A Key Purpose for the Millennium: To fulfill God’s Eternal Covenants with Israel

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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There are several purposes for the millennium (e.g., to restore harmony to God’s creation, to demonstrate God’s perfect government on earth, to display the character and glory of Christ).  This purpose is particularly important, for God made certain eternal covenants with Israel that have not been fulfilled yet—only partially fulfilled, and can only be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom.  Yes, the millennial kingdom is absolutely necessary in order to fulfill these covenants—covenants which must be fulfilled in order to establish that God does not lie, but that He will indeed keep all of His promises to Israel.

Now since this subject on the covenants is so important, I think it is necessary to explain them.  A covenant is like a contract or agreement between two parties.  There are two kinds of covenants: conditional and unconditional.  A conditional covenant is an agreement that is binding on both parties…

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Christians, Embrace Your Hardship!

 

 

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Endure hardship.

You are being disciplined by God as sons.

If we are not disciplined—not in hardship,

We are not His children.

 

So we should thank God for our hardship,

For when we are disciplined by this hardship

This shows we are sons and are loved.

And as sons we are being made holy as He is—

We share in His holiness.

 

Hebrews 12:7-11

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

 

Related Scriptures

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:1-5

 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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Seven Purposes for the Prayer of Confession

 

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The main purpose of confession is to obtain forgiveness from God, so that He will bring us back into a right relationship with Him.  This also is the purpose of confessing our sins to people we have offended—so that they will forgive us, and that we will be restored in our fellowship with them.  But there are other adjoining purposes or reasons for confession.

Here are seven purposes for the prayer of confession (from Psalms 51, 1 John 1:9, and Psalms 66:18):

1.  To obtain the promise of forgiveness and cleansing.  When we confess our sins in prayer to God, He will both forgive us and cleanse us. His cleansing always comes with His forgiveness. It is a cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9; and Ps. 51:2, 7, 9).

2.  To acquire truth. We will never have the same strong desire for truth and purity that God has, but if we take time to meditate on what He is like and learn the wisdom that He desires for us, then He will teach us this value of confession—that if we confess our sins (agree with God about the ugliness of our sins) He will bring truth and purity into the depths of our soul (Ps. 51:6).

3. To obtain a pure heart and a steadfast spirit. When we confess our sins God does a wonderful work of cleansing and renewal in us. He creates in us a new heart and spirit, a heart that is pure and a spirit that is strong and steadfast, which is able to resist temptation (Ps. 51:10).

4.  To restore fellowship. In Psalms 51:11 David prays, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” When we sin we choose to go away from His presence, because anyone who sins hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed (Jn. 3:20).  Likewise, God will not come near us, because He who is light can have no fellowship with those who walk in darkness.  Therefore, if we remain in our sins we will have no fellowship with Him.  But if we confess our sins He will forgive us and restore us to fellowship; and we will once again enjoy the nearness of His presence.  David says in Psalms 73:28, “But it is good for me to draw near to God…”  Again in Psalms 84:10 he says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

5.  To restore joy. While we are in sin we may have some feeling of happiness; but it is not a deep down joy, and it never lasts very long. When we confess our sins, He forgives us, cleanses us and restores the joy of our salvation. Then we will sing and praise Him for His righteousness (Ps. 51:8, 12, 14, 15).

6.  To be granted a willing spirit. When we confess our sins, along with the joy that He gives us, He will uphold us and give us a willingness to obey Him. Moreover, He will give us the desire and the ability to teach sinners His ways and to bring them to Christ (Ps. 51:13).

7.  So that God will hear our prayers of petition. If we cherish sin in our heart and refuse to confess our sins, God will not hear us when we pray (Ps. 66:18); He will hide His face from us (Is. 59:2). But if we agree with God about our sin and humbly seek His face, He will open the door of petition to us and will answer every request.

 

The prayer of confession not only has purposes of its own, but it also opens the door to all the parts of prayer, and likewise contributes to the overall purposes of prayer; for when we confess our sins in prayer, we are then immediately invited by the Father to pray to Him with praise, thanksgiving, and petitions.  Confession also allows me to experience prayer as God meant it to be for me, that is, to experience the love and greatness of the Father, and to have a part in praying that His name be hallowed, that His kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

 

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Looking for the Holy City: Six Visions of the City

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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I’ve been reading about faith from the faith chapter—Hebrews 11.  When I got to Abraham, my interest was sparked.  Abraham’s faith seemed to be strengthened by his hope in finding a city—a city which has eternal foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Well, I was so captivated by this thought of looking for this city that I decided to expand my study, and also to make a blog post out of it.  I found six passages, each of which gives us a slightly different vision of the city.

  1. Abraham’s vision: a place with foundations, unlike his tent (Hebrews 11:8-10). Abraham’s vision of this city, I think, came to him from God by the promise of God that if he would leave his homeland, He would show him to a better land and would make him a great nation and bless him (Gen. 12:1-3). When Abraham got to this…

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7 Misguided Ideas about the Rapture

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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Here’s seven ignorant or misguided ideas I’ve gathered from people about this subject of the rapture—which I believe is a pre-tribulation rapture.  It appears from these ideas that there is a great deal of misinformation being dished out in some churches.  This post is my effort to get it right.  I am a futurist, not a preterist.  And I believe we can interpret the bible literally. That means we can believe the Bible for what it says. I also believe that the kingdom of God in this age is not on this earth but is in the hearts of believers. The god of this world is the devil. This world is his kingdom.  But soon, after the rapture and after the tribulation, He will come to set up His kingdom on this earth and will lock up the devil and reign for a thousand years.  After that He will…

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Ezekiel Questions God

 

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The prophet Ezekiel was one of those exiles who had been taken to Babylon as a youth.  There in Babylon he ministered to the other exiles and assured them of God’s future blessings; but he also prophesied of the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

In the following two prayers, after seeing in a vision the slayings of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Ezekiel cried out, “Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem” (Ezek. 9:8)?  And “Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel” (Ezek. 11:13)?

Ezekiel 9:8

So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”

 Ezekiel 11:13

Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”

 

Here, it is obvious that those who stubbornly stayed in Jerusalem (for they did not listen to the prophet Jeremiah to surrender to the Chaldeans and live, Jer. 38:2) believed that they were the faithful chosen ones to take possession of the land.  And it seems obvious from these prayers that Ezekiel believed it too.

But the opposite was true; those who believed Jeremiah and were taken as exiles were the ones whom God was preserving as His remnants (Ezek. 11:15, 16).  Yes, those who were considered deserters were really God’s secret chosen ones.  Why?  Because they were the ones who trusted in God—who listened to God’s voice through the prophet Jeremiah.

And so God promised that He would gather them together again and bring them back into the land of Israel, where they ultimately would be given a new heart and a new spirit.  And they would be His people (Ezek. 11:17-20), and Jesus will be their King forever (Ezek. 34:23, 37:22-28).

The above is an excerpt from the book Prayer A to Z.

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12 Things I Am Thankful to God For

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  1. My couch, which is very long and comfortable.
  2. My apartment, which is quiet and provides me with peace to write, reflect and pray.003

 

  1. A firm bed. For a long time I slept on a mattress that was sagging and bumpy.
  2. My singleness. I have grown to love it. I have freedom to do as I wish—in the Lord’s will.
  3. My truck. It get me where I want or need to go.002

 

  1. Books. God always provides me with a good book to read on my lunch break or in the late afternoon.006

 

  1. Television. Though evils abound, there are a few good things to watch.
  2. My Champion juicer. It never quits and I love what it gives me.
  3. A few paintings. I picked up a few nature paintings, mostly copies. I love to look at them.
  4. Jigsaw puzzles. It seems I’m always doing a puzzle. It helps me pass the time when I’m bored.
  5. My new Nixon camera. Now you can see what I see.010

 

  1. My painting business and all my wonderful clients. It keeps me out of trouble and puts food on my table.

These twelve things are just a start.  There are so many things and so many people I am thankful to God for.  Thank you Lord for all you have given me!

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