These words are proof positive Jesus is the Son of God and the only person you can trust for truth about this world and your eternal destiny. He spoke these words shortly before He knowingly went to the The Cross.
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since You have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed...
For I have given them the words that you gave me, andthey have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me… I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
We all know that Jesus twelve disciples (fishermen and tax collectors) not the Pharisees and Sadducees went on to transform Rome and then the World with the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.
Whom will you put your trust in forthe truth of this world and eternal life?
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, (Jesus) whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-3
Notice the plan is all about JESUS ( the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature). God our heavenly Father, created the world through Jesus and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Jesus came into this world to pay the price for our SIN (disobedience of Adam and Eve at the Fall of Man, the penalty for which was death). Jesus died in our place “making purification for sins” so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life.
The only important event missing from this summary is Jesus return to this earth to complete the promise the Father made to Abraham. Jesus will rule all nations, the world from Jerusalem. God has unfinished business with His nation Israel that He established for His purposes.
“And when He (Jesus) had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”Acts 1:9-11
A CBS “60 Minutes” segment highlighting the suffering of individuals harmed by transgender medicalization has raised the ire of LGBT activists and has others believing a shift in the debate over transgenderism is near.
In its coverage about the various bills that have arisen across the country aiming to prohibit the use of experimental drugs and the performing of cosmetic gender surgeries on minors in several states, the Sunday broadcast featured an approximately 7-minute portion featuring detransitioners.
Detransitioners are those who once identified as transgender but now regret their decisions to transition and have begun reintegrating with their biological sex.
The segment featured veteran television journalist Lesley Stahl interviewing several young people who had undergone medicalized gender transition procedures. All of them said they were rushed into a decision and affirmed their transgender identities too hastily.
“I didn’t get enough pushback on transitioning. I went for two appointments and after the second one, I had my letter to go get on cross-sex hormones,” said one young man named Garrett from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Stahl responded, with seeming disbelief: “Two visits?”
While repeated assertions abound from transgender activists who argue that gender-dysphoric youth are at higher odds than the general public to commit suicide if not allowed to transition, Garrett said his depression worsened after he had his testicles removed and had surgery on his chest to appear more female.
“I had never really been suicidal before until I had my breast augmentation,” he said. “And about a week afterward, I wanted to actually kill myself. I had a plan and I was going to do it but I just kept thinking about my family to stop myself.”
Another detransitioner, Grace Lidinsky-Smith, chose to go on testosterone and have her breasts amputated during her 20s. She told Stahl how surprised she was at the ease and speed she could alter her body in pursuit of being a male and then revert to her natal sex.
“I can’t believe I transitioned then detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of like, less than one year,” she said.
Not long after undergoing a double mastectomy, she said that she “started to have a really disturbing sense that, like, a part of my body was missing, almost a ghost limb feeling about being like, there’s something that should be there.”
Following the segment, “60 Minutes” interviewed the president of the prominent pro-LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David. The activist argued that by highlighting the accounts of detransitioners, “already marginalized” trans-identified people are further harmed.
Despite the broadly sympathetic coverage, transgender activists in the legal, psychiatric and medical fields were upset that detransitioners stories were given airtime in the broadcast. They took to social media to voice their complaints.
This generation is much like Pontius Pilate when He responded to Jesus with “What is truth“, Jesus said He came into the world to bear witness to the truth.
“For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37).
Jesus does not give us the alternative of deciding what may be true for you might not be true for me. “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6) is about as far away from a postmodern statement on truth as you can get.
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” — MATTHEW 5:17-20
In the Old Testament, the law has three dimensions: ceremonial, civil, and moral.
ONE: Ceremonial Law
The ceremonial law related specifically to Israel’s worship (see Lev 1:2-3, for example). Its primary purpose was to point forward to Jesus Christ; these laws, therefore, were no longer necessary after Jesus’ death and resurrection. While ceremonial law no longer binds us, the principles behind them—to worship and love a holy God—still apply. The Pharisees often accused Jesus of violating ceremonial law.
TWO: Civil Law
The civil law applied to daily living in Israel (see Deut 24:10-11, for example). Because modern society and culture are so radically different from that time and setting, all of these guidelines cannot be followed specifically. But the principles behind the commands are timeless and should guide our conduct. Jesus demonstrated these principles by example.
THREE: Moral Law
The moral law (such as theTen Commandments) is the direct command of God, and it requires strict obedience (see Exod 20:13, for example). The moral law reveals the nature and will of God, and it still applies today. Jesus obeyed the moral law completely.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
God gave His laws to help people love God with all their hearts and minds. Throughout Israel’s history, however, these laws had often been misquoted and misapplied. By Jesus’ time, religious leaders had turned the laws into a confusing mass of rules. When Jesus talked about a new way to understand God’s law, he was actually trying to bring people back to its original purpose. Jesus did not speak against the law itself but against the abuses and excesses to which it had been subjected.. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made him known.” John 1:17-18
The Pharisees were exacting and scrupulous in their attempts to follow their laws. So how could Jesus reasonably call us to greater righteousness than theirs? The Pharisees’ weakness was that they were content to obey the laws outwardly without allowing God to change their hearts (or attitudes). They looked pious, but they were far from the Kingdom of Heaven. God judges our hearts as well as our deeds, for it is in the heart that our real allegiance lies.
