Jottings – All Movements Among Men are Under Divine Control

“Future


Commenting on Ezekiel 1:15-21 ~

 

And there are wheels within wheels, so arranged that we cannot follow their intricacies. But we see them everywhere, different principles working at one and the same time, in the world, in politics, in the church, in all phases of human society. So true is this that the mind becomes bewildered trying to keep all the different movements in mind, until we are tempted to think that all is utter confusion, and there is neither order nor sanity in the universe. But the spirit of the living creature is in the wheels and all are controlled by a higher power than the merely human, or blind chance, or what men call fate. Moreover, there are eyes in the wheels, and these speak of intelligence and careful discernment and discrimination. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3); and, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9). Those eyes are ever over the righteous, and His ear is open to their cry (Ps. 34:15). And so as the wheels move on, though so high that we are unable to comprehend fully what God is doing, we may rest in this precious truth, that nothing moves but at His command or by His permission. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God’s long toleration of evils—His apparent indifference to the cruelties practised against His people and the wicked behavior of those who seemed to triumph for a time while the righteous suffered in silence—will all be made clear, and we shall see that though the wheels were high and the mysteries of the divine government beyond our present ability to comprehend, yet all were under His control who was working according to plan in a way that puny man little realized. The wheels have never been separated from the living creatures. Nothing is left to chance. All movements among men are under divine control, and even Satan can act only as God gives permission, as we see in the account of His dealings with the patriarch Job.

 

Ironside, H. A. Expository Notes on Ezekiel, the Prophet. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1949. Print.

 

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Guest Post: The Three Aspects of Jesus Christ the Lord by R P Amos

The Lessons Peter the Apostle Learned

1. HIS PERSON Jesus asked, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”

To some Jesus is just a famous Jewish carpenter – to others a prophet – to others a teacher of good – to some, a fearless reformer of a corrupt establishment – yet to others a moral example – to others a brave martyr who dared to die for a cause – and yet to others the ideal expression of love and compassion. Many try to follow Christ at one of these levels and consider themselves “Christian” in that sense.

But His followers get fewer when His deity is proclaimed. Jesus being God establishes His authority over us as well as His being the only Savior – since only God can save.

When the disciples witnessed Jesus’ miracles, Peter proclaimed with them, “What manner of man is this?” But later he confessed as a minority, after having the revelation of evidences from the Father, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Indeed the resurrection by the Father has declared Him to be the Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ. The demons addressed Him as Jesus. Others called Him Master (teacher) or Rabbi – but Peter knowing who He was came to call Him “Lord.”

2. HIS WORK “Christ died for our sins…he rose again” and “maketh intercession for us.”
Yet there are many who acknowledge His deity that do not understand the work He accomplished for our sins on the cross. His sinless and pure blood sacrifice was a full redemptive payment for our sins. No works need to be added by the sinner to obtain a full pardon from God. And He is the only human mediator by which we come to God.

Now Christ’s followers get even fewer when His finished work for sin on the cross is presented as our means of total and eternal forgiveness apart from any human contribution. When the Lord spoke about eating His flesh (body) and drinking His blood (His sacrifice being appropriated in the heart by faith) to have everlasting life, then “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” John 6:66 KJV.

At first Peter didn’t understand His sufferings for sin. When the Lord told him that He would be killed and raised again, Peter said, “Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Yet later when Peter’s understanding was opened, he would write about the sacrifice of Christ and claim believers are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

3. HIS WORDS “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word…out of the mouth of God.”
The risen Jesus is Lord, Son of God, and the Head of the church, His body. He uses His authority over us to lead us in God’s ways of holiness and righteousness. Thus we see instructions and commandments from Him to us in the New Testament. The Lord said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 KJV). Paul stated: “the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:37 KJV).

