Category Archives: Christianity

The Parable of the Sower!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-parable-of-the-sower

When speaking to the multitudes, Jesus often taught them in PARABLES, simple stories about common events, circumstances and things that His listeners could easily relate to. Most of the people that Jesus addressed were simple folk, and He knew that even the CHILDREN would be interested in His message if He presented it by using such illustrated stories.

The “PARABLE OF THE SOWER” is one of the few parables that is found in three different Gospels: In Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. This wonderful parable reveals the four different states in which the hearts of men can be classified. As we now read Jesus’ Own words, you could ask yourself which of these four categories describes YOU!…

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, (1) some fell upon the PATH, and the BIRDS of the air came and ATE it up. (2) And some fell upon STONY GROUND where there was not much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the SUN came up, the plants were SCORCHED, and they WITHERED, because they had NO DEPTH of ROOT. (3) “Other seed fell among THORNS, and the thorns grew up WITH it and CHOKED the plants. (4) But other seed fell upon GOOD GROUND, and it came up, grew, and produced a crop–thirty times, sixty times, or a hundred times what was sown.

“And when He had said these things He cried, ‘He that has ears to HEAR, let him HEAR! Listen to what the parable of the sower means.'”

Now Jesus is going to interpret and explain for us exactly what this parable is all about: “The SEED is the WORD OF GOD. Those along the path, are the ones who HEAR, but then comes the DEVIL and TAKES AWAY THE WORD from their hearts, lest they should BELIEVE and be SAVED.”

When the life-giving seed of the Word of God is sown on this FIRST kind of ground, this kind of heart, what happens? Paths are usually hard and packed earth, and before the seed is able to sink in, Satan comes along and snatches it away before they even understand it, before they can receive it, before they even get saved!

Oh, how the Devil FIGHTS against the Word of God! The Bible tells us that, “FAITH comes by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), so to try to prevent people from believing in Jesus and getting saved, he’ll do all that he can to keep them from hearing or receiving the Truth of God’s wonderful Word! The Apostle Paul says, “If our Gospel is HID, it is hid to those who are LOST, in whom the GOD OF THIS WORLD (the Devil) has BLINDED the MINDS of those who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ cannot shine unto them!” (2Corinthians 4:3,4)

We trust that YOU who are reading this are ALREADY born again, that you have ALREADY received the precious seed of God’s Word and have asked His Son, Jesus, into your hearts. If you have received Jesus, then you don’t need to worry about being this FIRST kind of ground, thank the Lord!

But what about the SECOND kind of ground that Jesus describes? He says, “Some, like seed sown on STONY ground, hear the Word and at first RECEIVE it with JOY. But these have NO ROOT, and for AWHILE believe, but when TROUBLE or PERSECUTION arises because of the Word, they are OFFENDED and quickly fall away!”

This second kind actually receive the Word joyfully and begin to grow, but when a time of TESTING or TRIAL or PERSECUTION for the Word’s sake arises, their enthusiasm wanes, their faith withers and they fade away! This doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation, because once you have received Jesus into your heart, you are His FOREVER. He says, “I am with you ALWAYS, I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you!” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5) But these kind of Christians simply “have no ROOT”, no DEPTH, they are SHALLOW, and they never really STAND UP and GROW and become FRUITFUL. They just sort of die out spiritually and fall away when a time of testing comes, when the hot sun of persecution or tribulation arises. They’re weak and they can’t take it.

How many Christians are like that! They’re happy to receive Jesus, but they never really study and feed on God’s Word and let His Truth sink deep down in their hearts. They are “easy believers” who gladly accept God’s Gift of salvation; a very convenient fire-escape from Hell and a sort of “life-insurance” for the next life. But when the time comes that they should really STAND UP for their faith and tell OTHERS about Jesus, and be willing to endure reproach, rejection, humiliation, or even downright suffering and persecution for the Gospel, they just wither up and fade away!

Now here is Jesus’ explanation of the THIRD kind of ground: “Others, like the seed sown among THORNS, hear the Word; but the CARES and CONCERNS of THIS life, the DECEITFULNESS of RICHES and the DESIRE for other THINGS enters in and CHOKES out the Word, making them unfruitful.”

Being choked-out by the cares, riches and concerns of this life is probably the greatest pitfall for most Christians in the World today! The wonderful way that God could use them is absolutely smothered and choked-out by the MATERIALISTIC cares of THIS temporal life. They get so busy with so many things besides the Lord and His Word and His Work–the “affairs of this life” (2Timothy 2:4)–and their spiritual growth is severely stunted, their strength is sapped, and the thorns of this World choke out their fruitfulness and render them USELESS to God’s eternal Kingdom!

This is not to say that riches are evil. It is “the LOVE of money” that is the root of all evil. (1Timothy 6:10) It is when we value riches and wealth and material things MORE than the LORD that we begin to be choked and fruitless and deceived by “the deceitfulness of riches”!

Finally, the FOURTH kind of ground that Jesus describes: “They who receive the seed that fell on the GOOD GROUND are they who, in an HONEST and GOOD heart, hear the Word and RETAIN it, and with PATIENCE produce a crop yielding thirty, sixty or an hundred times what was sown!”

Unlike the other unfruitful grounds, this fourth kind of ground receives the Word and KEEPS it, RETAINS it, and PATIENTLY PERSEVERES until it grows and matures and becomes FRUITFUL for God’s glory!

* * *

What is the ground of YOUR heart like? Even though SAVED, a good many Christians become like the SECOND kind of ground, stony, rocky and shallow because of their DISOBEDIENCE to the Lord. Their hearts become “HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13), and they never become the strong plants for the Lord that they COULD be, they never grow or mature spiritually or become fruitful. So when the “fiery trials” of temptation arise, their faith withers away because they have no DEPTH, and have never been “ROOTED and ESTABLISHED in the faith” as they should have been! (1Peter 4:12; Colossians 2:6,7)

Or like the THIRD kind of ground, they allow their potential usefulness to God to be CHOKED OUT by the thorny material cares of this life. They never seem to find time–to MAKE time–to prayerfully read and feed from God’s Word, thus they lack the “spirit and life” that His Word would give them. (John 6:63)

How different is the Bible’s description of the man who, like the FOURTH kind of ground, gives the LORD and His WORD FIRST place: “His DELIGHT is in the Word of the Lord, and in His Word he meditates DAY and NIGHT. He shall be like a TREE planted by the rivers of water, which yields its FRUIT in season and whose leaf does NOT wither.-WHATEVER he does shall PROSPER!” (Psalm 1:2,3)

Oh, if we will only realise the ETERNAL IMPORTANCE of yielding to God’s Word and God’s Will–like good, fertile, receptive ground yields to the farmer’s plow, receives the seed he sows and patiently yields a crop–then surely we will DESPISE the thought of allowing our usefulness to God to be choked out by passing material things! And we certainly won’t allow our faith to wither or fade away because of a little opposition, trouble or persecution for the Gospel!

