Confession Confusion #6

Saturday, June 26, 2021

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 KJV).

Lo, the chief proof-text of the “short-account system!” (And how to look at it afresh, without [!] denominational eyeglasses!)

By the time of John the Baptist’s ministry and Christ’s earthly ministry, national Israel is still apostate (refusing God’s Word) but a believing remnant (the Little Flock) is confessing their sins and their forefathers’ sins. Recall Matthew 3:6 and Mark 1:5. Ever since Moses 16 centuries prior, Israel has failed to “do” “all that the LORD hath spoken” (Exodus 19:1-8). The Jews have been habitually idolatrous, violating their agreement with JEHOVAH God at Sinai. Experiencing the fifth course of judgment or chastisement (Leviticus 26:40-46), they must confess their sins so as to be delivered into God’s earthly kingdom and enjoy the Abrahamic Covenant! Yet, as previously noted, religious Israelites refuse to learn the lesson of the Law of Moses (see their sin problem). Regarding all other Jews “sinners,” they believe they have no sins to confess and thus refuse John’s water baptism (Matthew 3:7-9; Luke 3:7,8; Luke 7:29,30; cf. Matthew 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 5:29-32).

Today’s Scripture addresses these Jews who suppose themselves to be sinless, “good enough” in their works-religion: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:7-10). First John 1:9 is written to unbelievers in Israel! Now, look at 1 John 2:12: “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Here is Israel’s believing remnant, the Little Flock.

Having now established the context of 1 John 1:9, let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Confession Confusion #5

Friday, June 25, 2021

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 KJV).

Lo, the chief proof-text of the “short-account system!” (And how to look at it afresh, without [!] denominational eyeglasses!)

Obeying Leviticus 26:40-42, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah all confessed sins in light of the Babylonian Captivity. “And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O LORD, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;…. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;…” (Daniel 9:4,20).

“O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this…. Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore…. Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange [pagan/heathen/idolatrous] wives” (Ezra 9:15; 10:1,11).

“Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned (Nehemiah 1:6). “And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God” (Nehemiah 9:2,3).

Hence, John the Baptist’s converts were also confessing their sins….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘surfeiting?’

Confession Confusion #2

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 KJV).

Lo, the chief proof-text of the “short-account system!” (And how to look at it afresh, without [!] denominational eyeglasses!)

Confession of sins first appears in Scripture in Leviticus 5:5,6: “And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” We would do well to note the Law of Moses is in effect here. (Later, we will return to Moses and the Law.)

In addition to ripping 1 John 1:9 from its context, members of Christendom have also been trained to seize upon four other primary passages. The first two concern John the Baptist’s ministry. “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins (Matthew 3:6). “And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins(Mark 1:5). This is where denominational people really get into trouble! They wrongly believe Christianity started here… and nothing could be further from the truth.

Moreover, we have been erroneously indoctrinated into searching the Book of Psalms for victorious Christian living. After all, did not King David write the following in Psalm 32:5? I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Was it not King Solomon who penned this in Proverbs 28:13? “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

See, it is so easy to quote a verse here and quote a verse there, and seem to be correct. However, before (!) we claim verses as our own, we had better understand their dispensational setting, or we will surely wind up in spiritual darkness….

Proverbial Prophecy #4

Thursday, June 17, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

The first chapter of Proverbs closes with: “[31] Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [32] For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. [33] But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Unbelieving Israel will reap what she has sown!

In addition to foretelling the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, John the Baptist notified them of the outpouring of wrath. They could accept his water baptism and the subsequent Holy Ghost baptism, or the fire baptism would consume them: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). As we know, Israel rejected Messiah and demanded His crucifixion. Therefore, the Antichrist will now enter and deceive them: “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).

The Antichrist will be under the Devil’s control, endowed with satanic wisdom, a brilliant philosopher like this world has never seen: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The Antichrist will use the wisdom of this world—condemned in 1 Corinthians chapters 1–3—to mislead Israel. Proverbs is God’s wisdom for Israel’s believing remnant, that they survive the deception resulting from the Antichrist’s whorish religious system (Revelation 17:1-18). Hence, Proverbs repeatedly warns against uniting with the “strange woman” (2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27; 27:13).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Proverbial Prophecy #3

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Resume reading the first chapter of Proverbs: “[20] Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: [21] She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, [22] How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? [23] Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Here foretold is John the Baptist’s ministry to Israel: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). For centuries, the Jewish people have not been listening to the LORD’S prophets; thus, a change in mind is necessary. They need to think Divine thoughts to prepare for Messiah’s arrival.

