Friday, April 17, 2015

GOOD NEWS FOR NON-JEWS

John 1:10-13 says, "He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own (the Jews), and His own received Him not.  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:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

The Apostle Paul elaborated in Romans 11:1-11 and 11:25-29:  "I say then, Hath God cast away His people?  God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew.  Know ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias?  How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.  But what saith the answer of God unto him?  I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.  What then?  Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.  According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day.  And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall?  God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.  As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

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

Thursday, April 16, 2015

EVIDENCE FROM JOHN'S GOSPEL

Most reference Bibles estimate that the Gospel of John was written somewhere between A.D. 80-95.  I am not aware of the reasons for their belief it was penned that late in John's life; perhaps it is because John wrote the Book of Revelation in the A.D. 90's.  I do not know.  However, I would suggest that it was finished before A.D. 70, as John makes no mention of the destruction of the Jewish Temple.  In fact, John mentions the Temple in seven chapters (2:14, 15, 19, 20, 21; 5:14; 7:14, 28; 8:2, 20, 59; 10:23; 11:56; and 18:20).  In the last of these, had the Temple already been destroyed, you would think he might have mentioned it; he wrote, "Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the Temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."

Another reason I believe it was written at an earlier date, is the fact that John is still appealing to the Jews.  The Apostle Paul wrote that the Jews needed a sign in order to believe (1 Cor. 1:22).  John presents seven signs or miracles prior to His Crucifixion, and one following His Resurrection:

John 2:1-11 - Turning water into wine - v. 11 "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him."

John 4:46-54 - Healing the nobleman's son - v. 54 "This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee."

John 5:1-47 - Healing the blind man - v. 36 "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me."

John 6:1-14 - Feeding the five thousand - v. 14 "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."

John 6:15-21 - Walking on the sea - v. 19 "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid."

John 9:1-41 - Healing of the Blind Man - v. 38 "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him."

John 11:1-45 - Raising Lazarus from the dead - v. 45 "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him."

John 21:1-14 - Appearing following His Resurrection - v. 14 "This is now the third time that Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead."


Regardless, John wrote his Gospel that all might believe in Jesus (20:30-31)!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FIRST THESSALONIANS 4:13 - 5:11

There is coming a day, that dreadful "Day of the Lord," in which God will pour out His wrath on all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obad. 1:15; Zeph. 1:7, 14; Zech. 14:1 Mal. 4:5; Acts 2:20; 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Th. 5:2; 1 Pet. 3:10)!  Unbelievers will be totally caught off guard by His coming for His Church (the Rapture - Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; 1 Th. 4:13-18; Rev. 4:1; etc.), but as we read these verses below, believers will be aware and ready for their returning Lord!


But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THE WORK OF GOD IN YOU

One of the most difficult concepts for new believers to comprehend, is that the process of becoming like Jesus requires the same miraculous grace that he or she experienced the moment of salvation!  We seem capable of understanding that we were sinners, totally unworthy of salvation when we came to faith in Christ; we know that salvation is a free gift offered to all from the very heart of God (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8; etc.).  But then, we somehow believe that we are on our own when it comes to living the Christian life!  That is a lie from Satan, who having lost us to God, endeavors to "guilt us" into believing we can either lose our salvation (can't happen!), or that we are worthless sinners, and that we must be perfect so that we can be used by God in spreading the Gospel to a lost world.  Is there a single Bible student who actually believes Peter was perfect?  No!  Apparently no one teaches new believers that the Church is made up of "leavened" Jews and Gentiles (Lev. 23:17; Mt. 13:33; Rom. 7:15-25; 1 Jn. 1:8-10; etc.)!  Here are some verses that should help you to trust in God to prepare us to see Jesus face-to-face (1 Jn. 3:2):

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are ye so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3).

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  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" (Rom. 8:28-30).

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Pet. 5:10).

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb. 13:20-21).


Religion says "work!"  Our Father says "allow Me to do My work in you!"

Monday, April 13, 2015

COMPARING SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord (אֲדֹנָי 'Adonay) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah) of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah) of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord (אֲדֹנָי 'Adonay), saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me" (Isa. 6:1-8).

