Lamentations and Adulations #1

Friday, February 26, 2016

“But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us” (Lamentations 5:22 KJV).

What a befitting end to the book of Lamentations!

Lamentations was written by Jeremiah the Prophet to mourn (“lament”) the city of Jerusalem that now lay in ruins. Once a magnificent city, now a shame. Jerusalem, once world-renown for its military conquests and splendorous Temple, now un-walled and defenseless. Heathen neighbors laughed. Her inhabitants dragged off to Babylon—only a few poor people remain. Her kings slaughtered or imprisoned—the Davidic monarchy destroyed. Solomon’s magnificent Temple—now charred wood and scattered stones. JEHOVAH’S presence—long departed from Jerusalem. No economy, no Jewish government, almost no population, no religious system, no walls or military, no more Promised Land. All gone. Taken away. Indeed, Jeremiah aptly summarized it: “But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us!”

How God’s wrath fell upon His beloved city! We cannot imagine the violent fury that obliterated Jerusalem during Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s third invasion! (If God did that to His own nation, what is He going to all the Gentile nations one day?!) He was so very angry, so enraged, that He “utterly rejected” Israel! Once He came, there was nothing left! For five long chapters, Jeremiah poured out his heart, literally weeping throughout Lamentations. JEHOVAH God was just. Jerusalem, warned for centuries, completely refused to listen to prophets JEHOVAH had sent to warn her. Having reached the point of “no-return,” no repentance or conversion, judgment came! Jeremiah looked at Jerusalem in ruins, and he closed Lamentations with a very heavy heart: “But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us!”

A very depressing predicament—such extensive destruction makes Jerusalem appear perpetually ruined. But, small rays of hope appear in Lamentations 3:22-25: “[22] It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [23] They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. [24] The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. [25] The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Jerusalem was destroyed, but not 100 percent annihilated. Her people were unfaithful to Him by worshipping and serving idols, but He would be faithful anyway!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who was Melchizedek?

David and Dispensationalism

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psalm 2:2-5 KJV).

What can the Prophet David teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: first, He came to be conspired against and murdered, but He will return in wrath and victory. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets did not know that there would be two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture (cf. Acts 4:25-28) predicts Israel and Rome scheming to execute Jesus Christ (First Coming). Then, it discusses how He will pour out His wrath on Christ-rejecting mankind (Second Coming). There is no mention of a 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace between verse 3 (Calvary) and verse 4 (seven-year Tribulation). David knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but also completely hidden from Israel’s prophets. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including David. Marvelous, absolutely marvelous!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Must you know the exact day and time of your salvation?

Daniel and Dispensationalism #2

Saturday, July 25, 2015

“Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:22-25 KJV).

What else can the Prophet Daniel teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Today’s Scripture demonstrates how our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace was completely hidden from Old Testament prophets such as Daniel because the mystery was “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9). We see world history—Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire divided into “four kingdoms.” This occurred when Alexander died in 323 B.C., 200 years after Daniel’s prediction. That Graeco-Roman Empire was operating during Christ’s earthly ministry.

We also see world prophecy—the Antichrist, “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” with “mighty power,” will “destroy wonderfully, prosper, practise,” “destroy the mighty and the holy people [believing Israel],” a prideful man who will use false peace to “destroy many,” exalting himself against Jesus Christ, the “Prince of princes.” Then, Jesus Christ returns to battle and vanquish the Antichrist! (“Without hand” means God, not man, is the cause.)

Daniel foresaw Alexander the Great (history from us), the Antichrist (future from us), and Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to defeat Antichrist (future from us). As a writer of prophecy, Daniel knew nothing about mystery, our Dispensation of Grace, a program that delayed—and still postpones—Antichrist’s arrival. Paul’s epistles, the revelation God gave him, help us understand that interruption of prophecy. As long as our dispensation continues, the Body of Christ will be present on Earth, and that prophetic program will be postponed (2 Thessalonians 2:1-14). Yea, the Bible is the world’s most marvelous Book when handled dispensationally!

Zechariah and Dispensationalism

Thursday, July 23, 2015

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9,10 KJV).

