A Storm Is Coming! #4

Friday, June 26, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

In chapters 8 and 9 of Matthew, we read of 10 specific miracles the Lord Jesus performed to substantiate the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5–7). Let us now notice the fourth miracle, as found in chapter 8: “[23] And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. [24] And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. [25] And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. [26] And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. [27] But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

While Jesus and His disciples are traveling eastward in a boat, there arises an enormous storm in the Sea of Galilee. Since the waves violently crash onto and into the ship, the disciples fear it will sink and kill them. Jesus, fast asleep, appears to be unaware or unconcerned. They frantically wake Him up and relay the news—they are all soon to die! He labels them as men of “little faith” (verse 26), seeing as to He had already told them they would “depart unto the other side” (verse 18). They certainly would not perish, for they were bound to land on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He, the Creator, speaks to still the winds and sea. All is now peaceful, as a third precedent is set….

A Storm Is Coming! #3

Thursday, June 25, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

When concluding His magnificent Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5–7), the Lord Jesus put forth the Parable of the Wise Man and Foolish Man: “[24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: [25] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. [26] And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: [27] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. [28] And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: [29] For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Christ provided two alternatives. Firstly, His audience could hear His words and do them, or, secondly, they could hear His words and not do them. The former is the walk of faith, that which the wise man takes; the latter is the walk of unbelief, that which the foolish man takes. Jesus had just given them three chapters of doctrine. The Principles of the Kingdom were not hidden but fully known to His disciples. Above all, in light of the Kingdom, a most destructive storm was coming! Therefore, He firmly counseled His Jewish listeners to be ready—lest they be destroyed when that tempest finally arrived….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could Jonah flee from God’s presence?

A Storm Is Coming! #2

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Jonah chapter 1 opens: “[1] Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, [2] Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. [3] But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

“[4] But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest [storm] in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. [5] Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares [goods, cargo] that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. [6] So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. [7] And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.”

Jonah, now exposed, proceeds to explain to his shipmates that he is a servant of the one true God—and he has disobeyed Him! Verse 15: “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.” A second precedent has been established….

A Storm Is Coming! #1

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Of course, the first and most well-known storm in the Bible is that which brought about the Great Flood of Noah’s lifetime. Genesis chapter 6 sets the background for us: “[1] And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, [2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [3] And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. [4] There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

“[5] And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. [7] And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

The global Flood of Genesis was more than simply an historical event, “dead antiquity,” a myth or non-literal tale of worthless superstition. God used that factual, universal event to set a precedent….

Bible Q&A #735: “If God wants to save all—but only few are saved—is He not ‘weak’ and ‘limited?’

Where Is the Gospel?

Monday, June 22, 2020

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 KJV).

As Bible believers, we have been “put in trust with the gospel.” Yet, can we properly elucidate that Gospel when given the opportunity?

Once, I read an article dedicated to a late “scholar” responsible for editing many Bible study tools, including popular concordances. The writer of the dedication, also a “scholarly” and “Christian” publisher himself, proceeded to write several paragraphs describing the deceased man’s theological background and efforts. He was a computer-savvy “expert” who studied Greek and Hebrew, created this database, arranged that book, organized this volume, and so on. Now, please understand, these are all noble accomplishments. There is one major problem.

Never once did the word “God” appear in the article. “Jesus” was absent. “Christ” was not found. There was not one statement about the scholar’s testimony, him believing the Gospel of Grace. Nothing was said about him going to Heaven and being with the Lord. There was nothing about the writing “scholar” looking forward to seeing the departed “scholar” again. After reading the article, one would quite easily conclude neither man has a personal relationship with the God of the Bible. It was written from the perspective of “intellectual” workers entrenched in religious busyness—and “Christian” publishing is a huge “bu$iness!”

It is frightening, beloved, but how can the Church the Body of Christ be depending on literature written and compiled by people who do not have a clear testimony of salvation in Jesus Christ? Surprisingly, we can even read statements of faith of local churches and ministries, and never read one word about Calvary, Christ dying for our sins, God’s grace, et cetera. Preachers will speak out against sin, decrying the deterioration of human society, and the teachers will go on and on about Hebrew and Greek, but the Gospel of Grace is barely mentioned—if at all! Where is the Gospel?!?

