Saturday, May 25, 2013

Soon, God Will Rest, Too!

“Having to labor (or work)” was one of the consequences of Adam & Eve’s sin against God in the Garden of Eden, and since the resulting effects of sin have been passed down to all mankind, we ALL currently labor and struggle under sin’s curse on this Earth.  Now, the “length of time” mankind would have to “labor” was prophesied by God from Creation in the fact that God labored for 6 days to make the world, followed by a day of rest … thus, mankind would labor under sin’s curse for 6 Days (6,000 trips around the sun), followed by a day of rest from sin’s labor (1,000 trips around the sun).

Throughout time, many of God’s prophets have proclaimed this wonderful truth.  In 1776, Edward Gibbon summarized their words with these words: “The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium (1,000 years of rest) was intimately connected with the Second Coming of Christ.  As the works of the Creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years.  By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years: and that Christ with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon Earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection.”

Consequently, we understand the 7 Day Creation story was clearly prophetic about MANKIND’S future (we will “work” 6 days, and then rest on the 7th day).  But today I want to make clear something marvelous I never quite did before … the 7 Day Creation story was/is also prophetic about GOD’S future!!!  For He too would/will work 6 Days (6,000 years) and rest on the 7th Day (1,000 years)!  What I mean is this; God has been actively “working” for the past almost 6,000 years, but He TOO will soon rest from His work!  Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17), and the Psalmist wrote: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber, Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Pslams 121: 3-4).

What has God been doing?  In other words, what is His work?  He is actively and passionately trying to get us to live righteously!  He wants us to DO good!  He’s trying to lead us ALL to the path of repentance, for He loves us and wants us to be with Him in peace forever!  Peter wrote: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise … but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).  Yes, day and night, 24-7, 365.25 days a year, all over this globe God is working to get us to follow His ways of love, so that we might obtain eternal life!  But soon (very soon!) God too is going to rest from His labor, just as His 7 Day Creation story always foretold.  Will you be resting with Him on the 7th day (Sabbath)?

Peaceful Sabbath,


Approximately 799 Weeks (Sabbaths) Remaining Till Christ's Return!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Faith = Humility (Even Dogs Eat Children’s Crumbs)

There is a seemingly strange exchange of words Jesus once had with a Greek woman that expose a PROFOUND TRUTH behind the real Biblical meaning of the word “faith”.  At first glance, it’s like, “What? Is Jesus confused? Where’s the “faith” in that?  But upon closer inspection of God’s Word (understanding how its many terms & phrases fit together) a wonderful truth about “Faith” is confirmed in Jesus’ words with this woman.

Here’s what happened: A Syrophenician woman approached Jesus wanting him to heal (caste a demon out of) her troubled daughter, but Jesus said, “Let the children (Israelites) first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to caste it unto the dogs (Greeks)” (Mark 7:27).  The woman amazingly replied, “Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs (Mark 7:28).  Too this, Jesus excitedly replied, “Oh, woman, GREAT is thy FAITH: be it unto thee even as thou wilt (Matthew 15:28).  The Bible then records her daughter was made whole that very hour!

So where's the faith?  It’s the case of the missing faith, right?  Doesn’t the church teach us today … our “faith” is to “believe in what Jesus did on the cross”?  It doesn’t add up does it? So I ask again, how did this woman’s words reveal her faith?  How could Jesus possibly recognize this woman had GREAT FAITH (in God) from her few simple words?  Are you ready for the Biblical answer?  It’s in this fact: HUMILITY equals FAITH !!!  Listen, humble people love (keep God’s 10 Love Commandments) proving they “believe in Jesus”; whereas prideful people do NOT love (disobey God’s 10 Love Commandments) proving they “do NOT believe in Jesus”.

Imagine if Jesus had referred to some of the Pharisees & Sadducees as “dogs” right to their face!  Oh my!  What would have been THEIR reaction?  Like the woman's?  Are you kidding me?  Not a chance; they would have been EXTREMELY offended!  Why?  Because deep down in their heart they thought highly of themselves!  They were FULL of PRIDE!!!  They would NEVER have replied with this woman’s humble words, basically saying, “I know Lord, I’m the lowest of the low, but please help me.”  Wowzer, she wasn’t offended in the least bit! It’s almost as if the woman had no pride at all!  Amazing!  Show me a person like that, and I’ll show you a person having GREAT potential to LOVE!  Yes, show me a person like that, and I’ll show you a person with GREAT FAITH.



Approximately 800 Weeks (Sabbaths) Remaining Till Christ's Return!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jesus’ Healings Picture Salvation

A few weeks ago, while watching a Gospel of Matthew movie, my understanding of Jesus’ healing miracles was further enlightened.  The basic plot is this … a sick person approaches Jesus wanting healed, and so Jesus heals them.  Or someone approaches Jesus wanting someone else healed (a friend, family member, relative, etc) and so Jesus heals them.  Here’s the deal; these healing miracles ALL picture Jesus’ ability to offer us salvation (eternal life)!  Let me explain.