What can the Prophet Zechariah teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: first, He came meek and lowly, and then He will return in power and glory. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets were unaware of two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-9) first predicts Jesus Christ riding the donkey into Jerusalem, the “Triumphal Entry” (First Coming). Then, it mentions His glorious return to destroy Israel’s enemies, bring everlasting peace, and establish His earthly kingdom over the Gentiles (Second Coming). Zechariah knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but also completely hidden from Israel’s prophets. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Zechariah. Wow!

Malachi and Dispensationalism

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1 KJV).

What can the Prophet Malachi teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine the two comings of Jesus Christ: from these prophets’ perspective, it appeared to be one coming. From our perception, however, we can look back and see two comings were planned. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: the first time Israel denied and crucified Him, but the second time Israel will delight in and crave Him. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). What the Old Testament prophets did not know was that there would be two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

In today’s Scripture (cf. Mark 1:1-3), John the Baptist announces Christ’s earthly ministry (First Coming). Then, Israel accepts Jesus Christ to establish the New Covenant and the Millennial Kingdom on Earth (Second Coming). Is there any hint of our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace? No, Malachi knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but it was also completely hidden from the prophets of old. God kept a secret from Satan, and it was how He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) that involved the Body of Christ was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Malachi. What a marvelous Book the Bible is!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why could Moses not enter the Promised Land?

Stones Whose Praises Would Rock Creation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40 KJV).

Why did our Lord Jesus Christ utter such a strange statement?

It was less than a week before He would die on Calvary’s cross, and He had entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, a perfect fulfillment of a Messianic passage: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9).

Believers in Jesus, those who recognized Him as the fulfillment of hundreds of specific Old Testament prophecies of Messiah, “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37,38). The Bible says, “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples” (verse 39). Today’s Scripture was Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees.

Geologically speaking, rocks are inorganic; they are composed of non-living minerals. Yet, the Creator Himself, Jesus Christ, said that they had the ability to “cry out.” Some may say that the notion of non-living objects “crying out” is preposterous, and the Bible unbeliever is free to feel that way. We may, however, point out that it was outlandish that most Jews—creatures with brains and souls—turned a blind eye to the hundreds of prophecies Jesus fulfilled, specific indications He was their long-promised Messiah, the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Zechariah urged Israel to rejoice and shout when her Messiah came forth on the donkey, and yet here some Jews discouraged the exhibition of such joy! Had no person praised Jesus on that day of the so-called “Triumphal Entry,” surely other aspects of creation would have honored their Creator. The sounds of their praise would have “rocked creation” indeed! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Could you please clarify Ephesians 2:18-22?

Meek and Mighty

Monday, September 29, 2014

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them, derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is proof that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are truly higher than ours!

Galilean king Herod Antipas and Judaean governor Pontius Pilate had heard much of this Jesus of Nazareth these last three years, but, so far as Scripture is concerned, they did not personally meet Him until His final hours alive. To them, He did not appear as royalty. Firstly, He had allowed Himself to be captured peacefully. Then, He let soldiers harshly abuse Him. Finally, He remained mostly silent during their many extensive interrogations leading up to His crucifixion. Pilate “marvelled greatly” (Matthew 27:11-14). Those watching Jesus die were equally shocked. “This is the King whom JEHOVAH God sent to rescue us? He is now helpless on the cross!”

Little did mankind know that Messiah would come twice—once to suffer and die as Saviour, again to judge and reign as King. Neither the prophets nor the angels could understand (1 Peter 1:9-12). Now, with the completed Bible canon, we see it all quite clearly. One is His meek coming (Zechariah 9:9) and the other is His mighty coming (Zechariah 14:3). Before Messiah Jesus could be manifested with power on His majestic Davidic throne, He had to first go to Calvary’s cruel cross. The scoffers did not understand it, but even if God had revealed it, they still would not have cared to know His truth.

In Father God’s own timing, He will reveal from heaven Jesus Christ in “flaming fire,” to take vengeance on those who do not know the God of Scripture and those who refuse to humble themselves and trust the Gospel of His Grace as sufficient payment for their sins (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Jesus Christ came the first time, not to save Himself, but to save us, to suffer God’s wrath on our behalf, that we trust Him alone as Saviour now, that we not have to suffer God’s wrath against our sin when comes the second time, when He proves again that He is “the chosen of God!” What wisdom!