“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). It is an offensive message, for it exposes the works of the flesh as non-meritorious before God. Yet, we do not please men, but God. May we have hearts of faith in it!

Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 21, 2020

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).

Since today is Father’s Day, we dedicate today’s devotional to the godly (Christian) fathers.

What is a godly father? Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible (today’s Scripture in particular), fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant.

  • On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned).
  • On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.

A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that they should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.

He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.

Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture.

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

Shoeless Moses #8

Saturday, June 20, 2020

“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:4-6 KJV).

Why did the LORD God order Moses to remove his shoes, and why was Moses “afraid to look upon God?”

Once he met the LORD in the burning bush, Moses—although corrected—reluctantly confronts Pharaoh. After intentionally delaying even more to judge sinful Egypt, God finally frees Israel with a mighty hand. For the final 40 years of his life, Moses leads Israel from Egypt to the eastern edge of the Promised Land. (The trip that would have lasted a few weeks was greatly lengthened after Israel’s unfaithfulness and subsequent wilderness wanderings!) Upon Moses’ decease, Joshua becomes Israel’s new leader and brings them westward across the Jordan River. Through a series of victorious wars, God enables them to conquer Palestine’s Gentile inhabitants.

Almost three decades later, aged and dying Joshua counsels Israel in Joshua chapter 23: “[4] Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. [5] And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. [6] Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;….” Alas, Israel forsook the LORD once she settled Canaan—worshipping and serving idols, and ultimately being scattered around the world!

Where Moses failed, God was faithful; where Israel was unreliable, God will be reliable. She will return to the land of her fathers in due time!

Shoeless Moses #7

Friday, June 19, 2020

“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:4-6 KJV).

Why did the LORD God order Moses to remove his shoes, and why was Moses “afraid to look upon God?”

Moses had forgotten the LORD’S words to Father Abraham centuries before Israel’s Egyptian bondage: “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 [the Promised Land!]: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16).

Now, God’s message to Abraham in chapter 17: “[6] And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. [7] And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. [8] And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Moses was in unbelief when he left Israel in Egypt. God had not forsaken them as assumed. Despite their temporary captivity, the Abrahamic Covenant was permanent. As per God’s faithfulness, they would return to the land in which Abraham sojourned. Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did synagogues originate?

Shoeless Moses #6

Thursday, June 18, 2020

“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:4-6 KJV).

Why did the LORD God order Moses to remove his shoes, and why was Moses “afraid to look upon God?

After Moses met the LORD in the burning bush, chapter 4 reads: “[24] And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. [25] Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. [26] So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” Why did God want to kill Moses? Moses, while in the wilderness 40 years, saw the Abrahamic Covenant as invalid. Contrary to God’s commandment in Genesis 17:9-14, he had not physically circumcised his son!

Once Moses heard “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” was addressing him, he recalled the Abrahamic Covenant. Although Israel was suffering in Egypt, their God had not forgotten them: “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 2:24,25).

When Moses encountered God, he was terrified. It was more than a sinful, mortal man seeing a holy, righteous God. The LORD ordered him to remove his shoes, for not only was Moses standing on “holy ground,” he had been in unbelief! Since Moses forsook Israel in Egypt four decades earlier, he was to take off his shoes. In Israel, the shoeless man was confessing his failure to fulfill his duty (see the levirate marriage situation of Deuteronomy 25:5-10 and Ruth 4:1-8).

Now, Moses was ready to return to Egypt….

Shoeless Moses #5

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:4-6 KJV).

Why did the LORD God order Moses to remove his shoes, and why was Moses “afraid to look upon God?”

Read the verses that follow today’s Scripture: “[7] And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; [8] And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. [9] Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. [10] Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”

Moses feared to look upon God because he knew he had abandoned Israel in Egypt. God appeared to remind him that, contrary to what Moses believed, He had not forgotten Israel, and that he (Moses) was negligent in forsaking Israel 40 years earlier. Concerning “the burning bush [that] was not consumed” (verse 2), that pictured Israel undergoing intense persecution in Egyptian bondage and yet not being annihilated. Moses had to be taught that God was still preserving her in that “iron furnace” (Deuteronomy 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51; Jeremiah 11:4), and now it was time for Moses to return to Egypt and rescue her from Pharaoh. Moses was to bring them into God’s land, the Promised Land….