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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Revelation 11:12

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

For further study - Revelation 11:3-12

As you will notice we have gone to the eleventh chapter of Revelation in our devotions because we are traveling through the book chronologically, not numerically, which is the only way to study Revelation and understand the book.

As you read our key verse for today, verse 12, it sounds much like the description of the Rapture, Revelation 4:1-2 and I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

However a study of the context in this passage of Scripture indicates that this call from heaven saying to the "two witnesses", "come up hither", takes place at the mid-way point of the seven year Tribulation Period, while the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation Period begins.

This passage reveals the prophecy of the "two witnesses", verse 3, and what is involved in their 1,260 day ministry.

Briefly, there will be "two men" who will give some type of a testimony, which is what a witness does, during the first half of the Tribulation Period. They will be protected by the Lord through various means so that they can reach out from Jerusalem to everybody on earth with the "gospel of the Kingdom", Matthew 24:14.

These two will be kept out of harms way and given miraculous powers so that their ministry will be effective. After these two witnesses are killed, verse 7, and before being resurrected from the dead, verse 11, their dead bodies lay in the Jerusalem streets so that the entire world will see them, via satellite. The "earth dwellers" will "rejoice over them and make merry and bring gifts one to another", verse 10.

The world will "party" and "send gifts", happy that the two witnesses have died. Revelation 7:4-8 tells us that 144,000 Jews from the "twelve tribes of Israel" will be saved and then spread out across the world to reach "all" seven billion people on earth with the Gospel message, Matthew 24:14. This evangelism will be as a result of the ministry of these "two witnesses".

Revelation 7:9 indicates that a large number of people will be saved during these terrible days of judgment. This great time of evangelism all taking place after the Rapture of the Church. 

Malachi 4:5 tells us that one of the two witnesses is going to be "Elijah". I believe the other is the Old Testament Gentile, Enoch, Genesis 5:19-24. Therefore, there will be a "Gentile witness" and a "Jewish witness" for the Gentiles and Jews that are left on the Earth after the Rapture.

I believe these two witnesses, who have never died, were transported into the heavens, while still alive. They will return to Jerusalem where they set up their Temple Mount headquarters. Then at the end of their ministry, they die, as every man who has ever lived on earth must do, Hebrews 9:27. Then they will be taken back to heaven at the end of their three and a half years of ministry.

Luke 24:4 records that "two men in white apparel" at the entrance to the tomb of Jesus, saw the resurrection. Acts 1:10 also records that "two men in white apparel" watched as Jesus entered the heavenlies from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

These two, I believe, were Elijah and Enoch who saw the resurrection and the ascension of Christ into heaven telling the disciples the Lord would come back the same way He had just departed.

The "resurrection" and the "Lord's coming" is the message of the "Gospel of the Kingdom". This will be the message of these two witnesses to the world. Remember, they are the only two witnesses that saw these things happen.

The prophecy pertaining to these two witnesses will be fulfilled, sooner rather than later. The only thing that must happen before the ministry of the two witnesses is the Rapture, which could happen very soon, maybe today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to be a witness today of Your soon coming to those who need to know You as Lord and Saviour.
Monday, August 13, 2018

Revelation 8:1

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

For further study - Revelation 8:1-13

As we come to another chapter in the book of Revelation, we move into the second set of seven judgments, the seven "trumpet judgments". Actually the last of the seven "seal judgments" is found also in chapter 8, verse 1.

The seven "trumpet judgments" come out of the last "seal judgment" as is the case with the seven "vial judgments" coming out of the last, seventh, "trumpet judgment".

Notice, that the seventh "seal judgment" is "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour", verse 1. The reason for the "silence", I believe, is because the "great cloud of witnesses", Hebrews 12:1, is "awestruck" by the six previous "seal judgments" and the seven "trumpet judgments" to follow.

I would like for you to notice what has been termed "ecological judgment", judgments which will be released on the earth in these first four "trumpet judgments". The fact is, we hear a lot about "global warming" and "climate change" in the media these days.

I believe "global warming" is impossible because Jesus Christ created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them, Colossians 1:16, and He holds it all together, Colossians 1:17.

