Archive | November, 2013

FROM THE OTHER SIDE?

30 Nov
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In God we Trust?

30 Nov
Do you trust God… really?  The truth is, a lot of people might say yes, but they don’t act like it.  And worse, because they don’t trust Him, they might actually steal from Him! “Come on!” you say, “No one would steal or embezzle money from God.”  But God’s shocking message to His people is, “Ye have robbed me” (Malachi 3:8). Real records prove that billions of people steal from God, and as amazing as it may seem, they use that stolen money to subsidize their own reckless spending!  Yet many are unaware of their larceny, and in this Study Guide, we’ll show you how to avoid that same mistake and how to prosper financially through real faith in God.
One tenth of a person's income belongs to God.

One tenth of a person’s income belongs to God.

1. According to the Bible, what portion of our income belongs to the Lord?

“And all the tithe of the land … is the Lord’s.” Leviticus 27:30.

Answer:   The tithe belongs to God.

The word

The word “tithe” literally means “tenth.”

2. What is the “tithe”?

“I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance.” “The tithes of the children of Israel … I have given to the Levites to inherit.” Numbers 18:21, 24.

Answer:   The tithe is one-tenth of a person’s income.  The word “tithe” literally means “tenth.”  The tithe belongs to God.  It is His.  I have no right to keep it.  When I tithe, I am not making a gift; I am simply returning to God what is already His.  Unless I am returning one-tenth of my income to God, I am not tithing.

The tithe is to be brought into God's storehouse, or church.

The tithe is to be brought into God’s storehouse, or church.

3. Where does the Lord ask His people to bring the tithe?

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.”  Malachi 3:10.

Answer:   He asks us to bring the tithe into His storehouse.

4. To what does the Lord refer when He speaks of His storehouse?

“Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.” Nehemiah 13:12. (The marginal reference calls treasuries “storehouses.”)

Answer:   In Malachi 3:10, God refers to the storehouse as “mine house,” which means His temple or church.  Nehemiah 13:12 further points out that the tithe is to be brought to the temple treasury, which is God’s storehouse.  Other texts that refer to the storehouse as the temple treasuries, or chambers, include 1 Chronicles 9:26 (see margin); 2 Chronicles 31:11, 12 (see margin); and Nehemiah 10:37, 38.  In Old Testament times, God’s people brought 10 percent of all their increase–including crops and animals–to the storehouse.

5. Some have thought that tithing was part of Moses’ system of rites and ceremonies that ended at the cross.  How does the Bible help us understand that this is not so?

“And he [Abram] gave him tithes of all.”  Genesis 14:20.  And in Genesis 28:22, Jacob said, “And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

Answer:   These passages reveal that both Abraham and Jacob, who lived long before Moses’ day, tithed their income.  We can therefore conclude that God’s plan of tithing preceded Moses’ law.

Jesus explained to the Pharisees that although they should tithe, they must not neglect the more important matters of justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

Jesus explained to the Pharisees that although they should tithe, they must not neglect the more important matters of justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

6. But didn’t Jesus abolish the plan of tithing?

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”  Matthew 23:23.

Answer:   No! On the contrary, He endorsed it.  Jesus was rebuking the Jews for omitting the more important matters of the law–“judgment, mercy, and faith”–even though they were meticulous tithers.  He then plainly told them they should continue tithing, but should also be just and merciful and faithful.

In Old Testament days, the tithe was used to pay the priests.

In Old Testament days, the tithe was used to pay the priests.

7. For what was tithe used in Old Testament days?

“I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Numbers 18:21.

Answer:   The tithe in Old Testament days was used for the income of the priests.  The tribe of Levi (the priests) received no portion of land for crop-growing and business operatons, while the other 11 tribes did.  The Levites worked full-time taking care of the temple and ministering to God’s people.  So God’s plan was that the tithe support the priests and their families.

Today, tithe is to be used to pay the salaries of God's ministers.

Today, tithe is to be used to pay the salaries of God’s ministers.

8. Did God change His plan for tithe usage in New Testament days?

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:13, 14.

Answer:   No! He continued it. His plan today is that tithe be used to support those who work solely in gospel ministry.  If all people tithed and the tithe were used strictly for the support of gospel workers, there would be more than enough money to reach the entire earth very quickly with God’s end-time gospel message.

God promises that faithful tithe payers will receive blessings so great that they will not have room enough to receive them.

God promises that faithful tithe payers will receive blessings so great that they will not have room enough to receive them.

9. What startling proposal does God make to people who feel uncertain about tithing?

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10.

Answer:   He says, “Prove me now” and see if I will not “pour you out a blessing” too big to receive.  This is the only time in the Bible that God makes such a proposal.  He is saying, “Give it a try. It will work. I promise you.” Hundreds of thousands of tithers the world over will gladly testify to the truth of God’s tithing promise.  They have all learned the truth of the words: “You can’t out-give God.”

10. When we tithe, who really receives our money?

“And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [Jesus] receiveth them.” Hebrews 7:8.

Answer:   Jesus, our heavenly High Priest, receives our tithes.

When I take God's tithe and use it for myself, I repeat the sin of Adam and Eve.

When I take God’s tithe and use it for myself, I repeat the sin of Adam and Eve.

11. What test did Adam and Eve fail, which all of us must pass if we would inherit His heavenly kingdom?

Answer:   They took things that God said were not theirs.  God gave Adam and Eve the fruit of all the trees in the garden of Eden except one – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16, 17). The fruit of that tree was not theirs to eat.  They were to leave it alone. Eve said they were not even to touch it (Genesis 3:3).  But they did not trust God.  They ate the fruit and fell – and the long, horrendous, wrenching sojourn in sin began.  To people today, God gives His riches, wisdom, and all of the other assets and blessings of heaven.
Everything is ours – except one-tenth of our income, which is His (Leviticus 27:30).  But as with Adam and Eve, He does not take it by force.  He leaves it within our reach but warns, “Don’t take that. It is holy. It is mine.”  When we knowingly take God’s tithe and appropriate it for our own use, we repeat the sin of Adam and Eve and thus display a tragic lack of trust in our Redeemer.  God does not need our money, but He deserves our loyalty and trust.
Make God Your Partner When I return God’s tithe, I make Him a partner in everything I undertake.  What a fantastic, blessed privilege: God and I – partners!  With Him as my partner, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  It is an awesomely dangerous venture to take God’s own money, which He has earmarked for the saving of souls, and use it for our own personal budgets.

God's people gladly give offerings as an expression of their love for Him.

God’s people gladly give offerings as an expression of their love for Him.

12. In addition to the tithe, which belongs to God, what else does God ask of His people?

“Bring an offering, and come into his courts.” Psalms 96:8.

Answer:   The Lord asks us to give offerings for His work as an expression of our love for Him and our thanksgiving for His blessings.

