They Stood Far Off

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.   And they said unto Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”   And Moses said unto the people, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.”   And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.                 Exodus 20:18-21

God had given a boundary to which the people could approach near Him, and at first they pushed the edge of the border, but when they saw the smoking mountain, thundering and lightening, and the sound of the trumpet, they were fearful and backed away; they “Stood afar off.”

I find it amazing in reading the book of Exodus, how the people are so like people of this day and time. There are many who want to draw near to God; but in their own way, in their way they view God. However, when they get a glimpse of His power and glory, even in a veil of darkness, they back away and stand far off. “That’s not the God I want to know, love and serve,” they might say in their hearts and minds; therefore, keeping their distance from true God and worship of Him.

The people above wanted Moses to be the veil between them and God; there spokesman; when they could have been themselves it they would have seen the Divine and His glory rather than the thunder, lightening, trumpet and smoking mountain.

We are told by the half brother of Jesus, who is James to “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded”  (James 4:8).  God’s desire and will is for His people to come near to Him. The only way to do that is not through obedience to the Law; but through the faith of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection.

 

The Wedding is Ready

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, ‘Tell them which are bidden, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.’ But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.’ So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
                                  Matthew 22:1-14

I share with you the writing thoughts of F. B. Meyer…

THE PENALTY OF SLIGHTING THE INVITATION
We have here a continuation of our Lord’s teaching on that last great day in the Temple. This day seems to have begun with Mat_21:23, and it continued to Mat_25:46. What wonder that His strength was prematurely exhausted, and that He succumbed so soon under the anguish of His cross!
In this parable He describes His union with His people under the symbolism of marriage. This must have suggested the allusions of Eph_5:23-32, where the Apostle tells us that Christ loved the Church as His bride; and of Rom_7:1-4, where He encourages us to believe that we may be married to Him who was raised from the dead. We can never forget Rev_21:2; Rev_21:9. Messenger after messenger was sent to the Hebrew people, but as they would not come, the Church was called from the highways and byways of the world to occupy the vacant space. But let us see to it that we are clothed in the spotless robe of His righteousness, in which alone we can stand in the searching light of eternity.  FROM eSword

Be sure you are dressed for the Wedding with the garment of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ.

No Need of the Physician

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”      Mark 2:16-17

Who is in need of a physician? Any who are sick. Who is in need of healing? The cripple, the blind, the leper. Who is in need of the Savior? All who are lost in the black darkness of sin and its condemnation, and shame.

Jesus is addressing people in the text above who considered themselves already righteous. It is quite obvious they considered themselves so because of their judgment against “Publicans and sinners”.

The publicans were the tax collectors of Israel, who were Jewish collecting taxes for the Roman government. So they were hated and despised because the Jewish leaders and people considered them as betrayers of Judaism. Sinners was those who were prostitutes, thieves, murderers, and ruffians who did not obey the laws of God and in particular the religious leaders definition of the law.

Who is in need of salvation? The point blank answer is all who are of Adam’s race. There are none of us who are righteous in the eyes of God. Those who see themselves as righteous cannot be saved. Not until they have their eyes open to the truth that they need the righteousness of God Himself.

The Bible clearly tells us, “There is none who are righteous; no not one” (Romans 3:10); and that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So, no matter who you are, you are unrighteous before God, until He gives to You His own righteousness; and that is through the death of Jesus Christ His Son on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead.

By calling on the name of the Lord in repentance (turning from your sin to the Savior), and calling on His name you will be saved. “There is no other name by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

An Eternal Decision

I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.                            Psalm 45:17

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” They said, “Barabbas.”
Pilate saith unto them, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” They all say unto him, “Let him be crucified.” And the governor said, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But they cried out the more, saying, “Let him be crucified.”                                    Matthew 27:20-23

It would be the last day of Jesus’s ministry in His physical body on earth. It was why He had came. Yet this was done by evil hearts and minds of individuals who hated Him and the light which He had brought into this world. The light that would drive away the black of the night of sin.

It was the last moments of His trial. The governor Pilate had given them a question, “Who do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus?” Now Barabbas was a murderer, of which there was no doubt. Jesus was innocent, pure, spotless, and clean with absolutely no sin in His life. And the crowd yells, “Give us Barabbas.”

Now Pilate gives the people another question, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?” This is and eternal question that still rings through every hill, mountain and valley around the world. It is a question every man, woman and child must answer, and the answer is an eternal decision we must make.

