A reference made in the video to Acts 2 should have been Acts 10:44.
A reference made in the video to Acts 2 should have been Acts 10:44.
I am writing from the beautiful Tampa Bay area tonight.
This Monday, August 21 when it gets dark in the middle of the day across the United States, keep in mind the sun is 64.3 million times bigger than the moon. While the sun is so huge, we will “let” something relatively tiny get in the way of the sun, and darken our day.
When we face problems that darken our day, we need to remember that God’s love is infinitely greater than our problem. That is even more than 64.3 million times greater! The reason those tiny problems darken our day is because we look at them so closely they block out the sunshine of God’s love.
We can’t stop the moon from eclipsing the earth this Monday, but we can keep our small problems from eclipsing the light of God’s love, by looking at God’s love more closely than we look at those tiny problems.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT
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I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7
In Paul’s day people were already perverting the gospel. How do you pervert the gospel? Put self in it.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Notice the pure gospel that Paul preaches has no self in it. He preaches a “Not I but Christ” gospel. So many people pervert the gospel by adding self. I have heard parents tell their kids, “Do the best you can do, and then when you have done your best Jesus will help you with the rest.” That is a me plus Christ gospel. The gospel is not me plus Christ, it is not I but Christ. Zero me. 100% Christ.
While at an Oklahoma Adventist Camp meeting, ,many moons ago, I heard a minister tell a story. Sorry I don’t remember his name, but I will never forget the story. It went like this. A man was on his way to a breakfast diner. There was one parking space left open by the front door. The man started for the space when he saw a man coming the other way who wanted the same space. The first man’s first reaction was to give it the gas and take the closest spot before the other man got there. But he had yielded himself to Christ that morning, so he let off the gas, let the other guy take the spot while he drove farther down and parked. When he got inside, the second man thanked him for letting him have the closer spot. The first man said, “That was not me.” The second man said well then who was it? The first man said, “It was Jesus. I would have taken the closer parking space!” So you see, whenever we do something right, we can be sure of one thing, it was not me. It was Jesus. Not I but Christ.
We also pervert the gospel when we add self effort, which is legalism by the way, and we also add legalism when we replace God’s law with manmade laws. We also pervert the gospel when we add lies. For example, John 3:16 says the unbeliever will perish, but many tell the lie that they will be tormented for all eternity instead. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, not eternal torment in hell.
We also pervert the gospel when we alter our preaching or worship services to please the ego of man. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Gal 2:16
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:3
These verses make it clear we are not saved by the works of the flesh but by the faith of Jesus. Notice it is not even our own faith that saves us. It is the faith of Jesus!
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:6
Faith does not do away with good works, faith works. It works by love. The legalistic motivation of hoping for a reward or avoiding punishment are gone. We work, but not to get to heaven or stay out of hell. We work because we love Jesus because He first loved us!
[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:16-17
The spirit gives us victory over the flesh. The flesh is legalism. Some have the idea that legalism is where you keep God’s law. The law is a part of the gospel too. The difference is how it is achieved. With legalism we keep the law by our own power for our own glory. With the gospel we keep the law by God’s power for His glory.
Galatians 4 made this clear. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. Galatians 4:22-24
God promised Abraham a son. All Abraham had to do was believe and the son would be born. Some people have told me Abraham still had to do something as this was not a virgin birth. Think about it. Sara’s womb was dead, so it might as well have been a virgin birth. All God needed was Abraham to trust His promise. This is God’s covenant, where we trust His promises. Abraham though set out to make his own covenant based on his own effort and too Hagar to wife. Abraham had to be circumcised so he could cast away the confidence he had in his own flesh. He trusted his own flesh to do that which God promised to do for and through him. ‘
Notice, the end result is still a child being born. The difference is Abraham’s way had self in it. When Abraham learned to trust God’s promise there was fruit and the fruit was real. So today, when we cast away the confidence in our own flesh, we will have fruit. Some think that when we get rid of legalism that we get rid of standards. The gospel does not get rid of standards. It helps us reach those standards, by trusting God instead of the works of the flesh.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:24-26
Again, with the gospel we put away the effort and pride of the flesh and we reap the fruit of the work of the Spirit for the glory of God.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
As I finish reading the book of Revelation, I get excited about the new heaven and the new earth. I can’t wait! While I often think about the second coming and what it means to me, I pause for a moment and wonder what it means to God. Many times I pray for Him to come soon because of the suffering I see and endure in my little corner of the globe. What about God? God does not only suffer with me when I suffer but He suffers with the whole world. He sees the child starving in Africa. He sees the child being abused by the parent and the spouse being mistreated by the other spouse. God sees all the horrific crimes and man’s inhumanity to humanity. I long for the second coming, not to put an end to my suffering, but to put an end to God’s suffering with humanity. I want to see the sin, that hurts my Savior, put away.
I think about God wiping the tears from our eyes, and I wonder, who will wipe the tears from God’s eyes? If I am lost and not in heaven I know He won’t forget me. I will be no more. I will forget Him but He says He will never forget me, even more surely than a mother can’t forget the child she is nursing. Who will wipe the tears from God’s eyes if I am not there? I choose to be there! Not just for myself, but for my God who gave His life and everything for me. Friend, rest assured, your salvation and guarantee of eternal life is something more than I want for you or you even want for yourself. It is what God wants! Be there for Him. He will be there for you!
