Christ Entered the Sheepfold by the Door of Fulfilled Prophecy

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (Jn. 10:1-5).

THE DOOR THROUGH WHICH THE SAvIOR ENTERED INTO THE SHEEPFOLD WAS THE DOOR OF FULFILLED PROPHECY. “TO HIM (CHRIST) GIvE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? AND BEGINNING AT MOSES AND ALL THE PROPHETS, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Lk. 24:26-27). “And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, AND IN THE PROPHETS, AND IN THE PSALMS, CONCERNING ME” (Lk. 24:44).

The Lord Shall Count

The Lord Shall Count

“And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Ps. 87:5-6). The individuals, spoken of here, whom the Lord “counts” (records) and whom He “writes up” (registers) are the ones who shall abide with Him forever through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There was a time and a place where the people of God had their beginning, but there also came a time when they grew up into spiritual maturity. They are being made aware of their participation in the great redemptive enterprise that God is engaged in through His beloved Son. “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God” (Ps. 87:3). “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Ps. 65:18). “They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God” (Ps. 84:7).

And with regard to our new birth, it is good for us to consider the place of our spiritual nativity. Where did we actually have our beginning with regard to God’s salvation in Christ Jesus. “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26). She it is who begat us. It is true that with each of us, our beginnings with Christ can presently be traced to some geographical location here in this world: a church building, a baptistry, a gospel ministry, a series of gospel meetings, etc. But let us seek grace to rise up higher than this in our sanctified thoughts and longings, for we that are in Christ were all born in Zion, the church of the living God. We all have a common place of beginning as well as a common destiny. The wellspring of our nativity, “Jerusalem,” “is above” and “is free.” And she is presently begetting “free” sons and daughters (cf. Mt. 17:26) into the kingdom of God. The Son of God has made them free, and they are “free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). They have been made free from sin (Rom. 6:18-22), from the law (Rom. 7:1-3), from the fear of death (Heb. 2:14), and from besetting religious entanglements (Jn. 8:32). But presently, their freedom is “in part”, for they each are now living in prospect of being “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

Incidentally, the earthly locations, mentioned above, are soon to pass away, and shall be remembered no more. But of Zion it is said, “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever” (Ps. 125:1). Zion, the city of the living God, shall never be forgotten, neither by God, nor by the holy angels, nor by redeemed personalities. Her pleasantries and joys are eternal, and they excel far above all that this present evil world has to offer (cf. Ps. 84:10). “In Thy Presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 116:11; cf. Acts 2:28).

“Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death” (Ps. 48:11-14). Even as faith is substantive and evidence (Heb. 11:1) to those possessing it, believers, in the present time, are often enabled to perceive and rejoice in the great protection and shelter afforded them by Mt. Zion. As they rehearse the things pertaining to salvation in Christ with one another in their times of gathering, they are frequently made aware, by faith, of the palaces, the bulwarks, and towers of Mt. Zion, even developing a deep spiritual familiarity and affinity with them.

Finally, speaking to the church, the Apostle exhorts: “But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in Heaven” (Heb. 12:22-23, ASV). It is assumed by the Apostle, that the ones to whom he is writing, have a great familiarity with, and affection for, Zion. Al Stoner

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Commentary

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ BEGINNING FEBRUARY 9TH /////////////////////



==> Chapter Titles <==

Lesson 01: Jesus Has Something To Say To The Churches (1:1-18)

Lesson 02: The Glorified Christ Speaks (1:9-20)

Lesson 03: The Message to Ephesus (2:1-7)

Lesson 04: The Message to Smyrna (2:8-11)–Aaron Hutchcraft

Lesson 05: The Message to Pergamum (2:12-17)

Lesson 06: The Message to Thyatira (2:18-29)

Lesson 07: The Message to Sardis (3:1-6)

Lesson 08: The Message to Philadelphia (3:7-13)

Lesson 09: The Message to Laodicea (3:14-22)

Lesson 10: The Heavenly Vision (4:1-11)

Lesson 11: The Book of Divine Intent (5:1-14)

Lesson 12: The Seven Seals (First Six), 6:1-17

Lesson 13: All Israel Shall Be saved, (7:1-8 )

Lesson 14: Triumph and the Seventh Seal (7:9 – 8:1)

Lesson 15: Introduction to the Seven Trumpets (8:2-6)

Lesson 16: The First Four Trumpets (8:7-13)

Lesson 17: The Fifth Trumpet (9:1-12)

Lesson 18: The Sixth Trumpet (9:13-21)

Lesson 19: The Seventh Trumpet #1 (10:1-8)

