Love or Hate?

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

“Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1 KJV).

The Book of Proverbs is Divine wisdom for Israel as she experiences the deception of the end-times. As we see in today’s Scripture, there are those who are willing to hear that instruction from the LORD God. Moreover, there are those who are not willing to be corrected. May we be like the former and not the latter!

Let us read these other related verses found in Proverbs. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (1:7). “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (12:15). “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke” (13:1). “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (13:18). “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (15:5). “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding” (15:32). “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words” (23:9).

Though “fools make a mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:9), their levity is but for a moment. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). In chapter 5 of Proverbs, the rebellious reader, reaping the awful consequences of his foolish decisions, will confess in verses 12 and 13: “How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!”

In the Word of God rightly divided, we see “reproof” and “instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). By listening to it, we can “increase in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). Yet, there is a common proclivity among many to “hate [such] reproof” (today’s Scripture). They are “brutish,” which is descriptive of the stupidity of cattle (the sense of the Hebrew word). So as to avoid being labeled with this pitiful trait, let us read and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “‘As the LORD liveth?’

Know, Reckon, Yield, Obey! #3

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2 KJV).

Behold, the four keys to victorious Christian living as found in Romans chapter 6!

As it has been rightly stated, “Our Christian life will not operate on the basis of ignorance.” We must be educated in the Holy Bible rightly divided before we can live in accordance with it. Colossians chapter 2: “[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” The key here is “as ye have been taught.” How sad it is that many church members are not taught—and, if they are “taught,” it is nothing but the opinions and traditions of men. Consequently, even the slightest push or pull from one “fad” doctrine or another is powerful enough to move them to an even less stable foundation.

There are many who accuse us of teaching “grace is a license to sin.” That is most definitely true in some groups, including certain alleged “grace circles,” but they are just as clueless of victorious Christian living as the denominationalists. Never, ever, ever, ever could we read Romans chapter 6 with any common sense and then conclude, “Grace does not care how I live. I will keep the same lifestyle before I came to Christ. No one will even know the difference between the ‘saved’ me and the ‘lost’ me!” Again, this is absolute ignorance, utter carelessness, and, unfortunately, it happens far too often than we care to think. Today’s Scripture again: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. [The strongest possible “No” in English.] How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Saints, the Bible is clear. We are dead to sin, and we are alive unto God… and that is that! You “know” it. Now, “reckon” it to be true. After that, “yield” your body parts. Finally, as you “yield,” “obey” what you “know” and “reckon!” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How does Jesus ‘live’ in our hearts?

Know, Reckon, Yield, Obey! #2

Monday, September 28, 2020

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2 KJV).

Behold, the four keys to victorious Christian living as found in Romans chapter 6!

The third step to successful Christian living is yielding—surrendering or conceding to the will of God as revealed in sound Bible doctrine. Keep reading: “[13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Last but not least, the final step to victorious Christian living is obeying—submitting to the will of God as revealed in sound Bible doctrine. Finish reading Romans chapter 6 for a review: “[15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. [16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? [17] But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. [18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

“[19] I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. [20] For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. [21] What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. [22] But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. [23] For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Let us now summarize this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did John the Baptist behave so strangely?

Know, Reckon, Yield, Obey! #1

Sunday, September 27, 2020

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2 KJV).

Behold, the four keys to victorious Christian living as found in Romans chapter 6!

The first step to successful Christian living is knowing—possessing an awareness of sound Bible doctrine. Continue reading Romans chapter 6: “[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ 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.”

The second step to victorious Christian living is reckoning—taking into account sound Bible doctrine, then adopting it as your own view. Verses 11 and 12: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Since we are dead with Christ, we are dead to sin (its power over us). We have also been given resurrection life with Christ. As lost people, before we came to the Lord by faith, our sin nature and its resultant deeds were all we knew. Now, we have been given a new nature, and it will produce good works.

Let us look at the remaining two steps….

The Path of the Wicked

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away (Proverbs 4:14,15 KJV).

What should we do concerning “the path of the wicked?” How should we respond to “the way of evil men?”

Let us read today’s Scripture in context: “[14] Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. [15] Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. [16] For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. [17] For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. [18] But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. [19] The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”

As touching the “the path of the wicked” and “the way of evil men,” the Bible says it four different ways—“NO!” The first exhortation is “avoid it.” In fact, we are told to “pass not by it.” Do not even get close to it and be tempted to travel it! But, just in case you do decide to go down it, Scripture advises again—“turn from it!” Finally, it exhorts us to “pass away.” Stay as far from it as you possibly can. If you make a poor choice and end up on it, recognize the problem and escape it by making a good decision.

In the succeeding verses, the Holy Spirit describes the wicked as not going to sleep until they have done evil! In fact, they cannot sleep until they have contributed to making others sin. They feed on wickedness, and they carelessly drink up violence. In contrast, “[T]he path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Finally, “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” So, we have two alternatives: the path of spiritual light (God’s Word rightly divided—especially Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon), or the path of darkness (anything and everything else). Our choice!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who wrote Romans—Paul, or Tertius?

