Today I want to share a special post with you from a blogging friend Haden Clark, “Why I Stopped Trying to ‘Have More Faith'”. It is a good read, and O so true.
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.
“Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” Psalm 19:2-6 (KJV)
The declaration of creation is that God is. There are those who look at the order of this ordered creation and somehow, though very illogically, proclaim that “It just happened”. Really?
Would you say that your new car was formed when a tornado tragically went through a salvage yard, or even a steel mill, and suddenly that car landed there fully formed. Now, that is just plain illogical; if not just plumb dumb.
Creation shouts of the glory of God. The size of the universe is beyond my comprehension. Yet we have scientists who are trying to figure out just how large it is. All they have is a wild guess. No matter how big the universe; God is bigger. He created it. He spoke the world, and the stars, the planets, and any other solar system which exist, into existence (Psalm 33:6).
The apostle Paul clearly proclaims…
For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20
“They that are without excuse” are those who cannot hear the shout of creation telling loudly and clearly that God is. The creation is even groaning waiting for the deliverance from corruption (Romans 8:21-22). Do you not hear the groaning in the fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the evil of Adamkind in the world.
When you have one of our own political parties that are more concerned will illegal aliens in our nation, and definitely not concerned about the legal murder of 63,000,000 unborn babies; there is something desperately wrong, and evil in the minds and hearts of this world, and this country.
Can you hear the shout of creation? Can you hear the shout of the gospel of Jesus Christ that a good, righteous, holy, just, and innocent gave His life for the evil, unrighteous, unholy, unjust, and guilty race of Adamkind? He died, was buried, and He rose again. He is returning again to receive His own unto Himself. O, will you hear Him?
This is from near the beginning of my blogging experience. From May 2006.
In writing previously of LOOKING FOR JESUS I have dealt with future events. I think it would do a great service to see that Jesus can also be found in the Old Testament. He can be found as the Living/Spoken Word of God in Creation; He can be found in direct prophecies concerning His incarnation – God becoming flesh and dwelling among men; He can also be seen in His pre-incarnate manifestations, and many times in types or shadows of persons or events.In the Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter 19 and verse 10 we find these words at the end of the verse,
“…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Now, when it comes to Jesus it has almost always excited me to find Jesus in the Old Testament, and that gives me a better understanding of who Jesus really is. It is the declaration of John the Apostle that prophecy is about Jesus.
Where many sermons and writings in our world today have much to do with our personal problems, anxieties, desires, etc., it seems to me that Jesus is much neglected in our churches. My purpose and aim in writing is to lift up Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. That is what I pray is done in these writings of LOOKING FOR JESUS, and the others as well. When you get Jesus as Lord of your life, your aim in life will be to glorify Him, and when those problems, anxieties, desires, etc. come along they will not seem so big.
Look in Genesis 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26,29. In these verses it says, “And God said,…” It seems to me that that is the Voice of God, and that Voice is the Person of the Word of God going forth creating the things which God Says.
Now to some who read this you may think me to be a little off base, but read John 1:1,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
And in verse 14 of John one,
“And the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)full of grace and truth.”
Was Jesus present at the creation of all things? Of course. John even goes on and says,
“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
You can also see Paul’s writing in Colossians 1:14-20.
Now look with me in Genesis 3:8-10. This takes place following the rebellion of Adam and Eve.
“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.”
Who was it that Adam and Eve heard in the garden? It is my conviction that it was the Living Word of God. Who did Adam and Eve have sweet communion with? The One who would be born as the Man Jesus.
Let me take you now to the fifth chapter of Genesis. That is only a genealogy. It is the first of the Bible. It is of the lineage of Seth, the holy line of God, and within this list of generations can be found a message of the gospel by looking at the meanings of the names. You can find these meanings in Strong’s Concordance. That is where I checked it out the first time I heard this. The names begin with Seth which means Appointed, Enos means Mortal, Cainan equals Sorrow, Mahalaleel equals Blessed God, Jared is Came down, Enoch is Experience, Methuselah equals Death which would bring, Lamech means Strength, and Noah means Rest/Comfort. Take those meanings and put them in sentence form – Appointed mortal sorrow, Blessed God came down experienced death which would bring strength and rest/comfort.
Truly God’s Word is inspired by His Holy Spirit. I do not know about you, but that is really WOW!. What is even greater is that God became flesh to take the judgment for our sins, then carry them away in burial and rise again for our justification, and eternal life.
I pray all who read this know this God/Man who is Lord and Savior.There will be more from Genesis later.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (KJV)
Meekness, nor mercy are weaknesses, but great strength. Like meekness mercy is often misunderstood. I do not think I can begin to fully understand it myself, but I know that I sure need it, and so does the people of the whole world.
The GOD who created all things extends mercy to us all every moment of every day. The next breath you and I take, comes at God’s mercy. The next beat of our heart comes by God’s mercy. He extends mercy so that we might have every opportunity to know Him.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want and receive God’s mercy; therefore, I want to be sure that I extend mercy to others around me. If I cannot grant it to others is good evidence that I have not received it.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want all races of people to be one in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; there is truly only one race; the human race, and all of our blood flows red.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
I want for all those who call themselves Christians to see God for who the Scriptures say He is, and not who they make him out to be by their own emotion, will, or personal design. For in doing the latter they make God in their own image, which is a false worship.
