The War with Amalek! #8

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

Romans chapter 6 says, “[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof…. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” The sinful act results only after a lengthy process of bad thinking; Paul’s dilemma in chapter 7 was the consequence of forgetting this grace doctrine.

The answer to the quandary in chapter 7 is to keep reading into chapter 8: “[1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

When we “walk after the Spirit,” we have victory over sin on a daily basis. However, if we “walk after the flesh,” sin will defeat us. In his own Christian life, Paul himself grew frustrated and miserable. Sin had dominion over him because he had placed himself on the religious treadmill (Romans chapter 7). Having returned to a legalistic system—assuming his performance under rules and regulations was how his Christian life operated—he overlooked God’s grace (chapter 6). He did not need religious laws to tell him how to live. The grace of God had already fully instructed him: his victory was in his identity in Christ. Yes, the sword and the lifting of hands, the Bible and prayer, will cause us to triumph over sin….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Jesus justified in destroying ‘private property?’

The War with Amalek! #7

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

East of the Red Sea, as the Jews are en route to God’s land, the Amalekites assault them. JEHOVAH God has given Israel life, and a war has broken out. Man’s sinful flesh opposes God, and God combats man’s sinful flesh. As soon as the spiritual water flows from Christ—once the believing sinner passes from death to life and receives the indwelling Holy Spirit—a bitter conflict begins.

Romans chapter 7 describes that war: “[15] For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

“[20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

The saint (here, the Apostle Paul himself) wants to do right, but sin interferes, causing him to stumble and lose the fight. If he is to be victorious, he must remember how the ancient Israelites defeated the Amalekites….

The War with Amalek! #6

Friday, June 7, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

As the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites raged, Joshua led the charge fighting with the sword (verse 13). When Moses raised his hand, Israel gained the advantage; contrariwise, when he let down his hand, Amalek began to win (verse 11). These are not trivialities but important details.

Focus on verse 12: “But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” Is it not interesting that the Holy Spirit added this statement? Moses would grow tired and drop his hands, but Aaron and Hur came alongside him. They had him sit on a stone and they held up his hands.

Hebrews 4:12 likens the Bible to a sword: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Here is Joshua’s sword! As demonstrated in 1 Timothy 2:8, the lifting up of hands in Scripture is indicative of prayer: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” Here are Moses’ hands held high!

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17). Dear friends, Amalek is a picture of the flesh, the rebel who dislikes and opposes God (remember the Amalekite patriarch Esau/Edom?). He sits in unbelief—sin! Once new life is introduced (the water flowing from the rock), the flesh fights against God the Holy Spirit. This war is a reality for Israel and us; yet, the path to victory remains the same. God’s Word paired with prayer is the key to conquering sin….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Were the King James translators justified in adding the word ‘quarters’ in Acts 9:32?

The War with Amalek! #5

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

Let us read to the end of Exodus chapter 17: “[8] Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. [9] And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. [10] So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. [11] And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

“[12] But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. [13] And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. [14] And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. [15] And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: [16] For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Israel is victorious over the Amalekites. Therefore, Moses most appropriately erects an altar, “Jehovahnissi” (Hebrew, “I am your banner/hero”). JEHOVAH God has caused her to triumph over her enemies! It was so critical a matter that the LORD even commanded Moses to write this account, that it be remembered forever. We have it now in the record of Exodus! Upon studying these verses, it becomes clear that two issues were critical to their success. Firstly, we saw Joshua fighting Amalek with the sword. Secondly, we saw Moses raising his hands. Herein is the key to spiritual victory, whether for ancient Israel millennia ago, or for us today, or for future Israel….

333 Turns 8!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:16,17 KJV).

Only by God’s grace, dear readers, “333 Words of Grace” marks its eighth birthday today!

It was eight years ago this very day that we “took the leap of faith” to launch this devotionals blog. At the time, I had no idea it would continue this long and be this impactful. For those of you who have been with us from “day 1,” thank you for staying thus far. If you have recently found us, we hope that you will stay (at least for the next eight years, okay?). Brethren, it has been an absolute thrill “meeting” with you here around God’s Word. Such great fellowship indeed!

When we started (ever so long ago), we endeavored to “fill the void” where daily grace Bible studies were lacking. Looking back on the nearly 3,000 devotionals we have now covered, we can rejoice that Father God accomplished that to some degree. However, there is still so much left for us to learn from His Word. We have imperfect understanding concerning various Scripture themes, so we aim to continue “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

In today’s Scripture, Christ Jesus made it clear that if someone truly desired to know His Father’s doctrine, that person would acquire it. It was not impossible to grasp or impossible to find. There it was, plain and simple to the soul who actually cared to seek His knowledge. Likewise, here, we have presented daily the King James Bible for all these years. None of us can plead ignorance or claim “unlearnedness.” We know a clear Gospel message—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). We know the Christian life—Christ lives in us by our faith in His words of grace, not by our works and commandment-keeping (Galatians 2:20,21).

