Observations From Matthew – 031111

Reading today from Matthew 23 – 25.

After doing my reading this morning, I was wondering what I should post this morning for the Scripture reading over on our church blog, and our son James called and told me about a huge earthquake which had just happened in Japan.  Now, there are tsunami warnings out for all the West coast of the continental USA, Alaska, that they were vacating the Island’s of Hawaii, and Australia and other places.  It just reminds me of the reminders our Lord gives that He will return.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  Matthew 24:36-39 (KJV)

“You Christians have been saying that for years, and it hasn’t happened yet.”  You could even say, “It has been being said, for about two thousand years”, and I would even go further than that.  God has been telling us that since near the beginning, because through Enoch was written the words,

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  Jude vv. 14-15

and Enoch lived before Noah (Genesis 5:24).

We need not ask “When is Jesus Christ Returning?”   We do need to ask, “Is my life ready for His return if He were to come today?”  Since we do not know the day or the time we need to be drawing near to God through His Son Jesus each and every day through His Word and prayer, committing our lives to holy living through the power of His Spirit who lives in those who have called on the name of Jesus Christ.

If you will look around you today you will see much chaos.  Economic upheaval, National and international catastrophe, Political upheaval in all shapes and sizes; democratic, republics, dictatorships, anarchy.  Yet I believe God still reigns.  He is on His throne, and prayer changes things and people for the glory of God.

We have all these chaotic things going on, yet some people pay no mind, no attention to these matters; they just keep on partying, marrying, giving in marriage; and making no change to the way they live.  It is time to direct our hearts to the LORD of hosts.  He has directed His eyes toward us.  He has sent us His Son Jesus to die for our sins; made a way for all who will believe to call on Him and be brought into fellowship with Him.

You may think, “I can’t change.  I have tried many times and failed”.  To that I say, “No you can’t change yourself.”  However, God can change you.  Admit to Him that you are a sinner, that you are powerless, and submit yourself to His grace, call on Him, believe and be saved.

-Tim A. Blankenship

All Wise Savior

“To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 25 (NKJV).

In this closing statement by Jude he clearly declares the deity of the One we call Savior. “To God our Savior”. Anyone, person or religious organization who would deny the deity of Jesus Christ; or decrees deity to all who could or would achieve the “christ-spirit” or whatever they would call it; denies the very heart of Christ Jesus; therefore they do not know Him. They are in fact worshipping a different “Jesus”; a demon.

The Jesus whom Jude, Peter, James, John; and Matthew, Mark and Luke write of is Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, who is God made flesh, and “dwelt among us”. He alone is the One who died for the sins of the whole world, was buried in a dead human body; and rose victoriously over sin, death and hell in a glorified human body. If you don’t know the Jesus who died as the incarnate God, was buried as the incarnate God, and rose again as the bodily form of God, then you know not my Jesus.

Jude gives Jesus as the One “who alone is wise”. We can read the eighth and ninth chapters of Proverbs, and you see the Personification of wisdom, and that Person is none other than Jesus the Christ. Solomon is often given credit as being “the wisest man who ever lived”, but then, there is Jesus; the One who gave Him His wisdom. Jesus was wise to follow the guidance and direction of His heavenly Father. He desired to always do those things which pleased His Father, even to the death on the cross.

The glory of Jesus is in the fact that He did the Father’s will. We have all sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Jesus came, as like sinful men, yet without sin, and Himself was the glory of God on earth. He fulfilled the task which the first Adam failed to fulfill. As followers of Jesus Christ, and by imputation – the reckoning of God – we fulfill the glory of God. When we see Jesus we will see Him in all His glory and majesty. A couple of things we have which are symbols of majesty on earth are the eagle in the sky, and the lion. These pale in comparison to the majesty of Jesus.

With Jesus is all power, and He rules in the hearts of rulers, and will ultimately have His way in this world. One day the Lord Jesus will return to this earth, will overthrow the kingdoms of this world, and its rulers, and He Himself will rule, and sin will no more have rule and dominion in the hearts and minds of men or women. These qualities which Jude ascribes to Jesus are given to Him also by the angels, and the saints in heaven according to Revelation 4:10, 11; 5:12-14.

Give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father by believing in Jesus, and the work He has done on the cross, becoming sin for us, receiving the wrath of God that was ours, taking our sins away in His burial, then, rising victoriously over it all. Proving once and for all that He is all that He said He is. Proving that there is life after death, and that eternal life is found solely through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

“To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

-Tim A. Blankenship

Without Fault

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…” Jude 24 (NKJV).

Can you imagine standing in a courtroom, you are the defendant, all the evidence has been given; you are guilty; you did the crime, and you figure that the judge is going to “throw the book” at you; sentencing you to the full extent of the law. You pled guilty, and the judge steps up to the judge’s seat, sits down, looks at his book of evidence; then, he says, “Not guilty, by reason of substitution. Someone else has already paid for the crime.”

Wouldn’t that send a relieving shock through your mind, your heart? It does mine. We are all guilty before the great Judge who is Almighty God, the Creator of all that is. We have sinned – for those who do not understand what sin is; you/we have broken God’s law, we have stepped out of His will to do our own will, and made our own laws for ourselves – we have disobeyed His laws.

God, who is holy, righteous, and just could not fellowship with what was vile, unclean, and unholy, unrighteous, and unjust. Because He loved us so extremely much, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay our sin debt. There on that cross there was a transaction between the Father and Son which we cannot fully understand. The Father poured out all His wrath toward sin, upon that precious Son, and the Son submitted Himself to the Father’s will. Jesus, in fact, “became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and was “wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). The Father, Himself struck His own Son in wrath for my sins and yours. The debt of sin is paid.

Jude tells us, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.“ Not only is He able to keep us, but He is also able to present us before the presence of the glory of the Father “faultless”. We will one day stand before the Judge of all men, women, boys and girls – those who have received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior – and will hear the Judge say, “Not guilty; there is no fault here”, and all because of the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross of calvary.

Those who have not received this gracious gift of God. Have shunned the truth of God’s Word, the gospel of Jesus Christ, will one day stand before this Judge, and will hear Him say, “I never knew you. Depart from me into everlasting judgment.” That is not what you want, and I do not want that for you. If I have any enemy, other than the devil himself, I do not want that for them. Seek the face of God. Turn from your sins to Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness with Him alone. There is Cleansing through Him and only Him. There is eternal life by the power of His resurrection, and it is yours by grace through faith in Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Growing Your Faith

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…” Jude 24 (KJV).

The letter by Jude begins with words of assurance, encouragement, and promise. So Jude ends the letter the same way it began. It is so easy to get into a negative mindset. It is easy to see only the negative apostate teachings, and think what is the use.

Most of Jude’s letter has been concerning apostate teachers who come into the churches to deceive, and lead believers away from truth. We surely must continually stand our ground in faith of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and that is – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and the promise of His soon coming.

With assuring confidence Jude points us to the One and only One who is worthy of all praise. That is, of course, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Redeemer, Sanctifier, Satisfier, Sustainer, and Friend. It is in Him and Him alone that we can have assurance of faith. The faith Jesus gives us is the faith that never stops. It is the faith of Abraham – faith, that even after 25 years of hearing and believing the promise, no son, yet the son is born. That son was Isaac. It is the faith of Job who was one of the most blessed men of God who ever lived, and was blessed with many material blessings, yet, when he lost it all he said, “The LORD giveth, and the LORD taketh away” (Job 1:21); and Job also said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). That is the faith that Jesus gives us by grace. It is the faith that saves and keeps us saved. It is the genuine work of God, not of flesh. It is the faith that works. It is the faith that endures to the end.

We need messages of encouragement, promise, and hope sometimes; and we need the messages which warn us of apostate teachers and their teachings. We need messages of exhortation which show us how to live, love, confront the evil, and defend ourselves against what is evil. We have this promise, “Unto Him who is able to keep you from falling…”. It is the power of our Omnipotent Lord Jesus Christ who will hold us and keep us from falling into the lying snares, and comforting, soothing temptations of the easy life talkers, and false gospel preachers and teachers.

At the beginning of this letter Jude uses the phrase, “…preserved in Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is the initiator of our salvation, and He also sees to it that once that salvation has been initiated in our hearts and lives He also will complete it. Paul the apostle wrote these inspired words to the church at Philippi, “…Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6).

Everyday of the Christian is a day of God’s work in our lives. God sees to it that there is nothing in our walk with Him that does not work for our good and His glory. We are submissive to Him; and if we are not on one day, we soon know it. We are obedient to His commandments; and if we are not He will correct us. If we get out of His will the true child of God – follower of Jesus Christ – will indeed be the most miserable person there is. The Holy Spirit in us is not comfortable with sin in the same vessel, and it will be cut out. Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “God will not allow His children to sin successfully”. If you can sin, enjoy it, and get away with it without correction from God and His Spirit, you are not His; you have no hope for eternity with Christ, and you are without hope.

You must look to the cross of Jesus. That is the place where our sin debt was paid in full. Look to Christ and live eternally with Him. Confess your sins (disobedience to God’s laws and commandments, your hatred for God, and all that is right and good), repent, ie., turn from the direction you are going, and go the other way. The way you are going without Christ is the road to destruction, and eternal fire. Turn and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Fearful Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Tim A. Blankenship

Fiery Salvation

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

There are a couple of ways of approaching these two verses, ie. verses 22 and 23. Some see three groups of people who are being associated with the apostates, yet it seems to me that there are only two. The first being those who need compassion from those who are holding to the truths of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ; and the other group being those who are so heavily involved in the worship of “Faith” that they need more than compassion, but hasteful warnings, as though snatching them from a fire.

