God’s Hidden Face #10

Thursday, July 14, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Regarding the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:2 relays: “And [Jesus Christ] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” This previews His return to reign in the Earth (chapter 16, verses 27 and 28). At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel literally sees the very face of God the Son illuminating Earth’s atmosphere! Malachi 4:2 likens it to a sunrise. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul speaks of “the brightness of [Christ’s] coming.” Satan’s nighttime reign in creation is forever over!

The Apostle John describes the New Heaven and New Earth in this fashion: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3,4). Look at the communion the saints will have with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the ages to come (cf. Isaiah 33:17,22; Matthew 5:8)!

Concerning what God is doing today—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—2 Corinthians 4:3-6 states: “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. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Through His finished crosswork, we who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour have unrestricted, permanent fellowship with Almighty God. It is high time we start learning the program the Lord is working now, and stop claiming Bible verses (such as today’s Scripture) that have no relation to us! 🙂

God’s Hidden Face #9

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

When King David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit moved him to pen the psalm recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36. David thanks the LORD for His goodness, exhorting his Jewish brethren: “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually (verse 11). “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore (Psalm 105:4).

Unfortunately, the Jewish people grew more apostate (fallen from the truth) once David died. Since they did not “seek [God’s] face” (wishing intimate fellowship or communion with Him), He hid it from them (see today’s Scripture). Intensifying phases of Divine wrath meant He had left them because they had first left Him for idols. The Prophet Daniel, a member of believing Israel, prays for destroyed Jerusalem by confessing their national sins: “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake” (Daniel 9:17).

Israel’s believing remnant speaks in Isaiah 8:17: “And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.” These Jewish saints expect their nation to one day be restored to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. According to the context (see verses 8,14,18; also, chapter 9, verses 1,2,6,7; also, chapter 7, verse 14; cf. Matthew 1:23-25, Matthew 4:12-17, 1 Peter 2:5-8, and Hebrews 2:9,13), Messiah or Christ Jesus is coming to deliver. Two visits are in view—one arrival to die on Calvary (Christ’s earthly ministry), the other coming to reign from David’s throne (Second Coming)—but the Old Testament saints had limited understanding here and could not distinguish two visits of Messiah like we can with a completed Bible (1 Peter 1:10,11). Looking into the ages to come, Israel awaits her approaching King: “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah” (Psalm 67:1).

Even now, we see the face of the Lord Jesus Christ….

God’s Hidden Face #8

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Today’s Scripture is really a national—rather than a personal—issue. An entire group has offended the LORD God: the nation Israel is guilty! Remember, several centuries before Isaiah, the Jews at Mount Sinai entered a covenant relationship with JEHOVAH God. Disregarding His earlier promise to make them His people in the Earth (grace; see Genesis 12:1-3), they wished to make themselves His people in the Earth (law; see Exodus 19:3-8). They demanded to have a system of rules and regulations, so this is precisely what He gave them to prove their performance would never qualify them to be His nation. Either He would have to work on their behalf to make them righteous (they would learn their need for a Saviour), or they would always receive curses because of their failures (sins) to live up to His perfect standards. See Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapters 27–28, the punishments that would signify God’s displeasure with them. The final judgment was their removal from the Promised Land via invading Gentile world-powers.

Concerning today’s Scripture, Israel has incurred yet another penalty because of falling short of the Law’s righteous standards. Again, they are under a performance-based acceptance system—and, like all sinners, they have failed miserably! Let us now reflect on Ezekiel chapter 39: “[23] And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. [24] According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.”

Thankfully, verse 29 offers a glimpse a hope:Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” God’s face will be seen again….

God’s Hidden Face #7

Monday, July 11, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

According to chapter 1, verse 1, the Prophet Isaiah’s Book concerns “Judah and Jerusalem.” Let us locate some helpful passages found in the immediate context of today’s Scripture. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins…. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah 58:1,14). “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 59:20). Consequently, when we see “sins” in today’s Scripture, we know they are Israel’s wicked deeds.

The first 15 verses of Isaiah chapter 59—including today’s Scripture—delineate just why the LORD God is displeased with the nation Israel. Violence, murder, lies, error, injustice, and unrighteousness are destroying their society! Verses 12 and 13: “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee [God], and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” Furthermore, chapters 40–48 are one gigantic section wherein the God of Israel voices His disapproval of their habitual idolatry!

