Help Meet

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18,22-25 KJV).

Behold, the first marriage!

Two close friends in the ministry just celebrated 57 years of marriage. When I asked the man if it felt like it had been that long, he said no. Their wedding seems like only yesterday. For the last 40 years or so, they have been Christians. They credit God’s grace as the reason for their long-lasting union. (Lord willing, they are planning a big celebration for their 60th anniversary!)

Sadly, divorces, once overwhelmingly shunned, are so common in this day and age. People are not getting acquainted enough and rushing into marriage, only to learn “too late” that they did not actually know their spouse as well as they thought! Unwanted pregnancies are often forcing unions (which may eventually dissolve). Husbands are not exercising their God-given role as leader of the marriage relationship. In-laws are not being advised to respect the marriage. Pornography and other illicit issues threaten the union. In short, Satan is weakening society by attacking its basic unit (the family, at the core of which is the marriage)!

There are three passages that deal directly with marriage as it pertains to the Dispensation of Grace—1 Corinthians 7:1-40, Ephesians 5:21-33, and Colossians 3:18-19. It would do Christian couples well to take these verses, study them, and apply them to life by faith. The Creator of marriage Himself wrote these passages, and they are the keys to godly, successful, healthy, long-lasting marriages! 🙂

Centenarians

Sunday, February 28, 2016

“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary [gray] head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:32 KJV).

According to a recent study, since the start of the 21st century, more Americans have been living to age 100. There were approximately 50,000 Americans at least age 100 in the year 2000; in 2014, nearly 72,000 people. Undoubtedly, improved healthcare is one reason. We can only wonder how high that number will go—or the maximum age!

I know two of these people. Currently, one lady I know is 101 or 102. When asked about her longevity, she said, “I read my Bible and drink cranberry juice every day!” One of my Dad’s relatives just turned age 105—she was born a year before the Titanic sank! As for her health, she takes just an occasional one-half blood pressure pill. She lives in an assisted-living facility (still by herself last I heard). Many years before my birth, another relative on Dad’s side of the family lived a few days past her 105th birthday. She had raised seven children by herself after her husband died—she outlived him 70 years!

According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest woman ever documented is a French lady named Jeanne Louise Calment (1875–1997). She lived to be an astounding 122 years and 164 days old, dying of unknown causes—having outlived her husband, daughter, and grandson by many decades. This lady had complete mental awareness until her dying moment.

Of course, the most famous “supercentenarian” ever recorded was Methuselah, who lived to be an amazing 969 years (Genesis 5:27). I have no problem taking that age literally, given the unique conditions at the time.

Friends, when we think about these long lives, so many decades of living, let us remember that even these are but a tiny speck compared to eternity. In God’s mind, 122 years—or 969 years—is just a “blink of an eye.” No matter how old we live on this earth, there is a whole lot more living in eternity for us all. May we trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour today. Eternity literally awaits us, in heaven or in hell!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does Acts 2:47 support Calvinism?

Rise Up, LORD! #4

Monday, November 16, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

Jude, in his tiny Bible book, described a little-known ministry that occurred 2,000 years before Moses: “[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Over 2,500 years before King David wrote Psalm 68:1 and Psalm 110:1, and 2,000-plus years before Moses spoke today’s Scripture, God’s people already understood Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath. Enoch, who lived merely 500 years after the Creation, and just before the Great Flood, was led by God’s Spirit to speak of a day when the Lord would come with tens of thousands of angelic soldiers. He was coming to judge this world of sinners, this world of people who hated Him and spoke against Him. Obviously, Moses and David received further revelation.

The Spirit of God had also moved David to write in Psalm 2: “[1] Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

Psalm 2 set a date for that wrath. It would occur shortly after Calvary (cf. Acts 4:25-28). Hence, Peter preached what he did on Pentecost. Much of Israel ignored the apostles’ preaching, and, in Acts chapter 7, a year after Calvary, Jesus Christ stood up! Israel no doubt knew what was just moments away!

Paul and Dispensationalism #15

Saturday, August 22, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God dealt with Israel as His people from Genesis chapter 12 onward. Romans 1:18-32 explains how God had given the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and graphic sins at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). This shameful behavior typified the Gentiles up through the entire Old Testament Scriptures (and even today!). While Israel’s activities during that time were equally sinful (Romans 2:17-29), Israel at least had direct access to the Creator God (Romans 9:4,5). At least Israel possessed the words—the Law—of the eternal JEHOVAH God (Romans 3:1,2). Contrariwise; the Gentiles groped around in spiritual darkness (Ephesians 4:17-19; cf. Acts 17:22-29); without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11,12); relishing Satan’s lifestyle (Romans 1:32); ignorantly worshipping stupid dead idols of wood, metal, and stone (Acts 17:29,30); “walking in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). Awful, just plain awful!

And then, God had pity on us! With Israel refusing to cooperate with Him, He activated a plan He had kept secret in Himself. He would turn to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry. Paul preached to the Athenian idolaters: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “Quit embracing foolishness, Gentiles! Change your mind! Trust that ‘Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again’ (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). This Gospel of Grace is the means whereby you can escape Satan, hellfire, idolatry, and your other vain behaviors!”

