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Lowell Brueckner

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Gospel Awakening

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Rachel and Mike
This is the first message I have ever posted on this BlogSpot from our son, Mike. It was his opening message that he preached, after taking on the senior pastorate at Church of Hope in Elk River, Minnesota. Very early in his ministry, Mike was a chaplain in a Christian high school. Later he became a youth pastor and, as he states in this article, he was asked to take on the children’s ministry besides, in that same church. 



Here are a few words from Mike’s own personal testimony: “When people ask me where I’m from, I'm not sure what to say. I was born in Mexico. For the first seven years of my life, I lived in Minnesota, moved to Germany, lived there for twelve years and now I'm back in Minnesota. I spent half a year in Alaska, too. That's where I’m from.”


“I grew up on the mission field and I have to say that I wouldn't trade that opportunity for anything in the world. When I am asked what caused me to continue in God's work after leaving home, I have to agree with the answer that my older brothers and sisters give to the same question: It's the reality of God – it’s as simple as that.”
  

Revelation 22

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Chapter 22

1.  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2.  through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
4.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5.  And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
6.  And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7.  “And behold I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8.  I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me,
9.  but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
10. And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

It’s interesting to note that heaven provides security and healing, even though enemies are destroyed in the Lake of Fire forever, and sickness will cease to exist. In the last chapter, verse 12, there is a high wall and an angel guarding each gate of the city. If you have ever had a doubt that sometime in eternity, sin or the consequences of sin might revive, this vigilance is recorded to assure the reader that God has secured eternity. The Creator insures and reassures that these maladies will never again return. 

Earthly cities attempt to beautify themselves with trees, parks and rivers or lakes, but the heavenly city seems to be, essentially a park… a well populated park! There is no mention made of buildings, but in this chapter, John is taken inside the city to see, first of all, a river. It is called the River of the Water of Life. The source or fountain of the river is the throne of God and the Lamb. The river is as bright as crystal (1).

Revelation 21

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Chapter 21



1. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

2. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

4. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6. And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

7. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

8. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”



The New Jerusalem



In Genesis 1:2, the verb that describes the action of the Holy Spirit at the dawn of creation is moved in a number of major versions of the Bible, such as the KJV: "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Moved suggests an extremely broad action to a Hebrew word, which should be much more specific. The first definition for that word in the Strong’s Hebrew dictionary states: A primitive root; to brood. It is the same verb used in Deuteronomy 32:11, where it is usually translated flutters… “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young…”



If the Holy Spirit is seen brooding over creation, it adds passion to His movements. Then, when the trinity communes in Genesis 1:26 and states, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” we see man’s creation, not only as the main event in creation, but an uncovering of the heart of the Creator. The entire biblical revelation of the purpose of the existence of mankind is that of a being, who is capable of having intimate communion with God. I will not yield to the temptation to go into details that will clearly prove the point, but will simply declare it to be fact, hoping for your acquiescence. When we are talking of creation, we are specifically speaking of the creation of man, male and female, and the rest of the work was to provide an ideal ambiance for his existence.  



In John 14, verses 2 and 3 (AMP version), Jesus speaks to His beloved disciples: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” In John 17:24, He pours his heart out to His Father: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me…” And now, as we draw near the end of the New Testament, John the beloved disciple sees, “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (2). This is the perfect, eternal ambiance for His followers. He told them that He would prepare a place and here it is, prepared as a bride. It fits their new nature like a glove.


Revelation 20

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Chapter 20



1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.

2. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

3. and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

4. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

5. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

6. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.



Leading up to the Millennium



We have a very short account by John, concerning the millennial reign of Christ upon the earth, but the prophets had much to say about it. We will not be able to give an exhaustive study on the subject, because that would easily require a book. However, we will go back to the prophets and pick up more details about this tremendously important period of human prophecy. After six millenniums of man’s rule, the return of Christ brings them to an end and then, He will reign on earth for a final one thousand years. This gives much more sense to God’s creation, after Adam sinned so early in human history and chaos has followed ever since. God will show us an ideal reign through the Prince of Peace, the last Adam. There will be paradise on this planet!



We have just studied the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of world empires. The beast and the false prophet have been thrown for eternity into the Lake of Fire. There are other events preliminary to the Millennium. One is the Judgment of the Nations, as described in Matthew 25: 31-46. Notice when this takes place: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne” (Mt.25:31). This will involve the treatment given to Christ’s brothers, according to the flesh, the Jews, during the Great Tribulation. The participants will be divided into two groups, described as sheep and goats. They have carried out the law of their nature, apparently unconscious of the source of their actions, and either aided or neglected the Jews in their tribulation plight.


Revelation 19:10-21

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Dear Friends, please note that I am adding the following two paragraphs to the last article of Rev. 19:1-9. I just put them here for your convenience. Thank you. Everything I do is in flux, and always open for improvement and correction 😃 . The new article starts below with verse 10

“Write this!” (9). This command is common in the book of Revelation, as the canon of Scripture comes to an end. The first human writer, who recorded the words of God, was Moses and God on various occasions, commanded him to write. Israel’s history and literature was written for future generations. God commanded the prophets to write. Luke told Theophilus concerning the Gospels, “Just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you” (Lk.1:2,3). Even Pontius Pilate wrote on the cross, “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews” in the three most important languages of the day. Paul told the Colossians, “When this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also read the letter from Laodicea” (Col.4:16). So the Gospels and the epistles prospered in the early church and hundreds of copies were written to pass along.



That, which is written, is preserved beyond the spoken word and is validated over the spoken word. The Holy Spirit is the Author of all Scripture and He has shown His concern for future generations, seeing to it that His Word has been preserved through writing. It alone holds absolute authority over everything that concerns the people of God. Jesus spoke the written word, in replying to the temptations of the devil. In history, the devil always mounted persecution against the translators of the word, as well as those who have had the word in their possession. To this day, he is attacking those who possess, read and practice the written word. Beware of those, who deny or belittle the whole, or any part, of the written Word. Liberals, who still like to call themselves Christians, question the veracity and authenticity of the Bible. Society largely considers it an antiquated book. Let us give it its rightful place in our hearts, minds and lives and give thanks continually to God, because today we have the full revelation of God’s word. He has faithfully preserved it to this present generation. “These are the true words of God.”

 
Revelation 19:10-21



10. Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

11. Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

12. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.

13. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

14. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

15. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

16. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.