Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"BELIEVE" IS ALWAYS PRESENT TENSE

John 1:12 - "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name!"

John 6:29 - "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."

John 6:69 - "And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

John 8:24 - "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins."

John 9:38 - "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him."

John 11:27 - "She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."

John 13:19 - "Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He."

John 14:1 - "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me." 

John 14:11 - "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake."

John 14:29 - "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe."

John 16:30 - "Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God."

John 19:35 - "And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe."

John 20:31 - "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

THE CURE FOR DEATH

MANKIND WAS CREATED A LIVING, SPIRITUAL BEING.

"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them."  (Gen. 1:26-27)
 
ADAM SINNED, AND IN ADAM, ALL MANKIND DIED SPIRITUALLY!

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

"For as in Adam all die...." (1 Cor. 15:22)

JESUS SAID, "YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN (OF THE SPIRIT)!
 
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-8)
 

THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT IS TO BRING THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE!

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:13-14)

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you." (1 Pet. 1:23-25)

FAITH COMETH BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD!

Monday, May 25, 2015

REMEMBERING THE ONE WHO DIED FOR ME

On this Memorial Day, instead of thinking about all the brave men and women who gave their lives for America, I want to focus upon the One who willingly gave His life for the entire world!  Of course, I am talking about the Jesus of the Bible.  The Apostle John wrote, "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).  "Propitiation" is a fancy word for "the satisfaction of a debt."  It means God accepted His sacrifice as payment-in-full for the sins of the whole world.

By 1971, I had become so sick of organized religion, that I actually became a "card-carrying" atheist.  I went out of my way to debate religious zealots who thought it necessary to "save me."  When a fellow sailor named Hal Judd, confronted me in 1970 with his faith in Jesus, I made him look like the fool I thought he was - point that will be evident shortly.  A couple of months went by, when a former neighbor from California decided he wanted to respond to my cordial-but-no-thanks letter I sent the first time he contacted me; he sent me a pocket New Testament.  I remember throwing it across the room in anger.

One night, while standing "watch" with the Blue Angels, I tired of reading my college text for American History.  When I searched the office for the usual porn that was usually prevalent, I discovered that someone had "sterilized" the place!  There wasn't even a newspaper to read.  So I decided to get my Biology textbook out and study it for a while.  When I opened my briefcase, there it was!  Someone had decided to pick up that New Testament and place it in there!  I was, at first angry, but then decided, for laughs, to open it at random and read what I believed was "garbage."  What I found was writing so beautiful, that it made Shakespeare's writings seem dull!  I had opened to Matthew Twenty-five, was so impressed with its beauty that I called a friend to discuss it. 

The next morning, Sunday, January 31, 1971, I was sitting at the dining room table, telling my wife about the beautiful, almost "other-worldly" book Tim Coffman had sent me.  She was totally in shock that I had even touched it.  As I was talking, our children had come down stairs, turned on the T.V., and had gone into the kitchen to get some cereal.  I was so engrossed with my conversation with Judy, that I didn't make a "big deal" about the "garbage" that was on.  About that very instant, I heard the announcer say that following the hymn, the Pastor would present his morning message.  I told Judy that I thought it would really be something if he preached on the same thing I had read the night before.  When the music stopped, he said, "Good morning.  Today I want us to look at Matthew Twenty-five, the Parable of the Ten Virgins."  I literally jumped up from my chair and shouted something, I do not remember what.

I listened to him, to the next preacher an hour later, and was listening to the "invitation" of a third preacher, Rex Humbard of the Cathedral of Tomorrow.  By that time, I had heard the Gospel three times!  I believed it.  Jesus died for me; they buried Him, and He was raised from the dead to be the Savior and Lord of all who would come to Him.  I started to fall to my knees on the floor, but as I slid forward, I say Judy doing dishes in the kitchen.  I froze.  Just then, for no reason that either of us knows today, she turned and walked outside.  It was very cold outside, even for Florida, and for her to do that with wet hands and no coat, was so unlike her.  The door closed and I hit the floor. 

Since that time, my O.C.D. personality has been somewhat in check - I mess up occasionally, but am immediately filled with remorse.  Thank God the Apostle Paul struggled in his attempt to live a pure life (Rom. 7:15-25), and the Apostle John provided God's children with 1 John 1:8-10!  Today, I am more certain of Jesus as my Lord and Savior, than I was on that cold morning!  I cannot wait to see Him face-to-face so that I can be like Him (1 Jn. 3:2)! 


Jesus Christ, God, the Son of God, Creator, and soon coming King!
Come Lord Jesus! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

THERE BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD GO I

Seven Christians were walking toward a refugee camp in Northern Syria, when they we captured by a large number of Islamic terrorists.  When they were asked if they were Christians, they all said yes.  Their captors decided to quiz them on their knowledge of the Bible, so they asked each, one at a time, what his favorite Bible verse was.

The first answered, "John 3:16 - 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."  He was immediately shot between the eyes!

The second answered, "Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  The man guarding him promptly placed his hand under his chin, and he slit his throat!

The third answered, "Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  The man standing behind him repeatedly struck him in the head with the butt of his rifle, and he died!"

