Friday, December 14, 2007

IS THERE A TRIBE OF JOSEPH? (and why does it matter?)

New Revelation Study Posted:
Revelation 7:8 IS THERE A TRIBE OF JOSEPH? (and why does it matter?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Allow Yourselves To Be Defrauded

The same generation of church-goers whose clarion call is Don't Judge! is the same generation that will bring lawsuit against fellow-church members in a heartbeat.

I am referencing an article published in the October 10, 2007 Church Report about a pastor who punished church members who questioned his authority and who stole church money in order to give his daughter a lavish wedding reception.

Whether he was guilty or not, taking a sinful, money-embezzling pastor before unbelieving, secular courts is definitely in defiance of scripture which clearly instructs not to—to the point of allowing ourselves to be defrauded instead (1 Corinthians 6:1-8).

Of course this same scripture also instructs Christians and church leadership to deal with such a situation—looking at the facts and rendering a judgment—not to sweep it under the rug and move on without missing a beat.

Bringing a lawsuit into the mix made everyone involved wrong.

The church leadership should have stepped in and followed biblical protocol in the situation, which is laid out for us in very clear step by step detail, and gotten rid of that pastor—if indeed he was on a power trip and guilty of greed and theft.

Everyone involved in that debacle needs to repent--the thieving pastor (who needs to be replaced), the church members who brought the lawsuit, and the church leaders who refused to exercise church discipline in the situation (who need to be replaced as well).

But then, the sinful practice of incorporating churches often ensconces—permanently—ungodly leadership, and renders the possibility of having any sort of truly biblical leadership—which includes church discipline—for all practical purposes, impossible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wrath to Come 12:12 Revelation

 Revelation 12:12: The Wrath to Come …Woe to the inhabiters of the earth andof the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. The wrath the inhabitants of the earth will be subjected to during The Great Tribulation will come from more than one source. In Revelation chapter six, we see a reference to the “wrath of the Lamb.” 

In Revelation chapter fourteen, we see a reference to the “wrath of God.” In addition to these things, each of which in and of themselves, are legitimate things to fear and avoid at all costs, in Revelation 12:12, we see the inhabitants of the earth and sea informed that these woes will be compounded by the fact that the wrath of Satan will be added into the mix. 

John the Baptist was prophet who had real insight into, and understanding of, the Old Testament prophecies concerning the events of the “wrath to come.” He understood the almost absolute devastation of the earth and human population it would cause. We see that in Matthew chapter 3 verse 7. 

Paul understood these things as well and, in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, was praising God that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only to saves our souls from hell but also to delivers us from the “wrath to come.” 

There is no doubt that Paul and John the Baptist were both referencing the events that are described so vividly in The Revelation. Jesus confirms this in his statement seen in Luke 21:34-36 where he emphatically gives warning to “…pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Jesus said again, in The Revelation chapter 3 that he would keep those who keep his word from (out of) the hour of temptation (trial) that was coming upon all the world. 

Don’t wait, if you know all is not well with your soul, make it right. Turn to Jesus who is reaching out to you. Repent of the unbelief that will steal your soul for eternity. Romans 10:9-10 & 13 promises salvation to all who call upon the name of the Lord believing that Jesus Christ is his risen son. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says now is the accepted time, now is day of salvation. Acts 2:38 says: Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus.

Subscribe to Jocelyn’s Updates & Newsletters:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Four Angels Four Winds - Revelation 7:1-3

 In Revelation 7:1-3, The earth is sitting on the brink of devastating judgment. Four angels are stationed at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth. These angels are endowed with tremendous destructive power that will be violently unleashed as soon as the servants of God, the 144,000 Jews, are sealed in their foreheads. The angels are instructed not to hurt the earth, sea, or trees until these servants of God have been sealed in their foreheads.

Are the angels holding the four winds Holy Angels? Or are they fallen angels?

We know from scripture that God is in control of all powers, even Satan’s. But there is scriptural evidence that He can and does use fallen angels to accomplish His purposes. The scriptures refer to Satan as the prince of the powers of the air. And it is air (wind) that these angels hold in their power.

Think about the consequences of fallen angels that hold power over the wind and the sea: hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, fierce thunder storms, tsunamis….

