Monday, January 29, 2018

Matthew - Our Lord's Baptism

In today's study from Matthew 3:13-17, we take a look at the significance of our Lord's baptism.

The first thing that we see in Jesus’ baptism is a clear manifestation of the Trinity. Notice that it says that “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  (17)  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

The second thing that we see is purpose and procedure for baptism.

Purpose of Baptism
Jesus said it Himself, to fulfill all righteousness. Now, Jesus was already righteous so he didn’t get baptized to obtain righteousness. He was baptized for two reasons. 1. Set the example for us, and, 2. to mark the beginning of His public ministry. So, too our baptism is also the beginning of our public ministry. It is actually our “public profession of faith.” 

Procedure of Baptism
We also see here the procedure for baptism: immersion. The Bible says that he went up out of the water. This would not have been the case had He been sprinkled. All baptisms in the Bible are by immersion. John 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. Also, compare the eunuch in Acts 8:38-39. Baptism is by immersion because it pictures the death, burial and resurrection (cf. Rom 6:3-5). Burial is more than sprinkling dirt on a coffin!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Matthew - Suppressing the Truth

Today, we take a look at Matthew 3:1-12 and discover some interesting things about the ministry of John the Baptist and learn why the world really does not want to hear the truth, and will, for the most part, hate anyone who dares to tell it to them.

John the Baptist was first and foremost a preacher. His specific calling was to announce the Messiah. There are two people in the Bible who are considered the forerunners of Christ in the Bible: John the Baptist and Elijah. John the Baptist was the forerunner at his first coming (John 1:22-23). Elijah will be the forerunner at his second coming (Mal. 4:5-6). However, John could have been Elijah if they had received him (Matt 11:11-15). Because they did not, the Gentile Church was born (Acts 28:25-28).

John, a Preacher
John was a preacher and not a teacher. You need to understand the difference between the teacher and the preacher. The teacher teaches the Bible. The preacher preaches conformance to the Bible. The Levites were teachers while the Prophets were preachers in the Old Testament.

Modern Preachers
Unfortunately, when we look at John’s preaching, it is very different than the “so-called” preaching of today. Modern preachers are more like politicians. They say whatever the people want them to say (Jer 5:30-31, 23:16-17). Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

John the Baptist, on the other hand, was a tough preacher. John spoke the truth plainly and without fear. As a result, he made a lot of enemies.Jesus this issue in Luk 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.  23  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. Jesus said in Joh 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

Jesus also said in Joh 15:18-23 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  20  Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  21  But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  22  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  23  He who hates Me hates My Father also.

The same thing happened with Stephen in Acts 7:57 “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,” Wicked men, do not want to hear the truth! Spoke spoke of this is Romans 1:18-23 how men knowingly "suppress" the truth. Folks we have always lived in a world that simply does not want to hear the truth.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Matthew - Dreams and Prophecy

In today's study Matthew 2:11-18, we look at how God used dreams and prophecies at the birth of Jesus.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
v.11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Notice the gifts that the wise men brought: gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. Each of the gifts represents some aspect of our Lord. The gold symbolizes his kingly role. The frankincense symbolizes his priestly role. The myrrh symbolizes his death.

Interestingly, Isa 60:6 speaks of a time in the future when a multitude of camels shall cover your land, The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba shall come; They shall bring gold and incense, And they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. Notice that there is no myrrh in this future gift.

Young Child in a House
Another interesting note is that the verse tells us that Jesus was a young child and that they lived in a house by the time that they got to him. Another proof that he was around two years of age is found in Matthew 2:16 and Herod’s decree. The truth is that the only people present the night of the birth of Christ was Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds (Luke 2:8-16). So much for the Nativity Scene! 

vv.12-13 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.  13  Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." In these verses, I want us to notice dreams. Many times in the Scripture’s we find God warning and directing men through dreams. They are mentioned in v.12, 13, 19-20, and v.22. Dreams were not uncommon before the Bible was finally published because men did not have all of the words of God to direct them. Of course, some of them had the Old Testament or parts of it, which was their absolute authority. But still, it is recorded that God occasionally directed them by dreams.

