Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#5450 Mar 15, 2013
C. The Holy Spirit in creation
The Bible identifies the Holy Spirit as active in creating and sustaining the universe:
Genesis 1:2: the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters
Psalm 104:30:When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
Job 26:13:By his breath [Hebrew = ruach Spirit] the skies became fair
Here we understand that the Holy Spirit is actively involved in creation, and also in sustaining the earth. This creative activity of the Spirit automatically identifies the Spirit as God, for the Bible is adamant that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. The equation is extremely simple:
God is the Creator [Genesis 1:1]
The Holy Spirit is identified as involved in the act of creation [Genesis 1:2]
Therefore the Holy Spirit is God.
D. The Holy Spirit and revelation
God reveals himself in three distinct ways, or in three different places:
What are the three ways [or places] in which God reveals himself?
The Bible makes it very clear that the Holy Spirit is involved in this three-fold revelation.
As we have already seen, the Holy Spirit was involved in creation.
It is the Holy Spirit of God who came upon the biblical writers and inspired and empowered them to write the true Word of God.[See below.]
The Holy Spirit sustained Jesus Christ, and empowered Jesus Christ, in his human life, to reveal by word and by action precisely who God is.[See Study Three.]
D.1 The Holy Spirit and the Scripture
The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible to speak and to record the Word of God. They did not speak on their own account or by their own initiative; indeed, some of them were the reluctant and unwilling instruments of God.
What is the relationship between the Spirit of God and the Word of God?
We can add two further verses here:
Acts 7:51: in which Stephen refers to the Jews historical rejection of the prophets and their messages as rejection of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 3:5: where Paul teaches that Holy Spirit had now revealed to the New Testament apostles and prophets the hidden meaning of the Old Testament.
D.2 The Holy Spirit and our personal knowledge of God
Not only was the Holy Spirit involved in providing Gods self-revelation, it is also the Holy Spirit who applies that revelation to the individual human heart, so that we may grasp and understand that knowledge of God available in creation, in Scripture and in Jesus Christ.
Without this operation of the Spirit of God in the individual human heart we would forever miss, or misinterpret, the revelation that is there.
Read 1Corinthians 2:6-16. Make a list of everything Paul teaches here about the involvement of the Holy Spirit in getting us to know and understand Gods truth.
When we read 1Corinthians 2:6-16 we learn that, left to ourselves we cannot understand Gods truth, Gods secret wisdom. That is, we cannot understand Gods age-long mystery: the truth about Jesus Christ and the salvation God grants to us through Christs crucifixion. Left to ourselves, we would not even think of the truth of the Gospel, it is so grand and so glorious that it wouldnt even enter our heads as a possibility.But, says Paul,God has revealed it to us by his Spirit[1Corinthians 2:10].
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#5451 Mar 15, 2013
Paul teaches us,
God has revealed this to us by his Spirit.
We have received the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us[1Corinthians 2:12].
We are taught by the Spirit[verse 13].
The truths we know come from the Spirit of God[verse 14].
Because of this action of the Spirit in revealing Gods truth to us, we have, Paul teaches,the mind of Christ[verse 16].
The fact that you and I know Jesus Christ, the fact that you and I know and understand what Christ did for us on the cross, is clearly the result of the revelatory work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.
This revelatory role of the Spirit is also taught by Jesus Christ:
John 15:26:When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
John 16:13:But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
E. The Holy Spirit and Judgment
The Scripture teaches that God is the Judge of all the earth [Genesis 18:25], and that God has delegated the authority to judge to Jesus Christ [John 5:22], who, when he returns, comes as judge [Jude 14-15]. The Scripture also teaches us that the Holy Spirit is involved in judgment
E.1 Genesis 6:3
In a context where wickedness saturated the earth [6:5] God said My Spirit will not contend with man forever where contend translates the Hebrew deen which means to rule, specifically to rule in terms of judgment, and the execution of judgment. Hence the KJV translated this word strive. Here we see that it is the Spirit of God who confronts humans with the reality of their sin and its consequent judgment. We also learn from this verse that this striving of the Spirit of God that impacts against the human will not continue forever; there is therefore an urgency to repent now, immediately, in response to the Spirits conviction. There is a time for everyone when God says Enough is enough. It is time for the judgment to fall.
