Monday, July 26, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #9: The Victory and Final Woe

 The Epistle of Jesus #9: The Victory Trumpet and Final Woe


Power Point Link

MS Doc Link

Introduction:  

Past/ Review / Chronology
I. The vision of Christ and letters to the seven churches. 1:9–3:22.
II. The Lamb opens the seven-sealed book is opened. 4:1–6:17.
III. The sealing of the 144,000 and the angels sounding the seven trumpets. 7:1–9:21.
IV. Interlude 10-11 (To comfort and encourage the people of God, then and now)

Last week we were shown the Two, the witnesses for God, the two olive trees, the two lampstands,  the last two great heroes of God in the last epoch of the time of the Gentiles.

I stopped with their story, but chapter 11 continues with the Final Woe, which is the Seventh Trumpet of the Angels. That commences in verse Revelation 11:14.

A Proclamation Of Victory - Revelation 11:14–19 


14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The Seventh Angel Sounds The Seventh Trumpet
We have been waiting for this seventh trumpet to sound since chapter 8:13 Revelation 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
There are three woes that the angel announces after the fifth trumpet has sounded. These mark an intensifying of God’s wrath upon the dwellers on earth, who will not heed the call to repent of their sin and wickedness.

The first woe was the 5th trumpet in Revelation 9:1-4 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

The Second Woe was the 6th Trumpet in Revelation 9:13-19 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

We then saw in Revelation 10 and 11 an interlude a step away from the plagues of the seals and the trumpets for the purpose of showing God’s people, that God was working, to show the faithful believers who refused to take the mark of the beast God’s perspective during this time. First a heavenly perspective of the great angel and John eating the little book showing the call to be a witness for the Lord even though it would be a bitter experience.
Then there was the earthly perspective to be seen of the two witnesses on the earth, the great powerful last prophets and heroes of God. These powerful men who for 3 ½ years cannot be touched by the anti-Christ, but when the Beast returns from the pit, he kills them, who it seemed nothing could stop or even hinder. Yet God will show it was His plan all along and He raises them up after 3 ½ days and before the whole world calls them home to heaven.

The believers of that time and the persecuted believers of every time on earth can learn from this prophecy that lesson, to see things from God’s perspective and know that He always has a plan, He always has a purpose and He always has the power to carry them through. His plan may not be all that I want or ask for, but that is what perspective gives us. The ability to see from heaven’s mountaintop and know that God is the overseer of time, history and eternity.  He is not late, He is not lazy and He is not lacking the power to bring about His purpose. My part is simply to be faithful and trust Him.

Then we finally come to the Seventh Trumpet, The Final Woe of this series of plagues. The seventh angel sounds his trumpet and then this “woe” is announced by a great choir, great voices in heaven and they make and announcement not of woe but of victory.
The Trumpet of Victory Sounds - Revelation 11:15 “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

This is the victory call of Christ’s Kingdom. The kingdoms of the earth have become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Now that is announced with the seventh trumpet but the final series of judgments and the return of Christ is yet to happen. This is the start of the end. I believe we should place it right at the middle of the seven year tribulation, 3 ½ years in and now 3 ½ years to go. The trumpet marks the final onslaught of God’s judgment on the earth and in particular upon the kingdom of the anti-Christ, the Beast and all those who follow him and have taken his mark on their forehead and hands.

Just as we saw in the seven seals, when the seventh seal opens it reveals the rest of the judgments of God. The seventh seal contains the seven trumpets and the seven bowl judgments. Here we see the seventh trumpet sounded and it opens or reveals the final woe which is the seven vials or bowl judgments, the final strike against the earth before the Lord comes back as Captain of the Lord’s Host and Messiah.

This Trumpet sound is like the Joshua’s army as they marched around the city of Jericho, six days they marched but on the seventh day they marched and blew the trumpets and the walls fell down. The battle still had to be finished before Israel could take possession of Jericho, but that seventh day marked the point of victory, there was no going back for the enemies of God’s people, no time to rebuild the walls, no time to recall the taunts, the jeers or their misplace faith in their pagan gods. When the trumpet sounded on the 7th day it was over for Jericho. The same is true here, there is still 3 ½ years to play out but when the 7th trumpet sounds but it is over for the anti-Christ and his kingdom and all of heaven knows it and calls out a victory cry, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Woe to the inhabitants of earth but Joy to the inhabitants of heaven and the believers of earth who are hiding from the attack and persecution of the Beast.

Woe Of the World, Is often Joy to Jesus’ Disciples
This world may be destined for woe but God’s people are created for joy. A joy that overcomes the woe.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

2 Corinthians 7:4.Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.  

No matter how bad it will be in this world, Jesus has given us joy.
How Can I Keep From Singing?

In the middle of last year’s lockdowns and scares many people would get together and have Zoom meetings for church, for business, for family but the ones I remember and were such a blessing were those that brought singers and choirs together. Especially when they sang hymns. One of the best was a choir and orchestra from New York that sang, “How Can I Keep From Singing”

1 My life flows on in endless song, above earth’s lamentation.
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.

Refrain:
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Love is lord of heav’n and earth, how can I keep from singing?

2 Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.How can I keep from singing? [Refrain]

3 What though my joys and comforts die,I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth. [Refrain]

4 The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!How can I keep from singing? [Refrain]

Transition: Praise

And that brings us to verses 16-18 where praise is once again sung in the halls of Heaven’s Throne room

A Praise To God - Revelation 11: 16-18


16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

The 24 Elders Praise God


This short song of praise is the expression of the victory that has been proclaimed by the heavenly choir of vs. 15. It expresses the emotion of all of God’s people, both Old Testament and New, which are represented by the 24 elders, 12 OT Tribes, 12 NT Disciples.
This moment is what all of God’s people, the persecuted, the dispersed, the wanderers and the pilgrims have been longing and praying for.

