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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Jude 1:6-7

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

For further study - Jude 1:1-7

The half-brother of Jesus, Jude, is the writer of this short, but power-packed letter to the church in general. There are many issues discussed in Jude's letter, all of which seem to have a connection to the last days, with warnings and exhortations to the believer. This time through Jude I want to draw our attention to the two verses that deal with angels and coming judgment, verses 6 and 7.

Let me remind you that angels are created beings, created on the first day of Creation. (See my study on "Angels and Prophecy".) It was after the 6th day of Creation, Genesis 1:31, that Lucifer rebelled against God, along with 1/3 of the angels.

Then a number of evil angels, "the sons of God" in Genesis 6, had an unnatural sexual relationship with "the daughters of men." And God "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" these evil angels. They have been awaiting judgment for over 4,500 years.

Revelation 9:1-18 unfolds the Last Days drama for these evil angels that will be released from their prison, the "abyss" or "bottomless pit", and allowed to come to the Earth during the Tribulation Period.

Under the control of Satan, they will kill millions on the Earth before being thrown into the eternal punishment of the Lake of Fire, Matthew 25:41.

These passages help us to understand what happens to even angels that commit fornication, verse 7, so that we can know how God deals with fornicators. The Bible definition of fornication is "any unnatural sexual sin that God condemns".

In our day, there is fornication practiced by those who have rebelled against God's natural laws for mankind. In particular there are those men and women who have "changed the natural use" of each other of the same sex, for "that which is unseemly," Romans 1:26-27. God has given these fornicators "over to a reprobate mind" and to judgment to come.

By the way, Jesus Christ said it would be this way in the Last Days. Jesus said it would be like the days of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, Luke 17:28-29. We are quickly approaching the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, the Rapture could happen today, so let's keep looking up, until...

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, as I see the days in which we are living, please help me to be ready for the Rapture.
Friday, August 30, 2019

III John 11

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

For further study - III John 5-12

As we read our extended reading for today, you may recognize someone like one of the leaders in your church. The man's name is Diotrephes. He is a leader of a church John wanted to visit but was kept from doing so by this one who took the preeminence in that church.

Remember, that John wrote III John just before he wrote Revelation while serving as a prisoner on an island in the Aegean Sea, on Patmos. John was most likely a "circuit rider" preacher. He may have started the churches of Revelation 2 and 3 or at least would visit these seven churches on a regular basis.

John would be a shepherd to these churches and present teaching that would build up not only the church, but the individual members as well.

John's pastoral ministry, at the church in question, was being hindered by one of the church leaders. John sees a need to name this man for all to know about his "evil" deeds, III John verse 11. In fact, John tells the church to not follow these evil deeds or the one that commits them. John condemns Diotrephes and his evil deeds publicly to teach those in that church and all who will read this letter.

Also in John's letter, the apostle points the readers to a good example of local church leadership, Demetrius, in III John verse 12. Demetrius is a leader who is reported to be a good leader among all men. Remember, Paul wrote of the qualifications for local church leadership in I Timothy 3.

Verse 7 of that passage says that the church leaders must have a good report of them that are without the church as well as within. The reason for this good report is so that this church leader will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil, which is exactly what Diotrephes had done.

Referring back once more to Paul's writings, the failure in leadership of Diotrephes is how it will be in the last days, II Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote of men, lovers of their own selves, high-minded, and having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

In John's day, the attitudes and actions of Diotrephes were evidence of the last days. That was almost 2,000 years ago. How much more those attitudes and actions depict our day. This is setting the stage for the day of the Lord's return. We must all follow John's exhortation and follow not that which is evil, verse 11, but instead that which is good.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, dear Lord, to shun evil and follow good, Godly activities.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

III John 1:4

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

For further study - III John 1:1-4

Truth, "What is truth?" This question was asked of Jesus Christ by Pilate as Jesus stood before him just hours before He would die on the cross in Jerusalem. Jesus had answered Pilate's question a few hours before His appearance in the Judgment Hall. Pilate actually questions Jesus on a number of issues, John 18:28-38.

The first question directed at Jesus was, "Art thou the King of the Jews?", John 18:33. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, or His servants would have fought to keep the Jews from crucifying Him. Pilate's response was another question. "Art thou a king then?" Jesus then told Pilate that He was born to be a King. That was the reason that He came into this world. As a King, Jesus was to bear witness of the truth.

