Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Though there is continually much in the news regarding threats to the nation of Israel, scripture is clear in declaring that God watches over Israel.

Psalms 121:4 “Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

One day in the foreseeable future, Jesus, the very Son of God, will reign as King of kings over the whole world from the throne of David in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 9:6–7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Luke 1:32–33 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Revelation 19:11-16 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war….and his name is called The Word of God….And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The plans of men, even men who have sold their souls to Satan, are no match for Almighty God.  His purposes will be accomplished and His will fulfilled in His perfect timing.

Isaiah 46:9–10 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”

Isaiah 45:22–25 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”

Isaiah 14:24 “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….”

I pity anyone who chooses to disregard this truth.

Friday, January 16, 2015


There are some verses that are used a lot to provide comfort at funerals that speak of the future of the believer in the presence of God--and that is a very comforting truth.   I believe the primary point Jesus is making in these verses, however, concern His return to take the body of believers home to the presence of the God the Father.

John 14:1–3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus is speaking of a time that He will “come again” and “receive” believers into His presence.  We know that absent from the body is present with the Lord...

2 Corinthians 5:6–8 “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

...but this “receiving” is of the believers with their immortal bodies that are fit for heaven.  Paul explains a bit more in his letter to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:51–53 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

In these verses Paul declares that he is revealing a “mystery,” a truth that had been basically hidden until this time of revelation.  He explains that there is a time coming when all men of faith—both dead and alive—will receive their incorruptible bodies that are fit for heaven and eternity.  He declares that this transformation will happen “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”  Later, in his letter to the Thessalonians, he reveals even more.

1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

In these verses we learn that this transformation will involve the Lord descending from heaven and all people of faith--both dead and alive--meeting the Lord in the clouds to remain in His presence forevermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”

We know that this transformation precedes His return to earth to reign as King of kings because scripture declares that we will return with Him at that time.

Colossians 3:4 “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”


Monday, January 5, 2015


Coming to the end of our journey through Jude…

Jude 19 “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

“These” (still in context regarding those “certain men,” the false teachers in verse 4) are the men who will divide the body of believers and cause splits in churches.  They do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit (the believer’s compass, counselor and companion).  These mockers will base their choices and beliefs on things that are sensual—according to their physical senses and desires rather than according to spiritual sense and desire as led by the Holy Spirit.  I can’t help but make a connection with the growing emphasis in the professing church today on personal experience over the word of God, e.g., prayer mantras, walking mazes, holy laughter, barking like dogs, being slain in the spirit, etc.

Jude 1:20-21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

After the long, detailed words of warning, Jude closes with words of advice and encouragement.  “Build up yourselves on your most holy faith.”  For our faith to grow and be strong, we must nurture it with the Word of God and fellowship with the Lord.  Part of our fellowship should include “praying in the Spirit.”  This refers to prayers that are centered in God’s will concerning God’s choices in our life and that include praise and worship for the Father and the Son.  Our prayers should also include repentance for the areas in which we fail and recognize as sin before God. 

Jude also encourages the believers to “keep themselves in the love of God,” to be as Christ-like as possible in their responses and actions toward others.  The only standard acceptable for defining these responses and actions is God’s word.

We are to live in hope, confidently looking for the mercy of the Savior as we look forward to eternity in His presence.  I can see this with two areas of emphasis:

1) The fact that He provided the way of salvation is mercy in itself; it allows the believer to escape the punishment deserved by his sin. 

2) Being taken into eternity out of the struggle with the sin nature and the war with spiritual forces of evil here on this earth will be a mercy in itself!  To experience the blessedness of an eternity with Christ—certainly not what we deserve!

Jude 1:22-23 “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

As God shows us mercy, we are to show mercy to others.  There will be those who doubt, and we are to show them love and understanding as Jesus did Thomas (John 20).  We are to lead as many to the truth as possible which will “pull them out of the fire” of hell.  Others are so deep in sin that even though you want to be merciful, you need to be careful not to let them bring you down to their level.

This is a call for the Christian to exercise discernment. 

Matthew 7:15–20 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

The last part of verse 23 caught my attention.  Scripture tells us that we are to avoid even the appearance of evil. 

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Matthew Henry states it this way, “Avoid all that leads to sin or that looks like sin.”  The reference to a spot in the garment brings to mind the thought of leprosy, and there was an interesting quote in Easton’s Dictionary that I think is appropriate to ponder here.
“Leprosy was ‘the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man’s inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God’ (Maclear’s Handbook O.T).”

Jude seems to be saying that some people need to hear fire and brimstone preaching that will scare them into accepting God’s gift of salvation.  The Joel Osteen’s of today seem to have no understanding of this truth.

Jude 1:24-25 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

As Jude closes, he uses words of wonderful truth and encouragement.  He gives praise to the One who is “able to keep you from falling.”  We are secure in our position in the Savior.  He will present us to the Father “faultless.”  This truth reminds me of a beautiful promise in Philippians. 

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ….”

When we are seen through the cover of the shed blood of Jesus, we are perfect. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Romans 3:24–26 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

I need to remind myself of that more often.  It’s easy to get bogged down in our shortcomings when the need is to stay focused on not quitting, to keep on trying.  It’s a wonderful incentive to know we are being seen through the blood of Jesus. 
Because of that, He will present us with great joy—His sacrifice was not in vain.  Though rejected by many—that sacrifice will provide eternal life and fellowship for so many of His special creation. 

There is only one true God.  Though man may try to equate others to Him, they will never measure up.  He is our Savior—the one who provided a way for us to escape the hell we deserve.  He is deserving of all glory (perfection in His nature and holiness), majesty (His position of kingship), power (His absolute control of the laws and created things/beings of the universe) and dominion/authority (the position of righteous judge).  We have this all represented through the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

This same Jesus was before all, is now and will be evermore.  This is too much for us to really comprehend.  We may understand the words, but can we really fathom the full truth of which they speak. 

Amen.  (It’s true; I believe it.)