Rejected (Thrice)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

“But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple” (Matthew 12:6 KJV).

Christ Jesus uttered three “greater” statements in this chapter. Why?

Today’s Scripture is the first occurrence. The reference to the Temple actually implies the priest serving in the Temple. There is a “greater priest.”

Next, verse 41: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” There is a “greater prophet” than Jonah. Finally, verse 42: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” There is a “greater king” than Solomon.

The “Old Testament” predicted Messiah would hold three offices—Prophet, Priest, and King. Deuteronomy 18:18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (cf. Acts 3:22,23). Jeremiah 23:5: “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.” Zechariah 6:12: “Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” These three Messianic roles correspond to the three gifts the wise men brought to young Jesus in Matthew 2:11—gold (king), frankincense (priest), and myrrh (suffering prophet).

Today’s Scripture is approximately halfway through Christ’s earthly ministry. In verse 14, we read of the first conspiracy to take His life. Israel’s religious leaders hate Him and His Heavenly Father for what they have taught Israel from the beginning. Israel’s national leadership refuses the Lord Jesus as King (ruler), Prophet (preacher), and Priest (intercessor). He gradually withdraws from public ministry. In the next chapter, He switches to parables to hide the truth from those unbelievers.

Where to Find Answers

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

“At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels [light, savory biscuits], and a cruse [pot/jar] of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child” (1 Kings 14:1-3 KJV).

King Jeroboam, despite appointing his own religious leaders, seeks the LORD’S word through the Prophet Ahijah!

Solomon’s death results in a divided monarchy—the 10 northern tribes (thereafter “the kingdom of Israel”) and the two southern tribes (thereafter “the kingdom of Judah”). Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, rules Judah; Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant, governs Israel. Jeroboam eventually establishes a false religious system in Israel (12:25-33). Up north, he counterfeits Judah’s religious services in Jerusalem down south. Nonetheless, he knows his religion is hollow and useless. Interestingly, when seeking answers concerning the future of his ill son, he recruits JEHOVAH’S prophet rather than his own religious leaders (today’s Scripture)!

Over the years, “aloof” people have sought me for spiritual guidance. They openly disagree with me teaching the King James Bible rightly divided. Yea, they cling to their denominational preachers and teachers. However, they ask menot those religious leaders—for advice touching Bible issues. For example, a Christian relative once cursed me out face-to-face after I shared sound Bible doctrine with him. Years later, he asked me to write notes for him to teach Sunday School at his church! (I did.) Or, consider the Christian couple that, after harshly criticizing my parents and I for our “wacky” dispensational beliefs, comes to us (rather than their denominational preachers) for Scriptural insight! Other grace-believing, King James Bible users I know have relatives who disparage them. Yet, those family members come to them seeking prayer and/or Bible wisdom. Interesting, huh, that their denominations ultimately do not satisfy them?

Dear grace brethren, while some of our close associates dislike us King James Bible, Pauline dispensationalists, they know we know where to find answers. Be encouraged. In due time, they will come. Remember today’s Scripture! 🙂

Indecisive Israel #12

Monday, September 18, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Israel forsook the Law of Moses, God’s primary instructions to them. Therefore, awful religious, moral, and social conditions overwhelmed the nation. In keeping with the Law Covenant, beginning in the Book of Judges, God punished Israel with the first course of judgment or chastisement promised in Leviticus chapter 26. Foreigners would oppress them, exactly as verse 17 predicted: “And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.” This repeatedly occurred throughout Judges.

Similarly, the Church the Body of Christ has abandoned God’s apostle to us Gentiles, Paul (Romans 11:13). The last 2,000 years of the Body of Christ mimics Israel’s vacillation throughout the Book of Judges. There have been recurrent apostasies and isolated revivals, but an overall doctrinal deterioration. Ultimately, there is utter spiritual ruin—God’s people compromised and neutralized. Brethren, remember, the same evil world system—especially Satan’s religious system—that existed in Judges remains today over 3,000 years later. It will culminate in the Antichrist beyond our day.

Some “Christians” believe there is “no harm” in mixing with world religions, or intermarrying with non-Christians. Scripture disagrees. (Remember Israel’s pagan neighbors and spouses in Judges!) Some “grace believers” see “nothing wrong” with attending services at denominational churches. The Holy Spirit disagrees. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Brethren, let us not be indecisive like Israel. We should “be separate,” unapologetically and totally removed from the (pagan) religious system! 🙂

Indecisive Israel #11

Sunday, September 17, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Recall the Jews’ two chief sins that led to their idolatry during the Book of Judges. Firstly, they did not cleanse the land of all its idolatrous, heathen inhabitants, disobeying what JEHOVAH God had commanded them through Moses (Exodus 22:20; Exodus 23:23-25; Deuteronomy 13:12-15; Deuteronomy 20:16-18; et cetera). Satan used these Gentiles to corrupt the land, and they contaminated Israel once left there. Secondly, the Israelites married those pagans, something God also clearly prohibited in the Mosaic Law (Exodus 34:10-17; Deuteronomy 7:1-6; et al.). Such intimate relationships further perverted Israel. She compromised and was ultimately neutralized.

