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Jesus’ Appearances after His Resurrection

There have been those who have called Jesus’ Resurrection false and fictitious. I believe it to be indisputable as recorded by God’s chosen human pens. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for preserving your infallible Word for us, so we can know Your truths.

Jesus revealed Himself to the following people in or around Jerusalem:

  • Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-18 ” But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” What an honor it most assuredly was to be chosen the first to see our Resurrected Christ.
  • To the other women (“Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them” Luke 24:10) – Matthew 28:8-10 “And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”
  • To Peter – Luke 24:34 “Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”
  • To the ten disciples – Luke 24:36-43 “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
  • John 20:19-25 “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

  • To 11 disciples, including Thomas – John 20:26-29 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
  • To those who observed His Ascension – Luke 24:50-53 “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”
  • Acts 1:4-12 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.”

Jesus revealed Himself on the Emmaus Road:

  • To 2 disciples – Luke 24:13-35 “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.”

I believe our Lord has a wonderful sense of humor. I think it funny that He suddenly appeared to people, out of nowhere, without warning, scaring the living daylights out of them. I can imagine them jumping out of their skin seeing what they perceived as a ghost or “spirit” just appearing in front of them. I would probably have said “Boo!” as I appeared.

Jesus revealed Himself in Galilee:

  • To the disciples – Matthew 28:16-20 “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (I find that last phrase so very comforting.)
  • John 21: 1   After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
    2   There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
    3   Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
    4   But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
    5   Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
    6   And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
    7   Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
    8   And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
    9   As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
    10   Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
    11   Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
    12   Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
    13   Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
    14   This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
    15   So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
    16   He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    17   He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    18   Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
    19   This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
    20   Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
    21   Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
    22   Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
    23   Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
    24   This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
    25   And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Jesus revealed Himself to over 500 people at one time – 1 Corinthians 15:6 “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”

Jesus revealed Himself to James and the apostles – 1 Corinthians 15:7 “After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.”

Last, but not least, my very favorite of all, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul (Saul) on the road to Damascus. I find it truly proof of how God loves us unconditionally. So much so that He would choose an elite Pharisee Zealot, who helped bring in anyone who followed Jesus and His ways, to be tortured and killed by the Romans. Saul was very passionate about his beliefs, but Jesus showed him how passionately deceived he was. God can use even the worst of us for His glory.

  • Acts 9:1-6 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
  • Acts 18:9-10 “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.”
  • Acts 22:1-8 “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.”
  • Acts 23:11 “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”
  • Acts 26:12-18 “Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:8 “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

As I share Paul’s testimony, my thoughts are, “What a testimony for winning souls to Christ. I believe that we all have a testimony that God can use to win the lost for Him. All we need do is share our story of who and what we were before we met and accepted Jesus as Lord, as compared to how He has changed us since.”
LORD, please give us your boldness to share our story for your glory and your kingdom to come!

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Heaven – Part 14

The New Jerusalem

One of the 7 angels that had poured out a vial of God’s wrath on the old earth now shows John the Bride and the New Jerusalem. The Bride – Rev. 21:9 – “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” is defined as “the nations of them which are saved” in Rev. 21:24 –  “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.”

The angel carries John away to a vantage point on a great and high mountain to watch the descension of the New Jerusalem from the New Heaven down to the new earth. It is a great and holy city – Rev. 21:10 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” The city has the glory of God – Rev. 21:11 “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” That statement alone is impossible for us to fathom. The city’s lighting is described as a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Pliny speaks of white jasper called Astrios, which he says is “crystallo propinquans” – “near to crystal.” This stone can be found in India.

Later we read that the city has no need of a sun or moon for the glory of God lightens it and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is the light there. Both spiritually and literally, God is light – 1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

The wall of the city is described in Rev. 21:12, 13, 17, 18a – “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:”, “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.”, “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.”, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Do not confuse the wall around the city with the wall of the city (about 1500 miles high!). The wall around the city is great and high, 144 cubits. A cubit is approximately 18 inches: the distance from an average man’s elbow to the tip of his middle finger. This wall is possibly between 216 and 240 feet high. That is 20-24 stories! We will see later that the length of each side of the wall is over 1500 miles.

