We Go Up To Jerusalem

“Then He took the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished…’ ” Luke 18:31 (KJB)

Since the day of His birth the salvation story was for Jesus to go to Jerusalem, and die for the sins of Adam’s race, thus the world (John 3:16).  Jesus’s heart was to glorify the Father, and accomplish all that the Father gave Him to do.

All that the Law had spoken condemned Adam kind, and provided no hope but only complete obedience to it, without flaw, or blemish. The prophets spoke of One who would come, to be the sacrifice for sin, One who was without sin, without flaw, who would fulfill all the commandments of God (Isaiah 51 – 53), and Jesus was the fulfillment of those prophecies.

At this time of year we are reminded of the birth, the first coming of our Redeemer. Lest any forget Christmas is not just a holiday, it is a Holy day, to remind us that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to one day (33 years later), go up to Jerusalem, to be falsely accused, wrongly and evilly judged, and found guilty of nothing more than being the perfect, sinless Son of God. He was sentenced to die on a Roman cross on that hill called the “the Skull”. He bled, He died, was buried, and He rose again.

Back in February I wrote on verses 31-34; and it seemed appropriate to write on this verse near the end of the 2019 year.

We need to always remember that if  God has said it; it shall be done. We do not need to go up to Jerusalem to meet Jesus, and to call on His name. He is as close as you speaking a word. Call on His name. He will hear. He will save.

Christ, The Son Of The Blessed

“And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, ‘Answerest Thou nothing? What is it which these witness against Thee?’  But He held His peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, ‘Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’  And Jesus said,
‘I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’
Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, ‘What need we any further witnesses?  Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye?’ And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death.  And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.”  Mark 14:60-65  (KJB)

He was silent through most of the mockery of a trial.  His silence was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy…

“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

However, when He is asked a direct question about His person, and who He is; He answers directly, knowing full well they would not hear.  Yet, He would not deny who He is.

If He would not deny His identity, His person, His God while He is being tried for crimes He is completely innocent of – He was guilty of no crime, but of being who He is.  Then, how can so many deny Him after being condemned to a cruel, slow, torturous death; having became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), to buried, then to rise again from death? How do you, O sinner, condemned soul continue to deny the Prince of Life?

I cannot keep silent about Him. I will not be silent about Him.  He is my Savior, my Lord, my King, and my God.

In a Just Society

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” Proverbs 28:1-6 (KJV)

Far too often we notice there are not too many “Just Societies”.  Even in the United States of America more often than not, there is injustice.  Money is needed to get a good lawyer to defend oneself from a false charge; or even to be sure one can get a fair trial.  I do believe in our Justice system, but I also see the injustice in it.

A man or woman charged with a crime is supposed to be seen as “Innocent until proven guilty”; but that does not always happen either.  We all too often begin condemning the indicted individual with a guilty verdict long before the trial; even on the streets, and highways and byways of the areas around the case.

The following are thoughts for Proverbs 28:1-28…

Verses 1a, 4, 12, 15, 28 – A look at the wicked. The wicked are those who refuse to recognize the way of God, His Word, and refuse to submit themselves to Him; whether rich, or poor. 1.) The wicked see a conspiracy behind everything that is against them, and flee. 2.) For anyone to turn their backs on righteous laws is to give praise to the wicked who break those laws. 3.) When the wicked rule and are in leadership people tend to hide. 4.) Wicked rulers among poor people are as devastating as an angry growling lion (Job 24:4; Prov. 19:12; 1 Peter 5:8).

Verses 2, 5, 8-9, 11, 16-17, 21-22, 25-26 – A look at the wicked who are wealthy; leadership, rulers. 1.) Many rulers, maybe “Big government” is a result of a wicked nation. 2.) True justice is not understood by the unjust; and that goes along with exhorbitant interest, profits, low wages, etc.. 3.) The unjust will be “cruel oppressors”, and will most likely have “blood on their hands” thus face eternal judgment. 4.) Greed, partiality, will ultimatley bring poverty into the lives of those who practice it – ultimate destruction.

Verses 3, 10a, 13, 24 – The wicked poor. 1.) You would think a poor man would be more understanding of the poor; but the wicked poor will stoop to the lowest degree in order to improve their own situation in life. 2.) Destruction awaits those who would lead an upright individual astray – take Balaam as an example (Numbers 31:8, 16). 3.) It is the tendency of all wicked people to cover their transgressions, and even refuse to believe they have transgressed (v. 24).

