Sin Divides #8

Saturday, February 8, 2020

“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:5,6 KJV).

In religious circles, it is frequently bemoaned, “Doctrine divides! Doctrine divides! We should throw away ‘doctrine’ and just assemble around ‘love!’” Today’s Scripture and its context expose that dictum for the utter foolhardiness that it really is….

Let us read today’s Scripture—written 700 years before Christ—in context: “[1] Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. [2] The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. [3] That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

[4] The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. [5] Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. [6] For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Had Adam held to the sound Bible doctrine God gave him, had Eve held to that doctrine, their marriage would not have become so complicated! If Cain had retained sound Bible doctrine, he would not have murdered his brother Abel! Moreover, had Israel guarded the sound Bible doctrine JEHOVAH God gave her through Moses at Mount Sinai, her people would not be in the spiritual mess of the Prophet Micah’s time! Yea, had sound Bible doctrine not been abandoned, none of these painful family rifts would have ever resulted….

 

Sin Divides #7

Friday, February 7, 2020

“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:5,6 KJV).

In religious circles, it is frequently bemoaned, “Doctrine divides! Doctrine divides! We should throw away ‘doctrine’ and just assemble around ‘love!’” Today’s Scripture and its context expose that dictum for the utter foolhardiness that it really is….

Let us imagine a world where man is enjoying unrestricted fellowship with his Creator, husband and wife are moving together as one unit in the right direction, brother is loving brother, sister is looking after sister, parent is nurturing child, and neighbor is caring for neighbor. There are no selfishness, evil thoughts, malicious words, wars, poverty, divorce, abuse, murder, theft, sickness, suffering, death, and so on. Here is the way life once worked—how the LORD God intended it to operate.

In just a matter of seconds, Adam wrecked it all. When he followed Satan in his rebellion against God, he acted deliberately. “Adam was not deceived” (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam knew exactly what he was doing, and he did it! Now, what was once simple is complicated beyond our wildest imaginations. Life is hard. It is painful. Harmony is long gone. Nature is messed up. Civilization is a disaster. World peace—especially in the Middle East—is tirelessly sought but perpetually elusive. Even if we destroyed all weapons, and secured all people everywhere in handcuffs and leg restraints, the fact remains that sin is alive and well in every human heart. No matter how hard we try to curb our behavior, we cannot reform our nature. It will not work!

Notice James chapter 4, the first two verses: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” There is a war inside us humans, and it manifests itself outwardly in strivings and contentions….

Sin Divides #6

Thursday, February 6, 2020

“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:5,6 KJV).

In religious circles, it is frequently bemoaned, “Doctrine divides! Doctrine divides! We should throw away ‘doctrine’ and just assemble around ‘love!’” Today’s Scripture and its context expose that dictum for the utter foolhardiness that it really is….

Genesis chapter 4 opens: “[1] And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. [2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. [4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: [5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell…. [8] And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. [9] And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”

In chapter 3, we saw sin caused two divisions: it split man from God, and it separated man from woman. Free will attacked, marriage struck, Satan proceeded to destroy the family unit in chapter 4. Unbelieving Cain mercilessly killed his believing brother Abel! The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John comments: “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:11-13).

Here is where we loop to today’s Scripture….

The Precious Blood of Christ #3

Monday, September 19, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

While God did not reveal the complete meaning of Jesus Christ’s death until the Apostle Paul, we can look back into some of the Bible’s most ancient portions and see God had the death of His Son in mind all along. For example, Acts 2:23 reminds us: “Him [Jesus Christ], being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Before there ever was a creation—one angel, one devil, one human, one star, one tree, or even one atom—the three Members of the triune Godhead conferred. God the Father had a most glorious plan, God the Son would lay down His life to make that plan possible, and God the Holy Spirit would execute all the details.

God arranged it so that, as soon as sin entered the world, He began to teach man that sin meant an innocent life had to be taken, and innocent blood would have to be shed. The precedent was Genesis 3:21 (Adam and Eve); it carried on to the shed blood offered by Abel (Genesis 4:4) and Noah (Genesis 8:20). When we come to Israel in Egyptian bondage, the blood of the innocent Passover lamb saves them from God’s righteous wrath against their idolatry (Exodus 12:3-14). God said Israel is to observe the annual Passover literally “for ever” (verse 14). Throughout the Book of Leviticus, we read about various animal sacrifices and the priests’ daily shedding of animals’ blood to make atonement for sins. Israel’s national forgiveness relied on the annual Day of Atonement, involving more animals’ blood (Leviticus chapter 16).

That intricate religious calendar was God’s way of reinforcing in Israel’s mind the plan He had from before the foundation of the world. The “precious blood of Christ” was going to be shed….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does, ‘All Israel shall be saved,’ mean?

