Desire, Delight, Deception, and Destruction

Desire, Delight, Deception, and Destruction – Proverbs 11:15-31

Verse 15 –  From the Believer’s Bible Commentary:

“To be surety for a stranger means to guarantee his debt or his promissory note. The person who does this will suffer for it, that is, he will pay a stinging penalty. The man who hates suretyship saves himself a lot of headaches.”

The note from chapter 6:1-5:

“The first five verses are a warning against becoming surety, that is, making oneself liable for someone else’s debt in case that other person is unable to pay. Suppose your friend wants to buy a car on the installment plan but doesn’t have much of a credit rating. The loan company demands the signature of someone who can pay in case the borrower defaults. The neighbor comes to you and asks you to cosign the note with him. This means that you will pay if he doesn’t.

The friend in this verse is your neighbor. The stranger is the loan company to which you give your guarantee.”

Verses 16 – 21 –  Study notes from the ESV Study Bible:

“Proverbs 11:16-21 There are three pairs of proverbs here (vv. 16–17, 18–19, 20–21), all relating to a common theme. The gracious woman (v. 16) and the man who is kind (v. 17) contrast with violent men (v. 16) and the cruel man (v. 17). By itself, v. 16 might suggest that there is wisdom in pursuing violence, since one can get rich by that means. But in the larger context of vv. 16–21, it is clear that their wealth brings the violent no happiness, and that it comes at a high price. The idea of striving to gain something governs vv. 18–19. Verse 18 speaks of laboring (earns and sows), whether it be for deceptive wages for the evil or for a sure reward for the good. Verse 19, similarly, speaks of pursuing righteousness or evil and of the results that follow. Verses 20 and 21 both concern divine judgment, with punishment for the evil and deliverance for the good.”

Verse 22 – Note from ESV Study Bible:

“Prov. 11:22 The attractiveness of a gold ring would be nullified by its strange presence in the snout of a pig. This image turns typical notions of value on their head: the attractiveness of a beautiful woman is insignificant if there is a lack of discretion in her character (see 31:30).”

Verse 23 –  From Matthew Henry Commentary:

“This tells us what the desire and expectation of the righteous and of the wicked are and how they will prove, what they would have and what they shall have. 1. The righteous would have good, only good; all they desire is that it may go well with all about them; they wish no hurt to any, but happiness to all; as to themselves, their desire is not to gratify any evil lust, but to obtain the favour of a good God and to preserve the peace of a good conscience; and good they shall have, that good which they desire, Ps. 37:4. 2. The wicked would have wrath; they desire the woeful day, that God’s judgments may gratify their passion and revenge, may remove those that stand in their way, and that they may make an advantage to themselves by fishing in troubled waters; and wrath they shall have, so shall their doom be. They expect and desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves; as they loved cursing, they shall have enough of it.”

Verses 24 – 26 –  From The MacArthur Study Bible –

“11:24-26 scatters, yet increases.  The principle here is that generosity, by God’s blessing, secures increase, while stinginess leads to poverty instead of expected gain.  The one who gives receives far more in return (Ps. 112:9;  Eccl. 11:1;  John 12:24-25;  Acts 20:35;  2 Cor. 9:6-9).” pg. 892
Verses 27 – 31 –  From the Believer’s Bible Commentary for verse 27; “When a man’s motives are pure and unselfish, he wins the esteem of others. But the man who is out to cause trouble for others will get it for himself.”

The commentary of John Gill for verse 28 –

“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall,…. As leaves in autumn, which are withered and dry. To trust in riches is to trust in uncertain things; things not to be depended on, being here today and gone tomorrow; it is like leaning upon a broken staff, which giving way, the person falls: and so the fall of Babylon will be, while she is trusting in and boasting of her riches and grandeur, Rev_18:7;

but the righteous shall flourish as a branch; that abides in the tree, is alive and green, full of leaves, and laden with fruit: so the righteous are as branches in Christ, and receive life and nourishment from him, and abide in him; and bring forth fruit and flourish, like palm trees and cedars, in the house of the Lord, and grow in every grace, and in the knowledge of Christ; see Jer_17:7.

