“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2 (KJB)
We, of Adam’s race are impressed by power and authority. We even crave it for ourselves. We often do not understand that genuine power requires great responsibility, and we see too many times in governments, and presidents, kings, and such that become despots and dictators.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor, asked Jesus,
“Then saith Pilate unto Him, ‘Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?’ ” John 19:10 (KJB)
He supposed that he was powerful enough to prevent Jesus from the crucifixion. Just where do the ruling authorities get the power, the authority which they have? According to the words of one of the wisest kings,
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1
So Pilate needed to realize that he needed to not be prideful, and arrogant about his position of authority, but to submit to the will of the Almighty God.
Jesus Christ as the God-Man had submitted Himself to the Father’s will, His word, and His way all the way to dying on the cross for the sins of the world.
“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11
Jesus knew what was taking place was the plan for the redemption of the race of Adam, and was submitted to it. He was the One who could have called twelve legions of angels and stopped it (Matthew 26:53), and a legion of Roman soldiers was about 6 thousand men. He could have stopped it. He did not because of His great love for you and me.
Now, that is Power and authority with responsibility.
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12 (KJB)
There are some who speak and act as though the law of God is bad, evil and of ill intent. That is a wrong accusation coming from a sinful heart and mind.
The law is from God; thus it is holy. God gave the law to reveal our sin. The apostle Paul in the letter to the Galatians said,
“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 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.” Galatians 3:22-25
No longer under the law as a “schoolmaster” because now, redeemed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus we have a new heart filled with the right ways, the holiness, the law of God, and power and authority to walk in it.
So, let us walk in it.
“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.” Romans 13:1-2 (KJB)
There are many people who honor the order of law, and endeavor to give honor to those who are giving their lives to defend, protect, and serve us. People such as our local county Sheriff’s departments, city police, firemen, Emergency Medical Services, and the soldiers of our nation’s military should be admired, revered, given honor, and paid rightly.
When we honor these men and women we in one respect give honor to God. God is the One who has ordained the “higher powers” – those who are in authority.
Sadly, as of lately, there seems to be a growing number of people who hate the law and order of our land. Could it be because they are guilty of violating the law? Therefore they cannot support our men and women who are defenders of the law.
We must be careful that we do not put our defenders on too high a pedestal though. They too are of flesh and blood humanity. They make mistakes. They are sinners too. Nonetheless, they are ministers of God (Romans 13:4), and if you are against them, you stand against God. That is your damnation.
There is no man, however, who holds absolute power. All power is God’s “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God”, and He gives power to whom He will.
Jesus, as He stood before Pilate and when Pilate had said, “Don’t You know that I have the power to crucify You, or to release You?” said,
“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11
No one has power that has not been given him, except by God. If you think you are one with great power and authority, then be very careful, and give God thanks, and recognize from whence that power came.
If you are not respecting the “higher powers”, then you dishonor God Himself, and bring damnation on yourself.
As a Christian my hope and eternal life lies in Jesus Christ. While I live in this world I am first of all subject to the Most High and Holy God who is All-Powerful. I also must subject myself to those who have authority over me, as they are servants of God to do what is right (Romans 13:4), and that also will give you a clean conscience (v. 5).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do.” John 14:12-14 (KJB)
In this scene Jesus is preparing His disciples for life without His bodily presence. He is soon to depart from this earth by way of death, burial, and bodily resurrection; then to ascend up bodily unto the Father in their very presence (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11). Did you notice that in Acts where the angels said, “He will come again in like manner”?
I want to deal with that verse where it sounds as though you can ask for anything you want, and God is supposed to give it. It is not. The works Jesus did before His death. The miracles, and even more importantly the fearlessness in preaching the word, calling sinners to repentance and faith in God through the Son. His life was given for all who would believe in Him to be saved and live forever in the presence of the God of all creation.