If you are in the Tampa Bay area and would like someone to study and pray with concerning your salvation please contact me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net or 813-933-7505. If you are not in the Tampa Bay area contact me anyway and I will find someone in your area!
While the Tampa Bay area is usually sunny and beautiful heaven will always be beautiful. I can’t wait!
Revelation 19-20 describes the second coming, and destruction of sin, as well as the destruction of those who persistently rejected God’s saving grace, and stubbornly clung o the sin that destroys them. Revelation 20 plainly reveals to us the truth of the 1,000 years and what exactly will be going on during that time. Many popular theories suggest this will be a time of second chance but that simply is not so, as at the end of the 1,000 years we see the wicked are still wicked. To help us understand the 1,000 years, here is a video by Pastor Rick Kuntz from Maine. Below also is a study on the 1,000 years.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE EARTH WHEN JESUS COMES?
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. Isaiah 24:20
WHAT BECOMES OF THE ISLANDS AND MOUNTAINS?
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Revelation 6:14
HOW DESOLATE WILL THE EARTH BECOME?
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. Jeremiah 4:23-27
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WICKED AT JESUS’ RETURN?
Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:30-33
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RIGHTEOUS AT HIS COMING?
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
NOTE: When Jesus comes the wicked are all slain, the righteous are all taken to heaven, and the earth is left in a desolate state (“without form and void” Jeremiah. 4:23; as a “bottomless pit” Revelation 20:1).
HOW LONG WILL SATAN BE BOUND TO THE EARTH?
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Revelation 20:1-3
WHAT WILL THE RIGHTEOUS DO DURING THIS TIME?
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
WHOM SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS BE JUDGING?
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3
WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT THE RESURRECTION?
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28, 29
WHEN ARE THE WICKED DEAD RAISED?
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:5, 6
WHAT DOES SATAN DO WHEN THE WICKED ARE RAISED?
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. Revelation 20:7, 8
WHAT DESCENDS DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN?
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2
WHAT DOES SATAN ATTEMPT AND WHAT HAPPENS?
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Revelation 20:9
HOW CONSUMING IS THIS FIRE?
But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. Psalm 37:20
WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL OF THE WICKED AT THIS TIME?
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3
WHAT BECOMES OF SATAN?
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. Ezekiel 28:18, 19
WHAT IS THIS FIRE CALLED?
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14
WHAT WILL GOD CREATE FROM THE ASHES?
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10-13
WHAT DID JOHN SEE IN VISION?
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1
WHAT WILL THE NEW EARTH BE LIKE?
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind….And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. Isaiah 65:17, 21-25
WHAT DOES GOD PROMISE?
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:3-5
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Revelation 18:1
This is my favorite verse in all of Revelation! For centuries Satan tries to keep the world in spiritual darkness but he can’t keep away the light of God’s love! After the dark ages, the light of God’s love lights up the whole world! Last Tuesday evening, I walked into our group Bible study that we have each week at Panera Bread. Not only was my study group there, but each week there is another group of people meeting at the same time and place for a Bible study. I got up to get a refill and saw a man at a table studying the Bible too! I thought to myself, what would Martin Luther think, after having to skip meals to study the only Bible he had access to, chained to a wall in a lonely monastery basement, if he could walk into this restaurant tonight and see two different Bible study groups and a man alone, eating and studying the Bible in a public place! What would Martin Luther think, if today he could see that the Bible that was chained to the lonely basement wall is now printed around the world and is also on our computers, laptops, notebooks and cell phones! What a wonderful time to be living! Truly the world is becoming lightened with the glory of God’s love, forgiveness and mercy! Seize the moment my friends! Take out your Bibles that men, during the dark ages, shed their blood to preserve! With great painstaking effort they have made it possible for you to have the Word of God readily available so you can read and see what Satan has worked so hard to keep you from understanding. God is love! And He loves you! If you find it hard to understand, just ask for the same Holy Spirit to help you which also helped them.
Last December I went to the Florida Keys and took this picture of the sun rising on Key Largo. I thought how wonderful that after several hours of darkness, that God lets the sun simply pierce the darkness with the morning star and slight glow before letting the sun suddenly rise with all its glory. Such light all at once would be blinding and not welcomed! God in His infinite wisdom, has allowed each reformer during the dark ages, bring us a piece of God’s light and love one by one so as not to blind us all at once. Still, God in His own perfect timing, after the dark ages, lights up the whole world with His glory and love! As I stood that dawn, watching the light pierce the Atlantic Ocean, I could not help but remember Isaiah 11:9, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Yes we are living in an exciting time, and when I walk into Panera Bread and see people studying their Bibles, I think to myself, this can only be good!
If you would like to join a Bible study group in the Tampa Bay area please let me know! You can contact me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net or 813-933-7505. New study groups are starting all the time! I even have a second study group now meeting at Panera on late Friday afternoons as well as the one I have on Tuesdays. If you are not in the Tampa Bay area call me anyway and I will find a Bible study in your area!