Now God says “do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. But the world says, “come lie with me and satisfy the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and fulfil the pride of life… you don’t even have to leave the church congregation.” Having intercourse right at the altar like Absalom did to David to shame him – they are now sleeping with other gospels of prosperity, social-economic and dominion spirits that lead the Father’s children astray.
The #Christian accepts the truth of the existence of God by faith. But this faith is not a blind faith, but a faith that is based on evidence, and the #evidence is found primarily in Scripture as the inspired Word of God, and secondarily in God’s #revelation in nature.
Neem kennis en onthou dan vandag dat "Uit die geloof geregverdig" beteken dat die oomblik dat jy verstaan en glo wat aan die kruis gebeur het, word jy onmiddelik beskou as regverdig voor God in Jesus Christus.
There are so many conferences on this subject, trying to provide a methodology for evangelism. Strategies and techniques have been concocted, for this, as many people believe that the Bible needs to be repackaged because they consider its relevance to have expired.
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
To be called a Lamb of God means that God gave Jesus to be killed like a lamb for our sins so we could live forever.” ... For hundreds of years, Jews brought lambs to the temple as sacrifices for their sins. They kept coming back year after year because no lamb could take away all their sin.
The Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology (i.e., a benediction)—these divisions were probably introduced by the final editors to imitate the five-fold division of the Pentateuch.
Book 1 (Psalms 1–41)
Book 2 (Psalms 42–72)
Book 3 (Psalms 73–89)
Book 4 (Psalms 90–106)
Book 5 (Psalms 107–150)
Martin Luther says that “when the cross is abolished, and the rage of tyrants and heretics ceases on the one side, and all things are in peace, this is a sure token that the pure doctrine of God’s Word is taken away.” The world’s hatred is sometimes a sign that we are being faithful to Scripture, provided the world detests us due to the message we preach, not because we are obnoxious. If we meet no worldly opposition, it may mean we are not being true to the offense of the cross.
Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit giving them power to witness. The kingdom of God is his rule in the lives of his people. It is spread by witnesses, not soldiers, through a gospel of peace, not a declaration of war.
The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory for every believer. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). And He is coming again! The dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who are alive at His coming will be changed and receive new, glorified bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).
The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons. The Bible speaks of the Father as God (Philippians 1:2), Jesus as God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3–4). Are these just three different ways of looking at God, or simply ways of referring to three different roles that God plays? The answer must be no, because the Bible also indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons.
Pluralism’s claim that all religions are true is self-refuting, for the undeniable law of noncontradiction affirms that opposites cannot both be correct. Consequently, for instance, since Islam claims there is only one person in God, and Christianity says there are three, both religions cannot be right on this point. Likewise, since Islam teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross and rise from the dead on the third day, and Christianity teaches that He did, one of them is wrong. The same is true of all core beliefs of all religions—some affirm there is a theistic God (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), while others hold to a pantheistic God (e.g., Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, and Taoism). God cannot be both transcendent over the world (as in theism) and not transcendent over it (as in pantheism). If theism is true, then pantheism is false.
Liberal theology, with its belief in the inherent goodness of man and his ability to help himself is now making a comeback. For the doctrine of salvation by grace has practically become an insult, for it shows that man is innately spiritually dead - unable to ever come to God. The word “grace” is also emptied of all spiritual meaning and vanished from religious discourses. It is retained only in the sense of “graciousness,” something that is quite external.
God is above all things and before all things. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is immortal, and He is present everywhere so that everyone can know Him (Revelation 21:6).
God created all things and holds all things together, both in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible (Colossians 1:16).
God knows all things past, present, and future. There is no limit to His knowledge, for God knows everything completely before it even happens (Romans 11:33).
God can do all things and accomplish all things. Nothing is too difficult for Him, and He orchestrates and determines everything that is going to happen in your life, in my life, in America, and throughout the world. Whatever He wants to do in the universe, He does, for nothing is impossible with Him (Jeremiah 32:17).
God is in control of all things and rules over all things. He has power and authority over nature, earthly kings, history, angels, and demons. Even Satan himself has to ask God’s permission before he can act (Psalm 103:19).
Suffering is unavoidable in this life. Will your relationship with God be enough when trials come? Will you trust Him through your suffering? Read Job 38–42. Spend time with the Almighty. Pray for a stronger faith in the powerful Creator described in those chapters. Pray for a right perspective of Him so that you might see your situation through His eyes.