As per Proverbs 1:23, John the Baptist also preached of the impending outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11; fulfilled in Acts chapter 2; cf. Joel 2:28,29). Alas, King Solomon writing in Proverbs foresaw Israel’s nonstop rejection of Messiah—Matthew through John, and early Acts. Therefore, the LORD wrote through Solomon: “[24] Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; [25] But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: [26] I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; [27] When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. [28] Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: [29] For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: [30] They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”

Divine wrath and judgment now loom over apostate, unbelieving Israel….

Dayspring #4

Monday, April 26, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

Having seen the light of Messiah’s First Coming, His earthly ministry, we now glimpse the radiance of His Second Coming. For example, Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks to Israel: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” The nations languish in spiritual darkness and pagan idolatry as per Romans 1:18-32 and Genesis 11:1-9. However, once the LORD imparts spiritual light to Israel as she rises to kingdom glory, she preaches that Word of God to the Gentiles so as to dispel darkness from the Earth!

Looking beyond our Dispensation of Grace, we see the Apostle Peter urging Israel to trust Jesus as Messiah, that He first enlighten their souls with Divine revelation. When He returns, and they are redeemed, the converted nation evangelizes the lost Gentiles. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). In addition to spiritual darkness, Christ’s Second Coming will drive out physical darkness. His glorious return will be a literal sunrise, to end the night of His extended absence: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2). Second Thessalonians 2:8 alludes to this “brightness of his coming.”

Finally, Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Come, Lord Jesus, Thou Dayspring!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Why was the levirate marriage important in Bible times?” and “Why was Moses ordered to be shoeless?

Dayspring #3

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

The Prophet Isaiah, circa 700 B.C., penned: “[8:22] And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness. [9:1] Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. [9:2] The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

Isaiah’s words are interpreted in Matthew 4:13-17, Christ’s earthly ministry: “[13] And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: [14] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, [15] The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; [16] The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. [17] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” By Jesus preaching God’s Word, the Gospel of the Kingdom, He is spreading spiritual light and driving out the persistent spiritual darkness from Israel’s land and people.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4,5). Yet, Israel rejects that Light who gives light, and in His absence comes more darkness….

Dayspring #2

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

Using simple common sense, we see two ideas in the word “dayspring”—day and spring. The day is springing forth, appearing or emerging. In other words, it is sunrise or dawn. (The Greek word, “anatole,” is elsewhere rendered “east,” as in the direction of sunrise—Matthew 2:1,2,9; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 24:27; Luke 13:29; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 16:12; Revelation 21:13.) As touching the “dayspring” of Luke, however, a source of light other than the sun is being referenced. Before we identify the light, we make note of the darkness. Today’s Scripture, in part: whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

Let us turn over now to chapter 1 of John: “[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

Scripture, of course, is speaking of light in a figurative sense here, but that does not detract from the literal truth being conveyed. Israel languishes in spiritual darkness—ignorance—but Messiah from Heaven has appeared to enlighten her….

Dayspring #1

Friday, April 23, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

After John the Baptist’s birth, his father Zacharias preached a lengthy sermon in Luke chapter 1. Let us read it in full: “[67] And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, [68] Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, [69] And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; [70] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: [71] That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; [72] To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; [73] The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, [74] That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, [75] In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

“[76] And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; [77] To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, [78] Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, [79] To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” As the Holy Ghost led him, Zacharias declared the various Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament were coming to pass. Christ Jesus had already been conceived in Mary’s womb, and was to be born in roughly six months. John the Baptist would play an exceptional role, introducing Israel to her Messiah.

With the arrival of God’s “anointed,” the “dayspring from on high” would visit the Jewish people. Exactly what is this “dayspring,” and how will it affect Israel? Let us study the Scriptures to find out….

Bible Q&A #830: “What is the ‘bound’ of Hosea 5:10?

World Lost! #5

Thursday, August 6, 2020

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children” (Deuteronomy 4:9,10 KJV).

Some have cried out, “This world is going to hell in a handbasket!” Others have exclaimed, “We have lost our country!” Surely, surely, they are all correct!

In 2 Kings chapter 2, we read of a strange event that occurred circa 900 B.C. The Prophet Elijah has just gone up into Heaven, and the Prophet Elisha is now functioning as his successor. Notice: “[23] And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. [24] And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. [25] And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.”

Regarding the bears consuming these youth, see Moses’ warning concerning the third course of chastisement (Leviticus 26:21,22). The “little children”—not necessarily toddlers or preschoolers—could have been as old as teenagers. Whatever their age, they unashamedly ridiculed God’s spokesman. Such an attitude was learned at home, where Jewish parents failed to obey Moses’ instructions in today’s Scripture. Those mothers and fathers taught their children to have, not faith in the LORD, but patent unbelief! By the time of the murders of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Stephen many centuries later, the nation Israel had already long forgotten the covenant they made with JEHOVAH God at Mount Sinai….

Note: In order to bring a special study tomorrow, we will temporarily break away from this devotionals arc….