The Scripture says,
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. ” Genesis 1:1
“And God said, Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness…” 1:26a
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” 1:27
“O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:2-4 (KJV)
I have a friend who when something happens, something is said that is surprising, or is questionable will say “Mercy”. I am tempted many times when I hear him say that to say “We need more of it”; or “That is from God”. I may have a time or two.
With the events taking place in our world today; a SCOTUS going AWAL from its foundings purpose; to interpret the law not legislate law; it is clear to me that the mercy of God abounds.
Take a look at the verses above: First of all we are to thank God, not our “Lucky stars”, but the God of gods; the One who is more awesome, powerful, and holds all things together; and we are to thank Him for His mercy, because it is enduring forever. Secondly, we are to thank Him because He is the Lord of lords, the Master of the masters, the Husband of the husbands, the Superior of the superiors; and His mercy endures forever. Thirdly, He is the One who does great wonders; I mean think about it, the only One, who does great wonders. No one can design, build, and create like He has done. Look at all the great wonders that are mentioned in this Psalm. Look at the Creation and the order within it; and thank Him, because His mercy endures forever.
Be thankful to God the LORD today, because His mercy is everlasting; He is faithful, and will continue to be faithful no matter what comes into our world, our nation, our town, our county, or our personal lives.
Thank Him because when He could have shown us wrath, He sent us His Son to die on the cross in our place. Now, what will you do with this information? Believe or throw it out?
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.” Psalm 148:1 (KJV)
Does a place make a difference? Where is your heart? Is it on the LORD? We ought always be praising the LORD.
Maybe the best question would be, “Where is your treasure?” Jesus said,
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
The place to begin praising Him is in your heart by making Him your treasure. When He is your treasure you will look up to the stars, and see the handiwork of this marvelous Creator, and praise Him.
Then, when you are on the highest peaks, or looking toward the highest peaks you will praise the LORD; for He is the Creator of them all.
“Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto Thee do we give thanks: for that Thy name is near Thy wondrous works declare.” Psalm 75:1 (KJV)
One day a year the United States of America has a day of Thanksgiving. I believe a few other Nations also have a day of Thanksgiving some time in the year.
It is an awesome thing to thank the LORD God. He is worthy of our thanksgiving and our praise. Are you a grateful person? Do you thank God every morning as you get out of bed for a new day; for the chance to start over? Do you thank Him for the sunrise, or do you curse it? If you curse the new day, you are guaranteed a rough day.
All it takes for the child of God to be thankful is not out of obedience, but seeing the glories of God’s creation around us. His works do declare that He is near. Look at the birds as they soar, and fly through the air, and the sky. Listen to them as they sing their praises every morning, and all day long. Look at the wonders in the weather; the beauty, and the purity of the snow, falling and covering all the imperfections that are on the ground and in the trees. Thank Him.
For the Christian thanks is the way to begin the day, and end the day. It is even the way to live through the day.
As the apostle Paul has written,
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.” Psalm 8:1 (KJV)
There is only one God who is worthy of praise and worship. David knew who that one God is, and knew His name. His name is Jehovah [YaHWeH] the Creator, Sustainer, and He has a Son by whom all things were made, and “Without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
We His highest creation are made to worship Him, and no other. When we think too highly or ourselves we take away from His glory, the worship that He only is worthy of. When we think too highly of a sports figure, a Hollywood actor, a child, or any celebrity we rob the one God of the worth ship only He deserves.
The name of the LORD (Jehovah) is the most excellent of names. He is the One who has set His glory even above the heavens. You and I were made to glory in His name.
He has made it possible for us to do so through the cross of His Son Jesus. The God Man who came to die for our sins; died, was buried and bodily arose from the grave; and soon will be returning. O glory in that most excellent name today. He is the Most Excellent, Glorious Master.
All of creation is for the glory of the LORD; even the one’s made in His image; yet we have fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23), and because of Adam’s sin have brought a curse on the created order.
My reading this morning took me through three of the Minor Prophets – Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah. These are called “Minor Prophets” because of the shortness of the prophecy, not its measure of importance in prophecy, and the Word of God.
God, in His Word, shows us quite clearly that He will be glorified; and will spare nothing to make it so. He who spared not even His own Son, to bring us back into His glory.
There are a couple of verses in Amos I want us to consider this morning. God shows us His glory in the creation;
“Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His name…” Amos 5:8 (KJV)
“It is He that buildeth His stories in the heaven, and hath founded His troop in the earth; He that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His name.” 9:6
In Amos the prophet shows us God even in the everyday things that we take for granted; such as the stars, and the rain which nourishes the ground and our crops. Note, the prophets awareness of where the rain comes from – how it comes from the “waters of the sea”.
Now note how the prophet Obadiah, the shortest prophetic book of the Old Testament ends his prophecy speaking of the kingdom being the LORD’S;
“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.” Obadiah 21 (KJV)
Now as we consider the prophet Jonah we see a very reluctant prophet. We first hear of Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25 where the prophet had spoken in the days of Jeroboam. When the LORD calls Jonah to a foreign land, Nineveh, the prophet becomes disobedient, rebellious and flees. God has something else in mind. He prepares five different things to bring the prophet to where He wants Him to be; and it is not just to Nineveh;
“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.” Jonah 1:4
“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17
“And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.'” Jonah 4:6-8
Notice the five things God prepared for Jonah. 1) “a great wind into the sea”; 2) “the LORD prepared great fish…”; 3) “the LORD God prepared a gourd…”; 4) “God prepared a worm…”; 5) “God prepared a vehement east wind…”
Sad to think that he was more concerned with his own comfort than the souls of these people; most of all the glory of the LORD God. How am I with that today? I am afraid that far too often I am like Jonah.
