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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Introduction to the book of Revelation - Part XVII

Copyright © 2011 GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)

Introduction to the book of Revelation
 Part XVII

Revelation 4

1: After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said,
“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”

“After these things…”
…After what “things?”

Answer: after the Lord Jesus Christ has called His Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or the Church Saints, they are all one and the same group, to meet Him in the clouds above, at the Rapture. 

First John heard a sound, like that of a trumpet, followed by a voice resembling the sound of a trumpet say, “Come up here…” 

I liken the Rapture Event to the Apostle John’s experience outlined here for us in verse one.  The Lord said, “Come up here.”  The Bible clearly states at the sound of the “trumpet” (singular) the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who are alive in Christ Jesus shall follow.

“After these things…,” the Church-Age will end abruptly and God will resume His dealings with His elect (the nation of Israel) under the Law of Moses, and then there is the matter of God’s righteous wrath poured out on the unbelieving mass of humanity. 

“…and I (God) will show you what must take place after these things.”

Always keep this thought in the back of your mind; the book of Revelation is Jewish prophecy put on “hold” by God some 2,000(+) years ago.

Will Gentiles be involved in this end time setting?  Most certainly!

However, that does not change the fact that the book of Revelation is Jewish in language and nature.  In my opinion, the entire book is Jewish.

Also remember once the “Believers” have been raptured, the only people remaining on this planet will be unbelievers.  I join with you in prayer for these; and especially for loved ones who rejected God’s Gospel of Grace.  In the end, please know this.
There will be no “personal bye” from the Lord Jesus Christ and individual’s excuses won’t be considered.  How do I know this?  This is what the book says.

One may make the claim, “He/she never attended church…they were not introduced to the gospel.  And this could be true.  But regardless of this fact God has made His presence and His requirements known to all.  Follow me.
Please turn to the book of Romans at chapter one.

Unbelief and Its Consequences

Romans 1

18:   For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19: because that which is known about God is (What) evident within them (some would say this speaks of our inner conscience which acts as a warning prior to acts of ungodliness/unrighteousness)

20: For since (when) the creation of the world (all the way back to the days before Adam was created “in the image of God.”) His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (man has managed to “dumb” himself down through the centuries through false hope and false teachings or misrepresentation of the Truth; but even if an individual managed to avoid entering a church throughout their lifespan, and they were never presented with the Gospel of Grace; God’s presence and purpose have been made known to all) being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  (No free pass from God.  No excuses.)

21: For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations (the attempt to explain God away through science for example) and their foolish heart was darkened.

22: Professing to be wise, they became fools… (Speaks of all those who place their trust in Darwin and the sciences instead of the One who created all things.)

Mankind was created by God with free will.
Whether or not you choose “TO BELIEVE GOD” is up to you.
Where you will spend eternity is a matter of choice.

You can choose to believe God, which is different by far than believing in God or you may choose to go another way.  But there is only one way to find salvation; and this path takes you to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Clearly, this path is a narrow one for there are not numerous ways to God, heaven, and eternal life, as so many teach today.

Let’s go to Scripture.  Please turn to the book of Matthew chapter seven.

Matthew 7

13: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to (what) destruction, and there are (a few?  No! There are) many who enter through it.

14: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

This is a good spot in this lesson to park for a moment and speak to you about the importance of faith in or believing in the Apostle Paul’s, “Gospel of Grace.”

I am almost certain that many of the people “left behind” are going to be absolutely bewildered to find they are going into the Tribulation.  With confused expressions on their faces they are going to be asking the question, “What happened?”

Sadly, in my opinion, this lot will number in the millions.
Why did they miss the most important “altar call” of all?

The answer:  Misguided faith.

And I believe the responsibility for this group of people being left behind and the shame shall fall on all those who teach/preach a “watered down Grace-Age” theology!

People are going to miss being raptured because they put their faith in the words and/or doctrine of their church leadership instead of believing the Truth which God has revealed to us in His Word.

What do I mean by a “watered-down Grace-Age” theology?
I’m glad you asked…my, I could do a series of lessons on this topic…

I won’t take the time to list all the “false teaching” being taught in the churches today in regard to individual salvation…only the top seven should do

Say amen church, if you’ve heard any of these statements on a Sunday morning.

Salvation is obtainable by:

1.      Responding to an “altar call.”
2.      Praying the “sinner’s prayer.”
3.      Ask Jesus to “come into your heart.”
4.      Repent of your sins; and be saved!”
5.      Begin a personnel relationship with Jesus.”
6.      Believe that Jesus died for yours sins and you shall be saved.”
7.      Be baptized “and your sins shall be forgiven.”

It breaks my heart when I hear invitations like these being offered anywhere.  

They are “void” of promise my friends.  Salvation does not exist in any one or any combination of these seven examples.

Where do I begin? 
I’ll share my experience with you regarding these “lame” salvation messages.

Some time ago, both in the Church camping ministry and in my Sunday school classes, I taught others about their need for salvation using one or more of these “Churchy” sayings.  …Everyone is a “rookie” at some point in time.  I made mistakes.

If I could have a “do-over,” Lord, I would be eternally grateful...

Like so many others, I placed my trust in the church leadership and I taught my classes using the material(s) I was given, instead of from the Bible.

The church spent thousands of dollars annually on Bible teaching data, work sheets, handouts, etc.; and the church expected us to use this material.  I never gave it a second thought.  After all, I could trust my ministry leadership…

But far too many of their handouts failed to line up with Scripture.

I should have known.  I missed all the warning signs.
And there were plenty…over the years.

Then I became interested in what the Bible had to say; and I chose to concentrate on and spend time reading Scripture.   On one weeknight, while preparing for an upcoming teaching session, I came across a rather obvious Bible contradiction. 
Since, there are no contradictions in Scripture; I knew something didn’t add up.
I took this information to my ministry director and compared their handout to God’s Word.  She said she would check with the pastor in charge and get back to me. 
Days went by without a word from them. 

The night before my teaching session, I received an e-mail from her saying, “The pastor agrees with you on this.  That was all.  I made a few adjustments.

After I found multiple problems with this purchased teaching material, I began researching and then writing my own Bible lessons and I used these in my classroom. 
I pointed out to the ministry leaders all the discrepancies I found in their purchased material and informed them I would no longer use their product.

I wondered how/why the church leadership could be so unaware.
Did they take the time to review the teaching material before posting it to us?
Evidently not…

Well, since I had the teaching responsibility, and I must be held accountable, I took an avid interest in knowing what the book says.  You see, I no longer wanted to be at a disadvantage.  And this is the key my friends.  Once you’ve “seen” the Truth, it is quite easy to notice false Bible teaching.  Allow me to illustrate.

My mother established a small section of ground in our backyard and planted many flowers there one spring day.  As they grew, weeds invaded her flowerbed. 

One day my mother asked me to pull up all the weeds in her flowerbed.
Okay.  Here’s the thing.

I was very young and inexperienced at this.  I could not tell a flower from a weed unless the flower was in full bloom of course.  And you want to know what else I discovered?  Sometimes even weeds have flowers…  So, I went out back and pulled up everything that looked like a weed to me.  Unfortunately, quite a few flowers were pulled up in the process.  Needless to say, my mother was not pleased.

But then she took the time to show me the difference between a flower and a weed.
I admit it took me some time, and I still made mistakes, but eventually I was able walk up and down the row of plants, spot a weed, and yank it out of the ground.

Before I knew it, I could spot a weed in her flowerbed from a distance.

Today I can identify a “weed” because I learned what the “real deal” looks like.

When the Treasury Department hires new employees, how do you think they teach them to identify a counterfeit bill?  Answer: by studying the real money.
After handling the “real currency,” a counterfeit bill stands out…like a “weed.”

Now take that lesson to heart as you study your Bible.
Each one of us is to not only know what the Bible says; but why it is so.

That’s a responsibility I take seriously as should you.

Don’t just sit back in your church pew, week after week, and allow someone to “spoon feed” you their opinions on Scripture.  Open your Bible and see if what they are telling you lines up with Scripture. 

On most Biblical issues, I think we can compare notes and agree to disagree and remain friendly.  But on the matter of salvation, I will not be flexible.  I will not bend.
I take the matter of salvation seriously, so let me clear.

Anyone who preaches you can be saved by any one of these seven examples I cited above is teaching a “False Salvation” and they are leading their congregation straight to hell.  Strong viewpoint, but it’s not my idea really.  The Apostle Paul said it first.

Please turn to Galatians chapter one, at verse eleven.

Galatians 1

Perversion of the Gospel

6: I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, (Now read carefully) for a different gospel;

7: which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a (what) gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be (what’s the next word) accursed!
(in the Greek, accursed means “eternally damned.”)

Here are the facts:

Altar Call:
…come forward and give your life to Jesus…
Many churches present a salvation invitation and/or altar call and use an incomplete gospel which is much different from the one given in the Bible…missing several essential elements; and there is but one gospel.

Let’s look at some of these other examples of False Salvation.
Pray the sinner’s prayer:
This message is not in the Bible; therefore, it is not Biblical Doctrine.

Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be saved:
Ditto.  Also not Biblical Doctrine.

Repent of your sins and be saved:
This phrase is also not found in Scripture.  It is not Biblical Doctrine.

Begin a personnel relationship with Jesus today:
This information is not found anywhere in Scripture.  Only Believers can do this.

Believe that Jesus died for your sins and be saved:
Faith in His burial and His resurrection are missing.  The gospel is incomplete.

Baptism washes all your sins away and saves you too:
Water baptism makes you wet; but it will not remove sin(s) at any time and has no power to save anyone Jew or Gentile.

What is the Truth?

Since Paul is the apostle to the gentiles, per the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, and that works for me, it is he you need to go to regarding salvation information in this Grace-Age and all other Church Doctrine.  Follow me please.

I dare say that the majority of church-goers don’t even know these verses are in their Bibles; but they are…so you have to deal with them.

Galatians 1

 11: For I would have you know
(insert your name here), brethren, that (take note that Paul does not say “a” gospel as if you can pick and choose but) the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.  (Paul did not attend seminary and he did not travel to see Peter and the others to be taught this Gospel of Grace.  As a matter of fact, they knew nothing about it.)

12: For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through (What) a revelation (by whom) of Jesus Christ.  (And where was the Lord at this time in history?  He is in heaven.  He ascended.   Remember?)

There’s more.

Galatians 1

15: But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace
(Saul was the first person saved by God’s grace.  He did nothing to earn salvation), was pleased

16: to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the (whom) Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

17: nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

18: Then
(after) three years (of the Lord’s instruction) later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas (Peter), and stayed with him fifteen days

The Risen Lord was Saul/Paul’s educator.
All that Paul writes about he spent three years learning it from Jesus Christ.    
This is where these Church-Age mysteries came from.
And this is where all Believers should be directed to learn and to teach Church-Age Doctrine.   …Nowhere else.

So, what is the one and only gospel by which one is saved today?
Anyone who preaches/teaches any other gospel than to believe (have faith) in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, is to be avoided.  Please read I Corinthians 15:1-4.

I thank you for your time.

GJ Heitzman

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