That They All May Be One! #5

Monday, March 22, 2021

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20,21 KJV).

What exactly is this unity?

All 12 tribes were safe and secure under King David. After idolatrous King Solomon’s death, however, the 10 northern tribes branched off to form the Kingdom of Israel, and the two southern tribes became the Kingdom of Judah. While Judah remained loyal to the Davidic dynasty for the next 350 years, Israel had a succession of various dynasties ruling it. Ultimately, the Assyrians overthrew Israel circa 722 B.C., and the Babylonians conquered David’s family in 586 B.C. with the fall of Jerusalem. No son of David has ever reigned in Israel since.

In Luke chapter 1, the Angel Gabriel informed Mary the virgin she was to be the mother of the Saviour: “[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” This points back to God’s promise made to David 10 centuries prior (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Isaiah 9:6,7). The house of Jacob is still broken, politically devastated, but with the Messiah comes unity for the Jewish people.

The curse of the Old Covenant brought division, yet the blessing of the New Covenant brings harmony: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake [disobeyed], although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:….” (Jeremiah 31:31,32). JEHOVAH God will reunify all 12 tribes under David’s dynasty….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we have a ministry to people who abuse us?

That They All May Be One! #4

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20,21 KJV).

What exactly is this unity?

Under King David, the nation Israel reached her peak spiritually, socially, politically, militarily, and economically. Once his son Solomon ascended to the throne, Israel continued to enjoy what David began decades prior. However, many years into his administration, Solomon began romantic relationships with 1,000 (!) pagan, idolatrous women: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:4). It is an understatement to say Solomon’s idolatry here was utterly disastrous for Israel!

“[11] Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. [12] Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. [13] Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.”

In the Mosaic Law many centuries previous, if Israel disobeyed the LORD, He had promised to weaken—yea, destroy—their political power. “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power…” (Leviticus 26:18,19). Read 1 Kings 11:26-43. Once Solomon died, Israel was divided into a Northern Kingdom (Israel—10 tribes) and a Southern Kingdom (Judah—two tribes). Roughly 900 years later, Christ begins His earthly ministry, seeking to reunite Israel and Judah as in the days of His father David….

Bible Q&A #820: “Why does the LORD make a covenant with animals?

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks #2

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11,12 KJV).

The third and fourth verses of the classic Christmas carol paraphrase today’s Scripture.

“‘To you, in David’s town, this day,
Is born of David’s line
A Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign.
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling-clothes
And in a manger laid
And in a manger laid.’”

Bethlehem-Judah—not to be confused with the Bethlehem of northern Israel—was known for being King David’s birthplace (1 Samuel 16:18). It was also where his great-grandmother Ruth had lived (Ruth 1:19). But, Bethlehem-Judah (or Bethlehem-Ephratah, or Bethlehem-Judaea) was no Jerusalem, or Rome, or Alexandria, major cities at that time. Nevertheless, the shadows/types/previews were present.

Jesus Christ had come to fulfill the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:12-16). He is the Son of David who can accomplish the governmental part of the Abrahamic Covenant. Reading from Luke chapter 1: “[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” God had His Son born in Bethlehem of Judah, the same place where King David was born 1,000 years earlier!

The angel said it was easy for the shepherds to find Baby Jesus. There was only one Bethlehem-Judah, and there was only one manger in that little town that held a little Baby tightly wrapped in clothes. That little Baby would grow up to be a Man, mature and thus fully able to reign from David’s throne. No wonder the angels proceeded to sing such wonderful news!

A Naughty Tongue! #13

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Psalm 63: “[A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.] [1] O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; [2] To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. [3] Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. [4] Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

“[5] My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: [6] When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. [7] Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. [8] My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. [9] But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. [10] They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. [11] But the king [David!] shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

Saints, if we have sound Bible doctrine working in us—as King David did 3,000 years ago—then we will burst forth in song and praise to Almighty God. We can use our tongues to utter man’s foolishness, or God’s wisdom: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). Have not have a “naughty tongue!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘leasing’ in the King James Bible?

