Words of the Prophets – Ezekiel (3)

Why Will You Die???

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;  If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.  But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.” Ezekiel 33:10-20 (KJV)

Salvation with Fear and Trembling

O how we need to get this straight.  Salvation by grace continues to work in us following our regeneration or justification in Christ and God.  How the churches today need regenerated people sitting in the pews, in our places of employment, our recreation,  working out their salvation with fear and trembling.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world…” Philippians 2:12-15 (KJV)

It is God in us who does the work of grace.  It is God in us by His grace that enables us to do the work that brings honor and glory to His name and it is His grace that brings us on to the final glory of Jesus Christ in us.  It is the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that causes us, enabling us to do those works, and gives us the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8).

Paul the apostle makes it clear in these verses that “…It is God which worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.”  That we are to do those works as blameless and harmless sons of God, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation – culture and world we live in – shining as lights in a dark world.

Let us remember it is God who works in us.  Let us work it out with fear and trembling, that others see Him in us.

It is About…

…God; not you or me.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 (KJV)

Do we forget or is it simply ignorance?  Do we forget that God saves us because of His great love, not that He owes us something, or that we are worthy of His salvation?  I hear the phrase sometimes, “God owes everyone a chance for salvation?”  Remember this,  God owes us nothing.  When a soul is saved it is by God’s grace alone.

Something we need to remember too is that there is a threefold work in salvation;  the first is past, the second is present, and the third is future.  The theological terms are Justification, second Sanctification, and the third is glorification.  All a work of God’s wonderful, marvelous grace.  We do nothing to deserve it and can do nothing to earn it.  When a man, woman, boy or girl is justified by God through the cross of Christ that individual is eternally saved, and the work of God will continue in and through that person throughout their lifetime (sanctification), and when their body dies they will be glorified.

God is rich in mercy.  So rich in fact, that He raises us to life, and justifies us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; then through that same death, burial and resurrection He sanctifies us unto Himself as we daily walk through this world and that is His workmanship in us.  One day we have the eternal promise of being with Him through all eternity.

Why is He doing this?  “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches  of His grace in His kindness toward us…”  It is About God.

Christmas Day Twenty and Two

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want that person, man or woman, boy or girl that is on that slippery slope of sin and death and hell, to have their eyes of the heart, mind and soul opened to see their desperation, and doom; to know and understand there is no escape from that slippery slope except through the cross of Jesus Christ, and cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and deliverance from an eternity of torment and darkness.

“To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV)

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:12-13

Christmas Day Sixty Five

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want the family of my friend who passed away last Sunday to be comforted, encouraged and strengthened today as we go to his graveside service, and as God’s word is spoken, the gospel of Christ is proclaimed, and hearts and lives to be changed.

Last night at the visitation, hundreds of friends, and neighbors came in to honor Doyle, and to comfort and encourage the family.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Six

“Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to trust in the LORD, and to daily wait patiently upon Him, because in His mercy and grace He tarries, He waits for me, and for all who trust, who wait upon Him.

To “Wait on the LORD”  does not mean we sit idly by on some mountain top doing nothing; but that we keep on trusting Him, living our daily lives under the direction, and guidance and filling and power of His Spirit.

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

On this LORD’S Day I want the Word of God to come into my heart, my soul, my mind with the power of the Spirit of God; to do the work God has sent it with His Spirit to perform in me and the people who will hear it; and I want us to see what God can do when His redeemed people hear, and yield to His Word and His way and His will.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 (KJV)

 

Day Three Hundred and Twelve

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to better understand Freedom; especially the liberty Christians have in Jesus Christ; and I want all to understand that Freedom/Liberty is not free from responsibility.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV)

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galations 5:1

Day Three Hundred Forty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the faith of Jesus Christ in me strong enough to stand with Him and for Him no matter what the circumstances of life may be; to stand with Him and for Him in comfort shows that He is my treasure in life; to stand with Him and for Him in trials and tribulations shows that He is my strength, and way of life and living.

You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10 (NKJV)

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 355

What do I want for Christmas?

Whenever I am prosperous, or whenever I am afflicted, and mourning, and without the material blessings of God; that I will always be before the “face of God”.  That all those who are called Christian might always be aware that we are always “before the face of God”.

Many times, even as King David, when we are blessed we forget God; and it can be so when we are grieving too.

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.” Psalm 30:6-7 (NKJV)

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 356

What do I want for Christmas?

