Devotional – What Jesus Never Said

“Thus says the Lord…” Jeremiah 2:2 ESV

“I say to you…” Matthew 5:18 ESV

Throughout the long history of the Nation of Israel God sent many prophets to speak His words to the people.

A prophet was simply a human messenger. A mere mortal chosen by God to speak the words given to him by God. A prophet’s authority did not come from himself, rather it came from God. A prophet’s words did not come from himself, rather his words came from God. To underscore this truth, prophets often prefaced their prophesies with the phrase “Thus says the Lord.” In fact, this phrase is repeated well over 400 times in the Old Testament.

Then came the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not once did he ever utter the phrase “thus says the Lord.” Rather, He often prefaced His words with the phrase “I say to you.” Some 87 times He boldly proclaimed this astounding phrase!

Jesus Christ was not just another prophet. Jesus Christ was not merely a human messenger sent on behalf of God! No!

Jesus Christ was, and is God incarnate! Jesus Christ did not need to say “thus says the Lord” because He is the Lord! He is God! Every time Jesus Christ said “I say to you” He was boldly declaring that His words ARE God’s words.

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority.” Mark 1:22 ESV

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Editorial note: Originally published May 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Eating the Book

 


Editorial Note: This article first appeared in the magazine The Christian’s Friend and Instructor Volume 24, 1897 Edition. I found this little article to be of such a great help in my present study of the book of Ezekiel I decided to reproduce it here in its entirety for your benefit. While the text below is original, I have added formatting for readability and emphasized portions I found of particular importance. The Christian’s Friend and Instructor is available in Kindle format here and at STEM Publishing here.


 

Ezekiel 3
Revelation 10

Both Ezekiel and John were commanded to eat the book which contained the subjects of their future testimonies; and every servant who seeks the grace of bearing testimony for Christ in this world, whether amongst His people, or before the world, will do well to weigh the significance of that which was enjoined. One difference, however, has to be noted. In Ezekiel’s case we are told that when he ate the book, it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness; and also in John’s, but it is added that as soon as he had eaten, his belly was bitter. This difference probably vanishes when the exact language in connection with Ezekiel is considered. He was told to cause his belly to eat, and to fill his bowels with the roll given to him; but he only lets us know the effects of its taste in his mouth. In the combination of the two cases three things are clearly indicated – eating, digesting, and the effect of digesting.

 


Eating the Book



 

By eating, taking the act in its scriptural meaning, we understand that the Word was to be appropriated. These prophets were to make the messages they were commissioned to deliver their own. The Bible – widening the application – is not a book of information to be gleaned, and then to be repeated, but is the voice of God to the soul that reads it, and thus to be heard for oneself before what is heard can be rightly communicated. Thus a well-known servant of the Lord once said that he never read a chapter in the Bible with a view to speaking; and, when he was asked why he read it, he replied that it was for his own profit and edification. In other words, his habit was to eat and to digest the Word before he preached it. We may all learn the lesson, especially when there is such a widespread temptation on every hand to repeat what we have heard before we have appropriated it for ourselves. If, indeed, Ezekiel and John may be taken as examples (and others might be added), we are not qualified to be the living channels of divine truth until we have made it our own.

 


Digesting the Book



 

Even eating or appropriating is not sufficient; there is also to be the digesting of what we have appropriated. There cannot be a doubt that in John 6 eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of man include this, because there is manifestly there the assimilation to the death on which we feed. Most of us know from our own experience that the process of digesting the truth we have really received is often a slow operation; and also that the truth is never effective in us, or through us, until it has been digested. There is a great distinction therefore between the two things mentioned in Ezekiel, having the roll in his mouth and enjoying its sweetness, and eating it with his belly, and filling his bowels with it. For the latter we need to be alone in the presence of God, and to learn there that His Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is then that the mind of God is really communicated; and, inwardly appropriated, it so molds and controls us, that we are morally fashioned according to the revelation made to our souls.

 


The Effect of Digesting the Book



 

But in connection with this there will be the effect mentioned in the case of John. That which was sweet in his mouth was bitter in his belly. This should be easily understood by every spiritual believer. The opening out of some new truth to the soul, the perception of its character and beauty, is ever a delightful experience; but when it is accepted in the power of the Spirit it gradually brings death in upon all that we are, and then it becomes “bitter” as it discovers to us the real nature of many things which we had hitherto cherished, and, in separating us from them, produces in us a growing conformity to Christ. If it be true, as every Christian knows it is, that Christ Himself had to pass through death to secure the eternal blessing of His people, it is also true that every one of His own must also go through death in order to enjoy what He has secured. This will be acknowledged by all in regard to the future; but the important point is that it is possible for us to anticipate the joys of heaven now if we are willing to die morally, and to enter upon our true place of association with a risen Christ. This, however, must be a “bitter” experience naturally.

