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Sunday, January 18, 2015, 3:11 PM
Do you study the Bible or just read it? When you read/study the Bible, do you look for the truth, or do you prefer to enjoy the verses you like, but overlook anything that sounds threatening to what you want to hear?
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Yes, Hosea was talking to Israel. Just to Israel, or doesn’t the same rule apply to all nations. Remember, nations have risen to power, then destroyed because of sin. Israel was told to take the land of Canaan because the fullness of their sin had come. As Israel fell deeper into their sin, they were allowed to be taken into captivity. Israel was chosen to receive God’s Word, but they were to teach the world that God’s Word applies to the whole world. Yet the land became full of swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and adultery. People will be destroyed for a lack of knowledge of Who their Creator is and coming to Him for salvation. People will be destroyed because they reject their Creator. But even beyond earthly destruction, those who sleep in the dust (as the Bible clearly teaches) will rise again to face a judgment that will either show them redeemed by God’s grace, or utterly rejected from God’s Presence to an eternity of torments.
Is not the entire earth full of lies, murders, thefts, and adultery? Many people blame their politicians, much like Adam blamed Eve in the Garden of Eden. Like infidels, they think if they can get the “right” politicians with a “strong” military we can win the victory and deliver ourselves. The Lord disdains those who trust in political strategies or military might. Only the Lord can fully redeem and deliver to salvation.
There was a time when someone may go around preaching, “Repent, for the end is near.” Many people laughed at them and mocked them as religious fanatics. Have you noticed that now-a-days there are many, many people claiming that the end is near, and not just those classified as religious fanatics. There are economists who are claiming that the world is on the verge of collapse (in other words, “The end is near.”) because the economic situation around the world is falling in on itself. There are scientists who are saying the end is near because of fossil fuels and climate change demonstrated in unusual weather storms. There are scientists who are very concerned that the end is near because of stresses in tectonic plates that will result in earthquakes capable of destroying much of life as we know it and volcanoes that could destroy much of life as we know it. There are astronomers who are examining how close we may be to asteroids capable of destroying life as we know it. There are social scientists who are concerned about the development of wars between races, and/or income classes (haves and have-nots), and religions, not to mention wars between nations. For lack of knowledge, people will pay more attention to the “intellectuals” (or the elite, or illuminati, or gurus) than they would pay to “religious fanatics”. People want mankind to seek a solution to mankind’s problems without needing a knowledge of our Creator. So for lack of knowledge, people will be doomed to destruction.
Sunday, January 18, 2015, 2:22 PM
Psalm 44:5 Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
7 But Thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
Psalm 44:22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. (KJV)
Early on this (verse 5) this Psalm extols Yahweh by exclaiming that through Him will they tread down the enemy. Without Him, all else is vain. Trusting in bow and sword would mean we could trust in human military might, but the Psalmist trusts in the Lord. All should consider whether we trust in our military, or in our Lord. Those who trust in the military will eventually fall. Those who believe we (the servants of the Lord) will eventually triumph without any need for the military, we are the ones who will eventually tread down the enemy.
Notice that in just a few verses later in the same Psalm (verse 22), the Psalmist who was praising the Lord for the victory stated that for the present time, we are being killed all day long; we are seen to be nothing more than mere sheep that are waiting to be slaughtered. Does this sound opposite the praise for victory just a few verses earlier? Actually, remember a few verses earlier the Psalmist spoke of something not yet seen (“Through Thee WILL we (future tense) … through Thy name WILL we (future tense)…”) He wasn’t speaking of a battle that was finished. Even so, he goes on to say, “Thou HAST saved (past tense) us …” The Psalmist recognized that the battle was already won by the Lord, even though he was still fighting his own personal battle with the enemy. We can say with faith that the Lord has won the war; but in our earthly bodies, we should not forget that we are still in the battle. That is why Paul instructed us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6). Paul stresses that we are not to let down our guard and to continue in prayer, Bible study, and good works.
Friday, January 16, 2015, 7:46 PM
LIARS!!! I think everyone knows at least someone that is considered a liar. Anyone who tells an untruth tells a lie. So anyone who tells an untruth is a liar. Has anyone never at some time said something believing they were telling the truth, but later discovered they were either misinformed, or miss-remembered, or the words didn’t come out quite the way they were meant? Then if an untruth was told, then it was a lie. However we all make a distinction between a known, intended lie and a mistake, but an untruth is still an untruth. The point is, I’m not perfect. I may say what I sincerely believe to be true, but I cannot guarantee that at some time, an imperfection in my understanding could lead to something not quite true, but if it is ‘not quite true’, then it is still an untruth, and a lie. But don’t we all tend to believe in who we believe in, and could we not all be guilty (even if to a very minute degree) to the same thing? The Lord is more than aware of our imperfections, but He wants us to acknowledge our imperfections and realize our need for His mercy. He also wants us to sincerely search for the truth.
I remember as a child a saying that is true, but many people may say it without realizing the full implications. The saying was, “God said it in His Word; I believe it in my heart; that settles it for all eternity.” I believe in my heart that saying to be true, but do people really stop and consider what all it really means? If one says that he believes in God’s Word, is he implying that he knows what all God’s Word (in the Bible) says? I will not say that I understand all of it, but I strive to study and ask the Lord to reveal to me what He feels I need to understand. Yet it would seem to me that if someone claims they believe God’s Word, then they should have a desire to study it so they will know what it is they are claiming to believe. If someone asks you what you believe, and you answer that you believe in God’s Word, then what would your answer be if they asked you what is God’s Word? If God had a Word, then do you know that Word? Do you really know what it is that you believe? Would you just quote John 3: 16 and think that would be enough? But then if they say, the Bible has a lot more than that, so that is only part of His Word. How much of God’s Word can you tell them you believe in? Can you explain just what it is you believe and why?
Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” So if you tell them you believe in that, then what would you say if they said that they believe in Jesus, but the rest in their house doesn’t? Think about it a little and you can understand that Paul was telling the Philippian jailer that if he believed and if those in his house believed? So if you said that you believe in Jesus, then would that not imply that you believe in all that He said and taught? But if you believe in “all” that He said and taught, then do you know what all He said and taught? This is often the beginning of false teachings and false teacher. They may take a few verses from Jesus’ Words, and a few other verses from the rest of the Bible and say things that sound sweet to the ears. They “seem” to know what they are talking about, and make sweet words to people who are looking to hear sweet words. (Let’s face it, don’t we all like to hear sweet words?) Yet they neglect so many teachings that put the words they use in a different connotation than they really were. They may teach part of the “truth” but let people infer in their own minds that this is all they need to know.
If you say you believe in Jesus, then you must believe in His teachings. Wouldn’t it sound sort of dumb to tell someone that you didn’t believe in a certain person’s teachings, but you still believed in that person? So if you truly believe in Jesus, then can you explain His teachings that you must believe in to believe in Him? Even considering that no one’s understanding may be perfect, but do you at least study and ask the Lord for understanding? Something to think about.
1st John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV)
1st John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)
1st John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (KJV)
Remember, if something is not entirely true, then it is not really true.
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 7:58 PM
PSALM 122:6 PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: THEY SHALL PROSPER THAT LOVE THEE. (KJV)
Yes- we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Does that mean we should pray that they prosper in every endeavor? The Lord will guarantee their place. What we should pray for is that they find their true peace in their Messiah. He has come and they have yet to acknowledge and accept Him.
In history they succeeded when they did as the Lord led; and failed when they went out on their own without seeking God’s guidance. Because of idolatry and trusting in their own rights, they were led into captivity to Assyria and Babylon.
When they trust in themselves and in their own cunning and their own military, then they can only go so far. The Bible teaches that some trust in chariots and horses, but those who follow the Lord will trust in Him. When it comes to Israel being established, the Lord will see to that, but first He wants them to come to see their dire and entire need to be for Him. So they will succeed to a point, and when it comes to that point, a treaty will be made with the one who will break his treaty and seek to destroy them. That is taught in prophecy. So they have not arrived yet, and when they make that fateful peace pact with this world’s ruler, then they will be brought to that dire need when they will truly realize that only through their Creator can they find safety.
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem means praying that as many of them as possible come to know their Messiah before that troubled time when their peace pact with the ruler of this world fails.
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 1:34 PM
Peter affirmed the teachings of Paul, but stated that some of them were hard to understand, and that lack of understanding could lead to the destruction of some.
2nd Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (KJV)
People who come to know Jesus have eternal salvation. Those who truly from their hearts seek Him will in their hearts understand. Those who wish to follow their own ideas are not truly seeking the Lord’s way, but their own. This results in false interpretations and leads to false teachers who wish to teach their own ways rather than the absolute truth. So this could absolutely lead to the destruction of some who misuse the Scriptures for their own agendas.
This destruction could mean a couple of things. Some may follow false teachings and never really come to know the Lord Jesus (because in their hearts they were never truly seeking Him, but seeking their own answers). Their destruction will appear in the eternal judgment of everlasting separation from God’s blessed kingdom. There are those who may become saved by grace, but because of lack of understanding (because they still can’t escape that desire to find their own way) may take Paul’s teaching to mean that they can live as they wish without consequence, as they depend on that security of an eternal home. These, if they do not learn the absolute truth, will find their destruction in this life as illustrated in 1st Corinthians chapter 5. A saved person may live in sin to the point that his body may be turned over to Satan to be destroyed so that his soul may be saved (read 1st Corinthians chapter 5 closely).
The next passage from Paul’s writings may be taken by some that since we have the New Testament with its saving grace by faith, then we no longer need the Old Testament with its legal codes. Notice the lines I underlined. (I just now realized that FaceBook does not format ‘underlines’ from MSWord.)
2nd Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. (KJV)
Paul taught the Scriptures fearlessly and encouraged study of the Scriptures. Remember, when Paul was preaching FROM THE SCRIPTURES, the New Testament had not yet been published. The Old Testament teaches much more than history and law, but life stories that should demonstrate to us how God expects us to live, and the consequences of not seeking to live as He desires. It also proclaims the salvation of God for mankind in His coming Messiah.