The Word Wearied With the Wicked’s Words

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture could have been written to our profligate society today!

The Prophet Malachi had a ministry to Israel about 400 years before Christ. Post-Babylonian-exile Israel, while not as wicked as it was centuries before God sent them away captive to Assyria and Babylon, is nonetheless still plagued with spiritual, economic, and societal problems.

Through the Prophet, the Holy Spirit rebukes His people—especially the priests in chapter 2 (today’s Scripture)—of their wayward behavior. They then ask Him what they are doing wrong, and God replies each time. Malachi’s short book, only four chapters, is compiled around six objections and six divine answers. Today’s Scripture is the fifth. God never grows tired in the sense of doing work and then feeling “drained.” Existing outside of our universe, He is not bound by our time-space continuum. But, today’s Scripture says that God can and does grow tired of people talking about Him in a very foolish way.

Just as you eventually have enough of someone slandering you, or trampling your name underfoot, and you finally react, God has grown sick of the Jews saying that He approves evil, them saying that He delights in those workers of iniquity. Furthermore, God has grown sick of the Jews asking where He is, if He will show Himself and punish them for their wrongdoings. They challenge JEHOVAH to retaliate! Chapters 3 and 4 proceed to explain how Messiah Jesus is coming: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purge the sons of Levi…” (3:2,3).

Messiah Jesus came once, and He will be back again one day! He will punish the additional 2,000 years of man’s “wearisome words!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Will we know if a loved one is not in heaven with us?

Thee and Two Gardens #7

Friday, January 30, 2015

“Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus…” (John 19:41,42a KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Romans chapter 6 declares that our Christian life cannot begin until God reckons us dead in Christ’s tomb: “[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? [3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ [not water!] were baptized into his death?”

“[4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [7] For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

[8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: [9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. [10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. [11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Saints, you can live in the Garden of Eden, where you indeed live, and if it is you living, your Christian life will be dead, unable to bring God glory. Or, you can live in the Garden of Calvary, where you indeed die, and if it is you who are dead, your Christian life will live for Jesus Christ will live His life in you, thus glorifying Father God. By faith, let us choose the latter garden… it alone bears good fruit! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are deceased Christians with the Lord yet?

Thee and Two Gardens #6

Thursday, January 29, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Many precious souls constantly think about symbols, tithes and offerings, confessionals, aisles, candles, prayer closets, “scholarship,” altars, programs, holy days, counterfeit Bibles, personalities and celebrities, ecclesiastical laws, baptisteries, pilgrimages, dreams and visions, bread and wine, jewelry, statues, “praise and worship,” charities, vestments, healings, paintings, shrines, gibberish, patristic writings, and other theological speculations and paraphernalia.

As Satan distracted Eve, so she knew not God’s Word to her (the context of today’s Scripture), “Christianity” is similarly confused. Most are so sidetracked that they have no time whatsoever to think about Calvary’s real meaning. They are too busy thinking about what they are doing, so they have no time to think about what God did for them 2,000 years ago.

Friends, apart from faith in Calvary’s finished crosswork, we have no power of God in our lives (1 Corinthians 1:18,23,24). Fulfilling rules and regulations does not change the fact that we are still weak children of Adam, sinners by birth, unable to perform perfectly. Thus, sin-management systems are of no help to us. We need divine intervention to overcome sin.

God’s grand design is that our Christian life begin in a tomb. He alone can crucify us so as to separate us from Adam, to bury us in Christ’s tomb, to raise us again with Christ and give us a new nature in Him. Contrary to human “wisdom,” it is God’s wisdom, thinking on a much higher plane than even what the “best” intellectuals and philosophers could ever imagine. God did not come to correct us, but to crucify us with Christ, and He did not come to reform us but to resurrect us with Christ. It is not outward reformation (religion) but inward regeneration (life in Christ Jesus!).

We conclude this devotionals arc by quoting Romans chapter 6….

Thee and Two Gardens #5

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

To defeat one’s enemy, one only needs to get into the enemy’s mind. Satan knows this good and well, so at every opportunity, he uses false teaching to distract God’s people. It is exactly how he manipulated Eve in the context of today’s Scripture. Satan first questioned God’s Word (“Yea, hath God said…?,” verse 1), Eve then misquoted God’s Word (subtracting from it, adding to it, watering it down; verses 2,3), and Satan finally denied God’s Word (verse 4,5). In just a few moments, Satan had Eve exactly where he wanted… she did not have one whit of sound Bible doctrine to uphold her, so her mind was corrupted. Adam, aware of the deception, just gave in. They lost paradise because of it.

