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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee (Ezekiel 28:17 KJV).

Behold, the first narcissist!

Some 650 billion “selfies”—photos of one’s self—are posted online on social-media platforms daily (on average, 100 pictures per person on Earth). People are even frequently compelled to consider cosmetic surgery to have more attractive profile pictures! Like Lucifer (Satan) of today’s Scripture, dear friends, we have fallen in love with ourselves.

The Lord GOD spoke to Satan who was possessing the king of Tyrus: “[12]…Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. [13] Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. [14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. [15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

As Lucifer who saw and stared at his stunning reflection in the sea of glass before God’s throne (Revelation 4:6; Revelation 15:2), we too are more focused on the creature than the Creator: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I [!] will ascend into heaven, I [!] will exalt my [!] throne above the stars of God: I [!] will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I [!] will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I [!] will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13,14). God replied to Satan in verse 15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Sinful man will suffer a similar fate!

“…[F]or the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #5

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

The LORD God created Adam, and Adam was briefly the only human. Genesis chapter 2: “[20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. [21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; [22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. [23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. [24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. [25] And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

By delaying Eve’s creation, the LORD taught Adam a lesson. Adam’s yearning for a creature like himself instilled in him the realization that life is not about living for self. When he recognized his wife Eve as taken from his own body, he considered her part of himself (and rightly so). They were to function as one unit. Unfortunately, Satan—who had since fallen from his position in Heaven—came to Earth to recruit mankind to his side. Read chapter 3 of Genesis. Not only did Adam and Eve follow Satan in his rebellion against their Creator, they participated in the destruction of their marriage. They could no longer fellowship with God, for their sin found them out and fractured them in twain. Also, they could no longer fellowship with each other, for their sin found them out and fractured them in twain. The world has never been the same, sin finding it out and fracturing it in twain….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘shambles?’

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #4

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

The first sin in creation was pride, “the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). Lucifer, God’s most powerful created spirit being, fell in love with himself (cf. Isaiah 14:12-15). Endowed with super intelligence and arrayed in clothing of precious stones, he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). These traits—including musical instruments built into his body—were to be used for God’s glory, over whose throne Lucifer’s body served as a canopy (verse 13). This “anointed cherub that covereth… wast perfect in all [his] ways from the day that [he] was created, till iniquity was found in [him]” (verse 15).

“[16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. [17] Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. [18] Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.”

Here is Satan’s origin, the first being who preferred to worship and serve self instead of the Creator. Moreover, Lucifer enticed many angels to join him in his rebellion against the Lord. Thus, we read of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). However, some angels stayed true to the Lord, bearing the title “the elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21). Sin has permanently divided the angelic ranks, finding out and fracturing all involved….

A Naughty Tongue! #5

Monday, July 13, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Earlier, we looked at Ezekiel chapter 28. (Re-read the first two verses, and then recall how verses 11-19 describe Lucifer’s transformation into Satan.) God is addressing the evil spirit operating through “the prince of Tyrus” (verse 2ff.) and “the king of Tyrus” (verse 12ff.). That spirit is none other than Satan, a “cherub” or spirit creature of the fallen angelic host (verse 14). These two wicked men from Tyre are historical figures, but they are also typical of the Antichrist, the zenith of Satan and sinful man’s sinful speech.

Turn to what the Prophet Daniel penned in Daniel 7:8,25: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things…. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Now, consider the Apostle John’s words in Revelation 13:5: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

Finally, read what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” True to his name, the Antichrist will falsely claim to be Christ (Greek) or Messiah (Hebrew). Here is Satan’s attempt to replace Jesus, the genuine Christ, thereby redirecting worship from the Creator God and placing it on the creature. Man’s “naughty tongue” is worse still….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Ye have the poor always with you?’

A Naughty Tongue! #3

Saturday, July 11, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

The Lord Jesus had some harsh words for Israel’s apostate religious leaders: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Satan is a “liar,” and “the father of [a lie].” As Lucifer, he once had God’s truth. Then, he willfully forsook it in favor of deceit.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14). Did you see the lies he told? Lucifer, a mere creature, believed he should be worshipped as God, and that all creation should follow his will instead of the Creator’s will. This transformed him into Satan—Hebrew for “the Adversary”—and God promptly removed him from the third heaven.

Ezekiel chapter 28, verses 1 and 2, now: “The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:….” Read verses 11-19. Satan is working through this human political ruler, which loops to the future. Indeed, God’s Adversary “converted” man to his side in the Garden of Eden, and man has been speaking his spiritual father’s lies ever since….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What about a six-year Tribulation?

Death! #3

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19 KJV).

It is a morbid topic, but a reality we know all too well….

Responding to Adam’s deliberate alliance with Satan, the LORD God placed a curse on creation. Keep reading in Genesis chapter 3:

“[13] And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. [14] And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: [15] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Satan was cursed.

Eve and women were cursed: “[16] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Mankind as a whole and all the natural world were cursed: “[17] And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;….”

Verse 19, today’s Scripture, is the pinnacle of that curse: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Life for Adam and Eve will henceforth become complicated and difficult. After all that suffering, only then will that earthly life end… with death….

