The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

When Jesus ascended up to heaven, the disciples stood steadfast looking up. Two angels stood there and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go to heaven.” (Acts 1:11).

The most epic and awesome event that will happen in human history, is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The event that sets the scene for this occurrence is The Battle of Armageddon. Jesus doesn’t come at the rapture, that event is to pick up the saints in the air. Then there will be seven years of tribulation, known as the seventh week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). This will begin with an agreement or some sort of treaty. The Anti-Christ will make a covenant with Israel and will appear to bring about the answer to the middle east crises. He will show up as a peace maker to begin the seven-year tribulation.

This Anti-Christ will come out of Europe, because it says in Daniel 4 and Daniel 7, he will be over the ten toes, that is the Roman Empire, split up which is Europe. Today we have the European union. He will rise up and have the answer to the middle east crises and seize power.

So now you have a man that seems to be a peace-maker. The king of the North sees that this man is really after the entire world, and he doesn’t except that. The king of the North is Russia. They will come against the Anti-Christ, so we should not be surprised that Russia has entered Syria. Russia is a dominate world force in the middle east.

The Bible says the king of the North will join the king of the South. The south is Egypt and all the Islamic nations. They don’t want the Anti-Christ to rule over them either (Daniel 11).

Meanwhile, the Anti-Christ is going to come over to the “Beautiful Land,” which is Israel. He is going to center himself in the center of all this, as the North and the South come against him. He is going to defeat both kings of the North and the South.

The king of the East, the orient, China, will invade the Anti-Christ also. There will be, according to Scripture, 22 million men, that will descend on Israel to defeat the Anti-Christ. All these armies, North, South, and East, coming against the Anti-Christ. So now what happens? (Keep in mind, Israel is int he center of all this because Israel is set up there.)

Revelation 16:13 – And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Verse 14) For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Verse 15)”Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Verse 16) And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

However, something else is going on at this time: Zechariah 14:2 says, For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Verse 3) Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.

So you’ve got Satan being as evil as he can be, bringing all these nations together because of what he is doing, but really doing what was already written by God, His will.

Keep in mind; even when the devil is wrecking havoc in your life, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!”

Revelation 12:13, (Satan’s strategies of destroying Israel.) (Verse 13) Now when the dragon (Satan) saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child (Jesus Christ). (Verse 15) So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman (Israel), that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. (That’s why all these nations have come against Israel, to nullify the promises of God.)

In Daniel 27, in the middle of the tribulation, three and one half years, the Anti-Christ will break covenant with Israel, the abomination of desolation. He will set himself up in the temple in Jerusalem.

Israel will build their third temple on the mount where the Muslims now have their Mosque. (That mosque will not be there when they begin to build their temple. I don’t know when that will be destroyed.) The Anti-Christ will claim to be God. He will be doing great miracles and signs in order to trick and deceive the people. Now he will have world denomination.

Now, when that happens, and the whole world is focused on the middle east, it’s “Show Time” for the True God.

Matthew 24:29 – “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Verse 30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31) And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Revelation 1:7 – Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 19:11 – Then I saw heaven open, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (Jesus riding on a white horse is a declaration of victory!) (Verse 12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. (Verse 13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

There are two ways that people will relate to Jesus, either through the cross for salvation or they relate to Him as the Judge. Advice: take the cross! Those that follow and relate to Him through the cross, they get to: (Verse 14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

Review: Rapture of the church; during the tribulation on earth, you and I are at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where God hands out rewards; then Christ comes at the second Coming, which is not the rapture, it’s seven years after the rapture of the church. Christi comes to the earth with the armies of the saints, who have now been dressed in fine linen, new bodies, to rule with Him, which is His millennial Reign. We come with Him with our assignments.

This fight between Jesus and the nations that came against Israel is short,. This is like a “knock-out” in the first fifteen seconds of the first round! He will slay them with the word (sword) of His mouth (Rev. 19:15) And everyone that has the mark of the beast, world-wide, will be slain by the word of His mouth and be dinner for the fouls of the air. Why? Because they refused to repent!

Believe it or not. Did Jesus rise from the dead? Yes, so why would anyone doubt the rest of the story. Is it not true also?

