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 SHEPHERD’ 1Pe5:4. 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:
“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?”
JESUS ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTERS’ TO THE 7 CHURCHES
Unlike Watchman73 polite letter, Jesus 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 people. REPENTANCE, 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 today– a 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.
The Last Age Before Jesus Returns
Many people are wondering whether we are living in the last days of the last age before Jesus Christ returns to earth. With the economic systems in America and Europe ready to collapse due to their great monetary indebtedness, an incipient war brewing in the Middle East, and with many nations armed to their teeth with nuclear warheads, many are wondering whether we are living in the endtimes. Even now, there is a monster storm named HURRICANE SANDY moving north along the northeast corridor off the Atlantic Seaboard where over 50 million people are living. This hurricane is appropriately dubbed FRANKENSTORM, in deference to the coming Halloween holiday- a day of celebration of Satan and his demonic forces- ghosts and goblins, which the world is unwittingly caught up in! Could this monster apocalyptic storm FRANKENSTORM be a sign of God’s great displeasure with America? Is God trying to get our attention or to tell us something?
But then there are also many scoffers and unbelievers who think that the earth will continue as it is, and are very skeptical that the end and the return of Jesus Christ to earth are very near. Nearly 2000 years ago, the apostle Peter wrote
‘Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation’ 2Pe2:3,4.
Since the first man Adam partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Ge3:12, man has degenerated into a very evil being, filled with lusts, greed, corruption, and violence. Man is literally destroying himself and the earth, and has proven himself incapable of governing himself. We live in a very troubled world, and man’s capacity for wickedness knows no bounds. The Bible states God will ‘.. destroy them which destroy the earth’ Re11:18. We will soon see what it is like when mankind falls into the hands of an angry God. The wrath of God will soon be poured upon all mankind from the ‘cup of his indignation’ Re14:10. God will judge the earth with His fury. Heb10:31 states ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’, and Heb12:29, ‘For our God is a consuming fire’. After God’s judgment, Jesus Christ will then return and establish His millennial kingdom on earth as ‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’ Re19:16.
About 2000 years ago, Jesus’ disciples asked him ‘what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ Mt24:3. This very provocative question is more appropriate today, and has a greater and more profound meaning than ever before. His disciples fully expected Jesus to leave them, but also to return as he had told them that he would Jn14:2,3. They did not know where He was going, how he was going to get there, and when He would return. But they sensed that the world was going to end soon, perhaps in their lifetime. The disciples’ world then was very small, perhaps no more than 2000 miles in any direction. The world today is in great economic upheaval with great strife among the nations, and the earth is experiencing great apocalyptic natural disasters- weather, earthquakes and tsunamis!
The Bible Details the Endtimes- Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and the Book of Revelation
The Bible details the last days before Jesus’ return in these chapters and book. In Mt24:4-39, as signs of the endtimes, Jesus spoke of widespread deception, wars, famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. The endtimes are characterized by Jesus’ warnings of false Christs and false prophets, and of great spiritual deception Mt24:4,11,24. Jesus said there will be a great falling way due to immorality v12. He said ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come’v14. With air travel, radio, satellite TV coverage, and now the Internet, this prophecy of the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world today has been greatly facilitated. Lk21:25,26 state ‘there will be ‘distress of nations, with perplexity.. Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory’. The Temple in Jerusalem will soon be rebuilt, and animal sacrifice restored. Then the Antichrist will cause the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet v15. Those in Judaea are told to flee into the mountains v16. Jesus said GREAT TRIBULATION such as the world has never experienced, shall then occur v21. Jesus will then return in that generation when all these things are fulfilled v34. The time of the end is sooner than most people think, and many will not be ready when Jesus returns!