E.2 2Thessalonians 2:7
This verse speaks of the one who now holds it back that is, the One who, when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, was holding back the secret power of lawlessness and the lawless one[v8]. Various conservative biblical scholars have identified this one who restrained evil as the Holy Spirit. If this interpretation is correct, then we have here a reference similar to that in Genesis 6:3, teaching us that the Holy Spirit is actively impressing people with the wrongness of sin, and, therefore, restraining evil. A time will come when the Holy Spirit ceases to confront man with his judgment and condemnation, and, therefore, ceases to thus restrain the evil done by man.
Although the Holy Spirit is not mentioned, there is a similar concept in Romans 1:18-32, where constant human rejection of the word of God results in God giving people up. In this passage we see Gods repeated self revelation and the repeated human rejection or corruption of that revelation. Three times in this terrible passage we read that God gave them up [verses 24, 26 & 28], that is, that God left them to their own choices, to their ignorance and sin which they preferred above his revealed truth.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#5452 Mar 15, 2013
When the Holy Spirit of God ceases to act in this role of Judge, when he ceases to expose our sin and convict us of our sin, it is then that we see his most terrible judgment of all: that he leaves us alone in our sin and its consequences; he leaves us alone to face the final judgment.
E.3 John 16:7-11
This exposing, convicting role of the Spirit is also taught by Jesus Christ.
John 16:7-11: I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Here we see that the activity of the Holy Spirit in the world is exactly the opposite of his action in the believer:
On the one hand, to the believer, he is the Counsellor the legal helper who befriends us and, by teaching us of Christ, assists and encourages us to rest in our acquittal from all guilt by the substitutionary, sin-bearing death of Christ. The Holy Spirit is, in this way, our legal defence. Similarly, as Paul teaches in Romans 8:16 the Holy Spirit testifies that we are Gods children, that is, that we are no longer the objects of Gods wrath and judgment. See also Galatians 4:6.
On the other hand, to the world,[and this is one of the few places where the Holy Spirits specific activity towards the unbeliever is clearly mentioned], the Holy Spirit has the role of the legal prosecutor. He convicts the world of guilt from three perspectives: from the perspective of sin; from the perspective of righteousness; and from the perspective of judgment.
Guilt in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me:
Those who believe in Christ never again bear the guilt of their sin: Christ bore it for us; it was nailed to his cross, and he took the full penalty there [Colossians 2:14; 1Peter 2:24]. Those who do not believe in Christ still carry the guilt of their sin [John 8:24]. They stand guilty in the presence of God so long as they do not believe in Christ. The Holy Spirit exposes and identifies this guilt. Indeed, unless the Holy Spirit convicts them of this guilt in respect to the core sin of unbelief, they will never come to genuine faith and repentance.
Guilt in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer
Those who believe in Christ never again have to bear the guilt of their own legal disqualification [lack of righteousness] in the presence of God: they have been clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ [Romans 3:21-24; Philippians 3:7-0]. The return of Christ to the Father, after his death and resurrection, affirms his perfect righteousness, and exposes the sheer inadequacy of all human attempts to secure their own righteousness. By Christs righteousness all of our righteousness is exposed as filthy rags. It is the Holy Spirit alone who convinces/convicts the world that by its own righteousness it can only be declared guilty, never acquitted, and thus drives them to accept the free gift of the righteousness of Christ.
Guilt in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world stands condemned.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#5453 Mar 15, 2013
Those who believe in Christ never have to bear the just judgment of God: in Christ they have been removed forever from the realm of condemnation [John 5:24; 8:1]. The Holy Spirit convicts the world that it is guilty, and therefore under the judgment of God. This is evident in the defeat of Satan in and by the cross of Christ, by which all of Satans lies and deceptions are exposed. God is proved to be God, and Satan and his agenda stand condemned by the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The world, which aligns with Satan, is also thus condemned. This truth is made known to the world by the Holy Spirit.