God is in charge and nothing can happen to this "earth" unless He allows it to. No act of man can overrule God's plan. However, as our text tells us, there will be "ecological judgments" upon the earth during the time of the seven year Tribulation Period in the future.

The first "trumpet judgment" is a third part of the trees and all the grass on earth burning up. "Trumpet" number two is a third of the sea turning to blood, one-third of the fish in the sea dying and one-third of the ships upon the seas being destroyed.

Next, the third "trumpet judgment”, is one-third of the rivers, ponds, lakes and fountains of water becoming bitter, so much so that many on the earth will die from drinking this water. The judgments now shift to the heavens, the sun, moon and stars lose one-third of their light and there is more darkness than usual upon the earth, which is the fourth "trumpet judgment”.

Verse 13 reveals that from here, continuing into the Tribulation Period, it gets worse. The three "woes" are to follow, which are the last three "trumpet judgments". We'll look at the "woes" in another devotional reading.

You might ask, "Why study about these judgments if at the Rapture we leave this earth and will not be a part of these judgments?" There are several answers to that question, the most important being, so we can warn our friends and loved ones about coming judgment and how they can escape the terrible time to come.

This is an excellent evangelism tool, prophecy. We all must make it a point to give out the gospel to lost people every day. The Rapture could happen, today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord, for keeping me from these judgments to come. Help me to warn others and give them the gospel before it is eternally too late.
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Revelation 7:9

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

For further study - Revelation 7:1-12

In my prophecy conferences across the United States and around the world, we set aside some time for "Prophecy Q & A". I love this time because it gives me the opportunity to respond to what someone really wants to know about prophecy.

Often I'm asked, "Will there be anyone that can get saved during the Tribulation Period?" Our key verse, verse 9, states that a large number of people will get saved during that time of coming judgment.

In fact, in verses 4-8 it speaks of 144,000 "male, virgin, Jews" who will be saved at the beginning of the Tribulation, a result of the ministry of the "two witnesses", Revelation 11:3-12.

These twelve thousand men from each of the twelve tribes of Israel will have a ministry of "evangelism" during the Tribulation and every person on earth, all seven billion, will have an opportunity to hear the "gospel of the Kingdom", Matthew 24:14, and many will be saved.

However, there is a group of people who will not be able to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. Those people will be the ones who have heard the “gospel” before the Rapture, understood the gospel and rejected the gospel, that’s found in II Thessalonians 2:8-12.

Notice there are three steps, “hear, understand and reject”. There will be no "second chance" to get saved during the Tribulation Period. There may be some who have heard, but never understood the gospel, those will hear and have an opportunity to get saved during the Tribulation.

The Bible truth that I have just explained may not fit with a fictional novel about the second coming. But remember, we don't get "doctrine" from novels, but from God's Holy Word, as found in II Timothy 3:16-17.

Those who get saved during the Tribulation Period are not known as Christians, all Christians leave the earth at the Rapture when the Lord Jesus Christ shouts for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

Those Jews and Gentiles left on earth at the Rapture, who trust Christ during the Tribulation, are called "Tribulation Saints". These Tribulation Saints will "rule and reign" with Jesus in His Kingdom to come, Revelation 20:4.

Peter wrote, in his last letter, II Peter 3:9 and 12 that the only reason Jesus has not called us up to be with Him is because He is not willing that any should perish but all should come to salvation.

II Peter 3:12 seems to say that we can hasten His return by leading people to the Lord. Please let this devotional encourage you to do all that you can to introduce Jesus to those who need Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to be a soul winner as I await Your soon coming.
Saturday, August 11, 2018

Revelation 6:17

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

For further study - Revelation 6:1-17

This sixth chapter of Revelation is the prophecy of six of the seven Seal Judgments that will come upon the earth and it's inhabitants during the seven year long period of judgment known as the Tribulation Period.

Throughout the entire time of the Tribulation Period there are twenty-one judgments, “three sets of seven,”  seven "seal" judgments, seven "trumpet" judgments and seven "vial" judgments that unfold.

These twenty-one judgments get progressively worse and will intensify as the Tribulation Period unfolds. These initial six judgments in Revelation 6 are the beginning of the terrible time to come upon the earth.

