A Righteous Politician

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Proverbs 29:2 KJV).

God established a governmental structure in both heaven and earth: “For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16). These governments were originally designed to bring God glory. Unfortunately, Satan has usurped both governments, causing rebellion against God (sin) in heaven and on earth (2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 6:12).

As today’s Scripture states, people mourn the inauguration and tenure of corrupt politicians. The news, historically and presently, abounds with stories of scandals (and cover-ups), resignations, and impeachments of governmental officials. We can expect nothing more in this sinful, fallen world that is ruled by Satan (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 2:2).

Today’s Scripture also declares, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.” Despite the few reliable, honest politicians who serve and benefit the people they represent, Satan’s evil governmental powers still seemingly triumph today. The wicked majority has inflicted great damage that the honest minority cannot reverse.

However, the Bible speaks of a glorious day when the governments of Satan (this evil world system of politics, economics, religion, and education) will be demolished forever. A benevolent, worldwide monarchy awaits planet earth. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS,” Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming, will restore earth’s governments to God (Revelation 19:16; cf. Colossians 1:20). Zechariah 14:9 says: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Indeed, when this Righteous King will rule, the people will rejoice!

Fables and Endless Genealogies

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:3,4 KJV).

Ephesus was in trouble. Instead of sound Bible doctrine, certain individuals were teaching “fables and endless genealogies.” Questions were arising in the Christian assemblies. Doubt, confusion, and discouragement proliferated. Incidentally, some years earlier, Paul had warned the Ephesian church leaders that “grievous wolves” of their own selves would infiltrate the flock and mislead the brethren (Acts 20:17,28-31). It happened!

So, in today’s Scripture, Paul informs us that he has left Timothy in Ephesus so Timothy can correct the doctrinal error. A sobering thought is, How could Paul decide where to send Timothy today? Millions of Timothys would be needed because, since then, doctrinal error has spread worldwide and waxed worse and worse (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

God designed His Word to edify (build up/strengthen and enlighten). But Satan and sinful man cooperate to silence its message or greatly dilute it with “fables and endless genealogies.” “Genealogies” refers to pagan and/or Jewish stories passed down through families, information that would profit no one spiritually, and only generate contention (arguing) and doubt (cf. Titus 1:14; Titus 3:9). Their modern-day equivalent is the empty church tradition passed down from “church fathers.”

The Apostle Peter mentioned “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16) and the Apostle Paul referred to “refusing profane and old wives’ fables” (1 Timothy 4:7). These exaggerated, fabricated stories (legends) sought to replace sound Bible doctrine, and Timothy was sent to command the Ephesians not to teach such nonsense. “Godly edifying which is in faith: so do is explained in Acts 20:32 (Paul had already told the Ephesians this!): “Brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up….”

As Paul told Timothy and Ephesus, sound Bible teaching (dispensational Bible study) is the key to the confusion and heresy that still plague Christendom today.

The LORD Looketh On the Heart

Monday, November 28, 2011

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV).

It is human nature to judge someone on the basis of outward appearance. When the prophet Samuel seeks a king for Israel, the LORD tells him to visit Jesse’s house, for one of Jesse’s sons will succeed King Saul (verse 1). When Samuel sees Jesse’s son Eliab, Samuel says, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before [me]” (verse 6).

Eliab was handsome and well built, so Samuel concludes that he must be God’s choice for Saul’s replacement. God, however, quickly discourages such thinking by speaking today’s Scripture. God is not looking for someone based on physical appearance, but rather on the condition of his or her heart.

The passage proceeds to tell us that Jesse’s remaining sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel deduces, “The LORD hath not chosen these” (verse 10). “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children?” Verse 11 continues, “And he [Jesse] said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep.” Samuel instructs Jesse to send for that youngest son.

Young David, “ruddy and withal a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to,” appears before Samuel, “And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he” (verse 12). God did not choose David based on physical appearance, although he was handsome and “ruddy” (healthy, reddish glow to the skin). Young David was least esteemed in man’s eyes: he was the youngest, and the lowly shepherd!

So, why did God choose David? David, although a sinful man, was submissive to God’s will. Unlike Saul, David had a heart of faith, and was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Psalm 89:20; Acts 7:46; Acts 13:22). God does not see your outward appearance; He focuses on your heart, whether it has faith in Him. God can see what no one else can—the real you.

Like the Most High

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“…I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14b KJV).

Satan (Lucifer speaking in today’s Scripture) is the arch-nemesis of God. The devil is the master counterfeiter. Notice:

  1. False witnesses (Psalm 27:12; Matthew 26:60,61) cf. the Lord’s witnesses (John 8:14; Acts 5:32).
  2. False visions (Jeremiah 14:14) cf. the Lord’s visions (Ezekiel 1:1).
  3. False dreams (Jeremiah 23:32) cf. the Lord’s dreams (Matthew 2:12,13).
  4. False prophets (Mark 13:22; 1 John 4:1) cf. the Lord’s prophets (Ephesians 3:5).
  5. False Christs (Matthew 24:24) cf. the Lord’s Christ (Psalm 2:2; Luke 2:26).
  6. False apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) cf. the Lord’s apostles (Luke 11:46).
  7. False brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4) cf. the Christian brethren (Philippians 1:14).
  8. False ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) cf. the Lord’s minister to us, Paul (Romans 15:16).
  9. False gospels (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) cf. Paul’s Gospel (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8).
  10. False doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) cf. Paul’s doctrines (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 2:7).
  11. False wonders, miracles, and signs (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13,14) cf. the Lord’s wonders, miracles, and signs (Mark 16:17-20; Acts 2:22).
  12. False spirits (1 John 4:1-6) cf. the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21).
  13. False Bibles (2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:2)—“as from us” indicates a letter appearing to be from the Apostle Paul, but it was actually a forged epistle because it contained false doctrine that troubled the Thessalonians—cf. God’s Bible (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).