[This exposure of the worlds guilt in these three areas is perhaps, at least in part, the reason why unbelievers feel uneasy, even antagonistic, in the presence of believers. The very fact that someone actually believes in Christ, believes his claims about his divine identity, and believes what the Scripture teaches about his death and resurrection, exposes the guilt of the unbeliever, exposes his unbelief. Every Christian believer stands as a silent witness that the Holy Spirit is right, and we humans are wrong.]
E.4 Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17
These verses contain a possible additional reference associating the Holy Spirit and judgment. John states that when Jesus comes he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Fire is commonly a reference to judgment. That judgment is in Johns mind here is indicated by his next words:His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. It is obviously Jesus who executes this judgment, but the way he does it is by baptizing with the Holy Spirit. We must also note the perspective of cleansing which is associated with this judgment, and potentially included in the meaning of these verses by the fact that they are speaking of baptism. See also Isaiah 4:4, where cleansing, judgment, the Spirit and fire are all mentioned.
The Holy Spirit is God co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son, and like them a personal being, not a non-personal manifestation, force or power.
This deity of the Holy Spirit is evident in the teaching of Jesus Christ, from the names attributed to the Holy Spirit in the Scripture, and from the involvement of the Holy Spirit in creation, revelation and judgment. As we will see in subsequent studies, the full deity and real personality of the Holy Spirit is also demonstrated in the Holy Spirits relationship with Jesus Christ, by his role in our salvation, and by his present relationship with every believer.
#5454 Mar 15, 2013
--- Way too long, please keep it shorter...Thankyou...
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5455 Mar 17, 2013
stop pasting junk mails to this blog please...
only spiritual allow
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5456 Mar 18, 2013
The prophet is a specialist in Intercessory Prayer. This is a subject we are also covering on its own, but I mention it here specifically as it applies to this ministry. An intercessor is one who prays on behalf of another. So the prophetic ministry will receive revelation concerning the needs of others and is responsible to pray according to what has been revealed. This was also a function of the early prophets of the Old Testament and can be seen in the lives of the great prophets of that era.
God says in the Old Testament that He does nothing without first revealing His secrets to the prophets.
Amos 3: 7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
This is because it is the responsibility of the prophets to release into the earth, the plan of God. Whatever God does, He is going to do through the prayers of His people. The prophetic ministry is especially geared to handle this responsibility. Thus God reveals His plan and purpose to the prophets so that they can pray forth His will into the earth.
Praise and Worship
Praise and worship are warfare. Many do not realize this and think that they are only an emotional release caused by singing loud fast songs. This is also a complete subject that could be covered on its own, but we do not have the space here. Perhaps it will be dealt with elsewhere on this site. However many good books have already been written on the subject, so you can research it on your own.
Prophetic ministries have the ability to bring the presence of God into a gathering. Since the prophet is in touch spiritually with the mind of God, it is inevitable that as the prophetic ministry starts to function, the Holy Spirit will be released to work. This is also brought about as people are led into the place God wants them to be as the prophetic ministry exhorts, encourages and gives direction.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5457 Mar 18, 2013
yes right on!!
keep it up!!
praise the Lord!!
glory to Jesus!!
more to come life must go on
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5458 Mar 18, 2013
One of the most common questions I get asked is, "What does a certain person believe concerning Bible prophecy?" I've received so many inquires from people that want information on well-known figures in the field of Bible prophecy, I'd I've decided to create this web page. There are some good commentators out there, but there are also a lot of bad ones lurking around. Hopefully, this page will help you decide which ones are worth your attention.
Who's Who of Prophecy
John Ankerberg -- An apologist of biblical issues
Kenton Beshore -- Dedicated to the fulfillment of Romans 1:16
Jonathan Cahn -- Author of the best-selling book, The Harbinger
Jimmy DeYoung -- An expert on the Middle East
Russ Doughten -- Father of the Modern Christian Movie
Daymond Duck -- A best-selling author of many books
Les Feldick -- Proficient Bible teacher
Gary D. Frazier -- Founder of Discovery Ministries
Arno Froese -- Editor of Midnight Call magazine
John Hagee -- founder and Pastor of Cornerstone Church
Mark Hitchcock -- One of the top selling prophecy authors
Ed Hindson -- A busy man who wears many hat
Noah Hutchings -- President of Southwest Radio Ministries
Dave Hunt -- Someone who fearlessly speaks the truth
Thomas Ice -- Defender of the pre-trib view
Terry James -- A great speaker and a dear friend
David Jeremiah -- A highly sought-after conference speaker
Gary Kah -- The only conspiracy speaker that makes sense
Jack Kinsella -- Seasoned researcher, author and editor
Tim LaHaye -- One of the greats of Christian fiction
Hal Lindsey -- A giant in the world of Bible prophecy
Jan Markell -- Founder of Olive Tree Ministries
Chuck Missler -- A man gifted in business and now in prophecy
David Noeble -- An authority on the decline of morality
Donald Perkins -- A man with the best prophetic charts
Randall Price -- An expert in the field of biblical archaeology
David Reagan -- A dependable source of reliable information
Ron Rhodes -- President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Min.
