Purity or Compromise? #2

Saturday, October 16, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

In Genesis 11:1-9, the Gentiles gathered in pagan idol (Devil!) worship at the Tower of Babel, concluding 18 centuries of all nations having equal access to the one true God (unappreciated). With the LORD giving these nations over to the Satan worship they preferred (see Romans 1:17-32), He set apart one man from them and began a new nation (Genesis 12:1-3). This man was Abram—later changed to “Abraham” in chapter 17—and this nation was Israel.

Learn the condition of the Gentiles in this segment of human history (known as “time past” in Ephesians 2:11,12). “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). God, having introduced the “but now” (Ephesians 2:13), expected these Gentiles who have come to Him through Paul’s Gentile ministry, to not repeat their old ways.

While the nations in “time past” were “suffered [allowed, permitted] to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16); conducting themselves among pagan idols in accordance with their darkened souls and dead spirits (Acts 17:24-31; Romans 1:21-26,28); God intended the nation Israel to be an “island of truth” in the midst of a “global sea of error.” The Jews had His wisdom, the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:18-20; Romans 3:1,2). Unlike the Gentiles or non-Jews living around them, the Israelites, as per today’s Scripture, were not to trust or rely on their sinful hearts for spiritual light, or their sinful understanding for spiritual truth. To do otherwise was “evil,” a compromise that would lead to them being compromised….

The Worship of the Calf #7

Monday, October 4, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

Similar to the Egyptians’ Hapis/Apis calf-worship, Phoenicians and Canaanites revered Molech/Moloch. (Recall their common descent from the Tower of Babel.) This bull-man god of fire had horns. In the Law of Moses, not only did the LORD prohibit the Jews from retaining pagan idolatry from Egypt, they were not to adopt new idolatry from the Phoenicians and Canaanites either.

“And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:21). Also, chapter 20: “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. [3] And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. [4] And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: [5] Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.”

Unfortunately, Israel disobeyed the LORD here too: the Jews practiced Moloch-worship during the 40 years of wilderness wanderings (Amos 5:25,26). King Solomon worshipped Molech (1 Kings 11:7). Centuries later, King Josiah reformed Judah and abolished Molech-worship (2 Kings 23:10). Still, the LORD had had enough of Jerusalem’s defilement with Molech, and used the Babylonians to punish them.

Let us now see the first calf worshipped….

The Worship of the Calf #6

Sunday, October 3, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

As they worshipped diverse gods and goddesses, the ancient Egyptians were simply conducting themselves according to Romans 1:20-23: “[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

The above passage depicts the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), the origin of world religions except Judaism. Along with all the other Gentiles or nations, the Egyptians worshipped fellow humans and various animals. Since the people of the world were not appreciative of the one true God, and willfully gathered at Babel to start their own (one-world) religious system, God confounded their languages and scattered them. Whatever evil thoughts they had in unity, these were translated or converted in their minds, thus expanding why world religions (no matter how far removed physically) are quite close doctrinally.

Israel knew the depraved spiritual conditions of the world around her. She was also aware of how the one true God, after letting the nations “walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:15,16; Acts 17:29,30), had set apart her father Abraham from that darkness and confusion (Genesis chapter 12). Her separation from the Gentiles was fortified via the Law of Moses, which had been given to her alone (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:19,20; Romans 3:1,2). Consequently, Israel’s association with the world’s religions was wholly unacceptable. Whereas the Gentiles were ignorant of their satanic bondage in religion, Israel knew better and still adopted such systems!

Now we address the significance of calf-worship….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #13

Thursday, January 21, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

Let us review what we have seen thus far. Pride transformed Lucifer into Satan, and sin divided the angelic host. While some angels remained loyal to God, Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels. Adam and Eve sinned, destroying their relationship with God and each other. Sin divided them; their marriage irreversibly damaged. Cain and Abel, their first two sons, were split because of sin. Unbelieving Cain murdered righteous Abel, further breaking up the human home. Sinful man, under Satan’s control, corrupted the planet increasingly with violence and killing until the LORD finally judged Earth with the Great Flood. Even after the Flood, man was determined to do what he wanted to do in the Earth. The nations assembled around the devilish Tower of Babel, resulting in the languages and scattering of the Gentiles.

Abraham, instead of relying on God’s grace, worked in his flesh to produce a child. That was not God’s child for him. Ultimately, Abraham’s sin broke up his home between two wives and two sons. Centuries later, 10 out of Israel’s 12 spies overwhelmingly denied the LORD would give the Promised Land to the nation. For the next 40 years, that unbelieving generation of Jews died off in the wilderness wanderings. King Solomon became increasingly attached to pagan women—not only marrying them but also worshipping and serving their idols. Israel lost her political might. Finally, the nation was so apostate she ignored her Messiah (Jesus Christ) when He arrived, and then crucified Him in unbelief! She has now set herself up for the Antichrist, who will come and deceive her yet future. The great majority of her people will thus wind up in Hell and the Lake of Fire.