We are often warned about being too hasty in some matters. There are some times, and some people who may require our haste. For example; Suppose you are driving down your road from home, and pass by a neighbor’s home, and you see fire where fire is not supposed to be. Do you drive on? Do you stop and investigate? In the investigation you find if the fire is allowed to continue it could very well burn the neighbor’s house down. You knock on the door, but there is no response. Do you just leave? A good neighbor would do their best to stop that fire, call the fire department, and do what is necessary to save the home and any possible lives who may be inside, if any. That requires a bit of haste.

We look at the lives of people involved in these false religions, ensnared by the false teachings, because these teachings make them feel so good about themselves; and it is actually a fire, a spiritual fire which is burning, taking the very souls of these individuals further away from truth and the Lord GOD. We should be caring enough to take time and address these matters. Sure there is going to be offense, but doesn’t the lies, the deception, the false teaching of the apostates, and their pride offend the true gospel of Jesus Christ, denying the power of the cross of Christ and His resurrection.

When will those professing Christ learn, and realize that being a Christian is not about achieving this world’s goods. The Christian life is about the praise and glory of the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The glory of God is done through the power of the cross, His burial, and resurrection, and the promise of His coming again. The glory of God is seen in His power to work in the trials and troubles of every Christian’s life. God is glorified in the life of a Christian who despite cancer and dying from it continues to give praise to the name of Jesus throughout the whole ordeal, then goes on to be with Jesus in Heaven. The glory of God is seen in a man and wife who loves the Lord despite financial hardship, and even into bankruptcy.

That is not what the false teachers are teaching. That is not what they want you to hear. That is, however, what God teaches us in His Word, and it is what He wants you to know and hear.
It is with great urgency we should deal with those engrained in the lies of false teaching and teachers. It is also with “fear” that we should consider our own faith in Jesus as we deal with them. Prayer, daily being in the Word of God, and walking with God daily is the only way to confront them, with the truth and love of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Distinct Compassion

“And on some have compassion, making a distinction…” Jude 22 (NKJV).

We will be looking today at a group on whom Jude is calling for Christians to have compassion. There are times when we Christians are seen as being without compassion. The definition for “compassion” is: ’sympathetic feeling: PITY, MERCY.’ That is according to THE MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY. It is for those who have experienced mercy to give or show mercy.

We have already seen that we are all responsible for our own growth in our Lord Jesus Christ. There are, however, many who have fallen victim to false teaching, and the teachers of it. These victims of apostate teachers need us to show them great mercy, because they are some who have not reached a firm conviction of who Jesus truly is, about eternal life, and they remain unsure, doubtful, and could be persuaded of the truth of the identity of Jesus Christ.

Most Christians probably know some who have sit, or presently are sitting under the teaching of a man, or a woman, who is leading them away from the truth of Jesus Christ. These teachers proclaim, in the name of Jesus, things that lessen the power of the cross of Christ. They magnify “faith” over truth. Magnifying “faith” over truth is done by focusing more on what you can have, ie., wealth, health, etc., but there is no teaching on growing in the Lord Jesus and becoming more like Him. These apostate teachers may in fact, teach that you can become “Christ”. I recently heard of an apostate group who believe that the universe revolves around the earth, and that the King James Version of the Bible is God in written form.

We must have “compassion” on those who have fallen into these cultic practices, and beliefs. It is tragic that there are those who would develop followers unto themselves, and lead them astray from the Lord Jesus. I have always said, and believe, that I want no one to elevate me, or see me in a position of grandeur. I am solely a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God, through the death – shed blood of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection. And I, like most Christians; am looking forward to the day when we can see Jesus our Lord and Savior face to face, and live in His eternal presence.

When we see those who have been led astray; we must have compassion, give them the truth; in love; and trust the Holy Spirit of God to show them the way. When someone has sit under false teaching for a long time it may take much compassion, and patience with good Bible teaching to deliver them from the snare of the apostates.

Let us be strong. Let us be compassionate. Let us let others see the true Jesus and His truth in us. There are doubters in this world that are still open to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us love them like Jesus would. Let us show mercy with our words and our lives.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

In The Love Of God

“…Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 21 (NKJV).

We are continuing with the theme of personal and individual Christian responsibility. It is our personal responsibility, led by the Spirit of God, God’s Word, and through praying in the Spirit to build up our faith (v. 20). It is also the personal responsibility of every Christian to keep themselves “in the love of God”.

That “keep yourselves in the love of God” is accomplished much like “building your faith”, and that is through the power of God in us; given us at our new birth. That power is the presence of the Spirit of God. Paul wrote to the Romans, and one of the things he was inspired by the Spirit of God to write was, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Romans 8:9b). The “Spirit of Christ” is the same Holy Spirit who lives in all believers/followers of Christ Jesus. That Spirit is the same Holy Spirit who lived and abided in Jesus as He lived and ministered walking on earth.

The love of God cannot be taken from us. We have this promise of God from another of the apostle Pauls writings, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 8:38-39, NKJV). The love of God is immeasurable. It is wonderful. It is powerful. The love of God is really beyond the common man’s grasp; anyone’s grasp. It can only be received as a gift, a gift from the giver of love.

“Keeping ourselves in the love of God” is done through persevering in the faith. Ministering to others in love, expecting nothing in return. To be always faithful in obedience and faithful in living out the salvation which has been so freely given to us.

We are to always be “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” by the expectant heart for the return of Jesus Christ. That will be the fulfillment of His mercy. That should be the expectation of the heart of every believer. Looking for the return of Christ Jesus. Jude was looking for that day. That will be the day of mercy, unlike any other day we have seen. It was so good and wonderful and gracious of the Lord to give us assurance of salvation, grace and mercy on that day we knelt before Him acknowledging Him as Lord, and receiving Him as our Savior, by His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection; and put within the heart of every follower of Jesus Christ is the desire to see Him face to face.

Remain in the place of obedience. The MacArthur Study Bible note for this verse notes, “It means to remain in the place of obedience where God’s love is poured out on His children, as opposed to being disobedient and incurring His chastening (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27-31; Heb. 12:5-11). Keeping ourselves in the “love of God” is done through an obedient love for God. It is not a task or a burden. It is really a joy for the true child of God to live in and keep the love of God. It is also a joy to live for and expect that day when Jesus comes and takes us to be forever with Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

You Are Responsible

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…” Jude 20 (NKJV).

Jude, clearly is writing to Christian brethren by the statement, “But you, beloved…” The “Beloved” is the clearest that it could be. He has been and is warning the brethren to guard our hearts and minds concerning what we hear taught.

It is often too easy to blame others when and if we get bad teaching, such as comes from apostate, heretical teachers. It is, however, every Christians responsibility to stand guard on their own hearts and lives concerning what they put into their minds. If we go astray after hearing false teaching, there is really no one to blame but ourselves.

The apostate’s will give an accounting of what they have done, what they have taught, and then, they will be cast into eternal darkness, unless they have previously repented, received the true Jesus, and their is eternal fruit in their lives and living.

Jude is about to end his letter to the Christians to whom he is writing, and ends with words of encouragement, and exhortation. We Christians of today need these powerful words as well. They are for Christians of every culture, century, and millennium. With these words he encourages us to “build up yourselves in your most holy faith”. It is individual’s responsibility to feed, tend, care, and grow in the faith. In the end there will be no one to blame for our slouchy, lazy, shoddy, and weak life; but ourselves.

It is our own personal responsibility to see that we sit under the teaching of teachers who will build up Jesus Christ, magnify the cross of Jesus, and when I say the “Cross of Jesus” I refer to His death, burial, and resurrection – The cross of Jesus speaks of His redemptive, imputational, work on that tree as He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is our own personal responsibility to see that we not depend on teachers, and their teaching, but that we discover for ourselves the revelation of God and His Word. Good teachers will teach you how to study the Word of God for yourself, and encourage and motivate you to do so. It is a bad and sad teacher who would tell you to depend on his/her teaching alone, and that you can have no understanding apart from them and their teaching.

Our own, individual study and reading of the Word of God is a necessity if we do not want to be led astray. There are ample living and dead examples of bad teachers; even heretical teachers who caused the death of many people, because they had been led astray. Each one of those people will give an individual accounting before God one day of why they listened and followed such a teacher and their teaching.

A better, and clearer understanding of Scriptures will come through study, and “Praying in the Holy Spirit…” This praying is a genuine, sincere, dedicated prayer that is the same as praying “In the name of Jesus”. When you pray in the Spirit and the name of Jesus you pray for things which will bring honor and glory to His name. You ask for things that He would ask. You seek for those things that He is seeking. You keep on knocking at the door for the things He keeps knocking at the door. Praying in the Holy Spirit is God honoring, Christ glorifying, and never contrary to the will of God.

Along this same line of thought the apostle Peter wrote, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV). It is our personal responsibility to grow in faith, and to become more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just as no one can be delivered from sin for you, thus, can no one do your study, and heart and mind preparations for you. How you grow is dependent upon what you eat.

Grow in Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Sensual Division

“Remember the words…by the apostles… How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” Jude 18-19 (NKJV).

A continual warning, and caveat’ to stand your ground, be faithful, follow the teachings of the apostles, etc.; is much needed, but too many of our minds can become redundant. We need to be encouraged by the words of Jude and the words of any preacher who is teaching us to stand guard over our heart, and against the teachings and teachers which would lead us away from the truth.

