When Your Troubles Seem Overwhelming Remember This

Clear Water Moon

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 

Galatians; An Overview

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

To read the book of Galatians click here.  To read this week’s SS lesson click here.

For the Sabbath School lesson phone app. click here.

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

Worship: Revelation 13-14;The Three Angels Message and the Gospel’s Triumph Over Babylon’s Legalsim

Cruise Ship 002I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

The Three Angels’ Messages in Light of the Cross

 

Thoughts on this week’s SS lesson.  Download App. for cell phone here. 

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  Revelation 14:6 

Who is this first angel and who are the three angels? Revelation 1:20 says that the seven stars are the seven angels of the seven churches. So an angel would be like a leader or messenger to a church. Therefore an angel according to Revelation could be extra-terrestrial or terrestrial. I believe the three angels in Revelation 14 are terrestrial and even more specifically they make up the message that the Seventh-day Adventist church has to give to the world. These angels are sent out after the rise of the United States in Revelation 13, so this would also fit the time prophecy. The Seventh-day Adventist church has a very important message to give to the world so let’s see what it is.

 

The first angel has the everlasting gospel. Now don’t all churches have the gospel? Yes they do. Many people will be in the kingdom because a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or Lutheran etc. missionary shared the love of God with them. However, as the book of Revelation changes scenes from the dark ages to the earth being “lightened with His glory” the gospel will be shining brighter than ever before. The brightness of the gospel casts away the shadows of legalism. The everlasting gospel which the Seventh-day Adventist church shares, overcomes the legalism of Babylon as it is filled with grace and the glory of God and not the works of man. It is void of man’s traditions and inventions and shows the love of God more clearly than the gospels presented by most other churches. First of all many churches preach that Jesus died for us then turn around and tell us you don’t really die. If that is the case then Jesus did not die for us. Many churches preach that sinners will be eternally tormented in hell while John 3:16 which is the crux of the gospel says, no, sinners will perish. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, not eternal torment in hell. Its hard to fall in love with a God who has a love me or I’ll kill you or torment you for eternity in hell mentality. While sin and those who cling to it at any cost must perish, God will not be delighting in their eternal torture. The punishment, which is death is eternal, the punishing is not.

 

Many churches focus on the physical torture Jesus endured which was terrible, but do not realize that Jesus endured way more than a six hour pain endurance marathon. Hebrews 2:9 tells us Jesus tasted death for all men. It obviously was not the death of the righteous that He tasted, we all taste that first death for ourselves. Obadiah 16 tells us the wicked will be as though they never were. Jesus faced more than nail scared hands and feet on the cross. He tasted the death of the wicked which means He was facing going into total oblivion and being as though He had never existed. This could be why He was crying out, “My God My God why have You forsaken me” instead of singing hymns of praise while He died like John Huss did. You see, Jesus died a totally different death than John Huss. John Huss died the death of the righteous while he burned at the stake for his faith. Jesus was dying the death of the wicked.

 

Many teach that Jesus saves us in our sins while Matthew 1:21 tells us clearly that Jesus will save us from our sins. We can’t call Jesus a Savior unless He actually saves us, and according to Ephesians 2:1-10 we are saved by grace. What His grace saves us from is our sinful lifestyle.

 

So we see, Seventh-day Adventists not only teach a different day of worship, we teach the fullness of the cross. 

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.  Revelation 14:7

 

This angel is telling us of the judgment which began in 1844. Interestingly the angel says the hour of His judgment has come. What does this mean? It means God is the one being judged! The judgment is not to see if God will accept us, Ephesians 1:6 tells us we are already accepted in Beloved. The judgment is to see if we will accept God. Seventh-day Adventists preach a time of probation, but many do not realize that it is actually God who is on probation. He is being judged by the world. Is God a mean control freak tyrant that Satan makes Him out to be or He is a God of love? Is God a good God or some psychopath saying “love me or I’ll kill you”?

 

Satan first attacked the character of God in heaven. Revelation 12 says there was war in heaven, but not with machine guns and tanks, it was a battle of the minds. Satan wanted God’s power but not his character. I can see Satan playing mind games with the angels. I can see him going up to one of the other angels and saying, “You did a great job on that project God gave you. Did God give you any special recognition for it? He didn’t? Why that’s too bad. You know if I was God I would have thrown a banquet in your honor.” And so Satan started these mind games trying to make the angels believe that he should be God and that God was not a God of love who was interested in their welfare. Satan gets a third of the angels to buy his lie. There may have been some angels who stayed in heaven but were not convinced who was right or wrong, until the cross, where the whole universe saw the true character of Satan who was willing to kill anyone who got in his way of being number one, and the true character of God who was willing to die on a cross and say goodbye to life forever is He could save others.

 

This is why Satan does not want us to understand the everlasting gospel. The everlasting gospel tells the truth about the character of God and the character of Satan. In the hour of His judgment those who clearly understand the everlasting gospel, free of legalism will be able to judge that God is indeed a God of love and accept Him. By the way, when we accept God we accept more than eternal life, we accept God Himself along with all of His righteousness and goodness and power to live a victorious life.

 

The second half of this verse, “: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” reminds us of the language used in the fourth commandment about the Sabbath. Many times we quote the fourth commandment from Exodus 20: 8-11 but let’s take a look at it in this formant from Deuteronomy 5:12-15. “Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and [that] the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” God is reminding Israel that He saved them from the slavery of the Egyptians and that it was not their works that saved them. Likewise God Himself will save us from the slavery of sin, by His grace and not by our works. The Sabbath is clearly a sign that it is God who sanctifies us and not our own works. We see this also in Exodus 31:13. We rest from our works on the Sabbath remembering that our salvation comes from resting our faith in His amazing grace and not in trusting our works to save us.

