Dayspring #4

Monday, April 26, 2021

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79 KJV).

What is this “dayspring?”

Having seen the light of Messiah’s First Coming, His earthly ministry, we now glimpse the radiance of His Second Coming. For example, Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks to Israel: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” The nations languish in spiritual darkness and pagan idolatry as per Romans 1:18-32 and Genesis 11:1-9. However, once the LORD imparts spiritual light to Israel as she rises to kingdom glory, she preaches that Word of God to the Gentiles so as to dispel darkness from the Earth!

Looking beyond our Dispensation of Grace, we see the Apostle Peter urging Israel to trust Jesus as Messiah, that He first enlighten their souls with Divine revelation. When He returns, and they are redeemed, the converted nation evangelizes the lost Gentiles. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). In addition to spiritual darkness, Christ’s Second Coming will drive out physical darkness. His glorious return will be a literal sunrise, to end the night of His extended absence: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2). Second Thessalonians 2:8 alludes to this “brightness of his coming.”

Finally, Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Come, Lord Jesus, Thou Dayspring!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Why was the levirate marriage important in Bible times?” and “Why was Moses ordered to be shoeless?

Glory Days #7

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3 KJV).

Behold, the glory days—both past and future!

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[1] Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. [2] Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. [3] For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. [4] Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.”

Here is Israel’s future restoration, Earth’s forthcoming renewal. Souls and bodies will be healed, and the natural world refurbished. Read also chapter 36 of Ezekiel, noting especially these verses: “[28] And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. [29] I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. [30] And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen…. [34] And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. [35] And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. [36] Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Will the Antichrist be a homosexual?

Glory Days #6

Monday, March 15, 2021

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3 KJV).

Behold, the glory days—both past and future!

Genesis chapter 2 relates how the Garden of Eden was a beautiful place: “[5] And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. [6] But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. [7] And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

“[8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. [10] And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads…. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

As we know, however, Adam disobeyed the LORD by eating the forbidden fruit. Thus, the whole planet—including the Middle East, and especially Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (the site of the Garden of Eden; Genesis 2:10-14)—is cursed with extreme climatic fluctuations and life-threatening weather. Natural landscapes are not as hospitable as they were before man’s Fall into sin. The abundant thornless, thistle-free vegetation of Eden is long gone (Genesis 3:17-19), but today’s Scripture promises it will reappear when Christ does….

Glory Days #5

Sunday, March 14, 2021

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3 KJV).

Behold, the glory days—both past and future!

Today’s Scripture awaits the day when the LORD consoles Zion (Jerusalem). Not only has she suffered the terrible effects of the curse established in Genesis chapter 3, God has judged her for her people’s idolatry. Gentiles have entered her land, ravaging it with war and destruction. Her people have been taken away captive for their transgressions, their disobedience to the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law) punished. Read Leviticus 26:27-46.

“And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:8,9; Israel’s Assyrian Captivity). “In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished” (Ezekiel 6:6; Judah’s Babylonian Captivity a century later).

However, there is the hope of Israel’s restoration at Christ’s Second Coming: “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:9,10). “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).

Earth’s former glory days—the Garden of Eden—will return. When the Lord comes back, the planet will revert to pre-Fall conditions….

Glory Days #4

Saturday, March 13, 2021

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3 KJV).

Behold, the glory days—both past and future!

Chapter 35 of Isaiah, describing Israel’s Messiah arriving: “[1] The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. [2] It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. [3] Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. [4] Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

“[5] Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. [6] Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. [7] And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. [8] And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. [9] No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: [10] And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

Verses 5 and 6 correspond to Jesus’ healing miracles during His earthly ministry (cf. Matthew 11:2-6). Isaiah also foresees His Second Coming in wrath and glory, judgment and reign. Christ’s return brings major spiritual and geographical changes….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What was wrong with Moses’ speech?

Moderation as Preparation #3

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5 KJV).

Friend, are you ready for the Lord’s return? Today’s Scripture says you should be!

Christ’s coming is associated with our “moderation,” our avoidance of excess or extremes. That is, we are in control of our behavior; we are not acting wildly. Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to govern us so we conform to sound Bible doctrine. “Moderation” in Greek is “epieikes.” Our King James translators rendered it elsewhere in the following ways.

The bishop must be “not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient [epieikes], not a brawler, not covetous” (1 Timothy 3:3). Christians are urged, “…speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle [epieikes], shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:2). “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle [epieikes], and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle [epieikes], but also to the froward” (1 Peter 2:18).

How often we believers cry out for His return, but are we prepared to meet Him? If He were to come back this very moment, would we be ashamed of our activities? Are we about the work of His ministry, or our ministry? Have we been walking/running in wisdom, or swaggering/staggering in foolishness (Ephesians 4:17–6:20)? Would He find us living in moderation,” or, like the Philippians, engaging in immoderation? Either way, lost people are watching us. Today’s Scripture therefore encourages us, Let your moderation be known unto all men.” In addition to the testimony of His truth that we display before the unsaved world, we remember the Lord Jesus at the Rapture could be just seconds from arrival! “The Lord is at hand.”

Christ said of believing Israel awaiting His Second Coming: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:44-46). Likewise, let us be faithful and wise! 🙂

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Who was more responsible for Jesus’ death, the Jews or the Romans?” and “If they were fulfilling Bible prophecy, how are Christ’s murderers culpable of wrongdoing?