Time Travel and the Mystery #3

Friday, November 14, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

The Prophets Isaiah (14:12-15) and Ezekiel (28:11-19), when describing Israel’s future re-gathering and restoration into God’s earthly kingdom, recapitulate Satan’s policy of evil and its ultimate failure. Isaiah noted Lucifer had sought to “be like the most High, possessor of heaven and earth” (Isaiah 14:14; cf. Genesis 14:19,22).

When Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” Colossians 1:16 explains: “For by [the Lord Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Heaven and Earth were designed with offices of government to run their operations to Jesus Christ’s glory. We see only Earth’s offices, but the same terminology is used for those in Heaven. Lucifer wanted to take over Heaven and Earth, have their governments glorify him and advance his will. God told Lucifer, “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thy traffick;…” (Ezekiel 28:18). Satan recruited many angels to rebel in Heaven with him; hence, God cast him to Earth (Luke 10:18).

Satan then attacked and recruited to his side newly-formed Adam and Eve, God’s king and queen over Earth (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 3:1-24). Having now captured offices in Heaven and Earth, Satan relentlessly disrupted God’s efforts to restore Earth to Himself. Satan used Cain to murder righteous Abel, evil spirits to bring about a Global Flood and the destruction of most of mankind, false prophets to misled God’s people Israel, having them finally kill Messiah Jesus. The Devil became so focused on Earth because God kept His plan for restoring Heaven, a secret. As today’s Scripture says, Satan eventually learned Messiah’s death was his deathblow instead….

Words for Weary and Wounded Warriors

Friday, October 3, 2014

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22,23).

Although spoken to Israel’s believing remnant, our Lord Jesus’ words still comfort us weary or wounded Christian ambassadors.

A little brother in Christ recently telephoned me (and we later continued our conversation face-to-face). He was despondent because of the disrespectful way lost people—and even professing Christians—treated him. I told him that I could identify with that “coldshouldering” and assured him that he must not let it bother him; God has made provisions for us in Christ to withstand all of the Adversary’s darts (and occasional cannonballs!) aimed at us. Denominational divisions run ever so deep between professing Christians. The greatest spiritual division of all is between children of Father God and children of the Devil. The Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh experienced it, and the early Christians knew it, too.

Before dying, Jesus reminded His disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Later, the Apostle John amplified those words by recounting the story of Cain killing his righteous brother Abel, concluding with, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13). The Apostle Peter wrote to his Jewish readers who abandoned their lost lifestyles, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4). Beloved, people hated Jesus Christ living in His flesh; they equally hate Him living in us!

While quality Christian friends are very rare, hold them close once you find those few. We do pray for those who persecute us, that they step out spiritual darkness and into the light of God’s grace to us in Christ; still, we will not let their shunning of us, bother us! 🙂

Cain Came and Brought Shame #10

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1 KJV).

Can you identify the very significant phrase our King James Bible contains in today’s Scripture, and why it was said?

The Bible student understands what began in the book of Genesis is brought to its ultimate fulfillment in the book of the Revelation. God’s purpose and plan for creation initiated (and delayed) in Genesis is thus brought to fruition in the Revelation; Satan’s evil world system that began in Genesis is destroyed in the Revelation.

One of the primary ways that God will comfort believing Israel during those most difficult years—the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation—is to teach them using types, previews of their situation, found in the Holy Bible’s historical narratives. All of the Old Testament Scriptures about enduring hardship (especially the Psalms) will be critical to believing Israel’s spiritual edification as Satan tries their faith.

Israel will particularly benefit from the Bible’s accounts of how their ancestors were delivered from Pharaoh (a type of Antichrist), how David was delivered from Saul (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel’s three friends were delivered from Nebuchadnezzar (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel endured the lions’ den (a type of the Tribulation), how Job survived his awful ordeals (a type of the Tribulation), and so on. JEHOVAH was faithful to all of these saints, and He will be faithful to Israel’s believing remnant now facing the Antichrist’s wrath.

Regarding the story of Cain and Abel, Israel will learn how Abel gave his life for the very God they will now be serving to the Antichrist’s hatred. They need not be discouraged; they need not marvel that the world hates them (1 John 3:11-13). Even if they lose their lives (and many Messianic Jews will perish; Matthew 10:39; Revelation 20:4), Abel’s testimony still affirms that God is faithful (Hebrews 11:4). After all, Jesus Christ will return to defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and all of Earth’s wicked, and believing Israel will be resurrected bodily, to enter God’s earthly kingdom (Revelation 19:11–20:6).

Cain brought shame, but the real Messiah, Jesus, what joy and hope He will bring! 🙂