Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #8

Thursday, April 30, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

The very nature of this the Dispensation of Grace is not worldwide revival. Rather, it is God, through Christ’s finished crosswork, offering His grace to all the nations. Instead of approaching Him through Israel (as in time past), the Gentiles can have a personal relationship with Him through Calvary. Nonetheless, the world has overwhelmingly responded not in faith but ungratefulness. Even the professing “Church” abounds with unbelief and deception.

First Timothy chapter 4: “[1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; [3] Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. [4] For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: [5] For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Second Timothy chapter 3: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Chapter 4, verses 3 and 4: “[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Friends, may we not be foolish like these souls are, like ancient Israel was. May we incline our spiritual ears to Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, listen to those Divine words, and then believe them!

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #7

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Verily, verily, as touching the prophetic program, Divine wrath is coming upon all nations. However, since the mystery program currently operates, that judgment is delayed. Turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and read what the Apostle Paul penned: “[18] And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

It is not that God approves sin. Rather, He is cordially allowing the nations to come to Him today through Christ’s finished crosswork, that they may gain forgiveness of their sins. As the Apostle Peter wrote: “[9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance…. [15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:9,15,16).

Just as God patiently dealt with obstinate Israel, giving her ample warning before His wrath fell, so He has now bestowed upon the world 2,000 years of His grace. May we come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, while there is still time….

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #6

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

By the time of today’s Scripture, Israel’s northern 10 tribes have already been taken away into Assyrian Captivity. This was the fifth and final phase of chastisement or punishment stipulated in the Law of Moses (cf. Leviticus 26:27-39). No longer would the LORD God permit these Jews to pollute His land with their pagan idols (see 2 Kings 17:6-23). That was now over a century prior to Jeremiah writing chapter 25. Currently, the Prophet is warning the southern two tribes—collectively called “Judah”—of their looming deportation. Their pagan idolatry will result in them being removed to Babylon!

Keep reading in Jeremiah chapter 25: “[9] Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. [10] Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

“[11] And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. [12] And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. [13] And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.”

Not only will the LORD God take vengeance on idolatrous Jews, He will use Babylon to attack, conquer, and punish all (idolatrous) nations. Then, He will punish idolatrous Babylon….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Matthew 10:41-42?

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #5

Monday, April 27, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Read these other verses from Jeremiah: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:…” (5:21). “And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers” (7:13,25,26).

“For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not” (11:7,8). “But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction” (17:23). “To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;…” (26:5).

“Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD” (29:19). “And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction” (32:33). You may also see 35:14,15 and 44:5. Indeed, the warnings have gone unheeded… for 900 years….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What did Paul mean, he ‘robbed other churches?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #4

Sunday, April 26, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Although the God of the Bible is regularly charged with being “hasty in meting out punishment and eager to pour out wrath,” the Scriptures actually portray Him as the opposite: He is longsuffering, patient in His dealings with sinners. For many centuries, He sent innumerable messengers to warn His people Israel to turn around and quit their wickedness.

Read 2 Chronicles chapter 36: “[14] Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. [15] And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: [16] But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”

The LORD God was willing to let the Jews remain in His land—provided they abandon their pagan idolatry (returning to the Mosaic Law). He commissioned preachers to call them to repentance, a change in mind, that they walk in His ways. What happened? Did they heed those admonitions? No. They “mocked” (ridiculed) His messengers! They “despised” (hated) His words! They “misused” (abused) His prophets! It was not accidental; it was deliberate. When He spoke to them, not only did they not listen, they also made no effort whatsoever to hear Him! Instead of leaning their ear toward Him, they ignored Him time and time again. This is a major theme of the Book of Jeremiah. For example, notice Jeremiah 7:24: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”

Let us see the many other verses that demonstrate God’s incomprehensible longsuffering and man’s obstinate sinfulness….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is ‘Jeshurun?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #3

Saturday, April 25, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

The First Commandment of the Mosaic Law is: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me(Exodus 20:1-3). Over 1,500 years later, the Lord Jesus is asked: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Matthew chapter 22: “[37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment.”

