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After Hours Ministries Apologetics

But Seek First The Kingdom Of God

by Bryan W Melvin on 06/29/19

But Seek First The Kingdom Of God

by Sharon Melvin

 

The word of God is true and these verses in Malachi 3:10-11 seem simple enough to understand:  “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field. Says the Lord of hosts.” NKJV 

Why is it then that so many Christians that tithe do not have the windows of heaven opened and a blessing poured out that they don’t have room enough to receive it and that the devourer isn’t being rebuked in their lives?  In fact, the devourer is having some success in devouring them!

Jesus died on the cross and took with Him the sin of every person that has ever lived or ever will live.  He gave us right standing with God because He became our righteousness by His sacrifice on the cross.  When God looks at us, He sees Jesus because He is our righteousness.  He also conquered death by rising from the dead with mighty power (dunamis).  He won the victory over sin, death, and the works of the enemy all for us, and He restored our right standing with God by becoming our righteousness. He did it all.  There is nothing else to be done.  There is nothing anyone can do to add to this.  Jesus said it is finished when he breathed His last.  He has won the victory in every area for us.  Victory has already been provided; all we need to do is walk in it.  How?

The reason God made a way for us to have right standing before Him through the blood of Jesus is because He loves us, and desires to have a relationship with each one of us.  Since He loves us, He would like each one of us to love Him, also.  Just like if you love somebody, you would really like it if they loved you in return.  If we have this love for God, obedience to Him will result.  John 14:15 says:  If you love Me, keep My commandments.  In other words, if you love Me, you will obey Me. 

In regard to tithing, (which scripture clearly instructs us to do) it isn’t the actual tithe that God is looking for.  (He actually doesn’t need it.)  He is looking for our obedience that comes from our love for Him.  We want to give because we love Him and are so grateful.  We can’t wait to do it.  We just really love God and want to be obedient to Him.  We are not giving in order to get.  Although, there are promises of blessing, our attitude needs to reflect 2 Corinthians 9:7 which says:  So, let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.  We’re not even thinking of the blessings promised to us.  We’re just happy, excited, and cheerful to be obedient to God because we love Him.

Remember, there is nothing more that can be done to have favor or victory because Jesus did it all.  We can’t sacrifice anything, do a good deed or even plant a seed (as some teachings teach) unless God tells us to do these things because it’s obedience that He wants.

There’s lots of biblical stories where people experienced victory in their situations because they were obedient to God.  One story is with Joshua when the walls came down.  It wasn’t because he marched around the city seven times and blew the trumpet.  It’s because he did what God told him to do.  The victory was already won.  He just had to walk through it (Joshua chapter 6).  Noah and the ark is another example.  God provided a way to save Noah and his family.  All Noah had to do was be obedient to God.  It wasn’t the ark that saved Noah and his family.  Noah had favor and blessing from God because of his obedience and therefore, he was saved from the flood (Genesis chapter 6).

It’s the same in seeing victory in our own lives.  We just need to be obedient to God.  The victory has already been won!



Eternity

by Bryan W Melvin on 05/24/19

Q & A about Eternity

 

From time to time questions concerning eternity come up. Such as: How is it possible to be perfectly happy when there are some dear friends and loved ones who are in hell and how can the people in heaven deal with it?

 

My Response:

 

After ones the things of earth fade. You have no concerns like these. Seeing Jesus, smelling heaven, the glory of the presence of God does something amazing.

 

One comes into a full and complete understanding of all things. All things are made clear so much so that one will not be concerned about such matter the question poses.

 

I understand that now, that this is a difficult to grasp. There is no way I can, or anyone can adequately explain this due to human bias that somehow God is wrong in such matters and that none in heaven could ever be happy knowing loved ones miss it.

 

Consider what the import of this sort of reasoning suggest. We do not know each other; nor do we even know a loved one’s true heart or condition. Nor do we know the depths of human sin nature that commands God accept us at all cost or else we do want God so God must do it our way or it is the highway.

 

What you see and understand is all revealed when God shows you in an instant all the times, He reached for them and they refused, absolutely. With that deep sort understanding there will be no sorrow nor unhappiness. I know this is hard to fathom.

 

The eternal perspective for mortal beings who have not encountered it is almost impossible to convey.  We think such concern exists when it does not. The moment one passes, such thoughts have no concern because all is revealed. There is no sorrow or sadness in the current heaven in the ne new which is to come.

 

Seeing, smelling, tasting the peaceful presence of God’s Glory in heaven, with full understanding one receives by being Born Again by the Blood of the Cross of Jesus, leaving the body, traversing into Heaven – one has no alarm nor any sorrow about anyone left behind. You are headed home.  

 

Even these words are inadequate because or mortal reasoning at this time cannot see, nor know what all God knows. However, rest assured – those in heaven have no concern or grief or sadness over such matters. They have entered a state of full understanding in a degree that way outshines anything we can think of now.

 

 

Next Question that bothers people goes like this: how can God stand knowing all the details of all the millions / billions who have rejected Him and are going to be there forever?

 

My Response: Only God knows this. He grieved and sent Jesus to us to wake us up. He paid our sin debt in full. One can return to God’s love proven or freely reject it. People can become foolish measuring God’s love by our human standards and definition.

