the how of bible study

November 30, 2019

the bible

In Ezra, we find an example of how to engage Scripture: “Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord . . .” (chapt 7,v. 10). The correct order for engaging Scripture is to study the Word, interpret its meaning, and apply it to our lives. One of the most effective methods for scriptural engagement is inductive Bible study. (“Inductive” here means we use the Bible as the primary source to learn about what the Bible teaches, the best bible to use for this kind of study is ‘The Thompson Chain Study Bible”.)

 The inductive study method is an investigative approach to the Bible using three basic components: observation, interpretation and application.

  1. Observation (What does the text say?)—To determine what a passage is saying, we need to pay attention to the context, content and connections. The context includes the historical and cultural setting and the context of the author and original audience. The content is the characters and facts that comprise the passage. The connections are the words and rhetorical techniques the author uses to make his point.

 To help you uncover context, content and connections, ask questions in each of the following areas:

  • Setting or context: Who are the people in the story? How are the characters described? Where are they located?

  • Event or idea: What is going on in this passage? What is the main idea being conveyed?

  • Word relationships: What are the repetitions, similarities, contrasts, cause to effect, general to particular and particular to general?

  • Logical connectors: What are the connecting words, such as because, but, for, if . . . then, so that, therefore?

  • Old Testament quotes or allusions: Does this passage quote or refer to previous passages from the Old Testament?

  1. Interpretation (What does the text mean?)—Interpretation is the bridge between observation and application. After you do the hard work of learning what the text says, pray to the Holy Spirit to help you understand what it means.

  2. Application (How does this text speak to my life?)—Application is not a third step in the inductive process. Rather, application takes place as you are confronted with truth and decide to respond in obedience to that truth.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

ONE WAY

November 29, 2019

I want to talk about faith as it is a very important part of our core as believers.

FAITH PICTURE

 

So the object of faith is and must be God; and the origin of faith is God, not faith in faith but faith in God. Not faith in ourselves or in a formula. You don’t work up faith, you can develop it, grow it, nurture it, but it always has one object, God. 

So the three elements of faith are; knowledge as we mentioned in a previous devotion if you want your faith to grow, study the Word of God (not commentaries and books by great and popular authors)but as the Prophet Jeremiah said: chapter 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.

Second; be in agreement with them, after 40 years of being a Pastor andBiblical Counselor I was constantly amazed at how Christian people could screw up their lives, their children, their walk with God by simply not following the laws, precepts and statutes of the Word of God. We must as the apostle said

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10”

Walk the walk, talk the walk.

And third trust, trust God that this works, this is the way we He wants us to do it. Jesus said to be like little children.

So that brings to THE VERSE;

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Niv version instead of the word “substance” uses the word; “realization”

The Nasb version (my personal favorite) uses the word; “assurance”

Faith is the only mandatory and essential initial response of man to the grace of God. A man void of faith cannot please God (v. 6 ). Faith is the nominal form of the verb “to believe.” “Faith” is pistis (Gk.), while “to believe” is pisteuein (Gk.). Both connote the idea of “trust” and “confidence.” Justification is the result of the believer’s faith in the grace of God and in His provision for salvation ( Hab. 2:4 ; Rom. 3:28 ; 4:3 ). The lives of the biblical heroes and heroines enumerated in this chapter reflect the behavior that God approves. The text affirms two primary characteristics of faith: (1) Faith is the substance ( hupostasis, Gk.) or foundation of things for which we hope (see note in center column). The meaning is that faith is the solid, unshakable confidence in God which is built upon the assurance that He will be faithful to His promises. (2) Furthermore, faith is the evidence at work in life itself that God and other unseen things do in fact subsist. However, this does not imply that faith is a blind leap in the dark. Rather, faith is a confident commitment to One about whom abundant evidence bears ample testimony. Faith is a leap—a leap forward into light and comprehension.

So go build your faith by knowing God better, turn off the radio, the television preachers, and read the word, devote your life to it and watch your faith grow.

As I recently remarked, if you can only do one thing, read the bible. The rest will happen.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

REST TO REST

November 28, 2019

brown cardboard robot artwork

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“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest” (Heb. 4:9–11). So many of the life-giving truths in the Word consist of two intertwining halves that are inseparable. “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest.”

