Will Ye Plead for Baal?

Friday, September 30, 2016

And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar (Judges 6:31 KJV).

If Baal is the one true God, then he can defend himself!

The LORD had instructed Gideon: “Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down” (verses 25,26). Verse 27 continues: “Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.”

Early the next morning, the men of the city wake to find Baal’s altar thrown down, the nearby grove (shrine of images) cut down, and the second bullock that was offered on the altar (verse 28). Upon learning Gideon is responsible, they demand Joash bring out his son so they can put him to death (verses 29,30). Joash responded in today’s Scripture: “Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.” Realizing his pagan god could not punish his son, Joash was evidently converted. He accentuated his new faith in JEHOVAH, and the silliness of Baal worship, by asking, “Is ‘almighty’ Baal actually powerless? Does he need you to defend his demolished place of worship?” (This is somewhat comical!)

Verse 32 concludes: “Therefore on that day he [Joash] called him [Gideon] Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does, ‘Quit you like men,’ mean?

A New Standard of Power #6

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

At Mount Sinai, the Jews had agreed to do “all” that the LORD had spoken (Exodus 19:8). Alas, an empty promise! They disobeyed Him for centuries. Whether you read the “Old Testament,” or secular history books, you learn that Israel failed under that Law Covenant. God, in order to cleanse His Promised Land, exiled the idolatrous Jews into foreign nations. Even today, the Gentiles dominate Israel and her land. This will continue until Jesus Christ returns.

God knew all along Israel—like all sinners—could never keep His commandments, but Israel was in denial and had to be taught it. Even though Israel failed miserably under the Law, it was only a temporary agreement. Long before Israel’s works were involved, God had promised to make Abraham’s seed His people forever (Genesis 12:1-3). Regardless of their works, God had promised to give Abraham, and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, the Promised Land forever (Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-21). One day, Israel will learn once for all that she will receive God’s promises by God’s grace, not by her works!

As Israel needed God to deliver her from Egypt so He could bring her into His Promised Land, Israel needs Him to bring her back from Gentile captivity so she can enter that Promised Land forever. This prophetic return will be much grander than history. She was confined to one nation (Egypt); now, she is scattered worldwide. Her Egyptian bondage was just a few centuries; her worldwide captivity has lasted over 2,000 years.

It looks hopeless, as if Israel will never return. Yet, the deliverance from Egypt was all a rehearsal for the future!

A New Standard of Power #5

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

Originally, God brought Israel out of Egypt so she would be His people: He would be their God and they would do His will in His land, the Promised Land. Yet, they were not interested. They wanted to do what they wanted. They preferred sin! Once they entered the Promised Land, they waxed worse and worse, until finally, God had enough of their idolatry. He ultimately evicted Israel, but not forever.

For over 2,500 years now, the Jews have been scattered worldwide, living in and among the Gentile nations. Nationally, they have no Promised Land to own, no Davidic government to protect them, no earthly blessings to enjoy, no forgiveness of sins, nothing. All those centuries ago, they broke JEHOVAH God’s laws and commandments. They refused to turn back. In accordance with the final round of chastisement (Leviticus chapter 26), God permitted the Gentiles to come in and violently remove the Jews from Canaan.

Verses 44 and 45 of Leviticus chapter 26 are God’s promise to Israel: “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.”

No matter that fifth course of judgment, Israel’s dispersion and Gentile captivity, God would not destroy Israel. He would bring her back (today’s Scripture)!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Hosea 6:2 predict our Dispensation of Grace?

A New Standard of Power #4

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

Just before Israel was expelled from the Promised Land, just before she entered captivity among the Gentiles (nations), the LORD voiced a controversy against her in Micah 6:3,4: “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” God wanted ungrateful Israel to speak up as to why she had abandoned Him in favor of worthless, lifeless idols. “What, O what, Israel, have I done to you that you want nothing to do with Me?! Did I not deliver you from Egypt, from bondage?!” (You can sense God’s broken heart.)

Israel had reached her sin limit. She had broken the Covenant of Law for centuries. Pagan idols polluted God’s land through and through. And so, with Israel refusing to reform and return to JEHOVAH God, the fifth course of judgment fell. Just as Leviticus 26:27-43 said, God let Gentile armies come in and take Israel captive again. He drove Israel so forcefully from that land of Canaan. “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste” (verse 33). Historically, the Jews were gradually removed between 722 and 586 B.C., scattered worldwide. The Assyrians and Babylonians took them as prisoners of war. Israel was—and still is today—in bondage again.

Today’s Scripture says JEHOVAH God has a mighty deliverance planned for Israel. It will dwarf her release from Egypt!