The Bible does not specify the amount to be given for offerings.

The Bible does not specify the amount to be given for offerings.

13. How much shall I give to God as offerings?

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Answer:   The Bible does not specify a set amount for offerings.  Each person decides (as God impresses) how much to give and then gives it cheerfully.

14. What additional Bible principles does God share with us regarding giving?

Answer:   A. My first priority should be to give myself to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5).
B. I should give God my very best (Proverbs 3:9).
C. God blesses the generous giver (Proverbs 11:24, 25).
D. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
E. When stingy, I am not rightly using my God-given blessings (Luke 12:16-21).
F. God returns more than I give (Luke 6:38).
G. I should give in proportion to how God has prospered and blessed me (1 Corinthians 16:2).
H. I should give as I am able (Deuteronomy 16:17).
We return tithe to God, to whom it already belongs. We give offerings.  Offerings are voluntary and should be given joyously.

The world and everything in it belong to God.

The world and everything in it belong to God.

15. What does the Lord own?

Answer:   A. All the silver and gold in the world (Haggai 2:8).
B. The earth and all its people (Psalms 24:1).
C. The Lord owns the world and everything in it (Psalms 50:10-12). But He permits people to use His great riches. He also gives them the wisdom and power to prosper and to accumulate wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).  In return for furnishing everything, all God asks is that we return to Him 10 percent as our acknowledgement of His great investment in our business affairs, plus offerings as an expression of our love and gratitude.

God considers people robbers who do not tithe and give offerings.

God considers people robbers who do not tithe and give offerings.

16. How does the Lord refer to people who do not return His 10 percent and give offerings?

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8.

Answer:   He refers to them as robbers.  Can you imagine people stealing from God?

Those who rob God by withholding tithes and offerings will not be permitted to enter heaven.

Those who rob God by withholding tithes and offerings will not be permitted to enter heaven.

17. What does God say will happen to those who knowingly continue to rob Him in tithes and offerings?

“Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”  Malachi 3:9.  “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:10.

Answer:   The curse of God will rest upon them.  They will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

A preoccupation with accumulating money makes one grasping and proud.

A preoccupation with accumulating money makes one grasping and proud.

18. God warns us against covetousness.  Why is it so extremely dangerous?

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34.

Answer:   Because our hearts follow our investments.  If my focus is on accumulating more and more money, my heart becomes covetous, grasping, and proud.  But if my focus is on sharing and helping others and blessing God’s work, then my heart becomes caring, loving, liberal, and humble.  Covetousness is one of the 20 terrible sins of the last days that will shut people out of heaven (2 Timothy 3:1-7).

To steal from Jesus grieves Him much.

To steal from Jesus grieves Him much.

19. How does Jesus feel when we rob Him of His sacred tithe and love offerings?

“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart.” Hebrews 3:10.

Answer:   He probably feels much as a parent whose child steals money from him.  The money itself is not the big thing.  It is the child’s lack of integrity, love, and trust that is deeply disappointing.

Love caused God's people in Macedonia to give very liberally to the famine-stricken Christians in Jerusalem.

Love caused God’s people in Macedonia to give very liberally to the famine-stricken Christians in Jerusalem.

20. What thrilling points does Paul stress about the stewardship of the believers in Macedonia?

Answer:   Paul had written the churches in Macedonia asking them to please lay aside some funds for God’s people in Jerusalem, who were suffering terribly from an extended famine.  He told them he would pick up these gifts when he came to their cities on his next visit.  The thrilling response from the churches in Macedonia, described in 2 Corinthians chapter 8, is most heartening:
A. Verse 5A is a first step, they rededicated their lives to Jesus Christ.
B. Verses 2, 3 Though in “deep poverty” themselves, they gave “beyond their power” to give.
C. Verse 4 They urged Paul to come and pick up their gifts.
D. Verse 9 Their gifts followed the sacrificial example of Jesus.
Note: If we truly love Jesus, giving sacrificially for His work will never be a burden, but rather a glorious privilege that we will perform with great joy and satisfaction.

When a person tithes, God stretches the remaining nine-tenths so there is always enough.

When a person tithes, God stretches the remaining nine-tenths so there is always enough.

21. What does God promise to do for those who are faithful in returning tithes and giving offerings?

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-12.

Answer:   God promises to prosper His faithful financial stewards, and they will be a blessing to those around them.
Consider the Following Ways God Blesses:
A. God promises that your nine-tenths will go further with His blessing than your total income would go without it.  If you doubt this, ask any faithful tither.
B. Blessings are not always financial.  They may include health, peace of mind, answered prayers, protection, a close-knit and loving family, added physical strength, ability to make wise decisions, a spirit of thankfulness, a closer relationship with Jesus, success in soul-winning, an old car kept running longer, etc.
C. He becomes your partner in everything. No one except God could ever structure a plan so utterly fantastic.

22. Are you willing to begin tithing your income and giving offerings to demonstrate your love and thankfulness?

The Vatican is the enemy of God and the Jewish people

29 Nov

News that matters

The Catholic enmity toward Jews are now 1.700 years old. And it is played out against Israel since the start of modern Zionism.

In his new book, “The Vatican Against Israel: J’Accuse”, Giulio Meotti explores the theological foundation for 1,700 years of Catholic enmity toward Jews and how this is played out against Israel since the start of modern Zionism.

Meotti explores the theological foundation for 1,700 years of Catholic enmity toward Jews that led to manifold persecutory actions and atrocities through the centuries and how it continues to play out in Church policy toward the Jewish State today.

Mr. Meotti explains how the Catholic Church has continued to undermine Jews through its politics, statements, and contemptuous relationship with the state of Israel. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the Vatican has consistently worked against the best interests of the Jewish state and aided and abetted its enemies.

This extensive, historical…

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Earthquake in Iran Near Nuclear Plant Kills 7

29 Nov

The Bride of Christ

28 Nov
The Bible says there is but one body, or church, into which Jesus calls His end-time people – the bride of Christ. To some, this is unnerving, as there are thousands of different churches today that call themselves Christian.  Virtually every one claims to be God’s church, yet they each differ widely in biblical interpretation, faith, and practice.  It’s quite impossible for the honest seeker of truth to investigate the claims of each one. However, we can be thankful that Jesus has solved this dilemma for us by describing His church in such detail that you can easily identify it!  That description, vivid and powerful, is found in Revelation 12 and 14, and it will thrill you with amazing truths that will help you in the end times.  Please read Revelation 12:1-17 before beginning your journey of discovery into these transforming truths.

1. By what prophetic symbol does Jesus represent His true church?

“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Jeremiah 6:2.  “And say unto Zion, Thou art my people.” Isaiah 51:16.

