Grace

Before and After Calvary

Jonah 1:2 “Arise, and go to Nineveh, and cry against it.”

Jonah 3:2 “Arise, and go to Nineveh, and preach unto it.”

Jonah received two calls from God. He disobeyed the first, but the second he fulfilled. Between the two calls, Jonah had a most gruesome experience. He died in the belly of the fish, was miraculously resurrected, and then deposited on dry land. [Note the difference in the two words in the two calls from God: (1) Cry against it, and (2) Preach unto it.]

The first message was a message of judgment, while the second message was a message of grace and mercy. It was also a call to repentance. Between the two calls there lies the death and resurrection of Jonah. The message of grace and mercy was after Jonah’s resurrection.

Ephesians 3

The Function of the Church, the Mystery, Christ and the Church

Introduction

In this chapter, Paul’s present position in jail and its cause are brought before us. Because he preached to the Gentiles, the Jews were angry with him. See Acts 22:21-22, Acts 13:46, and Acts 21:29. This resulted in his arrest in Jerusalem and his ultimate imprisonment in Rome, the city from which he wrote this letter. This was one of his prison epistles. A greater bondage claimed him—he was a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:2

The Practical Section

The Practical Section

This part of the epistle contains practical instructions and exhortations for the believer. The practical issues discussed should flow from the lives of believers who comprehend the magnificent doctrinal truths expounded in the first half of the epistle.

Ephesians 4:1-3 - Paul begins this section in verse one with an exhortation to walk worthy of our vocation; that is, our calling or summons from God, being chosen by God. We have to walk before God and men with all lowliness, humility, meekness, gentleness, longsuffering, and patience - making allowances for one another (verse two). These attributes are to characterize our walk. [In the first three chapters we are living in the “heavenlies.” In the last three we are in the Church and in the world.]

Verse 3 says, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This suggests giving diligence and earnestly striving. We are to keep this unity, not make it. See Eph. 2 – Oneness - The Holy Spirit indwelling and empowering each believer is the true source of unity.

Ephesians 4:4-6 - Three spheres are suggested in the next three verses: the inward sphere, the outward sphere, and the sphere of creation. Let us look at each more closely (for our own purposes here, let’s omit the words “there is”):

    - The Inwards Sphere (Eph. 4:4) - One body- one spirit. This would be the inner most circle. They represent that which is inward and not seen. In the earlier chapters, the body is the great theme. However, men on earth never see it. What men see instead is a baffling array of bodies, each claming to be the body. This one body is vitalized by one Spirit and looks forward to one hope. The unseen Holy Spirit is the prominent one here.

Jonah: Lesson 8

Studies in Jonah: Lesson 8

Jonah 3:9-10 and Jonah 4

Does God ever change His mind? What does it mean when the Scripture says that God repented of what He would do to the Ninevites? (see Jonah 3:9-10; Jonah 4:2) Is it possible to harmonize the many statements in God’s Word concerning His unchangeableness and immutability with the statement in Jonah that, “God repented and changed His mind?” There is also another similar passage in Genesis 6:5-6:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”

Revelation: Chapter 15

Seven Last Judgments (Revelation 15:1) - In this chapter we are introduced to the final judgments of the Tribulation. Chapters 15 and 16 record the consummation of events leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as seen in Revelation 19. Rev. 15:1 introduces us to seven angels. Each one has the power to unleash a judgment upon mankind. These judgments are the most intense and devastating of all the judgments that precede them. The seal judgments showed man’s wrath against himself. The trumpet judgments showed Satan’s fury against mankind. The vial or bowl judgments reveal the wrath of God against rebels and enemies. God has been slow to anger, but at this point His long-suffering ends and His judgments fall on mankind.

John says in verse one, “for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” That is to say, in these judgments, the wrath of God is brought to a conclusion: It is finished. At this point, it is God’s wrath on those who have continued rejecting Christ that is to be finished. This is a sobering thought for anyone who continues to reject God’s offer of salvation. There will come a time when God’s patience and long-suffering will be exhausted and there will be no more opportunity to receive Christ as Savior; this happens to some in life, to others after death. The future for such persons is the lake of fire. See Rev. 20:11-15.

 

Revelation: Chapter 8

 

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

Rev. 8:1 - “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” This is a startling statement. It was the awesomeness of the opening of the seventh seal that caused the hosts of heaven to pause in silence, for they had received a panoramic view. The judgment of the six seals in Rev. 6 was terrible in their content, but with the blowing of the trumpets, the judgment increases in intensity.

If I may direct your thoughts for a moment, to the judgment given through the pouring out of the seven bowls: there is a definite progression in the intensity of the judgments. This knowledge brings “silence in heaven for half an hour.” Rev. 5:4-5 shows us that Heaven is a happy place. The angels, the four living creatures, the 24 elders (whom many believe to be the church) - everyone in heaven, whom we have seen there, is rejoicing in jubilation, but now they are silent. It seems as if heaven gasps in horror at the prospect of such judgment about to fall on mankind.

After the judgment of the six seals, one would have thought that mankind would have repented. But, no, seal six repented not. Why don’t men and women repent today? How easy it is to do so (see John 5:24). “God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” “He is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9). 

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