Saturday, February 10, 2018

" Tribulation Devastation - Will YOU Be There ? "

Revelation 16:1-6  " And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of GOD upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, THOU art righteous, O LORD, which are, and was, and shalt be, because THOU has judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and THOU has given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. "
     It is quite possible that the unsaved people living today will enter the tribulation (Daniel's Seventieth Week) to experience the horrors of that time period. Being part of this time of wrath will be truly terrifying. JESUS, Daniel, and Jeremiah all foretold that this will be the most difficult time of trouble the world will ever know (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:7). The tribulation judgments will plague the entire earth. Just two of the twenty-one judgments will reduce the world's population by one half. This can be illustrated by imagining four huge bags of rice representing the world's population. In the fourth seal judgment, one fourth of the world's population will die (Revelation 6:8), thus removing one bag of rice with three remaining. In the sixth trumpet judgment (Revelation 9:18), one third of the world's population will perish, thus removing another bag of rice, leaving just two remaining. More than 3.5 billion people could perish, and this does not even count those who die in the other plagues.
     In the Holocaust the world's Jewish population was reduced by one third; in the tribulation, it will be reduced by two thirds (Zechariah 13:8-9). Almost 100 million died in both World War I and World War II. If our tribulation estimates are correct, the casualties of just these two tribulation plagues will be thirty-five times the number of deaths in the two World Wars combined. The coming tribulation is certain and deadly, a sobering and horrifying reality, and not merely something for curious prophetic speculation. The day of grace will soon be over; the JUDGE is coming. But those who have received JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR will be saved from this coming wrath (1st.Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright. FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used  with  permission.   www.feasite.org

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

" Soli Deo Gloria - To GOD Be the Glory ! " (Fifth of Five)

Romans 11:33-36  " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of GOD ! How unsearchable are HIS judgments, and HIS ways past finding out ! For who hath known the mind of the LORD ? or who hath been HIS counselor ? Or who hath first given to HIM, and it shall be recompensed unto HIM again ? For of HIM, and through HIM, and to HIM, are all things: to WHOM be glory for ever. AMEN. "
     It is natural for us to be man-centered in our outlook. We instinctively view life from our human point of view, but in so doing we are missing the big picture. This life is not about us; it is all about the ALMIGHTY, the most high GOD. Our thoughts and our outlook need to be theocentric rather than anthropocentric, that is, GOD-centered rather than man-centered. We must see things from GOD's point of view. A.W.Toser, in The Knowledge of the Holy, wrote: " The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of GOD and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping men. This low view of GOD is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of GOD is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of GOD more nearly as HE is. The idolatrous heart assumes that GOD is other than HE is-in itself a monstrous sin-and substitutes for the true GOD one made after its own likeness. There is scarcely an error of doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about GOD. "
     We are here in this world for only one reason: to glorify our CREATOR. Whatever we do, including even the most mundane activities in life, should all be done to the glory of GOD (1st.Corinthians 10:31). Only in HIM do we live, more, and have our being (Acts 17:28). How often do Paul, Peter, John, and Jude burst into doxology: " To HIM be glory forever and ever ! " (Romans 11:36; 2nd.Peter 3:18; Revelation 1:6; Jude 25; Hebrews 13:20-21). GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used  With  Permission.   www.feasite.org

Monday, January 15, 2018

" Solus CHRISTUS - CHRIST Alone ! " (Four of Five)

