Our Foundation Is Christ

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog 30

This is the final blog in our series and in closing I want to answer a few questions that you may have and one question is how will Believers be judged? The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 3:12-16 where we are given six elements and they are: gold, silver, precious stone, wood, hay and stubble. In these verses Paul tells us the foundation of our life is our belief in Jesus Christ. We then build our house upon this foundation of belief from wood, hay and stubble, along with gold, silver and precious stones. The Bible tells us that on the day the Lord returns a pile of these elements will be laid before us.

The wood, hay and stubble stands for good deeds we performed but they were done with the wrong heart. This means they were done with the wrong intentions because it was for the admiration of man. The gold, silver and precious stones represent the good deeds we did for the glory of God and not for recognition from man. Fire comes down on our pile and burns the wood, hay and stubble leaving only the gold, silver and precious stone. In other words, the good deeds we did for the recognition of man will be reduced to ashes and all that is left will be the good deeds we performed for the glory of God. I want to make it clear that we are not judged based on our sins, instead, we are judged based on our righteous works and these are the things of value we carry with us into eternity.

Part of growing in the things of God is being charitable, praying and fasting because we are commanded to do these righteous acts, but we can do them with the wrong intentions. This means we sometimes do them to seek the approval of man or to be seen and rewarded by others. These deeds are not done in faith. Only when we do things in secret for the glory of God do we receive His blessings and gain eternal rewards and that’s the status of who we will be forever. I like to put it this way, in heaven there will be cheap seats like bleacher seats and there will be good seats like box office seats and what we do here on earth determines our seating position in heaven. Salvation not only bought us life with God and gave us righteousness with Him it also gave us the ability to obtain a seat in heaven that is closer to God. It is what we do here on earth for His glory that actually gives us a blessing in heaven. Even though we don’t hear or see it on earth our deeds of righteousness are being accounted to us for the day He returns. We can spend our life striving for a good profession but I am telling you from this day forward we have the rest of our lives to build wealth and status in heaven. The Bible tells us to strive for greatness and mastery in our walk with Christ so we must formulate that into our lives here on earth.

My prayer is that you gleaned enough from this teaching to know that salvation is not a single event. It is a lifelong journey that Christians are called to. It is a very sobering thought even though it is a joyous thing because we have been saved from damnation. Our heavenly rewards are given to us because God chose to make a fix for mankind so we can live with Him forever. That is why we have salvation because God loved us and gave His Son for us! Amen.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your families.

We pray Gods revelation and love would fill your life. That Gods wisdom would direct your path and His favor would go before you. We thank you for allowing us to impart knowledge in your life and appreciate your support. God Bless you and have a prosperous New Year!

 

The Law of Sin

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #23

Today I want to start with Romans 8:1 because sometimes when we hear the pastor speak on this passage it is only the first part of the verse. The whole verse reads, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (emphasis added). We have to read the whole verse and this sort of reminds me of the cartoons with the good guy on one shoulder and the bad guy on the other. One is whispering for you to go one way while the other guy is telling you to go in a different direction and this always leaves us with a decision to make. Remember in the previous chapter Paul told us about the struggle taking place within him? How the spirit man delights in the laws of God, but the law of sin is in our flesh? Then here we learn the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death. It is our relationship with Jesus and revelation knowledge and our active faith moving in the direction of that revelation that frees us from the sin of our flesh.

Like Peter, when we receive revelation knowledge we must humble ourselves and admit we are sinful. Next, we exalt Jesus as the center of the Universe by forsaking all and following Him. For a Christian, this process happens every time we receive revelation because we realize the bigger picture is all about Jesus Christ. We have to understand that our plans and purposes are not near as important as Jesus’ plans and every time we go through this process we forsake a little more of ourselves for Him. This frees us from the law of sin and the best example I have is an airplane and the law of gravity. A commercial airplane weighs at least five hundred thousand pounds and gravity would surely bring the plant to the ground if it weren’t for the law of thrust and lift. When the plan speeds down the runway it gains enough thrust and lift to overcome the law of gravity and it takes off. With that in mind, it is much like the Spirit of life we have in Jesus Christ because His Spirit allows us to overcome the law of sin as long as we are being filled with revelation and faith and action.