Answer:   We learned in Study Guide 22 that Jesus symbolizes His true, pure church (Zion) as a pure woman and an apostate church as a harlot.  A few other texts which also utilize this symbolism are 2 Corinthians 11:2 Ephesians 5:22, 23 and Revelation 19:7, 8.

2. In Revelation 12:1, Jesus symbolizes His church as a woman “clothed with the sun,” with “the moon under her feet,” and wearing “a crown of twelve stars.”  What do these symbols mean?

Answer:   A.  The sun represents Jesus, His gospel, and His righteousness. “The Lord God is a sun.” Psalms 84:11.  (See also Malachi 4:2.)  Without Jesus there is no salvation (Acts 4:12).  More than anything else, Jesus wants His church to overflow with His presence and glory.
B. “The moon under her feet” represents the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.  As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so the sacrificial system was helpful spiritually only as it reflected light from the Messiah to come (Hebrews 10:1).
C.  The “crown of twelve stars” represents the work of the 12 disciples, which crowned the early years of the New Testament church.

The baby mentioned in Revelation chapter 12 is Jesus.

The baby mentioned in Revelation chapter 12 is Jesus.

3. Next, the prophecy states that the woman is in labor, about to deliver a baby who would one day rule all nations with a rod of iron.  She then delivered the “man child,” and later He was taken up to God’s throne in heaven (Revelation 12:1, 2, 5).  Who was this baby?

Answer:   The baby was Jesus.  He will one day rule all nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:13-16; Psalms 2:7-9).  Jesus, who was crucified for our sins, was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11).  His resurrection power in our lives is one of Jesus’ essential gifts to His people (Philippians 3:10).

The great red dragon is Satan, who at Jesus' birth was working through pagan Rome.

The great red dragon is Satan, who at Jesus’ birth was working through pagan Rome.

4. Revelation 12:3, 4 introduces “a great red dragon” who hated the “man child” and tried to kill him at birth.  You may remember this dragon from Study Guide 20.  Who was the dragon?

Answer:   The dragon represents Satan, who was cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9) and who was working at the time of Jesus’ birth through the pagan Roman empire.  The ruler who tried to kill Jesus at birth was Herod, a king under pagan Rome.  He killed all the male babies of Bethlehem, hoping that one of them would be Jesus (Matthew 2:16).

The

The “third part of the stars” represent the rebellious angels who were cast out of heaven with Lucifer.

5. What is the meaning of the “seven heads” and “ten horns” of the dragon, and of “the third part of the stars of heaven” being cast to the earth?

Answer:   A.  The “seven heads” represent the seven hills or mountains upon which Rome was built (Revelation 17:9, 10).  We have now encountered a beast with seven heads and 10 horns three times in our Study Guides (Revelation 12:3 13:1 17:3).
B.  The “ten horns” represent the governments, or nations, that support the major powers in their oppression of God’s people and church.  During pagan Rome’s tenure (Revelation 12:3, 4), they represented the 10 barbarian tribes that supported the papacy in eventually bringing down the Roman empire (Daniel 7:23, 24).  These tribes later became modern Europe.  In the last days, they represent all the nations of the world united in the end-time coalition (Revelation 16:14 17:12, 13, 16) which will support “Babylon the great” in her warfare against God’s people.
C. “The third part of the stars of heaven” are the angels who supported Lucifer in his insurrection in heaven and who were cast out with him (Revelation 12:9 Luke 10:18 Isaiah 14:12).
A Review and Summary
Thus far, the prophecy has covered the following Bible facts:
1. God’s true church appears, symbolized as a pure woman.
2. Jesus is born into the church.
3. Satan, working through King Herod of pagan Rome, tries to kill baby Jesus.
4. Satan’s plan is unsuccessful.
5. Jesus’ ascension is pictured.

Many millions were burned at the stake because of Satan's persecution.

Many millions were burned at the stake because of Satan’s persecution.

6. What did Satan do after he failed in his plan to destroy baby Jesus?

“He persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”  Revelation 12:13.

Answer:   Since he was no longer able to attack Jesus personally, he aimed his fury and persecution at God’s church and His people.
Six Identifying Points In Revelation chapters 12 and 14, Jesus gives us six descriptive points to use in identifying His end-time church.  Watch for them as you study the remainder of this Study Guide.

God's people fled to the solitary places of the earth to escape persecution.

God’s people fled to the solitary places of the earth to escape persecution.

7. What did the woman (church) do to protect herself, and what is the “wilderness” spoken of in Revelation 12:6, 14?

Answer:   A. Verses 6 and 14 say, “The woman fled into the wilderness,” where she was protected for “a time, and times, and half a time” (or 1,260 literal years) from the wrath of Satan who was then working through papal Rome. The “two wings” represent the protection and support God gave the church during her time in the “wilderness” (Exodus 19:4 Deuteronomy 32:11). The time spent in the wilderness is the same 1,260-year period of papal prominence and persecution (A.D. 538 to 1798) that Jesus repeatedly mentioned in prophecy. One prophetic day equals one literal year (Ezekiel 4:6).
B. The term “wilderness” refers to the solitary places of earth (mountains, caves, forests, etc.) where God’s people could hide in seclusion and thus escape total annihilation (Hebrews 11:37, 38). And hide they did, the Waldenses, Albigenses, Huguenots, and many others. God’s people (His church) would have been obliterated if they had not fled and hid in the wilderness during this devastating persecution by the papacy. (In one 40-year period, “from the beginning of the order of the Jesuits, in the year 1540, to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred fifty thousand perished in the Inquisition in 30 years.” 1) At least 50 million people died for their faith during this 1,260-year time period. God’s church did not exist as an official organization during this 1,260-year time period. From A.D. 538 to 1798 it was alive but not identifiable as an organization. When it came out of hiding after the 1,260 years, it still had the same doctrine and characteristics as the apostolic church, which entered  the “wilderness” in A.D. 538.
Note:  We have now discovered our first two identification points for Jesus’ end-time church:
1. It would not exist officially as an organization between A.D. 538 and 1798.
2. It would arise and do its end-time work after 1798.
There are many loving, genuine Christians in churches that were officially in existence before 1798.  But none of these churches can be God’s end-time church into which Jesus is calling all His people, because Jesus’ end-time church had to arise after 1798. This means that most of the popular Protestant churches cannot be God’s end-time church because they existed officially before 1798.
1Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, comment on Daniel 7:25, p. 328.

A remnant of cloth is the last remaining portion of a bolt. It is exactly like the first piece from the same bolt.

A remnant of cloth is the last remaining portion of a bolt. It is exactly like the first piece from the same bolt.

8. In Revelation 12:17, God calls His end-time church the remnant.  What does the word “remnant” mean?

Answer:   It means the last remaining portion.  In reference to Jesus’ church, it means His church of the very last days, which is identical in doctrine to the apostolic church.

