“LORD, who shall abide in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Your holy hill? He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that fear the LORD. He that swears to his own hurt, and changes not. He that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15:1-5 (KJB)
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Daystar arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake, moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:16-21 (KJB)
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (KJB)
The apostle Paul has been dealing with marital relationship for Christian men and women. We get to these verses and he spells out how the Christian husband and wife ought to think and live for the honor and glory of God.
He says, “…the time is short”. As Christians we do not have; and neither does the non-christian; a very long time to live. Life is short. The apostle is telling us that we have a very short period of time to live for God, and be His witnesses in this wicked, dark, and dying world.
To the married he writes, “…be as though you had none…” and that is a wife; and is applicable to the wife to be as though she had no husband, as well. That does not mean forsaking one another, neither ignoring each other in bed, or in work. It deeply means that loving God, worshiping Him, witnessing for Him is the highest and best that a married couple can do.
To those who are weeping, and to those who are rejoicing: rejoicing in a marriage is good, but rejoicing in the relationship you have with God is far higher. Jesus said to His disciples when they came back rejoicing because they had power over demons,
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
The grieved heart for the passing of a loved one or sorrow over a health condition leads to weeping many a time. We are human beings with weaknesses, and often overwhelmed by sin and the world. There is a time for weeping, but Paul is saying here that there is the matter of God, our relationship with Him and continued abiding fellowship with Him.
One final thing. This world and all that is in it; “…the fashion of this world…”; is passing away – it is perishing. Christian priority is to grow in love with the Lord Jesus Christ, live for Him. In living for Him you will live a holy life, set apart from the lust of the flesh for worldly things and pleasures. Live in such a way as the Spirit of God in you can draw others to Himself.
Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and He rose again. He forever lives making intercession for us.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:1-2 (KJB)
There are many people who honor the order of law, and endeavor to give honor to those who are giving their lives to defend, protect, and serve us. People such as our local county Sheriff’s departments, city police, firemen, Emergency Medical Services, and the soldiers of our nation’s military should be admired, revered, given honor, and paid rightly.
When we honor these men and women we in one respect give honor to God. God is the One who has ordained the “higher powers” – those who are in authority.
Sadly, as of lately, there seems to be a growing number of people who hate the law and order of our land. Could it be because they are guilty of violating the law? Therefore they cannot support our men and women who are defenders of the law.
We must be careful that we do not put our defenders on too high a pedestal though. They too are of flesh and blood humanity. They make mistakes. They are sinners too. Nonetheless, they are ministers of God (Romans 13:4), and if you are against them, you stand against God. That is your damnation.
There is no man, however, who holds absolute power. All power is God’s “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God”, and He gives power to whom He will.
Jesus, as He stood before Pilate and when Pilate had said, “Don’t You know that I have the power to crucify You, or to release You?” said,
“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11
No one has power that has not been given him, except by God. If you think you are one with great power and authority, then be very careful, and give God thanks, and recognize from whence that power came.
If you are not respecting the “higher powers”, then you dishonor God Himself, and bring damnation on yourself.
As a Christian my hope and eternal life lies in Jesus Christ. While I live in this world I am first of all subject to the Most High and Holy God who is All-Powerful. I also must subject myself to those who have authority over me, as they are servants of God to do what is right (Romans 13:4), and that also will give you a clean conscience (v. 5).
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, ‘Come up hither;’ than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.” Proverbs 25:1-7 (KJB)
Kings, Neighbors, Enemies, and Honey – Proverbs 25:1-28
VERSES 1-7 – On verses two and three the MacArthur Study Bible notes, “God…kings. The roles of God and the king are compared. God, whose knowledge is above all human knowledge (cf. Ps. 92:5; Eccl. 3:11; Is. 46:10; Acts 15:18; Heb. 4:13), and whose ways are unsearchable (cf. Job 5:9; Ps. 145:3; Is. 40:28), keeps things to Himself because He needs no counsel (see Rom. 11:34). On the contrary, kings should rightly seek to know what they must know in order to rule righteously.”
Looking at verses four and five we can conclude that kingdoms of men are established by God when wickedness is removed and righteousness is in place. There is silver present, but it must be refined by fire.
In verses six and seven we see that humility is an honorable trait even in places of authority.
VERSES 8-20 – Getting along with neighbors will be aided by not being hasty in judging them when they seem to be unwise, and in the end you are shamed by your own actions (vv. 8-10).
Using words wisely when dealing with our neighbors (vv. 11-12). Refreshing and encouraging words from a messenger (v. 13). Forbearance or patience is a necessity for good neighbors (vv. 14-15). Too much of a good and sweet thing will end in hatred of that very thing (vv. 16-17).
Being a good neighbor involves confidence in the right place and people, respecting truth and, others comfort, shelter, and nourishment (vv. 18-20).