“For verse 29 and from the Adam Clarke’s Commentary;

“Shalt inherit the wind – He who dissipates his property by riotous living, shall be as unsatisfied as he who attempts to feed upon air.”
For verse 31 see also 1 Peter 4:18.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Seven Things God Hates # 6

A False Witness

Proverbs 6:16-19

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

One false witness takes a truth and twists it to convict Jesus (Matthew 26:59-61). What makes the statement “False”? It is the accusation against One who has done no wrong. It is the attitude of the heart. It just was not true.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

There is even protection for the accused, and that protection is seen in Numbers 35:30,

“Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.”

It is repeated,

“At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:6).

What makes someone a false witness? Envy, greed, unjust anger, disobedience to God, fear, hatred. Love will never cause one to be a false witness.

OUTLINE –
I. A FALSE WITNESS TWISTS WORDS TO FIT THEIR OWN AGENDA.
II. THINGS WILL FALL APART WITHOUT THE TRUTH.
III. THE TRUTH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN THE CHILD OF GOD.
IV. FALSE WITNESSES DESTROY – THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.

A FALSE WITNESS TWISTS WORDS TO FIT THEIR OWN AGENDA.

That was the way of the two witnesses at Jesus’s trial. They gave testimony to words Jesus did say, but they were twisted to fit the agenda of the hearts of the condemned to condemn the innocent.

The Psalmist wrote,

“Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.” (Psalm 56:5).

A man by the name of John Dryden said,

“Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” (From BE SKILLED by Warren W. Wiersbe).

SOCIETIES WILL FALL APART WITHOUT THE TRUTH.

There is only injustice when you have an elite who make the laws to suit themselves and it enables them to take from the least fortunate. Warren Wiersbe wrote,

“Without truth, things start to fall apart; when people lie officially, the foundations of society begin to crumble.”

Jezebel, by pretense seemed as though she was going to exalt Naboth, but she had arranged for two men to bring charges of blasphemy against him. The charges were not truth. (See 1 Kings chapter 21). It is for sure that the kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel crumbled.

A “False witness” is a killer with intent to harm.

“A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.” (Prov. 25:18).

All of those things mentioned in the verse are instruments of death. False words of false witnesses are instruments of death.

The false witness is a deceiver.

“He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness; but a false witness deceit.” (Prov. 12:17).

Think about the lies, the false witness of Ken Lay of Enron infamy. The lies they told led a business down to destruction. Let us not be guilty of bearing false witness.

THE TRUTH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN THE CHILD OF GOD.

The Spirit of God does not, will not lie. Neither will He in the person He possesses.

The child of God, who is possessed by the Spirit of God will speak the truth in love.

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:15).

The child of God will not practice deceit. (See verse 14 of Ephesians 4).

She/He will not “Bear false witness”.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10).

In 2 Timothy 3:3 “False accusers” is used as one of the terms of people who have departed from the faith, or never had it. It is the Greek word “Diabolos” which is actually the word for devil.

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Gloss*devil
Strongs*1228
Parse*A-NPM Adjective-Nominative Plural Masculine
S&P Search*1228A-NPM
Trnslt*diabolos
Pron* dee-ab’ol-os

Is that not interesting to know that the same word for “False accusers” is the same word for devil. That surely means that “False accusers” are of the devil and have no part with God.

IT IS FOR CERTAIN THAT FALSE WITNESSES DESTROY – IT IS ALSO FOR CERTAIN THAT TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

We have seen by the Word of God that false witnesses are one’s who will lead others to destruction, and is headed for destruction themselves. They will destroy those who they do not like, because they have a higher position, greater material assets, are more popular, are envious and greedy for more of the world. They destroy families, churches, communities, businesses, governments, whole societies. They, themselves are headed on a path of destruction.

There is a word from our Lord Jesus on this matter.

“If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).

It is a great thing to be free from the power which holds us to be false witnesses, which causes us to grasp for, hunger, and devour the things of the world. They cause us to do harm to others, even by false words of testimony. Using a good Biblical word, WOE be to those who will continue to bear false witness against another. Look out if you do.

May Psalm 12 be the prayer of our hearts concerning this thing of bearing false witness against anyone.

