spiritual warfare

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 #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….

People of the Book

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:28 KJV).

If we are to be “People of the Book,” we must first be able to identify “the Book.”

According to The Oxford Dictionary of English, Muslims know Jews and Christians as, “People of the Book.” Muslims understand that the Holy Bible plays an integral role in the lives of Jews (Old Testament only) and Christians (both Testaments). I am not a Jew and thus cannot comment from their standpoint, but I, a Christian, can remark that I depend on the Holy Bible in all matters of faith and practice. No, I do not appeal to scientific consensus, denominational tradition or approval, and humanistic opinions, to form my worldview and conduct my life. My conviction is to compare what I hear and see to the Holy Scriptures, before I believe what I hear and see.

The Holy King James Bible proves itself to be trustworthy and inerrant. Thus, I rely on it. Whenever someone offers me another book and says, “Many scholarly translators used older and better manuscripts to produce this version,” I gladly take it and evaluate it with an open mind. In the last seven years of doing just that with numerous modern versions, I have discovered that Bible scholarship has not waxed better, but worse. Apostasy has not waned, but proliferated exponentially. May the Lord help us if we are so naïve and irrational as to believe that He is using today’s religious leadership to produce better Bibles!

In the context of today’s Scripture, some 600 years before Christ, false prophets had infiltrated Israel. Israel could not distinguish God’s pure Word from counterfeit “bibles,” and vice versa. The Church the Body of Christ finds itself in the same predicament today… confused, weakened, defeated! Even today, people are still “perverting the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23:36).

As today’s Scripture says, if we have God’s Word, let us speak it faithfully. If we do not know what is God’s Word, may we be silent until we locate it!!

Abounding Grace

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22,23 KJV).

What a timeless verse; what a faithful Creator God!

The political, economic, medical, social, religious, and moral issues facing our beloved United States of America are causing Christians here to want to leave this planet. Several Bible believers have expressed this heartfelt attitude to me in the recent past: “I wish the Lord would come and take us out of here!”

Beloved, while we should be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), we should not be so anxious for the Lord to return that we ignore why He left us in the first place. He did not save us so we could beg Him to come and get us; He left us here to be His “vessels,” His “lights in the world,” His “ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20; Philippians 2:15; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 2:21). May we not be lax in sharing with others the Gospel and God’s Word rightly divided.

Think about it. If the Lord Jesus Christ really came today to remove His Body from Earth, the most glorious dispensation ever, would end! All those who heard us preach the Gospel of Grace, and rejected it, would have no chance to be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). God would just give them over to Satan’s lie; they did not want His truth so He would give them their preference—error, the Antichrist.

Yes, with each passing day, our Dispensation of Grace is growing shorter and shorter and shorter. To have operated almost 2,000 years now is quite a miracle; that it still operates even now despite all of the wickedness, is another fact our human mind cannot grasp. Just as Jeremiah wept over the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), God’s punishment on Judah’s prolonged spiritual wickedness, he still praised JEHOVAH God for not completely wiping out His (Jewish) people. That same faithful God is the only reason any of us even remain here! “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b).

Interested, Indifferent, and Insolent

Sunday, October 12, 2014

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1 KJV).

No one wants to hear you repeat God’s Word? (Yea, there is nothing new under the sun!”)

In the last few weeks, I have met some people so interested in God’s Word they could not hear enough of it. One lady saw the truth in the verses; she appreciated some of those verses, but wished others were not in the Bible! Others refused to hear and believe the verses—actually, these Bible-rejecters were not atheists or agnostics but “Christians” who “loved and preached Jesus.” (?)

Dear saint, you will meet the following three:

  • INTERESTED. “And the common people heard [Jesus] gladly (Mark 12:37b). The LORD told the Prophet Zechariah how some of his forefathers believed and obeyed His words of old: “But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us(Zechariah 1:6).
  • INDIFFERENT. Acts 24:24,25: “[24] And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. [25] And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Nothing in Scripture indicates Felix ever trusted Christ.)
  • INSOLENT. The idolatrous Jews replied to the Prophet Jeremiah’s preaching in Jeremiah 44:16,17: “[16] As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. [17] But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her….” Sounds like what we hear today, “Leave me alone! I do not care to hear the Bible. You will never take away my church tradition!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did lying cause the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira?

Pebbles of Paganism

Saturday, October 4, 2014

“Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?” (Isaiah 57:6 KJV).

Imagine Israel doing such foolishness right in front of JEHOVAH!

Today’s Scripture—whose context, verses 3-12, reprimands Israel’s pagan idolatry—says the Jews collected (mindless, inanimate) rocks from a riverbed, and then poured out drink offerings and offered meat offerings to them as if they were Almighty God (the living and true God was deeply offended, as today’s Scripture indicates).

How preposterous! Israel had willfully abandoned JEHOVAH’S words (the Old Testament Scriptures), and preferred to imitate her heathen neighbors in worshipping dead idols (the Gentiles’ spiritual ignorance and moral decay are clearly described in Romans 1:18-32). Throughout the Old Testament, we read about stone idols worshipped by Gentiles (Deuteronomy 29:16,17; Isaiah 37:19) and Jews (Jeremiah 2:27; Habakkuk 2:19)—those stone idols were believed to speak and teach!

Lest we dismiss this as “ignorance due to bygone primitivism,” or in case we look down upon Israel as if our “modern” world is any better, remember that, today, most peoples of the world “pay homage” (worship) to such non-living objects in this “scientifically advanced” 21st century! In their churches and homes, even among many “Christian” people, they set up statues of wood and stone, hang paintings of “holy” figures (artistic interpretations, not actual photographs!), and then bow or kneel before them and utter prayers. The paints, minerals, and plant fibers are dead, and yet they are assumed to be able to help those “genuflecting” before them!

Today’s Scripture is a strict reminder that any forms of idolatry will not comfort (delight) the God of the Scriptures. Beloved, even if that idolatry is called “Christianity,” images of stone and wood (at their root) are heathen. Those same worthless “aids of worship” that helped Israel to ignore JEHOVAH, aided JEHOVAH in proving to Israel that she was worthy of being evicted from His land (and He did just that!). Friends, let us “turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9)! :)