The 15th chapter in 1 Corinthians is the most important chapter in the Bible (and the longest in this epistle). It deals with the ultimate enemy of mankind: death. It announces the death of death itself. This chapter is regarded by many as the Centerpiece of Christianity and the climax of Paul’s message.
The dream of immortality begins in the oldest book of the Bible:
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
What is the gospel? (“Good News”? No “cop-out” evasions here!) Paul gives it to us in a nutshell. We must first learn precisely what the gospel is.
Paul had already preached it. After his Damascus conversion, Peter and James spent time with Paul in Jerusalem to fill in the details. After 14 years passed, he returned to Jerusalem to confirm with the apostles whether his preaching was in harmony with the gospel they proclaimed.
False prophets and false prophecy are present through the New Testament. Jesus warns against false prophets in Matthew 7:15–23, pointing out that they can be recognized by their fruit. 1 John 4:1–3 also cautions believers about false prophets, noting that “spirits” that deny the reality of the incarnation are false and not from God. In Acts 13:4–12 a false prophet named Bar-Jesus opposes Paul and Barnabas. Paul calls the false prophet a “child of the devil” and someone who is “full of all kinds of deceit and trickery” (Acts 13:10). God then strikes the false prophet with blindness.
False prophets in the New Testament are often associated with the end times. Mark 13:22, for example, states that “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” The theme of deceit connects the work of false prophets with the work of Satan, who is known for his deceiving character and works (cf. Gen. 3). That is why Paul can call the false prophet in Acts 13 a “child of the devil.”
False prophets exist today. Even now they are in the business of deceit. Many were the founders of religions which are still in existence today. Many flourished for a relatively short period of time and ended tragically, some only with a loss of faith but others with a loss of physical and spiritual life.
Over the years many who have traveled with us to Israel have asked us to put together a ‘Footsteps of Paul’ or ‘Seven Churches of Revelation’ Tour. I have to admit I was a bit lukewarm to the idea but decided we needed to expand all of KI Tours. We have some friends from Perth, Australia who raved about a tour they took to Turkey and decided to make that our fall extension.
Once the tour had enough people to assure it was a go, I started to do my research in order to be prepared to teach on each of the sites. In this process, I began to get very excited because, once I immersed myself back into the seven letters that Jesus dictated to John to the seven churches, I began to realize that they all had a message that was convicting as well as relevant to my life!
Our Fall Issachar Tour to Israel was amazing and once we said goodbye to about half that group (because the other half was coming along with us to Turkey), I began to feel a bit uneasy as this would be our first venture to Turkey and I knew that Turkey was very different from Israel! We landed the next day in Izmir and drove to our hotel that was about an hour away, just outside of Ephesus. That first evening we had our orientation and met our guide and got prepared for something that would turn out to be much more than I had expected! Our itinerary was different from the order in which the churches are addressed in Revelation. I soon realized that the Lord had made special arrangements for us and I have come to believe that He purposefully had our group go in the following order: Pergamos, Thyatira, Patmos, Smyrna, Sardis, Laodicea, and finally Ephesus. One thing that I had learned from listening to Chuck Missler’s commentary was a reminder that each of these letters had a message for all believers. I also remembered that, when Jon Courson was teaching on the parable of the soils, he warned not to just assume that you are always planted on the good soil and that each day you need to check your surroundings! With that in mind, I warned our folks not to just assume that we all simply need to hear the message to the church of Philadelphia but we needed to have ‘ears to hear’ what the Spirit intended for each of us at every stop!
Are you a believer in Christ or a follower of Him? You may think, why can’t I be both? After all, the Bible records both. Indeed it does. Here are a few things it records about believers in Christ:
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
“And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”
“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
In fact, in Genesis 3 we encounter a believer in Christ who knows both the Scriptures and who Jesus Christ is; “And he (Satan) said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…?”
So one needn’t follow Christ to believe in Him, to know who He is and that He is real! Even Muslims purport to believe in Jesus, although the role and nature of the one they call “Isa” or “Isa Ibn Maryam” or “al-Masih” is really a pseudo-Christ figure—an Antichrist.
This month, The King’s High Way Ministries brings back a 2005 article from Nan’s book “Private Worship—The Key to Joy.” We pray that God will bless you richly this year with the knowledge and revelation of His great grace for you.
Worship is the single most important thing a Christian can learn to do. Why? First of all, Scripture tells us that we become “like” what we worship (Psalm 135:18). So, if we want to become more Christ-like, we must learn to worship Him more. Worship is also important because it’s the key to the Lord’s presence and His joy (Psalm 16:11). And, finally, worship is important because it’s the means by which we receive His strength to endure all that He allows in our lives (Nehemiah 8:10).
Worship, then, is really a two-way communication. We come into the Lord’s presence by loving, adoring and exalting Him. He, then, makes Himself known by communicating His Love back to us. This, of course, results in inexpressible joy. This daily communion is what allows us to endure difficult circumstances. If we are hearing from the Lord, we can withstand anything. Thus, worship is the key to intimacy, the key to withstanding trials and the key to restoring the joy of our salvation. It is the most important thing a Christian can learn to do.
The melanoma is back, not only on her nose, but also in her lungs. She has begun treatment using a brand new drug specifically designed for melanoma cancer. She is also using several natural therapies. She continues to rely on the Lord for healing, just as she has been all along.
Dr. Chuck Missler and Dr. William Welty bring Jesus of Nazareth to you in the most unconventional way possible… by bringing Jesus of Nazareth to talk in His very own words about Himself, His purpose, His nature, and His mission.