A Wise Man

Saturday, September 3, 2011

“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool” (Proverbs 17:10 KJV).

Lawlessness abounds today. The lost world around us is quite foolish in that they hate God and vehemently refuse His Word. God’s Word contains instruction, and yet they blatantly reject it. Not surprisingly, they blame God when their lives are wrecked and destroyed.

Proverbs 1:5-7 says: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Today’s Scripture declares that a wise man will hearken unto reproof (instruction, advice). The reproof will be more effectual in the life of the wise man than 100 whippings will be in correcting the fool. A fool can be instructed time and time again, and he can be harshly punished, but he will still be set in his rebellious ways. This is typical human nature: “I refuse to obey any authority, especially God!”

We can all be so stubborn at times that even God Almighty giving us a kick in the seat of the pants would probably not help. Throughout the Old Testament God would chastise wicked Israel by cursing her and her daily activities. Her crops would not grow, and sickness and death would vex her people. In the book of Judges, Israel would suddenly behave, enjoy a brief respite and God’s blessings, and then she would quickly return to her rebellious ways and suffer more punishment.

Do you want to be a wise man (or woman)? Take a King James Bible and study it God’s way, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), using dispensational Bible study. Believe what that Bible says where it says it and to whom it says it, let that Word work effectually in you, and then you will be a wise man (or woman) indeed!

We Will Not Hearken Unto Thee!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done…” (Jeremiah 44:16,17 KJV).

Israel’s women are “burning incense unto other gods” while their husbands say nothing (verse 15). Shame! So, in Jeremiah chapter 44, the word of the LORD comes to the prophet. God instructs Jeremiah to command Israel to quit worshipping those pagan gods because worse judgment will come (verses 3-5, 11-14). We read the Jews’ response to Jeremiah in today’s Scripture: “No thanks, Jeremiah! We will not listen to the LORD. We will do whatever we want!!”

Noah warned of an impending global flood, preaching for all the world’s peoples to come into the ark for salvation. Millions replied, “No thanks, Noah!” Consequently, only Noah and his seven relatives were saved in the ark (2 Peter 2:5).

Early in Christ’s earthly ministry, many of Israel’s religious leaders refused John the Baptist’s water baptism, a Jew’s only means of salvation (Luke 7:29,30). “No thanks, John!” And with that, they allowed Herod to behead John.

When God the Son Jesus Christ came, many Jews said, “No thanks, Jesus!” Ultimately, they demanded Rome crucify Him (John 19:15).

As the prophet Stephen witnessed to Israel just a year after Calvary, Israel was still “stiffnecked” (stubborn) and “uncircumcised in heart and ears” (wicked, lost) (Acts 7:51). Israel refused to admit that they murdered their Messiah Jesus. “No thanks, Stephen!” And with that, they stoned Stephen.

God’s messengers have always been ignored, hated, and ridiculed, so we should expect nothing less when we share the message of God’s grace to us in Christ. When confronted with the world’s snide remarks, we Christians reply: “We will not hearken unto thee!” We ignore their silly comments and continue preaching, rejoicing that we can endure the rejection just like the saints of old did.

A Wee Crook with a Large Sin Debt

Monday, August 29, 2011

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (Luke 19:5-7 KJV).

As Luke chapter 19 opens, the Lord Jesus is passing through Jericho, just north of the Dead Sea. The chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, a short man who cannot see over the crowds, has climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus (verses 3 and 4). Once Jesus calls Zacchaeus to make room for Him in his home, the crowds complain, “Jesus seeks to be a guest in that crook’s house!”

Jesus, being God in the flesh, knows Zacchaeus is the chief publican, the most dishonest tax collector. Of all places, why has Christ chosen to visit a thief’s home? He knows Zacchaeus is genuinely repentant. Zacchaeus confesses, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (verse 8). Lord, whatever money I stole, I will restore it four times over!

The Lord Jesus explains why He went to Zacchaeus’ home: “This day is salvation come to this [Zacchaeus’] house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (verses 9 and 10). “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Jesus went because wicked Zacchaeus, like every other Jew, needs salvation!

Christ came to “save His people [Israel] from their sins,” and that included Zacchaeus (Matthew 1:21; cf. Matthew 10:6; Matthew 18:11). Zacchaeus had been a crooked son of Abraham, but now that he trusted in Jesus as His Messiah, he was a righteous son of God (John 1:12)!

So, God can save anyone, even wee crooks with large sin debts….

At Least the Angels Are Listening

Saturday, August 27, 2011

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” (Ephesians 3:9,10 KJV).

In the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and the first eight chapters of Acts, God spoke of His purpose and plan for the earth. That prophetic program focused on the nation Israel and an earthly kingdom (Matthew 25:34) “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21).