The wall has 12 gates – 3 on the east, north, south, and west sides of the wall. Each gate has an angel posted at it. These gates will not be shut during the day. Seeing there will be no night here, they will never be shut! Rev. 21:25 “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” How contrary to the story in Genesis 3:24! “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Praise God!

Each gate has a name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel on it (these are listed in Rev. 7:5-8). God loves Israel, and He will honor her forever. Israel is God the Father’s wife – Jeremiah 3:14 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:”; Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”; Isaiah 62:1-5 “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”; Hosea 2:19-20 “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”; Ezekial 16:8 “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.”

The wall of the city is like jasper, a precious stone of various colors such as purple, blue, green, brass, and sometimes crystal clear. So God looks like jasper – Rev. 4:3 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” The lighting of the New Jerusalem is like jasper (Rev. 21:11), the wall around the city is like jasper (Rev. 21:18), and the first of the 12 foundations of the city is like jasper (Rev. 21:19).

Now the wall of the city is described in Rev. 21:14-16, 18b-27 – “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.”, “and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

The city is a cube – Rev. 21:15-16 “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” The length, height, and breadth of it are equal – 12,000 furlongs. A furlong is 1/8 of a mile. That would make the city 1500 miles in each direction. That is the distance between Buffalo, NY and Amarillo, TX. The city is so high, that an airplane flying at 35,000 feet would crash 1/20th of the way up the first foundation. The land mass equals 2,250,000 square miles. The total mass of the city is 3,375,000,000 cubic miles. Wow! Try wrapping your brain around that!

The outside walls have 12 foundations. From the bottom to the top, they are made of 12 stones – Rev. 21:19-20:

  • Jasper – purple, blue, green, brass, or clear
  • Sapphire – blue, red, violet, yellow, green, or white
  • Chalcedony – misty gray, clouded with blue, yellow or purple
  • Emerald – green
  • Sardonyx – red color of carnelian, white of the onyx
  • Sardius – flesh color
  • Chrysolite – gold
  • Beryl – pale green
  • Topaz – greenish yellow
  • Chysoprasus – green and gold
  • Jacinth – dark blue verging on black
  • Amethyst – violet and purple

The 12 gates are made of pearl. The street of the city and the city itself are pure gold, like transparent glass (Rev. 21:18, 21). That is a lot of gold!

  • The city has no temple. God and the Lamb are the Temple of it (Rev. 21:22).
  • There will be nations and kingdoms on the new earth. We will serve God there forever. All people there are saved – Rev. 21:24 “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” This is the last time the word “saved” appears in the Bible. It refers to those rescued from the destruction. The saved bring their glory and honor (that which is most valued) into the city, (verse 26). The saved are further described as “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (verse 27).
  • Nothing defiling, disgusting, or deceitful will ever enter the city (verse 27).
  • Although there is no temple, there is still a throne – Rev. 22:1 “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” It is for the Father and the Son. We will not become deities in the future, as cults teach. There is only one throne and it is for God!
  • From the throne flows a pure river of water, clear as crystal. There is also a fountain with the water of life (Rev. 21:6).
  • The Tree of Life is in the New City. It appears as an amazingly large tree that grows out of both sides of the river and the middle of the street. It has 12 different fruits, and it bears fruit every month. The fruit is for the food, and the leaves are for the healing (Greek: therapeia) of the nations – Rev. 22:2 “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
  • There will be no curse there – Rev. 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” The word “curse” means “to invoke an evil on someone.” That will never happen again, because God is on His throne, and we will all serve Him.
  • We shall see God’s face – Rev. 22:4 “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” Contrast this statement with Exodus 33:20 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” How wonderful to look forward to seeing God face to face!

Jacob and Manoah claimed to have seen God – Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Judges 13:22 “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” God probably appeared to them as an angel or a Christophany (an Old Testament appearing of Jesus Christ). John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 say that no one has seen the face of God the Father. Jesus was the manifestation of Father on earth, but not in His glory (John 14:9; Isaiah 9:6). It will be common for all the saved to look upon the Father’s face one day!

