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Monday, February 29, 2016

THE NAME JESUS

THE NAME JESUS

“Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins.”  Matt. 1:21.

 

                Even today the naming of a new born child is an event full of interest. The principles of choice are varied in these complex and somewhat superficial days. Children are given names because the names have been accepted by their fathers before them. Sometimes names are still given to children as expressing a hope on the part of the parents, but as a rule they are simply given on the basis of preference.

           The Hebrews meant far more by their names than we do. That will be discovered as the Old Testament history is read. They were often wrong in their naming of the children. The very first name, Cain, was a wrong name. Eve called her first-born Cain-Acquired. She was doomed to disappointment. She had hoped that the promised seed had already come. And the second name was also a mistake. She called her next boy Abel-Vanity. There was far more to satisfy the mother’s heart in the coming years in Abel, even though he suffered death, than in Cain.

           Sometimes the names were tragic names. Hosea, that prophet of the wounded spirit and the broken heart, as children were born into his home named them, and in their naming is seen the terrible conditions of the chosen people. He called the first Jezreel, judgment threatened! He called the second Lo-ruham mah, mercy not obtained! He called the third Lo-ammi, not my people!

        When Mary’s Child was born, Joseph named Him Jesus. And this was by special instruction conveyed to him by the angel. That angel was the messenger of heaven’s thought, and of God’s will. The Babe was registered Jesus in heaven. And that name, given by Joseph in obedience to the instruction of the angel who had received his command in heaven’s own high court, was a name which expressed heaven’s confidence in the Child now born. Earth’s salvation will come as earth shares heaven’s faith in Jesus; and the giving of the name at the first was expressive of this confidence of God in the newborn Child.

        This story of the giving of the name is one of utmost interest. Do not be angry with me for bringing to you a text you have known from childhood, but let us come back to this name, which every child here who has begun to read at all, can spell, and try to understand some of the things signified by the giving of this name. A few moments first, then, with the name given; and, second, a consideration of the reason for giving this name to this Child.

        I would have you, first of all, remember the humanness of this name. It was a very common Hebrew name. Doubtless many a boy living in Judea in the days when the Babe was born was called Jesus. And doubtless it had been for long years, for centuries, a popular name in Jewish families; for of course you remember that Jesus is but the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua.” There were many boys called Joshua, and in the Greek dialect obtaining at the moment, many boys doubtless bore this name of Jesus. There is nothing startling in the name. When the neighbors heard that Mary had called the new-born Boy Jesus, they did not stop to ask what she meant. Many another Jesus was running about in Nazareth and Judea, and all through the countryside it was one of the most common names, almost as common as John is today.

            Thus God took hold of a name perfectly familiar, which set the new-born Child among the children of men, rather than separated Him from them. He took hold of a name that men were using everywhere, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus,” the name that the boy next door has, the name that men have been calling their boys by for centuries. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus.”

            But how came it that this name was so familiar? What were the associations of the name in the Old Testament history? It was a name associated with two men preeminently -the one who first received it, a leader; and, then, another who made it conspicuous, a priest.

           The first man who bore the name was the great soldier who succeeded to the leadership of the people after the passing of Moses, the man to whom there was committed the stern, hard, fierce fight that was necessary to establish the people in the land. This man was born in Egypt, in slavery, lived there about forty years, and then followed Moses as he led the people out of Egypt; then spent the next forty years in the wilderness, passing through all its experiences. Finally, he led the people with the sword and terrific conflict into possession of the land. That is the man who first received this name. So far as the Bible is concerned, and in all probability so far as Jewish history is concerned, the name had never been known before. It was made for him by Moses. His name was originally Hosea or Hoshea: but Moses changed it and called him Joshua.

            The next man who bore the name conspicuously was a priest in the days of restoration under Haggai and Zechariah. Now this Child is born, and heaven, taking a name familiar in the homes of Judea, a name conspicuous in Hebrew history because of its connection with the soldier leader and the restoring priest, commands, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins.”

