Jesus is Coming Soon – Is There a Millennium

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Friends, 

Some time back I was asked to provide a Bible study that would include some documentation from the early Christian writers on their belief in a millennium, what is often called the 1000 year reign, or the kingdom age of Messiah.

Image resultInterestingly enough while the Scriptures are filled with references to an age to come that is described as peace and prosperity in all the earth, the only direct reference we have in the Scriptures to a 1000 year reign is in Revelation. But it is equally interesting that the concept of a 1000 year reign is taught both in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam, in Zoroastrianism, and in other oriental religions. 

The belief in a Millennium is deeply embedded in religions around the world. With that in mind, I’ll share primarily from early Church documentation. First, we need to hear from the apostle John.

“And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he lay hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he could not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things, he must be released for a short time.

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead or on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelations 20:1-5)

Notice that the term “a thousand years” is used four times. Though the book of Revelation is filled with symbols, John seems to be pretty clear on the issue of a thousand year period of time where Satan is placed in captivity. But the question that we want to answer is how did other early believers look at this idea of a thousand year reign? Did they accept a literal one thousand year

Did they accept a literal one thousand year reign, or did they simply place this teaching in Revelation as symbolic of perhaps something else?

The answer is that nearly all the earliest Christian writers believed in a literal thousand year reign. When I speak of the earliest writers, I am including second and third generation disciples. This would include those who were nearest to the apostolic age. Here are some quotes:

#1) Reference to Papias cited by Eusebius (Papias was a disciple of the Apostle John and a friend of Polycarp; 60-130 ad); “Among these things, Papias says that there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth.”

#2) Justin Martyr (c. 160); “There was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem.”

#3) Hippolytus (c. 205); “The Sabbath is the type and symbol of the future kingdom of the saints when they shall reign with Christ after He comes from heaven, as John says in his Revelation. For ‘a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.'”

#4) Tertullian (c. 207); “We do confess that a kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before heaven. Only, it will be in another state of existence. For it will be after the resurrection for a thousand years in the divinely-built city of Jerusalem ‘let down from heaven.'”

#5) Victorinus (c. 280); “The true Sabbath will be in the seventh millennium of years when Christ will reign with His elect.”

#6) Lactantius (c. 340); “Back then a mortal and imperfect man was formed from the earth so that he might live a thousand years in this world. So, now, from this earthly age is formed a perfect man. And, being quickened by God, he will bear rule in this same world through a thousand years.”

#7) Irenaeus (c. 180); “The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous will bear rule, after their rising from the dead. It is also the time when the creation will bear fruit with an abundance of all kinds of food, having been renovated and set free. … And all of the animals will feed on the vegetation of the earth. They will become peaceful and harmonious among each other, and they will be in perfect subjection to man. And these things are borne witness to in the fourth book of the writings of Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp.”

#8) Commodianus (240); “The Amen sends flames on the nations. And the Medes and Persians burn for a thousand years, as the apocalyptic words of John declare. After a thousand years, they will be delivered over to Gehenna. And he whose work they were is burned up with them.”

This is a sampling of how very literal the earliest disciples took the belief of a thousand year reign. There were a few such as Origen who denied a literal reign of Christ on the earth. These were in a minority. Origen was later charged with heresy.

That there was to be an age to come that precedes the eternities of God is very much described in the Scriptures. Isaiah is replete with descriptions of that age. Rather than go through the many references, let’s consider this one;

“The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus. It will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given it the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.” (Isaiah 35:2)

Then we have the teaching of Jesus. In the beatitudes, the Lord said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) This is a near quote from the book of Psalms; “But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” (Psalm 37:11)

An important point to keep in mind is that the Bible of the early believers was simply the writings of Moses, of David, and the prophets, along with whatever apostolic writings had been collected. There was no need to rewrite all that God had to say about an age to come. The Hebrew people very much believed in a Messianic age. Their Bible was filled with descriptions of that certain age.

Perhaps we need to consider the word for ‘age.’ The Greek word is ‘aion.’ Aion generally refers to a unit of time. (The context determines its usage.) The Lord seemed to have the kingdom age in view, when he said, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:34-36)

This statement by Jesus ties in with that John had to say about the resurrection and the thousand year reign. He said, “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”

Then when John speaks of thrones being set up at the end of the thousand year reign, Paul had this to say; “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the matters of this life.” (1 Co6:3)

Just some things to think about.

Shalom in Christ,

Buddy

One God and Father of Us All

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Church God's Hands“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

“There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as also you were called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph 4:1-7)

 

Journal, 

Believers who are fully mature in Christ Jesus are not as divided as many may think. Christian maturity is not an issue of which denomination or Christian group a believer belongs to. It is about the nature of Christ at work in the believer’s life. 

Speaking of spiritual maturity, in the Bible, the number seven often caries the idea of perfection or wholeness. In the new covenant it can include the idea of a spiritual completeness (or maturity). Notice in the above Scriptures, how the apostle Paul uses the word ‘one’, seven times. The apostle is addressing true nature of Godly maturity.

Our spiritual wholeness and maturity can be found in these seven terms. Listen to them again, in the sense of we as Christians are truly one people –

1. [We are] One body.