The only way out of such a destructive life is to confess your sin; trust Jesus to cleanse your heart and tongue. Be filled with the Spirit and walk in that Spirit. If a brother or sister in Christ offends you take the matter to God, not to another brother. One thing that appears to happen when we take this to someone else: it seems to end up being a false witness against the other. We only share such thing with others to get them on “Our side”. Check yourself, then go to that other person who has offended you. That will stop the false witnessing. Make sure of your own heart.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Seven Things God Hates # 2

This is the second part of the series, SEVEN ABOMINATIONS WHICH GOD HATES.

A LYING TONGUE

Proverbs 6:16-19

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

We could almost title this message TWO MEN, A TREE AND THE ATTIC, because some months ago – uncertain of the time – two men made the news when they told that they had found a large quantity of old money. It seems the story was that they had found it outside by an old tree, but instead, they were contractors working in an old house, and had found the money in the attic of the home they were working on. This find was worth several thousands of dollars. But they had lied.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

There is little to no difference between a LYING TONGUE and a FLATTERING MOUTH; they are both used for deceptive purposes for the flatterers own purposes.

“Lie” – any statement or act designed to deceive another person, and or harm them, their reputation or possibly even bodily.

The motivation for most lying is a desire either to hurt the one against whom the lie is directed,

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:1-3 (KJV);

“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:” Romans 3:13 (KJV),

or to protect one’s self, usually out of fear or pride.

The “Lying tongue” is purposeful. Purposefully done to do harm to another and/or exalt one’s self.
The “Lying tongue” is wrong because it is against the nature of God. God is the author of Truth, and He is Truth.

THE WAYS OF A LYING TONGUE:
1. Malice – purposefully seeking to harm another;
2. Gossip – seeking attention and purposefully or unpurposefully doing harm to the reputation to another;
3. Tale bearing – causing discension between two people by telling another what someone said about them or something similar;
4. Flattery – false teaching, saying things for selfish reasons, good things which may or may not be true.

OUTLINE –
I. THERE IS POWER IN THE TONGUE. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV).
II. THE TONGUE IS HARD TO CONTROL. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6 (KJV).
III. THE TONGUES OF MEN ARE CAPABLE OF SPEAKING LIES AND THE TRUTH. “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:11-12 (KJV).

I. A DESCRIPTION OF A LYING TONGUE.
“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” Proverbs 26:28 (KJV)
“Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV)
A. Malice – the practice of destroying the character, reputation or life of another purposely.
B. Gossip – to tell unknown things or know things of another and cause harm to them, and sometimes elevate self over the one who is being talked about.
C. Talebearing – pretty similar to gossip – except it contains the of keeping the talk going;
1. It means “slanderer” or “scandal monger”.
2. Think of the grocery store tabloids.
D. Flattery – certainly a form of a “lying tongue”.
1. This lie says “Good things” in order to accomplish selfish purposes.
2. Everyone of us are victim’s of flattery at some point in our lives, thus it is probably the most subtle and deceitful.
3. Many times the “false prophets” and false teachers fall into this category (Jeremiah 14:14).
4. The “flattering tongue [mouth]” worketh ruin (Proverbs 26:28).

II. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ‘LYING TONGUE’.
A. First of all a ‘lying tongue’ harms the one speaking the lies.
1. When you speak lies they will be found out – sooner or later.
2. When one is found to be a liar who will ever trust their words again?
3. Some lie so much they come to believe their own lies.
B. The ‘lying tongue’ harms families, churches, businesses, government, etc.
C. The ‘lying tongue’ harms the lives of others.
1. The whole basis of lying is to take what belongs to another – the truth; and lifts up the self to destruction;
2. The truth, on the other hand, spoken “in love” is to elevate others and lift them from the snares of sin.
a. Also encouragement in holiness and walking with God.

III. THE DESTINATION OF THE ‘LYING TONGUE’.
A. The ‘lying tongue’ is, of course, of one who is living this kind of existence;
1. They practice this life of deceit for their own purpose;
2. They are evidently unaware of their destination, or just do not care.
B. Every soul has an eternal destination.
1. Eternity with Jesus Christ;
2. Or, eternity in eternal torment.
C. The Scriptures tell of the liars destination.
1. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 (KJV).
2. “Revilers” – those who purposely try to harm others using words, “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV).

