To Endure Forever

Thursday, April 21, 2022

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23-25 KJV).

An eminent philosopher and critic of Christianity once bragged that, within a quarter-century, the Bible would be forgotten and Christianity would be no more. Forty years after he died, his house was converted into a print shop—wherein was published the Bible and other Christian literature! (That was 200 years ago, by the way.)

Beloved, our sinful flesh refuses to submit to final authority. We all want to think and do whatever we want. To evade accountability, we must devise schemes or excuses so as not to trust what God has already stated in His Book. We convince ourselves why we have no reason to be a Christian or believe anything in the Scriptures. Through the centuries, innumerable souls have deceived themselves into assuming Christianity will disappear. With that false hope, they have diminished any real severity in rejecting Christianity.

When addressing Israel’s Little Flock, the Jewish believing remnant, the Apostle Peter in today’s Scripture quoted Isaiah 40:6-8 to remind these saints they had been given eternal life through the living and life-giving Word of God. That Divine message they heard and believed—Jesus is Messiah/Christ (the Gospel of the Kingdom)—would remain ever-present, as would all other Scripture. Their souls were permanently secure because God’s promises to them were certain. On the other hand, man in all his arrogant intellectualism and self-sufficiency, is like grass and flowers. He is breathtaking, stunning, astounding for just an instant… only to die and shrivel away to nothingness!

The Scriptures are not temporary, but their opponents are. While critics are usually angry with religion and bitter regarding religious hypocrisy, they must realize they are fighting a losing battle. History testifies that God’s words have survived thousands of years of relentless satanic attacks. If they have outlasted all their enemies thus far, they doubtless will abide throughout the endless ages to come! 🙂

The Lowest Room #4

Friday, October 29, 2021

“But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee” (Luke 14:10 KJV).

What is this “lowest room?” Can we gain any counsel from today’s Scripture?

Read Christ’s words immediately following: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (verse 11). Their fundamental problem, of course, was that ugly sin of pride! Never should we forget this concerns religion, self-righteous people who considered themselves gods and therefore worthy of worship. “I give more than anyone else, pray more than anyone else, and fast more than anyone else!” The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:1-18, exposes and condemns this attitude.

Also bear in mind that expression appears in another religious context, Luke chapter 18: “[9] And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Finally, we dare not forget Matthew 23:12, also regarding religious pride: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (see entire chapter for context). The arrogant will be brought low, for apostate Israel will be destroyed in God’s wrath; however, believing, humble Israel will be magnified in God’s Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-4).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “What does ‘choler’ mean?” and “What does ‘sith’ mean in Ezekiel 35:6?

The Good Samaritan #5

Saturday, August 21, 2021

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him” (Luke 10:33,34 KJV).

How can this classic passage, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, enlighten us concerning God’s purpose and plan for the nation Israel?

The man leaving Jerusalem for Jericho represents wayward Israel, forsaking the center of God’s presence and words (cf. 1 Kings 11:36; Isaiah 2:3) and preferring a cursed, idolatrous city as its destination (cf. Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:29-32). As the thieves robbed the traveler, so Satan’s evil world system spoiled and fatally wounded Israel. Distracted, unrighteous (lacking spiritual clothes), and now dying, she can do nothing to save herself. Her sin has found her out!

Along walks a Levitical priest, but this Jew cannot help the man, for the man is mortally wounded and unable to offer a sacrifice. Here comes a Levite, a teacher of the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:9-13,24-26; Deuteronomy 17:18; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Ezra 7:6,10,11). However, while this Jew can teach the man what he needs to do according to Moses’ instructions, the dying man cannot perform according to the LORD’S strict rules and regulations. The priest and the Levite, both having looked at the unfortunate soul and gone on their way, can do nothing for him. All hope is lost!

Suddenly, there appears a Samaritan—a societal outcast in Israel. He notices the dying man and pities him, applying antiseptic wine and soothing olive oil to treat his wounds. Whereas the Jews (priest and Levite) did none of this, the Samaritan takes it a step further. He pays to lodge the man in a hotel, that he recover from his injuries. The next day, the Samaritan entrusts the man to the innkeeper, and finally leaves after promising his return. Here, Christ turns Israel over to the 12 Apostles (cf. John 19:25-27; Luke 19:12-27), dies, resurrects, and ultimately ascends to His Father’s right hand wholly rejected. He is coming again to repay them for their service (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12)! Indeed, the Samaritan of that noteworthy parable symbolizes Jesus Christ Himself and His work on Israel’s behalf….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Whose are the ‘words’ of 1 Samuel 3:19?