2. [We are of] One Spirit.

3. [We have] One hope.One Lord

4. [We have] One Lord.

5. [We have] One faith.

6. [We have] One baptism.

7. [There is but] One God. 

The last ‘One’ tells the tale. The apostle said, “[There is] one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” 

 

But What About Divisions

So the question remains – If the Church is one body, why so many divisions? Perhaps there is a plus side that we need to consider. The plus side has to do with how the Lord describes His church. He uses the grape-vine with its many branches. There is only one vine but many branches.

All the branches have the responsibility of bearing fruit for the Vine Dresser, of whom Jesus says is the Heavenly Father. The fruit we bear, therefore, is the fruit of Christ Himself. (He is the Vine.) Therefore it can be said that if we are truly in union with Christ, then we will be one heart and union with other true believers. 

We can even use ancient Israel as an example. There were twelve tribes and each tribe was given its allotted territory. Plus each tribe had particular distinctions and God-given purposes that gave them their differences. Yet there was only one tabernacle or temple to which worship was to be centered.

One BodyThe new covenant carries the same idea with the exception that we have no earthly temple (other than the church itself), and no earthly high priest who stands between all believers and God.

There is no mediatorial ministry in the new covenant because every believer has direct to the throne of God.

But there can be a negative side to divisions. It has to do with …

 

The Stigma of Sectarianism

The negative side is when a branch tries to distance itself and seeks to disregard all the other branches of the vine. In this case that branch is unable to bear the true fruit of Christ. That branch will begin to bear withered fruit. It becomes more earthly minded and institutionalized in its thinking. According to Jesus, that branch can even lose its place in the Vine. 

To carry this further, new covenant people are described as a heavenly people. Take care for these Scriptures: 

“For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.  … 

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of Our Citizenshipall, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” (Heb 12:18-24)

And again:

“Pilate answered, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?’

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.

“Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’

“Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.‘” (Joh 18:35-37)

Did you catch it?

And all this brings us to the negative side of the question, ‘If the Church is one body, why are there so many divisions?’

 

See the Problem –

Please go back and read the Scriptures just given above. Read them a third or fourth time. Read them until it dawns on you what the problem is.

Irish MottoThe problem is that some have set about to make an earthly institution to represent the kingdom of God.

This does not mean that earthly institutions are wrong. They are not wrong if members of these institutions are given freedom of conscience, and given the right to hear from the Lord themselves, and can accept that they are only one part of the great Body of Christ.

(The picture here is provided by the Church of Christ in Galway, Ireland.) 

Keep in mind that just about every war on this planet has sectarianism at its base. In years gone by Christians have killed other Christians over sectarianism. Ireland is a good example.

Look closely at the Muslim world today. Muslims are beheading other Muslims because of sectarianism. 

But lets come back to …

 

The True Beauty of the Church

The beauty of the Church revolves around who the Church really is. The Church is the bride of Christ. And the Bible wraps itself around the story of God’s Son and His Bride. 

The Old Testament and the New Testament both draw attention to marriage. Genesis opens with God presenting Adam with a bride. The New Testament shows the very first miracle of Jesus to be at a wedding. But notice how the New Testament ends – 

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.'” (Rev 22:17)

Now for a last thought – What is the heartbeat of God’s true church? Is it not a love for the Son of God. The Irish church called attention to it in the above picture, in alluding to 2 Corinthians 11:3. 

Listen carefully to what the apostle Paul was warning God’s people about – 

“For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

“For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” (2Co 11:2-4)

The church at Corinth had to struggle over their relationship to Jesus Christ. Many of their teachers where preaching a different Jesus. Could this really be at the heart of sectarianism One in the Spirittoday? 

Should we not be cautious that our love for God, is not about a Baptist Jesus, a Pentecostal Jesus, a Catholic Jesus, a Methodist Jesus, and on and on and on.

May I add to this in saying that God only gave us one name that believers are to find themselves by. It is the name Christian. With that in mind, take to heart what the apostle Peter had to say – 

“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

“Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1Pe 4:14-16)

Just some things to think about. 

Please take time for this song

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Your servant in Christ,

Buddy 

Recommended Studies – Latest Update

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“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

“The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psa1:1-6)

 

Journal, 

I’ve had close to 200,000 reads on my online Journal, with over 150,000 visitors. On occasion I like to offer a list of the posts that have acquired the most readings. (These figures only account for my blog. The studies have reached untold people through many other avenues.)

In this entry is a listing of the five most read entries, beginning with the most read. There is also a note for each entry on what it is about. 

 

The Most Read Posts from My Journal

First: My Story – http://buddymartin.net/blog/testimony/  

This is by far this is the most read from my Journal. Point at hand: ‘I don’t ask that my theology be your theology. This journal entry is simply about my walk with the Lord.’

 

Second: 700+ – http://buddymartin.net/blog/500-2/

Note: This is where you can gain access over 700 studies that I’ve provided.

 

Third: Passing Through the Valley of Baca – http://buddymartin.net/blog/baca/

This entry provides an encouragement to all who need strengthening in the Lord. ‘The valley of Baca is the valley of tears. Betty and I have been there often and especially when we stood beside the grave of our son.’

