A King Shall Reign and Prosper

Thursday, November 3, 2011

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5,6 KJV).

Today’s Scripture, written over 2,600 years ago, still awaits fulfillment. The nation Israel, and the world, has yet to experience the reign of this King.

The Middle East has been plagued with turmoil and animosity for millennia. Israel in her 4,000-year existence has never dwelt peacefully in her land. She has never enjoyed her earthly kingdom. Israel’s sinful disobedience caused God to righteously punish her using exiles. Gentile armies repeatedly invaded and overran Israel, carrying the Jews off to foreign lands (Leviticus 26:27-35; Deuteronomy 28:25; et al.).

Consequently, the Jewish race is far from its homeland. It is scattered all over the world today. “The days come, saith the Lord,” when that will change. As soon as our Dispensation of Grace expires, and the Church the Body of Christ is raptured into heaven, Israel’s prophetic program will resume. The Jews will experience seven years of God’s wrath, the Tribulation.

One-third of Israel will become believers during the Tribulation, and this remnant of Israel will become the nation Israel in the subsequent kingdom (Zechariah 13:8,9). “And so all Israel [the believing remnant] shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [Israel]: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:26,27).

After Christ’s Second Coming, He will make the New Covenant with Israel, cleansing her of her national sins (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Acts 3:19; Hebrews 8:8-13). Finally, Christ’s earthly kingdom will be established, and today’s Scripture will be fulfilled. Israel will safely dwell in her land (Jeremiah 23:7,8). “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

A glorious future awaits the world and Israel!

As We Stand Before God Our Saviour

Friday, October 14, 2011

“To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV).

Every chapter of 1 Thessalonians concludes with a reference to the rapture, Christ gathering the Church that is His Body (1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:17; 5:23). Actually, today’s Scripture describes an event that will occur after the rapture.

Saints, one day (the rapture), the trump of God shall sound and we shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! After the rapture, we will stand before “the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not where we answer for sin, but rather when Jesus Christ evaluates our Christian lives and spiritual maturity. Each of us will give an individual account to the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10). Jesus Christ will compare our spiritual maturity (the doctrine we believed) to Paul’s epistles. On this basis, the Lord will give us a role (a position in the government of the heavenly places) (Ephesians 2:6,7).

But, notice Christ’s coming in today’s Scripture is not His coming “for all His saints” (the rapture), but rather with all His saints.” After the spiritual capacities of the members of the Body of Christ have been judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus Christ will take us with Him to meet God the Father. Today’s Scripture describes when Jesus Christ will present us to our Father God. Wow!

God the Father will then appoint us to those positions of the heavenly government that Jesus Christ determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Remember that our individual roles (offices) are determined by how much sound doctrine we built up in our inner man. This is why dispensational Bible study, “rightly dividing the word of truth,” is so important. We do not want to stand before God “ashamed,” which will SADLY be the case for many Christians because they never studied the Bible God’s way (2 Timothy 2:15).

Not Walking By Sight, Literally

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).

Two weeks ago Brother “G,” my friend and co-laborer in the Christian writing ministry, suffered a stroke, losing most sight in one eye. Currently, he has greatly limited vision in both eyes (years ago, his other eye suffered a stroke). Last week, after “seeing” my optometrist, I visited Brother G. However, as of three days ago, I have been enduring an eye infection. I am currently typing with sight in just one eye! 🙂

Case in point: in this fallen creation we all have troubles and adversity (they are “common to man”). Sin and its subsequent curse result in our sickness and ultimate death (Romans 5:12; Romans 8:20-22). But, even during sickness, today’s Scripture says we “bear it.” How?

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:22-25).

We Christians are “saved” from despair. While we suffer sickness, we have faith in the hope that, one day, these weak physical bodies will be redeemed and transformed into new glorified bodies (the rapture; 1 Corinthians 15:49-57; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 3:20,21). Our destination, as members of the Body of Christ, is the heavenly places, where there is neither sin nor suffering.

After “seeing” doctors, Brother G and me still groan in sickness, but we are walking by faith, NOT sight. Literally, we hope in what “we see not.” 🙂

We Shall Not All Sleep

Monday, September 19, 2011

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51,52 KJV).

Save Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), every believer has died physically. Today’s Scripture speaks of a secret (“mystery”) that the Lord did not reveal until He showed it to our Apostle Paul. There is a group of believers who will not experience physical death (“we shall not all sleep”). It will be some members of the Church the Body of Christ.

