Thursday, November 28, 2013

THE END OF TIME

I have gotten the distinct impression from some ministers that we should not bother studying the subject of the end of time.  Their position is that all prophecy have been fulfilled and there is nothing more to happen in the affairs of the church except the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

So, should we study the subject of the end of time?  I would like for those of you who read this study to add your comments at the end of the study.  This study is a work in progress.  If I have not developed entire explanations for each scripture please share your thoughts.  You can do so anonymously. 

Does the Bible talk about the events of the end of time?

Is it acceptable by everyone to study a subject which is in the Bible? 

Could there be a subject in the Bible that is off limits for study?

Is it possible that God may give someone the gift of prophecy or the interpretation and understanding of Bible prophecy concerning the end of time? 

Who was the first minister to understand the proper interpretation of the Sixth Seal message or the Seventh Seal message? 

Beginning with the Fourth Seal message on justification, the Fifth Seal message on sanctification and the Sixth Seal message on the unity of God’s people, was some minister the first one to preach the message at the opening of those seals?

What does the Bible say about the end of time?  Will you accept and believe what the Bible states about the end of time?

Matthew 24:6-14
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

In verse six and fourteen of this passage, what end is being referenced?   Considering the context and the list of events which must precede this end, I am confident that it is referencing the end of the world and the end of time in this world.  When shall the end come?  After that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” 

Has this gospel been preached to all nations?  The answer is clearly, No.

Quote: “There are approximately 6,900 different languages spoken in the world today and only 457 of those languages have the entire Bible. That is only 7% of the world’s languages. Three thousand one hundred sixty-eight languages, or 46%, have some portion of the Bible. But, there are still 2,100 languages, or 30%, of all the languages of the world that do not have even one verse of scripture written in their language. Yes, you read it right. Right now in the year 2011 there are still approximately two thousand one hundred languages that are without any portion of the Bible and with no Bible translation work started.”   From All Nations Bible Translation: http://allnationsbibletranslation.org/resources/articles/people-without-the-bible

Many of these Bibleless nations are located in Sub-Sahara Africa.  Because they were cut off from the societies of the world, from many ages before Christ until the 1800’s after Christ, these nations of people have never had the first opportunity to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Africa, China and India hold the majority of people who have no portion of the Holy Bible.

A look at the Christian history timeline for Sub-Sahara Africa reveals that the very first record of the gospel of Jesus Christ being introduced to Sub-Sahara Africa to have been post-1860 A.D.  The records of history credit David Livingstone as being the first Christian missionary to Africa.  The record of Christian ministers and when they appeared in this timeline is shown thusly: 

Olatunrinle, Christianah c. 1855 –  1941, b. Ondo, Eastern Yorubaland (Nigeria)

Kivebulaya, Apolo c.1864–  1933, b. Kiwanda (Uganda)

Harris, William Wade c. 1865 –  1929, b. Cape Palmas, Liberia

Charlotte Manye 1872 –  1939, b. Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Orimolade, Moses 1879 –  1933, b. Ikare, Western Nigeria

Akinyele, Isaac 1880–  1965, b. Ibadan, Western Nigeria

Kimbangu, Simon c. 1887 –  1951, b. Nkamba, Congo Free State (now Democratic Republic of Congo)

Nsibambi, Simeon 1897 –  1978, b. Buloba, county of Busiro, Uganda

Kiwanuka, Joseph Nakabaale 1899 – 1966, b. Nakirebe, Mawokota county, Uganda

Oshitelu, Josiah Olunowo 1902 –  1962, b. Ogere, Ijebuland (Nigeria)

Crowther, Samuel Ajayi 1808 –  1891, b. Osogun, Yorubaland (Nigeria)

Johnson, James “HoIy" c. 1836 –  1917, b. near Waterloo, Sierra Leone

Mokone, Mangena Maake 1851 –  1931, b. Sekhukhuneland, Northern Province, South Africa


Christian Events/Movements have been documented as follows: 

1799 Church Missionary Society founded. Reaching the Coptic and Ethiopian Church from 1825 onward. 

1886–1887 Ugandan Christians martyred for their faith by chief Mwanga.