If we deny Jesus when He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me” then we are saying with the above crowd, “Give us Barabbas, and crucify Jesus.” If we deny the Son we deny the Father and there is no truth in us.

I have made the decision. I choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way of salvation. Those who make claims of there being other ways deny the truth of Christ Jesus, deny His word, and deny the Father God.

Your decision is an eternal decision.

An Already Condemned World, Loved By God

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.                   John 3:17-21

There are many who believe that God in the Old Testament, and God in the New Testament are two separate persons. That, however, comes from an ignorance of the Old Testament.

God in the Old Testament is a God of love too. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it was God’s love that provided covering for their sin and nakedness. It was His love that saved Noah and his family to redeem Adam’s race.

Because of Adam’s sin in the garden we were all born into sin. Born with a sin nature, separated from God, condemned for eternity. This message is prevalent through out Scripture. It is also clearly seen that God loves the race of Adam – that is people from every tribe, tongue and nation.

In His love God sent His only begotten Son to be our Redeemer, so that through Him we might have everlasting life.

There are many who love their sin and darkness more that they do the light, glory and forgiveness of God. They love darkness rather than light. They love their own way rather than God’s way; therefore, they continue in their condemnation.

The answer for Adam’s race is hear the words of Jesus Christ, call on His name, repenting of your sin, believing Him and He will hear you and give you life eternal.

See Romans 8:1.

The Light

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
Luke 11:33-36

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” He went on to say in that same verse, “…He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (John 8:12).

When we live for Christ His light burns in our lives and it cannot be hidden in a secret place or put under a basket, but out for all who see us will be able to see that the light of Jesus Christ is within us. There will be a single focus on the life in which the Light of Jesus Christ dwells. That single focus will be of loving, worshiping, honoring and adoring the Lord Jesus.

In First John the apostle wrote, “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1:5).  When we walk in the Light of Christ we are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), which will be visible as the world passes by.

Turn to the Light of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead. It is His light that exposes the evil of our hearts, and in the world, and sets the soul free for all who will come to Him.

Light

“Then Jesus said unto them,
‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’

These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:35-36

Light is wonderful to have. Without light we would be stumbling around in the dark. Light shows us danger in our path, the way ahead, and even is a source of life.

Few people clean under their beds, and if you take a light and shine it under the bed you will see all kinds of dirt and dust. Light exposes the things that are hid in darkness. Jesus is the Light of the world. He has told us so in John 8:12 and John 9:5.

Because Jesus is the Light of the world many hate them because they do not want their evil hearts to be exposed, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). I pray that your sin has been exposed and your condemnation, and that you have turned your heart away from sin to Christ Jesus.

Jesus also said to those who believe on Him, “You are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14. When we have put our faith in Him, we are His light in this dark world.

Friday Prayer January 15, 2021

“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” Proverbs 15:27
“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, ‘I will; be thou clean.’ ” Mark 1:41

Father, You are my Provider, my Strength, and Healer. You are the Creator of all that is; both seen and unseen. You are the Light of the world. With You there is no darkness. I trust in You. Thank You for calling me to Yourself through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ Your holy only begotten Son.

Bow down Your ear, O LORD, and hear me, for I am poor and needy. I am needy of Your mercy, Your grace, and Your touch. There are many around me who have been, and are afflicted by disease and sickness and I ask for their healing; that You will touch them and renew their strength. There are families who are struggling financially, physically and spiritually and who desperately need a touch from You. Touch, heal, and meet every need they have according to Your glorious will; and especially save those who are perishing in sin.

Our world is plagued by hatred and violence, and some things being called hatred are words of truth that convict and cut to the soul and heart of people who hear it; yet call it “Hate speech”. O God, my God and Savior renew a right spirit in those who are Yours and heal our land as we repent of our sin and turn back to You. Rid our hearts and thoughts of greed. May our leaders and all turn back from bribes and bribery. Bribery in our government leaders is corrupting our land and deceiving the people and turning hearts to the deceits of men.

Touch the hearts and minds of Your people Lord in a powerful way. Show Yourself strong, O LORD, in those who have put on the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, and revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You; now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for January 5, 2021

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He pondereth all his goings. Proverbs 5:21

Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops.  Matthew 10:26-27

Our Father who is in Heaven, Your name is holy, and Reverend, and no one deserves to attach those names to themselves, but You. No one knows Your ways, or fully knows You. You alone have given us the knowledge that we have of You.

