Many Days

Friday, October 22, 2021

“Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days” (Deuteronomy 2:1 KJV).

Exactly how many days were these “many days?”

Friend, have you noticed how complicated life is? If only things were much simpler and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, there is no perfect school, workplace, marriage, or church. Financial difficulties mount. Poor decisions lead to illness. Arguments and disagreements strain friendships. Disobedient children cause endless fretting about their wellbeing. Problems! Problems! Problems! We can be absolutely certain that wherever people can be found, trouble can be found there too. Wherever we find sin, we find complications. Hardships are part of this fallen creation.

Preparing for his departure via physical death, aged Moses is reciting the nation Israel’s history in today’s Scripture. The Jews had left Egypt and were bound for the Promised Land: “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)” (Deuteronomy 1:2). Leaving Horeb/Sinai, and approaching God’s land from the south, they arrived in Kadeshbarnea and wished to send in 12 spies to scout the land for 40 days (verses 19-25). “It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us” (verse 25b). “Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God” (verse 26). Oh, what a terrible sin! “Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (verses 32,33).

We have reached today’s Scripture: “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.” Those “many days” were 40 years (Numbers 14:34)!!! In short, because of a failure to believe God’s words, a two-week journey stretched into four decades… and, by that time, the unbelievers had all perished—having never seen the LORD’S land. May we apply sound Bible doctrine by faith to life now, that we not have “many days” of destructive wandering either!

Purity or Compromise? #7

Thursday, October 21, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

If we doubt the Scriptures, taking a negative view of them, we will gradually relinquish more and more of them—leading to increasing uncertainty. To appeal to the world, to gain their “fellowship,” we have compromised. Eventually, we wind up like so many dear souls who have expressed throughout history, “I hate the Bible and have tossed it out altogether!” Here is apostasy, falling away from the truth, the result of failing to maintain doctrinal integrity. If this is the way we want it, then the God of the Scriptures will let us have it. Therefore, we must be extremely careful in this regard.

Believing the Scriptures, taking a positive view of them, we will continue to grow purer in our understanding of spiritual matters—causing greater confidence. To seek God’s approval, to think like He thinks, we have faith in what He has spoken to us. Ultimately, we experience what precious few souls have exclaimed throughout history, “I trust, understand, and enjoy the Bible!” Here is maturity, a greater awareness of the truth, the consequence of upholding doctrinal integrity. If this is the way we want it, then the God of the Scriptures will let us have it. Therefore, we need to be exceedingly careful in this regard too.

Dear brethren, as grace believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be particularly vigilant to be people of faith not doubt, to be saints of purity not compromise. Even within the Grace Movement, it is often quite difficult to discern who is a Christian and who is not. This is to be expected of denominationalists who have compromised but not dispensationalists who are allegedly pure! Let us cogitate on these simple truths, and may we adjust our minds and actions accordingly.

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What is a ‘battlement?’” and “Can you explain ‘cogitations?’

Purity or Compromise? #6

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

The Scriptures warn us about philosophy, loving man’s wisdom not God’s wisdom. Paul asserted in 1 Corinthians chapter 2: “[1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God…. [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God….

“[13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”

Recall Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Finally, 2 Timothy 3:16,17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” In God’s Word rightly divided, we have pure doctrine, that our souls be uncontaminated. However, if we “love the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43), we will compromise with the world, it influencing us to infect our souls. It is our choice!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Placebo #7

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Does not Almighty God want us to have positive thoughts? Certainly, but we should function according to His viewpoint—not man’s trite religious clichés that gratify the creature to the point of a temporary emotional high void of any lasting spiritual truth (see today’s Scripture). Human nature never changes. Whether in Israel’s prophetic program thousands of years ago, or our mystery program today, sinful man always seeks to hear a message that will cause him to think higher of himself. Prosperity theology underscores the material world, ignoring spiritual truths and spiritual riches, to the extent of seeking God to remove our physical sicknesses, reverse our financial ruin, et cetera. Instead of resorting to spiritual sugar pills, junk food, and mere crumbs—the superficial, skimpy messages of Christendom that profit us nothing—we can feast on the riches of God’s wisdom as found in this the Dispensation of Grace.

Friends, would you like some uplifting verses, what the Lord spoke to you through your Apostle Paul? Try reading Romans 5:1-11, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, Titus 2:11-14, Colossians 4:2-6, Ephesians 1:3-23, Galatians 5:16-26, Philemon 6, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Colossians 1:9-14, 2 Timothy 2:1-3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 8:1-39, Romans 6:1-23, Romans 5:12-21, 2 Timothy 1:7-14, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13, Colossians 2:6-7, Galatians 2:20, 1 Timothy 6:6-12, 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, Ephesians 3:11-21, Romans 3:21-28, 1 Timothy 4:12-13, Philippians 2:12-16, 2 Thessalonians 3:13, Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 4:1-25, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Colossians 3:1-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:11-26, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Philippians 3:7-21, Ephesians 6:10-20, Galatians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:20-32, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Corinthians 15:58, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, Romans 12:1-21.

Surely, we can find something positive in at least one of these verses, right?! Here are God’s words concerning Christian living today, not idle speculations of men seeking to stroke egos and fill their bank accounts with the money of gullible consumers of Christendom (Christendumb!).

Placebo #6

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Dear friends, if we study the Bible and actually recognize what God is doing today, and what He is not doing today, we can know exactly where to go in the canon of Scripture to find some absolutely breathtaking passages to motivate and deliver us from discouragement and disappointment. Scores upon scores of cheerful verses are in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—so we do not need to steal Israel’s passages (Deuteronomy 8:18; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 29:11; et cetera) and/or lift ideas from philosophy and psychology (“you are and have what you speak!,” “get more self-esteem!,” “it is a sin to be sick and poor!,” et cetera).