1890s Western missionary control of the Nigerian and South African churches provokes African leaders to form the independent “Ethiopian” movement.

 Who can dispute this historical record?  Where is the record that Sub-Sahara Africa received the gospel of Jesus Christ prior to these dates and ministers? 

When will the second coming of Jesus happen?  The Holy Bible is our only source of information.  The reason the two subjects “The Origin of the Races” and the “End of Time” are so intricately related is because God has created three races of people who must hear the message of Jesus Christ before His second coming.   These three races of people are the Asian people, The Caucasian people and the African people. 

What does the Bible say?

Mark 13:5-7
5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

Many false prophets have come into the world and have passed from the world.  Some have claimed to be the Messiah, The Prophet of God.  None have proven to have the character and Sonship of God.  Only Jesus Christ has proven Himself worthy of being the Son of God, fulfilling all the prophecies and performing the perfect will of the Father in heaven. 

Luke 21:8-12
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

There have been many wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence and fearful sights and great signs, but the end is not by and by.  The Word of God contains many prophetic events which must come to pass before the end of the world and the end of time.  Not one prophecy shall fail to be fulfilled.  I have heard a minister make the claim that he knows that all the prophecies of God in the Bible have been fulfilled and are past.  I fear that he was somewhat boastful in his claim to this knowledge.  I am very confident that there are prophecies which are post-Seventh Seal Silence which have not been fulfilled. 

2 Peter 3:1-14
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We must be faithful, obedient and “found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”  “Where is the promise of His coming?”  It is remaining with us this very day.  We are looking for and standing for the revelation of His soon appearance.  We believe that He is coming.  This belief and our attention to this event causes us to be diligent, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. 

Revelation 16:17-21
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
 
The sounding of the Seventh angel and the Seventh Trumpet is one of the final events which shall precede the second coming of Christ.  When this message is sounded to all the world and all nations have heard this message, THEN “It is done.”   At this sounding of the Seventh Trumpet message, the activities described in verse 18 will be a worldwide event. 

Some few ministers have claimed that verse 18 has already come to pass in the 1960’s and the next great event for the church is the imminent return of Jesus Christ.  There is not sufficient evidence that verse 18 has ever been a reality since the Silence began in 1930. 

THE ELEVENTH HOUR

Matthew 20:1-16          The eleventh hour is the prophetic time of the 6th and 7th Seal.

“And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?” 

“These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.”

Those who stay saved in the prosperity of the 6th and 7th Seal will receive eternal life just as those who stayed saved in the morning and noon time of the gospel day when physical persecution was very hot.  

Revelation 15:8, “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”

DAY AND HOUR UNKNOWN

Matthew 24:36-39, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

There have been violent social upheavals in many countries in the last 2000 years; and yet, at the same time there were people eating, drinking and marrying.  When Jesus returns, most people will be living, eating, drinking and marrying.  No person knows when that day will be.  God has reserved that information to Himself alone.   But that day is coming and certain events will precede it. 

Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

Jesus tells us that even He does not know the exact day and hour when God will make known that the time has come and send His Son Jesus Christ to go receive the saints and judge the sinners.   

1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, “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.”

Although we do not know the day or the hour in which Jesus will return, we are expecting Him and looking for Him to come.  He will not take His saints by surprise, because they will be expecting Him and waiting for Him to appear.

2 Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Revelation 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Be ready.  You have been warned.  You know that someday it will happen.  Only a fool would live his life in a selfish and covetous manner knowing that the end is always near to each one of us. 

HOUR AND HALF HOUR

HOUR:  SEC:  NT:5610 hora (ho'-rah); apparently a primary word; an "hour" (literally or figuratively): KJV - day, hour, instant, season, X short, [even-] tide, (high) time.

