Friday, May 30, 2014

They Took No Oil - Matthew 25:2-4

Matthew 25:2-4 ESV 
Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.

The oil of faith and obedience is necessary to make one wise. The fool in Scripture typically is the person without God. A person without the presence of the Spirit in their life is as a person without God, for God is Spirit. 

It is the Spirit which enables fruit in our lives. Believing is more than a thought. It is in being the light. For the light to be present, the oil of the Spirit is necessary. 

Jude 1:5
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Took Their Lamps - Matthew 25:1

Matthew 25:1 ESV 
 “ Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.

The ten virgins may be seen as representing Israel. They are not the bride but are invited to the wedding. They are bridesmaids, just as John the Baptist was not the groom but a groomsman. 

Many will be invited to the marriage supper though every will not attend. The message applies to the body of Christ which is still on the earth when He returns. We must endure to the end. 

He walks among the lamp stands in the letters to the church in Revelation. Those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and remain true to His calling will be joined with Him on that wedding day. 

The word translated as "lamps" in the ESV includes the nuances of torches, light, and illumination. It is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. 

The virgins are vessels of light which work only when they contain the oil of the Spirit. It takes the fire of the sacrifice of Jesus and the flame of His word to ignite with the oil of His Spirit to manifest that light. There must be oil in the lamp. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

True Worshippers - John 4:21-24

John 4:21-24 ESV 
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

True worship is not bound by the restraints of time and place. Spirit and truth are beyond the restrictions of the natural and the traditions of man. It is entering into a relationship with God on His terms, in spirit and truth. It happens in the heart and flows out into the world. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Be Weeping - Matthew 24:48-51

Matthew 24:48-51 ESV 
But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When we fail to keep our eyes on Jesus, facing the light to lead us in the way, we run the risk of being dulled in our vision to the expectation of His return. We might nod off into the sleep from which we were awakened when we were made alive in Christ. 

Once again we encounter the teaching of a servant of Christ that loses his way and loses his salvation. One may argue as to whether this person was saved in the first place. Either way the end is the same. 

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Monday, May 26, 2014

When He Comes- Matthew 24:45-47

Matthew 24:45-47 ESV 
“ Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

Enduring to the end is more than just believing, but entails living the life He has so graciously given us. That life is in the light of His word. His words are the substance of life, the manna from heaven which sustains us in the wilderness of this world. Our lives must reflect our Lord for us to be blessed. 

We who are in the body of Christ will reign with Him. 

Revelation 3:21
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

2 Timothy 2:12-13
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
 if we deny him, he also will deny us;
 if we are faithless, he remains faithful —
for he cannot deny himself.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Number - Revelation 13:18

Revelation 13:18 ESV 
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man:His number is 666.

This number of the beast may be related to the three series of seven known as the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls in Revelation which characterize and summarize the unfolding of God's wrath in these latter days. 

The sixth event may be associated with the presence of the beast. This is supported with the realization that the seals, trumpets, and bowls are different expressions of the same unfolding event. 

The beast will appear before the seventh seal is opened, before the seventh trumpet is blown, and before the seventh bowl is emptied. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Field Of Dreams - Matthew 13:44

Matthew 13:44 ESV 
 “ The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

It is with great joy we hide the word in our hearts. There the warmth of its light as it becomes a delight and lamp to our feet. 

We sell all we have by dying to self on our own cross. We trade our earth for an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God. It is the field of dreams. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Is Christ

The holy grail is Christ. 

The fountain of youth is Christ. 

The answer to the question is Christ. 

A Sword - Matthew 10:34-36

Matthew 10:34-36 ESV 
Not Peace, but a Sword
 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter- in- law against her mother- in- law. And a person 's enemies will be those of his own household.

A startling statement from the Prince of Peace! There is nothing inclusive between the kingdom of God and the world. They are as different as night and day, as darkness and light. 

Jesus came to call for us to leave the world and enter the kingdom of life, though we remain on this earth for now. If we make peace with God, we lose our peace with the world. One cannot be friends of the world and be a friend of God. 

God loved us when we were yet unlovely and proved it on the cross. He came way more than halfway to reconcile us with the sword of His mouth. That word will set us free. 

Stay Awake - Matthew 24:40-42

Matthew 24:40-42 ESV 
Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

A basic theme in the New Testament is accepting and keeping faith in The Lord. We have been made awake, that is made alive, in Christ. It can be a challenge though. Just ask those disciples that fell asleep as Jesus prayed in the garden, or the virgins with no oil in their lamps when the bridegroom appeared. 

