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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Conversion, repentance, the purpose of the law

Grateful today for solid Biblical teaching on salvation, and the need for repentance and conversion last night at my church.  There is an "ear-tickling" thing going on in the Body of Christ about, "you just need to change your way of thinking."  Joel Osteen is leading that charge and the platform that he has to speak from is incredibly large.  There is a death in a true and deep conversion experience that can not be included in a simple "changing of your mind."  This is not about the power of positive thinking.

Reggie Kelly makes these excellent points, and like my Spurgeon post from this morning, I can do no better so I will simply quote him.

There is an implicit divine strategy implicit in the words, “The law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.” Just as God sent John ahead of Jesus to prepare the way, even so He sends a prophetic company ahead with the prophetic Word of judgment, since grace is always revealed where judgment has been justified as just and necessary.
Paul’s statement, “Christ is revealed at the end of the law,” is more than a statement concerning a change of dispensation. It is a divine principle. Christ is revealed at the end of the law, precisely because He is revealed at the end of human strength.
The law requires nothing less than Christ.
That is to say, human self sufficiency hinders the light of revelation that transforms and imparts a new nature. In other words, there must first be a humbling and an emptying as the Spirit uses the Word to make us sensible of our condition and need. The purpose of the law is to remove the lie that anything in man can accommodate the exceedingly high requirement of the law, because the law requires nothing less than Christ. In this way, the awakened sinner is “shut up” or crowded to Christ.

Spurgeon The difference between a talebearer and a rebuke.

When Charles Haddon Spurgeon, does a better job than anyone else could do, I let him do the talking. 
 Holy Spirit give us ears to hear this truth and act upon it.

"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people ... Thou shalt
in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him." / Leviticus

Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer,
and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or
false, we are by this precept of God's Word forbidden to spread it. The
reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we
should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name
of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in
pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah's wise
sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful
curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence
from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be
this our family rule, and our personal bond--Speak evil of no man.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in
which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face,
not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike,
and under God's blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then
we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the
work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of
it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate
warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a
gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to
Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he
bore with Peter's boastful denial that he needed such a caution.  Spurgeon

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Israel, Covenant, End Times Part 3

David Baron, in his commentary on Zechariah (written in 1918, 30 years before the nation of Israel was brought into existence again) speaks of God's Covenant purpose for this people and this land.  Mr. Baron gives as his second reason for studying Zechariah, the fact that it throws light on the events of the last times preceding the great and terrible "Day of the Lord."   quoting
"The presence in Palestine of a representative remnant of the Jewish people in a condition of unbelief; the fiery furnace of suffering into which they are there to be thrown; their great tribulation and anguish occasioned by the final siege of Jerusalem by the confederated Gentile armies under the headship of him in whom both Jewish and Gentile apostasy is to reach its climax; how in the very midst of their final sorrow the spirit of grace and supplication shall be poured upon them, and they shall look upon Him who they have pierced and mourn; how this blessed One whom they so long rejected shall suddenly appear as their Deliverer, and His feet stand "in that day" on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east;  How God shall again say "Ammi"  (my people) to the nation which during the long centuries of their unbelief were 'Lo-Ammi' (not My people)  and how Israel shall joyously respond, "Jehovah, my God" ; how Israel's Messiah shall speak peace to the nations and Israel himself enter at last on his priestly mission to the people for which he was originally destined, and Jerusalem become the center of God's fear and worship for the whole earth."
That bold part is the covenant.  God will fulfill this during the one thousand year reign.

The warning of Matthew 10:23-25 holds true.  Suffering, Death, Resurrection, the pattern of the Messiah, is the pattern of the people who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

For further study for those who are seriously into getting into the meat of these things, I give you this from Reggie Kelly.  (

Jeremiah is using the same language and terms of the former prophets, particularly Isaiah and Micah to describe a final great tribulation and travail of the nation that would transition into the kingdom of God (Isa 13:6-8; 26:16-17; 66:8; Mic 5:3 with Jer 30:6-7). The time is unmistakably the Day of the Lord salvation of Israel. 

With nearly exactly the same language that Jeremiah uses to describe the time of unequaled trouble that ends in the salvation of the Israel, Daniel speaks of the time of unequaled trouble in connection with the resurrection (Dan 12:1-2), including his own (Dan 12:13). Daniel has given us the decisive interpretation of the time of Jacob's trouble. It is the unequaled tribulation that occurs just before the dead are raised. It begins with the removal of a sacrifice (Dan 9:27; 12:11) and ends with Messiah's return to destroy the self exalting prince whom Paul will call, 'the Man of Sin" (Dan 11:36-37 with 2Thes 2:4). 

