Essays 2

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The Seal of God
The Mark of the Beast
The Jews & Modern Israel
The Economy
The Close of Probation
The Seven Last Plagues
The Nature of Salvation

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The Seal of God 

The fourth commandment is the TIME commandment, for it is God's time, and the Lord's Day.  The fourth commandment compels one to remember Them, rest, and do as God would do. It does no good to be ahead of God, or behind Him.  God's people should, and will be, in step with Him.     (Exodus 20:8-11) 

Jesus kept the seventh day sabbath.  The fact Jesus recognized the seventh day sabbath, set forth in the fourth commandment, is without doubt and historically true.  Jesus was an Israelite by descent.  The Israel of old were shown the correct Sabbath day through forty years in the wilderness.  This day in the historical cycle of weeks is the Saturday of our current calendar.
(Hebrews 3:8-11;  Hebrews 3:1-19  thru  Hebrews 4:1-16) 

Jesus died on 'good' Friday, and laid in rest on the following Saturday.  Most Christian Churches do believe Jesus arose from the grave on 'Easter Sunday.'  If Jesus died on a Friday, and rose on Sunday, then He was in the grave on Saturday.  It is a historical fact the seventh day creation sabbath, the original and only "Lord's Day," corresponds to the Saturday of our current calendar. 

The "Sabbath Day" of creation, God desires be kept Holy. 
(Exodus 20:8)   This Creation Sabbath has a history, symbolism, and practicality as deep as any of the mysteries of God.  The transfer of the Sabbath's importance and its Holiness and sanctity to Sunday is mysterious also. 

The Sabbath, Lord's Day, or His Holy Rest, and its study, is a subject which cannot be fully explored here.  Let the following scripture text references suffice. 

"Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it Holy.  Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:  in it thou shalt not do any work . . . For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:  wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."    (Exodus 20:8-11) 

"And He said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."    (Luke 6:5) 

"And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."     
         (Mark 2:27-28) 

"And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil?  to save life, or to kill?  But they held their peace."     (Mark 3:4) 

"Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them."     (Ezekiel 20:12-20) 

"And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God."     (Ezekiel 20:20) 

"If thou turn thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thy own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
     (Isaiah 58:13-14) 

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed (children) and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all  flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord."        (Isaiah 66:22-24;  See also Isaiah 52:1-8) 

Jesus recognized Saturday as His Sabbath and His Day.  Saturday is the Sabbath, and The Lord's Day.  God even saw fit to let Jesus stay in the grave, in rest, all day on the Sabbath.  It was not until early on the first day of the week  Jesus arose from the grave.      (Mark 16:1-20) 

But as it is written,
"Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."      (Romans 14:5) 

Does this mean you are not a child of God if you don't worship on Saturday?  Does this mean you are a child of God if you do?  God forbid, "We love Him, because He first loved us."
    (1 John 4:19) 

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."     (Romans 5:8; Romans 9:1-33) 

Let all Christians thank God, salvation is not what we do, but Who we trust.  "If you know these things happy are you if you do them."  We thank God that through Jesus Christ we can overcome all things.  May all Christians "be doers of the word and not just hearers."    (John 13:13-17;             1 John 5:3-5;  James 1:22-27) 

The Seal of the Living God on one's forehead is the understanding of worship on the seventh day sabbath.  Especially during the very last days. 

(As to worship on Sunday as a Holy Day see  the next topic   
    "The Mark of the Beast") 

The Mark of the Beast 

The respect for Sunday as a holy day, is a subject of very personal belief.    As the Bible says,    "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."    It is Jesus Christ who saves, not any action we can perform.  God is even greater than our hearts.   (Romans 14:5; Ephesians 2:8-9;
     1 John 3:18-24) 

The historical position for Sunday as a holy day is documented and clear.  Worship on Sunday as a holy day, began in Sun worship.  To achieve some political peace, the early Christian church adopted worship on "The Sun's Day."  God did not command to worship Him on Sunday.  Jesus never mentioned the first day of the week. 

