Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #7

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

Writing to the future seven-year Tribulation Jewish saints, the Apostle Peter exhorted: “[6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: [7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. [8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. [10] But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:6-10).

With almost all of mankind united with the Antichrist to “cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4), Israel’s believing remnant must cast all their worry upon God, for He cares for them. He loves them ever so much, even if no one else does. Jude reminds them that, as long as they keep God’s love for them foremost in their thinking, Satan cannot use their hateful enemies to intimidate them into surrendering. Their faith, their kingdom doctrine (particularly Hebrews through Revelation), will guard them against the deception engulfing the world.

Father God will make these precious Jewish saints “perfect” (spiritually mature). He will “strengthen” Israel’s believing remnant. He will “settle” these Messianic Jews. Jude 20 and 21 are the keys to Israel’s spiritual survival during Daniel’s 70th week: studying the Scriptures applicable to them (especially Hebrews through Revelation), praying according to the Holy Spirit’s revealed Word to them, constantly recalling God’s love for them, and anticipating Christ’s glorious return to usher in their “heaven-on-earth” kingdom. Just as Israel will rely on Him to see them through difficult times, may we study and believe Paul’s epistles, to rely on God in our times of sorrow. :)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does 1 Corinthians 15:11 disprove dispensational Bible study?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #6

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

Jesus predicted that Messianic Jews would be hated for His sake during the reign of false Messiah (Antichrist) (John 15:17-25 cf. 1 John 3:11-13). The Bible student will compare Jesus’ words with today’s Scripture and 1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Later in that same epistle, the Apostle John continued: “[7] Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. [8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. [9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11).

Israel’s believing remnant is not to focus on those who hate them; they are to focus on the love of the Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose love alone matters, whose love alone never fails. The Apostle John reminds Israel’s believing remnant that it was Jesus Christ who loved them so much that He died for them, going to Calvary’s cruel cross to purchase their spiritual freedom. Likewise, they, now enduring the awful seven-year Tribulation, can lay down their lives for their suffering Jewish brethren, risking their lives to help them who are suffering utmost deprivation because of the satanic Antichrist (James 2:14-18). If God’s love is truly operating in them, if they are mindful of God’s love for them, they will let that love manifest itself in deed (1 John 3:14-24)!

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #5

Monday, October 20, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

In the midst of all the seven-year Tribulation’s suffering and heartache, Jude encourages Israel’s believing remnant in verses 20 and 21: “But ye, beloved, [1] building up yourselves on your most holy faith, [2] praying in the Holy Ghost, [3] keep yourselves in the love of God, [4] looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Notice the four-fold edification the Holy Spirit has for them.)

Firstly, they are to “[build] up [themselves] on [their] most holy faith” (belief system). Paul declared, “the word of [God’s] grace… is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32). Just as we are to use God’s Word to us (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon) to build an edifice of sound doctrine in our hearts and lives (see 1 Corinthians 3:10,12,14), Israel’s believing remnant is to use the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and Hebrews through Revelation to build an edifice of sound doctrine in their hearts and lives.

Secondly, they are to “[pray] in the Holy Ghost.” To reinforce that kingdom doctrine in their hearts and minds, they are to pray according to what the Holy Spirit will be doing at that time, activity described in their Scriptures (particularly Hebrews through Revelation, but all of the Bible outside of Paul’s epistles). The Holy Spirit will teach them His Word (1 John 2:27; cf. Matthew 10:19,20; Luke 21:14,15).

Thirdly, they are to keep [guard] [themselves] in the love of God.” They are to remember God’s love for them, and not worry about the nations and their relatives and friends who hate them. (Later, we will look at this more closely.)

Lastly, they are to “[look] for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” They are to anticipate Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, when He will show them mercy, defeating their enemies, delivering them and ushering them into the eternal life of His earthly kingdom (Mark 10:28-31)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘saved, if ye keep in memory’ mean in 1 Corinthians 15:2?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #4

Sunday, October 19, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

During the seven-year Tribulation, Israel’s believing remnant will be unloved and unwanted, pressured to surrender to the evil world system, the Antichrist and his false religious system. Unbelieving Jews will unite against their believing brethren (Matthew 10:34-36; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16). Hence, we read of widows and orphans (James 1:27), as well as imprisoned, homeless, and destitute Jews (Matthew 25:35-46). Remember, “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another…. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matthew 24:10,12). Yes, they will be hated of all men for [Jesus’] name’s sake” (Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17).