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:…” (Ephesians 1:3).

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal(2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Placebo #5

Monday, October 11, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Read 2 Timothy chapter 3: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away….”

“[12] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. [13] But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [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.”

Proceed into chapter 4: “[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [5] But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

In this the Age of Grace, by seeking “feel-good” sermons, the nations are repeating ancient Israel’s error….

Placebo #4

Sunday, October 10, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

In the Book of Daniel, the LORD God foretells the world’s governments while David’s throne is lost to Gentile political powers. During this “time of the heathen” (Ezekiel 30:3) or these “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), no son of David governs Israel from Jerusalem; see the curses of Leviticus 26:18-19 and 27-39. When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon progressively weakened Judah militarily and politically circa 606 B.C., the final three sons of David or kings of Jerusalem served (until Jerusalem’s fall in 586 B.C.). Messiah/Christ Jesus, the ultimate Son of David, sought to reclaim his throne from non-Jews (Ezekiel 21:25-27). Howbeit, Israel refused, for, in their unbelief and sin, they exclaimed, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15).

With Messiah rejected and heading to Calvary to die, a counterfeit king of Israel will sit on David’s throne (cf. John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “And in his estate [the political office of the king of Syria/Turkey that precedes him] shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries [halaqlaqqot]…. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries [halaqa]: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:21,32).

On the “campaign trail,” the crafty Antichrist shares a “feel-good” message with Israel—particularly promising her peace with her enemies. Yet, most disastrously, once she is disarmed and unsuspecting, he authorizes these ancient Gentile foes to assault her, thus revealing himself to be the traitor he was all along: “He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother [halaq] than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalm 55:20,21).

Israel is now in receipt of her desire (!) of today’s Scripture….

Placebo #3

Saturday, October 9, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Although Israel of old possessed the very words of Almighty God, they made a conscious choice not to hearken unto them. Instead of this Divine revelation, they preferred to hear “smooth things.” The Hebrew word translated “smooth” in today’s Scripture is “helqa,” also rendered “flattery” or “flattering.” For example, see Psalm 12:3,4: “The LORD shall cut off all flattering [helqa] lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” Also, Proverbs 6:24: “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery [helqa] of the tongue of a strange woman.”

One popular “feel-good” message in ancient Israel was described most succinctly and outright denounced in Jeremiah chapter 23: “[16] Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. [17] They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” While God’s (genuine) prophets were warning fellow Jews their habitual sin would result in horrific judgment, self-appointed (counterfeit) prophets were contradicting that by proclaiming a message comparable to today’s cheapened “Christianity:” “All is well, you are fine, God is happy with you, no wrath is coming, keep doing what you want to do!” Of course, such false teaching would not turn Israel away from sin; the “negative” true words of God that would lead to reformation had been shoved aside in favor of a “positive” message.

Since Israel wanted “smooth things,” and the LORD God of the Bible values free will, Israel is destined to hear even more “feel-good” words, even more outrageous lies….

Placebo #2

Friday, October 8, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Today’s Scripture in context: “[8] Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: [9] That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: [10] Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: [11] Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

Verse 8 is the promise of Bible preservation. The LORD directed the Prophet Isaiah to write His words, so those words would be for ever and ever.” (For us as English-speaking people, this is the King James Bible!) What is Isaiah’s message preserved even now? Ancient Israel was just like any other group of sinners, opposing God’s will for them and doing what they wanted to do: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6). “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” (Romans 1:25).

Friend, draw your attention to today’s Scripture: “…rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.” They were not interested in learning the LORD’S words, especially the Law of Moses, the covenant that laid out the conduct of their daily lives. “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:….” They refused to hear from God’s messengers or spokesmen, for such words convicted them of their sin. Instead of “right things,” they wanted to hear “smooth things… deceits,” a pleasing or complimentary message….

Placebo #1

Thursday, October 7, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

A celebrated megachurch pastor just released his new book—a mere 130 pages. In it, three verses were clearly marked with a reference (“Psalm 139,” for example, along with two other verses from Psalms). Of course, these were shallow, basic passages even a Sunday School child knows. While the preacher alluded to or quoted additional verses throughout his book, no actual references were ever given (even in footnotes, marginal notes, or endnotes). It makes it difficult to double-check him. Is he quoting a verse correctly, and within its context? Maybe he is simply paraphrasing? Or, is it a mere fabrication he attributes to “God?”

Dear friends, if we are not quoting and citing Bible verses in our written studies or audible messages, we are doing nothing more than sharing our own opinions. The Christian life will not operate on the basis of human viewpoint, man’s speculations, but this is usually all believers ever have—and now we see why poor testimonies and even no testimonies abound! Just as long as it is inspirational, or motivational, that is all Christians have been trained to think about today. If it makes them feel good, and the name of “God” or “Jesus” is attached to it, then surely it is something reliable, right?! Unfortunately, the “Christian” publishing houses are running bu$ine$$e$ (what authors and topics can bring in the largest profit?) rather than teaching sound Bible doctrine (what does the God of Scripture want us to believe and do?).

In medical science, a “placebo” (from Latin, “I shall be acceptable or pleasing”) is “a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.” That is to say, the sick patient believes it is therapeutic, possessing healing properties, but there is no profit for the physical body in it! Such was the case with “feel-good” “Judaism” of old (today’s Scripture), and with “feel-good” “Christianity” of late….