God's remnant church will keep His commandments and will also have the gift of prophecy.

God’s remnant church will keep His commandments and will also have the gift of prophecy.

9. In Revelation 12:17, what additional two-point description did Jesus give of His end-time remnant church?

Answer:   It would keep all the Ten Commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment (John 14:15 Revelation 22:14).  It also would have the “testimony of Jesus”, which the Bible tells us is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).  (Study Guide 24 will give a full explanation of the gift of prophecy.)
So here are Jesus’ next two points of identification for His end-time remnant church:
3. It will keep God’s commandments, including His seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
4. It will have the gift of prophecy.
Remember that while hosts of sincere Christian people are found in churches that do not keep the Sabbath or have the gift of prophecy, none of these churches can be God’s remnant end-time church into which Jesus is calling all last-day Christians, because God’s end-time church will both keep God’s commandments and have the gift of prophecy.

God's remnant must be preaching the three angels' messages worldwide.

God’s remnant must be preaching the three angels’ messages worldwide.

10. What final two points of identification for God’s remnant does the book of Revelation provide?

Answer:   The final two points of the six are: (5) It will be a worldwide missionary church (Revelation 14:6), and (6) It will be preaching the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-14, which are briefly summarized below.
A. God’s judgment is in session. Worship Him! God’s end-time church must be preaching that the judgment began in 1844 (see Study Guides 18 and 19).  It also calls upon people to “worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:7. How do we worship God as Creator?  God wrote the answer in the fourth commandment. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8, 11. So the first angel’s message commands all to worship God as Creator by keeping holy His seventh-day Sabbath, which He gave to us as a memorial of Creation.
B.  Come out of the fallen churches of Babylon.
C. Don’t worship the beast or receive his mark, which is Sunday as a holy day.  Beware of all counterfeits.
Note: Here are the final two identification points:
5. God’s end-time church will be a worldwide missionary church.
6. It will be preaching and teaching the three-point message of Revelation 14:6-14.
Now let’s review the six points that Jesus gives us for identifying His end-time remnant church:
1. It would not exist as an official organization between A.D. 538 and 1798.
2. It would arise and do its work after 1798.
3. It would keep the Ten Commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
4. It would have the gift of prophecy.
5. It would be a worldwide missionary church.
6. It would be teaching and preaching Jesus’ three-point message of Revelation 14:6-14.

Jesus promises that all who sincerely apply His six specifications will find His remnant church.

Jesus promises that all who sincerely apply His six specifications will find His remnant church.

11. Now that we have established Jesus’ six identification points for His end-time remnant church, what does Jesus tell us to do, and with what results?

Answer:   “Seek, and ye shall find.” Matthew 7:7. Jesus hands you these six specifications and says, “Go find my church.”  He promises that those who seek for heavenly things will find them.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the only one that fits all six specifications.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the only one that fits all six specifications.

12. How many churches fit these six specifications?

Answer:   Jesus gave such distinctive and specific specifications that they fit only one church.  Jesus did not give vague generalities such as “There will be many good people in my church” and “There will also be some hypocrites.” How many churches would those two points fit? All of them.
Those two points also fit the corner grocery store and downtown civic clubs. They would fit everything, and thus mean nothing.  Instead, Jesus gave such pointed, specific, highly descriptive points that they fit one church and only one church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Let’s double-check the specifications.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church:
1. Did not exist as an official organization between A.D. 538 and 1798.
2. Arose after 1798. It began to form in the early 1840s.
3. Keeps the Ten Commandments, including the fourth – God’s holy seventh-day Sabbath.
4. Has the gift of prophecy.
5. Is a worldwide missionary church, working in 208 of the 236 countries of the world.
6. Teaches and preaches Jesus’ great three-point message of Revelation 14:6-14.
Jesus asks you to take these six specifications and check for yourself. It is easy. You cannot miss.
Note: Please remember that there are many loving Christians in churches which these points do not fit, but no such church can be God’s end-time remnant into which He is calling all His people for today.

13. After one of Jesus’ children heeds His loving warning call and comes out of Babylon (Revelation 18:2, 4), what does Jesus ask him to do next?

“Ye are called in one body.” Colossians 3:15. “He [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.” Colossians 1:18.

Answer:   The Bible says that God’s people are called into one body, or church.  Jesus asks those who leave Babylon to join the remnant church–of which He is the head.  Jesus said, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.” John 10:16. He also calls them “my people” in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 58:1) and the New Testament (Revelation 18:4). Of His sheep outside His fold (church), He says, “Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” “My sheep hear my voice, … and they follow me.” John 10:16, 27.

When God calls people out of Babylon, He asks them to join His remnant church. People join His remnant church by baptism.

When God calls people out of Babylon, He asks them to join His remnant church. People join His remnant church by baptism.

14. How does one enter that body, or church?

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles.” 1 Corinthians 12:13.

Answer:   We enter Jesus’ end-time remnant church by baptism.  (See Study Guide 9 for details on baptism.)

15. Does the Bible provide other evidence that Jesus has only one remnant church into which He is calling all of His people?

Answer:   Yes, it does. Let’s review it:
A. The Bible says there is only one true body, or church (Ephesians 4:4 Colossians 1:18).
B. The Bible says our day is like Noah’s day (Luke 17:26, 27).  How many ways of escape were there in Noah’s day?  Only one, the ark.  Once again, today, God has provided only one boat, or church, that will take His people safely through to His heavenly kingdom.  Be sure to get on the right boat!  The Bible says, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47.  It was true in apostolic times it is still true today.

God promises that His remnant church will triumph gloriously.

God promises that His remnant church will triumph gloriously.

16. What is the good news regarding God’s remnant church?

Answer:
A. Its central theme is “the everlasting gospel” of righteousness by faith in Jesus only (Revelation 14:6).
B. It is built on Jesus, the Rock (1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:4), and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.
C. Jesus died for His church (Ephesians 5:25).
D. Jesus describes His remnant church so plainly that it’s easy to identify.  He also describes the fallen churches and calls His people out of them. Satan will trap only those who keep their eyes and hearts shut.
E. Its doctrines are all true (1 Timothy 3:15).

17. What is the good news regarding God’s remnant people?

Answer:   They will:
A. Be saved in His heavenly kingdom (Revelation 15:2).
B. Overcome the devil by the “power” and “blood” of Jesus (Revelation 12:10, 11).
C. Be patient (Revelation 14:12).
D. Have Jesus’ faith (Revelation 14:12).
E. Find glorious freedom (John 8:31, 32).

18. Earth’s hour is very late. Jesus’ second coming immediately follows the giving of the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:12-14).  What is Jesus’ urgent plea now to His people?

“Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” Genesis 7:1.