This statement brought out several other questions from Pilate, "What is Truth?" However, this time Pilate did not wait for an answer and Jesus never responded. This was because He had basically already done so. Jesus had said that He was bearing witness of the Truth, and therefore what He had been saying is Truth.

It was earlier in the evening, in the Upper Room with His disciples, that He had revealed to them He was the Truth, John 14:6. In that Upper Room, the writer of III John - John the Apostle - was one of those who heard Jesus' claim to be the Truth.

John had been traveling with and learning from Jesus for over 3 years at this time. John knew that indeed Jesus was the Truth. It was that Truth that Jesus bore witness of that all who would come to Him, He would take to be with the Father.

John would go from Passion Week to establish a number of churches in Asia Minor, Revelation 2-3. It was his ministry of teaching the truth about Jesus Christ that was such a personal blessing to John. But John's greatest joy was to see and hear, III John 4of those he had ministered to that were "walking in the truth".

In the Last Days men will pervert the truth. They will have difficulty telling the truth because they do not have Him who is the Truth. The truth is that the opposite of truth, false teaching and deception, will get so bad that The Truth will return to make everything right. Until that time, we must spread the Truth, walk in the Truth, and teach others the Truth. Like John, this will give us great joy.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the Truth that sets me free, help me to spread the Truth to others.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

II John 9

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

For further study - II John 7-11

There are many today that say "doctrine divides" and it is better to "love" than to allow doctrine to divide believers. As we look at another book written by the apostle John, we see the view of the crowd who says doctrine divides is wrong.

John's perspective is that true Bible doctrine will "unite", not divide. John gives us some directives for the last days that we should pay close attention too found here in our devotional reading for today.

John tells us about deceivers - many of them will enter this world at the time of the end. These deceivers will deny that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is come in the flesh. John is pretty tough on these deceivers - he calls them an "antichrist". Now that is not the "antichrist" - but an antichrist, verse 7.

Then John reveals the method for us to deal with these antichrists - these deceivers. He says if they come and bring their false doctrine, do not allow them to enter your house.

John also says do not bid them God speed. In fact, if we do allow them into our homes and bid them God speed, we are partakers of their evil deeds. John is straightforward with this message warning of false doctrine and those who propagate it in this world. We need to not only heed his warning, but follow his example in our associations as well.

Again John has a practical word for us. Verse 8 tells us that we must do as he has instructed or we are in danger of not receiving our "full reward". Now this has nothing to do with salvation but with the rewards we receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

You may remember that at the "judgment seat" we will receive "crowns" that we will lay at the Lord's feet in thanksgiving for what he has done for us, Revelation 4:10.

You know, having a daily dose of prophetic truth is a blessing as it tells us how to live in these last days. Our passage today also reminds us that doctrine does not divide. It unites us all in Christ, as we await His call for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to know the true doctrine of your word so that I am in perfect harmony with you, dear Lord.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

II John 6

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

For further study - II John 1-6

The phrase, "many deceivers are entered the world" is not included in our reading today from II John, but it describes John's day as well as our day. In light of the situation, John in this the smallest of his writings gives us instructions for how to walk with the Lord in this day.

John lifts up the "truth" which he uses to describe the "revealed truth" the "holy" Scriptures. The Bible, as the only authority for doctrine, is our resource for a time like we live in today, a day of spiritual decline and apostasy.

In the message to all believers everywhere, John says the truth, true doctrine, is a necessity for our daily walk. Today we hear that "love" is the driving force in relationships - not doctrine. John says love is a key component in our Christian walk, but not to the exclusion of biblical doctrine. However, John brings the two - love and doctrine - into perfect harmony.

Our key verse for today, verse 6, defines love as walking in His commandments. We are not talking about the external "law" of Moses but the internal "law of Christ." I John 4:7-8 tells us what love is and how we got "true love". God is love and when we received Christ, the divine love of God was placed in our renewed heart. This love then is manifest in following "the law of Christ", which is to “love one another”, verse 5b.

Therefore, "love" and "law", i.e. the law of Christ, are partners in our walk with Him each day. To me this is very practical, especially in the world we walk through today. Because we love Him we do what He wants us to do.

I have found that to be the case with my dear wife of 60 years. The longer I am with her, the more I love her and the more I want to do those things that please her. This is a simple illustration of a profound truth that John reminds us of often in his letter.

