A Harsher Judgment

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #29

We studied the privilege that we live under in our time and along with that privilege there are expectations upon us as Christians. Today we are going to learn that judgment in our dispensation will be much harsher then it was for those before us. Even though we live under grace the judgment of humanity in our dispensation will be greater. Particularly for those who found the privilege, saw and experienced the anointing, but did not respond to it. This group will have a higher judgment than those who never heard or saw the anointing. We learn in Matthew 11:20-24 that the Holy Spirit is drawing people to Believers who have His Spirit in them and who are teaching and preaching the Gospel and revealing its fruit.

We learned in 2 Peter 2:21, “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” Why is better not to have known? The answer is clear because those who have the privilege of knowing Him and hearing His Word, yet they don’t respond and walk away, their judgment will be greater than those who never saw or heard it. That is a very strong statement! The gravity and weight of walking away from our relationship with Jesus, to divorce Him and walk away from our marriage, in the end will be even more tragic for us. This is why we named this curriculum, “Are You Sure?” because we have to be sure about our salvation. We just can’t paint salvation with own brush, we have to glean from God’s revelation and His Word about what is truth and what isn’t truth. We simply can’t make up doctrine as we go through life. Christianity is not meant to be a burden for us, but what is absent in the Church today is a little bit of godly fear in that there is an expectation upon Believers in Christ.

Saints, we don’t know when Jesus will return, but when our heart stops beating we will meet Him and we don’t know that day either. This is the day we will meet the Son of God face-to-face and like the good steward we want to be found doing the work of the Lord. We are doing the work of the Lord when we receive revelation knowledge and in faith we walk in that knowledge through actions that will produce fruit. We are told in the Gospel of Luke that the servant who knows his Master, yet turns away from the things of God, his portion then will be appointed with the unbeliever. We also learn the servant who knows God’s will and doesn’t do God’s will shall be beaten or judged more harshly. Why is that? The answer is found in Luke 12:48, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required…” Believe me, there is a requirement from God for us who walk in this dispensation of time because it is a privilege to know the Word of God. Amen.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving In The Wrong Direction

Don't Get This Wrong! Teaching Blog#28

In Matthew 24:9-10, we see they are reacting to the pressure and as a result many are turning away from their faith and they begin to hate and betray one another. The snare is us thinking about ourselves and self preservation, meaning, the sense of duty to one another which was prevalent in our Nation prior to World War II is gone today. It is gone because everyone is only thinking about themselves and this is even in the Church. Now, when you have a Church that is apostate or is moving in that direction, then we are in the last days as Paul said and perilous times will come.

The Holy Spirit is telling us that the Church is diminishing and melting away because it is losing the focus of loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God with all of your heart and mind and soul. That trap, set by Satan, puts us in a place where we cannot absorb what is done to us and we react, therefore, we do exactly what Jesus said and we backslide. The Church is not enduring sound doctrine and they are turning their ears away from the truth and they are satisfying an itch with a gospel that will make them feel comfortable in their current lifestyle.

We are not bringing a hard Word that would cause us to change our behavior because if we do, then people won’t come to Church. But, it’s not about the numbers because you can have a Church of fifteen thousand people and have no rewards. Or, you can have a Church of one hundred and change their hearts for the Lord so they can go out and change the hearts of others. A bigger Church with a bigger building doesn’t mean success in God’s eyes because God doesn’t gauge success in Christianity based on numbers. God gauges Christianity based on love and hearts that have been changed! Amen.

Be blessed,

Sebastian

 

 

 

We Live In Great Privilege

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #28

Today, I want us to clearly understand the renewing of the mind and how God sees things. Let’s begin with how we view things because they are not the same as God’s point of view. For those who recognize and have received things from heaven God looks upon us as being privileged and it’s because of the dispensation of time we live in, but first let’s review the life of John the Baptist. His ministry was about a five mile walk into the wilderness from the city of Jerusalem. People traveled a good distance to hear him preach and his message was always centered on repentance. John lived off the land in a tent, he wore camel skin clothing tied with a leather belt, he ate a specific diet and because he was a Nazarite, he never shaved or cut his hair. For all intensive purposes he was rugged, unkempt, messy and homeless.

Jesus spoke about His cousin John in Matthew 11:7-10 and He sort of pokes at the crowd by asking: What did you expect to see when you went into the wilderness? Did you expect to see a preacher dressed in an expensive suit with glitz and glamour? Did you expect someone who is successful in the world and well polished? Or did you expect to see a great movie star? Then Jesus tells them, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is great than he” (Matthew 11:11). What did Jesus mean by that? Well, there is a lot of speculation on this verse so let me explain. Unlike all the prophets in the Old Testament, John had the privilege to actually walk with Jesus Christ. Other prophets may have experienced visitations or dreams or some sort of interaction with Jesus, but John walked with Him and this was a great privilege!

