“And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and men.” Acts 24:12-16 (KJB)
To many who have great wealth it is their life. The wealthy without God, are always grasping for more.
“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And He said unto him, ‘Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He saith unto Him, ‘Which?’ Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The young man saith unto Him, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.’
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:16-26 (KJB)
What was the cost to this young rich man? It cost him his soul and eternity.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy…
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10
The verse from 1 Timothy is not saying that money is evil, but rather the “love of money”. Money over God. Wealth over peace with God. Prosperity rather than love for God.
What will your wealth cost you?
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him. Matthew 4:17-22 (KJB)
Men, probably fairly young men, who had the trade and business as fishermen with their brothers; and another two with their father, and planning on spending their lives as fishermen are confronted with the decision of their lives.
The man who approached them had been preaching. His message is written above, but I share it with you again…
‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
In the day which we live (2019) the message of repentance is not very well heeded, and certainly not desired. It is, however, sorely needed.
Jesus’s message for the four men was one of a calling. In short Jesus’s message for them was “Follow Me”.
That is His message for all who will hear His call. Leave the nets behind. Leave your father behind, and follow Me.
Following Jesus is not an easy calling. It is rewarding in that He blesses with His presence, power, and glory. Following Jesus is not without cost. Your life and mine has been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).
The kingdom of heaven is at hand. He is very near. His name is Jesus, and He died so that all who come to Him might be saved from sin and its condemnation and shame. Believe Him. Follow Him.
“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, ‘Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?’ Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what shall this man do?’
Jesus saith unto him, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.’
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, ‘He shall not die;’ but, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'” John 21:20-23 (KJB)
Remember, if you will, that at the trial of Jesus, and Peter standing with the crowd outside denied our Lord three times. I am positive that Peter grieved over that when he heard that rooster crow, and it hit him like a rock, and he remembered what the Lord said.
Jesus is giving Peter some assurance, and reassurance in much of this chapter. Giving him renewed faith, and strength.
The Lord has revealed to Peter what his life is going to be like for Him; and so he asked the Lord the question concerning John, “What shall this man do?” He receives the Lord’s answer, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”
Peter was not given words concerning John’s life, his calling, or his last day on earth. Peter was given Peter’s life.
The same is true of all Christians. We are not to be anxious about another’s life, their calling, neither their last day or days. Not that we do not care for them; but that we are not using them to excuse our own weaknesses, sins, and faults.
Jesus’s answer to Peter could be said to be “You, follow Me”. That is what the Lord’s answer to me is; and so for all who call Him Lord and Savior.
“A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.
Then said some of His disciples among themselves, ‘What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, Because I go to the Father?’ They said therefore, ‘What is this that He saith, A little while? We cannot tell what He saith.’
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, ‘Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.’” John 16:16-22 (KJB)
In a little while there were events which were about to happen which would cause the disciples great sorrow and they would not be with Him, or see Him; also, in a little while they would rejoice to see Him again.
The world rejoiced at His death. They still try to destroy, steal, and kill as does their father.
It should be clear to us that He is speaking of His death, burial, and the rejoicing at His bodily resurrection.
The following is from the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
“A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father — The joy of the world at their not seeing Him seems to show that His removal from them by death was what He meant; and in that case, their joy at again seeing Him points to their transport at His reappearance amongst them on His Resurrection, when they could no longer doubt His identity. At the same time the sorrow of the widowed Church in the absence of her Lord in the heavens, and her transport at His personal return, are certainly here expressed.” From the JAMIESON, FAUSETT AND BROWN COMMENTARY
We Christians of 2019 have great cause for rejoicing. Jesus is risen. He is alive. He is coming; He is returning soon. For any and all who do not yet know Him; call on His name He will save you; you will be born again, and have eternal life.
“They answered Him, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ‘Ye shall be made free?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill Me, because My word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with My Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.’
They answered and said unto him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill Me, a Man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.’ Then said they to Him, ‘We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, God.’
Jesus said unto them, ‘If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand My speech? Because ye cannot hear My word.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not. Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear not, because ye are not of God.’
Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him, ‘Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?’ Jesus answered, ‘I have not a devil; but I honour My Father, and ye do dishonour Me. And I seek not Mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death.’ Then said the Jews unto Him, ‘Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and Thou sayest, If a man keep My saying, he shall never taste of death. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest Thou Thyself?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of whom ye say, that He is your God: yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.’
Then said the Jews unto Him, ‘Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?’ Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am.’
Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” John 8:33-59 (KJB)
I have some homework for you today. Please read the above chapter 8; not just the verses above.
“If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24. Also John 10:32-33. See also Exodus 3, and especially note verse 14.
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.’ And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14
“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.’ And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall have. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’” Mark 11:20-2 (KJB)
Do you desire to accomplish great things for God? Do you desire having power with God in prayer? Do you desire to be able to move mountains, and cast them into the sea? It could also be asked, “Do I desire to have power to deliver people from demon possession?”
Jesus was able to curse the fig tree, and the next day was a teaching moment for the disciples to learn; and for us too. Why would Jesus curse the fig tree? It was saying it had fruit when it did not. It was a hypocrite fig tree. The leaves on the tree, even though it was not the season for figs; was declaring that it had figs. It did not. Thus Jesus cursed the tree, and it died.
Jesus’s words when they see the tree died away was “Have faith in God…”. Jesus then proceeds to describe the power of faith in God for those who are forgiven, and forgiving.
Here is a thought for you. The fruit of being forgiven is forgiving. If you cannot forgive what someone has done to you; you have not experienced forgiveness. Can we figure out the rest?
“And He called the multitude, and said unto them, ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, ‘Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ Then answered Peter and said unto Him, ‘Declare unto us this parable.’ And Jesus said, ‘Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’” Matthew 15:10-20 (KJB)
Some thoughts from F. B. Meyer…
“It is good to study our Lord’s list of the sources of soul-pollution. Evil thoughts come first. We cannot prevent an evil suggestion being presented to our minds, but we can refuse to dwell on it. To resist the inclination to dwell on it strengthens us in the opposite direction; to yield to it is to commit the sin in our heart, which, in God’s sight, is equivalent to the outward act. Notice that railing, that is, unkind and uncharitable speech, is in this black-list.
