Archive for the 'For the New Christian' Category

Apr 13 2012

A Study and Review of The Book of Revelation: A Prophecy of the End Times and GOD’S Ultimate Triumph Over All Evil!

The Book of Revelation

This review of the Book of Revelation was compiled from “The Layman’s Bible Handbook”, George W. Knight, 2003.  This handbook has given me tremendous insight and understanding of God’s Eternal Word.

As a Child of GOD, I do not fear the end of the world and the long-awaited return of Jesus.  I have a sad feeling in my heart when I think of those non-believers who have no idea of Christ’s return.  The many who are “lost” have no fear of being “left behind”.  My heart aches for those lost souls.  The Book of Revelation is the only book of apocalyptic literature in the entire New Testament.  The writing was of a distinctive type of writing in biblical times that used symbols and numbers to depict the end of the present age and the coming of God’s future kingdom.  The Book of Revelation is similar to apocalyptic writings in several books of the Old Testament,  i.e. Daniel, Ezekiel,and Zechariah.

The Book of Revelation was written about A.D. 95 by John, The Beloved Disciple of Jesus.  At this time John was imprisoned by the Romans on Patmos, a rocky and barren island off the coast of what now is modern day Turkey.

John wrote this book during a time of intense persecution of the Christian movement under the Roman emperor Domitian.  John probably used symbolism in his writing to hide the meaning of his message from the Roman enemies of the church.  Christian “insiders” understood the images that John used, but the Roman persecutors did not have the key that enabled  them to decode his message.

The Book of Revelation came to John under divine inspiration through a series of visions.  In spite of the persecution that believers were experiencing, John affirmed that the all-powerful Lord would fulfill His promises and accomplish His purpose in history.  Jesus Christ would be victorious over the forces of Saten, and He would reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Rev 1:1-3   These verses indicate that the Book of Revelation was revealed to the apostle John through an angel.  It came directly from the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.  John chose to write this revelation down in the form of a letter.  It was probably intended to be read publicly in local congregations.

Rev 1:4-8   John addresses this letter to the churches in seven cities that represent the major centers of Christianity in the region of Asia (Turkey).  The theme of his letter is “victory in Jesus.”  God has guaranteed that His Son Jesus Christ-“Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”-will reign ultimately over the entire earth Phil. 2:11 .

Rev 1:9-20  While in exile on the island of Patmos, John had a vision of the risen Lord.  He was told to write down what he saw and to send his message to the seven churches, represented by seven candlesticks.  Jesus appeared among these candlesticks; this represented His presence with these congregations.  In His hands Jesus held seven stars.  These represented “the angels of the seven  churches”, perhaps angels with responsibility for and authority over these churches.                                                                                                     

Rev 2:1-7  John writes a specific message to the church at Ephesus ( Acts 19:1-40 ).  Their initial love and enthusiasm for the Lord had cooled, and they needed to rekindle their zeal.

Church at Ephesus

Rev 2;12-17   The church at Pergamos was accused of indulging in idol worship.  Unless they repented immediately of their evil, the Lord promised to confront them and to fight against them with the sword of His mouth.

Church at Pergamos

Rev 2:18-29  Tolerating immorality and false teaching was the problem of the church of Thyatira.  This congregation was exhorted to return to the truth.

Church at Thyatira

Rev 3:1-6   The believers in the church at Sardis had lost their spiritual zeal. They needed to wake up and “strengthen the things…that are ready to die” so they could bring honor and glory to the Lord.

Church at Sardis

Rev 3:7-13  The church at Philadelphia is the only one of the seven churches that receives no rebuke.  In spite of great persecution, this congregation remained faithful to the Lord.

Church of Philadelphia

Rev 3:14-22  The church at Laodicea is condemned more severely than all the other churches.  The problem of these believers was spiritual apathy.  They were “neither cold nor hot” about spiritual matters.  God promised to deal with this church severely unless they repented of their waywardness.

Church at Laodicea

Rev 4:1-11  This chapter describes a vision in which John saw the Lord in heaven, seated on a throne.  Seated around the throne were 24 elders representing angels who administered God’s rule throughout the universe.  The four creatures described as “beasts” were actually seraphim (Isa. 6:1-3), winged beings, or another order of angels who helped to administer the rule of God in the universe.  God’s unquestioned rule and authority are clear when these 24 elders and four seraphim fall down in worship before Him.

Rev 5:1-14  This chapter continues John’s vision of God seated on a throne.  In His hand God holds a book, or scroll, that is sealed with seven wax seals.  One of the elders around the throne declares that only the risen Christ-represented by a lamb-is worthy to remove the seven seals and open the scroll.  God hands the scroll to Jesus.  This symbolizes that He has delegated to His crucified and risen Son all authority in heaven and earth.  The elders and angels that had previously bowed down to God now fall down in adoration and worship at the feet of Jesus.