Just one other thought. He wants us to show our love by walking in His law and at the same time, He enables us to do so. He also reminds us through John's letter that "reward day" is coming at the Judgment Seat of Christ and He does not want us to lose the reward He has for us, verse 8.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for the provision to walk by your law through your love that you placed within us.
Monday, August 26, 2019

I John 5:5

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

For further study - I John 5:1-21

John defines for us who an "overcomer" is in I John 5. He tells us what's in store for those of us who are "overcomers" as foretold in Revelation 2 and 3. I'll get back to you on that in a moment but first to things that we know for sure, as confirmed by this chapter of I John.

Verses 11-13 tell us, on the record, how we can have a "know so" salvation. God, verse 11, has given us "eternal life". This is a gift from God for all of us who recognize that this life is in His Son.

The text tells us "this life is in His Son." The positive and negative are found in verse 12, "he that hath the Son of God hath life," and vice-versa, "he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

The truth is very simple. There is no need to question or worry about salvation, eternal life. In fact, the reason John wrote this book is so that we can "know" for sure that we have eternal life. That's not a feeling, a "hope so" or a "guess so", but a "know so" salvation.

Then John gives us confidence about our "prayer life", and that confidence is found in the Lord, also. John tells us that if we ask anything "according to His will", we can know that the Lord hears us.

Then we are told that since He hears us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him, verses 14-15. You may say, how can we know His will so that we can pray in His will?

The "Word of God" is the "will of God". Know the "Word of God" and you will know the "will of God". But you may say, I can't determine the "will of God" from the Word on a specific matter, that's where Romans 8:26-27 comes into the equation. When we can not determine the "will of God" the Holy Spirit takes over and intercedes for us according to the "will of God", Romans 8:26-27.

There is another "great nugget" for us to take away from our Bible reading today. It's found in I John 5:4-5. John, as I said earlier, defines who is an "overcomer". An "overcomer" is someone who is born of God. That would be someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God who died for us and rose from the dead.

We must "admit" that we are sinners, in need of salvation. We then "believe" that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was that which our Lord did to take away our sin. After admitting and believing, we then "call" upon Him to save us, Romans 10:13. An "overcomer" is someone who is "born again".

With this information we can see what is guaranteed to all "overcomers" as found in the "letters to the seven churches" of Asia Minor, Revelation 2 and 3. Common in all of the letters to the seven churches, he that is an "overcomer", precedes the promise that the Lord makes to all "overcomers."

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for giving me eternal life by making me an "overcomer". And thank you also for all that is promised in Your letter to the seven churches of Revelation to "overcomers."
Sunday, August 25, 2019

I John 4:17

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

For further study - I John 4:1-21

We will read the entire chapter of I John 4 for our extended reading today. I John 4 is a marvelous description of what and who "love" is in our world today. Verse 8 jumps right out at me as I read about "love", from verses 7-21. In fact the word "love" is used 26 times in these verses.

John tells us "Who" love is in verse 8, "God is love". John then defines "love" by what God did, He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to become sin for us so that we might be saved, verse 10.

Then we are told to follow God's example by “loving” one another, since God “loved” us. John tells us how we can know God and know that He dwells within each of us, it is by "loving others," verses 10 & 12.

Verse 17 tells us how "our love" will be made perfect when we stand in boldness in the "day of judgment." Verse 18 tells us how to "cast out fear" by "loving" God and others.

John gives us a test so that we can know for sure that we "love" the Lord, Verse 20. This verse states that if we "hate" our brother, fellow man, and say that we "love" the Lord, we are "liars." How could we truly "love" the Lord Whom we have not seen and yet hate those whom we have seen.

I John 4 is a great statement about "love"; however, it is very interesting to see that the first four verses of this chapter deal with another issue all together. John warns us to not believe every spirit, but to try them, hold them up to the standard of the Word of God.

The reason for this is especially true for the days in which we are living today. The reason is that there are many "false prophets" out there.

John gives us another test, this one to determine the nature of these spirits or teachers that come our way. A true spirit or teacher that represents the one true God is the one that admits, confesses, that Jesus is the Son of God, come in the flesh.

If the spirit or teacher says Jesus was not the Son of God, then it is the spirit of "Antichrist." Any religion that claims "its god had no son" and that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the flesh is an "Antichrist religion."

That's God's Word, not mine, and God's Word is absolute. We live in a day of many false teachers and religions, these are the days preparing for, and leading up to the Antichrist, the last days.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me dear Lord to love You and others as I abide by Your Word and follow Your example.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

I John 3:3

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

For further study - I John 3:1-5 

Though our extended reading is a short five verses today, it is power-packed. This passage will contradict the "worlds" philosophy today. Someone mentioned to me once the title of the song from the islands, that is a philosophy of life for many people. The song, "Don't worry, be happy."