  • God’s name will be in our foreheads, denoting ownership.
  • There will be no need of the sun or candles there, because the Lord and His brilliance will be the light. There will be no night – Rev. 22:5 “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” The 7 “no’s”: No sea, Rev. 21:1; No sorrow, 21:4; No crying, 21:4; No pain, 21:4; No death, 21:4; No curse, Rev. 22:3; No night, 22:5.
  • God’s servants will reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:5). It will also be a place of reward (22:12). This will be according to our work for Jesus Christ after we become saved by His blood. Other Scriptures to study in regards to rewards: Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10; Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:40-42a; Daniel 12:3.
  • Those who are obedient will have access to the Tree of Life, and may enter the gates of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:14). Obedience is of utmost importance in our eternal standing. In the New Jerusalem, there will be limitations on those who were disobedient on earth. We will not all be equal. This is implied in Matthew 5:19; “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”; 19:29-30 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” 1 Corinthians 15:40-42a. Salvation and inheritance are two different things. Salvation cannot be lost, but inheritance can – 2 John 8 “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”; Nehemiah 13:14 “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.”; Colossians 2:18.

There may be limited or no access to the Holy City for some Believers who did not live for Christ in this earth. They may just be on the New Earth looking at the city, just as they were just Believers saved by the Blood of Christ, living with no Testimony – Rev. 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This would include those who add to or take away from the Bible. The word “part” in 22:19 means “to get as a section or allotment, a division or share, a lot.” “Out of” means “a separation of part from the whole.”

It seems there will be more written in the Book of Life than just names. Psalm 56:8 implies that our burdens are recorded there as well “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” See also Malachi 3:16-17 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

When someone tampers with the Word of God on earth, they forfeit rewards and access to the Holy City in the New Heaven. This is the last warning and insight we have into the New Heaven. We may want to take care not to involve ourselves with many of the corrupted versions of the Bible that keep popping up.

In Conclusion:

Heaven is a wonderful place for us to look forward to! This study just scratches the surface of this doctrine. I hope you have prepared to go there some day.

Pure waters of life there are flowing,

And all who will drink may be free.

Rare Jewels of splendor are glowing –

How beautiful Heaven must be.

How beautiful Heaven must be –

Sweet home of the happy and free,

Fair haven of rest for the weary,

How beautiful Heaven must be.

By Mrs. A. S. Bridgewater

Revelation 21:

1   And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3   And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5   And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6   And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7   He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9   And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10   And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11   Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12   And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13   On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14   And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15   And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16   And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17   And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18   And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19   And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20   The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21   And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22   And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23   And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24   And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25   And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26   And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27   And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 22:

1   And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2   In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3   And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4   And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5   And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6   And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7   Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8   And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9   Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10   And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11   He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12   And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14   Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15   For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16   I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17   And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18   For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19   And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20   He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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Doctrine of the Holy Spirit – Part 7

Before I share the next and final entry on the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, I would like to say thank you and God Bless all of you who have been and continue to pray for my dear sister in Christ, Mendy. There are tens of thousands of prayer warriors in more than 106 countries lifting this situation up to God. She is able to move her arms, has very slight movement of 2 fingers and the thumb of her right hand, but her torso and lower body remain paralyzed. I believe that God will heal her according to His perfect plan and His perfect timing. We continue in fervent prayer to our Mighty God who does still perform miracles. James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Holy Spirit College

VII. The Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Immediately following 18 manifestations of the flesh, the Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, mentions that there are nine fruit of the Holy Ghost. The word “fruit” here refers to “maturity.” Fruit is actually singular. All nine of these begin to manifest themselves at once in a believer as they mature in the Holy Ghost.

When a person plants a seedling of an apple tree, he must wait approximately eight years before he sees the first apple. The ninth year there will be a few more apples, the tenth year a few more, and so on. Fruit is the evidence that a tree has matured. As we mature in our walk with the Holy Ghost, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will begin to show as the evidence of our changed life.

Fruit is very visible. It is not hidden. When a person looks at a tree and sees pears hanging on it, he says, “That is a pear tree.” When a person sees peaches hanging on a tree, he says, “That is a peach tree.” When someone sees the ornaments of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance becoming obvious in the life and behavior of a person, they say, “That is a Christian.” Are these graces appearing in your life as you grow older in the Lord?