Answer:   In Noah’s day, only eight people (including Noah himself) heeded God’s invitation.  Jesus is waiting at the door of His end-time ark, or remnant church, for you.
Note: This is our eighth Study Guide in the thrilling series on the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-14.  The final Study Guide of the series will discuss the gift of prophecy.

19. I am willing to heed Jesus’ call to come into the safety of His end-time remnant church.

The Other Woman

27 Nov
Every marriage must rely on trust – and likewise in our union with Christ, we must remain faithful to Him and His Word. Revelation speaks about the true bride of Christ, but there is another woman who is trying to seduce believers away from God’s Word. Revelation contains a shocking message about Babylon, the other woman. Babylon is fallen, and Christ’s people must escape her charms or perish! Thus begins the second part of the three angels’ message. Here you will learn the very real identity of spiritual Babylon and learn how to avoid being hypnotized by her fatal beauty … what could be more important?
In the book of Revelation, God calls this woman

In the book of Revelation, God calls this woman “Babylon.”

1. How does Jesus symbolize Babylon in the book of Revelation?

“I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” “And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”  Revelation 17:1, 3-5.

Answer:   In Revelation 17:1-6, Jesus symbolizes Babylon as a harlot dressed in red and purple. She is seated upon a scarlet-colored beast, which has seven heads and 10 horns and sits on many waters.

2. Who is the symbolic pure woman of Revelation chapter 12?

Answer:   A pure woman, clothed with the sun, is depicted in Revelation 12:1-6.  We learned in Study Guide 20 that this pure woman symbolizes God’s pure church which is faithful to her lover, Jesus.  We will study Revelation chapter 12 in depth in Study Guide 23.

3. What does a harlot represent in Bible prophecy?

“Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.” “Thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot.” Ezekiel 16:2, 15.

Answer:   As a pure woman symbolizes a pure church which is faithful to Jesus, so an impure woman represents an impure, or fallen, church which is unfaithful to Jesus (James 4:4).

Most Reformation leaders taught that

Most Reformation leaders taught that “Babylon” of Revelation 17 is the papacy.

4. Can we identify the harlot (church) that is called “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots” in Revelation chapter 17?

Answer:   Yes, it is widely known that there is only one church which claims to be the mother church, the great Roman Catholic Church. A prominent Catholic priest, John A. O’Brien, said: “That observance [Sunday-keeping] remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away.” 1
The points used in Revelation 17 to describe mother Babylon and the beast she rides clearly fit the papacy:
A. She persecuted the saints (verse 6). (See Study Guides 15 and 20.)
B. She was dressed in purple and scarlet (verse 4). The popes often wear the royal color of purple at important functions, and red is the color of the robes of Catholic cardinals.
C. The seven heads of the beast  (verse 3) upon which the woman is seated are seven mountains (verse 9). It is well known that Rome, the world headquarters of the papacy, is built upon seven hills or mountains.
D. The beast is guilty of blasphemy (verse 3), a point which also clearly fits the papacy. (See Study Guides 15 and 20.)
E. She ruled “over the kings of the earth.”
Verse 18. Alexander Flick says that by the 13th century, the pope was “at least in theory and claim … the ruler of the whole world in temporal and spiritual affairs.” 2 This point could fit no other earthly kingdom or government. The papacy is described in Revelation 17 too clearly for doubt.
Note: Many leaders of the Reformation (Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Cranmer, Tyndale, Latimer, Ridley, and others) taught that the papacy is the power here involved. 3
1John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974), p. 401.
2The Rise of the Mediaeval Church (New York: Burt Franklin, 1959), pp. 575, 576.
3George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1956), pp. 32-34.

The word

The word “Babylon” dates back to the Tower of Babel.  It means “confusion”.

5. What is the literal meaning of the word “Babylon,” and what is its origin?

“Let us build … a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” “And the Lord said … let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” “Therefore is the name of it called Babel [“confusion”, margin]; because the Lord did there confound the language.” Genesis 11:4, 6, 7, 9.

Answer:   The words “Babel” and “Babylon” mean “confusion.”  The name Babylon originated at the Tower of Babel, which was erected after the Flood by defiant pagans who hoped to build it so high that no flood waters could ever cover it (verse 4).  But the Lord confounded their languages, and the resultant confusion was so great they were forced to halt construction.  They then called the tower “Babel” (Babylon), or “confusion.”
Later, in Old Testament days, a worldwide pagan kingdom named Babylon arose which was an enemy of God’s people, Israel. It embodied rebellion, disobedience, persecution of God’s people, pride, and idolatry (Jeremiah 39:6, 7 50:29, 31-33 51:24, 34, 47 Daniel chapters 3 and 5).  In fact, in Isaiah chapter 14 God uses Babylon as a symbol of Satan himself because Babylon was so hostile and devastating to God’s work and His people. In the New Testament book of Revelation, the term “Babylon” is used to signify a religious kingdom that is an enemy of God’s spiritual Israel, His church (Revelation 14:8 16:19).

Churches that adopt the false teachings of mother Babylon become

Churches that adopt the false teachings of mother Babylon become “Babylon” themselves.

6. Who are the harlot daughters of the mother Babylon described in Revelation 17:5?

Answer:   They are some of the churches which originally protested the false teachings of mother Babylon and left her during the great Protestant Reformation.  But, later, they began to mimic the principles and actions of the mother and thus became fallen themselves.  No woman is born a harlot.  Neither were the symbolic Protestant daughter churches born fallen.  Any church or organization that teaches and follows Babylon’s false doctrines and practices could become a fallen church or daughter.  So Babylon is a family name which embraces both the mother church and those of her daughters, who are also fallen.

The beast of Revelation 17 represents the civil government.  The woman astride the beast means that the church is in control of the government.

The beast of Revelation 17 represents the civil government.  The woman astride the beast means that the church is in control of the government.

7. In Revelation 17, why is mother Babylon pictured as riding upon the beast?  What does the beast represent?

Answer:   In Revelation 13:1-10, Jesus portrays the papacy as a combination of church and state.  (For more information, see Study Guide 20.)  In Revelation chapter 17, Jesus depicts the church (the harlot) and state (the beast) as separate entities, though related.  The woman is astride the beast, which signifies that the church is in control of the state.

Non-Christian religions and apostate Protestantism will join the papacy as allies in the final war against God and His followers.

Non-Christian religions and apostate Protestantism will join the papacy as allies in the final war against God and His followers.

8. What other powers unite with the papacy in fulfilling end-time events?

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:13, 14.

