Judgment of the Wicked

There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD.

They shall howl, ‘How is it broken down! How hath Moab turned the back with shame!’ So shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. For thus saith the LORD; ‘Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.” Jeremiah 48:38-40 (KJB)

The Moabites hated the Israelites. As Israel was traveling through the wilderness following their deliverance from Egypt the king of Moab hired a false prophet named Balaam to curse them (Numbers 22-25). When Balaam realizes that God will not allow the cursing of Israel he tells Balak, the king of Moab how to cause them to fall.  Be sure you read the story. Moab hated Israel, and Israel’s God who is the LORD of Hosts – YHWH.

The judgment that was coming on Moab at this point in time was Babylon. The same one who was used by Holy God to judge His own people because they had turned their backs on Him.

While God desires that the world knows Him to be God, the LORD God, He still judges iniquity, and those who defile and hate His people.

At the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy it has been hundreds of years since Balak’s hatred has been displayed.  That hatred had continued through the many years.

There are those in our government of the United States of America and other governments of men who want nothing more than to see the demise of the nation of Israel; and for that matter all those Christians also who love Israel.

A word of warning to you who hate Israel, and who hate Christians because of our faith in the God who loves us, and showed it by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins; if you continue in your hatred you will come to an end, and that end will be eternity in the fires of a burning Hell.

God who is the Creator of all things has loved you, offers you forgiveness, salvation, grace, love, and peace through the cross of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection.

Turn from your hatred to Jesus Christ and live.

Faithfulness and Truth

“O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Isaiah 25:1 (KJB)

The prophet Isaiah has warned the Judah and Israel of the coming Babylonian invasion, and the judgment God will not only bring on His own people, but that which will come on Babylon as well.

Isaiah knows that the word of the Lord GOD is being spoken.  He exalts the LORD in these words, and the following as well.

May we, the followers of Christ Jesus, in 2019 rejoice in God our Savior who does judge all sin; rejoicing in His faithfulness and His Truth.  His counsels of old, His plans and purposes planned long ago are faithful and true.  Since that be so.  Since that be true; then so it is for today as well.

Remember, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13). Call on the name of the One who bled and died on the cross for our redemption, was buried, and rose again.  His name is Jesus the Christ – Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11).

Have a Blessed Lord’s Day.

Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow

“From where come wars and fightings among you? Come they not from this, of your lusts that war in your members?  You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.  You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume upon your lusts.
You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy?’  But He gives more grace. Wherefore He says, ‘God rejects the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.’
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners; and purify hearts, double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.
There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you that judges another?
Go to now, you that say, ‘To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:’ you who do not know what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.  For that you ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.’  But now you rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.  Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does not, to him it is sin.” James 4:1-17

REFERENCES: Job 7:7; 22:29; Proverbs 3:34; Ephesians 4:27; 1 Peter 2:1; 5:9; Matthew 7:1; Romans 1:20; 2:1; Acts 18:21; Luke 12:47

We Shall Judge Angels

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world, and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know you not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?   But brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather be defrauded?  No, you do wrong, and defraud, and that brethren.”  1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (TKJB)

References:  1 Corinthians 1:2;  Matthew 19:28;  Revelation 2:26;  2 Peter 2:4-10;  Proverbs 20:22;  Luke 6:29;  1 Thessalonians 4:6

Words of the Prophets – Ezekiel (2)

God Has No Pleasure…

The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,  What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?  As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.  Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.  But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,  And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,  And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, Hath walked in My statutes, and hath kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,  And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife,  Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,  Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.  Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife,  Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,  That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in My statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.  Yet say ye, Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  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? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal?

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:1-32 (KJV)

Christian Love and Liberty

Christian Love and Liberty

Romans 14:1-23

In question are things to which there are not clear Biblical answers. These are problems which Scripture gives little to no guidance, or to which the rituals or ceremonies no longer have meaning.

In the church of Rome there were people from diverse backgrounds, similar to our nation of the USA today. It was pluralistic, and divided by many cultures. Some of the Christians were Jewish and had been subjected to many ceremonial laws and rituals. Just how was a Jewish Christian to view these matters now? These laws included certain meats which were not lawful to eat. Another culture was pagan and they worshipped idols and could eat the meats.