Dear brethren, as we have aged physically these last eight years—perhaps, just perhaps—we have grown spiritually even more! Now, by God’s grace, onward into Year 9 of “333!” 🙂

Note: Links to all eight years of devotionals are here: https://333wordsofgrace.org/master-list-of-devotionals-chronological.

Bible Q&A #615: “What does the Bible mean, ‘Shake the dust from your feet?’

Christian Prayer “Does Not Help” #3

Friday, May 31, 2019

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9 KJV).

Indeed, the Lord’s words are true even now!

What was the nation Israel’s principal problem during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry? He pinpointed it in today’s Scripture: “[they were] teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Instead of holding to God’s Word—especially the Law of Moses, their chief Divine operating instructions—they had substituted it with manmade teachings. Having divorced themselves from God’s thoughts—and ultimately, His power—they were spiritually debilitated.

The physically blind, physically deaf, physically mute, and physically paralyzed who Jesus healed were perfect illustrations of Israel spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, spiritually mute, and spiritually paralyzed. They were unable to see God’s truth, unable to hear His words, unable to speak His words, and unable to walk in His ways. Their manmade teachings were the very reason why they ultimately crucified Him on Calvary. Had they maintained and believed God’s pure Word—the Old Testament Scriptures—they would have seen and trusted Jesus as Messiah. Since they abhorred the Scriptures, they despised the God-Man to whom those very verses pointed.

Even now, repeating the gross chief sin of Israel, Christendom has largely pushed aside the Bible. They quote occasionally (provided it supports their denominations), but their doctrines are overwhelmingly devoid of God’s Word. Hence, their tenets are shallow, their prayers are powerless, and their rituals and ceremonies are repulsive. They have no idea what God is doing today, for they have not handled His Word His way. Instead of “studying… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), they have muddled the various directions God has issued through time individually.

What is the remedy? The Lord’s spokesman to us Gentiles today is the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13). Friend, do you want effectual prayers, those that actually carry eternal value? Try Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:11-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-13. These model Pauline prayers highlight what God is doing in this the Dispensation of Grace. If you pray according to them, never shall you be able to say, “Christian prayer does not help!”

Brethren, to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, we now close 8 full years of “333 Words of Grace!” Thank you for praying for us thus far, and by God’s grace, we now aim for another 8 years!

NOTE: Dear Saints, it is with great pleasure that I announce all 90 videos (over 104 hours of teaching) of our Old Testament Survey Project are now online and ready to watch! Click here. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ!

Christian Prayer “Does Not Help” #2

Thursday, May 30, 2019

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9 KJV).

Indeed, the Lord’s words are true even now!

Christ was citing Isaiah 29:13, penned over 700 years prior: “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:….” Whether in Isaiah’s ministry, or His own ministry, the Lord Jesus knew the reprehensible predicament of His nation Israel.

They paid Him “lip service:” they read Moses’ writings aloud, sang the psalms, and uttered elaborate prayers. Despite that “fair shew [beautiful exhibition] in the flesh” (Galatians 6:12,13), their innermost being lacked faith. They were not obeying the Scriptures by faith; instead of using that God-given religion to worship Him, they were worshipping the religion itself. While claiming to “love God,” they were unbelieving concerning His words. Their outward appearance was hypocritical, masking their true intentions. God was not fooled then, and He is not fooled today.

Frankly, religious tradition has so preoccupied so-called “Christian” people that their prayers are oftentimes doctrinally worthless. Of course, such prayers are also “useless.” They are recited with the assumption that they can manipulate or force God to agree with their every whim and grant their every wish.

Instead of opening His Bible, and approaching it “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15)—rather than carefully noticing what verses are to and about them and what verses are not to and about them—they see anything and everything in Scripture as applicable to them. They claim prayer promises God never gave them, and then grow upset and disappointed when He does not react as they supposed He would! Such “unanswered prayers” constantly bother Christians and non-Christians alike. If this is how we handle Scripture, no wonder people loathe “Christian prayer” and rather seek help from “eastern religions!” Almighty God, the Holy Bible, and Christianity are not the problem. We in our carelessness are the problem….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Moses ‘very meek?’