There can be no mistake. The connection of things is clear. Daniel applies Isaiah's, Micah's, and Jeremiah's description of an age ending 'travail of Zion' to the last half of the seventieth seven. Regardless of how it is used or applied by different schools of interpretation, it is agreed by all that the tribulation is represented as a short period of approximately 3 1/2 years (Dan 7:25; 9:27; 12:7, 11).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Israel, Covenant, End Times Part 2

Succinct- briefly and clearly expressed, terse.
This word is my greatest challenge when talking about the end times.
6,000 years of Biblical history, and God’s ‘one story’ of dealing with
His people all, brought to a close, a fitting end.  All Glory to God, man
revealed as the ‘no strength’ recipients of grace.  The ‘one way’ covenant
between the active God and the sleeping man fulfilled.  Israel will be in
the midst of a peace covenant, that allows them to relax their guard and restore
the temple and its sacrifices.  Inconceivable, you say, but no more so
than that after 1900 years a nation would arise with its capital Jerusalem.
This ‘peace covenant’ is a necessary precursor to the ‘end times.’  The
anti-Christ needs an altar to desecrate.  Until these events play out, all else
is preliminary.  These are marks of the last 7 years (3 1/2 relatively peaceful, and
3 1/2 worse than any time in human history.)
Deut. 32:36 For the Lord will revoke sentence for His people and relent for His servants’ sake when He sees that their power is gone and none remains, whether bond or free.
 Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right and his left hand toward the heavens and swore by Him Who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half a time [or three and one-half years]; and when they have made an end of shattering and crushing the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
The anti-Christ is given a ‘short time’ to trample down Jerusalem, and when the bones are ‘very dry’ will come the word of resurrection from the Lord.
His covenant with Israel has not yet been brought to fruition, but it will be.  He can not
stop short of this goal.  A people set apart, chosen, loved, just because He chose them.  We bow to His choice, His right to choose.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Israel, Covenant, End Times Part 1
This is a quote from this video during the time specified.
3:23 – 3:56 “Your kids could see what your grandparents saw, a global conflict centered around the issue of the Jew. Which means this, the question of the Jew in our midst becomes the critical issue at the end of the age, not by virtue of nationalism or territorialism or colonialism or all these other words that get hurled at you when you say, ‘We stand with Israel.’, but because Israel represents the issue of covenant, not the issue of state or nationalism or anything in a carnal or material sense, not the materialism is bad, meaning the actual land of Israel.”

It is truly essential that the church begin to understand the "issue of covenant."  
God made promises, He gave His Word that certain events would happen.  He chose a people and a land.  Luke 21:23-25 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until  the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,

Do you want proof that the Bible is the inspired word of God, read this passage carefully.  In the end times, "this people" (the Jews), "the land" (Israel) and Jerusalem all play a key role.  That was impossible prior to the changes in the world landscape made in 1947, and 1967.  

"Until" is such key word in scripture, it allows us to connect events and to handle the word of God accurately.  "The times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" is what we are seeing the beginnings of right now.  

So, remember, God made promises, He gave His Word that certain events would happen.  He chose a people and a land.  His promises can be put on hold, they can 'appear' to be impossible to fulfill, they can test the hearts of men, BUT they can not fall to the ground void.

Let us press on to grasp, "the issue of covenant."  This is part 1 of a journey, with that as the goal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

why me

What God Is Always Aiming for in Our Adversity

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
Adversity by its very nature is the removal of things on which our comfort and hope have rested and so it will either result in anger toward God or greater reliance on him alone for our peace.
And his purpose for us in adversity is not that we get angry or discouraged, but that our hope shift off earthly things onto God.
God’s main purpose in all adversity is to make us stop trusting in ourselves or any man.

Friday, November 2, 2012

When I am weak, then am I strong

Thoughts from my heart to God's heart,  last night at work.
"God, we make a good team, I know nothing and You know everything"
and then a little later because of a deep struggle with one of our sons.
"and when I have no love, You are all love."

There is a truth in scripture that cuts across one of the biggest lies
in this culture, that if you are weak in some area you just need to work
harder, educate yourself more, pull yourself up by your bootstrap and
overcome.  Scripture has a much different solution, agree with the assessment
that you are ultimately weak, and rely on, trust in, continuously cry out for and
count on, the life of Jesus to work through you in your admittedly weak area's.

Daniel 12:7
1 Corinthians 1:27
2 Corinthians 12:10

NEED more proof that this is a principle in Scripture, keep going.
Job 26:22
Psalm 8:2
Psalm 18:1, 20:6, 21:1, 22:15, 28:7,8,  31:2, 31:4, 33:16,17,  46:11, 59:16,  68:28,34,  73:26, 105:4, 118:14, 147:10
Isaiah 12:2, 30:15, 33:2, 40:29-31
Jeremiah 17:5
Lamentations 3:18-23  (There is an aspect of judgment that is the forced
removal of strength, so that God's people will do what they should have
done in the first place, acknowledge their weakness and rely upon Him.)
Ezekiel 17:9
Daniel 10:16-19  When our strength is gone, the words of a messenger of God
can be to us a prophetic proclamation, that gives us the strength of God, AFTER,
we acknowledge that our strength is gone.

Amos was a prophet to a prosperous nation that was about to come under the
judgment of God.  Amos 3:11, 6:13.

2 Chronicles 14:11

Habakkuk 3:19
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Ephesians 6:10
1 Peter 4:11