Thursday, July 15, 2021

He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111:9 KJV).

Long ago, when I was denominational and silly, I referred to pastors as “reverend.” It was ignorance, plain and simple, a church tradition that I—like billions of others—had never investigated. Then, a Christian brother showed me today’s Scripture. How enlightening! In all the King James Bible, “reverend” appeared once—an adjective for the LORD and not a man (or woman)!

Frankly, when we apply the title “reverend” to someone other than God, we are quite close to blasphemy—if not actually guilty of it. To say it in reference to a person means he or she inspires reverence: the individual awes us, and we have a godly fear toward him or her. This is certainly strange and nonsensical—but, not surprisingly, religion abounds with oddities and absurdities. How egos are stroked, how pride is gendered, when we cry out that flattering title, “Reverend!” (The inflated positions of “right reverend,” “very right reverend,” and “most reverend” are even more ridiculous.)

If we want to address someone in a church setting as “brother,” “sister,” “pastor,” “teacher,” “evangelist,” or “elder,” these are suitable titles. However, we should avoid using “father” in a religious sense, for this is wholly unacceptable (calling a priest “father” is a remnant of Baal/idol worship—Judges 17:10; Judges 18:19; Matthew 23:9). Apostles and prophets were necessary to form the foundation of the Body of Christ, but the completed revelation of the Scriptures has now taken their places (cf. Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 3:16,17). To use “apostle” or “prophet” to refer to someone alive today is to challenge the Bible’s authority.

Today’s Scripture delineates God’s goodness in fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant via the New Covenant. Israel, now redeemed, is enjoying Millennial Kingdom living. In accordance with His “holy” (set apart, sanctified) and “reverend” name (inspiring awe or fear), verse 10 closes the Psalm: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” In closing, remember Psalm 99:3: “Let them praise thy great and terrible [same Hebrew as “reverend” in today’s Scripture] name; for it is holy.”

Buried Servants, Not Buried Program

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel (Joshua 1:1,2 KJV).

Yea, “God buries His servants, but not His program.”

Moses was certainly dead: his soul has departed his body, and God Himself has buried the corpse (Deuteronomy 34:5,6). Yet, Israel will still enter the Promised Land—except under Joshua’s headship. Had it depended on Moses, it would have never happened. Moses is deceased… but God is living and in control!

While the God of the Bible uses men and women to accomplish mighty things, they are nevertheless bound to frail, temporary “houses of clay” (Job 4:19). He does not shield them from old age and ultimate physical death. Dying King David, another servant of Israel’s God, remarked, “I go the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:2).

These men were mighty testimonies of God’s power and grace, so why did He not spare them physical death? People ask today, “Why do the good die young and the evil live to old age?” Why does God let His servants die? He does not want them to be praised and worshipped. He is showing how it is His program, and He really does not need man’s cooperation. With or without man, God will achieve His goals in creation. He does not need us, but He does invite us to join Him! He wants to share His good pleasure with us, that it may become our good pleasure.

If we do join God’s side by faith, working with Him in His program, let us remember that it is still His program. We are not the issue. Hence, we will have a limited time on Earth to participate in His plan. Brethren, once we physically die and relocate to serve Him in the heavenly places, His purpose down here on Earth will continue (without us!!!!). It never depended on us anyway: it was here long before we were born and will remain long after we are gone. 🙂

Just Be Thankful!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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 (Romans 1:21 KJV).

Drop the attitude; show some gratitude!

Turn on your television, read a newspaper, scroll through social media sites, talk with others. Everyone is “offended” about something—even the silliest of matters. Unable to keep their mouths shut and their pens down, they bicker, “This is outrageous,” “That is offensive!” We naturally crave such garbage information too. Professionals, parading as “reporters” and “journalists,” are paid enormous sums of money to rile up the public. Attention-seekers eagerly jabber incessantly about something blown way out of proportion. We hear about “my feelings,” “my body,” “my rights”—it is me, me, me, ME, MEEEEE. (How we also love to wallow in self-pity, friends!)

How did society wind up in such a wretched predicament? Today’s Scripture in context: “[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [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.”

They first removed any thoughts about the Creator God. Never forget: when we refuse to think about God, when we reject His thoughts, He gives us over to our preferences (read to verse 32). That is how much the God the Bible loves free will. If you want empty thoughts and a foolish and darkened heart, have them (like most)!

