Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stinking Idols

2Ki 10:27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.
2Ki 10:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

King Jehu destroyed the images of Baal, a false god and made their worship place a draught house. I was curious to find the meaning of a draught house, so I looked it up in the concordance. A draught house I assume is like an outhouse, a place of human waste, a sewer. Not a pleasant place in the natural, a place of a horrible stench. But the worship of Baal was a vile and horrible thing spiritually to the LORD.

Consider your life; is it vile to God or a pleasant fragrance of a child of God? Do we speak stinking words? Do our words defile others? It isn't what goes in the mouth that defiles, but what is spoken from the mouth.

Mat 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Paul spoke of the things he once loved more than God, useless idols of the world, wrong thinking, and self pride; these were counted as dung in comparison with the new life in Christ.

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Let us speak good things and serve Christ to honor him with our life making our lives a sweet savor to the LORD. Leave the worthless things that perish and grab hold of that which will last forever.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Simple Gospel of Salvation

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

In a nutshell salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins through his death and who has been raised from the dead to prove that in him is power over death and eternal life.
He died for us according to scriptures, but the scriptures were usually ignored or misinterpreted by the traditions of men.

Read Isaiah 53 and it describes how he was rejected by his own people.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Read the 22nd Psalm of David and it tells of Jesus on the cross.

Psa 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

This prophecy was fulfilled

Mat 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Jesus gave us the salvation verse, early in his ministry.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Believe in Jesus, he has done it all, only believe.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Listen to me now, we do not go to those who do not believe to find the way to eternal life, we go to people who believe the gospel truth. The Bible is the proof, it is the true word of God seen by many witnesses. Come to Jesus believing that he is the savior, the only begotten son of God who forgives your sins. He paid for your sins with his life on the cross. I believe that you are my savior Jesus. Forgive me of all my sins. I want to follow you and to be a child of God, seeking to do your will. Help me Lord and fill me with your Spirit of truth. Amen

Friday, July 29, 2011

Israel Restored

Hos 14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
Hos 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

The prophet speaks to Israel to return unto God, for their sins have caused them to fall away. If you fall, then fall towards God and humble yourself and he will lift you up. Ask him to forgive you and to take away our iniquity and receive his grace; they would offer sacrifices from their lips, like the offering of calves. The LORD wants true repentance.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Hos 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

No longer will Israel trust in Assyria or worship idols made by their hands.

Hos 7:11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.

Psa 33:17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

Psa 41:4 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

Hos 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

Hos 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

Isa 12:1 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Hos 14:5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
Hos 14:6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

Israel shall prosper in beauty like the lily, they will take root and grow in their land as the trees of Lebanon.

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Hos 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

Dwelling under the shadow of God or perhaps the glory cloud of God. Or the shadow of the LORD is as the shadow of a rock in a weary land. Jesus is the rock in a weary land.

Isa 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.
Isa 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Hos 14:8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

We can all echo these words: What have I to do any more with idols?

Lev 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

The LORD is like a green fir tree, majestic, ever watchful and from him comes your fruit. All good fruit comes from the LORD. From this, the LORD is not saying we should worship fir trees, although we sometimes cut a small one for a Christmas tree. Never is the tree worshipped, but it is symbolic to us of light and beauty. Almost any object has been worshipped at sometime by some people. We are not to worship but to give God the glory for his creation and the fruit of his grace towards us. He is their prosperity.

Hos 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Walk in line with the ways of the LORD. Walk as Jesus walked for our example. Who is wise? Wisdom is from God. Prudent is to perceive or consider, to have insight concerning the ways of the LORD. His ways are right, and the righteous walk in them. In summery Hosea is saying that we must know God, be faithful to him knowing him in righteousness while avoiding idols and backsliding and stumbling over the truth of God. Keep your covenant with the LORD your God, trust and obey.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Speak to Edify the Church

1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

There is a lot of controversy between denominations concerning the use of tongues in Church. I believe that the Holy Spirit should be allowed to move as he wishes, however every person has control of his tongue. Speaking prophecy or the Word is to edify the church body.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Save unknown tongues for private prayer as they are often an embarrassment to a visitor. An interpreter is obligated following the unknown tongue to speak to keep things in order; It is a word from the Holy Spirit, yet I would prefer hearing the prophecy direct. Let the prophet speak or the preacher speak the message of God. A seeker doesn't want to hear gibberish, but to understand the message of God. My opinion and may God have his way in the church.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Disobedient Servant

