Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ecclesiastes 8:6-8 comments: no discharge in that war

6 ¶  Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. 7  For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 8  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

Solomon has already pointed out that to every even there is a time. Now, he points out that to every intent of man there is a time and a judgment. Mankind’s end will be a fearful thing.

Revelation 20:11 ¶  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Many preachers who apparently have a reading comprehension problem have said that Hell and the Lake of Fire are the same thing. I’ve even seen it on gospel tracts. Clearly this sentiment is not Biblical.

All events that happen to man are foreknown by God. Even the wisest of men is caught by surprise by events that he has no idea will happen. We are in the dark about the future events of our lives and only have a general idea of what might happen and what we would like to happen. Death awaits even the wisest of men. No human being has the ability to keep himself from death when the time comes. Solomon likens our physical life and death as a type of war. There is discharge from it. Jesus was the only person in history to have the power to lay down His life and to take it up again. We see in the following that one type commandment from God is the power to do something, given by God, as in Hebrews 7:16.

John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The only way a believer in Christ will escape physical death is the translation of the church, generally believed on by the early church until the 300’s when the state-church took began to dominate thanks to the Emperor Constantine, and today by many conservative Christians. This is popularly called The Rapture.

1Thessalonians 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Notice that the Lord has not actually come to earth but the church meets Him in the air. This precedes that time when Jesus physically returns to earth as prophesied in verses in the Old Testament such as this one.

Zechariah 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Christ will physically return with His people to rule the earth, saved Jew and saved Gentile alike.

Revelation 19:11 ¶  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Of course, this is after the church, as the bride of Christ, enjoys that great marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven.

Revelation 19:5 ¶  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

But, if this doesn’t happen in your lifetime then your physical body will eventually die, as those of us who are older are painfully aware. The following passage refers to our physical body.

2Corinthians 5:1 ¶  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

When death comes you will not escape it. You have not the power to keep your life from its power. You will die, your body will begin disintegrating, dissolving, and your soul will be in Hell until the final judgment when you are called forth to stand before God to answer for your rejection of His offer of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ by being judged by His Law rather than by Christ’s righteousness. You might not think this is important now but, remember, you will spend eternity in whatever state you are in when you die. That is a long time to not be very important, wouldn’t you say?

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Note that Greek means anyone who is not a Jew, sort of like the Amish phrase about being careful out amongst the English. Confession is made to God for salvation, not to man in the form of a congregation, preacher, or priest. See Romans 14:11, although if you aren’t willing to tell anyone else it is questionable if you are sincere or just fooling yourself.]

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