These apostates are actually haters of God; yet use the name of God to have their way in Christian circles. Jude in no way is saying to us that all true teachers of God’s Word are infallible, but that they will be faithful to proclaiming the truth of God. We can all make mistakes. It seems that we, in our humanity are almost prone to make one now and then, just to remind us that we are still, in fact, fallen creatures; who have been redeemed by the perfect Savior.

However, these apostate heretics, are those who purposely teach doctrines contrary to God and His Word to draw a following for themselves, put their fleeced flocks money in their own pockets, and live in lavish homes, and estates. Now, before any one flies off the proverbial handle, let me add that there is nothing wrong with having or gaining wealth; as long as it has been done by hard work and labor; without taking advantage of the weak; and God is given all the glory for it. God gives wealth to enable those with it to be stewards and help the weak; and that includes the widow, the orphan, the poor, and downtrodden. These take no thought of others, however. The lavish homes and estates are almost their personal trademarks.

They are “sensual”, and that can be greedy, filled with lusts; and lusts can be for anything including power, position, popularity, and pomp. When the truth is not proclaimed, the one proclaiming that which is contrary to the truth are the dividers. That is something we always need to remember.

One of the teachings which is popular among many churches and pastors is the teaching about sex, using Scripture, but using the most lewd, crude, and shocking forms of “language” that can be heard today. “It’s part of our culture” those using it say. “They will not listen unless we speak that way”, they continue. We are always to speak the language which will glorify our Lord, and His language is not lewd, crude, or “shock jock” style. The Bible deals with sexual matters many times, but always treating it with respect, and even mystery; and so should those who are supposedly trying to teach people. In many cases using sensual language which inspires lust, rather than genuine love; they destroy the purity of God’s Word and its teaching. These are sensual dividers.

These types of talks draw the crowds; just as motor crosses, NASCAR, boxing, wrestling and the Olympics. Little for the glory of God is done in any of the these events. They are for some to make money, and others to spend and or lose it. It may be popular, but popular does not make it holy or right.

Many times, when the one who comes in exposing the lies for what they are, they are always the one who is accused of causing division. It is the one’s who are teaching and preaching the lies who are the dividers. The division-makers do not have the Spirit of God, and if not dealt with by the truth, and with firmness, will themselves be inhabitants of hell. They must be confronted, and given the opportunity of repentance, and finding genuine peace with God.

Be strong in the faith. Grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Confront and hate the evil, and expose it. Love the good, and the godly. Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.

-Tim A. Blankenship

God Speaks Through The Apostles

“But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Jude 17 (NKJV).

After having dealt some very hard words concerning those who have attempted, and at times came into some of the churches with their poisonous words, their deceit, their division, and heresy; Jude now comes back to the one’s he is writing this letter to.

The reader, who is the “beloved” of Jude. The “beloved”, of course, are those who know the Lord Jesus Christ. They have heard the words of the Lord Jesus as spoken by the apostles, and written in their letters. The writings of the apostles are indeed the word of the Lord to His Church.

How important is it that we remember the words spoken by the apostles? It is very important if we are to grow strong in the faith of the Lord. It is very important if we are to know the truth. It is of the utmost importance if there is a false teaching which is infiltrating the Church, and leading the people away from Christ, and into false worship, and into immoral living and immoral lifestyles. In short; the writings of the apostles; such as Peter, James, John, and Paul are the very words of our Lord for knowing the Lord Jesus and growing in Him.

With the apostles writings (Letters) we can know the teachings of Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification. We can know also the teachings of the sinfulness of mankind, and his eternal destiny. We can know what is true from what is false. We can know that there are many Jesus’es in the world, and the one who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, who rose bodily from the grave, and left us the promise of His coming again is the true one. We can know that the one who said, “I and My Father are one”, and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”, and “Before Abraham was, I am” is the true Jesus Christ. Any other Jesus is not the true one.

We can know that anyone or any group, angel or church, who teaches any other Jesus is not a true worshipping body of Jesus Christ. We can know that there should be shame on anyone calling themselves “Pastor”, “Teacher”, or “Preacher” who will not expose these false teachers and teachings; and is ashamed of the truth, a coward, and most likely does not know Him.

Do not listen to those who tell you, “We cannot know the absolute truth”. The absolute truth is found in the pages of the Word of God. That is the writings of the apostles and the prophets. The Old and the New Testaments are the Word of God. The prophets wrote of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, and they longed to see His day. We have before us the written Word of God which tells us of a day He will come again, and that we will behold Him face to face.

Hear the Word of God. Trust God and His Word. Believe and act according to His Word and will. Glorify the Lord Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Grumbling Apostates

“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.” Jude 16 (NKJV).

Jude still speaking/writing of the apostate heretics who lead the people of God astray if they will not stand guard over their minds and hearts; calls them grumblers, complainers. Have you ever heard a “grumbler”? These people may profess Jesus as Savior, and they have tasted of the goodness of God, seen the power of God, and are not satisfied with God.

This same type of behavior called “murmuring” in the King James Version, and is similar to the murmuring going on in the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. The apostates are never satisfied with God. They do not know God, or they would not be apostates. They have never known God, or they would not be apostates. Why is it people can witness and see the power and glory of God and walk away, go into their homes or place of business, their car, or anywhere and there grumble about the lack of God’s care, love and intervention in their lives.

Many a time when a professing Christian has tragedy come into their lives; a loss of a loved one, a very bad automobile accident, sickness, disease they ask the question, “Why did God do this to us?” or “Why did God allow this to happen to us?” They become angry with God. These questions come to us in times of tragic events, but the child of God never lingers in them. We have seen the power of God and we give Him glory through these events, by clinging to the Lord Jesus, believing He is going to bring us through this for His glory and our good.

The apostate will not find peace with God, but continue grumbling, and always finding fault with God. What do you think calling Jesus a “Wimp” is? If not finding fault with God. One prominent, “Word of faith” preacher has called Jesus a wimp on the cross dying for our sins. One prominent television talk show host is constantly talking about finding god within you, or something along that line. That is actually finding fault with God, because it is not enough that there is one God who has loved us so much He gave His only Son to die for our sins; so we must have god in our image.

These are apostates not satisfied with God, and making god like they want him. They are grumblers, complainers. “Complainers” are always finding fault with the good. The devil himself fits into this category; he complained against God, and attempted to take over heaven; but was cast out. Cain was a complainer, and wanted god his own way. Apostates are the same way; wanting god their way.

The apostates are also flatterers. They make people feel good about themselves. “You can achieve anything, if you only believe” are words many will say, while asking for your dollars. “Believe in yourself” is another phrase that is being passed around today, and sadly in many “churches” as well. The apostate heretics teaching these things are only grabbing the fame, fortune, and supposed future they desire. At the same time abusing the Word of God for their pleasure, and leading multitudes into hell. They will meet their victims there; unless they repent and turn solely to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust only in the finished work of Christ on His cross.

Guard your heart and mind against the flattering words of the preachers and teachers who refuse to preach the power of the cross – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and His coming again. When they refuse to preach and teach the cross of Jesus, they are in effect; not preaching Jesus at all.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Amusing Mind Of The Ungodly

“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’” Jude 14-15 (NKJV).

It is really a sad thing to think, but there are millions of people who really have no respect for God, or the things that are holy. They can awake every morning and not be thankful to their Creator for another day of life. They can take that first step of the day and not even think of who gave them that step. With the next beat of their heart they are not even aware of the One who made that heart or gave it that beat. They are not in awe of God, nor do they think of their eternal destiny.

These are people who may have compassion on others they see hurting because of poverty, or storms, or sickness and disease. They will endeavor to help in whatever way they can, but they give no thought to God. They are humanitarians, but have no heart for God. The truth of that matter is, that most likely, they are humanitarians because they want to shove the eternal God as far away from their thoughts as they possibly can. They want to answer to no one, and especially the eternal God. They do not want to give an accounting of their lives to the authority of their lives.

These are the people of whom Jude refers, and of whom the prophet Enoch was also referring. The judgment which is coming is on all who are ungodly, for all their ungodly deeds, committed in ungodly ways, and the ungodly things the ungodly have said about holy god. Here is how Dr. B. Gray Allison has written this verse, “to convince all that are lacking in reverential awe toward God among them of all of their lacking in reverential awe toward God deeds, which they have lacking in reverential awe toward God committed, and of all of their hard speeches, which lacking in reverential awe toward God sinners have spoken against Him.” (From NOW UNTO HIM, Messages From Jude For Our Day, p. 54).

If you are a Christian in this world you and I have a great and awesome responsibility. If we sincerely believe that Jesus is coming again to judge this world, then, we should be living as purely, and powerfully for our Lord as we walk with Him. We should be displaying the using our spiritual gifts, and displaying the fruits of the Spirit of God in our lives. Most of all we should be exalting our Lord and Savior, and telling others as often as we can that Jesus is coming again, and this time it will not be as a babe in a manger, but as ruling and reigning King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. All sin will be dealt with and put away for all eternity.

Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Enoch Prophesied

“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14-15 (NKJV).

As the verse above notes Enoch was the seventh from Adam, and that is according to the Biblical genealogy of Genesis 5, and 1 Chronicles 1:1-3. Of Enoch we are not told much. However, according to Jude, and the inspiration of the Spirit of God we know more than is given us in the rest of Scripture.

According to the account of Enoch in the Genesis account he was the son of Jared and the father of Methuselah. Something evidently happened in the life of Enoch which inspired him to become a prophet. He was sixty five years of age when Methuselah was born to him, and for three hundred years Enoch walked with God. According to Jude he was a prophet who preached the judgment of the second coming of Jesus Christ.

