Author Archives: Drgold

THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #9- In the Image and Likeness of God

THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #9- In the Image and Likeness of God       

This is series #9 of the SONSHIP MESSAGE regarding God’s desire to transform us into His image and likeness, to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ.

The Sonship Message #9- In the Image and Likeness of God is all about God’s desire to restore us one day to His image, to make us like Jesus Christ. In the beginning, God created man in His image, but it was lost when Adam & Eve sinned 6000 years ago. Years later, the apostle John wrote ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, & it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see Him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ 1Jn3:1-3.

Here we see that God wants to restore us into His image and likeness. When will this be? The answer is soon, at the Rapture, for when Jesus shall appear, we shall be changed and be like Him. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For whom (God) did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brethren’ Ro8:29. God foreordained and predestined certain believers to become like Jesus. But in order to qualify, we need to purify ourselves! Thus Paul said ‘I press toward the mark for the PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. Let us therefore, as many as be Perfect, be thus minded’ Php3:14,15. To be like Jesus, we must be likeminded as Paul!

The Holy Bible states Adam & Eve were made in the image and likeness of God Ge1:27. But when they disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, they lost this image and likeness, became naked and was subject to sin, death and hell Ge3:9,10. No one else was mentioned as made in the God’s image and likeness, who is perfect, eternal and immortal. As a result, all of us now live in a corruptible and mortal body subject to hunger, death, and disease.

Today no one dies of natural causes or old age, but of heart failure, cancer, diabetes, other diseases, accidents, disasters, wars, etc. As I am aging, my hair is thinning, my hearing and sight diminishing, my strength, agility, mental acuity and health are waning. Eventually, death and eternal judgment await us all Heb9:27.

In this study, we will see that it is God’s desire ‘to bring many sons unto Glory’ Heb2:10; to restore us into His image and likeness, and for us to even overcome death at the Rapture. 1Co15:26 states ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’. Paul wrote ‘But we all.. beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ 2Co3:18. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to restore us and change us into God’s image & glory that A&E once had!

To accomplish this, God appeared on earth as the man Jesus to die for our sins. Paul wrote ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the LIKENESS of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name’ Php2:5-10.

Unless we know what God has for us, and have the faith to receive it, we will never obtain it Heb11:6. Paul said ‘That I may know (Jesus), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead’ Php3:10,11. Paul knew that there was more to life than life itself, that there would be a future bodily resurrection of the dead one day when God would physically raise him up from the dead like Jesus Christ.

In the Rapture, Paul said the dead in Christ shall rise first 1Th4:16! While Paul and the other saints who have died looked forward to the resurrection of the dead, we that are alive today should also look forward to our own bodily resurrection in the Rapture, to be forever with the Lord 1Th4:17.

What is God’s Image and Likeness?

The Bible reveals God’s nature & attributes. God is the Word, a self-existing and eternal being Jn1:1; the creator of all things Ge1:1; God is a Spirit Jn4:24; Perfect Mt5:48; Holy 1Pe1:16; ‘..Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God’ 1Ti1:17; God of gods De10:17, King of kings and Lord of lords 1Ti6:15; ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’ Is9:6. God is Love 1Jn4:8. David wrote ‘The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer’ Ps18:2; The LORD is my shepherd Ps23:1; ‘The LORD is my light and my salvation’ Ps27:1; ‘my salvation and my Glory’ Ps62:3; ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ Ps46:1; ‘the LORD is good’ Ps135:3.

Jesus is ‘the brightness of God’s Glory, and the express image of God’s person..’ Heb1:3; Jesus.. is ‘my Lord & my God’ Jn20:28; ‘the great God & our Saviour Jesus Christ’ Ti2:13. Jesus ‘is the image of the invisible God’ Co1:15, Jesus is ‘Emmanuel.. God with us’ Mt1:23. God wants to make us like Him. Paul wrote ‘to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God’ Ep3:19; ‘Till we all come.. unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ Ep4:13.

Historical Backdrop- Lucifer Desired to be Like God

Lucifer, an angel, was the first being who desired to be like God. But God already had another plan of whom He wanted to glorify one day. There are over 100 million angels in heaven Re5:11, and all were created before man. Lucifer was ‘..full of wisdom and perfect in beauty’ Ez28:12; ‘the anointed cherub that covereth’ v14. He was beautifully adorned with sparkling precious stones v13. His beauty, wisdom and brightness caused him to become exceedingly proud v17.

Lucifer’s music was beautifully and skillfully performed, as he led the heavenly host in high praises to God. Their adulation of him fueled Lucifer’s heart with great pride and iniquity. He could not remain humble before God. He began to foment sedition in heaven to take over God’s position in heaven by force and rebellion, to displace God. Ez28:16 states ‘By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned’.

Here we see that the first sin ever committed was in heaven by Lucifer and his angels. He began to traffic in the the multitude of thine iniquities’ v18. His followers also became defiled v18. Lucifer, being very wise and confident, thought he would succeed in supplanting God, but failed miserably. Here are the ‘five sinful I wills of Lucifer’: ‘For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High’ Is14:13,14. Lucifer wanted to steal God’s Glory, throne and congregation, to displace and be like God. He led the rebellion of a third of the angels in heaven Re12:3,4, but was defeated.

The prophet Isaiah wrote O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations’ Is14:12. Lucifer and his angels were cast down who ‘made the earth to tremble.. made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof’ Is14:16,17; ‘..all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger’ Je4:26. Lucifer and his devils were cast down to earth.

John wrote ‘And there was war in heaven: Michael & his angels fought against the dragon; And the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, & Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him’ Re12:7-9. Lucifer’s other names are the great dragon, that old serpent, the Devil, and Satan.

Satan now has dominion of the earth which Adam once had, but lost. The devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would worship him. Jesus said ‘Get thee hence, Satan.. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve’ Mt4:9,10. God uses Satan to bring us unto Glory by testing us, like he did Jesus in the wilderness, and to perfect us to bring forth the sons of God like Jesus!

Adam and Eve- Loss of God’s Glory

God created man ‘in his own image, in the image of God created he him’ Ge1:27. God put Adam in the garden of Eden, then the animals, and then formed Eve out of one of his ribs to be his companion Ge2:22,23. A&E were in charge of dressing the garden, and were in daily communication with God. The serpent being more subtil than any beast of the field tempted Eve saying ‘Ye shall not surely die.. ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; And he did eat.’ Ge3:4-6.

A&E may have lived in the garden for many years when until one day they succumbed to the serpent’s temptation ‘to be like gods knowing good & evil.. and to make one wise’. Earlier the LORD God told Adam But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ Ge2:17. Paul wrote ‘by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12.

A&E lost God’s image and likeness, their glory clothing, became naked, sinful, corrupt, and subject to death. As God had spoken & prophesied, Adam died before that day was over at age 930 years Ge5:5,  because ‘one day is with the Lord as a 1000 years, and a 1000 years as one day’ 2Pe3:8, as the apostle Peter explained,.

Here is a mystery and a paradox! God knew before the world began, that A&E would sin, and that He had to come to earth to die for our sins. Why did God want to pay such a great price for our sins? It was so He could have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ! Paul revealed ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as (God) hath chosen us in (Christ) BEFORE the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will’ Ep1:3-5. Jesus Christ had to come to earth to sacrifice Himself, so that God could have more sons and daughters like Him!

God’s Desire- To Bring Many Sons Unto Glory

God’s crowning glory in all His creation is to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ! Paul wrote ‘For it became (God), for whom are all things, & by whom are all things, in BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation (Jesus) perfect through sufferings’ Heb2:10. Though God is all-powerful that anything that He wants He could just speak it into existence, such as we see in Ge1&2. But in the case of Sonship, God wants Christ to be fully formed in us. Paul said ‘My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you’ Ga4:19. God’s original intent before creation was to have more sons & daughters like Jesus Christ. But all this could not happen without Satan’s temptation & until A&E sinned. Then God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to die for our sins Mt1:21.

If Adam did not sin, we would not need a Saviour and Jesus would not have to come. We would then not know of God’s desire for more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ- Sonship. But Adam sinned, we needed a Saviour, Jesus came, and now we know what God’s highest plan is for us- Sonship. Paul challenged us ‘That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his Kingdom and Glory’ 1Th2:12.

Obtaining the Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Before his crucifixion Jesus prayed to the Father ‘And the Glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one’ Jn17:22. Unselfishly, Jesus wanted to give and to share His Glory with us. The Bible states that Jesus is ‘the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of His person..’. Paul wrote ‘To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY’ Co1:27; ‘..to know the Love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might BE FILLED WITH ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD’ Ep3:19.

Paul prayed I ‘Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the Glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward..’ Ep1:16-20.

Isaiah declared ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the Glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his Glory shall be seen upon thee’ Is60:1,2. Paul also wrote ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.. heirs of God, & joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also Glorified Together. For ..the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us’ Ro8:16-18.

Paul added ‘For whom God did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate.. he also called.. he also justified & Glorified’ Ro8:29,30. Paul said God ‘.. called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ’ 2Th2:12. Peter said ‘..when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of Glory that fadeth not away’ 1Pe5:4, speaking of the coming Rapture.

God’s Image and Likeness- Our Change Coming at the Rapture

Our change will come at the Rapture. Only when Jesus was glorified by dying on the cross for us could God restore His image and likeness to us. Paul said ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all (die), but we shall all be Changed, 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, & we shall be Changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’  1Co15:51-54.

Paul said ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in Glory’ Co3:4. Paul continued ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:16-18.

Job prophesied ‘If a man die, shall he live again?..I wait, till MY CHANGE COME’ Job14:14. David said ‘I shall be satisfied, when I awake, WITH THY LIKENESS’ Ps17:15. John later confirmed ‘..it doth not yet appear what we shall be: But we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure’ 1Jn3:2,3.

The Rapture is when God will restore us into His image and likeness. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’ Mt5:8. Jesus said ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: And from henceforth ye know him, & have seen him’; ‘he that hath seen me hath seen the Father’ Jn14:7,9. Our change will come at the Rapture. We shall be like Jesus only when we see Him! That which God had predestined before the world began, that which Lucifer tried to steal from God through rebellion, and that which A&E lost in the Garden of Eden through disobedience, shall be restored to us. SONSHIP- God’s image and likeness restored to us to be like Jesus Christ forever!

As a caution and a final note, we may not have much time left in getting ourselves ready to repent and to purify ourselves for the coming Rapture, when our change is expected to come. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man Lk21:36. The imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His own will come very soon as we see the world disintegrating before our eyes, and mankind becoming extremely corrupt and wicked! Maranatha, the Lord Cometh 1Co16:22!

Please also see:

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #1- Life is About God and Not About Us

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #2- What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #3- PAUL’S GOSPEL

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #4- From Here to Eternity

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #5- God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #6- A Postscript To God’s Coming Glory Upon Us

THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #7- OUR COMING GREAT INHERITANCE

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #8- THE PREDESTINATION OF GOD

THE SILENT, BUT DEADLY PULPIT

THE SILENT, BUT DEADLY PULPIT        

This paper is written not to offend, but to inform you, especially those in pastoral ministry. The apostle Peter, who Jesus charged to take care of His sheep Jn21:17, said Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind’ 1Pe5:2.

If you disagree with this paper, there is a problem here; but if you agree, then you would realize the sad state many Christian churches are now in, and their lack of readiness before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus warned ‘..Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ Lk18:8. Jesus also said ‘..except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven’ Mt5:20.

The prophet Isaiah said ‘His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark.. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter’ Is56:10,11. The LORD said ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee..’ Hos4:6.

Being a pastor, a minister, or watchman is not an easy job, and has tremendous responsibilities and even personal consequences. As a voice of God, they must preach the right things, ‘never compromising the Word’, and to declare the heart of God. If not, they along with their members will suffer and may even perish for not knowing or disobeying God’s will which is only revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible. It contains numerous warnings for people to get ready, to repent, to believe the Gospel, to turn to and to return to God. It is the pastor’s foremost responsibility to warn the flock of any impending danger coming their way, but many are not aware of them and are not doing so.

