Placebo #6

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Dear friends, if we study the Bible and actually recognize what God is doing today, and what He is not doing today, we can know exactly where to go in the canon of Scripture to find some absolutely breathtaking passages to motivate and deliver us from discouragement and disappointment. Scores upon scores of cheerful verses are in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—so we do not need to steal Israel’s passages (Deuteronomy 8:18; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 29:11; et cetera) and/or lift ideas from philosophy and psychology (“you are and have what you speak!,” “get more self-esteem!,” “it is a sin to be sick and poor!,” et cetera).

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:…” (Ephesians 1:3).

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal(2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Placebo #5

Monday, October 11, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Read 2 Timothy chapter 3: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away….”

“[12] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. [13] But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

Proceed into chapter 4: “[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [5] But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

In this the Age of Grace, by seeking “feel-good” sermons, the nations are repeating ancient Israel’s error….

Placebo #4

Sunday, October 10, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

In the Book of Daniel, the LORD God foretells the world’s governments while David’s throne is lost to Gentile political powers. During this “time of the heathen” (Ezekiel 30:3) or these “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), no son of David governs Israel from Jerusalem; see the curses of Leviticus 26:18-19 and 27-39. When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon progressively weakened Judah militarily and politically circa 606 B.C., the final three sons of David or kings of Jerusalem served (until Jerusalem’s fall in 586 B.C.). Messiah/Christ Jesus, the ultimate Son of David, sought to reclaim his throne from non-Jews (Ezekiel 21:25-27). Howbeit, Israel refused, for, in their unbelief and sin, they exclaimed, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15).

With Messiah rejected and heading to Calvary to die, a counterfeit king of Israel will sit on David’s throne (cf. John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “And in his estate [the political office of the king of Syria/Turkey that precedes him] shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries [halaqlaqqot]…. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries [halaqa]: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:21,32).

On the “campaign trail,” the crafty Antichrist shares a “feel-good” message with Israel—particularly promising her peace with her enemies. Yet, most disastrously, once she is disarmed and unsuspecting, he authorizes these ancient Gentile foes to assault her, thus revealing himself to be the traitor he was all along: “He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother [halaq] than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalm 55:20,21).

Israel is now in receipt of her desire (!) of today’s Scripture….

Placebo #3

Saturday, October 9, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Although Israel of old possessed the very words of Almighty God, they made a conscious choice not to hearken unto them. Instead of this Divine revelation, they preferred to hear “smooth things.” The Hebrew word translated “smooth” in today’s Scripture is “helqa,” also rendered “flattery” or “flattering.” For example, see Psalm 12:3,4: “The LORD shall cut off all flattering [helqa] lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” Also, Proverbs 6:24: “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery [helqa] of the tongue of a strange woman.”

One popular “feel-good” message in ancient Israel was described most succinctly and outright denounced in Jeremiah chapter 23: “[16] Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. [17] They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” While God’s (genuine) prophets were warning fellow Jews their habitual sin would result in horrific judgment, self-appointed (counterfeit) prophets were contradicting that by proclaiming a message comparable to today’s cheapened “Christianity:” “All is well, you are fine, God is happy with you, no wrath is coming, keep doing what you want to do!” Of course, such false teaching would not turn Israel away from sin; the “negative” true words of God that would lead to reformation had been shoved aside in favor of a “positive” message.

Since Israel wanted “smooth things,” and the LORD God of the Bible values free will, Israel is destined to hear even more “feel-good” words, even more outrageous lies….

Placebo #2

Friday, October 8, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Today’s Scripture in context: “[8] Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: [9] That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: [10] Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: [11] Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

Verse 8 is the promise of Bible preservation. The LORD directed the Prophet Isaiah to write His words, so those words would be for ever and ever.” (For us as English-speaking people, this is the King James Bible!) What is Isaiah’s message preserved even now? Ancient Israel was just like any other group of sinners, opposing God’s will for them and doing what they wanted to do: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6). “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).

Friend, draw your attention to today’s Scripture: “…rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.” They were not interested in learning the LORD’S words, especially the Law of Moses, the covenant that laid out the conduct of their daily lives. “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:….” They refused to hear from God’s messengers or spokesmen, for such words convicted them of their sin. Instead of “right things,” they wanted to hear “smooth things… deceits,” a pleasing or complimentary message….

Placebo #1

Thursday, October 7, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

A celebrated megachurch pastor just released his new book—a mere 130 pages. In it, three verses were clearly marked with a reference (“Psalm 139,” for example, along with two other verses from Psalms). Of course, these were shallow, basic passages even a Sunday School child knows. While the preacher alluded to or quoted additional verses throughout his book, no actual references were ever given (even in footnotes, marginal notes, or endnotes). It makes it difficult to double-check him. Is he quoting a verse correctly, and within its context? Maybe he is simply paraphrasing? Or, is it a mere fabrication he attributes to “God?”