And according to Zechariah chapters three and four, Jesus will descend to the Mount of Olives, which was the place He left from. And the Bible says that when He steps on the Mount of Olives, the mountain will split down the middle, all the way to the Dead Sea and Jesus will set Himself up as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The One and Only Righteous Ruler! He will rule with a rod of iron.

Revelation 19:20 – Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Verse 21) And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Even with all this, here’s what you need to know: Time is short. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you won’t end up in “The Day of the Lord” on the wrong side!

 

 

Advertisements

Ephesians – Chapter 6

Verse 1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

When children obey their parents, it helps to keep order int he family. As early as they can understand to obey, they won’t have a problem with obeying laws if they are taught when young. They also need to know that there will be consequences if they don’t . When parents are obedient to God, the child will see and they will also see the results.

Verse 2 – “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise;

Verse 3 – “that it may be well with  you and you may live long on earth.”

Obedience is to recognize authority and honor means to respect and love. Not all parents are Christians and don’t bring their children up in the Lord, but this is a very profound statement Paul makes as to why to honor them – that you may live long on earth.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each child that is born, would grow up in a loving household?

Verse 4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

In the last chapter, we studied the responsibilities of the husband and wife to each other, get that right first! Then when you bring your children up in the ways of the Lord, they will respect and honor you and also learn to love the Lord. Discipline is not to be arbitrary or something done out of anger, it will cause the child to hate you if it is.

Verse 5 – Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;

Verse 6 – not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

Verse 7 – with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

Verse 8 – knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

We are not always rewarded in this life when being obedient to God. However, no matter the circumstance, do the right things and you will be laying treasures up in heaven.

Do you work for an unreasonable boss? Still do what is right in God’s eyes. He may have placed you in that position to be an example of Him!

Verse 9 – And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality – with Him.

Do you have authority over people? Make sure you treat them right because you have to  answer to God and He sees what you do.

Verse 10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

We can’t fight Satan and his attacks on our own. We are to be dependent on the Lord and His strength.

Verse 11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The armor of God is that which God provides to the Christian in order to fight the good fight of faith – His Word.

Verse 12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

There is an entire atmosphere that we can’t see, but does exist. It has demons that are controlled by Satan. They are real! Their goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe, these beings become our enemy, and they use every device to try to turn us away from Him and back to a sin filled life. We need supernatural power to fight with and God has provided this power to us through the Holy Spirit.

Verse 13 – Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Let me tell you what’s not going to happen: Suppose the biggest attack comes that you have ever faced. You need a victory in a big way. But you never read your Bible and you have just been going through the motions of being a Christian. You will never have victory if you have never prepared for that battle through prayer! However, if you have prayed, stayed in His Word, surrounded yourself with other God-fearing Christians who believe God is able, you will be victorious!

Verse 14 – Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Verse 15 – and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

What’s the biggest most important part of your body that needs protection when confronting an enemy in battle? The head and the heart. If you know the truth, which is God’s word, and then you have the Holy Spirit in your heart, the battle is half-way won, because you know what God is capable of on your behalf!

Sod your feet with a firm foundation which is the gospel!

Verse 16 – above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

As a soldier holds his shield to defend himself, it provides protection over every part of his body, as it can be turned in every direction. That’s what faith is to the Christian. No matter what direction the darts come from, your faith is built to withstand anything the enemy can throw at you.

Verse 17 – and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

Do you remember how Jesus fought Satan in the desert? With the Word of God. Some people have battles to fight every day of their life. Why in the world would they go empty-handed?

Verse 18 – praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints –

No matter how complete the armor, no matter how skilled we are, no matter how courageous we may be, we can be certain that without prayer we will be defeated. God alone can give the victory. Praying with all kinds of prayer, for ourselves and for others.

When the Spirit and the heart are joined there is only victory in sight. With all perseverance, never becoming discouraged or disheartened.

Verse 19 – and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Verse 20 – for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Did you notice that Paul didn’t ask for them to pray that his chains be removed? Instead, Paul asked that they pray for him to continue to speak the gospel fearlessly.

When we pray for our circumstances to change, we should also be praying for God to accomplish His will. Sometimes situations will last for years, but don’t lose heart, keep praying and keep believing. God truly does want the best for our lives. I know this personally from my own experience!

