Saturday, May 6, 2017

Top 7 Bible Verses About Rapture or the Rapture




What are my top 7 Bible verses about the Rapture or Christ’s return?

First Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

The Greek word for “caught up” is “harpaz┼Ź” and means “to seize, to carry off by force” or “to snatch away.”  Someone who was kidnapped could be said to be caught up or snatched away by force and so this is the Lord’s doing however it is not done against our will because those who have repented and put their trust in Christ have by their own freewill chosen to believe in Him (John 3:16).  I think Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians to reassure them about those who had already died and they feared that they would miss the Lord’s return or miss out on the kingdom.  Paul expressly wrote this to reassure them that the Lord wouldn’t miss any of His when He returns; therefore Paul wanted them to “encourage one another with these words” that he wrote.

First Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

This will be hard to miss because when Christ returns again, He “will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel” so this won’t be something that believers will have to worry about missing.  His voice will be accompanied with “the trumpet of God” and those who are departed in the faith “will rise first” and then we’ll join them into the entrance of the eternal kingdom of God and that joy will be unparalleled in all of our lives and in human history.

Titus 2:13 “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Today, those who are in Christ are “waiting for our blessed hope” and that blessed hope is “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Our waiting is not in vain because Jesus promised to come again and there is no doubt that He will (John 14:3).  That is why this hope is so “blessed” because it encourages us to endure what we go through in this life and that someday, this will all be behind us and like Paul wrote “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:18-19).

John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, you may be also.”

Jesus at this very moment is preparing a place for you and me. He has been preparing this place for us since the day we were saved so that when He returns He’ll receive us and where He is, we will be.  This place is to descend out of heaven as the New Jerusalem which will then be our place.  Since He has prepared or is preparing a place for us and that He will receive us to Himself at that place, we should “rejoice that [our] names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
Bible Verses About Rapture

Matthew 24:30-31 “ 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.  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.”

Christ will gather those who are His someday.  They are the elect of God.  Notice that those who Jesus is speaking about are “his” meaning that they are those who have believed in Christ and put their trust in Him.  There is no doubt that the Son of Man refers to Jesus Christ.  The Son of Man is frequently used when it is speaking about God for the Son of Man is tied to a supernatural being called God.  You can read about this in Daniel 7:13-14.  Ezekiel used the term Son of Man 93 times and it was sometimes a reference to Ezekiel’s humanity but since Christ is God and Man, the Son of Man in capital letters makes it a proper noun and clearly refers to none other than Jesus Christ.

First Corinthians 15:51-53 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”

Paul was trying to uncover this mystery that had been hidden and that is that not every one of us will be at sleep at Christ’s return.   Paul is not talking about a soul sleep but if you read the context of this chapter and the use of the word “sleep” it obviously means those who have died.  Paul is telling the church that not every one of us will be sleeping (or dead) when Christ returns but we will be changed instantaneously or in the twinkling of an eye.  The dead will rise first and then those of us who are alive at Christ’s return will be changed and we’ll all put on immortality.

Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

The older I get, the more I look forward to the day that “our lowly body [is] to be like his glorious body” and that this transformation will give us new bodies that never grow tired, never get sick, never feel pain, and will never die again.  That’s because “our citizenship is in heaven” and that is a citizenship that will never be revoked.

Conclusion

Whether you believe in the rapture or not is not the important issue.  What is important is that you decide today, if you haven’t already done so, to place your trust in Christ because “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD” (Jer 17:7) “For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be put to shame” (Rom 10:11).

THE HARPAZO OF THE CHURCH, CAUGHT UP WITH JESUS


Harpazo (har-pad'-zo) is the Greek word which the New Testament translators have rendered as "caught up""I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up [Greek, harpazo] to the Third Heaven"(2Corinthians 12:2). "Rapture" is taken from an obsolete French word, which means "abduction" or "to carry off". Though Greek scholars may refrain from using "rapture" to translate "harpazo", it is not a wresting of Scripture for the honest Christian to see the connection between the two. "According to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29).