Perhaps, though, just perhaps, you are not interested in being like everyone else. Great!!! Today’s Scripture says that God, not you, is God. Believe that. God is the most important Person in the universe—not you! Moreover, be thankful that He has given you life. Remember, He does not owe you anything! 🙂

Start in Romans #1

Monday, April 10, 2017

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Why should people new to the Bible begin in the Book of Romans? Today’s Scripture tells us.

Second Timothy chapter 3 contains the most well-known Bible verses: “[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

The Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “Every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” actually defines “given by inspiration of God.” God the Holy Spirit spoke words, and He wrote them down and preserved them for us in our language. In English, that is the King James Bible (or, “Authorized Version”). Other languages have their own version, but they do not concern us here.

Second Timothy 3:16 affirms three primary purposes of Scripture—“doctrine” (tell us what we should believe), “reproof” (show us what we are doing wrong), and “correction” (remedy our bad thinking). These three elements will “instruct [teach] us in righteousness.” They will show us how God wants us to live, “that [purpose or intent] the man of God may be perfect, [not sinless but] throughly furnished unto all good works” (verse 17). The Holy Bible alone teaches us everything God wants us to believe, and it equips us to do everything He wants us to accomplish. Authority is not in church councils, preachers, priests, popes, doctrinal statements, hunches, impressions, creeds, et cetera. The authority is in the written Word of God, the Holy Scriptures.

In light of God’s present-day dealings with mankind, there is a special way to use the Bible text. Failure to approach Holy Writ, God’s way, will cause us more damage than had we never read the Bible. Friends, we must remember today’s Scripture if we are to make sense of all Scripture….

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….

Behind the Scenes #6

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 KJV).

In the form of the Holy Bible, the Creator God has given us a “behind-the-scenes” look at creation! Will we humble ourselves to take a sneak-peak?

No greater Bible definition for “sin” exists than Isaiah 53:6ab: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” Jeremiah 44:16 supplements: “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.”

In the heart of every person is a sin nature, deceit and desperate wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9). This part of man rebels against the God of the Bible. Our sin nature causes us to live according to our own decisions. Sinners seek to be their own authority, their own god: in their minds, they are self-sufficient. They refuse to hear any counsel from the Creator God. They want no one to be accountable to, and they want no one to tell them what to do. Our sin nature is the origin of all the dastardly acts every human has committed. It is not God’s fault when sinners sin. May we never accuse God of wrongdoing when we choose to ignore His instructions!

How sad that a marvelous field of study such as science (the method whereby we benefit from medical research and technological advances) has been so manipulated that it is now used as a method to “turn every one to his own way.” We can simply invent an origin that does not involve a holy God (thus no accountability for our sins), take scientific data and force it to fit our imagination (thus replacing the Bible), and then call it “science” (“justifying” ourselves). When someone exposes the flaws in our reasoning, we just dismiss them as “religious bigots” and “superstitious Bible-toters.” No wonder in graduate school we scientists are urged to not falsify data (the implication is that, in science, the temptation is there to report only what we want!).

Still, if we just humble ourselves and believe the Bible record, we will have the “why” question answered for us….

Behind the Scenes #3

Saturday, March 14, 2015

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 KJV).

In the form of the Holy Bible, the Creator God has given us a “behind-the-scenes” look at creation! Will we humble ourselves to take a sneak-peak?

We read just prior to today’s Scripture: “[6] By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. [7] He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. [8] Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. [9] For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. [10] The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.”

These verses summarize certain events of the Creation account of Genesis chapter 1. God spoke the heaven and the earth into existence. “Let there be…” and there was! He brought forth the heaven, the heavens, and all their contents (stars, planets, nebulae, et cetera). He gathered the waters on the Earth, and He gathered waters above Earth. The Psalmist says that since He is a great and powerful God, we should “fear” (reverence) Him and “stand in awe of Him.” He has the power to do mighty works with the mere spoken word! This entire universe and all of its contents, He thought them up from nothing, and then He made them from nothing… taking only six literal days, without working up a sweat, too!

The “heathen” (nations, Gentiles) and the “people” (Israel) have their own agenda. As sinners, they do not want the Creator’s will accomplished in creation. They do not want Him to rule over them (cf. Psalm 2:1-3; fulfilled at the Cross according to Acts 4:25-28). The Creator God, the God of the Bible, is a wise, powerful Being. Oh, may we praise Him dear name! No matter what mortal men may say or do, no matter how many tantrums they pitch or arguments they pose, God’s will for creation shall surely be brought to pass….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do angels really watch us?