The heart, rather than the body, is the source of sin. Out of the heart! The body is the dial-plate on which the soul registers its improvement or deterioration. Do not find fault with your members: look to your heart and keep it beyond keeping, for out of it are the issues of life. Ask God to create in you a clean heart. See that you distinguish between the first Adam and the second. Deny what you inherit of human weakness and sin, and affirm all that is of Christ’s imparting. The cross of Calvary and the uprising of the living Christ are facts of perpetual experience.” F. B. Meyer Through the Bible Day by Day on Mat. 15:10-20
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, ‘O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father’, for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?’ And Jesus answering said unto him, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a Voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:7-17 (KJB)
“The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.” Proverbs 18:4
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” 18:21
Using Words Carefully – Proverbs 18:1-24
Verses 1-4 – These verses carry over from verses 27 and 28 of chapter 17. There is much in the Proverbs of speech, the tongue and words. We are taught to choose and handle words carefully; and not deceitfully. The fool is one who cares only for his own words; is in the process to thought while another is talking; and only to have something further to say.
On a first look verse 1 could seem to have a positive intent; however with the word “intermeddleth” it means that the individual contends with wisdom.
Verses two and three then show the intent of the heart of verse one. On verse 4 see Proverbs 20:5
Verses 5 – 9 – Speaking good of evil, and evil of good to overthrow the righteous is not good. Backbiting, and slander is the heart of the destruction of the fool’s mouth.
A lazy individual is akin to the great waster (v. 9).
Verses 10 – 11 – Many a wealthy individual has all their hopes in their wealth, investments, and possessions. An island of safety in the midst of words of warning and hope (v. 10).
Verses 12 – 21 – You can see that the words of the foolish individual is more important to him/her than listening to others in verses 13, 17. Verses 16 speaks of giving gifts – not bribes to buy off judges, law enforcement, etc. Probably could be likened to a gift someone might bring to the King’s birth.
In verse 18 there seems to be some wisdom in “casting lots” for the ceasing of contentions.
There is reward or destruction in our use of words. They can be the difference in life and/or death; destruction or building up.
Verses 22 -24 – See Proverbs 12:4; 19:14. Marriage is good if it be found in the way of God. For a marriage to be good the man and a woman must choose and use words carefully. Good communication is a key.
In verse 23 we have a contrast between the poor and the rich. The poor is humble before others when asking something from them. The rich have no need of anything so they speak roughly to others. Again whether one is rich or poor really makes no difference when it comes to our choosing and use of words.
In verse 24 we have a sentence which is familiar, “And there is a friend who sticketh closer than a brother”. Before that we learn that if one is to have friends, then, we must be a friend.
Friends choose and use words carefully. The choosing and using words carefully has nothing to do with “Political Correctness”; but using words to build up. A lot of times hard/truth words need to be used to bring out good quality in another.
Your Own Wickedness
“Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he spoiled? The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when He led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? Or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
‘Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that My fear is not in thee,’ saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” Jeremiah 2:14-19
The Beginning of Sin
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:1-24 (KJV)
The Wickedness of Mankind
And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” Genesis 6:1-7 (KJV).
The Heart of the Righteous King – Proverbs 16:10-15
In the United States of America we have no Monarchy. We live in a Republic which is governed of the people, by the people and for the people. I do believe, however, that seeing our leaders as under the same rules as a king would be sufficient to show us how a ruler should govern the people.
This surely is reference to the King of kings, and all are to pattern themselves after Him.
Verse 10 – The godly ruler is one who represents God to the people; and should speak the “Divine sentences” “Oracles” of God. Solomon’s wisdom was known and respected (1 Kings 3:28). See Proverbs 20:28; and 28:15-16.
Verse 11 – Though a monarch or any ruler is not mentioned in the verse it is certainly a decree that leaders/rulers are to operate function in business with the proper scales and weights. Proverbs 11:1.
Verse 12 – It is a moral tragedy for leaders to place their leadership; whether it be king or President; over the throne and sovereign power of God. The throne of David, and every king of Israel was established due to the righteousness of the king. Proverbs 25:5; 29:14; Isaiah 16:5.
Verse 13 – Righteous words and lips should be the desire of kings and all leadership who lead people. Proverbs 14:35; 22:11. We must remember that what is in the heart will be manisfested through the lips and the life (Matthew 15:10-20).
Verse 14 – John Gill from e-Sword:
“The wrath of a king is as messengers of death,…. Or, “angels of death”, as the Targum. As the wrath of Ahasuerus was to Haman; when it is either discovered in the countenance of a king, or expressed by his words, or signified by a messenger; it sometimes has been immediate death to a person, and often as terrible as if a messenger brought the sentence of death; yea, it is as if one messenger after another was sent on such an errand, and therefore the word is in the plural number. How terrible is the wrath of the King of kings; and even to kings themselves, who are represented as flying to rocks and mountains to hide them from it! Rev_6:15;
but a wise man will pacify it; by a proper acknowledgment of the offence committed; or by a prudent representation of his case, or the case of his friends; by soft answers and strong arguments, as Jonathan pacified the wrath of King Saul his father against David. He is a wise man that believes in Christ, and pleads his propitiatory sacrifice for the expiation of his sin, at the same time frankly acknowledging it.”
Verse 15 – Just as the “wrath of the king” is as “Messengers of death” so is the “Light of the king’s countenance”… “Life”.
The “Latter rain” was the final rain fall before the harvest of the crops; and was the necessary rain for nourishing the harvest. So the king’s favor would be like that rain.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
When Messiah Comes Again
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.
And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
Zechariah 14:1-7 (KJV)
“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.” Zephaniah 3:14-20 (KJV)
Responsibilities: The Watchman’s and The People’s
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:1-9 (KJV)
The Apple of Your Eye – Proverbs 7:1-27
Verses 1 – 5 – The keeping, protecting power of the Commandment. A commandment to “guard”, “give heed to”, “wait for”, “retain”, “treasure”
v. 2 – “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings…” Psalm 17:8, See also Deuteronomy 32:10; Lamentations 2:18; and Zachariah 2:8. The pupil of the eye is a sensitive part of the eye, thus the faithful Christian is one who will treasure, retain, “Keep” the commandments, the word of God as precious in life, for life.
v. 4 – “Sister” Part of the family, one dear to the heart. See Song of Solomon 4:9, 10, 12; 5:1, 2. The way of evil is to keep one from holiness, and to move the naive toward unrighteous and evil deeds.
