Glory to God!

A Psalm of David. Vindicate [judge] me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LORD, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells. Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men, In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me. My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the LORD.

These are the words of a man who is faithful and holy – the Psalm sets out the truth that faith and holiness are inseparable. David, the author, is one who has put his faith and trust in the Lord God; he has separated from the wickedness of this world, un-entangled from the tentacles of greed, and pride, and lust, and covetousness which is idolatry (v 4) (See Colossians 3:5). Holiness can have nothing to do with wickedness. He hates the wickedness of those that pollute the faithful; he does not deal with the apostate; those that preach falsehood or who attempt to corrupt the congregation (the local church) which the Apostles Paul and Peter also warn about (e.g. see 2 Peter 2). His words are strong – he hates the evildoers. God in like manner hates the Nicolaitans who corrupt the truth (Rev 2:6, 15). The world wants us to tolerate all things including those who despise and reject our Lord. His enemies are his own people; and as Paul and Peter show, its corrupt men in the church that can bring down a congregation. We must test all things; we must check all things against Scripture like those in the early church (Acts 17:11).

He sounds like he is boasting but he is not. David has a constant regard for God even though he has suffered much; for he has escaped persecution of his father-in-law, King Saul, who time after time attempted to kill him. He can honestly say; “I shall not slip”, and so can we. A man or woman ‘in Christ’ is safe, safe in the arms of Jesus; we have been brought near to God (Eph 2:13) having been raised up to sit in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). This is our position; it cannot be lost.

He seeks testing to ensure the steadfastness of his faith; “prove me”, “try me” he requests of the Lord. He does so, not for his own gain or status, but rather so he can proclaim the name of the Lord that saves, with thanksgiving. He does what Paul urges a Christian to do: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realise this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

He finishes with adoration of the LORD –“I will bless the LORD”; his sole motive is to bring glory to God. Is this your mission in life?

Questions for reflection
1. Are you bold enough to ask God to test you and to try you, so you may grow strong and be of better service to Him? Reflect upon this before answering – testing may not be easy.
2. Are there things in your life that you tolerate, but God hates? What will you do about these?

 

Psalm 26
12 Sep 2021

 

The Coming of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians - the Rapture

The Rapture 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

(13) But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
(14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
(15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
(16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
(17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
(18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Introduction

1 Thessalonians speaks of the physical return of Christ in five places with exact timing requiring care from the reader in order to discern the purpose of the coming. Many muddle Christ coming for his saints with Christ coming to judge Israel and the nations. The physical return of Christ is mentioned at 1:9-10, 2:19-20, 3:13, 4:13-18, 5:1-11.

Rapture

The taking away (or catching up) of believers from this earth (in Latin; rapture) prior to the coming wrath of God falling on this world (4:14-18, see also John 14:1-3) is provided in chapter 4 and forms the basis of the Christian’s expected return of Christ – this could happen at any time. This is overlayed with what Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15) – the resurrection of the saints involves the changing of our corruptible body to a new body, which is incorruptible.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:50-53)

It is important to note that church saints are saved by grace – there is no further judgement, hence they escape the Tribulation, and it is this point many churches miss – they preach that wrath falls upon Christians, when the Bible states emphatically this is not the case; Christ has borne the wrath of God, and by grace we are saved.

…you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

This is not to muddle that fact many; hundreds of thousands of people, will come to the saving knowledge of Christ during the Tribulation (Rev 7:9; 14:12 etc.) and will suffer persecution, even death and be saved from hell; these are not church saints, but tribulation saints.The Bible preludes the passage in Thessalonians with the expectation that Christ is to return after his ascension at Pentecost (Acts 1). Jesus himself, in John 14 states he will return.

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3).

This passage in 1 Thessalonians 4 sets out the seven stages of the rapture (4:16 – 17):

  1. The Lord will descend from the Heaven
  2. There is a shout – like one from a military commander
  3. The shout is of the archangel, who is Messiah
  4. The trumpet of God will be sounded – as used to summon soldiers to battle.
  5. The dead in Christ shall rise first – Christians that have died (not Old Testament Saints, who rise prior to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom)
  6. Believers who are a live rise next
  7. Church believers meet the Lord in the air, and will be forever with the Lord

The world will not see the actual rapture; they will not see Christ, but the impacts will be profound because the salt of the world (Christians) will be removed, leading to rapid declension and chaos.