By the birth of Methuselah Enoch was revealed a coming judgment of God on the earth. The name “Methuselah” means “Judgment” and even, “When he is dead it shall be sent”. The preaching of Enoch was evidently not necessarily dealing with the coming flood judgment on the whole earth, because Jude mentions the “Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints…”, and that is surely a description of the second coming of Jesus Christ. That is how Jude takes it.

Enoch was warning of these apostates who were coming in. The ungodly, morally perverted, denying Christ, defiling the flesh, Rebellious, revilers of holy angels, filthy dreamers, ignorant, corrupted, grumblers, fault finders, self seeking, arrogant speakers, flatterers, mockers, cause of discord among brethren, worldly minded, and without the Spirit of God. These are the type of people Enoch warned about, and the coming judgment of Christ coming with His saints, including the angels of heaven.

We are being told by the culture of our day that to be exclusive with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not popular, and we will drive people away. Better to drive people away than to deceive, lie, and not give them the true message of Christ Jesus, and His cross. Yes, the cross may offend, but it is also the only means of salvation. The cross of Jesus Christ has always been an offense to the mind of the world. However, it is the glory of God.

Preach the cross. Preach Jesus Christ and His cross. Preach repentance. Repentance being the turning away from sin to Christ. Will that offend? Most likely. Is it the truth? Most definitely. Preach it to the death if need be. Thank God for those preachers of the gospel who put their lives, and the lives of their family on the line every day. God bless them each and every one.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Reservation Of Black Darkness

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

“…Wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.“ This study brings to a conclusion up the study of these two verses, and I pray they have been helpful for your Christian growth. Jude would probably have loved to have wrote kinder, more encouraging words than what the Holy Spirit led him to write.

This letter written by our Lord’s half brother is full of discipleship, instruction, caveat’, for believers to beware of false teachers, in fact, apostates pretending to be Christian; knowing the language, but with a different meaning than what God, and His people really intend.

Those who teach things like, “Jesus came down zipped up in a suit of humanity…”. He wasn’t zipped in a suit of humanity. He was indeed deity in human flesh. He wasn’t dressed in some kind of party costume or something. He was fully divine and fully human. And, He bled. There are those in some “Christian” circles who claim that Jesus was nothing but a “wimp” and could do nothing on the cross against the devil. The devil is not the one who attacked Him on the cross. It was the Father who was judging our sins as our Lord was hanged between heaven and earth. Our sins were imputed to Him; they were placed on Him; and He paid our sin debt (2 Corinthians 5:21). Don’t dare call my Savior a “Wimp”, hanging there paying our sin debt. That debt was owed to the Father, not the devil.

Any teacher who preaches and teaches that Jesus was a ‘Wimp’ as he died on the cross is a liar, deceiver, an apostate, and false teacher. They at the least have no understanding of what took place on the cross that day. It cannot be fully understood by the finite mind of man. All we have to go on is the Word of God; and from that we gain the knowledge that on the cross, there was a transaction of judgment between the Father and the Son; and on the cross the victory over sin was won by Jesus Christ.

“…Wandering stars…” surely must be speaking of what we often call “falling stars”, which are meteorites falling through the earths atmosphere, and burning. They make a good show. I love to watch them falling, they are an awe of our Creator themselves. It is not pleasant to warn of these “wandering stars” which Jude warns us of; but we live in a day when these people are leading thousands, maybe even millions of people away from the cross of Jesus Christ into error of the world, and the devil. These false teachers are always talking about blessing from God in the material sense, but warn nothing of the curse of immoral living. Listen to them, and then, compare what they say with what the prophets of God, and Jesus and His apostles say; and you will see the error of their proclamations. You never know where they will be next. “Wandering stars”.

This “Blackness of darkness forever” is speaking of their eternal destination. There is no need for anyone to experience this horrible place when our Lord Jesus has already been there for us. For three hours our Lord experienced this darkness as He hung on that old wooden cross separated from the mercy of the Father, experiencing only His wrath, and for our sins. That sin debt – our sin debt – has been paid in full. The death of the Son of God was payment in full, and He rose bodily from His grave showing that the debt was paid, and that death had no power over heaven.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Raging Waves Of The Sea

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

Anyone who has ever seen the ocean waves, and heard them crashing down on the beach know that they put on a good show. They can however reach no further than the bounds set for them by God. They serve no purpose except to be try and reach beyond their God ordained bounds, speaking loudly, deceiving many, with their undertow and riptides, sending many to their death. They are beautiful to see, and to hear, but destructive.

Today I will give you a quote from Dr. B. Gray Allison from his study of Jude. Dr. Allison is the founding President of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee:

“Jude further describes those of whom he writes as ‘raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame.’ Isaiah wrote: ‘But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace’, saith my God, ‘to the wicked.’ (Isaiah 57:20,21). What a picture of the mouth-professor who is not a heart-possessor! Never any peace! An outward show of tranquility, O yes! Many times a smile is on the face, but the heart is yearning, the heart is ill at ease. There is never any real peace, never any real joy, never any real happiness, never any real satisfaction. Never at peace–always disturbed, tossed to and fro as the raging waves of the sea. This is the condition of the mouth professor who is not a heart possessor of Jesus.”

From “NOW UNTO HIM, Messages From Jude For Our Day”, p. 52, by B. Gray Allison.

The false teachers make a lot of noise, sometimes put on a good show, oooh and awe you, but they possess not the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. They possess instead the presence of the spirit of demons. They seek to fill their own pockets with the hard work of others, and finally fill others only with dread, fear, and destruction.

When you are a follower of Jesus and you are studying His Word, are praying, and living according to His Word and the Spirit you can quickly identify the false from the truth. Remember Jesus’s own words. “Do not be deceived.”

-Tim A. Blankenship

Fruit or No Fruit???

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

…Late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots…“ This of course, speaking of trees which have had the leaves boasting of something to give; having leaves all season long, but never producing fruit. If you will remember the time when Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21; Mark 11). The leaves on the tree boasted of having fruit, but it was barren.

That is the case for these apostate heretics. It seems in the day we live it is unpopular to call certain teachings heresy, but that is exactly what much of that we see on some so called “Christian Television” stations is proclaiming. Sadly, it is being proclaimed in many pulpits of the nation as well. It is mostly so in the United States of America.

The disciple of Jesus Christ is one who will bear fruit. The individual who has come to Christ by grace through faith will have an almost immediate change in their lives. They will notice the change. It will be a change for the better. They will love God, His Son Jesus. They will love God’s Word, and desire to grow in Him. They will also desire to tell others of what God has done for them.

The apostate will boast of a power they do not have. They will also boast of “Liberty” or “Freedom” in Christ which they have not experienced and will lead others into the bondage of sinful living an antinomian, antichrist like lifestyle. They will lead others into seeking the material things of the world, rather than the glory of Jesus Christ and the eternal life to come in His presence. They will lead others into believing that all the blessings of the Bible are material, ie., health, wealth, etc…

Christian friend; stand your guard. Guard your heart. Guard what you read. Guard what you hear from “Christian Television” and from the pulpits of the churches of your land. If they are not magnifying the Lord Jesus, His cross, death, burial and resurrection and the promise of His soon coming, then they know not Jesus Christ; or at the least are desperately deceived. They are fruitless rebels, in need of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Read the Word of God. Study it, and let it study you. Pray, pray, and pray. Stand your guard.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Hope Without Hope; Clouds Without Water

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

In the same verses that we looked at previously we find that these apostates of which Jude writes were likened to “clouds without water, carried about by the winds”. In droughted areas where they are dependent on the rains and much of it, waterless clouds are sometimes very disappointing. In this day of bank failures, job losses, and many an economic worry we need the truth and hope that only Jesus Christ gives. “Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

In the Midwest United States and the Southern States, we are all dependent upon rainfall. Most of the United States is dependent upon rainfall, as a matter of fact. The only place that might not be is some parts of California where they use irrigation year round to grow their crops.

These “clouds without water” offer hope, but give nothing. The apostates teaching heresy offered much spiritual growth, but there was none. They told lies, and their lives were deceptions. They are full of themselves and have nothing of God. The true shepherd of God, and shepherd of the people do not “shun to declare the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27); were Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders. Some of the “Pastors” of what has been called “Mega-churches”, and some small churches are ‘clouds without water’, because they fail to expound and reveal the dangers of sin, and the glory of Christ power over sin.

They, the apostates, seek a following for themselves in the name of Christ, but do not preach what Jesus preached. What did Jesus preach? “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). If you are not preaching what Jesus preached and taught, then you preach contrary to Him. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

If there is any preacher reading this right now who has been preaching those easy, encouraging, non condemning things, and leaving out repentance – turning from sin to Jesus Christ – then you aren’t preaching what Jesus preached. You are those “clouds without water”. You need to repent. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

May God bless you today by your turning from your sins, believing Jesus, preaching Jesus crucified, buried, resurrected, and coming again.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Error Of Balaam

Numbers 31:16

There are some in the work of the ministry for the ministry of keeping, or getting into others wallets, billfolds, and purses.  Maybe it should be called the taking of others wallets, billfolds, and purses.  This is not a new thing.  The man who is called by God to proclaim the message of God’s word can find himself in many temptations.  One of the strongest is that of obtaining all the wealth of this world he can.

That tends to be the problem with Balaam.

The Bible says;

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 1:11 (KJV)

There are two other men named in this verse; Cain of Genesis 4, and Korah [Core] from Numbers 16.  Cain killed his brother; Korah verbally attacked and led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron.  What is the “error of Balaam”?  Greed for reward.  And that is not only gold, silver, precious stones; but it can be power, prestige, position, performance, and/or profit.

Let’s look at Balaam, and his life, his acts – both good and bad, and his demise.