Ask what you will according to His name, and God will give it. That is ask what He would ask for. Most of the time what Jesus asked for was to glorify the Father. Is that a hint or what?
It is almost surely a sign of immaturity, or unbelief if one thinks that they can ask for cars, homes, lands, health, etc., and think that God is obligated to give them. Remember this: God is obligated to no one or no thing.
Ask for salvation. Ask for God’s will in your life. Ask for souls to be saved. Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Ask that the word of God go forth in power; and much more. Cars, houses, lands, even health? What is that compared to eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
I ask God today to save the soul that is nearest Hell. Could that be you?
“And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.’ And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
‘Hold thy peace, and come out of him.’
And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, ‘What a word is this! For with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.” Luke 4:33-37 (KJB)
There are few if any people who do not realize and admit that there is evil in the world we live in. Sometimes we wear “rose colored glasses”, and try to hide the evil so we cannot see. No matter how thick those lenses are it does not negate the fact of evil’s presence.
There are people in bondage to evil. That is why there are shootings at schools, churches, office buildings, on highways, from hotel rooms overlooking a mass of people, etc.. There is no legitimate blame for these evil matters except these folks are in bondage to evil. We can take away guns, take away the explosives; and you still have evil coming from those with evil intent.
When Jesus was walking among men as Man, the God-Man He knew the condition of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). He even spoke of it (Matthew 12:34-37). Evil thoughts and deeds comes from within our hearts; and until the heart of the man or woman is changed we spend countless amounts of dollars, and time trying to put a band-aid on something we have no power over.
In the above verses was a man in bondage to a demon. An unclean, evil, vile, and ruthless evil that caused this man to do evil things; it had taken possession of his mind and body.
Jesus said to the demoniac, “Hold your peace, and come out of him” and the demon was through; the man was free from the bondage of evil, and the uncleanness of evil
Are you being tormented by evil? Jesus speaks to you, and tells you, “Come to Me”. He casts out the evil, and you become new. The One who has Power over evil died for you, so that you might be freed from sin, and the bondage of evil. Call on Him. He will hear you and deliver you.
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, ‘Come up hither;’ than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.” Proverbs 25:1-7 (KJB)
Kings, Neighbors, Enemies, and Honey – Proverbs 25:1-28
VERSES 1-7 – On verses two and three the MacArthur Study Bible notes, “God…kings. The roles of God and the king are compared. God, whose knowledge is above all human knowledge (cf. Ps. 92:5; Eccl. 3:11; Is. 46:10; Acts 15:18; Heb. 4:13), and whose ways are unsearchable (cf. Job 5:9; Ps. 145:3; Is. 40:28), keeps things to Himself because He needs no counsel (see Rom. 11:34). On the contrary, kings should rightly seek to know what they must know in order to rule righteously.”
Looking at verses four and five we can conclude that kingdoms of men are established by God when wickedness is removed and righteousness is in place. There is silver present, but it must be refined by fire.
In verses six and seven we see that humility is an honorable trait even in places of authority.
VERSES 8-20 – Getting along with neighbors will be aided by not being hasty in judging them when they seem to be unwise, and in the end you are shamed by your own actions (vv. 8-10).
Using words wisely when dealing with our neighbors (vv. 11-12). Refreshing and encouraging words from a messenger (v. 13). Forbearance or patience is a necessity for good neighbors (vv. 14-15). Too much of a good and sweet thing will end in hatred of that very thing (vv. 16-17).
Being a good neighbor involves confidence in the right place and people, respecting truth and, others comfort, shelter, and nourishment (vv. 18-20).
VERSES 21-28 – We ought to treat our enemies as we would treat our neighbors. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8).
VERSES 16 and 27 – Honey is a natural sweetener. Too much of this sweetener will make one sick. Verse 16 prepares us for verse 17 where spending too much time a neighbor’s can be a thing that turns to hatred if not done in moderation.
To search for one’s own glory is as bad as eating too much honey. It will make others sick, and possibly you sick as well.