Many pulpits in churches today are silent and negligent in preparing their members for the Endtimes. The pastors do not speak against sin, the need for repentance and holiness; the soon return of Jesus Christ, severe judgment coming upon the earth, the Rapture; the rise of the AntiChrist system, the New World Order, the Great Tribulation, the Mark of the Beast, and of the end of the world. There is a general silence behind the pulpits to warn people to be watchful and to pray always to escape the coming trials and tribulation before Jesus’ return Lk21:36.

While Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his days warning them ‘..to discern the signs of the times’, calling them hypocrites, wicked, and adulterous (unfaithful) Mt16:1-4, this also seems descriptive of many pastors today. Our pulpits have become not only silent regarding these matters and compromised by Satan, but also very deadly to the souls of the churchgoers. This paper is about the silent, but deadly pulpit! 

Watchmen On The Wall- Warnings to Pastors 

Essentially, a watchman in ancient times is like a pastor or shepherd today. Both are called to watch for danger, to sound the alarm, and to protect their flock. On Nov 20, 2005 while ministering in Cubao, Manila, the Lord gave this prophecy to my wife who scripted it on a note paper. This prophecy was regarding the Rapture, the return of Jesus Christ, and the responsibility of all pastors to broadcast this message:  

‘God is calling a people unto Himself who are pure and holy to embark upon the most important event they were created for. It is the ‘come up hither event’, referring to the Rapture Re11:12, 1Th4:16,17. That is the message that Jesus’ coming is imminent, and we, who are called as watchmen must sound the message loudly. Many watchmen today are sleeping and no longer attentive to their jobs. They must be aroused. Many are tired and must be charged up again. Many watchmen have left their posts and must be persuaded to return.

But alas, Many Watchmen Will Be Cast Off Because God Cannot Use Them; they have gone back into the world where sin, Satan and their flesh will consume them. The worms have already begun to eat away at them Mk9:44,46,48 and the fires of hell will destroy them. The message is to ‘wake up, look at the signs around you’; the enemy is advancing, prepare for battle and watch the salvation of the Lord..’.

In churches, the pulpit is the perch whereby pastors should sound the warning loudly of the wiles of the devil and the dangers of secular humanism. If you are a pastor, then it behooves you to obey God and do His work correctly, not to be men pleasers Ep6:6, tickling ears, but to warn them of impending dangers and of deadly consequences. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears’ 2Ti4:3. It is not an easy job, but if you fail, many will perish in hell and God will hold you responsible. Sadly today, apostasy is growing in many churches as people are not being duly warned.

The 3 R’s in the book of EzekielRepent, Return, and Remain 

God used the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy and warn the watchmen or pastors to do their jobs. The 3 R’s in the book of Ezekiel are to Repent, Return, and Remain true to the LORD. In Ezekiel chapter 3, God harsh warnings were directed to 3 groups of people- the Wicked, the Backslider, and the Righteous Ez3:17-21; similar to the 3 groups Jesus mentioned in the Laodicean church– to the Cold, the Lukewarm, and the Hot Christians Re3:16. The LORD said ‘When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND’ Ez3:18; also to the Backslider v20.

In the 1st and 2nd groups, the Wicked and the Backslider, both needed to REPENT or they would die in their sins. Also to the Backslider, unless he REPENTS, God will not remember any of his past righteousness. This goes against the incorrect belief ‘once saved, always saved’. In the 3rd group, Ezekiel said the Righteous shall surely live, only if he remained Righteous. The implication here is that only the Righteous who Repents, Returns, and Remains true to the LORD will be saved. Also, only after proper warnings by the watchman, the LORD said ‘..thou hast delivered thy soul’ Ez3:21. 

Here, we see the importance of repentance in our lives, and for pastors to preach the Gospel of repentance along with salvation. Pastors should not compromise God’s Word. Pastors today must warn their flock against sinning and to always Repent. If not, people will perish in hell, but their blood will be upon their hands, meaning God will hold the pastors accountable. If pastors are weak, timid, carnal, compromising, reluctant, self-serving, sinful, backslidden, or negligent to warn the people, they too will be in danger of hell fire Lk13:3,5. Jesus said As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and Repent’ Re3:19.

Jesus Preached the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation

When Jesus began his ministry, his first and most important message was ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye, and Believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. This message is still pertinent today. What is the Gospel? In the Bible, the Gospel means the good news of the coming kingdom of God, and of salvation. Repentance is important in order to enter into God’s kingdom. What is Repentance? It means to turn away from our sins, and to turn to God in our lives. To repent means to be sorry for our sins and to seek God’s forgiveness.

Jesus said ‘..except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:3,5. Without repentance, there is no salvation. Without repentance, one cannot be ‘born again’. Jesus said ‘.. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ and ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. Pastors should do likewise: preach against sin, and preach the Gospel of repentance and salvation.

Jesus warned of false prophets and pastors: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.. 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. 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?.. then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ Mt7:15,21-23.

Paul’s Warnings to Pastors

The apostle Paul warned pastors regarding what they should be preaching. Paul said ‘I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.. PREACH THE WORD; be instant in season, out of season; Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort With All Longsuffering and Doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things.. do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry’ 2Ti4:1-5.

Paul spoke of a time coming when pastors would be slack in their preaching, not enduring the truth, but preaching only soft and positive things. This very thing is happening today. Church pulpits have become silent regarding sound doctrine and sin, and very deadly to the souls of its members. Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..’ 2Co7:10.

If Jesus Was Walking The Streets Today

If Jesus was walking the streets today, he would hardly be welcomed in the churches. As in time past, His messages would be too radical, provocative, unpleasant, and condemning for churchgoers today. Not only would he not be allowed to speak, but many would want to throw him out, or even seek to attack or kill him. The 4 Gospels are replete with all the hate and vilification Jesus experienced when he taught in the synagogues, and in the Temple. Many religious leaders hated him, and feared that Jesus would displace them. Jesus was in their way to power, money, and influence, and they sought to kill him.

Consider this: Would you be in the group that accepted Jesus as a prophet, or the group that shouted to ‘Crucify him’ Mk15:13,14, Lk23:21? Similarly, as Jesus was not readily accepted then, so will He not be accepted today. Things are very convoluted in these last days. Jesus prophesied ‘..when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ Lk18:8; ‘And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved’ Mt24:12-14.

Jesus also said ‘..ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake’ Mt24:9. Jesus said as in the days of Noah, so shall it be before his 2nd coming Mt24:37. America today has become a hedonistic, immoral, corrupt, and backslidden nation, and Biblical Christianity is fading fast.

Today’s Apostate Churches

Over the past 30 years, a new paradigm had emerged within the churches. It is the Seeker-Friendly (aka Emergent Church) movement, to have more people come to church, and also to enrich their coffers. Their focus is on the unchurched, rather than on the unsaved; how to have more people attending church by becoming more contemporary, entertaining with performances, plays, dances, and sermons being more palatable, and people-friendly. The Seeker-Friendly Church movement has caused an explosion in mega-churches with some memberships in the tens of thousands, and pastors becoming very wealthy.

Emphasis is placed on the individual’s personal needs rather than their spiritual needs; on self-edification than on personal salvation. These churches are often soft on sin, on fornication, on shacking up, on abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and on SSMs. Some even have homosexual pastors preaching, or creative gay people leading worship; using programs, dramas, sophisticated lighting and special sound effects, high-tech/multi-media support in their services, but often not preaching repentance, holiness, and the Gospel of Christ.

Sin and judgment are not being preached; holy living not advocated. Hell Is Never A Nice Topic To Talk About! There is more talk on fun and fellowship, surfing and sports, dating and marriage, raising children, support groups, health and weight loss, dieting, jokes, and Christian entertainment, rather than on the Gospel of Jesus Christ on sin, judgment, repentance, God’s wrath, endtimes, what God is doing today, the lateness of the hour; how to be saved, how to pray, how to prepare for His coming; how to study the Bible, etc.

Humor and positive messages are used to make people feel good and entertained so that they will return each Sunday. While some programs are good, many attending may not be saved and ‘born again’ because the Gospel of Salvation was not preached! Today’s soft TV messages by wealthy televangelists are a very good example of the decadency and apostasy in today’s mega-churches, preaching prosperity and personal empowerment rather than personal repentance!  

Why the Pulpits Are Silent, But Very Deadly

Like many businesses today, churches depend upon their membership base for financial support, survival and prosperity. While it is not fair to lump all churches and pastors into one big category, there appears to be a commonality in their approach in ‘doing church’. Most churches won’t speak against sin, against abortion, against premarital sex, immorality, homosexuality and SSM, about hell and damnation, the need for repentance and to be born again, and about holiness in order to remain saved, and to be taken in the Rapture.

They don’t want to offend their churchgoers with the truth. They avoid warnings about Satan, false prophets and false teachers, about the coming apostate One World Church, God’s impeding judgment, and the Endtimes.

Here are some reasons why the pulpits have become silent in preaching the Gospel, but very deadly to the souls of the church members:  

  1. Many pastors don’t believe wholly in the Word of God; in repentance for the remission of sins  Lk12:47, Ro1:18,28, 1Ti4:1, 2Th2:10.
  2. Many pastors don’t believe the end is near and that Jesus is returning soon. They don’t preach the need to prepare for the Endtimes Mt24:21.
  3. Many pastors don’t believe in Jesus’ warnings to be watchful and to be ready for the Rapture Mt24:13,42,25:13, Jn14:3, 1Th4:16-18.
  4. Many pastors don’t believe Satan is a real enemy who seeks to destroy us 1Pe5:8,9. They also don’t know about spiritual warfare Ep6:10-13.
  5. Many pastors don’t teach the importance of the Holy Spirit to lead, teach, guide, protect, and to perfect us in the Lord Ep4:13, Php3:15.
  6. Many pastors cherry pick their messages to soothe their listeners 1Ti4:1. They ‘having a form of godliness’, but lack God’s power 2Ti3:5.
  7. Many pastors fear loss of membership, income, and even gov’t intervention, so they compromise the Word of God.  
  8. Many pastors are fulfilling the Endtime prophecy spoken by Paul of an apostate church- a great falling away 2Th2:3.

Finally, the watchmen are not watching, the pastors are not preaching repentance and salvation, and Satan has made great inroads into the churches. Jesus said ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and Many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves’ Mt7:13-15.

Paul warned of preaching another gospel- one of compromise, convenience, and political correctness. He said if ‘we or an angel preached any other gospel than what we had preached.. let him be accursed’ Ga1:8. Paul warned in the last day many will have ‘a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof’ 2Ti3:5. Paul said ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..’ Ro1:16. He said ‘it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’ 1Co1:21.

The pastor’s first and last order of business should be to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ Jn3:16-17, and to save them from hell. Anything short of this is a total failure! Only Jesus Saves!

Maranatha- the Lord Cometh!

Please also see Dear Pastors, Feed My Sheep

 

THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #8- THE PREDESTINATION OF GOD

This is series #8 on THE SONSHIP MESSAGE that is hidden in the Holy Bible.

God’s Predestination of Sonship and the Promise of an Eternal Inheritance 

Suppose you received a very important letter stating that you were chosen to receive a tremendously great inheritance in the near future? Recently, 20 Tennessee factory coworkers who purchased 1 ticket together, won over $20 million each in a mega Powerball sweepstake in America. Would you not be extremely ecstatic and begin to think how you would spend the money; perhaps go on an extended vacation, do home improvement, pay off medical and other bills, help family members, retire from work, give to others, etc?

Well, this is somewhat written but hidden in the Holy Bible in the New Testament, to those God had already chosen to give a very great inheritance to, before the world began. The New Testament is the legal document that contains the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, made effective by his shed blood and his death on the cross!

The apostle Paul revealed ‘And for this cause (Jesus) is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance’ Heb9:15. Jesus said ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you’ Lk22:20. These verses speak of an eternal inheritance purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ through His death.

God chose or predestinated to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ in order to give them everything He has. Paul wrote ‘The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints..’ Ep1:18. God already knows who will receive this inheritance, but since we don’t, we need to have faith in His Word to receive it. If we attain to Sonship to be like Jesus, the inheritance will come to us. Jesus said ‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’ Re21:7.

Paul said ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ Php3:14. Paul knew what this great inheritance is, but if you don’t know about it or the conditions to obtain it, it will never be yours. Faith is required to receive anything from God.. salvation, healing, deliverance, and Sonship!

