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The Tribulation (Rapture) of the Church stands on the bedrock of the following foundational tenets:
A) The Bible is the Word of God.
The 66-book canon called the Bible is God's inerrant, infallible message to mankind, explaining His purposes and plans for the ages (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). No other document can be reliably trusted, nor remotely reach the bar for the requirements of authentication that the Bible attains to so easily.
B) The Bible is to be Interpreted Literally.
God means what He says and says what He means. God wants His creations to know His will plainly. While God does indulge in picturesque descriptions and parables, an explanation almost always follows or context is provided for explanation. Spiritualization of text, therefore, has no proper place in interpreting Scriptures. Any eschatological viewpoint must then be thrown out if it is based on the reader's desire to spiritualize the Bible into whatever ethereal meaning they desire. Take the Bible for its plain sense meaning.
C) The Church and Israel Are Separate Entities.
Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel. A believer in Christ becomes a member of the Church, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 1:16), but a member of the Church does not become a form of spiritual Israel. God's promises to Israel as a people and nation (see next tenet) are not the same as for the Bride of Christ, the Church.
D) A Literal 1000-Year Millennium.
The Bible describes a future, literal 1000-year time period. The Greek word "chilias" for "one thousand" appears six times in Revelation 20, clearly marking the time period as having 1000 literal years. The purpose of this time period is for Jesus Christ to have an earthly kingdom from which to base His rule and to fulfill His promises (Gen. 13:14-17; 15:5,18-21; 2 Sam. 7:16-19; Isa. 10:21-22;11:1-2; Jer. 23:5-8; 30:22; 31:31-34; Ezek. 11:18-20; 34:24; 36:24-28; Mic. 7:19-20; Hos. 3:5;Rom. 11:26-29).
E) A Literal 7-Year Tribulation.
An upcoming time period has been set aside for God to pour out His wrath upon the evil of the world, to regather Israel back into its land, to force Israel to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, and for the Messiah to return and fight for His believing remnant (Deut. 4:26-31; Isa. 13:6-13; 17:4-11; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:33-38; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:9-31). This time period begins with a covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27). The length of the Tribulation is seven years long, described in a variety of ways as "one seven" year block (Dan. 9:27), consisting of two "times, time and half a time" (two years + 1 year + half a year; Rev. 12:14), or two "1260 days" periods (Rev. 11:3), or two "42 month" periods (Rev. 11:2; 13:5).
F) Jesus Will Return Again to Earth.
The Bible says Jesus will physically return again to earth (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19). Jesus returns to defeat His enemies, set up His throne, restore Israel, rule with "a rod of iron" and share His authority with those who overcame in Him (Mat. 19:28;25:31; Acts 1:3-6; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).
G) The Bible Teaches About a Rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of an event called "the Rapture", Latin "rapio," Greek "harpazo," which means "to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out." "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Paul states that the concept of the Rapture is meant to encourage believers during this Age (1 Thes. 4:18). Other New Testament references on the Rapture are Jn. 14:1-4; I Cor. 15:51-58; and 1 Thes. 4:13-18.
These bedrock statements about the Bible and its interpretation provide the foundation in which to analyze the following reasons for why I believe the Bible teaches a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
1) The Bible describes the Rapture and Second Coming as different events.
The Bible must see the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-4; I Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18) and the Second Coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk.
21:25-27; Rev. 19) as separate events, because when the verses are compared they describe two very different scenarios:
Rapture — believers meet Christ in the air
Second Coming — Christ returns to the Mount of Olives to meet the believers on earth
Rapture — Mount of Olives is unchanged
Second Coming— Mount of Olives is divided, forming a valley east of Jerusalem
Rapture— living believers obtain glorified bodies
Second Coming— living believers remain in same bodies
Rapture— believers go to heaven
Second Coming— glorified believers come from heaven, earthly believers stay on earth
Rapture— world left unjudged and living in sin
Second Coming— world is judged and righteousness is established
Rapture— depicts deliverance of the Church from wrath
Second Coming— depicts deliverance of believers who endured wrath
Rapture— no signs precede it
Second Coming— many signs precede it
Rapture— revealed only in New Testament
Second Coming— revealed in both Old and New Testaments
Rapture— deals with only the saved
Second Coming— deals with both the saved and unsaved
Rapture— Satan remains free
Second Coming— Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss
Since the Rapture and Second Coming clearly are different events that do not occur at the same time, this would rule out a Post-Tribulation Rapture scenario.
