Stewards of the Kingdom

“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, ‘They will reverence my son.’ But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.’ And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
“When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?”

They say unto Him, ‘He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus saith unto them,
“Did ye never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”  Matthew 21:33-44

Remember Not Our Former Iniquities

“O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
The dead bodies of Thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of Thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. How long, LORD? Wilt Thou be angry for ever? Shall Thy jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out Thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known Thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon Thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
O remember not against us former iniquities: let Thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.”  Psalm 79:1-8  (KJB)

God, My King of Old

“O God, why hast Thou cast us off for ever? Why doth Thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
Remember Thy congregation, Thou hast purchased of old; the rod of Thine inheritance, Thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein Thou hast dwelt.
Lift up Thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. Thine enemies roar in the midst of Thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees. But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of Thy name to the ground. They said in their hearts, ‘Let us destroy them together:’ they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme Thy name for ever?
Why withdrawest Thou Thy hand, even Thy right hand? Pluck it out of Thy bosom. For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”  Psalm 74:1-12  (KJB)

He Has Chosen Us In Him

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:3-14  (KJB)

The LORD is My Portion

“Preserve me, O God: for in You do I put my trust. O my soul, you have said unto the LORD, You are my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to You; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: You maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.” Psalm 16:1-7 (KJB)

When God Runs

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (KJB)

In Luke 15 Jesus tells us three beautiful stories. The first is of a Lost Sheep; the second of a Lost Coin; and the third of a Lost Son. I am dealing with the third today, knowing it is the most remembered one often called the story of the Prodigal Son.

Please read the whole chapter. I will deal mostly with this one verse.

The lost son was lost because he decided to leave the father’s house and go out on his own living (In riotous living), on his inheritance, make friends, and be set for life. He finds himself broke, busted, and bankrupt; and feeding swine, and eating with the very hogs he was feeding. His “friends” had forsaken him, since his money ran out. Something we should all remember is that even as money, the material is temporary; so are people who are friends when you have money.

I like the phrase in verse 17 which states, “And when he came to himself”. He got to thinking. His mind cleared up, and he got to thinking about his father, and the way it could be at home. He humbled himself, went back to his father, to submit to him; not as his son; but to be a servant.

He heads home, and we can see something quite clearly. The father was watching for his son’s return. I can imagine everyday, several times a day he would look down the road in the direction his prodigal son would be coming from, longing to see him treading the way back.

We see the father spotting his son at a far distance, had compassion on him; and I would imagine tears joy and happiness flowing from his eyes; and he runs to greet him. The father prepares a great feast, a party welcoming the son home.

This father represents the God of Heaven. The lost son is anyone who is away from God; out of fellowship with God, and have no joy, peace, or love in their life.

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ longs for your return. Come to your senses, and know that the Father is waiting for your return. When you start that return He will run to greet you.

When does God run? When ever His wayward child comes home.

The LORD, My Portion

“Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

The Portion of Jacob is not like them: for He is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: The LORD of Hosts is His name.” Jeremiah 10:14-16 (KJB)

The prophet lived among many people of Judah who were in pretense worshiping the LORD God, and yet they worshiped demons in the form of idolatry the other days of the week.

Some of these people may have even been the idol makers, and sold them for a profit.  After all it is only business. Right?  Wrong.  It is forbidden by God Himself to make or to set up idols.

You may be thinking, “Well people do not worship idols today”.  Really? Some of them roll around on four wheels.  We call them automobiles.  They are only a tool to serve us.  What about those things you see attached to peoples hands and ears, called “Cell phones” are they not worshiped? Some worship their children and grandchildren.  Anything can be an idol.

I have heard it said, “Man makes god in his own image”.  You know kind of a slur on God’s word where He tells us “Let Us make man in our image”.  The gods the race of Adam makes are things created by our own hands, by our own minds. These gods are weak. They can be burned. They can be destroyed. They can die.

The LORD, my Portion is not weak, but Mighty; Almighty, as a matter of fact.  The LORD, my Portion can not be burned; He cannot be destroyed; and He cannot die. He is the One who made all things; the seen and the unseen; every planet, every star, every molecule that is in the Universe. He bows to no one.