“And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power.” Luke 4:31-32 (KJB)
Speaking of Jesus of course; He spoke amazing things. His doctrine [teaching] was with power and authority which is probably a redundancy, but for strength and clarity it is repeated.
I pray that I will grow so in love with the Lord Jesus and His word and walk [live] in the fullness of His Spirit [the Holy Spirit] that I too will have that authority. I do not desire it for myself, but for His name’s sake; and that others might come to know Him as their own personal Lord and Savior. I pray this for every pastor, every man and woman of God, and every youth who has given their lives to Him.
Let us grow in the Spirit and power of Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.
“I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3 (KJB)
There is a whole lot of boasting going on. I boast of one thing, and then another. So do you. I know of no one who has not made a boast of one thing or another. Let me post a question; Do you ever boast in the LORD? Do you boast of His greatness, His power and authority? Do you boast of His so great salvation? Whoops! That was three questions.
God is great to boast in. Boast of a work He has accomplished in your life; and be sure to credit Him, not yourself. When we boast in the LORD we take credit from our own achievements and give them to the One to whom they belong. That is where humility really begins.
The humble will always glorify the LORD with words and with a life that shows forth the power and glory of Jesus.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. Amen
It all begins in recognizing Jesus as your Lord and Savior; the Son of God and God the Son.
Instruction, Transgressions, and Authority – Proverbs 13:1-25
Verses 1 – 6 – Once again we are dealing with the issues of the “mouth”. Eating here seems to be speaking of much more than physical food; but rather of self-control with food and with the tongue.
Also speaking of control of one’s work habits; and speaking the truth.
Verses 7 – 8 – When one makes themselves “rich” they are usually poor in many other ways. Jesus said of the poor; “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Riches are counted, by God, to be much more than material gain or wealth. When the wealthy pay “ransom” in fear for their lives; they are genuinely poor.
Verses 9 – 19 – Verse 13 is the central part of these verses; and words to be heeded by all who will trust the Lord.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
The instruction of God’s Word gives wisdom, grace, knowledge, salvation, fellowship with God, Peace with God, and peace with Mankind.
Verses 20 – 21 – How many times have parents guarded the people their children hang out with? Good parents will keep watch. “Evil communications corrupt good manners” 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Communications” in the KJV can be interpreted “companionship”
All Christians need to learn and know that there is much to be said about who you keep company with. You can be known by who your friends and who your enemies are.
Verses 22 – 25 – There is work and labor involved in caring for our future. It begins by self discipline, and teaching our children.
“Prov. 13:24 Physical discipline is a common theme in Proverbs (see e.g., 10:13; 17:10; 22:15; 23:13–24; 29:15). It is viewed as an important part of the correction and training of a child, to teach him to avoid wrong behavior, to embrace what is right, and to build godly character. Equally important, physical discipline is an expression of love for a child, while the one who spares the rod hates his son. Taking into account all of the teaching of Proverbs, physical discipline of a child must never be severe and must always be exercised in love. Cf. Heb. 12:5–11.” ESV Study Bible note.
The rod spoken of in verse 24 is one that speaks of “authority”. The shepherd had a staff with a crook on the upper end; the king held a sceptre. Both of these were signs of authority.
Our children need to learn to recognize authority. When we have some who yell about corporal punishment as teaching children violence they are teaching children to disrespect authority. Those who are in authority have the power to discipline. God is the ultimate Authority.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The King’s Authority Over Evil
We have seen Jesus the King as He has dealt with physical ailments, sicknesses, diseases, and our infirmities. We have seen Him deal with the storm which came up at sea which could, itself, have been generated by supernatural means, through the demons we see in our text. It is only my supposition to think it was of supernatural means, and I think a good supposition due to the fear of the four fishermen who were on the boat of the previous verses. If it was not supernatural, then, it was one of the fiercest storms they had ever encountered.