2) The Rapture is described as occurring at any time without warning.
Jesus stated in Matthew 24:42,44 to "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come... So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Not only do believers in Christ not know when to expect Him, but the Father Himself seems to have left Jesus out on the exact time His Son is to return. As Jesus stated inMatthew 24:36, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." These and other verses (Mat. 24:36,42,44,50; 25:13; 1 Thes. 4:18; Tit. 2:13;1 Jn. 2:28; 3:2-3) indicate that Jesus' arrival will come when nobody expects it.
The Second Coming, on the other hand, is preceded by many events, such as the rise of the Antichrist (Rev. 12:13-17; Zech; 13:7-9), a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (Mat. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 11:1-2), as well as plagues and judgments and persecutions destroying most of the world's population (Rev. 6-18). The Book of Revelation reports these events as occurring during the 7-year Tribulation, which Revelation reveals precede the Second Coming.
Because the Rapture could happen at any moment and without warning and the Second Coming is preceded by so many signs, then the Rapture and Second Coming must be different events. The Rapture has to occur before the seven years' worth of signs, because Christians are called to look for the Lord's return rather than signs such as the Antichrist's arrival. Once the signs begin, then the seven year countdown begins towards its end with Christ's return at the Second Coming.
Jesus' imminent return dismisses any of the other viewpoints related to a rapture that occur within or at the end of the Tribulation.
3) The Rapture and the removal of the "Restrainer" occur at the same time.
In 2 Thessalonians, the church at Thessalonica was afraid due to a false report that they had entered the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) and had somehow missed the Rapture. The Apostle Paul assured them that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force would be taken away so that the Man of Lawlessness could be revealed.
Because the revealing of the Antichrist coincides with the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation starting with his peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), then the Restrainer has to be removed before the Tribulation. As the Holy Spirit also works in salvation (Jn. 16:8-11; 1 Jn. 5:7) during the Tribulation, then it is the Church that must be the Restrainer that is removed. Therefore, the Rapture and the removal of the Church must coincide, and at the beginning of the seven years.
4) The Tribulation is for Israel's redemption.
Jeremiah 30:7 describes the Tribulation as the "time of Jacob's trouble" — "How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it."
In the Book of Matthew, whose primary audience is the Jews, Jesus explains to his Jewish followers what life will be like during the Tribulation. Also, Revelation 12 describes picturesquely a woman who gives birth and has to flee due to persecution during the Tribulation. The context shows the woman is Israel. And again, the Battle of Armageddon is the world against Israel. Two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed from these battles. These texts and others show that the Tribulation is meant for the redemption of the Jewish people.
Why are the Jews the object of persecution during the Tribulation? For one, Satan hates the Jewish people for giving the world the Scriptures and the Messiah, as well as he wishes to thwart God's promises to the Jews (see Bedrock #4). Secondly, the Jews have to be so desperately brought low that they finally call out to their Messiah "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35). The Tribulation, then, is used for Israel's redemption which also results in the punishment of the wicked. The Church does not fit into this scenario, and are left out of the purposes of the Tribulation. They would need to be removed — caught up — before the Tribulation begins.
5) The Tribulation is not for the Church.
The Tribulation is God's wrath upon the unbelieving world, and not for those who are saved from Christ's resurrection to the Rapture — called the Church. Yes believers have suffered all throughout human history, but there is a special time (just like the Flood) set apart called the Day of the Lord for God's wrath. Christians suffering and the Tribulation/Day of the Lord are different.
True believers in Christ during the Church Age, represented by the Church of Philadelphia, are promised in Revelation 3:10, "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, "and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." He also states in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:9 states, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" Ephesians 5:6 states, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient."Colossians 3:4 states, "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Again and again, Scripture states the Church is not meant to endure God's wrath.
6) God's wrath involves the whole 7-Year Tribulation.
The view that the Rapture will occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation is based upon 1 Corinthians 15:52 which states that the Rapture will occur at the blowing of "the last trumpet." This Mid-Tribulation Rapture view then declares this trumpet to be the last of the seven trumpets in Revelation 11 that is blown at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Why of the 114 references to trumpets in the Bible these two are identified as one and the same only defies sound Bible study. The context clearly shows the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers. The Revelation trumpets therefore can have no relevance for the Church.
