Seeing Lord Jesus

Knowing More To See Him More

“Do not get knowledge for knowledge sake but so you can see and love to a greater degree the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Kenneth Wuest

The Bible has a lot to say about gaining knowledge and about wisdom, how to use the knowledge you obtain.  It also warns that knowledge can make you prideful.

“Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”

Therefore, our desire in gaining biblical knowledge should be to gain a clearer picture of the Lord Jesus Christ so we can love Him more. Since He said, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me;…” (John 14: 21a), loving Him more means we will be more diligent in our obedience.   That is how the “love of God” is manifested in our life.  Words play a part but actions speak a lot louder.

We need to realize there are millions of people, right here in the U.S., that have never mentally “seen” Jesus.  They have no Bible knowledge and have no concept of what Jesus looks like.

Lets  put our Bible knowledge to use today and let someone “see” Jesus in us through our obedience to Him.  It may be their first time to “see” the Lord Jesus.

Pay Close Attention to Yourself….   (Paul to Timothy)

Carl

What Is God Looking For ?

God is looking for “good and faithful”  servants; not necessarily gifted, educated, or cultured ones.

Author Unknown

The Lord Jesus, when discussing the end of time and His second coming, told a parable about a master going on a trip and leaving different amounts of his possessions with different servants while he was away.  Upon His return, he calls the servants in to give an account of what they did with his possessions while he was gone.

The first had been given five talents and upon questioning  he shared that he had made five talents more.  As a result the master said this:

“Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25: 21)

Now we know this is a picture of Jesus going away to receive His heavenly kingdom and, while He is gone, He has given gifts (talents) to every Christian for edifying  his fellow Christian and the Church.  Upon His coming for the Church, there will be the Judgement Seat of Christ where the Christian will receive rewards for what he has done with these gifts. (More will be shared in future posts about this.)

Today, let us be found to be good stewards of whatever gifts God has entrusted to us.  Let our goal be to please our master and serve our fellow Christian so we can hear Him say of us “Well done, good and faithful slave”.  Amen.

Carl

 

 

Who Are “Those That Do Not Obey The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus”?

Who are these people who will suffer the eternal wrath of the Lamb at the end of time?

In II Thessalonians 1: 6-10 our brother Paul writes the following to the Christians at Thessalonica:

“….For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed –for our testimony to you was believed.” [Emphasis mine]

In this scripture, Paul uses two different terms to describe the people who will suffer eternally the Wrath of the Lamb.

The first is “those who do not know God”. These are people who have no biblical, saving relationship with our God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Hindus, Islamics, Buddhist, Jews, all of the different world faiths, non-religious, atheist, humanist, and others will make up this group. A vast group of people. You shudder at the thought of what is going to happen to them.

The second is “those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”. Now a casual reading of this could lead some to wonder or believe that self-effort or works may be involved in salvation. Or that a born again person can fall away due to not doing something that the Lord required. While studying sanctification, I found a verse that explains who these people are. I put my thoughts before you for your consideration.

In I Peter 1: 1-2 Peter writes about the three things that happen in the salvation of a sinner.

“…who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:…”

The first is that the sinner is “chosen” by God and then, secondly, the Holy Spirit begins the “setting apart” or sanctifying work that brings the sinner to the point where they “obey” or, another way of saying it, express their faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this in Acts 6:7 where it says;

“And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”

Then, thirdly, as the result of the sinner’s obedience/faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus, he is “sprinkled” with the Lord’s blood. Salvation is complete.

The second step concerning the work of the Holy Spirit sanctifying someone is also known as positional sanctification. Sanctify means to “set apart”; to set apart from the sinful nature and the world to serve God. At the point of salvation, God the Father moves the saved sinner from the dominion of Satan to the kingdom of His beloved Son. The sinner is in a new position. In Christ. After salvation, the believer begins a process known as progressive sanctification where little by little with the help of the Holy Spirit; he begins to get the sin out of his life and grows in Christlikeness. This Christlikeness, ABOVE ALL, is what God desires for the believer.

Therefore, in II Thessalonians this descriptive term, “those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” refers to a LOST person who the Holy Spirit tried to draw to Christ but the person resisted His ministry and never exercised their faith in the gospel presentation they heard. This person was never born again. They remained in their original state of a sin.

The following Book of Hebrew scriptures show people doing this. The text is Hebrews 3:7 -4:2 and I will only quote pieces to give you the overview. Read the entire section when you can.

“Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEART AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,….. (v7-8)

“Take care brethren lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God, “ (12)

“Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also, but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” (3:1-2)

We see the writer of Hebrews using Old Testament examples to exhort the Jews who are seriously considering the claims of Jesus as the Messiah to go on to put their faith in the good news (gospel) that is being preached to them. If they do not put their faith in the good news being preached to them and return to the abrogated (formally ended by God) temple sacrifices, they will not enter the Sabbath rest, i.e. salvation. Notice in the scriptures above that God is speaking to them, unbelieving hearts are in the people; therefore, they do not unite faith with the word preached. They are not saved. They do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Another example is found in Acts 7:51. We find Stephen before the Jewish Council addressing the High Priest and other leaders of Israel. He says the following to them:

“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in the heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. “

It is interesting to note in the account of the Pharisee Nicodemus coming to the Lord at night in John chapter 3, when he said to Jesus “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do the these signs that You do unless God is with him.”, the “we” in the original Greek grammar refers to this Council that Stephen was speaking before and Nicodemus was a member of. My point here is that the High Priest and the leaders of Israel knew that Jesus had come from God because of the multitudes of miracles (signs) He had done. Yet, they resisted the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying ministry of bringing them to faith in the Son of God. Instead, they killed him.

Of this group, the Bible tells us that only Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38) exercised faith and believed or obeyed the gospel.

It is sobering to know that according to what Jesus told the disciple about being brought before kings and courts, that the Holy Spirit is giving Stephen what to say to these men and He is telling them that you always resist Me like your fathers did.

For a positive example of this, listen to what Peter told the Pentecost crowd when he concluded preaching the gospel after the Holy Spirit fell and they wanted to know what they should do. Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, said:

“Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts2:38)

Their obedience is recorded in verse 41:

“So then, those who had received the word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Here you have about 3000 Jews receiving the word (i.e. gospel that Peter preached) and obeying what he said (i.e. exercising their faith in what they heard) and being born again. Just opposite from what the leaders of Israel did.

Therefore, in conclusion, the people referred to in Thessalonians are people who had the opportunity to hear the gospel (good news) but rejected it. They never united the word preached with faith to come to salvation. They resisted the sanctifying work or “setting apart” work of the Holy Spirit.

The only seemingly contradiction to this view is this: did God the Father make a mistake in choosing some people before the foundation of the world because these people rejected the gospel? Now, we know He does not make mistakes; therefore, there is an explanation.

The Word says God “is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) He is delaying the end of time so people can be saved.

The Lord Jesus said about the Holy Spirit that “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgement, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:8-10)

These two verses show that the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to the whole world and, of course, the Lord Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. So these verses show that God desires that all men come to salvation but since He will not violate a person’s free will, some will reject the gospel and others will unite their faith with the gospel preached and be saved.

Let us leave the choosing to Him and let us be about the reaching out to all men.

Thank you for your time. Please forward any comments or thoughts concerning this matter.

“Pay close attention to yourself…” (Paul to Timothy)

Carl

Apostle Peter’s Advice On How To Have A Good Life

“For he who desires to be loving life and to see good days, let him stop the natural tendency of his tongue towards evil, and the natural tendency of his lips to the end that they speak no craftiness, but let him rather at once and once for all turn away from evil and let him do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it, because the Lord’s eyes are directed in a favorable attitude towards the righteous, and His ears are inclined into their petitions, but the Lord’s face is against those who practice evil things.”  (I Peter 3: 10-12 quoting Psalm 34: 12-13) (Wuest Fuller Translation)

A Prayer: Father God I present myself to You as one alive from the dead and the members of my body as instruments of righteousness.  Forgive me where I have sinned with my mouth.  Thank you for your Spirit which gives me the desire and power to obey your Word.  By your power I purpose to glorify the Lord Jesus today and everyday  with my words and actions.  Thank you my old sinful nature will not be master over me because of what You and the Lord Jesus have accomplished and my faith in what you have done. In Jesus’ Mighty Name.  Amen

My first blog post!

Welcome. I started this blog as a means of sharing what the Lord is showing me in His Word (The Bible) concerning the born again person and his relationship and fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  As the Holy Spirit leads us into truth, we will grow in Christ likeness, learning to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects,..” (Colossians 1:10)  I hope you will join me on this pilgrimage and share your feedback, both positive and negative.

Today the post is the result of a question from one of our relatives concerning what did Jesus do while His earthly body was dead in the grave.   Hope you find it interesting.

I close with Paul’s advice to Timothy concerning becoming more Christ like.  Thank you for visiting.