Conclusion

Verse 21 – But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you;’

Verse 22 – whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.

Verse 23 – Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 24 – Grace e with all those who love our Lord Jesus Chris in sincerity. Amen.

Paul had a lot to say in this letter about the unity of the church; how a husband should treat his wife; how the wife submits to the husband; and how the children should honor their parents. Now, ask yourself this question: Do I follow these principles as a follower of Jesus Christ? Christ has to be “front and center” in every relationship we have, period.

 

 

Ephesians – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – Therefore be followers of God as dear children.

What a simple rule. Contention and strife could be avoided if we just treated others as  God treats us, especially your spouse.

Verse 2 – And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

As Christians we are to show the same love for others as Christ showed us. The offering and sacrifice that Christ gave to us, was like a grateful pleasant smell of incense to God, it was acceptable to Him.

Verse 3 – But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is not fitting for saints;

Verse 4 – neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Obscene or indecent conversation is not talk that should come out of a Christian’s mouth.

Verse 5 – For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

In any given church, there are two people, sitting there,  who live together, not legally married, and yet still believe that it’s fine with God, because they love each other. This is called “fornication,” sex outside of marriage. What makes people think that God has to adapt to our life-style? Paul is very clear about who will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Verse 6 – Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Don’t let anyone tell you that because “times have changed,” that God accepts these life-styles. God has not changed!

Verse 7 – Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Don’t stand in agreement with those who are disobedient. As children of light, our actions and behavior should reflect our faith. Our lives should reflect God’s goodness.

verse 8 – For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

Verse 9 – (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

Verse 10 – proving what is acceptable to the Lord.

Verse 11 – and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Verse 12 – For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

When a person listens to the things that are of darkness and evil, the imagination starts to roll. You get images of what’s being said. Paul says, these things are not to even be spoken of in order to save us from thinking about them.

Walk As Children of Light

Verse 13 – But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

When truth and light is shown on an object or subject or practice, it is exposed for what it truly is. God needs Christians who will take a stand against evil and what is right.

Verse 14 – Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Verse 15 – See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

Verse 16 – redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

These words provide a solemn warning that Christians should be wise and careful in all things, including our use of time. Make sure your time is spent doing good, not evil.

Verse 17 – Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

So what is the will for a Christians life? His will is for us all to have an abundant life in Him. All through Scripture, God’s will is exposed. The more you read His Word and pray, the closer you come to Him: the closer you are to Christ the more revelation you will receive for your life; the more revelation you have the more answers you will have to your prayers. If you try something and it doesn’t work out, submit your actions in the direction the Spirit leads.

Be Filled With the Spirit

Verse 18 – And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Getting drunk is associated with the old way of life. Since there is always a danger of becoming intoxicated by drinking wine, beer, or any other alcohol, Paul says don’t do it. Some Christians want to argue about this, but all intoxication in Scripture is prohibited, no matter what means it is produced. It is a temporary high that can cause depression or tension or much worse. Is any Christian made a better Christian by drinking alcohol? NO! Be ye filled with the Spirit!

Verse 19 – speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Verse 20 – giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 21 – submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Christians are supposed to be joyful and thankful to God in everything. Submitting to one another does not mean you become a doormat for someone. It means we submit to the will of the Father and we follow Christ’s example in conduct and how we treat others. Your behavior will be the opposite of rudeness and having to always be in control.

Wives Submit to Your Husbands

Verse 22 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to he Lord.

Here again, this does not mean the wife becomes a doormat for her husband’s abuse. This simply means, God has placed the man as the head of the household that regulates the family. However, if the husband is truly following Christ, then husband and wife will complement each other. But the husband is to have authority over the wife. And I might add, this does not include what is contrary to God’s law.

Verse 23 – For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

“He is Savior of the body,” the church. Christ gave Himself to save His body, the church, as He practiced self-denial and made it and object of intense solicitude to preserve the church, so ought  not the husband  manifest a similar solicitude to make his wife happy, and to save her from want, affliction, and pain? The husband ought to regard himself as protector, provide for her needs and comfort her in trials, even as Christ does the church.

Verse 24 – Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands: Love Your Wives

verse 25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,

Husbands are to make the love which Christ had for the church the model to follow.