There Were Good Dreams
In Gen. 20:3 when God came to Abimelech in a dream to warn him that he had another man’s wife. In Gen. 31:24 when God came to Laban to warn him not to harm Jacob. In Gen. 41:1 when Pharaoh dreamed a dream that came from the Lord to warn him to prepare for a 7-year famine by storing up food during the next 7 years of plenty. In Dan. 2:1 when Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about an image that prophesies the rise and fall of all of the important world empires leading up to the second coming of Jesus. In every case, these dreams were accurate and perfectly prophetic. 

There Were Bad Dreams
However, there are a number of other cases where men professed to have had dreams from God and they were lying. In 1 Kings 13:18 when the old prophet professed to have received a word from an angel and lied to the young prophet, resulting in the young prophet’s death. In Jer. 23:16, 25-32 when the prophets prophesied lies to the people. Did you see vv.28-29? God said their dreams compared to his words were like the chaff to the wheat. The Word of God comes first. Yes, even to your dreams! A dream never takes precedence over the Word of God.

vv.14-15 Then he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON."  Notice that we also find prophecies in Matthew 2.

God’s Firstborn
The first one is found in Matt 2:13-15 which is a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1 which says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Historically, this prophecy records the Exodus, where Israel was called God’s firstborn son before they left Egypt. Exo 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. Prophetically though, it refers to Jesus coming up out of Egypt following the death of Herod. Actually, Moses prophesied this in Deu 18:15-18 when he said, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,  16  according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.'  17  "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good.  18  I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. Thus, the fulfillment of Hos. 11:1 under Moses and Jesus was yet another proof that Jesus was their Messiah.

Rachel Weeping
The second one is found in Matt. 2:17-18 which is a fulfillment of Jer. 31:15 which says, Thus says the LORD: "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more." Again, Israel should have recognized that the baby Herod tried to kill was, in fact, their King.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Matthew - Three Wise Men

In today's study from Matthew 2:1-10, we take a look at who the wise men were, where they came from, and how they knew where to look for the Christ. 

Here are a few things about the wise men to think about. 1. We have no idea who they were or where they came from. Psalm 72:10-12 may be a hint. 2. We are not sure as to exactly how many there were. We assume three because of the gifts they brought, but the chances of such wealthy men traveling alone would be doubtful. The traditional names given to them are Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but that is total fiction. 3. There is no mention of camels in the narrative. So much for “We Three Kings”!

How did they Know?
How did the wise men know about the birth of our Lord? I’ve studied three possible reasons.  None of which I am dogmatic about. #1. Is. 60:1-6 - While this passage specifically refers to the Second Coming of Christ, it could have been partially fulfilled at his birth. #2 The prophecy of Daniel (Dan. 9:23-27). I believe that the wise men may have very well used this prophecy to determine the date of birth of Jesus. The command to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was given in Neh. 2 on March 14, 445. The prophecy said that from the going forth of the command on March 14, 445 that it would be sixty-nine weeks of years until the Messiah would come. That’s 483 years or 173,880 days using the Babylonian calendar. That puts us at April 6th, 32 A.D., the exact day that Jesus came through the Eastern gate. They could have back-tracked this date to his approximate birth time. #3 The Prophecy of Balaam. Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
v.11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Notice the gifts that the wise men brought: gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. Each of the gifts represents some aspect of our Lord. The gold symbolizes his kingly role. The frankincense symbolizes his priestly role. The myrrh symbolizes his death.

Interestingly, Isa 60:6 speaks of a time in the future when a multitude of camels shall cover your land, The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba shall come; They shall bring gold and incense, And they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. Notice that there is no myrrh in this future gift. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Matthew - The Miraculous Conception

In today's study, we move into Matthew 1:18-25 and take a closer look at the birth of Christ and its significance.

First, this was must note that this was not a divine conception, in the sense that the Holy Spirit conceived seed in Mary by natural means. Mary was a virgin until the birth of Jesus.  Therefore, the conception was supernatural. This is why Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was and is the Son of Man because he had an earthly mother. He was and is the Son of God because God is His Father. Theologically, this mystery is called the hypostatic union. Jesus is 100% man and 100% God. The true God-Man.