2Ki 5:25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
2Ki 5:26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
2Ki 5:27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Naamon, the captain of the armies of the king of Syria was told by a servant girl about a great prophet in Israel. Reluctantly obeying the prophet, he dipped himself seven times in the Jordan river and was healed instantly of Leprosy. Elisha obeyed what he heard from God, he walked close obeying him. By obeying Elisha, Naaman was made whole and clean. Naaman offered Elisha a great reward, but Elisha refused. In this way the Lord would received all the glory. Gehazi had a privileged position of being the servant of the most powerful prophet. However he disobeyed his master and took a reward for the work of God, this resulted in himself receiving leprosy and a curse on his family. Elisha received the mantel from the prophet Elijah and a double anointing of the Holy Spirit. I have great respect for those who hear from God and follow him in obedience. We in Christ Jesus are to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We are to do and say what we hear from the still small voice of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. What is not of faith is sin to us.
In another story a sorcerer named Simon saw the mighty works of God through Phillip and the apostles. He had professed faith in Jesus Christ and he wanted this power for himself, probably to use it with his sorcery. Too many Christians are running back and forth to prophets of God and sorcerers giving readings. This is absolutely wrong.

Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Act 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Another example of miracle workers that were not of God.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

These probably were doing this for personal power and gain, for they never knew nor loved our Lord. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, like Judas had his eyes on silver and other goods instead of faithful obedience to the voice of his master. We must be faithful servants of the Most High God, walking by faith, not covetous, not seeking personal gain or glory, but doing what he says. This is our greatest reward in being received by him. He will supply our needs and we need to obey him.

A final thought; we are not to be caught up in the fear of things coming in the world, but to pray humbly about them and our nation. We are in a time of sifting; may we not fall away but instead bring others to the harvest.

Jos 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Friday, July 22, 2011

They Sin More and More

Hos 13:1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.

Ephraim (Israel) trembled when they realized that they were dead in their sins and facing judgment. Often though people will exalt themselves placing humanity or science or some other idol as a right. It may be a right to them, but it is not right to a righteous God, to sin and worship Baal. Because of this they would die in their sins.

Hos 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.

They were totally given over to the worship of Baal, kissing the calf idols. This literally reads "sacrificers of men kiss calves". The Bible speaks of child sacrifice by worshipping the god Molech. There may have been human sacrifices to Baal as well. We call it abortion in our time.

Lev 18:21 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.

They made idols of silver and kissed the calf. Can we compare this to a people worshipping a bull market? Making idols of their silver and gold. Gold currently sells for $1600 an ounce, showing how the dollar is failing and how people kiss their silver and gold for security. Well kiss it goodbye for we had better kiss the Son of God instead.

Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Judas betrayed the Son of God with a kiss, loving silver more than the Lord.

Luk 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Mat 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Mat 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
Mat 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Judas like Ephraim had gone too far and had to face imminent death. If you feel you have gone too far into sin, repent and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and a new life. Open your heart and eyes to Jesus who came to save you and all who will believe in him.

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Hos 13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
Hos 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Our life is like a vapor in comparison to eternity. The God of Israel sent his Son Jesus to be your savior from sin and death; he is our savior.

Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Hos 13:5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
Hos 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.

The LORD met their needs in the wilderness and established them in the promise land. Prosperity and ease had turned their hearts away from obedience and the worship of their true God. We hear so much on prosperity and the spirit. Be careful less ye turn from the LORD God of Israel unto prosperity gods of the people around you. Beware also that you not forget Jesus in your spirit talk. Some are leaving God and Jesus, the Bible and truth for the words of other spirits. Seeking higher and higher levels, but not after their God who gave them all truth and good things.

Psa 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Hos 13:7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
Hos 13:8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.

Israel had left the safety of their LORD and the LORD was forced to stalk them as wild beasts, to repay them for their choices. They walked in danger. This is the LORD of the old covenant who has given us grace through his Son Jesus, by the New Covenant of faith.

Leopards, bears, lions, all are under the dominion of God. The children of God had become children of satan. The unruly parents often raise unruly children. Do not offend God or his servants. The following story of Elijah is for our learning.