Luke 21 adds more details regarding the time of the end. Jesus said the Jews shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled v24. This happened at the destruction of Jerusalem by Roman General Favius Titus in 70 AD. When the Jews returned to Israel in 1948, the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. Jesus said there will be signs in the heavens and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and looking after those things which are coming on the earth. The powers of heaven shall be shaken. Economic collapse will surely occur! Revelation also reveals of things which shall be hereafter during the endtimes Re1:19: the opening of the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 vials of judgments; the fate of the endtime false church system MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH Re17:5; the collapse of the world economic system Re18. There will be a World War where over 1/4 to 1/3 of the world will be killed or destroyed Re6:8,8:8-11; and the rise of the Antichrist, the man of sin 2Th2:3,4,8-12, Re13:1 and his False Prophet v11. Then will be the time of the Great Tribulation that will last for 42 months v5, before the triumphant return of Jesus Christ to earth Jude14,15, Re19:11-16.
The apostle Paul also warns us that in the last days perilous times shall come. ‘For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof..’ 2Ti3:1-5. Also, increasing homosexuality; people filled with ‘all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents..’ Ro1:26-31. ‘They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God’ Ga5:19-21.
The Return of Israel as a Nation- One of the Most Significant Endtime Signs
When Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948, she allowed for the many prophecies written by the prophets by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, etc., to be fulfilled. After 2600 years of scattering (diaspora), because of her great suffering and the slaughter of 6 million of Jews in the Holocaust of WWII, the United Nations declared Israel a nation again and gave the Jews a homeland in the land of Palestine, a fulfillment of what God told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the prophets. Now Satan and the world’s hatred for Israel will also then bring forth the final war of Armageddon!
In Part II, we will look at some of the significant events that have occurred since the beginning of World War II, over the past 70 years, that signified that we are living in the endtimes, and what is yet to be fulfilled in this Last Age Before Jesus Returns! We will look at the mess that the world is in and why Jesus will come again in the Rapture, to deliver us from the wrath to come 1Th1:10!
To be continued soon… Part II to follow.
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden- The SONSHIP Message
God’s Great Love For Us- the Gift of His Glory
1Jn4:8 tells us ‘.. God is love’. God is the personification of Love. God’s love is perfect. Love is conveyed through words and actions. We express our love by giving to others- our families, friends, and those in need. Even more so with God! The measure of God’s great love for us is proven by His dying on the cross for us in the person of Jesus Christ Jn3:16!
Here is a also another very important aspect of God’s love: Because God is love, He wants to share all of His riches and glory with us Ep1:18. But because God is also Holy and Just, He is constrained to give His glory only to those who He deemed are worthy; only to those who are pure and holy, who have been tested and proven. Peter wrote ‘..the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ’ 1Pe1:7.
Paul wrote ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, 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. Jesus expressly prayed the Father saying ‘And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them..’ Jn17:22. 1Th2:12 states ‘That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory’. Paul wrote ‘Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ 2Th 2:14’.
God gave us His Spirit to change us from glory to glory into the same image as Jesus Christ 2Co3:18. God’s desire is that we become like Jesus, so He can give us all things. Re21:7 states ‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’. In short, this is the SONSHIP message- God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. But SONSHIP is only for those who know of this great plan that God has for us. It would require faith and a desire to be like Jesus on your part for it to be fulfilled in you. Without these virtues, faith and desire, SONSHIP will be unattainable to you!
The SONSHIP Message- God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus
Jesus came to earth so that God could have more sons and daughters like Him. By His coming, Jesus left us an example to follow. Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it’ Mt16:24-25. He2:10 states ‘it became God.. in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’.
1Jn3:1-3 declare ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the SONS of GOD.. 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’. Ro8:29-30 state ‘for whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, that Jesus might be the firstborn of many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified’.
Php3:21 states God will ‘change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body‘. Paul 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.. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ Php3:10-14. Paul’s goal and our goal should be the same- to become like Jesus Christ. This is what the SONSHIP message is all about! God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ so that He can give them all that He has- EVERYTHING that He has Re21:7.
The Paramount Reason Why God Created Man- For SONSHIP
In conclusion, the paramount reason why God created man is to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ (SONSHIP), in order to share His glory with them! This is the same glory that Lucifer wanted to extort from God and was cast out of heaven; the glory that belonged only to Jesus and reserved for those later that will become sons of God. Lucifer’s desires can be found in his 5 ‘I wills’- ‘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 was defeated in his rebellion against God, and was cast down to earth Eze28:17,18, Lk10:18, Re12:9.
