The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Friday, December 21, 2012

“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, and especially in the Middle East.

Psalm 23 in HD #3

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3 KJV).

Cutting through the “static” of religious, traditional thinking, we present to you Psalm 23 in HD, dispensationally delivered with astounding clarity.

“He restoreth my soul.” The human soul is naturally rebellious. It devises wicked, anti-God thoughts, which thoughts lead to actions (sinful acts). Each human soul needs to be rescued from its sinful condition; otherwise, upon physical death, those souls will be lost to everlasting degeneration and conscious suffering in the lake of fire (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ is the way we sinners escape this deserved eternal damnation.

David, who wrote today’s Scripture, penned in Psalm 32:1,2: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” This describes a believing Jew in Israel’s program (1 John 2:12). In Romans 4:6-8, Paul quotes some of that to describe our salvation in the Dispensation of Grace.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making simple the wise” (Psalm 19:7). The Hebrew word translated “converting” is rendered “restoreth” in today’s Scripture. How does God “restore” (“convert”) the human soul? With His Word! “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). In Israel’s program, a Jew is converted by trusting Jesus as his Messiah/Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 16:16; John 11:27; Acts 8:37; 1 John 5:1-14).

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” After our dispensation, the nation Israel, who is currently nationally blinded, will be saved (Romans 11:25-27). At Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, He will blot out Israel’s national sins by instituting the New Covenant (Acts 3:19-26; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:16,17; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34). They will receive the same forgiveness we have now in Christ (Romans 5:11). According to the New Covenant, God will write His righteous laws in Israel’s heart, and they will serve Him faithfully forever, bringing glory to His name.

The Tale of Two Sons

Monday, November 26, 2012

“And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:” (Luke 23:18 KJV).

One son will be liberated to live, and the other Son will be sentenced to die!

At the time of Christ’s trial, Barabbas is a prisoner (Matthew 27:16). Barabbas is a murderer, a robber, and guilty of “insurrection,” or rebelling against the government (Mark 15:7; Luke 23:18,19; John 18:40).

It is Passover. Roman governor Pontius Pilate has a custom that, at the feast, he releases a prisoner, whomever the people desire (Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:6). “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:20-22).

Israel’s chief priests, rulers, and common people all demand Christ’s crucifixion and Barabbas’ release, so Pilate gives the sentence (Luke 23:23-25). Guilty Barabbas is set free to live, and innocent Jesus Christ is condemned to be crucified. While Barabbas’ involvement in the matter seems insignificant upon first glance, God included it in His written Word because to provide us with an amazing illustration!

“Barabbas” means “son of the father.” Barabbas is a criminal, and he represents sinful, rebellious mankind who is worthy of death. He is bound by sin, and faces eternal death. Spiritually, sinful mankind is the son of Satan—man is of his father the devil (John 8:44). Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, God, “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), but took upon Himself our sins and was punished in our place.

Innocent Jesus Christ took the place of guilty Barabbas, which actually represented Christ taking the place of the whole world, suffering God’s wrath on our behalf! “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust…” (1 Peter 3:18). Thus, through Christ’s finished crosswork, we sinful sons of Adam (and Satan) can be freed from sin, and we can become the righteous sons of God.

The Lip of Truth and a Lying Tongue

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

“The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Proverbs 12:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture illustrates God’s plan for creation versus Satan’s policy of evil. In the end, only one will triumph.

The LORD “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). It is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to His heavenly Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The psalmist wrote, “I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments [God’s laws, the Scriptures] have I laid before me” (Psalm 119:30). He also wrote, “Through thy precepts [teachings] I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (verse 104). And verse 142, “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”

God and His Word, the Holy Bible, are the epitome of the truth. Neither can lie, and both will exist forever. “…[T]he word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever…. the word of the Lord endureth for ever…” (1 Peter 1:23,25).

Contrariwise, a “lying tongue” is one of the “six things [that] the LORD [doth] hate” (Proverbs 6:16,17). Consequently, its duration is short. However, the “lip of truth shall be established for ever” because God—who is “the truth” (John 14:6)—will always exist. Ultimately, the “lying tongue” will cause its own demise, and God’s truth will eventually overcome the lie.

Dear readers, our world abounds with injustice and dishonesty, but this is “for a moment.” Deception appears to be winning, and God’s truth is being suppressed, but remember “a lying tongue is but for a moment.” In the grand scheme of things, Satan’s policy of evil—which at its root is “a lie… worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25)—is reigning over the heaven and the earth only momentarily.

Until that day when Satan, his policy of evil, and its participants, are eternally confined to the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10,14,15; Revelation 21:8), God is allowing mankind to choose—follow Him or Satan.

The victory, however, will ultimately go to God’s side… “the lip of truth.”