Abraham left his home looking for that city whose builder and maker was God. Hebrews 11:8–10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and called people to the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 5:3–12 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

All those combined and multiplied prayers are now going to be answered as the seventh trumpet sounds. All that hope, all that faith, all that expectation will be at last realized when the Kingdoms of earth become the kingdom of our God.

And so the 24 elders, the representation of all believers, fall on their face, they worship and praise God, who has now answered the last unanswered prayer of all God’s people throughout history.
And that brings up a question?...

Are We praying for The Kingdom?


One day we will be in that throng, gathered round the throne and we will see these events play out just as John did. We will sing the songs of praise to Him as King and judge. We will lift our voices with the chorus of heaven and sing, “Revelation 11:17 We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”

If we are the redeemed, if we are the children of God, if we are saved and sanctified by the blood of the lamb then what we just read will happen and we will be there! Now until that day we should be preparing for it by praying for the same thing we see these saints have been praying for; the prayer request of the people of God now being fulfilled here in heaven’s throne room. We need to be praying “O Lord God, thy kingdom come.”

Isn’t that what Jesus told us to do in? Matthew 6:9–10  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We need to be praying.

Pray for the kingdom of Heaven to come to earth. Yes, pray for Jesus to return. Pray for the sin, pain, sorrow to end. Pray for God to prove to this belligerent, hateful, atheistic world that He rules and reigns. We should also be praying for the Kingdom in another way. We should be praying…

Pray for the kingdom to come to human hearts. When John the Baptist and Jesus were preaching in Israel during Jesus’ first coming their message was…

Matthew 4:17 “…Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Now they weren’t saying that the kingdom of heaven as we are reading about in Revelation 11 was near. No, they were preaching about entrance into that kingdom, about belonging to that kingdom.  The Kingdom of Heaven one day will be physically on the earth, but until then it is a spiritual kingdom in our heart. 


Jesus told Nicodemus, who was looking for that physical Kingdom,
John 3:3-5 …Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Until the seventh trumpet blows, we are to be working and praying to bring people into the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you remember what Jesus told Peter and the Disciples in Matthew 16:19? “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The ability, the power and the responsibility to open the kingdom of heaven is now ours. The keys to kingdom are in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we hold those keys as His church.

Mark 1:15 … The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Yes we need to be praying for Jesus to return, reclaim, and revive this sin corrupted world, but we should also be praying and working to bring that kingdom to the hearts of the lost around us. “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand” has never been a more vital message than it is today.

Illustration: Keep Looking Up!


In a nursing home ministry I had as a Bible College student in DeSoto, Texas, I was once wheeling one of the residents back to her room. I had just finished preaching about the second coming and the sweet lady I was pushing to her room. Looked back over her shoulder and asked. Do you believe Jesus is coming back? I was a little surprised at the question, since I had just finished my sermon about just exactly that. But it wouldn’t be the first time I had put someone to sleep during a sermon so I smiled and said, “Yes Ma’am. I sure do.” She then smiled real big pointed her finger toward heaven and said, “Keep looking up!”

I’ve thought of that encounter many times since then, she preached a message to me that day. Keep looking up, Jesus is coming. Keep looking up, despite fear, pain and sorrow, Jesus is coming. Keep looking up, keep telling the Gospel to those in pain, Jesus is coming back. Just keep looking up!

When the 7th Trumpet sounds all that looking up, praying up and preaching up will come it final fruition and fulfillment.
Transition: There is one more event that takes place before this scene John is seeing changes, it’s in verse 19 .

A Promise Kept – Revelation 11: 19


And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

The Temple of God Is Opened


This is an interesting verse and it shows once again that the book of Revelation is mostly about God and his people the Jews. Right after the announcement of victory, comes this observation, “and the temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.” This is not the temple that John measured, that temple is the rebuilt temple on the earth, this is the temple of God in heaven and it contains the ark of the covenant.

You might wonder what is happening and why the ark of the testimony is in heaven. The truth is that this ark of the testimony has always been in heaven as has this temple. John specifically says “the temple of God in heaven.”

When God gave Moses the plans for the tabernacle, back in the book of Exodus, it was meant to be a representation, a foreshadowing of this Temple in Heaven. The tabernacle was not just a place of meeting for Israel it was also a 3-dimensional model of the heavens God had created.

We see this Shadow of Heaven’s Temple in  Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

The tabernacle was divided into three areas the outer court, the holy place and the most holy place. The outer court corresponds to the heavens that surround the earth, the firmament of the clouds and birds; the holy place is the heaven beyond the atmosphere of earth, it would be the heavens of the planets and stars, the sun and moon. Some would include in 2nd heaven the place where the angels dwell and those who have died in faith dwell, Paradise. The most Holy Place was a representation the third heaven, the very throne room of God.

The Three Heavens - Paul mentions these heavens in 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

When the seventh trumpet blows and the temple is opened, we see the heavenly Temple opened and the reason it is opened is that the people of God, the nation of Israel can see the ark of God. The ark that has been lost since the time of the Old Testament, the most precious possession of the people of Israel is safe in the Temple of God.

The ark on earth was the place where the presence of God dwelt between the two cherubim, the two arch angels. The lid of the ark was the mercy seat, where the priests sought forgiveness for the sins of the nation of Israel. It was a representation of God’s throne of mercy.

Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:
mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Proverbs 20:28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

When the Temple is thrown open in heaven and the ark of the covenant is seen there, it shows God’s mercy, truth and faithfulness in keeping the covenant with Abraham and Moses. It shows God’s forgiveness and His love. It shows His promises are true and never to be forgotten. It shows God never forsakes His own. What they thought was lost was always safe in the keeping of God.

The people of God could not keep the covenant, but the God of the people could and did. The ark seen in heaven is proof of that promise kept.

The Promise of the Gospel


Today, the Bible tells us that God’s Mercy, Truth and Promises are open to Us through the Gospel. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The mercy seat, the seat of atonement has never been lost. It has always been found at the throne of God.