Some Background

Many honest-hearted Saints have never read Hal Lindsay's popular paperback, "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970), never have listened to a Bible teacher expound from J. Dwight Pentecost's study in Biblical Eschatology, "Things to Come" (1958), or have never examined a copy of Dave Hunt's more contemporary paperback, "Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist" (1990), but the "rapture" word has found it's way into the popular vocabulary of Professed Evangelical Christianity. 
"After this I looked, and, behold, a Door was opened in Heaven: and the First Voice which I heard was as it were of a Trumpet talking with me; which said, Come Up Hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Revelation 4:1). Even the dictionary suggests that "rapture" may be defined as the "transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to Heaven" (from the American Heritage Dictionary)"And they heard a Great Voice from Heaven saying unto them, Come Up Hither. And they ascended up to Heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them" (11:12).

It should not surprise even the newest searcher of Bible Prophecy, that even those who believe in a Rapture, have many and various positions as to the timing of the event, i.e., Pre-Tribulational Rapture, Mid-Tribulational Rapture, Pre-Wrath Rapture, Post-Tribulational Rapture, etc. Differences also exist as to the subjects of the Rapture (who will be raptured), i.e., anyone who has been Born Again (backslidden or not), or only those who are walking in obedience. Some even believe that there will be more than one Rapture. Though it may seem laughable to skeptics to note such a variety of Rapture positions, the LORD inspired the Apostle Paul to record that the integrity of our faith is based upon what we have been persuaded is true.
 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Romans 14:5). And, the integrity of our faith is vital to our very Christian existence, as witnessed by Abraham's believing of God to give him a promised son in his old age. "And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform" (4:21).

Nearly 50 years ago, J. Dwight Pentecost wrote:

"The present age, in respect to the true church, terminates with the translation of the church into the Lord's presence. The doctrine of the translation of the church is one of the major considerations of the Eschatology of the New Testament (John 14:1-3; 2 Thess. 2:1; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 1:8; 15:51-52; Phil. 3:20-21; 2 Cor. 5:1-9). It is one of the questions on which Bible students are most in disagreement at the present time. Interpreters of the premillenial school [that Christ would return before a thousand year period known as the Millennium] are divided into such camps as the partial rapturist, who raises the issue of the subjects of the rapture, and the pretribulationist, midtribulationist and posttribulationist, who raise the issue of the time of the rapture in relation to the tribulation period" ("Things to Come", p. 156).
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).


Harpazo: Caught Up

Without debating the timing of the Rapture, the subjects of the Rapture, or the number of Raptures... the Scripture is unequivocal about the concept of the Rapture.
 "16For 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: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up [Greek, harpazo] together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD" (1Thessalonians 4:16-17). This reference to the Resurrection of the Just is found in conjunction with a definite Rapture event. In addition to this reference, the Apostle Paul mentions his experience of being "caught up [Greek, harpazo] into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2Corinthians 12:4), using the word "harpazo" twice (12:2, 4). Also, "harpazo" is translated "caught up" in the Revelation, when describing the Ascension of the LORD Jesus Christ back into Heaven after His Resurrection. "And she brought forth a Man Child, Who was to rule all nations with a Rod of Iron: and her Child was caught up [Greek, harpazo] unto God, and to His Throne" (Revelation 12:5).


Harpazo: A Word Study

In addition to the four times that "harpazo" is translated as 
"caught up" (in the King James Version), there are nine other verses in which the Greek word "harpazo" is found in the New Testament. The LORD Jesus used "harpazo" to describe the ministry of John the Baptist. Even while in prison, Jesus compared the ministry of John the Baptist as godly "violence", and John as "violent" with his ministry of "force""And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force [Greek, harpazo]" (Matthew 11:12). Seizing something by force is part of the meaning of "harpazo". It does mean that the LORD will forcibly take His people Home, whether they know, have been taught, understand, or even honestly-but-ignorantly disagree with the Rapture concept. "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).