Now when it comes to His teachings and commands for His church, the followers get even fewer yet. Some merely admire His example – others wisely bow the knee to Him as both the Son of God and Lord – and others also further glory in the grace of His cross (praise the Lord) that has saved them. But how many believers attempt through His Spirit to follow all of His teachings – an attempt which would significantly impact their life?

Peter saw others forsaking Jesus over His words (teachings). And then the Lord Jesus asked His disciples, “Will ye also go away?” “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:67, 68 KJV). Peter would later write: “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” (2 Pet. 3:2 KJV).

Here are some aspects of our lives on which the Lord gives us instruction in His Word.

His words on sin – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man”, Mk. 7 KJV.

His words on language – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying” (Eph. 4.29 KJV).

His words on love – “Love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34KJV).

His words on divorce and remarriage – “Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10, 11 KJV).

His words on the different roles between men and women – “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:12 KJV).

His words on church order – “And when they had ordained them elders in every church” and “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn” (Acts 14:23 KJV / 1 Cor. 14:31 KJV).

His words on prophecy – “I will come again” and “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (John 14:3 KJV / 1 John 2:17 KJV).

To the Lord, following His words is an expression of love to Him. He is not here to physically hug or walk along side Him. But to trust His Word and follow it – no matter what the cost –when the world doesn’t, demonstrates sincere love unto Him. Some say, “Don’t bother me with the details of the Bible, I just want to follow Jesus”. Well, that is impossible to do apart from the Bible for it reveals His person, work and will.

The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love me keep my commandments.” As Scripture says: “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read” (Isa. 34:16 KJV). Peter once said, “Not so, Lord,” but later wrote, “desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Pet. 2:2 KJV).

How far will we go in our love for the Lord Jesus? “His name is called the Word of God.”

 

Editorial Note: This is a guest post written by Brother Randy Amos. He maintains the Thinking 7 website. You can also find Randy’s ministry on the Voices For Christ website here.

 

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Devotional – Are You Listening?

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And a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 1 Kings 19:11b-12 ESV

God is big. So big, it’s easy to forget that He sometimes chooses to work in very small ways.

Tornadoes, earthquakes, and fire storms fit my understanding of God’s sheer awesomeness. After all He is big! He is awesome! He is powerful! I expect His voice to be as subtle as a mighty clap of thunder.

Often times, however, He chooses to speak in a low whisper.

Oh yes, He may use fire, earthquakes and tornadoes to grab our attention– but He comes along afterwards and speaks to us in a still, small voice.

Are you listening?

———

Editorial note: Originally published August 4, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Jottings – Comforting Lies or Cleansing Truth?

“Future

Commenting on Ezekiel 3:4-27 ~

 

The human heart would rather hear lies that bring comfort than truths that bring conviction and cleansing.

 

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Reverent. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor/Cook Communications, 2000. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

 

 

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Devotional – The LORD is His Name

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He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the LORD is his name. Amos 5:8 ESV

Pleiades is one of the closest ‘star clusters’ to the Earth and is easily observable to unaided human eye. Although 14 stars can be seen with the naked eye, scientists estimate Pleiades is comprised of well over 1,000 celestial bodies.

Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Visible the world over, Orion has captivated the attention and imagination of mankind throughout history.

Closer to home we are blessed with the reliability of the rising of the Sun each morning, and the setting of the Sun every evening. No matter how dark the night we know the darkness will not last indefinitely… the light of the rising Sun will conquer the darkness of the night.

Even closer to home we are mesmerized by the mighty waters of the World’s oceans. The rise and fall of the tides, the power of the crashing waves, and the unfathomable volume of water that fills the oceans mystifies the human mind.

Who made Pleiades? The LORD.
Who made Orion? The LORD.
Who turns night into day and day into night? The LORD.
Who filled the oceans with water? The LORD.

The LORD is His name!

