Posted in body, encouragement, eternity, glorified, victory

What will it be like to be glorified?

I’m 54 years old. When I was young I said I’d never prattle on about my ailments, like a great-aunt Jane or a Grandpa Joe.

But now the doctor said I have bad arthritis in my knees, my feet swell, my eyes get so dry, my digestion is ahem explosively sensitive, and I get these headaches…

Ack. And my bodily griefs are piddling compared to some who endure disease, chronic pain, and trauma by fire or accident. Anyway, I think so often about seeing Jesus. My daily prayer usually ends with asking, “Is this the day? Will today be the Day I see you?”

After the promise and excitement and joy of seeing Jesus, the next part I’m looking forward to is the new body.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)

OK, that’s a great start. We shall be changed. Hmmm. Changed how?

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Ok, we will be immortal. That’s a fact that a lot of unsaved people do not know and a lot of saved people do not ponder enough. All peoples who have ever lived will be immortal. The unsaved dead will be raised for eternal punishment and the saved dead will be raised for eternal joy and communion with the Savior. In new bodies!

Matthew Henry Commentary says,

He assigns the reason of this change (v. 53): For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. How otherwise could the man be a fit inhabitant of the incorruptible regions, or be fitted to possess the eternal inheritance? How can that which is corruptible and mortal enjoy what is incorruptible, permanent, and immortal? This corruptible body must be made incorruptible, this mortal body must be changed into immortal, that the man may be capable of enjoying the happiness designed for him.

Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2276). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Further, the verse says we will be imperishable. This means we will not only be eternal but we will not even have to worry about our bodies. They cannot perish. Imagine living without worrying about the end of our lives?! Take death off the table and just imagine how much of a relief it will be.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Our bodies and our hearts and our minds will no longer feel any kind of pain. Not even the memory of it.

In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul said, “We … would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” When we die, we’re home. Imagine a small boy who falls asleep in the back seat of the car. When the family gets home, his father picks him up and carries him into the house. When he wakes up, he’s home. That’s what will happen for God’s children.

Death is glory. It is paradise, as Jesus said. In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote that “to die is gain.” When we die, we will gain imperishable, glorified, spiritual bodies (1 Cor 15:42–44) and be like Jesus in this way (1 Cor 15:49). We will know God and each other as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). And we will eat of the tree of life and live forever (Rev 22).

Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Posted in lion, resist, sin, victory

Spiritual warfare is real: the lion prowls seeking whom he may devour

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In the Old Testament bible days, there were active demons on earth, possessing people. It wasn’t a frequently mentioned activity in the bible, but it happened. Further, the people living at the time knew what it was when it was happening.

I hear unsaved folks and even Christians say that in the bible times of 1000, 2000, 3000 years ago, people were ignorant of medical things. They were just dumb sheepherders who attributed everything to demons and not to science or medicine. Well all I’ve go to say is, go build a Sphinx, a Pyramid, Solomon’s Temple, Aqueduct, or a Babylon Hanging Garden, Lighthouse at Alexandra, and then we’ll talk.

Though a visible presence of demons as bodily possessors was an occurrence in the OT days, they weren’t frequent. Demonic events seemed to ramp up immediately prior, during, and just after Jesus’ incarnation. The heightened activity of satan on earth was evidence of the battle in the heavenlies, by then having come to earth in a fierceness unseen since that time.

The presence of demons will again become visible and palpable immediately prior to Jesus’ Second Coming. As Revelation 9:2 tells us, the pit where many demons are being held will be opened for them to pour out like locusts and perform God’s wrathful will upon the people of earth. Sin will be unrestrained (2 Thessalonians 2:6) so demonic activity will have a heyday unlike any other, except perhaps immediately before the Flood. (Genesis 6:5)

Aside from the dramatic events of the Flood and the Tribulation, and the few years of Jesus’ incarnation, for the most part, demonic activity is invisible. Make no mistake, just because it’s invisible doesn’t mean it is not happening.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11-12)

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Here is an example of how demonic activity is present on earth but invisible. It is fairly early days in the kingship of Saul. The Israelites wanted a king they could see, “like the other nations.” They rejected God as their king and wanted a man. God did as they asked, and Saul initially had some success. However, God’s choice, David who had been anointed but not set up as king yet, was having more success.

And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on. The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. (1 Samuel 18:7-10)

Here is what struck me about this. Saul was jealous of David. Saul cast a wary, jealous eye upon David from that day on. This is Saul’s right. He can choose to sin. It is God’s right to do something about it.

How long was it before the evil spirit came upon Saul? The next day.

Do we suppose sin waits? Lolls around, just to see how it’ll go? No chance. Sin is always crouching at the door.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Sin desires you! (And me!)

Here is an example of how sin crouches. “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)

The ‘him’ referred to here is Jesus. The devil tempted Jesus, got nowhere and departed to get Him another time (or so the devil thought).

So sin crouches. Guess what? Sin also prowls.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Sin desires us, crouches at our door, prowls, and once sin appears in our heart or mind (like Saul) it comes in immediately.

We must master sin, as commanded in Genesis 4:7. Of course we cannot do that ourselves. The beauty of the universe and every atom in it, is that Jesus delivers us this grace, this power. Through this power that ever believer has, we can live victoriously before Christ! Saul did not rely on the LORD. David did. It wasn’t that neither sinned, but it was that David actively and constantly sought the LORD’S power to help him resist sin, and when David failed to resist, he repented sincerely.

Against you alone I have sinned.” (Psalm 51:4)

It might surprise some to know that satan isn’t behind every sin. Our own fleshly desires are part of the battle, too. When satan isn’t directly tempting, our own desires fill in the gap. Adding to that are the world’s desires, pressure from without. We cannot master the world, and we can’t master satan, but through Christ, we can rule over our fleshly desires, and when we do that regularly, satan withdraws “until an opportune time.”

The key is to give him the opportunity less and less frequently.

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It seems that the odds are stacked against us, with satan on the prowl, his demons crouching at the
door, the world pressing its desires onto us, our own desires clamoring to get out, but Jesus IS THE VICTORY. He has won it! He gave His victory to us! His Spirit in us is the all in all, able to conquer any and all sin. As ugly as sin is, how beautiful, wonderful astounding, that He sent His Spirit to enable us to resist satan. In so doing satan will flee! Otherwise, ‘the next day’ sin will come bursting through your door.

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What Does the Bible Say about Demons?

Why did God send an evil spirit to torment King Saul?

Posted in God, raise, salvation, victory

A praise

David sang to the LORD after being delivered to a military victory.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:2-4)

How much more should we sing of the Lord who delivered us from the enemy of sin, and the violence of the devil? How much more should we praise His holy name for being our fortress and deliverer, accomplished by using His own body, broken and punctured, dead on the cross while enemies mocked? How much more should we sing of Him who rose from the dead, conquering death so that we could conquer death, and be with Him forever? How much more should we sing of Jesus who is our shield and is the very horn of salvation?

Praise our Lord today! Sing, laugh, praise, and proclaim His goodness for all His works! I pray you are victorious in Jesus today!

Posted in end time, prophecy, spiitual warfare, victory

Spiritual warfare is real

I was at some friends’ last weekend, at our Sunday School party at their home. After dinner we played a bible trivia game. Here is one of the questions:

“How many angels are named in the bible?” At first blush the answer seems easy. Can you guess? Pause.

Answer: Three. Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer. Most of the teams gave the answer as two, Michael and Gabriel. Those two are easy to remember, but we forget Lucifer, who is that old serpent, satan.

Luke 1:19 we read of the messenger angel Gabriel-
“The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”

In Daniel 10:13 we read of Michael the warrior angel, who is an archangel-
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”

Paul reminds us of the hierarchies of angels, both good and fallen:
“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:” (Colossians 1:16)

Ephesians 6 is the famous chapter where Paul reminds us that we are in enemy territory here on earth, that the territory has a hierarchy, and that we are always at war, (whether we know it or not):
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

We often forget about Lucifer as an angel, his name means star of the morning, or shining one. Isaiah laments Lucifer’s fall from the high holy place of guarding God’s throne, to his low position of evil rebel destined for the hell (Matthew 25:41).

Hebrews and Revelation together show us that about a third of the angels fell with Satan. (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 12:3-9). Hebrews also reminds “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2). If angels visit us and engage with us on a personal and even intimate level (‘hospitality’ translated, “in one’s home”, “receive as a guest”) then who is to say that we are always visited by the good angels? Sometimes we are visited by the bad ones, too. Probably more than sometimes, probably we’re visited by them often.

I was in another friend’s home the other night, and I mentioned that Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest series is on spiritual warfare. She replied, “Oh! I don’t even like to think about spiritual warfare!” I was stunned by this, she being a seasoned Christian. I remarked that we are at war whether we like to think about it or not! Because of sin, the earth is a battlefield. Satan and his angels battle for souls every day. 1 John 5:19 tells us that the entire earth is under the control of the evil one. In Luke 4:5-6 satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and in one of the temptations, offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus didn’t rebuke satan for making that claim.

In Ephesians, Paul tells us to pray and to wear our spiritual armor. 1 Timothy 1:18 Paul tells Timothy to prepare for the battle. 2 Corinthians 10:2-4 describes the kind of war we Christians are in. There is war-like language all throughout the New Testament, referring to the fact that we ARE in a war. It is a spiritual war, but a war that has eternal consequences for each participant.

I was struck by the two incidents this week- the bible trivia question about Lucifer where it was so easy to forget he is really an angel, and the Christian who dismissed spiritual warfare topics as something unsavory she doesn’t like to think about. Christian, be aware that we are dwelling in enemy territory, and this is not our home. We are unwanted intruders. We are under attack all the time. Not daily, but frequently and constantly. We are attacked by demons, by our own sin, and by the curse of the world. We are in a war and that war will not be concluded for us individually until we die or are raptured. That war for all of us as a body in Christ will not end until after the 1000 year Kingdom when satan will be let out of the pit, will foment one last war and he will be squashed and sent to the lake of fire forever.

But remember an even greater truth. Unlike every other warrior who ever fought in a war, we know the outcome prior to the war’s end! We may be battling, but “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Jesus won the war for us, on our behalf and in obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus is the victor, and through Him we win the war. So, battle on in confidence, but never forget we are in a war. Semper Fi!

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