The Old Testament only spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ as coming to earth to meet believers and set up His kingdom (Job 19:25,26; Zechariah 14:1-4)—this is called the “prophetic program.” But, when we come to Paul’s epistles, God has interrupted that program, split it into two segments of time, and has inserted our “mystery (secret) program” into that gap. Before Jesus Christ can come earth (as prophesied in the prophetic program), He must first conclude our mystery program.

Our mystery program, the Dispensation of Grace, will terminate at an event we call the rapture (derived from the Medieval Latin “raptura,” meaning “caught up”). According to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, all believers of this dispensation will be “caught up…to meet the Lord in the air.” Contrariwise, believers in the prophetic program will meet the Lord on the earth (His Second Coming).

While we do not set dates, the Bible teaches a pre-Tribulation (pre-seven years) rapture. The rapture may or may not occur in our lifetimes. However, we have the prospect that if the Lord Jesus Christ would come now, we Christians would not experience physical death! Our bodies would just be instantly changed, without dying, into glorified bodies fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s body (Philippians 3:20,21).

If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, keep looking up! We may be that group of believers who will not see physical death…. 🙂

This Present Evil World

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:4,5 KJV).

The world is overwhelmed with violence, corruption, and injustice. How did earth become “this present evil world?”

When God created Adam, He gave him dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam disobeyed God and lost that dominion. Satan then assumed the dominion that Adam had. Now, Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

In our Lord’s temptations, Satan shows Christ all the world’s kingdoms and their glory. Satan entices Jesus, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). Satan would give the world’s governments to Christ if Christ would worship him—Satan bragged that he had dominion over the earth instead of God!

God’s Word says, “…the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Christ told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).

Today’s Scripture gives us good news. Christ Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.” He died to “deliver us from the power of darkness,” Satan’s evil world system; as Christians, we are now spiritually in “the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). At the rapture, Christ will physically deliver us Christians from this evil world.

Furthermore, at His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will return to earth to demolish Satan’s evil world system: its governments, religious organizations, and educational systems. In that day, “the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Our planet will not always be “this present evil world.” Stay tuned…. 🙂

The Grand Bible Conference

Thursday, August 18, 2011

“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV).

The breathing of the departing saint shallows, the eyes close, the soul exits the physical body, and the Holy Ghost Himself escorts the saint to the third heaven. Millions of saints have already experienced this, and short of the Lord’s coming, physical death shall be our lot too.

Today’s Scripture and its context (verses 13 through 18) address the question: Will we ever see those dearly departed brethren again? Verse 14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep [die] in Jesus will God bring with him.” Our hope is that we will see those Christians again. A saint’s death is bittersweet: we loathe their short-term absence, but we rejoice in a long-term reunion, a glorious re-gathering that will literally last forever!

There shall come a day, the rapture, when all the saints are united for the first time. We shall see those saints who have gone before us, those we have never met. Meeting the Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face and hearing His voice, enjoying His glory, and fellowshipping with all the saints around God’s Word. No grief, no heresy, no denominational or religious bickering. Wow, that is heaven! 🙂

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” While we grieve for the departed saints, we rejoice because they have been eternally rescued from this present evil world. They are in the Lord’s presence now, at peace. Psalm 116:15 says: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” A hearty amen!

Rest assured, we shall see those saints again. If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have a secure reservation for “the grand Bible conference.” Just wait for your flight….

-IN MEMORIAM-
THOSE WHO HAVE DIED IN CHRIST

The Inward Man

Sunday, August 7, 2011

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As the saint progresses in earthly years, he or she gets discouraged. Hair becomes white as snow. The skin loses its elasticity, wrinkling and sagging. Vision dims, memory fails, and hearing diminishes. That once lively body grows progressively weaker and unable to perform the tasks it once did with ease. But, be not discouraged!

God gives this interesting description of dying Moses: “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). Moses, age 120, had excellent vision. His body was as agile as a young man’s. Wow!

In today’s Scripture Paul alludes to the “outward man” (physical body) and its decay and ultimate death (“perishing”). Because of sin, these physical bodies have nowhere to go but to the grave. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Even though death may kill the physical body, Christians are confident that (the second) death cannot harm the spiritual body (the “inward man”).

Furthermore, Paul explains that we need to focus on renewing the “inward man” with sound Bible study, not focusing on the perishing state of the “outward man.” We will get new physical bodies, but the souls we have are ours forever.

Short of the Lord’s coming in our lifetimes, our physical bodies will go into the ground. While it is morbid, that is reality. But, this too is reality: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

These physical bodies will be redeemed at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:53; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 3:20,21). Romans 8:23 says: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” Praise the Lord that we are not eternally confined to these weak, limited physical bodies!

* My outward man turns 23 today, saints.