Singing and Shouting

Sunday, November 13, 2016

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7 KJV).

Friend, have you ever heard such wonderful music or singing that you thought it was the most beautiful in the whole world? You were so emotionally moved that it was exhilarating beyond description, right? Perhaps you rated it as the greatest in the history of music. In light of today’s Scripture, you must reconsider!

Today’s Scripture is part of the opening of the final section of the Book of Job. Satan has wrought such heartache and havoc in Job’s life, but God is about to deliver him. God must first teach Job a lesson, however. Job has rattled on and on for many chapters, and now it is time for him to hush so the LORD can talk some sense into him. God begins by reminding Job of the Creation Week. Job was not present to see it, but God tells him all about it.

If we re-read today’s Scripture, we see a contractor laying out materials from foundation to completion. Measurements are taken, underpinnings are laid, the main structure is built, and the finishing touch is added. The Lord Jesus Christ purposefully created the heaven and the earth in a very organized manner, neither accidentally nor sloppily. Today’s Scripture says that, throughout this time, the angels watched their Creator at work. When it became increasingly apparent to them what He was erecting, these creatures responded by singing together and shouting for joy! We are left to wonder just how awesome that sounded. Lucifer, God’s chief song-leader and music director, had not yet fallen and become Satan. Recall, Lucifer’s body has built-in musical instruments (Ezekiel 28:13).

Whatever vocal and musical capacities these millions upon millions of angels fulfilled during and after the Creation Week, we can be sure they would put the world’s most beautiful singers and songs to shame! One day, when we get to heaven, brethren, we can join in with them! 🙂

His Son #10

Friday, October 28, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

The Holy Spirit led the writer of the Book of Hebrews to state God’s Son “uphold[s] all things by the word of his power.” Jesus Christ’s words are infinitely powerful, mighty words never to be taken lightly. In fact, our massive (!) universe is held together—yea, came into existence from nothing—because Jesus Christ spoke the words, “Let there be…!” Consequently, Father God admonishes Israel to listen to His Son speaking. That Son will be crowned King of Heaven and Earth one day. Anyone not submitting to His authority will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire! (Friends, those who reject Jesus Christ today will go to that same place of everlasting torment!)

Although sons and daughters of Adam, the Jews could be cleansed of their sins, and thus be qualified to participate in the glorification of God’s Son in the Earth. Jesus Christ came and “by himself”—omitted from the modern versions!—“purged [Israel’s] sins.” His rich, royal, sinless blood was shed for them, that He might “wash” them from their sins (Revelation 1:5). In the early Acts period, Jews were to come by faith in Jesus as God’s Son, having repented of their wayward thinking (idolatry), and then being water baptized in Jesus Christ’s name to serve as His kingdom of priests (Acts 2:38). All that the Prophets have foretold will be fulfilled one day, with believing Jews becoming “sons of God” because they listened to and believed the words of God’s Son (John 1:11,12)!

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12). 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do Matthew 10:10, Mark 6:8, and Luke 9:3 contradict?

His Son #9

Thursday, October 27, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Scripture says of God’s Son, Who being the brightness of his [Father’s] glory….” This “brightness” is radiance, a brilliant light shining forth. Psalm 104:1-2 says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain….” This light—which actually is a rainbow (Ezekiel 1:28; Revelation 4:3)—is God’s righteousness on display. First Timothy 6:16 describes Jesus Christ (verse 15) as: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto….” The Lord Jesus is literally the perfect reflection of Father God concerning His radiant righteousness and glory.

In today’s Scripture, we also read of God’s Son as being, “…the express image of his [Father’s] person….” The Greek term rendered “express image” is actually “charakter” (from which we get our English word “character”). Jesus Christ resembles God the Father in every way—His faithfulness, truth, wisdom, love, mercy, grace, peace, power, kindness, and so on. There is nothing dark or mysterious about Father God if we look at His Son, for His son is a clear representation, or explicit portrait, of His Father.

Jesus Christ, “the only begotten Son,” declares the invisible Father unto the nation Israel (John 1:18). Our Lord Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). If Israel knows Jesus Christ, they know the Father, and have fellowship with both (1 John 2:22,23). Any Jew who rejects Jesus will never know anything about the Father God whom He epitomizes. He will remain in the spiritual darkness he prefers (John 3:18-20).

Now we conclude this devotionals arc….

His Son #8

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

John the Baptist (Matthew 3:7-12) and Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:30,38-42) warned Israel of “the [fiery] wrath to come.” Peter also announced that impending judgment (Acts 2:34-36; Acts 4:19-26): “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 4:23). Jews who declined to hear God speaking by His Son (cf. today’s Scripture) would be “destroyed”—or, as Jesus said, “ground to powder” (Matthew 21:44). “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 4:26). Peter encouraged Israel to receive God’s Son!

Today’s Scripture says, “[His Son] whom he [Father God] hath appointed heir of all things….” Father God has determined to grant Jesus Christ power to rule everything (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 11:15). Father wants His Son to have preeminence in “all things,” all governmental offices of Heaven and Earth (Colossians 1:16-20; Ephesians 1:9-11; Philippians 2:9-11). Israel, by faith, can participate in His earthly government.

