Healing in His Hem #2

Friday, April 30, 2021

“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:20-22 KJV).

Let us see precisely why there is healing in Christ’s garment hem….

Go over to Numbers chapter 15 and read: “[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. [41] I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 22:12 is a similar order: “Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.”

JEHOVAH God commanded the Israelites to sew a strip of blue cloth on the borders of their garments. This blue band served to remind them to obey His laws (the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses). They were His people and were thus expected to act like it. In fact, they had actually promised to obey Him back at Mount Sinai just prior to Him giving the Mosaic Law and entering that covenant relationship with Him. They were married to Him, and were required to have no other gods before Him. Were they faithful to Him? Nay, they forgot Him, and worshipped and served pagan idols instead….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Jesus born in Jerusalem?

Healing in His Hem #1

Thursday, April 29, 2021

“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:20-22 KJV).

Let us see precisely why there is healing in Christ’s garment hem….

Read the parallel passage, Mark 5:25-29: “[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.” Luke 8:43-44 is also a companion passage: “[43] And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, [44] Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched [stopped, dried up].”

Matthew 14:34-36, while another occasion entirely, nevertheless highlights the idea of touching Jesus’ garment to receive physical healing: “[34] And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. [35] And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; [36] And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.”

What is the significance of sick people receiving physical healing by touching Jesus’ garment hem? Why—of all things—was a garment border emphasized in these verses? In order to grasp the importance of this hem, we must consult the Law of Moses….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What will Israel’s future re-gathering be like?

Neither Prophets Nor Spiritual!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37 KJV).

Recently, I talked with a dear brother in Christ who was sorely disappointed. What happened to him?

He had listened to “Christian” “prophets” and “prophetesses” issue their “predictions” about what would soon happen at specific times. Those days now passed, their projections totally wrong and completely unfulfilled, he and many others are disgusted. Supposedly, “God” was providing them with revelation; alas, Jesus never came back on the day they said He would! This “vision” and that “dream” were nothing but human imagination—and such gullible, deceived Christians number in the multi-millions.

As with Israel several centuries before Christ, so the Church the Body of Christ has been overwhelmed with false teachers. So-called “servants of God” were misleading the Jews back in Jeremiah’s day. Read chapter 23 of Jeremiah, including these highlights God Himself utters: “[21] I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied…. [25] I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. [26] How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; [27] Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” The LORD accuses them in verse 36, “…for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”

Just as false prophets were drawing Israel away from God’s words through Moses, so false teachers today are drawing us the Body of Christ away from God’s words through Paul. The test of true spirituality in this the Dispensation of Grace is Pauline doctrine, the Bible Books of Romans through Philemon (today’s Scripture). As I told my disappointed friend, if they do not acknowledge Paul’s Gentile apostleship to us (Romans 11:13), they are neither prophets (speaking for God) nor spiritual (led by the Spirit of God). Leave these presumptuous perverts alone!!!

We Missed, He Hit!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;…” (Romans 3:23 KJV).

Have we missed the mark? Indeed, we all have!

In Ancient Greek, “hamartia” (“sinned”) originally meant “missing the mark.” God’s righteous standard is the exact center of a bullseye. We “do the best we can” when it is our time to throw the dart or fire the gun, but sin causes us to miss the mark. The “best we can” is not enough. Even if we try again, promising to do better, we still have the past (our first failed attempt).

“[9] What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; [10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…. [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

“[21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

To “believeth in Jesus” means we acknowledge He hit the mark at Calvary—measuring up to God’s standard of righteousness. His hit is thus credited to us!

Dayspring #4

Monday, April 26, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

Having seen the light of Messiah’s First Coming, His earthly ministry, we now glimpse the radiance of His Second Coming. For example, Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks to Israel: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” The nations languish in spiritual darkness and pagan idolatry as per Romans 1:18-32 and Genesis 11:1-9. However, once the LORD imparts spiritual light to Israel as she rises to kingdom glory, she preaches that Word of God to the Gentiles so as to dispel darkness from the Earth!

Looking beyond our Dispensation of Grace, we see the Apostle Peter urging Israel to trust Jesus as Messiah, that He first enlighten their souls with Divine revelation. When He returns, and they are redeemed, the converted nation evangelizes the lost Gentiles. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). In addition to spiritual darkness, Christ’s Second Coming will drive out physical darkness. His glorious return will be a literal sunrise, to end the night of His extended absence: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2). Second Thessalonians 2:8 alludes to this “brightness of his coming.”

Finally, Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Come, Lord Jesus, Thou Dayspring!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Why was the levirate marriage important in Bible times?” and “Why was Moses ordered to be shoeless?

Dayspring #3

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

The Prophet Isaiah, circa 700 B.C., penned: “[8:22] And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness. [9:1] Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. [9:2] The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

Isaiah’s words are interpreted in Matthew 4:13-17, Christ’s earthly ministry: “[13] And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: [14] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, [15] The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; [16] The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. [17] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” By Jesus preaching God’s Word, the Gospel of the Kingdom, He is spreading spiritual light and driving out the persistent spiritual darkness from Israel’s land and people.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4,5). Yet, Israel rejects that Light who gives light, and in His absence comes more darkness….

Dayspring #2

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

Using simple common sense, we see two ideas in the word “dayspring”—day and spring. The day is springing forth, appearing or emerging. In other words, it is sunrise or dawn. (The Greek word, “anatole,” is elsewhere rendered “east,” as in the direction of sunrise—Matthew 2:1,2,9; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 24:27; Luke 13:29; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 16:12; Revelation 21:13.) As touching the “dayspring” of Luke, however, a source of light other than the sun is being referenced. Before we identify the light, we make note of the darkness. Today’s Scripture, in part: whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

Let us turn over now to chapter 1 of John: “[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

Scripture, of course, is speaking of light in a figurative sense here, but that does not detract from the literal truth being conveyed. Israel languishes in spiritual darkness—ignorance—but Messiah from Heaven has appeared to enlighten her….

Dayspring #1

Friday, April 23, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

After John the Baptist’s birth, his father Zacharias preached a lengthy sermon in Luke chapter 1. Let us read it in full: “[67] And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, [68] Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, [69] And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; [70] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: [71] That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; [72] To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; [73] The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, [74] That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, [75] In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

“[76] And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; [77] To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, [78] Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, [79] To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” As the Holy Ghost led him, Zacharias declared the various Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament were coming to pass. Christ Jesus had already been conceived in Mary’s womb, and was to be born in roughly six months. John the Baptist would play an exceptional role, introducing Israel to her Messiah.

With the arrival of God’s “anointed,” the “dayspring from on high” would visit the Jewish people. Exactly what is this “dayspring,” and how will it affect Israel? Let us study the Scriptures to find out….

Bible Q&A #830: “What is the ‘bound’ of Hosea 5:10?

The Awareness of a Temporary Earth

Thursday, April 22, 2021

“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).

Spiritual Cardiosclerosis #7

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

“And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go” (Exodus 4:21 KJV).

Exactly what is “spiritual cardiosclerosis?” How can we avoid this invisible, destructive malady?

Upon examining the contexts of the verses wherein spiritual cardiosclerosis appears, we conclude the affliction arises once the human soul (heart) refuses God’s words. Whether Pharaoh declining to let God’s people Israel go, or the Egyptians themselves refusing to release the Jews, or other unbelieving Gentiles in the Old Testament economy, or apostate Judaean King Zedekiah, or unbelieving Israelites wandering in the wilderness under Moses, or apostate religious Jews lacking compassion on a disabled man Jesus healed, or unbelieving disciples concerning Jesus feeding the multitudes, or callous people vehemently endeavoring to divorce, or national Israel blinded for not believing Christ during His earthly ministry, or unbelieving Apostles post-resurrection, or unbelievers in the Dispensation of Grace, or Jewish unbelievers during Daniel’s 70th Week, they all deliberately reject the Divine revelation given them. They are now insensitive (hardened) to the truth!

God’s Word tells us what to believe (doctrine), what we are doing wrong (reproof), and how we should think to do right (correction): “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). If we are unwilling to hear and trust its counsel, however, Proverbs 29:1 will be our lot: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck [stubborn!], shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

Ephesians 4:18,19 speaks of those “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” First Timothy 4:2 references those who “speak lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” We avoid spiritual cardiosclerosis by believing God’s words to us upon immediately hearing them. Let us pay special attention to Romans through Philemon, or face spiritual destruction!