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GOLDENBIBLE HAS MOVED!

I’ve moved to blogger, as has my entire family. Blogging will now be a family thing, with all of us taking turns to submit a post. This will result in the posts coming on an almost daily basis, and will let you hear not just from me, but from all my siblings, and my dad (and possibly mom) as well. We will now be located here:

http://www.gospel-insights.com – Anyway, hope you enjoy our new site! We’ll post a couple old posts just to get things moving along, then everything from there will be original content.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Moved

 

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The Truth About the End Times

Today God has given me something in Revelation 6, verses 15 to 17, which say:

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

This is directly following the lamb opening six of the seven seals on the scroll (see Revelation 6:1 to 6:14 for more context). Each one of the seals brought about a new destructive force, and now, after the sixth seal, we see everyone begging for rocks to fall on them in order to try to escape the wrath of the Lamb. These people were terrified of something. And that something, is the knowledge that they were about to be judged. Moreover, they knew their own sinfulness, and so they knew that the verdict was undeniably going to be guilty, and deserving of Hell.

So what is their solution? What brilliance does the human race come up with to combat this impending doom? They cry for rocks to fall on them. Our whole species in danger of being condemned to Hell and the best we can come up with is attempted suicide. Death doesn’t even solve their problem, though, it only hastens their meeting with God.

Now, the real question is, why are we better than them? What makes us so much better that, should this ever happen in our life time, we too won’t be judged and found guilty? Kings (okay, “presidents” if you want to modernize it) will run in terror at the thought of God’s wrath, and the smartest minds of the age will be unable to come up with any possible solution. So why should we, who are quite ordinary (I’m assuming you’re fairly ordinary), possibly feel safe when so many who are superior in the World’s eyes that are terrified? Paul gives us a wonderfully concise answer:

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)

Christians are not superior to anyone. Most of us aren’t any braver than the average person, or smarter than the average person. But we do have one thing going for us, and that’s Jesus. We no longer fear death, not because we are incredibly brave, but because Jesus lives in us, and His bravery becomes our bravery. God now looks us on us, and doesn’t see someone crying out for rocks to fall and kill him (or her), but rather He sees His own son, bloody and crucified that we might be saved.

See, there’s only one thing any of us needs to know about the end times. We don’t need to know when it will happen, or where it will start. We don’t need to see every war or calamity as a sign of the end of the World, or sell everything we have in order to try to get the message out that Jesus is going to return on some specific date. We only need to know that the one person who can condemn us, Jesus, is the same person who died for us, and who now intercedes on our behalf before God. That is the truth about the end times, nothing more and nothing less.

 
 

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The Lamb

Today God has given me something in Revelation 5, verses 5 to 7, which say:

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. (Revelation 5:5-7)

We are not given all the details here. However, we can infer that this scroll is very possibly the book of life, in which the names of all believers are written (see Revelation 5:1-4 for more context); we can infer this from both John’s weeping that there are none who can open the scroll, and later by who it is that can open the scroll.

With the above in mind, we need to ask ourselves: Who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Who is the Root of David that has conquered? The answer can only be Jesus! Only Jesus is as strong and powerful as a lion, and descended from David, and also in the tribe of Judah (see Matthew 1:3 and 1:6). What’s more, only he is the one who has conquered. Notice also that no where in the passage does it mention what Jesus has conquered. This is because there isn’t any one thing Jesus has conquered; He didn’t just conquer death, nor did he just conquer Satan or Hell. He conquered everything. The mighty lion of Judah has defeated all who opposed Him.