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #12

Thursday, February 20, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

Evolutionists very desperately attempt to bolster their theory. While not true of all Evolutionists, from personal experience (oral and written discussions with them, literature, debates, and so on), I know many exaggerate figures, ridicule us Bible-believing scientists as “not being true scientists,” promulgate artists’ imaginations as fact, and admit inconsistencies and unanswerable “mysteries” (even in their own theory). While Evolutionists claim to be “open-minded,” very few have ever been willing to meaningfully discuss Creation/Evolution matters with me.

Several questions thus arise. How can Evolutionists still believe their claims, even when they admit their theory is riddled with “speculation” and “mysteries?” How can they look at the design in nature and still deny God’s existence? Why do they reject the Bible? Frankly, it is better to believe evolutionary theory, than accept the Bible’s creation account. They hold to fallacies, lest they be forced to see their sinful state, their need to submit to their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe and trust what He did for them on Calvary’s cruel cross.

Scripture says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain [empty, worthless] in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:19-22).

Early man knew his Creator God, but when sin entered, mankind lost that connection with Him. When confronted with the proof of God’s existence, sinful man simply tunes God out. The result is a mind that has no desire to ever see God’s truth, and a heart that has no desire to ever believe it (today’s Scripture).

NOTE: For our readers’ sakes, we will temporarily suspend this devotionals arc. More advanced Creation/Evolution studies are coming at a later date, so stay tuned!

God’s Family #7

Friday, February 7, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

In the future, we, the Church the Body of Christ will accomplish God’s will for the heavenly places: “And [God] hath raised us up [ascended] 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” (verses 6,7). God already considers us Christians as though we were in heaven now!

Why are we Christians still on earth? Why did God not take us to heaven the moment we trusted Christ? Until this the Dispensation of Grace closes, a portion of the Body of Christ must remain on earth in order to evangelize, to teach the lost world the Gospel of God’s Grace, and then, after unbelievers are saved, to see them mature in sound Bible doctrine. When no one else wants to trust Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, the Body of Christ will be completed, and the Christians remaining on earth will be taken up into the air, to meet the Lord Jesus Christ and to reunite with their brothers and sisters in Christ (now resurrected bodily) (1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

When all members of the Church the Body of Christ are assembled in heaven, Ephesians 1:22,23 explains: “And [God] hath put all things [the governments of heaven] under his [Jesus Christ’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” All the offices of heaven’s government that Satan and his angels have polluted, will be purged (Revelation 12:7-12), and we will be installed in those positions of government (cf. Colossians 1:16-20)!

Via us, God will fill all of heaven with the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, and it will truly be a family enterprise, one that will literally transcend the endless ages to come!

NOTE: A companion (albeit, advanced) devotionals arc is “in the works,” and should be published soon! Stay tuned!

God’s Family #6

Thursday, February 6, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

The Bible’s first verse says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God needs a body of individuals to execute His will in both realms (originally, these agencies were angels and mankind, respectively). When Lucifer/Satan polluted heaven with sin, and when Adam joined Satan and corrupted earth with sin, God began His two-fold plan to restore heaven and earth to Himself. Most of the Scriptures discuss God creating the nation Israel to function as His earthly people, but what about His restoration of the heavenly places? God kept His plan for heaven secret until the Apostle Paul’s ministry (Ephesians 3:1-11).

God already had the nation Israel’s believing remnant as His people, but that was just part of His will. Why is God forming the Church the Body of Christ? God the Holy Spirit through Paul wrote in today’s Scripture and its context: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit(verses 19-22).

Now, God has revealed His secret will—heaven’s restoration (Ephesians 1:9,10). In Paul’s epistles alone, Romans through Philemon, we learn that God is currently creating a body that will fulfill His will in heaven (as Israel will fulfill His will in earth; note Matthew 6:10). God is forming the Body of Christ to be His dwelling-place, a body through which His life is to be lived now and forever (Ephesians 2:21,22)! Just as Jesus Christ will live His life in and through Israel on earth (Jeremiah 31:33,34; Matthew chapters 5-7; John 1:12; 2 Peter 1:3,4; et cetera), our grand reunion with our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven is just the beginning of God’s will for heaven….