Vote!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;… (Colossians 3:23 KJV).

While today’s Scripture refers to servants (employees) working on the job, it is a handy verse for all of life’s activities and decisions….

Obviously, it is a presidential election year here in the United States. Indeed, never have politics been as divergent as now. Each party vehemently accuses the other of corruption, deceit, and incompetence. The bickering and belligerence make disgust and discouragement abound. Moreover, as with every election, there is much conversation about “low-information voters,” people entering the voting booth with little to no understanding of which candidates support what issues and hold to what values. What seems to motivate these voters is pure emotion—especially spite and defiance. Instead of investigating matters for themselves, they sit in front of television and computer screens and let others tell them how and what to think. This is most unfortunate—particularly for Bible-believing Christians!

Long ago, a wise brother in Christ lamented, “People cannot take a stand on anything because they do not know anything!” Even concerning the fundamental teachings of Christianity, church members struggle to articulate exactly what they believe and how to prove it from Bible verses. If such “fuzzy thinking” dominates spiritual issues, we need not wonder why perplexity proliferates everywhere!

Finally, it is truly silly to be an “undecided” voter so late in the election season. Just as we will not find a perfect church or perfect pastor, we will not find a perfect candidate in any political race. They all have their flaws: they are all sinners. Yet, no matter the election (presidential, gubernatorial, mayoral, et cetera), we can always see one person being closer to Scripture than others. If we fail to see a difference in any of the candidates, or if we are unable to discern which one matches the Scriptures the most, then we had better study some more verses before we vote! “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Samuel 23:2,3).

Judicial, Legislative, and Executive

Friday, October 23, 2020

For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us (Isaiah 33:22 KJV).

Absolute power corrupts absolutely… except in the case of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The United States Constitution created three branches of government—legislative, judicial, and executive. Congress, the legislative branch, makes laws: the Senate and the House of Representatives are located here. The judicial branch interprets those laws: this is the Supreme Court and other courts. The executive branch enforces those laws: the President, the Vice President, the Cabinet, and most federal agencies are located here.

Although brilliant, the plan shares a problem with all other forms of government throughout the world. That weakness is sin. No matter how educated, determined, eloquent, kindhearted, popular, or successful public officials are, none are sinless. Even if they are honest and hardworking, liars and loafers ruin the entire organization. Moreover, the selfish spirit of sin usually manifests itself. Instead of seeking the benefit of their citizens, those in public office are simply paycheck-collecting, power-hungry oppressors. Governing is for their own benefit; their constituents live in decay and squalor.

Praise the Lord, however! There is coming a day when sin will be finallyand permanently!—expelled from Earth’s governments. Today’s Scripture sees the Lord Jesus Christ functioning as the wise Law-interpreter (“judge”), the righteous Law-maker (“lawgiver”), and the benevolent Law-enforcer (“king”).

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isaiah 11:1-5).

An Anchor of the Soul #10

Thursday, October 22, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

“Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me…. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word…. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word…. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope…. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word (Psalm 119:49,50,74,81,114,116,147).

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope…. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption” (Psalm 130:5,7). “Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever” (Psalm 131:3). “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:…” (Psalm 146:5).

As our Apostle Paul wrote, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope…. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:4,13). Indeed, no matter the dispensation, the “anchor of the soul” is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word revealed for that particular time! 🙂

An Anchor of the Soul #9

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

Satan’s evil world system will reach its pinnacle when the Antichrist rises to power. This cold-blooded politician will slaughter the Jewish followers of Jesus Christ. Such genocide will make it appear hopeless. How will Israel endure to become God’s kingdom of priests in the Earth? They are to prepare for that devastation, spiritually fortified by trusting in the certain (firm, stable, unfaltering, unwavering, constant) words of Almighty God to them. The Book of 1 Peter is designed to edify these circumcision believers during their terrible sufferings of Daniel’s 70th Week. It is a treatise of hope: they will survive until Christ’s return.

Chapter 1 reads: “[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, [5] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:… [13] Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;….”

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Bible Q&A #775: “What does ‘bruit’ mean?

