The Promise of God

We read of many promises of God (II Peter 1:4) but in essence they are all wrapped up in Jesus Christ-he is the fulfilment of every Promise (II Cor.1:20).

He is the promised Messiah (Gen. 3:15). He fulfils the promises to Abraham of righteousness, multiplied seed, a people who would be redeemed from slavery, a land, and a seed who would bless all nations (Gen.12:2, 15:5,7,13,14 22:18, Acts 26:6, Gal.3:18). He is Abraham’s righteousness (Rom.4:3), gives him seed in great number (all believers) and gives him the inheritance of a new heaven and earth, of which Canaan was a type (Heb.11:8-10). As Abraham’s spiritual children we too inherit all the promises (Heb.6:12-17).

He is the promise of salvation or eternal life (Acts 16:31, 2:39, II Tim.1:1, I John 2:25, Heb.9:15) to all who repent and believe.

The promised Spirit who is poured out is His Spirit (Luke 24:49) who personally enables us to persevere and inherit the promises to come (Heb.10:36). Abraham and the Old Testament faithful looked forward to Christ’s coming but never actually saw it (Heb.11:13,33) we look back on it as history, but whether faith is prospective or retrospective, all are partakers of all the blessings that are wrapped up in him.

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The Lord God is a Sun

Everything in creation teaches us about the creator and glorifies him.


What does the sun do?

Heat-without it being the exact distance (93 million miles) from earth the planet would either be frozen or to hot for life. Heat burns and our God is a consuming fire who consumes sin and will one day destroy this sin-cursed planet and also  all his enemies eternally in hell. The gospel of the love of God comforts (warms) the heart of the believer.

Light-without the full spectrum, especially ultra-violet, there would be no plant and hence no animal life at all. The spectrum of light seen in the rainbow reflects all God’s wonderful attributes. God and Christ are often, if not always, portrayed as being brilliant white as light, in fact unapproachable light (and heat) that would destroy any human coming near! Christ enlightens our minds to see the Kingdom of God and sheds light on our pilgrim path through life. Without divine enlightenment we are in darkness.

Healing-UV light metabolises bilirubin, the waste product of dead red cells that produces jaundice in the newborn, which can damage the brain. It is also used in many skin therapies. Christ heals many of our diseases and sanctifies us spiritually from spiritual sickness till one day his church will be presented without spot or wrinkle.

In that new creation there will be no sun! (Rev.21:23). Why? The Son is the Sun!

Christ is called the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2) who arises with healing in his wings.

Holiness to the Lord

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And the golden plate shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, the plate of gold, with the inscription on it, holiness to the Lord, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; this supposes that the sacrifices of the children of Israel, were attended with sin and blame, either in the matter of their offerings and gifts, or in the manner in which they brought them; and which through the high priest having this plate of gold, with the above inscription on it, were expiated; they were bore away from them, and were not placed to their account. There is sin in the best performances of the saints; there is not a just man that does good, but he sins in doing that good; the best righteousness of men is imperfect, and attended with sin; and this cannot be borne, or taken away by themselves; if God should mark such sins as these, they could not stand before him; now Christ, their High Priest, bears and takes away these, along with all others, which are laid upon him, and borne by him:

Belgic Confession 24

“for we do no work but what is polluted by our flesh, and also punishable; and although we could perform such works, still the remembrance of one sin is sufficient to make God reject them. Thus then we would be continually vexed, if (we) relied not on the merits of the suffering and death of our Saviour. ” (abridged)

 

Feast of Tabernacles

In the days of Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8) there was a great reformation of true religion as over 42,000 returned exiles worshipped the God of Israel in Jerusalem. They kept the feast of Tabernacles in the 7th month for eight days from the 15th day onwards.images

It was a harvest feast and commemorated their pilgrimage through the wilderness when both they and the ark of God dwelt in tents.

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As with every Jewish feast it pointed to Christ. John 1:14 literally reads that God incarnate dwelt among us “tabernacled” among us. Many believe Christ was born at this season of the year, NOT Xmas!

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A sukkah or booth.

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The feast also has a future fulfilment in the great ingathering of God’s elect people at the end of the world, many believe the second coming will be at tabernacles season, when he will usher in eternity, and God in Christ will forever tabernacle with his people, he and his church will be one at the great marriage supper of the lamb (and interestingly many Jewish weddings are held under a sukkah).

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Lessons from David’s handover to Solomon.

I Chronicles 28 and 29 are full of blessed instruction and promise as David hands over all he has to his son.

Surely his admonition in 28:9 is ours for our children.

He gives godly advice and promises to him (vv9 and 20), practical guidance that came from God (v12), massive material provision (v14ff) including David’s personal gifts (29:3), the people were all willing (v21), the preparation had been made (29:2), the whole ceremony was undergirded by praise and prayer (29:10ff), the outcome for Solomon (at least initially) was prosperity (29:23) and peace (Solomon’s name).