A quick look at the six judgments reveal how the seals are broken on the “sealed book”, most likely a single scrolled book, and each seal is broken by the Lamb, verses 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12. The “Lamb”, of course, is the person of Jesus Christ, who will bring these judgments upon the earth in the Tribulation Period.

The judgments are released upon humankind on the earth, after the Rapture. All six of these judgments happen in the first three and a half years of the seven-year long judgment period.

In verses 1 and 2 we see a man on a "white horse", who is the "Antichrist". This satanically energized person is the one who tries to fool the world into believing that he is the long awaited Messiah.

Verses 3 and 4 reveal a man on a "red horse" who comes to take peace from the earth, it's the judgment of "war" released upon humankind.

The man on a black horse, verses 5 and 6, is the judgment of famine, which when it calls for a "measure of wheat" for a "penny" that is referring to enough wheat to make bread for a family of four for one day at the cost of a days wages, a "penny" in the times of the writing of Revelation.

The fourth seal is depicted as a man on a "pale horse". When this judgment is released "one-fourth of the earth's population is killed." That will mean over 1.75 billion people killed as a result of this judgment.

Verses 9 - 11 describe those who will be "martyred" for their testimony. They are not Christians but people, Jews or Gentiles, who will come to Christ after the Rapture, during the first of the Tribulation Period.

The sixth seal, verses 12 - 14, will be "ecological" judgments upon the earth, earthquakes, and in the heavens.

These judgments that happen early in the Tribulation Period are events that seemingly are in the process of coming about today. Jesus said when you see these things happening, Matthew 24:4-7 and 32-34, you can recognize that this is the time of His return to the earth.

However, remember that the Rapture of the Church takes place seven years before He comes back to earth. The fact that we can see the stage being set for these six seal judgments, indicates that the Rapture could not only happen at any moment but it could happen soon, even today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to live today as if the Rapture could happen this day.
Friday, August 10, 2018

Revelation 5:5

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

For further study - Revelation 5:1-14

The scene is the throne room in the “third heaven” where John sees God the Father on His throne with Jesus at His right side. As John observes from the sidelines he sees that in the right hand of God there is a "book", a sealed book, sealed with "seven seals" and the book has writing within and on the backside.

What a scene. As John stands there a "strong angel" proclaims "who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals," verse 2. This book contains the "seven sealed judgments" as described in Revelation 6 and Revelation 8:1.

These "judgments" will be the first of twenty-one progressively worse judgments that will be released upon the earth during the coming Tribulation Period. However, this book is also the "title deed" to the earth that God the Father will give to Jesus the Son.

All of the judgments, twenty-one of them; seven seals, seven trumpet and seven vial judgments are for the purpose of preparing the Earth and humankind for the "Kingdom" that the Father will give to His Son, Jesus.

That's yet in the future, seven years after the incident found here in Revelation 5. Someone says, "who is worthy to open the "sealed book?" As John looks on from the sidelines he starts to weep when all of a sudden one of the twenty-four elders says "Jesus is worthy to open the sealed book."

Just then Jesus steps to the throne of God, takes the sealed book from His Father and all of the elders, twenty-four of them, and the four beasts, fell down to worship the Lamb, Jesus Christ, who now holds the "sealed book," the "title deed," to not only the Earth but all of Creation.

Then there was singing in the third heaven with the heavenly harmonies of the twenty-four elders and the four “beast”. The sound was expanded when over one hundred million angels joined in, ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, verse 11.

As John listened he heard, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."

Just think, we will be a part of that “heavenly choir”, since the twenty-four elders represent the Church who will be there at this time, the Rapture having taken place earlier, Revelation 4:1-2.

Looking ahead to Revelation 6, we see that the Lamb, Jesus Christ, opens all seven of the sealed judgments to begin the judgment period that brings Jesus to the promised throne in the Temple, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the establishment of His 1,000 year Kingdom.

There is a mixed emotion within me as I write these words for this devotion. There's "joy" as I think of that time with Jesus and our praise to Him. However, there is "sadness" as I think of family, friends and loved ones who will face that seven years of judgment because they have refused to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour.