Verse 26 – that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Verse 27 – that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Verse 28 – So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

A husband is not going to know how to love his wife unless he reads his Bible and finds out how much Christ loves the church, His body, His bride! This needs to be taught more in the churches today, and maybe we wont’ have so many divorces among the Christians!

Verse 29 – For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

Verse 30 – For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

Keep in mind, Paul is still talking about how a husband is to cherish his wife, and then explains how Christ nourishes and cherishes the church as an example.

Verse 31 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Nowhere did I read that the “mother-in-law” rules the husband’s household.

Verse 32 – This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Paul appealed to Genesis 2:24, which is God’s initial statement in the Scriptures regarding marriage. The marriage commitment takes precedence over every other human relationship. And in case there is anyone confused, it is between a man and woman!

Verse 33 – Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

It is the duty of every man to love his wife as he does himself. The question every man should ask himself before he marries is, “Will I love my wife as Christ loves the church?” If they can’t, then they shouldn’t get married.

And the wife should show her husband respect as the head of the family. The problem usually comes when the one or both of these golden rules are not applied!

 

 

 

Ephesians – Chapter 4

Verse 1 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

Verse 2 – with all lowliness and gentleness with longsuffering bearing with one another in love,

A Christian’s life, walk, should be of the characteristics of humbleness, gentleness, and love. These are not behaviors that we do sometimes,  these are to be a part of who we are.

Verse 3 – endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Verse 4 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

There is one body of believers – one church on earth, so there ought to be unity. There is one Spirit, the Holy Spirit – He is in each believer: which awakens all; convicted all; and converted all. Christians all have one hope; look forward to the same heaven; they hope for the same life beyond the grace.

Verse 5 – one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

The theme here is the same – Christians have one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ; the one faith in Christ brings unity. One baptism – this does not affirm that there is one mode of baptism but refers to “the thing itself.” They are all baptized in the name of the same Father, and Savior and Holy Spirit. They have all in this manner been consecrated unto God, and devoted to His service.

Verse 6 – one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

People who worship many gods, cannot hope to unite. However, Christians have one supreme God and our attachment through Jesus brings unity.

Verse 7 – But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

God has bestowed on each sincere believer means of living as they ought to, and has in His gospel made ample provision that they might walk worthy of their vocation. Grace is bestowed on each Christian, and all have enough to enable them to live a life of holiness.

Verse 8 – Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Psalm 68:18)

As Victor over sin and death, Christ gives gifts to His new devoted followers.

Verse 9 – (Now this, “He ascended”  – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Verse 10 – He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

The Redeemer came down from God and returned to Him, fulfilling all things by His influence and direct wisdom and power.

Verse 11 – And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

The description here is more about gifted people than about spiritual gifts. Apostles and prophets are foundational for the churches work. The apostle primarily refers to people sent with a divine mission or task, bringing new revelation and understanding to the church.

Prophets revealed God’s will to believers for the present and predicted future events. All apostles were prophets, but not all prophets were apostles.

Evangelists were gifted to spread the gospel and plant churches. Evangelists proclaimed the good news in word and deed and instructed others in evangelism.

Pastors and teachers shared similar responsibilities. Pastors provided oversight, comfort, and guidance as the church’s shepherds. Teachers instructed and helped apply God’s revelation to the life of the church.

Purpose of the Gifts

Verse 12 – for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Verse 13 – till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ministry is intended to move believers toward accomplishing three goals: (1) unity of faith and full knowledge of God’s Son, (2) maturity, and (3) the fullness of Christ. Maturity and unity are measured in of the relationship of the body to the Head, Jess Christ.

Verse 14 – that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in to deceive,

Verse 15 – but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ –

Verse 16 – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes  growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

All Christians should speak the truth to avoid error. This may be uncomfortable for some to hear, but we do it in love. This truth should never be in a harsh manner. When someone is in error of Scripture, first show the person you care, then its easier for them to take what you say to heart. That’s how we grow as a body.

Verse 17 – This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,

Verse 18 – having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

Don’t be surprised when people can’t grasp the gospel. Your faith and the gospel will seem foolish to those who rely on their own understanding. People’s understanding becomes darkened because of their indulgence in sin.