Secondly, we notice that the Bible says that Mary and Joseph were “betrothed” as husband and wife. The betrothal was like an engagement today. The Bible tells us that after she found out that she was pregnant that she went and stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for three months (Luke 1:35-40, 56). And, it was not until her return that Joseph found out that she was pregnant because she was showing.

If you look at his response, he was being very generous in trying to divorce her quietlyUnder the Law, a woman who did not keep her virginity until her wedding day was considered a whore and could be stoned if her husband found out (Deut. 22:23-24). But rather than doing that, Joseph was content to just secretly divorce her as permitted by Moses (Deut. 24:1-2). Of course, had this actually happened, Mary would have been sentenced to a life of loneliness in that day and time. Of course, today, we don’t even bat an eye at this type of behavior because it is so common. But the angel of the Lord convinced him otherwise (v.24).

Mary’s Virginity
Was Mary a virgin? #1 She said that she was. Luke 1:34 says, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” #2 Because the Bible said that she would be a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Also, Matthew 1:25 says that Joseph knew her not until she had given birth to a son. #3 She had to be a virgin. If Mary had not been a virgin, Jesus would have been born a sinner. David said of himself and all men in Ps 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Perpetual Virginity
Notice the word “firstborn” in v.25 where it says that Joseph did not know Mary (in the sexual sense) till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. Some of the modern versions remove that word firstborn (i.e., the ESV), but it adds it in Luke 2:7 when it says, And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. I take note of this because some groups such as the Roman Catholics propagate a doctrine called the perpetual virginity of Mary, which teaches that Jesus was Mary’s one and only child. However, Matthew 1:18 and Matthew 1:25 clearly indicate that eventually Mary and Joseph did have sexual relations.

Also, the Scripture is clear that Mary did have other children after Jesus. Mark. 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” Also, compare  Matt. 12:46; John 2:11-12, 7:1-9 and Acts 1:14. 

Also, notice 1 Cor 9:5 where Paul said, Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Also, Paul refers also refers to James as the Lord’s brother in Gal. 1:19 when he said, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.”

The bottom line is that the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary simply cannot be drawn from Scripture. To say otherwise is to contradict what the Scripture clearly says. Jesus was the firstborn of Mary!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Matthew - Two Genealogies

Today in Matthew 1:2-17, we again take a look at the genealogy of Jesus and notice some names that are missing and the differences between the one given in Matthew and the other in Luke.

Genealogical Subtractions
Just as a cursory mention, another interesting thing about this genealogy also is who is missing. In the line of the kings from David, there are three kings missing. If you carefully compare 1 Chr. 3:9-12 with Matt. 1:6-8 you will find that Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (all kings of Judah) where skipped between Joram and Uzziah.

1Ch 3:9-12 “All these were the sons of David, besides the sons of the concubines; and Tamar was their sister.  (10)  Now Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abijah was his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,  (11)  Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,  (12)  Amaziah his son, Azariah (Uzziah)his son, Jotham his son,”

Mat 1:6-8 “Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.  (7)  Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa.  (8)  Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah.”

Some would conclude that the reason is because Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, gave his son Joram in marriage to the daughter of King Ahab, King of Israel (2 Chr. 18:1; 21:5-6), the husband of wicked Queen Jezebel. 

The Bible tells us that Ahab and Jezebel were the wickedest rulers that Israel ever had. 1 Ki 16:33 “And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”

Now, just a bit of interesting speculation and nothing more. Why did God skip three generations of kings after the sins of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram? Possibly to the remove the iniquity of this unequally yoked marriage (Exo 20:5; Num 14:18). Again, just interesting speculation.

Two Genealogies
Now, I want to talk about the genealogy of Matthew 1:1-16 and the genealogy of Luke 3:23-38. Matthew is the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Luke is the genealogy of Jesus through Mary. A careful study of these two genealogies would reveal that they are identical except in two points. The genealogy of Joseph works forward and Mary’s in Luke works backward. They differ from King David on. Matthew 1:6 follows David’s son Solomonand Luke 3:31 follows one of David’s other sons Nathan. Joseph’s genealogy goes from David’s son Solomon to a King Jeconiah, Mary’s does not (Matt 1:11; Jeremiah 22:24-30).