There is a parallel to Revelation 7:1-3, In Ezekiel 9:1-11. In Ezekiel, we see a city sitting on the brink of judgment. We see angels with slaughter weapons in their hands. We also see an angel, clothed in linen, with an ink-horn in his hand. The angel with the ink-horn, is commanded to set a mark [of protection] in the foreheads of all the servants of God in the city (them that sigh and cry over the sin surrounding them).

Only after the righteous are sealed with that seal of protection, are the destroying angels free to do their devastating work. They acted upon the direct command of God. But were they fallen angels? Or were they Holy angels?

 ... Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified, presents us with a panoramic and chronological overview of God's plan of redemption for our souls, bodies, and this earth as revealed in scripture. The day The Towers Fell was prophesied in the Bible. The basket of currency connected with the Euro is found in the Bible. Details concerning the Rapture, The Great Tribulation, and the first 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth are looked at from the unique perspective of the seven prophetic feasts of the Lord found in the book of Exodus. Bible Prophecy Simplified is simple enough for beginning prophecy students, but there is plenty to intrigue intermediate and advanced students as well. The Bible reveals methods the antichrist will use in his rise to power and the location of his home base.

Subscribe to Jocelyn’s Updates & Newsletters:


When Will We Rule & Reign With Christ? Revelation 5:9-10

In Revelation 5:9-10, we are presented with a group of blood bought, resurrected and raptured saints. We know they have already been raised/caught up, because we see them in Heaven, before the throne of God, and wearing crowns of gold (Revelation 4:4), because they have already been raised, judged, and rewarded.

The chronology of The Revelation is clear that these things occur before any seals of judgment are opened and loosed upon the earth, initiating The Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation.

These redeemed people are praising the Lamb for two things. They are praising him for redeeming them with his blood, and they are praising him because they are looking forward to reigning on the earth with him.

Jesus, the only Christ, is God of gods, Lord of lords, and King of kings. And he will have the last word. He that sits in the Heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have his enemies in derision, and Jesus will establish a kingdom that will have no end.

But he is not reigning on this earth just yet.

With all the filth and unrighteousness we see around us, it is a gross insult to him to even suggest that he is. It goes without saying, that those who belong to him are not reigning yet either, nor will they... until Heaven opens and Christ returns visibly and physically to this earth, with all his saints.

Those who teach that mere mortals will be instrumental in “ushering in” the Kingdom of Christ by bringing about conditions on earth which will “release” Christ from Heaven, have no idea what they are talking about.

In Revelation 5:9-10 we see two things. We see the pre-tribulational resurrection of the dead in Christ and the pre-tribulational rapture of the ekklesia—the called out [out of] assembly (i.e., the Church). We also see that any ruling and reigning that will be done, is still a future event and will not take place until after The Great Tribulation is concluded. We know this because Christ will not return to earth with his resurrected and raptured saints until the battle of Armageddon, which will conclude The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Revelation 19).

New Age Christianity, examines ways New Age teaching and practices find their way into Christian churches and lives. The prophetic and spiritual formation movements are just a few of those ways. Both movements corrupt believers from the simplicity of Christ by weaving unbiblical precepts and practices into the fabric of their lives and faith.

