The young ass

” And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” John 11:14-15

Do you realise who this man was who rode into Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday” nearly 2,000 years ago? God says he is a king. King of the Jews. And who is a Jew? Not someone descended from Abraham physically, but a believer, someone who acknowledges Jesus Christ as King, King over all things and their King. The King who suffered and died to win his Kingdom. The King who one day will make heaven and earth new  as rightly his. Is he your King? He is also appointed to judge all me when he comes again. Will you be able to say on that day, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”?

Wisdom

Christ alone reveals the wisdom of God.

The sum of all true wisdom and knowledge may be reduced to these three heads:—

1. The knowledge of God, his nature and his properties.

2. The knowledge of ourselves in reference to the will of God concerning us.

3. Skill to walk in communion with God:—

  1. Knowledge of God. “He that hath seen me hath seen the father.”How else to know his love apart from Christ? (I John 4:9). Pardoning mercy and grace? (Rom.3:25, John 1:14). Vindictive justice (Making Christ to be sin and suffer God’s wrath). Patience, forbearance and long-suffering (II Peter 3:9). When Moses asked God to show him his glory he hid him in a rock, that rock was Christ.
  2. Ourselves. Our sin is manifest by our consciences and the righteous law and just judgment is coming. We know these things by his death. God, in the death of Christ, punishes and condemns sin in the flesh of his own Son, in the sight of men, angels, and devils, and he has given an abundant assurance of a righteous and universal judgement to come; (how could his cruel killers get away with it?)  By his resurrection he has given assurance that Christ risen from the dead, is appointed by him to be the judge of all; in whom and by whom he will judge the world in righteousness granting unspeakable consolation on the one hand to those who believe in him, and terror on the other to those who despise him: so that the wisdom of this also is hid in Christ.
  3. To follow (In Christ is the wisdom to walk with God).

From John Owen’s work Communion with God.

No man taketh it from me

John 10:18 reads, “ No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

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Christ allowing himself to be wickedly scourged, beaten, humiliated and eventually cruelly and excruciatingly  killed WAS NOT A VICTIM! Even while he permitted, nay decreed, his own awful sufferings he sovereignly was in charge of his murderers, enabling them to act wholly responsibly in their wickedness, out of their own malice to put him to death.

Christ was the ONLY MAN EVER to decide the moment of his death as he dismissed his spirit (Luke 23:46).

Christ was the ONLY MAN EVER to raise himself from the dead and take his life again, by omnipotent death-defying power invested in him eternally by his father.

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to possess eternal life in himself, the power of an endless life and the love of the Father (Heb.7:16).

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to be given sovereign judgment over all other men (John 5:22).

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to have power to cast all who despise him into everlasting hell.

Who is CHRIST to you?

An irrelevance, someone who died and whose body disappeared 2000 years ago, just a good man or example?

Or as he is in truth—the ever-living LORD of the universe and your rightful LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER and FRIEND?

“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” (Psalm 2:12).

The Awfulness of Hell

John Gill on Mark 9:49

” For every one shall be salted with fire”

 

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That is every one of those that transgress the law of God, offend any that, believe in Christ, retain their sins, and sinful companions; every one of them that are cast into hell, where the worm of conscience is always gnawing, and the fire of divine wrath is always burning, with that fire every one of them shall be salted: that fire shall be to them, what salt is to flesh; as that keeps flesh from putrefaction and corruption, so the fire of hell, as it will burn, torture, and distress rebellious sinners, it will preserve them in their beings; they shall not be consumed by it, but continued in it: so that these words are a reason of the former, showing and proving, that the soul in torment shall never die, or lose any of its powers and faculties; and particularly, not its gnawing, torturing conscience; and that the fire of hell is inextinguishable; for though sinners will be inexpressibly tormented in it, they will not be consumed by it; but the smoke of their torments shall ascend for ever and ever; and that they will be so far from being annihilated by the fire of hell, that they shall be preserved in their beings in it, as flesh is preserved by salt:

Man shall not live by bread alone.

