WELL SAID

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on WELL SAID

July 18, 2016

Come along with us during this “Intermission” between Revelation and Daniel for our WELL SAID series as we recognize and share wonderful quotations from wonderful people which we hope you value as much as we do…Please forward any comments or suggestions to me directly at Debbie.Roberts311@gmail.com

 

WELL SAID

by Frank Turek, “Stealing from God”

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“One can put the knife to the side and say that the amazing evidence of God’s sovereignty is revealed in how even those who don’t believe in Him call upon Him to remind them of the source that paved the way to their disavowal of belief in His existence.  It is like stepping on a bridge to cross a chasm, all the while believing there is no bridge.”

(In response to a discussion he had with the renowned atheist Richard Dawkins after Dawkins stumbled making his argument against God and in exasperation blurted out “Oh God!” )

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The Finale of the Revelation Study

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Finale of the Revelation Study

Blog for July 14, 2016

THE FINALE OF THE REVELATION STUDY

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We are at the close of our journey in Revelation. The final two verses of Revelation 22:20-21 say, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (ESV)

 As a final point to my comments in the previous blog, please note that when I am talking about individuals and churches misinterpreting Scripture I am not talking of those who mistakenly interpret Scripture but rather those who blatantly, or deliberately, falsify the truth of Scripture. Those who adhere to the word of God accept it as Sola Scriptura, meaning that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. If that is you, then you are following God’s word.

Jesus again testifies that the things written in Revelation (which by default would include the entire Biblical cannon of Scripture) are true and will occur. He again reaffirms that He is coming soon.

As followers of God, we can wholeheartedly say “Amen” and shout out, “Come, Lord Jesus”. John concludes his writing with the words, “The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

We hope you have enjoyed reading Revelation during our 11 months study together. As we have already said, we are working on the entire blog series on the book of Revelation to be available as a book very soon. Once we have completed editing and format we will then look to having the book published.

In the meantime, as the author of the blogs, I have to offer my grateful thanks to all of you who have read the blogs diligently and for your continuing encouragement. There is a great deal of time spent in study, research and prayer for the content and sources we use. We would ideally love to be able to place all of the wonderful pictures that Debbie has included with each blog in the book but, sadly, the cost of doing so would be too great. We are looking at the idea of having, perhaps, one main picture for each chapter but that, again, will need further discussion as to the practicality of doing.

Doing a daily blog takes a large piece of our daily activities. That is not a complaint, simply a fact. That, in itself, means that other things suffer as a result of time restraints. Such things are the writing activities of several books I am working on as well as a bachelor’s course I am currently pursuing for Ministry that I hope will be followed up with a Master’s degree in Theology. I’m proud to say my wife is also on the same journey and there are specific reasons that we are pursuing that course, which will be revealed in due time.

As a result of all of the above, we are moving the blog to a weekly format which we will publish each Monday. Our next series, I’m delighted to inform you, will be on the book of Daniel. This will commence in the fall. The specific timing will be posted in due course.

We are also exploring the idea of doing a preaching series via you tube video, which is also likely to be a weekly format.

There is much to do in the service of our Lord and Master and anything and everything we do we do for the Honor and Glory of God.

Stay tuned for more updates from MDR Ministries

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COME AND TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on COME AND TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE

Blog for July 13, 2016

COME AND TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE

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Before we read the passage we will discuss today I wanted to read you a quote from Ray C. Stedman. I’ve loved the teachings of Ray, who stepped into eternity 24 years ago, for several years now. In his book, “God’s Final Word, Understanding Revelation” Ray makes mention of the fact that 1st century Christians believed Jesus was coming soon. Today, I share the same thoughts that Ray states, that many erroneously state that the Apostles were wrong. That the book of Revelation is wrong. And, after 2000 years what makes anyone think that Jesus is coming back now? I caution, if any of you reading this believe any of those three stances you are on dangerous and deadly ground. Let me quote you what Ray had to say in his book that was first published a year before he died. He said, quote,

But if there is one thing the book of Revelation makes clear it is the fact that John’s vision links time and eternity in ways that transcend human understanding. We look at time as a straight line, marked off in years like inches on a ruler. We see John’s era of the first century A.D. as being at one point on the ruler, our own era some 2,000 years later, and the events of Revelation as occurring at some time further along that ruler. Properly understood, however, the events of Revelation were no further off in John’s future than they are in yours or mine. The final destiny of a human being, whether lost or righteous, begins the instant that individual dies. Eternity is never more than a heartbeat away, never farther in the future than one’s own death. It won’t be long before you and I step out of time and into eternity. And when we arrive in eternity, the saints who preceded us in death by a hundred or a thousand or two thousand years won’t say to us, “What took you so long?” They’ll be just like us, new arrivals in eternity, staring goggled-eyed in amazement at the unguessed-at wonders God has prepared for us.”

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I could read Ray’s words over and over again which I think wonderfully explains the point of Jesus coming soon. Taking up Jesus words by way of invitation is what we read in Revelation 22:17-19 which says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (ESV)

 Notice first that the “Spirit”, which is the Spirit of God Himself, issues the invitation to Jesus to come. That invitation is echoed further by all those whom God has redeemed through Christ. In other words, it is an invitation for believers to take the free gift of the water of life and to come and live eternally with Christ.