John was also different from the other prophets because to our knowledge he never performed any miracles yet Jesus told the multitudes he was the greatest in the kingdom. You see, John’s greatest gift was the lack of worldly possessions. He was completely void of earthly things and he pushed himself away from the world. Don’t misunderstand me because this doesn’t mean things of the world are necessarily bad because God does want us to have a home and clothing. But what Jesus is getting at is the fact that John was all-in and wholehearted toward God and he was completely sold-out for Jesus.

What does all this mean? It means that in our dispensation of time which is after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we have more privilege than the Saints before us because we have the revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ. We know the Messiah has come, we have the Holy Spirit living in us and we have the new birth. We have the privilege of the heavenly gifts that God has bestowed on our dispensation because all other dispensations did not have everything complete in Christ like we do today. John had a spirit in the power of Elijah and he walked in that gift, but today we have the Spirit of the living God in us; therefore we live in greater privilege today.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

 

The Snare And The Trap

Don't Get This Wrong! Teaching Blog #27

Jesus tells us in, Luke 8:10-15, that the Word of God was planted in their heart but the Devil comes to take the Word. However, they could have believed and had been saved but he took the Word from them. We learn here that the Word of God comes into a heart yet it brings no fruit to perfection. What is Jesus really talking about in these verses? Jesus is talking about salvation. He is saying that the Word comes to some but it is taken by Satan, and then, they cannot grow and be fruitful, therefore, they cannot be saved. This is the snare and the trap is that Satan will keep us busy through social needs and social energies. Then, as we try to participate and immerge with the world and try to keep up with everyone, we soon lose focus and become spiritually dull, and then, we are going to fall away ever so slightly.

For instance, when a crop grows and it is chocked by weeds this process does not happen overnight it happens gradually. So, Jesus is telling us to take heed so that the day doesn’t come upon you unaware. You can be so spiritually dull that you are trapped in the snare and it’s too late. You are busy with running around in circles trying to keep up with everyone else, and then, as a result of all this you become trapped. And, when you are caught in his trap – he owns you.

Think about the younger generation and all the texting, good or bad, that is being done today and how they handle disagreements through technology. It used to be when you got into a fight on the playground everyone had to make amends by the next morning. Otherwise, you couldn’t put a team together to play ball if there were still hard feelings in the air. Not today though, we can say whatever we want and do whatever we want because technology has changed our behavior and it causes us to think differently. This is what we do today and we are looking at our phones and engaged in technology so much that it is taking us away from the things of God.

Look at how dramatically Church attendance has changed because we used to go on Sunday morning and Sunday night plus Wednesday evenings and there used to be a crowd in attendance. Sadly, most Churches today have already done away with the Sunday night service and many are closing their doors for the mid-week service because people are not attending. There are other activities and they are too busy to come to Church. The warning from Jesus is that if you get caught up in this snare and trap then you are going to miss opportunities. The Bible tells us to forsake not the assembling of yourself together because there is an anointing, a very special anointing, when the Church comes together as a family! Amen.

Be blessed,

Sebastian

 

Raised In Glory

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #27

We have studied that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God neither can corruption. Therefore, this corruptible, mortal, dying, decaying, sin-filled body is going to be changed into what is called a “resurrection body”. We will receive the same immortal, spiritual, incorruptible body that Jesus received. This is the rapture of the Church and in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed with those Saints who come back with Jesus upon His return. This is the salvation of the body. We learn in 1 Corinthians 15:42-48 that we are sown in corruption; raised in incorruption. Sown in dishonor; raised in glory. Sown in weakness; raised in power. Sown in natural body; raised in spiritual body.

The first man, Adam, became a living being. The last Adam, Jesus, became a life giving Spirit. So we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions. What is the difference in humanity between Adam and Jesus? And what is the difference in humanity between Jesus and the rest of us? We can start by saying that God was the Father to both Adam and Jesus. This means there was no human being involved in the making of Adam because God made Adam by Himself. And of course there was no male seed to Jesus because He was born outside of humanities sin. The Bible refers to Jesus as the “last Adam” meaning Jesus was the last person God made on earth that was born outside the seed of man.

The experience we go through during the rapture and resurrection of the Church is that our soul and spirit will be reconnected with our new spiritual body which is part of the Gospel plan that Jesus paid for. Two thousand years ago the same process happened to Jesus and it will happen to all those who believe in Him as Lord and Savior. When Jesus returns it will be the grand finale of all things because there is no more death after His return. And this explains why the rapture cannot happen prior to His return because where on the timeline of events could you place the resurrection of the body for those who are saved during tribulation or afterwards? This has to be the final act that brings order to all things. When Jesus returns He will bring the Saints from heaven with Him and we are all changed and brought together in the clouds with Him. We will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years and this is called the “Millennial Reign of Christ”.

