Full Force of Wrath

“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.”  Revelation 10:5-7

These verses are further evidence that this angel is not the Lord Jesus.

The first thing that tells me it is not, is, that he “Sware to Him that liveth for ever and ever”. The risen glorified Jesus would have no need to do that. He is the “Fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). He is the One who lives “For ever and ever”.

The second reason is that, if it is Jesus He could sware by Himself (Heb. 6:13).

This is simply an angelic messenger of God’s ownership upon His creation. Afterall, all things are under His feet. He can send an angelic messenger if He so chooses.

The fact that the angel is standing on the sea and the earth seem to imply that time is up. This last phrase of verse six is indicative of that. “There will be no more delay” (NIV). “There shall be delay no longer” (NAS). “There should be delay no longer” (NKJV). The verse does not imply no more time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.); unless it could be applied to repentance; and read, “No more time for man to repent”. The clear implication is that time is up. The full force of God’s wrath is come. Evil will be eternally put away.

Verse seven is a strong affirmation of the above. John speaks of the seventh trump. At the sound of the seventh trump, “The mystery of God should be finished”. What is this mystery? There is much said in the Bible about mystery. Some of these God reveals to His prophets and has revealed them.

1. The mystery of the Church (Eph. 5:32);
2. The mystery of iniquity (2 Thes. 2:7).

The above are only a sample of mysteries of the Bible. These two probably fit with what John is writing. With the sounding of the seventh trump; the final martyrs will be slain, the gospel ceases and judgment falls on the whole earth. The seventh trump also begins the “seven vials of wrath”. If you will remember the seven seals judgments only affected one fourth, then, the seven trumpets affect one third, but when we get to the seven vials it seems to affect the whole earth because there is no mention of the amount of earth or population affected.

The work of those who are His on earth is finished. The bondage of and control of sin on earth is finished as well. Only wrath remains. Mankind has no more time for repentance at the seventh trumpet. Because mankind has rejected God’s atonement for sin through faith in Jesus Christ, the iniquity of mankind and its judgment will be put on the God-haters. God provides the way through the cross of Jesus for man to come to Him and be saved. If we reject that way there is no other, and judgment is imminent.

God warns people through His servants He calls prophets or preachers. God reveals judgment to certain ones and as God’s servants, they warn people of judgment. This shows God’s abundant mercy (Amos 3:7). He owes man nothing, yet His mercy is astounding. One day, though, His mercy will cease. Woe be to those who heed not His warnings.

Jesus in Genesis (6)

Genesis 24:1-67

“And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:  and I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; He shall send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.  And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.  And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Genesis 24:1-9 (KJV).

I will not post all 67 verses, but I will put the verse numbers for your reference to check out.

We have been LOOKING FOR JESUS in Genesis for several articles. I will do one more following this one, and then I am going to do a study in The Revelation of Jesus Christ; Lord willing.

There is a wedding which is going to be celebrated, in what I believe to be the not too distant future. Here in the Old Testament book of Genesis is a picture of the bringing together of the bride and the Bridegroom.

Jesus promised that after His ascension into Heaven He would send a Comforter. This comforter would guide into all truth. He would draw people to Jesus Christ.

In our text we have an unnamed servant of Abraham who is sent to find a bride for his son. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit inspired the writings of Scripture in the way He has here showing forth the glory of God, and His work bringing the lost to Jesus.

The servant went to the assigned place to seek a bride for Isaac. Rebekah was that chosen bride. This bride 1). “Believed a man she had never met before, 2). was asked to go to a land from which she was never to return, 3). was asked to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.” M. R. DeHaan. The journey was about 600 miles on the back of a camel.

When the servant chose Rebekah it was then, a decision for her to make. The decision was one that could not wait (vv. 55-58). So Rebekah chose to go on a journey over hard country – a barren, dry and dangerous country.

When Rebekah saw Isaac for the first time he was coming from Lahairoi, which means, “The well of a Living One”. This is the first appearance of Isaac since the altar of Mount Moriah. Jesus will one day appear to take His bride who has been chosen by the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at four of the characters in this text, and we will try and focus the picture on the One who is True.

First of all, look at the father. He loved Isaac and wanted a bride for him. He believed that God was faithful and would keep His promise and provide the bride. The bride could not be an outsider. The Father getting a bride for His Son, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. John 6:44 (KJV).

The next character we see in the text is the servant. He is a model servant. He does not go unsent (vv. 2-9), he goes where he is sent (vv. 4-10), he does nothing else, is prayerful and thankful (vv. 12-14, 26-27), he is wise to win (vv.17, 21), he speaks not of himself, but of his master’s riches, and Isaac’s heirship (vv. 34-36; Acts 1:8), he presents the true issue, and requires a clear decision (v. 49).

The work of the Spirit of God is the True: the antitype. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” John 15:26 (KJV). “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:13-14 (KJV).

The third character is the chosen bride herself. She welcomed a stranger, whom she had never seen. This servant came to the well, seeking God’s direction, and Rebekah came and fulfilled the needs of this servants prayer (vv. 18-20, 24, 25). She accepted the servants invitation (vv. 55-58). The invitation was that she return to Canaan to be the wife of Isaac and receive the blessings of what he would inherit. Rebekah and the servant must have spoken much on the journey to meet the Bridegroom. She learned more about Isaac (v. 65) and more as she saw him and was getting nearer to him. She went over hard country in the care of the servant. This “Hard country” is the hardships, trials, and tribulations of living and growing in the Christian life. M. R. DeHaan said, “Rebekah was asked to believe a man she had never met before, to go to a land from which she was never to return, and to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.”

The final character, but certainly not the least of the four is the son, in particular; his wedding. Weddings are most always a joyous event. It was for Isaac, and it was for Rebekah. When Rebekah came riding up on the camel with the servant she leaped off the camel. It does not say what she did when she leaped off the camel, but I just suppose that she ran to meet him, and their hearts became as one. In leaping off the camel Rebekah had left the last of her worldly possessions behind. Her journey is complete.

When Jesus and His Bride are joined together at last, they will never part, because it will be for all eternity.

The invitation is still extended. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17 (KJV).

If we have “Eyes to see, and ears to hear” we can see quite clearly the picture the Master has painted for us. We can see Jesus’ death in Isaac at the altar, we see His resurrection and ascension in that Isaac came from the “Well of the Living One”. We can see the work of the Holy Spirit in Abraham’s servant as he sought a bride for Isaac.

God is so good He paints us such beautiful pictures to show us how He is working throughout all of time to draw us to Himself. The Antitype is even more beautiful.

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:5-10 (KJV).

Some Sermon Thoughts from 2 Chronicles 17:1-19

When We Walk in the LORD

  1.  Hearts will trust the LORD and not in the supposed power of man and politics (vv. 1-6).
  2.   The Word of God will be proclaimed in life and land (vv. 7-9).
  3.   The People around will fear God and respect you (vv. 10-11).  See Proverbs 16:7
  4.   Your land and life is blessed by God (vv. 12-19).

From a sermon preached on May 15, 2016

Day Three Hundred and Nineteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want you the reader to share with me [in the comments] what you want for Christmas.

Remembering that this is to see each day as we do Christmas.  What do you want for Christmas?

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4 (NKJV)

The Light is Shining

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9:2 (KJV)

The nation having departed from the Word of the LORD, His law, and His prophets is in darkness. A darkness covers the land. A darkness of sin, of captivity, of departing from the Living God, to dead idols, to shame, to sin, and its captivity.

The verse is one of the promised Messiah who would come as Light to this nation in darkness; and its people dwelling in the “shadow of death”.

When Jesus came into Israel, born as a man; a baby in a manger; the Light truly did shine; and there was hope for the land, the people. Jesus Christ was and is the fulfillment of this prophecy of Isaiah. This verse is given in detail in Matthew 4:15-16, and following this verse Jesus says,

“Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (v. 17)

It is time for repentance, in our day. A time for turning away from sin to Christ Jesus and life in the light. When we are in darkness the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ shines brighter. It shines brighter as those who are His will stand, and be strong in the LORD, and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10ff).

The ultimate fulfillment of this verse will be when Jesus the Messiah will come again, and set all things right, and reign as King of all kings.

The Light of the Messiah; the Christ is shining brightly in this dark world. Paul the apostle of Christ said,

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…” Romans 5:20

Because of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Light (John 8:12; 9:5).  The Light is Shining brightly.

The Land is GOD’S to Give as He Pleases

“God hath spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the strength of Mine head; Judah is My lawgiver; Moab is My washpot; over Edom will I cast out My shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of Me.” Psalm 60:6-8 (KJV)

One of the things people and nations need to understand is that God is the owner of all lands, and distributes those lands as He sees fit.

The land of Canaan was promised to Abraham, and His children through Isaac the promised son. He gave the land of Canaan plus land on the east side of Jordan to the people of promise.

Down through the ages there is still contention over that land. It is simply because the people will not submit to God’s ownership and division of that land. If the people would submit to God’s ownership, division of that land, and realize we are all only stewards of where we dwell; then there could be peace.

The Psalmist speaking the words of God notes this division. Shechem and Succoth are land on the east side of Jordan, and were given to two and one half tribes of Israel, because of their request for it (Numbers 32:1-5). Gilead, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah are God’s people. God says, “Gilead is Mine.” He also says, “Manasseh is Mine”; and “Ephraim is the helmet for My head” (NKJV), and “Judah is My lawgiver”.

To think about “Moab is My washpot” we are the surrounding enemy nations; along with Edom, and Philistia. We might consider Moab as the “washpot” in that when Israel strayed God uses them to discipline, chastise Israel for their waywardness.

Do we as Christians today understand that all God has given in our hand, under our feet, even on our back are His; and we are uniquely His stewards to care, and work it for His glory? The land is His and everything on it.

When we know God through His Son Jesus Christ we will understand this and will direct our lives accordingly. We will love the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We will love the Word of God, we will hear it and do what He says. When we fail, or fall we will trust Him to pick us back up; and we will continue on the path of holiness.

The Surrender

“And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.” 2 Kings 25:24 (KJV)

Surrender is never a pleasant topic; especially for those with strong personalities, and stubborn hearts.

The prophet Jeremiah had told the people of Judah to surrender to Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar, because he was going to come and capture the people, take the articles from the temple, and leave it in ruins (Jeremiah 27:12ff). Now it had occurred and a governor of Judea had been appointed. Gedaliah (Jehovah is great) was speaking words of encouragement to some people who had came to him seeking advice.

Surrendering to the enemy is not easy. Surrendering to God is often not easy, because we have our own ideas; our own way; and God’s way is not always what we desire at the start. The question is: Do we want God as our enemy? That is what we make Him when we say no to His plan, His way

In the end; this is not so much surrender to Nebuchadnezzar as it is surrender to GOD.

“Fear not” God will have His way with our enemy, and He will have His way in your life and mine.

Many Great Things Has God Done for His People

“And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; for the LORD our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: and the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for He is our God.” Joshua 24:16-18 (KJV)

Many great things has God done for His people Israel. Joshua, Caleb, and all the people of Israel who had came through the wilderness, had experienced the mighty hand of God; and they had received the Promise of God to their fathers. After they had received the promise how would they live?

That is a good question for followers of Christ in 2015. How will we now live? How will I now live?  Will we turn away from God? Will I turn away from God?  Will we continue to believe God and live for Him? Will I continue to believe God, and live for Him?  My answer to those questions is that; I will strive through the working of the Spirit of Christ Jesus to please the Father. I will not turn away from Him. I will live for Him. May my life be lived that others may see Christ in and through me. Yes I will live for God, His Son, and His word. There is no other God.

How about you?

Occupy

“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1 (KJV)

Joshua was probably near 100 years of age. Caleb was 85 years of age, yet said he was as strong as when they searched the land of Canaan forty years before (Joshua 14:7-12).

One of the things I see about this verse is that even though we age we ought never retire from the ministry of the LORD. The ministry to which Jehovah has called us through His Son; and that is possessing the possession He has given us. We all have enemies to conquer – in our personal lives. Be they run away emotions, fear, doubt, anger, family issues that tear us apart; and those we see in others. We need to help others too.

The other thing is to warn others who are on the wrong path of life of the life hereafter without Christ in their lives; and to tell them of the blessings of life with Christ now, and hereafter. We have been given a parable of illustration by Jesus to motivate us;

“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13ff

That word “Occupy” means “Stay busy caring for My stuff until I come” and it does not matter how old you get.

“Joshua you are getting old; but your life is not over. You got years of ministry left. You have land to conquer. Get going. Get with it.” I can insert my name there. How about you?

Let’s begin with knowing Jesus, and being known by Him.

Wherever We Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Land of the Enemy

“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.” Leviticus 26:44 (KJV)

In reading chapter 26 you will quickly realize God’s promises to Israel concerning their living in the Promised land. If they are obedient unto the LORD, and His commandments, laws; for themselves, their offerings, their Sabbaths for themselves, their animals, their servants, and for the land, etc. then they will be blessed. They would be protected, and without fear drive out those who are their enemies.

Then, the final verses are warnings of what will happen should they become disobedient, and follow their own hearts, disobey God, then, they would be cast out of the land, be driven and taken into foreign lands; living in fear.

As Christians we all enjoy the promises of God. The above promise is made to Israel. It is a marvelous promise. It is also one that the Christian can apply because the apostle Paul tells us also,,,

“I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:1-5

Because of the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross He has fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of God, and all people who trust Jesus as Lord and Saviour are given eternal life, and have the promise of God, “I will not cast them away”. It is His covenant with His people.

I Will Not Cast Them Away

…I Will Not Cast Them Away…

Leviticus 26:44-46

1.  After reading the first 25 chapters and hearing about the benefits of holiness we now hear God’s Word concerning unholiness and its consequences.
2.  God promises great reward to those of His children of Israel who will obey Him as a nation, a priesthood.
3.  There are also grave consequences for disobedience for the people and the land; so that the land can heal.
4.  Even though the LORD may punish or discipline His people He does not forsake them.

I.  GOD DESIRES TO DWELL AMONG HIS PEOPLE WHOM HE HAS REDEEMED UNTO  HIMSELF (v. 11; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

II.  THE LORD DESIRES TO BLESS THE LAND, HIS PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD (vv. 1-13).

III.  WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOT HOLY; HOW CAN A HOLY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS; EXCEPT BY CLEANSING (vv. 14-39)

IV.  THOUGH THE PEOPLE HAVE DISOBEYED, REBELLED, AND BECAME UNHOLY; THE LORD SAYS, ‘I WILL NOT CAST THEM AWAY’ (v. 44).

Application –

i.  God dwells in His people through the antitype who is Christ Jesus Himself – He lives in those who are redeemed through His precious blood.
ii.  The land could be a type of the spiritual blessings of those who are in Christ Jesus; spiritual gifts, life lived and given to the LORD.
iii.  Even the Christian who is not walking with God suffers grave consequences (Galations 6:7-8), and must come back into a right and holy walk with God.
iv.  He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5) and He will not cast away His redeemed people (John 17:11).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preached at Carr Lane Baptist Church February 2011.

My people shall never be ashamed

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.  Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed.”  Joel 2:21-27 (KJV)

There are many “Fear not” statements in Scripture.  Some one has said, that there is one for each day of the year.  I have not found them all, so I cannot point them out with their address.  Here in this passage of Scripture are two of them.

Notice that twice in these verses, God says, “My people shall never be ashamed.”  That is something for us to know, understand and practice.

-T.A.

God’s Word Today 081912

The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; ‘Thou didst say, ‘Woe is me now! For the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.’ ‘Thus shalt thou say unto him, ‘The LORD saith thus; ‘Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.  And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh,’ saith the LORD: ‘but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.”  Jeremiah 45:1-5 (KJV)

-T.A.

Elijah’s Confrontation of Evil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and verse 25,

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

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

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

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

-Tim A. Blankenship

When a Peace Partner is not a Peace Partner

That is when there are the conditions placed that Abbas does toward Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Addressing the Tunisian parliament on Monday, and sounding a bit like a character out of the children’s series Pokemon, Abbas stated, “I choose you, Netanyahu.” [The speech was delivered in Arabic, so it only sounded cartoonish when translated to English.]
To ensure no one thought he had started to actually like or admire his Israeli counterpart, Abbas added, “You are the prime minister of Israel, and I am forced to work with you.”
But Abbas’ apparent sudden reversal came with some strings attached. Abbas insisted that for talks to resume, Netanyahu must abandon the idea that Jews can live in their biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, as well as in the eastern half of Jerusalem.
“You [Netanyahu] must also choose between settlements and peace, for those who want peace do not think of settlements,” said Abbas.”

When it comes to peace with Israel, how can you compromise on the promise of God?  God’s promises to Israel concerning the land in particular.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 12 – Remember God is Gracious

Remembering that God is gracious should not be too difficult of a matter.  However, when we as human beings and as Christians get side tracked from the obvious, ie., God’s grace; it is generally due to blessings we have received.  We tend, at times, to be side tracked, and caught up in the blessing rather than the Blesser.

My reading for day 12 consisted of Deuteronomy 1 – 14.  The reading of Deuteronomy is of Moses reminding the children of Israel of the events of the past 40 years wandering in the wilderness.  He reminds them of their deliverance from Egypt; of times when God supplied them water; when there appeared to be no water.  How God supplied them bread when there was none to be had; and He, the LORD, gave them Manna – bread from heaven; and they ate it each day.  He reminded them of their past failures; particularly of their sin with the golden calf.  He also reminds them of God’s grace; and His promises to give them a land “flowing with milk and honey”.

“Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, ‘For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land:’ but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.  Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that He may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.” Deuteronomy 9:4-6 (KJV)

In the four hundred plus years since Jacob entering Egypt God was providing grace to the people of the land of Canaan.  Someone may ask the question, “Does scripture tell us that anywhere?”  I do not have a particular verse or verses in mind, but scripture always assumes and promotes the wonderful grace of God; so that is what I stand on here.  While God is preparing Him a people, a nation of people He is also giving the nations in Canaan opportunity to repent; but rather than repent their sin escalates toward destruction.

God reminds Israel of His grace by reminding them that He is giving them this land, and driving out its inhabitants; not because Israel is a righteous people, but because of the “wickedness of these nations”.  God does know that the children of Israel are a “stiffnecked” people – a stubborn, obstinate, rebellious people.  Yet, God in His grace blesses them with His grace.

God has blessed the world with His grace.  It is available to all who will believe in, trust His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried – carrying our guilt and condemnation away, and rose bodily from the grave to ever live making intercession before the Father for all will believe.

Grace is God’s undeserved favor toward those who believe in Him.

People today are a stiffnecked, obstinate, stubborn and rebellious people.  We are undeserving of God’s grace, yet He offers it freely to all who will trust in His Son and His finished work.  Jesus said,

“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”  John 6:29

The presence of God, His glory, and righteousness is for us because of the cross of Jesus, His burial and bodily resurrection.  Remember God’s Grace.

-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

Observations From Numbers 021911

Reading today from Numbers chapters 31 – 33.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember to read Numbers 31 – 33 for today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020811

The reading today Leviticus 26 – 27.

Most of us have heard the saying, or something similar to it; “If you sow your wild oats a harvest will come”.  It is another way of saying what God says  in His Word and through nature.  “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galations 6:7b).

Israel was given much, special land.  Yet it was theirs under the condition of the covenant with God.  The covenant was that they had to “walk with God”; and that means obey Him; to see things God’s way, not their own.  The prophet Amos asked the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3),and the answer is no.  In the case of man with God; we must agree with God.  God does not agree with me, nor does He need to or have to.  It is my obedience, my repentence, my sorrow for sin – that is necessary for me to walk with God – not God’s.

“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.  But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.  These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between Him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.”  Leviticus 26:44-46 (KJV)

In Leviticus 26 God the LORD has warned Israel of what will happen to them and the land should they not follow His commandments.  Both the Ten Commandments and the others that are given concerning treatment of others, their worship practices, moral issues, and the land.  If they go against God.  They are not “walking with God”.  They will suffer the consequences; and that will be judgment from surrounding nations, captivity; the enemy even harvesting their crops, rather than themselves.

God is merciful.  He even promises that should they disobey; and they do; then He will remember the covenant with them, and bring them back into the land.

Many times we may find that it is our own sins that judge us.  The prophet Jeremiah even bears this thought out when God spoke to him saying,

“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reproove thee…” (Jeremiah 2:19a).

It is great to know that we find grace and mercy given by God in the Old Testament; and that same grace and mercy is magnified, and personified in the person of His Son Jesus in the New Testament.  We have the promise of the New Testament:

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteouness.”  (1 John 1:9).

and”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…”   (1 John 2:1).

