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October 16, 2020 8:00 am
We went over put in the power of God is not so much displayed fleshy miracles showing demonstrations of power. Power is shown in the gospel of Christ, which is able to change life and God's greatest miracle. By the way, is not changing rivers in the blood or principal frogs, turning sticks, and the serpent. The greatest miracle on the planet that is done in your life. When looking at this broadcast wisdom for the heart. I'm Scott Wiley I'm here in the studio with Stephen Devi. This is the first Friday of the month and the first Friday of every month we set aside our normal Bible teaching to answer some questions that you've called him to come back in just a few minutes and give you the number that you can call if you have a Bible question. But Stephen's eager to get started and here's the first question of the day.
There are rating and chapter 8 now whenever Haley had no on the miracle that God gave him the play that the negation ulcers from Pharaoh. Almost duplicate the same thing. So I guess that's my question is where was that ability, from Postal Service they would duplicate a play that God had commanded them to perform. Thank you sir, thank you so much for calling you Stephen. I think that's probably a question many people of heaven as they've read that account. These guys are able to do the exact same thing that Moses can he's talking about Exodus, chapters 7 and eight and nine. The little forward.
It's these 10 plagues in the first three are produced by Pharaoh's magicians and it does raise interesting questions and I think the answer is multilayered, but he got a chapter 7 I were told very clearly that the magicians of Egypt did the same things with their secret arts and Pharaoh's heart was hardened and he did not listen to them as the Lord said to keep in mind they are doing this.
I don't think this is sleight-of-hand. I think this is an imitation. This is a will we call a sign and a wonder this is a miracle in terms of them producing something that is against what natural ability would produce and and it has to go back to a a source. Obviously the source is Satan raises the question in much power to Satan, have well Satan has whatever power God has delegated or allowed him to exercise any does have delegated power. Just go read the book of Job. You'll find him influencing other people, causing them to go on a murderous rampage is against that the employees of Job. You'll find Satan able to touch Job's body and bring him if he counted up. I think it's 19 different diseases and and the horrible physical ailments but also keep in mind that Satan can only do that because God gave Satan the permission to do it so there's tremendous power, but it is delegated power, and I like that the words of Martin Luther, the reformer who said that Satan is a dog and he's a dog on a leash held by God, so he can't run and do whatever he wants to do. God is in perfect control when you see a demonstration of power. It is rather alarming and if you go to Exodus 7 and eight up until the fourth plague there enabled by their secret arts by demonic power given to them to actually imitate the plagues and I think it's important that when you get to the next list of of that next triplet of plagues that are unable to duplicate it. In fact, in Exodus 819. The magicians say to Pharaoh. This is the finger of God. In other words, they knew that this was beyond their own ability and their own demonic secret arts and God was behind this and of course Pharaoh continued to harden his his heart. What about us today what what is this mean for us today and so I'm glad you asked this question. We have to be aware that even today. False teachers have power that enables them to deceive individuals into believing that they represent God or true power or the light. Jesus warned us in Matthew 24. There will arise false Christ's or Antichrist, false prophets and then listen to this and they will show great signs and wonders and others and to do some some miracles and wonders they're going to have enough delegated power from their satanic source to imitate what might seem to be something from God and so the warnings continue in the New Testament. In fact, the litmus test today for a true prophet is not whether or not they can heal or perform a miracle or show some sign or wonder in fact that Jesus warned us that there will be many in the day of judgment you say Lord, haven't we prophesied in your name. In other words, haven't we said things are going to happen in the future and they happened and they did it in the name of Jesus. Jesus continues and in your name have cast out devils so they been involved in exorcism. They have seemingly had power over the satanic world even though they have been empowered by the satanic world. I mean how deceptive is that Jesus goes on and in the name of Jesus are in my name have done many wonderful works, but I will say to them. I never knew you. So here they are unrepentant sinners there unsaved but yet they are empowered by a demonic source. Satan himself to perform signs and wonders and then of course go all the way in the book of Revelation and watch the antichrist do amazing miraculous things, but his powers coming from Satan.