In the Parable of the Sower 
(Matthew 13:1-23), the LORD described the Seed, which is the "Word of the Kingdom" (13:19), i.e., the Word of God, falling into four kinds of ground:
  • (1) the evangelized-but-lost world: "by the way side" (13:4), which are those who "heareth the Word of the Kingdom, and understandeth it not" (13:19),
  • (2) those who confess to any kind of Christianity: "stony places" (13:5), which "dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended" (13:21),
  • (3) the even better taught, but still not saved professedly Evangelical Christians: "among thorns" (13:7), but the "thorns sprung up, and choked them" (13:7), and
  • (4) the True Saints: "good ground" (13:8), who "brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold" (13:8).
Describing the vast majority who "heareth the Word of the Kingdom, and understandeth it not" (13:19), Satan "catcheth away [Greek, harpazo] that which was sown in his heart" (Matthew 13:19). The events surrounding the Rapture are by stealth to the ungodly, i.e., the "Day of the LORD so cometh as a thief in the night" (1Thessalonians 5:2), but not to the Godly. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (5:4).

"Harpazo" is used to describe the great multitudes of people who were ready to 
"come and take Him [Jesus] by force [Greek, harpazo], to make Him a king" (John 6:15). Though they had the base design of wanting to force Jesus to be their benefactor for selfish reasons, it does remind us that the LORD will take His own by force for His own pleasure. "Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created"(Revelation 4:11). It is the pleasure of our King to rapture His people, that "where [King Jesus is], there ye may be also" (John 14:3).

The Good Shepherd teaches us that He cares for us as His sheep. 
"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (John 10:11). Compare the LORD Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd to the Antichrist as an "hireling" (10:12). "But he that is an hireling [Antichrist], and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf [Satan] coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth [Greek, harpazo] them, and scattereth the sheep" (10:12). Again, Satan will catch those who "received not the love of the Truth" (2Thessalonians 2:10), and these will "be damned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2:12).

Continuing with His analogy of Shepherd and sheep, Jesus assures us that no one is capable of seizing us by force out of His hand. 
"28 And I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck [Greek, harpazo] them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck [Greek, harpazo] them out of My Father's hand" (John 10:28-29). In this instance, it is with great relief that we are not snatched away-- by Satan. "The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

Philip the Evangelist was directed by the angel of the LORD to go to Gaza. He met an Ethiopian, who was a chief officer of Queen Candace, reading Isaiah 53. 
"6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:6-7). Expounding these Scriptures concerning Jesus the Messiah, the Ethiopian eunuch believed, and was baptized. "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the LORD caught away [Greek, harpazo] Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:39). In this instance, Philip was caught away to other earthly employments. About twenty years later, the Apostle Paul stayed over at Philip's house in Caesarea (21:8). But, to be caught away by the LORD means to be repositioned for higher service-- Earthly or Heavenly.

When Brother Paul was seized by the Romans in Jerusalem, he had an audience before the Sanhedrin of the Jews. There he attempted to make a defense of the LORD, as well as himself. 
"And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day" (Acts 23:1). They demonstrated that they were in no mood to listen by ordering him to be struck on the mouth, i.e., "And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth" (23:2). Paul, then, acted as the LORD Jesus taught. "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). He divided the Sadducees from the Pharisees in the Sanhedrin by bringing up an issue on which the two disagreed, i.e., "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question" (23:6). The resulting division between the Pharisees and Sadducees, allowed him to be extracted by the chief captain of the Romans. "And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force [Greek, harpazo] from among them, and to bring him into the castle" (Acts 23:10). In the same way, the LORD will rapture us with a strong arm from our enemies. "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His Tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a Rock" (Psalm 27:5).

The Epistle of Jude offers us a final glimpse at this Greek word "harpazo". 
"And others save with fear, pulling [Greek, harpazo] them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23). An emergency rescue worker pulls people out of the fire, while attempting to keep himself from also being injured. Christians have the same ministry, but towards those who are spiritually lost. "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). This depicts to us a ministry that pulls sinners from the error of their sins. "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:20). But, it also recognizes the great danger of the rescuer to be harmed by the contagion of the sinner's sin, as well as the "sin which doth so easily beset us" (Hebrews 12:1). "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1Corinthians 9:27). So, the LORD has a "mighty arm: strong is [His] hand, and high is [His] right hand" (Psalm 89:13) to pull [harpazo] us out of this world with the strength of Omnipotence.