As for labor, it is true that there is a great deal of struggling and searching and pleading and agonizing in the process of discovering and understanding truths fitted to our needs. And much of the same pathway is trod (or crawled) in an effort to appropriate and enter in. All this is not in vain; it is necessary. But it is not the key that opens the door to reality. Rest is the key to entering into rest!

Lest I be accused of religious gobledy speak (again Irma, I know this is not a word, man, English teachers)

The beauty of Christianity, true Christianity is there is no striving for entrance, no more works unto salvation, Jesus has done it all. There is a spiritual rest concerning salvation. Jesus died on the cross and we died with Him. Just that simple.

Now in case someone gets the wrong idea, we must remember the Apostle Paul’s admonition, ‘run your race’.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I hope your Thanksgiving day was blessed.

Salvation list; Mona r, Cristina and Oscar, Norma Perales and her husband Rick and her adult son Rick Jr.

Zena’s 8 children, all in need of salvation.

Remember Paul K, strength and encouragement

Paul C, don’t know where he’s at or what he’s doing and that is dangerous.

Ricky R, still sober.

LIKE A VIRGIN

November 27, 2019

alphabet blur books close up

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Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, pLord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Well this is our 2500 devotional post. And we are going to do something we don’t normally do; and that is a direct commentary on a specific passage of scripture.

Matthew 25: 1-13 the parable of the ten virgins.

Why this passage? Because I hear more bad or thoughtless commentary on this passage than almost any other passage.

First let’s start with theology (no, don’t start yawning) Calvinism vs. Armenism.

Over simplification; Calvinism, once saved always saved (yes, I know the pros and cons of this position) vs. Armenism, you can be saved and then lose your salvation (and yes I know the pros and cons of this position)

But here’s Hermeneutical and Exegetical fact, you never make doctrinal statements about parables.

So there are roughly 6 different interpretation of what this parable means. I want to cover the wrong one.

The 5 foolish virgins are not Christians who miss the rapture. (Period, end of story).

Dakes bible is one of the reasons this theory has been popularized by Pentecostals (Armenians). I have 13, one inch binders filled with every mistake that Dakes ever wrote in his bible. (don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, I still consult it for a few things, it is particularly great when it comes to lists, and we all know how I love my lists).

There have never been two classes of Christians, it’s not like Santa’s naughty and nice list. You are either saved or not saved. Yes, Christians can be carnal or spiritual, hot or cold, but never considered for punishment by being ‘left behind’.

The gist of the parable is to be ready and watching and prepared. There is only one Groom, Jesus and there is only one Bride the church. We need to remember that the Book of Matthew is the most Jewish of the 4 Gospels and that the parable is about the Kingdom of Heaven not about the virgins. Were the Jews ready to receive the Kingdom of God? Short answer, nope.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Of all the prayer requests for today we have over a dozen, of folks needing a divine touch from the Lord in regard to their suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a very debilitating and painful disease, please pray for all of them.

Blessings.

WALK THE WALK

November 26, 2019

thinking over feeling

Once again a world-famous preacher has astounded me with his comments about Christians and their inability to fight spiritual battles.

His comment; “if you come in contact with anything demonic, my advice is to run away from it as quickly as possible”.

I’m not sure he’s reading the same bible as I am.

Now granted there are Christians that see demons behind every tree and bush. And when I do Spiritual Warfare Seminars, I warn the pastoral staff and everyone attending they are going to think they see demons where none ever existed before. So think,, and talk to me before you do something you might regret later.

And Pentecostals and Charismatics are more prone to shout ‘demon’ before anyone else. (30 years as a Pentecostal pastor so don’t throw stones).

Dr. James Dobson made an interesting statement; he said in all years of counseling and talking to other pastors he came to the conclusion that it would be 1 out of 10,000 that would be demonically influenced in American society.

If you were in a 3rd world country that number can be thrown out. In Central America and South America, you could be Catholic by day and devil worshipper by night.