Rev 6:1-8    Rev 6:9-11   Rev 6:12-17  Rev 7:1-17  Rev 8:1  This section of Revelation describes the events of God’s judgement represented by the seven seals when Jesus removed them from the scroll.  Seals 1 through 4 show the horrors of war, including famine, devastation, and death.  Seal 5 represents the reward of believers who are martyred for their faith.  Seal 6 shows the earthshaking events that will happen before the second coming of Christ.  The opening of the seventh seal causes an eerie silence in heaven, as all the earth awaits the coming judgment of the Lord.

Chapter 7 of Revelation is inserted between the opening of seal 6 and seal 7.  This chapter describes a great multitude of people who fall down before God and the Lamb in reverence and worship.  These people have been redeemed by the Lamb, and they are in God’s presence in heaven.

Rev 8:1-13   Rev 9:1-21  Rev 10:1-11  Rev 11:1-19    This section describes the seven trumpet judgements, or God’s judgement against the earth and those who have rejected Him.  These trumpets are sounded by seven angels.

Trumpet 1 (8:7) brings hail and fire on the earth.  Trumpet 2 (8:8-9) brings the destruction of sea life and ships.  At the sound of trumpet 3  (8:10-11), a meteorite poisons earth’s rivers and streams.  Many of the heavenly bodies are darkened with the sounding of trumpet 4 (8:12).  Trumpet 5 (9:1-12) brings torment and misery on earth’s inhabitants.  With trumpet 6 (9:13-21), widespread death occurs. The sounding of the seventh and final trumpet (11:15-19) indicates that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms over which Christ Jesus will rule.

Rev 10 and Rev 11:1-14 are inserted between the sounding of trumpets 6 and 7.  Chapter 10 reaffirms the call of the apostle John.  He is told to eat a book, or scroll.  This recalls the experience of the prophet Ezekiel ( Ezek. 2:1 – 3:11 ).  In Rev 11:1-14 , the apostle John sees the city of Jerusalem trampled for forty-tw0 months.  Two unnamed witnesses are raised up by the Lord to prophesy in His name.  After their persecution and death, they are resurrected and called up to heaven.  Faithfulness in God’s service will be rewarded ( Matt 25:14-29).

Rev 12:1-17  John sees a vision of a  woman who gives birth to a male child.  Saten, represented by a red dragon, tries to kill the child.  But the child is protected and delivered from harm by the Lord.  The message oft his chapter is that God will protect His church from Satan’s threats.

Rev 13:1-18  The vision in this chapter shows that Satan continues his efforts to destroy the church.  John sees a beast emerge from the sea.

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Mar 04 2012

WHAT HAPPENS WITH LIFE AFTER DEATH? Lesson on Life after Death!

 

The Christian hope in life after death depends upon belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Death does not have the last word over human destiny: God does. Jesus conquered death, and so death does not finally separate us from God.  My dear friend Joyce Woidtke shares her heart and soul about the last year of her sister Brenda’s life.  Thank you Joyce for sharing your wisdom and knowledge as you celebrate Brenda’s home-going in February, 2012! 

 

PRECIOUS  TIME  WITH  BRENDA 

Written by Mrs. Joyce Woidtke*

                 Since Adam and Eve were tempted and fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, all human beings will now face death.  We don’t speak of it much but death is a common fear of all of us.  But, the true believer in Christ should face death differently than those who don’t know Jesus as their Savior.

   I was not well acquainted with death personally until about 25 years ago.  At that time I was teaching in the youth department at First Baptist Madison, Madison Mississippi.  We had lost a beautiful young girl still in high school.  She was on her way to school, brushing her hair looking in the rear view mirror and failed to stop at the railroad track.  She was killed instantly and to this day I can still call up the features of her face.  Oh, I had lost grandparents when I was younger, but I expected them to die because they were older.  We lost one other young lady who had visited Sunday school to a terrible crime.  These two deaths were close together and they caused me to pause and consider just what death is,  particularly for the Christian.

   Time passed and the urgency to search God’s Word for what a Christian could know about death and beyond slipped away from me as the cares of everyday life rushed in.  Several years passed and a young father at church died suddenly of no apparent reason.  Not long after his funeral, a neighbor came to my door with a question from the man’s wife.  The neighbor asked me can you help me with the answer for her.  Her question was “will I recognize my husband and he recognize me in heaven?”  I told the neighbor to let me think about this for a while.  Always the best way to find an answer In God’s Word is to start with prayer.  That is what I did.

    After praying, the Scripture I seemed led to was the one we call the Mount of Transfiguration and other New Testament scriptures.  Then after much study I laid out in a rough chart what I found.  Several times I have been able to use the information compiled from the New Testament to give different individuals some comfort after a loved one had passed away.