This paper is about the Predestination of God as it pertains to SONSHIP- God’s desire to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. The word Predestinate is found only four times in the Bible, stating that God chose certain believers in Christ before the world began, for His own pleasure and glory.

The SONSHIP message was first revealed to the apostle Paul who wrote 1) ‘According as (God) hath chosen us in (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will’ Ep1:4,5; 2) ‘In (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will’ Ep1:11. 

3) ‘For whom (God) did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren’  Ro8:29; 4) ‘Moreover whom (God) did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called.. he also justified: and whom he justified.. he also glorifiedRo8:30. In these four verses, Predestination is all about SONSHIPabout God’s already chosen sons and daughters like Jesus Christ before the world began, and also about their coming future great inheritance during the eternity of time of untold millions of endless millenniums.

Who was Jesus speaking to when He said ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ Mt25:34? Was it to you or me, or someone else? It was to the Overcomers! Jesus said ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.. he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’ Re21:6,7; ‘..heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ’ Ro8:16.

What is Predestination? Who can Predestinate and why is Predestination important to us? As only God can create life, only God can predestinate something to happen before it happens. Predestination means God choosing someone or something to occur before it does. Predestination is like a movie with different acts already scripted out and will surely come to past. But God’s Predestination has to do with real life, with God being the Mastermind Director and we, the actors, with a known end. Despite us having a free will to choose our own destiny, God has Predestined certain events to happen and will cause them to happen to bring forth His plan and purpose.

Predestination may be a mystery and puzzle to us, but they are sure acts of a Sovereign God, who created all things for His own pleasure and glory. Other words for predestinated are foreknow, foreordained, ordained, preselected, or chosen by God. In this context, there are many biblical characters who were predestined by God to accomplish His great plan, such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Samson, David, Jesus, Paul, and in a negative way, Pharaoh, Goliath, Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, and Judas.

Knowing whom God has predestinated or predestined will help us understand His plan and purpose for creation, and especially for us. Paul exclaimed ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearch-able are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!’ Ro11:33. God always does what He wants, when He wants, and no one can ever impede Him.

The Holy Bible declares ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created’ Re4:11. We see here all creation exists for God’s own glory and pleasure. We will look into some examples of the Predestination of God in the Bible, how things transpired as they did or will become a reality one day! They may invoke many questions, but one day God will reveal everything. The apostle Paul said ‘Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God’ 1Co4:5.

Predestination is not about one’s salvation, who will be saved and who won’t, but who God has already chosen to be His sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. Ro10:13 states ‘For whosoever (anyone) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’. Predestination has to do with SONSHIP- those God’s chosen sons and daughters in Christ before the world began, to be holy and blameless like Jesus Christ Ep1:4,5.

Although we cannot be sure if we were chosen for SONSHIP, when we read the scriptures, understand and believe them, there is a high likelihood that we may be included in this SONSHIP company of believers. On the contrary, if we read the scriptures, but don’t understand them, care about them, or if they don’t mean anything to us, we will never attain to SONSHIP, because everything we receive from God requires our faith in His Word. 

Paul stated ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ and ‘without Faith it is impossible to please (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ Heb11:1,6. Faith is the prerequisite for us to receive anything from God. Paul wrote ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD’ Ro8:14. Paul said ‘But we all.. are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ 2Co3:18.

To obtain SONSHIP, we must be led by the Holy Spirit, and have Faith in God to change us! So when you read the verses on SONSHIP, and have the Faith to believe that they are speaking to you, you may be a candidate for SONSHIP. John the Beloved wrote ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the ability, the choice, the freedom, or privilege) to become the SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name’ Jn1:12.

Predestination- A Great Inheritance to Come

Not only does God know who will attain to SONSHIP, but that He also has a great Inheritance to give them. Paul wrote ‘In (Christ) also we have obtained an Inheritance, being Predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will’ Ep1:11. Paul prayed ‘the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his Inheritance in the saints Ep1:17,18.

Paul said ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children.. Heirs of God, and joint-Heirs with CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 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’ Ro8:16-18.

God’s Past Predestination and Mankind’s History

God is Omnificent- the magnificent Creator of all things. God is Omniscient- He knows everything, the end from the beginning. God is Omnipotent- the Almighty; God is Omnipresent- He is everywhere. God gave us the Holy Bible to reveal His plan and purpose for us, and it contains the script to our own destiny. Man is the main character in God’s plan. God jumpstarted His plan with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

God then predestined certain events to come to pass to set the course of history after the flood such as the scattering of the nations during the Tower of Babel days Ge11:8; the choosing of Abraham to be the father of a great nation Ge12:1-3; the great famine that sent Israel to dwell in Egypt for 400 hundred years Ge41:27, God gave Moses the 10 commandments during their Exodus from Egypt Ex20:1-17; the rise and fall of the nation of Israel; the sending of Jesus Christ to die for our sins Mt1:21; the giving of the Holy Spirit to believers for the spreading of the Gospel of Christ to the world Mk16:15, and to teach, guide, lead, and to perfect us Jn14:26,16:13, Ro8:14, 2Co3:18.

Some Biblical Examples of God’s Predestination

The book of Romans chapter 9 gives two classic examples of God’s Predestination. Of two fraternal twins, before they were even born, Jacob, the younger one was chosen over Esau. Also God loved Jacob and hated Esau. Ro9:11-14 state ‘(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid’. God has His own free will, his likes and dislikes, and chooses whomever he wills!

In the same chapter, God chose the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt to oppose Moses, in order to show Himself great: ‘For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared through out all the earth’ Ro9:17. We know the rest of this story that Pharaoh and his great army all perished in the Red Sea, even as Moses and 2 million others crossed over to Canaan on dry land as the Red Sea parted on their behalf. Ro9:18 states ‘Therefore hath (God) mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth’ in this case the heart of Pharaoh. While this may not sound fair, God is God, and does what He wants when He wants!

The Bible states God is the potter and we are the clay Is64:8, Ro9:28, and therefore no one can tell God how to shape them! This is what Predestination is all about- God’s sovereign plan and purpose especially for His predestinated sons and daughters- SONSHIP.

Jesus Christ- Predestined To Die Before the World Began 

Even before creation, God predestined Jesus to come to earth to die for our sins. Re13:8 states Jesus was the ‘lamb slain from the foundation of the world’, not just 2000 years ago. The prophet Isaiah, prophesied of a suffering messiahover 700 years before Jesus came. He is despised and rejected, and borne our griefs and sorrows, and is smitten of God Is53:3,4. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed’ v5. ‘..the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all’ v6. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.. v7. He was cut off out of the land of the living: for our transgression was he stricken v8. He did no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth v9. ‘yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when (God) shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, (God) shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his handv10. Not only did Jesus die for our sins, but He rose from the dead and was glorified.

The apostle Peter said ‘(Jesus) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it’ Ac2:23,24. God predestinated Jesus Christ before the world began to die for us to save us from our sins!

Paul- A Predestinated Son Like Jesus Christ

God chose the apostle Paul to reveal the SONSHIP message which is ‘the mystery of Christ’ Ep3:4. Paul wrote ‘Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began’ Ro16:25. Paul was a very unusual and eccentric, but gifted person. Before he became Paul, Saul of Tarsus was a deceived religious zealot. He described himself as ‘an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee, blameless as touching the righteousness which is in the law’ Php3:5,6. But Saul was also a murderer, full of religious pride, jealous and persecutor of Christians! Saul was ‘breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of Jesus’ until he met the Master Jesus.

While going from Jerusalem to Damascus, a distance of 150 miles, Saul was slain in the Spirit, fell from his ass, heard the voice of Jesus, devils were cast out of him, he lost his sight and was humbled, all in one great instance Ac9:1-5. He was led away to Damascus to the house of Judas on a street called Straight v11. In a vision Jesus told Ananias that Saul was a ‘chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel’ v15. Ananias told Saul ‘the God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth’ Ac22:14. God had Predestinated Paul to reveal Jesus Christ to the world, and to reveal the SONSHIP message to us.

The Predestination of God- SONSHIP

In summary, the four Bible verses involving the word Predestination all refer to SONSHIP– God’s desire for more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. Paul declared ‘For it became (God), for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation (Jesus) perfect through sufferings’ Heb2:10. Predestination refers to ‘..the good pleasure of God’s will’ Ep1:5, the mystery of His will’ Ep1:9, ‘the mystery of Christ’ Ep3:4, Co3:4, ‘the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Ep3:11, ‘the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ Php3:14, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Co1:27; ‘to conform to the image of His son’ Ro8:29, to be changed into the same image 2Co3:18, to be glorified Ro8:30, to be called the sons of God like Jesus 1Jn3:1,2, ‘that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God’ Ep3:19, and ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ Ep4:13.

Predestination also speaks of the coming great inheritance to those God already chosen before the world began to receive it. Jesus said ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’. This paper on the Predestination of God is the eighth in a message series of God’s eternal plan before the foundation of the world for SONSHIP, according to the good pleasure of His will Ep1:5! Do you believe you were Predestinated by God to be His son or daughter like Jesus Christ and to receive a very great inheritance? Hopefully, yes!

PLEASE SEE THE REST OF THE SONSHIP MESSAGE SERIES FOR DETAILS. Also feel free to reblog or copy them for your sermons and/or Bible studies.   

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #1- Life is About God and Not About Us

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #2- What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #3- PAUL’S GOSPEL

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #4- From Here to Eternity

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #5- God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus

• THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #6- A Postscript To God’s Coming Glory Upon Us

THE SONSHIP MESSAGE #7- OUR COMING GREAT INHERITANCE

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT- THE IMPORTANT MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Life in the Spirit- The Important Ministry of the Holy Spirit         

This paper is about Life in the Spirit, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Having the indwelling Spirit of Jesus in us is of utmost importance in our walk with God. Jesus said ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be Baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence’ Ac1:5; ..ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be WITNESSES unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ Ac1:8. The main purpose for the indwelling Spirit is to fulfill the Great Commission and also to perfect us in Christ.

God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to die for our sins. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven so He could send the Holy Spirit to finish His work. Jesus said ‘..He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father’ Jn14:12. Only by leaving could Jesus then send the Holy Spirit to be everywhere in the world to empower, to lead, guide, teach, protect, to intercede for us, and to perfect us, and to finish His work. This is the greater works ministry of Jesus. By sending  His Spirit to be in us, people everywhere could be reached with the Gospel of Salvation. Please note that the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus Christ Php1:19 are synonymous. These titles all refer to the same Spirit of God as Ep4:4 states ‘There is ..one Spirit’.

The three chapters in the Gospel of John chapters 14,15,16 outline the important ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives as they detail our Life in the Spirit. We are complete in God only if we have His Spirit to lead us, teach us, guide us into all truth, and to reveal things to us. The Holy Spirit will only speak what Jesus tells Him, and He will only testify of and glorify Jesus Christ. Thus, the Holy Spirit is the representative or surrogate of Jesus on earth today, to live in us and to direct our lives.

But there is another reason also for having the Holy Spirit residing in us. The Holy Spirit’s job is bring us unto perfection and glorification- unto Sonship, to be like Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have.. received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 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. 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’ Ro8:14-18. This is what Life in the Spirit is all about- a future glory coming for all those who are led by the Holy Spirit.

Life in the Spirit- the Promise of the Holy Spirit

Before his crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples what would happen after He departed as found in John’s Gospel chapters 14,15,16. Jesus said He would send another COMFORTER like Himself, as He would not longer be with them: and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may abide with you for ever’ Jn14:16; But the COMFORTER, WHICH IS THE HOLY GHOST, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you’ Jn14:26; ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU’ Jn14:18. Jesus said But when the COMFORTER is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me’ Jn15:26.

Jesus continued ..It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the COMFORTER will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you’ Jn16:7. Then before His ascension to heaven, Jesus told his disciples ‘..behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high’ Lk24:49,51. This promise of the Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. This promise is the same promise of the Father, of the Comforter, and of the Holy Spirit written in the New Testament for us today.

The Holy Spirit is the Power of God

The Holy Spirit is the Power of God to do the works of God. Zech4:6 states Not by might, nor by Power, but by my Spirit..’ . Jesus said ‘..ye shall receive Power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon us’ Ac1:8. God has given us the Spirit of Power..’ 2Ti1:7. Jesus saidHe that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my FatherJn14:12.