Answer:   The dragon of Revelation 12:3, 4 and the false prophet of Revelation 13:11-14 19:20 form an alliance with the beast of Revelation 13:1-10, or the papacy.
A. The dragon of Revelation chapter 12 represents Satan working through pagan Rome.  (See Study Guide 20 for more details.)  In these last days it includes non-Christian religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, the New Age, secular humanism, etc.
B. The false prophet represents apostate Protestantism centered in America, which will take the lead in urging and influencing worldwide worship of the beast (see Study Guide 21).
C. The beast is the papacy (see Study Guide 20).
D. These three powers:  Non-Christian religions and governments, Roman Catholicism, and apostate Protestantism will become allies in Armageddon, the final war against God, His law, and His loyal followers. This coalition is called “Babylon the great” by Jesus in Revelation 18:2.

The powerful miracles of Satan and his angels (posing as spirits of dead) will unite the world in their support of the beast.

The powerful miracles of Satan and his angels (posing as spirits of dead) will unite the world in their support of the beast.

9. How will organizations with such diverse backgrounds be able to effectively unite?

“These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Revelation 17:13.

Answer:   Revelation 16:13, 14 says “unclean spirits like frogs” which are “spirits of devils” will unite them through the miracles they will work.  Spiritism – the belief that the dead are alive and can contact the living – will be the tenet which will weld all together.  Satan and his angels, posing as the spirits of dead loved ones, prophets of old, angels of heaven (2 Corinthians 11:13, 14), and even Christ Himself (Matthew 24:24)will convince the world that their cause is guided from heaven itself (see Study Guide 10).  Incidentally, all three entities believe that the dead are alive:
A. Catholicism prays to Mary and other dead saints and believes these saints bless their followers with miracles.
B. Non-Christian religions are virtually all based on belief in and worship of spirits of the dead. The New Age stresses “channeling”supposed talking to the spirits of the dead.
C. Apostate Protestantism believes that the dead are not dead but, rather, alive in heaven or hell.  Thus they are highly susceptible to deception by demons who pose as spirits of the dead.

Babylon falls because she turns away from Bible truth.

Babylon falls because she turns away from Bible truth.

10. For what sins does God indict Babylon?

A. “Babylon the great is fallen.” Revelation 18:2.

Answer:   To fall means to turn away from Bible truth and true worship of the true God (2 Peter 3:17).
B. “And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit.” “By thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”  Revelation 18:2, 23. Answer:  Here God is indicting Babylon for (1) conferring personally with devils by inviting evil spirits into its midst through spiritism, and (2) for deceiving virtually the entire world through lying, demonic spirits.
C. “The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk”  from the wine of abomination and fornication found in her cup (Revelation 17:2, 4 18:3). Answer: The word “abomination” in the Bible symbolizes lies (Proverbs 12:22).  Babylon’s wine, which contains false teachings, disorients and benumbs those who drink it and makes them spiritually drunk.
D.  “The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.” Revelation 18:3. Answer: The church is the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7, 8) and must love and be loyal only to Him, which Jesus said means keeping His commandments (John 14:15). The papacy is censured here for turning away from her husband, Jesus (James 4:4), and forming illicit relationships with civil governments (union of church and state) for her support.
E. Trafficking in the “souls of men” (Revelation 18:13). Answer: God here denounces Babylon for treating people as merchandise rather than as precious children of God.

Receiving false doctrine brings spiritual drunkenness, which makes comprehending truth extremely difficult.

Receiving false doctrine brings spiritual drunkenness, which makes comprehending truth extremely difficult.

11. What are some of the false teachings contained in Babylon’s wine that make people spiritually drunk and confused?

Answer:   Amazingly, some of the most prominent doctrines of Protestantism today are not found in the Bible at all. They have been brought into the Protestant churches by the mother church of Rome, who received them from paganism.  A few of these false teachings are that:
A. The law of God has been amended or repealed. God’s law can never be changed or repealed (Luke 16:17).  Study Guide 6 cites irrefutable evidence.
B. The soul is immortal. The Bible mentions “soul” and “spirit” 1,700 times.  Not once is either referred to as immortal.  People are mortal (Job 4:17), and none receive immortality until Jesus’ second advent (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).  (See Study Guide 10 for more information.)
C.  Sinners burn eternally in hell. The Bible teaches that sinners will be completely consumed (put out of existence), both soul and body, in the fire (Matthew 10:28). An eternal hell of torment is not taught in the Bible. (See details in Study Guide 11.)
D.  Baptism by immersion is not necessary. Baptism by immersion is the only baptism recognized by Scripture.  (See Study Guide 9 for further information.)
E.  Sunday is God’s holy day. The Bible teaches, without question, that God’s holy day is the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday. (For details, see Study Guide 7.)
Note: These false teachings, once believed, tend to bring “confusion” (which is what the term “Babylon” literally means) and make understanding Scripture much more difficult.
A Sobering Thought It’s sobering to think that some might unknowingly be drinking Babylon’s wine.  Perhaps this is all new to you.  If so, please ask God to guide you (Matthew 7:7).  Then search the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).  Promise that you will follow where Jesus leads, and He will not permit you to end up in error (John 7:17).

The angels of heaven will be on the side of God's people in earth's final battle.

The angels of heaven will be on the side of God’s people in earth’s final battle.

12. Who will be on the Lord’s side in the battle of Armageddon?

Answer:   In this final battle, the angels of heaven (Hebrews 1:13, 14 Matthew 13:41, 42) and God’s people, the remnant (Revelation 12:17) – will be allied with Jesus, who leads the armies of heaven (Revelation 19:11-16) against Satan and his supporters.
God’s remnant is composed of those who refuse the falsehoods of Babylon (Study Guide 23 will give additional details).  They are known for: (1) their love of Jesus (1 John 5:2, 3), (2) their loyalty to and faith in Him (Revelation 14:12), and (3) their firm obedience to His Word and commandments (Revelation 12:17 John 8:31, 32).

In the end time, Satan will deceive all who do not demand clear Scripture proof for every Bible doctrine.

In the end time, Satan will deceive all who do not demand clear Scripture proof for every Bible doctrine.

13. What will be Satan’s strategy in this final conflict between God’s truth and Satan’s lies?

Answer:   Though Satan hates God and His Son, he rarely admits it openly.  In fact, he and his demons will pose as holy angels and as devoted Christian clergymen (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).  What he presents as evidence for his side will seem so righteous, spiritual, and Jesus-like that nearly everybody on earth will be deceived and follow him (Matthew 24:24).  He will doubtless use the Bible, as he did when tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1, 11).  Satan’s logic is so persuasive that it deceived one-third of the angels of heaven, Adam and Eve, and (at the time of the Flood) everybody on earth except eight people.

God's Word exposes Satan's strategies.

God’s Word exposes Satan’s strategies.