Pain, sorrow, labor, fear, and death are the spiritual result of Adam & Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden, and since sickness and disease cause pain, they too are a manifestation of the sin curse we Earthlings endure.  Consequently, when Jesus would heal someone of a disease or sickness, taking away their pain, it was REALLY a picture of Jesus’ ability to take away (forgive) our sin!  Do you see? This is the reason Jesus said: “But that YE MAY KNOW that the Son of man hath power on Earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and walk!” (Matthew 9:6).

Never once does the Bible record an incident where someone comes to Jesus wanting healing and he does not heal.  It didn’t matter their nationality, race, or religion!  Do you understand?  This echoes: “And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (The Revelation 22:17).  Yes, truly, Jesus will NEVER turn away someone who seeks him (desires to follow him): He will ALWAYS forgive them of their sins, giving them eternal life: “And great multitudes followed him, and he healed them ALL” (Matthew 12:15).  And what about those running up to Jesus wanting someone else healed? They picture prayer!  They picture someone praying for someone else’s salvation!  And remember, Jesus ALWAYS healed them!  This understanding should be a TREMENDOUS encouragement to you to never stop praying for your loved one’s salvation!

Be aware of these truths as you watch your next Jesus movie, for it is amazing and wonderful to understand what Jesus is communicating through what he is doing as he goes about his ministry: “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them” (Matthew 15:30).  Hallelujah!

Peaceful Sabbath to All,


Approximately 801 Weeks (Sabbaths) Remaining Till Christ's Return!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Thief on the Cross

What about the New Testament story of the “thief on the cross”?  Does it contradict the rest of what God’s Word teaches concerning what mankind MUST DO to obtain eternal life?  I often hear this story brought up by those who hold erroneous salvation doctrinal beliefs, as if it somehow defends their mistaken position.  I assure you, it does not!  Therefore, let’s take a closer look at this story.

First off, let’s review ALL we know from God’s Word about the lives of the two men who were crucified alongside of Jesus:  1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John confirm they were thieves, and that Jesus’ cross was positioned between their crosses.  2. Mark reveals this happened to fulfill Isaiah 53:12: “and he was numbered with the transgressors”.  3. Matthew says they BOTH initially joined in with those calling for Jesus to save himself: “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:44).  4. Luke records: “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).  Luke says the above conversation took place about high noon, followed by 3 hours of darkness (noon till 3pm), afterwhich Jesus soon died.  5. Then, several more hours later (around 5 or 6pm?) John records the thieves’ legs were broke and they died.

Alright, let me begin with the Biblical bottom line concerning OUR DUTY in obtaining eternal life (salvation)… we MUST have a REPENTANT heart!  We must acknowledge sin as evil and be willing to turn away from it.  The very MOMENT a soul has this kind of a “heart change” they are on the “narrow way” that leads to eternal life.  The thief’s repentant heart was revealed in these words (paraphrasing): “Don’t you fear God even at death!  We’re getting what we deserve!  We did wrong and deserve to pay for our sins!  Please have mercy on me Jesus!  Don’t forget about me!”  Can you hear his belief in God, his remorse for his sins, and his humility of heart?  That’s how salvation is obtained!  Zacchaeus got it too, instantly, when his repentant heart cried, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, THIS DAY is salvation come to this house!” (Luke 19:1-10).  Hear is "turned away from sin" heart?

But here now is the cold hard truth; if a soul still has more time to live on Earth after this genuine “change of heart” experience (a month, year, or more) and they at some point go back to living a lifestyle of willful sin, they will then be back on the “broad way” that leads to eternal death!  This is why John the Baptist cried: “Bring forth your (good) fruit, in KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE” (Matthew 3:8).  In other words, repentance is not JUST a one time decision, it is a continual duty of “fighting to keep God’s 10 Love Commandments” in one’s daily life.  And now you know there is nothing contradictory about the story of the “thief on the cross” and the rest of what God’s Word declares concerning what WE MUST DO to obtain eternal life.  Amen.

What We Don’t Know (about the thieves on the cross):

  1. How long were they thieves in prison … a week, a month, a year or more?
  2. Were they Jews?
  3. Did they attend Synagogue as a child?
  4. When did the “remember me” thief first have a repentant heart?  Was it 3 months earlier, in prison, when he had a heart-to-heart with God?  Was his heart already changed and “doing good (loving)” to his fellow prisoners and jailors for the last 3 months or more, before going to the cross?
  5. What was the “remember me” thief caught stealing?  Food to feed his starving family?
  6. Did the OTHER thief later have the same change of heart (sometime between 12 - 6pm) and make heaven, too?



Approximately 802 Weeks (Sabbaths) Remaining Till Christ's Return!