Whom God Helps #8

Monday, August 29, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

Whereas Lazarus had been terminally ill and was now physically dead, Christ’s power was not limited. Consequently, in today’s Scripture, the Lord said Lazarus was “sleeping.” While Lazarus’ life had left his body, it was only temporary. Four days later, Lazarus was raised from the dead. Likewise, Israel is not permanently expired. She will live again—but only when the Lord is ready to revive her.

Remember, Jesus did not immediately travel to Bethany to heal sickly Lazarus: “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was” (verse 6). Why? “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight (Hosea 6:1,2). Christ’s Second Coming to resurrect national Israel will take two days—neatly overlapping His delay to raise Lazarus 20 centuries prior!

Again, “Lazarus” is a variant of “Eleazar” (“whom God helps”). Isaiah chapter 41: “[10] Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness…. [13] For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. [14] Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” “Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen” (Isaiah 44:2). “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;….” (Isaiah 49:8).

Bible Q&As #984 and #985: “What is ‘milch?’” and “What is ‘rereward?’

Whom God Helps #7

Sunday, August 28, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones is interpreted in chapter 37: “[11] Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. [12] Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. [13] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, [14] And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.”

Although Israel was scattered worldwide via invading Gentile armies centuries before Christ, God will reverse the curse and re-gather them into the Promised Land at Christ’s return (see Matthew 24:30,31). This national resurrection, deliverance from functional death, fills Israel with the Holy Spirit and makes her God’s earthly people!

Ezekiel chapter 37 resumes: “[21] And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: [22] And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. [23] Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

We now summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Whom God Helps #6

Saturday, August 27, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

In chapter 37, the Prophet Ezekiel, conducting his ministry during the Babylonian Captivity, receives a vision concerning Israel’s restoration and return to the Promised Land: “[1] The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, [2] And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. [3] And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

“[4] Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. [5] Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: [6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

“[7] So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. [8] And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. [9] Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

Now, let us see the explanation of the vision….

Whom God Helps #5

Friday, August 26, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

When Israel agreed to enter a covenant relationship with JEHOVAH God at Mount Sinai, the following was spoken in Exodus chapter 19: “[5] 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: [6] 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. [7] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [8] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”

Since Israel preferred that works-religion (perform to get the blessing, sin to receive the curse), that is exactly what the LORD gave them. Ignoring God’s grace (what He had already done for them to make them His people), they assumed they could and would make themselves His people. However, as the centuries passed, the Jewish people corrupted the Promised Land with their idols, so the final punishment was instated as per Leviticus 26:32,33: “And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.” Failing to obey the Law of Moses, they were now cursed. God deported them from the land via invading Gentile armies (especially Assyrian and Babylonian). The Fifth Course (Phase, Stage) of Chastisement began.

Therefore, in Acts 2:5-11, we read of Jews visiting Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, these foreigners having come “out of every nation under heaven.” In today’s Scripture, Christ’s earthly ministry, that global scattering of Israel has yet to be reversed. The nation must be revived and returned to live in the Promised Land, just (!) as (!) Lazarus (!) himself (!)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain ‘durst?’

God’s “Imperceptible” Work #3

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them” (Exodus 2:23-25 KJV).

Beloved, the LORD is never idle, so may we grow in His words to better see His works….

John the Baptist prophesied: “the wrath to come… every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire…. he shall baptize you… with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor… he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:7,10-12; cf. Luke 3:7,9,16-17). Messiah (Jesus) would judge and destroy unbelievers in His fiery wrath!

Yet, as it turned out, wicked King Herod Antipas imprisoned John. With Herod unpunished, John spent many months incarcerated and eventually questioned if Jesus really was Messiah after all (Matthew 11:2-6; Luke 7:18-23). John was finally beheaded. The Lord Himself preached wrath was on its way (Matthew 13:24-30,36-42), before Israel killed Him. In early Acts, this fiery judgment was the Apostle Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:34-36). Even Stephen, just before his murder, saw Jesus Christ standing at the Father’s right hand, ready to return in wrath (Acts 7:55,56; cf. Psalm 110:1).

As aged, dying Peter pens his second epistle, over 30 years have passed since Christ’s earthly ministry. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:3,4). The mockers inquire most arrogantly, “Where is that so-called ‘wrath’ to punish us, Peter, that all you ‘believers’ have been warning about for the last three decades? It was all a lie! We have gotten away with our unbelief and other sins!”