JESUS IS MET BY TWO WHO ARE POSSESSED BY DEMONS (v. 28).
* Two people all the other people feared and would take long walks around where they dwelt.
* Two people who were in bondage; who actually were crying for help from within their souls.
THE FALLEN ANGELS KNOW WHO JESUS IS AND PLEAD WITH HIM FOR A REPRIEVE (vv. 29-31).
* These demons recognize their Creator who cast them out of heaven.
* They still despise Him, though they may show some humility to Him, recognizing His superiority over them.
MATTHEW’S GOSPEL RECORDS JESUS ONLY SPEAKING ONE WORD, AND THAT WORD IS “GO.” (v. 32).
* Jesus’s word “Go” to these fallen angels was to depart from the tormented souls of these individuals.
* The Christian is commissioned to “Go”, and tell, and deliver the lost from the torment of evil.
THE OWNER’S OF THE PORK STRONGLY URGE JESUS TO LEAVE (vv. 33-34).
* This whole event is about the deliverance of people who have been in bondage to evil.
* What is of more importance pigs and/or possessions or the lives of human beings?
-Tim A. Blankenship
What do I want for Christmas?
I want the poor, the orphan, the elderly, the sick, and all people to be treated justly, and fairly by all who name the name of Christ and by all who are in positions of authority in government.
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.” Proverbs 14:31 (NKJV)
“The rich and the poor have this in common, the LORD is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Luke 4:18-19
There are many tormented people in the world today. Some seem to be intelligent individuals, educated, wealthy, or maybe middle class, or poor who are tormented by their lives, and living.
These folks do things that are beyond themselves, that cause harm to family, friends, neighbors; even to themselves that a otherwise sane individual would not do. We send them to doctors who specialize in this sort of thing, yet these people are still tormented.
Jesus dealt with these people, and spoke to them, and in our case today delivers this man from his torment:
“And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him.” Mark 1:23-27 (KJV)
This man was demon possessed. Controlled by another being. He needed peace, and only Jesus could give it. Tormented souls need Jesus the Christ to set them free, and give them peace. Peace with God (Romans 5:1).
Are you a tormented soul? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Call on His name, and He will save you.
“In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 22:25 (KJV)
From chapter 13 of Isaiah through chapter 23 there are a series of warnings, and judgments against nations because of their unbelief, their rebellion, their sins against the LORD. The one we see in chapter 22 is against Jerusalem, which means against the nation of Israel.
They have been living in comfort; growing in rebellion against the LORD; and cold toward righteous life, and failing to glorify God.
For instance “Shebna” (vv. 15) was a chief administrator in the house of the king. He was gaining for himself great wealth, chariots, horses, and such and even planning himself a great sepulchre (tomb) for his death; proclaiming his own greatness and power.
The people of God are to glorify the LORD, not themselves. The people of God should use their means, and wealth for the glory of the LORD in benefiting others not amassing for themselves massive homes, fancy cars, and long, costly vacations. That is what was going on in Jerusalem at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy. Does it sound familiar for any other place? Does it sound familiar for the land of the free, and home of the brave?
Let me encourage you to read this chapter (22), and note what is going on. Jerusalem was the city of David, dedicated to the purpose of the glory of the LORD; yet it had departed.
Shebna (v. 15) would be replaced by Eliakim, yet he too would be removed: (“And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.” v. 23); because the LORD has spoken it.
Israel was judged. Shebna lost his seat of authority. Eliakim gained that seat. He lost it just as the LORD had spoken through the prophet Isaiah. What God says comes to pass. It was NAILED DOWN.
“If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” Ecclesiastes 10:4 (KJV)
It has become quite apparent to me that many in the world; and especially in the U. S. of A. have problems dealing with people who have authority over us. I will not mention any particular cases; but if you see any news broadcast you know what I am writing about.