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord is when Christ comes to judge Israel and the Nations for rejecting the Son of God (5:1-11).

  1. Comes or creeps upon the world unseen (like a thief in the night) (5:2)
  2. Arises when the world believes they are at peace (5:3)
  3. War and environmental catastrophe will occur suddenly; there will be no way to escape (5:3)iv. It is a time of darkness – no spiritual discernment will occur (5:4-5)
  4. The world will be asleep to the way of the Lord (5:6-7) – there will be bi faith or love or hope of salvation (5:8)
  5. The day is for wrath (5:9), but not for the church saints – who have been taken to heaven.
David L Simon
05 Sep 2021

 

Jesus Christ the Son of God born of a woman, raised to glory

Jesus Christ the Son of God

 And truly Jesus did many other [miraculous] signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may [continue] believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Taking the book as a whole, these two verses form a parenthesis, which could be paraphrased as:

"I have recorded in this gospel a few of the signs that I and the other disciples saw Jesus perform: there are many more, some of which are recorded in the other Gospels, however, I have expanded upon eight signs (seven before and one after the resurrection[2]), along with proof of his resurrection, giving you abundant evidence that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, and that if you believing in Him, you will have everlasting life."

Or taking these verses as a follow-on from the resurrection, not as a parenthetical paragraph, but a continuation of chapter 20:

"As I have just explained, Jesus rose from the dead and with many proofs demonstrated this to be true, of which I have explained just some of them to you: there were three appearances to us. He did many other signs proving his resurrection, but I have not recorded these in my gospel. The ones I have recorded, however, demonstrate adequately that Jesus is the Son of God, and if you believing in the resurrected Son of God, you will have everlasting life."

What do these verses say

1.   The subject of the book which John wrote is Jesus Christ. The author here points out that there are other matters pertaining to Christ's resurrection that could have been included, but he, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, selected a few and these are sufficient enough as proof of the deity of Christ.

2.   These verses follow-on from John's explanation of the resurrection of Jesus. Clearly Jesus appeared to them many times and probably performed many other signs, as these two verses indicate. However, John explained the resurrection given describing seven signs:

a)    The stone taken away from the tomb's mouth

b)    The empty tomb

c)    The manner in which the garments used to wrap Jesus were lain

d)    The presence of two angels in the tomb

e)    The first appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene

f)      The second appearance of Jesus to his disciples in the closed room

g)    The third appearance in like manner in a closed room

3.   The proof of the argument that Jesus was the Messiah is that he rose from the dead and appeared at least three times: two if not three miraculously (see also Romans 1:4 and Acts 13:33 that quotes Psalm 2). Jesus came into the world professing to be the Son of God: his resurrection proved it, because it established the truth of everything he taught.

4.   Jesus had disciples, that is, followers of himself. These were eyewitness to the events that befell Jesus, hence are our prime information source. It is clear the Jesus showed many signs to his disciples and others, at least 500 after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 2:15) that proved that the man standing before them was Jesus, the man they knew before his death:

Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. Acts 10:40-41

5.   The signs were to the disciples so they could demonstrate the truth to the world:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-1 John 1:1 (NKJV)

6.   The purpose of the book of John is that we may believe, or continue to believe, whatever our position, that Jesus, the subject of the book, is Christ, the Son of God and to show that Christ came to reveal the Father to us [3].

7.   The outcome of this belief is a blessing beyond all measure: life in the name of Jesus.

 The second paraphrase overcomes the difficulties in explaining a parenthesis that deals with the whole book, rather than the previous chapter.

The Object of the Verses

Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, the Messiah, the Son of God, proved by His resurrection.

See 1 John 5:9

10He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 1 John 5:10 (NKJV)

The subject of the Verses

The subject of the verses is encouragement that we have in knowing Jesus was the Messiah. Thus John invites us to believe in Jesus Christ: for without faith it is impossible to please God, for we cannot be saved without faith.