A New Standard of Power #3

Monday, April 25, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

For centuries, Egypt held helpless Israel captive. However, JEHOVAH God would save them. It would be His power, not their efforts. As Exodus indicates, He poured out 10 mighty judgments on Egypt and her gods. Then, He destroyed Egypt’s armies with the Red Sea. Israel had simply let her God defeat Egypt by Himself.

With Aaron’s help, only a few weeks after leaving Egypt, Israel made and worshipped a golden calf idol: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt(Exodus 32:4,8). Israel forgot that JEHOVAH, the living God, had delivered her. Instead, they credited the work of their hands as their deliverer. Insanity! They had forgotten JEHOVAH their Deliverer once there at Mount Sinai. Forty years later, they were warned not to forget JEHOVAH God again (Deuteronomy 6:12; Deuteronomy 8:14).

Just before Joshua’s death, Israel said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed” (Joshua 24:16,17).

Centuries later, under evil King Jeroboam, Israel made two golden calves, saying again, “Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt(1 Kings 12:28). Israel had again forgotten the LORD God their Deliverer. Soon, His wrath would fall on them, and they would be forced out of His land, scattered worldwide!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Once Christians fall into gross sin, will God ever use them again?

“Very Religious” Versus “True Holiness”

Sunday, May 24, 2015

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV).

Is it merely religious, or truly holiness?

Recently talking among a group, I heard a person comment about a certain woman’s modest apparel. Another person replied, “Oh, yes, she is very religious!” (The implication, a common one, is a “religious” person dresses decently and acts respectfully.)

Ironically, it was “religious” people in the Bible who did some of the most disturbing things. Did not “religious” Cain murder Abel his brother (Genesis 4:1-15)? When Baal worship infected Israel, did not “sodomites” appear among the Jews (1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7)? Did not the innumerable pagan priestess prostitutes who roamed Corinth’s streets at night “serve” Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love? (Hence, Paul urged lustful Christians in Corinth to marry in 1 Corinthians 7:2,9.)

Furthermore, Ephesians talks about “true holiness” (today’s Scripture). This implies that there is such a thing as false holiness. Anyone can appear to be set apart for God’s purposes, can be doing things that are noble and nice and noteworthy, but yet they are actually not serving the God of the Bible at all.

Remember Israel’s “very religious” behavior in Isaiah chapter 1. They would raise their hands, assemble for their festivals, offer animal sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law, visit the Temple, and so on. God said He was so sick of seeing such hypocrisy that He hid His face! They were not doing such things by faith. They did not believe His Word. They just loved to appear religious because it appealed to their flesh.

One day, when God calls His Christians home to heaven, we will see once and for all who is a Christian and who is not. Those who remain on earth will be manifested as “false holiness” (the “very religious” bunch). One can fool some of the people some of the time, but one cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And remember, no one can fool God any of the time! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians accept the practice of cremation?

Cain Came and Brought Shame #6

Friday, June 27, 2014

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1 KJV).

Can you identify the very significant phrase our King James Bible contains in today’s Scripture, and why it was said?

Whilst Eve assumed that Cain would be a man who would serve the God of the Bible, 1 John 3:12 says, “Cain… was of that wicked one.” Cain was not a man of faith; he was eventually manifested to be Satan’s tool, not a believer in God’s Word. Like Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15), Cain wanted to be his own god, his own authority; moreover, like Satan, Cain wanted to get rid of God’s people, those who testified of God’s Word and who hindered the “progress” of Satan’s evil world system (the real reason why Cain killed Abel).

Spiritually, Cain was Satan’s son. Jesus commented to Israel’s lost religious leaders, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:44). Beloved, the same godless, sinful spirit (attitude) that operated in Satan controlled Cain and Israel’s religious leaders. It operates in today’s religious people (Ephesians 2:1-3), and it will operate in future religious people. They all want to do what they want; they starkly disregard the will and instructions of the God of the Bible. Like Cain, they offer the sacrifice they want, the sacrifice God never instructed them to bring. They refuse to depend upon Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice for acceptance before God (the ONLY sacrifice He will accept); they prefer to offer their own “good” works, the fruit of their own hands. The Bible is clear that they, like Cain, will be rejected of God.

Satan’s chief way of corrupting the nation Israel was to infiltrate it with pagan religion (spiritual lies had been successful with Adam and Eve in Eden, and with Cain; Satan uses the same old tactics!). Baal worship, pagan idol worship, began in Israel in Judges 2:11-13 and it has yet to lose its grip. Beyond our present day, after our dispensation, Satan will make one final attempt to bring about what Cain started, and many “Abels” will perish….