Your word tells us that Your eyes are watching us, Your hands are molding us, who are in Christ Jesus, into the image of Your dear Son. Your eyes roam to and fro throughout the whole earth; and You show Yourself strong to those whose hearts are perfect in You.  There is none like You, O Lord.

I pray Father that I be always aware of the position of Your eyes; that they are on me, watching me; not only as a deterrent to sin, but also as a means of keeping me in Your way.

O Lord God, there is evil in this world. There is evil in the United States of America, and it is in the people of this land, and thus in our government. Leaders, so called, who are fighting for power, power to rule over the people, so that they may gain for themselves; and to bring the whole world together against You, Your Son, Your word, Your will and Your way. I pray, O Mighty God, that these be revealed, and their evil be exposed for what it is, and that You will turn the hearts of Your people back to You, calling on Your name, turning from sin to the righteousness that is received only through the faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, back to trusting Your word above the words of men.

There is evil in declaring that there are many genders, that sodomy is a legitimate relationship; and You have declared clearly that these are abominations. You have made clear that there are only Male and Female and no other in the race of Adam. Expose this evil for what it is. Complete rebellion against You and Your word.

Thank You for the forgiveness of sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He is at Your right hand and praying for us daily. You, O Lord, are worthy of laud and honor and power and glory. Save Lord, to the uttermost those who are perishing. Amen.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 082320

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
which is, being interpreted,
My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, ‘Behold, He calleth Elias.’ And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink, saying, ‘Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.’ And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.  Mark 15:33-39  (KJB)

Words Of Jesus; Son Of God, God The Son – 071620

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
  Matthew 6:19-24  (KJB)

The Path Of The Just

“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”  Proverbs 4:10-19  (KJB)

My Refuge; My Fortress

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.’
Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”   Psalm 91:1-7  (KJB)

Let My Prayer Come Before You, O GOD

“O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee:
Let my prayer come before Thee: incline Thine ear unto my cry; for my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom Thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from Thy hand.
Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves. Selah.”   Psalm 88:1-7  (KJB)

Treasure

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
  Matthew 6:19-24  (KJB)

The Lusts of Their Own Heart

In the first chapter of Romans we find the phrase “God gave them up” which is really a very sad state to live in, and it really explains for the moral failures of 2019.

The second one we see is that GOD RELEASES THEM TO THEIR OWN DECAY AND FILTH OF IMMORALITY (Romans 1:24-25).

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25 (KJB)

Why did God “give them up” to this ungodly – unrighteous behavior? They had a knowledge of God, but chose to suppress it. They turned away from God to worship idols made in the image of created thing – birds, beasts, and even themselves. Because they rejected God; sexual immorality most always follows wrong beliefs, and in particular the worship of idols. It is an act of dishonoring the human body and God.

When they turned from the truth they believed the Lie. The Lie is, “Did God really say that?” It is just a question, but one that places the seeds of unbelief in the heart. It was the first question the Bible speaks of that the serpent/devil asked in order to deceive. It is still being asked today. Not one of many lies but “the Lie” (Genesis 3:1-5). “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [the Lie] (NKJV 2 Thessalonians 2:11). The Lie, that we can be like God – we become our own god. We have chaos when there is more than one God. There is war, strife of all sorts, contentions, and immoral living.

Satan is the father of lies. Jesus said, speaking to the religious leaders who rejected Him,

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

Following this lie requires no accountability to a deity, except self. No one, can tell someone of this mindset, what is right or wrong. To them everything is ‘relative’ – they already have their preconceived ideas; they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good’.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

Moral decay, such as we see in our land, and the world is due to denying the truth, and believing the Lie, the father of lies, the devil. It leads to personal ruin, and eternal death.

The only hope we all have is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He turns our heart to His way.  He is the way, the Truth, and the life.  When you put your faith in Him He changes your life, your direction, and gives you peace and joy for living.

When the LORD Reveals Your Sin

“Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.” Jeremiah 13:16 (KJB)

Jeremiah would appear to be the only prophet of God; and he was warning Judah of impending judgment due to their sinful, debaucherous, greedy, living. Committing spiritual adultery against the LORD God who had given them all things.

The false prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear. Babylon would not come against them. Jerusalem would not fall.  They were blessed, and would continue to be so. WOW! That is just the kind of stuff people in 2019 like to and want to hear.

