By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps.
For there our captors demanded of us songs,
And our tormentors, jubilation, saying,
“Sing for us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
Remember, Lord, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Those who said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare
To its foundation!”
Daughter of Babylon, you devastated one,
Blessed will be one who repays you
With the retribution with which you have repaid us.
Blessed will be one who seizes and dashes your children
Against the rock.
The Saddest of All Psalms!
Written by the prophet Jeremiah, this Psalm is said to be the saddest of all Psalms! It is a lamentation that was brought forth after the prophet gave repeated warnings to Israel of the coming of Babylonian invaders, only to find himself among the captives, weeping.
This week, we are going to go through this psalm, verse by verse and talk about how our current "invasion" impacts the church, your family, and your life.
We have finally made it to the last of the foundational principles: Eternal Judgement. I know...you can probably assume that this will be all fire and brimstone. But actually, eternal judgement looks a lot different for the believer -- especially those who have been obedient to God's purpose, to which they are called. So, we are going to jump head-first into the "fire and brimstone" part, and honestly, it isn't much different from what you may have heard. In fact, it's ugly. Still, if you are a believer, the horror of hell should only motivate you to give your life to pulling others "out of the fire." You are safe.
So, let's start with the Great White Throne judgement!
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
If you are a believer, this is not your fate. This great white throne judgement is the fate of the ungodly, unrepentant sinner. Such people are judged according to their works on the earth. As a result, their every sin is brought before them. There is no escape from this judgement. It is the precursor to eternal damnation. Sadly, nearly all of us know someone who will face this throne while still in their sins. This is why we have an urgency to share the most important message in the history of mankind -- the gospel.
Jesus gives warning of this terrible and FINAL judgement. This lake of fire was not prepared for human beings. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. Sadly, people cling so tightly to the enemy, that they face the same judgement.
Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
Hell, "...where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).
"...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day" (1 Thessalonians 1:7-10). (Notice that in this verse, it gives a distinction between the fate of the unglodly, and the fate of the godly in the same verses.)
While we can clearly see the damnation of those who do not know God or obey the gospel, there is admiration in all who believe! This means that judgement day for the believer is a great day! It is a day of glorious victory!
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, And every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:10-12).
We will stand before the judgement seat!
It sounds like a terrifying day, but is it? The greek word for "judgement seat" is the word "bema". It is different from the word used for judgement throughtout the gospels (krisis), which speaks to damnation and condemnation. The term, Bema, speaks to a judgement as you would see in an Olympic game. It is literally a raised podium from which judgements are made for reward. From here, the "least" and the "greatest" in the kindgdom of heaven are determined (see Matthew 5:19).
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
See? "But, we...". Again, there is a distinction between we, and the ones we are trying to persuade. We are made manifest to God. The "terror" is why we persuade those outside of His will. THe judgement seat of Christ is not a place of fear and condemnation for the believer. We will not have all of our sins recounted before us, all over again. God has said that you "...sins and iniquities, He will remember no more." So, why would He bring up our past, blood washed, forgiven past again? It is gone, and resolved. Christ's "Bema" is not a seat of trembling and punishment. This (I believe) is where you get your rewards.
As you can see, we ought to rejoice in the glorious future that lies ahead. The day of judgement will be a delight and rejoicing for those who believe. Even as we give account of all o our works, whether good or bad, our soul shall be saved!
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
Your works will be judged, but you, yourself, shall be saved! What you do with your life can either be gold, silver, and precious stones, or it can be wood, hay and stubble. It will all be tried by fire. The Day shall declare your works. Whether you are great of the least in the kingdom is dependent on your obedience to God on earth. But again, if you are a believer, your soul shall be saved!!!
Question: What is your greatest concern about the Day of judement?
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:13-19).
First of all, Christ Foster did a fantastic teaching last week on The Laying on of Hands. One thing about studying the foundational principles is that you get to learn things that you won't learn anywhere else. If you listen to what is being taught, it is practical. You can do this! Even more valuable (in my opinion) is the opportunity to apply what you learn when we gather together for prayer on Tuesday nights. I know...it's late. Soon, we will have prayer sessions at a more manageable time. However, I want you to understand that the sacrifice is worth it all. In fact, nothing of value comes without sacrifice, and prayer is one of those things. All that to say...come to prayer as often as you are able. The times demand it.
Speaking of the times, I feel the need to go in a diferent direction tonight. We are now on the Resurrection of the Dead portion of the foundational teachings, and we will dive into that topic, tonight. (For good reason, Niral II is burning to share what he understands about this). However, I want to get a bit more in the here, and now. I don't know if you can feel it, or see it, but there are some things going on in the world that we need to talk about, and pray about. I am concerned that if we are not careful, we will keep doing church, and become victims of whatever the world brings across our path. Here are some examples:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.Now as Jannes and Jambres [Exodus 7: 11, 22, and 8:7,18] withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
Even with their folly manifest to everyone, people will still not believe the truth -- even those who go to church. The answer to this issue is the ministry of Spirit-led intercession. In the midst of the turmoil in the world.
Read: Ezekiel 22:23-31
Read: Isaiah 59
Chris Foster, Teaching
To transmit: blessing, Authority, Wisdom, The HS, a Spiritual gift or a ministry
Action point: The second most prominent and powerful blessing in Scripture, is those that come from Father or grandfather blessing their children.
Stephen and colleagues
Be affirmed locally; do not go rogue.
“For this reason, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through (dia) the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:6) NRSV)
Dangers: do not lay hands hastily!
“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, and do not participate (share) (κοινώνει ἁμαρτίαις) in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.” (1 Tim 5:22)
Warning: do not hastily receive the laying on of hands!
“…one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).
So, we are still in the foundational principles and the sincere milk of the Word. We started out with repentance from dead works. Then, we moved on to an AWESOME teaching on faith toward God by Ose Burnett. This week, we get to dive into the topic of the doctrine of baptisms. Notice, it says “baptisms’ – plural. Yes, there is more than one baptism in the New Testament. The three we will cover this week are: Baptism into Christ Jesus, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and water baptism.
Before we go on, let’s investigate what baptism actually means. It comes from the Greek word, baptidzo, which means to be fully immersed by someone into something. It means to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk), to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe, to overwhelm. Originally, it described what a person did when they wanted to change the color of clothing, cloths, etc. The cloth would be dipped into a container, and left there until the cloth was a brand-new color because it was so saturated with the dye.
Baptized into Christ Jesus
This happens at the moment of repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. This is what was spoken of in Ephesians 4:5, which says, “…one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Of course, we are investigating three different baptisms, but this is the one required for salvation. It is not water baptism. Here, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into Christ Jesus. This is done by Him, without your participation, at the moment of conversion. This is the only baptism REQUIRED for salvation. It is the baptism that enters you into the body of Christ. Again, there is nothing we need to do to receive this baptism except to repent, and call upon the Name of Jesus as our Lord. The rest is done by the Holy Spirit, placing us “in” Christ. The evidence of this baptism is the fruit (Matthew 7:16).
Baptized in the Holy Spirit
“John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).
This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But, what is it, really? So much has been said to associate this with the speaking in other tongues that we have oftentimes forgotten the real significance of this baptism. It is an immersion into the power of God, and according to the biblical record, speaking in tongues plays a huge role in it. In nearly every instance where people were filled with the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Still, something deeper happens, and John explains it: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Luke 3:17). There is a sanctification and purification that happens when a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit. See, we are baptized in the HOLY Spirit. We are immersed into the power of God so long, we change in a way that impacts the world around us (Acts 1:8). We go from those who hid our faces from Christ, to those who shine with His glory. We become those who demonstrate the grace of Christ.
This baptism is performed by believers, and there must be a baptizer, water, and a person being baptized. You can be baptized at any time after salvation. Water baptism is a symbolic action to show that the old “you” is dead, and you are a new creation in Christ, raised from spiritual death. It is a public, outer declaration of an inner change. Jesus taught that we should baptize, and it is a priority. It is a special event, just as important as marriage and communion. He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). In the early days of the church, water baptism could very well have been a death sentence, due to increasing persecution from the Romans and Jews throughout Israel. Baptism takes the secrecy out of conversion, as they would go out to a large body of water to publicly declare Jesus Christ, and immerse themselves in the presence of everyone. It bring to mind the words of Jesus, “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God (Luke 12:8).
Additional scriptures on water baptism:
Acts 8:36, 38