We must allow this "mixed emotion" to cause each of us to do what ever it takes to win our friends, family and loved ones to Jesus Christ. Maybe you should sit down at the computer and send those close to you an e-mail with the Gospel in it or maybe make a quick telephone call to them right now. We all need to do this before it's eternally to late.

PRAYER THOUGHTThank you Lord for the prospect of that future gathering in the heavenlies to praise You. Help me to win others to You Lord so that they can join us there for that great time of celebration as well.
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Revelation 4:10

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying.

For further study - Revelation 4:1-11

In the fourth chapter of Revelation we see John, first on the "earth," verse 1, and then he is in the presence of God in the "throne room" in heaven, verse 2.

With this in mind, we thus picture the “Rapture of the Church” in verse 1, "the first voice I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me which said come up hither." That would be the Rapture, and the next verse, verse 2, shows John in heaven.

That phrase, "come up hither," may well be the words Jesus will shout at the Rapture, to call us up to join Him in the heavenlies.

As we take our guided tour of the "throne room in heaven" there are many things to notice, like the "rainbow" over the throne reminding us of God's promise that He would never again destroy the earth with water.

Then there are the "twenty-four elders" seated around the throne. Notice they are clothed in "white raiment" and they have "crowns on their heads". These 24 elders represent the "Church". I believe this to be true because the number "twenty-four" is the number of "representation".

Only Christians will wear "white robes" and we Christians will be the only ones who receive "crowns" at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

We also see the "throne room creatures", the four beast which are actually “angels”. They are different than cherubim and seraphim. These four "angelic creatures" sing "holy, holy, holy" 24-7 at the throne of God the Father.

What an awesome place the “throne room” is with God the Father on the throne, and Jesus seated at His right side. John the Revelator has given us a personal tour of the throne room. Before we leave, notice what the twenty-four elders do with the “crowns” that they will have received at the Judgment Seat of Christ, verse 10.

By the way, there are “five crowns” that are possible for us to receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ; the “crown incorruptible," I Corinthians 9:27, for bringing our bodies under subjection; the "crown of rejoicing," I Thessalonians 2:19, for being a soul-winner; a "crown of life," James 1:12, for not yielding to temptation; the "crown of glory," I Peter 5:1-5, for building up the body of Christ; and a "crown of righteousness," II Timothy 4:8, for eagerly looking for Jesus to appear in the last days.

Notice what the twenty-four elders do with their crowns, verse 10, they “cast them at the feet of Jesus Christ” to honor Him and thank Him for what He has done for each of us as Christians.

What a day that will be; therefore, we must work to receive as many crowns as we possibly can so that we can cast them at His feet.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me dear Lord to work in Your power and for Your glory to receive these crowns so I can cast them at Your feet in honor and thanksgiving.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Revelation 3:10

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

For further study - Revelation 3:7-13

The passage for today's devotional is actually the letter to the church in Philadelphia, a church in full operation in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, during the life of John the Apostle who recorded Revelation.

The book of Revelation came from God to Jesus to an angel who gave it to John to write it down, Revelation 1:1. In Revelation 2 and 3 we have the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, churches that John had ministered in and had a relationship with over the years.

The church at Philadelphia was one of the two churches of the Seven Churches that received no condemnation from the Lord. The other was the church in Smyrna. It was hard to pick the church letter for our devotionals for today, however, this letter has such great promises to those of us who are Christians and are awaiting the coming of the Lord.

The Rapture of the Church is an event that happens before the terrible time of judgment in the future, the seven-year Tribulation Period. Notice our key verse, verse 10. The Lord promises to those of us who are saved that He will take us up to be with Him before the judgment starts.

The promise is, "I will keep you from, the judgment." He did not say that He would take us out of that time of judgment but He would "keep us from that time". This means that the Rapture of the Church comes before the Tribulation. That promise is worth the entire letter.

However, there is more in this letter to praise the Lord for. Notice verse 8. The Lord tells us that He has set an "open door" before us that no man can shut. He then reminds us that we are of "little strength". 

At the same time, He commends those in the church at Philadelphia and each of us, as well today, who have kept His word and have not denied His word.

