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Loyal
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 7:01 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Unless You Are Born Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 7 (Select vv. NASB).

The Bond-Servants of God (vv. 1-4)

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel…

What is a bond-servant? A bond-servant is “someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Ironically, 1401 /doúlos (‘bond-slave’) is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers” (Strong's Greek: 1401. δοῦλος (doulos) -- a slave).

When we believe (believing) in Jesus Christ as Lord, and as Savior of our lives, we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). Yet, even before the world was created, God chose us in him, that we should be holy and blameless before him (Eph. 1:3-4). So, there are people alive today who have not yet believed in Jesus Christ, yet they were chosen by God to be his bond-slaves even before the creation of the world. A term used for this is “the elect.” And, they will receive Christ one day. At least, this is my understanding.

This seal (guarantee) of God for the salvation of the elect must be in place before the judgments of God can come. The elect are to be most certainly spiritually protected during this time of judgment, i.e. so that they are not under the condemnation of God along with the world with regard to their eternal destiny. Some people believe God will also protect them from the tribulations to come upon the earth. He may. I don’t know that for sure. But, from what I read in scripture, we are destined for tribulation, trials, and persecution, so there is no guarantee that we won’t have to go through a time of tribulation, because many, many Christians already have, and there is evidence here that the saints of God will be persecuted during this time.

A Great Multitude (vv. 9-12)

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

I believe that scripture teaches that Christians will go through the time of tribulation to come on the earth, which has already come in so many respects. I mean, if you live in the Middle East, and everywhere you go there is war, and Christians are being hunted down and killed for their faith in Christ, and foreign powers (the USA, for one) are coming into your country confiscating property, killing innocents, pillaging, and taking control, you are going to definitely feel as though you are going through what Revelation prophesies is going to take place in these last days. The things described in Revelation 13 have been going on for a long time, so maybe the 7 years are not 7 literal years. It is just American Christians, I think, who believe they will be raptured and that they won’t have to suffer such persecution.

I also believe that during this time of tribulation that many people will come to faith in Jesus Christ as the gospel goes forth throughout the earth. And, I believe, as God judges his adulterous and complacent church, that many will repent of their sins and will be restored to fellowship with God before the time of the end. Yet, they will go through much tribulation and persecution, and many will be martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ and for their testimonies for the gospel of our salvation.

Thus, we have this great multitude of people clothed in white robes who have come out of the great tribulation, who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (v. 14). And, maybe this includes all tribulation, i.e. all the saints of God who have overcome persecution, hatred, physical and/or emotional abuse, and false accusations, etc. for the sake of the gospel, and for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ. These are not just those who are now serving God in heaven, but who now serve him faithfully on this earth, even if it is at the very last minute, but who will one day be in heaven (Beulah Land), and who proclaim the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. One day they will be among that throng in heaven. Amen!

They proclaim the salvation of the Lord and give him praise because he rescued them from their sins and from the dominion of Satan over their lives so that they have heaven now as their eternal destiny. They tell of how Jesus died, not just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we leave this earth, but that he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. They proclaim the praises of him who called them out of darkness into his wonderful light, and for delivering them out of Satan’s clutches so that they can serve their Lord and follow the Lamb wherever he goes. And, the words they proclaim do not return empty. They will have their full effect in people’s lives as God has planned for the salvation of human souls.

Before the Throne (vv. 13-17)

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

This morning, before I woke up, the Lord gave me a dream about me arriving at Beulah Beach Camp Grounds (on Lake Erie) in Ohio. I entered from the right, and then I got in a long line, at the end, of a large crowd of people who were all facing to the right. I was feeling that I wanted to get closer to my Lord. I remember this camp from when I was a youth. The back of the line would have been near to the front of the building where the church services were held, and the front of the line would have been near to being in front of the dining hall. I believe the camp represents heaven, and the dining hall symbolizes the wedding supper of the Lamb, and the people in line are all the saints of God who have gone to heaven before us who are waiting until we all show up and then we will have that wedding supper.