That power is limited by the providence of God and yet he will deceive millions of people because of his ability to perform signs and wonders thank you, Stephen, and I've always found it interesting and maybe a little bit funny that these plagues are God's judgment upon Pharaoh in the land of Egypt, but Pharaoh's magicians are actually making things worse there making more frogs in our data. That's an interesting thought, and before we leave this. Let me just deliver again one more warning to you, even in this 21st century likely when author put it, that the power of God is not so much displayed in flashy miracles and showy demonstrations of power.
The power of God is shown in the gospel of Christ, which is able to change life. This is something that satanic or demonic forces cannot replicate and that is the change life God's greatest miracle. By the way, is not changing rivers in the blood or producing frogs or turning sticks and the serpent. The greatest miracle on the planet friend is what God is done in your life. When he changed your heart.
That was dead in sin and brought you to life made you a part of the family of God and one day change your body to be immortal and you live forever test that is the greatest miracle Satan can even touch that. In the meantime, what he does do is delegated by God for God's purposes, with no need to fear but instead let's give glory to God and continue serving him a man thank you so much, will friends. Let me give you the number that you can use if you have a question about the Christian faith or the word of God. Our Bible question line is 910-808-9384. That's a special number that we've set up just for this purpose. We don't and we can't answer that number it's only designed for you to call in and record your message.
We recently received a question asking what time that number is available in its 24 hours a day you can call anytime that you have a question and will answer it on a future broadcast that number once again is 910-808-9384 here's our second question of the day. Merker, straight nomination to me. People go to this summer love.
We were so glad to hear from you. Thank you for listening to wisdom for the heart, down there in Birmingham, Alabama. I think Stephen's going to be able to help you from God's word today.
Yes thank you letter for that. We could start by referring to the first designation of Christians wasn't Baptist or Presbyterian or Episcopalian or whatever all the way back in acts chapter 9 verse two Saul four is converted and in his name is familiar to us, as Paul the apostle, but Saul is heading to Damascus. He's going to arrest Christians in the text says if he found anyone belonging to the way both men and women he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
So the first designation for Christians is the way there weren't Protestant denominations until the Reformation 500 years ago. You basically have the church in the Catholic Church was called simply one holy church and then that splintered into Protestant denominations that we know today. They tended to come and go, were watching some mainline denominations. Basically disappear in apostasy and unbelief. But keep in mind that any church that says we are the one true church or any church that says we are, we belong to the one true denomination. That's tenuous ground. In fact, that's frightening. I wouldn't belong to a church or denomination that claimed to be the only way to heaven. Why, because the only one that can make that claim is the Lord Jesus who said I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. So heaven is gained by people belonging to Jesus and that can take place in any denomination that can take place in places where there are no denominations overseas and other countries.
There are underground churches that are part of denominations. They simply believe the gospel. Jesus makes that claim can only say that is why so many denominations because that might be a follow-up to Scott that loves thinking of asking.
I think that denominations are part of God's protection I think was a dangerous thing to have one church, under the leadership of a few men and one pope. All that the enemy had to do was corrupt. One man or a few men in the entire church under their leadership faced great threat in doctrinal error.
So here we are celebrating the Reformation and those who protested the Catholic Church those protesters became known as protestants or Protestants, they were protesting the corruption of Catholicism and now they have splintered. Obviously over a variety of nonessential doctrines and what I mean by nonessential is that you can go to heaven.
Whether you been baptized or not you can go to heaven, whether or not you believe in eternal security and go to heaven, whether or not you believe in sign gifts or not.
And of course our church has beliefs built into our doctrinal statement, but I think that God protects the church in this manner, and even though I am very committed to the things that we teach and as a pastor, what we believe.
I know that there are people going to heaven who don't believe certain things that I believe that or what we would call those non-essentials. That's what happens is the enemy Satan who wants to attack the church because he hates the church that Jesus said I will build my church of the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
So we know that Satan wants to prevail over the church. What does he have to do. He can't come after one man can come after you know a dozen cardinals or bishops he has to go after every local church that I think in this way might be frustrating that there are so many interpretations of nonessentials and so many denominations and so many kinds of churches. I think it's God's protection and love. I think are our personal advice for you would be that if you are part of the church where the gospel is proclaimed in the word of God is preached, that that's exactly where you need to be.
You don't need to be worried about changing to some new denomination that has a secret truth that you don't have access to right.
Let me add one more thing, love, here's a verse to write down Ephesians chapter 4 verse five we were told there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism that is of the Holy Spirit. He doesn't say there is one church there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and how do we get into the living church that is on its way to heaven well were told that as many as received him, Christ, to them he gave the right to become children of God to the question love for you and all of our listeners isn't whether or not you belong to the right church is only one church is going there. The question is do you believe in Christ. If you believe the gospel. If you have you been included in the family of God. If you haven't discussed getting any R number give us a call would like to help you know Christ personally and come to know the one that's gonna take you to heaven, not to the doors of the church but through the door, which is Christ himself.
That number if you would like to speak with us is 86 648 Bible 86 648 Bible. Our staff would be delighted to speak with you.
In fact, if you'd like a resource to help you understand the gospel. Ask them to send you a copy of the sermon the king's pardon would be happy to send that off to you.
It's a wonderful sermon that helps explain the gospel in very simple terms. Now we have another number that you use if you have a Bible question that you want answered on a future broadcast that number is 910-808-9384 called at any time. So Stephen, we were just talking about how it is that we get to heaven and that of course is through our response to the gospel. We have a question about what heaven will be like Raleigh, North Carolina, where I will be in.
In certain areas of the work already on our Alicia, thank you so much for calling and with that question. So Stephen, are there levels of heaven based on our works. Well, I wouldn't use the term levels of heaven. I think what she's probably after is levels of reward or levels of responsibility.
Or maybe degrees of joy or whatever and I think we can approach it that way. The first thing if you look through Scripture, you'll find that there are differing degrees of of joy in heaven. The Lord said in Luke chapter 15 I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don't need repentance. If you have more joy.
It's possible to have less joy and we know that there is great joy in the conversion of sinner Fuller said that there are rewards in heaven, and of course the apostle Paul did as well, but you could look at Matthew chapter 5 in Matthew chapter 6 where the Lord talks about their reward is given to them in full on earth would you do things for men to applaud them.
Matthew chapter 6 verse 20 lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, so we need to acknowledge that there are degrees of reward. Jesus made it very clear to the church that in the coming kingdom there's going to be responsibilities that will vary, and is going to depend upon our faithful service to Christ now.
So if you go to Matthew chapter 25, for instance, were talks about the individual with talents with money and you remember what invested it and doubled it one carried it out of fear, and the Lord rewarded the one who invested it by giving him even more.
This is a reference to the coming kingdom when we will be given responsibility based on our service. That doesn't mean we might not get in.
You get in one way is by faith in Christ alone to talk you make getting into the kingdom getting into heaven, the eternal state were talking about what were going to do and how were going to enjoy it and how we can serve ability say when you document degrees of joy. Be careful here that no one can be unhappy in heaven day. I kinda like to think of it Alicia as a graduation line.
I don't know where you were in the graduation line but I remember mine from high school and from college and from two different seminaries. There were guys in line with me and gals that had their black robes on in their hats and tassels and I have that there were some that had this braided cord around her neck and I didn't have that I didn't have that was for that, you know, magna cum laude, the summa cum laude. Those are the ones who earned the highest grade point averages and frankly they worked harder than I did. But if you asked me hey Stephen are you happy to be graduating on my cup would've been full. I was thrilled to be graduating and I think that's heaven were all going to be thrilled to be there.
There will be people who will have a deeper sense of joy that I own experience simply because they served. They worked, they labored more faithfully. Then, of course, first Corinthians chapter 3 where were told of the coming reward based on our service for Christ by the way, if you're at the bema seat that is the judgment seat of Christ described for us in Paul's letter to the Corinthians euro believer, the great white throne that ends human history is for all the unbelievers, but the judgment seat of Christ. The bema seat is a place of reward and so Paul writes to the Corinthians in second review chapter 5 for if we walk by faith, verse seven, not by sight. We are of good courage, and I say prefer rather to be absent from the body to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we have is our ambition, whether at home or absent to be pleasing to him, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ is writing to Christians so that each one may be repaid or recompensed for his deeds and the body according to what he is done, whether good or bad and I don't really care for that translation because the Celtic were dealing with sin, the words good or bad could be understood as whether profitable or unprofitable.
