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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Transformation, the Tree of Life and the Testimony of Jesus

John Bradshaw - Transformation, the Tree of Life and the Testimony of Jesus


John Bradshaw - Transformation, the Tree of Life and the Testimony of Jesus
TOPICS: Line Upon Line, Bible Study, Transformation, Tree of Life

Welcome to Line Upon Line brought to you by It Is Written. We have the good fortune of attempting at least to answer your Bible questions. We appreciate receiving them and we'll do our level best to give you your Bible answer for the questions you have of a biblical nature. To get questions to us, please do that [email protected] [email protected] And we will give you the opportunity to submit those and have them answered here. You know, the good thing is if you've had the question, undoubtedly, somebody else has as well, so many benefit from your inquisitiveness or curiosity. Joining me, Eric Flickinger. Welcome.

Good to see you, John.

Good to be seen. Thanks for being here. I have a question for you from Max. "If Lucifer was cast out of heaven, how was he in heaven as mentioned in Job"?

You know, this question comes from Job chapter one and specifically verse number six. Here's what Job one verse six says it says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came among them". So who are these sons of God? Where did this meeting, gathering take place? If we know, and what in the world is Satan doing there?

It has been speculated. It has been postulated. It has been calculated that these sons of God were the representatives of the worlds in the universe. It's not super easy to make that claim from the Bible. There's not a verse that says, and by the way, this was the case.

Right?

But it seems that that indeed may be the case. So what that would indicate then is that Satan had a right to be there as it were the owner, the ruler of this world, the world was fallen at that stage.

Right?

Keep in mind too, that this little passage comes in the context of the great controversy as revealed in the book of Job. Job who made the claim, "Oh, he's not really all you say he is". God says, go here, afflict him. Don't take his life. We got to see the behind the scenes activity in that story of Job's suffering there. So in that context, representatives of the worlds from around the universe come and Satan, therefore, as the ruler of this world was among them.

Yep. It's interesting. In verse number seven, the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come"?

Right? He knew where everybody else came from. Well, I mean, of course he knew where Satan came from too, but he is giving him the opportunity. Where do you come from? And Satan answered the Lord and said "From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it".

Now there's another point that we gotta keep in mind. The question from Max said, "If Lucifer was cast out of heaven, how was he in heaven as mentioned in Job"? But Max, Job doesn't mention that Lucifer was in heaven. Doesn't mention that anyone was in heaven. It's reasonable to assume that this meeting took place in heaven, but we don't have to assume that. So it may be that Satan wasn't in heaven at all. And this meeting took place somewhere else. That's a possibility. Barry asks "How long will the exchange from sinful flesh to purely perfect in every way take to occur".

All right. Wouldn't it be nice if it happened just like that right now? I think that would be ideal. The Bible doesn't say that it happens just like that, right now, but there are some interesting passages here. I'm thinking of 1st Corinthians chapter 15. 1st Corinthians chapter 15 beginning in verse number 51. This will give us a place to start. Anyway. 1st Corinthians 15 verse 51 says, "behold,". This is Paul writing. "I show you a mystery we shall not all sleep or die, but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised in corruptible and we shall be changed for this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass. The saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? O Hades? Where is your victory"? So.

It's pretty simple.

It happens just like that.

In a moment in the twinkling of an eye.

When Jesus comes back.

When Jesus comes back.

But does that mean that we should just continue living our sin cursed and sinful and down fallen lives right now? And just say you know, when Jesus comes back he's gonna make me perfect. Nothing to do till that day.

You've heard that.

Absolutely.

You've heard people say, "I don't need to do nothing about my sin and the lifestyle I'm living because Jesus will take care of that when he comes back". And it's true, he will. Yep. But how's he gonna take care of that when he comes back? Because if you attach yourself to sin and you don't let go and you don't welcome Jesus at your heart in a way that you've surrendered your life to him, that's not salvation.

Exactly.

That's not salvation experience.

