Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back (Luke 17:31 KJV).

Friend, you may be surprised to learn that “stuff” is a Bible word. It is a generic term employed to refer to various bits of matter, materials, articles, or activities. These things may not be defined or determined, so such an unrestrictive noun is quite convenient. Observe this stuff!

Laban frenetically searched Jacob’s “stuff” for his idols but found them not (Genesis 31:37). Pharaoh told Joseph to bring his family from Canaan and to “regard not [their] stuff” because “the good of all the land of Egypt is [theirs]” (Genesis 45:20). The Mosaic Law issued instructions about what would happen if a man gave his neighbor “money or stuff” to watch and guard and it was stolen (Exodus 22:7). As the planning of the Tabernacle was underway, the Jewish people were forced to stop giving building supplies because the “stuff” they had already given was more than enough (Exodus 36:7). God spoke of a conspiracy to take forbidden items and hide them in the “stuff” of the camp of Israel (Joshua 7:11).

Saul, just after his anointing as Israel’s first king, was so timid that he hid among the “stuff” (1 Samuel 10:22). As David and his companions are fleeing King Saul’s angry face, 200 of them stay by the “stuff” to protect it (1 Samuel 25:13). First Samuel 30:24 has David saying, “For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.” In cleansing a polluted room, Nehemiah threw out all the household “stuff” (Nehemiah 13:8). As a way of teaching Judah of their impending deportation to Babylon, God told the Prophet Ezekiel to prepare him “stuff” for moving his “stuff” (Ezekiel 12:3,4,7).

The Bible’s final reference to “stuff” is today’s Scripture. Here, “stuff” is just that—inconsequential and useless. It is to be abandoned when Israel must choose between retaining it and escaping the Antichrist defiling Jerusalem!!!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why is Jesus Christ called ‘The Word of God?’

But Not For Ever

Saturday, November 19, 2016

“And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever” (1 Kings 11:39 KJV).

Such bad news… albeit it is only temporary!

Friend, at some point in your association with Christian circles, you have surely heard the expression “the divided Jewish kingdom.” What had begun as a small tribe with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, exploded into a nation of at least two million people escaping Egypt. Moses, followed by Joshua, and then a dozen judges, all governed Israel for about four centuries. Samuel the Priest-Prophet took over, before Israel demanded the LORD through Samuel give them a king like every other nation had. Saul was Israel’s first king, followed by David, and then David’s son Solomon. Today’s Scripture was spoken in the latter part of Solomon’s reign. The kingdom of Israel will soon be split in two!

King Solomon, although (famously) endowed with divine wisdom, was nevertheless a sinner, a man prone to failure like us all. He had an insatiable desire for women, especially foreign women, those from heathen (idolatrous) backgrounds. Eventually, he had relations with 1,000 (!) women, all of who enticed him with their respective idols. Satan had successfully found a “hole” in Israel’s spiritual life, and he exploited it as much as possible. Read the 38 verses previous to today’s Scripture. While it broke the LORD’S heart to see David’s son so deceived, He had to punish wicked Israel!

The Prophet Ahijah came to Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam, with some shocking news. JEHOVAH God was giving him (Jeroboam) the ten northern tribes of Israel (verses 26ff.—known as “Israel”). For David’s sake, God promised to leave to his sons the two southern tribes and Jerusalem the capital (collectively called “Judah,” after the leading tribe). As soon as Solomon died several years later, Jeroboam returned from Egypt and took over Israel’s 10 northern tribes. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was made king of the southern kingdom. Israel’s once-united government had lost its Davidic dynasty. But not for ever,” JEHOVAH’S promise echoes.

“JESUS… the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob [all 12 tribes] for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

A Rebellion, a Reign, and a Rainstorm

Friday, March 20, 2015

“Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king” (1 Samuel 12:17 KJV).

Samuel’s address to Israel confirms, “the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22a).

Israel is God’s “sign-people.” What did Jesus say to Israel in John 4:48? “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Moses knew that, unless he had miraculous demonstrations to confirm God’s message, Israel would not believe him either (Exodus 4:1-17,29-31). In the Mosaic Law, JEVOVAH God told Israel not to have any other gods before Him—no images, no idols, no false religious worship, no heathen child-sacrifices, et cetera. They were to be true to Him alone.

Some 500 years after Moses, Samuel serves as Israel’s prophet-judge-priest for many decades. Now aged, Samuel has two ungodly sons, and Israel refuses to have them as leaders once Samuel dies. Israel begs Samuel for a king, that they be like the other nations (when God had wanted them to be unique). We read in 1 Samuel 8:7: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”

In today’s Scripture, Saul has served as Israel’s king for less than a year. Samuel says it is “wheat harvest” (our May-June). The rainy winter months, December-January, are passed, and yet, God will confirm His Word that they have done evil in desiring a king. “So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king” (verses 18,19).

The Jews had a divine sign as confirmation… they saw that they were wicked in demanding a king!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What happened to those saints raised from the dead in Matthew 27:52-53?

Aerial Attack! #1

Sunday, July 6, 2014

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines(2 Samuel 5:24 KJV).

Some 3,000 years ago, Israel had aerial military support, and it is only a preview of the “fighter jets” yet to come!

