Prophecy - 3

Matthew 24:21   For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.


The tribulation period – According to Daniel there are yet seven years that are unfulfilled in God’s direct dealings with Israel (Dan 9:24-27). This also included Jerusalem which is a thorn for many people. Jews, Christians and Muslims all consider this city to be important in their beliefs. Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. God has predicted that Jerusalem will be a burden to people (Zech 12:2-3). The Six Day War was a pivotal point in history regarding prophecy. Until that time Jerusalem was in the hands of Muslims but now it has been captured by the Jews. Even though it is under Jewish control the Mosque of Omar still resides on the temple mount making it difficult to re-build the Jewish temple. Prophecy concerning the anti-Christ confirms that the temple will be re-built at that time (Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15).


The battle of Armageddon as well at the battle in Ezek 38 & 39 will take place around Jerusalem. The re-building

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Prophecy - 2

Daniel 9:24   Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.


The tribulation period – According to Daniel there are yet seven years that are unfulfilled in God’s direct dealings with Israel (Dan 9:24-27). This also included Jerusalem which is a thorn for many people. Jews, Christians and Muslims all consider this city to be important in their beliefs. Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. God has predicted that Jerusalem will be a burden to people (Zech 12:2-3). The Six Day War was a pivotal point in history regarding prophecy. Until that time Jerusalem was in the hands of Muslims but now it has been captured by the Jews. Even though it is under Jewish control the Mosque of Omar still resides on the temple mount making it difficult to re-build the Jewish temple. Prophecy concerning the anti-Christ confirms that the temple will be re-built at that time (or

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Prophecy - 1

Daniel 12:8-9 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.


            The study of prophecy is very interesting and challenging. There are many people interested in it – because we want to know the future (at least we think we do). If there is sorrow, problems, death, disease, etc. in our future often we try to avoid it if we know it. You often hear people say, “If I only knew . . .”

            Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of Christ – whose birth we just celebrate – and in some of those prophecies they also predicted Him as a coming King. Isaiah said, Isaiah 9:6-7  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the

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God's mercies are fresh every day

(Lam 3:21-26)  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. {22} It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. {23} They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. {24} The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. {25} The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. {26} It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.


      Many people make “New Year’s Resolutions” to make changes in their life – whether it be to lose weight, be more kind, be more productive or whatever they resolve to do. So few ever follow through with these resolutions and the shame of it is that they wait until the next year to proceed any further.

      Jeremiah says that the mercies of God and new every morning. We do not have to wait until the next New Year to receive them. This has a type in the manna that God fed the nation of Israel while they wandered in the wilderness on their way to the Promised

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Christmas: Time to celebrate

Luke 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.


Christmas is a celebration, that’s why we say Merry Christmas – it is Jesus’ birthday. Ironically, most Christmas celebrations ignore the Person whose birthday it is. He’s often overlooked or merely mentioned along with Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, the Grinch, elves or other fictional characters.

  1. What do we celebrate?

            Most people celebrate things other than Jesus -- a Christmas bonus, we survived another year, got all my shopping done, being home for Christmas, my candidate was elected, or numerous other reasons, but too often Jesus is not one of them.

The first purpose of Christmas is to celebrate Luke 2:10

            There are three reasons to celebrate:

  1. UNTO YOU – this is personal. Salvation is not an “in mass” type of occurrence. It is a very personal and individual thing. This does not mean that we make our own way of salvation, but God deals with us individually and personally. He works on us as individuals to ring us into His family.
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Our faithful Lord

2 Thessalonians 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.


Many attributes

            Christ has many wonderful attributes and qualities, not the least of which is faithfulness. He is trustworthy and believable to do all that He has promised to do. He will keep us from the evil one and being overcome by evil (1 Cor 10:13) as we keep our self in His will and way.

            We have all gone astray and into sin and have ignored and forgotten Him, so why would He do this? Why does He care for us so?


He is our Creator

            He has created us and formed with a specific purpose in mind (Isa 43:7) and He does not desire that we live on a lower plain of life. He told Israel He had created and formed tem also (Isa 43:1). God has created man for His glory – and made man in His own image and gave him dominion over the rest of creation. It is sadness to God when any of His created beings goes away from Him and denies Him, so He loves us and because He is our

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Our ability

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


Paul’s postscript

      Paul has just finished his thanks to the Philippians for their gift and proclaimed his independence from situations controlling his life.  He explained that he learned how to be content in all and every situation by the experiences of his past.  Paul then makes the statement of our text, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me. It is a statement of triumph and also humility at the same time. It is one of those Christians paradoxical truths to rejoice, to make our boast and yet be humble and lowly. (Gal 6:14 and let every man glory in Christ). We are to boast only in the Lord.