VERSES 21-28 – We ought to treat our enemies as we would treat our neighbors. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8).
VERSES 16 and 27 – Honey is a natural sweetener. Too much of this sweetener will make one sick. Verse 16 prepares us for verse 17 where spending too much time a neighbor’s can be a thing that turns to hatred if not done in moderation.
To search for one’s own glory is as bad as eating too much honey. It will make others sick, and possibly you sick as well.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:1-6 (KJB)
Wisdom and Education – Proverbs 22:1-6
Verses 1- 6 – (1) The value of a good name. (2) The LORD is the maker of all. (3) The sensible have forsight to danger; the simple (Naive) will not see or just ignore it. See Proverbs 14:16 and 27:12. (4) Humility and fear of the LORD are essential to God’s blessings. (5) Troubles for the perverse; avoidance for the one who keeps themselves clean.
Verse 6 – From the Believers Bible Commentary;
“22:6 The usual interpretation of this proverb is that if you train up a child properly (in the way he should go), he will go on well in later life. Of course there are exceptions, but it stands as a general rule. Henry Ward Beecher observes:It is not hard to make a child or a tree grow right if you train them when they’re young, but to make them straighten out after you’ve allowed things to go wrong is not an easy matter.
Susannah Wesley, the mother of Charles, John, and 15 other children, followed these rules in training them: (1) Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his soul. (2) Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak. (3) Give him nothing he cries for and only what is good for him if he asks for it politely. (4) To prevent lying, punish no fault which is freely confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed. (5) Commend and reward good behavior. (6) Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.
The proverb can also be understood as encouraging parents to train their children along the lines of their natural talents, rather than forcing them into professions or trades for which they have no native inclination. Thus Kidner says that the verse teaches respect for the child’s individuality and vocation, though not for his self-will.
And the proverb may be a warning that if you train a child in the way that he himself wants to go, he will continue to be spoiled and self-centered in later life. Jay Adams writes:
The verse stands not as a promise but as a warning to parents that if they allow a child to train himself after his own wishes (permissively), they should not expect him to want to change these patterns when he matures. Children are born sinners and, when allowed to follow their own wishes, will naturally develop sinful habit responses. The basic thought is that such habit patterns become deep-seated when they have been ingrained in the child from the earliest days.”
Verse six note from the ESV Study Bible:
“Prov. 22:6 Train up a child. This proverb, founded on the covenant with Abraham (cf. Gen. 18:19), encourages parents to “train” (i.e., to “dedicate” or “initiate”; this is the sense of the word in Deut. 20:5; cf. Ezra 6:16) their children in the way (i.e., the right moral orientation) by pointing to the kinds of conduct that please or displease the Lord, and to the normal outcome of each kind of conduct (on the matter of consequences, see Introduction: Literary Features). The training will include love and instruction as well as “the rod of discipline” (Prov. 22:15).”
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and be established in the present truth.
Yes, I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavor that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the Excellent Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; to which you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 2:1-21
REFERENCES: 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:4; Hebrews 12:10; 1 Peter 3:7; 5:12; Galatians 6:10; 1 John 1:7; 4:21; Ephesians 5:26; Romans 14:15; Psalm 119:105; Romans 12:6; Matthew 17:1-8
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard; God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?
For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying,
‘What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visited him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of Your hands: You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’
For in that He put all in subjection under him, he left nothing not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,
‘I will declare your name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto you.’
‘I will put my trust in Him.’
‘Behold I and the children which God has given Me.’
Since then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to rescue them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:1-18
REFERENCES: Numbers 15:30; Matthew 4:17; 28:10, 18; Luke 1:2, 74; Mark 16:20; Psalm 22:22; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:54
“What shall we say then? Unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He saith to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ So then not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, ‘Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.’ Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth.
Thou wilt say then unto me, ‘Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?’ Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’ Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? If God, willing to shew wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Romans 9:14-24 (KJB)
Reference: Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 92:15; 2 Chronicles 20:6; 2 Timothy 2:20; Colossians 1:27
It was a constant battle which Jesus fought. Accusations of blasphemy by saying things which, according to the religious leaders made Himself equal with God. Jesus constantly confirmed in His own words that He was indeed what He claimed, and that He and His Father worked together; that He did not do anything except what the Father did. Hear the following words…
But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.’
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. John 5:17-24 (KJB)
Let me leave you with these thoughts from others.
First from the Geneva Bible Translation notes:
“The work of God was never the breach of the sabbath, and the works of Christ are the works of the Father, both because they are one God, and also because the Father does not work except in the Son.” From the Geneva Bible Translation notes on John 5:17
Finally from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“My Father worketh hitherto and I work — The “I” is emphatic; “The creative and conservative activity of My Father has known no sabbath-cessation from the beginning until now, and that is the law of My working.”” From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
To honor the Son [Jesus Christ] is to honor the Father too. To honor the Father is to honor the Son.
