Revelation: Works and Christians.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

          So where do deeds come into the picture?  When you fall in love with someone you desire to please that person, and our love for Jesus will be no different.  The longer Jesus is in your life, the more you will know him and the more you will love him and the more you will want to please him.  So what is it that pleases Jesus?  When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, …”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”.  This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   (Matt. 22:37-39)  Loving God and treating people as we would want to be treated are the deeds for which we are judged.  (See Matt. 25:31-46)

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By ourselves we cannot please Jesus, but he promises to help us personally, to give us the Holy Spirit to help, and to cover us when we fall short.  I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever…  (John 14:16)  …he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5)   …for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  (Phil. 2:13)  …if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (1 John 2:1)  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Heb. 4:15, 16)

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Those who do not do these works are those whose hearts are hard. They are people who perhaps say they are Christians, but if Christ was in their hearts, they would do these kinds of works for he puts this in our hearts. God will bring people into your life who need help. The Holy Spirit will whisper to us, “Help them.” Not all of us do large or far-reaching good works, but the small kindnesses of life add up to a mighty river of righteousness.

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Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  Rev.20:6

 

Revelation: Faith and Works.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

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          Satan, his angels, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will have their deeds judged by the saints in heaven.  Jesus has already judged who is and who is not to be saved, so why are we going to judge the works of those who are not saved?  We can speculate and come up with a twofold answer.  First, the punishment for their deeds must fit the crime.  Adolph Hitler was responsible for the murder of millions of people, but Joe Schmuckatelly down the street simply did not believe in God and he never killed one other human being.  Do they deserve the same judgment?  Of course not.  Judgment occurs…so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  (2 Cor. 5:10)

          The second speculative answer as to why the saints are allowed to judge the world is to satisfy questions we may have.  For instance:  Why isn’t that TV preacher here in heaven?  When we look at his deeds we see he was not a servant of God, but instead he was a greedy, power hungry megalomaniac.  He did not have a personal relationship with Jesus; he used Jesus’ name to advance his own agenda. 

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Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”  And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matt. 7:21-23)  (Emphasis supplied)  

Salvation vs. Deeds

          The question now arises:  Why are salvation and deeds two separate things?  This is a topic that has been debated for thousands of years, and we will not settle the matter here in this book.  But we will try to put it as simply as possible so we have a basic understanding.  Salvation is a gift that we receive freely:  we can do NOTHING to earn it.  …the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Rom. 6:23)  So how do we receive this free gift?  It says in John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.  Jesus said …This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.  (John 6:29) 

When Jesus was crucified, one of the criminals being crucified next to him asked Jesus to remember him when he came in his kingdom.  Jesus replied that the criminal would be with him in paradise.  (See Luke 23:42, 43)  This man was a criminal, and he was such a bad man that the death sentence had been passed against him.  So how could Jesus simply say yes, you will be in heaven with me?  Because this criminal believed that Jesus was the Son of God and said he wanted to be with him.

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That is all that is required to be saved:  believe that Jesus is sent of God to save you and ask him to be in your life.  Suddenly your name is written in the Book of Life and heaven is yours.  …he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and…has passed out of death into life.  (John 5:24)

Works will be discussed next time…

 

 

Revelation: The Book of Life.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

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The Judgment

The Book of Life.

God keeps several books, one of which is called the Book of Life.  Those who have their names written in the Book of Life are those who are in heaven.       (See Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; Rev. 21:27)  Jesus does the entering or deleting of names in the Book of Life before he returns to earth to collect the saved.  Now at that time Michael, the great prince…will arise.  And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time… everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.  (Dan. 12:1)  The seven last bowl plagues bring to this earth a time of distress that had never been experience before.  We who have our names written in the Book of Life will be rescued and caught up in the clouds with Jesus before the world ends.

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Our Deeds Judged.

But that is not the end of our judgment.  All of us have to stand before Jesus and be judged by him.  …we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  (Rom. 14:10)  For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son… (John 5:22)  But why are we being judged if we are already in heaven?  What is it that is being judged?  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  (2 Cor. 5:10)  Every person in heaven will receive rewards based on his or her deeds.  What these rewards are, the Bible does not say. 

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Deeds of the Lost Judged.

          Our time in heaven will not be a time of idleness.  Along with the great and unimaginable pleasures we will be experiencing, we will have work to do.  …do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  Do you not know that we will judge angels?    (1 Cor. 6:2, 3)   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 their 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.  (Rev. 20:4)

 

 

Revelation: What Will Heaven Be Like?

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

          The world is destroyed, the wicked are dead, and Satan and his angels are trapped with nothing to do.  The rest of us have been caught up in the clouds with Jesus and our loved ones.  The burning question at this point is: what happens next?  What is heaven like and what will we be doing there?  The apostle Paul says, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.  (1 Cor. 2:9)  We cannot imagine what heaven will be like.  Our eyes and ears have never been exposed to anything resembling what is awaiting us, and our wildest imaginations cannot even come close to what the reality will be.  But the Bible gives some clues as to what to expect.

