The LORD is Exalted Far Above All gods #2

Saturday, January 7, 2012

“For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods” (Psalm 97:9 KJV).

The LORD is “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15). “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable… The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:3,8,9).

Our finite human minds struggle to grasp Someone as magnificent and exalted as JEHOVAH our Creator because He differs from what we judge as “normal.” JEHOVAH is transcendent, existing independently of everything. He is everlasting, having neither beginning nor end. The LORD is sinless and holy. We never see Him physically or hear Him audibly. He exists outside of our universe.

Someone whose thoughts astronomically surpass our mental capabilities, whose ways (manners, behavior) are far grander and more complex than our simple activities (Isaiah 55:8,9). A Being who could devise a magnificent plan that would extend into the eons of eternity future, who could speak forth quadrillions of bodies into existence and then arrange them to form intricate systems (Hebrews 11:3), and finally set them into motion for His glory to accomplish that plan (Psalm 19:1)! How can He relate to us scrawny mortals?

Amazingly, JEHOVAH left that glory behind to become one of us! He “humbled Himself” and became “a Man of no reputation” (Philippians 2:5-11). Why? To die and shed His innocent blood for us to receive forgiveness of our sins. Wow… no idol ever did that!

Among the world’s gods, JEHOVAH alone can save you because JEHOVAH alone died to save you! Will you trust in the shed blood and resurrection of JEHOVAH (Jesus Christ), thereby receiving eternal salvation? Please do.

“Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne… confounded be all they that serve graven images [manmade idols], that boast themselves of idols: worship him [JEHOVAH Jesus Christ], all ye gods” (Psalm 97:2,6). Hallelujah! Praise the LORD indeed—He will always be exalted far above all gods!

Hast Thou Chosen the Way of Truth? #1

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

“I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me” (Psalm 119:30 KJV).

When God created mankind, He sought not to make robots. God granted mankind free will—mankind could believe and obey God’s Word, or he could reject it in unbelief and “do his own thing.”

For instance, in the beginning, God gave mankind only two commandments:

  1. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
  2. “Of every tree of the garden [of Eden] thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17).

Adam and Eve obeyed commandment #1… sort of. They did procreate, but they did not “subdue the earth” because they utterly broke commandment #2. Instead of ruling earth for God’s glory, mankind willfully sided with Satan, and disobeyed God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, mankind lost its God-given dominion, and Satan—“the god of this world”—still rules earth today (Matthew 4:8,9; Luke 4:5-7; 2 Corinthians 4:4).

God strictly charged Adam, who then relayed those commandments to Eve. The Bible says Eve ate the forbidden fruit because she was “deceived;” Adam, however, was not deceived” (1 Timothy 2:12-15). When Satan confronted Eve in Genesis 3:1-5, Eve could have refused the devil’s enticement. She could have sought Adam’s help, but she preferred Satan’s lies, and ate the forbidden fruit. Adam, who knew better but willfully rejected “the way of truth,” he gave in and ate to please his wife (Genesis 3:6)!

God wants faithful servants, not mindless robots. Hast thou chosen “the way of truth,” as the psalmist in today’s Scripture declares he has done? Have you followed and believed God’s Word “rightly divided?” Or, like Adam and Eve, have you embraced “the way of error,” Satan’s lies?

Three Basic Grace Doctrines

Monday, January 2, 2012

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3,4 KJV).

Today’s Scripture identifies three basic grace doctrines:

  1. WE ARE DEAD WITH CHRIST: Romans 6:6 explains: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our old Adamic sin nature is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). Thus, according to today’s Scripture, we Christians are “dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.” We are “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have a new identity and we are a “new man” (Ephesians 2:15).
  2. WE ARE ALIVE WITH CHRIST: Nothing dead can serve God, so after God killed us, severing us from our identity in sinful Adam, God gave us life… His Son’s life! Thus, today’s Scripture says: Christ, who is our life.” Galatians 2:20 continues: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….” Philippians 1:21 affirms: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Our Christian life is not our life at all. Actually, it is Christ living His life in and through us! God left us, the Church the Body of Christ, on earth, so He could live His life in us… for the lost world to see. We are the body of Christ, who Himself is God incarnate; thus, since God is living His life through our mortal bodies, we Christians are also “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:15,16). The lost world only sees the invisible God by watching us, His visible servants. Wow!
  3. WE WILL APPEAR WITH CHRIST IN GLORY: Finally, today’s Scripture references “our appearing with Christ in glory,” or “our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). When our earthly ministry ends, and the Body of Christ is complete, the rapture will transition us to heaven’s glory, beginning our eternal ministry there!

They Were Wise Men

Friday, December 23, 2011

“…There came wise men from the east… And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1,11 KJV).

When we see the Nativity Scene, we observe three wise men assembled around Baby Jesus’ manger. Actually, the Bible never indicates how many wise men there were, and the Bible never says they visited Christ as a baby.

According to the Bible, an indeterminate number of wise men from the east (Gentiles) saw the star of Christ in the east, so they travel to Jerusalem, inquiring where to find Christ, the King of Jews (verses 1,2). King Herod and Jerusalem are troubled, and Herod summons Israel’s religious leaders to tell him where the Messiah will be born. They tell him, according to Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem of Judaea” (verses 3-6). Herod then sends the wise men to seek Jesus, hoping to find and destroy Him (lest He become king and end Herod’s reign).