2Ki 2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2Ki 2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Perhaps if a multitude of children come at you in hostility, or a youth gang in an inner city, then you may call on the name of Jesus. We are now in the age of grace. Elijah had power to call bears and even fire from heaven, but in this time we are sent to save people from the coming judgment. An example of this change was when James and John wanted to send fire down on those who would not receive Jesus in Samaria, but Jesus rebuked them.

Luk 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
Luk 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luk 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

The spirit of Jesus seeks to save and not to destroy.

Hos 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Hos 13:10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
Hos 13:11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.

Jehovah is the God of Israel and also their king. When they demanded a king like the other nations they received Saul. There is no king like the Lord and no king like Jesus his son. You trust Jesus for he will not lie to you. Evil men will try to rule from satan's power, but our Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God is greater.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Hos 13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.
Hos 13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.

As a woman in travail ready to give birth to a new life, Israel stubbornly refuses the new life with God by faith because he will not forsake his sins; by doing this he opposed his own salvation.

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Hos 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

The LORD was willing to deliver them from death and the power of the grave. He would come in Jesus to die in our place to save us from sin and death.

1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hos 13:15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.

With the LORD's compassion removed, Israel's prosperity would come to an end. He would come in judgment as a hot and dry east wind would come drying out everything in it's path.. The Assyrians would invade like the east wind sent from the LORD.

Hos 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

The LORD would keep his covenant promise to Israel. They had caused him to come against them.

Lev 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

No people can live for long in prosperity ignoring the God of Israel. His grace is in his Son, the Lord Jesus christ.

1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Believe in Jesus, depart from sin and be saved.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Knowledge Puffs Up

1Co 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
1Co 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

You and I think that we are full of the knowledge of God's word? Perhaps not? the word says that knowledge puffs up. I can see this puffing when different churches cannot agree on certain teachings. Wisdom comes from God, we do not want to be puffed up one against another, where is God's Spirit in that? I am not saying that we should allow sins to be taught, but we can lighten up when judging someone when they seem to be doing something wrong. Is it definitely spelled out in scriptures? Again, we may know the word but lack Spiritual discernment.

Rom 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Rom 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

So the scripture says if you think you know anything, you know nothing yet as ye ought to know. I see in this a man's thoughts, leaving out the Spirit of God. It is His Spirit of truth that teaches us all truth, whatsoever Jesus has said.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The measure of faith. The Spirit life is one of faith.

Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

So I good test of what we should do is to ask, is this of faith? If not, then don't do it. Finally we are to do all things from the Spirit of God's love. We know God through his love and his love is given to others. We are still doing what Jesus began, seeking to restore that which was lost, bringing people to Jesus Christ to escape the judgment the wrath of God for sins. Through Jesus we are loved by God. If we love God we are known of Him. Let him guide you by his spirit seeking his wisdom, by faith and the fellowship of his love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Unrighteous in the Church

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

These things are common today in our nation and even laws are made to favor some of these that the word of God calls sins. This nation is not the kingdom of God.

Mar 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Give unto Caesar the things of Caesar, but the things of God belong to God. When those who practice these sins come into the church, not to repent, but to lead, then it is as if satan were in the church. They should be removed or you should remove yourself from fellowship with them.

2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

I am not saying that those who sin should not be allowed in church; the church is where sinners come to learn of Jesus Christ and to be made new in him, having their sins forgiven. I am saying that if people come in who practice these things continually and see nothing wrong with doing these things that they should not be given positions of leadership. If they attempt to teach others these sinful practices, then they should be removed. A rebellious spirit can bring harm to themselves and to others.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

A person who is truly sorry for their sins may humbly be forgiven and made new and holy by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for our sins.

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God Gave the Increase

1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

I see three metaphors describing our work for the LORD. The first is that we are laborers together in the LORD's husbandry; a ploughed field. The word of God is planted in the garden by one. Another comes along and waters the seed with the water of the word, perhaps further explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ. One may be better at explaining the word and his words flow like living water to water the seed of the word.The field is the heart that receives the word of God. God prepares the heart to receive. Often it may take several plantings and watering's before the seed takes root. It is important that we labor together. If one plants the true word and another comes along and pours bitter water on the seed by unbelief, speaking another gospel, or explaining away the word by some denominational difference, then the seed is crowded out by unbelief and confusion. It is important that we labor together with the same message of truth. We each shall receive a reward according to our labor. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, his grace we receive, but rewards come from our working for his purpose.

Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

The second metaphor is that we are God's building.