Verses 6 – 23 – The path of the simple minded and ignorant.
v. 9 – “The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.” Job 24:15
v. 14 – See Leviticus 7:11-18. “Peace offerings” were a part of the Hebrew worship. This is the way of evil. There is probably more evil within the churches of the USA than most of us would like to admit, or think. Hypocrisy is pretending to be something one is not. Whether it is a wolf acting as a sheep; or a sheep acting as a wolf it is hypocrisy.
“…Ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour…” 1 Thessalonians 4:2-4
There is a much greater danger than the husband returning home (vv. 19-20). There is first the offense of God; there is the offense to one’s self; there is the offense of one’s future spouse; and the offense of the offended spouse. There is also possible reference to disease in verse 23.
Verses 24 – 27 – God’s plea for knowledge and wisdom to control one’s thinking. Matthew Henry Commentary states,
“Take fair warning when it is given you.’’ (1.) “Look back, and see what mischief this sin has done. The adulteress has been the ruin not of here and there one, but she has cast down many wounded.’’ Thousands have been undone, now and for ever, by this sin; and those not only the weak and simple youths, such as he was of whom he had now spoken, but many strong men have been slain by her, v. 26. Herein, perhaps, he has an eye especially to Samson, who was slain by this sin, and perhaps to David too, who by this sin entailed a sword upon his house, though so far the Lord took it away that he himself should not die. These were men not only of great bodily strength, but of eminent wisdom and courage, and yet their fleshly lusts prevailed over them. Howl, fir-trees, if the cedars be shaken. Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (2.) “Look forward with an eye of faith, and see what will be in the end of it,’’ v. 27. Her house, though richly decked and furnished, and called a house of pleasure, is the way to hell; and her chambers are the stair-case that goes down to the chambers of death and everlasting darkness. The cup of fornication must shortly be exchanged for the cup of trembling; and the flames of lust, if not quenched by repentance and mortification, will burn to the lowest hell. Therefore stand in awe and sin not.” From the Libronix Digital Library System.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The Security of The Word – Proverbs 6:1-35
Verses 1 – 5 – Warning or caution against being the security for anothers debt; or “co-signing” for others. From the ESV Study notes,
“The main point of the appeal begins in v. 3: save yourself from the whim of the one in debt and plead urgently with him. The point of such pleading is made clear by the comparison to game caught in a trap: focus all your energy and seek to get out of such a situation and thus save yourself (v. 5) from ruin.”
See Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26; and27:13
Verses 6 -11 – Sloth or laziness is not commended by the wise. God has created that human kind be the intelligent ones; however the wise can also learn from the creatures of God’s creation. It should have a humbling affect on us.
If there is a tie between verses 1-5, and verses 6-11; it is in that the “ant” needs no surety from another; but is wise to save for that “rainy day”.
There is no wrong in providing a co-signature for a friend; not so wise in providing one for a stanger; and even more foolish to provide one for a slothful and lazy individual.
See Prov. 10:5; 24:33-34.
Verses 12 – 15 – The walk of the wicked leads to destruction. The whole body of the wicked man or woman communicates evil. His mouth, eyes, feet, and hands [fingers]. It begins in the heart. Jeremiah the prophet said,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Prov. 10:10; 16:27; Psalm 35:19. See also Matthew 6:31; 12:35.
Verses 16 – 19 – Seven things which God hates. These seven things are directly related to the heart of evil.
From the ESV Study notes we read of verse 16,
“This numeric literary device presents a representative rather than exhaustive list (cf. 30:15–16, 18–19, 21–31) that seeks to draw particular attention to the final item as the focus of God’s hatred. It is easy to agree that God hates the first six items; it is also easy to overlook the seventh (v. 19b), and thus the author pulls the reader up short.”
From the Matthew Henry Commentary we find,
“God hates sin; he hates every sin; he can never be reconciled to it; he hates nothing but sin. But there are some sins which he does in a special manner hate; and all those here mentioned are such as are injurious to our neighbour. It is an evidence of the good-will God bears to mankind that those sins are in a special manner provoking to him which are prejudicial to the comfort of human life and society. Therefore the men of Belial must expect their ruin to come suddenly, and without remedy, because their practices are such as the Lord hates and are an abomination to him, v. 16. Those things which God hates it is no thanks to us to hate in others, but we must hate them in ourselves.”
Verses 20 – 35 – Make the Word of wisdom and of God familiar, that sin be not familiar. We are told often about the preciousness of the Word of God. It is valuable. It is eternal. It is to be cherished and counted a treasure.
These verses show why. The words of wisdom from parents, received from Scripture, are eternal gifts to be received and practiced.
See these Scriptures: Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:9, 11, 89, and 105
-Tim A. Blankenship
The Christian And Government
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Romans 13:1-7 (KJV)
In this study of Romans Paul is continuing to apply the basics of the gospel to all of the Christian life. He is teaching us that human government is of divine origin, and that we are subjects of human government.
Some may think that there are some forms of government which we do not have to obey. If so that is in error. Paul lived under an oppressive form of government which was persecuting Christians, and part of that was due to some of the people who were of Israel; Paul’s own flesh and blood.
In this study I pray we can come to an understanding of what being “subject” to government actually means. What are the Christian’s duties to government? What are the Government’s duties to its subjects? Hopefully these questions will be answered by this study.
Since Paul begins with the Christian’s duties, that is where we begin:
Christian’s are subjects to the “higher powers” – in this case that is government. The government under which we live is our “higher power” and under God’s rule ultimately. As a Christian we are first subject to our God, and must obey Him, as does the government in which we live.
What forms of governments are in our world?
2. God’s Government is the Supreme Government over all governments, and they are subject unto Him.
3. Resisting the government is in itself resisting God, when that government is only performing its God-given duties.
Any time a Christian gets to the place of resisting a government it should be done with extreme caution, and only resist when the government is violating the law of God.
We are still subject to the government, though resisting a policy, or an act of ungodliness on the part of our government. Subject when they come to arrest us; we go without resisting or protest.
The following is a Biblical example of being subject to the government:
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Jeremiah 29:4-7 (KJV).
In that illustration we see God’s command to Jeremiah for the people in captivity to go on with life, subjected to the government that they were living under, which would have been Chaldean, and was their enemy.
We are also to be faithful in supporting our defenders with our taxes.
The government’s responsibilities/duties to its people:
A. A defender of good, and a terror to what is evil.
B. A minister of God for good.
C. An avenger of what is evil.
2. There are times when governments of men become unjust, cruel, and unlawful toward God’s laws.
A. Around the time of the birth of Moses (Exodus 1-2).
B. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were commanded to bow to an image of the king (Daniel 3).
