What counsel did James, Peter and John give the early church on preparing for the coming of Jesus?
The Second Coming of Jesus was something which James, Peter, and John made a point to prepare their fellow believers. They understood the evils that would plague the church before that time, so they prepared counsel for them and, as His people, for us. Prayerfully read this counsel so that you can prepare, too.
It is the Lord who brings you to tomorrow. He gives you every chance to prepare for Jesus’ Coming. The day is coming soon when there will be no tomorrow, only eternity. On that day, He will hold you to account, for you squandered His treasures. You have deceived yourselves, believing that you alone earned your wealth.
The wealth you received does not belong to you, but the Lord. His possession is the Earth and all within it. You were to bless others as the Lord blessed you, but you have not done so. “Ye have heaped treasure together in the last days” (Jam. 5:3). Shall a man buy his way into heaven with that which already belongs to the Lord? You are deceived. The Scriptures speak against the evil of your deeds.
“Behold the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you” (Jam. 5:4-6)
Even now, there is hope for those of you who will repent of your deeds. Salvation came to one like you. Zacchaeus, rich and chief among the publicans, had the world’s greatest Treasure abide with Him and he repented of his ways.
Can not the same pattern be repeated for you? Cannot salvation, paid at a terrible price, be yours? Repent as one who knows the fleeting value of earthly riches. Seek for treasure in heaven and it will be found of you. Be not as those once rich among you now living in shame for the evil of their deeds. Be as one who has invested in the treasures in heaven and prepare to collect thy reward. The market is about to close. Invest in a sure return.
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…” (1 Pet. 2:1).
Let me be plain. The evil written of here will not enter heaven a second time. Did you know that this very evil arose from Lucifer, who through cherishing them, became Satan? These are the very evils he used to deceive the many demons which our world glorifies. For these very transgressions, these angels fell from grace to aid our enemy in seeking our destruction. These sins, and all who cherish them at Christ’s coming, will be destroyed. Jesus will not lead evil into heaven. He Himself died at their hands.
Do you cherish these sins more than Jesus? These evils have surely brought you pain and misery and others have suffered at their hands. These sins do not add to the quality of your life. They degrade it and mar the image that God formed you in. Do not let them cost you the heaven that Christ prepared for you. Put away all things that encourage you in these sins.
Call upon God to help you understand the evils that threaten your lives. Only by divine understanding will you grow to hate them. He who originated them hates you and hate does not belong to anyone who desires to dwell in heaven. These evils cannot be confessed and forsaken by human effort alone. Divine power must be supplied to accomplish it and this is what Jesus will provide to all who ask Him. Do not wait for the counsel of those who do these things. Go to the Lord on your own. Go now. As you already know, tomorrow is not a promise. It is an opportunity, another chance to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Fear not what others may say of you. Desire only what the Lord will say to those who believed. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…” (Mt. 25:21).
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…” (1 Pet. 3:15).
This counsel reflects the two greatest commandments. By sanctifying the Lord in our hearts, we put aside anything that would profane Him. Nothing must be allowed to corrupt the place that God has in our hearts. What saith the Scriptures of the sanctity of the Lord’s temple? Were not only the priests allowed to enter? Were they not set aside as holy to the Lord, to minister before Him? No one other than they had this high honor. Is this not how the Lord desires you to sanctify Him in your hearts?
Through your efforts, coupled with power from on high, put away the things that will profane the sanctity of your hearts before the Lord returns. The spirit of the world has no regard for the distinction between holy and profane, as you well know. It is set on blurring this sanctity with its teachings, philosophies, and entertainments. But he who loves the Lord will set Him apart from that which only profanes.
He who loves his neighbor will not forsake him in his most desperate hour. He will not leave them to their fate. He will testify of his faith and the nearness of the time. He will tell him how the Lord saved him and how he desires to save all, including his neighbor. This reason is not given with pride, as if he was saved because of his merits. It is given as on who believes in the hope he now has. And in this hope, he joyfully shares this end-time message.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Pet. 1:4-7)
What promise is greater than this, that we will dwell in paradise with our Master? What promise besides this one can possibly fit us with the divine nature of God and free us from the corruption of the world? No promise of man can do this great thing. But we who embrace this promise must now embrace it fully, for what the Scripture saith is true. The promises of God impart a divine nature to all who partake of them. What is this divine nature that these Scriptures speak of? We have spoken of it and it is godly character, revealed here before us.
Behold the means by which it is imparted: faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”(Heb. 11:1). Faith opens the door for the Holy Spirit to enter and work within our hearts. He expels the corruption of the world from our hearts and cultivates the divine nature within us. But this is not an instant process. It is a gradual one, beginning at faith and cultivating in love.
Love, not as the world knows love, but as God knows love. His is a selfless love, not one based from sentimental attachments and impure feelings. It is one that manifested itself in the sacrifice of His Son. This is what the divine nature of God produces: one so filled with love for others that they are willing to put aside their own life and their own interests for the sake of someone else. Even if the other person does not know this, the sacrifice is made willingly.
The same cannot be said for corruption. By its very nature it seeks to undo, to decay and ultimately, to destroy. Therefore, it cannot yield forth love, that which will find its place in all who will enter heaven. Corruption blinds all who embrace it to its true intentions. It is as if one was blindfolded while a serpent was slowly crushing him. It slowly wraps itself around him until there is no escape from its grasp. This is not the fate that the Lord would have anyone endure. Thus the way was made for us to escape corruption through the impartation of divine nature. Though this understanding was hidden from many, the Lord continues preparing the way for His people, that all may escape.
There are many among us who believe that God will not do as He said He would, that He will not judge the world. But what saith the Scriptures of those who believed this deception long before them? The angels who sinned were cast out, the people of Noah’s time were overthrown, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown. But God does not judge the righteous and wicked alike, for God provided a way of escape for the righteous among each of their generations. Therefore, the Lord will deliver ALL of His people on the day of His wrath.
They will not know the judgment reserved for those who are not His people. They will not know the fate of those who speak evil of their rulers, who gratify their sinful desires, and follow their hearts as God. They will not share the reward of those who speak evil of the Lord, who covet unjustly, who afflict children, who forsook the way of the Lord for their own gain, who exalt themselves and lure others to do likewise. Their hope is in vain. The freedom they thought gained has tethered them to those they were once freed from. These gospel message, if heeded, would have done its work within them. But in forsaking it, they abandoned the work designed to save them from the fate that they sought to escape. The sin of men in that day will come full circle.
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:7).
The final judgment, for our sakes, is stored. It does not begin until the Lord speaks it. But why does He store it? For our sakes, He has appointed a day of judgment, so that all may see and discern between the innocent and the guilty. This is what distinguishes God from man. Unlike man, God makes no error in judgment. There will be no wrongful convictions. He stores it to give us time. Time to seek the One who can overturn our sentence, who can plead our case before the Lord. There is mercy in this storing of judgment, mercy which we must avail ourselves of right now.
Hate is the complete opposite of God. As such, it blinds those under the power to the love of God, the light of God. It, when focused on one person, can lead one to sin against them. This hatred can so consume someone, they can be completely blinded to the efforts of those around them to bring that person out of it. They do not know that they are in danger. They do not understand that hate has permeated every aspect of their lives. All they see is their hate for one whom may have wronged them in a way they deem unforgivable. This darkness must be exposed to the light of love, that all who hate may see the plight that hatred has led them to. Love is the only power that can shine through the darkness of hate.
True love is unknowable to those who hate God. Love has the power to bring them out of their hatred and into a saving relationship with Jesus. Love convicted Him to lay down His life on earth so we could have one in Heaven. Love drives Him to reach out to us for hundreds of hears, pleading for us to accept His love and live. Love sends message after message, sign after sign, plea after tearful plea, never failing to reach out and touch a life who can be saved. Since He died for all, this means He is doing this work for every last human being on Earth.
Every last person on the face of the planet, even now, is being reached by Jesus to bring them out of this corrupted world. Not one is being neglected. He is reaching out to them as if they were the only person on the planet. Thousands, millions, billions of angels are among us, even now. They are moving upon every heart, every single heart, to understand the love of God working on their behalf. The very depth of His love, man cannot know until He can begin to understand the sheer magnitude of His ministry for them. What is this Love, that goes so far for us? My words alone cannot describe, much less, fathom it.
Were man to behold the angels around them now, striving to turn them away from hate, tirelessly laboring to show them God’s love, he would be beyond overwhelmed to see the love of God to such an extent! He who cannot see beyond the mortal realm cannot begin to image the legions of angels sent to bring God’s people away from sin. He will only behold this amazing sight at Christ’s coming. He will finally understand that a miraculous work had been done for him. He will see every angel that ministered to him for his deliverance, for his good. On that day, Love will manifest itself. For this day, God’s people prepare.
“And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one” (1 Jn. 5:8).
In Torah law, a matter is established by two or three witnesses. Each of these witnesses testify of His Son, each a powerful testimony of what He has done for man. The Spirit testifies that Christ dwells within the new man, ever ennobling His character, ever restoring the image of God in Him.
This is possible by the witness of water, who testifies that the old man is dead to sin. Dead to a life that was no life. Dead to a world that knows sin and death. A watery grave is the only evidence that a new man was once old. But soon, even the grave shall be no more, for sin shall be no more. It is a testimony that the new man is completely dead to the life he once knew. He does not seek to revive him, for his life now is life. It is the life he has always longed for, the life of true freedom and liberty. No more does sin reign in his body, no longer does Satan have preeminence, no longer does wickedness draw him. He is a new man, a man in God’s service, whose builder and maker is Christ. He loves to do His will and obey His commandments. This new life is not beyond our reach. It is there for all of us to partake, a life beyond death in more ways than one. Is this not the result of forsaking that which cannot save, which cannot profit or prosper?
The blood testifies to this. It testifies to man the end result of cherishing sin. Christ’s blood was not shed because of the abuses He received beforehand. It was shed because of sin. Christ Himself died because of sin. Why do we think we will not die because of it? He who once said “Ye shall not surely die” would have all men believe that they are an exception to the law of sin. He would have them believe that the decay and destruction happening around them will not befall them. He would have them believe that the graves that mark the earth will not one day have them as well. This deception, even now, permeates the entirety of human culture.
He is not content with even this, for he deceives many of God’s people into believing that no one will die at the day of judgment, that they will all go to heaven or spend eternity in a living death. This is sin at its greatest level, for it mars the character of God with Satan’s own attributes. He who once enjoyed life in the heavenly courts, ever itching to malign Him who he once served, spreads lie after lie and covers truth after every precious truth. This truth must be uncovered and the lies will be exposed for what they are on that day as they were at the Cross; that sin brings death and death only. The true witness of this is the blood of the Son of God. He was not raised from death by the power of sin. It was the power of the Word of God. That same power will raise the faithful on the last day.
The doctrine of Christ is essential to know the very character of God. This doctrine imparts within those who accept it an understanding of He who changed the world. His doctrine brought life to a people once dead and it is this doctrine that the Lord wills be carried to a world condemned to die. No other doctrine but the doctrine of Christ can bring life back to a world slain by sin. Thus, the church of Christ was commissioned to accomplish this goal before the time of their Teacher’s coming.
But the doctrine of Christ has been largely forsaken by the church. Many of them trust in the doctrine of men to bring them the life that only the doctrine of Christ can provide. He who brings any doctrine other than the doctrine of Christ into the church must not be received. He must not be heard out, for by beholding, we become changed. The doctrine of men appeals to men’s natural reasoning and man’s understanding. It cannot awaken the spiritual faculties to repentance or bring life to those who hear it. It is murder by sophistry, a distinct violation of the sixth commandment.
By raising these false teachers above the doctrine of Christ, many are committing mass murder. They lead God’s people down the path of destruction, those whom He would have know the doctrine, that they may live. These false teachers must not be walked out of God’s church. They must be cast out as one who would cast out the devil. In the days before Christ’s coming, we cannot afford to entertain one false teacher. Not one of Christ’s sheep should be led astray by these false shepherds before his Teacher’s coming. These teachers have wrought much damage to the church and they will not cease their work until they are consumed by the brightness of the Lord’s coming. The doctrine of Christ must be brought back before this time. The church must know the doctrine of He who gives life more abundantly. It cannot delay this any longer.
Many who would have life will not because they look for doctrines to please their ears. They put aside the saving of their souls for the saving of their feelings. They fear the pricking of their hearts, not knowing that this is what led 3,000 believers to Christ in one day. They must read how the doctrine of Christ manifested itself on the day of Pentecost. Though convicted of their wrongs, Peter told them how they could be forgiven of them. There was still hope. So it is for our generation. Hope abides for all who learn from the doctrine of the greatest Teacher to walk the earth.
To Be Continued…Check Us Out Next Time!