Turn Not from It! #1

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

After listening to “scholars” for almost two millennia, the professing “Church” is greatly disoriented. We have had a completed Bible canon for 20 centuries—all the Word and will of Almighty God revealed—so we would expect to have more spiritual knowledge and unity among alleged “Christians.” Alas, tens of thousands of conflicting denominations all vie for the title of “the Church Jesus founded!”

When we familiarize ourselves with the Scriptures, we see rank ignorance even among God’s own people long ago. For instance, when the Apostle Paul was in his dying moments, he made the pathetic observation of 2 Timothy 1:15: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” One of the final comments the Holy Spirit made concerning the Church the Body of Christ was that Christians in “Asia” (Asia Minor, present Turkey) had “turned away” from Pauline doctrine!

The Greek word “apostrepho” was rendered “perverteth” in Luke 23:14: “[Pontius Pilate] Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:….” Israel’s religious leaders accused Jesus of deceiving their nation, leading them away from what they claimed was the truth.

Go now to Titus chapter 1: “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from [apostrepho] the truth.” Finally, chapter 4 of 2 Timothy: “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; And they shall turn away [apostrepho] their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

The professing “Church” began drifting from God’s truth 2,000 years ago… much like the nation Israel failed to heed the admonition in today’s Scripture….

A Storm Is Coming! #7

Monday, June 29, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Concerning the Great Flood of Noah’s day, an old world was destroyed, cleansed of all unbelievers, and replaced with a new world. A believing remnant on an Ark survived, just as Israel’s Little Flock outlasts Daniel’s 70th Week (the seven-year Tribulation). In the case of Jonah’s tempest, rebellious Israel (who refused to be God’s preachers to the Gentiles) is now converted in the Tribulation. In the Millennium, Israel reaches the world with God’s Word (as reformed Jonah ultimately preached to Nineveh).

As touching the storm of Matthew chapter 7, Jewish unbelievers are spiritually destroyed under the Antichrist, while Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus) are spiritually saved to enter Christ’s 1,000-Year Kingdom. Regarding the tempest of chapter 8, Christ is present with Israel’s Little Flock during their time of testing (Daniel’s 70th Week). He ensures their safety “to the other side:” they enter His kingdom and enjoy blessings of physical and spiritual healing. Satan is removed from Earth! Concerning the storm of chapter 14, Jesus is away, His return postponed. Then, believing Israel sees His Second Coming, when He tramples their enemies (unbelievers, especially the Antichrist). The nation confesses Jesus as the Son of God: there is spiritual healing, God’s righteousness imputed to Israel.

Enoch, who lived before the Great Flood (Genesis 5:21-24), preached: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14,15). Christ’s Second Coming loops back to the Great Flood (cf. today’s Scripture). All these storms preview various aspects of the future “storm” of Israel and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “Does Acts 7:14 have a mistake?,” “Does Acts 7:16 have a mistake?,” and “Does Acts 7:43 have mistakes?

A Storm Is Coming! #6

Sunday, June 28, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 26-37; cf. Matthew 24:36-41), Jesus Christ links the Great Flood of Noah’s day to His Second Coming. Therefore, in the “Circumcision” or “Hebrew” Epistles at the end of our Bible—Hebrews through Revelation—we find several references to Noah and the Great Deluge. Noah’s experience was a type or preview of another major event, and this concerns Israel’s future.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20). “And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;…” (2 Peter 2:5).

“[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his [Christ’s] coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. [5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: [6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:…” (2 Peter 3:3-6).

Israel is to take the various “storm” passages in Scripture and see her future therein….

A Storm Is Coming! #5

Saturday, June 27, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

There was another storm on the Sea of Galilee. On this occasion, Jesus was absent while His disciples were in the ship. Read Matthew chapter 14: “[22] And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. [23] And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. [24] But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. [25] And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. [26] And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. [27] But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

“[28] And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. [29] And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. [30] But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. [31] And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? [32] And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. [33] Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

A fourth precedent has now been set….