The book of Psalms is replete with the heartaches of Israel’s little flock, suffering through the seven-year Tribulation. These precious saints ask God how long before He will punish their tormentors, and rejoice in God’s graciousness and faithfulness in seeing them through those very dark years. A sample of these passages includes Psalms 3, 5, 7, 9-13, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 34, 36, 46, 56, 68, and 83, as well as Psalm 86:12-16 and Psalm 145:8,9.

In his very short epistle, Jude wrote that Jesus’ apostles had already warned about mockers in the last days, people who would “walk after their own ungodly lusts,” who would “separate themselves,” who would be “sensual” (carnal, sin-dominated), who would not have God’s Spirit (verses 17-19). They would embrace the Antichrist, who himself would be the epitome of natural-man wickedness, man operating in his ultimate fallen (sinful) capacity (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12). To keep his favor, they would turn his enemies over to him (that is, they would betray their Jewish Messianic relatives and friends). But, Jude says that his audience will not be among these ungodly people. Thus, his Jewish believers would experience such hatred. Still, God would provide them encouragement. We finally reach verses 20-22, today’s Scripture and its immediate context….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do not Hebrews 13:8 and Malachi 3:6 disprove dispensational Bible study?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #3

Saturday, October 18, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

Near the completion of His ministry, in what is called His “Second Olivet Discourse,” the Lord Jesus replied to a question about the “sign of [his] coming, and of the end of the world” (Matthew 24:3). The Bible quotes Him as saying (in part): “[9] Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. [10] And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. [11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. [12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Luke 21:16,17 is a companion passage: “[16] And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. [17] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” (Also see Mark 13:9-13.)

The night before He died, He again prepared His disciples for the time of their coming persecution, “[2] They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. [3] And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me” (John 16:2,3).

Considering all what Israel’s little flock will experience during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the final seven years of God dealing with her national sins, these precious Messianic Jews need to hear, understand, and believe the words of the Holy Spirit spoken through Jude. Today’s Scripture and its context are actually a four-fold method that God will strengthen the Jewish believers as they suffer at the hands of their enemies—yea, their hateful family members—for Jesus Christ’s sake. Let us now briefly analyze this four-fold edification, with today’s Scripture particularly in mind….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Israel have to keep so many ‘strange’ laws?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #2

Friday, October 17, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

In the first installment of the so-called “Great Commission,” the Lord Jesus prepared His believing Jewish remnant to withstand the immense hostility that Satan and his associates would direct toward them. Matthew 10:34-36 quotes Jesus’ words to His little flock, especially His 12 apostles: “[34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. [35] For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. [36] And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

Some months later, Jesus continued that line of thinking: “[9] But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them… [12] Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death” (Mark 13:9,12). As we will see shortly, these verses are yet future, and actually coincide with today’s Scripture.

Man is naturally opposed to the plan and work of the Creator God, the Lord Jesus Christ—that is what sin is. Satan will exploit man’s natural anti-God attitude to further his policy of evil. As people today grow sick and tired of us Christians preaching the Lord Jesus Christ, it was also true in time past and it will be true in the ages to come. Jesus knew that unbelievers would eagerly rid the world of His followers—even family members would betray one another! Unsaved people would gladly turn in their Christian relatives to the authorities for punishment. It will be especially true during Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation….

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #1

Thursday, October 16, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

One of the basic needs of humans is to feel accepted, to be loved. Alas, this sin-cursed world is very cold, very cruel, and very warped. We hear about autonomous women readily terminating their babies in their wombs, or leaving their newborns in the trash, without so much as a wince! Think of the chauvinistic husbands mercilessly abusing their wives to appear “masculine,” or murdering them to reap life-insurance benefits! Consider the thrill-seeking bullies amongst our young people in grade school, attempting to be popular with others by harassing their peers! Imagine the pompous “ethnic-cleansers” who brutally slaughter millions of a different nationality or religion!

Let us be completely honest. People will do practically anything to be accepted by others, and those “others” will do practically anything to those people if those people are not accepted. For the Christian, there is always that temptation to give up the Bible and recant Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork; afterward, less people would shun you, fewer people would call you a “nut,” and less people would seek your life! While it is not readily apparent yet, today’s Scripture should be understood in that light.

Just as we Christians today in the Dispensation of Grace suffer persecution for “living godly in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:12), so the believing Jews, the “little flock,” of the future seven-year Tribulation will face an even more hostile world, a colder world, a crueler world, and a more warped world. Hence, the Holy Spirit selected specific phrases and words for Jude to write to these precious saints… a people who would live at least 2,000 years into the future (beyond our present-day as well). They would feel more unwelcome than even we feel at times, they would grow even more weary of the wicked triumphing, and they would need today’s Scripture and its context to have spiritual stability….