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April 14, 2024, 06:36:12 AM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
286792 Posts in 27568 Topics by 3790 Members
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 1 
 on: April 13, 2024, 07:58:15 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Korah's Dispute

“Woe unto them! for they have...perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11)

Jude describes the Levite Korah’s rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16) as an antilogia (to speak against, dispute, contradict). During that time, Moses and Aaron were the spokespersons for the Lord, with authority and direct instructions from God. The Scriptures take that place today.

Korah and 250 other “princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2) had decided that they were just as “holy” as Moses and were demanding some share of the leadership (and presumably some of the control). This was far more than a mere leadership struggle.

Israel had just come through several major miracles (Red Sea parting, manna, water from the rock, etc.), had been given the Ten Commandments, and had built the tabernacle. They had rejected the report of Joshua and Caleb on God’s promise about Canaan and were in the middle of trying to choose a captain to “return into Egypt” (Numbers 14:4). God was really angry with them!

Korah led this “gainsaying” in an attempt to thwart God’s direction through Moses. Today, that would be equivalent to insisting that science (or philosophy or theology) is just as holy as the text of Scripture. God’s method of testing this antilogia was simple: each leader was to prepare his own censer and incense (equivalent to his interpretation of God’s Word) and see how God responded to him.

They perished in a most spectacular display of ruin—“the ground clave asunder that was under them” and they “went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation” (Numbers 16:31, 33). God does not tolerate rejection of His message, “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). HMM III

 2 
 on: April 12, 2024, 08:04:02 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Balaam's Error

“Woe unto them! for they...ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.” (Jude 1:11)

Balaam is a very complex character recorded in Numbers 22–24. He is cited for an ability to communicate with “the LORD” and had a reputation for accurate prophecy (Numbers 22:6-8). As the new nation of Israel traveled northward into the Sinai Peninsula, Balak the king of Moab became worried that Israel would subjugate his nation and recruited Balaam to curse them.

Balaam “loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:15) but was astute enough to know that he could not talk God into doing anything God did not want to do! But even though Balaam was aware of the dangers of getting involved on the wrong side of God’s work, he wormed and squirmed through several interchanges with God until he was finally allowed to go. “God’s anger was kindled” at the stubbornness of this man, and the famous interchange with the donkey took place (Numbers 22:22-31).

Still Balaam persisted with his venture for Balak of Moab and “ran greedily” after the reward that he had been promised. When he arrived at the place where he planned to curse Israel, Balaam knew enough about the correct sacrifices to build the right kinds of altars and sacrifice the right kinds of animals, then he proceeded to seek God’s “word” for Israel. Three times God “put a word” in Balaam’s mouth to bless Israel, and three times Balak insisted that he try again to curse them.

Instead of repenting of his foolishness, Balaam bragged about his ability to know what God wanted and “taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel” (Revelation 2:14). Those who prostitute the gifts of God for their own profit will come under a “greater condemnation” (James 3:1). May God protect us from the Balaams among the churches. HMM III

 3 
 on: April 11, 2024, 07:47:19 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Cain's Way

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11)

Jude compares the awful examples of three Old Testament characters to leaders in the New Testament church who have used their influence for evil. Cain was the first child of Adam and Eve and had every opportunity to excel. Yet, he chose a “way” that not only ended in the horrible murder of his brother but also resulted in an entire culture in rebellion against God.

The murder was preceded by a flagrant disobedience that was expressed when the family came to offer their sacrifices to the Creator. Cain brought an offering of the “fruit” of his own labor from tilling the ground. Abel’s offering was a “firstling” from the flock that he kept (Genesis 4:3-5). Why did God “respect” Abel’s offering and not Cain’s?

God’s commentary on this event (Hebrews 11:4) tells us that Abel “obtained witness” that his sacrifice was a righteous action that testified of his obedience. The Genesis account does not give much information, but it is clear that the first family were following instructions—likely emulating the sacrifice that God made to clothe Adam and Eve after they sinned (Genesis 3:21).