“They answered Him, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ‘Ye shall be made free?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill Me, because My word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with My Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.’
They answered and said unto him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill Me, a Man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.’ Then said they to Him, ‘We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, God.’
Jesus said unto them, ‘If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand My speech? Because ye cannot hear My word.
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. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not. Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear not, because ye are not of God.’
Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him, ‘Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?’ Jesus answered, ‘I have not a devil; but I honour My Father, and ye do dishonour Me. And I seek not Mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death.’ Then said the Jews unto Him, ‘Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and Thou sayest, If a man keep My saying, he shall never taste of death. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest Thou Thyself?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of whom ye say, that He is your God: yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.’
Then said the Jews unto Him, ‘Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?’ Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am.’
Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” John 8:33-59 (KJB)
I have some homework for you today. Please read the above chapter 8; not just the verses above.
“If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24. Also John 10:32-33. See also Exodus 3, and especially note verse 14.
We start off with an “Ye have heard…” statement. It is the fourth of five if you count the “It has been said” of verse 31. This shows us Jesus’s familiarity with Scripture and the Law. It also shows that He is familiar with the general interpretation of those Laws.
In looking at the SERMON ON THE MOUNT we must realize that for the time being these principles are our goal. I fall so short of these principles of His Kingdom. The only way they are lived is when we are in complete obedience to the leading of the Spirit within us. Let me say here that our perfection/completion is only by God’s own decree – “You are Justified. All your sins are gone. Jesus has paid your debt”. This is still our goal for now.
THE PLACE TO BEGIN LIVING HONESTLY, WITH HIGH HONOR AND INTEGRITY IS WITH JESUS CHRIST (vv. 33-37).
* When your heart is right with God your first responsibility of honesty is with Him.
+ He already knows your heart and thoughts why would you lie to Him.
+ Why lie to others, if indeed, you see the image of God in them, and we should.
* When making a vow, or promise, let your Yes, Be Yes; and your No, be No!
+ If you must swear on a “Stack of Grandma’s Bibles”, then, your word is probably as good as the ocean front property in Arizona.
THE PLACE TO BEGIN SEEKING THE GOOD OF OTHERS IS BY LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST AND BE LIKE HIM (vv. 38-42).
* Jesus even turns this toward those who would strike you.
+ Is it a wimpy thing for a man to “turn the other cheek”?
+ Is it the right and courageous thing to “turn the other cheek”?
* Giving others what belongs to you shows that you care for them more than we care for things.
+ Giving them our time – if you are “compel(led) to go a mile, go with him twain”.
+ Giving possessions – if he “take away you coat, let him have your cloke also” (vv. 40, 42).
“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 (KJV).
LIVING WITHOUT THE ATTITUDE OF RETALIATION IS A WORK OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS (vv.43-47).
* I recall nowhere in Scriptures which tell us to “Hate your enemies”.
+ Most error in such things comes from misinterpretations and evil hearts.
+ Here, Jesus quickly puts that thought out in the cold
* The law does teach, “Eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-25).
+ Seeking justice and seeking revenge are two different thoughts.
+ You can still love the person when justice is being done, but revenge almost requires hatred.
* When we love those who love us, we are doing only what others will do.
+ When we love those who have stricken us, who have lied about us, who have harmed us, then, people will see the love of Jesus Christ, and the difference He has made in our lives.
+ We need to be strengthened by the Spirit of God each day to walk with Christ and be like Him, in loving and forgiving those who have despised us, even hated us.
THE PERFECTION OF GOD IS THE COMPLETENESS WE HAVE SOLELY IN HIM (v. 48).
* This is similar to God’s command to Israel:
+ “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45, and 1 Peter 1:15-16.
* Perfection is the work of God taking us and making us more into the likeness of His Son.
+ It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to one day be made like Him for we have the promise;
+ “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV).
-Tim A. Blankenship
And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:8-14 (KJV)
The Lamb is worthy of worship. Who does God say is to be worshipped? Only Himself. If God is allowing Jesus, the Lamb, to receive worship, what declaration does that make? Worshipping Him, you are worshipping the God of creation.
In Heaven God is collecting the prayers of the saints. They are collected as the odors of incense. They are a sweet smelling fragrance to Him. Our prayers are pleasing to our Father in Heaven, and He is pleased to hear and also answer them as it pleases and glorifies Him.
He is worshipped for four reasons (I got these reasons from Warren Wiersbe’s BE COMMENTARY, and the five hymns to be sung in our worship also).
1. Because of who He is – the crucified and resurrected One;
2. Because of where He is – in the midst of all creation (represented in the four living ones), and in the midst of God’s people (the elders);
3. Because of what He does – He opened the book no one else could open. He made it possible for singing:
a. The worship hymn – “Thou art worthy”;
b. The Gospel song – “Thou wast slain”;
c. The Missionary song – “Out of every kindred…and nation”;
d. The Devotional hymn – “A kingdom of priests”;
e. The Prophetic song – “We shall reign on the earth”.