Sunday, February 28, 2016

TESTIMONY

Testimony
 

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 
Done with both words and complimentary life.
1 Tim. 2:6 To be done at proper time.
Luke 21:12-13 Outlines format of proper testimonials.
John 13:35 Testimonies of character traits furnish knowledge to spiritually blind.
John 17:21 2nd hand answers from a testimony
Luke 23:9 Testimony withheld; don't cast pearls before swine.
1 John 3:10, 14 Righteous life provides an obvious testimony.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

TEN COMMANDMENTS

Ten Commandments

 Exod. 20:1 “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

 
1.     No other gods before Me.
2.     Make no idols, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
3.     Not take the name of the Lord in vain.
4.     Remember the Sabbath day.
5.     Honor your father and mother.
6.     Shall not murder Rom. 13:9
7.     Not commit adultery. Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 6:9
8.     Not steal. Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 6:9; Eph. 4:28
9.     Not bear false witness.
10.  Not to covet thy neighbors house, his wife, his male servant, his ox, his donkey or anything else belonging to him. Rom. 13:9

Here we have the Ten Words of the moral Law. They are introduced by a proclamation of God concerning Himself: first as to His name, "I am Jehovah"; second, as to His relation to them, "thy God"; and, third, the basis of relationship, His deliverance of them from bondage. The Ten Words fall into two sections: the first, of four commandments dealing with the relationship between God and man; the second, of six commandments conditioning human interrelationships. The Ten Words constitute a philosophy of life as well as a law. Man's first business is with God. His every other relationship depends on that and, indeed, is created by it. The effect produced on the people by these words was a sense of fear. They were made conscious of the holiness of God. Because they were sinners, the fear was both natural and necessary. Nevertheless Moses at once on divine authority said to them "Fear not," which meant that they might "fear" and "sin not." The apparent paradox teaches that when man has the fear of God he need have no other fear. Finally, the way of God's approach to them was provided. It was the way of the altar and sacrifice. The instructions concerning the altar are revealing. It must be of simple and unmade things, devoid of human workmanship, in which the heart of man might make its boast.

Friday, February 26, 2016

SUSTENANCE

Sustenance


The life possessed by human beings is not only a derived life, that is, a life obtained from an external source, but it is a dependent life, requiring continual sustenance. It must be sustained by constant and suitable nutrition, received into the body at short intervals. This food must be organic matter, that is to say, matter which has once been living. Man is not and has never been able to make his food from inorganic matter although it is readily available. This should teach him humility, but it seems not to have that effect. God has left this work to His creation. Cf. Psa. 104:14. “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”

Christ reveals Himself in John 6:35, 48, 51, 63 as the bread of life, our great spiritual nourisher. His words are spirit, and they are our life. The word of God is living and like other organic living substance has the property of furnishing nutrition, and thereby sustaining life. Physical food comes up out of the earth [Psa. 104:14], while spiritual food comes down out of heaven [John 6:50.] “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.”

Sheep need fed. 1 Pet. 2:1, 2. ".....As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."The Lord knew they need spiritual nutrition. This food must come from a living source.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

SINNERS EXCUSES

Sinners Excuses

 1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”


The error of Antinomianism: Sin doesn't matter. God doesn't care. "If we say that we have a valid relationship (talking to Him daily; looking for His answers daily in His word) with God and continue to live a sinful life, we are claiming something that is not true." The opposite situation is described in the next verse: vs. 7 tells us: "If we are walking in holiness, as God is holy [walking] our association with God is valid, and Christ's atoning blood keeps cleansing us." Note that our "walking in holiness," while it is real, is not complete; if it were, there would be no need for the continuing cleansing.

 The error of inherent goodness: Denial of the principle of sin and the possession of a sin nature. Vs. 8 teaches otherwise, "If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves; because we are ignorant of God's word." The opposite situation: the cure of sin in the believer is confession. Vs. 9: "If we keep acknowledging our sins whenever we sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from every act of unrighteousness." Forgiveness covers the guilt. Cleansing gets rid of the pollution.

          Note: What if we don't confess? The answer is simple: We will, if we are true believers.

 

The error of "I'm into perfectionism:" The idea that sin is acceptable; it's okay, so long as you don't stretch the limits too far. But no; vs. 10 says, "If we say that when we did was not sin, we are making God a liar" [He says it was sin!]; and again, we are ignorant of His bible. There are two conceivable excuses for this misconception that sin is acceptable.

  1. Because it is inevitable; we cannot avoid it; And
  2. Because it is so easily cured.

But neither of these excuses is valid. It is not true that we are incapable of avoiding sin. 1 Cor. 10:13 tells us "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." And the idea that it is all right to sin because it is so easily cured, because there is "an Advocate" standing by to bail us out, is a horrible thought: It is OK to sin, because the penalty falls on Christ instead of on me! And besides, He has already paid the bill; we might as well enjoy it! Such reasoning must be unthinkable to any true believer.

John voices 2 reasons for his inclusion of this part of the letter:

  1. The first may be seen in his urgent forbearance: "Sin not! Don't sin! Stop sinning! Be holy!" Period.
  2. The second is expressed by his assurance, "We have an Advocate."

If we fail, we have One who stands up for us in court. He has the perfect, and only plea: propitiation by His blood. That is how important holiness is to God.

Here is a summary on holiness:

  1. The believer has partnership, fellowship with God; he is as to position holy by God's provision in Christ.
  2. He is growing in his practice of holiness, as the Holy Spirit works in him.
  3. When he does commit sins [and he does] he confesses his sins, and the blood of Christ keeps cleansing him, preserving his holiness.
  4. When the process is completed, "we shall be like Him," completely holy, without spot or blemish. Jude 4; 1 John 3:2.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SHEPHERD


THE SHEPHERD
Psa. 22-24

 

The shepherd work of our Lord has 3 aspects:

 1. As the "Good Shepherd" He gives His life for His sheep. [John 10:11].  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” This answers to Psa. 22.

 2. As the Great Shepherd brought back from the dead [Heb. 13:20] to care for and make perfect His sheep. “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever.” This answers to Psa. 23.

 3. He is the Chief Shepherd who is coming in glory to give crowns of reward to the faithful shepherds [1 Pet. 5:4] “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” This answers to Psa. 24.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SHEOL

Sheol

  “To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Psa. 22:1

 
Men make their own hell by living a life developing lusts that they attempt to satisfy while in their body. But something happens at death (separation) where their body is left behind. The problem is they still possess their desires that it took years to develop. Sheol is the place where there are requests and demands but no vehicle to satisfy the demand or the request. The root of the word is to request, to demand. Sheol is the land of darkness, where perpetual demands are made and never answered.

The agony of the insatiable longing which has no answer [Psalms 116:3] Seen in the statements in Psalms 22:1; Luke 16:23.

Psa. 116:3 “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”

Luke 16:23 “And in hell (sheol) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

SHEKINAH


Shekinah
(Abiding)

 
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”  Exod. 13:21

 
This glory cloud was called the Shekinah was miraculous and gave God's people constant assurance of His presence with them during their long stay in the wilderness.
“For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”  Exod. 40:38

 “And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not. And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed. And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.”  Num. 9:15-23

Saturday, February 20, 2016

SCIENCE


Science

 

"Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." Dan 1:4
"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." 1 Tim. 6:20
KJV term (Dan. 1:4; 1 Tim. 6:20) for knowledge. Scripture describes Daniel's knowledge with admiration and approval but warns against meaningless debate of issues for the sake of human pride not leading to useful knowledge. See Gnosticism. 
Men of science today have a low regard for the Bible as a science book when it is true to science and speaks in a manner to be understood by all men on this earth today.
 
Has to do with phenomenon (a fact or occurrence that can be observed). It is a truthful statement made by one that the beginning and end of things are both absolutely hidden from science. God Who was there and will be in the end is not so limited.