If your desire is to please the Lord and be fruitful and useful for Him, then YIELD your heart to Him TODAY and let Him make you what HE wants you to be! If you faithfully read and draw strength from God’s life-giving WORDS, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will grow spiritually. And if you obey Jesus’ command to “preach the Gospel” and you tell OTHERS about His Love, then the seed of God’s Word that you sow in THEIR hearts will take root and grow, and you will win OTHERS to Jesus, and thus bear FRUIT, thirty times, sixty times or even one hundred times more than was originally sown in your life! And God Himself will reward you with EVERLASTING saved SOULS and you’ll shine as the stars FOREVER! (Daniel 12:3)

* * *

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we sincerely ask You to please help us to yield to You, to be obedient to You, so we can be the good fruitful kind of ground that You desire! You said, “BLESSED are they who do HUNGER and THIRST after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” So please help us to really HUNGER for YOU and Your life-giving WORD, to read it faithfully and to share it with others so they too can find You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Near to the Heart of God

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorThe great passion of the writer of Hebrews is that we “draw near” to God. (Hebrews 4:16, 7:25, 10:22, 11:6) Draw near to his throne to find all the help we need. Draw near to him, confident that he will reward us with all that he is for us in Jesus. And this is clearly what he means in Hebrews 10:22, because verse 19 says that we have confidence “to enter the holy place,” that is, the new heavenly “holy of holies,” like that inner room in the old tabernacle of the Old Testament where the high priest met with God once a year, and where his glory descended on the ark of the covenant. So the one command, the one exhortation that we are given in Hebrews 10:19–22 is to draw near to God. The great aim of this writer is that we get near God, that we have fellowship with him, that we not settle for a Christian life at a distance from God, that God not be a distant thought, but a near and present reality, that we experience what the old Puritans called communion with God.

This drawing near is not a physical act. It’s not building a tower of Babel, by your achievements, to get to heaven. It’s not necessarily going into a church building, or walking to an altar at the front. It is an invisible act of the heart. … It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith. He is commanding us to come, to approach him, to draw near to him…

“We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11) This is the center of the gospel—this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about—that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near. He has sent his Son to suffer and to die so that through him we might draw near. It’s all so that we might draw near. And all of this is for our joy and for his glory.

He does not need us. If we stay away, he is not impoverished. He does not need us in order to be happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. But he magnifies his mercy by giving us free access through his Son, in spite of our sin, to the one Reality that can satisfy us completely and forever, namely, himself. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

—John Piper

 
Keep going for God

You’ve got to keep going for the Lord in this life! No matter how many mistakes you make, how many stumbles and falls and how many times you get off the track, you’ve just got to keep trying. You’ve got to keep going! Even if you keep on crying, you’ve got to keep on trying. Keep going for God! Hallelujah!

To love someone more dearly every day,
To help a wandering soul to find his way,
To ponder o’er His holy Word and pray,
And pray when evening comes,
And smile when evening comes: This is my task.

To follow truth as blind men long for light,
To do my best from dawn of day till night,
To keep my heart fit for His holy sight
And answer when He calls
And answer when He calls: This is my task.

And then my Savior by and by I’ll see,
When faith hath made our task on earth complete,
And lay my homage at my Master’s feet,
Within those jasper walls,
Within those jasper walls: This crowns my task!

(My Task,” Maude Ray (1903), adapted)

God bless you and make you a blessing! May that be your task, in Jesus’ name, amen. Whatever you do, keep going for God! Jesus never fails!

—David Brandt Berg

 
Bigger than anything

Bigger than all my problems, bigger than all my fears,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see,
Bigger than all my questions, bigger than anything,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see.

God is far bigger than I can ever imagine! God is a “doing” God! He is a God who is well able to do anything! He is able to do anything, far beyond our every human thought or imagination. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.”

There is no impossible circumstance too far gone that God cannot minister to,
No problem too big that God cannot solve,
No sickness He cannot heal,
No miracle which God cannot do,
No prayer which He cannot answer,
No sinner too lost in their sin that God cannot save,
No backslider too far from God that God cannot restore,
No city too hard that God cannot bring a mighty revival to.
For our God is well able to do far above all that we ask or think … He is able to do!

If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we, more often than not, tend to fix our eyes on the problem. Then as we dwell on it, we allow it to grow until it becomes to us this huge mountain before us. However, in the eyes of our great and awesome God, it is but a speck of dust, which He can blow away by the gentlest breath…

Our God is able to do whatever it is you need Him to do.
Our God is able to heal you.
Our God is able to rescue you.
Our God is able to save you.
Our God is able to meet all your needs.
Our God is able to turn things around for you.
Our God is able to restore you.
Our God is able to heal your broken marriage.
Our God is able to forgive you.
Our God is able to show you mercy and grace.
Our God is able to answer all your prayers.
Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Our God is a great big God, bigger than all our problems; He is bigger than anything.

We may never grasp how awesome God is, or the enormity of God. Or even how omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient He is. However, may we grasp the fullness of this promise from the Lord in Ephesians 3:20: “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think,” because our God is an awesome God!

—Matthew McDonald

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Countercultural Christianity

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorBut you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
—1 Peter 2:9

*

Every generation must face this quandary of how to maintain cultural influence, and in our changing world, the conversation has been resurrected again.

In an effort to appeal to outsiders, some Christians simply copy culture. They become a Xerox of what they perceive as hip in hopes that people will perceive them—and their organizations, ministries, and churches—as “cool” and give them a chance. Unfortunately, this pursuit of pop culture removes the church from its historically prophetic position in society. Relating to the world by following the world is a recipe for disaster.