Verses 1b, 6-7, 10b, 12a, 14, 18-20, 23, 27 – The way of righteousness. 1.) The righteous have no reason to fear the thing so the world or of man; they have died to the wickedness of the world. 2.) The poor upright are better off, and wise in God. 3.) The Lord will bless those who are upright in the things he/she possesses. 4.) There is glory and happiness in the fear of the LORD (vv. 12, 14). 5.) Salvation, plenty, and blessings are the reward of the righteous. 6.) A just and righteous tongue is favored; and gives to the poor, and shall not lack (vv. 23, 27).

The only way to a just society is through the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has told us…

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20

We can only receive that “Justness” that righteousness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Believe Him, trust Him: call on His name (Romans 10:13).

The Righteous and the Wicked

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 (KJV)

The one who is guilty of a crime is constantly looking over their shoulders to check, and see if anyone is pursuing them. That is the wicked. Wickedness goes further, though, than just a guilty conscience. The wicked are haters of God, good, and godliness.

As I read this this morning I asked myself two questions: First, Do the unrighteous always flee in fear? The second: Are the righteous always the bold ones? The answer to those questions is both “NO!”

Let us look at another thought of the “Wicked”. The wicked are not just lawbreakers, they are God-haters. They hate God, His law, His Word, His righteousness, and anyone who is connected to Him. Many of the wicked will say, “I don’t believe in God. How can I hate something I don’t believe in?” See what I mean. The whole creation cries out for the God of the Universe, and you deny He exist; because you hate Him. You hate Him even when the evidence says He is true.

Normally, the wicked flee when no man pursues. Everyday the wicked flee because God is in pursuit of you. Normally, the righteous – the God fearer, the one’s who love God, His Word, His commandments, His law are bold as a lion.

It seems to me sometimes that the wicked are much more bold than the righteous in today’s world. Why would that be? Who are the “Righteous”? Those who have been declared righteous or Just by God Himself (Romans 1:7; 5:1). Of course there are none who are righteous of their own merit, their own goodness, “No not one” (Romans 3:10-11). Righteousness comes through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Why does it seem that the wicked are bold, and the righteous are fleeing? It is because the righteous are not living righteous lives; we are not believing what God’s Word says, we are not believing God, thus we live with fear. We fear offending others, rather than fear offending God.

O LORD God give your people a righteous, healthy fear of YOU; that we might show forth Your righteousness in a lost, dark, and condemned world.

NOT GUILTY

“If Thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:3-5 (KJV)

Many a human Judge has hammered his/her gavel, and declared “Guilty” as a verdict against a man or woman who has been often proven guilty of some crime they have done. That same Judge has hammered the gavel, and declared “Not guilty”, because the case was not proven against an defendant.

The Psalmist of the above verses knows that if the LORD was to “Mark iniquities”, that is, to observe, give heed to; to charge us, then no one would be able to stand before Him.

Let us make something very clear. God is just, holy, righteous, and He judges with His eyes wide open, not blindly. He knows that we are a sinful, iniquitous people; yet with Him is much forgiveness.

You may be an individual who has never pled guilty, or even realized that you were guilty of anything. You are. You have sinned against holy God. You have lived your life your way, not His way. Yet, God will not “Mark [your] iniquities” when you come to Him for forgiveness.

He has made it possible that all who come to Him, He will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). When you are His, a saint by His declaration, and you sin, you can still go to Him, and He forgives you (1 John 1:9).

The waiting the Psalmist mentions is not for forgiveness, but he knows that he has received forgiveness, and goes on in the work, and service of the LORD. Thus it is ours to do so as well.

When you come to God through His Son Jesus Christ; the gavel of the Great Judge goes down, and the Judge declares “Not guilty”.

Through the Bible in a Year – 021013

THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

I Do Not Like the Old Testament, Especially Leviticus

(Reading Exodus 38 – Leviticus 18) Exodus 39:30-32; 40:34-38; Leviticus 13:1-3
I just recently realized that I do not like Leviticus. It is painful to read. It is hard to understand. It is judgmental about human life and living. It condemns me.
Even if I do not like Leviticus there are some things I can learn from it. Then I need to apply that to my life.

