The Worship of the Calf #3

Thursday, September 30, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

Thrice more God refers to Israel’s calf-worship at Mount Sinai. “Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;…” (Nehemiah 9:18). They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image (Psalm 106:19). “To whom [God] our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands” (Acts 7:39-41). Nevertheless, 500 years after Moses, the Jews resumed their calf-worship.

Once King Solomon died, Israel was divided into two southern tribes (Judah) and 10 northern tribes (Israel). This weakening of Jewish political might was God’s judgment for Solomon’s repeated idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-43; cf. Leviticus 26:18-19). Judah remained loyal to David’s house through son Solomon and grandson Rehoboam, but Israel swore allegiance to Jeroboam the servant of Solomon. Jeroboam, fearing Israel would worship at the Jerusalem Temple according to God’s true religion revealed to Moses, instituted a counterfeit religion up north. What do you suppose was Jeroboam’s preferred idol?!?

“Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made” (1 Kings 12:28,32).

Calf-worship continues in Israel….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘trow’ mean?

Seven Men Named Before Birth #2

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

Hagar, Sarah’s slave girl, really had no choice in the matter of serving as her mistress’ surrogate. Abraham fathered a child by her. When animosity arose between the two women, Abraham evicted pregnant Hagar, after which time God informed her it was His will that the unborn child be named “Ishmael” (Hebrew, “God hears”); God has heard Hagar’s situation and pities her and her boy (Genesis 16:11). By the time of chapter 17, Abraham and Sarah are now 13 years older. Sarah, aged 90, is still barren. Upon learning God will give him a son through Sarah, 99-year-old Abraham falls on his face and laughs—rejoicing not scoffing (verse 17). As verse 19 relays to us, God directs Abraham to call this son “Isaac” (Hebrew, “laughter”), the beginning of the nation Israel.

Over 1,000 years later, King David reigns over Israel. In 2 Samuel chapter 11, he has that infamous affair with a married woman, Bathsheba, and arranges her husband’s murder to cover up the resultant pregnancy. David marries Bathsheba. The LORD, in chapter 12, sends the Prophet Nathan to condemn David for his wickedness: furthermore, the king learns his newborn baby will die, which he does. David and Bathsheba subsequently have another child, Solomon, “and the LORD loved him” (verse 24). Verse 25 tells us God had already chosen a name: “Jedediah” (Hebrew, “beloved of JEHOVAH”).

After King Solomon’s death, with the kingdoms of Israel (north) and Judah (south) divided, his servant (Jeroboam) and his son (Rehoboam) head internal civil wars (1 Kings chapters 11–13). While both pagan idolaters, Jeroboam is the worse; he establishes heathen religion in those northern 10 tribes. In chapter 13, while King Jeroboam is engaged in idolatry, God’s prophet warns him: a descendant of David will be born, “Josiah” (Hebrew, “founded of JEHOVAH”), and this man will bring extensive religious reform in Israel (verses 1-3). Some 350 years later, King Josiah invades the northern kingdom and destroys Jeroboam’s shrines (2 Kings 23:15-20).

Now, just three men remain on our list….

Proverbial Prophecy #5

Friday, June 18, 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?

Circa 970 B.C., the Holy Spirit moved Solomon to write Proverbs: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men… and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five…. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-32,34).

Unfortunately, decades later, Solomon abandoned God’s wisdom and followed Satan’s wisdom. This present evil world system led him to apostasy (pagan idolatry): “But king Solomon loved many strange [foreign/Gentile/heathen] women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…. Then did Solomon build an high place [shrine] for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods (1 Kings 11:1,2,7,8).

Dying and disappointed, Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. Like the Antichrist’s followers yet future, Solomon replaced the one true God with idols—philosophy, wealth, romance, entertainment, et cetera. As Christ said in Matthew 7:24-27 and Luke 6:47-49, Israel can be the wise man (Proverbs) or the foolish man (Ecclesiastes). Likewise, in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, we can be the wise man (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon) or the foolish man (non-Pauline).

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 9, 2021

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 33 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Archived: “What does the Bible say about motherhood?

That They All May Be One! #10

Saturday, March 27, 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?