That is the driving force in the lives of many people today, to be "happy." The possibility of being happy is based upon "happenings", in other words what is happening around you.

John reveals to us that real "joy" not "happiness" is based on what the Father has done for us. In fact, John warns us that the "happenings" will be tough since the "world", all those outside of Jesus, will have little or no relationship with us.

There is nothing new about this reaction, we should expect it, since the world had no relationship with Jesus either. The world will not understand our relationship with Jesus, a relationship like a husband and a wife. By the way, the book of I John was written that we may have "full joy" in Him, I John 1:4.

I John 3:1 let’s us know that the Fathers love has been bestowed upon each of us so that we shall be called the "sons of God," children of God.

Then John answers an often-asked question, "What will we be like in heaven?" The truth is that I am incapable of explaining that to you except for what John wrote to us, "when He appears we shall be like Him", verse 2.

The question of how will we be in the future will only be answered when Jesus comes again. Speaking of the Lord's return, the reality of that event happening is our hope, our "blessed hope". That "hope" that is within our being is that which will, or should, make us pure.

Because that hope is within us, we must "purify ourselves". Jesus sets the example, He is pure, and He sets the standard for purity.

I told you this short passage would be "power-packed". The Father's love has been poured out on us and has made us the children of God, children who don't know yet what we will be like except we will be like Him when He returns and appears before us.

These truths are made manifest in our lives as we, in anticipation of His coming, go about purifying ourselves, even as He is pure.

A continuing study of Bible prophecy and the understanding of current events as they are setting the stage for these prophecies to be fulfilled will help us to look for Him to come and to change us into His image. This knowledge will also help us to purify ourselves.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Keep me focused on your soon return and my understanding of how close that could be, which is that hope that purifies.
Friday, August 23, 2019

I John 2:15

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For further study - I John 2:15-26

We know that the 40 or more authors of the Bible were all Jewish men, who had "breathed into them" the very Word of God, II Timothy 3:16. Several of the authors wrote more than one book: Moses, Ezra, Solomon, Luke, Paul, and the author of our reading today, John. John the Apostle, who was very close to Jesus, wrote a total of 5 books of the New Testament - the Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

In his Gospel, John gives the account of Jesus Christ in His "divine nature". In the book of Revelation, John wrote what Jesus told him to write as relayed to him by an angel. In his epistles, the apostle writes very "practical letters" to Christians.

The book of I John is written that we might "know that we have eternal life", I John 5:11-13. In fact, the word "know" is used 39 times in this letter to believers. By the way, that would be a great approach to studying I John. Just look at all of the "know" phrases in their context.

Today's key verse tells about where we are and how we should live. Don't you just love people who are so direct, right to the point? That is John's method in the writing of this book. "Don't love the world." Then he tells us how we can know if the "love of the Father" is in us.

If we have a love for this world, the love of the Father - God's Love - is not in us. John also reminds us that this world with all of its attractions will one day pass away. But we who do the "will of God" will abide forever, I John 2:17.

John, who will receive the Revelation from Jesus Christ about 5 years after writing this letter, recognized that we are in the Last Days, I John 2:18. This statement was applicable for John's day and much more so for our day. John warns of an "antichrist", but also issues a warning against the philosophy of the times.

I John 2:22 is John’s statement that those individuals and religions of the world, that deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, are of the "antichrist philosophy". This atmosphere will be prevalent during the time of the appearing of "The Antichrist". By reading John's warnings and exhortations, we can realize that we are living in the times that John was writing about.

John concludes this portion of scripture by telling us one of the reasons why he wrote this book. We can recognize those who would try to seduce us, I John 2:26. It is so good to have an author who is so down-to-earth, so real. It is also good to have someone who will deal directly with us about the issues of the day, the Last Days.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for such a practical straightforward manual on "How to Live the Christian Life." Help me to follow its instructions.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

I John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
For further study - I John 1:1-7

The apostle John was entrusted by God to be the writer of five books of the New Testament, the one for our devotional reading today, the epistles of II and III John, the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. There are unique messages in each of John's books but I John has a multi-faceted theme.

John writes about knowledge of great spiritual truths, what true love is and where it comes from and how to have true fellowship. Verse 3 relates to us how to have true fellowship. I am not speaking of a pleasant conversation or a surface relationship, God tells us how to have Biblical fellowship.