Yet… Who is it that John sees when he looks at this strong and mighty lion? John sees a lamb, looking as though it had been slain. He doesn’t see the strong and mighty lion that the elder had claimed to be there. No, rather he sees one of the most meek, humble, and lowly creatures on the planet. What’s more, while just a sheep would’ve been enough, this one looked like it had been slain. What could this thing ever have accomplished? It’s just a pathetic creature, and a dead one at that. To answer that, let’s take a look at a different passage:

29 The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

In the Old Testament, a priest would offer sacrifices for sins. There were various animals for various types of sacrifices; one might offer a dove, or an entire ox, depending on the situation. However, there’s one specific time that a lamb was required: Passover. In the original Passover, every family had to sacrifice a lamb to keep the angel of death from killing their firstborn son; it was only by the death of this lamb that that family would be spared.\

You see, our situation is (or was, if you’ve come to Christ) more dire than that of the Israelites during the first Passover. We are in danger of not only loosing the life of our firstborn son, if you have one, but also of loosing our very soul. We have done innumerable wrongs and crimes against God, and so we needed a sacrifice in proportion to what we’ve done. This is why we need Jesus. Yes He is the mighty and conquering lion of Judah, but He is also the pure and innocent sacrifice for sins that is necessary to appease God’s wrath! Jesus had to not only defeat Satan, but also endure the full wrath of God for sins he didn’t commit – for sins that it isn’t even in His nature to commit. That is to say, for your sins, and for my sins.

For every sin, the Old Testament shows us there is a punishment. You do X whenever Y is true, or you receive A whenever B is true. You offer an dove (just for example) when you’ve done something small, you offer something larger if you’ve done something worse. Whatever the crime was, there must be a sacrifice equal to it. Jesus, however, was not at all equal to the collective sins of the entire World from eternity passed to eternity future. He was not equal to it, because He is overpay. He is more than enough to atone for what we’ve done, and then some. This is why He is called by John “the Lamb that takes away the sins of the World,” and is shown as a slain lamb in our passage in Revelation – Because he is the final sacrifice! There can be no more sacrifices to atone for sin after Him because there is no longer a need or purpose for them.

If we ask Him to save us, He is faithful to do so, in every area of our life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian already or not, we as Christians still stumble (and will continue to do so until we’re taken out of these bodies of flesh). However, Jesus, just as he was more than enough to atone for our sins, can also give us more than enough strength to overcome any temptation or sin struggle. Paul tells us that God will always make a way out whenever we are tempted, and that “way” is the way, the truth, and the life. So then, we ought to take our problems to Him (in prayer). There is no reason not to, and every to do so.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Concerning Posting

I’m very sorry I haven’t been posting lately, and I’m aiming to fix that. School is about to start up again, and combined with some other things I’ve started doing recently, I’ll mainly have to return to posting on the weekends again, or when I have time to.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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True Wealth

Today God has given me something in Revelation 3, verses 17 through 19, which say:

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:17-19)

A couple days ago, we talked about how you could be the poorest person in the World, but still be rich if you had Christ. Well, thing about that is, it works the other way ’round, too. If you don’t have Jesus in your life, it doesn’t matter how rich you are, you’re Spiritually poor. This is why God counsels them to “buy from me gold refined by fire,” because His “gold” is Spiritual. His gold represents a life lived closer with Himself, and with a greater amount of fellowship with Christ-something which is far more valuable than any Earthly gold. He also counsels them to ‘buy’ from Him “white garments,” so that their “nakedness”-i.e., their sin-may not be seen. He also tells them to buy from Him ‘salve’ for their eyes, so that they’ll be able to discern right from wrong, given that sin often times blinds us to the wrongness of our actions.

Hopefully this is nothing new, though. Most Christians know that their relationship with Christ should come before money, family, friends, etc., and that we need Christ to cover over our sins, and that apart from Jesus helping us to see, we would be Spiritually blind. The really interesting bit about this passage, however, is that He tells the Church in Laodicea to buy from Him the gold, garment, and salve. We all know that God is no peddler, why should He be when He made everything (including money) in the Universe? Moreover, Spiritual things are not easily purchased… You’ll be hard pressed to find cream in your local drug store that can allow you to see your sin clearly for what it is, or a robe that can cover your sin entirely.

So then, how do we buy something from someone who already owns everything we could give Him? We don’t. We couldn’t if we tried, because we humans are physical beings (up to the point when we die). It’s just as impossible for us to purchase something Spiritual with something physical as it would be for fire to purchase water; the two just don’t mix. That is why it took Christ, being both fully God (Spiritually) and man (physically), to purchase what we could not. It seems that God is telling the Church to “buy” the various items, in order to get them to realize that, in spite of their Earthly riches, they could not buy this with money. He’s showing them here the pointlessness of wealth that isn’t coupled with a love for Christ.