Yeah.

So that change is gonna take place from the fallen, from this flesh to whatever heavenly flesh looks like. That's gonna take place just like that when Jesus comes back, but we want to grow in grace. We want to mature in preparation for the harvest. We want to develop a Christian character. We want to become more like Jesus. We wanna get sin out of our lives, through the power and presence of our God and have Christ fill us more and more and more with his righteousness. So let's not separate those two thoughts out you might one might lead to Christian carelessness. And we wouldn't wanna see that. Eric question for you. What is the use for the tree of life? As the resurrected saints will have glorious bodies that will never perish. This question is asked by Jean Pierre.

Well, Jean Pierre, that is an excellent question. And I think the best way to answer it is to, to kind of look back at what happened in the garden of Eden. You remember that God created Adam and Eve. And he put them in the garden of Eden. And there were all sorts of trees and bushes and flowers and lovely things in the garden. But there were two trees, two special trees in the garden. One was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the other one was called the tree of life. Now, as we know the sad story, Adam and Eve made some poor choices and they had to exit the garden. When they did the Bible says that God placed an angel there to keep them out with a flaming sword in his hand, to keep them out of the garden of Eden so that they could not access the tree of life. Now why? Well, the tree of life, God gives life. He is the source of all life. But this tree of life had special properties. Once they no longer had access to the tree of life, they no longer had access as it were to immortality. They died. In the very end of time, we still are reliant upon God. He's going to restore this tree of life. And we will have access to the tree of life. There are two types of immortality. It might be good to understand. One of them is conditional immortality. The other is unconditional immortality.

God has that.

God has that. God is the only one who has unconditional immortality. In fact, in 1st Timothy 6:6 it says, speaking of God, "Who alone has immortality dwelling in approachable light, whom no man has seen or can see to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. God has unconditional immortality. He is life. And he gives life to others. We have conditional immortality very different than unconditional immortality.

That's right. Even throughout eternity, our immortality is gonna be dependent on God. It's not like now I can go off someplace, establish my own universe and I don't need God. Now, here's what I don't know. I don't know if, when you get into the new Jerusalem, if you go a week without eating from the tree of life, but you eat from somewhere else. If the batteries are gonna start getting flat and you're gonna start getting desperate. I don't know. I don't know about that. I don't know if you must eat from this in order to have everlasting life, somehow doubt it. But what we know is that this at least acts as a symbol, demonstrating that we are still dependent upon God. Clearly it's there. Clearly we are to eat from it. No question about that. And we get lost on those details. But as the Bible talks about this in phrases, that it's helping us to understand that even throughout eternity, our life, our immortal life will dependent upon the blessing and the goodness of Almighty God.

Right. Got another question here. This is a great question from Jacqueline. And Jacqueline asks in revelation 19 verse 10, What is the testimony of Jesus or the spirit of prophecy?

Oh my that's a good question. That's a really good question. Why don't we look at it this way? Revelation 12:17 , "The dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God and had the testimony of Jesus Christ". In fact, one of the reasons the devil wars against the remnant is because they have the testimony in Jesus.

That's right.

He does not want them having that. Doesn't want them listening. But then you get to revelation chapter 19 and I'll turn there right now. Revelation chapter 19 and verse 10, which just takes that. And I think spells it out a little bit. Revelation, 19:10, "I fell his feet to worship him. He said to me, don't do that. I'm your fellow servant and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". It means the gift of prophecy. And you'll find that spelled out over there. And I believe it's 1st Corinthians. The gift of prophecy. So, in the end of time, God's people have been imaged the gift of prophecy. And we've been blessed to have that basically down through time. Moses was a prophet. Isaac was a prophet. Abraham was a prophet. Gad was a prophet, unnamed prophets were prophets.

Sure.

John was a prophet. Daniel was a prophet. They had the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy. The message that God gives, the testimony that Jesus testifies through an earthly person. That testimony is the spirit of prophecy. Or put in another way, the spiritual gift of prophecy.