Instead of asking where God is in the midst of your pain, the book of Job affirms God’s control and asks us, “Where are we in our pain? Are we trusting our Creator, even though we cannot understand our circumstances?”
The Bible says in Eph 3:21, “to [God] be glory in the church.” It is our highest calling, our very purpose, to glorify God: 1 Cor 10:31 Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The main verb in this verse is “do.” It is an imperative in the present tense, and it means “a command to do something in the future which involves continuous or repeated action.” God gives commands in the Scriptures to glorify Him repeatedly, continuously, always. And He is worthy of our praise and worship.
Elihu tells why he finally must speak. The key verses are 8 and 9, "It is the Spirit (of God) in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right. Therefore, I say, 'Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.'" The lesson Elihu teaches us here is that it is not age that brings wisdom but the Spirit of God. There is no necessary correlation between grey hair and good theology.
Salvation by grace through faith is not a difficult thing, in that it’s not a formula to follow but rather a miracle to believe and receive. Salvation is God’s righteousness at work in us when we say yes to His plan. Saying yes is how we demonstrate faith. We get saved by grace through faith, but we also live by grace through faith.
Martin Luther said in his first of 95 Theses, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” To walk in repentance is not to walk in condemnation, but in freedom. For the Father so loved us in kindness (Ephesians 2:7), that he sent his only Son to do justice for us (Romans 3:26), in supreme humility (Philippians 2:5–8), that we might have eternal life in which to know and enjoy him (John 3:16; Philippians 3:8–11).
Because God is spirit, He does not have a physical body. This means He is able to be omnipresent and is not limited by physical location. In John 4, Jesus tells the woman at the well, "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23–24).
"For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both." Now if you have a different translation you may read the word umpire, middleman, arbiter, or mediator instead of daysman. I prefer the word mediator. "And neither is there any mediator between us that he might lay his hand upon us both." Job was saying, "Oh God, You are holy; I am sinful. I need You. God, I can't argue with You. If you bring me into court, I can't answer one of a thousand questions. I'm a sinner. I need somebody to go between. I need somebody to bring me to You. I need somebody who can lay his hands upon us both. I need an arbiter. I need a middleman. I need a daysman. I need a mediator."
Witchcraft is often present in society because it expresses something deep-seated in our broken humanity, namely, our desire to carve out a space where we can make things happen apart from God. The seriousness of witchcraft tends to be overlooked both in materialist societies, such as the UK, that pretend spiritual activity doesn’t exist and in societies that actively collude with supernatural powers, such as South Africa. The Bible presents a challenge to both sorts of worldview because it recognises there is a spiritual world – but one which is subject to Jesus Christ’s authority.
The Book of Job is a book of the Hebrew Bible. It addresses the problem of theodicy, meaning why God permits evil in the world, through the experiences of the eponymous protagonist. The book is found in the Ketuvim section of the Hebrew Bible, and is the first poetic book in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.
The book relates the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice: once in the evening and again the following morning. The books of Esther and Song of Songs are the only books in the Hebrew Bible that do not mention God
Christ came into the world as the second Adam. And Paul demonstrates here in Romans 5 that just like Adam, Christ is the covenant representative of all those who believe in Him. So, just as all humanity was condemned on the basis of Adam's disobedience, so too, all those who belong to the Saviour are justified on the basis of Jesus' obedience as their covenant representative.
Deuteronomy 28:136“The LORD will take you and your king away to a foreign land, where neither you nor your ancestors ever lived before; there you will serve gods made of wood and stone. 37In the countries to which the LORD will scatter you, the people will be shocked at what has happened to you; they will make fun of you and ridicule you.
38“You will sow plenty of seed, but reap only a small harvest, because the locusts will eat your crops. 39You will plant vineyards and take care of them, but you will not gather their grapes or drink wine from them, because worms will eat the vines. 40Olive trees will grow everywhere in your land, but you will not have any olive oil, because the olives will drop off. 41You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, because they will be taken away as prisoners of war. 42All your trees and crops will be devoured by insects.
43“Foreigners who live in your land will gain more and more power, while you gradually lose yours. 44They will have money to lend you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers.
45“All these disasters will come on you, and they will be with you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and keep all the laws that he gave you. 46They will be the evidence of God's judgement on you and your descendants for ever.
