His Son #5

Sunday, October 23, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

The Bible says Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was to the nation Israel only. Jesus Himself stated, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Romans 15:8 affirms: “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” These “fathers” are the “fathers” of today’s Scripture—Israel’s patriarchs. Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew through John) continues what started in Genesis through Malachi, and early Acts (according to the Book of Hebrews) continues Christ’s earthly ministry.

Reading again from Hebrews chapter 2: “[1] Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. [2] For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; [3] How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord [Matthew through John—“Hear ye My Son”], and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; [4] God also bearing them witness [in the early Acts period], both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? [5] For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

Reviewing thus far, we know that, whether in the Four Gospels, or early Acts (Hebrews), God is urging Israel to listen to His Son. In Jesus Christ alone will they find salvation (deliverance) from sin, Satan, and the “wrath to come….”

His Son #4

Saturday, October 22, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Jesus’ earthly ministry began with Father God announcing from Heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).

Near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Transfiguration occurred. Two individuals appeared with Jesus—Moses (Law) and Elijah (Prophets). As the Law and the Prophets foretold Jesus’ death, so Moses and Elijah discussed that death on the Mount. Father God spoke from Heaven again: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him(Matthew 17:5). “This is my beloved Son: hear him(Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). For Israel, there is insight from God beyond the Law and the Prophets. Any Jews who refuse to listen to Jesus are depriving themselves of further revelation from the God of Abraham.

In light of today’s Scripture, God’s Son speaking, Hebrews chapter 2 warns Israel: “[1] Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. [2] For if the word [the Law] spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; [3] How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; [4] God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Let us examine this passage a little more closely….

A Family Reunion in Heaven

Saturday, June 7, 2014

“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:17,18 KJV).

Will we recognize our loved ones in heaven? (Indeed!)

Besides us dying in our sins and going to hell, or our relatives and friends dying in their sins and going to hell, the worst pain associated with living in this sin-cursed world is relatives and friends dying in Jesus Christ and going to heaven.

We Christians anticipate the day when we will be reunited with loved ones who have died in Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture): commonly called “the Rapture,” from the Latin word translated “caught up” in today’s Scripture, when Jesus Christ will return to earth to receive unto Himself all members of the Church the Body of Christ, living and deceased (see verses 13-18). Moreover, the question often arises, “Will we be able to recognize our loved ones?” After all, we have not seen some of them in many years or decades. (They are enjoying such fellowship with Jesus Christ and each other they do not know how long it has actually been!)

The following Scriptures cause us to believe that we will certainly recognize our loved ones in heaven:

  • Firstly, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Apostles Peter, James, and John recognized Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33)—Moses and Elijah lived several centuries earlier!
  • Secondly, the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul implied that he would recognize the Thessalonians when the Lord returned to take us to heaven.
  • Thirdly, Jesus Christ’s resurrected body looked just as it did before He died (John 20:19-29).

We have every reason to believe that, in heaven, we will look basically the same way as we do now (minus physical imperfections, effects of aging, et cetera). What a day that will be! 🙂

The King, the Donkey, and the Horse #5

Sunday, July 28, 2013

“…[T]he sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:11 KJV).

The King appeared once, and He shall return….

Society is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christianity (Jesus Christ never was popular with mankind anyway!). The Bible abounds with verses that discuss Jesus Christ reigning over this planet. After all, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Creation was to originally glorify its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, but a usurper, a trespasser, Satan, desires that worship. Hence, there exists “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4; cf. 1 John 5:19). If Jesus Christ is to reign over this planet, all individuals who oppose His will must be forcefully evicted first.

In the book of the Revelation, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John summarizes all of the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ’s return to earth (those not fulfilled at His first coming). He came once—meek and lowly to “suffer” and die for man’s sins (today’s Scripture). Now, He is coming back to righteously judge whoever rejects that sacrifice He made at Calvary, to dispossess the earth from Satan and purify it so as to reign over that creation that was originally made for Him—“the glory that should follow” (today’s Scripture).

Jesus Christ Himself foretold, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” (Matthew 25:31). We see a brief glimpse of that “glory” at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 16:28–17:8; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:27-36).

At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will leave the third heaven, with tens of thousands of mighty angelic soldiers following Him. They will glide over the Middle East, utterly conquering Satan and his troops gathered against believing Israel (Psalm 68:1-35; Psalm 83:1-18; Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:1-16; Zechariah 14:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Jude 14,15; Revelation 19:11-21; et al.). With the opposition gone, Jesus Christ can dismount His horse and reign over earth….