Colossians 1:12-22  " Giving thanks unto the FATHER, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: WHO hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of HIS dear SON: In WHOM we have redemption through HIS blood, even the forgiveness of sins: WHO is the image of the invisible GOD, the firstborn of every creature: For by HIM were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by HIM, and for HIM: And HE is before all things, and by HIM all things consist.
And HE is the HEAD of the body, the church: WHO is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things HE might have the preeminence. For it please the FATHER that in HIM should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of HIS cross, by HIM to reconcile all things unto HIMSELF; by HIM, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath HE reconciled in the body of HIS flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable  and unreproveable in HIS sight: " 
     In all things CHRIST is to have " the preeminence," or first place (v.18). When it comes to Salvation, CHRIST is everything. HIS very name ("JESUS") means SAVIOR (Matthew 1:21). Our full redemption is grounded in HIS marvelous person, HIS finished cross-work, HIS glorious resurrection, and HIS guaranteed promises. The Catholic religious system of the sixteenth century was man-centered and based on tradition, not truth. People were told that they could not understand the Bible on their own and that they could not go to GOD directly (in prayer or conversation) - thus the need for human priests. Mary was given an exalted place in the church's worship. Formalism, ritualism, and dead orthodoxy characterized the church services. The Catholic church was corrupt and encouraged the sale of indulgences in order to fatten its coffers and supposedly shorten the soul's sojourn in purgatory (of which there is no such place in Scripture). The people were full of religion; however, they had little of CHRIST.
     Luther's religious mentors were blind to the soul-freeing doctrine of justification by faith through CHRIST alone. Their question was, "if you leave the Christian to live only by faith and if you sweep away all our good works, our adoration of relics, our singing of masses, our pilgrimage to Rome, our purchasing of pardon for sins, etc., then what will you put in their place ?" Luther's answer was simple: " JESUS CHRIST and HIM alone ! HE is all we need !" How tragic it is that the established church abandoned JESUS CHRIST ! The Reformation was a call to return to CHRIST and HIS WORD. HE " is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11). " For to me to live is CHRIST " (Philippians 1:21). "CHRIST liveth in me," and we live by the faith of the ONE WHO loved us and gave HIMSELF for us (Galatians 2:20). GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used  with  permission.   www.feasite.org

Saturday, January 13, 2018

" Sola Fide - Faith Alone ! " (Third of Five)

Romans 3:21-31  " But now the righteousness of GOD without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; Even the righteousness of GOD which is by faith of JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of GOD; Being justified freely by HIS grace through the redemption that is in CHRIST JESUS: WHOM GOD hath set forth to be a propitiation (sacrificial payment) through faith in HIS blood, to declare HIS righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of GOD;
To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness: that HE might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in JESUS. Where is boasting then ? It is excluded. By what Law ? of works ? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law. Is HE the GOD of the Jews only ? is HE not also of the Gentiles ? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one GOD, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the Law through faith ? GOD forbid: yea, we establish the Law.
     The watchcry of the Reformation was " justification by faith. " Luther and the Reformers agreed with Paul's conclusion: " Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law " (v.28). How can Salvation be both by grace alone and also by faith alone ? Grace is GOD's side; faith is man's side. How does GOD save a wretched sinner ? Only by grace (Acts 15:11). What must man do ? Only believe (Acts 16:31). While grace and works are two principles that are utterly opposed (Romans 11:6), yet grace and faith are united in perfect harmony in GOD's Salvation plan (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is not working, but it is resting on the perfect work of ANOTHER (Romans 4:5). The SAVIOR cried, " It is finished ! "; the man of faith responds, " It is enough ! " Faith is the hand of the heart that reaches out and receives the free gift which GOD offers in HIS grace (Romans 5:16-18; 6:23;John 1:12). The believer does not boast in his faith; rather, he boasts in a great SAVIOR WHO is the object of his faith (1st.Corinthians 1:29-31).
     Faith is when someone rests all of his weight on the PERSON of GOD (WHO HE is), on the work of GOD (what HE has done), and on the WORD of GOD (what HE has said). Justification is that work of GOD whereby the believing sinner is declared to be perfectly righteous in GOD's righteous SON (2nd.Corinthians 5:21). We could never achieve such a perfect righteousness, and we could never gain Heaven without it. It is fully provided in the PERSON and work of JESUS CHRIST. Justification by faith is so vitally important that GOD emphasizes it three times in just one verse (Galatians 2:16) ! How tragic it is that sin-blinded, self-righteous men are determined to present to GOD their own fig leaf coverings ! GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used  with  permission.   www.feasite.org

Friday, January 12, 2018

" Sola Gratia - Grace Alone ! " (Second of Five)

Titus 3:3-8  " For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers (various) lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of GOD our SAVIOR toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS mercy HE saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the HOLY GHOST; 
Which HE shed on us abundantly through JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR; that being justified by HIS grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly , that they which have believed in GOD might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. "
     One of the great truths that was rediscovered during the Reformation was the fact that men are saved by grace alone. " Salvation is of the LORD " (Jonah 2:9b) - all of GOD and none of man. Because GOD's perfect justice was satisfied by CHRIST's finished work on the cross, GOD is now free to be gracious to Hell - deserving sinners. Grace is GOD's favor and kindness freely bestowed on those who are totally undeserving of HIS merciful benefits. Titus 3:4 describes GOD's grace as " the kindness and love of GOD our SAVIOR toward man " (emphasis added, even the man who verse three describes as " foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. " Ephesians 2:7 further defines grace as " HIS kindness toward us through CHRIST JESUS " (emphasis added), the " us " being in context those who were " dead in trespasses and sins " (Ephesians 2:1,5). We are not worthy of the least of HIS favors, yet HE willingly died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8).
     While all religions are based upon man attempting to achieve salvation through  his own works, grace excludes any kind of human works or meritorious efforts: " If by grace, then is it no more of works . . . If it be of works, then is it no more grace " (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9). Religion is man seeking to bring himself to GOD, which is an impossibility. Salvation is GOD sending HIS SON to the cross so that " HE might bring us to GOD " (1st.Peter 3:18, emphasis added). Not only is our salvation totally dependent upon the grace of GOD, but so also is living the Christian life: " By the grace of GOD I am what I am " (1st.Corinthians 15:10; see 2nd.Corinthians 9:8). We are debtors to GOD's grace ! GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used  with  permission.   www.feasite.org

Thursday, January 11, 2018

" Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone ! " (First of Five)

Romans 4:1-8  " What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found ? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before GOD. For what saith the Scriptures ? Abraham believed GOD, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on HIM that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom GOD imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD will not impute sin. "
     Over five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the Caste Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, marking the beginning of the Reformation, which was basically a back-to-the-Bible movement as precious truths were uncovered. A problem today is that some seek to go back to the Reformation rather than to the Scriptures; thus, the Reformers' weakness in understanding the church, prophecy, dispensational truth, etc. is carried over to Reformed Theology. It is always best to go to the pure spring of truth rather than to the polluted stream farther away from the source. But, we can learn from the Reformers.
     Five great truths came out of the Reformation, the first of which is SOLA SCRIPTURA - Scripture Alone ! Only one question matters: What saith the Scripture ? (v.3). Man's tradition must never usurp GOD's absolute truth (John 17:17). Popes, priests, and pastors are fallible, but " the Scripture cannot be broken " (John 10:35). Scientific theories change with the times, but GOD's WORD will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). Any light that came from the Reformation came from the beacon of Scripture; apart from it, men's minds are darkened (Ephesians 4:18). Only in the Bible do we find our infallible rule of faith, our sure guide for what we must believe and how we should live. It is a lamp to our feet, and its truth illuminates our path (Psalm 119:105). We must not follow opinions or ideas nor trust the wisdom of even the most brilliant men. One thing alone matters: " What saith the Scripture ? " " Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. My warrant is the WORD of GOD, naught else is worth believing ! " (Luther). GWZ
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide.
Used with permission.   www.feasite.org

Saturday, January 6, 2018

" GOD's Provision or Your Own ? "

John 4:13-14  " JESUS answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in HIM a well of water springing up into everlasting life. "
     The man was barely able to stand as he precariously swayed from the dizziness of hunger. He stared at the table before him laden with a smorgasbord of food. He could smell the distinct aroma of spices, and his mouth watered at the cornucopia of smells. The host beckoned him to sit at the table, but he remained teetering near the door. When the host tried to help him, the hungry man continued out the back door and began scrounging through the rubbish bins for any morsel of food he could find.
     " Foolish ! " you say. But, spiritually speaking, this is being done worldwide on a grand scale. Jeremiah reveals what GOD said concerning HIS people: " For MY people have committed two evils; they have forsaken ME the fountain of living waters, and hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water " (Jeremiah 2:13). Many people are foolishly choosing emptiness over fullness. rather than receiving and partaking of GOD's provision, they turn away and seek their own. They want it their way.
     GOD has established the exclusive way of Salvation (John 14:6). But many reject CHRIST by setting up their own religious systems, which bloat their stomachs and slay their souls. Rather than enjoying the fullness of CHRIST, the FOUNTAIN of LIVING WATERS, they carve out for themselves, by their own efforts, broken, useless cisterns (wells); yet they brag at how big and beautiful their cisterns are. Spiritual idolatry pushes GOD out of their lives, and they celebrate their man-made religions. Consider JESUS' WORDS to the woman at the well in today's text. Do not reject the GOD WHO alone can satisfy ! PNF
Your servant in CHRIST,
Julie
Copyright, FEATURE: A Daily Bible Study Guide
Used with permission.   www.feasite.org