Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #3

Thursday, December 5, 2019

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 KJV).

The third verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them spiritual birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!”

Jesus Christ was literally the perfect example of living in fellowship with Father God. He did not make Himself the issue but rather glorified His Father who had sent Him. Yea, He said to His Father, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). What was Father God’s will? Check Hebrews 10:1-10. It was for Jesus to become a human that that human body die on that awful cross for our sins!

As our King James Bible says, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Modern versions so butcher this passage, saying Jesus Christ “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing.” Blasphemy!)

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That man may die and live through Him, Jesus Christ died. That man may die and live through Him, Jesus Christ resurrected. There is no greater name than the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10)! Friends, let us join the angels in praising Him!

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 28, 2019

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

Many, Many, Many!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:11,12 KJV).

What a statement—“many…many… many!”

Dear friends, while today’s Scripture is still future, we would do well to look at this list of three “many’s” and how they parallel Paul’s epistles and God’s current dealings with man:

  • “MANY FALSE PROPHETS SHALL ARISE.” A “prophet” is a man who claims to speak on God’s behalf (whether genuine or fake). When we look at today’s religious world, it is rather easy to see how these words of Christ will be fulfilled after our Dispensation of Grace has run its course. The operative word here is “many.” Christ did not say “a few.” There will be “many” people pretending to represent the God of the Bible. Doubtless, they will speak of “Jesus,” the “Holy Ghost,” and the “Gospel.” Unless they employ such biblical terms, they would never be able to successfully pass themselves off as authentic. Many… corrupt the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17).
  • “THEY SHALL DECEIVE MANY.” The “many” false prophets will have a far greater impact than we would care to admit. As opposed to small pockets of misled and confused souls, there will be massive spiritual damage inflicted when they will conduct their ministries. “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:…” (Philippians 3:18). Here are genuine Christians deceived by false doctrine—not just “a few,” but “many!” We can see this today as well.
  • “THE LOVE OF MANY SHALL WAX COLD.” With bad doctrine circulating, “iniquity” (injustice, evil) is proliferating. God’s Word absent, man’s sinful flesh naturally takes over. Unbelievers will mercilessly attack believers in Christ. Furthermore, believers would turn on fellow believers! Even in our dispensation, this is evident. One of the last verses Paul penned was, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). Here is a massive apostasy or turning from sound Bible doctrine. Their love faded for God’s spokesman to them; tragically, they have abandoned the Apostle as he awaits execution in a Roman prison!

Be on guard, brethren!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are our mystery program and its promises better than Israel’s prophetic program and its promises?

333’s 3100th – My Words

Monday, November 25, 2019

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31 KJV).

Dearly beloved, we have reached devotional #3100!

Today’s Scripture is actually one of three times wherein the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of His Word—yea, rather His “words,” notice—in conjunction with the end times. We will now read the parallel verses. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33).

All three verses are part of “the Olivet Discourse,” “Jesus’ Second Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew chapters 24–25; Mark chapter 13; Luke chapter 21). The Lord is sitting on the Mount of Olives, responding to His disciples’ questions about His Second Coming and subsequent activities. He not only summarizes the Old Testament prophecies, He adds further insight by revealing things previously unknown. Some intense trials are coming on Israel and the rest of the world. Here we are, 20 centuries later, these passages still awaiting fulfillment. Therefore, what was spoken long ago loops forward to the future from us—Israel that will exist after our Dispensation of Grace.

If the believing Jews are to survive those forthcoming violent and destructive times, with Heaven and Earth being considerably reformed, they will have to fall back on Christ’s words. Since His words will never pass away, Israel’s believing remnant has something solid on which to rely: they need to trust those words, waiting for the Lord to bring to pass everything He said regarding them (curses and blessings). While they have a glorious future, there must first be a time of suffering.