True fellowship is found in our relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. When that relationship is right, then, and only then, can we have that same type of relationship with our fellow man.

Then John gets real practical in his thoughts. John adds that God is light – there is no darkness in Him at all, verse 6. The fellowship and relationship, we say we have with God, will be manifested by our walk in light - in God who is light. We cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God or others.

For those of us who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we are the ones who walk in the light as He is in the light. Thus, we can have fellowship one with another and with Him. At this point in history, our fellowship is with others in human kind. But one day, when we enter His presence, we will have the same fellowship with Him we experience with others.

John, when writing of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22, mentioned that in eternity future there will be a "tree of life" in the midst of the New Jerusalem which we will eat from, forever, Revelation 22:2.

Stop and consider for a moment. We will eat forever of the "tree of life". When you think of fellowship, what do you think of? Food! Food and fellowship are synonymous terms. What a great thought. We will fellowship together forever - that means fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

But it also means believers in Christ, not only of today, but from all of history. That includes all of the Biblical characters as well. I can hardly wait to talk to people like Noah, Jonah, Daniel, Joshua and so many others. By the way, if we are going to fellowship forever with believers, why don't we start practicing that today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to walk in the light so that I can have fellowship one with another and with You.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

II Peter 3:8-9

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

For further study - II Peter 3:1-12

I believe a knowledge of God’s prophetic plan for the future will enhance our prospects for being successful in our adventure to serve Him each and every day of the year.

Our extended devotional reading for today speaks to some issues that must direct our path through the year, and in fact through all the days that the Lord allows us to have on this earth.

In the mind of Jesus it's only been several days, verse 8, since He promised to return to set up His kingdom, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

There is only one reason that Jesus has not returned to gather us to Himself with His shout, the shout of the archangel and with the sound of the trump of God, calling us to join Him in the heavenlies. At which time we'll be "caught up" to be with Him forever.

There is only one reason He hasn't called for us to join Him and that is because our Lord and Saviour is not willing that any should perish, but wants all of humankind to come to Him as their Saviour, verse 9.

Let me draw your attention to several other truths that this passage presents for us to "remember". Verse 4 speaks of those in the last days who will question the "coming of the Lord back to the earth".

The previous verse, verse 3, tells us why they will doubt that the Lord will come again to be among us, because they will be "scoffers, walking after their own lusts". This statement is referring to both lost people as well as those who may be Christians, not in good fellowship with the Lord.

Verse 5 says they will be "willfully ignorant" of the fact that Jesus created all things, Colossians 1:16. In other words, they will be "dumb on purpose" of the Lord’s work. Verse 6 states that they will deny the "world-wide flood" and verse 7 reveals their denial of a "coming judgment day".

These thoughts must be in our memory as we see current events in today’s world setting the stage for all of Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, we must understand that Jesus is only delaying His return because of the lost that He wants to get saved.

When that last one that Jesus knows will get saved, when that one receives Him, then the shout will come for us to join Him in the air. That could happen at any moment. In fact, the truth be known, each of us could hasten the coming of Jesus Christ.

In the context of verse 12, if we are winning people to Jesus Christ, that will hasten His return. What a great goal for this year, winning people to Jesus and at the same time hastening His return.

Remember - everything else we do will be burned up one day, verses 10 and 11, so let's work to hasten His return.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, please help me to remember the things I should as I eagerly await Your shout for me to join you in the heavenlies and help me to win lost people to You.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

II Peter 2:9

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

For further study - II Peter 2:1-9

Peter is near the end of his many years of ministry when he writes II Peter and is working to "stir up" our memories, II Peter 1:5, and also our "pure minds", II Peter 3:1. In chapter 1, Peter calls for us to remember that we have a "sure word of prophecy", verse 19. In chapter 3, Peter "stirs up our pure minds" as we remember the truths of Bible prophecy, verse 2.

In chapter 2 and especially the portion of the chapter for our extended reading, we are "warned about false teachers". In many locations in the New Testament we are warned about false teachers. My concern for believers today is that they do not heed these warnings and they remain under the teachings of these false teachers.

Dear friend, you stay under false teaching and false teachers to your own peril. Do not judge a church by the "personality of the pastor", but instead by the "doctrine of the deacons". The main ministry of the local church is to protect its people from false teaching.