Joel C. Rosenberg -- Best selling author, international speaker
Larry Spargimino -- A man of talent who stays busy
Gary Stearman -- The leading force behind Prophecy In The News
Perry Stone -- A prophecy expert that does claim to be one
Jack Van Impe -- Known as the "Walking Bible"
Who Was Who of Prophecy:
JR Church -- Served the Lord for many years now
Dave Breese -- Was one of prophecy's most gifted speakers
Ray Brubaker -- Broadcasting pioneer
Grant Jeffrey -- Always has an answer to every question
Clarence Larkin -- Known for his book, Dispensational Truth
Zola Levitt -- A Jewish Christian who had many talents
David Allen Lewis -- Prophecy, prayer, and spiritual warfare
J. Vernon McGee -- Founder of Thru the Bible Radio program
John Walvoord -- Former head of Dallas Theological Seminary
David Wilkerson -- Co-author of The Blade and Switchblade
The Bad Apples and the Prophetically Confused:
Irvin Baxter -- Very unique view of prophecy
Peter Lalonde -- Mr. Hollywood
Texe Marrs -- Conspiracy magnet
Arnold Murray -- False shepherd
Stan Johnson -- Erroneous doctrine magnet
Ron Wyatt -- Archaeological fraud
Kenneth Gentry - Preterism
Robert Van Kampen - Pre-wrath
Dave MacPherson - Pre-trib rapture basher
Robert Gundry - Dispensational post-trib
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5459 Mar 18, 2013
~~~~The Judgment Seat of Christ~~~~~~
By Dr. Jack Van Impe
Chapter 1 - The Judgment Seat of Christ
There are at least five different judgments mentioned in the Bible. The first in our chronological listing is:
The Judgment of the believer's sin
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Christ came down from heaven's glory to shed His precious blood for a world for He knew no sin, but became sin for us (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Through this substitutionary death- dying for you and me- all who receive this Christ can have the past, present and future stains of sin immediately forgiven, forgotten, obliterated, and liquidated, because the blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleanseth us from *ALL* sin (1John 1:7, emphasis mine).
As soon as the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5) takes place, God cries, their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12). The result of being so completely washed in the blood is there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This is true because Christ was already judged in the sinner's place. Oh, what love, what compassion. Is it any wonder that Paul declares in Hebrews 2:3, How Shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.
The second Judgment is of the believer's service.
This investigative probe into a believer's lifetime of works will form the basis of our study in this booklet. We will discuss this Bema Seat Judgment in the next few pages.
The third Judgment is of Israel.
During the Tribulation hour, and enemy comes against Israel from the North (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). Then the armies of the world also converge on the Middle East (see Zechariah 14:2), and this period of bloody devastation becomes the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).
The fourth Judgment is of the nations.
Matthew 25 pictures the return of Christ to this earth. The text correlates to and is synonymous with Revelation 19:11-16 when Christ returns to the earth as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Before He establishes his millennial kingdom upon earth for 1,000 years (See Revelation 20:4), He purges the earth of its rebels (see Matthew 25:31-46). The righteous are then allowed to enter God's earthly kingdom utopia for 1,000 years, and eventually heaven, eternally.
This transition is observed in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 which states, Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5460 Mar 18, 2013
The Fifth and Final Judgment is of the Wicked and is commonly called, "The Great Judgment Day."