After Lucifer fell, some untold years later God jump started His great SONSHIP plan for mankind, when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden which was 6000 years ago. God allowed Satan and the tree of offense, the no-no tree, also to be there. Adam and Eve partook off the fruit of that evil tree, thereby sin and death came into the world. Because of Adam and Eve sin, we needed a Savior; Jesus had to come to die for our sins. And because of Jesus, we now have the Bible, and we can now know of God’s great love and plan for us, and of His inheritance that He intends to give us.
God sent Jesus Christ to be the perfect example for us to follow. Ep4:13 states ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’. We are nearing the time of perfection when the Rapture will soon occur. 1Jn3:2 states ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Ro8:14 tells ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 2Co3:18 states we ‘are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’.
Ro8:19 tells ‘For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS of GOD’. This is the ‘eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Ep3:11 and the paramount reason why God created us- for SONSHIP, to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ in order to share all His riches and glory with us for all eternity. And it all began in the Garden of Eden!
This concludes What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden! Amen!
What Really Happened In the Garden of Eden- God’s Eternal Purpose Revealed Part II
The Garden Scene/The Garden Sin
Adam and Eve may have lived in the garden for many years before they gave in to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, were asexual and had no children, and were in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no bondage, no lack, no strife, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They were vegetarians or fruitarians, who ate the fruit of all the trees except one in the garden. They were healthy and would have lived forever. Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve were clothed with glory. The Bible said that the serpent was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a human. The serpent may have befriended and encountered Adam and Eve many times. But he laid a trap for them one day, even as he can for all of us 2Ti2:26. This is what temptations are all about- traps of the devil! The devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies Jn8:44. Satan seeks to steal, kill and destroy Jn10:10. Adam and Eve believed the serpent’s lie about becoming as wise as gods Ge3:5, disobeyed and broke God’s only law and became wise, knowing good and evil, and also became perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened and they realized their nakedness and sinfulness. Ro5:12 states by Adam, sin and death entered into the world, and was passed on to every man!
God’s Life for Our Life; God Knew He Had to Die For Our Sins
It can be proven that God knew that Adam and Eve would sin. The Bible states Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world Re13:8, not just 2000 years ago. Ep1:4 states that God has chosen us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before God in love. Why do we need to be holy and without blame if there was no sin? 2Ti1:9 states that God had saved and called us with an holy calling before the world began. Ac2:23 declares that it was ‘by the determinate counsel andforeknowledge of God’ that Jesus would be crucified and slain’. Why did God want to pay such a great price for us? It was God’s plan to die for our sins. It was the choice of a sovereign God before the world began, to come down to earth as the man Jesus to give His life to save us; to die for our sin and to effectuate His great plan for us. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the death of a suffering Messiah 700 years before it happened, which described what happened to Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53). Salvation is all about God’s great love for us, and God’s grace toward us!
God’s Life for Our Life- To Bring Forth His Eternal Plan in Christ Jesus For Us
So why was God willing to pay the ultimate price, His life to save us Jn15:13? What was God’s motive? It was His prerogative and choice to die for us! Knowing that man would sin, God gave His life for our life. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for us. Here are some reasons why Jesus came to earth: 1.To teach and preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, to heal every sickness and disease Mt4:23, 2. To save sinners 1Ti1:15, 3. To make us free Jn8:36, 4. To destroy the works of the devil 1Jn3:8, 5. To give us an abundant life Jn10:10, and eternal life Jn3:16, and 6. To taste death for every man He2:9. But the most important reason why Jesus came was to redeem us so that God can have more sons and daughters like Himself. Tit2:13,14 state ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’. 2Co6:17,18 declare ‘.. I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’. This is the Sonship Message! This is all about Sonship- God’s eternal plan to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ- a people like Jesus Christ!