 

Fourth: Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment – http://buddymartin.net/blog/mercy-triumphs-over-judgment/ 

This entry takes up from the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and includes a valuable lesson that all believers need to learn.

 

Fifth: Jesus, the Wonder and Mystery of the Bible – http://buddymartin.net/blog/jesus-the-wonder-and-mystery-of-the-bible/ 

This entry deals with a question. ‘Did Jesus pre-exist as the Father in eternity, or with the Father.’ See what you think? The apostle calls Jesus Christ, the mystery that is hidden in God. 

 

I pray these studies will help you in your journey of faith. 

Thought I would throw in this video for you who would like to know a bit more about the Martin family. (It is taken from our 50th Wedding Celebration. We now have 51+ years of marriage.)

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In Christ always, 

Buddy

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Just Tell a Lie Long Enough

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Liar

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1Jn 1:5-6)
 

Journal, 

Rarely do I find myself engaging in the political affairs of our nation. But along with many others, I find it is my time to join my voice with, ‘Enough is enough!’

It is said that if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough, people will begin to believe it. Is that not what has happened in America? A strong case can be made in how Western liberalism with its strong armed media, has managed to poison the minds of so many with regard to racism. Yet the true story is not being told. 

Some of the problem is that the conservative voice is being drowned out. And especially if you are a black conservative, you are an endangered species. (Quoting a well known black pastor.) 

But that is changing. 

So, let’s begin with, who is telling the truth? Who are the victims? With regard to the police, who are the victims? Are the victims young black men who are being targeted by white police officers, or could it be that the real victims are the policemen and women who are being made the scapegoats? 

Yes, as a former police officer, I do take exception to how police are maligned. Think about it – When the citizens are running from danger, the police are running towards the danger. Who are the real heroes, the Al Sharpton? He is among those who amass their fortunes on the backs of the blacks. The heroes are police officers who lay their lives on the line every single day. 

It is not a matter of the wrong that can take place when an officer exceeds his duties. That small group of officers is a negative percentage. But do we really dare tell it like it is? The Al Sharpton certainly does not want the truth told. It would interfere with his coffers.  

This is going to take a bit of time, but if you follow through with these videos, perhaps  you will see something that you weren’t really aware of.

Let’s begin here –

 

The Police Chief Tells it Like it Is

In this first video, take time to listen to the police chief of Milwaukee. The statistics don’t lie. (It only begins here. I have other videos by others in the black community who have much to say about the lie of racism.) 

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The Black American Awakening –

In case you wish to question the police chief, take time to listen to this video, concerning the black awakening in America. 

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Now let’s bring it to my home state. 

 

Hear it from a black Louisiana Senator …

Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory changed from Democrat to Republican. Find out why –

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OK – Let’s hear it from a black grandmother –

Boy is she mad.

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Finally let’s hear it from –

 

Bishop E.W. Jackson 

Bishop Jackson speaks with much clarity on the war that is being declared against Christianity. 

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I pray that you have taken time to listen to each of these videos. Now you must decide who is telling the truth. 

In Christ always,

Buddy

 

The Allurement of the Forbidden

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Temptation7“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. …

” … Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal 6:1-9)

Journal, 

When Jesus came to His disciples and found them sleep, He said to them, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

This statement is very telling with regard to temptations. It tells us up front that a temptation is not something we want to enter into. And, secondly, it tells us that temptations have their strongest avenue through our flesh life. (The flesh life refers to that part of our lives that is not under the influence of the Holy Spirit.)

Solicitations to evil come in many forms, but the source is the same, and the goal is pretty much the same. The word ‘temptation’ (peirasmos) speaks of an enticement to sin. The purpose of a temptation is to break down a believer’s faith, that is, to pull a believer away from the Lord by way of an allurement.

Many believers do not realize what a temptation from Satan is really about. A temptation has to do with the believer’s espousal to Jesus Christ. One description of the new covenant is given in the form of a marriage contract.

Listen to these Scriptures:

“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full”(Joh 3:29 – John the Baptist)

Temptations6“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.”  (Mat 22:2 Jesus)

“For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2Co 11:2-3 Apostle Paul)

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev 19:7-8 Apostle John)
 

Marriage in Two Parts – Kiddushin and Nisuim

The ancient Hebrew wedding had two parts, Kiddushin and Nisuim. Kiddushin is where the groom says, ‘I sanctify you to me.’ This is the espousal of marriage. There is no living together in kiddushin, but it is considered sacred and holy. (Kiddushin actually means holiness.) 

The second stage, Nisuim, is when the groom comes for his bride. Nisuim means, ‘lifting up’. This is also were the Christian marriage gets its tradition of carrying the bride across the threshold.

The ancient marriage is the background for what Jesus said to the apostles –

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (Joh 14:1-3)

I hope my readers are getting the picture. The church is in the stage of kiddushin. We are espoused to the Lord Jesus. In the ‘catching away’, JeTemptations5sus receives us to Himself. 