“By whom [the Son] also he [the Father] made the worlds…” refers to the governmental systems and their various ages of duration. For example, Scripture describes Christ’s future reign as “world without end” (Ephesians 3:21). Ephesians 2:6-7 speaks of these “ages to come.” Jesus Christ is the Creator God (Ephesians 3:9) mentioned in Genesis 1:1, and all things are to glorify Him to Father’s praise: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Today’s Scripture urges Israel to realize these precious truths concerning God’s Son….

Never Man Spake Like This Man!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

“The officers answered, Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46 KJV).

Listen as the GodMan speaks!

Read what happened to Jesus at age 12: “And it came to pass, that after three days [Mary and Joseph] found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46,47). Even as a little boy, Jesus’ depth of perception was unusually profound. These “Th.D.s” and “Ph.D.s” of the Mosaic Law—much older and so-called “educated” men—were so surprised, and probably embarrassed, that some little boy would dare (knowledgeably) converse with them about such “adult” topics.

As the years passed, Jesus continually amazed the crowds. “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22; cf. Matthew 7:28,29). “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:27). “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?” (Matthew 13:54).

We can be most assured that our Lord Jesus was no wimp. His voice thundered with articulate, intelligent, and very weighty words. Those words actually caused events to happen right before people’s eyes—a storm instantly dissipated, dead men arose, sick people instantly recovered, a fig tree immediately withered, et cetera. “The word of God is quick and powerful…” (Hebrews 4:12).

All the way back in Genesis, at the Creation account, God used words—“Let there be…”—to bring our universe into existence from nothing. “…[U]pholding all things by the word of his power…” (Hebrews 1:3). Now, as a Man, He was using His voice to work wonders and amaze crowds. It was not so much to awe them as it was much as it was to teach them. Their God had come and they were to look upon Him and pay attention to what He had to tell them (Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 40:9). He was the way to salvation and eternal life!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is immersion the ‘proper’ mode of water baptism?

The Converted Nation and The Translated Word #3

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

“He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19,20 KJV).

Herein do we see God’s head of the nations—Israel!

One of the most famous Bible verses is the first, Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It is not until we come to Paul’s ministry and Colossians 1:16 that we see how God structured the Heaven and the Earth to function: “For by him [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:”

In the original creation, there was perfect governmental organization. God created beings to serve Him in Heaven (angels) and other beings (humans—Adam and Eve) to serve Him on Earth. In Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19, we read about Lucifer/Satan leading a rebellion in the spirit world among the angelic hosts. This chief evil spirit then caused Earth to be polluted by recruiting mankind to follow him in Genesis chapter 3. Satan had the governments of both Heaven and Earth; he tainted them and most of their creatures with his sinful agenda.

God formed the nation Israel to do with Adam had failed to do—assume Earth’s governments for His glory (earthly kingdom). Israel was to reclaim Earth for Jesus Christ’s glory. Israel was to magnify God’s Word in the Earth, thereby undoing what Satan had done on Earth! (However, nothing was said about God’s purpose and plan for restoring Heaven unto Himself. We do not learn this secret plan of God until we come to Paul’s ministry, the books of Romans through Philemon. God kept that information secret until He was ready to reveal it.)

To restore Earth to Himself, God desired Israel to know Him first. They were to learn His Word, enjoy His goodness, and, as per the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3, they were to then take that knowledge and salvation to all the nations of the world! Let us see what Israel did….

In the Beginning

Saturday, September 5, 2015

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV).

Have you ever wondered about those first three words of the Bible?

Someone recently asked me, “‘In the beginning?’ God had a beginning?!” Oh no, dear friends, the Bible’s opening words “in the beginning” do not refer to God Himself. Rather, they define a point in time when He began to labor to construct creation from nothing. Let us think about some verses.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). Before creation, there was nothing but God—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There were no people or angels, no animals or plants, no rocks or minerals, no bodies of water, no oxygen and other gases, no sun, moon, stars, planets—nothing. All matter was non-existent. Our feeble, little minds cannot comprehend it but ‘tis true. “He that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4b).

No, the universe is not eternal, as some claim. It had a definite beginning. It was Genesis 1:1. Some people do not like that, and they do not have to like it, but whether they are for it or against it, does not change what Genesis 1:1 says… both in Hebrew and in English! No, the universe is not self-sustaining. It needed the triune Godhead to bring it into existence just as Genesis 1:1 says, and a universe left to operate without a holy Creator God would be far worse off than it is today!

If God had a beginning, He would not be God, for that which existed before Him would be God. (So, when atheists and agnostics haughtily ask us, “Where did God come from?,” we can simply reply with confidence, “It is as you say, He most definitely is God,” and let them figure out what it means!) The heaven and the earth had a beginning: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. All things were made by him [the Lord Jesus Christ]; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1,3). 🙂

You may enjoy our related study, “Was God ‘bored’ before creation?