Cain began a “way” many years before (a lifestyle, a broad road) that turned his heart away from simple obedience to God’s instructions. Cain’s occupation (farmer) was certainly okay. He provided food for the growing world population. But when the regular sacrifice came due, Cain decided that he would “show” God his own works rather than follow God’s requirement of bringing an innocent life in sacrifice.

That way, of course, is the way “which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). HMM III

 4 
 on: April 10, 2024, 08:49:56 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Trinity and the Christian

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

The doctrine of the triune God is unique to Christianity. There is only one God yet three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each with His own distinct relation to mankind but each equally, fully, and eternally God. Although these truths are implicit throughout the New Testament, the doctrine of the Trinity is seldom, if ever, presented explicitly as a formal doctrine.

There are several passages, however, where all three Persons are mentioned in the same context, and each one deals with a significant aspect of the Christian life. There is, first of all, the provision of salvation, “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:14). Then follows regeneration. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). Salvation and regeneration are then publicly testified in baptism “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

The chief resource of the believer is prayer, and this also involves all three Persons. “For through [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). He must also continue to learn of Christ and to bear witness of Him. “The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things” (John 14:26). “The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness” (John 15:26-27).

Finally, in the words of our text, we have eternal assurance in the triune God. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” HMM

 5 
 on: April 09, 2024, 07:35:30 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Occupied Territory

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

In our ongoing struggle for both survival and victory in this world, we do well to recognize that we are in enemy territory. While it is true that our Captain created the world—indeed, “all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3)—and sacrificed His life to redeem it and will reign over it for eternity, it is also true that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19), occupied by “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) who is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).

The fact that we are surrounded by such darkness should come as no surprise, for before we were rescued by His grace, we too were part of the darkness—indeed, we had to be called out of it. John the Baptist came “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 1:79). Furthermore, as Christ taught, “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

This confrontation overshadows mere human conflict, however, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). But, praise God, we have been called “out of darkness into his marvellous light” as described in our text. Although we may still be in the world, our King has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). JDM

 6 
 on: April 08, 2024, 07:24:27 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Brute Beasts

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1:10)

Both Jude and Peter use essentially the same terms when they speak of people who are like “brute beasts” (2 Peter 2:12). Both use the qualifying adjective “natural” to draw a precise distinction between those who are only alive physically and those who have been given eternal life by the Spirit of God.

Prior to being twice-born, all men are “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) and have not yet been given “the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). Such “natural” people are “sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:19) and therefore cannot receive “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 2:14).

These strong pictures are not incidental for understanding the challenge to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). Jude and Peter are describing the intransigence of those who resist the truth—especially of the “tares” who have been planted by the Enemy among the “wheat” in the Lord’s field (Matthew 13:24-30).

The Greek term translated “brute” by both Jude and Peter is a combination of the negative particle a and the basic word for intelligent communication, logos. We must therefore expect the resistance to take form “without reason.” The unsaved cannot understand God’s message without the transformation of the new birth. Their efforts to undermine “the faith” will always be based on human (natural) reasoning.

Contending for the faith will always be a “labour, striving according to his working” (Colossians 1:29). May God grant us a “good fight,” having “kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). HMM III

 7 
 on: April 07, 2024, 07:48:08 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
As I Have Loved

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34)

No Christian could ever question the preeminent importance of love. “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), and the greatest of the Christian virtues is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). The first and second commandments of the law are love for God and love for one’s neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). Christ’s new commandment, however, gives us a definition of love! To love as He loved, we must observe how Christ loved.

In the first place, His love was not ephemeral. “When Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

The Lord Jesus Himself defined love this way: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). However, Christ died not only for His friends but for all sinners, including His bitter enemies. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him....Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:9-11).