Illustration: Newton and the throne of Grace


John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace truly was a wretch, he was slave trader taking men, women and children from Africa, transporting them in the worst conditions you can imagine, treating them with less dignity than animals. He was a drunkard. He was cruel to his men, they hated him so much that once when he fell drunk overboard, they rescued him by throwing a harpoon into his leg and dragging him back on board. He sunk so low that he himself became a slave to the very people he used to sell, like so much cattle. Even worse as he puts it he became a runaway slave. But John Newton found grace at the throne of God become a pastor and a hymnwriter. We all know Amazing Grace but here is one that isn’t published in hymnals anymore, not since the late 1800s. In most hymnals it is only a number but in one written in 1810 it is title “Coming To The Throne of Grace”

1 Not to Sinai's dreadful blaze,
But to Zion's throne of grace,
by a way marked out with blood,
Sinners now approach to God.

2 Not to hear the fiery law,
But with humble joy to draw
Water by that well supplied,
Jesus opened when he died.

3 Lord, there are no streams but thine,
Can assuage a thirst like mine;
'Tis a thirst thyself didst give,
Let me therefore drink and live.

The throne of mercy is open and the ark of the covenant is sure and fast. And just as God has held the nation of Israel in His hand all these centuries and now with the 7th Trumpet blowing, into eternity, He also will keep His promises through the Gospel to us.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Paul believed the promise of God and boasted that nothing could take him from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Conclusion:  


All throughout the Bible we read the same promise if you come to the throne of Grace, trusting in the shed blood of Jesus that was poured upon the mercy seat of heaven, then you are His for eternity, you are safe for eternity, you are kept by the power of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as safe and secure as the ark of the covenant. Aren’t you glad, it’s sure, aren’t you glad it’s true, aren’t you glad your soul is kept by the unlimited power and unconditional love of God on high!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Church Covenant: History and Scriptural Foundation

The Baptist Church Covenant

Power Point Link 


MS Word Link

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment, to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger. To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word. 

Definition and History

 "Covenant" means "an agreement, to agree, be of one mind, come together. A binding and solemn agreement by two or more persons, parties, etc., to do or keep from doing some specified thing; a compact. A solemn agreement between the members of a church, that they will hold to points of doctrine, faith, etc." Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 1975.

The most common church covenant we see was written by J. Newton Brown, a well respected and noted Baptist preacher, around 1833. It was revised from some earlier covenant from 1830, most likely written by him also. He popularized this covenant when he printed it in 1853 along with the New Hampshire confession of faith (which he also did a little editing to). It became even more popular when Pendleton published it in his Church Manual.

There was a time when Baptist churches without the Covenant posted on their walls were a minority. Every church I grew up in had the covenant somewhere. In this modern, do not offend, growth at all costs time we live in now, the opposite is true, very few of our members know anything about the Covenant and to find it in full view somewhere in the church is extremely rare.

Perhaps it’s time to reclaim the covenant, to post it in our church, distribute it to our members and most important teach it to those interested in joining our local body. Would it keep some from joining? Yes, without a doubt but better to not join than they join with a faulty understanding of what we believe and what we expect from our members. 

Let’s reclaim the lost Covenant and by doing so also reclaim an important part of our heritage and history.

Entering The Covenant

"Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

A covenant must be entered into by two parties. In the case of the Church Covenant those parties are of course the local church and the church member. These are the ways we join and church and it should be understood that by doing so we are also submitting to the authority of that church and entering into a covenant agreement with it.

Scriptural Salvation and Baptism.

A positive experience of salvation. John 1:11-13; Eph. 2:8,9;

A public confession of Christ as Saviour. Rom 10:9; Acts 8:37, Matt. 10:32

A proper obedience in Scriptural baptism.Acts 2:41

Baptized in the name of the Trinity. Matt 28:19

This includes a 

proper candidate, (saved) Acts 2:41, 8:36-38

proper method, (immersion)  Matt 3:16

proper motive (symbolic)  Rom 6:3-4

and proper authority. (the local church)  Matt 28:18-20

It Must Be A Public Joining of Individual and Church

This is done before the witnesses of God and the angels. Heb. 1:13,14

The church is also witnesses to this solemn and joyful occasion. It must be by mutual agreement and it will result in one body in Christ. Eph 2:19-22; 1 Cor 12:12-27

Mutual Obligations Under the Covenant

"We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

Our Walk "Spirit Led in Unity and Love"

The aid of the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:5, Gal 5:16-18

To walk together. 1 Cor. 1:10; Rom. 15:5,6

In Christian love. I John 2:10; John 13:34

Our Goal "The Advancement, Prosperity and Sustenance Of Our Church"

Advance in knowledge. Eph 1:17; Col 1:10

Advance in holiness. I Thess. 4:3,4,7; II Cor. 7:1; 1Petet 1:14-16

Advance in comfort. I Thess. 5:11-14; Isaiah 35:3-4, 40:1

By promoting its prosperity and spirituality. Eph. 4:11-16

By sustaining it worship. Heb. 10:25

By sustaining its ordinances. I Cor. 11:2

By sustaining its discipline. Matt. 18:15-17

By sustaining its doctrines. Acts 2:42; I Tim. 4:6,13,16; II Tim. 3:16

Our Means "Cheerful and Regular Giving"

Giving should be cheerful and regular. II Cor. 9:6-10; I Cor. 16:2

The ministry is to be thus supported. Gal. 6:6; I Cor. 9:7-14; 1 Tim. 5:17,18

The expenses of the church raised.

The relief of the poor  Acts 6:1-7; Acts 11:27-30; 11 Cor. 9:1; 1 Cor. 16:2 I Tim. 5:3-16; 11 Thess. 3:10

The spread of the gospel.  Matt. 28:18-20

Individual and Family Obligations

"We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment, to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger. To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

Our Conduct In The Home.

Secret or private Devotions. Matt. 6:6; 7:7; Luke 18:1

Family Devotions. Gen. 18:19; Deut. 4:9; 6:7; Prov. 22:6; 11 Tim. 1:5; 3:15

Religious education of children. Eph. 6:4

Salvation of kindred and acquaintances. Matt. 5:14-16; Mark 5:19; Rom. 9:3

Our Conduct In The Community.