“Pay Close Attention To Yourself…”

Carl

What Did Jesus Do Between His Death On The Cross and His Resurrection

As best I can tell by searching the scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ went to the following two places after His physical death. The reader is encouraged to look up the scriptures noted and read them. A New American Standard Bible was used for this study.

1. PARADISE: In Luke 23: 39 – 43 we have the story of the two criminals being crucified with Christ. One of them rails against Him and the other stands up for Him saying that “this man has done nothing wrong”. This second criminal tells the Lord “Jesus, remember me when you come in Your kingdom!” And the Lord replies “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Paradise in the New Testament is the same as Abraham’s bosom mentioned in Jesus’ story in Luke 16:19-31. The term “Abraham’s bosom” represents blessedness after death. Because Abraham was the founder of the Hebrew nation, to be honored with his intimacy was the highest bliss. The term “bosom” is derived either from the Roman custom of reclining on the left side at meals, Lazarus being in the place of honor at Abraham’s right, leaning on his breast; or from its appropriateness as expressing closest fellowship (see John 1:18, 13:23). (Source: Pictorial Bible Dictionary)

Here The Lord tells a story concerning a rich man and a beggar that both die. Abraham’s bosom is where the righteous Old Testament people went when they died. As I understand it they could not go into God’s presence since the sin question had never once-and-for-all been settled. The Lord’s death for our sins and His resurrection settled the sin question once-and-for-all; therefore, in Hebrews 12:22-23 when it describes our new home it says “you have come to””…..the spirits of righteous men made perfect,…”. This statement refers to the occupants of Abraham’s bosom being made perfect because of what the Lord did and they are now in God’s presence.

The Old Testament Jew believed in Sheol (the grave) which was divided into Hades where the non-righteous person (a.k.a. the lost) went and Abraham’s bosom where the righteous Old Testament dead went. In the story the rich man died and “lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom”. He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his figure in the water and put it on his tongue since he was “in agony in this flame”. But since a great chasm is between the two places, he could not. The beggar was being comforted since he had suffered much in his earthly life.

You are encouraged to read the story in Luke 16 for yourself. I believe it is an actual true story in the sense that the people are real people who had lived and tells what happened after their death. It also sheds light on the importance of God’s Word as far as salvation is concerned.

Evidently, The Lord and the just-saved criminal both went to Abraham’s bosom/paradise after dying. Though it is not clearly stated anywhere that I know of in the scripture, the Lord could of revealed to the righteous dead the gospel; i.e. what He had accomplished through the substitutionary atonement, future resurrection and that He was the promised sacrifice that all of the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to and that these people were trusting in for their personal salvation. It is interesting to note that Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration to talk with a glorified Lord Jesus about His coming death and resurrection; therefore, maybe the people in Abraham’s bosom were already enlightened about the gospel.

2. TARTARUS: In I Peter 3:18-22 it says that the Lord went and “made proclamation to the spirits now in prison who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah…”

The Greek scholar Wuest tells us there are just two prisons in the unseen world where evil spirits are confined. Tartarus is where fallen angels are kept and the Bottomless Pit in Revelation 9:1-12 is the prison of demons.

In I Peter 3:19-20 and II Peter 2:4-5, Peter associates these spirits (a.k.a. fallen angels) with the period before the Flood mentioned in Genesis 6: 1-7. These are fallen angels who committed fornication with human evil women and created a hybrid race part angel and part man. It is suggested that Satan intended to wipe out the human race and thereby foil God’s plan of redemption. In regards to this “wiping out”, remember that there were only eight people on the ark during the flood. All the other righteous people on earth had died naturally, been murdered or died in some accident. If they would have been alive, they would have been on the ark with Noah. They would not of suffered the wrath of God; i.e. the flood.

God would not have incarnated Himself in a race of part angel and part man. Therefore, the divine plan of the incarnation and substitutionary atonement of the Son of God would not have happened. This is probably why God destroyed the whole world with the flood except for Noah and his 7 family members. The New Testament tells us that God put these fallen angels into a prison that they will never get out of until they are cast into the lake of fire with death, hades and Satan at the end of time. See Revelation 20:10. Some authors state that the demons are the disembodied spirits of the fallen angels’ hybrid children and some say they are fallen angels.

The Lord went to this prison and made a proclamation to these fallen angels. Though it does not reveal the text of this proclamation in the New Testament, it is thought to be a proclamation of victory over Satan’s scheme to stop God’s plan of salvation. Praise His Mighty Name!

The End!