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The foundation is Jesus Christ. Upon this foundation there is the ministry of the apostles. The building is the church, the body of believers. We do not add to the word of God, but we add to the church building new saved saints, through the preaching of the gospel and the work we do for him. We are living stones and Jesus Christ is the Chief cornerstone.

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

We are a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Sacrifices tried by fire, so that all that is not of God shall be burned away. The fire shall try every mans work to show what kind it is. May we be received as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. (Rom !2:1,2)

The third metaphor is that we are temples of God.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Men are always building new church buildings, but does God dwell in the hearts of those who go into the buildings? A building can be a place of entertainment and games, or a place of growing in the word of God. Joy and fellowship along with labor for the kingdom of God. A Holy priesthood, the people are the priests of God. A people of faith in God and the whole word of God. A people who labor together in the truth of God's word coming together in Christ, preaching the cross and his blood shed for sins. Spirit filled people of God, praying and laboring to bring in an increase to the LORD's harvest. We labor in the fields to bring people to salvation adding them as living stones to the building of God. Together we are the temple of God for his spirit dwells within us; a holy people working together, praying, worshipping together by the true faith in the God of Israel; redeemed by his Son, filled with His Holy Spirit.

We labor together to build a spiritual house, temples of the Holy Spirit to bring glory to our Father, the God of Israel who loves us by sending his son to reconcile us to himself.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The LORD is Just

Hos 12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.

Lies and desolation. Desolation meaning: havoc, violence, destruction. Lies and irresponsible violence a sign of the absence of righteous judgment. Righteous judgment is what God wants for his people.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Ephraim feeds on the east wind, they followed wrong spirits, empty vane things that do not satisfy.

Jer 18:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

Ephraim made a covenant, perhaps a peace treaty with Assyria, the enemy that would take them captive. They paid tribute of olive oil to Egypt. Bribing our enemies never brings favor.

Hos 12:2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.

They should have been seeking the LORD for protection. If the LORD was against them, then there was no security. We must learn to trust the LORD instead of seeking the world for security and blessings. Jacob was under the covenant of the law which required obedience and blessings or curses and punishment for disobedience.

Historical incites concerning Jacob

Hos 12:3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
Hos 12:4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;

Hosea makes clever use of the Hebrew names for Jacob and Israel. The root name for Jacob is: heel." The root name for Israel is "struggled." Jacob,( heal holder or supplanter) from the womb grabbed his brothers heel and would also grab his birthright by deception.

Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Jacob received the name Israel, (God prevailed) by wrestling with an angel until he was given a blessing.

Gen 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Hos 12:5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial.
Hos 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

Jesus would seek mercy and judgment

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Jacob returned to Bethel where he met God. Israel needed to repent and return to the LORD as well.

Gen 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother

Hos 12:7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
Hos 12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.

Using a balance that was not a true measurement of weight oppressing people when they bought and sold. Israel was proud of their riches received by deceit. Because of their prosperity they thought they were without sin. Doesn't the LORD bless those who do well?

Pro 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Eze 22:12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.

Is not the church in error if they seek prosperity apart from a prosperous soul?

3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

A pink Cadillac is just a pink Cadillac, and not the measure of true prosperity. The soul prospers by doing the will of God, doing good, studying his word and by prayer.

Hos 12:9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.

The feast of tabernacles recalls the time that Israel fleeing Egypt, journeyed in the wilderness living in tents and make shift shelters.

Lev 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
Lev 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Mar 9:5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Mar 9:6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
Mar 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Hos 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Hosea's marriage to a harlot was a similitude or metaphor of Israel's harlotry to the LORD of Israel.

Hos 12:11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.

Hosea again uses the Hebrew words to make a play on words. Gilead sounded like the word gallim, which meant a pile of stones. The altars would be pulled down into heaps of stones by the invading Assyrians. Both Gilead and Gilgal were places of sacrifices to false idols.

Hos 12:12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
Hos 12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

The LORD reminds Israel that even though they would be slaves tending sheep and living in tents, that Jacob also worked tending sheep to earn his bride(s). The LORD also provided a prophet and deliverer in Moses. They too would someday be delivered by their Messiah.

Hos 12:14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

Ephraim must face the anger of God because of their turning away from him into idolatry. His blood shall remain on him and the results of his sin would return upon him. Not a pleasant thing but our Loving God is also a God of holy righteousness. Sins must be paid for.

