Peace and Justice in the Millennial Kingdom

Stephen Nielsen:

Look who I ran into on my walking trail! These wild animal will be quite tame in the millennial kingdom.

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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As with all the wonderful conditions in the millennium, they will flow down from Christ’s throne. This is especially true of peace and justice, which is pictured for us in Isaiah 9:6-7.

Isaiah 9:6-7
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

 

I also like Isaiah 32:16-17.

Isaiah 32:16-17
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness will abide in the fertile field.
17 And the work…

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How to Yield Your Life to God — 3 Steps

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Yielding to someone, even to God is difficult, because we have our sinful flesh that is always telling us to give in to no one except our own desires. But with God’s help in understanding it is easier.  Here are three points of understanding that may help.

 

1. Understand His Lordship

I think the first thing that needs to happen in order to know how to yield to God is to gain an understanding that God is God. He is our creator. He owns everything, including you.  And He rules over everything, including you.  He is Lord of all, whether we like it or not, or whether we believe it or not.  Thus He requires us to surrender to Him as Lord just as all of nature does.  And if we don’t, we are guilty of sin and rebellion.

This may seem terribly cold and harsh; but we must remember also that God is love—pure love.  He can do no wrong.  He loves you with a pure and infinite love.  But His love won’t come to us unless we receive Him and obey Him as Lord.  And the more we surrender to Him the more we will feel and experience His love and care for us.

And that is the nature of love—the recipient will experience it only when he receives the lover for who he really is.  In other words, if one loves us and we reject that person, we cannot receive their love as they meant to give it.  Accordingly, since God is Lord we can’t really experience His love unless we receive Him as our Lord.

But when you do receive Him as Lord there is no end to the way God will bless you.  And one of the things He will do for you is to help you know how to yield to Him.  He will work in you and give you both the desire and the power to yield to Him in obedience (Phil. 2:13).

 

 2. Understand the Conflict within Me

All Christians have a Christ-like nature, but they also have an unredeemed body that continues to sin. Before I became a Christian my sinful nature (or the old self) ruled over me and made me its slave (Rom. 3:9-18; 6:6). And my slavery to sin was all I knew.

The moment I asked Christ into my life, to be the Lord of my life, I died to sin and was resurrected with Christ (Rom. 6:2-5).  When I died to sin, what that means is that I died to the reign and rule of sin in my life (because Christ began reigning and ruling in me).  It also means that my old sinful nature (my old way of doing things, or my old character) died. When I was resurrected with Christ, God gave me a new life and a new nature.

This new life and nature that I have is the very life and nature of Christ; it is a nature that wants to please God all the time, and likewise, has as its goal to destroy the sinful desires that still dwell in my flesh (Rom. 6:6, 8:13, Gal. 1:4).

Now, since Christ reigns in me, the sin that resides in my body has no real power; that is, it cannot in itself control me and make me its slave.  God, however, has given me free choice, and so I can choose to yield either to the sinful desires in my flesh and become its slave, or to obey God and the new nature, and become a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:16).

Hence, there are two forces at war in me: the old desires of the flesh (that are always trying to get me to sin), and the new Christ-like nature (which, in contrast, works to usher me into a life of righteousness).  Since I have the Holy Spirit in me I have the power to choose which path I will yield to.

Accordingly, when we follow our sinful desires, our life will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impurity and unbridled lust; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred; discord, jealousy, fits of rage, self-ambition, dissension, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Gal. 5:19-21).  Conversely, when we follow our Christ-like nature, which is also the nature of the Holy Spirit, we will produce these fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

 

 3. Understand How to Conquer My Sinful Desires

The conquering of sinful desires begins with our reckoning. Romans 6:11 says, “…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In my words, we are to know and to think upon the fact that sin doesn’t rule over us anymore, Christ does. Hence, we are to reckon (to know and to think about the fact) that we have a new nature and that we have power over our sinful desires—power to choose righteousness.

This reckoning, we could say, is our act of faith in what God has already done for us on the cross in putting to death the old sinful nature (the old value system and beliefs, Rom. 6:2; 2 Cor. 5:17).