Then, I looked up the word “Beulah.” It literally means “Thou art married.” And, it is often considered a symbol of our heavenly dwelling with our husband, Jesus Christ. We are his bride, and he is our husband. The word is found in Isaiah 62:4, which says, “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.”

When we go through the various trials and tribulations and persecutions we go through on this earth, we will be forsaken by others, even by those whose responsibility it is to love and to protect us. Many of these persecutors do not know Jesus as their Savior, though some do. They were never turned from darkness to light. They were never born again, and so they still walk in the darkness, largely because that is what they love, and so they will not come into the light. So, they are antichrist, and as such, they hate and persecute those who truly have been born of the Spirit of God.

So, this is an encouragement to us who are born again of the Spirit of God and who are among the abused, persecuted and abandoned of the world. Jesus has not forsaken us. He is our husband – our protector, our shepherd, our Lord. And one day we will get to be with him and we will no longer be forsaken and mistreated, for we will be with our Lord, and he will wipe every tear from our eyes, because he delights in us. Amen! This is our hope!

Unless You Are Born Again
An Original Work / November 3, 2013

Based off John 3:1-21

Nicodemus came to Jesus.
He acknowledged God was with Him.
Jesus said, “You can’t see heaven
Unless you are born again.”

“How can a man be born when he’s old?
Can he enter into his mother’s womb?”
Jesus answered, “Flesh is flesh,
So of the Spirit, you must be.”

Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You’re a teacher, and yet you don’t
Understand of what I tell you,
Because you will not believe.

“For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and His only Son for your sin.
So, whoever believes in Him
Has eternal life in heav’n.

“Light has come into the world,
But human beings love the darkness,
Because their deeds are so evil,
So in truth, they stand condemned.

“Everyone who practices evil
Fears that the Light will expose his sin.
Yet, whoever lives his life by the Light
Does so through his God.”

 
Loyal
Yes, we must be born again in order to make it, but do we have any advantage over what Adam and Eve had in the garden of Eden? They started without sin and then made the wrong choice. We have started with sin, but Jesus provided us with a choice when we seemingly had none. Nevertheless it is a choice. Being born again placed us effectively back where the 1st man Adam was with the two choices: to obey God or to go our own way. But... if we do choose God we must get rid of our own ways which will lead us to sin again.

Without regard to whether there is such a thing as what many have named a "rapture" of some of God's people, I should never stop seeking God's will and I should never lean back as if what I had already received is enough. Yes, we have a new beginning, but that only makes it possible to make it to the end with Him. It does not guarantee it. Jesus never sinned so He did not have to clean up His act. We need to clean up our act and get rid of our own ways so as to be ready to partake of the promised Tree of Life. The New Birth is not the end. It is only the beginning. The end is when Jesus has a place to lay His Head continuously within us with no danger that we will ever make another wrong choice so as to again pollute the New man like Adam polluted his place with the Lord at the first. We still have the authority and we must surrender daily as with the Apostle we come to the place of dying daily...

Then can we really take our place with Him in Beulah Land!
 
Loyal
Yes, we must be born again in order to make it, but do we have any advantage over what Adam and Eve had in the garden of Eden? They started without sin and then made the wrong choice. We have started with sin, but Jesus provided us with a choice when we seemingly had none. Nevertheless it is a choice. Being born again placed us effectively back where the 1st man Adam was with the two choices: to obey God or to go our own way. But... if we do choose God we must get rid of our own ways which will lead us to sin again.

Without regard to whether there is such a thing as what many have named a "rapture" of some of God's people, I should never stop seeking God's will and I should never lean back as if what I had already received is enough. Yes, we have a new beginning, but that only makes it possible to make it to the end with Him. It does not guarantee it. Jesus never sinned so He did not have to clean up His act. We need to clean up our act and get rid of our own ways so as to be ready to partake of the promised Tree of Life. The New Birth is not the end. It is only the beginning. The end is when Jesus has a place to lay His Head continuously within us with no danger that we will ever make another wrong choice so as to again pollute the New man like Adam polluted his place with the Lord at the first. We still have the authority and we must surrender daily as with the Apostle we come to the place of dying daily...