He did come to earth as a Man, the God Man Jesus Christ, and gave His life to redeem Adam’s fallen race unto Himself.

Instruction for Pastors

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.  I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:27-35

Jesus Said, ‘Follow Me’

Being A Disciple Of Jesus

Matthew 8:18-22

“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, He gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head. And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:18-22 (KJV).

ANY DESIRE FOR POPULARITY MUST BE DEALT WITH (v. 18).

* Jesus had no desire for popularity, nor should His disciples.

* The false teachers and preachers love the praises and accolades of crowds they draw by their showmanship, and “Miracles”.

THERE IS NO GUARANTEE FOR MATERIAL SECURITY – NO PLACE TO LAY YOUR HEAD – NO PROMISE OF COMFORT (vv. 19-20).

* Jesus knows the hearts of all men, and He knew the heart of this scribe, just as He knows yours and mine.

* We never hear of this man again – he is only known and remembered as “A certain scribe”, though as some kind of parable or illustration.

THERE CAN BE NO LINGERING, WAITING FOR YOUR EARTLY INHERITANCE (v. 21).

* Burying his father was not the idea, because his father was not dead, it is the inheritance that was on his mind, and that responsibility.

* We can be faithful disciples of Jesus when we disciple our families into Christ.

* The follower of Jesus Christ taking the responsibility to see that his/her family comes to Christ is the greatest achievement of that disciple.

THE COST FOR BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST IS VALUING THE ETERNAL OVER THE TEMPORAL (v. 22).

* If you determine that following Jesus is too costly, then you will lose everything ( “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 10:39).

* The life of the follower of Jesus Christ is a crucified life – “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Gal 2:20 (KJV).

* It would be more beneficial for the questioning disciple to follow Jesus; for then, there is great possibility that his family will follow too.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Greater Voice, Greater Name

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4 (KJV)

The greatest theme throughout all of Scripture is the person and name of Jesus.  He is the central character and person of the whole of the Bible including the Old Testament.  The first few verses of Hebrews tells us about the One who is the reason, and cause for all good things, including the creation of all that is.

When the Lord GOD spoke in the ages previous to the New Testament He spoke through the law and the prophets.  The people would not hear them in many cases.  They would persecute, and even kill those men who opposed the people’s own lawless agendas; and spoke God’s word concerning their hearts, souls, and minds.

To redeem mankind God sent His only Son – the One whom He sent who “in these last days” has spoken to us through.  To answer a question that one might ask; “When did the last days begin?”:  the answer to that question is; when Jesus came the first time as a baby in the manger.  I would have no argument with someone who would say that “The last days began on the day of our Lord’s crucifixion or resurrection”.  At either rate, it is closely tied to the appearance of the Incarnate God Jesus Christ.

These verses are a great strengthening to the teaching of the divinity of Christ.  He is the brightness of the glory of God.  He is the express image, or exact representation of the person of God.  God is a person, not a power; though He certainly is a power to be reckoned with.  He is God.  Our Creator.  Our Sustenance.  Our Strength.  Our Sword.  Our Shield.  Our Hope.

If anyone refuses the words of Jesus they refuse their last and final chance for life with Him through all eternity.  Believe Him today.  Receive Him.  Follow Him.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Eight

“In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” Isaiah 19:24-25 (NKJV)

These verses, are a yet to be fulfilled prophecy of the prophet Isaiah.

What do I want for Christmas?

Since the nations mentioned (Egypt and Assyria along with Israel) I want for the people of these nations to come to know the GOD of Israel, and to see the work and power of Christ Jesus on the cross to redeem all who will believe on Him;  and I want you to understand and know the One who has purchased the redemption of all who will call on His name (Romans 10:13).

Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son is the only way of peace in the Middle East and the world.

Participate in Righteousness – Inherit the Earth

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:8-10 (KJV)

Many times when I see an evil deed done, my first thought is; “Death to the evil one”. If you have any righteous thought in you at all then when you see evil done you will have the thoughts too.