Impetuous Peter! #6

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

In Matthew 18:15-20, the Lord taught members of the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) how to handle their offending each other. Peter is thus prompted to inquire in verse 21: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The Jewish rabbis of the day, appealing to Amos chapters 1 and 2, taught an erring brother was to be forgiven a maximum of three times. Hence, Peter assumed he was quite generous by suggesting seven—that is, doubling the rabbinical tradition and then adding one. Was this sensible of him? No, it was his fifth thoughtless utterance!

Christ’s response is verse 22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” The Lord chose “seventy times seven”—that is, 490 (and not, as modern English versions say, “seventy-seven”)—He was underscoring a famed Old Testament passage. Read Daniel 9:24-27. Here, we look at verse 24 only: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

God has reserved a period of 490 years—70 “weeks” (70 groups of “seven years”)—to cleanse Israel’s people of their sin problem. That time spans Nehemiah chapter 2 (circa 445 B.C.) to Christ’s Second Coming (Millennial Kingdom), excluding our Dispensation of Grace. Jesus’ reply to Peter was, “Until seventy times seven.” In light of Daniel, we can paraphrase Him: “Peter, you should forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” Remember, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Peter should have remembered the prophetic timeline governing the Lord’s dealings with His people….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there an historical mistake in Luke 2:1-2?

Impetuous Peter! #5

Monday, February 22, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

The Transfiguration is recorded in Matthew 16:28–17:13, Mark 9:1-13, and Luke 9:27-36. Read from Mark, including today’s Scripture: “[1] And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. [2] And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. [3] And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

[4] And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. [5] And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [6] For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. [7] And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. [8] And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.”

It is the Feast of Tabernacles, late September or early October (cf. Leviticus 23:33-44). Situated in a glimpse of Christ’s glorious millennial kingdom, both Moses (the Law of Moses) and Elijah (the Prophets) foretold His death. Peter expected Moses and Elijah to remain there with them. Not applying wisdom (Mark 9:6, “he wist not what to say;” Luke 9:33, “not knowing what he said”), Peter exclaimed, “We should make booths or shelters for all three—Jesus, Moses, and Elijah!” Offended, Father God suddenly interrupted Peter’s fourth careless outburst with, “Listen to My beloved Son!” Jesus alone remains, His fulfilling the Law and the Prophets causing Moses and Elijah to vanish. Here, Peter had been impetuous and idolatrous….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #33

Wednesday, February 10, 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?

Not only are non-Christians living contrary to God’s will for them, many of us “Christians” are equally disobedient. As they refuse to hear the truth, so we have ignored the rightly divided Scriptures to keep our church traditions. Just as they have their “holy books,” so we have used 100 modern English (different!) Bible translations to confuse and divide us for 120 years. As they bow to their pagan idols, so we have worshipped our “wafer gods,” relics, scholarship, statues, and “experiences.”

The sins of the flesh are easy to spot, but the sins of the spirit are more insidious. Relying on the sins of the spirit to fight the sins of the flesh, have we finally learned we cannot conquer sin with sin? Substitutes tricked us. We were religious, but not Christian: we were “playing” church. If we read the Bible, it was a quick verse here and there, passages our denominations approved. Whatever Bible we read, we really did not believe it. Our “feel-good” inspirational/motivational speeches distracted us from sound Bible doctrine. If this is how we got into this mess, then we do the opposite to escape it.

We must get back to the King James Bible: we need one final authority, not a hundred competing books. Also, we must return to the principles of grace, the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—Jesus Christ’s ministry today. Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), God’s spokesman to us. Supporting lies appears to bring harmony and progress, but there is no true, lasting unity and victory without sound Bible doctrine. The lost world must learn that, but we as believers in Christ must realize it first. We expect lost people to think and act like Christians when we do not think and act like Christians ourselves! Ridiculous! Until we believers are thankful for testimony of the Scriptures—grateful for our Bible heritage (albeit meager)—we have no testimony ourselves.

Let us summarize this devotionals arc….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #32

Tuesday, February 9, 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?

As members of the Body of Christ, we have two choices. Firstly, we can throw our hands up and cry out, “We surrender! Why keep believing the truth when error abounds everywhere?!” Or, we can remind ourselves of the following facts. Although America has overwhelmingly languished in unbelief for centuries, there was a remnant of believers. Therefore, the truth passed down to us. Faithful saints, teachers, delivered to us the pure Word they were taught, being traced all the way back to the Apostle Paul.

Like they, we can continue the Christian ministry of 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” If we choose to follow our culture as it increasingly disintegrates, we will definitely be wasting our time. Remember, “the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9). Also, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). With or without our cooperation, the Word of God rightly divided will continue and triumph—as always. It will never lose or be lost.

Christian friends, we will not reverse our culture’s inevitable collapse. Yet, we can slow it down with sound Bible doctrine. However, it is easier said than done because it has gained momentum—and, we have let it, since we have squandered our own time on foolishness instead of believing sound Bible doctrine and then teaching it to those lost souls who needed to believe on Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. If success is where we find the Word of God dispensationally considered and believed, why not join ourselves to it? Only what God does will last forever. If we find out what He is doing today, we can do that by faith, thereby ensuring what we do will last forever….