VIDEO King of Kings

It was granted to [the beast] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Revelation 13:7

Before the birth of mass communication, the digital age, and the Internet, people wondered whether it would be possible for one person, the Antichrist, to gain ascendancy and power over the whole world. But today, the possibility does not seem so remote. We hear increasing calls for world leadership.

Bible prophecy foretells a time when a “beast” or king will arise in the latter days and literally rule the world during the seven-year Great Tribulation until he is subdued by the returning King of kings, Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:19). Four times, the apostle John uses the word “Antichrist” to describe the one who is coming in opposition to (“anti”) Christ. Christians need to be aware of cultural and geo-political trends that suggest the need for a universal monarch or government. Even though the Rapture will ensure Christians are protected from the Antichrist’s fiercest actions, there are likely to be “birth pangs” leading to his appearing.

Anyone who sets himself up in the place of Christ has “the spirit of the Antichrist” (1 John 4:3) and must be resisted.

If Christ is Lord of all, Christians must recapture their sense of moral outrage. Charles Colson


Revelation 13:1-9 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

At the King’s Table

So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons. 2 Samuel 9:11

“He’ll live,” the vet announced, “but his leg will have to be amputated.” The stray mongrel my friend had brought in had been run over by a car. “Are you the owner?” There would be a hefty surgery bill, and the puppy would need care as it recovered. “I am now,” my friend replied. Her kindness has given that dog a future in a loving home.

Mephibosheth saw himself as a “dead dog,” unworthy of favor (2 Samuel 9:8). Being lame in both feet due to an accident, he was dependent on others to protect and provide for him (see 4:4). Furthermore, after the death of his grandfather, King Saul, he probably feared that David, the new king, would order all enemies and rivals to the throne killed, as was the common practice of the time.

Yet, out of love for his friend Jonathan, David ensured that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth would always be safe and cared for as his own son (9:7). In the same way, we who were once God’s enemies, marked for death, have been saved by Jesus and given a place with Him in heaven forever. That’s what it means to eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God that Luke describes in his gospel (Luke 14:15). Here we are—the sons and daughters of a King! What extravagant, undeserved kindness we’ve received! Let’s draw near to God in gratitude and joy.

By:  Karen Kwek

Reflect & Pray

When are you likely to forget that God protects and cares for you? How could 2 Samuel 9:6–13 encourage you during such times?

Dear Jesus, thank You for saving me and giving me a place at Your table forever. Remind me that I’m Your dear child, and help me to always praise and trust You.

The Best Friend You’ll Ever Have

John 15:12-16

Many of us are familiar with the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” We all agree that the Savior is a great friend, but our understanding of this relationship is limited. Jesus’ friendship with us far transcends anything we experience on a human level. So let’s consider some of the elements of His relationship with us.

Jesus laid down His life for us. Our Savior gave the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross, which proves His faithfulness. Surely, then, Jesus is a friend who’s committed to us forever, and He will give us everything else He has promised.

We are His friends if we obey Him. Those who are saved can be His friends, because they’re the ones who obey Him in love.

He reveals to us what He is doing. Everything we need to know about Christ and His actions and ways is written for us in the Scriptures.

He chose us. We didn’t earn His friendship and we can’t lose it, because it’s based not on us but on His choice to love us. 

Having Jesus as our friend means we are wanted, loved, and cared for by Him forever.

Lord of Hosts

“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)

This short verse is packed with important theological information. Not only did the Lord Jesus once again claim “God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18), but He also made a direct reference to His divinity using powerful Old Testament terminology.

In numerous places across the Scriptures, God referred to Himself as the “Lord [Yahweh] of hosts” (242 times) or “Lord [Yahweh] God [Elohim] of hosts” (29 times). Yahweh is the unique name of God, and Elohim is the grammatical plural of God (El), giving veiled reference to the Trinity. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Yahweh] our God [Elohim] is one LORD [Yahweh]” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

In the era in which Jesus made this statement, a Roman legion was 6,000 soldiers, so 12 legions of angels would have been 72,000 strong. If a single angel could kill 185,000 men (Isaiah 37:36), Jesus was basically inferring that as the Lord of hosts He could employ enough angels to kill every person on Earth and then some (13 billion). So, obviously He did not need Peter’s sword to defend Him as He was being betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Likewise, when the Roman governor Pilate said, “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” the Lord Jesus responded, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:10-11).

Praise be to Jesus that He gave Himself for our redemption so we can say, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). JPT

I Have More Insight Than All My Teachers

Mem

How I love Your teaching! It is my meditation all day long Your command makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me. I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation. I understand more than the elders because I obey Your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word. I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me. How sweet Your word is to my taste—[sweeter] than honey to my mouth. I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way (Psalm 119 vv. 97-104).

I can recall some teachers and professors who profoundly impacted my life at critical turning points. Mrs. Lillian Gearhart taught me piano; Jay Ciser and Carl Hamilton taught me art; Dr. Charles Horne taught me apologetics; Dr. Howard Hendricks taught me Bible study methods; Dean Ariton taught me music history; Dr. Bruce Waltke taught me the Psalms and Hebrew; Dr. Charles Ryrie taught me theology; Dr. Francis Schaeffer taught me about culture.

But this psalmist claims that he has more “insight” than all his teachers (v. 99), “understands more than the elders” (v. 100), for “You Yourself [the Lord] have instructed me” (v. 102)!

I too have learned that reading the Word with my intellect alone is inadequate. I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, and even though I studied at the feet of the fine theologians and Bible scholars I have mentioned, I learned that it is the Holy Spirit who does the real teaching! As R. A. Torrey said:

No amount of mere human teaching, no matter who our teachers may be, will ever give us a correct and exact and full apprehension of the truth… We must be taught directly by the Holy Spirit. The one who is thus taught will understand the truth of God better, even if he does not know one word of Greek or Hebrew, than the one who knows Greek and Hebrew thoroughly … but who is not taught of the Spirit.

I also must submit to the Holy Spirit as my teacher. I need his comfort and counsel. Otherwise, the undertow of secular society may pull me down.

Personal Prayer

O Lord, your Word is sweeter than honey. Feed me by your Holy Spirit so I may know the truth.

Doing His Will—Now

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. Philippians 2:13

Theologians are divided about whether the statement of Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer should be translated “in earth as it is in heaven” or “on earth as it is in heaven.” We decided to examine both prepositions, and today we look at the words “on earth.”

Most commentators believe the phrase has reference to the world of human beings who have their home on this earth. In other words—us. Fantastic as it may sound, a day will dawn when this earth will be peopled with those who will do the will of God, not with resentment or resignation, but with rejoicing. That day may not be as far distant as we may think, so we ought to double our efforts in prayer and joyously become involved in bringing our lives in line with His will. One thing is sure—the more you and I conform to His will, the more quickly can His purposes for this earth be realized. John Wesley famously said: “God does nothing redemptively in this world except by prayer.” Can you see what he is saying? The purposes of God for the future will have to cross the bridge of prayer.

This raises the question: how committed are you and I to doing the will of God? Are we hindering or are we promoting the interests of His future kingdom? It is vital that we Christians, both individually and corporately, focus our prayers on this issue with fervency and passion, remembering as we do so that the more abandoned we are to the divine will, the more speedily will His purposes come to pass for the world.

Prayer

O Father, in the light of this challenge today, I feel like praying: “Your will be done, on earth in me as it is done in heaven.” Grant it, I pray, for the honor and glory of Your peerless name. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 3; Jn 8:29; 1Th 4:1; Heb 13:16

What was the pronouncement from heaven?

Could this be said of your life?

Getting Past the First Step

Isaiah 41:10

It’s like riding a bike, as the old saying goes. Once you’ve learned how to do it, you never forget. We’ve reached that developmental stage in our family. Our daughter Janine asked for a new set of wheels. After much scouring of newspaper ads and scrutiny of bank accounts, dad and daughter set off in search of a bike. Soon the journey ended, money changed hands and the secondhand bike became our firstborn’s pride and joy. That was the easy part.

Janine’s old bike had training wheels. Before that she enjoyed the stability of a toddler’s tricycle. The old bike stood upright on its own. The trike didn’t wobble. The new five-gear, drop-handlebar, fluorescent flamingo paint job, however, suddenly looked more like a nightmare than a dream machine.

A new world beckoned: a world of excitement, enjoyment and freedom. But this world of adventure could not be entered without pain.

During a morning that contained more spills than thrills, one thing was clear. While Janine could ride without help or hindrance from dad once she got started, the hardest step to take was the first. It was the initial push of the pedal that was proving so difficult. This rite of passage would have to wait for another day.

To be fair, it’s not as easy as it looks. There’s a lot to contend with. There’s the weight of the bike, the coordination of the body, the dread of falling. After all, there’s nothing so easy as falling off a bike.

To many people, living out the Christian faith appears just as daunting. Jesus offers us a world so new, so exciting and so different that He describes it like being born all over again.

Jesus offers us freedom. He promises a journey with a purpose, His company through life’s ups and downs, and His comfort when we fall. But somehow that first step of faith is so hard to take.

We want to hold onto what we know and hand ourselves over to God at the same time. We’re attracted by forgiveness, but held back by fear. We’re afraid of missing out, yet afraid of messing up. We are going nowhere fast. We are in turmoil.

But we don’t have to struggle alone. “Do not fear,” God assures us, “for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). In him we have a heavenly Father who holds us, guides us and encourages us to leave our fears and launch out in tandem with Him. After that first step, you’ll be on your way!

Nigel Bovey, The War Cry, U.K.