End of Part II. To be continued…
What Really Happened In the Garden of Eden Part I Wyman Au
Why am I here? What is life all about? Why did God create me? What will happen to me after I die? Was I born to die or is there more to life than that? Did God have two plans- a Plan A when creating Adam & Eve, and then a Plan B when they sinned? No, God has only one PLAN! God is perfect, makes no mistakes, knows the end from the beginning, and has all things under control. From the beginning of time God had only one plan for man! From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is only a 7000-year account of God’s dealing with mankind; 6000 years have nearly passed and the 1000 year-reign of Jesus Christ will soon begin. For an eternal God, 7000 years is a just a blink of an eye. There is more to come for us, but not yet revealed in the Bible– Eternity!
So what is the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, as stated in Ep3:11? In Ep1:4,5 it state ‘According as God hath chosen us in Jesus 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’. God knew us before we were born and chose us in Jesus Christ before the world was formed to be a pure and holy people, long before we knew and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Before our parents met, before Adam and Eve were created, and before the world began, God chose us to be His holy children, according to the good pleasure of His will. 2Ti1:9 states God ‘.. hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling.. according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN’. God had predestinated and predetermined everything. God’s purpose and his good pleasure are intertwined in all of creation. Re4:11 tells God is worthy of all glory, honor, and power for He created all things for His pleasure. The key to God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus- why He created us, and what He wants to achieve in us all began in the Garden of Eden. But first we will look at God’s sovereignty and what is His good pleasure.
God’s Sovereignty and His Good Pleasure
God is Sovereign and Almighty. He does whatever He wants and when He wants. He chooses whomever He pleases ‘..according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself’ Ep1:9. To illustrate God’s sovereignty as Creator, we had no choice to be born: no choice of our parents; of our gender, male or female; of our ethnicity or nationality- yellow, brown, red, black or white, or the country we were born in, e.g. Africa, China, or the USA. Also, we had no choice of when in time and history we would be living. How would you liked to have lived in the days of Noah during the great flood when all perished but 8 people, or in the days of Moses, wandering aimlessly in the desert for 40 years until many died off? It was a Sovereign God who put us into this world, chose our parents, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and when in time we would be living.
Also God chose you and I to be living today. Why is this so special? God has chosen us to be living in these last days such that, one day soon, some of us will see Jesus, not die, but to be like Him and be taken to heaven in the Rapture 1Th4:17,1Co15:51. John wrote ‘when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’ 1Jn3:2. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’ Mt5:8. We are living in a very special time when Jesus will return to take us to heaven with Him Jn14:3. Because of His sovereignty and great love for us, God worked out His great plan & purpose for us, and it all began in the Garden of Eden!
In the Garden of Eden
Ge1:1 states that God created the heaven and the earth. God put all the trees and animals on the earth, and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Every tree God planted was pleasant to sight and good for food Ge2:9. God also allowed the serpent to be in the garden. Re12:9 states ‘the old serpent is the devil or Satan’. How did the tree of knowledge of good and evil (‘the no-no tree’) get there in the garden? Since it was not a good tree, God did not plant it; perhaps Satan did. Mt13:25,39 tell the devil is the sower of tares, or the planter of the bad seed. Like God’s trees, the ‘no-no tree’ was also beautiful Ge3:6, but not good for food. In the beginning 6000 years ago, there was only one law– thou shalt not eat of the ‘no-no tree’; ‘for in that day you eat thereof, you shall surely die’ Ge2:17. However, consider these facts: without the serpent, there would have been no temptation, and without the ‘no-no tree’, no sin! Was it fair for God to put man in the circumstance of sin by allowing the ‘no-no tree’ there? Jas1:13,14 state ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed’. It is Satan that tempts! Adam and Eve were tempted by their own lust, and enticed. But what was God’s purpose to put man in this situation? God foreknew that Adam would sin. But here is a very important revelation: If Adam and Eve did not sin, we would not have needed a Savior; Jesus would not have had needed to come, and if Jesus did not come, we would not know Him and about God’s great plan for us. The name Jesus means ‘he shall save his people from their sins’ Mt1:21. Consider this– NO SIN, NO NEED FOR A SAVIOUR, NO JESUS, NO SPECIAL PLAN FOR US, NO HOLY BIBLE TO TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN, AND NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! And without the Bible, we would not know of God’s great love for placing us here on earth, and His eternal purpose FOR US IN CHRIST JESUS!
End of Part I. To be continued…