No Good Deeds, No Good Things #7

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25 KJV).

Here is the result of being under any performance-based acceptance system!

Religious tradition promotes the 10 Commandments as God’s method for entering Heaven. “I keep the Law!,” one boasts. “I do the best I can!,” brags another. Long ago, a Christian brother correctly observed: “The widespread delusion that a person can be saved by good works is dangerous, and many are on the road to hell smug in their supposed goodness.”

When God issued the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), it was bad not good! Israel had ignored His free blessings of grace (chapters 13-18), and preferred to work for those gifts (chapter 19)! Rather than “do,” they “did not!” How severely were they judged (today’s Scripture)—and even worse later. Moreover, today (2,600 years after Jeremiah), God has actually not fully punished disobedient Israel!

First John 3:4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So Israel could recognize sin, God erected boundaries (Mosaic Law). Romans 3:20 again, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” When Israel sinned, she really “transgressed” (“crossed limits”). First Corinthians 15:56, “the strength of sin is the law.” Sin will reign in our lives—as it did with Israel—when we adopt a performance-based acceptance system (Law).

“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence [strong desires]. For without the law sin was dead…. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful (Romans 7:8,13). “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all(James 2:10). “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them (Galatians 3:10).

We thus need Grace, not Law….

ATTENTION: Shorewood Bible Church’s 2018 Summer Family Bible Conference continues today, Tuesday, at 9 A.M. Central U.S. Time. The theme is “God’s Prophetic Calendar,” and the conference runs until Thursday. Watch the LIVE video feed streamed here: http://understandgrace.com/watch-live/. Visit http://understandgrace.com/2018-summer-family-bible-conference/ for more information. Come and join us!

No Good Deeds, No Good Things #6

Monday, July 23, 2018

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25 KJV).

Here is the result of being under any performance-based acceptance system!

According to Leviticus chapter 26, Israel would endure five courses (stages) of curses or judgments for disobeying the Mosaic Law. The second course involved God weakening Israel politically (verses 18,19). Once King Solomon died, his kingdom split into two kingdoms—the 10 northern tribes (retaining the name “Israel”) and the two southern tribes (assuming the title “Judah”).

Reading today’s Scripture in context: “[23] But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. [24] Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. [25] Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.” Since the Jews have been habitually wicked, God has not given them rain—the first course of judgment (Leviticus 26:18-20). The second, third, and fourth courses are already working. Number five is coming!

The fifth and final course of chastisement is expulsion from the Promised Land (Leviticus 26:27-39). About a century before Jeremiah, the Northern Kingdom was deported into Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-23). The Southern Kingdom, where Jeremiah conducts his ministry, will be deported to Babylon in just a few years (2 Kings 24:1–25:21; 2 Chronicles 36:14-21).

We can just hear the echo of Israel 900 years earlier at Mount Sinai: All that the LORD hath spoken we will do(Exodus 19:8). That little two-letter word—“do”doomed them. Romans chapter 3, verses 19-20: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [!!!!] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [!!!!]Dear friends, the Law exposes (not empowers!!) and condemns (not commends!!) sinners! Works-religion damned God’s special nation, Israel, and it damns all sons of Adam even today….

ATTENTION: Shorewood Bible Church’s 2018 Summer Family Bible Conference continues today, Monday, at 9 A.M. Central U.S. Time. The theme is “God’s Prophetic Calendar,” and the conference runs until Thursday. Watch the LIVE video feed streamed here: http://understandgrace.com/watch-live/. Visit http://understandgrace.com/2018-summer-family-bible-conference/ for more information. Come and join us!

No Good Deeds, No Good Things #5

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25 KJV).

Here is the result of being under any performance-based acceptance system!

Some 900 years after giving the Mosaic Law, God said of Israel in Jeremiah 1:16: “And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.”

Chapter 2: “[7] And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. [8] The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal [pagan god], and walked after things that do not profit [idols]…. [11] Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.”

“[20] For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot [spiritual whoredom]…. [27] Saying to a stock [stick], Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. [28] But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. [29] Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. [30] In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. [32] Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” Also see Jeremiah 3:6-9,13,21 and Jeremiah 4:1.

Israel has broken God’s Law to such an extent that today’s Scripture has come to pass….

ATTENTION: Shorewood Bible Church’s 2018 Summer Family Bible Conference continues today, Sunday, at 9 A.M. Central U.S. Time. The theme is “God’s Prophetic Calendar,” and the conference runs until Thursday. Watch the LIVE video feed streamed here: http://understandgrace.com/watch-live/. Visit http://understandgrace.com/2018-summer-family-bible-conference/ for more information. Come and join us!

Thrilling Bible Study!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16 KJV).

Can you agree with the Prophet Jeremiah?

Too many people who read the Bible are unwilling to let it speak for itself. They always try to force into it their own preconceived denominational ideas. In doing so, they make it a mess and destroy the clarity. It becomes such a burden that they almost wish they never picked up a Bible at all. May they learn this lesson from Jeremiah!