Jer 18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
Jer 18:21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.

It used to be said in movies and in books "crime does not pay." This may not seem to be true, when so much evil seems to get by and prosper. But God is the final judge.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Come to Jesus and be forgiven now. Turn from wickedness and live for God. You will receive a peaceful and prosperous soul. Turn again to your LORD and repent.

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Exceeding Sorrowful

Mar 14:32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
Mar 14:33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
Mar 14:34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
Mar 14:35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
Mar 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

An anxious heavy heart must go to God in prayer.

1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Most likely satan is causing the problem, but he cannot touch you without God's permission. Look deep for the purpose, but always humbly submit your will to God. He knows more than we do. We are never to accuse him. Are we wiser than God? Are we God?

Remember that Jesus has felt all that we feel, he knows our hearts as a faithful High Priest.

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Again prayer is the answer to our infirmities. We are not alone for Jesus has suffered first and all we struggle with is common to humanity.

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

We need to trust God more, not complain to others. He promises us to give us a way to escape. I have seen him fulfill the promise of this verse many times. Have faith and do not be judgmental of another's lack of faith, for I see that as foolish pride. Pray for those with little faith. Be an intercessor. Sometimes we may grow weary of hearing the same complaints from some people over and over, but we have a responsibility to hear them and to pray for them.

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Love suffers long; perhaps we can help them with the scriptures and in prayer?

Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Jesus prays for us and we should pray for ourselves and others. Often our healing comes when we forget about ourselves and pray for others. We will face times of deep anguish, as our Lord did. He had to take on the sins of all the world, and be whipped and nailed to a cross? What have we to complain about in comparison to this?

2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Never doubt our Lord, be faithful for his grace is there for us.

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 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.
2Co 12:10 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.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Queen of Sheba

1Ki 10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

1Ki 10:6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
1Ki 10:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

There was no man wiser than Solomon until Jesus came. There would be no greater kingdom until the Kingdom of God comes to earth. The queen of Sheba came with hard questions, willing to hear the answers from Solomon. He exceeded her expectation in wisdom and glory. Many came to Jesus with hard trick questions to trap him, but he was wiser than they were, often answering with a question. Jesus spoke with authority even healing people, casting out devils and above all, he forgives sins.

People come to us with questions about Jesus, much like in his time, looking to deceive or mock or to preach another gospel. But occasionally someone will come to us asking a question and we answer him from God's word and they come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The wisdom and grace of God through God's only begotten Son exceeds all expectations and his glory is as the Most High God. Come to Jesus for answers and for eternal life for he is our savior from sins punishment. In him we are forgiven and made the children of God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Empty Vine

Hos 10:1 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
Hos 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.

Israel is an empty vine the LORD spoke through the prophet. Are we an empty vine to the LORD. The vine is to have good fruit unto the LORD. He is glorified by our fruit.

Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

We must be connected to the vine that is Jesus, to bear much fruit. Are we like Israel that mouthed allegiance to the LORD, but they served other idols? What are the idols that we bring with us, even to our churches? Is it not self? or pleasure? Perhaps wealth and things? Do you see how divided this is? Where is the spiritual fruit?
Faithfully sharing God's word is good fruit. Harvesting souls is eternal fruit. To glorify God with our lives is our purpose and it starts with loving him above all else. Let us make needed corrections.

Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's in the Ark?

1Ki 8:6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.
1Ki 8:7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
1Ki 8:8 And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.
1Ki 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
1Ki 8:10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,
1Ki 8:11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.

The Ark contained the testimony, the tables of stone on which was written the ten commandments. This was the most holy word of God that was given to Moses personally and Moses shared it with Israel. When we share what God has given to us, it is our testimony. The ten commandments were delivered personally by God. The law was given by inspiration. Apparently the Ten Commandments coming directly from God were considered more holy and perfect.

I had thought that Aaron's rod was in the Ark and also manna until I read 1Kings 8:9. This verse caused me to search the scriptures.

In the New Testament book of Hebrews we learn this:

Heb 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Heb 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Aaron's rod and the golden pot that had the manna were next to the Ark. Let's go back to the beginning.

Exo 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

It is called the Ark of the testimony.

The ten commandments were given to Moses as His personal testimony; the LORD gave the commands as a witness to his divine will.

Deu 10:1 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
Deu 10:2 And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.