The Pre-Wrath Rapture view has the Church raptured just before the bowl judgments (Revelation 16) that occur during the last quarter of the Tribulation. The bowl judgments are the only judgments this view considers to be the wrath of God, leaving the Seal and Trumpet judgments as wrath from man and Satan. But, isn't it Jesus Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the Revelation 6 seal judgments which occur at the beginning of the Tribulation? Also, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets at the throne of God (Revelation 8:2). And, Revelation 15:1 states that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.
Because these judgments are initiated by Jesus Himself at the beginning of the Tribulation, the whole Tribulation must be God's wrath, which the Church is exempt from.
7) The Old Testament and Revelation leave the Church out of the Tribulation.
The focus of the Tribulation — to pour out God's wrath on the earth just like the Flood (Isa. 24:22;Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12) and to bring the Jewish people to accept Jesus as Messiah (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35) — is addressed by the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation to the unbelievers and the Jewish people. In any biblical content concerning the Tribulation/Day of the Lord, the Church cannot be found.
The whole concept of the Church was a mystery to the Old Testament prophets. They focused on the nation of Israel. The Book of Matthew is written to the Jewish people, whom Jesus is addressing in Matthew 24. In the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 cover the Church Age, but then there is no mention of the Church until after the Tribulation/Day of the Lord chapters 6-18. In Chapter 19, the Church returns to the texts and can be found, not suffering, but celebrating with Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and preparing to return with Jesus to earth.
8) The Church is busy elsewhere during the Tribulation.
While the 7-year Tribulation is occurring, the Bible records the Church will be busy with three events. None of the three have to do with suffering on a world being destroyed.
The first event the raptured Church will participate in is a judgment by God — the Judgment of the Just. This judgment on works is not to determine eternal destiny, but to determine degrees of reward (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19:6-9).
The second event is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This feast celebrates the spiritual marriage of Christ's Bride — the Church — to her Savior. Revelation 19:7-9 shares this wonderful celebration,"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, 'Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' And he added, 'These are the true words of God.'"
The third event follows the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and is the Church's preparation to follow the King of Kings into the Battle of Armageddon at the conclusion of the Tribulation. This event is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19:11-21). Revelation 19:14 identifies the Church in their "fine linen, white and clean," which was given to them during the first event — the Judgment of the Just. The Church and angelic forces follow the King of Kings into His Second Coming to the earth, but only Jesus Himself will engage in battle and with mere words defeats the nations in siege against Jerusalem.
9) There needs to be sheep to separate from the goats.
If the Church is raptured at the end of the Tribulation, receives their glorified bodies, and then immediately u-turns back with Christ for the Second Coming as the Post-Tribulation Rapture view holds, then what believer in Christ will be available for the Sheep and Goats Judgment of Matthew 25? The only people left on earth would be unbelievers, called goats. No believer — sheep — would be available for God to put into the sheep category.
Since those who are in glorified bodies will be like the angels in that they aren't given in marriage or reproduce (Matt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25), then a believing, unglorified, human remnant must make it into the sheep category and go on to produce the nations during the Millennial reign of Christ (Ezek. 43:13-27; Isa. 19:21; Isa. 65:20-22; Rev. 20:7-10). This would mean that people would need to come to Christ during the Tribulation yet after the Rapture to produce this Millennial population.
10) The Bible shows God rescues the righteous from His wrath.
Being a Christian means having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man (Jn. 16:33; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). But, the Bible has many examples of those who put their faith in God are exempt from God's wrath. Noah and his family were removed from the Flood waters that in God's wrath were used to judge and cleanse the earth. Lot and his wife and two daughters were made to leave Sodom and Gomorrah before God burned the towns up with fire and sulfur. Rahab's family was set apart when Joshua's army invaded Jericho.
Could believers be miraculously protected during the Tribulation, like the Israelites were during the plagues on Egypt? Yes, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists from Revelation 7 and 14, for instance, will be divinely protected. But, the slaughter of believers during the Tribulation will be so massive that they are certainly not under any special protection (Rev. 7:9-17; 20:4).