So what’s my point? The point is stay prayed up, read up and walking close to the Lord, because you never know what could happen next. Believe the Holy Spirit not only seals you for eternity as a believer, but also fills you, empowers you and gives you wisdom and discernment (if you ask for it). That as a Christian you can tear down demonic strongholds and not be afraid of any ‘dark forces’.

If you make yourself available to God, he will use you in marvelous and unexpected ways. But you are not superman nor are you Jesus Christ. So use your head.

Spiritual growth advice, if you can do only one thing, read your bible,, you can’t pray right, walk right or know God right with out reading the bible.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I was very blessed today to talk to Zena, she is in Venezuela until January, it’s very hard to be with her very large family as she is the only Christian there. She asks for prayers for her 8 children that do not know the Lord. Please keep her in prayer, she is a wonderful and exciting Christian to be around at 70+ years of age (don’t tell her I mentioned her age)!

Ps, tomorrow will be our 2500th devotional post. Almost consecutive in number, blame a heart attack, a kick from a cow and just worn out and sick for the 3-4 times we missed a post. Praise God.

THE SUFFERING SAINT

November 25, 2019

first aid case on wall

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Is the devil to blame for our sin and suffering?

This is a common question and one that is often mishandled. Satan is blamed for everything evil and while there is a certain sense in which that is true, it fails to take into consideration all the other issues like our own personal responsibilities for our own actions. It’s too easy for us to blame the devil and excuse ourselves, People are inclined to blame the devil in order to remove their guilt, justify their actions, and ignore their responsibility and the things God wants to teach them through their suffering.

This has been true from the very beginning as we see so clearly with Eve’s answer in blaming the serpent when faced with her sin in the garden. Adam too had his scapegoat in blaming Eve and even the Lord, i.e., “the woman made me do it, the one you gave me.” Certainly, as the deceiver and liar, Satan instigated the temptation, but Eve responded with negative volition, unbelief, and disobedience, and Adam failed to stay true to his responsibility as the leader in his family.

Today, regardless of the various external sources of temptation (Satan and the world), the final source is our own sinful nature or the lusts of self-centered desires of our own hearts (Jam. 1:14-15). In Christ, by virtue of the finished work and victory of the Savior, we are victors; He has provided everything we need to defeat sin and Satan (1 John 4:4; 5:4-5; Rev. 3:21; Rom. 6:1-14; Col. 2:6-15; 3:1f; Heb. 2:14-15; Eph. 6:10f).

However, having said all this, it is equally true that through the world system and the demonic hosts that Satan controls (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12) we are constantly faced with the power and activity of Satan in more ways than we can possibly imagine. As Paul warns, our battle is not only with the flesh and blood, but with supernatural powers that are constantly in operation in the sons of disobedience and against the body of Christ (Eph. 2:1-3; 6:10-13f; 1 Pet. 5:8; Jam. 4:7).

When Satan can attack us he will and only God knows how much of what we face is the direct result of the devil’s onslaughts. At the same time, much of our suffering is the direct result of our own self-induced misery, sometimes as a product of our ignorance, or unbelief, or indifference, or a combination of all of the above. So Scripture tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us, to put on the whole armor of God, to be controlled by means of the Spirit, to have Word-filled lives, to walk circumspectly and in wisdom, and to be on alert because of the activity of Satan who is constantly on the prowl.

But there are two things we should not assume:

(1) That everything evil that happens to us is the result of direct Satanic attack. Though he is indirectly involved, some of what happens is simply the result of life in a fallen world. For instance, take cancer and other degenerative diseases; probably more than anything else these are the result of Satan’s involvement through a world merchandising system that has promoted an unhealthy diet (highly-processed foods, foods that have lost much of their food value due to depleted soils, pesticides, preservatives, chemicals, high fat and sugar diets, etc.).

(2) We should not assume that all our suffering is the product of our own sin or indifference to the Lord. There are many reasons for suffering, Job was a righteous man who walked with God, yet for His own purposes and for Job’s spiritual growth (all testing is ultimately designed for our growth), God allowed Satan to attack him. Paul too was a godly, spirit-filled man, yet he experiences a thorn in the flesh which he defined as a messenger of Satan. It was an affliction God used as a tool in Paul’s life to teach him some important spiritual lessons (2 Cor. 12). The Lord healed all kinds of illness, but a careful study of the NT shows us that only a small portion of these illnesses were actually attributed to Satan or demonic causes. The same can be said of the writings of the Apostle Paul. He spoke of Trophimus who was sick, but he never even suggested this was the product of direct Satanic attack. Timothy may have been experiencing some kind of stomach difficulty, but Paul’s advice was simply to take a little wine for his problem. No mention of Satan or demons.