Apparently the only thing inside the Ark was these stone tablets. Aaron's rod that budded was placed next to the Ark as a testimony of his priesthood.

Num 17:8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. Num 17:9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
Num 17:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

The Book of the Law of Moses was the old covenant which was was placed by the Ark of the covenant, also called Ark of the testimony.

Deu 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
Deu 31:25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
Deu 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Deu 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?

Manna and the importance of God's word

Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

The Ark is in heaven now and Jesus has come with the living word, the Spiritual Manna from heaven. The testimonies of the ten commandments, the manna, the law of Moses and Aaron's rod and authority are all important parts of the Jewish Old Covenant. Jesus brought us the New Covenant in his atoning blood, by this our sins are forgiven if we believe in him. The Christian who is Spirit born has the tablets written on his heart. The law was to prepare our hearts revealing our sins so that we would receive God's Son who takes away our sins. The law could not save, but Jesus saves us from our sins and we receive grace through faith in him.We are to be made into his image; born again spirit filled children of God. Our Ark now is Jesus, we are in him and he in us, holy vessels unto the LORD.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Israel my firstborn son

Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

The Lord calls the nation of Israel, his son that he loved with tender affection. Moses was called to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage.

Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Exo 4:23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

The LORD calls Israel his firstborn and gives Pharaoh a warning that he would slay his firstborn son if he did not let His people go. The death angel killed all the firstborn, even of the animals. Only those who applied the blood of a lamb around their entry doors were spared. The death angel passed over the homes of God'sfirstborn children. This is the Passover that the Jews remember and celebrate every year since. Does the LORD still call Israel his firstborn now that his only begotten son was born from the descendants of king David? Or was he calling Israel his firstborn because Jesus would come from them? Israel the nation is the firstborn son of God. Jesus the messiah is the only begotten son, the firstborn of a new spiritual creation.

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hos 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

Moses and Aaron representing the law and the priesthood of Israel and also the prophets called Israel to repentance, but they would not hear them for they worshipped the gods of the nations around them. As I see our time, these things are still happening, idolatry and blindness to God's word. I do see how the Bible grows more and more holy and sacred as the evil increases in the land. I also see that often the church is caught up into entertainment and programs instead of the whole word of God.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Hos 11:3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
Hos 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

The LORD was good to Ephraim (Israel) , he healed them and blessed them with every need.

"Cords of man - With such kindness as best fits and most prevails with a man. I was to them - As a careful husband - man in due season takes the yoke from his labouring oxen, and takes off the muzzle with which they were kept from eating, when at work. I laid meat unto them - Brought them provision in their wants." (Wesley)

Hos 11:5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
Hos 11:6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
Hos 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

Assyria will come as punishment to a wicked and rebellious people. Although the prophets called the nation to God, they were hell bent on backsliding. They would be made slaves in foreign lands.

Hos 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.

These were cities of Sodom that God had the angels to destroy by fire.

Gen 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Hos 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.

God will not personally enter their city to chastise with anger this sinful people God does not dwell in sin.He will not destroy their cities, Instead he will send the Assyrians to do the work of capturing and looting them.

Hos 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
Hos 11:11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.

This a prophecy looking to the return of Jesus. The roar of the Lion is the roar of the Lion of Judah. Those who hear him and come to him will be restored to their land.

Hos 11:12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.

The southern tribe of Judah still served the LORD and were faithful with the saints. Sinful Israel, although in their sins would be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. The promise of restoration is for Israel, in spite of the sin that they had.

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Returning to verse 11:1.

"When Israel was a child..."

Sometimes we grow older , but not wiser. Come back home to your heavenly father who loves you, you backsliders, come to Jesus your Messiah.

1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

We are not to be backslidden, rebellious sons of God. Come to Jesus, get to know him, face to face; as Moses knew God face to face. Grow in his grace, and study his word. If the LORD punished his rebellious firstborn son, Israel, will he not punish our sinful nation?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Without a Doubt

Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

The key to these verses is believing without doubt. If you have a goal or purpose in your heart, over time it shall come to pass. Can we move mountains? Yes of course with earth moving equipment. If enough believed in one accord they could move the mountain using shovels. The secret revealed is continuous belief, faith without wavering. God will supply the wisdom and means to accomplish the task.
The same applies to prayer; first we believe in our heart when we pray, we will receive. Sometimes answers come soon, and at other times it may be a long wait. The important thing is continuous belief.