It would be great if the music directors of our churches would all begin to follow this pattern for our worship of the Lord. My plan would be to open the worship service with THE WORSHIP HYMN. Something like Holy, Holy, Holy, or How Great Thou Art. The GOSPEL SONG could be something like, At Calvary, or The Old Rugged Cross. There are many to choose from. The MISSIONARY SONG could be used as the worship in tithes and offerings, using songs like Rescue the Perishing, or Set My Soul Afire. Good DEVOTIONAL HYMNs could be, Sweet Hour of Prayer, or When We Walk With The Lord. There are some good PROPHETIC SONGs which could be used such as, Face To Face With Christ My Savior, or There’s A Land That Is Fairer Than Day.
In verse eleven we find a numberless multitude of angels. “Ten thousand times ten thousand” equals 100 million, but then “Thousands of thousands” mean millions more. They probably reach into the billions plus. Notice, their praise was to the Savior “The Lamb that was slain”, not to a baby in a manger, not to a healer, not even to a King, but to a “Violently slain Lamb”. This resurrected Lamb is worthy to receive full honors from the Father and all His creation. Notice, “The Lamb that was slain” is past tense and assures us that He was dead but is alive. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
We come now to the fourth reason the Lamb is worthy of worship (See notes of verses eight through ten).
4. Because of what He has. He did not receive these things from people of earth. “Blessings, honor, glory, and power”, He receives them after He completes the task He came to do. I do not know about all who are reading this, but I do know that so many times worship services in our churches seem monotonous, mundane, sometimes even dreaded, and dead. It seems that the reason for that may just be the attitude of the worshiper’s heart. Our worship is about Jesus. If we will keep our focus on the crucified, and risen Lamb of God true worship will be the experience of every worshipper. Give Him “Blessing, honor, glory, and power”.
The same things are given to the Lamb and the Father. They are actually given to the Lamb by the Father. The ability to ascribe worth to the Lamb by the creation and God’s people are given by the Father.
We can say A-MEN in our worship – SO BE IT. In these songs of praise, we can come to a conclusion of how our worship on earth is done. Let’s worship Him. He is Jesus the Christ, Son of God, God the Son, and He is Worthy to take the Book.
Those of us who follow Christ Jesus have been set apart unto Him that He might be glorified. Being set apart is what is meant by the word “Sanctified” or “Sanctification”. At salvation we are sanctified; but throughout our lives we are being sanctified unto Him, until we are finally, and completely sanctified eternally. Hear the words of Paul…
“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (KJV)
The prophet Amos in chapter three of the prophet’s prophecy asked the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) Well, the answer to that is – “Not in peace and harmony.”
I heard someone say, fairly recently, “The Christians greatest battle is not with Satan, but with God.” That would be because we still battle those old temptations to rule our own lives. The continuing work of sanctification deals with this in our lives.
We must continually deal with sin and its ugly face. Sin separates us from God. Sin will lead us on a detour away from God. Walking with God means walking His path, His way. It means obedience to His word. It is hating sin, and loving the Lord, and they cannot dwell together.
Reading the passage of Scripture you will notice that last sentence, “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.” If you can turn away from that truth and say something so foolish as “I will live my life my way, and nobody can tell me how to live”, then, God has a word for you; “You fool”.
Cry out to God in repentance. Come to Him through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and was raised from death and the grave.
In the study of Proverbs we must keep in mind that these proverbs are not promises. They are rather a collection of sayings which do happen in the general sense of things.
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 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.” Proverbs 4:1-13 (KJV)
Hold on to wisdom; like a family heirloom. Children are the fruit of marriage, and the responsibility of their teaching, their learning is that of the father and mother. It is, however the responsibility of the child to learn the teachings which they are taught. Hearing instruction; godly instruction; as lived by the parent is necessary for the child to see as well as hear.
Cramming Scripture into the child’s life; especially for correction; will make the child hate it rather than love Scripture and God. When they see their mother and father reading and studying Scripture, praying, and living their lives like they teach them then it will have an affect on the child’s life as well.
When God is our Father, our Instructor/Teacher we know that His teaching is never in error. If we err from His teaching it is the child who errs not the Father. Remember Wisdom is personified in Proverbs, and is seen in the New Testament as Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God; God the Living Son.
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want every Christian to remember this is another Lord’s Day, not unlike any other; it is only as special as we ourselves make it; if we honor, praise and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ only today we do nothing more than slap His face, and stomp His shed blood in the ground, and make it of no affect in our lives or the lives of others; Remember Christians that He came as a Baby in a manger, in order to die for our sins, and He desires your love, worship and praise 365 – 366 days every year.