Pray That Ye May Escape....Revelation 5:1-5

 Revelation 5:1-5 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Who is worthy to open the book of judgment and to loose the seals of judgment? Just as surely as there is a book of life, there is a book of judgment. And just as surely as that book of life will be opened, so will the book of judgment be opened. Before Christ can establish his kingdom in righteousness, sin on earth must be judged. And when the book of judgment is opened, and the seals decreeing the judgments are broken, sudden destruction will descend upon the ensnared people of the earth and, with the exception of the few who are protected by the seal of God during this time, there will be no escape from these judgments. But who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals decreeing the righteous judgments of God upon a rebellious race of humans and upon an earth corrupted by sin? Is any angel in heaven worthy to open a book and loose seals which will bring devastating judgments upon a God rejecting race? No, not even one. No angel ever became a man. No angel was ever born in sin and required to strive against sin as a human being. No angel could ever cleanse the sin of man and offer a way for him to be pardoned and attain eternal life. How could an angel do such a thing when angels are beings who cannot shed their blood and die for sin—much less triumph over sin by rising from the dead? Therefore, no angel is worthy open the book or look upon it. The option is not even offered to them. What about man? Can a man be found who is worthy to open the book and break the seals which decree the judgments? Can a man be found who is worthy to even look upon the book? In all of recorded history, only one can be found—only one man born without the taint and automatic death sentence passed upon all of Adam’s race. Only one man can be found who kept himself sinless while enduring every temptation known to man. This man said I will take the punishment for the sins of all men. I will empower mankind to be saved from the taint of sin that now resides in the world and to rise above it. I will make it possible for all men to be able to stand in the presence of God. This man gave his life so all men could live. This man rose from the dead so that sin and death can one day be abolished forever. This man, Jesus Christ, the lion who is a lamb, is worthy to judge those who reject the way of escape he so freely offers to all who will come to him, now, in the time of favor. But those who reject him during this present time of favor, and are alive when Jesus comes to raise the dead and catch up the living who belong to him, will find themselves utterly ensnared and trapped on earth during the time of the judgments contained within the seven seals of the book that is held in the right hand of him who sits upon the throne. Jesus Christ is not only worthy to open the book and loose the seals, but he will open the book and loose the seals. And his message to all can be found in the 21st chapter of the book of Luke in the 34th through 36th verses: “…take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

 Subscribe to Jocelyn’s Updates and Newsletters:

When We Do Right--But We're Not Right: Revelation 2:1-6

 Revelation 2:1-6 When We Do Right but We’re Not Right In verse one of Revelation chapter two, Jesus is speaking to the angel, or the messenger (many believe this to be the pastor, and I tend to agree) of the church at Ephesus. This letter was written to a specific person. It was delivered and read to a specific congregation. It was not written to a spirit being such as a holy angel from Heaven. 

The seven stars we see in this verse are defined in chapter 1 verse 20 as being the angels (messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches themselves. 

In verse 2, Jesus has some words of praise for this pastor. He acknowledges the hard work this pastor is doing. He acknowledged the perseverance of this person. The pastor had some praiseworthy things to his credit. Jesus saw fit to praise the fact that this pastor did not fall for every wind of doctrine—or new “move of God” by following false apostles, but rather that he tested those who claimed apostleship but in reality were not. 

This pastor had no problems exposing liars. Let me say here that I am not necessarily in agreement with the position that each of the seven churches in The Revelation parallel the church at different points in history. 

Profane history always validates biblical history and biblical prophecy but does not necessarily interpret scripture. The opposite is true, though. Scripture can always be used to interpret history. 

History never has, and never will, contradict scripture. The seven churches in The Revelation were literal churches that had issues relevant to the church as a whole, at that time as well as throughout all history, at any given time. 

Today, due to the ease of mass communication through media and technology, and corresponding accelerated demonic activity, we are faced with a proliferation of false apostles. The numbers are staggering. But the problem of false apostles has been with the church from the beginning. Peter addressed the issue detail, as did John, Jude, and Paul. 

In Revelation 2:3, Jesus continues to praise this pastor’s work, his patience and his perseverance for the name of Jesus. There is no doubt that this person contended faithfully for the faith, and with accuracy, else the praise would not be there. Nevertheless, in verse four we see Jesus throwing a big “BUT” in the mix. 

In essence, Jesus is saying, “In most everything, dear pastor, you are doing great! But we have a problem—a BIG one.” The man had good works. He was a hard worker. He persevered and did not falter with discouragement despite the fact that he lived in an incredibly sinful city. He boldly contended for the faith testing those who made claims to apostleship, then exposed them publicly for the liars they were. Jesus found all of this very praiseworthy. 

But all of this was apparently not enough for this pastor’s ministry [and his entire church] not to be threatened. We see, in verse five, where Jesus threatens to remove not only him but also his church out of his place. 

This is a serious consequence. 

The Revelation is a prophecy—all of it. And I believe that one of the reasons it begins with an overview of the church is because the issues the early church dealt with would be accelerated as the end of the age draws near. The church today faces everything the early church faced and to a greater degree. Scripture declares this to be so. 

What was this, apparently “good” pastor’s problem—a problem so serious that Jesus threatened to remove not only his personal ministry but also his church (candlestick) out of its place? 

The Bible says we are the light of the world. That is only because Jesus dwells in us and we are to reflect his light. Our Candlestick is intended to be seen. It is intended to be a beacon of safety in a dark and dangerous world. The pastor of the church in Ephesus had a serious “heart” problem that no amount of “good work” could cure. 

He had left his first love. 

He was “doing” all the right things it seemed. And no doubt he started off right—the praise he received from the Lord verifies that—but somewhere along the way his motivations had shifted. 

What caused this shift? 

Scripture does not say. All it says is that this pastor had left his first love. His relationship with Jesus had shifted from a relationship of love, loyalty, and commitment, to one of simply compliance. 

David understood the subtleties of this issue. He defined it in Psalm 51 when he said, “...for you desire not sacrifice (compliance to your law) else I would give it You delight not in burnt offering The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit a broken and a contrite heart O God you will not despise.” 

Serving God is always a heart thing. It is a love thing. Hating sin always begins with us—with being sorry for our own sin. The pastor at Ephesus contended for the faith, he could not bear those who were evil. He worked hard and exposed the false apostles among them.

This was a good thing. 

But he was also attempting to remove splinters from the eyes of others while he had a huge log in his own. And Jesus bluntly told him to get his heart right or else…. 

How many of us have experienced a motivational shift in our relationship and service to the Lord? We start out absolutely in love with Jesus. Our relationship with him is pure joy. Our work for him is a labor of love. But somewhere along the way something changes. 

What caused the change? Fear? Do we now work hard “for Jesus” because we are afraid we will lose God’s approval, our salvation, or our “ministry” if we do not? Have we focused so much on “building a ministry” that the thing no longer belongs to God, is no longer a service to God, but the ownership of it has shifted and it now owns us instead, and our lives are spent doing what needs to be done in order to make sure “the ministry” survives? 

Jesus said, “You have left your first love.” Do we give tithes and offerings because the Bible tells us too, but are resentful when we give the money? God doesn’t need our money, nor does he simply want our compliance. He wants our hearts. God loves a cheerful giver. Could lust, ambition, power, money, or some spiritual experience have caused a shift? 

Issues of the heart and our love relationship with our Savior, are so important to him, that he sees it utter rejection when our affection cools and our faithfulness and loyalty shifts. When that happens, we begin cheating on God. We start committing spiritual adultery. 

The Bible says our maker is our husband, our spouse. When we cheat on God, we begin lying to him, to ourselves, and to everyone involved about where our true affections lie. 

Jesus says to remember from where we have fallen from. He commands us to repent and do our first works over, or else he will come quickly and remove our candlestick (Revelation 1:20 defines the candlestick as one of the seven congregations). When a pastor or minister leaves their first love, it not only has detrimental affects on them personally, but also on those who follow them. Jesus said so when he said, “The blind lead the blind and they both fall into the pit.” 

Pastors, we need to take care that we do not become Pied Pipers, because that is exactly what happens when our motivations shift and we leave our first love—Jesus removes us, and often, we take many of our followers along with us.

 Subscribe to Jocelyn’s Updates & Newsletters:

The Lord's Day Revelation 1:10

Revelation 1:10

“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day…”

John was in exile on the Isle of Patmos, and he was in the spirit on the “Lord’s Day.” Exactly what day is that?

Some will say the “Lord’s Day” is the first day of the week—Sunday. Others insist it is the seventh day of the week—Saturday.

What do the scriptures have to say?

That the Church, as early as the days of the apostles, worshipped on the first day of the week (which they called "The Lord's Day") is indesputable.

Acts 20:7 they gathered, had communion and preached on the first day of the week. In 1 Corinthians 16:2 we see them gathering and taking up offerings on the
first day of the week.

These things are still done when we gather together for corporate worship. The scriptures show the first Christians gathering on the first day of the week.

Revelation 1:10 The first day of the week became the "Lord's Day" because that is the day Jesus, The Lord of the Sabbatah, rose from the dead, and the Body of Christ began honoring that day immediately—not, as some so loudly claim, in the fourth century when Christianity became the official religion of Rome.

However, there were disputations about it even then, and Paul assured everyone that which-ever day they preferred to honor was OK—Romans 14:5—as every day should be holy unto the Lord.