Jesus began His ministry and did miracles only after He was baptized with the Holy Ghost. Lk3:22 tells ‘..the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him’. Jesus declaredThe Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised..’ Lk4:18,19. Jesus saidAll Power is given unto me in heaven and in earthMt28:18. Paul wrote and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power1Co2:4. Our power comes with the Holy Spirit Baptism given to us by Jesus.

The Baptism With the Holy Ghost- the Power of God Upon Us 

The baptism with the Holy Ghost (BWHG) is the Power of God given to believers to witness Jesus Christ Ac1:8. When we are spirit-filled, we become the temple of God as the Spirit of God dwells in us 1Co3:16; ‘your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost1Co6:19. The power of God then resides in us to do His will, to bring forth deliverance and healing. Jesus said ‘..these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover Mk16:17,18.

Paul wrote ‘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’ Ep3:20. Paul told Timothy‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of Power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ 2Ti1:7. Later in this paper, we will see the importance of the Holy Spirit power needed for the coming Rapture.

The Acts of the Apostles detailed the importance of the BWHG in continuing the works of Jesus Christ. Altogether there were 8 accounts in the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit Baptism– of people receiving the Holy Spirit, praising, magnifying God, and speaking with other tongues. On that day of Pentecost, there were 120 disciples praying and tarrying to be filled with the Spirit Ac1:15. Jesus then sent the Comforter and they ‘were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utteranceAc2:4.

Later Peter and John ministered the BWHG to the Samaritans who had accepted Jesus Christ Ac8:17.  Then Ananias prayed for  the apostle Paul and he was filled with the Holy Ghost Ac9:17. While Peter told the Roman centurion Cornelius, his kinsmen and friends how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, the Holy Ghost fell upon them Ac10:38,44. Peter also spoke of many Gentiles being filled with the Holy Ghost Ac15:8. Aquilla and Priscilla ministered the BWHG to the mighty disciple Apollos Ac18:24-26, and Paul ministered the BWHG to 12 disciples previously ignorant of the Spirit Baptism Ac19:1-7. These accounts are examples of the importance of the Holy Spirit Baptism in our walk with the Lord, to empower us and to do His works. They all spoke with tongues, prophesied, and magnified God Ac10:46,19:6.

Life in the Spirit- A Personal Testimony

It is one thing to read something that happened in the Bible 2000 years ago, but another to experience the same thing. In 1972 when I was 33 year old, I had placed myself in a tough business situation where I owed a dozen people a lot of money in a deal that went awry. My goal in life then was to get rich. But Jesus said ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ Mk8:36. God used this incident to arrest me, and to turn me around to seeking Him and His kingdom first Mt6:33. He led me to a Full Gospel Businessmen International Fellowship convention held at a big hotel in Waikiki. There I heard many testimonies of once troubled businessmen finding Jesus Christ, also being filled with the Holy Spirit and serving God.

From my youth I always believed in God and prayed, but for the first time in my life, I knew that God was real and that He would help me. I wanted to be ‘saved’ Jn3:16 and to experience the Baptism with the Holy Ghost like the early disciples. So for three nights beginning on a Friday, alone during my work breaks, I prayed asking the Lord to help me in my problem, and to fill me with His Spirit. I was very persistent, and on Sunday night at around 10 pm, the Holy Spirit suddenly fell upon me. I felt a tremendous warmth enveloping me, and I too began to ‘speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Ac2:4. Then I heard God’s audible voice from heaven calling me three times and said ‘Wyman, I have not forsaken you’.

Thus began my personal Life in the Spirit over 44 years ago, and I still cherish this spiritual encounter with God. Suffice to say that Jesus helped me in my financial dilemma and I have been serving Him ever since, preaching and teaching the Word of God. Ro8:1 states ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’. I have since met numerous people all over the world who have received the BWHG and who are now led by the Spirit of God Ro8:14. The Bible states ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ Heb13:8. Jesus filled me with the Holy Spirit that day as He did many others before me, and even today.

Life in the Spirit- the Gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit

In our new Life in the Spirit, with the Holy Spirit Baptism comes certain gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit which should then be manifested in our lives. Upon the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we receive spiritual power to testify of Jesus Christ. In 1Corinthians12, Paul wrote of the 9 Gifts of the Spirit. They can be categorized in three groups: The Vocal Gifts 1. Prophecy, 2. Tongues, 3. Interpretation of Tongues; The Intuitive Gifts 1. Word of Wisdom, 2. Word of Knowledge, 3. Discerning of Spirits; The Power Gifts 1. Faith, 2. Healing, 3. Miracles. Paul said the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit is manifested for the body of Christ to benefit by them. 1Co12:7 states ‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal’ . Throughout my Life in the Spirit, I have witnessed these gifts of the Spirit manifested whereby many believers have been blessed by them.

As believers, we should also manifest the fruit of the God’s Spirit to bless others. Here is a description of the 9-part Fruit of the Spirit which is basically only One Fruit Ga5:22. For ease of remembering, I have categorized them accordingly: the Sweet Fruit– Love, Joy, and Peace; the Pleasant Fruit– Gentleness, Goodness, Faith; the Sour Fruit- Meekness, Temperance, Long-suffering. To live and to walk in the Spirit, we need to possess the Fruit of the Spirit in all of its 9 aspects. Lacking any part of the fruit, such as meekness, temperance, or long-suffering makes us unbalanced and incomplete in our walk and Life in the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is God’s blessings to us and to others. When we exhibit the fruit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and long-suffering, we are blessed and we bless others spiritually. The world will then know we are Christians by our love and by our fruit!

Life in the Spirit- Sealed With the Holy Spirit of Promise

Paul spoke of a special sealing by the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the coming Rapture. He wrote ‘That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, Ye were SEALED WITH THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE’ Ep1:12,13. First trust in Christ, then believe in Him, then be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. What is this special sealing and important promise by the Holy Spirit? Being sealed generally denotes approval, called, destined, favored, important, special, and/or protected. Heb9:15 states ‘they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance’. This promise here speaks of a future Redemption for those sealed with the Holy Spirit; a personal deliverance, and even our eternal inheritance. Again, this promise speaks of the coming Rapture.

Paul continued ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION’  Ep4:30. Paul warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit who has personally sealed us for Redemption. What is this day of Redemption? It is the day of the Rapture when Jesus will return to deliver us out of this world.  Paul said ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. Only the sealing of Holy Spirit will make it possible for us to be Raptured and to escape out of this world that is falling apart.

Jesus said ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your REDEMPTION draweth nigh’ Lk21:28; and ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.

Life in the Spirit and the Coming Rapture

Finally, only the Holy Spirit can change us from corruptible to incorruptible and from being mortal to immortal to take us to heaven. Paul stated ‘that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality’ 1Co15:50-53.

Here we clearly see that our natural bodies in its present corruptible state cannot be taken in the Rapture because ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co15:50It would take the Holy Spirit to supernaturally change our body into a glorified body like Jesus’ to be translated into heaven. 

As Jesus is incorruptible and immortal, so shall we be. 2Co3:18 states ‘But we all.. beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’. At the Rapture, we will experience a supernatural change in us. Php3:21 states ‘(Jesus) shall change our vile body, that it may be FASHIONED LIKE UNTO HIS GLORIOUS BODY..’.

Here are scriptures that relate to the miracle and our supernatural change at the Rapture. As Jesus was raised from the dead and taken into heaven, so shall the Holy Spirit do the same to us. Paul said ‘But if the Spirit of (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU’ Ro8:11. By the power of the Holy Spirit, our mortal bodies will be changed and quickened for the Rapture. 1Co6:14 states ‘..God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power’. 2Co4:14 tells ‘Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you’.

This is our Life in the Spirit where the Holy Spirit will finally prepare us for the Rapture. Thus, we need the Holy Spirit in our lives to bring us unto perfection to be like Jesus Christ. Now here is the big question ‘How do you get the Holy Spirit?’ Jesus said ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? ’ Lk11:13. Just ask God to give you His Spirit and He will do so! Life in the Spirit is all about having the Holy Spirit in our lives to change and to perfect us! 1Jn3:2 states ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is’. At the Rapture, we shall all then be perfected in Christ Jesus, as we shall be like Him when we finally see him coming for us! 

THE RAPTURE- BREAKING THE ADAMIC CURSE OF DEATH

(Note: Every believer in Christ, esp. those who are living in their ‘golden years’ should pay special attention to this message from the Bible. The Rapture is our Blessed Hope! Tit2:13 states ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’.)

The Rapture- Breaking the Adamic Curse of Death          

The Legacy of Death

What is the legacy of death? It is the curse of death which Adam passed on to all living beings. But as we approach the last days of mankind, the legacy of death will accelerate signifying that many people, young and old, will experience catastrophic and premature death regardless of age. When asked regarding the end of the world Mt24:3, Jesus said ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ Mt24:6. All these terrible events will bring a significant increase of horrible, widespread and sudden Death never experienced before in the history of mankind.

This is how the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse is described: ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with Death, and with the beasts of the earth’ Re6:8. Suffice to say that Death by cataclysmic destruction- by wars, famines, natural disasters, and diseases, is a major theme found in the book of Revelation. But God has also made an Escape from Death for us through Jesus Christ called the Rapture, which is explained in this paper.

Death- the Adamic Curse

Because of Adam’s original sin in disobeying God, Satan placed a curse upon Adam and on all mankind. This curse is the death penalty for every living person, not unlike any criminal who is sentenced to death for a heinous crime that he had committed. Everyone that ever lived is under this death penalty and will eventually die. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘..the wages of sin is Death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23. Paul explained ‘Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and Death by sin; and so Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12.

When Adam broke God’s only law in the Garden of Eden, the death penalty was placed upon Adam and on all of us. We will also see below that Death is the work of Satan, the devil, and how God in the person of Jesus Christ came to ‘..destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. Paul wrote ‘..as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, also (Jesus) himself likewise took part of the same; that through (his) Death he might destroy him that had the power of Death, that is, the devil’ Heb2:14.

Death is an inevitability for everyone! There is no escaping physical and eventual spiritual death except through Jesus Christ. Heb9:27 states ‘..as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’. This means after death, there is a final judgment in the so called after-life.

The Adamic Curse- Physical and Spiritual Death

The Bible speaks of two types of death. It is one thing to experience physical death, but the Bible also speaks of a spiritual deatheternal damnation Mk3:29. Jesus said ‘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’ Jn3:16. Jesus continued ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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’ Jn3:17,18. 

Jesus said anyone not believing on Him and what He did for us on the cross is condemned already to eternal damnation. To be saved means our soul would have everlasting life one day in heaven. To perish means to be condemned to eternal punishment and torment in hell forever. Jesus asked ‘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?’ Mt16:26. All the riches and glory of the entire world cannot compare with losing one’s soul in hell.  Spiritual death is eternal damnation! But Paul wrote ‘..Christ died for our sins’ 1Co15:3, to save us from spiritual death.

The Garden Scene/the Garden Sin and the Tree of Death

Ge1:1 states God is the creator of all things. God put all the trees and animals, then Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Every tree the LORD God planted was pleasant to sight and good for food Ge2:9. There were two very significant trees in the Garden- the tree of Life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the the Garden 6000 years ago, the LORD God had only ONE LAW. He commanded Adam ‘..Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ Ge2:16,17. Since God only planted the good trees, how did this beautiful but deadly tree get into the Garden Ge3:6?

Did God allow Satan the serpent, the Devil to plant this evil tree of Death? Re12:9 states the old serpent is the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’. Mt13:25,39 state ‘the enemy, the devil is the sower of tares, or the planter of the bad seed’. Like God’s good trees, Satan’s evil tree was also beautiful, but deadly for food Ge3:6. Satan deceptively used the evil tree to introduce Death into the world.

A&E lived in the Garden for a while before one day succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, asexual with no children, and in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no lack, no strife, no bondage, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They ate only fruits until they partook of the Tree of Death. They were healthy and would have lived forever. They were also beautifully clothed with glory, but became naked and cursed upon sinning Ge3:7,17.