May God help me.
-Tim A. Blankenship
When it comes to the Psalms we find much to sing and say about our Creator. Some of the intellect of our day believe that all that is just came to pass by chance, or cosmic explosion alone; but where, O where did the materials come from that “caused the explosion”?
My reading today was Psalms 94 – 107 for my 14 chapters for the day. My reading in the Psalms is not taking me as long in time as previously reading in Genesis through Esther; however, it is still quite fulfilling, and a great learning adventure.
The Bible speaks much about GOD, and His creating of all that is. We seem most of it in the reading of the first two chapters of Genesis, but the rest of the Bible reveals things about creation as well. We will today, look at the Creator, rather than His creation.
“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless His name; shew forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” Psalm 96:1-5 (KJV)
The psalmist sings “unto the LORD a new song”, and calls on “all the earth” to sing unto the LORD. Is there some reason for the psalmist to sing out and call for the earth to “Sing unto the LORD”? Most certainly it is because the Creator is worthy of our song and singing. The one’s who sing this “new song” unto the LORD are people who have experienced “His salvation” and we are to show it forth to all the earth every day.
There are far to many people who profess to know God, and who will give Him honor one day a week, but then, will live solely for themselves the other six days in a week. They are ruthless, ungodly, cruel, and demeaning in the business place, and are indeed no blessing to the LORD during those days.
Those who sing the new song unto the LORD speak of His wonders among all the people. We speak of the wonderful salvation He has provided for us through His Son Jesus Christ. We speak of the glories of the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection; that He still lives, and is our intercessor daily before the throne of God.
Some might say, “Well the Bible recognizes that there are other gods”. Oh really? It recognizes that there are idols that people through deception have chosen to worship, but that is not a recognition of other gods. It is a recognition of the frailty, rebellion and sin of the human. It could also be seen as the need of the human to worship something greater than one’s self. However, idols are man made, and are patterned after something GOD created. As the psalmist has said elsewhere, “They that make them are like unto them” (Psalm 115:8; 135:18). The only thing on earth that is supposed to be in the image of GOD, is the human race; and due to sin that image has been greatly marred.
That is why Jesus Christ came, bled and died on a cruel, rugged cross; was buried, and bodily rose from the grave, and eternally lives.
“Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” 96:12-13
-Tim A. Blankenship
Have you ever cried out for “Help”? You found yourself in a very needy situation, fear was creeping in, and you find yourself overwhelmed by the moment? I have no shame or fear in admitting that I have. I am a very needy individual; and when I realize I need help I will call out for help; especially to my God and Savior.
As I was reading Psalms 38 – 51 this morning that is one word that seemed to leap of the page at me. H-E-L-P! There are only seven uses of the word “help” in these 14 chapters, and they all have to do with God being our help or the psalmist crying out to Him for help.
I found myself at the age of 17; having just graduated from High School; on a trip to Florida with a friend and two other boys; swimming in the huge Atlantic Ocean just South of Jacksonville. None of us had ever been in the Ocean; I had never even seen it until that day. We put on our swim shorts, and we ran right in until we had to swim, and we swam, and swam, and swam, and swam; out away from the beach. When we tired we turned to look back. I had never been so far from land, as I was at that moment; and fear set in. I knew better than to panic, but I began to swim back to shore; or so I thought. All four of us were in trouble, and we were separated by short distances, and a whole lot of water.
I began to wear out physically, would stop, tread water to rest a bit, then swim some more. In my heart I knew at that moment my only help was in God; and I cried out to Him. The other boys were in as big a mess as I was, and they needed help too. I knew there would be no help coming from them. They needed help too. God did help me that day, and the other three boys. We all made it back to shore and home. Thanks to the good LORD who made the land and the seas, the stars, the planets, and everything there is.
The psalmist knows that his only help is in the LORD, and he cries out,
“Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:22 (KJV)
He knows that he is ready to fall, and that he cannot make it unless the LORD intervenes, give him strength, and “help”, and he even admits his iniquity and sin. He cries out for the Lord to help him quickly. And he acknowledges the Lord as his salvation. We are all in need of His salvation.
“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.” Psalm 40:13
In this verse the psalmist asks that the LORD “Be pleased” even in delivering him; and again asks that the LORD act quickly to help him.
“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” Psalm 40:17
This Psalm is attributed to David. We would not think of David as being “poor and needy”, but that is how he identifies himself. No matter what our lot in life; our health, our finances, our investments, or lack thereof; our whole life situation; we are all “poor and needy”. If you fail to admit that you will never fully give yourself to the LORD of all. Again the psalmist asks the LORD to act quickly “Make no tarrying, O my God”. We often see our need as immediate; do we not.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
“Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.” Psalm 44:26
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Psalm 46:5
I will not write any further comments on the remaining verses in the reading this morning. I do post them for your perusal and encouragement.
The Lord has given His help to all who will call on His name. The name that we need to call on is the person of His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried carrying all the guilt and condemnation of sin away, and His bodily resurrection which justifies us forever. Now that is the help we all need today.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The first day of reading through the Bible in ninety days is here. I have completed the first 14 chapters. As I told you in the last post I will be reading the Bible in the New Living Translation, which I realize is a weak “translation”, but it has an ease of reading which the KJV does not have, thus and can read without too much distraction by trying to decipher the days, months and years; lengths, weights and such.
