August 26, 2012 The Book of Life [contd]

The Book of Life

When are Christian’s names written in or deleted from the Book of Life?  What is this Book?  Why is it important to us?  These are curious questions for believers as we await our Rapture from the tribulation on the earth ((2 Timothy 3.1-7) and the judgment of every person ever conceived.

When was your name written in Heaven?

  • The first mention of such a record is Numbers 1.1-47Verse 18 says that every male 20 years old and older was enrolled as one of the eleven tribes (Levi was excluded), then by families within each tribe, then by individual within their families.  We might presume that names were entered whenever a male became twenty years old.  (Ezra 2.59 reflects the importance of this record.)  (This is pejorative toward women but affirms the importance of the womb.)
  • Additional genealogical and other types of records are discussed in Nehemiah 7.5-73, 12.22-23, and Jeremiah 22.30.
  • Remember that Jesus was born in Bethlehembecause Joseph and Mary had to travel to this ancestral home of David (tribe of Judah) to be registered, to satisfy Caesar Augustus; Luke 2.1-5.  This registration in county records is still common practice today with each new birth.
  • I believe that our names are written in Heaven’s book when we are conceived.  Proverbs 23.22 and 25 say that your father ‘gave you life’ (NIV) and your mother ‘bore you’.  Life begins at conception, as Psalm 139.13 and Jeremiah 1.5 infer.  This would mean that every person ever born would have been entered at conception.  By what name are we registered?  Perhaps by the name we will be called in Heaven (Revelation 2.17).  So, the name you are called today is your aka name. J
  • The alternatives to at conception are at our physical birth (Luke 2.21), or when we reach the age of accountability for our individual acts (Luke 2.39-52), or when we first accept Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 1.13-14).  That our names are written in Heaven’s Book is more important than when they were entered.
  • This written record will be used when we stand before God.  See Daniel 12.1, Revelation 20.11-15, 21.27 (21.8).

Can your name be removed from the Book of Life?

  • Exodus 17.14 states that God erased the Amalekites from His book, because they resisted the Israelites exitingEgypt into the land promised to them.
  • Exodus 32.32-33 records a conversation between Moses and God after the Israelites worshipped the golden calf.  God acknowledges that He keeps a book of our names.  Notice God’s general rule for removing names from His book.  God explained this in Ezekiel 14 (especially verses 14, 16, and 20) and 18 (especially verses 4, 19-23, 26-28).  Moses repeated this rule in Deuteronomy 29.14-21 (especially verse 20, and notice the connection of this to Jeremiah 13.10, which gives the devolution from dwelling with God to being forcibly removed from Him).  Jesus stated the same fact in John 6.47.  Further, consider the illustration of this in Joshua 7.10-26, especially verses 16-18.  Another illustration is in Ezekiel 13.3-9, especially verse 9.
  • In Revelation 3.4-5, Jesus states that names of people who do not overcome sin will be removed from the Book.  ‘Defiled garments’ mean sin and is explained in Hosea 14.9, Zechariah 3.1-5, John 12.47-48, 3.16-21, and 1 John 2.15-17.
  • Although Apostle Paul wrote Romans 8.38-39 to assure his readers that no created thing or spirit can ‘separate [Christians] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’, he also warned that anyone who voluntarily turned away from Jesus to worship satan’s gods cannot return!  See Hebrews 5.12-6.8, 10.26-31, Galatians 5.1-4, 2 Timothy 4.1.  Also hear John 6.66, Luke 9.62, 2 Peter 2.19-21, 2 John 7-11.  Notice that these verses are addressed to people who have believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have turned away!
  • Jesus said there is a sin that is unpardonable, in Mark 3.22-30 and Matthew 12.31-32.  Paul explained that he had been a blasphemer before he became a follower of Jesus; thus, he said he blasphemed in ignorance (1Timothy 1.13).  Turning away from Jesus as Savior is blasphemy!  Consider the similarity of Numbers 15.30-31.
  • God is consistent in the Old and New Testaments.  He has not changed today!

How narrow is the way?

  • Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) includes His warning: ‘Enter (Heaven) by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.’ (Matthew 7.13).  He contrasts this in verse 14 about the narrow gate.  It is ‘confined’ or ‘difficult’.
  • What makes it difficult?  Verses 15-27 discuss that false teachers teach ‘feel good theology’ and ‘God is love and would never send anyone to Hell’ theology (see Malachi 2.7-8, Ezekiel 13.3-23, 44.23, Isaiah 5.20) instead of the requirements of Godly righteousness and that those who do not practice lifestyles of righteousness will be rejected even though they may cast out demons using the power of the name ‘Jesus’ (illustrated in Luke 9.49)!
  • Revelation 21.8 (and 22.15) list people excluded from the narrow gate.  Note Paul’s list in Galatians 5.19-21 and Ephesians 5.5Like Jesus said above, you cannot walk in satan’s way and in God’s way.  God is not mocked (Galatians 6.7)!  He said this Himself in Ezekiel 14.1-11!
  • Jesus answered why the narrow gate is ‘confined’ in John 14.6!  Consider Paul’s discussion of this in Acts 17.22-31 and Apostle Peter’s declaration in Acts 4.12.
  • So, how do you answer the questions at the top?  I encourage you to do so prayerfully.  Apostle Peter was right in 1 Peter 1.7 and 2 Peter 1.1!

Praise God!!!  Copyright © Maurice L. Painter 2012.  www.sozoclass.com

August 19, 2012 The Book of Life

The Book of Life

When are Christian’s names written in or deleted from the Book of Life?  What is this Book?  Why is it important to us?  These are curious questions for believers as we await our Rapture from the tribulation on the earth (2 Timothy 3.1-7) and the judgment of every person ever born.

Benefits of being a Christian

  • In Luke 10.20, Jesus stated the two benefits that every Christian has.
  • The apostles returning from the tour on which Jesus had sent them were amazed at the first benefit, which they had personally experienced.  See Luke 10.1-17.  They had stopped the power of demonic spirits with the authority that Jesus had given them (verse 19).  Side bar: most Christians are so weak in this that they suffer the abuse of satan troubling their health, finances, relationships, employment, etc.  How can you strengthen this reality and change your life?
  • While we live on earth, Christians have been given promises from God (2 Corinthians 1.20) that satan tries to steal, kill, or destroy (John 10.10).  But, we prevent him with the authority we have to use the name ‘Jesus’ against him!  Notice in Luke 10.20 that Jesus said that spirits are ‘subject’ to us!  See Philippians 2.9-11, John 16.24, 33, Luke 10.19, Revelation 12.11 (the word is Jesus!).
  • And, consider the greater value that Jesus placed on the second benefit: your name is written in Heaven!  You were meant to overcome during your years on earth (Luke 19.13, KJV; 1 John 5.4-5; Genesis 1.28, ‘everything’ includes demons and angels) and, then, to enjoy Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a citizen of Heaven!

When was your name written in Heaven?

  • The first mention of such a record is Numbers 1.1-47.  Verse 18 says that every male 20 years old and older was enrolled as one of the eleven tribes (Levi was excluded), then by families within each tribe, then by individual within their families.  We might presume that names were entered whenever a male became twenty years old.  (Ezra 2.59 reflects the importance of this record.)  (This is pejorative toward women but affirms the importance of the womb.)
  • Additional genealogical and other types of records are discussed in Nehemiah 7.5-73, 12.22-23, and Jeremiah 22.30.
  • Remember that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Joseph and Mary had to travel to this ancestral home of David (tribe of Judah) to be registered, to satisfy Caesar Augustus; Luke 2.1-5.  This registration in county records is still common practice today with each new birth.
  • I believe that our names are written in Heaven’s book when we are conceived.  Proverbs 23.22 and 25 say that your father ‘gave you life’ (NIV) and your mother ‘bore you’.  Life begins at conception, as Psalm 139.13 and Jeremiah 1.5 infer.  This would mean that every person ever born would have been entered at conception.  By what name are we registered?  Perhaps by the name we will be called in Heaven (Revelation 2.17).  So, the name you are called today is your aka name. J
  • The alternatives to at conception are at our physical birth (Luke 2.21), or when we reach the age of accountability for our individual acts (Luke 2.39-52), or when we first accept Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 1.13-14).  That our names are written in Heaven’s Book is more important than when they were entered.
  • This written record will be used when we stand before God.  See Daniel 12.1, Revelation 20.11-15, 21.27 (21.8).

Can your name be removed from the Book of Life?