That's right. And as we get closer to the return of Jesus, which is a huge event in the Bible timeline, you can expect that part of what God has done in the past is he would call up another prophet or more prophets, as we get closer to that big event. He did it before the flood. He did it before the return to Babylon or from Babylon to the Homeland of the Jewish people. He, he did it all through the Bible. Calling up prophets in advance of big events. Jesus is coming back. That's a big event.

Yes, it is. Surely the Lord would do nothing, except he reveals his secrets through his servants to prophets, Amos three and I believe it's verse seven. And there's that verse that I was referencing in 1st Corinthians earlier. "He was writing to the church in Corinth. He said that in everything you're enriched by him and all utterance and all on all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ here we are, again, was confirmed in you so that you come behind in no gift". The testimony of Christ. The testimony of Jesus. The spirit, or the gift of prophecy. Jacqueline outstanding question. And we're grateful. Well, you know what happens when you got a brief moment of time left? The person who writes the question gets short shrift.

Yeah.

Or we could waffle for a minute, but we're not gonna do that. Because we'll use this minute in the most valuable way we can. Maybe we'll get partway through this. Let's see how let's see how you do. This is a question from Ryan. "How does God fairly judge cases of people who die young and don't get a chance to learn or turn around their lives".

That's a great question. And it really comes back to the character of God. What kind of a God is God. Does God want people to be lost? Or does God want to be people to be saved? I wanna take a look at 1st Timothy two verse four. Here's what first Timothy two verse four says, It says, that "God desires that all people would be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth". So in the heart of God is a beating desire to have everybody be saved. He's looking to save people, not to not save people.

Right?

So if there's a way for people to be saved, then he wants to find that way.

Ryan, how does God fairly judge cases of people who die young and don't get a chance to learn or turn the lives around? He just does. He's God. We can trust him to do the right thing. This is Line Upon Line brought to you by It Is Written. We will be back with more of your questions in just a moment.

Welcome back to Line Upon Line brought to you by It Is Written. Thank you again for sending us your questions. We appreciate it. And others appreciate it because they've got the same questions that you do. And here comes a good one. This one comes from Rick.

Right On.

And Rick says, "when God destroys the wicked or unsaved, who are they? Would they include children who died before the age of accountability or the mentally handicapped or educated people who haven't honestly come to the conclusion that God exists. Who are the wicked that God destroys the unsaved".

Yeah. When you start dividing it up like that, you can get into some delicate areas. Can't you? "God so loved the world that he gave has only forgotten son so that whosoever believed in him should not perished, but have everlasting life". Whosoever does not believe in him therefore will not be saved. And not have everlasting life. You know that God, as I think, we mentioned earlier 1st Timothy two verse four. His will is that everybody would be saved, but he's not gonna force somebody to accept Jesus as Lord and savior. See, here's the thing, Rick, evidently you are aware that God has spoken to your heart. And you know that he has. And you've seen some type of revelation of God. Maybe you've looked at nature and said, "Well, there's a God". But what you and I are doing now is we're looking to other people and we're saying, have they had that same opportunity? Well, the answer is that by the time they die, yes, they will have had that same opportunity. Fascinating, Eric. I was reading recently and I wish I could remember the name of this academic. A very high flying award-winning academic who wrote he's a well known atheist. And he said, "I wish I could believe in God". He said, there's something comforting about believing that when you're dead, that's not the end. That you're going to see your family. He said "That idea appeals to me, but I just can't bring myself to believing that he was raised as a Jew". I recently heard a fellow and this is interesting. He was a well known entertainer talking about why he doesn't believe in God. Frankly, the reasons that he gave against Christianity were flimsy. They were just terrible. And unfortunately, you know, thousands or even millions of people will listen to this man in tone about why there's no God and maybe be influenced by his pathetic arguments. I mean, they were weak. It wasn't anything that made just stop and think. But clearly he's thought about it as well. And he's an intelligent man and has had the opportunity to investigate. So Rick's friends who might be educated and haven't honestly come to the conclusion that God exists. Well, that's good enough, you know, or bad enough. They've honestly had the opportunity. Listen, if this book is true, if there's a God, if you wonder pick it up. Read the Bible and find out for yourself. It is not something you want a dilly dally around with. So the point being, people have opportunity. Well, now you're gonna talk about people who may be developmentally disabled and so forth. You know what we're gonna do. We're gonna let God decide what to do in those cases. And God will know. And by the way, simply because somebody is developmentally disabled or isn't playing with the same deck cards that you're playing with, doesn't mean they cannot know and love God and have a very, very meaningful Christian experience. So we gotta be careful about that. Although I'm sure you were saying, there are some people who cannot. God's gonna decide that. And I trust that God will decide fairly. So I think an answer to the question who are the wicked or unsaved? Those who have chosen not to choose Jesus. They've chosen not to choose Jesus as Lord and Savior. And God understands. Again, come back to my original point. You and I have had the opportunity, Rick. And we're looking at others and saying, have they had the opportunity? God will see to it that either they have or had, and will trust God to work it out with them.