1. We are continually reminded that God is Holy, and that He is the LORD.
2. We are reminded again and again that we are unholy and unclean.
3. We are reminded again and again that there must be a sacrifice, or there is no approaching God.
4. We are reminded that that the most basic sacrifice is the blood of a Lamb.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 4:4-10)

God’s Controversy With His People 2

“Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.  Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  As they were increased, so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.  They eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.  And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.  For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.” Hosea 4:4-10 (KJV)

Verses 4 through 6 as well as the following four verses are directed toward the priests and prophets.

The priests and the prophets were told not to accuse the people, because they, themselves were at fault.  This, by no means takes any personal responsibility away from the people, for they too are guilty.  The greatest fault lies with the priests and prophets, because they had failed to teach the Law of God.  Why?  Because they rejected God’s law.  Their “Mother” [Nation] would be destroyed.  Church leadership which fails to proclaim the Law of God, the Word or God with its rebukes and warnings; as well as its blessings and promises is remiss in doing the work and will of God; thus rejecting God and His Word.

The preacher/prophet may fail to meet the expectations of the people, but if he fails to proclaim God’s Word he wreaks havoc upon himself, and the people.  If the priests (Every born again believer) fails to warn the lost of his/her condemnation, and fails to pray for the lost to be reconciled to God, then, we bring shame on ourselves and eternal havoc and ruin on those whom we have failed to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In verses 7 through 10 the condemnation continues upon the priests.

It appears that as God blessed the priests (and nation) they began to be comfortable, and sin against God.  It is not sin to be comfortable, or to live in comfort.  The sin is while in comfort we forget, forsake, and do not praise the LORD.

The priests received offerings from the people.  Possibly a sin offering is implied by verse eight.  These meat offerings were to be eaten by the priests, and their families – as a means of support – and rather than rebuking the people for their sin, encouraged them to continue in sin.  Maybe not with words, but in the absence of words of rebuke.  So, just as the priests are condemned because they reject the law of God, the people are condemned because of their willful ignorance of God.  They loved their sin too much to find out what the will of God was.

There would be no satisfaction, no fulfillment in their indulgence of sin.  They would not be a fruitful people.  Even though they thought that enjoying the fulfilling of their lust through hedonistic temple acts would guarantee many children and bountiful harvest; it would not be so.  The reason God gives is, “Because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.”

There is much sin within the churches of the United States of America in the 21st century.  Yet, we have an awesome and wondrous Saviour.  His name is Jesus.  He died for us because He loves us.  He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.  He will do whatever it takes to make us holy.

-Tim A. Blankenship

How Should Any be Just with God?

How Should Any be Just with God?

Job 9:1-35

1.  The legalism of Bildad;
a.  This is the judgment of God (8:1-7);
b.  Look at the issues of past history (8:8-10);
c.  Look at the evidence of nature (8:11-22).

2.  Job’s questions;
a.  How can I be just/righteous with God? (v. 2)
b.  How can stand before God in debate? (v. 3)
c.  In chapter 10 he asks, “Why was I even born?”

I.  JOB’S CONCLUSION IS THAT DEBATING WITH GOD IS FUTILE (v. 3).

II.  THE GOD OF CREATION IS UNAPPROACHABLE BY MAN ALONE (vv.  4-15).

III.  BEFORE GOD EVERY MOUTH WILL BE STOPPED/EVERY MAN CONDEMNED AS A LIAR (vv. 16-21; Romans 3:4).

IV.  WITHOUT A REDEEMER WE ALL STAND GUILTY BEFORE GOD (vv. 22-31).

V.  JOB AND ALL MANKIND NEEDS A MEDIATOR BETWEEN OURSELVES AND GOD (vv. 32-35).

Application –

i.  Mankind in his pride, religion, moral goodness cannot stand before the just, righteous and holy GOD;
ii.  As far as we are concerned He is unapproachable, because of His purity; and our impurity;
iii.  All the accusations of mankind will be stopped and we shall be accounted as liars;
iv.  However, there is a redeemer; He too is just, righteous, and holy;  He is GOD; our “daysman” – Mediator;  His name is Jesus.

-TA.

This sermon was preached in the Sunday morning worship 07/24/11