OUR COMFORT (Isaiah 51:3)
By Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
"FOR THE LORD SHALL COMFORT ZION. HE WILL COMFORT ALL HER WASTE PLACES; AND HE WILL MAKE HER WILDERNESS LIKE EDEN, AND HER DESERT LIKE THE GARDEN OF THE LORD; JOY AND GLADNESS SHALL BE FOUND THEREIN, THANKSGIVING, AND THE VOICE OF MELODY."
IN ORDER FOR ANY OF US TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE SATISFACTION AND JOY OF BEING COMFORTED, WE OF NECESSITY MUST TASTE OF THE TRIALS AND TESTS OF LIFE. HOW ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU GOING THROUGH A VALLEY EXPERIENCE?
YOU CAN REST ASSURED THAT AS THE LORD HAS PROMISED TO COMFORT ZION, THAT IS, THE NATION AND PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, AND INDEED THE ALMIGHTY HAS DONE JUST THAT DURING THE LAST FOUR THOUSAND YEARS, THEN YOU AND I HAVE THE PROMISE OF COMFORT FROM THE LORD NO MATTER WHAT DIFFICULTY WE MAY BE GOING THROUGH.
AS ISRAEL CELEBRATES FROM YEAR TO YEAR IT'S ESTABLISHMENT AS A SOVEREIGN STATE, WE BELIEVE THAT THE PROMISE MADE IN OUR TEXT OF COMFORT IS BEING EXPERIENCED BY THE ISRAELIS AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD. DID YOU NOTICE THAT HER WASTE PLACES ARE BEING MADE LIKE THE GARDEN OF THE LORD? ALSO, WE CAN GLEAN FROM THIS VERSE THAT THE MELODY OF THANKSGIVING IS READY TO BURST UPON ALL ISRAEL, AS IT ALREADY IS FOUND IN OUR HEARTS THROUGH OUR MESSIAH Y'SHUA. LET US CONTINUE TO 'PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM' AND FOR THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL.
"BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS VERY THING, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST:"
HOW MANY OF US BEGIN OR START A PROJECT (AND SOMETIMES, SEVERAL) THAT WE NEVER FINISH? I BELIEVE THAT WE ALL CAN TRUTHFULLY SAY, YES I REALLY INTENDED TO...BUT,?
AH YES, THOSE UNFINISHED PROJECTS ARE FOUND ONLY IN THE RECESSES OF OUR MINDS, BUT JUST THINK HOW MANY PEOPLE DEPENDED UPON US TO COMPLETE OR FINISH WHAT WE STARTED.
IF I TELL YOU THAT OVER MANY YEARS WE HAVE HEARD TIME AND TIME AGAIN HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE ATTENDED SHALOM SCRIPTURE STUDIES SAY, THIS IS THE PLACE FOR ME, AND WITHIN A WEEK, A MONTH, OR A YEAR THEY ARE GONE. YES, GONE WITH ALL OF THEIR PROMISES AND AGENDAS. WHAT'S THEIR PROBLEM? I BELIEVE IT'S LACK OF CONFIDENCE AND THE GUTS TO STICK IT OUT NO MATTER WHAT.
HOW DIFFERENT THE LORD IS IN HIS DEALINGS WITH US. DID YOU NOTICE IN THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS THAT WE CAN BE CONFIDENT IN THIS VERY THING, BECAUSE THE LORD Y'SHUA WHO HAS BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN US WILL PERFORM (OR COMPLETE) IT. THAT IS, WHAT THE LORD STARTS HE FINISHES, WHAT HE SETS OUT TO ACCOMPLISH HE COMPLETES, AND YOU AND I NEED TO LEARN FROM HIS EXAMPLE TO STAY BY THE STUFF NO MATTER WHAT. WE NEED TO LEARN TO ACCOMPLISH OUR TASKS.
I BELIEVE THAT AS WE LOOK UNTO OUR LORD AND REMAIN IN FAITH TOWARDS HIM THEN WE WILL BE STEADFAST AND SURE AND OTHERS WILL BE ABLE TO DEPEND ON US, AS WE HAVE LEARNED THAT WE CAN DEPEND ON OUR MESSIAH.
"YE ARE MY FRIENDS, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU."
IS THERE A CATCH TO THESE WORDS? IS THERE SOME CONDITION THAT OUR LORD REQUIRES OF US?
THE ANSWER IS UNEQUIVOCALLY YES.
WE CANNOT BE FRIENDS WITH Y'SHUA AND NOT DO WHAT HE HAS COMMANDED US AS RECORDED IN THE WORD OF GOD.