    The information that I had collected is commonly known by most believers.  It was stringing the Scriptures to gather in a slightly different way than we usually teach them that brought a clearer picture to life after death for the believer.

    Then several months ago (2011) on a Sunday afternoon I had an urgent phone call from my sister, Brenda.  She asked if I could come right away.  (For those of you reading this who don’t know, my sister had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and it had spread to the liver.)  I was more than happy to visit her but she asked me “Can you please bring your Bible so we can find answers to some of my questions?”  It didn’t take me long and I was on my way.

    When we were finally sitting face-to-face her question was, “Can you tell me everything that God’s word can show me about what happens when I breathe my last breath?”  So we got out a pen and paper and just started to list all the wonderful things that a child of God could take as a promise.  It took us about four hours because of lots of questions, discussions and going down memory lane together and then looking to that great day when all God’s children would be home safely together.  The following is an abbreviated version of what we mined from God’s Holy Word that afternoon.  For the next weeks and months, we would refer back to the discussion of that afternoon to give her a firm reassurance that she was safely in His Hands.

    Hebrews 1:1-3   “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s Glory and the EXACT representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.  After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

    These wonderful three verses tell us that Jesus had redeemed us from our sins.  We have only to believe this and turn from our wicked ways and trust him and follow him to be his children.  Jesus went to the cross to bear our sins and sickness, was crucified, died, was buried, and resurrected.  Then 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven.  We’re told in these verses that He now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.  It is not that He sits in this position day in and day out in eternity.  The words “at the right hand” described a position of authority and great honor not necessarily a physical location.

    The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus holds three distinct positions.  They are Prophet, Priest and King.  No man was ever appointed as Prophet, Priest, and King before Christ.  Some were anointed kings, some prophets and some priests but in Christ all these offices are combined.  He is The Prophet to all men.  He is The Priest.  He is The King who will rule and reign forever.

    We know from God’s word that it has been appointed for all men to die once.  But that’s not the final word on the subject.  Jesus told us that if you hear His Word, you believe on Him that sent me, you will have everlasting life and you will not be condemned but you will pass from death into life.  Another promise that Jesus gave us is that He is the resurrection and the life and if we believe in Him that though we were dead, yet we will live. 

    Knowing how sick my sister Brenda was, I knew the only way for her to be healed was for God to physically intervene and heal her natural body.  That is always possible for God, but I told her that if God healed everyone people would be lined up for miles around our churches.  Who wouldn’t want to be healed from all the terrible sickness and hurts our bodies have.  But, if God chose to heal everyone the problem would be in the people’s responses.  There is an instance in the Bible where Jesus heals (Luke 17) ten lepers.  He tells the men to go show themselves to the priest.  The ten turn to go to the Temple to be declared ritually clean.  But, one of the men realizes his healing and turns back toward Jesus to praise and thank Him for it.  Now already we see from this story that only one of ten chose to thank Jesus.  But, the real surprise is that the one who turned back to thank Him was not even a Jew.  He was called a foreigner.

    This is the problem that we have today.  Many would line up to be healed and then go their merry way never realizing that they have been touched and healed by their Creator, their Sustainer, their Savior their God.  Sad isn’t it?  But, human nature hasn’t changed much.         

   Next, we needed to look at John 14:6-7.   Jesus has just told His disciples that He is going away but He would be back for them.  He told them that they knew the way to where He was going.  In verses 6 and 7 we read, “I am the Way and the TRUTH and the Life.”

    My whole emphasis here is on four words that Jesus spoke.  They are I AM THE TRUTH.  After many hours of sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair just thinking about these four words, one day I came to the conclusion that every word that proceeded out of Jesus’ mouth had to be absolute truth.  This may not be a profound thought to you.  You may say of course He is truth.  But, then my thinking went to many of the parables, one in particular.  It was the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  It is found in three of the Gospels.  This story can tell us so much about the answer to Brenda’s question.  That question was…”What can I know about the moment I breathe my last breath here?”  So I took a pen and paper and just started charting what I read in these verses.

    THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS IS FOUND IN  Luke 16:19-31 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.  Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  The time came when the beggar died and the Angels carried him to Abraham’s side.  The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, “father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”  But Abraham replied, son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.  He answered, then I beg you father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers.  Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.  Abraham replied, they have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.  No, father Abraham, he said, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.  He said to him, if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’   

 REMEMBER JESUS WILL ONLY TELL US ABSOLUTE TRUTH.  SO ANY PLACE, PERSON OR DESCRIPTION OF WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ANYONE IS TRUTH!