Defining evil in our day has gotten a bit complicated to many though. What used to be evil is now good; and what used to be good is now evil. The complication has come in due to evil itself.

Evil through the lies of Satan has been confused by what is deemed as love, which is actually tolerance mixed up with hatred. If someone is genuinely loved those who love them will correct them when they are in error; and endeavor to aid them, and direct them the right direction. The new idea of “love” is just let them be who they are; and they continue on in their self lies and affliction, misery and sin. What would you think of a doctor who discovers a cancer in your body, but does not tell you of the cancer because he “loves” you and is willing to let you continue as you are?

The Psalmist says to us. “Relax! Don’t React!” at least not with anger. We ought always be angry with evil, and the outcome of it; but let us also realize that in the end days evil will be judged, and those who practice it will be judged, and it shall be done away.

To “Wait upon the LORD” is not sitting idly by, but to keep on believing, trusting, doing those things we know we are to do. Be busy about the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot change evil, but evil will be judged. They that wait upon the LORD shall inherit the earth, they shall also “renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). Those who “Wait upon the LORD” are the meek who inherit the earth (v. 11; Matthew 5:5), as well.

Part of living a righteous life through Jesus Christ is living a life that confronts evil with the power of the word of God, and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the strength against evil in our world. The Psalmist believed evil would lose in the end. So do we.

Put an end to the evil in your life by trusting Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, His burial and resurrection. He removes the evil, and gives you His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Dealing with Division

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 20:1-2 (KJV)

The king was experiencing the chastening of the LORD. He had been driven out of Jerusalem by his son Absalom. Absalom had been slain while hanging in an oak tree by his hair. Now, upon David’s return to the city there is a rabble rouser, a trouble maker, a division maker who speaks against the king, and calls for Israel to follow him.

There are always divisions in life. What is the reason for them in the life of a Christian? First of all they can be a source of God’s chastisement; secondly, they can be a source of strengthening one’s faith; third, they can be a way of showing the good from the bad, separating the sheep from the goats.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son spoke of divisions when he said,

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

Sheba ended up being beheaded by a woman; at least his head was delivered by her (vv. 14-22).  In the times of division, like David, the Christian must stand firm, believe the Lord, and trust that He will have His way in our life’s situation; and He will be glorified.

Wherever We Go

“Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:6-9 (KJV)

Moses was dead, and buried by God. No one knew the burial spot, nor does anyone know to this very day. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because in anger he struck the rock rather than speaking to it as God had spoken (Numbers 20:8-13).

Now Joshua by God’s decree and anointing is the leader to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

We all need encouragement from others at times. It is always great to get encouragement from the Lord’s commands; from the Lord’s word.

We see in the death of Moses what the Law could not do. It could not get them into the place of God’s promise. The name “Joshua” means “Jehovah is salvation”, and the name “Jesus” is the Greek name for Joshua. “Jesus” means “Jehovah is salvation”.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

When Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land he was fulfilling the Law. When Jesus came he came to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17-18).

We have God’s promise through the death, burial and resurrection that we have nothing to fear, and that with Christ living in us He is with us wherever we go.

Profaned

“O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.” Psalm 79:1 (KJV)

This Psalm is another of Asaph’s a patriotic poet of the day.  One who had a heart for God, and God’s people.  One who was grieved at seeing the land of Israel defiled; profaned; by unholy feet and hands.

This Psalm seems to have been written concerning the invasion of Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar’s leadership.  Of course we know this as the judgment of God on Israel for previously becoming unholy in their practices.  The prophet Jeremiah addressed this matter in his prophecy.

For those who have a heart for God and His holiness, knowing that it is God’s judgment on His own people does not ease the pain of seeing the unclean heathen nation coming in a taking it over; even removing the holy articles from the temple.

One thing we Christians can learn from this is that when a nation has been blessed by God, and turns its back on God, His word, His law, and His Spirit; then God will send invaders in judgment.

