GOD EXISTS – SO WHAT?

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

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

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.

WHO IS JESUS AND WHAT IS HE LIKE?

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

HISTORY OF THE WORLD

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.

Receding water of Noah’s Flood shapes the earth

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.

JESUS – WHERE HE IS AND WHO HE IS

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 had by 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.”

Remember the cost of your salvation

THE SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION

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

The trumpet blast with the opening of the seventh seal signals the Rapture and the Wrath of God being poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

Only Jesus had the authority to remove the seals from the Scroll and unleash the wrath of God with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

AWESOME NEW FILM COMING SOON

A film which will hopefully give you a clearer vison of Jesus and will inspire you to love Him more dearly. If nothing else, I hope it drives you to want to know more about the book of Revelation which is ultimately the book of the Revelation of Jesus. It is the last book of the Bible and it needs to be the book we know best in these last days so we know Him and what to expect will happen on this earth before He appears.

You need to connect with Maranatha Ministries (download their app) to get great teaching on Biblical “end times” prophesied events. Make sure you work through the Maranatha series on Daniel. It will prepare you for the coming series on Revelation. I am confident that God has raised up both Dalton Thomas and Joel Richardson to prepare His church for His second coming. I met Joel at an “end times” convention in Texas and we have corresponded over a number of years now. Joel and Dalton have been working together for a number of years now and it has been interesting to see how God has expanded each of their ministries as they have been faithful with the tasks God has given them.

THANK YOU FOR THE CROSS

A message you need to imbibe. Imbibe is not a word I use. It just came to mind and it means “to take or receive into the mind”. The Holy Spirit does His work to give you the right word at the right time. Hopefully, the message will not only be received into your mind but it will inspire, even empower you to act and step out to do what God has for you to do in these “last days”.

BEING A POWERFUL WITNESS FOR GOD

The life of Daniel is a good place to start. His faithfulness to God and the integrity he displayed resulted in Angels turning up “big time” with the miraculous.

“Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.” Daniel 6:4

Daniel’s political opponents “could find no ground for complaint or any fault” (Daniel 6:4), so they reverted to attacking him “in connection with the law of his God” (v. 5). However, the Lord redeemed Daniel’s faithfulness so miraculously that King Darius eventually proclaimed: “He is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end” (v. 26). 

Like Daniel, we face opposition that does not understand our faith or believe in our God. They need and deserve our compassion and our witness. But they will receive neither unless we live with such integrity that they see the unmistakable imprint of Jesus on our lives.

In the “end times” Jesus told us we will face intense persecution, but as well, He will be evident with all the gifts of the Spirit in operation in believers’ lives with many coming into the Kingdom as a result.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

One of the greatest aspects of the Christian faith is what we believe happens after death. And by no means is it blind faith or wishful thinking. It starts with Jesus himself. In John’s eyewitness account of Jesus’ life and ministry, he records a conversation between Jesus and someone who had just lost a brother to sickness and death. 

Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:21-27

Jesus made a promise to Martha that not only was there a resurrection, but that Jesus himself was the resurrection and the life, and that faith in him would result in eternal life. It’s why this same apostle John, would go on to write the greatest summary statement in all the Bible:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Make no mistake, Jesus clearly taught that there was a resurrection, and the way to eternal life, to a life after this life, was through faith in him. Now, the skeptical might ask: sure that’s great to believe in, but what if it’s all a hoax? Where’s the proof?

That’s a legitimate question.

How Christians live their lives should be proof enough. Why?

Because Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell the Spirits of all believers. He produces the fruit in our lives of love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. His job is to sanctify us, to make us like our Lord Jesus. We therefore build our lives around this belief in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. It affects how we live and interact with others. It affects how we use our time, our finances. We give our life to serving Him and others. The Holy Spirit even provides the gifts of the Spirit (all nine: 1 Corinthians 12:4 and Hebrews 2:4) to enable us to minister to others effectively.

In the book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul makes a great point:

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:19

If this life is all that there is, then you would not live a life of sacrifice as Christians do.

Also look at the historical evidence: we know from the four eyewitness accounts from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, that Jesus claimed to be the son of God, and as he promised Martha, that he was the resurrection and the life. And then he died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross. Three days later, these disciples began to claim that Jesus was raised from the dead, that they had seen him. And if true, this would change everything, because on numerous occasions Jesus prophesied his own death and resurrection, and if someone can prophesy their own death and resurrection and then pull it off, surely it is evidence enough to convince the most hardened skeptic. Fifteen to twenty years later, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth, recorded in the book of 1 Corinthians. In chapter 15, we have this incredible teaching on what Christ has accomplished for us with His death and resurrection.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

Paul is recording the central claim of Christianity: Jesus proved his divinity by dying on the cross and rising again, thereby validating everything he said about the resurrection. It’s why we have hope that we who believe in Jesus will see our brothers and sisters in Christ again, that this is not the end for us. The key here is the list of witnesses: after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Cephas (Peter), the twelve, then 500 at one time, many of whom were still alive fifteen to twenty years later. It’s like Paul is saying: fact-check me on this one. I know it’s an outrageous claim, but go and talk to the witnesses yourself.

1 Corinthians is written twenty years after the event of the resurrection, with witnesses still alive, who saw Jesus alive after his death and burial and resurrection. And because Jesus rose from the dead, everything changes!

Here’s what Paul wrote about how Jesus’ resurrection secures our own resurrection:

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 54-57

Death is the great equalizer, death awaits us all, but Jesus has taken away it’s sting. Death is not all that there is, because Jesus conquered death, and through Jesus we will conquer death. That’s not saying that we’ll live forever in this life, but we’ll live forever in the next. For those of us who believe in Jesus, will see him again, at the resurrection at the last day, and we’ll be with him forever. And because of that, we can rejoice.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

Let start living with an eternal focus NOW.

NEW FILM – THE RELIANT

THE RELIANT is an exciting adventure movie about the five children of survivalist Christian parents in Ohio separated from their mother and father when the social order collapses. The children hide in the woods from a man who is out for revenge against their father is a doctor who failed to save the man’s injured daughter at the hospital where the father works. As the days pass, the elder brother begins to doubt they can hide in the woods forever. He also begins to doubt the family’s strong Christian faith.

CONTENT:

Worldview:  Very strong Christian, biblical, moral, evangelistic, and patriotic worldview, with many Scripture quotes, conversations about God, references to Jesus and the Gospel, two people lose their Christian faith but regain it and are baptised, prayers, hymn singing, four Christians witness to sceptics and nonbelievers, and a very strong defence of American liberty/freedom, especially the right to bear arms.

Foul Language: No obscenities and two light exclamatory profanities

Violence: Strong, light and sometimes intense violence includes several gunfights, man saves another man’s life by waving a gun at his attackers, man shot with an arrow, it’s implied that a deer is killed with an arrow so that its meat can feed a couple young adults and their younger sisters and brother who are on the run and hiding in the wilderness from bad guys, bad guys try to break into a car being driven away by a young adult trying to protect his three sisters and brother, people wounded or killed with guns and rifles, riots depicted, some fighting, deputies subdue a criminal, and an implied gun accident occurs off screen

Sex: No sexual content

Nudity: No nudity