I did discover in my reading of the first fourteen chapters that there is much with the NLT which I have problems with in interpretation, but as I wrote of one of those problems in my journal, it could be a matter of perspective.
That problem was the NLT’s interpretation of Genesis 10:25,
“Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg—“division”—for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups and dispersed. His brother’s name was Joktan.” Genesis 10:25 (NLT)
Now the KJV,
“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” Genesis 10:25 (KJV)
The problem I have with the NLT here is that it provides and interpretation that is not present in the text. The word “earth” in the KJV is “eh’-rets” in Hebrew and can mean various things,
“From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land): – X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X nations, way, + wilderness, world.” From Strongs Concordance — e-Sword.
The people had been divided by the change difference in languages, and there could have been a massive moving of the planet earth as well; not only causing a dividing of languages, but also of the land. That is my thought on the matter.
We find in the reading of Genesis 1 – 14 that God is the Creator; that He created the earth and all things upon it in a seven day period. On the sixth day having already prepared things for the crowning of creation He creates humanity, beginning with Adam, then his wife Eve. Things were without problem in the garden God had prepared for them. He even spent time with them in that garden, at least at one point He came to visit them, and found them hiding from Him.
Here we find the answer for all the ills and problems in our world today. Why is there killing, sickness, disease, hardships of all sorts? It comes down to this point that the first man and woman did not listen to God, nor obey His commandment. That one commandment was,
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'” Genesis 2:16-17
Following their sin of disobedience, God comes to them, finds them hiding from Him and God drives them from paradise; places a guardian at the gate of Eden preventing their way to eternal life at the Tree of Life, and they begin to die. Adam Eve have two sons Cain and Abel. Rebellion sets in Cain’s heart even to the point of killing his brother. God curses Cain.
Adam and Eve have other children. We find the godly lineage in chapter 5; however there is much evil on the earth, and God destroys the earth and every land going animal; except for those He has chosen to save through the only justified man living. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (6:8). The flood comes. Noah, his wife, their sons, and their sons wives are in the ark of redemption with the chosen animals – 7 of each clean animal; 2 of each unclean. My how God is full of grace and mercy.
From paradise to death to hope through Abram and a new land. A new people, nation, a Promised Redeemer.
-Tim A. Blankenship
People love their heroes. We call our soldiers heroes, and maybe they are well deserving of that title; however they are doing what they have been called and trained to do. That is essentially risking and at times giving their lives. I will admit that is heroic. The same could be said of firefighters, policemen, and others. We need them to be heroes. They are, however, only men and women who love their country, their cities, and/or the people they serve, and will risk it all for us.
Heroes for many people have been fictional characters, and maybe Biblical characters. As a kid growing up in Southwest Missouri I saw Roy Rogers as a hero, and maybe Wyatt Earp. Later on Superman became my hero, until I realized he was not real, and even now, I still enjoy the story. Our heroes can lose their zest for us; because they can fail, and fall from their perch. I think every father wants to be their son’s hero; even that hero can fall; the first time Dad cannot attend that sports event, due to something he cannot prevent.
We need more than a hero; we need the GOD who has created us and all things. We need His grace, His mercy, His strength, and power. We need Him. Hear what the Psalmist said of Him,
“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5 (KJV)
He is great, distinguished, awesome, glorious, and the pinnacle of greatness; meaning their is no one or nothing greater. He is the master and Lord over everything He has made. He made the universe and everything in it. Our world, the earth, and everything upon it, within it and all around it. One day every thing will be just as He desires it to be.
There are many things you and I do not understand about God, creation and even us as part of His creation. To know Him, however, is to know that we have an eternal future with Him.
The understanding of God is never ending, as the Psalmist has written, “His understanding is infinite”. It is without limits.
You can know the Creator by believing, trusting in His Son Jesus who is the one who holds it all together (Colossians 1:16-17), and by Him we have a way to God. It is because of the cross of Christ Jesus that our sin debt has been paid, by His burial the guilt and condemnation of our sin has been put away, and by His resurrection we have been justified – made righteous by God’s own decree.
Believe on Him, and be justified today.
“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.”
-Tim A. Blankenship
“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.” Psalm 3:1 (KJV)
I want to begin in this New Year of 2012 doing something a little more consistent with Fire and Hammer. To begin with I will endeavor to have a post from the Psalms or Proverbs daily; with commentary by Spurgeon, some other legend and least some; maybe most; by myself. The above verse is my first for 2012. May God bless you richly during this coming year, may He keep you in His powerful hands, and give you peace.
Of the verse above the Psalmist sees much trouble coming from what is probably the people around him. His trouble has increased. We do not need to wonder what trouble is do we? We are each and everyone of us surrounded by trouble of some sort.
The world is experiencing trouble. Individuals within the world is having troubles galore. There are troubles from created nature; earthquakes, fires, floods, famine, hurricanes, tornadoes, and troubles from peoples own evil and mistakes; murders, rapes, slavery, robberies, pollutions, bankrupt economies, etc. and there are troubles with families; divorce, unemployment, estranged mothers and fathers, sickness, disease, wayward children and parents.
Yes! There are troubles in our world. You have troubles. I have troubles. None are immune from it.
We do, however, have the LORD to whom we can go and He will listen to our troubles; and they will seem small compared to knowing Him and His greatness.
There is help and hope for those who trust in the LORD.
-Tim A. Blankenship
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” John 17:3 (KJV).
Jesus proceeds to pray for eternal life for those whom the Father has given Him. Eternal life He says is knowing the Father. It is God’s desire that people might know Him. The knowing of God is having to do with an intimate relationship.