Children having problems with their parents, because they refuse to submit to their authority. Maybe it is the parent who should submit to the child. NOT!
We live in a world where there are laws; and there are authorities of those laws. If we are a Christian our first submission is to God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word. If we are submissive to Him we will have no problem “Yielding” to the authorities He has placed over us (Romans 13:1-7).
Whether it is to a king, president, prime minister, or a despot; if that is who is our ruler, then we are to yield to his rule; as far as he has submitted and yielded to God’s rule, and law. A police officer is a ruler in your town or city. If you get pulled over, and he/she tells you to spit; then spit. If he/she ask you to get out of the car, then carefully get out of the car. You yielding to her/him will pacify any anger that may have been generated earlier (Proverbs 25:15).
Our ultimate Authority is the Creator of the Universe. Yield to Him. Yield to the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. When we yield to Him we will yield to the authorities He has placed over us.
1. The seventy disciples had returned from their missionary journey;
2. They were rejoicing over the miracles which had transpired through their ministry;
3. Jesus reminds them that the power and authority was from Him;
4. Jesus also reminds them that there is a greater thing than miracles and power.
I. SATAN NO LONGER HAS POWER AND/OR AUTHORITY OVER THE BELIEVER’S LIFE – JESUS WITNESSED THE FALL OF THE DEVIL (v. 18; Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-15).
II. THE BELIEVER HAS POWER TO TREAD ON THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS (v. 19a; Isaiah 59:60).
III. NOTHING CAN HARM THE FAITHFUL BELIEVER, FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST (v. 19b; Isaiah 54:17).
IV. DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY THE SENSATIONAL,MIRACULOUS WORKS OF GOD; RATHER REJOICE THAT YOUR NAME IS WRITTEN IN HEAVEN – BY GOD (v. 20; Ephesians 6:10-12).
i. The power of Satan was diminished by the power of the cross of Jesus Christ; by the resurrection the head of the serpent was crushed.
ii. As heirs of God, and joint heirs of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), the enemy is under the feet of Christ.
iii. We must trust the strength and power of our Lord to protect, and keep us during the trials of life.
iv. We cannot let emotional sensationalism, signs and miracles detract us from what is truly important, and that is that “Your names are written in heaven”.
v. Be sure, by placing your faith and trust in the finished work of Christ today.
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.’ Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, ‘Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.’ And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him. And when He had gone a little further thence, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway He called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him. And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day He entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:14-22
It is so very sad to look around at society and see things going to the dogs. A few years ago an NFL star was sentenced to prison time for killing dogs. Even though, he was unjustly and illegally fighting them is a sign of worse things to come.
We are human beings created in the image of God. We have been given, by God, the rule and dominion of this earth. The man I speak of may have deserved a fine, maybe some loss of time from playing on the team he was on, and maybe even a fine from the NFL for the bad name against them.
It is so unhuman to give greater power and authority; and better treatment to the animal kingdom than to the human being. It is when we begin acting like animals that we begin treating humanity more like animals.
Hear the word of the Lord spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
“How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? See thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; a wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? All they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, ‘There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.'” Jeremiah 2:23-25 (KJV)
Many reading this will probably think, “Well how is this relative or practical for our society today?” I personally think that is an easy answer. When we have parents wanting to do things to protect their daughters from sexually immoral living by having them take a shot to protect them from a form of cancer that can be gotten only by pre-marital sex at too young of an age, then we are telling our children, “Your urges are uncontrollable, just follow your ‘heart'”. In other words your sexual drive is stronger than your mind and will. Just go with how you feel and this vaccine will protect you. People we are more than animals. We have a will. We can make moral choices. Animals do not.
This was the problem with the people in Jeremiah’s day. They were giving themselves to Baal worship and this involved all sorts of immoral conduct. Then, they would say on the Sabbath day as they pretended to worship the Lord GOD, “We have not gone after the Baals”.