The Bible warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:3: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Just as Satan confused Eve regarding God’s simple instructions, he feeds the Body of Christ false information so they do not know what God is doing today. Satan encourages us to take parts of the Bible not written to us and make them apply to us, as well as encourages us to throw away the Bible completely and put a denominational handbook in its place.

So, just as Satan messed up the lives of Adam and Eve with false doctrine, and made them unusable to God (today’s Scripture), Satan uses false doctrine to make us unusable to God. Dear friends, we must be on guard. We must never let our minds wander far from Christ’s finished crosswork, and the Garden of Calvary when it was completed with the resurrection, for Satan will surely weaken and destroy our Christian lives….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Paul tell the Corinthians to be ‘reconciled to God?’

Thee and Two Gardens #4

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Once Adam and Eve recognized their sin problem, they “sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (verse 7). Rather than seek God’s help, they attempted to cover up their problem by themselves. This was religion’s first appearance—sinful man trying to bind himself back to the holy God he offended. Their efforts failed, and they thus hid from God (today’s Scripture).

Even today, the average person ignores God’s solution to our sin problem (Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork). He or she tries everything else to deal with their sin—water baptism, prayer, alms, confession, commandment keeping, apathy, denial, et cetera. Religion failed Adam and Eve, and Israel. Dear friends, religion will profit us nothing either. If religion were useful, Jesus Christ would have stayed in heaven! Because Jesus came and died, we know religion is literally fruitless concerning the righteous fruit God demands. Religion brings nothing but irritation and heartache, just as the itchy fig leaves bothered Adam and Eve. Again, even while wearing prickly fig-leaf coverings, they knew they were naked spiritually, and hid amongst the trees as soon as they heard righteous JEHOVAH Elohim coming their way (today’s Scripture)!

To have the righteous works God demands, we must die, which is where Calvary’s cross enters the picture: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). By simple faith in Calvary’s finished crosswork, God kills us. He can do nothing with our flesh, our identity in Adam, so He gives us a new identity in Christ! Oh, what joy, what peace, what liberty, what holiness we now have. Strangely, our life begins in a tomb, the tomb of the Garden of Calvary….

Thee and Two Gardens #3

Monday, January 26, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Today’s Scripture shows us what living in the Garden of Eden is like. After sin entered into the world by Adam’s disobedience (Romans 5:12), the Garden was a place of misery, fear, and hiding. What God had designed to be paradise was now in shambles. Many of us today find the Christian life to be equally frustrating and glum—what God intended to be a blessing is such a heartache!

How could something God have made, be so unpleasant? It is miserable because we make it! As Adam ruined the Garden of Eden with his performance, so we wreck the Christian life when we try in our strength to live righteously. We add church rules, denominational burdens, to try to make God happy with us when He has already accepted us in Jesus Christ forever (Ephesians 1:6). What a shame that most Christians live like spiritual paupers when they are spiritually rich in Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9)! They beg God for forgiveness when they already have it in Christ (Colossians 1:14)! They beg God for blessings when they already have them all in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)! They beg God for strength and victory when they already have it in Christ (Philippians 4:13)! Religion is indeed “weak and beggarly” (Galatians 4:9)!

Dear readers, mentally, we need to leave the Garden of Eden. Our identity does not go back to Adam. We are no longer in Adam, but are forever “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our identity goes back to Jesus Christ’s garden tomb at Calvary. In that garden, not Eden, do we find the fruits of our (Christ’s) resurrection life! Our life should abound with good works, not to make God happy with us, but because He is working inside of us, because we are simply living in accordance with our identity in Jesus Christ. That mindset will surely change our lifestyle….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was God unfair in striking Uzzah dead?

Thee and Two Gardens #2

Sunday, January 25, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Dear friends, we act according to our identity. If we are in Adam, we will act just like Adam did; our sin nature will dominate us and we will live in sin. In Adam, we have no freedom and no power not to sin. That was before we trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. Now, we are “new creature[s] in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)—we have a new identity in Christ.

If we “mind the things of the flesh,” we will act fleshly, but if we “mind the things of the Spirit,” we will act spiritual (Romans 8:1-15). We can think like lost people, and thus act like lost people, or we can think like Christians and thus act like Christians. To think like the Holy Spirit, we must have faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us.

As 2 Corinthians 5:14,15 says: “[14] For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: [15] And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Christian living is based on a thinking process. You have to “judge” (conclude, reckon as true, count it as reality) that your life should bring glory to the Person who died and rose again in order to give you that new life!

If we believe our identity in Christ to be reality, we will act just like Jesus Christ did: our new identity will bear fruit (righteousness) as our old identity produced fruit (sins). The “fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:9-11), the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23), will result. It is in the Garden of Calvary that we find fruit pleasing to God….