Then can we really take our place with Him in Beulah Land!
Thank you @amadeus2 for sharing those thoughts. I appreciate them.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
It is just American Christians, I think, who believe they will be raptured and that they won’t have to suffer such persecution.
When we go through the various trials and tribulations and persecutions we go through on this earth, we will be forsaken by others, even by those whose responsibility it is to love and to protect us.
Not knowing whether the Rapture will happen or when. The only reason I see the possibility is not to escape the persecution, trials or tribulations, because these are our due as servants of our Lord. Rather because when we were drawn to be His and sealed by the Holy Spirit, we would no longer be recipients of God's Wrath upon the Earth and its peoples.

Some would contend that the below scriptures don't mean that. However, I do believe that God has separated us from the beginning of time. That though we are in the world, we are not of it. So, the possibility is there, though I don't focus on it much, while going about reaching the lost.

[1Th 5:9 NASB] 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

[Jhn 3:36 NASB] 36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Thank-you for sharing your dream sister!
Don't you hear the dinner bell a ringing? Almost? Alleluia!

God blessings dear sister.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Loyal
Not knowing whether the Rapture will happen or when. The only reason I see the possibility is not to escape the persecution, trials or tribulations, because these are our due as servants of our Lord. Rather because when we were drawn to be His and sealed by the Holy Spirit, we would no longer be recipients of God's Wrath upon the Earth and its peoples.

Some would contend that the below scriptures don't mean that. However, I do believe that God has separated us from the beginning of time. That though we are in the world, we are not of it. So, the possibility is there, though I don't focus on it much, while going about reaching the lost.

[1Th 5:9 NASB] 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

[Jhn 3:36 NASB] 36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Thank-you for sharing your dream sister!
Don't you hear the dinner bell a ringing? Almost? Alleluia!

God blessings dear sister.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
Nick - I do hear the dinner bell ringing. Nonetheless, I believe there is a distinct difference between the wrath being spoken of here, which in context appears to be speaking of eternal damnation kind of wrath, and that of God disciplining, judging and rebuking (chastising, scourging) his children in order to get them to return to him if they have forsaken him and have gone after other gods. I believe that is what Rev 2-3 is all about.

Yet, I won't complain if I am wrong and he takes me out before things get really bad, but I do believe there is a danger when Christians think they can live however they want and that God will reward them with removing them from even the kind of persecution Christians throughout the world have had to suffer. I believe American Christians need a good dose of persecution in order to move them out of their complacency and adulterous lifestyles in order to get them to return to their "first love." The church in America needs an old-fashioned kind of awakening, I believe.

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. Sue
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Yet, I won't complain if I am wrong and he takes me out before things get really bad, but I do believe there is a danger when Christians think they can live however they want and that God will reward them with removing them from even the kind of persecution Christians throughout the world have had to suffer.
Agreed! I'm not complaining either. The end result is that I, we, will be with the Lord! I also understand that human nature does not want/desire to go through any hard times at all, even if it means by doing so, it would bring/make the gap between us and the Lord less. We, can truly be weak creatures :-(

I believe American Christians need a good dose of persecution in order to move them out of their complacency and adulterous lifestyles in order to get them to return to their "first love." The church in America needs an old-fashioned kind of awakening, I believe.
Sadly, I believe that should this happen. The great falling away if not already started, will surely be in full swing when the persecutions happen! The church in America is...the only way to put it...soft to the understanding of the underpinnings of this world. That is another reason I see your threads as being so vital here at Talk Jesus and to all who read them.