Two can believe, but one will be chosen. Stay awake with your eyes on the light and you will see Him when He comes. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Until The Day - Matthew 24:38-39

Matthew 24:38-39 ESV 
For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Those around Noah were caught unaware despite the example and preaching of this man of God. Though exposed to the truth they dismissed any word from this man crazy enough to build a boat where and when it was not needed. Certainly Noah was a foolish man!

This was the way it was until the day the flood came and swept them all away. 

When the Son of Man returns, He will flood the world with His righteousness and majesty. The unrighteous will be swept away and the righteous shall come to rest on Mt Zion. There on that holy mountain they will find eternal rest in the presence of The Lord. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No One Knows - Matthew 24:36

Matthew 24:36 ESV 
 “ But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

If we knew when He was coming back, would this change the way we act?
What might our answer reveal about our walk?

Many have announced a date for the return of Christ even though Jesus said no one  knows or can know. To say you know is to say you don't believe Jesus. 

There is not much to say after that. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This Generation - Matthew 24:34-35

Matthew 24:34-35 ESV 
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

This generation is not referring to the single life of a man, but the age of the old man that precedes the new man, a new creature born of the Spirit. The new creation has begun, a work started in the believer and will be finished as He has spoken. He is faithful to His word, as His word faithfully and truly reveals the God that fashioned us from the mud of the earth. 

Heaven and earth are passing away, even as the first fruits of a new creation have come life in our hearts. The old was preparation for the new. The new was what He had in mind all along. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

He Is Near - Matthew 24:32-33

Matthew 24:32-33 ESV 
 “ From the fig tree learn its lesson:as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

Jesus compares the signs He has given to an example in nature of a predictable flow and order of things. There is a predictable flow and order to the progression of events in all of creation. He will be at the end, just as He was in the beginning. 

He is near, very near. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Loud Trumpet Call - Matthew 24:31

Matthew 24:31 ESV 
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Jesus will gather the church, but He will also gather Israel from the four corners of the world. A trumpet will sound as He makes a royal command calling Israel home. The church will meet Him the air, but Israel will meet Him in Jerusalem. There they will come into inheritance of the promised land and will at last fully become God's people. 

Isaiah 27:13
And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Daniel 7:2
Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.

Deuteronomy 30:4-6
If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Coming In The Clouds - Matthew 24:30

Matthew 24:30 ESV 
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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.

The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign that He was the Messiah. He responded with the sign of Jonah which pointed to Him. This is a different sign. It is not an oblique foreshadowing of something to come, but a direct result of something taking place. Instead of a shadow of things to come, we will view the majesty and light that is the glory of The Lord. 

There will be many who mourn as they see at last the light of the world. 

The clouds of heaven might refer to a heavenly host, or the clouds traditionally associated with the divine. Either way, it will be a Magnificent sight!

Zechariah 12:10
 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

After The Tribulation - Matthew 24:29

Matthew 24:29 ESV 
 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

We see in this passage that there is tribulation before the great tribulation. Jesus said up front that the signs He provided were but the beginning of the trials that would take place before the end. It is after these things that the light is taken away. 

This might be an indication that the children of the light, that is the church inhabited by the Holy Spirit, will be removed and its restraining effect on Satan and his world will cease. 

After this tribulation, the great tribulation will follow. As Christ faced tribulation during His time on earth, so it is with His followers. Israel faces its own tribulation resulting from the rejection of their God. Revelation 4 forward finalizes the story of how God will make a new creation using the people of Israel. This is the great tribulation that faces Israel and the unbelieving world. It will be a time of darkness and woe. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Corpse - Matthew 24:28

Matthew 24:28 ESV 
Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Where there is death, vultures thrive. Those that follow the enemies of God are as dead men walking. Their fate is sealed in death, while those who have chosen life are sealed with the Holy Spirit. 

Those who oppose God will receive the penalty for their sin. They will join a feast that will be quite different from the wedding feast of the righteous. 

Revelation 19:17-19
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

So Shall Be The Coming - Matthew 24:23-27

Matthew 24:23-27 ESV 
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ! ’ or ‘There he is! ’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

We will know Christ upon His return because we will see the light which will shine on the whole earth, the very light of the world. You will not have to be directed to His presence, but will be drawn to the light of His righteousness. 

When He comes, those alive on the earth and made alive by the Holy Spirit will rise to meet Him in the air.  We will not have to look for Him. He will be coming for us. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Who Are Pregnant - Matthew 24:17-19

Matthew 24:17-19 ESV 
Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!