The crucifixion and its meaning were revealed hundreds of years before the fact Jesus himself often quoted from Isaiah 53, that said of the Messiah:
He poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12)
Ezra and Nehemiah were called to restore God’s kingdom, in the midst of a partially-hostile, partially-supportive environment. Today’s workplaces are also partially hostile and partially supportive of the work of God. This encourages us to work out how our work may contribute to implanting God’s kingdom in today’s world.
Many people come to Jesus thinking it is enough to believe, to stand on the sidelines and root for Him. Jesus isn’t looking for cheerleaders. He is seeking men and women who will follow Him whatever the cost. He is looking for radical devotion, unreasonable commitment and undivided dedication. Jesus isn’t looking for converts. He’s looking for disciples.
Simony, buying or selling of something spiritual or closely connected with the spiritual. More widely, it is any contract of this kind forbidden by divine or ecclesiastical law. The name is taken from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18), who endeavoured to buy from the Apostles the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The people of God are now where Moses warned them they would be if they were not to listen and obey God’s commands. Tragically they are now dependent and in need of permission, like a slave. David was not allowed to build the temple yet we see a Pagan leader instructed to do so.
... “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and can never be anything better.
Prune and trim a corrupt tree as much as you will, it can never be made to yield good fruit. Every man must be born again before he can be acceptable to a holy God.
Some people would rather sleep in their bed all day rather than making a living and that is their downfall. Laziness is a curse, but work is a blessing.
God worked for 6 days and on the 7th day He rested. God put Adam in the garden to work and take care of it. God provides for us through work. Since the beginning we were commanded to work.
Both Hezekiah and Josiah wanted to help God’s people turn back to Him. And both took steps to lead that direction. That was right and fitting for them to do and we ought to credit them for their faithfulness. But in the end, neither was able to accomplish what they wanted because neither was qualified to do so. God’s people needed a better king, a greater king, a perfect king who would be able to change the people’s hearts, not just their behavior. That king, of course, would be King Jesus. This is what we learn from these accounts.
The recognition of this truth is in no way a warrant or license to sin. The heart that knows the price paid for its redemption does not seek to add to the cost. Indeed, when God removes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), the result is that we desire to walk in His ways and commandments (Ezekiel 36:27). It is our love for Christ that prompts our new natures to seek Him and walk in paths of righteousness.
Bonhoeffer, who was 39 when he was hanged by the Nazis for his opposition to the regime. Bonhoeffer teaches us the importance of spiritual disciplines that can withstand changing circumstances. While away from home, living as a double agent and even in prison, Bonhoeffer devoted himself to Bible reading, letter writing, prayer and listening for God. In these days of solitude and waiting, he urges us to remain connected to the sources of our strength.
Spiritually, Jehoshaphat began his reign in a positive way. Second Chronicles 17:3–6 gives this commendation: “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.” In addition, Jehoshaphat sent men throughout the kingdom to teach the people the Law of God (2 Chronicles 17:7–9).
The New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the body of Christ.
The Old Testament covenants establish promises that look forward to fulfillment. Much of the New Testament is concerned to show how Jesus Christ fulfills these covenant promises and what life should look like for a people living in the New Covenant inaugurated by his death and resurrection.
Revelation 21:3, KJV: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." ... They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God."
In contrast, Jesus said, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). Faith must have an object: It is unreserved and absolute trust in God. There is no one and nothing in the universe that can be trusted totally except God.
1 Chronicles finishes with some shrewd advice from David, as well as establishing thereby some fundamental and foundational principles for effectiveness and genuine “success.” Solomon, David acknowledges, is young and inexperienced (29:1). However, because of that, David has put together a huge amount of resources to help him with the building of a temple (29:2-5)—which is a great task because it is for God (29:1).
He then challenges the whole assembly whether they will give “willingly” (29:5). They do indeed—a massive amount is given, without compulsion, and instead with a good will (29:6-9). The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). And because they give this way, “the people rejoice” (29:9). There is a deep connection between open hands of generosity and rich hearts of rejoicing. Then David praises God before the assembly (29:10-19). In so doing, he establishes the principle that all effectiveness, all honor and prosperity, is from God.
Success is the name of the game today, not only out there in the world, but inside the church as well. Humility is out and self esteem is in, even though we are urged in Scripture, "Let each esteem others better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3).
