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The House of Mary

 

The church was growing and Barnabas was sent to Antioch to check on them, and “when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” (Acts 11:23) He then went on to Tarsus, seeking Saul. “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26) The name Christians started out as a nickname, but became a means of identifying those who lived and behaved like Christ. What a great example the early church sets for us through all time. Would that today’s churches would actually behave Christ-like as did the early church.

As usual, with growth comes persecution and in Acts 12 Herod “stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people…but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” (Acts 12: 1-12)

So we see most clearly that the early Christian church was a praying church. Now we will take a look at the woman Mary, the mother of John Mark, who graciously opened up her home to Jesus’ disciples and early church.

Scripture mentions Mary only one time. During the persecution of Herod Agrippa, this brave woman offered her house to the first group of Christians at Jerusalem as a place to worship God and to pray. Mary was a woman of means, with servants and a house large enough to accommodate the entire Jerusalem congregation. Since Scripture records no husband, Mary was probably a widow.

Times proved difficult for Christ’s followers during those early turbulent years. Herod Agrippa had imprisoned Peter after killing James, the brother of John, with the sword. Yet, in spite of the risks involved, Mary courageously opened her home regularly to Christians.

After an angel miraculously escorted Peter from prison, he went immediately to Mary’s house, a familiar place of hospitality for the disciples. There he found the entire congregation praying for his release.

With the fearless example of a mother like Mary, it really is no wonder that John Mark became a missionary, church leader, and the author of the second Gospel.

II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2015 in God's Love

 

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The Great White Throne Judgment

English: Saint Michael parish church in Unterg...

The Great White Throne Judgment

A. Resurrection of the Wicked Dead – Let us look at the facts of this resurrection and judgment:

1. This will take place right after:

a. The Millennium Reign of Christ on earth – “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:1-6)

https://i0.wp.com/www.davidwesterfield.net/images/wrath.jpg

b. The final overthrow of satan – “And when the thousand years are expired, satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Ma-gog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10)

Vision from Book of Revelation

c. The final war – “and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Ma-gog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:8, 9)

2. There Will be a Great White Throne – “And I saw a great white throne;…” (Revelation 20:11a) The word “great” is a very general word (Greek meaning megas) which, appropriately in this text, means large.

3. God Himself Sits Upon this Throne – “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11, 12) The earth and the heaven fled away from the presence of the great God. See Daniel 2:35; Isaiah 34:5; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 6:14.

4. This is a Judgment of the “Dead” (Revelation 20:12 above) – This refers to those that are dead in their trespasses and sins, not the saved. See Ephesians 2:1, 2; Romans 5:12; 6:23.

5. Both Small and Great Shall be There

a. Small (Greek – mikros) – Meaning small in size or dignity. Sometimes translated “little” in the English (for example: Matthew 10:42 and Matthew 18:14 – references to children).

b. Great (Greek – megas) – This is the same word as used in point 2 above, describing the White Throne. Great in dignity or stature (sometimes referring to adults).

6. They Will Stand Before God Himself (Revelation 20:12).

7. The Books Will be Opened (Revelation 20:12) The Bible is the “books” mentioned here. “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:10) See also John 12:48. The word “Bible” means “library.” It contains 66 books. God is going to judge man by the Bible. Man is responsible to know God’s Word and is accountable for what it says. Having rejected the finished work of Christ, the dead will be judged according to their works. No man’s works are good enough to save his own soul. Read Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5.

8. Another Book is Opened – the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12)

a. Those written in the Book are God’s people – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”  (Daniel 12:1) “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) It is the present condition of the saved to have their names in the Book of Life. Also see Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23.

b. Those in the Book have a passport to the New Jerusalem – “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 21:27) Having one’s name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is a passport to enter the New Jerusalem, God’s Holy City.

c. To be written in the Book of Life, one must be saved – Compare Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” to 1 John 5:4, 5 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” Those who are saved have had their sins cleansed in the Blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5) and the Lord does not impute sin to their account (Romans 4:7, 8).

d. Sinners Will be Blotted Out of the Book of Life – Exodus 32:33 tell us that initially the name of every human being is in the Book of Life – “And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” But any person who has one sin imputed to them will be blotted out of this Book. Sin is imputed to those who reject Jesus as God’s Son, because they are also rejecting God and sinning against Him.

e. Those blotted out of the Book of Life are the devil’s people – “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) and “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:8) I have heard this explained in this way, everyone’s name is penciled into the Book of Life, and when we get saved, they are written over in ink. Those who reject Jesus are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

9. The Resurrection of the Dead – “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:13)

a. The sea gave up the dead. This is a reference to the resurrection of the body.

b. Death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them. This is a reference to the resurrection of the soul. “Death and Hell” are inseparable for the unsaved. See Psalms 55:15; Proverbs 5:5; Revelation 6:8, and Revelation 20:14. These are delivered up to the Great White Throne Judgment.

B. The Second Death

1. Death and Hell are Cast into the Lake of Fire. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14)

a. Death – 1 Corinthians 15:26 tells us that death is the last enemy that shall be destroyed “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

b. Hell – Hell has been the “holding center” for the dead lost, before they are cast into the Lake of Fire.

c. This process is called “the second death.” “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14)

i. The first death is physical death

ii. The second death is eternal punishment – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11); “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6); “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.” (Revelation 21:8); “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 1:12)

Lake of Fire

2. All Unbelievers are Cast into the Lake of Fire. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Eschatology

 

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