"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.  And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord (κύριος kyrios) God (θεός theos) Almighty (παντοκράτωρ pantokratōr), which was, and is, and is to come.  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,  The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  Thou art worthy, O Lord (κύριος kyrios), to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev. 4:1-11).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

DANIEL'S SEVENTY WEEKS

FOUR HUNDRED NINETY TOTAL YEARS
[24]  Seventy weeks (Hebrew:  70 periods of 7 each)
are determined upon thy people (Israel)
and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem),
to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness (that which has been accomplished by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ - note "not for Himself" because it was for us!  see v. 26),
and to seal up the vision and prophecy (Dan. 12:4; Rom. 11:25; 16:25; Eph. 5:32 - that is, the mystery known as the Church Age - a 2000 year parenthetical period in which God has temporarily set aside His people Israel),
and to anoint the most Holy (the Second Coming of Christ as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, to establish His 1000 year Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 19:11 - 20:7).

FORTY-NINE YEARS TO REBUILD
[25]  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (the month of Nisan in the twentieth years of Artaxerxes - 444 B.C. )
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.
FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR MORE YEARS UNTIL THE CRUCIFIXION
[26]  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself (Jesus, Himself sinless, died to pay for the sins of mankind - Heb. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 2:2; etc.):
and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (after Jesus ascended up into heaven, Rome destroyed the city and sanctuary in A.D. 70, so the "prince that shall come" will be the Roman Antichrist);
and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (the end of the nation Israel UNTIL...).
SEVEN YEARS - THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE
[27]  And he (the Antichrist - Rev. 12:9;13:1-10; 1 Jn. 2:18; 2 Th. 2:3-10; etc.)
shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (with the "new nation" of Israel for seven years - Mt. 24:3-14; Rev. 6 - 11; etc.):
and in the midst of the week (three and one half years as is shown by it being designated as "a time, times, and a half time" - Dan. 7:25; Rev. 12:14 - "forty-two months" - Rev. 11:2; 13:5 - "1260 days" - Rev. 12:6; 13:3)
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 (Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:1-18; etc.).

DANIEL'S SEVENTY WEEKS ENDS WITH THE SECOND COMING!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

BODE'S PROOF OF THE CREATOR

One of the greatest scientific "proofs" for the existence of the Creator is the miraculous discovery of Johann E. Bode (1747-1826). Keeping in mind that if it could be proven that God exists, there would be no reason for faith, and, after all is said and done, God's plan of salvation requires us to have faith. So the use of the word "proof" is a little misleading. "Evidence" would be a more reasonable term to use.  First, I will present his Law in layman's terms, and then I will explain the miraculous part. Bode's Law is really a mathematical formula for the distances from the Sun in Astronomical Units of the first eight "planets" in our solar system.

Bodies--------Mercury----Venus----Earth----Mars----(?)----Jupiter----Saturn----Uranus
No. Assigned----0------------3---------6--------12------24-------48---------96---------192
Added Factor---4------------4---------4----------4-------4---------4----------4------------4
Subtotal----------4------------7--------10--------16-----28-------52-------100---------196
Divided by ten--.4-----------.7--------1.0-------1.6----2.8------5.2------10.0---------19.6
(the final numbers above represent Bode's estimate of the Astronomical Units)*

The actual distance from the Sun in Astronomical Units:
Units-------------.39----------.72-------1.0-------1.52---(**)-------5.2-------9.54--------19.2

The miracle of this formula is multi-faceted. First, why did he pick the numbers assigned? Why did he know to add four? Why did he know to divide by ten? Ironically, Bode lived at a time when only the first six planets were known. The asteroid belt and the planet Uranus were yet to be discovered. In fact, they both were discovered by scientists using Bode's Law to hypothesize where they should be. I believe he was divinely inspired to know these factors, and that God revealed them to him as a counter to the scientific stampede to believe in Evolution which is diametrically opposed to the Bible. Unfortunately, science is so myopic in its search to discredit God's Word, that they can't "see the forest for the trees." The Word of God says. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). You see, if there is a mathematical design, there has to be a Designer: guess who!

I believe that on the day of creation, every planet was exactly where Bode's formula says it should be. It is so close to his estimates that perhaps the planets were at the distance he presents within their orbits. At any rate, I am so glad the the Eighth Grade Science Text in the ABeka school curriculum presented Bode's wonderful testimony to the glory of God.

Notes:
*  Astronomical Unit:  Earth to the Sun is approximately 93,000,000 miles.
** The fifth column varies because represents the Asteroid Belt, and the asteroids are spread out in their orbits.  They most likely are what is left of a planet.