I.  KNOWN TO BE A PROPHET; HE IS REQUESTED TO CURSE THOSE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED (Numbers 22:6-14).

II.  SEEN TO BE AN ANXIOUS PROPHET TO CURSE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED (vv. 15-21).

III.  GOES TO BALAK, BECAUSE HE CANNOT SEE (vv. 22-35).

IV.  BALAAM EVIDENTLY HAS THE RIGHT WORDS; BUT NOT THE RIGHT HEART (23:7-12, 18-24).

V.  BALAAM’S EYES ARE OPENED TO THE TRUTH OF ISRAEL (24:2-9, 15).

VI.  BALAAM PROPHESIES OF ISRAEL AND THEIR FUTURE BLESSING (vv. 15-24).

VII.  BALAK BRINGS A CURSE UPON THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL (chapter 25).

VIII.  WHAT BALAAM DID TO AID IN THE CURSE UPON THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL (Numbers 31:16)

NO ONE CAN CURSE THOSE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED (Numbers 22:6-14).  God has previously told, and promised, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3).  What Balak was requesting was a curse on himself, but then, they were already cursed by their own fear, hatred, and rejection of God’s people.

Balaam seems to be a sorcerer that was well known among the people of the land of Moab.  His sorcery is spoken of,

“And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.” (Numbers 24:1)

He dealt with “enchantments”, “ritual”, or “performance”, and this is probably the very first time God has intervened in his greedy pursuits; and because it was going to relate to His people.  It can only be but by the mercy and grace of God that He intervened.  This could have been nothing more than God showing them, ie., Balaam, Balak, and the Moabites the power of the One True God of Israel.

The thought of Balaam’s face being set toward the wilderness is that he may find a way to curse them.  He at least desires that he may find a cause for God to judge them.  In other words he is not interested in doing the will of YHWH; he is interested in lining his pockets from the wealth of Moab, and their king.

TOO ANXIOUS, FROM GREED FOR WEALTH, LEADS TO THE ATTEMPTED CURSING OF WHAT GOD HAS BLESSED (22:15-21).  Remember Esau, and Jacobs stew (Genesis 25:29-34)?  Esau had gone to hunt or something; may have been gone for a day and without any game on returning.  He is hungry, tired, and the scent of Jacob’s stew makes his mouth water.  At what price will Esau feed his stomach?  At what price will Balaam feed his greed?  At what price will a pastor sell out his calling, ministry, family, or church?  At what price will the Christian man sell his faith and home for that woman at work who pays him more attention than his wife at home?  At what price will that Christian woman sell her faith, her children, her husband, for that more lavish lifestyle?

Is our faith something we can sell?  Some seem to think they can.  When Balaam set out on the journey which was fanned by the flames of greed and fear; the voice he heard louder than any other was the jingle of the gold and silver coins in their purses, the position, power, prestige and profit he could receive if he would just “curse” these people wandering in the wilderness.

He did the right thing in turning down Balak the first time.  He heard the word of the LORD there.  Then, the servants of Balak returned with a better offer, and if he would have been the man of God he should have been; his answer would have been an immediate, NO!

When God has given a clear answer in the negative; especially in this type of situation; there is no need to seek God’s advice again.  He is simply wanting God’s approval to go with the men (Numbers 22:1-21).  God in his patience with Balaam gives him a clear message which he disobeys (vv. 20-21).  Balaam is one of those who merely use God for his own means.  He is a sorcerer (he uses enchantments (24:1)), and he is also known for using all other kinds of sorcery, thus seeking the guidance of the devil as well.  He is a man, a prophet, with a divided heart, and no loyalty to God, holiness, righteousness, or justice.

What price did Esau pay?  He paid the sum of his birthright.  What price will Balaam pay?  That will become apparent by the end of the message.

WHEN THE DUMB CAN SEE AND SPEAK THE LORD MAY COME AND OPEN BLIND EYES THAT THEY MIGHT SEE (vv. 22-35).  Balaam, being anxious to sin against the will of God, and to get him his wealth arises early the next morning saddles his donkey, and gets himself ready to go.  Did Balaam not hear what God had said?  Hear God’s words to Balaam:

“If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.” 22:20 (KJV)

The text tells us nothing of the men coming to him;  he just rises up and gets ready to go.  His mind, his heart is not on God but wealth.

Why is it that we can get out of the will of God, then blame God for not working in our lives?  “I can’t see God doing anything anymore”; someone might say.  “What have you done to shun God or His Word?” would be my first question.  Have you gone your own way?  It could be that God may have some “donkey” to speak to you so as to spare your life.  And He might for me when I am in a similar situation.

Here are some signs of the blindness of Balaam:

1. It is quite clear that the first approach was from enemies of God’s people;
2. Their payment method of divination, shows us that he was viewed by the haters of Israel as connected with sorcery;
3. He listened to them and their payment a second time without reservation;
4. When God tried to stop him, or at least to get his attention, he could not see it.

When it got right down to the truth it was his lowly donkey who saw the “angel of the LORD” standing in the way, which would have killed him had it not been for the donkey.  Balaam could not see the hand of the Lord ready to slay him; he only thought it to be his donkey.

THOSE WHO SAY THE RIGHT THINGS; BUT DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT HEART (vv. 23:7-12, 18-24).  Can a  prophet or preacher say the right words without being in right relationship with God?  Is it possible for the preacher or prophet to know the Gospel of  Jesus Christ without knowing the Jesus Christ of the Gospel?  It is certain that Balaam knew the right words to say, and evidently God was giving him those words to say.  So the answer to those questions must be; YES!

That can go for the Sunday School Teacher, the Deacon, the Elder, the church Treasurer, or the pastor to the man and woman in the pew.  There are many professors in our churches who are not possessors of the person of Jesus Christ, ie.,  His Spirit within.  They know the right words to say in a personal word testimony, but their life bears no fruit.

Balaam’s life bore no fruit of righteousness.  Even John the apostle writing to the church of Pergamum,

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Revelation 2:14 (KJV)

This plot between Moab, and the Midianites prove too that it doesn’t matter who is in your family line.  Moab is the eldest of the incestual sons of Lot [Nephew of Abraham] (Genesis 19:36-38).  The Midianites come from Abraham as well; through the wife named Keturah (Genesis 25:1-5); whom Abraham married following Sarah’s death.  Moab gets the Midianites to join them in trying to overthrow Israel.  It is not the bloodline that counts; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses all our sin.

WITH EYES WIDE OPEN; YET CONTINUE TO DENY THE TRUTH FOR SAKE OF LUST (vv. 24:2-9, 15).  It is the confession of Balaam himself that says his eyes were opened.  It is the LORD who opened his eyes (v. 4) to see Israel for who they were.  Yet, this man, who divines, who deceives, who has the revelation from the only true and wise God of the identity, work, and uniqueness of this nation, still hungers, craves, lusts for power, prestige, position, and profit.

Jesus said;

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

and the “things” He speaks of is not wealth, riches, power, prestige, position or profit.

There are many who say they know Christ, but have a greater heart for making wealth than they care to know the One who makes wealth.  All things are in His hands, and no one can take them away from Him.  We are, as Christians, “seated with Christ in heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20; 2:6).  The thing is the soul that is with Jesus does not have their hearts on the things of the earth.  Those who do fit into the same category with the “earth dwellers” of the Revelation.

Many of these know the truth of the Gospel, may profess to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; but they bear no fruit for Christ, thus are eternally lost.  These fit into the same type relationship with Balaam.

THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL, AND THEIR BLESSINGS (vv. 24:15-24). God has opened the eyes of Balaam.  Remember he couldn’t even see the “angel of the LORD” that would have killed him, but his donkey saved his life; thus the LORD was merciful to this false prophet.

His eyes have been opened to the blessing of God upon the nation of people called Israel.  This term [“eyes open”] is used by the prophet himself in a parable he speaks; and uses it at least three times (vv. 4 third parable, 15, and 16 fourth parable).

In this “parable” is a prophecy of the Lord Jesus; “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” (v. 17).  Moab and Edom had been sources of conflict with Israel; even though related; and the coming King would and will deal with them according to His power and might.

The prophecies of Balaam are promises of Israel, and Balaam never fully realizes the truth of what he has spoken.  The mere mention of his name throughout Scriptures seem to indicate that he was false in his life, and that is one of the keys to the recognition of the man of God.

1. The man of God is true to God;
2. The man of God is faithful to God and His Word;
3. The man of God lines his life with the Word of God;
4. The man of God speaks and the Word of God comes to pass.

There are two examples of these in the five books of Moses (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22).  Both of these examples speak of turning the hearts of God’s people to other gods (which are not gods at all), and the worship of demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-20).

The God of Israel is the Holy One; He is the only One;  He is the righteous One; beside Him there is no other.  He is known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; working in the flesh of His Son.  One day all of Israel will turn from their unbelief; and see their God through their Messiah.  The King of kings is coming to rule on His throne in Jerusalem.

AN EVIL THAT CAN BRING GOD’S CHASTISEMENT UPON HIS CHILDREN AND THE ANSWER (Chapter 25).  When God’s people sin it causes grief in the heart of God.  Yet, as the loving, forgiving God and Father that He is He desires to bring them back to Himself.  I have said it many times, and believe it to be a quote from Charles H. Spurgeon, “God will not allow His children to sin successfully”.  His children, His people are those who believe Him and His Son Jesus Christ; and live their lives for Him and His glory.