Coming up through the centuries following Israel receiving the Law at Mount Sinai, it is unmistakable that she completely disregards that covenant. Her chief sin is violating the First Commandment, this resulting in her breaking the other nine. The LORD had given Moses prophetic insight, seeing Israel’s idolatry long after his decease.

Deuteronomy chapter 32: “[5] They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation…. [15] But Jeshurun [Israel] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. [16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee…. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities [idols]: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”

Between Moses’ time and Jeremiah’s time, God has commissioned preachers to call Israel back to Him. They have been overlooked….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is a ‘Christian?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #2

Friday, April 24, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

The Old Covenant—also known as the Mosaic Law—was God’s agreement with the nation Israel. Since they insisted on being His people if they obeyed Him, He, in turn, gave them an extensive list of rules and regulations for them to follow. This was not because He knew they could “measure up” to His righteous standards—He knew they could not. Rather, He had to prove to them they could not measure up.

Read Exodus 19:3-6: “[3] And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; [4] Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. [5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Now, continue with verses 7 and 8: “[7] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [8] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” The Israelites actually believed they could do all that the LORD hath spoken!” Meeting such strict demands was just as impossible for the sinner then as it is today, but sin deceived Israel and, at Mount Sinai, God’s grace (His efforts) was cast aside in favor of man’s efforts (religion).

Some 900 years after Moses, the Prophet Jeremiah reprimands the Jews for not paying attention to God’s preachers. Israel is defiant in her failure to observe God’s rules….

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #1

Thursday, April 23, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Read it in its context: “[1] The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; [2] The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, [3] From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. 

“[4] And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. [5] They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: [6] And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. [7] Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

“[8] Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, [9] Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.”

The LORD God is not happy with Israel, and it is easy to figure out why….

The Awareness of a Temporary Earth

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

“And, Thou, O Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12 KJV).

On this Earth Day, let us not confuse the creation with the Creator!

Today, people worldwide celebrate “environmental awareness.” According to the secular, naturalistic worldview, our planet and its sun could last many more billions of years. They claim that we have done so much damage to our planet—climate change, overpopulation, deforestation, pollution, et cetera—that we must change our attitude toward “mother earth” and change our lifestyles before we destroy her and civilization as we know it! You can sense the zeal in their message, can you not? While these people are sincere, they are wasting all of their time, energy, and resources on a temporary planet.

Let us be very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ placed man on the earth, especially the Garden of Eden, to “dress it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to take care of the Earth: he was God’s representative, God’s king, who had a divine commission to rule this planet for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28).

It was not long, however, before Satan distracted mankind from understanding God’s purpose for him. Adam began to focus on himself: like Satan, he began to “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Thus began man’s continual downward spiral into spiritual ignorance. He would continually worship himself, as we well know today.

Today’s Scripture reminds us that, because of sin, this creation will pass away. The Lord Jesus Christ, however, will live forever. Why worship that which is temporary? It makes no sense! The Lord Jesus Christ gave you life, not the pagan goddess “mother earth.” Environmental awareness? Indeed, be aware that our world is temporary, as God will one day create “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

Careful—But Not Careful! #15

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Even as Christians, we are never, ever guaranteed a life without pain, suffering, hardship, sickness, grief, or loss. Still, that does not mean God does not love us or care about us. We look to Calvary’s cross—not our circumstances—to see God’s love for us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter our surroundings—good or bad—Father God has fully equipped us with His grace to handle everything. Second Corinthians chapter 12: “[9] And he [the Lord Jesus] said unto me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Philippians chapter 4 again: “[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Contentment is not automatic but rather something “learned.” Sound Bible doctrine must be continuously absorbed. It also takes a long time to sort through the deception, misinformation, and confusion that often distract us from God’s Word rightly divided. The more difficult the situation, the harder it is to correct the distortion associated with it. Remember, we must be prepared for Satan’s attacks. That evil work is subtle, but with Romans through Philemon, we have “the mind of Christ” and can thus overcome the Adversary (1 Corinthians 2:16)! 🙂

-FINIS-