The Church has been profaned today by crossless, bloodless, Christless, unholy preaching.  Preaching that magnifies men rather than God.  It ought to grieve the hearts of men and women of God everywhere.  We ought to cry out with Asaph,

“O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.” Psalm 79:1 (KJV)

Where Our Possession Is

Where Your Possession Is

Numbers 32:20-33

1. The Land of Canaan; the Land of Promise was on the West Side of Jordan.
2. Two Tribes were Content to Be Given Land on the East Side of Jordan.
3. Agreement Was Reached; then the Half Tribe of Manasseh Wants in Too.
4. What Happens When God’s People do not Receive the Promise by Their Own Choice?

I. THE PROMISE FOR THE CHRISTIAN IS CHRIST AND HIS INHERITANCE.
II. THE CHRISTIAN CANNOT BE CONTENT OUTSIDE OF THAT PROMISE.
III. THERE WILL BE CONTINUING DISCONTENT ON THE EAST SIDE OF GOD’S PROMISE.
IV. WHERE DOES YOUR POSSESSION LIE?

 

Thus saith the Lord GOD… 012314

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance.  And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side.  And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward.  The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side. So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance,’ saith the Lord GOD.”  Ezekiel 47:13-23

Through the Bible in a Year – 022413

THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Things That Really Count
Numbers 11 – 30

In our world today everything is digital. What does that mean. Some how the “experts”, at least those in the know about such things have figured out how we can have cell phones digitally; with their towers digitally; televisions are digital now; the computers are digital.

A “digit” is defined in the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICITONARY as “any of the figures 1 to 9 inclusive and usually the symbol 0.”

Some how the numbers 1 and 0 are the link to it all. When you have the right equipment you can place those numbers in “cyber space”, pull them out with a CD player, DVD player, or HDTV picture, and you have music, movies in your home and over the air, sattelite TV.

We look in the Bible and we see Digital is nothing new with God. Numbers or Digits do count with God.

1. The People Count;

2. The Sacrifices Count;

3. Disobedience Counts toward Judgment (Chapters 11-16);

  • We see complaining of hunger in the numbers (11);
  • We see unbelief in the numbers (12-14);
  • We see envy of leadership (16);

4. There is a Prophet who Counted for Profit (23-25);

5. The Rock in the Wilderness Counts (20:7-11; Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4);

6. The Inheritance Counts for All (26-30; Romans 8:16-17).

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Christian Walk

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.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.  Wherefore He saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  Ephesians 5:5-16 (KJV)

The Christian Walk is similar to Christian Life and Living, and it is also the walk of Enoch of old, Elijah, and others.  That walk is in agreement with GOD, and His Word (Amos 3:3), and there is only one way to walk with GOD, and that is to agree with Him.

The Christian is a changed individual.  She/He will trust the Lord even when darkness seems set on derailing our walk.  We must cherish our walk with God.  Continue in it even when the way is rough, rocky, dark, and lonely.  Walk diligently, circumspectly in the Lord.

-T.A.

God’s Word Today 082212

The LORD of hosts hath sworn by Himself, saying, ‘Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillers; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.’   He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by His understanding.  When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.  Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.  They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.  The portion of Jacob is not like them; for He is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: the LORD of hosts is His name.”  Jeremiah 51:14-19 (KJV)

Also read Psalms 115 and 135.

-T.A.

Elijah’s Confrontation of Evil

There is evil in the world.  I do not think there is anyone with a clear and sober mind who would deny that is true.  The definition of evil may be different for some people.  Some who call evil good; and call good evil (Isaiah 5:20).  Our understanding of evil must be based upon how the Word of God explains evil.

It is quite clear from our understanding of Scripture that what Ahab has done is evil.  He has hated, and despised God, His Word, and His prophet greatly.  There are some who would call the victory of Mount Carmel over the prophets of Baal, “evil”, because they were all put to death.  Those who would call that evil are probably haters of God and righteousness.

Ahab was an evil king; the king of the Northern kingdom called Israel; and he had a very wicked wife.  This all become more and more apparent as we get into chapter 21 of First Kings.  There are a couple of verses I want to post in this article 21:20 and21:25.