IV. DEPARTURE FROM THE ‘LYING TONGUE’ IS A NECESSITY.
A. There is hope for those with a ‘lying tongue’.
1. The ‘lying tongue’ can change to a truthful tongue.
2. It takes a supernatural work of God.
a. A changed heart leads to a new tongue.
3. Faith in Jesus Christ.
B. The uncontrolled tongue can be controlled.
1. Fresh water comes from a fresh water spring.
2. Apples come from apple trees not thorn trees.
3. Truth comes from truthful tongues.
C. Only new life through Jesus Christ can give truth to a ‘lying tongue’.
1. Every lie ever told was nailed to the cross of Jesus.
2. Every deceitful thing said or did was crucified on Calvary’s cross with Him and put to death.
3. Trust His truth of the cross.
D. THE LIP OF TRUTH.
“The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs 12:19 (KJV).
THERE IS LIFE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE when we speak Jesus’s name, and the work of His cross.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Deception

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading Joshua 7 – 9 today…

“…And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.” Joshua 9:25 (KJB)

Please be sure you read all of chapter nine.

Part of the responsibility of the deception lay in the hands of the leaders of Israel.  A deception from a people of the land of Canaan, Hivites from Gibeon, plotted this deception to be at peace with Israel.

God’s word was for Israel to destroy all the inhabitants of the land.  So far doing this had been no problem for them.  Now, however, some Hivites from no too far away in the land had come with deception of living far away – out of Canaan – and sought peace with God’s people for fear of destruction.

What could these people of Israel, Joshua and the leaders of Israel, have done?  The…

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Day Two Hundred Eighty and Nine

Everyday is Christmas – What do I want for Christmas?

I want to put my complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the problems I personally face, for the problems of my family, and the problems of our Nation (the U. S. of A.); to realize that our trust must be in Him alone, not in politics or any political, deceptive so called leader.

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”  Isaiah 31:1 (KJV)

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”  Psalm 118:9

Seeing, Hearing and Understanding

Seeing and hearing are an important part of human living and existence. Without seeing we could not see the beauties of the created order around us; neither could we see to navigate as we walk, ride or drive through a countryside.

Without hearing we could not hear the sounds of animals in the creation, neither the cries of our children as young babies crying out for care and nourishment; neither the voices of our spouses and friends, or other family members. We would not be able to hear the warning shouts of someone warning us of an upcoming danger.

These two senses are an important part of human life. They are also an important part of our spiritual existence. In the spiritual realm we can be very easily deceived, unless we have someone in whom we can trust and depend.

In Jesus’s days on earth He taught people, and called people to Himself; teaching them how to live in the Word of God, to do justly, to love mercy, and how to walk humbly with God. Yet, there were many who would not hear; nor would they see who He really is. Jesus says that this too is a fulfillment of prophecy:

“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:14-16 (KJV)

Isaiah is the prophet whom Jesus quotes (Isaiah 6:9-10). The blindness and deafness of the religious leaders was fulfillment of that. It is a truth we cannot neglect to hear. When the truth of Scripture is rejected the truths of God will grow more and more dim; the hearing will fade away into oblivion and there will be no knowledge or understanding of God or His Word.

Those who know God through His Son Jesus Christ love the Word of God, and hide in the heart that we might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11), and make it a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).

The path to understanding God and His Word is through the cross of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave. Believe Him, trust His Word. It is the way of life, and life everlasting.

The Case Against God’s People

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Known for that because of his mourning for the sins of the people of Judah, and Jerusalem. He sees the failings of the priesthood, of which he was part. The weaknesses, the hypocrisies, and often blatant lies and deceptions; not only among the priests but among those who called themselves prophets of God.