Glory Not in Thyself!

Friday, September 25, 2020

“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” (2 Corinthians 10:17,18 KJV).

“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

Obituaries are death notices of people, often with a short biography attached. They are small glimpses into their life. You can read their age, education and occupation, survivors, and burial information. There might be a section that contains their interests, hobbies, and other activities that occupied their spare time. Usually, some insight will be gained concerning their spiritual or religious life—namely, church or denominational membership.

Just the other day, I read the obituary of a local “celebrity.” One paragraph opened: “She was very involved with her community and belonged to many civic organizations and clubs.” A list of eight groups followed! Then, another sentence: “She received many awards and achievements from….” A list of nine awards followed. There is absolutely nothing wrong in enjoying helping people—youth, the disabled, the poor, and so on. Yet, why are we engaged in these behaviors? Is it because our church demanded we do good works, that we may one day use them as “leverage” to convince God we can meet His righteous standard and be let into Heaven? Such are useless works of the flesh, profiting nothing in eternity! Or, was it Jesus Christ living His life in and through us as we walked by faith in His Word to us? That alone will matter forever!

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-5).

Throwing Them Out! #12

Thursday, September 24, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out? (They were unbelievers!)

Man was completely unable to aid the hemorrhaging woman. Remember verses 25-29: “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”

No man could help Jairus’ daughter either. Her health deteriorated to death, no life whatsoever. Recall verses 39-42: “And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.”

Psalm 85 (note Israel’s “revival”—recovery to life—in verse 6): “[1] LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. [2] Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. [3] Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. [4] Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. [5] Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? [6] Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

Throwing Them Out! #11

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Jairus besought the Lord Jesus: “My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live” (verse 23). Alas, as Christ approaches the house, a (living) woman suffering chronic blood loss puts her hand on His clothes. She knows there is healing in His garment hem: “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole [well, cured]” (verse 28). Instantly, her issue stops and she feels something extraordinary in her body!

“And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press [crowd], and said, Who touched my clothes?” (verse 30). Much more than “power” (as in modern English versions), it is “virtue” that has proceeded from Jesus. Such moral excellence or uprightness from God imparts physical—and more importantly, spiritual—restoration. The Lord turns around, confronts her, and then comforts her: “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (verse 34). This symbolizes the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, having God’s righteousness imputed to their account.

Christ proceeds to Jairus’ house. Unfortunately, dealing with the hemorrhaging woman has caused him to be late in treating the little girl. “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe” (verses 35,36). Unlike the aforementioned woman, this child is “hopelessly” dead! Onlookers mock Jesus’ comment that her state is “temporary.” Throwing them out of His presence, He speaks to her and raises her up! She walks and eats! Here is Israel’s national resurrection at Christ’s Second Coming, unbelieving Jews removed and prohibited from witnessing their nation’s miraculous return from the grave. In the Millennium, Israel functions as God’s kingdom of priests.

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Throwing Them Out! #10

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Read from Mark chapter 5 again: “[25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, [26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, [27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. [28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” This woman literally reaches out in faith to touch Jesus’ garment. Matthew 9:20 adds: “[she] touched the hem of his garment.” Luke 8:44 has it like this: “[she] touched the border of his garment.”

The Mosaic Law, Numbers chapter 15, instructed this concerning the hem or border of a Jew’s clothes: “[37] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [38] Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: [39] And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: [40] That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”

For 12 years, this woman has been hemorrhaging (bleeding profusely). Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14): life is flowing from her. Yet, she recognizes her sickness. Here is Israel’s believing remnant, admitting their only hope for righteousness is in Jesus’ perfect obedience to God’s commandments (symbolized by His garment hem). These believing sinners reach out in faith and receive God’s righteousness. Before Jesus raises up the nation Israel via the New Covenant (Jairus’ dead little girl), He pauses to form the Little Flock (the hemorrhaging woman). Let us now summarize this devotionals arc….

Throwing Them Out! #9

Monday, September 21, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

As the Lord is making His way to Jairus’ house to heal his gravely ill daughter, a most bizarre event interrupts and delays Him. By the time He reaches the little girl, she is dead. Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:22-43, and Luke 8:41-56 should be carefully compared to see how this all eventually played out. Despite the postponement, Jesus successfully restored the child to life and health. Yet, was He careless in getting to her “too late?” God forbid!

Mark chapter 5 explains: “[24] And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. [25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, [26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, [27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. [28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. [29] And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

“[30] And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? [31] And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? [32] And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. [33] But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. [34] And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Then, Jesus proceeds to deal with Jairus’ little girl—who, having now died, is raised up in life!)

Again, we see the number 12 (verse 25). What is being indicated with this woman who touches Jesus’ garments? Let us study….

Bible Q&A #765: “What does ‘ado’ mean?