics.
The Bible is very clear about how to handle immigrants. Exodus 22:21 says, "You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him." This is repeated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In context, Exodus 12:49 says, "One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the foreigner who sojourns among you." This is also repeated in Numbers and Leviticus. One law for all. In this context it is God's law, but these people neither want to submit to the laws of the nation or to God's laws. Walls work. Israel has one that suffered the same outcry of racism as it was being built, but suicide bombings decreased by 86% from the sector behind the wall once it was built. On the negative, the Berlin Wall separated entire families and millions from freedom for nearly three decades. America not only needs a wall, it needs the will to protect its citizens.
While the news media and the "progressives" can argue the decimal points on Trump's numbers, the facts are that bad things are happening because of lax border security. Data released by ICE indicates that In 2014, ICE released a total of 30,558 criminal aliens, convicted of 92,347 crimes. The total number of new crimes for which these aliens were convicted after ICE released them was 2,560, including: 298 dangerous drug offenses, 185 assaults, 40 weapons offenses, 28 sex offenses, 10 sex assaults, four kidnappings, two arsons, and one homicide. The numbers have escalated since. Whenever someone cites the facts to those who want lawlessness, the facts are refuted with charges of racism or other such labels. This is not a "wall" issue. It's a "will" issue. The will of the lawless verses the will of the just.
Daily Devotion: Does God Ever Run Late? - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. -Mark 6:48
As the disciples battled a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee, they probably were thinking, "Where is Jesus?"
He was watching them. You might say, "Well, Greg, isn't that a long distance from a mountain to the middle of the Sea of Galilee?"
Yes, but this is the Son of God. He knows everything that is going on. Jesus wasn't watching the disciples impassively. In fact, I'm sure He was praying for them right there.
The disciples could not see Jesus, but He could see them. He was interceding for them. He was concerned for them. And He was going to take care of them through all of this. They didn't see Him, but He was there.
Did you know that Jesus is praying for you as well? The Bible says that He is in Heaven, interceding for you right now: "Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us" (Romans 8:34 NLT).
After watching, after praying, Jesus came to them. But notice when that was: "About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water" (Matthew 14:25 NLT). That is the last part of the evening, just before the breaking of day. This means the disciples had been at sea, struggling in this radical storm for nine hours.
Why did Jesus wait so long? We don't know the answer. I don't think God is ever late, but sometimes it may seem as though He is late. Perhaps Jesus was waiting for them to completely exhaust their resources. It's been said, "When you get to the end of yourself, you get to the beginning of God." That is an opportunity for God to show His glory.
FROM THE HEART
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