I want you to have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, but it will only be so if you love Him and live for Him everyday of the year.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galations 4:4-5 (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want the Lord Jesus to be honored, revered, worshiped, praised and glorified in my life, in my home, and in my Church today, and everyday; and in the lives of every Christian in the world.
“Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” Colossians 4:15 (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to live as though my whole body and being is the temple of the Lord; that He dwells in me; and that I am to keep it holy, for His honor, glory and power.
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5-7 (KJV)
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to prosper in my Lord Jesus Christ, and to bring honor and glory to His name.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want to give myself anew to the Lord Jesus Christ that He might use me to honor and glorify His name; that my neighbors might know that He is the Lord.
And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.” Ezekiel 34:27 (KJV)
That phrase “Know that I am the LORD” is used at least 63 times in Ezekiel and many other times throughout the Old Testament. It appears that GOD wants the world and all who are in it to know Him.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want to love my neighbor as I love myself.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”” Exodus 20:12-17 (NKJV)
“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
Also see Day 317
What do I want for Christmas?
I want the leaders of our Nation (U. S. of A.) to lead, not rule; to be godly, not ungodly; to deny themselves any special privileges, but to only allow themselves the rights and privileges of the people; that the people might respect, love, and honor those who serve with distinction.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV)
In the United States of America people are easily offended. I will probably offend someone with this post today; but that is on your shoulders, not mine.
We have a Constitutional right of Free Speech. That right, however, does not mean that we can say hurtful, evil, things that will cause harm to others. It does mean that we have the right to speak what we believe to be the truth without fear of bad repercussion. If the truth offends someone else, then, they just need to deal with it.
Some who are offended easily by the Truth, turn to Jesus Christ as a picture of having never offended anyone. People who think that do not know Jesus Christ or anything about Him. For example:
“And He went out from thence, and came into His own country; and His disciples follow Him. And when the Sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this Man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands! Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.” Mark 6:1-6 (KJV)
Jesus had gone into His own city where He was raised, and the people recognized Him as the Son of Mary with brothers and sisters; yet they were offended by His life, and His teaching – “They were offended at Him”.
If Jesus offends you; it is because you do not know Him. Are there other times when Jesus offended others? Think of the two times He drove the money changers from the temple (John 2:13-17; Matthew 21:12-13). Do you think they were offended at Him? I would think so.
We as Christians should not seek to offend others; but if we live a life like Jesus lived; faithful to the Father, and our Saviour; then there will be people offended by our life, and walk, and our talk.
“I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me…” How about you?
For the most part chapter four of Daniel is the writing of Nebuchadnezzar, sharing his personal testimony of a tragic, yet humbling, and redeeming time of his life and reign as king of Babylon. He had grown proud and arrogant (4:28-30), and the King of heaven brought him down.
The following are the final words of Nebuchadnezzar in the testimony he shares:
“Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37 (KJV)
Pride is one of the abominations which God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19); called “a proud look”, and the king of Babylon had it. It is a dangerous thing to try and exalt oneself above the word, and words of God. The LORD had given Nebuchadnezzar warning through a dream of a tree being cut down; but he did not listen to it; he did not fear the word of the LORD.
How about you today? Is there a arrogant, proud mind, and heart where you are saying to yourself; “I am a self-made man. I do not need God.” That is the height of arrogance and pride. Every man and woman needs God, His mercy and His grace. He is offering it to you today through the cross of Jesus Christ His holy Son. Believe Him today. Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:5-7).
Humble yourself before God; and He will not need to abase you. Honor the King of Heaven with your life.
“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:2-4 (KJV)
The Psalmist magnifies the Lord, His work and His righteousness. All are great. It is GOD who makes them great. There is nothing He does that we would not see as great, working doing His will; and I should say Him working through us.
As I look at these verses I think of Jesus’s words, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29), and “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent” (John 6:29).
In the chaos of man’s sin, shame, unbelief, and wretchedness; God loved the world and sent a Saviour; His only begotten Son; to die on the cross for our sins. He died that we all might have fellowship, love, and grace with the Father. Have it for all eternity.
The compassion of the LORD is seen in that He struck His own Son in our place, and through His Son Jesus Christ we are made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“The works of the LORD are great” and they are “sought out of all them that have pleasure therein”.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” Psalm 104:1 (KJV)
We live in a sloppy dressing culture. Young “men” wear jeans or pants halfway down their buttocks, showing their underwear. Women; young and old wear dresses and blouses with tops which tell us “Look here”, then complain when a man looks. I do not mean to be brash, rude, or ugly, but let us face it “Clothing makes a difference”.
Clothes shows one’s character. In the above verse it is glorifying God, our LORD. Jehovah the one and only God worthy of our worship and praise.
What is the clothing of God to show His character? He is dressed in honor and majesty. He is great in grandeur, in His presence; He is of royal appearance.
Have you noticed that many are interested in the royal family of Britain? Have you also noticed that they dress as royalty probably ought? Well, God is the greatest of all royalty, and He has called us to Himself, and made us royal; a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Be clothed with the honor and majesty of the One who gives us life. His name is Jesus.