New Testament describe Jesus as the “son of David.” But the question arises, how could Jesus be the son of David if David lived approximately 1,000 years before Jesus? The answer is that Christ (the Messiah) was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Jesus is the promised Messiah, which means He had to be of the lineage of David. Matthew 1 gives the genealogical proof that Jesus, in His humanity, was a direct descendant of Abraham and David through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father. The genealogy in Luke 3 traces Jesus’ lineage through His mother, Mary. Jesus is a descendant of David by adoption through Joseph and by blood through Mary. “As to his earthly life [Christ Jesus] was a descendant of David” (Romans 1:3).
Primarily, the title “Son of David” is more than a statement of physical genealogy. It is a Messianic title. When people referred to Jesus as the Son of David, they meant that He was the long-awaited Deliverer, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
Somehow, we have it in our minds than unless we are having a mystical and emotional experience, we have not had a true experience with God. It is not only dangerous but also erroneous to look for something more than is recorded in the Scriptures. For too long, many believers have regarded the Scriptures as an optional source of truth rather than “the” source of truth. The Scriptures alone have everything the believer needs for life and godliness (2Pe 1:3).
The differences in Saul and David can be summarized in just a couple of words: “obedient faith.” Though David had some shortcomings in this regard, Saul was a complete failure. He constantly found himself on the wrong side of obedience.
When Saul was found to be disobedient to God, he tended to make excuses, blame others, and exhibit a lack of trust in God.
By contrast, David possessed humility and dedication to God. When David found himself on the wrong side, he repented of his wrong. It takes strength of character to admit to wrong. David was a man of character; Saul was not.
Leading in the church is to be based upon service (bottom-up) and not formal authority (top-down):
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’. Mk 9:35
Jesus also explains that all the works of the world are evil:
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. Jn 7:7
John tells us that the things of the world originate with Satan:
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 Jn 5:19
The books of Chronicles are not a repetition of the books of Kings. We may see this already in the long genealogies of Israel and especially of the house of David, which commences with Adam, the first man. The books of Chronicles give a divine retrospect over Israel's history and the history of mankind as well as God's ways with men.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). There is no doubt that the verse expresses a unique truth about Jesus: He became sin for us. While on the one hand the verse states the simple gospel truth that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all who would ever believe in Him, it also makes a somewhat enigmatic statement.
While Jesus was on earth, He demonstrated His messianic reign in many ways, including the healing of sick people, like lepers. When John the Baptist had a crisis of faith, he sent a question to Jesus, asking about the Savior’s identity. Jesus replied with a mild rebuke:
Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed. (Matt 11:4-6)
Jesus’ words were intended to leave no doubt that He was indeed the Holy One, of whom all the prophets spoke. His clear proofs included His miraculous healings and His powerful gospel preaching.
We need to be careful because if what the government is doing is lawful then to resist them is to resist God: “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1-2). Yes, God is that serious about respecting and submitting to our governing authorities. On the other hand, if what the government is doing isn’t lawful then as Christians we have no choice: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
This great salvation is made possible by the greatest story of the innocent sufferer, Jesus. For Naboth’s story calls our attention to Jesus’ story in Matthew 26:59-68. Jesus’ enemies conspired against Him too. They falsely accused Him of blasphemy, mocked and beat Him, and eventually took Him outside the city to kill Him (Heb 13:10-13). Jesus’ blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel and the blood of Naboth (Heb 12:24), for their blood cries out for vengeance, but Jesus’ blood cries out with forgiveness to everyone. Jesus is the innocent scapegoat offering salvation to the world and promising that one day the cries of the martyrs will be heard and their blood will be avenged.
This practice of worshiping other gods began early in Jeroboam’s reign. When the kingdom was divided and he controlled the northern part, he stopped all pilgrimages to Jerusalem: “‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ One [golden calf] he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other” (1 Kings 12:28–30).
The word translated “ashamed” means “disgraced” or “personally humiliated.” A person “ashamed” in this way is like someone singled out for misplacing his confidence—he trusted in something, and that something let him down. The word can refer to being dishonored because of forming the wrong alliances. So, when Paul says that he is not ashamed of the gospel, he is saying his confidence in the gospel is not misplaced. There is no disgrace in declaring it. Paul had given his life to proclaiming the truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to him (Acts 9:3–6; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4). He explained to the Romans why he did not believe that he had wrongly identified with Jesus and why proclaiming Jesus’ message was his life’s work.
