What Happens When We Die?

Let us listen to what Jesus tells said about death – the one who knows better than anyone.

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Maranatha!

1 Corinthians 16:22 “If anyone does not love the Lord, Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Maranatha!.

What does Maranatha mean?

Maranatha is an Aramaic (the native tongue of Jesus) word which means “the Lord is coming” or “come, O Lord.” The early church faced much persecution under Roman rule. The Romans required everyone to declare that Caesar was god. The early Christians knew that there is only one God, the Father and one Lord, Jesus Christ, His Son, and in all good conscience they could not call Caesar “Lord”, so the Romans, viewing them as traitors, persecuted and killed them. Living under such adverse conditions, the believers’ morale was lifted by the hope of the coming of the Lord. “Maranatha!” became the common greeting of the oppressed believers.

Today we live our lives in the light of the knowledge that Jesus can appear at any time, and that we are to be ready. Every day we should expect His appearance, and every day we should long for Him to come. Maranatha reminds us to keep our eyes on the eternal things of the Spirit. To dwell on material things is to be in constant mental turmoil. Looking down, we see the earth; looking around, we see earthly things. But looking up, we see the hope of the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To those who are discouraged today, Maranatha! To those who are worried today, Maranatha! To those who are filled with anxiety over the problems they are facing, Maranatha! Our Lord is coming!

2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

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God’s Echidna Enigma

An Amazing Fact: One of the strangest animals in the world is the long-beaked echidna [i-kid-na], or spiny anteater. Weighing about 20 pounds, this nocturnal creature is found mainly in the humid mountain forests of New Guinea and Indonesia. Interspersed with its brownish or black fur are sharp spines of varying lengths. The spines on its body can be erected and its arms and legs withdrawn for protection, much like a hedgehog.
echidna

 

At the end of its long, down-curved, tubular snout is a very small mouth through which the long tongue can be rapidly extruded and retracted. It has no teeth in its mouth but compensates with rows of tooth-like spikes on the tongue. The echidna probes with its long beak in the muddy soil until it detects a worm or other invertebrates by their faint electrical current. The tongue then darts out, and the worm is hooked by the spikes and reeled in like a fish.

Even though it is technically a mammal, the female long-beaked echidna lays shell-covered eggs that are incubated and hatched outside the body of the mother like a reptile, but then carried and nursed in a small pouch like a marsupial. Perhaps its most remarkable feature is a large and complex brain with high intelligence, characteristics
unexpected in the world’s most reptile-like mammal. They also live a surprisingly long time, with one having been kept in the London Zoo for over 30 years, and another in the Berlin Zoo for 31 years.

Today, the long-beaked echidna is an endangered species. Some reasons for its decline appear to be loss of forest habitat to logging, mining, and farming, and traditional hunting. The oily meat of the echidna is relished by many of the people of New Guinea.

The spiny anteater is an enigma for evolutionists, because it looks like God assembled it from spare parts left over after He created all the other animals, and it stands in a class of its own. Despite the mass of media messages, the world did not evolve over multiplied millions of years. Scripture confirms the truth that God is the Creator, and that everything in heaven and on Earth was “created through Him and for Him.”

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” olossians 1:16
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Living in Health and Overcoming Sin by the Testimony of Jesus

To all who desire greater health, or freedom from debilitating health conditions, fervent prayer may help, or it may not. If we are praying for God to heal us from conditions we have brought on ourselves by following the leadings of Satan and the world rather than the Word of God and the health message Our Heavenly Father specifically gave the remnant church, we may have tied God’s hands in His ability to heal us. If we are following the enemy, wittingly or unwittingly, and not Him, we have placed ourselves under the dominion the god of this earth who wants to destroy us, not God Almighty who wants to heal us.

This is a series of health evangelism messages that are excellent, and worth listening to, even if you are in excellent health, because it will help you help others who are not. As John said in 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” If our souls aren’t prospering by the power of the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we are not equipped to be in health and prosper in all things. In Ezekiel 33:11, God says to the Church: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” We are the spiritual house of Israel, and He is pleading the same with us today.

 

 

 

To prosper and be in health, our soul must prosper. For our soul to prosper, we must overcome sin. We can only overcome sin by the power that worketh in us. We are called in these days to be they who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. Do we truly have the testimony of Jesus?

 

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It’s Time to Talk About Christmas

lone black back stilt for card

If you are a Christian awakening to the deceptions the Church has promoted for so long, and seeking truth about Christmas and whether or not you should be celebrating it, here are some facts you might want to consider, as well as God’s word on the subject.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on December 25th. This is akin to President’s Day—where we celebrate a bunch of presidents’ birthdays who were not born on that day—only worse, because it is our Lord and Savior we are falsely celebrating with vanity, worldliness and commercialism, not some man who cares about his birthday being celebrated.

Christmas is a Catholic pagan holiday taken from Mithraism, inspired by Iranian cult worship of the sun god, Mithris, practiced in the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th century CE. It has no connection to the birth of Christ, but was adopted in an attempt to create unity between the heathen Romans and the Christians, like the ecumenical movement of today which stems from the Roman Catholic Church’s attempts to reconcile with Christians who separated from Rome during the Protestant Reformation, standing for the word of God over traditions of the Church, which contradict Bible truth. The keeping of the venerable day of the sun (Sunday) was also legislated around the same time by Constantine and adopted by the Roman Catholic Church for the same reason. It was also to place a wall of separation between the Jews, who from their beginning as a people had kept the Sabbath that God created, blessed and sanctified in Genesis 2:2-3 and later spoke and wrote with His own finger on the table of stone as the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11), and the Church. The Sabbath of God could of course never be changed except by God Himself, and He changes not. “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalm 89:34.

The Bible doesn’t explicitly state the date of Jesus’ birth, but it does give clues. Luke 2:8-14 speaks of shepherds living outdoor and tending their flock of sheep at night. The text reads, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Scholars of the Bible have concluded that this would be an unlikely practice in the month of December, for the weather conditions would be too cold to live outside to tend to a flock of sheep.

The Book of Luke tells us that John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus, [Luke 1:26]. The book also tells us when John was conceived so it is possible to approximate the time of John’s birth…and that of Jesus.

John’s father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the division of Abijah, [Luke 1:5]. His priestly duty entailed one week of temple service every year plus three more weeks during the three yearly festivals.

His division was the eighth so his period of temple service began in the eighth week of the year, [I Chronicles 24:10]. The Hebrew year, being lunar, began in the spring around late March early April. The eighth week would then generally fall around the first of June the way we show the months of the year on our calendar.

Luke 1:23-24 tells us that Elizabeth, John’s mother, became pregnant right after Zechariah‘s service in the temple. This would have been approximately mid June, which means that John the Baptist would have been born around mid March….or close to Passover. Jesus would have been conceived in John’s sixth gestational month by the Holy Spirit, [Luke 1:26] which would have been December….so Jesus would have been born around the middle of September. This event would have probably taken place about the time of the last Hebrew Holiday of Sukkot, (Feast of Tabernacles). Since everyone was expected to travel to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts, this is probably the real reason why there was no room in the inn.

During the Feast Days the normal population of Jerusalem, 120,000, would probably swell to well over 1,500,000 folks. This would not be the case in the Month of December as there were no annual Feast Days then. Bethlehem, being a “suburb” of Jerusalem would likely fill up quickly with the overflow. This time would also be consistent with the shepherds still in the fields during September. The weather in Israel during December can be quite cold so flocks are usually brought into shelter no later than the middle of October. The 25th of December date is not scriptural and as you can see by the above evidence, is not likely. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Pagan_Beliefs_Surrounding_Christmas/The_Date_Jesus_was_Born

On the Christmas tree, God is pretty clear … don’t follow the vain customs of the heathen! Jeremiah 10:2-6 “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.”

Our Lord and Savior will be returning soon to take up His who are found to be without spot or wrinkle, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12. Everyone must make their own decisions, but do Christians really want to be found involved with celebrating a pagan holiday and performing rituals that so thoroughly dishonor our Lord. We should enjoy giving gifts, and spontaneously do so all during the year. We should love, honor and give glory to our Lord every day. What business do true Christians have being involved with Satanic pagan rituals?

 

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What could an Unsanctified Man do in Heaven?

(J.C. Ryle, “Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots”)

“Without holiness, no one will see the Lord!” Hebrews 12:14

Most men hope to go to Heaven when they die; but few, it may be feared, take the trouble to consider whether they would enjoy Heaven if they got there.

Heaven is essentially a holy place;
its inhabitants are all holy;
its occupations are all holy.
To be really happy in Heaven, it is clear and plain that we must be somewhat trained and made ready for Heaven while we are on earth.

We must be saints before we die–if we are to be saints afterwards in glory.
We need the work of the Holy Spirit–as well as the work of Christ;
we need renewal of the heart–as well as the atoning blood;
we need to be sanctified–as well as to be justified.

What could an unsanctified man do in Heaven, if by any chance he got there?

No man can possibly be happy in a place where he is not in his element, and where all around him is not congenial to his tastes, habits and character.
When an eagle is happy in an iron cage,
when a sheep is happy in the middle of a lake,
when a fish is happy on the dry land–
then, and not until then, will I admit that the unsanctified man could be happy in Heaven!

The book of Revelation says expressly, “Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27

Suppose for a moment, that you were allowed to enter Heaven without holiness.
What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you experience there?

Now perhaps, you love the company of . . .
the vain and the impious,
the worldly-minded and the profligate,
the reveler and the pleasure-seeker,
the ungodly and the profane.
There will be none such in Heaven!

Now perhaps you think the that saints of God too strict and particular and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. But there will be no other company in Heaven.

Now perhaps you think that praying and Scripture reading and hymn singing–are dull and melancholy and foolish; a thing to be tolerated now and then–but not enjoyed. You reckon the worship a burden and a weariness. But remember, Heaven is never-ending worship. The inhabitants thereof rest not day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this?

It seems clear that Heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man! We must be heavenly-minded and have heavenly tastes in the present life–or else we will never find ourselves in Heaven in the life to come!

“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong;
let him who is vile continue to be vile;
let him who does right continue to do right;
and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” Revelation 22:11 

www.gracegems.org

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A Head Full of Froth

Have you read your Bible today?

Bible_sabbath commandment
(Charles Spurgeon)

“I hate vain thoughts–but I love Your law!” Psalm 119:113

Many of you know more about your magazines and novels–than what God has written in His holy Word!

Many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A head full of froth when you are done! But you cannot read the Bible–that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect–while anything that man writes, a best-seller of the day–you greedily devour!

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things!” Psalm 119:37

“Set your minds on things above–not on earthly things!” Colossians 3:2

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Let us get ready for the coming storm

“He did it!” she said under oath. “I didn’t!” He fired back under oath. The fact is: both can’t be right. Somewhere, the TRUTH EXISTS about what really happened 36 years ago. Hopefully, the FBI investigation will uncover it. Without wading into partisan politics, I want to stress to all of my readers that this whole controversy (if you are watching it) is a lesson revealing that truth isn’t relative, as so many mistakenly claim today. That it is an illusion. The fact is that truth does exist.

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus Christ (John 18:38) during His trial. This was a great question, but then HE WALKED AWAY from THE ONE WHO IS THE TRUTH. Let’s be careful. Let’s not make the same mistake of claiming to be looking for truth today, but then avoiding it when God shows it to our consciences. Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 16:13). His law is the truth (Ps. 119:142). In this time of raging controversy, may God help us not to be deceived away from Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, His Word, and His Law.

There’s another lesson I want to stress, especially for “the remnant” people of God who who seek to “keep the commandments of God” and hold to “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). During earth’s final crisis (see Revelation 13:16,17; 18:1-4), the world’s spotlight will be on us. I hope we realize that. At that time, make no mistake about it: we will be fully investigated. Every position we hold, every doctrine, and every life practice will be scrutinized. Every slander and false accusation will also be thrown against us, as were heaped upon our Master, Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus was innocent and blameless. All accusations were false. In that storm, the Father stood by His Son. And after Jesus died, God raised Him triumphantly from the dead (Matthew 28:1-8).

What about us? Now is the time to confess every sin. Now is the time to make sure we have no skeletons in our closets that might be revealed under intense investigation. By God’s grace, we must “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

Brother’s and sisters, it’s time to pray, to humble ourselves, to meditate much on God’s Word, to seek Jesus earnestly, and to trust Him fully.

Let’s learn these lessons from The Kavanaugh/Ford Controversy.

Let’s get ready for the coming storm.”

Steve Wohlberg

Pastor Steve Wohlberg

Speaker/Director | White Horse Media
www.whitehorsemedia.com

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Faithful Unto Death

Image result for baby chicks under mother's wings
AN AMAZING FACT:
After a forest fire in Yellowstone Park, a National Geographic photographer joined some forest rangers on their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. As they hiked through the burnt forest, the photographer found a scorched bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat curious of the eerie sight, he gently struck at the bird with his boot. When he did, three tiny chicks scurried out from under their dead mother’s wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had led her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her chicks. When the blaze arrived and the heat scorched her small body, the mother remained steadfast. Because she was willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

The mother bird’s instinct to protect her young at the cost of her own life describes a quality infrequently found among humans. During the shootings in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater this last year, some people ran for their lives, leaving their own children behind. But others threw themselves over their family at the cost of their own lives. It reminds me of the Bible verse: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

Jesus did not hesitate to give His life for a world soon to be enveloped in an unquenchable forest fire. Christ wept out the words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). Our Savior stretched out His arms over us, to shield us from the penalty of sin. Christ died in order that we might live.

The picture of a mother hen quietly sitting over her cute brood of little peeping chicks makes us smile. But the picture of Calvary is like the bird that died in the fire at Yellowstone, with outstretched wings, faithful unto death.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalms 91:4

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Purgatory 101

Having been raised Protestant (Methodist), purgatory is not a concept we have any first hand knowledge about because it is not in the Bible. I did then, and still have, many Catholic (or one time Catholic and now atheist) friends, so it is a concept I became familiar with through them. Having studied in depth the history of the Protestant Reformation in recent years, I now understand its significance relative to the doctrine of indulgences that was the basis of Luther’s “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as the 95 theses, that Luther nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in 1517, beginning the Protestant Reformation which celebrated its 500th anniversary on October 31, 2017.

For those who are Protestant and do not understand purgatory, or for that matter even why you are a Protestant, and for those who are Catholic (or once Catholic and now atheist) and might like to understand where and why this dreadful false doctrine of demons was created, you will learn much from this short video.  It helped me to have a much greater understanding and empathy for the guilt, fear and anger at God that I encounter from many of my dearly loved Catholic, and now in many cases atheist, friends. I pray they might watch this and have their eyes opened to the fact that God is not the cruel, vicious, brutal tyrant He is made out to be by the Church. He is our Creator, our Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can ever imagine, so much so that He sent His only begotten son to die in our places, to pay our penalty for us, so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life. And while there is certainly an eternal perishing ahead for those who rebel against God and refuse His free and unmerited gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, that perishing is not an unspeakably torturous eternity in flames, but a perishing that has eternal consequences, the second death in the lake of fire, from which there is no chance of resurrection, only eternal destruction.

 

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