Becoming Christian, and not realizing the new freedom they had in Christ; they might feel guilt for not participating in the Jewish ceremonies, holy days, and no longer rejecting certain meats. They were still weak, and of an immature faith. They would also judge others for their lack of participation as well.

The pagan/Gentiles becoming Christians would forsake their idols they had worshipped, refuse to eat any meat that had been offered to those idols. Because of their immaturity they would pass judgment upon the other Christians who had the liberty to purchase the meat and eat it.

Paul addresses these issues in this chapter. For the immature Christian to participate in something they believe to be sin it is sin. For the mature Christian to participate in something they know will offend the immature Christian; it is sin. The mature Christian is at liberty to live for Christ, and will not be offended by the acts of others.

1.  The Christian in Love Receives the Weak (vv. 1-3).

Not for the purpose of argument. To love, strengthen, encourage, and teaching the doctrines and truths of God’s Word. If the one who does not eat does not judge the one who does eat, but the one who does eat judges the one who does not; which of the two is the mature one? It is the one who has not judged.

2. The Christian in Love Refrains from Judging the One Who is Bound (4-14).

We are all accountable to God. He is our judge. If I judge a fellow Christian a sinner because they have no conviction against drinking beverage alcohol, and they drink it in my presence or not, then, am I judging rightly? Only if they are drunk. My conviction is that Christians should refrain from imbibing in beverage alcohol, but it does not offend me, or cause me to stumble if others do.

3. The Christian in Love Restrains the Freedom Which May Offend the Weak (vv. 15-23).

One of the greatest acts of love is freedom which will not offend or harm others. New Christians may not understand some of the freedoms we have in Christ. We never have the freedom to offend weaker brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no law that can empower us to live a righteous life (Gal. 5:22-23). “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

-Tim A. Blankenship

What We Want

Many times we people – all who were made by God in His image and likeness want what we want, and we want it now.  Nothing has changed since the Garden of Eden, and the fall of Adam and Eve; at least in the matter of our wants.

When it comes to leadership of kings, presidents, or despots we all have our own idea of who or what we want to lead us.  The same was true in the day of the Judges, and God raised up a judge and a prophet by the name of Samuel.  He was a man who had the heart of God, and was jealous for God; and by that I mean he did not want the people to trust anyone else but God; neither did he want anything else for himself.

The verses we look at today are of when the people decided they wanted a king… “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” was their cry (1 Samuel 8:5).  “Like all the nations” is the key phrase which should cause us to see the ire or Samuel.  They wanted a king so they could be like the surrounding nations.  Hear the word of the LORD…

“But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken Me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:6-9 (KJV)

Sometimes God gives us what we want, even when He knows what it will do to us.  Sometimes God gives His children a million dollars, and they end up losing it all because they did not have the wisdom to know what to do with it; but they wanted it.  Sometimes God saves the life of a child gravely injured in an accident, but the child is alive only not living on his/her own strength; they got what they wanted.

In the case above the king that was chosen was to show them the manner of king that would reign over them, and that would be Saul.  Saul turned his back on God.  He eventually hated even David a shepherd boy who would be God’s appointed king, and of whom Jesus Christ would be an heir to the throne.

My heart and mind has determined that I want what God wants for me; and I will be perfectly content and at peace with that.  What about you?  It can start by calling on the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son for salvation.  Do so today.

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

There are many gifts given that are given in sacrifice.  Some even given so hopefully to appease a wrathful god who holds a scale in his hands weighing our good and our evil deeds.  No one can judge another heart in the matter.  But the Almighty God knows.

In a couple of verses we look at today we see what God thinks of sacrifices given by the “Wicked”; and the prayers of the “Upright” or the “Righteous”.

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” Proverbs 15:8
“The LORD is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29 (KJV)

It is good to be reminded of king Saul’s sacrifice (1 Samuel 15), and Samuel’s words to Saul concerning sacrifice,

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23

Wickedness is the act of hostility toward God, His Word, His messengers, and His works.  Who are the wicked?  Those who practice such things.  For those who are the wicked; God does not honor, remember or bless your “sacrifice”.  It is an abomination to Him; and will be counted against you unless you believe Him.

Proverbs 15:29 tells us that “The LORD is far from the wicked”.  He is far from them as far as their wickedness is concerned.  The place where they lie at night He is there; but they are far from Him.