As today’s Scripture indicates, they (we) could literally become trophies of God’s grace. In contradistinction to their old, worthless lives of sin and death, their lifestyles could abound with truly good works—God’s life manifested in and through them (us) for all (especially Satan) to see!!! 🙂

Cain Came and Brought Shame #7

Saturday, June 28, 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?

Jesus Christ forewarned Israel’s religious leaders: “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” (John 5:43). Christ was referring to the climax of Satan’s policy of evil, when “the man of sin, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) would arise in the world’s governmental structure. National Israel refused Jesus as their King; hence, God would give them what they wanted (Satan’s error, spiritual ignorance). Instead, Israel would receive an “antichrist,” a counterfeit Messiah, someone who would fool them into believing he was their true Redeemer.

Intriguingly, this significantly parallels the passages of Cain’s birth and his murder of Abel. Adam and Eve had high hopes for Cain, going so far as to name him in reference to the Redeemer (Genesis 3:15 cf. today’s Scripture). However, they thought little of Abel, who would actually become God’s prophet and believer (God’s spokesman; Luke 11:50,51)—the name “Abel” means “vanity, emptiness.” In a tragic reversal, Cain turned out to be a mere professing believer; he disappointed his parents by killing righteous Abel (God’s child)!

Similarly, Israel saw no value in the true Messiah, Jesus, but she will have such high hopes for the Antichrist, for he will promise Israel peace and deliverance (and like Cain, the Antichrist will be manifested to be a disappointment). As Cain founded a civilization built on false religion (Genesis 4:15-17), so the Antichrist will (Revelation 13:1-18). Like Cain, the Antichrist will initially fool mankind, and introduce his own religious system, “the way of Cain” (Jude 11). As there was a “mark” associated with Cain (Genesis 4:15), so a “mark” will be associated with the antichrist’s religion (Revelation 13:16,17). Like Cain murdering Abel for following the Lord, the antichrist and his followers will kill believing Israel, those who trust Jesus Christ and reject that false religious system….

Cain Came and Brought Shame #6

Friday, June 27, 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?

Whilst Eve assumed that Cain would be a man who would serve the God of the Bible, 1 John 3:12 says, “Cain… was of that wicked one.” Cain was not a man of faith; he was eventually manifested to be Satan’s tool, not a believer in God’s Word. Like Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15), Cain wanted to be his own god, his own authority; moreover, like Satan, Cain wanted to get rid of God’s people, those who testified of God’s Word and who hindered the “progress” of Satan’s evil world system (the real reason why Cain killed Abel).

Spiritually, Cain was Satan’s son. Jesus commented to Israel’s lost religious leaders, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:44). Beloved, the same godless, sinful spirit (attitude) that operated in Satan controlled Cain and Israel’s religious leaders. It operates in today’s religious people (Ephesians 2:1-3), and it will operate in future religious people. They all want to do what they want; they starkly disregard the will and instructions of the God of the Bible. Like Cain, they offer the sacrifice they want, the sacrifice God never instructed them to bring. They refuse to depend upon Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice for acceptance before God (the ONLY sacrifice He will accept); they prefer to offer their own “good” works, the fruit of their own hands. The Bible is clear that they, like Cain, will be rejected of God.

Satan’s chief way of corrupting the nation Israel was to infiltrate it with pagan religion (spiritual lies had been successful with Adam and Eve in Eden, and with Cain; Satan uses the same old tactics!). Baal worship, pagan idol worship, began in Israel in Judges 2:11-13 and it has yet to lose its grip. Beyond our present day, after our dispensation, Satan will make one final attempt to bring about what Cain started, and many “Abels” will perish….

Cain Came and Brought Shame #4

Wednesday, June 25, 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 says, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4). Abel brought the blood sacrifice that God specified, but Cain did not believe God’s Word, so he did not bring the proper sacrifice (Genesis 4:1-5). Cain simply did what he wanted, and literally offered the fruit of his own efforts; thus, God rejected him.

Verses 6-8 continue, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 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.”

Despite Adam and Eve’s high hopes for their firstborn son Cain, he brought them unspeakable heartache: he mercilessly murdered his younger brother, Abel. Moreover, the son they once thought was the Redeemer (“a man from the LORD;” today’s Scripture cf. Genesis 3:15), Cain, was now exposed to be a Bible-rejecter and a murderer. What disappointment they felt that he exacerbated Satan’s corruption of creation, and especially of mankind! Adam and Eve were now bereaved of one son due to fratricide, and they would soon lose their remaining son to organized false religion (see Genesis 4:9-17).

The historical narrative of Cain and Abel—yes, it literally happened—seems to many to be nothing more than “boring antiquity.” We fervently disagree. Dear friends, there is a prophetic significance to this account, and it affects the world even today. We should not think of the account of Cain and Abel as “a thing of the past….”