Revelation 20:11-15 pictures this solemn universal trial. John says, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Friends, the hour is coming when every unsaved, unregenerated sinner must meet a holy God for a detailed review of his life upon planet earth. When God's books are opened, every offender's tongue shall be silenced. There will be no hope then, but there is now! Why? Because Christ died for our sin (see 1 Corinthians 15:3). This means that the guiltiest of mortals can immediately be absolved by trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus.
Don't procrastinate-do it today! then you, too, will know the blessedness of John 3:18 which declares, He that believing on [christ] is not condemned because the believing are passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
Thus far, we have witnessed the fact that there are five different judgments. Men who do not rightly divide the word of truth (see 2 Timothy 2:15) often confuse the issues by conglomerately linking the various texts concerning Judgment into one mass of hodgepodge. We will not be guilty of this practice as we go back to Judgment number two and study the Bema Seat investigation.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5461 Mar 18, 2013
Romans 14:10 states, We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Second Corinthians 5:10 adds: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Millions of God's children, internationally, think that they can live nominal Christian lives and still be fully rewarded. They think that they can play "fast and loose" with the world without suffering loss. This is but wishful thinking! The day is coming when every blood bought believer must stand before a holy God for a scrutinizing investigation.
This becomes abundantly clear when one traces the English term *Judgment* seat to its Greek origin. There the term is "bema seat." When Paul used the terminology in the first century, every educated mind immediately knew the severity of the warning because their thinking took them to the runner's track in Athens, Greece.
It, like modern day sports stadiums, contained thousands of seats.
However, there was one seat differing from the rest in that it was uplifted and elevated. The judge of the contest, who sat there, had no obstruction to mar his view of the racing participants. He could see every movement clearly.
Does not this picture of "the God of Holiness" elevated upon His throne watching the Christian's race of life?
He sees where we go, hears what we say, and watches our every move. Yes, for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2 Corinthians 16:9). God cries, mine eyes are upon all their ways (Jeremiah 16:17), and because of it all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).
God is watching His people and keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Therefore, it behooves each one of us to place Christ first in our daily walk and talk. We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. " There must be a battle fought and won. There must be scars traded for crowns. Rewards must be earned.
Phillipians 3:1 Paul who [bore] in [his] body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17) was [pressing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 3:14). Salvation was his as a gift but only works of hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus' feet (see revelation 4:10,11). It is also true for you, dear Christian. You, too, must know the fellowship of his sufferings to receive the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.(see Phill0,14).
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5462 Mar 18, 2013
But wait! There is more. We are just beginning to explore the depths of this judgment. As we dive further into this subject, we discover that God also will investigate the motives behind one's works. In other words, the question will be: "Why did you hold the office of deacon, elder, or Sunday school teacher? Why did you sing or perform solos? What was your motive in being a counselor, and usher, a bus driver? What purpose was there in desiring to be a full-time Christian worker? Was it for power, prestige, or pride? Was it to be noticed, to be lauded, and applauded?"
Christian, will you answer this question in your own heart this very moment? Why are you doing what you are doing when you are doing it? What is your motive? If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse-if any!
Listen to the Saviour in Matthew 6:1-6: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Christ continues in verses Matthew 6:16- Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
There is no doubt as to the meaning of Christ's startling words. He declares that there are two places to be rewarded-here upon earth as one seeks the praise of men, or later in heaven when the Father who saw the works performed in secret, without notoriety, rewards those who did the job simply out of love for Him. When Jesus returns to call His people unto himself in the twinkling of an eye and the judgment begins, what will your motives have been in the Christian race? The motives issue will then be made manifest.
First Corinthians 4:5 states, Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [or motives] of the hearts: This teaching is also propounded in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Again, there is no doubt about the explicit teaching within this portion of scripture. It states, The fire shall try every man's work of what SORT it is (emphasis mine). Now notice some interesting observations concerning this judgment.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5463 Mar 18, 2013
The judgment is only for the people of God- those who have built upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ*
All of God's people present some form of "works" to Christ at the Bema Seat.* The fire then tests every man's work. Every man? Every man.
Though all worked to some degree, a difference in quantity and quality is observed.* Some works are precious and good-the gold, the silver, and the precious stones. While others- the wood, the hay, and the stubble-are bad.