C. Daniel, and others forbidden to pray to anyone but the king (Daniel 6)
D. Peter and John commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:17-18).
3. When the government gets to perpetuating its own agenda instead of God’s agenda, and starts persecuting the people of God, then they have violated the Supreme Government. Yet, we are still subjected to them.
Governments are to be a hindrance to evil. With the exception of anarchy – no law or rule – crimes are restrained in any form of government. Those who obey laws have no fear of the policeman or the courts. There are times however, when men make laws that legalize perverse acts, and legitimize persecution of believers, and the killing of unborn babies. Believers should never disobey with a flippant attitude. “Civil disobedience” when needed would certainly call unjust laws to the attention of good government rulers, and if it is an unjust rule/law, cause them to reconsider, or at least think about overturning that rule/law.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Earnest Expectation For Redemption
In our last study of Romans 8:10-17 we looked at “A Joyful Expectation In The Father”. That Joyful Expectation is due to His promise that we are “Joint heirs” with Jesus Himself. “Joint heir” means; everything that is His is ours. I am glad to be a joint heir with Christ. We must always know that we are not joint heirs due to our behavior, our goodness, or anything else of us. It is due solely by the Grace of God.
The Father has given us the Right, the Privilege to call God Father, Abba [Daddy]. We have been adopted into the family of God and given all the rights of the elder Son.
EARNEST EXPECTATION AND THE REDEMPTION OF CREATION – INCLUDING OUR PHYSICAL BODIES.
Looking at these memorable verses (18-25) we see and learn some wonderful things. First of all in verse 18 we see that there is going to be “Glory” for those who have believed on Jesus. He has written in verse 17, “… That we may be also glorified together.” and he is speaking, of course of Jesus. There is no glory apart from Jesus.
Paul is making a bold declaration. Notice he says, “For I reckon…” He is declaring something to be so, because the Spirit of Christ has already declared it to be so. We need this mindset, which actually begins in the heart of the believer.
The statement Paul makes in this sentence is a strong statement concerning our glory we share with Christ. The glory we will have in heaven is far beyond any suffering we have received while here on this earth. Stop and think about the suffering you have endured, whether for Christ or because of illness, or even some things of suffering you may have brought on yourself. Those will all be forgotten when we see Jesus in His glory, and receive His glory; the glory we have with Him.
In verse 19 we find that the “creation” all created things, are personalized by Paul making it almost human. It is as though the creation is waiting – waiting expectantly – for the ‘Sons of God to be revealed’. This is the revelation to all of creation who are the children of God. They will receive the glory, then, they shall know. “All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory”: How then, can we receive glory? By way of Jesus and His cross – His death, burial and resurrection.
On verses 20 thru 22 the MacArthur Study Bible note states,
“futility’ (NKJV). This refers to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe (Gen. 3:17-19), and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose”.
I am going to have to agree with this comment. I have stated in sermons and other things, that, “Man is the only part of God’s creation that does not fulfill God’s original purpose”. In thinking about what the study note says from the MacArthur Study Bible I believe that statement is correct, because when Adam and Eve sinned the earth was cursed. The lamb and the lion no longer lie down together; the calf and the wolf no longer eat together; the child can no longer play on the serpent’s den. And they could before the earth was cursed by the sin of mankind. Through no fault of the creature, ie., creation with the exception of man, thus, the futility, the ‘subjection’ ‘to vanity’. The creation had not sinned, but because of grace, God provides for Adam and Eve and all mankind; who is made after His image and likeness. For the redemption of man, the whole universe is cursed; and because of Jesus Christ, not only is man redeemed but also all of creation. Now isn’t that great or what? In the personification of the creation you can almost see the expectation. Listen as she cries. There was an earthquake at the crucifixion, and the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). There was darkness over the whole earth from noon to three in the afternoon when Jesus was suffering for the sins of the world (Matthew 27:45). She is still groaning today. Listen as the storms rage. In some parts of the earth she is disturbed and we can feel her torment. Mount Saint Helens blew her top in 1980, and people died. Just last week Tsunami hit leaving 50,000 plus people without a home. On December 26, 2004 over 300,000 people were killed by a Tsunami as it ravaged Thailand and areas around it. You get the picture. Creation when personified is looking for that day when all things will be set right and made brand new.
In verse 23 we are told that those who have received the gifts of the Spirit; or, the “First fruits of the Spirit” are also longing or groaning for that day when the redemption will be complete. Now, know that, if you have been saved, you are no more saved than you ever will be, nor are you any less saved than you are right now. The point is there is coming a day when our redemption will be completed when we see Jesus face to face, then, we will be home. We are waiting for that ‘adoption’ when we receive our inheritance, and the redemption of our bodies. When Jesus comes for His Bride; the Church; all those who have died will be resurrected from their graves, and it does not matter where that grave may be. Those will be raised in their redeemed bodies, then, those who are alive and remain will be changed, and receive their redeemed bodies. Now I am groaning even more. I have had some people ask me, “Don’t you dread getting old?” to which I have replied, “Not at all. The older I get the closer I get to home”. That is the day I am living for.
Verses 24 & 25 speak of the “Hope” we have now. “Hope that is seen is not hope” seems like a bold statement of sorts. It is quite sensible. If we have the new car of our dreams, we do not hope to get one. We have it in our possession. The hope Paul speaks of, of course is much different than is ‘wishful thinking’, or even thinking that has merit to back up the hope. This hope; of which Paul speaks, is based on the trustworthiness of God and His Word. It is based on the worth of God. Therefore, we can know quite assuredly that though what we have now is hope for that day when He comes; it is as good as accomplished, because God has said it. He has promised it. Because He has promised it, “We eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (NKJV), or “We with patience wait for it”. God did not, does not, nor will not make idle or empty promises. His Word will come to pass, therefore, it is worth looking for and well worth the wait.
What Of The Jew?
I. THE COMMITTED WORDS OF GOD (vv. 1-2).
A. Christianity owes much to the Jew.
1. Abraham – father of nations.
2. Abraham – friend of God (James 2:23).
B. The law, which came through the Jew reveals all to be sinners.
C. The precepts of God tell us what we are to do.
D. God’s Word is enduring, “Forever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89).
1. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.”