I love the thought in verse 8, that we the "minority," those of little strength; as we stand on the "authority," the Word of God; we can reach the "majority," those people we come in contact with as we go through open doors that only He can shut.

Notice just one more great thought, verse 11. John exhorts us by quoting Jesus who says, He is coming "quickly." When the Rapture starts, it will be quick and therefore, we should live so that no one can take away the "crown" that the Lord will give us.

These are the crowns that we receive at the "Judgment Seat of Christ" for works we have done in His power and for His glory. We must not allow our relationship with any man to take away those crowns.

By the way, the text says "He is coming quickly." I know that it means, it goes quickly when it begins.

However, I do believe that His coming is closer than it has ever been and I live and believe that it will happen in my lifetime, and yours. Even so come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for the open doors you give us to serve You and also for the promise to call us up to be with You before the terrible judgment comes to the earth.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Revelation 2:7

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

For further study - Revelation 2:1-7

As we come in our daily reading to Revelation 2, we begin to look at what Jesus has for the "church", before the Rapture and after His Second Coming. Revelation 2 and 3 are messages to "seven churches" that were alive and active during the first century in the area of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey.

John, the writer of the book of Revelation, had been the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a close relationship with the other six churches, most likely as a visiting minister on a regular basis.

While on the Isle of Patmos, as a prisoner, John received these messages from Jesus to give to the churches. It will be a great benefit to you, as it has been to me, to spend time reading and studying these seven messages to these seven churches.

In our devotional today, I will only have time and space to look at the one church, the church in Ephesus. However, before I do that, let me remind you that there are similarities between the messages to the seven churches.

Each letter is written to the "angel of the church". This is the Greek word "angelos" - meaning angel. I Corinthians 11:10 reveals that there are "angels" in attendance at each church meeting. Also at the beginning of each message there is a characteristic of Jesus.

Each of the letters reminds the church that the Lord knows of their works. John records the messages from the Lord to "those that are overcomers." I John 5:4-5 tells us that "overcomers" are those who know Christ as Lord and Savior.

There is also the phrase in each letter, "he that hath an ear let him hear." This means to pay attention to what is being said. The other similarity is that the Lord promised something to the “overcomers” of each church. These rewards are for us and will be given to us during the "kingdom to come", after the Lord's return to earth.

That is what I want to look at for those in the "church at Ephesus". But I must hasten to write that all seven messages are applicable for each of us, including the promise for each of us. In this letter to Ephesus, to those "overcomers", they shall eat of the "tree of life", verse 7.

There are several thoughts that we must consider. First, we will all eat of the "tree of life" during that 1,000-year period as Jesus sits upon His throne in Jerusalem. This helps to understand how those with physical bodies who go through the Tribulation Period, having become believers, will live for 1,000 years in that physical body. They will be eating daily of the "tree of life", Genesis 3:22.

This "tree of life" is different than the one in the "New Jerusalem" in Revelation 22:2. The "tree of life" in Revelation 2:7 is located in the "earthly Jerusalem", in the "paradise of God" which is the Garden of Eden, as it was 6,000 years ago. The Garden of Eden was, and is today, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see my audio series, "Return to Eden").

Please consider reading the other seven messages to find out what is in store for each of us who are "overcomers", in the future. God is so good.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to learn from the messages You sent to the seven churches, through John.
Monday, August 6, 2018

Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

For further study - Revelation 1:1-20

As we come to the book of Revelation for our daily devotions, we have come to the last book of the Bible that has the “end of times” scenario for all of those students who want to understand exactly what the Lord has planned for all of His creation.

We started with Genesis and have gone through the Bible, book by book, looking at the scripture for a devotional with a prophetic prospective in these pages of God’s Word. I’m amazed how each book of the Bible has passages that have a prophetic significance, not only the books that have been set apart focused on Bible Prophecy.

As we now visit this book of Revelation which is packed full of “end time prophecies”, I am going to encourage you to read through the entire book even though we will not be able to cover the whole book in our devotionals.

By the way, if you will read through Revelation and maybe listen to it on an audio Bible, and then go out into the world and live in light of what you read and hear, then you are promised a blessingverse 3.