Does that blow your mind when you hear the word “Intimacy” or “intimate” what is the first thing that flashes through your mind? It is probably like ‘Loving your spouse’ or something along that thought line. And it is similar. It is opposite of knowing about God. Many of us might say, “I know the President of the United States”, but in fact only know of him, because we voted for or against him in the last election. We hear about him everyday. There are a few who can actually say and be truthful, “I know Barrack Obama”. One of those would be his wife. Others could be their two daughters. They have an intimate relationship with our President.
Eternal? How long is it? It could be expressed this way; If you counted one million years, multiplied it by another million, then eternity would only be as a grain of sand on the seashore. That is the life Jesus Christ as purchased for those who will trust in Him. Eternity with the God of creation; who created all that is; and we have access to His very throne even now (Hebrews 4:16).
To know the Father one must also know Jesus Christ. Jesus made it His life’s goal to make a way possible for men, women, boys and girls of every tribe, tongue, and nation to come to faith in God. He made that possible by way of the cross, and now you can have a personal intimate relationship with the Creator of all that is. By way of the cross of Jesus; the One whom the Father sent.
-Tim A. Blankenship
“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
It tells us in the following verse,
“And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:17-18).
Why do Christians see Jesus as Deity or God? There is only one clear answer to that and it is this. The Scriptures declare it. Jesus Himself calls Himself and the Father as one; “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). In the above text the religious leaders knew what He meant when He said, “My Father”, and they considered it blasphemy. It is clear that Jesus meant what He said.
Jesus was with the Father in the beginning creating, bringing all that is into being. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). He is also the One who still holds all things together; “…And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [are held together]” (Col. 1:17). If you believe Him you believe the Father. If you deny Him, you deny the Father.
Jesus is the Living Word that was with God, was God, and became flesh and walked among men. See John 1:1, 14. There is only one access to God, and that is through the Son of God – Jesus Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection.
-Tim A. Blankenship
When He came He established His headquarters in Capernaum which was within the area of Isaiah’s prophecy. In Matthew 4:12-16 the apostle has written, “…That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet…” then Matthew quotes the first two verse of chapter nine of Isaiah the prophet.
It leaves no doubt of whom the prophet is speaking. Joy will increase under His government, and then we read these wonderful words;
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV).
If you will remember the promise of Isaiah 7:14 the prophet spoke, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” and Matthew says after quoting these words, “Which is translated, ‘God with us’. (Matthew 1:23). I just don’t understand how so many can miss these words. Clearly speaking of the coming of the Messiah, and He is called Emmanuel in the New Testament by Matthew the apostle. The disciples heard it, seen His works, heard His words, and they believed Him.
In these verses is further reason for hope for us and for Israel. These promises are first of all to Israel, then to the rest of the world. This Child born is born to be “God with us”. He would come live as one of us. Suffer our hurts and pains, and frustrations. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. He truly endured even knowing that His purpose in coming this time was not to set up His kingdom, but to die on a cross under the hands of the ruling human government, and for the sins of mankind.
“A Child is born” – ‘unto us’, thus, a “Son is given”. John the apostle wrote the words of our Savior when He said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…“ In this verse we have a Child born, a very certain Child; born ‘unto us’, and when He becomes a man He is the “Son given” for the redemption of our sins.
If we were to look at these as all these events happening in the same age we could see why the disciples, and many of the unbelieving Jewish leaders of Jesus’s day and our own could reach the conclusion that Jesus doesn’t meet the criteria. Yes, He was a “Child born…”, and yes He was “given”, but He didn’t stick around and carry out the rest of the prophecy. That is because of His mercy and grace. In the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus He justified all who believe in Him; and took back the ruling power which was given to Adam in the first place. In His death sin died. In His burial all sin was carried away, cast into the depths of the sea, and cast as far away as East is from West; then He arose from the grave proving and showing to all that He had accomplished His purposes as God incarnate, and fulfilling our justification – for all who believe.
This is a divided prophecy. Just because it has not been fulfilled yet does not mean that it won’t be fulfilled. While we await His coming again, hearts are being changed, lives are being delivered from the bondage of sin, shame and self-righteousness which is as “filthy rags” before the God of all Creation.
There is coming a day when the “government will be upon His shoulder”, and we shall not have a thing to fear. Look at these names. Though the King James Version separates “Wonderful” and “Counselor” it seems that they belong as one name. He will have supernatural wisdom, because He is the Son of God and incarnate God, born, died, buried and raised again; returned, glorified upon the earth. As “Mighty God” He is the warrior who can conquer all things evil, and holds all things in His hand. He is sovereign, and even in this day when it seems that evil rules; He still overrules. As Everlasting Father He comforts, encourages, and meets the needs of His children, and He disciplines them when needed. As Prince of Peace, there can be no peace without Him. Paul the apostle wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”. That has just about everything to do with peace. When we are at peace with God there will be no more war.
The kingdom of which Isaiah speaks is an everlasting kingdom, and it will have no end. He will see to its order and establishment, and everything will be carried out just as the Scriptures say. The Lord Himself, in His righteousness and zeal will see that all of these things come to pass.
Jesus Christ as the Sovereign Lord sees all things to its completion. Nothing of God’s word will fail; nor will this everlasting government. HIS KINGDOM IS FOREVER.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The rulers of earth under the crafty counsel of the serpent, and many times without their notice, or care seek to overthrow the direction of the Almighty God. We looked at this in the first three verses of the Second Psalm. The rage of the nations against the Almighty will come to naught. Our “science” and technology are given to us because our Creator has created. Without God there would be no science or technology. There would be no man; nor would there be any part of creation.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.” Psalm 2:4-5 (KJV).