In both of the verses of Proverbs is mentioned “Prayer”.  The prayer of the upright; and the prayer of the righteous.  The righteous are those who have heard the Word of God, believed it, received it, and are born into the kingdom of heaven because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“The prayer of the upright is His delight”.  The “Upright” are the righteous, and God is delighted– favors, finds pleasure, good will, and acceptance in their prayers. For those who are born again in Christ Jesus it is wonderful to know that He hears our prayers…

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

O turn away from your wicked hostility toward God, His Word, His people, His messengers, and His works.  Call on the name of the Lord.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Twenty and Three

“When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.” Ezekiel 33:18-20 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas Today?

I want to live, walk, and stand in the righteousness that is found only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and to live in His power, glory, and strength; and I want you to join with me; because the righteousness of mankind is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and will keep us from GOD.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Seventy and Six

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2ff

It is amazing to me how there are some people who cry out, “Do not judge”, yet out of their statement they are judging the one to whom, or of whom they are speaking.

What do I want for Christmas?

Since there must be judgments made, I want to make clear judgments of  people, and the content of their character, situations, and never judge by conditions of poverty (or bankruptcy), riches, health, or sickness; I want the color of a persons skin to never enter into the judgments that I make; I want to make righteous judgments; I want to first judge myself.

Lord, help me to never condemn anyone, even when they hurt or offend me.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Eighty and Six

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” Matthew 5:23-26 (KJV)

There are many who profess to be Christian, yet hold grudges, are angry at other brethren, and seek to do harm by gossip, or wish them harm.  By the words of Jesus above we are to do what it takes to make things right.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to want what is good and right for my brother or sister in Christ; to do them good at all times, and not evil; nor to wish evil upon them or even upon those who might seek to do harm to family or myself.

Lord,  help me always to pray for my brethren, my neighbor and any who may despise me; and seek to do them good always.

The Word of Jesus Christ – Christmas Day Two Hundred and Thirteen

What do I want for Christmas?

When I wrote yesterday of the Exclusiveness of Christ; I noted that the numbers of readings and likes from the day before was considerably less.  I pray that was because the readers did not come rather than they did not like the teaching.

I want today for you to realize that if the exclusiveness of Christ is not so, then the words of Jesus in John 14:6 – 7 are not true, that Jesus would be a liar, and could not be trusted; then, He would not be a good teacher, a good man, but a deceiver; and no one would then have any hope.

I want you to know today, that Jesus is everything He claimed to be.  He is the Son of God, and God the Son.  Every word He has spoken and speaks is Truth.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36 (KJV)

“Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” John 12:44-50 (NKJV)

When GOD Speaks… Listen

There use to be a commercial on television of a financial firm called E. F. Hutton where in the midst of noisy crowds or other noises and such, a man would speak and all would get quiet. Then, a voice would say, “When E. F. Hutton speaks, people listen”. I do not know if I got it completely right, but that is close.

As far as I know now, E. F. Hutton’s firm is no longer in existence. The man himself is probably gone from life. You know what? When God the LORD speaks people ought to listen. He is our Creator. He is our salvation. He is our peace. He is our sustenance.

Reading from Ezekiel 24 – 27 I especially noted these three verses:

“I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.”
“It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.”
“And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 24:14; 26:5, 14 (KJV)

Again, let me share my journal thoughts with you…

I looked back a few chapters, and found this phrase “…For I the LORD have spoken it…” at least two other times; with 12:25 making a fourth. Though 12:25 does not use the phrase, it is strongly emphasized.

One of the reasons I love God’s Word is that what God says comes to pass just as He said it would. The truth of His Word shows us that He is trustworthy, faithful, and True. He cannot lie.

“I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.” 24:14

The Lord GOD is everlasting; and His word is forevermore. In You LORD, and in your Word do I trust.

There is no words of man or men that are sure, faithful, trustworthy or true. Let God be true and every man a liar.

What God was speaking above was to a place called Tyrus; warning them of judgment, and destruction. What He speaks concerning grace, peace, and salvation through His Son Jesus is faithful and true as well. Believe His Son today. Trust Him. He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and bodily arose and is alive forevermore. When GOD speaks… listen.  Thus saith the LORD.