No currency in the World could have bought what Jesus bought for us with His death and Resurrection. It’s only by His paying the greatest price that we could be given a relationship with God; it’s only by His blood that our sin could be entirely covered, as by with a robe; it’s only by Him being made blind in death that we should be able to see clearly. So then, let’s give Christ the glory, and stop focusing so much on the money we do or do not have. In the end, it really won’t matter how much money we died with, but it will matter if died without having a relationship and love for Christ.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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The Danger of Being Lukewarm

Today God has given me something in Revelation 3, verses 14 through 16, which say:

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16)

Being lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-is never a Spiritually good thing. If you’re on ‘fire’ for Christ, and are really feeling zealous for God, then wonderful! If you’re really struggling with sin, and having a truly hard time, then you have only to repent and God will forgive you. The problem comes with being lukewarm; when you’re “lukewarm,” you aren’t doing anything to further God’s kingdom, but you aren’t exactly struggling with sin either. It’s the kind of thing where it’s a problem, not because it’s impacting your life, but because you’re setting an example of mediocrity for others; an example of being in the World and almost not of it.

One sinful person who refuses to repent can infect a body of believers. Likewise, one person with true zeal for God in his heart can have a positive impact on a Church. A lukewarm believer, however, impacts the Church without being readily obvious in doing so. By that I mean, a lukewarm believer slows everyone down, by the simple fact that they aren’t doing anything. Someone whose sinning can repent and use their experience with that sin issue to help others with their sin issues, but a lukewarm believer can only cool the fire of a zealous person, or halfheartedly try to help someone whose stuck in sin. They don’t help others learn from their mistakes, nor do they help spread the Gospel, but rather simply hinder the Church by sapping the life out of it.

Thus, we see God saying that He’s going to “spit them out of his mouth.” Jesus didn’t die and rise again so that we could go to Church, sit there dully for an hour or two, then head home. He died so that we could be given a new life, not so that we could give Him half our worship. Giving Him half our devotion is in fact more counter-productive then blatantly living in sin, because the one whose blatantly living in sin knows that they are sinning, and can thus repent. However, with someone who only gives half his worship to God, it is possible for them to not immediately realize that they’re also giving half their worship to the World; after all, they go to Church, perhaps they even read their Bible from time to time. Surely the fact that they get drunk from time to time, or that they smoke, or gamble on occasion, surely that’s perfectly fine. I can tell you now, the two do not counter balance each-other. You can’t really live a half-life; you can try, but in reality you’re giving your life to Satan and deluding yourself about it.

We must always strive, then, to not only be giving God half our worship. Jesus sent us His Holy Spirit after ascending to be with the Father, it would be abusing His gift to only half love God, or to only half obey when He asks us to do something. God wants those who are on fire for Him, not those who put up a facade of Christianity to make them-self feel justified when their sin later.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Opening Doors

Today God has given me something in Revelation 3, verses 7 through 8, which say:

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (Revelation 3:7-8)

That we do good ‘works’ is not something which is required for a Christian to be saved. Good works have no part in salvation, other than to make it clear that we are indeed saved; if you don’t try stop that robber, or you walk away from a mugging, you need to seriously examine your faith. However, God does still judges our deeds… Not to determine if we’re worthy of His grace, but to see who would benefit most from having a door opened in some area of ministry for them. As He says here, “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.”

They didn’t deny His name, and they did good in His sight, thus He rewards them with a more influential ministry. He hasn’t stopped doing that just because some time has passed, either. However, God opening a door for us doesn’t entirely hinge upon us doing good works. God loves to open doors for people to do good works, give them a little shove towards it, then reward them when they actually do those good works. However, what is important for us, is to ‘walk through the door’ when it is opened. We shouldn’t hesitate because we aren’t sure it’s in our best interests, or because we think it will take away from our free times; anything God wants us to do is always in our ‘best interests’.

Knowing if it’s God’s will for us to doing something, though, is a tad harder. That requires discernment. However, a general rule of thumb is this: if it would further God’s kingdom, it’s probably from God.

 
 

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