Genesis comes in with revelation from a servant who was given the account from the Ones' Who not only were there but participated in the creation acts (Triune Godhead-all three present and active). Science must confess its impotence that revelation steps in, and, with the authority of God, reveals those things that are far above it. The beginning of Genesis, therefore, is a divinely inspired account of the events deemed necessary by God to establish the foundations for the Divine Law in the sphere of human life, and to set forth the relation between the omnipotent Creator and the man who fell, and the race that was to be redeemed by the incarnation of His Son. To deny that part of the Bible as not trustworthy lays waste to all of the foundational doctrines that cry out for a Redeemer.
  
For someone to give science preferential credibility over the Creators eye witness testimony is

  1. Failure to know of His love for that which He has created.
  2. Care for that which He has created.
  3. Desire for that which He has created.
  4. Failure to believe that He could have prior knowledge of the future destiny that He is unfolding.
  5. Daring to call the testimony that the Creator Himself gave in the NT concerning those 6 days as untrue and not to be trusted, lacking credibility.
  6. Ends with worshipping the creature rather than the Creator for their hope lies in the human as the source of problems as well as made up solutions to those problems.
“Science falsely so-called” above is, in the Greek, literally “pseudo-science” or “pseudo knowledge.” This pseudo-science is nothing other than evolutionism, which has been in “oppositions” against God as Savior and Creator and the world as His creation since the beginning of time. In Paul’s day, it mainly took the form of Epicureanism (based on atheistic evolutionism) and Stoicism (based on pantheistic evolutionism). It soon would take the form of Gnosticism and later of Neo-Platonism, both also assuming evolution. In other parts of the world, it had the form of Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism, or Buddhism, all based squarely on some form of pantheistic evolution and an infinitely old cosmos. In recent times it assumed the form of Darwinism, though men are now returning again to various forms of eastern religion and their systems of pantheistic evolution, still rejecting God as Creator and Christ as Savior. Yet all forms of evolutionism are pseudo-science at best, filled with “profane and vain babblings.” Note the following summary of current scientific evidence against evolutionism.
1.        There is no present evolution; only horizontal variations and extinctions.
2.        There was no past evolution, only ubiquitous gaps between basic kinds in the fossils.
3.        There can be no possible evolution, since universal laws of conservation and decay now govern all natural processes.
4.        There has been no time period long enough for evolution, because historical records go back only a few thousand years, and the fossil record speaks only of rapid formation.
5.        There is no Biblical evolution (see Gen. 1:25; 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:38-39).
6.        There can have been no theistic evolution, for death came into the world only when man sinned (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:21).
7.        There could have been no pantheistic evolution, for God condemns all who worship the creation as its own creator (Rom. 1:20-25).
Truth cannot contradict the Bible, since God, who knows all things, kept the writers of the Bible from error. If theories that rest upon mere speculation or insufficient evidence are presented as fact, in any area of knowledge, e.g. in religion, philosophy, science, etc., they deserve the description that the apostle gives here: "what is falsely called knowledge," from which they are to "turn away."

Friday, February 19, 2016

REVEALTION

REVELATION (of Jesus Christ)
"Justice is Mine, I will repay." Rom. 12:19
 


The book of the holiness of God Who hates sin.
The book speaks of the revelation of Jesus Christ, [Rev. 19] in both pictures and words.
Revealed to be coming 1st as a Lamb, and next as a Lion of the tribe of Judah.
God lives in the eternal now and transports John to the Lord's Day.
John saw and heard all these things happening during the Lord's Day.

Isa 14:24-26 says these things must happen. These things can begin to happen at any time. “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.”

The truth of this book is clarified through various signs. Deut 29:29; “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Prov. 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.”