Satan, the Author of Death- the Destroyer and Murderer

The Bible states that the serpent (the devil) was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a man. The serpent may have encountered A&E many times. One day, he laid a trap for them, even as he does for all of us. Paul warned us to beware ‘of the snare of the devil’ 2Ti2:26. Jesus said the devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies’ Jn8:44. The devil, the liar, seeks ‘to steal, and to kill and to destroy us’ Jn10:10.

 A&E believed the serpent’s lie about becoming wise as gods; disobeyed and broke God’s only law. A&E became wise, knowing good and evil, and also very perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened; they lost their glory clothing, became naked and corrupt Ge3:5-7.

Thus by Adam, sin and death entered into the world and were passed on to every man ever since. The apostle John wrote ‘He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he (Jesus) might destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. By dying on the crossJesus might destroy the devil that had the power of death Heb2:14. Satan, the devil, is the author of death and has the power of death. Satan is a killer, ‘a murderer from the beginning’.

The Adamic Curse of Death- A Lifetime Bondage

David wrote ‘What man is he that liveth, and shall not see Death? shall (God) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?’ Ps89:48. Paul stated ‘Through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ Heb2:15. Whether a person lives to 80, 90, 100 or more, Death is often a fearful preoccupation. A common saying is ‘Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die’. But if a person knows his Bible, he should have a better outlook in this matter. Curiously, the Bible speaks of a second death. Re20:14 states ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH’.

The Bible also speaks of a coming generation of people living that will not experience physical death. It speaks of an Escape from this cursed lifetime bondage, when Jesus will return, to bodily translate His own alive back into heaven Jn14:3, 1Th4:17. This Escape is known as the Rapture of the Saints, much like how Enoch and Elijah were taken bodily alive into heaven.

Enoch and Elijah- Two Who Broke the Adamic Curse  

The Bible states Enoch and Elijah were the only two living that escaped physical Death. Enoch, ‘the seventh from Adam’ Jude14, ‘..walked with God: and he was not; for God took him’ Ge5:24. ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see Death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he PLEASED God’ Heb11:5. Enoch was 365 years old when God took him bodily into heaven.

Likewise, God also took Elijah, the prophet, directly to heaven in a chariot of fire. 2Ki2:11 states ‘And it came to pass.. behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven’. Both Enoch and Elijah were the only two people living before that never died, but were translated or Raptured into heaven.

By His Death, Jesus Defeated Death for Us

Jesus is the only person in history who said He would die and come back alive. Neither Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, or anyone else made this claim, and did return from the dead except for Jesus Christ! The first instance of Jesus telling his disciples of his impending death and resurrection was in Mt16:21: ‘From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, 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’.

Throughout the four Gospels, Jesus repeatedly spoke of his death and resurrection, though no one believed Him. (See Mt17:22-23,20:17-19, Mk8:31,9:31,10:34, Lk9:22,18:33,24:7,46, Jn2:19). Jesus made this claim, and came back alive for 40 days after his brutal death on the cross Ac1:3. Jesus was seen alive by over 500 people at once, by many of his disciples, adversaries, and contemporaries of his days 1Co15:6, and He was then physically taken up alive into heaven Ac1:9.

Jesus came to earth to defeat death. Heb2:9 states ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man’. By one man Adam, sin and death entered into this world, and by one man Jesus Christ, tasted death for all of us. John the Baptist said ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’; ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him’ Jn1:29,3:36.

The Acts of the Apostles is replete with accounts of the apostles preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! The apostle Paul went all over Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and Spain Ro15:24, proclaiming the incredible story of Jesus’ crucifixion by the Romans and of His Resurrection; that Jesus was alive, and that everyone must believe in Him in order to be saved from sin, Satan, and Hell, for He died for our sins!

Jesus Christ Declared Himself as the Resurrection and the Life

The Resurrection is not only a historical event, but also a person- Jesus Christ. The Bible revealed that Jesus Christ is God Himself. In his own words Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25-26. Jesus declared himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus claimed to have power over Death and over Life. Jn1:4 states ‘In him (Jesus, the Word of God) was Life; and the Life was the light of men’.

Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:6,7. Know Jesus, know the Father! See Jesus, see the Father! Jesus said ‘I and my Father are One’ Jn10:30! Jesus is the only way to God the Father, and to Heaven!

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Dead- 1 Corinthians Chapter 15

Paul declared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul said ‘For I delivered unto you first of all.. how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once..’ 1Co15:3-6.

Paul said ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.. And if Christ be not raised, your Faith Is Vain; ye are yet in your sins’ 1Co15:14,17. Paul continued, ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the Dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive’ 1Co15:21,22.

Here the apostle Paul spoke of a future Resurrection of the Dead and then of the Living, when Jesus will return to take us back to heaven. Paul desiring to attain to this Resurrection wrote ‘That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the Dead’ Php3:10,11. But we look forward to the Resurrection of the Living, our escape from death via the Rapture.

The Coming Rapture- Our Only Escape From the Adamic Curse 

Jesus told us how to escape Death one day: ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.

Then Paul added ‘How shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord..’ Heb2:3. Here both Jesus and Paul warned of a need to Escape the terrible things coming to pass upon the earth. The Rapture is our only Escape from physical Death. The Rapture representsthe Redemption of our Body’ as spoken of in Ro8:23.

Jesus promised that one day He will return to take us bodily into heaven in the Rapture. Jesus told his disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. 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’ Jn14:1-3.

Paul then confirmed what Jesus said: ‘For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the Dead IN CHRIST shall rise first: Then we which are Alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:15-18. Paul wanted us to remember this promise of Jesus, and to comfort us with these words of the coming Rapture!

The Rapture- the Adamic Curse of Death Finally Broken

Death is an enemy of mankind. Death is our enemy.  Paul said ‘THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE DESTROYED IS DEATH’ 1Co15:26. David wrote ‘This shall be written for the generation to come’; God will ‘..loose those that are appointed to death’ Ps102:18,20.  Jesus holds ‘the keys of hell and of Death’ Re1:18. The Bible speaks of a generation of people who will not experience physical death because Jesus will loose them that were appointed to die. Jesus promised ‘AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE..’ Jn11:26.

Here Jesus was referring to a future RAPTURE, where a generation of believers living would be loosed from physical death. As Enoch and Elijah who pleased God were taken bodily alive into heaven, ‘.. so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. But we must be IN CHRIST to be taken in the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17. John the beloved wrote ‘And now, little children, ABIDE IN HIM; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming’ 1Jn2:28. If not, many will be left behind like the 5 foolish virgins Mt25:11,12.

Paul spoke of the Rapture again stating ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (Die), but we shall all be changed, 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? ..But Thanks Be To God, Which Giveth Us The Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co15:51-57.

Our natural body will then be changed into a supernatural, spiritual, and glorious body like Jesus Christ 1Jn3:1-3. The Rapture will be our Reward, our Redemption, our Salvation and Resurrection. Finally, the Rapture will be our only Escape from the Adamic Curse of Death which will finally be broken; we shall never die, but live forever! Praise The Lord! Amen!

WARNING- HELL IS FOR REAL AND MANY ARE HEADING THERE

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Hell- A Most Terrible Place of Endless Torment 

Jesus asked ‘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?’ Mt16:26. It is horrible when one loses his soul and perishes in Hell. HELL IS FOR REAL AND SADLY, MANY ARE HEADING THERE! Jesus said ‘ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT’ Mt7:13. Jesus came to earth, to die for our sins and to save us from Hell! Hell is a place where souls are damned forever. Hell is where people who died in their sins will spend eternity, in anguish, torment, fear, pain, regret, remorse, without hope and they will never be able to leave there.

The subject of Hell can be found in many ancient civilizations throughout the world. There is a commonality in many cultures regarding Hell. Most agree that Hell is a place of extreme suffering where bad and evil people go- a place of anguish, punishment, gloom and doom, despair, and no escape! Whether in China, India, Egypt, Europe, or in the Americas, people have captured similar concepts of Hell in their art expressions, in their ancient writings, and legends. 

China, the oldest standing civilization, has much written about Hell and its depiction in artwork. The Chinese believed in 10 kingdoms ruled by 10 kings, in charge of the torments therein. Their temples are filled with fearsome looking and grotesque idols, and depicting devils and gargoyles on their rooftops. In Dante’s Inferno, Hell is described as 9 circles of progressive sufferings located within the deep bowels of the earth. 

What does the Bible say about Hell? Who was Hell created for and who will be going there? All of us have a unique soul that makes us different from the rest of the billions people that ever lived. The soul is the ‘real you’ consisting of our personality, our likes and dislikes, our hopes and fears, and our greed, lust, and vanity that makes us who we are. Our soul never dies! What will happen to our soul that lives only temporarily in our physical body? Where will our soul spend eternity, like for the next 100, 1000, or 1,000,000 years- in Heaven or in Hell? Our final destination depends upon our spiritual state upon death, whether we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour or not. Heaven or Hell, one or the other, will be our final destiny. We will examine the subject of Hell and what the Word of God says about Hell and eternal damnation

Characteristics of Hell- According to the Bible       

Hell is a place of everlasting suffering and torment; of great pain and of sorrow; of punishment, of great regrets, and of weeping and gnashing of teeth Mt24:31,25:30. Hell is for real. It is place somewhere ‘in the nether parts of the earth’ Ez31:16; in the lower parts of the earth Ps63:9, the heart of the earth Mt12:40, the abyss, the bottomless pit, where there is a king, the Beast resides Re9:11,11:7. Hell is a place of unquenchable fire, where the soul, the spirit, and the body are in full consciousness, where people recognize and converse with each other; where fallen angels aka devils or demons 2Pe2:4 are doing the tormenting, and delight in the demise of people. The smell of sulfur aka brimstone Lk17:9, Re14:10, 19:20, and the stench pervades Hell, wretched and stifling Ps16:10; where their worm (maggots) does not die and the fire not quenched Mk9:43,46,48. 

Hell also has different levels; lowest hell Ps86:13; greater damnation Mt23:14. Hell is described as a place of outer darkness Mt22:13, a holding place for the chained fallen angels reserved for judgment one day 2Pe2:4, Jude6. Hell is also the abode of the wicked, unregenerated people, those not ‘BORN AGAIN’ spiritually Jn3:3,5, not cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ Heb9:22.

Luke, the Gospel writer, tells the story of the rich man in Hell, and what it is like to be there, in torment, in flame, hot, and thirsty Lk16:19-31. It was so terrible there that the rich man begged Abraham to send someone to warn his five living brothers not to come to this place of tormentv28. Those in Hell desperately seek another chance, but it is too late! Jesus’ express purpose for coming to earth was to save us from Hell; that by dying on the cross for us and believing in Him, we should not perish but have everlasting life Jn3:16,17. Hell is a temporary place, for one day both Death and Hell will becast into the Lake of Fire’ Re20:14, where the beast, the false prophet, Satan, and all unbelievers will go. They ‘shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever’ Re20:10,15. The Bible also speaks of hands, feet, teeth, eyes, and tongues of people in Hell, and worms devouring them.

God Originally Created Hell For the Fallen Angels           

The Bible states Hell was originally created for the fallen angels led by Satan aka Lucifer Is14:12,16 who rebelled against Almighty God in heaven and were ‘cast out into the earth’ Re12:9. It states For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly..’ 2Pe2:4-5. Jude 6 is similar: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. It is interesting to note that not all fallen angels, aka demons/devils, are in Hell. In his ministry Jesus ‘cast out devils’ from many people Mt10:8, Mk1:34, Lk9:49. Thus, many are still roaming the earth working with Satan. The apostle Peter wrote ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ 1Pe5:8.

God created Hell for the devil, the fallen angels, and then for sinners Ez18:4! We see that sin first originated in heaven Is14:12, before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden; that the angels were cast out into the earth down to Hell in chains of darkness awaiting a worst fate in the final day of judgment; that the millions also perished during the great flood are still there. As they did not heed Noah’s warning, God is warning us today that terrible judgment is also coming upon the earth. Jesus told his disciples ‘.. 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’ Mt20:28. When Jesus returns, He will say to the unrighteous Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels Mt25:41.