Jeremiah’s words above are for God’s people today as well.  Their sinfulness has been exposed to them. They are being called on to repent of their sins, “Give glory to the LORD your God…”

The idea is to confess your sins, and in doing so you turn to God in repentance, leaving the old sins in the muck and mire where it belongs.  That will give glory to the LORD God.

If you do not, or will not, then there will be darkness, and not light, and His judgment will come upon you.

The way of genuine repentance is given to us through the cross of Jesus Christ. His life’s blood was shed for our salvation; our redemption; He was buried, and He rose from the dead.  He is waiting to hear your plea for forgiveness and mercy.  He will hear, and He will forgive. “Give glory to the LORD your God…” for He tells us that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The Light of Israel

“And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; and shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.  And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.” Isaiah 10:17-19 (KJB)

In this reading I want us to remember that the Light of the world is Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son,

These words of Isaiah were spoken by God to him of the judgment God was bringing on the nation He was using to judge His own people because they had turned from the LORD God. This judgment is against Assyria whose ruler thought he was in charge, he  was no one’s servant, that he was so powerful he had done all the conquering on his own.  God was set to show him other wise.

The judgment of God is always for the cleansing of His people.

I am going to close with the words of the Matthew Henry Commentary…

“How this destruction is represented. It shall be, First, As a consumption of the body by a disease: The Lord shall send leanness among his fatnesses, or his fat ones. His numerous army, that was like a body covered with fatness, shall be diminished, and waste away, and become like a skeleton. Secondly, As a consumption of buildings, or trees and bushes, by fire: Under his glory, that very thing which he glories in, he will kindle a burning, as the burning of a fire, which shall lay his army in ruins as suddenly as a raging fire lays a stately house in ashes. Some make it an allusion to the fire kindled under the sacrifices; for proud sinners fall as sacrifices to divine justice. Observe, 1. How this fire shall be kindled, Isa_10:17. The same God that is a rejoicing light to those that serve him faithfully will be a consuming fire to those that trifle with him or rebel against him. The light of Israel shall be for a fire to the Assyrians, as the same pillar of cloud was a light to the Israelites and a terror to the Egyptians in the Red Sea. What can oppose, what can extinguish, such a fire? 2. What desolation it shall make: it shall burn and devour its thorns and briers, his officers and soldiers, which are of little worth, and vexations to God’s Israel, as thorns and briers, whose end is to be burned, and which are easily and quickly consumed by a devouring fire. “Who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? They would be so far from stopping the fire that they would inflame it.

I would go through them and burn them together (Isa_27:4); they shall be devoured in one day, all cut off in an instant.” When they cried not only Peace and safety, but Victory and triumph, then sudden destruction came; it came surprisingly, and was completed in a little time. “Even the glory of his forest (Isa_10:18), the choice troops of his army, the veterans, the troops of the household, the bravest regiments he had, that he was most proud of and depended most upon, that he valued as men do their timber-trees (the glory of their forest) or their fruit-trees (the glory of the Carmel), shall be put as briers and thorns before the fire; they shall be consumed both soul and body, entirely consumed, not only a limb burned, but life taken away.” Note, God is able to destroy both soul and body, and therefore we should fear him more than man, who can but kill the body. Great armies before him are but as great woods, which he can fell or fire when he pleases.

[3.] What would be the effect of this great slaughter. The prophet tells us, First, That the army would hereby be reduced to a very small number: The rest of the trees of his forest shall be few; very few shall escape the sword of the destroying angel, so few that th ere needs no artist, no muster-master or secretary of war, to take an account of them, for even a child may soon reckon the numbers of them, and write the names of them. Secondly, That those few who remained should be quite dispirited: They shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth. When he either falls or flees, and his colours are taken by the enemy, this discourages the whole army, and puts them all into confusion. Upon the whole matter we must say, Who is able to stand before this great and holy Lord God?”  MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY

Turn to Jesus Christ the Light of the world.  Without Him there is no light.  He died for you, He was buried, and He rose again; and He forever lives and hears us when we pray trusting Him.

The Law and The Testimony

“And when they shall say unto you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:’ should not a people seek unto their God for the living to the dead?

