By: R. S. Kasavage
Let's start at the beginning. No, not Genesis 1:1, not that beginning, but a different one, the beginning of the Christian Church. This wonderful event recorded in Acts 2:1-4. Acts 2:1- And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (One accord is to have unity of purpose) Acts 2:2- And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (The house is the Temple and this sound that they heard was as of a heavy breathing) Acts 2:3- And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (This appearance of the cloven tongues was by revelation from God. The word "sat" indicates completeness.) Acts 2:4- And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (The word "filled" is the Greek word pletho, meaning filled to overflowing. The word "Holy Ghost" is the Greek word hagion pneuma which is the gift of God, and "Spirit" is Pneuma, who is God the Giver of the gift.)
This event is the first time that God gave to man His spiritual seed, this is the new birth. 1 Peter 1:23- Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. God's gift to us of spirit enables us to have everlasting life. Through the ages, people have wondered, desired, dreamed, and prayed about how and if such a thing was possible. It was not until they came to a knowledge of God's Word to see that, yes, it was indeed possible. This is a wonderful comfort and joy for an individual to come to the realization that there is more to this life than just this life. Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Many people have tried to work their way into heaven by doing works or being charitable, some by attending a service once a week as a religious duty, while others would just try to be a good person and hope that would be enough. All of these attempts fall short of the mark because this eternal life spirit is the "Gift of God." A gift is freely given from one to another. There is no work or payment required when one person gives a gift to another. So it is with God. This is His gift to us. Think about how magnificent it is that the Creator of all things loves us so much that He bestows this wonderful gift to us by the accomplishment of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.
You may ask how does one receive this spectacular gift? There is a very simple answer to this question. Romans 10:9-10- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. To "confess with thy mouth" means that you communicate to God that Jesus Christ has now become your Lord and "believe in thine heart" means that you believe from the innermost part of your being (the seat of the personal life) that God hath raised His Son Jesus from the dead. Once you do this you have salvation. You are now spiritually reborn! You are now a person of body, soul, and spirit! You are a child of God! God is your Father, Christ is your brother, and you have everlasting life! You now have the spirit of Christ within you! Colossians 1:27- To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The person who is born again because of this eternal life spirit is now finally complete. Prior to this, many felt like there was something missing in their life. They were nor sure what it was, but they knew something was not quite right. The problem was that they were only body and soul. They were missing spirit. They had the body which was formed and the soul which was made, but were lacking the most important piece which was spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23- And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. If a person should die before the return of Christ the body would go back to dust and the soul life would terminate. The spirit would be held in reserve until the time of Christ's return. At this time of his return the body will be reformed, the soul will again receive the breath of life and they will be reunited with the eternal life spirit. If at the return a believer is alive he shall put on immortality and meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:17- Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. It is vitally important to receive this gift of spirit, for it is what gives us everlasting life. I have spoken here of eternal life and everlasting life. It is the same spirit with the difference being that for man it has a starting point, the day when one is first born again is this starting point. It is eternal because it has always been with God until a person believes. Therefore, it is eternal in respect to God, Who is, was, and always will be, and everlasting in respect to people because it has a beginning, a starting point.
Now that the individual is complete in Christ because of spirit, he can walk with the power that resides within. Ephesians 3:16- That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; As a person realizes what he now has he can begin to live a life that is victorious, meaningful, vibrant, and purposeful. As a person embarks upon this journey as a new creature, it is imperative that he learns as much as he can about what God has made available to His children. For this knowledge he must come to the Word of God, the Bible. Psalm 138:2- I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. God has not just set His Word above His name but He has magnified it. His Word when looked at in this perspective is vitally important. The Word of God is the will of God and He is communicating to us, His children. The answers to life and godliness are within the pages of the Bible. He has fully equipped the believer with His gift of holy spirit and with His Word to empower the mind. The believer is now a complete person of body, soul, and spirit with the ability to feed the mind with the spiritual food contained in the Word of God, thus enabling one to be victorious in every situation with the help of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. All of this was made available on that eventful day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Christian Church.
When The Saints Go Marching In
By: R. S. Kasavage
Who are the saints? Many people believe that these saints are a selected few who have obtained a special status because of something they have achieved in life. They have been placed upon a pedestal and made to seem to be more holy than everyone else. But are they? What does the Bible say about this subject as to who are the saints? Let's take a look and find out.
The Epistle (letter) of Paul to the Corinthians states who are the saints. In this letter he addresses it thusly. 1 Corinthians 1:2- Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. So, let's look at this piece by piece. The "Church of God" is those people who are born again of God's spirit. It then says that they "are sanctified in Christ Jesus." To be sanctified means to be set apart for a particular purpose and that came by way of the risen Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. It also states that "all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." So, to be a born again believer of the Church of God is to be a saint. Every person that calls upon the name of Jesus Christ to the end that they become born again of holy spirit is sanctified and holds a special place in God's heart. These are the real saints. Anyone who confesses Jesus Christ as his Lord and believes that God has raised him from the dead is born again and is called a saint. It is not by works or deeds but by the love of God.
So, is that it? A person becomes a believer, and everything is done what can be done. No! There's more, so much more. It is wonderful that an individual has a spirit which grants one everlasting life but the mind of the individual has not been suddenly made perfect. One must then come to the Bible, the Word of God in order to learn who he is as a child of God and what is available from God. Romans 10:17- So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is God's Word that will introduce right believing into the mind of the believer to the end that one's life is lived to its full potential. 2 Timothy 3:16-17- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Not only does God equip his children with spirit, but he also equips them with a book to empower the mind. This book, the Bible, allows the believer to comprehend what it now means to be a Christian who can walk in the greatness of God's Word. It talks of God's relationship with His children, Jesus Christ the Savior, everlasting life, creation, Christ's victory over evil, a time where sickness and death will be no more, and many more issues. The Bible, this Word of life gives the believer the information to be fully equipped to live a victorious life.
So, what is life now like for the saint, the believer in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible? What does one have and what is now available to that individual? Ephesians 2:2- Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. One has grace, the free favor to the undeserving, and peace, the mental tranquility or calm. God favors the believer even though there has been no work to merit it and there is now a peace of mind, so that doubt, worry, and fear can be overcome. Knowing, that as a believer, God favors you has got to be an uplifting boost to mind and soul. To know that you have peace is a soothing and comforting element of satisfaction. Romans 8:37- Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. You have the ability to be successful in life and not let the pressures of this world hold you down. This verse says "more than" conquerors, and this literally means "super conqueror's" because of God and Christ. It does not have to be an uphill battle anymore, for God has leveled the playing field and Christ has cleared the path to victory. 2 Corinthians 9:8- And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. You have the ability to meet the requirements and needs of anything that may come your way. Phillippians 4:19- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ. God will take care of you and will provide you with everything that is necessary for your life. God, who is the Creator of all that there is promises this to you. 2 Timothy 1:7- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Fear is negative and evil, and you can dispel this from your life by what God has given you. Firstly, power, which is inherent power; secondly, love, which is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation; and thirdly, a sound mind, which is whole thoughts. 1 John 4:4- Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. You are of God for He has given birth to you of His spirit and are able to overcome in all situations that may come your way. 3 John 2:2- Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. God desires that the believer has prosperity in life, and not just financial, but in all categories of life. He also desires health for the believer and will provide healing for the mind and body. Galatians 5:1- Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. There is great liberty and freedom because of Christ.
These are just some examples of what is available to the born again believers who are called saints. It is not a special designated few appointed by man but those who have accepted the Son of God as their Lord and Savior. These are the saints of the grace administration that we are living in today.
By: R. S. Kasavage
Let us go back to the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at the place of Golgotha. There He was suspended in air affixed to a wooden instrument of torture along with two thieves and two malefactors. This was meant to be a slow and extremely painful execution. Prior to His crucifixion he was beaten with whips. John 19:1- Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. This beating that He endured was so intense and violent that He was unrecognizable in appearance. Isaiah 52:14- As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: Before He was even put up at crucifixion He was in excruciating pain from the beating and then He also had to endure the verbal assaults from the people, the chief priests and even some of those crucified with Him. Mark 15:29-32- And they that passed by railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30: Save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31: Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32: let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled Him. Not only was there the physical torment that had to be endured but there also was the mental torment that He had to listen to. During the crucifixion period the soldiers had divided his garments, cast lots for His coat, He spoke with His mother and a disciple. Jesus then knew it was all fulfilled. John 19:28- After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Jesus knew that he had done everything possible to fulfill His purpose according to God's plan. Jesus then announced it was finished and He surrendered His life. No one could take it from Him, He gave it up. John 19:30- When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost (breath life).
At this point the devil thought he had done it. He thought that he successfully orchestrated his plan to eliminate Jesus Christ once and for all. The devil's plan was so devious. He and his helper devils would deceive and inspire people to do their bidding. He used the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees as his agents. Pilate became his pawn, some of the citizens also. He even got to and used one of the Apostles. He did it, he brought down the Son of the most high God. But that was not the end of it. Jesus Christ was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth and then He was back! Mark 16:6- And he said unto them, be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. One of the things that Christ did was that He went and announced his return to the evil imprisoned spirits, letting them know His power and the great power of God 1 Peter 3:19- By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison. Christ was back, he was raised from among the dead and is our risen Lord and Savor who is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1- If ye then be risen with Christ seek those Things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Christ then went to His disciples where he spoke with them, taught them, and ate with them. For soon the next part of the story was to come to pass, the Ascension. Acts 1:3- To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion (death) by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. The ultimate end result of sin, death, had been overcome. God had raised up His Son to life and set in motion the events that would now lead to the destruction of evil. What was that evil? It was Satan and his angels. Revelation 12:9- And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Just imagine the great joy, relief, and excitement that was in the hearts and minds of the disciples to see Him alive again. Matthew 28:8-9- And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. All the feelings of loss, sadness, grief, and hopelessness were now washed away and replaced with great joy and expectations. Christ went from being down and out to being up and super alive, for He now had a spiritual body unlimited in scope and activity.
Christ would then gather his disciples together and prepare for the next occurrence of God's plan, the ascension. He spoke of the promise of the Father which was to come. Luke 24:29- And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. The word "endued" means clothed with and the word "power" is the Greek word dunamis meaning inherent spiritual ability. He informed them of what was to come and where. He then led them to Bethany. Luke 24:50- And he led them to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. Christ spoke of the power they were to receive and that they should spread the word about him. Acts 1:8- But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. He prepared them for the magnificent gift of holy spirit that they would soon receive on the day of Pentecost and then was carried up into heaven. Luke 24:51- And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Jesus Christ came as the sacrificial lamb who paid for our sin with his blood and obtained our physical healing with the breaking of his body. He made everlasting life available to us on the day of Pentecost when believers were filled with the gift of holy spirit, and we are now the children of God. Romans 8:16- The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Christ was raised and ascended and the greatest victory of all time was achieved with all of His feats of love, obedience, and bravery.
By: R. S. Kasavage
He goes by many names; Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, the Serpent, the Dragon to name just a few. He is the enemy of God, Jesus Christ, and all of God's people. He is everything that is evil, is alive and active in this day and age, and needs to be recognized for what he is and how his presence corrupts this world. Who and what is he? Where did he get his start? What power does he possess, and what can be done to fight against him? The Word of God has all the answers and puts a spotlight on the secret shroud of his being.
He came into existence by creation of God, a perfect and freewill spirit who held a special place in heaven. Ezekiel 28:14-15- Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, til iniquity was found in thee. He began in goodness along with Michael and Gabriel, the archangels. These three were the highest in authority of all the angels of God. At this time, he was Known as Lucifer, the star of the morning, or the morning star who was next to God in authority. Isaiah 14:12- How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! In the second part of this verse when he was "cut down to the ground" is when he became Satan. Satan means the great accuser of mankind and He is the indirect cause of people's problems by way of situations, circumstances, or other people which he arranges and controls. When Lucifer was created he was glorious. Ezekiel 28:12- Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy coving, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Lucifer was in a great position in the realm of the spiritual for he was second in authority and power to God, was beautiful to behold and commanded great respect. Then something happened to change all that was good into something that was evil. He became prideful and envious to the point that he felt he should have God's position. Isaiah 14:13-14- For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. This act of high treason and rebellion resulted in him being cast out of heaven and down to the earth. Ezekiel 28:17- Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold Thee. He was now cast out of heaven but was not alone for he had his followers that came with him. Revelation 12:9- And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. In this verse he is referred to as the dragon, which indicates warfare in the spiritual realm, the serpent meaning extraordinarily crafty, the devil meaning the Adversary, and Satan who is the accuser of mankind. This was a dramatic change from what he once was as Lucifer. One may ask how many angels were with him? It was one third of the angels of heaven. Revelation 12:4- And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. In this verse angels are referred to as "stars" and are also called spirits and messengers. He and his angels fell from heaven to earth and would be in direct conflict with God, Jesus Christ, good angels, and the inhabitants of earth.
In the beginning Adam had dominion over the world, he was the god of this world. Genesis 1:26- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Satan saw what Adam and Eve had and he made his move to take away from them their rulership. He presented himself to Eve to begin his deception to persuade her to disobey God. In this instance he is referred to as the serpent because of his extraordinary craftiness. Genesis 3:1- Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? In the ensuing verses Eve disobeyed God and her husband also disobeyed. It was in this act of disobedience that sin entered in, and the rulership of the world was delivered into the hands of the Devil. Luke 4:5-6- And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it. Adam was originally the god of this world, but because of disobedience and sin the devil became god of this world. 2 Corinthians 4:4- In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Dominion of the world was now transferred to the devil, and he would have free reign to impose his authority over it. With this came sickness... Job 2:7- So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And death... Hebrews 2:14- Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Even the ground was effected because of the fall of man. Genesis 3:18- Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; The mission statement of Satan was described by JesusChrist in a parable. John 10:10- The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Remember that the devil has his army of fallen angels who will do his bidding to achieve his goals. They will go about to deceive, depress, oppress, confuse, and destroy the hearts and lives of mankind. They will try to influence and possess the mind to tear down and ruin lives. These evil spirits can be the cause of mental illness and for individuals to have thoughts of self-harm and suicide. This is just some of the evil that is present in the world because of the devil and his henchmen. Ephesians 2:2- Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: People need to realize that this evil is real and is happening now, for it is a spiritual force attempting to corrupt all that is good. 1 Peter 5:8- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
This force of evil is very powerful and destructive, but it cannot overcome the power of God and Jesus Christ. This is the power that mankind needs to tap into in order to overcome the evil of the adversary and his spiritual army. The first step, of course, is to be spiritually reborn in which one becomes a child of God who can live a victorious life, overcoming the evil that is present. 1 John 4:4- Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Next, is that you need to introduce the light of God's Word into the mind and parallel your thoughts with those of Christ Jesus. As Christ always did the will of the Father, so should we strive to do likewise in order to maximize the power of God. Philippians 2:5- Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: It is the words of the Bible that are our offensive weapon likened to a sword. Ephesians 6:17- And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: We then must recognize our position as the offspring of God and delight in the fact that we share fully with Christ who is our brother. Romans 8:17- And if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. As a spiritually reborn child of God you have been strengthened in the innermost part of your being. Ephesians 3:16- That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the innerman: Take your strength from the Lord and revel in his power. Stand against evil, being fully equipped spiritually to handle and defeat the methods employed by the adversary. Ephesians 6:10-11- Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
There will be much to come in the future concerning the devil. There will be great wars because of him. Revelation 19:19- And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Satan himself will be imprisoned for a time. Revelation 20:2- And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and bound him a thousand years. After this period of imprisonment is expired he is loosed. He then deceives the nations and goes to war, sending his army against the forces of good and is defeated. Revelation 20:9- And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Now comes the event that the devil has been dreading, his destruction. He will be totally and completely burned out of existence. Revelation 20:10- And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. A fitting punishment for evil and a horrific fall from his glorious beginning to his disgraceful end.
Take A Stand
By: R. S. Kasavage
I'm sure that you have heard the saying that says, "If you don't take a stand for something, you stand for nothing." Many people go through life, and they seem to accept things that come their way. They go with the flow and don't make waves. There is nothing they can do to change things, so why bother. They stand for nothing and will be pushed aside instead of making a difference. There is a force of negativity and evil in the world that is counting on this way of thinking to prevail so it can thrive and grow and overcome. This force of evil is that of the devil and his evil empire who influence, possess, and use people as pawns to promote a destructive agenda.
Think about what is going on all around this country and the world today. People are out of control, governments are corrupt, freedom is under attack, rights and liberties are being threatened, youth are in danger, and the foundation of America is under assault. What is going on? What has happened? Why are we in such a mess today that people are on the edge of helplessness? Quite simply, many have turned away from God. People, rulers, governments, and even entire countries have forsaken God and have gone about to establish their own ideas of what they think is right.
An ancient king who saw the great power of God in operation later turned away from God. This king, called Nebuchadnezzar, decided to build an image and force everyone to worship it. Daniel 3:1- Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits and the breadth there of six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. It was commanded that when the music was played the people were to fall down and worship the golden image. If these instructions were not followed, the person or persons were to be destroyed. Daniel 3:6- And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There were three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who worked in the king's government and refused to bow to the false image. These were brave men who did one thing: they took a stand; they stood for God. Daniel 3:17- If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. The king became furious and commanded that the furnace should be made ever hotter, and these three men were cast into it. Then something happened because of the stand that was taken by these three men; God sent his angel to protect them. Daniel 3:25- He answered and said, Lo I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. The king saw the greatness of God, and he changed his thinking regarding these men and what they stood for. He saw them delivered from harm so as there was not a hair of their heads singed. They took a stand, and God was exalted before the king and those who were with him. The king and his kingdom were changed, and these three brave men were now held in high regard. Daniel 3:30- Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
As we are under a spiritual attack today by the forces of evil, we are told by God to stand. Ephesians 6:11- Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We are to fully equip ourselves spiritually, so we can stand firm on the principles of God's Word and overcome the methods of the devil. These methods are sly and devious and are an outright attack on the standards and principles set down by God. This country was once a beacon of hope and freedom but is now losing its focus. Many have taken their eyes off the guiding light of righteousness. They are being deceived and misled into thinking that their own precepts and principles should be instituted in place of those with a heavenly design. How wrong they are! For when a nation forsakes God, it will fall and what is left will be a detriment to all. Gradually, in America the powers that be have been pushing out the principles of a Godly society. They have removed prayer from schools, taken God out of the community, elevated their own ideas above those of God, and tried to silence the voice of the righteous. This process has been slowly changing the heart of America. We, as a people, need to wake up! Because when God is pushed out of a nation, that void will then be filled by paganism. We need to take a stand upon biblical principles and come back to God and the liberty of life and freedom derived from our adherence to righteousness.
In these turbulent times, we need to stand for righteousness, pray to the one true God, and speak the holy truth. Ephesians 6:13-19- Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.
Christ Is Coming
By: R. S. Kasavage
Christ is coming for his Church, which is the body of believers who are born again of God's spirit and are the children of God. This event is commonly referred to as the rapture and is also known as the "gathering together." This is not yet his second coming, for he will not be on earth but will remain in the air. This gathering together will be for a select group of people who have made Jesus Christ their Lord. These believers are to be rescued from this fallen world and will be forever with Christ Jesus and God, living on forever.
Let us go to the first Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians for some insight into this upcoming event. We find this information in chapter four starting in verse thirteen. In this verse, the message is that the believers should not be unknowledgeable or sorrowful regarding their brethren who have died because there is hope for them in the future. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. As we believe that Jesus died and rose from among the dead, so shall all Christian believers who have died be risen from among the dead. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. After speaking about the dead in Christ the focus changes to those who will be alive at this time. It says they will not prevent, which means precede, those who died. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. The Lord will descend from his heavenly abode with a victory cry, the heralding of the archangel and the trumpeting of God, and then this dynamic power will be unleashed to rise the dead in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. The very next thing to occur will be those that are alive will be brought up to be joined with the risen dead into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, to be together with him forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17-Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. These verses tell the truth of what we can hope for in the future and it is so stated that we may have comfort concerning our future lives. 1 Thessalonians 4:18-Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
As we look further into the Scriptures we can see confirmation of the previous event for it is said that Christ was the first to be raised and will be joined by many more. 1 Corinthians 15:20-But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. It states that death came because of Adam but that life came by Christ. Christ overcame death and changed it from being permanent to temporal unto all those who believe on him. 1 Corinthians 15:22-For as in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive. There is an order to things, and this will come to pass as so ordained. 1 Corinthians 15:23-But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. As you read these verses you can see that the first and only person to have gotten up from among the dead is Christ. All the dead, since the beginning, are still dead and will remain that way until the return of Christ for his Church or later in time with the resurrections of the just and the unjust. Revelation 20:6,12,15-Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
At the time of the rapture all of the born again believers, both the dead and the living, will go through a dramatic change. 1 Corinthians 15:51-Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a split second at the last trumpeting the dead and living will be recipients of the tremendous, unequaled and titanic power of Christ and of God. 1 Corinthians 15:52-In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Those that have died and have begun the process of decay and corruption will put on unending life. Those that are living mortal beings subject to death will put on immortality, unending life. 1 Corinthians 15:53-For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. When this is accomplished, death is defeated and will be no more for it has been overcome by the victory in Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:54-So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.
We should thank God for giving us this victory over death as it was made available to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57-But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born into a tremendous time, for we can be born into God's family as His sons and daughters to live and reign with Him forever. This period of grace began with the day of Pentecost and will conclude with the rapture. There will be many more notable events occurring after the rapture and we will experience life with Christ and God as these events unfold.