But we are commanded to make ourselves ready. How would we do that. The apostle Paul said,

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2Co 7:1)

The promises Paul is speaking of has to do with our separation from the world, from the unclean, and from entering into fellowship with unbelievers. In this sense God says that He will make His presence known in our lives.

Think about it. You men and women who are married, would you be pleased if another person was coming on strong to your espoused? How about if they kept coming on with all sorts of allurements? How would you feel about that?

Now let’s talk about …  

 

Satan’s Attempt to Court 

In line with what Jesus said to the disciples, a temptation is something we do not want to enter into. The reason is that in a temptation we meet, or experience, or encounter an allurement of Satan. A Satanic allurement can be very powerful.

Temptations2A temptation from Satan, is his invitation to take part in what he has for us. While it should be understood that a temptation itself is not a sin, it should also be understood that a temptation can be very powerful. This is why Jesus said we must pray so that we won’t enter into a temptation.

In the Greek text, “enter into temptation” is ‘eiserchomai eis peirasmos.’ The ‘eis‘ denotes a movement from one realm of reality into another. When we enter ‘into’ a temptation, we actually pass into another reality. And it all begins with an enticement to the mind. 

The reality in this case proves to be Satan’s doing. But once the temptation has completed its work, the person who has fallen into this ‘alternate’ reality, and then returns to their right mind, they then wonder how it could ever have happened. This shows the power of a temptation.

James gives us the process of a temptation. Listen carefully –

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted (tested) by God’ (or, ‘God is in this.’); for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone (with evil). But each one is tempted when he is carried away (demonic allurement) and enticed by his own lust (strong desire).

“Then when lust has conceived (the door has been walked through), it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death. (Something always dies. Only God can restore life.) Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:13-16)

Where James says ‘Do not be deceived,’ the word ‘deceived’ is ‘planao.’ It speaks of something that causes a wandering, or a misleading.

The idea behind the word ‘deceive’, in the Hebrew includes the thought of ‘stealing the heart.’ Satan’s goal in temptation is to steal a person’s heart. A person under a deception is unable to recognize the things of God in their truthful perspective. They are under the power of another ‘reality.’ And Satan has a way of working a temptation where the person is convinced that the thing being offered is actually of God.

Let’s make sure we understand that …. 

 

The Allurement is Satan’s Working Power

A temptation can also be defined as the working power of sin. For this reason sin is not simply an act. Before the fall of Adam and Eve, they did not know about the power of sin. After the fall they became well acquainted.

And through the fall the human race became even more acquainted with the working of sin. Sin is enmeshed in the human makeup. Adam and Eve became sinners. That is, they became prone Temptationsto evil because of their fallen nature. 

In considering the temptation of Adam and Eve, it can safely be said that for a believer, a temptation is largely going to be in an area of something ‘forbidden’ by God. And this is why a temptation from Satan is a solicitation to evil.

Remember the temptation of Eve? The serpent said to her, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?'”

Satan draws Eve into an area of reasoning, and by this process she comes under his power. My point is that Satan doesn’t always spring a temptation on us where we instantly fall. Most often he works the pieces together in a way that when the proper moment comes, we step right through the door.

Satan is good at painting a picture or working a puzzle. He does it stroke by stroke, or piece by piece. This is why the apostle warns us about the “schemes of the devil.” (A scheme is a well thought out plan. ‘Methodeia‘ means to use craft.)

With all this information, what should be do? The Bible tells us what to do.

Begin with a personal examination.  

 

There is a Test We Must Pass 

The apostle Paul said the place to begin is to examine our own heart and life to make certain Temptations4that we are true believers in Jesus Christ. 

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” (2Co 13:5)

What is the test about? It is about worldliness. It is about whether the Spirit of Jesus is truly indwelling us. The apostle John laid it out —

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1Jn 2:15-16)

James the brother of Jesus, said it this way –

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (Jas 4:4)

The point at hand is simple – How we live our lives is the measure of our relationship with God. If we can live in sin and have no conscience about it, that becomes the measure of our heart. 

But I must be careful here – It is not that a true believer cannot have a failure in his or her life. That goes without saying. We are all sinners saved by grace. But the measure comes back to our deepest want to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Temptations7In this case, when we fall or when we sin, we will be found with a heart of repentance. And in our turning to the Lord, we also find His cleansing love at work. 

John explained God’s cleansing love –

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1Jn 1:5-10)

Are you ready? Jesus is coming soon for His bride. Will you be there?

You may wish to take time for this song. Let it minister to your heart –

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In Christ always, 

Buddy

Islam – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Islamic Hatred8On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, and the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off … ” (Isa 29:18-20)

 

Journal, 

My forte of study for nearly fifty years as a gospel minister has been the Hebrew background of Christianity. After all the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is a Hebrew document. Not everyone understands this.

The Christian faith actually began as a recognized sect of Judaism. The early Jewish believers never saw themselves apart from Israel. Point at hand – Not only was Jesus of the tribe of Judah, but every apostle was of Hebrew extraction. And every person that bore witness to the resurrected Lord Jesus, was Hebrew. (There were over 500 witnesses.)

This is why Christians have such an affinity for Israel and the Jewish people. It is as one writer alludes, ‘Christians see themselves as spiritual Semites.’

