Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Great Rejoicing in Heaven (Revelation 19:1-6)
By. Daniel Snaddon

– The scene, again, is in heaven. Verses 1-6 depict great rejoicing in heaven. The reason for the rejoicing is the destruction of Babylon – both politically and ecclesiastically speaking. This was a tremendous occasion.

In verse one, John heard “a great voice.” This voice was like the voice of many waters, like the sound of many peals of thunders (Rev. 19:6). This voice was the voice of the redeemed in heaven. At instructions from the throne of God (found in verse 5), every redeemed heart cried out in fervent praise and worship: “Hallelujah.” [The Hallelujah chorus] Praise the Lord! “For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

The Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-10) – This is the event in which the bride and bridegroom, i.e. Christ and the Church, are brought together in a vital eternal union. This is a consummation of the marriage. The figure here is according to the pattern of oriental marriage, which had three stages: (1) The betrothal, (2) The coming of the bridegroom, and (3) The marriage and the marriage supper. Here, we see this picture presented through: (1) The betrothal of the believers to Christ, which took place at conversion, (2) The coming of the bridegroom that took place at the Rapture, and (3) The marriage supper, in connection with Christ’s coming to earth. Rev. 19:9 reads, “Blessed are they who are called into the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Christ’s Second Coming to Earth (Revelation 19:11-16) – This is a bird’s eye view of Christ’s departure from heaven. In verse 11, John saw Him riding on “a white horse.” His visible name was Word of God, Faithful and True. His eyes were like a flame of fire and there were many crowns on His head (Rev. 19:12). He is accompanied by the armies of heaven and will smite the nations. He will execute judgment on the nations (Rev. 19:14). He is called King of kings and Lord of lords.

This is the coming that the prophets foretold. This is the coming that is spoken of in the Gospels (except for one instance – John 14). Paul speaks of His coming in 2 Thess. 1:7-10. This is the coming our Lord spoke of in Acts 1. When John describes this scene, he has in mind the homecoming of the victorious Roman general. Riding on a white horse down the main street of Rome, His spoils of war are with him. John says the Christ is “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

The Rapture – “If I go, I will come again and rescue you onto Myself.” 1 Thess. 4:16-17 says, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:51-52 says, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” [Envision this: There shall be two in a bed – one shall be taken, the other one left. There shall be two grinding at the mill – one shall be taken taken, the other one left]

The Redeemed of the Tribulation
By: Daniel Snaddon

Revelation 7 gives us a ray of light against the backdrop of gloom as the six seals have been opened. [Describe the grace of God in all the judgment – explain both the parable of the wicked husbandmen and the parable of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Silver Coin, and the Lost Son in Luke 15]. Rev. 7 answers, once and forever, the question, “Will anyone be saved during the tribulation?” It is also a description of what has happened and a preview of what will happen.

The latter question is often asked in view of the fact that the Holy Spirit has been removed from the earth. Will anyone be saved during the Tribulation and Millennium? (Explain what some believe relative to salvation in the Tribulation). It is important that we understand in what sense the Holy Spirit will be removed. We must distinguish between His presence and His residence. Christ ascended 40 days after His resurrection. Ten days later the Holy Spirit descended to earth and took up His residence in the life of every believer. The Holy Spirit who had been with them would now be in them. See John 14:17.

When the rapture of the Church occurs, the residence of the Holy Spirit changes. He goes with them. But being God, and therefore omnipresent, He will continue to convict of sin and bring many to Christ during the Tribulation. [Discuss the Holy Spirit’s work]

The Choosing of the 144,000
How did these hear the gospel so they could be saved? It is likely that they heard the preaching of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. Many others will be saved through the preaching of these two witnesses and also through the testimony of the 144,000.

Every Jew who turns to Christ will turn against the Antichrist, who has signed a covenant for seven years with the Jews for their protection. So many will turn against him that he will break the covenant. (Explain why the Antichrist will break His covenant) This brings intense persecution on Israel during the last 3½ years of the Tribulation. Temple worship will have been setup. He will have set up his image and will demand worship and obedience.

There will be more Israelites saved than just 144,000, but 12,000 out of each tribe are sealed from the wrath of Satan and the Antichrist. Satan will not be able to hunt them or take their lives. The twelve tribes will be in the land at this time. The so-called lost ten tribes will be there – 12,000 from each tribe.

We read in this chapter of another group (see Rev. 7:9-10). Who is this group? They are not the Church. The answer is given in Rev. 7:13-14: Martyrs (Gentiles-Jews). These are they who come out of the great tribulation (the last 3½ years). So then, the great multitude, which no man could number (Rev. 7:9), describes the saints who are saved and martyred during the last half of the tribulation.