E. The Word being committed to the Jew is also their condemnation if not obeyed.
F. Do they (the Jew) have any advantage?
1. Paul says, “Yes!” “Much every way…” It is basically the promises of God to Abraham and the nation.
2. God’s promises will not fail.
II. THE CONSISTENCY OF GOD’S TRUTH (vv. 3-4).
A. The Jewish teachers/leaders had a problem with the gospel of Jesus because it seemed to them, to negate God’s promises to Israel.
1. Will some people’s unbelief make God’s promises null and void?
2. Paul’s answer is “No!”
B. Man often breaks promises, whether it is intentional or unintentional
C. God is Truthful, He never lies; man on the other hand, is a noted liar.
1. God always keeps His promises.
2. We, as humankind are known for not keeping our word faithfully.
D. Since God’s Word is true, we can have confidence that He is who He says He is; we are who He says we are, and we are in need of what He says we are in need of.
III. THE COMMENDATION OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
A. The questions presented thus far, which Paul has asked, prove the righteousness of God.
B. By what Paul previously has written, he has shown that the unrighteousness of mankind shows the very righteousness of God.
C. The unrighteousness of man commends God’s righteousness.
1. If God judges unrighteousness does this make Him unrighteous when he is commended by unrighteousness?
2. Of course, the answer to this question is an unequivocal NO!
3. His judgment of unrighteousness proves Him to be righteous, and holy.
4. If God does not judge the sins of mankind, how would it be possible for Him to Judge the wicked at the last day.
D. Paul was probably being accused of teaching people to sin in order that God would be glorified.
1. There is nothing here to give us that idea.
2. Those who would teach or believe such and declare God unrighteous, because He is commended by unrighteousness, and yet judges unrighteousness is boiling in condemnation.
E. Man’s condemnation is sure, if he rejects God’s call to repentance, to Jesus Christ, and to righteousness.
IV. WHAT OF THE JEW?
A. They have disobeyed God’s Word time and time again, but yet, they too can be made right with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. One day the whole living nation will repent and follow Jesus (Romans 9 – 11).
-Tim A. Blankenship
In some years back there was started this phrase, “You must love yourself before you can love others”, or something along that line of thought. They based that on Jesus’s words, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”.
“Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 19:19
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:39
“And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
After a lesson the Lord gave me today I can see where that concept of “Loving ourselves to love others” could come from; but I still have a problem just leaving it with loving ourselves.
Look at what Jesus said, first, though not printed above, but in the Biblical context we see Jesus saying to love God, then to love our neighbor, or others, as ourselves.
After someone spieled out hateful speech in a continual, rude, even very crude manner today, I asked, “Why do you hate yourself so much?” As I asked the question I thought of Jesus’s words.
We must also remember the words Jesus spoke, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is where the Lord spoke to me through the speech of this individual.
Does a person desire to be treated the way we too often treat others? If we do it must be a sure sign of self hatred. Remember the principles of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7).
Genuine love starts with loving God with all your hear, all your soul, all your mind, and with all your strength; then, loving God you can and will love others too, thus rewarding yourself.
Just a thought from this morning.
What do you do when you are on your way to work, discouraged, down, and basically feeling like you have made a wreck of your life? You are listening to a great Christian radio station, and a program called “Unshackled”.
What do you do when you hear the voice of God say in your heart, soul, mind, and spirit, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”? What do you do? To hear the voice of God speak His word in your heart will pick you up and set your feet on the Rock.
Those words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” are the words of Scripture (Jeremiah 31:3), and spoken through the prophet to the people of God in the Old Testament. When God speaks we must listen.
What do you do?
“And Uriah said unto David, ‘The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.” 2 Samuel 11:11 (KJB)
Uriah was a Hittite (verse 3) who had become a faithful and loyal follower of Jehovah. You will notice the very first thing he mentions to the King is “The ark…” You will note also his heart for the people, the men on the battle field sleeping in tents.
He has been called by the King to aid in covering the king’s sin with his wife Bathsheba. I am just going to point out the heart and mind of Uriah the Hittite.
Uriah is an often overlooked character in the story of King David. He had evidently chosen to follow Jehovah or YaHWeH. He is also named as one of the king’s top men in 2 Samuel 23:29. He was a soldier of the Lord and of the King. He was faithful to God, King and country.
Uriah’s king failed him; but his God did not. God never fails, and he honors those who stand with Him. David had the man murdered in an elaborate scheme to cover his own sin.
We as Christians can always stand with God and what is right according to His word and His law. We can remain loyal to our nations leaders when they follow the law of our nation, and live by them. We can be loyal to our nation as it follows the way and will of God. Our first citizenship is in heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:20).
Let us be faithful and true to God and country, and thus to our leaders as they follow the Lord and are faithful to Him and to the law. The King of all kings is Jesus Christ. Let us remember the words of Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as rivers of water: He turneth whithersoever He will.”
Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. 2 Samuel 10:12 (KJB)
“Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.” 2 Samuel 10:12 (NKJB)
I share the other translation to give more clarity of what the phrase “…Let us play the men for our people…” is meaning.
The Ammonites had hired the Syrians to help them fight against Israel. Joab; the general of Israel’s military, and Abishai his brother were commanding two garrisons of troops. Abishai was to fight the warriors of Ammon, and Joab the warriors of Syria. Israel was greatly outnumbered. The troops of Israel needed to hear their commander give words of encouragement, and strength.
Today is the Lord’s Day; not the Day of the Lord. Let us who are in Christ Jesus be faithful to attend the worship of our Lord and Savior with brothers and sisters in Christ at our local Church where the word of God is expounded, the cross of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection are proclaimed, and His name lifted high for all to see and hear.
In the places where Christ is exalted, and the word explained, and proclaimed there will be courage and strength for all who will hear. Folks, we are in a battle. The enemy of God is all around us. The deniers of God and His Son are plenteous. They are mean, vicious, and are of their father the devil.
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice in it and be courageous and strong in the faith of the Lord Jesus.
“…The LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.” 2 Samuel 3:39 b (KJB)
There are battles within kingdoms of men. There are battles which occur within each individual man and woman.
King Saul had died in the battle with the Philistines by falling on his own sword, for fear that the enemy would mistreat him if he were taken alive. David had been chosen as King of Judah, but the other tribes were still being led by the General of Saul’s army, and he had appointed the young son of Saul, Ishbosheth, as king. That is an inside battle. A nation at war against itself.
Abner had been murdered by Joab, David’s General, because Joab because in a battle between the two factions Abner had killed Asahel Joab’s brother. Joab killed Abner in hatred, revenge, and at a time David had made peace with Abner. It was not the act of King David. It was the act of a vengeful Joab.