A general reading of the epistles puts the emphasis not on the demonic, but on our own responsibility to appropriate our assets in Christ. So while we need to acknowledge Satan’s constant activity, nefarious ways, and be on alert, our primary focus needs to be, not on Satan, but on the Lord and our responsibility to grow in Christ. It is often a cop out, pure and simple, for us to blame the devil when what is needed is honest to God personal examination and confession that we might be restored to fellowship, learn the spiritual lessons need, and be made like Him as a part of the process of growth and maturity in Christ. What takes more faith and character? To live through the suffering or to simply be miraculously healed without having to truly think through and trust the Savior for spiritual change?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Rachael C, 29 and has been hospitalized for something the doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with her blood.

Remember Zena in prayer, heart problems

Xonia, first pray she accepts Christ as Savior and second that she will stop gossiping.

Remember Mona r, and Cristina and Oscar and Norma and her family for salvation.

Ricky R, still sober.

Tommy says thanks for the prayers and is doing well on his parole.

ARE YOU A CORN FLAKE

November 24, 2019

  In the parable of the sower the seed sown “on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). The principle of growth is always “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mark 4:28). Therefore, “the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it” (James 5:7). As this clearly exemplifies, “he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16).

  For most of us it has been a long season of growth from the tiny green blade up to the “full corn in the ear.” So many seek to settle for this stage: saved, with heaven assured—plus a pacifying measure of Christian respectability, at least in church circles. Here we have the believer as a normal grain of wheat containing life inside a more or less shiny golden covering, in fellowship high up on the stalk with similar kernels of wheat. This is but a stage, not the goal. And, like middle age, this can be a dangerous stage—one of seeking a “much deserved” rest, of basking aimlessly in the fellowship of meetings, classes, etc., of ignoring or forgetting the struggles and growing pains of the tiny green blades down at one’s feet and expecting and exhorting them to shape up and mature without delay.

  This is all very cozy but costly, snug but sterile. “The seed corn may be beautiful, but it is hard. The germ of life is locked up within its shell and cannot get out. Therefore it produces nothing. Here is the reason why so many Christians, even preachers, are so unfruitful. Only one here and there is a soul winner. When the grain of corn is buried it dies, and that hard exterior surface softens and decays, in order to give nutriment to the young sprout, which would otherwise die and thus cause a crop failure. One must reckon himself dead to the hard, cold, selfish ‘I’ before the softening influence of the Holy Spirit can operate, qualifying the believer in the service of God. Many want to do God’s work but are unable, because of the ‘flesh’ in their lives.”

  Our Father understands all this, and it is He who takes the initiative in the matter. He drops the seed of dissatisfaction into our hearts; He begins to show us that there is far more to this Christian life than just being saved and active for Him. And it is necessary for Him to engineer our exchange from carnal kernel Christians to fruitful fellowshipping disciples. From an infinite number of ways, He chooses the most effective for each individual’s transition. And in the hand of the Husbandman, there is no fear, but freedom.

  “We often come across Christians who are bright and clever, and strong and righteous; in fact, a little too bright, and a little too clever—there seems so much of self in their strength, and their righteousness is severe and critical. They have everything to make them saints, except … crucifixion, which would mold them into a supernatural tenderness and limitless charity for others. But if they are of the real elect, God has a winepress prepared for them, through which they will some day pass, which will turn the metallic hardness of their nature into gentle love, which Christ always brings forth at the last of the feast.”

  “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field… He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:24, 37, 38). The Lord of the harvest plants, or buries, Christians as seeds in a field, which is the world.