The star leads the wise men to Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary live in a “house”notice this is not the manger scene. Also, take note that Jesus is not a baby here, but a “young child” (verses 9,11). In fact, he is as much as two years old (verse 16). By the way, according to Numbers 24:17, that star that the wise men saw signified the Messiah-King of Israel… they were wise in that they recognized and followed it!

Interestingly, the wise men worship Jesus and bring Him gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (today’s Scripture). Gold is for a King, frankincense is for a Priest, and myrrh is for a Prophet—Jesus is all three (Isaiah 9:6,7; Hebrews 5:6; Deuteronomy 18:15,18). Amazingly, Isaiah 60:6, written some 700 years beforehand, even prophesied Gentiles would bring God gifts of gold and frankincense. The Bible is an amazing Book!

Sadly, these Gentiles had more respect for Israel’s King than Israel. These wise men recognized fulfilled prophecy… they were wise men indeed!

Bethlehem Ephratah

Thursday, December 22, 2011

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 KJV).

Today’s Scripture, written about 700 B.C., prophesies the exact birthplace of Israel’s Messiah. Notice the Bible is very specific. “Bethlehem Ephratah specifies the Bethlehem in southern Israel (there was another Bethlehem, in Galilee, northern Israel). Bethlehem of Judaea, as today’s Scripture teaches, is “little among the thousands of Judah” (a little-known village).

The Bible tells us that Bethlehem Ephratah was the birthplace of King David (1 Samuel 16:1-18). John 7:42 reads: “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” Recall that Jesus Christ will inherit His father David’s throne, and that David is a type (preview/shadow) of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:31-33). Thus, they share Bethlehem Ephratah as their birthplace (cf. Luke 2:4).

“Bethlehem” is an interesting word. Jesus Christ likened Himself to the manna of the Old Testament. He claimed, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world…. I am that bread of life: I am the bread which came down from heaven…. I am that bread of life” (John 6:33,35,41,48). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1,5,6): “Bethlehem” is Hebrew for “house of bread.” Thus, the “Bread of Life,” Jesus Christ, was born in the “House of Bread,” Bethlehem. Fascinating!

Furthermore, Joseph (Jesus’ legal father) lived in Nazareth. When Roman emperor Caesar Augustus sent out a decree for taxing the people of the empire (conducting a census), Joseph had to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem of Judaea, taking pregnant Mary with him (Luke 2:1-5). Christ was born there in Bethlehem. Some 700 years beforehand, the Bible knew Joseph and Mary would not be in Nazareth for Christ’s birth, but in Bethlehem, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of today’s Scripture. Amazing!

These are evidences that the Bible is a supernatural Book—it is God’s Book.

When the Fulness of the Time Was Come – 333’s 200th

Saturday, December 17, 2011

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5 KJV).

In the beginning God set the first man, Adam, on earth to “subdue [control] it,” to “have dominion” over it and everything on it (Genesis 1:28). Alas, Adam sided with Satan, joining the rebellion against God. The human race, now marred by sin, was unable to fellowship with its holy Creator God.

Fortunately, God promised mankind’s Redeemer in Genesis 3:15: a Man who would do what Adam failed to do—rule earth for God’s glory. Adam was “the figure [preview/type] of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14c). About 4000 years after Adam, the “him that was to come” finally came—Jesus Christ. How human history was forever impacted when that Redeemer came!

Jesus Christ’s birth was not some haphazard event of nature. God the Father had preplanned the exact moment of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Recall that, unlike us, before His physical birth, Jesus Christ lived as a Spirit in heaven’s glory with His Father (John 1:1,2; cf. Micah 5:2).

When the appointed time came, at His Father’s behest, Jesus’ Spirit came to earth to indwell the body in the virgin Mary’s womb. For nine months, God Himself actually lived inside Mary’s womb! Being delivered, He lived a sinless life of 33 years, despised by His family (Israel) and the world. As one dear Christian brother explained, “That was the greatest life ever lived in a human body!”

No event in human history compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. As today’s Scripture teaches, the Lord Jesus became a small Baby… to become a grown man… to become Israel’s rejected Messiah… to ultimately die for us, the wretched Gentiles! God became a man, to “give Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

We are ever grateful that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son….”

Saints, we have reached a milestone – #200. WOW!

The Wisdom of Solomon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

“And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee;…” (2 Chronicles 1:11,12 KJV).

If there was one notable attribute of King Solomon, it was his wisdom. How did Solomon ever acquire this wisdom? Today’s Scripture says that God gave it to him! But why?

In verse 6, God was pleased with Solomon’s faith that motivated him to offer “a thousand burnt offerings” to God. So, the LORD asks Solomon what he desires (verse 7). Solomon asks not for wealth, riches, honor, his enemies’ lives, or for a long life. Instead, he asks for wisdom and knowledge so that he can guide God’s people, Israel (verses 8-10). What wise choices!

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and large of heart… And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men…” (1 Kings 4:29a,30,31a).

Solomon’s great, divinely-given wisdom is demonstrated in 1 Kings 3:16-28. Two harlots (prostitutes) are arguing over which of them is the mother of a baby. They come before wise King Solomon for a solution. Solomon tells the women he will divide the baby in half, and give each woman a piece. He thereby exposed the mother because she showed great emotion for the child (she would rather have the other woman keep her own child than have him killed).

Interestingly, the wisdom God gave to Solomon (a type/preview of Christ) is the same wisdom with which Christ Jesus will rule Israel forever once He establishes His earthly kingdom (at His Second Coming). When the Bible says in 1 Kings 3:28, “the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment,” it was not only speaking of King Solomon, but also of King Jesus Christ!