Jesus Came to Save Us From Hell- One Must Be BORN AGAIN Spiritually

Only those who are BORN AGAIN spiritually will go to heaven. If not, they will perish in Hell. Ro5:8 tells ‘.. God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Ro5:12 states that sin and death came to the world by Adam and they were passed on to all of mankind. Jesus Christ paid the price by dying for our sins to save us from Hell which is the consequence of our sins. The Bible states ‘.. Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure..’ Is5:14. Jesus told Nicodemus about the BORN AGAIN experience. He said Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN Jn3:3,5,7.

We must be BORN AGAIN in order to see and to enter into the kingdom of God, and to escape eternal damnation. Jesus said ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved’ Jn3:16,17. God does not want anyone to PERISH IN HELL, but all to be with Him in heaven. Jesus said I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME’ Jn14:6. Thus, the only way to escape Hell is by believing in Jesus Christ. This is what the Great Commission is all about- to warn others about Hell.  Jesus said He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’ Mk16:16.

The Holy Bible Lists Who Will End Up in Hell

The existence of Hell today is either denied, trivialized, or transformed into a fun event. Many youth, having feelings of invincibility and immortality, often ignore or deny the subject of HellEvery October 31, Halloween day revelers spend big money to buy hideous masks and costumes of devils and demons, do tricks or treats, to celebrate and glorify Satan. In America, it is all a big  joke and a big event rivaling even Christmas. Many rock concerts serve to worship the devil. Many churches have also avoided speaking about Satan and of Hell, and thus, offer no salvation to their members. But the Bible states Hell is real and many are heading there Is5:14, Mt7:13! 

The Bible describes who will not inherit the kingdom of God, and therefore end up in Hell and into the Lake of Fire. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.. they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD’ Ga5:19,21. Paul repeated ‘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, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co6:9,10. The Bible states un-forgiveness will also doom one to HellJesus said ‘..if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses’ Mt6:12, Mk11:26. 

The apostle John added ‘But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE which burneth with fire and brimstone..’ Re21:8. Also, anyone taking the Mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation shall be cast into Hell. Re14:10,11 state ..The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name’Sadly, many will be deceived to take the Mark of the Beast. 

High on the list of sins for those heading for Hell are sexual sins and immorality that are now sweeping the world. This includes same-sex marriages that the US Supreme Court recently declared as legal. Paul wrote expressly against the sin of Homosexuality calling it vile affections.. without natural affection. He said ‘For this cause GOD gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.. without natural affection..’ Ro1:26,27,31. Other sins not specifically mentioned but under uncleanness and lasciviousness are sodomy, pedophilia, pornography, and bestiality; and under murders, abortion

However, if one REPENTS of his sins, seeks forgiveness from God, turns from his wicked ways, and accepts  Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he shall be saved. REPENTANCE is necessary for SALVATION. 2Co7:10 states ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..’. Ro10:13 states ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’.

Purgatory- a False Doctrine Not Found in the Holy Bible   

Purgatory is a fabricated doctrine- a place where people are purged and cleansed before they can go to Heaven. According to the Bible, there are only two places for departed souls, either Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is not found anywhere in the Bible. It is a false doctrine created by the medieval Roman church in Europe to subjugate the ignorant masses in fear, and to enrich themselves through the sale of Indulgences– the paying of a priest to pray for the departed dead. The spin is that since no one is ever holy and good enough to go to heaven directly, one can obtain Indulgences from the church, who will pray for the departed souls in Purgatory undergoing purification, to lessen their time of punishment there. The priest through some mystical powers would make intercession for the departed soul, and thereby lessen one’s time in Purgatory.

Because many don’t know what the Bible says about salvation and Hell, and believe that they are never good enough to go directly to Heaven, they accept the false doctrines of Purgatory and Indulgences as gospel truth. But how can any priest forgive sins when he himself is a sinner? For many years now, the media has been rife with news of widespread pedophilia, homosexuality, and pornography among ministers, priests, and pastors. A case in point, the Catholic Church in America alone has paid out over $2.5 billion in child sex abuse settlements over the past decades. There are other false doctrines regarding Hell as being a temporary place, or a belief in reincarnation of a departed person into another form, or that Hell does not even exist.

Enter Pastor Rob Bell-‘Love Wins’; What the Hell?

In 2011, Rob Bell, a popular pastor wrote a bestseller called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven and Hell. Bell, the former pastor of the mega 10,000 member Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan stated there is no Hell, or at least that Hell is just a temporary place, until everyone is fully redeemed and is reunited with God in heaven. Though Bell believes in the redemptive work of Jesus at Calvary, for those outside of the church, those who never accepted Christ would eventually be saved because God is love and would never allow anyone to remain in Hell. Bell believes in ‘universalism’, stating God’s love is universal and never fails. Bell contends that the prospect of a place of eternal torment seems irreconcilable with the nature of God’s love. What Pastor Rob Bell teaches is false, and grossly contrary to the Word of God. If Bell is correct, then Jesus died in vain for our sins. The world would not need a saviour and all would eventually go to Heaven anyway, because no sin could ever keep us out of Heaven.

Bell’s message is a very popular one for those who do not know or believe in the Bible. His message gives people justification to live any way they want; that there is no consequence for sin since there is no Hell. As the sign of His coming, Jesus warned that in the last days, there shall be many false prophets and false teachers Mt24:4,5,11,24. Except Bell repents, he and all those who believe in his teachings will likewise perish Lk13:3,5. But Bell will take many souls to Hell with him, for his is the ‘doctrine of devils’ 1Ti4:1. The only way to God and to heaven is through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour Jn14:6, Ac2:21,16:31, Ro10:13, Php3:20.

Only By Preaching the Cross Are Men Saved From Hell and Eternal Damnation

Paul said that it is only by the preaching of the cross are men saved 1Co1:18. When was the last time that you heard a message on how to be saved from Hell? When was the last time you heard a pastor tell the people they need to repent of their sins, and give an invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour? Have you personally accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? Are you BORN AGAIN and have the assurance of going to Heaven? Do you believe that salvation is a very important matter? Do you know how to be saved? Are you also praying for your lost loved ones that they may be saved? Are you actively witnessing Jesus Christ to others, thereby obeying the Great Commission Mk16:15? 

Do you know how to lead someone to Jesus Christ in a sinner’s prayer? Many churchgoers WRONGFULLY believe that by going to church, it will save them, or because they are in church they are saved. This is very far from the truth of the Bible! It is also conceivable that many people attending church today MAY NOT BE SAVED. They may have never heard the Gospel of Salvation in church, repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or they may have fallen back into sin. Paul said ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that BELIEVETH..’ Ro1:16. Paul wrote For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.. and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ Ro10:13,14. 

The Bible states that Satan, the devil, was a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies Jn8:44. His job is ‘to steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ Jn10:10. Satan wants to take as many people he can to Hell, to steal their salvation, to kill their bodies, and to destroy their souls. But Jesus already made a way for us to go to heaven by dying on the cross for our sins. The Bible clearly states how one can be forgiven and be cleansed  of all unrighteousness: ‘If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1Jn1:9. 

The Sinner’s Prayer of Repentance- Repent or Perish

HELL IS FOR REAL AND SADLY, MANY ARE HEADING THERE! But it is not necessary for anyone to perish in Hell and be cast into the Lake of FireIf you believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your personal Saviour, YOU CAN BE SAVED and go to Heaven one day to your eternal blessingHere is a simple prayer of REPENTANCE to SALVATION which you can humbly pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or to recommit your life to Him again:

DEAR JESUS,  

I AM A LOST SINNER AND I REPENT OF MY SINS. I’M SORRY FOR MY SINS AND ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS.  I ASK THAT YOU COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD.  I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND MY SAVIOUR. THANK YOU FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL!  

IN JESUS NAME I PRAY, AMEN!

SEE: PARIS HEAVY METAL WORSHIP TO THE DEVIL, then death and destruction!!!   http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/paris-concert-crowd-was-singing-kiss-the-devil-the-moment-terror-attacks-began/

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO A GREAT GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN

DEAR PASTORS: FEED MY SHEEP

THE PASTOR’S MANDATE-FEED MY SHEEP’                  

After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, He gave Simon Peter this mandate- ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ Jn21:16,17. A pastor in the Greek means a shepherd– one who tends to a flock. To be a pastor of a church, one must have a calling from God. It is not just a job, but a spiritual calling with great responsibilities to serve God by teaching and protecting His people. Thus, the mandate Jesus gave to ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ applies to all pastors, even as Jesus is ‘THE CHIEF SHEPHERD1Pe5:4. Jesus said ‘I am the GOOD SHEPHERD: the GOOD SHEPHERD GIVETH HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP’ Jn10:11.

David the psalmist wrote ‘The LORD is my SHEPHERD; I SHALL NOT WANT’ Ps23:1. David said ‘Know ye that THE LORD HE IS GOD: it is HE THAT HATH MADE US, AND NOT WE OURSELVES; WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, AND THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE’ Ps100:3. The word PASTORS is found only once in the New Testament Ep4:11, and SHEPHERDS 17 times. They are synonymous and the same. Jesus did not mean for PASTORS to literally take care of sheep, but to take care of God’s people as surrogate shepherds.

WHAT DID JESUS MEAN BY ‘FEED MY SHEEP’?  

In this mandate,Jesus meant for Peter and ALL PASTORS to NURTURE, CARE, STRENGTHEN, PROTECT, TEACH, GUIDE, HELP, ENCOURAGE, CORRECT, WARN AND SAVE all those who belong to Him or who want to come to Him. Pastors need to protect the sheep from predators (false teachers and false prophets) Mt24:11,24, from false teachings and false doctrines. Pastors need to teach the unadulterated Word of God, about His standards, love, justice, judgment, and wrath.

Pastors need to warn people about Satan, whose job is ‘to steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ Jn10:10; of sin, to be holy and righteous, to be ready for the soon return of Jesus Christ and for the Rapture. People need to be warned of God’s forthcoming severe judgment and wrath, the Endtimes, and the coming Great Tribulation and about HELL!  To neglect this mandate that Jesus gave to ‘FEED MY SHEEP’, would put both the Pastor and the Flock in danger of hellfire and of losing their salvation!

The pastors’ first and last order of business should be to SAVE SOULS, to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Anything short of this is a total failure! If one goes to church but loses his soul, he will PERISH IN HELL; the church has failed him, but the PASTOR WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!  The LORD said When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and THOU GIVEST HIM NOT WARNING, NOR SPEAKEST TO WARN THE WICKED FROM HIS WICKED WAY, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND Ez3:18.

God said My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I WILL ALSO REJECT THEE..’ Hos4:6. In church, we are supposed to learn about God, the need for REPENTANCE and to be ‘BORN AGAIN’ Jn3:3,5, the Christ-life, and eternal life; to be filled with the Spirit, how to be saved, and how we should live our lives!  Invitations and prayers during altar calls should be made for people to repent, to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or to recommit their lives to Him!

AN OPEN ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTER’- By Watchman73

The following is a polite but powerful Open Letter by a writer with a pen name of Watchman73 to an unnamed Pastor. His excellent blog can be found at https://bythebloodofthelamb.wordpress.com  Here is Watchman73’s insightful, inquiring, incisive, and indicting open Dear Pastor Letter written straight from the heart of God that is sadly applicable to many thousands of apostate Christian churches and pastors in America and in the world today:

Dear Pastor

“I’m writing not to offend, but rather to respectfully inquire. Please don’t take offense to my questions, for I am a humble servant of God with no formal education in religion. You see sir, I have not been to seminary, nor have I been trained to read and love C.S. Lewis, as this seems to be a prerequisite for modern day preachers. I am a common man with a career and a family, reading my Bible daily, and praying for the Holy Spirit to give me discernment and lead me in the paths of righteousness.

While I do find your personality to be charming and your sermons to be quite entertaining, I do have a few burning questions. I say burning because week after week these questions arise during the course of Sunday worship service and completely distract me from worshipping in your congregation. I’ve tried to relax and ignore the angst that rises up in me every Sunday, focusing on the good parts of worship and the biblical excerpts that are sprinkled in your messages, but the questions remain.

WHEN WILL YOU CALL US TO REPENTANCE?

When will you speak of repentance and how I can be saved? When will you show me my brokenness and my need for a Savior? Can you please continue to speak of God’s unending love for me, but remind me of God’s sovereignty? Is a mention of hell and the eternal consequences of our sin and rejection of our one and only Savior Jesus Christ not in order? When will you teach us that wisdom comes from the fear of God?