HALF:  SEC:  NT:2255 hemisu (hay'-mee-soo); neuter of a derivative from an inseparable pref. akin to NT:260 (through the idea of partition involved in connection) and meaning semi-; (as noun) half:

Revelation 8:1    And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

The scriptures do not provide us with a symbolic key with which to define the specific time of “half an hour.”  It is an unspecified short period of time.   Of one thing we are certain, it is not 30 years.  We are very certain of the opening of the Seventh Seal and the beginning of the silence, which was 1929/1930 A.D.  We also know that the events which are described at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet did not occur in the 1960’s. 

Revelation 9:14-15
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

We know that the Sixth Seal and the message of the Sixth angel began to be sounded at about 1880 A.D.  If a day is a symbolic year; and, a month a symbolic thirty years; and, a year a symbolic 360 years; then the calculation of this symbol is 391 years plus (an hour ?) duration from some point in the timeline of this world. 

Revelation 11:11-14    And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

The fifth, sixth and seventh seal each had a “woe” pronounced against the inhabiters of this world.  “And after three days and an half” is determined to be 350 years from 1530 to 1880.  And after 1880 there was a time of great holiness, faith, righteousness, judgment and mercy manifested in the lives of the ministry and the people.  This spiritual standing cause a great spiritual revival of holiness around the world.  There was a great spiritual earthquake and thousands of people repented of their sins and turned to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.  But the end is not yet. 

The Seventh Seal, the Seventh Trumpet and The Seventh Vial must follow the Sixth.  In the Seventh Seal there is also a “woe.”  In the Seventh Seal there is also a spiritual revival and an earthquake which is greater than the two preceding it in the First Seal and the Sixth Seal.  That final end time revival and earthquake has not happened as of this date in 2013.

Revelation 14:6-8        And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

We are told that there is another angel/ministry who must preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. 

Has that Seventh Trumpet message been preached?  Has it already happened?  When and where has it happened?  Where is the evidence which fits the description given for it?  It does not yet exist. 

Revelation 17:12         And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

There have been ten kingdoms which have ruled in the earth.  They received their power from the Red Draqon Beast of Paganism. 

Revelation 18:10         Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Babylon has reigned over men and her judgment has come in part in the Sixth Seal and will be finished in the Seventh Seal.

Revelation 18:17-19    For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city.  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

The word of God teaches us that the Sixth and Seventh Seal constitute “one hour” of the gospel day.  We are also informed that the “silence in heaven” at the opening of the Seventh Seal is equal to one-half hour.  By this we know that the Evening Time silence is equal to one-half of the time frame of the Sixth and Seventh Seal.  (For example:  If the Sixth and Seventh Seal spans 140 years; then, the Silence would span 70 years.) 
 
The end of time, is it a subject we should study?  Have you studied this subject sufficiently to be approved of God?  Do you know what God wants you to know about the end of time? 
 
Leave your comments below.  God bless you. 
 
 

 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

FITLY JOINED TOGETHER

The purpose of this message is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and exhort men and women everywhere to follow the counsel of God.  My motive is not to judge or condemn.  It has been prepared with love and preached with love.  Prove all things and let the word of God be the rule we live by.

I would like for you to think about a word picture in which we compare a stockpile of building material with that of a finished house.  The stockpile of building material can have every item and piece of material and furnishings as the finished house, but they are not in the same state of usefulness.  The owner of the stockpile of building material can not invite guests into his house and bless them with food and fellowship.   He must first gather the material together and join them one to another in a proper order for the usefulness of the whole body. 

The perfect will of God is that His people be gathered together in one body.  The unity of God’s people is His glory.  The oneness of the church of God is only possible by the power of the grace of God. 

Satan works constantly in his effort to prevent and destroy the unity of the body of Christ.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”

We may each one belong to God, be born again children of God, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, but if we have not been “fitly joined together” we are not useful in the house of God or the Church of God. 

