God’s fire from heaven

The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Friday, December 30, 2016

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

For more information, you may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘rape’ Mary?

The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

For more information, you may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘rape’ Mary?

The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

Meek and Mighty

Monday, September 29, 2014

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them, derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is proof that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are truly higher than ours!

Galilean king Herod Antipas and Judaean governor Pontius Pilate had heard much of this Jesus of Nazareth these last three years, but, so far as Scripture is concerned, they did not personally meet Him until His final hours alive. To them, He did not appear as royalty. Firstly, He had allowed Himself to be captured peacefully. Then, He let soldiers harshly abuse Him. Finally, He remained mostly silent during their many extensive interrogations leading up to His crucifixion. Pilate “marvelled greatly” (Matthew 27:11-14). Those watching Jesus die were equally shocked. “This is the King whom JEHOVAH God sent to rescue us? He is now helpless on the cross!”

Little did mankind know that Messiah would come twice—once to suffer and die as Saviour, again to judge and reign as King. Neither the prophets nor the angels could understand (1 Peter 1:9-12). Now, with the completed Bible canon, we see it all quite clearly. One is His meek coming (Zechariah 9:9) and the other is His mighty coming (Zechariah 14:3). Before Messiah Jesus could be manifested with power on His majestic Davidic throne, He had to first go to Calvary’s cruel cross. The scoffers did not understand it, but even if God had revealed it, they still would not have cared to know His truth.

In Father God’s own timing, He will reveal from heaven Jesus Christ in “flaming fire,” to take vengeance on those who do not know the God of Scripture and those who refuse to humble themselves and trust the Gospel of His Grace as sufficient payment for their sins (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Jesus Christ came the first time, not to save Himself, but to save us, to suffer God’s wrath on our behalf, that we trust Him alone as Saviour now, that we not have to suffer God’s wrath against our sin when comes the second time, when He proves again that He is “the chosen of God!” What wisdom!

A Rejected Sacrifice

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:5 KJV).

We are some 6,000 years removed from today’s Scripture, and yet it teaches us a valuable lesson of eternal worth….

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” (Hebrews 11:4). The LORD gave Cain and his brother Abel clear instructions. Only Abel did what God said because only he believed what God said. Abel, a shepherd (Genesis 4:2), “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” (verse 4a). Cain, a farmer (verse 2), “brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD” (verse 3).

Notice what Abel brought—a sheep, a blood sacrifice, and its fat, which is what God said to do. Observe what Cain brought—something he grew. Cain had probably slaved away watering that crop, weeding that patch of ground, and so on. Cain brought the very “best” he could bring—it was the work of his own hands. He rationalized, “Surely, God will accept this fruit of the ground. He knows I put so much effort into it. How can He say no?”

When Cain saw the fire of God come down from heaven and consume his brother’s sacrifice, and yet nothing happened to his sacrifice, today’s Scripture tells us that Cain grew very upset. “How dare You, God! It was my very best, and You do not want it!” Cain probably threw a tantrum and cursed. Eventually, filled with that religious rage, he murdered Abel (verse 8).

Cain symbolizes today’s average religious person, who refuses to do what God’s Word says: “Trust in the finished crosswork of Christ alone and I will save you.” Like Cain, they offer “their absolute best”—tithes, water baptism, acts of charity, penance, church membership, et cetera—things God never commanded them to do for salvation! Those things are “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) when compared to Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice of Himself.

And when they die, like Cain, they will be greatly disappointed.

An Accepted Sacrifice

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4 KJV).

How did Abel know that God accepted his sacrifice?

Sons of Adam and Eve, Abel is a “keeper of sheep” and his brother Cain is a “tiller of the ground” (Genesis 4:2). Cain “brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD” (verse 3), while Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” (verse 4a). To wit, Abel “by faith” brought a blood sacrifice, indicating He followed God’s instructions. Unbelieving Cain, however, offered vegetation to God, which He never commanded.

“And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect” (verses 4b,5a). Today’s Scripture affirms: “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.” But, exactly what does it mean that Abel “obtained witness” from God that “he was righteous?” For the answer, we must search the Old Testament Scriptures.

Read 1 Chronicles 21:26: “And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.” In 1 Kings 18:38, we read of the time when the prophet Elijah offered an animal sacrifice: Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” And 2 Chronicles 7:1: “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.”

Based on these verses, we conclude Abel must have seen the fire of God come down from heaven and consume his sacrifice, thus signifying to him that God had accepted his offering. Amazing!