A Naughty Tongue! #6

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Recall Matthew 12:24, when the Pharisees wrongly accused Jesus of casting out devils by drawing on Satan’s power. Christ thus told His Apostles in Matthew chapter 10: “[24] The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. [25] It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [Satan!], how much more shall they call them of his household?” That is, “Whatever hateful language they applied to Me, expect worse for yourselves!”

King David, representing Israel’s believing remnant, wrote 1,000 years earlier: “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue…. Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul (Psalm 109:2,20). The Prophet Jeremiah, over 600 years before Christ, was falsely slandered: Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words” (Jeremiah 18:18).

The Prophet Stephen was also unjustly criticized. “Then they suborned [bribed, enticed] men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God…. And [they] set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:…” (Acts 6:11,13). Finally, the Apostle Peter wrote to believing Israel in 1 Peter 2:12: “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Also, chapter 4, verse 4: “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:….”

Back to James chapter 3….

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks #2

Monday, December 9, 2019

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11,12 KJV).

The third and fourth verses of the classic Christmas carol paraphrase today’s Scripture.

“‘To you, in David’s town, this day,
Is born of David’s line
A Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign.
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling-clothes
And in a manger laid
And in a manger laid.’”

Bethlehem-Judah—not to be confused with the Bethlehem of northern Israel—was known for being King David’s birthplace (1 Samuel 16:18). It was also where his great-grandmother Ruth had lived (Ruth 1:19). But, Bethlehem-Judah (or Bethlehem-Ephratah, or Bethlehem-Judaea) was no Jerusalem, or Rome, or Alexandria, major cities at that time. Nevertheless, the shadows/types/previews were present.

Jesus Christ had come to fulfill the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:12-16). He is the Son of David who can accomplish the governmental part of the Abrahamic Covenant. Reading from Luke chapter 1: “[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” God had His Son born in Bethlehem of Judah, the same place where King David was born 1,000 years earlier!

The angel said it was easy for the shepherds to find Baby Jesus. There was only one Bethlehem-Judah, and there was only one manger in that little town that held a little Baby tightly wrapped in clothes. That little Baby would grow up to be a Man, mature and thus fully able to reign from David’s throne. No wonder the angels proceeded to sing such wonderful news!

What Pleases God #8

Saturday, November 9, 2019

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (2 Peter 1:17 KJV).

Using the Scriptures, we will define exactly what God thinks well of….

“He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me” (2 Samuel 22:20; cf. Psalm 18:19). King David celebrates after JEHOVAH God “delighted” (was pleased with) him and delivered him from all his enemies. This previews believing Israel’s future deliverance at Christ’s Second Coming, liberated from Satan and all other Jew-haters. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

When compared to His Son’s perfect sacrifice of Himself on Calvary’s cross, God has “no pleasure” in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (Hebrews 10:6-8). As concerning us Christians in the Body of Christ, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). God has “no pleasure” in hearts of unbelief (Hebrews 10:38). He was “not well pleased” with a large number of Jews who came out of Egypt (1 Corinthians 10:5); hence, they died in unbelief in the wilderness in the Book of Numbers. As Israel killed Messiah Jesus, and then persecuted and slew His Apostles and their converts during the Acts period, the Holy Spirit commented on how the Jews “please not God” (1 Thessalonians 2:15).

“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased (Psalm 115:3; cf. Psalm 135:6). “By him [Christ] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased (Hebrews 13:15,16). “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs” (Psalm 69:30,31). Saints, we know what pleases God! Now, how will we respond? 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘appearing’ of the Lord in 2 Timothy 4:8?

What Pleases God #3

Monday, November 4, 2019

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (2 Peter 1:17 KJV).

Using the Scriptures, we will define exactly what God thinks well of….