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is more important than the gifts of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Notice in the above verses that having charity is more important than having the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, the gift of knowledge, or the gift of helps. In fact, all of these gifts exercised are considered nothing in the eyes of God, unless they are done with charity. 1 Corinthians 12:31 “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” It is more excellent for a believer to manifest the fruit of the Spirit than the gifts of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit qualifies us to use our gifts; otherwise, our gifts used are nothing.

It is paramount, therefore, that we be filled with the Holy Spirit and that we be looking for the visible fruit of our maturing in the Holy Ghost. Let us look at these nine fruit of the Spirit specifically, and let us watch for these fruit becoming more and more prevalent in our lives, our hearts, our mannerisms, and our behaviors.

all the fruits of the spirit

all the fruits of the spirit (Photo credit: stratoz)

A. Love – There are two types of love that the Scriptures tell us we should have. For the sake of simplicity, we will call the one an “inferior” love, and the other a “superior” love.

1. Inferior Love – This word “love” usually refers to a great fondness or affection for somebody or something. For instance, when a wife is told to love her husband (Titus 2:4), she is supposed to have a fondness for him.

2. Superior Love – This “love” is the word used in our text to describe the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This love is a willingness to sacrifice yourself for someone or something because of your relationship to that person or affection for that person.

The Bible says 1 John 3:16 “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” This verse says our perception of God’s love is that of sacrifice. What a person sacrifices for is what they love. This is the fruit of the Spirit. When our love goes beyond a fondness for God into a willingness to sacrifice our all to Him, then we are maturing in the Holy Spirit.

B. Joy – Joy is much deeper than happiness. Happiness is usually produced by happenings. When the happening is over, the happiness subsides. For instance, riding in a boat might make someone happy. It does not last long, and certainly does not get someone through when troublesome times come. Joy abides deep within the Holy Spirit-filled believer even on the worst day of their life. Joy is the ever present work of God as He cheers us no matter what we are going through.

The importance of joy is summarized in this statement – Nehemiah 8:10b “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” That sounds pretty important to me!

C. Peace – Peace is an inner calmness and quietness produced by the Holy Spirit. It means to be serene or at rest in soul, spirit, and heart. Romans 14:17-19 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

D. Longsuffering – Long-suffering means to suffer for a long time! It refers to forbearance, fortitude, longanimity, endurance. This fruit of the Spirit will keep us from quitting and questioning.

E. Gentleness – Gentleness is to be “excellent in character and demeanor; to be useful in manners and morals by kindness, easiness, and graciousness.” Psalms 18:35 “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7 “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:” 2 Timothy 2:24 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,”

F. Goodness – Goodness is virtue or beneficence. When this fruit of the Holy Spirit is manifest in us, as we mature, our lives become beneficial to God and others. Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Life is not about us, but life is about how many people benefit from our help.

Português: Pomba do Divino Espírito Santo

G. Faith – Faith is confidence, dependence, trust, or reliance upon Christ, His abilities, and His Word. A person maturing in the Holy Ghost has more and more of this type of faith and time and trials pass. Some, who are not maturing in the Holy Ghost, do not have this. Matthew 13:58 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” They do not see mighty works in their lives, churches, or neighborhood because of their lack of faith. As our faith grows, its potential is LIMITLESS! Matthew 21:21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”

H. Meekness – Meekness is the inner strength to trust in God to take care of your battles, circumstances, and needs. It is putting all in God’s hands, and leaving it there. (Not fighting your own battles OR DEFENDING YOURSELF) Numbers 12:1-3 “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Meekness is humility.

I. Temperance – Temperance is self-control. Holy Spirit-given POWER to control your emotions, body, thought life, soul, and so on. 1 Corinthians 9:25 “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this teaching on your Holy Spirit will bless whomever you send it to. For your word does not return to you void.” Anna

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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How to Endure Suffering No. 4

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Wrong Way No. 4 – Decide the Limits to Your Own Endurance

God’s Way – Know that God sets and knows your limits – 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Okay, so I am wondering, “What does deciding the limits to my own endurance have to do with being tempted to sin?” I looked up the usage of the word temptation in this verse in my Strong’s Concordance to make sure I am understanding its meaning correctly. It is derived from the Greek word peirasmos, which means “of trial definitely designed to lead to wrong doing.” It is not the temptation that is sin, it becomes sin when the temptation is put into action.