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Living on bread alone, by living in this world without Christ is actually death. Death in the Biblical sense is separation from God (Rom.6:23, Isaiah 59:1-2, Ephesians 2:1). Every person is like this by nature. We are not born into the world as God’s children, we have to be adopted as such through rebirth. Christ, opposing Satan in Matthew 4:4, quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, saying that man can ONLY live by God’s word. This was said in the context of God supplying manna to the Israelites, which manna Christ said represented him (John 6:33). So Christ is heavenly bread. We must eat him! A man only becomes a child of God and truly alive by being born again (John 3:3, 6:53-58) by hearing, understanding, believing and obeying the gospel (I Peter 1:23), which is eating and assimilating Christ. We must hear the word of Christ to live spiritually (John 5:24-25). By hearing it preached in a true church, by reading it in a faithful translation, and by the working of God’s Spirit we are resurrected from being spiritually dead and become really alive. We eat the heavenly bread. Christ comes to dwell in us. We are graciously given eternal life by God’s grace. This eternal life is friendship and true knowledge of God (John 17:3). This is what real Christians celebrate in the Lord’s Supper. Are you really living or still dead in your un-forgiven sins?

The Books

 

The books were opened and all men were judged according to what was written in the books (Revelation 20:12-13). What are the various books mentioned in Revelation and other Scriptures?

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The first mention of a book is Genesis 5:1 where Moses is commanded to keep a record of the genealogy of the first generations of mankind. To this was added all the books of the law or covenant, the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). To this was added the writings, or poetry books and the books of the prophets to comprise all the Old Testament. The whole of this book testifies of Christ to come (Psalm 40:7, Heb.10:7). In many places where prophets or an apostle are required to write, read, assimilate and preach this word we are to believe these are parts of inspired Scripture e.g. Jer.15:16, Ezek. 2:8,3:1, Rev.1:11, 10:2, 9-10. After the coming of Christ and the apostles, the New Testament, gospels and epistles, including Revelation, all of which are the inspired word of God and infallible, were added to the Old to comprise the whole Bible. This is God’s book in which we learn of all the other books! It is the canon of Scripture, now fixed (Rev.22:18-19). It is real, we can handle it and read it (in several thousand languages) and be blessed by so doing (Rev.1:3), it has power to save and harden (Heb.4, Is. 6:9-10, II Cor.2:16).

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The book mentioned in Revelation 5:1,3, 5ff is the book of God’s eternal decree which only Christ is fit to open and execute. This “book” is in the mind of the eternal, unchanging God and determines all that has or will ever happen in this universe.

The books (Rev.20:12-13, 15) out of which all men will be judged are a record of all the thoughts, words and actions of all men who have ever lived down to the minutest detail which will be opened on the last day and which will determine the eternal destiny of all men (Matt.12:36, 25:31-46, II Cor.5:10, Rom 14:12). Daniel knew of them (Dan.7:10). Think of them this way. God’s mind and memory are infinite and contain, like the greatest computer ever made, a full record of everything that has come to pass, inevitably because he also decreed it before time began!

The key book as far as Christian believers are concerned is the Lamb’s book of life. This book, kept invisibly in the mind of God, which is also eternal, contains a record of all the elect (Dan.12:1, Phil.4:3, Rev.13;8, 20:15, 21:27). This book cannot be added to or subtracted from (Ex.32:33), to be “blotted out “of it means to have never been in it! It also determines who will not follow Antichrist.