On a secluded island of Patmos God gave us the last book of the Bible. Psa. 46:10. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Key to book in Rev. 1:19. “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” "Write the things which thou hast seen."
This is the opening vision of Christ and the way he will appear throughout the remainder of the book. He is in the midst of his seven churches as the God-man, holding in his right hand the seven stars of these seven churches, both controlling and protecting them. He is in the midst of his churches, the object of their adoring gaze and the illumination for their walk through the world.
"Write therefore." This word is omitted in the A.V. although included in the R.V. and Greek text. It carries one back to vs. 11 where John is commanded to write what he sees, and now therefore commanded to write what he has seen as recorded in vss. 12-16.
Bullinger, Alford, and Moses Stuart translate vs. 19:
"Write therefore what things thou sawest and what they are (mean), even what things are about to happen hereafter." Alford and Stuart make chs. 2-19 to refer to the Church. Bullinger makes these chapters refer to Israel. This explains why they translate as they do.

550 references to OT verses.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

REVEALING THE FATHER

REVEALING THE FATHER

“He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”  John 14:9.

 

In our translation of the passage, so simple is it that no word of two syllables is employed except the word “Father.” “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9); and yet so inspirational is it that among all the things Jesus said concerning His relationship to the Father none is more comprehensive, inclusive, exhaustive than this. Its very simplicity leaves us no room for doubt as to the meaning of our Lord. The last hours of Jesus with His disciples were passing away. He was talking to the disciples, and four times over they interrupted Him. Peter first, “Lord, whither goest Thou?” (John 13:36). While He was yet answering Peter, Thomas said, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; how know we the way?” While He was yet dealing with Thomas, Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” (John 14:8-9). Before He was done with Philip, Jude said, “What is come to pass that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” (John 14:22). The lonely Christ, recognizing the fact that the nearest friends of His life, His own followers, did not perfectly understand Him, could not walk with Him along the via dolorosa, were afraid of the gathering shadows, yet taught them, patiently and gently answering objections, clearing away difficulties, storing their minds with truth.
            Philip’s interruption was due, in the first place, to a conviction of Christ’s relation in some way to the Father. He had been so long with Jesus as to become familiar in some senses with His line of thought. He had heard over and over again strange things fall from the lips of the Master. He had listened to the wonderful familiarity with which Jesus had spoken of God as “My Father.” (30 references in the book of John alone). In all probability, moreover, Philip was asking that there should be repeated to him and the little group of disciples some such wonderful thing as they had read of in the past of their people’s history. He would have read therein of the great and glorious theophany’s of days gone by, of how the elders once ascended the mountain and saw God; of how the prophet had declared that “in the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple”; (Isa 6:1) of how Ezekiel had declared that when he was by the river Chebar he had seen God in fire, and wheels; in majesty and glory. It was to that request, based upon a vision of Christ’s relationship to the Father, based upon the memory of how God had manifested Himself to the men of olden days that Jesus replied. I cannot read this answer of Jesus without feeling that He divested Himself of set purpose of anything that approached stateliness of diction, and dropped into the common speech of friend to friend, as looking back into the face of Philip He said, “Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9). Mark the simplicity of it. They were most familiar with Him. I think you will agree with me that it requires no stretch of the imagination to believe that they had looked upon His face more often than upon the face of any other during the three years. They had listened with greater interest to the tones of His voice than to any other sounds that had come to them during that period. The very simplicity of it is its audacity. The word may not be well chosen, and yet I take it of His set purpose. If you want to know how audacious and daring a thing it is, put it into the lips of any other teacher the world has ever produced. Looking into the face of one man, who was voicing, though he little knew it, the great anguish of the human heart, the great hunger of the human soul, Christ said, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” (John 14:9) and in that declaration He claimed absolute identity with God. So much for the setting of my text and the claim thereof. That claim has been vindicated in the passing of the centuries. The conception of God which is triumphant, intellectually capturing the mind, emotionally capturing the heart, volitionally capturing the will, came to the world through that One Who, standing Man before man, yet said to Him, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” A great many false views of Christ are done away with His statement – Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Catholic, etc. The only difference between my view and those I just mentioned is what I believe to be true concerning Christ, God Himself – the great Revealer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

REPROBATE


REPROBATE

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” Rom. 1:28

 


“did not like to retain” The basic reason for all evolutionary religion, from atheism and humanism to ancient Babylonian paganism to modern New Age pantheism is that men and women did not like to believe in the God of creation. Therefore, they diligently sought to find some form of evolutionary explanation for the world with which they could be more comfortable.

“gave them over” Note the sad sequence of events: (1) because of their deliberate repudiation of God, God “gave them up to uncleanness” (Romans 1:24); (2) Because they worshipped and served the creation more than the Creator, God “gave them up unto vile affections” (Romans 1:26); (3) because they did not want even to know anything about God, God “gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:28). Long ago, God said: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3). Sounds like Pharaoh.

The word reprobate in the original means disapproved; it fails to stand the test. Literally, they did not approve of keeping God in their thinking, or knowing.

KJV term used in two senses:

1. That which fails to meet a test and is thus rejected as unworthy or unacceptable, as impure silver (Jer. 6:30); or persons (2 Cor. 13:5-7; Titus 1:16).

2. That which is depraved or without morals (Rom. 1:28; 2 Tim. 3:8). NAS and RSV used reprobate to mean one rejected by God (Psa. 15:4).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

REPETITION


Repetition

 
“To write the same things to you, to me is not irksome, but for you it is safe.”  Phil. 3:1



 Imparting knowledge so that lives can make needful changes to come into right relationship with eternal things. The human mind has need of this because our ways are not His ways, our thoughts are His thoughts.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa. 55:8-9

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”  Rom. 11:33

Four times in Peter’s short epistle, we are urged to keep “in remembrance” the great truths revealed therein (2 Peter 1:12-13, 15; 3:1). God evidently considers them important. It is easy to forget the more important truths when we are being bombarded continuously by the trivial.

Monday, February 15, 2016

REPENTANCE-TRUE


True Repentance

“And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matt. 3:2

"Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?” John 3:10 NASB


 

Repentance is directed towards the Kingdom of God with implication of the rights of God, and the rebellion of man.
John had no Gospel to preach; he preached repentance. No man is ready for the Gospel until he has heard this; and no man can receive the benefit which the Gospel provides until he has obeyed this fundamental word.
Christ was calling men to enthrone the exiled God. Men are being taught wrong conceptions concerning God and His kingdom (Nicodemus [John 3:10] – “the” teacher of Israel), which issues in wrong conduct, which results in wrong character. This is not the gospel and there is no gospel to give until men repent first. Men have been taught today evolutionary thinking instead of revolutionary thoughts. God has rights over the individual life in its entirety, over social life in all its inter-relationships, over national life in its purposes and its policies. God has rights over all the affairs of men.
A man needs to become conscious of the act of sin, and of the fact of sin abounding everywhere in our day even though it is accepted and disregarded by our society, by making wrong right and right wrong. Then he needs to recognize the fact of sin in himself and his need of repentance. He also needs to recognize his inability to stop those acts and to find the way of remission and renewal. Too many in the church have said they have found the power over stopping sin and continue with that supposed new found power. They fool only themselves. Truly repentance turns from those sins and walk the other direction, the very meaning of the word.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

REMORSE

REMORSE
 


“The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”  Prov. 20:27

 In this great word of Hebrew Wisdom, we have incidentally what we may reverently describe as a revelation of Biblical psychology. The Hebrew word, here rendered spirit, is the word rendered breath in the passage in Genesis, which says that "God . . . breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." The rendering spirit, therefore is unquestionably accurate, and refers to that in man which constitutes him man, and differentiates between him and all animals. By that breath or spirit he is separated from the animal world, as surely as the sentient life of the animal is separated from the vegetable life beneath it - and to greater distance. Man is not an animal. That breath or spirit - says this word of Wisdom - is the lamp of Jehovah, searching all the deepest things in the personality of man. Here is the Biblical conception of conscience. Within the mystery of the spirit-nature of every man there is light. It is the instrument of God. It illuminates life. It is that by which man is constantly kept face to face with truth. Let us make no mistake about it: the most evil men know that their works are evil. No specious arguments can prove to the spirit-life of a man that wrong is right, that impurity is pure. The day may come when a man becomes content with wrong, satisfied with impurity. Perhaps the day comes to some when they are unable to make the distinction. I doubt it although America has sure tried to say wrong is right. But if so, then it is because that lamp of Jehovah is put out, that deep essential spirit-life is atrophied-perished. But that is not the end. That spirit-life cannot cease to be. There is a resurrection to condemnation. There will be a new lighting of that lamp, and therein is the awful mystery of retribution. "In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." He finally displays remorse. A human condition not that of an animal although he might have acted with those attributes for most of his life on earth.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