Throwing Them Out! #11

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Jairus besought the Lord Jesus: “My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live” (verse 23). Alas, as Christ approaches the house, a (living) woman suffering chronic blood loss puts her hand on His clothes. She knows there is healing in His garment hem: “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole [well, cured]” (verse 28). Instantly, her issue stops and she feels something extraordinary in her body!

“And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press [crowd], and said, Who touched my clothes?” (verse 30). Much more than “power” (as in modern English versions), it is “virtue” that has proceeded from Jesus. Such moral excellence or uprightness from God imparts physical—and more importantly, spiritual—restoration. The Lord turns around, confronts her, and then comforts her: “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (verse 34). This symbolizes the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, having God’s righteousness imputed to their account.

Christ proceeds to Jairus’ house. Unfortunately, dealing with the hemorrhaging woman has caused him to be late in treating the little girl. “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe” (verses 35,36). Unlike the aforementioned woman, this child is “hopelessly” dead! Onlookers mock Jesus’ comment that her state is “temporary.” Throwing them out of His presence, He speaks to her and raises her up! She walks and eats! Here is Israel’s national resurrection at Christ’s Second Coming, unbelieving Jews removed and prohibited from witnessing their nation’s miraculous return from the grave. In the Millennium, Israel functions as God’s kingdom of priests.

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Throwing Them Out! #10

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Read from Mark chapter 5 again: “[25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, [26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, [27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. [28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” This woman literally reaches out in faith to touch Jesus’ garment. Matthew 9:20 adds: “[she] touched the hem of his garment.” Luke 8:44 has it like this: “[she] touched the border of his garment.”

The Mosaic Law, Numbers chapter 15, instructed this concerning the hem or border of a Jew’s clothes: “[37] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [38] Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: [39] And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: [40] That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”

For 12 years, this woman has been hemorrhaging (bleeding profusely). Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14): life is flowing from her. Yet, she recognizes her sickness. Here is Israel’s believing remnant, admitting their only hope for righteousness is in Jesus’ perfect obedience to God’s commandments (symbolized by His garment hem). These believing sinners reach out in faith and receive God’s righteousness. Before Jesus raises up the nation Israel via the New Covenant (Jairus’ dead little girl), He pauses to form the Little Flock (the hemorrhaging woman). Let us now summarize this devotionals arc….

A Storm Is Coming! #7

Monday, June 29, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Concerning the Great Flood of Noah’s day, an old world was destroyed, cleansed of all unbelievers, and replaced with a new world. A believing remnant on an Ark survived, just as Israel’s Little Flock outlasts Daniel’s 70th Week (the seven-year Tribulation). In the case of Jonah’s tempest, rebellious Israel (who refused to be God’s preachers to the Gentiles) is now converted in the Tribulation. In the Millennium, Israel reaches the world with God’s Word (as reformed Jonah ultimately preached to Nineveh).

As touching the storm of Matthew chapter 7, Jewish unbelievers are spiritually destroyed under the Antichrist, while Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus) are spiritually saved to enter Christ’s 1,000-Year Kingdom. Regarding the tempest of chapter 8, Christ is present with Israel’s Little Flock during their time of testing (Daniel’s 70th Week). He ensures their safety “to the other side:” they enter His kingdom and enjoy blessings of physical and spiritual healing. Satan is removed from Earth! Concerning the storm of chapter 14, Jesus is away, His return postponed. Then, believing Israel sees His Second Coming, when He tramples their enemies (unbelievers, especially the Antichrist). The nation confesses Jesus as the Son of God: there is spiritual healing, God’s righteousness imputed to Israel.

Enoch, who lived before the Great Flood (Genesis 5:21-24), preached: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14,15). Christ’s Second Coming loops back to the Great Flood (cf. today’s Scripture). All these storms preview various aspects of the future “storm” of Israel and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “Does Acts 7:14 have a mistake?,” “Does Acts 7:16 have a mistake?,” and “Does Acts 7:43 have mistakes?

Perfect Peace #3

Monday, March 16, 2020

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3,4 KJV).

Despite their grim circumstances, those who trust in the God of Scripture will be kept in “perfect peace!”

Israel will learn she cannot in and of herself be victorious over this evil world system. Her believing remnant must wait for Jesus Christ’s ultimate deliverance at His Second Coming. Psalm 68: “[1] Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. [2] 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. [3] But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. [4] Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.[34] Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. [35] O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.”

The Holy Spirit, moving the Prophet Isaiah, is looking down through time—at least 2,700 years—to see Israel’s Little Flock at the end of Daniel’s 70th Week. Preparing to enter the Millennium, they are rejoicing. The LORD God has brought them through their horrendous suffering. By reading and trusting their prophetic promises in Scripture, they have been kept safe! Walking by faith in Isaiah, the Book that spoke of both their tribulation and their kingdom, they knew that, no matter what, they would survive to see His earthly kingdom. God was faithful!

Likewise, brethren, regardless of our struggles, heartaches, and uncertainties in this life, we already know our final destiny as members of the Church the Body of Christ remains unchanged! Our eternal future is certain; thus, our temporary trials are certainly bearable (1 Corinthians 10:13). “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18). Enjoy that “perfect peace!” 🙂

Perfect Peace #1

Saturday, March 14, 2020

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3,4 KJV).

Despite their grim circumstances, those who trust in the God of Scripture will be kept in “perfect peace!”

Friend, life under the curse of sin is filled with innumerable surprises. (You did already know that, right?!) In a literal heartbeat, one’s life can change forever. Tragedy strikes in a variety of forms, and all are emotionally traumatic. Sin complicates life. It makes our existence difficult and risky. Yet, the people in today’s Scripture have learned how to make it through this rollercoaster we call “life!”

Let us read more from Isaiah chapter 26: “[1] In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks [fortifications, defenses]. [2] Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepth the truth may enter in. [3] Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. [4] Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”

Scanning the surrounding verses (especially the earlier chapter), we realize that this is Israel’s restoration at Christ’s Second Coming. The “righteous nation” is the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, joyfully singing a tune. (Can you hear them?) They have been delivered from that dreadful time of Daniel’s 70th Week—commonly called the seven-year Tribulation. Yes, they have survived the darkest and worst period of human history. Now, they are jubilant! Entering the Jerusalem of the Millennium, they are ready to enjoy the kingdom that the LORD God promised their forefathers all those centuries ago! With the city gates opened, these believing Jews literally walk into Jerusalem, and thus begins their eternal, face-to-face communion with their King Jesus Christ!

How did they make it through that time of tremendous distress and heartache? What was their secret? If we look closely at today’s Scripture, it becomes abundantly clear how we too—despite our distresses—can enjoy the peace of the God of the Bible….

Children of Light #6

Friday, August 30, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

When the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ reached down and saved Saul of Tarsus, nearly all the world groped in spiritual darkness. Except for the Little Flock (those few Jews who had trusted Jesus as Messiah—Luke 12:32), mankind was under Satan’s control. Almighty God sent the Apostle Paul to preach to these unsaved souls (Acts 26:16-18).

Read 2 Corinthians chapter 4: “[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Recall Psalm 119: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (verses 105,130).

Compare with Colossians chapter 1: “[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: [13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….” Paul’s Gospel is “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Israel’s rejected Messiah—that is, personal faith in Jesus’ finished crosswork—is how we escape the formidable darkness of Satan’s evil world system! As God wanted the Jews to be His children, the “children of light,” so we become “children of light” through simple faith in His Son….

Jesus, Please Leave! #2

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

We read today’s Scripture in its context: “[28] And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. [29] And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

“[30] And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. [31] So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. [32] And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. [33] And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. [34] And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.”

Two men possessed with devils are living among the tombs along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. They are “exceeding fierce,” or violent savages. Notice how they prevent anyone from passing. As the Lord Jesus comes, the evil spirits speak through these men: “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” While Israel is largely ignorant of Jesus being the Son of God, Satan and his fallen angelic allies are well aware of that truth!! These unclean spirits reveal that they recognize Christ’s dominion over them….

Bible Q&A #620: “Why did Ezekiel, in Babylon, warn of Jerusalem’s fall?