      Paul is not saying that he can do all things by himself, but that he is enabled to do all things through the power of Christ. – I am strong in all things in Christ Who infuses strength into me.

      Paul said he came to the instruction of the previous verses through experience, logical reasoning of his Christian faith, and cultivating a personal and intimate knowledge of Christ. His

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Open doors

Colossians 4:3-4   Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.


Paul’s prayer

      Paul asked the believers at Colossae to pray for him that God would open doors for him to give his testimony and share the gospel with many others. Paul knew from experience that it was the Lord Who opened doors for him (2 Cor 2:12). The purpose of an open door is to enable us to preach/testify of the gospel and to speak the mystery of God to those who do not know or have never heard. In the Revelation, John writes that it is the Lord who opens and closes doors (Rev 3:7). Paul indicates that door of opportunity are answers to prayer, not human devices.


Criteria for open doors

      Jesus told the church of Philadelphia that there were three criteria that brought about the open door by the Lord (Rev 3:8).

1) Thou hast a little strength – it is not through our

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(1 Th 5:18)  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

      This command seems too difficult for us today who live in the prosperity of God’s blessings upon us. We are too often complainers and whiners; not people who give thanks – especially “in everything!” I have heard people say that God does not really want or expect us to fulfill this verse literally – He is just expressing an exaggeration. But God does expect this of us just as He expected it from others in the past and, might I add, who did just that.

      Thanksgiving is one of those purely religious holidays that the world tries to ignore, by-pass or exploit. But it exists today established by former generations as a wholly religious and spiritual day. It is to be a day of giving thanks to God for His blessings, protection and sustaining grace upon our nation and its people.

      We do not give thanks in everything today because we have been beguiled by liberal politicians and media to believe that we really deserve all the “free stuff” the government hands out to so many. We

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Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.


Man of faith

      Noah is listed with the hall of famers who were noted for their faith. Noah faced a huge task in building the ark in a day of no electricity or power tools. He also had faith to believe God that it would rain when it had never rained before that time (Gen 2:5-6). He probably had to coin a new word that meant water coming down from the sky. Noah had faith in God to believe in something that God told him without being explained in detail.

      Noah accepted the program of God and the details of the great ship he was to build. We know little about Noah’s occupation. It may be assumed that he knew something about carpentry and working with wood. The task was very great, but there is no indication that he complained or questioned God over it.


Man of God


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Jesus and Nicodemus

John 3:1-2  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.


The background

     This may have been the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He enters Jerusalem at the feast of Passover and enters the temple and thrusts out those who bought and sold (Jn 2:13-16). The Pharisees ask for a sign for His actions and He responded about destroying His body and He will raise it up in three days. Upon His entry into Jerusalem a number made profession of belief in Him but Jesus would not make any commitment to them because they were only superficial. Among those who witnessed these events was probably Nicodemus.



      The first two verses of chapter three tells us a few things about him.

  1. He was a Pharisee. Today we have a bad view of them because of Jesus’ denouncing them and their ways. But they were the religious and respected class of people
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God's names

Exodus 3:13-14  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.


Three primary names:

      There are multiple names for God but they are usually a combination of the three primary names for God. Those names are: Elohim, Jehovah and Adonai.

      Elohim -- means “Mighty One” and is a uni-plural name. It is plural in form but singular in meaning and verb usage, suggesting the uni-plural nature of the triune Godhead, appearing in most English translations as “God”. It is most often used when worldwide events or attributes are discussed, including creation, judgment, sovereignty, transcendence and salvation.

      Jehovah – means “the self-existing One”, and appears as LORD in English translations. It stresses God’s holiness, nearness, and concern for man, hatred of sin, love of sinners and His revelatory nature and

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Moses and God

Exodus 3:1-4  Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.


A goodly child:

     When Moses was born his mother must’ve had a sense of God’s hand upon her because the word says, “she saw he was a goodly child”. Goodly means: pleasant, of a higher nature. In Heb 11:23 it says he was a proper child. Proper means: of the city; of polished manners. His parents hid him from Pharaoh for three months and then placed him

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Philippians 4:5  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

What is moderation?

      When we say the word moderation we usually think of restraint in areas of living such as food, work, exercise and numerous other activities. But the word means more properly seeming suitable, equitable, fair mild and gentle. In 1 Tim 3:3 it is translated patient and in Titus 3:2 it is translated gentle. In James 3:17 it is given a broad sweeping definition of wisdom that is from above translating as gentle. All these give us the idea of fair and equitable.

      While restraint in our daily living is important and necessary for our physical well being, the moderation Paul speaks about is related to our character in our spiritual nature and important in our soul wellness.


