God’s Family #7

Friday, February 7, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

In the future, we, the Church the Body of Christ will accomplish God’s will for the heavenly places: “And [God] hath raised us up [ascended] together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (verses 6,7). God already considers us Christians as though we were in heaven now!

Why are we Christians still on earth? Why did God not take us to heaven the moment we trusted Christ? Until this the Dispensation of Grace closes, a portion of the Body of Christ must remain on earth in order to evangelize, to teach the lost world the Gospel of God’s Grace, and then, after unbelievers are saved, to see them mature in sound Bible doctrine. When no one else wants to trust Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, the Body of Christ will be completed, and the Christians remaining on earth will be taken up into the air, to meet the Lord Jesus Christ and to reunite with their brothers and sisters in Christ (now resurrected bodily) (1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

When all members of the Church the Body of Christ are assembled in heaven, Ephesians 1:22,23 explains: “And [God] hath put all things [the governments of heaven] under his [Jesus Christ’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” All the offices of heaven’s government that Satan and his angels have polluted, will be purged (Revelation 12:7-12), and we will be installed in those positions of government (cf. Colossians 1:16-20)!

Via us, God will fill all of heaven with the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, and it will truly be a family enterprise, one that will literally transcend the endless ages to come!

NOTE: A companion (albeit, advanced) devotionals arc is “in the works,” and should be published soon! Stay tuned!

God’s Family #6

Thursday, February 6, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

The Bible’s first verse says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God needs a body of individuals to execute His will in both realms (originally, these agencies were angels and mankind, respectively). When Lucifer/Satan polluted heaven with sin, and when Adam joined Satan and corrupted earth with sin, God began His two-fold plan to restore heaven and earth to Himself. Most of the Scriptures discuss God creating the nation Israel to function as His earthly people, but what about His restoration of the heavenly places? God kept His plan for heaven secret until the Apostle Paul’s ministry (Ephesians 3:1-11).

God already had the nation Israel’s believing remnant as His people, but that was just part of His will. Why is God forming the Church the Body of Christ? God the Holy Spirit through Paul wrote in today’s Scripture and its context: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit(verses 19-22).

Now, God has revealed His secret will—heaven’s restoration (Ephesians 1:9,10). In Paul’s epistles alone, Romans through Philemon, we learn that God is currently creating a body that will fulfill His will in heaven (as Israel will fulfill His will in earth; note Matthew 6:10). God is forming the Body of Christ to be His dwelling-place, a body through which His life is to be lived now and forever (Ephesians 2:21,22)! Just as Jesus Christ will live His life in and through Israel on earth (Jeremiah 31:33,34; Matthew chapters 5-7; John 1:12; 2 Peter 1:3,4; et cetera), our grand reunion with our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven is just the beginning of God’s will for heaven….

Big Brother Versus Heavenly Father #2

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5c,6 KJV).

Big Brother is watching; Heavenly Father is, too!

Mankind was to have dominion over the earth for the glory of his Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:26-28). However, man willfully sided with the opposition, Satan, in Genesis chapter 3.

Approximately 2,000 years after Adam was created, God chose to create the nation Israel (beginning with Abram/Abraham in Genesis chapter 12), a nation that would do in the earth what man had failed to do for the last two millennia. It would be through this nation that God would regain His dominion and authority in earth; through Israel, God’s will for the earth would be accomplished.

Moses told Israel: “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: and thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:13,14).

Israel was to be God’s chief nation in the earth, thereby dispossessing it from Satan, and exalting JEHOVAH above all the earth. However, Israel deliberately disregarded God’s Law and followed pagan idols. She fell into sin, and she broke the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law); that is, like Adam, Israel also sided with God’s adversary, Satan.

About 400 years after King David’s reign over Israel, Israel’s monarchy was lost to Gentile domination. At that time, the last of the Jews in Jerusalem were deported to Babylon (God’s response to Israel’s centuries-long wickedness, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:5-21). Israel lost her political strength, and this is one reason why earth’s governments are still corrupt.

Of course, God has not forsaken Israel forever, and government restoration of earth is still on His agenda….

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #6

Friday, October 11, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

While the story of the exorcism of the Gadarene (today’s Scripture) was indeed literal and should be believed as historical fact, it should also be understood as typical of (illustrative of) redeemed and restored Israel (prophetic fact). Whenever Jesus Christ cast out devils during His earthly ministry, it was literal, physical, visible proof for all Israelites to see and recognize as fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Remember, “for the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22a). In Israel’s program, the preaching of God’s Word was accompanied by miracles that validated those words of God.

The Bible says the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles preached, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 10:7; Mark 1:14,15). This was “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35), and miraculous demonstrations—casting out devils and healing the sick—followed its proclamation (Matthew 10:5-8; Mark 16:17-20; Luke 8:1; Luke 11:20; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3-5; Hebrews 6:4,5). In that earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ, there would be no sickness or evil spirits.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land (Zechariah 13:2). When Israel’s Messiah would come, He would rid her and her land of satanic captivity. Every time Jesus cast out devils, He was evicting Satan’s minions (although Israel rejected Jesus’ efforts; Matthew 12:24-32; Mark 3:22-30). Since Israel rejected Christ at His First Coming, and refused to let Him cleanse them and their Promised Land the first time (just as the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave), Zechariah’s prophecy will not be completely fulfilled until Christ’s Second Coming (Revelation 20:1-3).

Let us now conclude the narrative and see Israel’s (future) restoration to her God….

God’s Idea of “Hope and Change”

Monday, January 21, 2013

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:8,9 KJV).

We reserve this historic day in American history to remind ourselves not to confuse man’s feeble political achievements with God’s kingdom.

Human governments are literally bewildered in attempting to deal with all of society’s problems. Solutions to environmental issues, achieving world peace, eliminating poverty, and combating terrorism are most elusive. They distribute checks, impose bans, sign treaties, pass laws, provide handouts, and hold summits, but the problems these activities are designed to address still afflict society. If you have faith in your fellow man that he will ever accomplish harmony and solve his problems, history and the Bible tell you to forget it!

God knows that mankind is sinful, unreliable, and weakly, so He does not depend on us for anything… except to mess up His creation! For 6,000 years, Satan has been “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Thus, although world history has its few benevolent and respectable leaders, tyrants, God-haters, and crooks mar much of it. We can change leaders, but the evil world system that underlies society still exists, and it will remain until Jesus Christ returns and establishes His earthly kingdom. Sinful mankind cannot solve the world’s problems, for he is the world’s problem. We need help from Almighty God, and thankfully, He will solve our problems for us!

In today’s Scripture God the Father speaks to Jesus Christ (quoting Psalm 45:6,7, which describes the LORD, demonstrating Christ’s deity; notice the Father calls Christ, “God”). Jesus Christ’s kingdom will be one of righteousness and justice—a staff of righteousness is the staff of His kingdom. God’s will shall always be accomplished in it. Iniquity will not be tolerated, and it will be dealt with promptly. God’s idea of “hope and change?” Jesus Christ ruling heaven and earth, thus solving the sin problem. What a glorious day that will be! 🙂

The End of the World? #4

Sunday, December 30, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

When the Bible speaks of “the end of the world” such as in Matthew 13:39,49; Matthew 24:3; and Hebrews 9:26, it refers to the future destruction of the underlying (satanic) world system that governs earth and its realms. The rebellious, anti-God attitude that operates in Satan is quite evident in the spheres of education, politics, society, religion, and economics: hence, “this present evil world(Galatians 1:4), to which world we Christians should not be conformed (Romans 12:2). Remember, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world(John 19:36).

After our Dispensation of Grace closes (rapture), our planet will experience seven years of Tribulation, which Christ will end with His Second Coming. Jesus Christ will then bind Satan in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, removing him from earth, so that God’s earthly kingdom can be established and accomplished throughout that millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). It will be the end of this present world—Satan’s evil world system—and the beginning of God’s authority and righteousness reigning on earth, which is called “the world to come” in Matthew 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 18:30, Hebrews 2:5, and Hebrews 6:5. However, that world to come—Christ’s reign on earth—will be interrupted.

In Matthew 28:20, our Lord told His eleven disciples, “…Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” That world is the world to come, which will one day replace this present evil world. That “end of the world”—compare verse 19 to Daniel 7:13,14 and 1 Corinthians 15:24,25—is the end of Christ’s earthly reign (the conclusion of the aforementioned 1,000 years). The world that Christ will establish will exist for 1,000 years, ending when God makes a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 20:1-21:1). Then, Christ will again reign, this time forever (Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15).

Indeed, the definition of the term “world” in “end of the world” makes a “world” of difference in Scripture! 🙂

Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #2

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

When someone who is searching for the true and living God eventually does find out about Jesus Christ and trusts Him alone as personal Saviour, he or she then has a spiritual minefield to navigate. Deciding which denominational church to join is not as easy as it initially seems. After all, these 38,000-plus groups claim to be “Christ’s followers,” but they each teach something radically different. How will this poor Christian soul ever learn the truth? Which denomination, if any, is right?

Satan’s apostate religious system accomplishes exactly what he intended it to—it deters the Christian from serving the Lord. Soon, the person becomes loyal to the denomination and its (faulty) theology. Eventually, the issue is no longer, “What saith the scriptures?,” but “What saith the denomination, preacher, or statement of faith?”

We are not to serve man, nor seek to please him—we are to serve the Lord, not some (man-made) denomination! Today’s Scripture declares, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;….” Ephesians 6:6,7 confirm: “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:”

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” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). If we want to do God’s will in our lives—if we are to be “throughly furnished [equipped] unto all good works”—the complete revelation is within “all scripture.” “Scripture” (“writings”) restricts the authority to a Book, thus excluding popes, teachers, theological systems, preachers, and seminaries….