If Jesus does not come back beforehand, we will die and we will be separated spirit and soul from our body, just like Jesus was for three days and three nights. Jesus was resurrected and reunited with His Spirit and His soul, so now the three parts are together again in one whole Spiritual person who is led by the Spirit. The same experience is what will happen to us when He comes back. He will complete the salvation that we stand in because our new spiritual body will never die. We become incorruptible and immortal for eternity. This is the third part of the salvation process because God dealt with the penalty of sin in the new birth. He dealt with the power of sin in our life through the process of renewing our mind. Now, He deals with the completion of our salvation and we are now whole, all three parts of us.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

Behold the Fig Tree

Don't Get This Wrong! Teaching Blog #26

We will begin our lesson today in, Matthew 24:32:35, where Jesus tells us in this parable to behold the fig tree. And, if you go back to the Book of Joel or Jeremiah along with several other places in Scripture, you learn that the fig tree is representative of Israel and at one time Jesus cursed the fig tree. Now, when Jesus says behold the fig tree, we can read it to mean: behold the nation of Israel or behold Jerusalem. I will paraphrase this by saying, when Jerusalem is tender and young know that summer is nigh. This is when Jerusalem is beginning to bud or beginning to be fruitful, do you follow me?

Let’s back up to the last few verses in, Matthew 23, where Jesus said that Jerusalem would be desolate and lay waste for a period of time and this happened in 70 A.D. and we will read about that in a moment. For now, I want you to focus on the time period from 70 A.D. until May 14, 1948, because it was during this time that Israel was not a nation and it is a miracle in itself that the Jews stayed together as a people without a nation.

Think of it this way, if you dispersed all the Italians throughout the earth two thousand years ago, do you think there would still be a group that could come together today? No, I don’t think any group could come together after that duration of time unless it was tied together spiritually such as the Jews. Remember, Jesus said when you see the fig tree yet tender, and this was in 1948 when Israel was budding and became a nation; however, its borders were not complete until the six day war in 1967 when Israel took back the West Bank and Jerusalem.

So, the generation that saw Israel come back together in 1967, along with all the other signs that Jesus explained to us about knowing the season we are in, when we put that all together we know that we are in that season today. How do we know this? We know this because Jesus could not have come back prior to 1967 because there was no Jerusalem and there is no Temple in Jerusalem either. This means there was no place that the Book of Revelation or great tribulation or Daniel or anything else could have occurred, because the Temple was not there and Jerusalem was not there. However, things changed in 1967 which happened in most of our lifetimes, right? Jesus can now return because Jerusalem is now back in the custody of Israel and Israel is a nation. So, for almost the whole entire Church-age or at least the majority of it Jesus could not return, but now He can return because the stage has been set for Him! Amen.

Be blessed,

Sebastian.

One Single Event

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #26

Today we are going to study Revelation 19 beginning with Verse 11 when the heavens open and Jesus is riding a white horse and He is called, “Faithful and True.” He comes in righteousness to judge and make war with His enemies and we also learn there will be a marriage supper. His eyes are as a flame of fire because He is focused on His return. I want to point out that in heaven we will be clothed in fine white linen, but the garment of Jesus will be stained with blood. When Jesus returns we are told in Jude 1:14, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints…” This tells us the Saints who are with Jesus in heaven will return with Him in the clouds.

Take a moment to imagine this scene because all the faithfully departed have been anticipating this event for over 6,000 years. They’ve been waiting for the completion of salvation and the bringing in of righteousness when Jesus comes to the earth. Here in Scripture they are finally getting ready to ride out with Him and the heavens open and Jesus leads the way. This means our family members who knew Jesus and have died and gone on before us will come back with Him on this day. It also means that if we physically die before this event occurs, which is prior to the rapture, then we will also be with them. The departed Saints in heaven are a portion of the Body of Christ because the Saints still here on earth, the Church, are what remains of the same body. In other words, the Body of Christ is separated in two, those who are in heaven and those who remain here on earth. There is a lot going on in the Book of Revelation, but for this session of our study we are interested in what happens when Jesus returns because our salvation will be complete when we receive our new bodies.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we learn the rapture of the Church and the resurrection of the dead and the return of the Lord are one single event and I hope to make this very clear to everyone. The Word of God teaches, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (Verse 13). In other words, if we believe in the Gospel plan and we are connected to Jesus, then we know that God will bring with Him all the Saints that died in Jesus. Remember, “in Jesus” is a covenant term and those who are alive in Jesus and remain here on earth will also be caught up together with Him in the clouds.

