God is Love

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“…God is love… God is love… We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:8b,16b,19 KJV).

The word “love” is used very flippantly in today’s world. Of the many who speak about “love,” few know what it is. On this Valentine’s Day, we offer sound doctrine from God’s Word to correct the misunderstandings of what love really is. What is love, according to God’s Word?

Today’s Scripture says that “God is love”—God does not simply love, but His very nature is love. What does that mean? In 1 John 3:16, we read: “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” Our Apostle Paul put it this way: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s nature is love—selfless, self-sacrificing!

God’s Word defines love and charity in 2 Corinthians 12:15: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Love is seeking the best interest of others, even if it costs you something (time, energy, resources, et cetera). Charity is love in deed (demonstrated, manifested in action). God loved us, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. It cost God the Father His Son, and it cost God the Son His life. What a selfless act!

Our nature in Adam is selfish, but our nature in Christ is not. Paul declares, “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). We who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, our Christian lives are driven and motivated by Christ’s love for us, not our love for Him. It is this unselfish love of Christ working in us that causes us to look on the things of others, to seek their edification and their benefit, not ours (Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:1-11). This will result in charity, our selfless actions reflecting that love of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:15).

As the lost world observes our Christian service, they will see, “God is love.”

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

The Mischievous Minister of Music #13

Thursday, February 8, 2018

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created (Ezekiel 28:13 KJV).

Who is this musician, and how did he destroy his ministry?

Dear friends, Satan knows music far more than we ever will. Yea, his superior intellect and expertise in musicology for thousands of years, afford him skill in operating in that unseen (!) realm to advance his cause. Satan’s policy of evil is summarized in Romans 1:25: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” What better way to worship and serve Satan than to fall into his trap of music designed to satisfy the lust of our flesh?

How do we guard against using music to glorify Satan instead of the God of the Bible? Primarily, we must, must, must know sound Bible doctrine. My, what rank spiritual ignorance there is in the tens of thousands of “Christian” churches worldwide! No wonder deception and immaturity abound. Religious tradition is deficient; the Word of God not rightly divided is dangerous. We must, must, must understand the Bible dispensationally delivered. No prayer in the world can save us from false teaching if we refuse to use the Bible God’s way.

Moreover, we must look beyond the type of music that is nothing more than a way to “feel good.” Contemporary “Christian” songs are often so shallow in doctrine; their rhythms induce physical movement, do they not? In the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, however, we are encouraged to seek spiritual edification. Entertainment will profit us absolutely nothing in eternity. Let the Word of Christ rightly divided dwell in you richly, and then you will sing songs to the Lord to express gratitude (Colossians 3:16; cf. Ephesians 5:15-20). Jesus Christ will indeed be honored.

Dear friends, one final thought. If we let that mischievous minister of music into our assembly, he will surely destroy our ministry too!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who will be Israel’s King in the Millennium—Jesus Christ or David?

The Mischievous Minister of Music #12

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created (Ezekiel 28:13 KJV).

Who is this musician, and how did he destroy his ministry?

Satan, the narcissistic creature that he is, will not eagerly surrender his mischievous ministry of music. What Lucifer was designed to utilize to glorify his Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, he perverted to praise himself and all those other angelic beings that rebelled against God. Once he transformed into Satan, he brought that evil music ministry down to man. Whether man in the centuries preceding the Flood, or the nation Israel after her deliverance from Egypt, or the Jews after David’s demise, or Israel in Babylonian captivity, Satan tirelessly peddled his vain musical “arrangements.” Under no circumstances would he let music praise the Creator God. Even today, he subtly uses music to draw attention from the Creator to himself. The future will be no different.

The Bible’s final reference to music is Revelation 18:22: “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee;….” After our dispensation, New Babylon, the Antichrist’s political-religious system, will play music for the Devil. Thankfully, it will be utterly destroyed at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Satan will never again be allowed to undertake his mischievous music ministry on the Earth! God’s praises thereafter will be heard and His Son will be glorified like this universe has never seen. The “New Song” Psalms are sung by all of God’s elect (people and angels) as their Heavenly Father inaugurates Jesus Christ as King over all the Earth (see Psalms 93–100). What a day that will be!

Until then, dear brethren, we had better (!!) not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (schemes). Those plans are very ingenious, hiding under the guise of “religious music.” We must guard our Christian lives from music that fails to express and reinforce God’s Word rightly divided. Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Reigning or Roasting?

Friday, January 26, 2018

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 KJV).

Someone stated most appropriately, “We can spend eternity reigning or roasting.” Friend, which do you choose?