WOULD YOU CONTINUE A FRIENDSHIP WITH AN INDIVIDUAL THAT CONSTANTLY GOSSIPS ABOUT YOU, OR BETRAYS YOU? OR, THEY WOULD RATHER BE FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE ELSE? OF COURSE NOT.
THIS IS THE SAME MESSAGE THAT OUR LORD SENDS TO ALL OF US, AND THAT IS, IF WE ARE GOING TO BE HIS FRIEND THEN WE NEED (WE MUST) DO WHATSOEVER HE COMMANDS US TO DO.
JUST TAKE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR A STARTER. CAN YOU DEFINITELY SAY THAT YOU DO NOT STEAL! CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU DO NOT LIE! CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY! CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU DO NOT TAKE THE NAME OF OUR LORD IN VAIN! CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU HONOUR YOUR PARENTS! WELL, HOW ABOUT THIS ONE. CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU HONOUR THE SABBATH DAY! AND BY THE WAY SABBATH IS NOT SUNDAY. SUNDAY IS SUNDAY AND SABBATH IS SABBATH. ASK THE LORD FOR WISDOM UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE AND NOT MAN'S WORDS THAT TRAP AND HINDER OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH OUR LORD. BY THE WAY, THE ENTIRE CATALOG OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF EXODUS CHAPTER TWENTY.
"WHEREIN GOD, WILLING MORE ABUNDANTLY TO SHEW UNTO THE HEIRS OF PROMISE THE IMMUTABILITY OF HIS COUNSEL, CONFIRMED IT BY AN OATH:"
HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN A MOMENT TO COUNT THE MANY TIMES DURING ONES LIFETIME THAT WE LISTEN TO VARIOUS FORMS OF COUNSEL? SOME OF THESE OF COURSE, ARE INVALUABLE AND OTHERS ARE NOT SO VALUABLE.
FOR EXAMPLE, DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIME YOU GAVE SOMEONE SOME COUNSEL AND YET YOU WEREN'T REAL SURE THAT IT WAS THE BEST OR WISEST?
WELL, ONE THING WE CAN BE SURE OF AND THAT IS, IN REFERENCE TO THE COUNSEL THAT WE RECEIVE FROM THE ALMIGHTY GOD. IT IS ALWAYS RIGHT BECAUSE HE BACKS UP HIS COUNSEL WITH HIS VERY OWN WORD. WE ARE REMINDED THAT WE AS 'THE HEIRS' OF HIS KINGDOM RECEIVE FROM OUR KING MESSIAH THE BEST COUNSEL. THEREFORE, IN ORDER FOR US TO MAKE SURE THAT WE UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD IS SAYING TO US WE NEED TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES TO OBTAIN ON A FIRSTHAND BASIS THE WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE THAT NEVER CHANGES. BY THE WAY, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE WORD IMMUTABILITY MEANS, UNCHANGEABLE.
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY THAT WE CAN REST ASSURED IN HIS COUNSEL FOR TIME AND ETERNITY FOR HE IS THE EVERLASTING ONE, THE GOD OF JACOB.
THEREFORE, YOU AND I NEED TO BE WILLING TO OFFER COUNSEL TO OTHERS AS THE NEED ARISES, AND REMEMBER, THAT OUR TEXT AND THEME SHOULD ALWAYS BE GROUNDED UPON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, THUS WE WILL NEVER GO WRONG. HELP US O LORD TO SEEK THY FACE AND THY FAVOUR.
"PREACHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND TEACHING THOSE THINGS WHICH CONCERN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WITH ALL CONFIDENCE, NO MAN FORBIDDING HIM."
WOULD YOU EXPECT A PLUMBER TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT PLANTING A GARDEN? WOULD YOU EXPECT A MECHANIC TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT BAKING? WOULD YOU EXPECT A BANKER TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY?
THE ANSWER I AM SURE IS A DEFINITE NO ! ! !
WELL, HOW ABOUT A PREACHER? WOULD YOU EXPECT A PREACHER TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE THINGS OF GOD AND ESPECIALLY THE WORD OF GOD?
