Sin Divides #3

Monday, February 3, 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….

If we look at life in the Godhead, we see the absence of selfishness. The three Members of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—live for the benefit of the other two. For example, the Son was submissive to His Father’s will rather His own will: “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36). Jesus Christ went about doing His “Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). The Son said, “I honour my Father” (John 8:49). “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself” (John 14:10). “It is my Father that honoureth me” (John 8:54).

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2), Father God said of the words the Holy Spirit wrote. The Son said of the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit of truth… shall not speak of himself…. He shall glorify me” (John 16:13,14).

The Creator God designed mankind to function in a similar capacity: this is the idea of man being made in God’s image, after His likeness. Man should not be living for self, but rather for others. Nevertheless, sin complicates and destroys this simple arrangement. Sin is a man “doing his own thing,” going “his own way.” Without a doubt, sin is the fundamental problem with man and his society….

Sin Divides #2

Saturday, February 1, 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….

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?,” the LORD asked in Jeremiah 17:9. He also answered His question, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (verse 10). Almighty God sees the human heart at its most basic level. With firsthand knowledge, He declares His verdict: supremely deceitful and desperately wicked! (How flattering!) Doubtless, man did not originate the Bible. Otherwise, he would have painted a better picture of himself. As he does now, he would have praised himself through and through. “I am not perfect—no one is—but surely I am not that bad. Plus, I do try my best to make up for my mistakes, so God will give me partial credit!”

Sin involves one person: I, myself, and me! There are two Bible definitions for “sin.” One is Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way….” The other is 1 John 3:4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” To act sinful is to do nothing but “do your own thing,” follow your “own way.” So as to show us just how far off “our way” is from His way, God issued the Law, a series of boundaries He erected in order to define our failures. When we cross those lines, we commit sin (emphasized by the term “transgression”—literally “step across”). What happens? Division! Division! Division!

Let us survey some key Bible texts and see how sin divides everything….

Bible Q&As #689 and #690: “How is Jesus Christ the ‘firstborn’ of every creature?” and “How many angels fell with Lucifer when he transformed into Satan?

We momentarily break away from this devotionals arc to bring you a special study tomorrow.

 

Sin Divides #1

Friday, January 31, 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….

Dearly beloved, just look at the world around us. Have you ever attempted to fathom this mess we the human race are truly in? If you have, does it not boggle your mind? To say the least, all around the globe, society’s problems are monumental! There is something terribly wrong, and all are aware of it to some extent. However, most cannot pinpoint the problem—let alone solve it. While we usually have an inflated opinion of ourselves, bragging about being the “pinnacle of evolutionary theory via natural selection,” our thoughts and behavior indicate mankind is declining! Although enjoying improved technology, it is wishful thinking to say we ourselves are becoming more sophisticated internally.

Let us face the blunt reality of the matter, friends. Human civilization—even its “best”—will continue to prove itself to be totally inept as touching reformation. Try as hard as we might, we can never—and will never—achieve paradise. However, we refuse to learn this lesson. Deceived by sin, we just struggle more and more in an attempt to “do better.” Doing the same thing over and over, we expect different results. Alas, we continue to aggravate the problem! Insanity and futility still reign!

The most noticeable aspect of the human condition is man simply cannot love his fellow man. Yes, people can get along with others… but only temporarily. The disagreement was merely delayed. Emotions escalating, war suddenly breaks out. And, there it is: the closest ally is now the bitterest enemy! Unfortunately, the family unit is no exception to this rending. Whether a nation’s history or an individual’s life, the ancient world or the modern age, the global problem is that the deepest divisions involve blood relatives….

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Monday, December 23, 2019

“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 (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

Standing Up But Going Down #3

Monday, September 9, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Read Psalm 83. Israel’s Little Flock, her believing remnant, cries out to Almighty God for help. The Antichrist ruthlessly persecutes and mercilessly slays them. Notice the final seven verses: “[12] [The Antichrist and his ally nations] Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. [13] [Believing Israel prays] O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. [14] As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; [15] So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. [16] Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. [17] Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: [18] That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

Paul the Apostle summarizes God’s reply and the Antichrist’s swift defeat: “And then shall that Wicked [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming(2 Thessalonians 2:8). Here is Christ’s fiery Second Coming, what chapter 1 already mentioned: “[7]… when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power….”

Today’s Scripture says the Antichrist “shall be broken without hand.” This phraseology “without hand” indicates Divine intervention as opposed to human efforts. God, not man, is acting (see especially Christ’s Second Coming and Israel’s subsequent kingdom of Daniel 2:34,44,45; cf. Mark 14:58 and Colossians 2:11). Indeed, the Antichrist will stand up against the Prince of princes… and go down violently, suddenly, and permanently! Amen!

Standing Up But Going Down #2

Sunday, September 8, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Turning over to Daniel chapter 11, we learn more about the Antichrist: “[36] And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. [37] Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

He is a “willful” king, egocentric and determined to accomplish his goals. Ecclesiastes 8:11 applies to all sinners, but will especially be true of “the man of sin, the son of perdition:” “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” For at least seven years, the Antichrist will occupy—usurp—David’s throne. He will take Christ’s place over Israel, and apostate Israel will love to have it so!

Psalm 83:1-4 is believing Israel’s prayerful cry for help: “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee [the LORD God!] have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy [!] people, and consulted against thy [!] hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee [the LORD God!]:….”

By siding against Israel, these nations aligned with the Antichrist are indeed God’s enemies. Antichrist leads them to oppose Jesus Christ, “the Prince of princes.” Believing Jews pray, “Return, Lord, and deliver us from our enemies—destroy Your enemies!” Let us see and hear the Lord’s reply….

Standing Up But Going Down #1

Saturday, September 7, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is he who will “stand up” to go down?

Daniel chapter 7: “[23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another [here is the Antichrist] shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. [25] 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. [26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. [27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

After (!) our Dispensation of Grace, the Antichrist will arise in the Middle East. He starts out having one “crown” (Revelation 6:2)—little political power and practically unknown. Within a few years, however, he conquers three kings and eventually another seven. Ultimately, he wears 10 “crowns” because he heads a 10-nation confederacy (Revelation 13:1). These are the 10 “toes” of Daniel 2:41,42. Psalm 83:4 remarks concerning these 10 nations: “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” These 10 Gentile peoples—listed in verses 6-8—are Israel’s historical enemies. Most cleverly, the Antichrist unites with them, fully intent on abolishing the Jewish race….

NOTE: Dear brethren, the first intro video to our New Testament Survey is finally online! You can watch it here. New lessons will be added in the near future. Be sure to bookmark this link, as this playlist is where all the NT lessons will be stored in the coming years. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ!

Peace Policy

Friday, September 6, 2019

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Daniel 8:25 KJV).

Who is this “peaceful” man?

The “craft” he will cause to prosper in his hand is deceitfulness (think “crafty”). Read chapter 11 to see him arrive: “[21] And in his [predecessor’s] estate 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…. [24] He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time…. [32] And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

Revelation 6:2 previews him as well: “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow [but no arrows!]; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Here, the Antichrist counterfeits Jesus Christ (cf. 19:11). He appears wholly innocent, as Psalm 55:21 predicts: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” The Antichrist utters such persuasive speech, telling apostate Jews exactly what they want to hear! Long ago, they had forbidden God’s prophets with, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). See also 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

He promises to protect and bless Israel, but the Antichrist is literally Hell-bent on exterminating them! First Thessalonians 5:3: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Rather than using physical warfare, he will overcome Israel nationally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually!

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Saturday, December 22, 2018

“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 (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Friday, December 22, 2017

“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 (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.