THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (3)

THE HAPPY WATCHER

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Rev 16:15 (KJV).

If we knew a thier was going to come to our home to break in, and steal from us we would make every effort to spoil that thief’s plans. We would be ready for him/her. I have seen some signs on country store fronts which read, “This store is guarded by angry man with a double barrel, twelve gauge shotgun, three nights per week – you guess which nights”. With that kind of statement theelement of surprise is given to the store owner, and taken frim the thier who if he has any sense will not break in.
The coming of our Lord Jesus in the clouds is likened to a thief, but only by surprise. It will be as a thief in that something will be snatched away – His prized possession purchased with His own blood – the Church. It will be no surprise to those who are watching in expectancy for the Lord’s return. It will only be a surprise to those who are unprepared. “THE HAPPY WATCHER” is the one who is prepared.

There are four things we need to see and realize about THE HAPPY WATCHER;
First of all, they TAKE GOD’S WORDS SERIOUSLY.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:42-44 (KJV).
Taking God’s words seriously means we will LIVE BY HIS WORD, SO AS NOT TO BE SURPRISED, AND CAUGHT UNPREPARED. Jesus said He would come again. In First Thessalonians 5:4 Paul wrote, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”. It is a shame that in the day we live in a large percentage of people who call themselves “Christian” are Biblically illiterate. Can you imagine the number of people who think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, and that amounted to 12 percent of people surveyed. Eighty two percent of Americans believe that, “God helps those who help themselves”, is a verse in the Bible, and those who called themselves “Christian” were only one percent better. How are people going to be prepared to meet God when they do not even know His Word. Pastor’s get back to preaching the Word and the gospel. People are perishing with your topical “How Tos”
The word of God is not to be joked about, but IT IS DELIGHTED IN BY THOSE WHO KNOW THE ONE WHO IS COMING AGAIN. Read Psalm 1, “…His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law does he meditate day and night”. The righteous DELIGHT in God’s Word.

Secondly, THE HAPPY WATCHER GUARDS AGAINST THAT WHICH IS PERILOUS.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:12-14 (KJV).
The one who watches for the coming of Christ will have no part in the works of darkness and evil. The only part we are commanded to have is to expose evil, and to overcome evil with good. We are to be clothed, and armored with the light of Jesus. Put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand. Always doing things that are honest, godly and good. We give only room for Jesus Christ. When “we put on Christ”, that means we will put off worldliness, and sin. How can two walk together, except they agree.

Thirdly, THE HAPPY WATCHER HOLDS ON TO THAT WHICH IS PRECIOUS.
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (KJV).
When we hold on to that which is precious THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HEARD AND OBEYED. He is not grieved, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” Eph. 4:30-31 (KJV). Neither is He quenched; “Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thess 5:19 (KJV). When the fire of the Spirit of God is burning we should be very careful to obey and keep adding fuel, not seeking ways to put it out. The fruit of the Spirit will be seen in the Christian’s life; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Gal 5:22-26 (KJV).
Our salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ is rejoiced in, every moment of our lives, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, all through life, and not seen as trivial. It is appreciated daily. The security we have in this salvation is not a license to sin, but a license – freedom to practice holiness and righteousness (Rom. 6:18).
Faith in God, His Son, and His Word will increase as we apply the Word of God to our daily lives.

Finally, THE HAPPY WATCHER IS SPIRITUALLY PREPARED.
The spiritually prepared are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Not depending on any of their own, “Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy, He has saved us”. There is a longing in the heart of the one who is prepared for the coming of Jesus, that causes us to be alert [watching] and working until He comes . When we are faithful we will be unashamed at His coming, not by our own goodness, but by His sovereign grace. To those who are prepared for His coming He will appear as our Savior and Lord.

In conclusion I would ask, what is your present situation with the Lord? have you been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ: Is He your Lord? If He is none of these you are not prepared for His return. Be saved today by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation.
Christian, are you holding as dear to you the precious gift of faith and His Spirit he has given you, or are you living solely for self forgetting about the needs of Christ and His Church? If you are living for self, you are not prepared either. You will be found naked and ashamed before Him at His coming. Repent of the wicked, evil desires of your heart and follow the ways of Jesus.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (2)

THE HAPPY DEAD

Revelation 14:13

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (KJV).There is happiness in death to the self, giving all for Christ, possibly even dying for the faith, and ultimate happiness when our salvation is completed at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Does the above statement shock you. Death is our enemy according to Scripture, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:26 (KJV). The “death” of the above statement is the giving of one’s self for Christ’s sake.

In our day of modern technology there are many who have an innate fear of death. Maybe that is as it should be. Death tends to remind us that we are but finite (limited) beings, and uncertain of what lies beyond. That is shown in our technology, which appears at times to lengthen man’s life span.

It seems that man has always sought for a “Fountain of Youth”. It also seems, that in the minds of many, the new “Fountain of Youth” is modern technology. People fearful of growing old are almost shameful of their age. There are some who have made request, that upon their death their body be frozen in hopes that in some future day their body can be revived and cured of the ailment which caused their demise. There was, at one time a great effort at promoting “Cryogenic labs” which provided the service of freezing the dead. If you were rich enough and foolish enough to believe such things. I have not heard much about it in recent days.

The one who has faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ should know that for them death is an enemy which has been defeated. It cannot hold us, and escape from it is not provided by any of the technological advances of man. For the believer death is to be “Absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Why would any sensible person want to continue in a body wracked by pain, a life filled with tragedy and sorrow? Let me clarify something – Life is in God’s hands, and it is He and He alone who gives life, and He is the only one who has the right to take it, or those to whom He has given authority (Read Romans 13:1-7).

Who are “The Happy Dead”? Those who are dead to the self life, and living for Jesus. Those who while physically alive chose Jesus’ life for their life, and lived for Him, but whose bodies are now in the grave, and their spirits are in the presence of the Lord who will one day bring the spirits with Him to rejoin them with their bodies, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1 Thes. 4:14 (KJV).

Why should we call them “The Happy Dead”? or Why are they “The Happy Dead”?

In the first place THEY HAVE A PASSION FOR GOD. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20 (KJV). “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1 Cor 15:31 (KJV). They receive that passion before their bodies return to the earth from which they came. The one’s who are in Christ Jesus have given their lives to Him for the cause of Christ and eternity. In doing this it shows their passion for Jesus. Their hearts are on Jesus, for Jesus, and not just to gain eternity, but because of it. Those who have died in Christ Jesus are now in His presence and enjoying happiness beyond our mortal understanding.

Secondly, THEY HAVE A PLACE WITH GOD. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15 (KJV). Through faith in Jesus and the finished work of the cross we are promised a place (John 14:1-3). Those who have a promised place with God throughout eternity have given Him a permanent place in their lives. They spend time daily in fellowship with Him. Reading, studying, meditating, and living by His Word – led by the Holy Spirit. They have found strength for living by Jesus living His life in them. There is no place four with God in the life of the wicked, but God does not joy in that, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek 18:32 (KJV). He desires for all to come to salvation in Jesus.

Thirdly, THEY HAVE THE PEACE OF GOD. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7 (KJV). “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb 4:9-11 (KJV). Those who believe come to a place in their lives where they relaize that all their labors (for salvation) are in vain. They will realize that if they are to have the “Peace of God” they will cease from their own labors and completely trust in the finished work of grace by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Last, but certainly not exhausted, THEY HAVE THE PRAISE OF GOD. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt 25:21 (KJV). “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt 25:23 (KJV). “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt 25:34 (KJV). God rewards those who are always faithful with that which He has given them. Your salvation is the greatest gift He has given. It could be asked, “What can I do faithfully with my salvation?” The answer for that is, “Do all that is in your ability and the power of the Holy Spirit to grow into the image of Christ”. Reading the Scriptures, praying, praising, witnessing, living the life that will honor and glorify Christ. Be faithful with the material blessings God has given. We all must remember that the praises of men have a short duration, but the praises of God are eternal. The praises of God begin when you act on faith in God’s Word. When there is sin in your life – agree with God. When it concerns the matter of salvation; it is only a work of God and God alone – agree with God. When God says, “This is my Son, your Savior” – agree with God. When you are in agreement with God you are walking with Him. When you do not agree with God you are away from Him.

In conclusion, the people who are THE HAPPY DEAD are those who realize their position in Christ Jesus. These are a people who are dead to the self-life and alive in Jesus. These are also a people who know that victory over death is their’s through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION (1)

I had posted this sometime back and then completely lost everything I had posted. I am posting it once again for reminder and for any new readers we may have. I will be posting the next study of the Revelation which will be chapter 14, and following that post will be the second study of the Beatitudes of the Revelation that I am calling THE HAPPINESS OF THE REVELATION. Enjoy, and God bless you.

THE HAPPY READER

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

These articles will deal with the seven Beatitudes of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. They provide for the Christian of all ages and the whole earth peace and happiness in the Lord. “Happy” is the meaning of the word “Blessed”. The Lord desires that His children be happy. He desires that we be happy in Him. John Piper has written, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” (from BROTHERS WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS). It seems that when we are most satisfied in God is when we are “Happy” in Him. That is just my thoughts. The happiness we have in God is not a fleeting happiness. It is an eternal joy.
In this article I want to show the happiness which can be found in reading and applying God’s Word to our lives.

In the gospel of Matthew we find the “Sermon on the Mount” beginning in the fifth chapter. In verses three through eleven we find what has been called “The Beatitudes”. Each of these verses begin with “Blessed” which means HAPPY.
The book of the Revelation has seven “Beatitudes” sown throughout its pages. This book is not a book which should cause anxiety in the heart of God’s children. It should cause us to draw nearer to Christ in awe, and in the fulness of His power. Warren Wiersbe wrote, “We need to approach this book as wonderers and worshipers, not as academic students.” There is certainly much to learn in this wonderful, dramatic, prophetic book.
The verse of Scripture in our text applies directly to the book of the Revelation, so we can find blessin and comfort within this book. I believe this promise also applies indirectly to the total Word of God, thus we find God’s will, way, purpose for life, and the way to knowing God within the pages of the Bible.
The promise is that there is HAPPINESS IN READING THE REVELATION. By reading the Revelation we can receive the knowledge of God that we desparately need. In Hosea 4:6 we read, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” What the people of Hosea’s day were guilty of was failing to hear and do the Word of God. Some of their not hearing it was due to the negligence of the priests failing to proclaim it, but the people were themselves guilty. Any man who stands in the pulpit to proclaim God’s Word and instead proclaims psychology, false science, feel good messages, or anything other than the message of God’s Word is going to have a hard time standing before God. The people who listen to the garbage coming from such a pulpit without challange will themselves be held accountable, especially if they knew better. The people need to know God, and how to find that knowledge. That it comes through the death of Christ on the cross, His burial, resurrection, His coming again, and by putting one’s faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. The reading of the Revelation also gives knowledge of things concerning the future. If it is not read it cannot be heard (Romans 10:17). The Word of God is not to be taken lightly (Revelation 22:18-19).

The promise is that there is HAPPINESS IN HEARING THE REVELATION. To get the benefits of reading the Revelation one must give full attention and come to godly understanding. The genuine happiness comes to those who do what they have heard, “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:27-28). When we hear we can find a way for cleansing and forgiveness “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:9). Also, by hearing we can find a way to flee from sin, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11). Another thing that comes by hearing the Word of God is that we can delight in it, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalms 1:2 (KJV). “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” (Psalms 119:16 (KJV).

The promise is that there is HAPPINESS IN KEEPING THAT WHICH IS HEARD OF THE REVELATION. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” ( James 1:22-25 (KJV). Do you have anything that you would consider precious? Of course, we would consider a family member precious, like a child, even in some cases a husband or wife, moms and dads, but let us consider things in this case. Is there any precious thing you may have in your posession? You desire to hold on to it. You will not let it go, unless it is a collectors item and it has reached its full value, and could start depreciating in value. How precious is it to you? The point I am trying to make here is, that we will keep what we hold dear to us. The Word of God should be precious in our lives. I am not talking about a piece of leather binding and words inked on sheets of onion paper. We can lose these material Bibles, but if the Word of God is precious in our hearts, that we will keep. The Word of God is precious. It is sad to say and to think about, but there are some who have discarded the Word of God for “Pottage”, as Esau sold his “birthright”, and lost the blessing. They trade that which will not fade away for what which will fade away. “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25 (KJV).

Finally, REASONS FOR THE HAPPINESS OF READING THE REVELATION. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:11-14 (KJV). All the Revelation of God reminds us of the Blessed Hope of the believer. It also reminds us of the Glorious Appearing of our blessed Savior. SEE TITUS 2:13. The full revelation of God reminds us of our dependence upon His grace. By His Word we are shown and reminded to live holy, and sanctified lives for His glory. We are reminded that there are millions who are perishing without Christ as their Savior. We are reminded of “THE PITIFUL, PASSING PARADE OF THE PERISHING”.