In historical documents and written church histories, the early Christian church allowed new converts to Christianity to keep some of their pagan customs.  Many of these new converts began worshipping on both "Sabbath" and  "The Sun's Day."  As 'The Church' grew, it became a more powerful influence on the political structure of the time.

The leaders of 'The Church,' in order to enlist the aid of the political state, transferred the sanctity of the Sabbath to Sunday in their doctrine.  The political state (the emperor Justinian), in order to enlist the aid of 'The Church,' recognized the leader of that church  (John II 533 A.D.- 535 A.D.), as the leader and ruler of the 'christian church.'  The title, "Vicar of Jesus Christ," has often been used as a title for the Pope of the Papacy.  To this day, the Roman Catholic Church considers worship on Sunday as a mark of its authority. 

The respect for Sunday as the day the Lord arose from the grave is not commanded anywhere in the Bible.  If the respect for Sunday is to symbolize the resurrection of Christ, the act of Baptism is the God given symbol of both the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Baptism by immersion is the symbol by which we publicly confess our belief in Jesus Christ.  Baptism is the manner God left us to show we accept His death and will rise from the grave as He did.   
(Romans 6:3-13) 

Weekly worship of Jesus as Creator, was commanded on Sabbath, which is our current Saturday, not Sunday.  Worship on Sunday, in place of Saturday is commanded by 'The Church,' not God.  As to worship on both days, we are told to pray without ceasing, and to fellowship with one another more as we see the day of His return approaching.   
(1 Thessalonians 5:17; 
       Hebrews 10:23-25) 

But the Bible says, ". . . to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;"     (Romans 6:16) 

It is important God's people know and understand the distinction and purposes of worship on Sabbath.  It is important God's people know the history of Sunday sanctity.  Especially during the last days.  Sunday worship is deceptive, and a custom adopted from paganism. 

"The Beast" is the symbol of a church/state power and doctrinal system that enforces doctrinal beliefs, especially during the last days.  The Mark of the Beast is specifically the situation where worship on Sunday is commanded and laws made for its enforcement
.    (Revelation 13:11-18) 

This sad state of affairs where 'the churches' wield political power has been allowed by God throughout history.  God's Word says the last argument will, among other things, be over this question of God's Holy Day. 

The Jews and Modern Israel 

Doctrinally, there is no doubt the ancient Israelites were God's chosen people.  God still has some people, of Jewish descent.  Read the story of God's promise to Abraham.   
(Genesis 15:1-6) 

"If ye be Christ's then ye are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
      (Galatians 3:16;  Galatians 3:29;  Galatians 3:1-29) 

Jesus came, and tried, to save this 'race of people.'  When He did come to them, the Jewish body politic had Him slain. 

Just prior to Jesus' death, He cast them out.  And said, 
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
    (Matthew 23:37-38) 

The veil of the temple was miraculously torn from top to bottom, showing that God had no more to do with them.     (Mark 15:37-39)

  From that day until Jesus comes to claim his own, the Jews as a religion, race, or body politic, are not God's people.  The Lord God may still have a few people left in the Jewish church.  There may still be some Calebs and Joshuas in Israel.       (Mark 15: 37-39) 

But the Jewish theocracy is part of "Babylon the Harlot," which is religious confusion.  The nation of Israel will have a key role to play in the events leading to the "Day of the Lord." 

The Economy 

The Lord God has blessed planet Earth with generous resources.  He has blessed mankind with much knowledge of how to use those resources.  Few human beings should starve to death on planet Earth in this day and age. 