NOT GUILTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The True and Just Judge

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  Psalm 43:1 (KJV)

On this verse I will let Charles H. Spurgeon do the commentary.  O how we as followers of Christ Jesus need to trust God’s judgment of us, and plead His grace and mercy, and then trust it.  We also must needs trust His judgment upon others.

“Judge me, O God.” Others are unable to understand my motives, and unwilling to give me a just verdict. My heart is clear as to its intent, and therefore I bring my case before thee, content that thou wilt impartially weigh my character, and right my wrongs. If thou wilt judge, thy acceptance of my conduct will be enough for me; I can laugh at human misrepresentation if my conscience knows that thou art on my side; thou art the only one I care for; and besides, thy verdict will not sleep, but thou wilt see practical justice done to thy slandered servant. “And plead my cause against an ungodly nation.” One such advocate as the Lord will more than suffice to answer a nation of brawling accusers. When people are ungodly no wonder that they are unjust: those who are not true to God himself cannot be expected to deal rightly with his people. Hating the King they will not love his subjects. Popular opinion weighs with many, but divine opinion is far more weighty with the gracious few. One good word from God outweighs ten thousand railing speeches of men. He bears a brazen shield before him whose reliance in all things is upon his God; the arrows of calumny fall harmlessly from such a buckler. “O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.” Deceit and injustice are boon companions: he who fawns will not fear to slander. From two such devils none can deliver us but God. His wisdom can outwit the craft of the vilest serpent, and his power can overmatch the most raging lion. Whether this was Doeg or Ahithophel is small matter, such double distilled villains are plentiful, and the only way of dealing with them is to refer the matter to the righteous Judge of all; if we try to fight them with their own weapons, we shall suffer more serious injury from ourselves than from them. O child of God, leave these thine enemies in better hands, remembering that vengeance belongeth not to thee, but to the Lord. Turn to him in prayer, crying, “O deliver me,” and ere long you shall publish abroad the remembrance of his salvation.
TREASURY OF DAVID e-Sword edition

Judgment You can Trust

“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalm 26:1 (KJV)

No one of us enjoy the thought of being judged by another human being.  We can be the worst, and the harshest of judges.

The Psalmist (David) goes to Jehovah, and request His judgment.  Would I do that?  I will say this; I do desire His judgment over yours.  It is a good thing to desire the judgment of GOD.  His judgment is holy, just and righteous.

As David; if we come to Him with with a moral integrity that is based on the grace of God, then you or I have nothing to fear in God’s judgment.

You will notice that David comes to make this request based on his trust in the LORD – “I have trusted also in the LORD…”

Let me give you some thoughts concerning judgment. First, when we have trusted the LORD we can know that His judgment is right.  Second, when we are trusting the LORD we can judge ourselves: “If we would judge ourselves we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31).  Third, we can be free of the fearful judgment of GOD by trusting in the One who took our judgment for us; that is, His Son  Jesus Christ.

Knowing Him, trusting Him, and He keeps us from the “Slide” ie., from falling.

Jesus On the Matter of Judging

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  ~Jesus  (Luke 6:37-38)

The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 4:1-3)

God’s Controversy With His People 1

As we begin our study of Hosea 4 we find Hosea speaking in the gates of the city.  This is the place where civil and religious meetings were held.  There were probably some who were from the Southern kingdom present here as well.

The LORD is presented as having a “Controversy” with the people.  The MIRRIAM/WEBSTER Dictionary defines “Controversy” as being “a clash of opposing views: DISPUTE”.  It must of necessity be concluded that the one who opposes God is the one who is in error.  The New International Version of the Bible uses the word “Charge”.  The New American Standard uses the word “Case”.  These latter two imply court actions.  If then this is a court scene we see GOD as the offended party; and He is also the Judge, the Prosecutor; and since there is no defense mentioned He would also be their Defense.  God has a legal case against Israel.  It is a case He will win.  A case where the guilty will in brokenness confess their guilt, turn from their evil, and seek His face, receiving His forgiveness.

In verse one through three God says all are guilty, then the priests and prophets are responsible for rejecting the Word of God, rather than teaching it, living it, and proclaiming it (vv. 4-6).  They are all condemned for leaving God to follow the harlotry of Baal (vv. 7-10).  The men are then told of their responsibility for the corrupting of their wives and daughters (vv. 13-14).  Judah [the Southern kingdom] is then called on to heed the Word of Go, and not to forsake God and His ways following other gods (vv. 15-19).

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.  By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.  Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.”  Hosea 4:1-3 (KJV)

The land is greatly polluted.  Sexual perversion and immorality always pollute the land of any nation.

God still contends with evil.  He is contending with evil even now across the United States of America, and in all nations of the world.  Sin is just as destructive today as it was in Hosea’s day; maybe more open and with greater influence; but “where sin abounds grace does much more abound”.

“Truth” is faithfulness.  Faithful to God, His Word, and His ways.  To walk in them is to walk in truth.  To walk in truth is to be faithful to His Word.  To depart from truth is to cease being kind.  “Mercy” is kindness.  When God’s people forsake His way sexual immorality increases, murders increase, all crime and criminal activities increase, and education slips into amorality.  Evil becomes good, and good becomes evil.  Because of this there is no knowledge of God in the land.  God is seen only as non-existent, unavailable, or contained in a box to be used at our own discretion and for our own pleasures.  Because of evil god is made in our own image.  He is viewed as tolerating evil, and never judging it; putting Him on equal basis with the gods of men’s hearts.  His Holiness, Righteousness, mercy, and grace are forgotten.  What need is there of mercy and/or grace if God tolerates all kinds of evil?

When people depart from God to serve the gods of their hearts “Everyone does that which is right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25), the land becomes “Bloody”.  The commandments of God become useless, despised, and rejected; tossed aside as fables.

In verse two Hosea declares that at least five of the Ten Commandments had been severely broken.

There are also ecological consequences to sin.

The land cries out to God for mercy (Romans 8:22).  The man of God’s creation willfully sinned against God.  Sin causes the creation to groan.  Unless God keeps His hand of mercy on the land, then the land judges us.

The environmental crises that are known today; the upheaval of weather  patterns, in the USA, and around the world; are evidences of a gross spiritual problem.  God’s people have forsaken Him to serve the idols of pleasure, entertainment, and the sirens of comfort.  Many of the gods of our day are science, technology, money and finance.  All idols of man’s own making; leading to our destruction.

The world may laugh at such a simplistic answer, but the Bible is clear on the matter, and it is right.  Someone has said, “The heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart.” (Matthew 15:16-20).  The heart of man can only be righted when man confesses his sin/departure from God, repents, and asks for, and receives God’s forgiveness.

It is not gun-control we need to stop murders, or condoms to stop STD’s and/or AIDS.  It is self-control, and especially Holy Spirit initiated self-control.  To make it real the world needs the grace, mercy, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the forgiveness only His atoning death, burial and resurrection supplies.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Deuteronomy – 022511

Reading from Deuteronomy 14 – 16.

We will focus on chapter 16 and verses 18-22.

Fair judgment seems to be quite fickle among the courts of human governments.  Even in the USA, it seems sometimes that the ones who have the money for a good lawyer can get off from even serious crimes, while those who don’t have the time or money to pay a good attorney can be found guilty, even of a crime they did not commit.  That is not how God desires His people to conduct themselves.

“Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.  Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.  That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.   Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.  Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.”  Deuteronomy 16:18-22 (KJV)

I will never cease to be amazed at the number of Christians, even preachers who spend time preaching, who labor to make the Word of God relevant and/or applicable to the times we live in.  The more we labor at it the less relevant and applicable it may become.  It is already relevant and applicable.

In lands/countries where they have dictators ruling masses of people; it is most often unjustly.  We have heard the horror stories of Hitler, and more recently Saddam Hussein of Iraq.  Even more recently the now “former” President of Egypt Mubarrak, evidently took billions of dollars that were meant for the aid of the Egyptian people; and has even been allowed to leave the country with it.  The people are probably more happy to have him gone than they are concerned about the billions.

Every Christian should be concerned about just judges in judgment.  Murderers go free because they have powerful, high price attorneys who know how to manipulate courts, judges, juries and they whole legal system of the USA.

The text above tells us the cities of the Promised Land are to have judges at the city gates [“Gates” implies one’s with authority in a city].  These judges were to make just rulings.  They were not to determine a case by the money or material offering one might give or offer the judge, but by the evidence in the case; and each case on its own merit.  They were not to pervert judgment.