I believe that God is showing me something very specific here. I know that I have bad days and good days, and just when I think maybe I am doing better, boom! Down I go again feeling the anger at what my Momma had to go through, how she fought so hard, and she died anyway. Although I would never do anything to take my own life, I must admit to feelings that have me crying out to God some times, “Please just take me Home!”

These kinds of thoughts are of satan and they are a temptation to take things into my own hands instead of trusting my Heavenly Father. He truly does know me better than I know myself, and He is the only one who knows how long this season needs to last to bring me nearer to Him. I take comfort in His promise – He will not suffer me to be tempted above that which I am able, and He will also make a way for me to escape the temptation so that I am able to bear it.

Here again is where our brothers and sisters in Christ can be a tremendous help. It might be a Christian (sister for women and brother for men) whom we know we can trust with utmost confidence. We may just need someone to show us the love of Jesus by holding us while we cry, share encouraging words or sing praising hymns to guide our thoughts back to Jesus. I am learning that when I do not ‘feel’ like praising, that is the best time to push through the pain and do it anyway. It becomes easier as I press on.

Depending upon the type of suffering we are enduring and how intense it becomes, some of us may need the aid of a counselor. If that be the case, I strongly suggest a strong, Biblical-based Christian counselor such as your church pastor or assistant pastor. The world’s psychology tends to keep us stuck in our pain, rather than healing us. Too many spend years, and in some cases most of their lives trying to get better in a psychiatrist’s office. If it takes years, then it is not working. God is the only one who can truly heal our crushed spirits.

I like how Nancy Missler puts it in her study “Be Ye Transformed” Understanding God’s Truth. “One of the reasons why I believe psychology can be so dangerous is that it’s really another gospel. It leads us to the wrong goal–being conformed to the world’s image, and not Christ’s. Psychology can be dangerous because it causes confusion and it really promotes a lie. It promises to heal us, to remove strongholds from us, to help our relationships, and to help us progress in our Christian walk. The truth is, however, psychology doesn’t heal us, it doesn’t remove strongholds, but often strengthens them, it doesn’t improve relationships, and it doesn’t help us in our Christian walk. In fact, sometimes we even end up even worse off than when we started.” She then quotes from letters she received that actually validate her words.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in God's Love

 

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How to Endure Suffering No. 3

Fellowship Church- Grapevine, TXWrong Way No. 3 – Withdraw from Others

The past three months have been quite a test for me as I am healing and growing from the loss of my mother. I shared in my last post that in my past, I have gone away from God during trials and tribulations. A part of my turning my back on the Lord included pushing people away as well. I stopped going to church and fellowshipping with my family of God. We all know that the alternative is to go the way of the world. That just brings depression, guilt and shame.

I can say from experience that our times of suffering are much more bearable if we stay in communion with our born again brothers and sisters. The sincere hugs and “How are you? I am praying for you.” have helped strengthen me and have given me hope that there is, indeed, “a light at the end of the tunnel.” Many of them have gone through the loss of loved ones, and God has placed them there to encourage others. That is what our family is for – when one is down, the other lifts him up.

I really did not think much before about how deeply God loves me. It has become more obvious to me as so many times the message has words that I am convinced are just for me. ;-0 They are loving and nurturing words that only my Heavenly Father knows that I need to hear. There are times that I have to make myself go, but when I leave I feel truly lifted up. There are moments that I experience much joy while I am passing through this time of sadness, and I feel such gratitude to my Jesus for His times of peace that “pass understanding.” Instead of going the way of the world this time, I am truly experiencing His holding me up, and the moments of sorrow are not so dark anymore.

Suggested Right Way:

Keep fellowship with believers, Hebrews 10:24, 25 “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in God's Love

 

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