Verse 19 – who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

This is the description of the heart of the lost. They are past the point of any emotion or feeling of guilt for their sin, hard as a rock. They do this voluntarily. They do what they want, when they want and everything is for themselves.

Verse 20 – But you have not so learned Christ,

Verse 21 – if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

But a true Christian has been taught a different way to life, the truth. You listened to the gospel and believed in Jesus Christ. then the Holy Spirit, Jesus, continues to teach you.

Verse 22 – that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

As a new believer in Christ, we are not to be driven by past desires and impulses. Our conduct has to change! We have a new direction in life and have a new way of thinking and responding. If a new born-again believer does not do these things, it won’t be long before there will be no sign of Christianity in their life.

Put On the New Man

Verse 23 – and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(and how are you going to renew your mind if you don’t get in God’s Word everyday?)

Verse 24 – and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

This change is so great that a person, a “new creature,” with new principles and new desires, new practices in everything that pertains to their moral character.

Verse 25 – Therefore, putting away lying, each one speaks truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Lying to another causes distrust and conflicts. It definitely will destroy relationships in a church and outside.

Verse 26 – “Be angry, and do not sin,” do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

If anger is not dealt with properly, it will lead to sin or revenge, which is sin.

Verse 27 – nor give place to the devil.

If you don’t deal with that anger, it will give the devil a foot-hold and a person will end up doing or saying something that they will later regret! If you don’t handle that anger, you soon will build up resentment and that my friend, will turn into bitterness.

Verse 28 – Let him who stole, steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

People steal because they want something another has and they don’t want to work for it themselves!

Verse 29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

This is more than just “bad language.” This also implies what may corrupt another.

Grieve Not the Holy Spirit

Verse 30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

This is addressed to “all” Christians. Do not act in a way that would cause sorrow or pain to the Holy Spirit, Jesus, who loves you. As a course of ingratitude and sin this would cause pain in the heart of an earthly friend, and cause them to leave you. Here are some things that will grieve the Holy Spirit: (1)open and gross sins (2)anger (3) licentious thoughts and desires (4) ingratitude (5) neglect (6) resistance.

Verse 31 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Verse 32 – And be kind to one another, just as God in Christ also forgives you.

The Christians’ conduct will be the result of love, good-will, and a desire of the happiness of others, and this will prompt to the kind of conduct that will render their conversation with others agreeable and profitable!

 

 

Ephesians – Chapter 3

Revelation of the Mystery of the Church

Verse 1 – For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles –

Paul was under house arrest in Rome for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Verse 2 – if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

Verse 3 – how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words,

Paul had been assigned the special work of preaching the Good News to the Gentiles. This revelation could only have been given by God. This mystery revealed that God determined through Jesus Christ to incorporate the Gentiles into one body of the church as equal partners with Israel.

verse 4 – by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

Verse 5 – which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been reveled by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:

Those who held the office of prophet in the beginning churches were inspired by God, the Holy Spirit. They imparted Christian doctrine when the apostles were away.

Verse 6 – that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

Verse 7 – of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God, given to me by the effective working of His power.

Verse 8 – To me, who am less than the lest of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Paul realizes that without the grace that was given by God to him, he would have never been able to preach the gospel. Paul was a humble man, and God chose him  to go among the Gentiles and tell them about Christ.

Verse 9 – and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Verse 10 – to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places,

God’s intent was that through the church His plan of salvation would be made known, and was watched by all heavenly beings.

Verse 11 – according to the purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Verse 12 – in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Thanks be to Christ, we can enter into the presence of our God with confidences, because of our faith in Jesus Chris.

Verse 13 – Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulation for you, which is your glory.

If Paul had not been preaching the gospel of Christ, he would not have been in jail. However, if he hadn’t, the Ephesians would not have heard about Christ and been converted. Paul chose to endure prison in order for the Good News to be preached. We all have benefited by the apostles suffering to bring the gospel to us.

Verse 14 – For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 15 – from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

The whole family – all who have believed in the past all in the present, and all in the future. Believers are family because we have the same Father.

Verse 16 – that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

Verse 17 –  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love,

Verse 18 – may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height –

Verse 19 – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Do we, as Christians, even realize what God has given us? God’s love for us covers the very breath of our own existence and it reaches out to the whole world. God’s love will reach to the depth of any discouragement or despair and even death.