14. What is God’s counter-strategy?

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

Answer:   God always counters Satan’s lies with Bible truth.  When tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus repeatedly quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11).  Through His remnant people, God will tell the truth about the un-biblical nature of Babylon the great.  He will make it clear that Babylon is presenting a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-12) which has opened the door wide for billions to be deceived and lost. God’s counter-movement is outlined in the great three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-14, which we are examining in nine of the 27 Study Guides in this series.  These three fantastic messages expose and warn against Satan’s lies and counterfeits and call people to worship God and obey Him, not only in spirit but in Bible truth as well.

God's end-time message will bring glorious truth and light to every person on earth.

God’s end-time message will bring glorious truth and light to every person on earth.

15. Will God’s end-time messages of warning and hope be effective?

“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Revelation 18:1.

Answer:   In Scripture, angels represent messengers or messages (Hebrews 1:13, 14).  God’s end-time appeal is symbolized by a mighty angel whose power is so great that the entire world is lightened with God’s truth and glory. This final, God-given message will go to the inhabitants of the entire world (Revelation 14:6; Mark 16:15; Matthew 24:14).

When Jesus' end-time appeal is given to all the world, His true people will come out of Babylon and follow Him.

When Jesus’ end-time appeal is given to all the world, His true people will come out of Babylon and follow Him.

16. What final, urgent appeal will Jesus make to those who are in Babylon?

Answer:   He will say: “Come out of her [Babylon], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4, 5.
Please notice that Jesus refers to many people in Babylon as “my people.” There are millions of sincere Christians in Babylon who have not yet heard this urgent warning message.  These people love the Lord supremely, and Jesus says they are His children.

17. How will Jesus’ people, who are in Babylon, respond when they hear His appeal to come out?

Answer:   Jesus gives the answer.  He says, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:16, 27.
Jesus recognizes His children who are in Babylon.  Further, He promises to call them out of Babylon before it is destroyed.  And, most glorious of all, Jesus promises that His people who are yet in Babylon will hear and recognize His voice and come out to safety.
Note:  This is the seventh Study Guide in our series of nine on the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-14.  Our next Study Guide will describe God’s end-time church so plainly that you cannot fail to recognize it.

18. If you are in Babylon, are you willing to heed Jesus’ urgent appeal to come out of her?

Answer:

 

Is Obedience Legalism?

26 Nov
People might feel like they can get away with violating a traffic law or cheating on their taxes, but God and His laws work much differently.  God sees everything we do, hears everything we say, and He really does care about how we behave.  While the Lord offers forgiveness for our sins, there still are deadly consequences for breaking God’s law.  Amazingly, some Christians say any attempt to obey God’s law amounts to legalism.  Yet Jesus said if you really love God, you’ll do what He asks.  So is obedience legalism? Take time to read this Study Guide carefully… eternal consequences are at stake!
God knows and cares for YOU personally.

God knows and cares for YOU personally.

1. Does God really see and take note of me personally?

“Thou God seest me.” Genesis 16:13. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou … art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” Psalms 139:1-4. “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Luke 12:7.

Answer:   Yes, God knows each one of us (every person on earth) better than we know ourselves. He takes a personal interest in every human being and carefully watches all that we do. Not one word, thought, or deed is hidden from Him.

Search the Bible for God's will.  It is your only safety.

Search the Bible for God’s will.  It is your only safety.

2. Can I be saved in His kingdom without obeying His Word, as found in the Holy Bible?

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. ” Matthew 19:17. “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9.

Answer:   No! Scripture is very clear on this point. Salvation and the kingdom of heaven are for those who obey the Lord’s commands. God does not promise eternal life to those who merely make a profession of faith or are church members or are baptized, but rather to those who do His will, which is revealed in Scripture. Of course, this obedience is possible only through Christ (Acts 4:12).

Only one path leads to heaven.  The Bible is the map that shows us the way.

Only one path leads to heaven.  The Bible is the map that shows us the way.

3. Why does God require obedience? Why is it necessary?

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14. ” But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:36. “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive.” Deuteronomy 6:24.

Answer:   Because there is only one narrow path that leads to godlikeness, and thus to His kingdom. All roads do not lead to the same place. The Bible is the map and guidebook with full instructions, warnings, and information on how to safely reach that kingdom. To disregard any part of it leads away from God and His kingdom. The universe of God is a universe of law and order. Natural, moral, and spiritual laws are involved. Breaking any of these laws always has certain fixed results. If the Bible had not been given, people would sooner or later have discovered (by trial and error) that the great principles of the Bible exist and are true.
These Bible principles are written in our nervous systems, glands, and minds. When ignored, they result in shattered nerves, disease, and unhappiness of every kind. So the words of the Bible are not merely advice which we can accept or ignore without consequences. The Bible tells what these consequences are and explains how to avoid them. A person cannot live any way he wishes and still become godlike any more than a builder can ignore the blueprints for a house without running into trouble. This is why God asks all to follow the blueprint of the Holy Scripture. There is no other way to become like Him and thus be fitted for a place in His kingdom. And there is no other way to true happiness.

Sin can be safely destroyed by God only after all people understand and admit that He is just, loving, and merciful.

Sin can be safely destroyed by God only after all people understand and admit that He is just, loving, and merciful.

4. Why does God permit disobedience to continue? Why not destroy sin and sinners now?

“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 14, 15. “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11.

Answer:   God permits disobedience and sin to continue until all people everywhere are at last fully convinced of God’s justice, love, and mercy. All will finally realize that God, by requiring obedience, is not trying to force His will upon us, but rather is trying to keep us from hurting and destroying ourselves. The sin problem is not settled until even the most cynical and hardened sinners are convinced of God’s love and confess that He is just. It will take perhaps a major catastrophe or worse to convince some, but the horrible results of sinful living will finally convince all that God is just and right. Then, and only then, can sin and disobedience be safely brought to an end by the Lord.

All who knowingly choose not to follow Christ will finally be destroyed with the sin they love.

All who knowingly choose not to follow Christ will finally be destroyed with the sin they love.

5. Will God actually destroy the disobedient?

“God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4. “All the wicked will he destroy.” Psalms 145:20. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

Answer:   No question about it. The disobedient, including the devil and his angels who sinned, will be destroyed. This being true, surely it is high time to abandon all fuzziness regarding what is right or wrong. People had better stop letting their own foolish whims and egotistical notions guide them and pay attention to God’s great book. And they had better do it now–there is not much time left!

God promises that if I seek His Word for truth and sincerely follow it, I will not end up in error.

God promises that if I seek His Word for truth and sincerely follow it, I will not end up in error.

6. I want to obey all of God’s rules. How can I be certain I will not overlook one?

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.” Matthew 7:7. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, … rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” John 7:17. “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” John 12:35. “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me.” Psalms 18:44.

Answer:   God leaves no room for doubt. He promises to keep me from error and lead me safely to all truth if I: (1) pray earnestly for guidance, (2) sincerely study God’s Word, and (3) follow truth as soon as I am shown.