———

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)

Editorial note:
Originally published July 29, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Jottings – I See Christ in the Glory

“Future

When I see Him in that glory, instead of seeing my sins, I see that they are gone. I have seen my sins laid on the Mediator. I have seen my sins confessed on the head of the scapegoat, and they have been borne away; Leviticus 16. So much has God been glorified about my sins (that is, in respect of what Christ has done on account of my sins), that this is the title of Christ to be there, at the right hand of God. I am not afraid to look at Christ there. Where are my sins now? where are they to be found in heaven or on earth? I see Christ in the glory. Once they were found upon the head of that blessed One; but they are gone, never more to be found. Were it a dead Christ, so to speak, that I saw, I might fear that my sins would be found again; but with Christ alive in the glory the search is in vain. He who bore them all has been received up to the throne of God, and no sin can be there.

 

John Nelson Darby, “The Accepted Man (2 Cor. 3),” in Collected Writings of John Nelson Darby, Vol. 12 (Evangelic), 337; electronic ed. accessed on 1/14/15 here: http://www.stempublishing.com/authors/darby/EVANGEL/12033E.html

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Devotional – Look, Wait and Pray

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But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 ESV

Micah declared he would do three things: look to God, wait for God and pray to God.

To look to God implies we stop looking at everything else! When Peter’s eyes were squarely focused on Jesus Christ he walked on the waters of the raging sea. The moment he looked away the ravenous waves began to devour him alive.

If the raging storms of life are eating you alive you are looking in the wrong direction! By faith, look to God alone! Though He may not immediately halt your storms– He will reach out His hand and take ahold of yours!

To wait for God implies we stop living life by our calendar and live according to His. The problem, of course, is that He usually does not reveal to us His timetable. Why? Because His desire is for us to walk by faith one step at a time.

Will you trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding? Will you acknowledge Him in all of your ways? If so, God promises to make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

To pray to God implies we believe He hears our prayers. The scriptures tell us our prayers reach into the very throne room of Heaven where our Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, hears our prayers and petitions the Father on our behalf.

Do you believe God hears you? If so fall to your knees and pray!

Micah determined to look, wait and pray. Will you?

———

Editorial note: Originally published July 23, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Jottings – The Kernel of Every National Problem is How People Relate to God

“Future


Commenting on Isaiah 1:10-20

 

Isaiah turns now to the religious life of the nation. The placing of this topic between his review of national fortunes (2–9) and social conditions (21–23) is significant. The kernel of every national problem is how people relate to God. They cannot be right anywhere if they are wrong here.

 

J. Alec Motyer, Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Vol. 20. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 51.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Devotional – God’s Strange Work

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“You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” Micah 7:18 NIV

“The LORD will rise up… to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.” Isaiah 28:21 NIV

God does not delight in executing judgement, rather God delights in showcasing His mercy. Isaiah describes judgement as God’s ‘strange work’ and as God’s ‘alien task.’ Peter reminds us that God’s desire is for ‘everyone to come to repentance.’ God is patient and longsuffering! God does not want any to perish in their sins!

Have you ever heard a ‘hell fire and brimstone’ sermon that went so far as to say God enjoys punishing sinners? Unfortunately, I have. For a preacher, or anyone else, to outright say or imply that God enjoys judgement is to misrepresent God’s character. The thought that God enjoys sending guilty sinners to Hell should make us recoil in horror. His delight is not in judgement; His delight is in mercy! Even His angles rejoice (Luke 15:10) when a guilty sinner repents!

Yes, God hates sin but He absolutely loves the sinner. How can we know this is true? We can know by looking at the cross of Jesus Christ! God sent His Son to suffer and to die on the cross so He could rightously display His mercy by forgiving repentant sinners.

———

Editorial note: Originally published July 17, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Jottings – Evidences of Genuine Conversion

“Genuine


Commenting on Isaiah 1:26

 

It will be all God’s doing. God’s justifying grace in Christ leads to righteousness and steadfastness in the lives of the justified. These are the evidences of genuine conversion.

 

W. E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: Isaiah. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996). Electronic edition (Logos); no pagination.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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