Walking circumspectly in the world. Eph. 4:1-3; I Thess. 5:15

Honesty, faithfulness, exemplary conduct. I Pet. 2:12, Heb. 13:21; Phil. 3:16-18

Controlling the tongue and anger. Matt. 12:36; Prov. 26:20; 6:16-19; Eph. 4:26

Abstaining from the sale and use of intoxicants.

Abstain from selling intoxicating beverages. I Thess. 5:22; Hab. 2:15

Abstain from its use. Prov. 20:1; 23:29-32; Eph. 5:18

Zeal in the work of the Lord. II Cor. 5:20; I Cor. 15:58; John 15:16

Final Obligations Under the Covenant

"We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay.

"We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word."

Our Relationship Toward Fellow Church Members.

Watching out for their welfare. Gal. 6:2; Rom. 14:7; II Thess. 3:14,15

Remember each other in prayer. Heb. 13:18; Eph. 6:18

Aiding in sickness and distress. Rom. 12:15; I Cor. 12:26

Practicing Christian sympathy. I John 3:17-18; Col. 3:17; 4:6

Our Relationship Toward Brethren.

Be slow to take offense. Prov. 15:18

Be ready for speedy reconciliation. I Cor. 6:7; Matt. 18:15,21,22; Rom. 14:19

Our Obligation For Moving Church Membership.

Need for earthly home and a church home. Many people move to distant cities and search for a house, but they do not consider a need for a church home until all else is settled. Find out if a good church home is available before moving to that city.

It should be an Independent Baptist Church of the same faith and order. Any church will not do. Acts 18:27; Rom. 16:1-2; Heb. 10:25

 

 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #8 The Faithful Two and Final Woe Revelation 11

The Epistle of Jesus #8 The Faithful Two and Final Woe

Revelation 11

Power Point Link

Video
Ms Word Doc

Past/ Review / Chronology

I. The vision of Christ and letters to the seven churches. 1:9–3:22.
II. The Lamb opens the seven-sealed book is opened. 4:1–6:17.
III. The sealing of the 144,000 and the angels sounding the seven trumpets. 7:1–9:21.
IV. Interlude 10-11 (To comfort and encourage the people of God, then and now)


Now we come to the 11th chapter where the interlude continues.
But now our focus turns from what is in heaven with John and the great angel to what is happening on earth with the two witness of God, the last two great heroes for God of human history.
The Bible is filled with stories of great heroes who fought, stood and died for God. From the first martyr of the faith, Abel in the book of Genesis to the first martyr after Jesus, the faithful deacon Stephen. Hebrews chapter 11 the faith chapter is a hall of fame for these faithful men and women of God.

Hebrews 11:33-38 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:)

The Two Witnesses of Hebrews 11 are the last heroes that could be added to the Faith Hall of Fame.

The Faithful Two

Possessing the Temple and People - Revelation 11:1–3

 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. Measuring the Temple. John is given a rod, this was probably a reed, like bamboo or cane, that had been cut to a specific size for measuring. We would understand it as a yard stick or a meter stick if your into the decimal system.

John then measures the Temple and the people at the command of God. He is doing this to show that God is staking a claim on the Jewish Temple and the Jewish believers during the Tribulation. John is seeing this vision around 99 AD and way back almost 30 years ago, in 70 AD, John had lived during the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus had prophesied it would happen in Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, John had been alive when it happen but now here is John is measuring out a new Temple, a Temple that will stand again during the time of the Tribulation.

This will be the 3rd Temple. The first was built by Solomon, the 2nd by Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel, the 3rd by Herod which was a remodel and expansion of the 2nd. Herod’s Temple was one of the greatest most elaborate Temples of the then known world. Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the invading Roman army led by their general Titus in response to the Jewish zealots uprising that started in 66 AD seeking freedom from Rome. And just as Jesus had said every stone was torn down. The city fell on Passover 70 AD there were 600,000 visitors in the city when the gates were broken down. The Romans burned the city, tore down the walls, slaughtered 1 million people and captured 95,000 most of which were sold into slavery.

The temple John knew, that had stood in one form or another for over 4000 years, was gone and the Jewish people scattered and under greater persecution than ever. And now God commands John to measure the dimensions of the new Tribulation temple, showing God’s ownership and reclaiming of the Temple and His people and if God possessed them then God will stand to protect them. Imagine how that must have made the 100 year old John feel?  God’s Temple was going to be rebuilt and the Jewish people, his people reclaimed by God.

This is prophesied in the Old Testament, Amos 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

This rebuilt temple, the Tribulation Temple must be up just before or at the beginning of the tribulation because of what Daniel and Jesus both prophesied.

Matthew 24:15–21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

So the Temple will be rebuilt by the Jews of the Tribulation time and it will be accomplished through the power and authority of the Anti-Christ who will claim to be their Messiah, probably by the proof of his sanctioning the rebuilding of their long destroyed Temple and of course a peace treaty that give Israel peace with all their neighbors.

This measuring also tells us that there is a time allotted to the antichrist and the people who oppose the people of God. At the midpoint of the Tribulation the anti-Christ will set up his own image in the holy place of this new Temple and that will be the mark the mid-point of the tribulation. This is the signal that tells the Jews this is not their Messiah and it triggers an all out war against them that Jesus warned them about in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.

Transition It may be that God will use the rebuilt Temple to remind the Jewish people of who their God is. It could become the focal point for the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel to begin preaching the coming of their real Messiah. It may also be used by the 2 witnesses that we next read about in chapter 11.

Power Of The Two - Revelation 11:4–6


And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

One of the clearest prophecy in the Old Testament of the Messiah was Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

When the people of Jerusalem say Jesus that day riding in through the city gates on that donkey, they knew, they knew that this was their Messiah. They begin singing Hosanna to the Son of David and to lay their cloaks and palm branches in his path to make way for Him.