Verse 20 – Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Did you catch that? God is able to do above and beyond anything we could ever think or even ask, according to the power of the Holy Spirit, that works in each believer!

Verse 21 – to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

I honestly believe that if more Christians would read what we’ve just read and more preachers would teach the amazing power that lives in each believer, then we would have less Christians walking around as beggars, always wanting someone else to pray for them and deliver them out of their troubles.

The church needs to wake-up! We should be working by the power that is in all believers to help people get free from the bondage of sin that rules their lives.

 

 

 

Ephesians – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Without Christ, people are dead in the most vital part of the human personality, their spirit.

Verse 2 – in which you once walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

Before coming to Christ, all live according to Satan, the prince of the air. Some that don’t know their Bible will argue that this is not true. However, according to Scripture, all walk in disobedience until they become a believer.

Verse 3 – among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Apart from Christ, people are dominated by fleshly desires. In rejecting Christ, all will face God’s wrath and eternal punishment.

Verse 4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Verse 5 – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Verse 6 – and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Because of God’s great mercy, He sent Jesus to take the punishment of our sin and nail it to the cross with His death. Those who reject Christ are still slaves to sin. But the difference after accepting Jesus for the believer is, we are acquitted of all penalty of sin by the blood that was shed for you and me.

And, because you are now in Christ and Christ in you we are seated in Christ in heavenly places!

Verse 7 – that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The salvation of men and women is a display of God’s divine grace. God did all of this in Christ with a single goal, “to save the world!”

Verse 8 – For by grace you have been saved through  faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God,

Verse 9 – not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Salvation is for God’s glory and is not accomplished by human works. The whole process of salvation is not a human achievement, but is an act of God’s goodness. The emphasis is always on Christ, the object of our faith, not on the amount of faith. Salvation is by God’s complete unmerited favor.

Verse 10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Here is where works fit in a Christian’s life: Out of gratitude of this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. God has pre-ordained every good work that we will do in our life – He knew beforehand.

Verse 11 – Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncirumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands –

Verse 12 – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Paul was telling Gentiles what state they were in before they were introduced, came to the knowledge of Christ. They were not part of the covenant with God’s people. They had no rights to the inheritance. They were without hope.

Verse 13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.

But now Gentiles have a new relationship. The blood that was sacrificed by our Lord and Savior washes away the penalty of sin, for those who are now in Christ Jesus.

Verse 14 – For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us,

Broken down the divisions between the Jew and the Gentile.

Verse 15 – having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, thus making peace,

Verse 16 – and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

This actin of Jesus brought not only the Jews and Gentiles together, but also with God. Gentiles did not become Jews, nor did Jews become Gentiles, but rather they came together to form “The Church,” one body. He removed the enmity, the hatred between the two, forever.

Verse 17 – and He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

Verse 18 – for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

The Jews had to go to God through the high priest through works of the law. The Gentiles were afar off because they knew little to nothing about the true God. Both groups had to hear the gospel of Christ to be reconciled to God through Christ.

Verse 19 – Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Verse 20 – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

Verse 21 – in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

Verse 22 – in whom you also are being built together for habitation of God in the Spirit.

Here is what I honestly believe: If more preachers would preach what Paul preached and leave out all the foolishness that goes on in churches today, I don’t believe there would be one single Christian that would “Backslide” back into sin! There would be no way a truly born-again Christian could lay by the way-side of what all Christ has done for them!  But too many Christians get frustrated in trying to understand what their salvation truly means, and they give up!

Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in each believer, that believer is being built at the same time the body of all believers are being built to become one in Christ Jesus.

 

The Book of Ephesians – Chapter 1

Introduction: Ephesians is addressed to a group of believers who are rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, yet live as beggars, only because they are ignorant of their wealth. They are living as spiritual paupers. This is a description of what is in a Christian’s heavenly “bank account;” adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship – every spiritual blessing.

Ephesus was the commercial center of Asia Minor. Ephesus was a religious center as well, famous especially for its magnificent temple of Diana. The practice of magic and the local economy were clearly related to this temple. Paul remained in Ephesus for three years on his third missionary journey and he seriously effected the traffic in magic and images, leading to an uproar in the huge Ephesus theater. Paul then left for Macedonia, but afterward he met with the Ephesian elders while on his way to Jerusalem.