But, during that time, God kept a secret, “the mystery,” “the hidden wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8). When the ascended Lord Jesus Christ saved Saul of Tarsus and made him Paul the Apostle in Acts chapter 9, the Lord revealed that information to Paul: “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest…” (Romans 16:25,26a).

Paul’s epistles alone reveal this mystery (secret) program (Ephesians 3:1-9; Colossians 1:24-27). Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon speak of God’s purpose and program for the heaven, which encompasses our present-day Dispensation of Grace, a heavenly kingdom, and the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 2:6,7).

According to today’s Scripture, we members of the Body of Christ share the goal of the Apostle Paul: “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery….” Our goal is not only to proclaim to people this now-revealed information in Paul’s epistles, but also to make it known to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places.”

God’s angels observe us Christians. They understand what God is doing today by listening to us teach and preach God’s Word rightly divided. While most church members care not to listen to the rightly divided King James Bible, and the denominationalists dislike us for exposing their church tradition, at least the angels are listening to us. 🙂

Thou That Judgest Doest the Same Things

Friday, August 26, 2011

“Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Romans 2:1 KJV).

For over 1500 years, the nation Israel was under the Mosaic Law. Israel knew exactly what God demanded: “Behold, thou are called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;…” (Romans 2:17,18).

During that period of time, Israel was arrogant toward the Gentiles (non-Jews). In the Jews’ minds, Gentiles were godless sinners, foolish pagans who ate disgusting foods and worshipped wooden and stone idols. Yet, in reality, the Jews were hypocrites, just as sinful because they were guilty of worshipping those same silly idols throughout the Bible (Exodus 32:1-10; Jeremiah 44:15-19; Hosea 4:1-19; Acts 7:39-43; et al.)!

“For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you [Israel], as it is written” (Romans 2:24). The Gentiles would speak evil of God when they saw Israel’s wickedness, so Jews could never claim to be less sinful than Gentiles. “What then? are we [Jews] better than they [Gentiles]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” (Romans 3:9).

The Pharisees and Sadducees of Christ’s day referred to “publicans and sinners” (Matthew 9:11 et al.), yet Jesus called these religious leaders “hypocrites” (Matthew 15:7 et al.). Whether priests, presidents, potentates, professors, pastors, peasants, princes, paupers, or popes, all are under sin. Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. We are all inexcusable because the Law condemns us all (Romans 3:19,20).

May we never get the self-righteous, pharisaical attitude. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We all have the potential to commit every sin of the flesh, so never say, “I would not do what they did….”

Jesus Christ did not die to save the worst of us; He died to save all of us.

If Only I Saw, Then I Would Believe

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25 KJV).

“Doubting Thomas” not only describes a confused apostle of Israel, but also much of the world’s population. Bible skeptics whine, “When you show me some proof that God exists, then I will trust Him!”

From its earliest days, the nation Israel was accustomed to seeing and hearing God perform miraculous works (the LORD sent Moses to Israel with the power to handle snakes and heal; Exodus 4:1-9). “The Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22). Christ even said to Israel, “Unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48).

For three years, the Lord Jesus performed an inestimable number of miracles. He walked on water, raised the dead, cast out devils, healed the sick, and yet most of those Jewish witnesses never trusted in Christ. Christ said, “some of you believe not” (John 6:64). Some Jews refused to believe, even after they saw His miracles!

Some Jews were so fascinated with Christ’s miracles that they totally missed the reason why He performed those miracles—to teach them that He was their Messiah-King. John 2:23-25 says: “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” Jesus knew these people just wanted to be awed, not saved.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Seeing the Lord Jesus Christ through the eyes of faith, not the physical eyes, is enough “proof” for me.  Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

An Holy Nation and a Kingdom of Priests

Sunday, August 14, 2011

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is often misunderstood to apply to us Christians. Is the Church the Body of Christ a “holy nation?” Of course not! The “nation” of Scripture is always Israel. Furthermore, if Peter is an apostle of Israel, and Galatians 2:9 says he is, then he is speaking of Israel.

In fact 1 Peter 2:9 is identical to what the LORD said through Moses (Exodus 19:5,6): “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Regardless of what preachers say, Exodus 19:5,6 claim 1 Peter 2:9 describes Israel.

The book of the Revelation, also written by an apostle of Israel (John; Galatians 2:9), says: “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1:6). In Revelation 5:10 we read: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” All of these verses belong to Israel. You either believe God’s Word or you do not (a “Christian” I recently spoke with about this refused to believe the Bible).

Isaiah 61:6 confirms that “priests” applies to Jews, not to us: “But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” Israel will become a kingdom of priests when Christ returns to set up His earthly kingdom at His Second Coming.

Paul never calls us members of the Church the Body of Christ “priests.” We are “ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20).