I do not mean to sound brash in what I am about to write here, but there are many of our young ladies and young men who go around acting like animals in heat. No control; just doing what may seem like the natural thing to do. This is not pleasing to our Lord. Even sadder to say is that many of these doing this profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. When you walk in the Spirit of God, you do the will of God.
What is the answer for our society today? We need to quit giving our young people the okay for sexual immorality. When birth control pills are given them, and a vaccine is provided to them to protect them from pregnancy and disease; we are in fact giving our okay to them. Let’s stop doing that. Let’s teach them the law of God’s Word. Let’s teach them by our own personal examples. The youth of America appreciate honesty, straight forward truth, and they will respect you for it. They will not respect “Hemming and Hawing around” about matters to get to the point. As the people of God we who are adult Christians need to practice what we preach and teach. We should always be seeking the Lord to lead in our lives, and to give us the mind of Christ.
There is a lot of loose living in society. We as Christians should live a tight knit life in Christ, love our spouses, and be always faithful, and worship God and God alone through His Son Jesus Christ.
-by Tim A. Blankenship
The Kingdom Coming
Matthew 20 – 26
1. The King’s Vineyard (20)
A. The laborers (vv. 1-19)
B. The Great ones (vv. 20-28)
2. The King’s Presentation (21:1-10)
A. Cleansing the temple (vv. 11-17)
B. Authority (vv. 18-27)
3. The Identity of the King (22:41-46)
4. The Ruling of the King (23)
5. The Kingdom Coming (24-25)
6. The Price of the Kingdom (26)
-Tim A. Blankenship
As we begin reading the gospel of Mark we see no genealogy. We do see Mark’s short declaration “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…” (1:1). My reading today was Mark 1 – 14. And as we look at the gospel it can be quite apparent that this gospel presents Jesus as the Son of God, yet a servant to all who will believe Him.
In the era of the life of Jesus servants had no genealogy. I believe that is much for us to contemplate. We see Jesus, even when He needs to get away for prayer and rest; people coming to Him and He still meets their needs. That is at the heart of being a servant.
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto Him, saying, ‘Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And He said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ They said unto Him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto Him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’ And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Him, and saith unto them, ‘Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.'” Mark 10:35-45 (KJV)
In the above account of James and John coming to Jesus seeking positions of authority with Him in His glory; we find Jesus also telling them that being one of authority means to be a servant to the people. Jesus was one who was that type of servant; even to the point of sacrificing His own life for the world.
In the 14th chapter we find Jesus in one of His final acts of service. Giving Himself to the religious leaders to be tried.
“And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with Him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.” 14:53
How can men try God? And be successful at it anyway? It seems to me that men still put God on trial everyday. In many hearts and minds He is still found guilty. Yet, He serves us with His enduring mercy.
Much could be learned by the religious and political leaders of our day by following the pattern of Jesus. Rather many if not most of them demand others their service and attention.
Jesus served us all the way to judgment by a mock trial, with lying witnesses, and trumped up charges. Yet He gave His life for those same people. He gave His life for you.
-Tim A. Blankenship
That is right. My reading today covered all of the prophecy of Daniel, and the first two chapters of Hosea. We will look at Hosea in the next post. God willing of course.
Daniel was one of many Jewish nobles who were taken by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon as captives. Daniel and three of his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were chosen by the hand and appointment of God. They were four young men who were willing to risk their lives for the sake of the commandments of the LORD God.
“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Daniel 1:17 (KJV)
These were not young people who would be given to pride with the power and authority which was given them by God. Many might say, “It was Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon who gave them their power and authority”. Not so. All power and authority comes from the God of heaven and earth.
One of the first test which came to Daniel was the king wanting the “wise men” of Babylon to tell him a dream he had dreamed and its interpretation. Of course the Chaldeans of Babylon had no clue as to the dream he dreamed. Daniel, however, called on Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah to pray and seek God for the answer, and God gave it to them (2:17-23). Daniel went to Nebuchadnezzar and told him the dream and its interpretation. It was a dream showing how the end of the earthly rule of the Gentiles would come about.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” 2:44-45
All the prophecies of Daniel were fulfilled just as Daniel foretold them; or are yet to be fulfilled. The earthly kingdoms of men yet stand, but they will one day fall to the rule of the One who died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our guilt and sin away, than three days later He bodily arose and came out of the grave justifying forever, those who will believe in Him.
God tells Daniel to “seal the book, even to the time of the end” (12:4), and it seems to me that we are near the end, and the wisdom and understanding of the prophecy is becoming clear to those who will hear and believe.
Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God will soon return, and set up His earthly kingdom. Know the wisdom and knowledge of Daniel. Know the LORD.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The reading today is from the Gospel of Mark chapters 1 – 4.
The gospel of Matthew is related to the King and His kingdom. The gospel of Mark is related to Jesus as a servant. These characteristics are seen in the Old Testament in the book of the prophet Ezekiel (1:10), and also in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (4:7). There are four faces mentioned; the face of a lion – the King; the face of an calf/ox – servant or serving; the face of a man – humanity; the face of an eagle. The Revelation even calls it a “flying eagle”. I will deal with the significance of the others when we get to their respective gospels. Right now we will deal with Mark.
Let me make something as plain and clear as I can. There are not four different gospels. There are four different points of view so that we may have a more clear, and lovely picture of our Lord. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John though penned from different experiences are just as inspired by God as the other. They do not contradict but explain, and enhance, and complement one another.
The experience of Mark begins differently than the other three accounts. Matthew begins with a genealogy of our Lord and His Kingship. Luke, in chapter 3 has the genealogy from Mary’s side of the family, thus showing his humanity. John has no genealogy, but rather states quite clearly His deity with the first five verses, with verse 1 saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.
Mark includes no genealogy, because servants had no genealogy in that day; not publicly recorded. Looking at the total life of Jesus we see a King, a servant, a man, and His Divinity.
Look with me at the beginning of the gospel;
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make His paths straight.'” Mark 1:1-3
Mark seems to make the service of Jesus to the Father a point in a greater way than the others do. Many may frown on the idea of Jesus as a servant, but He said it Himself:
“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:41-45
The work of Jesus while on earth was to fulfill the Father’s will, not His own. He was a servant/minister to do the bidding of His Father. He had come also to serve mankind by giving His life as a ransom for our sin, paying the sin debt which we owed.
Surely the best we have to offer Him is ourselves, believing what He has said, living for Him and His glory. We need to do as the apostle Paul says, “…Present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Romans 12:1-2).
-Tim A. Blankenship
Since the thirteenth chapter Isaiah has been proclaiming messages called “burdens” in the KJV; they are particularly messages of warning and judgment coming on those nations mentioned. Babylon, Egypt, Moab, Damascus to name a few.
The “burden” in this chapter is directed to Jerusalem or Israel as a whole. While the other “burdens” were named against nations and peoples who were unfriendly and cruel to Israel this one is directed straight at the city and people of Jerusalem.
Why called “Valley of vision”? It could be possibly because they have been a lofty city. Geographically, Jerusalem is an upwards climb from most locations of Israel. Most of the time when it is mentioned, it is always “Up to Jerusalem” from someone headed there. When you are going to a valley the motion is always downward. That is the state Jerusalem and Israel are in as we read this chapter.
Read verses 1 – 7,
“The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far. Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains. And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.” Isaiah 22:1-7 (KJV)
It seems in reading these verses that they have been surrounded by enemy forces, and with peril around them they are partying without any regard or though toward God their Creator and Sustainer. When they should have been weeping, mourning and praying with repentance they were playing. Sounds like another nation I know about, and live within. God forgive us.