Conclusion

The Apostle Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians assures us that there will be a Rapture, and his first epistle to the Corinthians reiterates that thought. 
"51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1Corinthians 15:51-52). Debates may rage as to the timing, the subjects, or even the number of Raptures, but the Scripture is clear that the Rapture is not a machination of modern Bible Eschatology. "13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. 15 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 [literally, precede]them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these Words" (1Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Until the Harpazo, Maranatha!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SPIRITUAL HOUSE IN THE HEAVENS



By Pastor Mike Taylor

5 "You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ ... 
2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (2nd Peter 2:5-9)


I had a dear sister ask me what will we be (the saints borne of God) during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ ? She understood that we will be given duties by our Lord and Savior, but her question was “will we rule over the people still living after the tribulation? Besides what will we be and will there be mortals able to sin during this time?” Good set of questions and those that I feel need  further exploration by looking at scripture to get an idea of just what we will be and our task during this 1000 year reign after the rebellion during the great tribulation is put down by our King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Let’s start in Romans on our journey to identify what and who we will be and our responsibilities that our Lord will impart to all that are found in Him at His coming. Paul speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit reveals what we will be:
8:17  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:17-19)

Can you fathom what these verses means? It is almost too glorious to ponder and beyond our immediate comprehension of its full implications.. It is a infinite promise of future glory of those found in Christ. Verse 17 says we will be “joint heirs” of our Savior Jesus Christ. Heirs of what? Simple answer is that all that He is in spiritual nature, in His glory, in the ability of our mind to comprehend as we will have the mind of Christ (1
st Corinthians 2:16), and in the inheritance that He, our Savior has, we will be given the same inheritance. For a lack of a better illustration, we will be adoped into the family of YAHWEH, Jehovah, God Almighty, God the Father. Jesus will be our “Big Brother” if we can even call Him that. He is our King, but He is our elder brother in a family type relationship. We will be adopted because Jesus will bring us into the family at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when we are joined to Him, our bethrothed, our Groom spiritually, as a groom takes his wife and they become one.

I can't EVEN imagine it...my mind cannot wrap around such glory. Our God and our Savior will be the source of all of our glory and power upon this earth during a time when the earth is restored to its former glory as during the Garden of Eden. It will be a perfect environment with no war, no inclement weather, no disease, and no tempter of the nations. Satan will be given his Sabbath rest of 1000 years from being the source of all temptation and lies. But note, even though we will be on this earth during the Millennium, this planet is NOT our home, till God creates a New Heaven and new earth . Jesus told us where our home is and it's in 3rd heaven with our God and Father..

2  “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
As we will see, we will come and go from the heavens, which is our home, to the earth in instant of time, according to the desires of our Father in Heaven.

Even though this earth will become a near perfect world, sin will still be around. We, His Saints, will be sinless, immortal and of the same new body that our Lord was resurrected with when He came out of the tomb and appeared to the living. He was able to walk through walls, but be handled and able to eat, but disappear at will. He had a new glorious body, and we will have the same body as He does. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus when he came to Him in the night: John chapter 3,
3:3  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

This totally confused Nicodemus as the following verses after this show that he did not understand what Jesus meant. Jesus went on to explain of being borne of the Spirit and of water (baptism that shows that a man or woman understands that they are buried with Jesus Christ and are dead to the world, but raised a new creature in Him, by obediently following His footsteps in our life) a man cannot inherit the Kingdom of God or enter therein unless he is born again. He then said something that many overlook what we will be when He changes us into His likeness:
3:7  "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
3:8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:7-8)


Did you catch that? We will be as the wind. On earth, we now see the effects of the wind through the trees, but we cannot see the wind,, but its effects on the material world. Spiritual bodies will come and go much as the wind, but appear at will to whomever we decide to let see us. It’s the ultimate description (to illustrate something we can comprehend) of our bodies when Captain Kirk on Star Trek says “beam me up, Scotty.” Our bodies will move at lightning speed without aid of some transporter as on some popular outer space program. It is how we will come and go from the heavens and our heavely mansions to earth, in an instant.