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But also notice there is a stern and direct warning. Jesus warns EVERYONE that if His words are tampered with by adding or taking away any of its content then God will remove such them from His kingdom. When we look at the stranglehold of the Pentecostal/Charismatic/Word of Faith movement in the world today this warning is all too relevant. Despite the fact that this movement is the fastest growing movement in the church today I, for one (with many others), believe this Scripture and others are warning these specific churches, which means their pastors and congregants, who believe in what is taught. I believe this warning directly refers to these individuals and churches in such passages. God is abundantly clear and adamant that if a human being, church, or organization twist His Scriptures, either by interpretation or worse, ignoring or accepting sinful practices and allowing for such sin to go unpunished, then those who associate themselves with such blind heresy will be no part of His future plans. Sadly, my heart breaks knowing many people personally who follow these false teachings and who blindly think that they are following God.

Tomorrow we will conclude our journey in Revelation and we have exciting news as to what’s in store with MDR Ministries next series of blogs etc.

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The Bright Morning Star

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Bright Morning Star

Blog for July 12, 2016

The Bright Morning Star

As we reach nearer to the end of this wonderful book of prophecy we are told in Revelation 22:12-16, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (ESV)

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 Again, Jesus warns He is coming soon. He underscores that warning that he is bringing His recompense with Him to repay each one what he has done. This refers to their earthly life and their actions and lifestyles based upon their belief system.

Notice Jesus refers to several descriptions of Himself that show He has total authority in what He does. He refers to Himself as the “Alpha and Omega”, “the first and the last”, “the beginning and the end”. He informs us that He is the root and descendant of David. And He declares He is the “bright Morning Star”. These descriptions tell us that Jesus is identifying Himself as God the Creator. That He is the Messiah.

There is no ambiguity in this passage as to each person’s destiny based upon their life course. To repay each one for what they have done is a clear message that EVERYONE will face judgment in front of the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 Paul tells believers, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” (NLT) While this Scripture confirms that believers will be saved, it also points out there are serious consequences as to the lack of service a person gives to Christ. We should never be complacent and we should never think we have ever done enough in the service of our Lord and Master.

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In contrast, those who reject Christ and do not believe in God are told clearly in Revelation 20:11-15, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (NIV) This passage identifies those whose names will not be in the book of life and there are many Scriptures that describe what works they will be judged by.

Jesus tells us that “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Here is a direct reference to everything we have been discussing. That those who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb will have the right to enter the city of the New Jerusalem. While angels stand guard at each of the 12 gates, none of those granted access to the city will be barred from entering its gates.

Outside, which means in the eternal state of hell, will be the dogs. These are not literal dogs. In Jesus’s day, the Jews called anyone who was not of their creed a “dog”. In a broader sense, Jesus is here describing those who are not followers of Him and He goes on to describe what practices they indulge in that prevent them from being part of His kingdom. Remember, the list is not restricted to the few terms mentioned in this Scripture. For a full list, one needs to consult those whom Paul described in “…willfully practicing the works of the flesh” as seen in Galatians 5:19-21.

The final point I want to say today is something we may overlook. Jesus tells us that the angel is His representative to testify these things to the churches. Did you see that? This message, this Revelation, is specifically written for the church. That not only gives us cause for rejoicing but it also comes with a command. That we are to preach the Gospel of Christ so that others may, by the Grace of God, be changed and become part of His church.

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“Worship God”

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Worship God”

Blog for July 11, 2016

“Worship God”

In Revelation 22:8-9 John writes, “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (ESV)

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This is an interesting passage in that we can read the first portion in one of two ways. Either John made the mistake again of falling down at the feet of the angel as he had done previously in Revelation 19:10 or John was repeating the event of that verse. Personally, I share the belief that John was so overwhelmed with everything he had seen he again forgot himself, or just simply collapsed in wonder. John doesn’t say he fell down to worship the angel but that he fell at the feet of the angel.

In any event, the angel (and rightly so) felt that it was completely inappropriate for John to do so and hence, issued the command, “You must not do that!” The angel categorically told John and his audience (those who would read these words) that it is only God who is to be worshiped.

The angel rightly points out that he is a fellow servant with both John and the prophets before him, along with “those who keep the words of this book”.  If you do not realize it, that means you and I.

After John received the command of the angel the angel said in Revelation 22:10-11, “And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (ESV)

Unlike Daniel being told by the angel to seal up the words that the angel spoke to him (See Daniel 8:26; 12:4-10) John is told not to seal up the words of the prophecy of Revelation. We now know many of the words in Daniel refer to the time of the end as spoken of in Revelation, but Daniel did not know that. That is why he told the angel he did not understand. The angel reassured him that the final portion of his message was for the future.

But John was told that the prophecy had to be revealed because of its urgency for everyone to read it. The angel repeats that “the time is near”. Do you realize how privileged we are to be the very ones who were/are allowed to read this book? Think about it, almost 70 years had passed since Jesus had died and returned to heaven. It is not unlikely that some believers who had the privilege of seeing Christ or being one of the first followers of Him and His Apostles had also died prior to the Revelation being given to John. Can you imagine if those who had died had received this prophecy would have felt? We should indeed look at Revelation and realize that we truly are members of the body of Christ whom He has allowed these things to be revealed to in order that we can act upon them by declaring the Gospel so that those whom we preach to, and for ourselves, will be ready for the imminent return of Christ.

The final part of the passage may seem odd but it should not. The angel says, “…let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy”. What is meant here?

It merely points out that by the return of Christ people’s destinies will have been fixed. They are either going to hell or they are going to heaven. This is why it is so important for us to preach the Gospel. It also means that, by this point, EVERYONE will have heard the Gospel. Those who have heard it and choose to continue in their evil ways the angel informs John, “let them”. Their course of action has sealed their destiny which will be eternal hellfire. In contrast, those who practice righteousness and remain holy will receive their eternal reward in God’s kingdom for their faithfulness to God.

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