Have you ever thought of God as laughing? There is no doubt that He laughs. I do not believe, as a matter of fact, I know I would not want Him laughing in this matter toward me. This concerns the puny efforts of men. It kind of reminds me of the idea of man creating life, and God says, “Get your own dirt”. We cannot create life without that which God has already given.
We humans are many times awed by the work of our own hands. The architectural designs of buildings, our cities skylines are sometimes beautiful in the evenings lit by electrical power; but nothing compares to the beauties of God’s creation. The automotive designs of our automobiles; but what about the design of the human body; designed by our Creator. The books and articles that are written; what about the book He has breathed for us to read, and heed. These other things are the works of men. It can be seen even in the religions of mankind. “Look at what I have done” is too many times in the hearts of men.
God, the LORD, is the One who sits in the heavens. He is the one who laughs at our petty attempts at being god. That is what is on display here. Attempts similar to that of the devil when he five times proclaimed “I will” (Isaiah 14:12-15). In this God, the LORD, will have nothing but contempt for these hateful designs of godhood. It is the arrogance and pride of the human will that keeps them from calling on the name of our Creator for salvation; or sometimes even acknowledging that He exists.
In His love He has given us His Son, and struck Him (judging all sin) on the cross that all who will call on His name will be saved. In His wrath He speaks to them and shows His great displeasure. There is only one way to give pleasure to the LORD God, and that is through His gift to us of His Son Jesus. He does not laugh at those who are in Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Do we ever stop to think what our lives would be without boundaries, without rules, without laws? It is as though we think they hinder our freedom; provoke us to evil or something. Car commercials have spoken about going outside the boundaries – usually referring to driving off road – and if they are equipped for it, then in a car, I would say, “Go for it.” However, for people, boundaries, lines, and laws give us definition, purpose, and direction.
How does it look for little children who are learning to use crayons, and a coloring book, and they get out of the lines? We will make over a one or two year old who uses their “skills” and it is cute to watch them take the different colors, and do their best, and they will always get wild and out of the lines. We tell them how good they have done, but the only thing that gives us a clue as to what they have colored is the lines under the coloring. When a child gets a little older we expect more from them, and expect them to color within the lines, and use good colors for the article, as they get older there should be no more coloring outside the lines.
Are harnesses and boundaries necessary in a free society? Most definitely. They are even more necessary in a free society. Israel was a theocratic government; meaning God our Creator was the Sovereign ruler of the nation. They were to follow the laws, commandments, statutes, word, ordinances, testimonies, and precepts of God which had been given them through Moses, the priests and the prophets. There is no country on earth that I know of who does not have laws. These laws, whether they are just or unjust are for the people to follow [when they honor God] for their protection.
The prophet Jeremiah was grieved by the treachery of the leadership of Judah; from the prophets, priests and the kings. They had forsaken God, His laws, His word, and had began following foreign gods which are not gods (v. 7). Jeremiah addresses the leadership of Judah:
“I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” Jeremiah 5:5-9 (KJV)
The “yoke” is what was used for the oxen for plowing the field, pulling a cart, and other farm work. It was a means by which the farmer controlled the oxen, to plow a straight line, and to bring the oxen back to the barn for their safe keeping. We see a picture here of the leadership of Judah having broke the laws of God that was there to give them guidance, direction, and definition; and leaving them at the mercy of the surrounding enemy. One of the greatest things we can see in this picture is that God loves His children. However when God’s children break His law, His words, His commandments; they step outside the area of God’s protection and provision, and providence.
The oxen that breaks its yoke and is “free” is at the mercy of the “…lion out of the forest…”, and the “…wolf of the evenings..” and the speedy “leopard” watching over them. As the farmer would desperately try to round up the oxen, bring them back to the barn/stable; so God pleads with His people to return to Him putting away all the evil of their hearts.
Can we not hear the heart of God as He pleads with the leadership of Judah, “Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses”? God had blessed Israel and Judah for many years, and they turn against Him; forsake Him, and turn to other gods which are not gods at all, but mere pieces of wood, stone, or jewels, or precious metals. They have turned from worshipping the Creator to worshipping the creation.
It is sad to realize that when God had blessed Judah so abundantly that their hearts grew cold toward God, His Word, His prophets, and faithful priests. As the heart grows cold toward God; cravings, desires for other things begin to affect the mind and heart. God shows that blessing without harnesses, laws, boundaries; if you will; leads to ungodly deeds, and is rebellion against God. Blessed minds without following the law of God will end with a heart as a “lusty stallion” (v. 8 NKJV, ESV). Adulterous minds, and hearts prevailed in the leadership of that day progressing into the very act of adultery with a house of prostitution; and stealing what belonged to others (Proverbs 6:26-35).
The horse that is still a stallion goes after every mare that he senses, and is hard to control. These leaders were as those stallions when it came to their positions of power; it was as though it was due them. No man’s wife was off limits in their thinking, and it almost seems that there are some religious leaders like that today .
We should consider it a great, awesome, mighty, and wonderful think to have a visit from God – “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD”. This visit was not one that we should want or desire. It is somewhat like the father visiting the son in his bedroom following a day of causing Mom problems. That boy would just as soon be out of the house when Dad gets home.
