Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last Call

The Book of Revelation opens up with the promise of a blessing to those who read, hear and keep the words of the prophecy. And now the Book concludes with several extremely important rejoinders which, if we give heed, will most certainly yield great blessing to those who read, hear and keep the message. 

    1.     The Magnificent Glory of Heaven
Rev 22:1  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

    2.     The Immanent Coming of Christ
Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

   3.     The Eternal Nature of Christ
Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

   4.     The Significance of Serving the Lord
Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

   5.     The Preeminence of the Local Church
Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

   6.     The Importance of Soul-Winning
Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

   7.     The Significance of the Sanctity of the Word of God
Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

   8.     The Reiteration of His Immanent Return (3rd time He warns us that He is coming quickly)
Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

   9.     The Universal Glory of His Grace
Rev 22:21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Best and Worst Cities to Live

Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I read an article this morning by MONEY Magazine listing the best places to live. It included best small towns to live in, best places to find a job, best places for singles to live, etc.

And then I read this "article" in Revelation 21 giving the best city to live in for eternity.

Best City to Live: The New Jerusalem   (Rev. 21:1-7)

Median Income: Astronomical
Property Taxes: None
Weather: Always perfect
Education Opportunities: "but then, I shall know, even as I am known."
Employment Opportunities: "And His servants shall serve Him."
Nightlife: "There is no night there."
Religion: "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
Happiness Index: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Crime Rate: "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Worst City to Live: Fuego Lake, Sheol

Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Weather: Extremely hot, but never humid.
Employment: Panhandling. Everyone is begging for one drop of water.
Nightlife: It is always night there, but it is not much of a life.
Religion: All residents are firm believers and fervent prayer warriors. “Send somebody to tell my brethren not to come here.”
Recreation: Everyone has lake front property. 
Crime Rate: Murderers, abominable, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and liars are among the neighbors. 

Where will you move when you leave this world?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Thousand Year Prison Sentence

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 
Go to jail, go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The devil is guilty as hell itself. He has been sentenced and will doing time, serving long stint in the big house, the clink, the pen, joint, clink, up the river, in the slammer, the pen, on ice cooling his heels.

The Angel: This angel is a servant of the Most High is from Heaven. No doubt, he is very familiar with the devil. I imagine he is more than happy to carry out his assignment with great satisfaction.

*He served alongside of Lucifer in heaven for who knows how long until the devil was cast from heaven.
*He was an eye-witness to his constant accusations against the saints.
*When there was war in heaven, the devil and his demons vs Michael and the angels, this angel may have participated on the side of good.

He possessed the key to this bottomless pit as well as a great chain.

There are those who say that all this figurative because the devil cannot be fettered. But my question is how and why should it be figurative? I think there is a real bottomless pit, a real key, a real chain and a real devil (dragon) who is going to jail for just short of a thousand years.

The Dragon: This term causes us to conjure up images of feral ugliness, ferocity, fire-breathing, mean, disregard and hatred.

He is also called "that old serpent." There is no more feared, disrespected creature than a snake. From the Garden to now, his subtlety, cunning and venom are unmatched in malice.

He is the one who has deceived not only individuals, but nations for these 6,000 years. His tool box is more than adequately outfitted with the sharpest and most effective tools for damning souls, stealing glory, killing joy and destroying lives.

But now, as the devil goes to jail, the earth gets a break and Paradise is restored for 1000 years.

Parole: For certain, he is not getting a reprieve for good behavior. He is allowed to be loosed for a little season only that the plan of God may be fulfilled. Sides will be taken as the dragon is released and rounds up the Russian mob for one final fracas. The Lord will completely annihilate the rebels with fire from heaven and it will be over and done for the dragon and his followers.

Don't think for a minute that the devil doesn't know these verses as well as anyone. He has too much pride to think he can't do anything about it. But because of John's vision, he knows his time is short and he is as mad as heck. (Rev. 12:12) He has a job to do and he will give it his all while he has the freedom to do so. You can expect him to continue to deceive the nations, create war, cause havoc, damn souls and fight against God and all that is good.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Je$u$ $ave$


The False Gospel of Prosperity

We Americans are nuts! Somehow, we think that God has only, ever shed His grace on me and only crowned my good with brotherhood. Note to self(ish): There are other believers in the world besides us!

We are so “Amerocentric” in our philosophy and in our theology. We feel that the parables of Jesus are all set in American Suburbia. Our skewed theology has paved the way for an insidious heresy, the Prosperity Gospel. The belief that believers are to sow $eed and reap riches. The idea is that if we speak faith, think positively, give graciously and rebuke poverty, we will realize God’s financial and health blessings at every turn.

Yet, for 2000 years Bible-believers have known mostly destitution and persecution. They have understood what it means to lose it all to find everything in Jesus. They understood that, when He was all they had, He was all they would need. Even the Apostles declared, “Silver and gold have I none…”

That is a far piece from today’s name it claim it, health and wealth, prosperity gospel preachers with their private jets, multiple mansions and exorbitant lifestyles.

Imagine, telling the Christians meeting in the caves of the Alps, or in the Catacombs of Rome that they must be living in sin or else they would have a ring on every finger and a Cadillac in the driveway. When Christians were being fed to the lions, drawn and quartered and burned at the stake, little could they have imagined that they ought to be members of the country club, jet-setting to exotic ports and living in luxury.

Those martyred saints of past ages believed the simple, powerful gospel of Jesus, how that He died according to the Scriptures, was buried and raised again on the third day, according to the Scriptures. Word never reached their hovels, caves and dungeons that there was more to the gospel than eternal life, that this is their “best life now.”

If I remember correctly, Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head, much less a Malibu mansion. He commuted by sandal power, fishing boat or borrowed donkey rather than by Lear jet, yacht or Italian sports car. He paid His taxes out of a fish’s mouth, not by exploiting widow’s pensions.

But that’s not how we roll in America’s holy land. Godliness is great gain here. It is not the love of money, but the lack of money that is the root of all evil according to the gospel of our twisted televangelists.

Okay, run that by the Christians of India, Somalia, China, Guatemala or Haiti. Prosperity ain’t happenin’ for the faithful in those places. Tell the believers in the Arab nations how Christians are to be flush with cash. If anything, conversion gets one black-listed, persecuted and martyred in any Muhammadstan.

Meanwhile, Benny and the Jets continue to name it and claim it. Jakes takes. Joyce rejoices in prosperity. Crouch’s couches are trimmed in gold. Price lives nice. Dollar preaches dollars. And you would smile like Joel if your best life was now. Je$u$ $ave$ is their gospel.