In today’s Scripture, Jeremiah was one of the few people living in his day who was so willing to receive the Word of God. God’s Word became the joy (noun) and the rejoicing (verb) of his heart. He was a servant of God so it only stood to reason that he would submit himself to JEHOVAH God’s instructions. Since Jeremiah knew God’s will for his life, he conducted a successful ministry for 40 years. We have come so much further than Jeremiah concerning God’s purpose and plan for creation, but we should be just as willing to receive God’s revelation post-Jeremiah as Jeremiah was receptive to having God’s Word in his own day.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). When you take God’s Word, study it rightly divided, and take your stand by faith in it, you are going to have the thrill of your life! The “Old Book” will literally become a “New Book.” You need not struggle any longer trying to sort through “contradictory” verses. Rather, you need to rejoice in God’s Word to you—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—and study all 66 books of the Bible in light of the Pauline revelation. Break free from the chains of Satanic confusion and get on with working with God to accomplish His will: “God, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Let me assure you—you will never regret it! 🙂

Our latest (companion) Bible Q&As: “Can you explain Genesis 6:1-4?” and “Can you explain 1 Peter 3:18-21?

Lamentations and Adulations #2

Saturday, February 27, 2016

“But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us” (Lamentations 5:22 KJV).

What a befitting end to the book of Lamentations!

Lamentations is actually the Holy Spirit through Jeremiah expressing His grief concerning the destruction His people brought upon themselves. But, it is also Jeremiah the Prophet voicing his praise of JEHOVAH God. The God of Israel is a good God, most forgiving and most gracious (Lamentations 3:22-25).

As He told Moses many centuries before Jeremiah, Exodus 34:5-7: “[5] And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. [6] And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, [7] Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

No matter what horrible situation Israel placed herself into, there was (and always would be) assurance that JEHOVAH God would never give up on her. He would never leave her completely. Israel, as all of sinful mankind, turned out to be such a rotten nation. God had every right to utterly reject them and be very wroth with them. They had turned Jerusalem, the city where He desired to live with them, into a pagan shrine where they had literally set up idols to worship and serve! My, how He judged Jerusalem—yea, all of Israel. But, He will never break His Word to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

As Paul the Apostle commented, although Israel is set aside today in our Dispensation of Grace: “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:28,29). God will make Israel His kingdom of priests in His own time. “Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21—the verse before today’s Scripture). Israel’s best years are still future—due to God’s faithfulness, not hers! 🙂

Lamentations and Adulations #1

Friday, February 26, 2016

“But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us” (Lamentations 5:22 KJV).

What a befitting end to the book of Lamentations!

Lamentations was written by Jeremiah the Prophet to mourn (“lament”) the city of Jerusalem that now lay in ruins. Once a magnificent city, now a shame. Jerusalem, once world-renown for its military conquests and splendorous Temple, now un-walled and defenseless. Heathen neighbors laughed. Her inhabitants dragged off to Babylon—only a few poor people remain. Her kings slaughtered or imprisoned—the Davidic monarchy destroyed. Solomon’s magnificent Temple—now charred wood and scattered stones. JEHOVAH’S presence—long departed from Jerusalem. No economy, no Jewish government, almost no population, no religious system, no walls or military, no more Promised Land. All gone. Taken away. Indeed, Jeremiah aptly summarized it: “But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us!”

How God’s wrath fell upon His beloved city! We cannot imagine the violent fury that obliterated Jerusalem during Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s third invasion! (If God did that to His own nation, what is He going to all the Gentile nations one day?!) He was so very angry, so enraged, that He “utterly rejected” Israel! Once He came, there was nothing left! For five long chapters, Jeremiah poured out his heart, literally weeping throughout Lamentations. JEHOVAH God was just. Jerusalem, warned for centuries, completely refused to listen to prophets JEHOVAH had sent to warn her. Having reached the point of “no-return,” no repentance or conversion, judgment came! Jeremiah looked at Jerusalem in ruins, and he closed Lamentations with a very heavy heart: “But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us!”

A very depressing predicament—such extensive destruction makes Jerusalem appear perpetually ruined. But, small rays of hope appear in Lamentations 3:22-25: “[22] It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [23] They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. [24] The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. [25] The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Jerusalem was destroyed, but not 100 percent annihilated. Her people were unfaithful to Him by worshipping and serving idols, but He would be faithful anyway!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who was Melchizedek?

“Hate Speech” #7

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt” (Jeremiah 38:4 KJV).

Who is “this man?” And, what words is he speaking to make him worthy of being “put to death?”

About 600 years after the Prophet Jeremiah preached to Israel, the Apostle Paul preached to heathen. Note chapter 17 of Acts, when Paul and his ministry companions preached Jesus Christ: “[6] And when they [the unbelieving Jews] found them [Paul and Silas] not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; [7] Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

At this point, Paul has been preaching for over 20 years. The Jesus Christ who he had been proclaiming had angered many people all over the Roman Empire. Apostate Jews had heard of this renegade Pharisaical scholar preaching about an imposter he himself had once rejected and hated. Observe how those lost Jews accused Paul, Silas, and their ministry coworkers of “turn[ing] the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). As someone once commented, “Oh no, Jesus Christ through Paul was turning the world right-side up!” Indeed, lost man and God never see eye-to-eye. This world that God had originally created “good” is now evil. Mankind is evil, so he sees nothing wrong with the world; man views any improvement of it as bad. God, holy and just, recognizes the world as corrupt, and He will fully reclaim it from Satan one day!

Brethren, we know there is an everlasting devil’s hell waiting for all who die without Jesus Christ. May we, in love, reach them quickly with the message of Christ crucified for their sins, His burial, and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Let them falsely accuse us. One way or another, in heaven or in hell, they will realize just how important that message is! 🙂