The heart of the child of God longs for the visit of the LORD when He will come with arms outstretched welcoming us into His presence. We should be thankful for those visits which are as the one above when He comes to chastise us. His coming to chastise us proves that we are His children (Hebrews 12:6-8); His coming to visit Judah with all the enemies around them was evidence of His great love for this chosen people.
When we live in faithfulness to God, His Word, and His Son Jesus Christ then, we have the great blessing of our worship in Him, and great pleasure to His name and glory. There is only one way into the pleasure and glory of God and that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled all the requirements of righteousness. When we sin we have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 1:9-2:1), and we are cleansed from all our sin.
Let’s walk, live and die in His blessings. Let’s be faithful to Him in all that we do. We do it through the power of Christ within us, ie., the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself is our Harness, and our Boundary. And we are free from sin and its bondage.
It seems that there has been for many years a debate over the origins of the human race. I have never made any secret of my personal belief that we are created in the image of God, both male and female. I have also never made it a secret that I believe what the Bible says concerning the order, means, and days of creation.
When the Bible tells us God created the stars, planets, moons, the plants, the animals, then the man and woman in six days, then I believe that is what God meant. I know some view me as being of lesser intelligence because of that, but the non-theist who holds to the theory of evolution seems to be of lesser intelligence in my mind.
I have written on the matter of Creation in previous articles on this blog. If you desire to read them you may go to Fire and Hammer and click on the category Creation, or click on either of these links to find days 1-4 of Creation.
The reason I am writing this article is because I received the weekly email from Answers in Gensis (AiG), and they had read an article from “Answers” magazine dealing with the book by Darwin, “Origin of the Species”. In the book he gives reference to the “Inferiority of women”. Darwin, as many of you know supported the view of “Survival of the fittest” and women are not the fittest according to Darwin. They have apparently survived because the men have always protected them. From what I have read, that seems to be his implication.
According to the article:
“According to Charles Darwin, the central mechanism of evolution is survival of the fittest. In this concept, inferior animals are more likely to become extinct while the superior ones are more likely to thrive.1 The racism that this idea has produced has now been both well-documented and widely publicized.2 Less widely known is the fact that many evolutionists, including Darwin, taught that women were both biologically and intellectually inferior to men.”
And the reason “women are inferior to men”?
“women were less evolved than men, and because of their smaller brains, they were “eternally primitive,” childlike, less spiritual, more materialistic, and “a real danger to contemporary civilization.”3“
Why do many women support the idea of evolution when the “father of their faith” believed women to be inferior. The Bible begins by putting the woman [Eve] on equal par with the man [Adam]. Both made in the image of God. Adam was the head of the woman because he was created first, and that is what God ordained. It in no way makes man superior, and the woman inferior no more than, as a man, the General is superior to the private. Only in order of rank is the General superior.
Like men, there are many women who are very intelligent; and there are some men and women who need much help when it comes to intelligence. When it comes to God and Creation, anyone who believes all we see, touch, hear, feel, smell and taste “just happened”, needs help. Anyone who believes that those things which cannot be seen, touched, heard, felt, smelled and tasted, such as the atom, “just happened” needs help in the area of intelligence as well.
I am not the most intelligent man, but I have enough to know that anything that has order, design, and purpose had a designer. I also know that Designer to be God when it comes to the Creation. I also know that there are many women, most of them as a matter of fact, who can survive quite well without a man. However, where would the world be without the two loving and caring for each other? Especially as God has designed it.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Noah, and the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ
The covenant God made with Noah was also for the earth, and all of creation. At the end of the covenant God says, “This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” It was in fact a promise of redemption for all the earth.
We also have this passage of Scripture in the New Testament letter, written by Paul, named Romans. In the eighth chapter, Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ writes,
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that he whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (vv.20-23)
Since the sin – the fall – of Adam and Eve the earth, and all creation has experienced death pangs. What so called scientists are using to measure the age of the earth, are mostly signs of an earth that has been under judgment for six to ten thousand years. Volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, high straight winds, the crumbling of the ice packs are all signs of an earth that is groaning in its death pangs. It is all due to the sin of mankind, and it will one day be redeemed by the coming of the Lord Jesus back to earth.
Before we continue with this let’s back up and look at the beginning of the historic life and journey of Noah. In Genesis five we find Noah in a genealogical line from Adam, and ends with Noah. Of Noah we find these words, “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth.” Noah’s name means rest. It was in the days of Noah that the Lord would pour out His wrath on a sinful and disobedient world. It was revealed to Enoch who is mentioned in verse 24, and his son Methuselah’s birth was most likely the means by which God got Enoch’s attention and devotion.
Since this is about God’s covenant with Noah we need to get back to the issue of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Is the Millennial reign of Christ mentioned in the covenant? Not in the clearest way, but maybe in type, and by the promise. It is not specifically named as a “Millennial reign” or “one thousand years” or “a thousand years”, but by example.
In the first place why would God choose to save humanity, and mankind? It was due to His promise to Adam and Eve, and according to His eternal plan to deliver mankind from death, and evil. This would take the birth of a man who would live solely for God, fulfill His Word and will for His life; and then, even obey God to the extent of providing a substitutionary death for the redemption of mankind and all of creation. God created all that is for His own glory, and the man was His crowning achievement.