Yep. Great. Here's a question from James. James says, "Philippians 2:10 says, That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth. What does under the earth mean"?

Great?

Who are these folk.

Coal miners.

These are people who don't get out to the light very much. They're a pale, a little bit pasting.

The Bible Bible uses a similar phrase as elsewhere. I'll read one to you. Revelation 5:3 "No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look at it". In the commandment, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above in the earth beneath in the water or under the earth, or that is in the water under the earth". So, the Bible uses this phrase. What's the Bible getting at? Are there folks, subterranean cave dwellers, catacombs, what?

No these, this is everybody in the world. It's an all encompassing phrase that he is using to describe every person around the world. I suppose if we wanted to take it incredibly, literally we could say, if we're on the top of the earth, there are people under the earth on the other side too. It just means everybody. So everybody is gonna have the opportunity or in fact will bow the knee. When is that gonna take place?

Ooh, really interesting. Isn't it? You know, when the holy city of the new Jerusalem comes down from God outta heaven prepared as a brighter Dawn for her husband at the end of the millennium, Jesus comes back. There's a 1000 year time period spent in heaven for the saved. And then the save come down from heaven to the earth in that city. Then there's another resurrection. And all the lost people who've been destroyed as asleep as it were for a thousand years, are gonna be raised up. Now they're about to be destroyed. There's something really disquieting about somebody going to receiving the death penalty and maintaining their innocence. You know?

Right.

There's something a little unsettling about that because you just wonder. But here the people who are destroyed in the lake of fire at the end, neither one of them will maintain their innocence. Every knee will bow. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All of the lost will say God was right. And it was me. That was wrong. God was true. And I was on the wrong side of this. It's sobering. You don't want to be among that group, confessing and bowing and lost. Just easier to say, there's a good God. Jesus is a wonderful savior. You're gonna have everlasting life right here in my fingertips. I'm gonna embrace it and grab it. Live the absolute, most productive, joyful life I can right now. Cause that's Christianity and live with Jesus as my best friend, knowing that ahead is a forever awesome future. Eric.

John, you hit something here. You covered it quickly. This 1000 year period, this millennium.

Sure.

You covered it in about 45 seconds. If somebody wanted to dig into it a little bit more, unpack it and understand the millennium a little bit better. What could they do to do that?

You know what two things, one go online. Itiswritten.study. Study through our Bible study guides. They're tremendous. You'll be able to study all about the millennium there and go online. itiswritten.tv. Go down to the revelation today tab and you'll be able to pull up 45, 55 minute long study, that will take you deep into the millennium. Or get your Bible out read Revelation chapter 20 and follow from there. Terrific, terrific study. Thanks for that. James is asking are the ten commandments in the heaven, the same ten commandments written on stone that the Lord gave to Moses.