There is a great big difference between a stockpile of building material and a finished house.  You may make a wonderful spiritual window, but if you have not been “fitly joined together” then you are not useful to the house.  You may have the potential of being a strong, supporting pillar, but if you have not been “fitly joined together” you are not yet useful to the house. 

Ephesians 4:7, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” 

From whom do we receive our spiritual gifts?  Jesus Christ.
With the gift comes the grace to use it.  
Jesus Christ is the one who enables and installs the members in the body. 

Ephesians 4:11-16
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

I could preach an entire message on the “gathering” of God’s children.  You may be isolated from other children of God, but it is not the perfect will of God that you be isolated.  When necessary, God gives grace to stand alone.  However, it is always His perfect will that we be in fellowship and unity with the body of Christ, the church of God. 

It is the will of God that each and every one of us be “fitly joined together” with the rest of the body.  Have you been “fitly joined together” and compacted into a close unity with the rest of the house of God?  The testimony of the Church of God to the world must be one where each member is obviously enjoying tight unity with the rest of the body of Christ.  If we are loose and careless with one another, the world will be afraid to come into our house.  They will think it is ready to collapse at any time.  People in the world are looking for and needing a place where they can belong, feel a part, be loved and be a part of a strong family relationship.  The saints of God in the Church of God must present a clear testimony of peaceful unity. 

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Church of God is fitly joined together and fitly framed together.  This gives us a very clear understanding of how God builds His house.  Jesus Christ has not just purchased a stockpile of building material and left it stacked together in some place.  He has taken each member and fitly framed them together into His spiritual house.  We are members together in His body, fitly joined together. 

We have been given this description of how the body of Christ looks.  We are told how it is fitly framed together to be a dwelling place for the God.  It is our responsibility to examine who we are and how we operate. 

Do we fit the description of the church of God which is one body, which has many members working together in peaceful harmony? 

1 Thessalonians 5:11-13
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

This scripture can not be fulfilled by a segregated, separated body full of schisms and carnal people doing their own thing.  In the church of God we edify one another, i.e. we build up one another.  We do not tear down and destroy one another.  We are not competitors or enemies.  We share a common cause and work for the same purpose.  We are helpers together.  We are “labourers together.” 

1 Corinthians 3:9-13
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder.   I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
 
Verse Nine tells us, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”

If you are saved, you are God’s building.  You were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.  You are not your own.  You did not buy or earn your way into this house.  It is not your building.  It is God’s building.  Except the Lord build the house, the laborers labor in vain. 

The prophet Isaiah tells us about a true and mighty God, “whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.”  In the Church of God there must be Holy Ghost anointed preaching which will put fiery judgments on sin and carnality.  People must hear the warnings and judgments of God, so that they can be washed and molded into a useful member in the house of God.  Building materials are not left in their natural state.  They are molded, trimmed, formed, sanded, polished and changed to fit together with the rest of the building. 

Colossians 2:1-2
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

The concept of “being knit together” gives us another word picture of how tightly and closely the members of God’s church are “fitly joined together.” 

Colossians 2:18-19
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

The Church of God is very much like the human body.  Each member of the body is knit together by joints and bands.  When a joint or band is strained out of place it hurts the body.  We all suffer the pain.  When our arms and legs are out of joint we can not labor in the vineyard of the Lord. 

Are you making the body of Christ lame and cripple? 

We are the body of Christ.  Can it be said that we cannot run and go forth because we are carrying you?  If you need to be carried, we will gladly carry you.  But we need to get you to the Physician so you can be healed and join us in the labor of harvesting souls for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

It is part of our Christian duty to take care of the weak and the wounded.

But if that is all we ever get accomplished, taking care of the weak and wounded; then we will not be found in the battle field overcoming the enemy and conquering the nations of the world for our Captain Jesus Christ. 