The bottom line is that if Joseph were the biological father of Jesus, He would not be qualified to sit on the throne of David. The virgin birth is essential for our salvation. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The Bible is 100% accurate in every area.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Matthew - Gentiles in the Genealogy

Today, we start to take a look at Matthew 1:2-17 to discover that there are actually gentiles found in the genealogy of Christ and how the new Jewish converts struggled with this.

It’s interesting that the Jews wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles and yet, five Gentile women are in the line of Jesus. 1. Tamar, who Judah’s daughter-in-law, was a Canaanite (v.3; Gen. 38:13-30). 2. Rahab, the harlot, was an Amorite (v.5; Jos. 2:1, 6:25; Ruth 4:21). 3. Ruth, the wife of Boaz, was a Moabite (v.5; Ruth 4:9-10). 4. Bathsheba, the wife of David, was a Hittite (v.6; 2 Sam. 11:1-5). 5. Naamah, the wife of Solomon, was an Ammonite (v.7; 1 Kings 14:21). (While Naamah is not specifically mentioned by name, she was Rehoboam’s mother.) These are significant in that they show that Gentiles were to be included in New Testament salvation.
What is even more interesting is that three of the five women mentioned in this genealogy, Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba had committed sexual sin!

Woman at the Well
Still, the Jews really struggled with the concept of Gentiles being saved (cf. John 4:1-9).

Peter on the Rooftop
God had to supernaturally reveal it to Peter (cf. Acts 10:1-15, 25-29, 34-36). 

Revealed in the Old Testament
Paul mentioned the salvation of the Gentiles in Romans 15:8-12 where he quoted from four Old Testament passages confirming Gentile salvation (cf. John 10:7-16).
Jew and Gentile Bride
So, the Bride is made up of a combination of Jews and Gentiles. Paul told the Romans in Romans  1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Matthew - Uniquely Qualified

In today's study from Matthew 1:1, we see that Jesus was uniquely qualified to be the fulfillment of both the Davidic and Abrahamic Covenants.

The Davidic Covenant
Jesus was to be and will yet future be the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant because is qualified to fulfill that promise (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-16). Now portions of this are speaking of Solomon, but it is ultimately looking to Christ. The Bible is clear that Jesus is King, has a throne and a kingdom.
Declared King
He is declared king in the book of Matthew (Cf. Matt. 2:2). The Bible also says in Matthew 27:37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

Given a Throne
He has been given a throne. It was said of him in Luke 1:32, He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Given a Kingdom
He has been given a Kingdom. Jesus said in Luk 23:42 "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

The Abrahamic Covenant
Also, Matthew wanted to clearly demonstrate that Jesus was a son of Abraham, and not only met the requirements of the covenant but will also fulfill it one day (Cf. Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-13).

Jesus was circumcised
Jesus kept the sign of the covenant which was circumcision. We are told in Luke 2:21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Jesus was the Promised Seed
Paul says Jesus was the promised seed and thus the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant when he said in Gal 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. He is not referring to the “seed” of Genesis 15, but to the “seed” of Gen. 22:17-18. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Matthew - An Introduction

In today's study, we introduce the first book of the New Testament and take a look at Matthew 1:1.

The Gospels cover a period of about thirty-five years. Here are some interesting facts: 

They open with an announcement in the Temple of God (Lk. 1:11-20) and close with the ascension of the Son of God (Lk. 24:50-51).

As the Old Testament began with manmade in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), the Gospels open up with God made in the image of man (Jn. 1:14).

The man made in the image of God was defeated by Satan in a garden when defied God’s will (Gen. 2:8; 3:1-7), but the God made in the image of man defeated Satan in a garden when He submitted to His Father’s will (Lk. 22:39-42).

Prior to the Gospels, sheep died for shepherds (Ex. 12:1-13), but now the Shepherd was going to die for the sheep (Jn. 10:11).

At his birth he was offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh by wise men who worshipped him (Mt. 2:11), while at his death he was offered thorns, vinegar, and spittle by wicked men who ridiculed him (Mt. 27:29, 34, 26:67).

The Gospels describe Jesus saving sinners under a tree (Jn. 1:48), up a tree (Lk. 19:4-5), and on a tree (Lk. 23:43).