At Christmas time; from about mid November through December 25th each year we suddenly begin to be generous in our heart toward others.  Christian, that is the way we ought to be 365 days of every year, except when it is leap year; such as 2016; then it is 366 days of the year.

What do I want for Christmas?  I want there to be peace in Jerusalem; and when there is peace, genuine peace in Jerusalem, there will be peace in the Middle East, and the rest of the world.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6 (KJV)

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1

Waiting Patience

There is a lack of patience in me. There is a lack of patience in me toward other people at times; especially when I am driving down the highway; or in the city. I must often correct my mind and thinking as I am driving. Many times; probably all the time; that correction comes from God’s Spirit in me.

In the 49 plus years that I have been born again I can see that God has grown me, and improved my patience and understanding for others, and probably less for myself. Where am I going with the “Patience” thing? I am going to tell you about a man who had waited for many years for the coming of Messiah; the first coming.

It is written,

“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him.” Luke 2:25-33 (KJV)

Simeon had been promised by God that he would not die until he had seen the Christ [Messiah] of Israel, and Saviour of the world.

Now, here was a man who was patient; waiting for the coming of Christ. I am fairly certain he must have occasionally thought that it was not going to happen; but he keeps holding on to God’s promise.

You see faith is not the absence of doubt; it is believing in spite of the doubt. The enemy will continuously throw detours, roadblocks, and lies at you; but you just keep believing. You must keep believing and trusting God, and His Word. God has never failed, and He never will.

As Christians in 2015, and beyond, we believe that God has promised that His Son Jesus is returning soon; and Jesus has said Himself, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself…” (John 14:3); so either we patiently await His coming, or we quit believing, and in doing; and so we end up saying, that God is a liar. He is faithful, and will bring to pass every word He has spoken.

Let us patiently wait. Wait and occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13). He is coming. Get ready by calling on His name, believing that He died for your sins, was buried, and He bodily rose from the grave; and He is alive today.

Covenant Keeping GOD

“Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish My covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: that thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 16:60-63 (KJV)

The covenant God had given to Israel was through Abraham. Though the nation had been judged, was being judged, and would be judged some more God would not forget His covenant with Abraham.

The following is quoted from the Jeremiah Study Bible notes for the above verses:

As fierce and catastrophic as the coming judgment would be, God reiterates His commitment to Jerusalem to one day restore her, give her a new heart that would follow after God, and bring her once more to regional pre-eminence. We see here both God’s commitment to keep the covenant He had made with Abraham to give his descendants the Promised Land forever, and also His lavish grace in restoring Sodom and Samaria to Jerusalem as daughters, not sisters. God would provide atonement for Israel’s sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ His Son.

May all Christians rest in the peace of knowing that God is a Covenant keeping God. What He has said will not fail to come to pass. Not one word will return to Him void. Jesus Christ is coming again. Not to die, but to reign on the earth.

Condemning Law; Saving Grace

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: and he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” Numbers 27:18-23 (KJV)

The verses preceding these tell us of Moses being commanded by God to go onto Mount Abarim from which he would look over into the Promised Land, and see the destination of the children of Israel. Moses would die there, because he had rebelled against the LORD and struck the rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20:7-11).

We can see in the reading of the books of the Law that the Law is unable to deliver. It teaches, it convicts, it provides not salvation, except in perfection of keeping it; which no one is able to do. So the Law condemns, and leaves with no hope. The apostle Paul says of the Law,

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galations 3:24-25

Moses represents the Law, because he is the Lawgiver. Joshua represents the salvation of the LORD which is by grace. Joshua would lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus which means “Jehovah is salvation”.

Jesus Christ is our Victor, not the Law.

The Mercy of the LORD Endures Forever

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:1 (KJV)

This Psalm has 26 verses, all of which end with the phrase “His mercy endureth for ever”.  How long does the mercy of the LORD endure?  For ever.

The Psalmist writes “O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good”, and if that was all there was and is of GOD, He would still be worthy of our thanks.

However, we are told that He is merciful.  It is one of the most wonderful things to know that the GOD who created all things; the GOD whom we have offended with our sins; the GOD who is holy, just and righteous is also merciful.

When is He merciful?  Every moment, every day, every week, every month, and every year.  There is not one second which passes that He is not merciful; and that mercy endures for ever.

He has provided a way for you into His grace, and that is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ; upon Whom He showed no mercy in judging my sins and yours.  The Way is Christ Jesus.