Jack is Face to Face with Our Lord

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Jack is Face to Face with Our Lord Empty Jack is Face to Face with Our Lord

Post by Jarhead on Mon Oct 19 2015, 16:22

From GTF this afternoon...


A Question We’ve All Asked
Monday, October 19th, 2015

Update: Last night after a beautiful time of prayer and worship over him, Jack went home to meet his Savior. It wasn’t the healing I, and so many others, had asked and believed for. But it is, in Jack’s words, the ultimate healing. Below are the words that he wrote in 2006 that bring me comfort in this while my heart is broken. I pray they give you comfort as well.

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
The following question was emailed to our “Ask a Bible Teacher” column this week. Since it’s such an important question, I’m responding in our feature article format so as to provide greater detail. This will also allow more people to see it, because it’s a question we’ve all asked.

Q. I have recently discovered your website and have found it to be very informative. I have learned a great deal about many of the issues discussed.
However, there are still a number of things I do not understand. About two years ago, I discovered God, His Plan of Salvation, and the many wonderful promises that He has made to us. I read in Romans of how He causes all things to come to the good for them that believe in Him. I read in the Gospels about how two or more believers praying for a common thing would have their prayers answered. I read of how believers should ask of the Father and it shall be given unto them.
Imagine how I felt in the summer when my partner was diagnosed with cancer, and after a short battle, was called home in August. I know that many people, including myself, prayed for her recovery, but in vain. I find it impossible to reconcile the circumstances which have prevailed in my personal life to those promises that God has made to us and which I have made mention of above.
Can you help me to bridge this gap in my understanding?
A. Who among us has not had prayers of this sort seemingly go unanswered and wondered at the conflict that it creates between the Bible’s promises and our experiences?

Life After Death

In the death of a believer we have to understand two things. The first is that we’re all infected with a terminal disease. It’s not a case of if we’ll die but when. No one dies a natural death because it’s not natural for eternal beings to die. Death came into the world as a result of sin.
And the second is that for a believer, death is the ultimate healing. Death brings the life we were always intended to live, and would already be living if not for our sin nature. For the “dead” believer, all of this life’s problems, pains, and sorrows are over and a glorious eternal life of blessing and abundance awaits.
The more we know about the life after death the less we cling to the life before. And since only God knows the end from the beginning, only He can know the pain and suffering He’s prevented in calling someone home early. The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. (Isaiah 57:1)
So what about the surviving friends and family? How can the death of a loved one bring good to the survivors? First is the obvious knowledge that the separation is only temporary for believers and a glorious reunion will follow. We have the benefit of an eternal perspective. And for non-believers it presents an opportunity to be saved from the 2nd death, the permanent one, and be reunited forever with departed loved ones.
But then our faith comes into play. If we believe God’s promises, then there has to be a more direct and beneficial cause and effect relationship between the death of a loved one and the life of the survivor. Our job is to look for it. We’re told to walk by faith not by sight, but our enemy will try to keep us focused on what we see, the absence of our loved one, causing our faith to falter and hindering us from experiencing the good that can come. God’s promises are more real than our reality, So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18)
By far the most heart wrenching experience of this sort I’ve ever encountered was the case of a mom and dad I know. While walking along on the city sidewalk with their 2 year old son, a delivery truck jumped the curb, fatally striking the toddler. The driver was drunk, and in fact had a history of drunkenness on the job. In the lawsuit that followed the court awarded a substantial settlement to the devastated parents. They took the money and founded a Christian pre-school in their son’s name that soon expanded into a private Christian school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade on a beautiful safe campus.
Several thousand children have since benefited from a quality, affordable Christian primary education and this couple has helped dozens of grief stricken parents cope with similar losses along the way. It’s an example of 2 Cor. 1:3-4 that all who know them feel privileged to have observed. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. They took these verses seriously based on their belief that for all of us, our life is a ministry and our sorrows are our credentials. In other words, each of us is uniquely qualified to minister to someone experiencing similar tragedies to those we have faced.
They had every right to become angry, bitter victims, and to yell and scream at God for allowing this to happen to them. But they chose a more excellent way. They understand that God didn’t kill their son. That was the work of the evil that pervades this dark place. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
God never promised us that nothing bad would happen to us. In fact, He promised the opposite. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) What He did promise is that He could make even the bad things that happen work for good. It’s up to us to believe that promise and look for its fulfillment. For my friends, the school keeps the memory of their son alive in their hearts while their faith tells them that soon they’ll be reunited forever. The blessing they’ve provided for thousands of others through this tragedy is obvious.

Unanswered Prayer?

Where our prayers are concerned there are also a couple of things to keep in mind. The first is that God reserves for Himself the right to choose both the timing and the means by which He answers prayers. We have to understand that His ways are not our ways and His timing is always perfect. We neither lose time by waiting nor gain time by trying to force His hand. He answered Abraham’s prayer for a son, but waited 25 years before doing so. The world is paying a huge price today for Abraham and Sarah’s refusal to wait upon the Lord.
Just because we don’t get something when we want it and in the exact way we want it doesn’t mean that God has stopped answering our prayers or keeping His promises. There may be some other things we have to take care of first, or God may choose another way to answer the prayer that we don’t see, a better way.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
God has promised Israel a Kingdom and a King who will bring them peace. They’ve been praying for Him to keep that promise for thousands of years. The world, even much of the Christian world, laughs at them and tells them that God has forgotten them. It’s never going to happen, they say.
God is faithful, and He fully intends to answer their prayers and keep His promise. But there’s something they have to do first, and until they do it He has to wait. They have to recognize who their King is and restore their relationship with Him. Then God will act.

Union And Fellowship

So it is with us, and this is the second thing to keep in mind. This may not sound familiar to those of you who’ve been taught “Christianity Lite” but there are two components to a believer’s relationship with God. One is called Union. It concerns our eternity and is irrevocable, guaranteeing our place in His Kingdom. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Union happens at the moment we hear the Gospel and believe it, and God seals His Holy Spirit within us.
The other is called Fellowship and it comes with Union. But Fellowship affects our life here on Earth and is subject to suspension. (1 John 1:8-9) When we fail to confess our sins, we temporarily suspend our relationship with God, because He can’t dwell in the presence of sin. We can’t lose our salvation (Union), but during those times when we’re out of Fellowship we don’t have the right to ask God for anything except forgiveness. And what’s more, we’ve stepped out of His protection and are fair game for the enemy’s mischief.
The Book of Job is an example of the difference between Union and Fellowship. Job’s righteousness made him proud, a sin in God’s eyes. When Satan asked to torment him, God had to agree in spite of the fact that Job was one of the most righteous men on Earth, because he hadn’t confessed his sin. As long as Job relied on his own righteousness he was vulnerable to attack, and none of his complaints could change that, even though he remained a child of God. When he confessed, God put a stop to the torment and restored him. The lesson Job learned through his ordeal (and that we’re supposed to learn as well according to Romans 15:4) is that when we justify ourselves, we condemn God. Whenever we start thinking that we don’t deserve something bad that’s happening to us, we in effect accuse God of being unjust. It’s part of our human nature to look outside of ourselves for the blame, but it delays our reconciliation with God.
For a New Testament example, read the Parable of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32) The prodigal never stopped being his father’s son, but while he was living a sinful life he was out of fellowship, deprived of his father’s blessings. When he came to his senses and confessed, he was restored. All Christians have Union with God and are guaranteed a place in His Kingdom, but many live their whole lives out of Fellowship because of their unconfessed sins and miss out on untold blessings, stacking up mountains of unanswered prayers.
Because of the cross, maintaining our Fellowship is as easy as invoking 1 John 1:8-9. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
God is just and righteous and cannot lie. He has a 6000 year track record of unblemished performance. Whenever it seems like His promises aren’t coming true, you can bet that it’s due to our lack of understanding, not His lack of integrity.
Thank you Peter, for submitting this question we’ve all asked. Selah 11-04-06

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Post by Tryphosa on Mon Oct 19 2015, 19:16

Jack is Face to Face with Our Lord 1175114475

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Post by Tryphena on Wed Oct 21 2015, 20:04

I was gone & off for 4 days, Tyo did inform me of Jack's passing. Joining you, friends, in sorrow and also in thanksgiving for Jack's online teaching and shepherding.
He will be greatly missed.

Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3

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Post by Jarhead on Thu Oct 22 2015, 05:59

Indeed, Tryph.  There is a wealth of teaching on the GTF website.

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Jack is Face to Face with Our Lord Empty Behold, I Make All Things New

Post by Tryphena on Mon Oct 26 2015, 14:04

Behold, I Make All Things New
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Church Featured Israel Millennium Old Testament Rapture

Site update: Words cannot express how much your comments here and on Facebook, and your emails have meant to me this past week. From the beginning, the Lord has brought us the most amazing and supportive readers. And I am so very grateful for you all.

We began this ministry by modeling it after George Muller. He opened and ran orphanages, and supported missionaries by mentioning his needs to the Lord only. The main purpose was not in giving, though that was extreme and generous,  it was in proving that the God we serve is real, that He cares for us, and that He answers our prayers.

We celebrated our tenth anniversary as missionaries in Mexico this past September. And in these ten years we have seen the Lord do amazing things through this ministry, while staying true to our goal to show that it is the Lord only who provides all these things. We never advertised, or fundraised. We never asked for donations, so we knew that everything we received was what and how the Lord desired. And it has been an absolute joy to be the channel through which the blessings of the Lord have flowed. From the Lord, through you, through this ministry, to bless the lives of countless others. Consistently, we would pray about a need we would see, and the Lord would respond, “you do it.” And new donations would arrive, in just the right amounts. It is a privilege and an honor to serve the living God, and to partner with you, the Body of Christ.

Jack had a special gifting to help all of us know and experience the grace and mercy and love of our Creator. To simplify what seemed complicated, and clarify what seemed confusing. I am so grateful for this site, not just for you who have supported and prayed and cried with us, but for this place to come and read Jack’s words anew and feel encouraged and a little less alone.

I don’t know what the Lord has in mind for me, our missionary work, or for this website. I do know that He has always been faithful. And I know that I will keep Jack’s words up indefinitely. As a dear friend told me, the Lord gave us this ministry and we won’t allow the devil to take it away. We’ve never done anything without seeking the Lord, and waiting for His provision. I will continue to live by the faith that it is our job to seek the Lord first and His righteousness, and it’s His job to provide all of our needs, even when we don’t know what that looks like.

While I wait on the Lord and seek His face, I ask for your prayers for clarity and an open heart, not clouded by grief but in celebrating both what was and what is to come… which can’t be far off. I’ll post the Prophecy in the Headlines each day. And I’ll be going through the huge body of work on this site and through Jack’s unpublished writings at home and putting them up fresh on the site for those, like me, who would like to remember. (He was writing some amazing Christmas devotional posts that I’m particularly excited about.) I’m reposting this article below so we can all focus on what is to come. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor 2:9).

The Greek word translated new in Rev 21:5 can also mean renewed or restored, and includes circumstances and conditions along with appearance.  It’s the same word used in Rev 21:1 referring to a new heaven and a new earth.  And Rev. 21:1 is a reference to  Isaiah 65:17 where new heavens and a new earth are also mentioned, along with one of the better descriptions of life in Israel during the Millennium. The Hebrew word for new in Isaiah 65:17 comes from a root meaning to rebuild, renew, or repair.

Since Jesus described His 2nd Coming as the renewal of all things (Matt. 19:28), it’s reasonable to interpret Rev. 21 as describing Heaven and Earth being restored to the condition they were in before the fall; refreshed, renewed, repaired and rebuilt for Messiah’s Kingdom.  It will be like God hit the reset button to put everything back the way it was at the beginning, giving the Creation a fresh start for the Millennium.

The context of Rev. 20 also supports this interpretation since Rev. 20:7-15 is actually a parenthetical explanation of the ultimate destinies of Satan and the unbelieving world.  John was simply bringing his subject to its conclusion before returning to the beginning of the Millennium to describe the New Jerusalem.  We know this because John skipped forward to the end of the Millennium in Rev. 20:7 and then returned to open both Rev. 21 (Isaiah 65:17) and Rev. 22 (Ezekiel 47:12) with millennial quotes from the Old Testament.

Israel And The Church In The Millennium

Have you noticed that there’s a lot more information about the nature of the coming Kingdom in the Old Testament than in the New? That’s because even though Christians talk more about the Millennium than Jews do, the fact is that the 1000 year Kingdom of the Messiah is intended for Israel not the Church, and for Earth not Heaven.

Major glimpses of life in the Millennium are found throughout Isaiah (2, 4, 35, 54, 55, 60, 61, 65, 66) Ezekiel (40-48) Joel (3) Amos (9) Micah (4) and Zechariah (14) with other smatterings through out the Old Testament. All we know from the New Testament is found in Rev. 20-22, and even there, portions referring to New Jerusalem describe only our physical surroundings, not our life style.

In the rest of the New Testament, we find only a couple of hints, such as Matthew 19:28 and Acts 3:21, because the New Testament concerns Christian life in phase one of the Kingdom of Heaven (before the rapture), not phase two (after it). So we can read much more about life on Earth during the Millennium, than we can about life in New Jerusalem. Those passages are important because they describe the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel, a promise that includes peace (finally) prosperity, land of their own and long happy life with God in their midst, but they’re not written for us.

So What About Us?

Descriptions of life in New Jerusalem are limited; no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain (Rev 21:4). Sounds great, but what do we do all day? On Earth folks will be building houses, bearing children, planting vineyards, tending sheep and otherwise enjoying the works of their hands (Isa 65:17-25). Do we just spend our time in some endless worship service?  Though it’s not likely, no one knows for sure what we’ll be doing.  But even though the Bible doesn’t answer our questions about our everyday  activities, it does speak of our state of mind.

Become As Little Children

Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom, we would have to change and become like little children (Matt. 18:3).  What does that mean?  Behavioral Scientists have determined that the average child is much happier than the average adult, partly because children spend most of their time learning and doing new things, and partly because they haven’t yet acquired the fears and worries of adult life. By the way, Science has also discovered that while for all practical purposes the creative potential of the human brain is limitless, the average adult uses a mere fraction of that potential working toward and achieving life goals.

A reasonably successful life in the US has always been beyond the wildest dream of most non-Americans, but even that can be reduced to such a predictable routine that once learned it’s quite possible to “live the good life” without much mental effort at all. Most people  invest more of their creativity in hobbies and leisure activities than in career goals.

In short, our Creator has endowed us with limitless creative potential (Deut 8:18), but since very little of that potential is needed to live successfully, we become bored and unhappy, searching for something to stimulate our creativity and get us excited again. Such is life, at least on Earth.

What’s The Alternative?

But suppose we were suddenly thrust into an environment filled with endless opportunities for exploration and the acquisition of new experience and knowledge without any fears or worries, just like being kids again.  Suppose each of us would see this environment as if it was created especially for us, to stimulate our unique blend of talent and creative ability, even to the extent of being designed around our favorite shapes and colors. Suppose it was a dynamic environment, growing as we grow, to provide endless opportunity for discovery without any possibility of defeat, disappointment or failure.

And suppose we were gifted with boundless energy, always feeling better than our best day on Earth, without a hint of fatigue, sickness, accident or injury. Ever.

Ever notice how curious kids are, asking all kinds of questions about what we’re doing and why?  Suppose we were given full use of the dimension of time, able to observe all of history first hand and understand how everything came to be and why it happened the way it did.

Suppose we had been divested of all fear, hatred, jealousy, envy, greed and worry, our minds filled instead with happiness, gratitude, joy and satisfaction for self and others. Suppose there were no more misunderstandings, arguments, or betrayals, and that everyone around us was just as concerned for our well being as we were for theirs.  Perhaps this is what the Lord meant by becoming as little children.

Billy Graham was once asked if there would be golf courses in heaven. “If they’re necessary for our happiness,” he replied “they’ll be there.” I believe everything necessary for our happiness has been created and installed in the New Jerusalem, and that even with our supernatural abilities we’ll live endless lives of exploration and realization, joy and happiness.  This is what the Millennium will be like for us.

So why doesn’t the Bible go into more detail about it?  Well,  the Bible was written to and for Earth bound humankind in our natural state.  Even if there was a detailed description of what awaits us, it would be so different from what we’re used to that our limited minds couldn’t comprehend very much of it.  And what little we could understand would make us so miserable here that we’d do anything possible to hasten our departure. In short it would make our lives here intolerable.

As it is written “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9).  I think we’re supposed to read that literally.  10-16-10

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