WHEN WILL YOU STRENGTHEN THE BELIEVER?

Would it be possible to teach us of the spiritual realm that we cannot see, but that nevertheless surrounds us? Maybe you could focus a few minutes on enlightening us on the spiritual warfare that is taking place around us daily and the battle for our very souls? Maybe a mention that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places? If you don’t mind me saying, in my humble opinion, ignoring evil and pretending the devil is not like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour is foolishness.

I, for one sir, pray that you would encourage your flock to put on the whole armor of God, that they may be strengthened and encouraged to stand against evil, fearing nothing but God Almighty. Remind us what the armor of God consists of so that we can even begin to put it on. You know the verse…having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, right?

WHEN WILL YOU TEACH THE WHOLE WORD OF GOD?

When I listen to your sermons or the teachings that take place in your Sunday morning classes, it seems that only certain parts of the Bible are ever taught. I find it odd that there is never a mention of prophecy. I am quite sure that in your seminary classes you have studied much more of the Bible than I have, and you’re quite aware that a little more than 25% of God’s Word is prophecy, right? So my question to you is, why do you teach only 75% of the Bible? Is it not God’s Word? Is it not your responsibility to teach the full counsel of God?

Do you not think that those scriptures that were written thousands of years ago and preserved in their entirety throughout the ages are the living Word of God? As God’s Word declares ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works’, right (2Ti3:16,17)?

WHEN WILL YOU WARN THE FLOCK?

I know that you are an intelligent man, and that you watch the news and see the state of our nation and the world. I have the feeling that you probably don’t want to frighten the congregation or waste time on anything other that preaching the Word of God. Am I right? Let me ask you another question. Do you think that the EARLY CHURCH that was so violently persecuted sat around having snacks and speaking only of the goodness of God and his enduring love while their brothers and sisters were being tortured and murdered in the public square, or ripped apart by lions in the colosseum? Of course not. But that couldn’t happen in America right, so why bother?

If you don’t know that our government is corrupt and evil, and totally hijacked by globalists bent on creating a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, then I suggest you do some research. If you are aware of this information and are withholding it from your flock, then shame on you sir! It would be better that you never went into ministry, for there is a greater responsibility on your head as a preacher and teacher of the Word of God.

So I ask you, when will you tell your people of the mounting danger that lies just outside of your sanctuary doors? When will the persecution of Christians be important enough to mention on Sunday? Will it be when the government forces you to perform gay weddings in your church or face losing your 501c3 tax exempt status, or worse yet, be arrested? It’s about to happen in America.

WHEN WILL YOU MAKE READY THE BRIDE?

Jesus made it clear throughout the Gospels, and the New Testament that the believer is to watch and be ready for Jesus’ return at any time. I have yet to hear any of those verses taught in your church yet. Forgive me if I missed that Sunday service. Has it occurred to you that there is a theme throughout the scriptures to watch for our Lord’s return? Or that if we are found not watching when he suddenly comes, we will be surprised, shamed, and shut out of His presence? Is that not the way you read your Bible?

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25 needs to be taught at some point doesn’t it? The prospective brides were all virgins (Christians) but half of them were foolish, not having oil for their lamps (the Holy Spirit) and the other half were wise, with oil for their lamps and ready to go out to meet the bridegroom. So half were prepared and looking for the return of their bridegroom and the other half were not. What happened to the foolish virgins? Does that not apply to the Lord’s church? Is it not worthy of mentioning some Sunday? Do you truly know what our BLESSED HOPE is as believers (Tit2:13)? Will you, yourself be READY at that moment when our Lord returns unannounced? Are you watching for all the signs of His return, given to us in the Bible? 

These questions burn in my heart. The angst I feel every Sunday, I feel throughout every day of the week; for I pity the lost and the foolish that turn away from the truth. I pray that you, as a Christian leader would do the same. I pray that theses questions would create a spark and light a fire in your heart. If you’re offended by this, then I pray you might examine yourself and your teaching. I pray everyday for you to make mention of these things and that the people that fill your congregation would not only be prepared, but would truly be saved. THERE IS A GREAT APOSTASY that is happening now, and I pray that you sir, would not be a part of it. The clock is ticking…it’s almost midnight…one more question Sir… ARE YOU READY?”

MARANATHA!  Watchman73                                       

JESUS ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTERS’ TO THE 7 CHURCHES

Unlike Watchman73 polite letterJesus wrote scathing ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTERS’ to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. He strongly decried their failings, disregard and disdain for the Gospel message nearly 2000 years ago. And so the apostasy in the churches continues even today!

Basically, while Watchman73 guardedly questioned his Pastor, Jesus strongly rebuked the church Pastors for what they neglected and failed to do. He said ‘THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE. REMEMBER THEREFORE FROM WHENCE THOU ART FALLEN, AND REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS; OR ELSE I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, AND WILL REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE, EXCEPT THOU REPENT’ Re2:4,5. Jesus used very strong words, even accusing the church for being the ‘SYNAGOGUE (meeting place) OF SATAN’ Re2:9,3:9.

Jesus said ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because THOU ART LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH’ Re3:15,16. In chapters 2 and 3, Jesus repeatedly told the churches to REPENT OR THEY WILL NOT HAVE ANY PART IN HIM Re2:5,16,21,22, 3:3,19. Except the people and pastors seek REPENTANCE, they would not have eternal life, but perish in HELL!

PAUL’S CHARGE TO ALL PASTORS AND MINISTERS

The apostle Paul wrote I CHARGE THEE THEREFORE BEFORE GOD, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY’ 2Ti4:2-5.

Being a Pastor is a very difficult job, especially today. People do not want to hear about sin and hellfire, about God’s judgment and wrath, but more likely want to be entertained. But pastors must obey God, and not compromise His Word. Paul wrote ‘For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I SHOULD NOT BE THE SERVANT OF CHRIST’ v10. Pastors should seek not to please man but God, by what they preach!

TODAY’S APOSTATE CHURCHES

Over the past 20 years, a new paradigm has emerged within the churches. It is the SEEKER-FRIENDLY (aka Emergent Church) movement, to have more people come to church, and to enrich their coffers. The focus is on the unchurched, rather than on the unsaved; how to make church more contemporary, palatable, and people-friendly. The SEEKER-FRIENDLY church movement has caused an explosion in mega-churches with some membership numbering in the tens of thousands, and the pastors having become very rich. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s personal needs rather than their spiritual needs. These churches are often soft on sin, on fornication and young people shacking up, on homosexuality, on same-sex marriages; allowing ‘creative gay people’ to do church worship, and using programs, dramas, sophisticated lighting and special sound effects, high-tech/multi-media support in their services, but often not preaching the Gospel of Christ.

Sin and God’s judgment are not being preached; holy living is not advocated. The soon return of Jesus is not heralded. Satan and the coming Antichrist system are not mentioned. People are not warned of God’s coming great wrath upon the earth and of the coming Great Tribulation. HELL IS NEVER A NICE TOPIC TO TALK ABOUT!  There is more talk on fun and fellowship, surfing and sports, dating and marriage, raising children, support groups, health and weight loss, and Christian entertainment, rather than on the Gospel of Jesus Christ- on sin, judgment, repentance, God’s wrath, end-times, what God is doing today, the lateness of the hour; how to be saved, how to pray; how to learn the Bible, etc. Humor and positive messages to make people feel good are used to keep them entertained and returning every Sunday. While some of their programs are good, many attending may not be saved because the GOSPEL OF SALVATION is not being preached!

The Bible tells us that only by the ‘PREACHING OF THE CROSS’ are men saved 1Co1:18. Preaching anything else will NOT bring salvation to peopleREPENTANCE, the turning away from sin and turning to Christ, must be preached Lk24:47. Paul said ‘FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH’ Ro1:16. He said it pleased God by the FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING to save them that believe’ 1Co1:21. Paul said that if any man or even angel preached any gospel other than what he had preached, let him be accursed Ga1:8. Jesus said 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 Jn3:16. ONLY JESUS SAVES; NOTHING ELSE!

SATAN’S ROLE IN TODAY’S CHURCHES- ANOTHER GOSPEL

Apostasy, deception, and errors have crept into churches that don’t follow the Word of God. Satan uses his ministers to destroy faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said ‘And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works’ 2Co11:14,15. If Satan cannot stop people from going to church, he will give to them another gospel. Paul wrote ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from (God) that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL’ Ga1:6. A good feeling, non-threatening, no-salvation gospel is being preached todaya soft, warm, and fuzzy message! Because of that, the salvation of many pastors, ministers, and many of their members come into question

JESUS’ WARNING TO ALL PASTORS AND MINISTERS  

There are grave consequences in disobeying Jesus. Pastors and ministers must obey JESUS’ MANDATE, ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ or they will PERISH! Jesus said  ‘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. 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?  AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY’ Mt7:21-23. Jesus will disavow knowing these ministers that didn’t do God’s will, but did their own will. Their names were not written in the Lamb’s BOOK OF LIFE and thus they will perish and one day, be cast into the LAKE OF FIRE Re20:15!

A FINAL MESSAGE TO PASTORS

This blog is not meant as a personal dig or putdown on pastors, but to point out the seriousness and grave responsibilities given by Jesus to ‘FEED MY SHEEP’. If they do well, they will be rewarded Re22:12. But if they don’t, they will perish along with the people they were charged to minister to. However, many churches, denominations, and pastors today are going into apostasy, ‘even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction’ 2Pe2:1.

There are many other places in the Bible where God showed great disdain toward pastors. Pastors are mentioned only 8 times in the Old Testament, only in the book of Jeremiah, 7 of which were used negatively and in a derogatory sense. God voiced His anger and dismay toward them. They were brutish and abusive to the flock. The references are Je2:8, 10:21, 12:10, 17:16, 22:22. Je23:1,2 state ‘WOE BE UNTO THE PASTORS that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the PASTORS that FEED MY PEOPLE; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I WILL VISIT UPON YOU THE EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS, SAITH THE LORD’.

In Matthew 23, Jesus severely chastised the scribes and Pharisees, the pastors and ministers to the Jews in his days. Jesus called them HYPOCRITES 7 times v13,14,15,23,25,27,29 (they say, but do not Mt23:3). He accused them of religious pride, deception, fraud, covetousness, excesses, and even hindering the work of God. They would not only perish in hell Mt23:33, but would ‘..receive the greater damnation’ Mt23:14. Jesus said ‘FEED MY SHEEP’– take care of my people! It is not too late to REPENT. But Jesus also said ‘EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH’ Lk13:3,5.

AMERICA IN STEEP DECLINE- WHEN A NATION REJECTS GOD

America’s final judgment is nearly here as she continues in her pernicious and rebellious ways against God!

God's Hidden Nuggets for the Endtimes

(Author’s note May 2015: This post was written nearly 2 years ago, and America continues in its steep spiritual, moral, and economic decline. Next month June 2015, the US Supreme Court will render a decision to make Same-Sex Marriage mandatory for the 13 of 50 holdout states that are still against it. If so, then America will become the new Sodom and Gomorrah, whom God utterly destroyedGe19:24,25. 

The US National Debt is presently over $18 trillion, equivalent to $60,000 for every man, woman, and child. The debt continues to soar and Congress has no solution to mitigate it. Thus, America is heading for a sure bankruptcy. California’s exceptional drought is heading into its 4th year, with just one year supply of water for human consumption and for agricultural needs. Produce, poultry, and livestock prices will soar, perhaps even doubling!

There are 38 million people now living in California, over 10% of the entire nation! Where will they all go to when the water…

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THE GOSPEL OF JOHN PART 4- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY

The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man

This is Part 4 and the final dissertation of the Gospel of John. In the first 11 chapters of John, we witnessed the many miracles Jesus did- changing water into wine, feeding the multitudes, healing the sick, lame, and blind, and then raising dead Lazarus. Then from chapters 12 to 17, we learned of Jesus’ passion- his triumphant return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the Last Supper, Foot Washing, the Promise of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ Special Prayer Requests to the Father for his disciples before his crucifixion and death on the feast of the Passover.