However, I’ve also followed through with extensive studies on varied religions including that of Islam. It is Islam that I wish to direct my readers to in this article.

Many do not realize that Islam, is a world-denominating religion whose inviolable goal is the subjugation of all humanity to Islam. It is in that sense that Islam differs from what we think of as just another religion of the world. Islam is a religion of the sword.

 

The Roots of Islam 1 Buddys Blog-001

Islam at its very roots is anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Christ, and anti-any other religion. This alone tells us who is behind the ‘unseen’ spiritual (realities) helm of Islam. Islam is a counterfeit religion that boasts of itself as the only true and absolute religion. [A counterfeit seeks to replace that which is genuine and true.]

Keep in mind that the term ‘antichrist’ carries two thoughts. It means to be in opposition to, but it also means ‘to be in place of.’ Muhammed created a Jesus for the Islamic faith that is in opposition to and in place of the true Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of Islam is a false Jesus. 

Both Paul and Jesus warned of this –

[Paul] “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus who we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” (2Co11:3,4)

Do you see the three things that Islam has fulfilled in the Muslim belief system? Muhammad based hisFalse Gabriel Quran on appearances of an angel, so-called, Gabriel. This angel was from the dark powers and certainly not an angel of God. At the first, Muhammad even thought he was being demonized.  

[Jesus gave a direct warning.] “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” (Joh 5:43)

 

What Then is the Good

If Islam is the bad and the ugly, what then is the good? The good is obvious. The good is the message of the cross. The good is that God so loved the world that He sent His beloved Son, to be judged in our place, and to offer us a life that is of heaven.

The other good is that multiplied millions of Muslims are turning to the Lord Jesus Christ. (This report comes from noted Muslim clerics.) And the key to their turning is a book.

Islamic Hatred5Most Muslims have no true knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is changing. Muslims everywhere are discovering that there is a book called the Bible. It is a book that speaks to the heart of men.

Muslims around the world are begging for Bibles. And not only that, the Lord Himself is speaking to Muslims, in dreams, in Islamic Hatred6visitations, and through Christian television, and radio, and by way of the internet.

No wonder the enemy of our faith is so angry. He has no defense against the power of the gospel to penetrate and change the hearts of men. This is why his anger is directed towards Christians in particular. 

 

The Wrap Up

I believe we are in the wrap up of the age, that Jesus describes as the great dragnet cast into the sea. — Listen:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away …

“So it will be at the end of the age …” (Mat13:47-49 – This chapter has several parables that likely FInding Restdescribe the work of God’s kingdom, through the church age.

And so … 

 

It Is All About the Book

Like many religions, Islam also has its counterfeit writings, including the Quran and Hadith among others. But there is only one book that can offer its originLiving Words from heaven. The Bible is the only book ever given to man, that records history before it happens. 

The Bible is the only book that can reach its arms around any human on this planet, and welcome them to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. 

Here is a video that speaks to what is happening in Islam today. Nabeel Quresh, a former Muslim, calls attention to the difference of the Jesus of Islam and the Jesus of Christianity. (It is lengthy, but well worth the viewing for anyone what wishes to understand the basics of the Muslim religion.)

 

In Christ always,

Buddy

Israel, Egypt, and Assyria Will Be One

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Israel Egype Assyria2

“In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’ (Isa 19:21-25)

 

Journal,

This is a message that many people, including Christians, are not fully aware of. One day the Islamic world will make a major turn, and thus find themselves spiritually aligned with the nation of Israel. This alignment will not be simply geopolitical. It will be an alignment that brings glory to God Himself.

The upheaval now making its way through the Islamic world, is only the tip of the iceberg. Other elements that must come into play. The Bible speaks of the shaking of the nations. All this is necessary to the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Lord said that when we began to see the dismay among the nations we are to lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. (Cf. Luke 21:25-28)

Since we know certain things are necessary, we need not be caught off guard. We are told beforehand of the things that will take place at the closing of this age. Many are little aware of how exact the story of redemption history is laid out by the Old Testament prophets.

 

Isaiah – The 5th Gospel

The book of Isaiah is often referred to as the 5th gospel. The primary reason is because in Isaiah’s writings we see awesome prophetic insights into God’s plan of redemption. These predictions are absolutely astonishing. More Jewish people have been brought to Jesus Christ by way of Isaiah 53, than any other Old Testament book. There is no mistaking who Isaiah was talking about. 

Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ, and yet he gives exact prophecies in connection with both the first and the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Isaiah spoke of things in eternity passed. He spoke of the times that he lived in, and he set forth how God’s redemption plan would work its way through in the far distant future. His fulfilled prophecies are too far many to try to list in this entry.

Of course Isaiah was not the only prophet of this regard. God gave all His servants of old the prophetic foundation for His plan of redemption. This is why the apostles were instructed to do their work from what had already been written by the prophets. Every prophecy was to have its fulfillment.

The very foundation of the Christian church is based upon what had been revealed to the prophets. The apostles were to take these ancient writings by way of instruction in laying the foundation for the new covenant people of Christ. Paul said we were never to exceed what had been written by the prophets.