God could speak with Jeremiah. Jeremiah heard, and many times responded to what God said. Hear what God says to Jeremiah near the beginning of his ministry;

“Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.'”  Jeremiah 2:1-3 (KJV)

God begins in the first message by confirming them in their first belief. They had followed, at least through Abraham, had been obedient in the wilderness, and had grown in love with the LORD. There was kindness, fondness, love in their hearts for the LORD, realizing that He alone was responsible for their having a land, a promise. They had been chosen from the place of God’s amazing grace and mercy. They were undeserving. They were unworthy. They were sinners among the other sinners of the earth. There was nothing special about them, thus in there early days they loved the LORD.

Despite the fact of their departure the LORD reminds them of His promise, “All that devour him will offend; disaster will come upon them,’ says the LORD”. No one can expect God’s blessing who lifts their hand against the people, the nation, whom God ordained to give us the Scriptures, ordinances, and laws. Yet there is room for His judgment. Pray for Jerusalem – Israel.

As Christians we must remember our “First love”. That love we had for Jesus when we first believed. The things of the world around us have a power which can lure us away from loving Him. God commended five of the early churches of the Revelation, but would only condemn two of them because they had departed from Him.

If you truly know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then, there was a time when you walked with Him, you loved Him, cherished Him, and it did not bother you that there were times He seemed distant, but you trusted His Word when He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Something has happened in the past few days, weeks, months, or years that have caused you to get away from Him, His Word, from praying, and cherishing His abiding presence. You have become more consumed with sports, entertainment, comforts, leisure, conveniences, and even family activities, than with your walk with Him. It is time to return to Him, before the judgment of your sin comes on you.

He puts His protecting hand on all who have trusted Him. You can believe He will keep you, protect you, and anyone who raises an evil hand against you will suffer by His hand. Be assured God loves you with an everlasting love. Enjoy it, revel in it, rejoice in it, and He will be glorified.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Day 59 – GOD and the False Prophets

Someone might say, “There are no false prophets today.”  My action toward that remark would be to tell that individual to remove the blindfold.  In reading the prophets of God we find the example of false prophets, and they are quite plentiful today as well.

The true prophet of God seeks first, to glorify God and His message; and second to warn God’s people of their sins; and third to call them to repentance; at whatever the price – even his own life.  The false prophet seeks to ease the hearts of the people through encouragement in their trials and pains that are actually for their chastisement.  I agree that there are times the preacher of God needs to encourage the people; the encouragement we give needs to be according to the Word of the LORD, not fanciful, psychological, mumbo-jumbo seeking to the ease of pain and trial.  The encouragement from God will be to get people to love the Word of God; and loving Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

In my reading this morning – Ezekiel 10 – 23 – I noticed several instances of God’s rebuke of the false prophets and teachers, and this is what I believe needs addressing.

One of the things I read in Ezekiel is the continued use of a phrase, “[they, you,] shall know that I am the LORD”.  Throughout the prophecy, beginning in chapter six, that phrase is used over sixty times.  The reason, Ezekiel stresses, for Israel’s captivity and judgment is so that they will know that God is the LORD.

God says to the prophet Ezekiel,

“Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.  Therefore say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done,’ saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 12:26-28 (KJV)

Also hear what the LORD says of the prophet who is deceived, and deceives the people,

“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel.  And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; that the house of Israel may go no more astray from Me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,’ saith the Lord GOD.” 14:9-11

If you will notice the people who went seeking the false prophet and his prophecy would be held to the same end as the prophet himself.

At least twice God tells the elders who come to Ezekiel to inquire of him, “I will not be inquired of by you.” (20:3, 31)

Also notice what God says to the priests and the prophets in chapter 22.  I will let you get out the Scriptures and read that for yourself.  Notice the “daubing… with untempered mortar”.  Have you ever seen whitewash.  Can you imagine laying brick, or even patching brickwork with whitewash, yet that is what the false prophets do.

The LORD will not long tolerate the wickedness of the false prophet/preacher.  He will not hold him guiltless who leads people astray, making the evil believe they will live, and making the righteous feel they will die.  The false preacher calls evil good, and good evil.

Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ today.  Repent of your sins, believe and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Deuteronomy – 022411

Reading for today Deuteronomy 11 – 13.