“Our part [says Jessie Penn-Lewis], is to yield our wills and take God’s side against ourselves, while the Holy Spirit applies the death of Christ to all that is contrary to Him.”

I would say that reckoning is a process of thinking things through until we realize the true facts—mainly that sin is not my master, Jesus is.  And that compels me to yield myself to Him as Lord.  And the way we do that is by an act of commitment, committing ourselves to His Lordship and committing ourselves to reject any sinful desires that remain in our unredeemed bodies.  And then we must follow up on our commitment by feeding our new nature and by starving (hence, by putting to death) the sinful flesh.  We feed the new nature by meditating on the Word, and by prayer and fellowship, etc.; and we starve the sinful flesh by giving it no opportunity to grow (Gal. 5:13, Rom. 13:14), that is, by not going to any sinful place, by not looking at sinful things, hence, by not thinking sinful thoughts.  All the while we must pray and keep in fellowship because we can’t do it alone.  We need help from above and from the encouragement of other caring believers.

 

 

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Much Prayer Is Needed Regarding Common Core

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I am a big fan of Olive Tree Ministries, began and led by Jan Markell. She interviews someone once a week and they talk about critical issues of our day. This one on Common Core really got to me. We really need to pray for and do all we can to protect our kids these days. Please read this and also listen to the interview linked below. It will be worth your time.

 

Common Core and the Christian: A Clash of Worldviews

Jan tackles the issue of Common Core in our public schools. One of Jan’s guests, attorney and spokesperson against Common Core, Marjorie Holsten, calls it “ObamaCore” and says it is worse than ObamaCare. It is indoctrination on steroids and is training kids to be good little global citizens. But it is ruining education. It is huge government overreach. Fifth graders will read a book suggesting Obama is a ‘messiah.’ Our Founding Fathers were supposedly racists. Conservatives are dangerous. Blatant pornography is a part of some curriculum. Then Bryan Fischer from American Family Radio joins Jan to continue the discussion. They consider a Common Core assignment that debunks the Holocaust. Much more info is given out that you need if you have kids in your life you care about who are a victim of this system.

Access Programming Here.

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Isaiah’s Miracle Prayer: Did the Sun Go Backward? — 2 Kings 20:11.

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Isaiah 20:11 

So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

 

Isaiah’s prayer recorded here brought about a miracle as a sign to Hezekiah that God would give him fifteen more years to live (2 Kings 20:5-6).  As it happened, Isaiah gave Hezekiah a choice of miracles; to make a shadow on a set of steps to go forward ten steps (this was the normal direction the shadow would go, but speeded up) or backward ten steps.  Well, Hezekiah chose the most impossible miracle—for the shadow to go backward.  And so Isaiah “cried to the Lord” and the shadow went backward—an incredible miracle wrought through one single faith-filled prayer.

 

But what was the miracle?  Was the miracle brought about by a means of light refraction, or did God actually turn the earth back upon its axis? The following commentaries may give some ideas.

 

Commentary by Adam Clark, Adam Clark’s Commentary

We cannot suppose that these ten degrees meant ten hours; there were ten divisions of time on this dial: and perhaps it would not be right to suppose that the sun went ten degrees back in the heavens, or that the earth turned back upon its axis from east to west in a contrary direction to its natural course. But the miracle might be effected by means of refraction, for a ray of light we know can be varied or refracted from a right line by passing through a dense medium; and we know also, by means of the refracting power of the atmosphere, the sun, when near rising and setting, seems to be higher above the horizon than he really is, and, by horizontal refraction, we find that the sun appears above the horizon when he is actually below it, and literally out of sight: therefore, by using dense clouds or vapours, the rays of light in that place might be refracted from their direct course ten, or any other number of degrees; so that the miracle might have been wrought by occasioning this extraordinary refraction, rather than by disturbing the course of the earth, or any other of the celestial bodies.

(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

 

 

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

He cried unto the Lord by special warrant and direction, and God brought the sun back ten degrees, which appeared to Hezekiah (for the sign was intended for him) by the going back of the shadow upon the dial of Ahaz, which, it is likely, he could see through his chamber-window; and the same was observed upon all other dials, even in Babylon, 2 Chron 32:31. Whether this retrograde motion of the sun was gradual or per saltum—suddenly—whether it went back at the same pace that it used to go forward, which would make the day ten hours longer than usualor whether it darted back on a sudden, and, after continuing a little while, was restored again to its usual place, so that no change was made in the state of the heavenly bodies (as the learned bishop Patrick thinks)—we are not told; but this work of wonder shows the power of God in heaven as well as on earth, the great notice he takes of prayer, and the great favour he bears to his chosen. The most plausible idolatry of the heathen was theirs that worshipped the sun; yet that was hereby convicted of the most egregious folly and absurdity, for by this it appeared that their god was under the check of the God of Israel. Dr. Lightfoot suggests that the fifteen songs of degrees (Ps. cxx., &c.) might perhaps be so called because selected by Hezekiah to be sung to his stringed instruments (Isa 38:20) in remembrance of the degrees on the dial which the sun went back and the fifteen years added to his life; and he observes how much of these psalms is applicable to Jerusalem’s distress and deliverance and Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery.

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

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The Building of the Temple and the City of Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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 Ezekiel temple

Click on picture above to see a Video  of the Temple

Since the temple and Jerusalem will be the center of worship and government, it will be important to begin construction of these places as soon as possible when the millennium begins.  We have already mapped out their locations, but were you aware that they will be located on top of a mountain?  Actually, Ezekiel 40:2 tells us that it will be on a “very high mountain”; and in Isaiah 2:2, we read that it will be on “the chief of the mountains.”

As we have previously indicated, most of Palestine will be relatively flat, so I take it that this area where the temple and the city lie, will be raised up high above all else.  I’m sure it will be a beautiful sight.  David describes the sight in this song.

Psalm 48:1-3
Great is the Lord…

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Choosing Trouble Instead of Comfort

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Yielding to the way of trouble (when we know it is God’s will) may sound a little odd or even crazy, but God uses trouble for our good.  He uses it to discipline and correct us, to keep us holy and to bless us.

“Trouble [says E. M. Bounds] is God’s servant… [It] comes with [His] permission… [and is] under [His] control… [It] is one of His most efficient agents in fulfilling His purposes and in perfecting His saints.”

Now there are many that would ask, “Why could God be so cruel as to bring us trouble?”  Bounds says this: “God is sufficiently wise and able to lay his hand upon it [trouble] without assuming responsibility for its origin… He works it into his plans and purposes… [He makes it] the disciplinary part of [His] moral government.”

Therefore, we must remind ourselves that if we are truly and fully yielding ourselves to God, we also, at the same time, yield ourselves to trouble, since trouble is a part of His will for us.

But some people believe that we should always choose the way that is more comfortable for us.  This is the belief that no pain or suffering is of any value, that God has come to bring us only peace and comfort and prosperity.  It is the belief that since pain is of the devil it is no good at all; and if we are in God’s will we will be prosperous and comforted always, that no pain of suffering will be allowed to come to us.

The only trouble with this option is that sin sometimes comforts us, and then later brings us pain and suffering.  But God has provided a solution for even this this.  He, in His wisdom uses pain (the pain caused by sin) to discipline us in order to keep us from more sin, so that the pain and suffering from sin is reduced.  Unfortunately for us, discipline is painful; but gladly, the results bring us God’s peace (Heb. 12:11).

 

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As if you yourselves were suffering

Originally posted on sarsrose:

1623617_10152579606750590_2673355775065316097_nThe world has been looking on in horror at the atrocities being committed against Christians in Iraq.

The blatant arrogance of IS has shocked us as they’ve flaunted their brutality through the media.

As Christians we can feel helpless. We want to show our support, but beyond changing our profile pictures to the ‘N’ symbol, or donating money to humanitarian aid, there’s little we can do. Except pray. We can pray.

Times like this remind me of Hebrews 13:3, a verse that never fails to challenge me.

“Continue to remember those in prison [for the sake of Jesus] as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

We should be praying for them, as if it were us suffering along with them. As if we were there. Suddenly my sense of urgency increases.

It can be hard to know…

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