Listen:

“… for through Him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:18-22)

 

 

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Muslims turning to Jesus

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I won’t pretend to know how all this plays out. Some things are very clear while other things have to be seen in their time. One thing we do know is that God’s work of redemption began in Jerusalem. It will end in Jerusalem.
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The Dome of the Rock (the Golden Dome) is built on the site of the first and the second temple in Jerusalem. It remains the holiest place in Judaism. Yet Israel has no access to the Temple Mount other than to the Western Wall. (Often referred to as the Wailing Wall.)
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In the Golden Dome there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword.

Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.
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The greatest need in Islam today is for the Muslim people to hear the true gospel of Jesus. And that is exactly what is happening on a measure that is nothing less than astonishing. Not only are Muslims being exposed to the true testimony of Jesus, but the Lord is appearing to them in dreams and visions.

Jesus is speaking into the very heart of Islam. The turmoil we are seeing in the Muslim world will be played out with the greatest movement of salvation that the world has ever seen.

 

Islam is Preconditioned …

The world of Islam has been preconditioned for the gospel. While the truth of Jesus Christ has been distorted in the Quran, yet Jesus is highly regarded in the Muslim faith. He is seen both as Messiah and as one of the five great Messengers of God. Of course their idea of Messiah is not that of God Himself revealed in human form.

However, it is in this high regard that the gospel will make powerful inroads into their world. Keep in mind what the apostle said about the gospel of Jesus Christ — “It is the power of God unto salvation.”

The most powerful force on this planet today is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has the power to penetrate into the darkest of human hearts. Just as the Bamboo Curtain has fallen, and the Iron Curtain has fallen, even so the Islamic Curtain will also fall.

Islam is the last vestige in the gospel’s final approach to Jerusalem. Oh yes, there is much more to take place, but everything is moving at a rapid pace. Jesus said that He was going to shorten the days for the sake of God’s people. Perhaps it is time to begin looking up.

As for Jerusalem, here is what the prophet Zechariah said —

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

 

Would you like to hear what is happening in the world of Islam? Multiplied millions are coming to receive Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior, including imans and former teriorists.

Here are two testimonies that will stir your heart. One is ‘Khalli’s Conversion.’ The other is of a Palestinian militant whose father is the major leader of the Hamas. (Sit back. Take the time. Hear what the Lord is doing.)

By the way, no one can minister to a Muslim on the level of that a Muslim who has found Jesus. And God is raising up these testifiers by the multiplied numbers.

 

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In Christ always,

Buddy

Be on the Alert – Be Informed

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Stand by me“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

 in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.” (Php 1:27-28)

 

Journal,

Did you catch it? Read the bold blue again.

Yes indeed, all the signs for the second coming of Jesus Christ are fitting together.

I know – You have heard about the second coming of Jesus, all your life. That is a good thing. However, you have never seen all the signs of His second coming together on the measure that they are to be seen in this hour.

The better question is, ‘Are you ready?’

Next question – ‘Are you afraid of the things happening on the earth?’

You shouldn’t. All true believers belong to the Son of the Father’s Glory. And He, the Son of the Clouds, is coming back in the same way He ascended.

This is what the apostle John saw –Second Coming7

Now for something you may not be aware. The ancient Jewish people (Hebrews) had this to say about God’s Messiah (Written in the Babylonian Talmud) – The Messiah is called ‘Bar Nifle’, which means, ‘the son of the clouds.’

“And behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven; and it is written, ‘Poor, and riding upon an ass’; if they (Israel) are worthy He (Messiah) comes with the clouds of heaven; but if they are not worthy, He comes poor and riding on an ass. Tal.Babl.” (Sanh., fol.98,1)

How did He come to Israel the first time? Remember how Jesus entered Jerusalem, on the donkey?

Israel is going to be ready for the second coming. They will recognize Him by the nail scarred hands. Oh yes – Read about it in Zechariah 12:8-10.

Islamic world – You are in serious trouble. My suggestion – Turn from antiantichrist religion and turn to the true Jesus Christ of the gospels.

Think about it – Are you ready for the second coming?

And now for …

 

A Bit of Awareness Instruction

Take time for these three important videos. They will bring you up to date.

1st – Muslims embracing Christianity –

2nd – Warnings by President Bush in 2007 –

3rd – A former Muslim sets the tone for understanding Islam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Xx9Uj1SZ0

To all my Christian friends – Don’t be slothful in your walk with the Lord. Consider what I have shared. The Lord will give you understanding of the times.

In Christ Jesus,

Buddy

Internally Filled With Violence

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“You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you. Islam“By the abundance of your trade …

… you were internally filled with violence,

” … and you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God.

“And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.

“By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries. “Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you.” (Eze 28:14-18)

Journal,

Keep in mind that the Bible is the only book ever written that records history before it happens. For this reason God’s children need to be aware of the times that we are living in. It has been mapped out in the Scriptures.

While the Lord has often given me the spirit of prophecy to serve what is necessary to the matter, I don’t pretend to be a prophet. However, I am a man of the Spirit and of the Book. For this reason I urge all my readers to take time for this entry and especially to take time for the videos provided.