However, many do.  This is because riches are deceitful.  It seems, to become wealthy, you must hold on to your wealth.  To afford something, most people must save.  But there are those men who
"oppress the hireling in his wages."  It is written "They shall make the ephah (ounce) small and the  shekel (dollar) great."  [meaning down with size up with price]     (Malachi 3:1-6;  Amos 8:1-14;  James 5:1-8) 

"The Mark of the Beast" has a marked economic facet.  It will be arranged so anyone who does   not submit to this economic component,     "should be killed."     (Revelation 13:13-18)

The Close of Probation

When Jesus comes as "King  of  Kings  and  Lord  of  Lords"   His  reward  is  with  Him.    Upon Jesus' return, He will also give 'The Gift of Eternal Life' to those people He has chosen.
(Revelation 19:11-16;  Revelation 22:12;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;  Ephesians 2:1-10;
      John 17:1-5;  Romans 6:23;  Revelation 20:11-15;   Malachi 3:16;  2 Peter 3:1-18)

Scripture plainly shows that every human's worthiness to receive this gift is decided before Jesus returns
.  "He will come as a thief in the night."  At that time, He will separate the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the weeds.    (Matthew 13:24-43;  Matthew 25:31-36) 

Common sense tells you, in order to separate something, one must first decide which need to be kept, and which removed. 

The Seven Last Plagues 

The biblical book Revelation contains many symbols.  Much of its prophecy is both symbolic and figurative.  The "Seven Last Plagues,"   (Revelation 15:1-8; Revelation 16:1-21)   and the Scriptures relating to it, lead to the conclusion the "Seven Last Plagues" are literal.  They Will HappenLiterally.  This is 'God's Judgment,' and the "Day of the Lord."    (Amos 5:13-18) 

He may use gangrene, or one of its complications for the third plague.  He may not.  Mankind may be smitten with a disease not yet known, under the third plague.  During the fourth plague,  He will use the sun you see in the sky to make it hot.  The seventh plague is a plague of hail, every stone the weight of a talent.  A talent is considered by scholars to weigh between 55 - 110 pounds.

All the seven last plagues are unmistakable judgments of God, as literal and actual as the plagues on ancient Egypt.  These plagues are within His power.  These plagues are the
"wrath of God" poured out upon man unmixed with mercy.   (Exodus 6:28 thru Exodus 11:5; Revelation 15:6-7)

God's people will not be hurt directly from the plagues.  God's people will be on Earth until the sky rolls back. Some of the saints will undoubtedly endure hardships.  Their "defence shall be the munitions of rocks:  bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."  Jesus says He has rewards for the overcomers, and the man or woman who endures to the end will be saved.
(Isaiah 33:14-17;  Revelation 21:5-7;  Matthew 10:22) 

The Nature of Salvation 

Salvation is a gift from God.  This Jesus of Nazareth, "The Lamb of God," is the "Author and Finisher of our faith."      (Ephesians 2:4-10;  John 1:29;  Hebrews 12:1-4) 

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."       (Acts 4:12)   

Salvation and
"Life Eternal" is a gift.  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast."    (Ephesians 2:8-9) 

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,  and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."     (John 17:3) 

God did not have to redeem mankind.  He did not have to create mankind, much less save it.  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit chose us, and have saved us.  If that ain't "Grace," (unmerited favor) what is? 

The nature of salvation consists first of the sacrifice of Jesus.  Then comes a person's belief, acceptance, trust, and obedience to Him. 

Belief in an unbelievable story.
"Who hath believed our report?"    (Isaiah 53:1-12) 

Acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Your acceptance of God.  Your acceptance by God. 
"( . . . behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"  "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."  "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."  "I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob."   (2 Corinthians 6:2;  1 Timothy 1:15;  1 Timothy 4:9-10;
      Isaiah 60:1-16) 

Trust in God.  "Under the shadow of His wings will I trust."     (Psalm 36:5-10 paraphrase) 

Obedience following Christ in ones actions.  Scripture says we should be mindful that even though Jesus is God, He became a man.  The Lord God humbled Himself and "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . .  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen."    (Philippians 2:5-11;  Hebrews 5:8-9;  Matthew 28:18-20;
    Luke 11:27-28;  John 12:44-50) 

The spirit of a repentant heart shows itself in those who seek Him.  If we love Him, we will continue trying to do what He would have us do.  And if any man falls, we have mercy.  "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart."    (1 John 2:1-12;  1 John 3:16-24) 

We who believe and trust, in God and His Word, have already passed from death to life.  How great is His mercy.  And His ways past finding out. 

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