All right. Great question. What about those ten commandments? God has them in heaven it says "Thou shall not commit adultery". That might be a little mystery to some of the angels 'cause Jesus said the angels neither Mary nor are given in marriage. So is that one of the commandments that the angels need to keep? Well, keep in mind that the ten commandments are, it's often been said that they are a transcript of God's character. They show us who God is that he is indeed love. Now, depending on the context, there may be some different content, if you will. The angels don't have to worry about adultery. We do. And so God has expressed his love to us for us in the ten commandments that we are familiar with. So that certainly applies to us, not so much to angels. But you're looking at the character of God.

Yep. And so wherever you are, whatever corner of this universe you're in, the tinker moments are applicable. They are universal. Now, if you are saying, are they the very same rocks? The answer is no. We don't think they're the very same rocks. They were put in the arc of the covenant and were secreted away somewhere. When I say rocks, I mean the stones on which the commandments were written. But Revelation 11 tells us that the ark of his testimony was seen in heaven and inside the arc of the covenant is the ten commandments. And so yes, same commandments exist in heaven as existed on earth. Not the exact same literal two tables of stone. I wonder if, and when they'll be found, that'll be fun. But you can know that in heaven those same principles exist because wherever God is his character doesn't alter and the ten commandments are a transcript of the character of God. That's a good question.

Great one. Here we have one from Jim. What does it mean when it says to make your calling and election sure in 2nd Peter one verse number 10.

Jim, why don't we read it together? Let's do that. Let's read the verse. I like the idea of the verse. "Beside this giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue to your virtue, knowledge and so forth. If these things be in you and abound, they make you neither Barren nor unfruitful, so forth. He that lacks these things as blind and cannot see a far off and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you shall never fall". The Bible writer is encouraging you to make sure that you are saved. To make sure that you're in a saving relationship with Jesus. So that's accepting Jesus as Lord and savior. Say that with your mouth. You think that with your mind and then surrendering to him and allowing his character to be more and more and more and more formed in you, as you grow in the grace of God, Peter is saying, this is important. These instructions I'm giving, this counsel, I'm giving, these words that I'm writing here, that you're reading from my letter to you. We're not playing here. So if these things be in you and abound, that's what we wanna see. So give diligence, be careful about this. Make your calling and election sure. Make certain that you are in the right place, the right relationship with God and that you're growing in His grace.

Well said. Excellent. We've got one more here. We may try to give a quick answer to it. If we possibly can from Susan. "Is the rapture just for believers"?

Oh well, that's interesting. It depends how you want to frame that. The rapture we are referring to the return of Jesus. When the saints are caught up for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch angel, with the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ shall rise first. And we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds to meet the Lord of the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord? Paul wrote that to the church in Thessalonica. When Jesus comes back, we are taken to be with him and we go up. Yes.

It is anything but secret. This is the pinnacle of everything that has happened in the Bible. It's Jesus returning to take his saints home. So all of the righteous are going to be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. They will go up to heaven with him, where they will spend a thousand years and eventually then come back and inherit an earth made new. But the wicked are not gonna get a second chance. It's popular today. Even within Christianity to have the idea that the wicked are gonna get a second chance. That's not the picture we get in the Bible though. Is it?

Not at all? As a matter of fact, the Bible says in revelation, I mean, this is sobering. It's sobering. In revelation chapter six. The Bible says that the lost say "to the mountains and rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne. And from the wrath of the land". When Jesus comes back, the lost are lost. Is the rapture for believers. I mean only believers will be saved. But anybody could be saved if they surrendered to Jesus. And we hope you'll do that. Hey, thanks for joining me today.

Good to be here, John.

Thank you for joining us. Remember Jesus wants your heart. Would you surrender to him? That's his will. That's why Jesus died for you. Be sure to join us again for more next time on Line Upon Line brought to you by It Is Written.
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