First let me give you some background.  It seems that the wicked, vile and evil king saw something he wanted, and he sought to get it.  It was a beautiful vineyard owned by a man named Naboth.  Now, Naboth had reverence for the commandments of the LORD,

“And Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” verse 3

Naboth was thinking of the law of the LORD concerning land ownership and the law of God (Leviticus 25:23).  When Naboth refused the land to the king, Ahab went home flopped himself down on his bed, because someone stood his ground; and he pouted and moaned; and I would not be surprised to know that he also cried like a baby who did not get what he wanted at the candy store.  Guess what.  His wicked wife Jezebel, set him straight, and promised him that she would get that vineyard for him.

Jezebel set about with a scheme – a wicked and vile plan – by which she would break the ninth commandment.  “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”  She set Naboth up; set up liars against him, accused him of blaspheming God and the king.  It is not like she cared for God; because she hated and despised him as did her precious hubby.  The accusations stuck, and they took Naboth out of the city and stoned him to death (v.13).  Then, she tells Ahab, “Naboth is stoned, is dead, now go and claim your vineyard.

The prophet of fire hears of this evil deed the king and queen has devised and performed; because “the Word of the LORD came to Elijah”; and God’s Word to Ahab is this,

“And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?’ And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” 1 Kings 21:19 (KJV)

The Word of the LORD is spoken thus it shall be done.  Notice how the wicked king responds, and Elijah’s response to that,

“And Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?’ And he answered, ‘I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20

He sees Elijah as an enemy.  It should be quite clear to all that if Elijah was his enemy; Ahab hated the Word of God, hated God, and he hated God’s prophet; thus Ahab considered God his enemy.  The love of God for Ahab is quite apparent in these verses.  He has sent Elijah time and time again to warn him, give him direction, and prove Himself to Ahab, but Ahab refuses the mercy, grace and love of God.

The two verses I mentioned at the beginning, was verse 20, and the last part of that verse,

 “I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” verse 20

and verse 25,

“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”

Elijah tells Ahab, “You have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the LORD”.  Just what does it mean to “sell yourself”.  When one sells themself; they are no longer the one in control.  Their owner is in control.  The owner of Ahab, and his wife Jezebel was their lustful, vile, and evil desires for possessions, power and prestige.  Ahab sold himself to do evil.  He loved evil and hated righteousness.

When Ahab hears the word of God he humbles himself (vv. 27-29).  My first thought would be to say that he only humbled himself because he knew he was caught; but God knows the man’s heart.  Nevertheless the word of God is true.  It will not be voided; it will come to pass just as the LORD has spoken (1 Kings 22:27-29 and 2 Kings 9:30-37).  It has been said, “Some sow their wild oats, then pray for a crop failure”.  Some may sin against God, His Word and His prophets again and again, but judgment is coming.

O hear the Word of God.  Repent of your sins and be saved through the blood of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ.  Confront the evil of your life today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 47 – The Wisdom of Proverbs

There is much we can learn from reading the proverbs of the Bible.  I am not commenting about the verses I post today except to show them to you for your perusal, and pray you will go to the book itself, and read them.  There is much wisdom to gain by reading and applying them.

My reading today was Proverbs 15 – 28.  I post some of the verses I marked as I read.

From chapter 16 –

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

Chapter 19 –

 “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” 19:21

Chapter 20 –

“An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.”  20:21
“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” 20:24

From 21 –

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” 21:1
“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” 21:3
“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” 21:5

From chapter 22 –

“The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.”  22:2
“The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and He overthroweth the words of the transgressor.” 22:12
“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.” 22:13

Chapter 23 –

 “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” 23:4-5

From 24 –

“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” 24:17-18
“These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.  He that saith unto the wicked, ‘Thou art righteous;’ him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: but to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.” 24:23-25

Chapter 26 –

“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” 26:12
“The slothful man saith, ‘There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.'” 26:13
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” 26:20-22

Chapter 27 –

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” 27:12

and the final chapter of the day 28 –

“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.” 28:2
“To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” 28:21
“When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.” 28:28

May the wisdom of Solomon and Hezekiah lead you to a closer walk with our Creator through faith in His finished work of Calvary’s cross.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 37 – Thoughts from Psalms; Waiting

The word wait is use nine times in the reading for today.  My reading was from Psalms 24 – 37.  Waiting is not a pleasant thing to do; especially in today’s fast moving world.