HOW CAN THIS BE?

When Jesus comes for His saints, there will be an awards banquet in heaven. The Bible calls it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Here Jesus will impart to each of His saints a measure of ruler-ship by the deeds they have done for Him in this life. Paul speaks of the revealing of what we have done in the body in this life, and what we have done for Jesus Christ and  its eternal rewards:
:
3:9  "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:9-15)

What we have done in this life for Jesus Christ will stand and for that we will receive a reward, much like the following parable given by Jesus.

Note the parable of the talents:
25:14  "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods"

Jesus is this man, who has gone to heaven and is sitting beside God the Father in Heaven and delivered unto us the servants, His goods. What goods? Let’s read on.
25:15  "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey." (Matthew 25:14-15)


In ancient times, a talent was a measure of gold. It was the most precious of all possessions. I ask you, what is the most precious possession our God has given us? I tell you plainly, it’s HIS WORD! God doesn't need our gold, He already owns it all. He is giving us something much more valuable and He wants a return on imparting us with the responsibility of spreading His Word by personal witness. God's Word is His instructions for living, for His reaching us by His Holy Spirit unto repentance and using that same Word to reach others. That Word is our handbook for living this life, your Bible.
25:16  "Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two." (Matthew chp. 25)

Each of these servants added to what he was given, by sharing that Word with the world around him. And receive an increase by winning the lost to Christ. How much of an impact does that Word have on the world? We may never know fully till it be revealed to us at this Marriage Supper, but we are commanded to share it with all who will listen.
25:18  "But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. This unfaithful and unprofitable servant hid His Masters goods, His Word, away and shared it not with those around him. Woe to those who fail to follow the command of our Lord Jesus.25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew chp. 25)

Did this man believe or just mouthed the words? Only God knows, but to hide away what we have been given determines our reward or our lack thereof. Each of these faithful servants were given a reward. They were made rulers over many things! Listen to what Jesus reveals to John the Beloved in Revelation:

» Revelation 2:7, 26; 3:21: "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. . . . I will give power over the nations. . . . I will grant to sit with Me on My throne."
» Revelation 5:9-10: . . . "You . . . have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
» Revelation 21:7: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."




Note that verse 9 of Revelation chapter 5 says we will be kings and priest before God on this earth. We have established that we will rule on this earth in the coming Kingdom of God according to our deeds done in this life for our Lord and Savior, but what about priest? What will be our duties as priest? Jesus Christ embodies all that is royal for a King, but is also our High Priest. He calls us kings and priests. If priest, then who will be minister to?

In ancient Israel, the priest were the ministers of God. They provided direction to the people and point them to God. They did the sacrifices given by the people for the atonement of their sins daily. Although the nation of Israel became blinded by the ceremonies of sacrifices in the Temple being a forerunner of the Supreme Sacrifice in the body of our Lord and Savior, they were the keepers of the oracles of God and were to be a priestly nation to shine before the Gentile world and lead them to God. We know that they failed miserably in their departure from following after God in spirit and in truth. They knew scripture inside and out, but failed to glean the central message when their Messiah was standing right before them.

PRIEST BEFORE GOD



There are four things that we can learn here about a priest, and actually three of them are spin-offs of the first one, which is this:
  1. A priest has access to God  in Israel that other people did not have. Now because he had access to God, we therefore understand that the priest served God personally. Think of this in relation the life that’s coming, but do not detach it from today. Remember, you are a royal priesthood.
  2. The priest ministers to others.
  3. The priest was actually ministering to the average Israelite who came to him whenever he represented him before God. in the Old  Testament and we will minister to the mortals who need still a Savior.
  4. He therefore had to have something to give. He had to have something to give to the Israelite, and he also had to have something to give to God. So it will be in the Millennium. You ask, "are mortals in the Millennium"? That was one of the questions needing to be answered.

