Hebrews 11:5 and other questions from Discipleship class by Pastor Don Moore

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hebrews 11:5 by Pastor Don

I am trying to catch up with my notes from Bible studies, so am trying to put up one a day until I am more caught up.  This study was done on 10/31/08.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

God has what we need when we have a word of correction, for a Word of correction creates something new in us.

The concept of rapture is embraced in the story of Enoch.  We do not have to suffer death under God’s Wrath for the believer will be raptured, and that is desirable for we do not want to face the Wrath of God.  When the Wrath of God occurs 1/3 of the earth’s population will be decimated, 2 billion people worldwide. And when the wrath happens people on earth will still not repent.

We know that the Bible tells us 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The dead in Christ will be raised again.  Since Christ rose from the dead, those believers who have died are in heaven for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  There are also those who have died, rejecting God, not wanting anything to do with him, and God is honoring that.  Those who rejected God are in a holding place in the belly of the earth that the Bible calls Gehena, Hades, and they are waiting in various degrees of torment until the final judgment.  The angels who rebelled against God are also waiting for that final judgement.  They will be released after the millennium.

We are alive right now, and if Jesus came right now, those who died in Christ, are in Heaven, their spirits are in Heaven even though their bodies are buried in the earth.  Their spirits stay in Heaven when Christ comes in the clouds, with the shout of a trumpet.  His coming will not be quiet, all will hear.  The dead in Christ will rise first – and their physical bodies will be changed into a spiritual body, united with their spirits.  We who are living now will not go first before the dead in Christ.  Their spiritual body will be new, then after these rise, then the rapture, in the twinkling of an eye, our corrupted bodies will put on incorruptibility and we will be with Christ in Heaven at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.  While we are there there will be a 7 year tribulation on earth.  We are not sure exactly when this would happen (the rapture), there are theories that it could be before the tribulation, mid tribulation (3 1/2 years, or at the end of the tribulation).  We tend to think that we will not see the tribulation for God has said that we will not suffer His wrath.  Also, the traditional Jewish wedding lasts one week (7 days/7years), so we will probably not be here on earth during the Tribulation.  Then Christ will set foot on Mount Zion and the whole world will see him. They will mourn for they do not care for the peace.  Israel is under attack for people hate them, and they Israelites will most probably run to Jordan to Petra to hide from attack.  God will preserve a remnant of the Jews.

We want to be rapture ready, and the way to do that is to be those who are looking for His blessed hope, and believe it.  Those who teach against the rapture and do not believe will stay down here.  It will be a terrible time of great tribulation.  If the believers survive the tribulation and hold fast to their faith, something that will be hard to do with the persecution that will be given to believers, we need to remember that the Bible tells us that the first will be last and the last will be first.  They will have a higher reward in Heaven as the Persecuted church and receive a greater crown.  Pastor Don suggests praying that we are worthy to escape.  The devil has planted a deceitful idea of staying and suffering through the tribulation.  But the earth will not be the same as it is now.  With the believers and children being raptured, there will be nothing on earth to hold back satan’s evil and evil will abound in ways we cannot even imagine now.

We have no idea what it is to suffer for our faith.  We know pastors in India who have shared what their congregants have faced in tribulation.  For example, a church was invaded by the Muslims, and the children and wives were laid in the street and trees were rolled over them until they died.  The men were told that they could save their wives and children if they renounced Christ.  But they did not renounce Christ.

Revelation 9 tells us that the martyred people under the altar cry out asking God when He will avenge them.

Pastor Don shared an interesting statistic with us – the fact that there were more martyrs dying now on earth than in all of church history. Those martyrs are now with God in glory.

Someone gave us a website for Messianic Jews that seems interesting.  www.chosenpeople.com

After the tribulation, Jesus will set foot on earth and set up government for 1000 years.

A question came about what were the Nephilim, which were the offspring of the fallen angels who mated with the women on earth and produced ungodly progeny – the giants, the Philistines, and many of the ancient myths are stories about the Nephilim.  Noah’s generation was considered pure, not because he was sinless, but because his biological line did not contain any genes of the Nephilim.

After Jesus’ successful reign on earth, the fallen angels and satan will be released.  There will be a major battle that never takes place, the Battle of Armageddon, and those who side with satan and the antichrist against Jesus will be placed in the pit of fire.  Satan will try and convince the people to side with him because they will be rebelling because Jesus has ruled them with an iron hand.  In order to keep peace among the unruly ones on earth, you would need an iron hand.

After this battle there is the Day of Judgment, and all who are dead and those on earth will be brought before Christ for Judgment.  They will face the same sort of Judgment as the dead in Christ did, but they who have rejected Christ will not have their sins blotted out.  The great Throne Judgment of the Father will occur and no one can complain that the judgement is unjust.  On what basis will the great throne judgment be carried out?  The books will be opened and people will be judged according to everything they said and did.  Our case (believers) was decided at the Judgment throne of Christ, and we were met with mercy and compassion.  God, as Jesus walked on earth and know what it is like to be human.  Jesus walked on earth, was righteous, holy, and did everything by the books. Therefore He judges us with mercy and compassion, and He died for our sins, so that they are forgiven.

Those who say that it would be unfair because not everyone has access to the Word of God, forgets that God created us with a moral code embedded in us, and every religion, except the Babylonians and Nimrod have some sort of moral code.

Romans 2:11-16  For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Regardless of what we believe here on earth, the laws of God are within us.  We need to escape from our narrow minded sense of judgment, for Judgment will be based on God’s view.  He has written the law in our DNA. Man is wired for a relationship with his Creator, we need a creator.  We need Jesus.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

We do not know what will happen in Judgment but we know that it will not occur with the wisdom of man, but when God judges, He looks at everything in our lives.  God looks at who abused the person, his own weaknesses.  God knows that hurt people hurt people.  When God is judging a person, no one will be able to say that God did not take everything into consideration.

We then went on many side journeys, asking questions that came to mind.

A question was asked about Egypt and why, even though they enslaved the Israelites, their nation would be one of those saved.  The following passage was found to verify. And that led to a discussion about where the United States was in History of the End Times.

Isaiah 19:22-25 And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

Much cross conversation ensued, and Pastor Don pointed out that the US does not have a mention in the Bible – probably when the Christians are taken out of our nation not much is left to make it a world power.  But there is also a physical Babylon and a spiritual Babylon.  The way the United States is going these days, we are approaching a point where we are looking more and more like Babylon.  Many other questions were asked and conversations continued until Bible study drew to a close.

Praying your New Years is blessed!

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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