During the time of the Tribulation another of Zechariah’s prophesy will be fulfilled and just like Jesus’ Triumphal entry, the Jewish people will know God is reclaiming them for himself.

Zechariah 4:1-7 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

John sees these two witnesses, the two olive trees, the two lampstands the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring grace to his people, Israel. When the Jewish people who have been fooled by the Anti-christ, see these two heroes of God, see their miracles and hear their message of repentance for the sins of their nation, a message ampliphied by the sackcloth, garments of mourning that they wear, When they hear, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”, they will listen and they will repent by the millions upon millions. Turning from their false Messiah to their true coming Messiah.

The hear the message, the see the fulfilled prophecy from Zechariah and they also see the undeniable miracles.

Look again at Revelation 11:5-6 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

These prophet heroes have the power of Moses in calling down plagues, the power of Elisha and Elijah in calling down fire from heaven and in stopping the rain from falling. The Jewish people will recognize them by these miracles of power and know they are the forerunners of their Messiah. This forerunner was the very last prophecy of the old Testament in

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

During Jesus first coming that forerunner was John the Baptist, as Jesus said but during the time of the tribulation that role will be filled by the Two. For this reason many people believe that one of the Two will be Elijah, returned to earth after his ride to heaven in the fiery chariot of God. Many believe the other to be Moses who God separated to Himself by taking him high on a mountain before he died. Both these men were with Jesus when the disciple say him transfigured before their eyes.

The Transfiguration Mark 9:2-4 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

We don’t know if God will bring back Moses and Elijah or even Enoch who was the other Old Testament saint that did not see death. It is more likely that the Two witnesses of Revelation 11, like John the Baptist aren’t the literal Elijah and Moses but instead they are the fulfilment of that office, of forerunner and prophet in the same manner and power as Moses and Elijah. I don’t know, no one knows but it sure would be amazing to sit up there in heaven with the raptured New Testament believer and watch Elijah and Moses go down to earth as we were going up to heaven, knowing what they were about to do in God’s power to the sin living, idol worhsipping, God deniers of the Anti-Christ’s kingdom.

Transition: But their power and time is limited just as will be the power and time of the Anti-Christ.

Pershing of The Two - Revelation 11:7–10


And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

When the plan of God reaches this point, these great prophets, the last two great heroes for God will be killed. It must have seemed impossible to their enemies who had tried to kill them and when they tried, fire fell from heaven at their word or water was turned into blood. But God had set a time and that time was now finished. 


The only time during the Tribulation that the Two prophets could serve, as vs. 3 tells us, “they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” That time period is 3 ½ years, the same time as Jesus’ ministry during His first coming.  The only time for this 3 ½ year ministry of the Two is the first half of the tribulation. Their ministry starts with the opening of the seals and then finishes with the last trumpet. And some of the plagues and punishments that we read about in Revelation 6-9 fit the power that the Two possess as God’s champions.

They serve under terrible peril, terrible persecution leading the people of God and probably working with the 144,000, calling God’s people back to God for 3 ½ years until the midpoint of the 7 year tribulation and then something incredible happens. Its in vs. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Did you catch that? The Beast, the anti-Christ shall ascend our of the pit. We haven’t really been introduced fully to the Beast of Tribulation but here we read He ascends out of the pit, definite article meaning the pit of Hell, the Abyss, the place where demons are kept and where those who die as unbelievers do to await the Great White Throne Judgment of God. But the beast doesn’t wait, somehow, someway he ascends from Hell.

In Revelation 13:3 we are going find out what happened, And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.  This is head is the anti-Christ, one of the powers ruled by Satan the great Dragon of Revelation and we see that he is wounded unto death. It appears He dies and goes to Hell, but then comes back. And when he comes back he is powerful, no one can stand against him not even the Two. The Beast makes war against them, overcomes them and kills them.

Vs. 8 tells us “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” So we know that all this take place in Jerusalem, but during this time it is so polluted with sin that the Bible calls it Sodom and so corrupted by idolatry that it is called Egypt, the place where idolatry arose.

Now all that happens by the plan, power and purpose of God. And yet what a blow it must be to the believers of the Tribulation. To see their two great heroes fall and to see the Beast that they thought was dead, come back to life with more power than he possess before he died.

That is why Jesus records it in advance here. So that those people won’t lose faith, won’t lose hope. Just as He told the believer during His first coming that He would be taken, tried and crucified, He is telling those who will endure this terrible time of Jacobs Trouble, don’t lose hope. God allowed this to happen and there is a reason.

The people of earth, who blamed the Two for all the terrible things that had been happening, they rejoice and throw a global party, a new Anti-Christ anti-Christmas. Vs. 9 -10 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 


For 3 ½ days one day for every year of their ministry, the lost, rebellious, unrepentant, neo-pagan Beast worshippers of the earth have a debaucherous party and mark it with the giving of gifts, something that must be a mockery of the tradition from the savior birth. They believe their hero, the Beast, the new ruler of the world, has defeated the greatest heroes of God on earth and they celebrate but that celebration is cut short.

For after 3 ½ day, only God know why that exact time period, but it will make sense to the people of God then, After 3 ½ day the John who is seeing all of these in his vision, sees Revelation 11:11-13 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.
The party stops for as all the world watch via internet, satellite, and social media, none of which existed or could exist during John’s time, but Jesus saw it and told us it was coming. Right in the middle of their celebration the Holy Spirit of Life from God flows into their dead, beaten, mutilated and rotting bodies stands them upon their feet, made whole again, and God calls out to His Heroes, Come Up! Come Home! Come To Me In Victory!

And the whole world, all the enemies of God watch, open mouthed and dumbfounded as God claims His Two Olive branches, His Two Faithful Witness and brings them home to heaven. He shows the whole world that what they thought was their god’s victory was actually the victory of the one, true God. It was always part of His plan.

And just in case they don’t get the message vs. 13 says, “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.”