During this time of blessed peace and security that comes upon the earth, men will enter into the Millennium as mortal men and women. The Bible speaks of them  in Isaiah,
65:20  "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
65:21  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
65:22  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.
65:23  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.
65:24  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
65:25  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 chp. 65)


Verse 20 speaks of the sinner? Yes, men will still have a mortal sin nature, but not to the extent as in our world now, as the tempter has been locked away for a 1000 years.  We will be the teachers of the ways of God as spoken in Isaiah:

Isaiah
30:21  "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. "

We, as priest, will teach them the Way of the Lord and point them to the cross.
Understand, Jesus will be known to all, as the sea covers the earth.
8:11  "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." (Hebrews 8:11)

All people on earth will be subject to the righteous rule of Jesus Christ as He sits on the Throne of David and all the earth will know Him…..in their mind they will know, but in their heart they still possess a sin nature. That’s where we come into our responsibility. As kings of the King of kings, our job, our commission is to be rulers, yes….priests to the people to point them to the Savior, most definitely. We are being instructed in righteousness right now, on this earth, in this time we have left.

9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”( 1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

We were saved before the foundation of the world, in God's foreknowledge, He knew who would be in His Kingdom, but are not the elite of this world....not at all.
25  “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”(I Corinthians 1:25-31)

God has chosen the humble, not the proud. He has chosen the poor, not the rich. He has chosen the weak, not the noble or strong. He has chosen a select group of people of this earth that you would not consider leaders in this life, but by the Holy Spirit, as 1st Corinthians 6:11 states,
11 “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1st Corinthians 6:11)
We are being changed into His likeness, one day at a time. We are being sanctified, as He also justified us by His blood. 
8:29  "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)


JESUS WILL SHOUT, “COME UP HERE”.

We have an appointment with the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, very soon. One of these days in the near future, Jesus will break out of eternity into our time and say “come up here.” And we will be changed in an instant in the twinkling of an eye.
15:49  "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1st Corinthians 15:49-54)

If you're like me, before I became a follower of Jesus Christ, I wondered, “how can I become someone that Jesus trust so much that He gives me rulership of anything in His Kingdom. It is beyond my imagination. Yes, it will be glorious, and we can't grasp it right now, but to start your road on building a house, that is YOU, that is made without hands, becomes something anyone who says “yes, Lord, and believes on Him by faith.
It’s so simple, that a child can do it. Want to know the secret to obtaining such a high honor of a king and a priest in God’s Kingdom?  It's not really a secret, but it escapes many on this earth.
6:28  "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28-29)
That’s it in a nutshell. Believe with your heart and ask Jesus to come into your heart and life, and by example, live as He lived, as  humanly possible.


Paul gave us a simple formula that it guarantees us to enter into the service of a Holy God,
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:8-11)

 
We are being made a spiritual house, made without hands, and will begin our eternal destination of being kings and priest before our God, to lead other men who enter the Millennium to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We will rule righteously and give the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the living mortals who still have their free moral will to accept or reject the message. And we will serve God for all eternity in works we have no ability to comprehend.




But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)



We will not coerce anyone to believe and accept, but as Jesus does by His Holy Spirit now, we will point them to the same cross that we came to know, and the same perfect sacrifice that we accepted upon our own lives for the remission of sins by our God in Heaven. So come Lord Jesus, yes, Amen.  Come my Lord. We await our glorification of being kings and priest before You.  That is our glorious future of all who believe on His name, by faith and obedience to His call.


AND THE ETERNAL QUESTION


Will you be counted as being changed into the likeness of Almighty God and our Lord Jesus our Messiah? Or will your future be different, because you have rejected His call, rejected His payment for your sins in His own blood. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to make your futue sure and set in stone. In comes down to the object of the whole writing of Holy Writ, your bible, in this one verse:

"For God so  loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting (eternal) life." John 3:16.




This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying for your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If there be any need for prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at 
realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, God .  bless you all


TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET