The Precious Blood of Christ #4

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

The verse immediately following today’s Scripture says: “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you….” The “who” is Jesus Christ; the “you” is Israel. Again, Christ’s death was planned before the foundation of the world. The triune Godhead decreed it before sin had even entered… before man had even been created!

From the establishment of the Mosaic Law all the way up until Christ’s earthly ministry—about 1,500 years—Israel had been trained every year to remember the innocent lamb whose blood was shed at Passover (Exodus 12:4,5). That blood saved Israel from God’s wrath in Egypt. Beloved, innocent Jesus dying at Passover centuries later was no coincidence! When Israel saw Jesus die during their Passover feast, they should have realized it—for all those centuries, that Passover lamb represented Him! Alas, most of Israel was blind. They had no faith in the verses He fulfilled, so they did not recognize who He was. Praise God, however, a small group of Jews believed in Jesus as Messiah! They are “the little flock” (Luke 12:32). Peter is writing to them in the epistle from which today’s Scripture is extracted.

In addition, a similar believing Israeli remnant will live during the future seven-year Tribulation. They will follow that epistle of 1 Peter as well. In verses 6 and 7 (context of today’s Scripture), believing Israel is “in heaviness through manifold temptations” and experiencing “a trial of [their] faith.” Having separated themselves from apostate Israel following Antichrist, they are experiencing severe hardships and horrific persecution. Their families have been torn apart: their relatives are now their enemies. They are waiting for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to end those awful seven years. Today’s Scripture says they have been purchased, with a heavy price, for His glory….

The Precious Blood of Christ #3

Monday, September 19, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

While God did not reveal the complete meaning of Jesus Christ’s death until the Apostle Paul, we can look back into some of the Bible’s most ancient portions and see God had the death of His Son in mind all along. For example, Acts 2:23 reminds us: “Him [Jesus Christ], being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Before there ever was a creation—one angel, one devil, one human, one star, one tree, or even one atom—the three Members of the triune Godhead conferred. God the Father had a most glorious plan, God the Son would lay down His life to make that plan possible, and God the Holy Spirit would execute all the details.

God arranged it so that, as soon as sin entered the world, He began to teach man that sin meant an innocent life had to be taken, and innocent blood would have to be shed. The precedent was Genesis 3:21 (Adam and Eve); it carried on to the shed blood offered by Abel (Genesis 4:4) and Noah (Genesis 8:20). When we come to Israel in Egyptian bondage, the blood of the innocent Passover lamb saves them from God’s righteous wrath against their idolatry (Exodus 12:3-14). God said Israel is to observe the annual Passover literally “for ever” (verse 14). Throughout the Book of Leviticus, we read about various animal sacrifices and the priests’ daily shedding of animals’ blood to make atonement for sins. Israel’s national forgiveness relied on the annual Day of Atonement, involving more animals’ blood (Leviticus chapter 16).

That intricate religious calendar was God’s way of reinforcing in Israel’s mind the plan He had from before the foundation of the world. The “precious blood of Christ” was going to be shed….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does, ‘All Israel shall be saved,’ mean?

The Precious Blood of Christ #2

Sunday, September 18, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

Unfortunately, since liberalism and modernism strangled “Bible-believing” (?) America during the mid-20th century, “Christian” teaching about Jesus’ blood has significantly decreased. For example, in a 1990 video, a preacher gave a sermon on that very subject. He said he had not heard one televangelist in the last 30 years (so, since 1960) present a message dedicated exclusively to the blood of Christ. They had delivered whole messages on other theological subjects—but never Jesus’ blood. That very aged brother went to heaven not long ago. We can only wonder how many televangelists he heard talk about the blood of Christ in the nearly 30 years since 1990! Friend, think about it. How many topical sermons have you ever heard about the blood of Christ—on television, radio, internet, or in person at a local church? Few… if any!

A prevalent objection to the “blood of Christ” is summarized as, “Christianity is a ‘slaughterhouse’ religion. The preaching of Calvary’s cross is a ‘violent’ message.” For fear of offending someone, the shed blood of Christ is vaguely, if ever, referenced. It is so “negative” a topic, such a “detestable” idea. In fact, some groups have taken great pains to remove from hymnals all songs that emphasize the blood of Christ. To them, the blood of Jesus Christ means nothing! But, what does the blood of Christ mean to us?

The very first time shed blood appears in Scripture is Genesis 3:21: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Once Adam and Eve sinned, God killed one or two animals. The animal skins were used to cover the physical bodies of Adam and Eve; the shed animal blood covered their spiritual bodies. That concept of shed blood for the forgiveness of sins continued all the way up through the Bible….