The Church of God must perform the functions of an infirmary.
The Church of God must perform the functions of a nursery.
But the Church of God must also perform the duties of an army. 
We must not allow the enemy to work among us to divide and destroy our unity.

Are you “fitly joined together” with the body of Christ? 

What will it take for you to become healthy and strong, so that you can go forth for the glory of God?  Listen to the Holy Ghost and obey His commands. 

There are many religious sects and divisions in the world today.  We must be careful to study and know the truth, lest we also be in the company of those who are division makers.  Consider the following example. 

Acts 23:6-7
6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

The people were divided over the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.  The Pharisees believed in the resurrection and the Saducees did not.  Someone was right and someone was wrong.  Those who were wrong did not have godly fear and a love for the truth, so they formed groups and sects.  Then, they called people to join them. The failure to agree gives Satan a strong opportunity to cause people to form groups and sects.

2 Corinthians 13:5-6
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
 
The apostle Paul has given us a strong warning.  We must examine ourselves.  We must know that we are in the “faith.”  That faith is the true doctrines of Jesus Christ.  If we are careless, we may deceive ourselves and become reprobates (an unapproved, worthless castaway). 

The glory of the church of God is the unity of its members.  It is this unity which is the result of each member of the body being fitly joined together. 

There is no place for envy to work among the members of this body. 
There is no place for competition to work in church of God.
There is no place for revenge in the house of God.

Are you fitly joined together with the members of the body of Jesus Christ?
If you are not, then repent and be washed in the blood of our Redeemer.
Jesus Christ has paid the purchase price for you to be a part of this building.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

ARE YOU SANCTIFIED?

Do you bear the fruit of a sanctified life?   Do you bear the fruit of the Spirit?  Are you an example of a true believer who stands on the promises and commandments of God? 

Jesus said in John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  Also, the apostle James wrote to us in James 3:17-18, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Considering the instructions of Jesus Christ and the apostle James, can we say that a justified and sanctified person will enjoy learning the commandments of God and be easily entreated to do them?  A sanctified person does not need to be pressured or forced to be obedient.  Show him the right way and he will eagerly walk in it. 

A carnal child must be instructed, trained, disciplined, corrected and at times demanded to do the right thing.  Should a sanctified person need this level of administrative authority?  Do you need your pastor to hold the rod on you in order to help you be obedient?  If you do, you are not sanctified.  You need to be honest with yourself, you may not even be justified.  It is an awful deception to think that you are saved when you are not.  It is very dangerous to think you are sanctified when you are not. 

In this great day of spiritual lukewarmness and deception, Satan has convinced many religious people to think that they have salvation when they do not.  Satan also loves for people to think that they are sanctified when they do not have the grace of God which is obtained with the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

God does not call a carnal, unsanctified person into the ministry to be the shepherd of a congregation of the church of God.  An unsanctified minister will be tempted to exercise dominion over his fellow ministers.  He will be tempted to judge and condemn others without a clear and provable charge of willful sin.  An unsanctified minister will be more concerned for his own personal possessions and privileges than for the needs of the spiritual souls under his influence.  He will be a fault finder rather than a truth teacher.  It is important to know the spirit of them that rule over you.  Do they consistently manifest all of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A WILLING HEART - Edited for a different sermon

What does being “willing” mean to you?

Some people think they are wiling but when it comes down to doing it, they hesitate, draw back and fail to perform that which their spirit hungers for. 

A willing heart involves more than just a mental consent.  It must also be a commitment to do and perform what the will has proclaimed.  Jesus gave us an example of the person who is truly willing.

Matthew 21:28-31
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first.

Obedience follows repentance.  Without obedience there is no holiness.  
A person may speak well and give fair speeches, but if there is not a performance of the will, then the will is merely lip service.  There must be a performance before there can be any claim

2 Corinthians 8:10-12
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

The willing mind must be present first.  If you do something by reason of some external pressure and it is not truly your will to do it, then it is unacceptable with God.  If you say you are will and you do not perform, this also is unacceptable with God.  There must be a voluntary will and also the performance.   