Thank-you sister Sue. You are truly a joy even while discussing the subject that weigh heavy upon the believers spirit. God has chosen well! That was silly..of cause He has! Alleluia!

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Member
Agreed! I'm not complaining either. The end result is that I, we, will be with the Lord! I also understand that human nature does not want/desire to go through any hard times at all, even if it means by doing so, it would bring/make the gap between us and the Lord less. We, can truly be weak creatures :-(



Sadly, I believe that should this happen. The great falling away if not already started, will surely be in full swing when the persecutions happen! The church in America is...the only way to put it...soft to the understanding of the underpinnings of this world. That is another reason I see your threads as being so vital here at Talk Jesus and to all who read them.

Thank-you sister Sue. You are truly a joy even while discussing the subject that weigh heavy upon the believers spirit. God has chosen well! That was silly..of cause He has! Alleluia!

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
Brother Christ4Ever, in my opinion, the powers of darkness have the christians already where they want them to be, there's no need for persecution. I see christianity as worldly and pagan, especially because of the influence within the church, where there are many false prophets (who may not even know they are), and believers simply choose to trust them more, than what the word of the Most High says. To think that as long one feels warm n fuzz while worship is foolishness indeed. It's sad to see believers not growing in wisdom and understanding of the word.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Brother Christ4Ever, in my opinion, the powers of darkness have the christians already where they want them to be, there's no need for persecution. I see christianity as worldly and pagan, especially because of the influence within the church, where there are many false prophets (who may not even know they are), and believers simply choose to trust them more, than what the word of the Most High says. To think that as long one feels warm n fuzz while worship is foolishness indeed. It's sad to see believers not growing in wisdom and understanding of the word.
Ah Brother Marek! Persecution is relative to the situation and what one experiences.

To the believer who sees the Word of God corrupted, watered down, children, parents, brothers & sisters in Christ Jesus being given that which does not grow, but malnuriouses, destorys. What is persecution?

To the believer who sees children, parents, brothers & sisters in Christ Jesus butchered, murdered. What is deception?

The enemy is not bound by what they can or will use against God's people, but by what God will allow them.

Though it is happening before our very eyes, do we cease to sound the clarion and hope in prayer that some might turn from their wicked ways or give up hope of any being saved and join the Martyrs before the throne crying out "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:10

Our dear Sister in Christ Jesus Sue, continues to show how wretched things are in the churches and in the people in these dark days, but ever provides the reader with the Hope in Christ Jesus! Alleluia! Let us not be so focused on the train wreck commenting that there is nothing to be done, so that we fail to move forward, saving those who may yet be saved.

So we warn and continue to be about our Master's work dear brother. Spreading the Gospel as we await His return! Rejoicing, always that we so few have been blessed and allowed to be drawn, chosen from the beginning of time as His, to His good purpose, and works! Alleluia!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age." Amen. Matthew 28:19-20

With the Love of Christ Jesus Brother Marek.
YBIC
Nick
<><

 
Loyal
Agreed! I'm not complaining either. The end result is that I, we, will be with the Lord! I also understand that human nature does not want/desire to go through any hard times at all, even if it means by doing so, it would bring/make the gap between us and the Lord less. We, can truly be weak creatures :-(



Sadly, I believe that should this happen. The great falling away if not already started, will surely be in full swing when the persecutions happen! The church in America is...the only way to put it...soft to the understanding of the underpinnings of this world. That is another reason I see your threads as being so vital here at Talk Jesus and to all who read them.

Thank-you sister Sue. You are truly a joy even while discussing the subject that weigh heavy upon the believers spirit. God has chosen well! That was silly..of cause He has! Alleluia!

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
@Christ4Ever - Thank you for these comments. All glory to God. I appreciate your words of encouragement. And, I agree with your thoughts on human nature, suffering, holiness, falling away, persecutions and the spiritual condition of much of the church here in America. Yes, these are not joyous subjects, by far, but necessary, all the same. Sue
 
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