An Anchor of the Soul #8

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

These “two immutable things”—God said it and then swore it—are those which cannot change. Being final, irreversible, and permanent, they make a firm foundation on which faith can rest. Israel’s believing remnant has “fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before [them].” Like their father Abraham, they anticipate God’s coming earthly kingdom. Hebrews chapter 11: “[8] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. [9] By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: [10] For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

No matter what happens, God’s counsel or plan for the nation Israel is unalterable. It is impossible for Him to lie. If He promised Abraham He would make a mighty nation using his bloodline, He will do it! If He promised Abraham He would bless all the world through that nation, He will do it! With the arrival of the Antichrist, though, it will look hopeless. It will seem like this bloodthirsty monster will make a full end of the Jews, like Israel will be entirely annihilated, never becoming God’s people in the Earth. Yet, there is abundant hope, and Israel finds that hope in Jesus, their great High Priest, who will not fail in bringing them into the very presence of Almighty God at His Second Coming….

An Anchor of the Soul #7

Monday, October 19, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

Just as the winds of false doctrine blow to push us off course in this our mystery program (the Dispensation of Grace), so Satan tries to shift the souls of the Jewish people in the prophetic program. If necessary, review Ephesians 4:14-16. After our dispensation closes, the Devil will adjust his evil world system so that it results in the advent of the Antichrist, the counterfeit Messiah, to distract Israel from God’s plan for her.

“And [the False Prophet, Antichrist’s religious leader] deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [Antichrist]; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (Revelation 13:14). “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived(Revelation 18:23). “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).

Concerning today’s Scripture, believing Israel is walking by faith in God’s words to her (namely, the Book of Hebrews). Having been spiritually founded and grounded, she is not deceived….

An Anchor of the Soul #6

Sunday, October 18, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

Bear in mind the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

This was fulfilled in the short-term with Isaac’s birth (cf. Genesis 17:19 and Genesis 21:12, for instance). In the long-term, however, it refers to Jesus: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). Yet, Israel being a blessing to the world is still future. They have not yet risen to kingdom glory in order to convert the Gentiles (cf. Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 61:6; Zechariah 8:20-23).

When the writer of Hebrews alludes to Abraham in the context of today’s Scripture, he is reminding his Jewish audience they are the heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant. At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel’s believing remnant will finally become God’s kingdom of priests. Until then, though, the Jews must endure Daniel’s 70th Week, and not let the Antichrist deceive them. The winds of false doctrine are blowing strongly, and Satan is attempting to distract them with error, so their souls must be anchored in sound Bible doctrine….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God really demand Ezekiel eat excrement?

An Anchor of the Soul #5

Saturday, October 17, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

Read all of chapter 6 of Hebrews. Notice today’s Scripture is the closing section. After exhorting the Jews to advance in spiritual maturity (verses 1-3), the writer describes the unbelievers who have rejected the Holy Spirit in the early Acts period (verses 4-8). Then, he switches back to spiritual maturity among Israel’s believing remnant.

“[9] But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. [10] For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. [11] And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: [12] That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

To prove his point, the writer of Hebrews subsequently alludes to the promise the LORD made to their father Abraham: “[13] For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, [14] Saying [Genesis 22:17], Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. [15] And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. [16] For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.” As Abraham through faith and patience inherited God’s promise to him, so his descendants (the audience of Hebrews) should trust God and patiently wait for Him to finish fulfilling His pledge to Israel….

An Anchor of the Soul #4

Friday, October 16, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

One common eschatological (end-times) theme in Scripture is deception, spiritual lies being peddled in order to fool the masses. For example, see these excerpts from the opening of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew chapter 24: “[4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many…. [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.”

The Apostle John picks up the thought when the Holy Spirit causes him to write many years later: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7). “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist(2 John 7). “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). If Israel living after our dispensation is mindful of and trusting these words—including today’s Scripture—she will be anchored and safe from Satan’s false doctrine….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain, ‘Ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves?’

An Anchor of the Soul #3

Thursday, October 15, 2020

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV).

What can we say about this “anchor of the soul?”

Returning to Ephesians 4:11-16, we learn the Lord Jesus Christ bestowed spiritual gifts upon men—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers—to benefit the Church the Body of Christ. These foundational gifts resulted in the completed Bible we now study (Ephesians 2:20; cf. 1 Corinthians 14:37). With the canon of Scripture closed—Paul’s epistles revealing the mystery program, God’s secret will—we have all the information God intends us to have.

The completed Bible has this purpose: “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:….” (Ephesians 4:12,13). God desires strong and mature saints, people who have a clear understanding of what He is doing today, so they may join Him in that work! “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).

Moreover, God’s intention in furnishing us with His finished Word is found in Ephesians 4:14: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;….” Father God wants us to be spiritually stable, so Satan’s evil world system does not mislead us. He wishes the same for Israel, as today’s Scripture proves….