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Monday, October 26, 2015, 12:46 PM
I have posted in the past that everyone will face a judgment. For one, the sheep will be separated from the goats (code for the saved from the unsaved). Also, the works of the saved will be judged. Every work done, every word spoken, will be answered for in that judgment. It is important for Christians to examine not only what they do, but their motives- deep in their hearts.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
2nd Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Aside from individual judgments, the Scriptures are clear that nations as a whole have been and will be judged. The Canaanites were judged for their wickedness and the Lord told the Israelites to go in and conquer the land. They have never since been told to go into any other nation for any sort of military action. The LORD had told the Israelites in the Torah that they were to see Him (Yahweh) as their King, but He also told them that they would seek their own, He would allow it, and He would choose that king, and that king was to follow His Torah instructions. The Israelites failed in their nation, and they were judged and carried into captivity. The LORD allows human government because ‘people want to have kings (ruling people- governments) like all the nations’. Other nations have been judged and all nations will ultimately be judged. Ultimately, the government of every human nation will be found guilty, because of man’s inclination to allow Satan to rule this world.
2nd Timothy 2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Both verses 2: 3 and 2: 4 refer to Christians as ‘soldiers’ for Christ. Verse 2: 3 mentions the ‘suffering’ and 3: 12 talks about being ‘persecuted’ for being a soldier (in that desire to live a godly life). Do you desire to live a godly life? Have you been persecuted for doing so?
But in more keeping with the topic of governments answering to God’s judgment, I was studying the English Standard Version’s reference that a soldier (i.e. for Christ) does not get entangled in ‘civilian pursuits’ (2: 4 above). (KJV: No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.) Where the KJV uses ‘man that warreth (Middle English for one who wars)’ instead of the ESV ‘soldier’ is not an issue. (Some people really get argumentative about words that do not make a difference.) The Greek word would more likely be translated as ‘man who engages in military campaigns’ but is in many versions translated as ‘soldier’. This explanation was primarily for those who get too (overly) specific about ‘versions’, ‘translations’, and ‘specific meanings of words’. Some people wish to argue about things that in the final analysis don’t really change the meaning of the verse.
Now to the main topic, the soldier doesn’t get entangled with ‘civilian pursuits’ (ESV and a number of other versions). ‘Affairs of this life’ (KJV, and many other versions) is fine, but ‘civilian’, fits better to my thinking as it goes on to refer to the soldiers service to the one who enlisted (chose/appointed) him. Essentially, Christians are to concern themselves with living the life of good works that our Creator has called us to, which involves living a life doing the good things and sharing our Creator’s message for mankind. The Christian is not called to concern themselves with the affairs of this world (the civil affairs) as this world is ruled by Satan. If a person lives where he has the opportunity to vote for the affairs of this world, then there should be nothing wrong with understanding something of a politician’s position. But we need to remember that a politician’s ‘stated position’ is often either a lie, or based on ideals that may be beyond his reach.
Yet some people seem to get really caught up in political ‘worship’. They get so involved in playing the blame game and seeking to condemn politicians they hold responsible for this or that. They tend to forget that we are not to “wrestle against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6: 12). They tend to forget that God has established governments, though He told us that we are not to look to this world’s rulers, but to Him as our Ruler. They tend to forget that Satan is the ruler of this world, so what are we to expect from this world’s rulers? Yet, they also tend to forget that God will veto Satan with regards to matters that affect His children. So does our Creator not allow more worldly rulers for nations that are more concerned for worldly things and godly rulers for nations that devote themselves to Him. So instead of playing the ‘blame game’ with politicians, why aren’t God’s people more concerned with the condition of the people in their nation? If your nation’s leaders aren’t so godly, then how godly are the people in your nation? Have you concerned yourself with following God’s Word and praying for your leaders and praying for the state of the people in your nation? Have you concerned yourself with spreading God’s Word and praying for the people in your nation to become more godly? Or do you prefer to ignore God’s Word that teaches (2nd Timothy 2: 3- 4 above) that we are not to become entangled in ‘this world’s affairs’ (civilian affairs)? Do you prefer to continue in playing the blame game and roasting politicians that you dislike and praising politicians that you think will do a better job of running this world’s affairs, rather than leaving that in God’s hands and seeking to pray for rulers and spreading God’s Word?