  Through the Husbandman’s patient and loving cultivation the grain of wheat high up on the stalk begins to fear being garnered alone and hungers to bring forth “much fruit” (John 12:24). Here is God’s motivation for discipleship: that filial heart-hunger for fruit bearing. The believer finally pleads to be made fruitful at any cost, and then he hears the Lord say, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (v. 24). “Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). In loving response to this hunger the Holy Spirit silently and gently begins to loosen the grain from its comfortable bindings and supports in the ear. “When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (4:29). As a result, sooner or later the grain of wheat finds itself, not high up on the stalk, but dropped to the earth, into the cold and strange darkness. And still worse, the earth smears and injures that nice, shiny golden coat. Worst of all, the coat begins to disintegrate and fall to pieces. All that is not Christ, no matter how nice in appearance and profession, is revealed for what it is—just self.

  There is a further stripping, right down to the germ of life, right on down until there is nothing left but Christ, who is our life. Down, down into death. Patience, grain of wheat: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

  When the believer takes up his cross for discipleship, the process of death begins to set in. The disciple finds himself a seed sown by the Son, planted in a home, office, hospital, church, parsonage or mission station. Whatever or wherever it is, there will be the death from which resurrection life follows. “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (II Cor. 4:11, 12). We need to enter deeply into the truth that Christ the beloved Son of the Father could not enter to the glory of heaven until He had first given Himself over to death. And this great truth, as it opens to us, will help us to understand how in our life, and in our fellowship with Christ, it is impossible for us to share His life until we have first in very deed surrendered ourselves every day to die to sin and self and the law and the world, and so to abide in the unbroken fellowship of discipleship with our crucified and risen Lord.

  All the truths we have learned about the cross, of our death with Christ, of our death to sin with Him and of our conformity to death like the kernel of wheat falling into the ground to die, are preparatory to the overcoming life. They are the foundation of and fundamental to it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT!

November 23, 2019

boxing

God is in the business of using people who have failed. The Bible doesn’t paper over the failures of its heroes. Noah got drunk and exposed himself. Abraham lied twice about his wife being his sister. Isaac did the same. Jacob deceived his father and cheated his brother out of the birthright. David sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered. The disciples all abandoned Jesus at His crucifixion and then doubted the resurrection. Peter denied Jesus and later waffled on the gospel out of fear of the Judaizers. Mark bailed out on the first missionary journey. And in our text, Moses murders an Egyptian, is rejected by his countrymen, flees for his life, and lives in the desert for the next forty years. This story gives us hope that God can use us even after we’ve failed.

D.L. Moody said, “Moses spent his first forty years thinking he was somebody. He spent his second forty years learning he was a nobody. He spent his third forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody.” (Henrietta Mears, What the Bible is All About [Gospel Light], p. 33, in Charles Swindoll, Moses [Thomas Nelson], p. 20.) It is from Stephen’s testimony before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:23) that we learn that Moses was about forty when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster and that he spent forty years in the land of Midian before the encounter with the burning bush (Acts 7:30). We joke about students who cram a four-year degree program into ten years. Moses stretched his education out to forty years!

FAILURE IS NOT FINAL

If we are all honest with each other we have all had some failures. Maybe not all monumental but nonetheless.

I’ve had some spectacular failures; some due to being out of the will of God. Others to bad planning, some by sin, some were probably satanic, some just because that’s what people do.

Being corrupted by sin we have bad ideas. You might think that being a Christian makes you immune but that’s not true.

Thomas Edison failed 3000 times to make a light bulb. I don’t know anyone that has tried 3000 times.

The point is, that failure is not final. Even if it is sinful and shameful and you got caught. You may be embarrassed, but it’s not over.

I’ve mentioned this before; the devil condemns, “it’s over, give up.”

The Holy Spirit convicts, “that is sinful, carnal, stop”.

We stop, we get up we get over it, we move on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Zena in prayer, the doctor says she needs major heart surgery, she won’t have it. She says God has healed her 17 times from cancer to spinal problems. She believes God can do it again.

GREAT WHITE THRONE

November 22, 2019

close up court courthouse hammer

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An abbreviated look at parts of Revelation 20

Throughout the history of mankind, but especially in the last days of apostasy, man in his human viewpoint and satanic viewpoint has tried to believe that man is basically good, that within man is a divine spark which only needs fanning, i.e., good opportunities, the perfect environment, the great society, etc. In other words, take away all the inequalities, give everyone a fair shake, and we will have a wonderful world.