Three aspects:

      Our moderation (gentleness, fairness and equitableness) are an important part of our spiritual make up or make over. Prior to salvation/sanctification we may not exhibit these qualities, but they are part of our spiritual nature subsequent to conversion. Many people are fair and equitable  and even gentle before conversion, but this quality is something God

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Rooted and built up

Colossians 2:7

Establishing roots:

            When a seed fall into the ground there have to be favorable conditions for it to begin a root system. There must be a certain amount of moisture, good soil and sun light. There must also be needed nutrients in the ground as well for it to continue. Jesus gave the parable of the sower and seed and told us what it is that prevents people from becoming established – no interest, shallow soil and too much involvement in the world. Jeremiah and Hosea tell us that we need to break up the fallow ground and seek the Lord (Jer 4:3; Hos 10:12). Breaking up the ground allows moisture to soak down around the roots and also breaks up hindrances to good growth.

          The things that make for good roots are:

  1. Love (Eph 3:17-19). The Scripture tells us to have love for God, His word and the brethren. Jesus said that love for God is the greatest command and loving our neighbor is the second greatest command. Paul tells us that love is the greatest gift and even though we may have multiple other gifts and abilities yet if we
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The Holy Spirit

John 15:26-27  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.


Necessity of the Holy Spirit:

Some Christians over emphasize the work of the Spirit and others under emphasize His work and ministry. Scripturally speaking no one can be saved without the work of the Spirit (Jn 6:44; Jn 3:3, 5-8; Tit 3:5). He is constantly working in the lives of God’s children to bring them into the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He is in the world and also works in the lives and on the lives of the unconverted.


His ministry to the world:

            Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would act upon the world in a three-fold manner (Jn 16:8-11). Reprove means to convince, bring to light; the suggestion of bringing shame to one exposed; to expose a fault. He acts as God’s Agent to draw us into a personal consciousness of our sin, Christ’s righteousness and the absolute certainty of

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Minds and hearts kept

Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


Happiness and joy

            God does not want His children to be mule faced about serving Him. It is also Paul’s desire for us to be rejoicing in our Christian experience (Phil 4:4). We often see this theme in the New Testament teachings – exhortations to be overcomers. Even in the Old Testament passages speak of overcoming circumstances through God (Psa 3:5; 4:8). People do not want to hear what we have to say about our faith if it does not keep us through the difficult times of life. Do we get stressed out? Can we sleep well? Is the joy of the Lord our strength?


Paul’s exhortation

      Be careful for nothing – don’t be anxious or full of care. It means anxiety or harassing care, nervous solicitude, brooding over the matter. Jesus taught that we are not to take thought for certain items. It has the same meaning as

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The Mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:16   For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.


The mind of man

      The Bible mentions several aspects of the mind – reprobate mind (Ro 1:28), carnal mind (Ro 8:7) and a defiled mind (Tit 1:15). It speaks of those who “walk in the vanity of their mind” and “blindness of the mind” (Eph 4:17-18).

      When a person is born again he/she becomes a new creature in Christ and begins the work and life of renewing their mind so that they might not follow the world’s way of living (Ro 12:1-2).


Knowing the mind of the Lord

      Paul echoed the same thing in Ro 11:34 probably quoting from Isa 40:13 when he wrote it. It is an interesting question very much different from us today who can literally know what another is thinking – husbands and wives.

      There are many aspects to God’s infinite mind, but the key is undoubtedly the attribute of sacrificial love (Phil 2:5-6, 8). So following His example we should be of

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Man of God

1 Timothy 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.


Man or woman of God:

      The expression “man of God” appears 78 times in the Bible with only two occurrences in the New Testament, both of these are by Paul to Timothy the other being in 2 Timothy 3:17.  In the Old Testament it is used often of prophets or those sent by God for His work. Sometimes they are named and other times they are simply called the man of God. The first occurrence is in reference to Moses (Deut. 33:1) and often throughout the Old Testament he is called man of God. David is called man of God in Neh 12:24. In Judges when an angel appears to Manoah and his wife about Samson, he is called a man of God.


Qualities of a man or woman of God:

            Moses being called a man of God was a great leader and the law giver to Israel. He was also said to be the meekest man (Num 12:3). David being called a man of God is said to be

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The man at the pool

John 5:1-5  After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.


Pool of healing:

     The pool was called Bethesda or House of Mercy, a place where sheep were probably kept and where the impotent gathered in hope of receiving a healing. None of those around this pool would be permitted to attend the worship at the temple because of their sickness, disease or whatever their physical impotency was with which they were afflicted. Some versions do not include this verse saying that certain manuscripts do not include it and feel that it was added as an

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