 RICH MAN                                                          LAZARUS

  1.  Rich                                                 1.  Poor
  2. Had all he wanted and more    2. Only the crumbs
  3. Moved about freely                    3. Had to be carried

                                                                               to the Rich Man’s Gate

      4. Was safe from bad weather     4. was outside in bad weather  

      5.      Well fed                                      5. Wanted leftovers                                           

      6.  Seemed to be well                     6. covered with sores

THEN DEATH COMES TO BOTH MEN

 

     7.   Rich man dies                                              7. Beggar dies first

     8.   Body is buried but soul                            8.  Soul and spirit carried by  

     and spirit goes to the torment                           angels to the peaceful

      side of Paradise                                                       side of Paradise

     9.  Was in torment and agony        9. Was at peace

   10.  He could see                                 10. He could see

   11.  He could speak                            11. He could speak

   12.  He recognized Abraham           12.  He recognized Abraham                                   

    We know the rich man was a Jew because he calls Abraham, Father, and Abraham calls him Son.  The rich man asks for pity but notice the arrogance in asking that Lazarus, the beggar bring him water. Abraham explains his request for water is impossible because there is a great divide between them and it is impossible to cross.  It was fixed so that no one from either side could cross over.  Finally, the rich man takes his mind off himself and thinks of others but still there is arrogance that he wants Lazarus to do his bidding.  The rich man has five living brothers and he wants them warned so that they too won’t end up in this place of torment.  But, Abraham explains that they should know full well how to avoid this terrible side of Abraham’s Bosom.  Moses, that great Old Testament prophet who wrote the first five books of the Bible, had warned man how to live before Holy God.  The Prophets had testified to how to live a life pleasing to God.  The rich man’s five brothers need to listen to the Word they already know.  And then without realizing it, the rich man prophesies for God.  The rich man said to Abraham, “if a man from the dead goes to my brothers this would convince them to repent and follow God”.   And then Abraham makes a profound statement that is still true today. He said to the rich man, “if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the Dead.’”

   Do you realize how many RED letter words spoken by Jesus in Luke 16 tell us of what is on the other side of OUR LAST BREATH?  (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THIS STORY IS BEFORE THE RESSURECTION AND THAT AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST WE GO IMMEDIATELY INTO HIS PRESENCE AS BELIEVERS.)

    As I continue writing this, I know someone is thinking this is JUST a parable.  That’s what is almost always said to me when I teach this lesson.  BUT, let us go back to the beginning of this lesson and look at the word TRUTH.  Jesus said He was the WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.  Understanding that, ask yourself this question, “Would Jesus tell us of this place BEFORE the cross and His rising from the dead if it was not a REAL place with Abraham there?”  Of course not.  Jesus NEVER had to make up any stories about people.  He knew everyone who has ever been born or died before birth.  He knew the lady taken in adultery and all her husbands.  He knew Peter would deny Him.  We could go on and on about the things and people’s actions that He knew about before they happened.  After all Jesus is God in human flesh. HE KNEW OF ABRAHAM’S BOSOM BECAUSE HE CREATED IT JUST LIKE HE CREATED HELL FOR FALLEN ANGELS.

    Next we need to look at Luke 23:32-43 where Jesus is on the cross.  “Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.  When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals;  one on His right, the other on His left.  Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  The people stood watching, and the rulers sneered at him.  They said, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers also came up and mocked Him.  They offered Him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.”  There was a written notice above Him, which are read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: “Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!”  But the other criminal rebuked him.  “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?”  “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “I tell you THE TRUTH, TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.”

    Jesus’ body was buried.  If the thief’s body was not claimed by family it probably would have been thrown into Gehenna.

   In John 20:10–18 we read about something that takes place after Jesus death and burial.  Starting in verse 10 we read, “then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying.  As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.”  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?  They have taken my Lord away,’ she said,’ and I don’t know where they have put him.’  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.  “Woman, He said why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking He was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni! ” Jesus said “do not hold on to me, for I have not yet RETURNED to the Father.  Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

   Note in Luke 23 the words “I tell you the truth “Jesus said to the thief on the cross, that had asked him remember me when you come into your kingdom, that on that very day the young man would be with Him in Paradise.  This is the place that is spoken of in Luke 16 where the rich man and Lazarus are taken after their death and before the cross.  It is a real place.  Jesus being the truth would not have told us of a place that was not real.  He would not have given us false hope about life after death.  He would’ve not given us false hope about the consciousness of those who have gone through death.  Then in John 20 Jesus tells us that he has not yet been to the Father.  We then understand where he has been for the three nights and three days that his body was in the tomb.  His soul and spirit had gone with the soul and spirit of the thief to Paradise known as Abraham’s bosom or Abraham’s side.