The Day of the Lord
By: D. Snaddon

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord extends from the Rapture until the purgation of the heavens and the earth by fire, preparatory to the new heavens and new earth. Momentous events will take place within this “Day:”

– A confederation of countries will form a Roman Empire (see Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). A political ruler will rise to rule this empire and he will make a covenant with Israel (see Daniel 9:27 and Revelation).

– A false religious system will be formulated under a false prophet (see Revelation 13:11-18).

– The pouring out of judgments will take place: the seal judgments (see Revelation 6), the trumpet judgments (see Revelation 8:11), and the bowl judgments (see Revelation 16).

– The overthrow of the professing Church will occur (see Revelation 17-18).

– The events of the campaign of Armageddon will take place (see Ezekiel 38-39; Revelation 16:16 and Revelation 19:17-21).

The “Day of the Lord” is a day of suffering and judgment. Future events cast their shadows before, due to a combination of extensive tribulations and the teachings of false teachers. The Thessalonian believers thought that the Day of the Lord was arriving (2 Thess. 2:1-2). Paul says in 2 Thess. 2:3, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” Certain things have to come to pass before this great and terrible day of the Lord comes.

1. There must be a “falling away” – (i.e. the Church Assembly, a rebellion, the world).

2. The man of sin or the “man of lawlessness” must appear:

a. His character – man of sin – wickedness (see 2 Thess. 2:3)

b. His destiny – perdition (see 2 Thess. 2:3)

c. His activity – opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is God’s (see 2 Thess. 2:6)

3. He must sit in the temple of God and proclaim himself to be God (Daniel predicts this—math repeats it)

2 Thessalonians 2:6 – Surely, after all I have told you verbally and written to you, “You know what is restraining him now, so that he may be revealed in his time.” The Holy Spirit is the “restrainer.” [Consider the individual in 2 Thess. 2:7]. The Holy Spirit will leave the world at the Rapture with the Church. At His departure a restraint will be removed. Lawlessness, which we see in embryonic form today, will result in unprecedented wickedness and violence.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 – Paul affirms that the “mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” “The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” This mystery of lawlessness indicates something that is beyond human knowledge. The fact of lawlessness can be understood, but who can define or stop the irresistible force that touches off and perpetuates this wickedness. “Restrict the sale of guns,” say some – “Build better houses,” say others. “Create employment, emancipate the underprivileged, provide welfare, which leads to higher taxation, and meet force with force.” Despite these and many other schemes costing billions, lawlessness runs riot; the sinister force behind it remains uncurbed and untamed.

Beloved, I sincerely believe that the force that is at work in the world today is the same force that will control mankind during the reign of terror in the Tribulation. This leads us to a very solemn thought. If that is so, then we are living close to the end of the age. This is the beginning of sorrows and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

[Something to consider: When will the Holy Spirit be taken away?]

2 Thessalonians 2:8 – “A lot of blasphemy” indicates the character of his rule. This is the description of the “man of sin” the man appointed by the people, controlled by Satan.

 

 

Christ Incomparable
Part 2

W. Fraser Naismith

Greater Than Solomon in The Wonder of His Wisdom

Scripture Reading
Matthew 12:42

Solomon is the human expression of wisdom desired and bestowed. In 1 Kings chapter three the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” His answer is worthy of note, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in … give Thy servant an understanding heart.” To this request God replied, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold I have done according to thy words: Lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.”

This wisdom which was divinely bestowed on King Solomon was soon put to the test as the remainder of this chapter reveals. Without going into the details it should be observed that the king called for a sword, suggesting that the living child over whom the two mothers disputed, should be divided in two and a portion given to each of the mothers. The real mother said, “O my lord, give her the living child and in no wise slay it.” Then the king said, “Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.”

In 1 Kings 10 the Queen of Sheba (called the “Queen of the south” in Matthew 12:42) came to visit Solomon, having heard of his fame concerning the name of the Lord, and she plied him with hard questions. When she had seen all Solomon’s wisdom there was no more spirit in her. She further confessed, “It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes have seen it: and behold the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.”

While there is much that was divinely approved in the life of Solomon, for “all the earth sought to Solomon to hear his wisdom which God put in his heart,” when he was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God. “Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord” (1 Kings 11:6).