Lesson 20: The Seventh Trumpet #2 (10:9-11:2)

Lesson 21: The Seventh Trumpet #3 (11:3-14)

Lesson 22: The Seventh Trumpet #4 (11:15-19)

Lesson 23: The Apocalyptic Gospel (12:1-17)

Lesson 24: The Beast From the Sea (13:1-10)

Lesson 25: The Beast From the Earth (13:11-18)

Lesson 26: Viewing the Overcomers (14:1-5)

Lesson 27: The Triumph of the Gospel (14:6-20)

Lesson 28: The Heavenly Scene (15:1-8)

Lesson 29: The Seven Vials (First Six) (16:1-16)

Lesson 30: The Seventh Vial (16:17-21)

Lesson 31: The Harlot Is Judged (17:1-18)

Lesson 32: The Fall of Babylon (18:1-8)

Lesson 33: The World Laments (18:9-24)

Lesson 34: The Response of Heaven (19:1-6)

Lesson 35: The Readiness of the Bride (19:7-10)

Lesson 36: The Enemies Overthrown (19:11-21)

Lesson 37: The Triumph of Faith (20:1-67)

Lesson 38: Satan’s Last Stand (20:7-15)

Lesson 39: God With Men (21:1-8)

Lesson 40: The Glorified Church (21:9-27)

Lesson 41: The Glorified State (22:1-9)

Lesson 42: The Final Message (22:10-21)



Our Divine Election

Our divine election is presently in the process of demonstration before men and angels, and it is clarified to us by our personal identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, even by our unfeigned faith in Him, and by our obedience to the gospel. The remnant, identified in the Scripture, consists of all those who have believed on the Name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and who are continuing steadfastly in the faith. This remnant includes all those with whom God is presently working salvationally (see Ps. 74:12), and to whom faith is indeed “the substance of things hoped for”, and “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). —Al Stoner

The Scope of God’s Redemptive Work

“The scope of God’s redemptive work in Messiah is ‘all nations’. The evidence of the divine working in salvation can be seen in the fact that the nations mentioned here [in Isaiah 2:1-4] are not being cajoled or coerced into coming, but rather they are depicted here as flowing upwards unto the mountain of the LORD’s house. The upward flow spoken of here testifies of the divine working in men’s hearts. The Father declared to the Son in Psalm 110: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.” “Iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exod. 34:7) have now been put away from the face of God by the Lord Jesus Christ, so there is nothing that could possibly hinder men from coming unto Him, except for their unbelief and rejection of Him.” —Al Stoner

Christ, the Bread of Life

Christ, the Bread of Life

Vital Considerations from John 6

The Necessary Partakement of Christ. “For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (Jn. 6:33). This is an aspect of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus that men would do well to consider. Christ Jesus is the Propitiation for sins, not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world, as John dedared (cf. I Jn. 2: 1-2). And yet if men do not personally partake of Christ, He will profit them nothing. Just as the manna fell down from Heaven to sustain the lives of the children of Israel, yet it only imparted life, whenever and wherever it was gathered and eaten.

So it is with the Bread of God. He came down into a world that was dead in trespasses and sins for the express purpose of giving life. Consider the following words: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (Jn. 1 :4). “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3).

Christ Jesus is the Bread of God, and beside Him there is none other. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and no man cometh unto the Father but by Him (cf. Jn 14:6). He who has come down from Heaven is alone the appointed Lifegiver. He is bread that must be eaten by men. Christ Jesus did not merely bring ideas from Heaven to be agreed with, or laws to be obeyed. No, He Himself is the bread of God, and He must be taken and eaten by men, if they are to have life.

He came to give life unto the world, but oh, how little of that life has been received. There are myriads walking down the broad road that leads to destruction, who will not come unto Him that they might have life. But if they would come and eat of the bread of God, which amounts to believing and obeying the gospel, they would have life, and have it more abundantly!

Partaking Evermore of Christ. “Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread” (v. 34). May this continue to be yours and my prayer until that time when we shall put off this earthly tabernacle, or until Christ shall come again. May each of us have an increased desire and craving for the Bread of Life! And let us take heed that the troubles of this life do not knock the edge off of our craving and longing for Christ, the Bread of God.

As we have said before, there is nothing once-for-all about this eating and partakement of Christ, as many current-day theologies imply. This thought is consistent throughout the Scripture. Early on, in the garden of Eden, it was understood that a continual eating of the tree of life was necessary, if men were to live forever (Gen. 3:22). Centuries later, in the wilderness, the children of Israel had to daily gather and eat the manna if they were to be sustained by it (see Exod. 16). And now, in the present time men must continually eat of the Bread of life if they are to have life. Finally, in the world to come, we read of “the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7; cf. 22:2, 14), which implies that even there a continual deliberate partakement of life is necessary for the ones who are counted worthy to enter there. Only there in that world we will partake throughout the eternal ages without resistance and oppositions from the flesh, the world, the Devil. It shall be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts to be led by the Son of God to the “living fountains of waters” (Rev. 7:17) that are there and to drink of them.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (v. 35).