The Son of God

Scripture Reference

First mentioned in Daniel - in fear King Nebuchadnezzar looked into the fiery furnace and saw four men, one of which had the appearance of the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).

Jesus declared to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4).

Jesus, the Messiah, was promised through the prophets, and was born of a woman, as the seed of David. This promise arose out of the sin of Adam: Genesis 3:15.

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis 3:15 (NKJV)

By one man sin entered the world.

Sin brought death to mankind, for the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and the only remedy was for God to provide His son.

John writes of this in 1 John 3:7 - the reason the Son of Man was made manifest, that is, made known to us, was to deal with the Devil and to destroy his works:

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, Hebrews 2:14 (NKJV)

 The declaration of the book of Romans is exactly the same as seen in John 20:30,31. The declaration is by the resurrection of Jesus, though the Holy Spirit.

Jesus' Character

Greater than Moses

This same Jesus, declared to be the Son of God, is also revealed as the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). A little before in Hebrews He is shown to be greater then Moses in that: although Moses was faithful in all of God's house, as God himself declared in Numbers 12:7, this Jesus was actually the builder of the House, and not only that, He rules over it, thus demonstrating his superiority to Moses.

Our Great High Priest

Moses was not a High Priest, yet Jesus is a high priest, and much more, a high priest, which is superior to Aaron, for Aaron could not take away the sin of the people. Noting also that Aaron was not a king, and Jesus is a King and High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. What does this mean?

Hebrews 7 explains what the order actually was - it was one without beginning or ending: hence Jesus, the alpha and omega, is not forever, and hence our priest for ever, continually (Hebrews 7:3) interceding on our behalf before the Father.

The Father sees us only through Jesus, the blood cleansing us from all unrighteousness. There is nothing in us that allows the Most Holy One to look upon us, only the work Christ was wrought does remove this barrier.

Eyes like a flame of fire, feet like fine brass (Rev 2:18)

These characteristics highlight the Son of God's ability to search all - there is nothing hid from him - his eyes search all, and sees. All sin needs to be dealt with - holiness means that there is no sin, no not one. The Son of Man is able to deal with everyone of them: 

"For His eyes are on the ways of man, And He sees all his steps. Job 34:21 NKJV)

What is hidden he brings forth to light. Job 28:11 (NKJV)

For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NKJV)

 His feet are like fine brass speaking of his holy walk which stands the testing of God, as the consuming fire. (Deut 4:24).

The Son of God came for the express purpose to deal with sin. He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it, from its iniquity. Because we were aliens, afar off, indeed an unpassable gulf existed between God and man prior to this that none could conquer. Jesus provided a means to reconcile us to God - Ephesians 2:16.

His Essence

Truth and grace.

He reveals the Father which Truth and Grace. Christ is the Truth. By grace we are saved.

The Son of God

He has re-entered heaven as Man, to be head over all things.

Has been appointed heir (Hebrews 1).

He has been the manifestation of God upon this earth.

He will reign over the earth as the Head of all creation (of all things), gathering together all things under His authority (Colossians 1).

All things are to be subjected under His feet - He, entering heaven as Man, is in the presence of God without a veil.

He redeems those that are to enter the Father's presence.

The most amazing thing here is Christ enters heaven as a Man, who God can look upon.

 

Endnotes

[1] These are brief notes used for a short meditation on the given passage. By no means are they an in-depth discussion on the fullness of the words of Jesus. (Bible Truth). Furthermore, the author expects that the grammar could be somewhat better represented.

[2] The signs Jesus did in John

Before death

2:1 Turning water into wine
4:46 Healing the Nobleman's son of fever
5:1 Healing an infirm man at Bethesda
6:1 Feeding the Five Thousand (also M,M & L)
6:19 Walking on water (also M & M)
9:1 Healing the man born blind
11:43 Raising of Lazarus

After death

21:1 Catch of fish - after disciples had failed to catch any.

[3] This presupposes that there is a God, and furthermore, He has a Son that come to this world as a man, that walked with the disciples.