As we look at this last book of the Bible, we see the "resurrected Jesus Christ" as described in the written word, Revelation 1:12-18. God gives the "message" of this book to Jesus. The Lord then gives the contents of this prophecy to an "angel", who will deliver it to John, verse 1. The title of the book is also found in that first verse, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ".

The first chapter presents Jesus Christ in His "person", His "power", and His "program". The "person" of Jesus Christ is the resurrected, glorified Son of God with white hair, verse 14a. The Lord's "white hair" depicts his purity and his longevity. Verse 14b tells of His "eyes" - eyes that see our every activity. The "feet" of Jesus, as described by John, are like brass that has been burned in the furnace, verse 15a, which speaks of Jesus as the "coming Judge".

The resurrected Christ has a "voice" like the sound of many waters. That voice spoke the worlds into existence. That voice will shout for us to join Him in the heavenlies at the Rapture. To those who have never been saved, that voice will one day say, "sorry, I never knew you."

Revelation 1:16 describes Jesus with the Seven Angels of the Seven Churches in His "hand", verse 20. In this verse, it depicts His word coming from His mouth as a "two-edged sword" and His "face", His countenance, as the sun shineth in its strength. The power of Jesus is found in verse 18. The Lord gives testimony of being alive, dead, and now alive. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the manifestation of His "power".

The "program" of Jesus Christ is found in verse 19 where John is told to write about those things in the "past", those things that are "happening at that time", and those things, which happen "hereafter". The things found "hereafter" are found in Revelation 4-22, which we will eventually get to in our devotions.

The "resurrection", which is the "cornerstone of our faith", is also the "foundation of Bible prophecy". The "resurrected" Jesus Christ proves His authority to foretell the future as the authoritative Word of God, the One who does indeed know the future.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord, the One who knows the future, because Your are the "resurrected One", for revealing the future to me and all that read your "Word".
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Jude 1:17-18

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

For further study - Jude 1:17-25

The theme of this little book written by Jude, the brother of James, the Pastor of the church in Jerusalem, is "earnestly contending for the faith". Jude goes at this exhortation and challenge from several directions.

As we come to our devotional reading for today, Jude wants each of us to "contend for the faith" by “remembering”. We must remember the “word spoken by the apostles”.

The apostles were a select group of men that Jesus trained for a special period of time and purpose for the new "body", known as the church. Each of the apostles had to have seen Jesus, in person, after His resurrection. The last of the men chosen to be an apostle was Paul who saw Jesus in person on the road to Damascus as he was traveling from Jerusalem, Acts 9:1-16.

The Holy Spirit "breathed" into these men the "words of warning" that Jude wants us to remember. Let me just remind you of the words of two apostles, Peter and Paul. In Paul's last letter, II Timothy, he wrote of the days that would mark the "last days" that lead up to the return of Jesus Christ.

II Timothy 4:3-4 reminds us of the people who will no longer endure sound doctrine, they will turn away their ears from the truth and they do this because they, of their own lust, will choose teaching that will "tickle their ears."

Peter also, writing his last words before his death, reminded us of those who would even "deny the coming of the Lord" as they also would "walk after their own lust," II Peter 3:3-4.

Now notice what Jude tells us about his "warnings of the mockers in the last days," verse 18. These mockers of Jesus, His second coming, and even us as followers of Jesus, these mockers will be those who walk after their own lust," verse 18.

Jude gives us three ways to live in these times described as the “end times”. Verse 20 tells us to "build" ourselves up in the "holy faith." Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and believing it to the extent that we walk in what it says.

Then Jude says to "pray." Matthew says "watch and pray", we watch for Jesus to come as we pray. Then in verse 21 Jude says "keep yourself in the love of the Lord." This means "stay in love with the Lord," don't forsake or leave your first love for Jesus.

If you notice that you have left your first love, return to that proper relationship by spending time talking to Him in prayer and allowing Him to talk with you in His Word.

These are only several ways that Jude tells us we can "earnestly contend for the faith" as we await His soon coming.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the warning of the end times, help me to "contend for the faith" by remembering your Word for these days.