Now don’t let the “gave glory to God” phrase fool you, they aren’t believers and they aren’t repenting, they are just trying to flee from the wrath to come by mouthing what they think are magic words to try and fool the power they don’t understand and avoid His wrath.

Saints, Heroes and Martyrs.


We said that the Two will be the last great heroes of history in the service of God but that doesn’t mean they are the only heroes only the famous ones recorded here. All the 144,000 will give their lives for the testimony of Jesus the true Messiah and many others who believe by their testimony will also be killed. We are going to learn later in the Epistle of Jesus that the Anti-christ in his rage will turn on the people of God, demanding that all must take a mark in their right hand or their forehead showing loyalty to only him. Those who refuse will not be allowed to buy food and when they are caught without the mark of the beast they will be executed. They Bible even tells us the means of execution, it tells us they will be beheaded for the cause of Christ. So many that here in the book of Revelation we read earlier in chapter 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; in vs. 14 they are identified, the angle tells John, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb..

In the end of time, there will be many heroes many witnesses, willing to die for the testimony of the Lamb of God.

Christianity, true Christianity, is a demanding discipline because it demands our very life. The one who would choose to be a disciple of Jesus Christ must understand that they are choosing to end their own life. Sometimes, many times that life is given literally in death and blood as we just read, or as we can read throughout the Bible, or as we can read in the page of history, a history written in the blood of the saints of God. Other times that life is required not in physical death but in dying to this world and living in service to Jesus Christ, a life of service.

Paul who have his life both in service and in death wrote this in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30 I am … in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. (weakness, flaws, suffering) 


We are reading today about the end of God’s people on earth, the last heroes of the faith, let me give you a favorite story of the drawn from the beginning of Christianity.
 

Illustration: Forty Wrestlers For Christ


In the days of the Roman Emperor Nero, there lived and served him a band of soldiers known as the “Emperor’s Wrestlers.” Strong, brave men they were, picked from the best and the boldest of the land, and recruited from the great athletes of the Roman amphitheater.
In the great amphitheater they upheld the honor of the emperor against all challengers. Before each contest they stood before the emperor’s throne. Then through the courts of Rome rang the cry: “We, the wrestlers, wrestling for thee, O Emperor, to win for thee the victory and from thee, the victor’s crown.”

When the great Roman army was sent to fight in far-away Gaul, no soldiers were braver or more loyal than this band of wrestlers led by their centurion Vespasian. But news reached Nero that many Roman soldiers had accepted the Christian faith. Therefore, this decree was dispatched to the centurion Vespasian: “If there be any among your soldiers who cling to the faith of the Christian, they must die!”

The decree was received in the dead of winter. The soldiers were camped on the shore of a frozen inland lake. It was with sinking heart that Vespasian, the centurion, read the emperor’s message.
Vespasian called the soldiers together and asked the question: “Are there any among you who cling to the faith of the Christian? If so, let him step forward!” Forty wrestlers instantly stepped forward two paces, saluted, and stood at attention. Vespasian paused. He had not expected so many. He read to them the emperor’s edict. 


“Until sundown I shall await your answer,” said Vespasian. Sundown came, again the question was asked. Again the forty wrestlers stepped forward.

Vespasian pleaded with them long and earnestly without prevailing upon a single man to deny his Lord. Finally, he said, “The decree of the emperor must be obeyed, but I am not willing that your brothers should shed your blood. I am going to order that you march out upon the lake of ice, and I shall leave you there to the mercy of the elements.”

The forty wrestlers were stripped and then, falling into columns of four, marched toward the center of the lake of ice. As they marched, they broke into the chant of the arena: “Forty wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor’s crown!” Through the long hours of the night Vespasian stood by his campfire and watched. As he waited through the long night, there came to him fainter and fainter the wrestlers’song.

As morning drew near one figure, overcome by exposure, crept quietly toward the fire; in the extremity of his suffering he had renounced his Lord. Faintly but clearly from the darkness came the song: “Thirty-nine wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor’s crown!”

Vespasian looked at the figure drawing close to the fire. Perhaps he saw eternal light shining there toward the center of the lake. Who can say? But off came his helmet and clothing, and he sprang upon the ice, crying, “Forty wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory” and from Thee, the victor’s crown! —Paul Tassel

Conclusion


I doubt you and I will be called to have the honor of dying for Jesus but whatever God has planned for us, remember it is His plan and our only part is to accept that, rejoice in that and commit to that. We are called to give up our lives as believers, I pray we will all answer that call.

Many years ago, my Mom who was the pianist at all the churches we were members of used to play an old Ira Stamphill song, its rarely heard today and even when I went searching for it on the internet there were only two recordings that I found. Perhaps it too hard a song to listen to in today’s modern Christian world of easy believism and blessing to blessing beliefs. It was simply called Follow Me.

Follow Me – Ira Stamphil 1953

I traveled down a lonely road
And no one seemed to care,
The burden on my weary back
Had bowed me to despair,
I oft complained to Jesus
How folks were treating me,
And then I heard Him say so tenderly.
"My feet were also weary,
Upon the Calvary road;
The cross became so heavy,
I fell beneath the load,
Be faithful, weary pilgrim,
The morning I can see,
Just lift your cross and follow close to me."

"I work so hard for Jesus,"
I often boast and say,
"I've sacrificed a lot of things
To walk the narrow way,
I gave up fame and fortune;
I'm worth a lot to Thee,"
And then I hear Him gently say to me,
"I left the throne of glory
And counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger
Upon a cruel cross,
But now we'll make the journey
With your hand safe in Mine,
So lift your cross and follow close to Me."

O, Jesus if I die upon
A foreign field someday,
'Twould be no more than love demands,
No less could I repay,
"No greater love hath mortal man
Than for a friend to die"
These are the words He gently spoke to me,
"If just a cup of water
I place within your hand
Then just a cup of water
Is all that I demand."
But if by death to living
They can Thy glory see,
I'll take my cross and follow close to Thee.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Worship Workshop Session 2: Worship Deeper by…

Worship Workshop Session 2: Worship Deeper by…

Knowing More Of God

The Names of God

El, Elim, Elohim Eloah: Genesis 1:1 generic term for God. 