Jesus warns them against trying to take anything with them as they flee the coming destruction. Don't look back as Lot's wife did. Do not cling to any aspect of the old life which may burden or slow one down. 

Why are pregnant women singled out among the weak and frail? The Greek word "οὐαί" is variously translated as alas or woe. This may imply more than a surface reading would communicate. These women may serve as a type representing those who have had intercourse with the world and nurture the resulting offspring. They have been found with child when they have should have been found as virgins instead of waiting for their husband to be. 

This passage may warn of the danger of being too comfortable with the world and giving one's self to that world instead of God. 

οὐαί * ouai * oo-ah'ee * A primary exclamation of grief;  (CWS Bible)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sake Of The Elect - Matthew 24:22

Matthew 24:22 ESV 
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Israel is still the focus and the elect of God. Their disobedience made way for the church. The church does not displace the elect. Instead, it issues forth from the stump of the tree that is the legacy and light of God's chosen vessel of revelation. We are grafted into the tree of salvation and blossom in the branch of Judah. 

They will once again say, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of The Lord".

Isaiah 65:8-9
Thus says the Lord:
 “As the new wine is found in the cluster,
and they say, ‘Do not destroy it,
for there is a blessing in it,’
so I will do for my servants 'sake,
 and not destroy them all.
 I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,
and from Judah possessors of my mountains;
my chosen shall possess it,
and my servants shall dwell there.

Zechariah 13:8-9
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
 and one third shall be left alive.
 And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
 They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
 I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God. ’”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Great Tribulation - Matthew 24:20-21

Matthew 24:20-21 ESV 
Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

Sabbath is the day of rest. Tribulation on that day would be in stark contrast to the peace of Sabbath. Winter would be a unfriendly season for travel. 

A great tribulation awaits Jerusalem. We may be unsure of the time, but there is no doubt to the certainty of it happening. The culmination and outpouring of God's wrath will be of an unprecedented magnitude. 

They will know He is God. 

Daniel 12:1-2
 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Ezekiel 5:9
And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Flee To The Mountains - Matthew 24:15-16

Matthew 24:15-16 ESV 
 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place ( let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

In Exodus, God stood with His people in the wilderness. In the middle of that desolation God made a holy place. Here we see the opposite take place. The wicked and unclean of the wilderness appears in the holy place. 

The holy place is only the residue of what it used to be. God made the temple holy with His presence, but He abandoned the temple after Israel abandoned Him. 

Where God is not, there the Devil finds a way in. This only leads to desolation. 

Those in Judea are told to flee to the mountains, for those days signal destruction. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

To The End - Matthew 24:13-14

Matthew 24:13-14 ESV 
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The subject of the end figures prominently in this passage. The current world will not always continue in its fallen state. In time we will reach the bottom. The end may not be in immediate sight, but we can see that it is coming. It is during this time we are called to endure and to keep the word of good news. In keeping the word we actually testify to its truth to all nations. 

If we keep the faith to the end, we will not come to an end, but the beginning because we will be with God and that is where it starts. 

In the beginning God...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Judges Me - 1 Corinthians 4:4

1 Corinthians 4:4 NIV 
My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

Our conscience may be clear, but we are not innocent. How can this be?

It is the Lord's doing. Though we are sinners, He has washed us clean in the blood of His sacrifice. Even if our conscience condemns us, He is greater than our hearts or conscience. There is a freedom in The Lord which binds us in His love. 

The stain of death was upon us, but we are now written in the book of life. The Lord has judged us and we delight in His mercy. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Will Grow Cold - Matthew 24:10-12

Matthew 24:10-12 ESV 
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Falling away from the love of God is a real and present danger. From the parable of the seeds to the letter to the Ephesians in Revelation, we are warned of this possibility.

Most anyone would agree that lawlessness has and continues to increase the further we move away from God. Distancing ourselves from the warmth of God's love will guarantee the possibility of being left out in the cold. 

Mark 4:17
And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You Will Be Hated - Matthew 24:9

Matthew 24:9
“ Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name 's sake.

Tribulation for His name's sake began immediately after the giving of the Holy Spirit. The world hates the Spirit that was in Jesus and is in the believer. It is something foreign and contrary to the darkness it finds so comfortable. 

This is in sharp contrast to the love that seeks to save that very world. Love is the visible sign of those that seek God. Hate is the visible sign of the enemies of God. 

What is the sign of your life?

Luke 21:16-19
You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name 's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Luke 6:22-23
“ Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.