In the Scriptures above, pay close attention to the statement, “You were internally filled with violence.” This statement is addressing Satan’s original role in heaven. It speaks to his internal nature.

This very nature will be found in the antichrist and in the armies of antichrist. It should not take a genius to see where this nature is at work in the world today.

 

An Antichrist Religion

Many do not realize that Islam is prefaced with a false Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures has been replaced in the Quran, with what the apostle Paul called, ‘another Jesus.’

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

“For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spiritIslam2 which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” (2Co 11:3-4)

The preaching of another Jesus was already present among the earliest believers. It has been a blight in Christianity ever since. But not on the level that it was set forth by Muhammed in the six hundreds.

Muhammed replaced the Lord Jesus Christ with a false Jesus. He said that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that He did not die on the cross, that His blood has nothing to do with our salvation. Muhammed’s Jesus was set forth as one of the five great prophets, but with Muhammed taking the principle part of all the prophets. (This gives you an idea of why Islam is antichrist.)

 

Where is All the Violence Today

It should not take a genius to see who is responsible for all the wars and rumors of wars that are taking place on our planet this very day. The reason it is going to increase is because Satan knows that his time is short.

“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Rev 12:12)

In addition to Satan’s internal violence, he also has his hatred of women. Listen to this description of antichrist. Is there an Islamic hatred of women? 

Daniel was given prophetic insight into the final days of antichrist, which included insight into the nature of antichrist and of antichrist’s armies — 

Pay close attention to the highlighted areas. They reveal the very heart of Islam. –

“He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god;

” …for he will magnify himself above them all. [Muslin antichrist.]

“But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.

“He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him [confessors of Allah & Muhammed] and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.” (Dan 11:37-39)

With regard to Satan’s hatred of women, keep in mind how this is laid out in the fall of Adam, with Satan knowing that redemption will come through the seed of the woman.

I am absolutely fascinated with how the Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawthis, bravely lays it out on a public forum, how Islam in general views women. 

Take time for this video. It is lengthy but well worth the viewing. (Comes in two parts.)

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Plagues and the Distress of Nations

The following video concerns only one facet of what is unfolding around the world today. Wars and rumors of wars will increase and men’s hearts will begin to fail because of what is happening in the earth. 

The Lord said for His people should not be alarmed because our redemption is drawing near.

Always keep in mind that the pivot point of all this centers on Jerusalem. (As you view the video, you may make your own determinations.)

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There is much more to be said. Perhaps the Lord will use this entry to alert many to what it happening. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Remember this – The Bible is the only book ever written that records history before it happens.

 

In Christ always,

Buddy

 

The Days That Are Ordained

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Godly“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way.

“When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

“I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (Psa 37:23-25)

 

Journal,

While the background for this entry draws on my walk with the Lord, it is my wish that readers see their own walk with the Lord.

Every believer’s life is distinct, and is put in place by the Lord Himself. There are no big ‘I’s’ or little, ‘You’s.’ There are only callings and placements. And all placements relate to the purpose of the kingdom of God.

My calling is as a minister of the gospel. In this case I must line up with the apostle Paul, who said,

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.

“For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

“What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.” (1Co 9:16-18)

I’ve preached the gospel from age 24 to almost age 74 (next month). But I’ve been aware of my call to the gospel ministry ever since early childhood.

I’ve pastored, evangelized, preached in theaters, in store fronts, off the back of trucks, in nursing homes, on the streets, in jails, in mountain villages, and city churches, In banana plantations, in brush arbor revivals, in tent revivals, in seminars, on the radio and tv, and in various states and countries —

Then came the internet. I now have over 700 Bible studies available from my on-line internet Journal.

Looks like I would eventually run out things to share – But that is not the way it works.

Studies archived here: http://buddymartin.net/blog/500-2/

Actually it goes deeper. This is where I need to make something quite clear about God’s new covenant people. It is all about the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

Here is a brief explanation –

We Are a Prophetic People

In the former testament the only ones who generally heard directly from God were the prophets. (Sometimes a priest or a king.) A prophet was known as, ‘the man of God.’

God spoke to the prophet. The prophet spoke to God. It all related to the ‘knowing’ aspect in the prophet’s life. To know the Lord meant that the prophet had entered into fellowship with the Lord and acknowledged God’s claims over the prophet’s life. That very same idea carries over into the new covenant people of God.

The new covenant people of God have a prophetic bearing in them that needs to be said. When God spoke to Jeremiah, He spoke of the unique relationship His new covenant people would have with Him.

“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jer 31:34)

Jesus clearly stated that all his sheep would know His voice. He actually described the new covenant people in prophetic terms, when Jesus said,

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.‘ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Joh 7:38-39)

The term prophecy speaks of a flowing forth for God. It is a spiritual telling, and not necessarily a ‘foretelling.’ New Testament prophecy centers more on a ‘forth-telling.’ We are enabled to speak forth the life-giving story of the cross. On the lips of God’s new covenant people would be found life. 

I said all that to say this –

The way you prove that you are a new covenant believer, is that you carry in the deep of your heart the seal of faith. In this seal is the life of God’s Son, which means that you have a personal ‘knowing’ the Lord relationship, that you hear from Him, that you talk with Him, that you have entered into fellowship with Him and that you acknowledge His claims over your life.