As we grow daily in Christ the law of sin in our flesh should be suppressed and pushed down, but what happens if we are in a plane and the pilot shuts the engine off? Right away the law of gravity takes over and the plane falls. The same thing happens to us when we put our Bible away and we stop going to Church and serving Christ, well soon enough the law of sin will take over and we will fall. Maybe we won’t fall back to where we started, but we are going to go backwards in our relationship with Jesus because the flesh in us will get stronger. We are called to a lifelong journey of continuous sanctification and cleansing of our minds and this is called the renewing of our minds. The Bible tells us there are two minds, one is carnal and the other is spiritual. The carnal mind is not subject to the laws and things of God, but the spiritual mind is. Our mind will either listen to the world, Satan and our own lustful desires or it will listen to the Word of God and the plan and purpose of God. Amen.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

 

The Struggle Is Real

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #22

Paul tells us in Romans 7:23 that the law of sin is in our flesh and body and it is warring against our mind. I want to point out the struggle that Paul is talking about because we are broken up into three parts. Our body is our five senses and the Bible calls it the flesh or the outer man or the natural man. Our mind is our reasoning power driven by our will, intellect, emotions and memory. Then there is our spirit. Paul is saying sin still resides in our flesh and left unchecked our body will always want to gratify itself. This leaves our mind in the middle of this struggle. Our body tells us to do this or that which is wrong and when our mind agrees, it is sin.

Now, on the other side we have our spirit telling us not go forward and this is the law of God or the Word of God. As Christians, this is the daily struggle we have because we know the Word of God tells us one thing and Satan or our flesh tells us another thing. There is a tug-of-war going on between the two voices for control of the mind and we must learn how to overcome this struggle. Let’s look at the Garden of Gethsemane because this is where Jesus struggled.

In His soulish realm Jesus was in agony because he knew He was about to be crucified. Jesus wrote the Psalm that tells us He roared in pain on the cross and His bones were out of joint. He wrote about His shame and the crown of thorns and the false accusation made of Him. The Son of God knew all this because He wrote about it, then confronted with it He said, “…Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). In His body, Jesus was sweating great drops of blood because His mind was in agony, but His Spirit fought against His mind and Jesus obeyed the Father.

On a much smaller scale we have the same daily struggles because we are confronted with opportunities to sin all the time. We are confronted in our body, the world system, Satan, and even our friends and families sometimes tell us to do things that are not God’s will leaving us with decision to make in our mind. While our spirit is saved and alive to God, our mind can still take us with one single word from complete happiness and obedience to God, into great depression and disobedience. This is because our minds are all over the place and the struggle now is for the salvation of the mind and the soul.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian

The Mystery of the Holy Spirit

Are You Sure? Teaching Blog #21

I want to expand the predominate ministry of the Holy Spirit from last week’s blog because we can’t embrace the promises of God that were given to Jesus and passed onto us unless we know them fully in our hearts and activate our faith by walking in them. This is how important it is to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His continual tutoring in our lives. We must allow Him to teach us because in the Bible the Holy Spirit shows us the things of Jesus Christ.

In other words, it is a shame when we don’t walk in the promises that Jesus paid for with His precious blood. It would be like have the ability to enjoy something that you own, but you forgot or never knew it was yours and consequently you never use it. Revelation of the Word is the key purpose of the Holy Spirit and it is our job to cooperate in this relationship with Him. We place ourselves in the position to receive revelation when we open our Bible or go to a teaching on the Scripture or by attending Church. This is how we open ourselves up and allow the Spirit of God to declare, reveal and show us things to come.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 we learn it is not natural for man to know the things of God, but God reveals things to man through His Spirit. This tells us that it is not natural for man to know the things of God, but God reveals things through His Spirit. It is our spirit through His Spirit that He reveals the things that He has for us. The natural man cannot know the things of God because they are foolishness to him because they are spiritually discerned. The new birth gave us righteousness and a born-again spirit. This is so the Holy Spirit can live in us and we can embrace and know all the things that are given to us. Salvation brings us to a place where the penalty of sin that resided in us at birth was paid for by the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit reveals the Son of God to us so we are able to engage our faith in Him and embrace Him as our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Be Blessed,

Sebastian