The next generation of Christians aren’t separatists, antagonists, or striving to be “relevant.” Instead, they are countercultural as they advance the common good in society. The next Christians see themselves as salt, preserving agents actively working for restoration in the middle of a decaying culture. They attach themselves to people and structures that are in danger of rotting while availing themselves of Christ’s redeeming power to work through them. They understand that by being restorers they fight against the cultural norms and often flow counter to the cultural tide. But they feel that, as Christians, they’ve been called to partner with God in restoring and renewing everything they see falling apart.

Paradoxically, in our current cultural context, this not only opens up more people to personal salvation, but it also sustains a God-glorifying testimony to the world of His restoration power at work. It’s truly good news to the world. Rather than fighting off culture to protect an insular Christian community, they are fighting for the world to redeem it. …

A commitment to being countercultural rather than being removed or “relevant” isn’t always easy. Living differently can be hard. Going against the ebbs and flows of culture can create friction and sometimes provoke a hostile reaction to the good we are trying to create. Theologians Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon remind us that this should be expected, for “whenever a people are bound together in loyalty to a story that includes something as strange as the Sermon on the Mount, we are put at odds with the world.”

Yet, it is through maintaining this cultural orientation that the world can experience God’s restoration power and people will be convinced that our faith is all we claim, all that Jesus commissioned His followers to. As the apostle Peter encourages, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12 NIV)

Is a countercultural community the answer to restoring the soul of the world, winning the skeptics, and revitalizing our faith? We’ll have to wait and see. For now we know that the clear call of Jesus is for the Christian community to be salt on a rotting world and light in the dimmest places.

—Gabe Lyons

 
God’s new nation

God called His people a new nation, a holy nation. That means a whole new culture, a whole new way of life, a brand-new people. We come from all races, creeds and colors, but now we’re all one in Christ Jesus, and that is a miracle in itself. (Galatians 3:28) No matter what nationality, race, or place we originally came from, we all now have the same faith, love, wonder-working power, and changed lives.

There are many different governments and kingdoms of man, but only one kingdom of God. We are a people without a permanent country on this earth because we seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 13:14; 11:10) We seek a country established by God Himself, and it is certainly not any of the nations on the face of this earth. Not even the most Christian ones could be called His country.

We belong to the kingdom of God; that’s our country. We seek a better country, a country which we already have in our hearts, thank the Lord, the kingdom of heaven! That’s our country—the best country in the entire universe, one that has never persecuted the poor or oppressed the weak, a country that’s never lost a battle, and never fought a war for the wrong reasons!

We are strangers and pilgrims here on this earth, God’s representatives and ambassadors of His soon-coming kingdom of love, the greatest kingdom the world is ever going to know.

—David Brandt Berg

 
By this everyone will know

There are some ways in which we don’t want the church to be countercultural. Churches accommodate themselves to culture in a whole number of very good ways. It’s a good thing, for instance, that Christians around the world use a word in their local language for God …

Being countercultural is a strong theme in the Bible. Jesus told his followers that they “do not belong to the world.” (John 15:19 NIV) St. Paul told the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world.” (Romans 12:2) But it is quite another thing to figure out just what that means. There are a bewildering array of cultures and subcultures which proclaim and embody different values, ideas, and intuitions. How do we decide what we are to be counter to?

The Bible makes clear that the most significant way in which Christians demonstrate their distinctiveness is in the nature of their life together. How the Christian community’s members interact with one another, engage in discourse, and welcome others, for instance, are all part of their witness to God. This is what Jesus was getting at when he told his followers that “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35) The apostolic church was noted for its distinctive relationships. The life of the early Christians—“all who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44)—was countercultural in the context of a Roman society stratified by divisions of wealth. A central part of St. Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians is that, if they want to follow Jesus, all Christians actually need one another—no matter how unlikely that may seem and how much the world presses them to think otherwise.

Interdependence, relatedness, community: these are ideas that strike me as pretty countercultural in our contemporary society.

—Jesse Zink

 
Sent to be a witness

The particular notion that we are “in the world but not of the world” is based on the prayer of Jesus in the Last Supper discourses in the Gospel of John. Jesus said, “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world,” and “As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” (John 17:16, 18 NAB)

We are sent into the world to witness and share the good news that we have come to know in Christ. Peace is possible. Love is real. All creation has dignity and is sacred and can bring us closer to God.

This loving witness is costly. We may stick out or be misunderstood. We could end up like the one we follow, and so we must embrace the cross. We may have to pay a major price for proclaiming prophetic messages. Christ, after all, is our model for countercultural gospel living.

In his prayer recorded in John 17:22, Jesus declares that the ultimate aim of all countercultural Christian living is not actually division and separation, but unity: “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

As we live our countercultural Christian lives, may we remain rooted in this vision. May we always remember that we witness Christ’s love in order to more boldly manifest the union and love that is found in God alone.

—Julia Walsh

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Be Enthusiastic!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-anchorIf there’s anything that catches people’s attention and causes them to take notice of what you’re saying or doing, it’s enthusiasm! The word enthusiasm is derived from two Greek words: en, which means in, and theos, which means God. So enthusiasm literally means “in God,” or “God in us.” Thus the truly enthusiastic person is one who acts and speaks as if he were possessed by God.

God’s Word tells us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord!” (Romans 12:11 NIV)

The same driving passion, the same irresistible compassion that motivated the apostles and martyrs and every great man or woman of God throughout the ages should motivate every child of God in everything they do, everything they say, everywhere they go, with everybody. The apostle Paul summed it up in these few famous and ringing words which have cried out from the heart of every true Christian in every true good deed he has ever done, and for which indeed he is willing to die: “The love of Christ compels us!” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

Regardless of what you may lack in the way of natural talents, abilities, or even material goods, if you obey God’s Word and let Him live in you and through you so that your heart burns with His love, then He will be able to greatly use you and make you a blessing to many.

As a young man, David Livingstone faced an important decision. “I have found that I have no unusual endowments of intellect,” he wrote in his diary, “but this day I resolve that I will be an uncommon Christian.” He “purposed in his heart” to give his all to the Lord, and determined to become an enthusiast for the truth—and he was! He became one of the greatest missionaries the world has ever known.