Sin divided angels, and it divided humans. It still disrupts creation’s relationship with its Creator. Wherever sin is found, wherever sin finds out the sinner, disaster is certain. Let us now focus on the current world situation, especially in the United States….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #8

Saturday, January 16, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

Noah’s descendants exited the Ark in Genesis chapter 9, but within a few centuries it was clear they had no intention of obeying God’s command to scatter (verse 1; cf. Genesis 1:26-28). Read chapter 11: “[1] And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. [2] And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. [3] And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. [4] And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

“[5] And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. [6] And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. [7] Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. [8] So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. [9] Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

They united around pagan idolatry, so God invented human languages to force them to disperse. Once more, man’s sin found him out and fractured him in twain….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What exactly is the ‘Fall’ of man?

A Lost Generation! #2

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

What this “lost” generation needs is to be found!

Acts chapter 14: “[15] And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities [idols] unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: [16] Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

Chapter 17: “[27] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: [28] For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. [29] Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. [30] And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: [31] Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

At the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11), the Creator gave the nations over to their preference—pagan idols. Romans chapter 1: “[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Such is the world even now, far from God’s original intention….

Without Honour #8

Wednesday, March 25, 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?

Romans 1:18-32 explains how the world declined in its morals and ethics to result in the worldwide problems we see today. All people once had opportunity to be the LORD God’s instruments in the Earth, but they willfully refused His revelation. Therefore, human civilization deteriorated in the centuries following Adam’s creation. In Genesis chapters 6–8, God finally sent the Great Deluge of Noah’s day to cleanse the world of evil (violence, murder). During chapters 9–11, the nations gather around the Tower of Babel. Such paganism summarizes man’s attitude during his first 2,000 years. The Creator God gave the nations over to their preferred spiritual darkness!

In chapter 12, the LORD God sets aside one man to begin a new nation—Abraham, the father of Israel. Through Abraham and his descendants, God will reach the entire world. Romans 3:1,2: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [Word, revelation] of God.” God gave Israel His Word, so Israel can teach it to the Gentiles. “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).

Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel had that Word of God for 16 centuries, but she did not appreciate it. By the time her Messiah arrived, fulfilling that Word, she dishonoured Him too….

My Father’s Business #17

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

The Bible’s introductory verse proclaims: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Creation is divided into two realms—Heaven and Earth. Accordingly, God’s work within creation can be viewed as occurring in Heaven or occurring on Earth. From verse 2 onward, the Scriptures focus on His purpose and plan for Earth. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Job, and so on, all understood their Heavenly “Father’s business” concerned Earth.

In Genesis 1:26-28, we see the first man, Adam, commissioned to fill up Earth for God’s glory. Adam, of course, sinned and handed Earth’s governments over to Satan (cf. Matthew 4:8-10). The LORD introduced the Great Flood, cleansing Earth and restarting the human race with Noah and his family (Genesis chapters 6–8). Instead of remaining spiritually pure, mankind followed Satan nationally: the nations engaged in pagan idolatry at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapters 9–11). God thus gave the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and began to form the nation Israel with Abraham. Israel, taking Adam’s place, became God’s earthly people.

Genesis chapter 12 opens: “[1] 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: [2] 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: [3] 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.” After forming the nation Israel, God would give Israel His words and they would take them to the Gentiles. Here is Israel’s—here is God’s—earthly kingdom.

Matthew 25:34 summarizes, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:….” Christ’s earthly kingdom would have been inaugurated back in Adam’s day, but Adam sinned. Unfortunately, Israel sinned as well, resulting in God’s change in program yet again….

Children of Light #5

Thursday, August 29, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Most Jews rejected the Lord Jesus: they were uninterested in being “the children of light.” Since they refused to believe on Him, God intervened and made them unable to believe on Him. The light of Christ’s earthly ministry was gradually withdrawn, and Israel was plunged into greater spiritual darkness (see verses 37-41, what follows today’s Scripture). Just a few days later, they demanded He be crucified as a common criminal, and He died on Calvary’s cross (see Acts 3:13-18). He resurrected victoriously and ascended back to Heaven still spurned!

Leaving Christ’s earthly ministry and entering early Acts, God lifts the blindness from Israel. Christ commissions the 12 Apostles to preach and convert Israel to Him. Even during this renewed opportunity of repentance—God wanting them to change their mind concerning His Son, moving them from unbelief to faith—Israel persisted in doubt and disobedience. By Acts chapter 7, Israel falls before God, and He sets them aside (exactly how He treated the nations back at the Tower of Babel over 20 centuries earlier in Genesis chapter 11).

In chapter 9 of Acts, Christ reached down in grace and peace to save His chief enemy, Saul of Tarsus. Many years later, Saul recounts in chapter 26: “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

God will reach the whole (darkened) world—even fallen Israel—through a new Gospel message. He still purposes to create “children of light….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How is the Holy Spirit ‘the Comforter?’

Children of Light #4

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Romans chapter 2 remarks: “[17] Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, [18] And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; [19] And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, [20] An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.” Israel had been given spiritual light in the form of God’s Word (chiefly, the Mosaic Law), but, like the nations earlier, they chose to walk in Satan’s darkness instead.

Christ conducted His earthly ministry to recover them from that darkness. Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, spoke of Israel’s coming Messiah: “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78,79). Once Israel would, by faith, participate in God’s “light” program, He would shine in and through them and reach the pagan Gentiles worldwide.

Christ spoke to this end in Matthew chapter 5: “[14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid…. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Yet, they declined. They preferred to be like the unenlightened Gentiles….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain, ‘They be blind leaders of the blind?’