The apostle Paul said,
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14
“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: sing forth the honour of His name: make His praise glorious.” Psalm 66:1-2 (KJV)
God created man to voice praise to Him. To bring honor and glory to His name. There is no higher or nobler purpose for man than to praise the LORD; glory in His name.
When Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing, they fell out of that purpose; they fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). When they fell short they tried to hide from God as He came to walk among them in the day.
We are not told who this Psalmist was. It could have been David. It could have been another. At any rate it is a song for all to sing. We are to “Make a joyful noise unto God…” Not to any other thing called god, but to our Creator alone who spoke all things, including you and me, into existence.
It is not only for the people of the United States of America; not just the nation of Israel; not just Egypt, Iran, Iraq, India, Korea, Japan or China. It is the duty of all men, women, boys and girls; yea, even all creation to praise the Lord, and sing forth honor of His name.
The best and only way to do that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29 Jesus was speaking of Himself as being the one who God sent.
Between a Rock, and a Hard Place
The title is an expression of the difficult places we sometimes find ourselves, and oft times do not know what to do with it or about it. Moses and the children of Israel, leaving Egypt found themselves in a similar situation. We see what they did; and how God brought them through.
1. The LORD Would Not Have His People in Fear (v. 13).
2. The Fight and the Victory is the LORD’S (v. 14).
3. The Time to Move and Go Forward (vv. 15-16).
4. The LORD’S Honor and Glory are His Own to Get (vv. 17-18).
GOD Builds a People
1. GOD”S Sovereign Providing Hand Fro His People (vv. 1-7).
A. This history begins with the word “Now…”
2. GOD builds His People in the Midst of Affliction (vv. 8-14).
A. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered” Heb. 5:8.
B. By this we can see and understand that suffering is not just the plight of the wicked.
3. GOD Honors Life and Blesses the Lives of Those Who Honor and Respect Life (vv. 15-20).
A. The end result of saving lives of babies can be a deliverer, a Saviour.
B. The end result is not often see by the one who has respect for life.
4. GOD Blesses His People for Their Faithfulness (vv. 21-22).
A. The blessed people are all who “Fear God”.
B. Fearing God begins by receiving the Gift of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, ‘It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;’ and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'” ~Jesus (Matthew 15:1-9)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” ~Jesus (John 5:19-30)
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (KJV)
Sometimes it seems so hard to know the “Will of God”; yet it is given to us in God’s written Word. Many Christians spend their time “Searching for the will of God”. Is it God’s will for me to be a missionary, go to Africa, go to Russia, go to the jungles of the Amazon? The problem is we spend our time searching and it is right before us in black, red and white.
Notice Paul’s words above, and all this instruction can be summed up with Jesus’s words quoting the Old Testament,
“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
and He went on and said,
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (KJV)
If we are not doing the will of God at home, in our daily labors, in our recreation, in all our daily activities; God’s will will not be found in Africa, Russia, or the Amazon. God’s will is as close as your heart and the Word of God. Let us commit ourselves to doing the will of God. The search is over.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The reading for Day 19 was 1 Samuel 15 – 28, much about the fall of king Saul; yet also about the rise of a man after God’s own heart.
Saul began his reign as the chosen, anointed king of Israel, chosen by God. His heart was right, humble, and honorable. He seemed not to be grasping for power, nor leadership, but was content working for and with his father keeping donkeys.
We have all heard the phrase, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” and we can see an element of that in Saul. He seems intent of doing the “right thing” without obedience to God. A for instance; when God had given him commandment to go and “utterly destroy” the Amalekites (15:3) here is what he did,
“And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” 1 Samuel 15:7-9 (KJV)
Some might argue, “Well, he was at least partially obedient”. That is not much argument. Obedience is carrying out the command to the letter, which Saul did not do. No matter what his intent was he sinned against God and the kingdom was removed from him and given to another.
Saul was a man, after this that had much fear in his reign. He himself was fearful. He was afraid of a little giant challenging the army of God (chapter 17).
Then a youth who was a shepherd boy who was not afraid of lions and bears heard the giant bragging of his abilities and powers against the God of Israel. He became angered by this, and took up the challenge himself. With nothing but a sling, five stones and most of all his faith in God he faced the giant Goliath, and God gave David the victory that day.
David had already been anointed king to take Saul’s place. When Saul saw this he was jealous and enraged by David, hating him and trying to kill him. There is no honor in king Saul; only jealousy and fear and hatred. He no longer loves God, God’s Word, nor His plan for himself or Israel.
Even Jonathan, kings Saul’s son recognized David as the future king of Israel,
“And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, ‘Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.” 23:16-18
Jonathan was more a man of honor than was his father. He was not afraid of David being king. He honored David and he honored God. David was that man after God’s own heart. This was the king which God has used to bring the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to save us from our sins.
