Thursday, April 14, 2016

Destroyed Foundations

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psalm 11:3

The most effective way to destroy the truth is to redefine the words used to teach the truth.  How can one teach the truth about salvation if the word “salvation” has been redefined?  In that case, you are saying one thing, but the listener is hearing something else.  You cannot communicate the truth to someone who does not understand your words.
Satan has redefined many of the words we need to use to explain the truth.  He cannot keep God from revealing truth, for God speaks to the heart.  But between humans, Satan has erected crafty barriers of communication, the most effective barrier being the redefining of words used in the Bible to tell the story of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

God’s Judgments

The LORD is known by the judgment which He executes.
Psalm 9:16

If the LORD is known by the judgment He executes, then if He never judges, He is never known.  Or if He executes judgment and we do not see that He is doing so, then we do not know Him.
We are blessed that God judges, for He reveals Himself to us in His judgments.  Pray to be able to see and perceive it, when God executes His judgments.  Otherwise, you will never come to know Him.

Monday, April 4, 2016

“Tongues Are for a Sign”

Psalm 2 is a prophecy of what the Father said and did to Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  It speaks first about how both Israel (“the people”) and the Gentiles rejected Jesus and conspired to rid themselves of him.  Then it tells how God, having exalted Jesus to sit at His right hand, will laugh at them for having tried to destroy His precious Son:
Psalm 2
1. Why do the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth took a stand, and the rulers assembled together, against the Lord and against His Messiah, saying,
3. “Let us tear off their bands, and cast off their cords from us.”
4. He who dwells in heaven will laugh.  The Lord will mock them.

Then, in the same Psalm, the psalmist continues to prophesy about this great event, saying that God will speak to those who rejected and killed His Son, and that He will vex them.

Psalm 2
5. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.

 This part of the prophecy was also fulfilled after Jesus’ resurrection, on Pentecost morning when God baptized Jesus’ disciples with the Spirit and spoke through them to the Jews in languages the disciples themselves did not understand.  Centuries before this happened, the prophet Isaiah said that God would speak to His people this very way, and that even then, they would not listen to Him:

Isaiah 28
11. With stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people,
12. to whom He said, “This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing!”  Yet, they would not hear.

This is what God did on the day of Pentecost when by His Spirit, He spoke to Israel through those who had believed in Jesus:
Acts 2
1. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one accord, in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared to them divided tongues like fire, and it sat upon each one of them,
4. and they were all filled with holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit moved them to speak.
God brought great joy to Jesus’ disciples when He gave them the Spirit, but He brought great shame to others in Israel that day – by not giving them the Spirit!  Through Isaiah again, God promised He would speak to the hearts of those who were outcasts in Israel because of their love for Jesus, and that He would bring them joy:
Isaiah 66
5b. “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified!’ but He shall appear to your joy, and they will be ashamed.”
The next verse in Isaiah explains that when the Spirit came and the disciples began speaking in tongues, that sound, originating from God’s temple in heaven, was the voice of God avenging His Son of those who hated him – by not giving them the Spirit:
Isaiah 66
6. A sound of uproar from the city!  A sound from the temple!  The sound of the Lord rendering recompense to His enemies.
If you hear someone speaking in tongues, and you do not yet have that blessing, pray that you are not hearing the avenging voice of God laughing at you!  Pray not to be left out!  “Tongues are for a sign”, Paul said (1Cor. 14:22), a sign of God’s blessing on those who are speaking in tongues.  But beware!  Tongues can also be a sign of God’s “hot displeasure” toward those who have not received His Spirit, just as on the day of Pentecost.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Remember the Sabbath"

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:8

Paul said that the law’s holy days were “shadows” of Christ in this New Testament.  So, how are we now to obey the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”?  The first thing we must do is find out what the Sabbath day was a shadow of, for whatever the Sabbath was a shadow of, we must “keep it holy” in this New Testament.

God did not give the Sabbath as a day of worship; He gave it as a day of rest:

Exodus 20
9. Six days shall you labor and do all your work.
10. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God.  You shall do no work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your livestock or your foreigner who is in your gates.

But then, we hear Jesus say this:

Matthew 11
28. Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest!
29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.

The Old Testament Sabbath day was a shadow of the rest that Jesus gives.  This rest, then, is the rest that we must now reverence in our hearts if we want to please God.  Isaiah the prophet foretold of this New Testament rest:

Isaiah 28
11. He will speak to this people with stammering lips and another tongue,
12. to whom He said, “This is the rest with which you will cause the weary one to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing.”  Yet, they would not listen.

This is what we are to reverence now, this supernatural baptism of our hearts is rest from all our own ways.  To be led by the Spirit (instead of by our fleshly nature) in what we say and do is how we now keep God’s Sabbath day holy.  Isaiah also gives us some details concerning how to do this:

Isaiah 58
13. Turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable.  And honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words.

Paul was saying the same thing when he said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”  This is the New Testament way to honor the Sabbath God has given in this New Testament.  And it is no small matter, for Paul warns us that the only people with whom God is pleased are those who keep His Sabbath holy; that is, those who live in the Spirit:

Romans 8
8. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him,
. . .
13. For if you live after the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.