Contemporary with Isaiah’s ministry, godly King Hezekiah counseled his Jewish people to reform: For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him(2 Chronicles 30:9). Having disobeyed the Law of Moses by forsaking the LORD for idols, the curses or punishments of the Law have fallen….

God’s Hidden Face #6

Sunday, July 10, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Dear friend, when considering any passage of Scripture, we should always (!) pose three simple questions to establish three critical facts. Firstly, who is the man the Holy Spirit has employed as the writer/speaker? This is usually found in the opening verse of the particular Book. Secondly, to whom is that Book written? Again, the answer can often be located in the initial verses of the Book. Lastly, what has been written? Alas, most Bible readers skip to that third question. By doing so, they isolate verses from contexts. Unless we notice the limited scope of the verse, God’s Word becomes meaningless and vexing to the soul that had hoped to gain spiritual light and understanding.

Recall Jesus’ temptations in Matthew 4:5-7 and Luke 4:9-12. Carefully read Satan’s “quotation” of the Hebrew Bible. “…[F]or it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Matthew 4:6). “For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Luke 4:10,11). Now, here is what was actually written in Psalm 91:11,12: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Notwithstanding Satan’s additions and omissions, his “bible” application was shoddy to say the least. To the Devil, Psalm 91 (or any other Scripture, for that matter) could be “named and claimed” and haphazardly used in any and every situation. In fact, he wrongly assumed Jesus was the audience of Psalm 91. To paraphrase, “Jesus, jump from the Temple roof because the Bible says God’s angels will protect You!”This sloppiness characterizes most modern “Bible study” too….

God’s Hidden Face #5

Saturday, July 9, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

There is no way around it, dear friends: today’s Scripture says just what it means, and it means just what it says. God is hiding His face from sinners because they are out of fellowship with Him. They call to Him, but He pays no attention to them! Other Bible verses convey that same idea. For example, Micah 3:4: “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.” Just who are these people anyway? What could they have possibly done to receive such stern treatment from God? Why would the LORD resort to this severity when dealing with them?

Doubtless, billions of unfortunate souls struggle with that ever-vexing problem of “unanswered prayer.” (Dear friends, you do know all about that, right?!) They have repeatedly begged the Lord for this or that, but Heaven has been silent for weeks, months, years, or even decades. Was there ever a God there to care and listen to their prayers? To their disappointment, their churches, pastors, and “spiritual counselors” have no meaningful solutions for them. In fact, how many of these poor people begin wondering if they are the doomed individuals of today’s Scripture? Victims of Satan’s evil world system, Bible (!) verses (!) are serving as weapons against them!!! These countless souls consider themselves hopelessly trapped in that predicament. Eventually, due to escalating bitterness, their spiritual life (if they ever had one) collapses, they become more disgusted with and even oppose the notion of God, they drift away from the Scriptures until they outright detest them, they cease church attendance, and they finally transfer into world religions, agnosticism, or atheism. (Thank you, denominationalism!)

If we and those we love are to be spared the aforementioned disastrous outcomes, we had better—and quickly—find some answers so we can solve this enigma of God’s hidden face….

God’s Hidden Face #4

Friday, July 8, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

I spent 13 years in public (government-run) schools. For the next nine years, I attended a public university to earn two advanced degrees in Earth science. By the time of my 27th birthday, graduating college for the last time on that very day, the world’s classrooms had educated me for 22 full years. During those two decades, enormous amounts of secular propaganda and humanistic indoctrination were drilled into me. Yet, only by the Lord’s grace, my soul was filled with enough sound Bible doctrine to ward off the error and protect my Christian life. Honestly, it was easier for me to mark the lies told in the science classrooms and science textbooks than it was to identify the false doctrine my family and I were learning during that same period at local “Christian” (!) churches.

People have quite a warped understanding of the God of the Bible—particularly church members. Why? They have heard priests, preachers, teachers, and professors speak about the Bible, but did anyone (speaker or listener) actually read the Scriptures alone and personally? Unfortunately, no. What they really heard was notes the preacher picked up from a commentary writer or denominational handout, or an outline of theological principles a priest learned from a volume a church father penned many centuries ago, or a chopped-up Bible the seminary professor created using the rules of textual criticism he learned from his teachers. If anyone in this chain lacks the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry, the entire system is doomed and the resultant doctrine useless. Bible critics and haters, having assumed or presumed the Scriptures to teach something they do not, or having heard verses ripped from contexts but never researching for themselves, then take their distorted views to found lifelong anti-Christian and anti-Bible crusades. They are angry at religion—and all its confusion, hypocrisy, and silliness!