There is much perverted judgment today.  In some cases men and women are tried because of accusations by children that they were molested by this adult; when in fact they were not; but this adult, which is their mother or father merely disciplined them; taking the keys of the child’s car, preventing them from going out; or of some nature as that.  “If you will only plead guilty they are told, then, you will get a lighter sentence.”  they are told.  Some actually follow through with the “lighter sentence”, and it ruins their lives.  Perverted justice.  For sure.  It is especially perverted when a judge receives a payment from a former spouse or lawyer to bring a certain verdict.

A perverted system that allows drunk drivers to walk free after killing innocent individuals is going to come under the judgment of holy God.  It happens more times than you or I would like to think.  You can probably think of other injustices that happen in our USA.

The second  part of our text has to do with “trees” near the altar of God.  God was cutting off the practice of worshipping of idols near the place where He is worshipped.  The LORD hates the worship of idols; which is the worship of demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-21).  Therefore the follower of Jesus Christ is not to worship anything except the LORD God of hosts.

Remember to read Deuteronomy 14 – 16 today.

-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

THE PRIESTLY JUDGE

THE PRIESTLY JUDGE
Revelation 8:1-13
The One who created all things, also still holds these things in His hand, to show forth wrath upon the “Inhabiters of the earth”; and the Priest who judges sin.
In the national life of Israel trumpets played an important role, and had three important uses: 1) For calling the people together (NUM. 10:1-8); 2) For announcing war (NUM. 10:9); and 3) For announcing special times (NUM. 10:10).

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. Revelation 8:1 (KJV).
The final seal is opened. Notice the response of Heaven. Silence. This could be caused by awe, because now the book is opened and the glories and power of God is revealed. All that was concealed is now revealed to all of Heaven for the first time.
Not a whisper, nary a sigh, but only silence. Sometimes the greatest reverence is given God by our silence. The Psalmist even wrote, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).
It is not told us why there is silence for one half hour, but it does have to do with the seventh seal and the book [scroll]. There could be more than one reason, but I do believe the above reason is a biblical one. Other than that we just do not know.

2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 8:2-6 (KJV).
It seems that the seven seals and the seven trumpets are interrelated. The seventh seal introduces the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet introduces the seven vials of wrath. These cannot be separated, then, because they all fit together. Each series of judgments seem to lead to a more severe wrath.
The seven angels are not named and it is not necessary to do so. They are given one trumpet each.
There is “another angel”, an eighth mentioned who seems to be a priestly angel. Some have equated this angel to being like the appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ – referred to in the Old Testament as the “Angel of the LORD”. It is not clear who this angel is. Jesus is the High Priest who atoned for our sin, and He is the One who will judge the world. Whoever he is he is fulfilling the work and ministry of a priest – unlike the work of any angel.
He stands at the brazen altar of judgment and sacrifice, with a golden censer [cup or bowl] for the incense which was given him. The incense is offered with the prayers of the saints [your prayers and mine, as well as the saints of the tribulation]. The incense is a symbol of prayer and worship.
In the Old Testament the high priest would kill the sacrifice at the brazen altar, collect the blood, and God received the offering by fire. The priest would take the golden bowl and take fire from the altar [which was never to go out LEV. 6:12-13, and it was lit by God LEV. 9:23-24], and enter the holy place with the blood, and with the fire, take the incense from the golden altar which was located outside the Holy of Holies [the presence of God], and he would enter the presence of God veiled in the smoke of the incense, pouring out the blood of the sacrifice at the throne of God – the presence of God. This made atonement for the people’s sins for one year.
Notice after the prayers and incense is offered to God the eighth angel takes fire in the golden censer, from the brazen altar of judgment, and casts it upon the earth.
Our prayers for deliverance; the prayers of the tribulation saints for deliverance and retribution, and for the glory of God to come will be done in God’s time. The “Imprecatory Psalms” (Psalms 7; 26; 35; 52; 55; and 58 are examples); these are not cries from selfish people, but cries for God to vindicate them according to His Word and grace.
It is amazing that God seems to store our prayers as a sweet fragrance to Him and will carry out their request in His time and according to His divine will. Have you grown weary and tired of prayer? Keep praying from a yielded and repentant, and broken heart. He hears you.
After fire is taken from the altar and cast to the earth it causes great upheaval. Voices, thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake. It seems clear that the censer used for offering up worship and prayer is now used to hurl judgment and vengeance upon the earth.
Nothing is said of how the seven angels “Prepared themselves”. It could be a simple thing as raising the trumpets.