The fourth answered, "2 Corinthians 5:21 - For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."  His captor slipped a noose around his neck, and he hung him on the nearest tree branch!

The fifth answered, "Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."  An angry terrorist began pouring gasoline on him, and he died a painful death when the villain set him on fire!

The sixth answered, "John 14:6 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."  He was forced to dig his own grave, and died from being buried alive!

The seventh answered, "Luke 23:34 - Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."  The leader of the armed group was so moved by his choice of Bible verses, that he had all of his soldiers sit down, and he asked the seventh man to pray for he and his men!

The seventh man prayed, "Dear Lord Jesus, these men do not believe You and Your Father love them.  Lord, open their eyes that they may see, and open their ears that they may hear the Good News!  Help them comprehend the religion is an invention of man - that the Creator of the Universe wants to have a relationship with them; You want to adopt them as Your children, that they may spend eternity with Him.  Help them understand that their sins separated them from You, but You provided Your Son as a substitute so that they might be forgiven.  Before I trusted in You and Your Word, the Bible, I was just like them, filled with self-righteousness and hatred.  I thank God You were merciful to me, and I pray You will do the same for each of them.  I pray this for Your glory, and in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord!"

 
Sound far-fetched?  Is your God not capable of such as this?  I hope so!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

SALVATION RESULTS FROM BELIEVING GOD

There are a lot of Bible scholars who are quite certain they know what one must do in order to be saved, that is, to become a born again believer in Jesus Christ.  Sadly, they do not all agree.  Therefore, some or all may be wrong.  It is obvious that all cannot be right!  I am sure they all believe they are correct, and all those who disagree with them, are bound for hell.  Yes, theology, like most "ologies," is still being debated as it has been since the days of Cain and Abel.  I am not foolish enough to dogmatically state that "my way" is right, but I would like to share my understanding of what the Bible teaches on the subject of salvation. 

Abel - "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh" (Heb. 11:4).

Enoch - "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:5-6).

Noah - "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Heb. 11:7).

Abraham - "For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Jam. 2:23).

Rahab - "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace" (Heb. 11:31).

The Thief - "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Lk. 23:42-43; Mt. 27:38).

The Jailer - "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house" (Acts 16:30-32).

Whosoever - "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:10, 13, 17).

  

Friday, May 22, 2015

THE TRINITY AND THE TRUTH

John 4:23 - "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship The Father in (The) Spirit and in (The) Truth: for The Father seeketh such to worship Him."

John 5:33 - "Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto The Truth."

John 8:32 - "And ye shall know The Truth, and The Truth shall make you free."

John 14:6 - "Jesus saith unto him, I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto The Father, but by Me."

John 14:17 - "Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

John 15:26 - "But when The Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from The Father, even The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from The Father, He shall testify of Me."

John 16:13 - "Howbeit when He, The Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into All Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come."

John 17:19 - "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through The Truth."

John 18:38 - "Pilate saith unto Him, What is Truth (he should have asked, 'WHO is Truth)? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in Him no fault at all."

1 John 5:20 - "And we know that The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is The True God, and eternal life."

 
The Father is the God of Truth; Satan is the god of liars!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

PROPHECY: HISTORY WRITTEN IN ADVANCE

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Dan. 9:24-27)

The Book of Daniel is filled with mysterious visions of future events.  Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Chapter Two was the foundation for more precise interpretations later in the book.  The "head of gold" represented the Babylonian Empire (v. 38; 7:4).  The "breast and arms of silver" represented the Medo-Persian Empire (v. 39; 5:28; 6:8, 12, 15; 7:5; 8:20).  The "belly and thighs of brass" symbolized the Grecian Empire (v. 39; 7:6; 8:21; 10:20).  And the "legs of iron," although not specifically named, clearly described the Roman Empire (v. 40; 7:7; 9:26).

Most students of Bible prophecy view the "feet and toes of a mixture of iron and clay" as being the revived Roman Empire.  The obvious connection, of course, is the "iron," but it will be weaker, in that it will be a divided Empire (v. 40-43).  Notice that it will be led by the future prince of the people who would eventually kill Israel's Messiah, and who would then destroy the city and the Temple (9:26).  The Lord was Crucified by Rome forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command.

The Revived Roman Empire will be weaker, but only for a short time.  The "prince" (a.k.a. the Antichrist - 1 Jn. 2:18; that "man of sin, the son of perdition" - 2 Th. 2:3; and "the Beast" - Rev. 13:1) will rule the ten "toes" (ten nation confederacy) for three and a half years, but he will receive a mortal head wound mid-way through his seven year peace agreement with Israel (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:3).  I believe his body will then become "possessed" by "the dragon" (a.k.a. Satan, the serpent, the devil - Rev. 12:9), who will break the covenant, and literally take control of the entire world. 

It is at that point in time, that he will become stronger than all of his predecessors.  It is also then, that the Satan-indwelt Antichrist will commit the "abomination of desolation" (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:5-6), and Israel finally realizes that he is not their Messiah!  They go into hiding for the last half of the seven years.  Both periods are clearly defined as being forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), twelve hundred sixty days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6), and three and a half years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14).


All fulfilled prophecy has been fulfilled literally!  So shall this be!