Joab’s act was a wicked act against God and King David. The words of David in the Scripture of 2 Samuel 3:39 are words that are just and right.
Again the reader is reminded that there are consequences to our actions. Good from good. Evil from evil. We all reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We need; all of us who take a breath of air; need to flee to the cross of Jesus Christ where, there alone, our sin debt is paid in full.
“The LORD shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”
Our hope; mine and yours; lies in the death, the burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Today’s reading is from 1 Samuel 20 – 22…
“Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” 1 Samuel 22:23 (KJB)
This utter hatred for David in King Saul began due to Saul’s rebellious heart (1 Samuel 15:10-23). Because of that rebellion God gives the kingdom to another, who is David. Rebellion against God. Jealousy against the “Better man”. Let us learn.
Saul has cowered in fear because of a giant, and turns with rage against one of his own who has done nothing more than be his faithful servant.
In the first two verse of chapter 22 we read of the type of men who served with David and followed him – people in distress, people in debt and could not pay, and the discontented. They were not the rich and famous of the…
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Reading today from 1 Samuel 11 – 13…
“And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.” 1 Samuel 11:6 (KJB)
The person who is never angry never truly loves. I can just about hear some readers here saying, “Wait just one minute.” In a tone of anger probably.
Reading the text from Scripture above caused me to think about anger. I have heard some say that anger is bad. I certainly cannot agree with that statement because God is angry with evil everyday (Psalm 7:11); Jesus was angry at least twice at the temple – the first time early in His ministry (John 2:14) and the second time, possibly in His final week before He was crucified (Matthew 21:12).
I heard a pastor a few years ago say, “You can tell the character of a man by what makes…
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Please read Judges 17 – 19 for today…
“Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.” Judges 19:26-27 (KJB)
It is stated at least three times in Judges that there was no king in Israel. Chapters 19:1 and 21:25 are two of those references. Since there was no king there was no direct human guidance for any law. We must remember the people of Israel did have God’s law, and they had strayed in horrible fashion.
When there is no rule of law people become a a…
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“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45 (KJB)
If there is any one thing the world needs today it is for substance, truth, integrity, and the fulfilling of words spoken. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6), then, He went to the cross and died for us.
The very last phrase of our text above says, “All came to pass”. Every word God had spoke through Moses had come to pass, just as He had said.
We can trust what God says because He has done all that He said, or it will be done in the not too distant future. Some of the things He has said are, at this moment, being fulfilled.
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“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law does he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2 (KJV)
It has been a bit over 3 years since I did some post on the first verses of the Psalms, beginning with Psalm 1. Today I am beginning a new study on the verse 2 of each Psalm or plus in some cases. I do not think I have ever kept it a secret that I love the Hymn book of the Bible called the Psalms. The whole of the word of God is blessed, sacred, and holy; and I love it all; even when it hurts.
I want us to consider verse one. The link above will take you to that study. “Blessed is the man…” The word blessed means “Happy”. The happiness of Adamkind is really fleeting in most cases. We can be happy in one instant, and downtrodden, discouraged, and in despair the next. When I speak of “Happiness” I am speaking of Godly happiness which comes from the fruit of the Spirit of God called “Joy” (Galatians 5:22).
The first key to “Happiness” is to “Delight in the law of the LORD…” You make the word of the LORD an integral part of your thinking. You awake every day, every morning with the desire to open the pages of the sacred book to hear what the LORD has for you to hear today, and you pick up the word to hear God speak.
The second key is that you do not just read His word, but it does become part of your decision making during the day. You meditate on Him and His word gives you direction, conviction; both of sins committed and conviction to stand on your Biblical principles and beliefs; comforts, encourages, and strengthens you in your walk with God.
It has been one of my goals in ministry and life to get the people I pastor and lead; to get them into the reading, study, and meditation, and application of God’s word in our daily lives.
It begins with knowing Jesus Christ. When you have Him in your heart, soul, and life you will love His word.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 29:7-10 (KJV)
Satan is loosed from the abyss “to deceive the nations”, but only for “a little season” (v.3b).
Some have wondered why God would do such a thing. One thing it does is show us that God is in complete control and that the devil can do nothing but what God permits him to. Read Job 1 – 2, and you will see that Satan had to get permission to afflict Job.
Robert Govett, as quoted from the REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST by John Walvoord gives us four reasons why God looses Satan at the end of the millennium:
1. “To demonstrate that man even in the best environment will fall into sin if left to his own choice’;
2 ‘to demonstrate the foreknowledge of God who foretells the acts of men as well as His own acts’;
3. ‘to demonstrate the incurable wickedness of Satan’;
4. ‘to justify eternal punishment, that is to show the unchanged character of wicked people even under divine jurisdiction for a long period of time.”
The Gog and Magog seem to be likened to that of Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. This definitely shows us that it is not our circumstances that cause us to be righteous or evil, but it is the attitude of the heart. We see mankind has rejected the Most High and Holy during a long period of grace to the end of the tribulation period, and at the end of a long earthly reign of bliss.
How could children who have lived under the awesome rule of Christ turn from Him? We might ask Adam and Eve someday. The children born during the reign of Christ will be given a choice through the deceit of the devil. Those who choose the vices of Satan will rise up against our Lord only to be defeated.
Those who rise up against Christ, inspired by Satan, will surround the holy city only to fall in defeat in an instant.
Satan is judged. He is cast alive into the lake of fire. Notice the mention of the beast and false prophet (SEE also 19:20). After one thousand years they still exist in the lake of fire. Does this sound like annihilation? Not hardly.
There is an onslaught against the teaching and truth of an eternal judgment from professing Christians, as well as eager unbelievers to justify themselves and their lives. Hell is just as real, and just as eternal as Heaven. It is said that Jesus said more about Hell than He did of Heaven. Now I have not checked that out, but if Jesus mentioned that often, then, He did it in warning to those who heard Him.
There is eternal judgment for those who do not believe and receive the precious Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He died on Calvary’s cross, was buried, and He rose again. You can spend eternity with Him or you can stay in your sin and condemnation, and spend eternity in Hell. Christ Jesus died for us. Call on His name. He will hear you.
“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” Revelation 8:7-13 (KJV)
This is not the Sound of Angels for the people of God, but for “the Inhabiters of the earth”.