This sound of the valley of vision is similar to Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 37, the words of Jeremiah 21:13 and Joel 3:12, 14. Maybe this speaks of the depths to which the people have sank. Something to consider any how.
There are two men who are named within Jerusalem; Shebna who is possibly a scribe and holding a seat of honor; then, there is Eliakim who is referred to as “My Servant” (v. 20). Shebna loses his place of honor due to his disobedience to God and failure to do his duty; and the place is given to Eliakim because of his faithfulness.
We are told of Eliakim,
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” vv. 20-22
Keys are symbols of authority. If you possess a key, whether it is to your property or another’s it shows you have the right to enter or to the use of that property. Any one forcing entry or use is an illegal user; with the exception of permission by the authority of one with the key. Jesus used these words describing Himself,
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.” Revelation 3:7-8
Eliakim was to make decisions, and they would be sure and fast decisions, until the time of his fall.
Jesus’s kingdom and reign will never fall and never fail. His kingdom is sure and stedfast.
-Tim A. Blankenship
“And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Mark 11:27-33 (KJV)
WHERE DOES JESUS GET THE AUTHORITY TO DO SUCH THINGS AS PURIFY THE TEMPLE?
If you are anything like me you are thinking to yourself that these religious leaders must be “fuming mad” at Jesus. Here for the second time in three years He has come into the Temple compound, and tossed tables, money, caused animals to scatter, and “offended” many of the people and upset the business of the Temple people. The thing we must realize is that God was offended by their “Business” in His house. They were more concerned with the pocketbook than with the hearts of the people. They were more upset over the money than they were with the shattered lives of the people around them.
Who gave Jesus the authority to do what He did? Who did He think He was anyway? We know the answer to that question – He was/is the Son of God, in the flesh. He is the Creator of the world. His authority came from Heaven. His authority came from His position as Creator, Son, Savior, Messiah, Lord, Redeemer, Master, Healer, Sustainer, the Almighty, and many other titles and names that is given Him. Now, where does the authority come from? Who gave Him this power? Did He need to ask permission? NO! It is all His.
These leaders would not answer Jesus’ question concerning John the Baptist. They knew what He would say if they would acknowledge John as a prophet of God. They were also afraid to answer he was just from men lest they received ridicule and rejection from the people. They would not stand on anything, so they would fall for a lie instead. They would have suffered rejection from the people because they saw John the Baptist as a prophet of God. How foolish, and how weak. It only proves they wanted only popular approval.
Why did Jesus not answer their question? If they were rejecting John’s message, they would not believe Jesus’ message of Himself. Why waste the time and effort to bother with an answer. There are times when an answer is not warranted or deserving of those who ask it. This was one of those cases.
Jesus was always willing to answer honest questions. He answered many of them. This was not an honest question. It is like you or me proving our identity, and then, having someone ask us, “Are you sure you are who you say you are?” Only with Jesus it is much more severe.
Jesus is the Son of God, became flesh, who died for our sins, carried our sins away at His burial, and after three days He rose from the dead for our justification, and He is one day soon returning for those who are His in the rapture of the Church, and then returning to earth to rule and reign for a thousand years and then for all eternity. Do you know the God/man Jesus?
-Tim A. Blankenship
“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.” Mark 3:13-19 (KJV)
Jesus called these twelve men “Apostles” and gave them authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, and to preach the Word of the kingdom. The twelve men are mentioned by name even to the one who would ultimately betray Jesus, and point Him out to be crucified. Simon [called Peter] would also deny Him and would be very grievous concerning the denial.
The authority Jesus gave to the apostles is given to the church today. The signs and wonders given to the apostles were necessary to give evidence and proof that these men were speaking the truth of God. We do not need the proof. The written Word of God is all the evidence and proof that we need. We only need to read it, study it, apply it, and hide it in our hearts to show the world that Jesus Christ does make a difference. Because He lives.
Called out, set apart for the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ, and bringing all who will hear to the place of joyfully bowing before Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship