Sunday, November 20, 2016

Welcome

November/December is now posted. We combined the two months into one this time.

Check out the latest Bible Study on "Dispensations"

We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. The previous month's publication will be found under the Archive tab as pdf's. We will begin posting some studies, as pdf's and as ebooks in the coming months.

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

MAKING SURE

Part 2

Jack Davis



OVERCOMING UNCERTAINTY
In the epistles of our apostle Paul we are instructed in dealing with uncertainty and enjoying the greatest certainty. In charging us to show all diligence to a full assurance of hope, he was inspired to occupy our attention with the engrossing effect of expecting the fulfillment of God’s promises. He also urges us to draw near unto the Lord in full assurance of faith. He was inspired to pray that God’s people enjoy a close-knit comfort in full assurance of understanding (Col. 2:2). He deeply desired that God’s people have the confidence and freedom of mind that is revealed in Christ Jesus in order to keep us on course. In these epistles Paul writes of uncertain sites, uncertain signals and uncertain supplies.

UNCERTAIN SITES
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery in temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so sun, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 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” – I Cor. 9:24-27.

We must allow the Word of God’s grace to focus our sites on our definite goal. Thank God for visual adjustment. We cannot afford to be distracted and waste energy getting off course. We won’t be running aimlessly if we will keep our eyes on Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. We, Like Paul, should be running straight toward the goal with purpose in every step and hitting our target with every punch. Visual focus and concentration are very important to the success of any athletic competitor,  and how much more important are these with eternal values in view (II Cor. 4:16-18). He has promised the victors crowns of glory that fade not away, as well as crown of righteousness and life. We may run haphazardly and be an “also ran” or make sure, like Paul, and finish our course with joy.

UNCERTAIN SIGNAL
“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (I Cor. 14:7-12).

With the instruction of the wise and profitable use of the spiritual gifts, we are urged to excel to the upbuilding of the body of Christ. Paul uses examples from the natural realm to illustrate exercises in spiritual excellence. He speaks of the importance of distinction in sounds. It is most important that that which is spoken be understood. Trumpets signaling preparation for battle must not give an uncertain sound. When we think of all the different kinds of voices in the world today, it behooves us, as we give diligence, to make sure that our lives do not give an uncertain sound.  As we prepare for the sounding of that first trumpet, our lives should give off sounds of certainty. As the Word of the Lord is sounded out from us, it should give others much assurance (I Thess. 1:8,5).

UNCERTAIN SUPPLY
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they lay hold of eternal life” (I Tim. 6:17-19).

Therefore, instead of making a god of our wealth, let us realize our wealth in God.

What does the Bible say?



QUESTION:
Does not the Scripture declare that one can lose their salvation? Gal. 5:21, “…of the which I tell you before… that they which do such thing shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Eph. 5:5, “…ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”


ANSWER:
When we receive Christ as our personal Savior, we are born of God, His child. We have eternal life (the life of Christ), which is the gift of God (Rom. 6:23). But our inheritance is according to our growth and maturity, our walk and fellowship and suffering with Christ. All of God’s children are potential heirs of God, but only some will be joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Believers who walk after the lusts of the flesh rob themselves of spiritual inheritance. If we do not feed on God’s Word we cannot grow up into Christ in all things. If we fail to judge our own flesh, it will rob us of our life (Rom. 8:13). Satan is allowed to destroy the physical body of one who though a member of Christ, walks in his own way continually and does not repent breaking fellowship with Christ. Also, it will rob us of our crown; Rev. 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”


QUESTION:
Will all the church go up together? Will it be before the tribulation period, during it, or following it?


ANSWER:
There are three ranks plainly seen in the church, that arrive at different times in heaven. The first rank are kept out of tribulation days (Rev. 3:10), they are rewarded for keeping the word of His patience. They arrive in heaven first and are given crowns of gold (Rev. 4:4) which they cast at the feet of Christ (Rev. 4:10-11). They are redeemed humans (Rev. 5:9-10). The second rank, a great multitude which no man could number come out of tribulation days and taken up to heaven (Rev. 7:9-17). They have no crowns and serve Christ day and night. A third rank is seen in heaven in Revelation 14, the hundred forty and four thousand. They are all of Israel (Rev. 14:1-5), which were sealed while on the earth (Rev. 7:3-8). No doubt taken to heaven in chapter 12. These three ranks are also seen in Rev. 19 at the marriage of the Lamb. There we view the wife (Rev. 19:7); the servants (Rev:19:5); and the guests (Rev. 19:9).
E. J. D.

The Last Days

Anita Clark – Pastor

Carbondale, Kansas


“Thus saith the LORD...It shall come to pass, when they days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his throne for ever. He shall build me a house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. ... I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established forevermore” I Chronicles 17:7, 11, 12, &14.

The date of this pronouncement from God to David, King of Israel was about B.C. 1042. Many years later (BC. 7) God brought forth His Son upon the earth, (Who had always been with Him in the glory), born of a woman, whose name was Mary. Luke 1:30 tells us that the Archangel Gabriel sent from God announced to her concerning the child that would be conceived in her by the Holy Spirit, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father, David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

Today, we in the U.S.A. are anticipating again he election of our president. There is so much uncertainty. Is this one the best or that one? God has already declared that He is ultimately in control. In Daniel 4:17, God declares this, “...to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Daniel 5:21, speakinig of Nebuchadnezzar, the prideful king of Babylon, “...God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever He will.” You see - “Our God Reigns.” Commit all to the Lord. He will work it out according to His master plan. It may not seem that the one who comes to power is the best one, but remember time is short on this old earth. The Bible declares that there will be a one world government in the endtime and the “basest of men” will be in charge, the Antichrist. We are living in the last days. Very soon Jesus Christ will return and set up that everlasting throne declared to King David.

We look for that kingdom of the Dear Son of David. We know there are two kingdoms mentioned in the Bible which both pertain to the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “kingdom” in the Greek means “royalty, rule or realm.” Apostle Paul spoke of the “kingdom” sixteen times in his writings. In Colossians 1:12, &13, Giving thanks unto the Father... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” In other words when we receive Jesus Christ, God places us into the spiritual realm and into the “heavenly kingdom.” In the Gospels, Jesus spoke often of the “heavenly kingdom.” Later, Paul said in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” We are a heavenly people belonging to a heavenly kingdom and celestial realm.

Right now though, we are still earth bound, Christ should be allowed to reign in our hearts as King (supreme ruler). God’s grace has given us a place with Christ to rule and reign with Christ on His glorious throne. We see that taking place in Revelation 4, where at the beginning of the tribulation Jesus will take His place in heaven, ruling on His throne. Read this glorious chapter. As Sister Mary Bodie brought out so many years ago in Prophecy Class at Grace an Glory Bible School, “For the Antichrist to rule in the tribulation as the counterfeit Christ, Christ Jesus the true king has to be reigning in heaven. There cannot be a counterfeit without the true king in His place.”

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM - Some Christians think that believers today will be part of the earthly Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. They even teach that we all will worship Christ in the earthly Jerusalem someday. One even said, “I haven’t been able to get to Jerusalem in my lifetime, but I will get there later when Jesus comes.” Notice, that the Scripture speak of “... a new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven “ (Rev. 20:10). This is where the believers of the Church Age will be dwelling. Remember, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 - Jesus Christ will sound the trumpet and the dead in Christ will rise from their graves, and those living and remaining will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air and SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD.”

I Corinthians 15: 24-28 explains how that Christ Jesus will reign on the throne during the Kingdom Age (also called the Millennial Age) on the earth. The believing Jews who have endured through the tribulation will continue to live on the earth during that time as well as Gentiles who believed on Christ and managed to endure through the seven years of judgment. They will still be in their human bodies. Many Old Testament Scriptures detail life here during that time. It will be Utopia on earth. Wild animals tame, everyone living in harmony and enjoying the beautiful earth, which will bloom like a rose. It will be an agricultural society, with plenty for everyone. Industry will have been destroyed during the tribulation. Life will be simple. People will be occupied with worship of God and their beloved King Jesus. All will go up to Jerusalem to worship. What a time that will be. Again, we of the Church Age will dwell with Christ in heaven. Our part will be so much greater than being earth dwellers.

Daniel 7:13-14 says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven... And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

To summarize this truth: Jesus will begin His reign in heaven just previous to the tribulation of seven years. Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel to protect them for seven years (Daniel 9:27.) Revelation 4 shows Christ ruling in the heavens with His overcoming believers (Rev. 4 - 5:6). God’s wrath will be poured out especially in greater measure the second half of these seven years. All the believers of the Church Age will be with the Lord in heaven. Christ and His bride will be united toward the end of this time of wrath (Rev.19). Christ and His heavenly army (no doubt His bride - overcomers of this Age) will descend to complete the final judgment of the tribulation (Rev.19:11-20). “He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet” (I Cor. 15:25). Rev. 20 tells of Satan being cast into the “bottomless pit” for one thousand years. The millennial reign on earth will begin here with all the prophesies fulfilled. Israel (those remaining after the great purge of the tribulation) will be the dominant nation on the earth, ruling with Christ on the earth. The twelve disciples will rule “... on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). It will be a time of peace and blessedness.

After the thousand years Christ will reign in another capacity because the Scripture states His reign will be “forever.” During this one thousand years it is not made clear if we will come down with Christ to the earth. We know that the Bride of Christ will be with her beloved Husband. We also have the Scripture, I Thess.4:17 “... And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The overcomers of the Church Age will rule and reign with Christ. They are seen in Rev. 19: 11-16 descending with Christ as He carries out the final judgment.

We’re looking forward to that time of being with Christ, our Lord ruling and reigning with Him.

He will come very soon. All the signs in heaven and earth show that the time until He arrives is very short. “...Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and the Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the joy cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).

Loss To Gain



But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, Phil 3:7-8

The Greek word that Paul uses in verse 7 for “gain” is the same word used in verse 8 for “win.” One kind of “gain;” things that are important to the world, exchanged for a greater eternal “gain:” winning Christ as bridegroom.

The Greek word Paul uses for “loss” carries the meaning of something detrimental. Not only does Paul cast those old “gains” aside, he considered them detrimental to his intent to “gain” Christ. How often do we hang tight to things that are detrimental to deepening our relationship with our Lord Jesus.

The things that Paul was letting loose of and setting aside, were not necessarily bad things in themselves. They were the kinds of things that people consider important. It is not necessarily the “bad” things that get in our way, but our own self sufficiency and self righteous will.

Paul’s main desire and intent was to attain to a deeper knowledge of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we consider the depth of revelation that Paul had, it will help us to understand that there is an ongoing deepening of our relationship with Jesus. Not matter how far we have gone, and how deep our knowledge of our Lord, there is still more to attain.

So, what things are getting in your way today? When Paul writes this passage in Philippians, he writes it as a very personal expression. Notice the use of the word ‘I’ here instead of ‘you’ or ‘we.’ Each one of us must take the very same approach. What is getting in my way today? What things do I need to consider loss and release from my grip to be able to know Jesus better?

We each have those things. While it is easy to look at others lives and try to find things in their lives, it is necessary to look at our own, and allow the Holy Spirit to point out the things that need to be loosened in our life. It might even be things that we think are good.

Nothing that we have here, whether it be material things, friendships, status, even ‘ministry’ is more important than our personal relationship with our Lord. We must not allow the enemy to distract us from the prize, which is Jesus.
Gordon Crook

Think on These Things


Martha Wainright

Gladstone, Missouri



“It is better to trust in the LORD than
to put confidence in man” – Psalm 118:8.

In verse five of this psalm David says he called upon the Lord in distress and the Lord answered. Verse six records, “the LORD is on my side.” Then in verse seven David declares, “the Lord taketh my part.” These statements lead up to the profound declaration of verse eight. We can read between the lines of these verses, and we can also tell by reading about the life of David that he had many occasions that necessitated his dependence on the Lord. He had many disappointments, experienced numerous broken confidences, and it is evident he despaired of life even to the point of revealing some of his inner-most feelings. Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm, and no man…” (Even in this low point in his life, the Lord was faithfully using him as he was prophesying about the suffering of Christ).

We never cease to learn, as did David, that we never come to the “bottom” in experience of learning to depend on the Lord. Let us look at the word confidence for a moment. Actually, the word is close in leaning to the word “trust;” but the word “trust” has a deeper meaning. Notice to whom these words confidence and trust are related.

In Psalm 118, the word confidence is associated with mankind, and that confidence can be broken again and again. Of course, there is a certain confidence we have to have in people to live in this world -confidence that others will obey the laws of the society where we live, such as stopping at stop signs, etc. These laws (confidences) are broken constantly; therefore, causing us to be wary even when driving a car.

However, we are really not considering this area of confidences. We are thinking, as David was, of relationships, a more personal use of the meaning of the word confidence. The Apostle Paul instructs us to have “no confidence in the flesh” – Philippians 3:3. That in our flesh is “no good thing” – Romans 7:18. So it stands to reason that if we put confidence in mankind, and that includes our self, that we are going to be disappointed and disillusioned.


These experiences can leave us confused and perplexed about the value of any relationship. Our confidence can be imperfect in relation to friends, relatives, people we work with, other saints, and any other human being with whom we have contact. And, indeed, we become disappointed with ourselves. This is a pretty dismal picture, isn’t it? I’m sure each reader can think of times of feeling betrayed due to a confidence in a relationship that was broken. You know the feeling. In fact, the very ways of mankind can be frustratingly disappointing. If we put confidence in the myriad of advertisements (through the various media), we are  in for a disappointment.

There is a better way – to trust the Lord. God’s ways are perfect, and His relationship and His dealings with His children are perfect. “God is love” – I John 4:8. This last statement is important because it cushions the blows of life. Even when we are trusting the Lord, everything won’t be perfect, because we live in an imperfect world. But we identify with the new creation, and we can trust the Lord to ultimately work all things for our good. Man cannot promise this. Therefore, we can see that it is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men.

Does this mean, then, that we can have no faith in each other? I think not. When our trust is in God, He gives us the faith to trust one another, knowing that even in our relationship with one another the Lord wants to be LORD. We come to the place of not expecting perfection from others. We expect it of God; we can have complete trust in His divinity. The Holy Spirit leads us down this path of righteousness “for His name’s sake.” The more we learn to trust the Lord, the more confidence we have in Him and in His will for our lives.

Perhaps you have been broken in spirit by lack of confidence in anything, any one and even in yourself. Then you (and I), like David, can call on the Lord in times of distress and believe that He is on our side and will take our side against the enemy of defeat. We can put our trust in the Lord and be strengthened in the inner man by the words of Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who, (or what), can be against us?” The very circumstances of life that may bring us to despair are useful in that they can also bring us to the place of trust in the Lord. Think on these things.

RUTH


Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Springfield, Missouri



Ruth 3:17 – “And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.”

First Ruth tells Naomi what Boaz had said (vs16), now she shows Naomi what Boaz did (vs17). She shows Naomi what Boaz gave her: “These six measures of barley gave he me.” Ruth “counted her blessings and named them one by one,” she knew what they were, she appreciated every one of them! She knows what she has been given is a Gift – it is a picture of Grace. She didn’t work for what he gave her, she didn’t ask for what he gave her, she only had to receive what he gave her! What wonderful GIFTS we receive from our Boaz! The Gift of Righteousness (Rom 5:17). The Gift of Eternal Life (Rom 6:23). The Gift of Salvation (Eph 2:8). The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45). Spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:1) seen in the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-10). The Gifts given for the “perfecting of the saints” (Eph 4:8,11-12) (apostles; prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers). So many gifts, so many blessings and all we are asked to do is to receive them and then joyfully tell others!

After showing Naomi what Boaz gave to her, she repeats the words of Boaz to Naomi: “for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.” On her first day in Boaz’s field she shared what she had received with Naomi (2:18-19). On her last day in Boaz’s field she again shared with Naomi (3:17). Ruth shared her blessings! From the first day to the last day Naomi has been blessed through Ruth. Naomi had come back saying that she was “empty” (1:21). Boaz wants her to know that her circumstances have changed! This verse is a wonderful companion verse and explanation of 3:15. In 3:15 we see the six measures given to Ruth. In 3:17 we see the six measures were for Naomi also. So what did Ruth do with the blessings she received from Boaz? She passed on those blessings to Naomi, she tells Naomi that this is also for her.

Naomi had given to Ruth, who in turn gave back to Naomi and then Boaz gave to both of them. They are both being rewarded for giving to each other. Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over…” (Luke 6;38). The abundance of these blessings shows that they are meant to be shared, not hoarded away but given to others. Ruth who had been taught by Naomi shared now what she had received with Naomi. How wonderfully this pictures what Paul wrote: “Let him that is taught in the word communicate (share) unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (Gal 6:6). And I can see in Ruth’s giving to Naomi, not only an obedience to the words of Boaz but also it was part of her “sacrifice of praise,” it was both a verbal and physical sacrifice. Paul describes two kinds of sacrifices, one that is verbal and one that is physical. We do both by Christ, just as Ruth did this by what Boaz had supplied: “By him (Jesus, our Boaz) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God (verbal) continually (and at all times), that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (verbal). But to do good and to communicate (share, give) forget not (physical): for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb 13:15-16). Ruth both said something and she did something and both are counted as a sacrifice of praise!

So what do these six measures given to Naomi mean to her? I believe Naomi will understand the true meaning of Boaz’s gesture and generosity. First his words “as the Lord liveth” (v13) were an oath. Next his actions in giving the “six measures of barley” (v15) were a promise. Boaz did not want Ruth to return empty but to carry back a visible blessing, proof of further blessings. For Naomi this was proof Boaz would do what he had promised, what he had sworn an oath to do. I thought of two wonderful examples of how God’s people are not sent away empty. First when they left Egypt, they did not leave empty! They left with the bounty of the Egyptians and they left with the promise of the Lord that “when ye go, ye shall not go empty” (Ex 3:21). The other example is when a Hebrew was freed from service, he did not go away empty. God told them “when thou sendest him out … thou shalt not let him go away empty…” (Deut 15:12-14).

In both these examples there is a coming out of bondage and out of adversity, out of suffering and not coming away impoverished they are enriched! So also are we. Boaz’s gift to Ruth and Naomi will both enrich and enlighten them. Naomi will be enriched with the six measures of grain and she will also be enlightened, for this tells her something. She will know this is a promise from Boaz that they will be taken care of. What a wonderful reminder to us that we will never go away empty from the presence of the Lord, we leave both enriched and enlightened!