El-Elyon: God Most High   El-Shaddai: God Almighty/ Satisfier

Jehovah or Yahweh: Exodus 3:13-14  Gen 2:4, compare with Gen 15:2 is the Personal name of God.  It means  I Am. 

Jehovah-Jireh: Gen. 22:13-14; The Lord will Provide.

Jehovah-Rapha: Exodus 15:26; The Lord that Healeth

Jehovah-Nissi: Exodus 17:8-15; The Lord our Banner

Jehovah-Shalom: Ex 17:8-15 The Lord our Peace.

Jehovah-Raah: Ps 23:1The Lord my Shepherd.

Jehovah-Tsidkeny: Jer 23:6The Lord our Righteousness.

Jehovah-Shammah: Ez 48:35; The Lord is  Present.

Theos is the New Testament equivalent of El.

Pater: Matthew 5:16 Father in Greek.

Abba: Mark 14:36; Father or Daddy in Aramaic and was specially used in prayer to address God.

Names of Jesus, God The Son

The Angel of the Lord: (Exodus 3:2-4)

 Captain of the Lord’s host: (Joshua 5:13-15)

 Immanuel: Means God with us. (Is 7:14)

 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6)

Jesus: Is the Greek name for Joshua (Yeshua) which means Jehovah is Salvation. (Luke 1:30-31)

Son of Man (Luke 9:56)

The Word: Logos, Personal Manifestation of God . (John 1:1)

Son of God: (John 1:34)

Saviour (John 4:42)

Christ: This is the Greek word Christos, for the Hebrew term Messiah, the anointed of God. (John 4:42)

Alpha and Omega: First and last letter of Greek alphabet, it means the first and last. (Revelation 1:8)

Lion of the Tribe of Judah: Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Names of Holy Spirit

Spirit: in Hebrew is Ruah-Breath, wind.  In Greek it is Pneuma, Breath, wind.

Spirit of God, Lord.  Romans 8:9

Spirit of Christ  Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 1:11

Spirit of Jesus  Philip. 1:19

Spirit of adoption  Romans 8:15

Spirit of promise   Eph. 1:13

Spirit of truth  John 14:17

Spirit of grace  Hebrews 10:29

Spirit of life  Rev 11:11

Comforter:  Greek word Parakletos: one called along side to help.  (This is the personal name of the Holy Spirit.) John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7

 

The Essence and Attributes of God

He is immaterial and incorporeal. Jesus said, “A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). If God is spirit, he is immaterial and incorporeal. The second commandment of the Decalogue, which forbids the making of any graven image or likeness of anything (Exod. 20:4), is based on the incorporeal nature of God. So also are the numerous commands against idolatry (Lev. 26:1; Deut. 16:22).

He is invisible. The Israelites “did not see any form” when the Lord appeared to them in Horeb, and, therefore, they were prohibited from making any image of him (Deut. 4:15–19). God told Moses that no man could see him and live (Exod. 33:20). John says, “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). Paul calls him “the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Tim. 1:17) and declares that no man has seen him or can see him (1 Tim. 6:16). Certain Scriptures, however, indicate that the redeemed will some day see him (Ps. 17:15; Matt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14; Rev. 22:4).

He Is Self-existent. While man’s ground of existence is outside of himself, God’s existence is not dependent upon anything outside of himself. As Thomas Aquinas said, “He is the first cause; himself uncaused.” His self-existence is implied in his affirmation, “I am who I am” (Exod. 3:14; cf. the “I am” of Christ’s teaching concerning himself, John 8:58, and Isa. 41:4; Rev. 1:8), and as is usually held, in the name “Jehovah” (Exod. 6:3). Yet God’s self-existence is not grounded in his will, but in his nature.

He Is Infinite and Immense. God is infinite in relation to space. He is not limited or circumscribed by space; on the contrary, all finite space is dependent upon him. He is, in fact, above space. Scripture clearly teaches God’s immensity (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 2:6; Ps. 113:4–6; 139:7f.; Isa. 66:1; Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:24–28). Due to the spirituality of his nature and our inability to think in spaceless terms, this is a difficult doctrine to apprehend. However, this much is clear: God is both immanent and transcendent, and he is everywhere present in essence as well as in knowledge and power.

He Is Eternal: By the eternity of God we mean His infinity in relation to time, we mean that He is without beginning or end; that He is free from all succession of time; and that He is the cause of time. God is also infinite in relation to time. He is without beginning or end, he is free from all succession of time, and he is the cause of time. That he is without beginning or end may be inferred from the doctrine of his self-existence; he who exists by reason of his nature rather than his volition, must always have existed and must continue to exist forever. That God is eternal is abundantly taught in Scripture. He is called “the Everlasting God” (Gen. 21:33). The Psalmists say, “From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God” (Ps. 90:2) and “Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end” (Ps. 102:27). Isaiah represents God as “the high and exalted One Who lives forever” (Isa. 57:15). Paul says that God “alone possesses immortality” (1 Tim. 6:16; cf. Hab. 1:12).

He Is Omnipotent: 1Pet 1:5; By the omnipotence of God we mean that He is able to do whatever He wills.- Henry Thiesan.