I would suggest that in regard to political matters, pray for rulers, pray for people in this nation to seek God’s will, and pray for the Lord to lay on your heart what He would have you to do in regards to your own vote, but not to get ‘entangled’ in all the ‘praise for one/blame for the other’ game.
Sunday, October 25, 2015, 5:09 PM
Halloween started early in church history, even long before the reformation and before the Christian faith had any knowledge of the folk lore’s of the Northern Celtic traditions about Samhain, which some people seem to think of as the origin of Halloween. Many Christians died as martyrs in the very early church. People wanted a day to commemorate those martyrs. Though we can’t be sure about how the date for that commemoration was decided on, it seems to be that many people made pilgrimages after the fall harvest, and because of the harvest, more food was available to feed people on pilgrimage. This happened to be around the same time (according to folklore) that the North Celtics celebrated Samhain.
The term Halloween comes to us from the Old English vocabulary. “Hallow” means “holy” and evenings in Old English was shortened to ‘evens’- ‘e’ens’ and ‘eens’. The evening before a specified date or before a special event were called ‘the eve of ‘whatever day or event’. So Halloween would mean the evening before that special day (that holy day or holiday- the original meaning of ‘holiday’ was ‘holy day’). Hence, Christmas eve is the evening of December 24th, the day before Christmas day. Hence, by definition, the evening of December 24th could be called ‘halloween’ as it is the ‘even’ (or ‘een’) before the ‘hallow’ day (holy day or holiday). But Halloween as it is celebrated today was originally for Christians to memorialize ‘saints’. Scripturally, ‘saints’ is used to refer to all the ‘saved’ or ‘Christians’, but in time it came to be used primarily for martyrs, and in time for other heroes of the faith.
According to lore, in England, poor people used to use this day to go to their Christian neighbors to ask for food (those with more food to have pity on the poor with little food). It was said that if one shared their food they would be blessed (the ‘treat’), but if one did not share with the needy, they would come under a curse (the ‘trick’).
Somehow in time, children were told stories about the curses or blessings (tricks or treats- probably for the purpose of teaching Christian charity). It would be impossible to separate ‘lore’ or ‘legend’ from actual historical ‘facts’ about how everything else developed around the practice of kids dressing up and going to ask for candy with the idea of ‘curses for those who didn’t give’ and ‘blessings for those who did’ (trick or treat). What is known of the pagan holiday of Samhain is purely based on ‘lore’ and ‘legend’. Yes, there is literature from that period that discusses it, however, much of the literature was based on ‘lore’ and ‘legend’ that was handed down from earlier Northern Celtic history, so it is difficult to say how precise or accurate that literature is.
In short, while there are many churches who are denouncing the practice of Halloween as a pagan holiday, well, there is some connection to the pagan holiday, but not so much as some may have you believe. I remember dressing up as a kid and going trick-or-treating and it was fun. We were still taught the Bible, and whatever other signification Halloween may have, we learned the difference between right and wrong, and did not become Satanists or pagans because we went trick-or-treating. I believe it is good for the kids to get to ‘dress up in costume’ and go have fun. However, in today’s world, we must pay much extra attention to being careful and safe than we did in my days (what was that, about 20 or so years agos?- heehee- more like 50 years ago).
Saturday, October 24, 2015, 4:11 AM
I remember as a child enjoying the decorating, looking at, and the presents under the Christmas tree. As nice as it is to enjoy great family times, we were always reminded that Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We were taught that no one could say for sure the exact date that Jesus was born, but that this was a day that was chosen to celebrate it. The tree was nice, and the presents were nice, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. But we must never forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. I think to some extent, some people see the splendor of the Christmas tree and set the tree up as an idol in their hearts. Some people may worship the tree, and that is not the reason for the season. Many worship the presents and even fight in stores to get what they want.