God never fails us- His plans are to prosper us and give us a future. So why is it that we always can’t keep our end of the agreement? Our tenacity and perseverance are constantly short-lived by good expectations. Jesus’ finished work satisfies God commands and statues. Sin therefore has no dominion over us. So, those born-again are not disqualified to receive the fruit of righteousness!
In the glory days of Israel, King Solomon stood out. Although his father, David was revered as the best king, unlike David’s reign, Solomon’s reign knew mostly peace. He was also the wealthiest king, and the wisest man who ever lived, apart from Christ.
Solomon was the King of Israel. “ Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.” 1 Kings 2:12
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings. “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 19:16
Christianity differs from all other religions in that it is built upon the person of Christ, who embodies all approaches to spiritual truth. Paul acknowledges this unique and ontological nature of Christianity when he exclaims, “I know whom [not what] I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) and “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
If your dear ones are dead you cannot restore them to life by your unbelief; and if they still survive, it will be a pity to be downcast and unbelieving when there is no occasion for it. ‘Your strength is to sit still.’ Remember that you are a Christian, and a Christian is expected to be more self-possessed than those who have no God to fly to.” (Spurgeon)
Where are the faith healers, where are the Word of Faith ministers...why is the Church so quiet? Don’t they realise that this is the hour for the Church to lead the way when death and fear rage rampage in society?
The temptation to turn a blind eye to the sins of our children is common not only to leaders but to any parent. In 2 Samuel, we see how David, though an otherwise just king, failed in acting with justice when it was his own children who needed to be punished. And there are principles here for all parents and any affected by the destructive consequences of a leader glossing-over at their child’s sin.
The unconditional nature of this covenant continues as God explains that it is not based on David’s descendants behaving perfectly. In fact, God says that when — not if! — the son commits iniquity, he will be punished, but God’s steadfast love will not depart from him as it did from Saul. The mention of Saul’s name in 2 Samuel 7:15 is a sobering reminder of what can happen to a kingdom and to a king, but it also heightens the graciousness of this promise God makes to David.
In the Old Testament wisdom literature in Job 27, Scripture says, “My lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit.” In Psalm 5 it says, “You destroy those who speak lies.” In Psalm 58, it says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb. They go astray from birth, speaking lies.” In Proverbs 12:22, it says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
2 Samuel depicts David as a true (though imperfect) representative of the ideal theocratic king. David was initially acclaimed king at Hebron by the tribe of Judah (chs. 1 - 4), and subsequently was accepted by the remaining tribes after the murder of Ish-Bosheth, one of Saul's surviving sons (5:1-5). David's leadership was decisive and effective. He captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his royal city and residence (5:6-13). Shortly afterward he brought the ark of the Lord from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem, publicly acknowledging the Lord's kingship and rule over himself and the nation (ch. 6; Ps 132:3-5).
Christ is searching us as to whether we are searching the Scriptures. “Search the Scriptures”, He commands (John 5:39). Searching is not a superficial activity. You believe or think that in the Scriptures you have eternal life. He says this to us just as much as the Jews to whom He spoke. Is this not a reason to study them? The Scriptures testify of Christ. Searching them to find the Saviour is evidence of love towards Him.
The account of the witch of Endor summoning Samuel is recorded in 1 Samuel 28:7-20, and it is the only biblical account of someone being visited in such a manner by someone who was deceased. Saul, having deprived himself of every legitimate means of spiritual input as a result of his own disobedience and rebellion, walked in foolishness again by seeking out the very resource (a medium) he had previously removed from the land. By divine law, mediums and spiritists were banned from Israel (Deuteronomy 18:11), and Israel was not to be defiled by them (Leviticus 19:31). That the king would stoop to this indicates how far he had fallen from God’s grace.
The “anointed ones” in these passages are not modern-day Pentecostal preachers. And the Bible never promises that God’s prophets, anointed ones, children, or other faithful believers will never suffer harm from evil people. As Jesus explained to the Pharisees, “God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute’” (Luke 11:49).
Modalism, also called Sabellianism, is the unorthodox belief that God is one person who has revealed himself in three forms or modes in contrast to the Trinitarian doctrine where God is one being eternally existing in three persons. According to Modalism, during the incarnation, Jesus was simply God acting in one mode or role, and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was God acting in a different mode. Thus, God does not exist as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time. Rather, He is one person and has merely manifested himself in these three modes at various times. Modalism thus denies the basic distinctiveness and coexistence of the three persons of the Trinity.
