The Good Man #5

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

Onward to verse 5: “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” This points back to verse 4: “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Psalm 1—yes, all the Book of Psalms—foresees the end-times. In view especially are the two comings of Christ: the first is His suffering on Calvary’s cross, and the other is His reigning in the Kingdom. (Remember, there is no Dispensation of Grace revealed until Paul’s ministry. We the Church the Body of Christ are not under consideration here!)

In between Calvary and the Kingdom is a time of fiery wrath. This is the warning found in John the Baptist’s message near the close of Matthew chapter 3. Unbelievers will not survive that Second Coming. Notice 2 Thessalonians chapter 1: “[6] Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; [7] And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power…..”

With the ungodly fallen in God’s wrath, the sinners will not be among “the congregation of the righteous.” This “congregation” is the Messianic Church, God’s believing remnant found within apostate Israel. That “Little Flock” will inherit His earthly kingdom (Luke 12:32). We find them in Matthew 16:16-18, but they go as far back as Psalm 22:22 (cf. Hebrews 2:11,12). These Messianic Jews—those who trust Jesus as Messiah—will survive God’s wrath (the very wrath that consumed their unbelieving relatives). We now better appreciate Psalms, where it fits on the Bible timeline and how its narrative flows from beginning to end….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are the flames of fire in Hell literal?

The Good Man #4

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

Notice verse 4: “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Here are the “ungodly… sinners… scornful” of today’s Scripture. Instead of delighting in the law of the LORD, meditating in His law day and night, being spiritually nourished and bearing good spiritually-good fruit, having prosperous works, the ungodly are as the wind-blown chaff. Unbelievers are transitory; ultimately, their intentions and activities will fail (namely, at Christ’s fiery Second Coming).

“Chaff,” or the husks of seed to be thrown away after harvest, is often an Old Testament picture of the wicked. It underscores the worthlessness of the unbelieving heart, in contradistinction to believers (wheat). “They [the wicked] are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away” (Job 21:18). “Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them” (Psalm 35:5).

“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:24). “Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney” (Hosea 13:3).

Thus, John the Baptist preached to Israel: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he [Christ] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11,12). The context of Psalms is coming into better focus….

The Good Man #3

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

Moving now to verse 3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

The idea here, of course, is nourishment. As a tree needs fertilizer, water, and sunlight to grow, so the spiritual aspect of the man will flourish when exposed to sound Bible doctrine. There is spiritual life (not spiritual death). There is functional life (not functional death). Ephesians chapter 3 speaks of, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…” (verse 16). God the Holy Spirit will strengthen us, but only via His Word—the Holy Bible. Our Christian life does not operate on the basis of ignorance!!

First Thessalonians 2:13: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” God’s Word works effectually in them who believe it.

God’s Word working in us Christians produces the intended results—good works. Philippians chapter 1: “[9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; [10] That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; [11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Ephesians chapter 2: “[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Yes, there is spiritual growth when we delight in God’s Word….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is it normal for me to be too busy for daily Bible reading?

The Good Man #2

Monday, February 25, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

The world says “he is a good man” or “she is a good woman,” and yet, they do not apply the title as God Himself does. Notice verse 2: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” If one is a “good man,” then God’s Word pleases him, satisfies him. Think on that now. How many of the world’s “good men” value God’s Word? Then, are they really “good?” Certainly not!

As it says in Psalms, the good man delights in the law of the LORD. We would be careful in noticing the legalism. Thus, if we were to follow this verse, it would be better taken generally—God’s Word. Understood in that light, God’s Word is Law for Israel, and God’s Word to us is Grace. As the Jewish saint in the prophetic program meditates or deeply considers God’s Word day and night, so we in the mystery program reflect on or intensely ponder God’s Word day and night.

Second Timothy 2:7, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Here is what the Apostle Paul instructs us to do in light of a completed Bible (which the Psalmist did not have). First Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Friend, Bible reading is important! Encouragement therein is imperative! Doctrine is important! Daily Bible reading is critical to Christian growth. Daily Bible study, yea rightly divided, is of utmost significance. Daily Christian edification is not an option. As the Prophet Isaiah penned, “Seek ye out the book of the LORD, and read…” (34:16).

Without a daily spiritual diet of sound Bible doctrine, then we will do the opposite of today’s Scripture. Void of spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge, and spiritual understanding, we will “walketh… in the counsel of the ungodly,… standeth in the way of sinners,… sitteth in the seat of the scornful. It is quite solemn, dear friends, quite solemn indeed….

