The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Friday, December 23, 2016

“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.

In the Midst, Holding Forth

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Christians functioning with God’s might—a glorious sight and blinding light!

I recently talked with a fellow Christian American complaining about the horrible direction in which our country is heading. Severe political, social, financial, and educational problems continue to plague our beloved nation. The somewhat Bible-based culture of my parents’ generation has disappeared. In the name of “progress,” the Bible has been removed. The sound doctrine that once produced the life of God in the lives of Americans is being increasingly rejected—all in the name of “tolerance” (all beliefs accepted but the Bible believer’s!). And people ask why society is falling apart?

Fellow saints, while we should do the best we can with what we have, we need to remember this is not our home. God is not currently converting whole nations, reforming governments, abolishing corruption, and bringing material prosperity and peace to the world. That day will come when Jesus Christ returns. Until then, He is doing something different today. No matter how bad society looks, the Lord Jesus is working so mightily in the lives of people who have taken their stand by faith in the grace doctrines committed to us through the ministry and message of the Apostle Paul—Romans through Philemon.

We should be faithful in “holding forth the word of life,” extending it to all who want to hear. No, they do not all want to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, but some do. He wants to save them from this evil culture and its perverted mindset, this “crooked and perverse nation.” They see Him in us, and they see lights burning brightly in the midst of spiritual darkness. He will give them life too if they trust Him. He will work mightily in them as well, that they too be “in the midst … holding forth the word of life!” 🙂

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

“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.

Wars Among and Within

Thursday, October 1, 2015

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (James 4:1 KJV).

Whether or not we have weapons, wars cannot be avoided! Weapons do not cause wars! Sin causes wars! Sin causes violence! Weapons do not cause violence! Sinners cause violence!

Absolutely, we should try to live peaceably with all people, especially with other Christians. The Bible says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Yes, all disputes should be settled by peaceful means. God created us as rational beings who can discuss and learn how to get along with others. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Unfortunately, that is not always feasible.

Friends, we have to live in reality and not in a fantasyland. It may be hard for some of us to grasp, but not everyone wants to be our friend. Some nations/leaders/people are simply not interested in getting along with anyone, anywhere, anytime. They just want to bicker with, bully, conquer, and plunder others. They have a religious ideology to promote, a social system to advocate, and they will stop at nothing to get it across. Pacifism is of no use when the other party is bent on harming or killing you!

To combat the sin working inside others, we may have to use deadly force. When they want to steal from us, try to take our lives, overrun our country, certainly God does not expect us to sit around doing nothing. Surely, we should not be obnoxious, picking fights with others, but when they threaten life and property, they must be stopped. This is why God instituted the death penalty in Genesis 9:6, and Paul reaffirmed it in Romans 13:4 (“the sword”). Throughout the Old Testament, when Israel’s enemies wanted to overrun them, God encouraged the Jews to have men of war ready to fight, and God gave Israel victory!

The only real solution to the war without is to stifle the war within. Faith in Jesus Christ will take care of the sin problem… and the fighting problem, too!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians support wars or should they be pacifists?

Words Smoother Than Butter

Sunday, August 30, 2015

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us (Isaiah 30:9-11 KJV).

Slip not on the “words smoother than butter!”

We Anglophones use the idiom, “He is a smooth talker.” This eloquent speaker manipulates words—using flattery, overly-complementary words—to make us think or do whatever he wants. With the mind and heart (emotions) captured, the physical body naturally follows.

Today’s Scripture is JEHOVAH’S controversy with Israel. They are disobedient and deceitful. When JEHOVAH sends seers and prophets to guide Israel back to Him, she refuses. “Do not tell us what the Bible says! Get out of our way! Let us do what we want! Tell us something nice and cheerful! Shut up about sin, righteousness, and God’s impending judgment!” (Sound familiar?) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3).

Interestingly, God will one day give Israel exactly what she wants. A man, a “super-man,” will make a false seven-year peace treaty with Israel. This Antichrist will promise Israel great peace and prosperity. David wrote about him in Psalm 55:21: “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.” “He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). The Antichrist will dazzle Israel—yea, the world—with likeable traits, great speeches, and supernatural abilities (Revelation 13:1-4). Once he gains Israel’s trust, he will destroy them militarily, mercilessly slaughtering as many of his enemies as possible (Daniel 8:22-25; Zechariah 11:15-17; Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:15-18). As a dear pastor-brother-friend warned, “Beware of those who over-complement! They are the first to stab you in the back!”

Beloved, watch out for and avoid the “words smoother than butter!” Christendom, like Israel of old, is still slipping doctrinally because of them!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is faith enough to enter heaven? Do not the devils ‘believe?’

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Friday, December 19, 2014

“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.

First of five special-edition Christmas Bible Q&As: “Should I display a Christmas tree?

Peace with God

Thursday, December 11, 2014

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 KJV).

As the Christmas Season approaches, we remember where true “peace on Earth” can be found!

Our world is always searching for peace. It is said if we could eliminate anything and everything “religious” and “spiritual,” our world we be peaceful. Others say that we should meet and converse with heads-of-state, and make many peace treaties to ensure international tranquility. Africa and the Middle East are ravaged by war and destruction, ever so desperate for peace from centuries- or millennia-long conflicts. The suffering these poor people are facing make even some Christians wonder how can God just keep letting it continue. We can rest assured that God is not “sitting around in heaven in a recliner,” taking pleasure in what mankind has done to His once-perfect world. In His own time, He will consummate it all: we cannot rush Him because He knows best.

Beloved, we will never even partially fathom the depths of God’s longsuffering. Even in the Apostle Peter’s day, nearly 20 centuries ago, the scoffers kept asking how long before Jesus Christ would return and wipe them out. We read in 2 Peter 3:8,9: “[8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Once God gets angry, whether one day or 1000 years later, His wrath is still undiminished, until it is poured out. But, today, God is withholding that wrath.

In verses 15 and 16, Peter reminded them that Paul had the answers to Christ’s delay—He was waiting for people to be saved into the Body of Christ: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;…” May we never take God’s peace in and through Christ for granted, for one day, He will withdraw it from this world, and replace it with His wrath!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘Forbid not to speak with tongues’ mean?