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up 8:7 (KJV).
The first four trumpets and their judgments are released in chapter eight. There are two more in chapter nine and the last one is in chapter eleven, beginning at verse fifteen.
If you will notice the seals were opened in the same way of separateness. The four horsemen are separate from the final three, and the seventh follows a short interlude. The same is true of the trumpets and the vials.
“All three of these series of sevens…are framed exactly alike. They are divided into four and three. Then the last three which are always separated and apart from the first four and divided are divided into two and one. Between the two and one (between the sixth and seventh), there is always an interlude. Between the sixth and seventh seals, the seventh chapter …. is an interlude. In the turmpets series chapters 10 – 11:14 form the interlude. Between the sixth and seventh bowls Revelation 16:13-16, is the interlude. The briefest interlude is between the sixth and seventh bowls of the wrath of God. The longest interlude by far is the one between the sixth and seventh trumpet.” BILL DUDLEY Notes page 31.
There is no reason for us to try and see these judgments in any other way than their literal sense. To look at them in another sense other than the literal sense makes nonsense.
The first trumpet could be parallel with Exodus 9:18-26. Each trumpet judgment seems to have some parallel with the Egyptian Exodus, and the plagues. If we are to take the plagues of Egypt literally, then we must take this hail, fire and blood literal as well.
One third part of the trees. According to some “trees” refers to fruit trees. This being the case “One third” of the fruit trees being destroyed would wreak havoc on the world, but it does not stop there. All green grass is burnt up, as well. This may include grain crops and this would drastically hurt meat and milk production causing further economic harm. The economy, of course, would be the least of their worries.

And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. 8:8-9 (KJV).
The second trumpet sounds and what appears as a “great mountain burning…” is “cast into the sea”.
A great large object falling from the heavens falls into the oceans turning one third of the seas into blood, killing one third of ocean life and destroying one third of all ships on the ocean waters. Again this is to be taken literally. If God was able to send plagues upon Egypt, and He was, He is able also to send these judgments upon a Christ-hating world.

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 8:10-11 (KJV).
The third trumpet seems to bring about the poisoning of the fresh waters of earth. It would seem that this “star” breaks in pieces upon entering the earth’s atmosphere and the pieces fall into individual sources of fresh water poisoning one third of the streams.
This “star” is directed by the hands of God to judge evil. It seems many will get thirsty and drink these waters and die.

And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. 13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! 8:12-13 (KJV).
The fourth angel sounds the trumpet and the sun and moon is smitten, and also the stars. One third of the sun, the moon and stars are darkened. How this is done we are not told, only that it is done. Since evil men love darkness and not light they should enjoy this time.
These first four trumpets destroy much of what men often takes for granite in creation. We often do not think to be thankful for the trees, the grass, the oceans, streams of water, and the celestial creation. Many just think it will always be there. It does not matter how we live; grass and water will always be. While some may think the problem is ecological it is not. The real problem is a spiritual one. When wicked men of earth refuse God’s ways the ecology of earth suffers. God will even strike the stars and satellites of the heavens to show evil men that it is He who controls the universe.
The word “angel” in verse 13 is said to actually be “Eagle”. If that be so it could refer back to one of the four “Living beings” of chapter four. Verse seven of that chapter mentions the “fourth beast was like a flying eagle”. This “Eagle” is crying out , “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of earth”. The three “woes” correspond with the following three trumpets.
The word “Inhabiters” is dealing with the lovers of this world, solely those who are of the earth. Those who are believers [followers of Christ] during this time; their habitation is in Heaven.
The woes seem to indicate that the judgments following will be far worse than anyone has ever seen, or has ever been through.
Be sure you know Jesus, NOW! Let us also be thankful for the fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and milk God has blessed us with so abundantly. For the water we drink, and for the heavenly creation praise the name of our Lord and Creator. Jesus is THE PRIESTLY JUDGE who will put an end to sin and make all things right in His sight.

Edited for tags, and some spelling corrections by t.a. 03/25/10