Satan knows that as long as you focus on his counterfeits, you will ignore God’s original. To Satan’s delight, whenever Israel would worship pagan gods, she would ignore the true God. As long as the Church the Body of Christ does not believe nor know of the things that God has specifically for us, then God cannot use us for His glory and purposes. Saints, be discerning, for Satan’s “cunning craftiness” abounds (Ephesians 4:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) and hold fast to the rightly divided King James Bible so you will not be deceived by the counterfeits.

Society’s Shift from the Priceless Gift

Saturday, November 26, 2011

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9 KJV).

Black Friday. White snow. Green cash being spent. Bank accounts going into the red. Holiday blues. Ah, the colors of the year-end holiday season hustle and bustle. Discerning shoppers browsing for bargains. Bratty kids whining for every trinket they see. Retailers using “Jesus’ birthday” as the backbone of their advertising campaigns. Ah, the distractions that keep us from focusing on the Priceless Gift—Jesus Christ killed for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).

Sadly, for the next month, consumers will mostly ignore the gift that Someone already bought them! This priceless gift has a lifetime warranty, lasting as long as God lives… forever. It cannot be found on a retailer’s shelf, for it is too valuable. It cannot be purchased because you are too poor to pay for it! It cannot be lost because once you accept it by faith it is yours forever. Eternal life

This Priceless Gift is described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “how that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day.” Beloved, here, in the Gospel of the Grace of God, we see the wrath and righteousness of God clearly manifested in that Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood for our unrighteousness (sins). But, as today’s Scripture teaches, we also see the grace of God clearly manifested: Jesus Christ tasted death for us, though we did not deserve it (and still do not deserve it).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Every day since you have been alive, God has been offering you the Priceless Gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Why not accept it by faith? Trust in the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ alone, and God will save you FOREVER.

This is the Day Which the LORD Hath Made

Friday, November 25, 2011

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean? Is it talking about today? Many times people quote this verse but they have no idea what it means. As always, we look at the context to determine the meaning, lest we make the Bible say something God never intended it to say.

Notice verse 22: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” According to Acts 4:10,11, Psalm 118:22 was fulfilled when Israel rejected and crucified her King Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross: “Jesus Christ of Nazareth… is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (cf. 1 Peter 2:7,8). Thus, we are led to conclude that today’s Scripture is foretelling the coming of Israel’s Messiah.

Look at Psalm 118:26 for additional insight: Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” Does this sound familiar? Was this not what rejoicing Jews shouted when Jesus Christ rode on the colt, the foal of an ass (donkey) on the Sunday before His crucifixion? Yes, it was! “And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13).

Had Israel accepted Jesus as her Messiah-King, that earthly kingdom would have been established. Instead, most Jews rejected Him and demanded His crucifixion. Although God gave Israel a renewed opportunity of repentance in the first one-third of the book of Acts, they still rejected Jesus as King. Today, Israel’s program is postponed, and that earthly kingdom is still future.

In conclusion, today’s Scripture does not describe today (or any day in our dispensation, for that matter). It applied to the Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion, often called the “Triumphal Entry.”

Ye Are Complete in Him

Thursday, November 24, 2011

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9,10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says all the power of the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—dwells in Christ Jesus (God the Son). Consequently, we are “complete [lacking nothing] in Christ.” The moment we trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, God instantly gave us everything He can ever give us.

We read in Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” In Christ, we have all our “need” (singular) met. What is our “need?” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The spiritual blessings we have in Christ as a present and permanent possession are our “need.”

What are these spiritual blessings? Throughout Paul’s epistles, we read of over 120 spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus. Our spiritual blessings in Christ include:

  1. Sealed by and with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30)
  2. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
  3. New identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  4. Holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in God’s sight (Colossians 1:22)
  5. Crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6)
  6. Alive with Christ (Romans 6:8)
  7. Liberty (Galatians 5:1)
  8. Accepted in the beloved, God’s Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6)
  9. The temple of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  10. Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  11. Access by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
  12. Preserved unto the Lord’s heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18)
  13. Eternal life (Titus 1:2)
  14. Grace to endure suffering (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  15. Deliverance from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4)

We cannot see these spiritual blessings with our physical eyes, but we see them with our spiritual eyes of faith (Hebrews 11:1). Let us always thank God for these blessings, not just during the Thanksgiving Season, but for all eternity.

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “A Cornucopia of Spiritual Blessings.” The Bible study can be read here.