It is shocking sometimes how quickly God’s people can be led astray.  Led away from the true worship of God unto the worship of the man made, or earthly creatures.  Some years ago I read some articles in Midnight Call magazine concerning finances in the last days.  He named three gods or idols which citizens of the USA worship;  MOFI, GLOBO, AND SCITE.  To give you an understanding of what these are they are related to Money/Finance; Global Organization and union; and Science and technology. I personally think we could add another idol to that; and that is our children.  Have you ever seen a parent who believed their child could do no wrong?  Every ounce of time goes into children.  We hear about our children’s health, our children’s education, our children’s well being, and we ought to be for those things; but they are carried to an extreme; at least in my opinion.

There is a domonic move which has been present since the beginning of mankind to keep mankind from God.  There are teachers, preachers, dreamers and prophets who are demon inspired who direct hearts of men and women; boys and girls away from truth and God unto lies, deception and destruction.  Now who in their right mind is going to go plunging into destruction?  It is not done in the light.  Satan and his legions use deception; deception is one of those cases where a “fridge” is sold to an Eskimo living at the North Pole.  Or, ocean front property in Arizona is sold to some poor soul.  That is the line of work Satan and his minions are in; and he has people in that line of work to lead people away from God and His Son Jesus.

Hear what God says in His Word;

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them’; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him.  And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”  Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (KJV)

There might come into our midst some great worker of miracles who with those wonders call people to worship some being from outer space.  He/She claims they have found the answer that will change there lives, because they have found that “we are all gods” or some silly thing like that.

There is a growing tendency within our own nation [USA] that “If it works, then it must be good and right”.  NOT!  If it works it could be from the devil if it falls short of our LORD’s expectations and calling.

Since the United States of America is now a multi-cultural society being made of of many ethnic groups and religions and such; then we are being told to guard our speech.  We are being told we can no longer refer to Christianity as the only way to heaven and God; that there are really many ways to God.  There are many roads to the Post Office, but the one that gets you there is the one that leads to the front door.  The front door to heaven is the cross of Jesus Christ.  Jesus even tell us, Himself, that He is the door.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:7-10

It doesn’t matter what you dream, or what wonders you may do; or that preacher, prophet, dreamer, or teacher made do; if they lead you away from God and His Word, they are a deceptive leader to your death, and destruction.  The Old Testament law calls for their death; most likely by stoning.

Hear God through His Word, and by His Spirit.  Fear Him.  Keep His commandments.  Turn away from every false way.  Jesus is the way to life and eternal life.  Hear Him and live.

Read Deuteronomy 11 – 13

-Tim A. Blankenship

At What Price???

10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

This text goes from one who, “Has done what she could”; to one who “takes all he can”, and gives nothing in return.  The Gospel of John calls him a “Thief” (John 12:6).  It is quite the contrast.  On which side do we stand? On the side of giving all to Jesus; or taking all we can for self.
Notice the path of the betrayer.  It was not an accident it was a planned, purposeful, plot for material gain.  Judas went to the “Chief priests, to betray Him unto them”.  He went to them.  They did not come to him with words of deception, or a scheme to try and trick Judas into betrayal.  It was in Judas’s  heart.  Then after they had received his offer he sought for a way to set it up – “he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” (v. 11).  Is this the heart of one who really loves Jesus?  Is this the act of one who really believes in Him?  I think not.
Some may think of Peter and his denial of Jesus, but Peter did not plan, or purposely plot to deny Jesus.  When Judas betrayed Jesus did he seek forgiveness and repent of his action?  No!  He was sorry for what he did, but did not seek the cleansing of forgiveness, rather, the Gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts tells us he went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5;  Acts 1 17-19), and went to his own place.  Peter sought the Lord’s forgiveness for His act.
The woman in verses 3 – 9 sought how best to serve her Lord.  Judas sought how best to serve himself.  Which one sought rightly?  Which one will receive the Lords blessing, and reward?  Which one will spend eternity in Hell?  It is evident to those who know the Lord.

What is the worth of your soul?  What is the worth of Jesus Christ to you?

-Tim A. Blankenship

Fearful Salvation

“…But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 23 (NKJV).

There are many still being led astray by apostate teachers and their heretical teachings. We are to preach the gospel, pure and simple, that they may possibly hear, believe, and come out of the bondage of heresy.