The first four trumpets and their judgments are released in chapter eight. There are two more in chapter nine and the last one is in chapter eleven, beginning at verse fifteen.
If you will notice the seals were opened in the same way of separateness. The four horsemen are separate from the final three, and the seventh follows a short interlude. The same is true of the trumpets and the vials.
“All three of these series of sevens…are framed exactly alike. They are divided into four and three. Then the last three which are always separated and apart from the first four and divided are divided into two and one. Between the two and one (between the sixth and seventh), there is always an interlude. Between the sixth and seventh seals, the seventh chapter …. is an interlude. In the turmpets series chapters 10 – 11:14 form the interlude. Between the sixth and seventh bowls Revelation 16:13-16, is the interlude. The briefest interlude is between the sixth and seventh bowls of the wrath of God. The longest interlude by far is the one between the sixth and seventh trumpet.” BILL DUDLEY Notes page 31.
There is no reason for us to try and see these judgments in any other way than their literal sense. To look at them in another sense other than the literal sense makes nonsense.
The first trumpet could be parallel with Exodus 9:18-26. Each trumpet judgment seems to have some parallel with the Egyptian Exodus, and the plagues. If we are to take the plagues of Egypt literally, then we must take this hail, fire, and blood literal as well.
One-third part of the trees. According to some “trees” refers to fruit trees. This being the case “One third” of the fruit trees being destroyed would wreak havoc on the world, but it does not stop there. All green grass is burnt up, as well. This may include grain crops and this would drastically hurt meat and milk production causing further economic harm. The economy, of course, would be the least of their worries.
The second trumpet sounds and what appears as a “great mountain burning…” is “cast into the sea”.
A great large object falling from the heavens falls into the oceans turning one-third of the seas into blood, killing one-third of ocean life and destroying one-third of all ships on the ocean waters. Again this is to be taken literally. If God was able to send plagues upon Egypt, and He was, He is able also to send these judgments upon a Christ-hating world.
The third trumpet seems to bring about the poisoning of the fresh waters of the earth. It would seem that this “star” breaks in pieces upon entering the earth’s atmosphere and the pieces fall into individual sources of fresh water poisoning one-third of the streams.
This “star” is directed by the hands of God to judge evil. It seems many will get thirsty and drink these waters and die.
The fourth angel sounds the trumpet and the sun and moon are smitten, and also the stars. One-third of the sun, the moon and stars are darkened. How this is done we are not told, only that it is done. Since evil men love darkness and not light they should enjoy this time.
These first four trumpets destroy much of what men often take for granted in creation. We often do not think to be thankful for the trees, the grass, the oceans, streams of water, and the celestial creation. Many just think it will always be there. It does not matter how we live; grass and water will always be. While some may think the problem is ecological it is not. The real problem is a spiritual one. When wicked men of earth refuse God’s ways the ecology of earth suffers. God will even strike the stars and satellites of the heavens to show evil men that it is He who controls the universe.
The word “angel” in verse 13 is said to actually be “Eagle”. If that be so it could refer back to one of the four “Living beings” of chapter four. Verse seven of that chapter mentions the “fourth beast was like a flying eagle”. This “Eagle” is crying out, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of earth”. The three “woes” correspond with the following three trumpets.
The word “Inhabiters” is dealing with the lovers of this world, solely those who are of the earth. Those who are believers [followers of Christ] during this time; their habitation is in Heaven. The woes seem to indicate that the judgments following will be far worse than anyone has ever seen, or has ever been through.
Be sure you know Jesus, NOW! Let us also be thankful for the fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and milk God has blessed us with so abundantly. For the water we drink, and for the heavenly creation praise the name of our Lord and Creator. The Sound of angels points us to Jesus, the Lamb, who is the High Priest and Judge who will put an end to sin and make all things right in His sight.
And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:8-14 (KJV)
The Lamb is worthy of worship. Who does God say is to be worshipped? Only Himself. If God is allowing Jesus, the Lamb, to receive worship, what declaration does that make? Worshipping Him, you are worshipping the God of creation.
In Heaven God is collecting the prayers of the saints. They are collected as the odors of incense. They are a sweet smelling fragrance to Him. Our prayers are pleasing to our Father in Heaven, and He is pleased to hear and also answer them as it pleases and glorifies Him.
He is worshipped for four reasons (I got these reasons from Warren Wiersbe’s BE COMMENTARY, and the five hymns to be sung in our worship also).
1. Because of who He is – the crucified and resurrected One;
2. Because of where He is – in the midst of all creation (represented in the four living ones), and in the midst of God’s people (the elders);
3. Because of what He does – He opened the book no one else could open. He made it possible for singing:
a. The worship hymn – “Thou art worthy”;
b. The Gospel song – “Thou wast slain”;
c. The Missionary song – “Out of every kindred…and nation”;
d. The Devotional hymn – “A kingdom of priests”;
e. The Prophetic song – “We shall reign on the earth”.
It would be great if the music directors of our churches would all begin to follow this pattern for our worship of the Lord. My plan would be to open the worship service with THE WORSHIP HYMN. Something like Holy, Holy, Holy, or How Great Thou Art. The GOSPEL SONG could be something like, At Calvary, or The Old Rugged Cross. There are many to choose from. The MISSIONARY SONG could be used as the worship in tithes and offerings, using songs like Rescue the Perishing, or Set My Soul Afire. Good DEVOTIONAL HYMNs could be, Sweet Hour of Prayer, or When We Walk With The Lord. There are some good PROPHETIC SONGs which could be used such as, Face To Face With Christ My Savior, or There’s A Land That Is Fairer Than Day.
In verse eleven we find a numberless multitude of angels. “Ten thousand times ten thousand” equals 100 million, but then “Thousands of thousands” mean millions more. They probably reach into the billions plus. Notice, their praise was to the Savior “The Lamb that was slain”, not to a baby in a manger, not to a healer, not even to a King, but to a “Violently slain Lamb”. This resurrected Lamb is worthy to receive full honors from the Father and all His creation. Notice, “The Lamb that was slain” is past tense and assures us that He was dead but is alive. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
We come now to the fourth reason the Lamb is worthy of worship (See notes of verses eight through ten).
4. Because of what He has. He did not receive these things from people of earth. “Blessings, honor, glory, and power”, He receives them after He completes the task He came to do. I do not know about all who are reading this, but I do know that so many times worship services in our churches seem monotonous, mundane, sometimes even dreaded, and dead. It seems that the reason for that may just be the attitude of the worshiper’s heart. Our worship is about Jesus. If we will keep our focus on the crucified, and risen Lamb of God true worship will be the experience of every worshipper. Give Him “Blessing, honor, glory, and power”.