OF COURSE YOU AND I KNOW THAT AN INDIVIDUAL THAT PREACHES AND REPRESENTS THE LORD SHOULD BE INVOLVED ON A DAILY BASIS WITHIN THE PAGES OF HOLY WRIT, AND YET, THERE ARE SO MANY PREACHERS, TEACHERS, MINISTERS AND YES, EVEN RABBIS THAT SPEAK WITH 'FORKED TONGUES' BECAUSE IT SEEMS AS IF THE WORD OF GOD IS THE LAST THING ON THEIR AGENDA. MANY PREACHERS WASTE THEIR TIME ON SOCIAL AND ALSO SOME THERAPEUTIC DISCOURSES FROM THEIR PULPITS. NOW WHAT ETERNAL VALUE DO YOU SUPPOSE CAN BE FOUND WITH MOST SERMONS AND TEACHINGS THAT PROCEED FROM THE MOUTH OF MANY PREACHERS?
REMEMBER, WE EXPECT THAT A PREACHER SHOULD BE IMMERSED AND SURROUNDED WITH THE WORD OF GOD SO THAT THOSE LISTENING WILL BENEFIT ETERNALLY.
YES, AS PREACHERS AND TEACHERS AND KEEPERS OF THE WORD OF GOD WE ARE TO BE BUSY ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD; THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT OUR CONCERN SHOULD BE.
DID YOU NOTICE THE PROMISE, 'NO MAN FORBIDDING HIM', THAT IS, AS WE STAND FOR THE ALMIGHTY GOD, WHO AND WHAT IS MAN THAT WE SHOULD BE WITHSTOOD, FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO EDGED SWORD. O LORD, USE ME FOR YOUR KINGDOM.
"BE STRONG AND OF A GOOD COURAGE, FEAR NOT, NOR BE AFRAID OF THEM: FOR THE LORD THY GOD, HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE; HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE."
IF YOU HAVE READ THE WORD OF GOD FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME, YOU SURELY HAVE DISCOVERED THAT CERTAIN PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE OR EVEN A PARTICULAR VERSE HAS SOME WONDERFUL MEANING AND PERSONAL MESSAGE FOR YOU.
WELL, OUR TEXT FROM DEUTERONOMY HAS WITHIN IT'S WORDS EXACTLY THAT.
FIRST OF ALL, MAY WE BE REMINDED THAT ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, THAT IS, IT IS GOD-BREATHED AND READY TO BE APPLIED TO OUR HEARTS.
HOW OFTEN DO WE NEED STRENGTH AND COURAGE FOR A PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE OR SITUATION IN OUR LIFE. PERHAPS, YOU ARE FACING A MOST DIFFICULT SITUATION RIGHT NOW, AND THE READING AND RECEIVING OF OUR MESSAGE WILL FIND A PLACE IN YOUR HEART TO STIR YOU TO LOOK ONCE AGAIN TO OUR MESSIAH Y'SHUA.
THE LORD SAID, 'BE STRONG' AND BE 'OF GOOD COURAGE', AND THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED AS WE LOOK UNTO HIM AND AS WE DO, THEN, ONE ENEMY OF OURS WHICH IS 'FEAR' WILL DISSIPATE AND VANISH AWAY. AS YOU ALREADY KNOW FEAR IS OUR NUMBER ONE ENEMY WHICH IS ALWAYS REPLACING FAITH IN OUR LIVES. YES, WHEN FAITH IN OUR LORD GOD IS ACTIVE THEN FEAR WILL MOVE ASIDE AND AS LONG AS OUR FAITH IN THE LORD REMAINS ACTIVE THEN FEAR WILL BE FAR REMOVED FROM US. REMEMBER THAT THE LORD TELLS US THAT 'HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE'. WHAT BEAUTY IS FOUND IN THOSE WORDS, WE DO NOT HAVE TO GO IT ALONE. AND WE ARE NOT ALONE FOR HE HAS PROMISED NOT TO FAIL US NOR FORSAKE US.
NOW, IN THE POWER OF THE LORD HIMSELF WE CAN FACE THE FUTURE WITH HOPE BECAUSE THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH AND WE ARE OF GOOD COURAGE AS WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.
"WHOSO OFFERETH PRAISE GLORIFIETH ME: AND TO HIM THAT ORDERETH HIS CONVERSATION ARIGHT WILL I SHEW THE SALVATION OF GOD."
HOW IMPORTANT ARE OUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY GOD?