The measure of love is the undeserved, yet gladly offered, substitutionary death of Christ for our sins. Whenever we think the love commandment is demanding too much of us, we should compare our love to His. “For the love of Christ constraineth us [not our love for Him, but His love for us]...that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and we must live for Him. HMM

 8 
 on: April 06, 2024, 07:40:45 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Song of Creation

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding....When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7)

It is significant that there was singing at the very time of creation. The “morning stars” of this verse are, by Hebrew poetic parallelism, the same as the “sons of God” who were present when God “laid the foundations of the earth.” Similarly, “sang together” is parallel with “shouted for joy.”

It is thus beautifully appropriate to sing of the glories of God’s creation, for angels were doing this even before Adam and Eve were created! The first actual human song mentioned in the Bible, however, was the thanksgiving song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-21) composed and sung by Moses and the children of Israel after their deliverance from Pharaoh and the waters of the sea.

Finally, it is significant that the last song mentioned in the Bible is “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3), sung in heaven by “them that had gotten the victory over the beast” (v. 2). This presumably refers back to the original song of Moses, since the deliverance from Pharaoh was, spiritually, a type of their triumph over the beast, the great world ruler in the end times. However, it must now be combined with the song of the Lamb, probably the “new song” of the saints at the Lamb’s throne in Revelation 5:8-10, praising the Lord for their redemption through His blood, shed in substitution for their sins.

These should surely be the three major themes of Christian music, for these are the main themes of the Bible’s songs. It is fitting that they should refer to the past, present, and future works of Christ—His mighty work of creation in the beginning, His gracious work of sustenance in the present, and His glorious work of full redemption in the future. HMM

 9 
 on: April 05, 2024, 07:39:37 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Strong and Courageous

“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)

This admonition—to be strong and of good courage—is found 11 times in the Bible—thrice on the lips of Moses, five times in Joshua, then twice from David, and once from Hezekiah. Although these all involved specific challenges confronting God’s people at the time, the principles behind them indicate the need for courage of conviction for God’s people at all times.

The first occurrence is in the command given by Moses to the Israelites just before his death as they were about to enter the promised land. “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6). In the next verse, Moses gave a similar exhortation to Joshua, their leader.

The next-to-last occurrence is in our text, containing almost the same words as in the first occurrence, with David this time exhorting Solomon to build the great temple in Jerusalem. Whether entering a new field of service for God or beginning a great work for God, the people of God will encounter opposition and must be strong and courageous to carry it through.

The word “courage” occurs more in Joshua than in any other book of the Bible, and this specific exhortation is given five times: three by God, once by the people to Joshua, and once by Joshua to the people. In all these, the context stresses obedience to the Word of God, especially in resistance to sin and pagan belief systems. Especially significant is God’s command: “Be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law...that thou mayest prosper” (Joshua 1:7). HMM

 10 
 on: April 04, 2024, 08:45:25 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Filthy Dreamers

“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” (Jude 1:8)

The King James translators supplied the term “filthy” for the dreamers that Jude denounces because of the “likewise” that introduces their condemnation. The prior verses had condemned certain angels and the populations of Sodom and Gomorrha because of their perversion of God’s sexual design.

These dreamers not only “stain” the flesh but have become so arrogant that they give “no standing” to any authority and “blaspheme” those who have any “glory.” Not even Michael the archangel had that kind of attitude; Jude notes in the next verse that Michael didn’t rebuke Lucifer when he was carrying out God’s mission for Moses’ body. Some people are way out of line!

Jude’s whole message is focused on those who are attempting to resist, undo, damage, distort, or otherwise disrupt the work of God’s people. In the context, these dreamers are not merely inattentive fools who wander in and out of churches seeking some personal “fulfillment”; they are enemies within—those who may have positions of influence and who are actively seeking to hurt the ministry and mission of God’s kingdom.

Peter calls them “presumptuous” and “selfwilled,” no better than “natural brute beasts” who mouth off about “things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Peter 2:10-12). Strong words, but a fitting description of those who would dare to set themselves against the omnipotent and omniscient Creator. As David so aptly says: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Dialogue with these dreamers is futile. The solution is: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). HMM III

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