Brethren, we have come quite far in our studies these last 3,100 days, have we not? We have paid attention to “the words”not merely the thoughts—of the Holy King James Bible. Special emphasis was given to words because words are the most basic components of thoughts. If the preserved words of God will preserve the believers in Israel in their prophetic program, then, surely, those preserved words will preserve us in our mystery program. No matter how grim our conditions are, the inspired and preserved words of God will see us through to our eternal destiny as well!

Onward we go to devotional #3200! 🙂

Share with Care!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10,11 KJV).

Friend, be careful what you share on social media!

Not long ago, a dear brother in Christ was telling me how he had shared something “Christian” on social media. Then, he actually read what he had posted and passed on to others. He realized it was not Christian at all—just “Christian” in name only (religious tradition and man’s opinions being passed off as Christianity). He quickly deleted the post, but, by then, people had already been exposed to it and had associated him with it.

We would do well to take note of the above scenario. It happens more often than we care to think. We can never be too cautious online. If we are not careful, we will inadvertently aid the Devil in his cause! It is a sad reality, brought to pass most easily. There are Bible believers who accidentally share false teaching, but can we find a false teacher who unintentionally shares Bible truth?

Over the last few years, we have heard much about the propagation of “fake news.” People are peddling unverified or outright fabricated information as though it were true—especially in the field of so-called “journalism.” Extensive damage is inflicted. It might have been a simple, unintentional error. Unfortunately, if recurrent, malice is likely involved, and apologetic “fake-news organizations and individuals” are merely “sorry they got caught!”

Saints, before you share anything on social media—and pay extremely close attention here—read the whole article or watch the entire video. If you are not judicious, you may wind up endorsing something you actually disagree with. In the event that you are unsure of something, it is better not to “share” it with others until you can verify it. Compare it with the Bible rightly divided, “searching the scriptures daily, whether those things [are] so” (today’s Scripture). If you are still unsure, the safest action to take is not share it all because more harm than good may result. Share with care!

Bible Q&A #670: “Will living in Heaven forever be boring?

Delight and Forget Not!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

“I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (Psalm 119:16 KJV).

Dear friends, let us follow the example of the Psalmist!

Read the verse previous to today’s Scripture: “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (verse 15). For many people—yea, most—Bible study is “boring” because amusement is preferred. No thinking is required with entertainment. However, “meditate” implies someone is engaging in deep thought. There are simply too many individuals who possess the Bible but are not thinking critically about it. If they do read it, they really make no mental effort therein. For most, Bible reading is just a “necessary task” because it is “Christian” to do it. Do they not burn inside to understand the words of the eternal God, genuinely seeking His wisdom? Or, have they set out in the Scriptures merely to prove some pet theological belief or denominational tenet?

The Psalmist determined to “delight” in the LORD’S statutes (words, instructions). To him, learning Scripture was not done grudgingly or of necessity. In fact, he purposed to remember the Divine revelation to which he had been exposed. Moreover, the Psalmist decided to “have respect unto [God’s] ways.” It was not mindless memorization or dry repetition, but reverential appreciation. We too would do well, saints, to open the Bible every day and better acquaint ourselves with it. Considering the bombardment of lies we experience daily—from internet sites, television programs, printed material, and so on—we should renew our minds with the Word of God rightly divided.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:13,15,16).

Signs of Shallowness #10

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

Dear friends and brethren, we grow spiritually by understanding and appreciating the completed Bible canon—particularly the Pauline epistles (Romans through Philemon) that closed it. Unless we notice God’s most recent revelation, we cannot know what He is doing today.

The Holy Spirit instructed and encouraged the baby saints at Corinth (who enjoyed being entertained with spiritual nonsense): “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

In New Testament Greek culture (the Corinthians’ background), childhood ended for girls and boys at age 13. They would gather their toys and leave them at a pagan temple, signaling they were now adults. Dear friends, if we let the Bible rightly divided impact our minds and hearts, believing it (!), we too will “put away childish things.” Moving from shallow waters, we thus plumb the depths of God’s mystery wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)! 🙂