Corporate America sees Christmas as a money making season, and there are many who worship the money. Privately owned business was the intention of capitalism, so that people could venture out into life with some hope for a business to support their families, and even prosper. But corporations turned all that into conglomerate enterprises that sought more ways to make money than just to care for families. They seek ways to reduce their work forces and trim their employees pay and benefits to the bare minimum, so that many employees just barely get by, but corporate rakes in much profit, not to benefit human existence, but to benefit corporate.
But let’s get back to the tree. Many people see many things in Christmas, and much of it is centered on a splendidly decorated tree. Does the Bible say anything about such trees?
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, 3 for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good."
6 There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. 8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood!
Again, the tree itself is neither good nor evil. I still don’t see anything wrong with the tree as a place for personal gifts and as something akin to a centerpiece on a table to add an attractiveness. But be very careful that your heart is not lifted up so much at the sight of the tree that you forget to humble your spirit to the Real Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Friday, October 23, 2015, 7:23 AM
King David’s son, Absalom, was in exile for avenging his sister’s disgrace by killing the brother, Amnon, who had caused that disgrace. Joab, David’s chief general, knew that David’s heart pined for his son, and sent a woman with a hypothetical situation to demonstrate to David that he should have Absalom returned. The verse below is a part of the plea from the woman who presented the case before David.
2nd Samuel 14:14 We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.
We would all be banished from God’s presence eternally, except that our Heavenly Father devised a means to bring about our return (repentance) to Him. He did this by sending His Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Messiah, to teach us His desires for us and His plan for our return to Him, and to die for our sins.
Ezekiel 34:11 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
Much of what the prophets said to Israel and Judah has a two-fold purpose. One, they would speak of things that were to soon take place (the fall of Israel in the north and then the fall of Judah in the south); but secondarily, many of the prophecies were also a picture of things that were to happen later in world history, whether that was the birth of the promised Messiah (Jesus) or things pertaining to the end of time (eschatology). Here, Yahweh tells Ezekiel that He will seek out the sheep of His flock from all the places where they have been scattered. First, His sheep, the Israelites had been scattered during the captivities of the North and the South. We do not know what percentage of the Israelites actually returned from the exile in Babylon or how many of the twelve tribes were represented, but from Isaiah 9: 2, 3 we see that at least aside from the priests and Levites who served in the temple there were some from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. However, they were more fully scattered throughout the world when the Romans took control in 70 AD. I believe the twelve tribes are being more fully restored at this time. I believe it also speaks of the time when Jesus as Messiah would seek for the sheep from the world to come to Him.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Though Jesus had come to save all who would come to Him, in His earthly ministry He had stressed that His first mission was to the natural descendants of Abraham. Of all his healings and miracles, before His resurrection, I am only aware of two who were considered Gentiles (not Israelites). When He spoke of sheep that were “not of this fold”, it would seem evident to me that He spoke of those Israelites as being one fold, and then the Gentiles would be those of the other fold.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 5:04 AM
The New Testament teaches that people with itchy ears would find teachers that tell them what they want to hear (2nd Timothy 4: 3). These are those that teach, preach, or prophesy things that people love to hear, but not what is in keeping with God’s Word. This is why people are not to rely on their own inclinations, but seek wisdom from the Lord (Proverbs 3: 5). We cannot get this from thinking or meditating on our own thoughts about Who God is or what He thinks, but from reading, studying, and meditating on His Word. We cannot do this by picking out our ‘favorite verses’ and thinking this contains all the information we need. We need to search all the Scriptures to get the full story. We cannot do this by saying that we have a God for today who is not like the God of old, because God is unchanging- the same from since before Genesis 1: 1 through beyond today.
Jeremiah 5: 30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
This is something to seriously consider when thinking about false teachers- it may sound good for now, but what will you do when the end comes? This forebodes the people that Jeremiah was told not to pray for. They wanted their own teachers, but rejected the Word that came from Yahweh.