Death! #2

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19 KJV).

It is a morbid topic, but a reality we know all too well….

Continue in Genesis chapter 3: “[5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. [6] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Adam made a conscious choice to follow his wife in listening to Satan. He deliberately disobeyed God’s instructions to him.

“[7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. [8] 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. [9] And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? [10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

This “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was part of the test God placed before Adam and Eve. Would they, like Lucifer had done to become Satan earlier, take it upon themselves to decide what is good and what is evil? In other words, would they attempt to take God’s authority and place it on themselves? Yes, and they indicated that attitude by eating the forbidden fruit. Consequently, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Indeed, death is now our lot in this sin-cursed world….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who were the ‘Rechabites?’

Sin Divides #10

Monday, February 10, 2020

“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:5,6 KJV).

In religious circles, it is frequently bemoaned, “Doctrine divides! Doctrine divides! We should throw away ‘doctrine’ and just assemble around ‘love!’” Today’s Scripture and its context expose that dictum for the utter foolhardiness that it really is….

Lucifer, God’s “choir director” in heaven, was the first creature to sin in creation. Pride—with emphasis on the middle letter “i!”—was Lucifer’s fault (1 Timothy 3:6). Notice Satan’s origin as recorded in Isaiah chapter 14: “[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! [13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I [!] will [!] ascend into heaven, I [!] will [!] exalt my throne above the stars of God: I [!] will [!] sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I [!] will [!] ascend above the heights of the clouds; I [!] will [!] be like the most High. [15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” You would do well, my friend, to mark his five-fold “I will” plan thus delineated. Compare to Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”

Matthew 25:41 says the Devil has angels on his side. When Lucifer revolted against the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, he enticed many countless angelic spirits to follow him (cf. Ezekiel 28:18—“traffic” as in exchange of false doctrine). Sin pitted the angelic host against God, and thus divided the angels between Him and Satan. As God’s king—His chief creature—in the earth (Genesis 1:26-28), Adam should not have allowed Satan’s “I will” plan to spread here. Alas, Adam let sin divide him (us) and God, and permitted sin to divide the human race. Satan’s spiritual war with God is obvious all these thousands of years later….

What is God Doing? #17

Monday, January 21, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Long ago, God’s chief spirit creature—a “cherub” named “Lucifer”—said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-15). We also see him in Ezekiel 28:11-19, the attractive creature who “wast perfect in [his] ways from the day that he [wast] created, till iniquity was found in [him]” (verse 15). He was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (verse 12). Verse 17 says Lucifer’s heart “was lifted up because of [his] beauty.”

Lucifer decides to attempt to usurp God’s throne. Thus, he led a rebellion in Heaven, recruiting numerous angelic beings to oppose the Creator God. Lucifer became “Satan” (adversary—Luke 10:18), he and his angelic cohorts were evicted from Heaven, and we thus read of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). In Genesis chapter 3, Satan—the “serpent,” a calculating character—entices Adam and Eve (our parents) to join him in his revolt against the Creator God. Adam, the head of humanity, was not deceived: he intentionally followed his wife, Eve, in following Satan (1 Timothy 2:14). Thus, Earth was corrupted with sin—cursed with thorns, thistles, childbirth pain, sickness, and ultimate death (Genesis 3:16-19).

Romans chapter 8 comments: “[20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now….” Creation awaits the day of its deliverance from evil….

Bible Q&A #570: “Would God want me to share the Gospel?

The Mischievous Minister of Music #13

Thursday, February 8, 2018

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created (Ezekiel 28:13 KJV).

Who is this musician, and how did he destroy his ministry?

Dear friends, Satan knows music far more than we ever will. Yea, his superior intellect and expertise in musicology for thousands of years, afford him skill in operating in that unseen (!) realm to advance his cause. Satan’s policy of evil is summarized in Romans 1:25: “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.” What better way to worship and serve Satan than to fall into his trap of music designed to satisfy the lust of our flesh?

How do we guard against using music to glorify Satan instead of the God of the Bible? Primarily, we must, must, must know sound Bible doctrine. My, what rank spiritual ignorance there is in the tens of thousands of “Christian” churches worldwide! No wonder deception and immaturity abound. Religious tradition is deficient; the Word of God not rightly divided is dangerous. We must, must, must understand the Bible dispensationally delivered. No prayer in the world can save us from false teaching if we refuse to use the Bible God’s way.

Moreover, we must look beyond the type of music that is nothing more than a way to “feel good.” Contemporary “Christian” songs are often so shallow in doctrine; their rhythms induce physical movement, do they not? In the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, however, we are encouraged to seek spiritual edification. Entertainment will profit us absolutely nothing in eternity. Let the Word of Christ rightly divided dwell in you richly, and then you will sing songs to the Lord to express gratitude (Colossians 3:16; cf. Ephesians 5:15-20). Jesus Christ will indeed be honored.

Dear friends, one final thought. If we let that mischievous minister of music into our assembly, he will surely destroy our ministry too!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who will be Israel’s King in the Millennium—Jesus Christ or David?