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 #2

Friday, November 16, 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!

Today, there are 13.4 million Jews worldwide, but only 5.7 million live within Israel’s borders. God gave them that Promised Land nearly four millennia ago (Genesis 15:18-21), so why are most Jews scattered around the globe? Why are those who are dwelling in the land, having to fight in order to keep it? Why is God not helping Israel? Will Israel ever dwell peaceably in her land?

God will “lift up [Himself]” (today’s Scripture) to defend Israel against her proud enemies and persecutors. He will bring her into her Promised Land to dwell safely. However, not in this dispensation, because God is forming the Church the Body of Christ. For the last 2,000 years, our Dispensation of Grace (mystery) has been operating, so God’s program for Israel (prophecy) is in abeyance. Today, Israel is “fallen,” “cast away,” and “blinded” (Romans 11:11,15,25). When our dispensation ends, then “all Israel shall be saved” (verse 26).

Describing Israel’s future restoration, “And I [the LORD] will bring them from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country” (Ezekiel 34:13). “And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:5).

Speaking of Jesus Christ saving Israel, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth [see today’s Scripture]. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5,6).

Nevertheless, before Israel can enjoy this everlasting peace, JEHOVAH must “shew [Himself]….”

Living As Peaceably As Possible

Monday, August 27, 2012

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 KJV).

Having recently listened to family members and friends discuss their struggles, my advice to them was simple—apply today’s Scripture.

Saints, today’s Scripture is clear. We should make every attempt possible to get along with others, especially with our Christian brethren (as always, please remember that we never, EVER compromise sound Bible doctrine for the sake of unity). But, there does come a point where we cannot resolve conflict, and we must leave the situation alone. Notice today’s Scripture: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” It is not always possible to live peaceably, even with fellow Christians (which is so sad).

In fact, there are such deep divisions among some Christians—including myself—that they cannot be resolved until heaven. I have met people who cause their own problems, thereby making other people’s lives—and mine—miserable. We all make mistakes, but what makes it sadder is that even after they are warned repeatedly, they continue in their error, with little to no remorse.

When dealing with these kinds of people who absolutely refuse to apply sound Bible doctrine in handling a disagreement, we must step back and say, “There is nothing more that I can do. It is time to leave these individuals alone.” Again we apply today’s Scripture and move on; otherwise we risk making the situation worse with hatred, bitterness, physical altercations, gossiping, cursing, et cetera.

Regrettably, sin causes squabbling, which results in division. Our “friends” will turn other friends against us, and divorce destroys our marriages and families. It is most pitiful when these divisions occur within the local church, disrupting the unity of God’s people and furthering the plan of the adversary (Satan). While we do “forgive [others] as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:32), we are not to be doormats. In this sinful world, we cannot live harmoniously with everyone.

“If it be possible,” saints, “IF it be possible,” “live peaceably with all men….”

Vengeance Belongeth Unto the Lord #2

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture explains that God Himself will ultimately take vengeance on those who harm us. Its context explains how it is our responsibility as Christians to let God’s grace teach us how to handle that mistreatment.

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (verse 17). When people do us wrong, our flesh wants to retaliate, to get even, but God’s Word exhorts us to “recompense to no man evil for evil.” (Note: Please understand that God instituted government, and He encourages us to seek legal intervention in severe cases of wrongdoing [Romans 13:1-5]).

As Christians living in a fallen (corrupted) creation, we will suffer abuse and injustice. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (verse 18). Because of sin, unity and peace are not always possible. But, it is our responsibility to get along with others as best as we can (without compromising God’s Word, of course).

When someone does offend us, grace teaches us that God will ultimately exact vengeance on the guilty (today’s Scripture). “Therefore [consequently] if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink: for in doing so thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (verses 20,21; cf. Proverbs 25:21,22; Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27,28).

We can let evil “overcome” (defeat) us (grudges, bitterness, et cetera), or we can defeat evil by doing good to those who have harmed us (especially if they are Christians; Galatians 6:10). “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). We need not repay evil for evil: by faith, we send that mistreatment to Christ’s cross, we forgive it, and we move on (lest it be a hindrance).

Beloved, we need not avenge ourselves, for “vengeance belongeth unto the Lord.”

Peace and Safety… Or Not!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

“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” (1 Thessalonians 5:3 KJV).

For millennia, religious and political leaders have unsuccessfully attempted to achieve world peace, especially in the Middle East (the focus of Arab, Palestinian, and Israeli conflict). One day, two men will establish world peace: first, the antichrist, and then, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the world will be deceived into thinking the antichrist’s peace is that which Jesus Christ will establish years later.

Daniel 9:27 explains, “he [the antichrist] will confirm the covenant with many for one week.” The book of Revelation tells us this “one week” is a week of years—that is, seven years (two periods of 1,260 days each; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6). The seven years begin once Satan uses the antichrist to sign a Middle Eastern peace treaty, causing Israel and her enemies to cease hostility.

Israel, wrongly believing that the antichrist is Jesus Christ, will relax, led to conclude that she is living in the peaceful earthly kingdom prophesied in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 23:5,6 says that when Israel’s Messiah-King comes, “Israel shall dwell safely.” Israel will apply this to the antichrist (when it was actually speaking of Jesus!). Remember what Jesus said to Israel? “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (John 5:43). Jesus was speaking of the antichrist!

Halfway into the seven years, the antichrist’s flattery will vanish. His true motives now exposed by his breaking that covenant and desecrating Israel’s rebuilt temple (Daniel 9:27), and persecuting God’s people (believing Israel) by instituting capital punishment (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:1-18). Israel will then realize (Isaiah 28:15), “We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement!”

As Paul wrote in today’s Scripture, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Notice the pronoun “they”—we, the Body of Christ, are not in the Tribulation.