Centuries after Judges ended, the Prophet Elijah stands on Mount Carmel. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel have influenced Israel (Northern Kingdom) to adopt Baal worship as its official religion. In the famous account of Elijah exposing Baal as a dead idol and JEHOVAH as the one true God, 1 Kings 18:21 says: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” Imagine! Over 200 years after Judges closed, Israel is still waffling between Baal and JEHOVAH!

Beyond our day, Israel will reach “rock bottom” spiritually. Accepting the Antichrist and his false religious system (revived Baal worship!), unbelieving Israel is thus destroyed in God’s wrath during the Tribulation. Finally, the Lord Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to forgive national Israel, make atonement for her sins, restore her unto Himself, and make believing Israel His kingdom of priests. Eternally joined to JEHOVAH God, Israel will never again be indecisive!

Now, we conclude this devotionals arc….

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333’s 2300th – Growing in Grace

Saturday, September 16, 2017

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13,14 KJV).

Only by God’s grace, brethren, we reach yet another major milestone!

Dear friends, over the last 2,300 days, we have strived to provide you with clear and concise daily studies from the King James Bible rightly divided. That was our goal from day 1, and it is our purpose even now. God’s Holy Word is a big Book, and we have all of eternity to learn it, but we should take time to study it now. We have been left here for a reason.

A wise Christian leader once said, “Your Christian life will not operate on the basis of ignorance.” We would do well to always remember that. God the Holy Spirit inspired and preserved His Word—the 66 Books of Genesis through the Revelation—for the express purpose of not leaving His people in spiritual darkness. He wanted us to know what He is doing at any given time, especially what He is doing in our present-day. Therefore, in His final words to Timothy, and to us, He said: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). The emphasis is on preaching “the Wordnot the church’s traditions, not the preacher’s opinions, not the theologian’s speculations, and not the teacher’s hunches!

The Holy Bible alone is God’s revelation to man. Romans through Philemon, the Apostle Paul’s 13 epistles, are the most recent divine revelation to mankind. The context of today’s Scripture, verses 11 and 12, scolds the nation Israel for not being skilled in the word of righteousness (God’s words to her). In Israel, there was major spiritual immaturity. Unfortunately, the Church the Body of Christ also consists of many spiritual “babes” today, ignorant of Paul’s writings (God’s words to us). Hopefully, our studies have made us “them that are of full age.” We are still growing, some slower than others, but growing nonetheless. Let us continue growing in grace!

Onward to devotional #2400! 🙂

Indecisive Israel #10

Friday, September 15, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Once Judge Abdon dies, Judges chapter 13 opens with Israel doing evil in the sight of the LORD. He gives them over to the Philistines 40 years. The angel of the LORD appears to Manoah and his wife, informing them that they will have a child who “shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (verse 5). This boy is Samson. In the coming years, he indeed slays many Philistines. Samson, in weakness, meets a tragic end. After judging Israel 20 years, he lets the Philistines capture him. They blind him, but he kills 3,000 more Philistines before taking his own life. (Judges 13:1–16:31)

Historically, the Book of Judges ends with Samson. Nevertheless, five subsequent “addendum” (hindsight) chapters detail Israel’s religious, moral, and social breakdown throughout that 450-year period (Acts 13:20). Judges chapters 17-21 document very dark, horrific events—especially chapter 19 (appalling, to say the least!). Baal worship gains a foothold in northern Israel in Micah’s house. Eventually, the whole tribe of Dan adopts Micah’s idolatrous religious system. Priests are now called “father.” A Jewess, servant-wife of a Levite, plays the whore. Then, the Jews of Gibeah rape her and ultimately beat her to death. Israelites war amongst each other—25,000 die in battle!

So, the “yo-yo,” “rollercoaster” 450-year period of the Judges ends. The Book closes with such sobering words: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (21:25; cf. Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Frankly, dear friends, that expression says it all, and it is an apt conclusion!

(Before we summarize and conclude this devotionals arc, we will break away from it for one day to present a special study.)

Indecisive Israel #9

Thursday, September 14, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

In Judges chapter 10, Israel begs JEHOVAH God for deliverance from her enemies. Yet, unlike previous times, He refuses. She has worshipped more and more idols. He thus replies: “…and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation” (verses 12-14). Notice the contrasting of “I” and “them.” Did Israel’s idols rescue her from her enemies? No! The LORD God did. Her silly idols were useless in her time of need! The nation Israel recognizes those deities cannot help her even now.

“[15] And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. [16] And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” Verse 17 says the children of Ammon are advancing to fight against Israel. Will God send a deliverer?

JEHOVAH God raises Jephthah, rescuing Israel from the children of Ammon, Jephthah reigning six years (11:1–12:7). Ibzon judges Israel seven years (12:8-10). Elon judges Israel 10 years (12:11,12). Abdon judges Israel eight years (12:13-15). Once Abdon dies, the sixth and final cycle commences. Israel, while apostatizing and reforming over the centuries up to this point in Judges, is declining overall. Having disregarded Joshua’s parting instructions to her, she is very far from today’s Scripture….

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