The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Ironically, God’s wisdom ordained the birthplace of the Prince of Peace to be the contentious Middle East….

Almost from the very beginning of time, the Middle East has been a battleground, the chief war zone of good and evil. Originally the peaceful home of Adam and Eve, today it is the most contentious region on the globe. Because of Adam’s sin, what was a paradise is now known as the area where man joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Adam and Eve utterly failed to reign over the earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Instead they united with the opposition, and were banished from God’s presence and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23,24).

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Verse 14 says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come.” God would send another Man, Jesus Christ, and He would accomplish what Adam failed to do: glorify God on the earth by dispossessing it from Satan, and reigning in righteousness. This is the “government” spoken of in today’s Scripture.

“For if by one man’s [Adam’s] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (verse 17). Adam plunged the human race into sin and made it God’s enemy; Jesus Christ offers mankind eternal life, forgiveness of sins and a reconciled relationship with God! This was God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ.

As our world desperately continues to seek peace, let us remember there will be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns to His nation, Israel, and rids our planet of Satan and his policy of evil (the root of the Middle Eastern turmoil). At Christ’s Second Coming, there will be peace on earth (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

Our Neutralizer and Justifier

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1,2 KJV).

Get rid of your rotten stench in Adam by trusting the sweet fragrance in Christ!

Once, a dear lady was trying to correct her extreme hoarding behaviors. Before professional cleaners and organizers improved her home, she took them on a tour of her exceedingly cluttered house. It was appalling to say the least! A major problem was she lacked functional bathroom plumbing. Her toilet could not flush human waste unless she manually poured water into the bowl. To their horror, they saw backed-up and decaying waste on her bathroom floor. Workers complained of the horrific smell as she demonstrated her toilet’s “improvised” flushing. She quickly defended herself, “I had a deodorizer in here somewhere!” She was hoping to mask the overwhelming odor of untreated sewage using a tiny deodorizer! While watching this program, I thought, this is exactly what people do with religion.

Sin has a very putrid smell. It greatly reeks in God’s sight. What people try to do in religion is manage the smell of their sin by masking it with “religious goodness.” But, they are merely deodorizing. They do not need to mask the smell. Yea, they cannot mask the smell—it is too great! They need to neutralize—obliterate—the smell entirely! They need a neutralizer and then a deodorizer. But, it is beyond their control. Try as they might, they cannot help themselves get rid of the stench. That is why Jesus Christ came to do it all for them!

As today’s Scripture says, Jesus Christ is both our neutralizer and our deodorizer. He forgives us by way of His shed blood (neutralizing, clearing the debt) and then He gives us His righteousness (deodorizing, justifying). In Jesus Christ, we share His fragrance. “Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)—stinky works that our efforts produced. As “religious” Saul of Tarsus learned, his “good works” were “but dung (Philippians 3:8)… smelly waste product, untreated sewage!

Oh, but what a lovely smell we have in Jesus Christ! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #1

Saturday, August 8, 2015

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting (1 Timothy 1:15,16 KJV).

What can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God’s wrath that was about to fall on Jesus-rejecting Israel in Acts chapter 7 never came. For 2,000 years now, that prophecy has been delayed. Today, sinful mankind continues to rub God’s nose in his sin. They marry whomever they want, worship whatever they want, steal whatever they want, kill whomever they want, oppress whomever they want, say whatever they want, and do whatever else they want. They replace Jesus Christ’s crosswork with their (meager) “righteous deeds.” Haughtily, they ask, “Just what are You going to do about it, God? Not saying or doing anything about what I am doing? You must not exist, then!”

Paul plainly declared in today’s Scripture what happened to the wrath that was literally moments away in early Acts. As Saul of Tarsus, Israel’s leader in arresting, torturing, and executing Messianic Jews, he was the primary character in God’s crosshairs. God’s wrath could have literally crushed Saul of Tarsus! He was “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious” but he “obtained mercy,” because he “did it ignorantly in unbelief” (verse 13). Saul instead experienced “the GRACE of our Lord [that] was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (verse 14).

Saul’s worthless ministry was finished, permanently suspended. Now, he would be the first member of the Body of Christ. Saul would be the prime specimen of God’s longsuffering. Why has God’s wrath not yet fallen on this evil world? Look at Paul the pattern! The program that allowed Paul to escape God’s wrath is now operating today, that others may also escape that impending wrath. Oh, friend, may you not delay another second. Come by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood, His death, His burial, and His resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins. Follow Paul your pattern!

Faithful Father Forecasts Furious Fire

Thursday, July 2, 2015

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure (Psalm 2:4,5 KJV).

Frankly, faithful Father forecasts furious fire!

Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Because the God of the Bible is so longsuffering, unsurprisingly, sinful mankind takes advantage.

The Apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:7-9: “[7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Simply put, the longer we delay in retaliating, our “threats of retribution” are dismissed as fake. When God promised wrath on wicked mankind, He did not immediately act. It takes a long time for God to get angry, but watch out when He does because His anger does not dissipate with the passing of time. Father God never breaks His Word—concerning both grace and wrath. That anger that He felt against the world 2,000 years ago is the anger He will have yet future. Peter’s words could have been fulfilled 20 centuries ago, when Jesus Christ could have come back and utterly destroyed His enemies in righteousness indignation.

Yet, today, that wrath is delayed—not because it was not real or because God was bluffing, but because God is longsuffering. The program that contained that wrath is momentarily delayed. Our Dispensation of Grace is operating, holding back the wrath! One day, today’s Scripture will be fulfilled. May we come now by faith alone in Calvary’s finished crosswork alone, that God not be displeased with us when He decides to pour out that long-prophesied (and long-delayed) wrath!

Laughing Lord Loathes Ludicrous Lifestyles

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision (Psalm 2:4 KJV).

Lo, laughing Lord loathes ludicrous lifestyles!

Reacting to the recent United States Supreme Court’s ruling on the national legalization of homosexual unions, a college student declared on national television: “I think everyone has the right to be happy. We were kind of raised with the mentality that you should do what makes you feel happy!”

Incredible, absolutely incredible! This 20-something woman voiced the fact that her parents taught her nothing moral or wise. They taught her to do whatever she wants to be happy! (While we are at it, let us throw in theft, lying, drunkenness, illegal drugs, polygamy, and murder!). What society anywhere could last five minutes if every citizen did “whatever made him or her happy?” Scary thought!

What happened to this young lady’s mind? Like most her age, it became a vacuum that sucked up anything and everything but the truth. She was not taught one thing from the Holy Bible and that void was filled with garbage thinking. If her worldview is valid, no one should be arrested or imprisoned for pedophilia, larceny, killing, raping, kidnapping, et cetera. After all, how dare we criticize, punish, and forbid people from exercising “their right to be happy!”

The context of today’s Scripture predicts how Rome and Israel would conspire against Father God and His Messiah Jesus Christ. “[1] Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Cf. Acts 4:25-28). They did not want Him ruling over them, so they (happily) murdered Him. The Bible says Father God laughs at such nonsense, that sinful, puny, and foolish men could believe they could do whatever made them “happy” and not reap consequences (divine judgment). Verses 4 and 5: “[4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why does Romans 3:30 read ‘by faith’ and ‘through faith?’

Thee and Two Gardens #2

Sunday, January 25, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Dear friends, we act according to our identity. If we are in Adam, we will act just like Adam did; our sin nature will dominate us and we will live in sin. In Adam, we have no freedom and no power not to sin. That was before we trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. Now, we are “new creature[s] in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)—we have a new identity in Christ.

If we “mind the things of the flesh,” we will act fleshly, but if we “mind the things of the Spirit,” we will act spiritual (Romans 8:1-15). We can think like lost people, and thus act like lost people, or we can think like Christians and thus act like Christians. To think like the Holy Spirit, we must have faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us.

As 2 Corinthians 5:14,15 says: “[14] For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: [15] And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Christian living is based on a thinking process. You have to “judge” (conclude, reckon as true, count it as reality) that your life should bring glory to the Person who died and rose again in order to give you that new life!

If we believe our identity in Christ to be reality, we will act just like Jesus Christ did: our new identity will bear fruit (righteousness) as our old identity produced fruit (sins). The “fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:9-11), the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23), will result. It is in the Garden of Calvary that we find fruit pleasing to God….

Instant Christians #13

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

How do we make “instant” Christians? As with anything instant (coffee, rice, photos, messaging, et cetera), some work is necessary! It takes a dedicated preacher or teacher to actually teach his people the Bible instead of giving them “Bible chats and pep talks” (Christendom’s failure). It takes studying the Bible instead of reading books about the Bible (another blunder). It takes reading the Bible instead of singing and dancing about the Bible (another failure).

We read in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 what the Holy Spirit would have us do once we are “instant” Christians, skilled in the Word of His Grace: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” We, as “instant” Christians, are to make “instant” Christians, people who are just as well-versed and well-grounded in the Bible rightly divided as we!

Lost people live contrary to God’s will for them, and saved people in denominational circles live contrary to what God gave them in Christ. Yet, they can be freed from such error. We are to teach the verses they need to believe to escape Satan’s trap: the lost should be saved from their sins and the denominational Christians saved from doctrinal error. They can then enjoy the grace, love, mercy, eternal life, hope, security, peace, joy, forgiveness, Bible clarity, and righteousness that God offers them in Jesus Christ!

Remember, our ministry is not to force God’s Word rightly divided on anyone. We share the verses in compassion, not in spite or strife, picking fights. We “teach” them, very patiently, gently, meekly. It is time-consuming, but it is ever so worth it, and we will never know the true value of “instant” Christians until we reach heaven….