The British historian Arnold Toynbee said, “Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”

What greater ideal could anyone have than to bring everlasting salvation and eternal heavenly life to a lost and dying world that is perishing without it? And what better “intelligible plan” could anyone have than that given by Jesus to His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”? (Mark 16:15) As Christians, we should be the most enthusiastic people in the entire world!

The apostle Paul was another of God’s great enthusiasts. Even before his conversion, he showed a great deal of enthusiasm—though with the wrong ideal and the wrong plan.

But as soon as Paul’s eyes were opened, he became an enthusiast for the right side. When others saw his total dedication and enthusiasm for the Lord, they got on fire for God too. The work he started spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire.

Nothing could quench Paul’s enthusiasm. At one point he testified, “Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day [adrift] in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from the Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea, and in danger from false brothers! I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24–27 NIV) Did Paul let these difficulties and obstacles stop him? No! He went right on serving God no matter what hardships or difficulties befell him.

Nothing can stop the man who is on fire for God. He will keep going no matter what, because he knows he is doing the right thing for the right cause and for the One who is always right!

So where do we get such enthusiasm, this inspiration that fills a life with fire and fervor for the Lord? From the Holy Spirit of God! The Bible says, “Our God is a consuming fire,” (Hebrews 12:29) and repeatedly compares His Spirit to a fire or flames of fire. (See Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:3–4; Revelation 4:5) So if you want to be enthusiastic for the Lord, full of His fiery anointing and inspiration, just pray and ask Him to fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit, and He will.

Someone once asked a great man of God what was the secret of his success, and he replied, “I just get on fire for God, and the world comes out to see me burn!”

As Christians, our hearts should be so full of the love of Jesus that we want to overflow and share it with others. You’ve got to be alive and enthusiastic to be able to show others that what you’ve got with Jesus is better than what they’ve got without Him.

Why did people listen to Jesus? Jesus spoke from His heart, from the Spirit, and it brought life; it moved people. It didn’t just tickle their ears, but it reached and touched their hearts. He said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) The words the scribes and the Pharisees (the religious leaders of Jesus’ day) spoke were well-educated, but they were dry and dead and only brought death. Why? Because they only spoke from their heads.

That’s the difference! You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning within your own.

Of course, we should not only be enthusiastic in presenting the gospel to others, but in everything we do. Whatever task is set before us, the Bible tells us we’re to “do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Colossians 3:23) In everything you do, even the most menial tasks, you can be happy, inspired, and full of enthusiasm. If you’re asking the Lord to inspire you, He will give you that divine spark of His Spirit that will make every little task a joy!

Let’s get on fire for God by earnestly praying and faithfully reading His Word. Let’s ask for His Spirit to inspire us with the vision of the great things He wants to do through us. And then let’s do our part by putting our whole heart into whatever He asks us to do for Him and others.

Come, let’s set the world afire for God and enlighten the hearts of all men everywhere! “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

New Beginnings!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-new-beginnings

Of all the changes and important events that have happened to you this past year or before, the most significant and wonderful one is that you have had an entirely NEW BEGINNING in life: You have personally met JESUS, and the power of His Spirit of Love has begun to change your entire way of thinking and your whole outlook on life!

The moment that you asked Jesus to come into your heart, God’s Holy Spirit began to miraculously transform your life! And whether it seemed like such a major change at the time or not, asking Jesus into your heart was a very real and important SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE! God’s Word calls it spiritual REBIRTH–being “born of the Spirit”, or “BORN AGAIN”! (John 3:3-8)

With some people, the change in their lives is so drastic, so sudden, that you can SEE what an absolute MIRACLE has happened to them! Their whole life, nature, mind and heart is immediately transformed and is changed radically for the better! Perhaps for you, however, the change that took place in your life when you received Jesus may not have seemed quite that dramatic or emotional and may not have seemed to have had such a powerful IMMEDIATE effect. At least not on the surface. But you have gone through a miraculous spiritual rebirth just the same! Besides, the FULL transformation that His Spirit brings about in our lives is usually GRADUAL! But if you CONTINUE to yield your life, your mind and your will to Him, your spiritual growth as a Christian will be SURE and STEADY! Receiving the truth of God’s Word, like Jesus explained in “the Parable of the Sower”, is like receiving a tiny SEED, and it takes TIME for that seed of truth in your heart to grow into a full, mature Christian life! (Mark 4:14,20,28)

It’s not often that a seed just IMMEDIATELY springs up out of the ground; it often seems to be just buried there, lying dormant, with nothing springing up above the surface. But if you could see what was happening below the surface, the miracles and wonders of God’s Creation would become apparent! Finally, when the new sprout pushes up through the soil, it becomes evident to EVERYONE that a new life HAS begun to grow! At FIRST you may even wonder if the seed is going to sprout at all! But just give it TIME, and it WILL! As Jesus said, “The seed which was received into good ground symbolises people who, in an honest and good heart, having HEARD the Word, KEEP it, and bring forth fruit (good deeds and changes in their lives) with PATIENCE.” (Luke 8:15) So just because you don’t become a full-grown, mature, strong Christian overnight, don’t worry! Just have a little PATIENCE! You’re still going to have problems and make mistakes, as we all do, but NOW at least you know WHO to look to for HELP! Remember, no one is perfect. Not even the great Apostle Paul counted himself to have become some kind of a sinless saint. He said, “I do NOT consider myself to have attained (already been made perfect), but this one thing I DO, forgetting those things which are BEHIND, I reach FORWARD to the goals which are BEFORE me.” (Philippians 3:13,14) Like the Apostle Paul, neither you nor I are perfect Christians, but all the Lord asks is that we FOLLOW HIM as best we can and keep trying to go FORWARD and make progress. “This one thing” we can do!

You may wonder sometimes, “Have I really changed?” The answer is YES! Not only did you change when you first received Jesus, but as you daily read His Word and do what you know He wants you to do, you will CONTINUE to change! Your values have probably ALREADY begun to change, you are SWEETER, HAPPIER, you have more PEACE, and you probably even SLEEP better at night! All this is the work of His Spirit! And all you need to do is to let Him CONTINUE to work in your life, to change and remake you! It doesn’t all happen in one day, but it DOES happen!

God’s Word compares His saved children to a TREE (Psalm 1:1-3), and like any healthy tree, it takes TIME to grow strong and sturdy Christian roots. And because they are UNSEEN, it may not look at first like you are growing much. But the deeper and stronger your ROOTS are imbedded in the rich soil of GOD’S WORD, the greater and more fruitful a tree they will later be able to support! So if you think you’re not growing much, don’t worry! Just keep rooted and grounded and nourished in His Word, and you WILL grow and bring forth the fruit that God intends you to!

If you have the ROOTS of your faith planted firmly in the Word of God, you won’t wither or be blown over by the winds of lies and doubts of the Enemy. Nor will your faith be uprooted if and when deep disappointments come. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “The same way that you have RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord, so LIVE in Him, ROOTED and GROWING in Him, ESTABLISHED in the faith, as you have been taught.”

Just as a tree draws the nutrients and the very life that it needs from the soil, so the Christian must draw HIS life and HIS SPIRITUAL strength that he desperately needs from the Word of God. The only way you can grow strong and bear fruit, so that everyone will SEE and KNOW that you are a GOOD tree, is if you sink the roots of your life down deep into the Truth of God’s Word and draw your spiritual nourishment from it by prayerfully reading and absorbing it EVERY DAY! “If you CONTINUE in MY WORD, you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE!” (John 8:31,32)

Then you will begin to bear all the “fruits of His Spirit”: Love, joy, peace, kindness and faith! (See Galatians 5:22-23) And even more wonderful than this, as OTHERS see the change in YOUR life, they will want to know the secret of your happiness too! And you can tell them how to know Jesus just as you have come to know Him!

By a miracle of God’s Spirit, your life has had a wonderful NEW BEGINNING! So as you continue to grow in Him in this coming year, we pray you will bear MUCH FRUIT! Not only in personal happiness and joy and faith, but also that you will learn to share the Lord’s love with others around you, helping THEM to find His Love and His Salvation, and a NEW BEGINNING in life like YOU have found!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Most Amazing Book!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-most-amazing-book

Whether you accept & believe in its teachings or not, it cannot be denied that the Bible is the most remarkable, amazing & absolutely UNIQUE book that has ever been written! Of course, many people today sort of pooh-pooh & dismiss it because they cannot help but associate the Bible with the largely do-nothing Christianity that they have seen, and they figure, “If THAT’S the kind of religion the Bible teaches, then no thanks! It’s not for me!”

But if you realise that the religion of LOVE that Jesus TAUGHT, and the religious TRADITIONS that many Christians today PRACTICE have little or nothing to do with each other, then you can approach the Bible with out prejudice. If you have an OPEN mind & are sincerely SEARCHING for the TRUTH, you can sweep away all of man’s false preconceived interpretations & you can delve down to the beautiful FOUNDATION of the Bible & see the true plan & how things are SUPPOSED to be! You will then discover that the Bible is NOT merely some kind of religious rulebook, but that it is the most wonderful, supernatural, miraculous, amazing, marvellous Book in the whole World! Which has the answers to EVERYTHING! WHERE we came from, HOW we got here, WHY we’re here, how to SURVIVE & be HAPPY while here, & how to love & have happiness FOREVER!

But before deciding whether or not to accept & believe in this amazing Book, consider the following seven facts that set it aside as a truly UNIQUE Volume:

  1. The Bible is unique in its CONTINUITY. It was written over a 1,500 YEAR time-span by over 40 authors from every walk of life, including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, shepherds, soldiers, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.! Nevertheless, from beginning to end, its authors spoke on hundreds of controversial subjects with harmony & continuity, outlining one unfolding story: God’s LOVE for man!
  2.  

  3. The Bible has been READ BY MORE PEOPLE than ANY other book! It has out-sold every book that has ever been written & it STILL sells more copies every year than any other book in the World! But of course in the best-sellers lists they don’t dare acknowledge that, that in spite of all man’s writings and foolishness and fiction and ridiculous interpretations of history and reality, the BIBLE still out-sells them all! Another unique & related fact is that the Bible was the FIRST major book ever to be printed, on Gutenberg’s press.
  4.  

  5. The Bible has been TRANSLATED & PUBLISHED IN MORE LANGUAGES than ANY other book in existence! As far back as 1966 the WHOLE Bible had appeared in 240 languages & dialects, & one or more of its books appeared in 739 additional ones! (Update: “As of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 636 languages, the New Testament alone into 1442 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1145 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,223 languages”. –Wikipedia)
  6.  

  7. The Bible, compared with all other ancient writings, has MORE MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE than any TEN pieces of classical literature COMBINED! Although originally written on perishable materials, having to be recopied by hand for thousands of years before the invention of the printing press, it’s style, correctness & accuracy has been preserved as no other book in all History! The Jews had special classes of scholars within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve & transmit the books of the Bible with PERFECT accuracy, counting the very consonants, vowels, syllables & words per manuscript as a means of double-checking. Literally THOUSANDS of ancient manuscripts in the original languages have been unearthed which PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Scriptures have come down through the ages to us just as they were originally written!
  8.  

  9. The Bible has WITHSTOOD VICIOUS ATTACKS by its enemies as no other book. Many have tried to burn it, destroy it & outlaw it, from the days of the Roman emperors to some present-day anti-Christ countries. Its very existence today & the fact that its teachings & Truths have been preserved despite the countless campaigns & tirades against it is in itself MIRACULOUS!
  10.  

  11. Discovery after discovery by MODERN ARCHAEOLOGISTS have CONFIRMED & PROVEN the Bible’s absolute accuracy & have proven it to be a source of HISTORY. Archaeologists following Old Testament references have rediscovered whole nations & resurrected entire peoples that the sceptics & critics once said were non-existent or imaginary. In fact, it can be stated categorically that NOT ONE archaeological discovery has EVER contradicted or cast doubt on a Biblical reference–all have CONFIRMED its accuracy!
  12.  

  13. The Bible is the ONLY volume ever produced which contains a large amount of PROPHECIES accurately predicting the future of individual nations, peoples, cities, & the coming of One Who was to be the Messiah! Although the ancient world had many different devices for determining the future, NOWHERE in all of Greek & Latin literature can there be found ANY real specific prophecy of a great Historic event to come in the distant future. But the BIBLE is FULL of countless, detailed, specific prophecies, all of which have been miraculously FULFILLED & come true–except, of course, the final ENDTIME prophecies which are either to be fulfilled in the near future or are coming to pass right NOW!

What an AMAZING & REMARKABLE Book! Yet so many people today, who consider them selves so smart & so knowledgeable, ignore the Bible completely! Time & time again we talk to people who’ve been through years of college & university & have read hundreds & hundreds of books–huge tomes & volumes of textbooks, religious books, philosophical books & ALL kinds of books–yet have never even cracked open the Bible, the most fascinating Book in the World! In which you can find almost ANYTHING: Drama, love, hate, peace, war, romance, poetry, prophecy, history, mystery, etc., etc.!

Just think about it: Words of wisdom from THOUSANDS of years ago, from the days before Moses! It’s such an IMPORTANT Book & one of the OLDEST Books in the World, yet a lot of “educated” people don’t even bother to read it! They waste time on all of their complicated & confused theories while neglecting the very Words of Life!

If you were going on a long journey & didn’t already know the way, you would bring along a MAP, wouldn’t you? Well, you ARE on a long journey, & the One Who knows the way has instructed some of His men to draw a detailed map so you won’t get lost & so you can make it safely to your final destination! To say you don’t have time to read God’s Map, the Bible, is like saying, “Well, I’m in such a HURRY to get there I don’t have TIME to look at the MAP!” But if you’ll just take the Bible & simply read it, believe it & follow it, you will be on the right road & wind up at the right place!

And that is actually the GREATEST proof that the Bible really is the miraculous, supernatural Word of God Himself–it WORKS! So why not TRY it! It’s the greatest, most enduring, wisest, most truthful Book in the whole World that you can really TRUST! I’m sure that you will find it an absolutely inexhaustible source of wisdom & knowledge, out of which you will constantly find “treasures new & old”! Beautiful! (Matthew 13:52)

Of course the MOST wonderful thing about the Bible is that, through its Words, we can get to know its AUTHOR! For the Bible is GOD’S GREAT LOVE LETTER to us! Its Life-giving Words make it the GREATEST Book in the World, with the only Author in the World that can guarantee life & love & happiness & Heaven forever through simply reading it & believing in its main Character, the One Who loved us so much that He gave His Own Life to save us JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God!

So take the Bible & sincerely pray, “OPEN Thou mine eyes, that I may behold WONDEROUS things out of Thy Word!” (Psalms 119:18) But don’t get bogged down in the “begats” & genealogies of Genesis, nor the Jewish History & ancient past of much of the Old Testament that is over & done with! Read the NEW TESTAMENT & the wonderful Words of JESUS in the GOSPELS–not as fairy tales of the PAST, but as GOD’S WORD for YOU TODAY & see how inspiring, uplifting, feeding & encouraging the Truth of the Word of God can be! In the beautiful GOSPEL OF JOHN particularly, you will find the spiritual depths of the Love of God & His Salvation for you!

Have YOU received God’s Love through JESUS? Have YOU tasted the wonderful, soul-satisfying waters of His wonderful Word? If not, receive Jesus into your heart personally by simply ASKING Him to come into your life, to forgive you of all your sins & give you His Love & peace & free gift of eternal life! Then you can not only READ His Word with understanding, but you’ll have the LOVE & the STRENGTH to OBEY it & to SHARE His Truth & Love with OTHERS who need them too!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Millennium!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-millennium

When you pray the Lord’s Prayer, have you ever really thought about the part, “Thy KINGDOM COME, Thy WILL be DONE on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN”? (Luke 11:2). We who know and love the Lord ALREADY have Heaven in our HEARTS, thank God, but is there really much Heaven on Earth today? No! There is mostly confusion and selfishness and unhappiness and war and fighting and Hell on every hand!

But one day soon, the Lord is going to wipe away all of today’s Hell on Earth and He’s going to set up His Own Kingdom of peace and goodness and fairness and mercy and love! Then His Kingdom won’t only be in our HEARTS, it will be all AROUND us! God’s Kingdom really IS going to come in ALL of its power and glory, right here on EARTH! And THEN it’s at last going to be “on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN”!

But BEFORE Jesus’ wonderful Kingdom is set up on Earth, there are some other things that have to happen: First, the evil ANTICHRIST World leader and his kingdom of the DEVIL will come to power, and the last part of his reign will be a time of trouble called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), when the Antichrist and his forces will be fighting against God’s children. But we will keep preaching the Gospel and doing mighty miracles to protect ourselves from him and his evil, Christ-hating Red forces! (Revelation 13:7; 11:3-5)

Then Jesus will return “in the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), to RESURRECT and RAPTURE all of His children, and we will all join Him for the wonderful Wedding Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, while the wicked anti-Christ people back on Earth will be suffering the awesome WRATH OF GOD! (Revelation 19:7-9; 16:all)

They will finally gather together under their Devil-possessed Antichrist leader to try to crush all their opponents–entire religions and nations who have refused to worship the Antichrist or receive his Mark of the Beast! (Read about his wars against his opponents in Daniel 11:21-44.) Just as the Antichrist’s armies think they’re about to win, WE will come riding down out of Heaven on flying Heavenly horses to RESCUE those resisting the Antichrist! We will return to Earth to win the biggest war that ever happened: THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON! (Revelation 16:14,16; 17:14; 19:11-15). In this gigantic BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, the forces of GOD will win a glorious victory over the forces of the DEVIL and his Antichrist Devil-man and his whole wicked kingdom! Not a single one of the Mark-of-the-Beast-branded members of the Antichrist’s kingdom will survive into the following Kingdom of Christ on Earth! (Revelation 19: 19-21). It is THEN, after this big battle, that we, the saints of God, along with our King, Jesus Christ, will take over this World and set up the Kingdom of God on Earth, to RULE it and RUN it the way it SHOULD have been run if Man had obeyed God! (Revelation 5:10; 20:4).

This amazing period of God’s Kingdom on Earth is called the “MILLENNIUM”, which is an old Latin word meaning 1,000 YEARS. Which is exactly how long this period will last–for 1,000 years! The Bible says that all those who were resurrected and raised to meet Jesus at His Second Coming will be very blessed during the Millennium, because “they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall REIGN with Him a THOUSAND YEARS!” (Revelation 20:5-7)

During the entire 1,000 years of the Millennium, the DEVIL will be chained up as a PRISONER and held in God’s prison, the bottomless pit! For a thousand years he will no longer be able to bother us and no longer be able to lead the other fallen angels and evil spirits across the Earth to bother Mankind! (See Revelation 20:1-3)

JESUS Himself is then going to rule the Earth in Person, and we will help and rule and reign WITH Him! He will reign from shore to shore, and we, His children, will no longer be the poor, persecuted few as we are today! We, together with the resurrected Christians of ALL ages, will then number in the MILLIONS and the BILLIONS, and we are going to RULE with Jesus over the remaining good people. These people, even though they weren’t saved, resisted the Antichrist and refused his Mark, therefore God mercifully allowed them to live through the Antichrist reign, and even survive the following period of the Wrath of God and the Battle of Armageddon! They are the “blessed” whom the Bible speaks of in Daniel 12:12 who live on into the Millennium.

All the evil Gospel-rejecting people who received the Mark of the Beast will have been slain in the Battle of Armageddon, but MILLIONS of people will live on into the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ where they will have their chance to hear and know the Truth under the loving rule and reign of Jesus Himself and us, His resurrected followers! MULTITUDES will turn to Jesus in those days!

Under the mighty and powerful rule and reign of Christ and God’s children, there will be no wars and the World will be ruled fairly and well with true fairness, freedom, peace, plenty and happiness for ALL! The Bible says, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more!” (Isaiah 2:4)

Just think, there will be NO more WAR! No more weapons of the wicked or horrible fighting or bombing or killing like there is in Man’s World today! In that day, when JESUS is King and WE are His law enforcers, they will remake their weapons of war into tools of peace! Praise The Lord!

During the Millennium, all of US, God’s saved children, will have new, powerful, supernatural RESURRECTED BODIES! But the REST of the World–those who were blessed enough to live through God’s judgements on the World and the Battle of Armageddon into the Millennium–are going to still be in their old NATURAL bodies. So life is sort of going to go on as usual in a lot of ways for THEM! A lot of them will live almost like they are living NOW: They’ll still have to grow food and make clothes and live in a normal natural World, the SAME World they’re living in NOW! Only all the BIG cities, industrialisation and pollution will be destroyed! Everyone will live much more naturally and close to the land, as God INTENDED Man to live!

One big difference is that the CURSE which came upon Man and on the Earth because of Man’s sins will be partly LIFTED, so that a lot of things will be a whole lot better, thank the Lord! The Earth will be almost like it was during the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden BEFORE they sinned and God had to curse things to punish them. (See Genesis 2:8-15; 3:17-19.)

We who love Jesus now will be like SUPERMEN then, like Angels of God, with new miraculous bodies that will NEVER get hurt, weary, weak or sick! But even the normal EARTHLY people that we will be ruling over, who will still be in their natural fleshly bodies, will have much less disease and sickness. It says that anyone who dies at 100 YEARS OLD will be thought of as just a CHILD! (See Isaiah 65:20). People will again live to be hundreds and hundreds of years old, just like they did before the Flood! Some people back then lived to be nearly a thousand years of age! (Genesis 5:27).

The Bible says that not only Man, but ALL of Creation will be made free from most of the Curse and EVERYTHING will be much better than today! (Romans 8:19-21). It even says that “the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the baby goat; and the calf and the young lion will lie together also; and a little child shall lead them! And the cow and the bear shall feed together; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat grass like the ox. The nursing child shall play on the hole of the poisonous snake, and the toddler shall put his hand on the viper’s den!” (Isaiah 11:6-8). You never hear about a wolf lying down with a lamb today, do you? Unless the lamb is INSIDE the wolf! Or a leopard lying down with a little baby goat? They usually lie down with the goat inside of them too! And what about the calf and the lion together? Usually the lion is tearing them apart and eating them! Neither have you heard about a LITTLE CHILD leading them all! The day is coming when there will be PEACE between Man and the animals and you’ll be able to call them by name and they’ll come playfully running to you like your PETS, like a dog or a cat does now!

All the animals will eat only plants and vegetables and fruit, and they won’t hurt each other or us! Isn’t that beautiful? And Man won’t eat them for meat either! “For NOTHING shall HURT nor DESTROY in all My Holy Kingdom!” (Isaiah 11:9)

And do you know how the normal Earthly people will TRAVEL during the Millennium? On horses, camels, donkeys, wagons, sailing ships and things like that! Because all that will be left is what GOD has created and given Man to use, GOD’S creations and Man’s GOOD inventions, which were good enough for the World for almost six thousand years before they ever heard of anything else!

Just think! There won’t be any more stinking cars or trucks belching out smoke and fumes and killing people, or any big smokey stinky factories! They’re not going to have any more evil machines and motors that destroy things with all their smoke and oil and pollution and evil weapons! The World is going to go back to animal transportation and carriages and wagons! They’ll sure be THANKFUL for the animals THEN! For moving large and heavy loads of materials, food etc. they’ll even use SAILING SHIPS, powered by God’s Own good clean winds and breezes!

WHY do you think the Lord is going to have this 1,000-year rule of His Kingdom on Earth over normal, natural men? Well, it will give a CHANCE to be saved to all those who survive and live into the Millennium who never really got to hear the Gospel or know the Lord during THIS life. Especially lots of CHILDREN and YOUNG PEOPLE who never had a chance, and also lots of NATIVES in the deepest jungles and hard-to-reach places and “closed countries” who never heard. It will give them all a chance to hear and see and know the Lord! During the Millennium, EVERYONE will be reached with the Good News of Salvation! “For the Earth shall be FILLED with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea!” (Habakkuk 2:14). How do the waters cover the seas? COMPLETELY!

It will be much EASIER for people to believe and receive Jesus during the Millennium, because they will be able to actually SEE Him and His mighty power and have PROOF that He is real! Instead of just believing in the Lord and accepting Him by FAITH as we do today, they will then be given the chance to believe by actually being able to SEE the Kingdom of God and Christ on Earth and His Saints in power and ruling the World! But, like “Doubting Thomas” in the Bible, they will probably not be BLESSED as much WE who are NOW believing and receiving and obeying by FAITH alone, WITHOUT seeing! (See John 20:29.)

The Millennium will most likely be the time when God gives a FIRST chance to a lot of people who DIDN’T HAVE a chance before, because the CHURCH failed or maybe even WE failed to give them all the Gospel! EVERYONE on Earth will SEE the Lord’s glorious power and Kingdom, and EVERYONE will believe THEN! The Bible says, “No longer shall every man teach his neighbour and his brother, saying, `Know the Lord’, for they shall ALL know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.” (Jeremiah 31:34)

We won’t have to say “know the Lord” then! Because EVERYBODY will be able to SEE Him and they’ll ALL know Him! But they won’t know Him as well as WE do, because we ALREADY know Him in THIS life and are learning to love Him and live with Him and serve Him NOW. So it will undoubtedly be part of OUR job to TEACH them and TRAIN them in the ways of the Lord!

Even though there won’t be any unbelievers then, there will still be some UNRECEIVERS, sad to say! Even though they will SEE the power of God and the people of God and the Kingdom of God and the Son of God personally ruling the Earth, there will still be some WICKED people who WON’T like it, who will refuse to submit to our loving rule!

Can you imagine? All men on Earth will have the chance, under Jesus Christ Himself in person, to learn to do good, and will have every advantage under our loving Heavenly administration, yet some will still wilfully, defiantly REBEL. Isaiah 26:10 says, “Let FAVOUR be shown to the WICKED, YET will he NOT learn righteousness; in the Land of Uprightness (the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on Earth), will he keep on behaving UNJUSTLY, and REFUSE to behold the majesty of the Lord!”

In fact, at the END of the Millennium, God is going to TEST all of the Earthly people to see who has really RECEIVED Him and who has REJECTED Him. He will let the Devil out of prison for just a short while, and all of the REBELS will follow the DEVIL again and try to fight against all of the GOOD Earthly people who have received JESUS and His Kingdom! But the Lord will be so ANGRY with them that He will just get RID of them once and for all and burn up them and the whole surface of the Earth in a flood of fire called “THE BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG”! (Revelation 20:7-9; 2Peter 3:7,10)

All of the people who received Jesus will be spared, and God will then reform the melted surface of Earth by creating a NEW Earth, which you can read all about in our “HERE’S HEAVEN” article! (Revelation 21:1; 2Peter 3:12,13). So another purpose for the Millennium is to serve as a time of SIFTING, to sift the good from the bad, so when it comes time for the final “Great White Throne Judgement” at the end of the Millennium, they will have clearly made their choice and be either worthy of Heaven or Hell. (See our article, “Heaven, Hell and In-between”.)

Many of the people during the Millennium will still be so stubborn and slow to change that they’re STILL going to disobey, even with the Devil gone, and the Bible says that we will have to rule over them with a ROD of IRON! (Revelation 2:27; 19:15). It’s going to be a FORCED rule, a strong iron rule over the rebellious and disobedient. It will HAVE to be, or else MANY people would NEVER obey!

Thank the Lord, we’ll have great SUPERNATURAL powers which will make our job of ruling them easier, powers like you’ve seen in some science fiction movies! We’ll be able to just LOOK at them or THINK or point our finger at them and they will be frozen, pushed back and stopped from doing evil or completely destroyed! And they won’t be able to touch us or do a thing to hurt us!

We will be like the ANGELS of God: Able to appear or disappear whenever we want, fly from one place to another as fast as we can think it, or have such a rod of God’s power that, if we need to, we can smite God’s enemies and rebels with the lightning of God! So there’ll be very little crime or evil, no more riots and no more war! Just total peace under the government of the Lord, in which you and I will be His SUPERMEN with SUPER-POWERS!

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Millennium will be a PERFECT Kingdom, a PERFECT government, with anointed rulers YOU! YOU’RE going to run it! The Lord said that He would make you a ruler over many cities! You can rule a CITY or a whole COUNTRY or a whole CONTINENT, whatever you are able to handle, depending on the TRAINING you’ve ALREADY had and depending on your FAITHFULNESS and your OBEDIENCE to the Lord while HERE and NOW!

Jesus said that “He that was faithful with very LITTLE, will be faithful also with very MUCH.” (Luke 16:10). He even said, “Because you have been faithful in a very LITTLE, I will make you ruler over TEN CITIES!” (Luke 19:17,19). We’re going to rule real, down-to-Earth, Worldly cities, countries, nations and continents, and teach and train real, physical, down-to-Earth people just like you and I are now! It’s all going to be very REAL, and it’s all going to actually HAPPEN!

But it seems like the Lord has so FEW Christians today who really give all their lives to Him, forsaking all to Jesus, really loving Him and only wanting to do what HE wants, that He will probably have a hard time finding enough people to fill all the jobs that will need to be done! Thank God He will be able to use a lot of those faithful ones who have gone on BEFORE, all the millions of dedicated Christians from past ages who will be there with us, as well as good people of the Earth.

There are going to be all kinds of grades and classes and levels of Christians! I’m sure the great Prophets and Apostles and heroes of the Bible and of History, who were so faithful to the Lord in their lives on Earth, will be trusted with a lot of big jobs in the NEXT life! And just where each of US is going to be and just how much each of us will be trusted with will depend a lot upon how FAITHFUL we are to Him and the job He’s given each of us to do HERE and NOW!

Right now WE are in TRAINING for the days when we will rule the Earth! But before we can do that, we must first learn to rule OURSELVES! So God is now having us train and practice for what is going to be the real thing, and how well we do NOW is going to have a lot to do with how well we will do in the FUTURE.

So remember, everything you’re being TAUGHT NOW and DOING NOW and the DECISIONS you’re making NOW and the LESSONS you’re learning NOW are all a part of your SCHOOLING and your TRAINING HERE AND NOW so you can be greatly used by the Lord THERE AND THEN! If not, a lot of what we’re doing now would be a big waste of time, except for what little we get done HERE, which isn’t very much compared to what we will do THEN! So let’s really try to LEARN our lessons TODAY and learn to be faithful and obedient servants of the Lord NOW so He can TRUST and BLESS us with a place of blessing and usefulness to Him and others TOMORROW, in the beautiful Kingdom of God on Earth during the Millennium! When YOU and I will RULE and REIGN with our King of kings, JESUS!

Are YOU preparing NOW to RULE with Him when He comes?

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International