Without Honour #9

Thursday, March 26, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Read Matthew 8:20: “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” The Lord said it another way in John 5:43: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” He was “without honour” among His own family, “friends,” and neighbors (today’s Scripture; cf. Matthew 13:57). This Greek term is rendered “despised” in 1 Corinthians 4:10. In other words, His acquaintances, contemporaries, and peers spent so much time not appreciating Him that they now began to hate Him with an unparalleled passion. It was now impossible for them to hide their unbelief. Animosity was seething in their souls—and they responded most violently in Nazareth by trying to take His life (Luke 4:28,29)!

Really, when we consider their detestable attitude, it would have been far better had they never known the truth. It would have been far better had they never lived with Jesus Christ for 30 years. Having so much opportunity to know the truth—and yet squandering that time by vehemently rejecting it—their accountability before God is increased considerably. Recall those somber warnings of Christ spoken in John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

Second Thessalonians chapter 2 says of these very people: “[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” They fervently rejected Christ, but they will gleefully receive Antichrist!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Bible Q&A #705: “Who was ‘Herod?’

The More Powerful Words #6

Thursday, October 10, 2019

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6 KJV).

Sinful man needs to learn the lesson of today’s Scripture!

While we better understand our world than our predecessors did, that does not (!) mean we can explain everything with perfect, irrefutable knowledge. Through additional experimentation, scientists daily refine their views: the scientific method is faulty because our minds are imperfect. In light of new evidence, even scientists disprove and discard their own long-held ideas. They do not have all the answers. Consequently, friend, never (ever, ever, ever!) let them convince you “science has toppled the Bible’s authority.” Instead of commenting on Someone else’s work and then denying His existence, since we are “god” (in our mind), perhaps we had better prove our existence. Let us go beyond merely describing God’s work, and actually repeat it!

Genesis chapter 1: “[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. [2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. [3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. [4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. [5] And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

“[6] And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. [7] And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so… [9] And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

Finish reading Genesis chapter 1, the more powerful words. The God of the Bible spoke everything into existence, friends! God did not take preexisting atoms to make everything; through His spoken word, He created the atoms themselves from nothing, and then used them to form specific matter (today’s Scripture).

Is sinful man grateful for his Creator? No….

Standing Up But Going Down #3

Monday, September 9, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Read Psalm 83. Israel’s Little Flock, her believing remnant, cries out to Almighty God for help. The Antichrist ruthlessly persecutes and mercilessly slays them. Notice the final seven verses: “[12] [The Antichrist and his ally nations] Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. [13] [Believing Israel prays] O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. [14] As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; [15] So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. [16] Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. [17] Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: [18] That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

Paul the Apostle summarizes God’s reply and the Antichrist’s swift defeat: “And then shall that Wicked [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming(2 Thessalonians 2:8). Here is Christ’s fiery Second Coming, what chapter 1 already mentioned: “[7]… when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power….”

Today’s Scripture says the Antichrist “shall be broken without hand.” This phraseology “without hand” indicates Divine intervention as opposed to human efforts. God, not man, is acting (see especially Christ’s Second Coming and Israel’s subsequent kingdom of Daniel 2:34,44,45; cf. Mark 14:58 and Colossians 2:11). Indeed, the Antichrist will stand up against the Prince of princes… and go down violently, suddenly, and permanently! Amen!

Standing Up But Going Down #2

Sunday, September 8, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Turning over to Daniel chapter 11, we learn more about the Antichrist: “[36] And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. [37] Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

He is a “willful” king, egocentric and determined to accomplish his goals. Ecclesiastes 8:11 applies to all sinners, but will especially be true of “the man of sin, the son of perdition:” “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” For at least seven years, the Antichrist will occupy—usurp—David’s throne. He will take Christ’s place over Israel, and apostate Israel will love to have it so!

Psalm 83:1-4 is believing Israel’s prayerful cry for help: “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee [the LORD God!] have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy [!] people, and consulted against thy [!] hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee [the LORD God!]:….”

By siding against Israel, these nations aligned with the Antichrist are indeed God’s enemies. Antichrist leads them to oppose Jesus Christ, “the Prince of princes.” Believing Jews pray, “Return, Lord, and deliver us from our enemies—destroy Your enemies!” Let us see and hear the Lord’s reply….

Standing Up But Going Down #1

Saturday, September 7, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Daniel chapter 7: “[23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another [here is the Antichrist] shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. [25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. [26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. [27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

After (!) our Dispensation of Grace, the Antichrist will arise in the Middle East. He starts out having one “crown” (Revelation 6:2)—little political power and practically unknown. Within a few years, however, he conquers three kings and eventually another seven. Ultimately, he wears 10 “crowns” because he heads a 10-nation confederacy (Revelation 13:1). These are the 10 “toes” of Daniel 2:41,42. Psalm 83:4 remarks concerning these 10 nations: “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” These 10 Gentile peoples—listed in verses 6-8—are Israel’s historical enemies. Most cleverly, the Antichrist unites with them, fully intent on abolishing the Jewish race….

NOTE: Dear brethren, the first intro video to our New Testament Survey is finally online! You can watch it here. New lessons will be added in the near future. Be sure to bookmark this link, as this playlist is where all the NT lessons will be stored in the coming years. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ!

Peace Policy

Friday, September 6, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is this “peaceful” man?

The “craft” he will cause to prosper in his hand is deceitfulness (think “crafty”). Read chapter 11 to see him arrive: “[21] And in his [predecessor’s] estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries…. [24] He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time…. [32] And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

Revelation 6:2 previews him as well: “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow [but no arrows!]; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Here, the Antichrist counterfeits Jesus Christ (cf. 19:11). He appears wholly innocent, as Psalm 55:21 predicts: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” The Antichrist utters such persuasive speech, telling apostate Jews exactly what they want to hear! Long ago, they had forbidden God’s prophets with, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). See also 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

He promises to protect and bless Israel, but the Antichrist is literally Hell-bent on exterminating them! First Thessalonians 5:3: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Rather than using physical warfare, he will overcome Israel nationally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually!

Mighty and Destructive

Thursday, September 5, 2019

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people (Daniel 8:24 KJV).

Who is this man? How is he “mighty,” and how will he “destroy?”

The Apostle John, many centuries after Daniel the Prophet, remarked in Revelation chapter 13: “[4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? [5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. [7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

According to Revelation 12:9, the “dragon” is the Devil. In other words, Satan empowers the man in today’s Scripture! This man is called a “beast,” as he is bestial or animal-like in his behavior. He is also “blasphemous,” speaking against the God of the Bible, the Creator God. This man is none other than the Antichrist, whose administration is summarized most interestingly in 2 Thessalonians 2:4: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The Antichrist battles with and murders the Messianic Jews, those who refuse to worship him and participate in his evil religion (Revelation 20:4). Revelation 13:15: “And he [the False Prophet, the Antichrist’s religious leader] had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” He appears invincible, as God allows him to decimate Israel’s population for some years. People watch and wonder, terrified, as he continues ruling with an iron hand in his ruthless, godless regime. God will soon show Himself to end it!