It is noteworthy that on the last day there is a separation of sheep (elect) from goats (reprobate) even before the books are opened and this separation has already occurred at death when each goes to his own place, either to be with Christ in heaven or the place of the dead and damned in hell (John 3:18, Luke 16:23). The final judgment after the general resurrection then determines the eternal destiny of everyone, the sheep having done good works to prove their election, and the goats having done wickedly, especially to God’s people, to cement their damnation. Christ also teaches there will be degrees of reward and punishment in his own words and the epistles (Matt.5:12, Luke 12:48, James 3:1) the rewards include various crowns (I Cor.9:25, Phil.4:1, II Tim.4:8, Rev.2:10, I Peter 5:4, Rev.3:11). All believers who are justified both in this life and the next, stand un-condemned because of Christ, it only remains for them to lay up treasure in heaven as both they and the wicked fill up their cup of suffering or iniquity as the case may be. We can be assured of this, the “judge of all the earth shall do right” (Gen 18:25).

 

Three trillion galaxies

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Scientists guess there are three trillion galaxies 3,000,000,000,000! Our planet earth is only one tiny blue sphere circling one sun of which there are thousands in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Jeremiah 51:15 “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding”.

Who would not fear the power of God, the one and only Potentate who has the power to create all these and the right to cast men who rebel against him into hell? Repent and put your trust in his Son, Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners on this sick planet!

Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Sinless and innocent

It was very important in God’s great work of redemption that Christ be pronounced innocent in public and this happened in Luke 23:15 after both Pilate and Herod found no reason of death in him. This was also the finding of the penitent thief (Luke 23:41) and the centurion (Luke 23:47). Even the Sanhedrin, earlier given the opportunity, could pin no sin on his person (John 8:46). The New Testament writers also make this pronouncement, Paul in II Cor.5:21 and the writer to the Hebrews in 7:26. It was only when false charges of blasphemy were laid and a mob was allowed to rule that the spotless Son of God was condemned, under God’s just decree, as he substituted for all his guilty people. What was manifestly unjust in our eyes and the eyes of all, was actually divine justice being done (Romans 3:26). He got what we deserved. Have you ever thought, perhaps like Barabbas, witnessing the cross, that should have been me up there? I know I have! Thanks be to God.

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Real Treasure

As you will have noticed this blog is called Jules’ Jewels with the aim and prayer that valuable insights from the Bible will be shared to enrich others.

Recently at our church (CPRC) CPRC website  we heard about Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:3). Listen to sermon here

This verse is like the map that leads us to the real treasure of eternal life. Treasure would usually make us think of a buried pirates chest like this one!

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Our Lord Jesus told a story in Matthew 13:44 in which a man found a treasure and sold all he had to buy the field where it was hidden. Christ plainly describes himself and his gospel in these terms. In himself, because he is the unique source of covenant love in God which is eternal, we have infinite riches that are everlasting and incomparable with any earthly riches.

Thus he is our treasure in heaven, our inheritance, and our selfless deeds, love of the brethren and building of the kingdom add to our heavenly reward of grace. We dig for him, the unique source of knowledge of God and wisdom in the Scriptures (Job.3:21, Prov.2:4).

But we too, Christ’s brethren and God’s children are HIS peculiar treasure (Ex.19:5, Ps.135:4) because we are the true Israel of God for whom he gave his precious blood and as a result he indwells us by his Spirit, who is the real treasure in a worthless clay jar (II Cor.4:17).

When Jesus returns at the end of earthly time it will be for his treasure-US. He comes to make up his jewels who will adorn his crown (Mal.3:17).

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One final point; Moses the great Old Covenant mediator esteemed suffering for his New Covenant Messiah greater riches than all Egypt had to offer (Hebrews 11:25). May we more and more treasure true spiritual riches rather than anything on earth just as he did.

Alien righteousness

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Does it seem fair to you that a man or woman, boy or girl should not be judged on the last day and condemned for their own life of sinful disobedience to God’s commandments? The idea that another could take the punishment we deserve and we be given (clothed in) his perfect righteousness is truly “alien”. It is in fact divine revelation and it is in our Bibles. Is it yours?  Or do you honestly think God, on judgment day will accept your own “filthy rags”? Only the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ can save a sinner!

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