Dear friends, if we are not quoting and citing Bible verses in our written studies or audible messages, we are doing nothing more than sharing our own opinions. The Christian life will not operate on the basis of human viewpoint, man’s speculations, but this is usually all believers ever have—and now we see why poor testimonies and even no testimonies abound! Just as long as it is inspirational, or motivational, that is all Christians have been trained to think about today. If it makes them feel good, and the name of “God” or “Jesus” is attached to it, then surely it is something reliable, right?! Unfortunately, the “Christian” publishing houses are running bu$ine$$e$ (what authors and topics can bring in the largest profit?) rather than teaching sound Bible doctrine (what does the God of Scripture want us to believe and do?).

In medical science, a “placebo” (from Latin, “I shall be acceptable or pleasing”) is “a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.” That is to say, the sick patient believes it is therapeutic, possessing healing properties, but there is no profit for the physical body in it! Such was the case with “feel-good” “Judaism” of old (today’s Scripture), and with “feel-good” “Christianity” of late….

To Rejoice in True Riches

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

“I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches” (Psalm 119:14 KJV).

God’s “testimonies”—solemn charges or laws—were designed to lay out a specific “way” or path the Israelites were to follow in life. The Psalmist, in today’s Scripture, expressed his gratitude for that spiritual light by delighting in it just as if he had “all riches.”

Now possessing a completed Bible, and having shared it with people throughout the years of our Christian life, we can agree with the Apostle Paul: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:9-14). (As we believers rejoice in the priceless truths of Scripture, so unbelievers dismiss them as worthless and foolishness.)

Divine wisdom given through Paul’s ministry, more spiritual riches, are indeed to be treasured: “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:1-3).

The Worship of the Calf #8

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

Read Ezekiel chapter 28: “[13] Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. [14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. [15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Here was Lucifer’s transformation into Satan.

Concerning cherubim, read these other Ezekiel passages. “And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle” (10:14). “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle” (1:10). A cherub, including Satan, has four faces—with one face resembling that of an ox/calf (cf. Revelation 4:7). Therefore, the LORD God addressed Satan with: “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:14). Satan is a snake in character (sneaky, deceptive), but his facial features are that of an ox/calf.

To wit, calf-worship is literally nothing more than Satan-worship!

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The Worship of the Calf #7

Monday, October 4, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

Similar to the Egyptians’ Hapis/Apis calf-worship, Phoenicians and Canaanites revered Molech/Moloch. (Recall their common descent from the Tower of Babel.) This bull-man god of fire had horns. In the Law of Moses, not only did the LORD prohibit the Jews from retaining pagan idolatry from Egypt, they were not to adopt new idolatry from the Phoenicians and Canaanites either.

“And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:21). Also, chapter 20: “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. [3] And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. [4] And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: [5] Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.”

Unfortunately, Israel disobeyed the LORD here too: the Jews practiced Moloch-worship during the 40 years of wilderness wanderings (Amos 5:25,26). King Solomon worshipped Molech (1 Kings 11:7). Centuries later, King Josiah reformed Judah and abolished Molech-worship (2 Kings 23:10). Still, the LORD had had enough of Jerusalem’s defilement with Molech, and used the Babylonians to punish them.

Let us now see the first calf worshipped….

The Worship of the Calf #6

Sunday, October 3, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

As they worshipped diverse gods and goddesses, the ancient Egyptians were simply conducting themselves according to Romans 1:20-23: “[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

The above passage depicts the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), the origin of world religions except Judaism. Along with all the other Gentiles or nations, the Egyptians worshipped fellow humans and various animals. Since the people of the world were not appreciative of the one true God, and willfully gathered at Babel to start their own (one-world) religious system, God confounded their languages and scattered them. Whatever evil thoughts they had in unity, these were translated or converted in their minds, thus expanding why world religions (no matter how far removed physically) are quite close doctrinally.

Israel knew the depraved spiritual conditions of the world around her. She was also aware of how the one true God, after letting the nations “walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:15,16; Acts 17:29,30), had set apart her father Abraham from that darkness and confusion (Genesis chapter 12). Her separation from the Gentiles was fortified via the Law of Moses, which had been given to her alone (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:19,20; Romans 3:1,2). Consequently, Israel’s association with the world’s religions was wholly unacceptable. Whereas the Gentiles were ignorant of their satanic bondage in religion, Israel knew better and still adopted such systems!

Now we address the significance of calf-worship….