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?

Israel, Be Still, and Know That He is God

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is a well-known verse from the book of Psalms; we look at it briefly within its context.

“[1] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. [2] Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [3] Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

As believing Israel struggles through Daniel’s 70th week, persecution by the Antichrist and his followers, JEHOVAH is her shelter and strength. He has a watchful eye on her, to “see” her through the seven-year Tribulation!

“[4] There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. [5] God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. [6] The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. [7] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

Jesus Christ has now arrived on Earth, concluded those seven years, defeated Israel’s enemies in fire and wrath, redeemed and delivered His believing Jews, now become “Immanuel,” “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 8:23).

“[8] Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. [9] He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. [10] Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. [11] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

Israel rejoices that she is free from her captives, never again to fear oppression or war. Her King is sitting on David’s throne in Zion, Jerusalem, urging her to “be still,” rest, and enjoy Him, for she is now become His vessel to reach the Gentiles!

NOTE: As I announced Friday, I have been diagnosed with double-lung pneumonia (which can be fatal). Currently, I am on medication, improving in strength and appetite, recuperating slowly with much rest. Later this week, I visit my family doctor for a follow-up exam. I will provide additional info in the near future. Thank you for your continued prayer!

Swords, Plowshares, and Right Division

Sunday, August 31, 2014

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4 KJV).

Before there is world peace, there must first be world war.

Today’s Scripture is often quoted by Christians and non-Christians to advocate world peace, but they obviously overlook Joel 3:10: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Then, to make matters worse, we find today’s Scripture quoted in Micah 4:3: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

It is Scriptural to “beat … swords into plowshares, and … spears into pruninghooks (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). It is also Scriptural to “Beat … plowshares into swords, and … pruninghooks into spears(Joel 3:10). Why does God’s Word teach two completely different ideas here? Dispensational Bible study is just as important to Israel as it is to us in the Dispensation of Grace! “Rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is necessary—to not separate (divide) these passages is to confuse them. Again, Israel must also use the Bible dispensationally.

The key to understanding these “Bible contradictions” is to realize that “beating plowshares into swords and pruninghooks into spears” belongs in one dispensation, and “beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks” belongs in another dispensation. In Israel’s program, there is a time when war and weapons are necessary, and there is a time when war has ended, peace reigns, and agricultural production increases dramatically.

When we study the contexts of these passages, we learn that Joel 3:10 applies to the wars of the seven-year Tribulation period (especially the Battle of Armageddon), and Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 describe the subsequent Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, when Satan is removed from Earth, and world peace from God will be in effect. What clarity!

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Saturday, December 21, 2013

“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.

A Papal Prophecy? #3

Saturday, March 2, 2013

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV).

The recent resignation of Benedict XVI as pope is being greatly discussed within “Christian” circles in light of eschatology. Are we seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled today, or is this simply the (usual) failure to “rightly divide the word of truth?”

Firstly, why is the antichrist in Scripture?

1. To be a literal, spiritual, and physical counterfeit Jesus Christ: he is anti(against)-Christ, the ultimate embodiment of Satan’s lie policy aimed at destroying God purpose and plan for creation.

Satan desires worship that only the God of the Bible deserves (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). Before his fall from heaven, Lucifer declared, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Ezekiel 28:17a says to Lucifer, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty;” his sin was pride (1 Timothy 3:6). Satan wants all of creation to ignore Jesus Christ, and worship everything else—him, mankind, nature, and so on.

Daniel 11:21 introduces us to the coming world ruler, the antichrist, the personification of Satan’s rebellion: “And in his [the antichrist’s predecessor’s] estate shall stand up a vile person [the antichrist], to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” When he is to be “revealed in his time” (today’s Scripture), the antichrist will assume his office of global domination by deception and smooth talking—he is a classic politician!

Daniel 9:27 continues: “And he [the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven-year Tribulation]: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease….”

The antichrist will mimic Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s kingdom is one of peace; the antichrist will speak peace unto Israel by making a seven-year peace treaty. In the middle of that week, the antichrist will turn on Israel, he will desecrate Israel’s newly rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, and he will institute a religion that worships himself (Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:5-18): like Jesus Christ claimed to be God, so will the antichrist. The counterfeits continue….

God’s Idea of “Hope and Change”

Monday, January 21, 2013

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:8,9 KJV).

We reserve this historic day in American history to remind ourselves not to confuse man’s feeble political achievements with God’s kingdom.

Human governments are literally bewildered in attempting to deal with all of society’s problems. Solutions to environmental issues, achieving world peace, eliminating poverty, and combating terrorism are most elusive. They distribute checks, impose bans, sign treaties, pass laws, provide handouts, and hold summits, but the problems these activities are designed to address still afflict society. If you have faith in your fellow man that he will ever accomplish harmony and solve his problems, history and the Bible tell you to forget it!

God knows that mankind is sinful, unreliable, and weakly, so He does not depend on us for anything… except to mess up His creation! For 6,000 years, Satan has been “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Thus, although world history has its few benevolent and respectable leaders, tyrants, God-haters, and crooks mar much of it. We can change leaders, but the evil world system that underlies society still exists, and it will remain until Jesus Christ returns and establishes His earthly kingdom. Sinful mankind cannot solve the world’s problems, for he is the world’s problem. We need help from Almighty God, and thankfully, He will solve our problems for us!

In today’s Scripture God the Father speaks to Jesus Christ (quoting Psalm 45:6,7, which describes the LORD, demonstrating Christ’s deity; notice the Father calls Christ, “God”). Jesus Christ’s kingdom will be one of righteousness and justice—a staff of righteousness is the staff of His kingdom. God’s will shall always be accomplished in it. Iniquity will not be tolerated, and it will be dealt with promptly. God’s idea of “hope and change?” Jesus Christ ruling heaven and earth, thus solving the sin problem. What a glorious day that will be! 🙂

The End of the World? #3

Saturday, December 29, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

The King James Bible uses the expression “the end of the world” seven times. We want to focus on the latter five instances—Matthew 13:39,49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; and Hebrews 9:26.

In Matthew 13:39,49, our Lord spoke of the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, when He will send His angels to sort believers from unbelievers: “the harvest is the end of the world… so shall it be at the end of the world.” Later, His disciples ask about “the sign of [His] coming, and of the end of the world(Matthew 24:3). Christ’s Second Coming here is contemporary with the harvest of Matthew chapter 13 (above). But, exactly what is “the end of the world in these instances?

Ever since Lucifer/Satan was cast out of heaven, he has tainted every region of creation with sin. In fact, on earth, he encouraged mankind to join him in rebelling against God. Ever since man’s fall into sin, Satan and sin have ruled planet earth. Hence, the Bible calls Satan, “the god [ruler] of this world(2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. Matthew 4:8,9); Satan’s fallen angels are called, “the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). Galatians 1:4 mentions, “this present evil world.” This is the “world” of Matthew 13:39,49 and Matthew 24:3 (previous paragraph).

One day, the evil, anti-God system that governs society will be abolished—that is “the end of the world.” Earth’s wicked social, economic, religious, and political systems will pass away. Satan’s reign on earth will come to a violent end, for the glorified Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven, militarily defeat Satan and his minions, and then usher in everlasting peace and righteousness on earth (Christ’s Second Coming; see today’s Scripture). This victory over Satan’s evil world system is accomplished through Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary: hence, Calvary’s crosswork is termed to have occurred, “in the end of the world” (Hebrews 9:26).