We wait in traffic.  We wait for that job interview and job that is going to put us in a higher income bracket, and maybe on “easy street”.  We wait at the doctor’s office.  We wait in the Emergency Room.  We wait for news of family and friends to come.  It seems when we are anxiously waiting that it takes forever coming; whatever it is we are waiting for.

We are admonished by Scripture and these Psalms,

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 (KJV)

Expectantly is the idea of “Wait on the LORD”.  Trusting Him in the time when things do not seem to be happening.  What are we to do while we are “Waiting on the LORD”?  We do what we know to do, keep on going, keep on trusting, but by His directives and plan; not our own.

“Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” 25:3-5

There will be no shame for those who are waiting on God; ie, trusting in Him.  Too many times we jump ahead of what God wants us to do, and we end up making messes of our lifes situation.  That is seen in the business world, and the spiritual lives of people.

A Christian business man may know to trust the LORD in his business situation, yet a need may arise for a certain type of qualified individual who can get the job done, and he takes the first one who comes along, and things end up in a mess.

I fear there are far too many churches, and Christians who are having worship services that are geared to fleshly activity rather than divine worship; because they want to “prime the pump” so to speak, getting ahead of what God’s word teaches, and instilling their own devices.  In this we end up with a mess; outside God’s directive and plan; where He is not truly worshipped and praised.  We feel good, but God does not.  No shame will come to those who wait on God.

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.” 37:7-9

The word “wait” and “patiently” are used together in the first part of these verses and the idea is a bit different.  It seems that it is almost a painful thing, sort of like an exercise of building strength, character, or patience.  I do not know if you have ever prayed for patience, but I can almost assure that if you have, or when you do, something will come along which will build up patience in you; a trial of great pain and sorrow.  It was the apostle Paul who said,

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience…” Romans 5:3

“Waiting on the LORD” means also that we are living His way, not our own.  Let me end this commentary today with these words,

“Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” 37:34

His way is found in Scripture, the Bible, and these words tell us of the One who would come to take away our sin and its condemnation.  That one is Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.  He told us, after His death, burial and bodily resurrection that He would return.  Let us who believe Him, and trust Him wait patiently for that blessed hope and glorious return.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preserved Through the Fire

1 Peter 1:3-5 — “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”

There is certainly assurance in these words of God’s ability to keep us for Himself and His own glory. That assurance has been called “Blessed assurance”. It truly is a blessed assurance when you know that Jesus died for your sins, that He was buried – carrying all our sins away; and that He arose from death. Not only was sin conquered, and carried away, but it was defeated. It can no longer condemn the redeemed.

By the mercy of God He has given us a new birth, and that birth is by a heavenly see. His mercy is an abundant mercy which is based on His everlasting love. The love of Jesus Christ is seen for us, in that he allowed vile, evil and wicked men to beat, whip, mutilate, and nail Him to a wooden cross for our sins. It is by grace through faith in Jesus that we are “Born again” to spiritual renewal and life.

It is a “Lively hope” or ‘living hope’ given by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I was once asked the question, “If Jesus’ life was a gift given on the cross for death; how can that continue to be a gift if He rose bodily from the grave?” My answer to that is – He gave His life as an atonement for sin; He died and in His death He took sin with Him; in rising again, bodily, from the grave He shows that sin is done (sin’s bondage, condemnation, death is done), but life continues through Him. I do not know it that is clear enough, and it most likely involves much, much more; but I think that gives us a good message. Without the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave there is absolutely no hope for anyone – as Paul the apostle said, “We are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). It is because of Jesus’s resurrection that we are assured of eternal life; and eternal life begins with faith in His finished work – by His grace.