Having just slain King Saul in battle (see 1 Samuel chapter 31 and 2 Samuel chapter 1), the Philistines now hear of King David’s reign over Israel, and they attack him; JEHOVAH God gives David and Israel victory (2 Samuel 5:17-21).

Let us proceed to today’s Scripture and its context: “[22] And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. [23] And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass [circle them and go] behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. [24] And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself [get to moving to attack them]: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. [25] And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.” (The companion passage is 1 Chronicles 14:13-17.)

When David asked JEHOVAH what action to take concerning the approaching Philistine armies, He promised David that He would be with Israel. More than that, Israel’s God would attack the Philistines before Israel’s army would. He would attack from the air, and Israel’s troops would literally hear their God flying above them and defending them against their enemies! Because of JEHOVAH’S faithfulness, Israel won yet another military victory.

Lest we conclude that this is “just another boring history lesson,” consider the fact that today’s Scripture is actually a rehearsal for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, when He completely defeats all of Israel’s enemies. Yea, it will be another “aerial attack….”

Cain Came and Brought Shame #10

Tuesday, July 1, 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?

The Bible student understands what began in the book of Genesis is brought to its ultimate fulfillment in the book of the Revelation. God’s purpose and plan for creation initiated (and delayed) in Genesis is thus brought to fruition in the Revelation; Satan’s evil world system that began in Genesis is destroyed in the Revelation.

One of the primary ways that God will comfort believing Israel during those most difficult years—the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation—is to teach them using types, previews of their situation, found in the Holy Bible’s historical narratives. All of the Old Testament Scriptures about enduring hardship (especially the Psalms) will be critical to believing Israel’s spiritual edification as Satan tries their faith.

Israel will particularly benefit from the Bible’s accounts of how their ancestors were delivered from Pharaoh (a type of Antichrist), how David was delivered from Saul (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel’s three friends were delivered from Nebuchadnezzar (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel endured the lions’ den (a type of the Tribulation), how Job survived his awful ordeals (a type of the Tribulation), and so on. JEHOVAH was faithful to all of these saints, and He will be faithful to Israel’s believing remnant now facing the Antichrist’s wrath.

Regarding the story of Cain and Abel, Israel will learn how Abel gave his life for the very God they will now be serving to the Antichrist’s hatred. They need not be discouraged; they need not marvel that the world hates them (1 John 3:11-13). Even if they lose their lives (and many Messianic Jews will perish; Matthew 10:39; Revelation 20:4), Abel’s testimony still affirms that God is faithful (Hebrews 11:4). After all, Jesus Christ will return to defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and all of Earth’s wicked, and believing Israel will be resurrected bodily, to enter God’s earthly kingdom (Revelation 19:11–20:6).

Cain brought shame, but the real Messiah, Jesus, what joy and hope He will bring! 🙂

Honest Samuel

Friday, August 9, 2013

“And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand” (1 Samuel 12:4 KJV).

How many politicians and church leaders could we say this to today?

About 1,000 years before Christ, Samuel (“heard of God”) served as a prophet, a priest, and a judge over the nation Israel for many years (although the Bible does not provide a numerical figure, it does tell us he served from “childhood” to him being “old and grayheaded” [1 Samuel 12:2]). His sons are wicked rulers in Israel, guilty of administering crooked judgment and accepting bribes—they “walked not in [Samuel’s] ways” (1 Samuel 8:1-5). Thus, Israel desires Samuel to choose his successor, which is Israel’s first king, Saul (1 Samuel chapters 8-10).

Later, after Saul is anointed as Israel’s king, Samuel addresses the nation (today’s Scripture). Let us see how this man of God ruled God’s people (1 Samuel 12:1-5):

“And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed [Saul]: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.”

Even the LORD Himself testified to Samuel’s honest reign! It was such a shame that his sons did not follow his example, for their corrupt administrations led Israel to reject Samuel, and more importantly, God’s wisdom by which he ruled.

What Does God Want Me to Do? #4

Sunday, April 1, 2012

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).

Today is April Fools’ Day, but our world abounds with fools year-round. According to God’s Word, who is foolish?

Reigning from 1050–1010 B.C., Saul was Israel’s first king. Mostly a bad king, he repeatedly attempted to kill righteous David (1 Samuel 18:29–19:24, for instance) and Saul even consulted a witch (1 Samuel 28:7-25). But there was one instance of evil (foolishness) that cost Saul his throne: “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept [obeyed] the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever” (1 Samuel 13:13).

The prophet Samuel told Saul to wait for him to offer a burnt offering (1 Samuel 13:8-12), but Saul proceeded to perform the offering without Samuel. God told Saul through Samuel, “Thou hast done foolishly.” Saul wanted to do his own thing (sin); he did not care what God’s spokesman said. Later on, Saul again ignored and disobeyed God’s Word (1 Samuel 15:2-35).

Sadly, lost people and most Christians are just as rebellious towards God’s Word as King Saul was. God’s spokesman to us Gentiles is the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11), but few people know and most do not care to know. These people are just as foolish as Saul was because they ignore God’s Word to them. They follow God’s will for Israel (Old Testament, Four Gospel Records, Acts, Hebrews through Revelation).

If you want to know God’s will for you (today’s Scripture), you must go to Bible books which document God’s current dealings with man, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon. Paul wrote, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37).

When you ignore Paul’s letters, you ignore the commandments of God to us, and by doing so, “thou hast done foolishly!”