  • Exodus 17.14 states that God erased the Amalekites from His book, because they resisted the Israelites exiting Egypt into the land promised to them.
  • Exodus 32.32-33 records a conversation between Moses and God after the Israelites worshipped the golden calf.  God acknowledges that He keeps a book of our names.  Notice God’s general rule for removing names from His book.  God explained this in Ezekiel 14 (especially verses 14, 16, and 20) and 18 (especially verses 4, 19-23, 26-28).  Moses repeated this rule in Deuteronomy 29.14-21 (especially verse 20, and notice the connection of this to Jeremiah 13.10, which gives the devolution from dwelling with God to being forcibly removed from Him).  Jesus stated the same fact in John 6.47.  Further, consider the illustration of this in Joshua 7.10-26, especially verses 16-18.  Another illustration is in Ezekiel 13.3-9, especially verse 9.
  • In Revelation 3.4-5, Jesus states that names of people who do not overcome sin will be removed from the Book.  ‘Defiled garments’ mean sin and is explained in Hosea 14.9, Zechariah 3.1-5, John 12.47-48, 3.16-21, and 1 John 2.15-17.
  • Although Apostle Paul wrote Romans 8.38-39 to assure his readers that no created thing or spirit can ‘separate [Christians] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’, he also warned that anyone who voluntarily turned away from Jesus to worship satan’s gods cannot return!  See Hebrews 5.12-6.8, 10.26-31, Galatians 5.1-4, 2 Timothy 4.1.  Also hear John 6.66, Luke 9.62, 2 Peter 2.19-21, 2 John 7-11.  Notice that these verses are addressed to people who have believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have turned away!
  • Jesus said there is a sin that is unpardonable, in Mark 3.22-30 and Matthew 12.31-32.  Paul explained that he had been a blasphemer before he became a follower of Jesus; thus, he said he blasphemed in ignorance (1Timothy 1.13).  Turning away from Jesus as Savior is blasphemy!  Consider the similarity of Numbers 15.30-31.
  • God is consistent in the Old and New Testaments.  He has not changed today!

So, how do you answer the questions at the top?  I encourage you to do so prayerfully.  Apostle Peter was right in 1 Peter 1.7 and 2 Peter 1.1!

Praise God!!!  Copyright © Maurice L. Painter 2012.  www.sozoclass.com

August 5, 2012 Living By Faith

Living By Faith

‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’  These were Jesus’ words that Apostle John recorded for us in John 4.24.  ‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord…I want to see you,’ are the lyrics of a popular Christian song.  We want to see God but cannot through physical eyes, as Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3.8.  So, we must accept God by faith and express that faith in our lifestyles, believing as truth Hebrews 11.6.

God rewards us when we diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11.6).

  • In my study, Proof of Who He Is (120701 at www.sozoclass.com), I showed that Jesus rewarded faith by healing all who came to Him.
  • In my study, More Amazing Proofs That God Is With Us (120722), I showed that God rewarded faith by fighting for the Israelites using His weapons – hail, hornets, earthquakes, thunder, and sunlight.
  • How has God rewarded your search for Him?
  • Apostle Peter wrote that faith is of greater value than gold and has a greater reward, in 1 Peter 1.3-9.

We must believe that He exists (Hebrews 11.6).

  • Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1.20-21 that none say God does not exist.  He has revealed Himself through the beauty our eyes behold, the fragrances that please our noses, the food that satisfies our taste buds, and the sounds of music from birds and instruments in praise of Him (Psalm 19.1-6; James 1.17; Philippians 4.8).
  • In Jeremiah 9.23-24, God says that our boasts must be in knowing and understanding God better each day, instead of counting our increasing wealth, philosophizing from our newly learned wisdom, or preening our beauty in mirrors of glowing approval or building our biceps in our gyms.
  • God values faith, as He said in Habakkuk 2.4, Jesus emphasized in Luke 18.8b and explained in Matthew 7.7-11, and Paul expanded in Romans 1.16-17What is it to grow from faith to faith?  What is faith and why does Hebrews 11.1-3 describe it best?  How is Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4.6-7 an illustration of faith? What is Paul’s caution in Galatians 1.3-9?

Guard your heart! (Proverbs 4.23)

  • Why?  Because our thoughts guide our feet and hands to blessings or curses!  Paul states this as an absolute in Romans 6.16.  We must choose one or the other.  Which will you choose?
  • God described the deception of our relative culture in Jeremiah 13.10How does He say something good becomes replaced by something evil?  What is the source of imagination? Never forget that satan wants to destroy faith! Our defense is Romans 10.17! This is also his method!
  • Jeremiah 16.9-13 illustrates the evil imaginations that deceived the Israelites into sin and resulted in their captivity.
  • How does God’s contrast in Jeremiah 17.5-6 and 7-8 illustrate the conflicts of good and evil in our lives?  Pay attention to His caution in verses 9-10!
  • Jesus said something very important about us in John 5.44How can we overcome this?  Remember God’s words in Joshua 1.8 and David’s in Psalm 119.9-16.

Why live by faith?

Praise God!!!  Copyright J Maurice L. Painter 2012.  www.sozoclass.com