This resurrection life in Christ has an eternal inheritance. The inheritance is massive. It is this – what ever Jesus has is ours. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” Romans 8:16-17 (KJV). You will notice that in these verses of Romans that we inherit His suffering and that is the only thing mentioned with the exception of, “Also glorified together”. Suffering with Him and His glory are very closely related.

We often think of “Inheritance” as great wealth, riches, comfort, etc., but that is not the case when it comes to Jesus. The so called “Word of Faith” people would have us believe we are to inherit it all right here and almost right now. The Word of God tells us suffering is part of our inheritance, then glorification with Him. The inheritance we have in Jesus is “incorruptible” meaning that it will not rust, rot, mildew, or decay; and it is forever. We are also told that it is “undefiled” – it is clean, holy, pure – nothing can defile it. Also it “fadeth not away” – this inheritance is never wasted, spent up, or bankrupt. It is reserved in heaven for all who belong to Jesus. It is reserved in your name, by God, and that makes it the most sure thing you or I have going for us. It is more sure than your next breath of air.

Those who follow Jesus are “kept by the power of God” for the salvation we have to be revealed in that latter day. By the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit we are moving closer to the completion of our/His salvation. That work of His on the cross is complete, there can no more be done for our atonement, but the sanctifying of the Spirit is at work, right now, fitting us for His Kingdom, and His presence. Even when we sin and our fellowship with Him is broken He still holds on to us, and by His Spirit and His Word He moves us back into His will. By the sanctifying work and the power of the Spirit of God we are PRESERVED THORUGH THE FIRE.

-T.A.

Observations From Numbers 021911

Reading today from Numbers chapters 31 – 33.

The observations today will come from chapter 33 verses 50-56.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.  And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.   But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.  Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.'”  Numbers 33:50-56 (KJV)

At this point the children of Israel are nearing the time of their entrance into the Promised Land.  GOD is preparing them for their entry.  As you read the above chapters you will see that there are two tribes plus a half tribe who have requested to stay on the East side of the Jordan River and inherit that land rather than the land on the West of Jordan.  Those tribes are Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.  They were to send their fighting men across Jordan to fight for the land; or lose their inheritance on the East side.  Their preparations were made, the agreement was reached; and then the preparations for the West side were to be made.

In reading the above Scripture text we don’t find the word “If you pass over the Jordan into the land…”  It is “When”.  So with the LORD this was a sure thing that Israel was to do.  When they entered the land they were to drive out the inhabitants; destroy their pictures, images, high  places [places of their demon worship], and take the land for their own.  Once they possessed the land they were to make it their home.

Once they had driven out the inhabitants they were to divide the land between the tribes and each tribes people.  The more people there was in a tribe the more land they would receive.  The less people there was in a tribe the less land they were to receive.  It was a fair way of dividing the land.

It was by the command of the LORD to drive out the inhabitants, even destroy them, putting an end to the evil of their immorality, and demon worship.  Now, some reading this are going to think and say, “This shows how mean and cruel this god of yours is.”  Rather, it shows how holy, just and gracious He is.  Our LORD has given these people over 400 years to repent and change their ways (Genesis 15:12-16).  Now God is cleansing the land and His people in the process.

We must realize that sin is a grievous thing in the eyes of GOD.  It is a dreadful thing, and until we see sin as GOD does there is no hope for us.

How do these passages relate to the Christian?  Paul the apostle spoke of these things being “ensamples” for the Christian,

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  1 Corinthians 10:6-12 (KJV)

These also apply to the Christian as an example of how the Christian life is a battle against sin, and the devil who desires to destroy anything which belongs to Christ; he desires to destroy our walk with Christ, therefore we must put on the spiritual armor of Ephesians 6:10 ff.  We must drive out the evil desires of the flesh.  We must hate what is evil as GOD does and love what is good and holy.  Anyone who would tell us, “The Christian life is a breeze; it’s easy” is a bald faces liar; or just doesn’t know what they are talking about.  It is a battle.  The inheritance is in Christ Jesus.  We are “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

Remember to read Numbers 31 – 33 for today.

-Tim A. Blankenship