The difference is tested by the purging of fire.* The good works survive while the wood, hay, and stubble is reduced to a mass of incinerated rubble. Christian, will what you are presently doing in the service of God abide the fires of Christ's Bema Seat? Will your works endure the test? Will your final results be reward or rubble? Stop and think! Why do you do what you do when you do it? What is your motive as you serve?
The disintegrated ashes bring sorrow and loss.* Yes,[they themselves] shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Notice that the lukewarm, the indifferent, and the careless shall be present. They do not miss heaven because of their faults! Instead, they shall be saved as by fire.- by the skin of their teeth! They made heaven only to sorrow over waywardness for a millennium of time as we shall presently see. Their loss was not of salvation, but of rewards. They suffered loss (rewards), but they themselves were saved as by fire. It is obvious then that the wayward lose out with God. Yet the loss is not of eternal life but of rewards. Eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (see Romans 6:23), and cannot be forfeited, but crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated.
Quality works, consisting of gold, silver, and precious stones, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men, when tested and found genuine, will earn crowns for the faithful for all eternity.* These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one's love for a lifetime of service. The scene is portrayed in Revelation 4:10-11. The twenty four elders pictured in the text are the representatives of all of God's people in both testaments- the twelve patriarchs of Israel same twenty four stalwarts of both eras have their names combined upon the fates and foundations of the future Holy City in revelation 21:12-14. So there is no doubt as to who they are. They represent all the faithful blood-bought people of God down through the ages.
The thrilling scene is described as follows: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Christian, do you long to lay a crown at the feet of the Saviour on the Coronation Day? Or will you be off in the background ashamed (see 1 John 2:28), having experienced a humiliating entranced into the presence of God (see 2 Peter 1:11)? It need not be so. A change can be made today.
Confession of failure is longingly desired by your Heavenly Father (see 1John 1:9). Rededication and redirection can be your experience this very moment. Utter that prayer of confession today and make a new start immediately so that you, too, may hear from the precious lips of Jesus, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5464 Mar 18, 2013
Chapter 2 - The Victor's Triumph and the Backslider's Tears
Someday, perhaps soon, every Christian must meet God for an investigative judgment of his entire life. This moment shall be a time of jubilant victory for some. Jesus said, He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.(Matthew 10:41). Paul adds, If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.(1 Corinthians 3:14).
On the other hand, it shall be a time of weeping for others. Paul, dealing with this hour of judgment, states in 2 Corinthians 5:11, Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; Terror? Yes, terror! How often Christians hilariously shout, "Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming soon!" Though this will undoubtedly be the most joyous event of the ages for some, it will be a time of intense and immense sorrow for others.
First John 2:28 declares And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ASHAMED before him at his coming (emphasis mine). Notice carefully that when Christ returns, all believers are summoned into His presence-the confident and the ashamed. The confident appear before the tribunal with "good works" whereas the ashamed have naught but "bad works" (see 2 Corinthians 5:10).
This is exceedingly important to understand because multitudes today think that one sin can keep a child of God out of heaven. The text plainly states that the "ashamed" meet Christ at His appearing. At the sound of the trumpet, when the dead in Christ rise first and living believers join the dead to meet Christ in the clouds (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16), the "ashamed" also enter heaven, but the abundant entrance is reserved for those who earned it upon earth (see 2 Peter 1:11).
Now, do not argue with me. If English means anything-and it does- this text *proves* that the wayward go home to meet Christ though ashamed. Since one can only bear shame for error and wrongdoing, then it is dogmatically clear that the wrongdoers meet Christ at His appearing or return. I grant you that they are embarrassed and lose all of their rewards, but they are nevertheless present at the roll call of the ages, though saved as by fire ( 1 Corinthians 3:15), by the "skin of their teeth," to use a modern day expression. What produces their embarrassment and humiliation as believers?
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5465 Mar 18, 2013
Multitudes of God's people could do so much more for Christ if they would, but the flesh stands in the way. When they do serve, it is often with selfish motives. Their hue and cry is, "What will I get out of this? What is in it for me?" The result? Modern Christianity has become big business.
Religious performers today charge exorbitant rates. Some receive $1,000 to $2,500 for a performance. What a judgment of terror awaits these mercenary "gospel entertainers." Though saved by fire, their works will dissolve into incinerated ashes. The wood, hay, and stubble will disintegrate because they had their reward. About face, Christian!