Today we hear a great deal about reforming the criminal element, they only went bad because of a bad environment, etc., which of course cannot change as long as Satan is around and Jesus Christ is absent. Man has also believed, especially today, that what we need is a one-world state with an international police force and that this would bring world peace and an end of wars. But as we have seen in our study of Revelation, this will only pave the way for the beast and his godless system of tyranny and murder.

Remember that God’s purpose with the various economies is to give new opportunities and tests from every conceivable angle. In the Millennium, therefore, God gives man his great society, one which exceeds anything man could ever dream of, a society and world order with a perfect environment. Then at the end he releases Satan. Again we ask WHY? To the above reasons let me add the following for further reiteration:

(1) To show the frightfully and totally bankrupt condition of man and that what he needs is not a great society with all evils removed (a perfect environment), but that any effective and lasting change must come from within through God’s grace plan of salvation which regenerates and gives new life and spiritual capacity. Nothing else can permanently change man.

(2) To further substantiate God’s case against Satan, that Satan is the liar, the slanderer, and the deceiver, and a large degree the cause of man’s misery.

(3) To show that God is absolutely just in His sentence of Satan to the lake of fire (vs. 10—his permanent, eternal prison); and that God is perfect holiness and His actions are always consistent with His character.

“Into the lake of fire …” (vs. 10). The lake of fire is literal. It is not just a figurative expression for hell on earth or for separation from God. It is a real, literal place. It is also everlasting. The Scripture does not teach that there will one day be a universal salvation of all mankind after they have suffered a while. This teaches the opposite idea—there will be no annihilation of the wicked. The lake of fire is not symbolic for annihilation. The word expressly teaches that there is a literal place in which there will be everlasting and constant torment.

Revelation 20:10 says “for ever and ever.” This is very strong and literally means “unto the ages of the ages.” The beast and the false prophet are still there after a thousand years; they are not annihilated. Mark 9:43-48 shows that it does not end. Matthew 13:41-42; 8:12; 22:13; and 25:30 speak of weeping, etc. This shows there is not annihilation, but continual torment. Matthew 25:46 states the punishment is everlasting punishment and looks at what the person suffers. In Matthew 10:28 the reference to the destruction of the soul does not refer to its annihilation, but to the loss of its meaning and purpose of existence.

Here is the last and final judgment of history following the close of the Millennium. It is an awesome and solemn scene and one which should cause deep concern to our hearts for many of our friends and even relatives will be here, those who have never received Jesus Christ as their Savior. All who have scoffed at God, denied His being, rebelled at His rule, or rejected His sovereignty, and in the process, have also rejected His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, must at this time stand before this throne to be condemned to eternal judgment. May the study of these verses make us more concerned and more committed to reaching the lost for Christ.

THE TIME

This judgment follows the Millennium and the doom of Satan (20:1-10). It is followed by the creation of the new heaven and earth and the eternal state of the redeemed (21:1f).

THE CHARACTER OF THIS THRONE OF JUDGMENT

First it is called “great.” The Greek word is megas which connotes: (a) the size of something, the extent, (b) the intensity or degree of something, and (c) rank, dignity, or standing. In essence, all of these ideas have application here. It is great because of the awesome intensity and the degree of its importance. Here each unbeliever’s eternal destiny is determined and declared with ample proof and reason. It is great because it is the final judgment putting an end to all judgment for all time. Finally, it is great because all the unbelievers of all time, from Cain to the final revolt at the end of the Millennium, will be here assembled to face the bar of God’s perfect justice. The only exceptions will be the beast and false prophet and perhaps those of the judgment of the Jews and Gentiles at the end of the Tribulation who have already been consigned to the lake of fire.

Second, it is called “white” because it will be the supreme, undimmed display of the perfect righteousness and justice of God. Throughout history God has taught man that he must have God’s kind of righteousness, that God is of purer eyes than to approve evil, or to accept or look upon wickedness (Hab. 1:13), that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), and that the penalty of sin is eternal death, separation from God (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:2). Now these facts will become evident to each individual and proven without question.