Paul wrote the “Prison Epistles,” Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, during his first Roman imprisonment in A.D. 60-62. These epistles all refer to his imprisonment.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

This letter is to all Christians who are faithful to Christ today also. Are you known as one who is faithful to the Lord? (An apostle was a person whom the resurrected Christ had commissioned and sent on special service, and who was gifted by the Holy Spirit for that service.)

Verse 2 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace are unmerited gifts from God. We did nothing except believe to obtain them.

Verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

This is one of those “Wow” verses! Are y in Jesus Christ? Then these spiritual blessings are yours and they are already done! They are assured to every believer, for they flow from God’s grace and wisdom, and eternal purpose. Because the believer has an intimate relationship with Christ, we have the power living on the inside of us to do God’s will.

The “heavenly places” means that these blessings are eternal not temporal. The blessings come from Christ’s spiritual realm, not the earthly realm. However, none of this does a Christian any good unless they know they have them. (You won’t use what you don’t know you have.)

Verse 4 – just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Because Christ is in us and we are in Him, we as believers are holy and blameless in His sight.

The doctrine of election is one of the most central and one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Bible. At its most basic level, election refers to God’s plan where He accomplishes His will. The meaning of election is best understood as God’s Sovereign initiative in bringing persons to faith in Christ, resulting in a special covenant relationship with Him. God knows and knew every single person before they were ever born, who would believe in His Son!

Verse 5 – having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

It was God’s full intention, predestined, to bring all believers into His family, with all the rights and privileges – adopted.

Verse 6 – to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

The doctrine of predestination and election lays the foundation of adoring gratitude and praise. It is the only foundation of hope for mankind. We didn’t earn this nor did we deserve this, and that’s why we praise Him.

Redeemed By the son

Verse 7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,

Christ paid to redeem us with His precious blood, the price was paid. Not only that but as believers, we have complete forgiveness. This was done because of God’s grace, not anything we have done.

Verse 8 – which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Verse 9 – having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

Verse 10 – that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him,

God’s intention, His will, was never intended to be a mystery, however, His plan for salvation was not completely revealed until Christ rose from the grave. His plan included uniting Jews and Gentiles into one body of believers in Christ, with Christ being the head.

Verse 11 – in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Paul tells us the end result of redemption from a stand point that stretches from eternity past to eternity future. The recipient of this inheritance are people whom God has chosen and predestined. They come to faith in Christ, not by chance, coercion, or unaided choice, but by the Holy Spirit. “He knocks on the door of your heart!”

Everyone who has been saved know what that thumping of the heart is. The calling will be so strong it feels like your heart is going to come out of your chest.

Verse 12 – that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Sealed By the Spirit

Verse 13 – In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy spirit of promise,

Verse 14 – who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit living on the inside of each believer is the guaranteed promise of an eternity in the presence of Christ!

Prayer For Revelation

Verse 15 – Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all saints,

Verse 16 – do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

Verse 17 – that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

Personal knowledge of Christ will change your life. The more you know about and personally know Christ, the more wisdom and revelation you will have. A person can’t survive this Christian life only knowing what a pastor tells them once a week. Find out what a wonderful Savior we have, by reading and praying on your own.

Verse 18 – the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

The hope of His calling refers to the assurance of eternal life guaranteed by the possession of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 19 – and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,

Verse 20 – which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Here is an amazing fact that some believers don’t know and why some believers live a frustrated defeated life: The same awesome power that raised Jesus from the dead is working and living on the inside of each believer!! That’s the power to do God’s will for our lives and the same power that will raise each believer from the grave to an eternity with the Father!

Verse 21 – far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Jesus was, is now, and forever will be exalted to the highest conceivable dignity and honor. He’s above any demon, angels, and anything that can be named. Think about that for a moment. Does your affliction, pain, disease, sorrow, grief, have a name? He is above it!

Verse 22 – and He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

Verse 23 – which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Stop letting your circumstances run your life, if you are a believer. Speak forth, by faith, the end result. Keep the negativity from coming out of your mouth no matter what it looks life. You, as a believer, have the same power that raised Christ from the dead to see miracles through the working of the Holy Spirit!!