Since Balaam could not curse the people of Israel; he did one of the worse things that a pretender, hypocrite can do; cause evil to come into the heart of God’s people.  There are those in 2009 who believe that just because they are descendants of Abraham they are God’s children; even John the Baptist and Jesus has something to say about that:

“And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 3:9 (KJV) [words of John Baptist.]

“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.” John 8:38-40 (KJV)

Notice those words of Jesus; “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.  Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galations 3:6; James 2:23).

The only righteousness of God available is that righteousness which comes through the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary’s cross.

Though the death of Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins we still sin; but as a child of God we have the power, and ability through Jesus Christ not to sin.  When we sin God is not pleased, but He does want us to know that we have and Advocate with the Father (1 John 1:9 – 2:1).

The deception of Balaam brought evil into Israel, and a plague destroyed many of the people, and Phineas acted jealously for God, and stopped the plague.  Some of the people of Israel had fell to the lust of other gods which involved prostitution, and it is the worship of demons.  In this plague 24,000 people died.  God will not, and does not allow His children to sin successfully.  There may be times that it seems; at least in our eyes; that He is letting some things slip by.  If you profess to be a child of God and can sin without guilt, shame, or fear of God’s judgment; you are not His child.

We are not to live in fear, but in peace and love and contentment with God.  You cannot have that if there is sin in your life.  Deal with it.  Paul said, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).  Deal with sin quickly.  “Keep short accounts”.

THE HEART OF BALAAM WHICH WORKS RUIN (Numbers 31:16).  Now, we come to the opening Scripture verse.

“Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.”

We see the trespass which Moses mentions in chapter 25, the wrath and judgment of God; the plague upon Israel taking the lives of 24,000 people; and some dying due to God’s commandment to slay all the guilty.

Though the heart of Balaam was with the Moabites and the Midianites; and for the wealth and perks that went along with it; there is in the midst of this immorality, and debauchery; many people who are grieved by the sins taking place in the camp of God.  These are found at the “…door of the tabernacle of the congregation”, and weeping because of this great sin against God and the people of God.

As the people of God we are to seek to bring good and blessing into people’s lives; not ruin, and harm.  We are to be springs of living water – cool and fresh; refreshing the weary soul.  We are to be hotsprings for healing, renewing and strength.  We are to be especially so to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If we do things to cause a brother to sin; or to stumble and fall; then we fall into the category of the error of Balaam.  If we do or say something that causes us to look good while harming another; then that is the error of Balaam.  You may think, “I am not doing or saying it for pay?”  Oh!  You’re not?  You have taken away something that belonged to another.  You are in the “Error of Balaam”.  The heart of Balaam was to work ruin in the people of Israel.

Let’s always to seek to lift up our Lord Jesus Christ, glorify His name; and we will not be tearing others down to build up ourselves.  Nor, will we be leading others into sin.  Balaam died at the hands of Israel, along with the kings of Midian (Numbers 31:8).  Though the child of God cannot sin successfully; neither will God overlook those who treat His children poorly.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Rocks Under The Surface

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

Consider a ship at sea. Now, I have never been on a ship at sea, or even a small boat at sea, but I am sure that the captain of a ship has eyes watching, even though he may know the sea, eyes are watching for hidden obstacles in those waters. Remember the Titanic? The crew slipped up; they were sailing the unsinkable ship, overloaded with passengers on its first and last cruise. The Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea, and over 1,500 souls were lost.

Jude likens the heretics, these false teachers, these liars, and deceivers to hidden spots, rocks, just underneath the surface. They pretended to be Christians, but denied the faith, denied Jesus, denied the truth oofGod’s Word, and the authority of the apostles. These claim to believe in Jesus, but they twist the true Scriptures to suit their own understanding. Some times those who receive them need to go deeper than just their words. What is their view of Jesus? Is He deity? What about the cross? What about grace and faith? They were with many churches as Jude was writing this and he is warning us of them.

These enjoy the gathering with the true believers in their breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup; and their fellowship meals. The Lord’s Supper, communion as it is also called is right and good for the worship of the Lord, but heretics can come in under false pretenses, and leave uncorrected, undisturbed. “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.”

This is also a problem within the Christian churches today. You can identify these false teachers by their denying of the power of the cross, they deny the work of Jesus Christ. There are many pastors in the pulpits who never preach against sins of greed, lust, sexual immorality in adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality or any other form of perversion. Never show the glory of Christ Jesus over the sin in their lives. If there is no revelation of sin in our lives there can be no glory of the power of Christ over sin.

When heretics come into the Churches of our Lord Jesus it should be with fear of being exposed for the heresy they teach. Stay in God’s Word, pray, asking for God’s wisdom and knowledge. He will give it to you.

The Lord willing, there will be more on these verses for your reading.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Woe To Apostate Teachers, and Followers

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Jude 11 (NKJV).

The apostate, heretics of which Jude has been warning us are going to be held to the ultimate judgment. “Woe” is the warning of such judgment being held for them. It is a sad thing for Christians of today, when they will more readily accept the teaching of the “Name it and claim it” bunch, than they will the plain and clear teaching of the Word of the Lord where the cross of Jesus Christ, His deity, His shedding of His own blood, His burial carrying our sins away, and the plain and clear teaching of His bodily resurrection fulfilling the Word which He spoke.

These apostates follow the way of Cain (the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel); in that they deny the power of the blood of the cross of Christ by their teaching that it is for material gain, applying their own works to the work of Christ. They follow the “error of Balaam” by seeking gain for themselves. Balaam was a false prophet who sought profit by the pretense serving God. He deemed that the Israelites were not worthy of God’s blessing and so cursed them by showing the enemy their weakness (Numbers 25:1-17; 31:16), bringing a plague into the camp, stayed only by the quick hand of Phineas, who was the grandson of Aaron. Balaam eventually was killed by the children before they entered the promised land. Then, there is Korah, the rebellious one who led Dathan and Abiram in a rebellious act against Moses. They spoke ill of Moses, thus were speaking against God. We put our lives on a very thin layer when we speak ill of our leaders, especially the spiritual leaders. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the ground opening and taking them, and those who stood with them, alive into the belly of the earth. Read Numbers 16.

We are given ample warning in Scripture of following false teachers and leaders. The one’s who expose heresy are not the ones who are causing the problem. The problem lies in those who teach error, and seek to lead people astray. If you know God, and know His Word you know who the false teachers and their false teachings are. If you don’t know the God of the Bible nor His Word you will be deceived, and led astray becoming just like your leader. Finding your own way, always for gain and profit, and no true spiritual leader will ever be right, but you are.

Guard your spiritual life. Know the God of the Bible by turning to His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross that you might live. He was buried carrying your sins away, and He rose bodily from that grave, and He ever lives to make intercession for you. Read His Word – the Bible – learn Him, know Him, trust Him with all of your life.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Corrupted Brute Beasts

“But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 10 (NKJV).

Those who would, do, and will pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ have a self made knowledge. They have a knowledge of Scripture, and philosophy, based on their education, but not according to the wisdom and knowledge of God. That is, the wisdom and knowledge which comes only from God.

They claim an authority over the spiritual world which is not of man, thus they do damage to the true message of the cross and of Christ. You will find this in those who claim to speak for God with a new revelation from God, thus they add to the Word of God. Of this God warns us in the final verses of the Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:18-19. Some of the same ones that “do not know”, are taking away from the Word of God the very thing which God honors and magnifies. The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Immutability of God and His Word; the teaching of the Triune God. They claim it cannot be understood, so they deny it.

To deny any one of those things takes the “teacher” out of the realm of true Christianity, and puts them in the realm of the “Cultic kingdom”. These same one’s who deny these things often claim a power of knowledge of Scripture which they do not have. They do not have the Spirit of God in them or on them.

There are many people today who make the claim that, “It doesn’t matter what you believe; as long as you believe something”; and nothing could be further from the truth. The way you truly believe will affect the way you live. If you follow false doctrines and beliefs you will live a false life, which is hypocrisy, leading to sinfulness, immorality, etc..

As, “brute beasts”, they live however they choose. They take advantage of those who do not have. They speak of living in grandeur, mansions, fancy cars, fine clothes, living in the lap of luxury. They do it by grabbing , taking advantage of the little that others have and taking it for themselves.

Christian brother and sister heed the message of the Word of the Lord. Do not be deceived by the liar and deceiver who wants you to know what is unknowable, or to do the undoable. Those who claim faith that is Christless, crossless, and senseless are out to take from your pocket to theirs.

Follow Jesus Christ, and not men or women.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Contending With The Devil

“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” Jude 9 (NKJV).

The writer – Jude – has been dealing with the actions of apostates who are against the work of Jesus Christ, His cross, burial and bodily resurrection. Those who speak against any dignitaries, and now he even includes demons.

There are those in Christian circles who are teaching of speaking directly to the devil. God’s Word never tells us to deal directly with the devil or his legions of demons. In the name of Jesus we rebuke them. Michael the archangel, never spoke directly to the devil, but said only, “The Lord rebuke you”. We have no greater power than that.

There was a battle that raged between Michael and the devil over the body of Moses. Moses was buried by God, in a place unknown to any man. God was most likely protecting the body of Moses from becoming an object of worship, which would have been the reason for the devil’s procuring of the body, if he would have been permitted to have it. The devil has a way of using things that are material to gain a following for himself.

There is no doubt that the devil and his demons attack the people of God. The devil loves the endeavor of trying to rob us of our joy, peace, and love in Christ Jesus. He will afflict us, condemn us, attack us with various problems; and yet the child of God through faith in Jesus Christ will be held up by the power of the cross of Christ. Remember, we are to speak to the Father through the Son. We are to only rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus our Lord.