PROVIDENCE

PROVIDENCE

 


God's faithful and effective care and guidance of everything which He has made toward the end which He has chosen.

    The opening question of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) asks: "What is your only comfort in life and death?" Answer: "That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ who ... so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation." This statement gets at the heart of the biblical doctrine of providence. We can distinguish this understanding of providence from several distortions which have been advanced throughout the history of the church:

Fatalism: the view that all events are determined by an inviolable law of cause and effect. This was a popular doctrine among the Stoics (as in Seneca's treatise, De Providentia) who believed that all history and human life was subject to Fate.

Deism: the idea that God created the world but then withdrew from its day-to-day governance, leaving it to run by itself as a machine. Deism safeguards the transcendence of God at the expense of His immanence. (Washington, Jefferson)

Pantheism: this is the opposite error of deism, for it virtually identifies God with His creation. God is a kind of World Soul or impersonal force which permeates all the universe.

Dualism: the view that two opposing forces in the universe are locked in struggle with each other for its control. The ancient religions of Zoroaster and Mani posited two coeternal principles, darkness and light. A modern variant of this theory is set forth by process theology which holds that God is limited by the evolving universe, caught in a struggle with forces over against His control.

    In the New Testament, the Greek word for providence (pronoia) occurs only once, and that with reference to human rather than divine foresight (Acts 24:2). The verbal form (pronoeo) meaning "to know in advance" is found twice in the New Testament and eleven times in the Greek Old Testament. Yet the theme of God's provident care for the created order is present in all levels of the biblical material. The Psalms are filled with allusions to God's direction and sustenance of the creation. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork (Psa. 19:1). God directs the seasons (Psa. 104:19); the clouds are His chariot, the winds His messenger (Psa. 104:3); He stills the storms and girds the mountain ranges (Psa. 107:29; 65:6); everything that hath breath is exhorted to praise the Lord "for his mighty acts" (Psa. 150:2, 6). His use of secondary causes will be evident in the end-time catastrophes (Psa. 148:8). New Orleans has seen His fury. The so-called nature Psalms are not dedicated to the glory of nature, but to the God who created and sustains it with His fatherly care.

    Providence is related to creation on the one hand and to the history of salvation on the other. Theologians speak of this second aspect as "special" providence. In Neh. 9:6-38, God's general and special providence are brought together in the same passage. "Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, ... the earth, and all things that are therein, ... and thou preservest them all; ... Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, ... And madest known unto them thy ... precepts, ... by the hand of Moses ... thou art a gracious and merciful God.... who keepest covenant." After the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and during the long period of Exile, confidence in God's providence sustained the children of Israel through all of their doubts and disappointments (cf. Isa. 40:21-31; 42:1-6).

    Two classic passages in the New Testament direct Christians to focus on God's providential care as a remedy for overanxious concerns. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commanded His hearers not to worry about tomorrow, since the Heavenly Father cares much more for them than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field (Matt. 6:25-34). The point is not that following Christ will exempt one from trouble or pain. What it does provide is the assurance of God's presence in the midst of the stormy tempests of life. Armed with this assurance we can face whatever may come in the knowledge that God will care for us, as He does daily for the birds and flowers. Rom. 8:28 (NIV) says: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This does not mean that everything which happens to us is good, nor necessarily the result of a "snap decision" by God. It does mean that nothing can ever happen to us apart from the knowledge, presence, and love of God, and that in the most desperate of circumstances God is always at work towards the good. We are not given to understand how this is so. We are only told that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18-25).