It was not in His life only, that Christ is the Bread of Life, but also in His atoning death. If Christ had not put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself, He would not be to us the Bread of Life. But “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). From one very vital perspective, what we see in the gospel accounts of the Lord Jesus is “a body” being prepared of God for sacrifice (cf. Heb. 10:5). We see Him there teaching, and preaching, and doing miracles, (and these were all very important), but from a higher perspective God was preparing Him to be the “one offering” (Heb. 10:14) for the sanctified ones, and “also for the sins of the whole world” (I Jn. 2:2).

Hear the words of the Apostle Paul on this matter: “Wherefore when He cometh mto the world. He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:5-7).

As the great Teacher alone Christ is not to men the Bread of Life, nor as the greatest of Preachers, or doer of mighty deeds. Rather, it is in His offering of Himself for our sins that He is to us this bread and heavenly nourishment.

He that Cometh to Me. These comers shall never again hunger aimlessly, or ignorantly. They shall never again hunger for something they do not have, nor could not have. Once men have tasted of the Lord, that He is gracious, they will continue to hunger and thirst for more of Him. But now they know what they are hungering for. They desire only Him who laid down His life a ransom for many!

“I am that Bread of Life” (v. 48). If men are to be saved and arrive safely in the world to come, their relationship with Christ cannot merely consist of agreeing as much as possible with what He said, or of a casual professed trust in Him. He must be to every man the Bread of Life, and the partakement of Him, or the lack of such partakement, is a life and death matter.

Incidentally, men partake of the Lord Jesus Christ, after having been baptized into Him, they consider regularly and earnestly the involvements of His death in their behalf. Their souls are nourished by the rehearsing of that which Jesus Christ has wrought in their behalf. The preaching of the cross is the divinely appointed means of provoking this earnest consideration of Christ. To us which are saved it is the power of God. Believing men and women live in the substantive reality of what Christ has accomplished salvationally in their behalf. To such ones the doctrine of Christ has become substantive reality.

To the spiritually-minded it is greatly nourishing to their spirits to consider the Lord Jesus Christ and His death in their behalf with its manifold aspects. Yea, there is nothing in this world to compare with Christ, who is the Bread of Life. To believing hearts. He is precious, yea, He is altogether lovely. His sufferings and death are nourishing to consider, because of the cleansing and pardon and remission of sins which those sufferings have wrought for those partaking of Him. The preaching of the cross brings us face to face with Christ’s sufferings, impressing upon us anew and afresh that it was for us that He died!

“Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die” (vv. 49-50).

All men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins. By nature, they are “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18) and they “come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But God has opened up the way to the Tree of life in the sending forth of His beloved Son into the world. The Lord Jesus Christ is that “Tree of Life”, and if any man shall eat of Him, he shall not die.

Death, death, death, shall be the portion of all men, if they do not eat of this Bread! We must regularly exhort one another daily, and as well our fellow men, of this, for it is only as we eat of this Bread, that we shall not die! Oh, but as we eat of Him, we shall live unto Him, and shall not die as He said! It is not in the professing, nor in the claiming, nor in the starting of the race to heaven, but rather it is in the continual eating of Christ, that our life is secured before Him. –Fred O. Blakely

John’s Recollection of Christ in the Days of His Flesh

John’s Recollection of Christ in the Days of His Flesh

It is precious to consider the recollection that John has of the Lord Jesus Christ at the opening of his first epistle. What looms exceeding large in his memory is not an ordinary man, or a mighty miracle worker, or teacher, or preacher. John does not boast of being the disciple that Jesus loved. He does not boast of the time when the Lord Jesus was with the Apostles in the days of His flesh.

John’s sacred recollection of the Savior is best expressed by the following words: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we

have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;). (I Jn. 1:1-2). As John called to remembrance the time when Christ was yet with them bodily, the words that John spoke here are the most accurate vehicles of communication to give expression to his remembrance of God’s only begotten Son.


Incidentally, the nearness that John had to Jesus prior to His death and resurrection did not abruptly end when the Lord was no longer bodily with the Apostles. The glorified Christ continued to be near to his Apostles and disciples from the right hand of God, but now in a new and higher capacity. We see this in the writings of all the Apostles. The glorified Christ had projected Himself into each of their hearts, enabling them to declare the unsearchable riches of Christ in their preaching and writing.