Modalism was condemned by Tertullian (c. 213, Tertullian Against Praxeas 1, in Ante Nicene Fathers, vol. 3). Also known as Sabellianism, it was condemned as heresy by Dionysius, bishop of Rome (c. 262).
Original sin, also described as ancestral sin, is a Christian view of the nature of sin in which humanity has existed since the fall of man. Original sin arose from Adam and Eve's transgression in Eden, the sin of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Original sin can be explained as “that sin and its guilt that we all possess in God’s eyes as a direct result of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden.”
People tend to judge the character and worth of others by looking at outward appearances. If a person is tall, good-looking, well-built, and tastefully dressed, then he or she possesses physical qualities that humans generally admire and respect. Often these are the physical qualities we seek in a leader. But God has the unique ability to see inside a person. God knows our true character because he “looks at the heart.”
Saul chose to keep the Amalekite king Agag alive and took the plunder from the battle rather than destroy everything as God had commanded. When Samuel confronted him, Saul said, “I did obey the Lord. . . . I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:20–21).
Samuel answered in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices / as much as in obeying the Lord? / To obey is better than sacrifice.” Why is obedience better than sacrifice?
We depart from Biblical teaching when we think that today's so-called gospel rock, gospel clowns, gospel magicians, and other forms of gospel entertainment can legitimately be employed to communicate spiritual truth. The Scriptures teach that the world is on its own, "without hope and without God"
Giving God the honor due him is surely at the heart of genuine worship (cf. Pss. 29:1–2; 96:7–8), for the incomparable God refuses to share his glory (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). Genuine repentance culminates in genuine worship when the repentant ones ascribe to God the glory he deserves. Paul points out that the pagan world has “exchanged the glory of the immortal God” for idols (Rom. 1:23), but John foresees a day when survivors of God’s eschatological judgment will proclaim God’s glory (Rev. 11:13). Indeed, he tells how an angel will proclaim the gospel, announce impending judgment, and call the nations to worship, exhorting them to “fear God and give him glory” (Rev. 14:7)
One day Hannah was at the tabernacle earnestly pleading with the Lord to bless her with a son and promising to dedicate her future child to the service of the Lord. When Eli observed Hannah, he was inspired to declare to her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). Later, after she gave birth to a son, Hannah brought the young Samuel to Eli to fulfill her vow (1 Samuel 1:24–28). Under the supervision of Eli, Samuel faithfully served at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:11).
Unfortunately, Eli’s own sons did not submit to their father’s supervision as Samuel did. Like their father, Hophni and Phinehas were also priests at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 1:3). The sons of Eli “knew not the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). They are referred to as “sons of Belial” (1 Samuel 2:12), which is a term of derision used elsewhere in the scriptures. The word Belial basically means “wickedness” or “worthlessness.”
During the darkest period of my life I had no one to say “Brother, how is your faith? Is Christ alive in your life? Are you lawless and doing your own thing? Brendon do you know that if you are carrying on in your sin and ignore God’s will - Jesus will say to you, ‘depart from me you lawless one - I don’t know you!’”.
Ruth demonstrates great faith with her insistence to go with Naomi to Judah. Unlike her sister Orpah, Ruth is not returning to her homeland, her people, or her gods. She trusts in the Living God of Israel—Naomi’s God. She trusts Naomi’s confidence in God’s provision (Ruth 1:6) although she has not seen it.
Ruth is willing to commit herself to Naomi and follow her to a land she has not seen and a people who are not hers. Remember, she is a Moabite widow—a foreigner to Naomi’s people. And, Naomi is clear there are no guarantees (Ruth 1:11-13).
The book concludes in Judges 17:1-21:25 with three failures of the Israelites in sinning like the pagan peoples they were commanded to dispossess and in their failure to maintain the unity as a covenant people and the summary statement: In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did as he saw fit (Judg 21:25).
1. The failure of Israel through idolatry (17:1-18:31) 2. The failure of Israel through immorality (19:1-30) 3. The failure of Israel through civil war (20:1-21:25)
The Scripture says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly [that’s everybody]. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
One has to wonder where is God in these complex processes of engaging the Judges from their very distracted lives? God is relegated to the role of silent witness to a purely human contract between a desperate people that are self-centred rather than subservient to His plans.