He Is Omniscient:  Jer 17:10 By the omniscience of God we mean that He knows Himself and all other things, whether they be actual or merely possible, whether they be past, present, or future, and that He knows them perfectly and from all eternity.  He knows them immediately, simultaneously, exhaustively and truly. - Henry Thiesan "Lectures in Systematic Theology"

He Is Omnipresent: Jer 23:24 By the omnipresence of God we mean His infinitude in relation to His creatures.  Because God is immense, He is omnipresent. Henry Thiessen:  

He Is Holy: Psalms 99:3,5,9 He only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. In Scripture He is frequently styled “The Holy ONE”. He is so because the sum of all moral excellency is found in Him. He is absolute Purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. Holiness is the very excellency of the divine nature: the great God is 'glorious in holiness' –Arthur Pink

He Is Sovereign: (God) is under no external restraint whatsoever. He is the Supreme Dispenser of all events. All forms of existence are within the scope of His dominion. And yet this is not to be viewed in any such way as to abridge the reality of the moral freedom of God’s responsible creatures or to make men anything else than the arbiters of their own eternal destinies. God has seen fit to create beings with the power of choice between good and evil. He rules over them in justice and wisdom and grace. - The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press

The Scriptures abundantly teach that God is sovereign in the universe: “Indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord” (1 Chron. 29:11); “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3); “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the things you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Isa. 45:9); “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die” (Ezek. 18:4); “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’ ” (Dan. 4:35); and “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?” (Matt. 20:15; cf. Rom. 9:14–21; 11:36; Eph. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:15f.; Rev. 4:11) - Thiessan

He Is Righteous and just. The righteousness and justice of God is that aspect of God’s holiness which is seen in his treatment of the creature. Repeatedly, these qualities are ascribed to God (2 Chron. 12:6; Ezra 9:15; Neh. 9:33; Isa. 45:21; Dan. 9:14; John 17:25; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 16:5).

He Is Immutable. God is unchangeable in his essence, attributes, consciousness, and will. All change must be to the better or the worse, but God cannot change to the better, since he is absolutely perfect; neither can he change to the worse, for the same reason. He is exalted above all causes and above even the possibility of change. He can never be wiser, more holy, more just, more merciful, more truthful, nor less so. Nor do his plans and purposes change. Scripture declares that there is no variation with God (James 1:17). He does not change with regard to his character (Ps. 102:26f.; Mal. 3:6; Heb. 1:12), his power (Rom. 4:20f.), his plans and purposes (Ps. 33:11; Isa. 46:10), his promises (1 Kings 8:56; 2 Cor. 1:20), his love and mercy (Ps. 103:17), or his justice (Gen. 18:25; Isa. 28:17).

Good. In the larger sense of the term, the goodness of God includes all the qualities that answer to the conception of an ideal personage; that is, it includes such qualities as God’s holiness, righteousness, and truth, as well as his love, benevolence, mercy, and grace.

He Is Love. God’s love is that perfection of the divine nature by which God is eternally moved to communicate himself. The Scriptures frequently testify to the love of God. They speak of him as “the God of love” (2 Cor. 13:11) and declare him to be “love” (1 John 4:8, 16). It is his nature to love. He initiates love (1 John 4:10). He is unlike the gods of the heathen, who hate and are angry, and the god of the philosopher, who is cold and indifferent. The Father loves the Son (Matt. 3:17), and the Son loves the Father (John 14:31). God loves the world (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4), his ancient people Israel (Deut. 7:6–8, 13; Jer. 31:3), and his true children (John 14:23). He loves righteousness (Ps. 11:7) and justice (Isa. 61:8). The assurance of God’s love is a source of comfort to the believer (Rom. 8:35–39). A loving God is not unfeeling toward his own.

He Is Benevolent: Because of his goodness, God deals bountifully, tenderly, and kindly with all his creatures. “The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.… The eyes of all look to Thee, and Thou dost give them their food in due time. Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Ps. 145:9, 15f.). Creation is God’s handiwork and declared to be very good (Gen. 1:31). God cannot hate what he has made (Job 10:3; 14:15). The benevolence of God is manifested in his concern for the welfare of the creature and is suited to the creature’s needs and capacities (Job 38:41; Ps. 104:21; 145:15; Matt. 6:26). His benevolence is not restricted to believers, “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45; cf. Acts 14:17).

He Is Merciful: God’s mercy is his goodness manifested towards those who are in misery or distress. Compassion, pity, and loving kindness are other terms in Scripture that denote practically the same thing. Mercy is an eternal, necessary quality in God as an all-perfect being, but the exercise of it in a given case is optional. To deny the freeness of mercy is to annihilate it, for if it is a matter of debt, then it is no longer mercy. God is “rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4), “is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:11), and has “great mercy” (1 Pet. 1:3). He is said to be merciful toward Israel (Ps. 102:13), the Gentiles (Rom 11:30f.), and all that fear him (Ps. 103:17; Luke 1:50) and seek his salvation (Isa. 55:7).

He Is Gracious: The grace of God is God’s goodness manifested toward the ill-deserving. Grace has respect to sinful man as guilty, while mercy has respect to him as miserable and pitiful. Scripture speaks of the “glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:6), “surpassing riches of His grace” (Eph. 2:7; cf. 1:7), “manifold grace” (1 Pet. 4:10), and “true grace” (1 Pet. 5:12).

- Henry Clarence Thiessen and Vernon D. Doerksen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979)

Quotes

  If God be a Spirit, and therefore a person, infinite, eternal, and immutable in his being and perfections, the Creator and Preserver of the universe, He is of right its absolute sovereign.… This sovereignty of God is the ground of peace and confidence to all his people. They rejoice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; that neither necessity, nor chance, nor the folly of man, nor the malice of Satan controls the sequence of events and all their issues. - Hodge

God is present in all places; we should not think of him, however, as filling spaces, for he has no physical dimensions. It is as pure spirit that he pervades all things, in a relationship of immanence that is more than we body-bound creatures can understand. One thing that is clear, however, is that he is present everywhere in the fullness of all that he is and all the powers that he has, and needy souls praying to him anywhere in the world receive the same fullness of his undivided attention. Because God is omnipresent he is able to give his entire attention to millions of individuals at the same time. – J.I. Packer Concise Theology

Living becomes an awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent God. - J. I Packer  "Knowing God"

The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy… Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of "heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. – A. W. Pink

“Power is God's hand or arm, omniscience His eye, mercy, His bowels, eternity His duration, but holiness is His beauty.” - S. Charnock.