In the beginning when God was creating; He began with the planets and stars. He made a space for man to dwell, before He made the man. Some might think, “God sure wasted a lot of space”. I cannot see it that way at all. God waste nothing. The open space is there for us to see, to enjoy and to stand in awe of the Creator who is Himself so vast and huge, that we could possibly know someone so amazing, and worthy of worship. When God placed all the planets in place, giving them the correct and desired order of orbit, rotations, and revolutions. Placing the earth within just the right distance from the sun to warm the earth for the life which would be created here. Plants were created after their kind. Animals were created after their kind, and last of all one made in the image and likeness of God was made from the dust of the earth. And God made him a living soul. An eternal being who was not meant to die, but live forever. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). It was intended that man was to have dominion over the earth. The millennial reign of Jesus Christ will be the fulfillment of all of the promises.
Jesus said, ” But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39 (KJV). The Lord will not allow this earth to continue in wickedness, and rejection of Him. Right now sin is its own judgment. Jeremiah the prophet speaks of one’s personal wickedness correcting them; “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee…” (Jeremiah 2:19). Jesus will come again when evil has reached its peak, its heyday, its worst, and chaos has ruled the day. Deliverance will come by Jesus Christ in His glorious appearing, with His saints, evil will be crushed, and His kingdom on earth will be established; with His reign from Jerusalem.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come soon.
–by Tim A. Blankenship
WORSHIPPING THE ONE TO WHOM JUDGMENT BELONGS
In this chapter we will be reminded of God’s warnings of coming judgment, that the wars, famines, diseases, death, cataclysmic upheavals of earth, and such that happen now are only small in comparison to what will happen when the Lion/Lamb takes the Book and looses the seals. Havoc, such as no one has ever seen will plague the earth, and it is done by the “…One To Whom Judgment Belongs”.
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. Revelation 5:1-4 (KJV).
In this chapter John is still in Heaven. The twenty four elders and the four living ones are gathered around the throne.
Chapter five is a continuation of chapter four. Whereas, the focus of chapter four was upon the One who was on the throne [God the Father], the focus shifts to the Lamb.
There is a book in the Father’s right hand – the side on which Jesus sits. This book is sealed. It has been sealed from the foundation of the world. It is the declaration of ownership – the “title-deed” to all the earth, and creation. It is the revelation to a Christ denying, God hating world that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is the “title-deed” to all that God promised Jesu before He went to the cross.
It appears in verse two that it had to be a man who would be worthy of opening the book, “and loose the seals”, but none was found. The “Loud voice” of the “Strong angel” (a prominent angel) – probably Gabriel – implies urgency, an immediate need. This reminds me of the message to Ezekiel, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezek 22:30 (KJV).
What would happen if no one was found to open the book? This is why John wept:
1. All Old Testament prophecies of the Christ earthly reign would be voided;
2. Creation would remain under the curse of the fall;
3. The kingdom would never be restored to Israel;
4. The Bible would not be true.
No mere man is worthy to open the book the Father holds in His right hand. We are sinners, unrighteous and unholy before a righteous and holy God. Notice, that none were found who were even able “to look thereon” (v. 3).
In these verses we also see that there is no man worthy to carry out the judgment of the following chapters. God has said throughout all of Scripture, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the LORD” (Deuteronomy 32:35; Nahum 1:2; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30). No judgment that is done for holiness or righteousness sake, can be done by sinful man. It belongs solely to Holy God. “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.” Psalms 94:1 (KJV).
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Revelation 5:5-7 (KJV)
John’s weeping invokes one of the elders to say, “Weep not”. There is One who is worthy. The appointed One, the anointed One. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah” – “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Gen 49:9-10 (KJV). The lion; a symbol of royalty, of power and supremacy, “Hath prevailed to open the book”. “The root of David”, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” Isaiah 11:1 (KJV). As deity He is the Root from which David came. As man, David is the root of His [Jesus’s] human genealogy, “Hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
The “Seven seals” begin to open in chapter six; the last seal is opened in 8:1 with the beginning of the “Seven trumpets”.
Because of His position as God-man He has authority and power to open the book. He is worthy because:
1. He is a near kinsman – He is the “Nearer Kinsman” – the God-Man;
2. He was a willing sacrifice for sin – willing to pay the price for our redemption (John 10:18);
3. He was able to pay the price.
When John turned to see the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”, instead he saw a Lamb. Where was the Lamb: He was in “The midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders”. This is the position our Lord desires.
The Lord Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb” at least twenty eight times in the Revelation. “Lamb” identifies Him as the sacrifice [God’s chosen sacrifice] for man’s sin. In verse six of our text He is mentioned as being resurrected from death; “…a Lamb as it had been slain”. This Lamb “Stood”. Dead lambs do not stand. “Had been slain” is in the past tense showing a dead lamb now living. There can be no doubt about who this is. It is Jesus the crucified, pierced, and resurrected One.
The “Seven horns” represent His perfect power. The “Seven eyes” His perfect sight to see all the affairs, thoughts and deeds of man. The “Seven Spirits” His perfect presence (John 16:7). These are all in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lamb. Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence are the theological terms used for the figures.
When the Lamb takes the book it will be the beginning of the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of 7:13-14 and Psalm 2:8 as well as others. See Matthew 11:27 and 28:18. It is given to the Lamb of God to loose the seals of judgment upon the God rejecting, God hating world.
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. 9 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; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:8-10 (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.
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; 12 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. Revelation 5:11-12 (KJV).
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 fromt he 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.
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. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. Revelation 5:13-14 (KJV).
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 atttitude of the worshippers 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 is 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. Let us be WORSHIPPING THE ONE TO WHOM JUDGMENT BELONGS.