    Notice in John 20:17, where Jesus says he has not returned to the Father he asked Mary not to hold on to Him.  The word used here is hatuma in the Greek or naga in the Hebrew.  It was used in the Temple by the priests who would be carrying blood to the altar and did not want to be touched or interrupted.  The carrying of the blood to the altar was always done in vessels that had curved or pointed bottoms.  The reason for this shape was that no priest could be distracted and set it down.  The blood of the sacrifice was so special that the carrying of it to the altar was never to be interrupted hence the word naga or hatuma.   (Strongs) 

   In Hebrews 8, we see Jesus Christ as our great High Priest.  In Hebrews 9:7 we read, but only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.  In Hebrews 9:11–27 we read, when Christ came as the high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not part of this creation.  He did not enter by the means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!  For this reason Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.  In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when someone has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.  This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.  When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.  He said, this is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.  In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.  In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, BUT THE HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES WITH BETTER SACRIFICES THAN THESE.  FOR CHRIST DID NOT ENTER A MAN MADE SANCTUARY THAT WAS ONLY A COPY OF THE TRUE ONE; HE ENTERED HEAVEN ITSELF, NOW TO APPEAR FOR US IN GOD’S PRESENCE.  NOR DID HE ENTER HEAVEN TO OFFER HIMSELF AGAIN AND AGAIN, THE WAY THE HIGH PRIEST ENTERS THE MOST HOLY PLACE EVERY YEAR WITH BLOOD THAT IS NOT HIS OWN.  THEN CHRIST WOULD HAVE HAD TO SUFFER MANY TIMES SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.  BUT NOW HE HAS APPEARED ONCE FOR ALL AT THE END OF THE AGES TO DO AWAY WITH SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.  JUST AS MAN IS DESTINED TO DIE ONCE, AND AFTER THAT TO FACE THE JUDGMENT, SO CHRIST WAS SACRIFICED ONCE TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF MANY PEOPLE; AND HE WILL APPEAR A SECOND TIME, NOT TO BEAR THE SIN, BUT TO BRING SALVATION TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING FOR HIM. 

    You’re probably wondering why quote this long section of Hebrews.  I believe it shows that after three days and three nights Christ returned to the tomb in the garden of Gethsemane to take up his resurrected body.  When he meets Mary early in the morning while it is still dark and she doesn’t recognize him, she wants to hold on to him but he asked her not to.  I believe the reason he asked her not to hold on to him is because he had not yet ascended to the Father acting as our great High Priest taking his own blood once for all into the heavenly Temple.  Because, in John 21, we find the disciples afraid for their lives and huddling behind locked doors when suddenly Jesus appears in their midst.  He shows them his hands and side but Thomas is not there to see them.  Yet a week later there in the same place still afraid and Jesus comes into their midst again.  He allows Thomas to physically examine him also as the disciples did a week before.

    Why would Mary in the garden on the day of his resurrection be not allowed to touch Jesus and then just hours later the disciples were allowed to?  The answer seems to come from the Scriptures in Hebrews.  Acting as our great high priest he had to return to the father first with his offering of his own blood and having done that he had completed the payment that God required for the sin of all mankind.  We know now that there is no more sacrifice for sin.  That is why after meeting Mary, then going to His father the disciples were able to touch Him.  Because the Lamb of God had paid in full the penalty for the sins of all mankind.

    Let’s go back to the thought of the Mount of Transfiguration.  Jesus has invited Peter, James and John to go with him up the mountain.  There on the mountain they are met by Moses and Elijah.  Jesus is transformed before them.  His face and His clothing become a brilliant white.  Moses and Elijah are talking with Jesus.  And good old Peter decides they need to pitch three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.  When you read this story in Matthew, Mark and Luke, we never hear of an introduction.  Peter, James, and John seemed to recognize Moses and Elijah.  And Moses and Elijah seemed to know each other even though they lived years apart.  Also, Moses had truly tasted death and God buried him while Elijah never tasted death and was taken to heaven alive.  I may be reading more into this than there is but it seems that after death or translation to heaven there is no need for introductions.  It appears that we will all know each other no matter what age we lived in.  Think of that.  WOW!        

  • MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION—NO APPARENT INTRODUCTIONS NEEDED EVEN          THOUGH MEN FROM DIFFERENT PERIODS OF HISTORY
  • MOSED HAD DIED AND GOD BURIED HIM—ELIJAH TAKEN ALIVE TO HEAVEN YET HERE ON THE MOUNT THEY HAVE RECOGNIZABLE BODIES.  (MOSES BODY WOULD NOT HAVE YET

          BEEN RESURRECTED)

  • THIEF ON CROSS WENT TO PARADISE WITH JESUS (JESUS DIED FIRST AND MUST HAVE WAITED AROUND FOR THIEF TO DIE IN JOHN 19: 30-32)
  • WE LEARN FROM LUKE 16 IN THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS WHERE JESUS TOOK THE THIEF ON THE CROSS FOR THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS—TO PARADISE, ABRAHAM’S BOSON OR ABRAHAM’S SIDE
  • REMEMBER JESUS IS ALL TRUTH SO HE WOULD NOT HAVE TOLD US ABOUT A PLACE THAT WAS NOT REAL OR ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT REAL

THIS WAS BEFORE THE RESURRECTION! 

WE LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT THE TIME AFTER DEATH FROM THE LUKE 16 ACCOUNT…

  • IN PARADISE PEOPLE CAN SEE, HEAR, SPEAK, REASON, REMEMBER, SUFFER BUT NOT BE CONSUMED, BE AT PEACE AND ONCE AGAIN THERE ARE NO INTRODUCTIONS
  • IN JOHN WE FIND JESUS BACK IN THE GARDEN IN A REAL BODY—HE HAD ALREADY RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND IS COMIING BACK TO THE TOMB NOT OUT OF IT
  • HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE TOUCHED—–WHY—–BECAUSE HE HAS NOT YET BEEN TO HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN  (I THINK HEBREWS TELLS US WHY HE HAD TO GO TO HEAVEN AT THIS TIME ACTING AS HIGH PRIEST TO TAKE HIS SACRIFICE (BLOOD) TO THE HEAVENLY TABERNACLE)
  • IN JUST SHORT PERIOD OF TIME HE HAS MADE THE TRIP AND IS ALLOWING DISCIPLES TO VIEW HIS WOUNDS—THOMAS IS NOT PRESENT AND WILL DO SO A WEEK LATER, BUT OBVIOUSLY TOUCHING HIS WOUNDS AND CLINGING TO HIM IS NOW ALLOWED

MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE IN THIS LESSON:

After Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross, dying in our place, and then gloriously rising from the dead, we now, at our death do not go to Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise.  Our soul and spirit now go straight to be with Jesus in heaven while our body waits in the grave here on earth for it’s resurrection. 

 May your blessing be bountiful after reading, studying, and praying about this lesson.

 * Written and researched by Mrs. Joyce Woidtke, Canton, Mississippi.   Printed with permission.  Edited by John D. Williams,    GreatOutdoorBlessings.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oct 08 2011

What Happens When You Are Born Again?

1) Receive everlasting life (John 3:16)
2) Been born again (I John 5:1)
3) Been born of incorruptible seed (I Peter 1:23)
4) This incorruptible seed remaining in him (I John 3:9)
5) Become a son of God (John 1:12)
6) Become a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17)
7) Been passed from death unto life (John 5:24)
8) Been exempted from future condemnation (John 5:24)
9) Been redeemed from under the law (Galatians 4:5)
10) Been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 4:5)
11) Become dead to the law (Romans 7:4)
12) Received an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)
13) Been reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:18)
14) Peace with God (Romans 5:1)
15) Been justified (Romans 5:1)
16) All trespasses forgiven him (Colossians 2:13)
17) Been delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
18) Been translated into the kingdom of the Son of God (Colossians 1:13)
19) Been perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14)
20) His sins no more remembered (Hebrews 10:17)
21) His sins removed as far as the East is from the West (Psalms 103:12)
22) Been made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
23) Been accepted of God (Ephesians 1:6)
24) Been born of the Spirit of God (John 3:6)
25) Been baptized by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 12:13)
26) Been indwelt by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
27) Been sealed with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
28) Become the object of God’s love (Ephesians 2:4)
29) Become the object of God’s grace (Romans 6:14)
30) Become the object of God’s power (Ephesians 1:19)
31) Become the object of God’s faithfulness (I Corinthians 1:9)
32) Become a citizen of heaven (Ephesians 2:19Philippians 3:20)
33) Been seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)
34) Been already glorified (Romans 8:30)
35) Been given a home in heaven (John 14:1-3)
36) Been kept by the power of God (I Peter 1:5)
37) Been crucified with Christ (Galatians (2:20)
38) Been buried with Christ (Romans 6:4)
39) Been resurrected with Christ (Ephesians 2:6)

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Jul 06 2009

The Greatness of America! The Christian’s Declaration of Independence

My Dear Friend Jim McAtee sent the following to me and I wanted to share with you.  America,  Bless GOD, and live!

THE GEATNESS OF AMERICA   Early in the nineteenth century the French statesman, Alexander de Tocqueville, made a study of democracy in our country and wrote as follows:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there.

” I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there.

 “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.

     “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there.

     “I sought for the greatness and genius of America  in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, and it was not there.

     “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

     “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

               THE CHRISTIAN’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

 

     – I am free from failure for “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  Phil. 4;13

     – I am free from want for “my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil. 4:19

     – I am from fear for “God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7)

     – I am free from doubt for “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3.

     – I am free from weakness, “the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I b e afraid?”  Psalm 27:1.

     – I am free from the power of Satan “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

     – I am free from defeat “Now thanks be unto God which always caused us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:14.

     – I am free from ignorance, “for Christ Jesus is made unto me wisdom from God” 1 Cor. 1:30

     – I am free from sin “for the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin” 1 John 1:7

     – I am free from worry “for I can cast all my cares upon Him.”  1 Peter 5:7.

     – I am free from bondage “for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  2 Cor. 3:17

     – I am free from condemnation “for there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1.

My Heavenly Father wrote this

Just for Me and for You to

Remember It’s To Be

All About Him & when It’s Not

We cease to be blessed & are

On our way out as a Nation.

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Nov 12 2008

“Pistol” Pete Maravich with Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family

Double click here then double click on “A Tribute to Pete Maravich”   http://www.focusonthefamily.com/popups/media_player.aspx?MediaId={40F2D38C-BA1A-4D1C-81AC-3CBD05821EFE}&FAMILYTYPE=null

Double Click here then double click on “Pistol Pete’s Prayer”  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/popups/media_player.aspx?MediaId={40F2D38C-BA1A-4D1C-81AC-3CBD05821EFE}&FAMILYTYPE=null

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Aug 28 2008

“How to Discover Jesus” from Love Worth Finding Ministries

 

The following is from “How to Pray for America”                           “Love Worth Finding Ministries” in Memphis, TN

Psychologists have long known that every person has two great longings and inward needs. The first is to be loved, and the second is to love. But when pressures and heartaches come into our lives, many give up any hope of ever finding love.

The tragedy is that we often look in the wrong places to fill this deep, deep need and longing. Some substitute lust for love. Others pursue material things or superficial relationships – all in the futile attempt to fill a God-shaped vacuum in the human heart.

But there is good news! The Bible says, “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” (John 3:16). On the cross of Christ, God’s mighty love was revealed and offered unconditionally to all who would be saved.

Do you long to know this mighty love? Then I need to ask you the most important question you’ll ever be asked: Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves you, that your sins are forgiven, and that you are saved and on your way to heaven?

The great news is, you can know! Let me share with you how to discover the answer.

Admit Your Sin

First, you must admit that you are a sinner. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

It is our sin that separates us from God and from fulfilling our deepest needs and longings. Sin is an offense against God that carries a serious penalty. According to Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death [eternal separation from the love and mercy of God.”

Abandon Your Efforts

Second, you must abandon any efforts to save yourself. If we could save ourselves, Jesus’ death would have been unnecessary!

Even “getting religion” cannot get you to heaven. The Bible says it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His [God’s] mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). Salvation is by God’s grace, “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Acknowledge Christ’s Payment

What you cannot do for yourself, Jesus Christ has done for you! “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He died on the cross for you and then rose from the dead to prove that His payment was acceptable to God. But you must acknowledge and believe this fact. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Accept Christ as Your Savior

Salvation is God’s gift to you. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). When someone offers you a priceless gift, the wisest thing you can do is accept it! This very moment, you can receive Christ’s gift of salvation by sincerely praying this simple prayer from your heart:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Friend, if you have not yet made a decision for Christ, I urge you to receive Him today. You’ll be eternally glad to know our Lord.  After you receive Him, ask Him through prayer to help you learn from His WORD what to do daily to live as a Christian and glorify Him.

From “How to Pray for America” and Love Worth Finding Ministries, Memphis, Tennessee

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Apr 29 2008

Self-Study The Gospel According to JOHN-Chapters 19, 20, & 21

 

 

Welcome to the study summary of John Chapters 19, 20, & 21.  Please read these Chapters of John before reviewing this summary.

John 19:17-24  Jesus is crucified at a site known as Golgotha.  See  Matt. 27:33-37; Mark 15:22-26; Luke 23:32-38

John 19:25-27  Jesus’ mother and two other women – Mary the wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene – look on as Jesus is crucified.  Jesus commends His mother to the care of His disciple John ” the disciple standing by, whom He loved”.  See Matt. 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:49

John 19:28-30  Jesus dies on the cross after the soldiers give Him vinegar to drink as a painkiller.

John 19:31-37  After Jesus dies, soldiers pierce His side with a sword to make sure He is dead.  Jesus had died quickly, so it was not necessary for the soldiers to break His legs to hasten His death.  This fulfills the Scripture that no bones of the sacrificial lamb offered during the Passover were to be broken.  See Exo. 12:46;  Num. 9:12

John 19:38-42  Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, claims His body to give it an appropriate burial.  Joseph is assisted by Nicodemus ( John 3:1-21 ), who brings perfume and spices to anoint the body.  They bury Jesus in a new tomb that has never been used.  See Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-54

John 20:1-2  Mary Magdalene discovers the body of Jesus is missing when she visits the tomb on Sunday morning.  She reports this to His disciples Peter and John.  See Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8

John 20:3-10  Peter and John rush to the tomb to check out Mary’s report that Jesus’ body has been taken away.  See Luke 24:9-12

John 20:11-18  Mary Magdalene remains outside the tomb after Peter and John leave.  Two angels tell her that Jesus has been resurrected from the dead.  Then Jesus appears before Mary and reveals Himself clearly as the risen Christ.  She reports this to His disciples.  See Mark 16:9-11

John 20:19-25  The resurrected Jesus appears to His disciples in a place where they are hiding because of their fear of the Jewish religious leaders.  He convinces them He is the risen Christ by showing them the wounds on His hands and side.  Jesus’ disciple Thomas is not present during the appearance.  He refuses to believe that Jesus is alive until He can see Him with his own eyes.

John 20:26-31  Jesus appears among His disciples when Thomas is present.  He deals with Thomas’ skepticism by inviting Him to touch the wounds in His hands and side.  Believing, Thomas declares, “My Lord and my God”. 

John 21:1-14  Jesus appears to seven of His disciples at the sea of Galilee.  He prepares and eats a meal with them to prove they are not seeing a ghost or a vision. 

John 21:15-19  Jesus forgives Peter for his denials and reinstates him to full service as His disciple, charging him to “feed my sheep”.  He predicts that Peter will suffer persecution and death because of his faithfulness to the risen Lord.

John 21:20-23  Jesus deals with Peter’s question about how long His disciple John (“the disciple whom Jesus loved,”) will live.

John 21:24-25  Jesus’ disciple John, the author of this Gospel, vows that the things he has written about Jesus are authentic eyewitness accounts.  He also declares that Jesus did many things he has not included in this Gospel.  If he had written about all these events, John says, “the world itself could not contain the books that should be written”.

 

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Apr 07 2008

Self-Study The Gospel According to JOHN-Chapters 17 and 18

Welcome to the study summary of John Chapters 17 and 18. Please read these Chapters of John before reviewing this summary.

John 17:1-26  These verses are known as Jesus’ “high priestly prayer.”  He prays for Himself, that He will glorify the Father in His suffering and death which are now just a few hours away,  John 17:1-5  for His disciples, John 17:6-19 and for all future believers.  John 17:20-26

John 18:1-12 Jesus is arrested by officers from the Jewish Sanhedrin after Judas leads them to the spot where He can be found, the Garden of Gethsemane (parallel passages: Matt. 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53 ).

John 18:13-14  Jesus appears first before Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas the high priest.

John 18:15-27   Jesus next appears before Caiaphas the high priest and the rest of the Jewish Sanhedrin.  Standing outside the house of the high priest, Peter denies that he knows Jesus (parallel passages:  Matt. 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62).

John 18:28-John 19:6   Jesus appears before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who sentences Him to death by crucifixion (parallel passages: Matt. 27:11-26; Mark 15:2-15; Luke 23: 13-25 ).

 

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Apr 05 2008

Self-Study The Gospel According to JOHN-Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16

 

Welcome to the study summary of John Chapters 13,14,15, &16. Please read these Chapters of John before reviewing this summary.

John 13:1-20   Jesus and His disciples observe the Passover by eating a meal together.  He teaches them the meaning of humble service by washing their feet.  This was a menial chore that only the most lowly slave would perform for their household guests. 

John 13:21-30   During the Passover meal, Jesus predicts that one of His diciples will betray Him.  He identifies this disciple by dipping a piece of bread into a bowl and giving it to Judas   (parallel passages:  Matt. 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:21-23). John 13:31-38   Jesus gives His disciples a new commandment:  John 13:34  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  He also predicts that Peter will deny Him three times  (parallel passages:  Matt. 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38 ).  

John 14:1-16  John 14:33  Jesus delivers a long, extended farewell to His disciples.  He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them,  John 14:3-4  promises to send the Holy Spirit to guide them after He is gone,  John 14:16-18  John 14:26  John 16:7-13  encourages them to abide in Him as the true vine,  John 15:1-8 and assures them that the persecution they will experience in the world will be bearable since He has overcome the world.  John 16:32-33

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Apr 03 2008

Self-Study The Gospel According to JOHN-Chapter 12

 

Welcome to the study summary of John Chapter 12. Please read the 12th Chapter of John before reviewing this summary.

John 12:1-8 Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha, anoints Jesus with an expensive perfume.

John 12:9-11 The religious leaders continue their plot against Jesus, even including Lazarus in their acusations because he is responsible for causing many people to believe in Jesus.

John 12:12-19 Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a young donkey.

John 12:20-50 A group of Greeks (Gentiles or non-Jews) ask to see Jesus. They had probably heard about His miracles and unique teachings in regions beyond the Jewish nation. Jesus takes this as a sign that the time of His death is drawing near. He declares that He is the light sent by God to provide salvation for Gentiles as well as Jews-that is, the entire world.

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