We turn from the records of this wise man Solomon and consider the One who stated, “Behold a greater than Solomon is here,” Christ, who is Wisdom personified! The Holy Spirit through Paul affirms Christ to be “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). If we would consider wisdom in the abstract or in the concrete, we must turn to One Person only, even Jesus Christ our Lord. “Never man spake like this Man” was the testimony of the soldiers sent to arrest Him (Jno. 7:46). “He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). The words He spake, “they are spirit and they are life.” The parables that He taught were truly miracles of His wisdom; while the miracles which He wrought were parables of His power.

Wisdom in the Hebrew Scriptures is more than a human endowment: it is more than a divine attribute, it is a person! While some may find difficulty in interpreting “Wisdom” in the Book of Proverbs as applying to Christ because it is a feminine noun, it would be good to remind such that the “red heifer” of Numbers 19 is also feminine: and who would doubt the application there to Christ? It is one of the grandest types of our Lord in Old Testament writ. The context of Proverbs eight brings “love” forcibly before the heart (verse 17). The principle of love is of paramount importance, and we can say, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” Then there is the thought of “seeking.” “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found” (Isa. 55:6). “Wealth” is emphasized too; and Paul reminded the Corinthians, “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). “Righteousness” and “judgment” follow in the train of the preceding principles. Wisdom speaking says, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures” (Prov. 8:20-21). Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 1:30, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” It is apparent that wisdom and righteousness walk hand in hand: they were perfectly harmonized in Christ, and He has left us an example that we should follow His steps.

When James penned his Epistle, he too revealed that wisdom and righteousness are closely allied, for in chapter 3 verses 17 to 18 he states, “Wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

While some commentators interpret wisdom here as skill by which the believer may make use of his knowledge: a loftier ideal would be to examine it in light of the Christ of God.

We have stated that Christ is wisdom personified: and He has come from above, and He is pure. Every thought, word and deed of His was wholly in harmony with the Father’s mind, for He claimed, “I do always those things that please Him.” It is “peaceable,” and Christ is designated “The Lord of Peace” (2 Thess. 3:16). He was never alarmed or dismayed. Peace was His in view of His mission to earth; it was His throughout that mission; and when He finished the work, that peace remained undisturbed. He assigned to His followers peace, saying, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” This wisdom is “gentle.” Never at any time did our Lord injure anyone. He could take the children in His arms, saying, “Suffer little children to come unto Me.” This wisdom is “easy to be entreated.” Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus and besought Him that He would come into his house. This ruler had only one daughter and she lay dying. Christ responded to the request for He was easy to be entreated, and He raised the girl to health. This wisdom is “full of mercy and good fruits.” It is true that the woman in Matthew 15 sought mercy of the Lord, but her approach was wrong. She was a Gentile, and had no claim on Him as “Son of David” for she cried “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David.” When she took her rightful place as a Gentile, then Christ bestowed upon her the blessing she craved, her daughter was made whole. Wisdom is “without partiality” as revealed in Christ. No matter the need He was ready to meet it, whether it was in a Hebrew or a Gentile. He met the need of Nicodemus in John three and of the woman of Sychar in John four. Impartiality is confirmed in the usage of the word “whosoever”; and the glorious invitation of John 7:37, “If any man thirst, let his come unto Me and drink,” reveals how impartial He was. The seventh factor is as important as the six preceding ones; it is “without hypocrisy.” The Christ of God was wholly transparent. With Him there was no duplicity; for if there was one thing more than another He detested, it was hypocrisy. In Matthew 23 Christ seven times over, speaking of the scribes and Pharisees, designated them “hypocrites.”

The Book of Ecclesiastes (9:13-18) gives us a lovely little parable. The little city — this earth — was taken, and the conqueror consolidated his position by an army of occupation, holding the inmates in bondage. There appeared in the city “a poor wise man,” and he by his wisdom delivered the city. No human strategy could have conceived a plan of liberation. This poor, wise man, “by his wisdom” delivered the city. What a triumph was that of Christ at Calvary!

“By what might seem defeat,
He won the meed and crown:
Trod all our foes beneath His feet
By being trodden down.”

There is a sorrowful anticlimax to this story, “The poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.”

In Solomon we have wisdom and peace manifested. In our Lord Jesus Christ these great principles are seen in perfection. Solomon made a good start, but made a bad finish. Our adorable Lord is ‘par excellence’ in every principle enunciated in our study. In wisdom there is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ: in peace there is the present enjoyment of all that Christ has secured for God and for us. He is superlative! In Him there is no trace of failure for at the end of that pathway of obedience unto Him who sent Him, He stated, “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do.” Truly, “the half has not been told.” Behold a greater than Solomon!