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” Isaiah 8:19-22 (KJB)

Rather than writing more on these verses follow the following links to previous post I have shared…
Seek GOD and His Word
In Darkness; There is Light

The Man That Makes the LORD His Trust

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And He hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God: many shall see and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”  Psalm 40:1-4  (KJB)

The LORD does indeed lift us, picks us up, out of the miry clay, the pit of sin, and sets our feet upon a rock; the Rock is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

The way of sin is darkness, and cold. O, it may seem like the way to go at the time; it may seem like it is the comfortable thing; it may seem to be pleasurable, but it leads to shame, pain, misery, and death.  Be an instrument of praise to the LORD God.  Call on the name of the Lord and be delivered from that pit to which you are imprisoned.

Let me share with you the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon from the Treasury of David on verse four…

“Blessed.” This is an exclamation similar to that of thePsa_1:1-6, “Oh, the happiness of the man.” God’s blessings are emphatic, “I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed,” indeed and in very truth. “Is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.” Faith obtaineth promises. A simple, single-eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may. “And respecteth not the proud.” The proud expect all men to bow down and do them reverence, as if the worship of the golden calves were again set up in Israel; but believing mean are too noble to honour mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to inflated self-consequence. Our Lord Jesus was in this our bright example. No flattery of kings and great ones ever fell from his lips; he gave no honour to dishonourable men. The haughty were never his favourites. “Nor such as turn aside to lies.” Heresies and idolatries are lies, and so are avarice, worldliness, and pleasure-seeking. Woe to those who follow such deceptions. Our Lord was ever both the truth and the lover of truth, and the father of lies had no part in him. We must never pay deference to apostates, time-servers, and false teachers; they are an ill leaven, and the more we purge ourselves of them the better; they are blessed whom God preserves from all error in creed and practice. Judged by this verse, many apparently happy persons must be the reverse of blessed, for anything in the shape of a purse, a fine equipage, or a wealthy establishment, commands their reverence, whether the owner be a rake or a saint, an idiot or a philosopher. Verily, were the arch-fiend of hell to start a carriage and pair, and live like a lord, he would have thousands who would court his acquaintance.  TREASURY OF DAVID, by Charles Spurgeon verse 4

When We Walk in the Light

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; for the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”  1 John 1:1-10

 

REFERENCES:  John 1:1, 9; 17:21; Acts 2:32; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Kings 8:46; Proverbs 20:9; James 3:2; Psalm 32:5

On this Friday which Christians are remembering the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior let us also focus on the fact that in His suffering He won the victory over the devil whose head was crushed that day.  The victories of the cross are expressed in those seven sayings of Christ as He suffered, bled, and died.  He asked the Father to forgive us;  He told the thief “Today you will be with me in paradise; He cared for His mother;  He experienced the hell that should have been ours in the forsaking of His Father and God;  He finished the work He came to do; and lastly, He committed His spirit back to the Father.  His dying on the cross was the greatest of victories.

The devil was defeated His doom is sure.  The resurrection three days later was the proof and evidence of what took place – the victory – on Calvary.

Praise the LORD Jesus is risen.  He is alive.

The Word Was God

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5  (KJB)

Why is there such a concerted effort by some to disavow the truth of Scripture that Jesus is God incarnate, God in the flesh?  It is stated clearly in the first fourteen verses of John chapter one.

Jesus Christ is the word that became flesh, and dwelt among us.

One reason I think that certain organizations of religion try to argue against His deity; or to be more clear on it; co-equal with the Father, is that they have a doctrine of their own to protect.  That is why they constantly are changing their own translation of the Bible, and the verses which clearly testify of Christ true identity, and relationship to the Father, to read in a way that makes Jesus deity, but not co-equal with Him.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Son of Man, who is God the Son.  Scripture, untwisted by man, constantly unveils the truth that Jesus Christ is indeed Deity alongside, equal with the Father [YHWH].

Access to Heaven Gained

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, ‘Behold, he calleth Elias.’ And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink, saying, ‘Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.’ And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”  Mark 15:33-39 (KJB)

For three hours Jesus experienced the darkest time of His life as a Man.  He spent it separated from His Father. Up to this point when He spoke to the Father He always called Him “Father”; in this prayer, an exact quotation from Psalm 22, Jesus calls Him “My God”, asking why He has been forsaken.

Jesus had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and had just been judged for the sins of the world.

When Jesus cried and gave up His spirit to the Father we are told that “…the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom”.  That tells us no man tore the veil which separated the Holy place in the temple from the Holy of Holies, the place where the ark of the covenant would be placed had it been present.  The tearing of the veil by God shows that through the death of Jesus all of Adam kind now has access to God and Heaven.