Jesus was saying that his listeners needed a different kind of righteousness altogether (out of love for God), not just a more intense version of the Pharisees’ obedience (which was mere legal compliance). Our righteousness must
(1) come from what God does in us, not what we can do by ourselves,
(2) be God-centered, not self-centered,
(3) be based on reverence for God, not approval from people,
(4) go beyond keeping the law to living by the principles behind the law. We should be just as concerned about our attitudes that people don’t see as about our actions that they do see.
Benjamin Franklin was not known as an ardent evangelical Christian, but his friend George Whitefield would often urge the claims of the gospel upon him and it obviously had an impact as during a deadlock at the American Constitutional Convention he called for prayer:
“I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”
We all know what happened at and to Babel or do we? God confused the language and created the nations at Babel, prior to Babel the world had one language.
“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4
“Come, let us (Triune God) go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:7-9
As in all things concerning God’s world, the true paradigm is that we are creatures answerable to our Creator; the diagnosis is that we are all fallen and rebellious sinners. There is only one solution: we need to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Just as our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus to pay the price for our sins, once we repent of them and accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter. He makes it possible for us to live the Christian life. He will enlighten us to the truths in God’s word and help us to apply them to daily living. He will produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives and provide the gifts of the Spirit for ministry. God the Father does it all, how simple and yet how hard!
The wrong paradigm was embraced by the multitude long ago. There is no way that the chattering classes will admit that the basic problem is that they have rejected their Creator God and His commandments are being trampled upon. With sexual morality as an example, for decades, the received wisdom has been that sexual morality does not count as morality at all. Provided all is consensual, basically anything is allowed. Given this paradigm, the media could maintain their moral outrage at the recent antics of parliamentary staffers in Australia’s Federal parliament while continuing to excuse sleazy advertisements and shows like Married at First Sight and Game of Thrones.
But if your paradigm is wrong, your diagnosis will be wrong, and your proposed solution will be wrong. The world has created its own problems – it has taken morality out of sexual relationships; it sees uniformity as the answer to all ills; and it calls on the law to achieve these goals. The result is more of the same, and a blindness as to what is really going wrong. People get their hopes up that progress is being made when actually the boat is just being rowed around in circles. It is God who declares what is wrong: it is the human heart, for it is corrupt.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” Matthew 15:19
Only a true believer, one who has accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour and received the Holy Spirit as His Counsellor, Teacher and Comforter can truly understand.
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7
The People who best articulate the answer to the “so what” question of God are the atheistic existentialist philosophers. Nietzsche had the courage to admit that the rejection of God ends in nihilism (existence is senseless and useless). Another, Jean-Paul Sartre, well describes existence without God with the chosen title of his book Nausea and the portrayal of life as “an empty bubble floating on a sea of nothingness”.
Sartre’s study partner, Albert Camus, tells us in “An Absurd Reasoning” (contained in The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays) that a God-less life leads to there being “only one really serious philosophical question, and this is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” It’s what Daryl on The Walking Dead calls “opting out”.
Fred Hoyle, famous British mathematician and astronomer said “the probability of the formation of just one of the many proteins on which life depends is comparable to that of a solar system packed full of blind people randomly shuffling Rubik’s cubes all arriving at the solution at the same time” which of course is absurd. In fact, life without God is absurd.
Despite all of the above most people live their lives as if God does not exist. They do their best to live life on God’s planet, enjoying all that He has provided but not wanting to even know their Creator, in fear that they will not be able to “call the shots”, i.e., be God of their own little world. You only realise how sad this is when you know that our Creator loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place that we might be restored into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44.
Our first job: We need to pray that the unsaved we are connected to will be drawn by the Father.
Our second job: We need to pray that those that hear the Gospel will understand it. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” Matthew 13:19
Our third job: We need to pray that the eyes of unbelievers will be opened so they can see the light. Opening spiritual eyes is, of course, God’s business. But releasing God’s power to open blinded eyes is prayer business, to which God calls us.
Dalton will challenge how you view Jesus. It is without doubt the most important issue you need to resolve in your Christian walk. You need to behold the magnificence of Jesus as revealed in Revelation and particularly what He will be like as a judge. We long for justice but have a deep hatred of judgement. We don’t like to think of a God who is going to judge us. We love His mercy but the reality is our only hope is in a Jesus who will restore justice. The Bible tells us Jesus will rule with a rod of iron in the Millennium when He will rule and reign for a thousand years with the glorified saints on this earth. How does that fit with your view of Jesus and the end times?
There is a reason why the prologue of Revelation includes these words: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”Revelation 1:3
The idea that there would be just 7,000 years of human history before God ended this time when death and suffering marred His creation is very old. We know from non-biblical sources that the Second Book of Enoch stated that there would be 7000 years of history and that the beginning of the 8,000th year would mark the start of the Eternal State (2 Enoch 33:1).