-Tim A. Blankenship
1 Peter 1:6-7
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (KJV).
Precious is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Precious can mean rare, and when you number the people of the world to the number of people who are in Christ Jesus it will be seen just how precious it is.
The word “Precious” is described in THE MIRRIAM/WEBSTER Dictionary as being, “Of great value”. In Greek it is “timios“, here it is from E-Sword – “G5093
Including the comparative τίμιώτερος timiōteros and the superlative τίμιώτατος timiōtatos; from G5092; valuable, that is, (objectively) costly, or (subjectively) honored, esteemed, or (figuratively) beloved: – dear, honourable, (more, most) precious, had in reputation.” Valuable, costly, etc. By this definition surely we have reason to rejoice in and out of sorrow, tribulation, and all our trials.
There are many trials and temptations within this world and in our daily lives. This faith that is “More precious than gold” can and will endure the fires that will try us. These trials and temptations often become heavier than we ourselves can bear. Rejoice in knowing that these trials are only for “a season”, and that the promises of God for glory will come to pass. It is quite assuring to know that even though “gold that perishes”, but our faith in Christ Jesus though tried with fire will be “found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”. This is talking about when our Lord comes again to receive His own unto Himself.
The word of Jesus is being fulfilled when He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV). It is the faith that endures trials and tribulations which will glorify Jesus. If your faith is in faith then it will be a misplaced faith, as well as a foolish faith. Faith does not make what you believe to be true. Faith is believing what is true to be true, and carrying out what you believe. Let me try and illustrate; If you believe that you make the teachings of Jesus to be true because you believe them to be true, then your faith is in error. On the other hand if you believe that the teachings of Jesus are true, because Jesus said them, and He said they are true, then, your faith is genuine, and that faith is able to stand in the fires of trials and rejoice.
It is the faith in Jesus Christ that is “More precious than gold” which will endure and glorify Him. Gold put through the fire becomes more pure, thus, the faith which endures the fire is made pure, and strong. “If your faith cannot be tested, then, it cannot be trusted” (Unknown). In the fire the “Wood, hay and stubble” (1 Corinthians 3:12), Paul mentions will be burned up. The precious things like, gold, silver, precious metals, and gems will be made purer, and will glorify Jesus. How is your faith? If you are trusting anything (such as your faith in faith), or onyone other than Jesus, it will not stand in the fire.
There are many who are not Christian – not followers of Jesus Christ – who claim to believe that Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, a good example; but refuse to trust Him as God and Savior of the world; and of their eternal souls.
‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:19-24 (KJV)
Jesus as a man walked among us with only one purpose in life and that was to do whatever He saw the Father doing. The Father, GOD, is doing the work of salvation in this world. The “god of this age”, the devil, is going about to steal, kill and destroy. The work of GOD in this world now is through the work and ministry of those who have the Spirit of Jesus Christ in them – the Holy Spirit; and our desire is to do what we see the Father doing.
You will note in Jesus’s words that Jesus says, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.” The honor, faith, and glory that belongs to the Father [GOD], belongs to the Son of GOD. To trust Jesus is to believe Him to be whom He claims to be; the Son of GOD. This honors Him. To claim to be be merely a good man, a good teacher, or a good example and deny and reject Him as Savior and GOD is to basically call Him a liar.
Can you call a liar, a good man, even a good teacher, or a good example? Not where I come from.
Hear, today, the words of Jesus above, “I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Jesus also says in verses 45 – 47,
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” John 5:45-47
Jesus is the way to salvation, heaven and GOD.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Reading today from Mark 5 – 7
I want us to consider the charges Jesus makes against the scribes and Pharisees concerning their hypocrisy, and “Making the word of God of none effect…” Just how does one go about making the word of God of no effect? First of all this means, giving; in this case; more authority and power to something less powerful, such as their traditions.
The following are the words of Jesus,
“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Mark 7:6-13
Sometimes traditions are good, might even be great; however when we make tradition greater than Scripture we are in danger of being hypocrites, and of honoring God with lip service, but having no heart for Him. The danger the scribes and Pharisees were in was due to one thing that Jesus mentions in verses 10 – 12. Their tradition allowed them to take what would be used for honoring their father and mother; call it God’s, thus, making that sacred, and then they were unable to use that material thing for the honor of their parents.
The following are the study notes of the English Standard Version of the Bible for verses 10 – 13;
Mark 7:10–13 honor your father and your mother (cf. Ex. 20:12; 21:17; Deut. 5:16). No one questions the importance of this law in the Ten Commandments; disregarding it was punishable with death in ancient Israel. Part of honoring father and mother is to care for them, both financially and personally, in their old age. However, Jewish tradition allowed that funds originally dedicated to the care of parents could be declared Corban (Hebrew/Aramaic for legally “dedicated to God”; cf. Lev. 1:2; 2:1; etc.), meaning that the person would no longer be required to do anything for … father or mother. These funds could now be given to the temple, if so desired. Such human traditions thus allow room for the depravity of the human heart, directly opposing the Law of Moses which so often serves to protect the weak and helpless, in this case, parents in their feeble old age (making void the word of God). The “Corban” tradition is an example (along with many such things you do) of disregarding and rejecting the more important aspects of the Mosaic law.