Jeremiah 14:11 The LORD said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence."
13 Then I said: "Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'" 14 And the LORD said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not come upon this land': By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.
17 "You shall say to them this word: 'Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is shattered with a great wound, with a very grievous blow. 18 If I go out into the field, behold, those pierced by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land and have no knowledge.'"
Jeremiah 23:16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, 'It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No disaster shall come upon you.'" 18 For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
29 Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
People really need to seriously consider their Bible study and seeing the signs of the times.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 11:53 AM
Many may speak about riches and the Bible. The Bible speaks of two kinds of riches- the riches of the material things of this world, and the riches of the spiritual kind that are stored up for our next life. When Mary was filled with the Spirit and speaking of the Lord’s goodness for man she mentioned those who were rich with this world’s riches.
Luke 1:53 He (Yahweh) has filled the hungry with good things, and THE RICH HE HAS SENT AWAY EMPTY.
Jesus never had anything good to say about people rich with material wealth in this world. In fact, it is more quite the opposite.
Matthew 6:19 "DO NOT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 13:22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of RICHES CHOKE THE WORD, and it proves unfruitful.
Matthew 19:23 And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with DIFFICULTY WILL A RICH PERSON ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. 24 Again I tell you, it is EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH PERSON TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD."
Luke 6:24 "But WOE TO YOU WHO ARE RICH, FOR YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR CONSOLATION. 25 "Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. "Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Riches in this world are used for the love of this life in this world. Here is what Jesus said about that:
John 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Having riches in this world is being friends to this world. The New Testament says much about the evils that the rich are tempted to and fall into. Jesus told the rich man to sell his riches and give to the poor, and the rich man went away sorrowful. Jesus said that with God, all things are possible referring to the rich being saved. What does this mean, since the Scriptures teach so much about the pitfalls of riches in this world? A Christian is ruled by God’s law of love. In love, when one sees another in need, there is this natural desire to help. A rich person can have his heart softened by God’s love and when he sees the needy, then his heart will go out to them. This is when the rich man with a softened heart will begin to release his riches in this world and reach out to the needy. Then he will begin to let go of earthly riches, and begin to store riches in Heaven. This is why it is impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. But when he accepts God’s love, then he will begin to release his earthly riches. Those who are rich, but hang on to their earthly riches have not found God’s law of love in their hearts.
James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
People rich with this world’s riches need God’s love. Holding their riches, they will not find a home in God’s Kingdom.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 5:39 AM
No one is perfect- no one is purely righteous (living right), but Yahweh through Yashuah (Jesus) provided for man to be forgiven for their unrighteousness through Jesus’ death on the cross to pay the penalty that our sins demand. Christians should not seek to live ‘righteously’ because it is the law- a true Christian will have it in his heart to strive to live righteously because he knows that Spirit in his heart that teaches him the price that Jesus paid for him. Even so, that, in itself, doesn’t make a perfect live a ‘perfectly righteous’ life. This is why we are to keep that humble position and asking forgiveness for shortcomings, knowing that whom the Father loves, He chastens and scourges.
Ezekiel 18:5 "If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— 6 if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, 7 does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8 does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, 9 walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully— he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
The Christian is not ‘righteous’ in his own rights, but has been declared ‘righteous’ because of his faith in his Advocate, Jesus Christ, Who stands before the throne to intercede on his behalf. Those who do not know our Advocate Jesus Christ as his Savior should be warned of the fearful eternity that awaits him away from his Creator.
Jeremiah 26:8 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, "You shall die! 9 Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, "This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears."
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.