One Little Nation With a Big God #5

Monday, November 19, 2012

“Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud” (Psalm 94:2 KJV).

Israel’s enemies are persecuting and destroying her, and today’s Scripture is her plea for JEHOVAH to shew Himself!

When Jesus Christ left earth in Acts chapter 1, He ascended to sit at His heavenly Father’s right hand (Acts 2:32-36). “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). Today, Christ is still sitting at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Colossians 3:1), albeit temporarily—notice “until.” One day, when it is time to judge earth’s wicked inhabitants, Christ will rise from His sitting position at the Father’s right hand, and return to earth—His Second Coming—to punish His enemies (unbelievers) with His righteous wrath.

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” (Psalm 68:1,2). “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people [Israel]” (Psalm 50:3,4). This vengeance of fire will accompany Christ as His Second Coming, punishing those who “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10).

The verse preceding today’s Scripture reads: “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself” (Psalm 94:1). “For we know him that hath saith [Deuteronomy 32:35], Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again [Deuteronomy 32:36], The Lord shall judge his people [Israel]” (Hebrews 10:30).

At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ, Israel’s “Prince of Peace,” will militarily defeat her enemies, and then usher her into her kingdom of peace, salvation, and prosperity (Isaiah 11:1-16; Isaiah 59:16-22; Jeremiah 23:5-8; et al.).

Little Israel has a glorious hope. In due time, her BIG God will fulfill it!

One Little Nation With a Big God #3

Saturday, November 17, 2012

“Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud” (Psalm 94:2 KJV).

Israel’s enemies are persecuting and destroying her, and today’s Scripture is her plea for JEHOVAH to shew Himself!

For the past 4,000 years—ever since her beginning with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the nation Israel has been harassed, oppressed, and mistreated by the Gentile world. This is partly due to her sins and God’s chastisement (Leviticus 26:31-39; Deuteronomy 28:48-53). Moreover, it is also due to Satan seeking to wipe out Israel (for in doing so, prophecy and God’s purpose and plan for the earth would be abolished).

Even today, little Israel battles her enemies to retain what small amount of real estate she has. Is not Israel God’s “chosen people?” Then, why has God not gotten rid of Israel’s opponents? Actually, God has temporarily set aside the nation Israel, and her program that operated in “time past” is paused: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). When God is finished forming the Body of Christ, He will return to Israel, and then He will take care of her enemies.

After our Dispensation of Grace terminates with the rapture, and the Church the Body of Christ is removed from earth, Israel will experience “one week” (seven years; Daniel 9:27) of God’s wrath, during which He will separate believing Jews from unbelieving Jews (Zechariah 12:8,9). Also, the satanic antichrist will be ruling the world, and he will persecute believing Israel. His religious leader, the “false prophet,” will gather the armies of the world, in hopes of annihilating Israel (Revelation 16:13-16). In this last great battle, Armageddon, Gentile armies will assemble in Israel, eagerly waiting to defeat her once and for all (Revelation 19:18,19; cf. Psalm 83:1-4).

However, these haughty Gentile armies are unaware that the “judge of the earth” has left heaven’s glory, and He is rapidly nearing planet earth, to “render a reward to the proud….”

Future Christian Veterans

Sunday, November 11, 2012

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3 KJV).

Let us not grow weary, dear saints, for we are Christian veterans-in-the-making!

As one older Christian and veteran affirmed, the spiritual warfare in which we Christians are engaged is far more intense than any flesh and blood battle. The war between good and evil is worldwide, and has transpired for 6,000 years!

Before we trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we were on Satan’s side of the conflict. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, fighting against God, opposing His will for us (Ephesians 2:1-3)! Now that we have received salvation and become God’s children, we have become Satan’s enemies.

Life is very difficult under the curse of sin and death. What exacerbates that trouble is that we Christians are subject Satan’s attacks. This “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) is certainly cruel to us, but we should not expect better treatment anyway. After all, the Lord reminded His disciples, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord” (Matthew 10:24). If the world slandered and executed Christ, they will do the same to us Christians without compunction! Remember, we are in a war, and every conflict has casualties.

Howbeit, the Holy Ghost through the Apostle Paul encourages Timothy (and us) to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (today’s Scripture). We Christians are not shielded from pain and suffering. Christians worldwide are afflicted for standing firm on God’s Word rightly divided. Hence, we lapse into periods of doubt, wondering if it really is worth it. We grow weary of the suffering, wondering when it will end.

The Holy Ghost reminds us, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). We are to be strong, not in ourselves, but “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Everything that God can do for us through Christ (grace) enables us to “bear” all troubles (1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13).

Take comfort, this battle will end, and we Christians will go home to heaven’s glory, becoming Christian veterans! 🙂