Access to God is only gained through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Son.

The Light That Shines

The Light That Shines

Matthew 4:1-25

Jesus never declared Himself to be King. It is decreed by scripture that there would be a King to always sit upon the throne of David. Jesus is often called the Son of David, and that means He is the One to sit on the throne.

As the king He is the Light. As the Light He even calls us the Light. We will see in the fourteenth through the sixteenth verses that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the Light that would break the darkness of Zabulon and Nephthalim. That Light shines still today around the world in the lives of His people.

I. THE LIGHT IS VICTORIOUS OVER THE DARKNESS IN HIS TEMPTATIONS (vv. 1-11)

A. Following His baptism Jesus was “led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (v. 1)

1. This was a testing of His being, and to strengthen Him in Spirit.
2. His faith must be tested in order to be obedient to the Father — “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” Heb. 5:8 (KJV).

B. The first temptation was concerning His desire and, ours to Survive.

1. “If you are the Son of God”
2. “Turn these stones to bread”
3. Survival sometimes tempts us to take shortcuts around what is right, good, godly and best.
4. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”

C. The second temptation was concerning His desire, ours to be Secure.

1. The devil’s temptation was one that would require Jesus to prove arrogance and stupidity, not security.
2. When one has genuine security it does not have to be proven to anyone – if you must prove it you don’t have it.
3. To prove His Security at this point and this manner would be to tempt God. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”.
4. Jesus was so secure that He trusted that His Father would take Him all the way to fulfill His destiny, and that destiny as a Man was to die on the cross.

D. The final temptation was concerning His desire, and ours to be successful.

1. Worship me, and I will give you the kingdoms of the world (Ps. 2:8).
2. Jesus would one day have dominion of the kingdoms of the world, but not this way; Jesus knew there was a debt to pay, the sin debt which was owed to the Father.
3. Worshipping God, the Creator, is the only means of success.

II. THE LIGHT SHINES WHERE JESUS DWELLS (vv. 12-17)

A. Jesus as the Light continued the message of the Baptist – the message of repentance.
B. Notice that Jesus departed from Nazareth, and came to Capernaum to dwell.

1. This was His place of residence; his ministry headquarters now. (John 6:16-24).
2. One thing that always stands out in the Gospel of Matthew is that Jesus fulfilled Scripture.

C. Jesus wants His Light to shine in and through you.

III. THE LIGHT SHINES IN AND THROUGH HIS FOLLOWERS/DISCIPLES (vv. 18-22).

A. Jesus walks along the seashore seeking men to follow Him.

1. The sea often represents the realm of mankind, and their doomed, despairing, drowning, dying cries for help.
2. That sea of man is still here and we are all still needy, by when we have come to the light we can go with Jesus.

B. Jesus takes Simon and Andrew first, then He calls James and John.

1. These were all fisherman, and He finds them all about the task of their work.
2. They can understand the call “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.

C. The call still rings through the word and the hearts of His disciples, “Come follow Me”.

IV. THE LIGHT SHINES AS EVIDENCE OF HIS HONOR, GLORY AND POWER, THROUGH HIS TEACHING, PREACHING AND HEALING (vv. 23-25).

A. These are the credentials of the Divine King – the Son of God.

1. In His teaching He taught with supreme authority (7:29).
2. In His preaching He announced the kingdom of heaven.
3. In His healing and miracles it was divine clarification of His identity and authority.

B. The greatest healing and miracle Jesus came to do was to give Light to the darkness of human hearts.

“The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart”

C. Why do we follow Him?

1. Is it solely because of what He can do for us?
2. Is it solely because of what He has done for us?
3. Is it because He loved us and made it possible that we love Him?
4. Is it because of who He is?

SUMMARY –

I. IN HIS LIGHT THERE IS VICTORY OVER EVERY TEMPTATION.
II. THE LIGHT OF JESUS SHINES WHERE HE DWELLS; LET HIM SHINE IN AND THROUGH YOU.
III. HAVE YOU HEARD THE CALL OF JESUS – “COME FOLLOW ME”?
IV. HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED HIS LOVE, THAT ENABLES YOU TO LOVE HIM, BY EXPERIENCE OF HIS GRACE AND SALVATION?
V. CONFESS YOUR SIN, REPENT OF SIN, BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED, WAS BURIED, AND ROSE AGAIN.

-Tim A. Blankenship