So what happens at the bema seat is that you will be rewarded for all of the profitable things you did for Christ. Will that be a time of great joy absolutely. When you receive from Christ for your service. What you know, he empowered you to do. That's why later were told were gonna take those rewards when you throw them at his feet.
We delay them at his feet as we know that he empowered us to do those acts of service, so were all happy for all thrilled were all joyful in heaven.
In the coming kingdom that thousand year reign were all happy were all joyful were all immortal world, serving Christ, but there will be a depth of joy known to those who served more faithfully, but there will be reward for those who serve Christ. Is it possible to lose reward absolutely first John you get up together could write a time. First John talks about losing our full reward, not her salvation, but are full reward by disobedience to let serve Christ depend on his grace and one day received from him a full reward for having faithfully served him yeah that's good, Stephen. So this concept that Alicia brings up the Bible actually presents it as motivation for us right that we we are to live in light of eternity because of what you described for us. Alicia, thank you so much for calling today and by the way, when you introduced yourself. You mentioned you were from Raleigh. If you don't have a church home.
I wanted to make you aware that Stephen pastors a church in Cary, North Carolina which is right next to you and any of our listeners.
If you are ever in our area. We would love to have you visit us for worship service on Sunday. The name of the church's colonial Baptist Church and you can learn email@example.com we have time for one more question. Today Stephen Gary from Carolina.
My question is when the Bible speaks of the new heaven and the newer when we come back after the tribulation is the heaven that we go to after we leave our body of believers is it the same heaven that comes back to the new work or is actually heaven changed in any way when it is brought back after the tribulation. Thank you for your ministry and your teaching. I look forward to your response. Thank you so much for calling and with that question, Stephen taught a series called thy kingdom come in that series if you go to our website wisdom online.org and look for that series.
Thy kingdom come, you find it in the resource section. You're going to find that there are manuscripts for each one of those messages. Those manuscripts have the full text of Stephen's message as well as some diagrams that help illustrate the things that Stephen's talking about. So Stephen, that would be kind of the long answer on the millennial kingdom, but can we help Gary right now with maybe a more condensed answer absolutely Scott Gary Gray question in second Peter chapter 3 and verse 11 and 12. Since all these things are to be destroyed talking about the earth, the heavens being destroyed.
What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness. Verse 12 looking for the hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning in the elements with intense heat will melt. So according to his promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth. Let's keep a distinction in our mind between the heavens, which is could be translated. The universe and heaven with the H when you think of a new heaven and a new earth you're thinking of a new universe. That's what the Bible is referring too often it will put it in plural text form. Heavens and earth. We talk about dying and going to heaven, that the H and that is simply referred to really is the presence of the Lord and keep in mind that is a literal place.
That's why I like to capitalize that H for heaven to literal place and think of the fathers house that's described for us in Revelation.
It's got alluded to the fact we talked about those dimensions and all that. That's going to descend during the millennial kingdom after the millennial kingdom earth and the heavens are destroyed and the Final Judgment Takes Pl. in Newark. This created in that heaven H which is the father's house sends permanently on the new earth. This is a really strange, but heaven is on earth. The father's house, which is the place of residence where you're going to have your abode you can have a residency with its streets of golden gates of pearl that's gonna be resting on that Jerusalem allotment were running out of time here. So to summarize, the heavens are the universe, earth's will reliving right now is could be remade and given immortality, so to speak to last forever. Heaven H is the father's house and that's where you have a place of residency heaven. Think of it this way is the father's house will let me give you our Bible question line one last time. It's 910-808-9384 if you have a Bible question. We would love to hear from you in our phone number in the office is 86 648 Bible I mentioned earlier that if you'd like a copy of a message that really explains the gospel well ask for the message. The king's pardon when you call, we be happy to send that out to you. I also encourage you to visit our website wisdom online.org we post the audio and written transcripts of all Stephen's teaching to that site. So if you ever miss a broadcast you can keep caught up. If you'd like to write to us. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. It is always encouraging to us when we hear from listeners and that getting the mail is one of the highlights of our day.
We would love to hear from you when we come back on Monday. Stephen's going to continue through his series. Make sure you join us for that right here on wisdom