The LORD God was “pleased” to bless King David’s house, ensuring that Jesus Christ would be born of his seed and reign over Israel as his heir. “Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever” (2 Samuel 7:29). “Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever” (1 Chronicles 17:27).

While God promised His earthly kingdom to Israel, the nation apostatized (turned from Him), prompting Him to form a believing remnant within the nation. That remnant—the Little Flock—will be the recipient of that earthly kingdom sworn to David and even Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 17:6). Consequently, the Lord Jesus assured His disciples: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32; cf. Matthew 21:43).

“Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee” (Jonah 1:14). It “pleased” the LORD to generate a storm to judge disobedient Jonah for refusing to preach to Gentiles; here is Israel’s (future) end-time suffering, the consequence of her rejecting her ministry to share God’s Word with the Gentiles. As we read just moments ago, however, it will also “please” God to deliver Israel, bless her, and make her a blessing to all people (Gentiles).

It pleased Father God to make Israel the head of the nations, because it also pleased Him to make Jesus Christ the Head of all creation. Now, we see where we the Church the Body of Christ enter the scene….

A Brokenhearted Father

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! (2 Samuel 18:32,33 KJV).

What parenting lesson can we learn here?

It is an understatement to say that King David was emotionally shattered. His son Absalom had been killed—murdered by some of David’s impulsive military officials (verses 9-17). Upon hearing of Absalom’s slaying, he probably reflected on his parental shortcomings that had led up to this most disastrous outcome. Indeed, he had not been a good father to any of his children.

Amnon, David’s firstborn, raped his sister Tamar (David’s daughter), but David neither consoled Tamar nor punished Amnon (2 Samuel 13:1-21). When Absalom murdered his brother for assaulting his sister, Absalom fled to a foreign land for three years (verses 23-39). Only after being pressurized did David finally send for Absalom from exile (2 Samuel 14:1-24). Nevertheless, when Absalom returned to Jerusalem, David did not see him in-person for two years (2 Samuel 14:28). After meeting his father, Absalom eventually incited a coup and David had to flee his throne (2 Samuel chapters 15–17).

In the chapter of today’s Scripture, David commanded his servants to bring Absalom alive (verses 5,12). Instead, they killed the young man! It was such a terrible, heart-wrenching life that David could have caused his son to avoid. Absalom’s many transgressions could have been minimized had his father taken the opportunity to follow Deuteronomy 6:7 and Deuteronomy 11:19. We find similar wording in Ephesians 6:4: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [care] and admonition [instruction] of the Lord.” Alas, it was too late for poor Absalom to hear God’s words from his father’s lips—he was dead!

Friends, what we can learn here is to train our children in the Scriptures, before their lives are ruined or tragically cut short.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What advice can be given to Christians coping with the death of another saint?

He Who Deserves Praise

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being (Psalm 146:1,2 KJV).

Why does the Psalmist exhort, “Praise the LORD?”

Let us continue reading: “[3] Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. [4] His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Our fellow man, no matter how “dedicated” or “promising,” will eventually fail and dissatisfy us.

The LORD God, JEHOVAH God, however, is ascribed 12 major triumphs: “[5] Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: [6] Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: [7] Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: [8] The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: [9] The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. [10] The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.”

He is Creator of all (verse 6), He keeps truth forever (verse 6), executes judgment for the troubled (verse 7), feeds the hungry (verse 7), frees the captives (verse 7), opens the eyes of the blind (verse 8), lifts the stooping (verse 8), loves the righteous (verse 8), preserves the strangers (verse 9), alleviates the orphans and widows (verse 9), turns the way of the wicked upside down (verse 9), and reigns forever (verse 10).

Actually, these underscore various aspects of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. The Antichrist, an apostate king Israel demanded, has proved to be an utter disappointment: his promises were mere flatteries, worthless as he is. All the misery he caused, injustice he supported, and ruin he left behind, are reversed. Creation is liberated from Satan’s grip. The rightful King is now sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem—His reign unending! “The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is it not enough that ‘I believe in God?’