So, what of that Divine wrath? It has been 2,000 years now—and still nothing. Rest assured, God is at work, temporarily doing something else….

God’s “Imperceptible” Work #2

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them” (Exodus 2:23-25 KJV).

Beloved, the LORD is never idle, so may we grow in His words to better see His works….

Centuries before the Israelites suffered under the Egyptians, the LORD had prophesied: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16). God had not forgotten about them in Egypt. He could not deliver the Jews from Pharaoh until the Gentiles living in the land of Canaan had sinned enough with their idols. Once the idolatry had provoked the LORD enough, He would throw the Gentiles out and bring Israel in.

Also, God would not liberate Israel until He judged Egypt with 10 plagues, proving His superiority to the Egyptians’ gods and goddesses (Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4); Pharaoh himself had been worshipped as a god. The LORD could have instantly caused Pharaoh’s death, but instead delayed it and Egypt’s ruin until He had wrought a mighty work in Egypt to cause all Gentiles to hear and fear: “For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Exodus 9:15,16).

The LORD was working His will, but only imperceptibly to the natural man….

Many Days

Friday, October 22, 2021

“Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days” (Deuteronomy 2:1 KJV).

Exactly how many days were these “many days?”

Friend, have you noticed how complicated life is? If only things were much simpler and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, there is no perfect school, workplace, marriage, or church. Financial difficulties mount. Poor decisions lead to illness. Arguments and disagreements strain friendships. Disobedient children cause endless fretting about their wellbeing. Problems! Problems! Problems! We can be absolutely certain that wherever people can be found, trouble can be found there too. Wherever we find sin, we find complications. Hardships are part of this fallen creation.

Preparing for his departure via physical death, aged Moses is reciting the nation Israel’s history in today’s Scripture. The Jews had left Egypt and were bound for the Promised Land: “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)” (Deuteronomy 1:2). Leaving Horeb/Sinai, and approaching God’s land from the south, they arrived in Kadeshbarnea and wished to send in 12 spies to scout the land for 40 days (verses 19-25). “It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us” (verse 25b). “Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God” (verse 26). Oh, what a terrible sin! “Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (verses 32,33).

We have reached today’s Scripture: “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.” Those “many days” were 40 years (Numbers 14:34)!!! In short, because of a failure to believe God’s words, a two-week journey stretched into four decades… and, by that time, the unbelievers had all perished—having never seen the LORD’S land. May we apply sound Bible doctrine by faith to life now, that we not have “many days” of destructive wandering either!

Confession Confusion #4

Thursday, June 24, 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!)

Continue reading Leviticus chapter 26, the fifth course of chastisement commencing: “[27] And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; [28] Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. [29] And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. [30] And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. [31] And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. [32] And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. [33] And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.”

When Israel finds herself under Gentile dominion and dispersed throughout foreign lands (Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities circa 700/600 B.C.), God tells her how to be restored to Him: “[40] If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; [41] And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: [42] Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”

Confession of sins is Israel’s admission of guilt of breaking the Old Covenant, worshipping and serving idols. Once she humbles herself and acknowledges her sin problem (learning the lesson of the Law of Moses), then God by His grace delivers her into the New Covenant….

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! #9

Friday, March 26, 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?

One purpose of the New Covenant is to rejoin Israel and Judah, redeem them through Jesus Christ’s shed blood, and forgive their sin debt incurred under the Old Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; cf. Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:1-39). Sin split them from God, and also divided them into two kingdoms and two nations. Yet, God’s grace will cover those transgressions and restore all 12 tribes under one King, the Lord Jesus Christ, to become one born-again nation. Returning to the Promised Land, they never again leave it because of Gentile captivity (Jeremiah 32:36-44; Ezekiel 36:16-38; et al.).

Although unbelieving, High Priest Caiaphas was used of the Holy Spirit to describe Jesus’ impending death: “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad (John 11:49-52).

Believers from Israel and Judah, dispersed worldwide, will be made one people through Christ’s finished crosswork: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd (John 10:16). Again, it was this prophetic unification of Israel and Judah underlying Jesus’ prayer in today’s Scripture. Speaking of that Millennial reconciliation and blessing of Israel and Judah, Psalm 133:1 exclaims, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….