The Precious Blood of Christ #1

Saturday, September 17, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

A layperson once asked a theologian in his particular denomination, “What does the blood of Jesus Christ mean to you?” The theologian gave a dry, non-personal, “scholarly” answer. Again, he was asked, and again, he spoke of the blood of Christ in a very distant manner. Time and time again, that “scholar” held firm to his standard, “academic” reply. What did the blood of Jesus Christ mean to this theologian? Evidently, it meant nothing to him, for he never answered the question about what it meant to him! He had merely, and repeatedly, analyzed the blood of Christ from a theological perspective. There was no heart faith in that divine blood! Unlike him, we should agree with today’s Scripture concerning Jesus’ blood being “precious.”

Now, just to be clear, we must rightly divide the word of truth. Remember, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). While Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, are written to and about us, and we have no relation to Israel’s program, that does not mean we cannot see various parallels between our mystery program and Israel’s prophetic program. The blood of Christ is one example. Whether in prophecy—that which God “hath spoken since the world began” (Acts 3:21)—or in mystery—that which God “kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25)—the blood of Jesus Christ is the crucial foundation. As that shed blood cleanses Israel of her sins and saves her from everlasting hellfire, it cleanses us (the Body of Christ) of our sins and saves us from everlasting hellfire. Just as Christ’s blood is “precious” to believing Israel, so it is “precious” to us.

In our upcoming studies, we will exposit today’s Scripture to see just how “precious” the blood of Christ really is!

Great Peace in a World in Pieces

Friday, September 16, 2016

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165 KJV).

They have “great peace” indeed!

Friends, it is no secret that our world is seriously troubled. Lost people, while lacking the answers like most professing “Christians,” at least know something is wrong. They are frantically searching for solutions wherever and however they can—politics, education, science, religion, finances, entertainment, and so on. Since fallible human opinions heavily dominate these realms, they provide no lasting and soothing explanations. In fact, their associated uncertainties only trouble the already-befuddled human mind. As Ecclesiastes 12:12 says, “…of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness to the flesh.” Friend, as King Solomon concluded, you investigate and think about the world like an unsaved person, and you will be burned out very quickly! All the troublesome realities you discover will throughly exhaust you!

Thankfully, God gave us His written Word. We do not have to be “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). Instead of being constantly buffeted about by every silly teaching and every lie out there, we can be established (founded) and stablished (stabilized) in the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. We can have “great peace” while those around us (lacking the Word of God) stumble about, tossed about and “offended.” They have not grounded and guarded themselves in the Holy Bible. It is their fault, not God’s fault! He gave them answers in His Word, but they would rather drift and sway! Pride, friends, pride keeps them from opening the Book! They have their own “answers” and will not dare seek any from their Creator!

While we can have “great peace” when we value and esteem God’s Holy Word, oftentimes, we are distracted from it and we ourselves are “offended” (troubled, stumbled) as those who do not have it. Until Jesus Christ returns, this world will remain in pieces. Still, we have His inspired Word, so let us rest in it, relaxing in great peace” until He makes all right! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are angels women?

Teach Them Diligently Unto Thy Children

Thursday, September 15, 2016

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:6,7 KJV).

Such wise words from so long ago!

Earlier, I overheard two women talking about raising kids in this very confused world. The boundaries of human sexuality have been blurred. Children are addicted to electronic entertainment. All we hear about violence. There is such uncertainty. Friends, this is going to sound harsh, but it is the truth. Most children these days have a very bleak future because their parents have such a very weak understanding of what really matters. They have religion, education, and material wealth, but they do not understand the things of God. They cannot stand by faith on the written Word of God because they do not know it. If they do not know it, they certainly cannot teach it to their children!

Today’s Scripture commanded the Jews to teach their children the Law of Moses. If those new generations of Israel did not faithfully keep that Mosaic Covenant, God would forcefully drive them out of that Promised Land. Israel treated this commandment very lightly. They did not faithfully pass on God’s Word to their children. About 900 years after Moses, Israel fell politically. Instead of holding to God’s Word, they had worshipped and served pagan idols. So, in righteous judgment, God fulfilled His Word to them. He forced them out of the Holy Land. Gentile armies robbed, ravished, imprisoned, and killed them! The Jews are scattered worldwide even today!

Friends, if we are worried about future generations today, we had better get them into God’s Holy Word rightly divided. Our King James Bible is a sure (reliable) basis for life. It will be here long after we leave this world. Religious tradition will not do it because it changes through time. Science will not do it because scientific ideas change through time. We had better get our young people especially into the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, lest our society wind up like ancient Israel’s!

When Christ Jesus Returns

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1,2 KJV).

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (verses 3,4).

Christian people often ask, “When is Christ Jesus coming back?” Various and sundry dates are provided. Church history abounds with many instances of such speculations. None have been accurate yet!