As Christians of today let’s be careful to follow the guidance of the Word of God, and not our traditions over the Word.
-Tim A. Blankenship
THE LAW FULFILLED (II)
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31 (KJV).
In this article we will look at the “second” which Jesus speaks of, and has to do with the final six of the Ten Commandments.
The fifth commandment, which is the first commandment in our relationships with our fellowman is, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Ex 20:12 (KJV). If you will notice this is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it (Eph. 6:2). The strength of a good society begins in the families of that society. If mothers and fathers are not respected, revered, honored, and obeyed, then that home will not be strong. If a complete society is full of dishonored parents, then that society will fall. Honoring our parents will bring respect for other people and strengthen other homes and societies. Remember, there is the promise of long life to those who “Honor your father and mother”.
The sixth commandment is, “Thou shalt not kill.” Ex 20:13 (KJV). That is the shortest one yet, but is greatly needed. One who “Love(s) thy neighbor as thyself” will not commit the act of murder. This is not a commandment against protecting one’s own life or possessions. It means, to commit no murder. The act of premeditated murder, where it is plotted and planned and even setting a “trap” to kill someone. That is the act that is forbidden here. Of course, the child of God would not desire to even take the life of anyone whether in an act against our own person, a family member or a neighbor.
This commandment does not take away the God-given right to government for sentencing and carrying out the sentence of death for a murderous or criminal offense which calls for the death penalty. Basically, this law holds the utmost respect for all human life. It should be applied to the SCNT, and abortion controversy. If we are to err let us err on the side of LIFE. SEE ALSO Matthew 5:21-22.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Ex 20:14 (KJV), is the seventh commandment, and it to has to do with our relationship with our fellowman. Adultery, of course, is speaking of what is called today as, “Having an affair”. One married individual with another married individual who are not married to one another, and it could be adultery also, if one is not married and the other is. Would you want your wife sleeping with another man, or with a woman? Would you want your husband sleeping with another woman, or a man? The act of adultery is actually the act of a thief as well (Proverbs 6:20-35). God desires that we hold sexuality in very high regard. It is cheapened when marriage is given to homosexuality, polygamy, and what ever else could follow. See what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28.
“Thou shalt not steal.” Ex 20:15 (KJV). All of these commandments show that there is to be respect for individual rights given by Holy God. The right of parents to be honored and respected. The right to a life without fear of someone else taking it away. The right to have a good, solid, godly home where husband and wife trust one another, and there are no others, and this one the right to one’s own property. It also teaches to respect personal property. If you take something belonging to someone else, you have no respect for the rights of others. Others have worked hard to get what they have. They have earned the income which gave them the power to purchase that thing that you steal. You have no right to it. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Would you want something that you have worked so hard for to be stolen from you? Of course not. Neither does your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Anyone you meet or know, and those you do not know.
The next commandment has to do with how you speak of others – your neighbor. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Ex 20:16 (KJV). How many times have the reputations of others been damaged, by knowingly false information, given by someone out to destroy them? You may think, “Well, I would never do that”. Really!!! Have you ever told a story you had heard on anyone, and it was nothing but gossip. Even if it is true, it is sometimes best to not pass on a story you have heard of someone. Not only can it destroy the person whom the story is about, but it could also come back on you. The question I have asked of the others carries over here as well. Would you like someone to tell a story on you? A person can be a “False witness” even in telling a true story, by the wrong intention of the heart. When Christ is in the heart, and reigns supremely these laws are written there with great desire to obey them for His honor and glory.
The final commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Ex 20:17 (KJV). In the New Testament “Covetousness” is called idolatry (Col. 3:5). Basically, this could be called the capstone of all the commandments. It is certain that if your heart is on other things, it is certainly not on God alone, thus, breaking the first four commandments, and it is not right with your fellowman, because you want what she/he has. Jealousy, envy, whatever you want to call it is there, and you care nothing for your neighbor. This command has to do with being satisfied with your own. Look at these admonitions from God’s Word – “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14 (KJV). “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph 5:5 (KJV). “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11 (KJV). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Tim 6:7-8 (KJV).
The Law of God written in our hearts just as God declared to the prophets. See Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26. Without Jesus death on the cross the Law condemns us, because we are powerless to obey these laws, but with Jesus as our Savior He abides in us thus fulfilling the law in our lives. Glory be to Jesus our Lord and Savior.
-by Tim A. Blankenship