A Glimpse of the Kingdom of God

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

“But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27 KJV).

What did the Lord mean in today’s Scripture?

Our Lord is speaking of three apostles in particular, as the next verses (28-36) explain. In the verse previous to today’s Scripture, He spoke of Himself “coming in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (verse 26).

Notice how Matthew and Mark record that verse: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1).

If we consider today’s Scripture in light of Matthew 16:28 and Mark 9:1 (above), we understand that these verses describe Christ’s glorious Second Coming to establish His earthly kingdom. Reading Matthew 16:28–17:8, Mark 9:1-8, and Luke 9:27-36, we realize that Jesus, in today’s Scripture, is referring to the Apostles Peter, John and James, who saw His radiant body on the Mount of Transfiguration. Essentially, Peter, John, and James saw a preview of Christ coming in His glory at His Second Coming to set up His kingdom on earth. The Lord’s appearance was glowing white, and His clothes were whiter than bleached garments!

Matthew 25:31 says: “The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, refers to “the brightness of [Christ’s] coming.” Peter, describing Christ’s kingdom, writes in 1 Peter 1:11, “the glory that should follow.” Many years after Christ’s earthly ministry, John later saw some of that glory when he later just before he wrote the book of the Revelation: “and [Christ’s] countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (1:16).

What a glorious day Christ’s Second Coming will be!

God Has Already Spoken to Us

Sunday, August 5, 2012

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV).

Does God communicate with us through hunches, feelings, emotions, visions, dreams, and “soft, still” voices in our heads? These are subjective: they are tentative because they vary amongst individuals. We need an objective standard, something trustworthy and unchanging—God’s written Word, the Holy Bible.

God did communicate with man via theophanies (God appeared in a physical body and spoke to people; Genesis 3:8,9; Genesis 18:1; et al.). Through angels, visions/dreams, supernatural spiritual gifts, and prophets, He relayed His messages to people (Daniel 9:22,23; Matthew 1:20-24; Acts 10:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1; et al.). But, according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, these temporary things—partial wisdom and partial knowledge—were done away when complete wisdom and complete knowledge were brought in.

When was complete wisdom and complete knowledge brought in? As soon as God’s written Word was completed (nearly 2000 years ago), God’s will was fully revealed to man. In the King James Bible’s 66 books we know everything that God wants us to know. Visions, apparitions, “prophetic words” from a preacher’s lips, and angelic appearances are not God’s methods of communication with us.

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 16-18) the Apostle Peter recounts the time on the Mount of Transfiguration when he, James, and John saw Jesus Christ in His glorified form (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). But Peter says we have “a more sure word of prophecy.” The Bible is more reliable than experiences we can see with our physical eyes.

We have God’s revealed and written Word preserved in English in the King James Bible. The Bible is the Final Authority, not religious tradition or a preacher’s hunches.

The Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ #4

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 KJV).

Saints, today’s Scripture tells us that through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary—Paul’s Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4—we can now obtain “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Christ, we have acquired the righteous status before God that Adam had prior to mankind’s fall into sin. God has redeemed our souls from sin and hell and He has given us a new identity in Christ. But, our vile physical bodies have not yet been redeemed from sin’s curse, so we cannot see the glory of that new identity. At the rapture, we will receive glorified physical bodies, and the glory we have in Christ will be manifested (Romans 8:18-25).

Our Lord Jesus Christ “dwells in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). Christ is so holy that light emanates from His body (remember the Mount of Transfiguration?). When the ascended Lord Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus (the future Apostle Paul), Saul was blinded for three days because of “the glory of that light” (Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:5-11; Acts 26:12,13). This is the glory of God that dwells in us; we just cannot see it right now.

Currently, we live in these limited physical bodies that cannot reflect the glory of Christ that we have inside (in the inner man). That will change at the rapture. “As we have borne the image of the earthy [these physical bodies linked to fallen Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [the glorified bodies that will reflect Christ’s glory; Philippians 3:20,21]” (1 Corinthians 15:49ff.).

After the rapture, we will have bodies that will be just as radiant as Jesus’ body on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then, we will be glorified together with Christ (Romans 8:16,17). Glorious truth!