Do you measure up as a new covenant believer?

OK, now let’s talk just a bit about …

 

Seeing Through the Veil

There is a need to open our eyes – This has a lot to do with what ‘growing in faith and in maturity’ means. Listen to Paul’s prayer –

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.” (Eph 1:18-19)

Yes, that is what David prayed.

The Psalmist desired to look more deeply into the Lord’s affairs of life. David knew that God’s heart could be found in the sacred writings. He knew that the Bible came from the mouth of God. Actually if you truly wish to hear from God, you must begin with His Word.  

Did David see into God’s heart? Absolutely! David saw how the Lord was so involved in his life, that even his very days had been ordained of God.

The Psalmist said it this way,

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psa 139:16)

The apostle Paul had this to say,

“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood … “ (Gal 1:15-16)

Then we have the Lord speaking to the prophet Jeremiah –

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5)

Yes, indeed, the Lord saw …

 

Our Failures and All

I must say this up front. In spite of all the preaching that I’ve done, I’ve also had my measure of failures and struggles, sin battles, and spiritual warfare. I’m sure that I’ve done more than my share of hurting others.

And yet, even out of all my failures and struggles and sin battles, the Lord has faithfully seen to my restoration.

Did not the Psalmist say, “When he [God’s people in total] falls, he will not be hurling headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.”

Then I must add this –

Does the Lord ordain our failures and struggles and sin battles? No. The Lord never leads us into sin.

However, all our failures and struggles and sin battles are figured into our account beforehand. And the account was settled long ago. The Lord saw to it all that at the cross.

The Lord took our failures and sins with Him to the cross. In turn He gave us both His victory and His standing with heaven. This applies to all believers. 

Perhaps this is why God allows failures in our lives. It is His purpose for His people that we all have compassionate hearts. When we can identify with failure, then we can also identify with the victory that the Lord gives to all His children.

On the issue of ministry, do I get tired? Sure. This old body isn’t as spry as it once was. Nor do I preach as much as I use to. But the truth be known, I never tire of sharing the gospel.

Jesus is as real to me today as when I first met Him personally. Yes, salvation involves a personal meet with Jesus Christ. 

All this brings me to back to a covenant that the Lord drew me into some long years ago. Yes, the Lord drew me. 

 

Entering a New Stage

As I share at this point, there is another important thing to be said. When the Lord begins to separate one of his people for a kingdom role that He has ordained for them, this is not about being a rebel. Nor is it about how special this person is above others.

Paul said it well enough –

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26-28)

So, what is it about? It is more about the believer taking on the heart of Jesus. It is about the furtherance of the kingdom.

Listen to Jesus:

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (Joh 5:30)

Did you catch it? We are not to act on our own initiative. We are to seek God’s will in all things.

And so a new stage was coming into place.

The last revival was completed. I was tired. My family was tired. It was then that I felt in my heart to lay down the full time ministry and tend to the cares of my family. So I went back into the business I was most familiar with, insurance. This was 1971.

The next three years proved to be crucial. While My love for the Lord and for His Word never abated, this time was necessary as a time of preparation for another phase of ministry. Yes, it was ordained of the Lord.

Something special was taking place. It was as though my heart was becoming one with the Lord.

I realize this may sound. But it is very Biblical. Jesus spoke of this oneness of heart –

“[Father] I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even 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 sent Me.

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (Joh 17:20-23)

For three years the Lord was preparing me for another advance in kingdom work. My heart was being stirred by the Lord. Then the time came.

 

Renewing My Covenant With the Lord

In 1974 – It was time for my covenant with the Lord, to be awakened. Here is a heart summary of a covenant that the Lord drew me to —

“Lord, I am ready. I will go anywhere you want me to go, preach anywhere you want me to preach, do anything you want me to do. I only ask of you two BettyMe1978 - Copythings. One, don’t send someone to tell me what you want me to do. You tell me personally. Secondly, I must have my wife.”

That was my covenant. It had always been my heart covenant with the Lord, but our times are in the hands of the Lord.

And none of this was one-sided.

Yes, the steps of the God’s people are measured by the Lord, much more than we know.

And so the story goes. It is always …

 

Step After Step

Perhaps it is enough for me to say that after my covenant was reawakened with the Lord, very soon my next step was put in place.

That morning I was singing to the Lord, when Jesus spoke these words, ‘Go home!’ 

That was thirty-nine years ago. God’s ‘go home’ sent us to pastor a beautiful country church, and from that church our directions were to raise up a ministry for training disciples, known as ‘Christian Challenge International.’

There is no need for me to continue with my story. You have your own steps to walk in.

But if you would like to know a bit more about the Martin family, you can view these journal entries –

The Martins – http://buddymartin.net/blog/jubilee-cd/ 

My Story – http://buddymartin.net/blog/testimony/

Christian Challenge – http://www.christianchallenge.org/

In the meantime here is a song that will help you identify with what a true walk of faith is all about, and what I wanted you to hear in this entry.

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In Christ always,

Buddy