The idea the world is billions of years old is young. It gained acceptance along with the theory of Evolution which requires billions of years to go from “goo to you” without a creator and by unguided chance. At the same time, Noah’s flood which explains the alleged billions of years in the fossil record was relegated to the world of myths and legends despite the fact most people groups around the world have a flood story in their history and a catastrophic flood which buried animals and vegetation quickly is the best explanation for the fossils location and state of preservation.
The oldest existing Jewish reference to the Week of Millenniums is probably the one found in the Talmud which references a statement attributed to the prophetic school established by the prophet Elijah: Six thousand years is the duration of the world. Two thousand of the six thousand years are characterized by chaos ended by Noah’s Flood; two thousand years are characterized by Torah, from the era of the Patriarchs until the end of the mishnaic period; and two thousand years are the period of the coming of the Messiah (Sanhedrin 97a). This concept is echoed in a 10th Century AD midrash called Tanna D’vei Eliyahu. (A midrash is commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures.) It reads as follows: The world is to exist 6,000 years. In the first 2,000, there was desolation (no Torah, from Adam to Abraham), 2,000 years the Torah flourished, and the next 2,000 years is the Messianic era (He should have come at the beginning of the last 2,000 years; the delay is due to our sins). Of course, we know Jesus did come as the “suffering servant of Isaiah 53.
“He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”Isaiah 53:3-6
This concept of 6,000 years of human toil and conflict followed by 1,000 years of rest is still alive among Jewish rabbis and is being taught by them. Take, for example, Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson, of Brooklyn, NY who is a writer for Chabad, an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement. When asked about the 7,000 year theory, he replied: The Talmud tells us that this world, as we know it, will last for six thousand years, with the seventh millennium ushering in the cosmic Sabbath, the Messianic Era. Six days a week we work, and on the Sabbath we rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor; the same is true with millenniums. The widespread acceptance of the 7,000 year concept among Jewish sages today is illustrated by the fact that the idea is accepted across the Ashkenazi-Sephardi divide, the Hasidim-Misnagdim divide, and across the rational Talmud and mystical Kabbalah perspectives.
The Jewish Millennial Day Theory was picked up by the earliest fathers of the Christian faith and espoused by them. For example, Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), in his Dialogue with Trypho, asserted his belief that the earth will last for 6,000 years followed by a Sabbath of rest lasting 1,000 years. But even earlier than this, the concept was expressed in detail in The Epistle of Barnabas, the complete text of which is preserved in the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears immediately after the New Testament and before the Shepherd of Hermas. Scholars estimate it was written between 70 and 132 AD. The author describes the Millennial Day Theory in these words: “God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:2). Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implies that the Lord will finish all things in 6,000 years, for a day is with Him a thousand years . . . Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in 6,000 years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This means: when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the 7th day.” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 15)
Late in the 2nd Century, Irenaeus (130-202 AD), the Bishop of Lyons, France, wrote: “For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded.” He then added that after the Antichrist has devastated the world, the Lord will return and provide the world rest on “the hallowed seventh day.” One of the most influential theologians of the 3rd Century, Hyppolytus of Rome (c. 170-235AD) asserted that “6,000 years must needs be accomplished in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works.” The widespread belief in the Millennial Day Theory among early Christians is attested to by Edward Gibbon in his history of the Roman Empire. He wrote: The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection. But despite this early popularity of the concept, it fell out of acceptance after 400 AD when the Roman Catholic Church, under the influence of the spiritualizing nterpretations of Origen and Augustine, adopted the Amillennial viewpoint which argued that Jesus was never going to return to reign over this earth for a thousand years.
The Millennial Day Theory experienced a renaissance following the Reformation as people began to obtain copies of the Bible in their own languages. The Premillennial viewpoint of end-time events was revived and with it, the idea that 6,000 years of history would be followed by the 1,000 year reign of Jesus.
Distinguished Christian doctrinal expert, Mike Gendron, echoed the 7,000 year theory in an article he published in 2013 when he observed: The first 2,000 years of human history ended when the wrath of God was poured out on sin in the Flood. The second 2,000 years ended when the wrath of God was poured out on sin at the Cross. And the third 2,000 years will end with God pouring out His wrath on an unbelieving world following the tribulation during the 70th week of Daniel with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements in The Scroll.
This one Scripture says it all: Jesus is God’s son, He is heir of all things, He is the creator of all things, He reveals the Father to us as Jesus is the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. He upholds all things by the word of His power. He is the one who has purged our sins, salvation is only through Jesus. Jesus sits at the right hand of our Heavenly Father in heaven.
‘God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers, by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He hadby Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ Hebrews 1:1-3
What about Romans 8:14-17, it tells us what Jesus has accomplished for us: we have become children of God to whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father,’ and that as such we are now joint heirs with Christ. Joint heirs with exceedingly great and precious promises, through which we have become partakers of the divine nature and inheritors of the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:1-11, 2 Peter 1:4).
This gem from Dr Paul Cedar of Love to Pray is appropriate here: “Prayer to our Heavenly Father should be our greatest joy, it is our highest privilege and our greatest venture.”
THE SCROLL SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION 5 & 6
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 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.” Revelation 5:3-5
Only Jesus had the authority to remove the seals from the Scroll and unleash the wrath of God with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.