According to Father God’s twofold purpose in creation—heaven and earth—He has one agency He will use in each realm. He intends to unite all governments under His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10; Colossians 1:16-20). The nation Israel will reign on earth and thereby glorify Jesus Christ forever. Notice Psalm 37:11: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Christ quoted this in Matthew 5:5, referring to His kingdom). Also, Job 19:25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:….” Finally, Revelation 5:10: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

The Church the Body of Christ, God’s agency today, will reign in the heavenly places and thereby glorify Jesus Christ forever. Ephesians 2:6,7: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” And, 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Also, Philippians 3:20: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:….” Finally, 2 Timothy 4:18: “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

The eternal fate of those who die without Jesus Christ is described quite vividly in Revelation 20:14,15: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” We had better trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now, to reign later rather than roast!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Pharaoh drown in the Red Sea?

Perverse to Be Reversed

Thursday, January 25, 2018

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Psalm 45:6,7 KJV).

Man has free reign on Earth today—doing pretty much what he desires—but that is only temporary.

Some erroneously believe that mankind is capable of reforming itself. No matter how debauched society gets, we can supposedly rehabilitate it. We just have to keep praying, passing legislation, fining and imprisoning evildoers, having our “peace” discussions, devising solutions, and so on. Some have actually gone so far as to say that if we all get finally along here, having minimized or eliminated society’s dilemmas, Jesus Christ will not be able to resist coming back!! It is assumed that we can reform ourselves and thereby entice Him to return and reign over us. While it sounds quite nice, it is wishful thinking. (Has it ever worked?!)

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns—and yes, despite what most may say, He is coming back (!)—it will not be because everything has been set right. No, dear friends, He is returning to set things right. Hebrews 1:8-9 says that today’s Scripture is actually a prophecy of Jesus Christ’s Millennial Reign. That means that Psalm 45 is really a Kingdom Psalm, what will happen on Earth at the Second Coming onward. Jesus Christ has an inheritance: He will come and do on Earth what man should have done back in the Garden of Eden but failed (Genesis chapter 3). Adam and Eve were to be God’s king and queen on Earth, ruling and reigning for His glory (Genesis 1:26-28); alas, they sided with Satan, the opposition. Jesus Christ will return to reclaim that crown as His own!

In that day, all of man’s wayward institutions will be abolished: his perverted standards will be replaced with the original (righteous) standards God implemented at creation. Father God Himself will inaugurate His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as King over all creation. The universe has never seen anything like it… since man is far too weak to accomplish it by himself. Hasten the day, Lord, hasten the day when the perverse is reversed! 🙂

The Misunderstood Messiah #3

Thursday, December 28, 2017

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

The Pharisees are personally attacking the reputation of Jesus Christ, attempting to humiliate Him by saying, “We be not born of fornication.” After denigrating His virgin conception (that is, His deity), they exalt themselves by declaring, “We have one Father, even God.” What irony!

Notice Jesus’ response: “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (verse 42). Had these Pharisees really known God on an intimate level, they would have understood His Word (that is, their Old Testament Scriptures) prophesied the coming of the Man they were now ridiculing. Had these religionists believed the prophecy that God had sent His only begotten Son, they would not have insinuated that Jesus was “born of fornication.” They would have known what He meant by the words, “I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”

Alas, God’s Word was “foolishness” to their dead souls (1 Corinthians 2:14). Jesus explained why they misunderstood Him: “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:43,47). They could hear the sound of Jesus’ voice, but could they hear with comprehension? Nay, they were spiritually dead, not of God like they claimed. Thus, Jesus told them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (verse 44).

The Pharisees were spreading lies about Jesus Christ because they were lost. Lost mankind has not changed one bit….

The Misunderstood Messiah #2

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Like the Bible scoffers of today, those during Christ’s earthly ministry rejected the notion of the virgin conception of a human (His own conception).

“Then Joseph her husband, being a just [righteous, fair] man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily” (Matthew 1:19). Joseph, still wondering what happened to Mary, decides to divorce her in secret to spare her from becoming a public spectacle. Suddenly, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and informs him that the Holy Ghost has generated the Christ child in Mary (verse 20).

Imagine the humiliating rumors that circulated: “Mary was a pregnant virgin before she consummated her marriage to Joseph.” The story just did not make sense to most. Evidently, the general Israeli public, unwilling to believe God’s fulfilled Word, believed Mary was unfaithful to Joseph. That gossip lingered for over three decades, which is why the Pharisees said to Jesus what they did in today’s Scripture: “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” In other words, they called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, an illegitimate child, and they claimed they were God’s children! (You can sense the vicious attitude these self-righteous religionists had toward our Lord Jesus, another attempt to intimidate Him into silence, seeing as to they are all in the Temple and a crowd of people is listening to this entire conversation.)

At this point, we need to remember that Satan is actively working in and through these Pharisees. Jesus Christ’s deity is being questioned and His credibility is being attacked, which causes those in the Temple to doubt God’s Word (thereby leaving room for Satan’s error to creep in). Our Lord is aware of this, but He does not waver in His Father’s Word. Let us see how He wisely responds to this insult….