Recently, a person stated to me that he needed a strong pastor to hold him accountable and to be forceful with him so that he could do the good things he ought to do.  If the pastor was not strongly authoritative and demanding then he might not be able to overcome the flesh and do the right thing.  This statement caused me to believe that the person needed to be sanctified because the fire of the Holy Ghost will purge the carnal will and give the child of God the strength and grace to be obedient to the voice of God.

If a person is walking in the flesh, they will do the will of the flesh, unless they fear the reproof of some man.  As an adult Christian, if you need some man to hold the pressure on you to do the right thing, then surely you need to be sanctified, filled with the Holy Spirit.  You ought to pray and ask God for that second cleansing grace that will purge out your carnal will and give you that burning desire to do the perfect will of God.

Isaiah 1:18-20
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
 
“If you be willing and obedient.”  This is the vital key to the victory found in full salvation.  This is the state of the sanctified person.  Your obedience and service to God must be motivated by a great desire and love of God.  If you cannot voluntarily do the right thing without some external influence of the people, then you need to dig a little deeper. 

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

The great question is this:  Are you walking in the Spirit?  Or, are you walking in the flesh?  If you are walking in the Spirit, you will be consistently victorious.  If you are walking in the flesh, you will give in to the temptation to please the flesh instead of doing that which would please God. 

In the 35th chapter of Exodus, the Holy Scriptures emphasize the necessity of having a willing heart.  God seeks after the willing heart.  The willing heart will be accepted.  You cannot have the attitude, “I don’t want to do it but I will, because I must to be saved.” 

If you force yourself against your own will, God will not accept your sacrifice.  There must be a willingness in your will.  There is a significant and vital difference in resisting temptation and forcing yourself to do the right thing.  The sanctified person must resist temptation, but there is no desire in his will to do the thing which he is being tempted to do.  The sanctified person hates the evil thing which he is being tempted to do.  The unsanctified person will be tempted to want to do what he is being tempted to do.  Satan will work to capture the will and cause the person to consent to do it if he could do it without being discovered. 

Exodus 35:4-5
4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying,
5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass,

Exodus 35:20-22
20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord.

Exodus 35:29
The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

It is the desire of the heart and the soul which makes a person wiling with sufficient strength to overcome the flesh.  If a person does not love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, his flesh will override the will of his spirit.  Some people want to serve the Lord, but not at the expense of crucifying the flesh. 

2 Timothy 2:3-7
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

How can I teach you, except I first be willing also to do all that I teach.  I must be willing to crucify the flesh.  I must be willing to wait upon the Lord for victory in my battle, for my healing when I am sick, and, for my escape when I am persecuted.  No person can gain the mastery and the crown of salvation except he labor according to God’s divine laws. 

Exodus 15:26
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

If thou wilt, then God will do good things for you.

If thou wilt not, then God will send plagues to you.

Deuteronomy 28:58-61
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE Lord THY God;
59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

Many people claiming to be Christians have not exercised themselves in trusting God for their healing.  They have trusted the physicians and the insurance companies.  For all those who have weak faith, what will they do in the day when the insurance companies will not cover them and the doctors will not see them. 

Americans have ruined their health with all the high sugar, high fat, high sodium, high carbohydrate and high medication.  When Jesus returns will He find faith on the earth?  We have not taught that it is a sin to take medication or seek the help of a physician; however, we do know that it is a hindrance to the growth of faith to not put your trust in the Lord who has promised to meet all your needs. 

When Satan tells you that you will die if you do not go to a doctor, remind him that you have victory over death and your life is in the hands of the God you serve. 

John 5:33-35
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
 
Some people are willing for a short season; but, they will not endure till victory comes.  They give up.  They faint.  Does your willingness have a time limit attached? 

1 Timothy 6:17-19
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Are you ready and willing?
Are you willing to put your life and all it holds into the hands of Jesus Christ?