    The doctrine of providence encompasses many other themes in the Bible as well. Scripture presents God working in various ways to accomplish His purpose. Often God works through secondary causes such as natural law or special messengers, such as the angels. Sometimes God affects His will directly through miracles or other supernatural happenings. Frequently enough, as William Cowper put it, "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." Because we are sure that God is for us, not against us, we can afford to live with this mystery which impugns neither God's sovereignty nor His goodness. In our own day, the doctrine of providence has been challenged by the enormity of evil in the world. Some theologians have attempted to devise a theodicy, a rational justification of God's providential rule, as a response to the problem of evil. Yet the Bible itself presents no systematic answer to this dilemma. It affirms only the reality of evil, its vicious, demonic power in the present age, and the certainty of Christ's ultimate victory over its every manifestation (1 Cor. 15:24-28). In the meanwhile, Christians can face the future in the confidence that nothing "in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39 NRSV).

Friday, February 12, 2016

PROPHETS

Prophets

 
 
  1. Gift from God. Amos 2:11
  2. Started with Moses. Jer. 7:25
  3. Also some women called a prophetess; women serving as God's spokesperson. Five women are explicitly identified as prophetesses: Miriam (Exod. 15:20); Deborah (Judg. 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 22:14); Noadiah, a "false" prophetess (Neh. 6:14); and Anna (Luke 2:36). Jezebel claimed to be a prophetess (Rev. 2:20). The ministries of prophetesses varied greatly. Miriam called upon Israel to celebrate God's deliverance. Deborah combined the offices of prophetess and judge, even accompanying Barak into battle. Huldah spoke God's words of judgment (2 Kings 22:16-17) and forgiveness (22:18-20) to King Josiah. Anna shared the good news of Jesus' birth with the Temple crowds. The false prophetess Noadiah sought to frighten Nehemiah. Jezebel attempted to involve the church of Thyatira in idolatry.
  4.     The prophet Joel anticipated a time when all God's people, "male servants and female servants," would be filled with God's Spirit and prophesy (Joel 2:28-29). This prophetic hope was fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18) and in the ongoing life of the “early” church (Acts 21:9 - 1 Cor. 13:8). The early church was said to have tasted of the powers of the age to come. They faded but shall permeate the age of Christ’s age in the Millennium. Paul encouraged all believers to desire to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1), that is, to offer speech which builds up the church (14:5). 1 Cor. 11:5 presumes women were involved in prophesying and prayer in public worship. The wife of a prophet here was called a prophetess (Isa. 8:3). 
  5. Prophetic office understood through Jeremiah. Deut. 18:9-22
  6. [nabbi]  the prophet speaks God's words on God's behalf. Exod. 7:1-2. The prophet does not originate the message but proclaims it.
  7. [ro'eh] also made to see the message-concerns the reception of the message. Always holy, moral characters. 2 Kings 1:9, 11; 9:7; 17:13
  8. Mediators also. Preached revealed law. Predicated coming events. Finally watched over the leaders and people.
Deut. 18 Chap. Note:  Turning to the subject of the prophet, Moses enjoined the people to beware of the false and to know the true. In dealing with the false prophets he described their methods. They would be the practice of secret things, of dealing with the spiritual forces of evil in a professed attempt to discover the will of God. The true prophet was then promised and described. The description given is brief but graphic. He would be one of themselves, receiving the words of God and uttering them to the people. All the true prophets of God that followed fulfilled this ideal in measure. The proportion in which they spoke to the nation the will of God with authority was the proportion in which they did so. As we study these words concerning king and priest and prophet, we inevitably realize that the perfect fulfilment in each case came ultimately with the coming of the Son of God. He was at once King of His brethren without inheritance in His own land; Priest, abiding in the service of God and ministered to by the people of God; Prophet of His brethren, speaking the word of God in all fullness and in all purity.