The same things are given to the Lamb and the Father. They are actually given to the Lamb by the Father. The ability to ascribe worth to the Lamb by the creation and God’s people are given by the Father.
We can say A-MEN in our worship – SO BE IT. In these songs of praise, we can come to a conclusion of how our worship on earth is done. Let’s worship Him. He is Jesus the Christ, Son of God, God the Son, and He is Worthy to take the Book.
For a while, I am going to repost and revamp some of my previous posts. They will begin with the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:1-3 (KJV)
It seems that the history of man has begun to reach its climax, and because of this, it is of the utmost importance for all people to realize the greatness of Jesus Christ, His present and future power to redeem, judge and bring to fruition the completeness of His redemption.
It is the purpose of this study to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ as being alive, seated at the right hand of the Father; as the “Chief Subject”; the exalted Priest-King in chapters 1 – 3; as the glorified Lamb in chapters 4 – 5 and reigning on the throne; the Judge of all the earth in chapters 6 – 18, and in chapter 19 He returns to earth as the conquering King of kings; finally, closing the book ushering His Bride (the Church) into the glorious heavenly city; thus Unveiling His Glory.
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ has been viewed by many, even professing Christians, as a book of “Doom and Gloom”, as has also been the other apocalyptic book of Daniel. They are not. These are books of hope and fulfillment of our final joy – eternal joy. Let me insert this information concerning the title of the book. Some refer to the book as “Revelations”. Not to be “Know it allish”, but there are no plural revelations, it is a single Revelation. It seems to me that there is one proper title of the book, and it is given in the first sentence of the text, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”
The book is for our understanding. It is written where you must be familiar with the rest of Scripture, especially the Old Testament. It is filled with symbolism, which is open to interpretation, but by the work of the Holy Spirit, a committed Christian can understand. I know that I will fall far short of excellence, but these will be my thoughts and understanding in my study, hopefully, and prayerfully led by the Holy Spirit.
This book was written to encourage the Christians, who were being persecuted by Rome, of the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ. He would conquer every kingdom of man that would exalt itself against Him.
This book was written while the Roman persecution was going on under Domitian who hated Christianity. He had exiled John to “The isle that is called Patmos”. This is where John received the Revelation. It was sent to and read by the seven churches mentioned in verse 11. Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It is a book for the Church of all ages until the redemption of mankind is complete.
We will see in the Revelation that it is truly of Jesus and His power to redeem and that until its completion we, who are Christians, are to keep the faith of Jesus Christ. He will be faithful to fulfill the Father’s will in us.
Let me explain something before I continue. I believe the Bible teaches the rapture of the Church before a period of Tribulation comes on the earth. That that period of Tribulation will be a total of 7 years in length, and that at the end of that 7 years Jesus will come down to earth, set up an earthly kingdom for a period of 1000 years. At the end of that thousand years will come the Great White Throne judgment where all the haters of God, “…Inhabiters of earth” will be judged by their works. I believe these things can be seen in The Revelation, as well as other Scriptures. I also know that there are a many good Christian people who do not believe that form of eschatology. That is their belief, and they will go be with Christ in the rapture whether they believe it or not. I will be happy to meet them there.
Let us look now at the Revelation. If we think about the time that has passed since the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, it could have been as much as 6o years. The Domitian reign of Rome is nearing an end, and John probably needs some encouragement, as well as those to whom he will send this writing. The “Unveiling” is the unveiling of Jesus Christ in all His glory. It will show things which must “Shortly take place”. There are some who argue against the imminent [ready to take place] appearing of Jesus Christ. This is one statement for it. Jesus reveals the suffering and rejection He has endured. He will reveal His power and His glory which all shall see. It is a revelation given by the Father to Jesus to reveal what “Must shortly come to pass”. It is a message which is delivered by an angel to His servants for all the servants of Christ. “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (KJV). This apocalyptic message is to be revealed (Rev. 22:10), while the message for Daniel, in his time was to be concealed (Daniel 12:4). There is only one thing that John is told not to write and reveal, and that was the message of the seven thunders (Rev. 10:4). What was said there we may never know, nor should we even speculate.
There is a faithful witness in this Revelation. John’s gospel and epistles point out Jesus Christ as the Living Word (John 1:1), the Lamb, come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and that He is God in flesh (John 1:14). John shows us Jesus very clearly as the Word become flesh, for the purpose of dying for our sins, buried, and rising again. He is getting a look at Jesus much unlike anything He has ever seen. The only thing that may have come near it would have been on the mount as Jesus was “Transfigured” in their sight. John faithful in his testimony and witness of Jesus Christ.
We come now to the first of seven Beatitudes of the Revelation. It is a promise of blessing, of happiness – that is what the meaning of “Blessed” is. What many churches and pastors are getting away from in worship services is the reading of God’s Word. There is a special blessing for those who will read the Revelation in worship to God. This blessing would apply, I believe in any situation. In our own private reading, in a Bible study group, corporate worship, or parents with children, and spouses reading it together. There is also a blessing for the hearer of these words. “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). To “Hear” means with understanding putting it to action, which leads us to the third blessing. The keeping of this is to “hear” it putting it to work for encouraging others in the faith, and for our own stability of faith. It is something to hang on to because the times are tough. “Do not doubt in the dark, what you have learned in the light.” One thing is certain and that is that “time is short”, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” (1Thes. 5:2). This is a book of hope for the Christian. It is a book of encouragement. These seven beautitudes are placed in the book to show us the light in the darkness of troubled times. Seeing that there are seven of the “Beatitudes” it means that our joy will be full, and gives us strength in the face of opposition.
We see that Jesus is central to this final book of the Bible. Were the Bible to close with any other book we would not have a completed picture.
The Bible begins with the book of “Beginnings” – Genesis and closes with the triumph of Jesus Christ, the redemption of mankind. A-MEN.
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Many of you have noticed that I have not shared anything for several days; as a matter of fact, for a whole month.
It may be some time yet. It seems I have either reached a point of lack of desire, or brain block, something. “Lack of desire” for posting on blogs, not for the gospel of Jesus Christ or the whole counsel of God. I could use your prayers in this matter.
I may reblog some others, but I will not be writing anything new for a while. Thanks for your support of prayer and reading these post. God bless you all.