Those who warn them, teaching them the truth of the gospel, and whole counsel of the word of God, must also do so with “fear”. We must guard our own hearts. Those who warn others of these teachings, are also hearing the lies, deceitful words, and acts; and if we don’t stand on the truth of the Word of God could be enticed by such easy hearing words.

Many of these apostate teachers and preachers are very charismatic, and possess a dynamic preaching and teaching style. They are easy to listen to. They would also be very easy to follow. That is why we as Christians must guard against what comes easy to us. Let me give an example or two. 1. It is easier to lie than to tell the truth; 2. It is easier to stay at home on Sunday than to be faithful in your attendance of worshipping the Lord; 3. It is easier to keep your money than to tithe, or put an offering in the plate as it passes in front of you; there are three. Let me give you another one; for a husband, it is easier to attend that football game, or baseball game with the guys, than to stay at home and help your wife with cleaning the house.

I only share those things to remind you that we are all prone to do the easy things, and listen to the easy; going along to get along message, which makes us feel good about ourselves, and others. Preachers, who are called of God to preach were not called to please men or women, but to preach the Word of God, and to preach it in the power of His glory and His cross; no matter who it offends. It is better to please God and displease men, than it is to please men, and displease God. There is more to this life than comfort, and ease.

“Save with fear…” is words of wisdom coming from Jude, and it is the wisdom of the Spirit of God. It is by the study, reading, prayer, and the living of the Word of God in personal life that we can stand against the flashy, easy, dynamic, charismatic, and false teaching of the apostate teachers. This is not just for the preacher, pastor, or teacher. It is for all Christians to hear, and take heed to yourselves.

The message of the Bible is the message of Jesus. It is about His death on the cross – and the shedding of His blood; His burial and carrying our sins away, our sin debt paid to the Father in full; and His resurrection proving and assuring us that everything Jesus said of Himself, and the Father is true; and by His resurrection we have the assurance that when He said, “I will come again”, that He will indeed come again.

Snatch them from the burning fire of lying deceptions, and apostate teachers; and guard yourselves with “fear”, ie., considering yourself (Galations 6:1).

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Case Against God’s People

God Builds His Case

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Known for that because of his mourning for the sins of the people of Judah, and Jerusalem. He sees the failings of the priesthood, of which he was part. The weaknesses, the hypocrisies, and often blatant lies and deceptions; not only among the priests but among those who called themselves prophets of God.

God could speak with Jeremiah. Jeremiah heard, and many times responded to what God said. Hear what God says to Jeremiah near the beginning of his ministry;

“Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying’, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holiness to the LORD, the firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him will offend; disaster will come upon them,’ says the LORD.” Jeremiah 2:1-3 (NKJV).

God begins in the first message by confirming them in their first belief. They had followed, at least through Abraham, had been obedient in the wilderness, and had grown in love with the LORD. There was kindness, fondness, love in their hearts for the LORD, realizing that He alone was responsible for their having a land, a promise. They had been chosen from the place of God’s amazing grace and mercy. They were undeserving. They were unworthy. They were sinners among the other sinners of the earth. There was nothing special about them, thus in there early days they loved the LORD.

Despite the fact of their departure the LORD reminds them of His promise, “All that devour him will offend; disaster will come upon them,’ says the LORD”. No one can expect God’s blessing who lifts their hand against the people, the nation, whom God ordained to give us the Scriptures, ordinances, and laws. Yet there is room for His judgment. Pray for Jerusalem – Israel.

As Christians we must remember our “First love”. That love we had for Jesus when we first believed. The things of the world around us have a power which can lure us away from loving Him. God commended five of the early churches of the Revelation, but would only condemn two of them because they had departed from Him.

If you truly know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then, there was a time when you walked with Him, you loved Him, cherished Him, and it did not bother you that there were times He seemed distant, but you trusted His Word when He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Something has happened in the past few days, weeks, months, or years that have caused you to get away from Him, His Word, from praying, and cherishing His abiding presence. You have become more consumed with sports, entertainment, comforts, leisure, conveniences, and even family activities, than with your walk with Him. It is time to return to Him, before the judgment of your sin comes on you.