The Jews are God’s chosen people, yet even they did not follow God’s requirements, and they were warned repeated by the prophets. Even so, they suffered the tragic consequences as a nation for not turning to the Lord. Yahweh does not change- He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. Any nation that does not follow the Lord is liable to God’s judgment. If someone pointed out to any nation today their wickedness, would they respond as the people did to Jeremiah, by taking him captive and telling him he was worthy to die because he spoke against the people? Even so- the people need to be warned that Yahweh’s judgment is sure to come on nations that are not looking to Him and His Way. Each person should consider the state of your own nation. Is it filled with sexual depravity, drunkenness, gambling, drugs, violence, etc? People need to be in serious prayer for themselves and for the world. Do not look to this world’s politics for answers, but pray for God’s mercy.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 1:54 PM
One father Abraham- three faiths based on Yahweh of Abraham. The Jews had the law. They conquered one land because Yahweh declared that the people there were so wicked, and the Israelites were to have that land. They were given God’s law, and that law was based on love. They were promised a Messiah that would lead them into righteousness. Jesus was born into the Jewish nation and preached God’s law of love, and died for His message and in His death for no sin whatsoever, accepted the penalty for the sins of all who received Him. Christians accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah who would deliver them from sin into the righteousness of God’s love. They spread that message of love though they were beaten, abused, and even crucified for teaching a Master who commanded to love. Then some man claimed that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah and that the Jews should be destroyed and instead of teaching people to love, they went forth in war and told people to worship their faith, Islam, or be destroyed. The question is, do we seek a Master Who teaches us to love, or a ruler who tells people that women are to be punished if they are raped, and cut off people’s heads and shoot them if they profess Jesus to be the Messiah?
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 6:46 AM
Isaiah 64:1 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence— 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
Eye has not seen nor ear heard such as our God who acts for those who wait for Him! Are we waiting for the heavens to rend? What are we waiting for? Maybe the next verses will give a more sober thought. Notice that these verses immediately follow those of hope we have from those verses above.
Isaiah 64:5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? 6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
Are we joyfully working righteousness? Some of the verses above are quoted in Romans chapter 3 where it discusses the wickedness of mankind. Are we calling upon the name of the LORD? Is this nation calling on the name of the LORD?
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.
Now in saying, “… we are all your people,” remember that Isaiah was talking to the Jewish people who were chosen by Yahweh through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). As now the LORD has made it plain that all people of all nations can come to Him, then we can say that His people (the “all your people”) can be all who have come to Him and accepted His salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. But lest we forget, our God is an unchanging God. The prophets prophesied doom for those of God’s people who did not live up to His calling/ the standards He calls for His children. He is unchanging, so from covenant to covenant He is the same God to those who call upon Him. Even under the new covenant it is told in Hebrews that whom He loves, He chastens and scourges.
Isaiah 66:15 "For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
Monday, October 19, 2015, 6:44 AM
It may seem harsh that Yahweh would tell Isaiah to tell a nation that to ‘keep on seeing without perceiving’ or Jeremiah not to even pray for a nation, but there is more to the story.
Isaiah 6:9 And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.
Jeremiah 7:16 "As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.
Jeremiah 11:14 "Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.
Jeremiah 14:11 The LORD said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people.
Yahweh wants people to turn to Him from a sincere heart, not just out of desperation after chasing after their own way and then “in lip service” to help them when they are in trouble.
Isaiah 29:13 And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, 14 therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
Ezekiel 33:30 "As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, 'Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.' 31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.
Some people think they can go according to their own will and decide to turn to our Creator when it’s convenient or when they ‘get around to it’. Some people think that by ‘meditation’ they can get in touch with the Creator without being concerned whether it’s in accord with His Word, or as though God does things differently from the God Who spoke to Moses. Yahweh is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The same Creator in the New Testament times is the same Creator as in the Old Testament times. The LORD is patient and not desirous that anyone should perish (2nd Peter 3: 9), but He does have a schedule, and time is fast running out (Acts 17: 31). People need to be warned that there will come a time when prayers will not be accepted (from Jeremiah- ‘do not pray for this people’). Some people may not think that God is that harsh. How long will one expect to wait before time runs out? Do people think either that all wicked people are going to die and just cease to exist, or that they will get another chance? This is not what the Bible teaches.
Romans 13:11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
2nd Corinthians 6:2 For he says, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2nd Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
Does it appear to be a time of difficulties?