WHEN WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE DAILY FRAME OUR OWN WORLD BY THAT WHICH WE SAY AND DO, THEN WE BEGIN TO WEIGH OUR WORDS IN OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHERS.
EVEN THE LORD REMINDS US THAT AS WE ORDER OUR CONVERSATION ARIGHT - HE WILL SHOW US HIS SALVATION. NOW IT IS ONE THING TO PRAISE THE LORD, WHILE SOMETIMES QUITE ANOTHER TO KEEP OUR WAY OF LIFE IN SYNC WITH OUR WORDS. THE LORD GOD WILL HELP US TO KEEP OUR HEART AND TONGUE IN CHECK BEFORE HIM, FOR WE ALREADY KNOW, THAT NO ONE CAN 'ALL THE TIME' RULE THEIR OWN CONVERSATION ARIGHT WITHOUT HIS HELP.
SINCE WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT, I BELIEVE WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SPEAK AND SOMETIMES WHAT 'NOT' TO SAY SO THAT WE WILL NOT BE OFFENSIVE EITHER TO THE LORD OR PERHAPS TO SOME OTHER INDIVIDUAL, USUALLY, THE ONE CLOSEST TO US.
NOW WHAT IS THIS WONDERFUL PROMISE THAT THE LORD HAS MADE (IN THIS VERSE) IN RELATIONSHIP TO SHOWING US HIS SALVATION. WELL, REMEMBER THAT THE ENGLISH WORD SALVATION IN HEBREW IS 'Y'SHUA' (JESUS). YES, THE LORD WILL DEFINITELY ALLOW US TO WITNESS THE MESSIAH Y'SHUA IN OUR LIVES AS WE ORDER OUR CONVERSATION BEFORE HIM ARIGHT. REMEMBER, THAT OUR WORDS BUILD THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN, AND WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS SO THAT WHAT WE BUILD WILL BE OF ETERNAL MATTER AND PURPOSE AND NOT SIMPLY SHALLOW SOUNDS OR EMPTY TONES. THE LORD WANTS TO BE OUR HELP AND GUIDE IN THIS.
"AND YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, WHICH IS THE HEAD OF ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER:"
IN LIFE THERE ARE MANY WAYS THAT WE CAN VIEW AND UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE OF COMPLETION. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL FINISHES ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF A PARTICULAR SCHOOL WE REFER TO THIS AS COMPLETING THE COURSE. OR, AN INDIVIDUAL THAT IS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE ARMED FORCES OF OUR COUNTRY; WHEN THEIR DUTY IS OVER IT IS USUALLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE ACHIEVED THE COMPLETION OF THEIR TERM, THUS THEY ARE DISCHARGED FROM SERVICE. JUST THINK, FROM THE TIME OF BIRTH THROUGH LIFE AND EVEN WHEN WE PASS FROM THIS LIFE INTO ETERNITY, WE CONSTANTLY ARE IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING THIS OR THAT.
NOW, THE WONDER OF WONDERS IN OUR TEXT IS THAT WE CAN ONLY BE COMPLETE IN A SPIRITUAL SENSE IN AND THROUGH OUR MESSIAH Y'SHUA.
WHAT A BLESSED POSITION FOR US TO HAVE, AND THAT IS, HE (Y'SHUA) WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER INVITES US TO BE COMPLETE IN HIM. NOW HOW IS THIS ACCOMPLISHED?
BY TRUSTING IN HIM AND RECEIVING OUR LORD AND GOD INTO OUR LIFE AND HEART. YES, AS YOU BELIEVE THAT HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS AND WAS BURIED ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD, THEN, YOU MUST ALSO BELIEVE ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE THAT HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD TO GRANT AND TO GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE. BUT, YOU MUST RECEIVE HIM. THEN YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE IN HIM BY READING AND SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES.
NOW, THAT YOU AND I ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, LET US REJOICE FOR EVER MORE AND WILLINGLY SHARE THIS WONDERFUL GOOD NEWS OF Y'SHUA (JESUS), WITH THE 'JEWISH PEOPLE AND ALSO WITH THE GENTILE PEOPLE' FOR THEIR ETERNAL SALVATION. ALLELUJAH.
Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo Executive Director
IS AN ENGLISH WORD THAT MEANS
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Naples services every: Friday at 7:30 PM
Savannah services every: Friday at 7:30 PM