Peter then gives us a warning about "judgment to come". The Lord will judge the angels, those in the abyss, the tartaros. He will also judge the whole world as He did in the days of Noah and Lot, verses 5-6. As we wade through these waves of deception and destruction, we walk ashore on deliverance.

Praise the Lord. He knows how to deliver us and will do so. He will deliver all of those made godly by His work on the cross and His resurrection. Our Lord will keep us from the temptation, the testing that is ahead.

During the 7-year Tribulation period of testing here on the earth, we will be celebrating a "marriage" in the heavenlies. We, as the "bride of Christ", will be married to the bridegroom, Jesus himself.

There is a parallel passage to Peter's message, written by John, a longtime friend. John says in Revelation 3:10 that the Lord will "keep us from" not take us "out of" the testing of the judgment ahead.

Of course, the process of deliverance from this coming testing is the Rapture of the Church. This Rapture of the Church could happen at any time, even today, so keep looking up until that does happen. Even so come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, dear Lord, for your promise of deliverance from the terrible Tribulation Period yet to come.
Monday, August 19, 2019

II Peter 1:19

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

For further study - II Peter 1:15-21

Peter, as he writes what many call his "swan song", reveals to the reader of his letter a message for those of us living in the last days. It is a letter that states the ground rules for the prophets used down through the centuries.

Peter says the written word, God's prophetic passages, are better than even an eyewitness account of an event, verses 16-18. That "more sure word of prophecy" is the Bible itself. We must only study the prophetic passages found between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21. This is the inspired word of God. Any other prophecy from man today is of "another spirit" not the Holy Spirit.

Peter's exhortation to us is to study God's prophetic scriptures, which takes up about 30 percent of the entire Bible. He says that we "do well to take heed" to this word "as a light that shineth in a dark place", verse 19.

The reason Biblical prophecy is to be studied and will be to our benefit to do so is because it did not come to its written form by the will of man but "holy men" of God "wrote as the Holy Spirit inspired, breathed into them" what to write, verse 21.

The key to understanding the whole of God's prophetic word is found in verse 20. The phrase "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" is an essential in any deep study of Bible prophecy.

There are 17 Old Testament books that are essentially exclusively "prophetic" in nature. The book of Revelation in the New Testament is "prophetic" along with portions of all sixty-six books of the Bible.

To read and study all of these books - not one passage in any of the prophetic books can contradict the other. They must all fit like a "hand in a glove" in perfect harmony. This principle will assist your study of prophecy as we realize even though we are studying books from a number of sources there is only one writer - the Holy Spirit of God.

We must now begin the study of this "sure word of prophecy" and continue our study "until the day dawn and the day star arise in our hearts," verse 19. That, of course, is the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to take heed to this "more sure word of prophecy" as I wait the Lord's coming.
Sunday, August 18, 2019

II Peter 1:2

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

For further study - II Peter 1:1-15

The disciple that followed Jesus Christ for three and a half years learning as he journeyed through Israel with the Master, the Messiah, the Apostle Peter finally learned how to be a true "servant" of the Lord.

In the first verse of Peter's second letter, this arrogant, loud-mouthed, mean, tough fisherman realized he was to be a "servant," a bondservant of Jesus Christ.

Notice in Peter's first letter, I Peter 1:1, he doesn't introduce himself as a servant but as an "apostle." This second letter was written not long before Peter's death and he knew that it was close, verse 14, and with that knowledge he could see things the way they really were, he was simply a "servant".

Peter tells us how "grace and peace" could be multiplied unto us through our knowledge of God the Father and Jesus the Son, our Lord. By that same knowledge, we also receive "all things that pertain unto life and godliness," verse 3.

This chapter, our extended reading, contains "Biblical mathematics." "Multiplication" is found in verse 2"addition" is found in verses 5-7. Notice that because we are "partakers of the divine nature," verse 4, we can start with "faith" and then add virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and finally we can add to all of the above "love."

Let's look at Peter's purpose for this letter, II Peter 1:12-15. He wants us to "remember." Peter says he will not be negligent but instead will put us in "remembrance" of the things he had just written to us.

Peter says, verse 13, he will "stir up our remembrance" so that after his death, we who read his letter might "remember" these great truths. In chapter 3 of II Peter, the apostle reveals the way he will stir up our "remembrance" is by the words of the "holy prophets", the writings of the "apostles" and the words spoken by "Jesus Christ."

Peter's second letter is the "how to's" for living in the End Times. Read these words and “remember” them for the way ahead, until He comes.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to remember Your Word so that I will be stirred up to action in these the last days.