A Storm Is Coming! #4

Friday, June 26, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

In chapters 8 and 9 of Matthew, we read of 10 specific miracles the Lord Jesus performed to substantiate the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5–7). Let us now notice the fourth miracle, as found in chapter 8: “[23] And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. [24] And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. [25] And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. [26] And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. [27] But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

While Jesus and His disciples are traveling eastward in a boat, there arises an enormous storm in the Sea of Galilee. Since the waves violently crash onto and into the ship, the disciples fear it will sink and kill them. Jesus, fast asleep, appears to be unaware or unconcerned. They frantically wake Him up and relay the news—they are all soon to die! He labels them as men of “little faith” (verse 26), seeing as to He had already told them they would “depart unto the other side” (verse 18). They certainly would not perish, for they were bound to land on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He, the Creator, speaks to still the winds and sea. All is now peaceful, as a third precedent is set….

A Storm Is Coming! #3

Thursday, June 25, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

When concluding His magnificent Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5–7), the Lord Jesus put forth the Parable of the Wise Man and Foolish Man: “[24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: [25] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. [26] And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: [27] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. [28] And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: [29] For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Christ provided two alternatives. Firstly, His audience could hear His words and do them, or, secondly, they could hear His words and not do them. The former is the walk of faith, that which the wise man takes; the latter is the walk of unbelief, that which the foolish man takes. Jesus had just given them three chapters of doctrine. The Principles of the Kingdom were not hidden but fully known to His disciples. Above all, in light of the Kingdom, a most destructive storm was coming! Therefore, He firmly counseled His Jewish listeners to be ready—lest they be destroyed when that tempest finally arrived….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could Jonah flee from God’s presence?

A Storm Is Coming! #2

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Jonah chapter 1 opens: “[1] Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, [2] Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. [3] But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

“[4] But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest [storm] in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. [5] Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares [goods, cargo] that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. [6] So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. [7] And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.”

Jonah, now exposed, proceeds to explain to his shipmates that he is a servant of the one true God—and he has disobeyed Him! Verse 15: “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.” A second precedent has been established….

A Storm Is Coming! #1

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Of course, the first and most well-known storm in the Bible is that which brought about the Great Flood of Noah’s lifetime. Genesis chapter 6 sets the background for us: “[1] And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, [2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [3] And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. [4] There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

“[5] And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. [7] And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

The global Flood of Genesis was more than simply an historical event, “dead antiquity,” a myth or non-literal tale of worthless superstition. God used that factual, universal event to set a precedent….

Bible Q&A #735: “If God wants to save all—but only few are saved—is He not ‘weak’ and ‘limited?’

Where Is the Gospel?

Monday, June 22, 2020

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 KJV).

As Bible believers, we have been “put in trust with the gospel.” Yet, can we properly elucidate that Gospel when given the opportunity?

Once, I read an article dedicated to a late “scholar” responsible for editing many Bible study tools, including popular concordances. The writer of the dedication, also a “scholarly” and “Christian” publisher himself, proceeded to write several paragraphs describing the deceased man’s theological background and efforts. He was a computer-savvy “expert” who studied Greek and Hebrew, created this database, arranged that book, organized this volume, and so on. Now, please understand, these are all noble accomplishments. There is one major problem.

Never once did the word “God” appear in the article. “Jesus” was absent. “Christ” was not found. There was not one statement about the scholar’s testimony, him believing the Gospel of Grace. Nothing was said about him going to Heaven and being with the Lord. There was nothing about the writing “scholar” looking forward to seeing the departed “scholar” again. After reading the article, one would quite easily conclude neither man has a personal relationship with the God of the Bible. It was written from the perspective of “intellectual” workers entrenched in religious busyness—and “Christian” publishing is a huge “bu$iness!”

It is frightening, beloved, but how can the Church the Body of Christ be depending on literature written and compiled by people who do not have a clear testimony of salvation in Jesus Christ? Surprisingly, we can even read statements of faith of local churches and ministries, and never read one word about Calvary, Christ dying for our sins, God’s grace, et cetera. Preachers will speak out against sin, decrying the deterioration of human society, and the teachers will go on and on about Hebrew and Greek, but the Gospel of Grace is barely mentioned—if at all! Where is the Gospel?!?

“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). It is an offensive message, for it exposes the works of the flesh as non-meritorious before God. Yet, we do not please men, but God. May we have hearts of faith in it!

Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 21, 2020

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).

Since today is Father’s Day, we dedicate today’s devotional to the godly (Christian) fathers.

What is a godly father? Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible (today’s Scripture in particular), fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant.

  • On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned).
  • On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.

A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that they should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.

He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.

Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture.

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.