 

The Sabbath also reminds us of our Ceator whom Satan wants us to forget. If the Sabbath had never been forgotten atheism would never exist. For example we use the sun to mark a year, the moon marks a month and the earth’s rotation marks a day, but what do we have to mark a week? The only thing we have to mark a week by is the creation week which ends with the seventh day Sabbath. So how do atheists explain the seven day week?  During the reign of terror the French tried to do away with the seven day week and replace it with a ten day week. This did not work. The Sabbath reminds us that we have a Creator who did all the work in creating us and that we did not make ourselves by our own works. The Sabbath even more so reminds us that we were redeemed by the works and sacrifice of our Creator and not by our own works.

 

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.  Revelation 14:8

 

Many say that Babylon means confusion. Well it may, but it is not so much confusion about certain doctrines as much as it is about the gospel itself. Legalism mixes our works with God’s grace and it gets confusing. In Galatians 2:20 Paul gives us the pure gospel when he says, “NOT I but Christ.” So many of us want to make it a combination of me plus Christ. Problem is, anytime I make “me” a part of the gospel I have a corrupt gospel because “me” is corrupt. Does this mean doing away with good works? Not at all! It just means realizing that it is God who is working in us and not us. Philippians 2:13

 

Babylon actually means “gate to God” or works, or better yet legalism. Seventh-day Adventists often teach that Babylon is a religious system which it is, but it is more than that, it is an attitude, and attitude that can be found in any system. Babylon is the attitude that I can save myself by my own works. It began with the tower of Babel. Babe meaning gate and El meaning God. At the tower of Babel man decided they could work and build their own way to heaven. They did not think they could trust God to save them from another flood so they decided to build a tower and by their works save themselves. Cain had the attitude of Babylon when he brought the works of his field and offered them as a system of worship while God could only accept Abel’s sacrifice which was a lamb, pointing to the Lamb of God who could only save. Since then man has been presenting his own system of worship and even day of worship thinking he can save himself by inventing his own religion instead of accepting the gospel.

 

Years later Daniel chapter one tells us that God gave Jerusalem into Nebuchadnezzar’s hands, but in Daniel Chapter four Nebuchadnezzar says “is this not Babylon which I have made?” And God says, “No! I made it and gave it to you.” But here is the attitude of Babylon again that it is my works that are saving me. During the dark ages people were taught that their works would save them instead of the gospel. People were taught they could buy and work their way to heaven. They were also given a work day to worship instead of the Sabbath day of rest. So they were like Cain, worshiping their works instead of our Creator and Redeemer. When the everlasting gospel is proclaimed in all its glory Babylon will fall! Man will see that we are not saved by our own religious works and inventions but rather are saved by the grace of God alone!

 

The third angel’s message assures us of the victory of grace over the legalism of Babylon.

 

Christ’s humble servant writes: Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel’s message, in verity.”– The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. {1SM 372.2}

If you are like me, your first glance at the third angel’s message does not make you think of justification by faith. As a matter of fact many people get wrapped up in works over this passage. Let’s take another look and see why Its not about works but rather justification by faith.

 

Revelation 14:9-12 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

 

The beast is the papacy. The mark is Sunday observance as opposed to the seal of God, which is Sabbath observance. The third angel’s message is justification by faith in verity because those who refuse the mark of the beast will not be allowed to buy or sell or do any business to provide for themselves or their families. They will be resting on the Sabbath and not working. Therefore they trust God to provide for them, and not their own works. This is justification by faith. Those who accept the mark so that they can buy and sell are not resting in Jesus or trusting Him to provide for them. Rather they are saying, “I do not trust Jesus to provide for me, so I am accepting the mark so that I can work and provide for myself. This is salvation by works.

 

It is very important to notice that the ones who accept the mark and are trying to be saved by their works are rejecting the cross of Christ. The “cup of His indignation” is the cup that Jesus asked to be passed from Him, in Gethsemane. However, He drank that cup for us, at Calvary. Those who reject the seal of God, and the Sabbath are really rejecting the cross. They say, “I will accept the mark of the beast and provide my own salvation.” When they do this they reject the Salvation provided at Calvary, and instead of letting Jesus drink that cup for them, they must drink it themselves!

 

After all, if you do not trust Jesus enough to provide your daily bread, but rather accept the mark so that you can do business and put bread on the table yourself, how can you trust Him to provide for your eternal salvation? On the other hand, by rejecting the mark (works) and keeping the Sabbath and seal of God we are accepting the cross and justification by faith. Jesus drinks the cup mentioned in the third angel’s message so we don’t have to! We can all exclaim with Abraham at Moriah, “Jehovahjireh” My Lord Will provide!”

 

The third angel’s message is the climax of the battle between faith and works. For centuries man has been taught by tradition to save himself by worshiping a man made religion and even a man made Sabbath which is Sunday. Those who put their faith in Jesus triumph over the legalism of man made religions as they rest their faith in the One who gave all to save them. They cherish His Sabbath which is a sign that we are not saved by works but rather by His amazing grace!

Revelation 20-22; Who Will Wipe The Tears From God’s Eyes?

I am writing today from the dark and stormy Tampa Bay area under a tornado watch.

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; The Second Coming and Thousand Years

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

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.

The Millennium

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

Revelation 18; The Light Of The Cross Wins!

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area. I am sharing this picture I took of the sunrise at Key Largo last December.

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!