There will be a lot of activity taking place at this one single event, but most importantly we see that we are all brought together again as one family in Christ. The Church on earth with the physical body and the Church in heaven without a physical body are brought together at this event. This is the return of the Lord. This is the rapture of the Church. This is the resurrection of the dead. And this all happens in the twinkling of an eye.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

 

 

 

Jesus Empowers Us

Don't Get This Wrong! Teaching Blog #25

In Matthew 25:14-23, Jesus calls His own servants and delivered unto them His goods, meaning, Jesus called them to Him and He gave them the amount that they were able to handle. I want you to know that Jesus was not unrighteous or unfair in the distribution of talents to His servants. Jesus took something that was His and He empowered it into the hands of His servants who had a relationship with Him. Again, there is a relationship between Jesus and the servants and Jesus gave them something that was His. I also want you to understand that the servant in, Verses 20, knew that the Lord had delivered unto him the five talents.

In this particular parable I want you to know that Jesus gave and empowered His servant with something because the servant did not come to Jesus and asked for the five talents, right? Likewise, I want you to picture in your mind that Jesus gave all of us something that we should use to produce something that is even greater than what He gave us. Can you understand this? Because as I was praying about this message, I asked the Lord what did You give me and what do You expect of me in return? Well, let me tell you that He expects us to take our natural abilities which He gave to us, our super-natural abilities that He also gave us, and the resources we have through Him to enhance and grow the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks about the leadership in the Church and the pulpit gifts but very few in the body of Christ fall into this category. However, their job is to teach, to grow, and to perfect the Saints which is the whole body. The whole body fits together and we are compacted so that every joint supplies something according to the effectual working and measure that we have which is what Jesus gave us in order to supply increase and edification for the body of Christ. When we get up every day there are two commandments that we are told to do. The first is to love the Lord Thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul and mind, and with all your strength and might, and with all your money and time. The second thing we are told to do is to love your neighbor as yourself and on these two commandments we are to hang everything.

So, we are supposed to take our natural ability, our super-natural ability, and our resources that God gave us and use them for the body of Christ because we are not Satan, are we? Do you remember what the five “I Will’s” from Satan are and that he said I do not owe You anything because I am a god? Well, we are not Satan and we know that we owe God the very breath that we take each day and we owe God our very life. So, the talents are things that we are entrusted with while we are here on the earth and we are called to use our talents to increase the lives of others! Amen.

Be blessed,

Sebastian

Do You Love Jesus?

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #25

In the next few blogs we will be studying the salvation of the body which is one of the final pieces to the series, “Are You Sure?” Today, we will start in John 21:15-19 which is after the resurrection and Jesus is spending forty days with His disciples before He ascends into heaven. First, we need to remember that Peter denied Jesus three times before the crucifixion and Jesus told him this would happen. Here the Bible tells us about an emotional interaction between Jesus and Peter, but we lose a lot of its meaning in the English language because the word “love” in these verses has two different meanings so we need to study this further.

Jesus is asking Peter if he loves Him without boundaries, meaning, does Peter “agape” love Him which means to love unconditionally. Peter answers and tells Jesus that he “phileo” loves Him, but this word for love means he loves Jesus with conditions. Jesus asked him a second time if he loved Him unconditionally and Peter replied again that his love for Jesus had boundaries. You see, we don’t get the whole meaning behind this conversation in English because we only see the word “love” repeated, but knowing the different kinds of love brings about a whole different meaning to these verses.

Jesus and Peter banner back and forth three times before Peter in paraphrasing finally says, “Lord, You know all things and You knew I was going to deny You and I was going to be weak at that moment. Jesus, You knew about the crucifixion, but here I am now with You and I understand You know all things.” Jesus then told Peter if he loved him unconditionally then he will tend to and feed those who are in My flock here on earth. Then Jesus tells Peter something that is distinctly different then what we read about with Judas. Jesus gave Peter a prophetic Word and told him when he was younger he dressed himself and went where he wanted to go, but you are going to live to be old enough where others have to help dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. He told Peter he was going to glorify Him in his death and then Jesus told Peter how he was going to die.

We all know the fate of Judas the Apostle and the outcome of his discussion. He died in shame and disgrace, but much worse, he died alone and he will spend eternity separated from Jesus. Then here we have Peter the Apostle who went onto glorify God even in his own death because Peter was crucified upside down on the cross. He requested not to be hung on the cross the same as Jesus. Judas hung himself in shame and disgrace, but Peter was hung to glorify Jesus.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian