Great Need For Repentance

“There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them,
‘Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’” Luke 13:1-5 (KJB)

I Will Accept You

“I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 20:41-44 (KJB)

“I will accept you” says the LORD. He will not accept them because of their holiness, righteousnesses, or their sacrifices. He accepts them because of His good, Holy, and Righteous Name.

Keep in mind, if you will, the one’s to whom God is speaking through the prophet are the people of Israel in captivity in Babylon. They are being promised that they will one day return to their Promised Land.  Most of these who are hearing would not. Ezekiel himself would not see his homeland again.  The nation would return. They did return.

The Lord GOD says to you today, “I will accept you, but not because of your sacrifices, not because of your holiness, righteousness; but for My own Name’s sake.”  His Name is the Name that is above every name (Philippians 2:10-11).

I am not accepted by God because of anything good in me, but because of the gift of Jesus Christ – His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection.  He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

The Lord accepts all who will come to Him through Jesus Christ. Call on His Name.

Dry Morsels and Sacrifices

We put dry crackers in soup.  Some of us eat beef jerky occasionally; some maybe more than occasionally.  Dried bread pieces are used with salads and other things at times.  Dry morsels are not all bad.  Sometimes they are good.  Maybe always better than religious people who have homes full of strife.

Hear the words of the Wise…

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:1-9 (KJV)

For further review and study…

Verse 1 – Many of the sacrificial times in the Old Testament were also times of feasting. There are seven feasts mentioned in OT Scriptures. A dry morsel with peace is better than a house of “feasting” with strife.

“Prov. 17:1 Like 15:17, this proverb asserts that a poor but loving home is better than a home filled with feasting and strife. As the ESV footnote indicates, “feasting” is lit., “sacrifices,” specifically peace offerings; such offerings would provide for a meal including meat—a luxury in ancient times.” From ESV Study Bible

Verse 2 – There are examples of servants who were teachers for sons and daughters of their “master”. Abraham’s servant (Gen 24) is a good example. He goes to find a bride for Isaac. Isaac was not foolish son, but the servant did seek a wife for him. At one time Abraham even asked the LORD to give his inheritance to the servant Eliezer (Gen 15:1-4).

In the Law there is no provision for this; but it must have been a feasible possibility. No wise father would turn the inheritance over to a son who was causing shame to the name of the family; nor to a son who would foolishly squander away the business/inheritance.

Verse 3 – Refining for silver and gold requires fire. When the gold and silver is melted down the impurities of each comes to the surface. The refiner can then take a metal scoop, and skim the surface, removing the impurities. The more the fine metals are refined through the fire the more pure they become.

Why is it when we want to prepare ourselves for a marathon run, a mountain climb, and we suffer to prepare for those things without too much complaining; but let God use adversity (the weights, the climbs, the trials), and we ask, “Why is God doing this to me?” He does know what is best for us; and exactly where we are going. He knows the trail ahead.

It is a great comfort to know that the LORD is the One who tries the hearts of men. Yet that too is sometimes like fire.

Verse 4 – Those people involved in wickedness will often listen to “false lips”; those who give bad, and false witness. It is easier, many times, to believe a lie; than it is to believe the truth.

People who are prone to lying themselves are also more likely to listen to lies, and believe them. This may have more to do with malicious gossip than other things.
Verse 5 – Many times I have probably “Mocked the poor”. If we say things like, “Well some poor people are that way, because they want to be.” Is that not mocking? At least the mockery which the verse speaks of. We are told in this verse that it “Reproaches his Maker”; that is GOD.

Have we ever rejoiced to see someone, some place or city stricken by calamity? Woe be to the one’s who do such things. They shall not be “Unpunished”.

Verse 6 – See Psalm 127:3-4 and 128:6

Verse 7 – A “fool” in the Biblical sense is one who despises God, Godly wisdom and understanding. There are many eloquent, proficient, even thoughtful speakers who are foolish concerning the things of God.