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It seems to me these chapters typify the perfect provision and preparation that God the Father made for his Son Jesus Christ for his coming to earth and carrying out all his work of redemption to the letter. He indeed was the one who would be King of Israel, God’s people, for ever, and build the everlasting temple that he would inhabit namely the church.

 

Resurrection blessing.

“…and he lift up his hands, and blessed them” (Luke 24:50).

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In this chapter two phrases stand out, “their eyes were opened”, that is Cleopas and his friend as they sat with Christ at supper and “then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (the disciples a short time later). There is a close link between the illumination granted and the blessing he bestowed.
“The lifting up of his hands (before he ascended) was like Aaron, his type, who lifted up his hands towards the people of Israel, and blessed them, when he had offered the offerings for them, ( Leviticus 9:22 ) so Christ, as the great high priest, having offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of his people, lift up his hands towards his apostles, and blessed them in an authoritative way, by bestowing blessings upon them: he blessed them with a larger measure of the Spirit; for though they were to wait some few days longer for the extraordinary effusion of the Spirit, yet, in the mean while, they received from him more of it than they had formerly had; for he breathed upon them, and said, receive the Holy Ghost, ( John 20:22 ) . He blessed them with larger measures of grace, and with more spiritual light, and understanding into the Scriptures of truth, and with much inward peace of mind, and with the fresh discoveries of pardoning love; and which seemed necessary, since by their conduct towards him, one by denying him, and the rest by forsaking him, the peace of their minds was broken, and they needed a fresh application of forgiving grace.”*

This is surely what we all need. Let us pray for it and for each other (Luke 11:13).

*John Gill commentary.

My words will not pass away.

What is your attitude to Scripture (the Bible)? Do you pick at it and say that’s not for me or that’s for a bygone age? Has it been changes since written? Christ emphatically teaches that from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 his words are unchanging and eternal and must be accepted as authoritative comparing Scripture with Scripture. To reject his words, and I am particularly thinking of the New Testament, is to reject him! Christians should be confident that in their hands they have the unchanging word of God. And we believe the King James is the most accurate English translation.

For further reading:

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5359681be4b04d0a00bdd9ad/t/556be764e4b0807cd7b88362/1433134948441/David+Allen+-+Preservation+of+text.pdf

Revelation

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We depend on divine revelation! Man left to himself would never come to know God because he has no desire to seek him and is separated from him, dead in sin. By nature we are blind and deceived. Creation reveals God’s power and glory but Christ reveals God to save men (Matthew 11:27). The Spirit of God, active since creation reveals spiritual truth to men (Deut.29:29). He must convince us we are hell-deserving sinners, God in Christ is a glorious sufficient Saviour and we have an eternal inheritance kept for us.

But, as regards God’s dealing with men, he reveals truth progressively. Our first parents were told a Saviour would come, Abraham was given further revelation of the covenant and his blessed Seed (John 8:56). Moses not only was given the law but also told of a great Prophet who would come (Deut. 18:18) and one for whom he suffered (Heb.11:26). David was granted in great detail prophesy concerning the life, work and death of his Lord and Saviour. All this revelation came by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:11-12). God does all this through his word Christ-directly to prophets in the Old Testament and up to the time of the apostles and now exclusively and pre-eminently through the completed Scriptures which are “Christ in print”. Although the third person of the trinity is immutable and omniscient yet he limited what he revealed progressively of the covenant to God’s people through the ages. Paul spoke of mysteries, truth not previously revealed, but now made known to him e.g. that the Gentiles were included in the covenant people. Truth is still being developed and revealed by God to his church-we still await the revelation of Antichrist and finally the personal bodily revelation of Christ.

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What’s so special about the Bible?

 

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Why do Christians quote Scripture? Why is the Bible so important to them? Why do they think it is authoritative? Why do they seek to obey it?

Quite simply this is why, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

It is the word of God, not just the words of men written.It is what God has said to mankind from the beginning and it does not change. It is his standard of righteousness. It is how men and women, boys and girls can be saved from sin, death and hell.

It is the book about God the Son, Jesus Christ whom it glorifies from Genesis, where he is promised as the Saviour to come to destroy Satan, to Revelation where he is married to all his people, his church, to live with them forever in bliss in the New Heavens and Earth.

If you have never taken this book seriously–YOU MUST! YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR RESPONSE TO IT. 

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48  King James Version (KJV)

 

Luke 20

Some thoughts:

13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

The irrational nature of sin! Did they really think they could inherit the promised land or heaven for that matter by killing the son of God?

23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

Christ was cleverer than them all!

27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

They did not know the Scriptures!

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