Belief in unity built the tower of Babel.

Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

What could we in Christ accomplish if we were in unity?

Pray and believe without wavering.

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

My wife and I are going through a time of trials. We are believing God for a healing and a victory. It is not good to get negative or to think on "What ifs", instead we believe that God knows our need and we wait on him. There are mountains of health concerns, finances and real mountains that are moved by continuous faith in God.
Be sure in your heart, that the thing you desire is in God's will for you. You may move mountains, build churches, overcome obstacles and you will have that which God has put in your heart. Only believe, pray and continue in belief.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Turn Back to God

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

The LORD is speaking to Israel; hear me now: you are opposing my way. There is no truth or mercy in the land. God is truth, ignoring him and his commands and making our own truth is as to make ourselves as God. As we have received mercy we are to be merciful; but they were self centered, lustful and greedy. There was no knowledge of God in the land, they did not fear him, nor did they obey him. Knowledge of a person is to know them intimately, face to face.The LORD knew their ways but they did not know him.

One of the problems in a family is the enforcing of rules without a personal relationship. Eventually the children will rebel against the rules, "your religion", and you as a parent, because you did not get to know your children heart to heart. Whose fault is that? The children may be seeking the things of the world and hearing ungodly counsel from friends, school, the computer and other sources. The people of Israel were guilty of going after the gods of the nations around them. God is not to blame for their behavior or for our behavior. They turned from the God of their fathers. Are we as a nation any different? It is up to us to return to the truth of God. Repent, pray and learn of him before it is too late.God is not to blame, we shall be judged for our choices.

Hosea 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
Hosea 4:3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Because of their evil ways they would be judged. They would languish, become weak exhausted and droopy, as unfed beasts of the field; also the birds and the fish of the sea shall be taken away.

The gulf oil spill was as judgement from God on our nation.

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Hosea 4:4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

Sinners are always accusing others. People even blame God for their troubles. If they do not trust God, they will not trust his witness or his holy word.

Deu 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
Deu 17:13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

Hosea 4:5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.

The false prophet shall fall, and thy mother Israel shall be destroyed.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Isa 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

The priests had turned way from God's word and were filled with iniquity. If a people turns from God, he will turn from them. It is time for us as a nation to turn to God, before all is lost. He hears the prayers of his own people. We must be in prayer for our nation, our families and the people of God.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hands, eyes and feet for Jesus

Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Offenses are serious business, our responsibility is to avoid offenses and as mature believers to forgive and not be easily offended. The hand does the work of the mind, the work of Christ, or the fulfilling of the lusts of the flesh. Cut it off? Yes, If it offends, for if it keeps you from trusting fully in Jesus Christ, the wrath of God abides on you and that leading to hell. Am I one of those unloving fire and brimstone preachers? Are you one who ignores the hard words of God? The message is from God the Father, through his Son. Hear Jesus; we are judged by our behavior. Are you trusting in Jesus? if so your life should show it.

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mark 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Now he speaks of the foot offending. The foot could be shod with the gospel of peace.

Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Or the feet could be quick to run, into trouble.

Prov 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Prov 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Prov 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Prov 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Our land is full of people who do these things. They are an abomination to God. These things do not belong among the saved in Christ. Yes, we are saved by faith, not of works (Eph. 2:8,9) Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. What comes out of our life shows who we serve.

Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Mark 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Hell is a real place of torment and judgment. I believe that the Bible is clear that hell will be thrown into the lake of fire; a place of eternal torment.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Denominations put their own spin on hell. If the dead only die with no memory, why fear that? I see it as a place of punishment to be avoided, a place of conscious memories. A place eternally separated from God and godliness. What we choose now will determine our eternity.

Luke 11:34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

Luke 11:35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

Your eyes and ears feed your soul. What is taken in often comes out through our words and actions.

1 Cor 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

We are tempted through the flesh and thoughts that come into our mind. A person can be loved and have great power in the world, but if these things are not in submission to God, they may be the children of wrath. If we say that we are saved by faith then we must live by faith in the word of God. We must Submit all to Jesus, for our new life is in His Spirit and through faith. All things are possible if we trust in God. We do not walk in feelings or fear. We must do the right things, the things of God through faith. Stand up you soldier of the cross, you are needed by others. Show others who you obey. Let's not be half-hearted or double-minded people. Together we are the mighty army of God, in the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.