Then again, there are those who have little or no time for spiritual exercises. They seldom read God's Holy Word, seldom attend God's house. Seldom give their tithes, and never win souls. This is sin! James 4:17 states, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
These sins of omission-failing to do God's will- also produce remorse in that day. Friend, if I am describing you, it is not too late to change. As long as one has the breath of life, he can decide to do the will of God. Confess your sins, seek again your first love for Christ, rekindle the flames of devotion to the Lord Jesus immediately. Then use your opportunities to serve Him wisely.
One who obeys God will not be sorry. The faithful will be rewarded a hundred fold at the Bema Seat. Scholars calculate that to be a 10,000 percent yield.
No wonder Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6 He which soweth sparingly [meagerly] shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully [abundantly] shall reap also bountifully. One cannot outgive God at 10,000 percent interest. Galatians 6:7, often quoted to the unsaved, but directed to Christians concerning giving, states, Be not deceived; God is not mocked [or fooled]: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5466 Mar 18, 2013
Christian, your heavenly mansion will only be as beautiful as you build it now. Jesus said in John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions.
The literal rendering should state; "In my Father's house are numerous and differing kinds of dwelling places." Not all mansions will be identical. Building blocks for one's eternal home are being sent ahead from earth.
Jesus said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,(Matthew 6:19,20). If one's earthly treasure is piled up in stocks and bonds and banks, he has his reward. On the other hand, if the treasure is sent ahead, it awaits the believers with added and fantastic dividends.
Take your choice, Christian. You can have it here for seventy years, die and leave it for the ungodly to spend; or you may send it ahead for eternal blessing. Hang on and lose it, or let go and retain it forever.*It is up to you!*
May I share a most heart-moving experience with you? When Rexella and I were in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a man sitting in a wheelchair asked that he might speak to us.
As we reached the area where he sat, he began to weep, saying, "I and an invalid, as you can see. I have multiple sclerosis and osteo-arthritis. The pain is more that I can humanly bear. In fact, my pain-destroying medication costs me one hundred dollars per month.
Nevertheless, I have made a decision after much prayer. I want to give you the hundred dollars and omit this month's medicine. I know my pain will be unbearable, but it is the least I can do for Christ who suffered so much for me. Take it and use it for His glory."
Rexella and I, both in tears, replied, "We cannot accept this money for your medicine." He again wept audibly, saying, "Would you deprive me of a blessing? Take it for the glory of God and the salvation of souls."
How many thousands who have a superabundance of material things-stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and posessions- do nothing but tip God occasionally. Do you think that it won't make a difference at the time of rewards? Do you honestly feel that ir will be the same for all?
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). We are all going home soon-either confident or ashamed.
Will it be a time of victory or anguish, triumph or tears, for you? It is not too late to make a new start.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5467 Mar 18, 2013
Then, too, there will be tears over neglected holiness. No doubt about it God demands that His people live holy lives:
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1Thessalonians 4:7). Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9) Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS (Hebrews 12:14, emphasis mine). Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).
This means that we are not to fashion ourselves according to the former lusts (1 Peter 1:14), and that we are to abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11), and that we are to put on Christ and not make any provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Romans 13:14).
How different from the lowly standards held by many carnal church members who constantly play "musical chairs" with the pagans and God-haters of this world, visit its clubs, casinos, and theaters, all under the guise of being curious. They, like Lot who desired Sodom, want to spend time in Las Vegas and get away from it all.
But the getting and vulgarity matters not as the flesh is on a spree. Are they saved? God alone really knows! One thing is certain-if they are Christ's, their double standards will be investigated, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be GOOD or BAD (2 Corinthians 5:10 emphasis mine).
Oh, what weeping, what wailing, what travail, what heartache, and heartbreak as they meet Jesus face to face. Their entrance into God's presence will not be abundant (2 Peter 1:11), They shall be tremendously ashamed (1 John 2:28). The terror of the Lord will be meted out in judgment (see 2 Corinthians 3:15). No wonder the lukewarm are weeping. They blew it all. They suffered the loss of all things except salvation.