Years ago, I heard the following advice: “We Christians live like Jesus Christ is coming within the next 10 minutes. We plan like He is not coming for the next 10 years.” The point is our lifestyles should be glorifying Him whenever He comes for us. Furthermore, we should plan ahead as though He will not come for another decade. By what other means can we reach more lost people with the Gospel of the Grace of God? By what other methods can we teach other Christians the Word of God rightly divided? While we are waiting for Him, we have more opportunity to serve Him. As long as the Dispensation of Grace operates, Paul’s Gospel is still valid. The Church the Body of Christ is still open to membership. God’s attitude toward the world is still grace and peace.

Doubtless, we should anticipate our Saviour’s coming. The Bible calls it our “blessed hope” and we should be “looking” for it (Titus 2:13). However, we should not sit around idly waiting and guessing dates. God before ordained that we the saints should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:1). These good works should continue as long as we are on this Earth. Good works should cease only for two reasons—physical death or the Rapture. Even a bedridden saint can pray, particularly for those Christians who are mobile!

Whenever Jesus Christ returns, whether in our lifetime or not, two things should be true. Firstly, may it be true that it was His life living in us. Secondly, let it be true that we planned to continue letting Him live in us, had these physical bodies continued! 🙂

Hated But Humble

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18,19 KJV).

We are hated but humble!

A new Christian emailed me in exasperation. Tired of how people had treated him, he wanted to go to heaven and leave this planet of such great evils! He explained he did not care how he lived anymore—even if those frivolous actions made other Christians or lost people stumble! Thankfully, the Bible truths I shared with him helped him recover himself out of the snare of the Devil.

That brother needed to be reminded Jesus Christ was treated most horribly. He was hated without a cause(John 15:25). People have various reasons for hating us. Some are justified. Perhaps we lied to or about them, or stole from them, or cursed them out! However, they had no reason to hate Jesus Christ. He did nothing wrong—to them or anyone else. All Christ did was preach God’s truth and love, and they demanded His crucifixion!! Despite how they treated Him, He still lived righteously for the sake of His Heavenly Father whom He represented. Brethren, let us do the same, remembering not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Philippians chapter 2 exhorts us: “[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do we suffer?

The King of Glory

Monday, September 12, 2016

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah (Psalm 24:10 KJV).

Just who is “this King of Glory,” “the LORD of hosts?”

While the Psalms are often “devotionalized”—used for “everyday inspiration”—they are actually a series of songs God has used (and will use) to teach the nation Israel doctrine (especially prophecy). For example, in Psalm 22, we see Israel’s Messiah suffering on Calvary’s cross (verses 1-21) and then reigning in His glorious earthly kingdom (verses 22-31). Psalm 23 illustrates Israel’s believing remnant, suffering persecution during the seven-year Tribulation, anticipating that coming kingdom that will eclipse their distress. Today’s Scripture is the last verse of Psalm 24, the closure of the triplet (Psalms 22-24). Psalm 24 is the arrival of Israel’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus, JEHOVAH God, as He returns to Earth to destroy Israel’s enemies. He enters the city of Jerusalem for Father God to crown Him as King of Earth’s governments. This is His REAL triumphal entry!

Psalm 24 in its entirety: “[1] The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. [2] For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. [3] Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? [4] He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. [5] He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. [6] This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. [7] Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. [8] Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. [9] Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. [10] Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.”

What a day it will be when Jesus Christ is crowned as Earth’s King for all to see! 🙂

God’s Offer to the Nations

Sunday, September 11, 2016

“…[T]hat God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s offer to all the nations of the world today.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed our nation forever. It was the worst terrorist attack in our two-century national history. Afterward, many Americans began to talk about “God Bless America” and “God Save the United States.” These phrases are not as commonplace as they used to be.

In the 15 years that have passed since that awful day, it is a sad commentary that “God” is now the least of our nation’s concerns. With the redefining of marriage, controversial political arena, moral decay, skyrocketing national debt, and the uncertainty as to what constitutes a human life and what does not, obviously, the God of the Bible has been largely pushed out… until we need His help, and then we cry out to Him. Unless we need Him, we rather not think about anything He has to say.

While many argue that God is judging America today for its sins, the Bible does not support such an idea. Certainly, God dealt with Israel in that manner—“Do good and I will bless, but disobey and I will curse” (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28)—but we have no relation to that Old Covenant of Law.

For the last 20 centuries, God has offered His grace to all the world’s nations, to have a right standing before Him by trusting Jesus Christ. People still die and go to hell, but today’s Scripture says that God is not judging nations for their sins. Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers reconciliation to sinners, whether here or around the world. However, that grace is exhaustible, and one day, it will be replaced with His wrath (Romans 2:1-16). Still, we believers are not appointed to God’s wrath; we are saved from all wrath through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The only hope for America—yea, for any nation—is faith in Jesus Christ alone!

*You can also see our 2011 Bible study commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It can watched here or read here.