If we do not use God’s Word God’s way, today’s Scripture and other verses like it will indeed destroy us….

God’s Hidden Face #3

Thursday, July 7, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

If someone ordered us to throw away the Holy Scriptures because they were “unnecessary,” we would definitely know that person is untruthful and disregard such “advice.” Yet, Satan’s deception is much more complicated than simply “do not use Bible verses.” It is an alarming fact, but more damnable lies have been told among those who use the Bible, quote the Bible, and say they “love the Bible.” Although there are good Bible teachers and preachers, far too many people use the Scriptures to teach error than truth. Whether purposely or unintentionally, they promote falsehoods the public generally accepts as literal “Gospel truth.”

Picture a young man who really wants to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. A sincere, Christian female family member gives him a “Christian bestseller” book that a celebrity preacher wrote. This young man carefully read and believed the preacher’s words. One day, the young man dealt with that same Christian relative who was now suffering major health problems. His “suggestion” to her was what he had learned from the “Christian bestseller” she bought him: God was hiding His face from her because of some sin she had committed, and now there was no deliverance (see today’s Scripture)! Understandably, that news made the poor lady feel even worse—more overwhelmed, more hopeless, more depressed!!

Unfortunately, dear friends, the above account is true. That young man was I! All those years ago, I was a novice in Scripture and still in my denominational mindset. Not only had Satan’s errors reached me through a Christian lady who inadvertently gave me a “Christian” pastor’s false teaching (who was using Bible verses!!), his wicked lies got to her through me when I unintentionally relayed the bad information to her in counselling (and I was using Bible verses too)! Some 20 years later, that pastor’s “bestseller” has misled several hundreds of millions of unsuspecting “Christian” church members. Verily, verily, the Scriptures can be (have been) used to teach doctrines of devils….

God’s Hidden Face #2

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

When describing Satan, the Holy Spirit uses terms such as “subtil [sneaky, crafty, underhanded]” (Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3), “wiles [tricks, schemes, subterfuges]” (Ephesians 6:11), and “devices [plans, ingenuities, creative policies]” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Obviously, the Devil’s strength lies in his intelligence—mental prowess exceeded only by Almighty God’s infinitesimal wisdom. Lucifer/Satan was described as follows: “…Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12).

If we are to truly plumb the depths of Satan’s skill, to see his most stunning works, we must look far beyond drunkenness, pornography, war, euthanasia, homosexuality, and all the other sins of the flesh that are quite easy to mark as wicked. No one using any common sense would ever confuse these activities with “God’s will.” If Satan were the wise creature the Bible presents him to be, and he is, he would use disguises. Remember, in Matthew chapter 4 and Luke chapter 4, the Devil actually encouraged Jesus to obey Psalm 91. Avoiding the general public’s infantile view of Satan, we look at churches—yes, especially alleged “Christian” churches—to see his greatest evils.

Lest we think this is an exaggeration, consider 2 Corinthians chapter 11: “[3] But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [4] For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him…. [13] For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. [15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Indeed, Satan has “false apostles, ministers of righteousness,” those who resemble genuine spokesmen for God….

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God’s Hidden Face #1

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Dear friend, if you possess even a basic understanding of the Scriptures, you are somewhat familiar with the chief evil spirit known as Satan or the Devil. Multimillions fear him and flippantly blame him for all sorts of problems. According to them, “the Devil’s work” is confined to the nightclubs, casinos, “red-light districts,” prisons, abortion clinics, and other places of ill repute. Now, let us pose a piercing question to them. Could Satan actually work through a church, a minister, a Bible verse to accomplish his will? Have they ever considered these possibilities? The mature Bible student can survey the situation and come to one dismal conclusion: Satan, God’s archenemy, is frequently misunderstood, even among professing Christians. Therefore, his highly exceptional works are usually unnoticed or misidentified.

If we are Bible believers, let us believe the Bible’s description of Satan. “Then the devil taketh him [Jesus Christ] up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (Matthew 4:5,6). “And he [Satan] brought him [Jesus Christ] to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone(Luke 4:9-11).

Dear friend, Satan knows the Bible and even boldly quoted Psalm 91 to God’s Son! Consequently, we should never hastily conclude someone who cites the Bible or encourages us to use it is necessarily of God. Indeed, Satan does not mind at all if we quote the Scriptures….