In the next two chapters 18 and 19, we will learn of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, humiliation, suffering, and death. We will see the ugly side of humanity, the killing of an innocent man, and the reason why God sent Jesus to earth- to save us from our sins; to suffer and die for us. And by believing in Him, we will have everlasting life Jn3:16. The final two chapters 20 and 21, speak of the drama and excitement of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, His appearances to His disciples, and His commissioning them to go into the world to continue the work that the Father had sent Him to do Jn20:21; to preach, teach, and nurture the people with the Gospel of Salvation Mk16:15, Mt28:19,20, Lk24:47, Jn21:15,16,17.

John Chapter 18- Jesus Betrayal and Trial Before the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Pilate

Chapter 18 speaks of the betrayal, the arrest, and the trial of Jesus Christ, before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, and then to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea. After Jesus prayed to the Father, he went with his disciples to a garden over the brook Cedron where Judas knew Jesus would resort. Earlier Judas left the last supper scene at night supposedly to buy something for the Passover feast Jn13:29. Judas returned with a band of men of the chief priests and Pharisees, with lanterns, torches and weapons v3. Jesus challenged them asking whom seek ye? v4. They answered ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. When Jesus said I AM HE’, all the men including Judas fell backward to the ground’ v6.

Here Jesus manifested his supernatural powers over the mob. Impulsive Peter ready to fight, drew his sword and smote the high priest’s servant, Malchus’ right ear, cutting it off v10. Jesus rebuked Peter telling him that this was already ordained by the Father, that he should drink this cup of suffering v11. Then Jesus performed an instant surgical miracle, healing and reattaching Malchus’ ear Lk22:51. Jesus was bound and taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas v13 then later to Caiaphas v24 for questioning – all this happening illegally late at night, contrary to Jewish laws. In this chapter, we see the fulfillment of what Jesus foretold Jn13:38- that Peter would deny Jesus three times. And immediately the cock crew v27. Peter wept bitterly Mt26:75. 

The next morning the Jews took Jesus to the hall of judgment before Pilate. They themselves did not enter in, lest they should be defiled; but they might eat the Passover v28. At first Pilate refused to judge Jesus. But the Jews said to Pilate ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’ v31. Ordinarily, the Jews conducted execution by stoning; only the Romans practiced ‘death by crucifixion’ v32. In the judgment hall, Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus answered him, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ v34. Jesus told Pilate ‘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’ v36.

Jesus admitted that He was a King, and came to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate asked Jesus What is truth?’ . At this point Pilate went out again to the Jews and said ‘I find in him no fault at allv38, and was about to release Jesus. It was a custom in those days that one convict would be released by the Romans at Passover. Pilate said ‘Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews’ v39. The Jews clamored for another; ‘Not this man, but Barabbas.. a robber’ v40.

Here Jesus did no wrong to be executed, but the Jews delivered Jesus to the Romans to be killed! This is a fulfillment of Jn3:16, that God loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die and to save us from our sins! Lk 24:7 states ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’.

John Chapter 19-  The Humiliation of Jesus: His Crucifixion, Death and Burial

The day of the Passover had arrived. Pilate had Jesus scourged; the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and also put a purple robe on him. They mocked Jesus ‘Hail, King of Jews! and they smote him with their hands’ v3. Three times Pilate told the Jews I find no fault in him Jn18:38,19:4,6, but the Jews insisted that Jesus be crucified, ‘because he made himself the Son of God’ v7. It was about noon when Pilate brought Jesus to the Pavement, and said unto the Jews Behold your king!’ v14. The Jews said ‘Away with him, crucify him.. The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar’ v15. Then Jesus was delivered to be crucified between two thieves v18. Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS v19, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

The soldiers stripped Jesus naked of his garment and made four parts to it, but the purple robe was seamless and not parted and lots were cast for who should get it v24. Jesus was then nailed to the cross, given vinegar and died about 3 pm. Three Marys were there: Mary, his mother, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene v25. From that time on, John took Jesus’ mother unto his own home to care v27. This is somewhat interesting because Jesus had 4 half-brothers and at least 2 half-sisters that were still living Mt13:55.

Joseph of  Armathaea, a secret disciple of Jesus petitioned Pilate for Jesus’ body. Then he and Nicodemus, with a hundred pound mixture of myrrh and aloes, wound Jesus’ body with linen clothes to bury him in a nearby new garden tomb belonging to Joseph who was a rich man v38; a fulfillment of Is53:9 that Jesus would be  buried among the rich.

John Chapter 20- RESURRECTION SUNDAY

Chapter 20 begins with great excitement. Early Sunday morning while still dark, Mary Magdelene went to the tomb to pay her respects for Jesus v1. She noticed the stone was removed from the tomb. She then ran to Peter and John, who were also walking toward the tomb, telling them someone took the body. They both began to run. John being younger, got there first, but did not enter the tomb v4,5. Peter went into the tomb and saw only the linen clothes, and the head napkin by itself. John then entered the tomb, saw and believed v8..For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead’ v9.

Peter and John then went away unto their own home v10, but Mary remained and wept before the tomb. She peered in and saw two angels in white sitting where the body should have laid v12. When asked, she told them why she was crying, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him’ v13. Then Mary saw a man standing and thought he was the gardener, but it was Jesus v14,15. (Jesus could change his looks and often was unrecogniz- able. See Jn21:4 and Mk16:12: ‘he appeared in another form’).  

But when Jesus spoke, Mary recognized his voice and said ‘Rabboni’, meaning Master. Then Jesus said ‘TOUCH ME NOT; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God’ v17. Jesus told Mary not to touch him because He had not yet presented His resurrected body to the Father. 

Later that Sunday evening when the disciples assembled together behind locked doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus miraculously appeared before them in their midst saying, ‘Peace be unto you’ v19. Jesus with His glorified body was able to pass through the walls. He then showed the disciples his wounds. ‘Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord’ v20. Jesus then said again ‘Peace be unto you: AS MY FATHER HATH SENT ME, EVEN SO SEND I YOU’ v22. This is the Great Commission also found in the other Gospels Mt28:19,20, Mk16:15,16, Lk24:47.

Thomas, not being present with them, was skeptical when the disciples said they saw Jesus. He said ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe’ v25. Eight days later, though the door was locked, Jesus again appeared in the midst of the disciples and told doubting Thomas ‘REACH HITHER THY FINGER, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing’ v27. Thomas exclaimed ‘My Lord and my God v28. JESUS IS GOD!

Jesus then said to Thomas ‘because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’ v29. Blessed are all of us who have not seen Him, and yet believe! Here we see that first Jesus told Mary not to touch Him v17, but then later told Thomas to do so v27, meaning He had ascended into heaven and had returned, and now could be touched!

Jesus Ascension Into Heaven

The Bible states that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven not just once, but twice. The 2nd incident is found in Ac1:9-11. It states ‘And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’Thus, Jesus ascended into heaven the 2nd time, and will one day likewise return back to earth. (One day with glorified bodies like Jesus 1Co15:49-53, we will do the same; go to heaven in the Rapture Jn14:3, and come back to earth with Jesus Jude14.)

John Chapter 21- The 2nd Part of the Great Commission.  Jesus to Peter… ‘Feed My Sheep’

After all the related events in Jerusalem, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John, and two other disciples returned to their fishing livelihood about 50 miles away in the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee. They fished all night but caught nothing v3. By morning as they were returning, they saw a man standing on shore, ‘but.. knew not it was Jesus’ v4. ‘This is now the 3rd time Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead’ v14. Also Jn20:19,24.

When Jesus asked if they had caught anything they answered him ‘No’! He then said ‘Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.. they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes’ v5,6. The net was full with 153 great fishes, but did not break v11. This is the 2nd account of Jesus blessing his disciples with a ‘great multitude of fishes’ Lk5:5,6. This is also the last time recorded that the disciples went back fishing, for they then became fishers of men Mt4:19. 

In this chapter, though Jesus asked the disciples if they had any food v5, He had already prepared breakfast for them on shore with fish laid on a open fire, and bread v9. While they were still somewhat unsure that it was Jesus, He invited them to dine v12,13. After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter three times ‘lovest thou me more than these’. Peter being grieved responded three times ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee’ v15. This is related to Peter earlier denying Jesus three times then the cock crew Jn18:27. Each time Jesus told Peter to ‘Feed My Sheep’ v15,16,17.

(In the Greek language, there are different kinds of love.. eros/sensual love, phileo/brotherly love, and agape/godly love.) Peter was asked if he loved Jesus with an agape love- above friendship. Each time Peter answered phileo love. Then Jesus told Peter ‘Follow Me’ v19. Peter’s phileo love for Jesus would later change into agape love when he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost Ac2:4. Peter later died serving Jesus v19. (We also receive God’s agape love and power when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost Ac1:5,8. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but (the Spirit) of Power, and of (agape) Love, and of a sound mind’ 2Ti1:7.) 

John Chapter 21 ends with John making a hyperbolic remark regarding many other things that Jesus did but were not possible to write them all down stating, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen’ v25.

The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man

We have concluded all 21 chapters of the Gospel of John. Most importantly is that we learned that JESUS IS GOD; how God revealed Himself through the life of Jesus Christ, unveiling His plan for our lives by becoming like one of us in order to save us. Through Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, his sinful nature passed on to all of us and all mankind fell under sin. Ro5:8 states ‘..God commendeth his (agape) love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Ro5:12 also states 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. Everyone today is under a death penalty and will perish in hell forever separated from God, except they be BORN AGAIN Jn3:3,5, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour Jn3:16.

God revealed Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when He came down to earth and paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross for us. Jesus revealed Himself as God by what He said and by the many miracles He didchanging water into wine, feeding the multitudes by multiplying the food, healing the sick, the lame, and the blind, walking on water and transporting Himself supernaturally, forgiving sins Jn8:11, raising dead Lazarus Jn11:43, and then paramountly, raising Himself from the dead Jn21:14, a feat no man has ever been able to do!

Over 20 times in the Gospel of John, it was said that we need to believe in or on Jesus Christ to be saved, and over 40 times Jesus said He was sent by God or spoke on behalf of God e.g. Jn3:17, Jn4:34, Jn12:49, Jn16:25. Jesus said ‘Before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; making himself equal with God’ Jn5:18. Jesus said ‘I and my Father are one’ Jn10:30. In Jn14:1, Jesus said ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in Me’. Jesus said ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also..’ Jn14:7, and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father’ Jn14:9. JESUS IS GOD!

The Gospel of John reveals that Jesus is ‘THE GREAT I AM’ . In John’s Gospel, 10 times Jesus declared that He was the I AM’ Jn8:58, which refers to God Himself. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush He said I AM THAT I AM’ Ex3:14! Jesus said ‘I AM the Bread of Life’ Jn6:35; ‘I AM the Light of the World’ Jn8:12; ‘before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; ‘I AM the Door’ Jn10:9, ‘I AM the Good Shepherd’ Jn10:11, Ps23:1; ‘I AM the Son of God’ Jn10:36; ‘I AM the Resurrection and the Life’ Jn11:25; ‘I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’ Jn14:6; ‘I AM in the Father, and the Father in Me’ Jn14:11; and ‘I AM the True Vine’ Jn15:1. JESUS IS GOD, ‘THE GREAT I AM’.

In John’s Gospel, John progressively revealed and declared Jesus’ divinity, that JESUS IS GOD. John began with ‘In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him (Jesus); and without him (Jesus) was not any thing made that was made. In him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men’ Jn1:1-4, ‘And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14. While Jesus said worship belonged only to God Mt4:10,Jn4:23, Jesus allowed the blind man whom He had healed, and others to worship Him Jn9:38, Mt28:9, Mt14:33! Jesus said to know Him is to know the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father Jn14:7. Jesus said ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake’ Jn14:11. 

In conclusion, God came to earth in the person Jesus. This is ‘WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN’. After His death and resurrection, before He returned to heaven, Jesus said to his disciples ‘ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH’ Mt28:18. Thus, JESUS IS GOD ALMIGHTY, and now we know who God isTHANK YOU JESUS FOR COMING TO SAVE US! PRAISE GOD! AMEN!

Please see the Gospel of John Part 1 here.

Please see the Gospel of John Part 2 here.

Also https://drgoldsite.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/the-gospel-of-john-part-3-when-divinity-became-humanity/