No Christian has any right using offensive words against the devil or his demons. The Lord in His intervening power will defeat them. As a matter of fact they are already defeated. We are not fighting for the victory, because the victory was won on the cross, and proven by the resurrection. We are, in fact fighting from victory, till that day we see our Savior face to face. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Trust in Him and never be afraid or ashamed.

We have authority to name the devil only the names which God has called him. To curse and revile him is not of God for us. That is our Lord’s work. The devil has a place to which he will be going for all eternity, and it won’t be heaven before the throne of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Guard Against Filthy Dreamers

“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.” Jude 8 (NKJV).

We must look backwards in the text to see the meaning of the “Likewise”. The apostates who lived in unbelief, rebellion, and immoral conduct were also “filthy” (KJV) dreamers. They had no regard for the Word of God. They reject all authority, and spoke evil of those who had leadership.

In rejecting leadership this most likely means that of God’s Word, His leaders, and spoke evil of angels as well – the angels of God especially; probably assigning themselves power over angels. Giving dreams, and visions as much authority as the Word of God. Any messenger of God would have been evil spoken of.

The ones of whom Jude writes were probably saying they had a message from God, when all along their message was opposed to God.

Hear what Peter said of this very act:

“…Especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries…“ 2 Peter 2:10 (NKJV).

These that speak evil of dignitaries are those who have no love for Jesus, nor much care for truth. They are given to whatever makes them feel fulfilled. “If it feels good that must be the right thing”. Could this also be dealing with those who have authority over us in government positions? “They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries…

With spirituality on the rise we as Christians must continue to guard our hearts and minds against the teachings of many who profess to know Christ, but do not, and teach in a manner which cries for the temporal fulfillment of the here and now; with not desire for the eternal, and living for Christ Jesus now.

Beware of those who pretend to know Christ, but deny the cross of Christ, deny His deity, deny His resurrection, and His coming again. These also will deny the full, completed revelation of the written Word of God. The truth of Jesus Christ is that He died on the cross for our sins, and the victory was won on the cross, He was buried carrying our sins away, and He arose from that grave bodily to show forth the victory over sin, death, hell and the grave.

Trust in the power and the authority of Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Immorality, Judgment and Mercy

“…As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 7 (NKJV).

Since verse five Jude has written of the perils of apostasy, and named things of the commission of apostasy. Unbelief – the unbelief of those who were delivered from Egypt, but would not believe God’s provision, power, mercy and grace. The rebellion of the angels who left their God appointed estate for their own reward. Then, Jude writes of the cities of the plain who were destroyed with fire and brimstone because of their immorality, their gross immorality.

The sin of each of these groups are similar in that they departed from God. Their judgments will also be similar.

One of the clearest signs of a society which has departed from God is the approval of that society for immoral conduct. Not many in leadership positions within politics wants to expose immorality for what it is. It is a sign of that societies departure from God. Sexual immorality within a society is God’s judgment on that society for turning from Him. We are in grave danger of not seeing the hand of God’s judgment in the USA. It is judgment when society gives approval to greed, lust, and stealing from the poor. When God’s people turn a deaf ear to God, His prophets/preachers, and His Word; then, God will allow our own sins to judge us (Jeremiah 2:19).

As Christians in a society where sexual immorality is running rampant, approval of homosexuality is abounding, we must stand on the power of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Savior, and the Word of God. Let’s not back away from the truth of God’s Word. Trusting the Lord during debaucherous times, relying on His Spirit within us, and the authority of His Word to instruct us, correct us, and rebuke us; we stand as examples of Jesus Christ, His love and grace. Adultery, premarital sex relationships, and homosexual activities are all under the category of unbelief, rebellion, and immorality equaling apostasy. As Christians, followers of Jesus Christ; we are to have no part in it.

 

God does not desire that any perish (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9), and the God of the New Testament is as loving in the Old Testament. Hear the prophet Ezekiel,

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezekiel 18:23 (KJV); and

“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:32 (KJV).

Jesus Christ took the wrath and judgment of God that belonged to you and me. He died on the cross, was buried taking our sin, guilt and shame away, then He bodily arose from the grave, and through Him we have fellowship with our Father/God. Let us love with the love of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus means revealing sin where it stands opposed to all that is unholy, and unrighteous, and giving our lives for the purpose of seeing the lost and condemned in sin come to a saving faith of Him who died and rose again. Also, giving hope through the power of Jesus Christ. Power to deliver. Power to change. Power to become the sons of God.

Turn from immorality to Jesus Christ today, and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Reserved For Darkness

“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” Jude 6 (NKJV).

Apostasy is a horrible thing. It even affected the very first beings which God has made, and that is the angels. There was one angel who was evidently more beautiful to look upon than all the others, and that was the one named Lucifer. Read Ezekiel 28:11-19. He eventually got too full of himself, and led others to follow him in rebellion in heaven, and it has been said that one third of the angels followed him. Read Revelation 12:7-12.

Isaiah the prophet mentions Lucifer; “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12ff). Five times following, he shows his rebellious heart, and says he will take the throne of God, he says, “I will be like the Most High”. If there was ever a case for “I” trouble he had it.

The angels of heaven had a home in the presence of eternal God, their Creator. One led one third to be cast out, and are awaiting the judgment of God. Lucifer, ie., the devil knows that he has but a short time, and in this day is working to condemn the souls of men, women, boys and girls to eternal torment. Let us never begin to take the devil too lightly. He does not care, nor does he have an inkling or concern for our problems. He is a thief, robber, murderer, and does not desire to do anything but to “steal, kill, and destroy” you. He knows his destination is the Lake of Fire, and he and his minions are out to snare, trap, and lead you there with them.

The proper, God made domain for the angels was in the presence of the LORD. God’s proper domain for you and I is to be eternally in the presence of God. Let us never think, though, that just because we were the ones made in the “Image of God” that that destiny is secure. It is only secure in the shed blood of Jesus Christ; shed on the cross for our sins. When we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then and only then, is that destination secured. He holds us in His strong hands, and will never let us go. Praise Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Peril Of Unbelief

“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 5 (NKJV).

There is not much said, either in written form, or speech from the pulpits of our churches (those who still have pulpits), anything concerning apostates or apostasy. It is almost like they do not exist. It seems to have been the thinking in Jude’s day as well, because they need to be reminded of those who never made it to the Promised Land following their deliverance from Egypt.

There were many who murmured and complained all along the journey. They would murmur about having no water, they would complain about having nothing to eat. They mumbled and groaned about the leadership of Moses. God dealt with each of these situations in His power and glory. In one instance, the one which kept them in the wilderness for 38 extra years, they came to a place called Kadesh Barnea, twelve surveyors (spies) were sent into Canaan to search the land, its people, and any problems they might encounter (Numbers 13). When the men returned ten of them said, “The land is just as was spoken, but there are giants in the land, and in their eyes we are as grasshoppers.” Isn’t it amazing what that little three letter word can do to faith, ie., “but”. There were two men who said, “God has given us the land, Let us go up at once, and possess it…” (Numbers 13:30). The people rebelled, said no, and because of their unbelief they did not enter. No one over the age of twenty at this rebellion, except for Joshua and Caleb, would enter the Promised Land. “They entered not in because of unbelief”. Read Hebrews chapters three and four.

How could we describe or define “Unbelief”? The unbelief spoken of concerning apostates, and apostasy is just an out and out denial, refusing to believe what God has said. Refusing to act on the promises of God, and not trusting in Him alone. What has been seen previously in Jude – the turning of the grace of God into lewdness [lasciviousness], denying the cross and work of Jesus – turning the things of God into reasons for pleasure, and unruliness. God is not pleased with the lewd behavior, and those who practice such are living in unbelief, and have no part with God. The Peril of Unbelief is destruction, and eternal damnation.

Beware of those who can teach and lead you away from the God of mercy, grace, love, and holiness, righteousness, and justice.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Grace Into Lewdness

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Yes! This is the same verse as yesterday’s. However it seems prudent to deal a little more on that part of the verse which is in bold print.

It is sad that there seems to be a growing number of professing Bible teachers who call themselves or have been called “Free Gracers”. Grace is free from our loving God and Savior, however, the fact of its being free to us does not give us freedom to live without control. That is usually what is meant by those who believe in “Free Grace”. It is usually meant that when you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or they would just say Savior, then you have the “Liberty of conscience, or spirit” to live as you so please.

In affect, they turn the “grace of God into lewdness”, and the idea of Christian liberty is taken beyond what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is; there is liberty”. We are free in Christ.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:12-18 (KJV)

The freedom which we have in Jesus Christ is not freedom to live as we please, but freedom from the law of condemnation, and freedom to live for Christ and unbound by sin. Before salvation we were servants of sin. Having Jesus as our Lord and Savior unbinds us from sin, then, to serve our Lord Jesus, and to live in the way that will glorify His precious and holy name.

It is not in the heart of a child of God to continue in disobedient, rebellious sin against our Lord. Jesus is Lord of the true believer, the true child of God. If the heart of the individual professing Jesus as Savior is not prone to glorify God by living for Him, then, that heart is not redeemed, and needs Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The heart of the truly saved individual desires to live in such a fashion that Jesus’s name will be glorified in their life. It is not given to the disobedience of sin.

The teacher who teaches such heresy is not a teacher of God, but is one of those who has come in “unnoticed” or “Unawares”. Take heed to what every teacher, who is teaching, teaches. Use the spiritual discernment which the Spirit of God gives you, along side the Word of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Sneaky Men Of Condemnation

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Hopefully most Christians have noticed that there is a whole lot of religious rhetoric in the world, and most of that on what you will see for what poses as “Christian Television”. The aim of many in these supposed ministries is not the promotion of the glory of Jesus Christ, but to fill their pocket books, and tell you things like, “If you are sick you have sinned”. They may not be so brash as to say that as clearly as that, but that is what they mean.

These are apostates. They actually hate the truth of Jesus Christ. They deny Jesus Christ by changing the meaning of His death on the cross, and will tell you things, such as, “On the cross Jesus was just a little wimp who couldn’t do anything.” The truth of that is that the victory of Jesus was the cross. It was on the cross where Satan, and Hell and sin were defeated. During that three hours of darkness there was the greatest war which has ever taking place that ever took place in eternity. Jesus was the victor.

The men and women who proclaim that your life should be without sickness, you should always be victorious, and always have a full bank account; and if you don’t you have sinned; are liars and are following their father the devil. They are deceivers and antichrist.

Beware of those teachers who call on you to give money to them, “And you will be blessed a hundred fold”. Jesus warned, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.” Now, these apostates may not be actually saying they are Christ, but they are denying the very power of Christ, and His cross. When you deny the power of His cross you deny Him.

These teachers are condemned people. They will have a place in eternity, but not with Jesus Christ. Be aware of false teachers. Believe the Word of God, and trust Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Please NOTE: I will not have any further posts until at least October 30.

Contend Earnestly

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning ouor common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3 (NKJV).

Contending can be called “fighting”. “We Christians are not supposed to fight.” If you have ever said that, thought that, or heard someone else say that, then it was wrong. We are, of course to be peaceable, in matters of living with others. However, when it comes to “truth” and/or “faith” we are to stand against its opposition

Jude seems to have had another purpose for writing this letter when he first set out to write. Being led by the Holy Spirit that intent was changed to call the saints to action for contending for the faith.

Though this letter of Jude was written hundreds, and actually nearly two thousand years ago it is still applicable for the day. Some may say, “Well we live in new era of time. People, and things have changed.” “We are more civilized today.” O, are we?

There is a whole lot of spirituality without Christ Jesus. There is a whole world of lies that are being taught in this world and millions of people being deceived by them, even professing Christians. Just because a person is spiritual does not make them right with God. Every one is spiritual in one way or another.

The world is headed into a new “Dark ages”. An age where superstition rules. An age of witchcraft, worship of false deities, drug use, spirituality, and the elite rule. Christian we are called to defend the faith that has been given us by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who can deliver us from this darkness.

We must in these last days “Earnestly contend for the faith”. Who are the “saints”? All those who have called on the name of Jesus, and are trusting Him for their eternal salvation. You are a saint of God. You are to earnestly contend for the faith.

Mercy, Peace, and Love

“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” Jude 2 (NKJV).

Three words which are related to Christianity, and living a life that magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Mercy” is what God gives those who are deserving of justice, and judgment. Mercy is what the world receives from its Creator each and every day. The world is reeling, and moaning in torment crying out for redemption (Romans 8:19-22). There are storms, from which are spawned tornadoes, straight winds of destruction. Earthquakes cause us to feel the tremors of this earth, and economics and health. God is merciful, and calls for the repentance of those who are against Him. Many refuse, but He still gives them a breath of air, a beat of the heart, one more step. That is mercy. As Christians we extend mercy as well, by calling for our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors to come to Christ by faith.

“Peace” is not necessarily the absence of conflict. Peace is mostly an attitude in one’s heart and mind. If one is not at peace with God, there will not be peace in one’s self. There will be conflict, torment, and war. Most of the reasons for marriage failures is due to a lack of peace within one or both individuals – the man or the woman, or both. Most of the time it is both. God desires to give peace to all people. However, when the rulers of nations plot to overthrow the throne of heaven, there will not be peace. Paul the apostle wrote, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1). Without faith there can be no peace in the heart of individuals or on earth.

“Love” is of God. The love spoken of here is a God-trait or character. It comes exclusively from Him. As John the apostle wrote, “God is love”. Someone added to this and said, “So, love is God”. That is complete heresy. The love God is, is unconditional. His love requires nothing from us. His love in us does however, change those who have received it. We have not only been changed, but we also want to express it, give it, and a like spirit is found among those who are likeminded in Christ Jesus. We tend to move toward one another. We are not told by the apostle that we will one day love one another, but that we “love each other” (1 John 3:13-15). It is in the present tense. And we will continue loving one another.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preserved, Called and Sanctified

“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preseved in Jesus Christ.” Jude 1 (NKJV).

 

Jude was a half brother of the Lord Jesus. Mary was his mother, and Joseph his father. Jude does not, now even consider himself to be worthy of calling himself “the Lord’s brother”; because he had at first rejected Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 7:5). He instead, calls himself the “brother of James” who also is a half-brother of Jesus. That is the James who wrote the Bible book of James. Jude did not believe until after Jesus had risen from the grave.

Notice to whom this letter is written. To “those who are called”. The called are those to whom the Father has saved by His grace. This is not speaking of an invitation, but an already chosen people who have been delivered from their sins, by faith in the Perfect One who died for the sins of the world.

The called are also one’s who are “sanctified”, set apart, beloved, and continually growing in the faith of Christ Jesus. These are also “preserved” which means kept by the hands of the one who called them. And, He keeps them from falling.

To make it even clearer. The called of God are secure, safe, and set apart for all eternity, and nothing shall be able to take you from the Father’s hands. NOTHING. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

Saved, secure, forever; held in the Father’s hands.

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

The Prophecy of Enoch

Enoch, and the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ

I guess I am not into fancy titles or something. Just make it simple, and that is what I intend for this study.

When I read Scriptures from Genesis through the Revelation of Jesus Christ I read it like it is written for us to understand. When the Bible speaks figuratively it usually lets us know that it is speaking figuratively. When it is speaking plainly we take it plainly. When it speaks figuratively or metaphorically, then, that is how I will interpret it, and translate it. For the most part, and as best I can, I let Scripture interpret Scripture, and follow what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” Let me warn you, that I am not a Bible scholar, nor am I the son of a Bible scholar. I also am not a prophecy scholar, nor the son of one; however, I do love the Bible, believe it to be the infallible, inerrant, eternal Word of God. I do pray that God can take my weakness and glorify His holy name.  The writings of the prophets enthuse me, encourage me, fill me, give me hope, and I just cannot get enough, or get away from what they have written down in the Word of God.

From what I have seen in many studies of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ is they begin with the Revelation chapter twenty. Maybe because that is where a “thousand year reign” (Revelation 20:2-4) with Christ is named. It may not be named, per se’, in the many other references, but it is certainly implied, inferred, and strongly suggested. The words, “a thousand years” or “the thousand years” are named six times in Revelation 20:2-7. I for one believe that to be no accident of John, nor of God, but is one evidence that the earthly kingdom of Christ’s reign will be literal, it has not yet happened, nor is it presently happening.

The first verses I want us to look at is in the book of Genesis.

“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:21-24 (KJV).

Now upon the first read of this you may wonder, “What does this genealogy of Enoch have to do with the millennial reign of Jesus Christ?”, and if I didn’t know where this was going I probably wouldn’t know either. These verses will have to be taken with a New Testament passage from the epistle [letter] of Jude, our Lord’s half brother. That passage reads:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14-15 (KJV).

We see from the New Testament letter that Jude was a prophet of God, and he warned the people of His day of the coming judgment of the Lord. This judgment he warned of was quite clearly the second coming of Jesus with His saints. It has never happened in the entire history of man. It is yet to come. This second coming will be to put away human government, to put away sin, and to set up His kingdom on earth.

Those “saints” mentioned will be those who were raptured off the earth according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and their spirits “with Him” will be joined to their bodies coming up out of their graves (at the rapture), and those who were living and knew Jesus Christ, will rise with them to meet the Lord in the air. The second coming will be seven years later. We will be returning with Christ at His Revelation, and that is when He takes the rule of the earth away from all human governments.

There will be no more Democracy, Tyranny, Dictatorships, Republics, or anarchy. Nor, will there be any human theocracies save that of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will reign from His throne in the capital city of Israel, which is, and forever shall be Jerusalem.

The message of Enoch was one calling for repentance. Understand the judgment which Enoch warned of was not the final judgment, but the judgment of ungodly kings, kingdoms, and the “Inhabiters of earth”, ie. those whose hearts love the things, the temporal things, with its greed, lusts, power, etc.; and hate all that is holy and godly, and all that is God. The Lord Himself will destroy them with the sword of His mouth, ie., the Word of God spoken in His glory. Then, when all human government is put away, Jesus will rule with power and glory from the truly Holy City of Jerusalem.

How can I get the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ from these verses. Jesus coming with ten thousands of His saints; the executing of judgment upon all, convincing all the ungodly of their ungodly deeds, that they have ungodly committed, and the hard speeches of the ungodly spoken against Him. This is taking place on the earth. Enoch’s message is of the Lord Coming again; He is coming back to earth. Jesus Himself tells us, “I will come again”. He was standing before His disciples, and others as He spoke this, in person; surely He meant that His “coming again” would be in our presence and in person, and not figurative or metaphorical. The last judgment is the “Great white throne” judgment (Revelation 20:11-14); takes place before the throne of God; and only the unrighteous will be judged here at this judgment throne. (I may get to do another study on that topic).

If He is coming back to earth, and removing all that hates the godly, He is surely coming to set up His kingdom on earth. If not what would be the purpose of His return? He is returning, with His saints (See 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 again) to set up an earthly kingdom; will reign the world from Jerusalem, and Israel shall fulfill the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come soon.

-by Tim A. Blankenship