What is worse than a fool who despises God, godliness, and wisdom and understanding; is the “Prince”, future ruler, or ruler who has lying lips.

Verse 8 – Bribery is the idea that is being written of in this passage. The one who has the means to bribe, and will bribe others to his own advantage holds this as though it were a precious gem in his sight. Much greed and selfish things can be accomplished through bribery.

v. 23; 18:16; 19:6; 21:14; Exodus 23:8; Isaiah 1:23; Amos 5:12

Verse 9 – Covering a transgression is an act of love; if the transgression being covered is that of another. Someone who is always bringing up another’s transgression is separating friendships. We can look at Galations 6:1.

The greatest covering, and the greatest sacrifice ever made and given was the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The place where Jesus bled and died for the sins of the world.  Believe Him.  Receive Him.

Joyous, Glorious Salvation

“Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.” Nehemiah 12:43 (KJV)

The rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and their return to Jerusalem was cause for great joy. It was celebrated by the sacrifices; great numbers of lambs, bulls and the bringing of the first fruits of the fields were offered. There was much music and singing.

The celebration was filled with joy. It was the “joy of Jerusalem”. The people had returned after 70 years of captivity.

Everyday the Christian should celebrate the deliverance which Jesus Christ has provided for us through the sacrifice of His own blood. There were many sacrifices offered that day in Jerusalem, but all that blood was only a portrayal of the blood of the one sacrifice that could eternally take away sin.

When an individual trust in Christ as the sacrifice for sin we can rest assured that our salvation; our redemption is secured for all eternity. There is “Great Joy” in the heart of the follower of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus will never occur again.

See these verse: 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:17 – 27

The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 3:4-5)

No Love Like God’s Love 3

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their King; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.” Hosea 3:4-5 (KJV)

The children of Israel are still in this stage of being without a king or a prince.  From the time of the return of the exiles from Babylon Israel ahs not been given to idolatry, they have not had a king or a prince; since the destruction of the temple (70 A.D.) their sacrifices have been abolished, and they have not had a Levite or a priest.

Hosea had placed Gomer in the disciplined lifestyle:

  1. Providing circumstances for her to respond to his love;
  2. “To convey through prophetic symbolism the deprivation into which God would bring Israel.”  From the STUDY BOOK.

This would make it possible for Israel to respond to God’s unconditional love.  While there is enjoyment in sin there is no opportunity of turning to God.

God would remove the false as well as the true.  “For many days” in verses three and four, imply a long period of time.  Probably as long as would be necessary to prepare them to return to God.

There is victory in God’s redemption.  Each of these first three chapters speak of Israel returning to God for full and completer redemption and forgiveness.  This is God’s purpose and plan for Israel and for His Church.

“Afterwards” – after the days of discipline.  After days, years, centuries, even millenniums “Israel shall return.”  There are not “Ifs” or “buts” about it.  They shall return.  They will “Seek the LORD their God”, and turn to “David their King” [fulfilled in Jesus Christ].  See Luke 1:32-33.

This prophecy has yet to take place.  It will in the Lord’s appointed time come to pass just as the prophecies forth tell.  When?  “In the last days.”

Jesus is the King of kings; rules over all the earth.  He is Lord of lords and has all things in His hands.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 27 – The Glory of the LORD Filled the House

I love reading the events where the glory of God comes down like fire, fills the house, and even the priests cannot enter, because the glory is so bright no human being can enter it in the flesh.

My reading this morning was 1 Chronicles 24 – 2 Chronicles 8.  The seventh chapter is well known among Christians for verse 14.  A verse many of us like to memorize, quote, and pastors and preachers like to preach, but I fear it is often applied in the wrong way.  It is often applied as though it applies to the United States of America.  I do not want to destroy anyone’s hopes and dreams for our nation, but there are no promises of God in the Bible for the U. S. of A.  None.

Enough on that for now.