Jesus did not come into the world simply to set a good example, tell us to lead better lives or even to ask us to pray more and read our Bibles regularly. He came into this world primarily in order to make forgiveness for us possible. It is why, when he looked forward to the Cross, he stated that it was for this very reason he had come into this world. The real question as we have said is not about who is good enough to get in. The real question is how God makes it possible for anyone to get in at all. The answer is that we need to be forgiven, and that forgiveness is won for us through the Cross
Children of Israel did evil” (v. 1) is the reason for their being delivered into the hands of the Midianites. Gideon, the sixth judge, was raised up to deliver Israel. All the judges, as we have indicated, had some weakness, defect, or unusual characteristic that God actually exploited in order to deliver His people. Gideon was a coward at heart. His threshing grain at the winepress, instead of on the threshing floor of a hilltop in sight of the Midianites, reveals this. Here is where the angel of the Lord calls him “Thou mighty man of valor.” Gideon pleads his weakness and littleness as an excuse. God equips him and encour- ages him in his first exploit.
Christians, by definition, believe Christ to be God- made-man, God-in-the-flesh. His claims cannot be amended, watered down, relativised, negotiated away or nuanced into acceptability. But this exclusivism is not an exclusivism of Christian culture, of Christian ethics or of Christians as the only candidates for heaven. Attacks on Christian exclusivism often ignorantly or maliciously confuse these three indefensible exclusivisms with the real one, which is almost never squarely faced.
Hosea’s name means salvation and shares the root Hebrew word with the names Jesus and Joshua. If there was any doubt that this was a man of God, although marrying a prostitute, the scripture clears it up in the first verse. Throughout the book, salvation is attained by turning to the Lord away from our sin, evident in how Hosea applies the word to his life and circumstances.
The book of Judges describes a period in the life of the nation of Israel between the prophetic leadership of Moses and Joshua and the establishment of the monarchy and kingship in Israel. The nature of this time period is described on four different occasions in the book, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6; cf. 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
The tradition of casting lots is referenced several times in the Bible. Although they are thought to have been used in 1Samuel 14:40 - 42, when King Saul sought God's counsel, they were not. In this case, what was cast was not lots but rather the High Priest's Urim and Thummim used to render a decision.
The primary reason for casting lots was to render an impartial, unbiased decision on important matters. Once the lot was cast, no one could argue that the decision was the result of human intervention like nepotism, politics, favouritism, and so on.
We overlook the fact that God speaks to us all the time, we may not even know it and we don't give Him the credit. So listen to that voice! He will always give you peace. He also will never contradict His written word in the Bible.
Moses encourages the people of Israel to obey God’s law. He says it is not too hard to do because God will put it in their hearts so they can do it. Remember what we read in the last section. The problem is the human heart. But God will circumcise or change the heart so his people can obey the law.
For us today, Jesus fulfils the law and sacrifices. We must not offer animal sacrifices. Jesus is our
sacrifice for sin. Believers are not
under a curse for their sin. Jesus takes away our curse. We enjoy fellowship with God because of Jesus.
Do you have a hunger for something more in life? Is there something deep inside of you that never seems to be satisfied? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Are you confused? Are you unable to find a path or purpose in life? Does it seem like someone has turned out the lights and you cannot find the switch? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
How can people maintain a quality of true community in the midst of such pressures? From the point of view of mission, Zoom, WhatsApp etc. can offer unprecedented opportunities for the intelligent proclamation of the Christian gospel. But could never replace the personal contact?
Our world has drastically changed and we are now being treated as “herds” to “immunity”. Now this is for the greater good of our society, we are requested to observe the rules so not to spreading the virus. Whether we live or we die - we do unto the Lord!
All these things mislead people. They come from Satan, who lies. These things are detestable and disgusting to God. God’s people must not go to the magic man or witch or other people like that.
God is in control of everything. God tells his people everything they need to know.
We must remember God’s commandments all the time. This is so the commandments will go deep into our hearts and lives. If we really love God, then we will love his commandments, and read them often, and follow them in our lives.
Christians are not the same as the people of Israel. Christians have the Holy Spirit to write God’s word in their hearts. The Spirit does this when we think about and read God’s commandments often.
If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want, without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God.