It might seem to some that the words of Jeremiah are in conflict with what has been said. He says, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16.) The context, however, shows that he looks back to the time when, as John, he ate the book and found it as sweet as honey in his mouth; for the supplicating cry which he raises betrays the exceeding bitterness of his soul arising from the effect of the words which at first had filled him with rejoicing. On the one hand, he was surrounded with persecutors, and he had to suffer rebuke for the sake of Him who had commissioned him to speak to His people; and, on the other, he was made to feel that the Lord’s hand was upon him, as he cried, “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? Wilt Thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” Here, therefore, as also in the other instances, we find the same unvarying order – eating, digesting, and bitterness; and we may thus conclude that this will ever be the order in every similar case. If so, there are several important lessons to be learned from the examples cited, which we shall do well to consider.

  • The first is, that we are never qualified to be witnesses until we have gone through the processes indicated. As it was not enough either for Ezekiel or John to hear, or even to understand the divine message they received, so it must not be sufficient for us to be attracted by the beauty of new teachings, and to find them sweeter than honey to our taste; but we must be content to wait until the truth has worked its way into our innermost being, so that, having thus received the testimony, we are enabled from our own experience to set to our seal that God is true. There are two infallible marks of the witness who has eaten, digested, and found the bitterness of the truth in its self-application. The first is humility. Death works in him, while life flows out through his testimony towards others. (2 Corinthians 4:12.) Self, indeed, is practically set aside, as held under the cross; and “the life of Jesus” has then its free and unimpeded course through the vessel.
  • The second is love. In proportion as death (” bitterness”) works in us, the divine nature is in activity; and God is love. Hence the apostle says, after speaking of the gifts which God has set in the assembly, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

 


The Lip and the Life



 

But there are lessons for all believers, inasmuch as all are witnesses in their own circles, if not in a public way. Let us then all learn that we cannot study the Bible, or writings upon the Scriptures, or printed ministry, in the way that human subjects are studied. Until what we read or hear is made good in and verified by the soul, we do not really possess it. There are only two channels of testimony – the lip and the life, and the lip should be but the expression of what has first been produced in the life. Thus Paul, after speaking of the gospel which he had preached among the Thessalonians, says: “Ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” This, then, is what we should all desire, intense reality, to be possessed and controlled by the truth we profess to hold, and thus to shun the use of phrases and sentences which we have never eaten, digested, and found true in our souls.

 

 

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Jottings – A View of the Holiness and Majesty of Our God

“Jottings“

Commenting on Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 1:4-28:

 

When the average reader of the Scripture comes to a passage such as Ezekiel 1, he sometimes may conceive that the matters under consideration are far removed from his life and service. But the opposite is true. Just as Ezekiel was a faithful messenger for God, warning of judgement for the unbelieving, and assuring of blessing for the believing, so we today have the unparalleled privilege to call men to the truth in Christ the Lord. If we have ever had a view of the holiness and majesty of our God, how can we fail to herald His message of urgency to the lost! If we are faithful, He has promised to call forth a remnant from all peoples. May God grant this fulfillment to be realized in our lives.

 
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Feinberg, Charles Lee. The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003. 21. Print.

 

 

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Books of The Bible Numbered


  

I’m working on a project that requires me to know the books of the Bible in numbered order so I made the simple reference list reproduced below. Maybe the list will be of help to you too? Enjoy!

  

  1   Genesis
  2   Exodus
  3   Leviticus
  4   Numbers
  5   Deuteronomy
  6   Joshua
  7   Judges
  8   Ruth
  9   1 Samuel
10   2 Samuel
11   1 Kings
12   2 Kings
13   1 Chronicles
14   2 Chronicles
15   Ezra
16   Nehemiah
17   Esther
18   Job
19   Psalm
20   Proverbs
21   Ecclesiastes
22   Song of Solomon
23   Isaiah
24   Jeremiah
25   Lamentations
26   Ezekiel
27   Daniel
28   Hosea
29   Joel
30   Amos
31   Obadiah
32   Jonah
33   Micah
34   Nahum
35   Habakkuk
36   Zephaniah
37   Haggai
38   Zechariah
39   Malachi
40   Matthew
41   Mark
42   Luke
43   John
44   Acts
45   Romans
46   1 Corinthians
47   2 Corinthians
48   Galatians
49   Ephesians
50   Philippians
51   Colossians
52   1 Thessalonians
53   2 Thessalonians
54   1 Timothy
55   2 Timothy
56   Titus
57   Philemon
58   Hebrews
59   James
60   1 Peter
61   2 Peter
62   1 John
63   2 John
64   3 John
65   Jude
66   Revelation