Contrary to popular belief, the harmony or accord of which Jesus spoke in John chapter 17 was not Bible believers setting aside doctrine so as to unite with heretics and apostates. Rather, it was the reunification of the peoples of Israel and Judah, the divided kingdoms joined together as they were in the days of David. Through the Apostles’ preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom—Jesus is Christ, the Son of David—their converts would return to Father God and thus submit to the Davidic dynasty as before. Ultimately, this will occur during the Millennium.

Re-read John chapter 17: “[16] They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. [19] And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” We must not throw away sound Bible doctrine, for true Christian unity is based on the truth (cf. Ephesians 4:3-6). Thus, it is impossible to make all beliefs equivalent: all religions and denominations cannot be accepted without reservation. The Bible is specific in its teachings; therefore, we conclude doctrine matters (Romans 16:17,18; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Titus 3:9-11; et al.). Remember, the division between Israel and Judah occurred because of Solomon’s false religions, epitomized as: “Doctrine does not matter. Let us all gather around any and every god. All religions are the same anyway!”

Nay, brethren, we bring to mind the stern warning in Scripture: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Corinthians 6:14,15).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘by and by’ mean?

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?

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #13

Thursday, January 21, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

Let us review what we have seen thus far. Pride transformed Lucifer into Satan, and sin divided the angelic host. While some angels remained loyal to God, Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels. Adam and Eve sinned, destroying their relationship with God and each other. Sin divided them; their marriage irreversibly damaged. Cain and Abel, their first two sons, were split because of sin. Unbelieving Cain murdered righteous Abel, further breaking up the human home. Sinful man, under Satan’s control, corrupted the planet increasingly with violence and killing until the LORD finally judged Earth with the Great Flood. Even after the Flood, man was determined to do what he wanted to do in the Earth. The nations assembled around the devilish Tower of Babel, resulting in the languages and scattering of the Gentiles.

Abraham, instead of relying on God’s grace, worked in his flesh to produce a child. That was not God’s child for him. Ultimately, Abraham’s sin broke up his home between two wives and two sons. Centuries later, 10 out of Israel’s 12 spies overwhelmingly denied the LORD would give the Promised Land to the nation. For the next 40 years, that unbelieving generation of Jews died off in the wilderness wanderings. King Solomon became increasingly attached to pagan women—not only marrying them but also worshipping and serving their idols. Israel lost her political might. Finally, the nation was so apostate she ignored her Messiah (Jesus Christ) when He arrived, and then crucified Him in unbelief! She has now set herself up for the Antichrist, who will come and deceive her yet future. The great majority of her people will thus wind up in Hell and the Lake of Fire.

Sin divided angels, and it divided humans. It still disrupts creation’s relationship with its Creator. Wherever sin is found, wherever sin finds out the sinner, disaster is certain. Let us now focus on the current world situation, especially in the United States….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #11

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

First Kings chapter 11: “[1] But king Solomon loved many strange women…. [2] Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto… Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.” Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, “and [they] turned away his heart” (verse 3). “[4] …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….”

“[5] For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. [6] And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. [7] Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab…., and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. [8] And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. [9] And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel,…. [10] [Who] had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.

“[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.” Fulfilling Leviticus 26:19, Solomon’s sin found him out, and divided Israel and Judah in twain….

To Look Beyond the Makeup #3

Sunday, August 23, 2020

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window (2 Kings 9:30 KJV).

Removing her “paint,” what do we see?

The Prophet Elijah’s ministry is notably associated with drought and famine. Since Ahab and Jezebel have instituted Baal worship—pagan idolatry—the LORD fulfilled His promise in the Mosaic Law. Leviticus chapter 26 describes this second phase of chastisement: “[18] And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. [19] And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: [20] And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.About six decades prior to Elijah, God had broken “the pride of [Israel’s] power.” Politically weakened, idolatrous King Solomon’s kingdom was divided, split between the 10 northern tribes and the two southern tribes (1 Kings chapter 11).

Responding to Ahab and Jezebel’s extensive false religion, God implements the rest of the phase of judgment: drought and famine are Israel’s lot for the next 3½ years (Luke 4:25; James 5:16-18). “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1).

Now, chapter 18 of 1 Kings: “[1] And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. [2] And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. [3] And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: [4] For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)” Yea, Queen Jezebel actually killed JEHOVAH God’s preachers….