When we look at the first three verses of chapter 7 of Second Chronicles,

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.  And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house.  And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, ‘For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.'”  2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (KJV)

King Solomon had closed his prayer, and God shows up.  Fire came down from heaven, consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house.  There was no room for anyone else.  Now, is it not the glory of the LORD  that all God’s children desire?  I think so.

In chapter seven when the glory of God comes down God speaks with Solomon, appearing to him (v. 12) and saying,

“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; if My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (vv. 13-14)

This word from God is to Solomon and the people of Israel.  Let us be not ignorant of this; there is no promise of God to any nation on the earth, previous to today, today, or after today; other than Israel.  There is one thing for certain; the people of God are the people of God through their faith in God, and through His Son Jesus Christ.

There is certainly a principle given us in these precious words.  Promise we can rest on and apply to life.

We need the hope these words give us.  We can rest in God that He will do what is best for His people, but not necessarily for a nation.  Let us be clear on this matter;  the hope of the world is not the United States of America, Democracy, our Constitution, Bill or Rights, the Amendments to the Constitution, our President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Congress, Senate, Supreme Court or State governments.  The hope of the world lies in the hands of God through faith in His Son.  Our hope is not in the liberal agenda, the conservative agenda, the stock market, or the economy.  All of these things can and will fail and fall; but our God lives forever.

When the heavens are shut up and what we have is drought, cattle are dying, crops will not grow, wells are drying up, lakes and reservoirs are drying, and people are dying of thirst; then we had better be praying, and seeking the face of God and His glory.  When diseases are running rampant, pestilences, and plagues are destroying the land; and afflicting the people; then we better be seeking the face of our Creator, humbling ourselves before Him.  Seeking government aid is not seeking God.  That is seeking an idol

The only hope for the U. S. of A. is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen again bodily from the grave, seated at the Father’s right hand.  The only  hope for the world is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and bodily raised from the grave, and seated at the Father’s right hand.  He is coming again.  Be ready.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Time To Pray

Scripture tells us that Daniel prayed three times a day, even after the king had written an edict of death to anyone who was caught praying to anyone but the king (Daniel 6).  Paul the apostle tells Christians to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  The Psalmist sang,

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”  Psalm 55:17

For the soul who was under the dictates of the law, they had morning and evening sacrifices, and that was a good time to pray.  Daniel seems to have had a special one; so too the Psalmist.  They loved to speak with the LORD; and Daniel loved to do so even if it meant certain death.  Do we pray as we ought?  I ask that question knowing that is one of my weakest areas.  I love to hear God speak, and He does through His word; however, He loves for His children to speak with Him.

The following is Spurgeon’s comments of verse 17 –

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray.” Often, but none too often. Seasons of great need call for frequent seasons of devotion. The three periods chosen are most fitting; to begin, continue, and end the day with God is supreme wisdom. Where time has naturally set up a boundary, there let us set up an altar-stone. The Psalmist means that he will always pray; he will run a line of prayer right along the day and track the sun with his petitions. Day and night he saw his enemies busy (Psa 55:10), and therefore he would meet their activity by continuous prayer. “And cry aloud.” He would give a tongue to his complaint; he would be very earnest in his pleas with heaven. Some cry aloud who never say a word. It is the bell of the heart that rings loudest in heaven. Some read it, “I will muse and murmur;” deep heart-thoughts should be attended with inarticulate but vehement utterances of grief. Blessed be God, moaning is translatable in heaven. A father’s heart reads a child’s heart. “And he shall hear my voice.” He is confident that he will prevail; he makes no question that he would be heard, he speaks as if already he were answered. When our window is opened towards heaven, the windows of heaven are open to us. Have but a pleading heart and God will have a plenteous hand.  From the TREASURY OF DAVID

With the spiritual condition of the churches of the United States and Christianity Christians need to humble themselves before God and get back to our dependence upon God our Savior, Redeemer, Friend and Deliverer.  Let’s commit ourselves to more time with God.  God will hear our voices and cries when we are humble before Him, and repentant of our sins.

-Tim A. Blankenship