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New Bodies

          …flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.  (1 Cor. 15:50-53)  When Jesus returns and the saved are reaped from the earth, everyone will immediately receive a new, immortal body that will never experience sickness or death.  And no resident will say, “I am sick”…  (Is. 33:24)  For they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God…  (Luke 20:36)

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The Party

          …Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb…  (Rev. 19:9)  The Bride of Christ, the true church, those who are saved, takes part in what is described as a marriage supper.  When Jesus was on earth he was a guest at a wedding in the city of Cana, the event of his first miracle where he changed water into wine.  In those days a wedding celebration was a huge affair that lasted about one week.  In heaven, Jesus will be the host of a party so huge that it is impossible to imagine.  We will be with Jesus, with our loved ones, and with those we have only read about.  I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  (Matt. 8:11)

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Royalty

          See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.  (1 John 3:1)  Jesus said, In My Father’s house are many dwelling places…I go to prepare a place for you.  (John 14:2)  We are sons and daughters of the king of the universe and in heaven we will be living in the same mansion as Jesus and God the Father! …in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Tim. 4:8)  Royalty wear crowns to signify their positions.  So we too, on the day Jesus returns to this earth and gathers up his people, will be given a crown by him personally.

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Photo by, Sir Gawain:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sir_Gawain

 

Revelation: Satan Bound.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

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          …in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own order:  Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end….  1 Cor. 15: 22-24  (emphasis supplied)

          Once the saved have left the earth, the final battle between good and evil, Satan and Jesus, begins.

Jesus as Warrior

         And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 

He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”  And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  Rev. 19:11-16, 19

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       The armies assembled in the plain of Megiddo were planning to wage war against one another, but as their world is falling apart and they see the armies of God descending upon them, former enemies unite and turn as one against our God.

          These (the kings of the earth) will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.  Rev. 17:14

Jesus and his army will prevail.

          Then another angel…swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.  And the wine press was trodden…  Rev. 14:18, 19

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And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.  And the rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse…  Rev. 19:20, 21

          But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  2 Pet. 3:10

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          The beast, the false prophet, and all those bearing the mark of the beast will be destroyed.  The earth will be burned and left as scorched nothingness.

          Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.  Rev. 20:1-3

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      It is possible that Satan is chained up and thrown into a literal pit for a thousand years.  It is also possible that he and his minions are limited to wandering the destroyed and deserted earth for the one thousand years.  Either way it is a torment for this evil angel who has been ceaselessly active for thousands of years to have absolutely nothing to do but remember the past and plan hopelessly for the future.

The question you must ask yourself is this:  Will you see Jesus as your Savior and be thrilled to see his return, or will you see Jesus as a Warrior and be filled with fear?  The choice is yours.  Free will has been given to all of us to exercise in choosing which side we will be on when the end comes.

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Jesus returns.

Revelation: Jesus Returns to Earth.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

Two Perceptions of the Second Coming.

          Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…  Rev. 1:7

          Everyone alive on the earth will see Jesus returning.  The Bible describes this event in two ways:  Jesus as Savior on a cloud surrounded by angels, and Jesus as Warrior on a horse surrounded by an army.  Each person’s perception of Jesus will depend on which side he or she is on in the conflict between good and evil.  If I bear the seal of God, I will see Jesus as my savior.  If I bear the mark of the beast, I will see Jesus as a frightening warrior.  If this seems complicated, consider how different people react to different situations right now in every day life.  When a police car drives down the street, criminals see it as a threat whereas law-abiding citizens find its presence reassuring. 

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The same event perceived in completely opposite ways.

Jesus as Savior

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.  Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.  Rev. 14:14, 16

          Just before the battle of Armageddon, the saved will be “reaped” and removed from the earth.

          …The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken (fifth bowl of wrath).  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.  Mark 13:24-27

          …God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  1 Thess. 4:14-17

          When we are lifted off this earth to meet Jesus in the air, we are reunited with our loved ones.  What a wonderful day that will be!

 

 

Revelation: Armageddon, the Seventh Plague.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” E.A. James. Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

Armageddon

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan) and out of the mouth of the beast (Catholicism, Pope) and out of the mouth of the false prophet (apostate Protestant leader), three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.  And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.  Rev. 16:13, 14, 16

          The plain of Megiddo was often the site of major battles in Old Testament times.  (See Judges 5:19 and 2 Kin. 23:29)  It is located in modern day Israel and here, Revelation says, will be the site of the final great battle of this world.

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As the threat rises from those kings from the east, the image of the beast (the beast, the false prophet, the political powers backing them up) will convince all the nations to rally together and send armies to fight.  The stage will be set in the Middle East for the climactic battle between radical Islam and Christianity, with the Jewish nation of Israel caught in the middle.

Seventh Bowl of Wrath:  The End of the World.

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Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 

And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.  The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.  Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, and because its plague was extremely severe.  Rev. 16:17-21

We learned that Babylon the great, the mother of harlots… (Rev. 17:5) is Jezebel, the false church (Catholicism) and as the mother of harlots we see she is joined with apostate Protestant churches.  (See Chapter 7)

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Those having the mark of the beast cry and lament as they see their world crashing down (Rev. 18:9-19).  But those of us bearing the seal of God will rejoice (Rev. 18:20).