The Synoptic Gospels
The first three gospels have been labeled as the Synoptic Gospels. Synoptic means “seeing together”.  There is a structure found among Matthew, Mark, and Luke in their presentations of the ministry of Jesus. They all have what is called a “geographic sequence” in that they all focus on our Lord’s ministry in Galilee, his withdrawal to the North, his ministry in Judea on his way back to Jerusalem and final ministry there. This sequence is not found at all in the John (e.g., the sending out of the twelve, the transfiguration, the Olivet Discourse and the Last Supper are not found in John either.

Synoptic Parallels
Some theories about why they are so similar include Common dependence on one original lost gospel (the Ur-Gospel). Common dependence on oral sources. Common dependence on gradually developing written fragments. Interdependence (each writer used the other to pen their own).

The First Gospel
For centuries, the church thought that Matthew was the first gospel to be written.  However, a closer look reveals doubts. It appears that Mark was written first, followed by Luke, and then Matthew. Further evidence that Mark was first is that 97% of Mark’s words have direct parallels in Matthew and 88% of Mark’s words are found in Luke.

Suggested Outline
I favor what is called the Christological Development outline.

The Person of Jesus Messiah (1:1-4:16)
The Proclamation of Jesus Messiah (4:17-16:20)
The Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Messiah (16:21-28:20)

The suggested breaks are the words, “from that time on” (4:17; 16:22).

However, to bring the outline down a little smaller, it would be…

The Prologue (1:1-2:23)
The Gospel of the Kingdom (3:1-7:29)
The Kingdom Extended (8:1-11:1)
Rising Opposition (11:2-13:53)
Progressive Polarization (13:54-19:2)
Open Opposition (19:3-26:5)
The Passion and Resurrection (26:6-28:20)

v.1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

The first thing that we see when Matthew opens his gospel is that he introduces Jesus as the son of David and the son of Abraham. I believe the reason that God did this was to show that both the Davidic and the Abrahamic Covenants were to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. They were not as a result of his rejection, but they were offered. (cf. Mal. 4:5; Matt. 17:12-13). 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jude, Part 14

Notice also in vv.22-23 that it says, “And of some have compassion, making a difference …And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…" Here we see how we should relate to two types of people who are around us every day. First, we are to have compassion on those around us who are saved but are being misled. The Bible says that "we know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren." But, this second group must be confronted more strongly - but in fear. These are those who may be true Christians or not, but have been fallen into gross error and are possibly misleading others to do so as well.

Verses 24-25: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever (and God’s people said) Amen.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jude, Part 13

Today we take a look at vv. 12-23

Verses 14-15: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Wow! Enoch prophesied of the Second Coming of Christ! So did Job in Job 19:25-26 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”

Verse 16: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.” These apostates find fault and complain. Nothing seems to satisfy them. They have no feelings for others. They want their own selfish will to be imposed upon everyone else. Colossians 2:18-23 says, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Did you notice what it said about these apostates? They are worshiping their own will. In other words, it’s not about God and what He wants. It’s all about them and what they want. On a personal note, a complainer cannot be right with God. I don’t care who it is. There is something wrong with a person who will complain constantly.

Verses 17-23: “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Now we see a contrast. In the first 16 verses, Jude is dealing with "filthy dreamers" or false prophets as he calls them. Now he turns his attention to the "beloved." That’s you and me! - And in these final verses he deals with how we should conduct ourselves. 

First, we should be “…building up yourselves on your most holy faith…" The faith that you have in your heart to believe is the gift of God, not of works, lest any should boast. How do we do this? - By sitting under the teaching of the Word! 

Second, we should be “…praying in the Holy Spirit…" We are to pray with the anointing of God’s Spirit. Only the Spirit can give us the faith that we need to pray the prayer of faith. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of God is our teacher and guide (Rom 8:26-27).

Third, we should "Keep yourselves in the love of God…" We are to keep our minds fastened on things above, not the things below. The way that we do this is by keeping the Word of God close to us…By studying it, meditating upon it, memorizing it, and applying it to our lives. The Bible says that we "are in this world, but that we should not be of this world.".

Fourth, we should be “…looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" You and I can expect eternal life. It’s as good as done. Why? - Because God has had mercy on us by allowing us the opportunity to put our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.