Those listed above are the words that John chose to best communicate that blessed recollection of the Savior when He was yet with them. They are words that faithfully represent the true nature of our blessed Lord. Let us have grace that we may have larger and nobler thoughts of Christ. Certainly, if we earnestly desire to see more of Jesus, God will show us more of Him.

Considering John, the disciple that Jesus loved, as a case in point, we see that nearness to the Savior breathed into, and reflected in, every syllable of his epistles and in the Revelation. Let us learn from this that we are not disadvantaged by not having the Savior with us bodily, but rather we are advantaged by His being able to minister to us from God’s right hand. The only thing that could possibly be better than our present condition is for Christ to appear the second (the final) time without sin unto salvation (Heb. 9:28). We shall be then changed fully into His likeness and there shall be no more separations from HIm.
Al Stoner

The Malevolence of Satan

The Malevolence of Satan

Those who think and speak lightly of the Devil and the hell of fire prepared for him and his angels exhibit ignorance of the facts in the case or disbelief of their representation in Scripture. An index of the diabolical maliciousness of the evil one is given by his enticement of Eve into sin.
Ordinarily, evil men are prompted to do others harm by the prospect of benefiting themselves thereby. But not so with Satan in causing the fall of man. He himself profited in no way by the deed. Yet he brought upon the entire human race all the sin of the ages, with its untold suffering. All that the Devil got out of it was a venting of his wrath against God and his fiendish hatred for His creature, man.
We must remember that the satanic nature has not changed at all. It has grown even more vicious in opposition to God and man as he sees the day of his complete and eternal defeat approaching. In awareness of this situation, let the saints beware of their adversary. He is not one to be dallied with, for he is out to destroy them, and that with an ineffable cruelty and vengeance of which only he is capable. –Fred O. Blakely

The Christian Warfare

The Christian Warfare

By Isaac Watts
Stand up, my soul, shake off thy fears,
And gird the Gospel armor on,
March to the gates of endless joy,
Where thy great Captain-Savior’s gone.
Hell and thy sins resist thy course,
But hell and sin are vanquished foes;
Thy Jesus nailed them to the cross,
And sung the triumph when He rose.
What though the prince of darkness rage,
And waste the fury of his spite,
Eternal chains confine him down
To fiery deeps and endless night.
What though thine inward lusts rebel,
‘Tis but a struggling gasp for life;
The weapons of victorious grace
Shall slay thy sins, and end the strife.
Then let my soul march boldly on,
Press forward to the heav’nly gate;
There peace and joy eternal reign,
And glitt’ring robes for conquerors wait.
There shall I wear a starry crown,
And triumph in almighty grace,
While all the armies of the skies
Join in my glorious Leader’s praise.

A Wonderful Plan for Men’s Lives?

A Wonderful Plan for Men’s Lives?

By Katie Miller
Should we tell men that God has a wonderful life planned for them? (Pertaining to life in this world?).
God does not have a wonderful (easy and comfortable) plan for man, but He promises His children that He will bring them safely home, and in my opinion that is wonderful enough! True disciples of Christ suffer with Christ (Rom. 8:17). While on this earth we are sent fiery trials and tribulations which perfect us for glory. Therefore, we can rejoice always (Phil. 4:4) because our joy is found in the Lord (Neh 8:10) and we hope in Him (Rom. 15:13). This journey is not easy (Mt. 7:14), but great is our reward in heaven (Mt. 5:12)! For what we have in Christ is far better than anything this world has to offer. As far as the world goes, some may feel like life is wonderful here with lavish vacations, an abundance of riches, fancy cars, luxurious homes, feasts fit for kings, the “perfect” family, a great and busy social life, expensive clothes, shopping sprees, or with their successful job, and the list goes on. What we must know is that happiness cannot be found anywhere else other than in the Lord, for it is found ONLY in the Lord.
Not everyone will make it to heaven (like some think) because God’s love is NOT unconditional. It is our job as His creation to know Him and find out how to keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21). Hell is real. Therefore, God does not have a wonderful plan (eternally speaking) for the ones that reject His beloved Son, Jesus Christ (Mt. 10:33). Telling ones who reject or don’t know Christ yet that God has a wonderful plan for them or that He loves them (in their state) could give them a false sense of security. Instead, tell all men who Jesus Christ is and tell them what God is truly doing. Encourage fellow believers to keep enduring hardness (II Tim. 2:3) and convict the sinners to repent (Acts 3:19) and turn to Christ.