Third, it is called a “throne” because here the Lord Jesus Christ will sit in absolute majesty and sovereign authority to consign these eternally to the lake of fire. In Revelation 4:2 John beheld a throne set in heaven from which the Tribulation judgments proceeded. The word “throne” is used more than 30 times in the book, but this throne, the great white one, is to be distinguished from all others because it is the most significant of all.

THE PLACE

Heaven and earth are seen fleeing from the face of Him who sits on this throne. In other words, they are destroyed, dissolved (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12). The point is the great white throne judgment does not occur on earth or in heaven as we know it, but somewhere beyond, perhaps in extreme outer space. The indication is also clear that it does not occur in the new heaven and earth which is not created until after this event.

In other words, God has removed Satan and demons, the false prophet, and the beast, etc., and He is about to judge the rest of the unbelieving dead. It is only fitting then, that He also judges the earth and heaven which has been the scene of the struggle with Satan, sin, and sinners. This evidently takes place after the resurrection of the unbelieving dead from the grave and Hades. They are resurrected, gathered before the throne and behold this destruction as heaven and earth are dissolved before their eyes. Then the judgment will proceed.

“And no place was found for them,” i.e., for heaven and earth. In the eternal state there will be no place for that which reminds men of the rebellions of Satan and man with all their wickedness and sorrow (cf. 21:4; 22:3).

THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE GREAT WHITE THRONE (11B, 12A, 13A)

THE JUDGE

“The one sitting on the throne” (20:11b). This is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22). All judgment has been put into His hands as the perfect Son of man, Son of God, the one qualified to judge by virtue of his sinless humanity and His defeat of Satan and sin on the cross (Rev. 5).

THE JUDGED

The ones judged are “the dead, great and small,” those who had no part in the first resurrection (20:5-6). This of course refers to the unbelieving dead of the second resurrection (John 5:29).

“The dead, great and small” emphasizes that no one is exempt; all who have died without Jesus Christ, regardless of their status in human history, religiously, politically, economically, or morally, must stand before this throne to face the judgment of Jesus Christ. This excludes the beast and the false prophet (19:20), and perhaps those unbelievers judged at the judgment of the Gentiles and Jews (Matt. 25:41) because they are seen to be sent directly to the eternal lake of fire.

THE SOURCE OF THEIR RESURRECTION

They come from: (a) “the sea,” i.e., those who died at sea and were not buried in the earth, (b) “death,” those who were buried in graves in the ground, cremated, or destroyed in any other way on earth, and (c) “Hades,” a reference to the place of torments, the compartment which contains the souls of unbelievers (Luke 16:23). The sea and death (i.e., the ground) contain the bodies and Hades contains the souls. At this second resurrection, the soul and body are reunited and the person is brought up before the throne.

It appears that the lake of fire will contain spirit beings in spirit bodies (Satan and his demons) and even unbelieving people will have some kind of imperishable resurrection body as well (cf. Rev. 19:20).

THE BASIS OF THE JUDGMENT (12B, 13B, 15A)

The basis of the judgment is what is found in the two sets of books: the books which were opened, and the other book, the book of life. Note that the text says “and the books (plural) were opened, and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life.” So we have two sets, the books, and the book which is mentioned also in verse 15a.

THE BOOKS

The identity of the books is not specifically revealed. We can only speculate from a comparison of other Scriptures and from the nature of these verses.

The first book opened will probably be the Scriptures, the Word of God which contains the revelation of God’s holy character, the moral law, the declaration of the sinfulness of man and God’s plan of salvation by faith in the Savior. This book also reveals that even when men do not have the written Word, they have the law of God written in their hearts (Rom. 2:14-16) and the revelation of God consciousness in creation (Rom. 1:19-20). Because of this they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20; 2:12). All men are responsible for the revelation they have and stand at this judgment because of their own negative volition to God’s grace (Rom. 1:18; 2:4, 14; John 7:17). So then, Scripture will be used to demonstrate the clearness of the plan of God and that man is without excuse (cf. also John 12:48-50; and 1 John 3:23).