The Good Man #1

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

The opening Psalm is a mere six verses in length. It begins, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.The word “blessed” means “happy,” as in, “How happy is the man!” Why is he pleased? In what is he content? Well, to understand it, we must think of the opposite situation.

Notice the progression of the verse. The evil man starts by walking in the counsel of the ungodly. He listens to their advice (which is apart from God). If that is not enough, he then stands in the way of sinners (who are against God). He is so comfortable in continuing in that anti-God course, he ultimately sits in the seat of the scornful (who mock God). He settles down permanently—from walking, to standing, to sitting. Stated another way, he tolerates being without God’s light, next he is militantly opposed to God, and finally he boldly insults God!

However, the good man will stop sin as soon as he spots it in his life. He does not let it gain a greater hold, for it starts with a walk (“minor”) and ends with a seat (major!). The best action to take before he thus walks is to run in the other direction! Had the sinner heeded that advice, instead of the counsel of the ungodly, he would not be so unhappy! He went contrary to the Creator God and the way He designed human life to function, and now he has reaped what he has sown.

The good man has avoided that whole maze of difficulties. How happy he is to have been spared such misery, headache, and heartbreak! His pleasure is not in sin, ungodliness, scorning. Verse 2 remarks, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” God’s Word pleases him, satisfies him, as he has appreciated the better things in life….

Bound in False Religion 97 Years

Saturday, February 23, 2019

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV).

How can today’s Scripture enable us to avoid a literal century of religious bondage?

Some years back, we had a devotional study in which my parents and I were dealing with a 94-year-old relative who had been a lifelong member of a works-religion cult. She was resistant to the Gospel of the Grace of God then, and was even more fiercely antagonistic toward it when we visited with her late last year. Recently, we learned that this dear lady has died at age 97. Whether her soul is now in Heaven or Hell, it was her choice. (She remembers my admonition, “If you die and go to Hell, you will remember this very moment when you could have been saved from it.” Just over three months later, she departed this world.)

Her religion never gave her the assurance of sins forgiven and a home in Heaven (she freely admitted that). Nevertheless, she certainly rejected Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. She was known for many noble deeds in her life. As she said, “If I am not going to Heaven, no one is. I raised four children as a single parent. I recited prayers. I did this, I did this… but, I am not bragging, not bragging at all.” This captures the essence of Satan’s world system (cf. today’s Scripture). To own a Bible but refuse to open it. To hear the name “Jesus Christ” for nearly a century and still not know Him personally. To be a faithful church member and be so spiritually blind and numb to the truth. Indeed, while not impossible, a senior citizen trusting Jesus Christ as personal Saviour is highly unlikely. They are “set in their ways,” brainwashed from the cradle to the grave.

Hell is filled with billions of souls right this very moment—they all presumed to offer their works, ideas, systems as substitutes for Almighty God’s works, wisdom, and will. Eternity keeps them where death found them!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Become as little children… to enter the kingdom of heaven?

The Faithful God

Friday, February 22, 2019

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).

Indeed, “But God is faithful…!”

For some time now, I have been counseling with grace Christian friends enduring uninterrupted, quite awful, misfortunes. Whether legal problems, financial issues, or serious health threats, they are all facing one overriding decision. They have reached that dreaded crossroads (which we have all faced, or will eventually). Do they remain with the sound Bible doctrine they have believed and preached? Or, cast it aside under the immense weight of burdens? After all, where could God possibly be? Why does He not intervene and prevent the afflictions? How can evil just continue to triumph?

Never should the Christian—especially the grace believer—look at dire circumstances and wonder whatever happened to God. Dear friend, God went nowhere! Is His Spirit not eternally indwelling us who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour?! “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep [guard] by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us (2 Timothy 1:13,14). The Holy Spirit in us gave Timothy (and us) “the form of sound words”—a pattern or outline of Pauline words to believe. Satan, God’s enemy, aims to divorce us from it; hence, we are admonished to “hold fast” or grip it tightly and firmly and not let it go! If we abandon God’s words to us, His power is absent, and we are utterly helplessness when Satan attacks.

Brethren, we can sit and wallow in self-pity, or (!) we can renew our minds with Romans through Philemon. God faithfully delivered us that form of sound (nourishing) words. Through Christ, He has enabled us to endure ALL (!) of life’s situations—good and bad (Philippians 4:11-13). Now, frankly, we firmly hold and put into practice by faith what we claimed to originally believe. Regardless of our circumstances, the doctrine remains true!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do Daniel 1:1 and Jeremiah 25:1 conflict?