*This loss extends beyond the loss of rewards for a meaningless life.* It includes losing, through foolish living, rewards previously earned through years of spiritual service. God has a system of addition and subtraction, pluses and minuses, on His books. Therefore, one's accumulation of "good works" can be wiped out swiftly through disobedient living. You do not believe it?*Here is proof: Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward (2 John 1:8). God says, "Be careful how you live, where you go, how you serve, if you want a full reward." Again Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Revelation 3:11).
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5468 Mar 18, 2013
in simpler terminology, God says, "Hang on to your earned crown and do not let anyone entice you, mislead you, drag you down, or destroy the good works already accumulated or you will suffer loss." Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, also declares in 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [a reject for rewards]. He could not mean the loss of salvation by the term "castaway" because we have already seen that the "ashamed" are present at heaven's roll call through saved by fire. Instead, Paul is saying, "Look I am a red-blooded man with desires similar to others. However, I will not allow my flesh to control me. Instead, I constantly battle and batter my fleshly appetites into subjection. Yes, I keep my bodily appetites under control lest I lose every thing I have ever earned."
Now, if this be true for Paul, it is equally true for all. In fact Paul's service record is unparalleled in the history of Christendom. No one suffered as he did except the Lord himself. Listen to the list of "good works" Paul accumulated in 2 corinthians 11:23-27... 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.
Wow! What a servant of God-beaten, battered, stoned, crushed, robbed, persecuted, hated, and starved. Surely this portfolio of earned works would bring Paul heaven's greatest "Oscar." It would if he remained faithful. Remember, he said as quoted earlier, "If I did not keep my body under subjection, I myself would be a castaway, disapproved and rejected of heaven's 'Emmy Awards.' Therefore, I fight the good fight of faith- fight the world, the flesh, and the devil- so that my Saviour will day to me at that day, "Well done, though good and faithful servant."
How about you Christian? If the judgment tool place within the next 24 hours, would you lose some or all of your rewards? Millions are going home ashamed, embarrassed, and red-faced.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
#5469 Mar 18, 2013
Tears in Heaven
The result will be intermittent weeping for 1,007 years. This is proven by studying the chronological outline of the Book of Revelation. Let's look at it.
Revelation 1:19 states, Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; one immediately notices the three tenses of the English language-past, present, and future. "Write the things which thou hast seen"-past, chapter 1. "Write the things which are"-present, chapters 2 and 3, and "write the things which shall be"- future, chapters 4 through 22. We are presently awaiting the homegoing of the believers. This occurs in Revelation 4:1 with the words, Come up hither.
The seven years of Tribulation follow in chapters six through 18. Christ returns to earth as King of Kings and Lord of lords (chapter 19:11-16). He rules the earth for 1,000 years (chapter 20:4-6), and judges the world after the thousand years (chapter 20:11-15). Then, finally and forever, God wipes all tears away from their eyes (see Revelation 21:4). Chronologically, this is after the Tribulation, after the Millennium. In other words, from the rapture call in Revelation 4:1 onward, there is intermittent and spasmodic crying for the next 1,007 years. Is your foolish episode with the world that important to you? Will it be worth it all when you see Jesus? Do not lose out on rewards eternally for a short fling presently!
Two Simultaneous Judgments
In dwelling further on the teaching of "tears" in God's presence, we discover that the weeping takes place simultaneously with the Tribulation hour. Two judgments are occurring at the same period of time. One is in heaven; the other upon earth. One is a judgment of believers regarding service; the other a judgment of Israel. One is called the Bema Seat Judgment; the other, the Tribulation hour. Both prove to be heartbreaking for the participants.
Let's look at the Tribulation period for a few moments. This is the time of Jacob's trouble (see Jeremiah 30:7), and jacob represents Israel. Satan, the old devil, hates Israel. She was used of God as a channel for producing His only begotten Son on earth. Revelation 12:5 states, And she [Israel] brought forth a man child. Because of Israel's connection with Christ's birth, the nation has always been Satan's prime target of hatred. He has relentlessly persecuted her throughout the annals of history and increases his persecution during the Tribulation hour. His attack is most vicious when he realizes that the end of his power struggle for world supremacy over Jehovah God is about to cease.
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