The second book will be the book of works (deeds). Verses 13 and 14 state that the unbelieving dead will be judged according to their deeds (works). Undoubtedly, one book is the book of works which contains a record of their deeds as a witness of the true nature of their spiritual condition.

“Deeds”’ is the Greek ergon which refers to anything that is done, a deed, action, or work. It is used of good deeds (Matt. 26:10; Mark 14:6; Rom. 2:7), of evil deeds (Col. 1:21; 2 John 11), of dead works (Heb. 6:1; 9:14), of unfruitful deeds (Eph. 5:11), of ungodly deeds (Jude 15), of deeds of darkness (Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:11), and of works of the Law (Rom. 2:15).

The principle here is that Jesus Christ died for their sins, for their evil deeds, to forgive them and to provide them with a righteousness from God so that they might have a perfect standing before Him. But when men reject the knowledge of God and His plan of salvation, they determine to stand on their own merit or in their own righteousness. So, the book of works will contain a record of all their deeds, good and bad, to demonstrate Romans 3:23, that they fall short of God’s righteousness and have therefore no basis upon which to stand accepted (justified) before God. This judgment proves them sinners and in need of Christ’s righteousness by faith.

THE BOOK OF LIFE

This book contains the names of believers, all who have put their faith in Christ and His plan of salvation through the suffering Savior. To put it another way, it is a record of those who have not rejected God’s plan of salvation and who have responded to Him in faith; for these their faith is reckoned for righteousness (Rom. 4:22).

At the great white throne the book of life is produced to show that their name, because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, was not found written in the book of life. They, therefore, have no righteousness and cannot be accepted before God, but must be cast into the eternal lake of fire. The book of life contains the names of believers who have been justified by faith and who have a righteousness from God imputed to their account. These are accepted by God and will spend all eternity with Him (Rom. 3:20-26; Phil. 3:9).

THE JUDGMENT OR PUNISHMENT (14-15)

“And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.” “Death” refers to the body now resurrected, and “Hades” refers to the soul, the immaterial part of man. Both the body and soul are eternally separated from God in the eternal lake of fire, a very real and literal place. It is important to note that the emphasis here (the real issue) is on whether their name is in the book of life and not on their deeds. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and the loss of salvation is brought about by the one sin which separates man from God—failure to trust in Him (John 3:16, 36; 16: 8-11).

Hopefully two things happen when you read the above; 1, you thank God you are saved, and 2, you realize you need to step up your commitment to evangelism.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Robin M, salvation.

Pray for Paul K, encouragement and prayers as he grieves the passing of his mother.

Salvation for; Mona r, Cristina and Oscar and Norma and her husband Rick and Rick junior.

Pray for Paul C, hopefully he is behaving because he has left his accountability group.

Ricky R, still sober

Remember Olivia and Eli as dad (Trey) goes to sea

SPIRITUAL FERTILIZER

November 21, 2019

COW2

We must all learn, sooner or later, that the result of every form of self-effort is nothing but a barren waste, a spiritual Death Valley.

The tragedy of the church is that the service-centered believer has little or no concern for spiritual growth.

The Christian activist rarely seems to become aware of the sin of self, of the necessity of the cross in his life’ or of God’s purpose for him to be conformed to the image of Christ.

It is the Sin of Busyness; we can be so busy in the church that we fail to notice there is no real fruit in our lives. If you have been a Christian for a long time and are brutally honest with yourself that there is very little Christ likeness about you; yet you are in church every time the door is opened, you belong to a study group, a men’s or woman’s group. You volunteer a lot, you teach, you read all the latest ‘Christian books’.

Yet there is no real joy, the most abundant fruit in your life is worry, and maybe you’ve even developed a ‘secret life’. The split personality of your carnal side ruling more of your life than your spiritual side; Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde.

God is honestly more concerned with our ‘being’ than our doing.

 If you feel like you’ve attained perfection and you’ve settled down to await your eternal reward. You are most assuredly being misled.

Grow or die, pretty simple.

Give us a shout at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Graham S, serious arthritis problems

Likewise Paul K, arthritis and grieving over his mom’s recent passing, keep him in prayer.

Debi M, early onset dementia, 59 years old.