Playing ostrich in spiritual matters leads to tragedy and destruction.

Playing ostrich in spiritual matters leads to tragedy and destruction.

7. Does God count me guilty for disobeying Bible truth that has never been made clear to me?

“If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” John 9:41. “To him that knoweth to do good,and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” Hosea 4:6. “Seek, and ye shall find.” Matthew 7:7.

Answer:   If I have had no opportunity to learn a certain Bible truth, God does not hold me accountable. But the Bible teaches that I am responsible to God for all the light (knowledge of right) I have and all I can have! Many people who refuse or neglect to study, seek, learn, and listen will be destroyed by God because they have “rejected knowledge.” To play ostrich in these exceedingly crucial matters is fatal. It is my responsibility to hunt diligently for truth.

Only two of the thousands of Israelites who left Egypt followed God fully and were able to enter the promised land of Canaan.

Only two of the thousands of Israelites who left Egypt followed God fully and were able to enter the promised land of Canaan.

8. But God isn’t particular about obedience on every point and in small details, is He?

“Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt … shall see the land … because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb … and Joshua … for they have wholly followed the Lord.” Numbers 32:11, 12. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14.

Answer:   Indeed, He is particular. God’s people in Old Testament times learned this the hard way. Those who left Egypt for the promised land of Canaan were 603,550 in number. Of this group, only two (Caleb and Joshua) fully followed the Lord, and they alone entered Canaan. The other 603,548 died in the wilderness. Jesus says we are to live by “every word” of the Bible. There is not one word too many or one word too few. They are all important.

Unless I follow light as soon as it is revealed, it eventually turns to darkness.

Unless I follow light as soon as it is revealed, it eventually turns to darkness.

9. When I discover new truth, I wait until all obstacles are removed before embracing it. This is best, isn’t it?

“Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” John 12:35. “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Psalms 119:60. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me.” Psalms 18:44.

Answer:   No, once you are clear on a Bible truth, it is never best to wait. In fact, procrastination is the devil’s most dangerous trap. It seems so harmless to wait, but the Bible teaches that unless a person acts immediately upon light, it quickly turns to darkness. Obstacles to obedience are not removed while we stand and wait; instead, they usually increase in size. Man says to God, “Open up the way, and I’ll go forward.” But God’s way is just the opposite. He says, “You go forward, and I will open up the way.”

Satan invented the lie that obedience is impossible.

Satan invented the lie that obedience is impossible.

10. But isn’t full obedience an impossibility for a human being?

“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, … bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19.

Answer:   None of us can obey in our own power, but through Christ we can and must. Satan, in order to make God’s requests appear unreasonable, invented the falsehood that obedience is impossible.

If I ignore God's loving warnings, I will perish.

If I ignore God’s loving warnings, I will perish.

11. What will happen to a person who willfully and knowingly continues in disobedience?

“If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26, 27. “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” John 12:35.

Answer:   The Bible leaves no room for doubt. The answer is sobering and shocking, but true. When a person knowingly rejects light and continues in disobedience, the light eventually goes out, and he is left in total darkness. A person who rejects truth receives a “strong delusion” to believe that falsehood is truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11). When this happens, he is lost from that moment.

No child will fully obey his parents unless he loves them.

No child will fully obey his parents unless he loves them.

12. I thought love was more important than obedience. Isn’t it?

“Jesus answered … If a man love me, he will keep my words. … He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” John 14:23, 24. “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3.

Answer:   No, not at all! In fact, the Bible teaches that true love to God cannot exist without obedience. Nor can a person be truly obedient without love. No child will fully obey his parents unless he loves them, nor will he love his parents if he does not obey. True love and obedience are like Siamese twins. When separated, they die.

Only the citizen who obeys the law has freedom.  Likewise, true Christian freedom means freedom from disobedience.

Only the citizen who obeys the law has freedom.  Likewise, true Christian freedom means freedom from disobedience.

13. But I always thought that true freedom in Christ released me from obedience. Doesn’t it?

“If ye continue in my word, … ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:31, 32, 34. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:17, 18. “So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Psalms 119:44, 45.

Answer:   No. True freedom comes only from obedience. It means freedom “from sin” (Romans 6:18), or disobedience, which is breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4). The citizens who obey the law have freedom. The disobedient are caught and lose their freedom. Freedom without obedience is like the false freedom of the drifting balloon or the driverless car. It leads to confusion and anarchy. True Christian freedom means freedom from disobedience. Disobedience always hurts a person and leads into the cruel slavery of the devil.

Loving children obey their parents even though they may not always understand their request.  The same is true of children of God.

Loving children obey their parents even though they may not always understand their request.  The same is true of children of God.

14. When I believe God requires a certain thing, should I obey even though I do not understand why He requires it?

“Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord … so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.” Jeremiah 38:20. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” Proverbs 28:26. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Psalms 118:8. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. “How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?” Romans 11:33, 34. “I will lead them in paths that they have not known.” Isaiah 42:16. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” Psalms 16:11.

Answer:   Most assuredly! We must give God credit for being wise enough to require some things of us we may not understand. Good children obey their parents even when the reasons for their commands are not clear. Simple faith and trust in God will cause us to believe that He knows what is best for us and will never lead us in any wrong path. It is folly for us, in our ignorance, to question God’s leadership, even when we may not fully understand all His reasons.

The devil wants you to disobey God because he hates you and wants you to be lost.

The devil wants you to disobey God because he hates you and wants you to be lost.

15. Who is really behind all disobedience, and why?

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.” 1 John 3:8, 10. Satan … deceiveth the whole world.” Revelation 12:9.

Answer:   The devil is responsible. He knows that all disobedience is sin and that sin brings unhappiness, tragedy, alienation from God, and eventual destruction. With bitter hatred he tries desperately to lead every person into disobedience. You are involved. You must face the facts and make a decision. Disobey and be lost, or accept Christ and obey and be saved. Your decision regarding obedience is a decision regarding Christ. You cannot separate Him from truth, because He says, “I am … the truth.” John 14:6. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Joshua 24:15.

Following the miracle of the new birth (conversion), God continues working miracles to bring us Christian growth.

Following the miracle of the new birth (conversion), God continues working miracles to bring us Christian growth.

16. What glorious promise regarding a super-miracle does the Bible give God’s children?

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6.

Answer:   Praise God! He promises that just as He worked a miracle to bring us the new birth, He will also continue to work needed miracles in our lives (as we gladly follow Him) until we are safe in His kingdom.

17. It brings me joy to know that Jesus not only provides the new birth to those who accept and follow Him, but He also continues to work needed miracles in their lives until they are safe in His kingdom.  I want to begin lovingly obeying and following Jesus fully at once

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