  

  

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Devotional – God is Fully Trustworthy

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yet I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 4:27 ESV

but make not a full end. Jeremiah 5:10 ESV

I will not make a full end of you Jeremiah 5:18 ESV

but of you I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 30:11 ESV

but of you I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 46:28 ESV

Looking for evidence that the Bible is true? Look to the Jew!

Some two thousand six hundred years ago God, through the prophet Jeremiah, told the Jewish people His judgment was about to be poured out on them. The Babylonians would overrun the Jewish nation and destroy the city of Jerusalem, including the temple. Many would die and most of the survivors would be taken captive and exiled to Babylon.

God also made a stunning promise: despite being brought to the brink of total annihilation, He would not make a full end of the Jews.

Fast forward 2,600 years: the Jews are still a clearly identifiable people! God has kept His promise– His word is fully trustworthy!

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

 

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Sermon Audio – Intentional Bible Reading

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“And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them,’Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.'” Deuteronomy 32:45-47 ESV

 

The importance of God’s Word can not be overstated. This sermon gives encouragement and practical suggestions to help you read through Bible cover to cover.

 


This sermon was originally recorded at Brandywine Bible Chapel, Wilmington, DE on January 4, 2015.

 

 

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Florida Mens Bible Study

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The Florida Mens Bible Study is a time of rigorous Bible study ideally suited for serious minded brethren. This annual Bible study comes highly rated by prior participants. If you are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of God’s word this event is for you.

Who: Serious minded men
What: Intensive Bible study
Topic: The Book of Isaiah (first half)
Teachers: Randy Amos, Keith Keyser, Larry Price, Henry Sardiña
Where: Camp Horizon, Leesburg FL, USA
Why: To gain insight into God’s Word and increase our appreciation of God’s Son and God’s mind as revealed in Scripture.
When: January 4-8, 2016

Conference website: Florida Mens Bible Study

 

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Jottings – The Devil Does Not Select an Ignorant or Immoral Man to Make His Grand and Special Attacks Upon the Bible

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To say or think that there is so much as a single clause, or a single expression, from cover to cover of the inspired volume, unworthy of our prayerful meditation, is to imply that God the Holy Ghost has thought it worth His while to write what we do not think it worth our while to study. ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16). This commands our reverence. ‘Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning’ (Romans 15:4). This awakens our personal interest. The former of these quotations proves that Scripture comes from God; the latter proves that it comes to us. That and this, taken together, bind us to God by the divine link of holy Scripture—a link which the devil, in this our day, is doing his very utmost to snap; and that, too, by means of agents of acknowledged moral worth and intellectual power. The devil does not select an ignorant or immoral man to make his grand and special attacks upon the Bible, for he knows full well that the former could not speak, and the latter would not get a hearing; but he craftily takes up some amiable, benevolent, and popular person—some one of blameless morals—a laborious student, a profound scholar, a deep and original thinker. Thus he throws dust in the eyes of the simple, the unlearned, and the unwary.

 

C. H. Mackintosh, Genesis to Deuteronomy: Notes on the Pentateuch. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1972), 547.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Christian Preaching Is Not The Proud Ventilation Of Human Opinions

The Expository Preacher Is A Bridge Builder


Christian preaching is not the proud ventilation of human opinions: it is the humble exposition of God’s Word. Biblical expositors bring out of Scripture what is there; they refuse to thrust into the text what is not there. They pry open what appears closed, make plain what seems obscure, unravel what is knotted, and unfold what is tightly packed. In expository preaching the biblical text is neither a conventional introduction to a sermon on a largely different topic, nor a convenient peg on which to hang a ragbag of miscellaneous thoughts, but a master which dictates and controls what is said.

 

 J.R.W. Stott & Timothy Dudley-Smith, Authentic Christianity. 1995.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Returning to God’s Written Word

Returning to God's Written Word

Commenting on Jonah 2:

“The truth of the matter is that Jonah, who had formerly turned from God’s living voice, had now returned to God’s written Word.”

 

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Man Overboard: The Story of Jonah. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2008), p. 34.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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