 

The Lord makes the rain fall on the just and unjust and always reaches out for people. God’s love reaches and does not force, and it woos but does not seduce.  His love does not rejoice with iniquity and for those who do not want who he his or accept his gift - He will not allow into heaven because they proved in this life their faithlessness to his great love.  

 

Faith contains in its definition when meaning of commitment, fidelity, loyalty because one has been won over. God’s love gives and makes the rain fall on just and unjust. He freely gives to all, life. He proved his love by sending Jesus Christ to us to redeem us and free us of sin and deaths control but not all will love him in return nor want to be faithful.

 

Faith works by love. Love for God shows to God one will be faithful to him who is faithful. Whom you love, you have faith in them and ‘they’ towards you.  

 

To have true agape love one has faith-loyalty – commitment toward the one loved but when the one loved has no faith -loyalty – commitment towards the one who loves – such love is hollow and manipulative. Therefore, how could that love really ‘be’ trustworthy forever?  

 

Only option open is to give them what they want – a place without God.  I know that this will not make much sense to folks but think on it. Ask the Lord to reveal how he sees this matter. God’s ways are way beyond what our minds can conceive. This world is a test of love – who owns your heart – has your faith (fidelity, commitment, loyalty)?

 

Why would God want to live with those who proven they do not want him? Allowing them entrance into heaven would be unjust to those like that. If allowed heaven would no longer be heaven.

 

God wins our heart in this mortal life not by coercion but engaging free moral will he gave us – which proves he is just to all. Human beings love to find fault with God but in reality, no one can find fault, especially after they enter eternity with full understanding.

 


Q & A about the Rapture

by Bryan W Melvin on 05/22/19

Q & A about The Rapture

 

From time to time I receive questions concerning the Rapture and a recent question came up on this subject on my Face Book Afterlife Group. I am posting these and my response for you.

 

Question: Is there really going to be a rapture? Pre, post, mid? there is so much disagreement on this

 

My Answer: Frist off there are many different opinions on this matter. Pre, post, mid and no rapture. Thus, a lot of confusion. Jesus said no one knows the particular day or hour but rather how to identify the signs pointing out how to identify the times. Date setting never good.

 

I respect all views on the rapture and never want to make enemies on my view of the rapture. There is no need to divide the church into fist fighting factions over this. We can disagree and should do so with respect and listen to each side. 


With that, here is my opinion on the Rapture that I have held for many years and surprised that a few folks also discovered the same evidence from the bible I have. Evangelist, Perry Stone holds the same view I have: A Partial Rapture event…

 

Why – for me Revelations chapter two and three are about the state of the church near the end times. 1Pe 4:17 states a biblical principle – judgment always begins in the house of the Lord first. Revelation chapter two and three come first before the final wrath of God is poured out in  the following chapters.

 

Only two groups of people who from the seven churches do not have to repent: Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna represents the persecuted church – believers. There number is not full till the end of the Tribulation. Only Philadelphia, has this promise:

 

 Rev 3:10, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” NKJV

 

Look at these verses:

 

Zephaniah 2:2, 3 "Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the LORD's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD's anger comes upon you! 3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD's anger." NKJV

 

Isaiah 26:20, 21, "Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood and will no more cover her slain." NKJV

 

These two verses clearly have not happened yet.

 

Psalms 50:2- 6, "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. 3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. 4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 5 "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!" 6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah" ESV

 

Add this to what Jesus says in Matt 24:37-42-51 – “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” NKJV

 

Verses 38 tell of things going along as they do then bam things change… Verses 40-42 tells of one is taken and another left behind from the same field and at the mill.

 

Luke 17:26-37 give more insight into this:  


"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." NKJV

 

Rev 20:6, Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection….” NKJV

 

Zephaniah 2:2, 3 "Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the LORD's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD's anger comes upon you! 3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD's anger." NKJV

 

Isaiah 26:20, 21, "Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood and will no more cover her slain." NKJV

 

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NASB

 

Since some are taken and others left behind and notices how Revelation chapters two and three indicate a partial rapture event that, more than likely, will occur before the day of indignation is fully unleashed. Those left behind are found in verses commonly associates with the mid, post, and no rapture views.

 

Question: how much longer before the SHTF in terms of judgement on the USA??

 

My Answer: I do not know – what we can tell from the bible evidence, such as 2 Thess 2:1-4, it will get really bad before that.  No one knows the specific day nor hour – we are called to look for it and to ready ourselves.  

 

Ready ourselves first means we need to get cleaned up and healed on the inside so we can shine bright, so Jesus sees us when he comes (Matt 25:1-13). That is how simple it is. Summed up simply as having  the Lord reveal things to us so we can be healed – so he can send us out as his gift bearers to bring others into the Kingdom of God.


The tribulation period is a time where God offers times to repent return to Him. During this time those left behind will face people with insane rage, always choosing to reject God, and warring against God’s people with reckless hate.

 

It is a time when God Almighty wars against the fallen angels too. Please note this principle is found in Exodus 12:12 where God says the plagues against Egypt were against their gods (aka Fallen Angels who were imitating the gods) of Egypt. Likewise the tribulation period will be about that too and against all people who are allied with them. True evil will expose itself and intent. 

 

2Th 2:1, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…” NKJV

 

I suggest people explore the verses on the rapture in both Old and New Testament and come to his or her own conclusions.