The grace of God through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of God to man, through Jesus.

Read Leviticus 26 – 27

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020711

Reading Leviticus 24-25 today.

Is it so bad to blaspheme the name of God?  Many seem not to think so.  What is “blasphemy”, or blaspheming the name of God?

“And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.  And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”  Leviticus 24:15-16 (KJV)

It would mean to make light of the name of God; to curse His name.  There are many people in the day who do just this, yet the mercy and grace of God falls all over them.  Some of these same people are ones who ask the question, “Why does God allow evil in the world?”, then with the next sentence take the name of the LORD in vain, or use His name to swear falsely by leaving a hurting individual hanging by a debt, or without an employer when they have the means to help them.

The LORD values life.  All of life.  God gives us the form of correction for one man taking another’s life; and that is the death of the killer/murderer.  Why?  Because He is the LORD.  One life is just as valuable as the other.  To allow a murderer to lives places more value on the murderer’s life than on the murdered individual’s life.  That’s our society.  However, God still says,

“And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.”  24:17

The LORD also places value on land ownership and ownership of anything.  Though no man actually owns anything; it belongs to the LORD; but He has placed us here to be stewards of His creation.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.  Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.” 25:1-4

When people honor God by caring for the land and others He will bless that people.

Please read Leviticus 24 – 25.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Becoming A Hero Of The Faith

Caleb is a hero of the Scriptures.  He is heroic in faith.  He is a champion of the Lord.  Wouldn’t it be great to be known by others as a champion of the LORD.  Let’s look at a time in Caleb’s life.  At this point they have reached a destination and battles have been fought and won, and some lost.

“Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel“  Joshua 14:14 (KJV).

Caleb was one of two who when they had returned from spying out the Promised Land, before they would enter it, who had the faith to enter after seeing that there was a hard war to be fought (READ Numbers chapter 13).  Because of his faith he and Joshua were the only people over the age of 20, at the time of the rebellion, that was allowed to enter and dwell in the Promised Land.

Now, we see Caleb being rewarded once again.  In verse 12 we find Caleb saying, “Give me this mountain”, and he said it knowing there were “Giants” in that mountain.  He thrived in the struggle.  His further statement was, “If so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

O, how the one’s who follow Jesus Christ need this heart of faith.  To not be hindered by the barriers, and some of those are self imposed.  To not be loaded down with the baggage of fear and doubt.  How was it that Caleb could go and conquer?

“Because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel”.  Let’s be sure we wholly follow the Lord Jesus, Son of God, King of kings, and LORD of lords.  Through faith in Jesus Christ we can take that mountain that looks daunting at the moment.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Land In Possession

In His journeys through the land of Canaan Abraham never owned a portion of the land.  For twenty five years Abraham had the promise of a son before that son was ever born to he and Sarah.  The promise is fulfilled.

In the time when Isaac is around twenty thirty seven years of age Sarah has died, and they own no land in which to bury her.  Abraham is trying to purchase the land, but it almost seems as though they do not want to sell it but give it to him.

One thing we must remember; it is God who owns the land.  He has placed it in our hands – many land owners in the world today.  However, the land owners are really only stewards of the land, and are  to be caretakers of what God has placed in our hands.

In the economy of land, though, land ownership is recognized by deeds and titles.  In the search for a place to bury his dear, and precious bride following her death; and yet owning nothing, but the promise of God for the whole land; Abraham, by faith offers to purchase a cave with some surrounding land from Ephron of the children of Heth.

They have finally reached an agreement.  Abraham now is a land owner in Canaan, and the rest is purely owned by faith.  This was indeed a transaction, a sale of land.  It was agreed to in public, before witnesses, there was an exchange of “money”, and there was a survey conducted to make sure the borders of the land (Genesis 23:17).  Most likely there was some sort of deed given in the transaction to seal the deal.

This was all done based on God’s call and promise that the land would be the descendants of Abraham’s of the seed of Isaac.

“And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.” Genesis 23:20 (KJV)

When God makes and gives us a promise we can be sure that He will carry that promise all the way to its completion.  Even our salvation. (Philippians 1:6).

-Tim A. Blankenship