David L Simon (CCC November 2004, edited 12 November 2008)
\John\The Gospel of John 20 (30-31)

Jesus Loves Even Me!

I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

Refrain:
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Tho' I forget Him and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms would I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

Phillip P Bliss (1875)
22 Aug 2021

 

The Word of God Stands Alone - Humans are not needed to validate it!

The Word of God comes to us in its own power and authority as the truth. The Word makes no apology for the things about which it speaks, nor for the way it presents them; and its force and authority are not lessened because it condescends to plead with men. It needs no one to prove that it is true, for it proves its own testimony by the revelation of what is true. If it needed another to prove its truth, then we could not know the Word to be the Word of God, for we know God by the revelation that it gives. To judge the Word we should require an authority greater than God Himself, and that is impossible. It is absurd for man to presume to judge the Word, a Word which judges him, and gives him a true picture of himself; he does so at his peril.

It remains the Word of God even if it is not received by those who hear it. If one person believes the Word, receiving it as the Word of God, and another does not believe it, the authority of the Word is not altered in the least, it remains the same for both. Whether the Word is accepted or not it will judge all men by that which it reveals. It professes to be the Word and the testi­mony of God; the truth which makes Him known. The knowledge of God which it brings into the conscience, reveals all that man is and judges all his thoughts and actions.

Outside the Word of God, we have only the mind of man, and the forces of evil to which man has made himself subject by the exercise of his own will. Unless the inspired Word governs the mind of man, the more intelligent he is, the more rationalistic and infidel he becomes; if he is imaginative and influenced by ancient mythology he grows more grossly superstitious, for in his mind he retains some idea of God.

Men communicate with men, and they understand each other’s thoughts; surely God can do the same, and give more certainty as to the Divine origin and truth of the thing communicated. "Thou shalt speak my words" (Ezekiel 2:7). A Word which tells me "all things that ever I did," speaks with more than mere human intelli­gence. The Word is the eye of God and it searches the conscience; and no word, spoken or written, has any power or authority in the soul until it reaches the con­science.

The Word is received on its own testimony by faith. The truth of it is tested by that which it professes to reveal. The presence of God is known by the Word, and the Word carries its own authority as truth to the conscience.

The truth in anything that is told us is always a whole. Even a partial revelation is the truth concerning that which is revealed in so far as the revelation is made, and it is a necessary part of the revelation of what is true. Scripture is a whole, in it there are many things revealed, but they all make God known as they have to do with Him, and as far as He may be known by the creatures to whom He reveals Himself. What man amongst the many who wrote could have known his part in the work to complete the scriptures, and the necessity of that which he wrote to form the perfect revelation of the mind of God, as the Word gives it? It is not a lifeless word, it has vitality, and it lives by the life of the Spirit of God. If the Word is not received, God is not believed, for the Word is His testimony to men and is to be received on the authority of its own declaration.

Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, they are delicately and exquisitely framed. More mysterious than the intricacies of our mortal frames, is the union of the spirit of man with his body, which gives him life here and the consciousness of relationship with the world of nature through a mind. There is even more wonder in the fact that man has a mind capable of enjoying communion with God and knowing something of His character and ways. Reaching still farther in perfection beyond these marvels of creation, the Word, which com­municates the mind of God and reveals God to man, surpasses all the works of creation, because it is more directly Divine. The Word is incomparable.

The Bible is not a mere disorderly collection of historical events and mythical stories thrown together without a reason for their choice. The reason for the recording of an event can only be discerned when we understand the Divine principle which it is used to illus­trate. The Spirit of God is the interpreter of the mind of God, He alone can give the understanding of the Word which He inspired to be written, and the reason for the choice of the event He has chosen.

There are no unnecessary parts in the Word which reveals God. The Word of revelation forms a unity which is perfect for faith. In each book we discover the unfolding of the ways of God, of His government or of His counsels of grace. The prophets are occupied with His government on earth, a sure and certain government, but which is not yet seen in operation. God at present hides His government in providence.

Frederick A Blair (1891-1974)
From "The Sign of the Prophet Jonah" 1947
08 Aug 2021

 

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God. His weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this website must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is measruing it against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

11 Feb 2017

 

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