He puts His protecting hand on all who have trusted Him. You can believe He will keep you, protect you, and anyone who raises an evil hand against you will suffer by His hand. Be assured God loves you with an everlasting love. Enjoy it, revel in it, rejoice in it, and He will be glorified.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Of Faith and Famine

Of Faith and Famine

“And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.” Genesis 12:10-20 (KJV)

Adverse circumstances hits all of humankind. Christian, non-christian; it makes no difference, and anyone who believes otherwise is deceived, naive, lying, and/or deceiving others. Abram the father of our faith experienced adverse circumstances, made wrong choices, sinned against God; yet was forgiven, and most of what we remember of him is his faith and faithfulness. He is truly an inspiration to our faith

Abram had come to the promised land through his new found faith, and he had much growing yet to do. That could take us back to the Warren Wiersbe quote concerning “…If your feet are going your faith is growing”. Abram, the man of God, found himself in a bit of dilemma. God had called him to this promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now there is a famine in the land. He must have heard that Egypt had it pretty good still; green grass for the sheep and cattle; plenty of food and water to eat and drink. It looks like the best time to consider your comfort in life.

He decides to leave the land of promise. This is a famine of testing. He departs from his trust in the LORD, and goes down to Egypt. He now enters a time of fear, and begins scheming and plotting with his wife Sarai. When he got away from the place of promise he became fearful for his life, and forsook the promise that God had given he and Sarai. Because of this lapse of faith the scheming and plotting is not to protect the promise, but to protect Abram’s life. It is not to protect Sarai’s life and purity, but Abram. That is the path of departure from the promise of God.

As we look at this event in Abram’s life we see that when he went into Egypt he built no altar to the LORD, nor are we told that he “pitched his tent”. At least his heart did not grow fond of the land of Egypt. His altars were still back in the land of promise. It was the LORD who was protecting the promise. It was the LORD who “plagued Pharoah and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife”. It was the Almighty who made the Pharoah aware of the deceit of Abram. There could have been shame brought into the house of Abram, but God protected him. There could have been a sin of impurity committed, but God protected Sarai from that, thus preserving the promise.

Does any of this relate to the Christian life? Most definitely. We too, have been called to leave the land of our sin and the worship of false gods. We too, have been called to a Promised Land of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; a place of new beginning and new life and promise. We are never called by God to leave this place of promise. No matter what adverse circumstances may come our way in faith or in famine we are to stay and grow and believe, and trust the LORD and His provisions through it all. Do we ever leave the place of promise? I am afraid that I have more than once. When I have God has always brought me back to where I departed from to make things right once again. When we are out of His promise we become fearful, and we too will begin plotting and scheming to achieve our own ends rather than God’s. In Egypt we see a picture of the world and its system of doing things. Their way is against the way of God. The way of Egypt is actually attempting to overthrow God and His way. Our attempts of scheming and plotting can only bring harm to relationships that have been formed through our deceit.

Here are the things Abram should not have done: 1) He left the land of promise; 2) He went to Egypt (a picture of the world and its ways); 3) He lies, leads his wife to lie and deceive; 4) In Egypt he has no testimony for God, except how God preserved the promise. Let’s look at what God does: 1) He let Abram go; 2) He protects Sarai’s purity and the messianic lineage – the Promise; 3) God enriches Abram materially; 4) God brings Abram back to the place of Promise.  Fearful thinking is one sign we have left the place of God’s promise.

When the Christian leaves the place of Promise it is because God does not put us in chains to keep us from wrong choices; we too get into worldliness, rebellion, and sin; but God has a wonderful grace in protecting us; protecting the Promise of eternal life in Christ. The riches we receive from the world can be deceptive, delusional, and powerless. Depite the fact that we leave, God is faithful to bring us back to the place where we departed from Him. The LORD Almighty has a way of keeping that Promise and will not let it escape Himself or us.

When, as a Christian, your are faced with famine – adverse circumstances – stay in the place of promise. Never leave it. Never forsake it. Rest assured, that if you have; God is faithful and you will return.